New Construction Windows OR Replacement Windows

When a new home is being built,the windows are nailed to the wood studs that make up the house frame.In order to accomplish this, new construction windows have a fin around all four sides of the frame that rests against the outside of the stud and nails are driven into the studs through the nailing fin.

After that, flashing paper is applied to prevent water leaks, then the exterior material is applied. That material can be stucco, brick, siding, etc.

Now,imagine 10 or 20 years later when you want to replace those windows. If you were going to install your replacement windows the same way the original windows were installed, you would have to remove the exterior material around each window in order to get to those nails holding the frame in there.

You can see how this procedure could cause many problems, not to mention all the labor involved. I have seen homes in california with stucco exteriors where the homeowner had the stucco cut out in order to remove the old windows.The problem was they were unable to match the stucco colors after patching. Its just not a very efficient way to replace windows. So the replacement frame was designed.

In most parts of the country it’s simply a new construction window frame with the nail fin removed. In the west, where stucco is a common home exterior,a retrofit frame was designed

If you’re going to be replacing the exterior material on your home, then you might want to consider going with the new construction window, since the nailing fins will be exposed anyway. Also, chances are that a contractor will be doing your exterior replacement,and it would be wise to let the contractor install the windows as well.Since my installation videos deal with window replacement only, these articles will focus on replacement frames and retrofit frames.

Using these two frame styles,a do it yourselfer can replace their old windows without any damage to existing interior and exterior surfaces. And the job can be done using common tools such as a drill,tape measure, and caulking gun.

Energy Savings Pay For Home Improvements Replacement Windows

In this article I’ll explain why dual pane replacement windows and other energy-saving home improvements are like money in the bank. Contractors like to point out an almost 100% return on investment when installing more energy-efficient windows, and they are right.

The problem with windows is that glass has poor heat insulation properties. Old single pane windows are hardy better than no windows at all when it comes to heat loss. And even older dual pane windows develop leaky seals that lead to condensation and reduced thermal protection.

Replacing that old glass with new Energy Star compliant windows reduces utility bills, provides better sealing to ward off pollen and other pollutants, insulates better against noise, and also drastically reduces the load on your heating and cooling system.

In addition, the replacement windows can be ordered with tempered and shatterproof glass for extra protection, tinted glass for privacy and additional insulation, and even color options for special effects. Further, the extra ultra violet protection provided by specially coated and reflective glass can keep your furniture and floors from fading.

Sometimes existing frames can accommodate more efficient replacement windows. If the frames need to be replaced, you can select from high-quality vinyl that never cracks or peels, or sturdy, elegant aluminum. While you’re at it, you may consider replacing flat standard windows with bay or decorative windows or add other architectural touches and enhancements.

Windows, of course, are not the only way to save energy. Up to 40% of a home’s exterior is roofing, and properly installed roofs can reduce heating and cooling bills in a number of ways. Shingles may reflect heat instead of absorbing it. Proper ventilation removes heat in the summer and quickly cools down your home. And whole-house fans efficiently remove the heat accumulating in attics.

Siding is important as well. Exterior painting not only improves the appearance of a home, but it also seals cracks through which heat can escape. Materials like Hardi Plank fiber-reinforced concrete siding are more durable and weather-resistant than wood or vinyl, again contributing to good insulation.

Properly built sunrooms can provide warmth in the winter and, through venting at night, cooling in the summer. Covered patios can provide shade, again reducing the load on the air conditioning system. The same goes for certain types of pergolas that are both decorative and provide shade. Decks and terraces, too, can shield windows from the sun, perhaps with the addition of plants, while adding quality living space to a structure.

So, the next time you think of home improvement projects, don’t stop at replacement windows. Take it as an opportunity to make your home a more environmentally friendly place with lower heating and cooling bills. Improving the value of your home and saving money at the same time…who could argue with that?

