Tag: Window Installation PA

  • Interior Storm Windows Boost Home Efficiency

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    One of the primary ways to improve your home's energy efficiency is to repair or replace your windows, however, it can be costly and it may not even aesthetically be what you want.

    Well, there is now a new option for homeowners to consider.  An alternative to double-hung replacement windows is now interior storm windows.  According to BobVila.com, Indow Windows, a Portland, OR -based company began manufacturing them in 2010.  The windows "are constructed from sheets of light, strong acrylic glazing, which is edged with the company’s patent-pending compression tubing. The products press into place on the inside of a window frame and provide a tight seal against cold window drafts without the use of nails, screws, or adhesives."

    According to an independent test study by Portland State University, these windows "almost double the R-value of a single-pane window."

    In addition, they'll also save you on installation.

    Typical double-hung replacements cost between $500 a $900; a comparable insert from Indow Windows costs about $250.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your Pennsylvania window installation, window repair, window inspection and window replacement needs.  Call us today at 215-453-9180 for your FREE estimate!

     

     

  • Where to Use Casement Windows

    Casement-Windows

    courtesy of BobVila.com

    Casement windows are windows that are hinged on one side and crank open so that the entire window area opens.  These types of windows are great for certain areas of your home.

    According to BobVila.com, "It’s an especially good choice over a kitchen sink, where it’s easier to turn a crank at the windowsill level than to stretch to push up a double-hung."

    It's also a good choice for small windows because it can make the best out of the limited opening that is there.

    However, these windows aren't the best for everything.  For example:

    ...a double-hung is usually better in a bathroom, where it can be opened from the top to maintain privacy. Casements are not suitable next to patios or porches, or for any place where they’d create a hazard for someone walking by outside. But if you want maximum open space, and you have the clearance outside, a casement just might be the way to go.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your casement windows, window repair, window replacement and window installation needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate.

  • Prevent Your Pennsylvania Windows From Frosting

    prevent-window-frosting_b_2710479

    Courtesy of HuffingtonPost.com

    On cold days frost can form on your glass doors and windows.  Here is a way, courtesy of HuffingtonPost, to keep the frost away.

    To keep your windows or sliding glass door from frosting over on the coldest days of winter, wash them with a mixture of one quart warm water and half a cup of rubbing alcohol. Now you'll be able to see clearly, even if it's too cold to actually venture outside.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your Pennsylvania windows, window replacement, window repair, window installation and window inspection needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate.

  • Projects to Add the Most Value to Your Home

    cost-v-value-wood-windows_d49c9108082fef3f5df17f115614eacf_3x2_jpg_570x380_q85

    HouseLogic did a photo slideshow recently on the home projects that will add the most value to your home.  not surprisingly, most of these projects involve your home's exterior siding, windows and entryways.

    Here are some of the projects they mentioned and how they will add value to your home:

    Vinyl Siding

    Famous for its durability and reasonable price, lightweight vinyl siding also is easy to install, which cuts labor costs. Manufacturers keep coming up with new colors that won’t fade, so there are more choices than ever. Good-quality vinyl siding will last 30 years or more.

    National average cost: $11,192
    Value at resale: $8,154
    Percent of investment recouped: 72.9%

    Fiber-Cement Siding

    Fiber-cement siding is a popular choice for replacement siding. Although its initial price is higher than many other types of siding (it’s heavy and labor-intensive to install), the durability and stability of fiber-cement means less maintenance in the long run. It takes paint well, so you can have your choice of exterior paint colors. It’s also fireproof and rot-resistant.

    National average cost: $13,083
    Value at resale: $10,379
    Percent of investment recouped: 79.3%

    Steel Entry Door

    Replacing an older entry door with a new steel model is the most cost-effective project in the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report. A steel door costs less than half of a similar fiberglass door. The steel outer layer is susceptible to denting; a brass kickplate (shown) helps protect the door from accidental dings.

    National average cost: $1,137
    Value at resale: $974
    Percent of investment recouped: 85.6%

    Wood Deck

    A deck is a cost-effective way to increase your living space and is a great way to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is nice. A simple deck using pressure-treated lumber is a good DIY project and saves up to 50% of a professionally built deck. Clean and seal your deck annually to keep it in great shape.

