5 Benefits of a Garage Door Replacement

Replacing an old, battered garage door can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. While a garage door replacement may not be the most enticing home improvement project, it can provide major return on investment. Replacing an old garage door with a new one can almost pay for itself come time for resale.

garage door replacements, including Craftsman style doors

Garage Door Replacement

Are you considering investing in a new garage door? There are many benefits of replacing your garage door. Here are the top five advantages of a garage door replacement:

Attractive Appearance.

Replacing an old garage door with an updated style can do wonders for curb appeal. After all, depending on the design of your home, a garage door can take up a substantial amount of your home’s exterior. The right garage door can help to create an inviting and attractive exterior. Luckily, garage doors are available in several colors, finishes, and styles to suit any home. Since there are many garage door styles to choose from, it is important to choose a door that represents your personal style and blends in with the rest of the home.

Higher Return on Investment.

While kitchens and bathrooms might be the most popular renovation projects among homeowners, they don’t necessary provide the best return on your investment. According to Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value report, a garage door replacement in the South Atlantic region can see a return on investment of 80.4%, with an average job cost of $1,655 and a return of $1,330. In comparison, kitchen and bathroom remodels had an average return on investment of 68.8% and 66.1%, respectively.

new construction garage door replacement

Improved Insulation.

Since garages are often not considered living space, construction standards differ from the rest of the home; this means garages aren’t as energy efficient as they could be. A new garage door can mean better insulation, which can help to keep cool air in during the summer and cold air out during the winter. In turn, this can also help to reduce energy bills.

Low Maintenance.

A huge bonus of a new garage door is that it doesn’t come with a long list of maintenance requirements. Thankfully, long gone are the days of scraping off flaking paint and repainting or refinishing wood garage doors. Most metal doors only require occasional cleaning with soap and water.

Promoted Safety.

A new garage door can mean more safety for you and your family. Most newer garage doors come with photoelectric detectors, which sense when something or someone is coming in or out of the garage when in motion.

garage door replacement with windows

Interested in scheduling a garage door replacement? Good news is that a garage door replacement is a relatively affordable home improvement project in comparison to major remodeling projects. A garage door replacement has many benefits, including high return on investment, low maintenance, improved insulation, and more. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us for a free estimate.

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

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Choosing the Best Siding Color For Your Home

Is it time for a siding replacement? Or is the paint on your siding starting to show fading or peeling? Choosing a siding color can be an overwhelming experience. After all, it is likely that you’ll be keeping the same siding color on your home for several years to come.

Craftsman style home with the popular sage green siding color.

First, before diving into color swatches, it is helpful to understand the expected paint lifespan on various siding materials:

  1. Vinyl. Vinyl siding is the most affordable and popular siding option; however, one major downside of vinyl siding is that it often cannot be repainted. Once you choose a color, you are typically stuck with it until it is time for a replacement. On average, vinyl siding has a lifespan of around 20-40 years.
  2. Wood. Wood is a timeless and traditional favorite for home siding. If properly maintained, wood siding can last decades. According to Bob Vila, “Failure to paint, stain, or otherwise seal the material makes it vulnerable to moisture, and as any homeowner knows, moisture and wood do not mix”. Thus, the paint on wood siding is only expected to last around 3-7 years.
  3. Fiber Cement. While fiber cement siding is known to have a warranty of around 30 years or more, the paint warranty is separate. This is because the paint is often put on at the factory. According to James Hardie’s ColorPlus® Technology Express Limited Finish Warranty, their siding will not chip, peel, or crack for 15 years after the purchase date. Although the paint lifespan is extended, fading will happen over time and it will need to be repainted.

Choosing a Siding Color

Now that you know how long your siding color is expected to last, it is important to address a few key tips and tricks in selecting the right siding color. We have complied a few key factors to help you choose the right siding color:

Addition with wood siding to match the original home. The siding color is a mustard yellow

The color of your roof.

Your roof color will play an important role in your siding color selection. After all, the lifespan of a shingle roof is around 20-30 years. It may not be a good idea to select a siding color too similar to the roof color. For example, a dark roof and a dark siding color can make the home look dreary and uninviting; on the other hand, a light roof and a light siding color can make the home look too bright and sterile.

The size of your home.

