Iowa Home Exteriors Blog

What Are Energy Efficient Windows?

What Are Energy Efficient Windows?Get to know your windows! What one item in your home can offer you light, warmth, ventilation, and provide you a way to look out over the world and dream? Your windows! Windows have so much to offer a home and provide a sense of connection to the outside world but, your windows can also be the source of your hard earned money being sucked away. Now what do we mean by that? An old or worn out window does not provide the same protection against the elements of extreme heat or cold that a newer energy efficient model. Less protection means your furnace will be working overtime in the winter and your air conditioner in the summer. The loss of heat or cooled air through those tired worn out windows is the leading cause of higher energy bills each month, and who wants to be paying higher energy bills? If you find yourself in need of a window replacement make sure you choose energy efficient windows! Energy Efficient Windows What makes a window energy efficient? Let’s take a closer look at what makes a window energy efficient. One of the biggest differences between an energy efficient window and a regular window is the glass. Most regular windows just have a single pane of glass, where as an energy efficient one has multiple panes of glass with insulating air spaces between each pane. There are two terms you want to keep in mind when looking for windows: U-Value – measures a window units resistance to heat loss. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – measures how much heat enters a home through the glass. Visible Transmittance (VT) – measures how much light is transferred through your window. Buying the Right Window When shopping for windows, the lower the number on the U-Value and SHGC the better the window performs, but you want a high VT to maximize daylight coming in. Purchasing energy efficient windows requires you to do your homework. There are other factors not mentioned here, but don’t worry, our team at Iowa Home Exteriors will educate you, and assist you in choosing the perfect energy efficient window for your home. Energy Efficient Window Considerations If you’re not completely convinced your home needs energy efficient windows, then think about these three things: Save Money – As mentioned earlier, the more energy efficient your windows are, the more money and energy you will save each month. Get Comfortable – If you have new energy efficient windows, drafts will be eliminated and the temperature in your home will stay regulated. Stay Protected – Many energy efficient windows have a coating on the glass to reduce and protect your, your furniture, and your floors from the UV rays of the sun. Choosing The Best Energy Efficient Window Infographic We have included a shareable infographic “Choosing The Best Energy Efficient Window” to help you when it comes time to choose which energy efficient window is best for your home. You can download it and send it to any friends or neighbors that may find it useful. Iowa Home Exteriors Can Help Maybe you’re not sure if you even need new windows. Check out our blog post “Prepare for Fall with Window Replacement” to see if your windows are ready. At Iowa Home Exteriors we offer many different types of window replacements. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment so we can help you get your questions answered. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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!

Top 5 Home Improvements to Add Value

Top 5 Home Improvements to Add ValueWant to add value and curb appeal to your home? Who doesn’t want to add more value to their home? There are some areas of home improvement that will add and return the most value, but any home remodel can be very intimidating. Our team at Iowa Home Exteriors, Inc. would like to help these remodels go as smoothly as possible for you and create the most value for your home. Here are 5 quick tips and suggestions to increase your home’s value! 1. The Kitchen The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in a home, so when someone is looking to buy a house the kitchen can either make it or break it. If your remodel project is operating on a smaller budget, you can do things like: paint the walls replace the kitchen faucet add new door and cabinet handles update all the lighting If you have a larger budget for a kitchen remodel, then you can do a complete transformation to include counter tops, cabinets, and appliances. Whether you budget is large or small, any improvement to your kitchen will add some value. 2. The Bathroom In our opinion the bathroom is absolutely the most used room in your home. Similar to the kitchen, you can tailor the remodel project according to the size of your budget. Small fixes include, painting, changing the toilet seat, changing out fixtures such as lights, door/cabinets handles, etc. If you choose to do a complete overhaul of the bathroom then things like replacing the flooring, putting in a new toilet, sink, and shower/tub (if needed) would be a great idea! 3. Reinvent a Room Adding square footage to your home can be extremely expensive ranging anywhere from $120-150 a square foot. With that in mind, why not just reinvent a room you already have? This could be as simple as changing an extra room into an office, knocking out a needless wall, or finishing your basement! Before you do anything drastic just keep in mind that versatile and multi-purpose rooms are more attractive to potential buyers. 4. Add Energy-Efficient Windows Whether you are trying to sell your home or you plan on living in it for years to come… adding energy efficient windows will save you lots of money! Adding Energy Star-rated windows to your home can save you up to $500 a year in heating and cooling bills alone! 5. Exterior Siding Replacement Replacing your siding is one of the fastest ways to enhance the look of your home and add a great deal of value at the same time. Depending on the type of siding you choose (we highly recommend either insulated vinyl siding or fiber cement siding) you can save even more money on your energy bill when coupled with that window replacement. These are just five of the many ways you can add value to your home and our team, here at Window Doors & More, Inc. stand ready to help you sort through what is best for your home and budget to increase your home’s value. If you are in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area, email or call us today to schedule an appointment! Add Home Value Infographic This great infographic is a step-by-step home clean-up guide guaranteed to add value to your home. “Add Value to Your Home” is provided courtesy of The Grass People at

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!