Arch Design Blog

Advantages of French Hinged Patio Doors

Arch Design - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Holiday Celebrations and the Advantages of French Hinged Patio Doors

The holidays are often a unique time of year for many homes. There is a lot more cooking, many guests visiting the home and unique celebrations for everyone involved. If you love to host for the holidays, then you want to ensure your home is welcoming and accommodating to all of these changes.

The kitchen is naturally a main hub for all the festivities and this is why it's important to have an open and free moving area. The installation of French hinged patio doors can really help with this process. Not only are these doors convenient through the rest of the year, but there are clear advantages of using them during the holiday season.

Guest Arrivals and Departures

One of the main advantages of the use of French hinged doors is the ability for them to open double-wide. In a typical installation, two doors are placed side by side and can swing both outwards and inwards as needed. As you prepare for the arrival of guests, the versatility of the doors can really make things functional and easy. With both doors wide open, guests can easily enter and exit the home.

This makes it especially helpful when carrying luggage, holiday gifts and other items needed for the visits. You do not need to worry about scuff marks on door frames or troubles with people arriving. When the entry is in the kitchen, it makes it easy to clean up any dirt or debris dragged into the house. The dirt can be swept right out the open French doors and into the patio area.

You also have the option of placing a large outdoor floor mat on the exterior of the doors. The oversized mat makes it easier to pick-up excess dirt, mud or any winter-related debris.

Holiday Cooking

During the holidays, you may notice that you are cooking a lot more. There's festive feasts like Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners along with a number of baked desserts between the holidays. When you're using multiple cooking elements, you may find your kitchen is hot, stuffy and uncomfortable. When the weather is nice out, you can really air out the kitchen from steam, smoke and the humidity.

Even if you have oven vents, they don't have the same effect as French doors have. Every time you open the oven to remove cookies, meats or various side dishes, you fill the kitchen with a lot of heat. The intensity of the heat can increase when more bodies are located in the kitchen. Opening the doors allows the fresh air to reach your kitchen in a matter of seconds.

If the kitchen is connected to a covered porch or some type of sun room, then the French doors serve even more functionality. With the doors open, the room will feel expanded and can accommodate more people at one time. Extra dining or serving can be made available in the connected area and help prevent your home from being over crowded.

Holiday Decorating and Seasonal Views

The installation of French doors in your kitchen gives you a whole canvas to decorate for the holiday season. These doors typically feature glass panels from top to bottom on the door. This can be used to hang traditional holiday decorations like wreaths, Santa Claus or small floral arrangements. The glass windows also have a number of decorating options. For example, you can frost the corners of the windows to make it look like a winter wonderland. Window clings also work well as great holiday decorations.

The large windows to the outside not only let a lot of natural light into the kitchen, but it can offer great views of beautiful snowstorms and snow-covered landscapes.

Our expert technicians at Arch Design can help you plan and choose the best French doors for your kitchen needs.

Awnings and Sliding Windows

Arch Design - Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Choose the Best Awnings and Sliding Windows

When it comes to window styles, double-hung and casement windows tend to get the most recognition. And indeed, these are the most popular styles of windows to see throughout a home. However, there are a couple of other window styles that work well in specific scenarios and spaces. You would probably not replace every window in your home with an awning or sliding window, but you may put one in a single, specialized window opening. 

Here is a closer look at often-overlooked awning and sliding windows, their benefits, and instances in which you may want to use them.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are usually longer than they are tall. They're mounted on a couple of hinges, which are placed at the top of the window frame. To open an awning window, you turn a small crank at the bottom of the frame.

Benefits of Awning Windows

Awning windows are easy to open and close. You don't have to lift a heavy window sash or worry about hurting your fingers when trying to operate a complicated locking mechanism. Since awning windows tend to be small, they are often secure; it would be tough for a grown adult to fit in through most awning windows. When they are closed and locked, the locking mechanism is very tough to "pick." 

Awning windows offer good airflow into the home when they're open. You don't even have to worry about rain coming in since the open window glass hangs over the window opening and shields it.

Where Do Awning Windows Work Well?

