How to Prepare Your Home for Cooler Weather


New Jersey Discount Vinyl Siding and House Renovation is your local renovation professional. Beautifying residential homes and business throughout the Essex County, Morris, Union, Passaic, North Bergen County and  New Jersey area.

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nj discount vinyl siding and home remodeling new jersey affordable house renovation certainteed seamless exterior passaic county bergen morris essex west union hudson cedar shake installationEvery homeowner knows the value of good maintenance. Performing seasonal tasks goes a long way toward preserving your home’s value and aesthetic. Consider adding these items to your fall home maintenance checklist to keep your property looking its best for years to come.

Do a Gutter Inspection and Cleaning
The autumn months bring stormy weather to the area in the form of wind and rainfall. This can wreak havoc on your roof and lead to the buildup of debris in your gutters. As the leaves begin to fall, check periodically for leaf and debris buildup. Replace sagging and weak gutters before they can lead to roof damage from mold, water buildup, and wood rot.

Inspect Your Siding
Your exterior siding is your home’s first line of defense against mold and rot. If its curling, peeling, or damaged in places, take care to replace it quickly. Be on the lookout for signs that your siding is reaching the end of its natural lifespan – for example, fading and cracking, especially in wooden shakes.

Schedule HVAC Service
Your HVAC system keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Reward its hard work by scheduling routine maintenance. This will keep your system running at its best, preserve its life, and ultimately save you money on utility bills.

Tend to Weather Stripping and Caulking
Temperature fluctuations and regular wear and tear can lead to cracks in your caulking. Walk around the outside of your home and inspect each exterior window for signs of damage. Re-caulk as necessary. This easy DIY project takes only a couple of hours and can translate into hundreds of dollars in energy savings in the long-term.

Clean Your Exterior Living Areas
You might not be ready to put away your patio furniture yet, but treat your exterior communal spaces – like your porch and your deck –to a nice cleaning. Seal your deck with special staining and scrub your porch area until it shines. This will preserve its natural life and will improve its curb appeal.

Basic home maintenance will keep your house operating at full capacity while looking as new as the day you purchased it. Don’t skimp on maintenance because you think you can’t afford it – most of these tips are affordable and can be done over two or three days. Your home and wallet will thank you.

Do you have any questions about our siding, trim, or gutter services? Feel free to contact us.

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4 Reasons You Might Need New Vinyl Siding

NJ Discount Vinyl Siding and House Renovation is your local NJ renovation pro. Beautifying residential homes and business throughout the New Jersey area, with over 20 years experience.

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New Vinyl Siding

As you examine your home exterior, these signs may indicate that you need new vinyl siding.

There’s a reason why vinyl is the most popular material used in home siding in America. It’s inexpensive, versatile, and can weather just about any climate fairly well. However, vinyl siding is not indestructible, and eventually, you’ll need to replace it. Some problems can be fixed with simple repairs, but others may mean that you’ll need to get new vinyl siding for your home. As you examine your home exterior during the final weeks of summer, here are four signs to keep an eye on that will tell you that you need new vinyl siding.

1. Distortions in the Texture

No material is completely immune to the effects of consistent weather and moisture changes. As time goes on, bubbles, warping, and blisters will start to form on your vinyl siding – these distortions eventually cause the siding to lose its secure fit on your home. Some of this damage may be able to be repaired by a licensed siding contractor like Schaefer Siding, but new vinyl siding will be in order if it is close to the end of your current siding’s service life.

2. Damage from Extreme Weather

Hurricane season has reminded us of the damage Mother Nature can do to our homes. Every climate will experience extreme weather from time to time, and the effects of high wind, hail, driving rain, and snowstorms take a toll on vinyl siding. After extreme weather events, closely inspect your siding for signs of damage. Have any repairs or replacements addressed right away to protect the rest of your home from water damage.

3. Discoloration

Discoloration of your home’s siding is common owing to the effects of sun exposure. You may choose to get new vinyl siding to restore the beauty of your home exterior. In addition, discoloration can also result from fungal growth or dry rot. This is a more serious issue that will require the assessment of a professional siding contractor.

