Once again, winter is rapidly approaching, and the Midwest region is in store for cold weather and high winds. With these come uncomfortable indoor drafts. If you have drafty windows, the tips below will help you deal with the problem and stay more comfortable this winter.
How to Handle Drafty Windows
The first step to dealing with problematic drafts is to seal the windows from the outside. Apply window caulk around the outside perimeter of the window frame using a caulking gun. First, however, scrape the surface clean using a putty scraper and sandpaper.
This ensures a firm adhesion and an adequate seal. If you don’t have a caulking gun, another alternative is to apply a roll of rope caulk with your fingers and a wooden dowel. This is a less permanent solution, but it removes easily once winter is over.
Once the frame is sealed, it’s time to deal with leaks coming from the sash or movable parts of the window. From indoors, apply weatherstripping (various types of adhesive-backed foam)—around the edges—particularly between the sash and the frame—to ensure a firm seal when the window is closed. This keeps cold air from seeping in through gaps. You can buy weatherstripping at any home improvement retailer and most department stores.
Sometimes, the cold is seeping through the window glass itself. Modern double- and triple-glazed windows solve this issue, but it is still common with older, single-pane varieties.
You can address this problem with a roll of plastic shrink film. Cover the window with clear plastic, attaching it to the inside window frame using double-sided tape. You can then shrink it to fit the expanse using a hairdryer.
If you need new windows to keep your home comfortable, contact JFK Window & Door in Cincinnati, OH. They have served customers throughout the Tri-State area since 1990. They specialize in casement windows and entry doors, and they carry a wide selection of durable Andersen windows. Visit their website or call (513) 851-1000 to make an appointment.
Spring and summer are the ideal seasons for most home improvement projects, but some are better in the fall. For instance, the cool weather and low humidity make autumn the perfect time to replace your windows. Below are a few of the top reasons to schedule your window replacements before the Ohio winter hits.
3 Benefits of Replacing Windows in the Fall
1. Pleasant Weather
Window replacement projects essentially mean having huge gaps in your wall, at least until the new windows are installed. Replacing windows in the summer can make your house oppressively hot while working in the winter lets frigid air blast into your home. Fall, on the other hand, usually features cool, pleasant weather without the spring storms that can bring work to a halt and force water into your walls.
2. Better Energy Efficiency
By some estimates, heat loss through inefficient windows accounts for 25-30% of home energy use. If your gas or electric bills have been prohibitively high, replacing your windows before winter starts can save hundreds of dollars. New, energy-efficient windows will also put a stop to the cold drafts that can make any home uncomfortable.
3. More Availability
Most home renovation companies are busiest in the spring or summer, but often have less to do in the fall. Even the best window replacement contractor in your area will likely be available later in the year. Not only can you hire your first choice of contractor in the fall, but you can also be confident that they won’t be distracted by other projects while working on your house.
If you’re planning a window replacement before winter, the experts at JFK Window & Door offer the best products on the market and the highest level of craftsmanship. They’ve been serving Cincinnati homeowners since 1990, building a reputation for delivering exceptional results and amazing quality on every job. Visit their website for an overview of their window replacement services, see news and reviews on their Twitterpage, or call (513) 851-1000 to request an estimate today.
A bright, airy kitchen is typically the goal when you embark on a remodel project. You’ll also look at utilitarian improvements, like increased work space. Ultimately, when the project is done, you want a kitchen that feels open and inviting while also offering some modern luxuries the space has been lacking. Below are some ideas to improve your kitchen when you remodel.
Increase Window Sizes
One of the best ways to create that airy atmosphere in your kitchen is by increasing the natural light that streams in. To that end, consider increasing the size of your windows, especially if you have an older home with small windows. If increasing their size isn’t feasible, look into windows with clear glass instead of glass divided by grilles. The unobstructed glass makes the window feel more open.
Add a Window
Another option is to increase the number of windows in your kitchen. Perhaps your kitchen’s architecture can even accommodate a wall of windows. Another common space for adding windows is above the transom of existing windows or doors. Transom windows come in a wide variety of shapes, including half round, circular, and rectangular. They can open or be stationary.
Look into Glass Doors
Many kitchens lead out to the patio. If this is the case in your house, the patio door is another space for adding glass. You can choose the classic sliding glass door, a single door with a large glass pane, or glass French doors. All three options help open up your kitchen space for that bright ambiance.
Depending on the architecture of your house, you can transform your kitchen into more of a transitional space with window walls or multiple glass doors. These installations widen the existing entrance between the indoors and the outdoors. Sliding glass doors or multiple glass doors provide that transition. This setup is appropriate if you have a large kitchen with a dining area.
