Double Hung Windows – the new replacement

We all know new windows can help with your energy bills, but when it comes time to replace them, what to choose?  There are several different types of windows. Traditionally, most windows were side-hinged windows, referred to as casements, and sliding sash windows. New opening mechanisms such as friction and pivot hinges are increasingly popular and available in double hung windows.

So,why choose double hung windows? Cleaning. Double hung windows are much easier to clean than windows based on a spiral or string system, because they won’t allow the sash to drop out when you are cleaning them. They also tilt in a way that uses a flush fitting tilt release which is more attractive than the older screwed in tilt release systems. This system works well for two story homes and enables you to clean your windows from the inside.


You may find that choosing a quality window is difficult because of the overwhelming number of options. So where to start?  We suggest picking a window that comes with a solid warranty offered by a quality manufacturer.  Besides your budget, this is an important factor in your decision making, since your windows should last decades.  Also to consider is the material you choose: vinyl, wood, aluminum and composite materials are all available in our area. And after you’ve made your decision, we suggest hiring a professional to install them – nothing worse than spending your hard earned money on new windows and then not have them installed properly.

Remember, window materials, shapes, and sizes vary considerably, as does terminology, so you should read your manufacturer’s literature carefully. Replacement windows for older homes often need to be custom-built to your requirements, which is also something to consider.

Windows are a large investment and if you pick wisely you can save money over the long run by improving your energy efficiency. In order to save money in the future you may be wise to spend a little more on your windows now…

Need help choosing and installing your windows – we’re here to help. Give us a call, 608-241-9009, and we’d be happy to get started on updating the windows on your home.

The Struggle for More Space is Real

There is no shortage of reasons why you might be in need of more space.Home Expansion

  • Maybe the two kids you put in the same room just aren’t getting along the way you thought they would.
  • Sometimes the initial square footage is insufficient.
  • More commonly, families grow; you have more children, and acquire more “stuff.”

Continue reading

The Basement Abode

Basement-RemodelingWhat’s in your basement, boxes, old furniture or just damp dark corners? If that’s what’s hiding in your basement then there is surely potential down there as well! So much more can be done with all that extra space, and winter is actually the perfect time to have it done. Who knows, if you treat it just like all the rooms upstairs it just might become your favorite place in the house. The biggest benefit; it will cost a lot less than adding on. Continue reading

Mother-in-Law Suites

These days mother-in-law apartments are almost anything but that. Father, son or daughter-in-law, grandparents or grandchildren, more and more extended families are sharing living quarters.

c0b53d12ba514247a8d3801c2f6d185bIt used to be that Mother-in-law apartments were considered just that, an entity close to, yet separate from the rest of the home. They were often built above the garage. Beside keeping costs down, (building on an existing foundation) and giving the tenant personal and private space, it can be a terrific way to generate some cash flow. Renting the space out to students could fund your own children’s education. Continue reading

Your Basement Needs a Change! (Part 2)

Basements can mean different things for different people.

Basement Joy

Adams Design Construction - Basement RemodelingWe’ve talked about this before; more living space for a growing family. The fire place you always wanted and a place to snuggle with a good book. Your own theater, wine cellar, wet bar. A home gym or craft area or children’s play space (ie, place to hide the toys). A sound studio or a man cave. What can be done in a finished basement is left to your imagination! Continue reading

Your Basement Needs a Change! (Part 1)

Adams Design Construction - Basement RemodelingLuxurious indoor swimming pools; dynamic theater screens with comfy lounge chair seating; a ground floor that easily absorbs the pounding of gym equipment; a fire place to bring romance back into your marriage; a wet bar with lots of built-in cupboard space for pre-game parties; with naturally cooler walls, a swanky wine cellar; with sound proofing, a home music studio.

Heck, even the idea of a place to send the teenagers to play their own music is enough to start sparks of ideas flying! Continue reading

Investing in Your Home – Which Remodeling Projects Pay Off?

When you are planning on remodeling your home, it’s always important to consider how much of what you put into the project will actually go into increasing its value. Every year, Remodeling Magazine releases a Cost vs. Value report for every sort of remodeling project. They gather data from all across the country on the cost of remodels and the value added to homes from them. Based on their report for this year, here are some of the projects with the highest return on investment:

Kitchen Remodeling
Adams Design Construction - Kitchen RemodelingThe kitchen is the heart of every home – and because of this, it makes one of the best places to invest in remodeling and upgrades. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2013, kitchen remodels tend to recoup around 75% of the project’s cost into the home’s value.

Replacement Projects
Exterior replacement projects like siding, windows, entry, and garage doors are toward the top of Remodeling Magazine’s list nearly every year, with recoup values usually between 70- 80%. These generally tend to be much less expensive than major projects like kitchens though, so while replacing an entry door might be a quick and easy job, it may only add about $1000 to the value of your home. But not only do they add value to your home, they’ll also give it a great boost in curb appeal.

Finished Attics and Basements
Adams Design Construction - Attic RemodelingSpending the money to finish the basement or attic is a great way to invest in your home and increase to its value. The key to finished basements and attics is that they let you add to your home’s living space without the need for an extra addition. Fitting these spaces with heating and cooling, insulation, plumbing, and wiring can add about 70% of the cost back into the value of your home.

With the way a deck can become the focal point of a home in the summer, it’s no wonder that they are a great project for increasing its value. Wooden decks generally have a higher rate of return compared to composite decks, with an average recoup value of 77% (versus 67%), and are usually a bit less expensive to put in.