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Pros and Cons of Bay Windows

Monday, June 19th, 2017

 

When your home improvement project includes updating windows to enhance your home, consider installing bay windows as a decorative, functional and energy efficient option. As with any home improvement project, it’s always beneficial to understand the pros and cons involved with an upgrade. These unique windows are no exception.

Pros

  • These three-part windows add a distinctive look to the exterior of your home and increase the curb appeal of your home. Bay windows also add value to your property due to the addition of extra interior square footage that is created when the windows are installed.
  • The installation of bay windows opens up the interior of any room to the views outside. In fact, even the smallest room can benefit with the addition of crystal-clear fiber glass windows.
  • When in place, bay windows give each roomn abundant amount of natural light. This means no more stuffy and dark rooms.
  • Bay windows made from fiberglass are strong and durable, require minimal maintenance and are custom sized for your home.
  • The cove-like interior space created by the installation of these windows can be used in several ways:1) Enclose the extra space under the bottom of the windows with cabinets for storage.
    2) Cover the top of the cabinets with cushions and pillows to create a quiet window seat for reading, listening to music or other relaxing activities.
    3) Leave the floor space open to accentuate the increased room size.
    4) Use the additional square footage for plants, decorative items or a relaxing breakfast or coffee nook.

Cons

Bay windows are usually comprised of one large picture window, flanked by a smaller window on each side. While the design of this window type is architecturally attractive for both the interior and exterior walls, there are some potential challenges to consider. These include:

  • Depending on the room’s location and the amount of direct sunlight it receives, the windows’ additional glass may allow more heat in. While this aspect can be helpful during the colder months, it could require more work from the HVAC system during the summer. To address this problem, choose energy-efficient windows designed with double glass and an inert added between the panes to act as a barrier against the elements.
  • Because of their unique design, it may be difficult to find window treatments that easily conform to the window’s angles.
  • The foundation of your home needs to be structurally sound to provide proper support for the installation of bay windows.

Once you’ve made the decision to install new windows, check the styles and colors available of our Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows. To receive a free proposal, complete the convenient online form, and one of our expert window specialists will contact you.

What Are the Impacts of Older Windows?

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

What Are the Impacts of Older Windows?

Many homeowners want to make their home energy efficient but don’t know where to start. One strategy to improve household energy efficiency is to replace older windows. While your windows may look fine, problems with older window materials may cause your utility bills to increase. This article explains some of the problems associated with several popular window materials.

Wood Windows May Rot

Whether you live in an older home with original windows or a newer home with wood window frames, there are a couple of things to consider about the materials used in these older windows. While wood window frames provide a rustic look and curbside appeal, if they haven’t been maintained properly, issues often arise.

In regions that are susceptible to heavy moisture such as snow, sleet and heavy rain, wood material contracts, expands and holds moisture. Moisture retention leads to mold and wood rot, which affects the look of the wood and lessens its ability to insulate. An option to protecting older windows is the installation of vinyl cladding.

Vinyl Windows: Pros and Cons

Vinyl window frames are a popular choice for many homeowners. These windows are made with PVC and added UV stabilizers to help prevent the material from breaking down over time. The frames are hollow, which allows insulation to be added. In older windows, the hollow cavities may not be filled with insulation, which makes them less energy efficient as the frame ages.

Several things to consider in older vinyl windows is deteriorated weather stripping that impacts energy efficiency. If a window is difficult to close and lock, it could be due to old hardware that has also degraded over the years. Vinyl windows, like wood, are also susceptible to contraction and expansion, which can lead to joint failures in the operating hardware, as well as the windows become brittle during the winter season and less durable during hot weather.

Aluminum Windows Are Poor Insulators

Aluminum is a strong and lightweight material that conducts heat, so it is not very efficient when it comes to insulation. In older windows made of aluminum, the insulating strip that should have been placed along the frame and sash when the windows were first installed may disintegrate. Weatherstripping may also erode over time. Without proper insulation, condensation can pool along the window bottom, resulting in mold growth.

If you’re considering replacing older windows in your home, contact us for a free proposal. We offer many options including Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows that will add curbside appeal and better energy efficiency to your home.

Can Closing Curtains Really Help Beat the Heat?

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

If you’re trying to beat the heat inside your home, energy-saving window treatments will go a long way in reducing the amount of heat streaming into your home. Closing curtains can help cool the interior, save money on utility bills and lessen the wear and tear on your HVAC system.

While window treatments make the interior and exterior of your home more visually appealing, you can also use curtains to their fullest potential by turning them into money-saving resources.

