Choosing Sides Part 2: Horizontal Vs. Vertical Vs. Shingle Siding

Siding makes a big difference in the way your home looks. This is an obvious point covered in our previous blog, “Choosing Sides Part 1: Vinyl Vs. Steel Vs. Cement Siding”. However, it’s an important point to keep in mind when you are designing your home’s new look.

Some of your design choices may quite literally put weight on the costs of materials and labor, such as with heavy fiber cement clapboards or shingles. Or, you may consider the ease of maintenance that vertical vinyl siding affords.

When you are considering the curb appeal and character of your home, however, you’ll need to decide between siding installation styles of vertical, horizontal or shingles. Here are some tips to help you decide.

Horizontal Siding

Horizontal siding installation is the most traditional style of the three options. Regardless of the siding material used, horizontal siding is designed to replicate wood cladding. Further, considering that roughly 80% of homeowners choose horizontal siding, horizontal siding style must be the most aesthetically pleasing, too!

However, there are other factors involved in choosing horizontal siding over vertical or shingle siding — materials, labor and weather resistance.

Vertical Siding

Vertical siding style is more commonly installed on commercial buildings, schools, libraries, retail businesses and other non-residential buildings. However, vertical siding installations are becoming more popular. Following are some of the reasons:

  • Aesthetics: Vertical siding style makes a home look taller. It draws your eye to the roof. A vertical siding style makes your home stand out among others on your block, and it may be used to accent a horizontal siding installation.
  • Maintenance: It’s simply easier to clean a vertical siding installation than it is to clean a horizontal siding style. Less maintenance saves time and money through the years.
  • Weather resistance: It would seem to appear that a horizontal siding style would be more weather resistant than a vertical style. After all, clapboards overlap in a horizontal style, which allows water to wash straight down with gravity. However, horizontal clapboards typically don’t extend the entire length of your home. This means that seams are susceptible to lifting over time and allowing in the elements.

Vertical siding style also has a few drawbacks. The costs of materials and labor are more for vertical compared to a horizontal siding style. This is because furring strips must be installed between the vertical siding pieces to protect against water leakage and to give a level, smooth finish.

Shingle Siding

Shingle siding creates a distinctive appearance for your home that is charming, rustic and rugged all at the same time. Shingles also give your home depth that horizontal and vertical siding styles don’t.

Vinyl and fiber cement materials are most often used for shingle siding, and both replicate cedar shingles very well. In fact, it is quite difficult to differentiate between vinyl, cement fiber and cedar shingles from just a short distance.

Your design options are the same as installing real cedar, such as lap, beveled, traditional straight edge, traditional staggered edge and round edge.

If you have questions about choosing siding styles or materials, contact the professionals at Innovative Building & Design to learn more!


Choosing Sides Part 1: Vinyl Vs. Steel Vs. Cement Siding

home being sided

Choosing the perfect home siding material and profile can be a daunting task full of questions. With significant advances in siding technologies in recent years, however, you really can’t go wrong choosing between vinyl, steel or cement siding materials. It really depends which siding attributes are right for your tastes and home.

Vinyl Siding

Delivering exceptional performance in an array of colors and designs, vinyl siding is more popular than ever. Another reason vinyl siding has remained popular through the years is its affordability as a practical and desirable home cladding.

Following are some of the attractive attributes of vinyl:

  • Choose from several colors and styles.
  • It replicates the visual look of other materials, especially wood.
  • Available in horizontal, vertical, shake, shingle, dutch lap and seamless installations.
  • Holds up very well under the elements.
  • It won’t rot, rust or dent, and it’s insect resistant.
  • Requires less maintenance than wood sidings.
  • Energy-efficient installations are available with solid core.

Steel Siding

Steel siding is a very durable home cladding that, like vinyl, is available in practically any color you may want. The strong steel sheets, panels and shingles are typically coated with a protective layer of zinc or vinyl, which protects the steel from rusting.

Following are some of the attractive and strong attributes of steel siding:

  • Steel siding is resistant to fire and insects.
  • It’s also durable against extreme temperatures, ice, dents and cracking.
  • Maintenance is on par with vinyl siding — occasionally washing it to keep it looking new.
  • Steel may be manufactured to replicate the look of practically any cladding — including brick.
  • You may choose darker colors since steel is resistant to fading.
  • Give your home a seamless look with on-site fabrication.
  • Coated with cool-technology materials, steel siding is energy efficient.
  • Steel can be installed any time of year.
  • Steel siding typically offers fantastic warranties.

Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a composite manufactured of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. Aesthetically, cement siding is often installed in an overlapping horizontal board profile, clapboard and imitation shingles. Additionally, fiber cement is manufactured in sheets, which is also used for soffit lining and tile underlay, and utilized for fascias substitutes.

Following are benefits of installing fiber cement siding:

  • Fiber cement may be manufactured to give the warm look and feel of wood, but without the more intensive maintenance.
  • It may be manufactured for a smooth finish, or to replicate practically any material.
  • Cement siding is resistant to water, fire, rot and insects.
  • Paint your fiber cement siding any color you like!
  • Extremely durable, fiber cement siding may last 50 years.
  • Fiber cement is environmentally friendly.

Unlike vinyl and steel, fiber cement siding needs to be painted every 15 to 20 years. This requires more labor and expense down the road, but it also means you can change the color of your home as you see fit.

To learn more about your options for siding materials, please contact Innovative Building & Design. Also, be sure to catch next month’s article, “Choosing Sides Part 2: Horizontal Vs. Vertical Vs. Shingle Siding.”


5 Home Improvement Ideas to Consider Before Fall

Home improvement projects offer many benefits, from energy savings, improved comfort, increased home value, additional living space and just happier everyday living. After all, why move when you can remodel? Consider these five home improvement ideas to spruce up the home you love this fall.

Kitchen Upgrades

kitchen-remodeling-innovative-building-and-design-mn-2The kitchen is the heart of the home for many people. So, remodeling your kitchen can pay off in quality of living and with greater energy savings. From modest kitchen upgrades, such as some fresh paint and drawer roll outs, to installing Energy Star-certified appliances and new counters and flooring, you can make your home more inviting and boost your home’s value.

  • Look for energy-efficient refrigerators and dishwashers. Remember, your refrigerator is on all of the time. Paying a little more for your new model pays off in better features, beauty and lifetime energy savings.
  • Functionality is an important element of any kitchen. Maximize storage and space with customized cabinets and counters suited to your tastes and your home’s personality.
  • Updated kitchen sinks add better service, features and style. Don’t forget to install a point-of-use water filtration system for more healthful and better tasting water.

Bathroom Remodeling and Construction

luxury-home-bathroom-remodeling-1Another home improvement idea that adds to the enjoyment of your home is Remodeling your bathroom, and you can save energy and water with the right upgrades! Installing a new shower, efficient and beautiful LED lighting, a fresh sink and even a skylight or light tunnel saves energy and hundreds of gallons of water each year.

Whether you are updating your master bathroom or constructing an additional half or whole bathroom, work with a professional contractor that can help maximize your space and investment.

Sealing and Insulation

Air sealing and insulation helps keep your home more comfortable and efficient all year long, and they are practical upgrades that you may do yourself. Use these tips:

  • Air seal your home before you insulate.
  • A lit incense stick can locate air leaks around entry doors and windows. When the smoke wavers, you’ve found an air leak!
  • Use caulk and weatherstripping to seal cracks around window frames, doors and the attic hatch. Door sweeps stop drafts under your doors.
  • Add insulation up to 20-inches depth for maximum energy savings.

Window Treatments

siding-contractor-mn-800x321Your windows can add charm to your home’s interior and exterior. Windows are also notorious to adding to your energy bill, too. Consider the following window treatments to spruce up your home, improve comfort and save energy:

  • Solar shades are available in many transparencies to keep your views, add more privacy and to block all sunlight.
  • Install awnings on sun-struck rooms to substantially reduce heat gain and your energy bills.
  • Storm shutters are one of the most energy-efficient window treatments that also protect your home from harsh weather.

Home Siding

james-hardie-siding-home-mn-800x321Boost your home’s curb appeal and efficiency by upgrading your cladding. Siding of various materials are the way to go when it comes to eye-popping beauty, ease of maintenance, durability and energy efficiency. Moreover, you have your choice of the ever-popular vinyl siding, steel siding, cement board, cedar and many more options, styles and colors.

To learn more about these five home improvement ideas, please contact the experts at Innovative Building & Design today!


Should I Repair or Replace My Shingle Roof?

By the time you detect a problem with your shingle roof, such as water stains on your ceiling, your roof may have already suffered damage too expensive for repair. However, a shingle roof replacement isn’t automatically necessary.

Each roofing system and home are different, and each requires a comprehensive evaluation. If you are facing the touch decision whether to repair or replace your shingle roof, read on for helpful tips and advice.

Indicators of Major Roofing Problems

A troubled roofing system should be inspected by your professional roofer. Though, there are telltale signs to the type and extent of roofing damage your home has suffered.

