Exterior remodeling company offering roofing, window, siding, painting and more full-service solutions to Denver metro area homeowners.

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

The Type of Sheathing Matters When Siding Your Home

Many houses built today have some type of sheathing used underneath the siding. Sheathing is the material installed directly over the studs and interior insulation of a framed house. Typically sheathing is then followed by a vapor barrier material and then the siding of choice. Sheathing is one of the layers used in the siding of the home no matter the substrate used.

The type of sheathing used on your home is important when determining what type of siding to use.

There are two main reasons to use sheathing: structural and non-structural. Non-structural sheathing improves insulation from heat, cold, and sound. Structural sheathing improves the building’s stability and keeps the wall from swaying or bending overtime. It also provides a base for the siding to be nailed into. Structural sheathing can also provide insulation from heat, cold, and sound.

Type of Sheathing Used on Older Homes

The year the house was built will dictate the most common type of sheathing used during the time. For example, in the 1970s and 1980s, a fiberboard sheathing material such as Celotex was used. Celotex is a black, fibrous material used for insulating against sound and heat. In the Denver Front Range today, homes needing new siding were typically built in the 70s and 80s and will have this type of sheathing present.

During this time frame the only options for siding were wood and aluminum. These substrates are not as heavy as others used today. A lighter type of sheathing was appropriate for the build then. Today, a stronger sheathing option is preferable to provide ample base for the heavier siding options. (While Celotex has become a structural sheathing option, it is primarily used in wood, plaster and stucco home applications.)

Today, the two most common siding replacement materials used in the United States are James Hardie fiber cement siding and LP SmartSide engineered wood siding. Both materials are offered in a pre-painted product; James Hardie Color Plus and LP Diamond Kote respectively. While engineered wood is relatively light like the wood and aluminum of old, fiber cement is heavier and will require a sturdier base to retain its shape over time.

At HRTI, we believe strongly that best practice dictates re-siding with a heavy-duty structural type of sheathing for James Hardie fiber cement siding. We prefer half-inch OSB (Oriented Strand Board) or 7/16-inch plywood anytime James Hardie fiber cement siding is being installed. Due to the weight of the product, the potential for missing a stud during hanging, though rare, can occasionally happen.

A missed stud can result in a situation where overtime the fiber cement siding can sag and break from its own weight. Due to this, we strongly recommend the installation of a heavier structural type of sheathing to eliminate this issue all together. The half-inch OSB or 7/16-inch plywood both fulfill that need. Missed studs become a non-issue when there is more to hammer the siding into than studs placed 16 inches apart.

At HRTI, we love and recommend both James Hardie fiber cement siding and LP SmartSide engineered wood siding and regularly install them in our exterior renovations. We find engineered wood is a better fit on the Front Range (LP), while fiber cement siding works better in the mountain communities (James Hardie). Both options provide stunning results and come in a range of colors and style options.

James Hardie fiber cement siding works well in mountain communities as it is fire resistant and well-suited to high wind areas. It’s virtually indestructible. LP SmartSide engineered wood siding is more popular amongst the Denver Front Range communities. It is easy to install, easy to maintain, and therefore very cost effective.

The type of sheathing that is right for your next project is wholly dependent on your choice of siding. Contact HRTI today for a free, no obligation consultation to determine the best siding options for your home.


Spring Cleanup Checklist

Spring Cleanup Doesn’t Have To Be Daunting

Spring cleanup always seems like a daunting task at the end of the winter. It seems to take forever and it isn’t the fun job. It is very beneficial though, it can make your home look picture perfect and ready to show off all summer long. It also can save homeowners money, depending on how much the homeowner checks the siding and windows for cracking or leaking they can either spend a lot of money or very little on repairs after a winter.

  • Checking regularly on the siding for splitting or rotting can help save a homeowner money because replacing siding can be pricey.
  • Check the bricks on your home and make sure nothing is loose that can cause injury or damage to the home.
  • Cleaning gutters and checking on their repair before the rainy season is a must. Proper draining can help prevent things like leaky homes and rotting siding.
  • Washing and treating the driveway helps prevent cracking and plants growing in it that can eventually decrease the integrity of the driveway
  • Clean the deck and make sure all of the boards are in good repair, stain and seal if it is needed.
  • Pull out all the furniture and make sure they are clean and in good repair. Make sure all of the decor is also in good repair
  • Weed the yard and treat it with fertilizer and treatments to make it grow healthy and strong all summer.
  • Ensure the sprinklers are working and reaching the entire yard. Sprinkler pipes are the easiest to crack during the winter so making sure they are in good repair is important.
  • Once you are sure the cold freezes are over plant the garden and trim the trees and shrubs for a healthy growing season over the summer.
  • Cleaning the front porch of cobwebs and dead bugs makes a big first impression to visitors.
  • Clean the garage door and remove the cobwebs to have a clean exterior

Spring cleanup can be daunting, but there are so many rewards to getting it done. Having a clean home is always a satisfying feeling and giving your home a face lift after a harsh winter is a great reward.


