Category: Heatkeeper

Important Upgrades For Resale Value

Upgrades are an important part of any home and are helpful when going to sell in the future.  Certain features are more for the benefit of the homeowner while they are living there and do not add up to big selling bonus points. However, things such as energy efficient windows with blinds built in add extra digits to the asking price of a home.  How do homeowners decide if there renovations will pay off in the future?  Consider the area in which you live to determine the benefits of various remodeling efforts.

First start with a renovation such as putting in a new swimming pool in areas with four seasons it is not as lucrative as in areas where the sun is blazing year round.  In areas such as Arizona and Florida pools increase the value of your home over eight percent.  When adding a pool it is best to think about the long term enjoyment it will bring to your family.  If that outweighs the fact that in a more temperate climate a pool can be seen as a drawback than go for it but if not think long and hard before soaking money into an investment that won’t give a favorable return.

Basement renovations are another area that can prove to be profitable if done correctly.  Before worrying about carpet or fancy furnishings think about the area and the moisture.  Basements are notorious for smelling damp and musty.  If you have flooding or the home is prone to water leakages call in a professional to fix the issue before continuing with the basement remodel.  When remodeling a basement don’t over or under renovate it.  It is important that the quality keeps in line with the rest of the home and the homes in the area.

Central air conditioning is another renovation that can add weight to an asking price.  On average a central air unity can cost between four to eight thousand dollars.  This may seem like a lot of money but it is safe to consider that the unit will boost the selling price of the home by ten to twenty percent.  Add a central air conditioning unit and windows with blind built in you are looking at keeping a home cool in the summer.

Landscaping is another area, if done correctly that can have major paybacks.  The curb appeal of your home is what will draw buyers in.  Keeping up on lawn maintenance along with reasonable landscaping will draw prospects into the home to look further.  Perennials and trees are items that homeowners should look into when remodeling the landscape of their lawns.  These items require lower maintenance and add value. The home should be visually appealing not to over grown or too busy.  When contemplating items for the landscape consider the natural environment around the home this will help maintain continuity throughout.

Homeowners should live in their castles and make it home. It is only imperative to think about home renovations in the form of resale value when the possibility of moving enters the picture.  If a renovation will bring happiness than don’t worry about the cost or value adding qualities it brings just go for it and enjoy it while you can.

Options In Window Design

New construction is an amazing project that entails many different details and options. Not only do you get to consider options in the homes layout but also every option within room design and décor.  Windows are an important part in the equation of new construction.  Along with the exterior siding options, roofing material choices there are also several window options.

Windows can really enhance the look of a new home as do replacement windows in an older home.  There are several options in window.  Each comes with a set of pros and cons so it will be important for homeowners to examine the options available and make the most appropriate choice.

Awning windows are beautiful. The design allows for a light breeze and light.  These windows are perfect in bedrooms where privacy is premium while maintaining light and air flow.  These windows can be situated next to each other, up and down and even above patio or sliding doors to an effect of light and air.  The major disadvantage is that the screens to the windows are set on the inside.  All the dirt that normally falls into the window sill area will fall onto the floor.  Some might think of this as a con however I would rather vacuum it up on a regular basis then have to deal with the nasty of window sill debris.

If you are interested in windows that open outward casement windows are good options.  They allow a side breeze to enter along with fresh air.  Casement windows open with a crank handle and work well in areas that homeowners would need to reach to open the window.  The one concern in casement windows is rusty hardware.  It is important that the hardware is oiled and kept up on to prevent rusting.

If you are looking for easy to clean, super accessible windows double hung windows are a perfect option.  They offer ventilation from either the top part of the window or the bottom depending on the homeowners desires.  This is great for a children’s bedroom where it is advisable that windows are never left open for a child to be able to access. They could push the screen out which could cause them to fall out of the window.  The major disadvantage is that over time they tend to leak more air than others.  The other thing is that only half of the window opens at a time where as others can open up completely.

