Category

Siding Contractors

Spring Home Checklist

By Articles, Gutters, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services, Siding, Siding Contractors, Uncategorized

spring-cleaning

Now that spring is finally arriving, it’s time to get outside and see what Old Man Winter has done to your home.  Wind, snow, ice and the freeze-thaw cycle can take their toll on your home’s protective shell.  Here is a checklist of things to look for:

Roof:

– Are there curling, blistering and broken shingles?  This usually indicates the end of the shingles’ life expectancy.
– Is there loose material at chimneys, pipes and other roof penetrations?
– Is there shingle grain in gutters?  This gives added weight and protection from the UV rays.
– Are there wet areas on the inside of your home indicating roof or siding leaks?

Gutters:

– Are the gutters overflowing?
– Are they coming away from the house, sagging or dipping?
– Are they full of debris?  Now is a good time to have Leaf Relief gutter guards installed.

Siding:

– Are there any loose or cracked pieces of siding or trim?
– Is there any rotten wood, including window and door trim, soffit and fascia?
– Are the caulk joints around windows and doors cracked?

Windows:

– Are your windows drafty or uninsulated?
– Have the seals failed allowing moisture between the panes?
– Are they hard to open and close properly?

Now is the time to take care of any issues before they become costly problems.  Fichtner Services can help.   Call us for a FREE ESTIMATE or to schedule a Check-up Service for any of the above items.

Featured Home: Exterior Renovation Severna Park

By Articles, Customer Testimonial, Featured Project, Fiber Cement Siding, James Hardie Siding, Roof Replacement, Siding Contractors

Severna Park Home With James Hardie Siding

Fichtner Services recently completed an exterior home remodeling project in Severna Park, Maryland. The owner of this golf course neighborhood home hired Annapolis contractor Fichtner Services to give her home a facelift and increase the curb appeal and weather protection of the home.

“I love driving up to our new home and am in awe what we accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

Working together with Fichtner Services made the planning and actual construction go so easily. I liked that each team of workers met in the morning to discuss the goals for the day. I think the communication was strong and Nolan facilitated it beautifully. I appreciated that I was consulted on every detail and Shawn was so patient with every question I had about the project.

Our family is thrilled with the final product, so once again, many thanks and I will recommend Fichtner Services to one and all.”

-CB, Severna Park

Project Details

The home owner chose to remove the current siding and some of the brick facing and replace it with James Hardie Fiber Cement lap and shingle siding.

Before & After
 
Severna Park Home Before With Brick Facing Severna Park Home After James Hardie Siding

Severna Park Home After James Hardie Siding

In addition, Fichtner Services removed and replaced the roof with Tamko Heritage 30 architectural shingles. A new, wider overhang was installed at the roof eaves and finished with composite, low maintenance trim. Fichtner services also built and installed a new roof over the garage doors.

Before & After
 
Before Wider Overhang Severna Park Home After Wider Overhang and Tamko Roof

Before New Garage Doors After New Garage Roof Install

The project was completed with a new Integrity by Marvin 15 light sliding French door and all new aluminum gutters and downspouts.

 

See more Featured Homes by Fichtner Services in our Photo Gallery

 

Need a new roof? 5 Facts You Should Know About Hiring a Maryland Contractor

By Articles, Hiring a Contractor, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Contractor Annapolis, Siding Contractors

Hiring the right contractor to replace your roof or take care of any other major renovations to your home is a big decision. There are a lot of factors to consider beyond price. Chances are, you’ll always find someone who will do the work for less money, but what will it cost you in the end? Inferior craftsmanship, low quality customer service or worse…

An unlicensed contractor horror story
In Prince George’s County, a retired couple paid $20,000 to an unlicensed contractor to build an addition to the first floor of their home. During the winter, their roof collapsed because the contractor had removed a load bearing wall.

