We don’t often talk about the basement area when it comes to doors and windows. If left unchecked it, can be a hot spot for drafts, moisture and leaks. It is important to check over these areas and make the appropriate repairs.
These two largest areas of access should be checked at least once a year. Start by inspecting the frame around the door, is it still tight or are you seeing some warped areas or evidence that it may be pulling away from the door itself? Also note the wear to weather stripping or caulking. Replacing these can be a smart, cost effective solution. Safely check for air leaks by lighting an incense stick and gently move it around the doors frame. Note any areas that blow the smoke.
Check for any water damage as well. Look for discoloration, sagging paint around the area or the presence of mold. Mold can be tricky to identify at times, look for small white or black dots or give the area a sniff test.
Your new window installation is finally complete! You've added hardware and carefully chosen curtains to complement your décor. You smile every time you walk past your windows until.....you see it......that first hand print.....or perhaps you see a smudge that kind of resembles a nose print. The reality sets in that maybe your windows may not look perfect forever. Or can they? With the proper maintenance, inside and outside the home, your new windows will look great for years to come.
It's always good to check the manufacturers guidelines in regards to what products are safe to use on and around your windows. Generally speaking, using a damp cloth to wipe down wooden frames of dirt and dust build up should be a safe method. Avoid getting the cloth too wet so you do not encourage rot due to excess moisture. Clean around the frames and the nearby walls to prevent dirt from making it's way into the sills and causing jams in the future. Clean your glass panes with a homemade cleaner or your favorite over the counter spray. Using crumbled newspapers is a great way to avoid streaks. Vacuum the inside window sills or use a cloth to wipe away dirt.
Your home's windows....they connect you to the outside world, are sources of natural light and help protect your home against the outside elements. Unless you live in a very old home, most of your windows probably contain two or three panes of glass, with an open space between the panes. The industry refers to them as IGUs (Insulated Glass Units) and they are designed to regulate the temperature in your home. This is achieved by filling the glass panes with an inert gas, like argon or krypton, which are good insulators. The gas is held in by an air-tight seal. Unfortunately, some seals do fail. Let's discuss the why's, how to detect and most importantly, getting them fixed.
Several things can contribute to a leaky seal:
·The age of the window and how often it is used in the home.
·If you reside in a climate that experiences extreme temperatures or harsh weather.
·Mistakes made during installation or during the manufacturing process.
Whether you’ve just moved in or you’ve just noticed, if you’re missing a screen for your window or patio door, you’re in for a scavenger hunt. Unfortunately, all screens are specific to the manufacturer in their parts or they way they slot into the product. Some patio door screens are top hung and some have bottom rollers. Some window screens clip in, some are spring loaded, some have latches that push into the frame from the inside—just to name a few.
When I hear those words, it's a callback to a bygone era—a time when people worked in terrible conditions and safety measures were lax. I also think of contruction—oil rigs, bulldozers, combine harvesters, and steam rollers. I don't think my day to day life involves heavy machinery or industrial equipment.
April showers bring Mayflowers and hopefully a little extra change in your pocket from the Federal government. The average family receives a refund of around $3000. It may not be enough to completely transform the basement into the man-cave of your dreams, but it is enough to do a bit of home improvements that can improve your quality of life and lift the spirits.
We've broken down improvements that will bring the best return in value for your home and divided them into monetary categories in case you have a little, a lot or the whole works to spend. Before any home improvements you should ask yourself how long you will be staying in your current home. That answer should factor into your decision making.
$100 to $500 Budget
•Refresh cabinet hardware
•Service items in your home-hot water heater, HVAC & furnace. Regular cleanings can add up to 10 years of life to these products.
•Insulate the attic or other areas that are letting in cold air or are allowing hot air to escape.
•Paint-whether it's one room or a whole floor, fresh paint can transform and give your space a brand new feel.
$600 to $2900 Budget
• Replace an older front door. One of the easiest ways to give
your exterior a new look. Up to date materials and better
construction, combined with durability and better insulation will
help save on energy bills over time.
• Upgrade out dated appliances. New appliances in the kitchen
are always a great way to boost value and encourage more
family time. If you shop for Energy Star rated products, look for
ones that may have rebates via the government. Double win for
saving money in the short and long term.
• Landscaping – First impressions do matter in housing. A well
maintained yard and trim trees and shrubs can increase a homes
value up to 20%. Curb appeal and an inviting presence are
important factors if you feel your property may be for sale soon.
Outdoor lighting may also be beneficial as it enhances your
•Replacing your garage door. With one of the best return on investments rates-coming in around 98%, a sturdy, eye appealing door is important to home owners.
