Choosing Siding For Your Custom Home - featured image

Siding also is one of the first things you notice about a home and it can and should be beautiful! Choosing siding for your new home offers you many choices in materials, textures, and colors. The options are nearly limitless. With today’s materials, there are few limitations, what style do you have in mind: board and batten, shake shingles, clapboard, stucco, or perhaps a rustic log home look?

Beyond appearance, siding also serves a functional purpose being the outermost part of your home. It’s the first line of defense against rain, snow, and wind. This is especially important considering Northern Michigan’s harsh winters!  Think of siding as armor for your house. It protects your insulation and the underlying structure of your walls from the elements, helps reduce noise, and can add to the structural integrity of your home. Siding also plays a role in retaining warmth in the winter and keeping the heat out in the summer.

Types of Siding For Your Home

Most homes will use a combination of materials to achieve the look you desire. When deciding on siding options, you should consider aesthetics along with energy efficiency, durability, and maintenance.

Brick

Brick is a classic choice. It is durable, low-maintenance and holds up to extreme conditions. Often it is used as an accent material. Brick veneer is another option that gives the appearance of brick but with a lower cost.

Stone

Stone siding gives a stunning appearance. Like brick, it is typically used as an accent. Available in either genuine or cultured, the styles and color options are vast. Weather and insect resistance are very good and insulation values vary.

Wood Siding

Real Cedar is a beautiful and smart choice for siding.  Cedar is a durable wood, naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects, and has good insulation properties. These natural properties mean whatever you build with it will last longer and require less maintenance. Real cedar is beautiful, versatile, and is a sustainable building product.

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding, like LP Smart Siding, is a composite like material that is made from real wood and enhanced to make it stronger, more durable, and more versatile than traditional wood. Like traditional wood, LP Smart Siding also has an insulation R-value greater than traditional vinyl siding. Additional advantages include fire, water, and impact resistance and is safe from insect damage.

Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-cement siding offers the look of wood at a lower cost. It however does not have the insulation value that other materials can offer. It also requires more maintenance (painting and caulking) and can absorb moisture. Chipping and cracking are another long-term concern.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is the least expensive option but also the least durable. It is more prone to wind damage than other materials. It is available in a wide range of styles, colors and textures.

When choosing siding, you will want to consider the overall appearance of your home.  What color roofing as well as trim? What about landscaping or lightscaping?  All of these influence the overall look of your home and small changes can have a dramatic effect.

Let our experience guide you through the process of selecting the right siding style and materials.
Call us today or use the Contact form to start planning your new home!

Choosing Windows For Your Custom Home - featured image

One of the most important decisions when designing your custom home is choosing windows. Windows play a critical role since they have such a large impact on your home. Windows provide both aesthetic beauty and serve functional purposes. Attention to details in the planning and design phases can reap substantial rewards in both cost savings and the long-term enjoyment of your new home.

Beautiful Views

Chances are that the location of your home has a beautiful view. Windows are much like a picture frame in that they accentuate the view and emphasize architectural lines. From inside, windows and trim compliments your view. From the outside, windows provide character and beauty to the overall look of your home.

Planning for Sunlight

Of course windows allow natural light into your home. The way light falls into a room can bring out other design details as well as provide a comfortable setting for your daily activities. Consider how you will use each room, the time of day (or night), where the sun is at through the day as well as how it varies according to seasons. These considerations also play into what additional artificial lighting you will need. All of these considerations can help select the appropriate style and size windows as well as locations within each room.

Another concern is UV light filtering. Constant exposure to sunlight can age and damage carpets, furniture and most anything else that is exposed for long periods of time. Many windows are available with UV filtering that can reduce exposure and potential damage.

Durability and Weather

Northern Michigan has harsh winters, so durability is an important consideration. If your home is located on the water, especially larger lakes like Crystal Lake, Glen Lake, and especially Lake Michigan, then additional protection from high winds and storms is an additional concern.

High winds, rain and snowstorms can challenge ordinary windows. Andersen, Marvin and Simonton brands offer coastal grade windows that address these concerns. Impact resistant glass, additional structural reinforcements, enhanced cladding and weather sealing are used to create a window that protects your home in the harshest of conditions and remains beautiful.

Winter weather also brings low temperatures. Double paned windows (now commonplace) and triple pane windows offer even more energy savings. ENERGY STAR® rated windows help reduce heating and cooling costs.

A well-designed window also helps reduce noise too. This can be especially nice during storms or if you have an active waterfront or family.

 Convenience

You’ll also want to consider convenience when selecting windows. How easy can you open and close the window? Is one style easier than another? What about cleaning? Will you want screens? You may wish to consider how a window style may work or appear with an awning.

Security

A unique optional feature from Andersen is their VeriLock® Sensors. Integrated with a home security system, you can detect whether a window is open or closed and if it is locked. This is especially a nice feature for those with summer or part-time homes. You can easily see the status from a smart-phone app either when leaving home or to check up remotely.

Recommended Window Brands

Lakeshore recommends Andersen, Marvin, Simonton, and Windsor windows. Each company offers a wide variety of styles and finishes and have warranties that back up their quality for your peace of mind.

We have experience working with each of these brands and we would welcome an opportunity to discuss your custom home plans with you. Call us today or use the Contact form to start planning your new home!

 

Helpful Resources

Andersen YouTube Channel