Maryland Replacement Windows issues ad common questions

When is it Time to Get Replacement Windows?

Most of the time, it is easy to tell your home needs new windows. Condensation on the glass, windows that are difficult to open and close, and window frames that are starting to rot are just a few examples. But sometimes it is not so obvious. This is when you would need the help of a professional replacement window company.

Advantages of Replacement Windows

-Energy savings of 20% a month due to improvements in efficiency
-Improved appearance of your home. New designs and colors can completely update the look of your home.
-Federal Tax Credit. Many replacement windows qualify for a Federal Tax credit of up to $500 in 2016.
-Ease of cleaning. Older windows are not made to tilt inward, making cleaning difficult.
-Maintenance free. Vinyl windows require no painting so they are virtually maintenance free.
-Protection of interior. Many older windows do not have the technology to protect carpet and drapes from fading.

Maryland Area Replacement Window Companies

Living in Maryland requires window professionals who are familiar with the climate. They are better able to recommend the correct type of window to protect against the seasons. When considering new windows, always look to local experts. Maryland has a variety to choose from. Here are some that we’ve found:

Thompson Creek Window Company complaints – two locations in Maryland: Beltsville and Silver Spring. 35 years in the window business.

Kelemer Brothers Replacement Windows – located in Baltimore. The Kelemer brothers started the company in 1999.

American Home Contractors, Inc. – Laurel, MD. Over 50 years’ experience.

CBS Home Remodeling & Repairs, LLC – Ellicot City, MD. Company has been in busing for 13 years.
This is just a small sampling of qualified replacement window companies in Maryland. Always get several estimates and talk to different companies before making your decision. Maryland companies are familiar with the unique hardships produced by the Maryland weather so keep that in mind when evaluating companies. In this case, it truly does pay to ‘shop local‘.

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Sustainable Real Estate Development

The idea of “going green” has infiltrated many aspects of our society today, from simple recycling efforts to buying products manufactured in an environmentally conscious way. Now, the trend is moving into our homes — literally.

Eco-homes and products, solar panels and green home certifications are becoming commonplace in new home development. High-efficiency heating and cooling, green label flooring, water-saving systems and landscapes are quickly rising on the list of home improvements that can add value to a home.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, roughly 400,000 homes had rooftop solar panels in 2013 and that number is expected to more than double by 2020, topping 900,000 by that time.

Many organizations offer green home certifications that can also add value to a home. Some certifications focus on energy efficiency while others examine where building materials came from and the amount of waste generated during construction.

The D.C. Department of Energy and Environment, along with the Institute for Market Transformation, conducted a study that analyzed whether environmentally conscious features and improvements raised the market value of the homes. Appraisers compared homes with energy-conserving features with similar types of homes without the “green improvements.” They found that buyers were willing to pay between 3 percent and 7 percent premiums on the sustainable homes.

On the west coast, the University of California Berkeley and UCLA conducted a study of 1.6 million home sales between 2007 to 2012. These organizations found that green certifications such as  Energy Star increased home sale prices by an average of 9 percent.

About 66,000 San Antonio home sales were analyzed for energy efficiency, which included  improvements such as high-efficiency HVAC systems and dual-pane windows. This study found that these energy efficient homes sold for nearly 6 percent more compared to other homes in the area without such features.

In fact, Real Estate Professionals like Than Merrill, who buy and sell fixer upper homes for a living has seen this trend firsthand, especially with younger home buyers. “Sustainable upgrades can maximize earnings potential.” says Merrill. “The interest Millennials have shown in sustainable homes should be all the evidence a person needs to adopt these practices. Seeing as how Millennials represent the largest share of recent buyers, it only makes sense to adapt your investing strategy to meet their needs.”

Although “green improvements” like high-efficiency appliances and heating and cooling systems have been around for some time, new environmentally sustainable options such as “green building materials” and certifications will become more popular. It is likely that these and additional environmentally sustainable options will increase the value of homes across the country.


Producing energy from fracking

Fracking stands for hydraulic fracturing and has been used for over 65 years. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that is used to drill down into the earth. Once the whole has been drilled down, a pressurized water mixture is shot down into the rocks to release the gas that is inside. What is fracking water made of? It includes water, sand and other chemicals. Using a high pressurized mixture is able to help reduce friction and prevents the pipes from corroding. This method helps to protect the environment and helps to boost well efficiency. The fracking process can be done vertically, but it is more commonly done horizontally. Drilling horizontally into the rock layer is able to create new paths that help release gas. While many people think that fracking is a bad thing, there are actually many benefits that can be gained from this type of drilling.