Insulating a garage… Is it worth it?

Is Insulating a Garage Worth the Cost?

Insulating a garage is a bit pricey and homeowners don’t love to spend the money to insulate a room where you park your car. Although most people don’t spend tons of time in their garage, insulating it has a significant effect. Especially in climates that are very cold such as Colorado winters. When temperatures reach into the negatives during the heart of winter, having an insulated home is important to homeowners. People spend lots of money heating their homes to make it comfortable and warm to live in.

Insulating the garage may not seem like much, but when the door opens and shuts the cold air comes in and makes the interior of the home colder. Often laundry and storage is in the garage, so having a cold garage makes wintertime chores miserable.  Adding insulation also makes the rooms above and around the garage a little warmer. Generally the room directly above the garage is the coldest room in the house. So spending the money to insulate the garage can be justified by saving money on heating bills. Especially if the room above the garage is a bed room it may be beneficial to insulate it.

This also can benefit homeowners in the summer, because the AC bill will be lower, and the house will stay at a more comfortable temperature. If you spend a lot of time in your garage fixing cars, bikes, or playing games it may be worth insulating and heating your garage. It is usable recreation space that could be made comfortable with some minor fixes. If the garage is just the car’s home, still consider the positives of insulating and consider what rooms are around the garage that need to be warmed.


How to weatherproof your home for a Colorado winter

Colorado residents know how harsh winters can be and you are always told to plan ahead. That advice should be used for everything from storing canned food and emergency candles to weatherproofing the exterior of your home. Weatherproofing sounds like a daunting task, but there are many things you can do to help prevent damages to your home when a big storm hits. Having your roofing, siding, and windows in good repair before the winter kicks up is always beneficial, but there are some basic things you can do that only take a few minutes to check on.


What to do when Spring Storms Wreak Havoc on your Home

Oh boy…just now I was sitting at my desk getting some work done when a fairly large thunderstorm Severe Storm Damage can wreak havoc on your homerolled in. Lightening, thunder, rain and hail pounded my building.  It was a pretty quick one, but it came in fast and hailed hard.  It’s that time of year when these severe storms materialize and do damage to our homes and property.  Wind, hail, rain and lightening can cause many problems.  The thing we see most often with homeowners is that they’re not sure what to do when a severe storm pops up in their area.

Follow these tips to make sure you and your home are protected after a severe storm:

1.  Check the outside of your home for obvious damage.

Look at your roof for missing shingles or holes you can see from your yard.  Check your windows for broken or cracked glass and damaged trim.  Walk around your house and look at your siding.  If you see dents, chips or cracks, take note.

2.  Call a qualified contractor to inspect for less obvious damage.

Some damage can’t be seen by an inspection from your yard.  Getting up on your roof can be dangerous and much damage caused by severe storms can only be seen by a trained eye.  Although this damage can be hard to spot, it can cause long-term harm to your home.  A qualified contractor is trained to spot storm damage and should be experienced in working with insurance companies.  They can help you submit a claim and make sure you get the coverage you need to make any necessary repairs.

3.  Contact your insurance company.

Most insurance policies cover severe storm damage such as hail and wind.  Check your policy details to see exactly what your policy offers in terms of coverage or call your agent to find out details.  Every insurance company handles storm claims differently and has different requirements in terms of inspections, documentation, paperwork and completing the work.  Most insurance companies will send out an adjuster to inspect your home and determine what damage has been done by the storm and what repairs need to happen.  Make sure that your contractor is well versed in working with insurance companies; a good contractor can save you thousands of dollars and make sure you get the most out of your policy.

4.  Hire a qualified contractor to make repairs to your home.

Once your insurance company has issued your claim, they should provide you with a detailed report on what repairs they will cover.  By now, you should have done your homework and hired a qualified contractor to complete these repairs.  Make sure your contractor is bonded and insured.  Check with your neighbors to get recommendations on contractors they’ve used and had good experiences with. Do some research online – there are many sites where you can find reviews from homeowners so that you can get a clear picture of the contractors reputation; bbb.org, homeadvisor.com, houzz.com, and angieslist.com are a few places you can look.