The following signs of roofing damage are good indicators that a shingle roof replacement may be your best option:

  • Shingles are missing, buckling or cracking.
  • Water stains are found in your home.
  • Attic insulation is wet from roof leaks.
  • An abundance of shingle granules in the gutter system indicates widespread shingle failure.
  • This isn’t the first time your roof needed repairs.
  • Ice dams form on your roof every winter.
  • Your roof isn’t professionally inspected or serviced each year.
  • Your shingle roof is more than 15 years old.

Cost Considerations

If cost weren’t a factor, you wouldn’t be reading these roof repair and replacement tips. Cost is always an important factor. However, you should be smart about how you factor the total cost of a roof repair or replacement.

Ask your roofing pro to conduct a lifetime cost analysis of repairing or replacing your roofing system. For example, if you are facing a costly repair and your roof is older than 10 or 15 years, it’s average service life is nearing.

This means your old roof won’t offer security against future problems, nor will it be energy efficient — costing you in higher energy bills.

On the other hand, if it’s estimated your roof has plenty of good years of service left, a repair may be just what the doctor ordered. To determine this, your roofing contractor can show you the cost of the repair, estimated costs of future repairs and energy efficiency losses or savings.

This is compared to the lifetime cost of your new shingle roof replacement. A new roof will save you energy dollars for the life of the new roof, save money on repair costs and may provide you 30 years of excellent service life.

The benefits of a roof replacement are clear, but do they outweigh the less expensive first cost of the immediate repair?

Decision Time

If you decide to go with the repair at hand, keep in mind any additional damage that could occur is you experience roofing problems again.

  • Do you have to replace any attic insulation?
  • Were your walls, paint, wallpaper or other materials damaged?
  • Is there potential for insect or mold infestation in decaying timber?

These are all important and realistic questions to ask and answer. If you want the best answers about shingle roof replacement or repair, work with a reputable, honest and qualified roofing contractor. Contact Innovative Building & Design today!


Choosing A Contractor In Minnesota

Choosing a contractor can be confusing. It can also be disappointing if you don’t know exactly what to look for to guarantee the skill and dependability of your final choice. Often people will decide on a more expensive contractor simply because they believe “you get what you pay for”. However problems will arise because this statement is not necessarily correct! Unfortunately, there are a number of contractors out there, as there are in any business, who charge you a small fortune and deliver very poor quality results! The aim of this short blog post is to help you know what factors to consider (besides price) when you seek to hire someone for your contracting needs in the great state of Minnesota!

Minnesota General Contractor Consideration Guidelines

If you’re focusing simply on roofing, scroll down! In general, however, there are certain factors that need to be considered whenever you hire someone to do a job for you.

Look-for-good-reviews*Reviews – There are several places online where you can receive feedback from others who have used a business. Don’t simply base your decision on one review, but get as many as possible. Try finding people who have used the service in your area and ask them about their experience.

*Website – Look for a well-designed website that includes such information as what a company specializes in, how long they have been in business, what their work philosophy is and any other factors that indicate they are professional and open. Pictures can give you a great idea of the quality of work that is performed. The more pictures of projects they provide, the better.

*Better Business Bureau – The BBB will have information related to any bad dealings the company may have had with clients. They also provide ratings that can help you see where the company ranks in their mind based on customer satisfaction, experience, etc.

*Angie’s List – This is one of the biggest review sites online. If you don’t check out any other one, do check Angie’s List for anything that is said about the contractor.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 12.27.12 PM*Membership/Licensing – Look for verification of licensing and any professional organizations the business belongs to. Both of these can give you information of the quality of training the contractors have received, as well as standards of performance they meet for various organizations.

Taking the time to do your homework before you have even contacted the contractor personally can help narrow down your list. This is your money and your home that is involved and you want to make sure you find someone to do the job correctly the first time.


Choosing a Roofing Contractor in Minnesota

Innovative-Building-And-Design-Slider-RoofingWhen you are looking to hire someone to work on your roof, you want to make sure you get a qualified professional who won’t leave you looking for another contractor three to five years down the road. Before investing your money in a roofing contractor, here are some things to consider:

*Insurance – A professional roofer will carry insurance on all employees and coverage for any damage that may be done to your property while the crew is working.

*Bonding Are the workers bonded? Bonding helps protect your home from theft.

*License Check to make sure the roofer is licensed. This lets you know they have passed training and know what standards are required for finished work.

Row of  hands*References – Don’t be afraid to not only ask for references, but do check them out. A reputable company will be willing to refer you to others who have been served by them.

*Guarantee – Find out if the company offers a warranty on their work. Check on what aspects of the project are guaranteed and how the company handles complaints.

