In these uncertain times, it’s difficult to prepare for the next day, let alone the next few months. While this summer might look different than years past, it’s important to prepare your home as usual, cleaning the house and performing any necessary maintenance before temperatures rise. As we spend more time in our homes, consider starting the following projects to prepare your home for the summer months.

Inspect the Home’s Exterior

The cold months are hard on your home. Harsh weather conditions can damage your home’s exterior, particularly your roof and siding. It’s important to thoroughly inspect your home to get an in-depth look at any areas that require maintenance. Check your roof for signs of damage, including missing or cracked shingles. Consider having a professional inspect your roof for further damage – if left unrepaired, it may need to be replaced.

When inspecting your siding, watch for areas of buckling, bubbling, or cracking – all signs that your siding needs to be replaced. Cracked siding is particularly problematic, as it allows water to reach the surface of your home. Left unrepaired, this could cause significant damage to your home.

In addition, be sure to look for any changes to the color of your siding. If your siding is stained or discolored, you could repaint or power wash it for a quick fix; however, you may want to consider replacing it with new vinyl siding in the future.

Inspect Your Home’s Interior

Your home undergoes significant wear-and-tear in the cooler months. Before the temperatures heat up, inspect your windows and doors for signs of wear. Damaged seals and poor caulking are some of the most common issues homeowners will face. In most cases, these issues can be easily be fixed with seals and weather stripping. However, keep an eye on these issues – what seems like a small problem now could be a big problem in the future.

It may seem simple, but make sure to open the windows in your home and make note of the ones that are difficult to open or close. It’s important to repair or replace these windows as soon as possible, as this poses a risk to the safety of those living in your home.     

It’s also important to take note of any drafts you feel from your windows.  Drafty windows could let the cool air from your air conditioning escape while letting hot, humid air in causing your energy bills to skyrocket. If you notice drafts coming through your windows, we recommend replacing them with new, energy efficient windows before the temperatures get too hot.

Deep Clean Your Home

Keeping your home clean has been especially important the past few months. While it’s important to keep commonly used surfaces sanitized, be sure to clean other areas of your home, like your windows and underneath furniture.

We recommend cleaning your windows with a water and vinegar-based solution. Begin with the outside of the window and work your way inwards, making sure to clean the sill and the frame. You may find your windows look cloudy even after being cleaned – in some cases, it may be time to replace them.

Be sure to also clean under furniture, including couches, tables, and entertainment centers. If you notice any signs of fading or discoloration from the sun, consider purchasing new window treatments to block out the sun. If your windows are old, it may be time to replace them. Replacement windows are equipped with modern window class that allows sunlight into your home while blocking damaging UV rays.

When cleaning, be sure to keep the windows open for increased ventilation. Circulating fresh air throughout your home will remove pollutants that have been trapped inside including germs and allergens like dust and pet dander.

Ready to Get to Work?

If you found issues with your windows, doors, or siding when completing your home assessment, Window Nation is here to help. Our team of exterior design consultants will meet with you to discuss your project and provide you a quote good for up to six months. For more information, visit WindowNation.com.

These are challenging and unprecedented times, and we understand you may be feeling anxious about letting people into your most precious asset – your home. It’s more important now than ever to follow CDC guidelines by cleaning and sanitizing your home to prevent the spread of illness. Homeowners are encouraged to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their faces, taking extra precautions if someone with an increased risk of contracting the virus also lives in the home. Opening windows for added ventilation is also recommended – but how does this help?

Opening your windows will allow fresh air in while letting air that’s been circulating throughout your home for days or even weeks out. As we spend more time in our homes, the air inside is becoming stale quicker than usual. No matter how strictly you practice social distancing, airborne germs could still spread throughout your home if nothing is being done to air your home out. This is particularly problematic with COVID-19 because the illness is spread through particles in the air.

Simply opening your windows for a few minutes each day will limit the spread of germs, and potentially COVID-19, within your home.

If your windows are old or difficult to open, it may be time to replace them. However, we understand you may not feel comfortable having guests in your home at this time.

