Archive for April, 2010

Portland contractor video now live - need feedback

April 26th, 2010

If you live in portland oregon or southwest washington we at http://superiorexteriorsystems.com/ would highly appreciate your opinion on the informative video we just added to our web site. Just click on the link above and the video on siding, roofing, decking, stone & windows  will automatically load.  As contractors with almost 20 years experience  serving the portland metro and southern washington areas we appreciate and  value your opinion.  If you work for any roofing or siding manufactures like Hardy Plank, Certanteed Weatherboards or any Vinyl siding or cedar siding manufacture please state so when you comment.  Thank you very much.

local siding contractor helps curb appeal & realtors with home sales in portland vancouver metro

April 26th, 2010

As a siding contractor with almost 2 decades experience, I have been asked  what helps most for value & curb appeal when selling a home.  Absolutely no question about it - Stone accents along the bottom 3 feet or on pillars and cedar shake in gables give extremely strong eye and curb appeal. Brick is a bit more dated but alot of people still want it. Need proof? Drive by any high end area in portland or southwest washington and you’ll see many if not most homes with some form of it. Batten board has also become more popular the last 8 years. English style tudor is good but also very personalized so some may not want it since tudor is generally done all over the home as opposed to just accenting specific areas but can also only be done in the gables. A tudor look can also get expensive to paint because of the labor aspect. Whats the downside of getting this real estate resale value?  Stone is expensive as is cedar shake which also takes more maintenance if you want it to continue looking new. If stone, brick or shake is not for you another way to help with resale value is replacing your Lp siding if you still have it since most buyers wont make the big decision to purchase your home if it still has Lp siding. Think about it. Would you buy a home with Lp siding and pay anything close to the sellers asking price? Buyers often use this as a tool to get you to lower your price wether you think it is bad or not. In 1996, right after Lp hit the class action lawsuit, I lost when selling my home too. If you have already fixed that problem, good for you! Be patient and your home will sell.  If you need ideas for curb appeal, I’m confident Superior Exterior Systems can help. Take a look at our website.  Visit http://superiorexteriorsystems.com/ and click on design ideas for lots of pics. Thanks for listening and thanks again for looking.

Inspecting Lp siding & composite siding in portland metro and vancouver wa areas

April 15th, 2010

Lp siding also known as Louisiana Pacific siding is a wafer board style siding also call osb which stands for oriented strand board. It is particle chips of wood glued together. Lp was formerly located in the Sherwood- Tualatin area which is one reason why there is so much in the northwest. Over the last few decades, siding contractors would use it because back then Lp had a decent reputation and it was always in stock so general contractors could most likely meet  scheduling needs. The problem occurs when it gets wet with rain it starts to swell and often will start molding & growing fungus underneath where the moisture doesn’t dry out. How can I tell if I have Lp?  It  has a specific trademark knot which is about as big as a silver dollar and hidden in the knot are the letters Lp. If you haven’t seen it before it is very hard to see the first time. You need to look very closely as some are more defined and others are more blurry. Another problem is that Lp panel style 4 x 8 sheets, also called t1-11, are nailed directly up to the studs with no moisture barrier to protect the studs. Many homeowners don’t believe this but its true.  The mold then gets on your studs and starts to rot them because no light gets under your siding and mold likes dark. This will generally happen in specific areas where rain is slowly trickling in over time but wont be on all all the studs of your home. Over the last 2 decades we have also found that some siders don’t put building house wrap under the horizontal siding either. This is CRAZY and illegal!

If your house is built AFTER 1985 you may have Lp siding. If any your neighbors have replaced their siding chances are even greater that you have it too  as siding contractors often use the same products when developing a neighborhood. Typical products homeowners use when replacing their siding is fiber cement commonly called  Hardi Plank & Certanteed  Weatherboards. Others pick cedar or vinyl siding. Superior Exterior Systems  has almost 20 years of experience & give free inspections. We can immediately verify if indeed you do have Lp. For even more info & pictures of what to look for visit us at http://superiorexteriorsystems.com/ or simply call us at (503)285-0875 or (360)687-8936. Thanks  for listening.

