Category Archives: siding contractors

James Hardie Siding: Why It’s a Siding Contractors Favorite

James Hardie-Siding contractor-Mares Dow

Siding protects your home from outdoor elements. If you begin to notice cracking, color fading, or damage, due to water or wind, it may be time for a replacement. It can be hard to know where to find a company whose products will fit all the particular needs of your home. 

James Hardie is a highly recommended and acclaimed siding company with unique products and superior services. Why is James Hardie preferred among siding contractors? Here are five reasons why James Hardie is a popular choice for siding. 

Innovative Siding Products

James Hardie has been the leader in innovating unique technology to combat common threats against your home. They are credited for creating fiber cement siding and trim, which are made to withstand more than the average house can handle. 

They also have developed Baked-on ColorPlus® Technology, a finish added to siding and trim to brighten and strengthen the color. This color is made to resist cracking and fading from UV rays, with the ultimate goal of reducing maintenance. 

Dependability

You can trust that your home is in good hands with the developers of James Hardie Siding who are acclaimed for being precise and timely. Their products are designed to withstand natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes. They have also developed siding that will not ignite or spread flames, in case of a house fire.

Their products are designed to last and protect your home from outside forces. They overcome the weaknesses of products made out of wood or vinyl, which are known to easily catch fire and warp from natural weather. 

Reliable Services

You can be assured that when you invest in products created by the manufacturers of James Hardie, they’re going to stay beautiful and strong for a long time. To ensure quality construction, all siding products include a 30-year, non-prorated warranty. 

After studying climate-related effects on trim and siding, Jame Hardie manufacturers created a system called HardieZone®. This feature personalizes what services your house needs, based on the climate that you live in. Even after a long period of time, products that are made specifically to remain strong in your climate will not wear and tear. 

Beautiful Results

The results of James Hardie’s work are nothing short of a complete transformation of your house. Excellent craftsmanship and skill can be expected of every manufacturer involved in improving the siding of a home

James Hardie is also known for being meticulous in detail, knowing that lasting products also should make your home beautiful. The curb appeal that will be added to your home after investing in beautiful ColorPlus®  technology will be undeniable. 

Customer Service

With a commitment to understanding the desires and concerns about a client’s home,  communication is a priority of James Hardie siding. Customer reviews have claimed James Hardie to be attentive, efficient, clean, and prudent. Clients with high-standards have left the experience feeling pleased with their choice and happy with their new home. 

The siding on your home is not only important to make your home appealing, but it is also crucial in the protection of your home against outside forces. James Hardie siding is a favorite with contractors for all of the reasons that are most important when improving the structure of your home.

How Mares & Dow Can Help

If you are looking to use James Hardie siding products, Mares & Dow offers siding installation and siding replacement for homeowners in Concord, CA, and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your siding needs.

Your Guide to Stunning Decorative Siding Patterns

siding-pattern

Today’s siding gives homeowners more options for sparking their creativity and implementing a design that enhances their home exterior. When working with siding contractors, you can complete nearly any project to your specifications, choosing the pattern that is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular siding patterns available today.

Horizontal Patterns

The most common type of siding pattern is horizontal. This traditional siding may include styles such as beaded, Dutch lap, or traditional lap siding. 

Traditional Lap

Traditional lap siding offers a straightforward, simple, and effective layout that works in almost any home setting. In a traditional lap, each siding board is layered over the board below. The design offers a water barrier and reduces airflow through the siding. 

Dutch Lap

Dutch siding features a groove cut out of the top of each board. It’s similar to a traditional lap but offers more textured contrast across the facade due to the shadow that each board creates. 

Beaded

Beaded vinyl is named for the ‘bead’ or added texture at the bottom of each board. Beads come in a variety of shapes and textures, giving you more choices for your home. Beaded siding is ideal if you want to create a more interesting composition on your wall exterior.

Vertical Patterns

Although horizontal patterns are the most common, you may be looking for an alternative to the traditional design. Vertical patterns may your best bet. They work incredibly well with certain home styles and can accent the eaves across your home’s façade. 

Panel Siding

If you took horizontal siding and made it vertical, then you would get panel siding. Panels are placed over each other to create a uniform flush layout. Panel siding comes in a broad range of colors and textures.

Board and Batten

Most board and batten siding is fabricated from natural wood. The vertical boards are installed on the house. Battens are used to cover any cracks so that the home is sealed from moisture and airflow.

