Do you have skills? Are you the reason there is a shiny new bathroom sink or beautiful ceramic tile on the kitchen floor? We have no doubt you can handle a do-it-yourself project. The question we want you to ask isn’t, “whether or not you should take on that door installation project,” but “whether or not you really want to.” Here are a few things to consider before strapping on your work belt and getting out your jigsaw.

Weird things can go wrong with any project, and door installations are no exception. When you install a door, especially an entry door, you need to make sure everything is measured out properly. You’re the one responsible for every little detail. If you miss anything, you may have:

  • Doors that stick when you swing or slide them open.

  • Doors that bang on objects inside the home.

  • Doors that scrape or bang items outside the home.

  • An entryway that doesn’t hold the heat in during the winter.

  • An entryway that doesn’t hold the cold in during the summer.

  • New doors that don’t take full advantage of all the energy savings a new door can provide. Leaks aren’t the only thing you have to worry about.

  • Doors that aren’t secure. When someone comes to break into your home, you want to know that those doors are going to keep them out.

  • A door frame that has gaps for ants, cockroaches, and other pests to crawl in through.

  • A joint gap that lets water into your walls. We don’t need to tell you how bad that is. Water damage is one of the worst possible outcomes that can result from an installation mistake.

  • An entryway that has issues no one else will probably see, but they drive you crazy every time you get home from work.

  • A back or knee injury. Unloading and installing doors can be a challenge, and injuries can happen. It is even worse when they happen to someone who has come over to donate their time to your do-it-yourself project.

  • A big fat dent or scratch. Yup. It happens. When you install those doors yourself, you could end up with an unsightly ding.

We have no doubt you can handle that new door installation project. But, if you want a worry free installation that saves you all the work and frustration of putting those new doors in, we’d love to help. Give us a call at Window Nation and come take a look at our incredible selection of front doors as well as our french and sliding doors.

Windows are a prominent part of your home. Color, size and placement are very important. They are a source of ventilation and a light. Replacing your old windows with new vinyl replacement windows will update your home and make it more energy efficient. Not to mention, increase your curb appeal. But what do you do with these old windows that have been removed from your home? Do you just recycle them? Here are a few ideas to repurpose those old windows by using them in your home décor.

  • Turn your old window into a family activity and message board! If your old window frames are divided, you can use the frame as a central message and planning station for your family. Here’s how;

  • Paint the frame to match your home décor colors.

  • Add some cup hooks to the bottom of the frame. Cup hooks help keep track of car keys! You can even hang a calendar from one of these hooks!

  • Put a piece of thin cork board in one of the sections for use with thumb tacks. Attach the cork board to a piece of cardboard and then glue to the window frame.

  • Put a small piece of chalk board in another of the windows for writing notes and grocery lists. You can make your own piece of chalk board with special chalk board paint on a piece of cardboard.

  • Fill other sections with photos attached to cardboard, fabric or leave open.

Fill a window frame, with or without glass in it, with scrap booking paper or pieces of fabric to decorate any room in your home. By adding colors that go with your bedding this can be a nice large piece to hang above a headboard. Or, add patterns that match your mud room, place a small shelf on the top, add a couple coat hooks to the side and you have a great conversation starter in your mud room that can hold umbrellas and hats!

Use a glass-free window frame for a fun, custom jewelry holder. You can add simple hooks or cabinet knobs or even buttons for hanging bracelets and necklaces. By stringing a small wire or string between the small sections you can hang bracelets, earrings and more. This can be a fun and whimsical addition to any girl’s room.

New windows are a great way to improve your house in many ways. Just because your old windows are no longer doing what they were originally designed to do doesn’t make them useless. Use your imagination and repurpose those windows to add fun, elegance and design to your home décor.

Summer is coming to an end and fall is not far off. Is your home ready for the cooler fall months? Fall is a busy season for most families with kids going back to school. Preparing your home for fall can be one of the last chores on your to do list. Fall is a great time to get some of these home maintenance chores accomplished. Take a minute and look around your home to see what you might need to do to prepare for fall weather. Things are getting cooler, leaves are changing colors and getting ready to fall, your home’s landscape is changing greatly. Is your home ready for this change in weather?

Here are three helpful ideas to get started preparing your home for fall:

  1. Clean windows: The end of summer is a great time to clean your windows before it gets too cold out. Some windows are even easier to clean from the inside because they flip in so you can clean them from inside your home.

  2. Clean out gutters: Cleaning out your gutters at this time of year is essential. It prepares your gutters for the leaves that are coming. Fall is a big time for leaves to fall. Cleaning your gutters out before these leaves fall helps you get a head start on your gutter maintenance. This will help to prevent them from getting clogged over the colder months. If your gutter clogs, it could freeze and create water and moisture build up in your walls.

  3. Do some general lawn/landscape maintenance: This is a great time to do some general landscaping maintenance around your home. Your lawn could use some extra seed and fertilizer to make it through the colder months. Your garden could also use some extra fertilizer to help root growth. This is a great time to trim and prune shrubs before the colder months. Taking care of your lawn and gardens before the colder months will help you have an easier spring.

