Benefits of Adding Awnings to Your Home

awning

Awnings are coverings you can add to your home to go over windows or doors. Are they worth it for your home? Check out some reasons why you should consider this investment:

Protect against water damage

Awnings can protect your home’s doors, door casings, and window frames from rain damage. An awning can be used over an open window, which prevents rain from leaking inside and damaging the windowsill.

Reduce home cooling costs

Installing awnings over windows can significantly decrease your home’s energy costs during the cooler season. Your air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard or stay on as long to sustain a cold climate in your home. Window awnings produce enough shade to stop a great deal of unwanted solar heat gain through the window panes. Ventilated awnings are ideal because they block heat from becoming trapped around the exterior of your windows.

Preserve interior furnishings

Awnings installed over windows provide sufficient shade to shield your home’s decor and interior furnishings from becoming damaged by exposure to harsh, nonstop sunlight. This can help with fading by keeping colors bright. 

Protect the environment

Less energy consumption in your home lessens the impact of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Since awnings allow you to use less energy to cool your home, you’re helping the environment while saving money.

Increase the value of your home

Exterior awnings can increase your home’s value in three ways. This includes higher curb appeal. Having attractive awnings make your home more visually appealing to prospective buyers. Another is more living space. An awning installed over a patio or deck provides more outdoor livings space covered and protected from nature’s elements. The last is energy efficiency. Prospective homebuyers typically place a higher value on homes with superior energy efficiency. Since window and door awnings enable you to use less energy, buyers will notice your house as being more marketable than one that doesn’t provide the same kind of energy efficiency.

Talk to an expert

Before choosing a suitable awning for your home, consider your professional choices because the array of available styles and features is vast and diverse. An awning supply professional can help you in choosing the right awning that accommodates your budget and demands. With so many varying styles out there, it’s good to get a professional opinion when choosing the one that best suits your house’s architectural style.

Contact New England Hearth & Home

Along with fireplaces and other hearth options,  we are proud to offer awnings. Contact New England Hearth & Home so we can help you choose the right awnings for you and your needs! Give us a call at 781-562-0071 or fill out our contact form for more information.

 

Planning for an Outdoor Fireplace

outdoor fireplace

Looking for a way to add some flair to your backyard? Outdoor fireplaces can provide warmth and can be an inviting area where guests can gather and relax! It can also be a focal point of your yard and make a statement. Spring or winter, a fireplace is great for all season. Lighting a fire in the summer is great for cooler nights. If you are considering an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, it’s essential to know the facts to figure out the one you’d want.

Outdoor Fireplace vs. Fire Pit

There are many opportunities to enjoy and use a fire pit or outdoor fireplace. Outdoor fireplaces can take up a lot of space, which is excellent for a big area to work with. They can be custom-built, portable, and prefabricated. Custom-built ones are a more expensive option and designed from the ground up. A portable fireplace is ideal for people who like to change around the setup of their yard or move around a lot. Prefabricated fireplace kits are an option for people who like certain designs and want to build around that design at a cheaper cost. An outdoor fire pit is a more casual option, and are fairly less of a price to construct. However, since it’s open, smoke with have more areas to drift around, and using it for cooking may be harder to do.

What is the purpose of building an outdoor fireplace?

Outdoor fireplaces are a great gathering spot for backyard barbecues, cookouts, and more. You can add comfortable seating around it, including outdoor couches and lounging chairs. You can also enhance the landscaping around the fireplace area by adding potted plants or new flowers. This is an excellent opportunity to make your yard visually appealing and create a new space.

Are there safety concerns when planning for an outdoor fireplace?

Just like having a fireplace indoors, thinking about fireplace safety is normal. Try to keep water nearby, whether it’s a hose or even from a pool. Never install an outdoor fireplace on bare wood. That’s asking for trouble! Don’t burn plastics, trash, or treated in your outdoor fireplace. Even though you are outside, they still release toxic gases that are dangerous to breathe in. Have the fireplace installed at least 100 feet away from the home and any other surrounding structures. Be sure there no bushes, hanging tree limbs, or branches nearby. 

Contact Us for Outdoor Fireplace Services

New England Hearth & Home can install a fireplace for you anywhere in your home – or outside! Whether you want to make your pool area more inviting or set one up around your outdoor kitchen, we can make it happen! Give us a call or fill out our contact form to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

Preparing Your Fireplace for the Spring

Fireplaces need to properly be taken care of when shutting them down for the warmer months. Whether you have a wood burning fireplace or gas, there are steps you need to take to keep yours last longer and staying in good condition!

