Know When You Need Window Replacement

Know When You Need Window Replacement

When is it time to get new windows?Knowing when the right time is to replace your windows can help stop damage to your home’s structure and help you avoid costly utility bills and repair costs. Each manufacturer sets its standard when recommending window replacement; however, the average window lasts between 15 and 30 years. Hardware, weather stripping, caskets, etc., may need replacement after eight years, depending on wear and tear. We look at six main items when recommending if a window needs to be replaced or not. 

1) Drafts 

Do you feel drafts around your windows? That is a sign that the window needs replacement. To test for a draft, place your hand around the edges of your window and see if you can feel any air coming through the seals. Another way to check this is by getting an energy audit. Energy auditors can run tests that determine the amount of air leaking out from around the window seals. 

2) Moisture

If you have double-pane or triple-pane windows, check them for moisture and condensation between the panes. These windows are built with a layer of air between the insulated panes to keep the weather out. If you find moisture between the panes, this means the insulation is no longer working, and homeowners should replace the window. 

3) Difficult to Use

Windows that do not work correctly need replacement. Meaning if you have a problematic window to open or close or a window that tends to slide down, as a homeowner, you would want to replace those windows. Over time, the frame and balance of the window can warp, causing usage issues. 

4) Broken or Cracked

This should go without saying, but homeowners who find a cracked or broken window should get the window replaced. Broken glass is a safety hazard and utterly worthless at keeping the elements out of the house. 

5) Gaps 

I recently went to a friend’s house, and the window in her kitchen had a significant gap in it big enough to slide a pamphlet through. Gaps between the window seals indicate that your window should be replaced. To check, look around your window. Do you see several spider webs in the corners of the window? Can you see the light shining through the cracks? As windows age, the materials expand and contract eventually; they become old and worn and need replacement. 

6) High Energy Bills 

No homeowner is ever happy to receive a high energy bill. Why would anyone allow high bills to continue? Before blaming these high bills on the kids in the house, check the integrity of your home’s windows by checking the items listed above. In Wisconsin, there are several programs that can help you with energy bills, and tax benefits for upgrading and replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones. Wisconsin homeowners can also save energy by obtaining a free “Energy Pack” from Focus On Energy. (Click Here for the Link) 

Each pack contains a variety of products, such as:

  • ENERGY STAR® certified light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs
    LEDs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, producing less heat and more light per watt. Plus, they have a long lifespan, typically 15,000 hours or longer.
     
  • High-Efficiency Showerhead
    Efficient showerheads lower the gallons of water used per minute, without compromising performance—allowing you to use less water and potentially lowering water and heating bills.
     
  • Water-Saving Bathroom Faucet Aerators
    These simple screw-in aerators reduce water use in your sinks while providing the pressure you need to wash. Reducing your water use will save you money on the cost of heating your water.
     
  • Pipe Insulation
    Pipe insulation may be used on domestic cold and hot water pipes. Pipe insulation will help to reduce heat loss by up to 80% through hot water pipes and will stop sweating on cold water pipes.

 

Add a home windows check to your spring and fall to-do lists. By doing regular maintenance checks on the windows, homeowners can avoid major problems in the future. Remember, if any of the above items ring true, then it’s time to call High Quality Contracting, Inc today and get your windows quote. 

( Due to the pandemic, some window types may not be available. We will always do our best to get you the window replacement you want at a price you can afford. However, we have no control over the amount of time it takes to get the products in. Thank you for your patience. )

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5 Common Mistakes When Renovating Your Bathroom

5 Common Mistakes When Renovating Your Bathroom

Luxurious marble bathroom with window

Renovating your bathroom into the perfect space requires more thought than many people think. Planning, and finding the ideal products are just part of what makes a bathroom renovation successful. Here are the top mistakes people make when renovating their bathroom and what we do to avoid them.  

Not Enough Storage

Often homeowners do not use all of the space that they have a bathroom and lose out on opportunities for storage. When designing the bathroom space with the contractor, be sure that every area available is used for something. Sometimes a contractor can open up a wall or build in a shelving unit or closet.

