What You Need To Consider When Buying Exterior Doors

What You Need To Consider When Buying Exterior Doors

Your exterior doors are what is visible to the rest of the world. They are what people see as they walk up to your home. Exterior doors create curb appeal, energy efficiency and provide an entryway into your home.

You want to choose doors that match your style, your home and offer guests a warm welcome. Because there are so many options to choose from, there are a few tips you need to consider before choosing your doors.

Door Replacement

If your exterior doors have cracks, are warped or rotting or have holes and scratches, it is easy to see that they need to be replaced. However, other door issues may not be as evident. Check to see if there are drafts entering your home around the doors by holding a match, candle or lighter close to the seams of the door and moving it around. If the flame flickers, your door has a draft and should be replaced.

Door Terminology

When you begin looking at outside doors, you may be confused by some of the terminology used. Some common terms used by door manufacturers have the following meaing:

  • Caming – Strips of metal are used to join segmented glass
  • Casing or trim – The moulding that surrounds the doorframe
  • Inswing – The door opens in
  • Left Handed – The hinges on the door are on the right side
  • Lite – There is glass in the door
  • Outswing – The door opens out
  • Panels – Rectangular patterns on the door used for decorative purposes
  • Right Handed – The hinges on the door are on the left side
  • Stop – A strip of wood around the door that keeps it from opening too far

Good First Impression

The first and last thing a guest sees in your home is your entry door. You want that door to make a good first impression. One thing to determine is the best material for your entry door to be sure it is durable and will make that good first impression for many years. Wood gives your home a traditional look but they are expensive and can be costly to maintain. They are also prone to warping and rotting. Steel doors are strong and durable, resistant to fire and do not warp or crack. They are also less expensive than wooden doors. However, steel doors can be boring and must be painted to give an attractive appearance. This means repainting them over time as paint fades or chips. Fiberglass doors are available in styles that look like real wood but without the cost or maintenance. Steel and fiberglass doors are the most energy efficient.

Other Outside Doors

It is important to remember that your front door is not the only entry door for your home. Patio doors are also important as they provide access to your backyard, deck or patio. There are many options for patio doors including sliding doors that allow ample light and ventilation. You can also get swinging doors with large glass panels that allow in natural light. If you have space, a French door leading to your patio can add an elegant touch.

Storm Doors and Hardware

Two things to keep in mind when choosing your exterior doors are a storm door and the hardware you will use. Storm doors are a door’s best friend as they protect your door from the elements. A storm door is critical if you have decided to use wooden doors. They also add a layer of insulation to your door. You also want to be sure to choose doorbells, locks, glass and doorknobs that highlight your door and your home décor.

If you need to replace your outside doors, contact us by phone or through our simple query form to learn what options are available. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the right doors for your home.

What is a Roof Drip Edge and Why Is It Necessary?

Almost every shingle manufacturer shows a metal roof drip edge in their installation instructions. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association “Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual” indicates that roofing drip edge be included in the construction of a shingle roof. Yet, many residential roof installations do not have them installed.

Unfortunately, the drip edge is often omitted from a bid unless the scope of work specifically requires it, normally as a money-saving tactic. When the drip edge is included, the type of metal, gauge and dimensions are rarely included.

Many roofers believe the roof drip edge is unnecessary as long as the shingles are extended far enough over the edge of the deck into the gutters, something that is not true. The fact is you need a drip edge on roof edges for many different reasons.

Critical at Eaves

The most critical location for a roofing drip edge is at the eaves of your house as this is where the most drips occur. Rake edges should also get drip edge as well as at the edge of the felt underlayment. Felt can be installed on top or underneath the metal.

The edge of the roof that catches the most water needs the best protection possible. Shingles that are extended more than three-quarters or one-inch over the edge of the roof will bend, eventually fracture and break. If there is no metal drip edge, water may not cascade off the eaves into the gutters, allowing water to get into the substrate by turning up under the shingle.

Damage Under Shingles

If water gets under your shingles, it can cause short-term staining, but more importantly, it can cause long-term deterioration of the roof deck and along the fascia board.

If the water damage is allowed to exist for a prolonged period, it can also affect the ends of the roof joists and trusses. Eventually, you may develop leaks and damage inside your home that could be extremely costly to repair.

Not a Money Saver

Ironically, not including a drip edge on roof bids is often done as a money-saver but can lead to catastrophic damage later. This leads to extensive repair costs both inside and outside the home.

In some cases, a builder may rush the roof and cover it with felt in order to speed the interior work. In these cases, the builder may hurriedly run a cutter along the roof deck, but because they are rushing, they often do not do so in a straight line. This causes the edge of the felt short of the edge and, when fascia board is added later, the felt is even further from the roofing drip edge.

If you are in need of a new roof or are planning to build a new home, contact us to learn more about roofing, shingles and drip edges. You can speak to one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives by calling or completing the easy form online.

What’s The Difference Between Vinyl Siding and Fiber Cement?

What’s The Difference Between Vinyl Siding and Fiber Cement

There are many factors that go into choosing the right siding for your home. You want to choose a siding that is durable and easy to maintain but you also want it to make your home look attractive. Choosing the wrong siding can lead to added expense, damage to your home and impact the look of your home from the outside.

Siding Options

Cedar shake shingles and wooden siding options create a unique look to your exterior, but they also come with higher maintenance requirements. They are also less durable than vinyl or fiber cement options. Cost is also a factor in those types of siding and they are less energy efficient. Therefore, many homeowners choose between vinyl and fiber cement when choosing a siding option.

Materials

Fiber-cement siding is manufactured from wood pulp and Portland cement. The substance is formed into either shingles or long boards and attached directly to your home with nails. Vinyl siding is usually made from PVC, a plastic material that is rigid. The siding allows for expansion and contractions as temperatures get warmer and colder. It has been the most popular type of siding in the United States for 20 years.

Visual Aspects

Fiber-cement boards are available in many styles, including half-round, staggered or square in addition to the traditional long planks. Because it can be painted or stained, you can make the exterior of your home any color you choose. Today, fiber-cement is available in prepainted versions as well. Vinyl has a wider variety of decorative options. This means you can maintain the exterior look if you own a home that is historic or if you want a modern appearance for your home. Recently, popular styles of vinyl siding are those that have the look of real wood.

Energy Efficiency and Durability

Both vinyl and fiber-cement siding are thin, so alone they do not offer much in the way of insulation. However, they are very effective at protecting your home from the elements. Vinyl siding does come in an insulated variety that has a layer of foam added for more insulation. Both types of siding are very durable, although fiber-cement can absorb water which could lead to wood rot under the siding. It is also susceptible to cracking and chipping, even during installation.

Maintenance and Cost

Unless you choose the prepainted version, fiber-cement must be painted. It must also be caulked when installed. You may need to paint fiber-cement as it ages due to fading and you will have to be sure the joints remained caulked properly. Vinyl needs only a spray cleaning with a garden hose. The average cost for vinyl siding, including installation, is just over $200 per square foot while fiber-cement is just over $300 per square foot. Both will recoup as much as 78 percent of their installed cost when you sell your home.

Before choosing a siding for your home, it is important to understand the differences between them. Contact us today for more information on the many different types of siding and to learn what is best for your needs. You can reach us online or by phone to speak to one of our knowledgeable customer service staff.