Thursday, August 22 2019
August is quickly wrapping up, children are going back to school, and vacationers are heading home. With about a month left until it’s officially fall (September 23rd), summer is just about over, making it the perfect time to start your home remodel project and accordion glass door installation. Late summer and early fall are great times for building projects because the weather is still nice, and rainstorms are unlikely. Now that you’re ready to begin your remodel project and create an indoor-outdoor living space with accordion glass doors, here are some helpful tips for getting started and finding the best door for your project.
Research the Design and Feature Options of Your Accordion Glass Door
Finding the right accordion glass door for your home can be difficult. With so many manufacturers offering their own version of an accordion glass door system, understanding which brand provides the highest quality and best experience is important. Along with deciding which brand to choose, you must choose the customizable options of your accordion glass door design. Important options to consider are clad color, interior wood species, interior paint or stain finishes, divided lite configurations, accordion glass door configurations, and hardware style and finish. While all these options can seem overwhelming, our patio door experts are here to help. Contact our patio door experts to discuss your accordion glass door project, ask questions, and learn more about product capabilities, features, and benefits.
Don't Pick an Accordion Glass Door Configuration without a Daily Door
Though there are many things NOT to do when investing in a large accordion glass door, one mistake stands out: choosing a configuration without a daily door. It is important to choose a door configuration that will have a manual door, or “daily door,” that provides easy access to your outdoor space. Accordion glass door systems with odd configurations (3L, 5R, 1L3R) in at least one direction have daily doors that can be opened without unlatching and opening the entire accordion door system. You must choose a configuration with a daily door If you plan to access your home from the exterior of your large accordion glass door. If you choose an even door configuration (such as 4L or 2L2R) you will have to open the entire door system to access your outdoor space and you will not have exterior access if the doors get closed and you’re outside. Click here to learn more about common mistakes to avoid when choosing a large accordion glass door.
Ensure Fast and Easy Accordion Glass Door Installation for Your Contractor
Accordion glass doors require a professional installer to ensure perfect installation. Choosing a door system that will make your contractor’s or installer’s lives a little easier can save you time and money during install. AG Millworks is the only accordion glass door manufacturer who delivers fully assembled door frames to your jobsite, eliminating multiple steps in the installation process. Your optional retractable accordion screen is fully integrated into the door jamb by expert installers in the factory, eliminating the need for onsite screen installation. With pre-built frames and factory installed screens, your contractor or installer will be able to install your accordion glass door in record time.
Find a Sash and Door Dealer to See a Display and Place Your Order
When you have a good idea of the accordion glass door design you want, you can visit a sash and door dealer to view a display and test it out. Your sash and door expert can also answer any questions, provide you a price quote for your accordion glass door, and place your order. To find an AG Millworks Accordion Glass Door Dealer near you, contact our patio door experts to be matched with a certified dealer. You may also call us directly at 805-644-4494.
Tuesday, August 20 2019
Since its founding in 1986, AG Millworks has been privately owned, skillfully managed, and independently operated. The company wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of our dedicated and trusted local customers. Located in Ventura, California, AG Millworks has provided incredible craftsmanship to communities across California for over thirty years.
Shopping locally supports and boosts our local economy. When you spend $100 at your local business, $68 stays in your community. This strengthens the local economy and allows businesses to create more jobs and provide better wages and benefits for workers in the community. By shopping at small, local businesses, you aren’t paying for a CEO to buy a third vacation home, you’re supporting families in your community. Local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbors! They care about and are invested in the growth and well-being of the community.
Most small businesses are family-owned, and AG Millworks is no different. However, many businesses have trouble competing with big brand corporations, and end up going out of business or being acquired. Mergers and acquisitions take away a small company’s authenticity, voice, and humanity. Since the beginning, AG Millworks has undergone tremendous growth, but it remains a small, privately owned company with less than 50 employees. Throughout the years and many changes in the fenestration industry, AG Millworks has maintained its core values of family and community.
Shopping locally usually ensures you are purchasing a better-quality product. Many manufacturers and big corporations have large automated assembly lines to mass produce their products. Mass production leaves more room for error and can lack quality control. AG Millworks believes in product quality versus product quantity, which is why each door system is handcrafted, custom made, and hung and swung in the factory guarantee a perfect fit and finish. Unlike big corporations, AG Millworkshas the ability and understanding to provide a luxurious door system to complete your home design goals. Doors are fully customizable and are made to meet your specific needs and your specific vision. No door project is too big or too small, AG Millworks builds it all!
Small businesses are known to provide outstanding customer service. Big businesses now have automated messages that guide you through their listings and generalize your questions and concerns, but small businesses continue to provide a personalized experience with a real person on the other end of the line. AG Millworks has a team of helpful, knowledgeable patio door experts who can guide you through the confusing world of folding, sliding, and French swing door systems and connect you to a Certified AG Millworks Dealer near you.
At the end of the day, AG Millworks isn’t run by boards, stockholders or algorithms—it’s run by real people, and that truly makes all the difference. So check out more of your local businesses, attend and promote their sales and events, and choose them over the big corporations like Amazon.
Thursday, August 15 2019
Sometimes life can become busy and overwhelming, so carving out time to do nothing is important for your physical and emotional wellbeing. If you’re looking for a good excuse to slow down and destress, this is it: August 15th is National Relaxation Day. This holiday encourages people nationwide to focus on taking care of themselves and taking a moment to relax and unwind. Many people have a hard time relaxing when they have an endless to-do list, but here are eight ways you can take a moment for yourself and unwind from your crazy schedule.
1 | Unplug Yourself
Put away your phone, laptop, and iPad, and unplug from technology. No checking emails, scrolling on social media, or completing work assignments. Clear your mind of work and be present in the moment. Taking a break from technology is rejuvenating and will hopefully encourage you to regularly unplug.
2 | Enjoy the Outdoors
Connecting with nature and being outdoors is good for your soul. Open your folding patio doors and relax outside in the sunshine with a good book. Fresh air and Vitamin D will help you relax and unwind from the day-to-day stressors.
3 | Meditate/Yoga
Spend some time doing basic stretching, yoga, and meditation. Focus on your breathing, taking long, deep breaths that will clear your mind and relax your body.
4 | Take a Nap
Sometimes your body just needs to slow down and rest. Take a short nap during the day to recoup and recharge.
5 | Go for a Walk
Go for a walk around the neighborhood, in the park, or at the beach. Exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress and relax.
6 | Lay Outside and Swim
Lay out by the pool or head to the beach and enjoy the feeling of sun on your skin, remaining present in the moment. Go for a swim and float in the water, letting it wash away your stress and worries.
7 | Have a Spa Day
Head to the spa and indulge in your favorite treatments. Pamper yourself with a relaxing massage and facial and enjoy this alone time.
8 | Cook a Nice Meal
Cook yourself a fresh, healthy meal at home and nurture your body with delicious food. Taking the time to slow down and cook a nice meal for yourself is worth it.
This day is about giving yourself a break and treating your mind and body right. You may not be able to drop everything you’re doing to go to the spa on a Thursday, but you should make your relaxation a priority and plan some time this weekend to take it slow. As life gets busy and overwhelming, having an indoor-outdoor space in your home is important for your well-being. Click here to learn more about the benefits of creating open spaces with large glass patio doors.
Tuesday, August 13 2019
If you’re building a new home in Los Angeles, or remodeling an existing one, and you are considering using a folding door system to create wide open spaces, it is important to find the best product available to meet your project needs. Bi-fold patio doors are an investment with a healthy price tag, and not all are equal, so researching online, comparing products, and shopping around is smart. If you’re looking for the highest-quality product with excellent customer support during and after the order process, AG Millworks is the best option.
With numerous folding door manufacturers to consider like AG Millworks, NanaWall, La Cantina, Marvin, and many others, navigating the patio door space and finding the best product can be daunting and time consuming. To make this discovery process easier for you, below are six reasons AG Millworks Bi-Fold Door Systems are superior to any other folding door on the market, and why builders and contractors in the Los Angeles area prefer AG Millworks products.
We Make Your Contractor's Life Easier with Pre-Built Frames and Jobsite Delivery Options
As experienced carpenters in the millwork business for 33 years, we understand the need contractors have for quality products with easy installation. On a jobsite, time is money, which is why AG Millworks delivers door frames completely built-up, saving your contractor or builder time during the installation process. Your optional retractable accordion screen is factory installed into the jamb, saving your contractor even more time during installation! Pre-built frames and factory installed screens allow your installer to skip steps in the installation process, which means your beautiful bi-fold doors will be installed and hung faster and easier than any other brand. We will even deliver your doors directly to the jobsite, eliminating the need for extra handling.
We Provide Fast Lead Times so Your Project Remains on Schedule
AG Millworks has industry-leading production times, so your folding door system will be delivered on time, ensuring your project stays on-time. AG Millworks can fulfill your last-minute door needs.
We Specialize in Bi-Fold Door Systems
At AG Millworks, we specialize in large folding door systems, and through endless research and innovation, have designed a superior product. Don’t let your contractor make the mistake of taking the easy way out and bundling your doors with your window replacement package from Marvin or Milgard—though these are noteworthy window makers, our folding door designs are superior to those offered by production window manufacturers.
We Build High-Quality, Customizable Folding Doors
All AG Millworks Bi-Fold Door Systems are handcrafted in Ventura, California and are fully customizable. We build your accordion door to the exact dimensions you require, with no upcharge for odd or large sizes. Everything is customizable from the clad color, wood species, painted or stained interior, and hardware—all doors are made to your unique specifications.
We are Reachable by Phone or Email for All Your Bi-Fold Door Questions
We value our customers and strive to provide outstanding service and support, which is why when you call us directly, you will reach our friendly and knowledgeable team members without enduring the hassle of automated messaging or call centers. Our team is available Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm at 805.644.4495 or firstname.lastname@example.org to answer your folding door questions and direct you to a certified AG Millworks dealer. Call or email us now to tell us about your project and talk to a folding door expert.
We Hang Every Door in the Factory to Ensure a Perfect Product Every Time
Before your folding door leaves our factory, it is fully built-up, and all door panels are hung and swung to ensure there are no surprises during install. When your doors are delivered, you can rest easy knowing there won’t be any mistakes that could delay your project.
To learn more about the unique design and benefits of AG Millworks door systems, visit the AG Millworks Advantage on our website.
Tuesday, August 06 2019
August has arrived, which means there’s only a few more weeks left of summer vacation before a new school year begins. Getting yourself and the kids back into a schooltime routine takes time, which is why the beginning of August is the perfect time to ease back into your regular schedule. Below are a few ways you can help make this an easy and smooth transition for you and your family.
Get Back on a Normal Sleep Schedule
Now is the time to get back into a regular sleeping schedule to make the early weekday mornings a little easier to handle. Set a bedtime for the kids and try to have everyone up and awake at a decent hour—no more long movie nights or sleeping in until late morning. The first few days will be a little difficult, but soon everyone will be adjusted to the schedule. Doing fun activities like hiking, biking, or swimming will tire the kids out and help them crash at an early hour and make the early bedtime less of a struggle.
Beat the Crowds at Back to School Shopping
Don’t wait until the last minute to go school supply shopping. The crowds will be large, and the shelves will be bare. The best time to hit Target for all the essentials is in the morning on a weekday—there will be less people and you can beat the afternoon shoppers. Make a list before you go so you can check things off your list and get in and out in record timing.
Donate Old Clothes
To make room for new back to school clothing, clean out closets and drawers and donate any old items that no longer fit. Kids grow fast and stuff that may have fit them a few months ago might be too small or short now (or maybe now your kids think their once-favorite unicorn shirt is too childish for their fifth-grade self).
Plan Your Weeknight Dinners
To fully prepare for the school year ahead, you can start planning weeknight dinners a few weeks in advance. Having a dinner schedule will allow you to get everything you need in one trip to the grocery store and prevent you from last-minute, quick dinner options that might not be as healthy as a homecooked meal. Sometimes thinking of meals and recipes is hard, but meal planning and recipe app, Yummly, will help you find tasty recipes, schedule meals on your calendar, choose how many servings you need, add ingredients to your shopping list (which is organized by grocery aisle), and provides all nutrition facts for each meal!
Create an Activity Calendar
A great way to keep weekly activities organized and keep up with soccer practice, dance class, or dentist appointments is by creating an activity calendar/chart. The calendar will provide a perfect view of the activities or appointments in the current month and will act as a reminder for the whole family. It’s also a great tool for the kids to reference when they have questions about baseball games or birthday parties, and it will teach them about organization and planning. You can use an oversized desk calendar for this purpose and hang it in the mudroom for all to see.
Refresh the Homework Nook
Organize the desk or homework nook and recycle old papers and supplies. Prepare the space with fresh supplies and add new motivational artwork that will help your little learners to power through their nightly homework routine.
Spend Extra Time Outside While There's Still Time
Be sure to continue to spend time outdoors enjoying the warm weather while it lasts. Open your large folding door system and have playtime in the backyard, swim in the pool, and serve dinner on the patio. When school begins, you can set your kids up outside to do their homework and have their scheduled reading time. The fresh air will help them focus and allow them to spend a little time outdoors since they’ve been cooped up inside at school all day.
Tuesday, July 30 2019
Houzz is the leading online platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Houzz is a great tool for sash and door dealers to create brand awareness, interact with customers, find leads, and receive reviews from their clients. Navigating a new online social media platform can be intimidating, but with this guide you will be a Houzz expert in no time!
1 | Create a Profile
The first step is to sign up with Houzz and design your profile. You can join Houzz by clicking here and filling in your email address and creating a password. Next you will enter your basic information like company name, industry category, street address, and phone number. Be sure to mark yourself as Window/Door Sales & Installation so that customers can easily find your profile. Write a short business description that explains a little bit about your company and who you are. You should also upload a cover photo and profile picture (normally your company’s logo).
2 | Create Projects on Houzz to Showcase Your Completed Jobs
Houzz is similar to Pinterest in that users save project photos that they like to their Ideabooks, so they can go back later and use these photos as inspiration for their future home remodel projects. A great way to attract users to your page and gain some traffic to your website is by creating “Projects” on your Houzz profile. Creating a new project is easy, simply click on the “New Project” button on your Houzz profile homepage. Here you will name the project, enter information about the job, and choose the style of the space—be sure to be as detailed as possible to ensure your project shows up when clients are searching for specific project types. You are also able to add keywords to each photo to help users discover your projects. Having a rich project gallery is key to gaining success on Houzz.
3 | Follow Customers, Colleagues, and Vendors
If you click on the “Find Professionals” menu, you’ll be directed to this page where you can search for your building professional customers, colleagues, and your door and window suppliers, like AG Millworks. You can follow these professionals, interact with them, save their photos to your Ideabooks, and collaborate on Houzz Projects you both worked on together.
4 | Answer Design Dilemma Questions
As a professional on Houzz, you can answer questions and offer advice to fellow Houzz users. You can visit the “Design Dilemma” page where you should use your sash and door expertise to provide professional advice to answer their design questions.
5 | Get Reviews
Getting reviews for your company will take time, but 5-star recommendations and testimonials are incredibly valuable and will elevate your business and help create trust with potential customers. Requesting reviews on Houzz is easy, simply click the “Get Reviews” button on your Houzz profile homepage and enter in the email address of clients you want to reach out to. Write a short, polite message thanking your customer for their business and requesting they write a quick review on your Houzz profile.
6 | Keep Profile Updated
Once you have a presence on Houzz, it is important to keep your profile up to date. You should regularly upload new project photos, save new photos to Ideabooks, and interact with Houzz users. Always thank people for including your photos in their Ideabooks and respond to your customers’ reviews with enthusiasm. If your company phone number, street address, or website address changes, be sure to update this on your Houzz profile so that clients can always reach you.
7 | Get Some Help to Get Started
Does all this sound great, but seem like a project you just don’t have time to complete? Enlist the help of someone who is social media-savvy, like your children who grew up with technology, a college student looking to make extra money, or a colleague in the industry that has a Houzz profile and can refer you to the person that helped them. Your Houzz.com profile can be under construction before you know it.
Why Ventura County Contractors & Architects are Choosing AG Millworks for Their Large Luxury Door System Needs
Tuesday, July 23 2019
According to the 2019 US Houzz & Home Study, 51% of homeowners planned to continue or begin a home renovation in 2019, with a median spend of $10,000 per renovating homeowner—these numbers fare well for professionals in the design-build industry as they will continue to see more projects in their pipelines. It’s been an especially busy year for architects, contractors, and building professionals in Ventura County as home renovation trends continue to increase and property owners affected by recent wildfires begin to rebuild their homes.
