Now’s the Time to Replace Your Windows

custom homes winston-salemIf you’re sitting down at night to read a book or watch TV in the Winston-Salem area and you feel a draft, it might be time to think about replacing those old windows with something more energy efficient. About 20 percent of heating and cooling costs are caused by heat gain or loss through windows. So while it’s the time of year when cold drafts blow through the house and we think about the heat escaping through our windows, energy-efficient windows can be cost effective all year long, keeping the heat of the sun out in the summer and lowering energy costs even when you run the air conditioner.

We often plan on the limited lifespan of our roofs and exterior paint, but windows are something else that need to be replaced in a house, usually about every 15 to 20 years. So even if your house is relatively new, built in the 1990s, you might consider installing new windows. The technology and materials used in windows today have come a long way just in the past 20 years.

The good thing is you can recoup some of the money you invest. Energy Star qualified products can save you anywhere from $126 to $467 a year, depending on how many windows you replace, if you’re going from single-pane windows to double-pane. And while it’s still waiting approval, you might also be able to get up to $200 in tax credits for installing Energy Star windows in your home.

            In addition to energy savings, there are other benefits to upgrading to double-pane windows:

  • They are easier to clean, since the decorative elements are between the glass.
  • The gas pumped in to improve insulating factors also helps in noise reduction.
  • They can protect items within your home from sun damage.

When doing your research to purchase new windows you will run across a U Factor. This is the measure of the amount of heat transfer allowed through the windows, and the lower the number the better. For North Carolina, a U Factor of 0.40 or less is recommended. The experts at Ron Williams Building Company can help find the right windows for your home in Winston-Salem, and install them before the really cold winter months set in.

Remodeling Tips That Add Value

Sometimes your relationship with your home can be similar to a marriage. After years with the same person, we might start taking them for granted. And just as it’s important to go on an occasional “date” and do things to keep the spark alive with your spouse, the same goes for your house. Don’t feel stuck with the same old paint and appliances you picked out 15 years ago, or make do with the floor plan you originally fell for. Right now is a great time to remodel, and the experts at Ron Williams Building Company will help you get the home of your dreams – again with some great ideas for remodeling in Winston-Salem.

Move Outdoors

Why not take advantage of all that space in your yard? Whether it’s adding on a simple deck or creating an outdoor kitchen, outdoor living is a great new trend. It makes for a fun place to entertain friends and hang out with your family. And with the great weather we have here in the Triad, you can make use of your new space almost year round. The experts at Ron Williams Building Company are here to help!

  • Potential ROI: 66-72%, according to Remodeling Magazine. (Scott,  if you want, here’s a link to the article:
  • Ideas: Keep it simple with a wood deck and a chiminea for the most return on your investment, or go all out with a beautifully landscaped living area and full outdoor kitchen to create your dream entertainment area.

Spruce up the Kitchen

Just like adding on a deck, remodeling your kitchen is another home improvement project that is guaranteed to add value to your home. Take a good look at what you have, and then make plans based on how you want to use your kitchen with help from Ron Williams Building Company.

  • Potential ROI: 63-85 percent.
  • Ideas: You can simply refinish your existing cabinets for a fresh new look. Replace those old countertops with a new surface such as wood, tile or stained concrete. Or go all out and add an island workstation and new appliances for a fun new family area.

Update the Bath

It’s amazing how much a change in fixtures and some fresh tile can change a bathroom from boring to spa-worthy.

Potential ROI: About 62%.

Ideas: Replace that all-in-one shower with some nice tile for a step up, or bring in a new vanity equipped with a marble countertop for a classy look.

Contact us for an estimate or to learn more!

Tips for Tackling a Kitchen Renovation

ron williams building winston-salemOne of the most popular and most in-demand home renovations is by far the kitchen.

Because kitchens see the most wear and tear of any room in your house, and because they tend to follow style trends, kitchens can seem the most dated sooner than other areas of your home. If you plan to sell your home anytime in the future, most buyers expect a modern kitchen with nice cabinets and a cook-top stove, so renovating your kitchen will only increase the value of your home. Plus you’ll get to enjoy a new, updated space.

