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3 Lasting Home Improvements

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

When you invest in high-quality, durable improvements to your home, you and your family enjoy the benefits for years to come. Lasting home improvements like new windows, wooden flooring or upgrading your home’s exterior enhance the appearance and functionality of your living space and often add to the value of a house.

Wooden Floors

Polished hardwood floors lend a timeless appeal to home interiors and unlike carpet, they don’t trap dust. Real wood floors that are polished regularly and well cared for can last longer than 100 years. When the surface of a wooden floor begins to look dull or rough, it’s a relatively simple matter to sand it down and refinish it, giving the floor another lease on life. Avoid laminate or engineered wooden flooring if you want to make a real long-term investment in your home.

Replacement Windows

New windows increase the energy efficiency of your home, help block UV rays that fade your carpets and furniture, and give your house a face-lift. Infinity by Marvin fiberglass windows offer the best of all worlds. They don’t develop rust spots or pits like aluminum frames or warp in the sun like vinyl, and although they provide the classic look of wood, they don’t rot, absorb moisture or weather. Years after installation, Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows look as good as new. Additionally, they come with a lifetime guarantee that passes to the new owners should you decide to sell your house.

New Siding

New brick or stone siding on your home spruces up an old, tired exterior and lasts a lifetime. Like most masonry projects, fitting or building new siding on your house is one of the most lasting home improvements you can make and completely revamps the look of your home, adding curb appeal and value. Furthermore, repainting your home’s exterior every few years becomes a thing of the past.

Increasing the value of your home is only one benefit of lasting home improvements. You and your family can also enjoy the enhanced living environment for years to come. Contact North Georgia Replacement Windows for expert advice on upgrading the windows in your home.

What’s the Best Kind of Pet Door for Your Home?

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Pet doors make life easier for pets and owners alike. When you install one in your home, you won’t have to leave your comfy sofa to let your furry friend in or out. To your pet, it means no more waiting patiently with his nose pressed against the door hoping someone notices.

Pet Entrances

Whether you want your pet to go in and out of your home via a door, window, patio or wall, there’s a pet door for you. As Pet Doors.com explains, you can install door mounts for pets in wooden doors, storm doors and most other styles of door. If you’d prefer not to compromise a door by creating a hole for a door mount, you could install a pet door through a wall, which is often easier to patch if you ever move out. Although a wall is thicker than a door, a local handyman should be able to create a small tunnel to link both sides of the door.

Even the glass of a patio or window is no barrier to installing a pet door. You can have a custom-fit patio panel or window sash made that slots into place when the patio door or window is partially open.

Pet Size

Before purchasing a special entrance for your pet, check that the door you have in mind is the right size. Dogtipper advises pet owners to measure their pet at the shoulder to find the correct height for the door. To find the correct width, measure how wide they must open a regular door for their pet to fit through comfortably.

Security Measures

Although most pet doors are too small for the average burglar to squeeze through, local wildlife and your neighbors’ pets could become unwelcome visitors. To prevent any animal other than your pet using his door, you can install an electronic lock that opens only to a signal from a device on your pet’s collar. In addition to an electronic lock, or as an alternative, consider having a door installed that you can lock yourself at night, when you go on vacation, or to prevent a toddler from crawling out. Additional security options include slide-in security panels and locks.

Energy Efficiency

To reduce heat loss and cold drafts in winter and wasted air conditioning in summer, purchase a pet door that seals well and improves energy efficiency in your home. Some options include doors that are self-sealing or have double or magnetic flaps. When you’ve made your purchase, install the door away from extreme sunlight or strong winds, and attach the weather stripping that came with the door or your own. Finally, if you’re fitting the door in a wall, seal the gaps with silicone caulk.

Your pet may need some time and a little encouragement to use his new door, or he might grasp the idea right away. Whatever your pet’s reaction, when you hear the door flap open and close, you’ll know you made a great choice.

And when it comes to choosing the perfect replacement door for the humans in your home, be sure to browse through our wide selection of beautiful, secure and energy-efficient options.

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.

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.

5 ENERGY Star Approved Ways to Improve Your Home

Monday, February 27th, 2017

replacement windows

Everyone wants their home to be energy efficient, but it can be challenging to know what you can do that will make a real difference. Fortunately, with the guidance of the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, you can get some great ideas that are guaranteed to improve the comfort and value of your home while lowering your costs. With the unpredictable Georgia climate, you need peace of mind knowing your home is secure from the elements and using energy efficiently. Here are five ways you can improve your home and make it more energy efficient.
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Why Energy Star Ratings Are Important For Replacement Windows

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

energy star windows

If you’ve looked into buying new appliances or other home products, you’ve probably seen the Energy Star logo. It makes sense to monitor how efficient your appliances are so you can save money and protect the environment, but did you know that windows, doors, and skylights can qualify for Energy Star status as well? When replacing your windows, it’s important to know what Energy Star actually signifies and why it’s important for your home!

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5 Projects to Improve the Value of Your Home

Monday, September 26th, 2016

georgia window replacement

In a volatile housing market, it can be difficult to find the perfect time to sell your home. Nationwide, housing sales have slowed in the past few months, and even if you’ve put your house on the market, it could take months or years to close. Whether you’re currently looking to sell, considering it in the future, or just want to improve your home, there are lots of projects you can tackle to help add to the value of your home in the short and long term!

