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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replace my windows all at once, or a few at a time?

There’s always this question

“Is it better to replace all of the windows in your home at once or replace individually over time?”

 

Many factors play into the answer.  Some may be worried about the inconvenience of window installation, others may be on a tight budget, or they may not see the need in replacing every window. You might fit into all three of these categories.

When you purchase a new home, everything is on your radar.  The need for new windows is obvious. They may be dirty, fogged, cracked, hard to open, inefficient, the list continues…  Other people may be celebrating 20 years in a home and have watched the windows slowly deteriorate to the point of not functioning.  Sometimes walking in the room is so hot or cold, they cannot tell if the window is actually opened or closed.

 

 

Have you paid attention to your windows?

  • Are they drafty?
  • Are they foggy or cloudy?
  • Are they sealed to the trim inside and the brick outside?
  • Are they hard to open and close?
  • Are they old?
  • Are they just plain ugly?

 

Whether you just moved in or you’ve lived in the same home for years, it’s always important to inspect your windows and understand the benefits of replacing them.

 

Construction grade windows often carry a limited three-year warranty and are intended to last less than 10 years.

 

After their lifespan is up you might notice your energy bill increase, you can’t open and close them like you use to, there might even be bugs or outside things that make their way in.

 

Many people compare the amount of time it might take to renovate a kitchen or bathroom to the amount of time it takes to replace windows, but that’s not the case. Yes, replacing your windows is a big project, but when hiring a professional and experienced installation team like EHI, your project should only take a day or two.  

 

Are you on a tight budget and not sure how many windows to replace? Typically if one window is having problems than the rest of them follow suit pretty quickly. Say you have two windows in your home that need to be replaced, they’re in the front of your home for everyone to see, what do you do? It is typically cheaper for both the homeowner and the window installation company to replace all at once. The bottom line is, you’ll get a better deal.

It isn’t just a “how much am I paying for windows?” thing, though.  Often times, the strain on your HVAC unit is costing you money. Not just on your heating and cooling bill, but also for the inevitable replacement of the HVAC unit because it is overworked.  Replacing all the windows keeps the HVAC running at a minimum. The rooms in the house maintain their temperature for an extended period of time and the HVAC gets a break. This has a huge impact on the overall comfort of the home, too.  Windows play a role in so many facets of homeownership.

 

There is also the factor of replacing only a few noticeably deteriorated windows and having the new windows significantly outshining the other now obviously old windows. Maybe replacing every window isn’t or can’t be for you.  That’s why some people like to do a replacement in phases. The first phase is generally replacing the elevation of the home with the biggest problems. This is typically the south or west facing elevations of the home. EHI recommends starting where you spend the most time; living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms.  

Either way, replacing a few or all will have an immediate impact on your energy cost, overall comfort, and will increase the style and curb appeal of your home!

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!

Increasing the Natural Light in your Home

A home can be much more than the entry door or the furniture that is throughout. Windows are able to bring multiple design factors that other things just don’t like natural light that shines through the entire home and a unique architectural element.

 

The Benefits

 

There are many benefits to increasing the amount of natural light that comes in your home. It can increase comfort, productivity, boost moods, and provide mental and visual stimulation. It can be difficult in some cases to incorporate because of space or aesthetic reasons. Even environments can play a factor, maybe you’re in an area that exposes you to too much direct sunlight.

 

Sky Lights

 

A skylight is not a traditional window that looks up to the sky and typically placed on the roof of a building. These are usually fixed meaning they don’t open or close. By correctly placing a skylight in your home it can bring lots of natural light. Also, if space is an issue in your home where you’re unable to install a window, this is a great alternative.

 

 

Using a lighter Paint

 

Color can really affect the way the eye perceives areas that surround it. Darker hues absorb light making a room feel smaller than it is. By replacing the dark walls in your home with lighter colors, this can open up a space drastically. You will get the best natural light effect when painting the walls white and even painting the ceiling white. Tip: use a matte paint because of its reflective properties.

