Exterior remodeling step by step

Homeowners put a lot of consideration and effort toward their houses’ interior. That’s pretty understandable, as people want their places to be as appealing and comfortable as possible. That’s not the reason though to neglect your dwelling exterior. For one thing, increased curb appeal adds value to the property, for another it’s simply pleasure to look at. Another facet of such remodeling is quality of life. New windows or siding not only improve house’s esthetics but also overall thermal comfort while deck offers extra space to immerse in outdoor activities without unwanted bonuses like mud or crawlies.

project by siding installation in  chicago

Do I need window replacement?

Not that long ago people tended to repair their windows and replacement was considered the last possible resort. With advancement of modern technologies and increasing availability of cheap vinyl, metal and fiberglass products, tide has changed and homeowners started replacing old windows instead of investing in fixing inefficient constructions. Nowadays, next shift takes us back toward greener, more sustainable choices and with that, we opt again for repair instead of disposal. Nevertheless, at one point or another most homeowners face the decision of window replacement in Chicago. But when exactly that moment comes? There are several telltale signs, when it’s clear that you have to shop for new windows. One of them is water leakage. But don’t immediately run to the store at the first sight of water around the windows. It’s possible that you have leakage inside your house due to poorly draining gutters or because the casing is rotten or otherwise at fault. Asses the true nature of the problem and address it accordingly. However, if you clearly see that water comes through the windows, then replacement of the whole thing it’s inevitable. Another good moment to do this, is fogging. Yesteryear even with double-paned construction, you could have it disassembled if not by yourself then definitely, by an experienced glazier, who was able to get rid of the condensation and then put the window back together. With modern, permanently sealed windows that won’t be possible, so in the worst-case scenario you have to remove the whole thing and in the best – single problematic sash. The same applies for modern multi-paned windows with broken or cracked glass. Unfortunately, you cannot replace solely the damaged panes and leave the rest as is. Of course, if the cracked area doesn’t cover large portion of glass, you may decide on postponing replacement until failure that is more serious occurs. However, that’s not the most reasonable option, if not for impaired visual acuity then for safety reasons. Replacement may also be a good idea if your windows are several decades old or in bad overall shape. Addressing several, seemingly minor issues at once, sometimes isn’t the most viable option in terms of both money and effort. If you still hesitate to buy new windows due to the potential cost then think of the benefits. You’ll get substantial savings on heating and cooling due to insulating qualities of modern multi-paned constructions, improved thermal comfort of the house and increased curb appeal of your house.

window companies chicago during work

What decking material should I use?

As any deck builder Chicago will happily tell you there are plenty of decking materials to choose from. The problem isn’t finding good product but determining, which one will work best in your particular circumstances. So let’s have a closer look on different products. Decking materials can be roughly divided into wood, wood-composite and PVC. Wood is the most popular and all natural choice. Usually it’s pressure-treated hemlock or fir but there is no saying that you cannot use something less mundane, if you feel like it and have sufficient budget, as exotic species come at premium. Wood composite is made of wood fibers and high-density polyethylene with added binders and preservatives. It doesn’t sound very eco-friendly choice but it may be that if it’s manufactured of recycled plastic and sawdust from making furniture. It can mimic real wood quite well but it’s much heavier than it and cost twice as much. Last type of material is PVC. It’s light and rot resistant but about three times more expensive than good old wood and requires special fasteners to install. Its appearance is another downside, as it cannot be effectively manufactured to resemble other materials. It’s easy to see then that wood is the most efficient and cost effective deck building material. However ‘wood’ isn’t a one uniform thing but wide group of products with different qualities and price tags. The most popular choice is pressure treated or CA-C wood due to its affordability and availability. It’s manufactured from soft species like aforementioned hemlock and fir but ponderosa pine and southern yellow pine as well. This ‘softness’ makes the wood easy to work with but also prone to splintering and cracking if you forgo necessary maintenance. Moreover, it has to be properly treated with preservatives like copper azole or CA-C or else it becomes perfect munch for rot and critters. If you look for more durable and better-looking material for your deck then exotic wood may prove the right option. You can chose from ipe, tabebuia, Brazilian walnut or bethabara. However very esthetic and resistant those materials have their drawbacks. One is hardness. Overall, it’s not a disadvantage but makes it difficult to work with wood. Another is quite high price. That leads us to red cedar and its excellent quality to price ratio. Moreover, it’s naturally rot and insect resistant so it can be left untreated.

project by PORCH  deck builder

What is the best vinyl siding?

