From the Ground Up: Smart Building Product Choices for Homeowners
Whether you're building a new house or remodeling a cherished older property, the product choices you make are critical to the long-term enjoyment of your home.
"I advise consumers to 'start from the ground up' when thinking about the product needs for their home projects," says Mark Clement, professional contractor and co-host of MyFixitUpLife home improvement radio show. "Invest time to research products so you're comfortable with the final outcome."
Clement says a great starting point is the basement. "The foundation selection can determine if you'll be able to use the basement for simple storage space or as an active living area," says Clement. "By starting with energy-efficient precast concrete panels from Superior Walls, you can get a basement that is dry and comfortable for year-round use that also adds resale value to the home.”
Moving up the house exterior, the largest "holes" in the home need special attention. Of course we're talking about windows.
"When you think that a pane of glass is all that really separates you from the weather outside, it becomes very important as to what that glass and its frame are made of," says Clement. "For my money – and for my home – we selected Simonton windows with fusion-welded vinyl frames and Argon-gas fill to maximize energy efficiency.”
Other "holes" that need filling are the main entry door and secondary doors leading to your patio, deck or garage. Clement recommends fiberglass doors for the main entry due to their resilience to dents, dings and rot.
"I've seen many fiberglass doors in the Therma-Tru product line that either have a smooth finish for painting or have a realistic woodgrain that can be stained in oak, mahogany, walnut or cedar," says Clement. You can also “dress them up” with low-maintenance urethane and PVC trim pieces. "Decorative Fypon products I've worked with are easy to install, resist rot and insects along with adding curb appeal to the home,” he says.
Finally, Clement reminds homeowners not to overlook the roof. The right roof selection can last for 50 years, while a bad choice could be "gone with the wind" if severe weather strikes.
"We invested in a DaVinci Roofscapes polymer slate roof for our home and have never regretted the choice," says Clement. "This composite roof resists impact, fire and high winds.”