Tag Archive for: Product Comparison


There is nothing like a quality paint job on an exterior to add visual appeal, protection and value to the home.  Painting a home’s exterior takes time and consideration, particularly when it comes to choosing outdoor paint.  It is not just the color that needs careful consideration.  The quality of the outdoor paint will make a substantial difference in its durability and its ability to keep the color fresh and new-looking after several years of exposure to the elements.  Homeowners in harsh and extreme weather conditions such as in the New England states must pay particular attention to the quality of the exterior paint.

When it comes to outdoor paint prices, it is a bad decision to purchase the cheapest paint available, even if the color is perfect.  The pricier paint is actually formulated differently than the cheap brands.  The higher price is due to the cost of the premium ingredients used in manufacturing the paint.

Any home improvement store, large or small, will offer a massive array of outdoor paint colors.  The brands they stock will differ, however.  Some will offer Behr or Olympic; others Valspar, Glidden or Dutch Boy.  Sherwin-Williams has its own chain of retail stores.  Following are the top three outdoor paint brands used and recommended by professional painting contractors.

I just want to make a clear indication that these remarks are only a matter of our own opinions and not off of facts from the manufacturers.

Sherwin-Williams Duration

This brand is the most highly recommended paint of professional home remodeling contractors.  Duration is their swpaintcantop-of-the-line.  Contractors prefer it, even though it is a bit pricey with prices ranging from $60 per gallon and lower, the quality of its one-coat coverage and excellent formulation is unmatchable.  The cost per gallon is definitely offset by the savings in labor and quantity of paint required for the job. I’ll have you agree with me on a couple details:

  • Does it make sense to save time and paint once? Yes.
  • Would you save money in the end because you don’t have to do multiple coatings? Yes, because multiple coatings means more paint, which equals more money.
  • Do you want your home to look nice? Well, duh!

The solution is to simply purchase a higher quality paint that will out-perform your expectations and give you that dreamy look you’ve been looking for.

Homeowners in New England with its extreme climate can turn to the professionals at United Home Experts who highly recommend and use Sherwin-Williams outdoor paint for all the reasons mentioned here.

Benjamin Moore Aura

Benjamin Moore’s answer to Sherwin-Williams Duration is its Aura line of paint. These two would be close picks duration homeof professional painting contractors if it were not for the price difference.

Valspar DuraMax

It is a far less expensive exterior paint at $33 to $35 per gallon. It claims to be self-priming and is said that it requires only one coat for good coverage. Some homeowners give Valspar DuraMax a high rating, though most professional home remodeling contractors shy away from the big box house brands. In my own experience of painting my own home and many relatives’ homes, many of these lower priced paints do not perform well enough to meet my expectations and require multiple coatings.

Do not be fooled by the price; expensive paints are worth their salt because they are genuinely higher quality, so if the price seems too low to be true, it is almost certain that the quality has suffered.

It must be noted that Sherwin-Williams Duration and Benjamin Moore’s Aura are the top-of-the-line paint formulations for both paint manufacturers, with Sherwin-Williams offering excellent quality at a more competitive price than Benjamin Moore.  The companies also offer a range of quality paints at many price levels.

Homeowners thinking about repainting the exterior of their homes should bear all these facts in mind.  It does appear that the more expensive paint can actually saves them money in the long run.  Whether handling a massive exterior paint job themselves or hiring a contractor to get the job done, it would be wise to seek the advice of professionals like those at United Home Experts. For our main painting page, click here!

When it comes to roofing in the harsh climate of the Northeast, where extremes tend to be the norm, customers don’t just need good roofing materials”they need exceptional.  Two prominent roofing products in this area are CertainTeed and IKO.  While both products have their strengths, as this article will demonstrate, CertainTeed’s product comes out ahead on virtually every important point.


An internal comparison survey was conducted by the United Home Experts team. We provide siding, roofing, window and door replacement services throughout eastern New England. Unbiased opinions were retrieved based on our individual experience using the products. The ratings provided are opinion based and not the result of lab testing or product specification examination.This article is intended merely to provide information to New England homeowners.

So which is more durable and longer lasting under conditions of harsh wind, rain, snow, ice, hail and unremitting heat, CertainTeed Asphalt shingles, or the other brand’s 3-tab roofing?  Both are good products but, as noted before, good simply will not make the grade.  Based on our personal opinion in working with products and personnel from each manufacturer, CertainTeed simply comes out on top, time and time again.