At Window Nation, we’re taking steps to ensure you can still begin your window replacement project while also being mindful of current events. Our team is committed to following guidelines set by the CDC, government agencies, and local health departments. As a result, we have enacted the following procedures:

  • Instituting additional cleaning protocols for all common areas in the workplace, tools, vehicles and equipment
  • Implementing COVID – 19 specific training and communication protocols at each of our locations to keep every employee briefed and up to date on the latest in recommendations and guidance to ensure our teams are doing everything possible to help mitigate the spread of the virus
  • Avoiding any and all direct contact with customers
  • Limiting all unnecessary travel

Additionally, we are offering virtual appointments in place of an in-home estimate for customers looking to take extra precautions against the spread of illness. Our team will meet with you over a videoconferencing app to discuss your project. Simply take a few photos of the outside of your home and an exterior design consultant will discuss your project with you, providing you a quote good for up to 6 months.

We understand these times are difficult and we’re grateful for those doing their part to prevent the spread of illness. As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to unfold, it’s important for all of us to do our part to flatten the curve. Taking simple steps, like opening your windows and getting fresh air, are an important part of stopping the spread of illness. For more information about COVID-19 prevention, visit CDC.gov.

What happens when you let a card-throwing magician hang out in your Cleveland office for the day? Your windows will become props for optical illusions and magic tricks, that’s what! We experienced the fun firsthand when we invited Cleveland-based magician Rick Smith Jr. to perform some magic at our office, and we weren’t disappointed.



Rick and his special guest, Kevin Lustgarten, used our Window Nation windows to demonstrate a few of their signature impossible trick shots. Our slider window was put up to the task when they threw a ball through its pane without breaking the glass in the Magician’s Window challenge. While we don’t recommend trying this at home, Rick and Kevin made it look easy – even we were baffled! While we were busy making magic happen with our windows, Rick was busy making actual magic happen. He began his career in magic at seven years old and started card-throwing in college. Based in Cleveland, Rick performs over 600 shows each year in addition to filming YouTube videos for over 300,000 followers. If you’re in the market for new windows, check out Rick’s video above to see how our glass stands up to the test. If you like what you see, schedule an in-home consultation with our exterior design consultants to receiving pricing and more information about your windows.

2019 is TOMORROW, and many of us will celebrate this fresh start with our friends or family. Window Nation wants to take a break from the vinyl windows/home improvement talk to share some exciting appetizer ideas for your New Year's Eve celebration.

Fun Fact: Did you know that eating black-eyed peas for New Years is a history-dated tradition? The concept originated in Africa, but it is believed to have spread throughout America during the Civil War. Survivors of the war depended on black-eyed peas as a major food source to get through the harsh Winter. Today, many people eat them as good luck for transitioning into the New Year. Some say you must eat 365 peas, one for each day of the year, but others believe one spoonful will do! If you don’t like black-eyed peas, don’t worry we still have you covered with some tasty recipe ideas below!

 

Delicious Buffalo Potato Wedges from GeniusKitchen.com

Buffalo Potato Wedges: (GeniusKitchen.com)

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes sliced in wedges
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • ½ cup of hot pepper sauce
  • Blue cheese salad dressing (or any dressing of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange potato wedges on sheet and drizzle with olive oil Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Bake at 375º for 30 minutes until tender.
  4. Remove pan from oven.
  5. Combine the hot sauce and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HIGH until melted.
  6. Stir to combine.
  7. Drizzle mixture over potato wedges and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with salad dressing for dipping.

 Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels recipe from KevinandAmanda.com

 

Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels (KevinandAmanda.com)

Ingredients:

  • ham and swiss cheese
  • pizza dough
  • butter
  • brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dijon mustard
  • poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Unroll your croissant dough and press out.
  2. Add slices of cheese and ham on top.  Roll up the dough and seal the seam.
  3. Cut the roll into slices.  Place on a greased pan.
  4. Combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until the glaze is smooth and combined, then pour over the rolls.
  5. Place in the fridge for 24 hours then bake uncovered for 25 mins or until brown. Enjoy!

 

Going out to eat instead? Here are three restaurants that serve great dishes:

Fire: This award-winning Cleveland, OH restaurant serves what you need from pizza to rainbow trout entrees.

