Contractor Tips Blog


Pitfalls of DIY Window Installations

If you are considering replacing some or all the windows in your home, you may be looking for ways to cut costs. While new windows can help improve your home’s energy efficiency and give your home a new look, it is an investment. Before you decide to save money by installing your windows yourself, consider the risks. DIY window installation, especially on older homes, is not as simple as it may seem. Here are some of the pitfalls that can occur with DIY window installations.

Size and Leveling Differences

Houses settle and change over time. If you have a home that is a few or more decades old, it may have been many years since the current windows were installed. You may find that there is a difference in the window size and level of the sill once the old window is removed. This requires expertise to install a new window in an unlevel or different-sized hole.

Leaks and Moisture Damage

If windows are not properly sealed and installed, you have the chance of leaks. These can allow moisture inside your walls that can cause rot and mold. The cost of moisture damage will far outweigh the savings of installing windows yourself versus hiring a knowledgeable contractor.

Lost Energy Efficiency

Many people want new windows installed to improve their home’s energy efficiency. While new windows can help insulate your home better, this is only true if they are installed correctly.

While DIY window installation may be tempting to save money, there are many things that can go wrong. Why take the risk? Hire a quality construction contractor that guarantees their window installations to ensure your new windows are installed correctly.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262


4 Efficiency Factors to Consider When Choosing Windows

Windows give your home light and beauty – but you also want them to protect you from the climate outside. Whether it is a hot August day or a cold December night, the more efficient and insulated your windows are, the lower your energy costs for your home. When purchasing new windows, here are four efficiency factors to keep in mind.

  1. Double-paned. Older, single-pane windows do not have the insulative qualities of double-paned windows. The insulating factors are often trapped between these two panes, creating a barrier between the outside air and the air inside your home.
  2. Low-E. When purchasing new windows, consider the emissivity level, referred to in the industry as Low-E windows. This means a special coating has been added to the glass to create low emissivity, reflecting energy back to where it originated. This helps minimize climate-controlled air from escaping or from temperatures outside impacting air inside.
  3. Argon filled. Another efficiency factor is whether the windows are filled with argon gas. This gas helps insulate the windows and is sealed between double-paned windows. This factor improves the thermal exchange rate and also helps with other factors like sound-proofing.
  4. Energy Star rated. If you look for the Energy Star rating, this is a great way to know your new windows have efficient qualities that will help lower energy costs in your home.

Choosing efficient windows can make a big difference in how much you pay to heat and cool your home throughout the year. Talk to your local building contractor about these important efficiency factors when choosing new windows to install in your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262


Does Your Bay Window Need Help?

Bay windows add beauty and character to a home. However, these heavy windows need sufficient support to keep them level and functional. If you have a bay window in your home that looks un-level or no longer will open/close, there may be structural damage causing the problem. Often, it is not the window that is the problem; the window is only a symptom of other issues occurring in the support system of the house.

In homes with original bay windows, a sagging window or functional issues can be signs of a foundation problem. The foundation could be settling or there could be structural issues within the support walls that are allowing the window to become unstable. Since bay windows tend to be heavier than other windows, they can be the first symptom of a structural issue.

If a bay window is part of an addition to the home, the problem may lie in the construction of the addition. Many additions are not properly built to support the weight of a heavy bay window. In these cases, adding the correct support can resolve the problem and ensure the addition is designed to accommodate the weight of the larger window.

If you have a bay window that needs help, you may want to call a foundation expert first, not your local window contractor. Replacing or repairing the window may only put a bandage on the real problem. Since bay window issues are often caused by foundation or structural damage, it is best to have your home inspected for larger issues before wasting money on a window repair. Call a masonry or foundation expert that can fix both any structural damage and your window for the best results.

Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
1027 Oregon Trail
Marietta, GA 30008
(770) 422-2924


Is it Time to Replace Your Windows?

Are your home’s windows out-of-date? The windows available nowadays are much different than those that may have been popular when your home was built. Modern windows offer enhanced energy efficiency and many other features that were not common twenty, thirty or more years ago. Here are a few reasons to consider replacing your old windows.

