Jack Frost Nipping At Your… Double-Paned Windows? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Ah, frost. Frost is a sign that ’tis the season to be jolly and all that holiday jazz, but frost in between your double-paned windows is a sign of a problem. Here’s what you should know if you can’t see through your window due to frost in between the panes.  Frost is trapped, frozen moisture While it’s obvious that frost is frozen moisture, many people do not realize that there should not be any moisture in between the panes of a double-paned window. This enclosed space should be sealed tight so no moisture can get inside. A tightly sealed space in between the panes is what gives the window the insulation capabilities that this design was created for. Frost, which is simply frozen condensation, won’t clear up when it’s trapped inside this space until the temperature on both sides of the window is the same as the temperature inside the space, which would mean there is no dew point. The dew point is the temperature at which water vapor in air forms into visible water droplets, which happens because water vapor moves closer together when the air cools until the droplets become large. During the winter months, the exterior pane would collect condensation that would turn into frost. During the summer months, the condensation would form on the interior pane due to the cooler indoor temperatures from air conditioning.  Banish moisture and frost for good Therefore, the only way to clear things up and keep them clear year-long is to remove the moisture from in between the window panes. One way to do this is by installing one-way valves on both sides of the window so a small amount of fresh air can enter the space, which will push the same amount of air (and moisture) out of the space on the other side. While this will work to prevent moisture from getting trapped, it will reduce the insulation capabilities of the double-paned window.  You can also reglaze the window or replace the entire window, especially if you live in a cold weather climate and are looking for cost-savings in your heating bill. If you consider either of these options and have an older house with wood-framed windows, consider installing new vinyl windows to avoid condensation and frost problems in the future. Wooden windows are more susceptible to breakages in the moisture-barrier seals since wood is more prone to water damage than vinyl; have a peek here for more information on vinyl...

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Planning A Custom Home? 3 Must-Have Features That Will Make Life More Pleasant

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re in the market for a new home, don’t buy one that’s someone else’s dream home. Hire a contractor to design a custom home especially for you. Choosing a custom home will allow you to add features that you might not find anywhere else. It will also give you the opportunity to add some features that you might not have thought of yet. While you’re working on the design for your new home, here are three features you should add to the plans. Think Dual-Flush Toilets You already know that you’re going to need toilets in each of the bathrooms, but that doesn’t mean you need to settle on the same standard style that everyone else has. Instead of choosing the basic single-flush models that use too much water when flushing urine, and often require multiple flushes for solid waste, choose dual-flush toilets instead. Dual-flush toilets allow for different water levels and pressure when flushing liquid and solid waste. This will ensure that you’re not wasting water on your liquid flushes, and that you don’t have to use multiple flushes to get the solids down. Go with Radiant Heat Floors There’s nothing worse than freezing your bare feet on the bathroom floor in the middle of winter. You won’t have to worry about that if you have your contractor install radiant heat floors in your new home. You don’t have to worry about any expensive systems either. Your contractor can install the radiant heat flooring unit on the subfloor beneath the tiles. You won’t have to worry about cold feet in the bathroom ever again. Install a Water Re-circulation Unit If you’re tired of running out of hot water, talk to your contractor about installing a water re-circulation unit. One of the problems with traditional water heaters is that the water inside the pipes gets cold between uses. That means you need to run the water until it heats up. Not only is that time-consuming, it’s also a waste of water. With water re-circulation, the water in the pipes is circulated through the house so that it’s not wasted. You get hot water when you need it without wasting water. Now that you’re designing your own custom home, make sure you get everything you want. With custom plans, you can eliminate flushing problems, alleviate cold feet, and prevent cold showers. Be sure to talk to your contractor about other additions that will make life better in your new home. For more information and advice, contact a custom home builder at a company like David James Custom...

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When To Invest In A Boundary Survey

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Locating property lines can be challenging in a changing landscape. This is especially true for properties that haven’t exchanged hands in several years and have old property descriptions listed on the deed. Rather than relying on what your eyes can see, it’s always best to invest in a boundary survey when you need accurate information about property lines. Here are three situations where a boundary survey can prove invaluable. 1. When you intend to subdivide your land. If you own a large tract of land, you may decide that selling a portion of that land could be financially beneficial. The process of breaking up one large tract of land into smaller sections for individual sale is known as subdividing. Investing in a boundary survey is critical when you are subdividing your land because you are creating new property lines where none existed before. Having a clear marking of the new property lines will help the buyer know exactly how much land they are purchasing, and it will allow you to subdivide your property without the risk of boundary disputes in the future. 2. When you want to build a fence. The addition of a fence can create privacy and add a level of security to your property. Before you can construct a fence, you need to know where the boundary line for your property is. You don’t want to leave too much room between your fence and your neighbor’s property, but you also don’t want to build on your neighbor’s property and run the risk of having to tear down the fence and rebuild. A boundary survey will show you exactly where your fence should be placed. Just because a fence already exists doesn’t necessarily mean it is in the right location, so be sure to have a boundary survey conducted whenever you are adding or replacing a fence line on your property. 3. When you are in a property dispute with a neighbor. When a neighboring piece of property changes ownership, you may find that the new owner may take issue with the location of your driveway, fence, or other structure. If there is a dispute over whose property these structures are built upon, investing in a boundary survey can provide much-needed answers. Having a surveyor come and clearly mark the boundary line between your property and your new neighbor’s will help settle any disputes that might arise. Knowing when to rely on the help of a boundary surveyor will allow you to accurately identify and maintain your property lines in the...

