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For the structural integrity and aesthetic appearance of a home, it is important to consider both when a home’s x--pictures-booked jobs 2009-santos, westford c ws-before-picture 114siding must be replaced and what material should be used as a replacement.  Not properly replacing old siding may be a costly mistake for a homeowner, requiring extensive repairs and possibly creating health problems that could be avoided with proper care.

One problem that often arises over time with old siding is rot beneath the siding, which may threaten the structural integrity of the house and thus drastically reduce its value.  Rot is common in homes made of wood and vinyl siding which was not installed properly.  Homes with moisture that seeps into the interior of the home may foster the growth of mold or mildew, which can lead to asthma and other respiratory problems for those living inside, especially children.  For this reason it is important to look at factors other than cost when deciding on replacement siding.

There are several main types of siding for houses that come with their own advantages and disadvantages.  Among the sidings are wood siding, metal siding, insulated siding, vinyl siding, masonry siding and composite siding.rot-blogphoto3-resized-600

Generally, wood siding leaves an appearance which many homeowners are willing to pay extra to have, though wood siding may need to be painted every four to five years due to the effects of weather, particularly in areas with extreme weather.  Wood is also susceptible to rot and termites.  Metal siding is durable, though aluminum siding may dent as a result of hailstorms, and steel siding may rust over time.  Insulated siding protects the home from extreme heat and cold, thus providing cost-savings in energy use, and is considered an improvement from traditional vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding is composed mainly of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, and is more affordable than wood siding, but tends to be less attractive due to overlapping seams between panels.  It is also not recyclable.  Masonry siding, made of brick and stone, can be very expensive to install, though it is very durable, requires minimal maintenance, and offers good thermal insulation.  Composite siding, made of various materials which mimic the appearance of other sidings, offers a good combination of the benefits of other sidings, such as affordability, appearance and durability, and requires minimal maintenance.

When replacing old siding it is recommended that professionals do the job to ensure that the siding is installed properly to prevent problems from arising.  The old siding may need to be completely removed in order to be replaced with new siding.  Color and harmony with the rest of the house and neighborhood also must be considered to maximize the value of one’s home and provide the look to complement the replacement siding.

For installing new siding, whichever type one prefers, United Home Experts will meet and exceed expectations and do so at very competitive rates.  United Home Experts also offers a free estimate with scheduling flexibility to ensure convenience.

Fiber cement board siding is a type of prefabricated siding that protects the exterior of a home.  Fiber cement is a mixture of materials that includes sand and fibers made from cardboard.  There are both benefits and consequences to investing in fiber cement siding.

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New Englanders will especially appreciate the fact that this type of siding stands up well to sea salt air.  It is very durable and withstands harsh weather for many, many years.  The siding protects the home from wind and rain damage as well as hail, and can withstand hurricane-level storms “facts that every New Englander can appreciate.

The material is not flammable.  Among the many worries of homeowners, fire is usually somewhere at the top of the list.  Fiber cement is made up of more than 90 percent of inflammable material.  In one reported incident, a fire destroyed fire trucks almost 100 feet away from the flames, but the home constructed with fiber cement was completely protected.

The appearance of fiber cement siding is perhaps the most surprising aspect of the material.  Fiber cement can resemble wood planks or wood shingles.  A homeowner does not have to sacrifice the traditional look of a home to gain the many benefits of fiber cement siding.  The siding is also available in a variety of colors; or, if a color is not suitable, the siding can be painted.

Fiber board cement siding offers complete protection from insects and rotting.  The siding has no seams that overlap, which prevents mold or mildew from growing between the outside and interior walls.  This feature lessens allergens within the home, further protecting a homeowner’s family.  Fiber cement board has all the benefits of other sidings with few disadvantages.

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Installation of fiber cement board siding is costly.  Labor costs are higher because fiber cement requires more manpower to deliver and install.  Cost can be two to three times higher than aluminum or vinyl siding.  If a homeowner is planning to sell within the next five years, investing in fiber cement siding might not be ideal.

Unlike aluminum or vinyl siding, fiber cement siding has to be re-painted.  While the paint job lasts longer than usual, normally about fifteen years, the siding does require painting after some time. Initially, the siding can be installed painted. However, the task of painting fiber cement should be considered when choosing this type of siding.

UNITED HOME EXPERTS

When deciding what type of siding is right, contact United Home Experts. We are the leaders in construction in New England.  We know and understand the unique needs of New England homeowners and offer warranties on all contracted work.  Estimates are provided at no charge, along with a recommendation for the type of siding that is right for the homeowner.  Siding is an investment, no matter the type of siding that is chosen, so it is important for homeowners to make sure the choice is the right one for home and family.