As indoor-outdoor living spaces gain more popularity among homeowners, professionals are designing spaces with large folding and sliding door systems that blur the line between inside and out. Ventura County contractors, builders, and architects are choosing local patio door manufacturing company, AG Millworks, to handcraft luxurious custom Bi-Fold and Multi-Slide door systems for their projects because AG provides the highest-quality products and best customer support in the industry. Below are more reasons why AG Millworks is the best option for large folding, sliding, or swing door systems.
As a privately held company, AG Millworks has been manufacturing handcrafted products in Ventura County since 1986. Local architects and contractors favor AG because they have visited the factory, know where the products are coming from, and like to shop local and support Ventura-based businesses.
Something unique to AG Millworks, that no other company does, is the delivery of door frames completely built-up (CA only). Contractors, builders, and door installers value and appreciate this advantage because it saves them time, space, and money on installation. On Bi-Fold systems, all header installation holes are pre-drilled, and hardware is provided to reduce errors during install.
Factory Installed Screens
Another benefit enjoyed by building professionals is the factory installed screens. AG Millworks is the only company that installs the optional retractable accordion screen directly into the door jamb for its clients—this saves time and money on the jobsite and ensures a perfect install by experienced craftsmen.
Superior Customer Service
Most contractors and builders are aware of the poor customer service provided by many patio door manufacturers, but AG Millworks is different. With AG, contractors receive support with ease, and can reach the customer service department by phone Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. The customer service department is superior to any other brand, with a friendly and knowledgeable staff who is eager to help. Requesting a service appointment is easy and pain free, and most often comes with short lead times. Ventura County contractors choose AG over other brands because of how well the company treats its customers. Their exceptional service was recognized by Houzz.com, when AG Millworks was awarded the Best of Houzz for Client Satisfaction in 2019.
Pairs Well with Other Brands
AG Millworks has custom color matching capabilities, and can match the exterior clad color of other window brands like Marvin and Jeldwen. Because AG Millworks provides a superior door system, contractors and architects pair AG products with other window brands to complete their fenestration package.
Custom Sizes without Upcharges
Another reason AG is so favored by building and design professionals is because it offers custom sizes without an extra charge for odd sizes. Because there are no standard sizes, each patio door is handcrafted to fit the rough opening provided.
In California, AG Millworks offers jobsite delivery for a nominal charge. Contractors and builders value this option, as it saves time and eliminates the need for handling.
Building professionals in Ventura, California rely on AG Millworks Energy Solutions product line to fulfill all their energy efficiency requirements. The Energy Solutions Bi-folds, Multi-Slides, and French Swing Patio Door Systems are Title 24 prescriptive compliant and have excellent NFRC ratings.
Because every door is custom made, AG offers full customization of each door system. With standard or custom color options, unlimited divided lite configurations, 18 different wood species, and numerous hardware styles, architects and contractors trust AG Millworks to create a completely custom accordion or sliding door for their client’s homes.
Thursday, July 18 2019
If you’re halfway through summer and realizing that maybe you need a pool to fully enjoy the hot weather and long days, there are some important things to remember about pools. Pools can be a fun and entertaining backyard feature, but there are some downsides of owning a pool that you’ll want to consider before making any permanent decisions.
PRO: Swimming Whenever You Want
Having access to your own pool is a nice perk, especially during the summer. You don’t have to go to the neighborhood or community pool, or burden friends and family by asking to use their pool every week. You can go for early morning or late-night swims, and not be restricted by limited hours or holidays.
CON: Expensive Upkeep
Pools are a literal money pit—not only are they expensive to install (think upwards of $50k), but once they are installed, they are expensive to maintain. Money will be spent on chlorine, heating, cleaning, increased electricity costs, pool accessories, and other maintenance, with no end in sight.
PRO: Upgraded Entertainment Space
A new pool will enhance your entertainment space and allow you to host pool parties for any occasion (birthdays, barbecues, holidays). With your new indoor-outdoor space, you can open your bi-fold door system and connect your home to the outdoor pool and living area.
CON: No Lifeguard on Duty
At home, you won’t have a lifeguard on duty which means you’ll have to pay close attention to swimming children. You can’t stray too far from the pool area or take a nap under the sun.
PRO: Home Access
A perk to having your own pool is having access to your home—whether you want to call the kids in and make lunch, take a break from the sun and head into the air conditioning, or use your own CLEAN bathroom (we all know public restrooms can be less than spotless).
CON: Regular Maintenance Required
The regular maintenance of a pool can be tedious. Cleaning, adding chemicals, testing the water, and fixing any malfunctioning systems takes time. Whether you’re doing it yourself, or paying someone to do it, it can be a burden.
Having a backyard pool is great for maintaining privacy. You won’t have to deal with other pool-goers gawking at you. You can be comfortable in the privacy of your own space.
CON: Dangerous for Small Children
A pool could be considered a hazard. Even if you don’t have small children, a surrounding safety fence may be necessary; and if gates are left open, accidents can still happen. Visit the Pool Safely Website for more information.
PRO: Can Increase Home Value
It is possible for a pool to increase your home value, however it’s not a guarantee. If your home is located in a warmer climate and can be used for most of the year then it could add value to your home. If most of the neighbors have pools in the area, then a pool could also be a smart investment.
A few more CONS to consider:
1 | Can increase the number of events you’re asked to host.
2 | Extra laundry plus wear and tear on floors leading to indoor bathroom.
3 | Added home insurance premiums/liability for accidents, etc.
Once you’ve considered all of the pros, cons, and cost involved, you will be able to make a smart and knowledgeable decision. In the end, a pool addition could really add value to your life and home.
Tuesday, July 16 2019
As a contractor or building professional, you strive for client satisfaction. Providing quality work, innovative design, and superior customer service is how you can exceed client expectations and differentiate yourself from other companies. The recipe for success isn’t always obvious, but with these tips, you can ensure your clients will experience the best customer service in the business!
Provide Speedy Project Estimates
When you meet with a potential client requesting a proposal, it is important that you gather all the details of the project so you can provide an accurate estimate. You can create a generic form that has the basic requirements of various projects (ie. kitchen remodel, bath remodel, addition, etc.) to help you record and organize project specifics for use during the quoting process. A project proposal is one of the first impressions your potential clients receive and can be telling of your entire work ethic, which is why quick and accurate estimates are crucial in this industry.
Communicate with Clients
It’s important to maintain an open line of communication with your clients throughout the project. Ask your customers if they prefer contact via phone calls, texts, or emails, and then use that method whenever possible. Provide regular updates regarding schedule, deliveries, and job progress. Send them pictures when something big is accomplished, like cabinet installation or completed flooring so they can get excited about the completion of their new space.
Managing your client’s expectations and educating them on any project limitations is imperative. Remind them that changes in a construction project are normal and that you will inform them immediately of any necessary modifications. Make reasonable promises and then over-deliver and exceed your customer’s expectations.
Remain on Schedule
Develop a project schedule and try your hardest to follow it. Budget some extra time for any unexpected project delays when creating your schedule. We know projects can sometimes be delayed due to weather, permits, and longer than expected material lead times, so be sure to let your client know about any occurrence that will delay project completion.
Make Their Lives Easier
As a contractor, you were hired to manage and execute your client’s home renovation, and to make their lives easier through this process. You can do this by helping indecisive customers choose design materials or helping them create and maintain a functional living space while living through a renovation. Little things you can do to help them out will boost their client satisfaction.
Follow Up with Customers
Once a client is settled into their new space, follow up with them for feedback. See how they are liking the storage and functionality of their new kitchen, or how their new accordion doors illuminate their space with natural light. This follow up will show that you care about them and value their feedback, which equals higher customer satisfaction and more referrals from your happy clients.
Thursday, July 11 2019
If you own and run a restaurant, bar, brewery, winery, etc., you know that this business isn’t for the faint of heart. This industry requires hard work and lots of planning, and if you’re just getting started, the idea of attracting customers to your establishment and creating a loyal customer base can be daunting. The food, drink, and service you provide are all important factors to attracting the right customer, however the atmosphere in your space will also determine your success.
The latest trend in the dining industry is an open-air atmosphere. Customers want the option to bring their dog along and sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while socializing with friends. The al fresco dining experience creates a relaxed, fun environment where customers can enjoy the views and spend time outdoors. These days, a restaurant or bar isn’t relevant without that indoor-outdoor experience that restaurant goers yearn for.
Pictured above: Robert Young Estate Winery – Geyserville, CA
Use Folding Doors to Connect Inside Space to Outdoor Patio Area
If you’re prepared to remodel or upgrade one or all of your locations, you can invest in custom bi-fold doors to create a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces. Accordion doors can eliminate walls, and leave a wide-open space, turning your restaurant, bar, or winery into an indoor-outdoor venue. Doors fold neatly out of the way to one or both sides, and leave plenty of room for tables, chairs, and mingling while creating unobstructed views of the boardwalk, cityscape, or surrounding nature. With an ADA sill and 10” bottom rail, folding doors will meet ADA requirements.
To learn more about folding door features and customization, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
Pictured above: Waterbar – Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
Use Folding Windows to Create Al Fresco Bar-Style Seating
If your establishment is on the second floor, or lacks a patio area to open up to, you can use folding windows to create an al fresco space. Bi-fold windows will let plenty of light into your restaurant and can create that open-air vibe that guests look for when choosing a spot for food and drink. Organize seating along the accordion windows to give customers the ultimate indoor-outdoor experience, with fresh air and expansive views. Depending on your setup, you may also consider using bi-fold windows to provide a second access point to the bar via a passthrough window from indoor bar to outdoor patio.
To learn more about using folding windows to upgrade your place of business, visit our Bi-Fold Window Product Page.
Pictured below: Wonderland Ocean Pub – Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA
Final Tips for a Great Restaurant/Bar/Brewery/Winery Atmosphere
Thursday, July 04 2019
If you haven’t yet gotten around to that bathroom or kitchen remodel, there’s still plenty of time to tackle it this summer. The hardest part about a remodel is getting started, especially if this is your first remodel experience—for first time remodelers, starting your project can be daunting because you’re unsure where to begin. Below are five tips for getting a jump on your home renovation project before summer is over.
You can use Houzz, Pinterest, or HGTV to find inspiration for your remodel project. It’s easy to search for home design projects on Houzz and Pinterest, and to create Houzz Ideabooks or Pinterest Boards with the ideas you love and want to replicate in your home. If you’ll be replacing any doors or windows in your home, look to AG Millworks Luxury Patio Door Systems for inspiring photos of accordion doors and windows that create an indoor-outdoor kitchen or living space.
Hire a Contractor
The best thing you can do for yourself is hire a contractor/builder to manage and execute your renovation. This will help reduce the stress of a DIY remodel, and let you oversee the project from afar. A contractor will help you solve any design dilemmas, know what upgrades require permits, and can help you create the home of your dreams. Find a contractor in your area is easy—ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations or search for local contractors on Houzz. Be sure to check reviews, past projects, and the Contractors State License Board to confirm their license and bond are in good standing, to ensure you’re getting the best professional for your job.
Consult a Sash and Door Expert
If door and window replacement is part of the project, ask your contractor to recommend a trusted door and window dealer that you can visit to look at displays, test products, and learn more about the features and benefits of the doors and windows you are interested in. Visit the dealer with your contractor so he or she can help guide you through the process and let you know what design limitations exist in your space. To visit an AG Millworks Certified Dealer, please contact customer service at 806-644-4494 to find a dealer near you or click here.
Pick Out Materials
When you have a design plan, and you’re working with a sash and door expert, it’s time to select the materials for your project. Visit local building material specialty shops, or head to your nearest Home Depot to choose your favorite combination of flooring, backsplash, countertops, and cabinetry for your project. If you’d prefer to hire a design professional to guide the project, you can show them your inspiration boards and they can create something that will fit your tastes.
Take a Vacation
Once your project is in full swing, consider taking a break from the renovation zone and heading on a relaxing vacation—it is summer after all. Home remodels can be messy and stressful, especially if you’re tackling a kitchen renovation that will leave you without a proper kitchen for weeks. You can escape the construction chaos for a week or two and travel to a new place you’ve been wanting to explore. When it’s time to finally head home, you’ll (hopefully) return to a completely transformed space. And if you chose to expand your home and connect it to the outdoors with an AG Millworks Folding Patio Door, when you return home it will feel like you’re still on vacation!
Tuesday, July 02 2019
Will you be heading to the coast and staying in a beach house this summer? Week or month-long oceanfront getaways are a great way to escape the heat, relax, recharge, and enjoy quality time with friends and family. Packing for your beach house vacation can be stressful, and it’s easy to forget important things you’ll need on this holiday. See below for the ultimate beach house vacay checklist!
Packing clothes is always the easiest part because you know you need the basics to get by. Pack the following for each family member so you are prepared for your waterfront vacation:
If your accommodations have a washer and dryer, try not to overpack but instead pack enough to last a week and then do some laundry when necessary.
Focusing on your toiletries now means not worrying about it later when its 11pm and you realize you forgot to pack a toothbrush.
Your beach house may already be fully equipped with all the toys and games you need, but if it’s not, here is a short list that will keep you and the family fully entertained throughout the vacation:
It’s easiest to wait until you arrive at your destination to stock up on groceries, but when you do, choose ingredients for easy, healthy meals. You can find 30-minute dinner recipes on the Woman’s Day Website, Delish.com, and the Food Network.
Once you’re all settled into your cozy beach house, open your Bi-Fold, Multi-Slide, or French Swing Door Systems and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze and salty air! Learn how to bring that beach house lifestyle home with you using Bi-Fold, Multi-Slide, or French Swing Patio Doors.
Thursday, June 27 2019
Can you believe next week is already July? Summer is in full swing and hopefully the June Gloom is over, and the sun is here to stay! If you’re skipping the annual Fourth of July lake or beach camping trip this year and celebrating at home, we know how to throw the ultimate Independence Day party! Use this check list to plan a patriotic pool party that your family and friends will enjoy.
Open Your Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide Patio Doors and Expand Your Party Space
Prepare your indoor-outdoor space for the celebration by cleaning, organizing, and decluttering. Make sure everything is in its’ place, stow away fragile objects, and rearrange furniture that might be obstacles for guests. Leave your accordion or multi-slide door systems open so everyone can easily mingle inside and out.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Kitchen and Prepare for Barbecuing
Make sure your outdoor kitchen and barbecue area is clean and ready for the party. Check the propane tank, plug in the fridge, and gather the barbecue tools. Don’t forget to clean the grill beforehand—we like these bristle free grill brushes because they eliminate the risk of metal bristles ending up in your food.
Plan a Delicious Snack and Lunch Spread
The best part about any party is enjoying tasty food alongside great company. You should design a food and snack menu so you can head to the grocery store with a complete list of ingredients in hand. Knowing what you need before your trip to the market will save you tons of time and eliminate the need for last-minute trips back to the store. For recipes of Fourth of July favorites, unique twists on the classics, and patriotic dish inspiration, visit Delish’s Fourth of July Recipe Page—we can’t wait to make these red, white, and blue cheesecake strawberries!
Tuesday, June 25 2019
Summer is here, and if you’re in a southern California coastal town, you’re probably counting down the days until the June Gloom is over so you can enjoy some sunny beach days. If you’re making last-minute travel plans for the summer, consider sticking around the Golden State and exploring some new spots. Whether you’re a California native, or visiting from out-of-state, these four towns are hidden gems that you won’t want to miss.
1 | A mountain getaway in Julian, California
Julian is a quaint mountain town located just an hour East of San Diego. Historically, Julian is known as a gold mining town, however more recently it has become famous for its apples and apple pies. Though you’ll need to make a return trip in the fall for apple season, a weekend trip to Julian this summer is a perfect getaway for eating, visiting charming shops, exploring hiking trails, and stargazing. Stay in a cozy bed and breakfast, or check AirBnB for a rental cottage. You might consider planning your visit for the weekend of July 27th, so you can attend “A Sip of Julian.” At this event you can hop around the 10 tasting rooms in Julian and taste samples of their wine, beer, and hard cider, along with small bites. This event requires a ticket, so make sure you plan in advance!
2 | A quiet retreat in Ojai, California
Ojai is a small, peaceful town located just 90 minutes North of Los Angeles. Known for its art galleries, pixie tangerines, and pink moments, Ojai has gained some fame in recent years. Though one weekend isn’t enough time to explore all that Ojai has to offer, you are sure to have a relaxing and tranquil visit. Choose from quaint B&Bs, an Airstream resort, or a luxury resort and spa to book your accommodations. Visit the various wine tasting rooms, explore miles of hiking trails, or wander through Ojai’s unique art galleries. With many spa and health studio options, you can schedule a much-needed massage, or drop in on a yoga class. Be sure you’re around at sunset and look East towards the Topa Topa mountains to catch the famous “Pink Moment,” when the entire valley seems to blush.
