How Do Energy Efficient Windows Help?

energy efficient windows, energy efficiencyMost homeowners are aware that a home interior’s energy efficiency is partly due to the windows. Depending on its quality and age, a window could help or hurt a home’s ability to trap and release heat. So, what exactly constitutes an energy-efficient window?

Traditional Single-Pane Windows

Typical windows consist of a single pane of glass set in a frame. In the winter, this allows warm air to easily escape through the thin glass. In summer, heat can make its way in from cracks in the caulking.

Studies suggest that heat escapes from a single-pane window at 10x the rate of an insulated wall of the same size. Another report suggests a home loses a fifth of its heat through single-pane windows. Continue Reading →

Window Safety Practices for Homes with Young Children

window safety children, child window safetyOctober is National Window Coverings Safety Month. As suggested in the title, this pertains specifically to window coverings. However, we figure this is also an ideal moment to discuss general window safety practices for households with children.

Why Window Safety Matters

An average of eight children under 5-years of age die each year from falling out a window. This is the finding according to a 2015 report from the non-profit organization Safe Kids Worldwide.

In response to these preventable tragedies, safety advocates formed the Window Safety Task Force to educate parents about window safety. The organization came up with these suggestions to keep a child within safe distance of a window: Continue Reading →

Vinyl Siding for a Historic Home Restoration

historic home siding, vinyl sidingDo you live in a pre- or early-1900s home? The property clearly has an old-world charm. Nevertheless, with the passage of time cladding surfaces become worn and rotten. We’ll explain why vinyl siding for historic homes is the best choice from both a functional and aesthetic level.

Why Vinyl Siding for a Century-Old Home?

Circa 1900-era homes in the Pacific Northwest mostly contained yellow clapboards with blue or white scallop detailing. This is a signature look for residences of that period.

Vinyl siding comes in many varieties that resemble this type of clapboard minus the upkeep. Installers can often find an exact or near-exact match. In fact, homeowners have their choice of over 400 certified and fade-resistant color palettes.

While clapboards of those days were wood, modern vinyl siding can replicate the same look. Side-by-side, wood and made-to-look-like-wood siding are nearly indistinguishable, even up close.

Vinyl siding also nicely complements other compatible restorations, such as windows and masonry. Continue Reading →

The Appeal of Custom-Shaped Windows

custom shaped windows, geometric windowsWindow replacement is a big investment that pays dividends down the road. However, energy efficiency is only one of the many factors you should consider. While secondary, you should also consider custom-shaped windows. Any geometric shape besides the typical rectangle is a welcome change for most homeowners.

Why Custom-Shaped Windows?

Take a stroll around your neighborhood and look at the homes. 99% of the houses have rectangular windows. That is simply the default choice. Unless you specify a specific shape, you’re going to receive a window with four pointy corners.

A window of any other geometric shape adds to the curb appeal, simply because of  the novelty. After all, how often do you see a residential window with a rounded perimeter?

You can also add custom-shaped windows as an additional fixture above or to the sides of a traditional window. This provides more total window surface to allow in more light. Continue Reading →

Stonework Home Siding Options

stonework and sidingDoes your home’s exterior partially consist of stonework? Perhaps you plan to renovating the area completely using a combination of stonework and siding. We’ll go over some siding options for a stonework home. Certain colors complement nicely with certain types of stones.

Choose the Stone

If you plan to install stone, then we suggest choosing the stonework before deciding on the siding. Personally, we think cobblestone, fieldstone, and shadow ledgestone are some good choices. These options work well for both contemporary and traditional-style homes. They also work for condos and apartment complexes.

Choose the Siding

Once you have a stonework style and color in mind, you can begin thinking about the siding. We recommend the squint test. Squint your eyes at the stone. This allows you to home in on the dominant color if the stones consist of multiple hues. Continue Reading →

How to Prevent Drafty Windows

drafty windows, window replacementWith summer here, a chilly draft may not be exactly on your mind. However, occasional cold weather in the summer isn’t totally unheard of. Drafty windows are a primary cause of the cold making its way indoors. We’ll show you how to seal a window to prevent wind penetration.