4. High Utility Costs

Vinyl siding, at peak condition, is a great insulator and can help you save money on your energy bills. If you notice an increase in your utilities, it could be a sign that your home siding is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.

Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency with New Siding

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Why is Fall the Best Time for a Roof Replacement?

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Fall Roof Replacement

Fall is a good time to get a roof replacement, so if you’ve been putting off now is a good time to start planning!

We may still be in the dog days of summer, but fall is just on the horizon. It’s a great time for many homeowners to start looking various maintenance and repair tasks that need to be completed before the coming of the winter. Does the thought of another winter with your leaky roof bring you a sense of dread? It’s a good idea to start thinking about replacing your roof, particularly since the fall season is the best time to do it! Here are some reasons why fall is the best time of the year to perform a roof replacement.

The Technical Side

A roof replacement project is comprised of several aspects, some of which require specific environmental conditions to yield the best results. When a roofing contractor installs new shingles on the roof, for example, they require some time to create a sealed, airtight barrier between the inside and the outside. The shingles protect your interior from harsh weather, so this step is critical to the overall successful installation of the roof. By having a roof replacement project done in the fall, the shingles get plenty of time to create this seal before the winter’s first snowfall.

The Human Side

Roofing contractors do their best work during the fall season. The weather isn’t hot and oppressive like it is during the summer, so the roofing professional is able to complete a lot of work on your roof without the risk of heat exhaustion. This allows them to complete the job more efficiently, installing the materials under optimal conditions.

Peace of Mind

Best of all, a roof replacement can ease your mind as the winter approaches. Small leaks and other problems can often lead to more serious structural problems during the winter. This risk is especially pronounced in our area, where major snowstorms can and do occur. The added weight of a major snowfall can lead to a world of trouble for homeowners with roofs in less than stellar shape.

If you think your roof may need to be replaced soon, don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact Schaefer Siding and Exteriors to have one of our roofing professionals assess your situation.

Let Us Handle Your Roof Replacement Project This Fall!

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Benefits Of Composite Decking Vs. Wood

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Few things embody summer like a back yard deck, conjuring images of family barbecues and lazy afternoons lounging in a hammock or on a chaise. But maintaining a wood deck can be a pretty major chore, from scrubbing and staining to repairing and replacing damaged boards.

You’re probably also no stranger to splinters in your feet, which can really put a damper on your summer fun. Wood decks have a certain charm, but if you’re not up for the endless power washing, sealing, staining, repairing and replacing that goes along with keeping it looking great, why not replace your old wood deck with composite?

If you’re not convinced, here are some of the benefits of composite decking, how it stacks up against wood, and what you should know before investing in a new deck.

About Composite Materials

If you have a low opinion of composite decking, it may be time to update your view. When composite materials first came out as an option for consumers, many jumped on the bandwagon in an effort to rid themselves of high-maintenance wood decks. But as with any new product, the first wave of composite decking wasn’t without its problems.

Early versions of the material tended to warp, leaving homeowners with uneven boards and unhappy results. But materials have come a long way since the early 90s. Quality composite decking has a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. Compare that to wood’s lifespan of 10 to 15 years and you can see one of the reasons why composite has become so popular.

Maintenance For Composite Decks

Compared to wood, composite decks are exceptionally low maintenance. But low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. It’s important to understand how to care for your deck properly so you can extend its lifespan and keep it looking gorgeous for years to come.

Like any outdoor material, composite decking is susceptible to mold and mildew. But rather than cleaning, treating and re-staining as you might with wood, a pressure washing or annual scrubbing with detergent and a soft brush will do wonders to restore the surface of composite to its original beauty.

Like vinyl siding, composite decks do well with regular bouts of stress-free maintenance rather than leaving grime to accumulate over a long period of time and then doing a massive cleaning.

Benefits Of Composite Vs. Wood

Beyond its ease of maintenance and care, composite offers a number of other advantages over wood. It tends to be more eco-friendly since it’s made from recycled materials, and the process for manufacturing composites is less damaging to the environment than that of pressure treating wood.

Composites won’t splinter or crack, which is great if you have kids or pets walking around. They’re also stain resistant and easy to wash when spills do happen. That makes composites an ideal choice for families, especially if you enjoy cooking or dining outside on your deck.

