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How much is my project going to cost?

Double Hung window with a price tag

PRICE VERSUS VALUE  – “HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?”

“How much is this going to be?”, “What’s this going to run me”, “What’s the damage?”, or “Do I have to sell an organ to afford this?” We all know the cliché’s or sayings. There’s numerous ways to ask the question, “HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?”: Or, simply put, “can I really afford this project?” “Is this what I want to pay or expected to pay for this Home Improvement?”  It’s a fair question asked over and over again by homeowners considering a remodeling improvement each year. Let’s face it it’s all about the money. Or, is it really?

What do you mean when you ask “How much does this cost?” There’s numerous ways to view that question. One can mean “Can I truly afford this?” Or, “Do I have enough money to pay for this?” Or, “Is what I’m buying worth it? “ That’s just to name a few. There’s plenty more that are out there. This page could be filled with people’s definition of what “cost” or “price” means.

In the home improvement business, it can feel like it’s the only question that matters because Home Improvements can be very expensive. The difficult thing with Home Improvement is that there really is no measuring stick for the consumer with regards to price. There is TOO MUCH information really. From online information, to TV ads, to the Big Box Stores, homeowners get pushed, pulled, and prodded every which way and made to believe that all home improvement is simple, quick, and cheap.

Consumers are bombarded with ads hundreds of times a day stating how inexpensive this product or that product is, when really they aren’t. In the Home Improvement industry one can find windows or doors that look the same be but vastly different in price. This also happens with most other products from paint, to carpet, to curtains, to bags of concrete. It’s just confusing.  There’s “cheap” versions and more expensive ones and the same products with prices in between. How do you know which one is better and how do you know that it’s worth the price. How do know what it really costs?

Is that carpet really “12.50 per square foot?”  Or is it more or less? What if it only lasts a few years? Was it worth the price? And, what did it really “cost you” because you have to replace again within only a few years? How about that window? Is it really $189.00? What if it only lasts five years and you have to replace it again? What did it really cost you? You get the point.  This is the same song different dance that  hundreds of thousands of people go through each year. They look at “How Much Is This Going To Cost ?” and forget to weigh in the other  important factors. In short, there’s price and there’s VALUE. Price is what we pay and VALUE is the return or lack thereof. And, they are never the same. When doing home improvement, it is always wise to ensure that value will always outweigh the price.

So you say, what do you mean “VALUE”? What’s that have to do with it? Well, let’s consider carpet for just an example. Let’s say you decide to replace and buy new carpet.  The best quality you can get will cost $40.00 per yard installed (this is just a hypothetical cost so just go with it). But with that higher-end price  you also receive professional installation, a warranty on the installation, a warranty on the color from fading due to traffic and spills etc. Overall, it’s a more durable fabric that will take years and years of use and its guaranteed as such.  So, you buy it and pay that top dollar and the “Cost” or “Price” is very high. But what’s the value?

What’s the value in the fact that you don’t have to replace this carpet for 20 years? What’s the value in the fact that this carpet will require less steam cleans or shampoos over its life to keep its luster? What’s the value in the professional installation and that this carpet won’t pull up or become loose? What’s the value in the cosmetic lift it gave a specific room or how it made you feel? The questions can go on. And, you can apply these same questions to any Home Improvement product you buy. Windows, Doors, Decks, Siding, Roofs, Landscaping, Awnings Systems, Painting, etc, the list can go on. All of them have a cost and a value.

Sometimes it looks and sounds so easy, so quick, and so inexpensive depending on the project. Why? Cause Home Improvement Media says so. ..at least that’s what we’re meant to believe.  But, as we all know, most projects with Home Improvement or Renovation are fairly detailed. That’s why there are professional organizations that do this kind of work. They not only have the “know-how” but they also have the systems and processes in place to handle projects large and small quickly, efficiently, and professionally and they have the financial ability to finance it until it’s done.

Everyone’s naturally concerned that the company or person they hire for their Home Improvement Project will follow through on their word with regards to service , installation, craftsmanship, and promptness. They are also naturally concerned that a company will honor its products warranty or whatever guarantee they give.

