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James HardiePlank Siding Review

Customer Review - James HardiePlank Installation by Home Visions Inc.
James Hardie Siding Review
Review by Elena I. of Alexandria, VA

I am very satisfied with my new windows and siding replacements that were completed by Home Visions Inc. The crews did an excellent job installing windows and siding at my house. I am glad to see that the new windows and siding look really nice. The prices were reasonable and the quality of the Simonton windows and JamesHardy siding is excellent. Also, the customer service at Home Visions Inc is very nice and friendly. They always responded with patiently and friendly to my many questions. They are like a family at the company that do care about customers and want to ensure that customers are satisfied. It is very important that a customer contacts them if they have any questions and make sure that they want what are exactly stated on the contract. If the contract does not have what a customer really wants, the customer is strongly recommended to contact with the company in advance before the installation starts. So, the contract may be amended, if possible, like for example, if a customer wants 6 grids of a window which is not stated on the contract, he/she should inform the company immediately so, the amendment stating 6 grids of a window is to be attached to the contract. Overall, the Home Visions Inc is a good company and I would recommend it to customers. Thank you, Home Visions Inc, for their great service.


See the actual review on GuildQuality by clicking HERE

Winter Roofing Pros and Cons

Winter Roofing Installations are OK in our region!There is no doubt that the pace of roof replacement projects slows down in the winter, but there is also very good evidence that homeowners experience the most problems with their roof in the damp, colder, snowier months.  This article examines a few key things to consider if your roof is ready to be replaced, but you are hesitant because of the time of year.

Pro: Pricing

With roofing installations slowing down in the colder months it is easier to negotiate a better price.  Discounts during winter range from 10-25% compared to the spring and summer.  The main reason for this is that it is important to keep roofing crews busy.  Nobody wants to their top roofing installation crew to experience a lack of work.

Pro: Quick Turnaround

With the winter slow down comes more openings in the schedule which translates to a quicker turnaround time for actually having the installation occur.  This is especially helpful if you are experiencing a leak and need an emergency work order.

Con: Shingles Take More Time to Seal

Certified roofing professionals - Home Visions Inc.

Asphalt shingles are manufactured with a seal strip on them which keeps the shingle laying flat against the surface of the row below it once it seals.  In our region this is not as big a concern as in other regions because although we do have cold snaps, we can usually squeak out enough mild days and sun to promote proper sealing.  Additionally, the roof is always several degrees warmer than the actual temperature, particularly if the area is exposed to the sun.

Overall, roof replacement can take place in winter and the pros outweigh the cons in our region.  If you choose a certified roofing company such as Home Visions Inc. you can not only have your roof installed properly, you can also do it for a lower cost and the only risk is that you will have to wait a bit longer than in warmer months for the shingles to “lay down” or seal properly.


In this type of arrangement, we will repair the area that is causing the issue and then schedule an installation day for the spring.  This will solve the immediate concern and lock in a winter discounted price!  



Benefits of Vinyl Soffit

Vinyl Soffit Overview


Drilling holes in wood soffit prior to installing vinyl soffit is a key to doing the job correctly.

Installing vinyl soffit (roof overhang) to your home is a great investment for several reasons and they vary based on the situation you are in.  

Vinyl soffit is mainly a product that covers the existing soffit area and it is extremely rare that any work needs to be done to the existing material that is covering the area currently.  In rare cases, if the soffit is rotted out it may be beneficial to replace the damaged area, but usually installing vinyl soffit will take care of the issue.  One common misunderstanding is that if the current soffit (usually wood or particle board) is damaged, that it absolutely has to be replaced before vinyl soffit should be applied and the reason this is wrong is because in actuality, in most homes, the covered area should be open or ventilated so that air has a path to the attic so that there is a healthy amount of circulation.  This way the space below the roof stays dry and free of heat and moisture build up which ultimately promotes longevity for the roof decking and the roof shingles.  In the winter, by having good air intake, when snow builds up on the roof and conditions are right for ice damming, homeowners will find that if the attic can stay cool enough the ice-damming issue is less likely to occur.  A well insulated attic also helps with this problem as well.  

Reasons Soffit is a Wise Investment

♦ Vinyl soffit looks great!  The product is uniform and brightens up the overhangs very nicely.
♦ Keeps rodents out.  Installing vinyl soffit is a deterrent to animals finding their way into the attic.
♦ Promotes ventilation in the attic.  In some cases, a home may have solid plywood that is painted covering the overhang.  If the overhang leads to the attic, this is a great opportunity to create air intake holes for good air circulation.
♦ Soffit comes in a variety of styles and price ranges therefore, it does not cost too much to upgrade the exterior of your home.
♦ Maintenance-free.  Vinyl soffit is maintenance free so it never has to be painted or washed and it will never rot or fade.

Vinyl soffit has many benefits including looking great!



Ten Reasons to Choose Home Visions Inc.


  1. You are more than just a number to us – you are the key to making our business successful!

  2. We install the very best exterior home remodeling materials and products in the market.

  3. Each of our installers are factory trained and they have all been working with us for at least two years.

  4. You can speak with the owner at any time prior to signing a contract or after.

  5. We have a very good track record in the community with over 7000 installs and no unresolved complaints.

  6. We have a quick turnaround to have your project installed.

  7. Our staff is well trained and organized and ready to provide a high level of communication.

  8. Our sales representatives are friendly and do not pressure customers into signing a contract.

  9. Our prices are affordable and we provide great value to our customers.

  10. We love what we do and we strive to be the best!

Builder Grade Materials

BEWARE: Builder grade


It’s a common term most people are familiar with.  A simple web search turns up countless entries on the topic.  From a contractors to a neighbors, when talking home-improvement most every home owner has heard someone use the term “builder grade”.  The real meaning of the phrase and the truth behind it however may still surprise you.  What if we told you that one out of every five homes that we install new windows in was constructed since the year 2000.  It’s hard to imagine technology has evolved much since then, so why is it that we can offer so much more efficiency and comfort with the windows and other products that we install just a short time later?  Thanks to that little term we have all heard so much about.

