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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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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Kitchen Cabinets Installation Lowes vs Home Depot

West-point-grey-new-kitchen-design-cabinets-offered-by-SemBro-Designs-Columbus-Ohio

If you do any kind of home remodeling or kitchen cabinets installation – whether something as simple as painting your kitchen, or on up to full-scale remodeling in the capacity of a contractor or homeowner – then Lowe’s and Home Depot are both a fact of life.

Try as you might to religiously pick up mulch and plants at your local nursery, tools at your friendly little Ace Hardware, and wood at your local lumber yard, you eventually have to come to these stores for something.

They may be your best buddies or worst enemies, but they are not going away anytime soon.

Following is feedback I have received over 10 years of writing about home remodeling, incorporated with my own experiences.
1. Customer Service: Experience and Advice

Winner: Tie

Lumber yard/supply houses tend to be staffed by very knowledgeable–and often very grumpy–older men, many of whom were once in the trades. If you want to parse the differences between two types of arcane plumbing pipe, this is the place to go.

Neither Lowe’s nor Home Depot has that type of staff. But the consensus of readers–and my experiences–indicate that Home Depot has a somewhat more experienced staff. Since most of these employees did not come from the trades, this may mean that Home Depot has a higher employee retention rate.
2. Accepting Returns

Winner: Equally good and equally bad

Lowe’s and Home Depot’s CEOs are not aware of this, but the return desk is their single biggest PR opportunity.

First, the basics. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot are relaxed about accepting returns. Return with receipt, get cash back; return without receipt, get store credit. If you used a credit card, you do not need to show a receipt, as your credit card is recognized when you swipe for the return.

But returns go beyond this.

It is the first counter that serious DIYers visit upon entering the store (because there is always something to return). Yet it is always understaffed and overflowing with carts of items that need to be restocked. And the more time that customers wait in line at returns, the less time they have to shop.
3. Solving Your Customer Service Problems

Winner: Home Depot

At some point, there must have been a memo passed from Home Depot CEO Menear to every employee, saying, “Fix the customer’s problem, however you have to do it.”

I have multiple stories that illustrate Home Depot employees fixing things for me (and far fewer Lowe’s stories). Two of my favorite:

I cannot find the $49 Ryobi hammer-drill that I wanted and tell the person I am with that I am unhappy about having to spend $79 for the Makita hammer-drill. A Home Depot employee overhears me and says that she will give me the Makita for the Ryobi price–no hassle, no questions asked. She even walks me to the register to smooth over the process for me.
The Cadet baseboard heater that I essentially bought for one penny.

4. Prioritizing Selling Products to Customers Over Restocking Shelves

Winner: Home Depot

Products move off of shelves; shelves need to be restocked.

This is understood.

At both stores, restocking happens while customers are shopping. Yet at Lowe’s, employees are laser-focused on this activity. Customers must shop around the employees. At Lowe’s, I am continually thwarted from buying items simply because employees have blocked off the area for long periods.

One morning at Lowe’s, I witnessed three contractors (who generally are decisive buyers because they need to get to job-sites) barred from an entire tile aisle because the employees had netted it shut. While this is an event at either Lowe’s or Home Depot for safety reasons, it happens more often and for longer periods at Lowe’s. The contractors patiently waited several minutes and then left without purchasing anything.
5. Lower Prices

Winner: Tie

This is a pointless battle to engage in, as prices readjust all the time.

On an ongoing basis, with all prices averaged out, Home Depot and Lowe’s have basically the same prices.

Lowe’s and Home Depot stores engage in competitive pricing. For example, today at Home Depot, 1/2″ 4′ x 8′ drywall is $10.76 per panel. At Lowe’s, it is $10.76 per panel. This is no coincidence.

At Home Depot, 100 ft. of 1/2″ PEX pipe is $28.52. At Lowe’s, it is $27.95.

That is not to say you cannot find spot deals that are particular to a certain moment in time. On one weekend, Lowe’s might be offering a common item such as a cedar fence privacy panel for $30.85, while Home Depot is offering them for $36.25. So, it does pay to be aware of each store’s weekend sales.
6. Better Online Store

Winner: Tie

There was a time–not too long ago–when Lowe’s online site felt like it was designed by two college kids on spring break. Home Depot’s site was easy to navigate, light-weight, with smartly-designed filters.