The good news is that there are NUMEROUS resources to check companies. One can check online with the Better Business Bureau, or talk to friends who have had work done by the same company, or ask for referrals, etc. Most companies, the most organized ones, will have all of this for you when they show up at your door to give you that “price”. Actually, most companies that are highly professional and organized won’t even give you a price they’ll give you more, a VALUE. They’ll have all the accolades, images, tools, knowledge, and ability to answer every and any question you have at the time of visit.

So, again you ask yourself or your Contractor, “How Much Is This Thing Going To Cost?” Well, if you truly take the time to study and choose the right product and the right company, that answer is nothing. It will more than likely make you money.

-Anonymous Remodeling Professional

Ice Dams Explained

Ever wondered why you gutters fill with ice and create damaging icicles? Here is a very informative article from Liberty Mutual Insurance explaining about ice in your gutters:

Ice Dams

Window Condensation Explained

 

WHAT IS CONDENSATION:

Condensation, which appears as a light coating of water, droplets, frost, ice, or a combination of those elements forms on any surface whose temperature is less than the dew point temperature.

There are two forms of condensation with regards to windows:

  •  Condensation BETWEEN the glass panes (cannot wipe away).
  •  Condensation ON the glass pane (can wipe away).

CONDENSATION BETWEEN THE GLASS PANES:

Condensation between the glass panes is an indication of I.G. (insulated glass unit failure). This means that condensation has found a way in between the glass pane and has collected as moisture. A seal failure is usually the culprit which causes this issue to occur in window or door glass.

This moisture is not reachable by hand and will appear very prevalent during very cold days. Most all window companies warranty the glass in their windows against this defect. If you are experiencing this issue of condensation that is BETWEEN the glass, be rest assured it is covered in your warranty and your glass will be replaced promptly.

CONDENSATION ON THE GLASS: OVERVIEW

Condensation on the interior window glass, or glass that is inside the home can seem to be an instant indication that the glass and window are malfunctioning. As hard as it is to hear and understand, this is NOT the case. Actually, condensation on the INTERIOR of the window glass is caused by the home itself. This will be explained in much more detail to you give you a complete understanding of this issue.

CONDENSATION ON THE INTERIOR GLASS: FRUSTRATING!

In some instances, but not all, condensation will form on the inside of a home’s windows. This occurrence can be very frustrating to home owners who have spent valuable time and money in choosing a window company and product for their home.

Customers usually assume that the reason as to why this condensation forms is from a faulty window or glass. These feelings are amplified in some instances when a home starts to experience this problem only after replacing their old windows with new ones!

How can this be????!!!

CONDENSATION ON THE INTERIOR GLASS: WHY IT FORMS

Condensation forms due to two things:

Surface Temperature of the Glass

  • Relative Humidity of the Air

As most people are aware, glass is a poor insulator. Whenever you pick up a cold pitcher of water, or a cold glass of Ice Tea, you immediately feel the cold fluid through the glass. In some instances, when its warm enough outside, and the glass is cold enough, condensation will form. These basic principals apply to windows as well.

Relative Humidity is the amount of moisture that air can hold. Warm air can hold much more moisture than cold air. This is usually apparent during the summer time when humidity and temperature are high and we get that “sticky” feeling.

The interior of a home is no different than any other environment. During the winter months, we have our heat on which creates an interior “warm” environment. This warm temperature on the inside of the home allows the homes air to hold more moisture.

Moisture in a home comes from numerous sources to include plants, animals, occupants, washers, dryers, dishwashers, ice machines, humidifiers, wood burning stoves, drywall, some paint products, sinks, showers, and bath water. The list goes on. If you think about it, there’s a lot water in a home. Most new homes that are built to day release up to 800lbs of water per year for the first five years….that’s over 2 tons of moisture!

CONDENSATION ON THE INTERIOR GLASS: WHY IT FORMS

In order for condensation to form on the inside of the homes window glass, there has to be enough moisture in the air to

support it. Home’s that never experienced condensation before may find that they now have moisture condensation of their new windows. This is because the home has been “buttoned” or “tightened” up with the new windows which has increased the home’s Relative Humidity.

The old existing windows were more than likely drafty due to poor seals, and thus allowed that moisture laden warm air out of the home and cool dry air into the home. Replacing the windows changed the homes environmental parameters.

