How To Determine Window And Door Height

The placement of your doors and windows is one of the most important aspects of your home’s design. They affect how your home appears to the outside world, form the connection between the indoors and the outdoors, and ensure comfort by protecting against the elements.

Planning Door And Window Placement

The power of door and window placement becomes most evident when the size, location, and type of these openings is miscalculated. This may cause your house to appear to be out of shape, and even influence the amount of lighting and ventilation in the rooms. But if planned right by a professional windows and doors company, doors and windows can give your home a pleasant ambiance both inside and out.

Matching the Window and Door Height to the Space

Window placement is typically determined when designing the exterior of a house, with the height set to the standard door height of 6 feet and 8 inches. With a standard 8-foot wall height, this placement leaves a margin of 16-inches between the top of the window and the ceiling. This is the ideal size for standard headers and plates, and ensures that even the biggest cornice moldings and window trims are accommodated.

But for rooms that go deeper than 12 feet, the band of wall is likely to obstruct the view. Moreover, it doesn’t make any sense to keep the top of the window at 6 feet 8 inches when you have 9 or 10-foot ceilings. To get the design right regardless of the ceiling height, you should be willing to set the top of the window clear up to the cornice trim, and possibly use it as the window’s head trim.

Other Structural Issues to Consider

Designing the door and window height when planning the exterior of the house can cause visual alignment problems from the inside if the heights do not match up around corners or in individual rooms. To avoid this, you should work both from the outside and from the inside simultaneously while applying these rules:

  • Ensure that the height or top of the window is the same in any room or visual field. This translates to 6-foot 8-inches off the floor when you have an 8-foot high ceiling, or 8 feet off the floor for a 9 or 10-foot ceiling. The bottom height or sill of the window can vary within a room without affecting its visual appeal, but the head heights must be uniform, especially in the corners.

  • When looking to align a window and an adjacent door, measure the entire height of the door within the frame, because the frame height will naturally be higher than the slab size. Set the window head heights to match the top of the door frame to align the interior trim.

These rules are particularly important during the placement of folding or French doors because they vary in size, and tend to be a few inches taller than the height of operable sections.

7 Reasons Your Doors Should Be Watertight

Do You Really Need A Watertight Entry Door?

Watertight doors are specially designed for commercial buildings and residences that are prone to water penetration, flooding, or damage caused by extreme precipitation. Many window and door manufacturers operating in flood-prone markets offer custom watertight doors, in addition to some standard sizes for customers who want them installed sooner rather than later. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting a watertight door.

  1. Flood Protection Barrier

    Watertight doors can be used as normal entry doors for commercial and residential property to deliver the basic needs of any door—security, comfort, energy efficiency, and shielding from precipitation. But owing to their unique construction, these doors completely inhibit water penetration, providing the best watertight solutions for flood defence and offshore/marine/civil industries. This means that you can enjoy warm and dry interiors during harsh storms.

  2. Prevent Moisture Problems

    Watertight doors are typically made from aluminium, steel, or stainless steel, which are impervious to moisture. But with proper sealing, you can effectively make doors made from other materials waterproof, including glass panel and wood interior doors. This essentially eliminates any risk of leaks and dampness in the sensitive areas you need to safeguard from damage and degradation due to the growth of mould and mildew.

  3. Can Be Fit with Standard Panic Hardware

    Watertight doors come with a range of hardware and accessory options to ensure that they fulfill all the needs of an entry door. Your door can be fit with standard panic hardware, a card reader, or an electronic keypad for improved access control.

  4. Easy Installation and Retrofit

    It can be hard to keep a newly finished basement dry if you have leaking hatchway doors. Fortunately, you can easily install waterproof doors that are watertight when properly locked. Moisture proof doors are particularly great for kitchens, windowless bathrooms, toilet and washroom blocks, hotel saunas, and other wet rooms.

  5. Hygienic Waterproofing

    Areas of high moisture content such as swimming pools, saunas, and wet room areas require hygienic watertight solutions.

  6. High Pressure Tolerance

    Waterproof doors are designed to withstand high pressures of up to 7 mWK to deliver security and permanent flood protection in a single entry point.

  7. Availability of Standard and Custom Options

    There are different types of watertight doors, including residential and commercial doors, spray-tight doors, power-operated doors, and manhole covers, among others. These doors are usually available in stock for quick order fulfilment, but you can also order custom doors to fit different sized openings or to address other unique concerns.

Final Note

Some window and door manufacturers include hydraulic gears with watertight doors, but they can also be purchased separately. Keep in mind that proper door pan installation is essential for overall waterproofing of your door.

The Difference Between Double Paned Windows And Window Inserts

Many homeowners replace their windows and doors in order to improve the comfort of their homes and save energy. When you start shopping for replacement windows, you will likely have to choose between one of two options: window inserts and full-framed windows.

Window Inserts Versus Full-Frame Replacements

Window Inserts

The vast majority of window replacement projects require the removal of an old and damaged window frame with its sashes, and replacing it with a new window. Many homeowners prefer window inserts because they are user-friendly, are relatively easy for DIYers, and leave the exterior and interior trim undisturbed.

Window inserts are essentially full-operational windows that are placed within the existing window trim and sill. You can personalise your replacement window inserts with regard to their design and energy efficiency so the colour, style, and design match your room decor. The window inserts are also virtually maintenance free after installation.

Double Paned Full-Frame Replacement

If you are looking to upgrade your old windows to more energy efficient double paned windows, you should consider a full-frame replacement. To accommodate the window design, you need to replace the windowsills and the interior and exterior trim.

During the installation, you need to remove the complete window, including the sills and trim, so the opening resembles that of a new construction. This option presents a great opportunity for owners to upgrade very old windows with a damaged or severely deteriorated wooden window frame. Post-installation, you will need to paint or stain the interior trim to complete the look and styling, so it complements your interior decor.

Which One Is Right for You?

Both options face similar shortcomings in terms of window quality and installation that may reduce or negate the desired energy savings. For instance, replacing individual windows using inserts or complete removal as opposed to upgrading all the windows in your home may not deliver the intended energy savings and comfort level.

Old frames may still let in cold drafts, while poorly spaced glass or failed seales can lead to new problems such as condensation. So, quality is key when looking to replace windows and doors.

That said, a full-frame installation is usually recommended for very old and drafty windows. The replacement windows may cost between 20 and 25 percent more than window inserts because of the additional materials and work required. On the other hand, window inserts are custom designed to match your home’s trim and colour, and fitted in the existing frame, allowing you to preserve the original architectural styling while improving its efficiency.

5 Tips To Prevent Birds From Flying Into Your Windows

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.

How To Stop Birds From Hitting Your 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Apply Netting

    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.

  5. 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.

Final Tip

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.

What Glass Is The Best Fit For Your Windows?

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?

3 Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Window Panes

  1. Function

    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.

  2. Obscurity

    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.

  3. Energy Efficiency

    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.

Final Note

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.

Are Steel Doors The Best Option For Your Home?

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.

Steel Door For Your Home

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?

  1. Security
    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.

  2. Energy efficiency
    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.

  3. Beauty
    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.

  4. Maintenance
    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.

  5. Cost
    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.

Verdict
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.

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.