5 Facts You Should Know About Unlicensed Home Improvement Contractors

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation wants you to know why it is important to hire a licensed contractor. Here are the top 5 facts about unlicensed home improvement contractors from the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC):

  • It’s Illegal! In the State of Maryland, home improvement contractors, subcontractors and sales people must have an MHIC license.
  • Unlicensed contractors will drive a vehicle without a posted MHIC number or may use a fake number. Visit DLLR online to verify a contractors number.
  • An MHIC license can be revoked because of poor workmanship, failure to complete jobs, criminal activity or other violations. Some contractors may attempt to use an expired or revoked license, be sure to verify with the MHIC.
  • Elderly homeowners are especially vulnerable to unlicensed contractors. They love to pull “bait and switch” scams, quoting a low price and then demanding more money later.
  • Often times unlicensed contractors are from out of state, making it difficult to recover money or stolen items.

Hire a Maryland Contractor with Confidence

Fichtner Services is family-owned and operated serving Annapolis and beyond for more than 17 years. We have earned a reputation over the years as being one of the most trusted and reliable roofing companies in Maryland. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the damage that unlicensed contractors do. Fichtner Services has completed repair work for homeowners who have fallen victim to unlicensed contractors. These repairs are often more expensive than the original work would have been, not to mention the stress that homeowners have to deal with as a result of hiring an unlicensed contractor.

Don’t Be a Victim
Before you hire a roofing company in Annapolis or other home improvement contractor, do your homework. Here are some easy steps you can take to make sure you won’t be the next unlicensed contractor horror story:

  • Ask to see every contractor’s MHIC license and then check to make sure it is current. Check online or call DLLR 888-218-5925
  • Ask to see a copy of the contractor’s current general liability insurance certificate.
  • Ask for local references and follow up to find out if the work was on time, on budget and whether or not they would hire the contractor again. Read Fichtner Services Reviews
  • If the contractor has employees, ask to see copies of worker’s compensation insurance certificates. If they use subcontractors, ask to see those licences and make sure they are valid.

Call Fichtner Services For Your Exterior Home Improvement Needs

Whether you need a new roof, new siding, replacement windows or more, Fichtner Services is there for you. We are proud to be named “Best Roofing” company in Annapolis by the readers of The Capital for the second year in a row. We take pride in our reputation and the fact that 75% of our business is from repeat customers and referrals.

If you’re looking for a contractor for your home improvement project, contact us for a free quote. Call 888-785-7649 or request a quote online.

Featured Home: Davidsonville Farm-Style

By Doors, Edgewater Roofing, Edgewater Windows, Featured Project, Fiber Cement Siding, Gutters, James Hardie Siding, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Contractor Annapolis, Roofing Services, Siding, Siding Contractors, Siding Edgewater, Uncategorized

Davidsonville Farm Style
Fichtner Services was pleased to work with Frank and Angee Lucente, who built their beautiful farm-style home on 40 acres in the heart of Davidsonville. The couple selected a wonderful array of materials in classic colors to give their new home an authentic and rustic feel.

Fichtner Services was able to help bring their ideas to fruition by installing all of the exterior materials used on the home. Tamko Heritage architectural shingles in Rustic Slate were installed on the roof.

fichtner services featured home 5 DSC_0938 Fichtner Featured Home December 3

The Lucentes chose James Hardie fiber cement siding, an extremely durable, impact resistant and non-combustible product, in several styles around the home. A combination of board-and- batten, cedar shingle and lap siding was used to break up the various areas of the home; all in Hardie’s Color Plus Monterey Taupe. The window and door surround is a James Hardie fiber cement trim in Woodstock Brown and the remaining Hardie trim is a Navajo Beige, with aluminum gutters to match.

DSC_0595
Fichtner Services also installed Screen-EZ to the two screened porches and EPDM flat roof membrane to the flat roof areas.

We wish all the best to the Lucente family and hope that they have many years ahead to make wonderful memories in their beautiful new home!

