Beautifying the outside of your home is the way to add some curb appeal to your property as well as value. In fact, if you're ever looking to put your home on the market, a house with a lovely well-kept yard, great siding, and special touches is a home that potential buyers would be happy to call their own. Of course, very few homeowners have an endless budget, so here are five tips for beautifying the outside of your home without spending an arm and a leg!
1. Paint the Front Door and Trim
What better way to wake up your style and add interest to the outside of your home than with paint? Many homeowners are afraid to use bold colors when applying paint, but don't be! A bright red or blue door is a great way to complement any style while calling attention to the architectural features of your home.
2. Upgrade Your Mailbox
The mailbox in front of your house says a lot about your personality and your property. If you have a dilapidated mailbox that looks like it's about to fall over, it really doesn't send the right message about your home. Upgrading your mailbox is very affordable and there are plenty of designs that you can safely choose from. Make sure to check with your city and take their restrictions into consideration when making your choice.
3. Plant a Tree or Shrubs
Trees and shrubs are an instant way to add curb appeal to any piece of real estate. Of course, do proceed with caution and make sure to consider your climate, your soil, and how much time you can dedicate to caring for your lawn. A new sapling or some aptly placed shrubbery is all it takes for you to breathe some life into your home.
4. Replace Old House Numbers
House numbers aren't just the only way to identify your property, but also a way to add plenty of curb appeal. Crumbling and hard to read numbers won't be doing your property any favors, so make sure to replace them with something new and modern. Wooden or metal house numbers can complement pretty much any exterior design and will up the outside appeal of the home.
5. Add Window Boxes
Is your home drab without any color? You can instantly purchase or DIY your own window boxes to house plants or flowers that can enhance the look and feel of your house. Of course, you do need to care for the plants if they're to add curb appeal and not become an eyesore down the line. Make sure you're ready to care for plants before investing in them!
It's easy to beautify a home even on a tight budget, but you do have to use your imagination. There are so many things you can do in order to make your home relaxing and appealing to people in your neighborhood. Don't forget that great curb appeal can also add value and make it easier to sell your home.
The threat of hurricanes seems to be even more of a major concern these days. In the event that your town is projected to take the brunt of potential tropical storm damage, it's best to make sure that your home is as well prepared as possible to remain standing. You should still plan on evacuating elsewhere with your loved ones and pets of course, but you just might be able to come back home to an intact structure if you take the necessary precautions. Make sure to check for the following:
1 - Windows Safety
First of all, make sure that all of your windows have shutters installed. You can do this yourself of course, but the best possible course of action is to have high-grade units installed by professionals. If you can't afford that particular investment however, just make sure you do your research so you can guarantee any self-installed shutters are as structurally sound as possible.
Taping windows before a storm is a myth that can actually do more harm than good. When taped, window that are are can break in to larger more dangerous shards of glass.
Opening your windows a bit to stabilize pressure is also a myth that can add to the danger of a storm. Your home can breath just fine with the windows closed. Allowing large gusts of wind into the home will not help the situation and can cause further damage to the interior.
2 - The Roof
You should also take great care in securing you roof. Roofs are among the most highly damaged aspects of any home during a hurricane. You'll need to inspect the tiles and shingles so that you can nail down any that might be loose. You should also brace your gable ends and install hurricane straps if necessary. Finally, consider having a water barrier installed under the roof itself. A professional contractor can really work wonders in getting all of this done properly.
3 - Doors
Of course, you'll also need to make sure that your doors are adequately protected. If left vulnerable, any degree of hurricane or flying debris impact could damage or cave your doors in. It's hard to go wrong with the installation of shutters or impact windows.
4 - Trees And Shrubbery
You should also take a look around your yard to see if there are any tree limbs or shrubbery near your home that could become projectiles. Be sure to trim or remove anything that looks as if it could end up hitting your windows. reword to: hitting Ideally, you'll need to do this quite a bit ahead of the storm so that you can adequately do away with the debris.
5 - Other Precautions
Finally, you'll want to make sure that any new materials you use for the likes of coverings or shutters are in keeping with state regulations. This typically won't be a problem if you buy everything locally or work with a contractor.
With all of that in mind, you should have the basics for preparing your home for a hurricane down pat. If you're forced to stay in the area, be sure to gas up your vehicle beforehand and buy ample supplies such as bottled water and canned foods just in case. You'll want to make a safe area of your home
(i.e. the bathtub or a storm shelter) is readily accessible as well.