Awning windows are a popular choice above kitchen counters. They fit well into the narrow space above a counter, and the ventilation they provide helps exhaust cooking vapor from the space. Many homeowners also use awning windows in the bathroom. When placed high up on the wall, they bring in air and sunshine without allowing passersby to see inside.

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows, sometimes known as gliding windows, consist of two side-by-side sashes. One sash slides or glides past the other, sometimes on a rolling mechanism. You just push on the side or bottom of the window sash to slide it open. Like awning windows, sliding windows are typically longer than they are tall.

Benefits of Sliding Windows

One advantage of sliding windows is the lack of necessary maintenance. These windows have a very simple design; you don't have to worry about hinges or spring-loaded mechanisms breaking.

If you have limited dexterity in your fingers, you'll find sliding windows easier to open since there are no small cranks or buttons to operate. Many homeowners also like that sliding windows are easy to reach when opening and closing them. You only ever have to reach the bottom of the window frame--not push it upward as with double-hung windows.

Where Do Sliding Windows Work Well?

Sliding windows are a popular choice for horizontal window openings that are set against patios or porches. The window does not swing outward when you open it, so it does not create an obstruction on the patio. You may have casement windows throughout most of your home, but choose a sliding window for the room against the patio.

It's easy to pass things like grill utensils and drinks through a sliding window when you're entertaining on the patio. Sliding windows are easy to integrate with screens, so you can keep the bugs out.

When choosing replacement windows for your home, keep in mind that you don't need to use the same style of window in every window space. For instance, it's completely okay to use double-hung windows in most window openings, but put an awning window in the bathroom and a sliding window in the kitchen. To learn more about these window styles and their various benefits, contact the experts at Arch Design today.

Should You Add Security Window Film to Your Windows?

Arch Design - Tuesday, August 08, 2017

One of the problems that windows present is that they are easy to break, giving determined criminals a way in as long as they're willing to deal with shards of glass. You've got your choice of security features, but installing them often requires you to modify the windows cosmetically.

For example, rather than add bars that would block the view through the window, many people turn to security window film. If you want additional safety features, you may have questions about security film. What are the pros and cons of the film? If you are about to get dual-pane windows installed, is it still a good idea to get security film installed? Read on to find out.

Purposes of Security Film

Security window film looks like other window films used for blocking heat transfer and light. The film can be clear or tinted, and it can combine insulating and anti-glare properties or be constructed for security only. You really have a wide range of choices if you want to add security film.

When you add security window film, what you're doing is bonding the film to the glass so that if someone tries to break the glass, the film continues to hold all of the glass together. If any glass shards fall off, the film itself should hold together and resist cutting.

Note that security film has to be attached to the window frame. If you place it on the glass only, all a criminal has to do is break around the pane for the entire window to come out. You'll need to find an installer who can attach the film properly in order to make the film worth the money it costs.

Emergency Safety and Comfort

Obviously, having windows that prevent entry into the home is a good thing if you're worried about intruders getting through by breaking glass. Windows that are hard to break through could present an issue with emergency entry and exit, though. The film could make it tougher for emergency personnel to get into the house if the door is blocked and they need to enter through the window.

It is possible for emergency personnel to cut through the film; however, they need to know that the film or lamination is there so they can bring the right tools. So if you want to get security film, you should contact your local emergency services first to see whether there is a type that is easier to deal with or whether your local emergency personnel have procedures for identifying houses with security film.

If you're worried about getting out through a window yourself, you should know that there are solutions. For example, you can have a film dealer show you how to use film to push a pane out. If you plan ahead and ask the right questions, you can make your home secure both against intruders and in the case of a break-in.

Installation Issues

If you currently have single-pane windows, installing security film isn't that tough. You still want to have the work done professionally instead of doing it yourself, but other than that, installation is straightforward. If you're fine with the possible issues with emergency exists, security window film can be a great addition.

However, if you're getting dual-pane windows, the situation can be a bit more complicated. The two panes in a dual-pane window need to expand and contract (this happens with heat and cold) in essentially the same way. If one pane expands more or more quickly than the other, the difference can lead to a crack. The window's seals would be broken, and all the insulating properties would be gone.

