Different Types of Roofing: Which is Best For You?

roofing

The material that your roof is made of will have a direct impact on the overall cost of the roof as well as how long it will last.  Though individual taste and style play a large role in what roofing material to use, the availability of that material will also influence which type of roofing you ultimately choose.  So what are different types of roofing materials that are available?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?  Let us begin…

 

Asphalt Shingles

The most common and also the cheapest, asphalt shingles are relatively durable and easy to install.  They also come in a variety of different colors in order to suit different homeowners tastes.  Asphalt shingles are also effective in a wide range of environments and climates.  Some of the disadvantages of asphalt shingles are their shorter lifespan in comparison to other types of roofing.  Asphalt shingles are also susceptible to fading and algae growth.

Recommended asphalt shingle brand: Owens Corning Duration Series

 

Slate/tile

Slate roofing has many distinct advantages as a roofing material.  It does not rot, is easy to maintain, fire resistant, and has a very long life expectancy (between 50-100 years).  The look of a slate roof can also give your home a very unique style.  But there are some potential problems associated with using slate.  Slate tiles are very heavy and may require stronger support and bracing for the roof.  The skill required to install a slate tile roof is also fairly advanced in comparison to other roofing materials.  There can also be problems with this type of roof in climates where there is significant fluctuation in temperature.  Significant variation in temperature can make the slate or tile crack, causing considerable maintenance issues.

Recommended slate brand: Certainteed Composite Slate Shingles

 

Metal

Metal roofing is typically more expensive then asphalt shingles, but less expensive then slate.  Metal also has a long-life expectancy, usually around 40-50 years and is also fairly easy to install.  Metal roofing is also easier to install then slate/tile and can withstand significant fluctuation in temperature.  Metal roofing also performs well in just about every climate and is resistant to fading.

Recommended metal roof brand: Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp Classic Rib

 

Wood Shake or Shingles

Wood shakes or wood shingle are typically made from several different woods to included pine, redwood, cypress, and western red cedar.  They are usually pressure treated and have had chemical preservatives added to them in order to prevent rot and increase resistance to fires.  Wood shingles are also much more expensive then the traditional asphalt roof.  Some areas may also have a ban on wood shingles due to their flammability, so check you local ordinances and laws before deciding to get them installed.  Wood shingles also require considerably more maintenance then most other types of roofs

Recommended wood shingle brand: Certi-Split ® Handsplit & Resawn Shakes

 

If you would like to learn more about different types of roofing and considerations for each you can check out the House At Work podcast: House At Work Home Repair Clinic – Roofing Considerations

 

 

The Best Vinyl Siding Brands

When you decide to install vinyl siding on your home you are making a long-term investment.  Most vinyl siding will last over 30 years or more so it is imperative that you select the right type.  With the hundreds of brands, colors, and varieties available on the market today, it can be a bit overwhelming to any homeowner who is considering installing siding.  So how do assess the quality of vinyl siding?  Here are a few characteristics of a high-quality vinyl siding:

Thickness

The thickness of the siding is usually one of the best indicators of a high quality siding.  Siding that is thicker than .046” is usually considered to be premium grade vinyl siding.  Siding that is thinner then this is often cheaper and not quite as durable.

It is resistant to fading

Over the years your vinyl siding is going to get continuous abuse from the elements.  Lower grade siding is usually much more susceptible to fading.  Older siding is much more vulnerable to fading. Recently manufactured siding is less so.

It is strong

The thicker the siding, the stronger it is.  One of the main ingredients in vinyl siding is polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC.  But not all PVC is created equal.  Many vinyl sidings on the market are made from recycled PVC or regrind materials, which are lower in quality.  Virgin PVC, meaning PVC that has never been recycled, is usually what most high quality vinyl sidings are made of.  Oftentimes, many manufacturers will also add additional additives to make it stronger.  Other considerations to take when assessing the strength of siding is whether it is insulated or not.  Insulated siding is more impact resistant then non-insulated.  Insulated siding is often more expensive and more difficult to install as well.

Warranty

Many high quality vinyl sidings have a twenty-five year or longer warranty.  Anything warranties that are below this time length are typically of lower quality and cheaper.  Be sure to pay attention to what kind of warranty is included.  Most warranties include material costs, but not the cost of labor to replace it.

Top Vinyl Siding Brands

If you are considering installing vinyl siding on your home, take a look at the brands below:

CertainTeed

vinyl siding

A producer of not only vinyl siding, but also roofing, insulation, and trim, CertainTeed is considered one of the top siding brands in the market today.  They also offer credentials to contractors who are certified in installing their products.

Kaycan

vinyl siding

Kaycan produces a wide variety of siding products as well as windows and soffits.  What is really neat is they have a Home Designer on their website that allows you to visualize their products on your house or other homes.

Alside

vinyl siding

A manufacturer of siding, windows, gutters/downspouts, and insulation, Alside offers some of the most comprehensive limited lifetime warranties available.

