Thursday, October 4, 2012

Extending Exteriors-getting the best out of the outside finishes on your home

Extending Exteriors

A home's exterior finish is literally its face to the world. The combination of materials, colors, and textures delivers a first and lasting impression and evokes pride and value. The right exterior finishes for a given climate and their proper installation also reduce ongoing maintenance chores and replacement or repair costs.

Updating and replacing those finishes on an existing home can also significantly boost its resale value.
In our experience, there are several factors that help ensure the long-term quality and value of exterior finishes, namely:

Top-Quality Materials. There's no substitute for the best-made roofing, siding, and trim materials. As a professional remodeling contractor, we work to find the best-quality exterior materials available within budget. Climate conditions and the style of the house can also dictate materials selections. Where wood might be a good choice for a moderate climate, it's not the best choice in extended extreme weather conditions. A composition shingle may be appropriate for a Rancher, while concrete tile may work best for a Mediterranean-style home.

Professional Installation. An exterior finish is only as good as its installation. We work with and supervise professional installers or train our own crews to install and finish exterior products properly. We then inspect and approve their work. To ensure long-term value, lasting good looks, and low maintenance, we use the recommended type and number of fasteners, allow for slight, climate-induced shrinking and swelling, and seal joints between materials to avoid buckling and separation.

Water Resistance. We've learned to respect water and allow for its inevitable (if incidental) intrusion behind exterior finishes by taking measures to shed and vent it away before it causes any damage that requires maintenance, extensive repairs, or replacement.
Common solutions include weather-resistant barriers for the roof and sidewalls, flashing around windows and doors, metal drip edges and kick-out flashing at roof eaves. We employ airspaces and weep holes for brick or stone veneers, gutter and drainage systems, and rainscreens behind stucco and some clapboard or shingle siding finishes. These materials and methods serve -- usually in combination -- to keep incidental water from ruining a high-quality job. We also work to use dry framing and sheathing materials to limit moisture that might migrate behind the finishes from the structure.

Proper Painting. The value of a high-quality, exterior-rated paint cannot be overstated. Starting with a well-prepared surface, a universally thick layer of paint can last perhaps twice as long as the conventional 7-10 years before it requires a new coat. The best way to achieve full coverage and a uniform thickness is with a sprayer (not brushes or rollers) and it is essential that the paint be applied over a completely dry surface.
For wood-based siding, such as clapboards or shingles, we may specify a factory-applied primer that encases the entire panel against moisture and enables better adhesion.

As a professional remodeler, we take pride not just in how our projects perform and meet a client's needs, but also how they look -- especially over time. We also want our clients to enjoy as few ongoing maintenance chores and costs as possible and avoid expensive repairs or replacements before their time. Properly applied exterior finishes are critical to achieving those goals and exceeding the expectations of our homeowners.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. It is written by the President Doug Abbott. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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