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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

When to Repair or Replace Your Roof + FREE Gutter Guards

Leaks, renovations, and old age: no matter what the motivation, there never seems to be a convenient time to deal with roofing issues. So how do you know when you should simply repair your roof or invest in a whole new one?

The first, and most important, factor is age. The lifespan of roofing materials vary widely, so it’s good to know what you’re dealing with first.

Asphalt: The most common shingles in roofing, these materials typically last 15 to 20 years. New, high-quality shingles sometimes claim a lifespan up to 40 years.

Wood: Made of western red cedar, cypress, pine and redwood trees, these shingles can last for 15 years or more, depending on the quality and the type of the wood.

Slate: They may be expensive, but slate roofs can last up to 100 years.

Concrete and Clay: These heavy materials are very durable and can last up to 200 years.

Metals: Metal roofs have long been used on commercial properties but are now also being used on contemporary residences, too. Metal roofs can last for centuries.

The second factor to consider is the type of issue you are having. Many roof leaks can be repaired for the short term without having to replace the entire roof. Leaks often occur when there are problems with the flashing, the thin, continuous pieces of sheet metal or other impervious material installed to prevent the passage of water into a structure from an angle or joint. You’ll usually see this when two parts of a roof join together, where the roof meets the chimney or where the roof meets a plumbing vent. If you’re finding that there is extensive damage from moisture to the roofing layer or any interior surfaces, you should probably consider a full replacement.

Another factor to consider is the shape of your shingles. If you’re missing a few shingles, or a handful are damaged, you can replace them. If more than 30 percent of your roof has torn, split, curled or missing shingles, it’s time to add a new roof. You’ll sometimes see this suddenly after a bad hailstorm.

Lastly, if your home recently survived a major catastrophe, such as a tornado or hurricane, you might very well need a new roof. You’ll usually damage beyond what you can usually see.

Your best bet is to call reputable roofing professional. They will do a thorough inspection and give you options of what you can do to repair your roof and compare those to the cost and benefits of total or partial replacement.

SPRING SPECIAL! Our back room is full of a bunch of extra gutter guard material. So with every new roof, we are giving away FREE gutter protection. The metal mesh is great for allowing rain to get in, but stopping pesky leafs, sticks, debris and rodents in their tracks. Call us for this special offer: (586) 777-6633. While supplies last.

From Kitchens to Baths: What You Need to Know About Tile Materials

Whether you’re re-doing your kitchen or your bathroom, chances are that tile is in your plans. There are a variety of tile types available. Choosing the best one depends on where you plan to put it and the amount of care you are willing to provide to keep it looking its best.

Stone

Natural stone tiles are commonly made from slate, granite, travertine, marble or limestone. The wide range of colors and textures make these tiles a popular choice in the home, especially in bathrooms because of the stone’s water absorption qualities.

• Benefits. Stone is durable and can withstand heavy use. Its natural look works well with a variety of décor styles, giving it a timeless quality. It’s especially well-suited to the bathroom because moisture doesn’t damage stone.

• Concerns. The primary concern with stone is staining. It isn’t often used in kitchens unless it is thoroughly sealed, because it can easily absorb grease and food stains. Stone is also one of the more expensive options, so it may not be suitable for large projects.

Glass

Few tile options give you more choices than glass. Glass tiles come in nearly every color imaginable. Frosted, textured, translucent, mirrored and opaque glasses are available in a variety of tile shapes and sizes.

• Benefits. The enhanced shine and reflective qualities of glass give a look of cleanliness and spaciousness to both the bathroom and kitchen. It works well on both the walls, as a backsplash, or as a flooring option. Glass is extremely durable, stain-resistant and easy to clean – water and a bit of glass cleaner is all you need. It works especially well in mosaics and a trim.

• Concerns. Glass can feel cold, so it may not be the best flooring option in a cool bathroom. It can also be slippery, so it’s often only used as an accent piece on a bathroom floor.

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are becoming more common because of their versatility. Available in a range of colors and shapes, you can create almost any design with these durable tiles.

• Benefits. The tiles themselves are easy to clean and resist staining. You can also control the slip factor by choosing a ceramic finish that provides some slip resistance. Ceramic tiles are often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and as shower surrounds because of their durability.

