What to Consider When Buying New Windows

home window install

Your decision of installation of new windows or replacing the old ones requires evaluation of certain factors before you just invest your money in them. This is similar to installing a new roof. The benefits offered by new windows are certainly innumerable and thus it is necessary that you know what you should expect to receive for your money! Here are some of the key features and styles that you should consider when shopping for new set of windows.

Smooth Operation & Low Maintenance:

One of the basic requirements for any new set of windows is that they should be smooth in operation and user friendly. This means that it should be easy to lift, swing and slide them easily when you want some ventilation. You should evaluate repair and maintenance options as well because new windows are expensive and hence you might not want to invest in something which invites heavy repair and maintenance in long run. Painted windows are not a good option and thus you should go for aluminum or vinyl coated windows for instance.

Comfortable Factor:

You might be wondering what is to do with comfortable factor for windows! But windows too need to fit comfortably in the environment of your home. Windows with single pane fail to provide the relevant amount of cosiness in chilly and cold weather whereas windows with double pane help in reducing the chill of cold glass and direct sunlight in summers. They also help in reducing condensation, heat preservation; visible transmittance which means you can normalize the indoor humidity level and thus save on your energy bills too!

Professional Installation:

New windows are certainly not DIY. The best quality product would also not function as desired if it is not installed properly. Since the windows are customized according to the openings in walls, it is necessary that they are installed with precision and expertise. Hence when buying new windows, you should ensure that the seller is providing you professional installation service to ensure best performance of your newly installed windows!

Safety First:

The modernized designs and impressive styles may lure you to put up windows that are extended from floor to ceiling but before you invest in them, you should make sure that they will not cause any sort of safety hazard. Floor to ceiling windows which are single hung are not very safe to be kept open in summers and thus investing in double hung windows is preferable. You should make sure that your home will not become vulnerable to break-ins because of installation of any sort of new windows as safety is the primary factor for any resident!

Easy to Clean:

Last but not the least, you want to maintain the hygiene of your home and thus investing in those set of windows which are easy to clean is always preferable. Can you clean them regularly as part of your normal dusting process? Windows take a lot of abuse due to strong winds, storms, chilly weather, snow and rains and thus cleaning them is more of basic requirement rather than just a necessity.

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It’s Important to Practice Ladder Safety

ladder

Ladders are essential tools for every home and work environment. We use them for all types of indoor and outdoor projects, including pruning trees.

They help us to reach difficult points such as the top of the wall, attic and many other places to complete construction works.

Professionals recommend following few important safety tips for using ladders carefully. There is no doubt to say that ladders can cause lots of terrible accidents when not used properly so it is good to follow right instructions to use to them well.

The very first thing that you need to do is choose appropriate ladder while making a purchase. Prefer to pick the one that has great strength and can stay safe even from electric shocks.

While choosing your ladder, prefer to check the duty rating of your ladder and it must be specified well in terms of user weight as well as materials.

Choose the ladder with right capacity to handle your construction work or home needs. Note that failure to purchase the right product may cause huge damage in future, it can lead to serious injuries and even to death.

Start with the ladder inspection tips to start a safe use:

  • Prefer to check the ladder every time before your climb on it. Go through the bent, damages and broken elements and ensure that it is in good working condition.
  • Take a look at all joints, buts, bolts, and rivets as well as to the steps and rungs so that complete safety can be ensured. Never forget to check rung locks, pulley and spreaders.
  • It is always important to keep your ladder clean and free from snow, mud, oil, grease and wet paint. Also, ensure that your shoes are clean before you climb up. It is not good to use shoes with leather soles to climb up on a ladder.
  • Never ever try to make any temporary repair to the missing or broken parts, it could lead to accidents.
  • If the ladder is exposed to fire or chemical corrosion then it is good to destroy it.

When you need to climb up:

  • Never forget to read the instructions before each use to ensure that for what kind of person and material this ladder is designed. Duty rating and weight included in the current task must be cross-checked.
  • It is important to take help from another person while climbing up to ensure that ladder is placed well. Never use a ladder in the area where kids are playing, take them out first.
  • If your health conditions are not well then it is not good to climb on the ladder.
  • When you are drunk, never try to use a ladder because you may not be able to maintain balance on it.
  • Make efforts to maintain your body weight perfectly between rails of the ladder.

