Newsletter January 2013
A home's exterior finish is literally its face to the world. The right combination of material, color, and texture deliver a lasting impression, evoke pride and create value. The right exterior finishes for a given climate and their proper installation reduce ongoing maintenance chores and repair costs.
In our experience, there are several factors that help ensure the long-term quality and value of exterior finishes, namely:
Top-Quality Materials. There's no substitute for the best-made roofing, siding, and trim/accent materials. As a professional builder, we work to find the best available quality exterior materials within our client's budget. Climate conditions and the style of the house can also dictate materials selections; wood might be a good choice for a moderate climate, but perhaps not in extended extreme weather conditions.
Professional Installation. An exterior finish is only as good as its installation. We work with and supervise professional installers to install and finish exterior products properly. We then inspect and approve their work. To ensure long-term value, lasting good looks, and low maintenance, we use the recommended type and number of fasteners, allow for slight, climate-induced shrinking and swelling, and seal joints between materials to avoid buckling and separation.
Water Resistance. We've learned to respect water. We avoid water intrusion behind exterior finishes by utilizing systems that shed and vent it away before it causes any damage requiring maintenance, extensive repairs or replacement.
Common solutions include weather-resistant barriers for the roof and sidewalls, flashing around windows and doors, metal drip edges and kick-out flashing at roof eaves. Where necessary we provide airspaces and weep holes for brick or stone veneers and rain screens behind stucco finishes.
Proper Painting. The value of a high-quality, exterior-rated paint cannot be overstated. Paint must be applied over a well-prepared surface... a job in itself. We apply a universally thick layer of paint which can often last twice as long as the conventional 7-10 years before it requires a new coat. The best way to achieve full coverage and a uniform thickness is with a sprayer (not brushes or rollers) and it is essential that the paint be applied over a completely dry surface.
For wood-based siding, such as clapboards or shingles, we may specify a factory-applied primer that encases the entire panel against moisture and enables better adhesion with the finish coat.
As a professional builder, we take pride not just in how our new homes perform and meet a buyer's needs, but also how they look -- especially over time. We also want to minimize ongoing maintenance chores and avoid expensive repairs or replacements. Properly applied exterior finishes are critical to achieving those goals and exceeding the expectations of our homebuyers.