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General Article

Choosing The Right Windows For Your Home

Choosing The Right Windows For Your Home

One of the most difficult aspects of building a home is the design. It’s incredibly hard to make decisions on interior decor when you are building new and you don’t have anything to compare all the different options to. From the little bits and pieces like fittings, doorknobs and sinks to colours, curtains, doors and windows, there are choices at every turn and it’s sometimes difficult to envision what a finished build will look like.

Responsible for all the natural light in the home, ventilation and the atmosphere indoors, windows play a huge part in the design of your home.

Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing the right windows for your build? Use some of these techniques to pick the right materials for your home.

Maintenance-Free Clad Windows

Unlike painted wood windows, clad windows never need painting or maintenance. With a prefinished aluminium or vinyl covering the wood, choosing clad windows means you never have to worry about repainting after years of use and weather damage. If you have the budget for the slightly higher initial cost, consider clad windows for their ease and for the extra value they add to a property.

Seeing What Looks Good

Don’t just make guesses trying to imagine how your home is going to look – window and door software lets you view exactly what your home will look like when completed. The latest in 3D design applications take all the guesswork out of home planning and put the power in your hands. Try a range of sashes and materials, switch out awning windows for single or double hung ones and choose the right look and function for your home with ease.

Hardware to Suit Your Style

Don’t just consider the positioning and the framing that you use to fit the decor of your home, think about the hardware your window uses and how that fits into your design as well. There are plenty of different hardware mechanisms for operable windows – choose one that suits the look of your home.

Single and double hung windows both use a latch on the sash to keep the window in place. Hung windows look fantastic and feel great, but can wear easily with time unless properly maintained.

Awning windows open and close with a crank in the windowsill and are a less common sight than other window types. Alternatively a simple latch could be used to hold the sash closed; awning windows suit kitchens and bathrooms – especially where you want to limit the gap created.

Casement windows are some of the most common and can be big while still easy to open. Notched handles hold the windows open and fold down to stay low-profile when the window is closed.

Take the time to choose the right windows. Explore your options and create the perfect home to suit your style and decor.…

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General Article

Shutters in Different Weather Conditions

Shutters in Different Weather Conditions

Window Shutters can be used in different ways depending on the weather conditions. They can be used either to make the most of the weather or make a building more comfortable in the conditions. The ways in which they can be opened and closed make them more adjustable than curtains and allow this control. This is especially the case with louvered shutters. In fact, this is their very purpose.

IN THE SUMMER

In the summertime homes can get uncomfortably hot. This is the very reason why window shutters were first inventing in the Mediterranean. In extremely hot weather shutters can be completely closed, shutting out the blistering sun. This will protect the home from the heat as the sun cannot shine through shutters as they can with curtains. But there are many other options on top of completely open or completely shut. Having either the shutter, or the shutter louvers partly open can mean air is emitted without letting in all the heat. This can be used to cool down a room. With most fittings a shutter is fixed on either side of the window so they meet in the middle, allowing them to be opened and closed separately. They can be opened however the user sees fit, and open at angles meaning the sun can be blocked out while allowing plenty of air and light to enter a room.

IN THE WINTER

In the winter shutters can be used for the opposite affect: to insulate against the cold. The thick wood typically used for window shutters means they are much better at insulating a home than curtains or blinds. This can mean significant protection against the cold.

On a sunny winters day shutters can be used to keep a room warm while still having the advantage of the sun. Of course, like curtains, they can be completely open, but there are other options that still allow for some insulation without blocking out the daylight. The louvers can be opened, or the shutters can be open on one side and closed on the other or anywhere in-between the two.

AS IT GETS WARMER

As winter turns into summer windows can be opened to keep a room cool, while the shutters can be closed to keep it warmer than if everything is kept completely open. They can be adjusted perfectly to the exact conditions. For example, the shutter slats can be open with the actually shutters closed. As it gets warmer more air can be let in.

NATURAL DISASTERS

Another advantage of shutters is that they can be used to protect against extreme weather such as hurricanes or tornadoes. Exterior shutters can be used to protect windows as they are very durable. After a natural disaster windows can make a home extremely cold or unsafe, but shutters can potentially protect against this. Interior shutters will not protect the windows but could still protect the interior of the home and the people inside. All this depends on the strength of both the weather and the materials used to manufacture the shutters.

