How To Choose The Right Builder

building contractor, house builder, construction company, sigmadoorsBuilding a house is a massive project, and you must be serious about it.  It requires attention, skills, experience, and creativity. As such, you can’t just hire anybody off the streets to handle it. It doesn’t matter if it is an office complex, a residential house, shopping mall, or shopping plazas. Whatever type of structure you plan to build, look for the best builder you can find. Or else, your project may not turn out the way you envisage at the end.

We’ve often heard complaints from people who hired home builders and regretted it due to the bad outcome. Sometimes, you may hear that they couldn’t maintain the budget or that they left the site without completing the project. These situations can be very painful to the project owners. So, the right thing is to avoid such heartaches by hiring a good contractor to handle the work from the beginning.

Many professionals in the industry has all it takes to bring your dream home to life. Some of these builders can also handle home remodeling projects with ease and within budget. So, cheer up! The best is there for you, and we’ll guide you to them

In this article, we’re going to share some helpful tips that will guide your decision when selecting a builder. If you follow our guide, you’ll find the best person to handle your building constructions or renovation.

Preliminary Preparation

Before you start the journey to find the right builder, there’re certain things we expect you to do. If you go in blindly without preparations, you may not know what to look for while searching. So, start by doing the following:

•    Prepare detailed information about your project

One of the first things you must do in this search is to prepare yourself before seeking out a builder. Many people rush to hire as soon as they gather funds to start the building project. If you don’t want to be disappointed at the end, take your time to make a list or create drawings. This document will contain what you want in the house and what you don’t want.

Professional builders will always require such information before quoting a price. It’s only the amateurs that may jump in and start a building project without asking to know what their client hopes to achieve.

Once you’ve created a list, you can enter the next phase

•    Review the scope of your project

Before you search for a builder, consider what the project requires. After building a list of what’s to be done and what not, you will realize that it’s either more than you thought or not as wide as you planned. So at this point, what kind of builder are you going to hire? Will it be a large company with many managers and team members who can work fast and still offer quality work? Or, will you settle for builders who manage projects themselves and doesn’t work with a large number of people?

Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, if you hire the company with a more organized approach and team members, they’ll complete the project faster. But you may spend more than you planned. Moreover, if you’re planning for a simple remodeling, hiring them may be an overkill.

On the other hand, an owner-manager kind of builder will be cheaper than a larger company but don’t expect the same level of expertise, service, quality, and speed. This type of builders is suitable for small projects that don’t require too many hands. However, you can still use the small company builders for large projects with long deadlines. So, before your search for a builder, consider who is suitable to handle the scope of your project.

•    Decide on the type of builder you want

This may sound like the second point, but it’s not. In every profession, there are general practitioners and specialists in one area. It all depends on the type of work you plan to do. For instance, if you’re planning to build a basement or convert your attic, a general builder may do that without issues. However, you can still find a company which specializes in that kind of work.

In this situation, the things that will guide your decision are your budget, nature, and the quality you seek. We can’t argue that specialists on a particular project will give high-quality results. But, if you find a general contractor who can handle it, you may pay less for it. Also, if your project is complicated, it is best to hire a specialist and avoid a trial and error situation.

•    Research for builders

This is one of the difficult aspects of choosing the right builder for your project. Sometimes many people will ask, “Where do I find builders?” Yes, they are everywhere, but how do you meet them or let the professionals know about your project? The truth is that you need to search before you can find the right builders.

You can ask your friends and family. Has any of them completed a building project? Do they know someone who just finished his house? If you’re lucky, they may refer someone to you. If they don’t know anyone, they can help you to search.

Another place to visit is the web. Search for builders in the locality where you’re erecting the building. Even if you don’t use the web, you can also use word of mouth around the area and get the best hands. Better still, you can even look for an association of builders in that particular locality and pick from there.

Go an extra mile to visit the builders you have on your list. Don’t be fooled by the hype; check things out for yourself. You can also call the people behind the references and verify the skills of the builders. That way, you can be sure of the builder’s workmanship quality and general conduct on a project.

Choosing The Right Builder

•    Ask For Quotes

Bidding has always been the best strategy for obtaining reasonable prices. When the competition is high, builders drop exploitative practices. So, ask for quotes after you share the project details with the selected builders. Make sure that you’re clear about your project requirements. Even though we’re wary of dubious contractors, some project owners can unknowingly cause issues too.

Make sure that you show the builders every detail about your project. Don’t withhold any information so they can give you their best prices. Our reason for saying this is that if you come up with different ideas or additions in the future, they may charge more for it. So, be specific at this point to avoid disputes. We suggest that you receive quotes from at least five builders.  This is the best way to get competitive prices and choose the level you can handle.

•    Analyze the quotes

Once you receive the quotes, analyze them thoroughly. Don’t be surprised that some builders may quote very low while others quote very high. Even though you’ll be tempted to take the lowest quotes, tread carefully. In analyzing the lowest quotes, check if they’ve covered every part of your project requirement. Even some things as simple as the removal of site wastes and rubbish can be expensive. So, be sure that they covered even the tiniest requirement. If all is okay, ask the low-quote builders how they intend to achieve all at their price without compromising on quality.

•    Determine the levels of experience

We know that some of the veterans were once beginners. Yes! They started with one project and grew from there. Well, choosing an inexperienced builder depends on the nature of your project. If you want to build a house with simple designs, working with a first-timer wouldn’t be a wrong move. From experience, anybody handling their first project always give one-hundred percent effort to do it well. So, if you can still work with them, go ahead and do so. However, if your project needs stronger and more experienced hands, don’t select a builder without some years of experience. Remember, rework is usually costlier than a new project. So, be careful here and pick the experience level that will give you the outcome you desire.

•    Ask Questions

This is another good step in the right direction. Ask the builders questions to clear every doubt or to acquire important information. For instance, you can ask them about their credentials. You can also find out if they’re registered with any regulating body or belongs to any association. We know that some states require builders or contractors to acquire an operational license or contractor bonds before working. If you’re residing in any of those states, don’t hesitate to ask the builders about it.

The importance of these registrations and licenses is that they help to keep contractors in check.  If you’re lucky to find a builder who is certified, licensed, or bonded, you can be sure of high-quality output. So, ask them and make your decisions based on their answers.

•    Agree on the finish and rough work

This part of the project involves the smaller tasks that follow the completion of a building project. You have to find out whether the builder will provide the electrical and plumbing services, take out the waste, etc. Also, after building a house, you’ll face the last segment, which involves connecting the light fixtures, appliances, cabinets, tiling, etc.

If your builder has the skills to handle all these things, it will be cheaper for you. But if he doesn’t, you may need to hire a different handyman to complete these part. So, you can find out if such services were part of the quote he presented or not. With this, you’ll decide on who to choose. Another way to handle this aspect faster is by, specifying it in the project brief so that builders can add it to their quotes.

•    Sign the building contract

After the processes above, you must have decided on the builder to hire for your project. But don’t leave it at that or you may still regret the decision. So, sign and file the building contract to enable the contract law to protect your project.

A building contract is a legal document or agreement which binds a property owner and the contractor. It states the conditions and policies that will guide the project execution and also outline the obligations of the two parties. This document will clearly outline the project scope, risks, legal rights, and duties of the owner and the contractor.

There are up to ten types of a construction contract, but you must choose the one that suits your project. For instance, there is a commercial contract, lump sum contract, domestic/residential building contract, etc. Check each one of them out and pick the type that covers what you have in mind for the project.

You’ll be happy to know that these contracts outline the “what ifs” that may arise in the future as the project runs. Also, after signing and filing the contract, you won’t need to worry or revisit it since your builder knows the penalty he will pay for failing to honor the terms

Other Important Areas To Consider In Your Search.

Sometimes, you may face the challenge of knowing who to go along with when everyone seems to be great. Yes! You may go through the processes we’ve shared above but arrive at a crossroads. At that point, we advise you to check for the following things and select the best builder.

•    Communication

It is very frustrating to work with someone you can’t reach when you need to discuss important things. You have to be sure that you can often get a progress report on your project from the builder. One way to know what to expect during the project is from the questioning stage. If the builder takes too long to respond to your questions or inquiries, expect such issues in the future.

Some big companies have turned to technology to enhance their communication with project owners. They now use cloud-based software where you can log in and check how your project is progressing. But when you’re working with builders without such capabilities, the communication gap may be too wide.

So, be careful while choosing your builder. Go with a builder who gives prompt replies to your questions or inquiries

•    Good Reputation

This is another important thing to check before entrusting your project to any builder. No matter how qualified a builder or building company is, if their reputation is terrible, steer clear from them. Don’t worry about how you can find out. Ask previous clients or visit the web. You can find good information about companies if you visit some online discussion forums. Many people who have used them will be happy to share their experiences.

•    Quality of completed projects

We’ve mentioned the importance of visiting the places where the builder added in his portfolio. When you get there, check the building out if you know what to look for but if you don’t, ask the owners about their experience with the builder. Don’t worry about how the owner might react. Building a house is a capital intensive project. Anybody who has passed through it will understand your need to be careful. So, feel free to discuss with the owners and clear your doubts.

Another thing to check is the resale value of the houses which your builder completed. Realtors and homeowners can provide this information for you. If the buildings maintain their values even after many years, that is a good sign. You can even find some Realtor adverts that mention the builder’s name if he is a hotshot as he claims.

•    Upfront fees

We believe that it’s important to avoid any builder asking for cash deposit or upfront fees. The only two reasons to consider such demands are, if the project will last for a very long time or if you ask for some building materials that are way beyond the usual ones. But, if none of these situations is in play, don’t agree with upfront fees to avoid disappointments.

Conclusion

The construction industry is filled with both professional and unprofessional builders. You can’t simply hand over your project to just anybody whether you want to cut cost or not. We’ve tried our best to discuss some essential things you can do to find the right builder. Follow our guide and pick the best builder to bring your dream to life.

