A Guide to New Home Windows

A Guide To New Home Windows

 

Many homes tend to serve as hot spots for meetings, family gatherings, and play dates, especially with more and more people having to work from home and even do homeschooling. 

Homeowners are noticing more and more all the items in their home that are needing some replacing or TLC. After years of use and activity, your home is bound to require some updates — including the windows. There are numerous benefits that come with new home windows, but what exactly are they? Windows can have an impact on the value of your house, and in some cases can lower heating and cooling costs. The following post will cover the main factors to consider when investing in new windows. 

How Windows Impact Home Value 

As a homeowner, you probably realize that the housing market tends to fluctuate. To keep up, renovations may be necessary from time to time. Even if you don’t plan to sell, performing proper maintenance could help boost your home value. In fact, windows are an often-underrated selling point of a house. While replacing windows isn’t necessarily a cheap DIY project, it almost always boosts value.

On average, it costs about $5,421 to install new windows. To replace all of them in a house, you might spend on average $12,000. However, you could earn roughly $10,000 back in resale value, increasing the likelihood of a larger net profit.

When Should You Update? 

It’s expected that over time your house may experience some wear and tear. As such, it might need to undergo renovations. Here are a few ways to tell if your windows need to be replaced:

You feel drafts coming in around the framesYour energy bills are increasingThere’s noticeably more condensation or frost on the glassThe frames are starting to decay or chipThere’s visible damage caused by wind, rain, freezing temperatures, or extreme sunlight

Aside from replacing non efficient or broken panes, you might consider updating the windows to increase curb appeal. If the rest of your house is in top shape but the windows look outdated, it could throw off the aesthetic of the property. Torn screens or old-fashioned window designs might decrease the market price because they make the rest of the house look unkempt.

Modern renovations, such as swapping single pane windows with energy efficient units, can add value to your home and make a positive visual impression. You might be surprised how much more welcoming your residence looks when the outside is well-maintained.

Determining Insurance Coverage 

Most homeowners insurance can cover a variety of repairs. Regardless of the provider and reasons for replacing the windows, it’s helpful to know the coverage options and under what terms you can update your property. For example, most plans cover natural damage, such as from a fire, flood, or storm. Peril policies will usually help if the event occurred outside of the home, while all-risk policies can cover more circumstances.

Wear and tear, negligence, and common maintenance aren’t typically covered in most insurance plans, though supplementary damage might be included. Review your policy for the specifics.

How Windows Impact Your Electrical Costs 

Most older windows are single-pane, which means more hot and cool air can escape as the seasons change. The more panes you have, the more energy efficient. Consider replacing single panes with windows that are more environmentally friendly to help the planet and your wallet. You could save an estimated $126 to $465 per year, depending on where you live and how many units need to be replaced.

Additionally, heating and cooling costs comprise roughly 40% of yearly energy expenses. If your windows aren’t working efficiently, it might cause air leaks and wasted energy. When they work properly, however, you could spend less on your furnace and air conditioning systems.

When thinking of ways to increase home value, your thoughts probably go to the kitchen or bathroom first. However, don’t underestimate the power of new windows. With a little research and some investment, you could boost the home’s value and your family’s comfort.

Written for Waypointe Realty courtesy of Jaclyn Crawford, a staff writer with ImproveNet in 2016, who enjoys chronicling the latest trends and ways you can make your home the loveliest it can be.

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window

Top Bathroom Trends In 2020

Top Bathroom Trends in 2020

 

Wondering what’s hot in bathrooms this year? Whether you are building a new home or ready to remodel, it always pays to learn what’s trending.

Keeping bathrooms fresh and vibrant is a great way to add enjoyment and value to a home. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the most popular and prevalent bathroom trends of 2020.

1. Bold and Shiny Bathroom Tiles

If deep, dark, moody hues are your go-to decorating favorites, you will love one of the top tile trends of 2020. Glossy bold tiles are back in style.