3 | Eat your way through a Danish village in Solvang, California
Solvang is a charming Danish village located about an hour away from Santa Barbara and is known for its Danish bakeries and wine tasting. Full of boutiques, restaurants, bakeries, and tasting rooms, Solvang is the ultimate in themed weekend getaway destinations. Enjoy the slow pace of this village as you make your away around town indulging in wine, beer, and bites. Head just 10 minutes up the road to Ostrichland for a one-of-a-kind experience feeding ostriches and emus!
4 | A coastal escape in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Carmel is a small beach town on California’s Monterey Peninsula. Visit Carmel to experience the gorgeous views, surrounding nature, and delightful boutiques. Explore the shops and cafes on Ocean Avenue, wander the courtyards, and visit the Carmel Mission Basilica Museum. Head down to Carmel Beach, relax in the sun, and take a walk on down the coast—this is the spot to be, come sunset!
Thursday, June 20 2019
If you live near a busy road with lots of traffic, you might be experiencing a lot of street related noise in your outdoor space and inside your home. These sounds can be loud and distracting, especially if you’re trying to take a nap, focus on a work project, or host guests for an outdoor dinner on the patio when the sound of engines and horns keep interrupting the conversation. There are ways to help reduce street noise and make your outdoor space feel a bit more private and serene.
Invest in dual pane windows and doors
Investing in dual pane windows and doors will help to filter the sound of passing cars and provide you with a quieter indoor space. In addition to noise reduction, dual pane windows better insulate your home and will keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. If you plan on replacing windows and doors, now is a good time to consider creating a large indoor-outdoor living space with a folding door system.
Hang window treatments
Curtains, blinds, and shutters can also help to reduce loud noises and create a more peaceful living environment. Even with dual pane windows installed, sounds can still travel into your home, so adding another protective layer over the windows to filter the noise is a good tactic. Moondream offers soundproof curtains in a variety of colors and backed by hundreds of great reviews.
Install solid fencing
When installing a fence around your property, it is important to consider a style that will provide a solid barrier between your space and the road. Instead of a chain link fence that has many openings, opt for a solid wood fence or stone wall that can look beautiful and help block some of the noise.
Plant lush greenery
Trees and shrubs significantly reduce noise from traveling into your backyard and home. Some of the best privacy trees are: Giant Green Thujas, Leyland Cypress, and Spartan Junipers. The more barriers between the street and your home, the quieter it will be.
Create water features
Creating a running water feature in your backyard and front yard can help cover up the city noises. You can run your waterfall or fountain to create a tranquil space and eliminate those bothersome sounds. You can check out Home Depot, or your local hardware store to find plenty of fountain designs. You may also consider hiring a landscaping and water feature professional to design a custom water feature for your outdoor space.
Hang bird feeders
If you hang feeders full of seed outside, chances are you’ll have plenty of birds visiting your home. If birds are visiting regularly or nesting in nearby trees, their song calls will help to cover up the sounds of traffic and create a more relaxing indoor and outdoor space. You can find beautiful bird feeders on Wayfair.com
Tuesday, June 18 2019
Vacation: an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling.
Everyone loves to go on vacation, and the excitement and anticipation we feel leading up to our much-needed time away from everyday life helps get us through those extra-long workdays. We all look forward to our planned holiday but returning home from a week-long stay on the beach can be tough. If you took an early summer vacation this year and are already feeling those post-vacation blues, there are ways you can create a resort-style experience at home to make reality a little more luxurious and relaxing.
Create Open-Air Spaces with Large Folding or Sliding Door Systems
Most tropical beach resorts have a common theme: indoor-outdoor living. The resorts you’re used to visiting probably connect each hotel experience to the sparkling ocean, blue skies, and flourishing nature using large glass windows and doors. Replicating this indoor-outdoor resort lifestyle in your home is easy with the installation of a large glass Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide Patio Door. With wide-open views and a seamless connection to your outdoor space created by a large door system, you’ll feel like you’re still on a relaxing vacation.
Create Resort-Style Ambiance in Your Outdoor Room
Everything about a resort’s interior design is planned out and calculated to provide the most relaxing and calming experience for guests. You can turn your outdoor space into a quiet oasis that feels just like a 5-star resort with some easy updates.
Create an Indoor-Outdoor Tiki Bar with Folding Windows
What would a resort vacation be without a tiki bar to supply all your cravings for Mai Tais and Piña Coladas? You can create your very own indoor-outdoor tiki bar using a Bi-Fold Passthrough Window that connects your kitchen or bar to your outdoor entertainment space. Store the blender and margarita mix nearby so you can whip up some margs at a moment’s notice. Whether you’re fixing a drink for two, or hosting several guests, this tiki bar will be the perfect addition to your resort-style space!
Once your resort-style living space is complete, prepare for some extra pampering. Schedule an in-home massage and have them set-up outside in your new, relaxing space. Spend the whole day lying by the pool and sipping on blended drinks while you soak up the summer sun. A day like this will feel like a mini-vacation and will help you ease back into everyday life after a long vacation.
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.
Tuesday, May 21 2019
Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of summer and gives us that much-needed Monday off to relax and catch our breath. If you don’t already have weekend plans and want to get away from your home and everyday life, you can easily plan a last-minute camping trip!
Though most of the big national parks and lakeside campgrounds will be full by this time, plenty of smaller campgrounds and RV parks throughout California are likely to have vacancy. Some places, like the national forests, have campgrounds that don’t require advanced reservations. Find a campground, forest, or park that you are interested in visiting and make your reservations or plan on arriving in time to snag a first-come, first-serve spot.
Once your campsite is booked, start gathering all your camping gear and prepare for your trip. Get your tents, motorhomes, or trailers ready for a weekend of camping fun! Make sure everything is in working order before your trip, so you don’t have to worry about broken tent poles or a faulty generator. Although it is almost June, the evenings can still get quite chilly so pack plenty of blankets and warm clothes!
Plan out your meals for each day and create a list of all the ingredients you need to make your trip to the grocery store quick and easy. Some easy campsite snacks and meals are sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, cereal, egg burritos, fresh fruit, granola bars, and nuts. Be sure to pack enough water to last the entire trip! Don’t forget to buy some marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers—a camping trip is incomplete without s’mores.
Your weekend packing list should include some board games and a deck of cards to keep everyone entertained. If you have room for them, bring your bicycles along so you and your family can go for bike rides around the campgrounds and explore. If your bikes won’t fit this time, you can still go for hikes and explore the surrounding nature.
It’s a good idea to pack some insect repellant and citronella candles to ward off mosquitos and other insects, especially if you are prone to mosquito bites. If you do get bitten, have some hydrocortisone and antihistamine on hand to reduce itching and inflammation. You should always keep these items inside your camping first aid kit!
If last-minute isn’t your thing, and the thought of throwing together a quick camping trip by the weekend is too overwhelming, consider planning a backyard campout at home. You and your family can open your accordion door system, head outside and barbecue some hamburgers and hot dogs. Light a fire in the fire pit and roast marshmallows and set up some tents on the lawn. You can enjoy all the fun of a camping trip from the comfort of your own home. You won’t have to worry about a long drive or packing supplies, and when you get cold in the middle of the night or can’t stand sleeping on that half-filled air mattress, you can sneak back inside to your warm bed.
To learn more about creating indoor-outdoor spaces with accordion door systems, visit our Bi-Fold Door Product Page.
Thursday, May 16 2019
Bi-Fold Windows are the perfect addition to your kitchen remodel and will create a passthrough from your kitchen to your outdoor entertainment space. Including a folding window in your kitchen redesign will enhance your space and allow plenty of natural light to flow through the windows. Below are eight kitchen passthrough window designs that will inspire you to invest in your own folding window.
1 | Passthrough window with coastal charm.
This 6-panel kitchen passthrough window maximizes the ocean views from this all-white farmhouse style kitchen. When windows are folded open, a fresh ocean breeze cools off the space and enhances the soothing sound of crashing waves.
What we love: the cottage-style lites on the bi-fold window because they add extra charm to an already beautiful kitchen design.
2 | Craftsman style home with accordion window.
This craftsman style home uses a bi-fold window to create a passthrough from kitchen to outdoor dining space. The servery window makes dining outside effortless—transporting food from inside to outside is a smooth and easy task. The bi-fold passthrough window counter creates an additional outdoor dining space or can be used as a buffet counter or bar.
What we love: the stained wood interior of the folding window because it makes the space feel classic and luxurious.
3 | Bi-Fold window-door combination.
This Bi-Fold Window x Door Combination creates the ultimate indoor-outdoor kitchen in this pool house. The bi-fold window and bi-fold door connect at the center and transform an ordinary space into an open-air bungalow.
What we love: the crisp white painted interior of the bi-fold window because it blends in perfectly with the white kitchen design.
4 | Radius passthrough window and bar.
This radius bi-fold passthrough window connects the interior wet bar to the covered patio and barbecue area. Hosting parties and gatherings is easy thanks to the folding window that allows drinks to be served from the bar both inside and outside.
What we love: the tall, slim silhouette of the bi-fold passthrough window panels and how elegant they look framed by stonework.
6 | Wide-open farmhouse style kitchen with folding window and door.
This home features a large 4-panel kitchen passthrough window that blurs the line between indoors and outdoors. Opting for a folding window in place of kitchen cabinets creates a light and airy kitchen and living room design. This project also features a 3-panel folding door system.
What we love: the sleek profile and exterior clad color of the kitchen passthrough window and how well it blends with the home design.
7 | Cozy pool house with two passthroughs.
This backyard pool house is optimized with two 3-panel kitchen passthrough windows. Each bi-fold window has an outdoor bar counter that creates extra seating and makes it easy to grab a quick drink or snack in-between swims. This pool house pairs the two folding windows with a 4-panel bi-fold door system.
What we love: the functionality of the servery windows and how they enhance the space for this family of five.
7 | Spanish farmhouse style home with accordion window.
This bi-fold kitchen passthrough window illuminates the space with plenty of natural light and creates a picture-perfect view of the Santa Barbara sunset. The all-wood panels feature a luxurious dark stain with red undertones, perfect for this Spanish farmhouse style home.
What we love: the extra natural light created by the bi-fold windows and the beautiful stain that ties the entire kitchen design together.
8 | Tropical tiki bar with bi-fold window
This is the ultimate bi-fold passthrough application: a tiki bar! This 4-panel all-wood folding window opens the fully stocked bar to the backyard pool and patio area. The tropical landscape and stonework create a resort-style vibe in the outdoor space.
What we love: the smooth transition between inside and outside created by a bi-fold passthrough window and how fun and charming this little tiki bar is.
To learn more about creating a kitchen passthrough window from kitchen to outdoor entertainment space, visit our Bi-Fold Passthrough Window Product Page.
Tuesday, May 14 2019
We are halfway through May, and Summer is fast approaching. The days are growing warmer and soon it will be time for beach days and backyard barbecues! Now is a great time to plan and execute your pool house remodel so it is completed just in time for those long Summer pool days. Some minor upgrades and improvements to your pool house can create the perfect entertainment space and make hosting pool parties easier than ever!
The first stage of planning your pool house remodel is to focus on the design. What needs to be replaced or reworked to optimize the functionality of the space. Is your pool house large enough or do you need to add on a bit of extra square footage? Are the bathroom and changing area accessible from both interior and exterior so you can limit the number of wet footprints trailing through the house? Do you need to add a kitchenette for storing and making snacks and drinks? You may also want to look to Pinterest or Houzz for plenty of pool house design inspiration.
An important thing to consider when planning your pool house remodel is this growing trend: indoor-outdoor living. Your pool house should have a smooth transition from inside to out. You can create an indoor-outdoor pool house using Bi-Fold Door Systems. A folding patio door will create a large opening in your pool house and a beautiful indoor-outdoor space for you and your guests to enjoy. You can easily fold doors open for entertaining, or keep doors closed and enjoy the air conditioning and view from inside.
If you plan to use your pool house often for entertaining, you might consider investing in a Bi-Fold Kitchen Passthrough Window. Bi-fold windows will create a passthrough from kitchen to outdoor pool area, making it easy for food and drinks to be transferred from inside to out. Passthrough windows can also create an additional dining counter for your guests to grab a quick treat before jumping back into the pool.
When designing your space you should keep building materials in mind—you’ll want to use flooring that can withstand moisture from drip-drying swimmers, and that won’t be too slippery when wet. Avoid carpet and precious woods that could eventually become damaged from all the aqueous foot traffic.
When you pick out new furniture for the space, remember to choose couches and chairs with removable covers that can be washed—this furniture will be filled with damp, oily sunscreen-clad people, so the ability to wash the covers regularly is a necessity. Don’t forget to include ample storage in your design for storing plenty of towels, sunscreen, and aloe vera.
If space and budget allow, consider expanding the pool house to add a spare bedroom. This could act as private guest quarters when you host family or friends from out of town. This added luxury can also increase the value of your home if you were ever to sell.
Now that you have some guidance on what to consider for your pool house remodel, start planning and put the project in motion so you can host a pool housewarming party to kick off the summer! To learn more about creating an indoor-outdoor pool house using folding patio door systems, visit our Bi-Fold Door Product Page. To learn more about creating a kitchen passthrough window with a bi-fold window system, visit our Bi-Fold Window Product Page.
Thursday, May 09 2019
You are probably familiar with the latest home design trend of creating indoor-outdoor living spaces using large folding or sliding door systems. This is a growing design trend that has always been around but has gained traction and increased popularity within the past few years. The idea that you can expand your living space and connect your home to the outdoors using a large Bi-Fold Patio Door System or Multi-Slide Patio Door System appeals to many homeowners who are ready for an upgrade. This trend is only going to get bigger as more millennials with buying power enter the housing market.
Bi-Fold and multi-slide door systems blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces, resulting in an extension of the living space to the outdoors. This connection creates extra living space and provides an open, airy floor plan that homeowners most desire.
Large glass door systems create a seamless transition from inside to outside, creating the ultimate indoor-outdoor entertainment space. Fifty percent of Americans entertain guests in their home at least once a month, which means a living space that can accommodate guests for parties and holidays is high on homeowners’ wish lists. Folding and sliding patio door systems make entertaining effortless by allowing guests to migrate inside and out with ease.
Bi-Fold and multi-slide doors create wide-open views of the surrounding landscape. Along with impressive views, homeowners desire bright, open spaces filled with plenty of natural light. Glass patio door systems eliminate walls and allow sunlight to illuminate the space. When open, the doors allow fresh air to flow into the home and cool off the space. Indoor-outdoor spaces allow homeowners to feel more connected to nature and enjoy the healing benefits of sunlight, fresh air, and the outdoors.
Being connected to nature and the outdoors creates a resort-style living experience at home. When people are on vacation, they are happier, more relaxed, and worry-free—using large folding or sliding door systems to mimic the indoor-outdoor living found at resort destinations allows homeowners to feel like they are on a luxurious vacation and increase their quality of life. As experiences continue to outshine material items, homeowners will continue to desire an indoor-outdoor lifestyle that they can enjoy at home.
Bi-Fold kitchen passthrough windows are also apart of this indoor-outdoor trend. Bi-Fold windows create a passthrough from kitchen to outdoor entertainment space, making it easy to transport drinks and food from inside and out. Additional dining space is created in the form of an outdoor breakfast bar, making meals on the terrace a regular occurrence. These servery windows are unique and luxurious home design features that are appealing to homebuyers and can increase a home’s value
This design trend will be around for awhile because homeowners want to elevate their lifestyle by recreating resort-style experiences at home and maximizing their living spaces. Bi-Fold and multi-slide door systems have changed the home design industry and pushed what is possible in home building. AG Millworks is excited to contribute to this trend and provide innovative, high-quality door systems that create luxurious indoor-outdoor spaces.
Tuesday, May 07 2019
Planning a remodel to create indoor-outdoor living spaces? Choosing a Bi-Fold Door System can be a confusing process, especially if you are unfamiliar with this type of door system and its features. Below are nine mistakes you’ll want to avoid when including a large folding door system in your home design plans.
1 | Mixing up folding door configuration options.
When choosing a configuration (how the door panels open and fold) for your large folding door system, you want to be sure you are reading the configurations correctly. All Bi-Fold Door System configurations are viewed from the exterior of your home looking in. It is easy to get this confused and end up with doors opening and folding the opposite direction from what you were expecting.
2 | Choosing a door configuration without a daily door.