The size of your home is another factor to consider when choosing your siding color of choice. A larger home may look drab with darker siding since the dark color can be overbearing. However, a larger home shouldn’t have exclusively light colors. It is also important to create contrast. A good idea would be to contrast lighter siding with dark accents, such as the shutters. Plus, since dark colors grab your eye, we suggest including dark colors in accents or places where you want to catch the viewers’ attention.

The architectural style of your home.

What’s the architectural style of your home? Often, different home styles are known for different siding colors. For example, Colonial style homes often have white siding and Craftsman style homes are known to have darker siding colors, such as sage. However, don’t be afraid to bend the rules…well, to an extent. To give an example, a home style that is known for white siding might look attractive with light gray siding. The subtle shift of color is unexpected and fun, without looking to out of place.

Craftsman style custom home with a two-toned gray siding color

Color Trends

In addition to these tips, it is also a wise decision to avoid a siding color that is too trendy. After all, the siding that you choose is a huge investment and cannot be easily changed – no matter the material you choose. If you want to include a trendy color, it is best to include it in accents that are easier to swap out. This can be in items such as entry mats, planters, and the like. That way, it is simple to swap pieces out when you grow tired of that color.

In conclusion, when choosing a siding color for your home can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. To make it easier, some key factors to consider when choosing your siding color include the color of your roof, size of your home, the architectural style of your home, and your own personal taste. For more information regarding our siding services, click here to view our trusted brands or contact us for a free estimate.

Is James Hardie Siding Worth The Investment?

By now, I’m sure that many of you have heard the craze of James Hardie’s fiber cement siding that mimics the look of real wood. While fiber cement has been around for many years, it has just recently spiked in popularity. What makes James Hardie’s fiber cement siding so special?

james hardie siding lap board
Custom Balducci home with James Hardie siding products

James Hardie Siding

First off, James Hardie is a well-known and trusted name in residential construction and remodeling. They are headquartered in Amsterdam with operations in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe. James Hardie values innovation and research in the pursuit to create quality products for your home.

James Hardie’s fiber cement siding is one of the most durable siding options on the market today. What is fiber cement, exactly? Fiber cement is composed of four elements: water, wood pulp, fly ash, and portland cement. The combination of these materials results in a high quality siding product.

james hardie siding products labeled on home
Photo: Exterior Designers, Inc.

Advantages of James Hardie Siding

When it comes to James Hardie‘s fiber cement siding, there is a long list of benefits. Some of the advantages include:

Extremely Durable. Hardie Board siding is very durable and is unlikely to peel, fade, or rot. As a bonus, most Hardie Board comes with a 50 year limited warranty.

Beautiful Appearance. Fiber cement siding is a beautiful option for any home exterior and exudes the timeless look of wood siding, without the upkeep. As a bonus, James Hardie offers several styles of Hardie Board to mimic the look of wood lap boards, cedar shingles, and wood shaker siding. James Hardie is also available in many colors to suit any home.

Low-Maintenance. Since James Hardie in resistant against harsh weather, rotting, warping, and more, this means you’ll save money long-term on repairs and maintenance. Also, on average, vinyl siding has a paint lifespan of 5 to 7 years. On the other hand, James Hardie’s paint lifespan is about 3x that due to the company’s ColorPlus® Technology.

Fire Resistance. Since Hardie Board is primarily made up of sand and cement it is more fire resistant. Vinyl siding is prone to feed flames and, as we know, wood is extremely combustible.

Storm Resistance. According to James Hardie’s website, “James Hardie siding and trim products provide more protection than wood from wet and freezing conditions as well as hot, humid weather.”

gray James Hardie siding on home
Back view of a Balducci home with James Hardie siding

Return on Investment

While we know fiber cement siding has many advantages, the biggest drawback is its high price tag. According to sidingcost.org, “For a typical American home, the average total cost can range from $8,000 and $20,000 for standard vinyl siding. — Compare that to fiber cement which on the same home will cost $14,000 to $28,000 for full installation.” So, is James Hardie siding worth the extra cost?

Although James Hardie siding comes with a hefty price tag, it is important to consider the average return on investment instead of solely looking at the price. This will help to determine whether the fiber cement siding is worth the investment. According to Remodeling Magazine, fiber cement siding replacement has been consistently ranked as the #1 return on investment from 2009-2015. Additionally, “100% of homeowners responding to the “Report” said they were happy or satisfied with the result of their fiber-cement siding replacement project.”

