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What Every Homebuyer Should Know

What’s Better, Wood or Vinyl Replacement Window?

In the article below we’re going to take a closer look at the 2 leading types of replacement window installation in Chicago market today, including vinyl and wood replacement windows in order to help you learn more about them and decide on the type that best suits your needs. No matter if it’s about adding value to your property, updating your decor or improving energy efficiency, there are many benefits to replacing your old windows. When we’re going to compare the 2 types of windows, we’re going to talk about the window’s bones, not the locks, handles, grilles and so on. But first, we’re going to give you can overview of each type and only then proceed with comparing them.

Vinyl windows

Home Buyers Digest Vinyl WindowVinyl windows are made from poly vinyl chloride which is a plastic material that was developed in the seventies as a way to compete against the costlier wood windows. Even though they are quite young on the market, PVC windows are now sold in the same number or even better than wood windows. While initially people were able to easily identify between vinyl windows and wooden windows, these days, thanks to the advancements in technology, doing so is a bit more difficult.

In terms of price and durability, vinyl windows are almost fifty percent cheaper than wood windows and they can last for more than two decades. Since they feature insulation in the frame, vinyl windows are very energy efficient and can greatly reduce your energy bill. But even though they have so many benefits, it seems that wood windows still remain one of the best choices you can consider today. But why is that?

Wood Windows

Home Buyers Figest Wood WindowsWood windows are by far the most popular and best windows you can get and there are many companies these days that offer aluminum cladded or composite exteriors. Not only are wood windows energy efficient, durable and beautiful, but given the wood interior you can easily use them in order to greatly improve your home’s aesthetics. Better yet, you can get these windows in as many designs and colors as you want since there are plenty of companies these days, such as Andersen for instance, that offer super custom wood windows.

But what will interest you more though is the fact that these windows have a warranty of up to five decades which is also transferable from one owner to another. This means that if you plan on selling them to your in-laws for instance, the warranty won’t be voided. Thanks to the exterior cladding and the natural strength of wood, you won’t have to worry about contortion due to cold and hot temperatures or weather damage. On the other hand, if you plan on getting wood windows that aren’t cladded on the exterior, you have to repaint them once every few years.

In terms of energy efficiency, wood windows are superior to vinyl windows and thanks to the availability of Fibrex exteriors from manufacturers such as Andersen, they require almost the same level of maintenance as vinyl windows. Yet with all these advantages, there certainly needs to be a catch and that catch is the price. Wood windows are definitely pricier compared to their vinyl counterparts and that’s because they have many benefits and are costlier to manufacture.

What type of window should I get?

When it comes to choosing the right windows for your needs, it all boils down to what you’re looking for. For instance, if your budget is low, then vinyl windows are a no brainer. If you want your windows to add resale value to your home, look beautiful and last for a long time, wood windows are your best choice.

Keep in mind that cladded exteriors refers to what’s covering the exterior of the window. If you get wood windows, then the part that’s exposed to the elements will be wrapped with a special material meant to protect the window.

A lot of window manufacturers use aluminum cladding since it causes less problems due to the exact aluminum conducts cold or heat. Composite claddings are the best, since they’re maintenance free and don’t conduct cold or heat.

If you heard about Andersen Windows, then you should know they came up with a type of composite called Fibrex which is currently the very best protection used for windows and it’s definitely recommended to anyone who cares about quality, longevity and durability.

Watch this short video that explains everything:


What are House Entry Door Choices you Have


HomeBuyersDigest-Main Choices for Choosing Your House Entry DoorSince there many types of entry doors, including various trends and styles, choosing the right one is very important to make sure your home looks stylish, modern and classy. You might get lucky and get the perfect door when you purchase your home but chances are this will not be THE door you’ve been dreaming about.

If you’re planning on making a great first impression on everyone who comes to visit you, then you may want to consider replacing your front door (which honestly looks like an old cereal box) with a new one as soon as possible. While you may think that doing so is expensive, it’s actually not. There are many types of doors out there you can consider and each of them have a different style, design, finish and are made using a certain kind of material. As a result, no matter your budget, if you know where to look, you’re certainly going to find one that perfectly suits your needs.

