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Siding ranks right up there with roofing as one of the most important elements part of any home.  Siding not only affects the way a home presents itself to the world. Quality siding, when properly installed, also ensures that a home is structurally sound and keeps energy costs under control.  Cheap siding, or siding which is not properly installed, can cause big troubles for a homeowner.

A homeowner considering the installation of new siding should consult a professional siding installer for two KriegerDuring (2)-resized-600reasons.  First, installing siding is both a skill and an art, and must be done with the right materials.  A homeowner, even one skilled in general maintenance work, may not be qualified to apply modern siding.  The second reason has to do with the warranty on the siding.  Siding is an investment, and in order for that investment to be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, the siding must, in almost all cases, have been installed by a licensed professional. The professionals at United Home Experts have years of experience, and they are generally regarded as some of the top siding installers in Boston, MA and throughout the Northeast.

Homeowners have several different options when it comes to replacement siding.  Wood, aluminum or vinyl are three of the most popular choices.  Many installers have arrangements to carry products from only one siding manufacturer and thus will only recommend that siding, even if it is not necessarily the best choice for a particular home’s style or the homeowner’s budget.  This is not the case when dealing with United Home Experts.  They install a wide variety of siding brands, so their free siding consultation will not be compromised because they are beholden to a single siding company.  This is a distinct advantage to the homeowner, and one of the many reasons why UHE has so many happy customers.

A professional installer can see to it that a home is wrapped in low-maintenance, long-lasting siding that will give x--pictures-mike d photos-2011 website profiles-21 green afterthe homeowner a great value for their money.  A professional installer comes with up-to-date equipment, years of experience, a thorough understanding of all permits and forms required in the Boston area, and the skill necessary to side any size building, from single-family homes to large, commercial structures.

Between materials, installation, building permits, warranties and maintenance, there is a lot to consider when embarking on any siding project. No two siding installers in Boston, MA are the same, so it is important that homeowners take the time to consider all facets of home siding before making their choice. The right siding, and the right siding installer, can make sure that the finished product is something the homeowners will cherish for years to come.

Another informative article written by Steve from Ontario Home Inspection Services. He also provided some great photos of sloppy siding work.

Siding – How To Sell Your Home For Top Dollar

Siding is one of those aspects of a home that can add to the look and efficiency of the home as well as provide the homeowner a degree of maintenance peace of mind. More importantly, well-maintained siding can add substantial value to your home.  If you are selling your home, ensuring that the siding is well maintained and in good repair is will help you to maintain your asking price and give the buyer little to negotiate with.

Your Siding is Falling Down

What if something happens to the siding?  What do you do when gusts of wind cause the siding to come apart?  What do you do if you have vegetation too close to the siding and it’s growth is causing the siding to come away from your home?

Bad-siding-1Gettin’ Around To It

Too often homeowners wait until it’s too late to fix.  Often the initial damage has caused even further damage because it was left too long before fixing.  For example, the siding trim has been removed exposing the siding.  This now allows for water to penetrate between the siding and the home’s envelope.  Or the siding has come away from the siding it’s attached to, again allowing for water or vermin to penetrate the home.

It’s important to review your entire home’s exterior a minimum of 2 times per year and address any issues you find at that time.  If an issue is found before or after your planned review, it should be fixed immediately.  Waiting until the weather gets better or until you have time, could be disastrous to your home.  In many cases, it’s water penetrating the home that will cause the most damage.

I inspected one home where the siding trim was removed away from the home.  This allowed for water to seep down the between Bad-siding-2the siding and the building’s envelope.  It was so bad that water actually penetrated into the home causing puddles on the interior floor!  The windows sills were completely saturated and needed replacing.

Unfortunately, the homeowner left this issue too long and it was in need of major repairs.

If you don’t know how to fix the issue, it’s important that you hire someone who does.  Had the repairs been done when the damage occurred, the homeowner would have saved thousands of dollars in further repairs to the overall structure.  Although it wasn’t detected at the time, there was also the possibility of mold growth behind the walls!  This would not have been detected during a routine home inspection as a home inspection is a non-invasive, visual snapshot of the home’s systems and functionality, at the time of the inspection.