Over the years, fracking has started to use a combination of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drillings. Choosing to use these cutting-edge technologies has made it possible for the U.S. oil and natural gas production to soar.

Gain Access to More Oil and Gas
Fracking has also created a way to tap into vast oil and natural gas reserves that were previously blocked by tight rock formations. It is estimated that in the future, over 90% of natural gas wells will be using this hydraulic fracturing method. With higher amounts of gas being accessed, the price of gas has been able to get cheaper and cheaper. This is due to the fact that there is an abundance of it all around the world. The vast amount of gas means that we have created a longer period of time to find a better and more effective way to power our cars, heat our homes and cook our foods.

No Longer have to Rely on Foreign Countries
There has always been a lack of fossil fuels. That coupled with the fact that they are not scattered evenly around the world has created a large amount of tension in many countries around the world. But having access to many new gas deposits means that we no longer have to depend on other countries for our oil and gas.

Employment Opportunities
The increase in production also has a positive effect on the employment rates. Since fracking is able to access numerous oil and natural gas deposits the number of employed people will actually rise. With the increase in fracking technology, there has been a 67% increase in the employment rate.

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The Purchase of Rock Oil Holdings’ by SM Energy Company

SM Energy Company, a Denver-based oil and gas company, recently acquired Rock Oil Holdings LLC, a Houston and Denver-based oil and gas company focused on the Permian Basin, for $980 million. Rock Oil Holdings was sold by Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund V.L.P. and their minority partners. Riverstone Holdings LLC made the news public after signing a definitive agreement pursuant to the acquisition of Rock Oil Holdings LLC by SM Energy Company. Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is anticipated for closure in early October.
By applying its land and technical expertise, Rock Oil Holdings was formed in March 2014 for the acquisition and advancement of top-tier North American unconventional plays. Over the years, the company has executed a number of acquisitions which positions it over 24,783 net acres in Permian’s Midland Basin Component.
The company is led by two very exceptional leaders who have had past experiences in the exploration and production companies. Kyle R. Miller, the Chief Executive Officer of Rock Oil, has had years’ worth of experience in the industry and the president, Jason Cansler, has had fifteen years’ worth of experience with Wells Fargo and Chevron. The company’s CEO mentions his pride in the company’s commendable achievement in establishing its presence in the core of the leading production basin in North America. Rock Oil Holdings continues to overcome despite the challenging commodity price environment due to the innovativeness of the Rock Oil Team and the symbiotic relationship with Riverstone Holdings LLC.
A partner and Managing Director at Riverstone stated that the relationship between their company and Rock Oil Holdings was very beneficial and commends on Kyle Miller and Jason Cansler’s impressive leadership abilities. He mentions that the company’s success was facilitated by its wealth and technical expertise in assembling top acreage in Howard Country. All these and many other factors go a long way to show how promising it is for the future of SM Energy Company. The transaction went through with Jefferies serving as the financial advisor of Rock Oil and Riverstone Holdings LLC. Other financial advisors who played a role in the transaction include Petrie Partners and Latham & Watkins LLP.
The company was founded by David M. Leuschen and Pierre F. Lapeyre, Jr. in 2000. It is an energy and power-focused privately owned firm, with over $34 billion in capital raised for the efforts of this venture, the company carries outgrowth capital investments and buyout in oilfield services, exploration and production, midstream, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry.

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10 Most Unique Entry Doors To Maximize Your Home’s Style

A front door creates the first impression for every homeowner. It accounts for one of the most important exterior parts of your home. A front door is a perfect place to make a design statement since it connects and simultaneously separates your house. Other than style, entry doors provides security for your priced possessions inside your house. Practical factors to consider while selecting a front door include material, cost, and style. Here is a list of unique entry doors you can choose from when picking your new front door.

