• Vinyl Siding- The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

    Call me now for a free vinyl siding estimate: 315-729-1120 or email at: pooleconstruction@gmail.com

    Many People have written and asked:

    What would you or do you put on your home Duane?.

    I try to practice what I preach and this year I will be vinyl Siding my own home.

    I choose Certainteed Monogram siding for not only my own home but that of my customers. It’s a .046 thickness panel and has a great warranty from fading. To learn more: Click Here

    I am very proud that both myself and my company are a Certainteed 5 star vinyl siding contractor.

    certainteed_5star_logo

    I also am accredited from the vinyl siding institute.

    We have touched on a number of different things in our previous posts. This one is focusing on vinyl siding your home in the Rochester to Syracuse NY areas:

    Vinyl siding: good, bad or ugly?

    Vinyl siding can be all of the above. I’d like to explore each possibility individually. We can get the worst out of the way first. Note that the quality of your materials and correct installation solve 99% of any possible cosmetic issues.

    Vinyl siding: the ugly!

    If you can’t immediately envision an ugly siding job, take a look around the next time you go for a drive. Ithaca, Syracuse, and Rochester are no exceptions to shoddy craftsmanship. They each have their fair amount of poorly installed vinyl siding, just like anywhere.

    One common cause of ugly vinyl siding in our central NY areas is ripples in the panels. This is caused by over driving the nails attaching to your wall, or stretching panels up and down, forcing the lines to match another section of wall. Cheap vinyl siding also can be chalky and look faded after a few years, if the color isn’t injected into the panel’s material, instead of being applied on top of it.

    Anyone can do a vinyl siding installation. It takes real experience and skill to make it look good, however. Only then will your money be well spent.

    Vinyl Siding: the bad!

    Vinyl siding likes to expand. Most people, and contractors for that matter, think it’s “side to side” expansion and contractions on the panels. While that is true to a certain extent, the majority of expansion is downward. This is why you may notice unclipped or missing sections of siding in the middle of a wall, upon closer inspection. If you don’t snap a piece of siding completely when nailing, the paneling can expand downward and become unsnapped.

    Vinyl siding doesn’t like impact. If you have a lot of small stones, sticks, kid’s toys, etc., and hit them with a mower, chances are you are going to have holes or cracks in your siding. This can be prevented by buying thicker panels and/or aiming the mower chute away from your house. Expect baseballs, car doors, and golf balls to do damage if in close contact with your home.

    THE GRILL:

    Guys: Keep your grill a safe distance away from vinyl siding! I once saw a place in Syracuse that had experienced the effects of a grill located slightly too close to the house, the results weren’t pretty.

    Vinyl Siding: the good.

    Vinyl is final!

    If you use a good quality siding on your home, you can eliminate most problems mentioned above.

    You no longer have to paint your home. Vinyl siding is virtually maintenance free. A high quality vinyl siding job can increase your home’s value by more than the cost of the job itself, in some cases.

    It increases the “R” value of your home, as well as stopping drafts. This is increasingly true if you use an insulated vinyl siding or apply a high “r” board to your home prior to siding.

    Add style: there are many trim accessories you can choose from, these will allow you to change the entire exterior style of your home, if you choose to.

    Curb appeal is priceless. If you really want your neighbors to take notice of your home, new siding is an easy way to get there.

    In closing:

    If you choose a nice quality vinyl siding, and use a skilled, conscientious installer, vinyl siding can add value to your home that is difficult to beat.

  • Helping our economy by putting a metal roof on your home?

    Can You Help Central New York’s Economy With Metal Roofing?

    Sounds like a silly question right?

    Wrong!

    We at Preferred Exteriors and Renovations Inc. have partnered with a supply company with multiple branches including Auburn, Syracuse, Horseheads, and many others to bring you a Metal Roofing Panel that is formed right here in Central New York using 100% USA Made Pittsburgh Steel.

    Panels are available with a 10 year or 40 year warranty for corrugated metal.

