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One type of wood siding that many people choose for their homes is red cedar shingles.  Aside from their obvious aesthetic beauty, there are other advantages that make people prefer this siding over cheaper types.  However, maximizing these advantages means the shingles have to be installed and maintained properly.  Doing this well means significantly less expense over time, thus making it especially important to seek the assistance of experienced contractors like the professionals at United Home Experts.

What Makes Cedar Shingles Attractive?cedarshingles2-resized-600

Wood shingles are naturally attractive, their grain is not repetitive (such as those of synthetic materials), and many of them age beautifully if properly treated prior to installation.  Contrary to popular belief, cedar is highly durable, especially red cedar.  It contains tannic acid that acts as a natural preservative.  The material is also dimensionally stable so there is very little expansion or contraction of the material with changes in the weather.  This is not true of other siding types like vinyl.  Furthermore, air pockets captured by the wood make it a natural insulator that keeps the home cooler in warm weather and warmer during the cold months.

What Does Proper Installation and Maintenance Entail?

Unfortunately, not all cedar shingles are manufactured equally.  The higher-grade varieties have several characteristics that make them preferable over lower grade ones.  First, these have fewer knot holes.  Second, when installed, the space between each shingle is minute because of the straightness of each shingle’s cut.  Higher-grade red cedar shingles may cost more up-front, but the expense is often worthwhile.

As red cedar ages, it changes color to dark gray in a few years, unless properly treated either by the manufacturer or the installer. Some people find this undesirable, while others factor this aging into the house’s design.  Proper treatment also lessens the wood’s susceptibility to insect attack, which further extends the life of the material.

Installation of cedar shingles typically requires an experienced contractor in order for it to be done properly.  Vinyl or fiber cement sidings have been prefabricated so that each segment automatically fits the next one like a glove.  With cedar, the installer should exercise as much care as possible to ensure that there is little or almost no space between shingles.  Sealant also has to be applied between the spaces so moisture does not undermine it.  Siding contractors of United Home Experts have red cedar shingle installation down to a science.  This frees homeowners from worries they might face if they installed the wood siding themselves.

Like all other siding types, cedar shingles are susceptible to weather damage and impact damage.  But contrary to what many believe, it is not less durable than other siding materials.  Its resilience and innate strength allow it to last several decades.  It may be susceptible to insects, fungus, and other microorganisms, but this can be circumvented through proper wood treatment by experienced professionals.

Replacing damaged shingles is also easy.  The challenge is in making the color of the newer shingles match the newer ones.  Repainting is an option, but this will cover up part of what makes red cedar attractive.  Plain washing the wall down with water is often not enough.  Microorganisms like fungi need to be removed using bleach.  Susceptibility to moisture means that the owner should regularly check the siding to make sure that the wood has not begun to rot.

What Makes Fiber Cement a Good Alternative?Weatherboards-resized-600

Those who find that red cedar is not for them can opt for fiber cement.  There are varieties that have been manufactured to mimic cedar very closely.  It is nearly as good an insulator and has the same dimensional stability as masonry.  Maintenance is as easy as hosing the wall down with water.  Weather may still damage it, but it is not as susceptible as wood to moisture or fire.

In Summary

Naturally beautiful red cedar requires the hand of experience to be properly installed and maintained.  The beauty of the wood can be revealed and preserved through proper treatment and expert installation.  United Home Experts has both the experience and the expertise, to which its many satisfied customers throughout the New England area can attest.  Their siding experts can go over everything the customer needs to know in order to make the right decision.  This includes discussing alternatives like fiber cement or vinyl siding, which they are also experts in. Any homeowner considering red cedar for their home will benefit from their professional assistance.

Many homeowners opt for the classic look of clapboard wood siding or cedar shingles on the outside of theirfibercement-blogphoto33-resized-600 homes. This rich, natural wood look can greatly improve the value and appearance of a home when the shingles are installed and maintained properly. The wood contains natural oils that act to keep insects away and prevent decay. In fact, cedar shingles can last hundreds of years, making them a durable and solid choice for homeowners.

