Pros and Cons of The Top 5 Siding Materials

Pros and Cons of The Top 5 Siding Materials

Are you in the market for siding and don’t know what to choose? You will be happy to know that, when it comes to siding, there are a variety of great materials to pick from. Fortunately, there are enough choices to satisfy every homeowner for every situation. No matter where you live or what your unique circumstances, there’s sure to be a siding to suit your needs. But before you go ahead and just buy the siding that you like the most, here’s a list of pros and cons to help you make the right choice for your home and your lifestyle.

Wood Siding

While wood is easy to work with, it can be expensive. In fact, wood is perhaps the most expensive siding material on the market with western red cedar, pine, cypress, and spruce being among the most popular choices. Admired for its natural beauty, wood ( if maintained ) has the ability to last for years! On the other side of the spectrum, wood does attract termites and other problems, increasing your maintenance costs greatly.

Pros:

  • Offers natural looks
  • Can be painted/stained easily
  • Eco-friendly

Cons:

  • Requires paint/stain more often than other siding materials
  • High-maintenance
  • Susceptible to rot

Metal Siding

Common forms of metal siding include steel and aluminum. While steel is generally harder and stronger than aluminum, it is susceptible to rust. Both aluminum and steel are available in countless styles but, unfortunately, in long strips, this material is known to flex.

Pros:

  • Durable product
  • Low maintenance
  • Fireproof

Cons:

  • Difficult to paint
  • Colors can fade
  • Susceptible to rust

Fiber Cement Siding

With a reputation for stability and low maintenance, it is no wonder that fiber is one of the most popular products on the market today. Fiber cement is made of at least 10-20% recycled materials, hence it is environmentally friendly. While it may look like wood, fiber cement siding is more durable, highly resistant to fire, requires less maintenance and is less prone to attract insects than its wood counterpart. When it comes to installation, finding a contractor with experience is key.

Pros:

  • Won’t rot
  • Fireproof
  • Available in both primed and pre-painted versions

Cons:

  • Product is very heavy
  • Pre-painted fiber cement is more expensive than the unpainted option
  • Installation can be challenging

Vinyl Siding

The most popular of the lot, vinyl siding installation is often the choice for its versatility and durability. Made from PVC, vinyl siding is available in a wide range of colors and finishes. With its foam backing, this product has the power to help insulate your home while also keeping noise to a minimum. Vinyl siding replacement and repairs require little to no maintenance and color can easily be restored when it begins to fade. The only real disadvantage to vinyl is that it tends to burn in higher temperatures.

Pros:

  • Relatively durable
  • Very low maintenance
  • Not susceptible to insect damage

Cons:

  • Lower grade vinyl can look “cheap”
  • Susceptible to fading
  • Your color choices are limited

Stucco

Resistant to fire and insects, durable and easily maintained, stucco is a good choice for all homeowners. Stucco comes in a wide array of styles, to fit all budgets. Stucco is best suited to help minimize the look of surface shadows because its texture varies from smooth to coarse. Natural stucco has the ability to breathe (it can let out moisture from the inside), but synthetic stucco does not. Another downside to choosing stucco is that installation requires a lot of work.

Preferably, this material should also be installed by an experienced professional.

Pros:

  • Very durable and long lasting
  • No need for ongoing maintenance or painting
  • Fire and insect resistant

Cons:

  • Has a reputation for cracking
  • Requires professional installation
  • Can cause moisture problems

Which Siding Is Right For Your Home?

Before you make the final decision on your siding, consider your specific needs and reflect on these 3 factors:

  1. Ease of installation: Are you considering DIY?
  2. Durability: Does it have the strength to battle everyday wear and tear? Can it resist fire, wind and termite damage?
  3. Energy efficiency: Always check the siding’s R-value rating.

In the end, your choice of siding will depend on the statement you wish to make, your location, and of course, your budget. Be sure to compare estimates from several local contractors to get an idea of the current pricing trends in your area for siding installation. Even if you are considering a DIY, talking to a local professional will give you some valuable insight and could possibly help you to avoid an expensive mistake.

You Should Avoid These Roofing Mistakes

You Should Avoid These Roofing Mistakes

Roofing renovation and installations can be a headache, especially when they don’t go as planned. Roof replacement and repair jobs can either correct the problem totally, patch the problem for a short period of time, or not fix the problem at all.  If it’s a contractor that’s made these roofing mistakes, then you’ve potentially wasted money and time. Remember, always compare quotes, check references, and you should be asking some questions before you go ahead and do business with anyone. Here are some of the top roofing mistakes you should be avoiding.