Andrew Marshall (c)…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Home Improvement Tips That Are Easy To Try Out

Feng shui can be used to give your rooms a positive energy. There are those that believe that a simple technique such as maintaining a clear doorway will bestow fortune on one’s household. Read this article for some tips on home improvement with feng shui.

A quick home improvement idea is to lighten up those small, drab rooms in your home. Just let a little sunshine in! Clean the windows and open up the curtains to let in as much light as possible. You’ll be shocked at how much more spacious the room appears. Stick to lighter colors on the walls, and diminish clutter in the room. Follow these steps and your little room will seem much bigger.

Keep a drill handy at all times when you are improving your home. With a good drill, you can pre-drill a variety of surfaces to make installing screws easier. You can also screw in screws easily and quickly. A good cordless power drill with the right drill bits for Phillips and flathead screws is ideal.

You can make a lot of improvements in your kitchen. Look first to the walls, cleaning them up from any grease or other unsightly stains with appropriate detergents. You will remove all stains and you should also get rid of all the old paint. Neutral, tan colors work well in all kinds of kitchens. Once you’ve finished re-painting, you’ll be impressed with how dramatic the difference is.

Talk to your friends and family and ask them for help before starting your home improvement project. If you wait until you have already started, it may be difficult to find the help you need. You also might have problems finishing your work, which adds stress.

To keep air from getting out, buy draft stoppers and seals. You put draft excluders under your door, and they help stop cold air from coming in and hot air from going out. Sealant strips fit around door frames and do the same function. You can find these in hardware and home improvement stores.

Before you go shopping for home improvement supplies, write down all of the things you will need. List the things you will need so you will not have to go to the store too many times.

It is important to develop a plan before beginning any home improvement project. Not planning ahead can make decisions more difficult and could cause you to make poor decisions as you are rushed to make them. Proper planning results in a job that goes more smoothly.

Since safety should be a priority in the home, have a family meeting focused on establishing escape routes. When disaster strikes, panic often sets in. Determining a safe path to exit the home can help ensure that everyone remains safe. Have regular family meetings to review escape routes and discuss possible outcomes in the event of emergency.

It is clear that feng shui is a clever idea that may be helpful in creating a home environment that inspires success and good luck. This is a form of home improvement as well, as you can give a new appearance to your home by re-arranging your furniture.…

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General Article

Window Replacement – Efficiency Ratings, Types And Features

Window Replacement – Efficiency Ratings, Types And Features

The US windows & home windows industry is worth more than $12 billion, according to figures from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The industry is currently experiencing a drop due to low levels of investments in the residential property segment. The low levels in residential property investment have been brought about by the leveling home prices as well as the soaring cost of energy and interest rates. The above trends have dealt severe blows to the builders market than any other segment of the building and construction segment. Major players in the window manufacturing industry are well aware of these trends and have embarked on the following strategies in order to counter the effects of the above trends:

• Increased window replacement market emphasis as well as expanded efforts to meet the ever-growing demand presented by the nonresidential sector.

• Increased focus on the addition of impact-resistant and energy-efficient window products.

• Increased focus on potential foreign markets.

In recent years, manufacturers of new windows have come up with products that are highly energy efficient which have resulted in more attractive, quiet and comfortable homes. In determining the efficiency ratings of replacement windows, the following factors are considered:

• U-factor.• Durability.• Wind resistance.• Rain resistance.• Replacement ease.

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), old and drafty windows are responsible for 10 to 25 percent of your total annual heating and cooling costs. New windows can cost anything from $7,000 to $20,000 according to the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). Anyone looking to buy custom window replacements should be prepared to fork out an extra 15 percent of the above cost.

