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How To Choose The Best Window Film

If you're thinking about getting some window tinting done, whether it be residential or commercial, then there are a number of things you should be aware of so you make the right choice for your particular environment and situation.

The first and undoubtedly the most crucial thing you need to discriminate about window film is the difference between quality window film and bad window film. Here's why. Premium window film will last for the lifetime of your windows whereas poor window film will barely last 2-3 years, depending on the rigours of your environment.

The only way for you to tell the difference between good quality and poor quality film is price and guarantee. When making enquirers with a supplier, find out how long the film is guaranteed for. If it's not at least 12 years keep looking. And also look out for the unscrupulous operator who offers you a guarantee on low quality film and hikes the price, to make it appear like it's good film, but will either not be around, or simply do nothing if you get back to them because your tint has failed.

Here's the tip, (and by the way I've found this to be true with most things), if your only motivation in getting quotes is looking for the lowest possible price, then you will naturally gravitate towards the rubbish product and the real price you pay will be in around 3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and just look ghastly. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually the rubbish product!

REASONS FOR INSTALLING TINTING

There are a range of benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will package some of these advantages, so the first thing you need to be sure of is the most important reason for applying window tint in your situation. Lets look at each benefit in a little more detail so you can better figure out the most applicable solution for your circumstances.

Heat Rejection: Premium window film rejects heat by blocking up to 73% of IR radiation through windows. That really is cool!

UV Rejection: Good quality window film prevents up to 99% of IR radiation from coming through windows. And as a bonus, it also prevents 93% of glare, which massively improves for your view and makes things look cool!

Privacy: The right film will also provide daytime privacy, allowing everyone inside to be cooler, enjoy the views, and at the same time have total privacy from onlookers in daylight.

Impact Safety and Security Films: These specialist films stop glass from fragmenting on impact. Safety films are made to withstand the force of human impact, while security films can withstand an explosion without shattering. Since the collateral damage from accidents where windows are broken comes from shards of glass flying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass falling like a guillotine, the major issues associated with safety are mitigated. It also stops your windows from being a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the impact and noise required to force entry is so noticeable thieves, would rather simply move on in search of an easier, 'softer' target.

Finally of course there's the matter of style. Good quality window film also makes windows look cool; and for many people it's the aesthetic charm that tinted windows provide that is the major reason for their purchase.

SPECIFIC ISSUES RELATED TO CARS & VEHICLES The next point I want to discuss is relevant to vehicles and it concerns installing the darkest legal tint on your car, truck or work vehicle.

In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint legally permitted on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which cannot have any window tint except for a visor strip across the top). The northern Territory and Western Australia are the only exceptions. In the Northern Territory you are legally allowed a minimum VLT of 15% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver.

So here's the thing. Most vehicles already have a slight tint in the glass in the front windows, so this needs to be taken into consideration when adding tint to a window. Here's why.

If the factory windows on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the "darkest legal tint" of 35% is added to this glass, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the end VLT will be calculated by the combination of both tint ratings.

This needs to be taken into consideration because if a driver by mistake fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine. But worse still, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and its illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, this could result in the cancellation of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. And if that's not bad enough a criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are injured.

The final thing to remember is that by modifying a vehicle with illegally dark windows, the vehicle becomes unroadworthy, which means the driver can't drive the car again until it has been put through a roadworthy test, in which case the illegal tint will have to be removed. That's why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you're selecting the appropriate tint for your car.

Summing up everything I've discussed, what's the critical takeaway from this article? When it comes to tinting windows, make sure you use a good quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the best solution for your situation. That way you'll end up with a range of benefits, instead of a number of issues.

A Sustainable Self-build Home, Perfect For A Retreat

Oakwood House is Ted Stevens and Catherine Moore's self-build home, located in Gloucestershire. The house is contemporary in design, clad in timber and set in a wooded area. It also rests within the green belt and is near both a nature reserve and an area managed by Woodland Trust.

The construction process revolved around a design purposed to fit with the woodland setting. Ted, who is also chairman of the National Self Build Association, stated it was 'a truly green and sustainable structure'. To help with the its implementation, architects Smith Roberts of Wootton-under-Edge were brought along, as Ted had acknowledged their 'long track record of designing modern buildings that related well to the landscape'. Construction entailed the use of locally sourced materials, which included the rough sawn oak needed for elevations. The house was structured upon single-skin heavyweight concrete blockwork, which underwent cladding of 100 millimetres of insulation. The walls and ground floor were also formed with high insulation levels. The roof was curved and coated with zinc.

What was the final product? A lovely house that becomes a warm and cosy dwelling on sunny days, even during mid-winter. The concrete structural floors retain the absorbed heat, and the walls do the same through solar energy collected from the extensive glazing. The windows are not only double-glazed but also, they're fitted with reflective films enabling them to trap in more warmth. A ground source heat pump serves as the main source of heating for the home. It's responsible for preheating the tap water to about 40 degrees Celsius. Also, the kitchen and bathrooms are linked to an immersion heater, which can further increase their temperature.

The surrounding environment makes the home even more serene. Ponds, patches of wild flower and woodland areas have been retained. The garden just outside the house also benefits from irrigation through the roof-trapped rainwater collected in a 10,000-litre tank, which is situated beneath a path near the bridge.

Ted and Catherine's home incorporates an upside-down layout, with the kitchen, dining room, main lounge and master bedroom on the top floor and an office space and two bedrooms located below. It can be assumed those bedrooms on the ground level are for guests. Wouldn't it be nice to add the extra convenience of a home elevator?

Air powered elevators are products of today's cutting-edge technology and machinery. Air pressure and just a small amount of electricity are required for every ascent, while gravity and air pressure handle descents. They're not only easier and safer to ride than taking the stairs. They're energy efficient and environment-friendly as well, not relying on pistons, cables or harmful substances to be assembled or serviced. In fact, servicing is required just every four or five years, in which only the main seal needs replacing. Imagine how hassle-free it would be riding one of them? It would make those frequent trips to and from the office, kitchen or bathroom far easier and smoother. You won't have to tire your feet out. That's why these lifts are highly recommended for houses, especially big, multi-level ones. They'll be the most useful decorations you could have at home.