Knowing when it’s time to replace products on your home
Monday, February 25, 2013
Owning a home means giving constant attention to the building products that go into protecting the structure of your house. While we’d like to believe items like our roof, siding and windows will last forever, that’s not the case.
Mark Clement, co-host of the national home improvement radio show MyFixitUpLife, offers a variety of tips for knowing when it’s time to replace products on your home.
“The first thing homeowners need to understand is that every element of a home’s exterior — from the top of the roof down to the front entry door — will eventually need to be replaced,” said Clement. “The key is to know when the time is right to invest in new products. This means an ongoing evaluation of your home’s current products, researching new product options and contacting professionals for support.”
Clement said that replacing older products with newer, more energy efficient and longer-lasting products is a sound investment for homeowners.
We have a 100-year-old home and just replaced the original decaying wood door with a Therma-Tru fiberglass door and trimmed it out with long-lasting PVC millwork, Clement said.
He also replaced older windows with Energy Star qualified vinyl windows and added a new polymer slate roof. These are all man-made products that add more life to a house and will save more on daily energy bills.
“Another important aspect to consider when it does become time to replace key products on the home’s exterior is to look at upgrading and taking advantage of newer, more aesthetically pleasing products that are on the market,” he said. “That’s what we did with the high-performance, low-maintenance products we selected. Our product choices not only make our home more livable right now, but also add value to the home and make it more ‘sellable’ when it comes time for us to put the house on the market.”
Evaluate your roof
1. Using either a ladder or binoculars from across the street, look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that may flap in the wind.
2. Check the sides of your roof. The southern exposure weathers significantly faster than the other sides of the roof, so make sure to carefully examine this area. Also, shallower pitches weather faster than steeper pitches. So if your roof has a shallow pitch — such as a shed dormer — make certain you can clearly see it to get a true indication of the condition of your roof.
Assess your windows
1. Evaluate the functionality of your current windows. If you have condensation between glass panes, the windows are hard to open or close, your energy bills are soaring or if there are drafts coming in around the window units, then it’s time to seriously consider replacement windows.
2. Look at the frames of your windows. If you spend too much time scraping paint and repainting wood frames, consider an investment in vinyl-framed, low-maintenance windows.
Knowing when to replace a front door
1. If you can see light around your main entry door from the inside, the door is hard to close or lock, or the door itself is warped, it’s time to consider a new door.
2. Think about the weather conditions the door faces along with your energy bills. If either run to the extreme, consider replacing your entry door with a high-performance fiberglass door (which can have up to four times more insulation than wood doors). Doors with enhanced weather stripping, corner seal pad, door bottom sweep and profiled sill provide more strength and stability in an entry door.
Evaluate trim features of the home
1. Take a top-down look at your home. Most houses have wooden louvers placed high above the attic or garage space to allow ventilation in those areas. Replacing older, rotting louvers with insect-resistant and rot-resistant synthetic louvers can improve the home’s appearance and functionality.
2. Wrap it up. Clement recommends that if you have unsightly porch posts you can easily transform them into showpiece parts of your home by using column wrap kits. The decorative PVC or urethane pieces can generally be installed in less than 30 minutes around existing structural posts and columns to give an upgraded look to any home.
A contractor installs urethane trim around newly-installed vinyl window. Simonton
The roof is the first line of defense your home has against the elements. A professional roofer is a must to make sure the job is done correctly. DaVinci