Why You Should Make Applying Window Film Your Next Home Improvement Project

Could your home use a change? If you want to make your home more inviting, but are on a budget, one of the best ways to make a noticeable change is by upgrading your windows. Something as simple and cost effective as applying window film can enhance the beauty of your home, improve energy efficiency, and give you more privacy — without reducing natural light.

Ways You Can Improve Your Existing Windows With Window Film

What is residential window film?

Window film refers to a plastic film material made from PET — the same plastic used to make water bottles. There are different types of window film, some are clear, others can be tinted with pigments, dyes, or metals to minimize natural light passing through the window and block harmful UV radiation. There is also window film made of multiple layers of plastic bound together for strength in order to prevent glass from shattering.

The film is applied on the interior of the window. It’s scratch-resistant and available in a range of thickness levels to suit your preference.

Applications of Window Film

There are three types of window film that can be used:

  1. Privacy and Decoration

    The thinnest window film is typically used to block a certain percentage of sunlight, which is great if you need more privacy in specific rooms. This material is also referred to as decorative film, and can be used to create the impression of etched, stained, or frosted glass without having to replace the existing windows.

  2. Energy Efficiency and Comfort

    Thick window film is darkened with dyes or metals. These types of film are referred to as window tint or solar film, and help to improve the energy efficiency of your home by:

    • Reducing heat gain

    • Insulating the windows

    • Balancing hot and cold spots

    • Blocking up to 99% of harmful UV radiation

    • Cutting glare

    By controlling these factors, solar film also helps to regulate temperature, cut heating and cooling costs, make the rooms more comfortable, and even prolong the life of your furniture.

  3. Security and safety

    The strongest residential window film is referred to as “security film,” because it transforms your windows into safety glass. When applied to the interior of your window, it prevents the glass from shattering when broken by forming “spider-webs.” Safety window film is recommended for storm-prone areas, and also protects your home against burglary.

Professional installation vs. DIY

You can install window film yourself or hire a professional that provides a warranty. If you choose to DIY, be sure that you clean your windows thoroughly before spraying the application solution and applying the film. If installed properly, interior window films should last longer than the 10-15 year warranty period.

5 Examples Of Beautiful Glass Door Entryways

The latest trend is to have a glass door in the entryway, with many featuring decorative stained or oversized glass inserts, sidelights, surrounding panels, and beams.

Their popularity is evident. Having a glass front door is a great accent and provides more natural light in the home. Most of these entryways provide a warm feel or have classic style that make them well-suited for any type of home.

Ideas For A Glass Front Door

The improved insulation and strength qualities of glass have contributed significantly to this new trend. For instance, the insulation issues usually associated with glass door installation are resolved with double glazing and specially coated glass.

With several decorative glass options available, including clear and sand-blasted glass, as well as other customization elements such as grilles, blinds, privacy levels, caming, and energy-efficient Low-E glass; you are sure to have a custom front door that is sure to match your home’s style and decor.

Here are a few examples of glass door entryways for inspiration:

  1. Single Glass Front Door

    Opaque glass is more popular than clear glass because it maximises natural light without compromising privacy. For period or classic styles, you may consider other options like leaded and bevelled glass, or even patterned stained glass inserts and panels.

  2. Single Glass Front Door

  3. Transitional Double Front Door

    Clear glass is still the most popular choice for glass front doors. You can create an even more impressive focal point for your entryway by designing a bigger entryway fitted with a double front door.

  4. Transitional Double Front Door

  5. Beach Style Entryway

    This is a simple entryway design that strikes a balance between style and energy efficiency. This look is easily customizable with several glass designs and layouts to give you a signature look that expresses a laidback and inviting style.

  6. Beach Style Entryway Door

  7. Midsize Entryway

    This design adds a sense of serenity to the exterior while maximising natural light into the home. It is particularly suited for Victorian, European, and Colonial home designs.

  8. Midsize Entryway Door

  9. Small Transitional Single Front Door

    Clear glass grille options offer endless combinations to fit any home or budget. Whether you prefer grilles or external lite dividers, there are a few options to consider. You can also choose Low-E glass for optimal energy efficiency and impact-rated options for storm protection.

Small Transitional Single Front Door

5 Home Design Trends For 2018

With expensive home improvements like door and window replacements, you want your investment to have staying power, so it’s important not to be taken in by fads or passing trends. After all, you don’t want to redo your doors and windows every year or two.

5 Door And Window Trends For The Modern Home

While there is certainly value in making yourself aware of what styles are popular, your final decision should balance your personal preferences and a timeless style to create a well pulled together look that doesn’t age. Here are some trending window and door designs for inspiration.

Expansive Glass

With many people spending more time in their yards, there is a growing need for opening glass walls. Whether you choose to install larger windows mulled together or lift-and-slide doors, you will enjoy increased daylight, magnificent views of the exterior, and many other benefits with multi-panel glass units.

Pass-Through Windows

While some homeowners choose to install big sliding or accordion-shaped elements that function as both windows, to let in light and ventilation, and doors, for easy access to the yard, others are choosing folding windows, sliders, and even awnings that also serve as exit points to the outside.

