Everything You Need to Know About Window Replacement

Columbus Ohio Remodeling Contractor SemBro Designs Home Improvements

A window replacement is a sizeable investment—but it’s well worth it, in terms of making your home more energy-efficient, visually appealing, and comfortable. We sat down with Columbus Remodeling Experts to ask your top questions and make the window replacement process more manageable. Here’s what he had to say.

How can you tell that it’s time to replace your windows?

People have many different reasons for replacing windows.

First, because they need to. Second, because they want to. I like to think of it as comparable to two different types of surgery. If you have a ruptured appendix, you need it. But if you’d like to have body sculpting, for example, it’s because you want it. It’s much more fun, I imagine, for a surgeon to help people feel more happy about the way the looked, versus the other surgeries, even though both give you a certain level of satisfaction as a doctor. So we really like it when people contact us to say, “I want my home to be more beautiful and/or more comfortable.”

With those kinds of projects, do you ever do any major replacements, such as to the wall structure (ex: enlarging the window, etc)?

There are times a customer will contact us and say (for example) “I have a new pool going up and I’d like to turn this double window into a door or a sliding door.” That’s one of the projects we’ll take on as a company. A lot of times, people who are in the window/door replacement business truly aren’t qualified or interested in the extra time and work it takes to involve a mason, to do siding, or finishing out the new opening, or building out transition pieces between existing flooring and the new door, etc. But we have a qualified crew that does this at least a few dozen times per year.

What can a homeowner expect with their first initial meeting with either on a sales floor or a contractor?

One thing that separates us from other window companies is that we offer 18 brands of windows to choose from. I designed our business around the CarMax model—we offer lots of different brands, and we’re happy to give our opinions about the different brands, but ultimately it’s up to the customer. So on a typical first visit, we spend more time listening than talking, so that we can determine what you want and if we have a product, and if we have the skillset needed to do your project—and if we don’t, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Once you get to the quote/estimate, what should a homeowner expect to see in it?

We’ll come out and take some measurements, for estimate reasons, and give you an on-site estimate (based on that info), specifying each window opening based on its “room name” (living room, etc). Then we come back with specifics for each window—the energy efficiency rating, the sound transmission, how much each window costs individually, etc. We like doing this more than giving a lump sum price on the back of a business card, etc. This builds confidence in a homeowner about us, and it enables them to make changes if needed, based on budget. For example, if you want a big picture window facing your backyard pool, rather than two smaller windows, we’ll print out both options (prices) to give you the choice. This is important because that big picture window could require much heavier glass, or it may require tempering the glass. As a result, a project that should’ve been $10,000 is now $12,000, so this helps you plan and adjust your budget for the project.

You said that when you make the estimate, you also include the energy ratings. What are some of the energy considerations when you’re replacing your windows?

If you have a super energy efficient window, it’s definitely going to improve your home’s energy efficiency, and therefore decrease your monthly utilities, but the trade-off is that it will make your home much darker. So I like to look at it by each particular project and what they’re trying to accomplish, and also room by room. If they say “upstairs on the west wall is a game room, and it’s always hot up there, we might go with a more energy efficient option there on that side where the sun sets (than we would across the front of the house) because otherwise, they end up with these dark living rooms.

Is there a time of year that’s best for replacing windows?Is there a time of year that’s best for replacing windows?

It depends on where you live. If you live in Minnesota or Michigan, winter is a really tough time to have your windows open and people in your home. But in the southern climate, where we are, the phone typically rings all year round. A lot of homeowners who delayed their project for years and years say they wish they’d done the replacements sooner, because they realize they could have enjoyed the improved comfort, reduced energy bills, etc, for so many more years. Plus, the prices of new windows continues to rise each year, so waiting 5 years to save money doesn’t make sense. So if you think you’re going to do it eventually, it makes sense to do it sooner rather than later.

Have you seen any new products on the market, etc, that you’re excited about/that seem to be taking off?