Townsend: This French-style restaurant in Philadelphia, PA has some great menu pairing specials going on for the New Year’s celebration!

The Eagle Food & Beer Hall:  If you like sticking to the basics with a little twist, this is the place for you. You’re never too old for grilled cheese or sloppy joe!

Window Nation wishes you a very Happy New Year, Bon Appétit!

Fulton, MD – Window Nation is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017.

“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

“Receiving the Angie’s List Super Service Award is an incredible honor” says Co-Founder and CEO Harley Magden. “We pride ourselves on assisting our customers every step of the way, this award shows we’re succeeding in that goal”.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

About Window Nation: Window Nation was started in 2006 by two brothers who grew up in the window business- learning about home improvement, customer care, and the difference a quality window can make. The company provides an unsurpassed selection of premium windows, siding, and doors installed by highly skilled, licensed professionals. The company has replaced over 350,000 windows in Northeast Ohio, Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware, Southern New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia. Learn more here.

Fulton, MD – As the waters rushed down historic Main Street in Ellicott City on July 30th, 2016, Mrs. Yu only knew one thing – they had to find a way to stay alive. The flood waters were unlike anything local residents remembered, damaging hundreds of homes and businesses, many beyond repair. And while Mrs. Yu and her husband found safety, their home was devastated. Windows cracked, walls damaged, and furniture, clothing and personal items had to be completely replaced. Unfortunately, the family had no means to do it.

“The Yu family came to Howard County from China about 15 years ago,” said John McBeth, the founder of DreamBuilders, a local organization who works to repair homes damaged by natural disasters. “Mr. Yu is a handyman and the home was in desperate need of repair even before the floods came through. So we reached out to everyone in the Howard County community to pitch in and help. Window Nation was one of the first to volunteer.”

Window Nation’s Founder and CEO, Harley Magden, said that as soon as he heard about the family and the situation, he knew exactly why Window Nation was in the perfect position to help.

“Being in the historic district, it’s not easy getting replacement windows,” he explained. “We had to work with our factory to have custom windows built that replicated the historic nature of the original home, and then bring out a team familiar with historic homes to install them. But, this is a local family right in our backyard and we were more than happy to help.”

Headquartered in Fulton, MD, only about 5 miles from Ellicott City, Window Nation has partnered with DreamBuilders on similar projects in the past.  “Harley has a big heart!” said McBeth. “As soon as each project is over, he and his brother, Aaron immediately ask ‘what’s next?’.”

“We were so glad to see the new windows going in,” said Mrs. Yu through a translator. “I was moved by the love of Window Nation.”

To see photos and videos of the home repair, please visit https://www.windownation.com/window-nation-cares.

About Window Nation: Window Nation was started in 2006 by two brothers who grew up in the window business- learning about home improvement, customer care, and the difference a quality window can make. The company provides an unsurpassed selection of premium windows, siding, and doors installed by highly skilled, licensed professionals. The company has replaced over 350,000 windows in Northeast Ohio, Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware, Southern New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia. Learn more here.

 

Columbus, OH – With great fanfare and excitement, Window Nation is proud to announce the opening of their newest showroom and training facility in Columbus, Ohio. The nearly 4,000 square foot office extends the company’s Ohio footprint to most of the state, a matter of pride for Ohio-natives Harley & Aaron Magden, who founded the company in 2006. Their unique approach utilizes locally sources and manufactured windows, most of which are made in the state of Ohio.

“Growing up in Ohio and being big Buckeye fans, we always had our eyes on opening a Window Nation showroom in Columbus,” said CEO Harley Magden, who co-founded the company a decade ago with his brother, Aaron. “After servicing Northern Ohio for over a decade now, we’re excited to now be able to install quality windows, doors & siding to homeowners in Central Ohio.”

The new flagship location for all of central Ohio is located at 6155-H Huntley Road in Columbus. The office will be the home to the central Ohio sales team and led by Columbus Sales Manager Bill Simpson, a long-time resident familiar with the unique nature of the market.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the Window Nation Way of exceeding customer expectations every day to all of my Central Ohio neighbors,” he said.

