Iowa Home Exteriors Blog

3 Steps For Enjoying A Home Show

3 Steps For Enjoying a Home ShowIf you plan on getting a home sooner rather than later or you already own one, then you might want to consider going to a home show near you. Home shows are a great source of information when you are trying to decide about any type of home improvement like: Additions Remodeling Landscaping Updating & Repairs Attending a home show can be particularly helpful when considering new construction because there are numerous resources to help you decide about the design and find just the right home construction contractor. Home shows are a great way to review products and design trends that can give your home a one-of-a-kind look and improve its curb appeal. What is a Home Show? Home show, home improvement show, home and garden show, home design and remodeling show, these are just a few names used to describe a large convention style event organized around exhibitors in the home building or home improvement industry. Various businesses and vendors are arranged in booths in a large exhibition hall with their products and services on display. The types of products and services may include: Appliances Construction/Remodeling Contractors Furniture Home Designs Home Entertainment/Recreation Home Security Interior Design Landscaping Various Products Many times the exhibitors will put on live seminars, give product demonstrations, hand out free promotional items and even hold drawings to give away prizes. The most helpful aspect of a home show is being able to speak with the various contractors and product vendors and ask specific questions about the type of project you are considering. As you walk through the exhibition hall and view all the exhibits, it can be easy to lose track of why you are there in the first place and walk away from the event with little to show except some business cards and ink pens. We would like to offer these three steps to ensure your next home show visit is a success! Step 1:  Plan To get the most bang for your buck when attending a home show, you need to have a plan! A plan will keep you on task and allow you to make some progress towards finalizing your next home improvement project. Even if you don’t own a home yet, attending a home show with a good plan in mind can help you solidify your home ownership goals for the future. Ask The first part of planning begins with knowing why you want to attend a home show. Being able to answer “Why?” will help outline what you need to specifically accomplish while attending. Are you building a new home or looking to remodel your kitchen? Do you need a home security product to fit your budget? Asking yourself why and knowing the answer will make your next home show visit more profitable guaranteed! Organize This is the researching part of the plan. You need to arm yourself with information about the various exhibitors and products that will be a part of the home show so you can create a prioritized list of the exhibits, seminars, and products that relate to your home improvement project. Usually, the home show event has a website with a list of exhibitors and sometimes they will even provide a map of the booth locations. Bring There are a number of things you might want to consider bringing with you to the show. First and foremost you need a notebook for taking notes, sketching, and writing down show inspired ideas. A camera can help with capturing ideas or provide a way to record what contractors and products you want to review later. If you have collected examples of your next project in a scrapbook or photo album that would be very useful when talking with a contractor. Step 2:  Engage It’s important to remember the reason you are attending the home show and taking a hands-on approach to getting your questions answered, finding contractor information or products, and gathering whatever material you need to make informed decisions later. When it comes to actively engaging just remember these three rules: connect; collect; think. Connect A home show is a great place to connect with all the people who can help you most when it comes to your next home improvement project. There are product salespeople, architects and designers, and contractors of all varieties, but you must interact with them to get what you need most… information. If there is more than one person at an exhibit you are visiting then speak to as many as you can to get a good feel for the company and what they will be like if you choose their services. You might even want to come back and visit them again. Collect The exhibitors have come prepared to share facts and figures about their services and products so don’t be shy asking for any material you can take with you. There will be a number of flyers, brochures, booklets and data sheets so take whatever you need but don’t forget to get something with the vendor’s contact info on it. If you didn’t bring a bag of some sort to hold all of your collected material, look for an exhibitor who is passing out bags or totes as giveaways. Think Be sure to keep an open mind when it comes to ideas about your project. Think through the different options and ideas provided by the various contractors and product vendors. These people are on the cutting edge of their industries and may have a bit of insight you lack. Don’t jettison your ideas, but be ready to incorporate some ideas of others if they are good ones. Step 3:  Review After the home show is over and you have collected all the information you need, it’s time to think about sorting through all that material and reviewing it. Take some time to work through your list of vendors and contractors you visited with and check out their websites for more information and customer reviews. Make sure you don’t limit yourself to only one or two contractors when you start calling to get quotes, four or five per category is best. Invitation Hopefully, these three steps will enhance your next home show experience and help you get what you need to make your next home improvement project successful. If you live anywhere in the Central Iowa area, you might think about attending The Des Moines Home and Garden Show held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines Iowa on 9-12 February, 2017. If your next home improvement project includes siding replacement, new windows or doors you might want to consider stopping by our booth. You can find a Iowa Home Exteriors rep at booth 1611. Payback From Home Improvements Infographic We are providing you this “Payback From Home Improvements” infographic so you will know what type of improvements have the highest return on investment. Feel free to download and share with friends and family. Stop by and visit us at the Des Moines Home and Garden Show and include a comment below about your next or prior home show experience.