Siding in Portland Oregon & southern Washington

April 10th, 2010

Many people have asked how to pick the right siding contractor. Thats a loaded question. You should have a good gut feeling after they’ve worked a few days but should know if you did indeed choose the right siding company by the time they are done with your home. If you haven’t decided on a siding contractor yet, its a good idea to NOT  just look at the price. Why?  In this economy, with companies closing down and companies struggling to stay alive, many  siding companies are paying their  applicators considerably less so it stands to reason that those siding contractors will end up doing less details in the prep work.  Remember this: It is absolutely impossible to pay a little and get alot- it cant be done! The prep work is CRITICAL! And you wont know IF the work was done well since you dont inspect siding for a living since thats not your expertise.  Another good idea is to ask the siding company you are considering for referrals.  Are there any homes done in your area by them or somebody else?  Drive around and look  for job signs in your area. It absolutely baffles me that companies dont put yard signs up to show off their work.  Are they not proud of their work, not licensed or just dumb?  If you see a project going up & dont see a sign I can almost guarantee they are not licensed, not insured or use illegal aliens.  All 3 of these are HUGE problems in the Portland  metro and southern washington areas. Why else would any reputable company not want to earn more business with a 10.00 yard sign?  Is it important to you to pick a company with CURRENT  insurance?  Insurance MUST be renewed every single year without exception. Ask to see the proper state required licenses and insurance documents. is it also important to you to be able to speak and communicate with the crews holding the hammers?  Ask the siding contractor up front BEFORE you sign if everybody speaks english well. Sometimes you can know what companies NOT to pick by talking to a nieghbor that had their siding replaced a year or 2 ago.  Obviously I can go on for quite a while but I hope this helps for now. Superior Exterior Systems does free inpections if you think you have Lp siding or have any moisture problems. To see pictures, get a lot of info or see a video simply visit  http://superiorexteriorsystems.com/ and ask about our Fair Price guarantee. Thanks for listening.

warranties for hardi plank, Certanteed Weatherboards, vinyl siding & cedar

April 1st, 2010

As an independent  siding contractor in the portland oregon and southwest washington area I am unbiased regarding product selection for home owners. Many have asked about warranties as they decide which siding is best for them.  Hardie Plank has become the most well know because of their aggressive marketing with realtors which has definitely given them name recognition. They have recently lowered their warranty from 50 years to 30 years but it appears to now be NON pro-rated which is extremely impressive. The reasonable condition is that it MUST be painted within 180 days. If you have a problem you’re going to want to show proof of dates of install and painting. They are calling this regional warranty HZ10. Their closest factory is in the Tacoma area which is a plus as I have personally toured it extensively in 1999  but it would be extremely difficult for a homeowner to go thru it. Pro rated meaning the value goes down a little each year. Certanteed Weatherboards, made in southern Oregon,  has not lowered theirs to 30 years and has a pro-rated 50 year. Personally, I think the non pro-rated is more appealing.  Certanteed Weatherboards are not nearly as well known as Hardi Plank because they have done virtually  NO marketing but the warranty is also impressive largely do to the primer system they developed which actually imbeds INTO the pores of the product after being heated up at ridiculously high temperatures.  Next would be vinyl siding and these warranties are different for the reason that there are so many vinyl siding manufactures out there. Most vinyl siding has a lifetime warranty unless you pick a dark color. Remember, even though  different vinyl manufactures have a lifetime warranty that doesnt make their actual products equal by any means. There are HUGE differences in quality, grain texture, shape, profile, locking system etc. Many vinyl siding manufacturers also have NON pro-rated warranties which are easily transferable to the next homeowner. On some, these extended transferable  warranties are ALSO non pro-rated so thats a big plus when you sell but dont forget to show the potential buyer of your home. I should say vinyl has lost its reputation in the eyes of many consumers though so their are pros and cons to ANY product you choose.  Next is cedar siding. You’re not going to like this. Pretty much no manufacturer warranty since it is not manufactured by man.  Cedar remains popular although generally considerably more expensive for materials and definitely takes more up keep although  some homeowners  fail to maintain it which then after a few years can look more worn than it should. It takes a long time to rot which is a plus. Think of an old cedar fence in the backyard touching the dirt which takes a while to start rotting even though its touching the dirt. It will eventually rot but takes a while. I have traveled and been to 4 factories out of state over the past 2 decades. I hope you found this basic warranty information helpful. Feel free to visit      http://superiorexteriorsystems.com/ even more information and pictures. thanks for listening.