Picture windows are windows that do not open however leave an unobstructed view of the picturesque outdoors.  If ventilation is desired these windows are not a good choice as they do not allow for that.  These windows are wonderful for areas that light is sought.  Installation high on the wall in darker rooms or halls creates a great source of lightening.  The major drawbacks for picture windows are that they are large panes of breakable glass that have a sole picture of being a view outside.

Some families choose a combination of windows throughout the house.  They are tied together by being created out of the same material and colors.  It is important to note that new windows contain blinds built between the glass.  This option may only be available in a few of the different windows described above.  It is important to do further research if this is an option of interest.

The Wave Of The Future – Windows With Built In Blinds

Thinking about replacing those drafty windows with windows with built in blinds?  Households where cleaning mini-blinds is a bi-annual tradition have probably contemplated a better option.  A look into windows with blinds between the glass will prove to be exactly what any family that has dealt with the hassles of mini-blinds desires.

Window with built in blinds are a concept that has been with us for the past decade.  As with all new technology it starts out quiet expensive but as it become integrated and more economically produced they settle into a more reasonable price point.  The basic principal of these specialty windows is that they feature blinds, shades or grills sandwiched between two panes of glass.  The blinds raise, lower or tilt using a slider that guides them.  This is also true in door walls that feature blinds between the glass.  This feature is especially appealing for door walls and patios because homeowners don’t have to mess with traditional blinds and needing to open and close them before having access to the door.

Advantages of Built In Blinds

  • One major advantage is that blinds inside the glass aren’t subject to the elements.  They don’t collect dust, dirt, fingerprints, grease or grime. They are protected by the panes of glass.
  • For homeowners with allergies and asthma they offer a healthier living environment. The blinds do not collect the allergens and dust of traditional blinds.  This makes them a much healthier option in window treatments.
  • Safety is at a premium with blinds between the glass.  The internal cord devices make this a safe option for homeowners with children and pets.   The internal cords eliminate the risk of strangulation and are a safe option to use within a child bedroom.  They also do away with the risk that cords and knobs present to pets.  Pets like to chew cords which can become hazards to them and their internal organs.
  • Another large draw for homeowners with pets and children is that with the blinds protected there is no risk of them becoming bent or damaged.
  • They offer a fresh, clean, crisp look to the home inside and out.  From the road the blinds offer consistency.  Because they are protected from the elements they are also clean and fresh all of the time.

Disadvantage of Built In Blinds

  • In order to provide consistency you will want replacement windows throughout the home.  This will keep the consistency.  The drawback to this is that anytime you are looking into specialty windows it is going to be pricy.  Replacement windows in general are price let alone ones with special features such as what windows with built in blinds offer.
  • Options in changing the window treatments and looks of the window are limited.  Some companies offer a bit of selection when it comes to colors and textures however it will be less of a difference within a room than traditional window treatments.

It is important to evaluate the pros and cons of purchases especially when they are involving renovations to your home.  Windows with built in blinds have distinct advantages as well as a few disadvantages to weigh.  A major decision like this should be examined.  Look at all the different options in replacement windows, suppliers and window treatment before making any final desicions.

Renovating With A Sale In Mind

When beginning renovation projects people are especially interested in the net amount of the project.  With each project real estate professionals have narrowed down a formula that allows them to estimate the increase value the final renovation will bring to the house.  Not all renovations or upgrades bring the type of value homeowners expect.  Actually some may put the home at a disadvantage in the market place.  An example of this might be a pool in a state such as Michigan where it is only hot enough to use it three months of the year and the rest of the time it is wasted yard space.

When upgrading it is important to think about factors such as the length of time you will continue to live in this home.  Some larger renovations will pay off more over time while other less expensive renovations will work to get a house sold if the time frame is narrower.  Some of the best upgrades and renovations are ones that can be completed by the average homeowner and do it yourselfer.

The first which is curb appeal renovations.  This can be something minor like power washing the siding, trimming bushes and trees and adding mulch. If the house looks like it has been well cared for and the initial reaction to the home is positive buyers will have a more favorable impression overall.  The first place to do this is by adding details that will add curb appeal to the home.

Along those same lines comes renovating the siding and roof.  A home with fresh paint and awesome windows and door walls featuring blinds between the glass are not going to sell a home with a leaky roof or roughed up siding.  The renovation of siding and roofing is not inexpensive however the renovations can almost pay for themselves with the added value they bring to the home.

