Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tips to Seal Windows & Doors before Winter Strikes

Fall is almost coming to an end, and Jack Frost will soon be arriving! Are you prepared to welcome him yet? Is your home equipped to deal with the fury of the winter? Now is the time to seal every opening that might let the cold air in and mess up your heating bills! Look at some foolproof ways to seal all windows and doors and stay snug inside.

Tips to Seal Windows and Doors for Winter

1.       Weather-stripping: This is one of the best ways to winterize your house. Ill-fitting doors and windows can let air in and drive away warmth of your home. Buy self-adhesive foam weather-stripping which can be peeled and stuck wherever necessary. Use smaller sizes so you can easily open and close the windows and doors 

2.       Caulking: Caulking with a waterproof filler or sealant to plug any air leaks that might be sneaking in. Most people caulk the inside and outside of the windows and use weather-stripping in the window sash. 

3.       Installing storm doors and windows: Adding storm windows and doors might seem an expensive option, but will justify the money that you spend now in the long run. In fact, experts say that mounting a storm door or window to a weather-stripped door or window can result in substantial energy savings.

 4.       Use heavy curtains: Similar to you slipping beneath a fluffy duvet on a cold winter night! The heavy fabric is a great way to block out air drafts and acts as an excellent insulator by trapping the cold air around the freezing glass panes to keep the rooms cozy in winter.  

5.       Honeycomb shades: These are types of cellular shades comprising multiple folds of fabric designed to act as insulators and seal out cold air. 

6.       Use door sweeps: These have a top hard edge usually made of metal and the bottom edge made of rubber. These are easy to install and you can install the hard edge a hair’s breadth above the bottom of the door allowing the rubber bottom to sweep the floor acting as a barrier and preventing cold air from entering from beneath. 

7.       Get a window insulator kit: These work very well with drafty windows and consist of a transparent, plastic material that can be used on most windows. Most work like a shrink film and can be used to seal the windows tight during winter and protect your house from the elements. Keep in mind that this option usually works well for windows that you won’t be opening anytime soon. 

8.       Get new windows: This is probably the most expensive option, but you need to give it a serious thought if your existing windows are old, rusty, and drafty. No amount of sealing, caulking, and insulation will work if your old windows are battered! Brand new energy-efficient replacement windows, such as the ones made by Champion Window can save you on utility bills and also increase the curb appeal of your house!

Most of the solutions mentioned above, such as door sweeps, curtains and shades, and window insulator kits can be purchased at home improvement or hardware stores or even bought online. If you haven’t already started prepping up for winter, begin now, so you aren’t shocked by soaring heating bills when winter finally puts in an appearance!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Perfect Sunroom for Less

When people think of a sunroom, they think ‘expensive’. When they see a house with a sunroof, they think ‘rich folk’. When they think of themselves having a sunroof in their house they think ‘all my money gone’ in other words ‘not possible’.  Take a moment, remove this de-motivating thought from your head and think again, is it really so expensive that you would not consider it at all? I am here to tell you it is extremely possible even if you have a quarter of the money needed to build a sunroof. 

There are many types of sunrooms out there, you just need to find the best deal in material and make the most of what your house has to offer you.  A very convenient and cheap way of building a sunroof is converting an already existing room into a sunroom. There is no need to lay and set a foundation before building anything, saving you a lot of time and effort. All you have to do is knock out the wall and fit floor to ceiling windows on the wall or walls, depending on the location of the room. If there is only one wall which is exposed to direct sunlight then your only choice is filling that wall with windows. If the room is sort of peninsular like where two – three walls are exposed then you are one of the lucky few to have the opportunity to have a perfect sunroom with three sources of sunlight to come through.

Another ideal situation would be if you had a rather large porch. Converting half of or your entire porch (depending on what you want) into a sunroom would look beautiful and will not break the bank. The exact phrase is called ‘screening’ your porch. Once again, there is no need to build a foundation since it’s already done. This saves you a lot of money too. All you need is the material to screen your porch.  This is where it gets tricky. If you’re not careful, you could lose a few extra dollars. 

One of the best ways to get the right material at a good price is to get one of those DIY sunroom kits which basically will provide everything you need to build your sunroom on your own. Going  for this will save you from not only buying un needed extra material but it will also save you from spending on labor to get it built. The instructions are simple, straight forward and very easy to follow. Anyone who knows how to hold a hammer and aim at the head of a nail can follow these instructions and successfully build a sunroom. 

Lastly, one of the most important parts of building your sunroom is choosing the right glazing for your sunroom. Many have started to use plastic since it a slightly cheaper alternative but it does have its drawbacks. The entire point of a sunroom is to let the sunlight and the heat in. Glass is able to trap more heat energy than plastic. Another great point to take into consideration is that glass is much more durable than plastic. Plastic tends to get scratched easily and can yellow over time. 

There are companies such as Champion Window that have started to manufacture eco-friendly glass that benefit you and your house in more than one way. Eco- friendly glass is definitely the way to go. It’ll keep the cold in during the summer, heat in during winter so the cost of heating and cooling the house reduces. There is a significant amount of protection from the UV rays and is more energy efficient. You can try to save as much as you want on all the material except for the glass. Make it a point to spend a little bit more on the glass cause it is the main part of the sunroom and it is definitely worth it. 

That is just about everything you need to know to build your very own sunroom. Now it’s your turn to make a little effort to make your house look like a million bucks but for one – tenth the cost. An added bonus to building your own sunroom is the sense of proud accomplishment that you will feel after building it. That feeling is something to cherish, just like the way you will cherish and enjoy your new sunroom.