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The Advantages of Fiber Cement Siding

Just a Quick News Update!

Fiber Cement Board Siding is a heavy, durable product that is 90% sand and cement, making it fire resistant, and virtually all-weather proof. James Hardie is the world leader in Fiber Cement Board Siding. The 5/16” thick material mimics the look of either stucco, or wood siding materials. There are countless advantages to fiber cement siding over stucco or wood alternatives. The HardieShingle product is nearly indistinguishable from cedar shingles or shake siding, except that it is free of imperfections and impervious to all the problems that plague natural wood. HardiePlank Siding comes in smooth or “rough sawn” board textures (like Cedarmill) while the Sierra has a deeply grained wood texture.

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Unlike wood, fiber cement board doesn’t split, crack, rot, warp, or swell. It doesn’t expand and contract with fluctuations in temperature and moisture, so it stays in place, providing the ultimate protection for your home, and remains as beautiful as the day it was installed for decades. It can be painted, and because it is virtually a static product, paint lasts longer on this material than any other, and it comes with a 30 year, non pro-rated transferable limited warranty.

So since fiber cement board siding is the longest-lasting, toughest-wearing material, even against salty sea spray, rain, hail, snow, and hot dry weather, what are the disadvantages?

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You might say cost. At around $12 to $20 per square foot, installed, you will pay about 40% more than you would for vinyl siding, but fiber cement board siding is a far superior product. It won’t date itself the way that vinyl siding has. It actually resembles natural wood, so it’s appeal is timeless, and you will only have to buy it once.

Fiber cement board siding is heavy. It’s made of  90% CEMENT and SAND, so it’s going to weigh a lot more than vinyl siding, therefore, installation is going to be more labor intensive for the installer. Fortunately, we at Peninsula Siding Company are James Hardie Preferred Remodelers, and are certified to handle the job. You benefit from our preferred status with James Hardie.

Plus, Full Service means that no matter what siding material you desire, we can take care of all the details and added items you need, whether you are interested in windows, decks, additions, you name it. We're also BPI certified too, so helping your home get energy-fit (saving you money on your monthly bills) is our specialty if that's the direction you want to take your home.


All of this matters to you, because unlike the big siding and window replacement companies, we never stop caring even once the job is done. Contact us today to talk about your siding project.

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

How To Know When Your Home’s Exterior Needs A Remodel

Just a Quick News Update!

Your home’s siding is its defense against weather and other damage. You want to keep that protective exterior in top condition, to prevent damage to your home’s structure. But how do you know when your home’s exterior needs a remodel? There are some obvious symptoms for when your siding fails.

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    1. Is your siding showing signs of fungus or rot? A combination of factors –warmth, moisture, darkness –help the fungi thrive, multiply, and cause dry rot. Dry rot is a condition of wood in which a fungus breaks down the wood fibers and renders the wood weak and brittle. Excess moisture is the root cause of dry rot. Poorly painted or improperly sealed wood siding is more vulnerable to dry rot. Unchecked, this seriously threatens the integrity of your siding and structural support of your home.
    2. Is your siding obviously separating at the seams?

    3. Is your caulking failing? Have you noticed leaks?

    4. Are your panels swelling? Typically, this means the material has been exposed to moisture and has begun deteriorating.

    5. Have you detected that boards are no longer laying flat against your house? Bowing or buckling is an indication of instability caused generally by improper installation spacing. If the installer does not leave sufficient room for expansion at the butt joints, then the siding will generally buckle.

    6. Have you noticed much moisture on the inside of your house? Excess moisture inside the home often originates outside the structure.

    7. Is your paint failing?

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It’s important to pay attention to these signs so you know when your home’s exterior needs a remodel. If it has seen better days, it may be time to seek a professional about new siding to protect your home. They can provide an aesthetic facade that complements the architectural styling of your neighborhood, while staying true to the details of your home’s original architecture.

Enter Fiber-Cement Siding by James Hardie. Fiber Board siding offers the longest lasting protection and beauty in siding materials today. It is the easiest to maintain and has the most style choices in textures, finishes, and decorative trim of any composite siding product. 

