Category Archives: Siding

Replacing Vinyl Siding

Posted by in Energy-Efficiency,Exterior Remodeling,Hiring a Contractor,Siding,Vinyl Siding |
when to replace vinyl siding on your home

When to Replace the Vinyl Siding on Your Home

Even though replacing your home’s vinyl siding is not on the top of your to-do list, this is definitely something everyone must do at a certain point. After all, the siding is something that cracks, breaks or simply wears out. Eventually, it will begin to leak, which can cause even bigger problems and more expensive, major repairs.
But, how do you know when it’s time to replace the vinyl siding on your home?
There are several signs you should pay attention to if you want to avoid additional expenses. For this purpose, we have made a list of the 10 top signs that indicate that your siding needs attention.

1. High Bills for Cooling and Heating

When you start noticing an increase in cooling or heating bills, the reason for this is very likely to be the vinyl siding. However, make sure to rule out other factors that can cause this, such as:

  • A leaking, bad roof
  • Lack of insulation on your attic

You can best check if the vinyl siding is the culprit for your ‘through the roof’ bills if you speak to your neighbors. If there are houses with similar structures to yours that have smaller cooling and heating bills, this is an indication that your wall insulation on the home’s exterior is seriously flawed.

2. You Must Frequently Paint Your Home

replacing vinyl siding
If your home requires frequent painting, this is a sign of damaged or aged vinyl siding. When your siding is good, it should keep the color and shape for at least eight years. However, if your house needs painting that is more frequent than this, this is an indicator that the existing siding is peeling, chipping or cracking.

3. Visible Signs of Damage

Every once in a while, take the time to perform a visual inspection of your home’s siding. You can even use a screwdriver in the following way:

  • look for warped siding or rotting boards
  • poke under warped siding and check how solid the layer is

Damage on vinyl siding
You can also look for cracked or loose siding. Still, do not be alarmed if only a few boards are cracked after a storm. You can always replace one or two bad boards without spending a fortune on the entire siding.
However, always be sure to check underneath layers and see if there is damage you have not noticed.
In the case that large sections of your existing vinyl siding are visibly damaged, this indicates that you must immediately replace your siding.

4. Fungus, Mildew or Mold on the Siding

Any type of growth such as these three points out to the fact that you must replace your siding to avoid bigger costs down the line. Look for mold, fungus or mildew at or near the seams in your home’s siding. If you notice such problems, this means that water is being held inside your walls.

5. Siding is Fading Severely

Color fading is not that grave, but can certainly show you that the vinyl siding ages as everything else does.
Every siding has a life expectancy, even the most expensive ones. Some are formulated to hold color for a longer period, while some colors fade severely after only a few years.
Once you notice that the siding’s color has faded a lot since the installment, considering replacing it with a new one. As the colors age so does the waterproofing and function of your siding.

6. Presence of Bubbles Under the Siding’s Surface

Bubbles under the surface of your home’s vinyl siding are a certain indication that there is water trapped underneath. And we all know that if water gets trapped underneath your siding, there is something wrong with it. After all, keeping moisture away from your walls is one of the main purposes of a siding.

7. Dry Rot Below the Surface

Dry Rot Below the Surface

Use the screwdriver to check if your siding has dry rot problems. Checking this before the problem becomes visible is a great option to save some money in the long run since it is usually too late for your siding once the dry rot comes to the surface.
Tap on the siding’s surface with the screwdriver’s handle. This will help you reveal weak dry rot spots, even if they are not visible on the exterior.

8. Holes in the Siding

When you notice even minor holes in your home’s siding, look at this as a cause for concern. Insects can damage your siding and cause holes and if they got through your siding, this can easily be followed by other troubles such as water entering the vinyl siding and walls. If not prevented in time, the repair later can cost you a fortune.

9. Maintenance is to Hard

Holes in the Siding

Maintenance can also be an indicator of when replacing vinyl siding on your home. If you no longer have the time or energy to maintain the siding, consider upgrading to vinyl siding that requires lower maintenance.

