6 Must-Do Outdoor Spring Home Maintenance Tasks

Spring is upon us and now is the perfect time to implement these 6 outdoor spring home maintenance projects.

1. Clean gutters

Consider this a bi-annual outdoor maintenance task. Look in gutter bottoms for loose granules that signal your asphalt roof may need replacing.

2. Inspect your roof

Look for curled and missing shingles, rusted and pitted flashing, and cracked caulk around pipe collars, skylights and other roof penetrations.

3. Repair paint

Scrape off any chipped and peeling paint and spot painting exposed surfaces.

4. Trim overgrowth

Spring is a good time to trim branches of shrubs and trees away from your house since you’re still able to see individual limbs. Keep branches 5 to 7 feet away from your home so they can’t conduct moisture onto your roofing and siding. This will also deter squirrels and raccoons from find their way to your attic.

5. Ensure good drainage

Check drainage to make sure the soil slopes away from the foundation walls at least six vertical inches over 10 feet.

6. Check foundation vents

Homes with crawl spaces have vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that help dissipate excess moisture and prevent mold growth.

Want more details on these 6 maintenance tasks?

Check out the rest at DIYNetwork.com

 

The Rise of The Traditional Home

In an age of Houzz and Pinterest, an unprecedented online buzz on both contemporary and traditional home design has inspired an openness to merging two distinctly different styles.

Inevitably, savvy homeowners tend to think, “I like parts of both.”

Welcome to the transitional home.

This fast-growing movement pays homage to contemporary and traditional home styles. For a home builder, it means a bet placed on constructing either style is a winning one. A transitional-minded home buyer is apt to transform any home style with tasteful, restrained elements of whatever suits them, traditional or contemporary.

Beyond Interior Furnishings

The transitional concept goes just beyond furniture and décor. It also marries traditional and contemporary architecture, finishes, and materials.

For example, a contemporary home might be expected to showcase large glass expanses to convey a sleek, light-infused interior. A transitional home can be just likely to include big glass. But it might welcome nature with oversized double-hung windows instead of large casement or picture windows.

Broad Appeal

One person who has observed the transitional movement up-close is Christine Marvin. Marvin, director of corporate strategy for Marvin Windows and Doors, says the trend defies a generational bias. “It spans all age groups,” Marvin says. “A lot of homes I’m seeing might be someone’s second or their ‘forever’ home. One older couple I know loves Scandinavian design. But they also like wood and big glass with homey, rounded-corner furniture and traditional rugs. It’s what they like. It’s very simplistic, uncluttered, warm, and livable.

The Beauty of Choice

Marvin says the buzz and floor traffic surrounding big glass displays at this year’s International Builders’ Show (IBS) is another example of a surging trend. “We had a contemporary studio collection at IBS,” Marvin observes. “These windows are specified for transitional design because traditional furniture and décor softens the look. You pick what resonates. That’s the beauty of transitional design.”

The good news for home builders is transitional styling checks all the boxes. The builder is free to recommend the best elements of contemporary and transitional home styling without sacrificing project aesthetics, value, and quality.

As Marvin says, “Home buyers find inspiration everywhere. It’s a different conversation today.

For more information on the transitional home, visit our sources: Builder Online and Marvin Windows and Doors

 

This Old House, Generation Next to Benefit mikeroweWORKS

In 2017 mikeroweWORKS is going to give away a lot of work ethic scholarships. We’re not sure how many yet, but so far they have raised over $500,000, and they think that there is a lot more on the horizon. Along with the generosity of the people on their page, their partnership with This Old House is turning out to be rather remarkable.

This Old House, a diabolically simple TV show that’s been on the air for nearly a hundred years, has determined – quite rightly, that America’s skills gap poses a clear and present danger to anyone addicted to solid foundations, straight walls, sturdy roofs, affordable electricity, smooth roads, and indoor plumbing.

To help close the gap, Norm Abram and the crew of This Old House have launched an initiative called Generation Next – a targeted effort to encourage more kids to explore careers in the construction trades.

As a part of Generation Next, This Old House wanted to offer a scholarship program, funded in part by sponsors of their show. But then, they stumbled across mikeroweWORKS, and realized that they’ve been doing the very same thing since 2008. So, rather than do the same exact thing, the they decided to let mikeroweWORKS handle it.

Additionally, the actual house featured on this season of This Old House will be auctioned off at the end of the year, and mikeroweWORKS will receive those funds as well.