Composite decking is also insect-resistant, won’t rot, and can stand strong against wind, rain, hail, snow and sun.

Choosing The Right Composite For You

Composite decking materials have low, mid and high quality varieties which correspond with cost. Quality affects the lifespan and durability of the product, as well as its resistance to fading and scratching.

Higher priced materials will be available in a wider variety of color and texture options, with a less repetitive “grain” that more closely mimics the look of wood.

There are two types of composite boards: solid and hollow. Understanding the difference can help you choose wisely. Hollow boards are less expensive, while solid boards tend to be stronger, sturdier, and look more like natural wood. Additionally, hollow boards can hold water internally, which in turn can lead to warping and decomposition.

Before you choose a composite decking material, consider your lifestyle needs. Composite is scratch-resistant but it can still be scratched, so if you have pets, be sure to choose a scratch-resistant variety that can stand up to Fido’s claws. The good news is that even if your deck does get scratched, you can easily sand the scratches out.

If your deck is in direct sunlight, then look for materials with higher UV protection, or consider covering it with a pergola or other overhang.

Like most materials that spend the day beneath the hot summer sun, composite decks can become hot. If you’re planning on walking on it with bare feet, choose a light color that will retain less heat, or a less dense material that won’t reflect so much heat back as you lounge in your recliner.

If your deck surrounds a pool or wet area, consider the texture and choose one that is non-slip.

Understanding your budget, lifestyle and weather conditions will help you choose wisely.

Replacing A Wood Deck With Composite

If the benefits of a composite deck are starting to sink in, you may be wondering what’s involved in replacing your old wood deck with a new composite. The answer depends primarily on whether you have a good foundational structure. If you do, the new deck can be built right on that foundation with minimal disruption. Better yet, you won’t need permits to start the project since you’re building on an existing space.

If you want to completely revamp your space, perhaps with a larger, multi-tier, or redesigned deck space, then it’s a matter of obtaining the proper permits, laying the foundation and then building your new dream deck.

In either case, be sure to hire a professional who understands how composite expands and contracts as the temperature fluctuates throughout the year. To combat potential damage, gapping or warping, a professional will lay the boards in the proper relationship to your home, fixtures, surrounding areas and each other.

If you’re thinking of replacing an old wood deck with a new composite deck, or perhaps installing a deck for the first time, call us at (973) 487-3704 or contact us online and we’ll visit your home for a free consultation and estimate.

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The Unsung Benefits Of A Portico Over Your Home’s Entryway

NJ Discount Vinyl Siding and Home Remodeling is your local NJ renovation professional. Beautifying residential houses and business throughout Morris County, North Bergen, West Essex County, Passaic and New Jersey area.

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The humble portico, that under-appreciated covering above your front door, has a rich history in ancient and classical architecture. Porticos have their roots in Greece, where they served as the entrance to temples, and have been featured in some of the most memorable landmarks in the world – from the Greek Parthenon to the Roman Pantheon and the United States Capitol!

These days, porticos grace the front doors of homes in suburbs everywhere, in styles ranging from rustic to modern, short to towering, narrow to sprawling the full length of a porch. If the last time you thought of your portico was… well, never, then it’s time to show some love to this worthy bit of construction. It’s more than just an accessory and has a couple of unsung benefits that may surprise you.

Porticos Protect Your Home

You know what happens to your hardwood floors and sofa cushions when they sit long enough in the sunlight coming through your living room windows? Especially if you’ve got older windows, the sun’s UV rays will eventually fade wood floors, furniture, fabrics and upholstery.

Now imagine what happens to your front door – in direct outdoor sunlight season after season. It doesn’t take long before your door and porch begin to fade, even warp or crack under the heat.

A portico is designed to shield your door and porch from those UV rays, not only to protect it from the brutal, beating sun but to keep other elements at arm’s length – like rain, snow, and mud. That’s good news for your pocket book, since you’ll be protecting your investment in your front door and porch.

And it’s good news for your interior, because with a drier, cleaner entryway you’re less likely to track messy and damaging water and muck into your house. So the next time you pause to shake off your umbrella before entering your home, or wipe your feet on a mat with a sheltering roof over your head, thank the portico for its service.

