ALTERNATIVE SIDING OPTIONS

Take a closer look at a few alternative siding options, all of which will help ease the burden on your wallet.

For today’s homebuilder there are many siding options that won’t break their budgets. Engineered wood and cultured stone are two, but perhaps the most common low-cost siding option is vinyl.

“One of the biggest siding or exterior cladding system choices now is vinyl,” said John Broniek, manager of builder programs at IBACOS. “It’s very popular, especially for production homes. You have many colors, it’s very durable, low maintenance, which people appreciate.”

For those of you who like the look of wood, vinyl siding is a perfect alternative because it captures the distinctive look of wood — but at a lower cost.

Like vinyl siding, fiber-cement siding is another material that’s becoming more popular with homeowners and builders alike. This new innovation is basically cement board, which can look like regular vinyl or wood siding. The only difference is that it’s made with cement-type material, and when you put it on your house it can last for decades — with little maintenance required. Most manufacturers have at least 50-year warranties, and it’s a durable product that installs as easily as regular siding.

Note: Vinyl and fiber-cement siding can cost up to 25 percent “less” than high-end siding options such as brick, wood and stone.

Low-Cost Siding Drawbacks

Like all siding materials, some of these low-cost alternatives have drawbacks. For example, fiber-cement siding is much heavier than traditional siding options and needs some moisture barrier underneath to ensure its waterproof qualities. Exterior building products aren’t 100 percent watertight. In fact, water will get around them somehow — either through them or around them at windows and doors. This means a secondary line of protection is necessary to protect the building that’s behind it.

A drawback of vinyl siding is that it doesn’t come in as many colors that can be painted on traditional wood.

How Long Will Siding Last?

Regardless of whether you’re using a high-end siding or low-cost alternative to cover your home’s exterior, you’ll want the siding to last as long as possible. The longevity depends upon two things:

The durability of the product.
How well the product is maintained.
Durability is an important quality of exterior building products, but it’s vital to remember that the materials will be exposed to the extent of what Mother Nature can throw at them in terms of wind, rain, sun, rain, snow and more. All exterior building materials will deteriorate over time.

You can make the building product last longer if you maintain it extremely well. Vinyl siding requires little maintenance, but wood siding requires much more. One of the easiest ways to ensure a longer life for your siding is to keep it clean.

With vinyl or stucco siding, cleaning is as simple as using a garden hose to wash it. With high-end options such as wood, you’ll need to have paint or a wood sealant applied by an installation professional or if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you. Once the elements have worn through the out sealant, they’ll have to be replaced.

So after you’ve
chosen a material, make sure that your builder has purchased a siding that has a long-term warranty. And once you’ve moved into your home, remember to clean and repaint or reseal the siding on a regular basis.

DIYNetwork-Alternative Siding Options. Retrieved November 04, 2013 From DIYNetwork.

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A Roof Over Your Head: Materials For The Roof

 

 

Check out this information regarding the various types of materials that can be used to cover a roof, as well as which ones might be best for you.

“For choosing a roof, there’s a really wide variety of choices, from specialty roofing products, which include tile, slate, metal roofs,” says Brian Chambers, the roofing products manager for Owens Corning. “But most roofs today are fiberglass shingles. That makes up the majority of roofing products that are available.” Fiberglass shingles are made from a thin layer of fiberglass, which is surrounded and coated first in weather-grade asphalt and then in specially designed granules on the surface that give fire protection and color. Like shingles, tiles come in a wide variety of materials, all of which can be incorporated into a roofing system. There are many tile options — lightweight or standard weights and different designs, colors and finishes. And if clay, wood, asphalt and fiberglass don’t work for you, give concrete a try. Note: Concrete tile is a very popular product, in fact, and it comes in many shapes. And the colors and styles of concrete tiles are widening every day. Because concrete tiles are heavier than clay tiles or wood shingles, you’ll need to make sure that the frame of your roof can support them. Otherwise the added weight can damage the roof framing over time. Another popular roofing material that will help keep out the elements is metal, which has been around for a long time, especially in commercial markets (the new information, by the way, is in the residential market). There are different shapes and styles, and they look like any other type of roofing that you might see on the house down the street. Note: A metal roof is installed in much the same way a tile or shingle roof, in that it uses an underlayment. It’s a highly durable roofing and extremely windproof.

Which Roofing Material Is Best for My Roof?

