Tag Archive for: home improvement

Alternatives to Glass Block Windows & Other Dated Home Features

There are many gorgeous historic homes in Wisconsin. Some are centenarians, while others were built during the 1940s and 1950s during the post-War baby boom. Many of these homes have stunning features—stained glass, built-in cabinetry, rounded doors, and other architectural touches that people adore.

But then there are less-historic but still older homes that might have some not-so-attractive architectural features. There was another housing boom in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in Wisconsin suburbs. Many folks moved into split levels, ranches, and other dwellings without the craftsman touches.

Yes, we’re talking about features like old aluminum siding, glass block windows, stucco, and cheaper early-vinyl windows and doors.

An outdated glass block window with blue, yellow, and clear glass bricks.

Getting Your Home Up-to-Date on the Outside

Even if you live in one of the beautiful historic homes in Milwaukee or the surrounding area, chances are there are at least a few features that could use some upgrading. Yes, many of these early homes’ Arts & Crafts style features are charming and beautiful, but they show signs of wear and tear after decades of use.

Fortunately, you can make an array of different updates to your home that will complement the style and preserve the period look with added modern convenience.

The first place to consider an update is your home’s exterior finish. If you own a charming older home, chances are, you want to preserve some of that historical appeal and keep your exterior looking as accurate and authentic as possible.

Today’s vinyl siding is an absolutely stunning choice for improving and updating your home’s curb appeal. The vinyl siding is made to last a lifetime, resist fading, and hold up to any of our Wisconsin weather. The siding comes in 6-inch, 7-inch, and Dutch lap styles to complement the look of almost any home. In addition, there are plenty of color choices, trim options, and even stone add-ons to help preserve the look and charm of your home’s best features while mitigating any concerns related to aging.

Updating Old Windows, Like Those Glass Block Windows

Years ago, many homes featured windows set in wooden frames. Unfortunately, the wood degrades as the years go by, and the seal around the window loses strength. Eventually, you’re left with drafty windows that rattle and shake in the weather. Yes, the wooden trim matches your home, but there are plenty of options that can preserve the look without sacrificing comfort.

Older homes often featured smaller windows. Many times, in the back of the house, glass block windows were a cheap option for homebuilders who wanted to let in light but maintain privacy (or didn’t have enough to spend on windows). Glass block windows were commonly used in basements and sometimes throughout the home.

Besides looking dated and blocking out light, glass block windows can also leak and become less stable over time. While we might not always be able to make basement window openings larger, we may be able to update your basement windows to simple, modern vinyl windows that can do a lot to improve the comfort and quality of your home.

If you have glass block windows throughout your home, you’ll be amazed at what other options can do to improve the light and function of your windows. Glass block windows don’t open, and they don’t offer ventilation. Most modern windows can be opened up to let in a breeze and closed tight in the winter (no need to get out the tape and plastic to “insulate”).

Considering Replacement Windows?

If you’re ready to ditch your aging windows and explore your choices, we offer an array of replacement options that can give your whole house a facelift. We have full-frame replacement options that can provide larger viewing areas and increase your window space by up to 30%.

Our replacement windows are available with different trim and styles to suit a quaint country cottage or a mid-century modern masterpiece. We can help you find windows to seamlessly blend the original look of your house with the convenience and beauty of vinyl.

We often see homeowners who have replaced windows in the past but skip replacing the casings. Unfortunately, this can lead to a mismatched look, where windows, trim, and casings don’t quite go together. Even though replacing window casings can add some cost, it’s well worth the investment, especially if you’re concerned about preserving the historic style of your home.


As you’ll see in this Tod & Todd’s Home Improvement Tips video, casings make a big difference when upgrading or replacing your windows:


What about security? One of the biggest problems with older home features like windows and doors is that as these areas age, they become less secure. Locks get loser, seals shrink, and wood degrades over time. Our windows are secure, with easy-to-use locks. Homeowners are often amazed at how much easier and more convenient their new windows are to open, maintain, and lock.

Preserve the Beauty and Charm of Your Home

A window update shouldn’t detract from your home’s original beauty and authenticity. With today’s materials, there are plenty of ways you can lose some of the less-charming, dated features (like those glass block windows or that dented aluminum siding) while still preserving the style and personality of your home.

We work on any age home, whether it was built at the turn of this century or the last. Unfortunately, even some very new homes are built by contractors who cut corners on the windows and exterior finish. Sometimes the old houses are in even better shape than the newer homes built in the last ten or twenty years!

You know your house best, and if there’s an area that you feel needs an update, we’re here to help. We can explore your options for replacement windows, siding, trim, roofing, and more. We’ll help you keep the aspects of your home you love while updating the comfort, increasing the value, and improving your curb appeal! Reach out today!

 

How Long Do Windows Last?

Lately, we’ve heard from many homebuyers who are surprised that their builder-installed windows are starting to have issues early on. Some homes are less than a decade old! So one of the most common questions we get is how long do windows last?

Well, with Weather Tight, our answer is a lifetime. Our windows are backed with a lifetime warranty—and if you sell your home, the new homeowner is covered, too. Here’s what you should expect from quality windows and how to tell if your windows were built to last.

How long should windows last? When you choose Weather Tight, you get a lifetime warranty on your new replacement windows.

Builders Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

Let’s be honest—many builders are trying to get developments up quickly. They want the homes to look nice to attract buyers, and then they move on. They’re not concerned about the long-term comfort and craftsmanship of your new home.

Many developers and contractors are also trying to save on building costs. As a result, they might buy mass quantities of windows, doors, and other building supplies, without considering the custom installation requirements and slight variances in the product. As a result, many new homes feature cheap, lower-quality windows that might look good but aren’t built to last.

