Time For a Window Update – Understand the Jargon

Replacement Windows | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

Can you name the components of this basic window design? Knowing which is which helps with a window update.

Does your Madison WI area home need a window update? When you’re reading brochures, visiting a booth at the local home show or talking to a salesperson you’ll be expected to understand technical terms related to replacement windows. Some of the terms are logical while others require explaining.

Window Update Terms at a Glance

Here’s a “study guide” from A to Z: Continue reading

Fall Rain Gutter Checkup Protects Your Roof

Rain Gutter || Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

From the ground this installation might look OK, but close inspection shows damage to the hardware and shingle – exposing the structure to potential roof repair after a tough winter.

Cleaning every rain gutter should be a routine autumn maintenance project. In the Madison WI area, after this year’s torrential rains and high winds a pre-winter checkup can spot weakness and head off major roof repair. Gutters full of leaves, twigs and other wind-blown debris are prime candidates for mid-winter clogs. The weight of snow and ice can cause structural damage to the roof as well as the rain gutter, downspouts and adjacent walls. Checking now to be sure fasteners are secure, gutters aren’t pulling away from the house and there are no cracks of leaks gives you time to correct any potential problems.

A Rain Gutter Pre-Winter Check List

A routine fall checklist is basically the same as the one you should use next spring after the rigors of winter have stressed a rain gutter even more. The checklist includes: Continue reading

Wintertime Window Replacement Gets Immediate Benefits

Wintertime Window Replacement | Madison WI | Sims Remodeling

When snow and wind knock on your windows don’t spend your hard-earned dollars to heat the outdoors. Invest in quality windows no matter the time of year.

Scheduling a wintertime window replacement provides a timely solution and energy cost reduction can be reflected almost immediately. With care, you can have high-quality, energy-efficient windows installed 12 months a year. No need to struggle to stay warm or pay rising heating bills in the winter while waiting to install new windows when the Madison WI weather warms up.

An added benefit of replacing windows in the middle of winter is prime scheduling and off-season rates. Many installers are looking for business in their off-season and can schedule your project for their full attention. Continue reading

Selecting a Remodeling Contractor – Hedge Your Bets

Remodeling Contractor | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

Get your search for a remodeling contractor off to a fast, reliable start with a detailed planning guide.

Whether you’ve planned for changes or they come as a result of unforeseen events, selecting a remodeling contractor for your Madison WI home is a major decision. Contractors bring many skills to the table and when you’re in the market for a home renovation you want a professional you can count on. Before your remodeling or repair project is completed you’re likely to have holes in the walls or roof – or have pieces missing on purpose or as the result of the weather. In each case, you want to be sure the remodeling contractor you hire will be around the complete the task. And that company do it right and stand behind it every step today and into the future. Continue reading

Roofing Materials Add Color, Style and Function

Roofing Materials | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

“Basic Black” now comes in many colors, shades and shapes so a new roof can make stylish statement while protecting your greatest investment at the same time.

Shingles aren’t just black, brown or gray any more as roofing materials keep pace with design trends and technology. In 2018 your Madison WI home can have a trendy new roof to compliment your overall style and color scheme.

The basics for a residential roof have changed, too. There are more choices when it comes to what covers your home. Each option comes with its good points. The choice of roofing materials includes:

  • Asphalt shingles – Still the most common choice for replacements or a new roof. Top-end choices come with long-term warranties and will last decades.
  • Shakes and Wood Shingles – This is the choice for a rustic look but they require much more skill to install.
  • Composite Tiles/Shingle – If clay tiles fit your home’s architecture composites are easier to work with and better suited to some areas that real clay tile.
  • Slate – A true slate roof is special, and expensive. It fits only a few architectural motifs.
  • Metal – A roofing material that’s making strides in Wisconsin because it stands up to snow and ice but has yet to become popular for residential buildings.

Continue reading

Efficient Attic Ventilation Protects Roof, Reduces Energy Costs

Roof Repairs | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

Clues to potential roof problems – both inside and out – may show up as minor changes like these loose shingles, or major damage from ice or heavy snow.