•Replace older windows. Another smart improvement that is worth the investment. A more energy efficient window will stop air leaks and condensation. Plus, if the window had cracked glass or loose encasing, you will be removing any safety issues.
• Upgrades to the kitchen or bathroom. A new tub and sink are
safe bets for the bathroom. The kitchen will benefit from an
upgraded sink/faucet and new counter-tops. Tile work in either
room can transform walls and floors.
All home improvement projects can be a journey. If you are taking just a few steps or one big leap, we hope your finished venture is pleasing to the eye and improves your home and those that occupy it.
In 1962 the Jetson's cartoon imagined what our homes would look like in the year 2062. Their future included conveyor belts in the home, automated breakfast stations, big screen TV's and video calling. While some of these features have not been realized, it's fascinating to see the evolution of technology in the home.
What does the term Smart Home mean? In layman's terms, it is the ability to control lighting, heating and electronic devices remotely from a phone or computer. If you have been thinking of adding some of these features to your home, let's explore the most common ones and the benefits they may add to your house and lifestyle.
A programmable thermostat allows the home owner to regulate the heat or air conditioning of their home when they are not in it. Utilizing this feature helps cut down on energy bills and in turn saves you money. It also cuts down on human error, like when you are half way to work and realize you forgot to turn down the heat. The ease of reading a digital display means you don't have to pull out a magnifying glass to see those small tick marks. A smart thermostat usually pairs with an app that allows you to make changes remotely. Some smart models learn as they go, memorizing your desired temperatures and can even alert you to needed maintenance.
Alarm Systems/Security Cameras
Making sure your home is secure while you are away is a priority to every home owner. Monitors and cameras, coupled with an app, allow you view anyone that approaches your front door. Imagine being able to alert a trusted neighbor to retrieve that latest Amazon order from your front porch! Some apps can let you know if an alarm has been set off or can sense heat to alert you to a potential fire. Lighting can also be controlled to give the illusion you are home. Date nights become more enjoyable knowing the sitter and children are secure in the home.
One device that is gaining popularity in the smart tech arena is garage doors.
Most people use their garage door as a primary entrance to their home, that's a lot of opportunity to leave it open by accident. Having the ability to check on it and close it remotely lessens the chance of theft and break-ins to the home. If you have multiple car drivers in the family, this eliminates the need for extra remotes. If a delivery needs to be made or a family member is locked out, a quick push on your phone allows for easy entry. A.B.E. is excited to offer smart garage door openers and recommends the MyQ app. Let us know if we can tell you more about these products.
The growing popularity of digital assistants in the home brings things like trivia, news, sports and music to life with a simple command. When used together with music or movie streaming apps, one command can have you watching the latest episode of Stranger Things on your TV or keeping the party rocking with all your favorite BeeGee's hits. These devices can also control audio systems, make a grocery list and set your morning alarm.
Do a bit of research to see what smart device would benefit you and your home the most. The real estate market is just now weighing in on the impact of smart homes and resale value. Employ a reputable company if you are doing a major upgrade. The programming of these devices can be a bit complicated. Once installed, these clever gadgets can help make your day a little less hectic and a lot more fun.
The hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holiday season is upon us—the endless lists of things to do and limited amount of time to complete them.Many of us seek the internet to solve our problems by saving time and money, but what you aren’t purchasing is an individualized touch.
Throughout my experiences as the office manager, I have seen too many times a customer walk through our door needing assistance with a garage door or operator part.They had purchased the part online that was listed on Amazon or Ebay to name a few common sites.This seemed to be their “jackpot.”Pay for the part online and have it shipped directly to them within 24 hours.SOLD!Only to receive the part and deal with the disappointment and frustration that it does not work.Now what?It’s not like you can call the internet and talk to a person to help you.
This is where we have an advantage over an online store.The office staff can help you diagnose the problem and supply you with the correct part.Garage door operator technology has changed so much in the past twenty years.Manufacturers discontinue parts or replace them with universal models that accommodate many products.The next time that you need help with a part, instead of reaching out to Google, call me directly at 610-398-2430, extension 115 or stop by the showroom location.The staff is always available to offer you the “Gift of Giving.”
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.
Carol Burnett immortalized the humble curtain when she wore it, rod and all, during her infamous “Gone with the Wind” parody sketch. With so many styles, colors and lengths to choose from it can become a daunting task. Let's help simplify that process so your windows are the best dressed in town!
Begin by assessing the rooms function. If privacy is the main goal, then choosing a heavier fabric will ensure no one is peeking in. These denser fabrics are also great options for blocking sunlight. If sleeping in on a Saturday morning is your weekly treat, you may want to consider a lined curtain to really block out those early morning rays.