Milgard Windows and Doors came out with a product line called “Essence”—it’s a full fiberglass-framed window with a real wood interior. When most window companies offer a wood product, it’s a wood window that has some form of a small thin layer of cladding on the exterior. But in our climate, once water gets behind that cladding, it can’t get back out—and then the wood begins to rot and the cladding pops off.

But Milgard’s window is different. The entire window is made from a composite material, and the wood is on the inside, where it’s not exposed to any of the elements. It works well for humid and wet climates, or for really cold climates. But one of their latest products was a radius top casement window. They’re the only company in the US making this radius top casement window, where you don’t have to have a divider between the top and the bottom. For example, sometimes you see a window that has an arch on top of it, or there’s a bar separating the arch from the window beneath it. So they’re able to take a product that’s a composite 4×8 sheet, almost plywood—it was considered the product of the year by Window and Door Magazine.

Anything else you’d like to add, or any advice for homeowners?

There are two chief components for a successful, “I’m happy, I’m smiling at the end of my window project” project. The first is finding a window you like (meaning you’re happy with the look, performance, color, and warranty), and the second is a good installer. Unfortunately, I see the mistakes that other people have made, and the problem is almost always not the window itself, but the installation. Having a great window with a bad installer is, in my opinion, a bad window. If anything, you’d be better off having a great installer installing a bad window. This is something that people tend to overlook, the installer. Focus a lot more than you are now on the installer, more than the window itself.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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6 Kitchen Renovations That Really Pay Off

Kitchen renovations can cost you big time, but when it comes to home improvements, this is the sort of project that has a lot of pay off.

It’s impossible to own a home without pondering the occasional (or hey, a whole lot of) home improvements. And the great thing is that a lot of the time, creative energy, and yes, cash you spend on such renovations don’t just translate into a space you love, but also into a higher home price whenever you decide it’s time to sell. Only which ones offer up the biggest return on investment? To find out, we’ve launched this new series, Renovations That Really Pay Off—and, for our inaugural installment, we’re tackling the big kahuna: kitchens. Here are six home improvement projects in this all-important room that experts say come with significant financial benefits down the road. Cha-ching!
Kitchen renovations made easy: amp up the appliances

Call it a need for eye candy, but shiny new appliances—fridge, stove, stainless-steel dishwasher—have a huge impact on prospective home buyers, according to Realtor® Top Solutions.

Range Hood and Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets Signature Pearl

High-end appliances are also typically the most expensive kitchen renovation, usually with an equally high ROI. Cannistra mentions one home with outdated appliances that sat on the market unsold; once the owners updated everything, “they received two offers the first week” and the house sold at “significantly higher than asking.”

But don’t feel like you have to replace appliances at once. Just swap out what you can—when you can—so by the time your home’s on the market the overall buyer impression is “Hey, nice kitchen!” rather than “The ’70s sure were a crazy time, eh?”

One caveat: “Keep the appliances and plumbing where they are,” suggests Justin Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, “because the rule of thumb is to add $5,000 each time you relocate either.”
Refreshed cabinets

After appliances, cabinets are the most expensive item on a kitchen upgrade checklist, averaging between $3,900 and $12,000. So don’t leap into trashing the old ones.

“If you have existing wood cabinets that are still in decent shape, instead of completely refacing them, give them a fresh coat of paint,” says Tracy Kay Griffin, designer for HGTV’s “Get It Sold.” Rust-Oleum makes an easy-to-use Cabinet Transformation kit.

Another small remodeling project with instant impact: replacing the cabinet hardware. “Choose a satin or brushed finish so they don’t show fingerprints,” says Erin Davis, lead designer and co-owner of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, OR.
Kitchen sink

Given the sink is the most used item in your kitchen, a brand-new one will pop—even if it’s on an old countertop. So consider installing one with two troughs or made of stainless steel, the most popular material, according to Consumer Reports.

For the truly budget-friendly kitchen renovation option, get a fancy new faucet, suggests Griffin: “This is quick and inexpensive but can make a huge difference.”
Charging stations

The home invasion of smartphones, tablets, and other constantly charged electronics means there are never enough power outlets in a kitchen. This may explain why the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual trend report shows that almost two-thirds of homes have rigged up charging stations where all these gadgets can easily be plugged in.

