Frigid weather in Wisconsin is hard. Dealing with a draft around a window or a door that causes heat to escape makes winter harder. Drafts mean more heating expenses, and that can put a chill on your finances if you’re not careful. Improving energy efficiency is a must. The best option to improve this situation is to replace leaking windows and doors with energy-efficient products. According to the Department of Energy, heating costs are the most significant expense for homeowners. Reducing costs with proper insulation and quality windows and doors is essential.
Not only that, but, Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2017 claims an average ROI for replacement windows and doors is between 70-80% upon resale. Factors to consider when choosing new windows or doors such as frame type, glazing type, color, and energy performance rating.
What is The Energy Performance Rating?
The Energy Performance Rating is regulated by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). They test, rate, certify and label windows and doors based on their performance rating. Ratings for such things as the U-Factor are labeled and help to inform purchasers how energy efficient a product is. To learn more about the Energy Performance Rating, you can visit https://energy.gov/energysaver/windows-doors-and-skylights/energy-performance-ratings-windows-doors-and-skylights.
What types of windows are energy efficient?
Most traditional styles of a window are now energy efficient including awning, hopper, sliding, fixed, double-hung, and casement. Each type must be installed appropriately and air sealed to prevent leakage and to ensure energy efficiency. How the window is installed depends on several factors. Type of window, the construction type of the house ( brick, stone, wood, etc.), the exterior cladding, and any weather-restrictive barrier must be considered.
High Quality Contracting Inc. works with several vendors. We also offer custom window options. We can replace any window type that you may need.
What about storm windows? Will that help my bottom line?
Not really, unless your window is broken, missing glass or has a sever leak problem. A storm window is not made to reduce energy loss. Seeing significant annual savings on your energy bill is highly unlikely.
What types of doors are energy efficient?
Just as with windows, doors also receive an Energy Efficiency Rating that can help you choose the right product. Styles also vary widely and can be matched with the exterior design of your home to create a fabulous focal point.
If you are looking for expert advice on what type of windows or doors would be best for your home, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
The hub of every home is the kitchen. This is where the “magic” really happens with great lasagnas, roasts, taco Tuesdays, and family conversations. Investing in the central area of the home can be beneficial to your bottom line when considering resale as well as long-term use.
Kitchen remodeling in 2018 offers a range of excellent options to invest in that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Remodeling Magazine, a national magazine for remodeling experts, featured their 2017 Cost to Value Report for most remodeling projects and once again kitchen remodels showing a high ROI if 82% depending on the changes made, making it a great investment for your tax dollars this season.
Considering the significant return on investment along with the comforts it will bring, why wouldn’t you want to upgrade and improve your current kitchen? We have compiled a few exciting trends for the 2018 year to share with you for your home kitchen project.
Storage Solution Cabinetry –
Cabinet manufacturers are changing the way they make cabinets look and function by including hydraulic, easy to close doors that close and fold up with a touch of a button. They also have engineered some pretty remarkable features into their cabinets including UBS sockets and charging stations, hidden dishwasher in a drawer, appliance garages, corner cabinets with a lazy Susan installed, tray storage cabinets, and warming drawers. The variety seems almost endless from the manufacturers and now is the time to try them out.
For visual interest and contrast in your kitchen, you may want to contemplate two-toned kitchen cabinets. By using the two-tones cabinets, designers can create focal points on an island, create a cozy atmosphere with lower cabinets being darker, and contrast finishes as well as colors with stainless steel appliances.
Darker colored floors are in this year with lighter walls and cabinets. Products such as deep warm wood tones, slate flooring, dark tiles with accents and dark laminates are available. Dark floors tend to work better in larger homes and homes with larger rooms and open floor plans. Although very beautiful, before jumping on the dark wood, we would not suggest there use in dwellings active with large dogs as they do show scratches more than the lighter shades.
Technology has grown in every aspect of our world, and that includes the kitchen. New smart kitchens offer integrated technology that automates or makes life more manageable from faucets to appliances and lighting. The new products can be added to a new home as well as remodeling an older home.
- Motion Sense-equipped kitchen faucets
- Refrigerators that alert you when your grocery items are running low
- Programmable coffee makers
- Lights that can be controlled by your smartphone
- A refrigerator that touts an HD touchscreen that can be used to search the internet, play music or shop for groceries (Samsung’s Family Hub ($3,300 approx. as of 2017).