Engineered for Climate®

  • Developed with the local climate in mind

  • Protection from scorching sun and frigid temperatures

  • Stands up to storms, hail, wind & extreme temperatures

Fiber Cement Siding

  • Made of natural and sustainable raw materials

  • James Hardie is the global leader in fiber cement innovation

  • 30-year non-prorated, limited warranty

Quality & Durability

  • Fire resistant

  • With ColorPlus Technology, get vibrant color & long-lasting exterior beauty

  • Resists mold, swelling and cracking from water

Fiber-cement siding is a popular choice for replacement siding. Although its initial price is higher than many other types of siding (it’s heavy and labor-intensive to install), the durability and stability of fiber-cement means less maintenance in the long run. It takes paint well, so you can have your choice of exterior paint colors. It’s also fireproof and rot-resistant.

James Hardie is the world leader in Fiber Cement Siding Products. James Hardie products come with a 30 year warranty, and that is why we at Peninsula Siding Company trust their siding materials. Besides product warranties, we stand by you and your home for as long as you need us. That's our way.

For expert exterior siding installations look no further than Peninsula Siding Company. Contact us today for an estimate.

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

Turn Your Home Into A Haunted House

Just a Quick News Update!

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It’s that time of year again. The leaves on the trees are changing to brilliant gold, orange and red. The air is crisp. Soon trick-or-treaters will be parading through the neighborhood in happy droves. Will your house be ready? This Halloween, turn your home into a haunted house with a perfectly spooky exterior.

To get that creepy, haunted house vibe, create an antiquated, distressed look. Easy elements to add include large cobwebs, old shutters, and lights that flicker. Use primarily candle light that can be seen from the windows.

To create the right atmosphere in your yard, the simplest and best thing to remember is, fog machines are your friend. All you need is to hang Spanish Moss from your trees, and drape them with cobwebs, for an instant, eerie, antiquated look of a time forgotten. Even if you do this, and nothing else, you will instantly turn your home into a haunted house!

If you wish to embellish further, choose a theme. Anything that resembles is fair game: pumpkins, skeletons, bats, owls, ghosts, witches, or some combination of all of the above.

Lay a partially unearthed skeleton in the lawn, or pile pumpkins and gourds around the yard. For a touch of mystery, pile mini pumpkins in front of faux toumbstones. Your guests will wonder why they are placed there, while al it acutally does is add a touch of color to draw the eye to the tombstone. Pile leaves around this and place a few rubber rats to sniff aroudn the pumpkins and tombstones. Place crows, or owls in the trees. If you've decided on a witch theme, place on of the fog machines inside a large cauldron beside a broomstick on the porch, choose a color of glow sticks and toss in a few... you will have colored fog rising from your "witches brew."

A Path To Light The Way

Have a clearly defined and well lit path to your front door, to guide your visitors through the fog. Use pathway lights, torches, jack-o-lanterns, or candles in mason jars. Always remember fire safety when using candles! Make sure that candles aren’t going to be kicked over accidently and are placed well out of the way of long, drapey costumes passing by.

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A Spectacular Doorway Destination

Doorways are the destination for trick-or-treaters. Make yours spectacular! Tree limbs, twigs and brambles are great for creating an “overgrown” look. Add whatever embellishments to this that you like.

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From all of us at Peninsula Siding Company, We wish you a Safe and Happy Halloween.

We hope you've enjoyed this blog and found some inspiration, to tune your home into the perfect haunted house. If you would like some help with the rest of your home's exterior to keep it from looking like a haunted house through the year, contact us today for an estimate!

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

Is Weather-Proofing a Fall Home-Prep Essential?

Just a Quick News Update!

There is a myth going around that “weather-proofing” your home consists of caulking every single spot that allows air in. We have explained in a previous article that this concept isn’t exactly correct.  There is a natural exchange of vapor, moisture, and temperature that occurs within every healthy home.  If we didn’t have this exchange, carbon monoxide from our breathing would build up - not to mention mold and other nastiness would develop from trapped moisture.

