Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fogged Up Windows on the Real Estate Inspection

A call that I field a great deal comes from the home seller and has to do with fogged up windows on the inspection report.  This creates a few options for the seller that should be balanced and it also is a good read for a home buyer as the options effect your new home and it's longevity.

For the sake of discussion we have a 2400 square foot house that is listed at $265,000 here in Dallas Texas.  Most homes built from the 80's forward have had builders grade aluminum double paned windows.  They often came with a 5 to 10 year seal failure warranty but they seldom have anything more than this.  The end of our warranty hopes just came upon us.

This home would have on average 18 to 24 windows and probably about 8 to 10 panes of glass that might be showing condensation between the panes or white calcium build up between the panes.

The home inspector will not be able to see all the windows with seal failure as many times the actual tell tale signs are years away for some of the windows.  Back to the example home.  Twenty four windows will have 40 or so lites of glass and if 8 get flagged (tagged, dotted, whatever the inspector did to them) that's probably a win as there are 8 more just about to go out.

Cost to replace fogged windows.  On average the small ones are $125.00 and the big ones above them are $175.00.  Big circle tops and arch-top shaped glass replacement is considerably more and can be $600 to $1000 depending on the size.  This means the big beautiful one in the foyer.

As this problem is usually noted at the time of sale, here's another option.  If 8 flagged units can be settled with the new buyer at $800 to $1000.  That's always a win for the seller.  No scheduling, no issues.

For the buyer that can be a win too.  A thousand towards a better solution than glass replacement might be a good thing.  You can both haggle over the other $500 in labor and variables that could come into play.

Glass replacement will fix the clarity of the glass but not the energy efficiency of the window.  Most 80's to 90's era homes have that builders grade frame and installation that just won't seal well after a period of time.  New glass in a builders grade window is much like new tires on your 1972 Pinto.  You'll be stuck to the road better, but you're still driving a 1972 Pinto.

A long term solution is a good vinyl replacement window with a lifetime warranty that can offer better U Value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.  The builders grade clear insulated window allows 87% of the heat through the glass whereas a quality replacement window will only allow about 21% of the heat to pass through it.  That's furnace heat staying in and sunlight heat staying out, all year long!

Now I admit that I am partial to replacement windows as I've had a lifelong career in Dallas and surrounding areas as a window guy, but the reality of how happy folks are when their house is suddenly airtight is so very motivating to me.  It makes me want the job to be perfect so the results are notable.  Enough about me though this is about foggy windows isn't it?

So now you know the options.  Google Glass Replacement if glass only is what the inspector came up with.  I also recommend you enter the zip code and look for a glass shop closest to your home.  That is the guy who can do it cheapest in most cases.  If you're a house flipper replacement windows may be a better option to put a fresh face on the property.  In your case you'd search for Replacement Windows or Vinyl Windows.  If you're in Dallas and surrounding areas I hope you'll let us weigh in on your project as well.  ~  Dave Traynor

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My first week with Google Glass

Well I'm sure that I could start in a hundred different places from the easily critical, like ugly, to the drastically boring stuff like the web interface, peoples reactions to it or maybe my wife's total determination to not participate in any way, but the first week with Google Glass was indeed interesting. The future of wearable technology is going to be fun.

I was pleased to see my websites new HTML 5 works well with glass while many sites just don't. I was pleased to see some pretty high quality pictures but not so high quality that you say, wow am I glad I spent $1500 on this camera. Yes the take away on week one is .. expensive toy there ground breaker. I did several job site pictures and a video or two on site as well. The kids never do time their humor for the red light so I still miss all the best comments and pictures even with a camera stuck to my head. Maybe I'll get better at it as time goes on.