One measure of a shingle’s longevity is its weight.  Some manufacturers claim that new mat technologies allow them to produce a lower-weight shingle that lasts as long as the heavier shingle, but that claim is usually self-serving.  The better CertainTeed asphalt shingles weigh in at an impressive 240 pounds a square for their top-of-the-line styles.  The other brand’s website does not even specify this important detail. It’s also notable that the CertainTeed 30-year-guaranteed shingle is rated for 70mph winds, while the other brand is only rated for 60mph.


Both the CertainTeed 30-year shingle and the other brand’s 30-year shingle have an unconditional five-year warranty, followed by a limited 30-year warranty. However, a warranty is only as good as the company that backs it up, and CertainTeed’s warranty has fewer exclusions.  If a roof is installed by a company like United Home Experts, with a long track record in the Northeast, a homeowner can rest assured that all aspects of a warranty will be honored.

Color Selection

The CertainTeed color selection is second to none.  Plus, CertainTeed offers Colorview on their website which allows the customer to see online what different shingle colors will look like on the customer’s actual house.  The color selection on CertaintTeed’s 30-year shingle is larger than any other manufacturer’s offerings.  The other roofing brand offers approximately 15 different color gradients in its 30-year shingle.

Both CertainTeed and IKO make a good product.  But, as noted earlier, good isn’t really good enough, especially in the harsh climate of the Northeast.  On comparison, the CertainTeed product clearly wins in most important areas, and is the hands-down best choice for roofing in New England. And, of course, the best roofing materials call for the best installation.  The experts at United Home Experts have years of experience in applying roofing in the unforgiving environment of the Northeast.

Our number: 888-724-6865.


Buying new or replacement windows can be a huge and often frightening proposition.  There are so many choices out there, and the average homeowner may be afraid of making a mistake that they will have to live with for years afterward. But the decision does not have to be a frightening one. In the harsh Northeast, where the summers are just as brutal on windows as the winters. Here we’ll discuss 2 options that the homeowner can choose.


Those options are Andersen 400 Windows and Harvey Majesty Windows. None of this is to say that there are not Andersendifferences between the products of the two companies or that the product from one company might not be slightly more suitable to a particular situation.  So let us look at a few specifics.

An internal comparison survey was conducted by the United Home Experts team. We provide siding, roofing, window and door replacement services throughout eastern New England. Unbiased opinions were retrieved based on our individual experience using the products. The ratings provided are opinion based and not the result of lab testing or product specification examination.This article is intended merely to provide information to New England homeowners.


A warranty tells a homeowner how strongly a manufacturer believes in its own product.  The longer a warranty, the more faith a manufacturer has in its product.  Obviously no manufacturer wants a homeowner to collect on a warranty, so manufacturers go to great lengths to make certain their product exceeds the terms of the warranty.  This is great for the homeowner. The warranties of the Andersen 400 Windows and the Harvey Majesty Windows are very comparable. The Andersen windows are double-insulated with a 20-year warranty on the glass and a 10-year warranty on all other parts.  The Harvey product is also double-insulated with the exact same 20-year warranty on glass and 10 years on all other parts.

Warranties for both companies are transferable to a new owner should a homeowner sell before the warranty period is up”a terrific plus for a buyer, and one that could well aid in the sale of a home.

Andersen Windows allows customers to choose from a number of different types of glass, including Low-E4 tempered glass, which reduces water spots on the glass by up to 99%, or Low-E4 Smartsun tempered glass, which filters out up to 95% of all harmful UV rays.  All Low-E4 glass helps reduce energy consumption in a home. Andersen’s option of Low-E4 Glass may be a deciding factor for some purchasers.

Primary FeaturesHarveyWindows

The Harvey Majesty product comes in a wide choice of shapes: ellipsis, trapezoid, round top and more.  If the homeowner requires specialized shapes for windows or glass, Harvey windows might be a good place to start.  Both the upper and lower sash tilts in for easy cleaning, and the tilting mechanism never needs adjusting.  Harvey Windows are available in both pine and oak frames for easy staining or painting.