Cotton or linen allow natural light to filter through while letting you to enjoy the view from your window. These fabrics are also easy to maintain, which is a plus if the room sees many an active child or furry pet. If you are concerned with fading, a neutral hue will hold its color longer.
Now that you've chosen your fabric let's move on to length. You may see terms like brushing, breaking and pooling. Brushing means the curtain is slightly touching the window sill or floor. Breaking is when the curtain goes an inch or two on the floor. A curtain that drapes over the floor by more than two inches is pooling. Again, looking at the rooms function will help you decide on length. A well-used room may not benefit from large pools of fabric on the floor.
When measuring, start from the rod to the floor to get an accurate length. Don't forget to account for rings or hardware that may be used to hang the curtain. Many designers hang curtains close to the ceiling for the illusion of added height.
Generally speaking, you want a curtain to be a few inches wider than the window for a nice full effect. In the room’s you are seeking privacy or darkness you may want to choose a curtain that is 3X the width of the window to create a bigger barrier.
Now the fun part...choosing a material or pattern to complement your décor. If your furniture already has a pattern, going with a solid, complimentary hue is a good choice. Patterns and bright colors mix well in a room with classic elements. Make sure your material matches the other fabrics in the room. A light and airy room will not mesh well with wool or velvet. If you find a fabric you love, bring a swatch home and hold it up against the window to see how it looks in the light.
Pull the look together with fun hardware.Curtain rods that have a brushed silver or wrought iron finish can be charming. The addition of finials or using clip rings to hang the curtain add interesting details.A child's room gets an amusing pop when you use something out of the ordinary as a tie back, like a chunky necklace or pretty ribbon.
A great window treatment should provide a balance of function and beauty. We hope this guide will help you choose a curtain with confidence.
You just finished dressing and fixing your hair in the coolness of your home only to become hot and flushed by the time it takes you to hop into your car to begin the day. Don't sweat it.....here's a host of great tips to lower that temperature and keep your cool.
Let there be air flow!
If you are fortunate enough to have a window, install an exhaust fan to help pull the hot air out. If you feel comfortable with the idea, you can open the garage door about a foot to help with circulation as well. Even a well placed box fan can help with air flow if you are doing some tinkering in the garage. Always make sure the garage door is closed and any fans turned off at the end of day.
Don't be full of hot air.
Think of the ceiling of your garage like the attic in your home. Hot air rises and gets trapped in that space. Adding a vent to the roof will give all that hot air a way to escape, thus keeping the overall garage cooler. Insulating your ceiling is an another way to keep that hotter air from coming into the working area of your garage.
If these walls could talk.
They would say “add some insulation to us too”. If you choose this option, make sure to encapsulate the insulation with some wall board material. This would prevent tearing and wear from pets and younger children. Applying weather stripping around an entrance door or the bottom of the garage door will help keep the warmer air out. You could also caulk around a window or door if you saw small gaps in those areas as well.
Consider some shade.
If your garage is used as an extension of your home in terms of living space maybe consider adding an adjustable roll away awning to the sunny side of the garage to keep that summer sun at bay. If you are revamping your landscaping, a well-placed tree can provide leafy shade during the warmer months and the loss of leaves in the winter will allow the sun to peek through and warm the garage...bonus!
Darker colors absorb heat. Painting your garage door a crisp white, beige or cream will help reflect the heat. Another choice is a cool roof system. A more costly selection, these materials help absorb the sun's energy and reflect more heat. Available in the form of paints, tiles and sheet coverings, this option would be more suited to a garage that has been converted to a home gym or living space.
We hope these tips will make your garage a bit more tolerable in the summer months or at least a little less rumpled till you get to work.
The International Door Association has deemed June National Garage Door Safety Month. Your garage door is the largest heaviest moving object in your home. Over 77% of garage door related injuries occur at a person's own property. Keep your family, pets and automobiles safe all year round by following these simple tips.
Every month inspect your garage door and the surrounding mechanics. Look over your cables, springs, rollers and tracks. Look for any objects, such as leaves or other debris, that may be in the way of these areas that would cause a problem. If you hear a lot of grinding or scraping apply a spray lubricant to keep the tracks running smoothly. The average life span of most springs and cables is approximately 10,000 cycles or roughly 6 to 10 years. Please consider calling a professional to replace these items, as they are tension mounted and may cause injury to the do-it yourselfer. Do not operate the door if you feel there is an area that needs repair.