Lowe’s has followed Home Depot’s lead, and now its site is comparable to Home Depot’s. This is a very recent development.

Not only that, Lowe’s will deliver heavy items–fence panels, masonry, landscape rock, and the like–that many Home Depots will not deliver.
7. Wider Brand Opportunities

Winner: Both equally fail

We all know about store brands and exclusive brands.

Lowe’s has Kobalt and Task Force branded tools, both decent but not amazing. It also carries Utilitech lighting. Lowe’s is also the store that carries Pella new-construction windows, which I find inferior to its nearest competitor, Andersen.

Home Depot has Behr and Glidden paints. And it carries Ryobi tools, extensively covered in our tool guides. It also carries RIDGID, typically the cheapest way to purchase some tools such as wet tile saws.

Yet both fail in their obsession with locking in these exclusive brands. Consumers want choices; they do not want to buy a Toro lawnmower simply because Home Depot offers 37 Toro lawnmowers (and one Ryobi cordless mower).
8. More Pleasant Store Atmosphere

Winner: Home Depot

By atmosphere, we’re talking about lighting, ​the width of aisles, cleanliness, keeping areas stocked and organized, etc.

Both stores tend to be close in terms of atmosphere, but I feel that Home Depot’s stores have surpassed Lowe’s.


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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Outdoor Kitchen Remodel

Designing the Outdoor Kitchen Remodel – The grill is the main ingredient, but there’s a lot more to a successful recipe.

Today’s outdoor kitchen designs—whether part of a new home or a remodel—are more likely than ever to complement a home’s architectural aesthetic and environment. To create inviting and functional living spaces, where all the features work together, you need a refined and thoughtful approach. Here are a few design concepts to help you make that happen.

Start With the Grill

The heart of any outdoor kitchen, big or small, is the grill. It can make or break a client’s satisfaction with a project, so select the best one that fits within the budget.

When it comes to grills, there are no uniform depths, heights, or widths. This means that upgrading a grill sometime in the future could present a challenge, so its selection should be based on the cooks your clients aspire to be, rather than on the cooks they are now. Also keep in mind outdoor cooking options other than the standard gas grill, such as pizza ovens, smokers, cooktops, and charcoal- or wood-fired grills.

Once the grill has been selected, the next big decision is placement. If your clients entertain often, position the grill so it is perpendicular to the dining area to keep the cook in the party. That way, the cook can work without having his or her back turned to the guests and without having the open hood in the way.
In the Zone

The perfect outdoor kitchen for entertaining is about more than just the appliances. Like indoor kitchens, outdoor kitchens are made up of functional zones. These include hot, cold, wet, and dry zones.

Hot zones, not surprisingly, consist of all cooking areas, like grills, pizza ovens, and cooktops; cold zones include refrigeration and freezers; wet zones include sinks and adjacent workspace; and dry zones are dry prep counters and storage. The key to designing an outdoor kitchen that functions well is planning for all four zones to work together, along with providing plenty of countertop space to support the “workflows” of prepping, cooking, serving, and cleaning. For example, the cold zone should be next to the wet zone, to facilitate moving food from the refrigerator to the sink to wash it and get it ready for grilling in the hot zone.

Think about other outdoor living activities, as well. If there is a pool, consider placing beverage refrigeration near it.

Defining Size

Outdoor kitchens come in all sizes. When you’re determining design, layout, and available space for your clients, it’s helpful to think in terms of four basic categories.

Small (10 linear feet). A small kitchen generally includes a grill, a cooktop, a sink, and storage. It needs at least 36 inches of usable countertop frontage, no less than 24 inches deep.

Essentials (13 linear feet). A bit larger, this size typically has a refrigerator in addition to a grill, a cooktop, a sink, and storage. It should have at least 48 inches of countertop frontage, at least 24 inches deep.

Medium (16 linear feet). To the essentials kitchen, a medium kitchen adds more storage and counter space and sometimes more refrigeration. There should be at least 72 inches of countertop frontage, 24 inches deep.

