Guilderland, NY- Aquick thanks to all of you who called us after reading last months article about preventing damage to your home due to water, insects, etc.  After meeting with several customers, I started thinking about the next step in terms of prevention when it comes to materials to use when building or repairing on the outside of your house.  Whether you’re building a new deck, having new siding installed, putting in a new exterior door or window or a perimeter fence I almost always recommend a building product that requires little or no maintenance and is resistant to water and insects.

Twenty years ago when man-made (composite) building products started entering the market to build decks, fences, etc. I was a true skeptic.  Up to then all we built were cedar, redwood or exotic tropical wood decks.  These wood species will last a long time, but require ongoing maintenance.  After we started installing composite and then PVC material for decks I was hooked.  We like the ease of install and custom look, and customers like the durability and maintenance free use.  Yes, these materials are more expensive, but I remind customers that they can pay a little more now or a lot more later in terms of the up keep.

Installing vinyl or concrete siding, PVC fencing, vinyl, aluminum or fiberglass doors and windows and PVC trim and molding are other ways to bullet proof your home.  A good rule of thumb for exterior building materials is this: if its wood or it touches the ground your house may not be safe and sound.   All wood products, even cedar, redwood or exotic hardwoods require maintenance even though insects may not touch them.  They will discolor or fade, shows signs of wear and crack or check.  What this means to the homeowner is annual or bi-annual staining, painting or general maintenance.  PVC, vinyl, fiberglass and composite materials usually only require a wash off to stay maintenance free and looking great.  They can touch the ground and be installed just about anywhere and insects will not touch the stuff.

With any project, selecting the right materials is just as if not more important than any other aspect of a remodel or repair.  I recommend taking the time researching, looking around the internet, visiting showrooms and talking with building professionals about your project and the potential materials that can be used.  Today’s market is saturated with numerous choices, colors, technology and gadgets.  Any project on your house is an investment.  Taking the time to ensure and install the best material options will make your decision that much easier and save you time and money in the long run.