10. Higher Resale Value

If you are planning to sell your home and move to a new location, consider changing the aesthetics of the property. Changing your siding comes at an affordable cost when compared to other types of repairs and it is one of the best returns on investment.
Even if you do not want to sell your home, but simply want it to look its best, a new siding is a great way to make the home look better.
There are many reasons why you may want to install a new vinyl siding on your house. Starting from protection from rain, wind, insects, and snow to aesthetics preferences, replacing your siding in time is the best investment you can make. Letting the siding age and get damaged may cost you a fortune later on.
Finally, a word of caution – replacing your siding is not as simple as you may think. For this reason, it is best to hire a professional who will cut and fit the siding by making sure it is windproof and waterproof. This is a job that requires a certain amount of experience.

Enhancing the Curb Appeal of Your Home

Posted by in Siding,Windows |

curb appealA well-cared-for home is an asset to any neighborhood, and part of the responsibility of home ownership is making sure your home looks good on the inside, as well as the outside. Improving your curb appeal not only creates a pleasant home in which to live, but it also ensures your home stays in good condition and retains its value.

The concept of “curb appeal” and how your home appears from the vantage point of the street means paying attention to a variety of features like landscaping and the condition of your home’s exterior. Your exterior projects may run the gamut from small upgrades and little landscaping projects to major renovations like a new roof, new windows, or new siding.

If you’ve decided to put your house on the market, you’ll definitely want to consider these various home improvement projects.

Major Home Improvement Projects for Maximum Curb Appeal

The exterior features of your home benefit from regular maintenance and upkeep, and it’s essential to seek out yearly inspections, as well as cleaning and renovation of features like your home’s windows, roof, and siding. Taking on a project like replacing your windows or roof is not only valuable for the physical improvement to your home, but it’s also a benefit to the curb appeal of your home and property.

A home that looks beautiful is an asset to any neighborhood, but a home that functions well, too, provides a safe and pleasant experience to the homeowner and his or her family.

Don’t Forget to Wash the Windows!

This Old House shares:

“One of the simplest but most satisfying fixups you can do is to make your windows sparkle and shine, letting in clear summer light.”

Your windows may also benefit from a deep cleaning in other seasons, too. Clean windows in the winter make your house shine during the dingy months of the year, and they also ensure adequate light enters your home when it’s the middle of winter, and there aren’t many hours of daylight.

Other major home improvement projects you may undertake to increase curb appeal may include updating the roof, replacing the siding, and transforming the landscaping (which means going beyond some simple potted plants and tree trimming).

According to House Logic:

“Perhaps no other building material plays such as key role in your home as siding. It protects your house against the harshest elements and is a factor in your home’s appearance, architectural character, and value.”

Increase Your Curb Appeal in a Weekend

You may plan major upgrades like brand new windows and doors, and you may also look at big projects like exterior paint and full landscaping. You may want to think about some small upgrades that you can accomplish on the weekend for just a few dollars.

Here are a few inexpensive, simple and quick upgrades that will add to your home’s overall curb appeal, as well as give you a small sense of accomplishment.

Upgrade Your Mailbox. Your mailbox does its job in rain or shine, and it may last as long as your home stands. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to neglect the mailbox when upgrading the exterior of the home, and an old mailbox may not match the new décor of the home’s paint, windows, and fixtures.

DIY Network shares some great advice on getting a new mailbox:

“When you install your mailbox, make sure that you are following the regulations that are set forth in the city that you live in. If you have a simple mailbox mounted on your house, this home improvement project should take less than an hour to complete. If you have a full-size mailbox at the road, plan for at least 2 hours or so to complete the home improvement project.”

Install New Fixtures & Hardware. If you’ve decided to get a new door, you’ll definitely want to think about replacing the hardware around the exterior of your home, as well as things like the light fixtures. Hardware you may need to buy may include a mail slot, a door knocker, door knobs, and a high-quality lock.

Other features that are a little larger but which add to the overall appeal of your home include light fixtures (wall sconces or hanging lights) and stylish hand railings to line the exterior steps. Don’t forget to get matching fixtures and hardware for the side and back doors around your home.

Get a Container Garden & Window Boxes. Complement the new windows on your home with some nice window boxes. Even when it’s wintertime and there aren’t any flowers in the window boxes, these nice accessories will make your house look “homey” and welcoming.

