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Windows and Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

If you've lived in North Texas any amount of time, you know that summers are scorching. High temperatures and the blazing sun often translate to hundreds of dollars in higher cooling costs each year. In fact, solar heat gain (the amount of solar radiation absorbed through a window) through windows account for 30 percent of the cooling costs in your home or business. There are a few steps you can take to reduce solar heat gain, keep your home or business cool, and reduce your cooling costs.

1. Add Solar Screens. One way to reduce the amount of heat transferred through your windows is to use solar screens. Solar screens are made of a type of unique screen mesh and installed on the outside of the windows of your home or office. While solar screens can help reduce heat transfer and keep your home cooler, they are not the most efficient way to reduce temperatures in your home. Since solar screens also "blackout" your windows from the outside, using them can make your home darker and can limit viewing from the inside. Solar screens can fade over time, too.

2. Or Try Window Film. Window film is another option you can use to reduce the amount of heat transferred through your windows. Window film is a self-adhering polyester film applied directly to the window glass. Window film can also reduce heat transfer through your windows and minimize glare. Some people prefer window film over solar screens because it is easier to clean that solar screens, but you should keep in mind that it is critical to install window film correctly, or you will end up with bubbles. Some window manufacturers also state that window film violates their warranties.

3. Upgrade Your Windows.
Many homes in North Texas were built using single-pane glass windows because they cost less than double-pane and triple-pane options. While they do save builders money, they cost you money because they are a poor insulator and allow the sun's rays to heat up your home. Upgrading your windows to double or triple-pane glass is an investment, but will lower your cooling costs over time.

You already knew that Scott Exteriors is the name you can trust for professional roofing repair and replacement, but did you know we also do windows?
Call us today at 214-503-7663 to schedule your window consultation.

Spruce Up Your Siding Before Selling

Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Are you thinking of selling your Plano home this spring? If you're considering putting your house on the market and want to get top-dollar, you should consider taking a few steps to spruce up its curb appeal such as manicuring your lawn, planting new flowers, painting your trim, and updating your older vinyl siding.

Really? I Should Update My Siding Before Listing My Home?

Yes, you at least should consider it. Updating your vinyl siding with new vinyl or Hardie Plank is like giving your home a facelift. It will make your home look new and fresh, which will, in turn, attract potential buyers. 

But Will My Investment Pay Off?

According to Remodeling magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, yes. The magazine reports that replacing your home's older vinyl siding will return between 72 and 80 percent of your investment. Also, replacing your vinyl siding will most likely increase your home's value.

Replacing your siding will also help you through the inspection process and gives you leverage when reviewing offers. 

What Kind of Siding Should I Consider?

Scott Exteriors offers both high-quality vinyl and Hardie Board fiber-cement siding options to update your home. Vinyl siding is a popular choice because it installs easily, comes in a wide variety of colors, and requires very little maintenance. It is also very cost-effective. 

Hardie Board siding also has its benefits. Hardie Board is a bit more of an investment than vinyl siding. Hard Board is also very low maintenance and comes in a wide range of colors. Hardie Board is popular with many homeowners because it has a natural wood look and texture. It is also weather resistant and can withstand hail and the Texas sun.

Are you considering selling this spring and want to upgrade your siding? 
 Call Scott Exteriors for a quote today at 214-503-7663

Insulation is Everything

Thursday, January 25, 2018

How often do you think about the insulation of your Plano home? If you’re like most homeowners, you probably never think about your insulation or only think about it when you receive a higher-than-normal heating or cooling bill. If you fall into either of these camps, you probably want to read this blog.


What is insulation?

Insulation is a physical barrier that helps to block the heat of the sun's rays in the summer (a very important factor for North Texas homeowners). Insulation also helps to keep heat from escaping through the roof during the winter. 

What are the different types of insulation?

The most common types of insulation materials include fiberglass, cellulose, polyurethane foam, mineral wool, and Styrofoam.

Fiberglass insulation is very common in homes and businesses. Fiberglass insulation is made from spun glass and is extremely dense. Its density helps to block out heat the sun's rays and prevent heat or cool air from seeping out of your home. Fiberglass insulation also does not absorb water.

Cellulose is a less common insulation material than fiberglass insulation, but is more expensive than fiberglass insulation. Many people like cellulose because it is eco-friendly compared to other materials. However, cellulose insulation consists of wood fibers that are flammable.

Polyurethane foam is the best insulation material available and is an excellent sound insulator. Polyurethane foam is also very expensive, flammable, and negatively impacts the environment.

Mineral wool insulation is made of spun minerals such as steel or basalt stone. This type of insulation is more in Canada and Europe, but is slowly making a comeback in the United States. Mineral wool is very dense, which makes it a great material to insulate your home. Mineral wool is also not flammable or damaging to the environment.

