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Re-Siding Curb Appeal: Preparing for an External Remodel

Just a Quick News Update!

02 before after5Part "deux" or two, of the topics on preparing for what to expect, we will to tackle how to prepare for your external remodel - so you KNOW what to expect.  In the case of this article, on how to tackle the decision on an external siding project.   We're gonna do a "drill down" - drilling down in this installment of SEA/Peninsula Siding Company’s article series, we are going to look at what questions to 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 for you and feel fully prepared to tackle this project:

1. Define your objectives and budget

3. Decide what will provide you the most ROI (return on inventment)

4. Research your inspirations and ideas

5. Define what it takes to get started

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

And, as we said in our last article, in the beginning stages, don’t just think about the nuts and bolts of what will go into your project. You’ll need 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 your budget to angle 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 gutter, trim and soffit ans such 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 improved energy efficiency for years to come. 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

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, butit would look odd amoung the Tudor-styled homes on your block?  Or, perhaps ou 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, 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

Peninsula Re-Siding Curb Appeal: We're Unpining the Pin-ups

Just a Quick News Update!

Peninsula Re-Siding Curb Appeal

Hi folks, we gals at Peninsula Siding Company have a short announcement to make. Did you know that Peninsula Siding has an all female blogging team? Yup! that's us... and we've been having a blast. And as girls tend to do when we get together, we can get a little feisty. You may have even noticed the vintage pin-up pictures we selected (in good fun) to go with our news blogs. 

We love sharing all the latest and greatest about remodeling, siding, curb appeal insight, and other related topics, so, we mix it up a bit with everything from:

  • Ah-Ha! tips, 
  • Do-it-yourself check-lists, 
  • Cost vs. value insight
  • (Even the occasional recipe)
  • Industry news 
  • And some occasional social topics, just because some things need to be shared (don't you think?). 

However, we're going to switch gears a bit. The Pictures will still be fun, but maybe pairing vintage pin-ups with a construction business wasn't the most brilliant idea we've had (no matter how much maverik-girl-fun it was while it lasted). 

Thanks for all your loving concerns on this. It actually really warms our hearts that you care enough to offer your thoughtful feedback... and besides... we get it... we knew it was risky... so we totally hear you.  

We encourage you to keep reading our blogs and the great information we research and with exactly you in mind. We hope our news blog helps inspire women and men to have more conversations (together) about remodeling, maintenance, sustainability, and how to save money over the long haul. We think knowing more is good for everybody and informed homeowners are leaders for everyone around them!

...oh, and keep talking to us. Your opinions matter!

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

Peninsula Re-Siding Curb Appeal: Green design

Just a Quick News Update!

Peninsula Re-Siding Curb Appeal green designGreen design? Natural Building? Sustainable Construction? No matter what you call it, it's all yes!  Peninsula Siding Company's topic to share this week is on sustainable design, building and construction. 

Sustain This?! Lets' define sustainable building and or construction -  shall we?  This is also referred to as green construction, green building or natural building.  This terminology commonly refers to a structure, using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction  and home siding, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at ALL project stages. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. 

What a concept? The concept of sustainability, in modern terms, can be traced to the energy (especially fossil oil) crisis and environmental pollution concerns of the 1960s and 1970s. The Rachel Carson book, "Silent Spring", published in 1962, is considered to be one of the first initial efforts to describe sustainable development as related to sustainable or green building. The green building movement in the U.S. originated from the need and desire for more energy efficient and environmentally friendly construction practices. There are a number of motives for building green, including environmental, economic, and social benefits. However, modern sustainability initiatives call for an integrated and synergistic design to both new construction and in remodeling of existing structures. Also known as sustainable design, this approach integrates the building life-cycle with each green practice employed with a design-purpose to create a synergy among the practices used.

What are the goals of sustainable or green construction?  Sustainable construction aims at reducing the environmental impact of a building over its entire lifetime (also referred to here as "life-cycle"), while optimizing its economic viability and the comfort and safety of its occupants.

Reducing Waste, Pollution and Environmental impact 

  • Green building practices aim to reduce the environmental impact of building. The first rule is that the greenest building is the building that doesn't get built. Since construction almost always degrades a building site, not building at all is preferable to green building, in terms of reducing environmental impact. The second rule is that every building should be as small as possible. The third rule is not to contribute to sprawl, even if the most energy-efficient, environmentally sound methods are used in design and construction. Urban infill sites are preferable to suburban "greenfield" sites.