For insulation to do its job and attic has to have free-flowing air, making attic ventilation a critical element in the efficient use of energy. After protecting your family home in Madison WI through the harsh temperatures of winter, it’s time to offer the same protection against the baking heat of the summer sun. Efficient attic ventilation will keep your cooling costs down and reduce the risk of costly roof repairs.

Attic Ventilation Saves Energy and Money

“Up in the attic” is the one place, especially in older homes, where there is an opportunity to make improvements to save on energy cost. And, cost savings are attained in several ways, not by adding insulation alone. Maintaining an even air flow all year long is the key to insulation doing its job. Keeping the attic cold in winter and cool in summer reduces the threat of ice dams, condensation and overheating roofing materials from the inside. Continue reading

Rain Gutters Need Springtime Attention

Rain Gutters | Roof Maintenance | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

The weight of ice and snow can cause structural damage to a roof as well as gutters if downspouts are clogged. Fasteners pull away from the structure, metal gutters sag, crack and leak and the roof is needs repair.

Rain gutters are often overlooked and under-appreciated. Broken, loose and leaking gutters and downspouts are not only unattractive they represent a risk to the roof of your Madison WI home. To avoid costly repairs, roof maintenance inspections including gutters should be a regular springtime task.

Check Rain Gutters for Winter Stress

Most people consider maintenance for rain gutters to be a fall or early winter concern – removing fallen leaves and debris. That is a critical element in good roof maintenance. Checking again in the spring for damage from ice, snow and winter stress is also critical.

A springtime checklist includes surveying the whole roof: Continue reading

Siding Replacement Choices Add Curb Appeal – Protection

Siding Options | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

Today’s siding options include more colors, shapes and textures than ever before. Siding replacement can create a new home on the block.

“Curb appeal” is the goal of homeowners and nothing boosts that image faster than siding replacement. Changing a home’s siding not only increases its attraction to passersby, it increases its energy efficiency and overall value. There are many siding options available in Madison WI and the surrounding area.

Siding protects a home from all the harshest elements and in doing so often takes a beating. Finding a siding replacement is a common challenge, especially after decades of exposure to sun, wind, rain, snow and ice.

There are several siding options seen most often in Madison WI, each with its own advantages. Some perform better in the Wisconsin climate than others while some offer more variety in architectural style, color and resale value. Continue reading

Timely Roof Inspection Helps Avoid Costly Roof Repair

Roof Inspection | Roof Repair | Madison WI

Icicles are indicators of extra stress on gutters and a heavy buildup leads to ice dams and potentially serious roof repair.

Snow and ice, freezing and thawing apply pressure to every roof in Madison WI and the surrounding area. Left unchecked, these whims of nature can lead to costly roof repair. A timely roof inspection can catch a potential problem while fixing it is easier and cheaper.

The buildup of heavy ice on gutters is an obvious problem that gets plenty of attention. As is a heavy load of snow, especially on flat roofs. But there are less obvious, but equally serious concerns:

• Condensation — When warm air from under the roof meets a cold surface, there’s condensation. A poorly insulated attic promotes condensation which can lead to mold, mildew and damage to the interior structures and underside of the roof. A roof inspection can catch roof vents that are blocked by snow or ice dams. Continue reading

Roof Insulation and Attic Ventilation Protect Roofing and Enhance Indoor Comfort

Roof Insulation | Attic Ventilation | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

When it’s time to evaluate your home’s roof insulation and attic ventilation, it’s time to tap the skills of a Sims professional.

Roof insulation and attic ventilation work in tandem to protect the roof and the home from extremes of heat and cold. The heat of a Madison WI summer can literally bake shingles from the inside out. Free air flow is critical in allowing radiant heat from inside melt snow that can cause ice dams and similar problems. Each element, structural insulation and roof ventilation, provide positive benefits on their own and each contributes to improving energy efficiency and protecting the roof from premature wear. Continue reading

Wise Replacement Window Selection Increases Impact of Any Sunroom Design

Sunroom Design | Replacement Window Selection | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

You don’t need to add a room to have a sunroom. The right choice of replacement windows can create the same impact with a wall of windows.

