How to Find Qualified and Affordable Northern Virginia Siding Installers

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_siding_installersHomeowners value the services of home improvement contractors that are qualified. But more often than not, the overall cost of these services is what carries the most influence. When it comes to Northern Virginia siding projects, finding an installer with the experience, skills and competitive price is most important. How can you find these companies?

Experience Matters

There are many steps involved with siding installation. On new builds the process is fairly simple, but a replacement or repair project may be a different story. The very best Northern Virginia siding installers also have experience in the removal of worn or damaged siding.

This job involves a certain type of demolition, but qualified contractors will know how to remove the old siding without damaging the structure or framing underneath. They should also be knowledgeable enough to judge the condition of that structural layer. In certain circumstances a replacement siding job will require the framing or insulation to be upgraded before the new siding is installed.

Choosing the Optimum Material

An experienced siding contractor will also be able to recommend which types of siding materials are best suited for your home. This is often based on the climate and exposure of your home, but the design and size of your home (as well as the budget) are factors in this decision as well.

Ask an established contractor for recommendations on the best type and brand of siding. Working with a variety of brands and styles will have given these professionals in-depth insight that is valuable for your situation. Utilize it however possible.

Don’t Be the Testing Ground

Hiring a freshly established contractor with a low hourly rate may be tempting, but often your home will end up suffering. New companies often have a lot to learn about the industry and you don’t want your home to be the testing ground.

That being said, it is often the experience of the individual installers that matters more than the length of time the company has been open. If the firm hires new staff every year it offers the same risk of amateur errors and botched jobs. Look for a contractor with an established reputation and experienced, career installers. This combination offers you the safest, more professional job.

Where to Look

You can start your search with directories and online listings, but it is the word of mouth referrals that often carry the most weight. If you are new in town, those referrals may come from building associations and real estate professionals. Otherwise it is wise to ask your local friends, family members and neighbors which companies they have had a good experience with. Don’t forget to note the contractors to stay away from.

Get more than one quotation and compare the quality of service, warranties and costs before making your choice. Remember to ask for a list of current references and visit the jobsites. Getting a close look at the work of each contractor will reveal clues as to how thorough and meticulous their installers are.

If the overall cost is more than you expected, consider this – a Northern Virginia siding project is a long term investment, adding protection and beauty to your home for years to come. When you measure the cost over the life of the project it may help you to gain a better perspective.

Examining the Advantages of Fiber Cement For Your Northern Virginia Siding

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_siding_fiber_cementCreating a positive first impression is one of the aspects to consider when choosing a material for your Northern Virginia siding. Wood is warm and full of character, while vinyl provides a virtually maintenance free finish. There is another product that actually captures the benefits of both – fiber cement siding is an impressive option that will create the look you want while delivering the durability and quality you need.

The Facts About Fiber Cement Siding

This material is made from a mixture of sand and cement with cellulose fibers included. All of these items are combined using a process called autoclaving (steam curing done at high temperatures), which serves to provide the strength and consistency required for an exterior siding product.

Layering this mixture to the desired thickness produces fiber cement siding in a wide variety of shapes, profiles and even colors. With the cellulose fibers included there is very little cracking and wood grain textures are added afterward with a high-pressure mold or by imprinting.

With all of the options available in fiber cement you are sure to find a siding style that suits your tastes. From horizontal panels resembling beaded siding, Dutch style or the more traditional shiplap to vertical Northern Virginia siding and preformed shingles in regular and irregular shapes, fiber cement manufacturers have a broad selection. Another very popular and distinctive style is the stucco-look, constructed completely of fiber cement panels. Both the main sections and the battens are fiber cement, as well as any soffit, creating an architectural design that is stunning, low maintenance and full of character.

A Few of the Benefits

The vast selection available in this material is certainly an advantage, but the product itself also offers benefits that homeowners and contractors can appreciate. Fiber cement siding:

  • Is manufactured to rigorous standards providing nearly unmatched dimensional stability.
  • Will not fade, warp or buckle as vinyl is prone to do.
  • Comes with a Class A (or Class 1) fire rating.
  • Is highly durable, withstanding weather, bumps and heavier impacts for a long-lasting, beautiful finish.
  • Has quality pre-finished paint options that will last from 25 to 50 years without a recoat required.
  • Approved for installation on historic homes and buildings covered by preservation guidelines.

Choose the Manufacturer Wisely

In the same way you would with other exterior siding options, it is important to choose the fiber cement manufacturer wisely. Certain brands have been in the industry for years and offer solid warranties, reasonable prices and consistent quality. Others that are newly entering this hot marketplace may not be the best choice, despite introductory prices and an even broader selection of colors and profiles. Although technology often helps in the building industry, until a manufacturer is proven and established you are best to steer clear.

Fiber cement is an excellent option for your Northern Virginia siding project. With a variety of profiles and appearances available, as well as durability and strength that meets and exceeds that of wood siding, this material is gaining in popularity. Look for it on homes in your neighborhood and consider fiber cement siding for your own new build or renovation.

