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!

 

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!