Shake Patterns

Shake patterns are traditionally made from wood. However, today’s shakes offer the same patterns, but different materials such as vinyl or cement. There are endless shapes and designs that form patterns, allowing you to customize your siding design.

There are too many shake patterns to name, but some of the most popular include:

  • Square
  • Round
  • Staggered
  • Mitered corner
  • Octagonal & Hexagonal
  • Fish scale
  • Half cove

When using shake patterns, you can combine more than one shape, color, texture, or dimension to create your own layout. Your siding contractors can work with you to complete your design and implement your ideas on your home. 

What to Consider Before Choosing Your Pattern

Before you land on an idea for your siding pattern there are a few things you may want to consider. First, choose high-quality siding products. Quality vinyl siding can last up to 40 years with ongoing care and maintenance. Next, choose a pattern that truly complements your home exterior. Think about how the pattern will look once the project is complete.

Also, make sure that your pattern provides a proper seal and offers the highest level of energy efficiency inside the home. A decorative pattern may look attractive, but cause your energy usage to skyrocket inside. Last, consider your replacement or maintenance costs over the years. Horizontal siding may require less maintenance but replacement of more sections. In a smaller pattern, you may have more maintenance, but you can easily replace smaller pieces. 

Siding Contractors in San Francisco, California

Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and commercial skylight experts. Contact us today to get started on your next project or for a consultation!

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and commercial skylight experts. Contact us today to get started on your next project or for a consultation!

5 Ways to Boost Your Home Remodeling This Spring

kitchen remodel

Now that spring is here, it’s time to move forward with that remodeling project you’ve been thinking about for months. No matter what you have in mind, a home remodeling contractor can help you with your project. Below are five ideas for boosting your home remodeling and improving your home’s value this spring.

1. Install a Skylight 

A skylight provides an added design dimension to your home while allowing you to benefit from natural light and improved ventilation. Manufacturers now build skylights with heat-absorbing tins, insulated glazing, and low emissivity coatings to reduce summertime heat gain and eliminate wintertime heat loss.

You can also choose automated units with pneumatic devices or electric motors. Newer products now come with moisture sensors to automatically close the skylight if it rains. Skylights are fully customizable to match any roof/ceiling design or dimension. Add a skylight to your kitchen, bathroom, living room, or bedroom.

2. Build a Retaining Wall

If you are looking for a practical solution for reducing erosion or adding structural stability to your yard, a retaining wall may be your best option. If you have an elevated space, a retaining wall can help you maintain the landscape or level out your yard so that you can other features.

Some of the benefits of a retaining wall include:

  • Provides structural support that keeps soil in place
  • Prevents erosion and flooding
  • Adds more functional space to your yard
  • Adds a decorative feature with aesthetic appeal
  • Offers endless design options to suit any exterior design

3. Restore Your Foundation

Foundation problems in your home only get worse over time. They can compromise your home’s structural safety and property value. Foundation repair can restore your home’s integrity and put you back on solid ground. The sooner you address the problem the less expensive and time-consuming the project will be. 

Foundation repair can prevent damage to your plumbing or keep your home from getting flooded. A home remodeling contractor can assess your home’s foundation to determine what work needs to be done and how to move forward with the repair. Foundation repair is a great spring project that yields a high ROI for the duration of the home’s life.

4. Add a Second Story to Your Home

Did you know that it’s possible to add a second story to your home? A home remodeling contractor simply removes the roof and implements the second story to your specifications. A second story gives you more living space without moving or taking up your yard space. 

You can take advantage of the extended scenic view around your home, as you use your new space for whatever you want. Adding a second story to your home also gives you the opportunity to fix any current structural issues with the home. Plus, the added space adds value to your home.

5. Remodel Your Kitchen This Spring

A kitchen remodel is hands down the residential renovation project with the highest ROI. Renovating your kitchen presents endless opportunities to improve the floor plan, design, and functionality. You can update your floor, walls, countertops, cabinets, appliances, and other features. 

A contractor can help you create your design concepts, make recommendations on kitchen products and materials, and guide you through each stage of the project through completion. You can have the kitchen you’ve always wanted this spring.

Home Remodeling Contractor in San Francisco, California

No matter what idea you have for remodeling your home this season, Mares & Dow can help you every step of the way. We offer comprehensive home remodeling in San Francisco, California and the surrounding Bay Area. Call 925.671.9500 today for a free consultation with a home remodeling contractor.

Mares Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and siding experts. We enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel or siding project!

