Buzz Off! 4 Ways to Keep Bugs Away From Your Windows

From ants to termites to box elders, no one wants bugs in their home. Unfortunately, there’s little a homeowner can do to make their home less appealing to insect pests. Almost any indoor environment provides the warmth and shelter bugs crave, even if you keep food sources stored away.

One key way bugs get into homes is through your home windows. Old or damaged residential windows provide small routes for bugs to creep indoors. Without the proper screens and seals, your windows can become pest highways.

Keep bugs outside where they belong. Here are four tips for blocking out would-be insect invaders:

1. Spray Screens With Insect Repellent

If your windows and screens are in good condition, but small insects still tend to cling to the surface, try spraying the screen with normal insect repellent. This step helps deter bugs from looking for any tiny gaps or unpreventable openings in the window. This method can also reduce the number of gnats and smaller bugs that might crawl through the screen. Add a layer of repellent every now and then to keep bugs at bay.

2. Use Caulk to Seal Cracks

Older windows might begin to separate from the casing or the walls of your home. Even very small gaps can create enough space for all kinds of insects to crawl through. Boost your insect defense by sealing these gaps with caulk. Start by cleaning dirt, debris, and old caulk from the area. Then, reapply, creating an even seal around the entire window.

3. Fix Screen Rips and Holes

If your window screens have gaps, bugs will certainly find their way inside. Use clear nail polish to mend smaller tears. You can also weave a larger piece of cut screen over bigger holes, or even replace mesh on the screen entirely.

3. Consider Replacement Windows

If your windows still let in bugs, as well as drafts or moisture, it might be time to get replacement windows. New windows can help keep out bugs, and they can even make your home more energy efficient. Contact local window installation services to learn more about pricing and frame options. On average, replacement costs between $300 and $700 per window.

With the right repellent, sealant, and screens, bugs will have a tough time getting into your home. However, even the best patches and fixes can’t make old windows new again. If you’re still struggling to keep creepy crawlies out, consider buying replacement windows. For more information, contact us as Best Windows today!

Out With The Old, In With The Airtight: How To Prepare For Replacement Window Installation

Anyone who lives in an older home knows the scourge of drafty windows. They make the summer hotter, the winter colder, and can increase your monthly energy bills by 10% to 25%. With such agonizing side effects, finally pulling the trigger and calling a home window company to replace the ineffective and ancient panes is a great relief. However, you now need to prepare for the inevitable construction; here are four ways to get ready.

 

    • Strip ’em down. Window treatments such as shades and blinds need to be taken down before any work can begin. Take care of this, in addition to the removal of any glass ornaments or decorations that may be hanging, before your installers arrive. Work will be able to begin immediately.

 

    • Clear space. Discuss with your installer how much space will be required to operate inside and outside the home for each window. You may need to move furniture, clear debris, and remove breakables from wall shelves or nearby cabinetry. Outside, ladders may be needed to reach over bushes and gardens.

 

    • Safety first. Make sure any children or pets are safely tucked (or locked) away from the construction. Accidents are called accidents for a reason; by being proactive and ensuring that no little ones or fur babies will come close to the contractors and their work, you can guarantee their safety.

 

  • Check the labels. Though uncommon, it’s possible that you may not have received the windows you ordered. In addition to checking for any damage (like cracks in the frame or broken glass), keep an eye for the labels that state these are the windows you’re looking for. Again, you most likely won’t encounter a mixup or mistake, but it’s always smart to be vigilant.

 

Installing windows is a messy, but ultimately worthwhile venture. Ordering replacement windows may seem like quite the ordeal, but when you consider the savings — both emotional and financial — you’ll come to realize that life with newly upgraded windows is simply better!

 

If you have any questions about installing windows, don’t hesitate to call Best Windows, Inc. at (708) 204-2446.

