4 Driveway Materials That Aren’t Concrete or Asphalt

Today, there are a limitless number of driveway options available. However, it seems that concrete and asphalt driveways are the most common driveway materials in the majority of residential areas. This is because these materials are affordable and relatively easy to install. While concrete and asphalt are good options, there are many others on the market. Here are four driveway option ideas:

Brick Paver Driveways

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Photo: The Spruce

Brick driveways give off a classical feel and are perfect for colonial, craftsman, and other architectural styles; however, they can be a beautiful addition to almost any home. Brick paver driveways are extremely durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions and frequent use. This driveway material is durable and should last at least 25 years.

Cobblestone Paver Driveways

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Photo: Unilock

Cobblestone paver driveways are notorious for their “Old World” appeal and are usually composed of granite. Cobblestone driveways may be one of the most expensive driveway options; however, a well-built cobblestone driveway can easily last over a century. One major advantage of cobblestone is that wear and tear will only accentuate the cobblestone’s character.

Macadam Driveways

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Photo: Pinterest

Macadam driveways, also referred to as “tar and chip” driveways consist of aggregate layers of stone and a binding agent. Unlike asphalt, macadam driveways are low maintenance since they don’t require a yearly sealing. In addition to being low maintenance, they are also affordable. Macadam is slightly cheaper than asphalt to install. Furthermore, macadam driveways can last around a decade and can provide good traction, even in the rain.

Concrete Paver Driveways

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Photo: The Spruce

Concrete pavers is a very versatile driveway option since it is available in a variety of shapes, colors, styles, and patterns. Concrete paver driveways can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years. The biggest downfall of concrete is that it can stain easily; however, choosing pavers over large slabs is a huge advantage since you can easily replace individual pavers.

Composite Decking for Your Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor decks are a great way to add an entertainment area to your home. What many people do not know is that there are many available decking materials for you to choose from. The available materials include wood, plastic, aluminum, and composite. Composite decking is a great option because it is low maintenance, has an attractive appearance, and it is durable.

 

composite decking
Photo: Pinterest

Low Maintenance

One of the biggest benefits that comes with composite decking is that it does away with the burden of constant upkeep. Wood decks need to be re-stained, power washed, and sanded regularly to maintain their appearance. Composite decking doesn’t require re-staining or sanding.

Additionally, wood decks also require the addition of pesticides and metals during the pressure treating process. While this helps to prevent pests, it is bad for the environment and can be dangerous to children and animals as it deteriorates over time. Composite doesn’t require these harmful additives since it is naturally resistant to insects, mold, and decay.

 

Durability

Composite decking is comprised of waste wood, plastic, and other recycled materials. Since it combines wood with plastic, it lasts longer in the elements than wood decks. Wood decks are known to rot, mold, and splinter. On the other hand, composite decks don’t experience these problems. The only thing that you need to look for in composite decking is the occasional surface mold and discoloration. This can be easily taken care of with a household cleaner and a brush.

 

 

Appearance

Many homeowners choose to go with composite decking because of their consistent coloring. Since they are manufactured, each board will look identical to the next. On the other hand, wood decks are known to fade to a dusty gray after a few years if they are not properly maintained.

 

composite decking
Photo: Pinterest

Since composite decking is manufactured, it is constantly improving with advancements in technology and the manufacturing process. Although composite decks are a great option, they are a little more pricey than wood decks. However, a composite deck doesn’t require much maintenance – which means more time can be spent enjoying your outdoor living space with your family.

Benefits of a Vinyl Siding Replacement

As you may know, vinyl siding is one of the most popular siding options available. When vinyl siding first became available, it was meant to replace the then-popular aluminum siding. Early vinyl siding quickly earned a bad name for many homeowners since it had a tendency to crack and sag. However, that is simply not the case nowadays. If you choose to have a vinyl siding replacement for your home, you will see some of the biggest benefits associated with vinyl siding.

vinyl siding colors vinyl siding replacement
Custom Home by Balducci Builders, Inc.

Variety

Vinyl siding is no longer the cheap, plastic product of the past. Thanks to improving technologies, vinyl siding is now manufactured in a wide variety of styles, colors, and textures. Vinyl can even be manufactured to mimic the look of cedar shakes, ceramic tile, and more. In the past, vinyl was often only available in white or light-hued colors. With the progression of anti-fade technologies, vinyl siding is now available in endless colors – ranging from your darkest grays to your brightest whites!

Affordable

Perhaps the biggest reason why vinyl siding is so popular is because it is by far the most affordable house siding option available. In addition, the average lifespan on vinyl siding is about 50 years, which means that you will be getting your money’s worth. According to the Remodeling Cost vs. Value report for 2017 (costvsvalue.com), a vinyl siding replacement will recoup an average of 76.4% of your investment. This proves that a vinyl siding replacement is a great investment for your home.