Especially in vogue are jewel-toned tiles such as royal blues and greens.

Make a strong statement in the bathroom with these shades.

2. Raw and Natural Bathroom Tiles

On the flip side of bold and flashy are tiles that return to a more earthy look. Natural textured tiles can work on walls or floors.

If you use them for the floor, though, invest in rugs that will be comfortable to step on each day, as this kind of texture can be hard on the feet. One especially fashionable choice for floors is travertine, with its warm hue that flouts the long-held standard of bright and white in the bathroom.  

3. Tiles in Unique Shapes

Squares and rectangles are only two of the many possibilities for bathroom tiles. 

Everything from hexagons to scallops is making waves these days. When you’re creating a stylish bathroom, think outside the box with shape and size. 

4. Showstopping Bathtubs

The love of luxury is here to stay in bathroom design. Recent luxurious developments include interesting tub shapes and eye-catching freestanding designs. 

Not only are classic oval and rectangle options available, but you can also select a round tub to create a unique aesthetic. Deep-soaking tubs are still beloved, as they give homeowners a place to relax and unwind with maximum comfort. 

An increasing number of black tubs can be found in current home showcases as well. These add a note of opulence to their surroundings. 

5. The Color Black

Speaking of black tubs, this is a color that’s truly on-trend in today’s bathrooms. Forget the more muted gray and go with bold black instead! 

Look for it in light fixtures, vanities, mirrors, and more to distinguish your bathroom from the traditional design.  

6. Raw Stone Sinks

There’s nothing like the natural beauty of a raw stone stink. Add one to any bathroom to up the wow factor. 

If you are considering installing one in a bathroom with heavy usage, however, keep in mind natural stone can be hard to clean. 

7. Brushed Brass Finishes 

The elegance of brushed brass is trending in bathroom designs, especially when homeowners want to create a luxurious, spa-like space, such as in the master suite. 

Favored for its sophistication and glamour, brass has many applications for the bathroom. This finish is effective on faucets, mirrors, vanity hardware, and light fixtures. 

8. Smart Upgrades

As technology continues to evolve, so do bathrooms. Trending today are high-tech toilets, seat warmers, automatic lid openers, smart showers, automatic sinks, and the ever-popular built-in Bluetooth speaker system. 

If you love a little tech boost at home, also consider voice-activated lighting and mirrors that talk to you!​ 

When you want to stay on the cutting edge of modern bathroom design, exploring trends is key. 

The eight ideas above are a great place to start for your bathroom. Pick the in-style ideas that are most appealing and work them into the design, knowing you are in good company. 

Written for Waypointe Realty courtesy of Erica Garland, Content Marketing Manager at Modern Bathroom with 15-plus years of experience in the bathroom renovation industry. 

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Red Flags Before Hiring a Home Contractor

The success of major home improvement projects largely depends on the contractor you hire. Yet not all working contractors are qualified to do the job. Some may have a friendly demeanor over the phone and offer you a great deal, but then cut corners on the job site, leaving you in the dark about their progress.

With money and time on the line, it’s imperative to find a highly qualified, competent professional you can trust with your unique job. Here are nine red flags you shouldn’t ignore when searching for a contractor for your home renovation.

1. Lacks Contact Information

At a minimum, a reputable contractor should be able to provide you with a working phone number and an address that can be verified with the Better Business Bureau. No physical address is a common sign of an unlicensed contractor. 

Many unlicensed pros can’t afford an official office and often move from area to area in order to stay in business. Beware the contractor who has a PO box or temporary address.

2. Demands Unreasonable Payment Up Front

Most contractors ask for money up front to secure your place on their calendar or begin buying materials. But a contractor who requests more than 15% or the entire sum before starting should set off alarm bells. Chances are, you may be hiring a swindler who will take your money and never return to start or complete the job.

Similarly, some fraudsters will ask to be paid in cash. Without a check or credit card statement to back you, it becomes your word versus the contractor’s in any payment dispute. 