4 Tips for Protecting Windows from Storm Damage

High-quality, properly-maintained windows can last for 20 years or more, depending on the material. However, even the very best residential windows cannot always withstand the gale-force winds and blunt force trauma that comes with a wind storm. As such, when forecasters warn of an upcoming storm, many homeowners scramble to protect windows any way they can.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, or any kind of strong wind, window damage prevention is always a good idea. To avoid installing windows after every low-pressure system moves through, use the following four window-protection tips.

1. Plywood is Your Friend

Plywood boards make cheap, easy-to-find exterior window protection. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes recommends choosing a plywood board that is at least ⅝ of an inch thick to prevent high winds or flying objects from shattering window glass. Cut the plywood to be a few inches larger than your window, and drill or nail the plywood to your home’s siding. If you have a brick or stucco exterior, cut the plywood to fit within the window frame, and affix the board to the frame material instead.

2. Don’ t Believe Window Protection Myths

Some individuals believe that creating an X with duct tape on window glass will support windows against strong winds or flying debris. However, duct tape will do little but create sticky stains on your glass, and tape could possibly break the glass when you attempt to remove it. Skip the duct tape, and look for sturdier and safer storm protection.

3. Install Hurricane Film or Storm Shutters

Hurricane film is a clear adhesive sheet that prevents broken window glass from entering a home. Though this method may not keep windows from suffering storm damage, it can help keep you and your family safe from flying glass. For a stronger long-term solution, consider installing metal or plastic storm shutters that can be closed over window glass whenever a storm approaches.

4. Consider Installing Windows Made with High-Impact Glass

High-impact glass is another long-term storm protection option for homeowners. This type of window features layered panes of glass and plastic designed to withstand bad weather. Installing windows with high-impact glass might even lower your insurance premium.

Help your windows last longer by protecting them from storm damage. While both short-term and long-term solutions can prevent storm damage to your window glass, hiring a window company to install windows with high-impact glass might be the best way to save money in the long run. For more information about window repair and installation, contact Best Window Inc. today!

5 Common Causes of Shattered and Cracked Windows

replacement windowsWe’ve all seen it on T.V.– a child lifts a baseball, swings a bat, and subsequently, glass shatters. Somewhere, another window has broken.

Though it’s tempting to think that windows only crack when kids need to practice their aim, window cracks are far more common, and frequently caused by a greater variety of mishaps. Though accidents happen, quite often, window breakage can be prevented.

If you’re worried about the safety of your window glass, or just want to learn more about potential window damage, read on. Here are just a few of the top causes of broken windows and how to prevent them:

1. Weather Events

Glass is rarely a match against the might of mother nature. Hail storms and windstorms send debris through thousands of windows every year, leading flustered homeowners to seek emergency replacement windows. Even dramatic changes in temperature can put pressure on a window, causing curved stress cracks in the glass. If you live in an area prone to strong winds, consider installing windows rated to resist storms, or investing in storm shutters.

2. Careless Lawn Work

Throughout the summer, lawnmowers send rocks flying across yards, causing passerby to yelp and duck. Unfortunately, your window can’t leap out of the way of flying twigs or stones. Weed eaters, snowblowers, lawnmowers, and more are powerful enough to send rocks right through your glass. Remember to do your lawn care with care, and try to aim projectiles away from people and windows alike.

3. Animal Shenanigans

Spooked dogs and wild birds have been known to smash windows. There’s not much you can do to prevent these accidents, beside keep your dog calm and buy replacement windows after a break.

4. Age

Over time, residential windows tend to weaken. Even well-maintained windows can crack with age. These cracks don’t come from a failure in the glass itself, but rather from expansion and contraction in the surrounding frame and sash.

5. Improper Closures

Finally, slamming your window shut can occasionally cause a crack to appear. Since replacement windows cost between $300 and $700 per window on average, be careful how you close your windows to avoid an expensive accident!

A cracked or shattered window can be caused by almost anything, from projectiles to cold temperatures. Be sure take proper break-prevention measures, and check windows occasionally for signs of age or cracking. Though not all window breaks are preventable, you might be able to avoid an expensive residential window replacement.

