Thursday, November 14 2019
People want to make their house larger for many reasons— a growing family, more room for entertaining, or simply needing more living space in your home are all common goals of those looking to increase the size of their dwelling. There are different ways to increase the square footage of your home and create a larger living space. This guide will cover the obvious ways of expanding your home and the more creative ways you might not have thought of.
One way to make your house bigger is by adding on a new room or expanding existing ones. You can add on an entirely new master suite or gain some space by expanding the kitchen and living spaces. Additions are the most obvious way to make your home larger, but what do you do if you don’t have anywhere to expand your floorplan?
Another way to make your home bigger is by adding on a second story. You can gain valuable square footage adding a master suite onto the second floor and creating a second living space upstairs. This method isn’t always possible, practical, or cost effective.
Transform a Garage or Basement
If you’re looking for a faster, more affordable fix, you might consider transforming your garage or basement into a bonus living space. Turn the garage or basement into a kid’s playroom, media room, or guest quarters. This could be right for you if you lack extra space to expand outward or upward.
Install a Large Door System
A creative way to make your home feel bigger is by expanding it to the outdoors with large door systems. You can use a large accordion glass door to connect your home to the outside and create a luxury outdoor living experience. With a seamless transition from inside to out, your home will both feel and appear larger and have more space for entertaining. You might also consider pocketing sliding doors that disappear into the wall and erase the boundaries between your indoor living space and your outdoor entertainment area and creating one cohesive indoor/outdoor living space. Learn more about expanding your living space with accordion glass doors.
Convert a Shed
If adding on to your home is not an option, but you have space for a small shed on your property, you may want to consider investing in a manufactured storage shed and converting it into your bonus space—this space can become your art studio, playroom, media space, and more!
Reconfigure Your Floorplan
When you absolutely lack the space to expand your home in any direction, remodeling your home and reconfiguring your floorplan is a great option. Even though you can’t add square footage to the house, you can utilize every inch of your space and make it function and feel like a bigger home.
You can use one of these methods or combine a few to achieve your dreams of a bigger home. Whichever route you take, be sure to consult with an expert about your project—talk to contractors, architects, and large door system experts to plan and execute your project and ensure it is done properly and meets building code requirements. Read this article for advice and tips on hiring a trustworthy contractor.
Thursday, November 07 2019
If you are investing in a large folding, sliding, or swinging patio door system, you might be wondering how you can screen such a large opening. The best solution for screening a large opening and protecting your home from bothersome insects and other unwanted debris is a retractable accordion screen system. These accordion screens are unlike any other and will be a valuable addition to your door system. Read below to have all your retractable accordion screen questions answered.
How Do Retractable Accordion Screens Work?
Many people wonder how these innovative screen systems work—retractable accordion screens are easy to operate and slide open and closed seamlessly. When in use, the screen expands and covers the entire opening. Made with fine mesh, the screen protects your home without impeding the expansive view to the outside. When not in use, the screen retracts into a narrow segment at the edge of your door system and is almost unnoticeable.
Are Retractable Accordion Screens Visible When Not in Use?
Retractable accordion screens are slightly visible when retracted, however they condense into a narrow segment that is only a few inches wide. If you would rather your screen system be completely out of sight, you can choose to have it pocketed inside the door jamb. When screens are pocketed, everything is perfectly tucked away out of view, but the screen’s pull handle is easily accessed at the pocket’s edge.
How Are Retractable Accoridon Screens Installed?
AG Millworks is the only manufacturer that installs your retractable accordion screen in the factory. Screens are fully integrated into your door jamb by expert installers, eliminating the possibility of erroneous installation and guaranteeing a perfectly functioning screen system. Screen installation is complicated and requires precision, so contractors and door installers prefer the AG Millworks built-in screen option to ensure speed and accuracy when installing your door system.
How Big Can Retractable Accordion Screens Be?
Retractable accordion screens are available for openings as wide as 32’ and as tall as 10’6”. This width is possible by using two 16’ screens that connect at the center. If you prefer the appearance of two screens meeting at the center, you can choose to use this configuration for smaller openings as well.
