Make a Grand Entrance: Simple Ideas to Refresh Your Entryway

door(BPT) – Most people enter their home through the garage or backdoor, forgetting how the front entrance looks to neighbors and guests. Your front door is often the first thing others notice about your home. That’s why it’s key for making a positive first impression.

How to create an inviting entrance:

Transform your home’s curb appeal with a new front door. With so many new entry door systems to choose from, ranging from single doors, to double-door options, to those accented with decorative glass, or transoms and sidelights, it’s easy to find one that fits your budget and your style. Pella offers stylish wood, fiberglass or steel options. Choose from ENERGY STAR-qualified design options to create a distinctive look, whether you’re building a new home, remodeling, or simply replacing an old door.

Pick a standout color for your front door

Sticking with your door? A fresh coat of paint will do wonders. Try a bold color to brighten a neutral color scheme. Pick a color that coordinates with your home’s exterior, but dare to be bold with color contrast to add eye appeal.

Update your hardware

Why stop with a fresh coat of paint? Refresh old doors with new hardware. Choose handles and door knockers that complement your home’s exterior design. Pella offers hardware in a variety of finishes, to instantly upgrade exterior doors.

Replace broken or damaged items

Replace broken light fixtures, burned out bulbs and worn-out weather stripping on exterior doors. Pitch that faded wreath, worn out mat and dead plants, and instead, add a bright new welcome mat and eye-catching seasonal decorations.

Clean up, accent with contrast

Use a little elbow grease and ammonia-free, vinegar-based glass cleaner to wash the windows. Wipe down window and door frames and sweep sills with a dry paint brush or vacuum to remove dirt. See pella.com/news for tips on cleaning windows and doors.

Fill flower boxes or containers with boldly-colored plants to accent your front door. If you’ve painted your door red, plant red and white or red and purple flowers to create a designer look. Or if you’re keen on green doors, try purple or orange flowers for contrast.

Illuminate your walkway

Make it easy for others to see the way to your front door at night. Transform and illuminate walkways with easy-to-install solar lights. Stake them in the ground positioned so solar cells get enough southern exposure for sunlight to recharge nightlights during the day.

Trim bushes, create great container gardens

Landscaping should accent your home, not dominate it. Keep bushes below the bottom sill of your windows to improve your view. Trim or replace overgrown shrubs and trees. Keep plant material trimmed several feet away from your home to minimize damage from wind or insects, and help eliminate a place for prowlers to lurk. Keep your porch and steps clear of clutter and create container gardens to accent your entry. Fill decorative containers with plants that accent your home’s color scheme, front door and landscape design.

Visit Pella Windows and Doors on Pinterest and Houzz for more design inspiration and Pella.com/news to connect with your local Pella representative for ideas on how to transform the look and comfort of your home inside and out.

Keep Your Family Secure at Home with These Tips

pool 1(BPT) – When it comes to protecting your family, your home is your fortress. It’s the place where your children fall asleep at night, tucked safely in their beds. It has the backyard where your pets roam freely without any danger of running into traffic. And it’s the place where you can relax, knowing your family is secure.

There are some actions you’ll need to take to secure your fortress, but with a few adjustments to your landscaping, you can help keep your family and pets protected at home.

* Shrubbery – Landscaping directly next to the house can provide a hiding place for potential intruders of the human, insect and animal varieties. To discourage intruders of any kind, keep bushes smaller, spaced out and neatly trimmed if they are directly next to the house. This is a project to do both in the beginning of the summer and again in the fall before the frost hits.

* Lighting – In addition to keeping your trees and bushes trimmed, install lights – both on the house and around the landscaping of the yard. These lights will help illuminate any shadows that could hide potential intruders. Also, remember to keep the lights you shine inside your house to yourself. Prevent people outside the home from seeing what you have inside by closing the drapes at night.

* Fencing – Fences are great for keeping your children and pets away from traffic and other possible danger. If you have a pool, it will also keep them safe around the water. Fences require premium-grade, adjustable hinges and latches to ensure your gate closes properly, stays latched, and doesn’t sag or drag over time. MagnaLatch magnetic pool latches are specifically designed for child and pool safety. They have a patented latching system that prevents mechanical jamming that could cause gate failure. Combined with TruClose self-closing hinges, your gate will close smoothly and securely every time. If you prefer a standard gate lock, LokkLatch latches are designed with stainless steel components that won’t rust or stain.gate

These gate hardware options from D&D feature a lifetime limited warranty, are easy to install and are available through fencing contractors and numerous retail outlets, including Lowe’s, Home Depot and Amazon. Visit www.ddtechglobal.com for a full range of gate hardware products and to find a retailer near you.

