sunny window coastal home pros logo

Researching, selecting, and installing your new replacement windows is easy with Coastal Home Pros!

The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but when it comes to your house, your windows are a crucial component of your home’s exterior that affects both appearance and functionality. Clean, well-maintained, and well-insulated windows present an inviting appearance and help keep your home comfortable and keep energy bills down. 

If your windows are leaky, drafty, or showing their age, you may want to consider replacing them. Quality replacement windows can lower your bills, make your home safer, protect your furnishings and artwork from UV rays, and increase the value of your property. 

If you’re ready to replace your windows, Coastal Home Pros can help you choose the right options for your home and offer expert installation. Read our guide to get started with the decision process, check out our Pinterest window board for inspiration, and give us a call to schedule an estimate!

What do I need to know about replacement windows? 

It’s important to understand window terminology—starting with the types of windows you might choose for your home. 

Window Types

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are the most commonly used window style. Both sashes move, allowing for improved ventilation and flexibility. Most double-hung windows offer tilt-in sashes that make them easy to keep clean. 

Single-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows look like double-hung, but only the bottom sash moves. They are a great choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Casement-Style Windows

Designers and architects like to use casement windows in places with a gorgeous view, as they provide unobstructed sight lines. They open outward at a side hinge through the use of a crank. Casement windows are typically more airtight than double-hung windows.

mother and child in front of sunny casement windows
Casement windows offer high visibility without lites or sashes.

Fixed Windows

Fixed windows are useful when natural light is desired but ventilation is not necessary. These airtight windows often come with decorative glass and design options. 

Awning-Style Windows

Awning-style windows open outward from a hinge at the top. 

Hopper-Style Windows

Hopper windows open from a hinge at the bottom, and they can open either outward or inward. 

Window Frame Types

Vinyl Frame

Vinyl frame windows are the most common replacement windows used today. Basic vinyl windows are very reasonably priced, and they require little to no maintenance. They will never need to be painted or stained—in fact, they normally cannot be painted, so keep that in mind when choosing your windows. Most vinyl windows are white, though some brands do offer a few darker color options.

Wood Frame

Solid wood windows are a beautiful, high-end option that can run up your window budget. Depending on the brand you go with, you’ll have a variety of hardwood finishes to choose from. Typically the manufacturer will cover the exterior in aluminum or vinyl cladding to reduce the maintenance needs and protect the wood from the elements. Cladding is especially important here in coastal Florida, as exposed wood does not fare well without protection!

Composite Frame

Composite window frames can be made from fiberglass or a combination of other materials. Like vinyl, they are low maintenance and do not need to be painted or stained. Also like vinyl, composite windows are generally less expensive than wood. 

Other Window Considerations

Glazing

Double-glazed windows consist of two panes of glass sandwiching a layer of air or argon gas. This middle layers helps insulate the window, slowing down the transfer of heat through the panes. Triple-glazed windows have three layers of glass, which adds extra insulation and reduces noise transfer significantly.  

Low-E Coating

You can’t see low-emissivity (low-E) coatings, but they enhance the efficiency of the glass by reflecting heat while letting light in. Your climate will determine the location of the low-e coating for your windows—coating on the outside of the windows helps to reflect heat in warmer climates, while interior coating helps keep heat in the home in colder climates.  

Tilt-In Sashes

The sash is the part of the window that moves up and down in single and double-hung windows. Most modern replacement windows include a tilt-in sash feature, which allows for easy cleaning.

Invest in quality windows and quality installation

If you’re making the investment in new windows, don’t skimp on the installation! It doesn’t make sense to buy double or triple-glazed windows only to lose the insulation and energy efficiency increases to the perils of a sloppy installation! Cracks and gaps created around the window frame during installation can negate any benefits your new windows offer, and even cause leaks and drafts. Coastal Home Pros is your experienced local installer—we’ll make sure your windows perform well and look terrific for decades to come! Give us a call today to schedule an estimate or an installation!

sponge roller painting white walls

Calling in the pros is often your best bet!

Fresh paint has a transformative effect like no others; painting your walls is a relatively quick way to make a big change to your home’s appearance. A big color change always produces a drastic reaction, but even re-coating your walls with a clean coat of the same color can have a big effect. Read on for tips on knowing when its time to repaint! 

