As a homeowner, you likely take pride in every aspect of it: Landscaping, façade, picturesque front door and windows, a white picket fence. But in addition to all the things which make your home a reflection of who you are, there’s also a list of items that require regular upkeep and the occasional repair.

In order to keep your home’s value, structural soundness, and curb appeal, it’s important to be aware of which repairs are essential.

Most Common Exterior Home Repairs

1. Siding Cleaning and Repair

Siding serves several purposes: It makes your home look beautiful, it promotes energy efficiency, and keeps external moisture away. But much like everything else, they don’t last forever. Depending on their material, they could last anywhere between 20 and 40 years. If you’re not sure whether you have to repair it yet, keep an eye out for the following signs: Water stains, cracks on the surface, sagging paneling, bubbling or peeling exterior paint, or mold.

2. Roof Cleaning and Repair

Depending on the materials used for your roof, its lifespan could be between 20 to 30 years. If you haven’t been keeping track of it, conduct regular inspections for signs it’s time for repairs or replacement. These include standing water on top of your roof, water leaks, water stains on your ceiling, mold growth, or missing shingles. If you have an attic, go up there and see if there’s any sunlight filtering through. Bring a flashlight or lantern along to check for any water marks.

3. Gutters

Maintaining your gutters should be at the top of your list. While they compose a small portion of your home, keeping water at bay is essential to prevent mold, rotting wood, leaks, and bug infestations. Every three months, use a spade to clean debris stuck in your gutters and hose them down afterwards. If they have any cracks, are sagging or rusted, it’s time to repair or replace them.

4. Window frames

Window frames are often overlooked. Generally speaking, they could last between 20 and 40 years, depending on the materials. However, there are many variables that could shorten that time frame, such as pressure washing, environmental factors, condensation, or poor installation. When they are damaged, your home will become drafty and your energy bills will increase. Inspect them once a year for any of the following signs they need to be repaired: It feels drafty around the windows, it’s difficult to open or close the windows, there are cracks on the panes or frames, water leaks when it rains, or there is condensation between the panes.

5. Peeling Paint

Keeping your home freshly painted ensures its curb appeal while preventing moisture from seeping into your home’s structure. However, before simply hiring painters to do the job, inspect your home’s surface for moisture damage. If it already exists, you want to take care of it before painting over it and possibly ending up with a mold or structural problem later.

6. Cracks on the Driveway

Cracked concrete poses a safety hazard for you, your family and visitors, and decreases your property’s value. It can be caused by excess water evaporating, extreme temperatures, or the passage of time. You should have cracks repaired as soon as you notice them, to avoid expansion and a more costly repair job.

Get a Free Quote Today!

Preserve your home’s structural integrity and save money long-term by letting us help you. At Allied, Siding and Windows, we’ve been proudly serving Houston, Austin and Dallas for over 30 years. Let us inspect your home and conduct a comprehensive exterior repairs assessment. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms!

If there’s anything that has become common knowledge in recent years, it’s that hurricanes are getting much bigger and stronger each season. They’re also forming faster, so it’s not unusual to see several of them racing back-to-back towards a specific area. 2017 alone brought Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico. All three devastated thousands of homes and flooded entire towns. Therefore, it has become increasingly essential to hurricane-proof your home before hurricane season begins.

When is Hurricane Season in Texas?

Hurricane season is the same for everyone, regardless of geographical location. It starts on June 1 and continues until November 30. As a state located on the Gulf of Mexico, Texas is susceptible to greater damage.

How to Hurricane-Proof your Home

While sometimes it’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of damage, there are several things you can do to reduce that risk.

1. Install impact-resistant windows and sliding doors.

These are especially important in hurricane-prone areas like Texas. They provide the highest level of protection to your home during a hurricane. As a bonus, they also reduce solar heat coming into your home, making your AC system more energy efficient.

2. Install hurricane shutters.

If impact windows are outside of your budget, still prioritize protecting your windows by installing hurricane shutters. While they are a little more inconvenient because you have to install and uninstall before and after a storm, they do protect your home from hurricane force winds and projectiles. Installation is relatively simple and could be completed by one person.