Can Retractable Accordion Screens Be Paired with Any Door System?
Retractable accordion screens can be paired with any door system, as long as it doesn’t exceed the maximum dimensions of 32’ wide and 10’6” tall. Accordion screens are compatible with single French swing doors, double French swing doors, bi-fold doors, multi-slide doors, and lift and slide doors.
Are Retractable Accordion Screens Easy to Maintain?
Accordion screens are low maintenance. The screen track should be kept free of debris and the mesh should be dusted to remove dirt and dust build-up. You can easily clean the track with a low-suction vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Please see our Door Care Guide for full screen maintenance information.
Learn more about our door systems and retractable accordion screen options and talk to a door expert about your upcoming project.
Tuesday, November 05 2019
If you’re beginning your home remodel or new construction project and plan to use a bi-fold door system to open your home to the outside and create a seamless indoor-outdoor living space, there are some things you need to know about ordering a bi-fold door. The ordering process for a 100% custom, handcrafted bi-fold door can be daunting because there are so many design options to choose from. Here is a guide to help you buy the perfect bi-fold door that will complement your space and create the outdoor living room of your dreams.
What Size Should Your Bi-Fold Door Be?
One important factor to consider when buying a bi-fold door is the size of the system. Unless you are building a new home, you are probably working with an existing space that needs to be reconfigured to accommodate a large opening for your bi-fold door.
How big do you want your opening to be? Do you want a standard 12’ opening, or something more dramatic? Bi-fold doors can be made with panel sizes as large as 4’ wide and 13’ tall.
The size of your opening depends on the space you’re working with; your bi-fold door is custom-made to fit your specific design needs with no upcharge for odd sizes.
What Bi-Fold Configuration is Best?
Another important decision to make when buying a bi-fold door is the system configuration. The bi-fold door configuration is the direction the doors fold when viewing the system from the exterior. Your door configuration will be based on the size and number of panels on your bi-fold door.
A standard 12’ bi-fold door system typically has four door panels, which can open in the following configurations: 4L (four left), 1L3R (one left, three right), 2L2R (two left, two right), 3L1R (three left, one right), or 4R (four right). Click here to see a full list of available configurations.
Odd Configurations are Best
It is best to choose an odd configuration for your bi-fold door if you want to have easy access to your outdoor space—only odd configurations have “daily doors” which allow you to operate a single door without opening the entire bi-fold system.
Odd configurations also allow for exterior access through your bi-fold. Odd configurations of a standard four panel bi-fold include: 1L3R or 3L1R. These two configurations provide a daily door with exterior access.
Special Configurations to Consider
Bi-fold doors have several special configurations that might be perfect for your space.
Zero-Corner | If you want to open an entire corner of your room to the outdoors, you may want to consider a zero-corner bi-fold door. This configuration features two bi-fold doors that meet at a 90-degree angle and have no supporting post at the corner. When doors are open, walls literally disappear.
Window-Door Combo | Another special bi-fold configuration available is the bi-fold window-door combination. This configuration features a bi-fold window and bi-fold door which connect at the center and can fold open to create open spaces and a kitchen passthrough window.
Don’t Forget Your Floorplan When Picking a Configuration
When deciding on the best bi-fold configuration for your new door system, be sure to take your floor plan and indoor and outdoor layouts into consideration. You want to make sure the configuration will work well with your furniture placement and layouts, and that your doors, when stacked open, won’t be in the way of any paths, furniture, or views.
Should Your Bi-Fold Door Be Energy Efficient?
Energy performance of your bi-fold is a big deal—especially in California. With new building energy standards going into effect under California’s Title 24 law in 2020, it is recommended that you choose an energy efficient bi-fold door with NFRC ratings that will meet the new requirements.
The benefits of choosing an energy efficient bi-fold door are as follows: less heat gain in the summer, less heat loss in the winter, more natural light, and more airflow. All of these translate to less overall energy consumption, lower electric bills, and better quality of life for you and your community.