* Security systems – As a final touch to keep an eye on your house at all times, install a security system. You can find models that range from contacting a security company when the alarm is triggered to having video cameras that allow online monitoring from a smartphone.

With these home and yard safety tips, your fortress will be as secure as you can make it. So enjoy your home and relax knowing you’ve kept your family safe.

Prevent Frozen Water Pipes From Flooding Your Home This Winter

overflow(BPT) – If you think water damage isn’t a real threat for millions of Americans, consider this: water damage caused $9.1 billion in annual homeowner property losses over a three-year period, according to a 2011 ACE Insurance Underwriters study. Despite that, many people don’t worry about protecting their home against water damage because they believe their home is safe so long as it isn’t located on a flood plain.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, flooding grabs the headlines, but the majority of water damage home insurance claims actually come from leaky or burst pipes.

The primary cause for concern is your water heater. Approximately 10 million water heaters were sold in 2009 according to The US Department of Energy. Appliance Magazine estimates that 69 percent of those will develop a slow water leak or a sudden water burst when they reach their life expectancy – anywhere from five to 25 years, depending on the model. An estimated 5 to 7 million water heaters fail ever year, and all failures carry with them the possibility of causing water damage. Experts estimate the average cost for repairs after a water heater fails can exceed $20,000 according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Another common household appliance that has the potential to create significant water damage when it fails is the washing machine. A washing machine’s potential for water spillage does not always come from the machine itself but from the hot and cold-water hoses connected to it. As the machine ages, so too does the risk that a rupture of one of the hoses will cause a major flooding event.

The average cost to repair water damage related to a washing-machine hose rupture is $5,308, according the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Finally, homeowners face threats from winter temperatures that can cause water lines to freeze and rupture, spilling water. In fact, frozen and broken water pipes rank No. 2 behind hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of claim costs. According to the Insurance Information Network of California, repair costs of around $50,000 due to flooding from frozen and broken water pipes are common.

So what you can do to minimize these potential risks and avoid these catastrophes?

Early detection of flooding or leakage can mean the difference between a simple do-it-yourself clean-up project and an insurance claim amounting to thousands of dollars. Uncontrolled flooding can cause catastrophic damage within minutes or hours; in just the time that you’re away at work an undetected flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage to the interior of a dwelling.

Modern technology, like the ValveSentry Device, can interrupt the source of flooding or water when a rupture occurs. Inexpensive water sensors placed near the water heater, washing machine or other appliances – like a sink and toilet – alert the system when they sense water. The system then shuts off the water at its source, mitigating any damage.

The ValveSentry Device can be installed in minutes by simply bolting it in place, which makes it much simpler to use than other devices that require the services of a licensed plumber or electrician. To learn more about the ValveSentry Device, visit Batticdoor.com.

Deck support: It’s what’s beneath the surface that counts

deckThe benefits of steel vs. wood substructures

(BPT) – The substructure of your deck is the heart of its durability and the foundation for its aesthetics. Until recently, wood was the go-to material for builders and contractors, but many professionals are now switching to steel for its superior structural integrity and design flexibility. Steel won’t rot, crack or warp, and its inherent strength allows for longer spans between beams and posts making it possible for architects and homeowners to integrate curves and other design elements into their decks, while achieving more usable space underneath.

“The substructure of a deck is something that homeowners rarely consider but one that can make all the difference in the life and performance of a deck,” says Adam Zambanini, vice president of marketing for Trex, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance wood-alternative decking and railing.” As a manufacturer of deck boards designed to last for at least 25 years, we recommend using steel framing to ensure that the substructure lasts as long as the deck surface. Dimensionally, stable steel is the only material that can deliver on the refined look and feel of what you’d expect from a high-performance deck board.”

