If you aren’t a mover and you plan to spend many years in the same home in Seattle chances are you will end up repairing or replacing your siding. There’s always a lot to consider when taking on a larger project like siding replacement. Should you look into window replacement? How’s the roof holding up? Is there an opportunity to make the home more energy efficient? I’ve addressed those questions in other posts so here I will speak to:
Seattle Siding – 5 things you should expect from your siding contractor
- Professionalism – The contractor shows up to you initial appointment when scheduled or calls to let you know he’ll be late. The siding contractor listens to your requests and accurately reflects those requests in his siding proposal. The Seattle siding contractor offers tips to help make your project more affordable, durable and attractive.
- Craftsmanship- All the work done should be free of defects. Material should be inspected for defects before installed. Beyond the aesthetic details the waterproofing details need to meticulously carried out.
- Knowledgeable - Your siding contractor should be able to explain the pros and cons of different siding material choices and systems and relate the cost implications of those choices.
- Communication - The Seattle siding contractor needs to be a good communicator from supplying a detailed understandable proposal to explaining the process of your project. Good communication between you and your Seattle siding contractor will make or brake your experience.
- Courtesy – The siding contractor’s crews should be courteous and helpful. The site should be picked up and left clean daily with a detailed clean at the end of the job. There’s nothing wore than having to pick up after a messy contractor.
These are just some of the tenants that Synapse Construction adheres to on every Seattle siding project. Our goal is to exceed our customers expectations.
By, Kyle Keever
I love the look of aluminum windows The frame is much smaller than wood or vinyl windows which leave more room for glass Aluminum windows also allow for larger spans that would otherwise need to be broken up with multiple window units Unfortunately aluminum windows have some significant drawbacks First on the list is that most don’t meet the energy requirements for the current energy code with standard double pane glazing Triple glazed aluminum windows can meet code but can also blow the budget Aluminum windows also rely on sealant at the miter joints in the corners of the frame These joints are not reliable and we’ve had recent experiences where the corners of new windows installed leaked within the first week We were able to reseal the window but that shouldn’t happen in the first place When installing an aluminum window one should plan on water getting in and always use a sill pan or at the very least a back dam If you need to remove and reset an aluminum window all the joints should be re-sealed with the appropriate sealant and re-installed with a pan or back dam to mitigate the future water intrusion.
By, Kyle Keever
Seattle siding and roofing replacement
Seattle Roofing and Seattle siding are both important pieces of your home’s exterior envelope The areas where they come together are critical for an effective building envelope and this especially important in Seattle When considering siding replacement or roofing replacement or both it is important to pay attention to the areas where they come together Typically the siding is installed by a siding contractor and the roofing is installed by a roofing contractor These two trades don’t always communicate well and that can cause problems Even if the siding contractor and roofing contractor are skilled and have the best intentions, if they don’t coordinate/communicate to some degree, there is a good chance a problem may arise at their material interface.
It’s wise to evaluate your roofing when considering siding replacement If roof replacement is imminent it’s a good idea to install the roof first and then perform the siding replacement If you plan to get a few years more out of your roofing before replacing it and installing new siding it can pay to plan for the eventual roofing replacement project On a recent project where we replaced old cedar shingle siding with fiber-cement replacement siding the owner mentioned he would be replacing the roof in a year or two In an effort to limit any siding problems with the eventual roof replacement we installed trim boards where roof to wall or step flashing would need to be replaced We also used screws rather than nails to make the trim boards more easily removed This allows the roofing contractor to carefully remove the trim boards, replace the flashing, re-set the trim, a little touch up paint and done Of course this only works if your Seattle siding contractor knows what’s up!
By, Kyle Keever
If you’ve got an old Seattle home and the windows or siding have reached the end of their useful life it’s a good idea to replace both at the same time Siding and window replacement done at the same time will give you the best possible end result When siding replacement and window replacement aren’t done together there are usually some sacrifices made along the way I know its not always possible monetarily to do both at the same time but if you need to do one before the other you should start with the replacement windows You can check out our window replacement blog articles and videos here http://www.synapseconstruction.com/seattle-window-replacement-window-unit-or-insert/ , http://www.synapseconstruction.com/wood-window-replacement-demonstration-video/ You will need to work with the house siding when replacing the windows but it will be much easier to replace the siding on the home when you have the resources after the replacement windows are done rather than the other way around This approach to phasing your Seattle siding and window replacement is best in terms of achieving a water tight envelope while you take a break to save up to complete the project.