That said, it’s still okay to protect your family and your energy bills from unnecessary drafts and drips.  Here are several ideas for keeping your home weather-proof, starting from the top down:


The Roof:

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There are three huge protection factors for your roof.  

First is the roof structure itself. That is, the shingles, underlayment, wood base, etc.  These all need to be in place solidly, with no missing/damaged pieces (like a missing shingle or rusty flashing.)

Second are your gutters.  These are the pathways your roof uses to shed water.  When your gutters back up, puddles of water will sit on your roof and can get under the shingles.  Also, if your gutters are broken, water will run beneath your eaves, causing leaks.

Third is your roof ventilation system.  The air beneath your roof (like in your attic) shouldn’t sit and become stagnant.  It should be made to move and exchange with fresh air.  This stops moisture buildup and prevents the roofing materials getting damaged from inside your home.Sept 2014 Blog 4   Pic 2


The Vents:

Obviously, ventilation is important.  Your home needs to have the ability to exchange air from outdoors with the air inside.  There are a lot of modern ventilation devices which work to do this without too much change in temperature.  Two very basic ventilation systems many houses have are exhaust systems and supply systems.  In other words - systems that get rid of the air existing in your home and systems that draw in new air.  Such systems are important to maintain and keep clean.


The Windows:

There are some very simple things you can do to keep your windows from letting air in when they are closed.  First, you can install double-paned windows.  These help insulate your home, reduce noise, and are usually pretty easy to clean.  Another idea is to install weather stripping at your windows.  This can keep drafts from whistling in through any cracks when we get that chilly or windy Bay area weather.


The Siding:Sept 2014 Blog 4   Pic 3

Old vinyl or aluminum siding can actually trap moisture against your home, resulting in rot and mold.  Get your siding checked out and replaced as needed with modern, fiber cement siding.  Fiber cement siding works to allow the home to breath properly - keeping it dry.  Cedar and other wood siding works similarly - but fiber cement siding is easier to care for and can last longer than wood siding.


The Doors:

Much like windows, doors traditionally let in cold air - even when they are closed.  You can install weather stripping at the base of your door to keep the cold air from leaking in.  If your door is extremely old or has warped it might be time for a whole new one.  If you suspect damage to your door and/or to the whole door frame, be sure to get it checked out before winter.  That simple replacement could save you a ton in electricity bills and is a pretty simple and green home improvement.

We are sure looking forward to the end of summer and the onset of cooler weather.  What about you?  What’s your favorite season here in San Mateo?

(Image Credits:,

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

Five Ideas for a Quick Home Facelift

Just a Quick News Update!

I don’t know one homeowner who doesn’t want their guests to gasp in delight when they first catch a glimpse of their home. There’s nothing wrong with that desire. We spend plenty of money on our home and we want it to look fantastic - inside and out. Here are five great ideas for a quick home facelift to make your home look like new:


1. Paint your front door or get a whole new one. Have you ever walked, biked, or driven by a home and had the front door catch your eye? Usually this is because the color pops or it is absolutely gorgeous. Try kicking your own door up a notch. Paint it a risky color like teal, red, lilac, or yellow. If you want to change your door all together, get a new one.

2. Install siding to your home. You can really change your home’s look by adding siding or re-siding your home. There are a ton of options to choose from! Check out our favorite siding types here and here. You don’t have to stick with just one color of siding - matching two or more colors can give your home a whole new feel.describe the image

3. Get a new paint job. Painting your entire home a new color can make it look fresh, clean, and new. For a mix and match approach you could install siding to the base of your home while re-painting the rest. The siding can accent and bring together your home’s new look.

