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Woodland Exteriors Blog

This is where we will post relevant articles, information, and how-to's related to all things home exteriors, specifically sunrooms, roofing, and siding. Check back often for updates and new information!

Happy Veteran's Day

VeteransDay6Woodland celebrates America's veterans.

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Sunroom Skylights

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Custom Sunroom Plainfield, IL

When adding skylights to your sunroom you have a variety of choices depending on your needs and desires. Skylights and sunrooms are the perfect pairing to achieve a passive solar design that uses the sun’s energy for heating and cooling your living space. Additionally, today’s skylight features go even further to give you flexibility and control over your environment.

Greater control to keep your environment comfortable

A popular choice, the Velux Solar Powered “Fresh Air” skylight. These remote controlled solar powered skylights do not require wiring making installation more cost effective. With the integrated rain sensor, the skylight will close automatically if rain threatens. Silcon dioxide glass enables water to disperse evenly, evaporates quickly, greatly reducing water spotting. Lastly, having the ability to remotely open your sunroom skylights is a simple and safe way to add ventilation without open window.

More choices for the budget

Velux “Fresh Air” skylights can also come in electric or manual options. The electric “Fresh Air” skylights open with the touch of a button. If you forget to close it, a rain sensor will shut the skylight during inclement weather. Depending on the pitch of your sunroom ceiling you might be able to get by with the manual version.

Economical alternative  

Still one of the most popular choices by homeowners is the Velux fixed skylight, which are perfect for visually expanding and further brightening your sunroom. This skylight comes with some of the basic features of the operable skylights such as the water repealing glass that reduces spotting.

Skylights in sunrooms are a perfect fit

Today’s skylights suitable for sunrooms, bear little resemblance to earlier generations of residential skylights.

Velux skylights comply with the “0.30-0.30” standards, that is, a maximum Solar Heat Gains Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 and a maximum Thermal Resistance (U-factor) coefficient of 0.30.

Alternatively, you can choose a very low SHGC coefficient (as close to 0.2 as possible) will reduce unwanted solar heat gains to lower levels; and a low U-factor (also as close as possible to 0.2) will reduce heat loss, which is critical in cold climates. Only top skylights like Velux can meet these standards, which are beneficial for sunroom passive designs.

Incorporating Velux skylights with a high VT (Visual Transmittance) value will allow more daylight to enter in your sunroom by positioning the roof skylight in a way that enhances your daylighting design. Vented skylights enhance airflow and can eliminate hot air accumulating in the summer months.

Skylights bring natural overhead light and air into the sunroom and allow for greater flexibility to create privacy without sacrificing natural light.

 

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Fall Open House – Celebrating 50 years

We hope you’ll join us next Saturday, October 5th at the Woodland Windows and Doors & Woodland Exteriors showrooms at the corner of Lake and Gary for our 50th Anniversary Fall Open House. We invite you to learn about what’s new for windows and doors, gather with neighbors, family and friends, or enjoy some fun with your kids.

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Why visit an Open House?

Woodland sponsors the Open House because it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to learn about home improvement products and services in an informal setting without any pressure. Our large showroom is a showcase for a homeowners and builders planning new and remodeling projects. Home improvement products are rapidly changing and the Open House is a perfect opportunity to learn about the new features available today. We also like to hear directly from customer’s what products and services you need from us. What better way than to open the doors for people to leisurely explore, talk with experts and learn about window and door options before you need them?

Woodland and Woodland Exteriors is a full-service dealer with a full complement of products for all types of homes or home projects. We also serve the trades and commercial builders offering state of the art products and installation services.

Come in Saturday, October 4th from 10am-3pm and see for yourself all the resources available to you when you’re ready to plan your window, door, sunroom, deck, siding or other project. Windows and doors are indisputably cornerstones for any improvement or building project and as such are specified and ordered very early in any building project.

It’s never too early to educate yourself about these products and here’s your opportunity.

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Pergolas, porches, decks and other Landscape Structures – Five Things to Know

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Stop battling nature. Be one with nature. Whichever way you want to frame it, it’s never too soon to invest in creating an outdoor space.

It’s never too soon to get these landscape structures built because, let’s face it we live in an area known for its inclement weather. Why let weather spoil another Easter patio brunch, a July 4th gathering, or a graduation party? Imagine being able to set your outdoor table in advance, leave out patio cushions and serve food with out swarming bugs.

Landscape structures will transform your space and when done right is a wise investment. Here are five things that you need to know to dream it, build it and enjoy it.

