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Re-Siding Curb Appeal: Remodel Expansions a Growing Problem?

Just a Quick News Update!

house shot blue houseAs a follow up to our last article in our blog, on the state of Bay Area real estate, SEA/Peninsula Siding Company wants to investigate the natura,l yet multi-faceted affects of such a tight real estate market - and one of those effects is - since homeowners cannot afford to move, moving up or keeping up with the Jones or accomodating a growing family or moving a relative into your home - would all require one thing - expansion.  In a quick drive thru in several neighborhoods here in San Mateo County, one can easily see how this real estate market is affecting current homes and how there is so much expansion going on.

There used to be a formula to buying a house and raising a family. You get married, you buy a small starter house, you start a family. The family gets bigger and you look for a bigger house using the equity you built in the starter house. You might even get a den.

house with calculatorNow, you’re lucky to find any house to start and chances are, once you get it, that’s where you will have to stay unless you can find at least $140,000 for a down payment and outbid every other young family and all-cash investor looking to go around $100,000 or more over asking price for even the most marginal (and that is being gratuitous) of homes.

To put it simply, it’s slim pickings out there even with low interest rates. This is a seller’s market and it doesn’t appear to changing any time soon. Add in the fact that home values have returned to 2006 levels before the Great Recession and even higher and it appears that growing families have limited options.

And that’s where the home renovation and expansion discussion begins. In San Mateo, for instance, there are an increasing number of applications for modest home expansions. Most are 300 square feet and likely represent a single room, more than likely for a growing family. They’re not cheap nor easy, but more palatable than hitting the open houses and being continually disappointed.

A recent expansion application hit the San Mateo City Council when a family sought to add 800 square feet in a second level to their home in the Hillsdale neighborhood. A dispute ensued because a neighbor’s views were blocked and appealed the Planning Commission’s approval. The City Council sided with the commission and allowed for the expansion to continue.

homeowners looking at homeThe situation was painful for all involved because it involved a family wanting to expand its home and another wanting to preserve their views. One component that was oft-pointed to was view equity. As defined by the city’s single-family design guidelines passed 12 years ago, view equity is: “Neighboring views should be maintained to a similar level as that enjoyed by the proposed addition. Balance the private rights to views from all parcels so that no single parcel should enjoy a greater view right than other similar parcels, except for the natural advantages of each site’s topography.” My interpretation is that the new addition should not have greater views than other parcels, and no other parcel shall have a greater view. But when you have a view, you don’t want it taken away.

Could the council’s decision set a precedent? Doesn’t seem so, but there is some concern that anyone can point to the recent situation and say this council is amenable to expansions even if it takes away a neighbor’s view.With more and more residents unable to find a new home for their growing families, there are more and more applications for expansions and remodels. Albeit, most don’t get to the council level.

This one may have been an anomaly among a handful of similar projects on hillsides that block views. For the most part, the guidelines provide a framework for negotiations between neighbors. Most residents with conflicts can solve them through compromise before they reach the council level and providing more rigidity might preclude that back and forth for an agreeable solution.

That’s why they were passed in the first place. However, the trend that kick-started these guidelines 12 years ago was that of home expansions and, while the market has ebbed at points, it is still marching at a steady clip up with little opportunity for growing families to follow the old model of moving to a bigger home. Now the question that remains is - if this will move from what is now considered to be an anomaly into a new status quo?

sundown pic of home with pool

This article is meant to take all things into consideration and highlight the affects of our current real estate market and how much the market for remodels, rennovations, upgrades and expansions are a true consideration and direction for todays homeowner.  And, never fear!  SEA/Peninsula Siding Company is here to the rescue.  We are a full scale "design to build" firm that specializes in remodels, rennovations, upgrades and expansions - as well as the siding side of the business.  We've got you covered - all puns intended!

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: The State of Real Estate in Bay Area...

Just a Quick News Update!

describe the imageIn this installment of the SEA/Peninsula Siding Company blog article, we are going to throw a new topic into the mix here - a topic we are all talking about around the office and from what we hear, all you locals are all talking about it too.  The topic of Bay Area real estate.  More specifically, the state of Bay Area real estate is this - Bay Area real estate is on fire.  But its precarious world from an inventory, buyers, sellers and property value standpoint.  The Bay Area is experiencing some of the lowest inventory ever -  meaning less houses on the market.  We are also experience a glut of too many buyers.  The result? Bay Area houses are going way, way, way over bid/the properties value. This is also affecting the rental market. Rents are the highest anyone has ever seen ($3,500/mo for a one bedroom apt that is not very appealling is the norm in SF).