No matter the references or the portfolio, always see things for yourself to verify their claims. Also, make sure that you sign a contract with your builder so you can take him to court if he abandons your project.

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40 home renovating tips for 2019

aluminium doors, glass door, aluminium patio doors, entry doors, hinged doors, access doors Front doors french doors replacement windows bay window bifold doors patio doors awning windows casement windows window replacement cost house windows windows and doors standard windows sizes sigmadoors home renovations, home makeover, refurbishments, alterationsThe home is one of the basic needs of man, and it’s the one place we retire to after the day’s hustle and tussle. Our home is where we relax in total comfort. We can only achieve such comfort if the building is not all old and cranky. To ensure that we have everything we need, a quality architectural design is all it takes to change an old house to a dream home.

Therefore, if you want to renovate an old house, there are things you must look out for as we will be considering in this article. Following these tips from expert builders will give you a sense of judgment for the best house plan to use. Also, you can achieve that home of comfort and relaxation you desire with or without contracting an architect.

Would you like to change an old house to a stunning home? Let’s see the 40 tips for effective renovation for a simple and beautiful home.

  1. The initial impression

Telling someone of how beautiful your home is nice, but wowing them at the sight of it is great. What’s most lovely is giving an initial impression of the building right from the doorway.  A clean and tidy walkway to the door will not only keep people smiling, but will also make them comfortable, relaxed and feeling at home.

  1. Purpose of renovation

The reason for renovating a building is very important because the house designs you would use for your building, may not be the same if the house you’re renovating is for sale. Therefore, before renovating know the purpose.

  1. Look out for natural components

The environment of any building will stand out if natural properties such as sunlight, large space, and a garden are in place. When next you want to shop for a building to renovate, consider these factors. A place with natural light and a space for a garden will give a unique outlook.

  1. Consider your budget

It is very reasonable for one to know the cost estimation of any project before embarking on it. First, you need to know the kind of house plan you want and the cost. This will give you an edge to know more on trending designs that would suit your home. Also, it will enable you to plan and get the best house designs.

  1. Get an expert

For every field, professionalism is the watchword if you do not want to record quacks and substandard renovation. Getting an experienced builder or architect will save you time as well as money. It’s better to spend a little extra for that comfortable dream home than to spend less and remains in a dilapidating or outdated house.

  1. Be original and creative

Originality is what sets your building apart from the crowd. Wouldn’t you be happy if your house design is the first of its kind? Of course, you will, and it starts with being creative and original. You can come up with designs and discuss with your architect.

  1. Construction materials

The climate of the environment and the durability of the building is important. Choosing any design and purchasing building materials such as iron, timber, concrete, and etcetera, should be considered.  This is very important as to avert future situations of collapse. Note, renovating a house with substandard materials is as good as not renovating at all.

  1. The kitchen matters

The kitchen is one of the most vital places when designing a house.  Though renovating the kitchen could be capital intensive, but it’s worth it. The kitchen is often said to be part of the building that keeps the family together.  Furthermore, creating an adequate space within the fridge layout, the sink and cooking gas is something that is of utmost importance. We should be informed that modern kitchen comes with functional space for locomotion.

  1. The bathroom

The bathroom is another important area to consider. This is usually referred to as the place of relief or freshness. Ideally, the bathtub and makeup mirror should be at first view when one enters the bathroom, while the toilet could be at the end of the bedroom.  It’s important to consider the slippery nature of the bathroom.

  1. Kiddies’ chamber

Children are the joy of their parents, and they light up the home with their smiles and presence.  It’s best to use a neutral color or detachable wallpaper for the building. This will ease effective change as they grow older.

  1. Rooftop

The roof is what shields the building from rain and sun. Every house plan must go with a similar good architectural roofing design. Of course, you wouldn’t want a leaky or patched roof after renovation. Roof materials that are usually in concrete variations, ceramic, and terracotta, will be beneficial to prevent roofing problems. These materials have components that are both wind and fire resistant.

  1. Energy spot

One way to know a good house plan is to identify the energy spots in the building.  Every building must have a strategic point for it in the home. Also, it very important to emphasize that because of its harmful nature if you don’t handle it with care, it can cause severe damages to the home. Such points could be hidden energy spot for electric razors or hairdryers, reserved spot for all-electric cooking utensils. It’s also necessary to mention that these appliances should not be kept close to any source of water, such as a basin tap.

  1. Your design vision

Before contracting an architect for your house design, you must have a vision on how you would love your building to appear. Having a vision is very mandatory because it keeps you on the path of your goal. It will also make you consistent in your choice of design, and all other fixtures that you will use.

  1. Pre-renovation research

Information, as it’s popularly said, is power. When you’re rightly informed, you can’t be a victim of any unforeseen circumstances.  Research and find out any site restriction that could probably affect the design of the building project. So many people in the past have had their buildings demolished because they didn’t do a pre-research before building.

  1. Take it one step at a time

It’s very important not to rush any house plan. Get the design you want and take it one step at a time. It is better to take a longer time and get the right building design than a substandard result within a short time.

  1. Prepare for uncertainties

We live in a world of uncertainties. When planning to renovate your building, it’s wise to plan for an emergency. That extra money you keep aside can help you to complete the project in no time.

  1. Pre-home inspection

When budgeting for house design, a pre-home inspection should have been done in the building. This will enable you to know the main areas that need renovation. Also, you can identify safety issues on places such as rusting pipes, damages exteriors, hazardous framing, and lots more.

  1. Timing

Time is money. The schedule for your project should be put into consideration before the renovation process.  Some house design could take a longer time, while others are less.  The builder has to provide the time, and you approve it before embarking on any building design.

  1. Early landscaping

Early landscaping is one crucial way to start your renovation project. It will give you an idea of what design to select.  It will enable you to know the one to suit what landscape.

  1. Finding the right team

For every job, there is the right person for it. Therefore recommendation from family and friends who have used great teams in the past is not a bad idea. Their references could get you the right builders for the job.

  1. Communication is a vital tip

Imagine a world without communication! Discussing with your architects and builders is a necessity when renovating a building. A good relationship with your builders would give you a fast outlook about your project.

  1. Kind gesture towards builders

Would you want that exceptional touch on your building? I guess yes, one sure way to achieve that is to treat your builders with a kind gesture. Paying them well and as when due will make them happy and give you the best results

  1. Consider the size and functionality of the family

Family differs from each other. Therefore, considering the number of rooms that would contain your family is essential for a house plan. Functionality, on the other hand, would determine the foundation of the building.

  1. The floor layout

Sophisticated tiles, timber floor and more can give an entirely new look. Your house design can have a state-of-the-art upgrade with the right flooring.

  1. Choice of colors and paints

Paint type and choice of color have a special aesthetic look it gives to any building. Your choice of paints and color should speak more of the style and promote the aim of the renovation project.

  1. Aged house renovation.

Renovating an old building would involve an extra lookout for outdated wiring and asbestos. One has to be prepared for it because it may involve a high budget.

  1. Suitable time for renovation

It’s crucial to start planning the renovation of your building after a couple of years. This is because the more time you wait, the more complicated and worn out the building becomes. Also, it’s best not to renovate at the peak of the seasons.

  1. Try to the rational

Being rational is the ability to be logically sound. In renovating your building do not agree to every decision or suggestion you see in the house plan from the designer. Try to find out if the plan will work for you and what you have in mind.

  1. Don’t go with the crowd

Often, people tend to go with a particular design and style. This is because they often believe that it is the standard idle package. But on the contrary, you could do your research and discover other designs that suit you better than going with the crowd.

  1. Beware of enticing renovation packages

Some building renovation packages are so affordable and alluring because of its cheap fixtures. Most times, materials used for such projects are susceptible to wear and tear.

  1. The walls of the interior

The wall is one part of the building; you can’t stop noticing. Quality Wallpapers that do not curl or discolor are the best, for long time goals. Also, it is not advisable to go for trending patterns as they may quickly go out of trend.

  1. Customizes furniture

The customize furniture is nice if the design of your building has corresponding space for it. Considering the space, you have in the building is a major factor to look out for before customizing your furniture.

  1. Prepare for ups and downs

Extending your building can be quite challenging.  Especially having your family as well as the builders while the renovation is in process.  Therefore one has to be mentally and emotionally prepared for unexpected events that might unfold.

  1. Get your neighbors on board

Having a cordial relationship with your neighbors is a beautiful thing. Consult them and make sure that the project does not affect them negatively. This will create a cordial and peaceful living environment for you.

  1. Look out for qualification

Irrespective on how small the building project is, be sure to check for qualifications. It is rather disheartening to embark on a house plan twice due to quack skills.

  1. Revamp and sell

Renovating a building for sale could be more challenging. This is because the house design must appeal to prospective buyers. Therefore, the use of natural colors would be most advisable, to enable any form of decoration and furniture fit in.

  1. Make a good outdoor impression

Renovating the deck and backyard of your building will increase the value and outlook of the home.

  1. The garage

This is another aspect that you shouldn’t overlook. The door of the garage should represent the quality of the building.

  1. Keep a dairy

Writing a pre-Reno plan on the building before renovation is good. Keeping a dairy would help you keep track of what you intend to achieve with the project. Also, it’s a good source of reference.

  1. Home accessories

Your project will not be perfect if accessories are still the same. Updated cushions, beddings, curtains and lots more will give the house a refreshing look.

Conclusion

Renovating an old house may seem difficult, but if you make your plans very well, you can achieve it without stress. We have presented 40 home renovating tips that will help you enjoy your project. Follow them and transform any building into a modern-day wonder.

Solar energy advantages and disadvantages

solar panels, wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, SigmadoorsSolar energy is a trending, affordable and renewable power source that people use all over the world today. The primary source of solar energy is the sun.  Other than the usual harvesting of solar energy through window and door openings, we can also harvest this energy through the use of photovoltaic solar panels. The sun is the source of energy received by the earth. This is one reason we can transform solar energy into electricity through the sunrays.