So – Mark your calendars. Sometime in March, there will be an announcing existence of another large pile of money, specifically for those willing to learn a skill that’s actually in demand.

For more about the project, and the project, visit our source: Mike Rowe

 

How to Clean Windows Like a Pro

How to Clean Windows Like a Pro

Ideally, windows should be washed twice a year, but it’s a task most people don’t look forward to. Part of what makes window washing such a chore is that homeowners insist on doing it with wadded-up paper towels or newspaper, spray cleaner, and a ton of elbow grease.

It’s easier and more effective to clean glass like the pros do: with a squeegee and a few other readily available tools

Step One – Wash with a strip applicator

Picture windows call for large tools. The long cloth head of a strip applicator soaks up a lot of soapy water and knocks dirt loose without scratching the glass. For cleaning solution, just use dishwashing liquid with warm water – the less suds the better.

Step Two – Wipe clean with squeegee

Starting at the top left, pull the squeegee over the soapy pane in a reverse-S pattern (left-handers would start at the top right). At the end of each stroke, wipe the squeegee’s blade clean with a lint-free rag. Cloth diapers or old linen napkins are perfect for this task.

Step Three – Dry off remaining drips

Remove any water remaining on the edges of the glass with a damp, wrung-dry chamois, which soaks up wetness without leaving streaks. Dry the windowsill with a rag.

Step Four – Customize the squeegee

To clean a divided-light window, you need a squeegee that fits the panes. You can use a hacksaw to cut one to size. You can trim the metal ¼ inch narrower than the windowpane, and cut the rubber blade to fit the entire pane.

Step Five – Scrub the panes (Multipane)

A handheld sponge or hog-bristle brush works best on multipane windows. You can use the same solution of dish-soap and water.

Step Six – Wipe clean with squeegee (Multipane)

Pull the squeegee down each pane in a single stroke from top to bottom. After each stroke, clean the blade with a rag so it doesn’t leave streaks. (If the squeegee squeaks a lot, add a bit more soap to the water.) As above, remove any streaks on the glass with a chamois, and dry the muntins and sill with a rag.

Step Seven – Get rid of stubborn spots

Over time, hard-water runoff from masonry or rain falling through metal window screens leaves stubborn mineral stains on glass that normal washing can’t erase. After regular cleaning, you can wet the glass, and gently use fine 000 steel wool to “superclean” stubborn spots.

Source: This Old House

 

Window Designs That Make Small Spaces Feel Big

Cutting down on square footage you don’t really need is a great way to simplify your life and save money, but it comes with certain design challenges. Keep your smart investment feeling bright and comfortable with a window design that helps it seem larger than it really is! Whether your entire home is small or you just have a tight bedroom, office, or any other room that closes in, here are some ways that windows can augment the space you have!

Bring the Outdoors Inside

Simply by making windows a statement on their own—think of a full-surround design that continues around corners or an entire wall composed of patio doors that open onto your property—you can draw attention away from the square footage of the floor and immerse the interior in its surroundings. An example is small houses, in natural settings; they are known for their impressive use of glass.

Think about each exterior wall, what’s behind it, and how a new window would improve the feel of the room. Day lighting alone is usually enough to change the ambiance of a confined space, but a good view will also improve your impression of it.

If you have limited wall space and this doesn’t seem possible, you can still amplify the effect of any window you do have with a mirror. Set it opposite a window to duplicate scenery across the room and double your perceived view. Even if it isn’t an actual window, it’s the same basic trick!

Light from Above

High windows are finding use in all kinds of homes, as people want to increase their day lighting potential and dress up plain walls. If you don’t have any other plans for the higher points on your walls, it would be a waste not to take advantage of natural sunlight to reduce your electricity usage and also give you a glimpse of the great outdoors where you might not expect it.

Basement-level rooms use high windows because they have to; but why not carry this enhancement up above ground? They fit well above beds and in bathrooms, where they help provide light while still maintaining privacy.

Integrate with Shared Wall Features

Sometimes you need to get creative in close quarters. Aim for balance and functionality so you can make the most of what you have, and be sure that the final product will look very different across the board. Plan for any dressers, shelves, counters, etc., and think about how you can fit windows in. 

When it comes time to plan for and purchase windows, let the experts at Integrity® Windows and Doorshelp you out. With a wide array of available styles and the option to create custom panes to fit your needs, you’ll find that these professionals have the solution for every kind of home. The industry-leading efficiency and durability of Integrity’s® Ultrex® fiberglass means that you can install as many windows as you want with confidence, so find your local dealer to get started!

