How to Choose the Right Vinyl Siding Installation

Vinyl siding is the country’s top-selling exterior building material, following by brick and fiber cement (Hardie siding). Why do builders and homeowners opt for vinyl siding more often than any other material? Read on to find out why vinyl siding installation is the top choice for homeowners across the country, as well as right here in Binghamton, NY.

Three basic types of vinyl siding

When choosing vinyl siding, the first thing you need to decide on is which type you’d like for your home. The three basic types of vinyl siding include vertical, horizontal, and shake (which looks like cedar shake shingles). Because the most popular choice is horizontal siding, vertical and shake can offer an added level of uniqueness to your home.

Siding type is probably one of the easiest things you’ll decide when it comes to home siding installation. From there, you must choose which style of siding you prefer, and what would best suit your home.

Styles of vinyl siding

There are four styles within the horizontal siding category.

  • Clapboard: Uses long, broad planks designed to overlap one another so that each layer covers a portion of the one below it. This design also helps protect your home from water intrusion.
  • Dutch lap: This is basically the same as clapboard; however, the difference is that the planks overlap at a steeper and sharper angle, giving Dutch lap siding a different appearance than clapboard. It was designed this way to make it look more like hand-carved wooden planks — a sign of wealth in the past.
  • Beaded: Also designed to create the appearance of the hand-carved wooden planks preferred by wealthy homeowners, beaded vinyl siding has a rounded groove, or notch, running along the bottom. This gives beaded vinyl its distinctive shadow line between the face and groove of the panel.
  • Log: This style of horizontal siding is designed to resemble log cabins. Today’s technology can easily replicate the appearance of natural woods on vinyl, a much more affordable option than actual wood.

Vertical vinyl siding: More options than you think

Within the vertical siding category, you have just the board and batten siding style. The name comes from the design of the siding itself. Wide planks or boards (traditionally wood, but again, due to technological advances, vinyl can mimic wood’s appearance very well) run vertically along the home, with battens (narrower planks) fastened over the joints of the boards. This seals the space between the boards while giving visual depth to the home siding.

While board and batten is the only style of vertical siding, it can be installed in a number of different ways to fit a homeowner’s style and uniqueness. For example, we can reverse the board and batten style described above to create a batten and board style, in which the narrower battens are now placed beneath the wider planks instead of on top. Or you could opt for board and board, in which each layer is the same width.

You can play around with the width of the planks, as well. Traditionally, the boards are 9-12 inches wide and the narrow battens are between 2-4 inches wide — but the options are endless. Speak with your contractor, who can help you select the best option for your home and budget.

Shake vinyl siding

Shake vinyl siding was created again to mimic a style of wooden siding, namely cedar shake siding. If you’re looking for that rustic, outdoor look, this is your best choice. You can opt for traditional vinyl cedar shake, which are square-ish shaped (flat bottom), or you can choose half-round or scallop-shaped shake siding.

The benefit of choosing vinyl shake siding is that actual cedar wood shingles often weather unevenly (picture an old wooden home with splintered shake shingles). This comes with a higher cost of maintenance and the more frequent need to replace shingles.

Vinyl siding colors and combinations

Another reasons vinyl siding is so popular is it comes in practically endless colors. The most popular color choices in recent years include shades of blue and gray with white trim, earthy and light greens with beige, white, and brown colors, as well as combinations of warmer reds and browns.

You can also integrate different styles of siding to give a truly unique look to your home. For instance, some homeowners choose to combine horizontal siding on the lower portion of their home, with vertical or shake above. 

Don’t know where to start?

If you’d like help ensuring you’ve reviewed all available options and received the best recommendations for your home, KC Construction is happy to assist. We service homeowners in Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca, Cortland, Scranton, and all surrounding areas.

Call us today at (607) 748-0188 for a free siding consultation.



Top Signs You Need New Window Installation

Replacement windows are an excellent choice when it comes to upgrading and improving your home’s value; however, many homeowners are in denial about needing a new window installation. That’s understandable, because depending on the size of your home, this can be a considerable investment.

A number of signs indicate installing new windows will be worth your time and money. If the idea of getting new windows for your home has crossed your mind, read on. We highlight the top signs that suggest you may need to call KC Construction for a no-obligation consultation.

5 signs you need new home windows

Before we get into the benefits of new window installation, you need to know whether your current windows need replacing. A number of signs should point you in the direction of replacement windows. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  1. Your current windows are painted shut. One of the best things about windows is being able to circulate some fresh air into your home and remove any stuffy feelings. If your windows are painted shut, there’s no way around it: You need new windows.
  2. It’s too annoying to even open your windows. You might be able to get your windows open, but it’s too difficult to bother. The crank that opens and closes your window could have wear and tear, causing the mechanism to fail.

