4 Benefits of Virginia Window Replacement Projects

Filed Under: Windows    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia-window-replacementAlthough a Virginia window replacement project requires a hefty investment, this home improvement also delivers significant benefits. Take a look at the advantages new windows will offer your family and feel good knowing your hard-earned cash is well spent on replacement windows.

Benefit # 1 – A More Energy Efficient Home

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of installing replacement windows is an improvement in your home’s energy efficiency. Double-glazed window panes and improved frame design make today’s windows much more airtight. This provides an effective heat barrier and insulator, allowing you to maintain a comfortable temperature using less energy.

Experts suggest that installing replacement windows will result in energy bills at least 10 percent lower than your current billing levels. Imagine how those savings will add up over the years, insulating your home from rising energy costs as well.

Benefit # 2 – A More Attractive Home

Aging windows present a less than spectacular façade, with peeling frames and dated styling. Newer windows dress up your home from the inside and out, allowing for a cleaner, more finished appearance.

It may seem strange to think that windows can have a noticeable effect on the look of your home, but the texture and brightness of new vinyl windows are unmistakable and easy to spot. Replacement windows also allow greater amounts of light into your home, creating a brighter interior that seems spacious and open.

Benefit # 3 – A Quieter Home

Road noise and the sounds of neighbors can invade your home at any time, eroding the sense of peace that should be present inside those walls. Although new windows can’t provide a complete solution in every circumstance, today’s product designs help to create a much more peaceful atmosphere inside your home.

Block out the sounds of foot and road traffic with double or triple glazed windows. The air space between glass window panes works as an insulator against sound as well as heat. Add some heavy drapes and your interior space will be almost completely insulated from intrusive noises. Enjoy a quieter home with a Virginia window replacement project.

Benefit # 4 – A More Valuable Home

If you are considering a move in the next few years, upgrading your existing windows is a wise idea. Not only will you enjoy cheaper energy bills and a quieter, nicer looking home, that house will also increase in value thanks to those new windows.

Modern windows offer greater security and easier, maintenance-free operation. Consider those benefits along with all of the others mentioned above and you’ll see how this home improvement project can add value. Buyers will look for a house in move-in condition, meaning new windows will make your home more attractive and more likely to capture the full asking price.

On the flip side of that equation, buyers tend to steer clear of homes that require substantial upgrades right away or soon after the purchase. If your windows are dated and worn out any offers to buy will take that into consideration. Most often buyers knock a certain amount off of the asking price, at least equal to the cost of the home improvement. Take care of that upgrade yourself before the home goes up for sale and you won’t need to deal with that issue at all.

A Virginia window replacement project presents homeowners with a wide variety of benefits. From lower energy bills to higher home values, a quieter atmosphere and a better looking facade, this home improvement is well worth the investment.

Garage Conversions Require a General Contractor Virginia Homeowners Can Trust

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

general-contractor-virginiaMany homeowners use their garage exclusively for storage, never realizing the full potential of this space. Garage conversions transform the area into usable living space. Your home value surges with the creation of another bedroom, bathroom or playroom. When considering a garage conversion project it’s best to hire a general contractor Virginia homeowners can trust. Their experience and knowledge will drive this unique project to completion.

The Challenges of a Garage Conversion Renovation

Transforming your garage from its current state into safe and comfortable living space presents certain challenges. Many garages are not built to include the same standards of comfort that interior spaces include. A remodel project requires additions, repairs and replacements, all of which are best handled by a seasoned professional.

The garage door presents the first challenge. Once this component is removed, the empty space needs to be enclosed and insulated. Many times this is the ideal area for a window or exterior door, although that will depend on the design of your new living space.

The foundation of your garage may need work as well. Often the garage is built on a slab, which may or may not be sufficient to support all of the walls. Your general contractor will assess the foundation depth and soil condition in order to discover whether any initial repairs or additions are required.

Insulation and Damp Proofing

Wall construction in the garage is significantly different than the design and construction of walls around your home. Building standards ensure your house remains comfortable and energy efficient by specifying the amount and style of insulation used around your living space. The newly converted garage space often requires a second wall be erected, with thermal insulation between the existing and new wall.

Vapor barrier and other forms of damp proofing are added to either the new wall or the existing structure, based on your contractor’s preferred method. Hiring a general contractor Virginia homeowners can trust gives you assurance and confidence, knowing the conversion process will run smoothly and efficiently resulting in a warm, affordable home.

Can You DIY a Garage Conversion?

Converting raw, often underserviced garage space into cozy living quarters is difficult. Imagine the amount of research required just to figure out whether the foundation is adequate. Not to mention that additional insulation and moisture resistance is required and code specifies that a licensed electrician install any necessary wiring. A subfloor may need to be installed in order to bring the floor level up and provide a moisture barrier. Proper ventilation may also present an issue and renovations to the ceiling and roof could be required.

If you have extensive experience with a wide range of home improvement projects, tackling a garage conversion yourself may be possible. Otherwise it only makes sense to contact a local general contracting firm. Look for one that has experience with this type of project and arrange for a few different estimates to compare prices, experience and overall design.

Expand your living space without changing the footprint of your home through garage conversion. This type of project requires a general contractor Virginia homeowners can trust, with the expertise and skills to make your renovation dreams a reality.

