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Month: March 2015

Replacement Windows Made Easy

Replacement Windows Richmond
Replacement windows terminology can be made easy for you.  Replacement windows can add a lot of value to your home. They can also help you lower your energy costs by making your home better insulated. Unfortunately for many homeowners, however, trying to find the right replacement windows can be a major challenge. Not only do you have to choose between brands and styles, you also have to conquer the terminology, which can seem a little like a foreign language. Learn the right terminology for replacement windows before you start your search to ensure you get the right Richmond replacement windows for your needs.

 

Replacement window terminology

Learn the following terminology for replacement windows, and you’ll be able to follow along with your contractor like a pro when he comes out to install them.

1. Windows U-Value

U-values measure how well the unit insulates against heat. Similar to the R-values you may have heard of to describe your home’s insulation, U-values describe how well your window is able to slow down heat transfer. Because your window is transparent, it can’t completely stop the transfer of heat – only delay it a little. Unlike R-values, however, higher numbers aren’t better. In fact, the lower your U-value, the better the insulating job it’s going to do. Now windows with lower U-values may cost more up front, but they also tend to save you more on energy costs down the road. So if you live in a climate that has you running the furnace or air conditioner a lot, it may make sense to invest in some windows with lower U-values.

2.  Windows Argon Gas

The vast majority of windows that are sold today are double-paned, or have two panes of glass with a gap between them. This gap can be filled with plain air, or it can be filled with an insulating, colorless gas. Argon is the most frequently used insulating gas in the industry, and many window makers now use argon gas-filled windows as their standard. Typically, adding argon to your windows will increase the insulating power by about ½ of an R value, which can help offset some energy costs if all other things are equal.

3.  Windows Low e

Another insulating term you’ll hear concerning replacement windows is a Low E coating. Low E stands for Low Emissivity or Low Emission, and refers to how well the sun is able to penetrate through your window to reach inside your home. Low E is a metallic coating that is applied to your windows at the factory – it is not a film that can be applied later, and it does not come off over time. Having Low E coated windows can lower the amount of UV rays and sun’s heat entering your home by about 25%. Areas where the sun shines directly into your home, and homes in hotter climates can definitely benefit from having Low E glass on the windows.

4.  Windows Foam Filled

Window frames are by and large hollow, with many windows relying on the air inside to act as an insulator to help stop heat transfer through the window frame itself. Some manufacturers, however, take this a step further and fill their frames with insulating foam to help further cut down on energy loss.

5. Windows Wrapped with aluminum

Wrapping refers to the method of installing an aluminum window frame so that it wraps around the outside sills and casing. This is usually done with custom painted frames that are designed to match the home’s exterior. It can give you a better fit and a nicer looking window, but you need to ask for it; it isn’t always part of the standard installation package.

6.  Windows Roll Form Aluminum

Most aluminum window frames can be made in one of two ways – roll form and extruded. Roll form aluminum is a little thinner than extruded aluminum, and it’s finished prior to bending and shaping. It can cost you a little less, but some people feel the extruded material may last longer and hold up better over time.

7.   Windows Heat Gain

If your salesperson or contractor begins talking about heat gain, this refers to the amount of heat that is either absorbed from the outdoors or a result of direct sunlight. In hot climates, you want to reduce the amount of heat gain to keep your windows from heating up your home during the day.
Do Your Homework on your replacement windows

The more you know going into your replacement window purchase, the more informed a decision you can make regarding your home and your needs. Take the time to learn the terminology most frequently used when comparing your potential new windows, and know that you’re making the best decisions possible.

For any other tips on how to make your home remodeling a breeze, Classic Construction is available for all your Richmond remodeling services. To learn more, give us a call at 804-776-5070 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.


 

How to Create the Ultimate Home Office

If you work from home then you’re probably aware of difficult it can be to stop your work life from spilling into the rest of your home. One of the best ways to help contain and separate work from personal life is to set up a home office you feel comfortable spending the day in. And while everyone’s home office is going to look a little bit different based on your needs and the type of work that you do, there are a few key components that go into creating it that just about everyone should follow.

How to Create the Ultimate Home Office

Creating the Ultimate Home Office

No matter where in your home you’ve designated your work space, or how much space you have, there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the best office set up possible in your Richmond home addition.

Ample Space and an Empty Room

The first thing you need to do is start with a totally empty space. Clean everything out of there from your desk to anything that might be stored or displayed there. This is crucial, because you’re probably used to thinking of the room in a certain way. And that way might not be the best setup for your needs. By starting with a completely empty room, you get a fresh perspective on what it is you can do there.

Now take a look at what you need in terms of space. Do you need storage? Work tables? Extra seating? Do you use more than one computer during your day? Start to plan out the room according to your needs. For example, if you use multiple screens how can you best position them in the space – does it make sense to hang one the wall or do you need an L shaped desk set up that lets you swivel between them? With an empty room, you can see the many different possibilities for laying out your things so you can get the best configuration for your needs, rather than trying to cram everything into the existing layout of the space.

Use Your Walls

Desks, chairs, and filing cabinets are pretty much a given in the home office, but what are you doing with your walls? By tapping into this previously unused expanse of space, you can gain a lot more function and storage out of your home office.

Consider covering one board in cork to allow you to pin things right at eye level. Or get your computer up off the desk and hang the screen on the wall so you can see it better. Shelves, white boards, cubbies, and peg board racks are all great ways to help you organize your home office without taking up a lot of space. So even if your home office was once a walk-in closet, you can still fit in everything you need into the space as long as you look up rather than down.

Home Office

Lots of Light

On average most people who work from home spend about 10 hours a day in their home office. That’s a lot of hours to be squinting in a poorly lit room. Every well lit room needs three types of lighting:

  • Ambient lighting that lights the whole space – overhead or recessed lighting fits into this category
  • Spot lighting that illuminates things on the walls, such as your bulletin board, or things you store on your shelves
  • Task lighting that illuminates your desk and work area, such as desk lamps, under cabinet lighting, and even under desk lighting

With all the time you spend in your home office, you need to make sure it’s well lit. Use a combination of all three types of lighting, and invest in some good full spectrum light bulbs to help you feel as though you’re working in natural light – even if you never get the time to go outside.

And while you’re working on the lighting, be sure to invest in some additional power strips or outlets as well, so you can keep everything in the room running at once.

Home Office Photo

Invest in Good Seating

The type of desk or work table you use in your home office should come second to your seating. Get a good office chair that supports your back and lets you adjust the height for optimum comfort no matter what height of table you’re working at. If you work at more than one desk, or at an L-shaped station, make sure the chair rolls easily, and adjusts height easily as well. Remember that no matter how great your office looks, if you aren’t comfortable working there, you more than likely won’t be in there for long.

Bring in Some Personal Touches

Finally, make sure you bring in plenty of things that make you happy in the space. From the color of the walls to what you display on your desk, you need to personalize your office. Remember that despite being in your house, your home office is where you go to work each day; if you aren’t happy there, you’ll just find excuses to be somewhere else. So take the items you need, from a coffee maker to some posters to ensure you get what you need out of the space.

Set Up Your Office

Your home office is more important than you may think it is. While technically all you may need is a work station and a chair, a well laid out home office can help increase your productivity, while enhancing your enjoyment of the work. Take the time to set up your home office using this guide and find yourself enjoying the freedom of working from home more than ever before.

For any other tips on how to make your home remodeling a breeze, Classic Construction
is available for all your Richmond remodeling services. To learn more, give us a call at 804-776-5070 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.