Prepare for Fall with Window Replacement

Prepare for Fall with Window ReplacementSummer is over... check your windows! It seems as if another summer has come and gone and with that it’s time to think about cleaning up your yard, putting away the kid’s outdoor toys, yard furniture, and coiling up the hose. The end of August is a good time to start thinking about preparing for the fall! Putting away the hose and lawn furniture before cold weather set in are easy to remember, but something often over looked and forgotten until the cold wind blows are your windows. Drafty, Leaky Windows Remember last winter when you could hear and feel just a little more of that north wind blowing through your drafty windows? Then springtime rolled around followed by a warm and busy summer and you forgot all about it. The fall is just around the corner and winter close behind that… are your windows ready? Your best option for preparing the drafty windows in your home this fall might be completely replacing them. Our window replacement experts would like to share with you some of the typical and telling signs to look for as indicators your windows are past saving. Signs to Look For Drafty – Your windows should never let enough air in while closed that you notice it. Many people, when they feel a draft through their window, think they just need to add more weather stripping or sealing. But take note, a noticeable draft means there is a serious air leak. Weather stripping and sealing is just a temporary fix. Condensation – If you start to notice condensation build up in your double or triple paned windows then you might consider replacing the glass or the entire window all together. Overtime the seal on your windows can fade away allowing moisture to seep in. Again, if they has reached the point where you can see condensation or fog, then they are often past the point of resealing. Broken – This one is a little more obvious. If your windows are broken, cracked, or having major issues closing and opening then you should consider replacing them. Noisy – If your windows are allowing in significant amounts of noise you might have an older window. Newer windows keep out the heat, cold air, and they are also designed to keep out noise. So if you’re hearing your neighbors and foot traffic outside your home, then you might consider updating your windows. High Energy Bill – How high was your energy bill last winter? If your energy bill seemed out of control then you might have windows that need replaced. Windows generally last 20-40 years, so if yours are older than that or are getting close then it would be cost effective to go ahead and replace them. Repair or Replace Windows Infographic We have included a shareable infographic "5 Reasons to Repair or Replace Windows" to help you decide if your windows might need to be repaired or replaced. You can download it and send it to any friends or neighbors that may find it useful. Hiring a Window Contractor So, you have determined your windows need replaced, but how do you decide on a window replacement contractor who can get the job done right and on your budget? A few months ago we shared with you a blog post entitled “5 Questions to Ask a Window Replacement Contractor.” Use those questions to help you find just the right window replacement contractor. Iowa Home Exteriors has been replacing windows and satisfying clients for over 30 years! We would love the opportunity to take a look at your current windows and help you decide the best way to solve your leaky window problem. Contact us today to set up a time we can meet and give you a free quote for your project!

5 Questions to Ask a Window Replacement Contractor

5 Questions to Ask a Window Replacement ContractorAre you looking for a window replacement contractor? Replacing windows in your home is a big decision and not something you do very often. In fact, good windows will last 10 to 20 years (or more) and depending on how long you live in your home, you may never need to replace them. But, when you have made the decision to replace your leaky or outdated windows it’s time to start searching for an experienced and reputable window replacement contractor. Iowa Home Exteriors has been in the window replacement business for over 30 years and we want to help you through this important and difficult process. To make your search as smooth and stress free as possible, we offer these 5 questions you need to ask each potential window replacement contractor. But, before you begin asking questions you need to find those potential candidates. It is easy to go through potential window replacement contractor’s websites and compare rates, prices of windows, and work experience. An important thing to keep in mind is that cheaper isn’t always better. After researching their websites and reading their reviews (important!), narrow your list down to 3-5 potential contractors to interview. During the interview process there are 5 questions our team here at Iowa Home Exteriors have found to be crucial for finding the right contractor. 5 Questions to ask a window replacement contractor: 1. What do you charge? After inspecting your project, you need a solid quote from the contractor that includes everything that you will be charged for, i.e., if they charge for removal of the old windows. You need an exact estimate on what they will charge for this type of project. 2. Do you carry insurance? At the least, your potential window contractor should have liability insurance that protects you in the event of an accident. Their insurance can be verified by asking for copies of the insurance certificates sent from the insurance company. There are several reasons why a contractor may not have insurance, so you have to decide if you are willing to risk working with a company that is not insured. 3. How long will the whole process take? A schedule of the work to be done and timeframe for completion is always a good thing to have. In most cases window replacement contractors will have to order your new windows, so the scheduling and completion date of your project may be the biggest decision factor when choosing a window replacement contractor. 4. Are there references I can contact? It has been said that businesses grow by word of mouth. Asking your potential contractor for references is important! Call each reference they give you and ask them how they liked working with their contractor. Some might even invite you to come and inspect the work of the contractor at their home. Remember to look over the online reviews. 5. Is there a warranty? Most reputable contractors offer different types of warranties on their work and the windows they have installed in your home. Ask them what they offer and what it all entails; window breakage, long-term protection, etc. When hiring a window replacement contractor it is key to do your homework. Window replacement in your home is a big decision, so do not begin this process just wanting to “get it done.” You want quality work done for a fair price. We hope these questions help you in your search to find the right window replacement contractor who works best with your situation and timeframe. We have also included this great info graphic from the Federal Trade Commission. It was produced to educate consumers on important points to remember when replacing windows and also explains how to read the National Fenestration Rating Council's label you see on new windows. Iowa Home Exteriors, Inc. offers quality window replacement and would love the opportunity to be interviewed by you for your next window replacement project! Contact us today to set up a time we can meet and go over your project!