This mistake is easily made and happens often. It is important to choose a door configuration that will have a manual door, or “daily door,” that provides easy access to your outdoor space. Bi-Fold Door Systems with odd configurations (3L, 5R, 7L in at least one direction) have daily doors that can be opened without unlatching and opening the entire folding door system. You must choose a configuration with a daily door If you plan to access your home from the exterior of your large bi-fold door. If you choose an even door configuration (such as 4L or 2L2R) you will have to open the entire door system to access your outdoor space and you will not have exterior access if the doors get closed and you’re outside. Even configurations are only suitable for door systems that will only be opened for parties, etc. Never choose even configurations for a door you’ll use every day.
3 | Taking incorrect measurements.
Always have a professional installer measure your opening twice to be sure you are providing the correct measurements of your rough opening. Folding door systems are built to your requested net frame dimension, and if measurements are incorrect the unit will not fit properly into your rough opening.
4 | Not matching your bi-fold and transom design.
This mistake can leave your remodel looking unprofessional and tacky. If your plans call for a bi-fold door system paired with a transom, you want to be sure that your transom will match and align with your folding door design.
5 | Forgetting to check for overhang.
This is a big, costly mistake that you want to avoid. If you forget to check for overhang and order a bi-fold door system with a flush sill, you risk water penetration and serious damage to your home. A folding door system with a flush sill and insufficient overhang will not meet most warranties.
6 | Hiring an inexperienced folding door installer.
Bi-fold door systems are large, top-hung, technical door systems, that come with a pretty healthy price tag. Installation is not the right place to try to save money. Ask for recommendations for experienced installers of large patio door systems from your door dealer, or the manufactures of your bi-fold door system. Don’t trust framers or other tradespeople to install your beautiful new bi-fold door. An improperly installed door will never work properly, will not qualify for warranty, and will be your biggest regret. Hire a pro!
7 | Choosing the wrong clad color.
Don’t choose the wrong clad color, because it can’t be changed! If you are matching the exterior color of your folding door to your current windows and doors, make sure you double check and confirm that the color is correct. For unique or uncommon colors, custom color matching is also available.
8 | Forgetting to include a retractable accordion screen.
Don’t forget to include a retractable accordion screen in your folding door order! These screens are a luxurious but functional add-on that will allow you to enjoy fresh air while protecting your home from unwanted insects. Screens are integrated directly into the door jamb during production and can be pocketed completely out of sight for an additional charge.
9 | Overlooking your indoor and outdoor floorplans.
When planning your remodel it can be easy to forget about the layout of your spaces and how they interact. it is important to give some thought to the furniture layout of each space and remember that your custom patio door system can be ordered to fold and stack on one or both sides of the opening, depending on your needs.
To learn more about creating an indoor-outdoor living space with a large folding door system, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
Thursday, May 02 2019
A young couple in Encintas, California were looking for a starter home when they stumbled upon this diamond-in-the-rough. As first-time home buyers, they chose to buy a perfectly-sized fixer-upper with tons of potential to transform in to their dream home!
Before the remodel, the kitchen was long, narrow and outdated. With worn linoleum flooring, laminate countertops, and unsteady cabinetry, the kitchen needed a complete redesign.
The kitchen was closed off from the rest of the living space, creating a very dark, boxy floorplan and making it difficult for natural light to spread throughout the space. The living space had multiple mismatching windows that looked out of place.
A brick fireplace and a small sliding door made up the rest of the rear wall. Dirty, outdated carpet covered the living room floor, and extended into the informal dining space.
The homeowners wanted to utilize every inch of their living space and brighten the room with plenty of natural light. They knew they wanted to create a modern, farmhouse style kitchen with a fresh, clean look. During the design process the homeowners looked to the number one home design platform, Houzz.com for design inspiration. On Houzz they fell in love with the latest home design trend: indoor-outdoor living. With the help of an architect and design professional, the homeowners chose an AG Millworks Bi-Fold Door System and Passthrough Window to create the indoor-outdoor lifestyle they yearned for.
The new space features an open floorplan that blends kitchen, dining, and living spaces. A large kitchen island provides plenty of counter space and an eat-in breakfast bar. They chose a beautiful white marble countertop and brilliant white cabinets to achieve the bright, clean look they desired. The newly-vaulted ceilings make the room feel more spacious and inviting.
Touches of gold can be found throughout the space: the cabinet hardware and the tip of the pendant light fixtures above the island add a pop of color and luxurious elegance to the all-white kitchen.
The AG Millworks Bi-Fold Window allows plenty of natural light to illuminate the space and creates a passthrough from kitchen to outdoor entertainment area. The passthrough window creates additional bar seating in the kitchen and outside on the patio. Vaulting the ceilings allowed for a custom transom to be installed above the folding window and allow for even more natural light to brighten the space.
The AG Millworks Bi-Fold Door System opens up the entire kitchen to the outdoors, creating that indoor-outdoor lifestyle that is so prevalent in today’s home designs. With such a wide-open space, entertaining and enjoying the beautiful California weather is as easy as folding open the door system. The homeowners can quickly and easily access their outdoor space through the daily door, which is only available on odd bi-fold door configurations.
Even with folding doors and windows closed, there is an abundance of natural light flooding into the space. The Bi-Fold Door and Passthrough Window are the highlight of the room and create the ultimate California lifestyle. The homeowner had this to say about his luxury door and window systems:
"To say I am thrilled with the quality of my bifold door and window would be the understatement of the year. They have completely transformed my space and created a whole new look and feel in my house. The team at AG were very easy to work with and truly took the time to help me decide on the optimal size, location, and color for my door and window. They were produced on time and easy for my contractor to install."
To learn more about creating your own indoor-outdoor lifestyle with Bi-Fold Door Systems, visit our Bi-Fold Door Product Page.
Thursday, April 25 2019
Gardening can be relaxing and therapeutic—it is a great way to reduce stress and connect with nature. Apartments, condos, and townhomes can sometimes be limited on space so it might be difficult to find room for a gardening or plant zone in your small outdoor area. Although you may lack a full-on backyard to plant a garden, you can still add a small garden or plants to your small outdoor space! Keep reading to learn about ways you can add a garden to your home without taking up a ton of space.
One way to add some plants to a narrow space is by investing in a plant stand. You can opt for a tiered plant stand like the one pictured above or find a smaller or bigger one that will fit perfectly into your space! The great part about plant stands is that they can be easily moved or rearranged and can accommodate plants of several sizes! This type of planter is best for potted plants.
Very similar to the plant stands are these tiered planters—instead of shelving, this design features attached planter boxes on each tier. You can plant flowers or an herb garden directly into the planter box and not worry about having to water so many individual pots! You can fined tiered planter boxes like this one on Wayfair.com or you can learn how to create your own DIY tiered planter box.
If your outdoor space consists of a narrow balcony or fenced-in space, these over-the-rail hanging planters are perfect! There are many different styles available online or at your local Home Depot or gardening stores! You can find some that will fit many of small potted plants or some that you can plant flowers directly into or individual plant pots that can hang over the railing!
Another great way to add a small garden space to your home is by installing floating shelves in your outdoor area. Floating shelves won’t take up any extra space and will allow you to keep your current layout and patio furniture. On these shelves you can place your new flowers and plants and some outdoor décor!
Hang your plants! When you lack extra floor or wall space, invest in some hanging planters and hang them from the ceiling! You can find many unique hanging planters on Amazon that will add a touch of greenery to your compact patio without taking up too much space. Hanging plants above your railing, like pictured above, is a great way to add a sense of privacy to your outdoor space and muffle sounds from the streets below.
If you have a large open wall space on your balcony or patio you can install a wall trellis that will allow you to grow climbing plants in your small outdoor area! Once fully grown in, your trellis will be covered in beautiful vines and create a fresh and peaceful space for you to enjoy!
If you want to better connect your indoor living space to your outdoor balcony or patio, consider using Bi-Fold Patio Doors to create a smooth transition from inside to outside. To learn more about using folding patio doors to expand your living space, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
Tuesday, April 23 2019
Did you know National Picnic Day is celebrated every year on April 23rd? Picnics are an inexpensive, easy way to spend time with friends and family and enjoy the beautiful weather, snack on delicious foods, and soak up some extra Vitamin D. This holiday is the ultimate excuse to plan a romantic sunset picnic for your partner or a family fun picnic in the park! Keep reading for a complete guide on how to plan the perfect picnic.
The first step in planning the ultimate picnic is to choose the day and location. You’ll want to pick a day that your friends and family are available. Be sure to check the weather ahead of time to find a nice, sunny day to picnic. Pick your favorite place to picnic, be it the local park, beach, lake, etc. When deciding on a picnic location, consider the following things: popularity, parking, restrooms, and shade. If you choose a popular picnicking location like the park or beach, you’ll want to arrive early enough to claim a spot and find parking. If you plan to spend the day picnicking, a location with restroom facilities is crucial!
The next step is most important: packing the basket. Whether you use a traditional picnic basket, or opt for an ice chest, what you pack in it is most important. You’ll want to plan out your picnic foods and include something that everyone will enjoy. Creating a beautiful cheese and charcuterie spread is our favorite picnic snack. Along with savory meats and cheeses, packing fresh grapes, apples, and berries can add delightful contrast in tastes. In addition to your cheese and charcuterie board, you may consider packing some sandwiches and salads to add to your picnic spread—cheese and charcuterie are good snacks, however sandwiches and salads will fill you up! Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, iced tea, lemonade, and wine to accompany your meal.
Though food is most important, you’ll also want to pack enough plates, napkins, glasses, and cutlery for everyone! Bring plenty of picnic blankets for sitting underneath the sun and tablecloths if you’ll be commandeering a nearby picnic table. Sitting on the ground with no back support can be difficult for some so being well-prepared with a few foldable beach chairs is a good idea! If the location you’ll be in doesn’t have any shady spots, you should plan to bring umbrellas or easy-ups for those who want to take a break from the sunshine.
If you’ll be spending the entire day picnicking, pack some fun games for picnickers to play. Corn hole, frisbees, footballs, soccer balls—anything you think your friends and family will enjoy. Don’t forget to lather up your kids and yourself with sunscreen to avoid a painful sunburn! Another great thing to bring on your picnic day is a portable Bluetooth speaker so you can play your favorite music!
If you’re planning a spontaneous, last-minute picnic and aren’t sure where to go, consider opening your folding patio doors and setting up your impromptu picnic on the lawn or patio! You’ll have just as much fun picnicking outside in your backyard and you’ll have everything you need within reach.
To learn more about creating an indoor-outdoor picnic space with Bi-Fold Patio Doors, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
Thursday, April 18 2019
We are more than halfway through April, and Easter is just about here! If you celebrate Easter at home with your family, consider enjoying the day’s festivities outside on your patio. You can enjoy the weather, unplug from technology, and bond with family!
Plan to decorate eggs as a family! Open your Bi-Fold Patio Doors and set up an egg decorating station outside so everyone can partake in the fun. Be sure to use a disposable table cloth to protect your patio furniture! Gather plenty of fun decorating supplies like dye, paint, markers, sequins, glitter, glue, etc. from your local craft supply store. You can also find egg decorating kits at local grocery stores, or department stores like Walmart and Target. Create some friendly competition and hold a contest for the best decorated egg.
Get the entire family involved in this year’s egg hunt! Split into two groups and take turns hiding and hunting for eggs. You can even turn the hunt into a contest to see which group can find all the eggs the fastest! Remember to place some eggs in easy spots if you have little ones running around trying to join the fun.
Prepare a delicious brunch and enjoy it on the patio. When all the egg decorating is done, you can set the table with a beautiful spread and enjoy Easter lunch outside! Leave your Bi-Fold Doors open and easily transport the prepared meal from the kitchen to the patio table. Before you dig in, take turns saying what you are thankful—this will act as a great reminder of all the little things you are grateful for! Don’t forget to have a sweet treat on hand for an after-lunch pick-me-up.
Spend the rest of the day relaxing outside and lounging in the sunshine, absorbing some extra Vitamin D. Leave the technology inside and enjoy each other’s company! Hang out, read books, nap in the sun, and go for a swim. This will be a relaxing and therapeutic day for you to forget about your worries and spend time enjoying life with family.
When dinnertime comes around, throw some food on the grill and have a barbecue outside on the patio. Barbecue some chicken, steaks, or ribs, and throw on some corn, veggies, and potatoes!
Light A Fire
When the sun starts to go down and the air gets cool you can light a fire in your outdoor fireplace and wind down the evening. Cozy up with blankets, gather around the fire, make s’mores, and watch the sunset.
From all of us here at AG Millworks, we hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! To learn more about creating indoor-outdoor living spaces with Bi-Fold Patio Doors, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
Tuesday, April 16 2019
If you are planning a home remodel you should consider using large glass Bi-fold Patio Doors or Multi-Slide Patio Doors to create an indoor-outdoor living space in your home. Large glass patio doors can enhance your quality of life and make your living space a more enjoyable and luxurious place to relax and entertain. Keep reading to learn more about the amazing benefits of installing a Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide Patio Door in your home!
Large custom patio doors can allow an abundance of natural light into your living space! Natural sunlight is important to maintaining your overall health. It helps to increase levels of serotonin and lower blood pressure—it makes people feel happier and more relaxed! You and your family will love all the extra sunlight flowing through your folding or sliding glass patio doors.
Bi-Fold and Multi-Slide Patio Doors connect your indoor living space with your outdoor entertainment area. Doors fold or slide open smoothly and create a seamless transition between each space. These doors are perfect for entertaining and will expand your living space to the outdoors and allow guests to migrate inside and out with ease!
You can enhance your views by replacing entire walls with folding or sliding glass patio doors! With doors opened or closed you will have far-reaching views of the beautiful surrounds. If you want to maximize your views, consider choosing Pocketing Multi-Slide Patio doors—doors will disappear completely into the wall pocket and leave behind a large opening with unobstructed views!
Large Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide Patio Doors will increase the airflow in your home. Opening doors will allow fresh air into your living area and create some air circulation in the space. When there is a cool breeze on a warm day you can open your folding or sliding patio doors to create some air ventilation in your home!
Connect with Nature
With an indoor-outdoor living space to enjoy, you will spend more time outdoors and feel more connected to nature. Spending time outside is a healing experience that everyone can benefit from—taking in the views, soaking up the sun, watching the birds, gazing at the stars can be therapeutic and help to relax you after a long day.
Bi-Fold Patio Doors are energy efficient and Title 24 Prescriptive Compliant. With excellent NFRC ratings, our folding doors will help protect your home from unwanted heat gain in the summer and unwanted heat loss in the winter. Energy efficient patio doors can help lower your cooling and heating bills and reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours due to the abundance of natural light they provide.
Extended Living Space
Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide Patio Doors will extend your living space and blur the line between inside and outside. If your living space is smaller than you’d like, custom patio doors are the perfect solution to adding some much-needed extra square footage—with doors open you can create additional seating or dining areas outside on the patio!
Increased Home Value
Indoor-outdoor living spaces created by luxury Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide patio doors are the latest home design trend. Incorporating folding or sliding patio doors into your home remodel is a great investment and will increase the value of your home. Custom patio doors will raise your home value and appeal to homebuyers searching for their dream home.
To learn more about creating an indoor-outdoor paradise with custom Bi-Fold Patio Doors, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page. To learn more about creating a smooth transition from living space to patio area using Multi-Slide Patio Doors, visit our Multi-Slide Patio Door Product Page.
Thursday, April 11 2019
Sunday, April 14th is National Gardening Day! This is the perfect day to spend some time outdoors enjoying the lovely weather and giving your garden some much-needed attention and preparing it for the change in seasons. Updating your garden is a great way to create a fresh look in your backyard. There are many simple things you can do to give your garden an upgrade that will enhance your outdoor living space. Keep reading for plant and landscape inspiration that will transform your garden!
Plant Colorful Flowers
You can add beauty and design to any backyard by planting some new, colorful plants. Brightly-colored flowers can add curb appeal to your home and create a peaceful, healing outdoor space. When choosing new plants for your garden, be sure to consider things like maintenance, climate, and water requirements. You may want to simultaneously install an automatic drip system with your new plants to make watering easy and stress-free.
Incorporate rocks into your garden and landscape to create a more rustic, mountain-home design. There are so many ways you can incorporate rocks into your landscape design: create a rock wall, use a larger boulder as a focal point or center piece in your planter, or use flat rocks as stepping stones. Small pebbles are a great alternative to mulch, gravel, or wood chips.
Add a Water Feature
A great way to create a Zen-like garden space is by installing a water feature like this one from Amazon.com. The sound of running water can bring peace and tranquility to your backyard and help to reduce unwanted noise from nearby neighbors and street traffic. You can find easy-to-install fountains on Amazon.com or your local home improvement store or hire a professional landscaper to create a custom pond or waterfall to create an elaborate landscape design element.
