Category archive - Windows & Doors

A Little Luck for a Broken Lock

A Little Luck for a Broken Lock

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Some things you just can’t prepare for. You drop your air conditioner while taking it out of the garage and crack a tile or damage hardwood floor; there’s no real way to expect that, other than asking the brawny neighbor to help you out. A rock hits your windshield on the way to work and you get a crack; what could you have possibly done to deter that? As Elvis Costello (and yeah, okay, a lot of more people before him) said, accidents will happen.

Having your key break-off in a lock is about as common as having your windshield cracked by some rebel pebble flicked off the pavement, and it is, by every measure, something that can be handled without professional care. You’ll need WD-40, or a similar spray lubricant; even spray olive oil could work in this situation. Besides that, you will need utensils for removing the key, chiefly any sort of thin saw blade and something to pick the protruding key piece out of the lock. Tweezers or pliers are your best bet and are easy to find around the house usually.

Begin by spraying the lock with the spray lubricant, to give you some help when it comes to dislodging the key piece from the lock. Thin saw blades are best for this situation, as the blades can easily hook into the grooves of the key. On one side of any key (take a look at one right now), the indent of the grove is more uneven, less smoth, and has a greater indentation. That’s the side you’re going to want to insert the saw blade into the lock. Once its in as far as possible, twist it a bit and try dragging out the key with the saw blade; you really only need a little bit but get as much as possible.

Once you get a little bit out, you should be able to grab the lodged key piece with the tweezers or pliers and presto! Now, in some cases, the key piece just will not budge from its place. This is likely because your lock isn’t in neutral position. Twist the saw blade a bit and it should solve the issue.  If it still won’t budge, only then should you consult a licensed and insured locksmith to help you out, as the locking mechanism likely has a bigger issue. And, as always, it’s easier to prevent this issue with preparation: check your keys every few months to see if there are any cracks or major bending that would signal a possible break. Sure, its an easy enough issue to solve, but wouldn’t you rather be able to crash on the couch instead of performing surgery on a doorknob?


Safety First, Money Second

Safety First, Money Second

Buying a home is an incredibly exciting, and important, experience, particularly for first-time homebuyers. When you look for a new house, you want to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you want – and getting the most for your money! While many prospective homebuyers know exactly what they’re looking for, they may not know exactly what to look for. For prospective homebuyers in Westchester, home inspection is an indispensible part of the purchasing process, and can help you to get the most for your money, avoiding costly and potentially dangerous problems down the road.

For homebuyers in Westchester, home inspection is not a place to skimp! While many people think that simply looking a house up and down is enough to tell them whether or not it’s in good condition, there are many things that a well-qualified home inspector will catch right away that might not be apparent to the untrained eye. When you’re buying a new house, you want to make sure that it’s safe, secure and worth the purchase price. A skilled home inspector can help you to answer these questions and make sure that you and your family will be safe and happy in your new home.

For homebuyers in Westchester, home inspection can help you to insure that you won’t get any unpleasant surprises. Because a house is perhaps the most important purchase you’ll ever make, it’s essential to find a home inspector – or two – who is good at what they do and will help you to make the right decision for you and your family. When it comes to home inspectors, cheaper is not usually better – you really do get what you pay for! When seeking out a home inspector, make sure to pay attention to their qualifications. Certifications and accreditations can help you to insure that your home inspector is properly qualified; reviews and referrals from satisfied clients can also help you to make an informed decision. Having two inspectors is often advisable, as two expert opinions can help you to make an even better choice.


Install A New Cellar Door For Free

Install A New Cellar Door For Free

Cellar doors may seem like an old-timey holdover from yesteryear, when homeowners cured their own pickles, put up fruit preserves and stored root vegetables in underground spaces in anticipation of long, cold winters. In fact, cellars are still the perfect place to store wine, which requires a constant, cool temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They also work well for keeping potatoes, carrots, apples, onions and other autumn foods, and for storing canned and jarred goods. In homes in Westchester, cellar doors can be major culprits in heat loss, however, undoing the effects of great insulation in the rest of the home. If you want to insure that your home is as energy-efficient as possible, replace your cellar door – you’ll be amazed at the savings!

For homeowners in Westchester, cellar doors may merit little thought. Because they’re no longer used for bringing in large caches of food, or hauling ice into the cellar for an ice box, they may go ignored for many months – until temperatures plummet, that is! A cellar door can allow a huge amount of heat to escape, compromising your home’s insulation and causing you to spend much more money than necessary on your heating bill. Newer cellar doors are fully insulated and sealed, preventing heat loss and allowing you to save energy in your home.

If you want to save money on your energy bills, and increase the energy efficiency of your home in Westchester, cellar door replacement can be a great way to do so. Rather than allowing heat to escape through an old, poorly insulated cellar door, you can have a brand-new, fully insulated one installed. Not only will you save money on your energy bills, you’ll have a better, more smoothly functioning way to access your cellar. Having a new cellar door installed can pay for itself when the cold months come, making it well worth your while!


