Built Stronger to Last Longer
Posted: 13 Feb 2011 11:00 PM PST
Building product manufacturers have come a long way over the past several decades when it comes to the creation of products for the home. Decades ago wood roofing shingles or wood millwork had a relatively short lifespan due to environmental conditions the products faced. In today's marketplace, homeowners can easily locate building products that have lifetime warranties and are constructed to withstand almost anything Mother Nature throws at them.
"Synthetic products are a huge advancement for the building industry," says Mark Clement, contractor and host of MyFixItUpLife radio show. "In particular, products like DaVinci Roofscapes slate and shake roofing tiles are made of polymer and have a 50-year warranty. And, fiberglass doors, urethane millwork and vinyl windows are all great examples of products constructed for low-maintenance ease combined with very impressive product warranties --- plus they look great!"
If you're constructing a new home, start by paying special attention to the basement. By requesting precast wall panels you can add valuable living space to your home. Superior Walls (www.superiorwalls.com) offers Xi insulated concrete wall systems that are custom created for homeowners and installed in less than 24 hours by certified crews. The energy-efficient walls, which received the first National Association of Home Builders Green Approved rating for foundation systems in the country, help lower energy costs for homeowners.
The Xi wall panels feature steel reinforced concrete and 2-1/2-inches of insulation to create a permanent barrier against sidewall water penetration. The sturdy panels are designed and constructed in a factory-controlled setting using steel rebar inside the studs and beams for strength. Built to last, Superior Walls Xi foundations systems are backed by a 15-year warranty.
Moving up the house, vinyl windows are crafted for maximum energy efficiency and low maintenance. One manufacturer, Simonton Windows (www.simonton.com) offers a limited lifetime warranty for their durable products. Why vinyl? Because vinyl windows and doors offer excellent thermal performance for year-round comfort and help lower utility bills. Vinyl is an effective insulator, and combined with a strong glass package, provides optimum energy efficiency.
"The energy-efficient features of the Simonton products are very impressive, which is why I selected them for my own home," says Clement. "I've found that a glass package that includes Low E glass, an Argon gas fill and Simonton's Intercept spacer system really outperform other windows I've seen."
Select a fiberglass entryway system married with urethane millwork and you've chosen more building products meant to last. Therma-Tru Doors (www.therma-tru.com) offers a wide variety of reliable, energy-efficient fiberglass door systems. Each door is constructed of durable fiberglass with a polyurethane foam core, can be ordered ENERGY STAR qualified and provides five times the insulation of a wood door. Best of all, fiberglass doors will not rot, split or crack, plus they will not rust, dent or ding.
Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, Therma-Tru doors create the tightest seal possible, creating an energy-efficient envelope that stabilizes interior temperatures and helps decrease the home's energy costs.
When using decorative Fypon (www.fypon.com) trim around a fiberglass entry door, you create a winning combination. The crisp, architecturally-correct details on Fypon's urethane products are crafted from tough, weather-proof, high-performance materials. Pilasters, crossheads and door pediments are all impervious to decay, insect infestation and water damage. Other exterior urethane pieces, such as column wraps, louvers and brackets are also crafted for long-lasting beauty and low maintenance. Also appropriate for interior application, the urethane pieces are backed by a limited lifetime warranty and are ideal for high humidity areas of the home such as the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
While all areas of a home's exterior can take a beating from severe weather and harmful ultraviolet rays, the roof is easily the building product that is most subjected to the elements. To make sure your roof overhead can protect your family and home, investigate the benefits of polymer roofing tiles.
"The DaVinci slate roofing tiles on my home resist fire, impact, wind and other weather conditions," says Clement. "These tiles have their colors blended completely throughout each piece and will resist fading over time because of the UV protection built into each tile.
"Products like polymer roofing tiles, which are a good environmental choice and are guaranteed to last for 50 years, are a smart choice for a home. All of these products are a sound investment for a new home and when remodeling an older, cherished home. Doing your research up front to find the best products in the marketplace will result in many savings --- on long-term maintenance, utility costs and repair or premature product replacement."
Enticing Curb Appeal Products for 2011
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 11:00 PM PST
Ready to spruce up your home's exterior this year? Several recently-introduced products are designed to add curb appeal to your house while making maintenance hassles disappear.
Start by looking at the top of your home. If your roof appears old and dingy, or if it's leaking or wearing thin, then it's time to research options for a roof replacement. Start by considering synthetic slate or shake tiles by DaVinci Roofscapes (www.davinciroofscapes.com). The company offers 49 roof colors along with 28 standard color blends. Recently-hired national color expert Kate Smith is available to assist homeowners in deciding what color roof to install on homes.
"Selecting roofing colors that complement the rest of the home's exterior can be challenging for some people," says Smith, CMG and owner of Sensational Color. "A DaVinci polymer roof has a 50-year warranty. That's a long-term color investment. That's why we've developed an on-line color design program to offer support, tips and one-on-one color counseling to help homeowners maximize their roofing investment by selecting a color they can live with for many years.
"Homeowners shouldn't be afraid of color. Contrasting colors, complementary colors and color accents on a home, when done right, can all add tremendously to the curb appeal of a house."
Once you've selected a roofing color --- whether it's a Harbor Gray blend or solid dark clay - it's time to move down the exterior of the home to the windows. The Decorum collection by Simonton Windows (www.simonton.com) provides a variety of custom exterior color options for durable vinyl replacement windows to complement the outside colors on a home.
Available in Brick, Chocolate, Bronze, Cream, Driftwood, Pine and Tan, the eye-catching colors can be married with impressive glass packages to create energy-efficient units. And, there are interior frame options of authentic Antique Cherry, Maple and Contemporary woodgrains. Color-matched sculptured grids and hardware complete the new window offering. Just imagine a brick red low-maintenance vinyl window frame set against the pure white clapboard siding on a Federal-style home in New England. With this picture in mind, you can immediately understand the growing trend of selecting colorful window exteriors to enhance the home.
That imaginary home wouldn't be the same without a red front door with crisp white trim pieces surrounding it to create a stunning entryway. Therma-Tru (www.thermatru.com) and Fypon (www.fypon.com) have teamed up to create entryway solutions for every homeowner.
The introduction of Therma-Tru's new Classic Craft Canvas Collection entry door series means homeowners can select an energy-efficient front door, paint it red and gain the low-maintenance benefits of fiberglass. The smooth, paintable surface of the door, which features wide center panels and rich embossment details that rival high-end custom wood doors, provides security and durability in the home.
Try flanking the door with a set of easy-to-install decorative Fypon urethane pilasters. Next top off the door with a crosshead and pediment, and you have an eye-catching entryway. Resistant to moisture, insects, rot and humidity, both the urethane trim and entry door are the ideal low-maintenance solution to adding curb appeal to the home.
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