3. Clear debris from your front and back yards.

When getting your home hurricane-ready, it’s easy to overlook things outside. If you have a swimming pool, place patio furniture underwater to keep it from blowing away. Place all tools, lawnmowers, barbecues, the kids’ playground, garbage cans, recycling bins etc, in a secure shed, garage, or storage unit to prevent them from becoming projectiles.

4. Pack a bag of essentials.

Keep at hand a first aid kit, as well as at least a three or four-day supply of batteries, non-perishable foods, water, flashlights or lanterns, cash, candles, medications, wet wipes, toilet paper, and fully charged backup batteries for your cell phones. Also, keep a radio in order to stay informed of what’s going on even when the power goes out.

5. Keep your landline.

While these may seem like a throwback, the reality is it’s common for cell phones to not receive any service signal after a particularly strong storm (such as a category 4 or 5). Having a landline ensures you’re able to call for emergency services such as 911 should the need arise.

6. Purchase a portable generator.

Even if it’s a small one, having a generator ensures you’re able to at least keep your refrigerator running. Ice becomes an invaluable asset when everyone has been without power for several days.

7. Anchor your air conditioner’s condenser unit.

Modern construction codes require them to be already anchored. However, if you own an older home, you’ll have to do it yourself. Contact an HVAC professional to help you do it. Once anchored, cover it with a tarp or board it up.

It’s also important to remember that the time to complete these tasks is now, when the sun is shining and you have time to go online and do some research. Once a hurricane warning has been issued, essential goods sell out in minutes.

Get a Free Quote Today!

Preserve your home’s structural integrity and save money long-term by letting us help you.

At Allied, Siding and Windows, we’ve been proudly serving Houston, Austin and Dallas for over 30 years. Let us inspect your home and conduct a comprehensive hurricane-proofing assessment. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms!

James Hardie fiber cement siding is considered one of the most long-lasting, attractive and low-maintenance products on the market. While vinyl and wood siding have been two of the most popular siding choices for many years, the comparatively new siding material, fiber cement, has risen in popularity. In fact, more than eight million homes across the U.S. now trust James Hardie fiber cement siding! Read more

Boosting your home’s curb appeal doesn’t start and end with landscaping your front yard. When guests first pull up to your house, they’ll notice things like cleanliness, age and how the exterior compares to the homes around it.

If you feel like your home needs a facelift, you have plenty of siding materials to choose from. Here are some of our top picks.

Read more

[slideshare id=131513447&doc=whattolookforduringaroofinspection-190212184601]

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements such as rain, hail, snow and extreme heat. What many homeowners don’t realize is that the roof is not only one of the most important parts of their home, it is also one of the most vulnerable. Constant exposure to often harsh conditions can quickly cause your roof’s health to deteriorate, resulting in costly repairs. Read more

Consider what you want out of a front door. Do you want something that can keep you safe? Raises your home’s value? Adds curb appeal? Once you’ve settled on a list of must-haves, set your budget.

front entry door

window opening size

Now that spring is here, you may find yourself yearning for a gorgeous view of your flowering front yard or
wishing your windows allowed more sunlight to brighten your home. Fortunately, with the help of window
installation professionals, you can easily transform your room from dark and dingy to warm and inviting.

Resizing Your Windows

Many homeowners are familiar with the process of window replacement and may even have done it themselves
in the past. Replacement consists of removing the window and its casing, inserting an appropriately-sized
replacement window, sealing, weatherproofing and adding the new casing and trim.

Window resizing is much more complicated than replacement. You aren’t just removing and replacing the window
– you’re also expanding the opening in the wall or adding framing to shrink the existing opening. Construction
experience is necessary to successfully rebuild portions of the wall and exterior siding, which is why the average
homeowner will need to hire a contractor.

