3 Things To Avoid When Replacing Patio Doors

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.

Installing Patio Door Replacements Like A Professional

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:

  1. Not measuring
    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Final note
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.

5 Reasons To Get A Patio Door This Summer

If you have a regular door leading to your backyard, you should consider upgrading it with a modern patio door replacement that offers expansive views, provides natural light, optimizes ventilation, and adds style and beauty to your home’s interior and exterior. Getting a patio door can dramatically impact your enjoyment of your home. From improved security features to better access to your outdoor space, here are five reasons to get a patio door sooner rather than later.

Benefits Of A Patio Door Replacement

  1. Added Security

    There are different types of patio doors, including Tilt & Slide doors that feature a steel-reinforced frame, as well as a multi-point locking system to secure your door at several points around the frame with a single turn of the handle. With enhanced security, you can have peace of mind when sleeping at night or while away on your summer vacation.

  2. Easy Outdoor Access

    During summer, your outdoor space becomes a valuable extension of your house, where you spend most of the day and host your guests. Installing a quality patio door can provide easy access to your deck, patio and backyard, effectively connecting the interior and exterior.

  3. Boost Natural Lighting

    You can install custom patio doors with a large glass surface area to let in as much natural light as you want. Sunlight brightens your interior space; highlights the colors, design elements, and furnishings; and makes the mood livelier. Moreover, the large, unobstructed view of your yard makes the space appear larger than it is.

  4. Lower Energy Costs

    Patio doors, with their large glass surfaces, can help to reduce your heating and cooling bills year round. With new glass technologies, such as gas fills, low-E coatings, and spacer systems, modern patio doors offer outstanding thermal performance to keep your home cooler during hot days and warmer during the cold days. Just remember to choose Energy Star certified products to maximize your comfort and energy savings.

  5. Superior Customization

    Whether you choose swinging patio doors for their classic look, or sliding doors to save on space, you can customise every detail of your door to match your home’s design. From decorative hardware and custom colours for additional beauty, to tempered glass options for extra security, to blinds fitted between the glass for privacy without the hassle of maintaining window treatments, patio doors offer unmatched flexibility to make the investment worthwhile.

Final Note

For your patio door replacement, you can choose from a wide range of sliding and swing style doors to fit your home’s style. Different patio doors will open up your home in different ways. Also consider adding a screen to allow for proper ventilation while keeping insects and vermin out.

How Do Energy Efficient Windows Work?

As the trend towards eco-friendliness continues, many homeowners find themselves following certain “green” recommendations blindly—such as replacing doors and windows—based on the assumption of reduced energy costs and a lower carbon footprint. But what exactly does it mean to get an Energy Star certified product?

5 Technologies That Make Energy Efficient Windows Worth The Investment

When it comes to identifying energy efficient windows, it makes sense that thicker glass would serve as a better thermal barrier, giving you better control of indoor temperatures. Indeed, double- and triple-paned windows are significantly more energy efficient than single-paned windows. But there are several other technologies that make Energy Star certified windows energy efficient. These include:

  1. Low-E Glass Coating

    Low-emissivity (Low-E) refers to a special coating applied to glass to block up to 90 percent of the sun’s direct radiation. During summer, low-E glass helps to keep the sun’s UV heat out, which reduces your cooling costs. During the cold winter months, low-E glass helps to prevent heat generated indoors from escaping, which reduces your heating costs.

  2. Glazing

    There are a number of alternatives to low-e glass coating, such as tints and reflective coatings applied to the exterior of the glass or between windowpanes to increase their thermal efficiency and reduce your heating and cooling costs.

  3. Gas Fills

    Double and triple-paned windows are usually filled with an inert gas—argon or krypton—to improve their thermal performance by reducing heat transfer between your home and the outside environment. Injecting inert gases between two glass panes does not reduce the transparency of the window, as the gases are clear. The gases are non-toxic and odorless, so they don’t pose any risk to your health. Krypton is mostly used to fill small spaces of less than 0.5-inches, while Argon works best for standard 0.5-inch glazing, because it’s cheaper.

  4. Low-Conductivity Spacer Systems

    Spacers refer to the structural polymer foams placed between two glass panes to improve the energy efficiency of windows. The edges of the panes represent one of the most susceptible points of heat transfer in your windows. Today, manufacturers place low-conductivity spacers around the edges of each glass pane to reduce heat conduction. They also provide a better seal to improve insulation and protect against moisture penetration.

  5. Non-Metallic Frames

    Since metal is a good conductor of heat, windows with metal frames tend to increase your heating and cooling costs. Using non-metallic frames made from wood, vinyl or fiberglass can prevent heat loss around your windows and lower your energy costs.

  6. Replacing Your Windows and Doors

    Replacing old windows with Energy Star certified products can help to provide a comfortable living environment while reducing your energy costs. If you are planning on replacing your existing windows, choosing energy efficient windows can provide great savings in the long-term and increase the value of your home.