Entry door prices can be insane

In terms of price, entry doors can cost as little as one hundred and fifty dollars for regular 6-panel steel doors and up to thirty five hundred dollars for solid wood doors featuring art glass windows. For installing a basic door though, you should not forget about the installation costs which are about three hundred dollars. However, if you want to go for made to order doors that feature unusual sizes, custom craftsmanship and rounded tops, the cost can be as high as ten thousand dollars.

It’s a given that when you add a new entry door to your home, it’s certainly going to add more value to the property. For instance, a new steel entry door brings returns of 130% for the installed cost, which is definitely good news is you plan on selling your home.

Steel House entry doors

Being available for a relatively low cost, a steel entry door combines stability and strength and it also offers great weather resistance and security. However, solid wood doors and fiberglass doors are solid choices as well.

Even though you’ll find the word steel incorporated in the name, steel doors aren’t basically made of solid metal. Their core is made from polyurethane with a sixteen to twenty four gauge steel skin. The material used for the core is a great insulator, so that’s going to save you a lot of money on your energy bill.

In terms of paint, these doors come either with factory applied paint or primed. In some cases, they can also feature a vinyl coating that looks like wood grain. However, on the downside, steel doors are prone to dings and dents, but also rust and scratches.

HomeBuyersDigest - Various enrty door choices


Copper, bronze and aluminum clad doors

If you’re all for a special architectural accent and durability, then wood doors clad in bronze, copper and aluminum are what you’re looking for. These types of doors feature factory applied, but also tough finishes that make them look stylish, but also increase their durability. For instance, aluminum clad doors have factory applied finishes and come with a standard warranty of at least ten years. They are also weather resistant and look simply amazing.

Bronze and copper clad doors on the other hand feature finishes that constantly change due to oxidation which can easily hide scratches. In terms of cost, they’re about 40% cheaper than all wood doors.

Inexpensive and forever lasting

For a cheaper option, you should know that fiberglass doors are a good choice and they sit, in terms of cost, between wood and steel doors. However, they’re better than these 2 in terms of maintenance and toughness. Their core is covered with a single layer of fiberglass that’s impervious to insects, rot and moisture and they’re also have a high energy efficiency.

Take a look at the fiberglass doors from a leading door and window manufacturer Pella –

Regardless if you’re living in a region with extreme temperature changes, these doors won’t warm and can also be easily painted if you want. As for the cost, they can be purchased anywhere from two hundred and up to twenty five hundred dollars per door. By going with a fiberglass door though, your ROI compared to a steel door is only 65%.

With Character

In case you’re the type who goes for style, warmth and character, then getting wood doors is a no brainer. Wood doors have a natural beauty and can easily look great with the majority of properties.

However, if you do like wood doors, expect to pay anywhere between four hundred and up to four thousand dollars per door. The most common types of wood include clear fir, mahogany, cherry and oak, but depending on where you get them from, exotic options may be available. In case you’re someone who care about the environment though, it’s best to get these doors from a manufacturer that has an FSC certification.

But while wood doors are undoubtedly one of the most stylish choices you can consider, they do require frequent maintenance, especially if you live in areas with lots of sun and/or humidity. As a result, you’ll need to factor in the cost of touching up your doors every 2-3 years.

Hi tech

Entry doors can be purchased separately, yet most of the times they come as door systems which mean they include all the required cutouts for deadbolts and latches, hinge mortises and framework. Also, finished entryway systems may be sixteen feet in width and have the same height as well.

And if you want, the doors can be all glass, solid and everything in between with an unlimited selection of art glass and grills. Therefore, if you want something unusual, then expect the price for your doors to significantly increase.

HomeBuyersDigest - More various entry door choices


Simply Tough!

Last but not least, depending on where you live, you need to make sure that the doors you get are able to withstand high winds, but also the impact of objects that can be carried by the wind. For instance, laminated construction with fiberglass mesh that’s sandwiched between plywood layers is going to ensure that rails and wood styles will not fail on impact. To add strength, steel rods should also be embedded in the frame.

And while some manufacturers may mention the fact that their doors are impact resistant, make sure that the doors meet the standards set by the AAMA for resistance to impact. If they lack this certification, then it’s time to move on and look for purchasing doors from a different manufacturer.