Tips for Cleaning Your Home Siding Effectively

cleaning-your-siding-Mares Dow

Even the highest quality siding requires routine cleaning and maintenance. Siding can accumulate dirt and stains from elements such as rain, rust, animals, chemicals, and pollen. Therefore, you should clean the siding regularly to keep it looking vibrant and ensure that it protects your home.

When cleaning the siding, it is important to use the correct method, tools, and chemicals to prevent damage to the siding material. Using abrasive tools or harsh chemicals can cause the siding to deteriorate, crack, or warp over time slowly. Below are some tips for cleaning your home siding effectively. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact Mares & Dow. We are your siding contractor specialists in the Bay area!

Tip #1: Follow Manufacturer Specifications

Every siding product comes with a set of manufacturer instructions on how to care for your siding. There are several reasons why you should adhere closely to the instruction.

First, doing so will keep you from voiding the warranty. Most warranties are voided because of neglect or improper maintenance. Therefore, make sure you read the directions and follow them according to manufacturer specifications.

Second, the manufacturer already knows how to clean the product they developed. They understand what works best with the materials they used to engineer the siding. So, there is no need for you to reinvent the wheel. Simply follow the instructions to get the best results.

Tip #2: Consider Hiring a Professional Siding Cleaning Company

The average rate is $60 to $100 per hour, with an average total cost of $480 to $800 per job. While this seems like an extravagant expense, there are several benefits to hiring a company to do it for you, including:

  • A company has all the tools and equipment necessary to perform a pro-level job.
  • Professionals are less likely to damage your siding.
  • A qualified crew can complete a job in a fraction of the time it takes to complete a DIY job. 
  • Hiring a licensed siding contractor or company will prevent you from voiding the warranty.
  • Professional cleaning helps you maintain the value of your home.
  • You don’t have to buy or rent your own equipment and supplies.

Tip #3: Be Careful with Your Cleaning Solution

If you decide to go the DIY route, then you need to choose your cleaning agent carefully. The wrong solutions can cause your siding to fade, crack, or warp, leaving you with a costly repair. Let’s look at some solutions to use and some to avoid. 

Safe Cleaning Solutions 

  • Water & vinegar
  • Laundry detergent & heavily diluted laundry bleach
  • Simple Green non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner
  • Fantastik, Windex, or Lysol cleaner
  • Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • Super Iron Out or Instant Rust Out for rust stains

Clean Solutions to Avoid

  • Siding cleaner with organic solvents
  • Straight bleach 
  • Liquid grease remover
  • Nail polish remover
  • Furniture polish

Tip #4: Use the Right Tools & Equipment

How you apply water or cleaning solution is as important as the type of solution you use. The wrong tools can scratch or puncture the siding while stripping the surface of its natural look.

Ideally, the best way to apply a water/solution mixture is by using a pressure washer. The average rate for pressure washer rental is between $35 and $50 per day. If you add a feature such as an instant hot water heater or a heavy-duty gas washer, the cost can skyrocket to $150 per day. Although pressure washers are easy to use, you may damage the siding if you apply too much pressure. So, make sure you know the right amount of pressure to apply before using the washer. 

If you decide to scrub the siding, then use a soft cloth or an ordinary long-handled, soft-bristle brush. Start at the top of the siding and work your way down to avoid streaking or solution stains. Rinse off the siding using a regular garden hose. Avoid using highly-abrasive scrubbing tools or steel wool.

Contact Siding Contractors in Concord, CA

Mares & Dow offers siding installation and siding replacement for homeowners in Concord, CA, and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your siding needs.

Why Choose Siding For Your Home

house-siding-siding-contractor-Mares Dow

For homeowners in the midst of construction of their home, or for those looking for a high-impact project for their home remodeling contractors, new siding is likely an option up for consideration. If you are wondering why you should choose siding for your home, it is a good idea to take into account these three basic benefits of siding. 

Protection

Whether you live in the Southwest with its extreme heat, in the Northeast with its rough winters, or the many places in between, your home is subject to the erosive effects of your local climate. Siding is the main barrier that protects the vulnerable materials that make up the interior and framework of your home from all the elements that would damage it. One of the most important functions of siding is to keep moisture from reaching a house’s interior components which, when damaged, can compromise the integrity of the whole structure. If you consider all the materials that constitute the bones of your home – wood frames, plywood, drywall, wiring – it is easy to see the necessity of an impermeable barrier like exterior siding. Siding also helps keep pests and critters from making a home out of your home, saving you from a begrudgingly close relationship with your local exterminator. No matter where you live, most homeowners would prefer to work with siding contractors instead.  