Businesses such as Kitchen TuneUp can modify cabinets or drawers in one day by adding hidden power strips and other tech-friendly amenities.
New countertops

A new countertop may be pricey, but Realtors agree that the impact of these kitchen renovations on future home buyers is huge. And don’t just take it for granted that you should go for granite; the NKBA report shows that quartz countertops have more cachet these days.

Also remember that replacing a countertop “provides an opportunity to install a new glass or subway backsplash for additional punch,” says Davis. “A budget-friendly option is to install a 4-inch-high splash out of the same countertop material.”
Wood floors

When it comes to kitchen floors, nothing beats good ol’ wood. The NKBA report shows that wood is the most popular kitchen flooring, favored by 82% of homeowners. And compared with the fancier and hard-to-install tile options, it’s a relatively inexpensive option, too, averaging $9 to $12 a square foot.
Bonus: One renovation that may not be worth it

Sure, knocking down a wall to create the oh-so-trendy open kitchen may seem like the thing to do these days, but in purely financial terms of ROI, it may not make much sense as a kitchen renovation.

“While open floor plans remain a popular choice among buyers, the return on investment for tearing down a wall to create a great room isn’t as high as other kitchen renovation projects,” says Melanie Cameron of the Cameron Team at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in Wilmington, NC.

The reason: According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report, small kitchen renovations have a ROI that’s almost 20% higher than a major renovations. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t open your kitchen up if that’s what you’re pining to do; just don’t bank on it paying off big time down the road.

5 Eco-friendly Kitchen Ideas

modern white farmhouse kitchen sink without cabinets

We celebrate Earth Day everyday by creating awareness about our environment, protecting our planet and embracing more environmentally friendly choices and lifestyles.

Kitchen ideas were nowhere to be found during a time where leaded gas and air and land polluting factories and power plants were some of the biggest challenges people protested against here in the U.S. It was this first Earth Day that led to historical changes in the way our country looked at the environment, paving the way for the Environmental Protection Agency to be formed and the eventual introductions of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts.

These days, we are all looking for ways every day to live in a more environmentally friendly way. To help you find that in the kitchen, here are 5 environmentally friendly kitchen ideas for you to consider:

1. Open Shelving – one of today’s most popular kitchen design trends is the movement towards open shelving. It requires less materials and in some cases, reclaimed wood is used to give the kitchen a very unique and distinctive feel.

2. Recycling Center Cabinets – paper, plastic, metal, glass…you should be recycling it! Whether you have room for 2 bins or 4, a pull out trash storage and recycling center cabinet allows you to easily separate recyclables and insure they don’t go somewhere to sit in a landfill for the next 50 years.

3. Hands Free Faucets – hands free faucets help you to use less water and do so in a more hygienic way. But not having to touch anything when preparing food you have less chance of passing on germs and the faucets sensors quickly respond when hands or other items have been removed.

4. Wood Cutting Boards – replace plastic cutting boards with wood ones, particular regenerating species such as bamboo. Not only are the better for the environment, but studies have shown that wood cutting boards are less likely to contaminate food when used.

5. Indoor Herb Garden – who doesn’t love fresh herbs year round? An indoor herb garden provides instant access to a natural food source, saves money, helps keep your indoor air quality healthier and can even provide subtle touches of aromatherapy and be a therapeutic resource as well as a food one.

Even changes to the smallest of behaviors can help in the fight for a better environment. Don’t stop at a few kitchen ideas. Celebrate Earth Day every day! Look for little (and big) things you can do today and every day to help the environment and make every day a little better, brighter and greener.

IKEA Kitchen Cost will Surprise You

ikea kitchen cost ten by ten in columbus ohio

How Much Will an IKEA Kitchen Cost? I can guarantee you this IKEA kitchen costs more than $13,419.85 USD in the real world.

