From the editor: What I learned about windows and doors

Another month has come to an end, which means it’s time to recap what we’ve learned about our home improvement topic of the month. In March, we set out to become the experts on windows and doors. Every house needs them from a functionality perspective, but they can also be stylish and add character to any home.  Here’s an overview of what you should know. 

While I’m not a DIYer (I wish I was), I know when home improvement projects should be left to the experts. This especially applies to windows and doors. Why? I didn’t realize this at first, but your front door and windows are more important than we think. Simply put – they don’t exist just to look pretty because they have a job to do!

Have a professional inspect from time to time

How can you tell if your windows and doors need fixing, apart from seeing broken glass? It’s not always easy to tell, so we’ve compiled some warning signs to watch out for. This list will help you determine when it’s time to bring in a window and door expert:

  1. If you’re consistently feeling a draft in your home. This signals that there is air leaking in the house, which means your windows and doors aren’t performing adequately. while air leaks are common, you shouldn’t feel the drafts.
  2. If caulking and weatherstripping aren’t working. If you’ve recaulked the windows and added a fresh layer of weatherstripping and still feel a draft, it’s a sign your windows need replacing. It won’t hurt to consult one of our window experts for a second opinion.
  3. If condensation is forming inside the glass. Did you see condensation and frost form inside the window pane during the winter season? Windows that experience this are unable to keep moisture from seeping into the house and likely needs replacing.

Go energy-efficient

If you’re thinking of having your windows replaced, one thing you may want to consider is having energy-efficient windows installed. In my discussions with window experts, they’ve told me about the following benefits:

  1. Reduced energy loss. Energy-efficient windows increase the comfort of your home by reducing the amount of cold drafts in your home.
  2. Help control condensation. The next time it rains or snows, you won’t have to worry about seeing water or ice inside the glass because they’re designed to prevent condensation.
  3. Longevity. Energy-efficient windows are designed to control and eliminate condensation. Your windows will last longer and you won’t have to worry about dishing out money for repairs and maintenance.

If you’re not in the market for new windows, we can still offer you some good advice. Since spring has sprung, it’s a good time to clean those windows! If you like DIY projects, take a look at this article I wrote on cleaning exterior windows. It includes a step-by-step guide on how to get the glass sparkling like new again, plus a list of materials you’ll need and how much it’s expected to cost.

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Let’s not forget doors! Your front door leaves a lasting impression with visitors and potential home buyers. That’s why it’s important to invest in a good one. Here’s an overview of the most popular types of doors:

Solid Wood Doors

A wood door is the most common choice for a front door, for they are both beautiful and versatile. Wood doors come in a variety of looks, including oak, cherry, walnut, maple and pine. This variety will make it easy for homeowners to find the right color to match the exterior of their home, but they do require year-round maintenance. If you love the look of a solid wood door but don’t want that responsibility, you have other options!

Fiberglass Doors

If you’re looking for a front door that requires little to no maintenance, then you’ll want to look at a door made out of fiberglass. Fiberglass offers the same benefits that a wood front door offers, but without the maintenance and price tag. They easily mimic the look of wood since they can be stained in oak, cherry and walnut.

Steel Doors

But maybe you’re not interested in a wood door or one that’s made to resemble wood. If you’re looking for a more contemporary look for your front entrance, then you’ll like steel doors. Just like a wooden or fiberglass door, a steel door will over a sense of privacy, but with the added benefit of extra security. It’s stronger than wood and fiberglass and will not crack or warp overtime.

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Ready for home improvement season? We have compiled a list of window and door experts just for you! Scroll through customer reviews, articles and photo galleries before you contact a contractor.

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