Since 1993 overhead garage doors are required to have auto reverse sensors to indicate if an object is in the way of the door as it closes. Check these sensors monthly by placing a soft object, such as a roll of paper towels, in front of the sensor. If the door does not automatically move back up, check the wires to make sure they have not been chewed on or disconnected in any way. Over time the sensor itself may become dirty, wiping each lens with a soft cloth ensures the beam does not get interrupted. If the beam seems broken it could indicate the brackets have become misaligned. Tightening the brackets may solve the problem, if not, you may have to replace them. If your garage door does not have sensors it may be time to upgrade to a door that does to avoid an injury.
Talk to your children about garage door safety. Encourage them not to play with the opener or the remote. Make sure your opener is placed at a height that small children cannot access. Instruct your kids not to leave bikes or toys in front of the garage or inside where they could get run over. Never open or close the door when kids or pets are close by. If you have older children, teach them how to use the emergency release pull.... make sure you know how to use this as well!
Staying safe extends to when you go on vacation as well. Inform a trusted neighbor of the days you will be gone and have them notify you if they see any odd activity near your garage door. Take remote controls out of your car and keep them in the house until you return. Some newer garage door models have a vacation mode feature that can be activated so your remotes are disabled. Upon your return, simply deactivate this setting from the wall control in the garage and you are back in business.
A little prevention and knowing what to look for can save you and your family from a garage door related injury. A.B.E Doors and Windows cares about you and your home, if you feel your garage door could use a little love please contact us at 610. 398. 2430.
Now that you have spring cleaned your home from top to bottom, let's move your focus outside the home to your garage. Has it been awhile since you were able to park your car in it? If your car does fit, are you tip-toeing around stuff to get to your car door and hoping you don't knock anything over? If the answer was yes to either of those questions, let’s look at some practical solutions that translate well for any garage space.
The first step is to clear out the garage from top to bottom. As you remove items place them into three piles. Trash, Keep and Donate or Sell. Really assess the item...when was the last time you used those roller-blades? If it's been over three years, it's probably time to let it go. Have some bags and boxes handy for the items you donate and make a plan to drop them off later that day. Try not to bring it back into your home or garage. While the garage is empty give it a good sweep. It is also an excellent time to check your garage door opener for wear and tear. Make a note if you see something that needs repairing.
The next step is to sort the items you are keeping. Grouping them into like categories will help you determine how to organize your garage area. Examples would be: toys and sports equipment, lawn & garden, tools and perhaps holiday items. Now that you have your groupings, take a look at the garage space and create different zones for those items. If your garage is attached to your home you may want to designate that space near the door to be used as a pantry or an area for coats, shoes and school belongings.
Utilize vertical and overhead storage solutions to your advantage. A simple pegboard with an assortment of hooks can hold all your tools. A clever trick to remember what goes where is to trace the outline of the tool onto the pegboard! A solid shelf and some sturdy S hooks can help create a sports zone for bicycles, golf equipment and sports gear that may only get used at certain times of the year. When installing any overhead solution, always make sure they do not impede the opening and closing of your garage door.
Wooden pallets and PVC pipe are two inexpensive ways to corral all your long handled garden tools. A small shelf can hold potting supplies, gloves and smaller gardening implements. As you put things away it's a great idea to label things. That way everyone knows where items belong.
You've worked hard. Take a moment to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the reclaiming of your car's parking spot. If you have energy left, lace up those roller-blades and take a loop around the block.
Whenever a cleaning person is being interviewed for hire in the movies they are always asked what they won't do. Often times the answer is “No windows!” Seeing as this task is going to be on your to-do list, we hope to provide you with some easy solutions to get those windows sparkling in no time.
Gather your tools:
If your plan is to tackle all the windows in the house, gather up all the items you will need so they are at the ready and you are not wasting time searching for more paper towels. We suggest the following:
Bucket, sponges, squeegee, ladder, hose, soft cloth, newspaper or paper towels, vacuum and soft bristle brush.
There are many window cleaning detergents on the market. Pick one you feel has done a good job in the past or consider making one for a more green approach. One solution that gets great raves is 2 cups of water, ¼ cup vinegar and ½ teaspoon of dish soap. Pour that into a spray bottle and you're set.
Window washing is best done in the early morning before it gets too hot out. Too much heat can dry your detergent too quickly which will leave streaks. Do a quick inspection of your windows, door frames and glass to check for wear, cracks or screen damage and make notes of anything that may need repairs.
If you have windows that allow you to wash them from the inside of your home, work from top to bottom. Do the outside of the window first and wipe horizontally, wipe the insides vertically, this way if there is still a patch of dirt or a streak you can tell which side needs extra attention. If your windows are really grimy, consider using one sponge or cloth with some soapy water to get that initial layer of dirt off, then proceed with another cloth with your cleaning solution. Newspaper is one method of drying that does not leave fibers behind. Special micro-fiber cloths are also absorbent as are good ole paper towels.