Awnings

For regions that experience excessive heat, light-colored exterior awnings are the first line of defense. Available in numerous styles, sizes and colors, exterior awnings are versatile, durable, decorative and reduce solar heat gain significantly. This is especially true for windows that face west or south. In fact, Energy.gov estimates a reduction in heat gain during the summer by around 65 percent on windows facing south and by as much as 77 percent on windows facing west. Along with interior heat reduction resulting in lower utility bills, exterior awnings add value to your home along with curbside appeal.

Blinds

Whether you choose standard slatted blinds or vertical blinds, both interior and exterior installation reduces solar heat gain. Although interior blinds are generally installed to provide privacy, light and adequate ventilation, when light colors are chosen, such as white, ivory, off-white or cream, the blinds will reflect the heat while still providing air, light and privacy. Like awnings, blinds provide the best reduction in heat gain to windows facing south or west. According to Energy.gov, “Highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent.”

If exterior blinds are an option, they are extremely effective because they block the streaming heat before it has an opportunity to enter your home. By keeping the heat outside, it doesn’t have a chance to heat up interior rooms.

Drapes: More Than Décor

Drapes can add a delicate, elegant or dramatic touch to your decor. In addition, closing curtains can reduce solar heat loss during the winter season and solar heat gain during the summer months when you choose the appropriate fabric color and weight. Select medium-colored fabric drapes that are lined with white plastic for optimum energy-saving results. Like window shades, drapes need to be installed snugly against the window, creating a seal to prevent heat from entering when temperatures are rising and escaping when temperatures drop.

Versatile Window Shades

Flexibility and versatility are two ways to describe interior window shades. When installed properly, window shades are an effective way to lower heat gain and heat loss. When choosing your window shades, select those with dual fabric layers of light and dark material. In the summer, the lighter colored fabric will reflect heat. During the winter, reverse the shades so the darker color can absorb heat. Installation plays an important role, too. Shades need to be installed to create a “frame” effect. This means the shades should be flush with the wall or the inside window frame, depending on the type of windows in your home, and close to the glass.

Window Tint/Reflective Film

If you live in regions that experience a long season of hot temperatures, reflective film is another option to reduce heat. Reflective film that is transparent or light-colored is available to allow maximum visibility and keep heat out. The most effective reflective film is a high performance silver film that can reduce excess heat by up to 80 percent.

If it’s time to replace old and inefficient windows, consider low-E glass from Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows . Low-E, also known as low-emissivity, can reduce heat penetration and lower your monthly utility bills.

If you have questions on window treatments, contact us for more information.

Repurpose Old Windows With These 5 Cool Projects

Friday, May 19th, 2017

In today’s climate of supporting a healthy environment, recycling is at the forefront for many people. The choice to reuse discarded items versus throwing them in the trash is an ongoing process for those who want to make a difference.

Old windows have a place on the recycling list and are included in the many items that can be reused. Windows may seem like an unusual item to repurpose, but there are some worthy projects for which they are useful. The following projects may spark other ideas of your own.

Potting Shed

Gardening has many benefits, from growing your own vegetables and spices to landscaping your yard with wildflowers or exotic plants. Having a dedicated place to put supplies, as well as a work area to prepare seeds, would be a good project for a gardening enthusiast.

This is where old windows come in handy with new life as a potting shed. Collect as many as you can find and follow a simple shed design to use them as walls and roofing. The windows allow plenty of fresh air inside while you work, along with an abundance of sunshine for new seedlings, and they can be closed during inclement weather while still providing light.

Picture Frame

For anyone who is interested in designing their own crafts, an old window makes a great picture frame. Attach a favorite picture or poster to the back of the glass, or paint your own artistic vision on the glass pane or panes. Secure the window frame to a wall at window height so when someone looks at the painting, it will seem as though they’re looking outside through a window.

Donate

Volunteers are always needed for community projects. Consider volunteering at your local Habitat for Humanity center, and donate your old windows, along with your time to turn them into something better. The windows may be recycled for a new home or to help repair homes that are in need.

Earn Money

Contact local recycling companies about scrapping the old windows for cash. Load them up and take them to the processing center. This is yet another way to put them to good use as a recycled item while earning a little cash.

There are many options for recycled windows, depending on the frame material. Frames may be broken down, melted, shredded and ground into tiny bits. Other materials may be used for new frames, window boxes and plastic garden furniture. The glass is removed and melted, then used to make glass products and new windows.