For more information on the company and their newest office in Columbus, please visit the showroom page.

About Window Nation

Window Nation was started in 2006 by two brothers who grew up in the window business- learning about home improvement, customer care, and the difference a quality window can make. The company provides an unsurpassed selection of premium windows, siding, and doors installed by highly skilled, licensed professionals. The company has replaced over 350,000 windows in Northeast Ohio, Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware, Southern New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia. Learn more here.

 

Window Nation has been awarded a 2017 Top Workplaces honor by The Baltimore Sun Media Group. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by Energage, LLC (formerly WorkplaceDynamics), a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

Headquartered in Fulton, MD, Window Nation is honored to be awarded as a Top Workplace. “Seeing our employees share the same love for the Window Nation culture is absolutely amazing”, says Harley Magden, CEO and Co-Owner of Window Nation. “When we started Window Nation, we wanted it to be more than just a workplace, we wanted Window Nation to be a family”.

About Window Nation

Window Nation was started in 2006 by two brothers who grew up in the window business- learning about home improvement, customer care, and the difference a quality window can make. The company provides an unsurpassed selection of premium windows, siding, and doors installed by highly skilled, licensed professionals. The company has replaced over 350,000 windows in Northeast Ohio, Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware, Southern New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia. Learn more here.

 

With just over two years of service to the Leesburg community, Little Tree Huggers LLC has just received its second sustainable business award. 2016 earned them the Loudoun Sustainable Business Challenge Platinum award and this year they were awarded the County’s top award: the Loudoun Sustainable Business Excellence Award on October 19, 2017!

Little Tree Huggers LLC is Loudoun County Virginia’s first bilingual eco-green preschool with the goal of encouraging children to connect with nature, care for the environment, and celebrate and respect the diversity of our multicultural world. With a carefully planned farm-like setting, historic bank barn and chicken coop, plus plenty of surrounding wildlife, Little Tree Huggers is committed to offering daily opportunities to learn about and care for the environment. Lia D. Johnson, the founder and Director is passionate about the arts, embracing all cultures and taking care of our planet. With a quarter century of experience in early childhood education, Johnson is convinced that experiencing and learning about nature and the environment are integral to creating the culture of environmental stewardship our planet needs to survive. In her acceptance speech at Rehau North America in Leesburg, Johnson told the assembled group “yes we have solar, we have geothermal but what it’s really about is the children and our responsibility to teach them by setting the example.”

Little Huggers LLC accredited as Audubon at Home Wildlife SanctuaryAs early as December 2015, Johnson was quoted as saying they were striving to become the first carbon neutral pre-school in the area. “We believe that an eco-green environment is essential for healthy minds and bodies. We do our part daily to sustain the planet, celebrate the wonders of nature and set the example for other households and business in the area.” In order to achieve this goal, the Johnson’s had their property accredited as an Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary by the Loudoun County Nature Conservancy and converted their oil burning HVAC system to geothermal. They started with a solar panel providing ventilation for their chicken coop and immediately started looking for partners to assist with the expansion of their sustainable business vision

The challenges were daunting because it wasn’t only a 4,200 square foot preschool and home that needed to be carbon neutral, the property’s centerpiece – a 200 year old bank barn needed to be heated and cooled as well. Nothing was left off the table as the Johnson’s embarked on this journey. They even contacted local colleges and universities to see if a combination of solar, wind or even a micro-hydroelectric system would do the trick. Early on, however, it became clear that the first step was to convert their oil burning hvac system to geothermal. Solar is more widely known and marketed. However, the return on investment for geothermal is far better than solar in this region due to the low cost of electricity and limited sunlight compared to other parts of the country.

North American Geothermal, therefore, became Little Tree Huggers’ first sustainable business partner. And, although the savings were appreciable, the Johnsons felt strongly enough about setting the example for the local community that they went about restoring their bank barn with a combination of Amish Craftsmanship from Sylvan and Stoltfus Builders and the modern expertise of Window Nation who installed replacement windows, doors and insulated siding around the entire structure. The barn may have been on its way to being insulated but the heating and cooling challenge scared away more contractors than it attracted. Modern Mechanical finally came through with a high efficiency Mitsubishi mini-split system. The final challenge was solar and for this challenge the Johnson’s partnered with Prospect Solar to design and install a 32 panel solar array on the school’s 200 year old back barn at the end of 2016.

