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Siding Choices – Get Creative!

As technology changes, new innovations in home improvement products are born. Such is the case with siding for your home. In this article, we will explore the history of siding, and how you and your siding contractor can get creative with today’s siding choices.

The History of Siding

When settlers came to America in the 1600’s, homes were constructed primarily from wood. After all, wood was plentiful, and conserving natural resources was not a priority. Logs were cut and used in conjunction with mud and clay to construct what we now call log cabins. From the 1600’s to the mid 1900’s, homes were mainly constructed from wood, stone, and brick. 

In the early 1900’s, a new product to protect homes from the elements was invented – asbestos cement siding. Manufacturers combined asbestos fibers with cement to form a highly durable and fire-resistant siding shingle. From the 1940’s through the 1960’s, in addition to wood, brick and stone, asbestos cement siding was the most recommended siding choice. Also in the 1940’s, a brand new home exterior option was invented. In 1947, Jerome Kaufman had the idea to create home exteriors using the same technology used to build plane exteriors during World War II. His invention would be named aluminum siding. He and a group of colleagues formed Alside Siding, which grew to be the largest producer of aluminum siding in the U.S. 

By the 1960’s, siding manufacturers were looking for siding alternatives.  Aluminum siding, while offering homeowners pre-painted, low maintenance options, was prone to dents, dings, and scratches. And so, vinyl siding was born. As opposed to being painted, vinyl siding’s color is within the vinyl compound itself, thus never requiring painting. Vinyl siding is also more flexible, and will not dent as easily as aluminum. While still in production, aluminum siding has since taken a backseat to vinyl.

In the mid 1980’s, a brand new option hit the U.S. market – fiber cement siding. James Hardie, Inc., an Australian company, brought fiber cement siding to America, where it quickly became known for its rich, wood-like appearance and lasting durability. Although other manufacturers produce fiber cement siding, James Hardie is so widely known for the product that contractors often refer to all brands of fiber cement siding as “Hardieboard.”

Getting Creative with Siding Choices

Source: CertainTeed

While the most common type and installment of vinyl siding is horizontal, which comes in sheets up to 8-feet in length, there are many other options. CertainTeed, for instance, not only offers tradition horizontal vinyl siding, but vertical vinyl siding, and composite siding that has the look of real cedar shake and shingles.

To create a truly unique look, contractors and homeowners are combining different siding types and colors on different sections of a home. For example, using vertical siding for the garage area, composite shake for the upper portion of the home, and classic horizontal siding for the main area provides a one-of-a-kind look.

Source: CertainTeed
Click brochure image above to download.

If you would like to explore more siding options, color choices, and learn more about the siding, roofing, and other products that CertainTeed has to offer, you’re in luck! In this helpful (and gorgeous!) product brochure, you will learn all about how the right siding choices can make a huge difference in the look of your home. Click on the image on the right to download the brochure.

Need Help Choose Siding?

Choosing the right siding for your home may seem daunting, but we are here to help! The siding professionals at S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows can visit your home, and consult with you to create a siding plan that will give your home a brand new look. To explore CertainTeed siding choices online, visit https://www.certainteed.com/siding/  To schedule a free, no-obligation siding estimate for your home in Maryland or Virginia, call us at 1-866-836-7663, or click here to request an estimate online.

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Keeping Your Maryland Home Beautiful with Today’s Trends in Siding – Top 4 Siding Choices for MD Homes

Nothing will impact the appearance of your home more dramatically than the exterior siding you choose.    When shopping for exterior siding for your Maryland home, look for a siding material that not only suits the style of your home but also performs well in the vastly different climate and landscape changes that Maryland offers.  Maryland has often been called “America in Miniature” because of its mixture of land and water in its 10,460 square miles.  You can find just about any natural feature in Maryland except a desert.  So, whether you are searching for siding for your beach front property or new cedar shingles for your mountain getaway S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows offers a wide variety of choices to suit your Maryland home.

While the housing market has continued to suffer across the country, Maryland has held its spot as one the better areas when buying or selling a home.  Whether you are looking to add value to your Maryland home or simply make changes to your home’s overall aesthetics, upgrading the siding is a logical place to start.   When looking at your siding options you should first consider the type of weather or climate changes your home will see.  Next you should consider the style of your home and how your new siding fits into your current lifestyle.  Finally you should always consult a siding professional to make sure the job is done correctly.

