Over-the-top: Green Roofs

While searching for a topic to write about, I came across a website that, according to its short description, discusses “green roofs” and how they benefit the environment. Since roofing hasn’t been talked about on here lately, “green roofing” seemed like a fitting theme. Time for Bordner to extol the virtues of solar panels and eco-friendly roofing materials, right?

Much to my surprise, after clicking on the site link, I discovered that “green roofing” has a more literal meaning than what I had imagined. Green roofs are environmentally friendly all right– that’s because the rooftops are made of plants!

      

These are also called “living roofs.” The vegetation grows upon soil held by a waterproofing membrane. This type of roof is effective at absorbing rainwater, creating habitat, insulating the home and cleaning the air by filtering pollutants.

Of course, we’ve all seen trees and plants on urban rooftops. But in residential areas? Not so common.

Here are some more pictures of living roofs. They are quite stunning! I wonder how the lawn is mowed…

 

Photo source: Light Bulbs; OSU; treehugger; Kerr’s Green Debate Team; Sustainable Cities Collective

Eight Signs You Need New Windows

Your home’s window frames look OK. When it rains, you don’t get wet. The temperature in your home seems all right throughout the year. Yet, still, your window panes could be problematic for your household. Perhaps it is time to have those looked at.

There could be one or many reasons why your house windows should be replaced. Here are eight signs to lookout for, and solutions:

1.) You have single-paned windows, which increase your energy bill. Installing double-paned, triple-paned or gas-filled windows can maximize resistance to thermal conductivity and decrease your utility bill.

2.) The panes are chipped, cracked or etched. Heat loss can occur even with the tiniest infractions. Replace the biggest windows first, if on a budget.

3.) There is visible corrosion of the caulking. This must be redone– otherwise mold, rot and condensation will settle in.

4.) You desire more privacy. Consider window panes with a reflective coating to keep out watchful eyes.

5.) Flying debris is a concern because you live in a high-wind area. In case of collision, windows with interior membranes or exterior coatings keep shattered glass in place.

6.) Leakage is occurring in multi-paned windows. Climate and window direction affect the life of a seal, so replace windows with leaks.

7.) Energy Star rebates on replacement windows are advantageous to you. Bordner can help you select Energy Star-rated windows.

8.) You wish to have blinds in between panes for controlling light. Windows with remote-operated panels provide privacy and thermal protection.

Call Bordner to have your window panes replaced professionally. It’s an investment that will save you money in the long run!

Photo source: Home Improvement Articles; Omega; HCI

Three Types of Exterior Door Materials

When replacing your front door, or any exterior entryway, you’ll have to decide which material best suits your needs. The three most popular choices for doors are wood, fiberglass and steel. All three materials are equal in terms of longevity. However, the component of which the door is manufactured depends on the opening itself. For instance, a curved doorway (and thus door) would be available in wood only.

Wood doors are usually plywood or laminate with hardboard backing and an energy-efficient core that provides insulation. This type of wood door is cost-effective but will require aesthetic maintenance as fading or peeling can occur. A storm door is recommended with this kind of door. On the other hand, a 100% solid wood door, though more expensive, is heavy, secure and resists shifting and expanding.
Exterior Door

Steel doors come in a range of quality, colors, thicknesses and prices. Be aware of the gauge of the steel: the higher the number, the thinner the material. For example, 24-gauge steel is very thin, bends easily and is meant only for temporary fixes. For home use, 22-gauge steel is the way to go. This thickness holds paint well, can have a simulated wood grain and is low-maintenance.
Exterior Door

Fiberglass doors are extremely low-maintenance, strong, resist dents and scratches and are also available in mock wood grain finishes. The surface does not necessarily have to be finished like wood and steel doors do. As a result, even unfinished fiberglass doors can last for years, impervious to mold, rust and other deterioration.
Exterior Door

Call Bordner for a front door consultation. We specialize in Provia steel and fiberglass entryways that are suitable for every home and weather condition.

