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(BPT) - Owning a home means giving constant attention to the building products that go into protecting the structure of your house. While we'd like to believe items like our roof, siding and windows will last forever, that's not the case.
Mark Clement, co-host of the national home improvement radio show MyFixitUpLife, offers a variety of tips for knowing when it's time to replace products on your home.
"The first thing homeowners need to understand is that every element of a home's exterior, from the top of the roof down to the front entry door, will eventually need to be replaced," says Clement. "The key is to know when the time is right to invest in new products. This means an ongoing evaluation of your home's current products, researching new product options and contacting professionals for support."
Clement points out that replacing older products with newer, more energy efficient and longer-lasting products is a sound investment for homeowners. "We have a 100-year-old home and just replaced the original decaying wood door with a Therma-Tru fiberglass door and trimmed it out with long-lasting PVC millwork from Fypon," says Clement. "We also replaced older windows with ENERGY STAR qualified vinyl windows from Simonton Windows and added a new polymer slate roof from DaVinci Roofscapes. These are all man-made products that add more life to our house. Plus, we're saving more on our daily energy bills because of the incredible features of these products.
"Another important aspect to consider when it does become time to replace key products on the home's exterior is to look at upgrading and taking advantage of newer, more aesthetically pleasing products that are on the market. That's what we did with the high-performance, low-maintenance products we selected. Our product choices not only make our home more livable right now, but also more add value to the home and make it more 'sellable' when it comes time for us to put the house on the market."
Tips for evaluating your roof
1. Using either a ladder or binoculars from across the street, look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that may be "flapping" in the wind.
2. Check the sides of your roof. The southern exposure weathers significantly faster than the other sides of the roof, so make sure to carefully examine this area. Also, shallower pitches weather faster than steeper pitches. So again, if your roof has a shallow pitch - like a shed dormer - make certain you can clearly see it to get a true indication of the condition of your roof.
Tips for assessing your windows
1. Evaluate the functionality of your current windows. If you have condensation between glass panes, the windows are hard to open or close, your energy bills are soaring, or if there are drafts coming in around the window units, then it's time to seriously consider replacement windows.
2. Look at the frames of your windows. If you spend too much time scraping paint and repainting wood frames, consider an investment in vinyl-framed, low-maintenance windows.
Tips for knowing when to replace a front door
1. If you can see light around your main entry door from the inside, the door is hard to close or lock, or the door itself is warped, it's time to consider a new door.
2. Think about the weather conditions your home's door faces along with your energy bills. If either run to the extreme, consider replacing your entry door with a high-performance fiberglass door (which can have up to four times more insulation than wood doors). Doors with enhanced weather stripping, corner seal pad, door bottom sweep and profiled sill provide more strength and stability in your entry door.
Tips for evaluating trim features of the home
1. Take a top-down look at your home. Most houses have wooden louvers placed high above the attic or garage space to allow ventilation in those areas. Replacing older, rotting louvers with insect-resistant and rot-resistant synthetic louvers can improve the home's appearance and functionality.
2. Wrap it up. Clement recommends that if you have unsightly porch posts you can easily transform them into showpiece parts of your home by using Column Wrap Kits. The decorative PVC or urethane pieces can generally be installed in less than 30 minutes around existing structural posts and columns to give an upgraded look to any home.
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