Mid Week Check-in 5/18/2022

Roof Replacement with Landmark Pro Max Def pewter grey shingles

Bryants-crew-is-almost-finished-with-this-new-construction-siding-job
Bryants-crew-is-almost-finished-with-this-new-construction-siding-job

Bryant’s crew is getting close to wrapping up this new construction siding job. We should have finished photos this time next week.

Nathan's crew is in the homestretch in finishing this LP SMartside siding replacement
Nathan’s crew is in the homestretch in finishing this LP SMartside siding replacement

Nathan’s crew has been removing cedar siding off this local hotel and installing LP Smartside in a custom color. They should be finished in around 1 week.

Joe’s crew has started a new siding replacement. All the old siding has been removed and the house wrap has been installed to keep the home dry from any leaks.

Mitchell has been hanging openers, weatherstripping, and new garage doors
Mitchell has been hanging openers, weatherstripping, and new garage doors

Mitchell has been installing garage door openers (that connect to a mobile app) on new construction homes. Many times when he is installing garage doors the drywall has not been installed yet. He has to leave the openers off and return what that is completed.

Johnney has fixed up a lot of small storm damaged siding repairs
Johnney has fixed up a lot of small storm damaged siding repairs

Johnney has been doing a lot of little siding repairs such as install missing fascia that was blown off, loose or cracked siding panels, and replacing garage door metal casings.

Brad’s crew has been working on repairing and replacing gutters, installing new construction gutters, and sealing up aggressive gutter leaks.

Dave installed a metal roof on a home. He’s has tackled lots of roofs leaks. This home in particular had a roof leak from flashing being installed incorrectly. Dave removed the old shingles, installed correct flashing, ice and water shield, new shingles, and a new pice of cedar trim. The same home was having leaking at the bottom of the valley. Dave removed shingles there, installed ice and water barrier, and new shingles to match.

Josh replaced some missing shingles and fixed a roof that had a whole from a tree falling through it
Josh replaced some missing shingles and fixed a roof that had a whole from a tree falling through it

Josh was sent to fix a roof that was damaged from a tree falling through the roof. It took a while for the tree limb to be removed, which caused the wood to rot. He replaced the rotted wood, added ice and water barrier, synthetic felt, and new shingles.

Ricky has replaced 9 windows
Ricky has replaced 9 windows

Ricky replaced 9 windows on 2 seperate home. Some of the windows replaced are surrounded by brick, vinyl siding, and other aluminum siding.

Mid Week Check-in 5/11/2022

Metal Roof leak repair in Bloomington IL

brads-crew-replaced-some-rotted-fascia-replaced-fascia-metal-and-installed-new-seamless-gutters
brads-crew-replaced-some-rotted-fascia-replaced-fascia-metal-and-installed-new-seamless-gutters

In-between new construction gutter installs, Brad’s crew replaced rotted fascia boards, installed new fascia metal, and ran new seamless gutters and downspouts.

Johnney has been doing multiple wind damaged soffit, fascia, and siding repairs. We recently had some high winds from a tornado watch and many homes have small repairs from the wind damage.

bryants-crew-siding-progess-on-a-deep-grantie-grey-siding-with-white-trim-and-black-roof
bryants-crew-siding-progess-on-a-deep-grantie-grey-siding-with-white-trim-and-black-roof

Bryant’s crew has been working on this new custom build with deep granite grey siding, white trim, moire black roof. They have about 1 week left on this home!

Nathan and his crew have continued to work on replacing tear siding on a local hotel with LP Smartside.

Charles is siding a new build with silver grey siding and white trim. He’s making some great headway..

Joe and his crew are working on replacing 8 windows on this home. Many of the old windows had small leaks that wound up rotting the wood around the window opening. Joe replaces the rotted wood, tyveks and seals each window properly.

Mitchell has replaced 5 doors in 3 days! WOW! In-between door install has has slipped in a few siding repairs.

josh-has-repalced-some-blown-off-shingles-and-insatlled-a-chimnay-cap
josh-has-repalced-some-blown-off-shingles-and-insatlled-a-chimnay-cap

Josh has been helping other crews with larger projects for most of the week. He has performed some pipe boot installs, missing shingle repairs, and installed a chimney cap.

