Every eight to ten years, the exterior of a home needs to be painted.  A house requires paint for a variety of reasons.  One reason can be aesthetics.  The old paint job is simply looking shabby, making the home look old, rundown and as if it is not being properly cared for.

But there is also another reason for painting: paint protects a home.  Wood and other materials need a coat of paint to protect them from the damaging aspects of the elements.  With regular and proper painting, a home can last for hundreds of years.

Painting a home is a big job that most homeowners would rather give to qualified professionals, but knowing how the process works can aid in the decision-making process.  The following outdoor painting tips are intended to make the homeowner’s job easier, smoother, and more long-lasting.

  1. Start by investing in top-quality equipment. This means spending the extra few cents for top-of-the-line paintrollerwhite-resized-600rollers and paint brushes.  Use high grade paint as well. Using high grade supplies and tools will result in a faster and better job. Remember, a workman is only as good as his tools.  A homeowner cannot expect to get superior results using inferior tools or supplies.
  2. Spring or fall are usually the best times of the year for outdoor painting. Do not paint if temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above 80 degrees. Try not to paint in high wind or in direct sunlight if possible. Too much direct sun can cause paint to dry too quickly, which can cause wrinkling and even cracking and flaking. If possible, plan paint jobs to “follow the shade.”
  3. Don’t skimp on time. Painting even a medium-size house is a huge undertaking – perhaps several weeks or even months. And keep in mind that the painting itself is actually less than half the job. Most of the homeowner’s time will be spent preparing the house to be painted. Preparation is the key.
  4. Wash the house. Use a power washer if possible, but the homeowner needs to take his or her time and cleanpowerwashing the house of all dirt, oil, grease, grime and mildew. This should include a detergent and hand scrubbing (using a nylon brush) of any stubborn areas. Plants should be protected from detergents and soaps by plastic drop-cloths.
  5. Repair areas that have become damaged in any way. If possible, discern the reason for the damage and solve the underlying problem, or the damage may simply repeat itself in a short time. Scrape and/or use a wire brush on any spots where old paint is flaking, blistering or peeling. A wire brush attachment for an electric drill can speed this process considerably. Sand areas that are peeling or flaking, getting down to raw wood whenever possible. As much old paint as possible, particularly lose old paint, must be removed before applying new paint.
  6. Lay in a supply of blue painter’s tape. This is the tape the homeowner applies to both certain parts of the woodwork as well as to the edges of windows and other areas on which the homeowner does not want the primary color of paint applied. When the blue tape is removed, following the final coat of the primary color, the area under the tape is paint-free and the special blue painter’s tape does not leave adhesive behind on the unpainted surfaces.While a homeowner may wish to choose an oil-based paint under some circumstances, most homeowners opt instead for a good grade latex paint. Latex protects as well as oil-based paints but latex paints go on smoother and easier and clean up with soap and water.
  7. Homeowners should always use the best quality paint that is consistent with their budget. The reason is swpaintcansimple. Lower-quality paints almost always take more coats to provide the same level of protection. The last thing a homeowner wants is for an undercoat to bleed through the final coat of a new color.
  8. Bleed through can be averted by painting a primer coat before apply the final color. A primer is a light-colored (often white) lesser-quality paint designed to cover the old color, at least primarily. It is acceptable for the old color to show through the primer to some extent, since the final paint will be applied over the primer coat.  Applying a primer coat requires the home to be prepped first and entails a large amount of work, time and expense.

However, applying a primer coat can be worth the time and the expense, especially when radically changing the color of a house and there is the possibility that the old paint will show through the new paint. It is less expensive to apply a coat of primer and then a coat of the more expensive paint, and it is also cost effective to put on one primer coat and two additional coats of more expensive paint as opposed to three coats of the more expensive paint.

As alluded to earlier, quality tools make all the difference. When painting a home’s exterior the homeowner should purchases the following, at a minimum:

  • Nylon/polyester brushes if using latex paint – natural bristle brushes if using oil-based paint. At a minimum, a homeowner should purchase a 4-inch brush and a 2-and-a-half-inch brush. Never dip a brush all the way into paint. Load a brush only half way with paint and then scrape the brush on the side of the paint can to remove excess paint before applying paint in a long, slow stroke. Practice will allow the homeowner to apply an even coat of paint without visible brush strokes.
  • Two different-sized rollers, one 7-inch roller and one 4-in roller should allow for the fast application of paint in any area. The smaller roller is often useful in applying paint to siding.
  • “Cutting in” refers to using a paint brush to paint an area about 4-inches wide around corners and anywhere a roller cannot paint. Only cut in a relatively small area before covering the rest of an area with a roller as it is best to roller over cut-in paint that is still wet.