Five Fundamentals of Home Improvement

If you’re not sure whether your house could undergo a bit of upgrading or not, consider these fundamental elements to a great-looking exterior: The Five Ds. Don’t worry, “demolition” is not one of them– but keep it mind to be the sixth “D” if the first five fail!

Once you go over the Five Ds, you’ll be in a position to determine your next move in home improvement.

Distance
The first– and last– thing everyone will notice about your home is how well it looks as a whole, from a distance. Curb appeal is paramount, from the integrity of exterior structures to immaculate landscaping.

Deficiency
Do a little comparison against your neighbors’ homes. How does yours size up? Do neighboring homes have upgrades that improved their value? Think about performing the same improvements to your house…

Distinctiveness
… but make your home different, too. Sounds contradictory, right? Set yourself apart from the rest via the main features of the house. If your neighbor recently replaced his roof with traditional shingles, redo your roof with architectural shingles.

Demand
Don’t go too far off the deep end of distinction. Keep it so others will have an interest in what you’ve “done to the place.” Find out what people are looking for in a home, by flipping through design magazines.

Degree
You’ll want to see benefits and added value through your improvements. If an ROI won’t roll your way as a result of a project, don’t undertake it.

If you’ve decided upon overhauling your home or need assistance making a decision, Bordner can help you with that.

Photo source: Puzzle Pieces Design Studio

The Garage Is a Room, Too!

When thinking about home and energy improvement, our minds travel to the obvious elements attached to a house: roof, doors, windows, exterior walls, attic, basement– and the associated insulation. Any time we notice energy efficiency problems, those are the structural aspects we look at first.

However, we forget about one of the biggest rooms in our house: the garage!

Yes, garages and their doors eventually need improvement, as energy can escape through them, too. Bordner is proud to use Delden steel garage doors, which are manufactured locally.

These high-quality garage doors come in a durable 24- or 25-gauge steel, with galvanized hinges and double-strength glass. The doors are maintenance-free and available in a variety of colors and styles to match your home.

The doors’ insulation properties are unmatched. The construction reach an R-value up to 15.67; and the tightly sealed joints and weatherstripping increase efficiency, which will save you money.

A tamper-resistant locking system further keeps in/keeps out what you want. Best of all, Delden garage doors carry a limited-lifetime warranty.

If you’ve replaced everything else in your home except the garage door, now is the time to think about it. Bordner will ensure every inch of exterior, from the roof to the garage, is properly fitted with the right kind of materials.

Sizing up Siding Damage

As we are in the midst of peak tornado season, it is likely that you– or somebody you know– will experience exterior home damage from this natural disaster. Roofs, windows and siding are the main elements of structure that receive a beating from storms– it doesn’t even have to be the result of a tornado.

Hail, wind and even lightning and do a number on your home siding despite it being a vertical surface. Hail damage is easy to spot on vinyl siding, as indicated by chips, cracks or holes on the boards. Wood and metal siding will simply dent but the paint surface will crack.

Siding Damage

Wind damage to siding is evident in loose boards… or missing strips altogether! The wind can also blow materials into the exterior walls, puncturing the siding.

Siding Damage

Lightning damage will leave a burn mark on the house.

Siding Damage

If you have inspected your home exterior and have discovered vinyl damage, or if you need the home inspected for you, call Bordner to replace broken, burnt or missing siding!

Photo source: Trinity Exteriors; Royalty Remodlers; Camaro5

Dressing Windows to save Energy

Energy efficient windows are the way to go when it comes to reducing your utilities bills in both summer and winter. Bordner is always on-hand to replace old windows or configure new fittings in any home. These types of windows are an investment– but worth it in the long run.

However, if you don’t have energy-saving windows yet but would still like to minimize the cost of regulating the house temperature, there is a budget-friendly fix: windows treatments.

