Bay Windows Add Character And Space To A Home

It was the perfect spot. Our California ranch style house had a large picture window in the front room. The window extended from a few inches above the floor to only a few inches below the cathedral ceiling. The walls and ceiling were redwood stained knotty pine and the floor was a matching hardwood. The window looked out over a flower bed, shrubs and the expanse of front lawn. It was the perfect window to be replaced with a bay window.

The window was nearly square. It was 72 X 72 inches. We considered a bow window, but elected to install a bay window instead. We just felt that our particular house looked better with three panel bay window rather than the multiple panel bow windows. Our intent was to fill the seat board of the bay with potted plants we had sitting in front of the current picture window. The new arrangement would give us a little more space in the room and improve the overall appearance of the house. It was time to go shopping.

Scratch vs. Pre-built

When we first got the idea of installing the new window, I began gathering plans for building a bay window. Thumbing through books and magazines, and the Internet search engines, I found several plans for building a bay window from scratch. I also found that undertaking such a project was going to be unnecessary. Most of the major window manufacturers, such as Pella, Milgard and Anderson make both completely pre-assembled bay windows as well as pre-built components for bay windows.

These days very few contractors will take on the project of building a bay or bow window from scratch. It simply isn’t practical when for the same or less money they can install a high quality pre-built window. If the contractors use pre-built windows or components for new house construction or renovation projects, then we could do the same for our remodeling project, we reasoned.

Installing a bay window can easily be a do-it-yourselfer project. Before you go the diy route, however, you may want to line up a contractor to help out if necessary. This is not going to be a job that you can complete during a Saturday afternoon. Chances are you are not going to finish it in a weekend, for that matter.

You are also going to want to line up some help. Bay windows and window components are heavy. At least they are too heavy for one person to manage.

Be sure and check out the weather forecast, including the long range forecast. Installing the window means opening a hole into your home. It can take a couple of days to get the new window in place and sealed. The last thing you want is for rain to come pouring in on your floor, walls or furniture.

Be sure and check your city or community construction codes. There may be special local requirements, such as having safety glass in low profile windows. You are probably going to need a building permit anyway, so that is also a good time to check the codes.

Tools and Materials Needed

The tools you will need for this project include a tape measure, a framing square that you can also use as a straight edge, a circular saw or miter saw, crow bars, drill and bits, level, stapler, utility knife, tin snips and a caulking gun.

The materials you will need include the bay window unit, the support brackets, nails, roofing paper, shingles, roofing nails, exterior grade silicone caulking and fiberglass insulation. You will also need 1X6 inch boards for the window skirting. If you are enlarging an existing window, or if you are installing the window in a space that was previously the wall, you will also need 2X4s for cripple studs and additional framing.

Basic Installation Steps

1.Establish window position in the wall. Remove the existing window. Measuring the bay window, mark on the exterior of the house the opening needed for the new window. Using your circular saw, cut the required opening.

2.Framing. Build the framing for the new window. This will likely include cutting through existing studs and putting in a new header, rough sill, jack studs and cripple studs.

3.Install the support braces. A window up to five feet wide will take a minimum of two support braces. A wider window will need three.

4.Set the window in place. Lift the bay window on the support braces and slide it into the rough opening. Shim as necessary to level the window. Anchor in place.

5.Build the window roof. Set the roof frame on top of the bay window unit and nail in place. Fill the space between the roof and the top of the bay window with insulation. Fasten the roof sheeting to the frame and cover with roofing paper. Install the drip edges and the flashing and then shingle.

6.Install the window skirting around the bottom of the window. Fill will insulation and then attach the skirt bottom to seal the underneath side of the window.

7.Seal the edges with silicone caulking.

This is a list of the basic installation steps and they have been abbreviated in the interests of simplicity and space. The window unit you buy will have complete installation steps. Take it from the voice of experience; it really makes the project go much more smoothly and it will be completed in much less time when you read and follow them.