To avoid getting scammed, be sure to determine a payment schedule before the work begins. A typical arrangement used by professional contractors is one-third paid in advance, one-third halfway through the job, and the final third upon completion of the project. Before the last payment, make sure that all permits have been closed and all final inspections have been completed.

3. Solicits Your Home

As a general rule of thumb, contractors who make cold calls or go door-to-door do not represent legitimate businesses. Often these are phony contractors who are passing through the area in hopes of making a quick buck. These contractors may use high-pressure sales tactics, such as pushing a temporary low rate.

Another common tactic used by these contractors is claiming to have materials left over from a previous job that they wish to use on your home for a reduced cost. While this may sound like a great way to save money, you are not likely to see any of those materials or the contractor after you make a down payment on the job. 

4. Lacks Permits 

After accepting your project, the contractor is responsible for securing the necessary permits. If the contractor asks you to obtain the permits, it may be because he or she is not licensed or registered with the proper state agencies. 

Some fraudsters may even waive permits as an unnecessary expense. However, completing a job without the proper permits can result in unsafe construction and expensive future repairs. Building officials can also shut down an unpermitted job. 

5. Can’t Present Proof of Insurance

Workplace accidents can happen at any time during the renovation, and even the best construction crew can make mistakes. For this reason, it’s essential that the contractor holds adequate liability and workers’ compensation insurance to keep the project protected financially. 

Trustworthy contractors take care to invest in their reputation. Therefore, a contractor should have no problem showing you proof of his or her license and insurance. If a builder can’t present any documentation, move on to the next candidate. 

6. Refuses to Sign a Contract

Pass on the pro who is unwilling to sign a written contract. Verbal contracts allow shifty builders to wiggle on price, job quality and completion dates. Also, verbal agreements make legal action difficult in the event of fraud or unfinished work. 

Licensed and reputable professionals are willing to sign a contract and may even help you write it in some cases. Be sure to get all of the project details in writing, including the scope of the work, types of materials to be used, detailed timeframes, the contractor’s license number, warranties, guarantees, and final costs. Ensure that verbal commitments are written into the contract. 

7. Has Outdated or Missing References

Desirable contractors should have a constantly revolving list of new and satisfied customers. Checking with previous customers is one of the best ways to learn about the quality of work and level of professionalism you can expect to receive. 

Be sure to verify at least three references. If a contractor can’t provide current references from jobs similar to yours, avoid moving forward with that prospect.

8. Lacks a Website, Portfolio, or Reviews 

Always do your due diligence before hiring a general contractor to work on your home. Professionals should have an online presence, portfolios, and reviews that you can use to vet them. Be suspicious of portfolios with too few projects, no before and after photos, and grainy images. 

9. Communicates Poorly 

You’ll want to work with someone who keeps you in the loop during the entire project, so looking for a contractor with great communication skills is key. A good contractor should be willing to tell you about the job’s progress and respond to your calls within a reasonable period. 

You’ve found a great contractor when he or she arrives on time and the project is running according to — or ahead of — schedule. If communication is vague, difficult to understand, or delivered with ill temper, the contractor is not doing an essential part of the job, and it may be time to find a new hire. 

Ultimately, it comes down to hiring someone you feel good about, both personally and professionally. You want a trustworthy professional whose workmanship will create a beautiful residence to be proud of for years to come.

For more red flags you shouldn’t ignore when hiring a home contractor, see the accompanying infographic. 

Author bio: Tim McKenna is an account manager at CraftJack, which connects contractors with homeowners who are looking for assistance with home projects. McKenna works with contractors to find the best lead generation solutions for their businesses and offers helpful advice when needed.

Graphic created by CraftJack, a provider of remodeling contractor leads.

5 Top Home Improvements for the Best Return

New year, new goals. One of those may be renovating your home. If you’ve started thinking about where to budget those home renovations, consider these 5 home improvements that can give you the best return on your investment.
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