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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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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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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Update your Home with a New Entry Door

Your front door is one of the most important parts of your home. It is one of the first things people look at when coming toward your house. It is the main entry point for all visitors and is also the main barrier to keep unwanted guests out. In addition, your front door can be an effective barrier to outside temperature changes; keeping the temperature of your home manageable with the help of your air conditioning system. Lastly, a good front door can help the resale value of your home or detract from it, depending on what shape it is in.

Your front door can say a lot about you. A ragged looking, unkempt door may not provide the impression you want to present to visitors. You will want an entry door that is warm and inviting. If your front door is not presenting the image you want or has just gotten to the point that it needs to be replaced, now is the time to act as the weather warms up.

Entry door installation is easy to do and the benefits gained from the new door can be substantial. New designs and manufacturing processes have made the selection of doors vast and have improved the insulation properties, as well as, created unique looks that will make your house pop. A new installation will add to the resale value as an added bonus.

The easiest way to install a new front door is to call a contractor to come do the work for you. This is the way to go if you don’t have carpentry skills or the proper tools for the job. However, if you do have the skills, you can tackle the job with confidence and have it finished before evening guests arrive for the party.

You will want to buy the best door you can afford. Look for steel doors that provide strength for your personal safety and high R-values to reduce your air conditioning and heating costs. You can also get wood and aluminum, but keep in mind what you want your door to say about you and your house.

You can get entry door installation instructions online or can go to your local big box lumber store and use their in store professionals to teach you. Either way you will be making a home improvement that will return big dividends.

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Remolding with Materials that Last

Everyone knows that remodeling your kitchen or bathroom can be a huge headache. First, remodeling isn’t like a trip to target for a few new accessories. Remodeling is expensive. Not to mention, the decision you make now, is a decision you’ll have to live for years. So before you pick out your granite countertops, research and consult with experts.

Traditionally, higher-end countertop materials are used in kitchens. Common materials are concrete, granite, limestone, marble, and stainless steel. These materials are even migrating more and more into bathrooms. When choosing the best countertop for you, take into consideration the wear-and-tear a typical kitchen must endure.

Counter Intelligence is the leading granite and silestone countertop expert in the Washington DC area. According to Counter Intelligence, granite is one of the most durable materials on the market for kitchen countertops. Counter Intelligence experts know what material is best for you.

About Granite

Granite was formed billions of years from volcanic molten magma heating and cooling. Granite is not only durable, but beautiful as well. Each slab of granite is unique in color and pattern – each having a character of their own.

Granite has naturally occurring pits and fissures; however, counter experts have developed techniques to filled in the resins that increase the strength and improves the appearance. Granite can also be susceptible to stains if it isn’t treated properly. Through a unique process, Counter Intelligence provide granite countertops that are protected from stain with out jeopardizing the quality of the stone.

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How to Remodel a Galley Kitchen

A galley kitchen remodel is easier than you think. A few tips on doing a galley kitchen remodel include, lighting, storage areas, and aisle width.


One of the biggest problems in a galley kitchen is the lighting. Some galley kitchens have natural light, whether it’s a sky light or a window, while other galley kitchen have nothing but florescent ceiling lights. In order to choose the best lights for your kitchen consider soft lights and lighting layers, e.g., set the first layer of lights beneath the cabinets and the second layer on the ceiling. This will not only give you more visibility when preparing food, it will also give your galley kitchen more depth.


Storage is extremely important in a galley kitchen. Galley kitchen can easily get cluttered. One way to solve this problem is to hide fixtures like the refrigerator and the dishwasher behind cabinets making your galley kitchen look larger and feel cleaner. Keep the kitchen countertops open. Keep maybe one or two essentials in the corner and put the rest of your essentials in easy-to-access cabinet drawers.


Having space to move around is important. If possible, the aisle width should be about 4-6 feet. This will give you enough room to move. Next, you want to organize your space. Develop a layout designating certain areas for a breakfast nook, a cleaning station, a cooking station, etc…Don’t forget the floors. Too often, people renovate their kitchens and forget about the floor. In a galley kitchen, lighter color flooring will help your kitchen look bigger and enhance the width of the aisle.


Visiting a kitchen cabinets outlet can help you find affordable options for your kitchen. Renovating your kitchen can be expensive; however, there are hundreds of ways to save. Researching the style, shopping at outlets, and/or finding the right contractor, can make the remodeling process easier and less expensive. Deciding when to remodel your kitchen is the first step. Don’t wait any longer; start building your dream kitchen now!

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