Category Archives: Windows

Top Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

Since most high quality windows are built to last for ten or more years, replacing your windows is a project you should only expect to face a few times in your life. If your windows are allowing air or moisture to leak in or out of your home, or if they have become difficult to operate, it is probably time buy new windows before the overall energy efficiency of your home suffers any further.

Replacement of all of the windows in your home is no small expense, with each replacement window costing anywhere from $450 to $1000 dollars, depending on the materials used to manufacture the windows. Window replacements, though costly, are well worth the cost once your existing windows are beyond repair.

Reduce Energy Consumption

In the United States, only 7 percent of our energy is derived from renewable sources such as wind or solar. The remaining 93 percent of the energy we use is created from non renewables, such as fossil fuels, that are limited in availability as well as damaging to our environment. Unless you are able to make the switch to solar power in your home, consuming energy obtained from nonrenewable sources is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decrease how much of this energy you are using in your home.

Cutting back on energy use is a surefire way to reduce your carbon footprint for a more environmentally responsible life—something that we at Modernize are passionate about. Energy efficient windows will protect your home from the extreme cold or heat, which keeps your home comfortable with less effort from your heating and cooling system that needs energy to operate.

Cut Back on Heating and Cooling Bills

By investing in energy efficient windows, you can cut back on how much energy your heating and cooling system uses to keep your home comfortable. Highly insulative materials block excessive heat or cold from entering your home, making it easier to keep your home comfortable with less work from your HVAC unit. The less your unit runs, the less you spend on heating and cooling costs each month.

Add Light and a Beautiful View Without Adding Heat

Typically, energy efficient windows use glazing, multiple panes, and insulative materials to keep heat from passively entering your home. Because these factors are working hard to keep your home cool during the hot summer months, you can still enjoy the view and natural light your windows provide without feeling you have to close the blinds or draw the curtains to block out the heat. Keeping your home comfortable shouldn’t mean you have to give up on the aesthetic appeal windows are meant to provide.

This post is brought to you by Mary Sauer at Modernize.com

History of Curtains: How They Came into Existence

Curtains are still the main form of window covering for the majority of households. They are versatile, warm and perform a wide variety of functions. Yet, despite their importance they are often hung as an afterthought! In fact, a well hung curtain can make a huge difference to the décor and feel of any room. When you choose your curtains you must think about their purpose, the style of your room and even the form of the curtains. Understanding their history will help you to choose the right one for your room.

Warmth

Originally, curtains were used to help keep a property warm; there was no central heating! These curtain were usually long, heavy affairs, the more of the space they covered the better the heat insulation. In fact, it was common to hang tapestries and drapes on castle walls to help keep the warmth in. Choosing a curtain to maximize light in a room was an unheard of option in medieval times. The earliest known curtains were hung over doorways and windows; they were made of animal hide and did not hang well.

The Egyptians

To many, the Egyptians are the founder of the modern clothing material. They were experts at spinning linen and flax, later they moved onto wool, cotton and even silk. These materials were created as advancements in dyeing; weaving and mass production were becoming a part of industry. The result was a curtain made of a pleasing textile that not only looked good but flowed well; whilst keeping the warmth in.

Glass

In the 13th century the Italians perfected the making of glass and it became an option for windows. Until then, wooden shutters had been the only option and these not only let drafts in but blocked out all light. Keeping a large house or castle warm was nearly impossible, even with an open fire in every room. The smoke inside the building, combined with the darkness would have made for a very unpleasant living environment over the winter months. The more northern you were the colder it got and the more essential these heavy drape curtains became.

The Renaissance period

The period between the 14th and 17th centuries is known as the Renaissance; it was during this period that the average home started to resemble the modern homes we live in today. Glass became a standard feature and helped to reduce the drafts and coldness. Windows were even designed with obscure glass or stained glass; possibly negating the need for curtains altogether.

Most windows are plain glass and so the need for a curtain continued; if only to prevent noisy neighbors watching your every move. Even with the development of glass, curtains remained pieces of material draped across the openings.

