Why Stop at Twice the Benefit? Triple Pane Windows Offer Even More Energy Savings.

Replacing old windows with new, stylish, and energy-efficient ones is one of the best ways to increase your property value and upgrade the exterior aesthetics of your home. It offers year-round benefits, keeping out the cold weather in winter and the high temperatures outside during the summer.

This type of exterior remodeling and renovation is popular because of the dramatic changes it can make to your home. You’ll also appreciate the difference in your utility bills. Double pane windows used to be the way to go. Like most things, more is better. Now it’s triple panes. 


Triple the Benefit

If you’re familiar with the idea behind double pane windows, you won’t have any problem understanding the upgrade to triple panes. These windows are made of three panes of glass. Spacers separate the three layers of glass. These spaces are often filled with an inert gas that acts as a highly efficient insulation. The outward facing sides of the exterior and interior panes are glazed to help them repel water stains and dirt.


Feel Safer

Triple pane glass windows offer even more security and protection than double pane windows—and much more than the single pane windows that are still common in older homes. 

If you’re in the business of breaking into homes, you know triple pane windows as soon as you see them. They’re an interesting deterrent to intruders because the triple panes of glass are more difficult to break. Extra time. Extra force. Lots of extra glass. 

A would-be burglar may just move on. Of course, installing triple paned windows is no substitution for a home security solution. It will be a wise compliment, though. 


Make Mother Nature Mind Her Own Business

Glazed double pane windows have been offering homeowners significant utility bill savings for years. Glazed triple paned windows simply increase that benefit. There are two main reasons for this.  

  1. The glazing lowers U-values. “U” in this case stands for Ultraviolet. The lower the U-value, the better the windows are at stopping the transfer of ultraviolet radiation. The glazing helps to reduce this, which prevents heat transfer during the summer, and heat loss during the winter. It’s the glazing that offers ultraviolet protection, so three layers rather than two (or maybe none at all if they’re old windows) increases your energy efficiency.
  2. Ultraviolet rays do more than carrying heat energy in or out of your house. While you might welcome it when you’re at the beach so you can get a tan, daily ultraviolet light exposure is bad news for your wood floors, carpeting, and furniture. 

Peace and Quiet

Do you feel like you’re always hearing what’s going on outside? It can be a sign that you’ve got single pane windows. Exterior sounds travel right through the single pane of glass and into your home.

Triple panes of glass offer superior noise insulation. Your home will be quieter. You’ll appreciate the outside noises being kept at bay not only for the stress-relieving quality but also because there are multiple studies showing a relationship between noise pollution and physical health problems—including cardiac disease.

Talk to us about replacing your old and energy-inefficient windows. It’s an exterior renovation project that has an excellent return on your investment. Your home will look better. Replacement windows will save money on utility bills. You might even get a better night’s sleep. Those crickets can be loud. 

These 4 Exterior Remodeling Projects Can Add Selling Power To Your Home

We all know that the kitchen and bathrooms are what can make—or break—a sale when you’ve got your home on the market. It’s often where people put their focus and dollars with the objective to get the biggest return on their investment.

But before a potential buyer ever sees the kitchen or bathrooms, they’re going to drive up to your house and see the outside. What will it say to them? Certain exterior remodeling projects can send strong signals to potential buyers. That’s according to the National Association of Realtors. They recently released a study called the Remodeling Impact Report. Here are the exterior remodeling projects they say can put more value in your property.

A NEW ROOF

The NAR’s report determined that this exterior remodeling project has the highest money-back value. You can’t always see the roof when you approach a house, but potential buyers will be pleased to hear that it’s new. Based on their estimates for the project, you could recover 105% of the costs.

A  NEW GARAGE DOOR

It’s one of the few moving parts of this area of your home, and it’s likely showing its age. A new garage door will add instant curb appeal. Will you get every penny back when you sell? NAR estimates you can recover 87% of this investment. That ROI may vary and become even more if you include the entire garage in the exterior remodeling project. If it has a small footprint, it might be time to enlarge it to make your property more sellable.

 NEW VINYL SIDING

This exterior remodeling project has multiple benefits. While it certainly spruces up the outside appearance of your home, exterior siding can also improve your energy efficiency. That’s an important selling point for buyers. The NAR has determined that you can see an 83% return on this investment.

NEW VINYL WINDOWS

Nothing beats natural light streaming into your house—especially when you’ve got it staged to sell. Beautiful new vinyl windows help brighten your interior and improve the looks of your home’s exterior. Older windows often are often extremely inefficient, so hearing about newly replaced ones is something that’ll get potential home buyers excited. The NAR estimates that you can recover 80% of this exterior remodeling project.

