Why Are My Windows Making Popping Noises?

window popping, popping noiseOccasionally, you might hear a popping noise inside or outside the home. This could give you a scare, but the sound is alerting you that something is amiss with your window or siding. We’ll explore the cause of the window popping noise and what to do about it.

What Causes the Window Popping Noise?

One cause stems from the window’s aluminum cladding. Temperature fluctuations cause repeated contraction and expansion of the extruded coil stock inside the cladding. Another cause is improper installation. When installed out of square or plane, the frame’s jamb can bend inward and put undue pressure on the sash. Reinstallation is in order.

Popping Noise from Vinyl Siding

Aluminum windows aside, popping sounds could also occur if you have vinyl siding. Vinyl naturally expands in response to temperature changes. For this reason, installers must not nail the siding too tightly to the exterior wall. They must leave space for the expansion to occur. If you leave no space between the siding and wall, the siding buckles, leading to the eventual popping. Continue Reading →

How to Eliminate Bees Around Your Siding

bees sidingThe siding on your home protects is, as well as adding an attractive visual element to the exterior. Unfortunately, depending on its condition, siding might also serve as a breeding ground for pests. Bees around the siding is especially a problem in the Spokane Valley region.

How Siding Attracts Bees

Siding installation varies; some installers don’t cover the fascia trim, which leaves an opening for bees. The space behind the siding boards provide the ideal space for establishing a colony. Your home is especially prone to boring bees if your siding consists of untreated wood. If the wood is decayed, then that makes the siding even more attractive to these buzzing critters.

Once bees build a nest, you have the obvious danger of stinging insects near your home. But that’s not the only problem. As the bees produce eggs, they attract predators, such as woodpeckers. We don’t need to explain what woodpeckers could do to the siding as they search for the larvae. Continue Reading →

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 →

Upgrade Your Home with Board and Batten Siding

board and batten siding, barn sidingBoard and batten siding has long been a mainstay as an exterior design feature for home construction. It creates a three-dimensional effect and is a popular for rural homes, barns, and hay storage sheds.

What Is Board and Batten Siding?

This siding consists of thin siding strips called battens that alternate with wider and more traditional boards. The narrower battens extend past the wide boards to create a layered look. Due to their popularity for farmsteads, some people also refer to board and battens as barn siding. The end result is a rustic countryside look also popular in cottage-style structures.

Pros of Board and Batten Siding

As with other siding options, you have a plethora of choices, including vinyl and engineered wood. You may also opt for real wood, which extends your options to choices like fir, cedar, pine, and redwood. 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 →