A recent column that covers the topic of Bay Area real estate was titled (paraphrasing here...) "$1M won't buy you much around here...." To prove that point, here is a snapshot from California Realtors' Association, of current sales conditions here in San Mateo County, CA:

                                   %           July 2014        June 2014             2013

Median Home Price     +2.7%     $1,130,000       $1,100,500          $890,000

Average Sales Price    -2.7%      $1,362,200       $1,400,110       $1,219,130

No. of Homes Sold      -3.5%                 467                  484                  549

Pending Properties      -17.5%               287                  348                  469

Sales vs. List Price       -0.4%             105.7%            106.1%            105.4%

bay area real estate is on fire picIn a recent news article, San Francisco Association of Realtors President Betty Taisch has two words of advice for those who want to live here and thinig $1M will buy them their dream home:  Think Again.

In the souped-up world of San Francisco real estate, where the median selloing price for houses and condominimums last month hit seven figures for the first time, the cool million that would fetch a mkantion on a few acres elsewhere in the country will now barely cover the coswt of an 800 square-foot starter home that needs serious work and may or may not include private parking.

Taisch, a veteran broker who is used to managing her clients expectations, has experienced first-hand the heartbreak and hair-pulling inherent to house-hunting in what she considers on the world's "most desireable and fabulous" locales.  She put her professional skills to work this summer on behalf of her adult son and his family, who had outgrown their one-bedroom apartment.  After three unsuccessful offers, they ended up paying $913,000 for a two-bedroom, one-bath house with an outdated kitchen, a yard that can charitably be called overgrown, and a big basement that Taisch counts as its most attractive feature.

"It certainly is a milesonte.  It's like, 'Wow!',", she said of the this locales new million dollar median.  "Everyone thinks San Francisco is all Pacific Heights Victorians, and its not.  Not at all. There are many, many areas of San Francisco and the peninsula that are just normal, single-family homes that are small and not posh at all."

The technology's industry rapid growth coupled with the constraints of space (i.e. the peninsula) and constained supply of housing is a ig part of hte story behind the ascdensioin to a rarified real estate bracket already occupied by New York City, but Sillicon Valley wealth also is stoking the market in the Bay Area, according to Andrew LePage, an analysit with CoreLogic DataQuick, a real estate research firm in Irvine, Calfornia.

sf victorians as sunset great pic

What does all this mean for you the homeowner? How do you protect your home value?  How do you make sure to maintain your home investment?  How do you make sure your home has what it takes to reap the benefits of this trend?  Call us at SEA/Peninsula Siding Company if you need any insights in how to do that - from a simple remodel, to custom designs to re-siding - we're here to help!

Tune in for our next article, which will be a follow on to this one, as we explore how the real estate market is affecting expansion/remodel work and how you the homeowner can capitalize on this as well.  Like I said, we are here to help!

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: How to Pick a Contractor for Your Project

Just a Quick News Update!

happy homeowners 1We hope you enjoyed the latest series of articles on re-siding, remodelling and renovating all trying to address the different aspects of what to expect, how to prepare, etc. With this installment, we're launching some new topics to compliment those, as part of helping our customers navigate the minefield of misinformation and help make good choices.

One of the steps people often choose as part of their external remodel planning process is to do research.  We understand that when you know what to expect, it gives you confidence and peace of mind.  Whether its talking w/ neighbors, family members, looking thru newspapers or magazines, or using the internet there are many, many ways to gather information and do research.  While utilizing the internet in this research endeavor, one of the things we want to help you do is to avoid is misinformation.

As the title of this article indicates, there are perils (as well as pearls - haha) associated with doing the research as part of the external re-siding process. Obviously one of the most important things you will be doing is picking a contractor. There are several ways to ensure the contractor who does your re-siding will deliver. This article is not meant to instill fear, but to educate on the re-siding process,( i.e. waterproofing, flashings, siding, etc.) and tips on picking a contractor.

homeowner w question marksFirst, when you know what to expect, it gives you confidence and peace of mind.  Your contractor will also appreciate that you are well-informed and the whole project will go alot more smoothly.

Step One

Don't just cover an existing problem! The way to do it right is to remove the old siding entirely!

Step Two

Have your home inspected for moisutre damage, mold, termites or rot.  If its found, repair and/or treatment will be necessary to avoid future structural problems.

Step Three

Your contractor should apply a weather-resistant barrier, such as HardieWrap weather barrier.  In fact, most building codes now require it.