Use some fun and unique outdoor décor pieces in your garden to add some charm and personality. You can find beautiful statues, garden stakes, planters, and bird baths to enhance the space and turn it into a charming oasis. Pictured above is garden décor from the “Sweet Nothings” outdoor line from AtHome.com. When choosing décor for your garden, be sure to stick with one theme to create a cohesive look throughout.
Serve the Birds
Spruce up your garden with a bird bath and hanging bird feeder to attract some feathered friends—the birds will thank you! Seed and nectar feeders will attract different birds, so opt for both styles if you want to see many different species! Birds splashing in the water or enjoying some bird seed is a wonderful sight that you and your guests will enjoy! You can find beautiful bird feeder designs on Wayfair.com.
Create a Plant Corner
This idea is perfect for smaller outdoor spaces: create a plant corner using a tiered plant stand! You may not have a huge garden to work with, but you can still add some plants and greenery to your outdoor area. You can use potted plants to create a mini garden on your patio—the more plants the merrier! This tiered plant stand from Target is perfect for creating your dream garden space!
Bi-Fold Patio Doors
To further enhance your garden and outdoor living space, consider installing Bi-Fold Patio Doors into your home. Folding patio doors will create the perfect transition from your indoor living space to your outdoor patio and garden paradise. Your custom patio doors will create maximum views of your newly upgraded garden and allow you to enjoy the colorful flowers, beautiful landscaping, and fluttering birds even when you are indoors!
Tuesday, April 09 2019
If your home remodel plans include a custom Bi-Fold Patio Door, don’t forget to consider the various Bi-Fold Door configuration options. With more than 75 possible door configurations available, you are sure to find the perfect Bi-Fold Patio Door configuration for your space. Though all door configurations are equally as beautiful, we highly recommended sticking to a Bi-Fold with an odd number of panels.
We recommend Bi-Fold configurations with an odd number of panels to create a manual door with exterior access. Daily doors allow easy access to the outside without having to open the entire Bi-Fold System. Odd configurations work best when clients will be using it for regular patio access.
Bi-Fold configurations with an even number of panels do not have manual doors or exterior access. The entire Bi-Fold System must be opened for outside access. Even configurations work best in spaces like pool houses, which don't require frequent access. If using an even number of Bi-Fold door panels in your project is inevitable, you can create a daily door by choosing an odd configuration. For example, instead of a 4L or 4R Bi-Fold Patio Door, you can choose a 1L3R or 1R3L.
Thursday, April 04 2019
AG Millworks Awarded Best of Houzz 2019 for Client Satisfaction!
We are pleased to announce that AG Millworks has received the Best of Houzz 2019 Award for Client Satisfaction! We are honored to be recognized by Houzz and our fellow design and build community for such an esteemed award. We believe it was a combination of our outstanding, high-quality custom patio door products and our friendly and reliable service that contributed to our success and receipt of the Best of Houzz 2019 Award for Client Satisfaction.
AG Millworks strives to provide the highest-quality Bi-Fold, Multi-Slide, Lift & Slide, and French Swing Patio Doors in the industry. With nearly unlimited design options, AG Millworks Patio Doors are made-to-order and fully customizable to fulfill any design need. AG uses materials of the highest quality to create luxurious patio doors that will transform any space.
At AG Millworks, client satisfaction is our number one priority. We offer industry-leading production times that will ensure timely product delivery and meet tight project deadlines. AG Millworks Patio Doors are sold through our trusted and certified dealer network. Requesting a quote and ordering a patio door is a smooth and easy process with the help of our Customer Service and Inside Sales teams. Our Service Department understands how important a properly functioning door or window is, thus addressing all service requests with speed and efficiency.
We support our customers every step of the way and will continue to provide superior products and exceptional service! To learn more about creating indoor-outdoor spaces with custom patio doors, visit the AG Millworks Website. To follow AG Millworks on Houzz.com, visit our Houzz Profile.
Thursday, March 28 2019
You may be planning a remodel soon and considering multiple large glass patio door options. If you are planning on creating an indoor-outdoor living space using Multi-Slide Patio Doors or Bi-Fold Patio Doors but are having trouble deciding between the two patio door styles, we have created a guide to help you determine which large glass patio door is perfect for you and your living space!
Bi-Fold Patio Doors
What are Bi-Fold Patio Doors? Bi-Fold or Folding Patio Doors are large patio door systems consisting of multiple door panels that fold neatly to one or both sides of the door frame. When folded open, Bi-Fold Patio Doors leave a wide-open space and create a smooth transition from your home to your outdoor space.
What are the benefits of Bi-Fold Patio Doors? Folding Patio Doors can replace entire walls with folding glass panels, creating expansive views and the ultimate indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Bi-Fold Patio Doors are easy to operate and effortlessly fold open or closed. The large opening created by Folding Patio Doors allows plenty of fresh air and natural light into any space.
Why choose Bi-Fold Patio Doors? Including Folding Patio doors in your next home remodel will completely transform your space and add a unique, eye-catching design element. They create large openings and provide a refreshing new look different from the common sliding patio door. With Big Daylight Bi-Folds you can go BIG—with a maximum panel size of 4’ wide x 13’ high! Bi-Fold Patio Doors are compatible with narrow jamb size limitations whereas Multi-Slide Patio Doors have wider jamb requirements with jamb width increasing with each additional door panel.
Are Bi-Fold Patio Doors fully customizable? All Folding Patio Doors are custom-made and have almost unlimited design options! Exterior color options are endless, with your choice of any standard or custom colors—the best part is we can match the exterior clad color of your new Folding Patio Doors to the other patio doors and windows in your home to create a cohesive look throughout. To learn more about all the customizable features of Folding Patio Doors, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
Multi-Slide Patio Doors
What are Multi-Slide Patio Doors? Multi-Slide Patio Doors are large patio door systems consisting of multiple door panels that slide smoothly and stack on one or both sides of the door frame (or completely disappear into a pocket in the wall)! Multi-Slide Patio Doors blur the line between your indoor and outdoor living spaces!
What are the benefits of Multi-Slide Patio Doors? Multi-Slide Patio Doors can create luxurious, resort-style living in your home. These large glass doors slide open and closed seamlessly and create endless views. Multi-Slide Patio Doors provide an abundance of sunlight and fresh air that will make you feel more connected to nature. Multi-Slide Patio Doors offer narrower sight lines that Bi-Folds, so if view and visibility is your main goal, Multi-Slides are the best option for you. Pictured below, the Multi-Slide has noticeably narrower sight lines because the stiles overlap, whereas Bi-Fold stiles are side-by-side.
Why choose Multi-Slide Patio Doors? Multi-Slide Patio Doors unique ability to hideaway within a wall pocket makes it an excellent option if maximum visibility and openness is desired. Our Custom Multi-Slide Patio Doors are anything but common—the custom design and quality of our Multi-Slide Patio Doors will take your space to a new level of luxury! Our huge Multi-Slide Patio Doors can be made as large as 5’ wide x 10’ high (please fill out our AG Contact Form to inquire about even larger size options)!
Are Multi-Slide Patio Doors Fully Customizable? All Multi-Slide Patio Doors are made to order! We offer 18 different interior wood species and will paint or stain your Multi-Slide Patio Door. Don’t worry about custom or odd sized doors—standard sizes are for standard companies, and standard we are not—we make custom-sized doors for no upcharge! To learn more about all the customizable features of Multi-Slide Patio Doors, visit our Multi-Slide Patio Door Product Page.
Bi-Fold x Multi-Slide Pairing
What do you do if you still can’t decide between Bi-Fold and Multi-Slide Patio Doors? You might consider pairing the two patio door systems by including them both in your home improvement project! A Bi-Fold x Multi-Slide Pairing will give you the best of both worlds! Whichever patio doors you choose, you will fall in love with their beauty, functionality, and the new indoor-outdoor space they create!
Tuesday, March 26 2019
It is officially Spring, which means long, sun-filled days spent at the beach or lounging by the pool are just around the corner! Is your patio ready for all the outdoor gatherings that come with the warm weather, or is it time to give it a much-needed upgrade? If you start your patio remodel now, you can have it complete just in time for summer pool parties, barbecues, and bocce ball tournaments! We want to help you get your patio remodel started and completed with ease!
One of the most important features of your patio is the transition from inside to out. You’ll want to find the perfect patio door that will suit your needs and seamlessly connect your home to your outdoor entertainment space. Bi-Fold Patio Doors can create large, expansive openings that will blur the line between indoor living space and backyard paradise. You can also use Bi-Fold Passthrough Windows to create a kitchen passthrough and outdoor bar seating. To learn more about our many patio door options, it is best to visit an AG Certified Dealer who can guide you through the custom patio door and window ordering process.
Once you decide on the perfect patio door for your home, you should then inspect your patio flooring. Is the flooring in good shape? Do you need to remove it and pour new concrete or install new tile? You’ll want to have a large area with stable flooring where you can place an outdoor dining set, seating, and fire pit. Deciding on the right flooring type can be tough, so consider hiring a landscape designer to provide you with options and layouts of what your backyard could become.
Is your lawn or garden looking a little dry and droopy? Consider planting new flowers and shrubs to revive your outdoor space and create a lush, lively look. You might even want to invest in artificial turf if your lawn has slowly perished. Once installed, turf requires very little maintenance and always looks good—no dry spots, uneven length, or yellowing from pet urine. Though artificial lawns are a larger investment upfront, in the end you will save money on water, fertilizer, mowing, and other lawn maintenance.
The most important thing about designing your outdoor space is making sure it is cozy and inviting! Use string lights to illuminate your patio and create an intimate atmosphere. Outdoor furniture should be comfortable and stylish—stick to one design style to create a cohesive look throughout the space. If you often host parties and barbecues, plenty of outdoor seating is a necessity! Don’t forget to accessorize the space with throw blankets, candles, and small plants!
Houzz.com is an excellent resource for design inspiration—you can research unique patio designs and save your favorite photos to your project Ideabook. You can also research and contact professionals on Houzz.com who can help you with your patio remodel project. To learn more about creating an indoor-outdoor living space with Folding Patio Doors, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page.
Thursday, March 21 2019
This Saturday, March 23rd is National Puppy Day! This is a day to celebrate the happiness and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives—and who doesn’t love puppies? In honor of this holiday, we have created a guide to make your home dog friendly and extra comfortable for your furry friends. Whether you already have a dog, or plan on adopting one, use this guide to create an environment that your dog will love! To learn more about how you can celebrate this holiday, visit the National Puppy Day Official Website.
One of the most important things your dog needs is a comfy, cozy bed to relax on when he’s just hanging out. When searching for the perfect dog bed, be sure to take the following into consideration: size, material, comfort level, color options, and durability. You’ll want to choose a bed that matches your interior design and has a removable cover that can be thrown in the washer for easy cleaning! Orvis.com has a high-quality dog bed with numerous color options. Investing in a durable, well-made dog bed for your pup is a great way to show your love. You should also consider investing in a second dog bed to keep outside on the patio for when your dog wants to relax, chill, and enjoy the outdoors.
A home improvement investment that both you and your dog will enjoy is a Bi-Fold Patio Door. A folding patio door might seem like a funny suggestion; however, your dogs will love the view and visibility that the large glass windows create. During long days spent at home while the family is out, dogs can sometimes become bored and lonely—with large glass patio doors, your dogs can find entertainment while looking out the window at squirrels and birds! Be sure dogs don’t scratch or chew on the patio doors, this could result in damage and destruction of your luxury patio doors. When choosing your custom patio door configuration, consider selecting a configuration featuring a daily door, giving you easy access to the backyard and allowing you to let your pup inside and out with ease.
An innovative gadget that will help create a puppy friendly space is the PetChatz Camera. PetChatz allows you to talk and video chat with your pet when you are away from home. If your pet is often left alone during the day, this is a great way to monitor them and comfort them when they’re feeling lonely. You can even give them treats using your PetChatz app! Visit the PetChatz website to learn more about the features and technology!
Another thing your pooch needs is a designated area for food and water. Some out-of-sight spots that you might want to consider for their food and water bowl are the laundry room, mudroom, or pantry. Be sure that your dog’s water bowl is always full of fresh water! Keep plenty of food and treats on hand so you can spoil your furry friend once in a while.
You’ll want to make sure your pup has a large space to run around in. Dogs need daily exercise and having a grassy place to play is important for your dog’s overall health and happiness. Your yard should not have any poisonous flowers our plants. It should be free of any dangerous objects or chemicals that pups could get into. Plenty of toys and a spacious dog house could turn your backyard into a doggie oasis! To learn more about creating a dog-friendly yard, check out this blog.
To learn more about creating expansive views and open spaces with folding patio doors, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page. Happy National Puppy Day!
Tuesday, March 19 2019
Now that you’ve begun your Spring cleaning, and your home is in tip-top shape, it’s time to give your outdoor spaces and patio some much-needed attention! Outside areas of the home are often neglected during regularly scheduled cleaning routines, so now is the perfect time to get your outdoor entertainment space ready for Spring and Summer.
If you start your patio cleaning now, it will be nice and clean and ready for Easter, and all the upcoming Spring and Summer events—which means you won’t be stressed out because you waited until the last minute to prepare your space for entertaining. Cleaning your backyard and patio can be intimidating, especially if you have a large space, but with this Spring patio cleaning guide, you will have a well-groomed and inviting outdoor space before you know it!
Start with the landscaping—have the lawn raked free of leaves and branches, weeds pulled, and lawn mown. Be sure flower beds are weed free and plant new flowers to fill in bare areas. Eliminate any dying plants or shrubs that can’t be revived to create a neat and groomed appearance. Don’t forget to pick ripe fruit from fruit trees before they fall and litter the ground. Clean any ponds or bird baths and if needed, refill with fresh water. This is an excellent time to test all sprinklers and drip lines to ensure everything is functional and there are no leaks. Front, back, and side yard landscaping should be tended to.
Your patio should be swept or blown free of dust and debris. All furniture should be washed with a damp cloth and mild soap to remove any stuck-on dirt. Remove cobwebs from up-high corners. Tidy up the spaces, placing any soccer balls, skateboards, and other toys back in their storage space. Groom any potted plants on the patio and add new pants to your collection!
Clean the exterior of your Folding Patio Doors to preserve their beauty and functionality (see blog: How to Clean Your Luxury Patio Doors)—don’t forget to clear out the weep holes (see video: How to Free Debris from Weep Holes) and vacuum the bottom track to remove dirt and debris to ensure smooth operation of your Bi-Fold Patio Doors. Don’t forget to clean the exterior of your Bi-Fold Kitchen Passthrough Window and the adjacent breakfast counter.
Make sure all outdoor lights are working and replace any burnt out light-bulbs. Remove patio seat cushions from storage and place back into their rightful chairs—wash cushion covers if needed. Check that all your bird feeders are operating, and refill with bird seed so you can bird watch on the patio while you finish your Spring patio cleaning project. Follow the same routine for the front porch, and any side patios or balconies so that no space is forgotten.
If the pool has been neglected during the chilly winter season, it is time to get it clean and maintained for the warm days ahead. Start your normal pool cleaning routine, or call your local pool professionals, to get it ready for the sunny season—be sure to check all pool equipment and filters for correct functioning. Be sure you clean the Folding Patio Doors in the pool house!
Consider having driveways or pathways pressure washed to clean hard-to-remove stains. Clear rain gutters of leaves. Have all windows washed so they look shiny and new! Wash the garage door to remove built up dirt and water stains. Replace any wobbly, rotting fence posts, and consider giving your picket fence a new coat of paint!
With a solid plan and determination, your outdoor entertainment space will be ready for Spring in no time! To learn more about using Folding Patio Doors to enhance your indoor-outdoor living space, visit our Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page! If you’re interested in adding a Kitchen Passthrough Window to your patio design, visit our Bi-Fold Window Product Page!
Thursday, March 14 2019
March is halfway over, which means Spring is almost here! Now is the perfect time to get a jump start on your Spring cleaning. The thought of Spring cleaning can be daunting, but with a solid plan you can tackle this chore with ease! Continue reading for tips and ideas to make your Spring cleaning easy, organized, and fun!
Now is the time to deep clean every inch of your home. The best way to go about a deep home cleaning is by individually surveying every room and making a list of what each space needs. Usually the main living spaces are what require the most work—the kitchen, living room, and bathrooms are especially prone to accumulated dust, grime, and clutter because they are high traffic spaces! Here are some preliminary lists which you can customize and build upon:
Your usual kitchen cleaning should include basic floor mopping, sink, counter and stove cleaning, and dusting of open shelves/window sills. For your deep Spring clean, you should scrub all appliance surfaces like your dishwasher, refrigerator, ovens, microwave, trash compactor, etc. Remove everything from the fridge and wash drawers, shelves, and fridge walls. All cabinetry should be cleaned of oils and grime that build up from regular cooking. Empty out drawers and cabinets and wipe down the insides with mild soap and water. This is also a chance for you to organize drawers and cupboards and get rid of old Tupperware, cookware, tableware, and utensils that you no longer use. Don’t forget to clean the glass and interior wood of your Bi-Fold Kitchen Passthrough Window.