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Just Bought A Home With A Gravel Yard When You Really Want Grass Instead?

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Because of water conservation efforts, there’s been a lot of focus in the last few years on “hardscaping” rather than landscaping—but that might not be the best thing for you if you’ve just moved into a house where you plan on raising a family and you want a yard with grass for the kids to play. If you’re looking at a backyard full of gravel that you’d like to see turned into a place that kids can play, here are some suggestions that should make it easier to accomplish. 1.) Create a raised border out of some of the gravel in order to make use of the materials on hand. You can still use some of that hardscaping to your benefit by creating a border area. If you buy edging stones or erect concrete borders, you can essentially create a permanent edge around the outer area of your yard that can be used to add depth and color to the yard. If you aren’t sure you want to keep the border, consider railroad ties or wooden slats instead.  You can essentially scoop a good bit of the gravel into the border areas and create a raised edge. Cover the gravel over with a layer of topsoil thick enough that none of the gravel can be seen. This doesn’t create the ideal environment for a lot of plants—you’ll have great drainage but relatively little nutrients—so you have to pick the type of plants to add to the borders carefully if you want success. Consider sticking with a few hardy varieties that deal well with shallow, rocky ground. Perennial ground covers like Chinese juniper, creeping juniper and red cedar will give you all-year color, Mix in several annual plants like common sage, stonecrop, and English lavender, and you’ll have beautiful summer colors as well. 2. Cover the remaining gravel with topsoil and plant your grass. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers who tell you that you can’t get a yard full of healthy grass once gravel’s been put down. You just need the right amount of topsoil to do it. Essentially, while you can get away with a minimum of 6″ of good, rich topsoil to start your grass growing, you’ll do better if you plan on starting with 12″ minimum layer of topsoil. That gives the dirt plenty of space to settle without compromising the needs of the grassroots. Experts also recommend that you incorporate about 1–2″ of organic compost into the topsoil by mixing it into the upper layers before you plant your grass seed. 3. Consider hydroseeding as an additional option to get the best start. While you can simply lay down your grass seed at this point using a...

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Make Sure Your Home’s Electrical System Is Ready For Winter

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

In just a short amount of time, the harshness of winter will be here. As a result, you’re likely taking action around your home to prepare. Make sure you aren’t overlooking your electrical system during this process. Here are a handful of tips to get your home’s electrical system ready for winter. Invest In A Surge Protector Now is an excellent time to invest in a surge protector. During the winter, heavy snow and ice are enough to completely knock out the power in a home. If you don’t have a surge protector, this sudden loss of power could send powerful electrical currents running rampant, possibly leading to a dangerous electrical fire. Surge protectors control the current when you unexpectedly lose power. Not only do these units help protect your home from a fire, but they also protect your appliances and other household electronics from damage in the event of a power loss. Evaluate Load Capacity During the colder months of the year, most people tend to spend more time inside the house. When you couple this with frequent holiday guests and seasonal decorations like holiday lights, the amount of electricity you use within your home can substantially increase during this period. Especially if you live in an older home that hasn’t had the electrical system updated in some time, it’s a good idea to have the load capacity of your electrical system evaluated. During this process, a certified electrician will ensure that the amount of electricity you are using won’t exceed your limits, which is also critical to preventing a fire. Perform A Visual Inspection Prior to the start of winter, it’s a good idea to perform a visual inspection around the exterior of your home. First, locate your electrical box and ensure that its cover is still intact. These covers seal the box and prevent moisture from getting inside, which could cause significant damage. Next, check to ensure there is a good amount of space between any tree limbs and power lines. Both snow and ice can weigh down tree limbs. If the limb is already close to the power line, this extra weight could easily make it come in contact with the power line, resulting in a power outage. Have a professional trim any necessary limbs to stay on the safe side. The more effort you put towards preparing your home’s electrical system for the winter, the better you can protect your home and, most importantly, the safer your family. Make sure you are taking steps to accomplish this goal. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website...

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