Updating Your Home's Exterior

Updating Your Home's Exterior

Your home exterior says a lot about your personality, and if you feel the character of your home doesn’t accurately reflect your own, then you can completely change, update, and revamp the look of your house with exterior remodeling. Redoing the outside of your house is a big job and requires a lot of decisions regarding materials, style, architecture, and design, so there are some important things you should keep in mind when planning your remodel. And in case you’re not sure where to start, here are three important rules to consider when you decide it’s time for an exterior update.

1. Don’t Stand Out Like a Sore Thumb

If you were to look around your neighborhood right now, you’d probably be able to pick out a few elements that pop up over and over again in different houses. These are themes, and every neighborhood will have its own unique design themes. When you’re updating your home’s exterior, you don’t have to make your house look identical to your neighbor’s, but you also don’t want it looking entirely dissimilar.

For instance, if all your neighbors have painted their homes in muted Earth tones, then your home would stand out if you opted to repaint it bright pink. Similarly, if all the homes around are century homes in a traditional style, your house would be very conspicuous if you modernized the exterior. You can still express your own style and individuality through your exterior remodeling, but try to keep the look and style of the rest of the community.

2. Understand How Siding Will Change the Look of Your Home

Siding doesn’t just protect and insulate your house: it makes a statement. The material and siding style you choose can completely change the look of your home, and picking one siding over another will produce very different results for your exterior remodeling. When it comes to siding materials, here are a few of your choices:

Vinyl siding is affordable and low-maintenance, it cannot be painted over, and it’s available in a variety of styles, including shingles, board and batten, and dutchlap.

Fiber cement siding is resistant to fire, wind, termites, and rot, it looks like wood but is lower maintenance, and it can be textured to look like brick, stone, and other materials.

Steel is low maintenance, fire resistant, durable, and imparts a very modern feel to any house.

3. Look to Your Environment for Design Ideas

The geography and surroundings of your house should inspire the look and feel of your home exterior design plan. For instance, you can’t go wrong by opting for stucco siding and terra cotta colors if you live in the heart of canyon country. Similarly, blues and greens are great paint choices if you live near the ocean. Or, if you live in the country, imagine how at-home your house would look with stone siding and design elements that reflect the hills. By using nature and geography as your guide, your house won’t look out of place in its surroundings, and this will make your home welcoming and inviting.

Home exterior remodeling is a big project, and there are lots of things to consider before you start work. For more information about your remodeling options, design and style choices, and material possibilities, contact Greenawalt Roofing to schedule your free estimate today!

Choose the Perfect Shingle Color for You!

Choose the Perfect Shingle Color for You!

A new roof isn’t something you invest in every year, which is why you want to make sure that the one you choose—the shingle type, style, and color—will be suited to your needs and preferences.

1. Choose the Right Type of Shingle

One of the first things you’ll have to decide is what type of shingles you want for your roof. Greenawalt Roofing has the option between Certainteed Landmark shingles and TAMKO Heritage shingles.

2. Select the Style of Shingle and Features That Will Be Best

Factors to take into account include:

  • Appearance: How much dimension do you want your shingles to have? Architectural shingles are designed to provide a shadow effect that gives your roof an ultra-dimensional look.

  • Algae Defence: If you live in an algae-prone area, look for shingles that feature built-in guards against discolouration.

  • Fire Protection: To keep your home and everything in it safe, your shingles should have a Class A fire rating (the most effective against severe exposure).

Don’t forget to think about environmental conditions as well. If you live in an area that tends to get buffered by high winds or dumped with snow, your shingles need to be ready to stand up to the challenges Mother Nature has in store for them.

3. Find the Ideal Color

After you know the type and style of shingle you want, it’s time to choose the color. It sounds simple at the start, but don’t be surprised if this is the hardest part of the process:

  • Think about Your Home’s Aesthetics: While one type of shingle might work on a Tudor-style home, you might find that it clashes with other fashions (like Ranch or Colonial).

  • Don’t Forget Curb Appeal: If you might be selling your home in the next few years, going with a neutral color for your shingles is a good way to keep your roof current. Don’t be afraid to add some flare with a more striking pallet, though, if that suits your home’s overall personality.