Consider these four exterior remodeling projects even if you don’t plan to sell your home. The return on investment is high, and it sustains or even increases your property value.

Talk to us about helping you prepare your home for a sale. Exterior remodeling for curb appeal is just as important as interior renovations. We offer a complete range of services. We warranty our work, and you can see examples of our craftsmanship here.

 

One Of The Biggest Threats To Your Home’s Exterior…Protected By Law

You’ll hear them long before you see the damage they make. If you’ve got a home with wood siding—such as cedar—you may have some uninvited guests. Woodpeckers are hunting for bugs, and those bugs can find plenty of places to hide in your wood siding.

Woodpeckers can cause quite a lot of damage to your home’s exterior as they use their strong, sharp beaks to peck through a wood in search of a meal. If that isn’t enough bad news for you, here’s more. Your homeowners’ insurance will not always cover woodpecker damage.

If you hear them, it’s time to do something right away—even if you don’t see them. And, here’s what you can do about the damage woodpeckers have already done to your home’s siding—depending on how bad that damage is.

HAVE THE WOODPECKERS JUST STARTED?

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says that homes with wood or stucco siding often get the most attention—and damage—from woodpeckers. Their advice about what to do mostly deals with deterrents. Why is that?

Woodpeckers are a protected species. They’re classified as migratory, nongame birds. Woodpeckers are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and can only be controlled with a Federal depredation permit. In other words, you can’t harm them in any way. You can only make your home “unappetizing” to them. Here’s what the Minnesota DNR recommends:

  • Start with “scare-eye” balloons. They’re quick and inexpensive, and they work by deterring woodpeckers with a design that resembles a large, predatory bird’s eye. Place them in front of the area where you’ve heard the woodpeckers or can see their damage.
  • Flash tape is silver on one side and colored on the other. Its reflective nature and the sound it makes when the wind catches it often frightens away woodpeckers.
  • Fake owls can be found at most sporting goods or hunting supply stores. Yes, it’s an easy guess. Woodpeckers and owls are not friends. They’re not cheap, but a fake owl with a mechanical rotating head that actually screeches are often the most effective. And the investment is far less than the cost to repair the damage that woodpeckers can do to your siding.
  • Seal the siding. Remove the hiding places for insects, and you’ll remove the reason woodpeckers are making holes in your siding. Linseed oil will repel insects, too.

HAS THE DAMAGE ALREADY BEEN DONE?

It may be time to consider removing the wood siding that’s attracting the bugs—and the woodpeckers. Some homeowners report that even the usually effective deterrents suggested by the Minnesota DNR just don’t work.

If that’s the case, siding contractors can help you kill two birds with one stone. And of course, that’s only an idiom. Those woodpeckers are protected. By that, we mean you can upgrade the property value and beauty of your home, and replace the wood siding with durable vinyl siding. Woodpeckers just aren’t interested in it.

Woodpecker damage can be costly. Don’t wait until you can see the damage. Vinyl siding can solve the problem once and for all. Start the process with a free estimate.

Doors And Gutters On The Catwalk: Home Exterior Trends That Have Reached Their Peak—And What’s Replacing Them

In fashion, hemlines go up and down—and often, faster than consumer can keep up with keeping their wardrobes up to date. Thankfully, exterior trends—the “fashion statement” for homes—moves on a slower cycle. These trends do change, though.

While the length of a hem might not be such a drastic change, some of the latest exterior trends can completely change the look and feel of your home. Here’s what’s on the way out, and what’s being ushered in.

SAY GOODBYE TO UNDERSTATED ENTRANCES

Sometimes it’s almost forgotten. We stash the car in the garage and slip in through a side door. When was the last time you actually walked through your front entrance? It might be out of your sight—and therefore out of mind—but it is a main focal point to your home.

Homeowners are paying more attention to their entrances, and many have decided that these focal points are just plain underwhelming. The good news is that it’s possible to make a big statement with a newly remodeled grand entrance—without paying a palatial sum.

It starts with the entryway door and then expands outward. Homeowners are adding dramatic colors, as well as glass surrounds to bring in more light and make their entrances more inviting. Glass is being teamed up with iron to make strong statements.

Some homeowners are even opting for Dutch doors. These are especially intriguing as a design element when they lead out to a newly remodeled sweeping front porch that’s been transformed into an extension of the living room.

SAY GOODBYE TO INVISIBLE GUTTERS

There was a time when the gutter systems on our homes were expected to be invisible. Maybe it was because we really didn’t want to be reminded that they can be maintenance headaches. Left unattended, they fill up with autumn leaves. Along comes the spring rains and—because of our invisible gutters—we’ve got a real mess on our hands.