John J house wrapped a new construction home and stopped some metal roof leaks
John J house wrapped a new construction home and stopped some metal roof leaks

John J has been waterproofing new construction homes and sealing up metal roof leaks this week.

National Home Improvement Month

May is National Home Improvement Month. As you look around your home for roof repairs, siding replacements or a new garage door, here is a brief rundown on what your priorities should be.

Identify Functional Needs

It’s worth putting money towards functional needs over any aesthetic changes. If you have been living with any small leaks, consider getting those fixed sooner rather than later. Rotted wood can be hiding underneath a leaking window or leaking door. The photos below are from a window replacement where older windows had a small leak for years. Over time the small leak caused a decent amount of hidden rotted wood.

Minimize Maintenance

As a homeowner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the list of things you need to maintain yearly on your home. For exteriors that likely includes, cleaning your gutters, power washing your siding, check all caulking, wash/inspect windows, etc. It is worth evaluating products or services to minimize your (the homeowners) involvement. If you hate cleaning gutters and feel like it’s a waste of time, get pricing for leaf procreation. If you don’t know what you are looking for when you inspect your roofing, siding, windows, or gutters- hire a contractor to come inspect and provide an estimate for any minor repairs you might need. If birds love to nest in your siding vents, get a bird guard that matches the color of your siding.

Improve Curb Appeal

If you have no functional needs and are happy with your involvement level in home maintenance, its time to talk curb appeal! This is where you add your style and personality with colors and textures. A few easy ways to update are to add Gable accents, bright colors, or a new garage door. Gable accents can be some decorative trim boards or a real cedar accent. You can add bright colors by new shutters or painting your entry door. Many people don’t realize that a garage door can make up almost 30% of your home’s front. It is your main entrance to your home (if you have a connected garage). Updating the garage door even though “it still works” may be well worth the money!

A Look Into Our Work Week

Midnight blue siding and shakes, white trim, white garage door in stamped carriage style

Mitchell has replaced a few dented garage door panels and installed 3 garage doors this week.

blown off shingle and damaged shingle and damaged drip edge replacement

Jayden has been helping Dave out with some larger projects but in-between he has performed some roof repairs – blown off shingle install, damaged shingle and drip edge replacement.

Low slope roof line installed properly against the siding wall

Dave has been working on some larger projects this week. This home in particular had a section of architectural shingles that should have been low slope rolled roofing. This was causing leaks inside the home. Dave and Jayden corrected this.

Rotted fascia board repair with new fascia, soffit, and gutter repair
Rotted fascia board repair with new fascia, soffit, and gutter repair

Ricky worked a little bit this week before he left on vacation. This home had a rotted fascia board that was causing the gutter and soffit to fall down. Ricky replaced the rotted wood, installed new fascia, re-installed soffit, and hung new gutters and downspouts.

Johnney has been working on a lot of storm damage repairs to siding and fascia. He has also been fixing window leaks and siding leaks from improper waterproofing.

low slope roof installed properly
low slope roof installed properly

Josh also worked on a low slope roof that had architectural shingles where it should have had rolled roofing installed. He removed the shingles and installed the Flintlastic Low Slope roofing material; then properly tied it in tot he main roof. If you are unsure if your roof line should have rubber or Flintlastic – click here for more information.

custom home siding installs
custom home siding installs

Bryant wrapped up a New home just in time for it’s deadline. He started a new custom home with a lot of fabulous details.

Joe has been working on updating the look of this home with new cedar trim in Linen color.

Nathan and his crew have started a hotel siding replacement. After tearing off all the old siding, they realized a lot of the sheeting underneath was rotting. They replaced all rotted wood and house wrapped it to keep it water tight – no more leaks! This hotel will get LP Smartside installed over the next few weeks.

A Look Into Our Work Week

cedar garage door in raised panel with madison windows
finished a complete reside of a house and started replacing trim on a new house
finished a complete reside of a house and started replacing trim on a new house

Joe and his crew completed installing new siding on a home. They used Sandstone (tan siding) with Royal brown soffit and fascia. Since they completed that they started updating the look of a home by replacing the trim boards with new. Joe has been working very closely with the homeowner to achieve the look she has been dreaming about.

installed-gutters-on-new-homes-and-fixed-gutters-and-downspouts-in-existing-homes
installed-gutters-on-new-homes-and-fixed-gutters-and-downspouts-in-existing-homes

Jamel has stepped into the gutter lead role while Brad is helping Mitchell install garage doors. Jamel has been excelling at installing gutters on new construction homes, replacing existing gutters for homeowners, and making small gutter repairs.