Curb Appeal

Siding covers a house from the foundation to the roof and is one of the first things people notice about a home. This means there is a great opportunity to make a good first impression with your choice in siding. You may have a gorgeous master bedroom, a sleek modern kitchen, or a beautifully manicured backyard, but if your home’s exterior is wanting it can’t help but be an eyesore. There are many styles of siding made from a variety of materials and offering endless color options, so homeowners can create an aesthetic for the exterior of their home that suits them. With the range of textures and colors that are available, siding can complement any architectural style and highlight your favorite features of your home. With quality siding, guests, neighbors, and passers-by will appreciate the beauty of your home as much as you do. 

Energy Efficiency

Siding not only protects your home and spruces up its aesthetic, but it also has the very economical benefit of aiding its energy efficiency. Siding is a key part of a secure building envelope, which is essential for efficiently regulating your home’s internal temperatures. The layer of insulation siding provides can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, just like you want and have programmed in your thermostat. When houses lack this insulating barrier, HVAC systems have to work overtime to keep the interior at the desired temperature setpoint. This wastes energy and money. Opting for quality siding for your home is a simple step toward saving you money in utility costs, which is something any homeowner can get behind. 

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and siding experts. We enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel or siding project!

5 Ways to Redo Your Bedroom and Increase Your Home’s Value

bedroom-renovation-Mares Dow

Of all the home remodeling projects you can do to increase your home value – whether it’s working with siding contractors to update your home’s exterior or hiring retaining wall contractors to make the most of your landscape and boost curb appeal – redoing your bedroom should have a second and equally important motivation. As you consider your bedroom remodel, its important to not only think of your home’s value but also your comfort. After all, most people spend a good deal of time in their bedroom and creating a space that is warm, inviting, and relaxing should be a key objective. 

When it comes to undertaking a bedroom remodel that prioritizes both increasing your home’s value and maximizing your comfort, there are many options. Here are some ideas for projects that can transform your space while also being a good investment. 

1. Renovating the master bathroom 

A spacious master bathroom with luxe and modern features is both an indulgence and a very practical renovation project. Depending on your home’s layout, you can increase your master bathroom’s square footage by building into an adjoining room or buy constructing a bump-out off the side of your house. After you’ve created more space, you can turn your attention to the fixtures: frameless glass shower enclosures, venting skylights, expansive sink tops, clever and stylish storage. It’s hard to go wrong with a well-appointed master bathroom. 

2. Expanding closet space

Adding a closet or expanding existing closet space is a very popular bedroom remodel project and one that any homeowner can benefit from. An additional closet can help reduce clutter and open up your room, offering you the peace of mind of a clean, organized space. If you are interested in turning your current closet into a walk-in, there are many smart, space-saving shelving configurations to choose from and additional perks you can include like a storage bench or vanity. On top of that, ample closet space is a great selling point with homebuyers. 

3. Updating windows

If your bedroom is burdened with old windows, you are doing a disservice to your experience of the space and negatively impacting your home’s value. Old windows tend to be leaky and can become filmy and let less natural light into your bedroom. Replace single-pane windows with double or triple-pane options to better regulate the temperature in the room and save on utility costs. Or you can trade out old window frames for casement or picture window styles. With new windows, you won’t have to worry about winter drafts or miss out on cool summer breezes anymore. 

4. Refreshing the paint

A professional paint job can go along way in giving a room a new look. For the bedroom, consider warm and soothing colors that make the most of the natural light in the room and help you to feel relaxed. You can also add crown molding as an elegant detail that instantly elevates the aesthetic of your bedroom. And if you are painting before you sell your home, it’s a good idea to stick to a neutral color palette that allows potential buyers to see the room as a canvas for their dream bedroom. 

5. Refinishing the floors

With all the stylish flooring options available, you won’t have a hard time finding something that suits you and your bedroom. You can trade-in your old carpet for a new, plush carpet in a vibrant color or opt for hardwood, bamboo, ceramic, or stone. Whatever you choose, you can trust that quality flooring does a lot to enhance the look and feel of a bedroom.   

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983. We are experienced home remodeling contractors, commercial skylight experts & siding contractors. We enjoy working with homeowners & businesses to ensure their vision becomes a reality. Contact us today to get started on your next project!

What is Lap Siding?

lap-siding-Mares Dow

If you are a homeowner who is working with siding contractors on your next renovation project, you have likely had the term lap siding come up. But what is lap siding? Very simply, it is siding that is made of long boards laid horizontally to overlap each other. This simple definition, however, can get a little more complicated when you take into account the options for materials the boards can be made of and the several ways they can be made to overlap. Here is a brief overview of these many options, and their benefits for your home. 