James Hardie’s fiber cement siding is a great choice for many homes since it can drastically improve the curb appeal and increase home value. Overall, James Hardie is a great investment for those looking for a long-lasting and low-maintenance siding material. It is important to properly maintain your James Hardie siding products to prolong its long lifespan and get the biggest bang for your buck.

Need more information on James Hardie products for your home? Feel free to contact Balducci Exteriors to set up an appointment for a free estimate.

Guide to Replacing Your Front Door

The front door, while often overlooked, plays a large role in your home’s curb appeal.  In addition, it can play a role in the perceived value of your home. If you are like most homeowners, your front door was inherited with your home. Oftentimes, this means that your front door may not reflect the architecture of the home or your personal style. Luckily, replacing your entry door is a relatively affordable way to update the exterior of your home.

craftsman style home with mahogany front door

What Are the Benefits?

There are several benefits in replacing the front door/entry door. These benefits can include:

  1. Increased energy efficiency. Replacing your front door can mean better energy efficiency. With technological advancements, new doors typically have better insulation properties, which allows them to hold heat in the winter and keep it out in the summer. It is important to be on the lookout for doors with Energy Star stickers!
  2. Improved curb appeal. Having a front door that complements your home can greatly improve your home’s aesthetic. When choosing a door, a few factors should be considered, including: your home’s architectural style, the color of your existing siding and shutters, and your personal taste.
  3. Better security. One of the most common ways intruders break in is through the front door. A new lock system means better home security. Also, newer doors are usually constructed in sections glued together, and are fused with updated lasers and adhesives; thus, a stronger door is designed to help keep you and your family safe.

Replacing the Front Door

So let’s say that you’re sold on changing out your front door and you’re now wondering, “what’s next?” Well, in some cases replacing a door simply means replacing the old door with the new. This is called a slab or blank. On the other hand, there are times when the old door framing has to be ripped out. This includes the door jambs and threshold.

Most doors sold today are pre-hung doors. Pre-hung doors hang on hinges within the new frame and often include some type of weatherstripping. They are the perfect option for cases where the old frame was bad/rotted or if you want to install a larger door and enlarge the opening.

traditional home with red double doors front door

Materials

There are several options for a front door as far as materials. These materials include:

Wood

Wood is the most common door material. Not only are wood doors beautiful, they are also versatile and are available in nearly any stain or paint color. In addition, they can be custom made to fit any size opening or be trimmed to fit a specific doorway. Wood doors are the material of choice for custom designs!

Unfortunately, wood doors has a tendency to warp after being exposed to the elements. Thanks to new technologies, newer wood door models have veneer skins over a wood core. This not only helps to prevent warping, it also helps to lower the cost. However, they should still be examined annually for signs of warping.

Fiberglass and Composite

Fiberglass and composite doors are both durable and maintenance-free. They are a great option since they can mimic the look and feel of a wood door, while being relatively affordable. In addition, fiberglass and composite doors are durable and can stand up to dings without getting dents. Since they are so durable, they are a great choice for harsh and humid climates. While fiberglass and composite doors are durable, energy-efficient, and versatile, they are pricier than other front door options.

Steel

Steel doors are often the most affordable option and are manufactured as part of a pre-hung system. They provide more insulation that wood doors, but typically less than fiberglass. Steel doors are prone to dents; however, most minor dents can be repaired with an auto-body repair kit. Also, if exposed to direct sunlight, steel doors can become hot to the touch. Steel doors are also prone to rust so they might not be the best choice for harsher climates. In addition, they cannot be painted so customizations are limited.

craftsman style custom home with front door with transom and side lights

Choosing Your New Door

Replacing the front door/entry door can lead to smoother operation, less maintenance, increased security, better energy efficiency, and improved curb appeal. In the end, the door you choose should reflect your personal style, as well as your home’s architecture. In addition, the color, style, and hardware chosen should make your home’s curb appeal more appealing. If you have any questions, we invite you to contact us.

Guide to Adding a Sunroom Addition

Are you considering adding on a sunroom to your home? A sunroom is a great option for those hoping to enjoy the surrounding outdoor scenery while being sheltered from wind, bugs, rain, and cold weather. In addition, being exposed to natural sunlight can help prevent the “winter blues.”