Dingy Walls

Sometimes it’s obvious. If your walls are grimy, scuffed, and damaged, a great painter might be your new best friend. If you have pets and/or children, your walls can take a beating. If you have minor scuffs and spots, we recommend cleaning with damp cotton cloth. More stubborn spots often respond to a Magic Eraser or similar sponge. But beware using the Magic Eraser on dark walls—it can leave ghost streaks! Also be wary of using a Magic Eraser on glossy or semi-gloss surfaces, as it can dull the finish and leave spots. If over 10% of your walls are dirty, or if you’ve got dents and dings that need to be spackled, it’s time to call in a painter!

Cleaning crayon off a wall
Kids can be especially hard on walls. When elbow grease won’t cut it, call in the professional painters!

Fading and Yellowing

The sun’s UV rays can cause the pigment in your wall paint to break down over time, causing your colors to fade and take on a yellowish cast. Here in Florida, this is an especially big issue! When you live in a home and see the same walls every day, you may not notice the gradual changes. But if you try to look with fresh eyes (or invite a friend or neighbor over to help), you may see that walls that absorb lots of natural sunlight have changed color. Time to repaint! When you repaint, using high quality paint with more pigment and better binders can help prolong the life of your color.

Chipping, Flaking, and Cracking

Painted trim takes the brunt of abuse in a high traffic home, and it will often start to chip first. Once the chipping starts, it’s hard to stop, so that is often a sign that you should call a painter. Wall surfaces can also start to display unlightly flaking and cracking. Although small spots can usually be sanded and touched up, if these symptoms spread, a professional painter is your best remedy. 

You Just Want a Change

Changing the color of your interior spaces can have dramatic effects. Maybe you want to brighten your mood with a cheery yellow, or maybe you seek serenity with a calming blue. No matter the reason—if the color isn’t right, it will drive you crazy. Luckily, a quality professional paint job doesn’t have to break the bank! With Coastal Home Pros you can afford to experiment with color and go for the look you want! Give us a call today to see how we can help freshen up your home’s walls!

*This article has been adapted from our friends at www.checklocalpainting.com.

Blue Painters Tape

That is the question.  At least, it’s one of the debates you might hear when a bunch of professional painters get together to talk shop. (Do they do that? Surely they do that.) Ask a group of expert painters whether they use the sticky stuff, and you’ll probably get a variety of answers! Here at Coastal Home Pros, we’ve got painters on each team!

Is Painter’s Tape More Hassle Than It’s Worth?

If you’ve ever tried to tackle a painting job on your own, you’ve probably painstakingly taped around trim, light fixtures, and floorboards in an attempt to get a clean, professional line. The taping process can be tedious and frustrating, especially in homes where the wall surface isn’t smooth or the trim has layers of older paint built up. And often, even after you invest the time to tape, you still don’t end up with a clean line. What gives? 

Female painter taping trim
Taping takes time, and can be problematic, but for most painters, it’s worth the hassle.

Bleeding and Bridging

Any painter in the “no tape” camp will tell you all the reasons why they don’t use the stuff. Problem number one is usually bleeding. Even when you apply the tape carefully, it’s easy for paint to seep behind the edge. This creates a messy edge and results in more cleanup work. To combat this, some painters use a putty knife to press the tape down and create a tighter seal. While this can help stop bleeding, it doesn’t help with with a phenomenon known as “bridging.” Latex paint forms a skin (or bridge) when it dries. When you pull the tape off, the skin can tear, leaving you with a jagged line. 

Can You Make the Cut?

The alternative to taping involves a high quality paint brush and the steady hands of a surgeon. The professionals call it “cutting in.” Cutting in—painting only the part you want with a crisp clean line— is a painting skill that takes years to master, but it can be invaluable to a professional painter. If you can cut in well, you can paint faster and avoid bleeding and bridging issues. But if you’re not blessed with surgical precision and steady nerves, it’s always best to stick to tape. 

Tape or No-Tape—Either Way Works

Even among the ranks of expert painters with decades of experience, Team Tape and Team No-Tape have ardent defenders. A wise painter picks the method that works best for them. And a wise homeowner picks a great professional painter! At Coastal Home Pros, we don’t care whether our painters use tape or hand cut-in—as long as they do an expert job and make the customer happy! So if you need a great painter – reach out to us here on the site or call us at 850-745-3085!

Exterior paint quality matters

Investing in an Exterior Paint Job? Invest in the Right Paint Too!

A great exterior paint job is made up of a few great ingredients. A terrific painter, meticulous preparation, and high quality paint. The right paint can extend the life of your exterior paint job by years. And when it comes to paint, you get what you pay for. Premium brands and lines of paint really do perform better. 

How long should my paint job last? 