At first glimpse it may seem that vinyl siding and quality cannot go hand in hand. Actually most people think that the only inherent advantage of this material is price. Of course, that also but vinyl siding has other benefits as well. Notions of vinyl siding poor characteristics didn’t come from nowhere. When it was introduced, manufactures weren’t able to maintain consistent quality and their product had tendency to fading, warping and buckling. Fortunately, those times are long past and yesteryear material is but a poor relative to its modern counterpart. Siding installation in Park Ridge or wherever else you live in, isn’t any longer desperate choice of a budget conscious homeowner but well thought, conscious decision. Of course, vinyl, as any other siding product, comes in different grades. Generally speaking, it can be roughly described as average (budget choice), very good and the best or premium. But what actually the term ‘premium’ entails? For one thing is definitely thicker than cheaper options, which means 0.046” or more. Greater thickness characterizes better products because it results in rigid material that is less prone to sagging or damage from impact and overly more durable. Another quality that set top products apart from the rest is fading or rather the lack of it. As you remember, first vinyl siding has tendency to fade very quickly. Now it vastly improved but there still you can find particularly colorfast options. While choosing siding on the base of the criterion of its fading resistance, look for products with addition of titanium dioxide (natural UV filter of mineral origin) or better yet, for certificate of an independent body (ASTM D6864, ASTM D7251, ASTM D7856). Don’t see anything like that on the package? Then ask sales assistant or siding contractors in Arlington Heights or elsewhere to disclose full specification. However, best quality vinyl siding isn’t only rigid and resistant to fading. It should also be hardened. Of course, no matter the quality, it’s mainly made of PVC but different additives like acrylics can take chosen characteristics in the desired direction. When you shop for premium product, you may also want to look for a double nailing hem. Nailing hem is the part of siding that attaches to the house and the ‘double’ part increases its resistance to heavy wind. Another characteristic, important for premium products, is profile of at least 0.75” depth. However, it doesn’t improve vinyl siding characteristics, it helps to achieve natural look that resembles authentic wood products. While speaking of looks, you cannot forget about esthetics. Even if not lifesaving or that vastly improving overall comfort of living, it still represent important characteristic for any homeowner. After all, you don’t want to spend several decades in an ugly, unwelcoming place. And nobody else would want either (if you consider resale). Last but not least is warranty against manufacturing defects. Of course, nowadays almost each and every product comes with it but in case of vinyl siding it can be 10 years for cheapest option or lifetime limited warranty for premium siding.

siding made by RENOVAX siding contractors

How to remodel brick exterior?

One of the very important parts of your house interior is masonry Chicago. There are many aspects to it. You can be a happy owner of a house thoroughly made of bricks or just a building with brick veneer. You could have a paths paved with adobe products, decorative walls erected in your garden or Mediterranean style patio built. Actually, the construction doesn’t matter. What matters, is its condition. of course, brickwork in comparison to host of other materials is very durable and resists well to lot of use and abuse but… after years of withstanding elements, smog, heavy traffic and the like it may not looks it best. Worse yet, something that started with purely an esthetic problem can quickly exacerbate to the construction issue. From crumbling, through loose or cracked bricks to water seepage, you can quickly face serious building crisis if you don’t address the situation properly. Of course, damaged pavement is seldom life threatening, whereas failure of the building construction itself may be very dangerous. Nevertheless, no matter the size and the stage of the existing damage, it’s best to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Good masonry contractors Chicago will take care of your exterior and deal with problems accordingly. Actually, often you may learn that something you consider a serious situation was rather trivial. Do you need an example? One of the solutions, employed most often is tuck pointing. House’s construction start looking dilapidated due to old, crumbling mortar but nevertheless it’s still safe and sound to live at. Here is where masonry contractors come in. they partially remove old mortar from in-between the joints and replace it with new one. And voila, your property looks as good as new. If you think that such intervention is very pricy, you’ll be surprised as this is very cost effective solution. It may be slightly time-consuming to do this right but it’s well worth the effort. The same actually goes for brickwork cleaning. With tuck pointing, it’s one of the most effective restoration tools that can be employed by masonry contractors. Of course, small measures can go a long way but aren’t a panacea. But worry not. Even in such a case, experienced professional can repair or replace cracked or broken bricks in such a way so you don’t have to worry about compromising integrity of the whole construction.

masonry project by masonry contractors in chicago