Durable

If you decide to have a vinyl siding replacement for your home, you will be lucky enough to witness the durability of vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is made to withstand the elements – from wind, to rain, to hail. It even has the ability to withstand high winds of more than 200 mph. Additionally, vinyl is resistant to moisture, meaning it is not likely to rust or corrode over time.

vinyl siding replacement

Simple Maintenance

A great thing about a vinyl siding replacement is that vinyl is virtually maintenance free. Vinyl siding will never need repainting, which is required for other types of siding. The only maintenance that is required for vinyl siding is an annual cleaning with mild soap and water, which means that the rest of the year leaves time to relax.

Easy to Install

Having a vinyl siding replacement done on your home is a relatively cheap and simple process. This is mainly because vinyl is a lightweight material. Vinyl siding can be installed over existing materials, making it a great retrofit option. As a bonus, since vinyl siding is simple to install it helps to cut down on labor costs.

© 2017 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling
2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at http://www.costvsvalue.com.

Outdoor Living Ideas – Planning Your Outdoor Living Space in 3 Steps

Outdoor living spaces are a great way to add value to your home and create an inviting space for family and friends to come together. By creating an outdoor living space, many homeowners are able to create a space that would otherwise get used infrequently, or not at all. Some of our outdoor living ideas include:

outdoor living ideas contractor
Photo: Custom Home by Balducci Builders, Inc.

Outdoor Living Ideas – #1 – Define Separate Outdoor Living Areas

One of the best ways to create an outdoor living space is to define it through a structural element. This can include anything from a pergola, trellis, or fence. By including a structural element, it will inform guests that they are entering a new space that is separate from the rest of the home. While you want your outdoor space to be separated from the rest of your home, you do want your outdoor space to flow from the rest of your house. The best way to create a harmonious flow from the indoor and outdoor living spaces is to continue the same style of your indoor decor with the outdoor spaces.

Outdoor Living Ideas – #2 Create an Easy Entry Point to the Outdoor Living Space

A great way to mingle the indoor with the outdoor space is by including a way to easily access the two spaces. A simple doorway may do the trick; however, we believe that the larger the entryway, the better. The easier it is to access the two two spaces, the more seamless the transition. We recommend installing large French doors or ultra-wide sliding doors. If this is not feasible, it might be a good idea to include a couple of windows around the doorway to let in extra light and a clearer view to the outdoor living space. As a bonus of having a clearer view to the outside, you’ll want to spend more time in your outdoor space.

outdoor living ideas contractor
Photo: Screened Porch by Balducci Exteriors

Outdoor Living Ideas – #3 Define the Purpose of Each Area in the Outdoor Living Space

Once your outdoor living space is clear and defined, it is time to decide what areas will serve what purpose. Some of the most popular outdoor living ideas include outdoor kitchens, dining rooms, and living areas.  You may choose to include all of these options, or any combination of the three (depending on the size of your outdoor living space and your personal preferences). Some other ideas include zen gardens, basketball courts, and bocce ball. The possibilities are endless!

outdoor living ideas contractor
Photo: Custom Outdoor Kitchen by Balducci Builders, Inc.

Outdoor living spaces can be the perfect entertainment area for family and friends; however, planning an outdoor living space can be overwhelming. We hope that these outdoor living ideas will help you plan your home’s outdoor space. Of course, after your outdoor living space has been planned out, it is time to choose the finishing touches of the space. This includes items such as lighting, seating, appliances, and materials. If you have any further questions regarding outdoor living spaces, don’t hesitate to contact Balducci Exteriors.

5 Roofing Materials and What You Need to Know About Them

In addition to providing your family shelter, your roof can help to accentuate your home’s curb appeal and add value to your home. When choosing a new roof, it is important to do you research about different roofing materials. Here are 5 roofing materials and what you need to know about them:

roofing materials roofing companies richmond

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roofing shingles are by far the most popular option for roofs. They gained some popularity due to their affordability and versatility. Asphalt shingles typically last around 20 to 30 years and a fairly easy to install. They are a great roofing option and they are very common; however their over-popularity can also be its downfall.

roofing materials

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are typically made of red cedar, cypress, redwood, and pine trees. While they are extremely beautiful, they are expensive to install. Wood roofs are great insulators and can be repaired easily. One thing to keep in mind is that these types of shingles require regular maintenance. However, with good maintenance, wood shingles should last 30 to 50 years.

roofing materials

Slate Roofing Tile

Slate roofs are a natural stone product. They are well known for their beauty and are often associated with luxury homes due to their hefty price tag. One of the main benefits of slate roofs is that they are built to last. With proper installation, they can easily last over a century. Additionally, slate is one of the most fire-proof roofing material available. Perhaps the biggest drawback of slate roofs is that it is difficult to install, and even more difficult to find an experienced contractor. Slate tiles are extremely heavy and can break easily if they are dealt by someone who is not familiar with them.