Sometimes the contractor has skimped on the insulation around the window (or skipped the insulation altogether). Sometimes the window frame isn’t well-tucked or finished. Other times cheap windows can stick, be hard to open and close, or experience seal failure. Homeowners might see moisture in between the glass panes or feel air leaking in around their windows.

We see homes built in the nineties, early aughts, and even within the last decade that already need replacement windows. In contrast, we’ve worked on 100-year-old bungalows with windows that have aged relatively well and are just now starting to wear out. See why one homeowner decided to replace below.


Don’t wait to replace your windows. In this episode of Home Improvement Tips with Tod and Todd, see why one homeowner wishes she would have made the decision to invest in replacement windows sooner:

 


So how long do windows last? It’s not about the age of the windows or the home; it’s about the quality of the windows, the dedication of the installer, and customization to ensure the window fits the space.

How to Tell Your Windows Need Replacement

There are many signs that it’s time to replace your windows. The biggest is your comfort. If you reach for a sweater, slip on socks, or constantly adjust the thermostat, you may be experiencing air infiltration from your windows. Dampen your hand with some water and feel the air around the edge of your windows—do you feel a cool draft? That’s a sign that air is getting in your home (and you’re paying higher energy bills to compensate).

Another sign that your window needs to be replaced is the appearance. If your window gets foggy between the panes of glass, the seal has failed. All windows get some condensation (especially if you cook, shower, or run a humidifier in the winter), but the condensation shouldn’t be in-between the glass.

Look at the window trim and frame. If it’s cracked, bubbling, or mildewing, that’s another sign that the window needs replacement. Older windows will naturally get loose as the seal starts to degrade. If your house rattles in the wind or your window frames look shabby, it’s time to consider window replacement.

You shouldn’t have to think about your windows most of the time. You shouldn’t lose sleep over the safety of your windows. You shouldn’t have to wrestle to get them open or closed, climb a ladder to clean them or fight with locks to ensure their security. Windows should never slam down like guillotines or present a hazard to children and pets.

Why Window Replacement Is a Worthy Investment

As a homeowner, you probably keep an eye on the costs of care and maintenance of your home. If you’re living in a newer home, chances are you assume that the house shouldn’t require any replacements for a while—most buyers expect that the windows, doors, roofs, and other components will be durable. But as mentioned above, unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

If you have an older home, you’re probably concerned with costs too. After all, older homes can seem like there’s always something to fix or update. Replacement windows are an essential investment to consider because they offer a significant impact and can save you considerable money down the road. They’ll increase the value of your home, the curb appeal, and efficiency—making them well worth the effort.

If you’re considering replacement, you may base your choice only on the cheapest offer or even consider a DIY window replacement. Unfortunately, many of these cheaper options are pennywise and pound foolish. You may save money at first, but your windows will not include a lifetime guarantee. Many installation companies turn over quickly. Very few have been around for 35 years, like Weather Tight. Without professional, reliable installation, you may run into the same issues (or worse) quickly.

Why Weather Tight Windows Are Different

At Weather Tight, our windows are custom-built to fit the exact space. Each home is slightly different. There will be variations, even in standard builds, condos, and large developments. Houses can settle over time, and there may be subtle differences. Windows aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

What’s more, each homeowner is different too. Some homeowners may have a distinct style, want something that matches their interior trim, or compliments the exterior of their home. For example, you may want to change out a double-hung window for a bay window in the living room or even make a sliding window larger for a more expansive view.

When you select replacement windows from Weather Tight, we’ll help you find the perfect window that compliments your style, meets your needs, and beautifies your home. We have many different trim options and colors available. Durable vinyl frames are maintenance-free and will look new for many years to come.

Our triple-pane windows are filled with inert argon gas that acts as an insulator, helping you keep your indoor temperatures steady and comfortable. As a result, many of our customers are surprised at the difference in their energy bills and comfort levels inside their homes. One of the most common things we hear is, “I wish I’d done this sooner!”

So if you’re considering replacement windows, don’t wait. If you’re wondering how long windows last or how long windows SHOULD last, chances are you’re experiencing dissatisfaction with the windows in your home now. Window replacement is an excellent investment in your long-term satisfaction and happiness with your home.

Reach out today to find out more about the Weather Tight installation process. We’ll show you how affordable and simple it can be to get windows you love—windows that will last a lifetime. Contact us today!

Soffit and Fascia Cleaning, Protection & Maintenance

Many homeowners aren’t familiar with a soffit and fascia or the purpose these components serve for your home. Essentially, the soffit and fascia help your home “breathe.”

These essential pieces of “trim” don’t usually require much attention unless something goes awry. However, because the soffit and fascia are critical to your home’s ventilation, improper soffit and fascia cleaning and maintenance can lead to significant concerns.

Without a working soffit and fascia, your shingles may curl and even come off the roof. Moisture, mold, and mildew can get into your home, wood can rot, and you can face tremendous problems. Don’t let yourself get in a predicament—learn about soffit and fascia upkeep so you can keep your home protected.

Here are some important soffit and fascia cleaning, maintenance, and protection tips to keep your home looking it's best

What’s the Purpose of Soffit and Fascia Anyway?

The subject of soffit and fascia usually comes up when a homeowner is exploring roof replacement, siding updates, new gutters, or when they run into an issue with their home’s ventilation. Think of your roof as two sides of a triangle for those who aren’t familiar with the terms. The soffit is the bottom part of the triangle, connecting the roof to the house’s sides. Soffits are ventilated, allowing your home (and roof) to receive proper airflow.

