Tag Archives: siding

3 QUESTIONS: SIDING WITH FRONTIER BUILDING SUPPLY

Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.

Kelly Fox

This month, we talk about siding issues with Kelly Fox, president at Frontier Building Supply in Anacortes.

Q1: What kind of exterior wood trim do you recommend that has the best longevity and requires the least maintenance? 

For longevity and low maintenance, I recommend PVC trim from brands like Royal and AZEK. These types of trim options have some limitations when it comes to the color, typically requiring light colors or dark colors without dark pigments. For an excellent all-around product, fiber-cement trim takes any color of paint and matches the longevity of the fiber-cement siding. 

Q2: What’s your favorite type of exterior siding, and why?

At my core, I am a wood guy, and on my own home, I would have cedar siding in lap and shake for the natural beauty that only wood brings. As I age, that may change to fiber cement for the low maintenance and warranties that add value to the home. With advances in manufacturing, fiber cement companies are making great-looking shingle products that finish up like wood. 

Q3: What’s your best advice to homeowners about maintaining the exteriors of their homes?

When I think about maintaining the exterior of a home, I am naturally drawn to what is protecting the investment. In most homes, that is the paint and sealants. The difference between good paint and great paint is the quality of the ingredients. More expensive paints are using higher solid contents and better binders that help the paint cover and hide. While I know that not every budget can afford the best-quality paints, I recommend that you buy the best quality paints and sealants within your means.

Bonus Q: Any excellent, new exterior product(s) you love and can share with our audience?

Synthetic stone products have been around for as long as I have been in the industry and probably longer. Some manufacturers have found ways to “panelize” these products that stack and install like traditional siding without the need for traditional stonemason skills (or expenses). While these might not be for an entire house, they are great for accent wall, entries or can be used to create a rich look of stacked sidings. (I have even seen some of these used to create great fireplace surrounds inside and out!)

About Frontier Building Supply

 In 1975 in an old house on the waterfront of Anacortes, Washington, Frontier Industries was born. Family owned and operated, Frontier was founded on the idea that a combination of exemplary service, first-rate quality, and a competitive price couldn’t miss. Today, with six locations in three counties and more than 70 employees, that same idea forms the very core of the company’s values. Now, doing business as Frontier Building Supply, the organization is proud to be the company the professionals use. Clientele consists of high-quality custom home builders, first-rate commercial contractors, and remodelers. More information at http://www.fbs.us.

A big “thanks” to Kelly for his responses! If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

VEGETATIVE GROWTH BELONGS IN THE GARDEN, NOT YOUR SIDING

Vegetative growth is not a friend to your home’s exterior systems. Well, at least most of the time.

Unfortunately, here in the Pacific Northwest, this growth is continuously trying to be best buds with roofs, siding, and trim elements. While most of the time this forced friendship appears as moss or fungal growth, occasionally, it looks a little more permanent. 

During an inspection in Anacortes, I found such an arrangement when I noted vegetative growth coming through exterior walls. In my report, I stated there was a possibility of underlying damage not visible without invasive inspection.

If you have questions or comments about siding issues or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

3 QUESTIONS: SIDING WITH FRONTIER BUILDING SUPPLY

Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.

Kelly Fox

This month, we talk about siding issues with Kelly Fox, president at Frontier Building Supply in Anacortes.

Q1: What kind of exterior wood trim do you recommend that has the best longevity and requires the least maintenance? 

For longevity and low maintenance, I recommend PVC trim from brands like Royal and AZEK. These types of trim options have some limitations when it comes to the color, typically requiring light colors or dark colors without dark pigments. For an excellent all-around product, fiber-cement trim takes any color of paint and matches the longevity of the fiber-cement siding. 

Q2: What’s your favorite type of exterior siding, and why?

At my core, I am a wood guy, and on my own home, I would have cedar siding in lap and shake for the natural beauty that only wood brings. As I age, that may change to fiber cement for the low maintenance and warranties that add value to the home. With advances in manufacturing, fiber cement companies are making great-looking shingle products that finish up like wood. 

Q3: What’s your best advice to homeowners about maintaining the exteriors of their homes?