    We are very proud of this product and hope you are as well. We sleep well at night knowing we are providing jobs local through the sales and forming process of this panel as well as employing people in neighboring Pennsylvania.

    Call or email for a quote now on your new roof: 315-729-1120 or Pooleconstruction@gmail.com

  • Composite Decks Vs. Pressure Treated Wood

    Composite Decks Vs. Pressure Treated Wood Vs. PVC Decking

    Spring Time is Deck Time!

    We offer a multitude of deck options for your home. Below are some differences between the materials as well as some pros and cons

    Pressure Treated Wood

    Pros:

    Pressure Treated decks in many cases are a cost savings of over 50% compared to the alternative.

    Pressure treated wood doesn’t show scratches as much as some composites and can easily be painted, patched, and made to match existing decking rather easily.

    Joist spacing can be twice as long per span, compared to composite. In some cases this will save on material cost.

    Cons:

    Pressure treated Decks require much more maintenance than the alternatives.

    Only one harsh winter in Syracuse, Oswego or even Ithaca can make a fairly new deck look in need of a new stain job.

    New applications of stain will be required every few years until the deck’s end of life (about 20 years).

    Pressure washing should be done regularly on a deck, more so if it’s in a shaded area that is prone to mold growth.

    The initial savings of a pressure treated deck is usually spent rather quickly on maintenance of the deck.

    Composite Decking

    Pros:

    Composite decking requires much less maintenance than pressure treated decking.

    Composite decks don’t require staining at all.

    Some composite decks, such as Correct Deck, also offer a hidden fastener system that is much more cosmetically appealing than the traditional face nailing methods.

    Railing systems that compliment PVC and composite decking are available, and are often a nice upgrade.

    The different colors and grains available give a look and feel you couldn’t achieve with pressure treated wood.

    Washing: Composite is mold and mildew resistant so pressure washing is necessary a few times a year.

    Cons:

    Price. Composite decking usually costs more than double what a pressure treated deck does.

    Composite decks require more structural framing than wood decks  and joist spans are almost never more than 12?.

    This boils down to more contractor labor required to install a composite deck.

    Expansion and contraction: Composite must be installed correctly or after time boards can buckle heave or break. This means strict adherence to the manufacturers specs, not only to uphold the warranty, but to have a beautiful deck for years to come.

    PVC

    Pros:

    Truly maintenance free.

    PVC decking is the only truly maintenance free deck option there is. PVC decking does not mold at all, unlike Pressure Treated.

    You can fasten PVC decking very close to the boards edge without fear of splitting or cracking the deck board.

    Most PVC deck joists can be framed to 16? centers, reducing the total framing required.

    Cons:

    PVC decks are only available in a few color variations due to material limitations. The nice vibrant colors of composite decking are out of the question.

    The price is higher than other decking options.

    Realistic woodgrain finishes are not as fine as composite or pressure treated variants.

    Conclusion

    Depending on one’s needs, any of these options, using a quality product, would be a great additional value to the home on a personal and monetary level. Call us about specials and for more information.

    I can always be reached on my cell phone to discuss the best option for your needs.

    315-729-1120

  • Adding value to your home when the housing market is bad

    Need repairs?:

    Call or email for a quote today: 315-729-1120 or Pooleconstruction@gmail.com

    Here is a list of nine things that can increase the value of your home and distinguish it from other homes being sold in the neighborhood.