Having an air conditioning system at home is a must in South Florida, especially in the summer season. But what if you want to reduce your energy consumption by turning off your air conditioning on certain days, or at certain times of the day? Is there still a way to keep your home cool even when your air conditioning is not running? It might seem impossible to do this but yes, there's still a way for you to keep your home at a nice temperature. Here are some tips for keeping your home comfortable, even without AC.
Close Your Blinds
Keep the sun's rays from entering your home through windows by closing your blinds or your curtains. Yes, it might be a simple tip but it can make a difference in your house's temperature. According to experts, it can reduce your home's temperature up to 20 degrees. This is because 30% of the heat in your home comes from your house's windows. So remember to close that curtain from now on!
Tint Your Windows
Tinted windows can cut down on a lot of heat that’s transmitted through your windows and into your home. There are all kinds of tints you can use, including mirror-like reflective tints.
Plant Shade Trees & Shrubs
Hot roofs and walls transmit a ton of heat into a home. Strategically positioned shade trees and shrubs not only look great but can work wonders when it comes to keeping your roof and walls cool. They could even provide support for a hammock if you really want to relax and go native.
Open The Doors
While your blinds should be closed, your doors must be kept open if you want your house to have a cool temperature even without your air conditioner. The idea behind this tip is to allow air to freely go inside your home. Having fresh air in your home is also very refreshing! Having screen doors will come in handy for keeping bugs out.
Use A Fan!
Do you want to feel the cool breeze? Then this simple life hack is for you! Simply get an ice pack or anything cold and position it in front of your fan. This will allow the air coming from your fan to be mistier and extra-chilled. No need to go to the beach at night!
Use The Right Sheets
The cold season is over and now it's time to ditch your fleece blanket and flannel sheets for something more comfortable on summer seasons like cotton sheets and buckwheat pillows. Using the right kind of materials in the hot seasons will make you feel more comfortable when sleeping or relaxing in your bed. Changing your sheets will also make your room fresher and cozier!
Grill Your Food
Whether it's for an ordinary day or for special occasions, grilling your food in the summer is not only fun but will also help with your home's temperature. Using stoves or ovens on summer seasons makes your home feel hotter. Take out that grilling recipe book and your outdoor grilling equipment to make the best kinds of dishes without making your home hotter.
If you want your home to feel cooler every day not only in the summer so that you can always turn off the AC when you want to and still feel comfortable, then consider improving your home and your environment.
Turning off your air conditioning every once in a while will not only help you save energy but will also help the environment. Planting trees and shrubs is also a great thing to do that will help the planet. These tips might be simple, but they can help you greatly if used correctly.
Did you know that you can easily use nature as a way to keep your house much cooler during the summer months? Simply by adding in the right trees, shrubs and vines in strategic locations, you can get a much cooler effect and even cut down on some of your cooling costs.
Smart landscaping is going to be a whole lot more than just having a beautiful yard. It is also about finding the smartest and most efficient ways to make the most out of your landscaping choices to keep your house cool when the temperatures heat up. For example, trees are good for shading your roof from the hot sun in summer, while vines and shrubs are going to be nice for keeping your walls cool. Additionally, making sure that you shade your air conditioner could end up cutting back your energy costs by roughly 50%.
Beat the Build Up of Heat
In order to make the most of your energy efficient landscaping, you have to understand how heat gets exchanged in your home. The windows are going to take in the radiant heat from the sun. A roof, especially a dark one, will absorb the heat. Your windows, walls and any glass doors will bring in the hot temperatures from the outside via conduction, or infiltration. Energy efficient windows that are sealed correctly can have a big impact when it comes to saving you money on your electric bill. When you shade your property strategically using shrubs and trees, you are going to be able to slow down the heat exchange because they will help to cool the outer surfaces. The combination of efficient windows and shading will be a knock out punch to your electric bill.
Take a look at how the elements outdoors, like the shade, wind and sun are working with your home at different times throughout the day and throughout different seasons. The best kind of landscaping options to cool your home during the summer months could play double duty by helping to retain the heat in the winter months.
While you are checking out the parts of your home that are going to take on the hot sun in the afternoon, record the exact angle of the direct sunlight and which faces are receiving the reflected sunlight. Select plants and trees that will allow a cooling breeze at nighttime to enter into any of your open windows.
Plant your shorter trees and any taller shrubs along the west side of your home, as they will be able to deflect late afternoon sun from your walls. Think about adding ivy vines to the west or south wall of any stone or brick house, or try to train it to grow along vertical trellises all along the exterior of your building. You can also work on creating a natural awning by way of a horizontal trellis that is attached to a pair of vertical trellises to foster growth of the ivy or any flowering vines that will grow overhead and upward.