When you’re ready to replace the windows in your home, Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows has an extended inventory to fit your style.

Why Maintaining Your Window Screens Is Important

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Keeping windows in your home clean, well-maintained and in good working order should be standard operating procedure for homeowners. Included in this regimen are the window screens.

These thin pieces of material, while often ignored or overlooked by homeowners, work around the clock as barriers against outside pests and other threats such as wood rot and harsh climate conditions.

Benefits of Clean Screens

The benefits of maintaining your window screens are many and include the following:

  1. If you are a homeowner who’s interested in increasing the curb appeal of your property, you have the opportunity to add value to your home by maintaining your screens. The view of your home will be more appealing to passersby, guests or potential buyers.
  2. Dirty screens don’t work at their maximum efficiency. This is especially true when windows are open to allow fresh air to circulate throughout your home. Think of a screen as a filter that works much like those on a HVAC system which traps dirt. Instead of a clean breeze entering the window, it will be filled with dirt particles. With poor air quality flowing through your home, it could cause sinus and allergy irritation. Trapped dirt can also lead to mold on screens, which is another reason to keep them clean.
  3. Clean screens not only allow for better air quality, they also promote improved airflow and ventilation.
  4. Saving money is always a bonus to homeowners. Screens that are well-maintained have a longer lifespan and don’t need replacing as often as screens that are allowed to deteriorate.
  5. Outside pests are always on the lookout for entryways in a home. With clean screens in good condition, bugs, lizards, mosquitoes and even small rodents can’t get in.
  6. During a storm, it’s not unusual for pieces of flying debris to strike windows. Properly aligned screen frames installed with sturdy material help reduce the possibility of windowpane breakage.
  7. Some window screen materials provide a modicum of shady protection from the intense rays of the sun. When screens are clean, this material can help reduce the effects of heat transfer and allow you to better maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. This type of material also works as a protector against fading of carpets, wall hangings and furniture.
  8. Clear windowpanes allow better visibility. If screens are left unkempt, as it rains, the water striking the dirty screen splatters against the panes, leaving film and residue on windowpanes.
  9. Without screens, rainwater would pour through the window and pool on the windowsill. Screens help reduce the accumulation of water on sills.


Common Types of Screen Damage

Screens can become damaged in many ways, including:

  • Rips and holes from pets or inquisitive pests
  • Dents in the material that may turn into tears
  • Brittleness from extended exposure to extreme temperatures and sunlight
  • Sagging due to age or because the screen hasn’t been properly fitted to the frame
  • Warped frames that don’t fit the window opening or hold screen properly

When it’s time to replace the windows and screens in your home, consider Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows for fiberglass mesh or High Transparency screens. Contact North Georgia Replacement Windows if you have any questions or to request a free proposal.

What If Energy Star Goes Away?

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Energy Star stands out as a trusted name to a large portion of the American population in rating the energy performance and cost on products such as windows, doors, appliances and more. But according to multiple sources, including DWM Magazine, a White House proposal has been submitted that could negatively impact Energy Star. The proposal plans to significantly cut the department’s budget from approximately 57 million to 5 million yearly. Such a large budget cut could lead to the closing of the program or the possibility the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would transfer the program to a private, non-governmental company or cooperation. Discussion of the proposed budget cut to the EPA and other agencies is still in the early stages, but it’s important to consider what the impacts of such changes would be on the program.

About Energy Star

As a voluntary program, this program has been part of the EPA since 1992. It was designed to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through an in-depth labeling system that required meeting required criteria to receive the program’s certification.

Along with supporting a healthier environment through a higher level of energy efficiency, the program allows consumers, both individual and businesses, to save money by choosing energy efficient products.

According to information on the program’s website, in 2012, businesses, organizations and consumers saved $24 billion.

The question being asked by consumers, businesses, and environmental advocates is, “What happens if the program goes away?” The following is a list of viable concerns:

  • As a government program, Energy Star has its own label as an impartial rating system that can’t be influenced to provide high ratings by private companies.
  • The program’s certification label has earned a badge of credibility that companies rely on as a significant marketing tool when promoting their products. Without the certification, companies no longer need to be as competitive in providing energy efficient products.
  • If the program ends, some of the negative effects could result in higher utility bills, more pollution, an increase in health concerns due to more pollution and instead of saving energy, there will be an increase in wasted energy.
  • If the company is bought by a private entity, potential concerns include possibly lowering the standards for energy efficient products versus the high standards currently in place for certification.
  • The overall agenda for a private company will include making a profit, which means outside influences, such as donations, could impact the rating a company receives for their product.
  • The cost of products could rise if the energy program is privately owned, which could lead to fewer Americans investing in energy efficiency.

