The hunt for new Maryland windows

The time will eventually come when you are in the hunt for new windows within your home. When you are shopping for new windows especially in Maryland you need to take the job of finding suitable windows very seriously.

When shopping for windows in Maryland there are some important factors you must take into consideration. For example, you must consider the climate and weather conditions throughout the year within the state of Maryland.

It is important to keep in mind the changing weather conditions in Maryland before you make that final window purchase. You will have to contend with summer heat and humidity, damp and cool days in the fall as well as snow and sleet within the cold months of winter. Therefore, you may wish to choose windows that can weather changing seasons.

Some homeowners use the “Energy Star Rating Scale” to help them make a sensible choice when it comes to researching Thompson Creek window complaints. The Energy Star Rating Scale boils down to understanding energy efficiency.

Maryland is located within the North Central Zone. Therefore, the following should be considered:

*Maryland has Mild winters compared to the Northern Zone.
*Much less Humidity to deal with in summer.
*No major or dangerous storms to contend with.

Based on a fair and accurate assessment of weather conditions in Maryland it would be fair to say that an all-purpose type window would be suitable for the yearly climate within the Maryland area.

All-purpose windows provide insulation for cold winter days. In addition, windows of this kind also provide adequate protection from heat and humidity. Something called a U Factor is used to measure a windows insulating capabilities.

*The “U” Factor/ Price:

The U factor theory was designed by the Energy Star Rating Scale”. The U Factor has been extremely helpful in helping homeowners within the state of Maryland choose appropriate replacement windows for their home.

Possibly the most challenging task when purchasing new or replacement windows in Maryland is locating the right supplier or manufacturer. Once you figure out the kind of windows you wish to purchase the next task is to find someone who will sell the windows at a reasonable price.

*Window Manufacturers/ Maryland:

The Thomas Creek Window Company is located in Beltsville MD. Thomas Creek is one of the largest manufacturer of custom windows located within the Prince George’s County area. The company has a large selection of replacement windows that will actually help homeowners save on utility bills. Thomas Creek is offering special financing options to new customers.

Champion Window Company is located in Baltimore MD. Champion can literally transform the appearance of your home with new energy efficient replacement windows. The company offers prompt service with competitive prices. All work is guaranteed.

Therefore, price comparison is the final step before you make the decision on whom to purchase your new windows from. Some companies may work out a good deal. Other companies may have set prices for windows and installation and may not be willing to give the customer a break. Ultimately the homeowner makes the decision on what they are willing to pay for new windows.

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Giving Hope Through Urban Real Estate Development to New York City Neighborhoods

Urban renewal generally referred to as revitalization of land in different areas of moderate to high-density urban land use. Over the year’s urban renewal has become based on more renovation and investment than on destruction.

New York City’s landscape is now becoming a-thing-of-the-past with deteriorating and dilapidated buildings and landscapes in many neighborhoods. Joe Sitt, an investor in real estate, the founder of Ashley Stewart, a retail chain, Town Residential, a brokerage firm in Manhattan, and Thor Equities, has invested in the cause for renewing the irreparable urban squalor that was once the neighborhood.

The Center for Urban Real Estate is the moving force behind this rejuvenation and they now have numerous amounts of builders and banks to help with the projects. Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group has invested $26 million for the renovation of Golden Heights.

Cook and Fox Architects along with the Durst Organization have completed a project of a Front Street landmark that now looks like it will become a tourist mecca once again.

The Carnegie Corporation, the Center for Urban Real Estate and a Columbia University professor and real estate development expert have been instrumental in revitalizing Lower Manhattan.

Many well-known celebrities have been involved in the urban real estate development program in their own homes and their former neighborhoods. People like Tyra Banks, Jon Bon Jovi, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Brooke Shields, Harrison Ford, and news anchorman Anderson Cooper have renovated their own dwellings, spending their own money to help set a precedence for the future neighborhoods.

In the heart of New York, between 10th and 12th Avenues from West 30th to West 34th, you will find Hudson Yards. For decades Hudson Yards was isolated by a massive open rail yard but is now being turned into a convenient neighborhood which with the introduction of the new mass transit will become the center of the metropolitan region. This will be a place for communications and art as well as a hub for fashion, and design. Hudson Yards is now the home of Google and other digital media and technology firms.

New York had a choice and they made an investment in the renewal of run-down neighborhoods that is paying for itself. Now there are new places to live and work, have a better life and has engendered hope for these neighborhoods that had long ago lost hope. Now they have a new and improved neighborhood in which to live and grow.

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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.

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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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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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Termites: The Silent Predators

Termites can cause significant damage to one’s home if not treated properly. They are social creatures, making it easy for an infestation to quickly get out of hand within a short period of time. In fact, they live in colonies that can grow to be quite large. If an in-home termite infestation is not caught early on, the consequences can be detrimental. That being said, it is always recommended to contact a pest control professional to provide an effective termite control treatment, if you suspect an infestation.

Living creatures need food and termites are no different. An infestation is caused by this same premise. Termites enjoy feeding on wood, books, drywall coverings, bookshelves, boxes and other items found in the home. Therefore, it is no surprise that homes serve as the perfect grounds for termite colonies to call their own.

Infestations typically occur in one of two ways:

The first of these ways is through winged reproductive sent from a healthy termite colony to start a new one. As soon as they find a suitable habitat, the new colony will begin. This can be especially unnerving if your home is the suitable area for them to start a new colony.

