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Questions to Ask When You’re Buying New Windows

At some point, you might choose to upgrade your home’s windows to lower your energy bill or to update your
home’s style. But with so many window styles to choose from, you may need help finding windows that best fit
your needs.

Before you decide which windows you want, make sure you take the time to research all of your options.
Thorough research includes asking the right questions, so below, we list some suggestions for questions you
can ask yourself to narrow down your search.

What Window Features Do I Want?

Over the past several decades, window manufacturers have made many practical and aesthetic improvements to
window designs. Some features automatically come with most windows, like locks and screens. However, many
homeowners choose to include additional features to help with durability and ease of use.

For example, storm windows help you protect your home against high winds or winter storms. Windows filled
with argon gas or manufactured with a low-E coating also help regulate temperature, which can help you save
on energy bills if you live in a particularly hot or cold climate.

Some manufacturers also offer custom window features with unique patterns and designs. Talk with your
window company to find out which features and color options fulfill your needs and help your home stand out.

What Type of Material Do I Want for My Window Frames?

Many homeowners use vinyl material for their window frames. However, you can also choose from several
other options depending on your needs and preferences. Some homeowners prefer wood windows with exterior
cladding made of aluminum or vinyl. Others choose low-maintenance fiberglass material.

Each material has its own set of pros and cons. To find a good fit for your home, talk with a
professional.

Are the Windows Energy Efficient?

If you want to save on your utility bills each month, make sure the windows you purchase are energy
efficient. Check for an Energy Star rating to ensure maximum energy savings.

In some cases, you can also get a tax rebate for purchasing Energy Star-rated windows. Ask your accountant
or window salesperson which rebates your government offers.

Will These Windows Match My Home’s Interior and Exterior Design?

Imagine what your new windows will look like on your home before you buy them. Do they blend well with
your home’s colors and material? Does the glass design complement your current exterior?

If you’re only replacing a few windows, don’t forget to match your new windows to your old ones. Compare
the two designs before you install the windows-you don’t want to realize your new windows don’t match your
other windows’ design after they’ve already been purchased and installed. 

What Is Included in the Windows’ Warranty?

Almost all window manufacturers offer some type of warranty for their windows. Check for how long the
warranty lasts and what damages it covers. Ideally, the warranty will cover your windows for at least 20
years.

Once you ask and answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to
finding the right windows for your home.

Of course, as you research, additional questions may arise. Don’t forget to write these down so you can
ask your window installation company about them later. Experienced window professionals can answer your
questions and help you ensure that you don’t have any major concerns with your new windows.

As soon as you narrow down your window options, schedule a home visit with an installer. The installer
will give you a price estimate and help you enter the next stage of replacing your windows.

To learn more about window replacement and other home improvement projects, browse through the rest of our
blog.

5 Home Improvement Goals for The New Year

Every January, you carefully consider what you would like to improve on or do differently in the upcoming year. Maybe you’ll stop biting your nails. Perhaps you’ll visit another country. Or maybe you want to perfect your downward dog pose.

But remember that you don’t have to save all your best goals for New Year’s Day. Each day is a new opportunity to grow, learn and develop. Additionally, you don’t have to limit your resolutions to bettering yourself. You could extend your desire to change to improving the environment around you.

As you take a good hard look at what you want to fix this year, consider making the following home improvement goals. These resolutions not only improve your home’s resale value, but they help the environment, too.

1. Cut The Clutter

Psychologists agree that clutter stimulates the senses. It distracts us from our priorities, and it makes relaxation difficult. This year, you can save yourself a great deal of stress when you cut the clutter in your home.

Start by selling, donating, or throwing away unused clothes in your closet. Then gradually work your way to the outside of your home by pulling the weeds, trimming the trees, and mowing the lawn. When you feel ready, move to the garage and organize the tools, boxes, and equipment you have stashed on the shelves. The more clutter you clear, the better you’ll feel.

2. Improve Security

No matter if you live in the big city or a small town, your home can become a target for thieves and vandals. Although you may have the habit of locking your doors at night, the locks won’t do you much good if you have an old door attached to a weakened frame.

To improve security this year, hire a professional to replace your entry doors with solid steel options and impact-resistant glass. If you want to take your efforts a step further, install wireless cameras near your doors and windows to record and alert you to any suspicious activity.

Once you upgrade your security, don’t forget to contact your insurance provider. Many companies offer lower premiums to homeowners with extra security features.

3. Lower Utility Bills

Your air conditioner works hard during the summer to ensure you stay cool and comfortable. But every time you turn down the thermostat, you lose a significant portion of that cold air through your windows, doors, plumbing vents and recessed lights.

If you want to save money on air conditioning, have a professional inspect your home for air leaks and seal the gaps as needed. Replace windows with Energy Star-rated options, and consider installing extra insulation and ventilation to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

4. Amp the Curb Appeal

Your home has one chance to make a good first impression. What visitors see at a glance affects your home’s overall resale value.

