Fibrex or Aluminum window

Replacement windows come with frames of different material. Each material has its strengths and weaknesses, so it is best to get yourself well informed to be able to make a wise, balanced decision. Choosing the right window depends on a lot of factors- style, characteristics, the region you live and most importantly the budget. Some of the materials used for windows are wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiber glass, and fibrex. In this article we will compare aluminum and fibrex material.

Aluminum: Aluminum has its place in the window market mainly because of its light weight, strength. It is still a low cost alternative to wood and vinyl windows and best suited for commercial buildings. Some benefits of aluminum are-

  1. It is light weight but still strong.
  2. It is durable and requires very little maintenance.
  3. It can be designed easily into any shape whether regular or unusual shapes like arches too.
  4. Aluminum resists corrosion, rotting and swelling.

Image

The main disadvantage of aluminum is its high thermal conductivity. It thus has very less energy efficiency. It can however be used in milder climates. With proper insulation and sealing, energy efficiency can be improved considerably.

So with all its benefits and mainly because of its low cost, aluminum is still opted for by many homeowners.

Fibrex is a composite material made of wood fiber and vinyl to incorporate the strength and durability of wood with the ease of maintenance of vinyl. What you have is a strong, energy efficient window requiring least maintenance. Some of the benefits of fibrex are-

  1. It is a sustainable, green building material, since most of it can be reclaimed.
  2. It blocks transfer of heat and cold because of its low thermal conductivity improving the energy efficiency. The interior temperature is better regulated, reducing the heating and cooling costs. This translates into substantial saving in energy and energy bills.
  3. It is able to retain its stability and strength in all climates keeping the seals airtight. The windows remain airtight, preventing any leakage or infiltration. This also prevents condensation of windows.
  4. It needs no painting, is easy to maintain and yet retains its beauty for a long time.
  5. Fibrex material does not blister, flake, peel or pit and is resistant to corrosion, rot and fungal growth.

The main drawback however is its high cost. So if budget is a constraint, you should consider other energy efficient options like the most popular vinyl windows. Most of the companies supply vinyl construction windows making them easily available. One company you should consider as you research carefully and get quotes is Champion Window which has been around for quite some time in the window business. They manufacture and supply Energy Star rated windows with certification of NFRC for better window performance.  You can go through their website and call them for free consultation. They have windows of various styles and sizes and will custom manufacture windows for you too. So get going, call them and once you place an order, everything right up to installation and after service if needed will be taken care of by them.

Sunrooms – Welcoming the outdoors inside your home

Want to enjoy the beauty and feel of outdoors, comfortably from inside your home? Sunrooms are the best way to do it. Sunrooms expand your living space and can be used for reading, relaxing or to just get away from the routine.

What are sunrooms?

Sunrooms are an attractive addition to your home. Constructed mainly of large glass windows and doors, they bring in light and retain heat to create a comfortable space for various activities. Adding casual furniture and even plants can enhance its look. Adding a sunroom is not like adding a conventional extra room. Costing a little less than the brick and mortar construction, purpose of a sunroom is different. It is designed mainly for comfortable outdoor living while protecting  you from, bugs, insects, wind and rain. You can enjoy watching the rain, the sea or mountains in the comfort of your sun room.

Where to place them?

Sunrooms are generally built where there will be more movement of people in and out. For example, it can be off your kitchen for using the space as an eating spot or be adjacent to your living room. Also for it to be a sunroom, it should get a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight. Eastern exposure will let in morning sunlight and western the afternoon sunlight. For hot climates, a room with southern exposure is best. Since the outside view also matters, take the best of both the view and sunlight to have an ideal sunroom. Most of the times, people use their deck or patio to make it in to a sunroom, if they have no other extra open space.

Image

What are the advantages?

  1. Brings  outdoors in by protecting you from insects, wind , rain etc.
  2. Add extra space.
  3. Can be used for multi purposes- entertaining, breakfast, dining, play space for children, reading, relaxing or even growing plants.
  4. It increases the aesthetic appeal of your home.
  5. It adds to the value of your home, giving you better returns if you want to sell it.