Clean Lines

Homeowners are choosing crisp lines and squared-off edges as opposed to arches. Moreover, there’s a growing interest in aluminium and steel framed storefront windows, which has led to an increase in demand for fixed, direct-set windows and casement windows instead of double-hung units.

High-End Woods

With homeowners looking to create a modern, clean appearance while making their homes warm and inviting, there is a growing demand for higher-end wood species such as mahogany and oak that boast a fine furniture feel and a more subtle grain, as opposed to traditional pine and other softwood options.

Wider Doors and Hallways

If you are remodelling your permanent residence, where you hope to live for the rest of your life, you should consider integrating practical solutions to problems that may arise with age. For instance, you may need to install wider doorways and hallways that provide enough room for walking aids such as scooters and wheelchairs. Pocket doors may also come in handy if you choose to age in your home, because they occupy less room compared to swinging doors, plus they are easier to operate.

Is Energy Efficiency a Trend?

Energy-efficient windows and doors have become so popular with the drive towards reduced energy costs and conserving the environment they are no longer considered a trend. It is important that you choose Energy Star rated products to maximize your comfort and reduce your energy bills.

How To Properly Clean uPVC Windows And Doors

Window and door manufacturers agree that beauty and ease of maintenance are two of the most important factors for homeowners to consider when looking for new installations and replacements, along with energy efficiency. All materials offer these attributes to a certain degree, but most homeowners choose uPVC because the material is waterproof and requires little maintenance. Because uPVC is easy to clean, it is easy to keep dust, grime, and debris from building up and interfering with the function and durability of your doors and windows.

Tips To Clean And Maintain uPVC Doors And Windows

Things to Do

  • Open the doors and windows and vacuum the vents to remove loose dirt and grime. Consider adding a brush nozzle to your vacuum to avoid scratching the uPVC.

  • Alternatively, use a dry sponge to wipe all areas of your windows and doors, trying to remove as much dirt as possible.

  • Wet the sponge with warm soapy water and run it around your uPVC doors and windows again.

  • Apply uPVC cleaner using a damp cloth and wipe your doors and windows gently. Choose a uPVC specific cleaner to avoid substances that might remove the shiny finish permanently.

  • You can prepare a homemade uPVC cleaner by mixing one part white vinegar with two parts washing liquid. Use it the same way as a commercial cleaner.

  • Finish by buffing the doors and windows with a dry cloth or a newspaper. It won’t scratch the surface.

Note: To avoid scratching your doors and windows, never use a wet cloth to clean the uPVC after using a cleaner.

Things to Avoid

Avoid the following chemicals and cleaning tools as they can scratch, remove, or erode the finish permanently.

  • Nail polish remover

  • Methylated spirits

  • White spirits

  • Bleach

  • WD-40

  • Iron wool

  • Scrubbing pads

Additional Maintenance

Cleaning your uPVC doors and windows is a rather simple process, and you don’t even need to invest in any special tools or supplies. To enjoy your doors even more, there are a few other things that you can do.

  • Lubricate all stainless steel moving parts, such as hinges and opening and closing mechanisms, twice a year, using a light silicone lubricant. Other metal moving parts can be coated with a film of petroleum jelly. Be sure not to use spray oil or excessive lubrication. Also, don’t lubricate cylinders and wheels on your doors and windows.

  • Open your windows every day for a short period to reduce the risk of condensation.

  • Powder the seals with talc to maintain flexibility in the gaskets.

Last but certainly not least, be sure to only use the recommended supplies for cleaning your uPVC windows, so that you don’t damage their finish, and they maintain their new, attractive look for as long as possible.

8 Custom Door Trim Ideas

Custom door manufacturers have used trim work to embellish homes and public buildings for years. On one level, mouldings fulfill a specific function by connecting various parts of a building, such as wall areas to window and door frames, in addition to reducing wear at the openings.

Door Trim Work Ideas

Trim work also provides your living space with a finished look. Custom door trims can be used to make an artistic expression or an aesthetic statement. Here are some ideas to consider when looking to add more style to your doors and windows.

  1. Craftsman Door Trimming

    This is a simple design that can be used to add visual interest to your interior doors.

  2. Craftsman Door Trimming

  3. Victorian & Craftsman Style

    Characterized by simple lines, this is one of the most common historic door trim patterns available.

  4. Victorian And Craftsman Style

  5. Simple Farmhouse Trim

    This is a simple design that can be used to add timeless style to any house, especially a craftsman house, and of course, a farmhouse.

Simple Farmhouse Trim

Others types of mouldings and trim work to consider include:

  • Backbands. These are applied on all windows and doors, together or separately, or to touch-up a well designed room. They are mostly used to add overall width and depth on the outer edge of casings.

  • Door Header and Top Cap. These are used as a pediment above door and window frames. They run parallel to the opening above mitred frames to serve as a height enhancer to the opening, or at the head jamb of an opening with casing.

  • Plinth Blocks. These are used at the edge where the baseboard connects with the doorway casing. They can be easily customized to give your entrance a dramatic touch.