 

Norandex

vinyl siding

Norandex is a company that is over 65 years old specializing in the manufacturing of siding (both vinyl and composite), doors, and windows.

 

 

The Best Local Hardware Stores In Upstate New York

With big box retailers in every corner of the country, local hardware stores, once an indispensable part of a community, have become harder to find.  This is especially true if you live in a larger city or in the suburbs where you will often have multiple big box retailers that are within driving distance.  The problem with the big box retailers is that they are not truly a “local” company like the corner hardware store or have the high-quality customer services that local hardware stores are typically known for.  Local hardware stores are also much more convenient to many who may not live close to big box stores and may also have many products or services that some big box stores may not provide.  These extra services can be as simple as helping you assemble the charcoal grill you just bought or renting a snow blower before a big snowstorm.  It’s always great to support local companies, so the next time you need to fix your home and need to find local hardware stores and you find yourself in the upstate New York area, start with these:

Buffalo, New York

Gersitz Hardware

local hardware stores

Address: 901 Kensington Ave, Buffalo, New York 14215

Phone: (716) 832-6006

 

Hectors Hardware

local hardware stores

Address: 1955 Clinton Street, Buffalo, New York 14206

Phone: (716) 823-1700

 

Valu Home Centers

local hardware stores

Address: 1841 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14207

Phone: (716) 873-2397

 

Rochester, New York

Blacks Hardware

local hardware stores

Address: 610 East Ridge Road, Rochester, New York 14621

Phone: (585) 544-9896

 

 

Weiders Paint and Hardware

local hardware stores

Address: 1800 Monroe Ave, Rochester, New York 14618

Phone: (585) 270-6035

 

Mayer Hardware

local hardware stores

Address: 226 North Winton Road, Rochester, New York 14610

Phone: (585) 288-7666

 

Syracuse, New York

City True Value Hardware

local hardware stores

Address: 214 South Geddes Street, Syracuse, New York 13204

Phone: (315) 479-9020

 

Bob’s True Value

local hardware stores

Address: 4805 South Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13205

Phone: (315) 469-4065

 

Albany, New York

Phillips Hardware

local hardware stores

Address: 235 Delaware Ave, Delmar, New York 12054

Phone: (518) 439-9943

 

Robinson’s Ace Hardware

local hardware stores

Address: 1874 Western Ave, Albany, New York 12203

Phone: (518) 456-7383

 

Young’s Ace

local hardware stores

Address: 14 Boulevard Avenue, Catskill, New York 12414

Phone: (518) 943-3505

 

 

The Best Kitchen Cabinet Brands

When selecting what type of kitchen cabinet to use, you are making a long term and often expensive decision.  The quality of those cabinets will not only an expression of your style and taste, they are also an investment in your home.  We sifted through the information of hundreds of kitchen cabinet brands to find the best quality and highest rated ones.  The top seven kitchen cabinet brands are:

#1 Smallbone

kitchen cabinet

Smallbone is a very high-end kitchen cabinet designer and creator. I say creator instead of manufacturer because these cabinets are meticulously hand crafted.  That quality comes at a price: the average cost of a Smallbone kitchen in in excess of $50,000 USD.  If money is no issue and you want view some of their selections in person, they have showrooms in Great Britain, Russia, and the United States.

#2 StyleCraft Cabinetry

kitchen cabinet

Based out of Terre Hill, Pennsylvania, StyleCraft Cabinetry manufacture custom cabinetry with some of the best craftsman in New England.  They primarily sell their kitchen cabinets on the East Coast of the United States.  They also do custom work for bathrooms, bedrooms, and dens.

#3 Aran Cucine

kitchen cabinet

Produced in Abruzzo, Italy, Aran Cucine offer kitchen cabinet styles that range from traditional to more modern.  They not only design kitchens, they also have some fabulous living rooms, tables, and chairs.  They have some pretty amazing products, but it looks like you will have to go pick up what you buy in Italy (good excuse for a vacation)!

#4 Snaidero USA

kitchen cabinet

Another Italian company, but this one is based out of Los Angeles with showrooms all across North America.  There work can be found in some of the most iconic buildings in the United States, including Trump Tower in Chicago and the MGM in Las Vegas.

#5 Artistic Cabinetry

kitchen cabinet

Based in Smithtown, New York, Artistic Cabinetry has some of the highest quality indoor and outdoor kitchen accessories.  While doing research for this list, this company was one of the few that prominently displayed examples of their outdoor kitchen cabinets that they produce, which look really nice!

#6 Wood Mode

kitchen cabinet

With showrooms all across the United States, Wood Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry will have the styling, color, and quality for practically any taste.  They have products for pretty much every room in your house, including entertainment areas and home offices.  Their well-built site also makes it very easy to browse different pictures of their products.

#7 Marsh Furniture Company

kitchen cabinet

Another great company that sells their products all over the United States.  Marsh Furniture Company is a family company based out of North Carolina that has been in business ever since 1906 so they must be doing something right!  They utilize some of the most cutting-edge machinery in the construction of their cabinets, but still hold true to many of the traditional methods of cabinetry construction.  Their cabinets have also met all the standards of quality construction set forth by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association.

