Archive for January, 2009

Let some light in – Replacement Bay Windows

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Bay windows can be an excellent feature to add to your home. Not only do they permit a ton of natural light into houses, but they also create an engaging decorative feature on the exterior of a home. They firstly reached general recognition in the eighteen seventies, when Victorian innovation was at its peak.  One of the things that makes bay windows so great is that they allow much more natural light into your home. Since bay windows are usually large that they can create cold spots if not properly insulated.
Bay windows come in a excellent selection of sizes, but may also be custom fit, designed and made to the precise size you need. To pick the bay window that is suitable for you, simply research what perspectives and measurments you need to see if bay windows are a good fit for your home. Generally bay windows are 3 separate pieces that come together at forty five degree angles, but can consist of more pieces if required typically more then three windows begins to fall into the realm of bow windows which I will explain in another article in detail. So, determine which is your taste and style, and employ a bay window that works for your individual taste. Bay windows are a fine add on to any home.

Siding Manufacturers

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

We’ve been seeing notable growth in the number of siding manufacturers trying to steal a piece of the business.  It’s understandable, after all, considering that sidings have become pretty indispensable as both decorative and functional external home fixtures.  Siding manufacturers are right in the forefront of the home remodeling market, being one of the most lucrative sectors in the industry.

Just as there exists a wealth of options in exterior sidings for your home, a large number of manufacturing companies has come along with it, offering their own take on what will best help outfit your remodeling projects.  Finding a siding manufacturer is now as easy as it can be that the biggest problem for homeowners is choosing one!

Whether customers are shopping for brick sidings, the always-popular wood options, hardiplank exteriors or low-maintenance vinyl units, they’ve been noticing more and more brands crop up.  While some people would prefer sticking with popular names, many opt for smaller outfits that offer comparable quality at significantly lower prices.  Which one should you choose for your own home remodeling?  Honestly, the options are so closely matched, it’s difficult to give a single, all-encompassing response.

What we’d recommend is to go through trade organization listings and consumer reports to check how often the manufacturer’s name gets mentioned.  Of course, it’s important to take note of the context (people can either be praising it or complaining about the product) in which their brand is mentioned when making your decision.  You can also check with local independent contractors.  These people most likely work with sidings day in and day out – and they should have a pretty good idea of the real-world performance for many locally-available brands.

Vinyl Siding Is Awesome But They Aren’t Perfect

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Never have to paint your house again.  That’s the wonderful promise of vinyl siding installations.  It’s true to a large extent too.  Vinyl sidings, after all, are pretty durable.  They neither rot nor flake and many modern units come in colors and designs that mimic architectural details that were once only available for wooden surfaces.

They aren’t perfect, though, and do come with their own share of baggage.

1. Environmental Issues

Vinyl is derived from PVC, a plastic resin with cancer-causing properties in humans.  While the vinyl should be safe while installed in your home, their manufacturing and disposal have long been questionable.  Burning vinyl, for instance, produces toxic, highly-dangerous fumes.  If you’re an eco-conscious consumer, you’ll probably want to investigate the carbon footprints associated with vinyl sidings before pressing forward.

2. Property Appraisal

While vinyl siding is gaining greater acceptance among homeowners (and home shoppers), it bears repeating that it can still serve as a cover-up for some inherent problems.  I would probably be suspicious when buying a house filled with vinyl too and the burden of proving otherwise, of course, will rest on homeowners like you.

3. Maintenance

Vinyl sidings have been touted as maintenance-free.  After all, you won’t need to ever paint or stain the units.  Apart from an annual washing, there is really little needed to keep it from looking fresh.  Do expect some amount of slight fading starting five years onwards though.

What vinyl installations put your home at risk of, though, are hidden rotting and insect infestations beneath the sidings.  Left unchecked, the damage can end up being considerable before any signs manifest.

4. Energy-Efficiency

Some salesmen will try to sell you on the energy efficiency of vinyl.  They’re lying.  Vinyl panels provide no significant insulation so it will not help in lowering your energy bill.  Additional insulation inside the walls is what you’ll need if you want shaved-down energy use.

Decorating A Sunroom

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Sunrooms offer a quiet retreat from the regular bustle of a busy home. With natural sunlight passing through and a clear view of your immediate outdoors, it can be the most relaxing place of the house and a great area to bring family and friends together. Of course, designing your sunroom is your business. If you need a little help when deciding on arrangements to make for it, though, here are a few things I picked up while working our own.

Light Colors

A sunroom really benefits from light colors. It helps keep the room warm during cold weather and cooler during the summer. Set against the backdrop of your garden and the outdoors, the transition looks more natural and pleasant on the eyes.

Accessories

For aesthetic purposes, certain decorative fixtures work really well with sunrooms while others don’t. Generally, the more nature-based the items, the more fitting it will be. As such, furnitures and treatments made from wood, wicker, bamboo and straws work really well. Similarly, decorative items like fountains and other water structures can also help enhance it.

Our own sunroom currently sports wooden seatings and bamboo tables, with straw mats lying all around. We’ve also put a few plants in there to enhance the space and it works really well. I also wanted an indoor pool but after wracking our brains measuring everything, we finally decided it wouldn’t fit, so we put in a six-person spa instead.

Seasons

By the way, it would help a lot if you can figure out ways to use your sunroom for all seasons. Being, perhaps, the most energy-inefficient room in the house, it can prove unbearable to stay there during extreme weather conditions. Early on, try to see if it’s possible to extend your home’s heating and cooling to the area. If you can’t, installing a separate climate control system should figure prominently on your to-do list. Why spend so much time decorating, after all, if you can’t use it all year round?

Vinyl Windows: My Only Choice

Monday, January 12th, 2009

While I don’t fancy myself a full-fledged expert in home repair and DIY, I do know quite a few things from working around my own house.  As such, I have strong opinions on various areas of home improvement and one of those include the innate advantages of vinyl windows.

Any time I’m asked what kind of replacement windows to seriously consider for people’s home renovations, I always tell them to get vinyl.   The biggest objection has always been that it’s not as pretty as wood.  While that is an undeniable fact, it also doesn’t entail the same maintenance requirements as wooden frames.  Sure, you won’t get visitors extolling the aesthetics of your window frames.  However, you’ll never get anyone saying its bad either.  Vinyl windows, while not exquisitely beautiful, fit most homes and are hardly an eyesore.

Originally scoffed at due to suspect quality when they first arrived in the market, most vinyl windows currently sold are highly durable.  Additionally, they never need painting, staining or sealing – that alone is reason for me to get them.  While wood is pretty, you’ll need to work your ass off to keep it that way.  Vinyl windows are also consistently cheaper among all window manufacturers than their wooden counterparts, apart from typically faster turnaround times when you order.

While I love a pretty home, I have to go with practicality when it comes to window replacements.  For that reason, vinyl windows are hands-down my only choice.