Should I replace my Windows in the Winter?

Sometimes homeowners have the question of whether or not to replace their windows in the winter. No matter what season you replace your windows there are only two factors that are crucial to the success of your project – the quality of window you purchase and that the correct installation techniques are performed. Unfortunately, you can run into window companies that will sell you a very expensive window and then subcontract the installation out to a company that you’ve never met, which means you don’t know how well your installation will go. Efficiency Home Improvements does not and has never subcontracted any of our window installs, and that is something we pride ourselves in.

 

Will there be a temperature change in the home?

 

During the winter months, there are a few changes in how an install takes place. The installers have to be more conscious of the cold weather, we want your home to stay as comfortable as we can while an install is taking place. That’s why two installers will be at a window instead of one. Some might be afraid of a temperature change in the home while the install is going on, and there typically isn’t one. The in and out process is so quick homeowners rarely have an issue. There are cases where some styles of windows require the glass to be removed before the frames. This type of window may impact the overall temperature because the hole isn’t filled as fast. We also do simple practical things like closing the door to the room were working in when there are extreme temperatures. No matter what we limit the amount of cold/hot air exchange as much a home will allow.

 

Can you see signs of moisture better in the winter?

 

The winter months in Tennessee are usually drier than the summer, but moisture is more obvious. Inefficient windows tend to develop condensation on the inside of the home during the winter.

 

Will the install team be tracking in the outside into the home?

 

No, we have procedures put in place to ensure this does not happen. Whether winter or summer, we try to limit the amount of inside traffic. Normally, one person is assigned to the inside and will stay there until the interior requirements are complete for the day. We also use carpet tiles, drop cloths and moving blankets to protect the home. No matter how careful we are, the reality

 is, we are creating holes in the side of the home. So no matter how big or small the job, we always vacuum and wipe down the work areas before leaving the home. Cleanup is a process we work on through the duration of the install and is the last thing we do.

 

If you have any questions about your window installation this winter give us a call!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Tempered Glass is used in Homes

When replacing windows, there are a few different glass options that are available to you. Some that

you might be familiar with are laminated, standard, and tempered. Many people know the uses of laminated

and standard glass but what’s the use of tempered glass?

Tempered glass is used for safety, this glass can be required by international building codes. If a window is in a potentially hazardous area such as in a shower or in a ceiling, this will call for tempered glass.

 

What makes tempered glass strong?

Tempered glass is treated by heat or chemicals to increase its strength, this process makes it 4 to 5

times stronger. The strength of the glass increases when it’s heated and rapidly cooled. This

procedure makes it the most robust glass out there and also changes the way the glass breaks.

This glass breaks in small blocks instead of shattering which is much more likely to reduce the

chance of injuries. It allows for easier clean-up if it is to break because it can be simply swept up,

instead of having to pick up shadders of glass carefully.

 

For more information on where tempered glass is required, please visit International Building Codes and for

all your window replacement needs contact EHI today for a free estimate!

Can my Vinyl Windows be Painted?

Vinyl windows are a popular choice when deciding what window material to put in a home. It’s less expensive than wood and less upkeep. It is known that wood windows can be painted without a problem, but there’s always a question on whether vinyl windows can be treated similarly to wood when considering painting.

Anyone you ask in the window industry is going to have a different answer on this topic. So, can you paint a vinyl window? The answer is yes you can, but it’s not recommended by EHI.

Here are a few reasons why:
  • When painting directly onto a vinyl window, the paint will probably flake or peel off because the material of the window is not ideal for paint.

 

  • You risk voiding your warranty on your windows. Many warranties state that if any alterations are made to the windows, the warranty can be voided (examples are painting and drilling). You’re probably thinking how can paint cause harm to my windows? Some of the materials used to paint can contain harmful chemicals that will soften vinyl and reduce its structural integrity.    

 

  • If the window is painted a dark color, this can also cause harm. Darker colors retain more heat than lighter colors, the effect of this can be vinyl frames warping and glass breaking. This too can create a void in warranty and leave you repairing any potential issues with your windows.

 

What are my options if I don’t want a white or beige vinyl window?

Although wood can be more expensive the color options are endless, another option is choosing a fiberglass window. If your heart is set on buying vinyl windows but want a specific color, there are options for that. Over the years vinyl windows have evolved, and now there are more color options available than the basic white and beige. You can also customize a color through the manufacturer of the window (this does tend to get expensive).

If you’re wanting to replace your windows but are overwhelmed with the many options let EHI help you make that important decision today!