If you are unsure of what to plant and where, you can work with a professional landscape architect in your area that is familiar with energy efficient planting options and the climate that you currently live in. For questions about saving money with energy efficient windows or any window & door repair needs in West Palm Beach or Lake Worth, contact R C Windows & Doors today.
Home maintenance is a must if you want your property to retain or increase its value. A well-maintained home is one that is pleasing to the eye and one that can make the owner proud.
House maintenance does require a homeowner to have some skills and some basic tools like a screwdriver, pliers, hammer, a spanner or plumbing wrench and things like nails, tape, glue, and a tape measure. You also need to follow a proper schedule that allows you to treat each part of your home and give it the attention that it needs. You need not do everything in one day, but spread it out over a couple of weekends and follow a checklist that you scrupulously go through till you have gone through every item in it.
Plumbing is a very vital part of a home and you can start with ensuring that all drains are clear and have no blockages. Use drain cleaners regularly even in drains that do not show any blockage. Check all taps, faucets and all plumbing fittings and tighten them if you find leaks or replace washers where necessary. Make a study of your complete plumbing layout, especially the locations of master valves that can cut off the supply. Check all heaters and their functioning, thermostat settings and any other thing that can point to defects.
The doors and windows are essential parts of any home and do require a constant operation. Pay attend to hinges that are squeaking and can do with a bit of oiling. Make sure that all locks and latches are functioning properly and take special care of rooms that have children or the elderly in them. Properly working front and back doors are essential to your safety and security. Windows should always be kept locked when you’re not at home. If doors or windows don’t open and shut easily and as expected it may mean you need service.
Maintenance of a home is incomplete if you do not take care of the daily cleaning and removing of dust on all surfaces. Follow a strict sequence that ensures that every part of the home is cleaned as it must be. You must also regularly clean carpets, curtains, chair covers, table cloths and the like.
Air Conditioning systems require monthly maintenance. They also often require some maintenance that involves professionals. At the most, on your own, you can clean filters or maintain the required cleanliness of the equipment on your own. If you have a swimming pool its filtration equipment must be maintained by professionals. On your part, make sure the pool is always clean. Never allow algae to form and ensure that any water splashed by enthusiastic children finds its way into drains.
The outside of your home must also be part of any home maintenance schedule, and this is all the more important if you have a garden or other landscaping that is adding to the aesthetics of your home. Clean up the clutter in your garage at regular intervals and get rid of junk. As part of maintenance, make it a point to rid your entire home of all the things that are no more of any use and just taking up space.
The question is, should I use an unlicensed contractor for repair and installation of windows and doors at my home? The smart answer to this question is a resounding No. But why not, you may ask? There are many reasons why not to use unlicensed contractors. First, let's talk about insurance. What happens, if the contractor breaks something and is not insured? Who is going to pay? You. What happens, if he or one of his employees gets hurt? Can the employee sue you? Probably, yes. Best case scenario is that your Homeowner's Policy would cover it, but then what happens to your payments? They go up. That pretty much takes care of the question of insurance right there. Usually, when a company is licensed, they are also bonded. That means they are insured with a bond. You are protected and they are protected as well. A company such as R C Windows and Doors is both bonded and insured by the way.
Second, let's talk about possible damages while the work is being done, or potential damage that was done to something else, say for example, electrical wiring or interior water damage. Either of which could be expensive and even dangerous. This is just one more reason to go with the professionals that are licensed and bonded. Your home is your largest investment and it must be protected. Thirdly, for the most part a reputable contractor that is licensed and bonded will probably be more likely to be on time and perform the work to the specifications that were originally agreed upon. This can be very important, because what happens, if you go on vacation and an unlicensed contractor doesn't install exactly what you wanted and you come back to all new windows and doors that were definitely not what you chose before you left? No good answer there. No one wants to come back to a situation like that.
Lastly, let's talk about quality of work, a quality guarantee and future service of the products installed. Quality of work done by an insured and bonded company such as R C Windows & Doors is much higher than as if you were going to hire a retiree, or a friend who has extra time on his hands. There is going to be trained employees and you would be able to view some of their past work, or at least get some positive feedback from neighbors and friends that have used this company in the past. A guarantee of quality work done is far more likely to be backed up by a company with means than a single guy with a truck and a ladder. It's logical to assume that a company that installs your windows and doors is going to have a knowledge base, or history of your installation that could enable them to fix a future problem much easier, or to make a recommendation on something else that was viewed while they were present doing the work on your home. I'm confident that we have shown that using a licensed contractor is in the best interest of the homeowner.