Wood Burning Fireplace

Clean Up Ash

It is super important to clean out remaining ash and soot left inside the fireplace. It keeps the air quality nice and fresh, as well as restoring the beauty of your hearth. After cleaning out the ash, make sure to close the damper. By doing this, it stops air from entering your home and prevents any remnant ash and soot in the fireplace from blowing in when it’s windy.

Close the Damper

Most people do not need to use their fireplace after April or so, especially in Massachusetts. That being said, there is no need for the damper on staying open. Shutting the damper will help prevent drafts, water leakage during rainy days and will keep out backyard animals. This can also save on energy costs by avoiding any air-conditioning from leaking out.

Scheduling a Chimney Cleaning or Fireplace Inspection 

Many homeowners are not aware that the best time to schedule a chimney cleaning is during the Spring. It is usually more convenient because there are fewer appointments for the professionals during this season. Getting your chimney cleaned reduces the amount of soot buildup in the flue. When a professional visits your home for an inspection, they’ll check the chimney and flue to see if there are any cracks or leaks, as well as check that the damper and chimney cap is working correctly.

Gas Fireplace

Clean the Glass Panel

If you have a direct vent fireplace with a glass panel, the glass should be regularly cleaned. Remove the glass, then use the manufacturer’s suggested cleaner. For gas fireplace owners with glass doors, the same is recommended; use a soft cloth and the cleaner suggested by the manufacturer. Do not use any cleaning products that contain ammonia!

Brush off Soot 

Brushing off soot with a clean and dry paintbrush is an easy way to get rid of any remaining. Get as much as you can out!

Schedule a Gas Fireplace Inspection

One of our professionals will take a look at the burner and other components of the unit. Regular maintenance can increase the lifespan of your gas fireplace and reduce the amount of money spent on repairs.

Turn off Pilot Light

For gas fireplaces that have a standing pilot, you can turn it off for the Spring and Summer. Turning it off can save you money in utilities. If you don’t feel comfortable or know how to turn off your pilot light, have a professional do it for you.

Contact Us

Contact New England Hearth & Home about questions involving your fireplace. Give us a call or fill out our contact form!

7 Reasons to Have an Outdoor Kitchen

grilling chicken

In the Mediterranean, it is widespread for families to be cooking outdoors. This style of cooking has become a trendy thing to do in the United States. Homeowners are embracing the joys of using an outdoor kitchen in their backyards during the warmer summer months. Whether you’re building a new house, or adding to space you have, creating a place to cook outdoors could be an excellent investment to make.

Great for Entertaining

A benefit of having an outdoor kitchen is that they’re perfect for backyard entertaining. When food is grilled out on the patio, your guests can hangout around the grill and socialize as the meal is being prepared. It tends to get crowded in an indoor kitchen when everyone hangs out with whoever is cooking, but outside there’s much more open space and fresh air. You can add some comfort for your guests by adding patio heaters, outdoor seating, lighting, and more personal touches.

Increases Value of Your Home

Home buyers are always looking for unique and useful additions to homes. Having an outdoor kitchen can attract buyers when you are looking to sell – especially if they were looking to add one to whatever home they ended up purchasing. Having this already in place can drive up the selling price for convenience and looks.

Save on Utility Bills

When you’re grilling outside during the summer, your air conditioner doesn’t have to be blasting. When you cook any food in your inside-kitchen, the temperature in your home tends to go up several degrees. When you are cooking outside, you’ll save on energy consumption since you won’t have to turn up the AC as often.

Keeps Cooking Smells Outdoors

Some foods smell great while they’re cooking, while others couldn’t smell worse. When you cook, especially strong-smelling meals such as fish or deep-fried foods, those smells can linger around your house for days. When you cook those same foods outside, your house stays smelling fresh.

Expanding Your Living Space

Incorporating the space you already have on your back porch into a kitchen is a smart move. This can open up your living space to make it seem bigger and newer. In the outdoor cooking area, you and your family members can have celebrations or just enjoy the great outdoors.

Improves the Taste of Food

Not only does grilling enhance the taste of food, but this cooking technique is better for staying healthy. Fat drips off of meats when they’re grilled, so the result will be healthier and contain few calories from fat.

Save Money on Restaurant Meals

When you have your little patio cooking and dining area in your backyard, there are fewer reasons to want to go to a restaurant for meals. Eating out at restaurants can drain your wallet pretty quickly, especially if you go out to eat regularly. When you opt to dine at home rather than go out, you save some money.

Contact us

Contact New England Hearth & Home for all of your outdoor kitchen needs! Give us a call at 781-562-0071 or fill out our contact form.