Fixtures and Materials that Date

Following a trend can be dangerous because trends come and go. The average life span of a remodeling trend is two years. Stay away from crazy patterns such as pink tiles, chocolate sanitary ware, and crazy border tiles. Stick with classic and clean lines, colors, and fixtures. Elegant bathrooms have a broad appeal that lasts for years to come.  

Poor Lighting & Power Sources

Lighting is an item that many homeowners ignore, yet, can make a massive difference in value and profitability. When remodeling your bath, check to make sure you have enough GFCI outlets for things like hairdryers, shavers, and curling irons. Next, review your lighting options. Would special, heated lighting make your bath experience more pleasant? Are there options to dim lights or brighten them? Are the lighting fixtures up to date with the latest technology making your life easier? Now is the time to visit these options. Even the addition of a single outlet can make a big difference in the bathroom.  

Poor Ventilation

Proper ventilation is essential when remodeling a bathroom. It can reduce moisture and mold issues, reduce the growth of harmful bacteria, and make the area more comfortable. Showering, flushing the toilet and washing your hands’ increases moisture to the air. High humidity in a bathroom can cause mold and mildew issues as well as grow harmful bacteria such as staphylococcus and streptococcus. Ways you can improve the ventilation in your bathroom are by adding a window or a new, more powerful fan system.  

Cutting Costs on Waterproofing

Although some projects are simple enough for the average DIY person, who is looking to save money, cutting corners and costs on waterproofing is a bad idea. In the long run, when your quick fix fails, you will be looking at costly repairs and a possible hazmat situation if black mold grows where the waterproofing failed. To ensure you do not have future issues in the bathroom, hire a professional to waterproof the area.

Remodel Your Home in Time for the Holidays

Remodel Your Home in Time for the Holidays

The holiday season is fast approaching. Halloween is right around the corner and then boom– Time to Celebrate! Family, friends, and festive meals are everywhere. Is your home ready?

Before you string up the lights and start baking that cranberry orange bread, maybe it is time to remodel. This seasons remodeling can take your home to new levels in entertainment, functionality, and peace of mind.

Consider our holiday remodeling tips to prepare your home for the busy season ahead!

Home Renovations to Consider

Before inviting everyone over for the holidays, you first need to decide where to start with your remodeling. We have put together the key areas of every home.

The Kitchen

The center of every holiday is food, and so we begin with kitchen remodeling. There are areas that you should consider when remodeling your kitchen, such as:

  • Flooring -For effortless cleanup and durability consider hardwood flooring or tiles.
  • Install new counters – Granite, tile, quartz, and butcher block countertops update the focal point in your kitchen.
  • Upgrade appliances- New Smart Appliances can help assist you in your holiday meal planning.
  • Install new cabinets- Replace cabinets with organizational cabinets that allow for a space for everything.
  • Install new lighting- Nothing worse than working in a dimly lit kitchen. Adding new upgraded energy-efficient lighting can help.

Bathroom Remodels

The next space that is often used is the bathroom. Impress your guests with an updated area.

  • Update old sinks and tubs
  • Consider a stand-in shower with high-quality tiles.
  • Replace outdated flooring and add new tile flooring.
  • Install new cabinets or more cabinets if you do not have enough storage space.

Entertainment Upgrades

After a good meal, the guests can enjoy the quality time together in a great new entertainment area.

  • Add a built-in movie theater room.
  • Create a gaming room with a billiards table.
  • Build in a custom bar with seating for everyone.
  • Install surround sound for music and sporting events like Thanksgiving football.
  • Perhaps if you have a hunting sportsman in the family, a trophy room would be nice.
  • Don’t forget a play area for the kids. Include a gaming system, surround sound, and comfortable seating.

