What’s new in home exteriors

Nov 7, 2011:

Dryvit is a brand of synthetic stucco which is a type of EFIS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System).  All three are the same thing.  The process involves applying Styrofoam panels or formed moldings, quoins, etc. and covering the foam with a synthetic coating that is colored.  The coating forms a crust which gives the finish.  Drawbacks are that when this product first hit the market 25 years ago and up to about 10 years ago, it was installed directly over the sheathing.  Water can infiltrate in corners, at caulk joints, etc. and has no place to go.  The result is rotting wood behind the waterproof material.  There have been class action lawsuits against the manufacturers and installation companies over the years and currently the materials can be successfully installed using the proper drainage boards behind the foam.  Unfortunately there is such a stigma attached to the materials that people are reluctant to buy a “dryvit” house and some banks will not offer mortgages.

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Oct 31, 2011:

In keeping with our windows theme from last week, did you know that the US EPA estimates that in our area of the country, you could save over $4500 every year by replacing your single pane windows with double or triple pane glass?  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that those windows will pay for themselves in just a few short years, so why not have this year be the year that you won’t have to bundle up when you’re inside?

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Oct 22, 2011:

Windows have come a long way from the drafty single-paned variety used years ago.  One of the innovations in recent years is the inclusion of window treatments inside the window itself.  How this works is that there are 2 or 3 panes of glass, and blinds are hung in between 2 of them.  The glass keeps the blinds or pleated shades away from dust, dirt and damage, you get the benefit of energy efficiency and the privacy, control and convenience of blinds.    These are ideal for families with pets or small children.  Another convenient feature is a remote control for these window treatments, which is particularly useful for hard-to-reach windows.

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Oct 15, 2011:

There have been significant innovations and improvements in the core products of exterior home remodeling with which many people are not yet familiar.  Siding options now go much farther than vinyl and cedar.  Possibilities include composite materials like fiber cement.  Fiber cement siding is not only low maintenance, but has a much more natural look than vinyl.

If you like the appearance and character of wood with a variety of color options, minus the hassles created by insects and woodpeckers and the general maintenance that wood often needs, fiber cement may be the way to go.  Below is an example of James Hardie fiber cement siding, and an example of an Elevations makeover using this product.

                      

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