These are just a few things you can do to prepare your home for fall and the colder weather. For more information and help accomplishing this maintenance, contact your local lawn care professionals today. Preparing your home for fall can seem like a very daunting task. Getting help with this task from a professional can make all the difference. Get your home ready for fall and don’t let the cold weather affect your enjoyment of this new season.

There is just something empowering about being able to say I built that with my own two hands. Do-It-Yourself home improvement projects are becoming more and more popular these days. Especially if your home is on a tight budget, like many are with today’s economy. Projects that you can do yourself can save you the expense of labor and give you a sense of accomplishment. There are some set backs to DIY projects if you have not done the proper research and invested the appropriate amount of time, they can be dangerous and more costly in the long run.

Here are a few DIY safety tips for getting things started on the right track. Take a minute to look these helpful tips over before diving into any DIY project.

  • Safety First: The number one thing to be aware of when starting a DIY job is unsafe work conditions. It is easy to think you have to cut corners on safety when doing a DIY project. Safety is the most important part of any home improvement project. It could not only make the difference between getting the job done but also it could save your life. It is important to read all safety material when using power tools, have a spotter available when using ladders or heavy equipment and also go through the right safety routes when dealing with things like electrical wiring.

  • Tools: Having the correct tools for the project will not only get the job done faster but also keep things safer. You can purchase or sometimes even rent the right tools to get the job done. Make sure you read directions fully before using any unfamiliar tools. Safety is always the first step to getting any project done. If you are unsure about how to use a tool ask a local hardware store clerk for tips and ask a friend to be present when using major equipment.

  • Materials: having the correct material for your DIY project is essential to getting the job done right the first time. You can ask professionals at your local hardware store for help picking proper material. It is not always best to choose the cheapest material. This could slow down the project later on. Asking for help and choosing the right material for your job is the best place to start picking material.

  • Measuring right: Making proper measurements for your DIY project is essential for a good outcome. If measurements are off by an inch it can hurt the projects outcome. The rule of thumb is to always measure twice and cut once. If your measurement is off you may need to buy more material or start the project over.

  • Building Permits: Having the proper building permits are very necessary to any project. If you have not secured the proper permit and you build on an addition. The town will tell you to take down the whole project and redo it with the appropriate permits.

These helpful tips are just the beginning of your DIY project. Local hardware store staff can help assist you further with project questions. Safety is the number one concern when starting any DIY project. Keep things safe and enjoy the learning experience.

The floors creak, the dishwasher leaks and the roof could use replacing. As a homeowner, you’ll run into a number of home improvement tasks—no matter what type of home you live in. While some jobs are too tough to tackle on your own, you don’t need a handyman for every home maintenance task. You can easily handle these five projects yourself.

1.       Read your electricity meter. Although your utility is responsible for reading your electricity meter, it’s important for you to know how to do the job too. Monitoring your energy consumption each month can give you an idea of what your electricity bill will cost and perhaps even motivate you to save energy.

Some utilities can’t make it out to every home to read every meter each month. Instead, they estimate your energy consumption and bill you accordingly. Later, when a meter reader has a chance to record your actual energy consumption, the utility will make adjustments to your bill to ensure you’re not paying too little or too much for your energy. However, if you want to make sure your energy expense is accurate, the best thing to do is to read your meter each month. Not sure what to do? Check out this short video to learn how to read your meter.

 2.       Fix a leaky toilet. A toilet that leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water and increase your water bill. It’s important to stop the leak as soon as possible, however, there’s no need to call a plumber. Most toilet leaks are a quick fix. One of the most common problems is the toilet chain. If it’s too short it can keep the flapper, or stopper valve, from closing completely and allow water to leak. On the other hand, if the chain is too long, it can get caught underneath the flapper, causing a small leak. Alternatively, you may just have a dirty flapper that needs to be cleaned or replaced. If those quick fixes don’t work, here’s a simple guide to help you repair a larger problem.

 3.       Maintain your air conditioner. Heating and cooling represent more than 50 percent of the average home’s electricity bill. If you’re looking to save on air conditioning costs, its import to maintain your AC so it stays efficient. You should replace the air filters in your home regularly—every three months or sooner. Keeping the filter clean helps keep your ducts clean and ensures the unit works efficiently. It’s also important to clean the actual air conditioner. At least once a year, clean off any leaves, dirt or other debris that has built up on the unit.

 4.       Caulk around windows. Even when your air conditioner is working as efficiently as possible, there could be air leaks around your windows that waste your expensive cooling efforts. A quick and inexpensive solution is to caulk these problem areas. Examine the window frames for areas where caulk has dried and cracked. Fill these areas in with new caulk to prevent air leaks.

While caulking is an excellent short-term solution to energy waste, you might want to consider replacing your windows for more energy efficient options. ENERGY STAR-labeled windows are twice as efficient as windows manufactured 10 years ago.

 5.       Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is the ultimate energy-saving gadget. By replacing your outdated thermostat with a programmable version, you’ll be able to program heating and cooling to fit your schedule and save the most money. More advanced models can even learn your heating and cooling habits and adjust automatically to optimize for energy savings. Although it may seem like an unnecessary expense, a programmable thermostat could save you more than $180 a year. Installing one is easy, just follow these steps

This article was written by SaveOnEnergy.com.