December 19, 2017
How to Choose the Right Siding for Your Home
How to choose the right siding for your home can be a little confusing. Wholesale Home Improvements in Denver offers a bit of advice to help you navigate the tricky waters. There is a massive array of siding options out there. Various materials, styles, and price ranges make for a tough decision.
To choose the right siding for your home, think about these three things: the climate, the style of your home, and your budget. The right home siding is vitally important. Siding is your home’s main defense against the weather. Choose a material that will work well in our Colorado climate.
Siding is also the largest and most visible part of your home. That means it plays a huge role in your home’s aesthetic. Choose a siding that looks nice and goes well with the existing style of your home. Otherwise, it will end up looking strange and disjointed.
Let’s take a look at the most popular siding materials. This can get you well on your way to selecting the right siding for your home.
Vinyl is the most common siding material out there because it hits all the main high points, making it appealing to many people. Homeowners love vinyl siding because it is economical, easy to maintain and is extremely durable, often lasting for many years. It is also easy to install, making it a favorite among subcontractors.
Aesthetically, vinyl is impressive. It comes in many different colors with lots of options and accessories. Homeowners can create virtually any look with vinyl siding. They can even mimic other materials that might be harder to maintain or don’t last as long. It’s a great, all-around option.
Brick is the second most commonly used siding material. In fact, in some parts of the country, such as in the South, brick is king. People have been using brick as a building material for thousands of years.
The one downside to brick siding is the price. It costs about four times as much as vinyl siding. Over time, brick can even out the upfront cost because you won’t have to replace it. But there will be upkeep required over time, which may mean hiring in a specialist for repairs if you want the job done correctly.
At Wholesale Home Improvements, we help customers achieve the look of brick siding with a product called Nailite. It looks authentic, can be matched to any house time period or style, and it comes without the brick cost or ongoing maintenance requirements. If you’re on a tight budget as a homeowner doing renovations or investor completing a flip, this simulated brick siding makes economical sense.
Plaster or Stucco
This sturdy siding material is supremely popular in the western part United States. It is very versatile, can be used inside or outside, and can even be applied to curved surfaces. The upfront cost is rather low, and maintenance is minimal adding to its popularity.
Another great benefit to stucco is its ability to work well in virtually any climate. There are two types of stucco. The traditional kind is made by mixing cement, sand lime and water. A synthetic version looks practically the same but is made using a polymer base.
Synthetic stucco had some issues in the 1980s with significant moisture problems. But now that those problems have been corrected it is an excellent option for your home’s siding. Synthetic stucco has the added benefit of offering outstanding energy efficiency.
Cement board has been around for a while but is now starting to gain popularity, especially amongst green builders. The siding is made by mixing cement, sand, and cellulose (wood-fiber waste) together and then curing it with pressurized steam.
The point of fiber cement board siding is to make a siding that imitates wood without the problems that traditionally come with wood siding. You don’t have to worry about termites and other insects; fiber cement won’t rot and is resistant to moisture problems. This siding on average lasts about 50 years, so it’s a durable product and won’t end up in a landfill for decades.
Wood is a beautiful, traditional siding. Its popularity, however, has been fading over the years. Wood requires more maintenance than most other siding types. It needs to be repainted once in a while and is vulnerable to both rotting and insect damage.
Some products that can be used to minimize these damages. Unfortunately, though, they have to be reapplied every few years and won’t solve the problems completely.
Engineers are working on innovative new products that may satisfy those that like the traditional look of wood but don’t want to deal with all the maintenance. One option that not many people think of is steel siding which is available in all types of colors and even in a wood-look design. This durable and easy to maintain siding can last for 40 years and is a great way to help avoid bugs, termites and fire.
If you really must have wood and budget is no object, tropical woods are available. They are generally hardier but more expensive. There are even a few more products available, so customers who can afford it can get the handsome look of wood siding. If you are interested in one of these options, be sure to chat with our staff to find out the best options.
Now you have some more information about how to choose the right siding for your home. It is an important decision, and our friendly staff here at Wholesale Home Improvements is always happy to help. We have almost 25 years of experience working with siding in the Denver area, and we have the perfect siding to recommend. Our installation team is efficient and good at their job. We’ll have your home all wrapped up in its new skin and be out of your hair before you know it!
November 19, 2017
Window Types and Styles
Ever wondered what the difference is between window types and styles? At Wholesale Home Improvements, we have put together this handy guide to explain what you need to know. While the terms “type” and “style” are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference. Both concepts are important to consider when choosing the perfect new windows for your home.