Mitchell and Bard have installed 9 garage doors in 3 days. The variety of the doors this week has been really fun to see. They have installed garage doors with a cedar look but maintenance free, timeless raised panel garage doors, and lovely stamped carriage garage doors.

Johnney has been busy with a lot of window and door leaks this week so far. Many of the windows had tyvek installed incorrectly and were not properly sealed. He has to remove the windows, replace any and all rotted wood, add tyvek, install the window, tape it properly, and re-install siding. Johnney and Ricky have been working together a decent amount this week.

Many siding repairs and fixed leaks around sliding glass door
Many siding repairs and fixed leaks around sliding glass door

Ricky has fixed siding that has come loose from the higher winds and replaced siding that blew off completely. He has fixed leaks on sliding glass doors and windows. These leaks were all caused by the doors and windows not being properly installed originally. All windows and doors were re-used so homeowner didn’t not have to buy new windows or doors.

Dave performed a cedar roof repair this week. Jayden helped Dave replace a big valley on a roof that was leaking from ice dams. The shingles were removed, an ice ands water barrier was added, and then new shingles were added and worked into the older shingles.

On top of all the small shingle repairs, Jayden has removed a satellite tv dish from a roof and replaced the shingles with new. Jayden also installed 2 new chimney caps. Way to go!

One day this week, Josh replaced all the plastic vents on this home with new aluminum ones. Aluminum vents are more durable than plastic roof vents. The new vents matched the color better than the sun faded plastic ones. On top of this, Josh has performed many smaller roof repairs this week.

Nathan and his crew have been working hard to meet a deadline set on this new build home. It’s hard not to fall in love with the look of this home. Selections are: Driftwood Roof, Harbor grey shakes, Harbor grey siding in a 5″ reveal (wider than the standard width for siding), and white fascia and soffit.

Bryant has been helping Nathan and his crew meet their deadline. He has also managed to squeeze in some siding repairs and help other new homes complete their punch list items so the homeowner can close on their home.

John J has been busy making sure all new builds are water tight and leak free.

Which Shingle Should You Put On Your House?

These are all Weathered Wood – you can see the color differences in each line

It’s time to replace the roof on your home, which shingle should you pick? Many contractors present you with a “Good, Better, Best” scenario but that is a generalized comparison of the shingles. The specific details are what will help you make your decision. Carlson Exteriors quotes CertainTeed Landmark, Landmark Pro, and Northgate shingles for roof replacement options. There are more options but these 3 really cover the basics for a homeowner wanting to replace the roof.

Mastic white siding, white trim, black windows, CertainTeed Pewter grey roof, Black garage doors with not windows
Mastic white siding, white trim, black windows, CertainTeed Pewter grey roof, Black garage doors with not windows

Landmark

Landmark is our standard shingle and is our most popular roof for replacements and new construction. It is a great quality shingles. The shingle weighs 220lb per 100 sq foot. It is available in 12 different colors. Compared to the Landmark Pro and Northgate, the Landmark is more unified in color. It use to be considered a 30 year shingles but is now called a limited lifetime shingles. We generally see this shingles lasting around 20 years plus or minus a few years. If you get a roof replaced by Carlson Exteriors we do register your roof for a 4-star roof warranty with Certainteed. This is a 50 year non prorated warranty that will increase with inflation. You can transfer this roof warranty once within the first 12 years to a new homeowner. Click here to read more about the roof warranty Carlson Exteriors offers. If you are unsure how long you will be living in your current home, this will likely be the shingle for you.