Some homes may have all of their windows experience condensation or just some of them. There is no magic equation to determine what rooms are more vulnerable than others. It can be a function of simple air flow or the location of more water based products in a given area. For example, a bathroom and kitchen are much more prone to form condensation first on the windows than any other room. Why?..because there’s more water in the air from cooking and showering!

In summary, condensation on the interior window is caused by the homes humidity level. Believe it or not, your new windows are doing their job! They are keeping the warm moist air in the home and not letting the cool dry air into the home. So, when it gets very cold outside, that warm air will condense on the glass because it has nowhere else to go! You can lower the amount of condensation on the glass by lowering your humidity level by using a dehumidifier or adjusting the amount of moisture in a particular area.

COMMON AREAS CONDENSATION FORMS ON WINDOWS:

The most common area that you will find condensation to form on your new windows is the area of the meeting rail on the top sash and the lift rail on the bottom sash. For reference, the sash is the part of the window that moves on Double-Hung windows. This area of condensation generally forms around 1/8” to 1/2” bead along the window line.

This condensation area is very NORMAL especially during VERY COLD winter periods. The condensation is not damaging to the window. We have found that this area is most prone to condensation because the warm air of the home hits the cool glass and sinks (cold air sinks as a part of the laws of thermodynamics). As the air sinks it is cool but is still much warmer than the glass it is relative to. It then forms condensation at the lower part of the window glass.

FROST: ANOTHER FORM OF CONDENSATION:

One of the most disheartening things that can occur is the formation of frost on a window. Some customers assume that it is ice and they are normally very angry at the sight of it.

Once again, the frost is simply the condensation on the window crystallizing. It is not damaging and is only apparent when temperatures reach values near zero or lower. It is also apparent at times when we experience negative wind chills for extended amounts of time.

NOT ALL WINDOWS HAVE CONDENSATION:

As the title states, not all windows will have condensation on them. Some homeowners will own their windows forever and never see an ounce of water vapor. This is simply because the amount of moisture in that particular home’s air is not enough to meet the humidity requirements for condensation to form.

IN SUMMARY:

In summary, your new windows are working fine. Condensation BETWEEN the glass is a warranty item that needs to be fixed promptly. If you are experiencing that issue, please call us for a support service.

Small strips of condensation ON the glass is not an area for concern. It is simply caused by humidity in the home. It is also an indication that your windows are working.

If you should find that the information provided herein is not enough to answer your questions, we encourage you to visit the web and GOOGLE “window condensation”. There are numerous articles which explain this phenomenon. You can also visit other window manufacturer websites such as Andersen window, Pella Window, etc. Energystar.gov and NFRC.org are also great sites which give explanation to this condition.

 

 

5 Questions to ask your installer

Here is a  great article from the MSN website about 5 questions to ask your window installer.

 

A message from the FTC about shopping for new windows

Are the falling leaves clogging your gutter?

Fall is in full swing. The leaves are beautiful and at their peek color. But as we all know, they are starting to fall. For those of us who have trees near our homes, that means a lot of racking, bagging, and work. Not to mention the clutter that leaves cause in our homes gutter system. Leaves and associated debris are the number one major culprit in causing our gutter system to clog, and ultimately fail if they are not cleaned regularly. And, we all know getting on a ladder and cleaning out our gutters is not fun. No one likes to be up high and stick their hands in sopping wet leaves, dead bugs, and debris and stuff into bags or buckets. There’s better ways to spend our time! Also, there’s the risk of injury when performing this unpopular house chore. Falling from a ladder is still a common mishap for homeowners and let’s face it, no one should risk being injured because their gutters need cleaned! It’s not worth it! But, a clogged gutter system can do damage to a home. Improper water management can lead to numerous issues like bugs, foundation issues, rotting soffit and fascia, the list can go on. In summary, the cost to fix the collateral damage of a clogged gutter system can be VERY costly. So, in the end all those pretty leaves can cause a lot of headaches in the form of risk, hard work, and potentially out of pocket expenses.
Best Gutter Shield is a option to consider to eliminate all these problems.
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No more gutter cleaning, consistent proper water management, and absolutely no financial impact, guaranteed. Visit our website and mybestwindowinc.com and select our “products” tab and find the “Gutter Shield” tab in order to read more about leaves, damage to gutter, and how you can prevent it!

