Monthly Archives: September 2013

Dormer Types

Dormers can be a great option to add space and add charm to a home.  Dormers are windows with their own separate roof that come out away from the existing home’s roof. Dormers can be used in just about every architectural style.

The word “dormer” comes from the French word “dormir”, which means to sleep. Francois Mansart was the inventor of dormers.  He first introduced mansard roofs which are very steep, and the area in the attic was primarily used for sleeping.  To bring in light and add extra room to these sleeping attic rooms, he developed dormers, and that is where the name came from.

Dormers come in many sizes and shapes, including flat, shed, gabled, pedimented, deck, arch, oval, inset, and eyebrow.  Depending on the style of architecture, one style or the other may fit your home’s design best. The most common types of dormers are gabled dormers, hipped dormers and shed dormers.

gabled dormer

Example of Gabled Dormer

Arched Dormer

Example of Arched Dormers

eyebrow dormer

Example of Eyebrow Dormer

 

Window Screens Away for Winter

Weather for open windows has sadly ended.  As homeowners prepare their houses for the upcoming cold seasons, it’s a good idea to think about taking down your window screens before the real cold is here.

If your windows get direct sunlight, taking off the screens for winter can be very beneficial, especially if your windows are single paned. Screens can block up to 30% of sunlight, which can directly effect the way your home is heated naturally. Also, if left on, screens can accumulate extra snow and ice, which can damage the screens and even your windows.  Taking off your screens in the winter can help you save money on your heating bill and help keep your window screens in proper condition.

Don’t worry about cleaning your screens now, just store them in a safe area where there’s little traffic and less chance of being damaged.  Inspect them for damage before storing and repair them if possible. In the spring time, when you get them out of storage, hose them down and scrub them gently before reinstalling.

 

Furnace Filters and Fan Grills

Winter is coming.  Many of us have gone months without using our home heating systems, but soon we’ll have to flip the switch.  Take a few minutes to prepare your furnace and fans before you turn them on to be sure they are running efficiently.

Changing the your furnace filters can improve your furnace’s performance greatly, and it’s pretty easy to do.  Changing the filters can keep the air inside your home safe and healthy. Over time the filter collects dust, dander, pollen, and it can clog up the air flow in and out of the furnace. This makes the blower on your furnace have to work extra hard which uses more energy and will cause the blower to run out of steam quicker.  This also means that it will take longer to heat your entire home because the air flow isn’t as strong.

Another quick tip in making sure your heating and air conditioning system works well is to vacuum the surface (and inside if possible) of the fan grills around your home.  Pay special attention to the ones in higher traffic areas and in the bathroom.  This will make sure that the air gets circulated easily and effortlessly.  Just quickly run your vacuum over the grill clearing away excess dust and debris.

Keeping your home’s air systems in proper working order is extremely important in making sure you save money on energy bills.  It also helps extend the life of your expensive heating and air conditioning systems.

End of Summer Cleaning

Now that summer is winding down it’s time to check out your gutters and prepare them for the rainy months ahead. Cleaning your gutters while they are fairly dry makes for a much easier job than when they are soaking wet and clogged with debris.  Before the rain sets in, get out the ladder (remember – safety first!) and inspect your gutters and downspouts for clogs and damage.

Pine needles, leaves and acorns are just a few of the things you will probably find littering your gutters and roof after powerful summer storms and winds.  The buildup can prevent water from properly draining and eventually cause major damage to your home’s structure and surroundings.

It’s important to keep your gutters clean and clear all year around, but making it a habit to check and thoroughly clean them at least once a year will help keep you on schedule and your home in proper order.  Doing so at the end of the summer will be easier and will help you prepare for the Northwest’s rainiest season – Fall.