Monthly Archives: April 2020

Vinyl vs. Fiber Cement Siding

Exterior siding (also called cladding) is the outermost surface of your home. The type of siding on your house impacts both your curb appeal and maintenance requirements. The two types of siding material we recommend to our North Carolina homeowners are vinyl and fiber cement. We’ll explain the pros and cons of each material and help you choose the best option for your new home and family’s needs.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is a tough, plastic material that is more affordable and easier to maintain than fiber cement. It is one of the most commonly used siding materials and is weather resistant. If you prioritize ease of maintenance, vinyl would be a wise option.

Pros

  • Easier to replace/repair
  • More weather resistant
  • More affordable
  • Easy to maintain – just requires occasional washing
  • Fire-resistant
  • Comes in various profiles for more design options

Cons

  • Not as many color options
  • Cannot be painted so if sections fade, they will need to be replaced
  • Not as high-end of a look

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement is a mixture of sand, cement, and cellulose. It provides more design options and is a higher-end product than vinyl. If you’re looking to improve your curb appeal, fiber cement is the better option for you.

Pros

  • More color customization options
  • A variety of texture options are available (including wood grain)
  • Higher-end look
  • Fire-resistant

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Can absorb moisture, so it’s more weather intolerant
  • Higher maintenance – requires painting every few years

Whether you’re interested in low maintenance or a luxury look, both vinyl and fiber cement are great exterior siding options for your new home. Whichever you decide is right for you and your family, we look forward to working with you to build a house you can truly call home.

Check our blog for access to more homeowner resources.

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How Season Changes Affect Your New Home

Image: Wayfair

There is a big learning curve if you’re a first-time homebuyer. We’re here to help you learn the basics of home maintenance so that you can spend less time stressing about how to care for your home and more time doing the things you love in your new space.  One of the first things we tell our North Carolina homebuyers is that seasons have a significant impact on your house. Here we explain how and why that happens.

Expansion and Contraction

Every home deals with the unfortunate phenomenon of expansion and contraction. Changes in temperature cause the materials used to build homes to expand in warmer weather and contract in colder weather. This is true of concrete, siding, wood, etc.

Humidity  

Humidity also causes home maintenance issues. For example, fluctuations in humid air causes wood to swell when humidity is high and shrink when humidity is low. This can affect your doors, baseboards, wood floors, handrails, mantles, and cabinets.

Seasonal Décor

This may be surprising, but seasonal home décor can actually do some damage to your house. For example, large, heavy wreaths can cause your doors to come out of alignment. Hanging up your holiday lights can also damage gutters or shingles (and eventually lead to roof leaks).

Common Problems

These are some common problems homeowners face due to season changes:

  • Slight cracks around windows
  • Drywall nail pops
    • A nail pop is slight bump in a wall where the nail has worked itself to the surface
  • Driveway cracks
  • Slight drywall cracking where boards or corners meet
  • Sticking doors

What You Can do

It’s important to keep in mind that minor shrinkage and swelling is unavoidable. A normal amount of wear and tear on a home should be expected throughout the year and especially as seasons change. Even so, there are a few preventative measures you can take.

  • Try to keep the house at an even temperature all year
  • Manage humidity by using your exhaust fans and monitoring indoor relative humidity with a hygrometer
  • Clean and seal/reseal your driveway every few years
  • In the winter months use sand on your driveway for traction rather than salt or chemicals
  • Avoid placing overhead wreath hangers on your doors, use command hooks instead – over the door hangers, wreaths, and other door decor can cause doors to come out of alignment and not shut properly
  • Try using light clips to avoid puncturing or lifting roof shingles while placing holiday lights

We suggest consulting with a licensed and experienced contractor for any issues as they arise. If you’d like more home maintenance tips, check out our blog.