Why are builder grade products so common?

They are cheaper; it’s as simple as that.  Building homes isn’t cheap.  Just like anything else, the best way to do it is by doing it a lot, maximizing efficiency along the way.  That’s why so many homes are built by just a few large builders.  The “big-builders” purchase building materials like windows and roofing shingles by the truck load.  The more they buy of the same thing, the cheaper it is.  The windows look similar to their high-quality counterparts so it’s difficult to detect that there is no Low-E coating or argon gas fill to conserve energy.  Vinyl siding looks the same, but is thinner, more brittle, and has little to no insulation between it and the plywood sheathing of your home. 

Builder grade doesn’t stop with the products either.  The same principles apply to finding the cheapest labor.  Work is done on multiple properties at a time and in terms of installation practices, the minimum is typical.  Usually very little warranty is provided on these products when purchasing the home so the workers have little to no recourse for doing a bad job.  Finish your job, move on to the next.

It happens every day.  It’s certainly not fair to say that every builder does it this way; sure some are installing longer lasting, more efficient products.  In this industry that would be the exception and not the rule, and it’s up to you as the home-owner/buyer to know what you are getting.

Why are builder grade products so difficult to detect? 

The simple answer here is that they basically look the same.  The lower quality products are constructed the same way, and often function similarly to their high-quality counterparts.  The

difference is in how the products are made, how they are installed, and maybe most importantly the warranty behind the product.  Many people are fooled into thinking they have high-quality products simply by the look.  

The other way to look at it is that some of these things really are quite detectable; you just have to know what you are looking for.  Not everyone can be an expert on everything, but
with the internet today we can all pretend.  It can take some research, but every building product has some form of comparison or rating that you can use to differentiate between the good the bad and the ugly.  Often the government is even involved in helping you find quality products.  The Energy Star program provides a set of standards for comparison on this and other types of products.

What do I do if I think I have builder grade products in my home now?

If you fear that you have builder grade products wasting your home’s energy you should check it out!  Try some research first to learn about what you currently have installed on your home.  Who made it?  What is the warranty on this product?  Can you find any performance or efficiency ratings for this product?  Are there any reviews? 

If you discover you have less efficient or failing products then prioritize.  A dangerous roof situation obviously takes precedent over a lack of insulation so focus on the most important thing first.  Finally call HOME VISIONS!  We will come out to your house for free and provide an in-home consultation for your needs.  We will show you samples of the various options and while there we will give you a quote that is good for a full year.  Many of our products and installations carry lifetime warranties.  We enjoy providing consultation on what sets our products apart from “builder grade”.  

Replacement Window Costs


How to Compare Replacement Window Costs

The cost of replacing windows can vary greatly and there are several factors that play into the wide range of prices a homeowner might find when shopping for new replacement windows. Here are some of the biggest factors that drive replacement window pricing up and down:

Replacement window costs is MD, DC and VAMarketing and Advertising Budget

Does the company you are considering spend a lot of money on radio and television commercials?  Do they hire famous personalities to endorse their products?  If so, chances are the consumer will pay a premium for each window to pay for those extremely expensive campaigns.

The Manufacturer of the Window

Purchasing power plays a huge role in the cost of a replacement window.  Smaller, local manufacturers will pay higher prices for vinyl, glass and other parts required to build a replacement window.  Larger manufacturers are able to buy larger quantities of the required materials which drives down the cost.  Additionally, look for those manufacturers that have their own extrusion process, rather than having the vinyl outsourced which drives up the cost.  Finally, larger manufacturers are able to offer more options which makes it more likely for a homeowner to be able to find a window that fits their budgetary needs.Impact modifiers such as titanium dioxide drive up the cost of replacement windows.

Custom or Stock Windows

Stock sized windows are typically less expensive because they are mass produced.  Most homes require custom sized replacement windows due to settling and shifting that occurs over the years.  The highest quality replacement windows are custom made to order so that each window has a perfect fit for each individual opening in an older home.  This does drive up the price when compared to stock sizes on the shelf at a local hardware store.

Frame Materials

A lot of companies advertise windows that are 100% pure virgin vinyl and claim the window will never fade, rust, become brittle or chip.  If the first part of that statement is true, the second part is false because 100% pure virgin vinyl will fade in color and will become brittle and crack.  For example have you ever purchased or seen one of those green lawn chairs that you can get at your local hardware store?  Well, if you leave it out in the sun for a few years eventually it fades, gets chalky and starts to crack.  Manufacturers have to add impact modifiers to the vinyl.  Additives are the LIFEBLOOD to any high quality window and this will drive up the price, but it is money well spent.

Bay and bow windows drive up the cost of window replacement projects.Window Styles

Another replacement window cost driver is the style and size of the windows being replaced.  For example, a double hung window that measures three feet wide by five feet tall will be less costly than a casement window that is the same size.  The main reason for a variance in this example is the hardware that must be included in a casement window is more expensive than that of a double hung window.  Another example is putting a flat bay window (three part slider) in an opening rather than a bay window.  Bay and bow windows are built by hand and typically cost much more than a flat window that requires less material and labor to produce.  

Find a company willing to talk to you about all of your options and you will feel comfortable with your decision and the price that you pay.


Past Articles

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Home Visions Inc. is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm

Simonton Windows Preferred Installer