Fascia is a trim piece that covers the “side” of your roof. The fascia may also be known as “transition trim” because it adds finish between your house and roof. The fascia also serves two essential purposes. First, your home’s gutters are usually attached to the fascia, and the fascia also helps to support shingles, protecting them from moisture.

When it rains or snows, water pours over your roof. The water typically flows down your roof and into the gutters affixed to the fascia. Without clean, functioning gutters, a well-installed fascia, and the clean, ventilated soffit, water could get inside and cause significant damage.


To see how water can damage fascia not protected by gutters, explore this Home Improvement Tips video from Tod & Todd:

 


As you can see, the fascia and soffit of your home play a crucial role in keeping your home safe and functioning correctly. Damage to your soffit or fascia can be catastrophic.

How Do I Keep Up on Soffit and Fascia Cleaning and Maintenance?

The good news is that properly installed soffit and fascia are virtually maintenance-free. However, older soffits may require cleaning and upkeep, especially if they feature “cheese grater” style vents that can become clogged and dirty over time.

Wooden fascia or older aluminum versions can start to look dingy and worn over time. Because these pieces protect your home from water and moisture, they can begin to peel, chip, and even rot due to constant exposure to the weather. Older soffit and fascia may require cleaning, sanding, staining, painting, and more upkeep.

That said, you shouldn’t ignore soffit and fascia cleaning and maintenance. Because they play a critical role in protecting your roof, especially in winter weather (like the ice and snow we get every winter in Wisconsin), you must ensure these components of your home are in good working order. If you have gutters, they should also be flowing well, with no clogs or debris. Gutters protect your soffit and fascia, as well as the foundation of your home.

If you’re tired of cleaning, sanding, and painting your soffit and fascia, or if you feel your gutters aren’t doing their job, it may be time to consider a replacement. We offer an array of colors and styles to help you choose the proper trim to complement the look of your home. In addition, our durable soffit and fascia options are created by Quality Edge—a leader in the industry, for long-lasting, strong soffit and fascia.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Soffit or Fascia?

If you’re a homeowner considering roof replacement, you may also want to consider replacing the soffit and fascia as well as the gutters on your home. Of course, you can replace your soffit and fascia anytime—the job doesn’t need to accompany a roof replacement. For example, if your home is older and features wooden fascia boards, you may want to replace them to avoid maintenance and upkeep.

Look for signs of discoloration, peeling, mildew, and water damage to your fascia. If you notice cracks, dents, or other damage, it may be time to replace them.

As for the soffit, your roof will tell the tale. If you notice shingles are starting to curl up, fall of, or look uneven, you may be experiencing a ventilation problem. Ice damming in the winter can also indicate that your home’s ventilation is less than optimal. It’s important to address these concerns because they can lead to big problems down the road.

Your soffit should provide continuous ventilation for your roof. That means the ventilation should be appropriately spaced and adequate for the size and style of your roof. With the proper soffit, you shouldn’t need to clean or maintain it at all. It should have a beautiful, seamless look, complimenting your home.

Finally, your soffit will help protect the warranty on your roof. If your roof isn’t properly ventilated, you may not be covered under warranty, should something go awry. Most roofing manufacturers require that all ventilation meets a certain standard, which means that the soffit and fascia must be up-to-date and well maintained.

If you’re considering an update to your home, don’t overlook these crucial components. Contact us today to explore how the right trim can complement your roof replacement or new siding. We have options to give every home the right new look and a beautiful, maintenance-free finish.

 

The Advantages of Full Frame Window Replacement

Are you thinking about window replacement? Maybe you’d like more light in that back bedroom, or you’ve converted a home office and the windows no longer fit the bill.

If you’re considering window replacement, full-frame window replacement offers some unique advantages compared to traditional installation. It’s important to consider both options and explore the benefits of each approach before you make a choice.

In some cases, a traditional window replacement might serve your needs. It can help you save money, and either way, replacement windows will help your home become more energy-efficient. You’ll cut back on lost heat and keep your home comfortable. Reach out to Weather Tight today to discuss the possibilities. We can help you decide which type of window replacement is right for your situation. In the meantime, here are the advantages of choosing a full-frame replacement.

 

Full frame window replacement windows in a bright, sun-filled living room

Two Different Window Installation Techniques

There are two different window installation techniques that we use. In the traditional method, we remove your existing windows, sash, and tracks but leave the jamb in place. Your new window is custom-made to fit right in the jamb.

During a traditional window installation, we’ll slide your new customized window right in place in a new mainframe that fits within the existing frame and jamb of the window. The advantage of this type of installation is that it goes fast. In addition, because there’s less to change out, it’s generally less expensive. A main disadvantage is that you will lose some window space because of the frame.

The other option is what we call full-frame window replacement. During a full-frame replacement, we remove the existing window, tracks, sash, and casings and remove the entire jamb. This allows us to have a full view of what went on in the previous window installation.

When a window is installed correctly, there should be a nice insulation layer between the jamb and the house’s studs. This helps prevent air infiltration and keeps your home energy efficient and safe. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for us to remove the jamb and discover that the original installer skimped on the insulation (or omitted it entirely).

Advantages of Choosing Full Frame Window Replacement

There are several advantages to full-frame window replacement. It’s important to explore them rather than going with price and convenience alone. It’s especially critical if you’re planning on being in the house for several years. Here’s what you need to know about the advantages of full-frame window replacement.


What are the advantages of a full-frame window replacement vs. pocket installation? Tod and Todd explain in this Home Improvement Tips video!

 


Full frame window installation before and after replacement

1. Gain Glass Space

When you choose a full-frame window replacement, you’ll gain at least an inch of glass space in your window. During traditional window replacement, we’re installing a frame within a frame. In full-frame replacement, we’re able to install the window right into the jamb, allowing for a larger window.

