Windows and siding have a big impact on a home’s curb appeal. They also protect a house from weather damage and enhance its resale value.
When homeowners are thinking about upgrading their home, it’s often more cost-effective to do multiple projects at once. This way, they can save time researching contractors and avoid redoing work later on.
When installing siding, a layer of substrate goes down underneath the actual siding. This adds stability to the walls and is usually made of oriented-strand board, which is similar to plywood. This layer also acts as a weather barrier and protects the walls from moisture. If a contractor does not use a substrate, this is a red flag as it can lead to water seeping in around the window or door frames and cause rot.
A good siding installation contractor will ensure that the wall sheathing is properly installed. This is done by assessing the structure of the house. They should take measurements of the walls and look for any cracks or gaps. This will help them determine whether a sheathing is necessary and the correct thickness to be used.
Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICF) are an ideal sheathing for exterior finishes. They are a good choice for many different building types and can be used with a variety of materials, including masonry veneer siding. However, the sheathing must be installed according to standard construction practices and proper flashings must be used around windows and doors.
Many homeowners are unsure of what exactly a weather barrier is, but it’s essentially a protective layer that prevents moisture from damaging the wall sheathing and other components of your home. This moisture is a leading cause of structural damage, mold, mildew and other issues that can negatively affect your property value. A weather barrier also helps prevent air infiltration, which can lead to costly repairs for other parts of your home.
A weather barrier can be made from a variety of materials, including asphalt-treated kraft paper, asphalt-saturated organic felt or housewrap. These products all meet code requirements, but they differ in terms of performance. In order to help make comparisons between these types of materials easier, the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) recently convened a task force to create standards that will give manufacturers consistent performance criteria to judge against.
Often, window replacement and siding installation is done together to ensure the best results. This also increases the warranty offered by the contractor, as they can cover both projects under one umbrella. However, if this is not possible for you at this time, it is still a good idea to replace your windows before replacing the siding. This prevents the contractors from needing to cut into your new siding in order to install the replacement windows.
Before starting the project, you should carefully walk around your property to assess the condition of the windows and siding. You should look for signs of water damage, such as stains, powdery white streaks (known as efflorescence), cracks and dents. If you find any of these problems, your remodeling contractor may need to remove the existing windows and repair the underlying framing and moisture barrier before installing the new ones.
Another thing to note is that if you have outdoor outlets and water spouts, plastic framing (or “bezels”) must be installed around them to protect the openings. It’s important to note that this step will add to the overall cost of your remodel, but it will ensure the safety and longevity of the outlet or water spout.
While it may seem like a minor detail to some, the proper flashing is a very important part of any siding installation project. Without it or if it is done poorly, moisture will eventually get into the walls and create mold and rot. This will ruin the integrity of your home and also negate any warranty you have on the windows themselves.
In general, window flashing seals any joints or angles where different elements meet in a wall or roof. This includes chimneys, vents, skylights and of course windows. Flashing is typically made of a metal such as copper, lead, galvanized steel or stainless steel, but may be made from other materials including plastic. It is installed over the studs and sheathing to prevent water penetration, moisture leaks and ice damming around windows.
One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when installing windows is not paying enough attention to the flashing. It is often not installed properly or not at all, resulting in moisture problems and possibly even water damage to the home.
A well-installed flashing system will include a drip cap that helps guide water away from the window and into a drain or gutter. It should be designed with a height differential of 6 inches to 9 inches or higher to prevent capillary action, which is the tendency of water to make its way up into gaps and crevices in the wall.
When flashing a new window, it is best to start at the top and work your way down. This will prevent the drip edge from leaking over the frame of the window and into the house wrap and sheathing.
Another common mistake with windows is to merely slash an “X” in the house wrap and push in the window, which will lead to all sorts of problems over time. Reputable contractors will not cut corners when it comes to flashing and will follow the appropriate procedures to keep your home protected.
When flashing an existing window, it is best to remove the old flashing and replace it with a fresh coat of caulk. A good contractor will take care to ensure that the caulking is tight and does not leak, which will help protect your home from water damage and mold problems.
A home’s exterior trim is important in several ways. It finishes seams around windows and doors, helps to keep moisture out when sealed properly (along with durable siding) and creates focal points that add curb appeal. The trim also protects the foundation of a house from water damage caused by rain and snow, which can get into nooks and crannies of a structure.
Trim comes in a wide range of colors and styles, from bold to simple. The bold option allows homeowners to show off their creativity with a pop of color that stands out against their home’s existing siding. Simple trim is a more subtle option that blends in with the surrounding siding for a sleek look. It may be slightly more expensive than a bold trim but offers an aesthetic that some homeowners prefer.
For a clean look, it is recommended that homeowners use trim made with the same material as their siding. This prevents the contrast of caulking and trim that can appear disjointed. If this is not possible, the professionals at Window And Siding Installation Blog recommend using a low-maintenance trim product like LP SmartSide’s ExpertFinish prefinished wood trim. This product is treated with a patented process to ensure longevity, providing superior strength and durability.
When choosing a trim material, it is best to discuss options with your Window And Siding Installation Blog professional. The professional can help determine the best match for your home’s needs and style.
One of the biggest decisions to make when replacing windows and installing siding is what order the project should go in. It is recommended that the windows be installed first. This allows the contractors to finish the gaps in the siding with a protective layer of moisture barrier before installing the windows. It will also allow the professionals to avoid damaging the new siding when removing capping and other trim that may be damaged during this process.
It’s also a good idea to have the windows replaced before replacing fascia and gutters because it is often difficult to work around these features when they are installed. It will also eliminate the need to redo trim and soffit work after the new siding is installed, which can be costly.