Extra space is always a winning idea with home buyers today.  As a society we tend to hold onto a lot of stuff.  That stuff needs to be stored somewhere.  Extra storage space is a high commodity in looking for a new home.  Whether it a closet that is enlarged or added or an attic that is turned into a convenient storage area by using a pull down stairway, storage increases a home’s desirability almost as much as an extra bedroom.

Partial renovations to a bathroom can increase the sale price of a home also.  Outdated bathrooms show a glimpse into the homes past.  What buyers are looking for is the here and now when they will be using the space.  This can be achieved with some simple tile updates, a coat of paint, some fresh caulk and a thorough cleaning.  Pay special attention when designing a new bathroom space to hide things such a toilet brushes and other must haves that are unsightly.

Kitchens are of course one of the upgrades that real estate professionals say brings in the most bang for the bucks.  However, it is also the renovations with the most headaches associated with it.  Partial upgrades in a kitchen can consist of new counter tops and fresh appliances.  These things will take the draw away from the sink that is a bit older.

An overhaul of a home you are trying to sell doesn’t make any sense.  It is important to think about the home and what people value in the area in which the home is located and start there.  As mentioned before it does not make sense to improve the windows and door walls featuring blinds between the glass if the roof is full of leaks and the furnace does not work.  Using common sense in home renovations will yield the biggest return on investment.

Making A Buyer Desire Your Home

I don’t think there is a person around that would disagree that our housing market has seen better days.  Our home was purchased three years ago, at what we thought was the lowest point in the market.  Since, then it has only gotten worse.  Our taxable value keeps plummeting, which since we are living there forever we are okay with because lower taxes equal more money in our pocket.

However, not everyone is happy.  There are people that need to relocate due to business and people that need to move for their own reasons such as a expanding their family or perhaps into a smaller house because children are grown and off on their own.  Whatever the reason the main goal remains the same, selling the house.

Some upgrades and updates within the home can cost minimal amount of money but have an extreme impact on the curb appeal of the home making it a more desirable option.  Remember though that when selling a house no matter how great the renovation or curb appeal if it fails inspection with a leaky roof or dampness in the basement the house will not sell. The same thing is true replacement windows won’t sell a home with an infestation of bugs.

The first and least expensive option in adding appeal to a home is a fresh coat of paint.  It is important to choose a neutral color.  Some color experts say that a pale yellow is the latest trend in wall color for homes.  Yellow tends to be a very hopeful color.  Some people believe that the color yellow helps buyers sense the future and bright days ahead with the purchase.  If a homeowner is in a pinch to sell their home and a fresh coat of paint is in the future for the home yellow is a good place to start.

Another item that seems to tug at the heart strings is a backyard space which includes a deck or patio with seating.  Along with this it is optimal to provide landscaping that is fresh and kept up on.  Make sure the space is not too bold but instead gives off the feeling of relaxation.  Another trick is to set up a hammock between two trees or on a stand.  Any feeling of stress relief you can grant to a potential buyer will increase the chance for a sale to the home.  What happens you ask if it is winter?  Nothing says future more than a fort with some snowmen in the yard.  Making the home feel comfortable and relaxing will help it sell fast.

Improvements in the kitchen and bathroom area are important also.  Homeowners do not have to do full renovations but little upgrades and tweaks to improve the eye appeal of the home.  In a bathroom this could mean something as little as updated tile and caulk.  Kitchens can have a fresh appeal with the addition of countertops and some clean stainless steel appliances.

Just remember replacement windows, fresh paint or a relaxing back yard don’t make up for leaky roofs and busted furnaces.  It is important that all the structures are in place for a home to be inhabitable before the eye candy items are worried about.  Minor, inexpensive touches around the home will help lead to a quick sale.  Don’t overdo the renovations, it will cut into profits and might end up not being desirable to the new owner.  Keep it simple.