If you have larger outside windows that need attention, we recommend using a bucket full of warm soapy water....2 gallons to a few tablespoons dish soap. Adding 4 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol can help to prevent streaks, but that is optional. If you are working on a ladder please have someone assist you to prevent falls and injury. After scrubbing clean with your sponge, use a hose to rinse your window. A long handled squeegee is the key to get rid of excess water and make drying a breeze.
Use your soft bristle brush to gently loosen dirt from door and window screens, then wipe down with a wet cloth. Don't use paper towels or newspaper on your screens as they will leave bits of paper behind.
Your vacuum will come in handy by sucking up dirt and bugs from the window sills.
Don't neglect your garage door! Tackle that with your bucket and soapy water and a good rinse.
Enjoy the view.
Make washing the windows a family activity and it won't seem like such a terrible task. Play your favorite tunes, as the day gets a bit warmer the kids may like to get spritzed with the hose a bit. Many hands make for a lighter load. When the chore is done, break out some snacks and lemonade and admire your crisp clear view of the garden.
Bundle up! That's what you heard from your mom as you walked out of the house every day in winter. She was determined to keep you warm and comfortable as you ventured into the chilly air. The same principle applies to areas of your home. Having sufficient layers can help keep the heat in and make your home more comfy as well. Insulation in your walls and attic is common place, but what about your garage? An insulated garage door can afford you many benefits. Here are a few to consider.
As the humble garage space has evolved over the years it has taken on a multipurpose use. No longer is it just a space to house a car or two, but it has become an extension of your home. Many of us use this area to do woodworking or tinkering on our cars. Some utilize the space as a workout area or a place where your teenagers can play their drums or guitars without deafening the entire household. For these very reasons an insulated door can help maintain heat generated by a portable heater so these activities can be enjoyed all throughout the chillier months.
A warmer space can also mean the difference of your car starting or not. If the temperature outside is 20 degrees, your garage is about 30 degrees. An insulated door increases that temp to around 42 degrees, which gives your vehicle a little extra edge when temperatures are below freezing.
If your garage is attached to your home, you probably have a door that connects to a small mudroom or hallway off your kitchen. Each time that door is opened your home feels the effects of that blast of cold air. Having an insulated garage door can help buffer that cooler air so your home maintains it's temperature.
Does anyone in your home work the early shift? Or perhaps you have a night owl in your midst? Insulated doors are denser and therefore rattle less. That means less disturbance for those of you already asleep. The denser door is also a great sound barrier......those drums that are being practiced on will cause less rift in the neighborhood.
Let's be real, your garage door takes a lot of abuse. Besides the daily opening and closing, it receives the occasional bump of a basketball, catches the falling bicycle and sometimes feels the back bumper of your car. The stronger core of an insulated door adds rigidity to the panels and helps it absorb these impacts better. The less damage done to the door over the years can equate to less repairs and longer duration in general.
A.B.E Doors and Windows carries the Raymor Innovation Series garage doors which offers a polyurethane insulation. Please contact us at 610-398-2430 if we can be of assistance in selecting a garage door for your home.
We all have the urge to hang that big holiday wreath on the front door at this time of the year. However, how do we properly hang it in order to prevent damage to our door?
There is no reason to hammer a nail into your wooden door. You do not want to end up with split wood. Purchase an Over-the-Door Hanger. They have come along way over the years; you can find them in all types of finishes. Be sure to choose a strong metal hook that has a curve, so that it hangs clear of decorative door panels. To prevent the hanger from scratching the door, here are some simple suggestions:
·Use felt behind the hanger. Cut the felt to the size of the hanger and be sure to use a color similar to the hanger.
·Attach little bumpers, those like the ones that are on the inside of your kitchen cabinet doors. Line these up and down the hanger.
If you have a metal or steel front door, you can purchase a Magnetic Wreath Hanger. Hang it where you want to display your wreath and then hang the wreath from a small hook. Most magnetic hangers hold up to 10 lbs. That is quit a big wreath!
The easiest solution is if you have a storm door. You don’t want to hide your wreath between the two doors, all this does is flatten the beauty of the wreath. Instead, hang it on the outside of the storm door. If you do not want to use an Over-the-Door Hanger, there are other simple solutions:
·Use a suction cup hook on the door that can be removed when the wreath is ready to come down.
·3M command adhesive strips also serve the purpose in this case. They attach nicely to glass and can be removed easily. Just make sure to purchase the proper strips for the weight of your wreath.
These handy tips can be used all year round for your seasonal wreaths.
It’s that time of the year. Christmas lights make the holidays festive and bright, but they come with their own safety and fire risks. Follow some important safety and energy-saving tips and have a happy holiday season with your family, neighbors and friends.