Window Types and Styles
Basically, window type has to do with the functionality of the window. Window style has to do with the aesthetic appeal.
What do we mean by functionality? How does the window operate? How does it open and close? There are various ways a window can open, up, down, or side-to-side, for example. Also, is the window easy and convenient to use? What kind of energy efficiency does it offer?
Aesthetic appeal is a bit easier to understand. How does the window contribute to the overall look of your home? Does it add a modern, chic look, or does it make it feel more rustic? There are a number of different details that can change up the overall look windows create.
To help you better understand what we mean, let’s take a look at the replacement window types available from Wholesale Home Improvements.
Double Hung Windows
Double hung windows consist of two sashes, one above the other. Both open and close and can slide up and down. A handy feature on newer models is the ability to tilt them out to clean both the inside and outside of the window from inside your house. This is especially handy on second-floor windows since you won’t have to get a ladder to clean the outside of your windows!
When it comes to window types and styles, this type has enjoyed consistent popularity over the years and is still the most common window type used in the United States.
These windows consist of one piece of glass that swings out from one side or the other like a door. Usually, casement windows open through the use of a hand-crank. This is convenient for windows that are in hard-to-reach places, like behind the kitchen sink.
Since the entire window opens, a casement window let in lots of fresh air. Also, the glass sitting at an angle outside tends to act as a funnel and help direct the refreshing breeze into your home. When you close a casement window, an air-tight seal comes into play around the edges making casement windows extremely energy efficient.
Think of these like a double hung window on its side. The two sashes are side by side. In single slider windows, only one sash moves and in double sliders, they both move. These are great to install when you don’t have space outside to swing the window outward but still want a large window opening.
Just remember, with this type of window you’ll have to clean the outside of them from the outside of your home. That can be a pain, especially for second-floor windows. Also, make sure to choose a sliding window with a handle or latch that is easy to open and comfortable to use.
Bow and Bay Windows
A crossover over window types and styles are bay and bow windows. The reason for this is that these types of windows have a distinctive look to them. Just adding these window types to your home will change the style of your home a little. Both of these window types are awesome for letting lots of natural light into your home.
A bay window typically consists of three sashes. The center one is fixed and the two on either side can either open or be fixed. The two side sashes are tilted to push the center sash outward and create a somewhat rounded window. Sometimes people even put a little seating area around the inside of the window to create a comfortable reading nook.
Bow windows are similar but usually consist of 4 or 5 sashes. As a result, the curve is much more gentle than in a bay window. Bay windows can even be installed around a corner. You can choose to be able to open the sashes, have them fixed, or whatever combination you would like!
Garden windows are fantastic for growing small plants indoors in the winter. It’s kind of like a miniature greenhouse jutting out from your primary home structure. Garden windows usually including a couple of shelves where you can put herbs or small plants to stay warm and grow. Sometimes, side panels can be opened but not always.
A typical spot for garden windows is over the kitchen sink. Depending on how your kitchen sink is situated and how easy it is to access the window, this may not be the most practical location. If you want to garden indoors, we can discuss the window types and styles that will work best for your home.
Fixed windows, or picture windows, are a simple window. They consist of one piece of glass that cannot be opened. Because of this they are more energy efficient and can be styled virtually any way. Fixed windows are incorporated into a lot of custom work.
All of these window types can be styled to a certain degree. Some are more flexible than others, as we mentioned with fixed windows. But the material and color you choose for any window can change the style dramatically. Window grilles are also available for virtually every window type. These also significantly affect the aesthetics of your windows.
Have fun when choosing your window style. Pick something to fit the style of your home and maybe even show off your personality a little. Go cool and contemporary (black windows are huge right now), chic and elegant, or fun and funky, the choice is yours.
Here at Wholesale Home Improvements, we can help you choose the perfect window types and styles for your home. We’ve been in the business for almost 25 years, so you can trust us to help you choose the perfect windows. Our expert team will then install them for you in no time. If you’re thinking it’s time for new windows give us a call today to get started.
October 15, 2017
What You Want in Energy Efficient Windows
Have you been considering what you want in energy efficient windows? Wholesale Home Improvements in Denver has created a handy guide to help you make the best selection. These days, there are energy efficient options for virtually every style of window out there, so you can pick out the look you want and still take advantage of potentially lower energy bills.