  • Efficiency. Energy efficiency is important, not only to reduce energy bills but for overall comfort in your home. Poorly insulated windows make it expensive to heat or cool your home and can make it feel drafty inside when the temperatures outside drop. If you choose Energy Star windows, you may even be able to get a tax credit for your window replacement.
  • Style. Windows can change the look and style of your home. Even “efficient” options come in a variety of styles that can improve the curb appeal of your home and add value. If your windows are not adding to the beauty of your home, then maybe it is time to consider replacing them for new, more stylish models.
  • Safety and security. Double-paned glass, secure locks and other options available on modern windows can help improve the safety and security of your home. Keep intruders out and your family safe with new windows for your home.

Often home builders and construction companies opt for cheaper windows to save costs. However, these inferior windows may not be benefiting the style, efficiency or value of your home. Talk to your local contractor about replacing your old windows with new versions that can offer so many benefits, even paying for themselves through tax credits and energy savings in just a few years.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8
th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262


Window Replacement

Knowing when to replace windows is essential to making sure that a home is as efficient as it should be. Windows older than fifteen years of age, windows that are difficult to open or close, and moisture on windows are definite signs that window replacement is necessary. Over time windows need to be replaced due to settling of the home, natural aging of materials, and home improvement. Determining when it is time to replace windows can help the home retain or increase in value. 

Older homes were built with single-pane glass in the windows. Single-pane glass windows are not energy efficient and let much head and cold in during the year. They are also very susceptible to frost during the winter months, making them more fragile which increases the risk of breakage and damage to the home. 

Many people notice that their curtains, carpet, and/or furniture begin to fade. This is because ultraviolet rays entering through windows and patio doors cause the discoloration of materials inside the home. Having window replacements done to upgrade to more energy efficient windows can potentially reduce fading and extend the life of in home items and materials. 

One telltale sign that windows need replacement and should not be ignored is when windows leak in water and air. Inefficient windows can leak which allows water to come in through windows and can damage the window casing and walls of a home. This water leaking is the number one cause of mold and mildew in the home – both that are dangerous to health. 

If you are in need of window replacement in your home, contact your reputable window manufacturer for quality windows. Your home is probably the largest investment that you will make in your lifetime. Make sure your windows are adding value, not taking it away.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 638-1262


Why Do I Need Replacement Windows?

Many older homes in the United States are not energy efficient, especially when compared to newer homes being built today.  One of the biggest factors impacting the energy efficiency of the home is the type of windows being used.  Traditionally, older homes utilized single pane glass and the manufacturing methods of the windows resulting in gaps between the window sashes and the window frame.  The single pane glass, as well as the poor sealing of the window, allows conditioned air to escape as well as allowing unconditioned air to enter the home, resulting in increased energy costs. 

Replacement windows are the ideal solution to improving the energy efficiency of any older home.  In addition to the seals of the windows being much better all but eliminating air leakage, the glass is insulated as well.  Two layers of glass are used to create the insulated glass, with the cavity between the glass panes being vacuum-sealed to prevent condensation. 

The cavity can also be sealed with argon gas, which increases its insulation value as well.  In addition, the glass is available with a low-e coating, which reflects solar radiation away from the window.  On the hottest days, the glass will remain cool to the touch, even in direct sunlight.  An added benefit of low-e glass is that materials used as furnishings or decoration will not fade due to the direct sunlight. 

Window replacement is a cost effective means to improve the energy efficiency of any older home, with the initial investment being recouped quickly!

Posted on behalf of Atwood Home Builders


Types of Window Glass

Now that you’ve decided to replace the windows on your home, the journey has only just begun. Before you get started on you window replacement project, you should put some thought into what type of glass you need for your new windows. Contrary to what you might think, there are a number of choices. 

Sheet glass is what is found on most older homes. It is easy to cut, but it breaks easily and is not very energy efficient. If you’re replacing a pane of glass that’s broken, this type of glass may be your most inexpensive alternative, but it’s probably not the best. 