Step Four

Be sure that your new siding is installed according to manufactuers' guidelines - such as James Hardie Best Practices Installation Guide.

contractor shaking hands horizon pic

Second, picking the right contractor. There are several ways to ensure the contractor who does your re-siding will deliver a quality installation on time and on budget. 


Here are a few tips:

1.  Ask your neighbors, friends and co-workers for referrals.

2.  Be certain the contractor(s) you are considering are licensed and insured.

3.  Inquire about contractors with your local Consumer Affairs Office or Better Business    Bureau.

4.  Make sure your contractor is a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

5.  Look for a contractor who specializes in siding, preferrably with certification(s).

6.  Contact and meet with at least three insured and licensed contractors to get written estimates.

7.  Prepare a complete description of the projects and your expectations before these meetings with said contractors.

8.  Share the information with each contractor.

9.  Make sure that each proposal includes everything you requested and the price is based on the complete project.

describe the imageAnd when all that happens? Ahhhh...your on your way to a smoother re-siding process and a beautiful outcome. Peace of mind...its a beautiful thing. 

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: We've Got Your Latest and Greatest Here!

Just a Quick News Update!

describe the imageNumber Three in the series of pertinent and punctual information for you - the homeowner - on what to expect, how to prepare and what are the latest products. In this article, SEA/Peninsula Siding Company wants to share with you the latest update on James Hardie exterior products for re-siding and revitalizing your home.

Let's face it, as busy homeowners, we don't need more to do, more expenses to incur, more things to worry about....right? From a convenience and maintenance standpoing alone? Vinyl siding requires regular cleaning and washing. Wood needs re-painting every few years.  On the other hand, fiber cement siding is lower maintenance and will save you alot in repairs laters.

The benefits are enormous.  These new siding materials offer weather and moisture barriers, climate appropriate insulation  and offer energy savings/lower monthly utility bills. These new products are greener than ever, as even the U.S. Green Building Council recognizes fiber cement siding for its durability and sustainability, we are proud to say.

As a James Hardie Preferred Remodeller, SEA/Peninsula Siding Company we are excited by the full range of products James Hardie provides - from the exterior, to ColorPlus, to the interior and weather barrier products - as you can see from the above picture, and the list we share below -  James Hardie has you covered!

HardiePlank® Lap Siding

HardiePlank Lap Siding is the most popular brand of siding in America and can be found on over 5.5 million homes. With its strength, beauty and durability, HardiePlank siding enhances and protects homes in all kinds of climates.

HardieShingle® Siding

HardieShingle siding has the same warm, authentic look as cedar siding shingles, yet it resists rotting, cracking and splitting. It's beautiful as a primary siding or as a complement to other styles of James Hardie® siding. Our shingle siding panels come in a variety of decorative edges, and expedite installation in larger areas. 

HardiePanel® Vertical Siding

For applications that call for vertical siding, HardiePanel vertical siding is equal to our lap siding in value and long-lasting performance. Because of its structural strength, HardiePanel siding may be used as a shear panel. When combined with HardieTrim boards, it can also help you achieve a board-and-batten look. 

HardieTrim® Boards

Our fiber cement siding trim and fascia add the finishing touch to a beautiful, lasting James Hardie home. They provide unmatched durability in corners, columns, windows, rakes and friezes.

HardieSoffit® Panels

James Hardie pre-cut soffit panels eliminate the need for separate box or strip vents and minimize the need for cutting. HardieSoffit panels are available vented or non-vented, in a range of pre-cut sizes.

Artisan® Exterior Design

This new architectural grade line from James Hardie features Artisan Lap and Artisan® Accent Trim products. Backed by 15 years of research and development, Artisan Lap delivers. Currently available in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Lake Tahoe, Northern California, Minneapolis, Denver, Montana, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

ColorPlus® Technology

Take advantage of the ColorPlus Technology to get the look you want, without the maintenance. Find out which James Hardie Siding products with ColorPlus finish are available in your area.

Weather Barrier

As the maker of the #1 brand of exterior siding in America, no company knows more about creating beautiful, durable and weather-resistant homes than James Hardie. We pioneered a superior technology with our fiber-cement siding for the exterior of your home. It's the first layer of defense in weather protection.

And, I know we have said it before, but it bears sharing again - did you know that these are all backed by the strongest warranty yet?  All siding products are covered by a 30-year, non-prorated transferrable, limited warranty.  Yes, that give us all alot less to worry about. Phenomenal!

