Each homeowner’s experience is different from the next, even from the very first days of house shopping. We buy homes according to what we love, where we want to live, and what we can afford.
Sometimes we have the luxury of building or finding a dream house; sometimes, we start with something ordinary and hope to turn it into something special. Houses are where we live our lives, share experiences with our families and friends, and grow as people. A home is such an important purchase, both in terms of financial and emotional investment, and homeowners often want to do everything they can to ensure that their home lasts a lifetime.
How can you create that kind of longevity in your home? We recommend three basic things to keep in mind.
1: Don’t sacrifice quality building materials for savings.
If you’re in a situation where you are building a house or doing major renovations, we have one major piece of advice: don’t sacrifice quality for savings! Yes, sticking within your budget is important, and there are good options for just about every budget. (And a good contractor will help you find the best supplies, based on your specific needs.) Where people get into trouble is choosing subpar building materials because they want to save money, without considering the long-term implications and risks.
For example, vinyl siding can be attractive and affordable, but it lacks the durability of other, stronger building materials. Metal siding, on the other hand, is typically middle-range in cost, but if you live in a high-moisture environment where it rains frequently or there is lots of humidity, you’ll end up spending far more on maintenance, repairs, and upkeep than you ever saved by getting a dollar off per square foot.
For every step in the home building or renovation process, there are going to be a lot of decisions to make. Don’t set yourself up for later difficulties by always choosing the cheapest option.
2: Do your research when it comes to choosing a contractor.
Sacrificing quality in order to pinch a few pennies isn’t just related to materials; it’s also important when you’re choosing who to work with. Do your research when it comes to choosing a contractor. You can’t really tell whether a contractor knows what they’re doing just because of the slick look of their website or the number of years they have been in business.
Some of the qualities you should seek in a general contractor include: honesty and integrity, great testimonials from past clients, and good communication. You should also look for someone who is knowledgeable about the products they recommend, the products they advise people to stay away from, current trends and classic looks, and benefits and drawbacks to different styles and materials.
3: Don’t neglect regular maintenance.
Not everyone has the benefit of making decisions during the building or renovation of their home. However, this next piece of advice can be applied to every homeowner: don’t neglect regular home maintenance tasks! Whether you need to put reminders in your phone or put it on a calendar or just keep it all straight in your mind, maintenance tasks can’t be ignored.
Some of these jobs are little things like changing HVAC filters, putting salt in your water softener, closing and opening vents based on the season, cleaning out your dryer vent, checking for leaks around windows, etc. Others require a bit more work, like emptying gutters, power washing siding, and making repairs after a storm. Then there are the big ones: replacing siding, adding a coat of exterior paint, re-graveling a driveway, putting on a new roof, getting new windows, etc. Sometimes twenty or thirty years can go by before one of these tasks needs to be done, but putting it off can cause major problems.
Following these three pieces of advice isn’t necessarily easy. Sometimes, it is going to be tempting to put off a task you know is important, or to choose cheap materials in order to save a buck, or to work with a contractor who advertises the cheapest prices in town. But keeping these three things in mind will prevent so many difficulties down the line! They will also help you maintain your home for a lifetime, which is how it should be.
We would be happy to talk with you about how to ensure that you can get the most out of your home? Lifetime Exteriors works with homeowners along the I-5 Corridor from Seattle to Eugene, specifically Southwest Washington, the greater Portland metro area, and the Willamette Valley. Our contractors are experienced, professional, and knowledgeable, and our products and services are customizable to your needs.
We will always recommend the very best building components and products available such as James Hardie Siding, Sherwin Williams Paint, Owens Corning Roofing, Milgard Windows, and Trex Decking, among several others. We understand that more often than not cost can be a factor and we can almost always find a style or look to fit your budgetary needs. One of our strengths is finding effective ways to repair flawed construction from previous contractors.
To find out how we can help you make your home last a lifetime, contact us today for a free estimate.