Maintaining the exterior of your home doesn’t take a great deal of time if it’s planned properly and any issues found are addressed at that time.  Waiting to fix issues may only increase the cost of fixing the issue or cause further damage or get you less than your asking price.

Negotiating Tool

Home inspections help homeowners selling their home as well as home buyers recognize these issues and the potential outcomes in the event that the siding has not been well maintained or issues fixed in a timely manner.  Defects in the siding of a home may affect the overall selling price and give the home buyer a strong negotiating tool to get a better deal.

If you don’t have the proper knowledge or tools, have your siding professionally repaired.  It will save you thousands of dollars and help to maintain your asking price.

Stephen Faudemer
Ontario Home Inspection Services
www.ontariohomeinspectionservice.ca

 

roof 2Siding is a big part of the overall look of your house, and if you’re in the market for a siding contractor, you need to ensure:
a) You’re properly educated on the types of siding available to you, and what the different choices mean in terms of maintenance and longevity.

b) That you choose a contractor who will help fully explain your options, and will execute your work at the highest level.

In this article, we wanted to give you a few handy guidelines on what to look for in a siding contractor.

1. Look for a siding contractor with a wide range of experience:

When it comes to siding, experience really is key.  You need a contractor who has a broad history with many different types of siding, so that when they advise you on the implications of each type, you know that they’re not trying to sell you on their strengths, but instead making sure you have the best siding for your needs.

For instance, wood siding is an attractive option to some, but buyers must be aware that they will need to be scraping and re-painting every 4 to 7 years.  If you’re planning on updating the colors of your home at some point in the future, then you’ll definitely need to stay away from vinyl, which can’t be painted.

2. Make sure the scope of work is clearly defined:

As with all things, it’s important to make sure you and your contractor know EXACTLY what your expectations are before you start, to avoid any issues down the line.

Take the time to communicate with your contractor and make sure you’re completely on the same page in terms of the scope of the work.  Be sure that you’re fully comfortable before agreeing to begin the work.

3. Try to look at other work the contractor has done in the past:

Nothing speaks more clearly about the quality of a contractor’s work than prior examples.  Ask your contractor for sites that he or she has worked on previously.  Once they provide them, go ahead and take a look at a few in your area.  If the workmanship looks strong, then you’re in good shape!

If your contractor refuses to provide local examples, this should be a big alarm bell – either they don’t have much experience, or they’re intentionally not wanting you to see the final results of their work!

4. Understand the warranty on the work:

This ties in with point #2, but it’s important to make sure that you’re fully aware of the warranty on the work, as it may vary from contractor to contractor.  Make sure you’re fully comfortable with the warranty before proceeding.

With these handy tips, you’ll have a smooth experience installing your siding!

Replacement Contractor LogoI was recently asked by Jim Cory from Replacement Contractor Magazine to comment on the growth of fiber cement siding in New England, specifically Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.  Here’s the article:

High Fiber

by Jim Cory

Demand for fiber cement set to grow at twice the rate of the replacement siding marketBy Jim Cory

Bob Birner, vice president of Amazing Siding, a home improvement company headquartered in Houston, calls Texas “the Holy Land” of fiber-cement siding. Five years ago, he estimates, 5% of the company’s siding jobs were fiber cement. Now, he says, “it’s the majority of our siding business.” Amazing Siding, with branches in other states as well, also sells an acrylic siding product and composite windows.

Onward and Upward

A report on the U.S. siding market issued earlier this year by the Freedonia Group suggests that by 2017 fiber-cement sales will increase to $2.065 million, with a 14% market share, and use of fiber-cement siding “will expand 7.7% annually” in improvement and repair applications. Up to now, much of that growth has been regional, focused in the South and Southwest. Freedonia suggests stronger future growth in the Northeast and Midwest. Peter Martino, marketing manager and project consultant for United Home Experts, in Boston, says that before his company took on the product in 2002, it was “rare” to see a fiber-cement replacement job in Massa­-chusetts. But, he says, in the last three or four years, “it’s become increasingly widespread as a siding option.” So widespread that United Home Experts, on its website, estimates that fiber-cement siding “is approaching a market share of 10% in Massachusetts and other parts of New England.”