This approach to window installation also allows you to change the size of your window in many cases. If you would like to install a larger window or a different type of window, a full-frame installation gives you flexibility because you aren’t working within the confines of the original window hole.

2. Beautiful Customization

With a full-frame window replacement, you have many options for customization.  For example, the factory can make a beautiful brickmould to go around the window. These moulds often have contoured lines and other subtle features that can beautify and finish your home. You can choose the trim colors for your window, so there are many options available for your home’s new look.

When you contact your Weather Tight specialist, they can review all the window frames and trim options. Rest assured that you can match or complement almost any interior and exterior look. With full-frame window replacement, there are fewer limitations on your choices and available modifications.

3. Check the Insulation

One of the top advantages of choosing a full-frame window replacement is that it allows you to see what’s really going on inside the window frame. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, many original installers may take shortcuts when it comes to insulation around windows.

During a full-frame replacement, we make sure that the window is thoroughly insulated and that it’s sealed tight against the studs of your home. You’ll get better protection against air leaks, water leaks, and even sound with stronger insulation.

4. Detect Any Hidden Issues

Of course, every homeowner hopes they don’t discover any hidden issues when removing the windows from their home, but it occasionally happens. Choosing a full-frame replacement is crucial when the window isn’t level or square (as seen in some older homes) or not up to code. During replacement, we can make sure there aren’t any leaks, pests, or mildew problems in the walls surrounding your window.

A homeowner may be unaware that wood around their window has degraded and rotted over time. When we do a full-frame window replacement, we can help you discover any concerns to ensure that your home will be beautiful and protected for years to come.

New windows are maintenance-free, with no painting or touch-up required. You’ll no longer need to deal with deteriorated wood along your window frames. Instead, you’ll have a clean, beautiful window that looks great and improves the comfort of your home.

If you’re ready to explore your options for window replacement, reach out today. We have some fantastic deals, especially for homeowners who are hoping to replace multiple windows. Contact us today for a no-obligation discussion. We’re ready to help you love the look and feel of your home.

 

The Weather Tight Process: What to Expect from Our Visit

So you’re considering Weather Tight for your next home improvement project. We might be a tad biased, but we sincerely believe that you are making a great choice! We value each of our customers greatly, and we work hard to ensure you are satisfied with the entire experience. Being Employee Owned, it is important that we treat you as a part of our own family.

To that end, we frequently have customers who inquire about the Weather Tight process. For example, what should you expect when you decide to purchase a product from Weather Tight? What do you need to prepare for? How do we ensure that the product will be accurate and meet your expectations?

These are all excellent questions and something we seek to address in the Weather Tight process.


Below, Tod & Todd explain more about what to expect when a Weather Tight Product Expert consults with you on your home renovation needs.


What to Expect During the Weather Tight Process

When you make a call to Weather Tight, you can schedule a visit with a trustworthy product expert. Our friendly staff will ask you a few questions about what type of service you’re considering—windows, doors, siding, roofing, or something else.

If you’d like to see products and samples in person, we have an Idea Center located in West Allis, ready to welcome you for a visit. Our staff on-site can answer your general questions, or you can schedule a time to meet a product expert at the showroom for an in-depth planning session on your home improvement project. Keep in mind, we can generally discuss estimates with you, but until we see your product and assess if there is any damage such as rot, moisture, or other variants, it will be hard to nail down an exact price for you. We pride ourselves on custom-making products for YOUR home.

Our product experts are knowledgeable and friendly. We work hard to ensure you feel comfortable and are able to answer any and all of your questions to make the best-educated decision for your home. We know our products and the Weather Tight process speak for themselves. We use some of the highest quality materials in the business, and our qualified installers ensure your job will be done right.

As you work with your product expert at your home, they will take measurements and gather all the specs needed to give you an accurate price quote on the job. The expert will clarify all questions and get you the information you need. They will review materials and options—ensuring you get windows, roofing, siding, or doors that enhance the look of your home, increase value, and boost your curb appeal.

What to Expect After the Product Expert Leaves

Once you’ve decided to proceed with your Weather Tight project, your product expert returns the information to our staff to start the ball rolling. Your project will be triple-checked for accuracy as it’s entered into our computer system. We use digital scanning to ensure that employees can access any information they need about a project. If you have decided to utilize financing for your purchase, our in-house financing team will work to make sure we get you the best rates and programs that fit your budget and needs.

An Expert Measure Technician (Expeditor) will pay a visit to your home. During their visit, they will confirm the measurements down to a tee, assess the scope of the project, and then they will review the work order with you to make sure all t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. We take this step to ensure that every order is accurate and as expected. Many of our orders, particularly windows, are custom-made for the exact dimensions of your home. Each home is a little different, and we want to be sure your new windows fit perfectly. They are also able to answer any last-minute questions that you may have forgot to ask your product expert.

Once the order is submitted to one of our top-of-the-line manufacturers, they get to work assembling the needed components of your home improvement project. When the product is delivered to us, we will call you to let you know and work to coordinate an installation date. Upon arrival, we inspect each order thoroughly and check it against the work order again to ensure it’s as expected.

Time for Your Installation

When it’s time for your installation, our staff will contact you to confirm the appointment. We will explain exactly what you should expect during our work on your home.

On the day of your installation, we will do our best to ensure minimal disruption to your day-to-day activities. Many of our projects focus on your home’s exterior, but we may also need to work inside for some projects, like window installation. We take every precaution to keep our work area clean and treat your home with the respect it, and you both deserve.

Our skilled professionals work efficiently, and many projects are finished in just a few days. They clean up and remove the debris after the project. Your installer will walk through the project with you and show you everything you need to know to maintain and operate the new product. They are also happy to answer any questions you may have at that time.

