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The siding market has evolved, providing home builders a wide variety of options in different materials and colors. It’s even possible to combine a selection of siding options that compliment each other. This could be a way to reduce costs while achieving a unique design.

“From a functional point of view, siding gives you protection,” says architect Amy A. Alper. “From an architectural point of view, there’s an interest now in using a variety of materials to highlight special features on a home. For example, using stone or Western red cedar to highlight an entry.”

Don’t forget to consider your home energy needs, which can vary by location and climate. Certain siding selections offer more insulation, better cooling, maximum color retention, or more protection from elements in places prone to severe weather events.

Vinyl: Tried and True

Tried and true, vinyl is the most widely used siding product among home builders – for good reason. One of the great benefits of vinyl is its customizable character, allowing you to find the perfect match to suit your overall aesthetic. And thanks to product advances in recent years, vinyl can give you the look of wood at a lower cost. 

Not all siding manufacturers are made equal, though, so make sure to find a vendor who offers a high-performing premium quality product that protects against mold, moisture, and harsh weather elements.

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Fiber Cement Siding: The Up and Comer

Want that wood clapboard look without all the maintenance? Fiber cement can be molded into shapes that mimic classic wood siding styles. This special feature is why you’ll often find fiber cement in historic home restorations.

Fiber cement siding is made of cement but can resemble wood clapboards or cedar siding, giving you the strength of the former and the curb appeal of the latter. Especially with it being insect, fire, and rot resistant.

Though home builders may shy away from higher upfront costs for material and installation, the low requirement for ongoing maintenance can offset the investment.

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Wood: The Classic

It’s telling that many of the siding options in existence today emulate the characteristics of wood. Homeowners who love the natural qualities of wood, like the unique texture and scent, often can’t be swayed to try products that mimic the original. 

The classic appeal is still widely sought-after, and selections come in various types of wood, including cypress, pine, spruce, and the popular cedar siding. Styles range from shingles, clapboard, board & batten, and even some engineered wood products. But wood comes with a maintenance commitment in order to preserve the quality. Homeowners often must plan for regular painting to prevent deterioration like rot.

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In recent years, however, many wood siding lovers have begun opting for engineered wood siding. This type of siding allows homeowners to achieve the natural wood aesthetic without the maintenance and upkeep.

Siding is a crucial decision when building your home. From durability to aesthetics, you want to get it right. Don’t forget to review your neighborhood HOA restrictions regarding what materials you’re allowed to use for your home. 

With all options, professional and quality installation is a must for optimal product performance. And good news! According to US News & World Report, new siding will recoup 75.6% of the cost when you sell your house.

During the life of any home, repairs to the exterior will be required. Wood exterior peels or chips, metal and plastic siding fade, and stucco absorbs moisture, requiring repair or remediation. When it comes to stucco, each repair job is a unique situation requiring an individualized solution. Therefore, it’s important to understand the basics of stucco and stucco remediation.

What is Stucco?

A stucco (or render) exterior is a durable and attractive siding lasting approximately 50 years, depending on how well it is maintained. Stucco is fire-resistant, so it is often used for homes in dry climates and near wooded areas prone to wildfires. Stucco is also breathable, allowing moisture absorbed by the home to quickly evaporate. 

However, stucco’s reliability depends on who first applied it to the home’s exterior. In the late 1980s and 1990s, the demand for new homes led to many builders taking shortcuts on stucco installation. Things like bad application of the flashing, inferior windows, and not enough stucco layers caused tremendous problems within years. Today, home buyers are discovering moisture beneath their stucco and rotten framework within the structure.

Small cracks in a home’s facade might not seem like an urgent issue, however, with stucco, moisture intrusion is a situation you want to act on quickly. In fact, while often invisible, the first sign of mold invasion most homeowners see are black streaks emanating from windows and chimneys. 

Stucco Repair

When a contractor specializing in stucco inspects your home, they’ll search specific locations for stucco failure and recommend replacing damaged areas with new flashing and fresh stucco. Simple repairs include resealing cracks, tears, and gaps around windows, flashing, and joints. 

Specialists who repair stucco will fix any cosmetic issues and resurface the facade to match the finishing texture, yet will not give you a full inspection report on possible hidden water damage and structural issues. Stucco repair is a temporary fix and should be considered routine maintenance to your home.

Stucco Remediation

When mold, leaks, and moisture are appearing on the walls and ceilings inside your home, it will require a complex solution. Additionally, after rain or snow, if the stucco absorbs more moisture or if it takes longer for it to dry, consult a stucco remediation expert. 

Before calling a stucco remediation expert, document incidents of:

The first thing a reputable stucco specialist will do after a visual inspection is run moisture tests on the exterior of your home. This evaluation of your home’s exterior should include the roof, gutters, windows, doors, light fixtures, exhaust pipes, and vents. The subsequent report will help determine whether stucco remediation is required.  

The long term solution of remediation is an investment that maintains the integrity of your home. A full remediation includes new windows, sheathing, framing, a draining house wrap, flashing, a rain screen, and three layers of stucco which requires a highly skilled professional to accomplish. That said, stucco remediation is an extensive, complex project that requires a good deal of time and money.

Due to stucco’s intricacies, it’s common for homeowners to opt for a different type of siding to replace their stucco, like vinyl. This is often a simpler, less expensive alternative to replacing damaged stucco with new stucco. 

At the end of the day, whether you require some small stucco repairs or an extensive replacement, trust E&E Contracting to handle your project. Contact us today for more information on our stucco services.

As a homeowner, your roof might be the least of your maintenance worries, but caring for your roof in the winter is key to avoiding costly damage and ventilation issues. If you live in a cold climate and get a significant amount of snow in the winter months, it’s worth investing the time and money to take care of your roof.

