Tips to Make the Best of Your Virginia Siding Replacement

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia_siding_replacementNasty and even disastrous weather conditions have been felt across the country this spring. High winds and heavy rain are bound to cause damage to the exterior finish on homes and repairs are often necessary. Both the product that you choose and the steps of installation taken will help you make the most of your Virginia siding replacement.

Under It All

Vinyl siding is commonly seen on homes both large and small. And although this product is an excellent choice for durability and appearance, it is the underlayment that makes the most difference to the comfort level inside your home. Good quality underlayment will increase the R-value of the exterior finish, providing better insulation against heat loss and reducing your utility bills. Also, the strength of the underlayment will be an effective barrier against wetness caused by rain, sleet and snow.

The stability of the material installed underneath your vinyl siding allows for a stronger hold. When the fasteners have something substantial to grip they are more resistant to the forces of wind and rain that accompany heavy storms. Hurricanes and tornadoes are the ultimate test, but using the strongest underlayment available best protects your family.

Installing a thicker underlayment can also reduce the noise levels on the interior of your home. If you live in a high traffic area or find that noise upsets your sleep patterns, be sure to ask for a layer of thick foam board or rigid foam insulation. This will help to absorb the sound from outside and create a more peaceful, quiet atmosphere inside the house.

Maintenance Matters

Consider maintenance requirements when it’s time to replace your Virginia siding. Steer clear of products that require frequent attention and have a closer look at those that provide a worry-free finish. Vinyl siding is an excellent alternative that will never rot and can be cleaned to a shine with simple soap and water. This material is also available in many different styles and colors to provide a beautiful finish on your home.

Other styles of siding require more work to ensure durability and a clean, attractive look. Wood siding is a good choice for energy efficiency and creating a charming appearance, but this material will need regular staining or painting to remain durable. The weight of wood siding may help to reduce future wind damage and targeted replacement is simple with this material, but vinyl is still a much better choice for maintenance.

Quality Brands

Ensure that the brand of siding you choose will provide a durable, long lasting finish. Certain inexpensive vinyl product lines do not contain enough pure vinyl to resist cracking even in normal weather conditions. And these cheaper lines are also prone to fading due to the use of a lower quality coloring agent. Look at the overall value of a product before deciding and remember to consider this replacement project an investment in your home. Good quality is designed to last, meaning money will be saved in the long run.

If the recent wild weather has left your exterior home finish damaged call a professional siding installer to find out the best options for a Virginia siding replacement. High quality, low maintenance products installed with a strong, stable underlayment is your optimum choice.

Tips for Selling Washington DC Real Estate in a Highly Competitive Market

Filed Under: Washington DC Real Estate    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_real_estate_2The real estate market can be vastly different from one area of the country to the next. What sells quickly and for top value on the west coast may not move at all in the east. Likewise, properties only a few counties away from each other may encounter a completely different experience. It depends on the market conditions. Selling Washington DC real estate in today’s market can be a challenge, but with the right approach and professional assistance property owners are bound to have a better, more profitable experience.

Get a Pro On Your Side

The most important step in selling real estate is to enlist the services of a professional realtor. You may be tempted by the low cost alternatives out there and consider selling your home privately, but be warned – hidden costs and mounds of frustration await.

With the help of a licensed and experienced real estate agent you can look forward to a smoother transaction. Their knowledge, expertise and industry connections will be put to work for your property. In this highly competitive market where price is only one factor in a sale you need all of the support possible. And a professional realtor is there to offer that support.

Be Realistic

It helps to get educated before putting your Washington DC real estate on the market. This will allow you to have a better grip on the competition, choose a reasonable price point for your property and target the offering to the right market segment. A thoughtful process grounded in knowledge of the current conditions is bound to make the sale go quicker, but it will also cause less stress and anxiety for you and your family.

Remember to base the asking price of your home on the market, as opposed to focusing on your own financial situation or needs. You may be able to wait for a buyer who will suit your specific requirements, but the cost of waiting and the chances of finding that buyer need to be taken into account. You are part of the equation in this transaction, but the market and the needs of potential buyers are also equal players.

Spruce It Up

It’s very important to take care of home improvements before putting your property on the market. Older homes are up against new builds in today’s market; that means your property needs to be in stellar shape to attract buyers. Have your realtor or a local contractor inspect your home and recommend the improvements, repairs and projects that will carry the most benefit.

Although it may seem like it, investing in home improvements at this stage is not a waste of money. Buyers that appreciate and approve of these projects will reflect that gratitude in a higher bid for your home. On the other hand, leaving the repairs, replacements and smaller home renovations to the next owner will chase away many potential buyers and likely result in lower bids with more conditions.

The market is full of homes that offer many of the same features that yours does. With the help of a professional realtor, realistic expectations and a few select home improvements your Washington DC real estate will stand out in these highly competitive conditions.