  1. Glass and metal – modern front doors combine different materials. Glass brings attention to the entry door. A combination of glass and metal creates a trendy, stylish entry door which is perfect for homes with a high fence and a large garden.
  2. Classic wood – wood entry doors are a timeless classic. Wood can be stained to look old or to match with the architecture of your house. You can combine wood with glass to give your front door a luxurious look.
  3. Unusual materials – you can have your entry door made of unusual materials such as concrete, copper or stainless steel to create a completely unique design.
  4. Unusual hardware – you can add unusual hardware such as steampunk to create the look you want on your entry door.
  5. Glass accents – you can add accents to your entry door and surrounds using glass. Surrounds create a dramatic entry door area that makes a statement.
  6. Dutch doors – give your home a vintage look using a dutch door. It gives your home a distinct look the stands from other doors. The door adds a distinctly English cottage feel.
  7. Custom doors – a custom entry doors are designed to your specifications. They are a reflection of your personality. You can combine different materials to match your house. You can have a classic custom door or a contemporary one for a modern look.
  8. Wood and glass combination – a combination of both materials creates a trendy entry to your front door.
  9. Rails and stiles – they can either be horizontal or vertical. They hold a wood door, and they can be used to create a contemporary design of your front door.
  10. Solid simplicity – add flare to your entry using simple, solid flat doors. You can keep it simple or dress it up with amazing hardware.

Selects entry doors that compliment and harmonize your house. Avoid using many colors and shapes on your entry door, remember your entry door creates the first impression for the entire home. You can select from a wide range of simple and yet elegant designs.

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Why Foam Bans Won’t Work–Recycle Instead!

The nation has clearly become divided when it comes to the issue of banning foam or not, as various cities around the country have started to ban polystyrene products, while other cities have instead decided to pursue recycling the material. There is a potential Arkansas foam ban floating around there in addition to a number of other states and cities.

The problem with polystyrene products is the fact that they last nearly five hundred years in landfills and they have started to accumulate in massive piles. The fact of the matter is there is a huge volume of this type of foam out there and too few areas are taking active measures to recycle the products. However, this has started to change in a variety of areas, which believe that they can recycle the foam, rather than simply banning the material altogether.

Many people want to ban foam, but the reality is it is not going to fix the problem. There are already huge landfills that have accumulated the materials and they are not going anywhere. However, if we developed ways to recycle these types of materials, we could then recycle the material that is occupying the landfills, which will be good for the environment and set us towards a better path.

Banning foam has a big impact on the community and businesses in general, due to the fact that a great deal of companies use these types of products. Every time you grab a cup of coffee or get a “to-go” box at a restaurant, you are eating out of a polystyrene based product.

The reason that this type of material is so desirable for businesses is due to the fact that it is incredibly cheap. Polystyrene is basically a material that is blown up to fill various molds that end up making all sorts of different products and you can truly get a massive amount of products for very cheap. This means that businesses save a lot of money going with polystyrene products, rather than some other material that is going to inevitably cost more money.

Some cities have made the bold move to focus a great deal of energy on developing recycling centers for polystyrene products and they are likely the pioneers that are going to inspire a lot of other cities to do the same thing. The state of Arkansas has been working hard to develop a foam recycling plan, but it has yet to take off with the majority of the population.

One of the most troubling things about the banning of foam is the fact that businesses are going to get slapped with much higher costs, which is inevitably going to trickle down to the customers, as they are going to have to pay higher prices as well. Arkansas has been doing many tests to recycle polystyrene products and have been working on plans to get the public excited about the process and so far they have been on the right path, but more work needs to still be done.

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Cenergistic: The Energy Stars

These days, people are more conscious of the amount of energy they use than ever before. One major way to conserve energy is to buy appliances, computer equipment, entertainment electronics, building support machinery such as HVAC systems, and many other electrically powered products that are certified to use less electricity. That certification is often labeled with a small ENERGY STAR label affixed to each device that complies with the lower energy consumption standards. Cenergistic, based in Dallas, Texas, is a major contributor to the ENERGY STAR approach to reduce energy consumption of all types, especially in buildings infrastructures.

In the past they have helped universities, schools, health care organizations, and churches to reinvest money, saved through energy conservation, back into the lives of their clients. Cenergistic has received numerous awards for the many successes they have achieved, including the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence award for helping thousands of their client’s buildings substantially reduce energy consumption. Cenergistic custom designs programs for each client without requiring them to install new equipment and with minimal extra effort by their workers. Cenergistic’s past accomplishments include:

  • Working with clients to reduce energy costs by more than 3 billion dollars over the last 25 years
  • Over 4,500 client buildings achieving ENERGY STAR certifications, since the year 2000
  • Promoted ENERGY STAR to millions of students in their clients’ many diverse locations