You may also want to get a few seasonal plants for the porch or for placement near the front door. Bright plants like marigolds and petunias are great for the summer, and holiday plants like chrysanthemums and Poinsettias add festive touches during the fall and winter.

Do You Want to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home?

Is your home due for an exterior upgrade? Want to learn more about new windows, or other home renovations that will enhance your home’s curb appeal? 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.

Upgrade Your Home With New Vinyl Siding

Posted by in Siding,Vinyl Siding |
Comments Off on Upgrade Your Home With New Vinyl Siding

new vinyl sidingHigh-tech and modern, today’s vinyl siding isn’t the siding you’d find on a midcentury home built 60 years ago. It’s durable, affordable, and has undergone some impressive upgrades over the past half-century since it was first introduced. Of vinyl siding, home improvement expert Bob Vila suggests:

“Long saddled with a bad reputation, today’s vinyl siding is weather- and insect-proof, fade-resistant, and virtually indestructible under normal circumstances. It also remains one of the cheapest materials to install.”

If you’re looking for options to upgrade the exterior of your home, here are a few more reasons to choose new vinyl siding.

Recent Innovations in Vinyl Siding

One of the issues homeowners have dealt with after the installation of vinyl siding is the potential for damage during heavy winds. Today’s vinyl is rated to withstand some fierce weather, and many vinyl siding options are approved under the VSI Vinyl Siding Product Certification Program.

Some vinyl siding options are even rated to withstand wind as high as 110 mph, 150 mph, and an extraordinary 190 mph. However, the sturdiness of vinyl siding relies significantly on professional installation. Even the highest quality vinyl siding may falter if installation isn’t handled by an experienced professional.

Other recent innovations in vinyl siding include a vast array of new colors, as well as vinyl that looks exactly like other siding, like wood. If you have an older home where you’d like to retain the era-appropriate style, it’s possible to find vinyl siding to mimic a variety of other types of cladding.

Is Vinyl Siding Sustainable or Eco-Friendly?

As a responsible homeowner, it’s important to choose energy efficient features for your home to reduce your family’s “carbon footprint” on Earth. The idea of vinyl siding might not resonate immediately with homeowners who are eco-conscious, but it’s actually one of the most environmentally-friendly siding options out there.

In a publication by the Vinyl Siding Institute and the Sustainable Solutions Corporation, researchers determined that vinyl siding was an ideal option for homeowners looking for an environmentally friendly exterior cladding.

According to the Vinyl Siding Institute’s report:

“Using recognized life cycle assessment tools and fact-based data, vinyl siding, and insulated siding demonstrate exceptional environmental performance.”

One of the positive features of vinyl include that it never needs paint, which means you’ll spend less time maintaining your siding and will spend fewer resources (like paint) keeping it in good condition. If you’re looking for a responsible siding option, new vinyl siding offers many Earth-friendly benefits, as well as offering one of the most affordable options for new cladding on your home.

Maintaining Siding for Longevity

Vinyl is often marketed as a “maintenance free” option, but that’s not an entirely correct suggestion. It’s important to maintain the vinyl on your home even though the maintenance requirements are much less than other options. Here are a few ways you can ensure your vinyl siding investment lasts as long as possible.

The pros at This Old House explain what can build up on the exterior of your home if you don’t wash siding regularly:

“To keep vinyl siding looking its best, it should be washed periodically to remove the mold, mildew, dirt, and chalky oxidation that collects on the surface.”

You’ll probably want to avoid power washing the siding because of the force of that type of cleaning. You can keep siding looking terrific with a simple bucket of vinegar and water at a mixture of 30 percent vinegar and 70 percent water. Use a soft-bristle brush to keep it clean.

Another cocktail for cleaning your siding is to use a 1/3 cup of laundry detergent with 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner plus a single gallon of water and one gallon of liquid laundry bleach. This recipe is somewhat more complicated, but it can be brushed on the siding of the home and rinsed off gently with a water hose.

Want Help With Your New Vinyl Siding?

Is your home due for an exterior upgrade? Want to learn more about vinyl siding and working with a contractor? 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.