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters must have no debris, especially in the winter when snow will melt from your roof and go right into your gutter. All of that water can get blocked up if debris is preventing it from properly draining away from your house. This can lead to your gutter breaking due to the excess weight of the debris and water. 

You also have to keep in mind that if the melted snow has no way of flowing out of the gutter, then it will just freeze up again once the temperatures drop, leaving you with an even bigger problem. Not only will you be cleaning out debris, but you’ll also have to deal with the large chunks of ice lining your gutters. Make checking and cleaning your gutters a part of your yard work to-do list now, and save yourself from potential gutter damage in the future.

Repair Existing Damage

Before the winter months hit, it’s a good idea to repair any existing damage to your roof. Whether it’s damaged shingles, faulty flashing, or broken seams, it’s crucial that any roof damage is taken care of before winter weather strikes. 

Additionally, it’s probably in your best interest to hire a professional to fix your roof damage instead of trying to tackle the project yourself. No matter how skilled of a handyman you are, trying to repair your own roof can be dangerous and costly. Enlist in the help of a professional to make sure the job is done right. That way, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your roof is in the best possible condition and prepared for winter.

Inspect Your Attic

Most of your winter roof maintenance will take place outside, but arguably the most important area to inspect isn’t the roof at all. Climbing up into your attic and looking at your current insulation can help you in multiple ways. First, doing so will help you determine if you need to install more insulation to keep your home heated evenly and efficiently. Taking a few minutes to inspect your attic could end up saving you money on your heating bill. 

On top of this, ignoring an improperly insulated attic increases the likelihood of ice dams. Cold climate roofs are ventilated in a way that doesn’t allow heat to enter through the attic. This, in turn, protects the roof as well. If the roof stays cold, then the snow on top will not melt. As long as the snow isn’t melting, you are free to remove the snow. If your roof is not properly ventilated, however, heat can escape into the attic and heat the roof. Depending on the material of your roof, this could cause snow to melt and eventually freeze, leading to ice dams.

Trim Your Trees Back

Trimming your trees is a smart idea no matter the season, but it is especially important to trim protruding branches in the winter. If branches from a nearby tree extend onto your roof, you leave yourself vulnerable to damage. As the snowfall accumulates, weak tree limbs won’t be able to handle a lot of snow and are likely to snap and land on your roof. If these branches are heavy enough, they can damage your roof.

Being proactive and making your roof a priority during the winter months is the key to preventing snow-related damage to your home. It’s worth it to invest the time, effort, and money so you can have peace of mind knowing you are doing everything you can to make your roof safe when the snow starts to fall.

Whether you’re replacing an existing roof or picking a roof for a brand new house, it’s essential that you’re choosing the best roofing material for your home. Take a look at some information on the different types of roofing materials we offer at E&E, and determine which would be the best choice for your home.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are made of fiberglass that is covered with asphalt and ceramic granules. They come in sheets that are layered on a roof to give the appearance of individual shingles. These roofs usually cost about $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot.

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing material among homeowners, and for good reason. They’re one of the most affordable roofing materials on the market, and they’re typically easy to install or replace. Additionally, asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of styles and colors, so they’re easy to match with any home. Even better, many asphalt shingles today come with a 20- to 30-year warranty, making them a great value.

However, in recent years, some homeowners are opting for more energy-efficient roofing, as asphalt shingles may not provide as much insulation as other materials. Also, keep in mind that asphalt shingles are not well-suited for extreme heat. High temperatures can cause shingles to crack and fade, so those who live in hot climates should opt for a different roofing material.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles and shakes have been a popular roofing material choice for over a century. Several different types of wood can be used to make wood shingles and shakes, including cedar, cypress, redwood, and pressure-treated pine. Wood shingles usually cost about $4.50 to $9 per square foot, while shakes are more pricey at $6 to $11 per square foot.

No matter the type of wood used, wood shingles give roofs a natural beauty that you can’t get with other roofing materials. Wood shingles and shakes also have a higher insulation value than most other types of roofing materials, so they’re more energy-efficient.

It’s important to note that wood roofing is prohibited in some areas where wildfires are a danger. Additionally, wood shingles and shakes are not a wise roofing material choice in damp climates, as they are much more likely to rot or split if exposed to too much moisture.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal is one of the most durable and long-lasting roofing materials on the market, lasting between 50 and 100 years. It comes in either panels or shingles and is available in aluminum, copper, zinc, and stainless steel.

Homeowners are drawn to metal roofing for a variety of reasons. It’s energy-efficient, surprisingly lightweight, and 100 percent recyclable at the end of its lifespan. Metal roofs are especially popular in areas with heavy snowfall, as they shed snow much more easily than other types of roofing, which prevents ice dams during very low temperatures. 

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of metal roofing is its cost. While the price varies depending on the type of metal, these roofs typically run anywhere between $6 and $12 per square foot, making them a sizable investment. Still, the longevity and strength of metal roofs often compensates for the initial cost.

Engineered Slate

Engineered slate is designed to look just like natural slate, and it’s made up of engineered polymers, along with recycled rubber and plastic. At $6 to $12 per square foot, engineered slate costs much less than natural slate. 

Engineered slate has one of the longest lifespans out of all types of roofing materials. While lightweight, it’s also strong and sturdy, making it a good choice for houses that may not be able to support a heavier roof. This material is also easy to maintain and usually comes with a great warranty.

As far as roofing materials go, engineered slate is relatively new and has only been on the market since the mid-1990s. That said, there isn’t as much of a track record for engineered slate as there is for roofing materials that have been around for a long time.

No matter the type of roofing material you choose, you can count on E&E Contracting to install it. Take a look at our roofing services, or contact us for a complimentary estimate.