Are you thinking of selling your home? Don't forget to consider the condition of your windows. Buyers can often be put off by things like squeaky doors or windows that don't move smoothly. There are other things about your windows and doors that you should consider when thinking about selling.
Building inspectors in many localities will give detailed reports about the condition of the home and highlight areas that require attention, or will need some expenditure to be incurred by the new purchaser. While it is standard procedure to examine foundations, walls, roofs, plumbing and electrical systems it is also necessary that these reports elaborate on the condition of the windows and doors in a home.
Windows are a must for every room to ensure proper light and ventilation. They are also the areas in a home that are vulnerable to the weather, as the shutters can lead to leaks if they do not close properly, or the glass itself can let in heat or let out heat. One sure sign that your windows need attention can come from high energy bills that point to a leak of conditioned air, hot or cold, from the windows. Building inspectors will note this when they compare utility bills with other standards that they are aware of. The leakage can come from ill-fitting seals when windows are closed and are easy to attend to by replacing them with new ones before you proceed to finalize the sale of your home.
Windows can also have glass that is cracked or letting in air through gaskets that have given up. A sure sign of this is cracks in the gaskets and wind whistling through the gaps that result from the defects. The gaskets can be easily replaced, and such action can indicate to the buyer of your home, the care that you have taken while living in it. Glass of windows that are cracked must be replaced. A single pane of glass is also a poor insulator and can be one reason for high energy bills. Windows can be made double glazed and this can not only increase its insulation but also help to make the room soundproof. Double glazing of all windows in your home before putting it up for sale, can make for a strong selling point, that can result in your being able to get a better price from the sale.
All buildings are subject to normal wear and tear caused by wind, rain, snow and other similar factors. This is why houses that aren't cared for sooner or later age and need repairs. Homeowners have to make sure they perform regular inspections of exposed areas, in order to detect all damages in their early stages, when fixing them is fairly inexpensive. This can save the homeowner a lot of money in the long run, and also help them avoid the hassle of major repairs and renovations.
The walls, for instance, have to be repainted every few years. A layer of fresh paint is very easy to apply. On the contrary, if you wait until the old paint flakes off your walls, you may need to pressure wash it, and then apply several coats of fresh paint. This is surely more expensive than a basic paint layer.
The windows are perhaps the most exposed elements of a house. They have to withstand strong winds, heavy rains and successive openings and closings. There's no wonder that they are the first to get damaged. Besides, when they aren't new anymore, they may not insulate that well, thus making homeowners take more money out of their pocket for heating or cooling the house. By performing regular maintenance works, you can secure the insulating properties of your windows. This thing alone can help you make important savings, as your energy bills are going to be much smaller.
If you have modern, impact windows, you have to check their gaskets every year, preferably before the hot weather comes. These rubber seals are very effective when they are new, but rubber gets old and becomes fragile, mostly due to the very hot south Florida sun and severe rains that can cause dry rot. By replacing these seals every few years, you can avoid further damage. Moreover, your home is always going to be well insulated, so your energy bills are going to be lower.
Preventative home and window maintenance isn't rocket science. Some of it can even be done without help from the experts. You need to check your roof, to see whether there are any leaks that might cause you trouble. You need to inspect the plumbing systems and fix any problem you can find, no matter how small. A small crack in a pipe today may turn into a huge disaster within a few months. It's much cheaper to replace a tiny pipe than to change the entire system. Moreover, if you also need water damage restoration services, you may end up with some huge bills which are going to be very difficult to pay.
Preventative actions are always inexpensive and fairly easy to do. Even old homeowners or those who are too ill to check their home by themselves could benefit from having such preventative measures in place. It's often much cheaper to pay an expert to take a look at your home once a year than to repair major damage caused by faulty windows, leaky roofs or worn out plumbing systems or home appliances, than to deal with repairing things after waiting until things have gotten out of hand.
Sliding Glass Doors Bring The Outside In
What was the first thing you thought the last time you were in a house with sliding glass doors that opened up the back of the house to the outside? Besides the amount of light shining into that area of the house it almost felt like the window brought the outside in; didn't it? That can be especially lush if one has a lot of flowers, grass, trees, or even a pond in the backyard.
How about a birdbath that's positioned in full view where you get to see birds landing and taking off all day long? From another perspective a parent can keep an eye on the children while being able to clean, cook, or just plain relax in an adjoining room.