Materials

For much of the history of this style of house siding, lap siding has been made of wood. Today you can still install wood lap siding, but you can also look into vinyl, fiberglass, or fiber cement options. Fiber cement is an increasingly popular material because it is less expensive than wood and more durable than vinyl. It is also low maintenance, typically only needing replacement every 50 years, and can utilize different pigmentation technology that offers homeowners a range of colors without the hassle of traditional paint. 

Installation styles

There is more than one way siding can be made to overlap. If you ask home remodeling contractors, they will likely be able to rattle off more than a few – shiplap, channel lap, dutch lap, nickel gap, bevel, and clapboard are some examples. Clapboard is the most common and likely what you think of when you think of traditional lap siding. Each of these installation styles has its benefits, but the main difference is in the aesthetic and what appeals to the homeowner. 

Benefits of lap siding

No matter the material or installation style, there are many benefits of lap siding which is why it is the most popular siding in the US. When weighing the pros and cons of lap siding, consider these benefits: 

 

  • Easy installation – For wood lap siding, it is one of the easiest ways to mill the board. Additionally, other materials such as vinyl and fiber cement are manufactured for ease of installation, which can also help to decrease the cost of siding installation overall.

 

  • Excellent water-resistance – The main purpose of siding is to keep the outdoor elements from the vulnerable infrastructure of your house, which if damaged, can lead to costly and complicated repairs. Lap siding does an excellent job of repelling exterior moisture by nature of its installation style. The overlapping of the boards wicks water down and away so water leaks are much less common with lap siding. 

 

  • Timeless aesthetic – Lap siding has an aesthetic appeal that lasts as long as its materials. It has been the most popular siding style for a long time, and will be for years to come. And as a classic, lap siding is a good investment for any homeowner because it is not likely to go the way of fleeting trends and in turn diminish home value. Lap siding will always be in fashion. 

 

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983. We are experienced home remodeling contractors, commercial skylight experts & siding contractors. We enjoy working with homeowners & businesses to ensure their vision becomes a reality. Contact us today to get started on your next project!

Is It Time to Replace Your Siding?

siding-contractor-Mares-Dow

The siding on your house is the key to preserving the integrity of everything behind it. When your siding is compromised, it can lead to damage to the structure of your house and eventually cause multiple problems inside your home. Unsightly siding can also negatively impact the value of your house, undermining even the best work of your home remodeling contractors. But how do you know when you need to replace your siding? Here are four signs it’s time to go out with the old and in with the new. 

 

  1. Pervasive dry rot

Dry rot is caused by fungi that eat away at wood siding, causing it to decay and crumble. You may notice your siding is cracked, brittle, or depositing spore dust. If this sort of damage isn’t already visible to the naked eye, it can be detected by knocking on your wood siding to see if the wood has become soft or spongy compared to undamaged wood. If dry rot is localized, the affected area can be treated before the fungus spreads. However, if the damage can’t be contained in this way, it is time to replace your siding. Non-wood siding materials can help you to avoid this issue in the future. 

 

  1. Cracks, gaps, bulges

Like dry rot, these siding issues are important to take care of before they lead to further damage to your home. Cracks and gaps in siding allow moisture to reach the materials that make up the infrastructure of your home, which can result in costly problems and necessary repairs. If you also notice bulges or warped siding that doesn’t lay flat, this may indicate that the infrastructure has already been damaged. Inside your home, you might even notice mold or mildew, peeling paint, or drafts around wall fixtures. Siding contractors are skilled in identifying and remedying these harder-to-detect issues. 

 

  1. Too high-maintenance

If you find yourself needing to spruce up your siding with a power wash or a fresh coat of paint more often than you’d like, it may be worth looking at more low maintenance and higher quality siding options. Quality siding should last several years without fading or losing its shape, and in general vinyl siding doesn’t require the same upkeep as other siding materials. When the demands of maintaining your siding are more than you want to deal with, consider replacing it with a siding material that is more your speed. 

 

  1. Faded color or just out-of-date

No matter how great the interior of your house looks, if your siding is severely faded and discolored, or it looks like it is from a bygone era, your home value is not what it could be. Today’s siding comes in a range of striking colors and styles that can immediately improve the curb appeal of your house. Additionally, when you take advantage of modern siding options, you benefit from materials that are engineered to last and increase your home’s energy efficiency. 

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling experts and enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel!

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