These basic tips help to give a sense of all that is required to repaint the exterior of a home. Homeowners who AndersenExterior-04-075-resized-600decide that painting a home is beyond their skill level, or for homeowners who simply wish to have a professional do the job, the qualified staff at United Home Experts have years of experience. They can paint a home quickly and they clean up after themselves completely, do everything quickly and also provide a written guarantee.

Repainting a home not only enhances the home’s appearance and increases its value, a new-looking home also gives a homeowner a sense of pride of ownership which few other things in this world can match.

First-time homeowners should not attempt to paint the exterior of their homes by themselves. For more detailed information and free estimates, contact the United Home Experts. For our main painting page,click here!

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Is It Time to Repaint the Outside of The House?

The outside of a home is one of the first things guests see when they come for a visit, and it might be the only part of the home that people passing on the street might see. As they say, first impressions are everything, so homeowners will most certainly want to make sure that their homes look their best from the outside.

Repainting outdoors can have a very dramatic effect on a home’s curb appeal. Many people live in a house for years without ever refreshing the paint on the outside – either because they don’t think it needs it, or because they don’t know the best way to go about it. The fact is, though, that there are some times when the outside of a house really needs to be repainted.

If the exterior paint is stained, chipped or fading, paint repair is definitely in order. Exterior paint damage can lead 2to further damage to the home’s wood structure, and even internal damage to the home itself. Faulty paint can ultimately lead to a number of more serious issues for homeowners. Anyone who is unsure of whether the outside of their house needs to be repainted or not should consult with the professionals at United Home Experts.

Tips for Repainting the Home’s Exterior

After the decision is made to repaint the exterior of the home, the first thing many homeowners will want to do is pick a color for the exterior. Sherwin-Williams has a wide variety of outdoor paints that come in a number of different colors. All these color choices can be daunting for the inexperienced home remodeler. Again, a meeting with the United Home Experts should help any homeowner clarify their home’s needs.

Before repainting, the surface will need to be brushed free of dirt and debris, smoothed, and primed. In addition to paint colors, Sherwin-Williams has a good selection of exterior paint primers that can be tinted to match whatever shade is chosen for the job. Before priming is done, however, it will be necessary to remove any existing paint on the exterior surface of the house.

The homeowner will also need to make determinations regarding how they want to be apply the paint. Brushes are better for small detail work, while sprayers are obviously better for larger surfaces.  Rollers can also be useful for outdoor painting because they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are many more things that need to be taken into consideration before a repainting effort is made. Somepaintrollerwhite-resized-600 seasons of the year are better than others for painting outdoors. Fall, for example, is a great time for painting outside because the paint needs outside dry time to cure. Rain and humidity should be avoided at all costs. Also, there is the issue of whether or not the homeowner knows how to add aluminum wedges to improve air circulation to prevent moisture problems.

First-time homeowners should not attempt to paint the exterior of their homes by themselves. For more detailed information and free estimates, contact the United Home Experts. For our main painting page,click here!

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Is It Time to Repaint?

There is nothing quite as important to a home’s interior decorating scheme as indoor paint. Repainting a room can have a dramatic effect on the overall appearance and feel of a home. Many people live in a house for years without ever repainting indoors  –  either because they just don’t think it needs it, or because they don’t know the best way to do it.

When is the best time to repaint? It really depends on the individual and the situation. If interior paint is stained, chipped or fading, it is definitely time to consider a change. But what if the interior paint isn’t damaged in some way? How can the informed homeowner know when it is time (and when it is not) to repaint?

Quite simply, if the paint color on the walls is beginning to look dull or boring or (even worse) is getting on the PeelingPainthomeowner’s last nerve, this is a very good indication that a change in color is in order. If the home is going to put on the market in the very near future, a fresh coat of paint can enhance the presentation of the house and make it that much easier to sell. Basically, the decision for such a change in the event that no actual paint damage has occurred is up to the individual homeowner. Anyone who is unsure of whether they need to repaint their home would do well to consult with the professionals at United Home Experts.

