New Windows Can Provide Comfort and Savings

While some home improvement projects are done purely for aesthetic reasons, window replacement projects offer a wide range of benefits.

If your current windows are decades old, they’re probably difficult to clean, provide poor insulation, and get stuck every time you try to raise or lower them.

Old wooden window frames also tend to deteriorate over time, which negatively impacts both their appearance and their ability to seal out drafts and outdoor temperatures.

Modern, energy-efficient windows make older models look like they’re straight out of the Stone Age! Many windows manufactured today meet strict U.S. government standards for energy efficiency and durability, which can help you save money on your home energy bills. These new features include multiple panes of glass, which provide improved insulation and impact resistance. Instead of using just plain air, many of these advanced windows are insulated with non-toxic gases, such as argon and krypton. (As long as you’re not Superman, you’ll do just fine!) If you’re willing to pay extra, there’s also the option of having mini-blinds inserted between the panes of glass.

Reducing Home Energy Costs

According to the EPA, “Replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR certified windows lowers household energy bills by an average of 12 percent nationwide. Lower energy consumption also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and shrinks a house’s carbon footprint.”

Energy Star-certified windows also have special coatings that reflect both infrared and ultraviolet light. That not only helps keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, but it helps stop the sun’s rays from fading furniture colors, flooring, and other materials.

Some of the newer windows are available with three or more layers of glass panes, which can help make your home more comfortable and quieter. If external noise is an issue, installing well-insulated windows with multiple panes can reduce that problem significantly.

Although many of the new window products are constructed of wood, they’re often covered with vinyl or aluminum to be more weather resistant and durable. Fiberglass is another low-maintenance, durable material that offers good insulation qualities.

Cost Versus Benefits

While a window replacement project can take a big chunk out of your home improvement budget or bank account, it does provide a return on your investment. In addition to the fact that your home energy costs should decrease, installing new, energy-efficient windows will improve your home’s marketability in the future. If and when you decide to put your home on the market, the fact that you’ve installed energy-efficient, easy-to-use window replacements will be a major selling point in the minds of prospective buyers.

As is the case with all home improvement contractors, it’s always a good idea to get several estimates and check references, read online reviews, and take a look at Better Business Bureau ratings before choosing someone to handle the project.

What You Need To Know About Skylight Installation

Putting a skylight in your home can be a very attractive feature. More natural light will be let into the room, making it bright and cheery. There are a few things that you should know about installing a skylight before you start shopping for these special windows and begin the installation process. It’s a serious project and you should really think the decision through before you start the project.   

Quality Is Key

It’s important that a skylight has a few special aspects including:

 

  • Energy efficiency
  • Water tightness
  • Sound reduction
  • Wind resistance
  • Ventilation
  • UV coating

Many manufacturers also try to appeal to those shoppers who are looking for environmentally friendly materials. Keep in mind what those are and how the quality will be affected.  

Injury Is A Real Possibility During Installation

  • Whether you’re installing the skylight yourself, or having a professional do the job, there’s a risk of falling and injury. 
  • The ladder should be the right height and type. 
  • The shoes being worn should have good traction. It’s also a good idea to use roof jacks for extra support during the installation process. 
  • The jacks should be secured and clamped down to ensure extra support. If you don’t know what you’re doing, the short answer is that you should hire a professional and leave the job to them. Be sure that anyone you hire is using safe work practices. 

Weather Can Delay The Project

Remember, since you’re essentially cutting a hole in your roof to install the skylight, it’s a real possibility that weather can put a damper on the project. If rain, snow, wind, or ice happen to be a part of the equation when installing these new sky windows, it could pose a real problem. Weather could not only be a safety issue, but a hazard to your home as well. Try to plan for the installation of the skylight during a more temperate part of the year. 

The Installation Starts From The Inside

After the outline of the skylight has been cut out of the sheathing of the roof, you’ll need to mark the opening of the skylight with screws or nails in the corners. This will help you to locate the skylight opening. 

The next steps are as follows:

The shingles will need to be removed before you even start cutting the rest of the opening.

The flashing will need to be waterproofed in order to keep snow and ice away from the opening of the skylight. 

Extra drywall and insulation will need to be added to avoid too large an opening in the ceiling. 

A skylight can be a great asset to any home. With a little thought and planning on your part, you can add something that you’ll enjoy for many years!