Selecting Replacement WindowsWritten by Bobby Carlten
Windows are eyes of a home. From inside, you see outside world through them. It has been said that eyes are windows to soul. For a home, you can gain a sense of its character by examining its windows.
Windows are primary source of natural light for a room, but they are so much more. They give a home beauty and personality. The decision to replace them is an important one. Replacements can affect feel of home for inhabitants and provide opportunity for significant energy savings. They can dramatically change value of property when it comes time to sell home.
Types of replacement windows
There are many types of replacement windows to fit varied styles of home architecture. Some of more popular styles include following.
- Casements have one or two panes. They are hinged on one side and open by rotating a crank. Casement windows generally open only 15 – 30 degrees, enough to let in light, but little else.
- Sliders are generally two offset sashes, one which will slide behind other, much like a sliding glass door.
- Double hung have two sashes which move vertically, allowing ventilation through a space at top and/or at bottom.
- Bay windows are three-sided arrangements that project from exterior wall of house, usually in living rooms or formal sitting rooms. They give room a larger feel while offering additional space for a seat or arrangements of potted plants.
- Bow windows are set in a series with each sash set at an angle. Bows are similar to bays in that they protrude from exterior face of house. They are different in that each sash or in series is set at a slight angle so that entire series forms a graceful curve or bow, rather than sharp three-sided appearance of bay windows. There can be any number of sashes in bow window series.
- Garden windows are frequently installed in kitchens, often replacing sash behind kitchen sink. These also extend beyond exterior wall of house. They are much smaller than bay or bow styles and are often used for holding potted plants, creating an interior garden, while giving an improved view of outside lawn or garden.
- Skylights are installed into roof of house to provide direct lighting. These are generally not designed to be opened in order to provide best weather seal.
Not so long ago, windows were simple panes of glass glazed into a sash. Efforts to become more energy efficient have turned them into highly engineered systems.
Single pane models have little insulating value and are still used in warmer climates.
Double pane or double glazed styles are built with an air space between two panes of glass. This glass-air-glass sandwich permits much less energy radiation through glass. Better insulating value is offered by designs with clear argon gas in place of air. Yet another system combines double glazed models with panes of glass coated with a low emissivity (low-e) film. This coating reduces energy transfer even further.
Frames for sashes may be constructed from wood, wood clad in aluminium or vinyl, vinyl or fibreglass. Wood is an excellent choice in that it can be cut or trimmed to provide an excellent fit. Wood clad with aluminium or vinyl is an excellent choice in regions with periods of high humidity or damp weather. Vinyl is a great choice for homes in high moisture regions such as on lakes or seashore. Wood clad and vinyl replacement windows are also low maintenance after installation.
Laminate Flooring AdvantagesWritten by E. Timothy Uy
Because it's designed with a tough and durable wear layer, laminate flooring is much stronger than most installed solid hardwood flooring, carpets and vinyls, it's more resistant to scratches than softer surfaces (solid hardwood floors for eg.) and is one of best choices for households with heavy foot traffic, kids, or pets. But, best of all, laminates will look like new for years.
Laminates are highly resistant to stains, fading and moisture and many laminate flooring manufacturers offer warranty protection against them for a long period of time (usually from 10 to 25 years).
Ease of installation
The top brands of laminate flooring have developed a glueless floating floor installation process. They just need to be cut, clicked together and are ready for walking or even placing heavy things, like furniture, on them. Most professional installers could do it in a couple of days, but expect to take longer if you want to do it yourself.
Easy cleaning and maintenance
To clean up spills and messes, just use a little soap and water and your laminate floors will look brand new.