Slow Market

This year the overall siding market is slower, and contractors have noticed that consumers who have money to invest in the exterior of their home prefer to spend those dollars on windows or a new roof. At Weatherguard Systems, a Wisconsin company that sells gutter protection, windows, and siding, 2009 has been a lean year in the siding department. “We’ve done one job in vinyl and five or six in fiber cement,” company president Jared Murray says. Residential siding customers, Murray has noticed, are those who have “saved and want to upgrade.” Last year siding jobs at the company were 60% vinyl, 40% fiber cement.

In the past, home improvement companies tended to offer consumers one product or another. Today many companies carry several products, an arrangement that Birner compares to auto dealerships that carry products from multiple manufacturers. Exterior Home Improvement, in Indianapolis, for instance, offers insulated-vinyl, fiber-cement, or a wood-vinyl composite siding. For companies with fiber cement as a core product, quality installation is the appeal. At United Home Experts, where 80% of jobs are fiber cement, reps show prospects pictures of the company’s fiber-cement jobs versus the less-than-stellar installs of others.

Birner guesses that 5% to 7% of Amazing Siding’s fiber-cement projects in Houston involve rescuing botched do-it-yourself projects. Typically, the homeowner starts, then realizes what’s involved and calls Birner’s company to come over and begin again from scratch.

1img031 New England is a region known for its traditional buildings. Although many local historical  councils have strict regulations on what building materials can be used to restore a building,  many traditional buildings are not regulated by these commissions. In such cases it’s  becoming more and more prevalent for building owners to have fiber cement  siding installed to replace old wood siding. Fiber cement offers low maintenance and  durability but maintains the traditional appearance of wood. Many traditional building  owners like the idea of having a beautiful and traditionally accurate siding with out the  upkeep and maintenance costs of wood. To the average person fiber cement siding is  indistinguishable from wood siding even upon close inspection.  Up until recent years when fiber cement siding became more readily available in New England, building owners did not have a viable solutions to decrease maintenance and up keep costs. Vinyl siding just has not been an aesthetically accurate. Where as wood siding needs to be maintained on a regular basis, fiber cement siding has a much longer maintenance cycle. We have installed fiber cement siding on traditional homes in such towns and communities in Massachusetts as Cambridge, Newton, Brookline Brighton, Wayland, Weston, Jamaica Plain, Dedham, Milton, and West Roxbury.

In the past, owners of traditional homes and buildings only had one option when it came to replacing their siding.  But now fiber cement siding may be a great solution for many of these homes and buildings.

There are several shingle or shingle style products that Rhode Island siding companies can use near the coast.  Some have been used for decades, and some are newer and more modern siding products.
Cedar shingles:

Traditionally coastal homes in Rhode Island have white cedar shingles that are left to weather naturally.  Other times they are preserved with a solid stain, transparent stain or a bleaching oil.  Red cedar shingles, a denser wood, is sometimes used as well.  Although this can be an attractive and traditional look, cedar is very expensive compared to other siding options.  It can also deteriorate rather quickly due to the sun, salty air, and moisture.  Cedar shingles have been installed by siding companies in Rhode Island for decades.

Vinyl Shingles:

Although homeowners with traditional homes are not generally happy with the look of vinyl, newer products such as vinyl (or polymer) shingles offer a more pleasing appearance.  These products are an excellent option near the coast because they are durable and resistant to the coastal elements and are lower maintenance than cedar shingles and other wood products.

Fiber Cement Shingles:

Fiber cement shingles such as Certainteed Shingles, are a good balance of traditional appearance and low maintenance.  Although they take longer to install, an experienced siding contractor can finish the project in about the same time as a cedar shingle installation.  Fiber cement shingles are resistant to high winds, moisture, termites, ants, woodpeckers, and changes in temperature.  There are not many Siding Contractors in Rhode Island that are installing these yet but we at United Home Experts have completed several projects in coastal areas like Jamestown RI, Newport RI, Narragansett RI, Wakefield RI, Barrington RI, and many other local Rhode Island towns.

Contact us today for a no pressure estimate on your project.