How to Repaint

After the decision is made to repaint indoors, the first thing that will need to be decided upon is the color of the room or the section to be painted. Many people stick with either white or off-white because they become too nervous about painting their space a color they will end up hating. This is really an unnecessary worry because repainting is not a very difficult task. Again, speaking with the United Home Experts should put any fears to rest.

Paint texture should also be taken into consideration. For example, flat paints work best on ceilings where there is gallery01-resized-600not as much risk of staining and less gloss is desired. High gloss paints work best in children’s rooms and other high traffic areas because they are easier to clean and more stain-resistant. Sherwin-Williams has an amazing selection of paints of various styles in many different shades, and most of these can be custom made according to the homeowners’ desires.

Before repainting, the surface will need to be sanded, smoothed, and primed. Sherwin-Williams also has a variety of indoor primers that can be tinted to match whatever shade is chosen for the job.  The homeowner will also need to make determinations regarding how they want the paint to be applied. Brushes are better for small detail work, while rollers and sprayers are obviously better for larger surfaces.

There are several other things that need to be taken into consideration before a repainting effort is made. Some PaintPreparationseasons of the years are better than others. Also, homeowners will have to make determinations as to whether they want to remove furniture completely (if repainting whole rooms) or just shift it from one part of the room to another (if repainting only a section). These questions and many more can be answered by the United Home Experts. For our main painting page, click here!

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Successful roofing application requires that installers adhere to certain proper application methods. It is especially easy for inexperienced roofers and do-it-yourself homeowners to make certain roofing application mistakes simply because they are not aware of the various things that can go wrong. Here is a list of some of the most common mistakes and what can be done to avoid them, thus ensuring a successful roofing project.

Mistake: Not including the starter strip.

Problem: This does not provide the proper shingle application base.

Fix: Apply starter shingles at the rake, continuing along the eaves. The starter shingles should be cut to match the existing first course’s exposure. For new construction shingles, this means a measurement of nine inches. Three-tab repair shingles should measure five inches. Then about six inches off the length of the first shingle should be trimmed to stagger the shingles out from the first full course.

Mistake: Not ensuring that the shingles overhang at the eaves.

Problem: This could contribute to roof blow-off.

Fix: Make sure that the shingles overhang the eaves and rakes by at least one-half of an inch. There should be a spacing of about one-sixteenth of an inch between the shingles. Finish nailing three inches above the eaves, using the proper number of nails according to the geographic wind zone.

Mistake: Not properly aligning the shingles.

Problem: This is not at all aesthetically pleasing.

Fix: Vertical and horizontal shingle alignment will be required. This is best done in new shingle applications by using the chalk line. In repair application, the new shingles should be aligned with the shingles that are already in place. Horizontal chalk lines should be set every 10 inches from the bottom of the first course up. Vertical chalk lines should be set every 36 inches from the roof ridge to each shingle’s end, along the first course.

Mistake: Not properly nailing the shingles.

Problem: This could potentially lead to roof blow-off.

Fix: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in installing the proper number of shingles for the specific geographic wind zone. Four nails will be required in typical applications of three-tab shingles, but six nails will be required in areas where the wind velocity gets very high.

Placement of the nails is as important as the number of nails being used. Look at the manufacturer’s required placement areas to assess proper placement of the roofing nails. Drive the nails straight into the deck, never nailing from an angle if at all possible.

Know what nail length is needed before roofing application is attempted. Nails should penetrate the deck by at least three-quarters of an inch. Standard roofing nails with barbed shanks are typically 11-gauge or 12-gauge and have heads with diameters anywhere between three-eighths and seven-sixteenths of an inch.

Mistake: Using asphalt-based cements for shingle repair.

Problem: Use of incompatible materials contributes to further shingle damage.

Fix: Apply asphalt-based cement only on the underside of shingles. Damaged shingles with evidence of curling, cracking, opening, or splitting should all be replaced with brand new shingles.

This brief list represents just a few of the things that can go wrong in roofing application. Before attempting anything of this nature on their own, homeowners should consult with the professionals at United Home Experts, who can provide much needed information and advice about the best ways to repair and/or replace a roof and provide free estimates on complete roof replacement.

