What is a Professional Energy Audit?

Your windows – and the rest of your home – might be drafty, leaky, and inefficient, which can cause you to lose lots of money on heating and cooling You love the windows and window shutters on your Elk Grove, CA home. But are they efficient?

That’s where professional energy audits come in. In fact, professional energy audits can help you save between 5% and 30% of your annual energy usage.

Professional energy audits can be anything from a visual inspection of a heating system to a thorough diagnostic test with infrared cameras and thermal imaging. They go a long way towards not only discovering energy problems around the home but also offering solutions for those problems. The ideal time to get a professional energy audit is before you buy a home. That way, you can know exactly what you’re getting into before you make a purchase. But it’s also important to monitor your home’s energy efficiency throughout your time of ownership. It’s generally recommended to get a professional audit during a period of high energy use, like in the summer when the AC is running a lot or in the winter when the heat is always on.

Most audits begin with a general inspection of the home exterior to make sure it has enough protection. The auditor will usually look for gaps in the walls, windows, doors, or eaves. Next, the auditor will inspect the insulation in the roof, walls, and house frame to make sure that there are no gaps and that the insulation is in working order. Next comes a thorough inspection of the heating and cooling system, including the hot water heater and any ductwork. Following the visual inspection, most auditors will perform a blower door test.

Making sure that all doors and windows are closed, the auditor depressurizes the home and then uses infrared cameras to see if any outside air is leaking into the home. The most common spots include around doors, through light fixtures, and around windows. When the inspection is done, the auditor will give you a total home energy score that rates your house’s overall efficiency based on size, age, and the types of systems. Most will also provide suggestions on how you can improve your home’s energy efficiency, like new replacement windows, window treatments, or energy-saving appliances.

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The right window shutters will go a long way towards increasing your home’s energy efficiency, even if you don’t get a professional energy audit first. Most modern window shutters come with a range of features specifically intended to boost efficiency. Plus, they’re incredibly stylish and convenient.

Getting a professional energy audit for your home is an absolute must, whether you are buying a new one or are looking to improve your long-term home.

The Shutter Source is here to help if you want more tips on energy efficiency or home improvement. We offer expert Elk Grove, CA window shutter services that will surely make your home more efficient, functional, and stylish. Call or visit us today!

Tips for Creating the Perfect Home Office

Working from home is the new norm! As companies get more and more comfortable with their employees working remotely, you get the chance to ditch the commute for good and work from home. However, this also means that you need to set up a good home office. That’s where these tips, like adding new window shutters to your Elk Grove, CA home, come in.

Here are tips for creating the perfect home office:

  • Choose the Right Room – You need to find a room or area in your home in which you can create your office. While working on the couch or in bed might be tempting, it’s best to have a space that’s dedicated to working and one that can fit a desk and a chair, at least. Don’t forget to consider foot traffic, too, as it will be tough to work if everyone in the family is constantly walking by your desk or stopping to chat. Extra bedrooms, corners of the kitchen, basements, playrooms, or sunrooms are best.
  • Find a Good Desk – There are two main kinds of desks, standing, and sitting. If you choose to go the standing desk route., be sure you find a good mat to stand on so your feet don’t get sore or tired. But no matter if you choose standing or sitting, be sure your desk has enough workspace. You need to have enough room for all the items you use on a daily basis like a computer, phone, monitor, paper, and pens, plus all those extras that always seem to pile up.
  • Have Fun with Accessories – If you’re working from home, why not have some fun? Pick out accessories like wastebaskets, wall art, desk décor, or even a basic pencil cup that makes you smile or make you happy.
  • Focus On Organization – It’s always smart to create a good organizational system right from the start. Plus, the right organization will make even the smallest space seem a lot bigger. Look for shelves, cubbies, baskets, and bins to help you stay organized.
  • Access to Power – You need to plugin, and you really don’t want to be annoyed every time you have to cross the room to reach the nearest outlet. Try and organize your office in an area with easy access to power or at least run an extension cord to give yourself a simple place to plugin. Also, cord organizers are very helpful when it comes to preventing wires from getting tangled.
  • Great Light – Lighting is also very important. It’s great to have lots of natural light in your office space to keep you energized and awake, but it’s also good to be able to customize that light when needed. Window treatments like shutters are excellent for offices because they allow you to personalize how much light you get throughout the day.