    National average cost: $9,327 (professionally built)
    Value at resale: $7,213
    Percent of investment recouped: 77.3%

    Wood Replacement Windows

    Swapping out older, leaky windows for new wood replacement windows is a style upgrade that saves energy. The Efficient Windows Collaborative says you’ll save up to $450 per year if you switch out single-pane windows for new double-pane windows in a 2,150-sq.-ft. house. Not in the market for new? Inexpensive weather stripping will keep out the drafts.

    National average cost: $10,708 (10 replacements)
    Value at resale: $7,852
    Percent of investment recouped: 73.3%

    Want to add more value to your home? Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your exterior siding, window replacement, and deck repair needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

    houselogic-new-years-resolutions-air_35f96dbe03dbe9930755736464c40491_3x2_jpg_300x200_q85

    Now that 2013 is almost here, discussion about New Year's resolutions and top-10 lists are right around the corner.  While you probably have more personal resolutions,  you can make the same type of resolutions for your home.

    Here is a list of New Year's resolutions, courtesy of House Logic, that are based on the top 10 resolutions gathered by Time magazine.

     

    1. Lose weight (cut energy use)
    2. Quit smoking (purify indoor air)
    3. Get out of debt (budget for improvements)
    4. Learn something new (educate yourself on home finances)
    5. Get organized (de-clutter)
    6. Volunteer (support your community)
    7. Drink less (curb home water use)
    8. Spend more time with the family (share home improvement projects)
    9. Get fit (exercise your DIY skills)
    10. Be less stressed (use maintenance-free materials)

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your pennsylvania roofing, siding, gutter repair and window needs. Call us today at 215-453-9180 for your FREE estimate.

     

  • Get Window Privacy Without Losing Light

    Courtesy of House Logic

    It's nice to have a lot of natural light in your home, but if you live close to your neighbors,  it may feel like any one can look into your home.  Here are some tips, courtesy of House Logic, on how to get some moe privacy without sacrificing the natural light in your home:

    Spray-on window frosting

    Available in aerosol cans at hardware stores and home improvement centers, spray-on frosted finishes ($4 to $10 for a 12-ounce can) coat window glass with a translucent or opaque frosting that blocks views but allows light in.

    One can of spray coats about 35 sq. ft. of glass — enough to coat 2 average-size windows. White is popular, but other translucent colors also are available.

    Be sure to clean the interior surface of your window before applying the spray. Work in a well-ventilated area and apply as several thin, even coats to avoid drips. Spray-on frosts can be removed by scraping the window with a blade.

    For windows and glass doors where total privacy isn’t necessary, such as the glass surrounding an exterior entry door, use the spray with stencils to create designs that look like they’re etched onto the glass.

    Window films

    Opaque and translucent vinyl films ($25 to $125 for a 3-by-5-ft. window) cling to the interior glass surfaces of your windows. You cut them to fit with a utility knife.

    Window films come in a variety of opacities, patterns, colors, and even “stained glass” looks. Some frosted films contain glass dust that shimmers for a look that mimics real frosted glass. Other energy-efficient window films provide benefits in addition to privacy, such as reducing UV rays and preventing energy loss or solar gain.

    Peel-and-stick window films cling to window glass with static electricity — a surprisingly dependable method. Properly applied, these films will remain in place for years, yet they’re easy to remove. You can even reapply them to other windows.

    Adhesive-based films are a permanent privacy solution and can’t be removed. Installing them requires a special kit; once in place, they must be carefully cured for up to 8 days. Adhesive-based films ($20 to $40 for a 2-by-3-ft. piece) have better energy-saving properties than static-cling films, and they last for the life of the glass.

    Before installing any film, you’ll want to make sure the window glass is clean and free of dust or smudges. That way, you won’t get bubbles and other imperfections.

    Replacement windows

    For window privacy, especially inside a shower or above a bathtub, a glass or acrylic block window is another option. The texture of the blocks obscures the view while allowing in an optimum amount of light.

    Because of their weight, glass block windows usually are fixed in place and inoperable. However, they’re typically less expensive than an acrylic block window of the same size. Glass blocks are also available in colors, and with etched- and frosted-glass finishes.

    If you prefer an operable window, select acrylic glass block, which is 75% lighter in weight than glass block.

    Glass and acrylic block windows are available pre-assembled and set into a frame for installation like a standard window. A 2-by-2-foot acrylic block operable casement window sells for about $450, uninstalled.