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Choosing from among all the different types and styles of windows available and cutting through the clutter of conflicting “facts” from each manufacturer is an almost impossible job. And there is no reason for the homeowner to walk this minefield alone. Talk to the experts at United Home Experts. They know everything there is to know about windows, and they install virtually every type of window there is, so their recommendations can be based solely on what is best for the homeowner and not on where their next commission check is coming from.

The Advantages of Vinyl-Framed Windows

Vinyl windows can be ordered to fit the exact size of a home’s window openings. This can be especially Vinyl9500-Series_Room-Scene_Interior_4advantageous on older homes which may have odd-sized openings. By purchasing windows that are made to fit a home’s current openings exactly, vinyl windows can be installed quickly and easily with little or no damage to the surrounding siding. Naturally, there may be a modest additional charge for custom sizes, but even with the additional charge, vinyl windows can still be less costly than many other alternatives.

Vinyl is not affected by salt spray or most air-born contaminants. Homes near the ocean, which are subject to almost continual salt spray, have discovered that vinyl does not rust, absorb moisture and swell or cause any of the other problems which other window frames are subject to under similar conditions. Vinyl is also unaffected by air pollution, even in heavily industrialized areas, which is something many other frames cannot boast of.

The Disadvantages of Vinyl-Framed Windows

Vinyl windows cannot be painted. While the fact that vinyl windows come with the color imbued into the vinylshingle-siding itself can be an advantage, if the color is not quite right or if the homeowner wants to change the color of the house in the future, the vinyl window frames do not accept paint well, and this may detract from the overall appearance of a home.

If the vinyl frame is not held together by screws then it is welded. Unfortunately, welding can cause as many problems as using screws. Poor welding can result in drainage problems which are not readily apparent and welds can also allow for air leakage, which negates most of the window’s insulating properties.

Choosing the type and style of window that is right for a particular home and fits into the homeowner’s pocketbook can be a real challenge. After all, a homeowner has several different window frames to choose from and each manufacturer is making confusing and competing claims to grab the homeowner’s cash. Hopefully, the information in this article will equip the homeowner with at least some ammunition in the hunt for the perfect window.

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Energy-efficient windows save the homeowner money on utility costs each and every month. On the surface that sounds like a wonderful thing and in many cases, it is. But everything comes at a price, so what exactly are the pros and cons of energy efficient windows?

Windows have changed a great deal in just the past ten years. Today’s energy windows are almost invisibly sprayed with a metallic coating that reflects more than half of the sun’s harmful UV rays back into the outdoors while allowing almost 100% of the sun’s natural light to shine through. A room supplied with UV-protected windows is not the gloomy place it was just a few years ago.

Advantages of Energy-Saving Windows

Windows used to be energy sinkholes, robbing a room of its warmth and causing utility bills to soar. Fortunately, CasementPushoutthat is not true any longer. An energy efficient window consists of two or more panes of specially treated glass with a layer of an inert gas, such as argon, trapped between the panes. Argon does not transfer heat well and so acts as an energy “blanket” between the sheets of glass, preventing the room’s warmth from escaping through the window.

But there is a lot more to an efficient window than simply an argon heat barrier. As previously alluded to, energy-efficient window glass is specially treated with a thin film of metallic particles which are designed to reflect away the sun’s UV rays while at the same time trapping the heat that is in a room and reflecting it back into the home. The result is an immediate saving on utility bills for the homeowner, but more than that, the view through an energy efficient double-paned window is virtually as clear and unobstructed as the view through an untreated single-pane window.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (the NFRC) rates windows for their insulating properties, their visual transmittance (how easily they can be seen through), their solar gain coefficient (how well they protect a room from the sun’s heat and UV rays) and air leakage around the edges of the windows. Homeowners should pay special attention to NFRC ratings and should look for the Energy Star ratings that are based on the homeowner’s region of the country.

If windows are 20 years old or older, if the windows have begun to leak, or if the homeowner is simply tired of paying utility bills that seem too high, the homeowner should look into replacing them with new energy efficient windows.

The new energy-efficient glass is more expensive than old-fashioned standard windows. However, the initial cost should not be the only factor when deciding on new windows. The window experts at United Home Experts, for example, can help a homeowner calculate the energy savings that can be expected with new windows. By calculating the energy saved each month, these experts can help the homeowner determine how much money will be saved each month on utility costs. In this way, the homeowner can see exactly how long it will take for the new windows to pay for themselves and how much extra money the homeowner can enjoy each month. The homeowner should also keep in mind that as energy prices rise in the future, their savings will also increase with time.