Open Sesame

Open Sesame

It’s no secret that the garage is a very important part of your home. Not only does it provide a place to keep vehicles safe from the elements, helping to insure their longevity and wellbeing, it can also function as a workshop, rec-room and storage area. Because the garage is such an important place, it’s essential to be able to gain easy access to it. Imagine trying to leave for work, an important appointment or even to catch a flight – only to find that your garage door won’t open! For homeowners in Westchester, garage door installation can determine the difference between ease and convenience, and frustration and delay.

Because many valuables are stored in the garage – tools, sports equipment, home improvement supplies – not to mention your vehicles! – it pays to make sure that your garage doors close securely and open smoothly. If your garage doors have seen better days – if the springs are bad, the doors themselves are damaged or rusting, or any other problems are present, your garage doors won’t work as they should. Similarly, if you still have manual garage doors at your home in Westchester, garage door installation is something to seriously consider in order to improve the security of your home as well as to increase your convenience.

For homeowners in Westchester, garage door installation should always be done by a professional. Installation of electric garage doors is a complicated process that is far too involved for even the most DIY-savvy homeowners. Tightening the springs can be a dangerous procedure, and correct wiring of the electrical components is vital to insure proper operation. Because electric garage doors offer the greatest degree of safety, security and convenience, it’s a good idea to install them if your current garage doors are of the old-fashioned manual type. Similarly, damaged or malfunctioning electrical garage doors should be professionally replaced with brand-new ones that will serve you well for years to come, protecting your property and insuring your convenience and quality of life.


Sometimes Mold On Your Wall Is A Good Thing

Sometimes Mold On Your Wall Is A Good Thing

Everyone knows about the devastating effects that water damage can have on your home, and the growth of mold on your walls is foremost among them. While moldy walls are something to be avoided at all costs, molding can have tremendous benefits. Molding – decorative framing for your doors and windows, as opposed to the smelly, spore producing kind – can be a beautiful addition to your rooms and make your space seem more elegant and polished. If you want to make a meaningful update to your home in Westchester, wall moldings can be a great way to do so!

Molding has been used in architecture since ancient times to define the spaces around openings in walls. Windows, doors and entryways all benefit tremendously from the addition of this subtle, but powerfully effective, decorative flourish. Walls without molding can seem flat and unfinished; a blank expanse of wall with nothing to break up its monotony can make your rooms feel bare and incomplete. Molding adds depth and texture to your walls by creating a contrast between light and shadow around doors and windows. For homeowners in Westchester, wall moldings can be a hassle-free and economical way to change your rooms for the better.

Although it’s a small improvement, the addition of molding to your walls can have a big payoff. By incorporating it into your rooms’ design, you can greatly increase the visual interest of your spaces and make them come alive. Molding is usually made of wood or plaster, and comes in many varieties to perfectly compliment any style of architecture and décor. Whether your tastes tend toward the sleek and simple, or the elegantly ornate, you can choose molding that will offset your doors and windows to marvelous effect. If you want to add style and beauty to the rooms of your home in Westchester, wall moldings are an excellent way to do so.


Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors

When considering the doors in their home, most homeowners will immediately think of their front door. After all, the front door plays a vital role in the security and comfort of your home, keeping out intruders and securing your property. It also keeps out the weather, and can serve an important function in maintaining your home’s temperature. Interior doors are important too, however. For homeowners in Westchester, door installation inside your home can help you to enjoy a greater sense of privacy, along with many other benefits.

There are times when you desire for your home to seem open in order to facilitate interaction with family and friends. Other times, however, require privacy. If you need some quiet time to focus on a project in your home office, for instance, it can be difficult to do so when you don’t have your own private space. The addition of a door allows you to shut out distractions and give your full attention to the task at hand by reducing interruptions and decreasing the noise in your space. For homeowners in Westchester, door installation can help you to find some much needed solitude in the midst of chaos.

Installing high quality, solid doors in your home can help you to enjoy greater privacy, allowing you to create a barrier between your space and the rest of the house. Good interior doors can also greatly reduce noise transfer between rooms by deadening sound and blocking out undesirable noises. As well as giving you greater privacy and decreasing unwanted noise, interior doors can help to insulate your rooms by trapping climate controlled air. If you want to save on your energy bills by keeping individual rooms in your home warm or cool as needed, solid interior doors can help you to keep temperatures constant. For homeowners in Westchester, door installation can have many practical benefits!


Door Slab Change

Door Slab Change

The doors in your home perform a vital function, separating rooms, insuring privacy, keeping down noise levels and preventing heat loss. When your doors are compromised, they can’t do their job, and need to be replaced. There are many reasons that doors don’t work as well as they should; they can be broken, cracked or warped, or simply wear out over time. If you’ve found that one or more of your doors is in bad shape in your home in Westchester, door replacement is in order.