If you plan to sell your home in the near future, you can take steps to boost your curb appeal. Cleaning, repairing, and replacing the siding can make your home look like new. And planting a few flowers in the garden can also give your home a cozier, more charming appearance.

For more ways to boost your home’s curb appeal, check out our earlier blog post.

5. Go Green

As you improve your doors, windows, siding, and insulation, you significantly reduce your carbon footprint. But you can make your home even more environmentally friendly this year.

To start, make a goal to gradually replace burnt-out incandescent bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs, which last longer and use less energy. Next, invest in a programmable or smart thermostat to better control your heating and cooling usage. Finally, upgrade your water heater, refrigerator, dishwasher or other large appliance. Newer, Energy Star appliances drive down energy costs and function more efficiently than older models.

These five home improvement goals should give you a good start for the new year. And with a little creativity, you can find even more ways to improve your home and your life.

Winter Holiday Decorating: Making Your Windows Merry

Christmas is coming up, and you’re excited to get decorating. You think you may want to try something
different this year. While your Christmas lights have a fun and classic feeling, you want to show more unique
decorations.

Windows are a perfect setting for beautiful and playful winter decorations. In this blog, we give you some
ideas for Christmas decorations that will fit wonderfully in your home’s windows.

Indoors

You can place window decorations either inside or outside, depending on the nature of the decorations.
Indoors, you can take advantage of the window’s structure by placing items artfully on the sill or hanging
them from above.

Indoor decoration options include the following:

Hung Ornaments

Have too many ornaments to fit on your Christmas tree? Hang them in your window instead.

Stick some hooks underneath the top window sill and hang the ornaments either directly from the hooks or
with some ribbon. Use different lengths of ribbon to give the ornaments a more uneven and free look.

Ribbon

Use various colors and sizes of ribbons to decorate your windows. Curl the lengths to give them a fun,
bouncy look, or drape them nicely like curtains.

Mix and match different types of ribbons, tie them together, and have fun with them. Let your kids help
out too for an exciting family activity.

Paper Snowflakes

One of the easiest and most classic winter decorations is the paper snowflake. Take your time meticulously
cutting beautiful snowflakes or make it more festive by including the entire family.

Use tape or sticky tack to attach the snowflakes to the window. You can also attach all the snowflakes
together to make a lovely homemade curtain.

Candles

Whether it’s real or fake, a lovely, warm flickering candle in the window gives your home an Old World
charm.

You can find flameless candles with flickering bulbs at any craft store if you have pets or kids, or you
can use those beautiful candles you got for a wedding present.

Seasonal Plants

Place a couple poinsettias in a line on the window sill or a couple of small fir trees. Pinecones also
make lovely winter decorations, especially if you cover them with glitter or fake snow.

You can also incorporate these plants into other indoor decorations. For example, you can put ornaments on
the miniatures trees or hang pinecones with ribbon.

Outdoors

Outdoors, you can attach decorations to the window itself, as well as the shutters or siding around the
window.

Ideas for outside window decorations include the following:

Fir Tree Branches

If you’re using a real tree this year, cut off a couple boughs and use them to decorate the bottom of the
window frame.

Include pinecones, ribbon, or ornaments to give the scene a little more color. This addition to your
decorations gives your home a cozy, old-timey feel.

Wreaths

Collect or make a couple of smaller wreaths and put them in your windows.

Decorate the wreaths with pinecones and ornaments to give them a little more pop. Hang them at different
heights to make them more dynamic.

Bundles of Ornaments

In addition to putting ornaments on boughs and wreaths, you can also make boughs and wreaths out of
nothing but ornaments.

You can even make other bundles of ornaments of various shapes and sizes. See what you can put together
and go for it.

Window Painting

Of course, when you’re talking about decorating your windows, you have to mention window painting.

Give the windows frosted edges or paint a whole Christmas scene. Make it elegant or make it fun. If you’re
having a particularly wet winter, you can do your window painting indoors.

Be the talk of the neighborhood this holiday season with your fun and one-of-a-kind Christmas window
decorations.

5 Home Improvement Projects to Complete Before Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and you can’t wait to carve pumpkins and hand out candy to delightful
ghosts and vampires.

But what’s this?

Your house already looks like it fell out of a classic horror film: broken windows, flickering lights, and
missing shingles. Although the look certainly suits the season, you don’t want to scare potential visitors
too soon.

If you want to invite happy haunters to your home, make sure you complete the following improvement
projects before All Hallows’ Eve.

1. Repair Cracked Windows

Broken glass poses a hazard to you, your family, and your guests. Furthermore, even the tiniest cracks
allow air to flow from your home, which means your heating and cooling system has to work harder to maintain
a comfortable temperature.

