Building a house involves more than getting the walls, windows, and roof in place and inviting a household to move in. Safety, energy efficiency, cost, and pest control are all issues of any modern home, and if not handled correctly, these issues can cost homeowners a shocking amount of money in repairs and replacement. High quality windows, gutter maintenance, roof repair, and siding repair, among other things, will always come up, but getting the right job done will minimize the need for costly and otherwise avoidable repairs. What can a homeowner do for siding repair and roof maintenance that lasts?
How Houses Leak Money
If a home’s initial construction or repairs are shoddily done, they can cost the homeowner a lot of cash in the long run. In fact, a typical family will spend 33% of their heating and cooling budget, at a rough average of $350, on air that simply leaks through unexpected gaps and cracks in the home, through the windows or roof or anywhere else. All that money cold be saved with proper construction. Also, winds stronger than 110 mph can tear off house siding, so in storm-prone areas, homeowners are encouraged to buy the most cost-efficient replacement materials. And on average, a homeowner will spend 1 to 4% of the house’s total value each year on maintenance and repair. On a $200,000 house, that could mean $2,000 each year at minimum. But having the right materials and efficient systems can lower these costs and make them less frequent.
Better Home Construction
Windows and doors are one area to consider. The average home will lose 38% of its lost heat through windows and doors alone, and if that house has drafty single-pane windows, the heat loss could reach 50%. However, recent models of windows and doors are often energy-conscious, and they can seal any and all holes to prevent drafts, lessening the stress on heating and air conditioning systems. New windows can effectively pay for themselves this way, as can doors.
Preventing pest damage is another route for home efficiency. Squirrels often chew their way through wooden walls and set up nests in attics or air ducts, which can clog air flow, and these rodents also chew up phone and power cables, which can be a costly hassle to replace. Instead, homeowners can use rodent-repelling paint or glue on walls, and trim tree branches near the house to limit squirrels’ access to the building. Setting traps and poisoned bait can take care of an existing infestation.
Siding repair is another major arena to consider. Every house needs good siding, and there are several stylish varieties to choose from, according to Angies List. Siding repair can vary between vinyl, premium vinyl, cement board, and natural wood, among other materials, with pros and cons of each type. Aluminum used to be popular, but it dents easily and is tricky to update once installed, so many contractors today don’t even bother with it. But the other options are all solid choices for siding repair.
Vinyl is a strong option, being affordable at $4 to $5 per square foot, and comes in a wide variety of colors from greens, blues, and reds to more muted colors like ivory and gray. It is also water-repellent and easy to install and replace, and can be power washed for maximum appearance. Premium vinyl costs more, but is heavier and more durable and also comes in many colors, and has a longer lifespan.
Wood siding gives a home a charming and rustic look, and cedar and redwood are popular wood types for this kind of siding repair. Lighter colored woods are recommended over darker ones, since they expand and contract less due to temperature. Either way, wood can be expensive, at $7 to $14 per square foot, so it’s a serious investment, and will need maintenance, such as sealing sprays.
Siding repair can also involve fiber cement, a combination of cement, clay, sand, and wood pulp. Models made before the late 1980s may contain asbestos, and should be removed by a professional. The advantages of this material is that it is pre colored and will sometimes need a new caulk job at the butt joints.