Remodeling To Sell

In an economy that is not blooming with homes sales what is the average homeowners on the move doing to unload their home?  Besides dropping the sale price way below market value, which is already lower than the purchase price years ago or letting it sit on the market for months what options are available?  Renovating is one of the quickest ways to get a home sold.  The key element is making sure to not put too much money into the renovation process so that money is still made on the sale.

It is important that the renovations are done with the majority of home purchasers in mind.  Most people won’t care about the addition of a pool or a gazebo in the backyard but many will be wowed with the addition of replacement windows especially ones that have the windows with blinds between the glass.

There are several key elements that can be renovated without blowing a budget and should entice buyers.  One is adding curb appeal.  This can be done fairly easily.  Start by renting a power washer and thoroughly cleaning the exterior of the house include the decks, siding, windows, gutters and any sidewalks.  Next it is imperative to have a fresh coat of stain and paint on all surfaces that require it.  The roof should also be carefully cleaned so that debris is not littering the roof top.  The last thing new home purchasers want to see is mildew and mold build up on the exterior space of the home.

If the home is unable to get clean and fresh looking from a good old fashion power scrubbing and washing it will pay to proceed into looking at siding options.  Siding is an option in renovating that is not necessarily cheap but does recoup itself in the sale of the home.  It truly is about the first impression if the home.

The next element to curb appeal is trimmed bushes, maintained landscape, including new mulch, and trimmed branches and trees.  If the home is on the market in the spring take the time to purchase and plant flowers and potted plants around the yard.  To make the most out of your money potted plants are an option that can move with a homeowner.  A trimmed lawn is always appealing, a trash can that is out of site, pebbles perfectly lining the driveway all of these little tweaks will increase the homes appeal.

Another option in renovating the home involves a long weekend and some sweat equity but is truly a winner in first impressions is paint.  Nothing quite says fresh like a new coat of paint.  It is best to thoroughly coat the walls with a neutral base coat to give buyers the chance to visualize the belongings they have in the space.  This can also be done by renovating the amount of stuff filling the home.  Minimal is better when trying to sell.

It will not matter how many mini renovations are done however to improve the look and feel of the home if the home is in need of serious repair.  Before ever thinking about selling a home it is important to make sure the roof is leak free, the windows especially if you are lucky enough to have a home to sell with premium windows with blinds between the glass are sealed correctly and the home has been inspected for major issues.

Surprise! Your Windows Need Replacing

We were so excited our daughter tried out and made the local travel softball team.  She was one of twelve girls picked out of thirty five that were trying out.  This was all the start of my search for replacement windows for my home.  I know it wasn’t totally their fault but of course a ball went right through the window in our bedroom.  My husband had taken her outside to throw around and then decided it would be a great idea to practice hitting.  They did everything right.  She was pointed away from the house, our son was playing catcher and the ball was being pitched in by my husband.  As soon as the ball was released my husband said he knew there was no way our son was going to get it or she would hit it and bam the window caught it.  I was upset to say the least.

We had been saving, thankfully, for replacement windows in the future so the expense was not an issue.  We considered replacing just the one window but then quickly realized that would look very odd given we were going to buy wood windows to replace the vinyl ones that existed. To buy just one vinyl window to tide us over for a year until we had planned to make the purchase now seemed silly.  We had been saving a while knowing that the wood windows of our dreams would cost more than the original vinyl windows. Our budget was set based on the amount of money we had saved to date so that battle was already settled upon.

The timing of the accident could not have been more perfect.  The fall weather provided us a perfect time of year to replace the windows.  It was not to hot where we were in need of the air on and windows shut or too cold for the heat to need to be on.  We did not have to rush the installers along because the weather was great.  I would suggest thinking wisely about replacing windows in the winter.

Per a referral from a friend we were able to find an installer/vendor that was reliable and trust worthy.  Word of mouth is really the best way to go when looking for someone to complete any home renovation project.  Otherwise you really need to trust your gut.  The lowest price, the quickest turn around and location are not always the best criteria to base home improvement projects on.