Fichtner Services Earns Angie’s List Super Service Award

By 2012 Angie's List Super Service Award, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Contractor Annapolis, Siding Contractors, Tesimonials, Uncategorized

Angie's List 2012 Super Service Award BadgeFor the third consecutive year, Annapolis roofing company, Fichtner Services has earned the esteemed Angie’s List Super Service Award. This service industry honor is awarded annually to approximately five percent of all companies rated on Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

“It’s a select group of companies rated on Angie’s List that can claim the exemplary customer service record of being a Super Service Award winner,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Our standards for the Super Service Award are quite high. The fact that Fichtner Services earned this recognition speaks volumes about its dedication providing great service to its customers.”

To earn this award, Fichtner Services had to meet strict eligibility requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from our customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines. 

Richard of Stevensville, Maryland gave Fichtner Services an “A” rating on Angie’s List saying, “Fichtner Services was excellent. I used them because of the price, reputation and referrals. They did an efficient job and cleaned up well. They were conscientious. They were great, fast and worked hard. Everything was great; I could not even know they were here after they left. They were excellent company.”

Fichtner Services has been a leading roofing contractor in the Baltimore Annapolis region for 17 years. In addition to roof repair and replacement services, Fichtner Services provides a number of exterior home improvement services including siding, gutters, windows, doors, decks as well as energy saving improvements.

The reputation that Fichtner Services has earned as a leading roofing contractor is built on trust, value, quality and customer service. “I can tell you right now, that you can find someone cheaper than us,” says Tom Fichtner, owner of Fichtner Services, “but the cheaper choice isn’t the safest choice and does not offer the best value. I feel good knowing that you will receive the best value by trusting your investment in Fichtner Services. After all, my name is on the line every day.”

Emergency Services… After The Storm

By Emergency Repair Service, Hiring a Contractor, Hurricane Damage, Roof Repair, Roof Replacement, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services, Siding Contractors, Uncategorized

The East Coast has been battered with severe storms over the last several years including deadly Super Storm Sandy that caused millions of dollars in damage to New York and New Jersey. While we were very lucky in Maryland not to suffer major widespread damage, we were not unaffected.

This winter is projected to have severe winter storms and snow. Last month, we offered tips on increasing your home’s energy efficiency. Now, we want to focus on the steps you should take after a weather emergency.

Storm Damage Home Hurricane Irene

Fichtner Services worked to repair this damaged home after last year’s Hurricane Irene

Steps to Take After the Storm

“First and foremost, make sure your home is safe for your family,” says Tom Fichtner of Fichtner Services. Many major storms can produce damage to a home that makes it unlivable. Fichtner Services offers prompt response for storm damage emergencies to assess your home’s condition and get started on the needed repairs so you can get back into your home as quickly as possible.

1. Report Damage To Insurance Company
Once your family is safe, the first step is to contact your insurance company and let them know you have storm damage. Keep detailed notes about your conversation. If you don’t know already, ask about your deductible and to be walked through the claims process.

2. Choose A Reputable Contractor
Choosing the right contractor is the next step and it should be someone you can trust. You want to find a contractor who is established, licensed and bonded. Ask to see certificates of insurance and insist on a clear, detailed estimate that lists the materials, cost and estimated start and completion dates.

One of the best ways to find a qualified contractor is to get a referral from family, friends and neighbors. You can also check out contractor ratings on Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau.

Read what our customers say about us

3. Document Storm Damage
Be sure you make an inventory of damaged property and personal belongings. Take photographs of fallen trees and other damage for your records. Do not discard damaged property until after the insurance adjuster has had an opportunity to review. Be present when your adjuster is inspecting damage to your home.

Fichtner Services Is Here For Emergency Service

Fichtner Services has been serving the Annapolis / Baltimore region for nearly 20 years, providing prompt and reliable service for businesses and homeowners. We are especially sensitive to the needs of individuals during an emergency or following a storm. We increase our response rates to these individuals to ensure the safety of their home and family.

If you suffered storm damage or experience emergency damage to your home, contact Fichtner Services at 888.785.7649 or schedule an appointment online.

James Hardie is #1 for the 7th Year in a Row

By Cost vs. Value, Fiber Cement Siding, James Hardie Siding, Siding, Siding Contractors

For seven consecutive years, fiber cement siding has been ranked as the number one return on investment according to the Remodeling 2011-12 Cost vs. Value Report.