The Andersen window also tilts in for easy cleaning and the frames are customizable for non-standard window sizes, ideal for replacements in an historical home.  Anderson also offers a virtually invisible screen to keep insects out in the summer.  The Andersen line offers a rich wood interior that can be stained or painted to match the owner’s d(C)cor, and all Andersen products feature a low-maintenance exterior frame.  Andersen windows are also cleverly designed for fast installation with almost no disruption to any existing frame or siding.


For maximum warranty protection it is advisable that window experts such as United Home Experts are consulted and employed for any home remodel of this importance.  Allowing outside experts to help in choosing the right windows for a particular situation, as well as doing the actual installation, makes good business sense and may help insure the overall value of a home.

An internal comparison paint survey was conducted by the United Home Experts team. We provide siding, roofing, window and door replacement services throughout eastern New England. Unbiased opinions were retrieved based on our individual experience using the products. The ratings provided are opinion based and not the result of lab testing or product specification examination.


 Homeowners in New England know that the weather can be extreme and unpredictable. Hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters are typical in this region, which is why having the most efficient, high-quality windows installed in the home is crucial. This article will compare and contrast the window products offered by two top names in the industry: Pella, and Andersen. They are two companies that end up measuring up quite even.

Both companies have been succeeding in the window industry for over 80 years, which contributes to their good reputations. When it comes to warranty, both manufacturers deliver, with similar warranties of around 20 years for glass and 10 years for non-glass parts. As for style, this is perhaps the biggest area of variation. While both manufacturers offer homeowners a wide variety of styles of windows, such as bay, single or double-hung, casement, sliding, awning, and specialty or custom, Andersen claims to offer the most options in the business. For example, the company produces a picture window, which Pella does not seem to have. However, Pella offers a specialty feature of its own with its Rolscreen window screen, which is actually the company’s claim to fame. The technology behind this screen enables homeowners to simply roll it away when it is not needed. Overall, the companies offer a wide array of similar styles with just a few slight differences. This also holds true for the types of frames that both companies offer, namely wood, vinyl and composite.

Homeowners can also expect high energy efficiency in their Pella or Andersen windows. Both companies makePellaWindows-resized-600 use of low-E or low emissivity coating. This microscopic metal coating lies in the glass of windows, acting as a self-reflector of heat in the winter, and keeping heat out during the hotter months. Pella windows for the region have this feature, along with “Pella innovation” in the form of the best possible combinations of glass, thermal breaks and shades to achieve maximum results. Andersen offers Low-E4, Low-E4 SmartSun and Low-E4 Sun glass, which are custom-made to work best in different climates.

Pella and Andersen have both become trusted and respected leaders in the window industry for good reason. They offer high-quality products of a huge variety that are overall very comparable in all the areas that matter.

certainteedlogo150dpik-resized-600 (1)VSAtlas

Re-roofing a home is a huge project and one which should not be started without a great deal of planning.  One consideration is the type and quality of shingle that will be applied.  Two of the top companies in this part of the country, companies that understand the needs of homeowners here in the harsh climate of the Northeast, are Certainteed Asphalt and Atlas roofing products.


Let’s start with the assumption that both companies manufacture a quality product.  However, there are certain important differences that may set one company above the other.

Atlas offers only one asphalt 3-tab shingle.  It is called the Glassmaster.  The Atlas asphalt shingle has a 25-year warranty.  By way of comparison, Certainteed asphalt has four different 3-tab asphalt and fiberglass shingles for the homeowner to choose from.  One of Certainteed’s shingles has a comparable 25-year guarantee, with two CertainTeed shingles guaranteed for 30 years.  From the perspective of choice, CertainTeed has Atlas beat, hands down.

A second measure of quality is how well a roof holds up in windy conditions.  That is important here in the Northeast, as high winds occur with surprising frequency.  The Atlas Glassmaster is rated for winds of 60 miles per hour.   Two of the Certainteed options available to homeowners are rated at 60 miles per hour, but Certainteed offers two additional styles of shingles rated at 70 miles per hour  –  something Atlas does not offer.

Color & Design Choicesshingle-siding

CertainTeed is known throughout the industry for its blend of colors in virtually all of its lines of shingles.  Many contractors claim there is no color, no trim, no siding that the color blends available in the Certainteed lines cannot match or compliment.  This compares to nine colors available in Atlas’ Glassmaster series.  Once again, when it comes to color selection, the clear winner  –  by far  –  is Certainteed.