The results of all these efforts have been astounding! The twelve month operating cost to heat and cool the 4,200 square foot house and school with geothermal was only $576 and, with close to 11,000 kWh hours of solar energy production, average total energy cost over the last eight months has been right at $100 per month to heat, cool and power over 6,500 square feet of facilities! As the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce says “Go Green to Save Green.”

Little Tree Huggers brings together the best of the early childhood educational endeavors Johnson has worked with over the years. As a result, lessons in art, math, science, history, and Geography, as well as regular story time are held as much as possible outdoors. The preschoolers, aged three to six, are also taught Spanish daily, as the Argentine native incorporates Spanish into the daily curriculum. Another part of LTH’s mission is to expose the children to the various languages and cultures represented in each class. Children are encouraged to prepare projects highlighting family histories and backgrounds; and parents are further involved by participating in LTH’s Community Hero Program, a program throughout the year, which involves parents sharing their talents and family backgrounds with the children.

Image of a houseAn average day has the children spending much of the time, rain or shine, observing over 20 native birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects needing help due to loss of habitat as well as helping out on the working farm. They feed the animals — two ponies, two alpacas, three goats, a dozen hens, two ducks and two guinea hens — and help clean out the pens and put down fresh straw. In the mornings, they observe the abundance of flora and fauna as they pass the school’s windflower and pollinator gardens, beautiful forest glade, bridge and stream, on their way to the chicken coop to collect eggs - which in turn become the basis of a tasty cooking lesson later in the day. Lunches are spent further observing their surroundings and discussing the best ways to reuse, recycle or compost any waste. During playtime, the children’s creativity leads the way. You won’t see a multi-thousand-dollar playground at Little Tree Huggers. Instead, the children have access to a recycled wood tree house, green house, teepee, log cabin, nature observation deck, an obstacle course made out of natural stones, logs and branches, wooden blocks and lots and lots of free space. “Nature is what provides the opportunity for creative learning,” Johnson says.

As far as risk is concerned, LTH strictly follows Virginia Department of Social Services guidelines, maintains a student/teacher ratio of 6 to 1, and regularly involves parents in activities. In addition, as the curriculum is cumulative, progressively encouraging interaction with the animals and fostering responsibility, LTH offers a year round program for full time students, with a minimum of 6 hours a day and two weeks off in July. Tuition starts at $960 a month for six hours five days a week and goes up to $1,200 for ten hours a day five days a week.

Fulton, MD – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and like many other companies and organizations in the area Window Nation is stepping up to do their part. Field Marketers throughout Northeast Ohio, the Delaware Valley, and Western Pennsylvania will wear pink vests and pins to raise awareness of the cause as they go door-to-door meeting potential new customers. Exterior Design Consultants will also arrive to in-home consultations sporting pink lapel pins. Additionally, the company is donating to local efforts and organizations in each market.

People Serving People Serving the Community 2

“Two of our own have been impacted by this terrible disease,” said co-founder and CEO, Harley Magden. “It’s a cause that is very close to us, and one that we feel the need to support in a major way.”

Window Nation will be a major sponsor of “Pink Night” on Friday, October 6th from 6 to 8 PM in Maple Lawn, MD – the community in which the company’s headquarters office is located. The event is meant to bring women and men together to directly assist those in the community who are fighting breast cancer.

People Serving the Community 3

Window Nation will also support “Ninja For A Cure” on Friday, October 13th from 3 to 11 PM, an open house training event at 2020 Springdale Road, very near to the company’s Cherry Hill, NJ office. The event will raise money to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The company expects to add other events near each local office as the month goes on, as part of their Window Nation Cares initiatives.

“We are active members of our communities,” said co-founder and President, Aaron Magden. “Rather than just make a singular donation, we are taking the time to find events that actually connect us to and support people we know and organizations we trust.”

The company has offices across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Ohio, including Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.  As additional events are announced, the company will share information on their website and social media channels.