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: Preparing for an External Remodel

Just a Quick News Update!

describe the imagePart two of the topics on preparing for what to expect we will to tackle how to prepare for your external remodel - so you know exactly what to consider.  We're going to drill down in this installment of SEA/Peninsula Siding Company’s article series and look at what questions you should  ask yourself as part of the decision making process for an external makeover. 



As exciting as it is, simply getting started on an exterior makeover can be the hardest part. That’s why we’re sharing these four easy steps to help you define the right criteria necessary to be fully prepared to tackle this project:

1. Define your objectives and budget

2Research and decide what materials will provide you the most ROI (return on inventment)

3. Research the materials that support your inspirations and ideas

4Research the vendors that best fit your criteria

No matter the size of your project, your success will be determined by the information you gather first. So before you hammer your first nail or write your first check, make sure you’re clear on what outcomes you expect, how much it will cost and how you plan to get there.

Exterior 3 Before After2

In the beginning stages, don’t just think about the nuts and bolts of what will go into your project. You’ll need the right professionals and materials and a carefully planned budget. But first think about the bigger picture—what do you actually hope to accomplish? Do you want to give your home a facelift and add some of your own personal style? Or are you doing some necessary updating? Or just adding as much curb appeal as you can  for a future buyer?


Considering putting your home on the market?


Try to consider the elements that attract prospective buyers—and maybe the ones that could drive them away. Pay close attention to the details. Updating smaller pieces of your exterior like gutters, trim and soffits as part of at the whole can communicate a well-maintained home to prospective buyers. Minor updates such as new shutters in a color that compliments your new external siding or new, energy efficient windows can make a big difference from the curb.


Planning to stay put - at least for a few years?


If you’re not planning a move in the next several years - or anytime soon, think about the elements of your exterior that you most want to update. For example, replacing your exterior with fiber cement siding will not only add beauty and curb appeal, but you’ll be able to reap the benefits of low maintenance and the associated dollar savings for years to come. Consider window changes for more natural light and the considerable energy savings. Maybe you’d like to add a patio for cookouts, or a big bay window for the perfect reading nook. Whatever you choose to work on, your home will not only be more valuable, it will be more enjoyable for you!


A Color Change?


A color change can be just the facelift your home needs to make it more appealing to you, and to any future buyers.  And, if your exterior is worn maybe a total siding replacement is in order.  Your personal taste is a major factor, but there are other things to consider.  Love the idea of a bright, southwestern color scheme, but it would look odd amongst  the Tudor-styled homes on your block?  Or, perhaps you are drawn to the eco-inspired "natural" palettes that are popular today, but your aging Victorian home yearns for something a little more Old World.  For inspiration, look at magazines, on line sources such as Houzz and consider colors that compliment your surroundings as well as your home's architectural style.


SEA/PSC Special TIP:  Check with your neighborhood or homeowners associations guidelines, if applicable, as well before you get started!  We would hate for you to fall in love with a color scheme that doesn't fit the guidelines!


Now that you have decided to do external siding or re-side - are you ready for the next step?  The next step is to do the research/determination on fiber cement siding products and performance.  SEA/Peninsula Siding Company can help you with that!  


With that novella styled cliff hanger, tune in for the next article when we attempt to provide you with all the most up to date information from James Hardie fiber cement products.  We'll discuss product options and performance, benefits, etc.



We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: What to Expect When Remodeling...

Just a Quick News Update!

Home Addition 7“Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory.”

-Miguel de Cervantes

In this installment of SEA/Peninsula Siding Company’s article series, we are going to start with a first look at being prepared – and then followup up to this piece with some of the steps in the process – for being prepared for your interior or exterior remodel or renovation. With presenting this topic for discussion, we want to remove the uncertainty that sometimes accompanies these projects so we can help you, help yourself.  When you prepare yourself, knowing what lies ahead during renovations can save your nerves, your cash flow and ensure you are forewarned and forearmed - to promote an overall smooth process…

If you have never remodeled before or are taking on a big project, you may feel a little nervous. How much will it cost? How long will it take? Between the large expense and the excitement of anticipating your finished remodel, it’s hard not to feel a little apprehensive. Knowing what to expect can help allay your fears and make you better prepared for what’s to come.

Preparing for your Remodel
 describe the imageWith any remodel, large or small, it’s important to do a little homework before you begin.  Determine the big picture goal of your project. What is it you are trying to accomplish? Gather ideas and pictures from magazines and the internet.  Make a list of your wants, needs and priorities.  Establish a budget.  Determine timeline goals.  Is there a particular event for which you’d like to have the exterior or space completed?  And most importantly, schedule an appointment to get started.  Remodeling is not something you want to do on your own.  There are many considerations that having the guidance of an expert will not only make the process easier but also a whole lot more fun. Here are a few examples of what to expect around the house, around the process and how to breathe in and breathe out.... 