Along with your regular living room cleaning routine, you should move all furniture and vacuum/mop underneath. Remove curtains and wash to eliminate dust and cobwebs. Vacuum underneath couch cushions and wash any removable pillow covers and throw blankets. Sanitize TV remotes with antibacterial wipes—you’d be surprised at how much dirt will appear on your wipes. Organize any bookshelves or storage spaces in the living room and get rid of unneeded items. Don’t neglect your Folding Patio Doors during spring cleaning!
In the bathrooms, in addition to normal cleaning, you should wash all bath towels, including spare towels in the cabinet. If your towel sets are beginning to show signs of wear, consider investing in a new set. Cabinetry should be washed with mild soap and water and other surfaces cleaned thoroughly. Organize any drawers, baskets, cupboards, and medicine cabinets and dispose of old or expired products. Wash any shower curtains and replace shower liners if needed.
These suggestions should give you a starting point for mapping out your Spring cleaning. You can make the list unique to your home by adding additional tasks that you think of when surveying each room. This is also the perfect time to organize closets, garages, and attics to eliminate clutter from your life. As Marie Kondo says: “Keep only those things that speak to your heart.”
Bedrooms can usually be saved for last, and don’t require too much more than the usual maintenance. Move furniture to clean and dust those hard to reach spots. Dust and vacuum edges of mattress and box frames. Use a damp clothe to clean bedroom furniture and window sills. Wash all curtains and linens. Use this time to organize wardrobes and get rid of old, ill-fitting clothes and shoes. Make sure you clean the Bi-Fold Patio Doors in your bedroom to preserve their quality and functionality.
If you’re waiting for tips on how to clean and organize your patio and backyard for Spring, tune in to the blog next Tuesday for a complete “Spring Cleaning for Patios” guide!
To learn more about how you can safely clean your AG Millworks Bi-Fold Patio Doors and Windows, click here.
Tuesday, March 12 2019
Today, March 12th is National Plant a Flower Day! Each year on this day, people across the nation celebrate this fun holiday by planting a flower and getting ready for the Spring season. This day reminds us that Spring is just around the corner, which means beautiful flower blooms, warmer weather, and Easter are almost here. Keep reading for ideas on how you can celebrate this holiday and turn it into a fun gardening day for the whole family!
When shopping for flowers or seeds to plant, be sure you are aware of what type of plant you are getting. Some flowers and plants are poisonous and unsafe for small children and animals. Consider the climate you are in and choose plants that will thrive in that climate. Some plants require more maintenance than others, so be aware of the maintenance required when choosing what to plant! Aside from flowers, you will need a few basic supplies to plant your flowers: trowels, small garden rakes, and potting soil. You might also want to consider some gardening gloves, sun hats, padded knee boards, drinking water, and snacks to make the planting more comfortable and enjoyable!
You can use this holiday as a way to give back to your community—get a group together and plant some flowers at the local park, church, or community center. This is the perfect way to spread the word about National Plant a Flower Day while also beautifying your community and bonding with friends and family. You may consider reaching out to your elderly neighbor and asking if you can plant some flowers for him or her—this is a nice way to support your neighbors and planting beautiful flowers in their garden could brighten their day.
Don’t forget to include your kids in the fun! This is a great teaching moment—you can teach your children how to properly plant flowers and the importance of supporting neighbors and your community. Once they see how fun gardening can be, they will look forward to this day every year.
You can also use this day to prepare for spring and plant some flowers at home. Spruce up your curb appeal and plant some colorful flower beds out front. Open your Bi-Fold Patio Doors and add some greenery and plants to the backyard. If your yard lacks extra space for flower beds, you can use pots and planters to plant some flowers on the patio! If you place flower pots near your folding patio doors, be sure to take caution when you are watering so water isn’t splashed on the luxury patio doors.
If you think your backyard needs more than a few flowers to jazz it up, consider using this as an excuse to plan a full-blown remodel of your outdoor space! You can create the backyard of your dreams by re-landscaping the yard and redesigning the patio. Use Bi-Fold Patio Doors to create an indoor-outdoor living space that you can enjoy year-round! To learn more about creating a seamless transition from inside to outside using folding patio doors, click here.
Thursday, March 07 2019
Daylight Saving Time is almost here; are you ready to change your clocks? This Sunday, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 AM. Clocks jump an hour forward, allowing us to enjoy more daylight and making days feel longer. Many people believe we should completely eliminate Daylight Saving Time, but how could you be opposed to extra daylight during the Spring and Summer months? So what does daylight saving time mean for you, and how can you make the most of it? Continue reading to find out ways you can benefit from this annual time change!
1 | Family Time
When you get home from a long day at work and it’s already dark outside, it can be difficult to get the whole family to forgo their iPads, TVs, and smartphones and spend time together. With more daylight, you will be able to spend more time with family by getting away from the distractions inside the home and going for a walk, bike ride, or to the park where you can enjoy quality time with each other. Daylight Saving Time is the perfect opportunity to open your Bi-Fold Patio Doors and begin having weekly family dinners outside on the patio to enjoy the extra sunshine!
2 | Be Happier
It’s proven that sunlight is a mood booster because it increases levels of serotonin, which helps promote feelings of happiness. With most of your time spent working indoors, it can be difficult to soak up some sun before it goes down, but once the time changes, you’ll be able to get your daily dose of sunshine after work! It’s recommended that you get 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight per day.
3 | Connect with Nature
With extra daylight, this is your chance to spend more time enjoying nature. You can go for an afterwork hike, a walk on the beach, or a bike ride. Enjoying the peacefulness of nature can be relaxing and refreshing. Whenever you get the chance, be sure to open your folding patio doors to connect your home to the outdoors and enjoy the song birds, fresh air, and extra sunlight!
4 | Be Motivated & Productive
More daylight hours make the day feel longer—this might make you feel more motivated to tackle a project or two that you’ve been wanting to complete. You’ll have a greater sense of motivation and productivity, so use it to your advantage! Use the additional daylight to start planning your window and patio door replacement project! Get in touch with an AG Millworks Patio Door Dealer near you to pick out your favorite Bi-Fold Patio Door Design design and get the ball rolling on this remodel project.
5 | Get Better Sleep
Getting plenty of sunlight can make you sleep better because increased exposure to sunlight can boost your body’s production of melatonin—the hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy. With extra sunlight, you’ll be able to get the sun exposure you need to contribute to better quality sleep!
6 | Exercise
An extra hour of daylight might make it easier for you to find time to exercise. The increased motivation you’ll be feeling, along with the extended daylight might make it more convenient for you to go for a jog around the block or open your Bi-Fold Patio Doors and do some yoga or at-home work outs outside on the patio.
Daylight Saving Time has many benefits and can have a great affect on your overall health and happiness. Enjoy the sunshine! To learn more about creating a sun-drenched indoor-outdoor living space with folding patio doors, click here.
Tuesday, March 05 2019
A custom four-bedroom, three bathroom Spanish style new build in Santa Barbara, California, uses AG Bi-Fold Patio Doors and French Swing Patio Doors to extend their living space to the outdoor balconies and patios.
The builder wanted to remain traditional with the Spanish style architecture that Santa Barbara is known for but incorporate modern luxuries to create a resort-style living experience. White stucco, red tile roofing, and a natural wood trim and pergola are the elements that give this home some character and Spanish flare. The front courtyard featuring a fire pit and outdoor seating, and the expansive verandas on the upper and lower levels are additional architectural elements representative of Spanish design.
The kitchen is located on the upper level and features exposed wood beams, a beautiful waterfall island with bar seating, and luxurious wood cabinets. The AG Bi-Fold Patio Doors create a connection between the kitchen and outdoor dining space on the veranda. The wood interior of the Bi-Fold Doors was stained to match the other wood elements inside the home. Large glass patio doors allow an abundance of natural light to illuminate the kitchen and allow plenty of fresh air to flow through the space.
The outdoor dining space is perfect for entertaining, with easy interior access through the folding patio doors. With such a large balcony, additional outdoor furniture will fit to create an entire outdoor living room! Four pairs of French Swing Patio Doors line the remainder of the veranda and create a seamless transition from living and dining room to outdoor balcony.
The floorplan is spacious, open, and airy with major indoor-outdoor living vibes created by the four French Door systems. Unique light fixtures give the spaces a modern touch and help to create separation between dining and living areas. The wood floors, exposed beams, and interior wood of the French Doors add warmth and create a beautiful contrast with the bright white paint on the walls and ceilings.
A second AG Bi-Fold Patio Door in the master bedroom creates a seamless transition between bedroom and outdoor patio area. The folding patio doors provide an expansive view of the surrounding nature and create access to the quiet outdoor space. The builder wanted the home to be well-connected to the outdoors because the home is surrounded by large oak trees, shrubbery, and flowers. The stone patio on the lower-level expands across the rear of the home and can also be accessed via the guest bedrooms.
The spacious and private downstairs guest bedrooms enjoy their own French Doors to increase light and create expansive views. A Jack and Jill bathroom sits between the two guestrooms and features luxurious marble countertops and a marble shower.
The builders were incredibly happy with how the home turned out and put the home on the market. They are confident that the future homeowners will fall in love with the home because of the indoor-outdoor living it offers. As the house is shown to many potential homebuyers and open-house goers, there is one common thought between visitors: the Bi-Fold Patio Doors make the space—their quality, uniqueness, and curb appeal are impressive and like no other.
To learn more about creating indoor-outdoor living spaces with Bi-Fold Patio doors, click here.
Thursday, February 28 2019
As we prepare for more cold and rainy weather in California, you may be dreaming of warmer, sunnier days and eagerly waiting for spring and summer to arrive! You might feel like the cold just isn’t subsiding and like you can’t break the chill in your home. Constantly running your heater can lead to expensive utility bills, and it might be a waste if your doors and windows are not energy efficient!
If you notice it takes a long time for your home to heat up, or your home loses warmth quickly, you might want to consider investing in energy efficient patio doors and windows. Energy Solutions Bi-Fold Patio Doors and French Swing Doors have excellent energy ratings and can prevent heat from escaping your home during these chilly, rainy months of winter. With energy efficient patio doors, your home can stay warmer and you can save money on your utility bills!
Energy efficient patio doors aren’t just good at keeping the heat inside during the winter—they can also resist unwanted heat gain during the hot days of summer. Less heat gain in your home means less cooling time needed, which means lower electric bills! Energy efficient patio doors can reduce your utility bills and increase your home value, making them an excellent investment in your home. With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to meet with a sash and door expert to learn more about your energy efficient patio door options! AG Millworks lead times are the best in the industry, so if you start your project now, you can plan to have your energy efficient patio doors installed in as little as four weeks!
Investing in energy efficient patio doors is a great step in living a greener life and reducing your carbon footprint, but there are other things you can do to ensure your home is environmentally friendly. Make sure you turn lights and TV off when leaving a room—large glass energy efficient patio doors allow plenty of natural light in to illuminate the space, limiting your need for artificial lighting during daylight hours! To learn more about reducing your carbon footprint, click here.
To learn more about energy efficient patio doors, please visit the Energy Solutions Product Page. To find a sash and door expert in your area who can help you through the ordering process, please fill out our contact form, or contact customer service at: 800-559-9995 or email@example.com.
Tuesday, February 26 2019
As the weather warms up and we head into springtime, cold and flu season will come to a close (thank goodness!). The reason colds and flus are so rampant in the winter months is because these viruses thrive in cold weather. In fact, according to researchers of a 2008 study published in Nature Chemical Biology, the flu virus’s outer coating hardens in the cold, which helps it remain viable while passing from person to person. There are ways you can keep your immune system up and avoid getting sick as this cold and flu season disappears!
Wash Your Hands
Though this may be obvious, and you probably hear it often, always wash your hands! Wash your hands before you eat, before you touch your face, nose, or mouth, after you pump gas, after you interact with people, etc. Cold and flu germs can survive on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours, so it is important to keep your hands clean and free of bacteria, especially if you are going to touch your face—touching your face with dirty hands is how you catch the virus. Using soap and water to scrub your hands for 30 seconds is enough, you don’t need to go overboard with hand sanitizer, which could actually do more harm than good.
A less obvious tip to staying cold-free and maintaining a strong and healthy immune system is by getting plenty of vitamin D! The best way to get enough vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight, or by taking supplements. This is the perfect excuse to open your Bi-Fold Patio Doors and read a good book while you relax in the sunshine and get your daily dose of vitamin D. Just 20 or 30 minutes of sun exposure each day will provide your body with the vitamin D it needs to give your immune system that extra boost!
The food you eat is a great way to bring in the natural vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain a strong immune system and function at it’s best. Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of nutritious foods to keep your immune system up and ready to fight off any germs you may encounter. Some foods to keep in mind when you want an extra immune boost are citrus foods, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, and spinach.
Sleep & Relax
Your body and immune system rely on sleep to recharge and recover. While you sleep, your body repairs damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful exposure. Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, so it is important to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night (the more the better). When you are feeling stressed, it is important to try to relax and let go of the stress you are feeling—stress can also have a negative affect on your overall health and immune response. Getting your daily dose of vitamin D will boost your immune system and help you de-stress, so don’t hesitate to spend some time with your folding patio doors open and enjoying the fresh air and warm sunshine.
Getting regular exercise can be difficult, especially during the colder months, when all you want to do is be warm and cozy, but it is important in maintaining a strong immune system and preventing a cold. Just 30 minutes of power walking each day can give you the activity you need to boost your immune system and maintain a healthy weight. Additional benefits of daily walking are weight loss, better metabolism, reduced stress, better sleep, and an overall better quality of life! You can even kill two birds with one stone by getting your daily vitamin D intake and exercise at the same time!
To learn more about increasing the natural light in your home using Bi-Fold Patio Doors, click here.
Thursday, February 21 2019
California has been experiencing a lot of stormy weather lately. Our days have been filled with rain, wind, and even snow for those of us in the mountains! As the end of winter grows near, we are catching glimpses of the sunny days that come with Spring and Summer. Because the storm season will be ending soon, it is the perfect time to meet with your sash and door expert to plan your door and window replacement! Planning a small remodel with door and window replacement takes time—you must choose your patio door design, have plans and engineering done for the patio door and window openings, and place your order with an AG Millworks certified dealer.
Your first step in planning a window and door upgrade is finding the perfect patio door for your home! You can visit an AG Millworks certified dealer near you to test our Bi-Fold Patio Door and Multi-Slide Patio Door displays to help you decide on a door type. Deciding between Bi-Folds and Multi-Slides is tough because each system is so unique, but your sash and door expert will help you review the different features and options that each door type offers so you will be confident with your final decision. If you are replacing multiple patio doors, you may consider pairing both Bi-Fold and Multi-Slide Patio Systems for the ultimate patio door package! To learn more about our patio door features, please visit the Bi-Fold Patio Door Product Page or the Multi-Slide Patio Door Product Page.
Once you decide on what type of patio door system will be best for your space, you will need to meet with a contractor or architect to determine door size and if any special engineering will be required before door installation. With dimensions determined, you can then focus on door configurations, colors, divided lites, hardware, retractable accordion screens, and every other customizable feature that makes each AG Millworks patio door so beautiful and unique! All AG Millworks products are made to order—there is no upcharge for custom sizes! To learn more about what makes AG Millworks patio doors so unique, please review the AG Advantage. Our AG Millworks certified dealers are reliable door experts who will make the ordering process smooth and easy for you and your contractor! To get matched with an AG Millworks certified dealer near you, please fill out our contact form, or call or email customer service: 800-559-9995 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should start the planning now because once your patio door is ordered through your dealer, we custom-build your door system! Although AG Millworks has some of the fastest lead times for Bi-Fold Patio Doors in the industry, quality and beauty take time! We hand-make your patio doors with the utmost skill and care to provide you a high-quality product with a dependable lead time. If you place your order soon, your patio doors will be ready for install just in time for spring! To save you time and money, we deliver your patio door frames built-up to expedite the install process.
Begin the process now, and by late spring you will be relaxing on your patio with your new Bi-Fold or Multi-Slide Doors open, enjoying your new indoor-outdoor living space! To find inspiration on creating indoor-outdoor living spaces with AG Millworks patio doors, please visit our Photo Gallery.