The 18th and 19th Centuries

The textiles that had been used for so many years in the eastern parts of the world started to come to the west during this period. This inspired a new range of textile production in France, Italy, Holland and the UK; each product was adapted to include a western feel.

It was only in the first half of the 19th century that mass production started to take off and these gave the humble curtain a new market. Curtains were now a viable option for almost anyone, instead of being the preserve of the wealthiest. The middle classes chose to employ designers to ensure their curtains enhanced the look and feel of their homes. Many curtain styles from this period are very ornate.

War

The two world wars took their toll on curtain design. Limited materials and funds meant all curtains became simplistic sheets, designed simply to cover the window and even to stop light getting out. The post-war years saw many buildings becoming multiple dwellings and this led to curtains which fit with the architect of the building, although maybe not to the interior décor.

It has only been in the last twenty years that curtains have been seen as part of the interior design and more than just a functional item. They really can make a huge difference to the look of a room. The ideal height, model and material will transform your home into the most welcoming environment!

By: Edward Francis and VanessaArbuthnott.co.uk!

The A-Z Glossary of Home Remodeling Terms

Abatement
The encapsulation or removal of building materials containing pollutants (such as lead or asbestos) to prevent the release of or exposure to fibers.

Acclimation
The adjustment to changes in the climate or environment. Some materials may need time to acclimate before they are positioned in a kitchen or bath.

Accessories
Additional cabinetry items such as overlays, moldings, etc to enhance the appearance and quality of a project. Also includes towel bars, soap dishes, hardware, etc.

Apron
Trim attached below a tabletop or window sill

Backsplash
1)The portion of the exposed area between the bottom of the wall cabinets and the top of the countertop. 2) Also, an elevated section of counter material approximately 4″ high typically part of the countertop. Backsplashes are necessary to prevent water from seeping into the seam between the counter and drywall.

Banquette
A built-in table with chairs in an alcove.

Barn door
Hardware that allows the door to slide along a wall. Useful when a pocket door is too costly or not possible.

Base cabinets
Cabinetry used on the floor to provide countertop support and typically is 34 ½ inches tall and 24 inches deep.

Bearing wall
A wall designed and placed in a position to hold more of a load above it. Usually around the perimeter of a house and in strategic locations to support floor, ceiling, and roof beams.

Casing
An enclosed frame around a door or window opening. Also called trim.

CFM
Cubic feet per minute; used as a measure of the amount of air a fan can move

Chair rail
A trim piece that runs horizontally on a wall at the height of a chair back and is used to make the transition between a wainscot and upper wall. Originally used to prevent damage to a wall from the backs of chairs.

Crown Molding
Crown molding encapsulates a large family of moldings which are designed to gracefully flare out to a finished top edge. Crown molding is generally used for capping walls, pilasters, and cabinets, and is used extensively in the creation of interior and exterior cornice assemblies and door and window hoods.

In recent times, crown moldings have generally made their appearance as mostly decorated plaster or wooden trim where walls meet ceilings.

Clearance space
The space required for a safe and clear use of an appliance, cabinet doors and safe passage.

Color temperature
The color of the lamp itself as compared to the color of a black reference substance when heated to various temperatures Kelvin, and the effect the lamp color has on the color of an object being illuminated by it. Or an index of how the light source itself looks to us, measured in degrees Kelvin (K).

Compact fluorescent (CFL)
A type of fluorescent lamp with the fluorescent tube coiled into a compact shape in a size similar to an incandescent bulb.

Compartmentalized bathroom
A bathroom where individual activities, like toileting or showering, are separated by walls into individual compartments.

Concealed hinge
A hinge that is attached to the door and the inside end panel or stile of a cabinet, making it not visible from the exterior of the cabinet

Construction plan
A drawing that shows both the existing conditions of the structure and the changes to be made to achieve the design

Dormer
A structure built atop a roof to increase the usable space below or to contain windows. A window set vertically in a structure projecting through a sloping roof

Energy efficiency
Ratio of energy output of a conversion process or of a system to its energy input.