How to Plan and Estimate Costs for Bathroom Remodeling

Remodeling a bathroom can be an exciting and fun experience, particularly if your bathroom has outdated baby blue or pink tile covering the walls. Planning and estimating bathroom remodeling costs prior to starting the project however is critical for ensuring a completely positive experience.
Today many new bathroom remodeling jobs include Jacuzzi tubs or whirlpool baths, along with separate showers. In addition there are a multitude of toilet, vanity, counter-top and sink styles to choose from. Costs for these items vary widely.
If planned properly a bathroom remodeling project can be accomplished on a shoestring budget and still look like you’ve completely transformed the room. It depends only on your creativity and level of sweat equity. All new bathroom fixtures are not critical in remodeling a bathroom. Many fixtures can be restored to a brand new appearance with just a little time and sweat equity. In some cases, such as with toilets, it is frequently the preferred route.

Older toilets use more water per flush than the new models. Though the new ones are environmentally friendlier, they have a reputation for clogging and thus many people choose to preserve their older toilets in a bathroom remodeling project.

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. It is usually where you start and end your day. Thus the return on investment for remodeling a bathroom is fairly high. Consequently it makes a great deal of sense to spend some money and remodel a bathroom, even if you do not plan on being in the house for a long time.
A bathroom remodeling project however can be a messy and annoying home improvement project. Frequently bathrooms are right off bedrooms or in the master bedroom. Consequently they can cause significant disruptions and cleanliness issues with your home. And the length of the disruption can take as long as a month or more, even when well planned out.
To mitigate the disruption of a bathroom remodeling project, planning is absolutely essential. The first item to consider is whether you will do it yourself, or hire a general contractor. Regardless of what route, a homeowner needs to first sketch out some bathroom remodeling ideas to ensure the bathroom design and cost estimates will meet their targeted functional requirements and budget.

If a general contractor is to be hired these initial sketches will be helpful in communicating your bathroom remodeling plans and ideas.

During the planning phase, you should identify the main objectives of the future bathroom. Is a Jacuzzi or whirlpool tub desired? Is a pedestal sink preferred over a traditional vanity? You should research the latest products on the market including: cabinets/vanities, counter-tops, toilets, shower/tubs and flooring. Also, homeowners are now more frequently using tile in bathrooms, both on the floors and walls. Tile adds a look of elegance to a bathroom that is not captured with vinyl or Linoleum flooring materials.

It is also important to consider any structural changes to the existing bathroom area. In particular, if a Jacuzzi or whirlpool tub is to be installed a deck area will probably need to be framed in. In addition, if overhead lighting is desired then soffits may need to be framed in.

Your initial sketches of your bathroom remodeling plan should include the basic layout of the bathroom with the toilet, shower/tub and vanity locations identified. In addition, dimensions should be included in the sketches. Also, if there are already known preferred manufacturers for the various bathroom utilities then they should also be included on the sketches.

Once the sketches have been completed it is time to contact a remodeling general contractor. They should be able to work from your sketches to develop a firm fixed quotation on the bathroom remodeling project.

For more help on remodeling your bathroom, see HomeAdditionPlus.com ‘s Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your bathroom remodeling project goes smoothly and you get the finished bathroom you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that your remodeled bathroom will be accomplished on time and on budget.

Bathroom Remodeling: Five Things to Keep in Mind

Considering the bathroom is probably the smallest room in the house, unless you count closets, but everyone uses it daily for many things. It needs to make efficient use of space and be easy to keep clean as well as look nice. Is it any wonder so many people are doing bathroom remodeling projects or thinking about one? Heres a few tips to help you with this tricky undertaking.
1) Install a Stall. Bathrooms have multiple fixtures jam-packed into a small space. Not only that, but the surfaces are often watery. Bathtubs and toilets are two slip-prone areas where falls are common. To lessen injury risk and save space, consider replacing bathtubs with a shower stall.
2) Choose your sink with care. Distressed metals like copper and dark porcelain sinks are appealing in the showroom, but can make water stains and soap scum stand out like a bikini on a ski slope. You’ll need to spend more time cleaning and wiping. Think about an elegantly appointed light colored one.
3) If you have your heart set on colored fixtures, order ahead. Before you begin demolition you should have chosen if the remodel will feature white, off-white or colored fixtures. Colored ones will have to be ordered, as they are not commonly stocked at local stores. White is the easiest to clean and most readily available. You can also get replacements at short notice.
4) You do have a friend who’ll let you use their bathroom while yours is not available, right?
5) The bathroom additions most likely to add value to your homes resale price are skylights, couples walk-in showers, glass block windows and his and her sinks. Low-end homes will reap the highest return on their owners investment in a bathroom remodeling project.