1.   Dust. Even with elaborate tarps or zipwalls, a fine layer of dust can gather in parts of your home far from construction. There are a few ways to control it. If you can, close off the construction area from the rest of your house with a compression-fit temporary wall. Running air filtering systems called air handlers can also pull the dust from the air on the non-construction side of the house. Heat the house without your furnace if possible, or completely block the warm-air and cold-air returns in the construction area. If you don’t, you’ll just be pulling dust from that section of the house into the part where you’re living. Consult an HVAC company before blocking ducts to make sure your furnace will still work effectively. (We can help you with this!)

2.  Noise. It will be incessant.  Whining saws, scratching sheetrock, sanders and thumping nail gus followed by compressor: in short, mostly very little peace or quiet. But, see we are here to help you plan for that and will be communicating every step of the way.

3.  The unexpected. If you expect anything, expect this. Asbestos, irregular framing, jerry-rigged wiring, funny plumbing and more unexpected surprises are bound to arise. No, you won’t be laughing, and neither will your contractor. Count on finding something no one could have anticipated in your budget and your time frame, and you will be well prepared when it happens.

4. Change orders. The unexpected’s cousin is the change order, by which any new and changed work is documented, along with added or reduced cost. Change orders can also be used to resolve allowances, which are placeholders in the budget for particular items. But most often change orders occur because of things that clients decide to add or change. When you absolutely positively have to have that Italian tile, you can bet a change order is on the way.

5. Delays. Weather, staff get sick, cars break down and sometimes faucets ordered from the factory take 10 weeks or more instead of six. You and your contractor will likely be working from a schedule that assumes the world is a perfect place. It’s not, and knowing that will allow you to be resilient when your schedule shifts a bit.

describe the imageAnd on that last note, tune in next time when we present to our readers, what to expect when undertaking an external siding or re-siding) project.  We will start by outlining the processes and such - and we'll follow that with what our customers can expect when when working with SEA/Peninsula Siding Company. We hope that you find some of these tips helpful, as part of your overall home remodeling and rennovation considerations.

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: Exterior Siding and ColorPlus Technology

Just a Quick News Update!

describe the imageIn this installment of “Re-Siding Curb Appeal” from SEA/Peninsula Siding Company, we are doing another in a series on color. As last week, we did a follow up on a recent article regarding the affects of color with a discussion on design and color palettes.  This time we are going to follow up on that discussion of design and color palettes ,with an article on the latest in color technology, what it means for your home design, remodel or renovation, and what we offer in this arena.

As you can see from the above illustrated and captioned photo, SEA/Penninsula Siding Company utilize the myriad of products from James Hardie series of products.  As a James Hardie Preffered Remodeler, we use products that infuse color technology, as well as other home renovation technologies for protecting your most prized investment, your home. What is all this about color and technology, and why do I need it, you ask? 

Home exteriors take a beating—from humidity, dry heat, rain and snow, salty air, freezing temperatures, and other unfriendly elements. But because different areas of the country experience different weather patterns, the seasonal assaults your home goes through will change depending on where your home actually is. Location is a variable that can play into your building or home improvement decision-making. After all, the siding that performs well in the Louisiana heat may not do as good of a job in the snows of Illinois.

describe the imageTo address the varying demands of regional climates, James Hardie, a major manufacturer of exterior siding, has introduced a class of fiber cement siding, which is specially designed to withstand geographically-specific challenges. The HardieZone System (the market name for this siding technology) affords the homeowner a novel consumer advantage: the ability to choose an exterior that’s uniquely and ideally suited to the home’s local climate.




 After you have selected the exterior siding that is geographically-specific for you, then, its all about color. What's all this about ColorTechnology? Well, James Hardie's proprietary process involves applying consistent, multiple coats of paint that was created especially for the demands climate places on a home's exterior siding. The end result is a beautiful consistent color finish that lasts up to 2x's longer than field-applied paint1. A baked-on coating offers maximum durability and resistance to prolonged exposure to freezing climate and moisture contact. Specially formulated paints stand up to UV levels in a way few field-applied paints can, offering iup to 30% more fade resistance. ColorPlus Technology finish comes with a 15-year limited warranty that covers both paint and labor - and protects against peeling, cracking and chipping. They use over 41 quality checks throughout their proprietary manufacturing process to ensure the quality of the substrate, the texture and the finish. Lastly, most of the raw materials used to make James Hardie Siding are exgtradcted and processed near each manufacturing facility.  Keepin' it local folks!  