First, let’s take a look at what options are out there for frame materials on replacement windows and what you want in energy efficient windows. Some materials are naturally energy efficient on their own, and others need a little bit of help. The good news is, there are options to up the energy efficiency of many materials so you can choose just the look you want!
- Aluminum or Metal Frames
You may remember from high school science classes that metal conducts heat fairly readily. That means that aluminum frames are not very energy efficient on their own. If you still want to take advantage of this durable, light and extremely low-maintenance material, you can add a plastic strip called a thermal break between the inside and outside of the frame.
- Composite Frames
Composite window frames are made up of composite wood particles. For example, particle board or laminated strand lumber. The benefit to these frames is that they have roughly the same insulating capacity as traditional wood frames but are not nearly as prone to rotting and moisture damage.
- Fiberglass Frames
Fiberglass is a great, lightweight material that also doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. It is filled with air cavities which, when filled with insulation, makes fiberglass an energy efficient option for your replacement windows as compared to wood or uninsulated vinyl.
- Vinyl Frames
Vinyl frames are popular as a low-maintenance and inexpensive option. Just like fiberglass, air cavities within the material can be filled with insulation, making insulated vinyl what you want in energy efficient windows versus uninsulated vinyl or wood. A quick note – make sure you look for quality vinyl as there are many cheap versions out there that will undermine the energy savings you’re trying to attain.
- Wood Frames
Traditional wood frames look fantastic and insulate moderately well. However, the downside to wood is that it requires a fair bit of upkeep as it is prone to cracking as it expands and contracts with weather conditions and eventually rotting and or succumbing to insect damage. If this is the style you want, be prepared for some upkeep.
Glass or Window Glazing
Once you’ve chosen the frame that you want, the next thing to look at is window glazing or glass. Since the glass is the most substantial part of your replacement window, you obviously want to choose the right glass, or window glazing, to both fit your budget and attain your energy efficiency goals. Factors such as climate, building design, and even window orientation affect this decision, and you may find it prudent to adjust in different parts of your home.
- Insulated Glass
When it comes to what you want in energy efficient windows, this one is easy. With an insulated glass window, two or more panes of glass are put together but spaced apart just a little bit. Then it is hermetically sealed leaving a buffer zone between the panes of glass that provides an insulating effect.
- Gas Fills
To make double paned windows even more efficient, manufacturers often put an inert gas, such as Argon or Krypton, between the two panes of glass. These gases have a higher resistance to heat transfer than does air and therefore improve the overall energy efficiency of any window, double-hung windows to casements.
- Heat-Absorbing Tints
If Heat-absorbing tints can be added to the window glazing as a means to not only inhibit heat transfer but also to block a significant amount of UV light. You do have to be careful though as if you cut down on the natural light by 70% or more, any indoor plants you have will either slow down the rate of growth or even die.
Gray or bronze tinted windows are the most commonly used colors as they work well to absorb both heat and light. If, however, you want to allow light through and only block heat, then you should go for a blue or green tinted glass.
- Low-Emissivity Coatings
Another big factor, low-emissivity (or low-E coatings as they are known in the industry) are what you want in energy efficient windows. These coatings can be applied to the glass to improve energy efficiency further. The coatings are metal or metallic oxide that is so thin it is basically invisible. Most of the time this happens during the manufacturing process, but to improve energy efficiency on existing windows, you can buy a film to apply to already installed windows
- Reflective Coatings
Reflective coatings reflect back the rays of the sun and block more light than heat. These coatings are often used in hot climates where the sun can be extreme. However, they don’t always positively help your energy bill because what is gained in lower cooling costs is lost in need for more electric lighting. It just depends on the climate, positioning of the home and what you want in energy efficient windows.
- Spectrally Selective Coatings
These coatings are a specific type of low-E coating that is capable of insulating against 40-70% of the heat that goes through your window but does not affect the light transfer. The coating focuses on blocking only the infrared portion of the solar spectrum (in other words, heat) and leaves the rest of the spectrum, which is visible light, alone.
After reading all this, do you have a better idea of what you want in energy efficient windows? It’s okay if you’re a little confused. The experts here at Wholesale Home Improvements in Denver are happy to help you figure out exactly what you want and will help you choose the perfect windows for your home. Our almost 25 years of experience is exactly what you need!
September 26, 2017
Looking to Update Your Patio Doors Before Winter?