  • Survey Your Neighborhood: Does one of your neighbors have a roof that catches your eye? Ask them what type of shingles they have and who installed them. Knowing what your neighbors have can also make it easier to figure out what unique routes you can take if you want your house to stand out.

Keep in mind that if your home is part of an association, there might be rules in place surrounding appropriate shingle colors.

In addition to speaking with your roofer about what will look best on your home and roof, you can also use online tools like the Certainteed Colorview or TAMKO StyleSelect. These tools help you explore different color combinations before visualizing them on your own home.

Whatever type and color of shingles you choose, the key is to find ones that are well matched to your home and will deliver lasting performance for many years to come.

Important Parts of Your Roof

Important Parts of Your Roof

Most homeowners know how important their home’s roofing system is, but few actually know what makes it work, specifically, the integral parts of the roof that play a role in safeguarding your family from the elements. There are three major keys to a successful roofing system.

1. Roof Decking

The deck of your roof is the base on which every component is laid. It’s essentially the “foundation” of the entire structure. Material for the decking varies. The most common is oriented strand board or plywood, but newer homes have decking made of other materials, such as concrete, polystyrene, and even metal.

2. Underlayment

The underlayment is another integral component of your entire roofing system. This one is installed directly on top of the decking and, as its name suggests, under your asphalt shingles. This is usually made of a durable paper, and it serves as a secondary leak barrier that prevents moisture from entering the inside of your roof if it manages to go through the shingles.

Problems with the underlayment are serious due to its position under the roof surface. It’s often included in the roof replacement process since a new roof requires a new underlayment as well.

3. Flashing

Flashing is a common sight on sloped roofs, located on the front edge, corners, and ridges. These thin metal strips protect the most vulnerable parts of the roof from water damage. These components are one of the first things to look at when you’re doing a roofing project as they tend to wear out much faster than the rest of the roof. Timely replacement of roof flashing can prevent more expense roofing issues.

As your trusted local roofing company, Greenawalt Roofing will make sure the most integral parts of your roof are in good condition throughout the year. Call us today at (717) 898-6000 to schedule your free roof replacement estimate! We serve homeowners in Lancaster, PA and the surrounding areas.

Can a New Roof Save You Cash?

Can a New Roof Save You Cash?

A new roof is one of the biggest things you will ever have to purchase for your home. What most homeowners do not realize is that a new roof is also an investment that can actually help save you money.

New Roofs Have New Underlayment

The layer underneath the shingles is what you call the underlayment. It’s a synthetic system that acts as a secondary moisture barrier, which protects the wooden parts of the roof below the shingles. Old roofs will probably have most of their underlayment worn down. With a new roof, you can ensure that your roof and the rest of your home has better moisture protection, allowing it to better handle water intrusion coming from the shingles.

Storm-Proof Roofs

An old roof will probably have an outdated method of “strapping” it onto the house to make sure that it doesn’t get damaged by a storm or hurricane. As such, failing to replace an old roof in time might end up disastrous for you. New residential roofing systems have updated straps that keep them safe from storms and better equipped to handle strong winds.

Better Shingle Wind Rating

Similarly, installing a new roof nets you with shingles with increased shingle wind rating. Considering that wind ratings for shingles have increased dramatically in the last ten years, your home’s existing shingles might be at an even greater risk from wind damage if you do not replace the roof.

New Roofs Comply With Building Codes

Finally, replacing your old roof means you are guaranteeing that your property is up to current building codes and standards. This can positively affect your home’s insurance rates on top of ensuring the safety of your family.

Greenawalt Roofing offers quality roofing services. Give us a call at (717) 898-6000 to learn more about our new roof installation services, to schedule a free hail inspection, or a free roofing estimate. We serve Lancaster, Pa and the surrounding areas.

Roofing Contract Guidelines

Roofing Contract Guidelines

Understanding a Roofing Contract

Make Sure Your Contract Has All the Details

Your roofing estimate needs to be detailed. If all it says is “replace existing roof with new underlayment, flashing, and shingles,” that simply won’t cut it. You need to find out more.