Asbestos was used for its insulating and fire-resistant properties for many decades, but since the late 1970s has been phased out as a material used in homes in the U.S. due to increased awareness of its dangers.  Though residential homes are no longer made with asbestos-containing materials, many homes built prior to the late 1970s, and in some cases homes built after 1980 due to unscrupulous contractors, are likely to contain asbestos.

Asbestos comes from fibrous minerals found in the earth’s crust, with strands of microscopic width, and which when breathed in may get lodged into the lungs and respiratory tract, leading to serious illnesses such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

If a homeowner suspects that his or her home siding contains asbestos,

the homeowner may contact certified professionals to test the siding to determine if that is the case.  Generally, if one is to discover that asbestos has been used in one’s home for siding, it should not be a cause for panic if the material is still in good shape.  It may even be best to leave the material alone rather than to tamper with or remove it depending on the condition.  The risks with asbestos-containing products arise when the material breaks apart or deteriorates, which may allow fibers to be released into the air and breathed in by occupants or visitors to the home.  Asbestos-GuyCut

If the asbestos siding is breaking or cracking apart, it is important that the siding be dealt with as quickly as possible to minimize potential health risks from exposure.  Regulations on asbestos abatement vary from state to state, though due to the risk of improperly handling asbestos from lack of training, it is highly recommended that one hire certified professionals such as ourselves, United Home Experts, for asbestos removal.  Certified professionals have specialized equipment which protects them from airborne fibers.

In asbestos abatement a water-sprayer is used, with the water mixed with detergent, to wet the asbestos in a manner such that fibers are less likely to go airborne during removal.  Special waste disposal bags are used to ensure that fibers do not escape into the air, and duct tape is used to seal these bags once they are filled.  Plastic strips are placed along the house to mark the hazardous workspace that others must avoid, and stickers may be used to indicate areas with asbestos.  Among the equipment worn by certified professionals to remove asbestos are goggles, a respirator, a disposable coverall, rubber gloves taped to sleeves, and rubber boots.  The coverall and gloves are disposed of in a safe manner once the asbestos is removed.  One must make sure, while work on asbestos removal is taking place, not to allow family, guests or pets to get in or near work areas or equipment which may contain asbestos or trace amounts of it.

We at United Home Experts will give you the best recommendation on how to deal with asbestos siding if you desire to paint your home or update the siding.

Homeowners here in the Northeast have a wide range of sidings to choose from, so why choose vinyl?  There are many advantages to vinyl siding.  Choice of colors, patterns, ease of installation and low maintenance are just some of the advantages of vinyl.  Cost can be another, both the cost of the physical siding itself as well as the cost of installing it.  Many homeowners simply like the way that vinyl siding looks on their house.

Choosing the right vinyl siding manufacturer is actually a difficult and ultimately thankless task.  The reason is, dutchlappanel01-resized-600many different name-brand sidings turn out to be made by the same manufacturer, so there is really little or no difference between  many brands.

So the choice of manufacturer is not as important as a recommendation by another homeowner or even by an independent contractor or installer who does not receive a kick-back from one particular manufacturer for pushing a specific brand.

More important when choosing which vinyl siding is right for the home as well as the budget is understanding that ” broadly speaking ” there are two basic types of vinyl siding to choose from.

There is value vinyl and there is premium vinyl.  Understanding the difference between these two basic types of vinyl siding is far more important than choosing a siding based on a manufacturer.

As the name implies, value vinyl is the least expensive.  In this case the least expensive is not necessarily the inferior choice. Value vinyl has many things to recommend it.

While it is true that value vinyl is generally thinner than premium vinyl (the thinnest vinyl is builder’s grade at approximately 35mm thick) what sets the two types apart, primarily, is aesthetics.

Value vinyl is smooth, with no grain” or pattern impressed into the vinyl.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  Smooth vinyl does not have divots and textures to hold dust and dirt, so value vinyl often looks cleaner than the more expensive vinyl siding.  And because of its smooth surface, value vinyl is easy to clean with simply a garden hose, a mild soap and a soft cloth or sponge.

The primary drawback to value vinyl here in the Northeast is its thickness.  The thinner vinyl provides less protection against harsh weather.  However, the insulation under the vinyl can more than make up for this, providing adequate warmth during the winter and a cool interior during the summer months.

Of course, the thinner vinyl generally does not last as long as the thicker, premium-grade vinyl siding.  But even with the limited” warranty for the value grades of vinyl, a cost-conscious value vinyl can still protect a home here in the Northeast for as long as 20 years in some cases.

Therefore, part of the decision-making equation when choosing between value vinyl and premium vinyl might Vinyl-BlogPhoto01-resized-600include the length of time one plans to live in a home, as well as the severity of both winter cold and summer heat.

The heavier and textured premium vinyl generally comes with a longer warranty and the variety of textures can add a certain ambiance to a home that the value vinyl simply cannot match.  Some premium vinyl siding can come with a lifetime warranty, and all premium vinyl sidings provide long-term protection.

