Thoughts About New Siding and Windows
By GT Karr, Sueppel’s Siding & Remodeling
Are you considering replacing the siding on your home? Between wood, vinyl, cement board, composite and steel there are a variety of choices, styles, colors and a range of prices. It can feel overwhelming to sort through your options.
In my experience vinyl has traditionally been the most popular in our area, however, in the last few years the trend has moved to using composite siding. Vinyl siding is an affordable option that is easy to maintain, with a range of styles and colors. Vinyl does fade over time and can be damaged by rocks and debris thrown by lawn mowers. It has a lifespan of about 20 years. Composite siding has an array of styles and colors, a longer lifespan, is easy to maintain and clean, pest resistant, durable and customizable.
Steel and wood siding have declined in use over the years. Wood siding can be more expensive because it typically requires more maintenance with the need to paint every few years and repairs for rot and pest damage. Steel siding is a lesser-used option on homes. While it can be expensive and more difficult to work with, it is also durable, weather resistance and low maintenance. Each style has advantages and drawbacks. Every home is different and there is no “one size fits all.”
A critical and often overlooked part of siding is the installation. It is vital that care is taken to properly install flashing, appropriate weather barriers and ensure the entire wall assembly is protected. The siding is only as good as the installation. A professional siding installer will help guide you in the selection of the best product for your home and family and install it to last its full lifetime.
Window Styles and Materials
If you are in the market for new windows start by considering the look you would like for your home and the style that will complement each room. Common window styles are casement, double hung, slider and picture. A casement window has a hand crank to open the window. A double hung window slides and you can tilt it in for easier cleaning. You can choose to use each style in your home depending on what works best for each room.
Most windows in our market are either all vinyl or have a wood frame that is clad in metal or vinyl. Vinyl is easy to maintain, customizable; has a variety of colors; is termite resistant; and does not warp, peel or require sanding, staining or painting for the window’s lifetime. Wood frames are exceptionally durable, customizable, have a good insulation value, possess a more traditional look and are available with maintenance-free cladding.
Glass typically comes in dual or triple panes. Dual pane is the standard choice. There are two panes of glass with an airspace in the middle. Triple pane glass adds an extra pane of glass and an additional airspace, providing added energy savings and some noise reduction benefits. The airspace is filled with an argon or krypton gas, the gas provides a layer of insulation.
Low E is a coating on the glass that helps control the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light allowed through the glass, providing additional energy savings. There are a variety of Low E applications available that provide enhanced energy efficiencies. You can get windows without it, but the benefits outweigh the costs. The U Factor measures how well the glass insulates. In our climate, the lower the number the better.
Go with a Pro
As you sort through all your options, deciding on what is best for your home, the single most important decision will be having an installer that can help you navigate your choices and knows how to professionally install, flash and insulate your windows. Having a proper installation makes all the difference in the overall performance of your windows.