 

The Placement of Mirrors

 

Do you have a tiny room in your house that feels claustrophobic or you feel it needs more space? By placing a mirror adjacent to a window, this will allow the sunlight to bounce around the room. If you only have one window in a room a mirror can make it appear that you have multiple natural light sources.

 

Glass Doors

 

Decluttering your space and replacing your solid doors are a way of bringing more light into your home. Doors can block light, when switching a solid door with glass doors, french doors, or creating an opening with no door, light can transcend through without any extra help.  

 

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!

Who is Efficiency Home Improvements?

 

Efficiency Home Improvements was first founded as a window installation company in 2006 by Lou Beltran. Before Lou got into the window business, he met many people along the way that now make up EHI. A sales team was established in 2016 that offers a wide variety of different window brands for customers to choose from. What makes EHI great is that we install the windows with our in-house installation team!

Lou Beltran, Owner

 

What brands do we carry

EHI carries a wide variety of window brands for you to choose from. The brand that is a customer favorite is Pella. Why this brand? Pella is our higher end window that offers a sleekness to your home. The Pella 250 Series is a favorite by many. The 250 is available in double and triple-pane glass that provides excellent energy efficiency. It comes in many different design choices that aren’t your ordinary vinyl window. Pella also offers different series in wood and fiberglass. The other window brands we provide are Alside, Anderson, Marvin, and Jeld-Wen. If you’re not looking for windows but searching for the perfect door, EHI has expanded to also selling doors. Our favorite brand is Provia!

The future for EHI

We want to replace every window in Middle Tennessee while spreading God’s love along the way. There are big dreams at EHI, one day we hope to franchise into other states and to start a training program! Ultimately, all that sounds nice and would be awesome, but it would be a loss if the company ever became more than helping people.  We want to stay true to our core values; helping people, doing what we said we were going to do, when we said we were going to do it, for the price we promised, and with the quality that meets our expectations.

What sets us apart

The people and dedication to integrity are the most noticeable. Our team’s care, it’s not just a job for us. The installation teams and sales team have a chemistry like that of a championship sports team. Another significant difference is product.  We choose to use the best we can find, regardless of cost. We don’t choose the $2 tube of caulk when we know the $6 caulk is better. The reality is that’s about a $25 difference per house and years of product performance. We don’t need the $25 that much, we’d rather our customers have an excellent experience and their windows sparkle for years to come.  We apply that same principle to the tools we use, the products we buy, the stores we shop, everything. Quality matters to us!

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!

Does my HOA allow Vinyl Windows?

Homeowners are tired of their thirty-year-old windows that only have a single-pane that aren’t energy efficient, they want something new and fresh.

There are many advances in window technology that allow for a more energy efficient experience. Window Manufacturers give the option of purchasing vinyl, wood, fiberglass, or aluminum frames. The design options are endless with the trim and grids of a window. With all of these options, it can make things confusing to a consumer on which window will best fit their needs and also what regulations to follow according to their HOA.

Style Standards

The standards the HOA has on new windows can seem confusing on the do’s and dont’s, one thing you can always remember is that they must stay similar to the original windows. The reason for this is to not distract from other homes that have not replaced yet.

Your HOA goes off of the design of the neighborhood when determining the style standard. Different color options are available depending on the frame’s material. That being said, the portion of the window frame that is visible is a color such as white, tan, or almond for vinyl and wood can be painted any color. Depending on the window manufacturers choice of design a window can appear different even if it contains the same material.

HOA regulations are not something new to Efficiency Home Improvements. Many projects are in gated communities or in neighborhoods with very strict rules on new window installations. These homes are typically custom built with builder grade wood windows having SDL grilles.

When homeowners replace it is made to seem they must replace with wood windows primarily because of the SDL grilles, that isn’t always the case. There is the option of purchasing a vinyl window with a custom wood look. Vinyl is a more affordable option. Giving the alternative to replace with wood-clad gives homeowners the freedom to replace more than a few windows at a time because of the cost. If you’re wanting to replace your windows and still have that classic wood look for a great price contact EHI today!

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!