Roof Replacement with Landmark Pro Max Def pewter grey shingles
Roof Replacement with Landmark Pro Max Def pewter grey shingles

Landmark Pro

The Landmark Pro shingle is the most likely upgrade for roof replacements. This shingle weighs 240 lb per 100 sq foot. There are 14 colors available in this line; each color has lighter lights and darker darks to provide more variation and texture in the overall look. The Pro shingles has a 5 year longer warranty against algae growth. The granules are made with copper which helps fight against algae growth. If part of your roof gets little sun or is covered by mature trees the Landmark Pro might be the shingles for you. For a little more money, you get a heavier shingle, a shingle more resistant to algae growth, and a shingle with more color variations.

Northgate

Northgate is a great option if you are looking at upgraded shingles. This shingle weighs 320 lb per 100 sq foot – that is 100 lbs more than the Landmark. The Northgate comes in 11 colors. The colors have a higher contrast (like the Landmark Pro) but it is a more defined shadow mark. This gives a better allusion to a shaker style roof. The Northgate is also SBS Modified shingle; this makes it more flexible to withstand hail, expansion, and contraction. We generally see this roof lasting closer to 30 years since the shingle is overall more durable shingle. Since the Northgate shingles is a Class 4 Impact Resistant shingle, you should check with your home insurance to see what discounts you might qualify for. The Northgate shingle is really ideal for the homeowner who knows they will live in their home a long time and can get the return on a higher quality shingle.

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How Covid Changed The Construction Industry (and still is)

Custom grey board and batten vertical fiber cement siding with grey shakes, white trim, metal accent porch roof, and Driftwood shingles

Ever since covid-19 made it’s roaring appearance; industries worldwide have found themselves in whirlwind of changes, problems, and shortages. Let’s narrow the focus to just construction so you can get an idea on what you might be facing if you decide to remodel or build a new home. The shutdown ripple effect, material shortages, man-power shortages, price increases, and wage increases are all at constant play in the current market. Let’s start at the beginning:

The Shutdown:

When everything was shutdown in March 2020, many manufactures laid off employees and shut down plants completely. Depending on the state the manufacturer was in; they were required to completely shut down. Others shut down because they thought new builds and remodels would come to a big halt. They were guessing that many homeowners would not want to take on any construction projects during an unpredictable financial period. instead, homeowners found themselves working from home and wanting to improve their new “offices”. Manufacturers quickly realized their mistake in predicting the future; however it was harder to backpedal than expected. Depending on the state and it’s covid mandate, some roofing, siding, and aluminum companies decided it would be better in the long run to move some manufacturing plants out of the state and into a state with looser covid restrictions. That means they would have to retrofit an existing building, move staff, and train new staff to get a plant running again. They were still likely working with some covid restrictions and not able to produce at full capacity. This produced some serious backlog on orders.

Mastic white siding, white trim, black windows, CertainTeed Pewter grey roof, Black garage doors with not windows
Mastic white siding, white trim, black windows, CertainTeed Pewter grey roof, Black garage doors with not windows

Material Shortages:

After hurdling all that the shutdown threw at them; manufacturing plants now found themselves facing a raw material shortage. All materials from shingles to vinyl siding to aluminum gutters to the steel in garage doors are facing a higher production cost and reduced manufacturing (partially due to reduced labor forces). If plants can’t get the materials they need to produce; products get backordered and prices get raised.

Enviro Dri water barrier
Enviro Dri water barrier

Price Increases:

Record price increases have occurred within the year. Before covid, prices would only increase once or twice a year to keep up with inflation. There would be at least a 30 day notice provided. Now it’s not surprise if there is just a 4 hour notice. This has never happened before. Prices are never stable. The manufacturers are dealing with such a volatile market in materials and strains on labor they have to keep the price changing frequently to stay profitable.

What does this mean for you?

Let’s reduce all of this to what it means for the homeowner of 2022. If you know you want to replace the siding on your home – jump on it. Unless you are ok with paying more in a couple months, don’t wait! Get your roofing selections to your contractor to lock in your price even if you aren’t ready to do the work for months. If you are building a new home, the sooner you place your selections the sooner you will have your prices locked in. We have found many homeowner building new homes, take their time in making selections. Normally we don’t like to rush homeowners into decisions but after a month the price will likely increase 5-15%. Once the order has been placed, it may take months to get in. Most contractors don’t mind you checking in for updates. It’s always nice to stay in communication during these unprecedented times.