One final advantage to double-paned windows is outside noise reduction. Homeowners who replace single pane windows with double paned windows, especially windows with a high Energy Star rating, report that street noise is reduced considerably, making for an overall more comfortable living environment.

Disadvantages of Energy-Saving Windows

Probably the biggest drawback to energy windows is the initial cost. Many homeowners, especially if they are andersenbathroom-resized-600planning to replace a number of windows, might see costs of 10% to 15% more for double-paned energy windows as opposed to double paned non-energy efficient windows. For a home with several windows, the added cost can increase the bottom line quite a lot.

Double-paned windows are heavier than single paned windows, and for some homeowners that might be a drawback.

Also, in order to see any significant energy savings each month, a homeowner must replace all older windows with the new, higher-priced energy windows at the same time. No appreciable savings will result from simply replacing one old, leaky window with a new high-efficiency window while leaving all the others in place. However, replacing all the windows at the same time can be a large job and can also be expensive.

It is also necessary for homeowners to be quality-conscious when buying high-efficiency windows. Off brands or cut-rate windows may not be properly sealed and can cause more problems than they solve. Poorly insulated double-paned windows can allow condensation to form between the windowpanes, indicating that the windows are not doing their job properly. Saving money up-front by buying lower-priced windows may not result in the energy savings that the homeowner had planned on. This situation can be eliminated by only dealing with reputable companies such as United Home Experts, who have years of experience installing high-efficiency windows in the Northeast, and who only sell quality windows.

To sum up, the advantage of high-efficiency windows is a reduction in harmful UV radiation entering the home marvinwindows-resized-600from the outside while at the same time reflecting the heat inside the home back into the home. This results in substantially lower monthly utility bills. Modern high-efficiency windows are also virtually clear, affording almost perfect views, as opposed to the film-coated windows of only a few years ago.

The disadvantages are a higher initial cost (although high-efficiency windows generally pay for themselves within three to four years through lower monthly utility bills) and the fact that in order to get any real monthly savings all the windows in a home must be replaced at the same time.

The experts at United Home Experts have helped out many families pick and choose the right window for their homes while saving them on the utility bills. The team at United are certified window installers by major brand manufacturers and our members have over 20 years of experience of installing windows, so you can count on us.

A casement window, or casement, is affixed to a frame at the side by one hinge or multiple hinges. They differ from awning windows, which have top hinges, and from hoppers, which have bottom hinges. This type of window can either be used by itself or as part of a pair within the same frame. What are the casement window pros and cons? Read on to find out.

Pros

Ventilation

These windows offer the best ventilation of any other window type. Since they open outward, they can catch fresh 13air, side breezes, and light more easily than other window types. While open, the standard casement window is 100% open to the outside, except in the case of a pair of casement flanking windows on either side of a fixed picture window.

Energy Efficiency

When these windows are closed, they are the most energy-efficient of all window types. Because the casement window sash is movable, it is able to fasten very securely to the weather-stripping when in a locked position; thus, very little outside air can get in. This type of window is especially good to have in a very windy climate.

Ease of Washing

Because of its design, this type of window is usually a very good choice for hard to reach places. This is why it is so often found over kitchen sinks. Because they are cranked open instead of being slid up and down, casement windows are easier to open and close, and this also makes it easier to wash them.

Most of today’s better-constructed casements pivot on their hinges as they open, moving the entire sash away from the hinge side of the window frame. This provides a space to reach through to wash the outside of the window while still being able to stand inside the house.

Brand Quality

There are major power players in this industry, including Marvin, Simonton, Pella, and Andersen. There are many quality window manufacturers, but our caution is to evaluate each brand because quality varies with pricing and brand. We can walk through the best recommendations with tailored estimates with different window brands and pricing.

Cons

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Easier to Break Into

 

Casement hardware and hinges should be checked thoroughly before installation, and they should be checked periodically to make sure they are maintaining their stability. This type of window is usually very difficult to break into even if they are locked, but as they age and their hardware becomes rusty or faulty, they become an easy target for burglars. Consult with the professionals at United Home Experts, and they will send a contractor out to inspect older casements and make recommendations as needed.