Styrofoam insulation is another type insulation material available for insulating your home. Styrofoam insulation is the cheapest of all insulation material types, but there are considerations to make if you're thinking about using it. Styrofoam is bad for the environment, it is difficult to install, and is flammable.

Why should you think about insulation?

Making sure you have enough insulation can also help extend the life of your HVAC unit, as high temperatures created during the summer make your HVAC system work harder to reach and maintain the temperatures you set on your thermostat. Over time, this additional wear on your HVAC can shorten its lifespan and means you will have to replace it sooner.

How does insulation affect roofing?

Inadequate or old insulation can also lead to the premature deterioration of the materials used to construct your roof, like roof underlayment and decking.

When these materials decay, your roof is more susceptible to leaks which can lead to even more repair bills.

Do you have questions about what type of insulation can help extend the life of your roof? 


Call Scott Exteriors today at 214-503-7663.

Ice Dams Can Cause Roof Leaks

Thursday, January 11, 2018

We know that most winters in Dallas and North Texas aren't really all that winter-y. Some years, we may only get a snowflake or two (literally), and most of the time we have warm temperatures and very little precipitation. In other years, we end up with sleet, ice storms, and below freezing temperatures. When we have severe winter weather, it is a recipe for complications for our schedules, lives, and our roofs.

Freezing temperatures and precipitation can lead to a problem known as ice dams. 
 

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam is a mound of ice that forms along the edge of a roof. Ice dams form because your gutter is the outside temperature (freezing) and your roof is warm from heat rising in the house. The warmth of your roof causes snow to melt, and the resulting water runs down the roof to your gutters. When the water makes contact with your freezing gutters, it turns into ice once again.

Upon freezing, the water expands to ice and pushes the ice back under your shingles. When the ice melts, it can eventually cause a leak. 
 

Why are ice dams bad for your roof?

Ice dams cause damage by trapping water against your roof. This water can back up into your shingles - as far as 10 feet or more - and cause leaks in your home below. These leaks can damage your ceiling, walls, and floors and create thousands of dollars in damage.

Ice dams (and even icicles) can also weigh down your gutters and cause them to tear away from your home. 

How can you prevent ice dams?

There are a few steps you can take to prevent ice dams from forming on your eaves. One way is to try and brush the snow away from your roof using a broom. Trying to remove snow can be dangerous work, so we recommend that you hire an experienced roofing company. If you want to do this yourself, only try if you can safely reach the roof from the ground. Be mindful of your gutters and watch out for any icicles on your eaves as they are dangerous if they fall.

Another way you can prevent ice dams include sealing up gaps where warm air can come in contact with your roof and cause melting. Adding additional attic insulation can also prevent melting (and lower your heating costs!).

While salt may help to melt ice on your walkway and driveway, do not put salt on your roof, as it is very damaging to your shingles. You can, however, put salt or an “ice melt” product into a sock and put the sock in the high point of your gutter. Over time, the salt will clear the ice, and the sock will prevent the salt from being washed away.

An additional way to prevent ice dams is to have an experienced roofing company like Scott Exteriors add extra roof vents. Additional venting helps to pull the cold air to keep the attic cool. Subsequently, your roof will stay cool and minimize the chance of melting snow and ice.

Learn more about venting your roof by contacting Scott Exteriors today at 214-503-7663.

Insulation is Everything

Thursday, December 28, 2017

How often do you think about the insulation of your Plano home? If you’re like most homeowners, you probably never think about your insulation or only think about it when you receive a higher-than-normal heating or cooling bill. If you fall into either of these camps, you probably want to read this blog. 


What is insulation?

Insulation is a physical barrier that helps to block the heat of the sun's rays in the summer (a very important factor for North Texas homeowners). Insulation also helps to keep heat from escaping through the roof during the winter.

What are the different types of insulation?

The most common types of insulation materials include fiberglass, cellulose, polyurethane foam, mineral wool, and Styrofoam.

  • Fiberglass insulation is very common in homes and businesses. Fiberglass insulation is made from spun glass and is extremely dense. Its density helps to block out heat the sun's rays and prevent heat or cool air from seeping out of your home. Fiberglass insulation also does not absorb water.

  • Cellulose is a less common insulation material than fiberglass insulation, but is more expensive than fiberglass insulation. Many people like cellulose because it is eco-friendly compared to other materials. However, cellulose insulation consists of wood fibers that are flammable. 

  • Polyurethane foam is the best insulation material available and is an excellent sound insulator. Polyurethane foam is also very expensive, flammable, and negatively impacts the environment. 

  • Mineral wool insulation is made of spun minerals such as steel or basalt stone. This type of insulation is more in Canada and Europe, but is slowly making a comeback in the United States. Mineral wool is very dense, which makes it a great material to insulate your home. Mineral wool is also not flammable or damaging to the environment.