4. Get your yard landscaped. The front yard is the first thing guests (and you) see when approaching your home. Make that space bright and welcoming by ensuring it stays weeded, dead plants and leaves are removed, your plants work well in our Bay Area weather, and your front path is brightly lighted when nighttime comes. Sept 2014 Blog 2 - 2nd Pic.jpg

5. Consider a remodel. If your home simply isn’t working for you anymore in both looks and functionality, it may be time to remodel. You can add a lot of space and change the exterior look of your whole home by doing just a few simple remodeling actions. Check out our article on prepping for a remodel so you can see what you should consider when going ahead with this idea.

Not only are these great ways to make you, your guests, and your neighbors love the look of your home - they are also fantastic tips for increasing its curb appeal. This is valuable if you are trying to sell your San Mateo home.

Why is curb appeal important to you? Do you just like the idea of a new look, are you trying to sell, or…? Let us know in the comments below!



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

Keeping Your Home Healthy

Just a Quick News Update!

Many new homeowners or new parents hear about “home health.”  While we want to remain healthy and keep our family healthy - it can be a little bit of a mystery on how to keep your house healthy.  

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The idea of home health stems from maintaining a germ-free and mold-free environment.  This can be easier said than done (especially the germ-free part!)  But we can all strive to have a healthier home.  Here are five things you can do to maintain a healthy house:

1. Keep it mold-free.  The two factors that contribute to mold growth in a San Mateo home are trapped moisture and lack of ventilation.  This can be caused by many factors, ranging from a bad ventilation system to a leaky roof to poorly installed, damaged, or old siding.  

These can all be fixed pretty simply.  The best idea is to discover what is trapping moisture and stopping ventilation from your home and get that fixed before there is any mold.  Once mold creeps in, more actions have to be taking to abate the problem.

2. Clean!  We know, cleaning can be no fun.  In fact, it can be downright hard to keep a home clean when you’ve got kids and/or a career.  Here are some ideas:

  • Have a monthly deep clean where you get the kids involved.  Use environmentally and kid friendly cleaning products and assign tasks.  

  • Don’t have time each month for a big project?  Choose one location each week to give a really good scrub down - then do your normal maintenance actions throughout the week.

  • Don’t let dishes pile up.  They get smelly, attract bugs, and can lead to mold growth.

  • Clean out the pantry and give foods you aren’t going to use to a food drive.

  • Have the whole family clean out their closets and their rooms and give to charity.Sept 2014 Blog 2   2nd Pic

3. Open up your space.  This might be easier said than done.  Some homes just need a change of furniture or even a reduction of furniture to make fewer dust-bunny hide outs.  Others may need a remodel to make their space more efficient and healthier.

4.  Make sure areas that can leak - don’t leak.  This means checking out the roof, the gutters, your eaves, siding, the base of your home (where it meets the ground) and your home’s plumbing system.

5. Upgrade to energy efficient.  Some appliances like an ancient refrigerator may just be too old to get that mildewy smell to go away.  If this is the case, it’s time to upgrade to something new and energy efficient.  Think of it as taking a larger hit to your wallet one time in order to prevent huge hits each month in the form of your electricity bill.  Plus, being energy efficient will give you a smaller carbon footprint.  In that case - everybody wins!

What action do you take to keep your home healthy?  Let us know in the comments below!

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: Fall? But It Feels Like Summer...

Just a Quick News Update!

autumn leaves falling down like pieces into placeRecord high heat?  Fire danger/season? Third straight year of drought here in California?  The Golden State is feeling anything but golden, I’d say we’ve been feeling a bit red-hot, overheated and parched…but that does not mean the fall season isn’t right around the corner…Welcome to another SEA/Peninsula Siding Company’s blog article, with this installment focusing on the transition from summer to fall and getting prepared for all that can bring.


Its just starting to get darker earlier in the evening, falling leaves and there has been a noticeable cooling of the temperature (if only at night) serve as a reminder us that fall is fast approaching. (Heck, I saw Halloween decorations in Costco in August!)  As the seasons change, so do our activities and home needs.  Even though summer is not quite over yet, it’s a good time to do some seasonal home evaluation and/or maintenance to keep you home running smoothly.

