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Overview of Types of Siding for Your Home

If you don’t have to be strict about the various types of siding you can find, then you have numerous styles and materials to choose from. What can limit your options, however, would be:

  1. Your preference
  2. What suits your house best
  3. Sturdiness and upkeep
  4. Cost of material

You can start focusing on four materials first. The usual suspects are wood, metal, vinyl, and fiber. Note that wood and metal themselves have many variations.

Wood:

One of the most significant advantages of wood is that it can be made available in several styles, textures, and finishes. The colors can also be widely variant. It is also, of course, an excellent option, if your house is made of wood. A siding of the same material can create consistency. Wood can also be a beautiful material.

Wooden Siding
Natural Wood Siding

This choice of material, however, can be costly from the initial purchase to the maintenance. It is better to go for a stained finish than a painted one if you don’t want to be bothered much. Proper ventilation is also important to maintain this siding

Metal:

Metal, particularly steel and aluminum, provides a cheaper and sturdier alternative to wood. It also suits more modern homes better, with its shinier edge and sleekness.

Low cost and low maintenance, this may be the option for the modern family. However, it does not look as classic as wood. It is also prone to dents.

Vinyl:

For a more attractive version of metal, vinyl can be your choice. It is not necessarily more durable, but some warranties will reach up to 50 years. It is also a lot more cheerful than the industrial-looking metal. The price is also cheaper than the usual metal choices. However, when vinyl gets cracked, you have no other choice but to replace the strips that provide your siding. There used to be very few options with vinyl. But now there is a huge variety of styles and finishes. And it mimics other types of siding very well. There is even some vinyl that looks like wood shake siding. Definitely worth a look.

Vinyl Siding
House with Vinyl Siding

Fiber-Cement:

If you want a combination of attractiveness and durability, then you should go with fiber-cement. You get a material that attempts to recreate the grains of wood but without the tendency to rot. Fiber is low-maintenance, but it can be as expensive as wood.

If you live in a starter home in the suburbs or in an apartment in the city, cheaper metal and vinyl may just work out. Vinyl is also good for those who want to add vivid colors to their house. Those who want low key colors may still opt for the modern metal look. On the other hand, if you can afford the expense of wood or fiber, then you can pick these options. Wood and fiber provide you with more texture and an old-fashioned feel. They can better connect you with thoughts of hearth and home.

Of course, these will all depend on the bigger picture. What should your house look like? What is the aesthetic that you are going for?

Some may want to go beyond the options presented above. After all, glass, stone, and stucco are also possibilities.

Glass is sophisticated and sleek, but the cost and upkeep can be tremendous. The initial cost of stone can be staggering, too, but it is sturdy and decorative. With stucco, your expenses may lean more towards labor. As you may now understand, there are several varieties and possibilities. In the end, the option will rely on your preference, budget, and ease with risk.

What to Know Before Replacing a Roof

A roof replacement can be a pricey and time-intensive project.  When done right, homeowners can rest assured knowing that their roof is secure for years to come. The roof of a home plays a crucial part in protecting the home and the people in it, which is why it is important that a roof replacement is done the right way. With that, let’s go ahead and see the most important things to be taken care of before going in for a roof replacement. We spoke to Todd at Bel Air Gutter & Siding (https://www.belairgutter.com/) who is an expert roofer to get some ideas from him.

Determining If You Need a New Roof

First, you need to determine the signs that indicate a roof replacement is becoming mandatory for you. When done right, a roof has a lifespan of anywhere around 15 to 50 years or more depending on the material. Asphalt shingle can be 15-30 and sometimes more. If your roof is anywhere over a decade old, you should inspect it for signs of damage for repair or replacement. Roof shingles that are curling or falling off in the gutters are indicators that its time to start working on the replacement. Inspecting the gutters for any broken shingles will give you a good idea of the state of the roof.

If there is daylight coming in from the cracks or breaks in the roof to the attic, then that again is a sign of a roof replacement becoming an urgent need. Further, if the roof is sagging, then it could suggest a structural issue too and should be looked at immediately. If roof sagging is in just a small area, then it is relatively easy to take care of if you act promptly.

Things to Know Before You Start

If you do need a roof replacement, going through these handy tips ahead will help you make the most of this effort and cost, ensuring that you do not need to do this again for years to come.