Details you should pay attention to include:

  • The number of layers that need to be stripped. Some roofs only have one or two layer of shingles, while others have three. That subtle difference can make a cost difference in the contract.

  • Applying ice and water shields in the valleys. Valleys – the areas where two roof planes meet – need to be properly sealed to ensure water can’t penetrate the roof deck below. Your contract should contain specific information about the type of ice and water shield your roofer will use.

  • The type of underlayment used. Pay attention if your roofer plans to use synthetic underlayments, as most don’t breathe. If moisture becomes trapped underneath, it will be unable to dry and can lead to mold problems down the road.

  • Installation of drip or metal edge. Drip or metal edge should be placed under the shingles where they come off the roof, helping direct water away. Some less reputable roofers, though, won’t install drip or metal edge unless the homeowner asks.

  • Whether or not new flashing is to be installed. These pieces can be time consuming for roofers to make, but it’s important they be replaced. Old flashing are not designed to integrate with new shingles, and they’ll also wear more quickly than the rest of your roof if not swapped at the same time.

  • Shingle Type and Brand: Your roofer needs to specify the manufacturer and color of shingles they’ll be using.

Clarify the Schedule

It’s worth acknowledging that a precise schedule might be difficult to pin down ahead of time, since start and end dates can be easily affected by fluctuating weather.

Confirm the Right to Terminate or Rescind

Your contract should outline details about when you can cancel your contract without incurring a penalty. 48 hours is common, but it will vary between roofers. Don’t forget to pay attention to the details about what happens if you cancel after that window. Some roofers will opt to hold your deposit, while others will ask for a certain amount of money – whether a flat fee or percentage of the estimate – for compensation.

Read Over the Payment Terms

Most roofers require a deposit, whether a consistent amount or a percentage of your estimate. Be sure you’re clear about the details of the deposit and other relevant information, including how you’ll need to pay and when.

Find Out How Your Roofer Will Look After Your Property

  • Inspecting Your Property: Before beginning any work, your roofer should take time to assess the property’s condition and find out if there are any areas they need to be cautious around. Remember to be realistic in expecting any roofing project to produce debris, including some that might land on your lawn. By highlighting sensitive areas, however, your roofer can be extra careful when and where they need to.

  • Taking Caution while Working: Your roofer needs to take steps to protect your home – especially eavestroughs using tools like ladder or trough stabilizers. They also shouldn’t strip more than they need to. If there are any areas left open, your roofers need to cover them before leaving for the day.

  • Cleaning Up After the Job is Done: Your roofer needs to remove all tools, supplies, and debris to leave your property looking just as it was (if not better with its new, improved roof!) before they arrived.

Study the Warranties Your Roofer Includes

When push comes to shove, the right warranty makes a big difference. There are two kinds of warranties your contract should include:

  • Workmanship Warranty: Offered by the roofer themselves, this warranty covers the work they perform.

  • Supplier Warranties: These warranties are offered by suppliers to cover defects or issues that arise with their products. They’re typically valid for anywhere between five to fifty years.

Don’t forget to read the fine print to find out if the warranties are transferable. Alongside a quality, reliable roof, this can be an excellent selling feature if you need to sell your home in the future.

Damage to Windows

Damage to Windows

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When the weather changes, windows can get stress cracks. Stress cracks can occur with drastic changes in outside temperature. These can also occur when the inside of your house has a large temperature difference from the outside.

You may also notice that some windows in your home have fog or condensation between the glass. This means that the seal is broken and moisture is getting between the panes. A broken seal on a window will remove almost any energy efficiency features from the window. The solution for this issue is to replace the whole window unit.

These days vinyl windows can be customized to anything you want. The outside part of the vinyl can be customized to match the color of your home. The outside can also be capped in any accent color. Your grid pattern can also be custom created, giving the exact feel that you want. Windows should only be installed by someone who is experienced in window installations. Otherwise you could end up with the same problems with your windows that you had before, or worse.