 

 

Sunrooms are defined as glassed-in living spaces with access from the main home. They are an affordable way to add additional living space without the cost of hefty construction. As with any construction project, there are many factors to be taken into consideration when planning a sunroom. These include:

Main Function

First, it is important to assess how you primarily plan on using your sunroom addition. There are endless options which include, but are not limited to:

  • Dining Room
  • Family Room
  • Greenhouse
  • Home Office
  • Exercise Room
  • Playroom

 

Three Season vs. All Season Room

Do you want your sunroom to be a three season or an all season room? Three season rooms are typically enjoyed Spring – Fall, with the space seldom used during the Winter due to lack of insulation.

While sunrooms serve as additional living space, they may get too hot/cold in the heart of summer or winter. Typically, an all season room has some form of heating and cooling. This could be a space heater, electric fireplace, or another option. For the hot summer days in Virginia we recommend installing a mini-split system. To learn more about mini-split systems, please read this blog post.

 

Location and Size

When planning for a sunroom addition, it is important to consider where you want your new structure to be. Do you picture you new sunroom off of the back, or on either side of the house? Once the location has been decided, it is important to determine the amount of sunlight room will experience. In the event that your sunroom will experience direct sunlight you may want to consider window treatments or shades. In addition, don’t forget about any items in your landscaping that might affect your sunroom – is there a tree in the way that needs to be removed?

 

Overall, the size that you choose for your sunroom will be largely determined by the space that your yard allots and how you intend to use your sunroom.

 

Window Configuration

Sunrooms are typically comprised of single or double pane windows. Double pane windows are much more energy efficient and can help to save money on heating and cooling. There are many different types of double pane windows that can be installed in a sunroom addition. Some window types to choose from include:

  • Fixed Windows
  • Slider Windows
  • Casement Windows
  • Double-Hung Windows

Choosing the right windows for your home will depend on what functionality you would like from your windows and the style of the existing windows on your home.

 

Flooring

There are many types of flooring to choose from. These include:

  • Hardwood
  • Tile
  • Carpet
  • Laminate
  • Concrete
  • Linoleum

Each type of flooring has its own drawbacks and advantages, so it is important to pick the flooring that best fits your needs. For example, tile is a durable option that can retain heat; however, dark tiles can get hot after being exposed to the sun all day.

 

Sunrooms can be a great addition to nearly any home; after all, can even increase your home value when it comes time to sell. A sunroom is the perfect place to bring family together, from enjoying morning cups of coffee to observing the sunset at the end of the day. Your sunroom addition is sure to become the most popular room in your home. Wondering how to get started on the process? Contact Balducci Exteriors to set up a free in-home consultation.

How to Choose a Shingle Color

Choosing a Shingle Color

Did you know that your roof can account for up to 40% of your home’s exterior? This is why choosing the right shingle color can be challenging. After all, the color cannot be changed. You can expect to see the color you choose for the next 20-25 years, or when you are due for a roof replacement, so it is important to thoroughly do your research and choose a color that you enjoy.

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Since your roof accounts for a significant portion of your home’s exterior, you should consider other exterior elements of your home. Some factors that will determine which shingle color you should choose include the color of your shutters, the color of your brick or siding, and the color of your front door.

vinyl windows vs wood shingle color
Custom Home by Balducci Builders, Inc.

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Creating a Color Scheme

When choosing your shingle color, it is important to consider your home’s architectural style. Homes with a higher pitch or greater slope will have more of the roof showing from the street. This includes Colonial, Cape Cod, Cottage, and other styles. If your home has any special features, such as dormers or gables, you will want to choose a color that will draw the eye up to these points of interest.

It is also important to create the right amount of contrast between your shingle color and brick or siding. Without enough contrast, your home can appear bland and boring. Creating contrast can be achieved through combining light and dark colors, as well as combining complementary colors. The same also goes for patterns. If your home is busy, with multi-color brick, stone, or siding, then it is best to choose a simple shingle color. On the other hand, homes with vinyl siding in one color may benefit from having shingles with some variation.

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Consider Location

Another factor that will help you decide what shingle color you should choose is your geographic location. What is the weather like where you live? For those in a warmer climate, there is a possibility that lighter colored roofing shingles can possibly help keep the home’s interior cooler. According to a three year study, “on sunny days, the top ply of plywood roof sheathing under black shingles was 10˚F to 15°F (5˚C to 8˚C) warmer than that of identical white shingled roof chambers.” However, the black-shingled chambers were exposed to temperatures above 120˚F for longer periods of time than the white-shingled chambers. While the study does show that it is possible that black shingles might make your home warmer, it is likely your home’s insulation quality and ventilation that determines your home’s energy efficiency. Choosing to go with lighter or darker colored shingles in the hopes of making your home cooler or warmer is up to your discretion.

