Month: June 2020
Cost Involved When Buying Security Door And Replacement Windows
Security is a huge concern for all home owners. We all have more valuables at home than at any time in our history and ironically spend more time away from home than ever before.
It is no wonder then that national crime statistics suggest a home is broken into every 10 seconds. Criminals are getting smarter and more daring; as far away removed from the bumbling ‘home alone’ image as they could possibly be. Most are seasoned, opportunistic professionals, who rely on home burglary for their primary source of income.
The majority of burglars enter a home through the front door; which means having as secure a door as possible imperative. Doors are doors though, right. Wrong. Not all doors are created equal, which is why we have put together this article. This article aims to provide all the information you will ever need when trying to purchase home security doors.
National & regional initiatives
Typically all doors will come with a host of different certificates; energy efficiency, warranty and most importantly one relating to security standards. Depending on where you are may determine which smaller initiatives your door falls under but there will always be one encompassing national standard which all doors must meet. Don’t buy a door that doesn’t meet these standards and always ask to see proof of qualification prior to purchase.
An obvious requirement for any door. However, your choice of lock can dramatically increase or decrease your door’s security levels. Research which lock your door comes with; most door manufacturers will specify their hardware components. Look for locks with security kitemarks (tested by government bodies), often the level of security is highlighted by an “insurance company approved” or similar. Try to buy a door with more than one locking point, newer doors tend to have three points of locking (which makes it much harder to force).
A security viewer
Not all break-in’s happen whilst you are on holiday, some unfortunately occur when a family member is home. Security viewers aren’t new; they allow you to see who is on the other side of the door prior to opening. This may be a simple glass spyhole or a more technologically advanced digital viewer; both will dramatically reduce the chances of you opening your door to the wrong person.
There is no use investing in a super secure front door if the small amount of glass you choose is fragile and easily broken. Glass will be the focal point of any attempt at a forced entrance and for this reason it is important that it is as resistant as possible. Some door manufacturers will give you an option to add security glass; others will provide it as standard. Be careful to research the finish of your security glass; newer laminated glass looks great whilst older metal wired glass is better suited to industrial buildings.
This advice on buying security doors for the home was brought to you by Yale Composite Doors. Yale Door manufacture police approved, super secure exterior composite doors.
If you’re thinking about replacing all of the windows in your home then before you even start thinking about the type of window you have or the number of windows you need, you’re probably going to be thinking about the overall replacement window price you’re going to need to pay in order to get your windows replaced. So what are the main costs involved with home replacement windows?
There are several costs involved which you will need to account for in your window replacement budget, these include the following three things:
The cost of the window replacement unit
The cost of any additional extras you add to your project
The cost of removal and installation
The first cost, which is going to be the biggest, is the replacement window unit cost, this will mostly make up around 60% of your total budget for the project. The cost will vary massively and will be dependant upon the type, size, number and material type of the window replacements you buy. For example, a bow or bay window configuration are going to be the most expensive to buy, with vinyl windows being the cheapest window material.
The second most significant cost in replacement window projects is the addition of optional extras which are very often not considered by people when they are thinking about replacing their windows. Optional extras will include sills, sashes, finishes, colors and materials, options can also include whether you want mid-range or high-performance replacement windows. High performance replacement windows can add anything up to 100% onto your overall bill, so be aware of that when you’re working with the salesman to make your decision.
The final cost is that of the contractor costs, there are two main parts involved here, that’s the removal of the old window and the installation of the new window. The contractor will usually charge to remove and dispose of the old windows from your home, they will then charge to put your new windows in. As a rule of thumb you should be looking at an additional 30% added to your bill for replacement window installation by a third party contractor, this can be calculated per window. So, if you have a window which costs $300 to buy then you should expect it to cost you a further $100 to install, bring the total for that window to $400.
In conclusion, window replacement is always going to be one of the most expensive tasks you undertake on your home, however you should always make sure you’ve done your research and got plenty of quotes from independent contractors. This will ensure that you get the best possible price and you’re project doesn’t end up costing you through the nose.
Energy Efficient Landscape to Cool Your Home
When most people think of putting in landscaping, they probably think more in terms of how it can make a home cooler over the summer, which is what I discussed in an earlier post. But people probably don’t think quite as much about how to strategically design landscaping to stay warmer during the winter to reduce energy costs and lower your electricity bills.
As residents of cold regions know all too well, wind chill can not only drop the temperature outside your home, but can also blow in through the cracks outside your home and drive up heating costs substantially.
So the name of the game with winter weather landscaping is to use it as a windbreak. If properly designed and implemented during the summer months, landscaping can help reduce and redirect wind and modify the micro-climate in the sheltered area.
Proper landscaping windbreak design needs to take several factors into consideration:
Windbreak height. This is probably the most important factor for determining the size of your sheltered area. Depending on the density of your windbreak (more on that shortly), wind speed can be reduced on the windward side by a distance of two to five times the height of the windbreak. But it’s the leeward (downwind) side that you really care about, and that’s where the most dramatic impact can be seen: wind speed can be reduced by a distance of up to 30 times the height. For the sake of comparison, a 10-foot windbreak can reduce winds on the leeward side by 250 feet or more.
Windbreak density. This plays a major factor in determining the amount of wind speed reduction. Obviously a low-density windbreak doesn’t do as much to reduce wind speed, but a high-density windbreak isn’t necessarily helpful either: the low pressure that results on the leeward side pulls air coming over the windbreak downward, which raises turbulence and reduces downwind protection.
Location and construction. Depending on the location of your home and surrounding structures or topography, you will need to put together the right combination of trees and shrubs in the right places to achieve an optimal windbreak. One or more rows of trees and shrubs with low crowns (leaves and branches) to block wind close to the ground
Plant low shrubs on the windward side of a windbreak to block snow from blowing next to the home.
Those are the tips for utilizing landscaping as a windbreak for cold weather. However, sharp-eyed readers will recognize a conundrum: What if you need landscaping to lower your temperatures over the summer and help keep back the cold during the winter? Obviously there’s no easy answer here, since every home is a bit different. However, consider the following:
Plant deciduous trees, which shed their leaves during the winter. Depending on the type of tree, you should have a good thick canopy for summertime shade, and when it loses its leaves during the winter, enough sunlight should come through to help heat things up over the winter.
Combine trees with fences where possible. Trees combined with a fence or wall can help deflect wind over the tops of homes during the winter. Depending on its location, it can still help provide some shade during the summer.
Plant bushes and shrubs close to your house. This offers the best of both: as detailed in the previous post, it will help keep the ground cooler during the summer, and can help block wind and snow during the winter. (The same goes for crawling vines over a latticework or trellis outside a wall.
Again, there is no straightforward answer, since every situation is different. And of course, there are plenty of other variables to consider, such as cost, aesthetics and effort involved in planting, among others. Besides, if you’re looking to reduce your electricity costs, there are other projects you can consider, such as installing sunshades. But if you’re already looking to do some landscaping on your house, proper design and application can both make your home prettier and more comfortable in all seasons.