What are the Most Durable and Quality Materials for Bi-Fold Doors?
Aluminum Clad/Wood Bi-Folds
Only the best, highest-quality bi-fold doors are made with aluminum clad exteriors and wood interiors. The aluminum clad exterior is strong and durable and withstands the elements while maintaining its’ beauty and sleek design. The wood interior is beautiful and luxurious and can be any of the 18 wood species available.
Solid Accoya Wood Bi-Folds
When your design requires a solid wood door, Accoya Wood bi-folds are the best option. Accoya is modified timber that is naturally treated through a unique acetylation process. Accoya resits rot, defies the elements, and stays strong for decades, making it the perfect material for solid wood bi-fold doors. Click here to download a free Accoya Wood brochure.
Another available material option for your bi-fold door is an all-wood system made from the wood species of your choice. Though this option has more risks associated with water and elemental damage, it could still be a good option for you if you have an expansive overhang protecting the exterior of the bi-fold.
Can Your Bi-Fold Door Be Any Color?
The exterior of your bi-fold door can be any color you choose. There are standard color options available, or you can choose any custom color you want. Your bi-fold exterior clad color can even be custom matched to the other doors and windows in your home to create a cohesive look.
The interior wood finish of your bi-fold door can be painted or stained. For a more contemporary look, doors can be painted black or white. To create a more traditional and classic design, doors can be stained to highlight the beautiful grain patterns.
Which Stiles and Rails are Best?
Door stiles are the vertical sides of the glass panel, and rails are the horizontal pieces at the top and bottom. There are multiple stile and rail options to pick from, however none of the are superior to another, and all are solely based on design taste and preference.
European Slim Stiles and Rails
The most popular stile and rail design is the European Slim. Euro Slim stiles and rails are the most narrow and contemporary option, with a width of 3-7/16”.
Traditional Stiles and Rails
Another design favorite is the Traditional stiles and rails. This design features top rails and stiles that are 4-3/4” with 7” bottom rails. This creates a more classic look and fits best with traditional-style homes.
Dynamic Stiles and Rails
The third option for your bi-fold door design is Dynamic stiles and rails. Dynamic stiles and rails are 4-3/4” wide and are a middle ground between European Slim and Traditional.
What is the Best Screen System for Your Bi-Fold Door?
Retractable accordion screens are the best screening option for your bi-fold door system. Screens are factory installed and fully integrated into the door jamb, creating a seamless design that slides open smoothly when needed.
The retractable screen is available in black or white pull handles and can accommodate bi-fold doors as wide as 32’ (when two screens meet in the middle) and 10’6” tall. Screens can be pocketed inside the door jamb to hide completely out of sight.
Can Your Bi-Fold Door Have Divided Lites?
Your bi-fold door can be made with almost any divided lite configuration you can imagine. Bi-folds can even be made with divided lite configurations that match the existing doors and windows in your home.
Divided lites are available in various sizes and shapes and can enhance your home design and create a more prominent cottage, craftsman, or contemporary style.
Handle Sets - Don't Overlook These!
There are plenty of standard handle set options, modern and traditional, that are available in various finishes, so there is bound to be one that will match your style. If you cannot find the perfect hardware for your design, there are special order options also available.
Which Sill is Best for Your Bi-Fold?
The best bi-fold sill is the Raised Aluminum Sill because it offers the best protection from water penetration. This sill is recommended for all bi-fold doors because it is extremely weather-tight.
If you require a smoother transition from inside to out, the Ultra Guide Sill might be the best one for you. This sill is a track that is completely flush with the floor, however it risks water penetration.
Can Your Bi-Fold Door Have a Matching Transom Above It?
Your bi-fold can be made with a matching transom to maximize the natural light in your space. Bifold-transom combinations are engineered to withstand the risk of header deflection.
To talk to a bi-fold door expert about your upcoming project, please fill out this contact form or call 805-644-4494.
Tuesday, October 29 2019
If you are investing in a large folding glass door system, then you know what an expensive luxury these doors are. It is important that you hire a professional folding door installer to install your door systems because precision and accuracy are paramount during installation, and this is not an area of your project you want to cut corners on. The following benefits of hiring an expert folding door installer are well worth the cost.