Top 10 Home DIY Podcasts

By Peter Schick

#1 Young House Love Has A Podcast

top 10 home DIY podcasts

John and Sherry of Young House Love have put together an amazing podcast.  The husband-wife duo out of Richmond, Virginia talk extensively about the projects that they have actually done, which are in excess of 3000, around the houses that they have owned.  The shear volume of projects they have done is pretty incredible!

#2 Ace On The House

top 10 home diy podcasts

This podcast will make you laugh, really hard!  Hosts They talk about pretty much everything under the sun and home improvement.  Very entertaining, one of my favorites!

#3 Fix It Home Improvement

Jacy and Cindy have a great set up!  They have shorter episodes (around 20 to 30 minutes in length), perfect for morning or evening commutes.  Each episode they discuss in detail how to fix common household repairs and projects ranging from skylights to high-efficiency toilets.  They consistently publish a new podcast every week so you will always be getting fresh info!

#4 Today’s Homeowner

top 10 home diy podcasts

Danny has a fabulous website with not only his podcast episodes, but also videos with home DIY tips, as well as a multitude of other resources to help homeowners with projects of any size.  All the content that Danny has put out has been exceptionally high quality and enjoyable to watch and listen to.  His show has been going on for over 20 years so he must be doing something right!

#5 The Money Pit

When I first heard the name of this podcast it made me think of the movie the Money Pit!  Unlike the movie, they discuss how to avoid getting into the situations that they found themselves in the movie!  Follows a similar format to many radio shows: take calls from homeowners with questions and answer them in detail.

#6 The Handyguys Podcast

Brian and Paul drop tons of knowledge in the Handyguys Podcast.  Their episodes are concise, to the point, and not saturated with commercials.  The banter between them is also pretty entertaining too!

#7 At Home With Gary Sullivan

top 10 DIY podcasts

Gary Sullivan does a fantastic job of bringing in expert guests for discussions on a wide range of topics from sump pumps, air quality, to countertop installation.  Each subject is discussed in detail and in terms that even a layman would understand, which is something most homeowners would appreciate!  He takes calls from his radio audience as well, which are also aired on his own home DIY podcast.

#8 Home Repair Tutor

top 10 home diy podcasts

Jeff Patterson out of Pittsburg puts out a solid solo hosted podcast.  He is very good at articulating and describing some of the more complex DIY problems he runs into at his rental homes.

#9 Fix It 101

top 10 home diy podcasts

Straight from Mississippi Public Broadcasting is Fix It 101 (not to be mistaken with Fix It Home Improvement).  Follows the same general theme as the podcast with a similar name, but typically longer episodes and more co-hosts.  Great detailed information with longer episodes, usually around 45 minutes.

#10 The Home Repair Clinic

top 10 home diy podcasts

Of course we have to mention this home DIY podcast as well!  The House At Work Home Repair Clinic starts Jim Salmon, a home inspector who hosts the Home Repair Clinic on WHAM 1180 in Rochester, NY, and Peter Schick, a local real estate salesman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ep 12: Home Heating Considerations

House At Work Home Repair Clinic

In this episode, Jim and Peter discuss different furnaces and heating mechanisms available for homes as well as considerations for each.

Do you have a home improvement question? Email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to get it answered for you! Do you need help with a home improvement project and live in the upstate New York region? Go to www.houseatwork.com and click “Find Contractors“.

 

Ep 11: Getting Ready for Fall and Winter

House At Work Home Repair Clinic

In episode 11, Jim and Peter discuss the different types of maintenance homeowners should undertake in order to get their homes ready for fall and winter.

Do you have a home improvement question? Email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to get it answered for you! Do you need help with a home improvement project and live in the upstate New York region? Go to www.houseatwork.com and click “Find Contractors“.

 

Ep 10: Roofing Considerations

House At Work Home Repair Clinic

In this episode, Jim and Peter discuss different types of roofing and considerations you should take for each.

Do you have a home improvement question? Email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to get it answered for you! Do you need help with a home improvement project and live in the upstate New York region? Go to www.houseatwork.com and click “Find Contractors“.

 

Ep 9: Landscaping Considerations

House At Work Home Repair Clinic

Jim and Peter discuss common pitfalls and solutions to landscaping your yard.

Do you have a home improvement question? Email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to get it answered for you! Do you need help with a home improvement project and live in the upstate New York region? Go to www.houseatwork.com and click “Find Contractors“.

 

Ep 8: How To Select A Contractor

House At Work Home Repair Clinic

Jim and Peter discuss ways a homeowner can safely and effectively select a home improvement contractor for their projects.

Do you have a home improvement question? Email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to get it answered for you! Do you need help with a home improvement project and live in the upstate New York region? Go to www.houseatwork.com and click “Find Contractors“.