Hire a professional to replace any cracked panes or swap out old windows entirely. If you want to save on
your utilities every month, don’t forget to ask about energy-efficient window selections.

2. Oil Squeaky Doors

Do your doors creak and groan whenever you open them? Wear, tear, and settling may be the culprit.
Fortunately, you can usually fix a squeak with minimal effort. Simply tap a nail at the bottom of the hinge
to push the hinge pin up and out. Then lightly lubricate the pin with petroleum jelly and dab a little into
the pin slot. Replace the hinge pin, pull out the nail, and wipe off excess lubricant.

Have a different door problem? Perhaps your door mysteriously closes on its own, or you have a door that
sticks whenever you open it. In these cases, talk to a contractor about repairs or replacement options.

3. Wash Dirty Siding

Dirt, dust, and other debris build up on your siding and age your home’s appearance by several years. To
make your siding look like new again, use your garden hose to rinse away the outer layer of muck. For more
stubborn stains, dampen a wrap or soft-bristled brush with warm soap water and wipe each panel, starting from
bottom to top (to minimize streaking). Rinse often.

As you clean your siding, look out for dented vinyl or cracked wooden panels, since these tell-tale signs
allow water and condensation to collect inside your home. Have an expert replace these damaged sections as
needed.

4. Inspect for Faulty Wiring

Flickering lights not only look spooky-they also pose a safety hazard. When you frequently notice multiple
lights flicker at the same time, you can usually blame power arcing. Power arcing occurs when wire
connections sit close to each enough to each other that they generate an electrical current.But arcing also
creates heat, which increases the likelihood of a fire.

Talk to an electrician as soon as you notice multiple lights flickering at once. He or she will pinpoint
and fix the problem, as well as point out other electrical hazards such as a failing switch or abnormal power
load.

5. Replace Missing Shingles

If an early autumn storm ripped out a few of your shingles, don’t wait until you see the next dark cloud
to replace them. The longer your roof stays exposed to sun and bad weather, the greater the likelihood of
mold growth, rot, and leaks.

Fortunately, you can replace and refasten asphalt shingles with the right tools. To start, use a
screwdriver to take off shingles directly above the missing patch. Then position the replacement shingle onto
the bottom row so it overlaps the one directly beneath it. Make sure your shingle aligns with those on either
side before hammering it into place with a galvanized roofing nail.

Apply a little roofing cement to the nail hole, and then repeat the entire process. When you reach the
last shingle, use a utility knife to remove the nail strip, apply roofing cement to the underside of the
shingle, and then carefully place the shingle beneath the shingles on the row above.

If you don’t feel comfortable making the repairs yourself, feel free to hire a roofing contractor to do
the job for you.

 

Once you’ve made these five repairs, go wild with your Halloween decorations and enjoy a spooky good time.

Replacing Windows

Windows are not often the first things that come to mind when you are considering updates to your house. Typically, you may feel a need to update something that you interact with more often, such as a kitchen or bathroom sink, oven, or shower. Windows, however, play a large role in the value and energy efficiency of your home and should never be overlooked when considering updates or remodels to your house. Windows, much like your roof or siding, sometimes need repairs or replacing to maintain their function and efficiency.

There are some obvious warning signs that you are in need of replacement windows. The first, and most important, is a difficulty in opening or closing a window all the way. A window that does not close all the way will leak energy and may fail to lock, leaving your house open to break-ins. Windows that are difficult to open can end up being a fire hazard in rooms that don’t contain a door leading to the home’s exterior. Make sure all of the windows in your house can open and close smoothly, and can be locked tightly.

Perhaps one of the most obvious signs that you need a window repair or replacement is a draft blowing through your home. Not only does a draft indicate a major energy leak, but also a severely damaged or inefficient window. A draft in your house can signal a need for both replacement windows and replacement doors, so be sure to check both if your house is feeling windy. The draft can be caused by gaps in the window’s fixture or a damaged seal. One of the main purposes of owning a house is to protect us from the elements, and inefficient or broken windows diminish our home’s ability to do so.

If you have multi-pane windows and you notice condensation forming between them, you should consider replacement windows. The condensation occurs when the seals of your windows are failing. Because the seal is no long doing its job, moisture may enter and form condensation, indicating that the window is no longer effectively keeping out cold air. Often times you will notice a white film left behind by calcium deposits from condensation, another sign that the seal has failed. If you notice any of these signs, you should immediately replace the window as it is no longer effective at keeping out cold air.

If you feel that one or more of your windows is ugly, or doesn’t fit with how you want your house to look, that is a perfectly acceptable reason to go about looking into replacement windows. Sometimes people will replace their windows just because they don’t like the way that they open, or want a different style. There is nothing wrong with changing a component of your house just because you don’t like the way it looks or operates.

