A major remodeling project can seem overwhelming, which is why it’s best to hire an experienced professional to help you through the process. Working well with a professional remodeler, however, also requires a good deal of effort. You can’t just put a project on auto-pilot and assume it will magically become the remodel you have envisioned. Communication is key, along with a few additional insider tricks.
Why Termites Are No Match for the SmartGuard® Process
Did you know that termites cause more damage to U.S. homes than fire, floods and storms combined? That’s according to the National Pest Management Foundation, which estimates that termites cause $5 billion in property damage every year. That means this small insect is a silent yet sizeable threat that can eat a chunk out of your investment – literally – if you have traditional wood siding.
Most people want a home that is distinctive and not like every other home on the block. However, this can be difficult to achieve in a newer neighborhood, where homes often lack the character of older homes. While it’s important to be respectful of your neighborhood aesthetic, here are some tips to add charm and personalization to the exterior of your home.
- Add a covered entrance. An entry feature such as a porch or portico not only provides shelter from bad weather, it can also do wonders for a home’s curb appeal. Your covered entrance should be able to accommodate two people, keeping them covered while one person stands to the side and the other one swings the front door open.
- Mix and match siding. Mixing different siding profiles helps to make a home’s exterior distinctive, regardless of its architectural style. Using only one siding material may make the exterior appear flat and uninteresting, while a combination of siding profiles and colors gives a home more depth and visual interest.
- Change up the door. Builder-grade doors are often plain and lackluster, so adding a new door style can really make an impact. Select a door that complements the architectural style of your home yet has unique details that set your home apart.
- Add a gate. Most American homes in urban settings don’t have a lot of yard space. A gate gives the illusion of depth, making your lot seem larger from the sidewalk. For maximum effect, choose a gate design that still allows for some visibility.
- Plant profusely. Plants added to the exterior, either in the ground or in pots, add instant curb appeal and character with minimal time and effort. Vines planted along fences are a charming way to bring appeal to a not-so-attractive fence.
- Dress up garage doors. What a difference garage doors can make! Upgrade “plain vanilla” raised-panel doors to something with more flair, such as steel doors with a stained finish and decorative windows and hardware.
Siding That’s Designed for Beauty
LP’s engineered wood siding product line is so broad that you can use it for all your exterior design needs. We offer lap, panel, trim, fascia and soffit products that are a top pick among homeowners and remodelers all over the United States. We invite you to learn more about LP® SmartSide® products and find out where to buy LP SmartSide products near you.
For many Americans, summer means getting out and enjoying the backyard. It means barbeques, baseball games and cornhole tournaments. But for your siding, summer means added wear and tear in the form of summer storms, lawn mowers that throw debris and water sprinklers that routinely soak it.
LP is committed to keeping your home’s siding looking great with a product line that stands up to the rigors of summer. LP® SmartSide® products are tested to high performance standards that verify consistent quality – to help you enjoy summer without worrying about your home’s siding.
A Home Run for Siding
Baseballs and lawn mowers are bad news for most siding products, but not for engineered wood products from LP. “The proprietary SmartGuard® process provides lasting durability against impacts and deflection,” explains CW Macomber, Codes & Services Manager for LP Building Products. “With this in mind, impact resistance is engineered into LP SmartSide trim and siding products through a unique surface layer and underlying substrate.” You’ll have the confidence of knowing that your siding can stand up to everyday collisions with rocks, sticks and balls.
As with any painted siding product, homeowners should take precaution when mowing close to a home sided with LP SmartSide siding. Rough contact from a lawnmower may leave scuffs on the siding. “If you do scuff your siding, the best way to clean it is to use a cloth, sponge or soft brush and a bucket filled with a solution of mild detergent and water to wash the surface,” advises Macomber. “Rinse with water from a garden hose. Once the siding is dry, if needed touch up the surface with high-quality, color-matched, 100% acrylic latex exterior paint.”
Standing Up to Storms
With the SmartGuard process, special water-resistant waxes coat each strand or fiber of wood for enhanced durability in rainy, humid environments. This creates a high level of protection against summer weather and storms, including hailstorms. For additional peace of mind, LP’s limited warranty states that LP SmartSide products will resist damage from hail, up to 1.75 inches in diameter, when properly installed and maintained according to the LP application instructions.
See It for Yourself
LP SmartSide trim and siding products are tested in varying climates and across all seasons, making them the smart trim and siding choice for your home or outdoor structure. To learn more about this innovative product and see samples, contact OC Taylor today.
Every season brings its own risks when it comes to your home’s exterior. With this, it’s essential to stick to a seasonal maintenance schedule, as well as perform routine inspections to help maintain your home’s quality and appearance. In this article, I’ll discuss three factors that may affect your siding, and provide tips on how to repair your siding, if necessary.
Weather is a primary factor impacting the condition of your siding. Summer brings about storms and your siding may be loosened or damaged by heavy wind or flying debris. As a preventative measure, trim back trees growing close to your home which, if blown against your siding, could cause damage. If there is damage, it is important to determine how severe it is and whether the siding can be repaired. In this case, a homeowner might need to consult a siding expert.
Insects & Pollen
Warmer weather also often brings pollen and insects. In fact, according to Orkin, most species of subterranean termites swarm during the spring and summer months. You can begin your defense against termites by initially using building materials engineered to withstand them. Occasional rinsing your siding can also help with pest control, as well as with the removal of potential buildup of dust and pollen from the fall and spring. Additionally, general maintenance can help extend the life of your siding. Here are some tips on how to properly clean siding:
- Use a cloth, sponge or soft brush and a bucket filled with a solution of mild detergent and water to wash the surface.