Protecting Your Virginia Siding From Damage

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

damaged-virginia-sidingVinyl siding is designed to last for years, providing an attractive and durable exterior finish for your home. But certain conditions and circumstances can easily damage your Virginia siding. From melted panels to discoloration and problems with nearby vegetation, many of these situations can be avoided.

How To Avoid Melting Your Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding can hold up to extreme climate conditions, including hot summer days and frozen winter nights. But it is a combustible material. When direct flames or extreme concentrated sunlight is applied to the material, damage will occur.

Keep your BBQ grill and backyard fireplace away from the siding in order to reduce the risk of heat damage. Check the owner’s manual for recommended clearances and use non-combustible materials as a barrier. Remember that the fascia and soffits above your BBQ or fireplace are also made from vinyl and can be subject to warping and damage when exposed to heat.

Direct sunlight is rarely a problem with vinyl siding, unless the rays are concentrated due to reflection. Use shade trees and screens to break up concentrated rays before they hit your siding. Many energy efficient windows are designed to reflect light away from your home, but those same reflections may cause a problem on the neighbor’s vinyl siding. Screens, awnings or leafy branches can be strategically placed to break up the rays and avoid any siding damage.

How to Avoid Discoloration on Your Virginia Siding

Most quality vinyl siding products are manufactured to resist discoloration. You may notice some fading on the surface , but the color penetrates right through the siding materials offering an even finish. Dents and scratches will be less noticeable.

But discoloration can still be a problem if the vinyl is exposed to chemicals and other substances. Some insecticides and herbicides contain harsh chemicals that will stain the surface of your siding. Take care to protect areas around your garden, especially when using a sprayer or applying products on a windy day.

Remember to cover your siding when staining and painting exterior features of your home. Stain can easily splash onto the siding when you’re coating a deck or railing. Removing excessive stain or paint right away could help to avoid discoloration, but hanging up a thin plastic covering will work well to protect the entire area from overspray and splashing.

How To Avoid Damage From Vegetation

Many different plants pose a threat to your siding if left to grow unchecked. Vines, bushes and trees present the greatest danger. Branches, stems and vines can grow around, under and even through siding panels given the right conditions. If a particularly strong species of plant grows into your siding and establishes itself, further growth could warp the panels resulting in gaps.

The best solution is to keep vegetation off of your vinyl siding. Trim any vines and branches that make their way onto the wall, or keep a close watch on the plant if you don’t want to cut it down entirely. Many climbing vines stick to siding and cause discoloration. Cutting these away is your only option.

Your Virginia siding is designed for durability. With the proper protection and professional installation, vinyl siding provides a virtually maintenance free exterior finish. Use common sense and a keen eye to keep your vinyl siding looking its best for years to come.

Virginia Realtors Help With Buying and Selling Fixer Uppers

Filed Under: Virginia real estate    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia-realtorsHave you heard of the term “fixer upper?” This type of home is in need of some TLC, and often sits a little lower on the price scale as a result. Virginia realtors tend to agree that fixer uppers are a tougher sell. Many advise sellers to complete home improvement tasks before putting their home up for sale. Why is buying and selling fixer uppers a challenging task and can these transactions turn out well?

The Fixer Upper Challenge

Most home buyers want a house that delivers a comfortable, safe standard of living from day one. Fixer uppers often require a significant amount of work to be done before that standard of living can be achieved. We’re not talking about finishing the basement for additional living space; a fixer upper may be missing doors, have inoperable appliances or need extensive plumbing and electrical work before residents can reach a state of comfort.

This isn’t the case for every home labeled as a fixer upper. In some instances the finishes may require updating or improvement projects like new windows and roofing are required to boost the energy efficiency. Seniors moving into a retirement home may be looking to list a property in this condition, and Virginia realtors are happy to connect their clients with potential buyers. But sellers need to be aware of the disadvantages that come with selling a home in this state.

Fix It Up First

Unless time and physical conditions make it impossible, your realtor should recommend that some of the issues in your home be fixed up before the property goes on the market. Doing that will allow you to set a better price for your home, as well as attract more qualified buyers.

Two things flash through the minds of potential buyers as they tour through a home that requires an extensive amount of work. In the face of both major and minor house problems, buyers will wonder whether the home has been maintained properly. Those buyers are more likely to pass on the house due to a cautious nature and worries about hidden problems.

The second reaction of potential buyers is to knock thousands of dollars from the asking price to cover the necessary repairs and upgrades.

Sellers may come out ahead by fixing the problems within their house and sticking to a higher asking price. Otherwise they are at the mercy of buyers, who will use the issues as a bargaining tool to reduce the price.

It Is Possible

It’s important to note that buying and selling fixer uppers works for many people across the country. When time and economical circumstances do not allow for the repairs and upgrades to be done before the transaction, buyers snag a good deal and sellers offload their property. As long as everyone is aware of the circumstances and full disclosure has been practiced, this type of transaction can go through smoothly.

Virginia realtors are here to help, whether you’re selling a fixer upper or looking for an affordable way to move into the market. Their expertise and industry knowledge will guide the transaction, protecting the interests of both parties. Contact a local real estate professional to ensure your fixer upper sale is handled well.