S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows offers a variety of siding options including vinyl siding, fiber cement siding, insulated siding and cedar siding.  First let’s look at vinyl siding.  Introduced in the 1950’s as an alternative to aluminum siding, vinyl siding is the most frequently used siding option in the United States.  Due to its ease of installation and lack of required maintenance vinyl siding owners will recoup as much as 80% of the installation cost thus increasing the value of the home.  Vinyl siding carries warranties from 20-40 years and will hold up well in Maryland’s hot and humid summers and also its cold winters.  Vinyl siding requires little if any maintenance, never fades and if vinyl is scratched it doesn’t need to be painted because vinyl doesn’t rust and the color of the vinyl permeates the entire thickness of the panels.  Whether you are in the sprawling suburbs of Central Maryland or down by the ocean, vinyl siding is excellent cost effective an option.

Fiber cement siding is fast becoming the next wave in siding options.  Fiber cement siding is made from cement, wood fiber (cellulose), sand and other components.   Uniquely designed, fiber-cement siding resembles wood and boasts all the characteristics of wood.   However, unlike wood, it weathers much better and holds paint longer.  Fiber cement siding does require some maintenance and may need to be painted every 4-5 years.  Known as a green alternative to traditional vinyl siding, fiber cement siding is often made of recycled materials.  Fiber cement siding also carries warranties of 50 years or longer.  Among the many enticing qualities that fiber cement siding offers is it’s imperviousness to rain, cold, salt and snow thus making it ideal for your Ocean City summer home or your western Maryland retreat.

Another interesting siding option available today is insulated siding.  Insulated siding is essentially vinyl siding with rigid foam insulation that is laminated or permanently attached to the inside of the panel.  This type of siding not only keeps the cold out, but also reduces energy loss through framing or other building materials.  Insulated siding is described by builders as a “green building” material.  By reducing energy consumption insulated siding can reduce air pollution.  This product also boasts an average lifespan of 50+ years.  Insulated siding is ideal for the harsh weather conditions that exist throughout the state.

A gorgeous alternative to traditional siding options is cedar siding.  Cedar siding is commonly cut from the Western Red Cedar.  Cedar siding shingles are durable and if maintained properly can carry warranties of up to 25 years.  These shingles do however require a bit of maintenance.  Cedar must be sealed and stained every few years and it is recommended that you power wash your cedar siding to remove dust, cob webs and other dirt particles that build up over time.  Cedar is known to hold in the heat during the winter while keeping the heat out during the summer.  The most common enemy of cedar siding is excessive moisture.  Cedar may not be the best option for the ocean air but may be perfect for your central Maryland farm or a home in the more mountainous regions of the western part of the state.

Siding is your home’s skin; it adds stability to the frame and protects it from the elements.   Siding helps prevent moisture penetration and the growth of biological contaminants such as mold, dust mites and bacteria.  Understanding all of your options before you make a selection is a small investment toward adding value to the home while also preserving it for years to come.  A carefully chosen siding, appropriate for your climate and the amount of care you are willing to devote to its maintenance, will not only give your house a new look, but protect your family’s health and safety.

Siding MD — Maryland possesses a great variety of topography and offers homes in a vast range of sizes and styles.  Whether your home is located on the sandy dunes of the eastern shore, the piney mountains of western Maryland or the city suburbs of Washington, DC or Baltimore, S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows has everything you need to make an educated choice in choosing your home’s new siding.  Please visit https://skroofing.com and check out all of the different siding options.  Refer to the siding FAQ’s page where many of your siding questions will be answered.

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5 Summer Renovations that Add Value to Your Home

Looking to add value to your home this summer?  How about dressing up its curb appeal?  Maybe you are just looking to give your house that rejuvenation that’s so long overdue.  A home is the single largest investment most consumers make.  Improving your home’s appearance or upgrading some of its features is a tried and true way of adding to its value.   And when it comes to making changes that make a difference on your home, S&K Roofing Siding and Windows is the Maryland home improvement expert ready to help. S&K has come up with 5 summer renovation projects that can completely change the look and feel of your home while also adding to its value.

1. First Impressions
‘Curb appeal’ is the amount of visual interest a home draws at first glance.  A well-manicured, tastefully landscaped lawn will create a welcome first impression for visitors.  One of the easiest ways to create curb appeal is to tame excessive greenery around the outside of the house.  Simply mowing the lawn, weeding, trimming trees and shaping other foliage can go a long way towards giving the desired look.  Always make sure that no trees threaten the integrity of the home and remove dead branches.  Next, planting a variety of seasonal flowers can create visual interest through their contribution of color to the landscape.  Make sure to choose flowers that fit the style of the home, the climate and the soil they are being planted in.  Finally, adding pathway and garden lighting can give your home an elegant look at night.