While we at SEA/Peninsula Siding Company have hundreds of good ideas for upgrading, remodeling, renovating, expanding and re-siding your home, we like to share information in a manageable way – so we have synthesized these valuable summer to fall transition and preparation tid-bits for protecting your home investment into a two-part article. A bit of attention now at the end of summer will save costly home repairs and homeowner aggravation later.  Here are the first tips…

Interior Maintenance

  1. Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors.  If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.
  2. Have your furnace inspected. Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. They can also do a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety. It’s also a good idea to stock up on extra air filters and change them every few months.
  3. Winterize air conditioning. If your home has central air conditioning, (and you live in a climate where you won’t need it any longer,) it may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove them or cover to prevent air leaks.
  4. Programmable thermostat. Buy a programmable thermostat, if you don’t have one. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home, can result in substantial cost savings.
  5. Test home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly.
  6. Clean humidifiers. Replace old filters and clean inside compartment. Vinegar is inexpensive and works well.

Exterior Maintenance

  1. Do a roof check. You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Grab some binoculars to get a closer look or if you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.
  2. Check the chimney and fireplace. If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.
  3. Stock up on firewood. Order enough firewood for the season. If you gather your own firewood, make sure it’s dry and ready. It’s best to cover firewood and store away from the house for safety reasons.
  4. Inspect siding. Check home exterior for cracks or holes. To repair them, hire a professional. (Like SEA/Peninsula Siding Company!)
  5. Clean the gutters. Hire a service to clear your gutters or do it yourself.  Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks.
  6. Check water drainage. Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
  7. Reinforce windows and doors. Remove screens and install storm windows and doors if you use them.(SEA/Peninsula Siding Company tip: Good to use storm window/storm window coverings on your vacation house windows!) Check caulk and seals around all doors and windows.
  8. Relax and enjoy the fruits of your labors!
  9. hammock w sunset

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

How Has Siding Changed Over Time?

Just a Quick News Update!

Home design and architecture has made enormous leaps from several thousand years ago - when we lived in caves decorated by paintings on the walls. These changes can be pretty fascinating to research - and there is one set of changes in particular which we at Peninsula Siding Company think is really interesting. These are: changes in siding.

You may not realize it, but the act of decorating our homes with other material that isn’t structural on the outside is older than ancient Rome. The great city can give us a fantastic example of siding, though.


Have you ever seen the Coliseum or pictures of it? If you haven’t, we’ve got you covered.

Notice that there are big holes in each stone used to build it. Those holes aren’t from stone-eating mice trying to make that massive structure into swiss cheese. They were created by Romans.

Why would Romans laboriously bore holes into giant stone structures? They were adding marble siding to the Coliseum! The marble was later looted, but the structure still stands and we can imagine what it used to look like, the white marble gleaming in that mediterranean sun.

Although beautiful, marble and other stone siding doesn’t always work with a traditional home. Somewhere in the 1700’s, the Japanese started using charred wood in art and for siding their wooden homes. The processed used is called shou sugi ban and is experiencing a resurgence in modern architecture. The idea behind charring the wood is that it seals the material off from invasive insects, rot, and can help the wood resist fire.

Traditional American siding was generally wood until the 1930’s, when vinyl siding began to be produced commercially. Then, in the 1940’s, aluminum siding was born. These types of siding aren’t perfect. They can get damaged by hail, debris flying in the wind, and other natural events that happen outdoors. Additionally, neither aluminum or vinyl siding can capture the charm and beauty of wood siding.describe the image

We are lucky enough to have the advantage in modern times. We’ve learned from the past and from Mother Nature. One of the advantages of modern technology is fiber cement siding, which can hold up against climate changes, our San Mateo rain storms, and the frequent changes in weather that come with living in the Bay area. Also, it looks fantastic.

What do you feel is the most important aspect of siding? Is it the durability? The look? The warranty? We want to know!

(photo credit to:www.Rome.Info)

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 is Fiber Cement & Who is James Hardie?

Just a Quick News Update!

