Posts by Tony Steward

The Benefits Of Replacement Windows For Your Home

While purchasing new windows for your home may not feel like a priority, if your windows have been difficult to open, or you have noticed a draft near closed windows, it’s time to think about the benefits of replacing the windows in your home. With new windows it will be easier to keep the temperature consistent in your home, easier to open and close your windows, and your home will be more secure. The energy savings alone make purchasing replacement windows a great idea for any home that has old, inefficient windows.

Maintaining a Consistent Temperature Saves Money

When your wood replacement windows are properly protecting the interior of your home from the elements, your heating and cooling system will be able to maintain a more even temperature. This is essential to energy efficiency, as a system that has to deal with extremes in temperatures has to run more often to keep the temperature even in the home. When you have drafts coming into your home because of windows that no longer fit correctly, or you have rot in your wooden windows, replacing these windows will save you money on heating and cooling costs.

Make Your Life Easier with New Windows

While opening and closing your windows easily may not seem like a big deal, just try to open a window that is stuck on a warm summer day. You need to be able to open your windows easily for cleaning and to create cross ventilation in your home. If your windows get stuck easily, or they slam shut without any provocation, you can solve this problem by investing in replacement windows for your home. 

When Security is a Concern

Windows that are rotting in the sill no longer provide you with much security. All it will take is a few good hits, and your window can completely fall out of the sash. It’s easier to break into homes that have have old windows, because the locks tend to be broken. With replacement windows, you will have new locks on your windows and most replacement windows have safety latches that only allow the window to open a few inches when they are put into place. If you are worried about security, adding new windows to your home will give your extra protection.

If you want to add value to your home and increase the curb appeal, new windows are a great way to accomplish both of these goals.  

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A World Without Ducts: The Mini-Split Heat Piump

Ducts are a good way to direct heat from a centralized furnace or AC unit to all the rooms of your home, but they do have their drawbacks. For example, ducts will develop leaks over time simply because of the pressure created by the air moving through them, and leaky ducts can decrease your AC efficiency by up to 40%. Dirty ducts can also cause health concerns. You can eliminate these problems by using a ductless system to heat and cool your home if such a system will work for you. 

How a Ductless System Works

A heat pump has two sets of coils. One set of coils will act as an evaporator unit to extract heat from the surrounding air, and the second set of coils will act as a condenser unit to push heat into the surrounding air. If you have an AC unit, you have a dedicated set of evaporator coils on the inside of your home and a dedicated set of condenser coils outside. With a heat pump, you have the ability to reverse the function of the coils, so you can use the same piece of equipment to both heat and cool your home. 

What Does the Term Mini Split Mean?

Most homes have a central-air system, which means you have a furnace and an evaporator unit located in a central location in your home and a set of ducts to direct air from this equipment to where it is needed in your home. A mini split system will have one set of coils located outside your home and up to four smaller sets of coils placed in different rooms inside your home. The coils inside your home will directly heat or cool the rooms in your home without the need for ducts.

Is a Mini-Split System Right for You?

If you have a smaller home, then you might only need four sets of coils to provide cooling and heating for your home. If you have a larger home, you might still be able to make a mini-split system work by placing coils in the rooms that most need heating and/or cooling. For example, if you have a basement, it should stay cool on its own, so you might not need vents or coils downstairs. 

There are advantages to using a mini-split heat pump, but they are not right for every home. If you are considering a mini-split unit for your home, you should talk to an AC installer to see if one is right for you. 

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3 Tips To Get The Most From A Kitchen Remodeling Project

Kitchen remodeling is more than just updating your appliances and picking out new cabinets. Without smart decision-making, your remodeling project could end up costing you more than it is worth. If you are thinking of remodeling, here are some tips to help ensure that you get the most for your investment. 

Research the Market

Although remodeling your kitchen is about making it nicer for you and your family, it is also about getting a good return on your investment.  If you do decide to sell your home in the future, you want to ensure that the decisions you make do not negatively impact what you ultimately gain from the sale. 

The best way to do this is to research your neighborhood and decide whether or not a low, medium, or high level renovation is called for. If the homes in your neighborhood tend to have higher dollar kitchens, then spending the money to ensure yours makes sense. However, if the kitchens in the neighborhood tend to be older and outdated, then spending on the high end might not net the return you want. 

Do Not Move the Plumbing

One of the costliest mistakes you can make is to move the plumbing in your kitchen. When you move plumbing around, the plumbing and gas lines have to be reconfigured, which means more time on the clock for a plumber and more for supplies. 

However, if you keep the plumbing in the same places, you can use that money on other aspects of your remodeling. You should only move the plumbing if it is absolutely necessary. For instance, if the gas lines are in an unsafe location, move them. 

Consider Alternatives

To save money on your remodeling project, you might have to pass on some of the more expensive options. Fortunately, there are many solid alternatives that will fit in with your remodeling project. 

For instance, if you want granite countertops, your budget could take a hit. However, there is a way to still have granite and save some money. You can opt to only use the granite in highly visible areas, such as the island. In the other areas, you can opt for ceramic tile. 

