Replacement Window Grille FAQ

Purchasing new replacement windows requires a bit of research to ensure you get the most value. If you are like most consumers, you already know that you will need to decide on the type of window frames – aluminum, vinyl or wood – as well as on whether you want single-pane or insulated windows. There is one decision you must make that you may not be aware of, though. That is whether or not you should get a window grille and, if so, what type to get. The following guide can help you with this decision.

What is a grille?

Window grilles are the decorative metal framework placed on some windows to give the appearance of multi-pane glass. They can be made in a variety of designs, from simple gridwork to more more ornate patterns that may even include curves. The metal is sometimes left un-coated, but it’s more often painted white, chromed, or treated to look like black wrought iron.

How are grilles installed?

The most common and least expensive option is to have the grille installed on top of the glass. Keep in mind, this does make it more challenging to clean the windows since you will need to remove any dust or dirt that collects in the seams between the glass and grille.

If you invest in insulated windows, you can have the grille installed within the airspace. This makes maintenance simple since the grille won’t interfere with the window’s surface.

Are there any benefits to grilles beyond decoration?

Grilles can provide some security. Although they aren’t as sturdy as security bars, they do make it more difficult to kick in a window. Airspace grilles can also provide some protection for the insulative gas between the panes. The grille divides the space so, if a leak occurs in one section of the window, not all the gas will be lost.

Can grilles be added later?

Although you can’t add airspace grilles at a later date, there is an option for exterior grilles. Perimeter grilles are specially made to fit your window. They snap into place with the aid of hidden hardware, which your window installer will place. One benefit to this exterior grill option is that you can remove the entire grille when desired, either to change the look of the window or just to make cleaning easier.

Contact a window installer in your area for more help in choosing the right grilles for your replacement windows.

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Little-Known Rules About Trees, Your Home, and Property

When it comes to trees, most people do not realize that there are rules for planting them and rules for keeping them out of the way. A tree-removal service such as Scott Lanes Tree Service can help you if you are now having problems with your trees, but first you should know why they might remove all of your tree rather than just part of it. Here are some lesser known rules about trees, your home, and your property.

Trees Should Not Be Planted or Growing Within Ten Feet of Your House

In most cities and states, there are rules about planting trees within ten feet or so of your house. The idea is this: if a storm takes the tree down, it is probably going to go right through your roof or the side of your home. If the tree is within ten feet of your neighbor’s home, the same thing could happen to their house, and then you would be held liable. Do not plant trees that close to your home, your neighbor’s home, or any other buildings on your property. If they are that close, have a tree service remove them promptly.

Do Not Plant Trees Close to a Sidewalk

Most homeowners think it is a good idea to plant trees close to the edge of the property so that when the trees get really big they will provide a lot of shade from the sun. While this is generally a good idea, trees should not be planted near a sidewalk. The sidewalk actually belongs to the city, and when the sidewalk is destroyed by the root system of your enormous tree, the city will charge you for the repairs to the sidewalk. If you are not sure just where you can plant a tree to get shade and not have it wreck something, ask a tree service where the best spots on your property are.

Trees Near a Fence Should Have at Least Five Feet Between Them and the Fence

Trees in the backyard and in your landscaping near the fence are lovely. However, trees tend to spread out, grow thick over time, and become quite enormous. As such, you should leave at least five feet between the saplings you plant and the fence itself. As the tree grows and the roots spread out, the fence is less likely to be upset by the roots or pushed out of line by the widening tree. If you accidentally planted a tree too close to the fence (or a squirrel planted a tree seed for you!) then the tree service you hire can remove the tree and replant it for you in a better location in your yard.

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Planning The Perfect Pantry — 5 Easy Tips

One of the most-used spaces in most kitchens is the pantry. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least-planned spaces, as well. How can you design an efficient and attractive pantry? Here are 5 tips to get you started.

Avoid Long, Plain Shelves. Most people think of a pantry as a simple cabinet or walk-in space with long, basic shelving on which to place food. This, however, is a quick trip to disorganization, food waste, and frustration. Instead, try using a variety of shelf sizes and/or installing cube-shaped shelving to help you group and organize foodstuffs. An experienced cabinet company can help you brainstorm ways to maximize your shelf design. 

Make it Accessible. The problem with basic shelving or drawers in a pantry is that it can allow food to get lost in the shuffle or make it hard to get to everything. Solve this problem by including slide-out cabinets and custom shelving for things like spices or other small items. Wire baskets are another good way to corral groups of food items in a way that’s easy see, to pull out, and to access.