  • Buildings account for a large amount of land. According to the National Resources Inventory approximately 107 million acres (430,000 km) of land in the United States are developed. The International Energy Agency released a publication that estimated that existing buildings are responsible for more than 40% of the world’s total primary energy consumption and for 24% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

The Global Impact of the Construction Industry on Environment 

The Earth’s ecosystems are now at a critical stage: they are not only being severely damaged but human activity currently leads to irreversible losses of critical (i.e. life-supporting) ecosystem functions. Buildings and construction works have the largest single share in global resource use and pollution emission. In OECD countries the built environment is responsible for around 25-40% of total energy use, 30% of raw material use, 30-40% of global greenhouse gas emissions and for 30 to 40% of solid waste generation.

   how green is James Hardie products

The Central Role of Buildings in People's Lives 

In addition, people spend almost 90% of their life inside buildings. In the United States, the annual cost of building-related sickness is estimated to be at $58 billion. Consequently, healthy and comfortable indoor environments contribute significantly to human health and well-being and offer a large potential for reducing ‘external’ costs to societies through lowering diseases.  

The Challenges of Urbanism 

Beyond individual buildings, poor patterns of building development often lead to congestion and inefficient use of land, resulting in greater energy consumption and travel time, loss of productivity, polluted runoff to surface water and wastewater treatment systems, loss of agricultural lands, fragmented habitats, and fiscal stress to local communities.   

On the Aesthetic Side....

On the aesthetic side of sustainable or green architecture or sustainable design is the philosophy of designing a building that is in harmony with the natural features and resources surrounding the site. There are several key steps in designing sustainable buildings: specify 'green' building materials from local sources, reduce loads, optimize systems, and generate on-site renewable energy 

What are we doing about it?

How is SEA/PSC going green? How are we going to "sustain this"? This is no longer a niche topic in the construction industry as we at SEA/PSC incorporate this into our corporate culture, client relations and best practices. Sustainability initiatives call for an integrated and synergistic design to both new construction, repair and remodeling. We are all about the harmonious home.  When it comes to new construction or remodeling - SEA/PSC have your sustainable bases covered! 

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: Home Remodeling Etiquette

Just a Quick News Update!

Home Remodeling Etiquette & What Ever Happened To Manners?

building trust Peninsula Re-siding This week's Peninsula Siding's 'Re-Siding Curb Appeal' column wants to address just being nice when it comes to home remodeling and beyond.  The Golden Rule. Right? Right. Rudeness and bad manners - and books about them - are on the rise.  A go, go, go lifestyle, the lack of parenting and adult self discipline, and how we as a society choose to use technology clearly has much to do with this. Even "smart" technology has made many of us seem "less smart." (That's a polite way of putting it.) It's certainly made people more distracted and self-centered, both of which breed bad manners. (Disclaimer: As a multi-tasking fool myself and no better for it, I’m not without reproach….but in public folks, really?)

A myriad of cultural changes, in a short time frame, have created this climate - a climate that seems to breed bad manners. NPR and Vanity Fair contributor, Henry Alford's book, "Would It Kill You To Stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners," is the a recent addition to the topic that began with Emily Post (albeit, in far more genteel times). Alford's humorous musings wander through truly modern turf, from email, atheist vs. "churchy statements," and Transgendered coming-out, to buttocks-baring jeans, Facebook, and other things Emily Post didn't have to worry about.

Ditto for syndicated columnist and "Advice Goddess" Amy Alkon.  Alkon is the author of  "I See Rude People: One woman's battle to beat some manners into impolite society." She's on a crusade to live out the subtitle of that book. "I don't like regulations," she told Reason TV. "I like to shame people into behaving better."

Then there's a lot of shaming to do. Alkon has a long list of things and places on her blog where bad behavior abounds - from sidewalks, parking lots, traffic snarls, and restaurants, to
toilets, airports, dating environments, family gatherings, and the workplace - to name but a few.

A Brain's challenge in building trust"What people don't know, and what's come out in a few studies in the past few years," wrote Alkon in an email, "is that even a quiet cell phone conversation is disturbing people around you. That's because the brain pays attention to a one-sided conversation in a way it does not to a two-sided one. The theory is that your brain tries to fill in the other side of the conversation. If you must make an emergency phone call indoors, we'll try to understand. But, there's no reason to carry on long, inane conversations in public places - no reason except self-centered,  Me! Me! Me! Generation rudeness."

True, true true. It's also important to note that there's a difference between etiquette and good manners or good behavior. Etiquette is connected to rules and protocol, which vary in different
countries and can be learned - hence all of our how-to etiquette books and blogs.

But knowing or respecting etiquette doesn't necessarily make you a nice person, and niceness is the bedrock of empathy and compassion - two human traits (that if you actually meet people who have this as part of their character and don’t look at you like a deer caught in the headlights when you ask them if they know what this means…) that also seem a bit strained these days. How do people treat their loved ones? Their hired help? The people they work with? (whether its to their face or behind their back) Do they show kindness to people in less advantageous situations? Do they have generosity of spirit? If someone has perfect etiquette but is essentially mean-spirited, the latter cancels out the former. Moral contradictions, in other words, are not nice and definitely not sexy!