Before you hang outdoor Christmas lights, decide what you're going to work on first and gather everything together. This is where having a helper comes in handy. Start with bushes, then trees, any windows, the doors and finally the roofline.
Decide on the type of lights that work best and most efficient. Light-emitting diode, or LED, Christmas tree lights emit a bright, vibrant light that uses 80 percent less energy than conventional tree lights. They are also longer-lasting and stay cooler than traditional bulbs because they don't have a filament.
Another option is energy-saving bulbs that use around a quarter of the electricity of standard bulbs and last up to 12 times longer. When you shop, look for government and industry-approved energy-saving logos to find the most energy-efficient products in either option in addition to rebates.
Make sure your holiday lights are secure enough to withstand heavy winds and that you use UL approved extension cords specific for outdoor use and look for lights rated for indoor/outdoor use.
Do not allow plugs and cords to sit in puddles and snow.
Use a non-conducting fiberglass or wooden ladder when working with strings of lights, and stay clear of all overhead wires.
Never let light bulbs touch flammable materials such as plastic or dry grass and leaves.
You will probably not run into the same problems that Griswold had to deal with, like stapling your cuff to your house and nearly falling off a tall ladder, but following safety guidelines can make sure you and your family stay safe and get to enjoy this time with those you care about.
With Spring just around the corner, you should take a few minutes to go through our garage door spring check up to ensure that your garage door works properly throughout the season.
If your maintenance checkup reveals anything that needs attention or you want to consider replacing your old garage door or garage door opener, call A.B.E. Doors & Windows at (610) 398-2430. Our expert garage door technicians are available 24/7 to help get your garage door working as quickly as possible.
One of the most common questions and concerns that we address around this time of year is whether or not we are able to perform product installations in the frigid months ahead.And, yes, we do! It is a well-known fact that things expand in the summer heat and contract in the freezing winter, but, by using forethought and taking proper precaution, we are still able to complete most types of installation during this cold season.We use silicone caulk that is rated for lower temperatures.We also plan each installation before arriving at the job site, in order to do our best in minimizing the amount of time the house is exposed to cold air.We prep each opening so our installers can replace an older product with the newly ordered product and have it fit right into the opening, without leaving an opening in the home longer than absolutely necessary.We also back our work up with a 5-year workmanship warranty that we offer on every installation that we do.The only time that we may need to push back any type of installation is if we should experience severely inclement weather that can cause unsafe working conditions and jeopardize the safety of our crew and the well-being of the home.In order for us to perform jobs that require the removal and reinstalling of pre-existing siding, it is crucial that temperatures be above freezing.By following these extra steps with care, winter weather is not an issue for our team of certified installers!
September is here and Fall is quickly approaching!Autumn welcomes the start of the new school year; and much of our focus is set on making sure that students (as well as ourselves) are supplied with all the required tools to be best equipped for achieving success.In the often hectic and frantic hustling of change, it is easy to forget to take into consideration exactly how the changing of seasons will affect the home that we live in – one of our most beneficial means for basic survival.According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home -- typically making up about 54% of your utility bill.”On average, it has been determined that a home can lose up to 30% of its heating and cooling energy through air leaks around doors and windows.Such an essential and costly necessity makes it only beneficial to take every precaution to make certain that your home is not costing you empty and purposeless dollars.
Have you found that any garage doors, exterior doors, and/or windows have developed significant drafts over time? With each year that passes, prestigious product manufacturers within the United States (such as Raynor, Provia, Soft-Lite, and Andersen) are constantly putting to use the latest and most innovative technological testing and designs to create much more efficient and homeowner friendly replacement products.The garage doors, exterior doors, and windows that are available today provide more quality than anything that was ever available years ago.So many homeowners have fallen prey to relying on the use of home improvement “Band-Aids” – home-store bought weatherstripping and seals, caulk, door draft stoppers, applying plastic around drafty windows, etc. – which oftentimes only offers a temporary solution to an ever worsening problem and prolongs the inevitable.Specializing in all things doors and windows, we can attest that updating any problem product on your home is a beneficial and educated investment – saving you from much distress and lost money, in the big scheme of things.By considering replacing these specific products, any homeowner will gain a greater peace of mind – knowing that they are installing products that meet Energy Star qualifications and will provide for them with protection from the outside elements for many years to come.
If you find that you are interested in the replacement of any garage door, exterior door, and/or window in your home, please feel free to visit our showroom for more information or reach out to us to schedule a free estimate.