The Anatomy of a Window

To understand what window resizing entails, you need to understand the basic components of window and wallframing:

  • Rough opening – Just like it sounds, the rough opening is the approximate size of the window, not taking
    the framing into account.
  • Header – Wood framing that runs horizontally along the top of the window. If the window is especially
    large or part of a load-bearing wall, you’ll want a thicker header to offset the lack of structural support in
    the window area.
  • Sill – Wood framing that runs horizontally along the bottom of the window.
  • Studs – Regularly spaced wood framing that stands vertically and supports the entire wall. Trimmer (or
    jack) studs surround the window’s rough opening and run from the header to the floor. Cripple studs are
    short and run from the top plate of the wall to the header and from the sill to the sole plate on the
    ground. King studs are as tall as the wall itself and must be installed right beside the trimmer studs and
    outermost cripple studs.

Depending on the type of window resizing project, you may need to remove the header, sill or studs and replace
them with new framing. This allows you to adjust the size of the rough opening to fit your desired window.
Keep in mind that amateurs tend to get in trouble when they try their hand at window resizing, especially on a
load-bearing wall. If done improperly, a DIY project can compromise the structural integrity of your home, putting
your family in danger and potentially causing your window to break due to excessive pressure.

Making Your Window Larger

Enlarging your window is typically more complex than shrinking it. If you increase the width, you will need new
studs to the right and left of the rough opening. You will also need a new header and sill that can fully span the
window for adequate support.

If you are only looking to expand your window upward, the sill may be left intact. The opposite is true if you are
extending the length of the window down – in this case, the header remains and the sill needs to be replaced.
Some studs will also need to be replaced. The size and strength of these components may also need to increase in
order to support the added weight of a larger window.

To access the framing, you will need to remove the existing drywall or plywood and relocate any nearby electrical
wiring and plumbing out of the way. Once the new frame is constructed, new drywall or plywood will have to be
installed, insulated and sealed so there is a seamless flow from the new wall to the old wall.

Making Your Window Smaller

Shortening your window, whether vertically or horizontally, tends to be easier because less structural change is
needed. Wood framing can be added to the old rough opening to close it off, and less demolition is required
overall.

One notable challenge is that you will need to convert a portion of your home’s exterior to a wall instead of a
window. That means you will need a professional to help put up new siding or lay brickwork to cover the previous
opening. If you know you’re going to decrease your window’s size in advance, save any extra siding or brick
materials from the original construction to ensure a flawless transition between the old and new exterior.

Upgrade Your Windows With Allied Siding & Windows in Texas

If you are thinking of enlarging or shrinking your window, try to do it in spring before the sweltering heat and
monsoons arrive. More importantly, don’t let fear stand between you and your dream home. While window
resizing can be overwhelming for the average homeowner, it’s second nature to a professional.

Allied Siding & Windows has been transforming homes for 30 years and has more than 40,000 satisfied customers
in Texas. Our crew excels in what they do because they’ve taken the time to go through manufacturer training
and learned how to install all our products the right way! We offer Simonton®, Don Young and Andersen®replacement windows and James Hardie® home siding with exceptional warranties.

If you want to work with professionals who will get the job done right the first time, give us a call at (713) 946-
3697.

Allied Siding and Windows installs only the highest quality windows on the market! Do you have questions about the right window for your home?
Contact us today for a free estimate. Call (713) 946-3697 or fill out our online form.

window types

roof replacement

No one wants to be hit with unexpected repair costs, especially when it comes to something as vital as their roof. While you may be able to handle a few winter days without a functioning heater or temporarily manage a plumbing crisis by turning off the water, there is no good way to patch up a roof once it’s started to leak or collapse. Your best bet is to prevent roof failure before it happens.

So, how can you tell when your roof is in need of replacement? There is no clear-cut answer. Instead, you’ll have to take roofing material, maintenance history and signs of deterioration into account.

Lifespan by Roofing Material

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles, also called composite shingles, are overwhelmingly the most popular roofing material, with 80 percent of homeowners choosing them for their roofs. 1 This is primarily due to their affordability. An asphalt shingle roof lasts anywhere from 15 to 20 years, but potentially longer with a little periodic maintenance.2

Metal

Metal roofs come in many varieties, including aluminum, copper, steel, tin and zinc. In terms of longevity, they outperform shingle roofs, lasting anywhere from 40 to 70 years with proper care. They also tend to need less maintenance than other roof types. However, you will pay double or triple the price of standard roofing materials if you choose a metal roof.3

Tile

Most tile roofs last from 50 years to an entire lifetime.2 They stand up well against UV damage, insect infestation and rot, although they are fragile and don’t hold up well to foot traffic or sharp impacts from hail or other debris. The deep orange-red hue of clay and terracotta is especially popular throughout the Southwest.