Cedar shingles are made up of high quality red or white cedar shingles or clapboards, which are stunning to the eye in their natural, unfinished form. The wood in cedar shingles contains a range of colors and tones that range from deep honey brown to light amber. This wood also lends the house the natural aroma of cedar wood.

Clapboards refer to the shape and style of the wood or siding: overlapping wood planks that can either be shaped like rectangles or tapered off in slightly different shapes. One popular shape of shingle is known as bevel, which refers to a triangular form that produces a layered, textured affect. Shingles can be installed in different sizes, horizontal or vertical, depending on the preference of the homeowner.

When it comes to selecting a type of clapboard to use for siding, there are options besides pure cedar wood. For Everlast-Rotator-002example, homeowners may choose to go with fiber cement siding that has the appearance of wood, but that can be painted and wears differently. Fiber cement siding is said to be more durable than wood. There is also vinyl siding, which offers homeowners a wood grain texture and look with the advantage of coming in a wide variety of colors, unlike real wood shingles. There are also various kinds of metal siding available, such as aluminum or steel, that are particularly known for keeping their shape without expanding or contracting throughout the different seasons. These are often compared to vinyl siding as alternatives to traditional wood siding.

All of these alternative forms of siding can look like wood on the outside without costing homeowners as much money as the real thing. But the ultimate in curb appeal can only come from genuine wood, which stays beautiful for decades – even centuries! – when properly installed and maintained by siding experts.

Regardless of the type of siding job at hand, United Home Experts is prepared to help homeowners make their dream homes a reality. They can count on the company’s years of experience and commitment to working with clients to ensure the best possible results.

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Fiber cement siding has become extremely popular here in the northeast, keeping fiber cement installers in MA as busy as those in neighboring states.  There are many reasons for the popularity of this particular type of siding, but there are also certain issues with this siding that homeowners should be aware of.

If not installed properly, the warranty on this siding can become null and void.  That is why it is important that such siding only be installed by professionals, such as those at United Home Experts, who have many years of experience working with such siding here in the harsh weather conditions of the Northeast.

The primary problem faced by poor installation of this type of siding is water absorption.  One of the components of this type of siding is sawdust or cellulose of some type, and these materials absorb moisture.  That is why it is vitally important to have trusted experts do the installing.  They can see to it that the siding will not come in contact with standing water.FiberCement-BlogPhoto34

The advantages of fiber cement siding can far outweigh the disadvantages.   The fact is, more than five million homes in the US use fiber cement siding, and for good reason.  Such siding is durable and comes in a variety of textures.  This type of siding offers outstanding properties and can greatly enhance a home’s value and curb appeal.  Fiber cement installers in MA, such as the dedicated team at United Home Experts,  will install siding with a transferable 30-year limited warranty, attesting to the strength and durability of the product, even in the unforgiving northeastern climate.

This type of siding does not warp or crack due to the intense variations of temperature here in the northeast, and unlike many others types of siding, fiber cement does not attract insects of any kind.

Another advantage of professionally-installed siding is the range of baked-in colors available to the homeowner.  The paints used on this siding are specially formulated for New England’s often harsh climate.  United Home Experts offers 20 exciting colors, each baked onto the siding and each guaranteed for up to fifteen years.

Obviously, warranties such as those available with this type of siding attest to recent innovations in fiber cement technology which have alleviated many of the problems that were rampant in first-generation siding.  Today’s homeowners can confidently choose fiber cement siding to protect, beautify, and enhance the value of virtually any home here in the Northeast.

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Fiber cement siding (or cladding) is a particularly popular option with homeowners because of its strong structural fibercement-blogphoto33-resized-600integrity and resistance to the common pitfalls of other types of siding such as weather and insect damage. However, no siding is perfect, and even fiber cement cladding is bound to start breaking down after years of wear and tear from the elements regardless of the quality of the original installation job. If this happens, the specialists at United Home Experts can fix the damage by either repairing or replacing portions of the siding.