Learning compassion and empathy is a lot harder than picking up a book about “how to” write the perfect party invite, when/if it's okay to regift, or who you can sensibly bring along to a
wedding. And getting people to improve their manners is an uphill battle in a culture like ours which has become largely public and confessional (two things that are definitely considered rude in other countries, like France and Japan), and here public humiliation has become something of a spectator sport. Is Simon Cowell of American Idol rude or bad-mannered, or is he just entertaining us? Hard to know.

Peninsula Siding Curb AppealSocietal changes aside, the right thing to do has always been the same. Treat others how you would want to be treated. The Golden Rule.  Here at SEA/PSC we survive and thrive under the motto “Catch more bees with honey than you do vinegar” - with an impeccable track record of customer service with setting and managing expectations. We have a clear understanding that without the customer we don’t exist, a lot of our siding work that comes to us is via word of mouth and recommendations - which are priceless!

Tune in next week when we do part deux (part two, for those of you who don’t speak/read French) of “Stereotypes in Construction" or we might just toss something else at ya!  Leaving you w/ todays related song, by Miranda Lambert, titled "Automatic".... - and for heaven's sake, be nice y'all!

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: "Happy, Insulating Your Interior

Just a Quick News Update!

Peninsula Re-siding, insulation for Rainy days

In this installment of Peninsula Re-Siding Curb Appeal column, we're following up on our last article "Money, Money, Money" Saving Money with Insulation" with an article focused on protecting your home with interior insulation.
Why is this topic? Well, not only is saving money sexy talk, but a dry, warm interior with lower utility and repair bills makes me deleriously happy and borders on risque! A risque amount of money saved that is...

Interior Motives...

The easiest, most reliable method to ensure your insulation is up to keeping you warm is to have an energy audit performed. Some utility companies offer courtesy energy audits, or you can hire a professional. PSC is BPI certified thru our parent company, S.E.A. Construction and can perform this audit as well. It’s also possible, in some cases, to verify the level of insulation by measuring the material and determining the total R-value by multiplying the depth by the insulation’s R-value per inch. Checking the insulation level in the attic is likely the easiest place for the “do-it-yourself-er” to start, and one of the most important places since heat rises.

While adding insulation, if necessary, may prove a costly step of your home weatherproofing, you won’t have to do it again anytime soon. Better yet, you will get the money back, month by
month (with lower utility bills), and in some areas rebates may be available. For more information, consult a professional and also look for pointers on rebates with your local utilities website.  Its our goal at Peninsula Siding Company to help you, so here are a few easy and affordable ideas for insulating your interior and get back some of that money, money, money!

 WindowsRe-Siding Curb Appeal - windows

1.  Make sure your windows are installed correctly

If you have older windows, be
sure that your windows are in good repair and closed correctly all around your
home.  Windows help to provide an additional layer of protection against
the cold air.

2. Add plastic coverings to the inside of your windows

On the inside of your windows,
you can easily add plastic covering that further helps to insulate old, drafty

3. Add shades or drapes

Heavier shades or drapes help to keep cold
air and drafts out, not just from the window, but from around the window frame
too.  It’s important to close the drapes at night when the temperatures
are colder, and then open them during the day to use the energy of the sun to
warm up the house.

Re-Siding Curb Appeal - doors


4. Use door draft stoppers

You can buy a door draft stopper (there are lots of cute ones on Etsy!), or if you’re crafty, make one yourself.  Place them along your outside doors to help keep away the draft that seeps in underneath the door.

5. Fix leaks around doors and windows

Light a candle and move it around the door and window frames in your home.  If it flickers, you know there is a draft coming in, so patch the leaky spots with caulk or weather stripping.

Around The House...

6. Get a water heater insulating blanket

PSC key tip! Don’t forget about your water heater. Turn down your water heater to 120
degrees Fahrenheit and cover it with blanket insulation or a cover, as specified by the manufacturer. If your water heater is in an uninsulated area, this is even more important.
Insulating your hot water heater saves energy by reducing heat lost through the sides of the water heater by 25-40%, which will help save you money on your energy bills.

7. Insulate your outlets

This one might seem a little silly, but many electrical outlets, especially in older homes, don’t have insulation around them. These could be a source of drafty cold air or a place that the warm air can leak out of your house since they are essentially just a hole in the wall.  To insulate your outlets, purchase foam padding that easily fits around your electrical outlets or light switches. Remember to take care and follow directions when working around electricity.

8. Vents

Open any register vents or air returns inside your house. Vents may be wall mounted, in the floor or in the celiing.  Repair or replace damaged or loose vents.  Reverse your ceiling fans to help circulate warm air that gathers near the ceilling.  When the fan blades rotate clockwise, they push the warm air down to "reheat" the lower areas.

Please share with us how these tips work for you.  Tune in next time when PSC's home siding blog articles may enthrall you with Part 2 of Stereotypes in Construction when we discuss "Women in Construction" or something equally compelling.  If you have any comments on what stereotypes you'd like us to address, send us a note on that too.  Leaving you with todays related soundtrack...."Happy" by Pherrell or


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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