James Hardie photo 1903 resized 600...and why should I care?  Welcome to another edition of the SEA/Peninsula Siding Company blog.  The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum to help homeowners and address frequently asked questions.  This article will focus on fiber cement and provide background on James Hardie, and to how that company started.  With each topic, the goal is to help the homeowner help themselves and provide up-to-date information to help you make the most informed decision in regards to remodelling, renovating, upgrading, expanding or re-siding your home.  When we receive a phone call from a customer, who is looking to upgrade their home and or have their home re-sided, we inevitably get asked "What is fiber cement siding" or in other cases "Who is James Hardie"...

As the title refers those two questions, we thought we would address them.  James Hardie Industries Ltd. (SEA/Peninsula Siding Company is a certified “Preferred Remdodeller” for James Hardie Industries)  is the world-leader manufacturer in fiber cement siding.  When this company first started,  it was actually originated in Melbourne, Australia, when Mr. James Hardie and Mr. Scott Andrew Reid became partners in 1895, importing oils and animal hide tanning products as “James Hardie & Co”.In 1903, James Hardie travelled overseas and while on this trip, he arranged to sell a new type of roofing and lining slate product called “fibro-ciment” made by the “Fibro-Ciment Company” of Poissy, France; company folklore has it that a package of samples was gathering dust in the office of the company’s London agents who opportunistically sold it to James Hardie for £100. Initially, the product proved a loss making venture due to breakages but by the Great War, fiber-cement became the firm’s core business; advertisement of the material said “thoroughly fireproof, cool in summer, and comfortable in winter”. In 1911, James Hardie sold his half of the business to Reid and retired; Reid’s family operated until 1995.

In 1980’s, James Hardie Siding pioneered the development of fiber-cement technology, and began designing and manufacturing a wide range of fiber-cement building products that made use of the benefits that came from the product´s durability, versatility and strength and it was when James Hardie Industries came to the US.
james hardie color plus vs wood shotToday, James Hardie Inc. is purely a fiber-cement business, and offers a variety of fiber cement siding products and styles: 
HardiePlank® (a.k.a hardiplank, hardyplank, hardi board, hardie-board, hardee plank board, hardyplank board, hardi-plank,etc) Styles available on HardiePlank: 

  • Select Cedarmill
  • Smooth Cedarmill
  • Beaded Select Cedarmill
  • Beaded Cedarmill
  • Beaded Smooth
  • Colonial Roughsawn
  • Colonial Smooth
  • Rustic Cedar HardieShingles® (HardiShingle, Cement Shingles)
    Styles available:
    • Staggered-Edge Notched Panel
    • Straight-Edge Notched Panel
     HardiePanel® Vertical Siding 
(HardiPanel, Cement Siding Panel)
Styles available: 
  • Cedarmill
  • Smooth
  • Stucco
  • Sierra B
 HardieTrim® Boards (Hardi Trim)
Styles available: 
  • 5/4 Boards Smooth
  • 4/4 Boards Rustic
  • 4/4 Boards Smooth
  • 7/16" Cedarmill
  • 7/16" Smooth
 HardieSoffit® Panels - Styles available:  
  • Non-Vented Cedarmill
  • Non-Vented Smooth
  • Vented Cedarmill
  • Vented Smooth
 Artisan® Lap Siding 
Styles available: 
  • Smooth
  • Textured
  • james hardie sticker on 5 M homes
Besides the products cited above, James Hardie also has HardieWrap™ Weather Barrier, HardieWrap™ Flashing, HardieWrap™ Seam Tape, HardieZone® for commercial, HardieBacker®. The James Hardie Siding products have the option of ColorPlus® Technology, which offers the customers 20 color choices for New England region. 

Now that you know little more about James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding, call us and get a free, no-obligation consultation in your next siding project and get to know the advantages of Fiber Cement Siding, including the value that it can add to your home.  

Folks, can you believe that summer is already almost over?  Neither can we, which of course has us thinking ahead on your behalf.  Tune in next time when we share some “get ready for fall and winter” tips for your home.

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: 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 natural, 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

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