Here we will give you the low-cost solution to repair the damages, but we caution you because the integrity of the siding is now compromised. The siding has been cracked and there is now a potential for moisture to build up and cost serious issues within the siding.

We highly suggest contacting us to provide an estimate or if you have a warranty with us, give us a call. You can contact the office of United Home Experts at 508-881-8555.

If the fiber cement cladding on a home has endured the kind of damage that has left glaring holes and cracks, then it cannot be saved, and it will be necessary to replace it. However, there are instances in which the cladding can be repaired. If damage is limited to a few cracks and holes in somewhat hidden places on the outside of the house, it is possible to fix the siding without replacing it entirely. United Home Experts has both experience and expertise when it comes to executing either plan.

The first step involved in fixing fiber cement is to clean the siding. Mold, mildew and stains can be tough to remove, so the best way to attack them is to use a light wire brush dipped in water mixed with bleach and dishwashing detergent. Then, contractors often use a power washer with a liquid of trisodium phosphate mixed with water to spray over the affected areas followed by a thorough water rinse.

After the power washing and rinsing stage is complete, contractors will then use a caulk gun to replace any eroded caulking material around windows, trim or doorframes. Once all affected areas have been redone, they will move on to fill in the cracks and holes in the siding with a special patching material designed specifically for this purpose. After small holes and cracks are filled in and everything has dried, contractors move on to painting if necessary. Experts are careful to use 100% acrylic paint and apply it with paint rollers.

Whether homeowners need contractors to install fiber cement siding, replace it or repair it, they can count on the specialists at United Home Experts for all of their siding needs. Years of experience and a long list of satisfied customers throughout Massachusetts and beyond testify to the company’s dedication to high quality work and customer service.

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The siding industry for houses is an ever-expanding one thanks to a growing number of manufacturers developing new materials for the job. While vinyl siding remains the most popular option for its cost-efficiency, durability, and versatility, more homeowners are now turning to fiber cement siding for their siding needs. This material, also called cladding, is made up of a mixture of vinyl-based siding material with cement and wood particles.

Important Qualities of Fiber Cement Cladding

The appeal of fiber cement cladding lies in its exceptional structural integrity due to the material’s high cement content. It has a reputation for performing well in all types of weather and for resisting common siding problems such as insects, weather, and rot. However, fiber cement cladding can be susceptible to problems such as rot and mold, which occur when moisture enters exposed areas of cladding. This can lead to the siding swelling and crumbling, which ultimately leads to paint peeling. Peeling paint remains one of the most common and visibly unappealing problems that can arise when it comes to fiber siding cladding.

Peeling Paint and Fiber Cement CladdingFiberCement-BlogPhoto03

Peeling paint is a result of improper installation of fiber cement cladding. Installing fiber cement cladding is known to be tricky to install, which has led manufacturers of the material to produce longer and longer manuals detailing how to do it properly. While it is helpful for installers to have so much information — sometimes over 150 pages worth — at hand, it also leaves more room for error, as it becomes more difficult for installers to comply with so many standards. If contractors fail to install the fiber cement cladding in compliance with the manufacturer’s standards, homeowners lose their warranties, leaving them with high repair costs.

When the paint of fiber cement cladding peels, it often occurs in areas where moisture can collect or splash back, such as under windows and near roofs. This can cause paint to peel prematurely. Fiber cement cladding is not colored, so when the paint on it peels off, it leaves unsightly gray spots that can stand out, especially in contrast to a bright or dark paint color.

Avoiding Potentially Steep Maintenance Costs

With so much room for error when it comes to fiber cement cladding, homeowners need contractors they can trust. United Home Experts has been offering homeowners in Massachusetts and beyond professional and reliable service necessary for the toughest construction jobs, including installing fiber cement siding. Years of experience and a commitment to high quality service make United Home Experts a solid option for homeowners..

