21 May 2018
Dress up Your Windows this Summer
Dress up Your Windows this Summer

 

Window box planters have been making appearances on houses since ancient times.  The Romans used terracotta versions for growing foods and plants for medicines. As window boxes made their way through Europe, they used such materials as wire & hay, wrought iron and tin.  The modern versions seen on homes today showcase beautiful blooms that delight the eye.  

Consider these guidelines when adding window boxes to your home. 

Your window box should match the length of your existing window and should not exceed 25% of your windows height.   Examine the area and make sure it can support the box you choose plus the weight of the dirt and flowers.  Consider the amount of sunlight this area receives, this will determine the type of flowers you plant. 

Window boxes come in a variety of materials, each with pros and cons to take into consideration.  

Metal - strong and durable, but can dent easily and rust.

Fiberglass - does not rot and can be painted to match your home, but is pricey.

Wood – easy to customize, but is susceptible to rot and insect damage.

Terracotta – readily available, not a good choice for colder climates.

Plastic – lightweight and inexpensive, less durable. 

If you are handy with your power tools, you may want to build your own planter.  Popular Mechanics has an easy to follow guide here: https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/a12323/4318527/ 

If you want to think outside the “box”, an old drawer can be refashioned to hold flowers or several pails lined up make a sweet presentation. 

                                            

You have several options when it comes to installing your window box. 

 

Brackets are a smart choice for many different styles.  They are easy to install and convenient if you need to remove the box for cleaning or for winter storage. 

                                        

 

 

If the window box will be a permanent fixture to your home, utilizing a cleat system gives you more stability, plus the box can still be removed for cleaning or storage.  This video gives you easy step by step guidelines: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji6jkO79C6M 

 

If you are renting your home, employing D-rings & hooks designed to go under vinyl siding is a great solution.   Attach the D-rings to your planter, position your hooks and your box is ready to hang and fill.  This method is best for light window boxes.

 

 

                         

 

 

When you choose your flowers, keep in mind the amount of sunlight they will be receiving. Start with younger plants that will root well. Zinnias and marigolds are very tolerant of the heat, while impatients and fuschia need shade. Pansies and petunias are a great all around choice. A composition of flowers or vines that trail over the edge makes for a pleasing display. Choose a potting mix that contains peat or other ingredients that help to maintain moisture. Arrange your plants 2 to 5 inches apart so there is room for growth. Water daily and prune plants as necessary.

An herb garden is a fun idea for a window near the kitchen. Fill it with herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme or mini pepper plants that can be used in cooking over the summer.

                                              

Enjoy your window box and the pizzazz it brings to your home!

 

 

 

 

 

15 November 2017
Chilly Air, We Don't Care: Tips to keep your home warm this winter.
Chilly Air, We Don't Care: Tips to keep your home warm this winter.

Bundle up!  Right now, many of us are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the colder weather ahead.   Winter clothes are coming out of storage, heavier blankets are on our beds and hot cocoa packets are at the ready to warm us up.  Besides keeping ourselves warm, now is the time to make sure our homes are ready for those blasts of cold air.  Let's take a look at your doors and windows and help you make practical fixes to areas that may be letting old man winter in.

Begin by working from the outside in to address areas that may be letting cold air through. 

Check the caulk around windows and doors.   Over time, caulk can wear and peel away leaving small gaps.  As a part of your Fall maintenance, inspect the caulk and replace it or add a new line to repair it. 

The North face of your home could benefit from wind blocking features.  A decorative fence panel or tall dense shrubs are excellent at deflecting colder air gusts.  If changing some landscaping is on the docket for next spring, perhaps consider planting a tree in that area.

 

 Functional shutters for your windows can benefit you all year round.  Consider the hardworking Bermuda style, which can protect against the rain and wind in winter and provide shade and allow a cool breeze in summer. The addition of an awning can also assist in deflecting winter gusts.

 

Moving on to your entryway, let's inspect the following areas of your door for problem spots. 

 

Examine your weather stripping, door sweep and threshold for signs of wear or damage.  Your local hardware store can provide new materials, such as foam adhesive strips, that are easily installed and cost effective.  Door snakes are another functional, decorative way to block drafts from doors that may not see much use, but still allow a bit of cold air to enter the home, like the basement door.

 

Most drafts are seen around your windows, but preventing them is easy by trying these simple solutions. 

Layering your windows with blinds or shades and then a heavier drape is an effective way to keep rooms warmer.  Velvet fabric is a smart choice to use in the winter months.  Cotton or linen fabrics with the addition of a lining can also provide an efficient barrier against the wind.  

Products like weather stripping and caulk can help create a tight seal between the window and frame. Always inspect and clean the areas to insure a smooth, effective application.  

Film insulation kits are easy to use and only require a few additional tools.  Kits come with special two- sided tape and a plastic film that covers the window frame creating an airtight seal.  This method works well on all shapes and sizes.  When winter is over, the plastic film and tape are easy to remove so you can start to enjoy those spring breezes.

 

 

If the above solutions have not stopped the drafty areas, then perhaps it's time to consider replacement.  Our staff is on hand to discuss door and window options that fit into your budget. We want to help you and your home stay warm this winter season.

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