Furthermore, the energy from the sun can light up home appliances, provide power to companies and can serve any power purpose. It can also serve smaller purposes in some countries such as the production of salt. This is possible through seawater by evaporation. Solar energy meets the world’s power needs of a year, within one hour. Although, we are only able to access 0.001 percent of this energy.

This source of energy is perpetual as long as there is a potential source of sunlight.  Also, solar energy if we manage it suitably tends meeting potential energy needs. However, three factors determine the quantity of electricity to generate by solar energy, which are:

  • Size of the solar panel.

  • The accuracy of the solar cells within the panel

  • Amount of Sunrays that gets into the solar panel.

The two major types of solar energy are the photovoltaic and thermal power solar energy.

The photo-voltaic solar energy: This type of solar energy transforms light into power supply through a semiconductor known as silicon. This kind comes from different cells produced by a constant current. The current is then transformed into other currents by an inverter.  The photovoltaic energy works mainly with sunlight. Although it works in cloudy weather also, with a reduced volume.  This is the commonest way to use solar energy. The generated energy can be used immediately or stored in a solar battery. Photovoltaic solar energy is mostly for residential usage and small scale electricity needs. Unlike the thermal solar energy that is used to produce electricity on a larger scale

The thermal solar power, on the other hand, produces heat at a temperature below 100c. This heat is stored and converted into electricity. We use solar thermal through the process of water heating. This is achieved by placing the panel on the rooftop to absorb sunlight. Thereby, heating the liquid in the cylinder and transmitting it into your chamber for use.

There are so many ways to use thermal solar energy namely,

Reducing temperature solar thermal energy, this is done by climate effect, through the heating and cooling of air. The passive solar building design is an example of this kind of thermal energy. The process works through the entrance of sunlight on a spacious area, and after that closed when it needs to be cooled.

Medium temperature thermal solar, this involves a solar boiling heating process. On the rooftop of your building, the collector captures the heat from the sun. After that, you can transfer the heat via water pipes in your homes. This method is a substitute for the traditional water heater generated by oil and gas.

Intense temperature thermal solar energy.  This is used to generate power supply in large quantity, such as a turbine. The technology is referred to as concentrated solar power. It works with a mirror focusing the sunlight with tubes that contain a liquid which can hold heat energy for a longer time. This heated liquid can turn water into steam, which can generate electricity.

Solar energy is one product that is fast rising in the market today. Solar energy helps to foster economic growth as well as the environment.  Over time, energy needs have been met solely by oil, coal and natural gas. However, recent discoveries about solar cells technology have made it much better than it was several years ago. For this reason, many people are swinging towards solar power today.

As we read on, we will see several benefits of solar energy.

Advantages of solar energy

  1. Easy regenerated source

This is however regarded to be the best of the pros of solar energy. Continuity is a basic factor associated with any product. As long as the sun sets daily, solar energy will be available to all, even in a billion years to come.  Unlike other sources of power, every country of the world can make use of solar energy easily without fear.

  1. It can meet different power needs

We have many needs that have to do with the use of power, and in this 21st-century, power is crucial for survival.  Solar energy can meet our daily diver’s energy needs. Solar energy can also, be used as a good source of power in environments with no access to the energy grid to get good water supply. Also, solar energy can be composed into matters used for building.

  1. Low functional charges

Another important benefit of using solar energy is that maintenance is not capital intensive. The charges are relatively on the low side. All it entails is keeping it clean always. You can have them cleaned a couple of times in the year by contracting certain cleaning companies, who do it at a minimal fee. It’s difficult for it to wear or tear because there are no detachable parts. The inverter is the only part that you need0 to renew within 5 to 10 years. Another part is to ensure that you maintain the cables for tremendous effect.

  1. Decreases energy bills

Electricity is a necessity in every home and organization. Without it, so many things will come to a halt, and this would affect our well being.  We all know how important electricity is and that’s why many people pay heavily to have sufficient energy supply. The good news is, you can pay less and have as much energy supply as you need with solar energy. The reason being that most of the power needs will be met through solar energy. However, the size of the solar energy used will be dependent on the number of bills saved.

  1. Advanced technology of solar panels

It is a plus that the solar system technology is advancing rapidly. This will eventually lead to better innovations and packages that would suit our energy needs better. Furthermore, this will mean an increase of solar panels and double effectiveness on electrical advancement on solar energy systems.

  1. Solar panel are not noisy

Silence is one major improvement made by the solar energy system. Imagine working, or being in the comfort of your home with the use of maximum power supply accompanied by silence. Trust me; silence has a way of calming the brain and nerves. Keeping you relaxed and happy as well. Unlike other energy sources that are very loud and extremely noisy. This is why recently, solar energy is used for residences and business purposes.

  1. Collective usage reduces cost

A group of people can use solar energy within a given geographical location. This will help address the issue of poor shades and inadequate space. The shared solar energy platform is known as community solar gardens. It can give electricity to a community of people without the solar energy panel installed on their rooftops. This will reduce the cost of installation.

  1. Produces clean energy

How can we survive in the years to come if we breathe in bad air produced by the conventional energy system? Statistics has it that over 6.4 million people die yearly across the globe because of air pollution. These harmful gases produced by fossil fuels are also harmful to animals, crops, trees, and vegetation. Therefore, Electricity issues are best resolves with a solar energy system.  Solar energy produces clean electrical energy that is not harmful to our health.  With solar energy, we can live a better life for future generations.

  1. Long time warranty

Durability is one factor that makes a product stand out. The good news is solar energy panels are tested and designed to withstand major storms of 140 miles per hour. Solar energy cells are protected under shatter proofs tempered glass, with the use of a flexible substance. There’s no need to fear, as most manufacturing companies provide a 25-year warranty for their solar panels. Also, manufacturing companies provide a detailed guideline on the maintenance strategy.

  1. It provides jobs

The production of solar panels by manufacturing companies provides job opportunity. It has proven to be a good source of employment in areas such as sales and installation, research and production. Not only does it create job opportunities, but it is also, an avenue for indefinite economic growth.

  1. Solar panel are quite simple to install

With the availability of either horizontal or vertical space, installation can be done. It is quite easy and less complicated to install a solar energy panel. Although, most manufacturing

Companies offer the services of installation. It would be best if the manufacturing companies are contracted for the installation of solar energy.

  1. Increases home value.

The worth of any home consist of the quality of items is in the home. Investing in a solar energy panel is one wise way to add value to your home. Most especially if such a home is for sale, it will give your home a touch of class and make potential buyers long for it.  Also, it will make you smile to the bank.

Although solar energy is one good and available power supply, it also has some cons that we will discuss shortly.

Disadvantages of solar energy

  1. Climate conditions

Solar systems are mostly functional in sunlight. Although solar power can still function in cloudy weather conditions, its effectiveness is very slow. This means there could be some sort of complications when it’s rainy or cloudy. Also on the cons, solar energy cannot function when it’s dark. However, if you want a functional water heating solution at night and when it’s rainy, then we recommend thermodynamically.

  1. Fairly high costs

Buying a solar energy system is cost intensive. Though, there is a systematic plan by the US government for the choice of a renewable energy source, called the feed-in tariff. This entails paying for solar panels, batteries, inverter, wiring, and installation as well. All of this is what makes it expensive. But subsequently, with the new solar technologies on the ground, we believe that the price will be lower.

  1. Requires large space.

A solar energy plant requires enormous space.  The quantity of sunlight you need determines the numbers of panels you need to install. This is a major problem because some rooftops can’t accommodate the necessary panels some houses need. This will equally reduce the volume or determine the electricity you can use in your home. Though it is advisable to store some in your yard also if there would be access to sunlight there.

  1. Greenhouse Gasses

Greenhouse gasses are air pollution associated with solar energy. During the process of installation, this harmful gas could be emitted. There are equally some hazardous components that come out during the manufacturing process of solar photovoltaic. However, pollution from solar energy is less in comparison to other sources of energy.

  1. Expensive to move

If you have plans to move from a particular location soonest, it is not advisable to install the solar energy yet. This is because it is quite expensive to move from one location to another. This is a disadvantage that should be noted. However, solar panels add value to homes, and in time the money invested in it will pay off.

Conclusion

The primary needs of man are food, shelter and clothe. Howbeit, these primary needs of ours are a connection with the need for a good electricity supply. You will agree with me that in this modern world it is almost impossible to meet these primary needs effectively without the use of a good power supply.

Subsequently, the advent of solar energy is a sure way to meeting our power supply needs and living a happier and healthier life. So when you think of an efficient power supply, think solar energy.

PVC, Vynil, Wooden, or Aluminum Windows

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There is no complete house without windows. Windows allow natural light to enter inside the rooms and help to keep the house properly ventilated. Windows will also enable the people occupying the house to enjoy better views of their external environment. As a result, if your house has enough windows, it will never feel stuffy or gloomy. Windows can make your home more energy efficient by allowing natural light into the home while retaining warm air inside the house. Also, windows can increase the visual effect and appeal of your home.

However, the materials used in making window frames are not the same. A window can offer durability, maintenance reduction, energy-efficiency, and insulating value depending on its material. That is why; whether you are installing new windows or replacing existing ones, it is important to be better informed about different window frame materials if you want the outcome of your project to be successful and to meet your requirements.

Any window material you choose should provide numerous benefits. It should be able to upgrade the interior and exterior of your house. Also, it should make the cleaning of your home easier.

What is the best material for windows?

Most people who want to install or replace their windows often think only of the window style or glass type. They often forget that the material used in designing the window is important also. That is why; you need to explore the different window materials available and their benefits. Also, you should consider their installation, maintenance, cost and many other things.

