Doors and windows are one element of the house, which ties together the exterior and interior, bridging their look and feel. It is hard to overestimate the importance of the function the doors and the windows play in home's appearance, comfort and value. According to latest data for our region, which includes Durham, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough area, exterior door and window replacements produce some of the highest relative increases in home value out of variety of home improvement projects.
There are three general types of exterior doors available: steel, fiberglass and wood. Because function of sliding patio doors is similar to windows, these can also be constructed of vinyl or be clad with aluminum. Each one of them has it's advantages and drawbacks.
Steel doors: this is the most affordable and readily available of the options. Steel doors are made of wood or particle board “sandwiched” between two outer metal shells. It is the most essential door, real workhorse of residential construction. Steel doors don't offer much in terms of aesthetics, they tend to dent from impact, but can provide many years of reliable service, when they are installed and painted according to manufacturer's recommendations.
Fiberglass doors: this type of door has fiberglass material on both sides of the door core. Fiberglass has several definitive advantages over steel: it does not rust or dent and it can assume a believable wood grain for a vastly superior look. Some models of fiberglass doors can even be stained for very realistic wood appearance without the drawbacks of exposed wood.
Wood doors: solid slab hardwood doors offer a luxurious appearance, as well as feel due to their heavy weight. A real wood door certainly enhances facade of any home, but it comes with a significant maintenance commitment. Even when thoroughly finished, wood often responds with discoloration to direct sunlight and water, so these doors perform better when installed under covered porch or awning. Even then the homeowner must be prepared to have the door refinished annually.
Most commonly found and installed residential windows in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Durham area are wood, vinyl and clad wood windows. While of the above materials refer to the frame, one glass can also differ from another in features, energy efficiency and price. Most of available glass upgrades provide greater energy efficiency and a promise of lower interior conditioning costs – low E, argon gas between the panes, even triple panes for colder climates.
Wood windows: formerly the only available kind, these windows are still manufactured and widely installed. They provide the unmatched look and feel of the wood on the interior side, often with option to stain it. As nice as wood is on the interior, it can be susceptible to decay when exposed to the elements. So it is essential to have your wood windows sealed and painted thoroughly. For this very reason, wood windows that incorporate PVC and composite elements on the vulnerable parts of exterior are becoming more mainstream lately.
Vinyl windows: vinyl windows are often the most economical option for new or replacement windows. Where they lack in charm and aesthetics on the interior, they well make up with utility and trouble-free performance on the outdoor side.
Clad wood windows: these windows are intended to combine the benefits of impervious pre-finished surface on the outside with beauty and warmth of wood for the interior. This is usually the more expensive option of the three. All kinds of rigid cladding – whether aluminum or vinyl – usually perform very well. Thin “skin” vinyl coatings some manufacturers used on their window lines, on the other hand, can spell trouble, and it's best to avoid them.
In some areas of the home, need for additional natural light makes skylights a necessity, but an all day naturally sun-lit room, without any privacy concerns, is, undeniably, a luxury. Because to their roof top installation, skylights take staggering amount of exposure to the elements, so anyone would be well advised to select both the unit and the installer carefully. It is usually worth buying a well-designed skylight from a reputable manufacturer and hire the installer who is willing to undertake all the necessary steps involved in thorough installation, even if it reflects in a higher price.
Trades of the Triangle install, replace and repair all types of windows in Chapel Hill, Durham and Hillsborough, including custom-sized fixed panels. Whether you need your windows replaced or, possibly, would like to add a window on a wall that's been long asking for it - look no further, give us a call! Along with windows, old doors with worn weatherstripping are a major area of energy loss. We can replace your old doors or place a new one in where you always wanted on but never thought possible - just ask! Skylights and solar lighting tubes allow natural light inside your home and when well placed can be a remarkable and dramatic addition to home design. We'll help you choose and install skylights or, should your existing skylight develop a leak, we'll repair it.