Thanks to clever manufacturers, now we’ve got the opportunity to pay more attention to gutters and their importance. They’re creating bigger and bolder gutter designs, made even more attractive by being crafted of luxurious materials like copper.

It’s a 2-step improvement, really. Homeowners have the ability to make their gutters become an architectural element—instead of trying to hide them or make them blend in. The bigger designs mean they’re easier to maintain and less prone to clogging. It’s a win-win situation.

We know a thing or two about gutters. It happens to be one of our core services—and we pay special attention to them when we work with our customers help them turn their exterior remodeling visions into a reality.

Equal time: Take A Break From The Interior And Give Some Thought To Your Home’s Exterior

Proportion. It’s the one concept that takes precedence in exterior design. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been followed. If you’ve looked at your home and just can’t figure out why it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as others on your block, it could be that the builder was more concerned with the interior.

Now, it’s time to fix that. You might be surprised by the dramatic transformation just a few simple exterior renovations can make to your home.

THE SINGLE STORY HOME

The layout of most single-story homes find their origins from the 1970s, when what’s commonly referred to as “ranch-style” was the preferred architecture. And there were plenty of good reasons for this. These all-on-one-level houses allowed for open areas. They often seem larger than the actual square footage.

The downside to these homes is that little thought was given to windows and doors. Often—if they haven’t been updated—you’ll drive by a ranch-style house and find that they have entire sides with no windows or doors.

It’s an easy fix. Small, unadorned windows can be replaced to let more light in, as well as give more character to the exterior. A porch or even a framed roof gable can restore balance to those windowless sections of the house.

Single story homes often benefit with the addition of a solid base that transitions into the long vertical strips of siding. It helps to ground the home and make it look taller.

A STORY AND A HALF

Split level construction also came of age in the 1970s, and you’ll find it established subdivisions throughout the country. The design became popular because it allowed for expansion of the ranch style as families grew in size. They might have the same footprint, but a partial second story allowed for more bedrooms.

The focus was on the interior, so unfortunately, little attention was given to outer aesthetics. It’s not that these homes have poor exterior styling—but rather that they basically have no styling at all.

From an exterior remodeling standpoint, what could be better than a blank canvas? The addition of larger front widows on the upper story creates a pleasing French Country look. Adding two different siding profiles to create patterns helps to reduce the obviousness of a transition from a single to double stories.

THE TWO-STORY HOME

As we travel the time line to a period closer to the present, we move into the era of the two-story homes that many of us live in today. They provide us with all room we need inside, but they often create curb appeal challenges. Without any thought toward design, they can look like big boxes.

Often all that’s needed is some attention to texture and style. A lighter vinyl siding on the upper floor complemented by a solid darker color below can bring out a completely different personality in a home. Embellishments like a fancy gable over the entryway draws attention there, and wrapping a porch around the home that opens up onto an expansive deck on the back expands both living space and increases property value.

It makes sense. We live inside our homes. The interior is always going to be more important to us. But the opposite is true for everyone else. Most of the time, all they will ever see is the exterior of our home. What does it say to people when they drive by?

Talk to us about exterior remodeling. We’ll help you find the right way to express your home’s trapped exterior beauty. It’s already there. It just needs some help getting out!

Vinyl Siding’s Hidden Benefits, And Why You’ll Like What This Upgrade Can Do For Your Exterior Remodeling Project

Blasphemy! That’s what some call it. A modern miracle! That’s what others call it. There’s a wide range of opinions about vinyl siding—most of which have to do with philosophy rather than product superiority. Its fans will tell you that vinyl siding never needs painting. Its detractors will tell you that a house just isn’t the same once you strip it of a wood exterior and cover it with vinyl.

Regardless of who’s right or wrong in this argument, vinyl siding is being used on about a third of all new house construction, and It’s a very popular choice for exterior remodeling and construction projects for existing homes.

IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT MONEY

The big debate has to do with cost. Anything other than an ultra-premium vinyl siding product will cost a minimum of 2x less than, say, cedar or redwood clapboard siding. Even if you choose one of those specialty vinyl siding products, the installed cost will still be lower because it can be put up faster, and it’ll never need painting.

VERSATILITY

Wood siding can be painted. Cedar and redwood can also be impregnated with a durable stain. So, it’s fair to say that you can get these natural products in just about any color you like. However, you’ll discover over time that it’s necessary to repaint or stain again.

Vinyl siding comes in hundreds of colors, as well as textures and profiles. Frankly, if you wanted an exterior that looked like cedar or redwood clapboard siding, you could do it in vinyl. If you’re fond of the Victorian look, you’ll even find vinyl scallops.