The biggest question most homeowners have is one that isn’t as straightforward as it seems. A quick Google search yields a wide variety of answers. Some experts say 5-7 years, while This Old House says “two coats of top-quality paint over primed wood might last 10 to 15 years.” The reality is that paint life depends on lots of factors, including paint quality, prep work, surface condition, and environment. Here in Florida, you can expect to land closer to the lower end of that range, as all the salt, sand, sun, and moisture take their toll on even the best exterior paint job. Thorough prep work and high quality paint can definitely extend the life, but it’s unlikely to last 15 years. Think 5+ years for siding, and 7+ for stucco surfaces.

Why Does Surface Matter When it Comes to Paint?

Although paint quality and prep work are the biggest drivers for the life of your exterior paint job, the surface being painted also matters. The rough, porous surface of stucco grabs paint and holds on tight, so if your home is made of stucco, you can expect to get a few more years from your paint job. Paint over wood or fiber-cement siding may last 5-7 years here in the Panhandle, while stucco surfaces will hold the paint for 7-10 years. Trim usually fades and peels first–expect to paint the trim every 3-5 years. 

stucco holds paint longer than siding
This beautiful Florida home with a mix of stucco and stone is relatively low-maintenance. The stone will never need painting, and the stucco should hold paint for up to 10 years.

So What Paint is the Best?

We tend to like Sherwin-Williams paint here at Coastal Home Pros, and we love their Emerald Exterior Acrylic for wood and fiber-cement siding and trim. (We recommend bumping the sheen level up a notch for the trimwork to really make it pop.) The Emerald line is also great for brick or stucco, though you’ll want to be sure and specify a flat finish for masonry and stucco. But any major brand usually has a premium paint line, and they’re almost always worth the extra money if you can swing it.

Should I Use Masonry Paint or Elastomeric Paint?

You may have heard that some contractors recommend a masonry specific paint or an elastomeric paint for brick and stucco. We think a great flat acrylic paint like Sherwin-Williams Emerald or Duration–Benjamin Moore’s Aura–does the trick and keeps your surface breathing more naturally. But there are some instances where these more specialized paints can be the right choice. 

  • Masonry Paint has additives to make it bond more tightly, so it can extend the life of your paint job. On the flipside, this type of paint can reduce the breathability of your finish, potentially trapping moisture in your brick or stucco. You may also be limited in terms of colors and finishes. 
  • Elastomeric Paint also has additives that make it a thicker, flexible coating. If you’ve got cracks or other faults you want to cover or bridge, this paint may be the right choice for your job. But like masonry paint, elastomeric paint reduces the breathability of the finish. (This effect is more pronounced with elastomeric paint.) And in addition to the more limited options when it comes to color and finish, you are also stuck with elastomeric paint once you start using it. When the time comes to repaint, experts advise that you only cover elastomeric paint with more of the same. Regular acrylic paint will not adhere to the flexible, thick surface of elastomeric paint. 

Exterior Painting is a Huge Job–It’s Worth Doing it Right

An exterior paint job is a huge investment. Even if you’re trying the DIY route, paint and supplies can really add up, and once you factor in the cost of your time and peace of mind, the costs can skyrocket. We always recommend hiring a professional to make sure you get the best finished product. This is your home you’re talking about, after all, and you don’t want your curb appeal marred by an unprofessional job or peeling and faded paint. 

Let Coastal Home Pros

We’re local experts right here in your Emerald Coast and Panhandle communities. We tackle every paint job with care, professionalism, and terrific customer service. Give us a call to schedule an estimate or find out more!

Atlantic hurricane

Get Prepared with Coastal Home Pros

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated hurricane outlook on August 8. Their newest outlook indicates we should be prepared for an active hurricane season, with the potential for large numbers of storms forming in the Atlantic:

Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45% (up from 30% from the outlook issued in May). The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35%, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20%.The number of predicted storms is also greater with NOAA now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30. 

https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/noaa-increases-chance-for-above-normal-hurricane-season
hurricane outlook Atlantic 2019
With El Nino over, experts say our chances of hurricanes have increased.

With August and September being peak hurricane months, we thought now might be a good time to talk about hurricane preparedness. Today’s post will focus on long-term preparedness–tomorrow we’ll tackle short term issues when you know a storm is on the way.

Hurricane Shutters 101

Hurricane shutters add value to coastal Florida homes
Hurricane protection doesn’t have to be an eye-sore! These louvered shutters add style and protection to this coastal Florida home.