 

Don’t Just Replace, Remodel!

When it is time to replace your home’s original or failing windows, take the opportunity to update your home’s livability and style. Too many homeowners feel locked into repeating the builder’s decisions which were often made quickly and based on bulk buying decisions rather than optimal functionality or beauty. If there is a hard to reach and operate double hung window behind your kitchen sink, a clear glass picture window revealing your bathtub to the neighbors, or an inexplicably operable window high above your foyer, it’s time to improve, not just replace. Making changes for the better will raise your home’s value, whether it is for your own enjoyment or you are planning on selling.

Contemporary Farmhouse with “2 over 2” Bronze Windows

Casement and awning windows have always been found in elegant custom homes, but are seen less in builder models. When replacing consider where they might improve the look and function of your windows. The technological improvements in recent years have made these once upon a time troublesome windows into some of the most delightful windows to own. Many brands open in such a way that they can be cleaned from the inside, they offer screens that roll up and disappear, and the crank feature is reliable and folds away. Since there is no sash divider you maximize the glass and your view.  Would a casement work behind your kitchen counters or in a bath?

Obscure glass options have many modern choices. Consider these in places you want both light and privacy.

In the last few years of the building boom in Nashville we have seen grid patterns go in a new direction. While the traditional Colonial Pattern was rampant from 2000-2007, when we came out of the recession of 2008-2011 we came out strong and we found new grid styles appearing around town.

We are seeing less grids in our new construction and more elegant use of muntins. Very popular are some of the upper sash only patterns, that allow for keeping with tradition but also clear up some glass. By changing your grid pattern right now you can literally make your old house look new. Here are some of our favorite upper sash looks:

Here is an example of a home that is currently listed in the Reserve at Fieldstone Farms that has updated from the original Colonial grid pattern prior to sale-buyers will know immediately that the windows are new and the style is fresh! You can see both Prairie style and grid free windows. One of the best places to get rid of your grids is in circle tops and picture windows, in some cases it can immediately make your home look 10 years newer.

 

At Efficiency Home Improvements, we want to take you through a few extra steps of imagination when you are replacing your windows. We have a veteran real estate broker on the team available to help you design your project as well as some of the most knowledgable window professionals in the country.  How can we help make your home look it’s best and improve it’s livability? Our installers are all our in house teams that are the best in Nashville, going the extra steps with the best materials to make sure we are maximizing the efficiency of your new windows. Call us today at 1-833-83-WINDO for a free design consultation and quote!!

How long will my Construction-Grade Windows last?

When you buy a new construction home, you expect only top-notch materials that will last a long time. Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case with windows. Construction-grade windows typically fail to provide you with the level of efficiency you’re expecting from new windows. You’re probably not getting the optimal level of comfort as well.

New construction windows can be deceiving, they typically look great but don’t have the functionality a window should. Builders usually will install low-quality windows and use poor installation techniques; this will leave you needing to replace within the first five to ten years of purchasing your home.   

What are construction-grade windows?

Construction-grade windows loosely refer to windows ordered by builders that are inexpensive and low quality. Builders choose to install these windows because it cuts cost and they receive a more substantial ROI. Builders sometimes offer upgrade options, but buyers don’t usually want to invest any more money at the time of purchase, or even know anything needs updating.

Besides the problems low-quality materials already have, new construction windows are typically not installed by an experienced window contractor. Someone on the home builder’s team is more than likely installing the windows and isn’t certified; this leaves the installation of the windows not done correctly, and with little to no caulking or insulation around the opening to seal out drafts.

How long will they last?

Builder-grade windows are designed to only last a short amount of time. Many begin to fail in the first five to ten years of purchasing the home. You will start to notice the beginning of the frame decaying and the hardware not functioning correctly. The most common complaints are broken seals, faulty locks, and levers that don’t engage.

You may also notice moisture that is between two panes of the window – this is known as seal failure. When this issue occurs, the only solution is to get a window professional involved, because the glass or the entire window will need to be replaced.

If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient and comfortable, it’s time to upgrade those builder-grade windows. By replacing you’ll reduce your energy bill and have consistent comfortability in your home year around. Replacing with high-quality windows increases your home’s value and adds curb appeal as well. 

No matter the quality of the window, the installation is the most crucial part. If you’re looking for a high-quality window that will be installed by a great in-house installation team EHI is the window company that can provide that!

Should Windows be Replaced Before Selling?

Selling a home can be a difficult process with all of the updates that might need to be done. Is it worth looking into replacing your windows?

