As many of us are neither architects nor decorators, the choices we have in restoring our house seems to never end: Should I replace or throw out old windows? Should I use wood or other products for exterior trim? How do I choose the right paint? What sealant is best? What about the roof? These questions might bring some initial worry but making some simple restorative decisions will change your house into the home you’ve always wanted.
If you think it would be a good choice to get rid of all those older windows in your home, you may be wrong. Often, original windows are built to last a lifetime. Instead of tossing them out, replace the glass with storm windows and some exterior caulking, while replacing (depending on your home’s age) the old weather stripping, ropes, pulleys, and chains. If you were planning on installing replacement windows, you’ll just have to replace them again and again. However, if you restore your old glass with the newer type, your house will be worth more and look original.
A long time ago, the only material used in the construction of a house was wood. Nowadays, imitation materials are not only good, but are better, stronger and last longer with less maintenance. One such material that is replacing older wood trimming is cellular PVC.
As a raw material, cellular PVC can be shaped, painted and even cut in much the same way as wood but without all the rotting, splitting and warping. Yes, this material will cost you more up front, but the investment for such weather resistant materials is gaining in popularity. Plus, once the stuff is fitted and painted, you’ll never notice the difference.
Most houses use either different shades of color or at least two to three different color combinations. Carefully chosen color arrangements are central to a successful exterior restoration project. First, consider how the other houses in your neighborhood are painted. You don’t want to be the only bright orange among a neighborhood of greens and browns, for example. Choose color combinations that add flare to your home, but not draw attention to yourself in a more color conservative neighborhood.
Moreover, you should take into consideration other colors. What color is the trimming? What color is the roofing? What color are the doors and railings? You’ll want to choose color tones that will either make your house look larger or smaller; the coloration determines how big your house looks. Finally, choose a durable color pattern that will last over time. You don’t want your house to look faded in two or three years.
Depending on how much exterior restoration you have ahead of you, you’ll want to consider sealants. If you’re going to gut the house down to the studs, it may be worth sealing the cracks, holes and exterior spaces of your home with expanding foam, which keeps out insects, moisture, rain, humidity, wind and cold. This sealing foam can even be placed in holes where wiring runs. As long as you use the foam in unseen areas, it won’t be an eyesore and may save you thousands in future weather and insect invasions.
One of the best ways to properly restore the exterior of your house is to think about the roof. The average American house uses shingle roofing. This type of roof is impossible to restore or renovate. If you consider the overall costs of exterior restoration, the price tag to completely replace the roofing and plywood is worth the costs it saves you later. Make sure that the roofing company (or you) removes the entire old roof, leaving no shingles, tar, paper or nails.