Here are a few things to consider when tackling a kitchen renovation project, whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor:

1.    Ask yourself how you are you really going to live in the space. The livability factor will determine where you should save and where you should splurge. For example, if you enjoy cooking, you may want to splurge on appliances. If the kitchen is the central gathering room in your home, you’ll want to make sure you have lots of space for seating.
2.    Establish priorities for a kitchen remodel. Spend at least six months planning your kitchen renovation project. A professional designer can simplify your kitchen remodel by helping to make style decisions and foresee potential problems. Do your research and compare prices on all appliances, cabinet, counter-top and other purchases.
3.    Add storage not space. Adding a room or even a small bump-out to increase the size of your kitchen will be costly and complicated (think permits, foundation work, framing and so on.) You can add storage without tearing out walls by installing cabinets that reach the ceiling and mounting shelving units on unused wall areas and inside cabinet doors.
4.    Splurge on cabinets and flooring. Opt for solid wood cabinet faces and full plywood box construction. Also, look for drawers that have dovetail joinery and bulky mechanical slides. For flooring Porcelain tile, natural stone surface or Hardwood. 
5.    High-end appliances aren’t always better. It’s a fact that a $10,000 stove will not boil water faster than a $500 stove, however an industrial stove will often give you additional burners, beefier construction and the look most folks desire in a high-end kitchen renovation. But if you don’t cook a lot, a high-end stove will be a waste of money. Choose upgrades on appliances based on your personal preferences and how you plan to use them.
6.    Stone surfaces are nice, but require upkeep. Most high-end kitchen renovations include a stone counter-top surface — generally granite is the best choice in terms of durability, price and upkeep. Marble and soap stone require constant maintenance and can chip very easily. And don’t underestimate Formica — it’s cheap and easy to clean.

For more information on renovations in Winston-Salem, contact us!

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A Great Article On Green Remodeling!


Do you want to “go green” when remodeling your home? Here are some eco-friendly options.

Renovating a home can feel like such a fresh and healthy start — until you start worrying about issues like the environmental impact of newly harvested or wasted materials, the off-gassing of newly introduced toxins, and more. Fortunately, you can take steps to make any remodel more friendly to both the planet and your own health. And well-planned green renovations can even save you money.

Plan Your Eco-Friendly Remodel

The time to begin thinking about the environmental aspects of your remodel is during the planning phase. Consider the environment when you hire professionals, decide what to do with demolished materials, and choose materials.


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Everything You Need to Know About Replacement Windows


By Pat Mertz Esswein, Associate Editor

If your windows on the world no longer enhance the facade of your house, shield it from the elements or filter out noise, there is no better time to update them. Retailers whose business withered as homeowners stopped spending on big home-improvement projects are ready to deal — and anxious to keep their installation crews working.

Many dealers have cut markups to the quick, says Susan Selman, with Schmidt Windows, in suburban Chicago. Plus, the tax credit for installing energy-efficient windows in your home, which will help defray some of the cost, expires at year-end. The credit is worth 10% of the cost, up to $500. Just remember that replacing windows is an expensive proposition that includes not just the price of the windows but the cost of expert installation to ensure that the windows perform as promised.

Boosting the Market Value Through Property Upgrading


By: Joseph J Wilkerson

Whether you want to boost the market value of your home because you are planning to sell it or you simply want to get it renovated, property upgrading would be necessary.

However, this can be very costly. Fortunately, there are cheaper ways that can provide you almost the same results. In doing some improvements in your estate, you may want to look into it by parts so that it will be easier for you to do the upgrading.

This way, the task would be less daunting for you. Below are some tips that can help you get started.

Read on.

Contact us at Ron Williams Building Company where we also do renovations, as well as custom homes!

Renovating…taking on too much

Tackling home improvement projects without the basic skills to complete the project is never a good decision.

Hiring a contractor with recommendations, a proven track record of success and a positive, established reputation is always the to go. Trying to knock out big projects on your own can only lead to even bigger problems. If you are better working with a computer keyboard in an office than a hammer, you might be better off working extra at the office and hiring the skilled carpenter to do your project.

With the professional at the helm, everything will look better, will be safer for you, and if there are permits or inspectors needed according to local laws, the company you hire will work closely with the local officials to ensure everything is legally executed.

What’s the big project you’ve been putting off?

Contact us at Ron Williams Building Company where we also do renovations, as well as custom homes!