Roofing Mistakes To Avoid

There are a few areas in your home that need to stand the true test of time and harsh elements. Your roof is one of them. The following major roofing mistakes show a lack of proper roofing knowledge and should be carefully checked.

Leaking Barriers

This is one of the most common mistakes, but some roofers who will either forget or not care enough to install a leak barrier before installing the shingles. This could cause huge problems with skylights as a leak will develop over a period of time. In the long run, this will could also lead more damage.

Improper Installation In Roof Valleys

A lot of roofers and contractors have their own way of doing things. However, there is still a standard that needs to be adhered to. Nails that have been installed in the roof’s valleys are an indication of a roofer that’s not followed the correct process. In most cases (unless you did it yourself), roofers will not make this mistake. Some of them tend to make use of improper shingling method and take shortcuts, so be sure to check on this. As time passes, the hole created by the nails can end up allowing water direct access to the underside of the roof and straight into your attic. This can allow water to collect in the valley, which can lead to major problems very quickly.

 Attic Ventilation

Attic ventilation goes a long way in regulating the temperature in the attic and on your roof deck. Shingles can start to show signs of damage from extremely high temperatures, making them ineffective. An attic vent can be put in for a few hundred dollars and can save you a lot of money on your electric bills in the summer too.

Cricket Behind The Chimney

Water behind the chimney needs to be diverted so that you don’t develop a leak. This is where a cricket comes in. The cricket is used to help divert the water away from the chimney and keep it flowing down the gutters. These are simple to install and almost mandatory in some region in order to prevent leakage problems.  A poorly installed cricket can cause a lot of problems later on.

Incorrect Shingle Use

The area where your roofing experiences the most high-speed winds are the hips and ridges. It’s important that special shingles are used to ensure it’s kept in place during a storm and that water consistently flows off both sides. Special shingles that are more durable and thicker should be installed as opposed to regular roof shingles. Make sure no short cuts are taken by using regular shingles when you really need a product that will stand up to the elements in your region.

Bad Starter Course

The starter course at the edge of the roof needs to be properly installed in order for it to work effectively. The shingles should be staggered so that water does not seep between them. Again, this small mistake can lead to massive financial implications. Be sure to get it right from the get-go.

 Shingles on Shallow Sloping Roofs

If your roof is shallow and sloping, pay great attention here. A shingled roof is designed to help channel water away from the underlying structure. However, this doesn’t make it waterproof! If the angle of the roof is too shallow, the water will not be able to flow fast enough to prevent seepage.

No Drip Edge

An incorrectly installed drip edge is extremely important to prevent water from getting into areas where it can cause severe rot or discolor the siding. A properly installed drip edge can keep a roof functioning longer and also protect other areas of your home.

Flashing Installation

This is a very common roofing mistake too. Poorly installed flashing can cause horrible leaks. The correct way to install flashing is to make sure there is a substrata of something to seal the gap underneath, followed by step flashing on top, which is then nailed to the deck of the roof.

Nailing Shingles the Wrong Way

Take great care when laying down shingles and do not to go too quickly or get them at an angle. It’s vitally important that the nails are being driven in perpendicular to the shingles so that the fiberglass matting between the asphalt layers of the shingle does not suffer from a tear or become compromised. An over pressurized nail gun can do the same thing by driving the nail at an angle. Make sure to double check danvid windows prices and the pressurization to ensure no nails will be driven in forcefully.

What Will It Cost To Clean My Roof?

What Will It Cost To Clean My Roof?

The exterior of your home is exposed for all to see.  Homeowners can benefit in many different ways from having their roof professionally cleaned from time to time. A poorly maintained roof reflect heavily on your images,  so ensuring higher curb appeal should be high on your list of priorities. Ensuring that your roof is cleaned regularly will also guarantee its longevity and, moreover, ensure the best return on investment if you are ever in the market to sell.

Roof Cleaning Factors To Consider

The cost of roof cleaning will be influenced by many different factors. Firstly, the size of your roof, its specific design, the height and its slope. Some roofs are harder to access and a contractor might need specialized equipment, tools, and safety devices. Contractors will also charge more if you have a tall home with multiple stories.  The risk of injury will increase insurance rates and, therefore, the overall rate of cleaning.

The location of your home will also affect the price of cleaning. If you are surrounded by a lot of trees, you may have an excessive amount of leaves and branches collecting on your roof. If you live near the ocean, you might have excessive salt deposits. Snow and sleet are also factors that could affect the cost, similar to thick moss or algae build-up.  A fungus is more likely to grow on shingles in a moist climate or a property with many tall trees. This is why people in arid places like Utah or Arizona typically spend less money to keep their roofs clean.

How Much Will It Cost To Clean My Roof?