  • Styrofoam insulation is another type insulation material available for insulating your home. Styrofoam insulation is the cheapest of all insulation material types, but there are considerations to make if you're thinking about using it. Styrofoam is bad for the environment, it is difficult to install, and is flammable. 

Why should you think about insulation?

Insulation is the ideal way to make your home energy-efficient. When properly insulated, homes can see cost savings as much as 80 percent.

Making sure you have enough insulation can also help extend the life of your HVAC unit, as high temperatures created during the summer make your HVAC system work harder to reach and maintain the temperatures you set on your thermostat. Over time, this additional wear on your HVAC can shorten its lifespan and means you will have to replace it sooner.

How does insulation affect roofing?

Inadequate or old insulation can also lead to the premature deterioration of the materials used to construct your roof, like roof underlayment and decking.

When these materials decay, your roof is more susceptible to leaks which can lead to even more repair bills.

Do you have questions about what type of insulation can help extend the life of your roof? 

Call Scott Exteriors today at 214-503-7663.

Why HardiePlank is a Great Choice

Monday, December 11, 2017

Why HardiePlank is a Great Choice for Replacing Your Siding

Does your Carrollton home need a facelift? One of the best ways to refresh your home’s exterior is to replace old vinyl siding. One of the best things to replace your old vinyl siding with is HardiePlank fiber cement board siding. What makes HardiePlank the best option for your home’s exterior? Find out in this blog.
  

What is HardiePlank? 

HardiePlank or Hardie Board is a brand of siding commonly used in residential and commercial building applications. HardiePlank is made up of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers, a component that gives green plants and trees their strength and structure. 


Why is it better than other types of siding? 

It’s durable. HardiePlank is much thicker than vinyl siding – on average nearly two and a half times thicker, in fact. This means it can stand up to damaging winds and even hail. Unlike wood siding, HardiePlank is unattractive to damaging pests such as termites. It’s not flammable. Unlike wood siding, HardiePlank is not flammable or combustible. While vinyl siding is treated with a fire retardant application, vinyl siding warps badly from the heat of a fire. Vinyl siding can even warp or melt on homes that are close to a fire as a result of ambient heat. 


It looks good.

HardiePlank can be manufactured to have a smooth final finish or be textured to look like real wood, a benefit that is attractive to many homeowners. Like vinyl siding, HardiePlank is available in a wide array of colors. HardiePlank can also be painted if you want to change the color of your home in the future.

Are there drawbacks to selecting HardiePlank for my home? 

HardiePlank is an excellent siding option for your home, but there are some things you should be aware of when making your decision. One of those things is that HardiePlank costs more than vinyl siding. HardiePlank can also fade over time, which means you may have to repaint your home sometime in the future. 

Are you interested in learning more about HardiePlank or other available siding options offered by Scott Exteriors? Call us today at 214-503-7663.

Wondering About Window Choices?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

If you’re thinking about making upgrades to the exterior of your Plano home such as new siding or a new roof, you may also want to replace your windows while you are at it as a finishing touch to your upgrades. Just like with siding and roofing materials, there are many types of windows available on today’s market. Two of most the popular window choices are single-hung and double-hung windows – but which type is the best option for your home?


What are the differences between single-hung and double-hung windows?

Single-hung windows are two window sashes (also known as frames) that are stacked vertically along a track. The top sash is fixed in place and the bottom sash can move up and down along sliders in the track. Single-hung windows are common in many homes and apartments. They are also frequently used in commercial construction. 

Double-hung windows are similar in construction to single-hung windows: two sashes are stacked on one another in a track. The difference between single-hung and double-hung windows is that while single-hung windows open only on the bottom sash, both sashes in a double-hung window slide up and down. The sashes of double-hung windows can also open outward, on a pivot. 

Which one is a better option for your home?

Single-hung windows are very popular because their modern look fits in with many home interior styles. Additionally, they are very easy to operate. The inside of single-hung windows is also easy to clean, but exterior cleaning requires going outside - making them ideal for one-story homes. 

Double-hung windows are also an excellent option for your home because their design allows you to open both the top and the body for increased airflow. Some people with small children or small pets prefer double-hung windows because they feel they are safer because they can open the top sash instead of the bottom one and prevent children or pets from falling out of the window. Double-hung windows are easy to clean from any floor because the window can be tilted inward instead of having to go outside to clean the exterior surface. 
 

Want to learn more about the best window replacement options for your home? 

 Schedule a window replacement consultation with Scott Exteriors by calling 214-503-7663.

Flat Roofs – Make Sure They Drain!

Thursday, October 26, 2017
If your Carrollton or Plano office or business has a flat roof, one of the maintenance concerns you may have is keeping your roof draining correctly. If water pools on your roof over time, it could cause leaks and interior damage. Ensuring that your flat roof has a proper drainage system can prevent pooling and expensive damage to your property. 