Sunrooms are either called  three season or four season. Four season come with additional heating and cooling and useful all year round, while three season suitable for summer to fall and fall to winter. For better energy efficiency, sunrooms should be constructed with materials having better insulating properties and energy efficient glass.

Champion Window manufactures and installs sunrooms with vinyl doors and windows owing to the excellent insulating properties of vinyl. Vinyl is also easy to clean, resistant to corrosion and insects and needs very little maintenance. The glass used is exclusive high performance ideal for a sunroom. It lets in maximum light while eliminating the ultraviolet rays which damage the furnishings inside. Once you call the comapny for consultation and decide to purchase from them, they handle everything from design, getting necessary permits, manufacturing, installing and after sales service. It saves a lot of hassle as everything is handled by the same company. You can read reviews of Champion Window to know what customers have to say about their products. Get some referrals from friends, relatives and neighbors too and make your decision.

Enjoy the extra space and beauty of your sunroom alone or with your family and friends.

 

The Essential Elements of Transitional Decor

Transitional décor is a style that stands midway between traditional and contemporary styles, combining qualities from both. It’s a sort of neutral zone between the two and provides options for those who find one too old-fashioned and the other cold and lacking in warmth.

What are some of the essential elements of this style of décor?

Main features of this style

The defining quality of this style is that it avoids the ornateness of the traditional as well as the austerity of the modern.

Doors and windows have clean simple lines. It’s easy to install windows that fit in with this style of decorfrom manufactures like Champion Windows and Doorswho will customize windows according to your requirements.

Furniture lines are simple, with gentle curves and the scale is moderate, neither too large nor too small. Carved embellishments are only used as accents. Wood colors and upholstery are subdued. There is a sort of leaning away from formality and a leaning towards casualness and comfort in the overall effect. There is a balance of the masculine and feminine elements which are so prominent in the styles on either side of the spectrum.

 

Materials and colors

Transitional décor uses a greater variety of materialsthan the other two styles, but with a measure of restraint.

Lighter colors are used for wooden furniture, though at times darker finishes may be used as well. Very often metal, glass and wood are used in combination, the metal and glass usually for adding details. Leather, particularly of the distressed variety, is widely used in transitional décor, the reason being that leather is both casual as well as comfortable. Besides it also lends a semblance of formality and sensory appealto the décor. Because the colors used are subdued, texture is used to create interest.That’s why textured fabrics like corduroys, chenilles and ultrasuedes in neutral tones such as taupe, olive green, ivory, beige, tan and other variations on similar hues are frequently used in this décor.

 

Accessories

The subdued tones and liberal use of texture in transitional décor provide an opportunity to exhibit artwork and accessories which serve as points of contrast to the prominent items of furniture within a room. Modern art, paintings and other accessories which are eclectic in nature are best suited to this type of décor. However vintage artwork also finds a place here. A large amount of flexibility is possible in this respect.

The Essential Elements of Eclectic Décor

What’s eclectic décor, you ask? Well, simply put, eclectic décor is when you mix and match. The old with the new.The black with the white.The East with the West. It’s an interesting mix of things that you would think are chaotic or haphazard together. But it totally works, and how!Want an eclectic house? Here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind:

Image

  1. Styles

You can go different styles in terms of aesthetics like cane and metal works, or antique and modern, or elaborate and minimalist. So just mix it up and you’ll figure out the right blend that reflects your personality best.

 

  1. Colors

There’s a school of thought that prescribes the use of more traditional colors. Your blacks, grays, beiges—you know where I’m going with this. Don’t just stick to those. Go nuts! Add a splash of bright yellow, or cherry red, or electric blue. Bring the RAD in the traditional.

 

  1. Cultures

Who says a Japanese Zen garden needs to be just that, or a plush Victorian bedroom with a four-poster bed can’t have anything besides? Every corner of the world has its distinct identity, so throw a Persian rug in your neo-classical European office, or Champion’s French doors to your all-American ranch. Or roman columns to your igloo, or is that going too far?