Some heat-insulating films can make one pane expand more quickly than the other. While security window film doesn't necessarily have to have heat-insulating properties mixed in, you should check with your window installers to ensure adding security film is okay.

Adding any film risks changing the heat properties of the window. You must be sure you add a film that will work with the window and not against it. If your window installers advise against security film, listen to them. However, the window company may actually say that a few types or brands of film would be fine.

Next you need to check whether you have to use security-only film or can add anti-glare or insulating features. Don't assume anything: ask specifically about various options.

If you're looking to get some new windows and want to discuss security, contact Arch Design. With the ability to custom-make windows to fit your home, the staff at Arch Design can provide you with the panes you need and the advice you seek.

What You Need To Know About Energy Efficiency And Your Windows

Arch Design - Monday, July 24, 2017

Windows beautify your home, bring the outdoors in and let you bathe your interior décor in glowing natural light. That said, they can also cost you -- and that doesn't just mean the cost of installation and maintenance. Window spaces in the average home take up roughly 15 to 20 percent of the entire wall surface. That provides plenty of places for air to get in or out. When it comes to letting a spring breeze in, you're thrilled to let the outdoor air pass through. And when it comes to letting the smoky air of a burning stovetop dinner out, you're also happy to have the ventilation. But when it comes to losing heat or AC cooling, window leaks aren't your friend. Before you cover your home in plastic or decide on a total redesign, check out what you need to know about your home's windows and energy efficiency.

What Causes Heat/Cooling Loss?

There are many factors that play into heat loss through your home's windows. To start with, heat and cooling can get in or out directly through the glass or glazing. Think about how chilly old windows feel to the touch. If the window itself is freezing, it's likely your home will be too.

Along with losing heat or cooling through the glass itself, everything around your window can let air in and out. A gap in the frame, cracked or failing caulk or a lack of insulation (or old insulation that isn't standing up well to the test of time) can all decrease your home's energy efficiency.

Are All Windows the Same?

It's not exactly breaking news that older windows don't perform as well as newer ones. Technological innovations have led to the development of materials and processes that are more energy-efficient and reduce the overall heat/cooling loss. But that doesn't mean every "newer" window is the same. Some fair better than others when it comes to what comes in and out of your home.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) administers a program (this is a voluntary program and is not required for all window manufacturers) that evaluates, certifies and labels windows. Certified labels are found on all Energy Star qualified windows and designate that the product is energy efficient.

What Else Goes into An Energy-Efficient Window?

Understanding what makes a window more or less energy efficient can help you to choose wisely when you're updating your home. Modern windows are made of layers of glass that are filled with a gas or a combination of gases. They are then sealed, creating an insulated system within the window itself. The more glazings a window has, the better insulated it is. And the better insulated a window is, the less energy you're likely to lose.

Older homes may have single-glazed windows. These have one pane of glass and typically lose energy at the highest rates. Better insulated windows come in double, triple and even quad glazings.

The number of layers alone isn't the only factor feeding into energy efficient windows. Different materials transmit visible light while blocking heat from coming in. The light-to-solar gain (LSG) number is the ratio between the solar radiation (heat) that comes in and the visible transmittance (VT) light that gets through. A higher number means that the window lets in more light without letting in even more heat. That makes it more energy-efficient and helps to keep your summer cooling bills down.

What Else Is There to Consider?

You can pick the best window available, with the highest energy efficiency ratings, and still have heat or cooling loss. How is this possible? If the window frame is warped, breaking down or in some way not wellinsulated, it's likely that you'll lose energy. This is what makes professional installation absolutely essential. A pro can evaluate your window spaces and help you to make decisions about the frames as well as the glass. Whether you're replacing both the windows and the frames or just the windows, an expert contractor can also make sure that the installation is done right (and is energy tight) the first time.

If you're considering replacing your windows, call Arch Design at 513-367-0737 for a consultation. 

4 Ways New Windows Can Improve Your Home's Value

Arch Design - Wednesday, June 07, 2017

 

You know that home upgrades in general can boost your house's overall value, but new window installs have their own list of benefits. From security to energy efficiency, new windows can make your home more valuable than ever while also providing excellent qualities you can enjoy until you choose to sell or re-finance. Discover four great ways this non-invasive install upgrade can give your home the monetary and personal value you are looking for.