Another type of glass used for windows is heat-treated, tempered or safety glass. The name speaks for itself, as this glass is designed to have the least impact when it shatters. Tempered glass is used for automobile windshields, but it can also be used in homes for showers or sliding glass doors. 

When shopping for windows, you’ll also come across a type of glass called low-e, or low emissivity, glass. Low-e glass has been treated with an invisible metallic or metallic oxide coating which controls heat transfer. Low-e glass windows cost a little more than other types of windows, but they can cut energy loss by up to 50 percent.

In hotter climates, one might use spectrally treated glass, which has a tinted coating to control the type of light that enters the living space. Homes in parts of the South that have these windows can see a reduction in their cooling bills by as much as 40 percent. 

Patterned glass has a special surface on one side that obscures transparency. This is a great type of glass for privacy in bathrooms, either on windows or a shower stall. 

Given the wide variety of windows on the market, and great differences in price, you might consider using different types of windows throughout your home, based on need. Of course, when in doubt, always consult a window glass specialist.

Posted on behalf of Atwood Home Builders


6 Ways to Tell You Need Window Replacements

It may not seem like it, but replacing the windows on your home can be one of the best things you do for yourself and your family all year. Not only will it save on the cost and amount of energy you use, it will also add value to your home, a nearly dollar for dollar investment. 

But how do you know when it’s time for a window replacement? Well, there are some definite signs: 

1. Your Energy Bill is High – If you see great fluctuations in your energy bill during extremes of cold or hot temperatures, replacing windows may help reduce costs by as much as 35 percent, according to some estimates.

2. Draftiness – When you put your hand up near the window, can you feel hot or cold air coming through? Is there a spot in your living room by the window that is unused because it feel drafty? Any amount of air coming through a window means it is not doing its job and needs replacement. 

3. Fog or Moisture Build-up – If you observe moisture or even ice on the interior side of the window, it means the insulation or thermal material is not adequate and there is too quick a transition from hot to cold air. 

4. Windows Won’t Open or Close – If the windows are difficult to open or close, or they won’t stay open, the window is not functioning properly and needs to be replaced. 

5. Wood Frame is Soft – If you can take a screwdriver, press down and leave an indentation on the window frame, it is an indication the wood is rotting. Time for new windows. 

5. Aesthetics – Regardless of how they are working, old windows can just look bad. If your windows bring down the visual appeal of your home’s exterior, give it a modern facelift with new windows.

Posted on behalf of Atwood Home Builders


Energy Savings and Better Comfort With New Windows

Installing new windows in your home is an excellent way to save on heating and cooling costs.  According to EPA estimates, a homeowner can save up to $500 per year by replacing old single pane windows with new energy efficient double pane Energy Star windows.  In addition to saving energy, a home window replacement using new Energy Star windows  can increase the value of your home, keep you and your family more comfortable, and protect your valuables all while reducing your carbon footprint.

If your home was built with single pane windows or even standard double pane windows, you can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of your home by upgrading to Energy Star double pane windows.  Depending on where you live and your old windows, your energy savings can range from 7 to 15 percent.  To qualify for the Energy Star rating, the windows must meet certain minimum requirements for

Energy Star qualified windows also have special coatings that reflect infrared light and the harmful UV rays of the sun.  These coatings help keep heat outside your home in the summer and inside your home in the winter.  In addition, it reduces sun damage to curtains, upholstery, floor coverings, photographs and other valuable personal property.

Energy Star windows have at least two panes of glass with a layer of air or inert gas between the panes.  Combined with other features, these windows have excellent insulating properties that keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  They also reduce drafts and those cool or warm areas near the window and new windows are designed to make cleaning the windows a breeze.

Upgrading to modern energy efficient windows can be a significant investment, but the upgrade will be reflected in the value of your home.  Meanwhile, you will enjoy greater comfort and reduced energy bills with your new Energy Star windows.  Talk to an experienced window installation contractor about upgrading the windows in your home.

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