Vinyl Siding – When to Use Which Style For Remodeling Your Home

When you’re ready to give your home’s exterior an extreme makeover, you know you can’t go wrong with reliable and durable vinyl siding. Siding improves the beauty of your home and protects you from the elements during severe weather. While it may appear all siding is the same, there are actually a number of varieties to consider for your home remodeling project. One particular design may not work well for your house’s structure, so it’s important to discuss with a contractor the possibilities.

Consider the look of your home – one or two stories? Split level? Do you plan to use more than one type of exterior? Depending on how you want the house to look, you’ll need to consider the style of vinyl siding to use. Here is a brief rundown of some of the more popular types of siding with suggestions for use.

Rough Split Siding – This design gives the eye the impression that your home is covered by split wooden shingles. Actually, you’re looking at vinyl panels ridged for that rugged appearance. This style is one that can complement a home with a stone exterior, perhaps siding for specific parts of the house.

Half Rounds Siding – A self-explanatory design, half rounds are just that. This isn’t necessary a style used to cover an entire home, but dormers or other sharp points toward your roof.

Dutchlap Siding – Perhaps the most commonly seen vinyl siding, Dutchlap is good to use if you plan to cover your entire house. It is durable and easy to clean, and available in many colors.

Board and Batten – Horizontal siding gives a wall a rustic, rural look. You’re likely to see this style on barns and industrial buildings.

Once you have the style of siding for your home, consult with a licensed, bonded contractor about installation and warranties. Your home will look brand new with the right quality siding.

K. Lively


Questions to Ask a Home Remodeler

Thinking of remodeling your home? It is a big decision, and one that should be researched thoroughly. Whether you seek to update the look of your kitchen, refurbish a bathroom or add on a new room to your home, it is important to research all potential contractors who bid on the job. A room addition or renovation is something you only want done one time, and it is necessary to be prepared to ask any potential worker questions about the job and what is involved.

Here are a few examples of questions one should consider asking when interviewing a home remodeling company:

1) Does my house really need an addition or remodeling? On the outset, it may appear your current home is too small to suit your needs. However, adding a whole new room may not necessary. It may be possible to turn an outside patio or carport into an annex rather than pour a new pad for a floor. Most contractors offer free estimates, so take the time to inquire about what is feasible regarding your home project.

2) Do you contract workers or keep workers on staff? It may not make a difference to some homeowners, but it is always good to know how many workers are expected to handle your project, as well as their employment status.

3) What payment plans do you offer? While many home contractors offer free estimates, payment plans can vary. Some may offer a variety of financing programs, so be sure to ask. Also, if you need a handicap accessible project, there may be special provisions involved that can work to your benefit.

Armed with the knowledge you need about your home improvement project, you will be able to make a sound decision when you hire a contractor to work on your house.

Larry Marlin 


What is Barrier-Free Remodeling?

If you have spent a good amount of time searching the Internet or the Yellow Pages for a contractor, you may have noticed a few ads proudly proclaiming the company’s ability to do “barrier free remodeling” on request. At first glance, this term might not mean anything significant, but to thousands of people seeking to improve the quality of their home life, such a contractor can be a blessing.

“Barrier Free Remodeling” refers to home improvements and renovations designed for handicap accessibility. Homeowners confined to wheelchairs or walkers, or who need assistance with home appliances will know that barrier free structures are helpful and allow them to move through a space without obstacles. Examples of barrier free remodeling may include the following:

  • Wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs
  • Handles affixed to bathroom and bedroom walls to assist in moving from bed to shower to bath and back
  • Cabinets placed at specific heights to allow for easier access by people in wheelchairs
  • Other special fixtures like raised toilet seats, shower benches, or wheelchair ramps

Finding a Barrier Free ContractorTake note that not every contractor you interview for a special project may specialize in barrier free remodeling. It is important to make sure, if you are looking to renovate your home to accommodate handicap access, that the contractor is aware of what is needed. Any such improvements made to a home must adhere to guidelines set by the American Disabilities Act, so as you interview contractors find out if they are knowledgeable about what is required. It is also a good idea to consult with other homeowners who have had similar work done to learn more about whom you should contact for your job. Take the time to research eligible contractors before making a decision, as this is definitely a job that should only be done once, and done correctly.

