A1 Quality Windows http://www.a1qualitywindows.com Bay Area Windows & Patio Doors Tue, 01 Oct 2013 16:51:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Plant Ideas for Garden Windows http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/plant-ideas-for-garden-windows/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/plant-ideas-for-garden-windows/#comments Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:02:14 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=455 Garden windows can make a home beautiful without much space. There are a variety of plants that can be grown in window boxes in order to beautify a home, provide fresh vegetables, or make the home smell nice. Some of the factors that could influence which plants might include whether you have predominately sun or shade, whether you’d like decorative or useful plants, and how much time and energy you’d like to put into the project.

One common theme for a garden window box is to grow herbs. Common herbs for cooking include chives, dill, fennel, basil, coriander, and tarragon. They can all be grown in containers and are easily harvested when you need them for cooking. The main benefit of having this kind of herb garden is the convenience of it, but the attractiveness of the plants also lends charm to a home.

In the same category of herb gardens, many people choose to grow different varieties of mint in garden windows. Mint, peppermint, spearmint, and lemon mint are all easy to grow and to transplant, and extremely useful in everything from beverages to cooking to garnishes. In addition, all of these types of mint can make your house smell wonderful year-round.

Flowers are another option for indoor container gardens. If you have windows that get a lot of sun, try planting sun-loving flowers such as nasturtiums, catci, geraniums, snapdragons, and succulents. You can mix the flowers within the container box or go with a color theme, such as orange and yellow nasturtiums and snapdragons or type of plants, like succulents and cacti.

If your window is shadier, there are a variety of plants that do well with a lack of sun. Begonias, violets, ferns, philodendrons, and caladiums are all flowers that thrive in the shade. Make sure they are watered regularly and not in the path of direct sunlight to make them do well.

Vegetables are another option for container gardening. While many vegetables need more room to grow, there are certain veggies that do well in window boxes. These include jalapenos, radishes, cucumbers, habaneros, and tomatoes. They may need different types of containers, depending on their specific needs, but they can all be grown in garden windows.

For the best advice for your particular window location and plant selection, visit your nearest nursery.

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Trends in Window Design http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/trends-in-window-design/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/trends-in-window-design/#comments Sat, 13 Jul 2013 17:22:35 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=452 There are many different types of residential windows and the trends in window design tend to fluctuate according to costs, energy efficiency, and fashion. The right kind of windows can transform a home’s look as well as saving the homeowner considerable amounts of money on energy. In addition, many people are staying in their homes for longer, and want to spruce up their home rather than moving to a new one. New windows are an attractive and sustainable way to give the home a fresh face.

One of the major trends in windows involves fiberglass windows. Although the material fiberglass has been around for a long time, it is becoming more popular in window construction.. Fiberglass is long-lasting and not greatly affected by the weather, so it needs little to no maintenance over the years. Fiberglass doesn’t rot or decay at all, but can be painted to match the decor of the house. When a wood veneer is applied to the fiberglass windows, it is virtually indistinguishable from wood, but last longer and requires less maintenance.

Aluminum windows are another current trend for homeowners. While aluminum windows have always been strong and durable, they have become more attractive over the years. Aluminum does not rust or rot, and there’s no need to paint it. There are a variety of styles of these windows now, to match current trends, such as modern living rooms. In addition, the quality of these windows has gone up and they regulate temperature better than they used to. Aluminum is not recommended for use in coastal areas, because the salt air can cause it to corrode.

Vinyl windows are getting quite popular, especially from an energy-saving perspective. Like fiberglass, vinyl is extremely energy efficient, keeping homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In addition, it helps soundproof your home more than other types of window framing. Vinyl window frames cannot be painted, and typically come in a limited array of colors. If vinyl windows are purchased, make sure they are not cheap ones, as they have to be high-quality to insulate the home.

Wood windows, have, of course, been around for a very long time. They come from renewable resources so many people consider them to be more sustainable than other types of windows. However, they do need to be painted or stained. The advantage of that is that the decor can be changed with a coat of paint. Wooden windows never stop being one of the trends in window design because of history, tradition, and beauty, and in fact, tends to be the most popular type of window. They can sometimes be purchased as pre-finished so that they don’t have to be to be painted after installation. However, wood can be very expensive so a lot of building owners often prefer other materials.