Entryway Upgrades

When guests first enter your home, the first thing they see is the entryway. Make that space, both useful and welcoming with some of these great ideas:

  • Add a mudroom with space for coats, umbrellas, hats, and boots.
  • Upgrade your front door to a stylish energy-efficient door.
  • Upgrade entry windows with energy-efficient windows.
  • Add new floorings such as tile or hardwood.
  • Create built-in shelving or custom closet space
  • Decorate with holiday decor.

The holidays do not have to be hectic. With a few great remodeling projects, your home can be both inviting and functional. For your holiday updates, contact High Quality Contracting today at 414-405-7542.

From Not to Hot- A Garage Transformation

From Not to Hot- A Garage Transformation

When High Quality Contracting, Inc. first got the call regarding this garage, we were not sure what we were in for. The garage was in bad shape. It was ready to fall down with any good storm. However, all was not lost for our customers. They trusted us to repair, remodel, and stabilize the garage into a useful steady structure.

We first began by removing any existing parts that were rotted and damaged. We installed temporary systems to stabilize the garage until we finished the demolition part of the project.

Once that was finished, we moved on to jacking up the ceiling 5″ in the middle to make the roof level again. We installed new LVL headers. We strengthened the walls and rebuilt the soffits. Our crew also rebuilt the roof. The roof received new 2×4’s, plywood, and shingles. The crew replaced the old windows with new double-hung windows from Jeldwin Windows.

As the project took shape, we continued by adding a service door and siding. The amount of craftsmanship put into the project is evident by viewing the before photo and the after photos. 

The final photo is before we finished up with a new coat of paint.

However, you can see the beauty of this garage and how sound it is now compared to before. The new walls, roof, and doors have made this garage built to last for years to come. 

We left this project with happy customers and their garage is now strong and steady and ready for the Wisconsin elements.

Contact us today for your free quote. 

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6 Home Renovations with High ROI

6 Home Renovations with High ROI

We all want home renovations with high ROI. If you are trying to decide which home projects you should do first, or if you are considering listing your home soon, you may be interested to know which home renovations give you the best bang for your buck. You may be considering updating appliances, carpeting, and paint to be the place to spend the money, but, don’t be so quick. According to a recent article in US News and annual reports in Remodeling Magazine, you may be better off spending your money in other areas instead.

Here are six great projects to consider that offer the best return on your investment.

Kitchen Remodel

It is true that the hub of any home is the kitchen. A kitchen remodel can recoup anywhere from 65- 80% and add value to your home quickly. It is a crucial selling point for most buyers as well. When remodeling your kitchen, consider upgraded modern countertops, cabinets, flooring, and lighting. You do not necessarily need to make a complete overhaul of the kitchen, however, consider at least a few of these options to get that updated look. If the kitchen is closed off from the rest of the house, look at opening up a wall to allow for an open concept. This may mean the difference between a quick sale or one that sits on the market for months.

Bathroom Remodel

Another prime area for investment is the bathroom. Remodeling a current bathroom will recoup a higher return than adding a bathroom. However, according to Remodeling Magazine and the National Association of Realtors, if you only have one bathroom and multiple people are sharing it, an additional bathroom may mean the difference between a sale or not.
When considering upgrading your current bathroom, updated tiles, tubs, sinks and cabinetry is vital. Increase lighting and space where possible. If adding a bathroom, the placement of where this bathroom is can be significant. Many people enjoy having an en-suite to the master bedroom. Your High Quality Contracting, Inc. remodeling expert can help design the perfect bathroom for you.

More Square Footage

According to the National Association of Realtors,  a home renovations with high ROI include increasing your square footage. A homeowner can expect to recoup upwards of 69% for refinishing a basement, attic, or other space in a home. By increasing the livable space in a home, you can assure that you will dramatically improve your home’s value.

Research the going rate per square foot for living space in your area to get an estimate for the value of the increase.

New Windows

Remodeling Magazine states that you should not invest in the top of the line for a window upgrade if you are planning to sell. Instead, invest in a midgrade product that is energy efficient. It increases the possibility for a faster sale, as well as brightens the room. You can expect to recoup upwards of 74% on vinyl replacement windows.