BEST Group – Transforming a company, capitalizing on a community

Efficiency, innovation and creativity are the essential capital necessary in today’s economic environment. Transforming a traditional building products manufacturer into a dynamic industry leader requires all three. Founded in 1949, Best Window & Door Company was a longstanding member of Johnstown’s industrial community.

Originally focused on the fabrication of storm doors and windows, Best Window & Door moved to the vinyl window manufacturing process in the late 1970s. Since then, the firm has built a unique position in the marketplace as a leader in research, product development, integrated manufacturing and customer service.

Owned by Barry L. Ritko, Sr. since 1999, the firm began a transformation process that further accelerated when Barry L. “B.J.” Ritko, Jr. joined the firm as Vice President and General Manager in 2005, and the father-and-son team established a strategy that has dramatically redefined the company’s market leadership.

In the highly competitive and economically challenging building products sector, Best Window & Door stands apart. Every product the company manufactures is exclusive, which means that Best is one of only ten manufacturers in the United States that makes products with the same profile, and is the only one in the Northeast. Every product is custom manufactured — the firm produces all products to order. This keeps stock levels low, flexibility high and means that the factory offers outstanding turnaround and responsiveness.

The Best Group philosophy — make custom products, produce them to order and provide outstanding customer service — extends beyond the factory floor. The firm also provides professional field installation for both residential and commercial applications through a team of 100% in-house, company-employed installers across a primary market area covering 20 counties in three states. When a customer orders from Best, the product is designed, manufactured and installed by Best employees, with zero sub-contracting. To support this effort, the company maintains a very aggressive sales and marketing strategy supported, like its installation efforts, with Best Group employees selling Best Group products.

Throughout this transformation, Best Group has relied on the City of Johnstown and the city and regional workforce, as cornerstones of its success. In 2007, Best Group purchased its current headquarters facility, providing outstanding space for manufacturing and complete office and support capabilities, as well as an on-site showroom. More than 70% of the Best Group’s workforce lives in the Johnstown area, and the firm has partnered with the city to secure improvement grants and upgrade support to maintain its location. “The city has always been very good with financial assistance as well as oversight and improvement grants,” says B.J. Ritko, Vice President & General Manager.

The results of this partnership are powerful. In the five years that the Ritkos have led Best’s transformation, the company’s annual sales have tripled. The firm added a new location in West Virginia and recently opened a new certified distribution point in Warren, PA which will service lower New York state and Pennsylvania’s Northwest/Erie region. While the firm focuses on direct-to-customer sales, the outstanding product portfolio has led to wholesale relationships with companies in New Jersey, Michigan and New Mexico.

“Johnstown has played a roll in providing us with a geographical centerpoint to access our market areas and extend in all directions,” Ritko adds. “In addition, it has provided a very dedicated and tenured workforce while also giving us a broad array of local young talent to develop.

Should I Buy Storm Windows?

Should you buy Storm Windows? Well, why don’t we talk about these systems and you can decide for yourself.

First, why do you want a Storm Window? What are you trying to do? Is it for Energy Efficiency? Or, perhaps this is a less expensive investment versus replacing your windows?

Choosing The Right Replacement Window

Choosing The Right Replacement Window

Windows are a multi-faceted home component. They allow in natural light, allow for ventilation, provide a physical barrier to the outside, protect against break-in, provide a cosmetic appeal, and reduce the transmission heat or cold to the outside (the latter being the most important function). As can be seen, windows are a very important part of the home. When replacing windows in your home, it is essential that you do your homework and give this project some serious consideration.

Energy Efficiency Matters

Why pay more year after year to heat and cool the same home?

  • One of the most common reasons to replace existing windows is to increase the energy efficiency of your home — which reduces your heating and cooling bills and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. You’ll notice the savings immediately — because poorly performing windows and doors cause heating and cooling loss in a home. You’re literally throwing money out the window!

So, how do you know if a window or door is energy-efficient? Look for these features:

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