Apply Caulk

Do you see visible gaps between the glass and frame of the window? Remove any remnants of old caulk, dirt, and peeled paint around the gaps. Apply some replacement caulk, being careful not to caulk too close to the window’s opening.

Alternatively, you can apply weather stripping, which is more application-friendly for people who don’t normally partake in DIY repairs. Yet another option is to apply shrink film. Secure the film in place with double-sided tape and shrink it to size with a blow dryer. Continue Reading →

Should You Install Awning Windows?

awning windowsHome renovations should include window installations if the glass shows signs of failure. Various options are available, including casement and bay windows, just to throw out a few styles. Awning windows are another variant that’s gaining popularity among Spokane homeowners.

What Are Awning Windows?

Awning windows are similar to casement windows. While the latter swing and pivot on side hinges, the former have hinges mounted at the top. Homeowners can open the window to varying degrees. By opening the window between 90 and 45-degrees, the glass almost takes on the function and appearance of an awning.

Advantages of Awning Windows

You can install awning windows closer to the ceiling. This provides more natural lighting and ventilation. The higher placement also means more space below for furniture and wall décor. This also means more privacy since it prevents peeping neighbors. Continue Reading →

How Glass Failure Affects Your Windows

glass failureSpring is the ideal time to clean the windows in your home. Homeowners tend to especially neglect the exterior-facing side of the windows, often holding off on cleaning until the weather clears. Well, spring is the ideal weather for window maintenance. This is also the time of year to check if your windows have glass failure.

Glass Failure Explained

Even after cleaning both the interior and exterior side of the window, you may still notice the surface appears foggy. No matter how many times you spray on the Windex, the glass won’t regain its crystal-clear quality.

The problem is not the cleaner or rag; the glass has simply failed. Glass failure occurs when air and moisture manage to penetrate the thermal seal between the glass panes. This causes the foggy look. In addition to the faded effect, you may also notice dry water spots.

Windows with the greatest sun exposure are especially vulnerable. These windows experience more temperature fluctuations, causing constant expansion and contraction that loosens the seal. Older windows are also more prone because the seals are reinforced with caulk, which can disintegrate with age. Continue Reading →

How to Repair a Hole in Vinyl Siding

vinyl siding repairA hole in a siding is more than an eyesore. It also creates functional problems because holes invite moisture and insects. Depending on the extent of the gap, you may be able to repair a vinyl hole siding on your own. We’ll explain how to do this.

Vinyl Siding Repair: A Step-By-Step Guide

The process is fairly simple. All you need is caulk in the same or similar color as the siding. If you can’t find caulk of the same color, then use paintable caulk. You can paint over this using latex paint of the same color as the siding.

To begin, follow this process:

1.       Use a mild dish detergent and a soft cloth to clean the area around the hole.

2.       Use a caulking gun to fill the hole with caulk. Fill the hole as much as you can; you should even slightly overfill it.

3.       Use a rigid plastic card or scraping tool to remove the excess caulk.

4.       Allow time for the caulk to dry according to manufacturer recommendations.

Additional tip: we recommend investing in an inexpensive zip tool, which you can purchase at your local hardware store. This nifty accessory enables you to easily fill in caulk below and behind the hole. Continue Reading →

Is There Window Mold on Your Window Frames?

window moldYou typically expect to find mold in the bathroom, basement, or on siding. Did you know, though, that mold also grows on window frames? Homeowners are rarely aware of window mold due to the lack of visible signs. We’ll show you how to detect, prevent, and eliminate it.

Signs of Window Mold

Window mold typically manifests at the bottom of the window, right at the joint between the glass and sash frame. Even if the mold is right in the center of the window, you might not notice it, or you might mistake it for typical stains. The mold may not even be visible at all because the color matches the hue of the glass.

Window Mold Prevention

Prevent window mold the same way you prevent mold elsewhere. This means prevent the accumulation of water. Windows accumulate moisture due to a leak or condensation. Older windows are more susceptible to both issues. We suggest replacement windows that leak or are prone to condensation, because new windows are far better at preventing water seepage and air infiltration. Continue Reading →