We knew we wanted wood windows so the vendor was able to narrow are choices down significantly based on this.  With vinyl windows you will not only need to find a style but also a color that works well with your home.  We had decided that double hung and casement windows best fit our home.  For the larger windows on the second floor we choose casement windows that open out overlooking the river.  When you open them it truly feels like you are letting the whole world in and give the rooms a very romantic feel.  Double hung worked well for the rest of the house because they were able to be opened from the top or bottom.  I liked this option for the lower level because at night the windows could be left open but were not exactly easily accessible to outside visitors.

The replacement windows are a terrific addition to our home.  It was the right amount of renovation for our home to make it feel bigger, more energy efficient and beautiful again.  I don’t allow them to play softball in the back yard anymore because it is not where I am interested in putting more money into our home.

Features In Replacement Windows

How do people go about purchasing replacement windows?  When you are renovating or building a new home the choices are plentiful and windows are no different. How do you sort through all the information you are given and make an educated decision based on anything other than the style?  With windows it is pretty simple; your checklist will include window types, style option and energy efficiency.

The materials windows are made out of differ greatly. Aluminum, wood and vinyl all have qualities that are good and bad.  When looking into the material you would like your replacement windows to be constructed out of think about the style of your home, maintenance of the material, energy efficiency and your budget.  Aluminum windows might not be the best option in the north with cold windows and wood windows are easily damaged in intense heat so the region in which your home is also affects the material used for your windows.

Types of windows vary also.  Casement, awning, double and single hung and sliding windows are amongst the options for you to choose from.  Casement windows are beautiful.  They window swings open using a crank mechanism and are often used in larger windows such as bay windows.  Awning windows open from the bottom and are pushed out connecting the window to the frame at the top.  These windows are often seen in kitchen and bathrooms. Single and double hung windows slide open vertically.  These windows have the option of folding out for ease in cleaning.  Sliding windows slide horizontally.

Budgeting plays a large role in choosing replacement windows.  Wood is generally more expensive than aluminum and vinyl.  Along with being more expensive wood windows require more maintenance.  They must be stained and sealed to prevent the wood from warping.  Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free. This is a selling point for many homeowners because maintenance and homeownership already do together like two peas in a pod.

Where you live plays a huge role in the materials and glass you will choose for your windows home.  Homes in moist areas prone to storms and the abuse of salty air need to meet different requirements than an environment with four seasons.

It is also wise to think about privacy in regards to your new windows.  An option other than tinted windows is replacement windows with blinds between the glass.  These windows are becoming popular in many homes because of privacy but also the extra efficiency they provide and the convenience of being low maintenance.

Look at the warranties and what is covered under them with each individual window company you get a quote thru.  This may sway you in one direction or another.  Warranties can save you a lot of money, time and hassle when it comes to getting a replacement window fixed. However, for a warranty to be valid regular maintenance needs to be done.  This will keep the warranty intact and your windows looking new for many years to come.

Aspects Of Windows With Blinds Between The Glass

Making home improvements to your house is always a bit of an adventure. Many owners struggle with figuring out where to make renovations within their homes.  I have some criteria for homeowners struggling with this decision.  The first factor to look at is the cost of the renovation verse the length of time you are going to be living in this house.

Homeowners will want to make sure that they will benefit from the renovation and that the costs of the project are covered by the increase in property value overtime.  If planning on selling is in the near future the need to ask if the renovation is necessary.  Most of the time the cost of the renovation will not be recouped that quickly so it is best to wait unless the house will not sell without the improvements.

Window renovations are one area in which I feel homeowners can benefit in many ways.  High efficiency windows can dramatically increase the value of a home while decreasing the cost of major utility bills. Replacement windows are one area that draws buyers in.  Homes with windows with blinds between the glass are always the ones clients gravitate towards.  Even if the home needs a bit more work than another the replacement windows seem to win the advantage.

There are so many reasons that windows with blinds between the glass are becoming so popular.  They certainly increase the value of the home which is a benefit to both buyer and seller but what else?  Why would a homeowner looking to stay in their home for the rest of forever want to spend the extra money to purchase these special windows?  They are not going to recoup the value of the windows or are they?  The decrease in energy bills will allow the windows to pay for themselves overtime.