Most of the available windows in the market are made from Wood, PVC, Aluminum, and Vinyl materials. The materials with the highest quality are often expensive and have higher chances of weather-stripping. Moreover, they can prevent air from passing through from the sashes. Almost every window material can prevent wind when the weather condition is comfortable. However, if the temperature happens to drop below the freezing point, most of their weather-stripping can stiffen, shrink, or become brittle. As a result, they are likely to crack. That is why the best window material should be the one that can hold its own and offer high-performance even at 0 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.  

However, for you to get the best material for windows, there are certain factors you should look out for. Such factors like;

R-value

This factor measures the capacity of the window to prevent the transfer of heat. R-value can determine how the window retains a comfortable temperature inside and how it can keep the uncomfortable temperatures outside the house from entering. It is, therefore, better for a window material to have higher R-value.

U-value

The window material’s U-value otherwise known as U-factor is greatly the opposite of the R-value. What it determines is the heat transfer tendency. That is why; it is better for a window material to have lower U-value.

Solar Heat Gain

This particular factor is also regarded as SHGC {solar, heat, gain coefficient}. Its function is to determine how windows can heat the room as the sun shines. During cold weathers, solar gain is perfect for a window material. But during the summer, it can increase your air-conditioning costs. If the number of solar gains is high in the material, the heat gain will also be greater.

Wind Resistance

Window resistance otherwise known as air leakage can be determined by CFM {cubic feet per minute}. It usually comes in two numbers which are 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. It is great for the seal if the numbers are lower.

For this article, we are considering PVC, Vynil, Wooden, or Aluminum Windows. Each of them comes in diverse colors, sizes, and shape options. Moreover, some of these materials offer better thermal resistance than the other ones. Also, they have their pros and cons which you should consider before choosing the appropriate one for your project. They are as follows;    

 

PVC Windows

PVC windows are among the popular options available today. Moreover, it is resistant to weather and impact. Unlike wooden windows, you do not need to stain or paint PVC windows.

Pros:

  • They are recyclable
  • PVC windows only require low maintenance. As a result, homeowners can save money and time.
  • Since PVC windows do not change shape or warp, you may not need to replace it.

Cons:

  • You have to get the best quality of PVC to get that aesthetic appeal of aluminum or wood.
  • If you are unfortunate to get poor quality PVC, it can discolor or become brittle.

Vynil Windows

Vinyl windows consist UV-resistant Polyvinyl Chloride and are high-performance and affordable. They can accommodate many other applications. They offer high moisture resistance, almost maintenance free, and do not require painting. The best part is that you can insulate vinyl windows to enhance energy efficiency. Moreover, technology upgrades have increased its manufacturing processes. Thus, it enables vinyl windows to overcome its poor reputation of being substandard.

Pros:

  • It is the most affordable window among all the other materials
  • They can be insulated with foam or kept hollow which makes it energy efficient.
  • Vinyl windows retain its beauty for years and do not need maintenance.
  • It is UV-resistant and non-corroding.
  • Water and air infiltration are prevented due to the welded seams of vinyl. The welded seams also promote its durability.
  • The vinyl that has high-quality titanium dioxide is more resistant to heat.
  • There are also various color options to choose from than the standard tan and white.

Cons:

  • You cannot stain or paint the interior to suit the décor. If you do, it is likely to peel away and need reapplication in the long run.
  • There are so many sub-standard vinyl products available, and if you are not careful, you may end up with one. Thus, you are reducing its insulation value and durability.
  • Vinyl windows most times have no room for customization and as a result, may not suit traditional architectural designs.
  • They are likely to warp as time goes on and can even damage during its installation.
  • Changes in seasonal temperature can induce vinyl windows to contract and expand. As a result, the glass seals may break and cause moisture and air infiltration.

Wooden Windows

Wooden material is the favorite of most homeowners who are installing or replacing their windows. Moreover, for eons ago, wooden materials have been the choice for construction. No doubt, it is as a result of its complete energy efficiency, its architectural matching ability, and warm appearance.

Pros:

  • You can fabricate a wooden material into numerous sizes and shapes.
  • Woods are natural resources and environmentally sustainable
  • It provides maximum insulation value, which is cold transfer and low heat.
  • Wooden windows are highly durable and strong. In short, it becomes stronger over time.
  • You can stain or paint wooden window to your suit your specific exterior décor.
  • Due to its warmth and natural beauty, wooden windows can provide you with a greater return on your investment.

Cons:

  • The price is a bit on the high side than the other materials
  • It is high maintenance. You need to clean, caulk, stain, paint, and sand it regularly.
  • Wooden windows are prone to insect infestation, rotting, mildew, and molding due to weather conditions.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum windows are almost maintenance free, strong, light, and one of the low-cost window options available. Moreover, aluminum window installation is the easiest for traditional home builders for ages now. No doubt, its standard aluminum window sizes, durability, and strength make it a great choice.

Pros:

  • Aluminum windows prices are lesser than the other materials
  • You can maintain aluminum windows easily. Moreover, it comes in baked-on or anodized finishes. As a result, you do not need to repaint it.
  • Aluminum windows provide narrow frames and slim profile which enables better glass space and promotes sight lines.
  • It is lightweight and allows for customization to your particular fitting configuration.
  • Aluminum windows are joined mechanically with corners that are warp resistant to retain its shape for a long time.

Cons:

  • Its U-value is high making it a great conductor of cold and heat.
  • Among the other window materials, Aluminum windows offer the least energy efficiency.
  • Aluminum is susceptible to condensation and is always cold when touched.
  • They are also prone to corrosion when you expose them to salt air and salt water. As a result, it can cause issues with its functioning and performance.

Differences and Similarities

The comparison of the different window materials will be classified by their;

Design

The design of window material is greatly important when you want to get the best. For instance, the interior of a wooden window usually come from Douglas fir or pine while the outside is covered with PVC, fiberglass, or extruded aluminum.

On the other hand, the material design for vinyl windows comes in various finishes. If by chance it is chipped or scratched, its exterior will still have the same look. More especially, since the entire material design is the same. Aluminum window designs are thinner thus, offering a high-end aesthetic look. No wonder most commercial buildings opt for aluminum windows.

Durability

Another important factor that you should look out for when choosing the best window material is its durability. That is the material that can last for a very long time. For example, wooden materials are easy to maintain and repair. Although they may be prone to rot, the newer wooden windows come with protection. Their exterior is covered by durable cladding or finish. While, vinyl window materials can greatly resist marring, cracking, and scratching.

Moreover, you cannot dent them easily. As for PVC windows, they can tolerate poor weather conditions. On the other hand, aluminum windows are resistant to marring, cracking, and scratching as well. However, if they are powder-coated or painted, they may become more susceptible to dents.             

Colors

The color of window material is crucial when choosing the best material option. Aluminum windows do not have many color options. It is either powder-coated or painted. You can paint vinyl window materials, but you will need a special process to get your specific color requirement. PVC windows do not require painting to get your color choice since they come in a variety of colors. On the other hand, wooden windows can be painted to your color choice. However, you will need to repaint them regularly to maintain their color.

Pitting and Fading

PVC windows do not fade easily no wonder they are recyclable. On the hand wooden windows are likely to fade especially the painted surface. Vinyl windows do not have issues with pitting and fading whereas, aluminum windows can pit. Moreover, its painted surface is likely to fade.

Thermal performance and Energy Efficiency

Wooden windows are perfect in preventing the transmission of heat or cold from outside. On the other hand, aluminum windows are known to radiate unwanted heat from outside in the rooms. Even they conduct cold likewise. That is why; they have to be protected with thermal breaks before they can become energy efficient. Thus, it makes their cost to go higher. PVC, on the other hand, is resistant to impact or any weather change. As a result, its thermal performance is okay. Also, it is energy efficient. Vinyl windows also function better regarding thermal performance and energy efficiency.  

Condensation

Condensation is easily noticed on wooden windows. Moreover, it is easy for vapor pressure to push moisture through wooden windows. Vinyl and PVC are less likely to create condensation. Whereas, aluminum can create condensation and other related issues.

Thermal Breaks

Thermal breaks are vital for aluminum and vinyl window materials since it reduces heat transfers from outside to the inside. Also, it combats the issues of condensation and maximizes energy efficiency. Whereas; wooden windows are non-conductive materials and do not need thermal breaks.

Maintenance

Regarding maintenance, PVC windows only require little or no maintenance while wooden windows need regular maintenance. On the other hand, both aluminum and vinyl window materials do not need maintenance at all.

How much does it cost to replace aluminum, PVC, Vinyl, and Wooden Windows?

When you want to replace your PVC, Aluminum, Vinyl, or Wooden windows, it is important to secure bids from many well-known contractors. At least, you should compare the prices from three different contractors. This is because; their prices are likely to vary from one contractor to another. Moreover, if you are not careful, you may succumb to the high-pressure tactics of their sales representatives.

However, after our research, we can boldly say that aluminum window prices are more on the high side. That is if you go for high-quality and energy efficiency. Vinyl and PVC, on the other hand, provides better value yet, they are not expensive. Wooden windows cost more than all the rest of them may be due to its beauty.  

Conclusion

Before choosing the best option among these window materials, you should consider their cost, efficiency, look, warranty, etc. You should also ask yourself what you require from a window material when embarking on aluminum window installation or any of the others. Furthermore, each of these materials has their particular place in the market. Therefore, if you install them appropriately, they can provide you with efficiency and lifetime service.  