  • Corner Blocks. These are usually paired with rosettes at the corner of a top casing to give the perfect frame shape to your door.

Go through historical designs for custom door trim inspiration. Although builders in the post-war housing boom didn’t pay the attention to moulding and trim they had before, you can still get great ideas from the downsized traditional designs or from variations of the craftsman style. Craftsman style homes are a superb canvas on which to express one’s own style and design ideas, as well as to deviate from the standard build and understatement of modern homes.

Tip for Installing Door Trim

For a professional and elegant look, it is important that you get your custom door trim installed by a skilled technician. Also consider mixing in some dramatic pattern designs for that “wow!” effect.

How To Soundproof Windows And Doors

If you find yourself in a position where you can’t tolerate the sound of road traffic, rail noise, noisy neighbours, or other sounds associated with a busy and lively street, and moving is not an option at the moment, then soundproofing your doors and windows may be the only way to find some peace and quiet.

 Soundproof Windows And Doors

Most window and door manufacturers today offer custom products with enhanced sound insulation for new and replacement applications. All windows and framed doors offer a certain degree of soundproofing, but whether the level of sound control is adequate or not depends on various factors including:

  • Glazing,

  • Volume of gas between glass panes,

  • Rubber seals,

  • Frame construction,

  • Proper installation.

Unfortunately, any failure in one of these design factors automatically results in the failure of the soundproof barrier to deliver sound control to the desired specification.

  1. Glazing

    Glazing used in windows is quite thin and ineffective as a soundproof barrier. But for improved thermal efficiency, insulation, and sound reduction, manufacturers offer glazing with two or more sheets of glass.

    For custom-made windows, the thickness and amount of glazing used depends on the extent of noise reduction desired, as well as the origin of the sound. In addition, each glass pane in a soundproof window or door features a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) coating that forms a strong hydrocarbon bond with the glazing unit.

    The lamination helps to improve noise reduction by decreasing the elasticity of the glass and providing another layer of noise dampening. It also dramatically increases the strength of the glazing for extra security.

  2. Volume of Gas Between the Panes

    Double and triple glazed windows usually contain gas sealed in between them for improved thermal efficiency and noise reduction. If a glass pane vibrates due to sound, it causes the gas within the volume to compress and transmit the vibration to the other pane. The smaller the volume of gas, the greater the compression applied to the gas and the vibration transmitted to the second glass pane.

    Increasing the gap means more gas volume, less compression, and less transmission of sound between the panes. Ideally, air leakage through a soundproof window or framed door should be zero for optimal thermal efficiency and sound attenuation. However, most designs specify 0.1% to 0.3% air leakage, which though negligible, is necessary for minimal air exchange, to allay health concerns.

  3. Final Note

    The amount of window glazing and volume of gas between the panes are two of the most important factors for noise reduction in window and door installations. But it is just as important to use the right seals to reduce gas leakage, choose the right frame material, and ensure proper installation, for optimal performance.

Blinds Or Curtains: Which Is Best For Bay Windows?

Bay windows add a touch of style and character to a home, owing to their unique design. By projecting outward from the main walls, they give a room a spacious effect. However, the resulting angular spaces pose a bit of a challenge when it comes to finding the right window covering. While the choice between blinds and curtains for bay windows can be a difficult one, the choice is often directed by the location of this interior feature and the intended use of the room.

Bay Windows

Curtains

The key consideration when choosing curtains for your bay windows is ensuring that the covering doesn’t overshadow your windows. Some curtain styles to consider include:

  • Single track: This is a simple design intended to cover the window area without cluttering the space. Just draw them across the front of the bay when you need some privacy.

  • Curved or bent tracks – One shortcoming with single track curtains is that they create light gaps in the bay window when drawn. Curved curtains are fitted inside the bay space, with each section having a separate section for complete cover. Alternatively, you can install curved tracks with a single curtain that extends across all the sections, or use a conventional pair of curtains designed to meet at the centre of the bay.

Blinds

If you don’t want to use long and heavy curtains as your covering, then you should consider using blinds. Great options for bay windows include:

  • Roller blinds: These are great for accentuating the lovely character of your bay windows, especially if they have a built in nook, seat, or other window furniture. To create a clean look, consider using a single roller blind for each window.

  • Roman blinds: Simple and elegant, Roman blinds are ideal for controlling the privacy and light provided by your bay windows. They are usually designed to fit precisely above a window seat to fill the required window space. As with roller blinds, you should use three or four separate blinds to give your window a uniform look. Keep in mind that Roman blinds reach over the top part of the window when raised, so they may not be right if there’s a feature you wish to accentuate.

Roller blinds are recommended for bay windows that feature mullions between each section to minimise the amount of light gaps when you draw the blind. Roman blinds, on the other hand, are great insulators, as they can be customized to include thermal and blackout lining.

Verdict

There are several types of bay windows, including multifaceted bay, angled bay, and even bow windows, each of which has a unique shape. Since no single design can be right for all of them, you should consider getting a custom window covering that will provide a neat and tidy look. That said, you should consider using long curtains for each window if you have large bay windows that extend to the ceiling.