*Contract – A reputable roofer will provide a contract or proposal that details what work will be done, the estimated cost and length of time it will take to complete the project and what steps you can take if you are not satisfied with the final results. Many will include more information, but you need to get at least this much in writing.

CALL_NOWDon’t be afraid to ask questions. This is your money and your home and you have a right to feel at ease with what is to be done. If you are dealing with professionals, they will be more than glad to answer your questions!

What To Do When Your Roof Is Missing Shingles

Is Your Roof Missing Shingles?

Roof-Repair_MNHave you noticed that your roof is missing shingles? Maybe you’ve been aware for months of a lone shingle disappearance, or maybe this is the first you’ve thought of it. Either way, consider yourself fortunate for your roof has officially survived a Minnesota winter and has made it to spring! Winter is far from kind, and spring is now the season to protect your home investment before your shingles take another hit from the summer rains, wind, hail, and other destructive elements.

The question most Minnesota homeowners have is: should I repair my roof now? Or, try and wait it out a little bit longer? Hoping to tough it out through the spring and summer may work in warm, dry, and sunny states such as Florida, Arizona, or California; but in a moisture heavy state like Minnesota the Twin Cities area is constantly being hit with shifting weather patterns that can bring destructive rain and hail storms without much warning! Luckily, a call to Innovative Building Design doesn’t take long, but it’s always best to prepare your property before a roofing emergency occurs!

Don’t Ignore The Missing Shingles

innovative-building-and-design-roofing-contractor-mnThe best preventive measures a homeowner can take is regular roof maintenance, and timely roof inspections. Every homeowner has a lot to keep up with and living in Minnesota sure doesn’t make it easy! When spring comes most Minnesotans are all rushing to fix things up after the long winter. However, neglecting that missing, or loose, shingle could end up costly and permanently damaging. Missing shingles can lead to roofing leaks that could damage the entirety of a home’s structure!

Assuredly, if water is ever found inside a home either from a roof leak or a slow ceiling drip, the property owner should contact a professional roofing contractor immediately. However, just because there is not a current leak doesn’t mean a roofing system is perfectly intact. Even if you can’t see the leak with the naked eye, the damage could just be getting underway. A roof leak, or seeping drip, may not appear until after there has been a torrential downpour, or an extended rainfall for many hours.

Roofing leaks and roofing drips often slowly appear as they seep through the layers of roofing materials. In certain cases the leaking water flows in an unpredictable manner, following a random route before appearing as a water spot on the ceiling or wall. Professional roofing contractors can help homeowners by pinpointing weak spots on the roof where leaks and drips are probable. Preventing leaks and drips is attainable through regular roof inspections and proper roofing repair, especially in the event that shingles go missing.

What If My Roof Is Beyond Simple Repair?

Roof-LeakIf missing shingles have indeed led to a roof leak, or small water drip seeping into your properties structure, then please call a reliable and trusted roofing contractor immediately before the problem gets worse! Obviously, if you can see the water leaking or dripping from the ceiling grab a bucket, tarps, towels, or whatever items you have nearby, and protect the rest of your property. If you don’t see a physical drip but notice discoloration or a water spot on the ceiling or wall, call an emergency roofing contractor immediately!

Most roofing contractors are in high demand after hail or large rainstorms. If you have missing shingles don’t wait until after the storm to fix the damages. Prevent structural damage by replacing missing shingles before the storm hits! Don’t forget, even if you can’t see any damage due to a roof leak, there could still be slow seeping leaks that cause major problems down the road! Unnoticed leaks and drips tend to last for a long time and can cause major structural damage and compromise your entire roofing system! Slow leaks devastate property structure by seeping into the drywall, ceilings, floors and wooden frames!

Don’t Wait For Missing Shingles To Cost You A Fortune

CALL_NOWDon’t wait to pay for a more costly roofing repair! If you are missing shingles start looking for a reliable roofing contractor today! If you’ve noticed missing shingles don’t procrastinate on tending to your roof and assume because it survived the winter it can go through the spring, summer, and fall seasons unscathed. Be proactive. Call about getting an annual spring roof inspection today. Professional roofing contractors will inspect your roof for areas that need roof maintenance, and will asses weak points where leaks could be occurring.

To find the best roofing contractor to fit your needs, go online to check reviews sites like Yelp!, Angie’s List, or the Better Business Bureau. You can find reviews for Innovative Building and Design on Google as well. Word of mouth is a great way to both find and refer quality roofing contractors to family, friends & coworkers! Also, always check that your roofing contractor is professionally licensed, bonded, insured and registered with the state of Minnesota.