Large (more than 20 linear feet). A large kitchen has all the amenities and can accommodate multiple cooks. Provide 156 inches of countertop frontage at 24 inches deep.

Space to Land

You can almost never have too much countertop space. Outdoor kitchens are typically smaller than their indoor counterparts, and insufficient countertop space is still one of the most common design shortcomings I see.

Ideally, you should provide your clients with free and clear “landing areas” on both sides of grills, sinks, and cooktops. This space can be used for ingredients, cutting boards, platters, colanders, and other items that the cook needs to have close at hand while using the station. When it’s time to pull the swordfish steaks off the grill, for instance, there needs to be space next to the grill where a platter can be ready and waiting.

Omitting landing areas on one side or both sides of key equipment such as the grill or the sink is the most common design mistake. Similarly, grills and sinks should never be placed at the end of a counter run; there should always be landing areas to the left and right sides of both.

To figure out how much space you should provide for your clients, you can use the following recommendations of basic landing-area dimensions for common outdoor kitchen workstations:

Grills. Be sure to keep 24 inches of open counter on one side and 12 inches on the other side.

Cooktops. Maintain 12 inches of open counter on each side. However, when you combine a grill and a cooktop into one station by positioning them next to each other, use the landing area recommendations for a grill (24 inches on one side and 12 inches on the other).

Sinks require 18 inches of open counter on each side, because your clients will be doing a lot of washing and cleaning in that area.

Pizza ovens. Landing areas are especially important for pizza prep work. Provide 24 inches of open counter on one side and 12 inches on the other side.

Kegs. Having room to place and set aside glasses is important for the keg tapper, so provide 12 inches of open counter on each side.

Under-counter refrigerator/ice maker. Be sure to have 15 inches of open counter above it.

When multiple workstations are combined, the minimum landing area between two pieces of equipment may be determined by adding 50% to the largest landing-area width recommended for the two pieces of equipment. For example, the landing area between a grill and a sink should be at least 36 inches wide because the largest recommended landing area related to those two pieces of equipment is 24 inches next to the grill.

Storage

Many homeowners want fully functioning outdoor kitchens. That includes having places to keep pots and pans, as well as dishes and plates, during the season. Other items, like wood chips, hot mitts, charcoal, and grill brushes, normally remain outdoors at all times, and need permanent storage there.

Because it’s outside, cabinetry needs to be able to withstand the elements. Whatever you select should be able to keep the items inside dry when it rains. I recommend weathertight cabinetry with seamless rain gutters around the door and drawer openings to help divert water.

The recommended amount of linear storage frontage varies depending on the size of the kitchen. The following suggestions assume that smaller kitchens will need to store fewer items outdoors, while larger kitchens are more likely to store pots, pans, and serving pieces:

• Small outdoor kitchen: 21 inches

• Essentials outdoor kitchen: 36 inches

• Medium outdoor kitchen: 72 inches

• Large outdoor kitchen: 96 inches

Seating

There are three main types of seating to think about: dining, bar, and lounge. Having all three is ideal for entertaining. When laying out a space, always try to keep the cook nearby; make sure the primary cooking areas are not isolated from the seating areas.

When planning for seating in an outdoor kitchen, you need to allow adequate width for each seat, as well as space for knees below the table, counter, or bar, and adequate space for traffic behind the seats. Typically, you should allow 24 inches width for each seat, but for more accessible seating, allow 30 to 36 inches.

If there won’t be any traffic behind the seats, you need only 32 inches between the table, counter, or bar and the nearest obstruction. To allow people to just edge past behind the seats, provide 36 inches. If you want guests to be able to walk past unobstructed, make sure you leave at least 48 inches.

For counter and bar seating, also provide space for knees. Here are recommended measurements:

• Lowered-counter/table-height seating (30 inches high) needs 18 inches for knee space.

• Counter seating (36 inches high) needs 15 inches knee space.

• Raised-counter/bar-height seating (42 inches high) needs 12 inches knee space.

• Accessible seating (30 to 34 inches high) needs 19 inches knee space.




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.

Leave your Comments below!

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