After our visit, you’ll hear from a member of our office staff to confirm that the installation met your expectations and that you’re pleased with the results. We will also ask for your feedback via survey or comment card. Our Senior Management staff carefully reviews each result and comment left. We want to know that you’re happy with our work!

The Weather Tight process helps us make sure that customers’ needs are met and that they feel good about the outcome of their project. We know that there are many choices out there, but thanks to our unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction, dedication to employees, and connection to the community, we’re Wisconsin’s most recommended home remodeler. We’ve received many accolades and awards for our work, but repeat customers and recommendations are what we hold in the highest regard.

Because Weather Tight is employee-owned with over 35 years of home remodeling experience, we know that reputation matters. So if you’re looking for a home remodeler that you can trust, reach out to Weather Tight today. We look forward to working with you to update and beautify your home.

 

Let Us Help You Match Replacement Window Trim to Your Home

If you’re considering replacement windows, you probably have a lot on your mind—the size, the shape, the features, and more. It’s also important to consider how to match windows to the interior trim of your home.

Replacement window trim is a great way to update the look of your home’s interior. If you’re only replacing a few windows, you may want to match the existing interior window trim and style of your home (something that’s easy to do in most cases). If you’re replacing all the windows in your house, then why not consider a new look!

At Weather Tight, we have an array of window trim options to help you match any style or décor. If you’re considering replacement windows, we’ll help you match windows to your interior trim for a look you’ll love. Here’s what you need to know about window trim options.

This Diamond Kote French gray replacement window trip was hand-picked by the customer to match the style of their home's exterior.

Do You Need Replacement Window Trim?

When homeowners consider replacement windows, they often wonder if they can keep the existing trim. Usually, this happens when they’re replacing only a few windows in their home, and they want to be sure that the trim on the new window matches their look.

Fortunately, with the many options for replacement window trim available, we can match almost any look to get something that aligns with the look and style of your home. When we assess your windows for replacement, we’ll look at the window casing and the trim to see what you need.

Many homeowners seek window replacement because the seal on a window has failed. This can lead to cloudiness between the panes and cracked or bubbling paint around the trim and windowsill. What you’re not seeing is that moisture can get beneath the window trim and into the window casing. Ultimately, this leads to a much bigger problem.

If you notice wood rotting on the window trim, then the trim should certainly be part of the replacement. There’s no reason to invest in beautiful new replacement windows, only to surround them with rotting wood trim.

Often you’ll see rotting wood trim on the exterior of the home, but when we remove the window, as we do in a pocket replacement, there may also be wood rot on the interior trim. One of the reasons we typically recommend a full-frame window replacement rather than a pocket replacement is because you’re eliminating any problem with the window casing (rather than covering it up).

As Tod & Todd explain in the video below, you can think of it as a cavity in a tooth. You wouldn’t cover a rotting tooth without addressing the cavity. The tooth would continue to rot away under the cover, and eventually, it would need to be extracted.  You shouldn’t cover up a window frame with moisture damage or rot without really assessing the problem.


In this Tod & Todd Home Improvement Tips video, Tod & Todd walk us through how to spot wood rot in this replacement wood trim.

 


Is it Difficult to Replace Window Trim When Replacing Windows?

We’ve seen many homes where homeowners have had multiple window replacements and renovations, only to be left with mismatched interior trim. Some homeowners call a carpenter to create wooden window casings that match the original woodwork in many older homes in Wisconsin.

What happens is that the carpenter has to set up shop for several days. Windows are measured, and dust is tracked in and out of the house. Custom cuts and stain are required, and if the final product isn’t what you want, then you’re stuck. Throughout the process, life is disrupted for the homeowner—not to mention dealing with the cost—and many are left wondering why they decided to replace the windows interior trim in the first place!

When you’re replacing windows, anyway, replacing the interior trim is very simple. Our window casings are typically custom-made in an environmentally controlled factory. The window is pre-made and stained to closely match the interior trim finish that the homeowner desires.

In the factory, the replacement window casing is put together extremely tightly. The corners are fitted tight and square. The piece is quality inspected before it goes in, eliminating many of the uncertainties and hassles that you run into with a finish carpenter. Better still, it saves about a day and a half of on-site labor, cutting out the stress of window installation.

As for replacement window trim options, there are so many choices available. You can select from beautiful realistic-looking woodgrain that will match almost any finish. Alternatively, we have solid colors, like white, tan, or black. Choose to have windows with grid patterns or without for new windows you love that will compliment your home décor.

Replacement windows are an excellent investment in the look, style, and feel of your home. If you’re considering window replacement, new window trim is an integral part of the process. Choose from an array of beautiful trims and finishes. Contact Weather Tight today to learn how replacement windows and new interior trim will elevate your living space.

Aluminum Siding vs. Vinyl Siding: Which is the Best Choice for Your Home?

Look at your home’s exterior. Is your paint peeling? Do you have old, dated aluminum siding that’s dented and damaged? Is your wood siding rotting? Is your stucco finish chipping and dated?

If it’s time for an exterior update, siding is a wonderful option. But what kind of siding should you choose? Between aluminum siding and vinyl siding, what’s the best choice?”

Years ago, aluminum siding was the gold standard for exterior finishes. In fact, when it first arrived on the scene in the 1940s, homeowners loved the durability and ease of installation. Throughout the next several decades, aluminum siding was favored by homeowners as a great option for updating damaged wood, unsightly plaster, and other aging exterior finishes.

