Exterior remodeling is a great way to cut home maintenance time, cost and effort. In fact, a good exterior remodeling strategy can not only improve the value of your home, it can help prevent expensive repairs – and even help protect your home from fires. Here are a few secrets to keep in mind:
Painting or staining wooden siding is a chore. Plus, wooden siding raises fire concerns. Consider remodeling with brick and stone siding. Stucco is also fire-resistant and can last the lifetime of your home. Fiber cement siding looks like wood but resists insects and can last 50 years. Vinyl siding can last 40 years with an occasional hosing. Also consider adding insulation under the siding or using insulated siding as this will help reduce your energy bills.
A New Slant on Roofing
Wood shingles look good but are high-maintenance and not fire-resistant. Composite shingles are fire-resistant (rated A, B, or C, with A being the most fire-resistant). Metal is fire resistant and increasingly popular. It can last least 50 years or more. Tile and slate are beautiful, durable and low-maintenance. If you live in areas where the sun shines most of the time and it is warm, you may want to consider a light colored roof as they reflect light and heat and keep your home cooler and reduces the need to turn on the air conditioning.
New windows make a big difference to a home’s exterior. Remodeling with wood windows looks good, and the new stained wood windows don’t need much work to keep them in good shape. Fiberglass, vinyl, and composite frames tend to be somewhat lower-maintenance. And, with good-quality installation and caulking, windows bought today can last 20-25 years! Don’t forget that windows come in a wide variety of energy saving and easy to clean configurations. With proper installation and a well-insulated window, if you live in a hot or cold climate you can reduce your energy use greatly.
Wooden decks can become hazards if you live in an area where wildfires occur, and fire-retardant treatments won’t prevent wood from actually burning. Composites offer varying degrees of fire-resistance and give you a wood look without the fire hazard or the annual sanding, staining and sealing. Capped composites like Trex and Timbertech resist fading and stains and clean with just soap and water. PVC (like Azek) is another alternative for exterior remodeling that reduces maintenance!
If you’re thinking about exterior remodeling, it’s an ideal time to rethink your driveway. Traditional asphalt driveways typically only last 10 years. Concrete can last up to 50 years — don’t make the surface too smooth or it will be slippery when wet. If you live in an area where the ground settles or heaves, or are in an area that gets earthquakes, A paving stone driveway is much less likely to crack and doesn’t have to be sealed, though there will be weeds. Grass has become an eco-friendly choice — other than mowing, it’s good to go! New on the exterior remodeling scene are water-permeable solutions such as FilterPave, a glittery surface made from recycled beer bottles that lets through even more water than grass does!
The best way to create your own unique low-maintenance home is to work with an experienced exterior remodeling contractor who can suggest low-maintenance solutions for the specific chores you hate and the expenses you dread.