 

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A Homeowner’s Guide To SANS 10400 XA

energy efficiency, fenestration, SANS 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doors

south africa climate zones map, energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doorsAlmost 60% of the world’s electricity is used by residential and commercial buildings, making it a rapidly increasing and a pressing matter of concern. It’s due to the global climate changes and an increase in costs and energy consumption requirements that the need for energy efficiency and energy efficient buildings is being emphasized.  70% of South Africa’s buildings were designed and built when electricity prices were economical, but the constant price hikes are making it not only hard to maintain a livelihood but also depleting the energy resources at a very rapid rate. Thus, the increasing burden on the South African national electricity grid forced the government to make amends and introduce The South African National Standard – SANS 10400 – XA and the SANS 204 to regulate energy use and encourage energy efficiency in building for better utilization of resources and ensuring improvement in the ecological changes and declining ecosystems.

Energy efficient buildings, is a simple and very innovative idea to introduce required changes in the existing buildings and practical measures that save energy when new buildings are built and designed.  With the introduction of new regulations and policy in the existing sans 204 and national building regulations, the government of South Africa is taking a step ahead towards making the country a cost-efficient country!!

Many modern and especially commercial buildings have been built without much consideration of passive design and rely strongly on technology such as Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems and electric heaters to provide a comfortable indoor climate. Using electricity for these functions is very inefficient and costly.

energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doorsWhat Is SANS 10400 – XA?

The SANS 10400-XA standard is a summary of the SANS 204 and other standards into a single reference for homeowners to ensure compliance with the energy efficiency requirements of the National Building Regulations (NBR).  These Requirements include:

  • Buildings should face north so as to make most of the sunlight along with Suitable roof overhangs to maintain the adequate temperature during both summers and winters.
  • Use of energy efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems wherever required;  
  • At least 50% of water heating must be done through a solar water heater or heat pumps or any other energy efficient manner.

The SANS 10400-XA is part of the National Building Regulations (NBR) and must be adhered to. Municipalities are responsible for assessing and approving development applications including their adherence to the NBR.

The SANS 10400–XA Regulations

The latest amends in South African National Building Regulations (NBR) list the following regulations and adherence to which is mandatory to all homeowners.

  • XA1 – all homeowners must use energy efficiently and reduce the greenhouses emissions and use energy within the given limits.
  • XA2 – not more than 50% of the annual volume of domestic hot water should be heated through electrical resistance heating, i.e., 50% or more of hot water used must be heated by energy sources other than electricity.
  • XA3 – compliance with the XA1 Regulations must be accomplished by one of three methods. If homeowners or competent party build in accordance with SANS 10400–XA, then the buildings will be ‘deemed to comply’ with National Building Regulation XA1.

Which buildings are affected by the SANS 10400 XA requirements?

Buildings that consume energy as a result of human occupancy are the main target of the new regulations. All new buildings must comply with these regulations, and any additions or extensions to existing buildings must be strictly made in compliance with the new regulations. If the existing building is unaffected by an addition, only the addition will have to comply with the regulations.

How is compliance achieved?

energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doorsTo avoid delays in achieving planning approval and receiving occupancy certificates, homeowners should communicate to their architects and the professional teams that the home must be designed in accordance with the SANS 10400–XA Regulations. Compliance with the SANS 10400–XA Regulations requires that the design of new buildings satisfy certain conditions. There are basically three routes by which homeowners can comply with the new regulations, these three routes are-

  • The Prescriptive Route
  • The Reference Building Route
  • The Performance Route

The Prescriptive Route is generally available to all persons and will commonly be used for houses and smaller buildings. This route requires that a set of rules is adhered to for water heating, insulation and glazed areas, i.e., windows, glass doors, and roof lights.

Homeowners need to choose the most practical and cost-effective route, depending on their financial resources and project timelines.

What documentation must be completed?

Once the plans are ready for submission, the Appointed Person (or Responsible Person, if a professional has not been appointed) must inform the local authority and Building Control Officer which compliance route has been chosen, by completing a set of four documents (Forms 1 to 4). These forms can be downloaded from the SABS website (www.sabs.co.za).

  • FORM 1: DECLARATION BY THE HOMEOWNER FOR APPROVAL OF BUILDING CONSTRUCTION.

Mainly the roles and duties of the homeowner are discussed here. The competent person making a declaration wherein the means for SANS 10400 -XA regulations have to be satisfied.

  • FORM 2: APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL AS AN APPROVED COMPETENT PERSON.

In this step, the Competent Person agrees to take on full responsibility for all the energy-related duties in this section the competent must declare that he/she has the qualification, knowledge and contextual experience necessary for completing the work with compliance to the regulations.

  • FORM 3: DECLARATION BY A COMPETENT PERSON.

Under this the Competent Person is required, to make a declaration that the person is the best for the task at hand and has strictly adhered to the regulations. This form also has the second part which states the critical design information of building and its energy consumption.

  • FORM 4: CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION BY OF THE STRUCTURAL, FIRE INSTALLATION OR FIRE PROTECTION.

Here, the Competent Person has to make sure that he/ she has completed and attested the Certification of Completion. It is also the responsibility of the approved competent person who will retain the role of seeing all the energy aspects of the project.  

Option 1: Compliance through the Prescriptive Route

As compliance through the Prescriptive Route does not require the appointment of a Competent Person, it is likely to be the route most widely used in cases where the homeowner would prefer the simplicity of following the prescribed rules, rather than trying a more innovative approach to achieving energy performance standards.

What must be done to follow the Prescriptive Route?

To meet the minimum requirements of the Prescriptive Route, Schedule A of Form 1 must indicate that this route has been chosen, and the design must adhere to certain rules. This requires that decisions be made on the following:

1 Water heating: – The location, capacity, and type of hot-water installations must be planned to ensure that at least 50% of the water will be heated by means other than electrical resistance heating.

2 Insulation: – Insulation must be specified as follows

  • Roof and ceiling insulation type and thickness.
  • Hot-water pipe insulation thickness (only on exposed pipes).
  • External wall insulation (only where external walls are non-masonry).
  • Under-slab insulation (only where in-slab heating is installed).

3 Glazed areas: – The total glazed area as a percentage of the net floor area must be indicated –

  • If it is more than 15%, the glazed area must be designed to comply with SANS 204.

PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS

These are areas which have different climatic influence, and are tabulated below according to the different climatic zones in South Africa ranging from 1 to 9 these climatic factors must definitely be taken into account before selecting the route either prescriptive or reference building:

south africa climate zones map, energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doors

Option 2: Compliance through the Reference Building Route

If the Prescriptive Route requirements pose technical difficulties or are unaffordable, the homeowner may wish to pursue compliance through the Reference Building Route. This option permits a greater degree of flexibility and creativity, allowing the professional team to introduce innovative energy-efficient solutions to achieve an energy performance that is the same or better than that which would have been achieved by the strict application of the Prescriptive Route. The factors influencing the choice of this compliance route are:

  • The scale of the home.
  • The wanted aesthetics of the home.
  • The ability set of the expert team.
  • Client preferences and willingness to pay for energy modeling.

What does the Reference Building Route involve?

A Reference Building is initially designed according to the homeowner’s vision and needs, with all the elements required to comply with the Prescriptive Route being included. Thereafter, the design can be modified with recommendations from the professional team. The annual energy usage and demand is calculated and compared with the performance of the Reference Building (the base case). If the modified design shows an equivalent or improved energy usage compared with the Reference Building, it complies with the regulations.

What must be done to follow the Reference Building Route?

To meet the requirements of the Reference Building Route, the homeowner must appoint a Competent Person who, along with the architect, will ensure that the required documents are submitted to the local authority timeously. The homeowner must also sign the following two SABS forms before the plans can be submitted for approval:

  • Form 1: ‘Declaration by the person responsible for preparing an application for approval of the erection of the building in terms of section 4 of the act.’
  • Form 2: ‘Application for acceptance as an approved Competent Person in terms of Regulation A19.’

 

 

Case Study: Joe Slovo, Cape Town: Sustainable low-income settlement

The Joe Slovo settlement is situated in the suburb of Langa, 10 km east of the Cape Town CBD. The low-cost houses in the settlement include the following sustainable design elements in compliance with SANS 10400-XA

  • Improved thermal performance of buildings through insulated ceilings, roof overhangs, and double story, duplex block design, i.e., reducing external wall exposure
  • Improved energy services through energy efficient water heating through solar water heaters (150-litre low-pressure evacuated tube systems).

The images show the houses in Joe Slovo and conventional low-cost houses in Delft that were used to compare the impact of the sustainable features.

Solar water heaters- SWH were installed on all houses. A community survey conducted after occupation showed that the SWH were most appreciated measure. Prior to the installation households used an average of 8 kettles per day for water heating. Even on cloudy days in winter, the SWHs were found to produce 30 to 40°C warm water.  

Energy Efficient lights -The houses were equipped with CFL lights. It is noted that safe disposal and replacement system is required to sustain this measure as poor residents may replace broken CFLs with cheaper incandescent light bulbs.  

Thermal design features- The thermal design was optimized with the help of a computer modeling package. The houses are a double story and have shared walls reducing their exposure to outside air. Most houses are north facing with roof overhang shading windows on the top floor in summer.

Conclusion

So, from the overall discussion, we can conclude that energy efficiency has  become of a requirement rather than just a choice the global greenhouse emissions are increasing day by day destroying the ecological balance , if these signs further ignored the world as we know it will deteriorate,  However, successful government intervention plans policies regulation and increasing awareness has turned the tide and bringing in a new wave of change although the quantum of change is very small it is helping in spreading more awareness.

south africa climate zones map, energy efficiency, fenestration sans 10400 xa, sigmadoors, south africa sans 204 building regulations aluminium windows and doors It is important to note that the design and plans for extensions and Improvements of the above mentioned must be made in compliance with the newly set regulations. Usually, the SANS 10400 -XA serves the role of providing the  energy requirements for a building for the compliance with National Building Regulations regarding energy usage while the SANS 204 is more concerned with specifying the actual design requirements so as to achieve the desired levels of energy efficiency in the long run to make sure easy sustainability because countries like South Africa which fall under the economically backward  countries already have a very limited amount of resources and if the country continues to consume the resources at its current pace then in the next few decades South Africa will run out of energy sources and must depend on the underdeveloped renewable resources.