By, Kyle Keever
Well it’s been a little while since we’ve done a pre finished panel siding project Not because we haven’t been asked to but more because I swore I wouldn’t do it again In the past we’ve had problems with the panel siding material showing up with scratches and other blemishes These blemishes really show themselves on a smooth panel versus a textured siding panel The manufacturer who I won’t mention by name (initials are JH) has been very good about replacing the product with new at no cost to us, Seattle siding contractors, but in reality there is a cost The cost is in time and scheduling If we need to order replacement panels then we need to wait and the project schedule is delayed or things get done out of typical sequence and man hours go up I’ve always been an advocate for pre finished siding in Seattle It makes a lot of sense when our building exteriors take such a beating So I had another customer recently ask if we could do a smooth pre finished Seattle siding panel job on his new cottage The manufacturer has been working hard on fixing the production problems that lead to the pre damaged panels I had on a few projects So I decided to give it another try I’ll let you know how it works out I hope it works like it should and we get the panels, mill them to the size we want, install them and the owner gets worry free Seattle siding on his new building If you do want to use pre finished material its important your Seattle siding contractors takes care in protecting the finish until it’s installed or it’s a big waste of time and money.
By, Kyle Keever
Remodeling magazine has come out with it’s 2013 cost vs. value list for home improvement projects. Siding and window replacement are high on the list for return on investment. The resale return on investment for siding replacement and window replacement is one thing and the energy savings adds more monetary benefit. Many people don’t realize that when they have their siding and windows replaced, if done correctly the best siding contractors and replacement window contractors will not only upgrade the curb appeal of your home but upgrade the performance of the building envelope. More energy efficient replacement windows keep the warm in during the cold Seattle winter and the cold out during the summer. They also help keep out unwanted street noise. If siding replacement is part of the upgrade for your creates a more air tight enclosure mitigating the transfer of air from inside the structure out and visa versa. Having a tight exterior envelope makes the mechanical equipment that heats and cools your house work less leading to lower energy bills. So along with the re sale ROI on siding replacement and window replacement, if you plan to stay in your home these upgrades will pay monthly dividends in lower utility bills.
By, Kyle Keever
Many older Seattle homes have single pain wood windows that are cold and drafty in the winter and allow too much heat in during the summer. There are different ways to approach correcting this problem. One way is to add storm windows on the outside of the home but this usually comes with an aesthetic cost. The more attractive way is to install energy efficient replacement windows Depending on what type of windows you are replacing and how the siding is set up a full window replacement unit might be the best way or installing window inserts may be a good option. When a window replacement unit is the plan the entire window unit (frame, sash, glass…) is removed and a new window unit is installed. This will typically involve re working some of the siding or exterior trim as well as the interior trim. Window replacement inserts are usually less labor intensive and can be done more quickly. Below is a video showing a Seattle Window Replacement project utilizing inserts. Either way window replacement for greater energy efficiency in Seattle or anywhere else needs to be done in concert with other energy improvements, like; insulation in the wall, attic and crawl space Weather sealing doors. Sealing up “holes” in the house. Click on the link to view a window replacement using a window unit.
Seattle Window Replacement with vinyl insert movie
By, Kyle Keever
This sounds like a really cool technology that could revolutionize the window and window replacement industry Of course before you invest in dynamic tinting replacement windows its best to go after the low hanging fruit first Seal up your air leaks and better insulation Then go out and get your NASA inspired replacement windows.
By, Kyle Keever
When does it make sense to repair your siding or completely replace it? This can be a tricky question to answer, not to mention the answer will affect your budget. The problem with siding repair in Seattle is we have so much water that sometimes where you think the problem is located isn’t really the source or is only a contributing factor to a larger problem. It can be difficult to diagnose where a leak is coming from. However in some situations the deficiency in the siding is obvious and a simple siding repair can be implemented with confidence. In some instances, once the siding repair begins other problems show themselves and it becomes obvious that the problem is not isolated and is systemic. In these cases it is best to go with siding replacement. In some instances it is possible to install the replacement siding over the existing siding but we typically do not recommend it. For best results the siding and trim should be removed so the walls can be inspected for water damage, the windows properly waterproofed and any dry rot repaired. The cost of removing your existing siding is typically a small percentage of the overall siding replacement budget. We feel it’s worth doing in most cases to ensure that your building envelope will perform for decades to come after your siding replacement project. Here in Seattle, our building envelopes get put to the test almost year round. If you’re having issues with your siding it’s best not to wait or use a band-aid approach.
By, Kyle Keever