What’s the first thing a homeowner wants to know about remodeling their kitchen?

How much it’s going to cost!

IKEA kitchen customers are no different. If you’re like most of our customers, IKEA kitchens appeal to you because of their price. You’ve done enough shopping around to know IKEA offers the right blend of affordability and quality for your kitchen.

But do you know how much an IKEA kitchen will really cost for your home?

Contact SemBro Designs for a Free in home consultation and Free estimate.

 

 

Don’t be fooled by IKEA’s 10×10 price

ikea kitchen cost estimate ballpark price

You’ve probably seen IKEA’s 10×10 kitchen price in their catalogs and on their website. Here’s a beautiful kitchen, and it will only cost this much!

Don’t trust that 10×10 kitchen price from IKEA for even a minute. Here’s why.

The 10×10 price means the price for a kitchen that is 10 feet by 10 feet. It’s something of an industry standard to talk about that kitchen footprint when discussing cost.

The problem is that there is no such thing as a standard kitchen. Every kitchen is unique. So the 10×10 price is actually irrelevant!

If you want to get a quick and approximate idea of what your IKEA kitchen cabinets will cost, then you will need real-life linear foot pricing to calculate an estimate.

How can you find out the real linear foot pricing for your IKEA kitchen?

How can you be sure SemBro Designs really knows how much an IKEA kitchen really costs?

Because unlike IKEA’s 10×10 price, our estimates are based on real-world examples. We selected a random sample from the IKEA kitchen designs we created for our customers, and ran the numbers.

Whether you’re looking at creating an IKEA kitchen with BODBYN, GRIMSLÖV, RINGHULT doors or others, our Professional Designers can help you get a quick and good estimate of what it will cost you.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Expensive kitchen renovations worth the price

Kitchen design with white cabinetry

If you’re ready to put your home on the market or if you’re staying put and want an updated look, one great place to focus on is the kitchen renovation.

Updating your kitchen can be a big project that comes with an even bigger price tag, but believe it or not, it’s worth the cost. Upgrades to the kitchen often come with a great increase in the value of your home with a return on investment as high as 75 to 100 per cent.

Here are four kitchen renovations that add major value to your home:

Spend money on fixtures
It’s the little things that count when it comes to adding value to your home. Improvements such as faucets, light fixtures, and cabinet hardware can instantly improve the look and feel of an otherwise outdated kitchen.

Don’t scrimp when it comes to your kitchen fixtures. You can shop for a variety of styles, materials, and price ranges at home improvement stores such as The Home Depot. Prices can range from as low as $4 to as high as $30 per cabinet fixture and kitchen faucets can range from $90 to over $400 per fixture. Remember, you get what you pay for when it comes to increasing the value of your home.

Updated cabinets can sell a home
You don’t need to tear out absolutely everything to have a modern look. Refacing your kitchen cabinets is a cost-effective way to improve the look of your kitchen. Refacing means you keep the cabinet boxes, and either paint them or put a new material on top of them, plus add a new door. However, if you find the cabinets or cabinet layout isn’t functional, then consider replacing them altogether.

Invest in a stand-out countertop
Countertops and backsplashes are eye catching aesthetics that can add value as well as durability to your kitchen. When choosing countertop materials remember that you want to pick something that looks nice but will also sustain everyday wear and tear such as heat from pots and pans and spills from drinks or other liquids.

Spending money now will help save money later because high quality materials will last for years to come. Homeowners can choose from a variety of countertop materials such as soapstone, granite, and quartz, just to name a few.

Install an Island
Kitchen islands are a fantastic addition to many kitchens because they add functionality, more countertop space, and more storage to the room. According to ConsumerReports.org, “76 percent of potential homebuyers considered a central island either desirable or essential to a kitchen.”

If you spend wisely for a mid-range kitchen upgrade that focuses on quality, appealing materials, you should be in good shape to either re-sell or just enjoy your home. Make sure you look at popular kitchen upgrades in your own area, and check in with your real estate agent about which upgrades are most often requested.




From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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