3 Ways to Prepare for Your Remodeling Consultation

When you’re in need of general remodeling, you’ll first have to schedule a consultation with the construction company. Most contractors offer this consultation for free in order to get an idea of what you need and what they can offer before making any commitments. In this consultation, you’ll discuss cost, the work, and the contractor’s certifications that enable them to take on the project. But between the time the consultation is scheduled and the time it takes place, you’ll need to do some preparation yourself. Here are a few tips to prepare for your remodeling consultation.

Plot out an Informed Budget

Before the consultant arrives, have an idea of what you can afford. You may research costs of similar remodeling projects in your area so as to be better informed. It may be wise to set a budget for slightly lower than you can comfortably afford, so that if throughout the course of the project you have to go a little over budget, you won’t break the bank in doing so. Even with a skilled professional, often in remodeling projects it’s best to expect the unexpected.

Brainstorm Design Ideas

Knowing that you need remodeling work done is not the same as knowing exactly what you want for your remodeling work. Of course, your remodeling contractors are the professionals, but they’re not mind readers. You should still be able to present an idea to them during the consultation of what you’d like. Many homeowners will cut out excerpts from design magazines or even create a Pinterest board to give the consultant an idea of the look they want. These design ideas should tie into your budget so make sure you have an idea of what they cost. If you have a tight budget, you may not be able to afford marble countertops or high tech kitchen sinks. Be imaginative, but be practical, too.

Research the Construction Company

And of course, you want to do your homework on the construction company before you make a final decision to hire them for your remodeling project. Most of this research, such as looking up customer reviews and perusing their website, should be done before you schedule a consultation, but you can continue to research the company after that point as well. How much experience do they have in your area? What’s their BBB rating? Are they insured and bonded? Think of a list of questions to ask the consultant on the day of the consultation. Write them down so you won’t forget anything.

Windham Construction has been providing construction work, including general remodeling, to Brazos Valley and the surrounding areas for over 20 years. We’d love to set up a free consultation to discuss your next remodeling project and what we can do to help. Contact us today for more information.

The Importance of Airtight Windows

How much air do your windows let in?

You may not have given it much thought before. Your windows are closed, after all, and the seal seems to be working. But how much air is leaking through the glass, either into your home or out? Every window has some amount of Air Leakage, or the rate at which air leaks through the glass. The scale for functional windows runs from .1 to .3. The lower the number, the less air leaks through your windows. If your AL number is too high, this could lead to higher energy bills and even damage to your walls or home.

Here’s why it’s so important to have airtight windows that let in the least amount of air.

Home Comfort

If your windows let too much air leak in or out of your home, your insulation will be poor, and you’ll be able to feel that inside. You may notice a draft in a particular room in the winter. Since air can leak outside the home as well, it may be that you have to turn the heating units up higher in order to feel the desired amount of home heating because the hot air keeps escaping outside. In the summer, your home may become stuffy and uncomfortable. Neither of these conditions are acceptable for your home. You should feel more comfortable at home than anywhere else. When you don’t, it may lead you to using more energy to make up the difference.

Energy Efficiency

If your windows leak too much air, you may find yourself cranking the heating or air systems in order to feel more comfortable at home. If you feel more comfortable in the moment, you can rest assured that you won’t feel comfortable when the energy bills start to come in. While some homeowners may be inclined to wait until the window is obviously broken to replace it, this could cost them more in the end because of high HVAC and energy bills. An airtight window, on the other hand, can save you hundreds each year.

Unwanted Guests

One of the first hints of windows with a high AL rate is window condensation. Moisture may start to form on the glass, the window frame, and the nearby walls where the cold air meets the warm air inside your home. Not only is window condensation unsightly but it can lead to problems like mold and mildew if it’s not nipped in the bud. But window condensation isn’t the only unwanted guest you might have to contend with. If the seal on your window isn’t secure, your window may be letting in bugs and pests which can quickly become comfortable in your home. With a good seal and window glass that has a low AL rate, you can keep all of these issues out of your home and your peace of mind.

At Windham Construction, we understand the importance of airtight windows. That’s why we offer efficient windows that help you retain the air inside your home while keeping drafts out. If you feel air passing through your window, contact us today about a repair or a replacement.

The Best Time of Year for Different Remodeling Projects

When remodeling your home, timing is everything. You have to coordinate them with your own schedule–will you have time to be home when needed, or better yet, to get away from home when needed? But the time of year is also a key factor. The idea of doing outdoor work in the coldest part of winter or hottest parts of summer never seems ideal, but might also cost less than having similar projects done in milder months.

The truth is, the perfect time of year depends on a combination of the work you have in mind, your own schedule, and your climate. That said, certain projects and certain times of year just fit together. Here’s the best time of year for some common remodeling projects:

Adding a Sunroom – January

The whole concept seems wrong: why would you have a sunroom installed during one of the darkest, coldest months of the year? The idea having all that work done in the cold might sound uncomfortable, but winter is the best time of year for home additions like a sunroom. You can beat spring with all of its rainy days, which means the remodeling may take less time.  If you plan to build a new room, rather than convert an existing room into a sunroom, the lack of humidity makes for easier digging. And because winter is a slow period for most construction professionals, you may even be able to get a deal.

Replacement Window Installation – April or September

Most homeowners have replacement windows installed in the summer or winter, partly because that’s when they notice the need for replacement windows. They may notice that their windows are letting too much air in, that there’s a draft during the winter, or that the windows are hot to the touch during the summer. But the best plan is actually to have replacement windows installed in the spring or fall, and not just so that you can enjoy the benefits of new windows all summer and winter. It also tends to be cheaper, since again, there’s less demand for energy efficient windows in spring and fall.

Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels – July

Interior home remodels can be distracting, so it helps your peace of mind to get away from home as often as you can while the work is being done. That’s why it’s a good idea to have bathroom and kitchen remodels done in the summer. Whether you go on vacation or just spend the day out while construction is going on, it helps you to stay sane and the workers to do their work undisturbed (though keep a phone on you in case the contractors need to reach you). Also, any roof work requires a certain amount of heat to seal it in, so often contractors prefer to do this kind of work in the summer.

The most popular time to have remodeling projects done is not always the best time. Often, you’ll benefit from the savings and efficiency of having the project done before the other work orders start to flood in. The right contractor can make sure that any home remodeling project is finished efficiently and comfortably, no matter what the time of year. Windham Construction has been in business in Brazos Valley for over 20 years. We’re home remodeling experts and we’re happy to share our expertise with you as you plan the perfect time for your remodeling projects. Contact us today for more information.

An Energy Efficient Roof to Cool Down Your House

Common Mistakes When Building a GazeboSeptember may be upon us, but if you’ve lived in Texas for very long, you know that the hot temperatures aren’t quite finished with us yet. How has your utilities bill looked this summer? Was it higher than you were comfortable with? Did it feel like you had to crank up the air conditioning just to feel comfortable in your own home on the hottest days of the year? Believe it or not, the problem (or the solution) could be your roof. The type of roof you have over your home can determine how much heat is conducted into your home and, subsequently, how much air conditioning you’ll need to keep the place cool. Here are some tips for keeping your home cool from the top down.


As with anything else, having proper insulation will help solve the problem by about 10-15%. Make sure that the ceiling beneath your roof is insulated and that the insulation is still in good shape and doesn’t need replacement. Insulation will help solve the problem and save you a bit on energy costs, but it won’t completely solve the problem. For that, you’ll need to focus on remodeling your roof, starting with a new color.


You probably already know to wear lighter colors during the summer rather than darker colors to keep yourself cool. You might have learned this in school, or it might just be years of practice. Sunlight reflects off of lighter colors like white and yellow and is absorbed into black and dark blues. The more sunlight your outfit absorbs, the hotter and stuffier you’ll feel. The same goes for the color of your roof. A dark-colored roof will absorb heat, which will seep into your house, making it feel stuffy. A light roof color, such as a light gray, will reflect the sunlight and stay only a few degrees hotter than it is outside. If you have a dark roof, you can use a cool roof coating, a thick paint used to reflect sunlight and protect the roof from harmful UV rays, to cool it down.

Roofing Materials

You’ve no doubt felt at some point how hot an asphalt road can feel in the heat of summer. The asphalt on a shingled roof is similar. Asphalt roofs will absorb the sunlight that hits the roof and significantly raise the temperature of your home. On the other hand, consider using an energy efficient metal that conducts sunlight back into the atmosphere, keeping your home cool and your utilities bill low. The light color and reflective surface of the metal work to reflect sunlight rather than absorb it as asphalt will.


If you feel you need a more energy efficient, cool roof for your home, talk to an experienced contractor about the next steps to take.  With 20 years of experience serving Brazos Valley, Windham Construction can give you the best advice to keep your roof cool and your energy bill low.

Can You Handle a Fixer Upper?

Can You Handle a Fixer Upper?

Fixer uppers are all the rage, at least on home improvement shows. There are multiple shows centered around the same premise: instead of buying an expensive, move-in ready home, save money by buying a home that needs a little love and fixing it up. And surely, renovating a fixer upper can be a great way to put your personal stamp on your new home. However, the intimidation towards buying a home that needs renovations is not without cause. It can be a daunting task that leaves many home buyers wondering, “Is it even worth it?”

The answer is…sometimes. In many cases, buying a cheap fixer upper that just needs cosmetic renovations can be much cheaper than buying a move-in ready home. In other cases, though, the home needs to be gutted to be functional or is in such bad shape that the cost to renovate is far more than the cost of a move-in ready house. Know the difference. Hire a home inspector before buying so they can give you a clear picture of everything you’ll be getting into with this house. If the cost of the house and the cost of the renovations combined is still cheaper than move-in ready houses on the market, a fixer upper could be a good opportunity for you.

The other thing to take into consideration is time. Renovating a home can be disruptive and stressful and can last for weeks or months, depending on the work that needs to be done. If you’re in no hurry to move into your new home, you won’t have to worry about living with it. If you need to move sooner rather than later, you might find yourself in a home that feels more like a disaster zone. It’s a good idea to get an estimate from a construction professional before making any major decisions so you know how much time renovations will take and whether you have that time.

Some homeowners choose to do their own renovations to save money. However, not all homeowners have the skill or the time to put into that work. In most cases, it’s best to hire a local professional. You can know that your renovations are being done by someone who knows what to look for and what best to do, and you can be relieved from the stress of having to do the work yourself. Some construction groups even include design services, so you can get a jump-start on your interior design, as well.

Renovating a fixer upper is never easy. If you decide to take on the task, you have to be prepared for a good amount of cost and chaos. A local construction group who knows Brazos Valley well and has a dedication to quality can help take some of the edge off. And sometimes, the good outweighs the stress and all of that mess of a renovation can lead to your new life in the house of your dreams.