New Roof or Re-Roofing Answers

* How do I know if I need a new roof?

The roof should always be checked. You should keep tabs of its state. The following are signs that you may need a new roof.

• Your roof is between twenty and twenty five years old.
• The shingles are excessively cracking, curling, or they are blistering.
• There are many shingles that are missing and/are torn or damaged.
• The roof is leaking in many places.

* How much does a new roof cost?

There is no definitive answer as to how much a new roof will cost. There are a variety of considerations needed before an estimate can be given. From that information, a price quotation or an estimate could be done.

Some of the considerations are:

• Size of roof
• Materials to be used
• Location of house (this is needed to determine which materials would be best for that area’s weather)
• Is it for a new house or a re roofing
• State costs and taxes
• Type of home

After that, you can have several contractors bid on the project to get the best price.

* When re-roofing, should I peel off old layers or simply add a new layer of shingles?

It is recommended that you add a new layer of shingles to your roof. Scrapping the old layers will just consume more time and energy, and at the same time by peeling off, the thickness of the shingles are decreasing, leading to possible leakages in the future. By adding new layers of shingles onto your roof, it protects the inner part of the roof and provides you relief against further leakages. Obviously, it would be a lot cheaper.

* What kinds of questions should I ask a roofing contractor?

Getting a roof contractor to do your roof needs a little certainty and guarantee. You can ask the following questions to the contractor to erase doubts regarding his/her services:

Ask your roofing contractor questions with regards to their standing in their field of expertise. It will give you a hint whether they are really offering quality service to their clients.

Ask questions with regards to their operation. This includes whether they have necessary permits and licenses to operate such business, and if they are carrying insurance in case there are unforeseen incidents that may happen during the construction.

And lastly, ask questions with regards to the actual roofing constructions and the post-construction services and warranty. Inquire if they can explain to you in laymans terms how they will construct your roofing, what materials are going to be used, and what services and warranties they offer in case leakages or damages happened to your roof within a time period after construction.

* What kinds of questions should I ask references of a roofing contractor?

Sometimes, you need referrals from people who know the roofing contractor’s work you are considering, especially when you are unfamiliar with that type of business. As the roofing contractor for references, especially from customers who have had work done by him. Questions like the following can be asked of your references of a roofing contractor:

Initially, ask questions with regards to their relationship with the contractor. Maybe the contractor is a friend or a relative of your reference. That will give you an idea how well that reference knows the contractor.

You can inquire if they have acquired the services of the roofing contractor. Ask them if they have personally witnessed the construction of their roof, and at the same time letting your reference talk about the quality of service.

Lastly, ask queries on the reliability of their service, if it withstands the different outside elements surrounding the roof. In this way, you will have no doubt of the integrity of the contractor because the reference himself will tell all.

Tips For Hiring A Reputable Roofing Contractor

Curling or cracked shingles. Leaks in the ceiling. Too many asphalt granules in the gutters. Any one of these telltale signs can mean it’s time to replace your home’s roof. So where do you start? With a reputable contractor. Schedule time to sit down with three or more recommended roofers and ask the following questions:
• What is the full name and address of the company? This will verify that the company is credible.
• Does the company carry insurance? Contractors should carry both comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation to protect you as the homeowner in the event that an accident occurs.
• Is the company a licensed or credentialed contractor? Although not all states require licensing, it is a good indicator that the contractor is knowledgeable and dedicated.
• How long has the company been in business? The longer the company has been in business, the better; the lifespan for most small businesses is three years.
• Will the company provide referrals or references from previous jobs? Ask for a list of names and phone numbers of previous employers and try to get photos of the roofer’s completed work.
• What is the company’s workmanship warranty? Warranties that cover the installer’s work should typically cover a minimum of a one-year time span.
• What is the company’s track record for solving customer complaints? Request a referral from a job that involved a complaint. This will show the homeowner how the contractor handles problems when they do arise.