Pick The Right Roofing Material

If your current roofing is over a decade old, then see other newer materials rather than just going in with what is already there. Do not simply go with the cheapest one. Asphalt may seem like a cost-effective option, but as far as residential homes go, it also has the shortest lifespan. Using metal or concrete shingles will ensure that the roof lasts longer. However, they are heavier and the roof may not be built to support the extra weight. Every material has its own pros and cons, so go over each in detail before making a choice.

Layering on or Peeling It Off

Per building codes, no more than 2 shingle layers are allowed on a roof. The 2nd layer puts more stress. In most states it is against the building code to put a third layer on. You need to remove both layers and then put a new one down. In cases where there is one layer but the existing shingles have started curling or are uneven, you simply must take off the old layer.

Check The Roof Frame

While you are at it, check the frame of the roof too. If there are areas where the sheathing appears broken or soft or shows signs of disintegration, then it may be due for repairs too.

Professional Help V/S DIY

For most homeowners, installing the roof on their own is not a good idea if they do not have sufficient experience. If you have all the tools and the required work is minor, then decide on the cost savings with the DIY route and see if you should get a professional or not, provided you understand the risks that come with doing it yourself. Thus, with this knowledge, you should be well on your way to securing your home with a new roof. With the right material and experienced professionals by your side, you can rest assured of having a safe roof that will last for years to come!

What to Be Aware of When Remodeling A Kitchen?

For most of us, the kitchen area forms the center of our home and living spaces. Filled with electronics and gadgets, the kitchen, therefore, deserves a good amount of consideration when undergoing a remodeling project. Considered as the most complex and expensive room by seasoned builders, it is important to set some ground rules before embarking on a kitchen remodeling project. Some handy tips are listed below.

Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is a multifunctional feature that can make working in a kitchen much easier. You not only get more working area, but it also doubles up as storage and a breakfast counter. While having a kitchen island is a great idea, don’t install one if you don’t have the required space in your kitchen.

Electrical Work

If you are remodeling your own kitchen, then make sure that you are aware of the electrical code requirements that you must follow to avoid hazardous situations in the future. It is always a good idea to hire a professional for finalizing your electrical drawings.

Finalize the Layout

Small renovation projects are easy enough to carry out. However, if you are looking at taking out the wall and opening up your kitchen space, then you need to be aware of the structural consequences that it may have on the rest of the home. Getting a professional to help with the design can make the space feel bigger and get more storage and features into the same space.

Flooring

Even though the kitchen usually does not get categorized as a wet-area, it is best to select a more practical flooring option. Find out how the flooring runs under the drawers, appliances, and cabinets. It is always a good idea to remove appliances like dishwasher before running the flooring so that they don’t get trapped in.

Cabinetry

Take stock of the existing situation and make a note of what you require from your cabinets. Do a gap analysis and then start designing the cabinetry. Also, if your kitchen space and countertops are unusually designed then this area will definitely require some in-depth analysis before you go ahead and order the cabinets.

Lighting

Lighting in the kitchen is very important as you work with sharp knives and may read a recipe from time to time. Therefore, be precise when you select the illumination points. Having ample light is not enough. You must make sure that it is installed in the right place as well. Whatever you do, don’t forget to install lights right above the countertop.

Ventilation

Good ventilation is a must in the kitchen and most kitchens are originally designed to provide appropriate ventilation above the cooktops. However, if your remodeling project requires shifting the cooktop to a new area, then make sure that the overhead ventilation is moved along with it. While installing a rangehood is not a regulation, it is still recommended by experts.

Sticking to a Schedule

Last but not least, prepare a realistic schedule that is in line with your requirements and stick to it. The kitchen is an extremely functional part of your home. Therefore, any delay can cause additional inconvenience to all the residents.

One last suggestion to follow up on that thought.  Put late penalties into your contract. Bad contractors will object and good contractors won’t mind.

Latest Vinyl Siding Trends

Homeowners are moving away from huge McMansion style houses. The average size of a house built in the US actually went down for the first time in 3 decades. With smaller houses, homeowners are now looking to get the feel of a larger house using outdoor rooms and porches. This means the exterior siding becomes the decoration of the wall of at least one side of the room or porch.

Therefore, it has given rise to various vinyl siding trends to make the houses more stylish. When it comes to siding trends, vinyl is still the most popular choice. This is primarily because it is more affordable and comes with lower maintenance features. Of course, with changing times, vinyl has expanded to include thicker panel and more color choices. Let us find out the latest vinyl siding trends.