Storage safety tips:

  • Always prefer to place your ladder at a dry and safe place.
  • It must stay clean as well as safe from the attack of foreign particles.
  • Never ever store other materials on the ladder.
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Does Your Home Need a New Roof?

moss roof

One never really bothers about the roof above their heads. Unless it’s raining and a tiny stream of water drops down from the ceiling and ruins your life! For reasons that are beyond obvious, one might argue that roofs are the most important part of your house.

If not, what kept you safe the last time there was a hurricane? It is important to keep checking your roof and ensuring that it is in the best condition. Here are some signs that you may need a new roof soon.

SIGNS YOU NEED A NEW ROOF

Check on the Inside

If you are serious about checking the condition of your roof then the best idea would be to start from the inside. Grab a flashlight and go check your attic. If you see any signs of leakage, or any beams of light coming through the cracks in the ceiling then mate, it’s time to get a new roof.

Check the Shingles

Firstly, what are shingles? Shingles are basically roof coverings that are overlapping. They are typically rectangular and flat and are placed from the edge of the roof to the top, with each course overlapping the joints below. If your shingles are not flat against the roof and you see some cracks and other damages, then repair work may be in order. Also check for shingle granules. If a roof is losing too much shingle granule then it needs urgent repair.

Use the Flashing Technique

Roof flashing around skylights, vents and chimneys helps seal the seams of the roof which prevents damage because of the weather or the rain. It is important to examine these parameters in order to ensure that there are no breaks or cracks which could lead to leakage. While in older homes, roof cement and tar are used for flashing, it is advisable to shift to metal flashing for more durability.

Check for Rotting

A saggy, droopy roof is going to be your worst nightmare. Make sure you conduct timely check for rotting to avoid this. Check the surface of your roof for signs of rotting boards, trapped moisture and sagging spots. The lowest portions of your roof are most vulnerable to rotting so be sure to check them thoroughly.

Unwanted Plants

Now, moss looks amazing when it is decorating your garden but on a roof? Not so much. Moss, fungi and mould are indications that moisture is getting trapped on your roof. Moss generally tends to accumulate on the shaded parts of your roof. To remove it, use a stiff brush to gently brush it out. However, make sure that there aren’t any underlying problems like moisture getting trapped, as mentioned earlier.

The most important advise to keep in mind, though, is to not panic. Yes, a leaking roof is nothing short of a nightmare, but if you spot the signs early, then a solution is not too difficult to find. If your roof is less than 15-20 years old then you might not even need a full replacement. A mere fixing job will do the trick. But, if your roof shows most, or all of the signs above, then if it is definitely time to get your roof replaced.

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Laminate vs. Hardwood Floors

hardwood floor

You have torn out your old carpet and now you need to choose your new floor type. Will you install new carpet or consider a hard surface like tile or laminate or hardwood floors?

The choice between laminate and hardwood floors use to be easy. If you could afford them, you would purchase hardwood floors. If you couldn’t afford them, you would purchase laminate floors. But with recent improvements to the construction, style and performance of laminate floors, the choice is no longer as obvious.

Here are some of the differences between laminate and hardwood floors:

CONSTRUCTION

Laminate wood is fiberboard. Fiberboard is very thin and nowhere near as durable as real hardwood. The laminate then has paint or acrylic to create the appearance of wood and then another protective sealant over that layer.

Hardwood floor is, well… it’s hardwood. It is extremely durable and very high-quality.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 0

INSTALLATION

This one is a win for laminate floors. You can install laminate floors in your home fairly easily. Laminate floor often can be snapped together. Hardwood floor requires professionals or renting various equipment you won’t have on hand at your home. In almost all aspects, hardwood floor will cost more than laminate floor.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 1

COST

Like we mentioned above, cost favors laminate. You can buy a quality piece of laminate flooring for around $3 per square feet whereas hardwood floor can cost upwards of $5 per square feet depending on the type of wood you choose. If you do purchase laminate, don’t skimp too much on the quality and construction to save money. You should still invest the $3 per square foot.

Hardwood Floors: 1

Laminate Floors: 2

DURABILITY

You should expect a decent laminate floor to last for around 10 years. Laminate will deteriorate from scratches, UV rays, water and several other factors. Hardwood floor is extremely durable and can last your entire lifetime if you care for it properly.

