Category Archives: Exterior Remodeling Costs

The Ultimate Guide to Getting a New Roof in 2017-2018 – Roofing Buying Guide

A new roof is a costly investment with practical and aesthetic implications – the roof is your home’s most important protection against rain and snow, and it can significantly impact the appeal of your home in the eyes of potential buyers.

GAF Timberline HD Shingles Roof

This guide will help you make an informed decision when it comes to reroofing (adding a new layer of roofing to the existing roof) or removing and replacing the old roof.

Seven Signs You Need a New Roof

Here are the indicators that your roof should be re-shingled or replaced to maintain your home’s defense against the elements:

  • Shingles are visibly worn: Are so many of the colored granules gone that your roof looks like it has bald spots? While the shingles might still be keeping moisture out, a lack of reflective granules allows excess heat into your home, raising the temperature inside your house and increasing your air conditioning costs.  Furthermore, once exposed, the underlying asphalt will soon dry out and crack, and then your roof will be susceptible to rain.
  • Shingles are cupped and curled:

    Curled-up old shingles

    This issue looks bad, but more importantly, it means wind-driven moisture can easily get under the shingles and into your roof deck where it might cause leaks and rot.

  • Shingles are cracked: The cracked areas aren’t keeping moisture off the deck, and the risk of leaks goes way up.

    Cracks or thermal splitting in asphalt shingles

    via Structure Tech

  • Your neighbors are getting new roofs: This is more than “keeping up with the Joneses.” When homes built about the same time as yours are being re-roofed, your roof is probably about due.
  • You’ve experienced multiple leaks: Your roof is an entire structure, not just the shingles. Deck paper, flashing, moisture barrier in valleys, starter shingles, vent stack boots and other components are part of an entire roofing system. As the roof ages and several of its components or locations fail, the roof should be replaced.
  • The roof has experienced major damage:

    hail damaged shingles

    via TJR Construction

    If more than about 35% of your roof is going to need repair due to wind or hail, especially if it’s already 12+ years old, the cost-effective decision might be to replace it all. Repair is costlier per square foot because it is more time-consuming to integrate new shingles into a roof “here and there” than to install them over the entire roof. Plus, a mix of old shingles and new just won’t look very good.

  • Your roof looks bad: Cosmetics do matter to homeowners and potential buyers. If your roof is worn, has algae staining that won’t clean up or has patches of moss on it, boosting its appearance with a new layer of shingles will make a very nice difference.

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If none of these reasons to get a new roof apply, then you’re probably done here! If you’re not sure about your roof’s condition, hiring a home inspector or roofing contractor to inspect it can be a preventative measure before a roof failure and the extensive and expensive damage it can cause.

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GAF vs. CertainTeed Roofing Shingles: Cost, ROI – Definitive Guide for Homeowners

GAF and CertainTeed combine for a huge piece of the roofing shingle market. This comparison hits all the important factors in deciding – Quality, cost, styles, pros and cons of each option, warranties and more. Our guide also addresses the return on investment and explains when either GAF or CertainTeed shingles are a better choice for a homeowner.

Let’s put the comparison into perspective right from the start:

CertainTeed, by every measure, is the premier manufacturer of exterior building materials and a winner of the Professional Remodelers Best in Class award.

CertainTeed Landmark series Shingles Roof in Weathered Wood

While most of its lines are upmarket, CertainTeed has begun making less expensive lines like the Landmark Series to compete with value-priced asphalt shingle brands.

GAF, the largest manufacturer of residential roofing materials, makes mostly good-quality shingles with a few lines like Camelot that are exceptional.

GAF Premium Asphalt Shingles: Camelot Williamsburg Slate

CertainTeed didn’t appear worried about cost a decade ago, and it still dominates the “best” category of roofing shingles, though competition is growing.

Most GAF shingles are cost-conscious products that compete with Owens-Corning, IKO, Tamko, Malarkey and similar brands for “basic and better” ranges — niches it ranks first in.

  • CertainTeed: Mainly high-end, high-cost products with some affordable lines.
  • GAF: Mainly affordable shingle lines with some high-end products.

Here are some important qualitative and quantitative details to consider within the larger scope of CertainTeed vs. GAF shingles debate:

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LP SmartSide Siding vs. Fiber Cement HardiePlank Siding: Cost, Pros and Cons, ROI 2017-2018

The top two engineered lap siding brands are the defending champion HardiePlank fiber cement and the up-and-coming contender LP SmartSide engineered wood siding. This guide covers the HardiePlank vs. LP SmartSide comparison from all angles that matter to a homeowner – Looks, durability, cost of materials and installation, and more. We’ll uncover the differences between the two and explain which one fits your project requirements better.

LP SmartSide Siding

via Upside to SmartSide

Note: This guide assumes a basic knowledge of fiber cement siding. If you’d like to back up a step, our extensive list of consumer guides on this material can be found by searching for Fiber Cement.

Let’s get to the subject at hand: HardiePlank vs. LP SmartSide siding:

Material Composition

Both materials are engineered rather than naturally occurring.

HardiePlank Construction: The James Hardie company blends cement, fine sand, wood fibers and water to form HardiePlank siding. The cement gives it strength and impact resistance, while the fibers hold the cement together to prevent cracking. The materials are naturally resistant to rot and insects.

LP SmartSide Construction: LP Building Products makes SmartSide siding from wood strands that have been coated with wax for moisture resistance and bonded with resin and other binders.

Zinc-borate SmartGuard solution is added to protect against rot and insect infestation. The coated fibers are compressed for hardness and durability. Planks are finished with a resin-saturated overlay.

Appearance Comparison

These are very attractive siding products made in a range of options.

HardiePlank appearance: There are four series of HardiePlank siding. They are Cedarmill plain and beaded and Smooth plain and beaded. The cedar-style siding has an open-grain finish. Each of the series is available in more than 15 colors, and all are applied with Hardie’s baked-on ColorPlus technology. HardieTrim boards are often used to complete the installation.

via James Hardie

LP SmartSide appearance: This siding if manufactured in six different styles. They are Cedar Texture lap, Cedar Texture shakes, 12” bold double-lap and triple-lap profiles, 16” double/triple/quad profiles, Colonial beaded and Smooth.

LP SmartSide Siding on a house in winter settings

LP has a unique program of selling unfinished siding to qualified prefinishers that put a finish coat on the material for retail sale. As a result, LP SmartSide lap siding is available in dozens of colors. Some of the LP Preferred prefinishers are Diamond Kote, Coastal Coatings, PSPI and Northwest Factory Finishes. Primed LP SmartSide is available at a lower cost and is ready for you to paint.

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