For more information about window installation in the Chicago area, contact Best Windows Inc. today!

Your Quick Guide to Common Window Styles

Window installation companies offer a huge variety of window styles. Though all windows keep out the cold while letting in the sunshine, different window shapes and mechanisms have been developed over decades to perform unique tasks.

 

According to a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of homeowners are planning on renovating at some point in the future. If you’re thinking about changing up the look of your home both inside and out, consider installing windows in a new style. Here are just a few common window designs that are a great investment:

 

Double-Hung Windows

 

If you don’t have double hung windows already, you should consider installing windows in this popular style right away. Why? Not only are double-hung windows affordable, but they are also convenient and attractive. Double-hung windows consist of an upper and lower sash (frame that surrounds the pane), and each can be raised and lowered. This style lets in plenty of light, is easy to clean, and looks good with nearly any architectural style.

 

Casement Windows

Rather than sliding up and down, casement windows open and close like doors on a hinge. This style was common before sash windows were invented, and is still popular in the U.K. Casement windows are considered more draft-resistant than double-hung windows, since the operator can crank the handle until the seal is tight. These windows are also better for keeping out intruders.

Bay Windows

 

Bay windows are the well-known and well-loved relics of castles from the English Renaissance. Once used in curved towers, bay windows today are simply a wide series of glass panes that extend beyond the contour of the building. Because bay windows jut out from the rest of a room, they allow much more light to enter the space. Used as centerpieces for sitting rooms and parlors, bay windows bring a sense of romance and finery to a space.

 

Fixed Windows

 

Fixed windows do not open, and instead, serve only decorative purposes. Because they don’t move, fixed windows can be formed in more exciting shapes, like circles or stars. Fixed windows are an excellent choice for letting light into rooms with high walls.

 

These are only a few styles and options available. If you’re thinking about installing windows, take the time to explore the wide world of window mechanisms and shapes. Talking to professional window companies and doing your own research can help you find the perfect style for your home!

The Benefits of Choosing Vinyl Window Frames

Traditionally, wood window frames were the standard material. Today, however, window installation services can offer homeowners and business managers a wide range of material choices based on their budget and other needs. While wood remains popular, fiberglass, vinyl, and even aluminum are also common in different regions.

 

Of these types, vinyl has risen to become one of the leading alternatives to wood window frames. Window installation services are turning to vinyl replacement windows more and more often to meet their client’s needs. But why is vinyl so popular?

The Many Benefits of Vinyl

 

One key benefit of vinyl is that it is energy efficient. Vinyl has a great thermal performance rating, which helps reduce lost heat through window openings. Drafty windows that let air escape can increase your energy bills by 10 to 25%, but vinyl’s insulated construction can actually reduce your energy bills, saving both your money and the environment.

Vinyl is also low maintenance. Unlike wooden frames, vinyl rarely receives a coat of paint, and so re-painting is never necessary to maintain its appearance. Vinyl is also very easy to clean and tends to be more durable than metal or wood since it will neither rot nor rust.

 

Finally, vinyl is a popular choice because of its affordability and simplicity. Vinyl frames come in a variety of price ranges, colors, and qualities, which allows the material to work with any homeowner’s budget. Vinyl often comes with lifetime warranties, and window installation services consider vinyl quite easy to install.

 

Potential Drawbacks

It is easy to see why vinyl is so popular. It is convenient, affordable, low-maintenance, and it is even good for the environment. Why wouldn’t a homeowner choose vinyl to replace windows?

 

Some individuals find that vinyl does not look attractive with their home’s architecture. A new, synthetic material might look unnatural in a 19th-century home. Another drawback might be that vinyl comes in pre-made colors, so homeowners could have fewer stylistic options within their budget.

 

Though vinyl windows are clearly a practical, durable, and affordable choice, some homeowners may be deterred by their modern appearance. Ultimately, vinyl has earned its popularity. For your home’s replacement windows or your commercial window project, this versatile material might be right for the job!