With all the things being taken into consideration, let us share with you a few of the common questions about choosing fiber cement colors and why, for the home from the James Hardie site. They are the following:

Why should I change the color of my home?

Changing the exterior color of your home is a great way to update its style. Look for inspiration in you neighborhood or the surrounding community, online in James Hardie Gallery of Homes, or view local James Hardie Model Homes to see all the great possibilities. If you're afraid of making a color mistake, use a variation of your original color. The James Hardie ColorPlus color palette provides a wide range of options to enhance the look of any home.

Are there computer programs that will help me visualize James Hardie ColorPlus colors on my home?

Yes. The James Hardie Design Center allows you to view different types of siding products, sizes, textures and colors on a variety of architectural home styles.

With all online visualizers, keep in mind the colors on the screen aren't always a true representation of the actual color. The computer is very good at helping you explore options, understand how colors work together and what happens when using contrasting colors. Once you think you have an idea, order a sample, view a model home or talk to your contractor before committing to the final color. Never make a final decision from a computer image.

describe the imageForm meets function - meets depth meets drama - meets low maintenance meets high curb appeal - and thats just the exterior siding, baby. ;) With the combination of curb appeal, durability and energy efficiency - we'd like to help you get on with this overdue renovation! Love your home again!

Stay tuned for our next series of articles when we start a discussion on the process of home improvement and what to expect.

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: Color - Discussing Design & Color Palettes

Just a Quick News Update!

james hardie 7 gen prod graphic resized 600In this installment of “Re-Siding Curb Appeal” from SEA/Peninsula Siding Company we are doing a follow up or almost a “Part Two”, if you will, of the most recent article on the affects of color.  We are going to address the power of color in design for remodeling and renovating, as well as share with our audience on the latest in color palettes we offer.

For most of us, the first decision we make every day involves color - what are we going to wear? As we shared last week - color impacts how we feel and what we do, and incorporating colors we love into our exterior design plans is easy and inspiring.

describe the imageThink about favorite rooms in your home, your favorite season or even your favorite outfit – are there common threads of color? When you drive around your neighborhood, are there color combinations or features that appeal to you? When you pay attention to what is visually appealing to you, you can start to identify some color palettes and pairings that could be just as appealing on your house.

The key to creating a unique exterior design/siding color scheme for your home siding is to identify the details and then customize them in ways that reflect your taste and personality.  

describe the imageSo, head outside –  check out the bones of your house, its structure, how it sits on the lot, how other houses in your neighborhood look and feel. Walk around your lot at various times during the day to see how your house presents in different light and in different seasons. Take into consideration landscaping and plants - and it’s good to zero in on a few design features common to nearly every type of home and look at them with a new eye. 

Things like gables and dormers; doors and entries; windows and shutters; porches and patios, hipped roofs and eaves; corners and trim and bumpouts and bays; and on the landscape side where trees are or are going to be positioned, fencing, outdoor lighting, outdoor accents like water features or outdoor barbeques.  All of these things can be taken into consideration. Let us share with you a few common questions about choosing fiber cement colors for the home from the James Hardie site  - and they are the following:

How do I know what's the right roof color for my home?

The perfect roof color can best be determined by the other colors you're working with for the siding, trim and any other accents. The roof color, in many cases, should be a natural, neutral shade that allows for flexibility with the other materials and colors on your home. However, today there are many more roof color options — blues, sage greens, deep reds — that are much more interesting and still neutral enough to be used with an assortment of colors.

Collect samples of the siding colors you plan to work with and look at the roofing options you think will work well with them. If you're starting from scratch and like a particular roof shade, tie everything to that color and work backwards. Or, to mix and match siding and roof colors, use the James Hardie Design Center to see how each combination looks on an actual home.

How many colors should I use on my home?

The number of colors used in an exterior color scheme is dependent on the home and how many details there are to highlight. Traditionally, homes had very little architectural interest and therefore, it was common to have a maximum of three colors — body, trim and accent.

Today, new architectural styles are far more interesting and detail-oriented and you should consider a minimum of three colors. Maybe add a second body or trim color. This is where you can really add interest and make your home visually more appealing. The additional body or trim colors don't have to be drastically different from each other and in reality should be close to each other, with a slight change in value. If your home has no natural way to divide colors, don't force it and go for less complex color combinations.

Will a dark body color make my home look smaller?