Before: Cedar siding looked run down. After: English Wedgewood vinyl siding brightens up this home
Before: Cedar siding looked run down. After: English Wedgewood vinyl siding brightens up this home

New Design Service

Have you ever thought about making changes to the exterior of your home, but not sure where to start? If it is difficult for you to envision what your house could look like, you may be interested in one of our new services called Hover.  The process is easy, pictures are taken of your home and you will end up with a complete 3D rendering.  After that, any combination of exterior products can be added to your house.  You will be able to see different colors and materials.  If you have wondered what your house could look like, take advantage of this service!  If you end up using Carlson Exteriors as your contractor, the design fee is credited to your invoice total!

 

 

 

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How to Make Color Selections

Subdivisions are a great place to get color selections.

Making color selections can be very difficult and stressful for first time home builders; but it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few easy steps to get you started in knowing what you want, but just as important, what you don’t want.

Subdivisions are a great place to get color selections.
Subdivisions are a great place to get color selections.

Drive Around Local Subdivisions

Your local neighborhoods are great resources to find combinations that you like. We usually suggest newer neighborhoods because are more likely to be up to date on all product styles and color offerings. Take photos and record address of homes that strike your fancy. These are great to share with your contractor.

Look at Pinterest or Instagram

These two platforms are chalk full of photos. You will definitely find a wide array of styles, colors, and combinations. This is perfect to do when you have a few extra minutes or want to look late or night. The one downside to looking on Pinterest or Instagram is that not all products you see are guaranteed to be provided in your area or by your contractor.

Custom color LP SMartside in dark grey siding
Custom LP Smartside in dark grey

Browse Your Contractor’s Portfolio

Your contractor should have tons of photos readily available to you on their website. We love asking clients to start here because we know exactly what products/colors are installed on each home.

Ironstone grey siding with white trim, black roof, and faux wood garage doors in normal il
Ironstone grey siding with white trim, black roof, and faux wood garage doors in normal il

Meet With Your Contractor

Often times customers want to know what’s available in their budget or get a little reassurance from a professional. Meeting with your contractor lays a great foundation. They can even go through their online photos with you to help you visualize.

Customer Reviews vs Customer References

Customer testimonials and customer references seem like the same thing on the surface but they are very different and serve different purposes. They are equally important.

So what’s the difference?

Let’s start with the more familiar: Customer Reviews. You can find these on the contractor’s website, Facebook, and any Third Party website (like Google, BBB, Yelp, Home Advisor, etc.). When you start the hunt for the best roofer or perfect siding repair company, you should start by looking up reviews from previous customers. Click here to be taken to Carlson Exteriors’ page of testimonials.

Things to take note of to help you gauge the contractor’s professionalism:

  1. How recent are these reviews/ testimonials? How frequent do they occur? How many are there? You want to see a lot of recent and frequent reviews. Take in to consideration any off-seasons for exterior contractors; they will have less reviews during winter.
  2. Do they talk about their experience working with the sales person/ Project Manager? A sales person or a Project Manager will likely be your first and main contact to the company. They should not apply any sales pressures or gimmicks – only treating you respect. They should be easy to communicate with and happy to answer any questions you may have.
  3. Is Customer Service a common theme in reviews? For some reason, it’s easy to forget that contractors need to provide a high level of customer service. Remember you are paying them for their services.
  4. Are there repeat customers? The true testament to a contractor is if you can find evidence of returning customers. If a homeowner was truly satisfied with a contractor’s work, that contractor will be the first one that homeowner calls.
  5. How did the contractor handle mistakes? Even the best contractor is still human; they make mistakes. What separates the good contractors from the bad is how the mistakes are handled. Can you find evidence that problems were handled in a timely manner and to the customer’s satisfaction?

 

 

Now let’s talk about customer references! When you meet with your potential contractors ask them for a list of previous customers you can call. This way you can ask previous customers how the whole working experience was like.  Perhaps you are shy and are not interested in calling a handful of strangers. Ultimately, customer references are more meatier, more detailed than customer reviews. Look to see if your contractor has any Customer Spotlights on their website. Examples of that are:

Click here to Meet the Pound’s

Click here to Meet the Gualazzi’s

If you click those links you will find a before and after pictures, detailed descriptions of the job, and videos of interviews with the homeowners talking about their experience.