Vinyl siding or LP Smartside/James Hardie?

Each trade show and every year this same question is brought up! And honestly, it’s a tough question, which merit’s a post, and we recommend asking your go-to contractor his thoughts. If you asked 100 contractor’s you’d get a variety of responses. Regardless whether their a preferred contractor, 30+ years in construction, or your favorite handyman. However, in my experience this question can only be answered by YOU the homeowner! 

Go ahead visit the leading vinyl manufacturers websites such as: Plygem or Royal Building Products, James Hardie.com, or LP Building product’s they’ll showcase the advantages over their peers. Each site exhibit beautiful houses, trending colors, and their extensive product warranties. I’d recommend before you upload an image of your house to ask yourself “what are your intentions for your home?”

We know it’s common for homeowner’s to comprise a ” fix-it” list in March and we professionally recommend it. A proactive homeowner is great homeowner and we suggest every Spring/Fall you address an on-going issue (Mines – Air Conditioning not that you care!). It’s much easier in Spring especially when your accountant indicates you’re receiving a $5,000 tax return. Regardless of your situation or tax refund situation, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How long do you plan on living at your home?
    • The average family lives at their “home” 13 to 17 years according to the NAHB This is the most important question! Because this should alter your product consideration simply because why invest in siding when you’ll have a possible down payment?
  2. What are the “comp’s” in the area or neighbor’s house look like?
    • If the entire block is barren from James Hardie siding and the median 3 Bedroom/1 bathroom home doesn’t fluctuate much, than it’s possible there won’t be much ROI. We don’t believe your decision solely on ROI, especially if the intentions are to live their your entire life, but it’s worth the consideration. In contrast to that, many neighborhood’s will transitions after one makes the jump to a premium siding material (keeping up with the Jones – it’s real!)
  3. Do you have newer windows?
    • I’d say 50% of homeowners initially don’t consider window replacement , because they’re focused on their ugly, outdated, or bird ridden siding. Yet, the honest truth is, if those windows are over 15+ years it may be worth considering to do a 2 for 1 deal.  Why? It’s much easier to install a quality siding product such as LP & James Hardie alongside those new energy efficient windows rather than remove the “newer” siding system in 5-7 years to replace those faulty windows. It’s much easier ( and cheaper) to do it all at once.
  4. Do you know a quality contractor or trust the local contractor?
    • Again, we’re bias because we’re contractor’s, but we’re aware of the significant cost difference and investment of these material’s. LP & Hardie is more labor laden, along with their product specifications! So hiring the right contractor should save you $$$  and headaches down the road regardless if you sell or stay (even if their estimate is more expensive).
  5. What’s your project budget or expectation?
    • This is the most important question. I agree, the more expensive product’s are  better for the environment and currently have longer warranties, but will you be financially stable in the next 1 to 5 years? We’re not the door-to-door contractor that wants all customers to sign for 5 to 10 year home improvement loans. Because we understand it’s vital that you love the product, installer, color, and more importanly believe it’s the best suited system for your goal’s, which should have been clarified with the questions above. 

So, what’s the final decision? We were not going to say one over the other, because A. our manufacturer’s will get upset and B. because we don’t know your personal intentions with your home. We want to provide the best information and will surely do so if you reach out individually.  A variety of our own employees have a variation of vinyl, James Hardie, and LP Smartside, so we’d be lying as a company by saying there’s a one size fits all. 

 

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Advertising in the roofing industry? TRC hires new advertising guru

Recently, it’s been brought to our attention that a roofing commercial has crossed the line of no return. This commerical combines the influence of the adult industry along with the daily job of a roofing salesman (one second of the video and you’ll understand). We’ve seen the commercial and as a roofer we agree it’s pretty funny, but as a business we want to know what this company was thinking. Thank goodness for children this company decided to toss the idea out last-minute. We’ll never know the commericals success or whether BBF roofing really fixed the roof. However as outlandish this video appears it brought up an excellent topic.                     Advertising in the roofing industry.

We’d love to tag the video link, but it’s slightly inappropiate. If curious type on Youtube “roofing commericals” and it’ll be BBF Roofing Commercial.

It appears our industry deters companies from differentiating their advertising method’s from competitors. It’s almost applauded to follow competitors and continue traditional methods such as direct-mail outs, billboards, radio segments, door-2-door, booths, and sponsorships. These forms still work or else no one would actively pursue them.  Yet, after years of monitoring the industry it seems each competitor stick to the same things, but with a different font. We don’t believe choosing italics over bold will double your ROI with that mail-out, but they might (says company marketer). The more our marketplace is defined by these age-old tactics the more we realize this crazy commercial may solve a lingering issue.