More Expensive

This type of window is can be more expensive than other types of windows. If casement windows are desired, a quality window is a must. Because of the weight added by multiple glazed sashes, both the hardware and structure of the casement window selected need to be top-notch.

Size Limitations

There is a reason for never seeing large casements. There are limitations, when it comes to size, even given the best hardware and construction techniques. The consultants at United Home Experts can give customers a much better idea of the maximum sizes available.

There are many reasons to invest in casement windows for the home, but there are also some major disadvantages to using them. Discussing these and other issues with a qualified professional like the ones at United Home Experts will help savvy homeowners made an informed decision.

ENERGY = MONEY

Almost every homeowner is concerned these days with energy efficiency. The reason for such concern has to do with saving money. Energy efficiency translates into savings on utility bills each and every month. Over the course of a year even small monthly savings can add up to a fair amount of money saved.

One way that homeowners can save on utilities each month is to make certain that their windows are energy efficient.

HOW ARE DATED WINDOWS COSTING ME?

Old-fashioned windows that allowed heat and air conditioning to escape quickly and easily are now a thing of the past. Today’s highly energy efficient windows are nothing like the windows of even twenty years ago. With older-style windows, a home could lose as much as 30% of its energy costs through its single-pane windows. In fact, windows used to be considered thermal holes, but no more. Today’s windows are closer to being thermal blankets than they are to being thermal holes.

HOW EXACTLY DO THESE WINDOWS WORK?

How energy efficient windows work is not difficult to understand. Nor is it difficult to compute just how much the average homeowner can expect to save on utility bills each month.

High-efficiency windows consist of two or more panes of glass with an inert gas, generally argon, filling the space between the panes. This inert gas does not conduct either heat or cold well, thus providing an excellent thermal barrier. But that is not the only way an energy efficient window prevents heat from escaping a home.

HOW HEAT IS LOST BY CONVENTIONAL WINDOWS

  • When heat is lost by simply passing straight through an object and then escaping onto the other side of an object 10(such as heat passing through a single-pane window glass), this is known as conductivity.
  • Heat can also escape in other ways. It can pass through glass directly as infrared energy this is known as radiation.
  • It can also be lost through convection. When the warm air inside a home touches a cold pane of glass, the warm air gives up its energy, sinks to the floor and pulls more warm air against the cold glass, causing drafts.
  • The final way in which heat escapes is through poorly insulated areas as simple air leakage.

HOW DO I CALCULATE MY SAVINGS?

The speed with which heat dissipates has a U value. The lower the U rating, the better a material blocks the dissipation of heat. Insulation has an R rating. The higher the R-value, the better a material insulates.

Energy efficient windows sometimes have both an insulation rating (an R rating) and a U rating to indicate how quickly heat passes through the window. What the homeowner is looking for is a window with the highest R rating and the lowest U rating that is affordable. Many windows only have an R rating. Remember, the higher the R-value, the better.

INSTALLATION COST VS. MONTHLY SAVINGS

Highly energy-efficient windows have a higher initial cost than normal windows, but initial cost is not the whole story.

Depending on weather conditions, high-efficiency windows can save the homeowner a quarter of their cost or even more in energy savings each year, meaning that high-efficiency windows can pay for themselves in four years or even less, and each year after that they are putting money into the homeowner’s pocket through utility savings.

With only a little maintenance, high-efficiency windows can last for fifteen to twenty years, or even longer, meaning that over their lifetime they pay for themselves over and over in energy savings.

Plus, as the price of energy continues to go up, the monthly savings grow even higher.

THE VARIOUS ELEMENTS OF ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS

So how exactly does a high-efficiency window keep the sun’s heat out and keep the heat from the house in? Part of it has to do with the double panes and the argon gas as described earlier. However, a very large part of the “secret” of high efficiency windows is in the glass itself. There is an almost invisible coating on the high-efficiency glass. The coating contains tiny particles of metal, which reflect the sun’s damaging UV rays back outside the window to keep a home cool in the summer, and which also bounce the heat inside the home back into the interior of the house keeping the house snugly warm in the winter.

LOW-E WINDOWS

These windows, often called Low-E windows, in effect have an almost invisible mirror built into them that holds the home’s heat in and keeps the sun’s UV heat out.

