Beach Style Living RoomBeach Style Living Room, Seattle
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Fading, discoloration and fabric damage are the downsides of the sunlight — actually, any visible light — that floods our rooms. There are three main culprits in the spectrum of light: UVA and UVB rays cause 45 percent of the damage; heat/infrared radiation causes 25 percent; and visible light causes 25 percent, according to industry expert Ron Best of Protection Seattle.Dealing with these culprits presents two tricky issues. The first is that damaging UV rays are present whether or not the sun is shining. Even on cloudy or rainy days, this silent destroyer is at work. In Seattle clients would start calling me around the first of May, saying, “My sofa has faded! How can that be? The sun hasn’t been out in 200 days!”
A wall of windows maximizes natural light and the view.Now you need to brace yourself. The previous owners were DIY-ers in the 1970s. That about says it all, but I will press on with the details. There was wall-to-wall carpet everywhere, and I do mean everywhere: bathrooms and kitchen included. The ceilings laughed at mere popcorn, aspiring to stalactites. Are you sitting? Because I'm just getting started. Faux beams? You betcha! Cedar shakes? A wall of them! Fake brick? Two walls! Paneling? Eight rooms and seven styles! Volcanic-looking rock? Going all the way up the stairs! I knew it was a nightmare, but I saw all the possibilities. I knew we could sand ceilings and paint paneling and rip out the carpet as well as the faux everything. And we did. We went room by room, adding windows and replacing, retexturing and repainting walls, floors and ceilings — from the day we took possession until days before it burned down. But all this was mere cosmetics; there was more.We met our house on a rainy day so, not surprisingly, it was dark inside. The entry led into the dining room, which was the center of the house. To the north was a doorway to a hall that led to a bathroom and bedrooms. On the east wall was a door to another bedroom. To the south was a large archway that opened to the kitchen and the rest of the house. On the other side of the west wall were the mudroom and the garage. That there were no windows did not register for me as a problem; neither did the house's deep eaves nor the fact that it faced north and sat in a valley surrounded by woods.
7. Replace (or modify) old windows. Single-pane windows are a major culprit of heat loss during the winter months. Upgrading to low-U-value, low-E windows can save you up to 25 percent of your heating bill, according to the DOE. If new windows are not in the cards, you can still improve efficiency by covering single-pane windows with storm windows in winter and white shades in summer to reflect heat away from the home.8. Retrofit or replace your old furnace. The first step here is to check on the energy efficiency of your current furnace or boiler, which is measured by annual fuel-utilization efficiency (AFUE). Very old models had efficiencies in the 56 to 70 percent range, while the best new furnaces measure up to 97 percent efficient. It is possible to retrofit older furnaces and boilers to increase energy efficiency, though the cost should be weighed against the cost of replacement and energy bill savings.
After you've made it through learning all the window jargon, you can go out and choose the style of your new windows to match the style of your house. All of these explanations won't make you an expert, but they should give you the vocabulary you need to talk to the window experts.
Natural wood. In wooden windows, a fillet is cut into the outer edge of the muntin to "stop" the pane of glass in the opening, and putty or thin strips of wood or metal are then used to hold the glass in place. The thickness of window muntins ranges from very slim (a product of 19th century Greek-revival buildings) to thick (influenced by 17th and early 18th century buildings).