While there has been lots of regulations and policies, the response and awareness created through such plans and policies in South Africa is still very little. There is surely demand of more plans and policies and amendments in the existing SANS 10400-XA due to the in compliance and loopholes in the regulations. It is a very necessary and ideal time for intervention in averting such massive scale energy crisis. Reports and research have shown that the buildings are the largest consumer of energy, right after the construction sector in South Africa.

Thus SANS 10400-XA can be said to be a stepping stone in averting a massive energy crisis in South Africa although the SANS 10400 is an incomplete attempt and requires lots of revision and amendments in the foreseeable future it can be concluded that the SANS 10400-XA is definitely a founding stone in revolutionizing energy efficiency in buildings in South Africa.

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Renewable Energy vs. Nuclear Energy: What Is Better?

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, Sigmadoors

One of the most heated and vigorous debates in the contemporary academic domain is about renewable energy and nuclear energy. Both the efficient energy alternatives have garnered split global support, decades of research and billions in multi-currency investments. The question, however, still lingers whether nuclear energy should be the primary option. Or the alternative/renewable resources can cope with the overwhelming demands efficiently. The debate transcends mere statistics and plans. Furthermore, the sectors conforming to energy efficient standards are also looking to see the result of the seeming perpetual debate. However, the primary focus in this article would be on the application of the environment-friendly alternatives in the housing sector. It shall cover the usage of energy alternatives from the mere front doors to a more significant overall scenario. That is the scenario of an efficient and ‘green’ household.

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, SigmadoorsRenewable Energy or Nuclear

The current deplorable condition of the depleting and carbon-emitting resources is an extremely well-known fact around the world. The era when fossil fuels powered the large, boisterous industries and upcoming modern cities is approaching an end. The rising scale of carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases have merely rendered the fossil fuel alternative obsolete. The pollution, harmful emission, and global warming together have demanded a new, more efficient and less dangerous option.   

A few decades ago, the options came to light in the form of alternative energy. Countless scientists undertook long hauled research and bags full of money and contributed to the development of these alternative sources. They developed sources in the form of solar, wind, hydro and other significant forms of energy. Unsurprisingly, the results were revolutionary. The current scenario involves a large section of the global population conforming to these environmentally efficient methods.

However, the quest didn’t stop there. The next big revolution was the harnessing of nuclear energy. The results were impressive and significantly sustainable. However, the results took a massive monetary and economic toll.  

The debate then began regarding the overall credibility and sustainability of both the options. Various other scientific and economic factors were also taken into consideration. The result was mostly a tied-up situation; however, a more intricate look on a list of factors would shift the favor towards alternative energy sources-

  1. One of the most critical factors that discredit nuclear energy from becoming the primary energy source is the unpreparedness of the sector. Even after the significant investments and efforts, nuclear energy resources have not reached a level of adequate prominence. The current nuclear scenario consists of inefficient 2nd generation reactors which aren’t equipped to provide energy on a large scale. The 3rd generation reactors are efficient but not as efficient when compared to renewable sources. Moreover, the 3rd generation reactors are heavy on budget and still a work in progress.

Renewable resources on the other hand, like wind and solar energy sources, are effortlessly dominating. This is because of their cost-effective and efficient characteristics.

  1. Another undermined factor about nuclear energy is the amount of emission that takes place. For instance, during the mining of raw materials like uranium. The uranium deposits are further depleting. Thus in the future, the frequency of mining and the subsequent emission are expected to increase. This ultimately invalidates the very intention of efficient energy alternatives.
  2. In addition to the non-periodic energy supply and monetary inefficiency, the problems regarding the waste bi-product formed and its management is worth acknowledging. There are currently no waste management repositories in the whole world that can contain nuclear waste. Even if a project were to be initiated, the cost would be too high. To build a nuclear repository that is capable of over thousands of years of containment seems like a long shot.

Therefore, the notion is a bit more refined than the alternative energy resources are still holding the edge over their nuclear counterparts.

What requires attention next is the housing sector now. It is dependent and factorable into the renewable energy domain. Various housing products like aluminium windows and doors, glass doors, etc. and even more concepts have emerged these days. Hence, it’s now possible to make households energy efficient.

Energy Efficient Housing

Renewable energy resources have played an integral role in a lot of industries and sectors. Housing sectors are one of the major sectors which have benefited from renewable energy concepts in numerous ways.

The concept of making the house energy efficient is not only just an option but a growing necessity. People all over the world have already taken steps to do so. With the use of efficient aluminium windows, aluminium doors, better-equipped shower doors, etc. people make many housing changes for efficiency.

wind power, solar energy, renewable energy sources, alternative energy sources, nuclear energy, SigmadoorsThe need for making one’s home energy efficient comes merely from the fact that it’s cost-efficient. In addition to that, alleviated the comfort gradient, adds value to the resale number, and foremostly it’s environment-friendly. Windows and doors contribute extensively in making a house efficient. The right products and information can transform a home into an efficient, safely insured and comfortable living space.

It’s best to skim through the varying options provided by mere doors and windows provide. This is to understand the role of renewable energy in the housing spectrum –

  • Doors

Doors to a house are the undebatable defining factors. Not only do they carry an esteemed aesthetic value, but also the maiden protection responsibility. A change of front doors can have a profound effect on the structure of the house. Doors are a major factor of the overall design of any house. Not only does it provide security, but it is also responsible for factors like thermal performance, moisture protection, daylighting and aesthetics. A door plays an essential role in the overall design and performance.  

For the house to become more efficient, a change of doors can help.

Newer entrance doors have a better insulation effect and thus lower heating effect and prolonged cooling.

To have this augmented thermal effect, the use of aluminium doors or aluminium folding doors is advised. aluminium doors have glass layering which prevents conduction of heat and reduce air permeability. This glass layering is called glazing and is often used to make the house more efficient.

Furthermore, the use of aluminium sliding doors offers enhanced protection in case of heavy winds and storms. The heavy-duty sliding structure of an aluminium sliding door makes sure the door stays intact in aggressive scenarios.

Another great addition to an efficient house is that of folding doors. Especially, aluminium folding doors are an efficient way to alleviate the housing standards. The foldable doors, when closed, are a canvas of glass which allows a panoramic view of the outdoors. This also enables incorporation of flooding natural light which is quite essential. As compared to aluminium window French doors, folding doors offer more security. Their compressed panels also make sure the thermal and air permeability is in check. The ventilation through the widely spaced folding doors is utterly sufficient too.

Furthermore, aluminium doors are much more credible than wooden doors. In addition to energy efficiency, aluminium doors are much easier to maintain, more cost effective and highly durable. They also spruce up the entrance with a modernized and bright look.  

With a cost range of R6000-R30000 aluminium doors, the house is not only more protected but also more thermally efficient.

  • Windows

Another factor that plays a vital role in augmenting thermal efficiency and making the house more energy efficient are windows. Windows are an essential part of the overall structure of the house. Windows are a source of natural light. However, they also decide the level of permeability and thermal exchange a house should have.

Windows are primarily used as a barrier in the house. The main component of the window that decides the majority of the factors is the frame used.  

Primarily, aluminium window frames are widely used now because of many reasons. The frames are used extensively because of their insulation properties and added protection. Not only is aluminium a durable material but the glazed surface prevents unneeded air and thermal exchange. aluminium is also used extensively because the material is highly flexible in availability. This allows a large variety in standard aluminium window sizes. The use of aluminium frames also allows wider and clearer screen installation. This, therefore, allows more daylight and subsequently enhances the clarity of the outdoor vision.

A better option for an efficient home is also the use of compression seal windows like the awning windows. These windows offer better water resistance and filtration of the air. Since these windows can be opened entirely, they also provide an efficient ventilation option.

Another thing to keep in mind is the maintenance of the aluminium windows. The best way to maintain aluminium frame windows is to anodize the aluminium frames. This protects it from environmental factors such as moisture and humidity. Furthermore, the glass window panes require regular cleansing with normal water.

aluminium windows also serve as efficient replacement windows. In events of a storm or other natural calamity, they are easily replaced. That is only if they are not able to withhold the cause, which they usually do.

aluminium window prices are furthermore cost efficient than the wooden counterparts. The range is usually limited from R100-R150 per square meter.

For further modernized guides, various forums and blogs can be referred to.

To gain access to this wide range of products, it’s best to have credible sources. The availability of these aluminium doors and windows is always an issue. However, various well stocked online entities can be referred to for help. Companies like Sigmadoors, etc. are known for their diverse catalog of efficient and quality products.

 

These are the factors that contribute to the overall energy efficiency in household scenarios. In addition to these cases, renewable energy resources like solar panels, hydro generators, etc., are used in industrial situations efficiently.

According to various reports and surveys, the use of renewable energy in the industrial sectors has seen an upgrade of up to 5%. The increased use is countered by nuclear use of 3%. Even though renewable energy sources are leading the statistics, the use of energy efficient alternatives is a positive sign.

The statistics also point to the fact that the use of alternative resources has increased in double margins since the beginning of the last decade. Bio-mass, hydroelectricity, solar energy, etc. are been used extensively throughout the world.

The nuclear energy, however, is dealing with other problematic factors — the only efficient grade reactors, that it, the 3rd generation and the 3rd+ generation are not available for extensive use. The former is only available in 3 countries while the latter is still not in existence and is constructed. Even if nuclear energy is an innovative and efficient alternative, it is not yet equipped with the practical tendencies to provide on a global scale.

In conclusion, renewable energy resources are holding the edge in the contemporary energy scenario. The nuclear energy sources are offering their contribution but still lack the refined capabilities to accommodate the efficient energy demands on a global scale. However, as we have seen, both have their own upsides as well as downsides. It is all about the requirements and the planning that we have in mind.