Efficiency RatingsThe higher energy efficiency in new replacement windows is as a result of the use of top of the range insulating features such as inert-gas insulation, low e-coatings and multiple glazing. The U-factor mark indicates the ability of the window glass to conduct thermal energy or heat. The reverse of the U-factor is the R-value which indicates the insulating ability of the glass. Anyone looking to replace windows should look for a window that has a higher R-value rating and a lower U-factor rating otherwise they might as well be throwing money through your windows. Such a window is guaranteed to keep your house cool during summer and pretty warm during winter. The best replacement windows have an R-value of two or three, which is similar to that of a wall devoid of insulation. The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is another vital window energy rating. It indicates the exact amount of sunlight that makes it inside the house once the rays of the sun hit the window. High SGHC numbers are ideal for cold climates, SHGC of 0.40 or less is ideal for warm climates while temperate areas require a SGHC number of 0.55 or less. Visible Transmittance (VT) on the other hand indicates the amount of visible light that a window is able to let in. The higher it is the better.

The window replacement market is awash with windows that vary in terms of design and material. Wood accounts for more than 50 percent of the window frame market according to the AAMA while fiberglass and vinyl account for the rest. The following list is composed of the most common window types:

• Vinyl-frame windows- maintenance free and inexpensive.

• Fiberglass-frame and wooden-frame windows- excellent at locking out rain and cold air.

• Awning-style- deflects rain and generally offers better ventilation.

• Casement-style- easy to clean.

• Fixed windows- ideal for places that require lighting and little or no ventilation.

• Hopper-style windows- usually placed at the top of the glass door or another window.

Features Single-glazed windows have virtually disappeared due to their inability to provide adequate insulation during summers and winters. Some of the most popular window features during windows installation include double or triple glazing, low-E coating which reflects heat back into your home during winter and keeps out the sun’s heat during winter, gas filled window panes that make use of krypton, argon and other types of inert gases for insulation purposes and cladding.…

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General Article

Installation and Buying Tips For Window Blinds

Installation and Buying Tips For Window Blinds

Typically, there are two kinds of blinds. These are the horizontal and vertical window blinds. The horizontal blinds are common treatment for windows while the vertical ones are great for large window openings and glass sliding doors. These types are actually designed to come up with the right lighting coming from outside which is a natural source of light. Depending on the requirement of light these blinds can provide solution with your lighting and protection needs.

Another type of blinds is based on the width of each blind. These are the slat and solid blinds. Slat blinds are those whose slats are attached through a piece of string while solid window blinds are made up of one piece material which can either be fabric or vinyl. Roller shades and Roman blinds are best examples of these solid blinds while a Venetian blind is an example of a slat window shade.

Installation

Different type of blinds requires different method of installation as well. Here are basic steps to follow in installing a regular window shades. These steps are, however, applicable to almost all type although there are some slight differences. This is just to give you an idea of how the installation of window blind is done.

* For internal installation of the blind mark the point where the blind is going to be installed. This is the first step.

* Drill holes to your marked point where the brackets are going to be mounted. After drilling insert the screws on the bracket holes and start attaching them to the window. Do the same with the other side.

* If the window blind kit has an included valance attached it accordingly. If the head rail is not mounted to the valance/pelmet then mount the head rail into it with the use of clips. Be sure that the window shade can function freely without any interference with the clips.

* Finally, set the cord stop about 2 inches below the head rail. This will prevent the blind from opening all the way upward inside the valance.

Buying Tips

Before buying any window shades you need to consider first what specific requirement you need. Aluminum window blinds are great options for privacy purposes and window blinds made of wood are excellent trappers of heat during cold season. Whichever your preference is, try to coordinate wooden window shades color or the design of the fabrics with the interior decoration inside the room. Consider the wall color of the room, the upholstery and the image you want to create for the room to match with the chosen window blinds.…

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General Article

How to Manage Your Web Properties

How to Manage Your Web Properties

In this article we discuss what is actually mean by “web properties”. Let me say straightaway that what we don’t mean is advertising your real estate on a website – I guess they are web properties in a literal sense, but they are not the kind of web properties we are talking about here. No, here we are talking about web properties with regard to the Internet.

The term web properties can have several different interpretations. For those of you interested in tracking the performance of a web site, installing Google analytics is a popular method of achieving this end. According to Google, “a web property is the cumulative set of pages on which a particular tracking code is installed.”