Then in the 1970s, advances were made in manufacturing vinyl. Over the last 40 years, vinyl has become an increasingly popular and superior siding option. Vinyl is as affordable as aluminum siding but offers many distinct advantages. If you’re considering updating the exterior of your home, here’s how to weigh the merits of aluminum siding vs. vinyl siding.

Aluminum Siding vs. Vinyl Siding: The Many Advantages of Vinyl

Vinyl Siding

If your paint is peeling, wood is rotting, or your current siding is damaged, you may be considering the merits of siding replacement. Is it worth the effort to paint over the wood or siding, only to have it crack and peel in a few years? Is it better to take off your exterior finish and start fresh, or install siding over your existing exterior?

When your home’s exterior shows signs of wear and tear, it’s typically best to remove the wood or aluminum siding and start fresh. A lot of times, there may be underlining issues that you may not be aware of, causing the reoccurring challenges to your siding. When Weather Tight replaces siding, we usually advise the homeowner to remove the damage and rot, apply a Tyvek house wrap, and update their home with beautiful new vinyl siding. Removing the old, damaged exterior finish helps us determine any issues such as pests or wood decay, usually from water seeping in, and find solutions to ensure your new home’s exterior is secure and weather tight to the elements.

Why is vinyl siding an ideal choice for most home exteriors? Vinyl siding has many advantages over aluminum and other exterior finishes, beginning with cost-effectiveness. Installation, including removal of the old materials, is typically as affordable as aluminum siding, but vinyl is a superior, longer-lasting choice. Vinyl offers energy-efficiency, durability, and lower maintenance, with a lower total cost of ownership over the years.

Vinyl is four times more energy-efficient than ordinary siding, so you’ll see savings on your energy bills. As you may remember from science class, metal isn’t a good insulator—it’s a conductor. Meaning, aluminum siding conducts heat and cold (right into your home). Vinyl, on the other hand, significantly reduces air infiltration.

When combined with a Dupont Tyvek wrap, vinyl siding is airtight. Tyvek is an innovative product that “breathes” with your home—allowing inside air and moisture to escape but keeping cold, wet air out in the winter and hot temperatures at bay in the summer. We add special weatherproofing tape at the seams and around windows and doors to keep your home extra sound.

Our vinyl siding is foam-backed for even better insulation. Because each piece of vinyl siding is thick and durable, it stands up to the weather and the outdoors. The foam-backing and properties of vinyl also reduce noise by up to 50%. In fact, many homeowners tell us they’re surprised at how much warmer their house feels in the winter and how much quieter it is, even near busy roads!

The other advantage of foam-backing is that the vinyl siding is 400% more impact resistant than ordinary siding. Vinyl siding won’t easily dent and can handle a significant impact—so if you have children who like to play ball in the yard, a stray rock from a lawnmower, hail damage, a pesky bird who maybe wasn’t looking out, or just a little clumsy accident, vinyl can take a bit more of a beating than aluminum. Our vinyl siding has a lifetime warranty protection against hail.

Discover the Convenience and Beauty of Vinyl Siding

As a homeowner, you know that safety, comfort, and protection are essential for your home—but let’s not forget about beauty. After all, new siding can give your home a facelift, increase your value, and improve your curb appeal.

At Weather Tight, our siding isn’t made from “regular every day” vinyl. Our thermal composite material is extremely weather-resistant and exceptionally beautiful. Because color goes through the material, vinyl siding never requires painting or updating. It will look newly installed well into the future.

Vinyl siding won’t fade, even after enduring years of the hot summer sun and cold Wisconsin winters. With 21 color options available, you can select siding that will complement the rest of your exterior. Select your preferred trim and create a look that’s unique and gives you that “new home” feel.

Better still, vinyl siding is resistant to pitting, dents, and ripples that are common with aluminum siding. Over the years, there’s only so much you can do to update and fix aluminum siding—corners pop off and get dented, paint starts to peel, and dents and holes are impossible to cover.

The beauty of vinyl siding will last for decades. The lifetime of aluminum siding is around 35 years (and even less if you’re concerned about those dents and dings). Aluminum siding is pre-painted, and after several years the finish oxidizes and turns powdery. You can see an example in the Home Improvement Tips from Tod & Todd video below.


How do you know when its time to replace your siding? Tod & Todd show you the wear and tear on aluminum siding over the years:


Once the paint on your aluminum siding has oxidized, it will fade and appear chalky. Often you can even wipe it off with your bare hand. It’s possible to paint over the aluminum siding, but it frequently chips and bubbles, meaning you may be painting every few years. Vinyl siding typically lasts 50 years, with no painting or updating needed. It’s a low-maintenance solution.

Vinyl siding is a long-lasting exterior finish that any homeowner will feel proud of. If you’re ready to give your home a needed update to a new look, consider vinyl siding. It’s a truly stunning exterior finish. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate. Discover the beauty and affordability of vinyl siding from Weather Tight.

Get a Style Upgrade with New Windows for Your House

New windows offer the opportunity to update the comfort and safety of your house. One added benefit is that new windows also give you a chance to update your home’s style.

Now many homeowners may not realize quite the impact that new windows can have on the look and style of your house. At first, you may think windows are windows. Without significant reconstruction, can you really change the style of your home’s windows?

Well, many people are surprised to find out just how many options there are when it comes to replacement windows. You can update the trim, choose a window that opens differently (vertical versus up-and-down, for example), or even select a different style of window altogether. Updated windows offer a new look, and with increased glass space, allow for more (or less) natural sunlight in any room of your house.

Updating Your House with New Windows

New full frame windows for your house upgrade the style and curb appeal

As your windows age, you may notice some features are no longer very aesthetically pleasing. Trim may start to age, weather, fade, and decline. Older windows can be challenging to open and especially hard to clean. You may also notice cracking and rotting of the seals around the window. The locks may become difficult to maneuver and easy to break.