At A.B.E. Doors & Windows, we believe that it is absolutely essential to provide all of our customers with superb service and satisfaction. We constantly research, study, and fully educate ourselves in the leading products that we supply and install. This journey can, many times, lead us to receive professional training directly from our manufacturers.
On April 15th and 16th of 2013, four of our technicians, Bob Blickley, Gary Harter, Lenny Heim and Rich Reinhart, participated in and completed ProVia's Installer Certification Program at their manufacturing facility in Sugarcreek, Ohio. During their visit, our installers not only gained improved knowlege into ProVia's superior product line through plant tours and demonstrations but also received hands-on professional training in preparation, installation, and service techniques to better serve our customers. Each technician graduated this intensive two day training experience with personalized certificates of training completion and enhanced service capabilities.
A.B.E. Doors & Windows consistently strives to perform at our absolute best in order to provide each of our customer with a satisfying experience.
Oh my, spring has sprung! ... Literally. What do you do? Here at A.B.E. Doors & Windows, the word "spring" takes on a whole new meaning. One of the most common factors that contribute to a misbehaving or inoperable garage door is a broken spring, or two. Although it is a very dangerous task for any homeowner to address on their own, it's a problem that our team of certified technicians are trained to properly repair. Springs counterbalance the weight of a garage door to make the door easy to open and close. Garage door springs are rated by cycle life, or approximately how many times the door should open or close before the spring will break. The cycle life of the springs that we provide and install for our customers have a higher cycle life rating than the springs that most manufacturers provide with a new door. When a spring breaks, it becomes an immediate safety hazard because it will not allow the door to function properly. It is so important, as a homeowner, to be proactive in the maintenance of your garage door, as you would with any other heavily used appliance in your home. So whether you hear the tell-tale "POP!" of a broken spring, or realize that your door is just not operating as it should, please remember to put your personal well-being first and call a garage door professional to come out and do what they do best - provide you with efficient and effective service. To reach our service department at A.B.E. Doors & Windows, feel free to call 610-398-2430 at any time, should you find yourself in any type of predicament.
A.B.E. Doors & Windows is proud to carry a quality product that is recognized time and time again for its superior design. Soft-Lite Windows have been awarded the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient mark in 2013. This program is an extension of ENERGY STAR that is designed to recognize the most energy efficient products within their category . To comply, windows must meed a u-value rating of < or equal to a .20. Soft-Lite's Elements, Pro, and Barrington windows were all recognized as meeting these ratings.
What does this mean to a homeowner who is looking to replace their windows? Soft-Lite's windows are thermally efficient and have been proven to be very effective at increasing energy efficiency and reducing air infliltration. THis gives you the peace of mind that you have one of the most efficient windows made on the market today.
“You can have any color you want as long as it is black,” announced Henry Ford in 1909 of his Model T Ford, the first affordable automobile and world’s most influential car of the 20th century. 104 years later, and look at how far we have come! It is ludicrous for us to even imagine that, at one time, a product was only available in one color or style. Every aspect of our world has dramatically changed through the passing of time, and we currently live in an age where both creative innovation and technological advances allows us to have more options to choose from than we could have ever possibly imagined in years past.
Until recently, Raynor garage doors were only available in a variety of popular colors: white, claytone, almond, bronzetone, graytone, and brown. On October 30, 2012, Raynor announced that they have developed a new Opticolor™ factory painting program. The Opticolor™ process applies a third layer of durable Sherwin Williams BP Enamel paint to the already pre-painted and galvanized steel sections, adding an extra layer of protection to the garage door. This finish is available on any style garage door in their Innovations™ and Traditions™ series.
This feature is groundbreaking for both Raynor and homeowners alike, and yet another reason why Raynor is the leading garage door manufacturer in the country and most trusted to put consumers’ needs first. Homeowners now have the option to freely think outside of the box and design a garage door that will more perfectly accent the style and beauty of their home. Whether you have been thinking of investing in a new garage door for your residence, or you are only curious to gather more information at this time, we happily welcome any inquiries and are thrilled to share this wonderful new advantage with you.
As we grow older, most of us develop a mellower feeling about the holiday season. We may no longer have the same eager excitement that animates children as Christmas morning approachs. But however we mark the holidays, chances are that we are still warmed by memories and still enjoy the presence of those we care for most.
A businessperson's view of the holidays has another dimension. This season brings, to folks like us, a time to reflect on our many blessings - and the proper gratitude that we feel for them. That gratitude extends in many directions. And here at our company, it reaches out powerfully to the people we serve.
Every associate here understands how imporant the trust and loyalty of our customers are. We see ourselves as belonging to a community of service - with our valued customers at the center. Without their understanding that we will always do our best for them, there would be no company.