When I think about maintaining the exterior of a home, I am naturally drawn to what is protecting the investment. In most homes, that is the paint and sealants. The difference between good paint and great paint is the quality of the ingredients. More expensive paints are using higher solid contents and better binders that help the paint cover and hide. While I know that not every budget can afford the best-quality paints, I recommend that you buy the best quality paints and sealants within your means.

Bonus Q: Any excellent, new exterior product(s) you love and can share with our audience?

Synthetic stone products have been around for as long as I have been in the industry and probably longer. Some manufacturers have found ways to “panelize” these products that stack and install like traditional siding without the need for traditional stonemason skills (or expenses). While these might not be for an entire house, they are great for accent wall, entries or can be used to create a rich look of stacked sidings. (I have even seen some of these used to create great fireplace surrounds inside and out!)

About Frontier Building Supply

 In 1975 in an old house on the waterfront of Anacortes, Washington, Frontier Industries was born. Family owned and operated, Frontier was founded on the idea that a combination of exemplary service, first-rate quality, and a competitive price couldn’t miss. Today, with six locations in three counties and more than 70 employees, that same idea forms the very core of the company’s values. Now, doing business as Frontier Building Supply, the organization is proud to be the company the professionals use. Clientele consists of high-quality custom home builders, first-rate commercial contractors, and remodelers. More information at http://www.fbs.us.

A big “thanks” to Kelly for his responses! If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

Inset siding nails

Are your siding nails inset within the siding boards themselves, like those pictured here?  If so, it’s either because (a) the nails were overdriven or more likely (b) the siding is swelling and expanding with moisture.  Inset nails need to be sealed to prevent moisture intrusion which can lead to deterioration.  For siding discovered at this home inspection in Freeland on Whidbey Island, substantially swelled/deteriorated siding needed to be replaced.

Cement fiber siding

Cement fiber siding products are an excellent, high quality and low maintenance material.  In fact, I’m a big fan of these products; if I build a home again myself, I intend to install cement-fiber siding.  Broken, cracked or otherwise mechanically damaged cement-fiber siding boards should be replaced by a qualified contractor.  If you have a lot of broken siding boards, replacement can be expensive.  If you don’t have the budget to replace broken boards in the near future, I recommend at least caulking cracks and securing broken pieces to prevent water damage while you budget for replacement.  This photograph was taken at a recent home inspection in La Conner.

VIDEO: Oak Harbor Home Inspection Discovers ROT at Deck/Siding Interface

At a recent Oak Harbor home inspection, I discovered deterioration, rot and water damage at the interface between the deck and exterior siding. This interface really should be flashed with a metal flashing detail to prevent water intrusion which can lead to WDO (wood destroying insect) activity and water damage. When deterioration is presenting at this interface, there’s always the possibility of underlying structural damage not visible without invasive inspection. A qualified contractor should further evaluate, invasively, to determine the extent of deterioration and make necessary repairs.

VIDEO: Huge Open Seams in Siding!

Failed caulking details and huge vulnerable seams between siding abutments at the exterior of a home in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands were discovered at a recent home inspection. It’s very important to protect open seams at the building’s exterior from water intrusion which can, and will, lead to water/insect damage in short time. Caulking abutments is advised, or installing a metal flashing detail behind open seams does the trick too.

VIDEO: Huge Open Seams in Siding!

Failed caulking details and huge vulnerable seams between siding abutments at the exterior of a home in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands were discovered at a recent home inspection. It’s very important to protect open seams at the building’s exterior from water intrusion which can, and will, lead to water/insect damage in short time. Caulking abutments is advised, or installing a metal flashing detail behind open seams does the trick too.

VIDEO: Deteriorated Composite Siding Discovered!

Completely deteriorated composite exterior siding was discovered adjacent the window at the upper level of a home at a recent home inspection on San Juan Island (Friday Harbor). Keeping exterior elements properly sealed (painted and caulked) is critical to helping prevent siding/trim damage and water intrusion. In this case, repair and replacement of deteriorated siding was warranted, recognizing the possibility of underlying damage not visible without invasive inspection.