Security

New windows with keyed locks are difficult to break into. You can also have other security measures added to your new windows, such as a film that reinforces common entry windows (basement and bedroom windows, for example), making them harder to shatter. For children's rooms, you can have windows installed that have permanent security screens placed on them, making it difficult for intruders to get in and children to climb out.

When you choose security options for your new window install, you increase your home's value by lowering the potential insurance premium costs for your house. You also benefit from having the added peace of mind from knowing that your home is more strongly protected. Potential home buyers will also be attracted to safety features, which can allow you to ask for a higher selling price than other homes without security windows.

Energy Efficiency

It is estimated that windows lose more heat in the winter and allow more heat in during the summer than any other part of the home. Since up to 20% of your home is taken up by window space, this adds up to a lot of energy loss. Installing new windows with double or triple panes or installing interior or exterior storm windows can help reduce energy loss dramatically. This allows you to save money, while adding value to your home for its energy-efficient qualities at the same time.

Greater Appraisal

When you get your home appraised to discover its current value so that you can list or re-finance it, you'd be surprised at the many things that can cause the value to go down. Your windows are key components in your home's appraisal, and the sills, panes, and even design of your windows can affect the end results. Getting new windows gives you a greater overall appraisal rate.

Not only do new windows give your home a greater appraisal value, but they help your home "show" better when you are trying to sell it. Buyers often look for flaws in a home so they can haggle with the asking price, and windows are a common target. You can keep your asking price strong by being able to showcase beautiful new windows that are modern in design. Talk to your window install expert about different styles of windows you can place in your home based on your budget and the style of home you have.

Greater ROI

Some home upgrades are only as beneficial as the use you have for them, such as grandiose home offices or the addition of a sunroom. Others, like new windows, not only offer you real-time value, but they also give you a greater return on your investment. Expect to receive up to 70% back on your investment in new windows over the years.

Getting new windows is about so much more than simply making your home look and feel more modern. You can add value to your house in so many ways, just by doing this simple install. With Arch Design, you can accomplish your dreams of having stunning new windows no matter what your budget is. Contact our company for new windows and doors that will give your home the modern appeal you desire.

Need a New Front Door? Beautiful Options to Consider

Arch Design - Monday, May 22, 2017
Upgrading your front door to a new and contemporary style that better suits your home is a simple renovation that makes a huge impact. If you are ready to give your front entry the pizzazz it needs by installing a new wooden or steel door, consider these many options to fall in love with.

Painted Steel Door

A new steel door can greatly increase the value of your home based on the added security it gives to your property. A steel door with double insulation can give you over 100% of your investment back, which is a great motivator for an upgrade. Paint your new steel door with a stylish hue, such as:

  • Coral
  • Turquoise
  • Seagull gray
  • Navy
  • Copper

To add even more appeal to your new steel front door, add a bronze or copper knocker. Your door installation expert can help you choose among classic and contemporary knocker styles to make your door stand out even more.

Exotic Wood Door

If a wood door is more your style, you can explore more exotic lumber to give your door a unique appeal. If you love the knotted look of wood, then opt for a Knotty Alder. For natural grain wood, Sapele Mahogany and Red Oak are excellent choices. If you enjoy a lighter-hued wood door for its soft appeal, then Bamboo or White Oak are excellent choices.

Before choosing an exotic wood for your new door, explore your many options. Imported woods, such as African Black Wood or Sandalwood, are often pricier than domestic varieties, so keep this in mind as you shop for your new wood door with exotic materials.

Elegant Glass Door

A glass door can open up your entryway and give your home a welcoming, classic appeal. There are many glass styles to choose from to suit your personality and your home's modern design. A few glass door options to install include:

Etched Glass

Etched glass is glass with designs imprinted into the pane with a laser. Etching can be simple as a border near the frame or as complex as a floral or leafy design.

Frosted Glass

If you want a glass front door while still obtaining your privacy, frosted glass is a wise choice. You can allow light into your entryway without making the interior of your home visible to the outside world.