Vinyl siding and brick on house for accent. Mix and match example

Mix and Match

While vinyl will never lose its place in the siding popularity index, the shifting market trends have made homeowners look at vinyl siding in a new light. One of the latest vinyl siding trends is to add different materials like stone, steel, or even brick to match the vinyl siding. These materials are definitely more expensive, however, their small amounts used in strategic places such as around the entrance of your home can give it a unique and stylish look. All this can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of using stone or other material over the whole house since the entryway is a small area to cover.

Adding Accessories

Homeowners today can opt from a variety of color options and wood graining of the vinyl siding to add a personal touch to their homes. Mixing accessories like accent pieces or trims can make the house stand out in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood. The trims also help you upgrade the overall look of the house making it more appealing and adding a touch of style to it.

Environment Safe

Green trends are springing up in all products as buyers are becoming more and more conscious of the effect that their purchase may have on nature. Insulated vinyl category products are the latest trends in the market. They are claimed to be energy-efficient products and can help bring down the carbon footprint of your building. This is an excellent trend and one that likely to become extremely popular over the next few years.

Cool Colors

Vinyl sidings sure can help you stand out and make a statement. However, the current trends point towards neutrals as homes are better highlighted in softer colors. In the past, we have seen shades of tan and beige take precedence. This has changed in the recent few months as gray has gained consistent popularity with new home builders as well as renovators. These cool and neutral hues definitely enhance the aesthetic appeal of a property. Apart from grays, neutral browns and blues have also gained popularity.

Flat Roof vs. Pitched Roof – The Pros and Cons

Do you remember the time when you were a kid and you were asked by your teacher to draw a house? You draw a square for the walls and a triangle on top. Voila! You have a house. You wish it were that simple in real life. You need to consider a lot of things when constructing a house. One of these things is the roofing.

Roofs do more than just give the house and its residents protection against sunlight, rain, snow, and other elements outside. They also define the overall appearance of the house. In addition, roofs can offer added living space, or make homes more energy-efficient and resilient. So it is important that you choose the right roofing for your house.

In this article, we are going to help you decide which roof to choose by looking at the pros and cons of a flat roof compared to a pitched roof. Which roof is best for your house?

Pitched roofing

Pros

If you’re going for a more traditional roof, pitched roofing is for you.

Pitched roofs are also preferred for its longevity and durability. Although the upfront cost of construction is high, its repairs are often less pricey than flat roofs. Its design is versatile too. The extra space under a pitched roof can be converted to set up additional living spaces like attic bedrooms, playrooms, or storage rooms. When it comes to drainage, pitched roofs are more reliable than flat roofs. Due to its sloped design, rainwater naturally falls down into downspouts and guttering, easily removing it from the house. Because of this, there is less risk of pooling water which may damage the roof. Additionally, it is less prone to moisture damage, making it more affordable in the long term.

Cons

As mentioned earlier, pitched roof is costly and it takes more time to install than flat roofs. Pitched roofs may also be more difficult to clean due to its sloped design.

Flat roofing

Pros

Unlike pitched roofs, flat roof designs are more modern and contemporary.

They are commonly used for industrial and commercial buildings but can suit residential houses too. Like the pitched roofing, flat roofs may also offer extra living spaces like a patio or a garden, or just extending vertically in the long run. Additionally, the space on a flat roof can be used to place heating and cooling systems. This is common for roofs that are designed commercially. The flat design’s ideal for installing solar panels too, giving your home energy that is more efficient and more independent.

Compared to pitched roofs, flat roof is faster and easier to install and needs less materials so it reduces installation costs. For this reason, flat roof is more appealing for businesses.

Cons

One big disadvantage of having a flat roof is its efficiency in drainage. Drains can become clogged if not regularly inspected, leading to damage and water leakage. That is why flat roof is not recommended for properties located in areas where there are heavy rain or snow. So to ensure lasting performance, this type of roof requires more attention than a pitched roof. This factor is not very appealing if you have large properties, and if you are a very busy person who can’t afford to pay attention to your roof.

 Although the installation costs of flat roofs are less expensive than pitched roofs, maintaining it may eventually be expensive, especially if not inspected regularly.

Conclusion

Now that you know the pros and cons of flat roof and pitched roofs, you can decide which style is best for your house. But whatever roofing style you choose depends on your budget, your location, and of course, a team of professional roofers to maximize your roof’s performance and efficiency.