    1. Interior paint: even a subtle color change with neutral colors and repainted trim can transform the impression one gets from a dwelling. Tying together a home’s rooms with a sensible color palette, and unifying the trim colors can create a drastic difference in the feeling a person takes away after a walkthrough.
    2. Insulation: homeowners often seem suprised at how reasonably priced an insulation upgrade can be, especially when considering how effective they can be in lowering heating and cooling expenses. A typical attic blown-in insulation install rates about $2-3000. Comparing a heating bill to that number will quickly show the benefits possible in saving money each month.
    3. Closets: adding closets to your bedrooms can do wonders for a home’s appeal, as well as value. “I would have made a purchase offer, but there simply wasn’t enough closet space”.
    4. Replacement windows: new windows improve the inside and outside of a house, most especially when the old ones are painted shut or otherwise outdated and working improperly. Buying a quality window is important, but don’t overlook the balance between an energy effective window and the overall insulation efficiency of a home. An expensive, highly rated window won’t do much if the rest of the house is not up to keeping the cold out, and the heat in.
    5. Roof cleaning: If your home is in a highly shaded area, it is likely that black streaks or mold have marred the appearance of your roof. Most cases can be solved for under $1000 with an effective cleaning solution, making your asphalt shingles look new again.
    6. Landscaping: few things add curb appeal like freshly groomed grounds. Even simple mulching around existing trees and shrubs can add order.
    7. Interior doors: relatively inexpensive to buy and install. Interior doors that are in bad physical condition or that don’t open and close properly reflect poorly on the maintenance of a dwelling. Although it seems like a big job, replacement of the doors and trim can be accomplished rather quickly, making a solid impact on decor.
    8. Cabinet doors and hardware: along similar lines, kitchen cabinets can benefit from a similar treatment. Simply replacing the drawer pulls and cabinet door knobs can be a cheap and simple “one tool” job, bring about a small but thoughtful touch to a kitchen. One step further; tacking on a new style of cabinet door to the face frames will effect a more broad facelift.
    9. Lighting: Often overlooked, lighting is great bang for your buck, and intensely important to making a home feel cozy and inviting. Updated fixtures can add a hint of style, and function as well. Task lighting appropriate to a room’s purpose, and general area lighting will bring warmth and comfort to a place. Recessed kitchen lighting is a popular addition.
  • Are you looking for a reliable handyman?

    Look no further! Call now:

    315-729-1120

    Finding a reliable handyman can be hard. The problem homeowners seem to have is finding an INSURED handyman that doesquality work and shows up on time.

    I have heard many horror stories about local so-called contractors or handymen in places like Auburn, Baldwinsville, Geneva and Syracuse, doing shoddy work. Even worse are the emergency situations some handymen take on (especially for a landlord’s rental property), situations like roof leaks or clogged drains. Many never even show up to fix these time sensitive problems.

    Many contractors shrug off smaller jobs. Poole Construction welcomes them. We are in the process on creating a division specifically for the odd jobs some may have. We understand that small jobs can often serve as a low risk manner of building a working relationship with your preferred professional, and this can lead to a larger job. We are eager to serve your needs, small or large.

    Landlords:

    We have no problem working with building inspectors on code violations or or other similar needs such as obtaining a certificate of occupancy.

    Storefronts/property management:

    We currently work with a number of nationwide maintenance and repair companies and have done many repairs on commercial buildings. We have no problems with net 30 billings, w9?s and listing you as additionally insured and getting coi’s to you.

    In closing:

    If you are looking for a reliable professional handyman or remodeling company we will be a great fit for your needs, and always present a great value for the quality of work performed.

    Areas we cover:

    Including but not limited to: Sodus Point, Red Creek, Sodus Bay area, Port Bay Area, Syracuse, Baldwinsville , Geneva, Ithaca, Oswego, Liverpool,Waterloo outlet mall,Wolcott, Rochester. These are just examples and we cover a much larger swath than these. As alway if you need our services or advice it doesn’t hurt to ask.

  • Metal Roofing as a viable alternative to asphalt shingles

    6/4/2012 update

    We are very proud to offer 100% USA made metal roofing made right here in Central NY with Local employees. Read more here

     

    Call or email me for a quote today: 315-729-1120 or Pooleconstruction@gmail.com

    4/4/2012 update

    The two questions most frequently asked over the last twelve months regarding roof replacement have been:

    “Can we do a metal roof, and how much does metal roofing cost?”

    “How long does a metal roof last?”

    I’ll answer both questions further down in my post. First however, I would like to talk a little about metal roofing on local buildings and a couple different types of metal roofing.