They take a whole-systems view, helping their clients optimize their internal processes, change some basic infrastructure, and implement behavior changes to achieve optimum energy savings and to maintain that level of reduced consumption. Besides all this, Cenergistic provides these CORE benefits:

  • Saving capital by reducing or eliminating new capital expenditures
  • Reducing costs of Operations and Maintenance by reducing labor costs and the cost of replacing consumables
  • Since the clients do not have to do capital investments, Cenergistic assumes all the risk
  • Helping the environment by conserving natural resources

Cenergistic helps all kinds of organizations reduce the amount of electricity, water, natural gas, and fuel oil their products and services consume. For nearly 30 years they have operated with a data-driven approach, using high technology tools and solutions to help clients with a single building or many buildings in multiple locations, in all regions with all types of climates.

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Custom Windows: Vinyl or Bust

I have certainly loved decorating my home over the past ten years we have lived in it. I love to decorate, from choosing decorative throw pillows for my couch to choosing serving platters for dinner parties. Decorating is the best way to show your friends and family your style and how you choose to express yourself in your home. One area of home décor, which I need work on is the more structural side of a home. When it comes to choosing garage doors, windows, or locks, I usually consult my husband.

In our family room we needed to replace one set of windows. The windows were pretty old when we first bought our home, but over the years they have continued to wear down.  Replacing your windows is almost easier and cheaper than having to constantly repair older windows in the home. The issue is choosing what kind of replacement windows will be the best in the long-term.

After much consultation between my husband, me and the window company; we decided to go with vinyl windows.

Vinyl windows are apparently the best windows for your home for several reasons. Vinyl windows require less maintenance, reduce utility bills, and protect your home from inclement weather elements. This was more than enough reasons to sell me on custom vinyl windows for my family room.

Turns out that vinyl windows really do live up to the reputation they have made for themselves in the window world. Unlike wood or aluminum windows, vinyl windows do not rot, pit, rust or require constant paint jobs. This makes them very desirable since they are built to last.

Additionally, vinyl windows are insulated well, which will protect your home by keeping the heat inside in the winter and the cool are inside in the summer. This in turn leads to lower monthly utility bills, which definitely is a plus. Insulation is key when it comes to windows and vinyl windows ensure your home is insulated,,20615311_21190340,00.html the best it can be.

I also would have to argue that our vinyl windows look aesthetically pleasing, which definitely adds to the décor of my home. They don’t look half bad with the existing window treatment in our family room. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised by the success of our window replacement process.

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What is the best method to eliminate bed bugs?

There are several ways to try and eliminate bed bugs. One initial way to try and eliminate bed bugs is a DIY method using bed bug powder. One of the more common bed bug powders is Diatomaceous Earth, which can be purchased at just about any supply store. Bed bug powder is an easy method because it does not require hiring a pest control company to come in and take over your home and it is cost-efficient compared to other methods.

Bed bug powder is non-toxic so it will cause no harm to you or other inhabitants of your home, but we definitely suggest not directly breathing in the powder. The point of bed bug powder is to dehydrate the bugs, which in turn causes them to die.

First you will spread the powder around a room and eventually when the bugs come into contact with the powder they will be covered in it, become dehydrated, and die. This solution is not an instantaneous one and definitely takes a couple of days, but at the same time the powder will remain effective until it no longer coats the applied areas.

If the powder does not work as an initial attempt to kill the bed bugs, thermal remediation also known as heat treatment is proven to be the most effective method. Heat treatment does require trained professionals to ensure that it is done properly and the usage of their heat treatment equipment. The equipment creates such high temperatures that the bed bugs and their eggs are guaranteed to be killed from the extreme heat. This method is very efficient, but definitely requires more preparation and is a little more costly than applying bed bug powder yourself.

When choosing a method to eliminate bed bugs it really is based off of personal preference, although the ultimate goal is the removal of the insects from your home.

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The future of food and farming will look a lot like our past


As winter’s icy hands again strangle most of the country, I toss another log in the stove and grab the stack of old newspapers, aging magazines and new books that has grown tall during winter travels.

The newspapers take little time. No trick to reading a two-weeks-old daily newspaper: headline … headline … recycling bin.

The magazines are more of a meander; they take more time, more wood and more naps.

Finally, near the bottom of the pile are two books I had hoped to read earlier; one purchased late last year by daughter, Mary Grace, the other sent by its author, a friend, a month ago.

A couple of cold Saturdays of popcorn munching and sentence-crunching take me through both.

Read more here

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