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  1. Sketch your ideal landscape structure. Create a well thought out design that fits your unique space. Measure the size of the space you want to cover or deck with consideration given to existing structures, privacy, shade or sunshine throughout the day. Don’t skimp on the perfect design. Approach it like you were on HGTV and imagine the perfect structure. It’s easier to “value engineer” a project to be smaller than it is to under build and wish you’d built a larger or better designed space.
  1. Select the design and materials early. Choose a look that compliments your existing home style and gives you the best durability. Today the selection of materials is so extensive that you’ll want to narrow down what you like early in the process. We call it the “look and feel”. For example, if you have a colonial style home with a brick patio and ornate patio furniture, your outdoor cover or pergola materials and design can borrow from the same lines, features and finishes. Do use this opportunity to select low maintenance materials such as treated wood, anodized finishes or rust resistant hardware like zinc coated fasteners.
  1. Get a consultation from a professional. You’re now clear about what you need, what it will look like and the feel of the finished structure. Now you’re ready for a professional’s eye, knowledge and calculator. Good design is naturally innovative so as to be unique to your desires within the constraints of the yard. Keep your exchange to a conversation about what’s possible in order to get the most out of the professional’s experience. Give him or her your budget and let the professional come back with a variety of options to meet that budget.
  1. Choose the largest structure you can afford made from quality materials.   TEMO Pergola3            The fact is that building landscape structures is like building a home. The contractor will do demolition and debris removal, digging and pouring concrete, framing, waterproofing and so on. It’s far more economical to have a large structure completed all at once. If you have to leave off some wish list items like decorative finishes or a built-in outdoor kitchen, you can always add those items later. A worthy professional will give you a clear cost analysis about the trade-offs to enable you to get the most out of your budget.
  1. Be present during the entire construction project. If you’ve selected a quality home improvement contractor you needn’t worry about overseeing the quality of their work, that’s not what we’re suggesting. Let the professionals do what they do. You want to be present, or available because decisions are made throughout the construction. No matter how well you plan there are always unforeseen changes to the plans, ordering mishaps or site adjustments. If you’re not available, the professional is likely to have to make the decision without you in order to not interrupt the carpenters, pavers, painters or whoever. If you’re onsite the two of you can consult and come up with the best solution.

Visit Woodland Exteriors website to learn more about outdoor structures.

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When to Replace Skylights?

A common question our customers ask is, when do we need to replace our skylights? Unlike windows, skylights are generally out of sight and not easily accessible to check the condition. It’s reasonable then to ask, when should you replace your old skylights?

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Leaking or compromised

If one of skylight’s several seal points is broken water will seep into the skylight, the wall-attic cavity or leak into the room. The latter problem, a physical leak, is usually the easiest to detect, especially if it’s dripping during a rainstorm. If water seeps into the skylight or cavity around the skylight, you’ll see moisture build up. Finally, with very old skylights it’s possible to have a crack in the acrylic or glass causing skylight to fog, become cloudy or retain droplets.

Upgrading – design, efficiency, ease

New skylights look nothing like the old skylights they’re replacing. New Velux skylights offer solar powered skylights, remote control operators, built-in rain sensors, energy efficient glass, sun-shades, security locks and more. There are few better ways to invigorate your home with new life than to improve the infrastructure, meaning those physical elements that are needed for the operation of your home. They can seem to be unimportant, such as when my father used to say of his 1950s style single 1 ½” shower spigot, “the water comes out in the shower, it’s fine”. Until you replace a tired old skylight with one that has modern design and functionality – you have no idea how it changes the way you live.

Replacing your windows or doors

If you’re ready to replace your worn-out windows and doors, then it’s likely time to proactively replace your skylights at the same time. For all the reasons stated above and because it’ll save you money in the long run. Skylights have a finite service life and replacing them at the same time as you replace your windows and doors will improve the overall energy efficiency and comfort in your home. Consider new styles such as an operable venting skylight where you had a fixed one before or a larger skylight to replace a smaller skylight. Without a doubt you’ll save on your overall installation costs when you do the job all at once.

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Replacing your roof

Never throw good money after bad as they say. At Woodland Exteriors, we highly recommend that you do not choose to re-use old skylights when you replace your roof. The roofer will spend extra time removing shingles and debris and still may disturb your skylights during the tear off phase. You will still need to use a new flashing kit to re-install your old skylights as it’s highly unlikely that the flashing won’t be compromised.  Do the math and you’ll find the extra cost to put in a new skylight will more than pay off in longevity, aesthetics and efficiency. It will cost far less for the roofers to replace your old skylight with a new one when the shingles are off the roof. What happens if you choose to re-use the old skylight and a leak develops? You’re responsible for the bill when the roofer needs to return and tear off the new roof shingles to access the skylight.

For more information about skylights check out our previous posts Skylight Installation Lightens Up Winter and Skylights in Sunrooms.

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