In our case, I had two friends helping with the project. We have worked together on other projects and work together well. We had the old window out and the rough framing completed on Saturday afternoon. We buttoned up the hole with plywood overnight and went back to work the next day. By Sunday evening we had the new window installed and the roof and skirting completed. On Monday afternoon I finished sealing up the outside and completed the trim work for the inside.

And, we were right. It was the perfect spot for a bay window. It looked great from the outside. Inside, it became the focal point of the room and added a special charm to the house. The window gave the house added character and value.

When it came time to sell the house, it was one of the features that were particularly attractive to the buyers.

How Plantation Shutters Keep Your Home Safe And Comfortable

With the winter season, fast approaching now is the time to consider keeping your house cozy and safe by buying plantation shutters or solid shutters. Screens offer an attractive method to keep the heat in, while likewise maintaining your privacy. This article will look at the advantages of plantation shutters and heavy shutters to keep your home safe and cozy this season.

Plantation Shutters and Solid Shutters – A Great Choice for the Home

Originating from pre-civil war America, plantation shutters in Australia are louvred panels windows. They are readily available in hardwood, painted wood or can be waterproofed for use in bathrooms, wetrooms, shower rooms and pool.

Plantation shutters are available in various types —  café design shutters, full height shutters and tier on tier shutters. Café style shutters were initially utilized by the French as a way to improve indoor ambience without having to block natural light completely. They conceal the bottom half of the window, assisting in maintaining personal privacy whilst still allowing in plenty of natural light. Café style plantation shutters are an ingenious and cost-effective method of introducing curtains in the house.

Solid shutters were utilised in Victorian times to keep the heat in. Unlike plantation shutters, they consist of strong panels, instead of louvres made from cedar wood or painted with an artificial finish; active shutters bring the homeowner numerous advantages. For example, they insulate the house, shut out external sounds and completely block out the light. Also, mobile screens make the right partitions as they can be used as high quality, light folding doors.

Keep Heating Expenses Down with Strong Shutters and Plantation Shutters

When the weather turns cold outside, it can quickly impact the temperature level inside. Winds, frost and rain can rapidly decrease the temperature level of an office or home and cause you to put on an additional layer of clothes or show up the heating, creating greater family bills.

Both active shutters and plantation shutters can help to insulate your house versus the cold, by reducing heat loss through window glass.

If you choose active shutters for your home, then these can be closed completely to include a layer of wood which entirely covers the window, minimising drafts and chills. This can be particularly reliable in bedrooms in the evening, where you will likewise take advantage of deep corrective sleep caused by the blackout impact they produce.

In other rooms, you might prefer roller blinds in Australia. Here, the slats can be moved to the closed position, or partially closed, to still allow some natural light.

Maintaining Personal Privacy and Security with Solid Shutters and Plantation Shutters

Another aspect that is more crucial in the winter season, when the nights are longer and darker, is security and privacy within your home. This is because when it is dark outside, and light inside it is much easier for people to see in. Both plantation shutters and active shutters function as a barrier to stop this taking place, ensuring your privacy, modesty and security!

Sturdy shutters can be completely closed during the night time, for a cozy, protected feel within your house and total privacy from the outdoors world. They also make it much harder for a burglar to break in, due to the significant layer of protection that they would otherwise need to bypass/

Plantation shutters can also be switched to the closed position as sunset falls. Or the slats of plantation shutters can be rather skillfully adjusted so that even throughout the day when you require light to be let into space, the view is disturbed, obstructing their view into your home.

All About Window Well Covers

Almost all homes across the United States have window wells. Window wells are built to provide access to the house basement from the back of the portion the house. However, window wells have caused a lot of headaches to Americans because it causes mounds of dirt to get in to the house via the basement. Water seepage also happens especially during heavy downpour because of an open window wells. Incidents of theft and break-ins are common to homes with uncovered window wells. Not to mention the accidents the kids might get into when playing near an open window wells.

Window well covers are very important to household owners with an open window wells. The above-mentioned concerns might possibly happen until such time that they have they have own window well covers. Window well covers can be made of anything for as long as it provides protection to the homeowners and the house too. It can be made of fiberglass, metal or plastic. Window well covers nowadays are also decorated. There are companies that specialize in this business.

