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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorating your Windows for Halloween on a Budget!

Halloween is approaching quickly and if you’re looking to spook up your home on a budget decorating your windows is an excellent way to go!

 

This Halloween, Efficiency Home Improvements wants to give inexpensive fun ways to decorate and be the spookiest house on the street. This is a great family project that can be done for under $15 dollars!

 

What you’ll need: wax paper, double sided tape, paper, black poster paper, printer, scissors

 

Step 1: (printer, paper) Print and cut out the attached silhouette templates below on plain white paper. If you’re wanting larger silhouettes, you might need to print on multiple pieces of paper.

 

Step 2: (black poster paper, tape, marker, scissors) Tape stencil to black poster paper. Trace with marker and cut along the edges.

 

Step 3: (wax paper, tape) Measure the size of your windows and cut wax paper to fit each pane (optional). Tape it along the window frame.

 

Step 4: (double-sided tape) Use double-sided tape to attach the silhouette to the wax paper or directly to the glass on your windows.

 

 

Sitting Cat Silhouette                                                    Spooky House Silhouette

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scared Cat Silhouette                               Owl Silhouette

 

Happy Halloween from Efficiency Home Improvements!

3 Reasons Why Fall is the Season to Replace Your Windows!

Window replacement is always popular in the spring and summer, but there are benefits to replacing in the fall as well. Here are three reasons from Efficiency Home Improvement’s why you should replace your windows this fall!

Optimal Scheduling of Installation Teams

Typically when homeowners replace their windows in spring and summer, you might have to wait weeks or even months. This is the busiest time for window manufacturers and also installation teams. When scheduling to replace in the fall, you’re able to get your windows replaced without the wait.

Replace Before Winter

Start maximizing your energy savings before the cold winter months arrive. By replacing windows and doors, it boosts the appearance of your home, while also saving you money on your energy bill. Energy Star says that you can lower your energy cost anywhere from 8 to 20 percent of when replacing with Energy Star qualified window.

Competitive Deals

Window companies start offering great deals before the slow down of the winter months. Fall is the perfect time to get the best value out of your window replacement project. Beware of the deals that appear to be too good to be true. Just because a company offers you the cheapest quote doesn’t mean that will be good in the long run. EHI is offering rebuttable products, with in-house installation, while providing great prices this fall!

Replacement Windows – Are they worth it?

As a homeowner, there are always multiple projects around the house that need to be done. The question is which one to start with. When not knowing the answer to this question assess the project that’s going to be worth your time and money. Many people believe the major home renovations such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom will get you the most significant return on investment, but that’s not always the case. It’s not to say that these renovations don’t add some value to your home, but it doesn’t give you the biggest ROI. What’s going to add comfort and save you money on your energy bill?

Energy Savings

Replacement windows have the ability to save you a substantial amount on your energy bill. Does it matter if you buy a single-pane or double-pane window? Yes, it does. Single-pane windows don’t offer any insulation between the glass. Double-pane windows are insulated, they are built with two layers of glass. The two layers provide the insulation because it helps to slow down drafts. The technology in many of them is filled with insulating gas that absorbs UV rays and wind before entering the home. Although these windows are more expensive than single-pane, they save you money on your electric bill. When purchasing a double-pane low-e is very important. Low-e coating helps to keep the good in and the bad out.

Return on Investment

Replacing your windows have a return on investment of about 70 to 80 percent. That’s a significant ROI. That is also depending on the window you buy and your area’s market. Vinyl windows are typically the best option if you’re on a tight budget. The energy efficiency of these windows is similar to a fiberglass or composite frame. Many find wood frames to be the most aesthetically pleasing, but they are the more expensive window. The window style you choose does affect your ROI. Keep in mind the things we covered about a single-pane and double-pane window. The better options are usually more expensive but in the long run provide you with a better investment.

Is it worth the cost?

There are many benefits to replacing your windows that people don’t realize. If you’re wanting to reduce your energy bill while increasing the comfort and value of your home, that’s the project to choose. Even the Department of Energy says that replacing old inefficient windows is a good thing for the environment. It’s safe to say after looking at the benefits replacing your windows can provide, it’s worth the cost!

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.

Making your Historic Windows Efficient While Keeping their Charm

Should you replace your historic windows with new energy efficient windows to save energy? Or should you keep the charm and not save as much energy?

This will depend on if you’re a preservationist or an environmentalist. There is a way to be both in this difficult decision. You can keep the uniqueness of the window while still improving the efficiency of them.

According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, old windows typically last longer and have thicker glass, compared to today’s windows. Plus, if you update your historic windows, you’re not using any new resources (conserving), and you’re also preserving at the same time.

Historic windows generally have a uniqueness to them that new windows just don’t have. You won’t find an intricate stained-glass window in a newly built home. It’s inevitable not ever to have any issues with your windows, especially if they’re old.

If you start to experience problems with your historic windows such as leaking you might want to consider replacing the existing sash, frame, and glass. If you’re experiencing a draft or wishing to insulate your window better, there are ways to draft proof and insult with appropriate caulking and weather-stripping materials.

Wanting to reduce the energy bill on your historic windows? By adding storm windows indoor or outdoor and also adding heavy drapes can help with this. Adding extra locks to window sashes will tighten the window’s seal which will help prevent air inflow and outflow.

Still not sure if your historic windows are worth saving? Contact EHI, and we can answer any questions on whether you should replace or save your windows!