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Technology and home improvement: From HVAC to roofing to windows to home security systems
American News Report
We've seen technology radically change the landscape of communications, business and entertainment in the last decade, where all things have turned to digital revolutions. Ask any 16 year old if they know how to use a fax machine, and they'll reply, "What's a fax machine?" Heck, Instagram is not old enough to be in kindergarten.
We wanted to see how technology has affected what most consider baseline industries, where digital tools may or may not seem to be important: Specifically, we looked at the home improvement industry, where things like HVAC, roofing and windows don't appear to be tech-influenced, as well as security, which the general consumer recognizes as being tech-influenced.
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Open and shut case for new windows
The Canadian Press via The Regina Leader-Post
As the winter months fade to spring, and eventually summer, more homeowners will feel the urge to fling their windows open wide and let in the fresh air, but for those with older windows this seasonal gesture may not be possible. While energy efficiency has become an important factor when it comes to purchasing new windows, there are a variety of factors affecting which product homeowners choose and the type of problems they may have had with their old ones.
Feds grant 11 states $102 million for storm prevention
Eleven states in the eastern U.S. will split $102.7 million in federal grants to safeguard risks of future natural disasters.
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resilience Grant Program will fund a variety of projects, with New York and New Jersey receiving the highest funds, to protect communities at risk from future big storms like the October 2012 storm that slammed the East Coast.
State offers builders alternative to Low-E glass
A WRAL News investigation into windows that reflect sunlight like a big magnifying glass has the state considering a change to the building code.
State building code requires Low-E windows for their energy-saving benefits. They have a coating that reflects the sun, keeping it cooler indoors. But the reflective quality has proven so strong that it melts vinyl siding and parts of cars. There are even reports that reflections from the roofs of sun rooms started fires on cedar shingles on at least four homes across the country.
Energy-efficient windows with polyurethane composites
European Plastics News
Recognizing the trend towards ever-larger glazed areas in buildings — with correspondingly smaller frames — Bayer MaterialScience, the Germany-based material company, has developed a durable material solution based on fiber composites with a tailored polyurethane matrix, for window frames.
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Make a grand entrance: Simple ideas to refresh your entryway
BPT via ScoopSanDiego
Most people enter their home through the garage or backdoor, forgetting how the front entrance looks to neighbors and guests. Your front door is often the first thing others notice about your home. That's why it's key to make a positive first impression. Transform your home's curb appeal with a new front door. With so many new entry door systems to choose from, ranging from single doors, to double-door options, to those accented with decorative glass, or transoms and sidelights, it's easy to find one that fits your budget and your style.
Solar home market begins to capture mainstream buyers
The rooftop solar panel, once a badge of distinction for energy nerds and greens, is going mainstream.
While firm numbers are hard to pin down, homebuilders and industry experts say the number of newly constructed homes with a solar energy system preinstalled is surging, from as little as a few hundred units a decade ago to tens of thousands of units entering the market today.
One-sided windows won't come clean
A Wisconsin resident asks: I clean my apartment windows every week, but I can't clean the outside. If I lift the window and reach around outside, I can just get the bottom part of the window. We're in an upstairs unit, so I can't reach them from outside. Any solutions?
5 home improvements that boost safety, comfort and the value of your home
Elwood City Ledger
Home improvement season is in full swing, and homeowners across the country are deciding which projects to tackle this year. By taking a strategic approach to selecting home improvements, you can go beyond adding value to your property — you can also boost your comfort and safety as well.
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