An even higher R-value window has triple panes of glass, and two hollow chambers filled with argon gas. The 11primary problem with this type of window is the weight. Three panes of glass in a single window are heavy as well as bulky and require extra time and cost to mount properly. Such windows do, however, save a considerable amount of energy and so save the homeowner money on utility bills each and every month.

Possibly a better window yet has a sheet of a suspended film hung between two panes of coated glass. The suspended clear sheet is also coated with reflective metal particles just like the glass, but the suspended sheet is much lighter and slightly more transparent, allowing a clearer view than a heavier three-pane window while providing virtually the same high R-value of insulation. Suspended film windows are both lighter in weight and less costly.

The last element in energy-efficient windows are the low conductivity spacers mounted all the way around the edge of each piece of glass. The edges of glass represent the area most susceptible to the transfer of heat, but modern windows have placed low-conductivity spaces in this area to totally minimize the conduction of heat around the edges of the glass.

Thus an entire window system is created with one goal and only one goal: to keep harmful UV radiation out and to keep the good, clean heat of the building from escaping to the outside.

 

THE RESULTS OF ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS

The result is a warm, comfortable living environment with utility costs kept to an absolute minimum. Homeowners considering replacing existing windows would do well to consider energy efficient windows and the long-term savings that they represent.

Those in the Northeast who are seriously looking at the monthly savings that high-efficiency windows provide should talk to the window experts at United Home Experts. The highly trained installers at UHE have years of training and real-world experience in installing high-efficiency windows and they can answer any questions that a homeowner may have including calculating how long it will take for the high-efficiency windows to pay for themselves in monthly utility savings.

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Homeowners today have more window choices than ever before and each manufacturer has convincing arguments that their particular type of window frame is the best. This article makes no attempt to sell the homeowner on a particular type of window; the only goal is to provide the homeowner with unbiased information regarding the pros and cons of wood windows so the homeowner is better equipped to make an informed decision.

Deciding what is right for a particular home remodel can be exceptionally difficult, especially when it comes to replacing windows. Homeowners who are conflicted should talk to someone who knows windows inside and out, such as the window experts at United Home Experts. We install virtually every type of window imaginable, which means our recommendations can be based solely on what is right for a particular home and for a particular budget and not on which product they are expected to push.

There are vinyl windows, steel-framed windows, clad wood, composite, aluminum, and fiberglass windows as well as genuine wood. A lot of choices; a lot of pros and cons to weigh and consider.

The Advantages of Wood-Framed Windows

For many people, especially those in older, more traditional homes, there really is no choice other than real wood-5framed windows. There are several advantages, as well as drawbacks, to genuine wood.

Genuine wood has a look and a feel to it that nothing else can match. Wood is classic; wood is solid; wood is the real deal. Virtually all other window frames attempt to mimic the look of wood. Why settle for cheap imitations when the real thing is available?

Genuine wood frames help to insulate a home far better than almost any other kind of window. Real wood provides 400 times more insulation than steel window frames and 1,800 times as much as aluminum-frame windows. The additional insulation that real wood provides can help keep a home warm in the winter and cool in the summer and can save the homeowner on utility bills all year round. Wood-framed windows also provide an excellent barrier to outdoor sounds”much more so than virtually any other frame.

Wood frames are also easy to install so long as the installer has basic tools and carpentry skills. A homeowner can guarantee that wood windows will be properly installed by employing the services of a true professional from United Home Experts. The skilled technicians at United Home Experts have years of experience installing wood-frame windows and provide a guarantee with each installation.

For the homeowner attempting to go “green,” genuine wood window frames are as environmentally sound as it is 6possible to be. Wood is the very definition of eco-friendly. Trees are a renewable resource, and wood window frames need never end up in a landfill but even if they do, they naturally break down into compounds that are beneficial to the soil.

Wood, if given care, will last a lifetime. The same cannot really be said of most other types of frames. Also, unlike metal frames, wooden frames are not prone to rust – a decided plus in many locations.

It should be noted that it is also possible to purchase wood-clad window frames. These are wooden frames that are covered on the outside with vinyl or even aluminum. The advantage to wood-clad frames is that the outside of the window is protected from the elements while the inside retains the look, feel and insulating properties of genuine wood.