For those who have yet to decide in putting window well covers on their homes, some few questions should be considered. What type of material should their window well covers be made of? How much budget are they willing to allocate for a window well covers project? Who will carry out the undertaking?

These questions when sufficiently considered by homeowners who wish to put covers on their window wells will surely minimize the headache they might get during the process.

Window well covers made of fiberglass provide better lighting to the basement because they allow sun rays to pass through. However covers made of this material permits anyone from the outside to get a chance of the view inside the basement floor. The material might be a bit costly.

Metal window well covers could either be one whole sheet of metal or in grill form. Both designs give the protection that the house owners need. With the grill style, it can only prevent burglars from getting into the house. Dust, dirt and water can still get into the basement. The price of metal covers varies according to the type of metal used. The stronger the metal the more expensive the well covers become.

Plastic window well covers are the lightest type of covers available in the market today. It comes in various colors and might be relatively affordable compared with other materials. Plastic-made window well cover might not escape from the hands of thieves, as it is easy to rip off.

There are plenty of window well cover manufacturers that customize them according to your own specification. They also install the same with a corresponding price. If you can do the installation on your own, then the better because you can save the installation cost it might incur.

Now that you know what to do when you need to protect your family and your property from the possible damage that uncovered window well might bring, it is time get the drawing board and start the plan.

Installing Windows in New Construction

Installing a window in a freshly framed opening is one of the more simple tasks in a construction project.
Most new construction windows have what is called a nailing fin. These are found on vinyl or aluminum clad windows. This nailing fin is either vinyl or metal and has nail holes every 4 to 6 inches and about 1 and 1/2 inches wide. Nailing fins take the place of brick molding which can still be found on primed wooden windows.

Not only do these fins make installation easier, but also make a better seal against water and air infiltration. These windows can be flashed if desired but not deemed necessary. A window that does not have the benefit of a soft fit or porch roof above it may need flashing or a drip edge above it.

When getting ready to install a window, make sure the sheathing is not hanging into the rough opening. This could cut down the size of the opening and not let the window go into the opening. Once this is done, measure the rough opening to make sure the it is big enough for the window. You don’t want to lift a heavy window to an opening only to find it won’t fit. Rough openings are usually 1″ wider and 1/2″ taller than the window unit. Rough openings are spec and provided by the window manufacturer.

Depending on the size of the window, you’ll need 2 or 3 people to install a window. One or two outside and one inside.

Once you know the window fits, lift it to the opening from the outside. Set it on the sill and push it into the opening until the nail fins hit the wall. Make sure none of the fins folded themselves back into the opening especially the bottom one. The person on the inside then centers the window in the opening. Then using a level, checks it for plumb and level, and applies shims where needed. You may also want to check the window for square, although a window that’s closed and in the locked position usually is. The window can now be nailed in. My preference is roofing nails but 8d nails or cap nails will do the job.

If it is a standard jamb (4 9/16) another thing to check is how far it runs past the rough framing. This should be 1/2 inch. You’ll also want to make sure the window operates properly. Double hungs should slide up and down easily and casements should crank in and out without hanging up.

What Size Of Bed Is Good For You?

Are you shopping for a new bed for your bedroom? Are you confused with just what size of bed you should get? Worry not because you are not alone in this. Not everyone knows the difference between a single bed and a double bed, as well as the difference between a queen-sized bed and a king-sized bed. Not even furniture store attendants are well aware of the differences.

The size of your bed, however, is crucial to the quality of sleep that you will be getting. So, it is important for you to get the bed size that is just perfect for you as well as for your partner if you are not sleeping alone.

Here is a rough guide to bed sizes.

* Singles. Single beds are also known as twin beds or bunk beds. They are often placed for use in children’s rooms, in multiple use guestrooms and in dorm rooms. A typical single bed is 39 inches wide and 75 inches long; it is ideal for small bedrooms.