What other choices might there be for these types of doors? Well, you may want to open up two rooms that are connected by a traditional door. By installing a sliding glass door you are in effect opening up both rooms and your house will feel much bigger.
More Benefits To Installing Sliding Glass Doors
An additional benefit to installing sliding glass doors in your home is that you will be able to move large items such as furniture much easier from room to room for parties, get togethers and the holidays when added space becomes more important than at other times of the year. Again, sliding doors not only insulate the inside of your home from the weather outside, but they can insulate you from any noise caused by children playing. You will still be able to monitor how things are going, but there will be at least some sound barrier between you and the kids, so you can enjoy a quiet moment or two.
If your sliding glass door opens up to a patio you will also be able to keep in touch with the rest of your guests while they're hanging out by the barbecue - even if you’re inside doing something else.
Who Maintains Your Sliding Glass Doors?
The easy answer would be yourself; right? Well, unless you’re trained in maintaining sliding glass doors, like the professionals at R C Windows & Doors, the answer may not be so obvious. Even improper glass cleaning can result in cuts to the rubber insulating strips, scratch the glass, or possibly damage the door guides. So when the time comes for some serious maintenance it’s probably best to call a professional.
For your sliding glass doors to effectively keep out the elements, close smoothly every time, and provide you with a clear view of the outside, or into the adjoining room it's best to allow R C Windows & Doors to periodically maintain your sliding glass doors. While we’re at your home we can also take care of any other door or window related problems or questions you may have.
There are some “green” benefits to the addition of sliding glass doors - whether it's a portal to the outside, or as a way to open up the space between rooms. By providing an abundance of natural light to the inside of your home a sliding glass door can make any room appear larger than before. The presence of natural light in a room where previously there was none, may help with your energy bills and affect the resale value of your home.
We thought it would be interesting to the readers of this blog, if we talked a little about some famous doors and windows throughout history. Certainly there are more then the few we have written about, but we thought these here stand out above most.
While not an actual physical door, but a painting, the first on our list is Christ at Heart's Door. This painting was done by Warner Sallman and his second most requested image by the readers of religious magazines. The painting/door depicts Christ knocking on a door which of course is supposed to be each person's heart. There are many nuances to the painting, if noticed will certainly inspire. A particular minister noticed that there is no doorknob which signifies that one must open the door to Christ from the inside. He will not force his way in.
The door at 221B Baker Street is another such door that in reality does not exist. It is the address of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Much has been made about this door by the now defunct Abbey National Building Society and the Sherlock Holmes museum, just down the street. It has even been mentioned in films such as Star Trek The Next Generation and other movies about Sherlock Holmes.
10 Downing Street is probably the most recognizable door of our time. It is of course the the residence of the executive branch of the UK and it's Prime Minister. Originally, three houses #10 Downing Street was a gift to Sir Robert Walpole by George II in 1732 who accepted it on the condition that it be gifted to the First Lord Of The Treasury. The door or residence has taken on far more significance from the 20th century going forward. Another famous door, but on the other side of the Atlantic is the door to the Rotunda in Washington DC called the Columbus Door. There are actually two of them, made of bronze by sculptor Randolph Rogers in 1860-1861, but due to the American Civil War did not make it to the US until 1863 and were hung in 1871. They are almost 17 feet tall and 10 feet wide and weigh about 20 tons. The theme of the doors is basically about the journey of Columbus to the New World.
When it comes to windows it's difficult to opine on any type of famous window without concentrating on stained glass windows. Many of the world's most famous stained glass windows reside in Churches in the UK and France. Choosing the Coventry Cathedral for this article was an easy choice to make. This Church was bombed by the Germans during World War 2 and before the rebuilding took place it was decided that part of the ruins would remain as a reminder to the world of what war can do. One of the stained glass windows inside were made by John Piper and called the Baptistry Window. It's a unique design with 195 panes. There are other stained glass windows in the Cathedral placed in the Nave by Lawrence Lee, Keith New and Geoffrey Clarke that face away from the congregation in opposite pairs representing human growth from the beginning to the end. All the windows in Coventry were conceived by Basil Spence and the Arup Group. It was Spence's idea to merge the ruins of the old with the new.
Your doors and windows may never be as famous as the doors and windows in our article, but when it comes time to upgrade or service them we hope you’ll give us a call. We repair and replace all kinds of doors, and windows. We also replace or repair sliding glass doors in Lake Worth and West Palm Beach.