As far as aesthetics are concerned, wood wins hands-down if the homeowner chooses to paint. While some other types of frames may accept paint, wood embraces any color a homeowner chooses to apply. Wood not only welcomes paint, it virtually demands it. Wood also enhances the value of most homes. The reason most other types of frames attempt to look like wood is that the majority of homeowners prefer wood, and genuine wood window frames almost always demand a premium whenever a home is sold.

The Disadvantages of Wood Frames

The need for paint is one of the disadvantages of genuine wood frames. Wood was once a living substance, and if 7left untreated it can rot or warp and will begin to look old. Wood frames which have not been properly cared for can twist slightly or can swell with moisture, making it difficult (if not impossible) to raise or lower the window. Homes near the ocean, which are subject to salt combined with moist air, are especially vulnerable; wood-frame windows in these homes will need more attention than those in many other areas of the country.

Wood is also vulnerable to insects, especially (but not limited to) termites. Of course, if the home is sided with wood then the tiny extra amount of wood in a wood-framed window makes little difference. Keeping the frame properly painted will ward off insects.

Another disadvantage can be “cost”. Wood frames generally have a higher initial cost than vinyl or steel frames. Keep in mind, however, that wood frames can last far longer than most other frames if properly maintained, and wood never rusts. Many homeowners also feel that the rich, solid, traditional appearance of genuine wood more than makes up for its initial cost difference.

All of this presupposes that the supplier of the wood frames has provided the homeowner with good quality wood 8to begin with. Wood should be free of knots and warping and should have the outward appearance of being in perfect condition. Homeowners can be assured of excellent quality if they deal solely with companies that have an excellent reputation and which are known locally.

In most cases having choices is good, but when it comes to choosing the right windows for a home remodel, the sheer number of choices can become overwhelming. The trick is to seek professional help and advice. The professionals at United Home Experts know windows and they genuinely care about the looks of a home as well as the homeowner’s wallet. Ask for help from the professionals, because choosing the right windows is a decision that most homeowners have to live with for many years.

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Sun, rain, snow, and ice. Everyone knows that these adverse weather conditions can cause damage to human skin. That’s why there are things available to protect against these things, such as sunscreen, umbrellas, winter coats, and gloves. What most people may not realize, however, is that they need to protect the outsides of their homes from these weather conditions, just as they would need to protect themselves if they were going outside.

Think of it this way. Humans expose themselves to weather conditions for a certain amount of time before they go inside to get out of the cold, heat, or dampness. The exteriors of their homes do not have this luxury. Day in and day out, homes that are treated with exterior paint face the harsh realities of unpredictable weather. For this reason, it is necessary for homeowners to check the condition of their outside paint at least once a year. Chipped, cracking, or peeling paint exposes the wood to the elements as well, and this can cause serious damage to a home’s structure.

One of the things to look for is fading paint. Are there areas where the exterior paint is lighter than it is in other places? These lighter segments are the trouble spots. Paint fade is an indication that the wood is not being protected.

Also, look for signs of 2something called “alligatoring.” This is what happens when the paint starts puckering, wrinkling, and overall just looking like the skin on an alligator. This is a sign that water is getting through and penetrating the surface of the paint.  When this is discovered, it’s important to repaint immediately to avoid any further damage.

In selecting a paint to use for exterior paint protection and repair, it is important to make the choice with an eye toward paint protection. First, it will be necessary to pressure wash any areas to be painted in order to get rid of all the damaged
paint and debris. Complete this step a few days in advance to give the wood enough time to dry.

Next, the wood will need to be primed. Sherwin-Williams Wood Primer is highly recommended, in either the oil-based or latex versions. The oil-based primer is better for areas that are prone to staining. The latex version is best for wetter areas, where mildew is a concern. Either type of primer can be tinted to match the color of the paint to be used.

After the primer is applied, it is time to paint. Two coats of very high quality latex paint like Sherwin-Williams’ A-3100(R) Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint should be used. This kind of paint is affected less by the sun’s ultraviolet rays than are other types of paint.  It also adheres well to all wood surfaces and is less likely to experience blistering or puckering in wet conditions. It is a flexible, mildew-resistant paint that expands and contracts in relation to temperature changes to prevent paint cracking and peeling.

As soon as the first signs of fading paint and cracked surfaces appear, contact the professionals at United Home Experts. They carry a wide selection of paints and can give you more detailed advice on selecting the best paint protection for your home.