Energy efficient window coverings have the ability to keep in heat during winter, keep out heat during summer. Also, the decor enhances the overall mood and look of your home!

A few factors must be considered when choosing insulating window dressings– depending on the climate and season. There are three types of thermal window treatments:

1.) those that decrease heat loss and heat gain. These year-round options do it all, from cellular and honeycomb shades to window film and external shutters.
2.) those that stop heat loss in the fall and winter only. Window films and pleated shades provide a heat-trapping effect, as well as interior storm windows.
3.) those that absorb and shade solar heat in the spring and summer only. Outdoor roller shades, awnings and heat-control window film can reduce home cooling costs significantly.

Many of these window treatments are inexpensive and easy to install. When you are ready to go all the way with energy efficient windows, call Bordner for an estimate.

Photo source: The Blind Alley

Dissecting Synthetic Stucco – That’s EIFs to You

During the 1980s and ’90s, we began to see many homes being constructed with a type of synthetic stucco called EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System). EIFS is a stucco-like composite that is applied in a thin layer over mesh and foam boards which surround the building’s exterior.

EIFS performs well and good as an exterior insulator– it is definitely sturdy. But be aware of what problems may arise if the stucco is improperly installed. In EIFS models, especially in the ’90s, builders did not provide adequate water drainage systems. As a result, water would become trapped between the walls, and thus moisture penetration occurred. Cracks and scaling in the stucco are then visible, which must be corrected with elastomeric paint.

If you have an older home made with EIFS, have it inspected by Bordner. If there is water damage, Bordner can fix it for you by sealing the cracks or remodeling altogether.

Bordner will ensure that your stucco is carefully installed and properly sealed to prevent water damage.

Roofing Trends for the Future

The roof of a house is probably the most important component of any abode. It protects us from the elements first and foremost, but a roof also regulates temperature, aids in insulation and circulates energy. Function over form, right?

That said, we like a roof to look stylish– if we didn’t care about the aesthetics of a roof, we’d cover up leaks and damage by ourselves using tarp and leave it at that. As with any element of home design, roofing undergoes changes in trends. Environmentally friendly is the buzz term surrounding roofing systems now. Presently, two types of shingles are rising in popularity: white, and solar.

White shingles provide optimal temperature regulation thus saving money on overall energy use within the home. And while white shingles are cost-efficient, as well as beautiful, keep in mind that streaks would be easily visible, whereas shingles that are darker in color won’t show marks.

Solar-powered shingles are another cost-effective roofing option. They are used in conjunction with your regular roofing, installed every five or six rows. Shingles that conduct solar energy are a little more expensive than traditional shingles; however, [they] are becoming more mainstream and, therefore, the price of materials will decrease over time.

Bordner can help consult you on what roofing works best for your environment and budget.

Photo source: Re-Nest; 1BOG

Vinyl or Fiber Cement Siding?

Home siding has come a long way. It is now more durable and versatile than ever, and it is evolving in its technology. Bordner Installation works with two main kinds of siding: vinyl and fiber cement. But what are the differences between the two? Which type will work best for you and your home?

Vinyl siding tends to be a popular choice for its cost-effectiveness and resistance to weather damage. It comes in a variety of colors and is easy to install. Vinyl is great for busy homeowners, as it requires little or no maintenance. When Bordner installs your vinyl siding, a lifetime limited warranty is included, covering the siding, parts and fade protection.

Fiber cement siding is a step up from vinyl. Like vinyl siding, fiber cement is a durable and low-maintenance material. However, what sets this apart from vinyl is that fiber cement can mimic wood, stucco or masonry, making it the most versatile of siding choices. Also, the durability is superb, with the ability to withstand hurricane-force winds and drastic fluctuations in temperature. Fiber cement siding is also resistant to UV rays and wood-boring insects such as termites. Best of all, this top siding is flame-resistant.

Now that you’re in the know about siding options, give Bordner a call for a free estimate!

Photo source: drunken_irishman; California Energy Consultant Service