Many homeowners knowingly or unknowingly attract birds to their home. Some people love having them in their yards and feeding them. But this simple pleasure can be life threatening to birds that often fly into glass windows.
Glass windows are invisible to birds, and birds may fly into them as they try to reach potted plants on the other side. The glass may also reflect the sky or vegetation, causing birds to fly into them. One study suggests that these types of accidents are so common that over one billion birds die each year in North America from hitting glass windows, walls, and similar structures.
Fortunately, you can help save the bird population by reducing the threat your home windows pose to birds. First, you should identify your hazardous windows, which may include large picture windows, windows with feeders, or windows that join at 90-degrees. Look at the windows from outside your home, if you see any reflection of the sky or foliage, those windows are a risk to birds. Follow these tips to make your windows safer for birds.
Mark Your Windows
Use tempera paint or soap markings to deter birds. These markings should be spaced apart 4-inches vertically and 2-inches horizontally on the outside of the window. You can also use other paint patterns to make the glass visible to birds.
Apply Stickers to Windows
Apply stickers, decals, masking tape, mylar strips, sun catchers, or other sticky objects to the exterior surface of the window. Use close spacing and cover as much of the glass surface as possible, so the transparent areas appear too small for the birds to fly through. You could also apply long-lasting bird tape.
Hang Bird Savers
Consider hanging Acopian Bird Savers or Zen curtains, which are closely spaced ropes that function in a similar manner to tape or decals. They come in great designs that also help to beautify your windows.
Consider placing mosquito screens or netting on the outside of the window so it’s tight enough to cause birds to bounce off before hitting the glass surface. The mesh should be small so birds don’t get their heads, legs, or wings entangled.
Use Window Covers
Consider installing exterior shutters or interior vertical blinds that remain closed when the rooms are not in use, or awnings/sunshades to prevent reflections that may attract birds.
If you are remodelling your home, you should consider working with your window and door company to employ strategies that prevent birds from flying into windows. For instance, you may use one-way transparent film that makes the window opaque from outside but offers a clear view from inside.
Choosing the best glass for your windows requires careful consideration of multiple factors, including light penetration, appearance, and energy efficiency. While the aesthetic appearance of your windows is largely a personal choice, determining the best choice for energy efficiency and light penetration requires that you consider the climate in your region, the orientation of your house, the window’s proximity to obstacles that provide shade, and many other factors. So, which glass is right for your windows?
Many areas have standards and building codes that govern the different requirements for glass type, depending on where it will be used, its height above the ground, and other factors. For instance, the type of glass used in the bathroom should prioritize safety and privacy. For rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, you may need to consider etching, labelling, or other markings to prevent people from walking into the glass.
When you need to strike a balance between privacy and natural lighting, in spaces such as the bathroom and the laundry room, you should consider using a type of obscure glass, such as Satinlite.
If you are certain that you want to control the opacity of your windows before they are installed, you can purchase glass tinted with metal oxides. To control the transparency of your glass after installation, you may need to apply an adhesive film. Alternatively, you can purchase laminated glass with interlayers between the sheets of glass for added sun protection or privacy.
For most homes and office buildings, you should consider using glass with the manufacturer’s base level of tint for the windows. This improves the solar performance of the glass and helps with glare and privacy during the day.
There are two key energy ratings to consider:
The U-factor, which measures the ability of the glass to prevent heat inside your home from escaping.
The solar heat gain coefficient, which measures the ability of the glass to block heat from the sun.
For rooms with large windows facing west, you should consider using higher performance glass, such as laminated low E glass with a high solar heat gain coefficient. However, this option may reduce the amount of visible light penetrating your home, affecting the appearance of your interior.
New glass technology allows you to keep your interior warm during cold weather and cool during hot weather, without compromising on light penetration or transparency. For windows that open outside the frame, such as fixed casement windows, you may need to choose a suitable type of screening to maintain a suitable level of privacy and security.