HRTI’s experienced consultants and contractors are happy to come to your home to inspect for damage to your roof, windows and siding.  Call us today to set up an appointment.


Spring is Here and so is Spring Cleaning

Spring Is Here and so is Spring Cleaning

As of today (at 4:45pm MST to be exact) it’s officially Spring.  Flowers, green grass, birds chirping, and warm weather.  I don’t know about youSpring cleaning is for more than the interior of your home, but I’m excited to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer – we’ve  been stuck inside for too long this winter.  Spring also means cleaning…ugh, not my favorite.  I thought I’d post some helpful tips on spring cleaning for your home, windows, siding, and exterior.  Hey, at least you get to be outside for some of it!  Cleaning the windows and siding of your home helps to make sure they last a lifetime and keeps your home looking fabulous.

Tips for Cleaning your Windows

There are so many different types of windows out there, and a lot of them require different techniques for cleaning – I’ll cover some of the basics in this post.

  • First of all, never power wash your vinyl or wood windows.  This can damage the caulk and seal of the window as well as the surface material of the frame.
  • The best solution for streak-free cleaning on your glass is a 30% vinegar to 70% water solution.  Use a lint-free, soft cloth to clean the window both inside and out.  Dry with a clean cloth.
  • Many windows offer methods for easy cleaning from the inside of your home.  This can be especially helpful when cleaning windows on the second story of your home.  Double-hung windows usually offer tilt-in features that allow you to clean both sash of the window.  Many siCleaning your windows is easy when they are easy to removengle-hung windows offer the ability for the single sash to tilt in.  Casement windows can usually be cleaned from the inside by opening the window the entire way and cleaning both sides.  See your particular manufacturer instructions for details on your windows.  And read our page for more information on different types of windows.

Tips for Cleaning your Siding

The idea of scrubbing your home’s siding may sound daunting – after all, you probably have a lot of it in hard to reach places.  While this may seem like a task you’d rather skip in your spring cleaning routine, keep in mind that washing your siding once a year can extend it’s life and keep your home looking like new.  The process is the same whether you have wood, vinyl, or fiber cement siding.  But be sure to check your manufacturer instructions before starting your project.

  • As with windows, never power wash the siding of your home.  Unless you’re very experienced with a power washer, the pressure from the water can damage your siding, costing you a lot of money.  It’s tempting, but avoid this method if you can.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to clean your siding.  There are products out there made specifically for this purpose – check your local home improvement store for options. These brushes are usually around $30 and may be a worthy investment for the project.
  • If it’s just dirt and grime you have on your home, using only water will probably work just fine.  Fill a bucket and start scrubbing!
  • If you have mold or mildew on your siding, use a solution of 30% vinegar and 70% water or go to your local home improvement store to buy mildew cleaner specifically made for the siding of your home.  Wash with a soft-bristled brush or cloth and rinse with water from your garden hose.
  • If there are grease or oil spots on your siding that need cleaning, use a mixture of dishwashing detergent (Dawn®, Ivory®, etc) and water to clean.  You may have to scrub these spots, but this solution should remove the grease.  Be sure to use only a soft-bristled brush and rinse with water from your garden hose.

 A little work during the spring can add years to the look and durability of your windows and siding.  Now for those closets….


Best of Houzz!

We’re so excited to given the distinction of “Best of Houzz 2015”!!  We were awarded this distinction for customer service.  Our #1 priority is providing the best customer service on each of our projects.  We’re honored to be noticed for our service, but even more proud to have so many happy customers.  Read the press release below from Houzz for more details.

Best of Houzz Service Award 2015

HRTI of Denver Receives

Best Of Houzz 2015 Award

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building,

Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World

Lakewood, CO, January 19, 2015 – HRTI of Denver has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 42 year old home exteriors company was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

“We’re so proud of this distinction and grateful to our customers who have provided reviews on Houzz. We strive to give every customer the best experience when they trust us with work on their home and are excited to receive this award”, Greg Cotton, HRTI

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize HRTI[Insert award winner name] among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow HRTI on Houzz

About HRTI

We are home exterior specialists focusing on design consultation, planning, and installation of windows, siding and roofing for homes and buildings of all sizes. We have been in business for 42 years and service Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana.

We are proud to help our homeowners with most exterior home projects. We provide expert design, consultation, planning, and installation of windows, siding, and roofing. If you need new doors we can provide and install those as well. To complete your exterior project, we partner with the best gutter, painter, and garage door companies in Denver so that you can be sure you are getting the best workmanship possible.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visitwww.houzz.com

# # #


Request a FREE Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.