roofing materials

Metal Roofing

Metal Roofs are typically made of steel, aluminum, or copper. They are lightweight, which allows them to sometimes be installed over old roofs. Instead of absorbing the sun’s heat, metal roofs reflect the heat due to its high solar reflexivity. The percentage of solar reflexivity overall depends on the color you choose; however, it is typically much higher compared to the 5% average of asphalt shingles. Perhaps the best thing about metal roofs is that they require little to no maintenance. While metal roofs tend to be more expensive initially, they can last for as long as 50 years.

roofing materials

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is one of the oldest forms of roofing, with origins in Ancient Greek and Roman times. Thus, it is often seen in the Mediterranean. In addition to having reflective properties likes its metal roof counterpart, ceramic tile roofs aren’t susceptible to rot or mold, can withstand high winds, and does not expand or contract with the temperature. Even though they are beautiful, ceramic tile is a very expensive material and it is extremely labor intensive to install. However, ceramic tile roofs are long-lasting and have a 60-80 year lifespan.

roofing materials

When choosing roofing materials, don’t feel as though you need to stick with asphalt shingles. While the typical asphalt shingles are a great option, you should also consider other materials such as slate, wood, metal, and ceramic.

Choosing a Vinyl Siding Color

Vinyl siding is is a great option for many homeowners. Some of the major advantages of vinyl siding is that it is generally the least expensive of the siding materials available, it is quick and easy to install, and it doesn’t require lots of maintenance.

vinyl siding colors
Custom Home by Balducci Builders, Inc.

One thing to keep in mind about vinyl siding is that it cannot be repainted. Once you have chosen a vinyl siding color, you are stuck with that color until the siding is completely replaced. Because of this, choosing a color for vinyl siding can be overwhelming.

When choosing a vinyl siding color for your home, there are several factors to keep in mind such as roof color, size of home, style of home, and your own personal style.

It is important to consider the color of your roof. While the lifespan of siding colors can vary, a roof will typically last for around 20-30 years (depending on the material). For example, it may not be the best idea to choose a dark vinyl siding color if you have a dark roof. This can make your house feel dreary and uninviting.

The size of your home may also be an important factor to consider when choosing your vinyl siding color. A larger home may look drab with dark color siding. However, it is important to add some contrast to large homes to create dimension. For example, a large two-story home may have white, or off-white, siding with black shutters. Typically, dark colors draw your attention, which is why many homeowners choose to incorporate dark colors in accents or places where they want to grab your eye.

What is the architecture style of your home? Some homes, such as Colonial, are typically painted all the same color; however, don’t be afraid to break the rules (to an extent). For example, a beige or light gray color are good options as well.

vinyl siding color

While it is important to choose a vinyl siding color that you love, try not to choose anything that is too trendy. Replacing siding can be a huge expense so it is best to choose something timeless. In love with a bright, vibrant color? Incorporate it in your accents, such as the front door or entry mat. That way, as your style changes it will be easy to update the look of your home.

Choosing a vinyl siding color can be a daunting, yet exciting process. A few things to keep in mind when choosing a vinyl siding color are your roof color, size and style of home, as well as your personal style. For more information regarding vinyl siding and colors, visit our siding page.

How Much Does a Bay Window Cost?

Bay windows can add an instant upgrade to any home. They are simply defined as windows that protrude from the exterior of the house. Bay windows can be a relatively inexpensive option to upgrade your home.

roofing companies richmond bay window cost

How much does a bay window cost?

The cost to install bay windows can vary greatly. Some factors that affect the final cost of installing a bay window include size, material, and angle to which it protrudes. Typically, bay windows are available in angles of 90, 130, and 150 degrees.

While it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much installing a bay window will cost you, fixr.com estimates that a new, full bay window of 4-foot, 8-inches by 4-foot, 6-inches costs about $3,060 (according to their national average). The cost of installing a bay window will also depend on your geographic location.

It is important to note that bay windows cannot be installed on every area of the home. In addition to choosing a location that would be large enough and aesthetically pleasing, bay windows must be installed under an eave. An eave is the part of the roof that overhangs the exterior wall of the house. The reason why an eave is required for installing a bay window is because bay windows require extra support since they protrude away from the house. The size of the eave determines what angle your window can protrude. In the event that there is no eave present, one will have to be constructed (which will increase the costs of installing a bay window).

vinyl windows richmond bay window cost

The four major material choices for bay windows include vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and aluminum. The least expensive of those options is typically vinyl, while fiberglass is on the pricier side. Each choice of material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to do some research.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of bay windows is that they can make a room appear larger and brighter on the inside. On the outside, they can enhance the home’s curb appeal. How much does a bay window cost? It will overall depend on the size, angle, material, and personal taste. In addition, any seating or storage options below will cost a little extra, but will be well worth the investment.