Slate roofs are a particularly timeless subset of tile roofs that can last upwards of 150 years if well maintained, putting them in a different class than most other roofing options. In addition to lasting nearly forever, slate roofs are totally fireproof. The downside? Slate costs anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000 per square! 4

Wood

Wood roofs are somewhat uncommon but can add a historic or rustic look to your home. They are commonly made of cedar because it provides some protection against pests and rot and typically lasts anywhere from 20 to 30 years.2 Since wood is particularly susceptible to mold and fungi growth, especially when exposed to large amounts of water combined with poor ventilation, your roof will need regular upkeep. You may wish to schedule professional cleaning or wood preservation treatments every few years to maximize your roof’s lifespan.

Other Factors That Affect Roof Longevity

Choosing the right roofing material is only half the battle. Another crucial aspect of preserving the longevity of your roof is choosing the most trustworthy and experienced roofing professionals in your area to install it. Even a roof with the best material will fail if the installers are unfamiliar with the material or do a sloppy job of laying and securing the shingles.

You will also need to maintain your roof, just like you do with any other component of your house. This primarily entails scheduling regular roof maintenance with a professional every few years or so. These experts can inspect your roof for signs of damage you may have missed and make repairs. The second part is keeping your roof clean and free of debris. There are several steps you should be taking to ward off plant growth and rot:

  • Keep gutters flowing – If water is standing still in your gutters or debris is crowding your roofline, your roof may start to absorb the backed-up water and rot.
  • Sweep off sticks, leaves and branches – In general, do not let your roof get bogged down by detritus. It’s much simpler and more affordable to clear your roof of wood and leaves now than it is to repair a leak caused by a fungus down the line.
  • Stop moss growth – Moss traps water against your roof and looks unsightly. If moss growth is a problem for your roof, you may want to consider applying a powder or liquid moss killer or installing a zinc sheet on the top of the roof to keep it at bay.

Signs That Your Roof Is Failing

Even if you’ve calculated when your roof needs replacing, you still want to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of roof damage. A strong storm or fallen tree branch can easily damage an otherwise sturdy roof, so don’t rely on your roof’s projected life expectancy alone when making the decision to replace.

Here are just a few signs your roof may need replacement:

  • Missing shingles
  • Shingles that are curling, buckling or otherwise misshapen
  • Worn-looking shingles that are missing granules
  • Cracks in the roof material
  • Old or rusted flashing
  • Daylight streaming into your attic from the roof
  • Neighbors replacing their roofs
  • Leaks
  • Roof sagging

Get a Brand-New Roof From Allied Siding & Windows

At Allied Siding & Windows, we provide our customers with high-quality Duration® Shingles produced by Owens Corning™. These shingles combine the affordability of shingle roofs with the performance of longer-lasting roof materials. By choosing Duration Shingles, you get:

  • Resistance to winds up to 130 miles per hour
  • SureNail® Technology for strength and quicker application
  • Reduced plant growth with StreakGuard™ Algae Resistance Protection
  • A wide variety of TruDefinition® colors to choose from
  • Coverage under the Preferred Protection Roofing System Limited Warranty
  • And much more!

Allied Siding & Windows has been serving Texas for more than 30 years. If you’re looking for roof replacement, installation or repair, you can trust our specially trained contractors to get the job done right. Visit our site for your free estimate or call us at (713) 946-3697 today to get started!

1 https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/asphalt-shingle-roofing/
2 https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/making-roofs-last/
3 https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/smart-ideas/wondering-about-metal-roofs-here-are-the-pros-and-cons
4 https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/benefits-of-slate-roofing-tiles/

By getting creative and utilizing these easy home decorating tips, you can turn a small living space – such as an apartment, dorm room or bedroom – into a stylish and comfortable dwelling.small living space tips