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How a New Custom Door can Change Your Life

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Custom Door Atlanta

You likely don’t think much about your front door.  You come home, open the door, go inside and live your life.  Just because you don’t think about it, though, doesn’t mean others don’t.  It is true that your front door will not draw much attention if it’s just another front door. But, your front door could also be a statement piece.  It could be something that when people pass by they say, “now that’s a nice house.”  Other than windows and perhaps shutters, there is nothing else that will make a house stand out than a front door. (more…)

Five Reasons To Replace Your Windows This Fall

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Replacement Windows

Traffic is slower because blinking school zone lights are warning us to slow down, actual work is being pushed so that vital fantasy football research can be done and the Braves are finally able to hide behind the Falcons on the 11:00 news, which can only mean one thing, fall is rapidly approaching.  As the temperatures cool and the air turns drier, it’s time to do a semi-annual readiness check on your home.  We might not be heading into the oblivion that our friends up north are, but still, our winters are nothing to scoff at, and our beautiful North Georgia autumn will allow you plenty of time to prepare.

After running the air conditioning all summer, it’s great to have a reprieve in the fall before having to crank the furnace up.  Are you getting the most from your AC and heater or are you also helping to cool and heat the outdoors?  While energy efficiency is one obvious reason to replace your windows it’s only one of several important factors to consider window replacement this fall.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency sounds almost too obvious to include here.  “Winter’s coming, got to keep the heat in.” It’s a tired line when it comes to offering something with multiple uses. We understand that windows are an investment and not something that you just wake up one day and say “I’m replacing all my windows today.” It’s important to note that if you have older, single pane windows, and you plan on staying in your current home that eventually the windows would pay for themselves in energy savings.

While energy saving windows are ideal, it’s possible that repairing your current windows or looking into better insulation might be more economical until you can feel comfortable with the costs associated with replacing your windows.

ENERGY STAR®, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps individuals protect the climate through energy efficiency, has ratings based on climate, but it doesn’t take into account home designs such as orientation.  Some rooms will be naturally warm based on the sun’s angle.  A professional installer will even take into account the sun’s angle in different seasons rather than just install a pane of glass and tell you you’ll save money.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to replacing windows for energy efficiency. While it’s the most practical reason to replace your windows, let’s face it, practically gets pushed to tomorrow far too often.

But, are your windows…

Aesthetically Unpleasing

Your house is likely your largest investment.  Unlike stocks, bonds and commodities, you have some control over the resale value of your home.  The resale value is only one reason to keep your house looking nice and up to date.  You should be proud of the place you call home.  When strangers walk or drive by or when friends or family visit it feels good to know that they’re pleased with what they see.  Your home is an important part of the urban or suburban landscape even if it is a small part of it.  It should appear as you want to be represented.  Your windows are a huge part of your home.  They are not only how you see out, but likely, the major focal point of your home.

Or, perhaps your windows look great, “Yeah, they’re a little old but I can’t rationalize replacing my windows for aesthetics.  They  look alright after all.”  You can probably rationalize replacing your windows for your…

Family’s Safety

Ask yourself how old your house is. Do you have children? If your house was built before 1978 your window casings were likely painted with lead-based paint.  This causes two hazards, 1) the dust that it creates as the paint microscopically chips contains lead that over time you and your family will breathe and 2) small children tend to chew on things, such as window sills, that are reachable as they’re teething.  The long-term damage can be devastating to the brain and other vital organs.

Do you have a basement window? Is the window large enough to climb out in case of an emergency? Egressed windows, or a window that allows for easy access to the outside from the basement, is required by code in new houses, but many houses do not meet this requirement.  Not only does your basement bedroom not count as a bedroom in the eyes of the National Association of Realtors, but the safety of the occupant of the room is in peril without one. Or, perhaps, you simply have a window that…

Won’t Open

This might not seem like a big problem in the winter and summer, but it should be in the fall and spring. There’s nothing better and more efficient than letting nature climatize your home.  If your windows are painted shut or you can open them but can’t keep them open, you’re missing a great opportunity by not replacing them.

As nice as letting mother nature cool or warm your house is, there’s a much more important reason to make sure your windows open safely.  Windows can provide a quick escape from fire.  If you can’t open a window in your home, you’re putting yourself and everyone in it in danger.  Perhaps you’re thinking, “it’s just one window that won’t open,” now imagine the same thought as you’re standing at that window with smoke fogging the room.  Your tone is likely a little different.

But, your windows open fine.  And, besides a fire, you’d never open them anyways, because this part of the city has a problem with…

Noise

As Atlanta continues to prosper, the city and surrounding areas continue to grow.  Growth is a great thing, home values rise and the area becomes more vibrant. With more people, though, it becomes noisier. New windows will help keep the noise where it belongs; outside.  Glass alone cannot reduce sound, it actually requires damping materials, or materials that will absorb the sound waves.  New windows are specifically made with this in mind.  Just as importantly, they have to be installed correctly.

The decision to replace windows is a big one.  Having a thorough understanding of your needs, budget and process are crucial to a successful project.  Contact us to discuss the process and schedule an assessment of your current situation.  Visit our showroom at your convenience to get an idea of what your home could transform into.  We’ll look forward to getting to know you.  Oh, and be careful driving through the school zones and good luck in fantasy football.

Insulation Options for Your Commercial and Residential Properties

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

If your home or business is more than a couple of decades old, it may be time for an insulation upgrade. You may be living one of the historic “century homes”, which may even lack insulation. Buildings like these need insulation in the worst way. There is no sense in suffering through a cold winter or hot summer and paying exorbitant heating and cooling bills when the problem can be easily addressed through insulation.

Although insulation isn’t exactly cheap, it pays for itself over time as it traps the warm and cool air in your building so that you don’t have to operate your furnace and air conditioner as frequently.

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