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Want more tips on how to decorate your home office or make your house great? With years of experience in the Elk Grove, CA window shutter industry, The Shutter Source is here to help. Call or visit us today.

Window Trends for 2021

Now is the perfect time to update your home. After all, the warm weather makes it easy to give your house the maintenance, care, and attention it needs. But where should you start? Try the windows and window shutters on your Elk Grove, CA home.

If you need some inspiration for updating the windows on your home, here is a list of the top window trends for 2021:

  • Floor-To-Ceiling Windows – It’s no wonder these expansive windows are trending! Floor-to-ceiling windows allow tons of beautiful natural light into your home, reconnecting you with the outdoors and even boosting your mood. Plus, they’re incredibly dramatic and always make a stylish statement. Try large picture windows to achieve this look or go for a mixture of single-hung or double-hung windows in combination with lower or upper transoms so you can open some of the windows for fresh air.
  • Energy Efficient Windows – Going green is very in right now, and for good reason. Not only are many people looking for ways to help the environment, but they’re also searching for easy ways to cut costs. Energy efficient windows accomplish both. Look for high-quality windows made from wood, vinyl, or fiberglass to help seal in your air-conditioned air and keep out the outside air. This will help make sure your home is at a comfortable temperature, helps save you money on energy spending, and reduce your energy usage to help the planet.
  • Bow Windows – Bow windows feature three or more windows in a curved arc, adding a feeling of extra square footage as they extend just beyond your home’s wall. Bow windows might feel retro, but they’re making a big comeback right now. They not only help you take advantage of the extra summer light but also add value, space, and style to your home. Imagine all the things you can do with the extra space, from and bench for reading and storage to the perfect place to let your houseplants get the sunshine they need.
  • Impact Windows – The weather is getting nutty, so impact windows are trending. Even if you don’t live in an area that gets hurricanes or tornados, they are also very helpful for extra security and sun protection. Impact windows are made with laminated glass that filters 99% of UV rays. In the summer months, when the sun is shining at its peak, that filtration effect can help protect your furniture, drapes, and carpets from fading and can help keep your home’s temperature at a comfortable level.
  • Practical and Stylish Window Treatments – People want their window treatments to be more than just pretty these days. That is why treatments like shutters are very popular. Shutters are not only stylish, but they’re also incredibly functional, convenient, secure, and energy efficient. Explore shutters made from various materials like wood and vinyl to find the type that works best for you and your home.

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Ready to improve your home this summer with new windows and Elk Grove, CA window shutters? The Shutter Source is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

The Most Valuable Remodeling Projects

Remodeling is expensive, but some projects, like adding window shutters to your Elk Grove, CA home, can increase the value of your home or, in other words, offer you a return on your investment (ROI). The money you can recoup in home value varies from project to project, but there are certain ones that offer more bang for your buck.

Here is a list of the most valuable home remodeling projects according to the Cost Vs. Value Report for 2021:

  1. Garage Door Replacement – A new garage door will recoup 93.8% of your investment. This number is so high because garage doors are relatively easy to replace, and the work can be completed usually in just one day.
  2. New Windows – While the value of a window replacement can vary based on the type of replacement windows used, they generally come out to 68.6% recoupment. This is because replacement windows not only help your home look better, but also can dramatically lower your energy usage and costs. While you’re replacing your windows, don’t forget to invest in new window treatments, like window shutters. After all, you don’t want to put up old shutters or shades on top of your brand-new windows.
  3. Roof Replacement – A brand new roof might be on the pricey side, but it will recoup 60.7% of that initial cost. Roofing can be pricey because it’s a big, messy job that requires professional help in order to make sure that it’s done safely and correctly. But, once completed, a new roof will have a big impact on the overall look of your home and can also make your home more energy efficient so you can save money on heating and cooling.
  4. New Siding – If you want a major makeover for your home without all the work or mess of a big remodel, new siding is the way to go. New siding will dramatically improve your home’s outdoor appearance and function. This project will also recoup 68.3% of the cost!
  5. New Entryway – First impressions are important, so refreshing your home’s entryway will recoup 60.9% of the cost. Redo your entryway by investing in a new door, sidelight windows, and a fresh coat of paint.
  6. Bathroom Remodel – The second most redone room after the kitchen is the bathroom. This is because a bad bathroom can be really, really, bad, but just a few small finishes can make it really, really, nice. Plus, bathroom remodels can recoup 60.1% of the initial investment. This is generally seen in the resale value of your home as homebuyers love to see redone, updated, and attractive bathrooms.
  7. Small Kitchen Remodel – The kitchen is usually the most used and the most popular room in the house, which is why even a small remodel, like replacing hardware or countertops, can recoup 72.2% of the investment.

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Sometimes it’s the small home remodeling projects that can make a big difference in your home and recoup the most of your investment. The Shutter Source is here to help if you want more home renovation or Elk Grove, CA window shutter tips. Call or visit us today to learn more.

Make Your Home Feel Like a Vacation Home

Instead of buying a separate house for vacations, why not make your actual home feel more like a vacation home? Then you can be on vacation all the time! After all, everyone dreams of owning a vacation home. Use these tips, like installing window shutters on your Elk Grove, CA house and turning your bathroom into a spa, to help make your home feel like a vacation home.

  • Create an Outdoor Oasis – Make the most of your outdoor space by treating it as an extension of your home. Break it into rooms like a dining area, entertainment spot, cooking area, and lounging area. Also, be sure your outdoor furniture is comfortable and clean as no one will want to relax on dirty or hard furniture. Don’t forget the outdoor pillows, fountains, torches, fire pits, or bistro lights for ambiance.
  • Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa – There’s nothing better than the full relaxation and rejuvenation that comes from a spa visit. Make your bathroom echo that experience with a few small updates. First, clear away that clutter! Put away personal hygiene products, haircare tools, and medicine in the medicine cabinet, drawers, or in a basket so the counter is empty and calming. If you want to leave things on the counter, make sure they’re attractive like potted plants, perfumes, or bath salts. Second, invest in some new linens like super fluffy towels and an ultra-plush bathrobe. Finally, scented candles and incense are your friends as the smell is incredibly powerful when it comes to transporting and relaxing.
  • Let in the Light – Most vacation spots have a very indoor/outdoor feel with huge doors and expansive windows. Bring that to your home by investing in windows that will let the natural light shine into and brighten your home. You can also invest in a new patio or sliding door for easier access to your outdoor space. Don’t forget to finish your new windows with stylish and functional window treatments like window shutters.

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  • Transform Your Bedroom into a Hotel Room – Hotel rooms are strictly for relaxation and rest. Make your bedroom at home the same way! First, your bedroom is not an office, laundry room, or gym, so get rid of everything that isn’t geared towards rest and relaxation. Clear away clutter off dressers and bedside tables so you aren’t distracted when it’s time to sleep or relax. You can also repaint the walls a soothing, subtle color like dove grey or soft white and update your bedding to match. Finally, upgrade your window treatments to make sure you have ultimate light control – darkness when it’s time to rest and soft, warm light when it’s time to relax.

While owning a vacation home is nice, you won’t need one if you use these tips to make your home feel like a vacation 24/7. The Shutter Source is here to help if you want more tips on home improvement or Elk Grove, CA window shutters. Call or visit us today!

Outdoor Living Trends for 2021

Ready to spend some time outside? The summer weather is calling, and this means you need to make sure your outdoor space is up to snuff. If you need some inspiration for your deck, backyard, or patio, here is a list of outdoor living trends for 2021, including installing new window shutters on your Elk Grove, CA home.