• Concerns. Although the tiles are easy to clean, the grout lines are prone to staining and mildew. Sealing the grout can help prevent these issues, although they may requiring periodic resealing. When selecting ceramic tiles, quality matters. Low-quality tiles can be prone to chipping and cracking.

Stainless Steel, Copper and Metal

Metal tiles are becoming more popular due to their clean lines and easy maintenance. Durability and care requirements do vary depending on the type of metal chosen.

• Benefits. Most metal tiles can simply be wiped clean. Etching and tarnish can be an issue on some metals, like copper, so these are usually used in small applications, such as a kitchen backsplash. Constant moisture exposure can also cause the metal to age, so they are typically only used in kitchen applications.

• Concerns. Scratching and etching are the primary concerns with any metal tile. You can’t use abrasive cleaners and constant sweeping is necessary to prevent grit damage to metal floors. Metal is also cold, so it’s not the best option for a bathroom floor.

This post is brought to you by www.glasstileoasis.com. Benjamin Lamm is a communication specialist and blogger. Ben enjoys playing the guitar, spending time with family and social networking.

Space-Saving Tips for Your Small Kitchen

In your home, it is in the kitchen where most of the wonders happen. In a way, it is like the heart of your dwelling, serving as a place where you prepare meals for your family with tender loving care. There is always the constant desire to pretty up your kitchen, choosing elegant and tasteful fixtures like quartz tiles, decorating with flowers, artwork and other things that will add color. Chances are, though, that your kitchen may be a little bit too cramped, and the frills of having a beautiful kitchen to prepare delightful meals have been dampened, along with your spirits. Fear not, for no kitchen is impossible to remodel or shake around to come up with some more space.

1. Go for smaller-sized appliances.

Appliances are usually the bigger dwellers of our kitchens, and we tend to think that we are forced to live with them and their bulkiness. One thing to consider when buying appliances is to gun for the smaller models. Take note of the measurements of your current kitchen space and find the appliances that will fit best.

2. Maximize your cabinet space.

Storing things in your available cabinets is never as simple as fitting a square peg in a square hole. Oftentimes, cabinet space is not entirely maximized because it isn’t very easy to stack things up in a way that each square inch is filled.

To ensure that you efficiently get to use your cabinets, explore the possibilities of installing extra shelves or rods inside. If not, you can purchase stackable baskets and wire racks to create several layers inside your cabinets.

3. Utilize your wall space.

Hooks and racks can do wonders for your kitchen, not just because they give easy access to the items you use often, such as pots, pans and cooking utensils. Storing your things using hooks is also a great way to effectively use every available surface. The great thing about using hooks and racks is that you can install them on any surface, whether on your backsplash made of quartz tiles, or simply on your concrete wall.

4. Avoid round containers.

It is usually very difficult to store and stack round food keepers. For practical reasons, and to really save on every inch of space available, it is always best to invest in square or rectangular containers.

5. Think vertical.

If you’ve been focusing too much on squeezing more items into your overflowing counter, shelves and drawers, it is highly possible that you have missed out on another option: vertical space. Perhaps you are at a point where the quartz tiles on your counter don’t get much cleaning because you’ve been storing some items on it permanently, or your drawers house unrelated items already. Sometimes, we tend to stick to the space that we can easily reach, and so we forget that most of the surfaces on the higher parts of our kitchen walls may actually be converted into storage space.

To truly maximize every single usable inch of space in your kitchen, you can consider installing overhead cabinets and higher shelves. If you’re worried about having a hard time accessing the things you store in those areas, the best strategy would be to restrict those storage spaces for items that you do not need very often.

When it all comes down to it, space-saving is truly just two things—keeping everything neat and organized, and creatively putting to use every area of your kitchen. Keeping these tips in mind and coupling them with a regular schedule of general kitchen upkeep, you won’t need to worry about finding space in your kitchen, no matter the size!

Author Bio:

Aubrey Madrona is a Social Media Specialist. She loves Music and spends a lot of her time playing piano and reading. She’s currently building her reputation as an online writer of Marble Mosaics Blog.