If you want to make your kitchen appear larger by knocking down walls, you will find that this can be expensive. However, you can add lighting to make your kitchen seem brighter and larger. Your contractor or even a lighting designer can help you find the right lighting scheme to work with your kitchen. 

There are many other ways you can ensure that your kitchen remodeling pays off. Work with your contractor to identify ways to save money and get a good return on your investment. Contact a business, such as Patriot Construction, for more information on kitchen remodeling. 

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What To Know Before You Begin Grinding Your Old Concrete

If you’re a homeowner that’s looking to make big changes to an existing concrete installation using a grinder, there are a few things to know before you begin. Grinding concrete can be a time consuming task that requires some understanding of the process before you jump right in. So whether you’re getting ready to apply a new epoxy coat on your garage floor or if you’re about to polish your driveway perfection, consider some basics before you start grinding your residential concrete.

The Tools Make The Difference

When it comes to grinding concrete, the tools can make a big difference in the time it takes, the evenness of the results, and difficulties involved in the process. To start, you need to utilize a good grinder that either comes in a cup or diamond blade form.

Cup grinders use diamonds adhered to a disc matrix that wear away during resurfacing, whereas diamond blades wear down concrete using diamond tips on parallel blades that are attached to a disc, which you can attach to almost any industrial buffing machinery. Though both types are good for residential concrete, you may only be given one option if you’re renting.

Grinders can either be handheld for smaller areas that need cosmetic improvements or concrete countertops, or walk-behind machinery that’s better for covering large surface areas, like driveways, your garage, or a patio area.

Grinding Always Generates Dust

Regardless of the grinder you’re using, you need to consider dust control during the process of concrete grinding. Dust that arises during dry grinding can be a health hazard, so you should always consider using air purification systems and vacuums while grinding. Concrete dust can be dangerous to breathe and work in, especially when you’re working in confined areas, so even if you’re using filtration systems and vacuums, you should wear clothes that cover your body, as well as a respiratory cover and goggles that are enclosed on all sides.

To cut back on dust, you may also want to consider working wet while you’re grinding. Not all machinery allows you to work wet, but if you’re able to, you should still be mindful of the dust that’s created during the process. Dust accumulating in wet grinding conditions creates a slurry that can clog your tools and dry into a new layer of concrete that’s difficult to remove later. So while you’re working in any wet environment, you should work in small areas and use a wet vac as you go.

For more information, contact a company like Commercial Interior.

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What You Should Know About Your Commercial Roof And Infrared Scanning

Few things can be as sneakily destructive as a leak in the roof of your commercial building. Whether you’ve just purchased a new building or you’re just trying to keep up with the condition of your existing one, it’s important to monitor the roof condition regularly. One of the best ways to catch a potential problem before it becomes disastrous is through the use of an infrared scan. Here are a few things that you should know about infrared roof scans for your commercial building.

What Are Infrared Scans?

Infrared roof scans are thermal images of the building’s roof that show you variations in temperature across the surface. These are important, because the changes in temperature can often indicate the presence of a leak or other damage.

How Can You Determine the Severity?

To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to tell how severe the leak is. If you know how to interpret infrared images, though, you might be able to make a reasonable estimate as to its severity. For example, the more heat that’s retained in the area, the more water there’s likely to be in the space. You’ll just need to know how to read the color gradient on the thermal imaging report. If you can, you should be able to isolate the spots on the roof that have the highest moisture concentration. Start there when you’re looking to do repairs, because those are likely the most heavily damaged areas.

When Should You Plan for Infrared Scans?

It’s often best to schedule an infrared scan during the early evening hours, because it gives you the benefit of the sun’s rays heating the roof all day, which will also heat any water that’s present in the roofing material. The water will retain heat longer than the roof, so any hot spots that show up on the scan are likely indications of the presence of water and the risk of a roof leak.

To get the best results from your scan, you should schedule it on a day that is sunny, warm and clear. This ensures that your roof gets the maximum benefit of the sun’s rays. This improves the accuracy of the scan. Sometimes, the spring or fall make the best seasons for this, because that’s when the weather is usually mild. It also gives you plenty of time to address any damage before the severe weather comes in.

Having your company’s roof evaluated by a commercial roofing contractor is important. It makes it easier for you to focus your efforts on repair where they’re most needed. With an infrared scan and a professional’s guidance, you can keep your roof in good condition. 

Once you’ve had your infrared scan and found the problem areas, contact a professional like Bell Roof Co or others locally to help you fix the problem.

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Earthquake and tornadoes were my biggest fear as a child. They still in someways are, but as I'm building more and more homes, I've begun learning about the different safety measures that are incorporated with the architectural designing. I think it's good to know where the best places to stand are in case of the natural disaster, and which places to avoid. As I've done research I've learned how glass can shatter and much further then what I thought –which has helped me mentally prepare myself to stay away from windows. I think the best way to be prepared for anything is to become educated on it, which is why I'm maintaining this site.