Tuesday, February 19 2019
Spring is quickly approaching which means sunnier days, warmer weather, lush mountains, and thriving wildflower blooms in Southern California! Southern California has been blessed with plenty of much-needed rain this winter, so the wildflower blooms to follow are bound to be more abundant and beautiful than ever! Keep reading to find out where you can see these incredible fields full of blooming flowers.
Photo by Sue Pollock (via The Nature Conservancy)
Carrizo Plain is a National Monument located in San Luis Obispo County. According to The Nature Conservancy, it is the largest single native grassland remaining in California, spanning for 250,000 acres along the base of the Temblor Mountains. The best time to visit is during March or April, when the fields will be in full bloom—it is a wonderous sight to see filled with yellow, orange, and purple wildflowers covering the hills and plains. You may even consider camping for a few days to hike, explore, and take in the sights and wildlife!
Photo by Sumiko Photo (via Shutterstock)
Anza-Borrego Desert is located south of Palm Springs and is the largest state park in California, covering more than 600,000 acres. The Anza-Borrego Desert is one of the best places in California to catch a wildflower super bloom and features a variety of different plant species! Flowers begin to bloom in early spring, and their longevity relies on the amount of rainfall. Each canyon in Anza-Borrego has its own wildflower bloom (Borrego Palm Canyon, Henderson Canyon Road, and Coyote canyon) and you can refer to the California Parks & Recreation website for “wildflower updates” and directions!
Photo via Trip Advisor
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is located just 90 miles from Los Angeles and can begin to see blooms as early as mid-February through mid-May. Keep an eye out for the other wildflowers that bloom within the reserve: owl’s clover, lupine, goldfield, cream cups, and coreopsis. Because too little rain or too much rain will influence the blooms, they can sometimes be unpredictable. It is best to check the status of the wildflower blooms on the state park website before making plans to visit. Be sure you stick to the designated paths in the reserve and don’t trample the flowers, which could result in a citation and cause long-lasting damage to the plants and their future growth. VisitCalifornia.com shares an inside tip for optimal flower viewing from a park interpreter, Jean Rhyne: “Midmorning is usually best because it has warmed up enough for poppies to open, but the afternoon winds haven’t kicked in yet. If it’s too cold or windy, the poppies close up.”
Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Creek State Park is located just 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles and features multiple trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, and many streams for fishing. The hiking trails take you along Malibu Creek and through Malibu Canyon where you can see the endless blooms of field mustard during springtime! Part of the Malibu Creek State Park was burned in the Woolsey Fire, however after plenty of rain the nature is recovering and turning green again! For more information on hiking trails and campsite rentals, visit the Malibu Creek State Park website.
Thursday, February 14 2019
The shortest month of the year is halfway over, which means National Random Acts of Kindness Day is a few days away. Did you know every year on February 17th groups, organizations, and individuals across the nation celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day? This holiday is the perfect day to shower your friends, family, and community with kindness and give back to those around you! Keep reading for ideas on how you can carry out some random acts of kindness throughout your day.
One way to get involved in the holiday is by spreading the word! Share with your family, friends, and Facebook community that February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day and get people excited about it! Many people are unaware of this holiday, but the more people who know about this special day, the more kindness that can be spread. You could even challenge your friends and family to a kindness competition to encourage others to participate in the fun.
One way to show kindness is by showing appreciation. Show those in your community that you care about them and appreciate them! Stop by your local fire station and drop off some snacks or treats and thank the firemen for their service. If you visit any restaurants or coffee shops, leave an extra good tip and let the server or barista know you appreciate everything they do to make sure you’re a happy customer. Surprise a local doctor’s office or health clinic with fresh coffee and donuts to thank them for keeping your community healthy and strong. It’s easy to forget how much our public health and service providers do for us and we may sometimes take it for granted—think outside the box and surprise some of the people in your community you are most thankful for!
You can show kindness to both the Earth and your community by cleaning up parks or beaches and picking up trash—be sure to separate the recyclables so they don’t go to landfills. You can also plant trees and flowers to make Earth and your community a more beautiful and better place to live. Be aware of your carbon footprint and educate yourself on sustainable living—consider being extra kind to the Earth and adopting a new sustainable practice or routine to carry out daily and live a greener life.
Use National Random Acts of Kindness Day as an excuse to pay for the next in line’s coffee or tea, or surprise a young couple dining out by paying for their meal! Help those in need around you whether it’s taking soup to your sick neighbor, helping another shopper carry their groceries, or helping your coworker move into a new apartment. If you open your eyes and look around, you’ll notice that there are plenty of people who could use your help! After carrying out a few acts of kindness, you will be glad you lent a helping hand and feel better knowing you contributed to bettering the community!
Tuesday, February 12 2019
House plants and greenery have a way of softening a space and creating a peaceful, calming environment. Aside from the aesthetic benefits, incorporating nature into your living spaces can help purify the air, sharpen focus, and reduce stress! Whatever the style, design, and scheme of your home is, there is a house plant or leafy motif that will work perfectly for your space. And if you feel like you have less than a green thumb, you can always opt for low maintenance plans or artificial greenery.
To add a touch of greenery to your boho space, you might consider a hanging macramé plant holder. Macramé plant holders have been a growing trend in interior design, and you can find them in many shapes, sizes, and styles. This is a simple way to create a fun, fresh look in your living space! You can hang succulents or other small house plants but be sure to hang them near a window or Bi-Fold Patio Door where they will be able to absorb sunlight (not too much sunlight though, as some succulents and house plants could dry out with too much direct light). Amazon has some beautiful and unique macramé plant hangers available on Prime.
You can use an oversized, large-leaf plant to fill an empty corner. Find a decorative pot or basket that will match your interior design and pick an empty corner of your home to incorporate some greenery. A large plant like this will create a focal point and make the space feel open and refreshing—place the plant near your Bi-Fold Patio Doors so it will get plenty of natural light. When deciding on a plant, be sure to consider the maintenance required so you are prepared. You can even find large, artificial plants similar to this at your local home goods stores—or get this adorable faux banana tree online at Urban Outfitters!
If you have free wall space, consider hanging some wall-mounted planters to add some greenery and fill in the emptiness! Wall-mounted planters come in many designs and colors, so finding one to match your space should be easy. When deciding whether to go with real or artificial plants, remember to consider the wall height of the plants and how far you will have to reach when watering/pruning. The ceramic wall planters pictured above are from West Elm and come in two different sizes, in white or black.
Another way to bring greenery into your home is by hanging a wreath above the fire place or on an empty wall! A wreath is a classic way to soften a space and bring nature into your home. This beautiful handmade wreath from Magnolia by Joanna Gaines can fit in perfectly with many interior design schemes and be that extra element of greenery that you’re looking for!
Draping artificial garland or vines above or around headboards, mantles, or on walls is a unique way to add a touch of greenery to your living space. It is a soft, delicate touch that will make any room feel peaceful and relaxing. There are many different styles to choose from, however pictured above is a simple yet beautiful eucalyptus leaf garland that brings just enough greenery without overwhelming the room or taking away from other unique décor. You can find a similar eucalyptus leaf garland at Hobby Lobby.
Thursday, February 07 2019
Did you know that Valentine’s Day greetings were popular as far back as the middle ages? In addition to the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, and Australia all celebrate the holiday! Another Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and this year you might consider switching up your usual V-Day plans! If you normally go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner and catch a movie, it could be fun and refreshing to spend the holiday at home with the one you love. Valentine’s Day falls during the work week this year, but there will still be plenty of time to enjoy the day after your nine to five. There are many benefits to spending time at home with your loved one on Valentine’s Day.
If you’re like most people, your days are busy and hectic, and maybe you don’t always get to spend as much quality time with your partner as you want to. Using this day to spend an evening at home and enjoy each others company is a great way to get in that extra quality time—you will have the house to yourselves, and won’t be surrounded by dozens of other couples, creating a more quiet, intimate setting.
Most eateries and theaters are very busy and crowded on Valentine’s Day and going out into the hustle and bustle can be noisy, stressful and even claustrophobic—especially if you haven’t made any reservations. Staying in to celebrate will allow you to have a relaxing night in and enjoy a slower pace. Light some candles, adjust the lighting, and create a romantic space at home. You can still dress up and look nice for the occasion even though you’ll be staying in.
If you and your partner choose to stay in on Valentine’s Day, make sure you schedule a baby sitter in advance. Spend the evening cooking a nice meal together, sipping on wine, and enjoying every peaceful moment. You may choose to forgo your usual dining space and open your folding patio doors and dine outside on the patio. Light a fire in your fire pit to stay warm and gaze at the stars and enjoy the fresh air!
Do a quick cleanup of the kitchen, but don’t waste time doing dishes on this special evening—that can wait until tomorrow. When dinner is done and you’re ready to move inside, close your folding patio doors and cozy up on the couch. Pick out a movie together, put on your pajamas, and break out the dessert! Sometimes a relaxing evening like this is the perfect way to sneak in quality time with your significant other. You shouldn’t wait for Valentine’s day to get some alone time—prioritizing each other will build a stronger relationship!
There’s nothing wrong with going out on Valentine’s Day and staying in on the occasion may seem more appealing to homebodies, but if you choose to skip your usual elaborate plans and stay home, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy and appreciate a quiet date night at home! Valentine’s Day is about spending quality time with and spoiling the one you love, the flowers, chocolates, and gifts are just a bonus!
To learn more about using folding patio doors to create an intimate living space that connects to the outdoors, click here.
Tuesday, February 05 2019
The hunt for your first-time home can be an overwhelming process. As you begin this journey, you should seek guidance from your family, friends, and professionals to learn more about the process and responsibilities of homebuying and homeowning. You may already have a picture in your head of your dream home, but you should consider investing in a fixer upper for your first home! There are many benefits to purchasing a fixer upper, and it may be a more affordable way to get exactly want you want.
Look for a fixer upper in your desired location—sometimes finding the type of home you want in the area you wish to live can be difficult. If you can find a home that needs a little work, but is located in your favorite neighborhood, don’t hesitate to request a showing. Location really is half the battle.
Finding a home with everything on your wish list is unlikely but investing in a fixer upper as your starter home means you can turn the space into whatever you want it to be. Fixer uppers are generally cheaper, which means you’ll have room in the budget for renovations—like updating the kitchen and flooring or creating an indoor-outdoor living space with folding patio doors!
When touring less than move-in ready homes it is important to keep an open mind and visualize what the space could be after you remodel. Keep in mind that larger projects like changing the layout, knocking down walls, and moving plumbing are more expensive, so finding a fixer upper with a functional layout will save you time and money. Always consult a professional to do an inspection of the home and provide project estimates—you’ll want to know what you’re getting yourself into. Some home inspections you may want to consider prior to making an offer are: roof inspections, pest inspections, sewer line inspections and engineering reports.
One of the best things about buying a fixer upper is the equity you will have in the home as soon as the renovation is complete. Upgrading the home will add value, and should you outgrow the space later in life, you can sell the property and get back more money than you put into it. If you don’t think this will be your forever home, remember to stick to timeless designs that will sustain a high resale value!
Remember, fixer uppers are a lot of work, so you should be prepared to get your hands dirty. Doing what you can yourself, like painting walls and laying flooring is a great way to save money on labor. If you’re not ready to take on such a project, a fixer upper may not be the right choice for you. And don’t forget, once the remodel is complete, the projects don’t stop there—owning and maintaining a home is a lot of work so it is important to stay positive when it seems like everything is going wrong.
Make sure you evaluate your finances so you know how much home you can afford and what your reno budget will be. Always get advice from others and never make a rash decision. Really educate yourself on how much time and money a project will require so you can be sure you have the resources to complete it! Good luck and happy house hunting!
To learn more about expanding your living space with folding patio doors, click here.
Thursday, January 31 2019
Having a newly built or remodeled home can be exciting, and getting settled in to your upgraded space is probably a huge relief—you finally have a new, finished space to entertain in. Before you move in your furniture and put the final decorating touches on the space, you’ll want to make sure everything is clean and dust free. This is the perfect time to familiarize yourself with the care and maintenance plan for your brand-new aluminum clad Folding Patio Doors! Keeping your clad Bi-Fold Patio Doors clean and well-maintained is essential to preserve their beauty, quality, and functionality.
About once a month, the interior wood surface of your Folding Patio Doors should be cleaned to remove dust, dirt, and grime. Using a clean, damp cloth, gently wipe down the interior wood surface of your Bi-Fold Doors. Without regular cleaning, the accumulated dust can scratch or damage the wood finish, resulting in a dull and dirty appearance. You should never use abrasive cleaners on the interior wood surface of your patio doors—a dampened cloth is sufficient for regular upkeep. It is important to remember that wood surfaces are not designed to be exposed directly to water and should be gently dried immediately if direct water exposure occurs.
To clean the glass of your Bi-Fold Doors, you may use a non-abrasive cleaning solution and a soft cloth. Spray the cleaning solution directly on the cloth to avoid overspray onto interior wood surfaces, and carefully clean the glass. Never use a razor blade (even a brand ne one!) to clean glass. Contrary to popular belief, razor blades will absolutely scratch the surface of glass.
Don’t neglect the exterior of your Bi-Fold Patio Doors! In a general environment, the exterior aluminum clad surface of your patio doors should be regularly cleaned every three to six months. You should use a clean cloth to wash the exterior clad with a mild detergent soap and water. This will remove any built-up dirt, grime, and cobwebs from the aluminum and preserve the smooth, painted surface!
In harsher environments, like that of coastal homes (within one mile of the ocean), it is critical to clean the exterior clad surface of your Folding Patio Doors monthly. Saltwater and sand are highly abrasive, and if allowed to build-up on the aluminum clad surface, can cause corrosion, discoloration, and damage.
Sill, Tracks & Weep System
An important component of your Bi-Fold Doors that is often overlooked is the door sill and tracks. You should use a soft, damp cloth and mild detergent soap to regularly wipe down the visible track surfaces. To ensure smooth folding of your patio doors, you should always keep the bottom guide channel free of debris. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush nozzle to remove hard to reach debris from the guide channel. If you have a raised sill, it is crucial to keep the drainage holes (weep system) free of debris to ensure proper drainage and prevent water blockage—if the weep system is clogged, water can accumulate in the sill and enter the home during periods of heavy rainfall. To clear the weep system, you may use a pipe cleaner or a can of compressed air to force dust and debris from the sill.
If your Folding Patio Door System is equipped with a retractable accordion screen, you will want to keep the screen channel clean and remove any debris build-up using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush nozzle. You should also gently dust the screen mesh to remove dirt and maintain air flow. Care should be taken not to tear or rip the mesh during regular maintenance.
Tuesday, January 29 2019
January has flown by and Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching! This day can be stressful to many people who are planning a party. You can minimize party planning stress by creating an organized check list of everything you’ll need to host the perfect Super Bowl party! Keep reading for some tips on how you can throw a memorable Super Bowl viewing party that both Patriots and Rams fans will enjoy.
Start with a clean setup. You want your home to be nice and clean and ready for guests. Be sure to target the spaces where guests are most likely to be: kitchen, guest bath, living room, and patio. Remove clutter and keep your home organized and ready for the event! Designate a main viewing area, and ensure the TV is dialed in—you don’t want any technological difficulties to disrupt the game! Get a headcount of how many people you will be hosting and set up extra seating accordingly! If your indoor viewing space connects to the outdoor patio area with large Bi-Fold Patio Doors, consider opening your folding patio doors and blending the two spaces into one—this will give guests the freedom to roam inside and out. Hang decorations around your home to create a festive environment and get everyone excited for the event.
To prepare for the party, you should also plan out your food and drink menu in advance. Provide plenty of snacks and ask guests to bring their favorite game time appetizers. Some good snack ideas that are better (and healthier) than your basic chips and party mix are: spinach artichoke dip, veggies and dip, fruit kabobs, guacamole, and more! Think outside the box and supply some tasty choices. For recipe inspiration, check out this excellent "Super Bowl Menu" on Delish.com! After you plan out your menu, head to the grocery store and get all the supplies—take a list with you so you don’t forget anything. Go to the store as soon as possible, so you can avoid the crazy crowds that will be there on the weekend. Don’t forget to buy napkins, cups, plates, and utensils so you won’t be stuck doing dishes on Sunday night when the party is over!
Bring some friendly competition to the party by setting up a “Super Bowl Squares” pool. This is a fun way to compete against other guests and win prizes. For a step-by-step guide on how to set up and run a Super Bowl Squares pool, click here.
DID YOU KNOW…?
1 | According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Super Bowl Sunday is America’s second-largest food consumption day (right behind Thanksgiving).
2 | In Las Vegas, more than $115 million is bet on the Super Bowl each year.
3 | 325.5 million gallons of beer is consumed by Americans on Super Bowl Sunday.
4 | Americans eat 1 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sundays.