    Or your windows won’t stay open or closed without some sort of additional help. Think of having to use a piece of wood to keep the window open. We’ve even seen some people nailing their windows open or shut! That’s an excessive amount of hassle that new windows will remove entirely.

  3. It’s drafty in your home. This is probably the biggest reason most people invest in a new window installation. Old windows can allow the cold air to flow inside, raising your heating bills or making your attempts at keeping your home warm all in vain. If you know it’s windy outside when you’re inside your home, you need window replacement.
  4. Your windows won’t lock. First, this is an issue of safety; however, the locking mechanism of your windows also acts as a seal. If you can’t lock your windows, you’re letting in cool air.
  5. Your current windows require you to perform too much maintenance. Here, we’re referring to the labor involved in having wood windows. Perhaps you feel it’s worth the effort because you personally find wood windows more aesthetically appealing. However, this doesn’t negate the fact they are a lot of work. Scraping, sanding, and painting windows isn’t an afternoon job. Often, homeowners choose to install vinyl windows because they require little maintenance and are more cost-effective.

If any of these scenarios apply to you, then you’ll want to strongly consider installing new windows. And, if you do find yourself in any of the above situations, it’s important to also understand what benefits new windows will afford you.

Top 3 reasons to install new windows

There’s no reason to endure less comfort and more hassle. A number of other benefits of installing new windows exist besides easy maintenance and more comfort. New window installation will also provide you with:

  1. Improved energy efficiency: If your home has very old or inefficient windows, it’s probably more cost effective to replace them rather than try to improve their energy efficiency. New, energy-efficient windows will eventually pay for themselves in terms of savings on heating and cooling costs, and sometimes even lighting costs.
  2. Protection from harmful UV light: UV light from the sun can have damaging effects on your skin and eyes, and also your home’s interiors. A big misconception by people living in cooler climates is that they don’t need UV protection. However, even on cloudy and cold days when you can’t see or feel the sun, UV rays are still a risk factor that can cause harm.

    Our energy-efficient Heat Guard windows block 98% of UV rays, protecting your furniture and carpets from fading and other sun-related damage.

  3. Reduced or eliminated noise: Depending on where you live, outside noise can greatly affect the quality of your sleep, or your enjoyment while trying to relax at home. In today’s high-stress world, we need to eliminate as much unwanted stimulation as possible. New window installation offers outdoor noise elimination of up to 85%.

 Ready for your free new window estimate?

Whether you want to save money on your heating and cooling bills or are tired of fighting with your windows to stay open, remain closed, or work properly, KC Construction is here to deliver a solution. We happily service homeowners in Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca, Cortland, Scranton, and all surrounding areas. Speak with us today about energy-efficient windows and new window installation. Call (607) 748-0188 for your free estimate!

How to Avoid Losing Energy Through Your Doors

Your front door is the weakest link when it comes to preventing heat and air from escaping from your home. This can be particularly problematic in the winter months. All of that hot air escaping can lead to your heating expenses being significantly higher than they should be. The following are tips that can help to minimize loss of energy from your home.

Add New Weatherstripping to Your Exterior Doors

Weatherstripping is the process in which gaps around doors and windows are sealed to protect from the elements. The most common way that people lose energy from their homes is due to damaged or inadequate weatherstripping. When your door is closed, the weatherstripping should provide a complete seal. This not only keeps the air inside the house, but it also prevents things like dust and water from getting in through the door.

Over time, the shape and size of a door can change, despite the seal of the weatherstripping. If your door is not completely sealed, you should be able to easily locate the leaks on a cold and windy day. The best way to locate leaks is by lighting an incense stick and moving it around the edges of the door – if the smoke is either sucked in or blown out, then you have located a leak in the seal. You should be able to find most leaks just by feeling for air with your hands though. Wetting your hand can help as it will make you more sensitive to the sensation of cold air.

If you locate leaks, then you have a few options to fix the problem. The first is adhesive foam weatherstripping made of rubber or plastic, which can be cut down to fit any door. This method is straightforward enough that you can do it yourself. However, this method will not keep a good seal for too long. You will probably have to replace it again in a couple of years’ time.

A more reliable option would be to use interlocking metal stripping. However, this option is significantly more expensive, and you would likely need to hire a professional to fit it.

Replace Your Old Door

If you have tried the above steps and you find that you are still losing a significant amount of heat through your door, then it is time to consider purchasing a new one. You should be aware that doors with glass can often be energy inefficient. If you get a door with glass, then you should make sure that it contains what is known as a “thermal break” between the inner and outer frames.