Either way sprucing up your windows or replacing them can drastically change the look of a home. It will also make it clear to buyers that you’ve updated the home, even before they step foot into the house.

What’s the bang for the buck though? This is the first question that is usually asked. If you’re going to invest, you want to make sure it will add value to your home. According to the 2018 National Association of Realtors, the return on investment for replacing windows is one of the highest recouped percentages in home improvements at 74% for vinyl replacement and 69% for wood replacements.

Benefits of Replacing

Efficiency is “in” – many people are starting to see the importance of not only having efficiency in everyday life but also in how they can make their home more efficient. Old windows lack in that area. If you have older windows, they are probably not insulating very well. Inside air is probably going out an outside air is coming in. Even the glass might have lost effectiveness or be so outdated that it has never protected the home from UV rays. Because of all these reasons, it could be making your HVAC unit work harder than it should, leaving the energy bill an outrageous amount.

Many people are making the switch to energy efficient windows. Your windows will be most effective if installed correctly, high-quality installation is one of the greatest factors in maximizing the performance of your windows and could make the difference in reducing your energy bill. Double pane and triple pane will help better insulate a window, it adds an extra layer of protection and will increase the energy efficiency of the window. Double pane is more than sufficient in the moderate climate in Middle Tennessee, triple pane will usually only be considered if there is a need for additional protection from noise.

As a seller, you’re looking for the immediate benefits of new windows. You won’t only be able to express the benefits of the new windows to a buyer, but they’ll see the curb appeal. Style is what sells homes, and windows when chosen correctly, definitely make a home stand out. There are many different styles and colors to choose from when purchasing new windows, so be careful and make sure it’s the right fit for your home. Pay attention to the changes in grid patterns we are seeing in new construction now. We are seeing a significant reduction in grids/grilles and as you update your windows a great way to show off the update is to modernize your style. In some instance, you can go to no grids, but an elegant look is to do the upper sash only in a 4 or 6 lite pattern. Or to do a single vertical stile in one or both sashes.

Will it add value?

Now that you have all of this information, it only seems right to replace your windows. It’s hard to give a definite answer on the return for investment for any updating you do on your home but The National Association of Realtors has compiled data and calculated ROIs for top home improvements.

The selling point to buyers will be how much they’ll save on the energy cost and knowing that they will not have to replace themselves. After windows are replaced, you can save anywhere from 5-15% on electricity. The other potential problem can be the style of the window you decided to purchase. If the style of the window doesn’t look right on the home, or it’s not appealing to a buyer, this can cause you to lose money. The first impression is everything, choose wisely!

Either way, the installation is the most crucial part. When this is done right, you’ll most likely get the return you’re looking for. At EHI we do all inhouse installations – you’ll know who’s doing the work and know it’s being done right. Whether you do a little touching up or replace your window it’s almost a definite it’ll catch the eye of your home buyer.

‘Elevation’ Home Improvements EHI July Winner

Cotton Town Home Makeover!! Stunning Changes
A homeowner’s contemporary vision is made complete by some fun choices.

  1. Losing the sidelights! Becoming French! Taking a single door with sidelights and replacing with a Mahogany French 6 Lite door by DSA. Still deciding on the stain…

2) Losing the grids!!!NO more grids on this home! We are witnessing a big trend away from grids, or designs with less, like single vertical stiles for the ‘cross’ look. Shutters were also removed to complete the sleek feel.

3) Changing the color. From basic white windows to dark bronze or brown gives a sleek and classy upgrade. Dark windows look expensive, but the cost is only a little more than ‘builder white’

Is it time to bring your own house up to date? We love to show you new ideas and trends. While other companies just replace without imagination or real estate knowledge, we focus on adding long term value to your home. Our sales team includes about 20 years of coast to coast real estate brokerage experience!

Vinyl vs. Wood Windows: Which Windows Should You Buy?

VINYL OR WOOD?

Should you buy Vinyl or Wood Windows?

There are multiple window types to choose from, which can sometimes be overwhelming for buyers. Many people aren’t sure which material will look best in their home. Buying windows is a big decision in itself.

To help you make the right purchase, we’ll compare the pros and cons of vinyl and wood windows. Are wood windows better than vinyl? Are vinyl windows better than wood? What exactly is the difference between vinyl and wood windows? To make an informed decision, we’ll discuss the difference between the most commonly purchased window types.  

 

Energy Efficiency

Window efficiency is probably your number one concern. You would think vinyl and wood windows have two different levels of efficiency because they aren’t the same material. But… They perform very similarly when it comes to window efficiency. Other factors set them apart: Window maintenance, price, and customization options.   