  • Transitional Patio Doors – Patio doors are in right now, especially large ones that open wide. The right patio door will not only give you great views of the outdoors, but it will also help you create a seamless, simple transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Outdoor Kitchens – If you’ve got the space and the budget, an outdoor kitchen is a must-have for your home. Adding a grill, fridge, prep sink, stove, countertop, and even fun extras like a wood-fired pizza oven can make your outdoor space the blocks biggest party spot.
  • Transitional Window Treatments – Make your indoor and outdoor spaces even more synchronized by installing simple, functional window treatments like window shutters. Shutters make it easy for you to let natural light and fresh air into your home, mirroring your trendy outdoor space.
  • Outdoor Technology – There are all kinds of cool gadgets you can get for your space that will take your outdoor living to a whole new level. Look into smart lights, speakers, video projectors, and outdoor TVs so you can move all the movie nights, family games, and any other event outside. You can even bring your Wi-Fi outside with an extender.
  • Comfortable Furniture – One of the simplest upgrades you can make for your deck, patio, or yard is adding comfortable furniture. Luckily, outdoor, weather-proof furniture is trending hard right now, making it easy for you to find pieces that match your style and space.
  • Fire Features – Sure, fire pits are fun, but trendy fire features are even better. Unlike traditional fire pits, these trending pieces are heated with gas so you can turn your fire on or off with the touch of a button. Can’t afford a fire feature? You can’t go wrong with some well-placed tiki torches or even some bistro lights for ambiance.

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  • Pergolas – Pergolas are the answer to your yard’s shade, privacy, and style needs – and they are super in style right now. In fact, some might even call 2021 the year of the pergola! What’s more, pergolas are incredibly easy to install so you can start enjoying benefits right away.
  • Edible Gardens – Edible gardens are full of plants that are not only beautiful but also edible, like if a vegetable patch and a flower garden had a baby. Great for adding greenery and color to your yard and tasty, fresh vegetable and herbs to your kitchen, it makes sense why edible gardens are so popular. Just be wary of treating anything with harmful pesticides or herbicides.

Want more tips on outdoor trends or Elk Grove, CA window shutters? The Shutter Source is here to help. Stop by and pay us a visit or give us a call today.

How to Get Your Home Ready for Your Vacation

While most people have stayed at home recently, it’s now time to get back out there and go on vacation! As you prepare to head out of town on a trip, you need to make sure your home is ready, too. Keep your house sealed and safe while you’re out of town on vacation by following these tips, like hiring a house or pet sitter or installing safe and efficient window shutters on your Elk Grove, CA home:

  • Hold Your Mail – Ask your local post office to hold your mail while you’re away. This way, your mailbox and front porch won’t be full of tempting packages and mail for people with bad intentions to see or steal.
  • Hire a House Sitter – Hire someone or ask a friend or neighbor to stop by your house while you’re gone. They can water your plants, bring in packages, and turn the lights on and off.
  • Lock Your Windows – Deter theft by making sure all your windows and doors are locked. You can even take it a step further and invest in window treatments that also lock, like window shutters.
  • Clean Before You Leave – Not only is it great to come home to a nice, clean home, but the more you clean before you leave the less likely it is that you’ll come home to odors, pests, or other nasty surprises. Clear the fridge of leftovers and other perishables, run the garbage disposal with some ice cubes and lemon rinds, and wipe down all your kitchen countertops to clear away bits of food. Make sure you don’t leave any wet towels, clothes, or sheets in the washing machine or laundry basket, either.
  • Take Out the Trash – Nothing gets smellier than trash left inside while you’re on vacation. Don’t forget to take out the recycling, too.
  • Put Your Car in the Garage (and Close the Door!) – This will help deter theft and will help keep your car safe in case of inclement weather. Plus, your car will stay clean.
  • Unplug What You Can – Unplug appliances like TVs, computers, toasters, and coffee makers to save you on power usage and to keep them safe in the event of a power surge.
  • Leave a Light On – A dark house is a dead giveaway that no one is home. If you can, set a light on a timer to turn on when it gets dark out. If you don’t have a timer, just leave one or two lights on in the house.
  • Set Your Thermostat – Make sure your home is set to a reasonable temperature, like 80 degrees in the summer or 50 degrees in the winter. This week keep your home safe and comfortable and will also help you from wasting energy while you’re away.