    If you prefer a more traditional look, an energy-efficient window with decorative, translucent glass (similar to a leaded glass window), costs $400 to $600 for a 3-by-5-ft. double-hung window.

    Chemical etching

    Although etching cream is a good option for frosting small amounts of glass, such as on glassware or a mirror, etching an entire window with cream isn’t recommended since it’s nearly impossible to achieve consistent opacity over a large area of glass.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your window installation, window repair, window maintenance and window replacement needs.  Call us today at  (215) 453-9180 for your FREE Estimate!

  • Is Your Home a Candidate for Skylights?

    Skylights can be a fun way to bring some more light into your living space.  However, they can cost big bucks to install.

    Here are some questions you should ask yourself, courtesy of House Logic, before you decide if skylights are right for you:

    • Is your roof framed with trusses? Truss framing is typically 24-inch on-center, which accommodates a 2-foot-wide skylight (they’re actually 22.5 inches wide). However, if you need to cut into a truss for a wider skylight (they can range up to 4 feet wide and 6 feet long), you’ll have to hire a structural engineer to spec alternative framing. Costs for engineering run from $300 to $500.
    • Is the attic space clear? Once you have an idea where you’d like to add a skylight, check the attic for any HVAC, wiring, or plumbing in the way.
    • Will you need a chase? A chase is a framed tunnel that channels light from the skylight through your attic space to the ceiling below. Typically it’s finished with drywall and painted. Because it’s complex to build, it adds about $1,500 to a professional installation. Note: If you have a cathedral ceiling, you won’t need a chase.
    • Will a skylight suit the architectural style of your home? In many ways, a skylight is a neutral element that blends with most styles, but it may affect the curb appeal of an older home.
    • Can a solar light tube do the job as well? At less than 20% of the installed cost of a skylight, a solar light tube can illuminate an area of 200 to 600 sq. ft.

    Costs of adding a skylight

    Unless you’re a highly skilled DIYer, leave this job to the pros. You’ll want an experienced installer to ensure your skylight doesn’t leak. Installation cost for a 2-by-4-foot skylight runs from $2,000 to $3,000. Here’s how the costs break out:

    • Cut a hole in the roof and alter the rafter framing: About $500.
    • Install and flash the skylight: With asphalt shingles, expect this stage to cost about $500 — figure 20% to 30% more for metal or tile roofing.
    • Build a chase from the skylight to the interior ceiling: Estimate $1,000 to $1,500.
    • Repaint the entire ceiling beneath the skylight: Plan a minimum of $250 if you hire a pro. If you have an open-plan home, budget for more.

    Skylight features

    Even the least expensive skylights come with insulated glass and UV protection. A fixed skylight costs $150 to $500. However, manufacturers offer many options for controlling the amount of light and enhancing ventilation:

    • A venting skylight that opens manually using a hand crank runs $300 to $600.
    • An electronically controlled venting skylight that opens and closes with a remote control costs $600 to $1,000; including a rain sensor that automatically closes the skylight adds $200 to $300.
    • Built-in mini blinds let you fine tune the amount of light. They operate by means of a stick crank or remote control. Blinds cost $200 to $400.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of you window installation, window maintenance and window repair needs. Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE estimate!

  • Criteria When Getting New Windows

    Windows are extremely important for both the aesthetics and efficiency of a home. However, there are so many criteria for choosing windows that it is easy to forget the end goal.  Some of the most important aspects to consider when selecting a window, according to FacilitiesNet, are:

    • Resistance to wind loads
    • Resistance to water infiltration
    • Air tightness to prevent drafts
    • Resistance to condensation on the interior of the windows
    • Security and emergency egress
    • Light and ventilation
    • Appearance that enhances the overall design
    It is important to not get caught up in the latest designs and trends because many times, these trends haven't stood the test of time yet.
    New state-of-the-art products or components can fail, go out of style or simply go out of production because of poor sales or poor function. Products or components that have not experienced the test of time under field conditions may result in failures that were not demonstrated in laboratory tests. The simplest window design that meets all of the established criteria is usually best. To obtain a more objective opinion, temper the advice and sales pitches of product representatives with recommendations from designers and users of the product.
    While it's easier said than done, price should not be the primary factor in selecting windows.  According to FacilitiesNet, "Settling on the cheapest window product can lead to low durability, poor performance, water leakage and increased or difficult maintenance. This also holds true for the associated materials and work to provide the proper interface between the window and the wall."
    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your window repair, window replacement and window installation needs.  Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE estimate!
  • Prepare Your Home for Winter

    Putting a little bit of money into your home to prepare for winter will keep you warmer and make your energy bills lighter.