Decant Food. Taking food and liquids out of their original packaging is a good way to help organize it and prevent spoilage. Using coordinated clear containers and bottles purchased specifically to match your pantry design can make it easier to know how much is on hand, identify liquids or spices, and store more in less space.

Use all Space. Don’t let space go to waste in a small pantry. Instead, use hanging racks or attach wire shelving to the door of the pantry or to cabinet doors. Do you have a small leftover space next to shelves or walls? Tall, narrow spaces are great for storing baking sheets, racks, and cutting boards. Space above the pantry? Add a horizontal row of wine bottle holders. Work with your cabinet contractor to help utilize unusual spaces.

Keep the Food Together. Maximize kitchen efficiency by placing the pantry near the rest of the food in the kitchen — by the refrigerator. Incorporating storage for both dry and cold items into your work triangle (consisting of the sink, stove, and refrigerator) will help reduce excess steps and make cooking easier. 

By applying some or all of these pantry tips when planning your kitchen remodel, you can help turn an ordinary kitchen into a cooking mecca that you will love to use every day. For more information, contact local professionals like Gerald L Scott Custom Cabinetry.

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Get To Know The Signs Of Contaminated Drinking Water In Your Home

When most people think of environmental hazards that can pose a safety threat or health issue, they think of factors outside of their home. However, because most of your time is spent inside the four walls of your house, it is always best to look at the health hazards that start here, especially when it comes to your drinking water. Contaminated drinking water can be a really huge deal if it is not caught before it starts making everyone in your home sick, but recognizing the signs is not always an easy feat. Thankfully, there are a few signs which could indicate you have issues with contaminated drinking water. 

Your water has an odd consistency or reaction when it comes out of the faucet. Of all of the signs of contaminated water in a residential setting, this is one that is often missed because the change can be so slight that it is hard to recognize right away. A good example is water which foams when it is distributed quickly from the faucet into a glass. If the foam sticks around for a moment, it can mean the water is contaminated with detergents which are often used to dilute sewage. 

Your water is an odd color. If your water is anything other than clear, it is an almost definite sign of contamination. The contamination could be coming from inside your own plumbing lines, but could also be radiating from the public water supply or your well. If you water is milky or white, it is a sign it is contaminated with sediment or mineral deposits. If the water is reddish or has muddy tones, it could point to rusty water lines or excessive levels of iron. 

Your drinking water has an off odor. Clean water shouldn’t really smell like anything at all. While it is common for public water supplies to sometimes have a chlorinated odor, this should be a slight smell. If you start to notice your water has odors other than this, it is definitely time to have your water tested for cleanliness. A few examples of water odors that need more attention include water which smells like:

  • detergent or soap
  • strong chemicals
  • mildew or dirt
  • sulfur or rotten eggs

The bottom line is, contaminated water in your home of any level should be taken seriously. If you suspect your water supply is contaminated, talk to a water treatment contractor, such as Valley Drilling Corp, for testing and available solutions. 

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Have a Victorian-Style Home? 3 Fencing Options to Consider

Victorian homes are known for their distinct architecture. They tend to have multiple stories, a steep roof, classical detailing, and gables. A great-looking home will need a great fence around it as well, which is why you will want to stay away from vinyl. These three fencing options will blend in beautifully with any Victorian-style home.

Wrought-Iron Fencing

Fencing made with wrought iron will be a traditional choice for a Victorian-style home. The fence itself can be constructed using a simplistic structure that has tubes with finials on each picket. Wrought iron can also be used to create a design that has elaborate curls with more intricate finials.

While the wrought-iron material can increase the overall cost of having a fence installed, know that the material will be very durable. All you’ll need to do to take care of a wrought-iron fence is scrub away the rust that forms on an annual basis. If you do this, the fence can last as long as the home.

Stone and Wrought-Iron Fencing

If you do not like the lack of privacy that comes with a wrought iron fence, there are other options that can help incorporate the style. One way is to build a wall made out of stone and top the fence with a small section of wrought-iron fencing.

The masonry you use for the stone section of fencing can be whatever you prefer. You can go with a look that has differently shaped stones with mortar in between, or with brick that matches the style of your house. With a flat top on top of the stone, a short section of wrought iron can top off the wall to bring both styles together. This is the best of both worlds, and a fence like this will really add to the beauty of your home.

Picket Fencing

A picket fence will look very traditional with a historical home. The construction uses wood boards that are installed vertically, with a consistent amount of spacing between each board. The distinguishing feature is a point at the peak of each board. It’s customary for these fences to be painted white, but they can also be left a natural color to create a look that is rustic.

These are just a few fencing options that you can use for a Victorian-style home. For more ideas, schedule a consultation with a local fencing contractor, such as Phoenix Fence, Co.