Investing in your home with energy-efficient windows that are certified by this program offers several attractive benefits to homeowners:

  1. New windows increase the value of your home—not only in visual curbside appeal, but also because they are energy-efficient.
  2. Energy-efficient windows are an excellent selling tool if your home is going on the market, especially for environmentally conscious buyers.
  3. You will save money on utility bills each month.

For home improvement projects that involve new window installation or replacement, consider upgrading with the lowE 3 glass package from Infinity Windows by Marvin. Available in all U.S. states, these energy efficient fiberglass windows provide the benefits listed above, and more. Contact North Georgia Replacement Windows for a free proposal.

The Dangers of Indoor UV Light

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Premature skin aging and skin cancer are two dangers of excessive exposure to sunlight, and the risks don’t go away when we’re indoors. Many people believe that window glass blocks the ultraviolet rays in natural light that damage our skin, but in fact we aren’t safe from harmful light indoors. To fully protect your family, you should install windows that block all ultraviolet light.

Ultraviolet Light

The two types of ultraviolet light that damage our skin cells are called UVA and UVB. Both types of UV light are harmful, and regular glass blocks UVB rays only. The average house window allows around 50 percent of UVA light to penetrate into the home, and car windows allow about 60 percent UVA light through, even on cloudy days.

UVA Damage

Exposure to UVA light results in prematurely aged skin and an increased risk of skin cancer. The effects of UVA are particularly noticeable on the faces of people who regularly sit next to a window while doing their jobs, such as truck drivers and shop workers. Researchers have found that the side facing the window ages faster, accelerating aging from five to seven years.

Even more seriously, UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, sometimes triggering the development of melanomas and basal cell carcinomas. We can protect ourselves from UVA while outside by applying sunscreen, covering up and wearing a hat, but we also require protection inside our homes.

Protecting Your Family and Your Home

Special coatings on glass screen out UVA light, cutting down the percentage that filters through and working like a sunscreen for your home. As well as reducing the health risks, the coatings also help prevent fading in rugs and furnishings.

Energy Star sets standards and awards certificates for glass that provides the ultraviolet screening effect without noticeably reducing visible light. Some glass products exceed Energy Star standards, like Cardinal LoE3 -366, which North Georgia Replacement Windows recommends for use in Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows. Cardinal LoE3 -366 includes three layers of silver, which block 95 percent of ultraviolet rays and reflect heat while allowing desirable light into your home.

Sunlight streaming into your home is a pleasant sight, but the UVA rays it contains are harmful. To protect your family from the risks of skin cancer and prematurely aged skin, your windows should block all ultraviolet light. Check that the windows you install in your home have the Energy Star stamp of approval for your family’s health and your peace of mind.

To find out more about windows that prevent UVA light from penetrating your home, contact North Georgia Replacement Windows.

 

Window Quality in Most New Homes

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

When it comes to the installation of windows in newly built homes, two situations arise that can affect the type of windows being used. The first involves the purchase of a home where the building contractor makes decisions about the choice of window type. In the other circumstance, the home is being custom-built, with the homeowner choosing the windows being installed. In either case, learning more about the window materials involved will help you understand the window’s lifespan, durability and energy efficiency level.

Windows for New Tract Home Construction

If you are in the market for a just-built home, keep in mind that the objective for most contractors is to build homes cost-effectively. While the type of windows installed may be of good quality, chances are, they won’t be using the highest-rated products on the market. This means the windows may have a shorter lifespan, may require extensive maintenance, exhibit diminished durability and not have the highest insulating values in terms of:

  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
  • Visual Light Transmittance (VT)
  • Air Leakage (AL)
  • U-Factor (Thermal conductivity)

This information is found on a label attached to products by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) for new home windows. Another label you will want to look for is one from Energy Star that verifies if windows meet the appropriate ratings listed above.

Prospective buyers must also take into consideration that the workmanship provided by the contractor may be subcontracted to another individual and only meets the minimum standards for installation.

Custom New Home Construction

For someone having a custom home built to meet their own specifications, choosing new home windows guarantees the best quality materials are being installed and lets the homeowner oversee the workmanship of the installation.

With quality, cost, energy efficiency and workmanship at the top of the list for new home windows, consider Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows for yours.

Contact us for more information or fill out the request form for a free proposal.