- Rinse with water from a garden hose.
- Never use harsh abrasives or solvents, as these can damage the surface or paint.
- Remove vines growing on the house, siding, brick or mortar.
During summer, weather is generally better for siding repairs or repainting. If you are considering a re-side or repainting of your siding, here are a few tips:
- Ensure that gutters are draining properly and directing water away from the siding.
- Check that sprinklers aren’t watering the siding. Ongoing contact with water can cause discoloration.
- Chips and small imperfections in the paint finish can be touched up with matching paint. Use a cotton swab to apply paint only to the bare area. Do not apply paint over paint or try to “fan out” or blend the paint. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours.
- If you decide to replace your siding, consult a professional contractor. Be sure to check their references, online reviews and examples of their previous projects to thoroughly vet their qualifications.
Visit out Siding page to learn more.
Re-siding your home is a great way to bring fresh curb appeal and new life to a fading exterior. It also is an important part of your home's protective system, keeping weather and pests at bay. If your siding is beginning to show signs of wear or damage, here are some tips to be able to tell if the problem needs professional attention.
EVALUATING YOUR SIDING
The first step is to thoroughly inspect your home's siding for signs of wear, decay or failure. Below are some of the more typical issues people have with their siding. Obvious signs are rotting, falling down or cracked boards, that need professional help, but some are subtler.
1. Problem: Swelling - Swelling occurs when too much moisture is trapped in the material. This issue is most typical in old Masonite siding. Pay particular attention to seams and areas where the siding has been cut or pieced as swelling usually begins in these places. Swelling may also show up as wavy boards. Stand beside your home and look along the wall to see how much sagging is present.
Level: Pro - Swelling can be a serious issue if it causes gaps that allow the elements into your home. Unexplained peeling wallpaper and paint on the inside are a sign that moisture is getting in.
2. Cracking - Cracked boards are usually easy to spot. Running over your siding with a bright light may highlight defects you might miss with the naked eye. Look particularly near the bottom edge of the siding where damage from swelling or lawn equipment can create that first flaw in your home's armor.
Level: Semi-Pro - Cracks in your siding are bad because of what they can lead to (see swelling above). Depending on severity, you most likely should have the siding professionally evaluated.
3. Wildlife or Hail Damage - Our four footed and feathered friends, as well as mother nature, can wreak havoc on your siding creating an entry point for moisture. Much of the damage maybe cosmetic, but a determined pest may compromise your siding system creating an entry point for moisture and additional pests. Examine areas near the ground along eaves and near gutters and corners, where birds and squirrels frequent.
Level: Semi-Pro - Like cracks in your siding damage from pests may only be superficial and can be handled easily. However, if the depth of damage goes through the siding in multiple places, it is best to have it evaluated by a professional.
4. Fading, chipped or outdated paint - Over time, colors fade or become less popular. You may notice chipped areas or even peeling. You may even sometimes see a chalky residue on the surface. While paint is largely cosmetic - it does provide extra protection and is a bellwether of deeper issues.
Level: Semi-Pro - If your siding is otherwise in good condition, you may opt to handle repainting your siding yourself. If you do, make certain to check the standards for your particular type of siding to ensure you select paint that fits that material. Also - don't scrimp on exterior paint - it has to last years in harsh conditions. Blistering or bubbling may be a sign of excessive heat or moisture and should be addressed by a pro.
PROTECTING YOUR SIDING
If your siding is still in great condition, there are a few steps you can take to prolong it's life. These simple chores should be addressed 2 times a year to keep common problems from surfacing.
1. Maintain Trees & Shrubs - greenery is a way to beautify our homes and also provide protective ground cover. However, care should be taken to keep branches clear of walls, so that moisture doesn't splash up or become trapped.
2. Garbage Cans and Outdoor Furnishings - In the same way, evaluate items such as garbage cans, storage bins, garden hose storage and other items that are typically placed against the exterior of your home. Leave a gap of at least 6 inches to minimize water splashing up or becoming trapped.
3. Roof & Gutters - Your home's exterior systems all work together to keep weather and pests out of your home. Clogged or failing gutters or a damaged roof are sure to cause problems with your siding down the road. Evaluate the condition and contact a professional if repairs are needed.
The team at O.C. Taylor are experts in evaluating, maintaining and repairing your home's exterior systems. If you see any of the warning signs of failure, don't hesitate to give us a call, we'll be right over for a free estimate.
First North Carolina contractor statewide to receive distinction
O.C. Taylor Smart Exterior Solutions has been awarded the coveted Master-Level Preferred Contractor Certification from LP® SmartSide®, the manufacturer of engineered wood siding. For this honor, Brent Taylor, Owner at O.C. Taylor, completed extensive studies which culminated in onsite inspections of his workmanship by an LP® SmartSide® Master Trainer.
O.C. Taylor is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017.
O.C. Taylor, a company focused on smart exterior solutions, was recently awarded a Silver W3 Award for web design by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. The award honors outstanding Websites, Web Marketing, Web Video and social media marketing worldwide. The organization received over 5,000 entries in this annual global award program.
It was January of 2015. I was working in sales for a large remodeling company in North Carolina when I received a call from a factory rep named Bo. Bo represented a large, well-established company called Louisiana-Pacific and wanted to talk to me about an engineered wood strand siding product called SmartSide®.
I had heard about this product from our main fiber cement manufacturer months before, and had even attended a presentation attacking this “new” wood product. If memory serves me well, they claimed it would swell, rot, attract woodpeckers, lower your resale value and was possibly