How to Plan a Project with Ease
Taking on a major home renovation can come with anxiety, but with some careful planning and arming yourself with information, you can get through it with less stress, and beautiful results.
As you begin the exciting journey in transforming your home, ask yourself some key questions to help determine the scope of the project and to better organize your thoughts.
How do I want to live differently in my home?
A renovation project gives you the opportunity to redesign for the better --- and that means you can think beyond your current window and patio door layout. To maximize light and ventilation, consider replacing windows with a patio door or Moving Glass Wall. Have you ever thought of using a patio door to create beautiful entrance to your home? The additional glass can expand the perceived size of your space. You should also take a close look at the hardware of your new windows and patio doors and the options available to make opening and closing them easier.
Realistically, how much can I afford?
Money always plays a role in how much we can do. Try to come up with a range of what you’re willing to spend that includes an absolute maximum. Remember to give yourself at least 10% extra wiggle room. Then talk to your window dealer or contractor about what is doable.
How involved do I want to be in the design?
Some people want to be involved in every single choice. Others want their hired professional to explain the options and simply choose. It will be important to let your project manager know how involved you want to be—it will help them determine how they should work with you.
Do I need this done by a certain time? Or, can I afford to have the work done in the off-season?
Most people want work done on their homes when it is most convenient and the weather will be cooperative. But often you have more flexibility and the work can get done more quickly in off-season times. Consider the weather when your windows or patio doors are being removed and talk with your installer or contractor about his schedule.
Replacement vs. New Construction
Your selection of a window or patio door may vary depending on whether you are completing a new construction or replacement project. New construction products are installed while a brand new home is being built. At this point, the studs are exposed and the doors are attached directly to the frames with the nail fin, which means it is nailed into the framing of the home. Afterwards, sealant is applied to prevent water intrusion.
Replacement windows and patio doors, on the other hand, are installed using a block frame or Z-bar (for stucco homes), which does not require access to exposed studs. This means there is less removal of exterior materials such as siding, stucco and trim.
In a replacement project, the installer can remove the entire frame of the old window or patio door or leave the jambs and cut out the sill. If you are not sure about your options, talk with your contractor or get in touch with a local Milgard dealer.
Working with a Local Dealer
The process of buying and installing windows and patio doors goes more smoothly when you work with professionals. They will help ensure you order the right products, properly sized to fit and operate flawlessly. They also help you order the right styles to match the overall design of your home and the constraints of your budget.
Most Milgard consumers purchase from one of 3,000+ Milgard dealer locations. Dealers are generally local business owners invested in their communities and dedicated to providing excellent customer service. Dealers can help walk you through your replacement or new construction project at a more personalized level. They work with you to select the best doors for your home’s architecture as well as your climate and lifestyle. Many offer installation services or can recommend a professional with whom they worked before.
Preparing Your Home for the Project
You may be living in your home while the project is being done, so you should prepare accordingly. If new windows or patio doors are part of a larger remodel, you will want to know how many days your kitchen, or another room, will be out of commission so that you can plan around it. For instance, you might want to move your appliances elsewhere so you can still make meals for yourself. Or simply plan to eat out.
Think about your daily routine and how it involves the part of the house being worked on. Prepare yourself for a break in that routine for the duration of the project. You might ask the contractor in what order the various rooms will be done. If one is a home office you use daily, perhaps you can arrange for it to be done quickly while you’re out on errands or working from another room.
Remove all necessities and valuables from wherever the work is being done so you have better access to them. It’s a good idea to remove items that could get damaged from the immediate area where patio doors are being replaced. Contractors are used to working around furnishings, but it never hurts to give them more space and take extra precautions.
Make plans to keep pets and children as isolated as possible from the work area. While installers are used to working around people, distractions such as children and pets will only slow the job down and could even prove dangerous. You don’t want children and pets running around in rooms where people are carrying doors with large panes of glass.
Window and patio door replacement is a big decision, with a lot to think about. But short-term planning and setting expectations will lead to long-term comfort, security and return-on-investment for your home.
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At least once in your life, you may need to buy replacement windows. We’ve made the idea a little more fun with the Milgard "Life Without Windows" series.
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