If you’re looking to update your patio doors before winter arrives, the team at Wholesale Home Improvements in Denver has a few suggestions for you. The type of material that the doors are made out of is a good thing to be thinking about as you are deciding what you would like to do for this significant home improvement.
There’s a myriad of patio door styles and colors to choose from. While it’s always fun to focus on style and adding flair to your home, the best place to start is choosing a patio door material. If you’re looking to update your patio doors before winter, here are a few considerations when choosing a material.
Wooden patio doors create a timeless, classic look that can’t be beaten. Besides visual appeal, it is also easy to repair minor damage like scratches. On the downside, however, wood is a bit more expensive and requires maintenance to keep it in good shape. Environmental factors such as the sun and heat can have a substantial effect on the wood, causing warping and damage.
Steel is a great option if you want something sturdy and energy efficient. It’s less of a hit to your pocketbook than wood and requires less maintenance to keep it up. Though it won’t warp or bow like wood, if it does get scratched it can rust and start not to look so good. So, be sure to keep up on the paint and repair scratches as they happen.
If you’re looking to update your patio doors before winter and considering aluminum, which is a similar option to steel (but more lightweight), you’ll have to keep up on maintenance since this material is even more susceptible to scratches and dents. While inexpensive and fairly sturdy, this exterior door material may not be suitable if you have active kids or dog friends that tend to scratch at your door to be let in or out.
Vinyl is a great, all around option. Many styles are made to mimic other materials, so vinyl can provide style while being sturdier, less expensive and easier to maintain. They’re also relatively energy efficient, so it can seem like there’s no downside. However, be aware that extreme shifts in temperature can cause the vinyl to crack and vinyl is more flammable than other materials. Most people find these downsides minor in comparison to the benefits of vinyl patio doors.
Finally, fiberglass is an excellent option for your patio doors. Fiberglass doors can be made to look just like wood and provide all the elegance that this traditional material offers without the downsides. Fiberglass patio and exterior doors are energy efficient and virtually maintenance free. It can even handle environmental stresses like changes in temperature without warping or deteriorating like wood. The best part is, you get all this for a reasonable price.
So if you are looking to update your patio doors before winter, be sure to come and see us here at Wholesale Home Improvements in Denver. We’ll help you decide on the perfect material, design, and style for your home. Our experienced staff will also install the doors quickly and efficiently and leave you to enjoy your new home improvement.
September 9, 2017
Fall Is a Great Time to Replace Your Windows
The experts here at Wholesale Home Improvements in Denver, Colorado assure you that fall is a great time to replace your windows. When the leaves begin to turn bright colors and the days start getting cooler, that’s your cue to start picking out the materials, design, and colors you want to use for your home’s new windows. There are a few practical reasons that make fall a great time to replace your windows. Let’s take a look at each one a little more in depth.
The cold winter months are when energy efficiency becomes most important as you want to keep the heat in and the cold out. If you wait until springtime, to replace your windows, you will lose out on taking advantage of that energy efficiency all winter long. This is even more of an issue when your current windows are of the old, single paned variety and keep about as much cold air out as a sieve. Of course, it depends on what windows you buy (and the state of your current windows), but people generally see a 17-25% drop in energy prices when they install new, Energy Star windows.
Enjoy the Fall Air
Old wood and aluminum windows often don’t open, either because they weren’t made to open or because they are so old that their opening mechanism isn’t what it used to be. Some might even have swelled in their frames and are stuck, or it’s so much work to open or close them that you don’t even want to bother. With Denver often seeing warm days well into October, installing new casement windows, you can maximize your home airflow.
Protect Your Health
Old, poorly sealed windows make for cold drafts wafting about your home which can make you and your family members more susceptible to sickness. Sure you can always bundle up to protect yourself, but the whole point of heating your home is so that you don’t have to bundle up against the cold when you’re inside. If you know it’s time to replace your windows, makes more sense to do it now before having to go all winter with those cold drafts plaguing you.
No Time Like the Present
Perhaps the most compelling reason that fall is a great time to replace your windows is the fact that we are just now entering autumn. There is never any time like the present to get a project underway. If your windows are older and in need of an upgrade, give us a call at Wholesale Home Improvements. We’ll not only help you pick out the perfect replacements for your home but also install your windows quickly and efficiently.
As you can see, fall is a great time to replace your windows. So, contact Wholesale Home Improvements to give your home the upgrade it needs before the chill sets in. When you’re enjoying a warm home and potential energy bill savings, you’re sure to be thanking yourself!