Casement Vs. Double-Hung Windows: What’s The Difference?

Fixed casement windows are the preferred option for modern homeowners looking for beautiful, secure, and energy efficient windows. Double-hung windows offer similar benefits, but are more common with traditional, cottage-style homes.

 Casement And Double-hung Windows

Here are a few differences between the two window styles:

  1. Construction
  2. Double-hung windows are quite versatile and come in a range of designs. These windows feature two movable sashes – a top and bottom one – that slide up and down to meet your ventilation needs. They can also tilt inwards for easy cleaning from the inside. Casement windows are hinged on one side and open like a door using a crank that is fixed on the inside.

  3. Operation
  4. Both window designs are easy to operate. For double-hung windows, most homeowners prefer to slide the bottom sash up and down while the top sash remains closed. These windows feature a spring-loaded balance that helps to open the bottom sash, while gravity helps to close it. To open casement windows, you simply turn the lever and push the window outwards.

  5. Efficiency against drafts
  6. Double-hung windows are designed to fit snugly in the side tracks, leaving no room for air intrusion. However, you should ensure that a good seal is used along the top to keep drafts out. Casement windows provide excellent protection against air intrusion because the window sash presses tightly onto the window frame when closed.

  7. Care and maintenance
  8. Both sashes of double-hung windows can tilt inwards for easy cleaning of all sides from the inside, but you need to adjust them properly afterwards to avoid drafts. This is particularly helpful when cleaning windows on the top floors. However, it can be a bit challenging to clean the screen that is fixed outside the window.

    The exterior of casement windows can only be cleaned from outside the building, which may require you to use a ladder. However, screens are easier to clean as they are fitted on the inside. During routine cleaning, you may need to occasionally check and tighten the mechanical lever, as well as the multi-point locking system – if installed.

  9. Ideal use
  10. Double-hung windows are energy efficient, can be used in combination with other window styles, and can be installed in areas with limited space or obstacles on the exterior as the sashes move up and down as opposed to outwards. They are also more secure, as you can open the top sash and keep the bottom one closed if you have small children. Casement windows are, however, more energy efficient, less prone to drafts, and easier to maintain.

Which one is right for you?
High quality windows from reputable manufacturers, whether fixed casement or double hung, can be highly energy efficient if professionally installed. When purchasing new windows, you only need to identify the infiltration rating that best fits your needs and choose a design that complements your home.

Are French Doors Energy Efficient?

When looking to install energy efficient doors in your home, French doors are one of the most common options for homeowners. Their glass and muntin construction makes them a great addition to any home looking to add a touch of beauty and elegance. They let in a lot of light through the panes, and can open fully when you need to increase ventilation or allow access for large items.

 Energy Performance Of French Doors

Because of the large space occupied by French doors, your choice of new doors can have a dramatic effect on the energy consumption of your home. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Energy efficient construction
  2. French doors are constructed using different materials and designs, some of which provide better efficiency than others. Most doors today are made using a combination of high performance fibreglass and double-paned or 1-inch thick Low-E glass that improves solar heat transmission by around four times that of regular glass construction.

    There are different types of soft and hard coat Low-E Insulated glass available for patio doors with R rating ranging from 2.45 to 4.35.

    • Soft coat
    • Hard coat
    • Argon-filled hard coat
    • Argon-filled soft coat

    Considering that standard, single-panel glass panels have an R rating of 0.85, French doors fitted with any kind of low-E glass significantly improve the efficiency of your home.

    Besides fibreglass, you can purchase French doors built from engineered wood fiber. However, avoid solid wood doors as they have poor insulating properties. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

  3. Weatherstripping
  4. Hinged, swinging French doors are great for maximizing ventilation and access. To prevent air leakage between the door and its frame, modern doors are fitted with weatherstripping that forms a tight seal against outside air and water. The seal also prevents energy in your home from escaping through the cracks.

    You can further improve the efficiency of your French doors by applying temporary sealer during the cold months, since you won’t need to open the doors fully during winter.

Final note
Keep in mind that any poorly installed doors are just as inefficient as old doors. They lose a lot of energy and make the rooms drafty and uncomfortable. Properly designed and installed French doors will increase the efficiency of your home, protect your family from the elements, and allow you to enjoy the stylishness of your new doors year round.

How To Caulk Your Windows And Doors

Caulking is a low-cost way to weatherize your home, reduce air infiltration, and cut energy costs without involving professionals at a windows and doors company. Proper caulking provides an airtight seal around gaps and cracks in your doors and windows that could make them less energy efficient. It only requires a few fairly inexpensive materials and a little bit of your time, and you can enjoy the benefits immediately for the rest of the season.

