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Category Archives: 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 the 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.
“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.
“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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Are you ready to save money on your home energy bills? Do you want to learn how to improve your home’s curb appeal? You have come to the right place. This article will teach you the top five home improvement projects that every homeowner should do this summer.
With summertime fast approaching, it is time to enjoy the great outdoors. This also means that more friends and family members will be visiting. Because of this, you want a home that is inviting and comfortable as it will be the meeting place for planning picnics or hosting a company barbecue. As the temperatures begin to climb, you will begin to rely more and more on your air conditioner. If your home is not properly sealed, summertime heat can leach its way into your home, causing your air conditioner to work twice as hard to keep you cool. There are many things you can do to help keep your home comfortable and still save money. These home improvement projects are simple. Once they are completed, you will begin reaping the benefits of a beautiful home that is nice and cool.
One of the main causes of energy loss is faulty windows. Approximately one-third of a home’s energy escapes through its windows. Although you can insulate your windows, it may be best to replace your old windows. Replacement windows are a worthwhile investment. These windows come in a variety of styles and designs to help you create the look you want. If you notice an excess amount of mildew or moisture in your home or opening and closing your windows are difficult, it may be time to have your windows replaced.
Once you have had new, replacement windows installed, you will notice a difference in your utility bills and the comfort of your home. Your air conditioner will not need to run as hard to keep your home cool. Double or triple pane windows not only block out heat and keep your air conditioning inside, but they can also reduce the amount of noise coming from the outside. A reputable window company like Stanek Windows will come to your home and determine how much energy you are losing through your old windows.
Adding a Sunroom or a Deck
When you are entertaining in the summer, you want to have a deck for you and your guests to enjoy. But, did you know that it can also save you money on your utility bills? By enclosing your deck using screen or glass, you can maximize your energy savings. With a screened in room, you will be able to enjoy those warm summer nights without fighting with insects. Imagine sitting out on your enclosed deck, enjoying a summer breeze while playing cards without getting bitten or bugs flying into your drink. Sound amazing? Then look into enclosing your deck. Additionally, a screened in room or a sunroom can extend the amount of time you are able to spend outdoors. Let Patio Enclosures show you how you can enjoy three seasons with a screened in porch or all seasons with a sunroom.
Is It Time for a New Front Door or a Storm Door?
When you are considering whether you should replace your entry door or your storm door, you must decide how happy you are with your current front door. Your front door is essential to your home’s safety. Additionally, it helps protect against the elements and is one of the first things that your visitors see. A front door should be made of weather resistant material like metal. The front door should seal properly to keep your air conditioning inside and the heat outside.
If you have a reliable, high-quality front door, protect it using a storm door. Many people are hesitant when it comes to installing a storm door because they believe all storm doors are rattly aluminum coverings that are unattractive. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that manufacturers now offer a number of modern designs that increase the aesthetics of the home. Say goodbye to an aluminum door and say hello to sleep designs that improve your home’s curb appeal.
Insulated Vinyl Siding
Siding can be difficult to install because it can bend and bow as you are installing it. However, insulated siding is one of the best ways to save on summertime cooling bills. Most homeowners think that adding insulation to the walls of their home is all that needs to be done; however, your air conditioning can seep out if every crack is not sealed. Insulated siding provides an additional layer of protection to help keep your home sealed and energy efficient. Additionally, insulated siding comes in a variety of textures and colors, allowing you to do a beautiful home makeover while helping to keep your home comfortable.
Many people do not realize that landscaping a lawn can also help to save energy. A well-designed lawn will draw visitors into your backyard. Couple this with some great shade trees to help keep your home cool. The shade from trees and bushes will help to lower the temperature of your home as well as increase the aesthetics of your home. A beautifully landscaped lawn will include a delicious vegetable garden and fruit trees, beautiful flowerbed and large trees to welcome your guests and provide a cool sanctuary to enjoy the outdoors.
Although landscaping is a lot of work, the rewards make it worthwhile. For best results, plan out your landscape before you dig in. Think carefully about how much work it will take to maintain your landscape during the planning stage. If you have a limited amount of time to dedicate to your gardening, opt for low maintenance plants. This will allow you to reap the benefits of a beautifully landscaped area without the work typically involved with a landscaped lawn.
As you can see, there are several things you can do this summer to help decrease your utility bills and increase the comfort of your home. Start planning out your summertime projects to increase your home’s curb appeal and energy efficiency. These projects will decrease the amount of outside noise and lower your cooling bills. Replacement windows help to keep the sun’s harsh rays and heat out of your home. Adding a screened in porch will allow you to enjoy the gentle breezes of summer. A storm door adds an extra layer of insulation and enhances the security and beauty of your home. Finally, installing new insulated siding and planting shade trees in your lawn will keep your home cool throughout the summer.
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High-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.