Stained Glass

Ethereal and colorful, stained glass throws splashes of color on your interior and exterior walls when the sun hits the pane just right. This is a beautiful glass option with limitless designs you can have customized just for your home.

Beveled Glass

Contemporary and alluring, beveled glass is a textured glass style that can be placed in wood or steel doors. Bubbles, swirls, or circles create the solid piece for a striking effect from both outside and inside your home.

Talk to your door installation contractor about the best type of glass door for your home based on your budget, your privacy needs, and your home's current design. If you are choosing an artisan glass door handcrafted just for your needs, allow for completion time to receive your new door.

There are many ways you can upgrade your home's exterior simply by getting a new front door. When you decide what type of door you want, your professional door installer can have it placed for you so you can enjoy your new front entry look right away.

With Arch Design, you can give your home the fresh appeal it needs by working with our professional crew of door and window experts. We can help you shop for your new front door so you can feel confident in your decision.

Low-Emissivity Storm Windows and Why They May Be Right for Your Home

Arch Design - Monday, March 13, 2017

Increasing a home's energy efficiency can be a challenge, particularly if the home is older or contains serious preexisting flaws that inhibit energy savings. However, one action that homeowners can take to increase efficiency is installing storm windows. These modern windows are built with low-emissivity ("low-e") glass, and their low cost means they will pay for themselves in just a few years.

Below is more information about low-emissivity storm windows and why they may be the right choice for your home.

What Is Low-Emissivity Glass?

Only approximately 15 percent of heat energy that strikes ordinary window glass is reflected back toward its source; an overwhelming amount of the heat is transferred into the glass itself, where it is ultimately lost. This reflection and transference is clearly a problem when you're considering how to increase energy efficiency, For example, most of the interior heat during winter is effectively lost when it strikes the windows. Vice-versa, during summer, a lot of heat is permitted to pass into homes rather than be reflected.

To counter this problem, storm window glass is specially treated to reflect more of the wavelengths that carry heat. As a result, most of the energy that was previously lost as radiated heat is now reflected by these low-emissivity windows. Combined with the structural design of storm windows, the use of low-emissivity glass makes these windows incredibly energy efficient by regulating the heat energy flow into your house.

How Do Storm Windows Work?

Much like storm doors are fitted to exterior doors, storm windows serve to augment a preexisting window. Storm windows are attached to either the exterior or interior of windows and increase the efficiency of the combined unit by reflecting heat energy and using the air gap between glass panes to further reduce heat transfer. Storm windows are designed to be permanent, and once they are installed, they do not need to be removed for maintenance or storage.

What Are the Advantages of Storm Windows?

Storm windows bring several advantages to the table, such as the following.

Enhanced Appearance

Storm windows are an ideal way to renovate existing windows and cover outdated or worn frames. They can immediately add an attractive, fresh new look to your home for a lower cost than adding entirely new windows. If your windows are still in relatively good physical condition, then storm windows are an eye-catching, yet wallet-friendly, option that you should consider.

Ease of Installation

Storm windows are simple to install, and even a dedicated do-it-yourselfer can perform the installation in many instances. The installation of storm windows does not require the same level of work that full window replacement demands, so that easy feature makes for a shorter and simpler process.

Quietening Effect

If you live in an area where outside noise is elevated and disturbing, storm windows can help lessen exterior noise. Storm windows provide sound insulation alongside reduced heat transmission, which doubles the benefits received as a result of their use.

Lower Energy Bills

Of course, the bottom line for using storm windows is the reduction in heating and cooling costs. Compared to using single-pane windows alone, low-emissivity storm windows can save homeowners up to a third on their energy bills if the windows are properly installed. Even storm windows without low-emissivity glass can cut energy costs by up to one-fifth.

 

If you are interested in installing storm windows, then contact your local window specialist for help. These experts will be happy to make recommendations, present options, and provide installation services if you decide to purchase storm windows. Should your current windows not be suitable for storm windows, your window specialist can also help you make decisions about replacing old windows with newer, energy-efficient options.