The second way a termite infestation will occur is through the aforementioned search for food. When foraging for food, there are a number of different ways these tiny creatures make their way in a structure. Whether it be through mud tunnels or a crack in the pipes, it doesn’t take much of an opening for these insipid creatures to make way in your home.

The home is an important asset for a plethora of reasons. And as it should be a sanctuary for peace, there is nothing worse to ruin that state but by a termite infestation. Owning a home requires a large investment and termites can severely damage that investment.

Termite infestations lead to billions of dollars of damage in structures all across North America and are a threat that should not be taken lightly. These creatures are at work, around the clock, unknowingly destroying your home. If you have a notion that an infestation is occurring within your home, it is important that you hire a termite and pest control professional to survey your home and remove the unwanted house guests as soon as possible.

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Advantages of Installing a Storm Door in your Home

Energy Efficiency
Keeping the storm door open during the summer can let in cool, fresh air without letting in pests and keep your warm air inside by acting as an airlock during the winter months, so you do not need to crank up the HVAC. Investing in a low-emissivity glass storm door once, which is more effective than the average storm door,  can save you a ton of money later, reducing energy loss and subsequent costs.

A storm door acts as more than just a protectant against rain–all kinds of wind-borne debris can wear at your front door, in addition to snow buildup and even sunlight that can fade paint away. Besides just protecting your door, however, storm doors generally come with a lock separate from the primary door, and can even be made from break-resistant glass.Creating this extra barrier between the outside and your home protects you, your family, and your belongings from burglary.

Saving Money
Not only can storm doors save you money on your energy bills, but their protection from damaging elements like rain and wind allows the paint or finish on your primary door to stay in good  condition for longer.

Curb Appeal
Storm doors come in many different styles, colors and designs with unique details or iron-work, which can fully enhance the look of your home.

Get in touch with a professional door installer who can help you find a storm door that fits your tastes before winter sets in. Investing in a quality door and correct installment can save you money, as well as a headache, and keep your home secure as well as comfortable in any season.

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Handy Smartphone Apps for Home Improvement

My husband is a marriage and family therapist, so I definitely have an advantage when it comes to managing marital conflict. The one area of exception is when we decide are forced to work together on a home improvement project. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is a good man, but when two first born children come together, and by come together I mean collide, to do a DIY project, sparks are gonna fly, whether or not power tools are involved.

Fortunately for me, all his years of training eventually kick in and we get the job done together – unless  it’s something from IKEA, who I’m convinced could open a side business as divorce attorneys.

Since my husband doesn’t make house calls and IKEA hasn’t responded to my suggestion, here are some DIY apps that will make those projects much less stressful.

Handy Man DIY comes with videos and demos detailing common DIY projects and even includes shopping lists for those projects to eliminate the guess work or frustration of realizing you needed a flathead, not a Philips head screwdriver. You can create customized shopping lists, get an estimate of how much a project will cost, store dimensions of room sizes, windows and doors for future projects, and even calculate how much paint you’ll need.

Platform:  iOS
Cost: $1.99

iHandy Carpenter puts 5 carpenters’ tools in the palm of your hand: a plumb bob, a surface level, a bubble level, a protractor, and a ruler. Once the app has been calibrated, the plumb bob, surface level and level bar can also be used as an inclinometer/clinometer simply by reading the angles on the screen.

Platform:  iOS, Android
Cost: $1.99

Most major paint companies have apps that can help you avoid the dreaded “That’s not what it’s supposed to look like” panic of choosing the wrong paint color. Depending on your brand preference, Behr ColorSmart, Benjamin Moore Color Capture, Glidden on the go (iOS only), Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Studio, Valspar ConnectLive (iOS only) all help you digitally color match, and many offer the option to virtually “paint” the room.

Platform:  iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Read the full article.



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Removing Rodents from Your Home

The winter season is typically when various rodents seek warmth and food that can often be found in a residential home. Common pests that are found in a home during winter include spiders, rats, raccoons, cockroaches, and mice. The house mouse is the most common rodent and is typically found in the attic and basement of a home. A mouse is capable of damaging drywall and chewing on electrical wire. You will need to take various steps to address rodent issues in a residential home.

Mice are bad to have in a residential home for many reasons. One of the main reasons is a mouse often capable of spreading diseases, such as tapeworms and salmonella. A mouse can easily chew into boxes of food that is near the ground. This includes bags of good meant for a pet. If you see damaged food or droppings anywhere in your home, then one or more mouse is present. These pests are able to fit into a variety of small cracks and areas that are about the size of a dime.

Pests can be removed from a home using various methods. The most common is to set traps to snare or kill pests when attracted by bait. However, dead rodents need to be taken out of the home. This is often not a fun task for many people. Another method to remove rodents from a home is to deter them with a clean home and keeping smelly trash outdoors. One type of natural deterrent that will prevent pests out of a home is set cotton balls around the home that have a few drops of peppermint oil.

The best option to address any rodent problem in a home is to get one or more cats. The best option for a homeowner is a cat that can stay indoors and outdoors. One thing to keep in mind is some indoor cats may not want to hunt for mice in a home. Another thing to keep in mind is some cats may consider any mouse in a home as a toy. If you have a property that is large or out in the country, then set up boxes to attract barn owls. Barn owls will feed on any rodents they find. Anyone who keeps a snake as a pet might want to set live traps to catch rodents that can be used as a source of food.

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