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It’s easy to have a fun, worry-free vacation if you follow these tips and prep your home. Want more home ideas or information on Elk Grove, CA window shutters?  The Shutter Source is here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you and your home.

The Benefits of Cleaning Your Windows and Window Shutters

Adding window shutters to your Elk Grove, CA home is a great way to enjoy more comfort, higher energy efficiency, more convenience, and even a higher home value. While windows and shutters have come a long way from what they used to be, they still need regular maintenance in order to perform and look their best. And this maintenance includes regular cleaning.

Why should you clean your windows and shutters? Here are some of the benefits of regular cleanings:

  • Protection from Damage – Dirt and other buildup can actually damage your window glass. Even if your windows aren’t visibly dirty, grime and dirt can create tiny scratches on the glass that will ruin your windows permanently. Not only do these scratches look unsightly, but they also cause even more dust and debris to cling to your window.
  • Aesthetics – Dirty windows and shutters are unsightly, there’s no way around it. From dirt and dust to grime and cobwebs, dirty windows look bad from both the inside and outside of your home.
  • Increased Energy Efficiency – The dirtier your windows and shutters are, the less energy efficient they can become. This is because tiny scratches in the window glass from dirt and debris can make the window glassless insulative, and therefore reduce the window’s overall efficiency.
  • Protection for Window Accessories – Regularly cleaning your windows will also help protect your window accessories, like flower boxes, shutters, and other coverings, from damage. The more cobwebs and grime cover your window, the more cobwebs and grime will cover your accessories.
  • More Natural Light – Grime, dirt, and other buildups on windows and shutters can block sunlight from entering your home. Not only is natural light beautiful and comforting, but less natural light also means less natural heat when it’s cold outside.

Now that you know how important it is to clean your windows and shutters, you need to figure out how often you should perform the task. The common rule of thumb for residential windows is cleaning twice a year. But this number can go up depending on if you live on a busy street with lots of dust or there are lots of trees with pollen in your yard. You also need to consider your climate and environment when scheduling window cleanings. Think about these key things when planning how often you will clean your windows:

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  • Do you live close to busy streets?
  • Are there lots of trees and pollen in your vicinity?
  • Is there often high wind in your area?
  • Did you remodel your home?
  • Is there new construction in your area?
  • How often do you clean your screens?

Cleaning your windows and shutters regularly will help keep them beautiful, efficient, and well-functioning for years to come. Plus, this chore will also help your home seem cleaner, brighter, and more pleasant. Want to learn more about window and shutter cleaning, maintenance, or Elk Grove, CA window shutters? The Shutter Source is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

Window Shutters and Your Dining Room

Nothing puts a damper on a dinner more than an outdated dining room. While a full renovation might be nice, many people don’t have the time or the budget to completely redo their dining room. Luckily, a few small but thoughtful upgrades can make a big impact in an out-of-date dining room without breaking the bank. From reupholstering chairs to installing new window shutters in Elk Grove, CA, here are tips for updating your dining room:

  • Try Window Shutters – Get rid of old or outdated window treatments and invest in some new, modern ones. Since dining rooms are full of hard furniture like tables and chairs, try light or soft treatments like gauzy curtains or minimal treatments like subtle shutters.
  • Reupholster Dining Chairs – Frumpy or dated chairs can really bring your dining room down. While getting new chairs is fun, you can get the same effect simply by reupholstering your old ones.
  • Add Wallpaper – Wallpaper is making a serious comeback, especially in dining rooms. A dining room is a great place to play with accent walls, and nothing makes a quicker or easier accent wall than wallpaper.
  • Change Up Mirrors or Art – The mirrors, art, and another wall décor in your dining room add texture, style, and color to the space. So, if you’re feeling bored with the current design, a quick fix is to try out new pieces on the walls. Here’s an expert tip: place a large mirror on the wall opposite windows to make the room feel brighter and bigger.
  • Invest in a New Table – The central piece of any dining room is the dining table. Therefore, your dining table deserves a bigger budget than any other item in the space. If you choose to invest in a new dining table, be sure to consider size, style, ambiance, and maintenance. Choose a table that will stand up to daily use as well as long-term wear and tear, and also be sure to choose a table that will fit in the room and will fit your family and guests. You can also have some fun and look at tables with interesting features like leaves, storage compartments, and expandable sections.
  • Paint the Walls – A fresh coat of paint can go a long, long way towards updating a space. Try a modern, neutral color like grey or khaki, or have some fun and add an accent wall in a bright shade like coral.
  • Invest in New Windows – Nothing makes a room more stylish, welcoming, and warm than an abundance of natural light. The best way to get more light in your dining room? Invest in replacement windows. Plus, new windows will also help make your home more energy efficient.

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It’s easy to update your dining room without spending too much time or money if you follow these tips. The Shutter Source is here to help if you want more home tips or information on Elk Grove, CA window shutters. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you and your home.

How to Keep Bugs Away This Summer

There’s nothing like creepy, crawly, buzzing bugs to put a damper on your summer fun. As temperatures rise, we’re spending more time outside and also opening our windows a lot more to let in the fresh air. While this is great, it also means we’re going to have to deal with more bugs. What can you do? These tips, like using special candles or installing window shutters on your Elk Grove, CA home, can help keep the bugs away:

  • Seal the Windows – Many windows have gaps that make it easy for bugs to sneak inside your home. Make sure your windows are sealed by investing in new, tight replacement windows or by trying out effective treatments like window shutters.
  • Clean Up – Bug are attracted to food, so if there are crumbs or food bits out in your home the bugs will want to come in for a bite. Make sure your countertops and floors are wiped clean and be sure to properly store food away in the fridge or cabinets.
  • Check Your Basement at Attic – These areas are ripe for issues like cracks, open vents, leaky pipes, and other ways that bugs can sneak in. Caulk all openings around laundry vents, chimneys, and pipes, and seal larger openings with steel wool.
  • Try Natural Repellants and Traps – If you’re not a fan of chemical insect repellants or traps, try natural remedies. For example, spray windows and doorframes with white vinegar and water to keep the ants away, or put a small dish of white wine out on your counter to attract and drown fruit flies. Also, spiders hate the smell of fresh peppermint, so spray down your doors and windows with a solution of peppermint essential oil and water.
  • Get Rid of Standing Water – Mosquitos breed in standing water. So, if you want to keep your home free of these biting pests, get rid of any standing water you have in or around your homes like barrels, planters, ditches, or dehumidifiers.
  • Use a Fan – Oscillating fans often create breezes that are strong enough to blow flying bugs like flies, mosquitos, and bees of course. Use fans inside and outside your home to keep them away from an area like the dinner table or patio.
  • Plant Specific Plants – There are plants that bugs cannot stand. For example, mosquitos hate the smell of peppermint, sage, rosemary, and lavender. Plant these plants in flower beds, planters, or pots around seating areas to keep the bugs away.
  • Cover Food While Outdoors – Flies and other bugs are always looking for food, so they’ll surely be attracted to your BBQ, salad, or even that glass of wine you like to enjoy on your deck. Cover your food while outdoors so you don’t attract the bugs.

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The best way to keep bugs out of your home? Seal them out with quality windows and window treatments, like Elk Grove, CA window shutters. The Shutter Source is here to help if you’d like to learn more. Call or visit us today.