Kathryn Lively

Why Remodel Your Home?

The old saying holds true: be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. Those who are fortunate to own their own home have the luxury of being able to hammer a nail into a wall without consequence, or replacing carpet with wooden or marble tile, or painting a wall any color they choose.

And, like fashions, homes do tend to go in and out of style as time passes. What might have been the trend in home furnishings and appliances when you bought your home may appear passe and unattractive now. More than likely, you have considered a home makeover, but is it necessary to go to something extreme like renovation of a room or an entire house? Is it affordable? How will it benefit you in the long run?

Here are a few things to consider if you are thinking of hiring a contractor to remodel your home:

Growth Have there been new additions to the family since you bought the house? Would you rather stay put than sell and look for something bigger? If you have the property and the resources, having an addition to the house may be more affordable than starting over with a new place. Your home can grow as your family grows, yet the familiar sites and environs that attracted you to where you live remain.

Value What is the current value of your home? Were you to sell, would you get a fair price for it in today’s market? Home renovation may actually increase the value of your property, and with updated appliances and structures you may stand a better chance at attracting a willing buyer who doesn’t have to take care of renovations.

Security and Safety Sometimes, renovation is necessary from a safety standpoint. If you should become injured or ill and require care, you may still want to remain in your home. Renovations to make your home more accessible to you can improve your quality of life.

There are many reasons to consider home improvements. With affordable renovations to your house, you can improve upon the quality of your life and property.

Kathryn Lively

Is it Time to Remodel The Bathroom?

Decades ago, bathrooms were built into homes with necessity, rather than luxury, in mind. Homeowners and family came and went, staying long enough to wash up and use the facilities – consideration for space was left to other parts of the house. Nobody considered the bathroom as an equivalent to a retreat.

These days, that mindset has changed. As bath and shower fixtures become more sophisticated and people look for ways to find relaxation economically, the bathroom has transformed from a closet with a toilet to a place for privacy and stress relief. Roomy garden tubs with jet sprays are desired, and shower heads with pulsing massage options provide maximum opportunity for boosting your mood. Now you can choose a style and color scheme for your bathroom to suit your personality and desires, and slip into your built-in retreat whenever you wish.

For a complete renovation, however, you may require the assistance of a plumber, especially if the jobs calls for reworking pipes and reinstalling a commode or shower. While some cosmetic changes may be applied on your own, it’s best to contact a reputable plumbing contractor for an advanced overhaul. You don’t want to risk damage to your new bathroom before you’re able to enjoy it if the piping is done incorrectly.

Take note of what you’re looking for in a new bathroom – ceramic tile, spa-style tub, modern fixtures, then consult with professionals to glean cost. You may find you can afford to beautify a place where you wish to feel relaxed and beautiful.

Kathryn Lively

What To Look For In A Home Improvement Contractor

You love your home, the location, and the secure feeling of relaxing in a place where you feel safe. As years go by, however, you will find that your home will be in need of repair or renovation. Perhaps you are not as enamored with the current look of your bathrooms or kitchen, and wish to update fixtures, appliances, and decor. Rather than do it yourself, you look for a contractor to handle the job.

Hiring a contractor who specializes in home improvement and renovation is a smart move, yet one that requires much thought and research. You may hear stories of people being “ripped off” or dissatisfied with the end result, so how do you know the people you choose for your home project are good enough?

Here are a few tips to consider when researching potential contractors to renovate or add on to your home:

Communication: Is the contractor easy to find? Are they listed sufficiently in the Yellow Pages or other classifieds? Does the company have a website with detailed information on their services?

Estimate: Does the contractor or company offer a free estimate on the job you want done? Will the contractor itemize the estimate so you will know exactly what you are paying for?

Staff: Does the contractor have a set staff of electricians, construction workers, plumbers, and other tradesmen? Do they hire temporary workers instead?

Samples/Testimonials: Have you contacted anybody who has used their services before? Is the contractor willing or able to provide samples or references with regards to their work?

Licensing/Bonding: Is the contractor fully licensed by the state? Are all employees properly insured and bonded?

Affiliations: Is the contractor affiliated with any professional organizations related to their work?

Before you decide to spend money on a lavish remodeling job, take the time to investigate the people coming into your home to renovate. The research you do now may save you many headaches in the future.

Larry Marlin