Porticos Add Value

You’ve probably been told not to judge a book by its cover. But we bet you do anyway! Admit it – you love a great design, a little pizzaz, and you’re more inclined to pick a book up off the shelf if it appeals to your eyeballs. When it comes to books, covers really do matter. Good designs correlate with more sales, regardless of content. Believe it or not, this is perfectly applicable to your home.

But instead of book covers, we’re talking about curb appeal – the immediate visual impression that your home gives a visitor. Curb appeal is what makes someone do the equivalent of pick a book up off the shelf. It entices them to want to see more of your home. And your portico is a direct part of that.

It creates a focal point and welcomes people into your home. It shows that details matter, from the trim to the lighting that you hang beneath it. And it can change with the seasons: think holiday garlands, strings of white lights or leafy vines.

So whether you expect to sell your home or simply want to enjoy it for all it’s worth, your portico is quite literally the doorway to a beautiful experience.

Porticos Give Your Home Personality

You take time to choose the furnishings inside your home. Tables, curtains, artwork. If you’ve remodeled a room, you may have chosen counter tops, flooring and paint colors. Why wouldn’t you put the same care into the exterior of your home. We bet you would!

Whether you do it consciously or not, everything you choose is a small reflection of your personality, from the shade of blue to the shape of the tile. Your portico is no exception. Round columns or square, slender or broad, stately or squat, textured or smooth. Your choices are part of what makes you – and your home – unique.

What do you want yours to say about you when family, friends and guests come to call?

If you’re thinking about an exterior home remodeling project, get in touch with us for a free estimate. We can design and build your portico along with new matching roof, complementary siding, even a front porch. And we promise to always wipe our feet at the mat you lay out beneath your portico.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Need a free estimate from an affordable siding and general contracting company?  We service the local Passaic County, Morris, Union, North Bergen, Hudson, West Essex and New Jersey.

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The post The Unsung Benefits Of A Portico Over Your Home’s Entryway appeared first on Siding & Windows by Tim Cahill.

6 Most Common Window Types for Your Home

NJ Discount Vinyl Siding and Home Remodeling is your local NJ renovation expert. Beautifying residential homes and business throughout Essex County, Passaic, Morris, Union, Hudson and New Jersey for over 20 years.

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There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting windows for your home. How does anyone choose? Whether you’re replacing old, inefficient windows around your home’s exterior or designing an addition to your home, learn the most common window types and where to use them in your home.

Double-Hung Windows

This is the most popular window choice in America. They look good on any home style and are easy to clean. Double-hung windows have two panes or “sashes,” both of which move up and down. Homeowners choose double-hung windows when they want to be able to open the top portion to allow air circulation without allowing room for pets or small children to get through. Use them anywhere around your home’s exterior.

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows have two panes, one of which slides open for airflow. They offer an unobstructed view and are great above a kitchen sink or in other spaces where homeowners want windows that let in light without hindering movement.

Casement Windows

This window style can be customized to fit any space. Each sash swings all the way open to let in fresh air. Windows with multiple casements can be configured to open in any direction, allowing homeowners to factor in which way the wind usually blows. Use them in kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms, or combine them with other window styles for even more impact.

Awning and Hopper Windows

These have a top hinge so windows can open at the bottom. The tilt allows them to stay open even when it’s raining. Enjoy weatherproof ventilation while cooking or cleaning in difficult-to-light areas like workrooms, kitchens, and stair landings. Avoid placing them low to the ground, since people walking by might not see a sash that is tilted open.

Hopper windows are similar, but they open at the top to tilt inward. They work well in basements, attics, and other places where homeowners want ventilation but don’t have much space.

Picture Windows

When the view outside is so breathtaking you don’t want anything to get in its way, frame it with a picture window. They don’t open, but they provide accent lighting and a panoramic view of the landscape. They’re virtually maintenance-free and can be installed anywhere you want to emphasize the view.

Specialty Windows

Windows that are arched, round, oval, or any other shape draw the eye upward and add interest both inside and out. Specialty windows can be custom ordered in any size and shape.