The holidays come just at the moment when days are shortest, bringing the promise of a gradual return to warmer sunshine and renewed growth. So it's only appropriate that we should look ahead with a wish to all our customers and associates for the best of times, now and in a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
In a recovering economy, some homeowners put off household improvements they want and need, thinking that trends will make next year a little better. Fortunately, an option is available for many customers at ABE Doors and Windows to enable purchases now that will improve the appearance, function and value of their homes for years to come.
Financing is available for many homeowners though the Keystone Help Home Energy Loan Program. Since 2006, Keystone Help, a program made possible in part by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department and AFC First Financial Corp., has been backing energy-saving home improvements.
Keystone Help is an attractive program. It makes special low-interest loans available to Pa. homeowners who purchase home improvements through approved contractor-dealers - like ABE Doors and Windows. It applies to ENERGY STAR and other qualifying home improvements - like almost all of the doors and windows we sell.
Among the other conditions:
- Fast action on loans with unsecured financing, in amounts between $1,000 and $10,000.
- Low fixed rates and fixed monthly payments.
- No lien is filed on the home in connection with the loan.
- No home equity is needed, and the program is open to new homeowners.
- The loan involves no points, fees or closing costs.
- Homeowners can take up to 10 years to repay. There's no penalty for prepayment.
You do need good credit and a demonstrated ability to repay, and the loans are offered only for work on primary residences. Conditions are compliant with current Keystone Help Program. Terms and conditions are subject to change. If you're one of the tens of thousands of Pennsylvania homeowners who qualify, it can be a fast, simple way to finance beautiful new doors and windows for your house. To learn more, visit www.keystonehelp.com or phone us today at 610-398-2430.
Remote garage door controls are such familiar contributors to home convenience, safety and security that we scarcely give them a thought. The same is true of access keypads. Still, these highly reliable products do fail once in a while - and when that happens, it's important to know where you can find help.
Problems with these devices generally come from one of three causes. One is the item simply wearing out. Another is battery failure. The third is an issue with the device's coding.
Fortunately, ABE Doors and Windows is geared up to meet any such difficulties. We stock or can quickly order any needed hardware items - batteries and actual remotes, keypads or other system components. If the problem is related to control coding, our staff people have the know-how to help.
Often our skilled associates can troubleshoot problems over the phone - just call us at 610-398-2430. We also have reprogramming instructions for most of these products. Check in with us first, and we may be able to give you the answers you need directly, or send you directions via e-mail or regular mail. If you prefer, bring your remote to our showroom at 6776 Hamilton Boulevard in Allentown, and we'll work with you on the spot. We understand that you rely on these products - and we make it our business to get them working again as quickly as possible.
Garage doors - they are a fundamental necessity and welcoming comfort to any residence. Garage doors allow every homeowner to experience a level of convenience, functionality, security, and self-expression. Not only is your garage door one of the most hardworking and frequently used entranceways into your residence, but it is oftentimes the most overlooked household appliance in your daily life. Because your garage door is certainly the largest and heaviest moving entity of your home, it can cause serious injury, or even death, if misused or left unattended. This is why it is crucial that adults and children alike should be educated on garage door safety. Fully understanding the importance and benefit of spreading knowledge and safety awareness, the IDA (International Door Association) has created a website dedicated to all this and more: GarageDoorCare.com.
"Garage Door Care's main intent is to make sure that you and your family knows how to properly operate and maintain your garage door system safely at all times." And this site offers truly insightful facts and educational information on what exactly it takes for a homeowner to respect and properly care for their garage door. Garage Door Care has a variety of simple and easy-to-understand guides and media content that touch on subjects such as:
The components of a garage door system and what should be done to best maintain any garage door to ensure reliable and excellent operation.
How to perform simple safety and maintenance tasks yourself, and when NOT to! It is always best to use extreme caution when working on or near a garage door, and sometimes you absolutely should leave it for a trained professional to service.
IDA's Garage Door Safety Challenge, which quizzes your general knowledge of garage doors and offers enlightenment as to whether or not yours meets safety standards. This section also includes wonderfully efficient "kid safe" tips to use when teaching children about garage door risks and how to avoid them.
Finding a qualified professional in your immediate area to service all of your garage door needs, and what you should look for in any reputable and reliable garage door technician. These qualifications include Experience, Workmanship, Code and Regulatory Compliance, Insurance Coverage, and Financial Integrity.
Whether you are a homeowner looking to become more informed about one of the most significant pieces of equipment in your household, or you are a trained and certified garage door service technician looking to review what you already know, I recommend that you visit http://garagedoorcare.com. Absolutely everyone who visits this site will gain something of value. The benefits you will gain from educating yourself and consistently using safety-conscious practices will last you a lifetime!