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Keep Staff And Kids Cool With Air Conditioning Tips For School Administrators

If your school is like many today, you begin your fall semester in late summer. This early-to-late-August school onset makes sense from an academic or calendar standpoint, but your air conditioning system needs to be ready for the challenge of an August heat wave or your students will suffer.

In areas where late summer climbs into the extreme heat zone, your school’s air conditioning is essential to keep students comfortable and ready to learn. If your facility’s air conditioning bills are outrageous, or your units are not keeping your classrooms cool as you begin the school year earlier, consider one of the following solutions:

Grow a tree near your school’s AC unit

If there is space for landscaping around your building, design a school project to grow shade trees that will lower the temperature of the school building as they grow. Science teachers can make this an ongoing experiment in passive cooling methods by taking yearly measurements of the building’s temps as the trees branch out and cool more surface area.

Trees that shade your school’s air conditioning compressor(s) are also a wise idea, since compressors are metal, heat up, and must use energy to cool down when they’re in direct sunlight. The only rules are don’t plant anything that drops seeds or other messy tree debris that might gunk up the compressor, and don’t plant the trunk of the tree too close to the compressor.

Dwarf trees, shrubs and grasses will also provide cooling if there isn’t room for a full shade tree.

Start AC units a week before school begins

Some school systems are attempting to save money by eliminating their onsite maintenance crews and completely turning off their AC units during the summer breaks. When school begins, the AC units have not been serviced or maintained, so some school systems are having to do without any cooling in the hottest part of summer.

Don’t wait until school starts to fire up your buildings’ AC units. In the first place, turning off the school AC can encourage mold and insect infestation. Secondly, you will have to pay for emergency repairs if your unit fails to work on the first day of school, or you will have sick students and parents who refuse to allow their children to attend classes until you sort out the AC issues.

When you start the AC up at least a week prior to the first day of class, it gives you time to have any problems resolved without adding student discomfort to the mix. 

Any time there’s a heat wave, your AC units will be running steadily to keep up, so it may be wise to rethink the earlier school start dates. You definitely want to suspend outdoor athletic activities during extreme heat events, and provide materials for teachers to recognize heat stroke and heat illness in school-age children.

Regular maintenance of your campus AC system is the key to having appropriate office and classroom temperatures during the hottest months, and it should be a standard yearly budgeted investment to ensure your staff and students perform their best no matter how sizzling it is outside. For more information on AC units, talk to a professional like Nathan’s Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

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2 DIY Fire Pits For Your Backyard

Watching the dancing flames of a fire can be mesmerizing. If you want to take advantage of the relaxation and serenity that comes from sitting around an open flame, then adding a fire pit to your backyard can be beneficial.

Here are two unique DIY takes on the backyard fire pit that you should consider completing to incorporate the benefits of fire into your daily life at home.

1. The Modern Concrete Bowl Fire Pit

If your design aesthetic skews more modern, you may wonder how you can reflect your personal sense of taste in your outdoor fire pit. Making the choice to invest in a modern concrete bowl fire pit allows you to enjoy fires in a very modern and elegant way.

All you need to do to complete this project is invest in some quick-dry concrete, trowels, some non-stick vegetable spray, and two bowls or planters that can serve as molds (make sure that the bowl or planter you will use for the interior mold is slightly smaller than the other).

Mix your concrete according to the manufacturer’s directions, then apply non-stick cooking spray to the interior surface of your large container. Pour some concrete mix into the bowl, then use the trowel to spread the concrete evenly along the entire interior surface. Spray the outer side of your smaller bowl with non-stick vegetable spray and firmly push it down into the concrete to create a bowl shape.

Allow the concrete to cure (check the manufacturer’s directions for recommended curing time), then remove your molds. Add a few logs or some gel fuel canisters, and enjoy the crackling flame of a modern fire in your backyard.

2. The Washing Machine Drum Fire Pit

If you want your fire pit to have a more organic look, you can use recycled parts from a washing machine to achieve your goals. Start by sourcing a drum from an old washing machine.

The perforations designed to allow water to fill and empty from the drum provide access to oxygen for your fire. Once you have your metal drum you will need three pieces of wood cut to the same length to serve as legs. These can be treated with a fire-resistant coating and screwed directly into the drum with an electric drill.

With the legs attached, place your new fire pit in your backyard and add some logs to sustain a flame. Using a washing machine drum to create your backyard fire pit allows you to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills while adding a unique design element to your outdoor living space.

Take the time to create a modern concrete bowl fire pit or a unique fire pit made from an old metal washing machine drum for your backyard.

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