In order to set up Google Analytics you must first have a Google account, which is free and quick to set up. Creating an Analytics account is a way to name and organize tracking for one or more web properties. Every Analytics user can access at least one account, and within each account at least one web property (such as a website) is tracked. Once the account is set up, implementing the tracking is simply a matter of copying the code Google generates and pasting it into the code for each page you want tracked.

By tracking, we mean carrying out an analysis of:

how many times the site was visited by people from unique IP addresses (visits)

how many times the page was shown (impressions)

how many times the page was requested from the server (hits)

which page most people entered the site from (entry pages)

which page they left from (exit pages)

the country the visitor came from

the words used most times to access the page (search string)

the kind of browser people were using (user agent) and

how this was broken down over time.

This information can be of great interest to anyone seeking to promote their website and having it appear near the top of search engine results pages.

Another interpretation of web properties could be the properties that HTML editors such as Dreamweaver create. These may include templates, pages, images, other media such as videos, sounds, snippets of code and script, and bits of useful information that Dreamweaver regards as the site’s assets.

When any page is viewed in Dreamweaver, the Properties Inspector window that sits across the bottom of the page gives context sensitive information about any property selected. For example, selecting an image will open a Properties Inspector window specific to the image, and allow you to alter the size, the location, the vertical and horizontal space, the border if any and the alignment and so on. It will also allow you to edit the picture in Fireworks or crop it, add a hotspot to it or link it to another file.

In contrast, when another type of property such as text is selected, the range of options becomes specific to text, so the editing options include things like the font, the font weight, its size, class, alignment and wrapping, whether it is part of an ordered or unordered list, any indentation and other formatting. Dreamweaver automatically adds the site assets to the Assets panel normally located on the tab adjacent to the Files panel, and displayed by choosing the option from the Window menu or by using the keyboard shortcut F11.

This can also be very useful, as in addition to templates and scripts, images and movies Dreamweaver will add all the URLs, any Flash or Shockwave files and all the colours used in the site’s palette.…

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General Article

Solar Shades: 3 Immediate Benefits From Installing Them in Your Home

Solar Shades: 3 Immediate Benefits From Installing Them in Your Home

Choosing the right set of blinds for your home can be a daunting, nerve racking task. Depending on what is important to you (e.g. privacy, light control, aesthetics) will determine the right type of blinds for you. One set of blinds that have rose in popularity, due in large to the ‘Green Movement’, have been solar shades. Not only for their sleek and stylish design but also due to how economical and functional they are.

Solar screens are a popular choice for areas of the home that receive a lot of sun. They serve as a great way to limit solar heat gain, reduce glare while preserving views with several type of openness factors. Solar screens also known as solar shades are easy to operate as they work on a single roll function from the top.

Limit solar heat gain:

Solar screens block a substantial amount of sun light that enters your home. If you notice a room in your house that particularly receives a lot of sun and tends to feel like a sauna half the time then your current set of blinds aren’t doing it and should be replaced with these. Also, by reducing the solar heat in your home you tend to save money because your house temperature remains cooler without needing to blast the AC. Added bonus to reducing solar heat gain: money in your pocket from utilizing the AC less and less.

Reduced glare/UV rays:

Have a room with a huge TV? Notice that annoying glare when your blinds just don’t completely lock out the sun? This sounds like another job for solar screens as they come in several openness factors. The low the openness factor the less amount of sun/glare they allow in. By rule of thumb, shades (since they don’t have gaps like blinds do), are preferred when needing to block out as much light from a room as possible. However, unlike most shades, solar shades have the openness factor that allow for a happy medium of reducing the right amount of glare while preserving the beautiful view that’s right outside your window.

Another advantage to solar shades are the reduction in UV rays. UV rays are notorious for fading furniture. I can’t say how many times I’ve had to replace clients furniture because they were using the wrong type of window treatment.

Preserving view:

Other type of shades force you to pick between seeing your beautiful view and blocking the sun. Solar shades offer a compromise. If you notice in the picture of this article, the patio room is comfortably shaded and cool, yet you can still see the gorgeous scenery outside.…