Farmhouse Sink
A deep sink that has a finished front. Set onto a countertop, the finished front of the sink remains exposed. This style of sink requires very little “reach-over” to access the sink.

Gable Vent
Vent openings mounted in the top of a gable of a house to allow the exchange of air in the attic.

Grab bars
Safety bars installed in bathtubs and showers to prevent falls. A device, usually installed on a wall, that provide support while rising from, sitting in, entering, or exiting a bathtub or shower.

HVAC
Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning.

I.L.T. (Integral Light Technology) Grilles
Grilles are permanently bonded to the inside and outside of your window glass. Nonglare foam spacer in between the grilles casts a realistic shadow like individual windowpanes would. Creates the most authentic look of true-divided-light windows.

Island
An area of cabinets and countertops which can be accessed and walked around from all sides. Considered free standing.

Laminate
Any thin material such as wood or plastic glued to the exterior of a cabinet, countertop or other surface.

Lazy Susan
A corner cabinet on which the shelves are mounted on a vertical axle such that items may be retrieved by pushing on the shelves to turn them may also be called a lazy Susan. This type is usually found in kitchens. Closed, this type of lazy Susan appears to be two normal cabinets at right angles to each other. When pushed on, the cabinet “doors” reveal the shelves, which are circular except for the ninety degree cutout where the doors are mounted.

Lead time
The time between when a product or item is purchased to the actual delivery date.

Linoleum
An all natural flooring material made of linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone, and pigments; regarded as environmentally friendly flooring.

Low-E (Low Emissive)
Glass that reflect heat, not light, and therefore keeps spaces warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Molding
An embellishment in strip form, made of wood or other structural material, that is used to decorate or finish a surface, such as the wall of a room or around a door or window

Muntin
A small vertical or horizontal strip that divides window panes from each other.

Oil-Rubbed Bronze
The Oil Rubbed Bronze finish is a chemically darkened surface designed to simulate aged bronze. This finish is very dark and varies from a deep chocolate brown to a dark gray and usually has copper undertones.

Particle Board
A panel product made from sawdust or wood particles, bonded with a resin under high heat and pressure.

Partition Wall
A wall that separates rooms, or divides a room. Partition walls are usually not load-bearing. Partition walls are constructed of many materials, including steel panels, bricks, blocks of clay, terra-cotta, concrete, or glass blocks.

Pedestal sink
A free-standing fixture with a wide top and narrow base that conceals the plumbing.

Pendant
A lighting fixture hung from the ceiling containing one or more lamps.

Peninsula
An area of cabinets or counter fastened on one side which can be accessed and walk up to on three sides.

Picture Rail
A horizontal trim piece installed high up on a wall as a means of hanging pictures without puncturing the wall with nails or brads.

Pocket door
A door that slides horizontally on a track and is typically moved inside a wall for storage.

Powder room
A small bathroom for guest near the public areas of the home. Consists of a sink and toilet.

R&R
Remove and Replace. A term describing simple remodeling project that involves removing and replacing cabinetry, fixtures and appliances without structural or mechanical changes.

Radiant Heating
An efficient heating system that warms cold objects, which then radiate heat into the surrounding space evenly.

R-Value
A measure of the thermal resistance of material, especially insulation.

Sconce
A light fixture that is fixed to a wall.

Scope
The sum of the products and services to be provided as a project.

Sheetrock™
A brand of drywall that is itself often used as a term for drywall.

Sight lines
The range or visual field in direct line with a person’s eyes, impacted by the position a person will be in when the space or product is being used. This is useful in planning heights of fixtures, fittings, lighting, windows, and more.

Sill
The portion of the door or window assembly at the bottom or floor, including the fixed and movable parts of the window or door and the fixed portion of the building into which the window or door mounts.

Site Plan (Mortgage Survey)
A drawing prepared to scale showing the placement of a proposed building(s), location of existing structures, and other lot development features — setback measurements, driveways, fencing, landscaping.

Soaking tub
Extra deep tub that allows the user to submerge to their neck.