Questions to Ask Your Commercial Window Company

If you’ve decided it’s time to replace your company’s windows, you’ve likely already done some research. Recognizing the drafts, weak windowsills, and other problems that come with old windows is a great first step for updating your commercial space and protecting your utility costs.

Now the time has come to choose a window installation company. To ensure that you’ve found a company that is right for your space, be sure to ask these four questions before getting started.

 

  1. Does the company specialize in commercial window replacement?This rookie mistake could end up costing you precious time and money. Even if a window installation company claims to offer commercial window replacement, be sure that the installers have a listed history of experience with company window jobs. Also check the reviews to make sure they have positive online feedback from not just residential window customers, but from business customers as well. Ending up with installers who are only comfortable with houses and apartments could lead to problems in the future.
  2. Does the company offer free estimates?Narrow down your list of potential window installation companies by asking if they have free estimate services. Before embarking on any job or making any deals, you need to have an idea of how much an installation project will cost you. If a company isn’t willing to offer you a detailed estimate, you won’t be able to ask informed questions when something goes wrong and new expenses arise. Offering estimates is a sign of trustworthiness, and going through the estimate process can also give you a feel for a company’s style before you sign a check.
  3. How long will the project take?When it comes to a commercial window replacement, time is money. The longer the installation process takes, the more money you could potentially lose, especially if you have to halt or decrease operations during the project. Also, ask if the company offers weekend or after-hours installation so that your business can continue as normally as possible.
  4. What procedures are in place if a window problem develops over time?Before you agree to a window service, make sure the company offers help if something goes awry with the windows in the next few years. If a window company is not willing to fix mistakes associated with improper installation, they’re not worth your company’s money or time.

High quality windows that are properly maintained can last 20 years or longer. Ask these questions to ensure you’re making a smart business decision, and enjoy your company’s high-quality windows for years to come.

Factors that Impact Window Replacement Cost

Determining the cost of any project is tricky. Though smart homeowners and business leaders know the importance of constructing a good budget, budgets can often be scrambled when expected costs are inaccurately estimated.

Replacing windows is one building-improvement project that makes calculating costs tricky. Though the average cost of replacing a window is somewhere between #300 and $700, don’t rely on this range. Before making your own estimate and adding lines to your budget, be sure you’ve accounted for the following factors that could influence the price of window replacement:

 

  1. Window StyleThough you may think that windows are all generally the same, there are actually a huge variety of types and styles to choose from. If you’re looking to replace windows with a different style, be prepared to add costs of window upgrades. Some styles of windows that might cost more than your current windows include:
    • Tilt-Out Windows

      This style of window allows the glass to be lowered on an inward hinge, so the outside surface can be cleaned from indoors.

    • Sliding Windows

      These windows move along a track horizontally.

    • Double-Hung Windows

      This style of window allows both the upper and lower sash to be moved.

    • Casement Windows

      These windows can be swung outward, and are common in basements and attics for ventilation purposes.

    • Bay Windows

      These windows extend beyond the walls of the room for greater light and to showcase views.

    Different varieties of windows can significantly vary in price. For example, sliding windows can cost between $325 and $1,200, according to Home Advisor. Be sure to not only research the costs of residential window installation, but also the different costs for the specific types of windows you’re interested in. The style of the glass in the window will also add costs, so be prepared to speak with an expert before selecting a glass and window design combination.

  2. Condition of the Window Frames

    Installing windows does not only involve replacing glass, but also sometimes replacing window frames. Rotten wood frames will need to be replaced along with the panes. Though wood is a traditional choice, today there are many different cost-effective window frame options, including vinyl and wood composite. Vinyl is a popular option for its affordability and durability; however, it is considered less attractive and could even lower the value of your home. Be sure to take careful consideration of the cost of frame replacement before beginning the process of installing windows.