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Bay Area Window Replacement: Choosing a Good Window Company http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/bay-area-window-replacement-choosing-a-good-window-company/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/bay-area-window-replacement-choosing-a-good-window-company/#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2013 23:10:33 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=448 Choosing a good contractor for window replacement is a serious matter. If you choose a sub-par window replacement company, it could end up costing you a lot in time, money, and effort. In addition, you could end up with leaky or drafty windows. Since choosing a good Bay Area window replacement company is so essential, there are some tips to follow to make the job easier.

Confirming a contractor’s license is the first step in choosing someone to perform window replacement. In California, the Contractors State License Board can be an extremely helpful resource. You can use the website (www.cslb.ca.gov) for a number of things, including checking to see if your contractor is licensed. As well as checking to see if a contractor has a valid license, there are sections about laws and regulations regarding construction, how to negotiate a clear contractor, and how to both avoid and deal with any disputes that may come up. Consumers can also check the current licensing status of a contractor by calling 1-800-321-CSLB. Besides simply determining if the contractor is properly licensed, you can find out how long the license has been held so that you have a better idea of how experienced the contractor is.

Other sites that can help in choosing a good window company for Bay Area window replacement are websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau. They all serve slightly different purposes. For example, Yelp and Angie’s List have user reviews which can be very helpful, but it is a good idea to look at the overall rating. Some people may, for example, give unusually high or low ratings without even having received a service, while others are more honest. However, the overall rating can be helpful, and you can look through comments to see what people specifically liked and didn’t like about a contractor’s work.

The Better Business Bureau can service two purposes. First of all, consumers can check the Bay Area website (www.goldengate.bbb.org) to see whether or not a contractor specializing in window replacement is a member of the Bureau. In addition, you can check ratings and see if there are any outstanding complaints about a certain business. Working with a contractor who has a high number of complaints or very low ratings is not generally recommended. This is usually a little more serious than the above options, as the consumer would have had to put in an official complaint for it to show up.

References or testimonials are an even better way to choose a good window and patio door company. If the company will provide references of people who have had similar work done, it is ideal because they can answer all your questions about what went well, what they would have changed, and how efficient the contractor was in replacing the windows, and anything else you may need to know. Another thing to ask is if the contractor started and finished on time.

When you choose a Bay Area window replacement company, ask carefully about start and end dates, how carefully they follow them, and what sort of guarantees or warranties are offered. Windows are clearly an important part of the home and one that you don’t want to be out of place or out of date for very long, so don’t be afraid to set clear expectations and find out if your windows can be replaced when you want them to be. Ask also about what types of windows will be best for your home – a good contractor will explain in detail what materials are best, and not have a one-size-fits-all solution.

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What is the Difference Between a Glazier and Window Replacement? http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-glazier-and-window-replacement/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-glazier-and-window-replacement/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 17:05:27 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=444 Window replacement can be a tricky term for many consumers, who may be unsure of which professional to call in a particular situation. Knowing the difference between a glazier and a window replacement company can help any homeowner who has an issue with their window to know who to call for help. Since you want to get any window problems taken care of as soon as possible, it’s a good idea to figure out the difference well in advance of any incidents.

A glazier is the name for a professional who replaces glass – whether it be windows, doors, showers, or anywhere else in a home or business. If you have a broken window – whether a rock went through a glass door or one pane of glass came loose and broke, a glazier is the person you want for the job. They can find the right size and shape glass for what is needed and fit it into the existing pane or frame.

Window replacement, on the other hand, involves replacing the entire window, including the framing. This may be in order to put in double- or triple-paned windows or to replace one type of window with another. For example, a homeowner may decide that he or she is tired of paying so much to keep their house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Double-paned windows can combat this difficulty, and in some areas, triple-paned windows are even better. Window replacement professionals can do this, along with recommending which type of windows are best.

Vinyl windows are quickly becoming some of the most popular windows in window replacement, for a variety of reasons, including the high efficiency, the low cost, and the lack of any necessary maintenance. Aluminum, fiberglass, and wood windows all have their advantages as well, so if you are replacing a window and not just the glass in it, it is important to go to a reputable window replacement company and find out what might be best for your home.

Here at Montgomery Sansome, we specialize in window replacement. If you are looking for a new style of window, or if your old window framing needs to be replaced, we can help you determine what style and materials are best for your home and your budget. There are many different window styles and frame materials that are available. We can likely help lower your power bills as well!

