You probably didn’t know that no company in North America sells more siding than James Hardie. Instead for most people vinyl siding seems to dominate our siding market because it is perceived to be relatively inexpensive and maintenance free. So, how then could Hardie still control such market share when vinyl siding seems to be the most popular? Is our region just slow to react?
One reason is for 8 Years in a row Remodeling magazine has rated James Hardie Siding as the #1 return on investment based on its annual “Cost vs Value” report. According to the report, residing with fiber cement gives you a 25% better return than adding a bathroom. Oh, and it costs about $6k less to complete. As another example, roof replacement came in at 18th on this list.
For more info on why the return is so much for fiber cement siding, go to: homevisionsinc.com: James Hardie Siding
We received this photo from our siding installer yesterday. It is a "before" photo showing damage to a window on a home that we were preparing to install new vinyl siding. Our installers take photos before every project to share details with homeowners and also to be sure that we are not held liable for pre-existing damage to a particular areas that might be connected to areas that we are contracted to work. In this case it is a window that is connected to the siding that we will be removing.
When you look a little deeper into the photo, it tells more of a story. You can see broken pieces of window vinyl that are actually chipping off of the window and landing on the roof. This highlights a common misconception about windows and that is that if they look similar, they are probably the same.
The key to a high quality window is the compound mixture that is used to extrude the vinyl which will later be made into the main window frame and sashes. Windows made with a special blend of additives, such as Titanium Dioxide, create properties in the vinyl that reflect sunlight and are resistant to changes in temperature so they don't get brittle and crack. To learn more about our vinyl windows, please visit our Replacement Windows page.
Don’t let security alarm system fees escalate when you decide to replace your windows. If your home has an existing security alarm, it is imperative that you call your local service representative and inquire about the process as it relates to replacement of your windows.
Inquire about the following:
Is my current system wired?
Is my current system on sensors?
If I replace my windows, will I have to get new components for my alarm to work properly?
How does replacement of my windows effect other connections around the house?
Can I have someone do a physical assessment of the system before the work is done?
Several times over the past several years we have come across situations where homeowners are surprised by the large amount of money they had to pay their alarm company once their new windows were installed. In each of these cases, a simple phone call in advance of installation could have saved the homeowner money and frustration. New systems are complex and each company has specific methods and equipment. Reacting to non-functional alarm systems plays into the alarm company's hand and fees begin to escalate. Be prepared so you can mitigate any costs associated with your alarm system when you replace your windows. According to most homeowners that we speak to the fees should be nominal if you are paying a monthly subscription.
√Homeowners can claim a credit of 10% up to $200 of the purchase price of qualifying windows and 10% up to $500 for qualifying exterior doors. Installation costs are not included.
√Windows must be installed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013
√Products must be installed in the homeowner's primary residence.
√Products must meet Energy Star published criteria for the Energy Star Climate Zone in which they are installed. Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, DC are located in the √North/Central Climate Zone so the U-Factor needs to be less than or equal to 0.32 and the solar heat gain coefficient needs to be equal to or less than 0.40.
To learn more about what U-Factor and SHGC are, are follow this link.
Claiming Your Federal Tax Credit
√Federal Tax Credit claims should be submitted with your taxes for 2012 or 2013.
√Homeowners should retain the manufacturer's NFRC certification label with their records, but are not required to submit it with their tax return. (Consult with your tax advisor.)
If you think laminated glass is just for storm protection around coastal areas—think again!
Did you know this special glass package option can help protect homeowners from theft and significantly reduce unwanted outside noise from getting into their homes?
A laminated glass package option is very popular with custom builders, remodelers and homeowners in all areas of the country, not just in coastal applications. It is very appropriate in areas where noise reduction and security are important requirements for specified builders.
Why do homeowners need laminated glass?
In addition to excellent protection against strong winds and flying debris, the special glass package offers the following key benefits to homeowners in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington DC:
Key Benefit: Sound Transmission Rating (STC) of 32-36 helps dramatically reduce unwanted noise into the home.
Where it is ideal: Perfect for developments and light commercial projects in, and around, busy urban areas, airports, railways and highways.
Key Benefit: Durable laminated glass barrier is extremely difficult to penetrate, even with repeated blows by a heavy object.
Where it is ideal: Perfect for neighborhoods, developments and light commercial projects where added security can provide the ultimate protection for homes and the valuables inside them. Helps deter potential intruders. Complements alarm systems and deadbolts for greater home security.
Quick Facts: In the U.S., a home burglary occurs every 13 seconds. Burglars spend no more that 60 seconds breaking into a home.
Key Benefit: Effective barrier against heat transfer and harmful UV rays. Helps lower heating and cooling costs while keeping the home comfortable year round.
Other Benefits: Anywhere homeowners want to block the sun’s UV rays from deteriorating carpets, artwork and furnishings.
Key Benefit: Durable laminated glass barrier helps secure the building envelope and prevent air and water penetration as a result of broken windows from flying debris.
Home Visions Inc. has earned the service industry-coveted 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor awarded annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.
“It’s a select group of companies rated on Angie’s List that can claim the exemplary customer service record of being a Super Service Award winner,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Our standards for the Super Service Award are quite high. The fact that Home Visions Inc. earned this recognition speaks volumes about its dedication providing great service to its customers.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2012 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports, an excellent rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2012 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.
Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 550 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. More than 1.5 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain unlimited access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine, and the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.