While these signs of an aging window detract from the beauty of your home, they also indicate that the window is no longer functioning correctly. Air infiltration can become a major concern when windows age. If your house is cold in the winter and hot in the summer, it’s often a sign that your windows aren’t doing their job. In fact, they may even cost you money. The Department of Energy says windows are responsible for 25%-30% of heating and cooling energy use. Over time, new windows can save you plenty of money and hassle.

A functioning window should be:

  • Easy to open and clean
  • Simple to close and safe to lock
  • Airtight and free of infiltration
  • Beautiful and complementary to the style of your home

Are you settling for windows that aren’t meeting expectations? Do you wear socks all winter long (or worse, get out the plastic to “protect” your home from drafts)? Do your windows embarrass you? Do you hide them behind window treatments because you can’t get them clean? Worst of all, do you worry your windows aren’t safe?

Many homeowners are hesitant to replace their windows; they may fear a long, arduous process, or they think new windows won’t make a significant difference. Life may get in the way, and it’s another task on the home improvement list that never gets done. Almost all our customers are shocked at how easy and stress-free window replacement can be!

In fact, one of the most common statements we get from homeowners after a window replacement is, “Why didn’t I replace these windows sooner?!”

Homeowners often can’t believe how much new windows change the look, comfort, safety, and style of their house. Window replacement is like a facelift for your home and brightens up the entire appearance.


See the video below from Tod & Todd for an example of one homeowner who was shocked by the difference the new windows made for her home.

 


Changing Window Styles to Suit Your Look

When you decide it’s time for a window update, the array of style options will amaze you. You can add trim, like a grid. You can select different frames, interior casings, and hardware options to meet your needs and flatter the style of your house.

Some homeowners even decide to change the type of window completely. We’ve had many customers who convert a large window (or two side-by-side double-hung windows) into a stunning bay window.

Bay windows are one of our most popular style changes. The glass extends out from the house and creates the illusion of a larger, brighter room. You get a lot of light from a bay window, and with the operating windows on either side of the bay, you can open them up for a wonderful cross-breeze.

We’ve had customers share that the new bay windows are their favorite spot for reading a book or relaxing. Holiday decorations look stunning framed inside a beautiful bay window. Kids love playing in the bright light under the window, and pets (especially cats) adore the bay window as a prime spot for catching a nap in the sun.

Change Your Home with a Style Upgrade

Oriel Style Double Hung Window Exterior View

Replacement windows are a simple way to change the look and feel of your home. You may select a more efficient style or an option that better fits your home’s aesthetic.

With newer windows, the hardware is often sleek and minimized. Trims are lighter and designed with your view in mind. When you see older homes, you might see heavy, dark window trims that actually block the view and detract from the look of the window.

We see many customers who change sliding and side-by-side windows to double-hung or casement windows. Depending on the state of their older windows, this vastly increases the efficiency.

Front windows and windows in the main living area are often focal points of the space, making them popular choices for changing styles. With these main windows, you get a noticeable change without major construction. Kitchen and garden windows are another popular choice, as people are often looking for more light and brightness in their kitchen. There’s nothing quite as charming as a kitchen window with some cheerful plants.

When you replace your windows from Weather Tight, we’ll make sure your new windows are the right style for your house. We’ll help you select windows that open up space and bring light and beauty to each room.

Your Weather Tight expert will work with you to decide which windows need replacement and offer friendly recommendations if you are conflicted. We’ll help you explore the many options in trim, style, and type, so you’ll be proud and pleased by the final result.

If you’re considering replacement windows, it’s a great time to explore your options. Let us give you a FREE in-home assessment and no-hassle quote. You’ll discover how affordable it is to replace your windows and increase your curb appeal. Replacement windows are an excellent investment in the long-term value and comfort of your house.

 

What You Should Know About Fascia and Soffit Replacement

 

Your fascia and soffit are key components of your home, but many homeowners don’t know what they are or what they do until it’s too late. These little “trim components” play a huge factor in how your home breathes and functions.

Should something go wrong with your soffit and fascia, you can see significant problems like moisture damage, curling shingles, pests, and wood rot. You shouldn’t ignore or overlook these components—they’re critical to your home’s proper ventilation.

So before you look at fascia and soffit replacement, here’s what you need to know about these pieces.

What are Soffit and Fascia?

Soffit & Fascia

These funny words come up frequently when we’re discussing roof replacement, siding replacement, or addressing issues with peeling wood. Many homeowners aren’t very familiar with these terms. Unless you’ve looked at soffit and fascia before (or had a leak issue), you may wonder what the heck soffit and facia are!

The soffit is part of the overhang where your roof meets your siding. When rain or snow hits your roof, it runs down, and the overhang allows the water to flow away from your house. The soffit is underneath the overhang, between the roof’s edge and side of your home—the bottom of the triangle, if you will. Not every home features a soffit (depending on the roof style), but it’s a common component, especially in Wisconsin.

The soffit helps regulate your home’s temperature, allowing your roof to “breathe.” Cool, dry air is drawn into the soffit vent, and hot moist air is forced out of roof exhaust vents.

The fascia is the attractive board along the side of the overhang and the roof that helps your roof appear finished. Your gutter sits atop the facia board. The fascia is also known as a “transition trim” between the home and the roofline. The fascia supports the shingles and helps to keep moisture out.

Your soffit and fascia protect your roof and allow ventilation for your home. These are important components, but they usually don’t get (or require) much attention.

The reason why many homeowners don’t spend time thinking about soffit and fascia is that these components of your home are typically maintenance-free. The trim pieces, especially in a modern home, are often made from the same material as your siding or other trim, like aluminum, wood, or synthetic materials like vinyl and PVC.