Although it is possible to clean a roof yourself, professionals have access to stronger cleaning products and tools. Therefore, it’s always recommended that you get the professional assistance of you want to be sure of a precise cleaning job. Also, remember that the best time to clean a roof is in the summer months, so be sure to plan accordingly.

On the low end, expect to pay anywhere in the region of about $150. However, most people can expect to pay roughly $270 – $540 to have some professional cleaning done. On the high-end, some homeowners can expect to pay in the region of $750 – $850.

If you would like to get a more accurate estimate of what it will cost to clean your roof, you should compare some local estimates from cleaning contractors. Be sure to compare several quotes so that you not only avoid being overcharged but also get a good feel for which contractor will be best for your particular project.

Most roofs come with a warranty of anywhere between 10-30 years. In some cases, cleaning will be done alongside minor repairs, and this may be covered under your warranty so be sure to check.

 

A Quick Insider Guide On Professional Roof Inspections

A Quick Insider Guide On Professional Roof Inspections

A roof is one of the most crucial parts of a home’s structure. To ensure safety for the occupants, it’s important to schedule a roof inspection from time to time.  Although some roofing problems only require a quick fix,  a concise inspection is vital. A professional roof inspection should be conducted at least once per year and is the only way to get a fair assessment of any problems you may have. Inspections are especially important after a violent storm.

Why Hire a Professional?

When hiring a professional, you can expect a thorough assessment of your roof and nothing will be left to chance. Missing one small detail can lead to major property damage in the long run.  A professional roofer has the trained eye necessary to pinpoint anything out of the ordinary, including areas of weakness and leaks simply by looking from the ground. However, most professionals will actually get onto the roof the check. 

What Will An Inspector Look At?

Professional inspections will often start in your attic, so you might have to be home.  Inspection of the ceiling will be done in the attic to check for any staining, cracks, dampness and more. The level of moisture and mold will be evaluated, as well as your ventilation and insulation properties.

A full exterior inspection will then be conducted and the inspector will examine all your roofing details and exposed equipment. The shingles will be checked to see if any are missing. They will also be checked to see if any are blistered, curled, or split. Seals on the skylight,  roof dividers, and expansion points will be checked for any leaks. The flashing will be inspected around the plumbing vents and chimney to check for any corrosion or gaps between them. Other than this, a qualified roofer will be able to identify any structural damage and deformities outside surface of the roof that requires action to correct.

How Much Will It Cost To inspect My Roof?

The price of a roof inspection will completely consist of labor and determined by square footage rather than the number of hours worked. On average, every 1,000 square foot can cost anything between $50 – $100. If the inspector needs to create a detailed report, the fee can increase by an additional $100.

Factors That Can Influence The Cost

Although not evident on the bill, you will also be paying for a professional’s equipment, vehicles, and insurance. Other factors that might end up increasing the price of your inspection includes type, pitch, age, dimensions, and height which make inspections more difficult.

Compare Inspection Quotes

Inspection methods differ depending on the type of roof you have as well as the region that you live in. The only way to get a precise idea of what a roof inspection might cost you is to compare several quotes from local contractors.

Remember, when you are buying or selling a home, it is important to know the age and condition of your roof. Many owners pay for repairs that are covered under a contractor or manufacturer’s warranty, so before you run the risk of massive damage to your property and its structure, get in touch with a roofing contractor to inspect your roof regularly.

Everything You Need To Know About Brick Siding

Brick siding is a thin surface that’s lightweight and relatively easy to have installed on your home, but it still maintains the look of traditional brick. Many of the brick homes constructed in the last few decades aren’t actually made of brick, although they still look like it. Like any other siding, brick is simply a single layer overlaying the original framework of your home.  Only homes that are older than 40 years will, in all probability, be made of brick, so it’s easy to tell the difference.

Not only is brick siding one of the most affordable options out there; there are several different varieties to choose from and you can have it installed either indoors or outdoors.

Why Install a Brick Siding?

Brick siding installation offers a unique blend of durability, strength, and beauty.  However, brick siding can do more than just make for a more attractive home. By installing this type of siding, your home becomes a lot more attractive to potential buyers and, therefore, it increases the value of your property. Brick is also very appealing due to the fact that it requires very little maintenance. One of the most appealing factors is that it requires no paint or stain once installed and unlike wood or vinyl, it resistant to rot and it won’t dent.

Brick is also eco-friendly as it’s made from clay and shale. Many homeowners opt for brick as it’s durable, fireproof, and could end up saving you a lot of money on your insurance premiums. Moreover, brick siding offers fantastic insulation against the cold of winter and the heat of summer. This will help you save money on your heating and cooling costs.

