Thursday, June 13 2019
If you’ve recently upgraded your outdoor living space, be sure you’re getting your money’s worth from the renovation. Start enjoying everything your new patio has to offer! Your patio is essentially an outdoor room, an extension of your indoor living space, and you should be using it just as much as the rest of your home! It’s easy to overlook your outdoor space, but with minimal effort you can spend more time outside on the patio.
Take Meals Outside
One way you can get more use out of your brand-new outdoor space is by taking your meals outside. Open your folding door system and enjoy your morning coffee and toast outside while you listen to the morning news. Serve your children’s daily snack and lunch outdoors—they will love getting some fresh air and seeing all the birds, bugs, and squirrels poking around the yard. Take advantage of the warm summer nights and serve family dinners outside when it is convenient.
Host Events Outdoors
You can host birthday parties, baby showers, family gatherings, and other celebrations outside in your newly renovated outdoor entertainment space. You can open your multi-slide patio door to connect your indoor and outdoor spaces to accommodate more guests and create a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor rooms.
Cook in Your Outdoor Kitchen
Summer is the best time to start utilizing your outdoor kitchen! Fire up the grill and barbecue different meals that are easy to put together outdoors. Bon Appetit has some tasty grill-only recipes on their website here.
Get Work Done
Open your accordion door and set up your laptop and paperwork outside on the patio and enjoy an open-air office for the day. You might find that your productivity increases because you are surrounded by fresh air, natural light, and less distractions than indoors. Pay bills, write reports, and manage your household from the comfort of your freshly remodeled outdoor space!
Open your multi-slide door system and encourage your children to enjoy the outdoors and play in the backyard. They can do most indoor activities outside like coloring, reading, playing house, building with Legos or blocks—the outdoors is contagious and soon they’ll be running around exploring your yard and getting in some much-needed exercise!
Start spending your evening downtime outside on your patio. Read a book, check Facebook, enjoy a glass of wine, catch up on The Bachelorette, or watch a movie on your outdoor TV. Host family movie nights, cuddle up with blankets, and light the fireplace!
Tuesday, June 11 2019
AG Millworks Euro Multi-Slide Systems are now Title 24 prescriptive compliant and NFRC rated. With super low U-factors and SHGC ratings, the AG Euro Energy Solutions Multi-Slide will outperform other thermally broken systems!
Pair Multi-Slides with Bi-Fold and French Swing Systems for the complete Energy Solutions patio door package! In California, doors and windows installed into homes must meet Energy Commission standards—AG Millworks Energy Solutions door systems can create a large open space while maintaining energy efficiency.
Thermally broken patio doors are an excellent investment that could save you money in the long run. With energy efficient Bi-Folds, Multi-Slides, or French Swing doors, your home will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter due to thermally broken innovation built into each door system and saving you money on heating and cooling bills. Large glass doors will allow plenty of natural light into your space, eliminating the need for daytime use of lamps and overhead lighting, which could reduce your electricity costs.
Installing energy efficient doors and windows in your home is a step in the right direction. To fully optimize your home and transition into greener living, you might also consider investing in solar panels, take shorter showers, install low-flow showerheads, and switch over to greener light bulbs, like halogen or LED bulbs that will last longer and use less energy.
Thursday, June 06 2019
It’s officially June, and Summer is here. With three long Summer months ahead, it’s time to get your home fully equipped and ready for the best time of year. Below are five ways you can prepare your home for summer and all the festivities that come with it.
1 | Install an Accordion Door System
The sooner you get your home ready for Summer, the sooner you can relax and enjoy the long, sun-filled days. One way you can get your home in Summer mode is by installing an accordion door system. Also known as bi-fold patio doors, accordion door systems allow you to connect your living space to the outdoors and transform it into an indoor-outdoor entertainment space. With a folding door system, entertaining and hosting Summer parties will become easier because the doors create a smooth transition from inside to outside entertainment spaces. With doors folded open, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the beautiful weather each day.