5 Easy Steps To Fix Cracks And Gaps With Caulking

So, how do you caulk?

Step 1: Find the air leaks
Check for air leaks inside and outside your doors and windows on a cool, windy day using an incense stick or candlestick.

Step 2: Get the necessary materials
The two most common types of caulk are silicone and latex caulk. Silicone caulk is durable and can withstand extreme temperatures, while latex is easier to apply, plus it can be painted. You will also need a caulk gun to seal those gaps like a pro.

Step 3: Prepare the surfaces to be caulked
Clean the surfaces that need to be repaired, making sure to remove loose paint, dirt, and old caulk, and leave the surface dry. This step will ensure good adhesion.

Caulking is most effective when used to fill small gaps and cracks (<1/8 inch). For larger cracks (1/4 to 7/8 inches), use a putty knife to push polymeric foam tightly into the gap, and then seal with caulk. Holes over 1 inch should be filled with expandable foam delivered through aerosol cans. Once the foam has cured, trim the surface and paint it to match the surroundings.

Step 4: Load the caulk tube into the caulking gun
Check the instructions on the caulk tube before loading it into the caulking gun. You will need to cut off the tip of the tube at a 45-degree angle. Since the nozzle is tapered, the amount you cut off influences the thickness of the bead of caulk. Cutting near the narrow end provides a narrow bead, while cutting further up allows for a wider bead.

Step 5: Apply the caulk
Practise laying a uniform bead of caulk on a less visible area before fixing the cracks. Ensure that the caulk overlaps both ends of the crack. Hold the gun at 45 degrees to the surface, squeeze the trigger, and apply steady pressure as you push the gun away from you. It is best if the caulking materials completely fill the crack in a single stroke. When done, run your finger along the bead to smooth it.

Finishing the job
It is likely that some caulk will be left after the job is complete. In that case, disengage the plunger on the caulking gun, remove the cartridge, plug the nozzle with a nail, and wipe off the excess. Make sure to clean the tools with the appropriate solvent or water.

Building materials naturally expand and contract due to changes in temperature and moisture level. So, caulking is somewhat inevitable. That said, working with professional and credible windows and doors manufacturers helps to ensure that any problems other than normal wear and tear are professionally dealt with under the warranty.

Steel Vs. Wood Doors: What’s The Difference?

One of the factors to consider when purchasing a new door is the material of the door. The most common options today include steel doors, wood doors, and fibreglass doors, all of which offer different types of aesthetic and different levels of energy efficiency, weather resistance, durability, and maintenance.

Are Steel Doors The Best Replacement Doors?

In some instances, the choice of door material is limited by the type of opening. Curved top entry doors, for instance, are almost always made from timber. Though you may also get a custom door made from any material you like. Here are the key differences between wood and steel doors:

  1. Construction
    Wood doors are typically constructed with a thin piece of laminate or plywood on either side and a thicker piece of hardboard behind it. An energy-efficient polyurethane material is used at the core to provide insulation. The panels are constructed with much thicker plywood and timber pieces.

    Steel varies widely in quality and price, with higher numbers being representative of thinner steel. 24-gauge steel, for instance, is thin and easily deforms, and the paint chips off, causing rust. 22-gauge steel, on the other hand, is more suitable for the home market. It is thicker, stronger, and more durable. Lower numbers are commonly used for the commercial and security markets.

  2. Weather resistance
    Plywood and laminates are easily destroyed when exposed to the elements. As a result, wood doors require a lot of maintenance, which includes regular painting and/or staining to manage the fading. Also, plywood and laminate can only be refinished a minimum number of times if sanded. Moreover, the coverings will absorb moisture from inside, requiring regular maintenance.

    Steel doors are the most energy efficient, with good insulating value, though they conduct heat. This means they can feel hot or cold to the touch.

  3. Durability
    Plywood and laminate doors are not as strong as solid wood doors that comprise 100 percent wood. These woods are the heaviest, most beautiful, and most secure doors on the market. They are constructed to be more durable than steel doors, but not as long lasting as fibreglass doors. They are also resistant to most shifting and expansion due to the elements, and can be sanded and refinished multiple times in their lifetime.Although steel doors require very little maintenance, they can be easily scratched and dented, requiring painting.
  4. Cost
    Solid wood is the most expensive door on the market. Steel doors are inexpensive compared to wood and fibreglass, low maintenance, secure, and available in a range of colours and styles, which makes them a popular choice for door replacements.

Verdict
Although you may be decided on buying a particular type of door, you should keep in mind that there are differences in quality that may enhance or diminish some of the typical characteristics of that door. For instance, high-quality steel doors can last as long as fibreglass doors. To ensure that you get the best quality of any door, it is important that you only work with reputable door manufacturers. A well-built steel door will definitely cost more than a poorly constructed version, so don’t compromise on the quality to fit your budget.