    Caulking and weather stripping are the best ways to save energy without putting too much money down, according to House Logic:

    Weather-stripping can be done by a painting contractor, a window installation contractor, or any handyman firm and is usually bid by the job or by the window.

    It is also recommended that you increase attic insulation if the joists are showing through the old insulation.

    You can also get storm doors installed, primarily in the most drafty areas can save you up to 8% of your energy, according to House Logic.

     

  • How to Hurricane-Proof Your Windows

    Since Hurricane Sandy may show up by early next week, it's important that your family and your home, particularly your windows, are prepared to weather the storm.

    Here are some tips on how to Hurricane-Proof your windows before the storm comes, courtesy of House Logic:

    Add hurricane window film

    Tough, clear plastic hurricane film is popular because you can’t really see it, and you can leave it in place year-round. If the glass breaks, hurricane film prevents glass shards from zipping around inside your home.

    If you’re an average DIYer, you can install peel-and-stick hurricane film on your windows for a mere $25 per linear foot. As a bonus, the film blocks ultraviolet light that can fade carpets and fabric.

    The downside to hurricane film—and it’s a big one—is that the film isn’t strong enough to stop hurricane winds from blowing in the entire window frame. That’s why most insurance companies don’t offer discounts for hurricane film and why you should also shield your windows with plywood.

    Shield windows with plywood

    Good old plywood is one of the building industry’s toughest materials, and is hard to beat for storm protection. Some tips for using plywood to shield your windows:

    • Cut sheets of 1/2- or 5/8-inch-thick plywood. Make sure you overlap window frames by a good 8 inches all around.
    • Use heavy-duty screws and anchors (in wood) or expansion bolts (in masonry) to attach the plywood to your home’s walls (not the window frames).
    • Pre-install screw anchors around window openings to speed up installation.
    • Store shields in a handy location where you can reach them easily and put them up fast.
    • Keep your cordless battery charged so it’ll be ready to use when a storm is coming.
    • Keep extra flashlights and batteries handy in your home. It gets very dark inside once the plywood is installed.
    • Expect to spend $1 to $2 per square foot if you do the work yourself and $3 to $5 per square foot if you hire someone.

    Add storm shutters

    Because roll-up or accordion-type storm shutters are permanent, they’re a snap to deploy when a storm comes. All you have to do is pull the shutters into place before a hurricane to prevent damage and broken windows.

    If you’re skittish about being in the dark, look for shutters that have perforations or are made from tough translucent fiberglass that lets in light.

    Expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $50 per square foot for professional installation of storm shutters, depending on style and material.

    Install high-impact glass windows

    The great thing about windows with high-impact glass is that they’re always in place, ready to beat back anything hurled by hurricane-force winds. These brawny buddies are made up of two panes of tempered glass separated by a plastic film. They come in standard sizes and shapes so they won’t make your home look like a Brinks truck.

    Expect to pay three times as much for a window with high-impact glass as for a regular window of the same size and type.

    Ask about home insurance discounts

    To encourage you to take steps to minimize damage, your insurer might offer discounts for hurricane-mitigation improvements. In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, for example, the annual insurance premium on an older home insured for $150,000 runs between $3,000 and $8,000, assuming no hurricane-mitigation improvements. With improvements, such as storm shutters or high-impact glass, the same home would cost between $1,000 and $3,500 to insure.

    Also, here are some general tips, courtesy of House Logic, to prepare your family and home for a hurricane:

    • Make a grab-and-go bag with family finance and medical essentials like: Prescription and over-the-counter medicines, one change of clothes for each family member, a back-up drive from your computer, a copy of your home inventory, and a flash drive with copies of important documents like insurance papers, birth certificates, deeds, tax returns, passports, and drivers licenses.
    • Trim up your trees and shrubs to make them less vulnerable to summer storms.
    • Is your sump pump working? Replace it if it isn’t.
    • Load the phone number for your insurance agent and the company’s claims line into your cell phone.
    • Price a flood policy, especially if you live in a flood zone.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your window installation, window repair, window replacement, and window maintenance needs.  Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE estimate!