1 | Experienced Folding Glass Door Installer
Hiring an expert installer means he will have plenty of experience installing folding glass door systems and is highly knowledgeable and skilled in the practice. He is extremely familiar with the installation process and knows the importance of precision and accuracy. Don’t allow an inexperienced builder or window installer to attempt their first folding glass door installation on your project.
2 | Accurate and Precise Folding Glass Door Installation
An experienced, professional installer will ensure accurate and precise installation. This means your folding glass door system will function properly and open and close smoothly and easily. If you choose to hire an inexperienced installer, you risk a faulty installation that could make your large folding glass door difficult or impossible to operate.
3 | Ensure Folding Glass Door Aesthetic is Preserved
An expert folding glass door installer knows how to handle these luxury products with care. Your door system won’t be damaged or erroneously drilled into if you stick with an experienced professional.
4 | Ease of Mind Knowing Your Folding Glass Door is in Good Hands
When you rely on a professional folding glass door installer to take care of your project, you will rest easy knowing your expensive luxury doors will be accurately installed. Expert installers are faster and more precise, which means you will get to enjoy your new outdoor living space in no time.
The best folding glass door installers request AG Millworks Folding Glass Door Systems, because they know AG Millworks provides the highest quality folding doors on the market with the easiest installation process. In California, AG Millworks Folding Glass Door frames are delivered pre-assembled to guarantee a quick and trouble-free installation for your professional installer. Optional retractable accordion screens are factory installed and fully integrated into the door jamb for accuracy and easy installation on the jobsite. Trusting AG Millworks to handcraft your luxury folding glass door system will ensure your professional installer experiences a fast and easy installation, saving you time and money. Some installers even offer a discount on AG Millworks installs because of how easy it is to install these luxury folding glass doors!
To learn more about AG Millworks Folding Glass Door features and custom capabilities, visit our Folding Glass Door Product Page. To learn more about what sets AG Millworks apart, visit the AG Advantage. To speak to a folding glass door expert about your upcoming project, please fill out this contact form.
Thursday, October 24 2019
A home in the illustrious Bridle Trails neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington underwent a full-home remodel. Gallagher Construction LLC worked with the homeowners to create a home that embraces the lush forest it resides in and that has a cohesive and flexible design for entertaining. The remodel modernized the space, created tremendous views of the surrounding nature, brought in more natural light, and created an indoor-outdoor lifestyle made for entertaining.
The exterior of the home models a true craftsman style, with wood panel siding painted a bold navy blue, and a bright white trim. The pillared entry way, partial stone siding, and huge wrap-around deck create a picturesque craftsman home. The back deck boasts a beautiful exposed wood roof overhang extension that provides plenty of shade and creates a central gathering area for lounging, bird watching, and outdoor dining.
A special feature in the modern farmhouse style kitchen is an AG Millworks Folding Kitchen Passthrough Window, supplied by Classic Window Products. This folding window opens the kitchen to the outdoors and creates a passthrough to the adjacent deck, making entertaining and serving food from kitchen to deck a smooth and easy task. The kitchen counter extends to the outside, creating a buffet or bar counter that can be used as additional outdoor dining space. The folding window is equipped with a fully integrated retractable accordion screen so the homeowners can let in fresh air while protecting the home from unwanted insects.
Before the remodel, the home had standard 8-foot ceilings, but the homeowners wanted something grander and more impressive—Gallagher Construction LLC took the building down to the foundation to create 10-foot high walls with vaulted ceilings and exposed beams. The higher ceilings make the space feel bigger and more open. The dining room connects the kitchen and the living room, creating one large great room perfect for living and entertaining. An AG Millworks Folding door creates a smooth transition from the indoor dining space to the outdoor entertainment area. When weather permits, doors can be folded open to create airflow and blur the lines between inside and out. On cooler days, doors can remain closed without compromising the stunning forest views. The folding door is also designed with a retractable accordion screen that disappears out of sight when not in use.