5 Window-Related Tactics to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

Arch Design - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

If your home includes one or more small rooms, you may be constantly looking for tricks to make those spaces feel cozy rather than cramped. While you can use a number of techniques to achieve the illusion of openness, you should start with your windows.

Your windows and how you cover them can dramatically change the appearance of a small space. To create rooms that look bigger and more welcoming, try these five tactics.

1. Go Long

Often, small rooms feel tight because they have low ceiling clearance. One of your first concerns when making a room feel larger is to emphasize the vertical dimensions of the space. Start by swapping out horizontally focused window treatments for vertical ones.

For an air of elegance and sophistication, install decorative drapes that hang from a rod above the window frame all the way down to the floor. You can also replace Venetian blinds with vertical blinds or shades to maintain window functionality. For fun and flair in personal spaces like children's rooms, consider window treatments with vertical patterns, such as zigzags or stripes.

2. Invite More Light

Natural light can fool the eye into seeing more space. If privacy is not an issue in your small room, keep the blinds open whenever you entertain to let natural light brighten up the space. If you're trying make a bathroom or first floor bedroom seem bigger, consider sheer drapes to increase privacy without making the room darker.

If you're ready for a more permanent solution, consider replacing your current windows with bigger ones. Bay and bow windows work great for living areas, while sidelights next to your door can expand your entryway. Consult with a windows contractor to find the right solution to bring natural light into your home.

3. Make a Match

When decorating a small space, you want to use a simple, light color palette. Elements that disrupt the flow of the room make the space appear cluttered. One of the ways to encourage visual flow is by creating a monochromatic background.

Paint your walls, trim, and window frames the same color so that no one element stands out above the others. Then, choose window treatments the same color as your paint job for a bright, chic look. While you can use a variety of colors, pale hues work best in small spaces, so consider white, off-white, beige, and pastels first.

4. Reflect the View

A mirror can be one of the most important tools in your arsenal when broadening a small room, but placement is key. Bring your outdoor view inside and create the illusion of bigger room dimensions by placing the mirror opposite a window. This position has the additional benefit of bouncing more natural light around the room.

For the most seamless image, use a mirror that either has a frame the same color as your walls and window treatments or a mirror without a frame.

5. Retire the Blinds

If even long, flowing, or vertically shaped window treatments make your small room feel too cramped, consider eliminating window treatments entirely. Open windows give the room a minimalist charm and maximize natural light.

This step works particularly well when your windows have interesting architectural details that provide visual interest and decoration without boxing the room in. If you are in the market for new windows, look for unique designs that can stand up on their own without the accent of window treatments. Windows with muntin bars, multiple panels, and traditional casements can give a simple room character.

 

Use these guidelines to brighten and broaden even the smallest rooms in your home.

3 Steps to Achieve an Optimal View From Your Windows

Arch Design - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The mountains. The trees. The blue sky. Whatever view greets you outside your home, you want to take it all in. Unfortunately, the current view through your windows is less than ideal.

Here are a few steps you can take to improve that view.

1. Get the Right Type of Window

If you're considering installing a new window, choose a window type that promises great views. The following options offer excellent views.

Picture Windows

These are built primarily with the view in mind. They typically cover an entire wall and are larger than other window types. Also, they have no frames, parts, or pieces blocking the glass, which offers an unobstructed view.

Casement and Awning Windows 

Casement and awning windows swing open rather than slide open. This means that unlike sliding windows, they are constructed of solid glass. Thus, they offer a clear view to the outdoors.

Skylights 

If you want a view of the sky, consider skylights. Whether you want to watch the sun stream into your home or you want to look at the night stars, you can achieve this view with a skylight.

Bow and Bay Windows 

To get as close as possible to your outdoor view, invest in bow and bay windows. They project from the wall, creating additional floor space in your home.

Double Hung Windows 

With double hung windows, you can raise both sections of the window for a full view. When you open your single hung window, only half the window opens. 

Custom Windows

You could also opt for a custom window. These windows can be built to fit the dimensions you desire. Thus, you can choose custom windows as large as you want them to be to afford you with a decent view.

2. Choose the Right Window Treatment

Just as the type of window matters, the type of window treatment matters as well. Of course, any kind of window treatment can be opened during the day for the view and closed at night for privacy. But what if you want to enjoy the view and protect your privacy?