A recent game-changing ad by an Air Conditioning company.

Yourr wife is hot

Some believe successful advertising is making people talk about your product even if its bad publicity hence Miley Cyrus’s latest antics. As many family business know its difficult to compete with organizations that steep to outlandish tactic’s to draw consumers. So after years of fighting the current we’re finally jumping on board. It’s official that Total Roofing & Construction will be adding their first pond in this unorthodox game.  We will be announcing the hiring of Green Man to Total Roofing & Construction team. Upon a thorough interview process we believe its in the best interest of the company. Distinguished himself and blew away his competitors during the Q &A process. He was extremely charismatic, appeared humble, & held tremendous eye-contact. We hope to upload his interview after he consent’s to it. It’s the best interview our panel has  witnessed first-hand and believe he’ll help our organization grow not only in the green direction, but also the right one.

This means we’re going to avoid making artificial claims such as giving a free roof away (read the fine print here), hire models to work our booths (statistically this does work), or as BBF roofing showed make adult-oriented commercials (which may actually have hit their target market). We believe roofing advertising will begin changing drastically, but in today’s world you either jump on board or sink.

“This is one small step for green man, one giant leap for Total Roofing” –Greenman

Greenman

P.S. (Feel free to follow our advertising guru on Twitter @TotalGreenMan)

Food 4 Thought: Window upgrade?

One of the most expensive upgrades for your house is windows. As homeowner’s we neglect windows due to the belief “unless it’s broke, don’t fix it.” Well, this attitude will cost you thousands of dollars in heating and air conditioning bills EVERY YEAR. If dollars fail to make you cringe maybe the dangers associated to older windows will persuade you. Older windows tend to be thinner (easier to break), possible exposure to lead (harmful substance), and related to 5,100 injuries from window falling. This report also distinguished that 2/3 of these injuries were toddlers. If you believe I’m trying to scare you into purchasing windows feel free to check out the National Safety Council webpage and yes I am.

The NSC webpage offers great safety advice, but at times undermines the importance of windows. Today’s innovative windows and fall protection systems is an appropriate step in the right direction and many people believe a window’s purpose is only to allow natural light in. Natural light is a benefit, but windows provide other benefits from a better insulated house, cheaper heating & air conditioning, safety, and outdoor connection. An article by ezinearticles.com mentioned

Windows serve as a convenient gateway to the outside world without needing to venture out of your four walls. You can even be sitting at the comfort of your sofa but still get to experience the outside by looking through the window. It is a way you can see what happens outside. It conserves your energy and allows you to know what is going on outside. After all you have no other way to know what happens outside your home”

The description above seem’s a little “hippiesish” yet it’s true. Every company sell you the savings and exterior look, but at the end of the day it’s your medium to the great outdoor’s. As a construction company we believe it’s in your best interest. However, maybe you’re content at the “comfort of your sofa” with a single pane, lead infused window.  If you’re not pleased every time you open a window or deal with paint chipping off, it’s time for a new one. After contemplating whether your house is in dire need first you should check out local tax credit to see potential savings.

Energy star

The reason we believe checking your states energy efficient tax credits before contacting a window expert or home remodeling company is because recently there’s been huge savings. Costs might be covered by the government as well as the contractor who may have a summer special going on.  Historically Midwest states offered tax credit for upgrading to energy-efficient windows, so be aware of these potential savings. An article posted on National Public Radio specifically discusses a llinois case. Take a few minutes to read the story to get a better grasp on the positive effects of window replacement.

Here’s an example of the immediate difference from work by Wilke Window:

Image

Image

The after window below would make any homeowner happy, but the savings associated to this type of upgrade will make them ecstatic. This homeowner understood that windows are a long-term investment and they’ll benefit. The “before” window provides you with that “gateway to the outside world” at the cost of using all your force in opening/closing it and letting air out. Depending on the square footage and age of your house this can be a knockout upgrade.

So maybe you’re considering an upgrade? What’s the first step?

Know your budget and style of window!!!

As much as we’d like to sit here and tell you that heating savings could be as much as 25% we can’t do this because you might be financially strapped. The better windows (energy star qualified windows) can do that 25%, but maybe a triple pane window is out of your budget. Maybe a two pane window is near your budget and a 20% savings is good enough, know your WANT’s.

A few other reasons to consider altering those 70’s windows by Windows4Buffalos:

  • – Functionability
  • – Ease of Cleaning
  • – Appearance
  • – Ability to resist cold weather steam
  • – Filters out UV rays
  • – Decrease fading of upholstery and furniture