5 | 30-second commercials in the 2019 Super Bowl are being sold for $5.1 – $5.3 million
Tuesday, January 22 2019
Is your landscaping and outdoor entertainment space ready for an upgrade? Landscaping will increase the overall curb appeal of your home and can actually make your life easier if planned properly! If you’re ready to plan a landscape redesign, we have tips and ideas that will help you through the design and construction process!
DIY or Professional Landscaper?
The first step in tackling a landscaping project is to decide if you should hire a professional landscaper or do-it-yourself. There are benefits to both—if you higher a professional landscaper, you can give him a wish list and he or she can design something to meet your needs. Professional landscapers can be costly, so doing the project yourself could be highly cost-effective. If you save money by doing it yourself, you may have more room in the budget for luxurious materials and unique designs to create the backyard of your dreams!
Wish List & Budget
You should create a list of must-haves that you want included in your new landscape design and outdoor space. You can look for inspiration on websites like Houzz and Pinterest to help brainstorm ideas and narrow down your must-haves. A good way to figure out exactly what you want is to outline how you will use the space and what you want to acheive—will this be a space to host outdoor lunches and afternoon tea, or a space for your children to run around and play, or a space for your dog to get some exercise? Once you decide the functionality of the space, you can start to plan out what amenities you want and need. When you have a list of your top design must-haves, create a budget that is affordable and can include as many of your wants as possible.
Make Life Easier
Everyone has busy lives and worrying about landscape maintenance can add to the stress of household chores and running a family. When designing your new backyard and outdoor space, you may choose a low maintenance design that will mostly take care of itself. Include low maintenance plants that won’t require a lot of water and create an automatic watering system with drip lines and sprinklers to take care of regular water replenishments. You may even consider investing in artificial turf instead of a real lawn to save time and money on lawn maintenance. Click here for more low maintenance backyard ideas.
Include the Patio
Your backyard and landscaping are essentially an extension of your patio space. If you are making the effort to completely redesign your landscaping, you might include your patio in the project. Maybe your patio design only needs a few upgrades to achieve your end goals—consider installing a Bi-Fold Patio Door to connect your home to the outside entertainment area and create an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. With a folding door, you can maximize the views of your newly landscaped yard and easily keep an eye on your children and pets.
Thursday, January 17 2019
If you are one of the many people who live in California, chances are you’re experiencing heavy rainfall this week. As we all know, the rain is much needed, so we are celebrating this stormy weather! In Southern California we are spoiled with sunny weather for around 80% of the year, so sometimes those days filled with clouds and rain can be a struggle—especially when it involves flooding, mudslides, road closures, extra traffic, and power outages! Days like this are the perfect time to spend quality time at home relaxing, cooking, cleaning, and organizing your living space!
Relax & Laze
Staying home and avoiding the craziness during large rainstorms is the best way to stay dry and safe! This is a great time to relax and recuperate from everyday chaos. Take a day to stay in your pajamas, light a fire, and watch movies. Listen and watch through your folding patio doors as the rain splashes down from the sky. Curl up in your favorite reading nook with a good book and a cup of tea to enjoy as you read the day away. After a day of relaxing and doing an activity you love, you will feel refreshed and ready to get back to your busy schedule!
Cook a Meal
A great way to spend your rainy day is by preparing a nice meal or baking some tasty sweets. Making your favorite soup recipe paired with some fresh, hot cornbread could be the perfect rainy day treat for you and your family. Hot soup on a cold winter day will feel good in your belly and help to warm you up! You can also bake some sweet treats to indulge in on this chilly day—everyone will love coming home to cookies or brownies fresh out of the oven!
Clean & Organize
If you’re full of energy and feel cooped up from being inside for the day, you may consider spending the day cleaning and organizing your home. Focus on one room at a time so you can be extra thorough! Critical areas to clean that are often neglected are inside and outside kitchen appliances, beneath furniture, window sills, and ceiling fans. Instead of or in addition to cleaning, you may want to use this day to organize spaces in your home. Perhaps your linen closet is out of control, or the bathroom cupboards are full of old beauty products—get rid of what you don’t need and create a clean and orderly storage space.
Tackle a Project
You can use this day to tackle a project that you’ve been postponing. Rainy days are the best for trying out that DIY craft you saw on Pinterest, hanging up that new painting you bought months ago, printing some photos for empty picture frames, or planning out the details of your next vacation! After a day of completing a few projects on your list, you will feel relieved and accomplished!
When leaving your home on a stormy day, be sure to check for road closures to avoid traffic and find the safest, fastest route. It is also important to remain alert and check weather conditions throughout the day, in case there are any mudslide or flood evacuations in your area. Put on your rainboots and open an umbrella to walk the perimeter of your home and ensure rain gutters and draining systems are functioning properly to prevent any flooding!
Click here to learn more about maximizing your views of rainfall with large glass doors.
Tuesday, January 15 2019
Are you planning a home remodel for 2019? There are many reasons people decide to remodel their home, but the top two reasons are wanting a “new look” and upgrading a worn-out space. Whatever the reason for your remodel, you should go into the project with a set plan. Once your remodel is planned out (click here for tips on planning a remodel) and you’re ready to begin construction, there are steps you can take to make living through this noisy and messy inconvenience a little more bearable!
Dealing with Dust
With a home remodel, dust is inevitable, but there are things that can be done to limit the amount of dust and where it spreads. An easy way to ensure some of your household items are not exposed to dust is by packing away the items you won’t need during renovation, like knickknacks, picture frames, and more. Preventing dust from clinging to these items will make your life easier when the remodel is complete because you can unpack and reposition your clean, dust-free décor. Be sure to seal off the construction space, to limit dust and debris from migrating into your construction-free zone. You’ll also want to seal any air vents in the reno space as this is another avenue dust can travel through.
Keep the Construction Zone Clean
Construction is messy, but if you can keep the renovation space clean by sweeping/vacuuming up sawdust and disposing of trash and debris daily, you can combat the mess!
During a home remodel, it is easy to let your home organization get out of control! If your construction-free zone is a mess, this can leave you feeling overwhelmed and like you don’t have a space where you can relax and forget about the chaos going on in the room down the hall. Take time every week to pick up your living space, put things where they belong, and stay organized. You can even do some simple dusting and vacuuming to ensure the space remains dust-free, giving you peace of mind knowing that even a small part of your home is still in order!
Create A Makeshift Kitchen
During a kitchen remodel, you should designate a different part of your home as a makeshift kitchen. There is no doubt that living without a proper kitchen is very difficult, but you can ease the burden by setting up a functional space where you can prepare easy homecooked meals during the remodel. You can set up your toaster oven, crockpot, hot plate, and other appliances and make the most out of the (hopefully very short) time you’ll be without a real kitchen!
Take A Mini Vacation
If the remodel is becoming too much to handle, consider taking a mini vacation to escape the mess! Stay in a hotel for a night or two or visit family or friends to give yourself a break. this is a great way to de-stress, recharge, and come back to the remodel with plenty of energy and motivation to get the job done! Your remodel won’t last forever, so just remember to stay positive and look forward to having an updated and beautiful space to live in!
Click here to learn more about using Bi-Fold Patio Doors to create an indoor-outdoor space during your remodel.
Thursday, January 10 2019
Did you know January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day? This holiday encourages people to look for ways to reduce energy costs and save on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Making your home more energy-efficient can save you money while lessening your impact on the environment. In honor of National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, here is a list of things that can be done to conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint!
One way to create an energy-efficient home is by replacing old windows and doors with new, energy-efficient ones. Old windows and doors that don’t meet updated energy requirements could be raising your energy costs—if the doors are not energy-efficient, they may cause heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, resulting in increased use of heaters/air conditioning. You can replace old patio doors and windows with Energy Solutions Bi-Fold Patio Doors that are Title 24 compliant. Energy-efficient folding doors can keep heat in during the winter and resist unwanted heat gain during the summer and can save you money on heating and cooling bills. Aside from their resistance to heat loss/gain, Energy Solutions Bi-Folds can increase airflow and natural light in your space, limiting the need for air conditioning, electric fans, and lights during peak daylight hours.
Another investment you can make to live a greener life is by converting your home to solar energy. Solar power is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels and can significantly impact your energy costs. Although it requires a larger investment upfront, running your home on solar energy will pay for itself and reduce costs in the long run. Clean solar energy will reduce your energy bills and give you peace of mind knowing that you have decreased your carbon footprint!
If you are one of the 128 million Americans that commute to work on a daily basis, this section is for you. You can greatly reduce your energy costs and carbon footprint by carpooling to work. If your coworkers live nearby, you might consider establishing a carpool group and taking turns driving each other to work. This will relieve your gas and car maintenance expenses while reducing your energy consumption, pollution, and road traffic! When it’s time to buy or lease your next car, you may want to invest in an electric or hybrid vehicle that can lower (or completely eliminate) fuel costs and limit your carbon footprint.
Other small ways that can have a large impact on reducing energy costs and living ecofriendly:
If you can implement even just a few of these habits, you will be conserving resources, creating less pollution, and helping to build a greener community. Some options require a larger investment but will also have a bigger impact on energy cost reduction! To learn more about replacing old doors and windows with energy-efficient Bi-Fold Patio Doors, click here.
Tuesday, January 08 2019
If you keep up with the latest home design trends, you know that indoor-outdoor kitchens are highly desired among homeowners and prospective homebuyers. Architects and designers are seeing a spike in indoor-outdoor living space designs, and that open-air design has reached the kitchen! There are many ways to create an indoor-outdoor kitchen in your home, so you can enjoy an al fresco experience every time you cook a meal or do the dishes!
Bi-Fold Patio Doors can open kitchens to the outdoors by simply folding the doors away, leaving a large open space behind. Folding doors create an al fresco cooking experience with plenty of airflow, natural light, and unobstructed views. The transition from inside to out is seamless, and perfect for indoor-outdoor entertaining. With the application above, the kitchen and bar seating enjoy an indoor-outdoor lifestyle while expanding the space to an additional dining area on the large, expansive balcony! Your door may also be equipped with a retractable accordion screen to protect your home from insects while maximizing airflow.
Another way to create an indoor-outdoor kitchen is by installing a Bi-Fold Window to create a kitchen passthrough window! Passthrough windows are perfect if creating a larger opening with Bi-Fold Doors is not possible or desired in the space. A passthrough window connects kitchen to outdoor patio—a typical passthrough window design provides additional dining space in the form of an outdoor breakfast bar. With the servery window seen above, appetizers, meals, beverages, and snacks can be passed from inside to outside with ease! It creates the ultimate entertainment space with the possibility of use as a buffet table or cocktail bar.
A Bi-Fold Window-Door Combination is a unique and interesting way you can create an indoor-outdoor kitchen in your home. The Window-Door Combination consists of Bi-Fold Doors and Bi-Fold Windows which connect at the center and transform an ordinary space into an indoor-outdoor paradise! On this window-door system, the window locks to the counter and head jamb, and the door and window lock together without additional framing to impede the view. With a Bi-Fold Window-Door Combination, you can still enjoy the luxury of a kitchen passthrough window and breakfast bar dining counter!
When you want to open multiple walls to the outdoors, opt for a Zero-Corner Bi-Fold System—this unit opens at a 90-degree angle and does not require a supporting post at the corner, leaving you with unobstructed views of the surrounds. To meet design needs, Zero-Corner Bi-Folds may also be inverted! This is the perfect solution to creating an indoor-outdoor kitchen and dining experience in a narrow space. With such a unique and tasteful style, the Zero-Corner Bi-Fold will take your home design to the next level!
Be sure to do your research and consult an architect or contractor before deciding on a design. Professionals can help you find out which design will enhance your space and create the indoor-outdoor kitchen and dining experience you desire! With numerous design options and features, AG Millworks can make Bi-Fold Doors and Windows to fit your specific design needs! Click here to learn more about Bi-Fold Doors and Windows!
Thursday, January 03 2019
If your primary living space is smaller than you’d like, and you feel cramped with the current setup, it might be time to reconsider the design. When a large addition to the space to add extra square footage isn’t possible, there are still things that can be done to maximize the living space and make it feel more spacious than it is! Use these tips to make the most out of your compact living area and turn it into a cozy, comfortable room while utilizing every inch of the space!
Extend It with Custom Patio Doors
One way to make your living space feel larger is by using Bi-Fold Patio Doors to connect the inside living space to the outdoor patio area. These custom patio doors can eliminate entire walls and can extend your space to the outdoors to make it feel larger and more open! With just a simple remodel and installation of folding doors, you can enjoy enhanced views and maximize your living space!
Mount Your TV
Mounting your TV on the wall is a great way to eliminate the need for a bulky TV stand and recover some extra square footage. A slim, modest-sized floating shelf beneath the TV is perfect for storing the cable box, remotes, and other necessities! If possible, keep wires hidden to maintain a clean and organized look—clean lines and minimal clutter is optimal for making a room appear larger!
Mirrors for a Spacious Feel
You can hang mirrors to trick the eye and make the space feel more open. When hanging mirrors and other artwork, be sure to hang them slightly above the eyelevel to stretch your walls and give the illusion of a tall ceiling.
Take Advantage of Wall Space
Utilizing your wall space by hanging floating shelves is a great way to add additional storage and display your favorite décor pieces, while eliminating space-eating furniture.
You want to keep small spaces free of mess and clutter to create a fresh, open space that won’t feel compact. Strive for a minimalist look when decluttering the space and use your favorite décor and design elements to add pops of color and charm!
Furniture That Doubles as Storage
Invest in some furniture pieces that will do double duty—an ottoman that doubles as storage, or a window bench that folds open to store extra blankets, or even a couch with storage underneath! This will give you a place to store the clutter, DVDs, magazines, and anything else you may need to hide away while providing extra seating and design.
Shrink Your Dining Table
When your kitchen and living spaces connect, you can maximize space by opting for a smaller dining table. A dining table is a large piece that takes up a lot of space, so choosing a small 2 or 3 seat dining table or counter seating can free up a lot of room!
Stick to Light Walls
Painting walls white or another light color, will make the room feel open, spacious, and bright. Sticking to light colors and a neutral palette for the interior design will help create an open and airy feeling. You can still use pops of color here and there to prevent a monotone look!
Tuesday, January 01 2019
Happy New Year from all of us at AG Millworks! A new year means new ideas, new styles, and new home design trends. Design pros are predicting what new designs will be big in 2019. From kitchen backsplashes, to flooring, to wall colors, to windows and doors, home design trends are always changing. If you are planning a home remodel, or you work in the home design industry, these are some of the design schemes to include in your projects!
Bold & Beautiful Backsplashes
One home design trend to expect in the new year is boldly patterned kitchen backsplashes. White, neutral kitchens have been one of the biggest trends in the past few years, and designers are predicting a transition to bolder color schemes and graphic backsplashes. Boldly patterned backsplashes can add a unique design element to your kitchen, and a pop of color in what would otherwise be a simple, neutral space!
The indoor-outdoor living trend will grow in 2019. Homeowners want to spend more time enjoying nature and making use of their outdoor living spaces. Eliminating walls to create open-air living is an element that homeowners and designers are gravitating towards. Indoor-outdoor living can be created with Bi-Fold Patio Doors and Multi-Slide Patio Doors, which open up to make large open spaces and expand indoor living spaces to the outdoor entertainment area.
Light Wood Floors
Thanks to the homeowners’ desire for bright open spaces, light wood floors are making a comeback in 2019. Light shades of wood as pictured above reflect more light and can be used in a casual or formal design setting. The light floor coloring isn’t limited to wood—all light-colored floors will increase in popularity this year.
Kitchen Passthrough Windows
Kitchen Passthrough Windows are a growing design trend that will increase in 2019. Passthrough windows are created using Bi-Fold Windows that foldaway and connect kitchen to patio. Additional dining space is created in the form of a breakfast bar and makes for easy outdoor entertainment!
Bold Wall Colors
Bolder, darker color choices will become popular in 2019. Homeowners are more adventurous when it comes to their wall color, and so 2019 will see an increase in new and exciting colors throughout the home! Again, design pros are straying from the typical neutral walls that have flooded the industry for a few years.
Floral Pattern Fun
Floral patterns for wallpapers and fabrics are going to be big in 2019. Florals have been around for a while, but design pros are predicting that we will see floral patterns explode in the new year!
Leafy Indoor House Plants
Indoor house plants are said to never go out of style, and that remains true for 2019. Indoor plants with large, shapely leaves are here to stay for 2019 because they add a natural, fresh, and airy feeling to the space. Besides their aesthetic benefits, most live plants actually improve air quality which is a real health benefit! If you worry about your ability to keep your indoor plants alive, you can opt for high-quality artificial plants that only require an occasional dusting but look as good as the real thing!