Gutters. 

One of the critical elements to ensuring that a flat roof is draining correctly is a quality gutter system. Gutters attach to the edge of the roof and collect water when it rains and drains it away from the building. Gutters are ideal for existing roofs because they easily attach to the side of the building and do not require significant modifications to your property. It is important to remember that because gutters are open pipes, regular cleaning is necessary to keep them draining as intended. Periodic inspection of your gutters should also be scheduled to check for damage from storms that would affect how they flow. 

Scuppers. 

Another element to consider adding to your flat roof are scuppers. Scuppers are spouts installed along the edge of your flat roof that allows water to drain away from your building through an exterior pipe. These scuppers are intended to keep the walls of your building and foundation from becoming saturated with water. Scuppers can be installed in existing flat roof systems, but ideally, should be placed during construction of your flat roof. 

Interior drainage systems. 

Interior drainage systems consist of drains strategically placed along your roof to drain water away from the flat service. These drainage systems carry water from the roof to interior drains. These systems are ideal for large, flat roofs that have excessive pooling. Interior drainage systems are best placed during construction but can be retrofitted in existing buildings in some cases.

If you are looking to install roof drainage systems for your flat roof in Carrollton or Plano, or want to have your flat roof checked for proper drainage, call Scott Exteriors today at 214-503-7663 to schedule a consultation!

New North Texas Roof – Reassurance for Buyers!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thinking of selling your Plano home? 

 If so, you’re likely thinking about the things that would persuade a buyer to make a purchase. These items may include updating your curb appeal with new landscaping, new paint, and new carpeting. But what about a new roof?


Do I Need to Replace My Roof Before I Sell?

Replacing a roof on a home you are selling may seem like wasting money, but studies have shown that on average, a roof replacement yields a 53.4 percent return on investment. 

  • This high ROI is because buyers like new – even if they’re buying an older home. An older roof may turn them off or turn them away. 
  • Buyers like new because they want the peace of mind knowing that they will not have to make a significant repair after making a major purchase. 
  • An older roof also gives a potential buyer a means of negotiating a lower price than listed, which ultimately means less money for you. 

Another consideration to make when thinking about replacing your roof before selling your home is that a roof that is in bad shape or is reaching the end of its life can affect your buyer’s financing. In some cases, lenders can make the loan approval contingent on replacing the roof. If that happens, the seller (you) foots the bill and must have the roof replaced before closing. 

How Do I Know If I Need a Roof Replacement? 

If you’re thinking about listing your home, the best thing to do is to call a professional roofing company like Scott Exteriors. We will inspect your home before you list it and provide you a thorough inspection report that identifies damage or potential problem areas. This gives you a starting point in determining if you just need a few repairs or if it is time to replace.

Contact Scott Exteriors today at 214-503-7663 for a full roof inspection report.

Selecting Shutters for your exterior home

Thursday, October 12, 2017
High-quality and properly placed shutters can be a great finishing touch for your home’s exterior, but if you choose the wrong materials or install them incorrectly, you can negatively affect your curb appeal. Scott Exteriors is an expert in shutters and can help you not only select the right shutters for your home, but also install them professionally to give your home a flawless and beautiful finish. 

A Brief History of Shutters

Shutters have been around for centuries. Before glass came into use to cover window openings, shutters served as a way to keep out weather and pests. In the mid-1800s, glass came into widespread use in America, and shutters went from keeping out the outside world to serving as a protective cover for the fragile new glass. Shutters then transitioned from a protective function to an aesthetic one when glass and window quality improved in the early 20th century. 
  

Sizing Up Shutters

The size of your windows determines the size of the shutters you need. While the needs of each home vary, a good rule of thumb is that shutters should be half the width and the same height as your window. When sized correctly, they will give the illusion that if you closed the shutters, they would completely cover the window. 

Shutter Placement

When you think about adding shutters, you probably think about adding them in pairs, with one shutter flanking each side of the window. This situation is ideal, but because every home is different, it is important to have a professional measure the space between your windows to ensure that you have enough room to hang the right size shutter for your home. 

Shutter Materials

Modern shutters are available in wood, vinyl, and composite materials. Each material type has specific benefits regarding look, maintenance, and durability:Real wood. Real wood shutters have an authentic look and appeal, but over time will require painting or staining. Real wood can suffer significant wear and tear in the harsh Texas climate. 

Vinyl

Vinyl shutters are more durable than real wood shutters and require very little maintenance, but take care to select a high-quality product that will stay looking great for a long time. 

Composite

Composite material options are also available and offer both durability and a quality finish.

Do you want to learn more about adding shutters to your home? 


Call Scott Exteriors today at 214-503-7663 for answers to your questions about shutters, windows, siding, and roofs.

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