Focusing on entryways and patio doors can also add to a home’s value.  The front door makes a strong impression on visitors and potential home buyers.  There are many maintenance free style doors that include attractive options such as glass inlays.  These doors offer a variety of colors and can simulate the look of wood.  S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows carries a wide variety of entry way doors from Therma-Tru, ProVia and Andersen.  In addition to providing aesthetic appeal to your home, a high quality door also provides your home and family protection.  If you are not looking to replace your current door, simply polishing knobs and door knockers and replacing damaged or tarnished hardware can spruce up the look of older doors.

2. Inside Out Appeal
Patio doors are likely the most used doors in your home. Patio doors are not only functional, but offer an opportunity to improve the ‘inside out’ appeal of your home. A patio door is much like a large window allowing added views to the outside and additional light to your living space.  Replacing old patio doors with high-quality new doors can offer long lasting quality, security, energy efficiency and style.  Adding French style doors, for example, can provide a luxurious look and feel.  Manufacturers today such as ProVia and Andersen offer a wide variety of patio door styles that will not only add value, but greatly improve the aesthetics inside and outside of your home.

3. Energy Efficiency
The third home renovation project you may want to tackle this summer is replacing your old windows with new energy efficient windows.  Windows that are drafty, in need of paint or just plain outdated can take away from the overall aesthetics of a house, and drain your wallet.  While window replacement may prove to be a daunting task at first, making smart decisions on your replacement windows will not only add to a home’s value it will decrease energy cost and consumption.

Window manufacturers such as B.F. Rich, Viwinco, Pella and Andersen all offer a wide array of quality replacement windows.  When choosing your new replacement windows make sure to be an educated consumer.  S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows suggest that you choose windows with premium grade insulated vinyl frames, vinyl sashes, multiple panes and low-e coated glass.  Advancements in window technology over the past decade make these replacement windows the best choice for overall durability and energy efficiency.

4. Protect and Beautify
Nothing speaks more to a home’s quality then a solid roof.  Homes with dirty or unkempt roofs are not only an eyesore but could potentially cause major damage to the structure of a house.  Common signs that a roof may need repair or replacement are leaks, cracked, warped or missing shingles, loose seams or deteriorating flashing.  Outside, look for excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts.  Inside look for peeling paint, cracks in the wall, discolored paint or water spots and peeling wallpaper.

Roofing systems have drastically changed over the years and new products on the market can last up to 50 years.  Roof shingle styles have greatly improved as well with the addition of composite roofing that mimics slate and cedar, and architectural asphalt shingle roofing that provides attractive dimensionality. S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows carries roofing products from manufacturers such as CertainTeed, DaVinci Roofscapes, TAMKO and GAF who offer a variety of roofing options that will no doubt add to a home’s visual appeal and value.

While replacing a roof may cause a bit of sticker shock, letting it deteriorate will prove to be even more costly. If your roof is showing signs of age, have it looked at by a professional. A good contractor will tell you how much more life it has. And when you are in need – or simply ready – for a new roof, have fun shopping the many options that will not only protect your home, but give it added beauty as well.

5. Outdoor Living Offers Resort Appeal
Finally, when looking for value-added summer renovation projects, nothing beats composite and cellular PVC decking.  Composite decks add to a home’s living space and also boost its value.  Replacing an old deck with a new composite deck can create a resort –like setting especially when surrounded by gardens or possibly even a water feature.  Add features such as gazebos, built-in seating areas, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchen islands and grills to your composite deck and you have one appealing space!

Composite and cellular PVC decking offers many features that just can’t be matched by traditional wood decking.  These maintenance-free decks never need staining or sanding, and require little upkeep other than cleaning. Add a rainbow of color choices and the possibilities are endless.  S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows carries the finest quality cellular PVC and composite decking and railing products in Maryland from manufacturers like CertainTeed, Azek and TREX, just to name a few.

Summer is a great time for renovation projects.  Whether you are looking to sell your current home or simply trying to add value, these 5 renovations could make the difference.  S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows would like to help with your summer renovation plans.  Located at www.SKRoofing.com our web site will give you all of the information you need regarding your upcoming project. Good luck!

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