To learn more about installing an accordion patio door in your home, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
2 | Get the Pool Dialed In
If you haven’t already, it’s time to get the pool in shape for Summer. Clean the pool free of debris and prepare it with the proper amount of chlorine so it is swimmable once more. Temps are starting to rise, and you want to be sure your pool is ready to go for that scorching hot day that’s soon to come. Don’t forget to break out the old pool floaties, or invest in some new ones—like this camel pool float, giant cactus pool float, or the classic swan pool float!
If you are considering building a pool house in your backyard this Summer, find pool house advice and inspiration here.
3 | Prep the Patio
Clean up the patio, bring the summer furniture out of storage, and wash all the outdoor pillows and cushions. Hose down the dusty furniture so you can start the season off with a fresh, clean setup. Stock the outdoor cupboards or pool house with plenty of clean pool towels so you don’t have to worry about soaked swimmers tracking water through the house in search of towels.
4 | HVAC Maintenance Check
It’s a good idea to get your HVAC system checked out by a certified professional to ensure proper functionality. There are some hot days ahead and you’ll want your air conditioning to be in full-working order to keep your home cool and comfortable. You should also check that all ceiling fans are working and clean any dust buildup on the blades—you don’t want to turn on your fan for the first time in months and spread around the dust that has been collecting on it!
5 | Revive Your Outdoor Kitchen
Summer and barbecuing go hand in hand, so it’s time to get your outdoor kitchen ready for the season—clean up the grill, scrub the countertops, and make sure the propane tank is full. Wash your grilling tools so they are ready for last minute afternoon barbecues. You should also stock the outdoor fridge with water and other refreshments in preparation for long pool days.
Tuesday, June 04 2019
A Canadian realtor heads south to buy a second home in the hills of Westlake Village, California. What he loved about this home is the property and surrounding nature that reminds him of Canada, however the layout and traditional design needed an upgrade to better match his tastes. He designed the new space himself and hired contractor-builders to execute his plans.
Before the remodel, the living room featured a radius window wall with 10 individual picture windows. Though the windows let in light and provided a view, the space felt closed off and the homeowner knew there was a better way to maximize his view while connecting the dramatic space to his elevated canyon-view deck.
Through a doorway was the dining room, which felt boxy and closed-off. The dark hardwood floors, exposed beams, and cream-colored walls created a very outdated, traditional look. To the right of the dining room was a smaller archway that led to the kitchen. The homeowner thought that there was wasted space and that the layout didn’t make sense—he wanted to create a great room that connected living, kitchen, and dining spaces.
The homeowner opted to install a large, 16’ wide by 10’ high custom Multi-Slide Door System combined with a matching 16’ wide by 4’ high transom. The new sliding glass door eliminated the back wall and created the seamless transition from inside to outside that the homeowner desired. With doors open wide, plenty of fresh air flows through the space and creates an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Even more natural light floods the space than before, and the view is maximized.
Eliminating the window wall wasn’t the only big change in this space—the homeowner chose to relocate the kitchen to what was the dining room. The wall with its doorway into the once dining room was also removed to create a smooth transition from the living room to the new eat-in kitchen. The formal dining room was moved to the old kitchen space but remains connected to the new kitchen and living area. Light hardwood floors, a light gray wall color, and a unique light fixture help to transform the space into something more modern. The all-white kitchen features white marble counters and a matching marble tile backsplash.
The homeowner is pleased with his newly remodeled home and loves his large Multi-Slide Patio Door, and the openness it creates in his space. He enjoys sliding doors wide-open and taking in the views and fresh air.
Thursday, May 30 2019
If you’re getting ready for a home renovation project this summer and plan to hire a contractor, there are some important steps to take during the hiring process. You’ll want to find the perfect contractor for your job, who will see the project through to a timely completion. Below are some steps to take when searching for and hiring a contractor to oversee your home upgrade.
The first step in hiring a contractor is finding potential professionals. One valuable resource for building professionals is Houzz.com. Houzz is an online home design platform where you can find design inspiration, get advice, and get in contact with professionals near you. Another great way to find a qualified contractor is through referrals—ask around to friends, family, and neighbors to find a local professional who has the support of the people you trust.
To search for contractors in your area, visit Houzz Professionals.
Once you’ve created a list of potential contractors, do your homework. Look at their websites and social media pages to review their portfolios. Looking at images of past work can help you narrow down your list to a select two or three. Don’t forget to read the reviews and testimonials from their past clients—you might even check to see if they have a Yelp page, which will feature any negative reviews that may have been left by unsatisfied clients.
