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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

Top 10 Remodeling Projects that Pay Back the Most

Here are Remodeling Magazine’s top 10 remodeling projects that pay back the most. You’ll notice that these are not ambitious, vanity jobs. All are projects that replace worn or aged home components, bring parts of the home up-to-date or add living space without expanding the home’s footprint:

  1. Replacing exterior siding with upscale fiber cement. Siding pays back a whopping 78%, on average, of the $13,461 average cost. The most cost-effective thing you can do to your home this year is to replace old siding with new, higher-end fiber cement.
  2. Replacing an entry door with a midlevel 20-gauge steel door is an inexpensive upgrade at $1,238 on average, but it pays back 73% and greatly improves curb appeal.
  3. A midrange attic bedroom remodel involves popping out a dormer for a 5-by-7-foot bathroom with shower, insulating and finishing the walls and ceiling, adding four windows, extending the heating and air conditioning and improving wiring and lighting. The payback is 72.5% on the $50,148 expenditure. More living space is being sought as adult children are driven back to their parents’ homes by the shaky economy and as older parents join the households of their adult children. (The Census Bureau says 18% of American households are doubled up now, up from 17% in 2008.) An attic remodel is the cheapest way to add space and a bathroom within the house. A basement remodel is the next most cost-efficient way to add living space, although code requirements for headroom and exterior doors make that project more complicated and more expensive, Alfano says.
  4. A midrange minor kitchen remodel paid back 72.1% of the $19,588 investment. Included are new laminate countertops and new sink, faucets and appliances. The floor is untouched and cabinets are kept in place but refaced with new hardware added. “You’re taking what’s there and giving it a face lift,” Alfano says. “The kitchen really looks good and the average cost for this is under $20,000 – less than what a lot of people would pay for a car.” In today’s austere climate, kitchen and bath remodels are pale imitations of the lavish vanity projects from the housing boom. Most consumers are shunning the expensive spa baths and chef’s kitchens that involve moving electrical services, plumbing and walls.
  5. A midrange garage door replacement may not be high on many wish lists; it’s one of those jobs that you do because it’s needed. But it adds curb appeal and function, and it pays back 71.9%, on average, of the $1,512 average cost.
  6. A high-end garage door replacement recoups almost as much: 71.1% of the $2,994 average cost.
  7. A new wood deck earns back 70.1%, on average, of its $10,350 cost at resale this year.
  8. New foam-backed vinyl siding replacement keeps the house warm and pays back 69.6% of its $14,274 average cost. The average project involves 1,250 square feet of siding, including trim.
  9. New midrange replacement vinyl siding upgrades the look of the home and pays back 69.5% of the $11,729 average price.
  10. Upscale vinyl replacement windows have a 69.1% payback on the $14,328 cost. The project involves replacing 10 double-hung 3-by-5 windows. The new windows are low-emissivity glass and are insulated with simulated wood-grain trim.

For more information on this topic, visit the source of this article at: http://realestate.msn.com/10-remodeling-projects-that-pay-back-most

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