Added Insulation

2017 Cost Vs. Value Report in Remodeling Magazine reports that the number one ROI investment into your home was professionally installed attic insulation. Because of the substantial improvements in insulation products becoming more energy efficient and lasting longer, this upgrade makes sense if you are planning to stay or leave. Not only do you lower heating and cooling costs, but, you ROI is roughly around 108%.

Updated Home Siding

This one is just common sense, one home renovations with high ROI is home siding.  Updating your home siding can improve many aspects of your home as well as enhance the chances of a sale. Realtors insist on creating curb appeal when selling your home, first impressions count. So what is the ROI for the siding change? That depends on the product you choose as well as making sure it is professionally installed. The foam-back provides at least three times the R-Value as the hollow-backed siding. This reduces the overall heating and cooling budget for the home. The price is higher than the hollow-backed siding, but, it pays off in resale value and energy costs. Choose from a wide array of colors and textures to meet the structure of your home. If you are a little unsure as to what products would best fit your home and budget, one of our siding experts can help you decide by explaining the options.

There are many other projects that you can do around your home that have a good ROI; however, these are our top 6 for this year. If you are considering selling your property, give us a call and set up a free consultation. High Quality Contracting Inc. can assist you in deciding which projects might best help you increase your resale value.

 

Chase Away Winter Blues with these Home Remodeling Tips.

Chase Away Winter Blues with these Home Remodeling Tips.

Home remodeling can reduce your winter blues. Wisconsin’s long cold winter months can sometimes cause homeowners to get the winter blues and increase the symptoms of depression. But have no fear, help is near. Did you know that by making a few remodeling changes to your home you can help with these symptoms?

Since it is Mental Health Month, we thought to share tips for remodeling that will help. It is a scientific fact that increased natural lighting can help with feelings of Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. By making some of these changes in your home, you can improve your homes natural light, air flow and a general sense of well being.

Full-length windows

If your home has small or very few windows consider larger windows or more of them to allow light in. Consider full-length windows that brighten a room or a large bay window. You can also add fun items like a window seat or a book nook to create that cozy feel and give you a space to relax in the sun.

Add skylights

Another great way to increase lighting is to add skylights. Skylights can bring in lots of light and improve your homes energy efficiency by allowing the sun to help heat your home. A skylight is like a window in the roof, but its frame is designed and flashed to withstand the rigors of rainfall that a shelter receives. It allows for daylight to fill the home with both warmth and light which in turn reduces your energy costs, the amount is dependant on the amount of sun that your area gets. The more sun, the more warmth, and light you receive.

Screened in porches

Screened in porches are great, but, what about changing that porch to fully enclosed space with large paned windows. This would provide plenty of space to sit and relax in the sun while still staying warm and indoors.

Change the hardware

Changing the hardware, you are using for the lights can also help. If you light switches are attached to poorly lit ceiling lights, opt to change those items out for newer energy efficient lighting systems.

Light bulbs can make a huge difference in the amount of light in a home. User a higher wattage if you are using only 60-watt bulbs. Consider fluorescent or natural exposure bulbs to brighten a dull and darkened room.

Open concept 

Opening up walls for an open concept look is not only a way to improve lighting but airflow and energy efficiency as well. The light can now resonate throughout the home more naturally as well as heat can be distributed efficiently.

Doors

Increase the brightness in your home with French glass doors rather than a solid interior door. You can still have privacy, but the glass allows the illumination to flow.

Don’t forget the front or back doors of your home as well. Install a newer energy efficient door with triple paned glass for security yet the ability to allow light to flow in from the space. Or consider a glass storm door which you can use to let light in during the day while still being able to close and lock the more massive solid door at night or when you are away.

Home remodeling can reduce your winter blues so don’t let the winter months bring you down. There are so many ways to brighten your home. The best way to handle any home remodeling project is by contacting a High Quality Contracting, Inc design expert to help you devise a custom plan that fits your home and your budget.