A house looks smaller as a result of strong contrast in colors or using light and dark colors together. This is not always a bad thing and can actually enhance design. If it bothers you and you like deeper colors, then don't use white trim, but a mid-tone color to make the pop-color brighter. Also consider your environment. In a rural area, a large white house really sticks out. To combat this, use a deeper, more natural landscape color to anchor the house to its surroundings.

Should my garage door be the same color as my front door or trim?

In most cases, no! It only draws attention to this part of your home, which is not usually a design objective. Also, an accent color can throw off the balance of your home, making the garage look larger than it really is. To help it blend in, select colors that are either the same as the body color or a slightly lighter or darker version to provide a little contrast.

Should my trim be a lighter or darker color than the body of my home?

In many cases lighter trim colors are the best choice since the eye is attracted to the lightest color in a combination first and in many architectural styles these are the features you want to emphasize. Keep in mind that not all trim has to be the same color.

If you have horizontal or vertical banding, you may not want it to be the same as your windows. You may also want your soffits and eaves to be a different color than your window trim. Think about how you want the eye to experience your home, working from lightest to darkest. The objective when using this technique is to have one color look like a shadow of the other. This trend is often seen on Victorian architectural styles. View our James Hardie ColorPlus color palette.

Tune in next time when we feature the next natural step on this topic, which is color technology, how James Hardie ColorPlus technology is heads and shoulders above the rest for protecting your home and why you need it!

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: The Affects Your Exterior Color

Just a Quick News Update!

describe the imageColors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. - Pablo Picasso

This installment of SEA/Peninsula Siding Company’s remodeling and renovation blog – we tackle one of the hardest decisions a homeowner makes – a decision that has anything to do with color. 

When considering color in general, consider the following….do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Does one of your neighbors house just incense you to no end because of its colors or color scheme (or clutter, or?)  Artists and interior designers have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action, influence mood, and cause physiological reactions. Did you know, that certain colors have been associated with increased blood pressure, increased metabolism, and eyestrain?

"Given the prevalence of color, color psychology has only recently become a well-developed area," note researchers Andrew Elliot and Markus Maier. "Surprisingly, little theoretical work has been conducted until recently on the influence of color on psychological functioning, and the work that was done was driven mostly by practical concerns, not scientific rigor." (Ref: Psychology Today, 2012)


describe the imageNowadays, we know so much more. The concept of color psychology has become a hot topic in home remodeling, design, renovations and marketing, art, therapy as well as other areas. Much of the evidence in this emerging area is anecdotal at best, but researchers and experts have made many new and important discoveries  - and observations about the psychology of color and the effect it has on moods, feelings, and behaviors.

Of course, your feelings about color are often deeply personal and rooted in your own experience or culture. Speaking of culture, for example, while the color white is used in many Western countries to represent purity and innocence - it is seen as a symbol of mourning in many Eastern countries.

Why is color such a powerful force in our lives? What effects can it have on our bodies and minds? In addition to mental associations, there are also physical responses to color. Light energy stimulates the pituitary and penal glands, and these regulate hormones and our bodies’ other physiological systems. Red, for example, stimulates, excites and warms the body, increases the heart rate, brain wave activity, and respiration.  Who knew?

Color? A hard decision for a siding customer you say? Why, yes.  Here at SEA/Peninsula Siding Company we have seen this be a very time consuming decision.

describe the imageAs a James Hardie Preferred Siding Remodler, we here at PSC assist our customers with their decision making process on these color choices – thru discussions on the overall appeal of the structure, landscape and neighborhood - to color palate samples – as well as other tools. One of SEA/PSC’s tools is an online tool we use – its the homeowner "design visualizer” - as this unique siding design tool allows you to mix and match a variety of our products.

So, what's the bottom line? Experts have found that while color can have an influence on how we feel and act, these effects are subject to personal, cultural, and situational factors. Color also has an affect on the home appeal, property value and overall neighborhood appeal and values. Here at SEA/PSC our siding/re-siding experts are here to help you every step of the way.

Tune in next time when SEA/PSC article shares with you the features and benefits of our James Hardie ColorPlus Technology advantage and some examples from the design visualizer tool. 

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

Re-Siding Curb Appeal: Women in Construction II

Just a Quick News Update!

Peninsula Re-Siding Curb AppealToday, Re-Siding Curb Appeal is taking another look at women in construction. 
Joycenne Vanderbyl is on a mission. She wants young women to know that working in the skilled trades in construction is “a great job, with potential for travel and you can make a very good living.” Vanderbyl is a millwright, and everywhere she works — large urban center or small community — she approaches the Chamber of Commerce or seeks out schools. Her goal: to ask if she can volunteer to speak with students about a career in construction.