Impact-resistant shutters can be a great addition to homes in our hurricane-prone area, helping to keep the wind out of your home in the event of a major storm. WIthout hurricane shutters, wind can get inside your home and act in concert with exterior winds to break your house apart. To help prevent this, it’s important to make sure that you invest in quality, code-approved hurricane shutters. These type of shutters come in many styles and colors, and at many different price points. If you’re shopping for shutters, take some time to review the following checklist:

  • Do not mount hurricane shutters to the window frame. They should always be installed on the wall surrounding the window so that the force of any impact is transferred from the window to the sturdier wall. 
  • Make sure your shutters pass the 1994 Southern Building Congress codes. These codes ensure that shutters that meet the required specifications can withstand debris flying through the air at hundreds of miles per hour.
  • Make sure your shutters are installed according to all the local codes, and make sure your contractor pulls all the appropriate permits. 
  • Interested in a DIY option? You can make your own effective plywood shutters, but it’s a huge job. If you’re going to go this route, start working well before hurricane season starts. You don’t want to be stuck half-way through the job as a storm barrels towards your home. Better yet, get a licensed and experienced local contractor like Coastal Home Pros to take care of it for you!
thick plywood can offer hurricane protection
Plywood can do the job in a pinch.

High quality shutters are incredibly important when it comes to protecting your home from hurricane-force winds. But be wary of allowing yourself to slip into a false sense of security. The best shutters can’t protect your home if you have other structural issues with your roof, walls, windows, or doors. 

Inspect your roof for weakness

We recommend having a qualified professional inspect your roof seasonally. During hurricane season, it’s important to check the following items:

  • Hurricane anchors and straps–are they properly installed and are anchored to the tie-beam?
  • Roof trusses–do they have adequate bracing, especially on gable ends?
  • Roof sheathing panels–are they properly attached?
  • Are your soffits, roof tiles, and flashing in good shape and prepared for storm winds and rain?

Check the Doors 

Once you know your windows and roof are solid, it’s time to check out your doors. Garage doors can be a big issue during hurricane season, as they are typically only installed on a lightweight track. Our Coastal Home Pros contractors can help you install a bracing system before hurricane season starts so you’ll be prepared.  Consider replacing old doors with new options that meet codes and offer extra reinforcement. And don’t forget that windows inside doors need protection during the storm, just like standard home windows. 

Coastal Home Pros Can Help

Following these pro tips will help make sure home is prepared for the storm well before it heads your way. Stay tuned for our next post, which will deal with short-term preparation tips that can help when the storm has a name and it’s headed your way. 

Coastal Home Pros is here to serve you in the Panhandle and Emerald Coast communities. Our contractors are experts in handling any type of construction and maintenance, from small handyman jobs to major renovation projects and more. We have specialized crews that deal with everything from fencing and decking to flooring and tile, and we know a lot about hurricane preparedness. Contact us today to see you we can help you get your home ready to weather the peak months of hurricane season!

Selling a Home

Coastal Home Pros Can Help Make Your Property Shine

If you’ve ever sold a home before, you already know how important it is to clear out unnecessary junk and keep the place sparkling. Your home should present a fresh and clean face to potential buyers–you want them to be able too see themselves in the space. If your decor has too much personality (or too much clutter), they may not be able to visualize how their own style will work in the space. 

Our Handyman Services Can Help You Get Your Property In Tip Top Shape

Even if your home is clean and relatively neutral, you can still take steps to maximize your “sell-ability.” Choosy buyers want to know that your home is well-maintained. Simple things like sticking doors, burnt out light bulbs, missing or non-functional hardware, and dripping faucets can really turn a buyer off. Investing a little time up front to make sure everything is in good repair can save you big money when it’s time to move your home.

Start With Paint

If you’re drawn to assertive and eclectic color palettes and your walls reflect your penchant for bright and bold, you’ve probably been advised to paint by a realtor or a nosy neighbor. But even if your interiors are already relatively neutral, painting can be a great pre-listing move. Chipped trim and dingy walls full of nail holes just don’t inspire the love. And when you’re looking to move real estate fast, you want every buyer to fall in love with your home.

This house may seem charming and appealing, but according to Zillow, you should think twice before choosing yellow paint.

Zillow Paint Analysis Shows Clear Trends

In 2018, Zillow published their Paint Color Analysis with insights from over 135,000 sold home photos. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their sales price analysis showed a sales price premium for homes with cool, neutral paint colors. When it comes to bathrooms, pale grayish blue reigns supreme, while living spaces seem to demand a warm-toned neutrals. A red kitchen is a no-no, as is a brown dining room and a yellow exterior (yellow homes sold for roughly $3,400 less, on average). Perhaps the most surprising paint color insight from Zillow’s study? A black or charcoal gray door can add over $6,000 to the average sales price of a home! 