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Homeowners have a myriad of options for the siding they install on their homes. There are currently many alternatives to traditional vinyl siding on the market today; many companies in the siding industry now create new and innovative kinds of siding in an effort to find the right formula to keep out the elements and still maintain a clean appearance. More companies are now manufacturing fiber cement siding, a material that falls into a category of siding called cladded siding. Cladding is silica-based siding material mixed with other materials such as cement and wood particles.

What is fiber cement siding?

Fiber cement cladding is now becoming more popular with homeowners. One of the advantages of fiber cement is its strong structural integrity. This type of siding does a great job of protecting houses from the elements because it is partly made up of cement, a solid and structurally sound material. However, there are still problems with fiber cement siding that can occur. Homeowners can end up dealing with rotting fiber cement among other problems due to improper installation. For this reason, homeowners should do their research to end up working with high quality materials and an experienced contractor.

What problems can a homeowner expect with fiber cement cladding?FiberCement-BlogPhoto21-resized-600

Fiber cement siding is known to be difficult to install properly. Warranties from the material manufacturer are only valid if installation is done exactly in accordance with its installation specifications. This means that if an inexperienced or untrained contractor incorrectly installs siding, the homeowner will end up needing to pay the high cost of repairs.

The number one problem associated with fiber cement siding involves moisture seeping into cracks and being absorbed by the wood particles in the fiber cement material, which can cause substantial damage. If contractors fail to install water barriers between the plywood and siding, moisture can get between the siding and plywood, which can then cause the plywood to rot and mold. It can also cause paint to peel and crumble, which leaves unsightly gray spots.

Should a homeowner seek professionals for installation of this siding type?

Professionalism and expertise are crucial factors when it comes to finding the right contractor. Homeowners all over Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire have been trusting United Home Experts with their home improvement needs for years. United Home Experts has the experience and training necessary to ensure a precise and complete siding job from start to finish. The company is also happy to put customers in touch with references who can speak to the high quality work of United Home Experts.

There are many different types of siding to consider for home exteriors. There are certain types of siding that arefibercement-blogphoto33-resized-600 more suitable to certain locations and weather conditions than others. Some may offer variety, customization, and colors. Others will offer strength and durability. All are good choices, and it is hard to go wrong when making a selection for the home. However, it ultimately comes down to homeowner preference.

Fiber cement board siding is a type of ready-made siding that is created from a mixture of materials. These fiber cement panels are usually made up of sand and cellulose (wood pulp) fibers. New Englanders will appreciate that this type of siding because it is very durable against the sea salt air near the coastline. It has the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions such as wind, rain, hail, and hurricane level storms for years on end. Not only will the siding protect against the elements, but it will stand up against cold climates as well. This material is also not flammable, like wood siding would be. It is made up of more than 90% inflammable materials. The siding is ultraviolet resistant and offers more insulation to a home than other siding choices would.

Another one of the benefits of fiber cement siding is its versatility. It can replicate the looks of several other siding options, such as wood planks or wood shingles. For homeowners that crave the traditional look of wood siding, fiber cement siding is a good option that also provides some additional advantages to outdated wood siding. The siding can also be painted in a variety of colors. Fiber cement panels require very little maintenance, making them a very economical choice. The paint job on most panels will last around 10-15 years before a repainting is needed. This is because the panels are painted using a pigment technology that allows the pigment to resist fading and wearing. This keeps the maintenance cost for repainting homes low, and it can also bring the resale value of a house up. Fiber cement is also completely protected from insects and rotting. The planks have no seams that overlap each other, and that eliminates the chance of mold and mildew even appearing.fibercementweatherboards-resized-600

Homeowners who are searching for the right siding will find that the United Home Experts are the ideal people to contact. As leaders in the industry, our members have many years of experience and knowledge to assist their customers. The experts at United Home Experts understand that each homeowner has their own individual needs, and will offer warranties on all contracted work. When homeowners call for a quote or consultation, they will be provided with all the necessary information pertaining to their inquiry, as well as specific numbers for specific circumstances, much more than a rough estimate.

