Category Archives: DIY Tips

Finishing Touches on Your Home Remodeling Project

Posted by in DIY Tips,Exterior Remodeling,Vinyl Siding |

You’ve planned every detail of your remodel from top to bottom, and you’ve partnered with an excellent contractor to ensure those details offer a beautiful and long-lasting result. One facet of your remodel that should be on your radar is the finishing touch required for the project to truly reach “done” status.

Perhaps you’re getting a bathroom remodel, and you need to choose linens and rugs that will complement the new tile and fixtures. Maybe you’re getting the exterior of your home renovated, and you need to choose a new door or some frames for your new windows.

An experienced contractor will help you choose all the finishing touches you need to complete the project, but it’s helpful to have a list on hand of items you may want to research before the remodeling begins.

Choosing Hardware and Fixtures

Your contractor will likely point you in thehome remodeling - Billerica MA direction of some water-saving devices for fixtures like the water faucets and shower, and there are many options available to you as far as style is concerned.

For example, if you’re in the midst of an exterior remodel, have you chosen the type of hardware that will decorate your door? Have you chosen new lights or window sconces? Not only are there many styles available, but you will also have access to different materials in colors like bronze, black, gold, silver, and nickel.

Finishing touches are also an excellent way to influence the “feel” of a particular space. For example, if you’re getting a patio renovated on the back of your home or you’re getting a completely new outdoor space built, there are several finishing touches that can make your porch or outdoor space feel like an indoor/outdoor retreat.

HGTV reveals:

“Rather than simply leaving the ceiling covered in basic building materials like pressure-treated plywood, consider cladding it with something more architectural, such as beadboard or V-groove wood plank.”


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Getting the Lighting Right

A change or update to the lighting in a room can create a dramatic difference, and it’s a detail impacted by style, function, and placement. You may want to update your driveway with new lights along the cement, but it’s important to get the number, brightness and color right.

Similarly, you may want to install track lighting in your living room, but it’s important to make sure that particular finishing touch looks appropriate for the architectural style of your home. It’s a worthwhile investment of time to talk to your architect, contractor, or interior designer about these different types of lighting:

  • Ambient lighting (general light for the whole space)
  • Accent (lighting meant to improve the appearance of the area)
  • Task lighting (lighting for specific tasks like reading or walking)

The American Lighting Association reveals:

“A good lighting plan combines all three types to light an area according to function and style.”

Understanding the purpose of these lighting types can help you choose the right new lights for your home. The appearance of a room or exterior area around your home can even be impacted significantly by the bulbs you use for your lighting. There are quite a few types of fluorescent bulbs on the market, as well as a growing number of LED options.

Installing New Doors

Real estate agents often suggest a home’s strongest asset is its front door, and standard advice regarding front doors usually features a recommendation of “replace” in virtually all circumstances.

Both the interior and exterior doors in your home are an essential part of your finished home remodel. Interior doors are often low-quality or very simple features of your home, and they do start to appear aged when your home is only 10 or 15 years old.

Houzz suggests:

“But an interior door is a vital part of a house, and there should be a good amount of thought that goes into choosing one. If you’re building, remodeling or just looking to change up the look of a room, picking a new interior door is an important step.”

If you’re replacing the exterior front door of your home, you might want to consider replacing the rear or side doors, too, as well as the interior doors.

Enjoy a Beautifully Finished Home Remodel with O’Sullivan Installs

Is your home due for an exterior upgrade? Want to learn more about your siding project, new windows, or putting the finishing touches on your home renovation? Contact O’Sullivan Installs for a FREE Consultation and download our free guide: “Seven Questions to Ask When Hiring an Exterior Remodeling Contractor in Massachusetts” for valuable guidance on your home improvement project.

