A home’s appearance depends greatly on the roofing and siding selected. Two homes constructed using the same plan look different when one features white clapboard combined with a cedar shake roof and the other comes in pink stucco with a roof made of clay tile. The roofing and siding elements selected make an aesthetic statement and say something about the residents living within.
Nevertheless, the same elements play a much larger role in the home. They also provide the first line of defense against Mother Nature and all she throws at the structure. For this reason, homeowners must handpick materials that hold up with time, ensure they are properly installed, and maintain them as recommended by the manufacturer.
Homebuilders continue to use materials employed by their ancestors for this purpose, such as wood, cedar, tile, brick, stucco, slate, and stone. However, these materials come with a high price tag, which is why homebuilders and property owners continue to look for alternatives that serve the same purpose. Thanks to man-made materials introduced in the market in recent decades, men and women have more choices than ever before, and these materials typically come with a lower price tag while requiring less maintenance. Homeowners can learn more over at Texas Home Improvement.
Tom Silva, the This Old House general contractor, explains that homeowners in the past had to choose between visually appealing materials and those that would require little maintenance. Today, homeowners find they can have the best of both worlds.
Look at a house and you will probably focus on the outer shell, never stopping to think about the layers hidden from the eye. However, the hidden layers play an important role in the safety and security of the residence. Roofing and siding materials along cannot protect the structure from all elements. For this reason, Silva recommends vulnerable areas of the home to be covered with a waterproofing membrane. The sticky strips should be installed in vulnerable areas of the building, such as the edges and corners. Once this step is complete, cover the entire building with builder’s felt. This thick paper comes impregnated with asphalt and provides an additional layer of protection.
Why Builder’s Felt?
Builders today often use plastic housewrap to protect against wind and water. Silva explains he prefers builder’s felt for several reasons. First, this material costs significantly less than the housewrap used today. Additionally, the building can then be insulated with spray foam to ensure air and moisture passage isn’t a concern. However, he doesn’t stop here. Whether builder’s felt, paper, or housewrap is used, tack up drainage strips before installing wood siding. This provides an air space that allows the siding to dry out.
The builder’s felt or other material used provides the foundation for roofing and siding materials. Homeowners then need to select the materials they feel are best for the home. With many options available today, owners must research the choices to determine which they feel most comfortable using in their homes.
Silva loves peel-and-stick flashing and states this is his favorite of the new building materials introduced over the past 25 years. The peel-and-stick high-tech tar serves as a waterproofing membrane that remains immune to water. The tar actually seals around fasteners that penetrate it. There is one drawback to this product individuals must know about. Installing the tar becomes tricky, as it adheres to itself. Never install it in the wind, as a great deal will be lost to this problem. Furthermore, always cover the membrane with metal flashing, siding, or roofing because sunlight harms the membrane.
Individuals desiring painted wood for their home siding often find the cost of installing this product comes too high and they must choose an alternative. Fiber-cement siding serves as a good replacement and will never rot or burn. The product comes with a 50-year warranty and extends the life of the paint used on the home. The price of fiber-cement siding, which runs approximately $3 per square foot after installation and painting, remains less than one pays for wood clapboard. The siding consists of a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fiber and looks excellent on any structure.
Homeowners love the versatility in style found in fiber-cement siding, and it remains popular in areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, as it is largely weather resistant. In addition, the material resists heat and fire, which is important in certain areas of the country. Finally, different installation options provide different looks, allowing each owner to choose the option that best meets their needs. For example, some install panels as is while others decide to install it in such a way that it provides a board and batten look.
A wood replacement product constructed of PVC, cellular PVC functions much like natural wood. Installers find they may paint, cut, nail, and rout the material with ease. Homeowners choose this material over natural wood because it doesn’t warp, fade, check, or rot. In fact, individuals often find it difficult to distinguish between this product and real wood because it looks so realistic.
Homes in humid areas often suffer from problems as natural wood absorbs moisture. PVC doesn’t pull moisture from surfaces or the ground and won’t absorb it from the air. This makes it an excellent choice, as the problems associated with the expand-shrink cycle are eliminated.
Pests rarely invade a home making use of cellular PVC trim. This product doesn’t provide a food or water source. In addition, pests find it difficult to chew through the trim to make their way inside the home. In actuality, doing so is next to impossible. These are only a few of the many benefits associated with this product homeowners need to consider.
Sidewall shingles pose many installation problems, and manufacturers began searching for a way to ease this process. The result comes in the form of factory-assembled panels, which make the installation process much easier and less expensive. Certain installers say the panels require one-third of the time needed to install the shingles individually or less, and homeowners may wish to purchase the panels pre-stained. Fortunately, the installation process is similar to that seen with any siding product.
Homeowners continue to look for ways to reduce their energy costs, as those expenses keep skyrocketing and leaving men and women wondering how they will keep up with the rising costs. Solar-powered roofing or power-generating roofing shingles offer a way to bring these bills under control, as they take the sun’s rays and turn them into electricity. The home then uses this electricity to power items in the home. While the cost of installing this type of roofing remains high, homeowners find there are other benefits to consider.
A persons’ carbon footprint decreases when power-generating roofing shingles are installed on the home. Many consider this to be the most important benefit, even more than saving on energy bills each month. The cost of the roofing shingles tends to be less than the cost associated with installing solar panels on the roof to serve the same purpose. Additionally, interest in green energy continues to increase, and the value of the home goes up when the shingles are installed. Homeowners appreciate knowing they will recoup some installation costs when they sell the home.
Solid-Core Vinyl Siding
Homeowners often look for alternatives to traditional vinyl siding because they dislike the flimsy feel and hollow, concave look. They now have an alternative in the form of solid-core vinyl siding, a product that comes with a solid foam backing. This backing increases the durability of the product while making it more impact resistant. Furthermore, the installation options expand when this material is selected. For instance, a homeowner might opt for wider exposure for each clapboard during the installation process. However, the main reason many homeowners select this material is it offers four times the insulating value of regular vinyl placed on top of a standard insulating backer board. There are other things a homeowner should know about this product when deciding which material to use.
Solid-core vinyl siding remains less likely to distort to accommodate the natural curves of the structure, allowing it to look neater than other options. The homeowner selects a color they love, as this product comes in an endless range of colors, and it is very strong. Flying objects won’t dent or scratch the siding. This means the need for repairs significantly decreases. Furthermore, siding sheets resembling different types of wood allow homeowners to have the option of cladding their home in a material that appears similar to wood but doesn’t come with the drawbacks associated with this material.
Homeowners must carefully select the siding and roofing materials used on their residence. These materials affect the curb appeal of the home and protect it from the elements and damage from other sources. If you are ready to replace one or both materials in your residence, research the different options to learn which best meet your needs. Any work done on your home is an investment in your future, so you don’t want to make mistakes. By carefully reviewing the available options before proceeding, you decrease the chances of this happening.