Cons of Brick Siding

Once your brick siding is damaged, it may be hard to repair. In some instances, the whole wall may have to be replaced. Brick siding may be susceptible to moisture seeping into it when it’s exposed to water for prolonged periods of time.  When this happens, it may begin to crumble as it becomes brittle.

Aside from water damage, this siding cannot withstand the impact of some natural disasters, including high winds and earthquakes.  Brick will also fade over time as it’s made from organic material.

How Brick Siding Is Installed

The first step is always to remove the existing siding.  This should be done very carefully so that the exterior of the house is not damaged.  After the existing siding has been removed, an inspection has to be done on the exterior walls for any damage that may have been caused. The exterior walls should also have a vapor barrier to be inspected and replacement should be done wherever is necessary.

Once done, the siding will be attached to the exterior of the house. This is done with adhesive to the back of the panel. Installation starts at the bottom while working your way up. The siding will then be secured by drilling screws into the existing holes. Then the rough edges will be smoothed and caulking to hide any seams and holes that are still visible.

Hire a Professional

Installing brick siding is not always a good idea for a DIY project, even for the most experienced handyman. If you are interested in having brick siding installed, it’s always a better idea to get in touch with some local professionals and compare quotes.  By hiring a professional you are guaranteed to get the type of finish you want in the least amount of time. But remember, don’t just employ the first person willing to quote you.  Always compare at least 3 estimates so that you can not only get a feel for current pricing trends in your area, but also a better idea of the type of professional that will suit your project best.

 

Which Siding Is The Best One For My Home

Which Siding Is The Best One For My Home?

Siding allows homeowners to add color and definition to their house. The countless options available when it comes to siding can be a tricky bunch of choice’s to make, so how do you choose the right one?

Aesthetics are always important, and besides the durability and water resistance, we all want the perfect look for our homes.

But there are many considerations to be taken into account, including ease of installation and versatility. Let’s look at the most popular types available on today’s market:

Vinyl Siding

Low cost, versatility, and easy maintenance have made vinyl siding the most popular choice in the U.S. Some may be turned off by the “plastic look” of certain products, but the huge variety of styles and colors available explain vinyl’s popularity.

Readily available at home improvement stores and needing very few tools to install, vinyl is also DIY friendly – if you have enough experience! Mistakes can be very costly, so make sure to follow manufacturer instructions and online how-tos.

Wood Siding

Most commonly used for bungalow and cottage exteriors, wood siding always offers a rich look. If maintained properly, it can be very durable. Wood does require periodic maintenance such as chalking, painting, or staining to stop weather damage.

Should you be attracted to this look, keep in mind that it is susceptible to rodent and insect attacks. However, when looked after, wooden siding can last up to 100 years. Wood is available in clapboard ( lap or bevel ) as well as shakes and shingles. Western red cedar and redwood are very attractive and durable, so they are considered the best choices by many.

Brick Siding

Genuine brick siding is made from fired clay and comes in different sizes and textures. It is a very popular material for building Colonial, Tudor, and English cottage exteriors. If it’s a timeless look you’re after, brick is for you.

Brick siding uses mortar to hold it to the home. Because water penetrates brick veneers, a water proof membrane is installed between the brick veneer and the home. If installed properly and under normal conditions, brick can last the lifespan of the home. Having brick installed is labor intensive, so the cost is a bit higher when compared to other sidings.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement offers the look of masonry, stucco, or wood at a much lower cost, making it a popular choice for many homeowners. This type of siding is low-maintenance, non-flammable, and termite resistant.It is also available in a wide range of styles, textures, colors, and finishes. The down side is it’s moisture related problems. Also, keep in mind that homes built pre-1980 may have contained asbestos and will require a professional contractor for removal.

Stucco Siding

Stucco is traditionally made from building sand, Portland cement, lime, and water. This is a style that is very popular in the Mediterranean, as well as ranch and Spanish exteriors. Careful installation will reduce unwanted cracks because it is so rigid. When properly installed, stucco can also last the lifetime of the home.

Stone & Stone Veneer

The beauty and durability of limestone and granite offer massive appeal to homeowners who are looking for a textured exterior. Stone is more expensive than the other options and is sometimes difficult to add to an already existing home. Consider the cost of stone compared to stone veneer siding. There are many styles to choose from, it’s lighter and less expensive than natural stone, and annual cleaning and inspection will ensure your stone lasts as long as your home.

Speak To a Professional

Remember, just because you enjoy the look of a particular siding, it doesn’t necessarily make it the right choice for your particular home. If you are not sure which siding will work best for you, get in touch with a local professional for an expert assessment.