Source: Marvin Windows & DoorsThe House Designers

 

WindowPRO Earns Prestigious Guildmaster Award

The WindowPRO team is thrilled to be honored with the 2017 Guildmaster Award for unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. Since 2005, the Guildmaster Award has recognized companies within the GuildQuality community of quality who consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. 

In order to be recognized as a Guildmaster Award winner, WindowPRO was required to achieve a recommendation rate of 90% as well as a certain response rate based on volume. Read the full list of qualifications.

WindowPRO has been recognized for quality and customer service by Angie’s List in 2015, 2014, and 2013 as well as being awarded Dealer of the Year by Window & Door Magazine in 2013 and 2010.

Considering replacing your old, inefficient windows or doors? Discover the WindowPRO difference or contact us today!

 

Securing Windows

Window shopping is a favorite past time for burglars. Inadequately protected windows are easy marks for intruders who have an arsenal of tricks or the quickest, easiest ways to force them. But safeguarding your home’s windows is neither difficult nor expensive.

Start by taking a quick survey of your windows – including those in the basement and the garage and any second-story windows that would be easy to reach from the ground. List each one on a sheet of paper, noting its type (such as double-hung or casement) and the kind of lock it now has.

If you’ve identified a few windows that you think are especially vulnerable, you may feel that even sturdy locks aren’t sufficient protection. In this case, consider replacing the standard glazing with impact-resistant acrylic or polycarbonate or with high-security glass. Or, where appearance isn’t of prime importance, install metal grille outside the window or a scissors-type security gate on the inside.

The ordinary sash latches on double-hung windows may help squeeze out drafts, but they offer little protection against break-ins. An intruder can simply insert a knife up between the sash and flip the latch open, or if he’s in a real hurry, force the lower sash and snap the latch of with very little effort.

  1. One of the easiest and least expensive ways to secure a double hung window is with key-operated lag screws, available in kits at most hardware stores. Pre-drill the sash, and insert the screws through their recessed washers. Tighten the screws with the special key provided. Drilling additional holes in the upper sash will let you keep the window locked in a partially open position for ventilation.
  2. Easier still is wedging the lower sash in its fully closed position with a length of scrap wood. Cut the strip to the exact size, fit it into the channel that operates the lower sash, and tack it in place. This solution is best served for windows you don’t open often; it’s not as tidy-looking as lag-screw locks, and it won’t let you secure the window in a partially open position.
  3. If you’d rather not drill extra holes in your sash but want the protection of a keyed window lock, replace the original sash latch with a key-operated lever. be sure to keep the key near enough for a quick emergency but out of reach of a prowler’s exploring hand.
  4. A keyed bolt-action lock has the added advantage of letting you lock the window in various open positions – just install additional brackets on the upper sash.

Casement windows are one of the most secure types you can own. A casement that’s strong and in good condition may not need a lock at all. If the window is large enough to admit an adult (and it opens to more than about 6-1/2 inches), simply consider removing the operator crank and keep it well out of window reach.

Install a chain lock (the same type used on doors) to limit the distance the window will open. For maximum security, fasten it to the sash and frame with the longest screws that the window will accommodate.

Like sliding glass doors, most sliding windows are all too easy to lift out of their tracks or jimmy open with a pry bar.

  1. to keep window sash securely in their tracks, drive sheet-metal screws partway into the upper tracks. Adjust the screws so the window barely clears them as it slides, with no wiggle room for maneuvering the sash up over the lower tracks.
  2. A simple metal clip will prevent a burglar from prying open the sash by snapping the brittle metal catch that holds the window closed. Bend the clip to fit your window channel, and install it in the lower track wedged against the closed inner sash.
  3. Key-operated locks are perhaps the most secure way to protect sliding windows, and they’ll work with vertical sliding windows, too. 

Basement windows (and, in older homes, unusual coal chutes) are potential points of entry that many home owners don’t think about until it’s too late.

  1. If your basement windows don’t have locks, drive long screws into the stop on each side at a height that will let you open the window only a few inches.
  2. A keyed sliding-bolt lock (or a sturdy hasp fitted with a keyed padlock) offers still more security and the opportunity to make a quick exit in an emergency. Keep the key nearby but beyond reach of someone outside the window.
  3. If you’re concerned about an intruder breaking glass to gain access, but you’d still like use of the window as an emergency exit, install a scissors-type gate with a keyed padlock. Again, keep the key handy and easy for family members to find.

