It's time to remove your screen windows and doors and replace them with storm windows for the chilly winter months. But before you tuck your screens in your garage or attic to hibernate until next spring, take a look to see if any of them are ripped or damaged. If they are, you may want to take an afternoon this weekend to repair them so that they're all set for reinstallation next April.
This article and video will tell you how to repair a small rip, repair a larger rip, replace a whole screen in a metal frame, and replace a whole screen in a wooden frame. None of these processes are too difficult or require particularly esoteric tools: depending on what kind of repair you're doing, you'll need replacement screen, a screwdriver, cement, a C-clamp, and a sewing needle with fishing line. So take some time to repair your screens before putting them away — you'll be glad you did come next spring.
Thinking about re-roofing your home next spring? Read up on these two roofing innovations, both of which appeared on TreeHugger.com in the past week. The first is an innovative glass tile thermal roofing system, designed by the Swedish company SolTech Energy. The tiles, which are shaped like ordinary roof shingles, are installed on top of a slotted black nylon canvas. The tiles absorb heat from the sun and then transmit the heat through the slots in the canvas, heating air, which heats water, which is connected to the house’s heating system. You can read more about the specifics of SolTech’s tiles at Inhabitat.
The TreeHugger.com article about the tiles argues that for North Americans, who are accustomed to cheap asphalt shingles instead of more expensive European clay shingles, the glass tiles are absurdly expensive. What do you think? Are SolTech’s tiles worth it?
The second roofing innovation can only be described as adorably twee. Designed by Dutchman Klaas Kuiken, these roofing tiles are a combination of shingles and birdhouses. Installing three or four of these special terracotta shingles would not only spice up your roof, but it would also provide a built-in habitat for our feathered friends. What do you think of the bird house tiles? Would you consider adding these the next time you redo your roof? Or are they too eclectic to permanently install in your home?