The best roofing material for your roof could depend upon three factors: What style do you want for your roof? You really need to determine what look you’re going for and the style you want. Also consider how long you think you’ll be in the home, which will dictate the type of product you should use. If you
think about a lot of new construction (where perhaps 30 percent to 50 percent of the exterior that you see is roofline), it’s important to consider whether this look complements your entire exterior. And you should always think in terms of dollars per year — for example, if you use the thinnest and cheapest composition shingle roof in a “hail” area, you can’t expect to get too many years of life out of it. Note: A composition shingle is anything made from asphalt and a base material such as fiberglass, polyester or any other matte material that may be impregnated with asphalt — covered in a granular surface. The second factor should be cost. Composition shingles are the best value for the money, but tile roofs are extremely durable and offer an indefinite lifetime. They can be fragile and subject to breakage, however. Just make sure the material you choose fits within the budget you’ve allowed. The final factor to consider when choosing roofing materials is location. If you live in a heavy snowfall or rainfall area, the harsh conditions may dictate what kind of materials, as well as how steep a pitch, your roof should have. For example, snowfall areas should avoid clay tile because they can easily become damaged. You also want to avoid flat roofs, which can allow snow to accumulate and which, left unchecked, can seriously damage your home. In the Midwest and on the East Coast, you’ll tend to see steeper roofs than you will on the West Coast. That’s a matter of function as well as form since homeowners like to get the snow off their roofs as quickly as possible. Roofing in the South takes on a different flair than roofing on the West Coast, generally speaking, because of the rainfall amounts. Southerners are dealing with a much greater threat of heavy rain than their Western counterparts, and their roofs not only are designed to handle the rain but should also be designed to evacuate that rain from the surrounding property. Some of the roofing materials that work well in areas of heavy rainfall are concrete tiles and composition shingles. This is because they do a great job of evacuating the snow and rain from the roof.

DIYNetwork-A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD: MATERIALS FOR THE ROOF. Retrieved November 04, 2013 From DIYNetwork. Click contact us for more information Contact Us

 

How to Winterize Your Home


As winter approaches, it is time to take steps to prepare your home for the coming colder months. Winter brings with it freezing temperatures, heavy snow, ice and high energy bills. While you cannot do anything about the weather, you can significantly reduce those bills by winterizing your home.

Here are some great energy saving tips for winter:

Heating System Inspection

Contact a local HVAC professional and schedule an inspection of your furnace. The cost of the inspection is worth it in the amount of energy savings you receive. The professional will give it a full cleaning, tune-up and check it for safety. Request that the furnace filter be changed or have a permanent electrostatic filter installed.

In addition to the furnace, have the HVAC expert inspect and clean the heating ducts. Duct leaks allow up to 60% of heated air to escape before it reaches any rooms.

Install Storm Doors and Windows

Achieve a big boost in energy conservation by installing storm proof doors and windows in the home. They prevent warm air from escaping while stopping cold air from entering. Earn a federal tax credit for taking this step.

Insulate Pipes

When temperatures drop down to frigid levels the intense cold causes water pipes to freeze. This causes a loss of hot water until they thaw. Prevent this common problem by wrapping pipes in foam insulation designed for this purpose.

Turn Down the Water Heater

Easily save money by turning down the water heater to 120 degrees. This reduces energy costs while water temperature remains comfortable.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Protectors

Winter is the time of year when there is a rise in house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Fires and gasses engulf homes in many cases because people are trying to stay warm. Prevent potential tragedies by checking smoke alarms to ensure they are working. Install and inspect carbon monoxide detectors. These devices are life savers.

Clean Out Gutters

Winterizing your home applies to the outside area too. During the winter, gutters collect debris, rain, snow and ice. Clogged gutters causes water to
leak into the house. This ruins ceilings, walls and leads to flooding. Thoroughly clean gutters.

Trim Trees

An often overlooked task is tree branch trimming. Branches that are too close to the home or car are an accident waiting to happen. Heavy snow and ice accumulates on branches during storms. Prevent property damage by trimming branches.

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How to Plan a Home Renovation

Undertaking a home renovation is a big decision, but one that more and more people are choosing. There are a couple main reasons for this. One reason is that people are more motivated to sell their homes, and so want their house to look its best. But the other, perhaps more important reason is that they want to stay in their home, but want to change it to suit their needs better.

There are countless home improvement ideas out there, and so it is possible to change just about any aspect of a house in order to turn it into what the homeowner really wants – whether that is giving the outside a facelift, or completely repurposing an interior room.

But as was mentioned, this is a big decision, and a lot goes into a home renovation, so planning the process out is critical. Thankfully there are steps homeowners can take to make sure they are doing it right.

Be Detailed

One of the biggest problems with many home improvement ideas is that they are vague. A homeowner might say “I want a more efficient kitchen.” or “I want to give my house more curb-appeal.” But these are vague ideas that will not yield good results.

Homeowners need to make sure they write detailed descriptions of what they want to achieve, and do their best to draw out what they are envisioning. This way by the time they are talking to architects or remodeling contractors, their ideas are clear.

Be Realistic

When planning a remodel, homeowners need to make sure they are being realistic. This includes being realistic about how much time and money they can put into the project, how much space they have and can utilize, and what they can do themselves.

A lot of homeowners start thinking about home remodeling ideas and convince themselves that they can do all the work. Doing the work themselves can be less expensive at face value, but the reality of the situation is that most homeowners do not have the time, tools, and expertise needed to do a renovation properly.

Looking into remodeling contractors really is a good idea, since a good contractor will help the homeowner to make good decisions on design, materials, and what the homeowner should outsource vs. doing on their own.

Obviously there is a lot more that goes into fleshing out home remodeling ideas, but these are two of the biggest stumbling blocks that homeowners encounter. By being detailed with their plans and being realistic about what they can and cannot handle, homeowners are setting themselves up for smooth sailing when it comes to renovating their house.

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