Vinyl vs. Wood Windows: How to Choose the Right Replacement Window

Posted by in DIY Tips,Exterior Remodeling,Windows |

Hello my name is Tim O’Sullivan and I am the CEO of Your Windows Expert here in Billerica Massachusetts and today I’m going to be giving you buyer’s tips to replacement windows. My goal is to answer the most common questions we get from first time lookers and people are interested in two replacement windows. So behind me I’ve got the two different products, here I’ve got a Mezzo vinyl and a Mezzo wood clad option and let me first go over some of the counter features between these two so you can get familiar with them.

Both of these products are going to offer the same features and options so you know you can eliminate that now and pretty much put your choice back on you. Knowing which one of these two is going to be best for my house so we’re both going to have either double-hung or single hung. Casement hopper awning styles are going to come in all those options and you know what double-hung is we’re both sashes move independently can tilt out for cleaning single ongoing the bottom moves casement is a crank out, opens out, you’d see these over sinks a lot.

Hopper opens, awning opens and all those options are available plus Wood Windowsthey’re going to come with different grill selections, different hardware selections and of course a variety of colors. So you know you can rest assured you’re going to find the right match for your house and what you’re looking for. And now both of these are going to be counting different energy factors as well. You want to find a window its energy star rated because if it’s not really a cut rate window and it’s way below code for today’s standard.

Having said that neither one of these is going to be more efficient than the other. So people always asking me which one’s better, which one’s going to save more money. Unless you’re going to upgrade to like a triple pane thermal insulated window which were really jumped the cost you know these both are going to come in an energy star grade, it’s going to be a minim qualification to meet that. Its installation insulated factor is based on our value or in this case a u factors that’s a little too technical, but they’re going to be on the same plane of energy efficiency. They’re going to provide that same amount of insulation and they’re both built that minimum standard, so you’re good there.

Durability and obviously the vinyl product was engineered to withstand a lot of weather, and you know now the wood product is a wood clad product, which is this aluminum wrap that goes over the wood and it protected from the exteriors. So durability is there as well a lot of times people ask you know are my windows standard size. I don’t want to buy a custom window size. So keep in mind and all windows are custom-built from the factory, and they’re all made to order so you know that there’s no such thing as a standard size, even the windows that you buy or see in the big box stores. Yeah those are over runs or runs they think are common.

All windows have to be custom ordered, so there’s really not a big price break. Now there is a chance for you might have a price increase on a very large window, so you know that’s just materials. The installation process for both of these is very similar. Some contractors have a little bit of an up charge for your wood window and just to make sure that all the trim work is installed properly, and a lot of carpenters including us we really recommend upgrading to a window rap on the exterior house. Especially if you’ve got an older house that has a rotten wood a rotten still. This aluminum maintenance free rap protects the window, hides the damage and it’s maintenance-free, a great add-on to consider in the future.

Let’s go ahead and jump to the price point of theseVinyl Window which is the next question everybody asks. Typically your wood-clad to get it installed is going to be double the price of your vinyl. That’s obviously one of the big factors, if this is $300 then your wood clad is going to be $600. Majority of that’s in your material costs, let’s take this a step further and ask, what should help in your decision. 2 things

Brand and what I’m going to outline are principles for choosing the right window for your house, your unique home. So brand, if you’re going leaning toward wood you want to choose one of the top four manufacturers in our area, and that’s Anderson, Pella, Marvin and Mezzo, they’ve been around for a long time. They produce quality wood products and if you pick an off-brand wood product, you’re probably not going to get what you’re looking for in a window. It’s really not going to help in the long run.

Now vinyl there’s lots of other manufacturers out there and almost every manufacturer makes a vinyl window. It’s a very competitive industry. You’re going to get a very similar product between all the manufacturers. So you’re choosing one over the other really the material or the product is going to be better. Sometimes you need to choose on brand, you need to find a brand that’s been around for a long time that can live up to their warranty. We chose to become a Mezzo certified contractor because we liked their warranty scenarios. We liked how they help customers after the service, we also know that they’re debt-free so they’re going to be around for a long time, servicing your 25 year or lifetime warranty on your product and they’re going to with no trouble. So that can help make your decision on your windows.