A cellular shade is ideal for a bathroom. It covers the bottom half of the window to protect your privacy, but it also keeps the top half open to provide you with a view.

Roller shades and semi-sheer fabric curtains or draperies are all good choices for other rooms in your home. They let in light even when they're closed.

Curtains aren't the best choice if view is your object. Even when open, curtains can block part of the window and obscure your view. Shutters and blinds are better options because they give you a complete view when they're open.

3. Don't Be Afraid to Increase Window Height

If you're planning to get a new window, get a window that's tall enough to fit your entire wall space. Most standard windows are only six feet and eight inches tall, even though many ceilings are nine or ten feet high. If you have a taller ceiling, you have space for a taller window.

Also consider placing your window closer to the floor. Most windows are placed three feet above the floor to leave space for furniture. But if you're not placing furniture next to the window, you can have the window placed closer to the ground. This will provide you with a complete floor-to-ceiling view of the great outdoors.

Having a good view from your window can help you feel more content. After all, you don't need expensive artwork when you have a picturesque view right in front of you.

 

Follow these steps to ensure a great view from your home through your windows. If you need a new window, call Arch Design. We offer custom window options from leading brands. 

What You Should Know About Blinds and Protecting Your Kids and Pets

Arch Design - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Nothing adds that final touch of class to windows like a carefully chosen treatment, such as curtains, blinds, shades, or shutters. However, the last thing that homeowners want to do is install a window treatment that could pose a severe risk for a child or pet.

It is vital to know how to protect small children and animals in your home from being caught on cords. Follow the steps below to keep the most helpless in your household from being hurt.

Use Cordless Window Treatments If Possible

The best possible way to protect your children and pets from accidental strangulation is to eliminate all cords completely. Replace corded blinds or shades with window treatments that don't need any loose cords for operation. A cordless look is also often more attractive and cleaner, so your home will likely gain aesthetically from that decision, too.

While you can replace corded blinds with shutters or spring-loaded roller shades, you can also choose from a wide variety of cordless blinds that can be raised and lowered with a light touch. Also look at batterypowered blinds and shades that can be operated remotely for the ultimate hands-off approach.

Keep in mind that some cordless window treatments still use internal cords and cables to operate the slats, so make sure that you understand the potential risks with those options, too.

Don't Forget to Install Cleats and Pulleys

Since children and animals often become trapped with looped cords, one of the best steps you can take is to install cleats and pulleys that will eliminate the loops. Cleats are simple hooks that permit you to wrap the cord ends around them. Cleats keep the cords taut and prevent children or pets from inserting their heads. When using cleats, wind the cords around them in a figure-eight pattern to prevent accidental unraveling and to make it more difficult for curious kids to untie the cords.

In addition, be sure that your cleats are placed as high as possible to keep the cord ends out of reach. When installing cleats, don't forget that kids have a longer reach than you might expect and that clever toddlers might be able to use a stool or chair to grab cords. In addition, always tie cords with all slack removed. Cut them shorter if that will help you tie them more neatly and efficiently.

Replace Old Window Treatments With New Ones

Another helpful hint that can protect your kids and pets is to get rid of old window treatments and replace them with new ones. The window coverings industry has advanced safety standards numerous times over the past decades, resulting in steady improvements in product safety.

For example, the elimination of internal cords that can be easily slipped out of blinds is one advancement that helps prevent accidents. To ensure you have the safest window treatments, throw out obsolete products or those that have safety defects.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission regularly publishes lists of recalls for unsafe products, so be sure you reference their website to keep abreast of developments. In addition, some states maintain their own safety information online, and these sources can prove helpful in identifying unsafe window treatments.

Prevent Easy Access to Window Blinds

While you can't expect young children and pets to truly understand the strangulation danger posed by cords, you can discourage and limit access to them. For example, never use cords as a toy or object of attention for kids or animals.

In addition, should a child or pet access cords, be sure to provide an appropriate, sharp correction to let them know cords are off-limits. If you take these preventative measures, you can enjoy the beauty of your window treatments without worrying about potential harm they could cause to children or pets.