 

At Greenawalt Roofing, we can review all the options and styles to help you make the best choice for your home. We recommend and install MI windows which are manufactured in the United States and backed by a Limited Lifetime Customer Assurance Warranty.

Budgeting Your Roofing Project

Budgeting Your Roofing Project

Roofing project costs vary from one situation to another, but one thing’s certain: you need to budget for them wisely. Planning your roofing budget takes a lot of consideration to avoid making a hole in your savings.

Outline Costs

Materials will account for most of your roofing budget, but you ought to include the costs of labor and permits into the equation. Otherwise, you can’t prepare your finances for the job.

Say No to Allowances

Allowances are line items in the estimate yet to be determined. To come up with the bid, a roofer would use certain numbers as placeholders. But since there’s a broad range of price points for different roofing components, there’s a great chance that you wouldn’t get an accurate estimate if you leave some things to chance. Sort out everything from the start to receive an itemized bid for the job.

Avoid Last-Minute Changes

Change orders can affect not only the project’s timeline, but also its overall cost. They’re sometimes inevitable, but try to avoid them as much as possible.

Have a Buffer

Experienced roofing contractors would attest that budgeting with contingencies is paramount. Ideally, you should reserve one-fifth of your total funds for any additional necessary work.

Pay in Installments

Taking out an interest-free loan can make your roofing project more manageable. Not only will it break what you owe into smaller payments, it can also give you access to costlier products that you otherwise can’t afford.

Greenawalt Roofing Company can plan your project without making your budget a disaster. Call us at (717) 898-6000 to schedule your free roof replacement estimate today!

Exterior Home Improvements to Sell Your Home

Exterior Home Improvements to Sell Your Home

Update Roofing

The exterior of the home is the first impression you will give to potential buyers. When you clean a home, you clean it top to bottom and when you improve your exterior, you do the same. The roof is going to draw the eye first, especially if it has some sores. If you can’t avoid the roof problem inexpensively, consider investing in and advertising a “brand new roof” by getting a full roof replacement.

Landscaping & Curb Appeal

Make sightly repairs to the front of the home and frame the walk way and porch with attractive and low maintenance plants, surrounded by an attractive, contrasting mulch. It’s been proven that potential buyers sometimes drive by in the evening or night, so consider adding new lights that will showcase your home nicely. A popular trend that has charmed home buyers has been to paint the door a bright color and change its fixtures.

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Add a Deck

Adding an extra place for a family to gather and make memories, such as a deck, serves all the new residents, no matter their age or interests. For you, it can be an investment that almost pays for itself but may be the element that turns a buyer’s maybe into a resounding ‘yes!’.

Replace Windows

If you live in a large city, it’s said that replacing the windows will more than be returned on your investment in the end. Otherwise, the investment typically returns 90% back. It’s apparent that researching which investments to make is wise. Ask your listing agent for recommendations on replacements, and do your own online research before making any decisions. If you are on a limited budget for making your home as appealing as possible to buyers, always make the necessary repairs first; leaks, broken windows, structural integrity issues, etc. Home buyers will much more appreciate a structurally sound home than an attractive one!

Skylights & Sun Tunnels

Skylights & Sun Tunnels

Skylights and sun tunnels are a perfect way to bring natural light into your home or building. Not only does a skylight or sun tunnel bring daylight indoors but is also energy efficient. In order for the skylights and sun tunnels to be beneficial they must be installed correctly. Our sales representative will walk you through the variety of styles and sizes that fit your room or space that needs to be brightened up.

 
 

In order for the skylights and sun tunnels to be beneficial they must be installed correctly. Our sales representative will walk you through the variety of styles and sizes that fit your room or space that needs to be brightened up.

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Living Room: Velux skylights with blinds allow full control over the light in your living room, from sunny and inviting gatherings to theater-like dimness on family movie night. Controlling the light as needed also helps control the electricity bill.

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Kitchen: Choose "Fresh Air" skylights to release warm, moist air and clear out cooking odors. Light from above adds natural daylight without eating up your cabinet space and provides balanced lighting for delicate cooking tasks.