Furthermore, they are numerous ways to use alternative concepts and techniques to make one’s house energy efficient. The various uses of aluminium in aluminium doors and windows, etc., can alleviate a house’s energy efficiency and make it environment-friendly which is the least contribution one can make in the increasing necessity of environment-friendly acts. Ensure that all your actions are with the thought of the environment in mind. Your actions will lay the path for the younger generation as well. The choices that you make in terms of saving the environment today will eventually lead to them having a safe and secure future.  

What Kind Of Damage Can High Wind Speeds Do To A House?

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hurricane damage, wind speed damage, sigmadoorsA heart is happy when the house you have built is happy.  A happy house is characterized by how satisfied you are with it. Contentment can be measured by the comfort in the design and utility of the house, not just by the styles of your glass doors and awning windows. It is necessary you care for the structure and protect it as your own. By not treating it as a different entity, you will be ensuring the safety of the house and your family. The possible threats the building is likely to face are mostly uncontrollable and involuntary. Nature’s forces like the wind and water are not under the guidance or control of any man. Thus, it is essential for you to safeguard your house with insurance. Damaging wind speeds are detrimental since they take shape in various categories and forms. Awareness against all these odds will help in tackling these hazards smartly. The following is a detailed study of the same.

What are the winds and why are they harmful?

Wind, in its most comprehensive meaning, refers to a collection of gases. Winds flow faster than a regular breeze and tend to last for a longer duration. At a velocity, winds carry with them a certain amount of pressure which determines the direction of the wind flow. This velocity is also called wind speed. It is interesting to mention that on the following basis, winds transpire into various categories:

  1. Spatial scale-  The spatial scale shows the amount of intensity of an object over a fixed distance, time and area.
  2. Wind speed- Wind speed is a noteworthy discussion that determines the damage and utility quotient of the wind.
  3. The region- Because winds all have differential pressures and directions at different points of time, the locational influence is an eloquent amplification.
  4. The forces- The forces refer to the ignition of climatic changes that generate differentiated winds.

A few winds are harmless while another few are highly damaging. Every wind has three aspects to it- the cause, the area of effect and the effects. On this basis, damaging winds are calculated and predicted. This analogy acts as an helpful precaution against impending horrors of nature that will affect your house.

The cause

Winds are generated across various locations due to the disparity in atmospheric pressure. This thermal difference in temperatures and pressures gives rise to various forces. These forces accumulate towards a common center, thanks to a centrifugal force.  The friction at the eye of the winds slows the pace of the wind. It moves towards a gradient pressure area and starts collecting a similar army of winds which, as a result, increases the speed.

The area of effect

At the area of effect, the accumulated winds tend to cause havoc. The speed of the wind is alarmingly high. Since winds host moisture and collect humidity from the nearby air, water is a well-known companion of such high-speed winds. Soon after this, the storm starts to develop an eye. At this point, the winds start their action in dilapidating the region tormented with the storm. Coastal regions are the most suffered areas of damage. The sea and land breezes aid the winds which may cause widespread damage to your roof coverings, windows and front doors. This damage is inclusive of significant damage to houses and the community at large. The damage caused by these winds depend on the speed of the winds aroused in the region.

The winds that have attained the speed of 50-60 miles per hour (mph) are denominated as straight-line winds. These winds can easily reach up to 100 mph in the blink of an eye. The worst the winds have speeded across an area is 300 mph. Moreover, these accumulated winds have slight outbursts called microburst and macroburst. They are significant contributors to house damage to entrance doors, aluminium windows, and aluminium doors. Such high-speed winds are accompanied by previously uprooted flying debris, wind-driven hail and damage from a tornado. This debris includes replacement windows pieces, vehicle junk, and numerous splinters.

The scale used to determine the speed of the winds and the damage caused by them is the below-mentioned table.

 

Scale ( Fujita ) Wind speed (mph) Damage
EF0 68-85 Mediocre
EF1 86-110 Moderate
EF2 111-135 Considerable
EF3 and above >135 Total destruction

 

The effect

The intensity of damage caused by these winds is highly detrimental. The damage of such winds is ancillary to the wind speed, the direction of the wind and duration over which the storm persists. The debris comprises of broken pieces from glass doors, aluminium windows and more. This debris-storm causes more damage than the winds themselves.

Different wind speeds cause various levels of damage. Minimal speed winds which rage at 50-60 mph do not cause noteworthy damage. The most it can do to your house is to uproot the trees in your backyards and shatter the shingles of your roof. They are also capable of overturning a few light vehicles or fences. A regular house that has a foundation can withstand 120-140 mph winds easily. Trouble occurs when the winds go over the mentioned speed range. At this speed, the roof begins to fall off or blow away. The winds blow towards your house with a severe intensity that will pass through the unfinished ends and edges. This will weaken the wall and cause its destruction. Doors and windows have always been the weakest points of interest. Heavier pieces of previously stable aluminium folding doors and broken splinters and slivers of standard aluminium window sizes are nothing less than harmful.

Home damage of aluminium doors and aluminium windows

Coastal and disaster-prone areas are the most common sufferers of these hazards. The tropical depression that is created by the winds is of extreme concern to many construction workers and home designers.

  • At a modest speed of 50-60 mph, the shingles of the roof or slight breakage in the fence can be observed.
  • When the speeds reach to about 70-80 mph, building materials start of wear off slowly and steadily. At this rate of a wind change, the glass of the glass doors and windows and of other equipment would be shattered. Older and traditional methods of construction are weak and unadvanced. They will not be able to withstand the effects of the high-speed winds that are ravaging the community.
  • At a speed of 150 mph, trees and lampposts are uprooted mercilessly and, the foundation of the house is ripped beyond repair.
  • Manmade structures and buildings fall off at the wind speed of 210 mph. It is highly unlikely that any artificial structure can hold its strength against such damaging winds.
  • For instances, one of the most damaging kinds of winds hit Barrow Island with a speed of 253 mph. The costliest of hurricanes were Sandy, Katrina, and Andrew in the US that had a recovery expense of $125 billion.

Precautions to take

These are seven best precautionary measures which can help in preventing extensive damage to your house:

  1. Manufacturer addressed concerns – when a storm with high-speed winds hits the region, many houses are overturned or completely destroyed. The wind can easily overpower the strength of your construction. Thus, it is advisable for you to use those materials that offer permanent solutions to home-based queries. For example, if the doors of your house were likely to cause a break down during an upcoming storm, how are going to handle it? The material in question should be top notch and available.
  2. Extra add-ons- The most vulnerable parts of your home are the windows and doors. They are the main causes of flying debris entering the house. If the construction material had no significant specification for the door, then use an add-on. Equipment such as shutters, panel systems, and screens can be used to ward off debris. Moreover, this additional protection cannot easily be penetrated by debris (unless the object is heavy such as aluminium sliding doors). These systems provide an extra layer of safety to the windows and doors.
  3. Glass advancement- Using glass doors and windows is nice. They are tinted or transparent in their usage, but during high-speed wind crusade, these very glassdoors cause the highest amount of damage. Glass shattering is not only painful to the building, but the debris after the shattering of glass is extremely fatal. In a preventive measure, glass can be manufactured to be made impact resistant. This can be achieved by heat hardening the glass and chemically treating it. This involves the method of serious compression that limits the jerking of the glass doors.
  4. Leakage-resistant techniques- Doors and aluminium windows, despite being the best alternative, do not completely kee off trouble. They are very delicate and easily prone to damage. They are also habitats of water intrusion. Storms are often accompanied by water and debris. The debris will cause damage to the aluminium window and will allow the water to flow in and through it. This seepage will eliminate the remaining strength of the wall, and it will slowly succumb to the wind and water pressure. Thus, the use of certain extra tools like screens or shutter can be invariably helpful.
  5. Siding- Siding is a shielding material attached to the outlying side of a wall. Along with the roof, it forms the first line of defense against the natural forces. Therefore, it gives rise to a stable, and a really worriless interior. It also helps in reducing the interior temperature when it too high. Siding to houses should be looked after and taken as a piece of advice. Fibre cement siding is a material used to build one of the most powerful and strong holdings and long lasting walls. Can hold itself against ferocious coastal winds. Siding must be designed to withstand a minimum of 130-150 mph of winds.
  6. To build a home, you should consider wind load classifications and types of building materials that can withstand the winds.
    1. Age factor- the older the house, the less likely it is to withstand the wrath of the winds. Newer houses are equipped with more stabilized techniques which are preferable.
    2. Your home can withstand the air pressure if it is one-storied. Extra precautionary measures need to be taken in order to protect the house from such high-speed winds.
    3. The strength of your walls can be a known factor. Many homes use concrete block than wood framing to build their walls. A few houses even use a combination of the both.
    4. The type of roof is a dependent factor on which the health of the house is relied on. There are two types of roof structures- gable roof and hip-roof. The materials used in building a roof are significant to understand. Dimensional lumber is old and unfavorable. The problem with Dimensional lumber is that this wood is sharp across all edges and turns. That creates wind resistance. Dimensional lumber can be the reason why high-speed winds are capable of toppling your home. OSB or plywood is a recommended alternative to such wood.  Despite being the least used housing material, concrete is still recommended.
  7. Insurance is the undisputable necessity among all other precautions. In order to ensure your home’s safety and recover the lost funds, insurance can help you to do that. Here’s a general list of questions to skim through when you’re deciding on your insurance:
    1. How to buy insurance for your homes:
    2. Home Insurance Overview
    3. What Does Home Insurance Cover?
    4. Storm Damage Insurance Buyers Guide
    5. Home Insurance Terms and Definitions
    6. Storm Damage Insurance FAQs
    7. Flood Insurance: What You Need to Know and How to Purchase Coverage
    8. How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim after Storm Damage

This list is as per the NSDC. Property owners can safeguard their entities by obtaining a good insurance policy to combat the after-effects of a storm.