Regardless of the type of siding chosen or the manufacturer, vinyl siding offers many advantages here in the northeast.  Vinyl is easy to clean and it provides superior insulating value along with improved energy consumption.  Vinyl siding resists insects, cracking, damage from flying objects and it even provides resistance to fire.  It also never needs painting.

Talk to a dependable company such as United Home Experts to determine whether value vinyl or premium vinyl is the best choice, and then ” and only then ” discuss the manufacturers.  Because when it comes to vinyl siding, choosing between the different vinyl siding manufacturers may not be as important as simply choosing between value and premium-grade siding.

If you’re thinking about installing vinyl siding for your home, it’s a great option which can not only provide strong benefits over other types of siding, but it can also be more affordable than people sometimes think.

The price of vinyl siding will depend on many factors, not only concerning the type of siding that you use, but the scope and complexity of the job, and any additional work which may need to be done in advance of installing the siding.

Certain types of damage will have to be repaired before beginning. If for example the walls under your existing siding have become exposed and the wood is rotting, it will have to be replaced before your new vinyl siding can be installed.

Siding Cost Comparison

This graph shows where vinyl siding is in terms of cost in comparison to other siding options. Click here for more specific information on terms of cost of other sidings.

Also check out SidingMagazine.com’s Siding Calculator for accurate ranges for siding replacement costs!

Other steps which can drive up the price of vinyl siding include whether you will be adding or replacing trim, the type of insulation required, and any building permits if they are needed.

By understanding the different factors in the price of vinyl siding, you can be sure to make an informed decision.

The price of vinyl siding can depend very much on the preparation work required, but it is still a very wise and cost-effective choice in the long run.

The news these days speaks mostly of recession, the suffering economy, struggling industries and individual businesses.  Given the state of our country’s economy one would expect that the Home Improvement Industry will also suffer.  However, that may not be the case.

In New England and other parts of the country, new construction housing has all but come to a halt, and housing sales in general are down significantly from the first half of this decade.  In the past most families occupied a residence for an average of 5-7 years.  But in a difficult economy that number is rising.  Many homeowners are choosing to sit tight in the house they currently reside.  This is great news for the Home Improvement Industry.

This phenomenon should positively affect established and professional remodeling and replacement contractors in 2 significant ways.  The first way is that essential systems that tend to break down over time such as roofing, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, windows, and appliances, still need to be replaced.  In the past some homeowners may have passed the cost and duty of replacing these systems to the next owner.  But in many cases that is no longer an option.

The second way home improvement companies in New England may reap some benefits is the “don’t move improve” mentality.  Instead of upgrading to a newer larger home many people are opting to add on or remodel their existing home to suit their families needs.  These types of projects often include additions, finished basements and attics, low-maintenance siding upgrades, garages, and kitchen and bathroom remodels.

Homeowners still need to do their homework and consider carefully who they hire.

Although well established companies will survive this tough season, less professionally run businesses and “fly-by-night” contractors most likely will not.  If you are interviewing a contractor and they seem desperate to have your business and do not have a list of recent references to provide, consider this; There’s a high likelihood that contractor will not be around for the long run.  Do you want someone handling a project for you that will not be able to honor any warranty or service any issues that might arise it the future?  Furthermore, consider the low level of workmanship you will receive from someone who is barely making money, if any, on your project.  They will cut any corner possible.

For years real estate agents and property professionals have been telling sellers to put more money into their kitchens and baths because it would give them the biggest return on their investment. It may have been true in the past but what does today’s data tell us? There is a chance you may not have even heard of this product yet thousands of your neighbors in New England are benefiting from it.

According to Realtor.org/Realtor Magazine, in 2008 Major Kitchen remodels did make the top ten list on their annual Cost vs. Value report but the number one improvement you can make to your house and receive the biggest return on your investment is upscale fiber cement siding. Homeowners nationally received a return of almost 87% on every dollar spent. This does not include the aesthetic value, and immeasurable value of having a low-maintenance exterior. You may be asking yourself, “What is Fiber Cement Siding?” Don’t be embarrassed. If you are living in New England, you have not been exposed to this product as frequently as the rest of the nation. However, thousands of your neighbors locally are replacing their failing vinyl, aluminum and wood siding with fiber cement siding.

Homeowners simply love this product! Here are just a few of the benefits of fiber cement siding when installed properly by a professionally trained and certified contractor:

  • Termites cannot eat through it
  • Woodpeckers won’t peck at it
  • You receive a 30-year product warranty
  • It is an environmentally friendly green product made partially with recycled materials

With today’s financial uncertainty, the best thing homeowners can do is make sure their homes are well kept and updated. Fiber cement siding replacement is a great way to improve the value of your house whether you are planning on selling or if you plan on holding on to the property for the next 30 years.