Hope you enjoyed this post. Need a need a free estimate from a local and affordable siding and general contracting service in Passaic County, Morris, West Essex, North Bergen County and New Jersey.

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The post appeared first on Tri County Windows & Siding.

Lighten Up Your Home with New French Doors

NJ Discount Vinyl Siding and House Renovation is your local New Jersey renovation pro. Beautifying residential houses and business throughout New Jersey, with over 20 years experience.

Get your free consultation today: (973) 487-3704

A new set of French doors can bring natural light into your home and create a better sense of flow between the interior and exterior of your home. If you’re looking for a minor home renovation to change the overall look and feel of an entrance to your house, consider the potential of beautiful and versatile French doors.

If you’re thinking about updating your home with a set of new or replacement French doors, consider some of the reasons these classic doors have remained so popular.

Why Choose French Doors?

You can place French doors in rooms that lead to patios, porches and balconies to create a seamless indoor/outdoor living space. They are a timeless accent, which can seamlessly invite the outdoor scenery into your home.

Choosing French Door Styles and Configurations

French doors commonly feature double pane insulated glass overlaid with framing for support and security. Homeowners can choose from a variety of energy-efficient styles and glass types. Some styles allow for individual door opening, while others open together for a classic effect. You will want to choose a material that is durable, easy to maintain, and complementary of the overall look of your home. Choose doors with slender joinery if you want to maximize light and minimize visual distraction.

In addition to these material and structural decisions, homeowners must consider the configuration of the doors. You may want to install one simple set of standalone French doors, two sets, or a series of French doors that run across longer walls.

In single set configurations, you may want to add stationary panels on either side for more light and balance. Each configuration creates a distinctive style that can transform any home. French doors can also be fitted with curtains or blinds to provide privacy when desired.

What to Look for in a French Door Installer

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5 Signs You Need New Vinyl Siding

NJ Discount Vinyl Siding and House Renovation is your local NJ renovation expert. Beautifying residential houses and business throughout the New Jersey area, with over 20 years experience.

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Vinyl siding is an affordable, versatile, and relatively inexpensive way to protect the exterior of your home. However, siding is prone to various types of damage that can lead to costly repairs. Here are five signs that your vinyl siding needs to be repaired or replaced:

Texture Distortion

If you notice bubbles, blisters, or areas of your vinyl siding that appear warped, this could be due to fluctuating temperatures and moisture levels. Over time, this distortion will cause the panels to lose their secure fit, and they will eventually fall apart. Whenever you notice warped, blistered, or bubbling siding panels, contact a siding contractor to identify and address the problem.

Weather Damage

Virtually every climate experiences extreme weather at some point, which can take a toll on your vinyl siding. If a hailstorm leaves your siding panels dented, chipped, or otherwise damaged, it’s important to replace the affected areas or you risk leaving your home susceptible to water damage.


Some colors of vinyl siding may fade over time due to sun exposure. Depending on how the sun strikes your home, some areas may appear lighter than others, creating a mottled appearance. Your vinyl siding may also display discoloration due to dry rot, fungus growth, or other factors. A siding contractor can help you identify the issue and find a solution that works for you. Additionally, you can take the opportunity to do a complete replacement for a fresh look for your home’s exterior.

Cracked and Loose Panels

If your siding is cracked, it is not a reliable barrier against external forces. If you don’t address cracked siding quickly, you risk allowing water to seep into your home that can cause extensive and expensive damage.

High Utility Costs

Vinyl siding is an exceptional insulator if it’s well-maintained. If you notice a steady increase in your heating and cooling costs, your vinyl siding may be damaged or deteriorated. Damaged siding can compromise your home’s air circulation and temperature control. This can cause your HVAC system to work harder than it should, which translates to higher than usual utility bills.

Vinyl siding is an ecologically friendly and relatively low-maintenance way to protect your home, but you still need to stay vigilant for signs of damage. Identifying problems early can save you money and stress.

Posted From:  Tri County Windows & Siding.

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Create Curb Appeal with the Stone Accents

NJ Discount Vinyl Siding and Home Remodeling is your local NJ renovation pro. Beautifying residential homes and business throughout New Jersey, with over 20 years experience.