Offering superior durability and aesthetics, steel outperforms wood on a variety of levels:

Performance – Traditional wood framing can split, warp and shift over time, leading to an uneven surface in the deck boards above. Steel deck frames are precision engineered to ensure a refined, flat surface for the life of the deck. They also are significantly more resilient to weather, moisture, time and pest deterioration.

Design flexibility – Have you ever tried to bend wood? Steel framing components have the ability to be bent and shaped allowing for curves and angled corners to create more intricate and dramatic deck designs. Additionally, they are more lightweight than wood and can span up to six feet (vs. four feet for wood), resulting in the need for fewer posts and greater flexibility in post placement. This creates less obstructed views and more open space below the deck for storage or even additional outdoor living area.

Safety – A substructure is the platform that will support your deck – not to mention your friends, family and loved ones – for decades of outdoor living activities. In addition to offering superior strength and longevity, steel is non-combustible, termite-proof and free of pressure-treating chemicals. For maximum safety, Trex offers the only code-listed deck substructure rated for exterior use in its Elevations Steel Deck Framing System.

Eco-friendly – In addition to lasting longer than wood, steel deck frames are made from recycled materials, can be recycled themselves and, unlike pressure-treated lumber, are chemical free.

“With its ability to prolong the life of a deck and improve its overall appearance, steel deck framing delivers performance and design benefits that wood simply can’t,” says Zambanini. “It’s a smart investment for any homeowner looking to maximize the life of their deck and keep it looking great for years to come.”

For more information about Trex Elevations Steel Deck Framing System, visit trex.com.

IMAGE CAPTIONS:
——————————————-
Caption 1: Your deck is the perfect place for entertaining, dining or just relaxing with friends and family.

Healthier, Safer Bathroom

bathroomMust-have technology is making bathrooms healthier, safer, more enjoyable

(BPT) – Think home technology begins with your wireless, programmable thermostat and ends with the high-definition, 3-D, web-enabled flat-screen TV with surround sound? Think again – whole home technology means using leading-edge devices to improve life in every room of the house, including the bathroom.

From toilets that flush without being touched to waterproof TVs for the shower, the latest bathroom technology can make the room safer, cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable for everyone. Here is a handful of high-tech home improvements for one of the most-used rooms in any house:

Safer, healthier toilets

You don’t have to be a scientist to know the toilet is one of the most germ-filled locations in any house – even if you’re meticulous about keeping it clean. Touching spreads those germs from surface to surface. Just as touch-free faucets have improved hygiene in the kitchen, a touchless flush toilet can help make the bathroom a healthier and more hygienic place.

“The toilet trip lever is an obvious area of hygienic concern,” says Brian Hedlund, marketing manager of Kohler toilets and bidets. “Touchless takes that concern out of the equation, using new technology to provide a touchless way to control the flush.”

Kohler’s touchless sensor creates a precise electromagnetic field that accurately and reliably detects when users hold their hands above the toilet to trigger the flush. The company’s Cimarron toilet comes with touchless technology already installed, and virtually any single-flush toilet with a canister or flapper-type flush can be retrofitted to work with the Kohler Touchless Flush Kit. The sensor runs on four AA alkaline batteries, which power the sensor for six to 12 months, depending on the volume of use.

Also from Kohler, the Nightlight Toilet Seat illuminates the seat with two gentle, blue LED lights, one to help you see the toilet area and the other to light the bowl once the lid is opened.bathroom2 The seat provides enough light to enhance nighttime safety and eliminates the need to turn on brighter, overhead lights that could disrupt your ability to go back to sleep. Available on Kohler’s Cachet Q3 and Reveal Q3 toilet seats, the nightlight operates on a timer and powered by replaceable batteries.

The extras

Americans do much more in bathrooms than simply “take care of business.” The bath is also a hub for personal health, where we weigh ourselves and care for our mental health with relaxation. Extras like towel warmers, TVs and high-tech scales add a touch of luxury to the bathroom.

Towel warmers have been around for centuries; wealthy 19th century and early 20th century homes were often outfitted with warmers that used a home’s steam heat system. Today, towel warmers feature several improvements such as high-tech warming bars, detailed temperature controls with multiple settings, timers and energy-efficient features.