Another pro is the neat and structured look that windows with blinds between the glass gives to a home.  The other nice thing is that kids and animals cannot get into them so they will not get broken or damaged.  There are also no cords to worry about kids and animals getting tangled in.  From the outside the blinds give the home a uniformed look which is difficult with any type of external blind.

Windows with blinds between the glass are great for individuals with asthma and other respiratory issues.  The blinds are not exposed to the outside elements that in the air.  The allergens within your home can’t settle on the blinds if they are not exposed.  The blinds are sealed within the glass not allowing dust to settle.  The other great thing is that there are no blinds to be cleaned.  One less things to clean is always a benefit to me.

There are some limitations with encased blinds such as the color choices are limited.  This however might not be the case for long.  As competition increases companies will need to think of encased window treatments that exist outside standard blinds and standard blind colors.  Seal failure is also something that can happen with this type of replacement window leaving room for minute bugs to enter.  This can be avoided if you buy windows with blinds encased within the glass that allow for the glass to be opened.

Whether it is replacement windows, kitchen renovations, bathroom remodels or additions to your home there is a lot to think about.  Pros and cons exist in every project that involves your home.  Researching options and talking with home improvement specialists you will find what the best fit for your home and budget.

The Benefits and Drawbacks To Doorwalls

We purchased our home three years ago.  The one thing that drew us to the home is the doorwalls.  We have two large doorwalls on the main wall leading in to our home.  One is in the living room and one is in the dining room.  They are opposite a large french door.  The light in the home along with the openness of the space and a large deck were all we needed to determine we could make this place a home.  The only thing that could have made it any better is if the existing doorwalls featured blinds between the glass.

There are benefits and drawbacks to any home.  The same is true with any feature within the home.  Doorwalls are one of those features people either love because of the advantages they provide or hate because of the disadvantages.  One thing I know is that doorwalls offer the features of windows and doors which add to their attractiveness to me.


  • Space Savers: Doorwalls use less space than doors because they eliminate the area needed to open and close the door.  This means that things can be placed close to the doorwall without interfering with the function of the door.  This is great for living spaces when you need all the space you can get out of the room.
  • Illusions:  Sliding glass doors make your space appear larger and give it the open air feel smaller living areas need and bigger areas room to breathe.   Doorwalls also lets the natural light in which gives a warm feel to the space.
  • Doorwalls are very easy to keep clean.  You need just a bottle of Windex and some paper towel unlike regular doors which require maintenance in the form of weatherization.  This could include caulking, staining or painting.
  • Doorwalls also do something no other home feature can do without sacrificing the homes efficiency and that is bringing the outdoor feel in.  The large open doorwall lets the scenic view of your landscape in without losing heat or air conditioning.


  • Window Treatments: This is in the drawback category for me only because I have animals.  The main type of window treatment is vertical blinds. The animals love to run into them, bending them all up, just to look and see what is outside.  At night we close the shades so this always poses a problem.  The solution would be to purchase doorwalls featuring blinds between the glass if you have pets living with you and you want to avoid this problem.
  • Sun Damage: Often if doorwalls are left open and you are in an area that gets a lot of sun the furniture in view of the door will fade.  This is also an issue for the flooring.  The best thing to do if this is the case with the placement of your doorwall is to use throw rugs and to place furniture out of direct sunlight.
  • Replacement Parts/Maintenance: Screen doors off of doorwalls often need to be replaced and if the seal in the actual doorwalls break or a crack develops it is costly to repair.
  • Cleaning doorwalls to me is a benefit but for those of you that live in states with unbearable cold and heat might not agree.  You do have to physically go outside to clean them.  Also, it is sometimes difficult to completely clean out the tracks.  They can become littered with debris ranging from dead bugs to dirt debris and will need to be kept clean.

There are many benefits and drawbacks to the different features within your home.  Doorwalls are no different.  When choosing the features within your home you really need to consider your wants and needs.  Your family will be the ones to live in it and enjoy the benefits and drawbacks to your choices so you need to be happy with them.  In the long term I would like to purchase replacement windows and doorwalls featuring blinds between the glass.  I would totally love the luxury of not having to worry about my kids and cats tearing up the window treatments.