Pet-Friendly Kitchen Spaces-
Keeping our pets’ safe as well as happy is always a concern, and in the kitchen, it can be a challenge. 2018 boasts some amazing kitchen renovations that will ensure the whole family is satisfied. where your pet’s bowls and food can be stored with ease and slid safely away un
The Feeding Station- Forget the random bowls forever being kicked over and making the kitchen an eyesore, introduced is the built-in feeding station until the next meal time.
- Built-in Pet Beds – Pet beds can now be built into the underside of a kitchen island or side cabinet space to keep Fido’s bed tucked safely away.
- Hidden Gate- If you are trying to keep your best friend safely away from the stove a kitchen gate is a perfect solution. Installing the gate so that it tucks easily away by sliding it into its place makes this a gate we can get behind.
Consider some awe-inspiring home addition and home gym ideas. Whether you are trying to get your home in shape for the upcoming year or get your body in shape for spring, High Quality Contracting Inc. of southeastern Wisconsin has the fabulous design concepts for you.
Popular additions in 2018, include home theaters, game rooms, wet bars, in-law rooms, and home gyms. Entertain in whatever way you want with a variety of ideas and purposes for the extra space. Don’t forget to add storage for crafters, sporting equipment, or toys.
Here are a few fun ideas for your new space:
Not just for the wealthy anymore, home theaters boast an array of options to meet every budget and create an excellent space for movie viewing. Consider taking out or adding walls which include soundproofing and installing surround sound system. Get the total experience. Embed the tv into a wall unit or use a projection screen television to fill the entire wall. Make the space warm and cozy with new flooring. Another great idea if the room is large enough is to consider adding platform flooring to the back of the room. This allows seating to rise giving each seat in the place ample viewing from all angles.
Keep family and friends busy with a fun game room. Most people think of billiards when they think of a game room, but, in 2018 there are so many more options out there to make the space fun. Consider some of these options:
• Traditional Billiards Pool Table
• Ping Pong Table (folds easily for storage)
• Large Video Game room with a projection screen tv for optimum fun
• Hobby area for sewing, woodworking, or scrapbooks
• Vegas Baby! Flare it up like Vegas with card tables and an authentic Vegas craps table.
• Foosball table
You can add comfort to the game room with overstuffed furniture, side tables and perhaps a wet bar.
If you are looking for a beautiful wet bar to add to your home addition, why not consider a fresh fun style and have the area custom made? Coming up with fun concepts is our specialty. Here are just a few fun bar ideas that can make you feel like you’re on vacation each time you step into your addition-
• LED adjustable backlighting behind a fully stocked bar shelving unit.
• A surf bar with fun oceanside décor, surfboard table, and bright colors.
• Add a glass-enclosed wine room that is visible from the seating area.
• Mountain retreat bar with large neutral tiles and stones, exposed beams, and rustic style.
• Unusual and exciting countertop options such as wood, quartz, marble, granite, tile, stone, or concrete.
• Classy design with open shelving, marble tops, and bright, modern lighting.
Out of town guests will love spending time in a cozy in-law suite which can be a welcome addition to any home. Bringing the whole family together is a great way to enrich your lives. The in-law room might be just the answer to keep grandma or grandpa near the kids and still give them their space. Think of all the fun you can have together. In-law rooms can be made with a private bath added, ample storage and beautiful window views.
Home gyms are becoming ever more popular for the active family. Getting your work out in during gym hours when you are working, running errands, and juggling a family can be difficult. The solution is an addition with a beautifully functional home gym.
Making this space the perfect solution for you and your lifestyle will take some planning, but, we have some great suggestions for you to get started. Consider:
• Soundproofing the walls
• Concrete or wood floors with pads
• Indoor basketball court
• Climbing walls installed on the side of the room
• Large beautiful mirrors
• Open up space with vast window options
• Small indoor pool
• Bright full lighting
• Ballet bar
• Built-in weights shelving
• Extra storage area for equipment
• Surround Sound for music
• Built-in large screen tv
There are so many great options for your 2018 home addition that they hardly fit into one article. If you are interested in getting some ideas for your space, please contact us.
Welcome to the latest and greatest bathroom remodeling trends for 2018 with a home bathroom remodel. Bathroom remodels historically are an excellent home investment with a high ROI. HGTV boasts in a 2017 article that the ROI on a bathroom can bring as much as 100% at resale. So, what do you have to lose?
Enjoy the great comforts of a beautiful and functional bathroom with some of the hottest bathroom trends for 2018!