These estimates are provided at absolutely no charge, and our experts will work alongside the homeowner to choose the right siding and color options that suits their home. This company understands the importance of a homeowner’s investment and will work to not only suggest the best choices for the value of the home, but the family as well.

When one hears the name fiber cement siding, the word “rot” is not one that instantly springs to mind.  One does not generally associate cement with rotting.  So why does fiber cement siding rot?

The truth is that rotting fiber cement is a misnomer, as the cement siding itself does not rot. What can happen, however, is that if siding is not properly installed by experts, water can seep behind the siding and deteriorate its integrity.fibercementweatherboards-resized-600

There are two ways to avoid this scenario.  First, a moisture-resistant layer needs to be applied to the wood before the siding is hung.  Secondly, and most importantly, siding should be applied by professionals, such as those at United Home Experts, who understand the harsh weather conditions here in the Northeast and take appropriate measures to insure against siding failure.

Another advantage to having experts side a home is the guarantee that comes with the job.  With the long-term guarantee that United Home Experts provides, a homeowner can sleep like a baby for many, many years, knowing that at least their siding is 100% guaranteed no matter what Mother Nature might do to their home.

If a homeowner chooses nonetheless to install fiber cement siding without the use of experts, two people should always be present during the installation due to the weight of the cement siding.  Thin siding material can be cut by scoring the siding with a sharp carpet knife or similar instrument and then snapping the siding along the score.  Heavier siding may require special saw blades designed to cut through the concrete and cellulose fibers of the boards.fibercement-blogphoto33-resized-600

Fiber cement siding is one of the best, most durable sidings available, especially for the unpredictable weather conditions in the Northeast.  Sun, wind, rain, snow, hail…fiber cement siding offers superior protection against all forms of weather, especially when properly installed. Another advantage to fiber cement siding is that it is either fire-resistant or completely fireproof, depending on its grade.

Homeowners have many choices when it comes to the right siding for their home.  The decision they make should be based on a number of factors, including location, aesthetics, cost, ease of application and how long the customer expects to remain in the home.  There may be other considerations as well.  But when everything is said and done, all homeowners want the same basic result  –  a home that looks its best and is well-protected, at a price that the homeowner can live with.

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Homeowners here in the harsh climate of the Northeast have many choices when it come to siding material for their homes.  One of the best choices a homeowner can make for siding a home in this climate is fiber cement, for a variety of reasons.

One of the many reasons homeowners choose fiber cement for their siding needs is that fiber cement is so sturdy.  Fiber cement siding can stand up to almost anything that Mother Nature can throw at it.  Unfortunately, bad luck does sometimes strike   –  an earthquake hits, or the house has a run-in with a car  –  and the integrity of the siding can be compromised.

When this happens, the homeowner is left wondering how to fix damaged fiber cement.  There are in fact several ways to repair the siding.  The easiest way is to have it repaired by experts, such as those at United Home Experts.  If the siding was originally installed by United Home Experts, then it should still be under warranty and will be repaired promptly and efficiently at no charge.

However, if the siding was originally homeowner-installed, or was installed by another company without a long-term guarantee, then repairs may fall to the homeowner. Here we will give you the low-cost solution to repair the damages, but we caution you because the integrity of the siding is now compromised. The siding has been cracked and there is now a potential for moisture to build up and cost serious issues within the siding.

We highly suggest contacting us to provide an estimate or if you have a warranty with us, give us a call. You can contact the office of United Home Experts at 508-881-8555.

Now – the cheap, temporary solution to fixing the siding:

While it is sometimes necessary to remove an entire fiber cement plank from a wall, for the purposes of this article we will assume that the homeowner wants to patch a relatively small area and not remove and replace entire boards.