    Metal roofing and its rise to prominence

    Corrugated metal roofing has long been a popular option for barns and outbuildings in Central and Upstate NY. Part of the reason for this has to do with local climate; lake effect snow accumulation can exert severe loads on a structure. This leads to a strong selling point for a metal roof, snow will slide right off, as opposed to piling up to a dangerous depth on a shingled roof. Additionally, ice and water cannot “back up” behind shingles, which causes roof leaks. This awareness is already well known among those living in similar snow belt regions like Northern Wayne and Oswego Counties. Metal roofing became more acceptable in residential structures as manufacturers developed appealing colors and corrugated rib options.

    We have installed metal roofing all over central NY and the fingerlakes in places like:

    Ithaca , Liverpool , Fair Haven , Wolcott , Nedrow.

    Now to answer the original questions about installing a metal roof:

    Q:“Can we do a metal roof, and how much does metal roofing cost?”

    A: The answer to the former is almost always yes. The latter isn’t so easily answered.

    The cost of metal roofing fluctuates quite a bit in price, following the market in metals. Over the course of 2008 prices soared during the surge in need for ferrous metals. It has since been declining in price. One point to keep in mind, however: asphalt shingles also fluctuate in price as demand for petroleum increases.

    To make a long answer short: most of the time, the cost of installation for shingles versus corrugated metal roofing prices is quite comparable. You can save quite a bit of expense if you monitor the market prices for the raw materials involved in roofing.

    Q: “How long do they last?”

    A: The answer to that question depends on the gauge (thickness) of the corrugated panel used and how well the EPDM washers hold up on the screws. Metal roof maintenance is different than that required for shingles. Expect to replace the fasteners at least once during your lifetime. With all of this in mind, though, you can expect to keep a metal roof for up to 50 years.

    5 things to make sure about your metal roof/roofer

    1. You must use an underlayment! Although your metal roof is water resistant and will not leak under normal circumstances, we all know Upstate NY’s crazy weather. A driving rain can almost always get underneath roofing materials. A leak is unlikely, but the wood beneath could get damp, causing rot or mold over time. This is also a requirement in the building codes! I prefer UDL Titanium Underlayment.
    2. Panels must be installed square with the roofline. Most roofers leave over 2? overhanging the eaves. This is improper, make sure your first panel is installed so it won’t allow flow over your gutters.
    3. If your roof has any “heaves” or humps in it, they usually can be removed with shimming. If this step is skipped, however, the sidelaps (the edges where one panel meets and overlaps the other) will have a hard time mating to each other. If you have one of these small discrepancies, running a bead of sealant on the sidelap of the lower panel is recommended.
    4. Valleys and flashing: make sure you have Ice and Water Shield protection, the same as you would have on an asphalt roof. Open valleys on corrugated metal roofs are especially susceptible to leaking due to the raised height of the corrugation. Flashing details should include Ice and Water Shield, as well as a quality sealant. Tar is not a quality sealant, and is prone to cracking over time.
    5. Fasteners: this is the item on your materials list most likely to be a problem, when an installer is not a professional. I like to install fasteners with an impact driver, as opposed to a drill. The impact driver gives you more control over speed, and does not over-torque like a drill can. A screw that has been improperly installed or over-driven can push the washer off the screw and a leak can occur.

    If asking these questions makes your contractor uncomfortable, think twice!

    Different types of metal roofing

    We have only discussed corrugated roofing so far in this article, as they are what most people inquire about. There are other types of metal roof, however: the most common is a standing seam roof.

    Standing seam is mostly seen on commercial applications with a slope, such as McDonalds, local banks, hotels and rarely, some residential housing.

    Standing seam roofing utilizes a hidden fastener system, as well as full length panels. The panels can be made out of galvanized metal as well as copper or stainless steel.

    The standing seam roof is really a maintenance free system, and will last a lifetime if it is installed correctly. As important, too, is having good flashing detail made of quality materials, lead coated copper being one of the best materials for long term use.

    Standing Seam’s downfall: cost

    A standing seam metal roof is probably the best option for your roof, as far as longevity and maintenance is concerned. However, it can cost up to 50 percent more than shingles or corrugated metal. This prohibitive cost is what makes it an unusual choice for a residential home structure.