Also, consider the colors around where you live. For example, the skies in the North are much more cool-toned than in the South. It is common to see home’s with gray and blue color schemes in the North, and red and brown colors in the South. This information can help to determine what color family you should choose.

Along with your geographic location, take a look at your specific neighborhood or area where you live. When choosing a shingle color, take a look at your neighbors. You don’t want your roof to stick out like a sore thumb. Instead, choose a shingle color that harmonizes well with the neighboring homes and landscape.

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Choosing the shingle color for your roof can be overwhelming; however, considering some factors such as your home’s architectural style, siding or brick color, shutter color, and geographic location can make the selection process a little easier.

Planning an Outdoor Kitchen (And Why You Need One)

For many people, outdoor kitchens are a far fetched dream. They exude luxury entertainment and can be as well equipped as any indoor kitchen. Adding an outdoor kitchen to your home has many benefits. In addition to providing an awesome entertainment space, an outdoor kitchen can increase your home value. Some other lesser known benefits of adding an outdoor kitchen include: cooking healthier recipes, saving money by eating out less, and keeping bad cooking smells out of your home.

outdoor kitchen

When planning an outdoor kitchen space, there are several things to keep in mind to create an efficient and inviting space. here are some tips to make the planning process a little less overwhelming:

Establish the Location

Often, the first step in planning your outdoor kitchen is to establish where you want the kitchen to be located. Typically, it is better to have your outdoor kitchen closer to your house if you plan on using some appliances in the main kitchen, or if you have a smaller yard size. This set up works well if you plan on using your outdoor kitchen for mainly grilling and will keep condiments and beverages inside. placing your outdoor kitchen close to the house makes preparing meals in the outdoor kitchen more convenient. However, if you want a more extravagant outdoor kitchen, placing it farther away from the home will serve the space better. This is also preferable if you have a larger yard size. Plus, this will help to keep fumes and smells outside of your home.

Choose Your Equipment

Choosing a grill for your outdoor kitchen can be overwhelming. After all, it is typically the focal point of any outdoor kitchen. Will you have natural gas or charcoal? How many guests do you plan on cooking for? Grills can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Practically speaking, you will want a grill that has at least 12,000 British thermal units per burner, ample cooking space, and a grill cover. Once you have the basics covered, feel free to add on any bells and whistles that you desire.

In addition to the grill, it is also important to determine any other appliances that you wish to include. This can include anything from a small refrigerator or prep sink, to a kegerator and pizza oven. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing appliances for your outdoor kitchen is their durability.

Planning the Layout and Materials

Just as any kitchen should have a good, working design and configuration between the appliances and prep areas, so should your outdoor kitchen. A good way to ensure the efficiency of an outdoor kitchen layout is by utilizing a working triangle. In a working triangle, it is important to leave enough space between each appliance to allow for ample prep and cooking space without feeling too claustrophobic. Going along with the working triangle, it is also important to allot for ample countertop space. It is recommended that you have at least 12 inches of work space on either side of the grill to set down plates and utensils as you’re cooking. In addition to a work space, you can configure your countertops to also serve as a serving and eating space.

The countertops and all other materials that you choose must be hardworking. After all, it will be exposed to whatever the weather brings – from bright sunlight to snowfall. Some durable and low maintenance materials include stainless steel and tile.

Plan for Lighting

Lighting is an essential part of any outdoor living space, especially for outdoor kitchens. Including lights in your outdoor kitchen area can allow you to enjoy your space long after dinner. The best way to effectively incorporate lighting into your outdoor kitchen is by including both task lighting and ambient lighting. This can be accomplished by installing a couple of lights over the grilling and food prep areas, as well as any dining areas. To set the mood, it is also a good idea to include some decorative lights, such as string lights, solar powered lights, candles, and even tiki torches.

outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are a great investment for those who love to invite family and friends over by adding additional entertaining space. Planning an outdoor kitchen can be overwhelming; however, it can be made a little more manageable if you plan its location, equipment, appliances, materials, and lighting ahead of time. Once your outdoor kitchen is complete, don’t forget to plan that long awaited barbecue with family and friends to enjoy your new space.