Windows are often dramatically undervalued when people think about their home’s exterior. By the use of color contrast between the sashes and the window frames, the type of trim used around the window and the potential use of shutters or flowerboxes, windows can become the second most important sustainer of interest in your home beyond the entry. When embraced by the various trim and siding elements mentioned earlier, windows can become the final complementary embellishment to the outside presence of your home.
Probably the least glamorous part of any home remodel, the gutters are one of the most important systems for your home. The gutters collect water that runs off the roof and diverts that water away from weak areas near the eaves and around the corners. A good gutter system also dumps water far enough away from the foundation of the home that water does not create a sinkhole and damage the landscaping or cause flooding issues in the basement. You will want to make sure that the gutter system is designed correctly and that all stages of the gutters have been replaced with new tracks. This is also a good time to consider a gutter guard to prevent small animals and other debris from blocking the water flow.
Though you will spend a lot of time finding the right windows and doors to go with your exterior remodel, the frames that those items go into are much more important. A lot of the costs associated with heating and cooling a home come from conditioned air that leaks out of the home and into the world. Keeping the doors and windows shut will reduce that leakage, but the frames still allow some air to go through. During the exterior remodel, check to make sure that the windows and doors are framed correctly and that you cannot see daylight between the frame and the window or door. Tight seals will keep the air that you want inside your home and keep the air that you are avoiding on the outside.
When considering gables, trim, windows, doors and other elements of a house, the essential ingredient from which all variations and expressions flow is the basic siding material used for the majority of your home’s exterior surfaces, “field.” It often makes sense to celebrate the horizontal lines of a Ranch home with clapboards that have heavy shadow lines so that the counterpoints of windows, doors, trim, and, perhaps, gable siding, seem all the more activated and zesty. In homes that have horizontal and vertical elements, a neutral siding material (smaller, narrower exposure clapboards of tight shingle coursing) can allow the larger elements of the home to “pop” using reinforcing trim and the “banding” or “gridding” described earlier.
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