Start by purchasing fiber cement patch material  –  do not use wood putty or any other product made to repair wood.  The siding may look like wood (it may have a wood-grain effect) but it is primarily cement and requires a cement patch.

First, clean the area thoroughly with a damp cloth, and remove any hanging particles; the area to be patched must be clean and solid around the edges. Using a stiff brush, mix the patch material specifically intended for fiber cement following the manufacturer’s directions carefully; use only as much water as the manufacturer recommends.

Use a plastic putty knife to apply the patching material to the damaged area, filling in the area and shaping the patch to match the original contours of the siding.  Allow the patch to thoroughly dry and apply another thin layer of patching material if the first layer shrank during the drying process.  Allow the final layer to dry and then lightly sand in order to blend all edges.  Use sandpaper or a small, sharp tool to match any design that exists in the original planking.  Carefully clean the entire area with a tack cloth to remove all vestiges of the sanding process.

Paint as much of the wall as necessary so that the patched area blends into the entire wall.  In some cases this will require painting the whole wall.  This is especially true if the wall has not been painted for some time and the existing paint has faded in the sun.  If done properly, the patch should last for years, but there are no guarantees to the structural integrity of the siding. Again, we caution you to give us a call so that we can properly give you a diagnosis on the damage.

Homeowners today have all kinds of options when it comes to installing siding on their homes. Many companies fibercement-blogphoto33-resized-600in the siding industry have made efforts to employ innovative new technologies to produce new siding products that both look good and keep out the elements; this has enabled customers to choose from many alternatives to traditional vinyl siding. More and more companies are now in the business of creating and installing fiber cement siding. This material falls into a category called cladded siding. Cladding is vinyl-based siding material mixed with other materials  –  in this case, cement and often wood-based materials as well.

While vinyl siding has long been the most popular type of siding on the market because of its affordable price and clean look, fiber cement cladding is now rapidly gaining ground among homeowners. One of the major strengths of fiber cement cladding is its structural integrity. Because it is partly made up of cement, a solid and structurally sound material, this type of siding does a great job of protecting houses from the elements. This and other benefits are leading more and more homeowners to choose fiber cement cladding for their homes. However, even fiber cement cladding has its downfalls: homeowners can end up needing to deal with rotting fiber cement due to improper installation. This is why it is extremely important for homeowners to do their research and go with a trusted and experienced contractor for the job as well as a brand of siding with a solid reputation.

Because of its unique makeup, fiber cement cladding is typically resistant to common threats such as harsh FiberCement-BlogPhoto21-resized-600weather, insects and rot. Trouble arises when the siding is not installed correctly, leaving cracks or openings vulnerable to damage from moisture. A common mistake that inexperienced contractors make is neglecting to install water barriers between the plywood and siding. When this happens, moisture enters and gets between the siding and plywood, which can then cause the plywood to rot and mold. Another important process when installing fiber cement cladding is to generously apply caulk or felt paper strips to all joints on the home. This process will further prevent moisture and leakage from occurring and will protect the fiber cement. When rotting does occur, the damage can be disastrous in the long run and can end up costing homeowners dearly down the line.

For these reasons, it is crucial that homeowners choose contractors and equipment carefully. First, homeowners should do their own research on siding installation and apply that knowledge to their own home. Second, they should compare the strengths and weaknesses of competing fiber cement siding companies and take all factors into account such as total cost and time required for the job. It is recommended that homeowners request references from potential contractors to talk to real satisfied past customers. After all of this information is gathered and weighed, they will be better prepared to make an informed decision and avoid the pitfalls of a faulty fiber cement cladding installation job.

United Home Experts has been serving homeowners across Massachusetts and neighboring states for years. The company offers all kinds of construction and home improvement services, including siding replacement. When homeowners need a trusted and professional siding replacement job, they know they can count on the experts at United Home Experts.