Ventilation Systems

Ventilation systems may not seem like a sexy topic, but for a homeowner applying a new roof ventilation systems are vitally important.  Ventilation systems determine to a large degree how long a particular roof will last and how long the underlying structure will hold up.  Moisture is the bane of all homeowners.  Too much moisture trapped under the roof of a home potentially equals huge trouble, either today or tomorrow.

Certainteed’s impact resistant ridge caps, which cover the vents cut at the peak of a roof to allow hot air to escape the attic, are of such quality that insurance companies often request that Certainteed’s impact resistant ridge caps be used in order to fully guarantee a roof.

Professional Installation or DIY?001-resized-600

Many homeowners feel they can save a few bucks by roofing their own home  –  and in the short run, they might.  But what many homeowners fail to take into consideration is the cost and difficulty of tearing off and getting rid of an existing roof, plus the time and effort required for roofing a home.  The experts at a place such as United Home Experts can not only offer a wealth of information as far as planning a roofing project, they can also do all of the work, clean up the entire area and  –  most importantly of all  –  they provide a guarantee, something a do-it-yourselfer cannot always obtain.  With a guarantee, a homeowner purchases peace of mind, something that no dollar value can be applied to.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, both Certainteed and Atlas both make superior roofing products.  But in comparison, it is clear that the products manufactured at Certainteed are superior in all important areas.  Your home’s roof is one of its most important features  –  it is not something on which to cut corners and accept second best.

This internal roofing survey was conducted by the United Home Experts team. We provide siding, roofing, window, and door replacement services throughout eastern New England. Opinions were retrieved from our staff based on our individual experience using or examining the products. The ratings provided are opinion based and not the result of lab testing or product specification examination.

This article will take a look into two different products, Marvin Integrity and Harvey windows. Integrity windows integrity_logo_205_90feature a selection of fiberglass windows with fiberglass frames, while Harvey Industries windows offer insulating windows in wood or vinyl.

Window Types

Harvey Industries offers 5 different types of windows, including vinyl, wood, impact, acoustic, and storm. The impact windows were designed to hold up against rigorous coastal conditions such as wind, rain, and other debris. Acoustic windows were created to reduce traffic noise and are thus suitable for those living in the city or near a highway. The acoustic windows help to filter out the sound from aircraft, trains, and cars, as well as provide heating and cooling cost savings.

Customers also have the option to choose between some added options screens on their windows, which provide 50% more visibility than standard fiberglass screens as well as improved airflow into the home.wood-ultrex-image2

Integrity offers 7 different types of window frame styles, all illustrated clearly on the company’s website. These types include polygon windows, round windows, single windows, double windows, casement and awning windows, glider windows, and bay windows. This large selection guarantees that customers will be able to find the right fit for them.

Integrity window frames are made up of Ultrex fiberglass. Ultrex fiberglass is the key element used in making Integrity windows. Ultrex is 8x stronger than vinyl, it’s durable, weather resistant, and beautiful.  Integrity windows are available in either “All-Ultrex” meaning fiberglass inside and out, or “Wood-Ultrex” meaning fiberglass on the outside with hand crafted wood on the inside.  This series combines the strength of a fiberglass material with the traditional look of a handcrafted wood frame. The strength of fiberglass means the window frames can be thinner giving the homeowner more glass space and visibility in each window opening.

Homeowners will find that there is a large selection from both companies, which gives them the flexibility to explore all their options and find the perfect windows for their home.


Harvey Industries maintains a website that is relatively easy to navigate. However, many of the options have to be individually searched for, and the windows types are not distinctly separated on the website. In addition, the website provides comprehensive information on the manufacturer’s warranties on paint and other components.

Integrity offers a full resource library with each of its products, detailing specific measures and other important information. These details are all on PDF files that can be downloaded at any time from the Integrity website.

Buyers can make use of both company’s resources before making a decision. Both companies have a comprehensive online presence, allowing for homeowners to make a selection that they are comfortable with and are informed about.

In summary, one might choose Harvey windows specifically for noise reduction or resistance to damage from coastal weather, but in our experience Integrity windows are superior in beauty, strength, and sleekness (glass space).