It should be noted that winds are a topic of utmost importance. They do not cause the damage that amounts to that of a child’s play. Be it your fancy double sliding glass doors for entrance doors, and nothing is a match to high-speed winds. Only awareness and safety tricks are the measures for a healthier approach to human and house safety, at the least.

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How To Maintain Your Doors And Windows

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In today’s contemporary architecture of buildings, aluminium windows and aluminium doors are becoming a popular choice. Both from a residential and commercial point of view, the integration of aluminium windows and doors are increasing significantly. Aluminium is an excellent choice if you want to maximize levels of security, insulation, or aesthetics of your home or building. Aluminium windows and doors have proven to be light but strong, durable and easy to maintain. They are available in standard aluminium window sizes and can be purchased on various sales and discounts.

Due to the strength of aluminium, the frame requires less material to hold the glass. As a result, slimmer frame profiles are possible. The strength of aluminium windows and doors also allows the construction of much bigger windows and doors. These glass doors and windows improve the outside view as there is much more glass area. Use of such architecture almost blurs the lines between the indoor and outdoor view. Hence, this gives us a sensation of being closer to nature.

The Need for Maintenance

There is a wide range of advantages of investing in aluminium doors and windows. Hence, it is equally important to know how to maintain it well. It is true that these type of windows and doors are of low maintenance. However, it would be best if you still did not neglect taking care of them.  If not taken care of, it may call for an expensive door or window replacement.

Even though aluminium is a great material to use, its chemical properties are such that it can corrode easily. Once this begins, it can quickly get out of hand. Nobody really wants their front doors to be stained by corrosion. Areas exposed to water such as shower doors must be given extra care to avoid corrosion of aluminium.

You can follow these methods and tips listed below to maintain your aluminium doors and aluminium windows.

11 tips to maintain your doors and windows

  • Clean the Glass

Any glassy surface is bound to get dirty soon. It may have several fingerprints or settled dust on its surface. This ruins the look and show of it. Hence, it is a good idea to clean your front doors, entrance doors, and aluminium windows on a regular basis.

For this, it is advised to use detergent and clean water. It is also best to use a sponge or a soft cloth for cleaning. This will protect the surface from scratches. Do not wash the glass when its surface is hot. Also, remember not to let the soap solution dry on the surface.

A high-pressure source of water such as a hose should not be used. This may seep into the wall assembly and cause damage.

  • Dry the Awnings

Aluminium awning windows help to conserve heat within the interior of your home while adding to the aesthetics of it. They are a meeting ground between fashion and practicality. Drying of the awnings is essential for proper maintenance. Any form of solvent residue must be removed carefully before they are left to dry. If neglected, heavy oxidation may lead to staining.

  • Unclog the Tracks

Aluminium doors and windows consist of tracks. Dirt and debris may often get accumulated in these tracks. This may restrict the motion of aluminium sliding doors and windows and make the operation of closing and opening difficult. Also, due to clogging chances of corrosion also increases. You can try using a vacuum cleaner to remove the set-in dirt. Avoid the use of sharp objects to do this. It may cause damage or may scratch the powder coating.

  • Wash the Frame

Just as the glass and tracks need to be kept clean, the frame also requires attention. It would be best if you used soft cloth or sponge and minimal detergent on the frames. Use mild detergents and dilute it properly to inhibit oxidation and pitting. Pour 1 cup of detergent into one liter of water to scrub the frames and keep them intact. It is essential to note that wood frames require paint or stain every five to ten years.

  • Use these products

Penetrating Lubricant – You can spray the locks of your aluminium windows with a penetrating lubricant. This will keep the springs flexible and reduce stiffness.

Car Wax – You can apply car wash in the frames of your aluminium windows and doors to protect it from grime. It will also control the amount of dirt on the glasses and make it crystal clear.

Silicone Lubricant – A silicone lubricant profoundly prevents rust and corrosion. Additionally, it makes the sliding of glass a lot smoother. However, make sure that you apply the lubricant only after cleaning your aluminium windows and doors thoroughly.

Glass Cleaner – You can make use of glass cleaning sprays as well. Spray ample amounts of liquid to the glass and clean in a circular motion using soft fabric or old newspaper. This will help you achieve perfectly clean aluminium glass doors and windows.

Steam Cleaner – If your awning windows seem withered, you can use a steam cleaner. Many a time, typically sticky substances like mildew can make your glass dirty and opaque. This machinery is recommended because it helps to remove such contaminants. Aluminium awnings require sprucing with coats of fresh paint from time to time. Using a steam cleaner will negate moisture seepage. This will increase the durability of the awnings and improve their appearance on the whole.

  •  Lubricate the Hardware Components

Aluminium is used to construct entrance doors, french doors, front doors and many other kinds of glass doors. Therefore, it is vital to lubricate the hardware components. Parts such as locks, handles, and keyholes should be lubricated using a wet silicone spray. Proper attention should be given to the roller assemblies used in aluminium folding doors and aluminium sliding doors too.  Use a straw applicator to lubricate these parts. It is also recommended that you apply a generous amount of lubrication to joints and hinges for smooth locomotion. This is highly recommended in coastal areas as sea salt encourages the formation of rust.

  • Apply Sealer

Seasonal changes such as in late summer and early fall can cause maximum dirt accumulation and problems. It is the right time for the reapplication of sealant or caulk in your aluminium windows and doors. To reduce the potential of leaks, you must pay heed to areas that are constantly exposed to sunlight. Other extreme weather conditions such are thunderstorms or hailstorms can also cause damage to your windows and doors. This will make you go for replacement windows.

  • Maintain functionality of your hardware

Friction – You may find that your aluminium windows and doors are becoming stiff. If that happens, use a light spray lubricant such as WD40 and apply it on the joints. Following this move the glass back and forth several times to remove the stiffness. Spray the lubricant in careful amounts to avoid over sliding.

Hinges – Be regular with the cleaning of hinges for good durability.

Cylinders – As dust and grit accumulate in the cylinders of your glass doors and windows, it will become harder for keys to turn. Hence, apply lubricant or graphite powder when the cylinders feel too tight to move.

Locks – Use spraying lubricants to keep the bolts and latches free and clean.

Rollers and Wheels – To keep the operation of your aluminium sliding doors smooth, focus of the tracks. Keep the tracks clean by using a vacuum. Make sure that the brush piles are also free of debris. Also, keep a check on the drain holes in the lower frame of your doors and windows.

  • Install Blinds and Snap-In Shades

To insulate your interiors of the house from cold temperatures in the winter or scorching heat in the summer, you can install blinds. Some aluminium windows come with pre-installed shades between the glass. Blinds and snap-in shades are readily available for most of the various standard aluminium window sizes. Nowadays several options for getting custom sized shades and blinds made are also present. These shades and blinds provide additional privacy. They also increase energy efficiency.

  •  Replace/Repair the Damage

It is a harsh reality that overtime your shining aluminium windows and doors will lose some of their shine. To however preserve the performance and durability of your doors and windows you must replace and repair the damaged components. Due to water penetration over time wood may get cracked and deteriorate. This will allow cold air and unwanted moisture to leak into your home. You must keep an eye out for these signs and call for replacement windows at the earliest if the damage is done it cannot be controlled any further.

Loose or missing seals and gaskets must also be fixed at the earliest. Glazing seals are responsible for providing weather tight connection between the glass and the frame. Hence, lose, or missing seals can also cause unwanted moisture or other elements to contaminate your house.

  • Prevent Condensation

Condensation results when moist air comes in contact with a cold surface and changes into its liquid form. It can lead to a deposit of water in the form of tiny droplets on the interior wall and glass. It must be avoided at all costs to minimize damage. In such a natural phenomenon much is not in our hands to control. However, the usage of wooden frames can help reduce condensation to an extent. As wood is a good insulator from the cold temperatures outside, wooden frames for aluminium windows and doors is a smart choice. On the other hand, metal frames are not so beneficial. Some metals usually used to make window and door frames are not good insulators. They allow the cold conditions to affect the temperature of the entire frame. This causes heavy condensation on the interior of the glass. Hence, in order to control wooden condensation frames are better than metal ones.

How to know when your aluminium windows and doors need maintenance?

Look out for these typical signs that indicate that your windows and doors are calling for help.

  • Draughty windows – When your windows are shut, but you can still feel cold air currents, something is not right. It indicates that there is some ill-fitting in your frame. You must add more sealant or weather-stripping to your windows and doors.
  • Condensation – As mentioned before, condensation means seal degradation. It occurs in double or triple-pane windows, and doors indicate the replacement of the entire unit.
  • Cracks – This visible sign shows clear damage. If your aluminium windows and doors are visibly cracked or broken or difficult to close and open, a full replacement is required.
  • Noise – If too much noise is easily entering your house even when windows and doors are closed; things have become outdated. New energy efficient windows keep heat, cold air, and noise out. If you can still hear sounds of heavy traffic, it is a sign that a change is long overdue.
  • Smoke test – This showcases the tiny air leaks. To perform this shut all windows and doors and turn off gas appliances. Turn on ventilation systems in the kitchen and bathrooms to create a negative pressure indoors. Light an incense stick and bring it near your sliding doors and aluminium windows to determine which areas are drafty.

How often should you maintain your aluminium windows and doors?

With our busy lives and work schedules, it is impossible to be so particular about doors and windows. So, how often must you do the steps as mentioned above? You can inspect your windows every two to three months and doors every six months for faults and damages. Needless to say, if you stay near the coast, then monthly maintenance and care are required. However, it is suggested you have a professional inspect once a year regardless of your location for optimum results.

With this, we have come to understand that aluminium doors and aluminium windows installation are a great option. It is very easy to find aluminium doors for sale, and aluminium windows prices are also quite economical.

Hence, think no more and alter your house with aluminium windows and doors for all kinds of new benefits.

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