Most people weigh themselves in the bathroom, and technology has also touched the traditional bathroom scale. It’s easy to find visually appealing scales that serve multiple functions besides simply displaying your weight. From scales that also measure body mass index (BMI) to wireless-enabled models that allow you to track your weight loss, BMI and other health indicators with a smartphone app, bathroom scales are more user-friendly than ever.

Finally, technology has made it possible to shave, shower or relax in the tub while never missing your favorite TV show. You can opt for a waterproof television that you can watch while showering, or choose a medicine cabinet that features an LCD TV screen in a mirrored door.

5 DIY Fall Yard Cleanup Tips

100_3041(BPT) – Fall is the perfect time to give your lawn the extra attention and care it needs – especially after an action-packed summer. Inclement weather, extreme temperatures and heavy foot traffic can take a toll on your yard, and inhibit the overall health and growth of your lawn. It’s important to let your lawn recover during the fall and make sure it has the nutrients and strength it needs for the coming months.

Consider these fall yard cleanup tips to help get your lawn back in shape and ready for winter.

Rake – Raking is one of the most common yet effective ways to clear leaves and other small debris like twigs from your yard. Easily remove leaves by raking onto a tarp, which allows you to drag and dump the leaves. If you experience backaches while raking, it’s best to use an ergonomic rake to help reduce pain often caused by repetitive motion.

Split logs – Neglecting large tree branches or limbs left in your yard from harsh winds and severe storms can compact soil and weaken grass. Clear your yard by using a log splitter, like the Yard Machines 21-Ton Log Splitter, to quickly and efficiently spilt wood instead of using an axe. For safety purposes, always place the log splitter on a flat, dry and solid surface, and then secure the wheels to prevent the splitter from moving during operation.

Clean gutters – Downspouts and gutters can fill up with leaves, dirt and other debris over time, keeping water from properly draining. This can cause gutters to overflow, which may lead to a flooded landscape and slick walkways, so be sure to thoroughly clean your gutters and remove objects that could disrupt or block water flow.

Fertilize – Applying fertilizer to your lawn helps grass rejuvenate from the summer heat and gives it the strength it needs to survive the winter. This will also help grass establish strong roots and improve soil richness for the coming spring.

Weed – Since weeds start to store food in their roots during the fall to prepare for the winter, it’s best to remove as many as possible – including the roots – to prevent regrowth. After you’ve finished weeding, cover landscape areas with mulch or rock to block sunlight and deter growth.

For more yard cleanup tips and information about equipment to help you achieve a better lawn, visit mtdproducts.com.

4 Benefits of Choosing Fiberglass Windows

fiberglass windowsThere are a lot of things to consider when installing new windows in your home. Of course, you want them to become an integral decorative addition to the exterior of your home and look (and stay!) beautiful for years. However, another aspect of your windows you might not have thought about is whether or not they’re made with the environment in mind. More often than not, materials that are built with the environment in mind can also positively impact your energy costs. Here are four reasons why fiberglass is the ultimate material for windows:

1) Easily Customized Exterior

One of the most beloved things about fiberglass is how it can be customized to achieve just the right look and feel for your home. Many fiberglass windows come finished with a coat of exterior acrylic and can be complemented by a number of different colors. Colors may include white, sierra, bronze, brown and more. Additionally, fiberglass finishes are incredibly durable and won’t corrode, blister, or peel over time, nor will you ever have to re-paint. Just wipe down with a little warm water or a nonabrasive household cleaner from time to time, and your windows will sparkle just like they did when they were first installed.

2) Interior

Along with the beautiful easily customized exterior finishes, with fiberglass windows, you can also play around with the interior. When adding or replacing your current windows, you’ll want to make sure that not only are they right for your home and your wallet, but right for the style of your home as well. Consider something like Everwood, for instance. This unique composite looks just like real wood, but it’s a whole lot cheaper and more durable. Not only does it stain just like real wood, you’ll find that the color will always stay true and requires no further maintenance. Plus, you can choose whatever color paint or stain you’d like, so you can be sure that your windows match your interior perfectly.

3) 100% Recyclable

If you truly are eco-friendly or environmentally conscious, then fiberglass would be the way to go. In fact, fiberglass is one of the most sustainable window materials available. While superior looks and durability are certainly important, many different variations of fiberglass are recyclable. That means there’s no waste in production, and any excess material can be turned into something new.