Replacing windows can be a big commitment in both time and money, but it is almost always a worthwhile investment. Windows that are drafty, not functional, or just plain ugly are not doing their job. Not only can bad windows cost you money, but they can also be a hazard; so be sure you take action immediately if you find yours are showing some of the aforementioned signals that they need to be repaired or replaced.

Updating Old Windows

Aside from the siding of your house, windows probably make the most drastic impact on how your home is viewed by others. Typically, a house in constructed with windows that match the house’s design and compliment its appearance. However, times change and so do houses. Over the years, you might have replaced the siding on your home, changed the style of paint, or made other renovations that have altered to overall “feel” of your exterior. In these cases, as well as a few others, you should consider choosing new windows for you home.

If your home is in a historical district, you may not be allowed to alter the size or overall appearance of your windows. However, older windows tend to leak air, not shut correctly, or be made out of energy inefficient types of glass. While you may not be allowed to change the overall appearance of your window to alter its historic integrity, you may be able to update the window to make it more friendly to your family, and your energy bills. By readjusting the frames the window sits in and updating its sash, as well as changing the type of window your are installing, you can save on energy bills while preserving the historic look and feel of the window. This will make both you and your neighborhood association happy.

A home that is not restricted by some of the more strict guidelines in a historical area has many more options when it comes to replacing windows. For example, you may actually move the location of your windows on your exterior or change the shape and/or size of the windows themselves. It is in these cases that you should consult a specialist to decide what types of windows best fit your exterior. It is also important that you make us of a professional when modifying the exterior of your house to prevent serious damage to your home.

Updating your exterior is not the only reason to replace your windows. As seen in this previous blog entry, there is a vast amount of options when picking which kind of window to use in order to help keep your energy costs low. You would be surpised by how much energy you save just by being able to lock your windows and have them able to shut tightly. So whether it’s for a cosmetic reason or just to replace the glass, there are many reasons to update your old windows, all of which are beneficial to both the appearance and energy costs of your home.

Spring is Coming! Get those windows sparkling!

If there’s one spring cleaning ritual that should never be skipped, it’s cleaning the windows.

All the elements from a long winter — snow, rain, wind — create a grimy film on your windows that actually make a room look darker because less natural light can pass through. On the inside, everything from kitchen grease to dust sticks to your windows.

And think about those spring breezes blowing through dusty window screens – letting dust pollute the air in your home. Windows won’t stay clean for long if your window screens are covered in dirt.

TOOLS & SUPPLIES
Dish detergent
A squeegee
An old towel
Vacuum cleaner
Paper towels
Non-linting microfiber cloths and a spray bottle

INSTRUCTIONS
Pick a cloudy day to wash your windows- sunlight makes the windows dry too quickly, leaving streaks. You actually don’t need to buy a special window or glass cleaner. The best solution is simply a couple of drops of a mild dish detergent, like Dawn, mixed with warm water. Dish detergent is effective at cutting grease, which makes it perfect for window cleaning. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and you’ll be ready to clean with your own homemade formula.

1. Open up your window, slide the screen and storm window out, and place them on an old towel.

2. Spray one side of your storm window with your cleaner. Wash the window with your microfiber cloth.

3. After washing, wipe down using a squeegee. Keep your squeegee clean between strokes by wiping off with a paper towel or rag. Repeat on the other side of the storm window.

4. Use the same process on the inside of your window – spray, wash, and squeegee. It’s best to alternate the direction of your strokes with the squeegee to reduce streaking. For example, move the squeegee vertically on the inside of the window and horizontally on the outside.

5. Next, you want to clean your window sill, which is likely quite dirty. Spray the sill with your cleaner and use paper towels or microfiber cloths to wipe clean.

6. Use your vacuum to suck up all the dirt and dust embedded in your window screen. Alternately, you can hose off your window screens in the yard, and let them air-dry in the sun.

7. Head outside to clean the outside of the window glass using the same method. You may need to add an extension pole to your squeegee.

8. Replace the screen and storm window.

Once you’ve freshly washed your windows, enjoy the big reward: windows that sparkle.

For more information on this topic, please visit the source of this article at http://www.diylife.com/2010/03/27/spring-maintenance-cleaning-windows

We serve West Florida &
Surrounding Areas

Morgan Exteriors, Inc. is a home remodeling company that services most of Tampa Bay Area. We are general contractors, however, we specialize in what we know and do best - Energy Efficient Replacement Windows, Doors, Solid-core Siding, Eaves and overhangs, and most exterior improvements.

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Morgan Exteriors

5122 W. Knox Street. Tampa, FL 33634

Tel: 813-931-4663 or 727-502-5300

Morgan Exteriors - Lutz Location

15915 N Florida Ave, Lutz, FL 33549

Morgan Exteriors - Orlando Location

1966 West New Hampshire St, Orlando, FL 32804

Tel: 407-730-7443