    Well, that is part one of my series on roofing; decisions and information vital to making them. More to come, soon!

  • Our economy and what it means for business.

    My earlier blog touched base on the effects manufacturing companies closing had on our local economy and those in our cities of Rochester and Syracuse. This blog is going to focus on what’s going in the entire country and how the nationwide economy as well as the local is affecting business.

    Nationwide: The credit crunch is upon us.

    National banks, formerly, would eagerly shell out money to the average homeowner for improvement projects such as roofing, siding, replacement windows, flooring, bathrooms, kitchens…now they won’t even lend to each other.

    Customers are either having a hard time getting money from the national banks for these projects, or worse, are getting offered very high interest rates. Recently, a customer outlined a a negative experience at a bank of long time patronage; the bank flat out wasn’t giving ANYONE home improvement loans.

    I believe this will make remodelling living spaces very difficult for the near future. These were formerly loans the banks had incentive to extend to a homeowner, as they increased the equity your home greatly. The problem now is that homes across the nation aren’t selling at all, what value is equity then?

    Local: The Bad

    People are without jobs close to home. Poole Construction itself will continue to travel to Syracuse and it’s suburbs to find work, as well as smaller cities such as Auburn and Geneva, where we do quite a bit of work. It’s going to be tough for anyone to do a whole lot in Eastern Wayne County with the local layoffs.

    Local: The Good

    We haven’t have a huge increase in the market value of our homes over the past ten years, and our local banks have remained level headed in lending money. This means that if you use one of the local banks, not a whole lot has changed as of the national economic collapse. Likely, you may still get your loans for replacement windows, flooring, painting, etc.

    What it means for business:

    We are gearing up for a magnitude of changes this next season. It is likely that most of our work will consist of roofing, exterior painting and siding, and small handyman repairs.

    New York State is also becoming much more strict with regard to property appearance, most especially rental properties. No longer will flaking lead paint and the like be tolerated. This will lead to a lot of people looking for someone to either paint the home or install vinyl siding to eliminate the painting process. If the price of vinyl siding comes back down I expect many will be new siding versus paint.

    The one thing all of this has in common is that there is a “need” to get it done. If your roof leaks it “needs” to be done. If city inspectors are knocking on your door, it “needs” to be done.

    So, that’s what has been on my mind lately. Let me know what you think, comments are welcome.

    -Duane

  • Local economy in Upstate NY, Syracuse, Rochester and everywhere in between

    Hi folks,

    I write my first blog in what seems at this point to be the worst economy in a generation. Although this is a nationwide thing I believe this started in our area a decade ago.

    Syracuse has seen a number of places closing in recent years, the most notable; Carrier corp.

    Rochester has had lay offs in Kodak, Xerox and Bosch and Lomb every year that I can remember.

    It seems we create a few jobs when things are good but cut as many as possible when things are bad.

    In the middle of these two great cities lies a number of small towns and rural villages. In my opinion, these have been hit the hardest in recent years. Here’s a few of the examples:

    Lyons, NY has lost a manufacturing plant called School Specialties. This is estimated to put 40 full time employees as well as 100 seasonal workers out of a job. I personally know more than a few people who worked there every summer break while home from college.

    Wolcott, NY has lost the only manfacturing plant in town, which is Reckitt and Benckiser. This leaves many in the community, including a member of my family, scrambling to find comparable work with wages sufficient to maintain their modest lifestyles.

    Red Creek, NY lost Comstock Foods a few years ago and as a direct result the commerce in the town dropped at least 75% in my estimation.

    This is just a small sample of rural areas being effected by a national economy. I often wonder how much people in the larger cities are affected by the loss of our jobs in Wayne County.

    Most of the people now unemployed by these above named companies are looking for work in the Syracuse and Rochester areas. Combine that with a shrinking job market in those very cities.  It is getting difficult for anyone in our area to get a job.

    It seems being spend thrifty and cutting back on wants AND needs are the only thing in sight to combat this.

    Let me know what you think….