 

Maintenance

In the past, wood-exterior windows needed sealing or painting, not just at the time of installation but through their lifetime. This action was done every 3-4 years to help protect from elements. Efficiency Home Improvements offers modern wood windows with aluminum cladding on the exterior that will never need painting.

Vinyl windows need very little upkeep; no painting or sealing is necessary. A yearly wash and a checkup to ensure they’re functioning correctly are all that’s necessary.

 

Customization

You’ve probably heard wood windows are easier to customize than vinyl. You’re right; this is because wood can be stained or painted to your desired color. Aluminum cladding protects the windows and offers a wide array of color options. This allows the homeowner to enjoy the beauty of a real wood grain interior which can be stained or painted in the factory to standard color offerings, or unfinished so the homeowner can finish. It is recommended to find a factory finish that will match your home’s interior. Cladding can be chosen from standard offerings to match the home’s exterior colors or even custom matched to a paint color. This is usually offered only on the highest level series for a premium.

Vinyl windows are available in limited colors other than white; vinyl just can’t ever be painted. There are a variety of colors and finishes available to match your home. (A salesperson will help point you in the right direction when choosing a color).

Many people purchase wood windows for the visible appearance of the wood grain. Vinyl woodgrain laminate is available and can be matched to cabinets and floors. There is a difference in vinyl woodgrain laminate and wood window texture. The classic style of wood is always a favorite.

Summary and Costs

Yes, vinyl windows are a more basic window compared to wood, but you probably will spend less money with this option. Plus, if you choose vinyl, you don’t have the hassle of resealing or painting your windows every view years. If you’re happy with a basic functioning window with limited color options, vinyl is for you. Some neighborhoods and style of homes will dictate this choice.

If you can’t stand the look or feel of plastic on your classic craftsman home, then wood windows will be great in your home. You might be paying more for wood, but you will maintain a high resale value with your historic home.   Wood windows can cost 1.5-3 times the cost of vinyl windows on average.

How Replacing Your Windows Can Make You Money With 3 Easy Steps!

1. Looking to save on your energy bill?

Do you have problems opening and closing your windows? Is your AC system running constantly to keep your home cool? Have your windows even become foggy or cloudy? If yes, the windows in your home cost you money due to inefficient windows. Energy loss associated with windows accounts for nearly 25% of the annual heating and cooling cost, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. When homeowners replace old windows with Energy Star-qualified products, you can save up to $465 a year, depending on where you live and the number of windows replaced. At EHI we only use Energy Star-qualified products!

2. Looking to increase your resale value?

Windows are more of a functional update and aren’t always noticed visually unless you see the before, but are a great way to increase the homes modernity and energy efficiency in a home. According to ISoldMyHome.com replacing windows is well worth the investment with an 85 percent ROI. When working with the right window company, such as EHI, a salesperson can help you select windows that are modern for the home. When replacing, it can help to open up a home, and everyone loves natural light. The products that EHI provides contains low-e, which blocks UV light and solar heat to improve the comfort of your home and protect for furniture. Plus, potential home buyers love not only a move-in ready home but one that is updated with modern amenities. Let EHI help you ask for a higher selling price and bring that contemporary feel to your home today!

3. Receive significant tax credit when replacing windows

The federal government offers a tax credit during some years to help incentivize homeowners when energy-efficient changes or repairs are made to a home. Making this deduction on your annual tax return, depending on your other deductions, can reduce the federal taxes you pay as a homeowner. If you replace/get new windows or doors installed that meet Energy Star standards, you can be eligible for a tax credit.

Tax credit: 10 percent of the cost, up to $200 for windows and skylights and up to $500 for doors.

Please consult your tax advisor or check Energy.gov for tax credits that are subject to change. 

 

Patio Doors from Basic Replacement to Transforming

 

It’s the time of year when we all start looking outside and taking advantage of our outdoor living environments. EHI offers sliding, French, Patio,  stacking and Entry doors from the most popular manufacturers.

LINKS TO Patio Doors by Alside, Provia, ThermaTru, Marvin, Pella, Jeld-Wen and more

Let us help you find the doors to fit your design and function needs and budget!! Our in house installers will make sure the doors is put in right for years of enjoyment.

We also offer a terrific selection of Entry Doors by DSA, Provia, ThermaTru and more

And of course Windows by Alside, Provia, ThermaTru, Marvin, Pella, Jeld-Wen and more