Get your free consultation today: (973) 487-3704

Stone accents can elevate the style of any home. They complement other siding choices, blend with a variety of color palettes, and add a distinctive quality to the overall look of the home. Real stonework is expensive and requires specialized labor. Today, many homeowners turn to stone veneers as a cost-effective, realistic, and attractive alternative to traditional stone accents.

What is Stone Veneer Siding?

Stone veneers are replicas of real stones. Manufacturers use proprietary material blends and pigments to achieve the right texture and color for each stone. They use molds to create convincing stones and stone panels. Stone veneer siding tends to weigh much less than real stone siding, costs less, and offers incredible durability. The material is relatively easy to install when compared to real stonework and offers a realistic finish. Only a trained eye and close inspection reveal the faux stone’s true nature.

Where to Place Stone Veneer Siding

To increase the value and look of your home for less, choose a few key accent areas to install stone veneer siding. Some of the most popular areas for installation include:

  • Around gables. Stone veneers add depth and interest to gabled roofs and the walls below. Place veneer siding on the front-most or an intermediary gabled area to give your home a simple facelift and attractive finish.
  • Around columns. Consider encasing all or a part of each column with a stone accent. A technique used in homes across the nation, this approach breaks up the stiff lines of straight columns and can add a more rustic and inviting feel to entryways.
  • In addition to the columns themselves, consider expanding the stonework along your foundation or up to just under the lowest level of windows. This type of connective stonework helps blend the stones with other siding materials for a more cohesive look.
  • Around your entryway. Offset your front door with a full stone accent wall and some attractive outdoor wall sconces. Extend the stonework further up or around the outside of the home to tie the accent with the rest of the siding and give the front of your home a distinctive appearance.

To find the accent style that matches your preferences, look for inspiration online or drive around newer neighborhoods to see how others have incorporated stonework into their designs. Each home is different and may include large flows of stonework or singular walls and lines. With a variety of stone shapes and colors to choose from, you can find the right stone accent for any home.

Versetta Stone Veneers

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Posted From:   Tri County Windows & Siding.


How to Choose the Colors of Your Home Exterior

New Jersey Discount Vinyl Siding and Home Remodeling is your local New Jersey renovation pro. Beautifying residential homes and business throughout New Jersey, with over 20 years experience.

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Home Exterior Colors

Your home exterior doesn’t have to look drab. Use these tips to help pick a unique color for your home!

When homeowners decide that they want to renovate their home exterior, often they have particular styles and aesthetics in mind as they start the planning process. They may even already know what kind of siding and trim they want. However, when it comes to colors, many homeowners aren’t sure what to do – and it’s easy to see why. Unlike painting the inside of your home, exterior painting (or color coordinating) is a lot more difficult to change. This usually means that homeowners tend to stick with a safe, neutral color, like beige. However, with some careful consideration, you can choose colors for your home exterior that make it truly stand out in your neighborhood. Here are some tips to help you choose the right colors!

Siding Color Samples

If your first thought was to drive out to your neighborhood paint store to check out colors, this is a bad idea! There are literally thousands of different colors available for home exteriors – enough to give even the most seasoned decorator a serious case of information overload. Instead, you should consult the experts first to help narrow down your potential list. Siding manufacturers are great places to turn to – check out what colors they offer in their products, even if you don’t plan on using them. It’s important to note, however, that you should get physical samples. Don’t make decisions on colors from seeing them in a brochure or online – you won’t have an accurate, real-life representation of what they’ll look like on your home.

Look at Houses in Full Sunlight

Sunlight can make colors look different to your eyes than the same color in artificial light. In fact, some paint colors that look great in a store will end up looking washed out in the sunlight. So take care to examine home exterior colors under the full view of the sun for a more accurate representation of what your own home will end up looking like.

Tradition Isn’t Bad

There’s a reason why certain color palettes are considered historic or classic in the home design world. These palettes have been proven over the years to look great on homes. Use these historical color palettes as guidelines and take care if you plan to venture outside of these traditional schemes.

Hope you liked the post. Do you need a free consultation from an affordable siding and general contracting service in New Jersey?  Serving Essex County, Passaic, Morris, Bergen, Union, Hudson and NJ.

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