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Bathroom: Choose Velux No Leak Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylights for beautiful natural light and relaxing fresh air that won’t compromise your privacy. An easy remote control allows you to open the skylight to release moisture accumulation when you shower. And with no electricity requirements, it beats any bathroom fan.

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Bedroom: Sleep under the stars, wake up to plentiful sunshine or drift off in total darkness. Choosing skylights with blinds such as the Electric “Fresh Air” Skylight allows total control over the light in your bedroom without sacrificing privacy. And with blackout blinds, you can block the light – 98% to be exact – for light sleepers in need of deep sleep.

Hallways: Just because they don’t always have a view doesn’t mean hallways and stairways don’t need natural light. Choose Velux Sun Tunnel Skylights to funnel daylight through a reflective tunnel to illuminate the spaces below. 

Benefits of Installing Velux Skylights & Sun Tunnels:

  • Adding natural light to your dark spaces

  • Electrical remote control options

  • Lower energy cost with free lighting and venting; allows warm air to escape cooling off your home

  • Can visually expand interior space making small spaces feel bigger

Interested in getting a quote?

 
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Call Greenawalt Roofing at 717-898-6000 or fill out an estimate request form to set up an on-site consultation to bring daylight into your dark room or space today!

Successful Roofing System

Successful Roofing System

A roof failing only a few years after being installed would be a nightmare scenario for any homeowner. A new roof is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your home, and you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible.

So how can you make sure your new roof looks and performs its best for decades to come?

1. Use the Highest Quality Roofing Materials

Quality roofing materials last a long time and keep your home protected from the elements.

When assessing different materials for your roof, make sure you take into account factors like:

  • Fire Ratings: Roofing materials can be given one of three grades ranging from an A (effective against severe exposure) to a C (only effective against light exposure). Keep in mind that not all materials (like untreated wood shingles, for example) can be rated.

  • Weight: Roofs are only designed to carry a certain amount of weight. If you want to exceed the maximum for your roof, you’ll need to strengthen the substructure (framing). This takes more time and adds additional costs.

  • Lifespan: This varies between materials. Laminate shingles typically last 25 to 35 years, while cedar shakes can make it to 30.

  • Durability: Your roof needs to be ready to stand up against whatever conditions Mother Nature throws at it including high winds, snow, rain, hail, and sleet.

2. Ensure Proper Installation

To get the best performance out of your roofing materials, they need to be properly installed. You want to find a professional roofer to work on your home, one who stands behind the quality of their workmanship. Greenawalt Roofing offers a 12-year workmanship guarantee. At the completion of your installation, we’ll provide you with a certificate of craftsmanship for the work performed.

When you’re evaluating different roofers, consider things like:

  • The Company’s Reputation: Find out how long they’ve been in business, and ensure they have a fixed physical address out of which they operate. What do past customers have to say about them? Consult customer testimonials on their website and third-party reviews from sources like Google or Facebook.

  • Insurance: Your roofer needs to have both General Liability and Worker's Compensation insurance to keep you, your home, and their crews protected.

  • Warranties: Most reputable roofers will offer workmanship warranties (these cover problems that are associated with the work they perform).

3. Install a Good Attic Ventilation System

Your attic needs to be well ventilated to prevent heat and moisture from damaging rafters, shingles, and insulation. Roofing experts and building codes typically recommend one square foot of attic ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space, though the exact ratio will depend on your roof structure and climate.

4. Use Flashing to Waterproof Your Chimney & Skylights

Flashing is pieces of material that are installed around potential weak spots such as chimneys, vents, or skylights to keep water from sneaking in:

  • If your flashing is still in good condition, your roofer might be able to reuse them. This is especially the case if they are stepped into a wall. Your roofer might also be able to apply additional caulking, which will help strengthen your roof’s water-tight barrier.

  • If your flashing is older, they’ll need to be replaced. An experienced roofer will remove and measure the existing flashing, and then custom bend new parts before installing them securely and correctly.

Understanding the reasons why a new roof can fail will help you choose a professional and trustworthy roofer who will leave you confident in the durability of your new roof. Give Greenawalt Roofing a call at (717)898-6000 to schedule your free roof replacement estimate today!