For more tips and tricks about home window security, visit our source: Better Homes & Gardens

 

Tips for Choosing Efficient Windows

Chances are that the main reason you are replacing your old windows is to upgrade to more energy efficient models. Window companies have improved their offerings so they now help save you money on your energy bills all year long. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to figure out which window are right for your home. Shopping locally is a good idea. Windows vary by region, so you’ll get the best advice from retailers that have experience in your climate. Remember, as with anything, you get what you pay for. Go cheap and you’ll end up replacing your windows sooner than expected. To help choose energy-saving windows, here are some tips.

Wood

New window frames made of wood are the most popular and very energy efficient. They are easy to maintain and can be painted to your desired color. They are however, susceptible to rot and insect damage, but better window makers offer them clad in vinyl or aluminum. They tend to cost more, but they offer the best look for both inside and outside your home.

Vinyl

With their good moisture resistance, vinyl windows are a good choice. they are equally energy efficient to wood windows if they are insulated. they are also low-maintenance but do fade over time, especially in darker colors, which can also become brittle as they age. you can restore the finish with a soft scrub cleanser should the frames become dull. They’re slightly lower priced than wood windows.

Aluminum

These windows are strong but not very energy efficient because they conduct heat. condensation can form, creating moisture issues, including frost in the winter. most often, these are the cheapest windows you can buy.

Fiberglass

Window frames made of fiberglass are offered by some of the major manufacturers as alternative to wood or vinyl. they are high maintenance, as they need painting. they are also more expensive than insulated vinyl windows.

Composite

Composite windows look like wood and most makers refinish them in a host of colors. They preform well, but you may not like the look of a full composite window on the inside of your home. To solve this issue, some makers use composite materials on the outside of the window and wood material on the inside. cost is about the same as vinyl windows.

Tips for Choosing Energy Efficient Windows

  • Look for Low-E coatings on the glass. These coatings reflect heat inside your house and reflect UV rays from the sun outside your home.
  • Casement and awning windows are the most energy efficient because they clamp more tightly against the weather stripping in the frame than double-hung windows.
  • look for windows with multiple panes of glass separated by low-conductive argon or krypton gas filling and warm edge spacers with tightly constructed frames.
  • the best weather tipping on any kind of operative window is a compressible gasket type much like your would find on your car doors. The weather stripping combined with a quality latch will effectively keep out cold air and rain, plus keep warm air in in winter.
  • Look for windows with Low U-values or U-factors. These windows have the best insulating properties.

Source: HGTV

 

Neolith Tiny House

From millennials to empty nesters, there is a social movement for people to downsize homes for a simpler, lower maintenance lifestyle. However, downsizing doesn’t have to mean giving up luxuries and amenities of full-size homes.

Learn more about the Neolith Tiny House, their building process and upcoming presentations here.

 

Marvin Invites Architects to Enter its 2017 Architects Challenge Design Competition

Marvin Windows and Doors invites architects to enter its 2017 Architects Challenge, a competition awarding prizes to residential and commercial design projects that exhibit creativity and ingenuity using Marvin windows and doors. Entries should be submitted to MarvinWindows.com/architectsChallenge by March 10, 2017.

Now in its ninth year, the 2017 Marvin Architects Challenge will recognize one outstanding design in each of five categories – Contemporary, Transitional, Traditional New Construction, Remodel/Addition and Commerical. An overal Best in Show prize will also be awarded. The entries will be evaluated by an independent panel of esteemed architects, including Robert Gurney, FAIA, Manny Gonzalaez, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP, CAASH and Ted Flato, FAIA.

The Architects Challenge is an opportunity for Marvin to recognize architects who take creative advantage of the design flexibility we build into our products,” said Dondi Kazukewicz, senior manager of brand communications at Marvin Windows and Doors. “But it is also an opportunity for us to honor their vision and expertise. With each year’s submissions, we are inspired to refine our products and services to help meet the challenges they face.

Winning entries will be annouced during an ARCHITECT Live event at the 2017 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Concention, April 27-29 in Orlando. Marvin will provide conerence travel, lodging and registration for the winners.

For more information and to submit a project, visit MarvinWindows.com/ArchitectsChallenge.

 
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