Feel like cheating? Forget what the inside of your home looks like for just a bit and focus on your home’s exterior.
“The exterior of your home makes a lasting and daily impression on your friends and family, along with your neighbors,” says Mark Clement, professional contractor and host of MyFixItUpLife home improvement radio show. “My advice is to get outside and fix up problem areas, work on the landscaping and invest in products that make your home’s exterior not only look great, but work great.”
Clement, who is in the middle of an ongoing renovation of his 100-year-old home in Pennsylvania, recommends assessing your needs and then diving in on projects. “On the exterior of the home there are three big, critical areas I recommend people evaluate every year --- the roof, the windows and the entry door. Those are key areas because, along with being visual focal points of the home, they help protect a house from severe weather. And, if you have problems with older windows, doors or roofing tiles, you’re looking at higher energy bills and growing problems that can affect your wallet long-term.”
Clement offers these recommendations for consideration with your home’s windows:
1. Evaluate the functionality and decorative appeal of your current floor to ceiling windows, your double hung windows or your single hung windows. If you have condensation between glass panes (or condensation on house windows), the windows are hard to open or close, your energy bills are soaring or if there are drafts coming in around the window units, then it’s time to seriously consider replacement windows.
2. Vinyl framed windows are the category of windows with the highest growth rate in the country. Why? These frames are extremely energy-efficient and some of the best have fusion-welded corners and multi-chambered construction. Plus, maintenance hassles are so low you’ll forget the horrors of rotting frames, scraping and repainting that come with wood windows.
3. Investigate your high efficiency window options and stick with a national manufacturer that can stand behind a long-term warranty. For his renovation project, Clement selected Simonton vinyl windows. The award-winning company impressed him with its 65-year history and return-on-investment with their ENERGY STAR® qualified windows.
4. Remember that a thermally-efficient window is sealed tightest when it’s locked. So, to keep your energy bills lowers, don’t just close your windows, make sure to lock them.