Like looking into a mirror, sometimes you see your house in which you raised your children and where so many family memories were made as not being its old self anymore. Its age is showing and, you may not even be aware of it, but it isn’t performing to its potential.
You can either resign yourself to the fact that things get old, or, choose to revitalize your home which will not only give it fresh curb appeal, but provide benefits that extend well beyond aesthetics of an exterior home remodel. This is made possible with today’s building materials and products that look great, perform better than its predecessors and are made to be eco-friendly.
Remodeling Your St. Louis Home’s Exterior: No More Listening To The Wind Whistle
Older homes tend to be drafty and even newer production type houses were built with cost, not efficiency in mind. Today’s building materials and processes help provide the tight seal that keeps the elements where they belong : outside.
It starts with the moisture barrier; a plastic blanket, if you will, that is wrapped between the house and the siding. It continues with smart siding and hardie-boards –made of a fiber and cement composite – that has the look of wood but is far more durable than vinyl and more attractive than aluminum. Not only that, but according to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost vs. Value Report,” 68 percent of the total cost of a roof replacement is recouped should the homeowner sell (see http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2016/).
Great advances in roofing materials have also been achieved. Today’s architectural-style shingles typically come with 30-year warranties that far out-live the traditional asphalt variety that was first introduced in the 1890s. New shingles are composites of fiberglass and asphalt that are more moisture and heat resistant, higher in fire safety ratings and thinner.
Raise a Glass To Window Advancements
Probably no product has been the subject of tweaks and radical changes – and rightfully so – than in windows. When a house is too cold in the winter and warm in the summer the chances are that the windows are to blame.
From the float glass of the 1950s, the vinyl windows of the 1960s, the tilt-in replacements of the 1970s, to the low-e and gas-filled windows of the 1980s we have reached the era of dynamic glass which can be electronically or manually tinted to block heat gain while retaining transparency.
All of these products together create a very tight envelope around the inside of the house which is great for electric and heating bills, but could have a suffocating effect, too. Not to worries, advances in HVAC systems answer that.
Split system economizers are added onto an existing HVAC system and provide a steady flow of fresh air without comprising temperatures inside. It is like having your windows open all year round (without the pollens, dander and noise, of course).
One of the least appreciated areas of a home’s exterior is the drainage system. If it doing its job properly it keeps your basement dry and prevents damage to the home’s foundation without care for getting any credit. Should it fail, however, it becomes public enemy number one.
It is highly recommended that six inch gutters replace the standard four inch gutters for an exterior home remodel. It only makes sense that with more moisture repellent roofing comes with increased runoffs. The decision as to whether or not to install gutter guards, however, is made on a case-by-case basis. If there aren’t a lot of trees surrounding home then guards are unnecessary.
The final component of the drainage system is the landscaping around the house itself. What was once functional years ago may have settled. Re-contouring it to move water away from the house is essential.
The Green Scene
A final word on eco-friendly materials. They reduce a home’s energy consumption just be the way they perform but most are also manufactured with minimizing the impact on the environment in mind. Many are mandated by ever more stringent energy efficiency laws. Others are made that way solely due to the social consciousness of the maker. Either way, going green costs you more green to the tune of 20-30 percent over traditional materials when doing an exterior home remodel in St. Louis.
To wrap it up, if your home needs an exterior facelift there is no better time than the present. The materials of today will noticeably outperform those of the past. They might cost a little more upfront but save you money over the long haul.
Ron is the resident numbers cruncher, helping clients meet their budget and get the remodel they’ve dreamed of. He considers himself the “man behind the curtain” who’s always looking out for the best interests of the client.