She notes that “there is a perception, based on old stereotypes, that men on the site will be less than welcoming.” But this is not the reality, says Vanderbyl, who started in construction 38 years ago. In those days, women were such a rarity on the job site that there were not even washrooms designated for their use. “Today women are welcome on the site and our contributions are valued,” she says.“I speak to all the students, but what I often find is that girls really have very little knowledge about the skilled trades,” says Vanderbyl, who credits the portability of her work for allowing her to explore. She now works for Kellogg Brown & Root (Canada) Company at the Syncrude Canada project in Fort McMurray, Alta.

A significant number of women could have the skills, ability and desire to work in construction, says Vanderbyl. She scoffs at the old stereotype that women don’t have the mechanical skills to succeed. “Come on, if a woman can read a pattern to sew a dress,” she says, “she can read a blueprint.” Women who want to consider a career in construction should see the sky as the limit, suggests Vanderbyl. With the pending retirement of the baby boom generation, employers are actively recruiting construction workers.


Joycenne Vanderbyl The number of skilled workers needed in the years ahead are staggering, says Rosemary Sparks, senior director, planning and development, Construction Sector Council (CSC). “The construction industry is working to create a welcoming environment for all young people interested in a rewarding career as a highly skilled tradesperson. Or you can move from tradesperson to supervisor to management and to company owner, if that is your interest,” she says.


One of the attractions that Vanderbyl highlights in her talks is the many types of work in the skilled trades in construction. “There is a role for everyone,” she says. “One of the myths I like to dispel is the one about having to be big and strong to work in construction. I know women who are 90 pounds soaking wet who work in the trades. Women can drive machinery or do electrical or pipe fitting work. There are so many choices to suit every interest and capability.”

"And then He said..."

 Peninsula Re-Siding Curb Appeal“We’re not a bunch of rednecks running around the job sites without harnesses,” said Norm Brady, vice president of human resources for Grand Rapids-based Triangle Associates Inc. who next week will take over as president of the Western Michigan chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Brady steps into the position at ABC as John Doherty, the chapter’s long-time president and a mentor within the national organization, steps down. When Doherty joined ABC 42 years ago, he was brought on to help organize apprenticeship-training programs, which until that point, were only available through trade unions. Hiring in most of the statistical areas grew an average of 11 percent.

“We’re looking forward to get back into the hiring mode,” said Rex Bell, president of Kalamazoo-based Miller-Davis Co. “There is some opportunity out there right now, and there should be a lot more in the coming years.” The industry has turned to hiring after steep layoffs for many companies in the middle of the recession as projects dried up, as an aging industry workforce looks to retirement and as workloads generally improve, Bell said. “Companies are looking for new people to build on,” he said. “It seems to be a turning point for seeing more opportunity for good, young people to get into the industry.” The challenge is identifying people who want to be involved in the construction industry and having enough unique and rewarding work to feed people, Bell said.

Today, Doherty said the construction industry continues to have talent-related challenges, an issue he and others have worked on for years. Recent efforts have focused on creating educational avenues for key learning areas in business strategy, marketing, market strategy, organization efficacy, technology, management of projects and people. The construction industry knows to attract more women and new blood overall there needs to be better educational programs and awareness and avenues to promote women to positions in management and in the skilled trades.

Those programs are crucial as many school districts have dissolved their building trades programs, he said. Now, many of those same districts struggle to reinvest in those programs and to point students to the right courses at community colleges, for example. ABC and companies themselves are realizing that getting to students early is the only way to bring back industry and backfill the talent pool, Doherty said. “Before, people were promoted through the ranks,” he said. “Now there is opportunity for those coming out of college with a four-year degree to step into some of the upper management positions as the babyboomers transition out of companies. “At the same time, we’re still working against this stigma of individuals making a living with their hands.” The educational efforts of ABC and other industry associations come at a time when many in the industry are gearing up to hire new people. Across the US, construction companies (which are tracked with mining and logging firms) generally added jobs in the May 2012 to May 2013 period, of which women make up about 9 percent of the construction industry in the United States, according to data from the Association of General Contractors.


At SEA/PSC we see the challenges in this are in our industry. We value and encourage the contribution of the women on our team, employees in our company, our subcontractors, our clients (of which over one-half are women) and our community at large and are engaging with women owned businesses and women based educational programs.  Without you, we would not be here!

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

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