  3. Costs Over Time

    Although pricing windows can be disheartening due to the variety of hidden costs, do not despair. Window replacement can save a homeowner money in the long run. If you’re looking to sell your home, updating windows is an excellent renovation choice to boost home value. Additionally, energy-efficient windows that block the loss of heat can help reduce utility bills significantly. After all, 45% of the average energy bill goes toward heating, so window replacement can significantly reduce this percentage. Before deciding against installing windows, be sure to take into consideration both potential costs and potential savings.

4 Tips to Help You Get Your Home Ready For the Colder Months Up Ahead

Summer has come and gone, and it’s time to prepare for fall. You’re ready to go back to school, pull out the long socks, and get the decorations out of the closet. While you’re preparing for the changing seasons, your house needs some attention too. Here are some things you can do to get your home ready for fall.

Window installation services

Fall is a great time to call for window installation services to get new home windows. The colder months are coming up, and you need your windows to be in the best shape possible. Dual-paned windows are nearly two times as effective at retaining heat and air conditioning compared to single-paned windows. Your home will be more comfortable in the colder months, and it will pay off in the summer too.

Clean your gutters

Experts recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year: in the fall and in the spring. Now that fall is here, it’s time to get up on the ladder and clean those puppies out. Use gloves to protect your hands while you’re pulling the debris out. You should also carefully inspect your gutters while you’re up there to make sure they’re still in good shape.

Inspect your HVAC systems

It’s been several months since you’ve turned on your furnace, so it could use a good inspection. Call in the professional to run tests on your HVAC system to make sure it’s up and running well. You should also make sure to change your furnace filter at least once every three months or once a month if you have pets.

Turn off your outdoor hoses

Finally, you should turn off your outdoor faucets before the weather gets too cold. Remove your garden hoses from the faucets and shut off the water too them. Leaving the hoses and water on can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes inside your interior walls. If the temperatures drop below freezing, the water can freeze, expand, and crack your faucets and pipes.

Your home needs regular seasonal maintenance, and the fall time is no exception. While you’re gathering your pumpkins and leaves, make sure you follow these tips to get your home ready for the upcoming autumn season.

Maintaining Your Home: 4 Reasons To Replace Your Windows

One of the most overlooked areas of a house are its windows; most people forget that they need to be regularly maintained, from simple cleaning to general inspection. Unfortunately, that kind of consistent neglect can have a big impact on their functionality. Here are a few reasons you might want to look into replacement windows for your home.

    • They’re busted: This one is pretty self-explanatory, and odds are you were aware of the problem immediately. Broken, warped, and damaged windows let nature — in its entirety — into your home, and also leech it of any heat or cool air that’s been building up inside. Even if the issue isn’t bothering you right now, the repercussions of waiting on the replacement could be much more costly in the future. If your windows are fogging up, drafty, sticky, or refuse to stay open, it may be time to contact a few window installation companies to inquire about replacement residential windows.
    • You want to save money on your energy bill. Heating and cooling your house is one of the pricier aspects of owning and maintaining a home, and one that is easy to forget about during the purchase. If your energy bills skyrocket every other season, it may be because your windows are simply too outdated to keep the inside inside and the outside outside. Replacement windows can significantly reduce that monthly bill, paying off the cost of the new windows and then some within due time.
    • You’re planning on moving. While this may seem counter-intuitive (why would you pay to fix up a house that you’re not planning on living in?), it’s actually incredibly practical. Homeowners who replace their windows get an 80% return on their investment — you can set the asking price much higher when the windows are fully upgraded and brand new, and the new owners will be happy to pay it because you’ll be helping them with their energy bills!
  • You live in an area susceptible to severe storms. Hurricanes and other intense weather events can wreak havoc on many aspects of life, but your windows are exceptionally vulnerable in areas where they occur with relative frequency; investing in ultra-durable replacement windows may be the best choice for the long run.

Take good care of your windows, and they’ll be sure to take good care of you!