The great thing about single beds is that you will not find it difficult to find sheets for them, because sheets for single beds are the ones most available in furniture and department stores. Single beds are also usually fitted with trundle beds that you can pull out if you have a guest sleeping over.

The problem with single beds, however, is that they are mostly too short to accommodate adults. If you really want a single bed but you feel that it would be too short for you, you can opt to buy an extra long single bed, which is five more inches on the standard-sized single bed. Buying the appropriate-sized sheets for this length of bed, on the other hand, can pose a different challenge.

* Doubles. If you are sharing your bed with someone and he or she does not mind snuggling close to you every night, or if you are sleeping alone and you just want a big space to sleep in, then a double bed is a good option for you. A double bed, also known as a full bed, is a perfect fit for guestrooms and smaller master bedrooms. The size of a double bed is 54 inches by 75 inches.

But while size may make the double bed perfect for smaller master bedrooms, it can be a problem for people whose height requires them to sleep in a longer bed. It may also be uncomfortable to be shared by two people who are not used to sleeping closely side-by-side with someone else.

* Queens. With a size of 60 inches by 80 inches, a queen-sized bed is six inches wider and five inches longer than your standard double bed. It is definitely big enough for a couple to sleep comfortably next to each other, and yet small enough to allow for some snuggling and cozy companionship. Just like double beds, the queen-sized bed is a very nice fit in guestrooms and smaller master bedrooms.

Some people may still find the queen-sized bed too narrow or too short for their needs. For people who do find the standard queen-sized bed still too small for them, there is the Olympic Queen size – a few inches wider and longer than your regular queen, but still smaller than the king-sized bed.

* Kings. There are actually two kinds of king-sized beds. One is called the eastern king or the standard king, while the other is referred to as the western king or the Californian king. What is the difference between these two?

The eastern king is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long – 16 inches wider than a standard queen-sized bed but just as long. It is actually the biggest and widest bed size available in department stores. With a bed that big, you can definitely sleep in comfort even if you are sleeping beside another person.

A standard king-sized bed may be prized for its size, but it is also its size that can make it quite impractical to buy. It is suited only to big bedrooms, naturally because of its size, and it would be quite hard to move a bed of this size around. Also, the standard king-sized bed may be too short for tall adults.

If you want a king-sized bed but the length of the bed is your concern, go ahead and choose the California king-sized bed. The western king may be a little narrower than the eastern king, but what it lacks for width it definitely makes up for length. The western king comes in a size of 72 inches by 84 inches. Again, just like its eastern counterpart, the California king can be a hassle to move around.

The size of the sleeping space matters a lot when it comes to having a good night’s sleep. So, whenever you are in the lookout for a new bed, always pick the one that is the right size that you need.

Putting The “Living” Into Your Living Room Furniture

What kind of room is your living room? Is it that kind of room with all of the fancy furniture and accessories, possibly antiques or family heirlooms, where no one dares to enter, that is meant for “company”? Or is your home’s living room the place that might be considered the family room, the place where everyone gathers, family and friends alike, to watch television, play games, entertain, talk, or just relax? Whatever the purpose of the living room is in your home, the living room furniture and accessories is a necessary (and often expensive) component in setting a certain preferred mood or theme, and should be representative of you and your family’s personality.

Most families spend the vast majority of their time together in the living room. That is most likely because that is where all of the “fun” things to do in the house are, like the television, stereo, perhaps even game systems. Next to the kitchen, the living room is the heart of the home. That is why it is important that your living room furniture be durable, accommodating (meaning that there is enough seating for family and guests), and comfortable.

When furnishing your living room, you should think about what your family uses it for. Do you primarily watch television in there? Do you merely entertain company in the form of good conversation in there? Do you do a lot of reading or other activities such as sewing or crafts in there? Will guests be sleeping in there? Do you play games together in there? Deciding how you want to use the room will help you choose the appropriate pieces of furniture, and save you money in the long run.