Your front door is more than just another entry door. It keeps out intruders, protects your home’s interior from extreme weather, and helps to make your home attractive to guests.
Homeowners love steel doors because they address all of these issues. Other common entry door materials such as wood and fibreglass also have their own strengths and weaknesses, but could steel doors be better than wood and fibreglass doors?
Steel doors are the obvious choice for homeowners prioritizing security and durability. Steel doors are much stronger than fibreglass or wood doors. They can’t be kicked in and are extremely hard to bend.
Steel doors conduct heat, which means that they may feel cold or hot depending on the ambient temperature. That said, many steel-coated doors that contain high-density polyurethane foam to prevent heat transfer are Energy Star certified. Other equally energy-efficient steel doors come with hardwood or oak moldings inside for improved insulation while providing strong security.
For wood doors, beauty is their strong suit. Homeowners can choose from natural-finish doors to custom designs fabricated from mahogany, walnut, cherry, oak, pine, fir, and maple, among others. But steel doors are also attractive as they are easy to paint and customize. Since steel doors l last a lifetime, you can change the appearance of your doors after a few years to give your home a fresh look.
Fibreglass doors provide superior wear and tear resistance compared to steel. Plus they can be stained or painted. But steel doors don’t warp or crack, and any dings or dents can be easily fixed. Most steel doors are made from high strength 20-26 gauge steel that will never crack, rot, or warp, ensuring life-time protection. Galvanised steel is resistant to rust, corrosion, and scratching.
Steel doors are also the most affordable option. Even a high quality steel door with premium hardware and sidelights will still cost less than a wood door system.
There’s a reason why steel doors account for nearly half the market. They are extremely reliable in terms of weather resistance, security, and maintenance. In addition, they are fairly inexpensive. But to ensure that you get a quality entry door, only work with a reputable manufacturer who doesn’t compromise the materials, weatherstripping seals, threshold interlocks, or paint work. Also check that you are getting an Energy Star certified door for energy savings and comfort.
Replacing your patio doors sounds like a simple DIY project. Most doors, after all, come in a standard size. You simply need to find a door that fits the opening, fix the hinges, and you have a new functional door.
It should be a straightforward, step-by-step process, yet it is not unusual for do-it-yourselfers to:
Install their replacement patio doors in backward. This can compromise the security of your home.
Install the door incorrectly. Modern doors feature new technology that improve insulation and energy efficiency. Poor installation can lead to unnecessary leakage that wastes this technology
Accelerate door wear and tear. Poor installation can cause precipitation to settle in areas where it should drain easily, increasing the risk of rot and other damage.
Destroy a new patio door. You could accidentally damage the door during installation by rough handling or by letting a glass door drop to the ground.
Injure themselves during the installation. Many issues can arise including accidental cuts, slips and falls, and stepping on sharp tools.
To protect yourself and your investment, here are some things to avoid when replacing patio doors:
You need to take proper measurements to ensure a proper fit that does not allow heat to escape or let in cold air. But forcing a larger door into a small frame can damage the door and surrounding frame and walls. Make sure you use the right tools, such as measuring tape and a leveller for accuracy.
Using the wrong hardware
The basic tools for a patio door installation include a drill, a leveller, and a screwdriver. But there are other pieces of hardware to consider. For instance, using very small hinges and screws that can’t handle the load can cause the door to shift and sag. The lack of balance can strain the hinges, jambs, and door frame and cause the entire structure to weaken.
Not checking that the door jamb is flush with the door opening
Skipping this single step will cause you to face serious problems almost instantly. The jamb should be positioned flush against the walls around your door. If it sinks below the surrounding walls, you may need to use a jamb extender to ensure the right position. Conversely, you may need to plane it down if it protrudes too far. Make small adjustments to avoiding overdoing it, especially when planing.
You can skip the hassle by getting your patio doors replaced professionally. If you choose to do it yourself, make sure you follow the installation guidelines. Make sure you install the shims and hinges the right way and that the measurements and levelling are perfect.