4) Expends Less Energy to Produce

Fiberglass takes remarkably less energy to create than vinyl, and 80% less energy than aluminum. Why is this important? The less fuel and electricity used in production means there’s less pollution being put into the environment and less emission of greenhouse gases. Combined with our other efforts to recycle scrap materials, ship efficiently and conserve water in our plants, you can be glad that your fiberglass windows will help ensure you’ll always have a beautiful view.

Bio: Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and an industry pioneer for innovation in home renovation. Paul writes for the Marvin Windows NJ blog and strives to educate people about “green” products such as fiberglass windows. Follow him on Twitter @PaulKazlov.

DIY Projects to Help You Whip Winter

dIY1(BPT) – The leaves are starting to fall off the trees, the birds are flying south, and you can feel the temperature dropping. Winter is on its way, and while squirrels pack away food before the first snow fall, you’ll be relieved to know that you still have time to finish some projects listed below to get your home ready for winter.

* Tackle the yard. Your yard will fall into dormancy during the winter, but a little prep now can help your green space bounce back in the spring. Fertilize your lawn using a lawn spreader from your local rental store to turn this all-day chore into a task that takes just a couple of hours. And don’t waste the rest of your day raking the yard; instead, rent a leaf blower to finish this task in a fraction of the time.

* Seal the gaps. Find the places where cold air sneaks into your home, and you will drastically reduce your heating bills throughout winter. Feel along your windows and doors for any drafts. Seal larger cracks with caulk and cover your windows in plastic wrap for comprehensive protection. If you have a real chimney, don’t forget to close the damper to prevent cold air from billowing down the chimney.

* Clean the carpets. The winter season can be hard on your carpets as snow, salt and dirt get tracked in from outside. Cleaning them before winter begins puts them in the best possible shape for the colder months ahead. You may think you need to hire professional carpet cleaners, but you can actually handle this project yourself by renting a carpet cleaner to conquer the task. You can visit RentalHQ.com to find your local rental store and for tips on renting a carpet cleaner.

* Protect pipes from freezing. A ruptured pipe can ruin your home and everything in it. Ruptured pipes occur during winter when the pipes freeze and the frozen water inside expands.DIY2 You can protect against this by never letting your home’s temperature fall below 65 degrees. Wrap pipes running along the exterior walls in heat tape, and be sure to check on your pipes on those bitterly cold nights.

* Empty the gutters. If left unchecked, falling leaves and other debris will clog your gutters and downspouts, which can cause ice dams in the winter. Start by trimming or removing trees and hedges near the gutters. If you lack the tools to complete this project, you can rent a brush cutter, tree trimmer or ladder to do the job. Once obstructions have been removed, clear the gutters to prevent a future home disaster.

These simple steps will help you winterize your home so you can enjoy a happy, hazard-free holiday season. To learn more winterizing tips and to find rental stores in your area, visit RentalHQ.com.

Summer Projects to Make Your Home Sensational

summer(BPT) – Summer is here, and this is the time when you want to be outside as much as possible, soak up the sun, eat amazing food and enjoy the company of family and friends. You’ll also see more of your home’s exterior on days like this than any other time of the year, so this is also a great time to complete those outdoor projects. In fact, 60 percent of homeowners will accomplish a summer home improvement project this year according to survey data from the Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey.

Follow these tips to make your home’s exterior shine all summer long.

* Smooth over concrete surfaces. In order to prevent any trips or falls, now is a good time to fix and patch those cracks in the driveway or garage. Be sure to fix them now before they get larger and incur larger repair costs. It will also help to prevent any future accidents. Small cracks can be fixed with concrete caulk while large cracks require a patch. Make sure to clean out the crack before applying either of these substances.

* Repaint the deck. Improving your deck, patio or porch is the seventh most popular home improvement project according to RE/MAX, and it’s easy to see why. When you picture yourself outside on a beautiful summer day, you probably picture yourself sitting on the deck. So, make your deck stand out with a fresh coat of paint. “Decorating outside of your home is now all the rage,” says Matthew Mead, author of Backyard Style. “Your deck needn’t be brown and sullen. Infuse your backyard space by selecting whatever color you want, and spray the floor of your deck with the Wagner Flexio 890. Your deck will be the toast of the neighborhood.”