In a sunroom design, an architect or designer make a distinction between a sunroom and a sunny room, but thoughtful window replacement selection blurs the lines. More and more homeowners in Madison WI are looking to the addition of new, larger windows to gain the benefits of a sunroom without a major addition to the property.

Older homes, traditionally, have smaller windows than recently built structures. A sunroom design that simply includes adding more, larger windows to a selected room makes sense. The benefit of a true sunroom or solarium can be had by a much less costly remodeling project. Opening up a corner room with large windows wrapping two sides transforms the space. Continue reading

Schedule Roof Repair and Window Replacements After Fall Inspections

Roof Repair | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

Correct small issues before winter comes

Winter’s extremes are guaranteed to stress roofs and windows in Madison WI. Before the weather gets worse, an autumn inspection will highlight the need of roof repair and window replacements. Reliable shingles and weather-tight windows protect your home from the elements and put a dent in your annual energy bills, too. Continue reading

Rain Gutter and Downspout Care Prevents Roof Damage

Gutter | Downspout | Roof Repair | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors

A costly roof repair just waiting to happen – all this debris, rain troughs separating from the building with snow and ice adding to the mix. All this potential damage can be headed off with advanced planning and proper guards.

A building’s rain gutter and downspout network are its first line of defense when it comes to limiting roof repair from ice dams and unexpected water backing up as a result of Madison WI summer downpours. A clear, free flowing downspout delivers torrents away from susceptible shingles. A rain gutter free from debris prevents damage to interior ceilings, walls and floors, too.

Rain Gutter – Downspout Maintenance Checklist

Every rain collection system requires regular maintenance. Much of which should be left to professionals – insurance company reports indicate falls from ladders are among the most frequent and most dangerous household risks. Each year more than 300 people die from falling off a ladder. Thousands more break bones and suffer additional injuries – many as a result of attempting to clean and inspect the edges of their own roofs. Here’s a checklist of what should be reviewed: Continue reading

Consider Insulated Vinyl Siding to Boost a Home’s Energy Efficiency

Insulated Vinyl Siding | New Siding Installation |Madison WI | Sims Exteriors and Remodeling

Modern manufacturing enables foam insulation to be bonded directly to vinyl siding in a wide selection of colors, textures and styles

Jumping from the chill of a Madison WI winter to the heat and humidity of a typical summer tests the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Replacing existing siding with insulated vinyl siding can improve the performance all year.

Insulated vinyl siding has been an option for new siding installation for decades, and with each year improvements in materials and techniques make is cost-effective choice.

Today’s standard vinyl siding is available in an array of colors and textures. The latest insulated options have caught up to offer an assortment of styles. The addition of modern vinyl siding not only boosts a home’s energy efficiency, it adds to curb appeal. Continue reading

A Dozen Questions for a Replacement Windows Contractor Before the New Window Installation

Replacement Windows Contractor | new window installation |Madison WI

Consider your search for a replacement windows contractor like hiring an employee. The questions you ask up-front determine if they get hired.

Selecting the right replacement windows contractor is the best way to ensure a new window installation goes smoothly. Correct installation not only boosts energy efficiency but improves the aesthetics of your home. Poor installation can let the Madison WI seasons influence your life indoors as well as out. Working with a professional who provides the experience, training and proper tools represents money well-spent. But, how do you find the right professional? In spite of the advertising, not every window company has the expertise to do the job right the first time. Choosing the correct replacement windows contractor is the first step to insure your project is a long-term success.

Direct Questions for a Replacement Windows Contractor

Here are a dozen pointed questions to ask every potential replacement window contractors you interview. It is wise to get details from more than one before a window installation project, too. Trusting your contractor is a significant part of the contract. You are putting your home in their hands. Check references and credentials. During your first sit-down meeting, ask: Continue reading