How to Extend Your Northern Virginia Deck To Add More Space

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

northern-virginia-deckMany homes come with a standard sized Northern Virginia deck. This area may be large enough for a patio dining set and your BBQ, but beyond that there is little room for outdoor living. With some planning and the help of an experienced decking contractor you can transform that small deck into an expansive backyard oasis. A deck extension will save you time and money on the path to a large, spacious patio.

Can You Reuse the Existing Decking?

Homeowners often wonder whether they can reuse anything from the existing structure. It may be possible, but two factors need to be considered first.

  1. What is the condition of the existing material? If the wood framing and decking is only a few years old and has weathered well you may be able to feasibly salvage some, if not all of the material. If the wood is cracked, split or warped enough to make it a liability (or an eyesore), you will be better off to replace it. The framing can be reused more often than the deck board, mainly because it will not and has not been exposed.
  2. How will the existing material fit into the new design? If you are replacing a wood deck with maintenance free composite or vinyl decking, reusing the material may not be an option. When the design of your new deck allows for the existing material, and actually looks good with the inclusion, you have the choice.

Support for Your Northern Virginia Deck Extension

If you will be reusing the existing structure in any way, support is your first priority. Inspect the existing piers and framing to be sure it is solid and follows building code. From that point your decking contractor will discover whether new piers can be poured nearby, allowing a second frame to be built beside the existing structure.

Alternatively, the entire deck may need to be ripped down and new piers and framing installed. This will depend on the design of your new deck, as well as whether there is adequate room for new piers and beams.

Adding Another Level

Depending on the grade of your property it may make better sense to simply add another level to your existing deck. In that case you will literally build another deck and join the two with stairs, railing and other elements of the structure.

This can also help to create a more roomy feeling on your deck, with an eating area as well as a lounging area. If you have a walkout deck (more than 5 feet off of the ground), consider placing the deck a few steps down. Alternatively, if your deck is at ground level, you can build the second level up with higher posts. Don’t forget to install skirting to cover the framing.

There are quite a few options open for homeowners that are looking to extend their Northern Virginia deck. It’s possible to reuse the deck materials, if they are in good condition and the new design incorporates them.  Framing is an important consideration and adding a level may be the most prudent design choice.  The advice of a decking professional will help you choose the ideal design and allow you to transform your existing deck into an expansive new outdoor living space.

Why Install the Replacement Windows Virginia Homeowners Need in Spring?

Filed Under: Windows    by: Steve Kayhill

replacement_windows_virginiaWindow cleaning is probably part of your spring cleaning ritual. Getting rid of the dirt and grime allows natural sunlight to refresh your home and invites spring inside. This time of year is also ideal to look after the replacement windows Virginia homeowners need to stop those drafts and create a tighter home.

Why Is Springtime a Good Time To Replace Your Windows?

Besides the warm weather that provides the most comfortable conditions for installation, spring is full of additional benefits. Often, in anticipation of the new season, the window manufacturers will introduce their new product lines in the first part of the year. This is when you can investigate the latest technology and any advancement made in the industry, including newer eco friendly options and better efficiency levels.

The contractors are also eager to get moving into the new season. You will find that wait time in the spring is generally shorter than if you booked in the early summer, mainly because the contractor’s schedule is not yet full. Ask questions, take your time making the best choices and look forward to a professional installation that is handled quickly.

The weather is one of the most significant reasons for choosing spring as the best time to install the replacement windows Virginia homeowners need. The warmth and relatively dry conditions of April and May make for comfortable and safe installation conditions. The contractors will not need to contend with the heat and humidity of summer or the biting cold and moisture of autumn. These conditions allow the installers to work carefully, ensuring your windows fit tighter.

Getting Ready for the Heat of Summer

High temperatures and scorching sunshine often make the days and nights of summer uncomfortable. But thankfully we can cool off in the refreshing atmosphere of our air-conditioned homes. Replacement windows help to create the most efficient and evenly cool conditions inside the house.

By ensuring your windows are fitted with double paned models in well insulated frames you can be confident that this year’s cooling bills will be reasonable. Looking after this in the spring – before you really need your air conditioner to kick in – is the smart thing to do and will deliver maximum return on investment.

If you’re planning on selling your home in the spring time (one of the most popular times to put real estate on the market), replacements windows will help your property to stand out in a competitive industry. Depending on the condition of your home, you may be able to recoup much of the investment and sell the property quicker, a desired outcome for most families.

Spring is an ideal time to install new windows for many different reasons. Look at the new products that enter the market in February and March and expect your project to be booked in quickly by the local installers. The weather conditions in spring make installation of the replacement windows Virginia homeowners want safer, resulting in a better fit and a speedier process. Also, windows that are well insulated against heat loss will help keep your interior cooler this summer, a relaxing and comfortable condition to look forward to.