If you still want to go with a glass door, then you should consider a door with low-emissivity coatings. These layers will make the door slightly more expensive but can potentially reduce energy loss by up to 50%.

You should pay attention to the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) rating of any door that you plan on purchasing. The lower this value, the less heat from the sun will be transmitted into the house. You should get a door with an SHGC rating that makes sense in the climate of your town. If you live in a cold area then you probably want a door with a higher SHGC rating. However, if you live in a hot climate then you should get a door with a lower rating.

While installing a new door is not a particularly difficult job, you should consider hiring a professional. Improper door replacement jobs can cause you to lose even more energy through your doors. With the help of KC Construction, you can rest easy knowing that with our professional door replacement services, you will not give you the same energy loss issues that your old door did. With energy efficient doors, you’ll see a huge difference in your utility bills.

Get your free estimate now: 607-748-0188

Trends in Siding

Siding is the material that is applied to the exterior walls of a house. It is meant to deflect water away and to protect the walls from being deteriorated by the weather. It also serves to insulate the house against the weather. Siding is also key to the aesthetics of the outside of the house. If you want to really turn heads in your neighborhood, you need to be up to date on the latest siding trends. Thankfully, we have you covered.

Environmentally Friendly Materials

Some siding companies have begun to offer vinyl siding with an added expandable Styrofoam insulation layer. This kind of material will also help you to save money and reduce your carbon footprint by insulating your home against the elements. That type of siding could become more popular in the future because there is work being done to get the government to allow tax breaks on insulated siding.

The Most Popular Siding Material Is Vinyl

While different localities are susceptible to various siding trends, it is clear that vinyl siding is by far the most popular form of siding in the country. This can be expected to continue for quite a while, due to the simple facts that vinyl siding is one of the most affordable and easy to maintain materials.

People Are Starting to Focus on Accessorizing

A clear trend that beginning to develop in siding aesthetics is the usage of accessories with siding. When it comes to accessories, most people are choosing to keep it low key. Subtle features which add trims and accents to the siding are popular. Most people’s accessories focus on keeping the siding long-lasting and easy to maintain while adding a subtle pop to the aesthetics.

The Mixing of Different Siding Materials is Becoming Increasingly Popular

Homeowners have been much more likely to mix and match different siding materials in recent years. This is a great way to make use of more expensive materials such as stone and brick without breaking the bank. A subtle amount of an expensive material, if used tastefully, can end up being more aesthetically pleasing than if the material has been used exclusively. This kind of approach is commonly used near the entrance ways to the home so that it can make the maximum visual impact when guests arrive.

Color Trends

The siding industry tends to adapt to changing color trends than other industries such as the fashion industry. This is probably because it is much quicker to start manufacturing clothes than it is to manufacture siding. You can, therefore, observe the color trends of other industries to predict the trends for siding colors. Color trends can vary between different localities, so it would also be wise to observe what colors your neighbors are using to get an idea of the local flavor.

Recently, contrasting colors have been exploding in popularity when it comes to exterior design. Dark siding contrasting with white trim around elements such as the windows are becoming particularly common. When used correctly, contrast can cause the eye to be drawn to certain design features. Contrasting colors is a different technique which can be used successfully in a variety of various types of architecture.

Dark hues have also proven to be very popular in recent times. Dark gray is one of the more common colors that is being used on exterior siding. These colors are enjoyed partially because they take significantly longer to fade than brighter options.

More and More Homeowners Are Opting for the Lowest Possible Maintenance

An emerging trend is that homeowners are purchasing siding with ease of maintenance being the main thing on their minds. More and more people are opting for function over aesthetics, preferring to waste as little of their precious free time as possible on home maintenance. Manufacturers have started to produce siding that is especially resistant against issues like rotting, cracking, and splitting, meaning that the siding can stay up for the maximum amount of time possible while requiring only a small amount of maintenance.

Ask us for more details on our early bird special: 1-607-748-0188

The Benefits of HeatGuard Glass Windows

The summer months bring heat, humidity and higher energy bills for millions of Americans. Though most have simply accepted this as a fact of life, many do not realize they can affordably enjoy a comfortably cool home by simply replacing their windows. When you choose to upgrade your home’s windows with the Protector® package from KC Construction, you can enjoy a cool home this summer without breaking the bank. Continue reading

Why Go Vinyl?

Whether you’re updating your home or building it from scratch, your home’s siding can have a major impact on the curb appeal and overall value of the home. With so many materials to choose from, how can a homeowner decide which will provide the biggest bang for their buck? Continue reading