 

  • Think outside the box

Don’t go for the usual, run-of-the-mill, average, every day, ordinary stuff you see everywhere. Don’t know what I mean? What I’m getting at is don’t put a metal plaque on your main door with the boring old font for your name and address. Instead, find your local tagger and graffiti it in!Whether it’s inside your house or outside—think alternative, maybe even hipster.Your doorbell could sound like the neigh of a horse! (If you’re into that kinda thing) 

Understanding energy efficiency ratings

We HAD to cut down our increasing energy bills. After a home energy audit, we followed the suggestion of the auditor and decided to replace our windows. After much research and a few recommendations, we decided to buy windows from Champion Window.  Apart from the Energy star label , the windows also had a sticker displaying energy efficiency ratings certified by NFRC( National Fenestration Rating Council). The salesman pointed out that the sticker ensured an energy efficient window.

Curious to know what the numbers and the abbreviations on the sticker meant, I did a quick research and here is what I understood-

There were four performance areas mentioned on the sticker and certified by NFRC. These factors help you choose windows suitable for your local climate.

  1. U Factor measures the rate of heat transfer that is it helps you know how well the window prevents heat from escaping your home. It depends on the insulation, thermal properties of the frame as well as the glazing. U factor ratings fall between 0.20 and 1.20. Lower the rating, more energy efficient is the window, indicating it is better at keeping the heat in. Homes in cooler climates should install windows with lower U factor.
  2. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how well a window blocks heat from the sun from entering the home. Expressed as a factor between 0 and 1, a lower SHGC means the window is better at blocking unwanted heat gain. Homes in warmer climates should have windows with low SHGC ratings.
  3. Condensation Resistance(CR)– Condensation or water build up indicates failure of insulation. The Condensation resistance factor measures how well a window is able to resist condensation. Expressed between 1 and 100, a higher number indicates better resistance to condensation.
  4. Visible Transmittance (VT)- It measures how much visible light comes in through the window.

This is expressed as a factor between 0 and 1 and a higher number indicates more daylight transmitted in.

Next time you shop for windows, look for this certification and be assured that your windows will be  energy efficient and will save money for you by cutting down your energy bills.

 

The Essential Elements of Spanish Décor

You feel your house is boring? You want to give it a breezy Mediterranean feel? Well, have no fear! I’m here to show you how to turn your house into a home that a Spaniard would want to make his own. Here’s how you do it:

Image

  1. 1.     Stucco walls

Quick! Picture the exterior of a Spanish house. You’re probably picturing a raw stucco wall in a stark white or beige color. If you are, you’d be spot on. Walls covered with stucco, which is basically a kind of plaster, are common in Spanish homes.

 

  1. 2.     Paint the town

With neutral colors, splashes of bright colors like ocean blue, red and ochre will do well for the interiors, especially your family room. Make sure the colors are complimentary and you’re good to go. Remember not to overdo it!

 

  1. 3.     Using fabric

Woven textiles are a common site in a Spanish house, usually in bright, deep colors. Whether it’s a rug, table runner or tapestry—adding them would give your house a splash of Spain without the pain of remodeling.

 

  1. 4.     Tiles for style

Decorative tiles as a part of the flooring are also an important part of the scheme. Brightly colored mosaic tiles are definitely an option. You could also go withterracotta or hand-painted tiles for an earthier feel.

 

  1. 5.     Wood and Metal

Dark mahogany furniture is important to give your house that rustic appeal that’s the best part about Spanish homes. You could even use wooden flooring in some rooms to create the same effect. Adding a dash of wrought iron furniture to the look will enhance the appeal. You could also use wrought iron grilles to create interesting designs on the wall.

 

  1. 6.     Arches and windows

Arches were an important feature of Spanish architecture. If you’re not remodeling your house from the ground up, you could use arched windows to give the same effect. Usually, Spanish homes incorporate picture windows like this one from Champion.