Let me tell you why the principles behind choosing windows for your unique home and it basically comes down to comparables in your neighborhood, Now comparable is a term an appraiser uses and what you want to do is purchase a window that’s going to be very comparable to your neighborhood. If all of your neighborhood has wood-clad windows you should heavily consider the wood clad window. If you’re the only one has a vinyl window an appraiser is going to look at that as a demerit to your price point. And likewise the other way around, if everybody has vinyl’s and you decide to upgrade to the wood clad, it may help your house sell, be more attractive to the buyer, enticing to put an offer in. But when the appraiser goes to put a value to it he won’t give you that increased value that you’ve invested in your home and therefore the bank won’t lend on it.

That is probably the most turning factor and whyVinyl Window - Billerica, MA you should choose one of these two. Now if you’re in a situation where your neighborhood has a mix of vinyl and wood windows then you need to look back at why you want windows and define your goals. Are your windows bad, is it just a shelter issue? Or are you wanting to upgrade and make your home be more appealing, look better. So if you can define yourself into those roles you’re kind of pushing yourself one way or the other. This is a much more reputable product, people like this, you’ve got endless color options on the interior. It’s a nice wood stain finish if you want it, and this product is going to provide you a great window.

But you know you’re not going to get and the feel of a classic wood. While they both have great attributes and provide a great service you know defined yourself. There are many different reasons why you would choose one or the other but defining it based on knowing the value of you’re putting into your home and your goals and desires. It’s going to really help eliminate a lot questions later on. so if you can get through both of those, you’re one step closer to making your purchase for replacement windows.

Summer Siding Replacement Tips – Top Three Things to Know About Fiber Cement

Posted by in Blog,DIY Tips |
Comments Off on Summer Siding Replacement Tips – Top Three Things to Know About Fiber Cement
James Hardie Siding

Summer might be the right time for siding replacement, and a homeowner might want to consider new fiber cement siding from a reputable siding contractor like O’Sullivan Installs.

What does fiber cement siding have that makes it superior to other types of siding like vinyl, brick, stucco, stone or wood? There are at least three things to know about fiber cement.

Fiber cement siding is made out of Portland cement, fly ash or sand, wood pulp and water. Portland cement is made out of iron, clay and limestone and is used as a binder for the other ingredients. This makes fiber cement:

  1. Attractive: This kind of siding can be made to look like wood, brick or stone. Yet, it’s far less expensive than these other materials. However, homeowners claim it’s considerably more expensive than vinyl but has the advantage of being much more aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Rot, Fire and Weather Resistant: Clapboard that’s deteriorated due to rot is one of the main reasons for siding replacement. Fiber cement is not attacked by termites and is resistant to rot. Once it’s installed and then painted, it doesn’t need a great deal of maintenance. Now and then, the siding may need to be hosed down. The homeowner should also make sure that the joints have been caulked correctly and that foundation plants aren’t so close to the siding that it prevents it from drying out when it’s washed. Homeowners also say that fiber cement holds paint better than other materials. It’s also not adversely effected by heat, freezes or precipitation. It’s also non-combustible, which makes it very fire resistant. Indeed, it’s very popular in the Australian outback, which is subject to intense brush fires.
  3. Durable: Fiber cement’s resistance to insects, fire and extreme weather damage makes it especially durable. Manufacturers usually warranty fiber cement siding for at least 25 years, which makes it comparable to other siding like asphalt or an asphalt and asbestos mix. Indeed, some contractors claim that siding made of fiber cement can last a century or longer.

Fiber cement is quite heavy, a bit brittle and needs special tools like cement shears to install. Therefore, it’s best to let a professional install it.

Work With the Professionals at O’Sullivan Installs

Is your home due for an exterior upgrade? Want to learn more about your siding project, new windows, or other home renovation? Contact O’Sullivan Installs for a FREE Consultation and download our free guide: “Seven Questions to Ask When Hiring an Exterior Remodeling Contractor in Massachusetts” for valuable guidance on your home improvement project.