Is Vinyl a Good Choice For Your Northern Virginia Siding?

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

northern-virginia-sidingThe exterior finish on your home is an essential element that provides protection, and beauty, as well as adding to the level of efficiency in your home. You need to assess each type of cladding before deciding which is best for your climate, design and tastes. Vinyl is a popular option for Northern Virginia siding, but is it the best choice for you?

Disadvantages of Vinyl Siding

While vinyl is very resistant to moisture, it is more vulnerable to damage than bricks or stone would be. The natural strength of bricks makes them less susceptible to dents and scratches, whereas vinyl siding can be damaged during a strong storm. The PVC is fairly thin when compared to bricks as well as fiber cement siding. And although it is flexible and much easier to handle than stone, vinyl siding cannot take the same level of abuse that these other types of cladding can.

If it is not installed properly vinyl siding can be very noisy in the wind. This is one reason why it’s so important to hire a professional when installing your Northern Virginia siding. They will know how to put the panels together, accounting for the expansion and contraction that naturally occurs when PVC is exposed to the elements. Loose siding is not only less efficient, but moves in the wind and makes a decent amount of noise.

Advantages of Vinyl Siding

Despite the potential for damage, vinyl siding is actually a very durable selection for any climate. It provides a solid layer of protection against wind and when combined with insulation, will help to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere in your home. Vinyl siding stays cool in the summer and will help to repel cold in the winter. It requires very little maintenance, even over years of dependable use.

The vinyl cladding industry offers a wide selection of profiles, colors and styles available. You can even find vinyl siding that coordinates well with period homes, allowing you to install a low maintenance solution with a faithful appearance. Whether you want to change the exterior look of your house or match what is currently there, it’s easy to find the perfect product. You can even add matching and complimentary trim and moldings, helping you to finish the exterior with detail and distinct beauty.

Vinyl is one of the most affordable options available for exterior cladding. Even the most innovative brands are reasonably priced, when compared to the other options on the market. Materials are less expensive and because installation is often less labor intensive, the overall cost can be significantly lower. If you prefer the look of natural stone or brick yet don’t quite have the budget for it, vinyl siding can be used on the sides and rear walls with brick or stone applied to the front-facing walls. This combination is good for the budget and will create the attractive appearance you want.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using vinyl cladding. With this option your Northern Virginia siding will be attractive and affordable, although it may not hold up against harsh weather conditions like heavier cladding will. Depending on your tastes and priorities vinyl may be the best choice. Using it on its own or in combination with other types of siding is a wise option that will deliver a variety of benefits.

Vinyl Shakes Add a Decorative Touch to Your Northern Virginia Siding

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_sidingThe exterior finish of your home is an important feature. Not only does it help create a beautiful first impression, but it also protects your home for years. Besides choosing a durable brand of Northern Virginia siding, you need to consider decorative touches and designs that will let your home stand out. Consider how additions like vinyl shakes will work on your home design.

What Are Vinyl Shakes?

Formed to resemble the charming cedar shakes used on the roof, vinyl shakes are actually panels of specially made siding. Installed on your home just as traditional vinyl siding would be, shakes will lend your home the look of a rustic cottage without the maintenance and vulnerability of wooden material.

They are available in a wide variety of styles, from a large form resembling shiplap siding to smaller, square-shaped shakes. You can also find styles that resemble classical architecture – rounded like tiles or scalloped like old wooden roofs of the past.

How Can These Be Used To Compliment Your Siding?

In Northern Virginia the most lovely homes are those with a character and style of their own. Many homes have standard styles of vinyl or aluminum siding, installed with complimenting trim and fascia. But when you add accents of vinyl shakes your home can capture that style you’re looking for.

Use shakes in combination with your Northern Virginia siding, in the roof gable or on the top (or bottom) half of the house. It’s easy to create a contrasting, textured look with this product.

You can also use panels of shakes as the siding to put forward a more casual look entirely. Much like a traditional cottage, these shakes can produce a rugged, charming look while providing the strength and durability inherent in vinyl. They will not need to be painted and cleaning is done easily with a pressure washer.

Durable Design Features

This product is made from virgin PVC that is inflammable, providing an extra layer of safety in your home. Manufactured using high-pressured injections into specially made die cast models these products have very strict tolerances and impressive durability.

Vinyl is weather resistant by nature and shakes are made with the same specifications as vinyl siding. Although the profile may look smaller, vinyl shakes provide exactly the same benefits as vinyl siding – long lasting weather resistance, a beautiful uniform finish and low maintenance requirements.

The best quality vinyl shakes have been permeated with color, not simply coated. That means when scratches and gouges occur (and they inevitably will over the life of your home), the color will still show through and your siding will not need to be replaced. Ask the manufacturer about this feature to be sure that you are investing in the highest quality product.

Whether you opt to use vinyl shakes in conjunction with your Northern Virginia siding or plan to use these panels all on their own, they are a charming addition. A beautiful, unique form combined with quality manufacturing and impeccable style, vinyl shakes can help your home find its own style.