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Differences Between Skylight and Window Installation http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/differences-between-skylight-and-window-installation/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/differences-between-skylight-and-window-installation/#comments Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:41:49 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=441 Skylights and windows serve many of the same purposes. They both let light in to brighten up a room. Most windows and some skylights open – although this is far more common with windows. The process for installing skylights, however, is much different than that for installing windows. Many professionals actually consider installation of skylights to be easier than that of windows, which seems strange to a layperson but has some valid reasons behind it.

It is a little intimidating for many homeowners to consider cutting a hole in the roof, even for something as beautiful and functional as a skylight. People are often afraid of leaks, but as the technology and materials for skylights have gotten better, leaks do not tend to be a problem, at least not when skylights are properly installed. A skylight can bring a whole new level of light into a home and even increase the value of a home.

Today’s skylights are engineered especially to prevent leaks. The materials tend to be more durable and of higher quality than in the past, and come with flashing kits. These flashing kits are matched to the skylight and work for tile, shingles, or metal roofing, and prevent leaks. This way the roof is sealed and moisture cannot enter the home.

Installing a skylight involve first choosing if you want a frame in place or a curb-mounted skylight. They each have pros and cons but the basic difference is that a curb-mounted skylight sits higher than the roof line while a frame in place skylight is flush with the surface of the roof. A hole must be cut in a roof and a frame built. Then either a curb must be built or brackets, depending on which type of skylight is being built. For a curb-mounted skylight, you must also cut a ceiling opening and a light shaft. There are many more steps, of course, to installing a skylight, but this shows some of the unique aspects of skylight installation.

Window installation is usually done as a replacement for other windows, not a brand-new window being put in. When this happens, much of the hardware, such as the sashes, must be removed, so that the new window can fit inside the area allotted for it. In both skylight and window installation, poorly installed glass and hardware can waste energy and cause excessive power bills. Installing a window where none was located before is much more difficult.

Installation of both windows and skylights should be left to professionals. In order to reduce problems in the future, professional installation is recommended so that nothing leaks, falls apart, or gets drafty. Skylight installation is trickier than window installation for amateurs due to the location and the fact that it’s difficult to do work on the roof without proper experience and tools.

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The Why and How of Moisture Sealing Windows http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/the-why-and-how-of-moisture-sealing-windows/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/the-why-and-how-of-moisture-sealing-windows/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 21:38:39 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=436 Because moisture trapped in a home for long periods of time can weaken the structure of the building, preventing it from entering the home becomes your first line of defense. Prevention is really the best medicine. Stopping moisture before it can enter your home will ensure that your home’s foundation and structural integrity is preserved for years to come. To keep moisture from entering your home, there is a safe, easy and affordable way to accomplish this.

Damaged or poorly sealed windows in your home is not a good thing. In fact, poorly sealed windows can let in loads of moisture that can create a breeding ground for mildew and toxic molds, which could damage dry wall and your carpets. To see if you have poorly sealed windows in your home, look for condensation build-up between the window panes of every window in your home. If you find condensation build-up, then you’ve found a poorly sealed window.

Improperly sealed windows can increase your energy bill by letting a constant stream of cold air into your home, all day and all night. More cold air in your home means that you require more fuel/electricity to heat your home. Also, moisture built up from outside air flow into your home will promote mildew and mold growth around your damaged or poorly sealed windows, your rugs, dry wall or any other place it can find a place to grow.

It is important to fix all the poorly sealed windows in your home. Otherwise, mildew and toxic mold may start to grow around the leaky window seals or other places in your home. If you find any mold or mildew starting to build up, it is best to call a professional mold removal company. They will know how to remove the mold so it doesn’t return. Next you will want to hire a window installation company to replace the faulty windows. Understanding the why and how of checking your windows can save you money, and it can prevent mildew and toxic mold from taking root in your home. The first line of defense against moisture in your home is simple, properly seal your windows.

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Window Installation: Why Hire a Professional http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/window-installation-why-hire-a-professional/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/window-installation-why-hire-a-professional/#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2013 17:54:18 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=428 Depending on the type of home you own, its age and physical condition, it may become necessary at some point in time to consider replacing a window. Today, many people are replacing their windows with energy efficient windows, which are a type of insulating window. While some savvy homeowners, who have do-it-yourself home improvement experience, may try and tackle the job of installing a replacement window, it may be wise to hire a professional instead.

Why hire a professional window installer? A professional window installer will have the proper equipment and experience to install replacement windows in your home. While some homeowners enjoy the challenge of learning how to fix up their homes, when it comes to window replacement, often times they discover they lack the proper tools and know-how to get the job done. Many times, homeowners who have chosen to tackle home improvement jobs on their own end up paying more than they would have if they would have just hired a professional.