DURABILITY

Wood siding is durable if it’s maintained, so it’s just not fair to say that vinyl is a better choice based on that criteria. But let’s be honest. Will you maintain it? That’s often the main reason why homeowners choose to go with vinyl siding when for exterior remodeling and construction. Vinyl can withstand hail impact, and it’s an impervious surface so it resists moisture. Unlike wood, it won’t rot or corrode over time. Some vinyl siding products are rated for a 50-year lifespan.

Vinyl also is nearly maintenance-free. Start with the big headline—painting. Vinyl siding never needs this. Often, the only thing you’ll have to do with vinyl is a simple annual cleaning. This will return the siding to its original appearance and help it repel dirt.

WARM UP TO IT

Finally, some types of vinyl siding are insulated, which helps to prevent heat loss between the studs in your exterior walls. There’s insulation between the studs, but those ribs of wood can bleed heat when they come into contact with your exterior siding.

Consider that aspect when you talk to us about giving the exterior of your home a new look with siding installation. It’s possible that we can help you with your energy bill, too.

We offer a complete range of services. You can see examples of our craftsmanship here.

 

We’ll Build It, But You’ll Have To Clean It. Don’t Worry, Keeping Your Deck Beautiful Is Easy!

If you build it, they will come. “It” is a deck. “They” are the elements and various creatures who live out in the bushes. Decks are great additions to your home. They increase property value and provide new areas to enjoy and entertain outside.

A deck also brings some additional responsibilities. You’ll have to routinely clean this new space. Depending on the building material, you may also have to paint—or at least recondition your deck on a regular basis. Don’t worry. The enjoyment of your new deck far outweighs the effort of taking care of it.

MOSTLY EASY STUFF

You’re not going to have to go out and buy a supply shed full of new tools to prepare for the upkeep of your deck. In fact, you probably have everything you’ll need already—except for maybe a putty knife.

If your deck is assembled from wood or a wood substitute, it’ll likely have small spacing in between each plank of wood. This is to let water drain through when it rains. But it’s also a place where things like leaves and other debris can get wedged.

Off you go to the home improvement store for a putty knife. It may be called a knife, but seldom is the edge sharp. This special tool has a wide and flat blade made of metal. It’s mostly used for scraping or applying assembly materials—but it’s perfect for dislodging things that fall into those cracks. You’ll want to do this on a regular basis.

MOLD

If your deck is mostly in the shade or you live in an area prone to lots of rain, you’ll want to keep an eye out for mold. It’ll grow quickly and can deteriorate your deck’s building material—especially if it’s made of wood.

Usually, all you’ll need to do is wash down the deck regularly with a hose that’s got a nozzle capable of generating a forceful spray. Follow the deck material manufacturer’s guidelines. Use a cleaner that’s appropriate for wood if that’s the composition of your deck. Vinyl decks can be cleaned with dish detergent and water.

GOING UP

Clean your wood rails from the bottom going up. You’ll find it easier to see what you’ve cleaned. A long-bristle scrub brush can help speed things along by getting into the nooks and crannies easier.

It may be tempting, but skip using a pressure washer on your deck. This can strip paint from the wood, or even remove the protectant that was used to seal the wood if it’s only stained. In some cases, pressure washing man-made decking material can void the warranty. If you need some extra scrubbing power, consider a rigid broom.

How often should you clean your deck? It’s a personal preference that’ll likely depend on how often you use it. But think in the opposite direction. If you don’t use it much, it won’t be ready to enjoy because you probably don’t clean it that often, either. Take out that smartphone of yours and put it to use. Set a reminder to clean the deck regularly.

Frequent cleaning will help you make short work of it.

Talk to us about custom decks. We’ll do more than help you with the design. We’ll also take into consideration the trees and surrounding environment so we can suggest the building material that will provide the least amount of cleanup and maintenance for you.

5 Practical Tips for All-Season Energy Savings

Now that winter is easing into spring, many of us are turning our attention to remodeling projects. The cold weather is still recent enough to remind us of the temperatures we want to keep out. There’s a cost factor involved, too. The Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program estimates that the savings from replacing single-pane with Energy Star-qualified windows ranges from $125 to $340 a year for a typical home.

The Shape Of Things: New Windows And The Dramatic Change They Can Make To Your Home's Exterior

Most people think of the impact that windows have on the interior of their home. After all, we spend far more time inside looking out through them. The character windows bring to each room will always be a main consideration, but they also can play a major role in creating dramatic changes when you remodel the exterior of your home.