Soffit
A lowered portion of a ceiling. The horizontal surface below the eave. A porch roof. The under surface of a lowered portion of the ceiling. A “bulkhead” in Canada. An enclosed area used to fill a space between the tops of the wall cabinets and the ceiling.

Solid Surfacing
A class of rigid surfacing materials made of acrylic and/or polyester resins mixed with alumina tryhydrate.

Studs
Framing members of the wall, usually 2x4s or 2x6s which the cabinets are fastened to.

Subcontractors
Contractors who will work specifically for another contractor or design firm

Sub-flooring
The flooring applied directly to the floor joist on top of which the finished floor rests.

Task lighting
Added lighting for specific tasks, like grooming, dressing, reading, etc. Lighting focused on an work area.

Toe kick
An indented space in cabinetry near the floor to accommodate the feet while standing next to a cabinetry.

Tongue and Groove
A method of fitting similar objects together, edge to edge, used mainly with wood, in flooring, parquetry, panelling, and similar constructions. Tongue and groove joints allow two flat pieces to be joined strongly together to make a single flat surface. Each piece has a slot (the groove) cut all along one edge, and a thin, deep ridge (the tongue) on the opposite edge. The tongue projects a little less than the depth of the groove. Two or more pieces thus fit together closely. The joint is not normally glued, as shrinkage would then pull the tongue off.

Traffic Patterns
The normal walkway or passage a person would go from one place to another.

Transom
A horizontal window set above a door or other windows.

Underlayment
A material placed over the subfloor plywood sheeting and under the finish covering to provide a smooth, even surface. A non-structural sheet material installed on a subfloor to provide a stable, level and smooth base for the floorcovering.

Updraft ventilation systems
A kitchen ventilation system that includes a hood over a cooking surface to capture the air borne by-products of cooking and a fan to pull air up; captured air is either exhausted to the outside or filtered and re-circulated into the room, depending on the system

Vanity
Bathroom cabinet with the sink on top.

Vapor Barrier
Any material used for damp proofing, typically a plastic or foil sheet, that resists diffusion of moisture through wall, ceiling and floor assemblies of buildings to prevent interstitial condensation.

Vessel sink
A sink bowl or basin that sits on top of the counter or ledge.

Wainscoting
An application of wood paneling up to the middle or lower half of a wall

Work Triangle
The distance between the three primary work centers (cooking surface, clean-up/prep primary sink, and refrigeration). Ideally between 12 and 26 feet in total length.

Source: Many of these definitions were obtained from the NKBA.

The Benefits of Visiting Our Showroom

The majority of our potential clients will initiate their contact with us by sending an email or calling us on the phone, and requesting a free in-home consultation. While we in no way discourage this, I would humbly suggest that the better route to take would be to first stop by our Showroom. We are open from 8:30 to 5:30 Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, which should accommodate almost any schedule.

The reason I see it most beneficial to visit our Showroom before making an in-home consultation appointment is, by visiting, you will have the opportunity to meet with multiple members of our staff, from design, to pricing, to production. Even potentially the installers who will be working on your job, the bookkeeper who can answer any questions related to financing, and the marketing team who will gift you with a promotional item or two! We might be having an employee’s birthday party and invite you in for a slice of ice cream cake. You will have an inside view into our company culture instead of one stranger appearing on your doorstep.

Sometimes a walk-in client will be greeted by one of our designers, begin a discussion about their project, and come to a technical question that that individual is not an expert on. We can easily grab the nearby expert, and answer your question for you right there. Have a question about how long your project will take to start? Ask our production department, who know their schedules better than anyone. You can even meet the owner and shake his hand. I think you are beginning to get my point.

Additionally, we have thousands of product samples here that will inspire you. You will have a much better direction of which samples you would like brought out to your home during the in-home consultation. You can even borrow some to take home with you!

I would sincerely suggest visiting us here, developing a rapport with a design consultant, and then making an appointment for him/her to meet with you at your home to proceed further. By visiting us you will have a much clearer picture of whether or not our company is a good fit for you. Call 596-777-6633 to make an appointment to come visit, or walk-ins are always welcome!