Installing and replacing windows require certain tools that can be pricey if you buy them yourself, which makes hiring a professional actually cheaper. Also, a professional window installer has the experience to overcome any unexpected problems that may arise. And, a professional can inspect other areas of a home – such as the outside walls – for any cracks that can cause drafts or damage to the window frame.

Hiring a professional can be extremely helpful. They can spot problems in your home that you may have overlooked, which could cause future damage to a new window. Only the trained eye of a professional window installer can detect such potential issues. Finding a professional window contractor, who possesses all the necessary equipment, for either repairing a window frame or installing a new energy efficient window, should be easy.

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Double Pane versus Triple Pane Windows http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/double-pane-versus-triple-pane-windows/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/double-pane-versus-triple-pane-windows/#comments Mon, 18 Feb 2013 17:50:44 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=425 Many people who are looking to make their home more energy efficient look first to windows, and with good reason. Windows can be the greatest reason for either heat or cool air (whichever is most desirable depending on the season) escaping from the home to the outdoors. This can be for many reasons, including window frames that are not airtight, windows that have been poorly installed, and having single paned windows in your home, among others. It is both a common and effective fix to replace single pane windows with either double or triple pane windows, but it can be difficult for homeowners to figure out on their own which are the best for their particular situation.

When replacing single pane windows and deciding about double pane versus triple pane windows, it can be tempting to go as far from single panes as possible. If you have been suffering from a cold winter with leaky windows that made the inside temperature feel no different than the outside temperature, it is tempting to go straight to triple pane windows. These windows have many advantages but are sometimes simply not necessary. In fact, in most parts of California, double pane windows are sufficient for energy efficiency and keeping down power bills.

Double and triple pane windows are available in basically every style you can think of. The difference between these and single pane windows is that instead of having one pane of glass, they have either two or three. This adds to the insulating properties of the windows, not so much because of the extra pane or panes of glass, but because of the air trapped in between the panes of glass. This may be air or may be a certain kind of gas, such as an inert gas like argon, that is even more insulating. Either way, the air or other gas provides more insulation.

Triple pane windows have two air pockets instead of one, as in double pane windows. While this sounds more efficient, you end up paying much more for this type of windows, and in many cases, it’s just not necessary. In very cold environments, triple pane windows can make a significant difference in warmth, insulation, and heating bills, but this is not necessary in most parts of California. Since we do not get such extreme weather in California, double pane windows are sufficient. This is good news for California homeowners, as they can save some money by not having to purchase triple pane windows.

Double pane windows have many advantages over single pane windows. They not only keep the home warmer in the winter, they also keep it cooler in the summer, and a more even temperature all year round. With this extra insulation in the windows, the home will be the same temperature near the window as in the rest of the room. While triple pane windows might offer even more insulation, it is usually not enough to make much of a difference in a mild climate like California.

The cost savings from installing double pane versus triple pane windows are significant, and double pane windows in California are enough to significantly lower power bills. Window replacement professionals, such as the experts at our company, can talk to you further about what is best for you and your home in the climate where you live. Contact us for more information about what is best for your situation and how we can help you save money on power bills while keeping your home comfortable.

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The Rich History of Bay Windows http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/the-rich-history-of-bay-windows/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/the-rich-history-of-bay-windows/#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2013 18:33:39 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=402 Bay windows have a long and rich history, showing up everywhere from medieval castles to modern American apartments. The term probably originates from the large windows that were located in the bay, or the area between the window frame and the interior wall, of a castle. This was often a dramatic looking area of the castle, with a high table or other type of dais standing in front of the window, where it could be best seen. While they had a medieval beginning, bay windows gained popularity in the Victorian era.

These windows tend to be very striking and beautiful, but they can also make small spaces appear larger and dramatically increase the amount of light in a room. In addition, bay windows tend to blur the visual boundary of a wall, making it look like the room opens right up into the open air. In fact, they can feel much like a porch or a balcony, only inside and safe from the weather.

Much of the effect of a bay window is visual, making the room feel larger and the wall farther away, but a bay window does actually provide more space as well. This extra space can be used for storage, as a bench for reading, or for many other purposes. Many bay windows are located in living rooms or sitting rooms, where they provide a comfortable place for curling up with a cup of tea and a book.