How the Right Windows Can Cut the Cost of Painting Your Home

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

 

Many homeowners suffer sticker shock after receiving an exterior estimate from their painting contractors. Most often, the homes in question are older homes or those with dated window frames. The reason for the higher cost is the extensive labor required to scrape, repair, seal and restore the window frames to their original glory. While your professional painting contractor may work wonders when restoring the appearance of your window frames, you’ll still be left with dated, poorly operating and inefficient windows.

Window Restoration

The process to restore old window frames takes a lot of preparation and hard work, thus driving up the costs of your exterior painting project. Common window frame materials include wood, aluminum and vinyl. Complete restoration often requires stripping the original paint by scraping, sanding and sometimes applying harsh chemicals to the frame surfaces to remove the original finish. In addition, wooden windows that have been neglected over the years often require extensive wood replacement, including exterior and interior trims and even window sills before the first lick of primer and paint goes on.

Window Operation

During your exterior painting project, you could also face the added expense of restoring window operation. For example, your old, wood-framed windows may rely on hidden, encased weights that act as counterbalance to aid in window operation. As the years go by, the ropes and pulleys attached to the weights can fail, leaving you with an inoperable window that is difficult to open, close and lock. Many aluminum and vinyl windows rely on encased, spring-loaded glides for easier operation. When they fail, you are left with a cumbersome window that will not stay open or appears crooked or half-cocked. Addressing these problems will add even more costs to your window restoration and exterior paint job project.

Window Efficiency

The Panes

Dated or low-end windows may only utilize a single pane of glass. They offer little in soundproofing and energy efficiency. Today’s modern windows offer a much improved energy efficiency rating through double- or triple-paned glass. In addition, to increase energy efficiency, the voids between the glass panes are filled with non-conductive gases such as Argon and Krypton.

The Frames

The material of your window frames also contributes to energy loss or gain. Before the advent of fiberglass window frames, common materials used were wood, aluminum, composite and vinyl. While these materials all have varying degrees of insulating factors, none compare to the insulating efficiency of fiberglass. According to Energy.gov, fiberglass window frames offer superior thermal performance when compared to other window frame materials such as uninsulated vinyl, aluminum and wood.

Homeowners stuck in the quagmire and costs of repeated window painting would be wise to consider window replacement with Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows. The benefits of window replacement are numerous and include:

  • Little to no window maintenance
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Increased durability and lifespan
  • Enhanced curb appeal
  • Possible tax credits from the federal government.
    Durable Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows are available in a wide selection of styles and colors and can be painted, providing limitless color options for your decor.Getting ready to paint your house? Contact North Georgia Replacement Windows first.

Why Great Windows Are Worth the Cost

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Knowing which replacement window to buy can be difficult. There are many types and styles to choose from, and every seller seems to offer a deal. Sometimes homeowners come up against less-than-reliable customer sales reps that promise them a great price for what turns out to be a not-so-great product. Read on for ways to choose wisely.

Too Good to Be True

We’ve all heard “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” and the world of replacement windows is no different. As in any industry, you’ll find some window companies who are out to make a quick sale, and the deals they offer usually bear closer scrutiny. There are a number of deceptive sales tactics used by unscrupulous window companies that you need to be aware of before you shop. Listed below are some of the most common tactics you may encounter:

  • Inflated retail prices that make customers think they are getting an amazing sale price
  • High-pressure sales tactics to lure customers in and then an up-sell to a different, more expensive window.
  • Quoting prices for a certain window but delivering a lower quality version
  • Over-estimated energy efficiency and savings
  • Not making buyers aware of the window’s lifespan

You Get What You Pay For

A window that will last as long as your home will not be found on sale at a discount window dealer. Materials and craftsmanship that are top-of-the-line will, by necessity, cost more than a mass-produced window with lower-grade materials that is built for a budget. Fiberglass windows, such as the Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows, are constructed with a patented material that resists the damaging effects of time and weather. It’s a buying decision that more than pays for itself because the product never needs replacing.

The Value of Great Windows

When calculating the window cost for your home, keep these points in mind about Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows

  • Energy efficient windows help reduce monthly utility costs
  • Fiberglass windows do not require painting
  • Patented Ultrex fiberglass windows do not rust, chip, rot, warp or peel
  • Eligible for federal tax credits
  • Enhanced curb appeal
  • Weathertight
  • Custom-built

Armed with these tips, you can better shop for replacement windows for your home. For a free estimate, contact North Georgia Replacement Windows today.