Windows with Blinds Between the Glass: Pros and Cons

Windows and doorwalls with blinds between the glass are a fairly recent invention, one that we at Kopke Remodeling have fully embraced. However, while researching them online, I found some negative opinions on such products (articles arguing that the cons outweigh the pros). Here at Kopke, we LOVE blinds between the glass, and would recommend them to everyone! Not only do we think they are nice in theory, we have employees who have lived with them for 6+ years. Therefore, this article serves to dispel any and all such negative opinions.

The window/door brands we carry that offer blinds in between the glass are Pella, Jeldwen and Sunrise. I’m sure others exist, but these are the few we will concentrate on today. The most common brand we sell is Pella.

When you are dealing with double-pane windows, the blinds exist between the two panes, which negates the possibility of filling this cavity with argon gas, which helps with insulation. This is one of the main reasons people shy away from blinds between the glass. However, when you opt for triple-pane windows, which are most common nowadays, the blinds are nestled in between two of the panes, leaving room for argon gas between the other two. This is very common, and although the insulative properties might be slightly inferior to windows with argon gas in both cavities, it is extremely adequate, especially for Michigan climates.

Another supposed negative is that the blinds are inaccessible, if anything ever needs to be cleaned, un-kinked, or replaced, which simply is not true. With Pella windows, for example, the outside pane of glass is removable, which allows access to the blinds for repairs/replacements. All aforementioned companies also offer 10 year warranties on their blinds. If anything were to go wrong within 10 years, it could be easily fixed.

The price is another negative factor. However, we feel the blinds upgrade is extremely affordable. At approximately $200 a window, the cost is comparable to any other window treatments you might buy for your windows.

Here is a personal example: In my childhood home, I remember when my parents had a beautiful bay window installed facing the backyard. They went in search of window treatments and found some stylish, wooden, expensive blinds that they loved and some cheaper, vinyl, bearable blinds that they ultimately decided on (using price as the main deciding factor). These blinds were so noisy, hard to operate, and unattractive that my parents soon went back to the store and bought the more expensive wooden blinds. These were beautiful at first, but keeping them dust-free became part of our monthly home maintenance (much to the distaste of their teenage daughters). ???? Also, the cords were perpetually becoming tangled, having energetic cats at play.

In their next home, blinds between the glass was a no-brainer for my parents. With these blinds, there is no dusting, no tangled cords, and you are actually able to SEE the windows you just bought! With most traditional window treatments, your new windows are all covered up, and you are not able to enjoy looking at your new investment.

In all three window examples above, the blinds featured are raise & tilt metal mini blinds. These are our favourite, because they can be raised all the way up for a clear view out of the window. Tilt-only blinds work the same way, but they cannot be raised out of the way. Also available are cloth pleated shades. These come in 22 colors, some of which are billed as “room-darkening”. With these cloth shades, you can create a romantic atmosphere.

Okay, so now that you are convinced that blinds between the glass are the greatest thing since sliced bread, here is the offer I have for you! For the month of July, we are offering free blind upgrades for every other window! This will come out to about $100 off each window. (Offer includes: blinds between the glass/pleated shades/muttons, but excludes I.L.T.)

If you have any additional questions about windows and your available upgrades, call us at (586) 777-6633 or email me at kkopke@kopkehome.com

How Much Does Remodeling Cost (In Southeast Michigan)? Part 2

I tallied up every job we completed in the year 2014, and arranged them by subject to show you a guideline of how much you can expect to spend when you decide to undertake a remodeling project. You can see the low end, the high end, and the averages for each category. For an exact quote on your project, contact us at (586) 777-6633 !







Note: Some of our customers replace a few windows at a time, and some do the whole house at once.





Note: a Minor Kitchen or Minor Bath project is one in which the layout is not rearranged – plumbing is not moved – complete tear-out does not take place. These projects include things like cabinet replacing or refacing, new countertops, new flooring, tub to shower conversion, etc.