Add Accent Lighting
Natural light won’t be enough to brighten the space during your kitchen remodel. You’ll need artificial illumination as well. You’ll naturally have an overhead fixture and likely task lighting already; however, consider adding accent lighting too.
You have different options for accent lighting in the kitchen. The main goal is to accent what you want to see. So, you may choose to highlight interesting architecture, such as vaulted ceilings or recessed shelving. You could also have a system of track lighting installed to train the illumination onto different areas of your cabinetry or island for visual appeal.
Open up the Cabinetry
Kitchen cabinets are the largest installation in your room, so you may feel that they dominate the space. One way to soften the cabinets’ presence is by opening them up. You can do this by having some of the doors removed or replacing them with glass-paned doors. As a bonus, glass-paned doors reflect light back into the kitchen, promoting that bright atmosphere.
Replace Your Countertops
The other big feature in your kitchen is your countertops. You have numerous options for the countertop material, including natural stone, concrete, tile, and laminate. You’ll make that decision based largely on utility and budget. However, even within each of those categories you’ll have choices about colors. Consider lighter colors over dark ones.
For example, some homeowners want countertops that make a statement. Instead of traditional granite, you could opt for limestone, which is naturally paler. Limestone does require more upkeep, but the overall effect is chic and unexpected. Plus, the light color helps promote the airy feel of your kitchen.
Book in Advance
Most importantly, take a look at the timeline you’d like to see your project follow and adjust your plan based on what is reasonable. Most projects that involve multiple upgrades and renovations need a lead time of 6–8 weeks. Schedule a design consult to see which parts of your dream kitchen can be accomplished before the new year. Then schedule any remaining renovations for the next year.
Design an open kitchen that feels bright and open. Consult with JFK Window & Door for design plans that can work within your house’s architecture.
Windows are integral to the design and efficiency of your home. If you have an older home that you want to update, new windows are an excellent solution. Here are a few things to consider when replacing the windows in your home.
Consider Bigger Windows
Older homes tend to have smaller windows, owing to the technology of the time. One of the easiest ways to modernize a home is to put in larger windows. You may think that the structure of your home will prohibit installing larger windows, but window specialists can create new openings for window in many cases. Even brick homes can have walls modified so new window frames can be placed in. A larger window will open up your space and let more light in.
Prioritize Energy Efficiency
Is being green and sustainable important to you? If so, consider replacing your windows. Old windows tend to be drafty, reducing the energy-efficiency of your home. Your home’s energy efficiency can increase dramatically if you put in the right windows. You can save up to $340 per year in energy bills by replacing outdated single-paned windows with Energy Star–rated windows.
Modern windows are well-insulated, and new advancements such as double-paned windows filled with argon gas and low-e coatings do even better at retaining the heat and cold. Even better, you may be able to get a break on your taxes for these energy-efficient improvements. Consider Andersen windows, since Andersen has been an Energy Star Partner of the Year.
Add Windows Next
Remember what we said about making windows larger? You can also add windows to your home. For structural reasons (and because of cost), some older homes don’t have enough windows. Windows can be added over doors, over other windows, or next to windows. You can also give the appearance of adding a window by adding glass doors or front doors with glass panels.
Make sure to check the regulations for your property; finished basements and new additions might actually need windows large enough to climb through in order to be considered legal living spaces — without these egress windows, the basement or addition may be not be safe.
Make Sure the Windows Aren’t Historic
New windows are going to add energy efficiency and comfort to a home. However, if you live in a historic home, you may need to follow special rules when you replace your windows. Speak with your window specialist to find a style of windows that meets the rules but still satisfies your requirements for aesthetics and energy efficiency.
Remember to Have a Plan
When you update your windows, you can install window sills and trim that matches what you already have. But what if you want to update these items as well? If you want new sills or trim, you might need to update the rest of your interior to match.
Make sure you have a plan for the rest of your home; windows can do a lot, but they don’t do everything. Your window style should also be designed to match the doors of your home; you don’t want to marry modern, bold windows with a rustic, aged door. Of course, if you really love a certain window style, you can also replace your door to match it instead of the other way around — do your research first so you get the best results for the best deal.
If you want to give an older home an update, there’s no better service than JFK Window and Door. JFK Window and Door sets itself apart from the competition by offering staining and painting services to match your new trim to the rest of your existing trim on your windows and doors. Contact JFK Window and Door to schedule a consultation or visit our website today.