There are a few different types of bay windows, but they all bow out from the main wall, forming a space that can be round, square, or polygonal. The most traditional form of bay windows have angles of 90, 135, or 150 degrees, but many variations exist. Bay windows can be sash windows or casement windows, for example.

Box bay windows have a 90 degree angles to make a box shape. They include one large window with smaller windows on either side, often with storage or a sitting area in the middle. Other types of bay windows may have more sides and wider angles, such as 135 or 150 degree angles.

Bow windows are just curved versions of bay windows. They contain at least four window panes in a semicircle. This version of the bay window started during the Georgian period and became quite fashionable in Regency-style architecture. They were often used in English country homes, because they provided a view without the discomfort of being outside during cold and damp weather, which the English countryside has a lot of. A circle bay window is an even more pronounced bow window.

Oriel windows are another type of rounded bay window. They tend to exist on the upper floors of buildings and do not reach down to the ground level, but are closer to enclosed balconies. During the Gothic period, they often contained home chapels. In Middle Eastern architecture, these windows are common also, and are called mashrabiyas.

In England, bay windows gained popularity in the late 1800s, due to some changes in London building codes that allowed houses to have windows that weren’t even with the exterior wall. In the United States they became popular around the same time and have remained fairly common ever since. Today, bay windows can be found in many different styles of architecture as people tend to be instinctively drawn to them, whether or not they know the history.

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Energy Efficiency in Vinyl Windows http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/energy-efficiency-in-vinyl-windows/ http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/energy-efficiency-in-vinyl-windows/#comments Fri, 01 Feb 2013 19:59:32 +0000 Window Expert http://www.a1qualitywindows.com/?p=367 Having an energy efficient home and cutting costs is something that is important to most people. If you have noticed that your energy bill is much higher than you feel it should be or that your heater is running more often, one of the causes could be your windows.

The windows, doors, and walls insulate your home and work to keep the heat in and the cold out. If any of these materials, especially the windows and doors, are not of good quality because they are old or are cheaply made, they will not insulate your home as well as they should.

All of these different materials on the market today have an energy efficiency rating. This rating is there to tell you how efficient the material is and gives you the option to choose the one that is best for your home. Choosing the right material for your home can help in reducing your energy bills.

Inspect Your Windows
Checking how insulated your windows are is one way to get a feel for how energy efficient they are. The best time to check the insulation is on a cold day. It is a simple process of taking your hand and feeling along the edges of each window. If there are any places of the windows that are not well insulated and are letting cold air in, you will be able to feel it. Depending on how poor the insulation is, the issue may be fixed by adding insulation to the window by sealing it. But it is best to consult a window installation company to find the best solution. Most times, the best way to make your home more energy efficient is to replace the old windows with new ones. This should help with saving money on your energy bills.

Sealing Your Windows
Applying sealant to a window that is leaking in your home is an easy, quick fix, but really just a bandage and could be actually covering up bigger issues such as water damage around the frame and the surrounding walls. Although this is a quick and much cheaper fix, it is temporary and will not solve the big issue of making your home as energy efficient and potentially be doing structural damage if the underlying problem is not treated.

Replacing Your Windows
Often times even after you have weather proofed and sealed your windows, they are not fully insulated enough to keep the heat in and the cold out. In order to make sure to solve the energy efficiency problem, it becomes necessary to replace the windows in order to ensure the cold air stays outside. It is best to have a window installation company come to your home so you can decide which windows work best for you and your home.

Consider Vinyl Windows
There are numerous options for windows on the market today. But one that often stands out above others are vinyl windows. Vinyl windows are made from a plastic called PVC making them more energy efficient, durable and maintenance free, giving a variety of reasons to choose them over other types, such as those made out of aluminum, wood, or fiberglass.

* Energy Efficiency – Vinyl Windows are more insulated than aluminum, wood, or fiberglass windows. So they are sure to provide more energy efficiency for your home.

* Durable – Vinyl windows are able to withstand hot and cold temperatures along with moist and dry climates. Its frames will not warp, fade, or bend out of shape from any of the harsh weathers. Once you install vinyl windows, you will not have to worry about them for many years to come.

* Maintenance Free – One of the biggest reasons to consider purchasing vinyl windows is the lack of maintenance they need. After the windows are installed, you will not have to worry about painting them every couples of years or watching for water damage or rotting. Vinyl windows are able to withstand the weather and the different climates making them virtually maintenance free.

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