Call a Pro to Help You Knock Out the To-Do List

To Do List for Home Maintenance
Let Coastal Home Pros help you with your list!

Once you’ve got the paint situation under control, it’s time to think about some other details. Everybody who owns a home has a never-ending to-do list…fix the screen door, change the can light in the vaulted ceiling, replace the running toilet in the upstairs bathroom. When you’re busy with work and family, that list often seems to keep growing and growing! Whatever is on your list, you’ll want to cross everything off before you put your home on the market. Don’t miss your chance to make a great first impression on potential buyers!

Set Your Home Up For Success With Some Professional Help

If you’re thinking of sticking that For Sale sign in your yard, think about calling Coastal Home Pros first. Selling your home can be a process full of headaches and hassles, but we can help shorten that to-do list! We’ve got expert teams that can tackle everything from painting and minor repairs to major construction and renovation. We can help you at every step of the way–from getting your home in showcase condition to addressing any issues that crop up on inspection reports. The real estate market is hot here in the Panhandle and Emerald Coast. If you’re ready to list your home, we’d love to help! Call us today to schedule a free estimate!

Dog-friendly beach homes

4 Ways Coastal Home Pros Can Help You Prepare Your Home For Canine Chaos (Or Repair Pet Damage That Already Exists)

Three cheers (or should we say barks?) for Pensacola Beach, which just made Coastal Living’s updated list of Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in Florida! Here at Coastal Home Pros, we know our beaches are some of the best in the state. And since we’re all dog lovers, we know our pets enjoy the beach just as much as we do. But as much as love our four-legged buddies, we also know that they can wreak some serious havoc on a home. Since we’re the home maintenance experts, we thought we should share some tips on making your home tough enough for man’s best friend. If you’ve already had some accidents and minor damage, we’re here for you with our Handyman Services. Need durable and stain-resistant floors? We’ve got you covered. Even if your pooch has done serious damage, our remodeling team can have your home looking new again in a jiffy. Read on!

Dog at Pensacola Beach
Most dogs love the beach, but the sand and moisture they bring home can do a number on your home’s floors and surfaces.

1) First Thing’s First – Let’s Talk Fencing

Fencing is a good idea for homes with dogs.
Good fences make safe dogs.

The number one thing you can do to insure your dog’s safety is to install a quality fence. Keeping your pet safely contained on your property will buy you years of peace of mind. With a fence, you won’t have to worry about cars, predators, or incidents with other dogs. If your dog has anxiety or any signs of aggression, the fence will help them feel more secure within their own domain. Coastal Home Pros has a ton of experience installing fences in Pensacola area and beyond. From chain link to picket to privacy fencing, we’ve done it all. Check out our recent project gallery for some pictures of past projects – this pet fence in Navarre turned out great, as did this privacy fence in Gulf Breeze!

2) Dog-proof the Interior – Our Handyman Services Can Help

The American Humane Society has a great list of ways to make the interior of your home safe for your pets. Number one on the list? Install child-proof latches on cabinets to prevent curious and crafty pups from getting into trouble. You should also look for exposed electrical outlets or other electrical issues that can be a hazard to your dog. You can purchase child safety latches at any hardware store. Although they’re relatively simple to install, it can be time consuming to cover all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. And it’s important to make sure they are installed properly. If you don’t have time to do this task yourself, check out our Handyman Services. We can professionally install the latches for a very reasonable price, and we can also inspect your outlets for missing plates or other issues.

3) Think About Flooring Options

Here in coastal Florida, wood floors take a beating from high moisture levels and tracked-in sand. Add pets into the mix, and your floors can go from beautiful to battered really quickly. If you’re think about adding a dog to your family, or your dog has already ruined your floors, consider ceramic or porcelain tile. Our flooring contractors can help you choose durable, low-maintenance tile flooring that will stand up to anything your pet can dish out.

When it comes to pet messes, tile is man’s best friend!

4) For Major Damage, Call in the Remodeling Pros

They may look cute and innocent as puppies, but dogs can do some serious damage to your home. Even a well-supervised dog can annihilate drywall, wood trim, and doors when they are bored or anxious. We once knew a dog who ate an entire deck off of a house while his owner was at work. (100% true – we saw it ourselves.) If your pup has gotten the best of you and your home, don’t despair. Coastal Home Pros is only a click or a phone call away, and our remodeling team can handle any work you need. From drywall repairs to carpentry work to a brand new deck and more, we can make your home look like new again. And we’ll even bring treats for the dog!