Let it rain! Hand showers, body sprayers, and rain showerheads bring the latest in shower fixtures to your home. In an overall bathroom floor plan, increasing the square footage and adding a tiled shower which features a bench and nooks for comfort. The raining showerhead and other spa features can make each morning a bathroom dream to start your day off on the right foot. Image the elegance and simplicity of the space with the function of the rainforest. Now that’s living!
Sharing is caring, except when it comes to bathroom space. Then it is each man/woman on their own. We all want our private areas to get ready, and individual vanities with sinks are the perfect way to share a master bath yet still keep your personal space. Avoid cluttering the countertops with plenty of storage for both of you. Outlets can be installed inside of drawers to keep the top clean and bright as well. There is a wide range of excellent vanities available that allow for individualized spaces.
Bare feet on a cold bathroom floor is never fun, so why not heat things up with heated flooring. There are a variety of products out now that range in price and features including anti-fungal properties. Electric in-floor heating mats installed under the tile are relatively inexpensive to run compared to forced air over the long run. There are two types of radiant floor heating systems including hydronic systems and electric radiant floors. Both work well under most conditions.
Hot in 2018 is the tucked-away toilet. This is mainly placing the toilet behind a fogged glass, decorative screen, or half wall to allow for extra privacy. You do not need a lot of room to make your commode more private as even the smallest space can provide the required room. Also, do not worry that this will make your room seem claustrophobic as there are ways to create the feel without significant barriers.
Furniture Looking Cabinets-
Basic cabinetry has taken a new twist with pieces that contain sculpted legs, paneling and other unique features that create a furniture look rather than the traditional bathroom vanity. These pieces come in a variety of styles from very sophisticated to match an elegant theme to cute country themes.
Invoke a feel of relaxation with neutral colors this season. Gone are the days of glaring or dark colors. Subtle colors do not mean boring by any means. Creating a fresh feel with tile arrangements, recycled glass, or metallic mosaics to spice it up.
Vessel sinks are made from an array of materials such as glass, marble, tile and cast iron. They also are styled in a variety of shapes such as round, leaf, square, and more. The collection seems endless making the space a focal point of the room. Vessel sinks work exceptionally well with furniture looking cabinetry.
To get an estimate on your bathroom project for 2018, contact us here.
Perhaps you have heard the term “Ice Dam” or “Ice Damming” and are not sure what exactly that is or how it affects your home. We have the answers for you.
An ice dam refers to a rim of ice that forms at the edges of your room and gutter systems that prevent water and melting snow to run off the roof (drain) properly. The water backs up and can cause damage to the roof, interior walls, insulation, ceiling, around windows as well as other areas. Ice dams can also be dangerous as when they break loose, sharp ice and icicles can fall to the ground potentially harming people or pets.
Mold and mildew problems caused by ice dams.
Not only does an ice dam cause damage to your home but it can also cause a health hazard with mold and mildew growth. The moisture and water leaking into the house will soak into the walls, insulation, and drywall. When this happens long enough, mold spores and mildew begin to grow.
How are ice dams formed?
Ice dams are formed when the higher portions of the roof are above 32°F while lower surfaces are below 32°F. The water at the more moderate portion freezes and the more elevated portion runs down to the lower portion backing up behind the ridge adding to the ice dam.
How does the roof maintain two different temperatures?
Heat rises. When the heat rises if the insulation on the inside of the attack space or in a variety of roofing areas is not sealed properly the top of the roof will become warmer than the edges of the roof. The heat loss also prevents the home from heating fulling and increases home energy costs.
How do you prevent ice damming?
To prevent ice dams from forming it is important to check the insulation levels in your attic as well as make sure that your roof, soffits, and vents are all sealed properly. It is also essential to make sure that your gutters are free of debris and corrosion as this can cause the water from draining correctly. Roof shingles should be well maintained and lose shingles and rotting boards replaced. Flashing around the chimney should be sealed well.
How do I clear an ice dam that is already formed?
Safety is critical in this area as that when you are removing an ice dam, you can quickly be hit with massive clumps of ice that roll off the roof. A roof rake is preferred if you have one or to call an expert to remove the ice dam to prevent further damage or injury.
What is the best type of insulation to use in my attic to help prevent ice dams?
Every home is different as to what kind of insulation works the best for your particular home. Homes with angled ceilings and no attic, roofs with skylights, flat roof dormers and low-slope roofs are especially challenging to vent at a proper level to prevent the ice dams from forming. To understand which options are best for your home it is best to ask an expert such as High Quality Contracting to review your situation.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to review your ice damming problem, please contact us here.