Now that you have a small list of three or four contractors with excellent reviews and past projects, you can reach out to them to set up an appointment. Meet with each contractor and discuss your project needs and provide them with a list of your project specifics. Your plans should be as precise as possible to ensure the contractor provides you an accurate cost estimate. You can also treat this meeting as an interview, and ask important questions that are relevant to your project, for example if your home remodel will include a large bi-fold or multi-slide patio door system, be sure to discuss this with your contractor because not all contractors have large door system installers on staff or in their network.
When you receive project proposals from your potential contractors, carefully review each one and pay extra attention to the cost breakdown and timeline. Be cautious of project proposals that lack details because you could end up paying extra for certain services or changes. When deciding between professionals, don’t use price as your only determining factor—you’ll want to consider past work, reviews, experience, the contractor’s status as to licensing, bonding, and insurance. Check your state contractor’s licensing board website to ensure license is active and up to date. Don’t be afraid to verify past work and ask the contractors to see one or two of their projects in person if possible.
When you have made a final choice and picked your favorite contractor, be sure to request a written contract and document everything in writing. Take your time, review the contract with someone else—and be sure the terms of payment (deposit percentage, progress payments, final payment, etc.) are standard for the industry. It is important to have records of your agreement, and any future changes made to the contract, in case something goes wrong. Always communicate with your contractor and let them know if you’d like to work closely with them or let them have full reign. Keeping an open communication line and providing a detailed plan of what your goals are will help you and your contractor get through the remodel with ease and grace.
To learn more about creating an indoor-outdoor living space with large accordion doors, visit our Bi-Fold Door Product Page.
Tuesday, May 28 2019
Patio doors are so important to our homes. Doors are more than just a passage that leads inside and out, they keep out uninvited guests or pests, they protect your home from rain, heat, and snow, they bring in light to illuminate your home, and they extend your living space to the outdoors. Every patio door eventually shows signs of wear and tear, and it’s important to know when it’s time for door replacement! Below are six signs it’s time to replace your old patio doors and upgrade to something new!
Are your patio doors broken and beyond repair? Is the door discolored, scratched, and incapable of cleaning up? If your patio doors require a lot of work and money to fix, you are better off replacing them with new door systems. If the locking mechanism is broken or the door isn’t sealing and allowing water penetration, it’s possible these can be fixed but be sure to consider putting money towards a total door replacement instead because it will provide reassurance knowing that your new door is in working order.
Difficult to Use
If your door is no longer functioning properly or it’s difficult to use, it could be time for replacement. After a thorough check that no easy repairs will fix your door functionality, you should consider installing new patio doors. An improperly functioning or non-functioning door is more than frustrating, it’s a safety hazard that could put lives in danger in the event of a fire, storm, home intrusion, and other emergencies.
Lack of Light
If you feel like your home is very dark and lacks natural light, this is a good time to consider replacing your patio doors and/or windows and creating a larger opening to connect your home to the outdoors and allow plenty of natural light to illuminate your living space. With a large accordion door system, you can eliminate walls and replace them with folding glass that will make your space feel open and bright.
Sometimes homeowners replace all the windows in their home but neglect the doors. Mismatching doors and windows can look tacky and unappealing, and it’s for this reason you might consider upgrading your patio doors to match the rest of your doors and windows.
If your patio doors are a few decades old, it’s likely that they don’t meet the current energy efficiency standards. Energy efficient doors keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, because they prevent air from escaping your home. Non-energy efficient doors are a great excuse to upgrade to a large folding door system that has excellent energy ratings.
Not Maximizing Space
If your current patio doors are in an awkward location that doesn’t make sense, and they’re not maximizing your living space to it’s full potential, it might be time to consider door replacement. Large folding and sliding door systems can connect your home to the outdoors and create a seamless transition from inside to outside. With Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide Doors, you can maximize your living space and extend it into the backyard deck or patio area.
To learn more about creating wide-open spaces with folding door systems, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page. If maximizing your living space with sliding door systems is more your taste, visit our Multi-Slide Patio Door Product Page.