The Navigation is a fail so far. I'll see about that but don't tell it to navigate to Dave's House or it will send you to New Hampshire, 1730 miles - One Day away. The tilt head for on sometimes doesn't work and it seems to work better with a full charge, early in the day and it seems to fade in performance as the day goes on. The restart with a tap doesn't work all the time. When it locks up the camera will still snap with the top button but it seems to be the only function. I had hoped for a bit more of an interface with the phone. It seems like it should be controlled by the phone for usability but that would make it an Apple product not a Google product now wouldn't it? The tilt head to kill video was a killer to body language and movement for the animated wearer so that could be a factor if you we're filming and trying to be yourself instead of watching the viewfinder. Many sites don't navigate well that you would think should be amazing. Google Plus is one of them. I notice share buttons are useless so if you like a site and want to hit the social button you will be limited to finding a login page, even for G+. That one surprised me as we all know I'm certainly logged into Google at that point. Once at a login page, it's not really possible to enter your email and password, hence, sharing isn't going to happen. I was pleased to see my rankings are high and that is important as a web search will only yield about 5 to 8 results and they have links but no page two or three so those top ones better be the solution. I still can't make a call on them.

I guess I'll have to use my icloud to download contacts to gmail to insert into G+ as that's the format it wants to use to call people. Yea that ones pretty tough to explain. Lets say that although week one netted a gig of pictures and videos, i couldn't really send them to anyone except through G+. That part really made me wonder because they don't seem to care about me adding or being friends with my current Facebook friends or my phone book associates, they want me to befriend an Audi dealer in Bangladesh or a software development guy in Mogadishu. Someone in management would have to explain that one to us. All that aside, no easy integration to the phones contacts. Incidently the phone is consistently asking you to add contacts but it can't seem to store them or display them anywhere. The interface for adding contacts was in fact, bad on the glasses, bad on the iphone app, and bad on the internet. That's a pretty deadly trifecta for any tech gadget. Lets hope the contacts integration team is on that one. It's pretty important. "Glass call my wife" is a no brainer and this toy doesn't seem to do that. The wink to take a picture hasn't been too great either. It seems a lot like the tilt your head to wake it up feature.... very hit and miss. Actually the wink thing has been all misses.

That, along with many of my complaints are probably user error. Let's be very clear on that. I'm not a tech guy I'm a home improvement contractor in Dallas and this is not my job. I'm more like an interested consumer and bystander. I just wanted to see if I could make instructional videos easier with them. That may still work out. Time will tell. So that's my first accessment of the Glass. I have to confess to no reading of instructions, one quick support call about the contacts and two short videos as my training so again, maybe all user error at this point.

You can find the pictures in a post from today 1-19-2014 on my G+ profile at

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A New Blog for a New Year!

A New Blog for a New Year

By Dave Traynor

Well the SEO world says that it's not enough to have a Facebook Page, and a Twitter Profile, and a Google Maps Listing, or a Google Places listing.  Now the thing to have is a blog.  I personally even hate the word much less the concept.

What's a blog?  It sounds like a contraption created by a bad log.  It's not an article.  Not a webpage.  It just sounds useless already.  So much for optimism in the New Year.

No really I do have good things to say and add to society I just haven't figured them out yet.  Well that's not true either, I do know what to say.  Say something nice or don't say anything at all.  Thanks Grandma.

I have a great list of 13 things mentally strong people don't do.  I can't remember where I put them.  Google Plus profile I think.

Google Plus!  That's what it was I needed to blog about!  The single most important thing for a New Year and a small business is not really a blog in most cases.  It's a Google Plus Business Page.

A G+ profile for yourself will work much like a facebook page but more importantly, serves as a base author for your business profile, which over time will become the "publisher" of your website.  This Publisher and Authorship association with your web page will serve to bring higher organic web rankings to your website.

You can't underestimate the importance of getting in early.  For my company the two words Dallas and Windows are important.  How awesome was it to get my Google Plus Business Page up and acknowledged with a new cool page id like this one:  

Now maybe it will never be important for you to promote yourself in any way.  That is doubtful if you desire to be an expert in your field.  Most small business owners have 20+ years in their trade or industry and are experts but the internet has to be able to see that expertise and see it benefit the reader or the web searcher.

This is why I have to get a small business blog that talks about my small home improvement company.  And this is why you have to get a Google Plus Business page as soon as possible.

I'm looking forward to sharing on this blog.  My years of web development just hit 15 and I've made a great life with a small replacement window company and a great web presence.  Let me share it with you and come back to visit us often!  ~  Dave  And don't miss our other outreaches for the cool pictures!