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


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Are your home’s windows out-of-date?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


Getting a Tax Refund? Invest in New Windows for Your Home

Tax refund time is a great opportunity to put money back into your largest investment – your home. If you are like most people, your home is the biggest asset you own and should be a top priority when it comes to maintenance. Whether you plan to live in your home for decades to come or are expecting to sell in a few years, you want to maintain and add to the value. Replacing old windows with the help of your tax refund is a great way to improve your home and bolster this important investment.

Benefits of New Windows

If you have older windows in your home, there are many benefits to replacing them with beautiful, efficient windows. Not only can new windows enhance the curb appeal of your home, they can increase the energy efficiency, saving you money off your energy costs. This improvement can also add value to your home as energy efficiency is a top priority amongst home buyers.

When choosing new windows for your home, you want to ensure that they are rated for energy efficiency and are installed by a qualified contractor. Some specifications to shop for include:

  • Double-paned windows for highest efficiency
  • Low-Emissive glass (Low-E)
  • Argonne filled
  • Energy Star qualified

Make your tax refund go farther this year by investing those dollars back into your home with new, energy-efficient windows. Talk to your local home contractor that offers Energy Star window installation and has a stellar reputation for their quality workmanship. New windows can pay for themselves with lower heating and cooling costs, as well as the value they add to your home.

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


Are Your Old Windows Costing You Money?

One of the biggest factors in reducing your home heating or cooling energy bills is your windows. Poorly insulated windows drain your home of your heated air in the winter, and the costly cooled air in the summer. Although it can be a big investment to replace your old windows, it may actually save you money if you choose energy-efficient windows for your home.

Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows

If you own older windows with poor insulation or made of lower-quality materials, you may be spending hundreds of extra dollars each year in energy costs. Single-paned windows were commonly installed in older homes, with very little to keep outside air at bay. New technology has been used to create energy efficient windows, which can make a noticeable difference in your energy costs. Some of the factors that impact new window energy efficiency include:

  • Dual-panes. Switching from single to dual-paned windows offers more insulation.
  • Gas-filled. Windows featuring a gas-filled barrier can improve the thermal performance.
  • Low-e coatings. Low-emissivity, or low-e, coatings on window glass can reduce energy loss by up to 50%.
  • Energy Star approval. Windows that have received the Energy Star rating are proven to help improve energy usage.

Energy efficient windows come in all the same styles and options as other windows, adding beauty as well as value to your home. The biggest difference can be noticed during the coldest or hottest months of the year, when you will see the most substantial impact on your energy bills.

To start saving money on energy costs while adding value to your home, talk to your local home improvement contractor about installing new energy efficient windows. It’s worth the investment to improve the indoor climate of your home, while saving money off your energy bills for many years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Atwood Home Builders
227 W 8th 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


Benefits of Replacement Windows

Often older homes have the original windows that were installed when the home was built.  In most cases these windows are very energy inefficient and require a great deal of maintenance.  The reason that they are inefficient is because of the use of a single layer of glass.  In addition, these windows, which are typically either metal or wood, will have a poor seal, where the window sash meets the window frame. 

In many cases you can actually feel the transfer of either heat or cold thru the frame and the glass depending upon the season.  These windows also require regular maintenance, which includes periodic painting and the replacement of glazing compound, which holds the glass to the window frame.  Over time the glazing compound dries out and becomes brittle and often falls out.  This can result in the glass falling out, as well as additional energy loss. 

Vinyl replacement windows are an excellent solution to the problem.  These windows, which are custom made to fit into the opening, are made out of extruded vinyl and come with insulated glass.   The insulated glass consists of two panes of glass, with the space filled with argon glass, while the glass has a low e coating.  Both features dramatically improve the energy efficiency of the window allowing the window to qualify for an Energy Star rating. 

In addition, the window sashes are held tightly to the frame, which reduces air loss.  Since the window frame is made of vinyl, the window is extremely durable and never needs to be painted.  Once installed by a qualified replacement window contractor the windows will provide years of useful life and the property owner will see their energy costs dramatically reduced!

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

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