In the case of newer homes, especially with synthetic, aluminum-covered soffit and fascia, there is no need to sand, paint, or stain the trim.

When Soffit and Fascia Replacement is Needed

Soffit and fascia are critical for preventing roof and shingle damage, primarily due to winter weather like rain, snow, and ice. Ice damming can seriously damage soffit and fascia. One of the biggest problems we see with soffit and fascia is improper installation, leading to issues with flashing.

Without proper flashing, you may see roof ventilation issues like rotting wood, peeling paint, damaged insulation, and even mold. Because the soffit and fascia are part of your roof’s ventilation system, it’s a crucial component.

How do you know if you need soffit and fascia replacement due to damage?

  • You’ll see rotting wood, or you’ll notice there’s a leak somewhere.
  • The fascia may look like it needs painting.
  • Paint may peel, or the surrounding areas may look discolored.
  • You may even see pests or small animals getting into your home.

In short, soffit and fascia issues are a big problem for the look and comfort of your home. If you’re having your siding replaced or your roof replaced, then it’s a good time to consider also replacing the soffit and fascia.

If you think it’s time to get your soffit and fascia replaced, contact your Weather Tight representative today. It’s important that you work with a company you trust, as many companies cut corners with soffit and fascia. It’s a vital component of roof ventilation and can even damage your warranty if it’s not installed correctly.


Watch this video from Tod & Todd’s Home Improvement Tips showing how important it is to consider fascia when doing a gutter or roof installation.

 

 


Adding to the Beauty of Your Home

You wouldn’t think a small component like soffit and fascia would have such an outsized impact on your curb appeal, but it really does. It’s incredible how much beautiful trim can add to brighten up the exterior of your house.

Color options for soffit and fascia are nearly endless. At Weather Tight, we use Quality Edge materials that come in a wide array of options. The Quality Edge components are some of the best in the industry, highly durable and long-lasting. You can choose colors to match or complement your trim, with plenty of designs and styles to select from, as well.

If you think your home may need soffit and fascia replacement, don’t wait. A problem with the soffit and fascia can quickly lead to more significant damage throughout your entire home. It’s also a good idea to explore soffit and fascia replacement if you’re replacing your roof or siding.

A new or updated soffit and fascia is a small investment in the long life and beauty of your house. Contact us today to explore the many soffit and fascia options available for you to choose from.

How a MultiPoint Door Lock System Keeps Your Home Safe & Comfortable

Most of us don’t think about our door locks very often. Typically, at night you might turn the knob, flip the deadbolt, and head to bed. You expect your door to keep your family safe and you can rest peacefully. But is your current door locking system really keeping your home safe and secure?

Of course, it’s nothing any of us like to worry about, but safety is an essential consideration in any entry door. Doors exist to keep us protected in our homes; to keep out bad weather, intruders, and anything else the outside world throws our way.

Whether it’s your front door or a side entry door, you need to know your locks are working, and your door lock system will keep you, your family, and the contents of your home secure.

So, if you’re considering an update to your exterior doors, here’s why you shouldn’t settle for any other lock system. The exclusive Multipoint Locking System or MPLS from Weather Tight keeps your home safe and provides a surprising additional benefit so you can relax and feel safe in your home.

Entry Door

The Anatomy of a Multipoint Door Lock System

The idea behind the multipoint door lock system is simple but effective. We’ve all seen doors with several locks running up the side—a deadbolt, a chain lock, the lock built into the handle. While these may feel secure, the problem is they all lock in one spot—the center of the door. With pressure or blunt force at the top or bottom of the door, the lock could give way.

With the multipoint locking system, there is one activation for three points. You don’t need to lock your door two or three separate times to know it’s safe and tightly secured. With one easy turn of the lock, you’ve secured your entry door on the top, the bottom, and the middle. It would be extremely difficult to push the door open, even when applying pressure to the top or bottom.


To understand more about how a multipoint door lock system works, watch this demonstration video from Home Improvement Tips with Tod & Todd:

 


Energy Efficiency: The Surprising Benefit of Multipoint Locking Systems

One of the most surprising benefits of the multipoint locking system is an increase in the energy efficiency of your entry door. While most homeowners think of locks as a safety measure, they also help keep your doors closed extra tight.

With the three locking points, your exterior door is held air-tight to the frame against the weather stripping. This secure seal prevents air infiltration. Even with the most secure single-point locks, the top and bottom of the door often lose small amounts of air. A three-point lock keeps the cold air out and the warm air in (and in the summer, it ensures you aren’t cooling the entire outdoors).

The other surprise is that the multipoint locking system is a free upgrade we offer on our entry doors (whenever possible—multipoint locking systems are not available on patio doors through Weather Tight). Occasionally there are steel doors, fire doors with a cement core, and garage doors that aren’t compatible with the three-point door lock system, but in most cases, this upgrade is available on any beautiful Weather Tight exterior door.

This means you can choose from gorgeous exterior doors designed to fit the look, style, and feel of your home. We offer many customizable options and styles, including French doors, in a wide variety of colors, glass options, hardware, and more. Fiberglass provides the look and beauty of wood with woodgrain detail, but with more durability and moisture resistance. You won’t need to paint these maintenance-free doors. They retain their original beauty for years and years with virtually no upkeep at all.

If you’re ready to upgrade the look of your home while ensuring the safety, security, and comfort of your family, a new entry door is a great place to start. With locks at three critical points to enhance security, the multipoint locking system from Weather Tight is one more great reason to consider a new door today.

Give us a call for a free estimate. Our sales representatives will walk you through your options and help you choose a door you’ll love.