The basic living room furniture pieces are usually a sofa, one or more chairs (of various types), a coffee table, maybe some end tables, and lighting. When you are looking for a sofa, determine if you will be accommodating overnight guests in your living room. If so, you need to explore the sleeper sofa. Sleeper sofas have come a long way from the thin and lumpy mattress with a bar in your back, and provide a very comfortable place for your guests to slumber peacefully. If you don’t need a sleeper sofa, then think about the size your sofa needs to be. There are large sectionals that accommodate several people at once. There are sofa and love seat combinations that allow you more freedom in furniture arrangement. Determine what will fit in your room, and purchase accordingly.

When shopping for living room furniture, you need to determine if you need other types of seating besides a sofa. There are cushiony, comfy chairs and there are more formal occasional chairs. Depending on the activities that take place in your living room, the furniture should accommodate accordingly. There should also be enough seating to accommodate a good number of people, if you have a large family or entertain guests regularly.

Another type of living room furniture that is commonly seen is some kind of table. Beginning with the coffee table, you can add surfaces to play games, hold drinks and knick-knacks, even a place for someone to prop their weary feet upon. Coffee tables are often large enough to place sofas and chairs around, and provide a multitude of functions. There are also end tables, which provide a base for lighting fixtures, knick-knacks, magazines, and often act as accent pieces. If you want to use your living room for game playing, and the room is large enough, you can also consider a small game table in a corner.

Lighting, though not considered furniture, is a vital accessory to include with your living room furniture. If you plan on reading, crafting, or playing games in your living room, then you will need good lighting. Ambient lighting is also nice in the living room for entertaining and relaxing.

No living room furniture setting is complete today without the entertainment center. It provides a place to store all of your home entertainment equipment, including the television, stereo, game systems, VCR, DVD player, and speakers. These come in a variety of sizes, colors, and types, and also come in a variety of prices. Again, what you buy depends on your needs and the size of your room.

When you are furnishing and decorating your living room, there is no need to use a particular theme. As long as the colors and patterns coordinate and follow your family’s style, it will be a great room to be in. By accessorizing with pictures, wall hangings, shelving, plants, or other personal touches, your living room will be a comfortable place that your family will enjoy spending time in. Your living room furniture is merely the basis upon which family memories are made.

Finding A Quality Down Pillow

When you think of the ultimate bed pillow, a fluffy down filled pillow probably comes to mind. However, with all of the people who suffer from allergies, a down pillow is a bad idea, right? Actually, many of todays down pillows have been designed to be hypoallergenic.

Before you buy a down pillow, be sure you take a close look at the information label on the pillow. Some pillows are filled with a mixture of chopped foam and feathers to save on manufacturing costs. These pillows may be cheaper to buy, but they are not true down pillows. Other pillows are filled with artificial materials that simulate down instead of true down feathers. Of course, even if you find a pillow that contains true down, you still need to check the tag. Be sure it says that the feathers have been cleaned to remove allergens and dirt before they were used.

Once you find a quality down pillow, you will need to take care of it properly. After all, these pillows are not cheap and you don’t want to have to replace them any time soon. To keep your pillow from becoming soiled, always use a pillowcase on it. Ideally, you should use a hypoallergenic zippered case on the pillow and then you should cover that case with a case that matches your sheets. This keeps your pillow from becoming a haven for dust mites.

If your pillow becomes wet, remove all cases and put it in a sunny spot to dry. Allowing your pillow to remain damp is a bad idea, because it could actually grow mold or bacteria if it doesn’t dry properly.

Although washing down pillows causes them to wear out more quickly, there are times when you just have to wash them. Read the pillow’s label to be sure that there are no special care instructions. Some of these pillows must be dry cleaned if they are soiled. However, most down pillows should be washed in a washing machine in cold water using mild detergent. Once you wash the pillow, you should carefully wring out as much water as possible by hand. Then, put your pillow in the dryer and set the dryer to the most delicate setting. You may want to add a tennis ball to the dryer as well. Believe it or not, this ball will prevent your pillow from turning into a lumpy misshapen mess.