* Give your old patio furniture a new look. If you’re going to reinvent your deck, why stop there? Why not refresh your patio furniture to complement your deck’s new color, too? “Revive any outdoor furniture with an easy spray using the Wagner Flexio 890,” says Mead. “With a simple coat of paint you can transform tables, chairs and anything wicker in any hue or shade you desire. In my new book Backyard Style, I show how to take simple flea-market finds, and with some paint and very little effort, transform them into show-stopping decorative accessories.”

* Caulk around the windows. This annual project won’t help you enjoy those beautiful summer days, but it will help you survive those sweltering days from the safety of your air-conditioned home. Make sure to caulk around windows and any exterior joints, including doors. Many people think of this as a preventative project for winter, but a fresh application of caulk will protect cool air conditioning from escaping when you need it most.

* Make your home’s exterior sparkle. If your home suffered any damage during the winter, summer is the perfect time for repairs that will make it look great again. Walk around your home and look for damaged or missing siding. Replace these pieces and then use a pressure washer to clean and wash away excess dirt and grime. Using a special detergent appropriate for cleaning your home will give you better results. Once you’re done with the siding, don’t forget to grab the window cleaner and make those windows sparkle.

Each of these projects can return between 67 and 112 percent of their value to your home, according to DiGiorgi Roofing and Siding, not to mention the added joy you’ll receive from these home improvements. So get out there and get to work. The sooner you finish your project, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of summer in style!

How to Give Your House an Annual Checkup

annual home checkups(BPT) – There’s no better time than now to give your home the attention it deserves. Give it an annual checkup before cold weather arrives to help add comfort, save energy and cut home maintenance in the long-run.

When inspecting your home’s windows and doors, here’s what to check:

Inspect interior and exterior finishes: Over time, paint and stain can weather away. Flaking or peeling may mean that it’s time to refinish or replace the unit. When replacing windows or doors, consider factory prefinished wood or fiberglass options from Pella, or vinyl options that don’t need painting or staining, to save time and money.

Look for damaged exterior surfaces or signs of leaks: Check your sprinkler system to make sure it’s watering your lawn and landscape, not soaking your windows or doors. Cracked or deteriorated wood may be a sign of water penetration. Leaks can linger and affect interior walls, floors or ceilings, so look closely for discoloration or other moisture signs.

If you spot a problem, track its trail. For example, discolored trim around a window might actually be caused by moisture entering a ways away. With a leaky roof, water may run down inside the wall and appear at the window. Contact a professional for help in making home repairs.

Clear windowsills and tracks of dirt and debris: Sand, leaves, insects or pine needles stuck in weather-stripping can affect the performance of your windows and doors. Open the windows and clean the opening with a soft brush, like a dry paint brush or vacuum attachment. Do the same for sliding patio doors.

Try opening and closing: Open your windows and doors to make sure moving parts work, and units close properly. Replace worn or broken parts.

Inspect weather-stripping: Re-attach loose weather-stripping around windows or doors, and replace material that’s ripped or torn.

columnsReplace or repair broken locks: If locks feel loose or don’t work smoothly, replace them. Keep windows and doors locked when not in use. Locks help hold doors and windows tightly, to lock out rain, wind, snow and insects.

Inspect weep and breather holes: Weep holes in the exterior of windows, allow excess moisture to escape, while breather holes allow air exchange within certain components. Clear blocked holes of dirt or debris with a wire or toothpick.

Check exterior sealants and caulk on and around windows and doors. Pay attention to areas susceptible to rain, water and extreme sunlight. Remove damaged material and reapply sealant.

In coastal locations, rinse exterior metal like exterior aluminum trim or cladding: Rinsing exterior metal parts three or four times a year can help extend the life of your windows and doors by minimizing corrosion from salt spray or fog.

Feel for signs of air leakage around the window or door: Improperly installed windows or doors can be drafty, decrease energy efficiency, and allow unwanted moisture into your home. To help save on utility bills and keep your home more comfortable year-round, replace drafty old, leaky windows with new, ENERGY STAR-qualified Pella windows installed properly.

Visit Pella Windows and Doors on Pinterest for design inspiration or Pella.com/news to connect with a Pella representative for tips on caring for your windows and doors, or choosing new replacements.