For many homeowners in Westchester, door replacement seems like a simple matter. All you have to do is get rid of the old door slab (the actual “door” part, usually made of wood) and replace it with a new one. Replacing old door slabs can be a great opportunity, not only to get more out of your doors – better noise dampening qualities and heat retention, for example – but also to update your home’s interior and give it a new look. While the door slab is indeed the most important element of your doors, the other components should not be overlooked.

If you’re thinking about getting new doors for your home in Westchester, door replacement should also include the frame. While it may be tempting to only purchase a new door slab, replacing the frame at the same time is essential to provide a proper fit and a matching look. Replacing the door slab while leaving the old frame in place can lead to a host of problems: poor fit, less than ideal heat retaining and noise blocking properties, and difficulty in closing and opening the door. In addition to these potential problems, a mismatched door frame won’t look as nice. If you’re going to go to the trouble of replacing your door, it’s important to replace the whole thing and do it right!


Constructing A Portico

Constructing A Portico

First impressions are undeniably important, and nothing informs the first impressions of guests and visitors to your home so much as the exterior of your house. A beautiful exterior can wow guests and passersby alike, and help to make your home unique. There are many ways to improve the outside of your home, but updating the doorway can be one of the best. An imaginative entrance adds to your home’s intrigue and elegance, and can transform your house from ordinary to incredible! If you want to beautify the exterior of your home in Westchester, portico construction is a great way to do so.

A portico is essentially a roof over your doorway, supported by columns. Adding a portico has many benefits: it provides a place to remove shoes and place umbrellas when it’s raining, provides a convenient, sheltered area for delivery people to drop off packages, and serves as a place to welcome guests. It can also function as a miniature porch, giving you an outside seating space that’s protected from the elements. A portico has been a favored architectural accent since ancient times, adding interest and drama to the exterior buildings, while providing an inviting intermediary space between inside and outside. If you want to impart a sense of understated grandeur to your home in Westchester, portico construction can be an excellent choice.

Although porticos are often associated with grand classical-style buildings, the truth is that they can be designed to compliment any style of architecture. Whether your house is sleek and contemporary with clean, modernist lines, or rustic and cozy with lots of natural wood, a portico can be a perfect addition to enhance your home’s beauty, practicality and value. For homeowners in Westchester, portico construction can be a step along the way to realizing your dream home!


Open sesame

Open sesame

A window can impart a sense of spacious openness to even the most modest of rooms. As well as creating a view of the outdoors, they increase natural light, which has many wonderful properties, not the least of which is increasing the beauty and livability of your home. Although they bring countless benefits, many homes are constructed without enough windows. If you could use more natural light, space and brightness in your home in Westchester, window installation can help!

Natural light can make your home look better and feel better. If there are any rooms in your home that just don’t feel right, the problem could be that they are simply too dark and cramped feeling. Adding a window can open up a room dramatically, making it seem brighter and more cheerful, as well as larger. Best of all, natural light can improve your mood, giving you more energy, increasing your alertness and giving you a sunny outlook. Natural light can help you wake up with more energy; rather than dragging yourself to the kitchen for your morning jolt of caffeine, sunlight streaming through a window can help motivate you to spring out of bed, ready to greet the new day! If you want to make a dramatic and effective improvement to your home in Westchester, window installation can be a great way to go.

As well as increasing the spaciousness and openness of your rooms, the extra natural light provided by additional windows can reduce your dependence on electric lighting, thus decreasing your energy costs. In summer, a window can be opened to admit a cooling breeze; in winter, sunlight can help to warm your home and reduce your heating costs. For residents of Westchester, window installation can be a smart investment in your home’s beauty, comfort, and efficiency!


Window checkup

Window checkup

Although it’s something not many homeowners think about, inspecting your windows every year is a smart move that can save you money and help keep your home in good condition. Your windows are an essential part of your home, and if there’s anything wrong with them, the problem can easily effect the rest of your house. For savvy homeowners in Westchester, window replacement can be a great way to keep down costs and preserve the value of your house.

Your windows serve a vital function in your home. They provide a view of the outdoors and allow natural light in, making your home seem more open and spacious. Natural light can also boost your mood and make your home feel bright and cheerful. When your windows are in good repair, they give you these benefits while protecting your home from the elements, keeping it dry, warm in winter and cool in summer. However, any problems with your windows can cause major issues. Leaky windows can cause significant energy loss, making your heating and cooling bills skyrocket; they can also allow moisture into your home, creating the conditions for mold and mildew growth. Poorly sealed windows can provide spiders, ants and other bugs with an entry point to your house.

Because your windows are so important to the overall wellbeing of your home in Westchester, window replacement can be a great investment. In order to make sure your windows are in good shape, inspect them at least once a year, making sure that the caulking is well sealed, the frames are sturdy with no cracking or warping, and that the glass is sound, with no chips or cracks. If you find that your windows are in less-than-stellar condition, replacing them right away will help keep your utility costs down, and help you to prevent the development of problems with pests and mildew. Fortunately for homeowners in Westchester, window replacement is easy: there are many local companies that offer window replacement services, helping you keep your home cozy and comfortable year round!