Category Archives: Do It Yourself

How to Get Insurance to Pay for Your Roof Replacement in 2020

Many homeowners who have been through the nightmare of having to deal with the roof damage and trying to get their claim approved by the insurance company will agree: sometimes, it can be very difficult to get a claim paid.

So, how do you get your insurance company to pay for a roof replacement? The answer involves a combination of information, preparation, documentation and hiring a professional roofer to work on your behalf.

Understand Your Insurance Coverage

Knowledge is power. Don’t let your insurance company tell you what’s covered and what isn’t.

Most of us don’t read the fine print of the policy until something goes wrong. Now is the time to do that. If you don’t have a copy of the policy, a common problem, request one from your agent. A paper copy or electronic file should be made available promptly.

In most states, there are two types of coverage: Repair coverage and replacement coverage.

Replacement policies are more common, though they do cost more. Replacement coverage provides for returning the roof to a brand new condition when an event that is covered by the insurance policy takes place.

Repair coverage usually takes into consideration depreciation of the roof. This means you will get a percentage of the replacement cost based on the roof’s material and age. It could be as low as 15% for a roof near the end of its service life.

Read your policy carefully. If the language is confusing, ask questions.

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2020 Vinyl Siding Cost vs. Fiber Cement Vs. LP SmartSide Siding

You have just spotted the first telltale signs of peeling paint from your house’s wood siding. It won’t be long now until the dreaded house painting becomes a must-do. Unless, 2020 is the year you finally re-skin the house in vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding – actually polyvinyl chloride plastic resin that is heated and extruded into sheets – has only been around for about 50 years and was developed as a cheaper alternative to metal siding back in the 1950s.

Vinyl’s reputation for “cheap” was honestly earned as plasticized siding was susceptible to cracking and sagging. Colors were limited and those colors faded. Even well-cared for vinyl siding looked like… well… vinyl siding.

But in recent years, the two most important components of vinyl siding – the quality of materials and the expertise of installation — have made giant leaps forward.

Today about one-third of new American homes are built with maintenance-free (almost) vinyl installed as cladding.

Vinyl has been rated in various surveys to last anywhere from 60 to 100 years so this will likely be the last investment you make in your house’s siding.


What to Expect in Terms of Costs?

So how much will it cost to cast those paint brushes aside and put new vinyl siding on your house?

The short answer is anywhere from $6.50 to $12.50 per square foot installed, or around $650 to $1,250 per square (100 square feet) installed, on average. This can translate to a total cost of $13,000 to $25,000 for an average two-story house or 2,000 square feet of new vinyl siding installed.

vinyl siding on a cape style home Vinyl Siding on a Cape Cod style home installed by Siding & Windows Group

In a remodeling contractor survey done by Hanley Wood, the mid-range vinyl siding cost for a typical home (1,250 sq. ft. of siding installed) in the US was about $14,300 according to the Hanley Wood Remodeling Costs report for 2020.

The survey also reports an average cost-to-value return (average percentage of cost recouped at the time of resale) of about 75% for a new vinyl siding job.

That being said, your total cost for a new vinyl siding job will depend on a couple of factors; primarily the grade of materials (low-end, mid-range, or high-end), the quality of installation, and of course your home’s geographic location, accessibility, level of difficulty, etc. Let’s explore this further:


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Gutter Guard Installation Cost 2020 – Are Leaf Guards Worth It?

Gutter guards (aka leaf covers for gutters) are an attractive idea to homeowners whose homes are surrounded by large trees. Plenty of marketing dollars go into promoting gutter guards, but are they really worth the money?

In this guide, we cover the cost to install gutter leaf guards, their pros and cons, and alternative approaches — to help you decide whether or not gutter guards make sense for your home.

Right off the bat: Gutter guards will not completely eliminate the need for gutter cleaning. That said, to have new gutter guards professionally installed, it will cost you between $7.50 and $12.50 per linear foot installed.

You should know a couple of realities from the start, though: Gutter covers WILL reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning, but they WON’T completely eliminate it.

Depending on how many trees are in your landscape or backyard surrounding your property, expect to clean your gutters about one-third to one-half as often as you did before.

It’s impossible to keep fine tree debris out of the gutters. The debris will build up over time. Seeds might sprout, and you’ll have significant clog issues if you don’t clean the gutters.

Did you know? When your gutters eventually need to be cleaned, the job will be more difficult and time-consuming because you’ll have to clean the gutter guards and the gutters.

Depending on the type of guards you install, removing them before cleaning the gutters might be a necessary extra step in the process.

Three Gutter Guard Installation Options

You’ve got three options for gutter guard installation:

DIY installation: You buy the product at your local Wall Mart, Lowe’s, or Home Depot and install it yourself ($-$$)

Pro installation of the product you buy or select: You hire a handyman service or gutter guard company to install the product of your choice ($$-$$$)

Pro installation of a proprietary product: You hire a company to install its own brand of gutter guards ($$$-$$$$)

How Much Do Gutter Guards Cost?

The features of the gutter cover types are listed below. First, here’s what you can expect to pay based on the three options for gutter guard installation we just listed. All costs are in linear feet:

Material Costs:

  • Plastic screen gutter guard: $.20-$.40 (20-40 cents)
  • Aluminum perforated gutter covers: $.50-$1.25
  • Steel screen gutter guard: $1.50-$3.00
  • Foam gutter guard: $2.00-$3.25
  • Micro-mesh steel gutter guard: $2.25-$4.00
  • Brush gutter guard: $3.15-$4.25
  • Solid-surface gutter guard (helmets): $3.50-$6.25

Professional installation cost when you purchase the materials: $2.25 to $4.75 per linear foot.

Full-service professional installation — materials supplied and installed by a gutter guard company: $7.50 to $12.50 per linear foot.

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