Monthly Archives: May 2016

Replacing Windows to Save Money

slide2When the muti-family apartment building you own has cracks in the windows or has windows which don’t close properly, it can cost you money. Because apartments which are drafty and cold in the winter require more heating. Also bad windows can make apartments too hot in the summer because of poor insulation. Further, even if tenants pay their own utilities, the heat loss and heat gain will destroy your budgeted expense payments because of the extra heating and cooling required in the hallways and common areas. So rents go up and then you lose good tenants and can’t even attract new ones either because the apartments also look rundown.

So replacing your windows may be the best option. In order to determine which windows will work best for your building though you will need to understand the energy performance ratings on windows. This way you’ll be able to make an intelligent decision on windows based on the design of your building and the climate in your area. Further, after you make your decision, hire a reliable contractor to install them properly. So all this stated, here is some helpful information for you dealing with the above matter:

  • South facing windows: South facing windows should have a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of at least 0.6 to maximize solar heat in the winter when it is cold. Windows should also have a U-factor of 0.35 or less so it reduces conductive heat transferred out in the winter and in during the summer. A VT or high visible transmittance is needed for good visible light transference too.
  • East, west, and north facing windows: It’s harder to control heat and light transfer through east and west facing windows because of the sun’s rising and setting. So these windows should be shaded or have a low SHGC. North facing windows gain little solar heat so their main use is for lighting
  • Cooler climate strategies: Strategies which are effective here are using north facing windows and shaded south facing windows for reducing cooling loads. Windows with a low SHGS are especially effective here. You are trying to keep heat in in other words.

When your making your selection for windows based on energy efficiency, first consider the windows’ ratings in relation to what is your climate and the design of your building. Also you need to select windows that have both low U-factor ratings and SHGS to get the most energy savings in a climate with both hot and cold seasons.

However; the best advice is to talk to a specialist at a building supply company when you are buying your windows.

Rehabbing Commercial Space into Multi-family Units

When purchasing a commercial space and planning on making it into a multi-family unit can be a bot overwhelming. However, the end result can be very profitable because the building is worth more when converted into an apartment building. This is especially true when the building is located in a business/financial district when there aren’t may rental properties. So what should you do first before you embark on a project of this magnitude? Below are some suggestions to help:

First of all, conduct a study to see if this is a feasible project. If you understand what the local planning regulations are, then you can do this part yourself. You should also have a general idea of what the cost is going to be. Other questions to ask yourself are: Will the local authorities allow a change of use? As far as approved permits are concerned, what’s the precedent? Have nearby building been changed? If they have been, did it increase the value of the building? And finally, what kind of planning regulations could cause you an issue?

After getting in touch with a real estate professional to evaluate roughly what the building would be worth if converted, consult the local authorities. This department may have requirement such as disabled access or residential parking. Checking beforehand can save you headaches.

Next hire a contractor you trust to have the building thoroughly checked over. Get all the reports in writing after making sure they are detailed and signed. This way if you’re given bad advice, you have proof for a lawsuit if necessary.

Hire an architect to design the inside plan after showing the reports mentioned above. Include any changes that the authorities wished to be made.

Now is the time to get bids from professional contractors for estimates on labor and materials. Make sure that you have penalties built into the contract in case the work is not completed when promised. Check all credentials of whomever you hire.

Submit your detailed plan to the proper authorities.

Now you’re ready to begin!