The new living room is complete with a beautiful stone feature wall that hosts the wall-mounted TV. A built-in wet bar can be found on the adjacent wall and is any wine lover’s dream—a custom wine rack houses room temperature reserves while the wine fridge chills the vino and other beverages. The AG Millworks Folding door makes the room airy and bright, allowing plenty of natural light to illuminate the space. This compact living room is extended to the outdoors and gains extra square footage thanks to the folding door system.
The folding doors and passthrough window transform this home into an open-air paradise and make it the epitome of outdoor living. The quality craftsmanship and unique design details of this custom home remodel exceeds the homeowners’ design dreams and creates a luxurious indoor-outdoor lifestyle for them to enjoy and share with friends and family. Click here to learn more about how you can use folding doors to create the indoor-outdoor living space of your dreams.
Gallagher Construction LLC was founded and is run by Sean Gallagher and Adam Hunnicutt. Their team includes: Jim Wanichek on framing, Bart Nordstrom on interior ceiling, Robert Brown on the trim and base, and Spencer Gross, Tyler Barberi, and Brian Star providing their expertise throughout the home. Eli Grassley with ESG Design handled all engineering for this project. Gregg Periggoue at Classic Window Products in Redmond, Washington provided all AG Millworks folding doors and windows. All photography by Dave Steckler.
Tuesday, October 22 2019
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, is the group of people born between 1981 and 1996. This group of an estimated 80 million is unlike any generational cohort before them—they are significantly delaying major milestones in life, like getting married, having children, moving out on their own, and buying houses.
As the older Millennials begin to step into the housing market and search for their first home, their homebuying wish list looks very different than that of previous generations. Research shows that Millennials want adaptable and flexible energy-efficient homes with open floor plans, and indoor-outdoor living spaces.
Millennials Desire Open, Adaptable Floor Plans
Gen Y wants their new home to have an open floor plan that allows them to entertain, gather with friends and family, and form deeper connections. They want their space to be whatever they need it to be in the moment, which is why they desire a flexible, adaptable space that can be rearranged and meet their needs. Gone are the days of formal dining and living rooms—Millennials seek a space that can accommodate and adapt to their lifestyles.
Indoor-Outdoor Living is a Major Priority for Millennials
Millennials are prioritizing and placing major value on outdoor living spaces. According to Responsive Home research, an outdoor living space is a number one must-have for 59% of Millennial homebuyers. Another study by Garden Media Group found that 85% of this generation rated Outdoor Living Spaces with areas for cooking and relaxing as “very important.” Millennials want to expand their square footage to the outside by connecting their indoor living space to their outdoor entertainment area, where they can cook in their outdoor kitchen, lounge by a firepit, and entertain. For this reason, large glass patio doors that can fold or slide away and create a large opening that blurs the line between inside and out is a desirable feature for Millennial homebuyers.
Sustainability and Energy Efficiency is a Main Concern
An energy efficient home is also important for new Millennial homebuyers. Energy-rated doors and windows that will help the home’s overall energy efficiency are important, as are other measures of efficiency. Millennials are willing to invest more money upfront to ensure their new home is efficient and sustainable.
Personalized and Custom Spaces
Millennials want a custom home that matches their tastes, and they are willing to splurge on customization. According to Responsive Home research, 71% of Gen Y say it’s important for their home to have the ability to be customized. They want to design their space and make upgrades that will meet their needs and elevate their specific lifestyle.
Amenities Within Walking Distance
Another important thing Millennials are looking for in their house search are homes with plenty of amenities within walking distance. They want to be close to parks, grocery stores, friends and family, work/schools, and entertainment. Gen Y wants an effortless lifestyle where they do their grocery shopping, walk home, and cook dinner with friends.
Laundry Rooms are a Necessity
One feature that Millennials say is a must-have is a laundry room, with 55% of the cohort saying they wouldn’t buy a new home without one. Storage is also important, with linen closets, a walk-in pantry and garage storage making the top 10 most desired features.