Hardwood Floors: 2

Laminate Floors: 2

RESTORATION

You cannot sand or repair laminate floor. If a piece of laminate floor is damaged it must be replaced. You can refinish hardwood floor several times to renew its color and polish. This is another benefit related to the durability of hardwood floor.

Hardwood Floors: 3

Laminate Floors: 2

RESALE VALUE

Laminate has improved over the years but there is no denying that real hardwood floors will increase the chance of selling your home for a price you desire. Hardwood floor is an excellent long-term investment in this regard.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 2

APPEARANCE

Hardwood floor used to be a clear winner here but laminate has improved to the point where a high-quality laminate floor will look very similar to hardwood. Hardwood floor still has the better appearance but due to the low-cost of laminate, we will call this a tie.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 2

PETS

If you live with pets, we recommend laminate floor. The synthetic wear layer over the top protects against claws and scratches whereas hardwood floor does not have a protective layer over it.

Hardwood Floors: 4

Laminate Floors: 3

You can see that overall we still prefer hardwood floor vs laminate but the gap is much less than it used to be and if you don’t see a noticeable difference between laminate and hardwood floor you could consider it a tie, but for now, if you are installing new floor today, we would recommend hardwood floor.

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Tree Pruning Tips

tree pruning

Home repair and maintenance is more than just caring for the interior of your home or completing large bathroom remodeling projects and other upgrades. There are several chores you must complete for the exterior of your home too, including landscaping and tree pruning.

There are two kinds of trees. There are evergreen trees and deciduous trees. Deciduous trees are the type that lose their leaves during the fall and winter months of the year. Evergreen trees retain their color the entire year. Our tree pruning tips are for deciduous trees.

Why Do You Need to Prune Trees?

Tree pruning and trimming trees is more than just getting rid of dead limbs and branches on the trees in your yard. The process also helps trees grow new, healthy branches in place of the dead limbs.

You want to trim the dead limbs for a few reasons. One of the reasons is because dead branches are not very pretty to look at. The other reason is that a dead branch on a tree could fall at any moment. You do not want the limb to fall and break something beneath it or fall onto you or someone in your family.

The more decayed and hollowed areas you notice on your tree and on its limbs, the greater chance that dead branches and limbs are about to fall off. Raised roots and soil are also an indication that the root structure of the tree is not healthy or strong.

You can trim them or cut them off prior to them falling and causing any damage.

Tree pruning helps with the health of the tree too. Dead branches are a burden for trees to lift up. Crossed branches and vertical branches are also detrimental to the health of a tree.

You will also notice sprouts and small trees that grow around the base of the stump. These plants steal nutrients away from the tree and should be cut down or trimmed as well. This can be done with a pair of handheld trimming shears.

Another reason for pruning your trees is to direct the growth of new branches. After you cut off a dead branch, a new branch will grow in a different direction. If done properly, this should lead to a stronger branch structure for your tree.

Pruning trees also helps them produce fresh fruit and flowers.

When Should You Trim Trees?

If the tree blossoms in the early spring, you should trim it in the summer after the flowers bloom. If the tree blossoms in the late spring, you should prune it in the fall or in the winter. If a tree does not blossom at all then it should be trained during the dormant winter months of the year.

Light trimming is OK in the summer months to ensure the trees look as beautiful as possible but this trimming is more for appearance than maintenance.

How to Prune Trees?

Always keep safety in mind during tree pruning. Be mindful of dead branches that could fall on you and do not trim trees near power lines. If your tree is near a power line you should call a professional tree removal service.

You will need a ladder to trim your trees. Do not climb higher than six feet off of the ground and do not use a chainsaw on a ladder. Learn more basic ladder safety tips.

You can use a hand saw for pruning trees but a pull saw is much safer. You can purchase a pull saw online or at your local hardware store.

If you are cutting down a long branch, do it in sections. Start far away from the tree and saw off the end, then work inwards toward the tree until the entire branch has been cut down.

You do not want to pull bark off the tree during the pruning process. To prevent bark from coming off, you should saw an inch or two into the bottom of the branch and then saw the remainder from the top of the branch. This will create a nice clean cut and not put any additional stress on the tree or its bark.

Be sure to cut down and out when sawing from the top of the branch. You can prune and direct the growth of branches by trimming terminal buds from the end of branches and clearing all smaller branches off the tree to give the main branches more strength.

You should not need to trim your tree more than one or two times each year. If you are not confident in our tree pruning tips you can hire a company to trim your trees for you each year.

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