November 23, 2011
Many people are wanting to stay in there
home and are deciding to add an addition. Second Story Addition are very common. Below are a few things to consider when looking for that second story addition design.
- Use inspiration from the existing home. A few easy ways are to match roofing, siding and windows. The whole goal is to make it not obvious that you added on.
- Match key elements. This can be a window or bay, something to pull them together and help them blend in.
- Match the existing. Blend the floors and ensure the windows are not mismatched. Sometimes remodeling to the existing home is an easy way to accomplish this.
- Architectural character. You want to ensure that you are not creating a big box and wants to keep some appeal with stepping things back or forward a few feet. Maybe a gable or two.
Second Story additions are a large step for homeowners and Modern always works with our designers and in conjunction with the customer to ensure there projects looks right, and is what they want.
The above photo had some windows adjusted on the main floor in the existing living areas of the home and also the front door location was modified. With this and new siding to match the existing garage was completed to ensure it all blended.
For any questions on on additions in Northern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin, Contact Modern Homes, Inc.
July 28, 2011
Do you have a fireplace? Have you lived in your home for 10 years or more? If you answered yes to both of these questions then now is the time to check your chimney cap. Typically installed with galvanized metal, they can and usually will rust and if not caught in time can cause serious damage to the chase or attic without you ever knowing.
Other roof vents, such at furnace vents, can rust on the top or the flashing and should also be inspected as well.
Call us before the next rain and let Modern Homes, Inc. in conjunction with our Exterior Division help with any questions. Contact Modern Homes, Inc now or call 847.356.8886.
February 24, 2011
There are a lot of things to considering when you are remodeling an older home. Some areas of you home might offer superb quality and craftsmanship that deserve to be restored rather than remodeled or replaced.
Trim – Molding and baseboards and even casing an important element that often offer intricate detail. Consider striping and staining the trim, or paint it a color to help it “pop” away from the wall and add visual appeal.
Entry and staircase have been a focal point in homes for years. most older staircases have quality craftsmanship with hand turned post and cut treads and risers. A restored staircase can offer irreplaceable appeal.
Hardwood Floors are a common staple in home and even the most beaten up floors can be restored by a professional.
Although replacement windows are a great idea for energy efficient. It is possible some careful weatherstripping and sealing your windows can improve the efficiency of your window. If replacement is necessary ensure you pick windows that will fit the character of your home.
If you are plaster walls and ceiling in your old house, keep then if you can. They offer character, as well as soundproofing modern drywall cannot.
Careful examine your doors for you home and you may not need to replace them. With some elbow grease and time you may be able to strip away the paint that have covered them for years and be able to restore them to be once again beautiful doors.
September 18, 2010
Tips for Deciding When to Replace Windows
Are you looking for tips to help evaluate the effectiveness of your windows and doors in a home, or a home your looking to purchase? Consider some of there for starters:
You can determine how many panes of glass are in the windows. Single-paned windows are the least energy efficient. You can replace them with double- or triple-paned Energy Start compliant windows to enhance energy efficiency and make a home more comfortable during all seasons.
Look for condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows. This could indicate seal failure or an inefficient window.
Do your windows open and close easily? If your windows are hard to open or close—or they won’t stay open or locked—this could be a sign that the windows need replacing.
Have someone stand outside your window. With a small flashlight, stand inside and “travel” around the window’s perimeter. If the person outside sees areas of light coming through, this is an indication of seal failure—and probably energy loss.
Does it seems especially noisy in your house? Do you live near a busy street? You can consider replacing your windows with laminated glass windows to help reduce noise transmission.
Did your neighbors just build a new home that’s too close to your bathroom? For added privacy, request decorative obscure glass in your windows. This will allow light to flow into the home, but will keep your privacy!
For any questions on windows, Contact Modern Homes, Inc.
March 17, 2010
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heaters consume 14% to 25% of a home annual energy use. For most consumers water heater replacement decisions are not an easy because of cost and a wide range of efficiency choices offered. There is also a tax credit if certain requirements are met for your new water heater, which could be tank or tankless.
The standard tank water heater is going to be the least expensive water heater and most everyone wants a bargain. Tank water heaters can come in ranges from 30 gallons to 120 gallons. Properly sized they can provided plenty of hot water for even a large family, but with too small of a tank will cause your hot water to be quickly depleted, leaving you with warm or even worse cold water. The largest downfall of a tank heater would be the standby heat loss, which is because the heater is also keeping the water heated weather you are using it or not. Also with a tank water heater, the water heater will cost you more over the life of the unit.
Tankless water heater is going to offer an endless amount of hot water. This type does this by eliminating the standby heat loss but does have a few draw backs of its own. It is key to properly size the tankless water heater to your homes use because if not properly sized you can test a tankless heater’s capacity. The incoming water temperature will affect the output and needs to be considered to properly size a unit. A tankless heater works in the manner that the water is heated instantly as it passes through the unit, which eliminates the need for a tank and offer endless hot water. The largest con to a tankless water heater is cost. The initial cost of a tankless is greater than tank models, although the life cycle cost is lower on tankless units.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a water heater. Lower upfront cost or lower long term cost? What size tank or tankless unit? Contact Modern Homes, Inc. for any questions or to have our plumbing specialist review what may be best for you.