About the Survey

The most recent report was released in November 2011 and marked the 25th anniversary of the report which covers the 35 most popular home remodeling and renovation projects. The report compares construction costs for popular projects against the share of the costs that is recovered in resale. The report includes both national and regional averages.

“Replacement projects are again performing better in resale value than other types of remodeling,” said Sal Alfano, Editorial Director of REMODELING in a press release. “Seven of the 10 top-ranked projects include exterior replacements of siding, windows, and doors. This is partly because they impact curb appeal and also because they are relatively low cost.”

Fiber cement siding replacement is a relatively new addition to the list, added in 2005. Since its addition to the survey, it has ranked first every year for best return on investment showing less than a 0.6% cost increase than the year before.

The Buzz for James Hardie Siding
Siding contractors aren’t the only ones touting the benefits of James Hardie cement fiber siding:

  • Money magazine called HardiPlank® a great value; a smart investment that delivers on durability
  • Smart Money magazine listed James Hardie in its Smart Fiscal Sense feature
  • Called the #1 Quality Exterior Lap Siding Product for the past thirteen years by Builder magazine (1998-2011)
  • James Hardie siding has been featured on over 20 Southern Living, Costal Living, and Sunset magazine Idea Houses
  • Over 50 Houses on ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover have used James Hardie fiber cement siding

Fichtner Services Featured Home with James Hardie Siding, Davidsonville, MD

The Pros Know

There are many projects that you can tackle as a homeowner, but re-siding with fiber cement gives you the best return on investment.

  • Re-siding with fiber cement gives a 27% better return on investment than adding a bathroom and costs $27K less to complete
  • Replacing your roof gives you 22% less return on investment than re-siding with fiber cement
  • Replacing windows nets 9% less return on investment than fiber cement re-siding

Ficthner Services is a James Hardie Preferred Remodeler

For such an important project, trust an authorized James Hardie contractor. James Hardie partners with the best siding contractors from around the country to give homeowners reassurance that their product will be installed correctly. All James Hardie Preferred Remodelers must meet specific requirements prior to gaining membership into the program.

To become a Preferred Remodeler of James Hardie siding, Fichtner Services had to demonstrate compliance with James Hardie Installation Best Practices and show a professional sales approach. James Hardie Preferred Remodelers must have been in business for 4 years as the same company under the same name and hold a satisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau or other accredited rating agency. Fichtner Services fulfilled additional requirements by being state licensed and fully bonded and insured.

If you are interested in learning more about James Hardie fiber cement siding and would like a free estimate for your project, contact Fichtner Services to schedule a consultation.

Fichtner Services Featured Employee – Meghan Sullivan, Production Assistant

By Employee Spotlight, Roofing Contractor, Siding Contractors

Meghan Sullivan is a vital part of the Fichtner Services production team. Meghan is the friendly voice you will hear on the other end of the phone to schedule your project, let you know when it will be completed, and answers any questions that you may have. Like the rest of the Fichtner staff, Meghan cares about our customers and makes sure that they get the best service possible. 

She took a few minutes from her busy day to talk to us about herself and her position with Fichtner Services: 

Where did you grow up?
I am originally from the Maryland area, my family was in the Navy so we moved around a lot in the early years.

How long have you worked at Fichtner Services?
It will be 3 years at the end of April.

Tell us about your role at Fichtner Services?
As the Production Assistant, I am responsible for contacting our customers to schedule production and services jobs. In addition, I call on vendors for material orders and assist in tracking crews in the field. I also take customer support calls and try to resolve any customer issue that might arise.

What do you like most about working a Fichtner Services?
I enjoy my co-workers, everyone is great to work with. I am lucky to really enjoy my job and what I do every day. Communicating with the homeowners and customers is a major part of my role and I like being able to help them with any of their problems or concerns.

What do like most about the Fichtner Services’ customers?
Our customers are incredibly friendly. It truly is a pleasure to talk with them and help them out.

Employee Spotlight: Mike Bafford

By Employee Spotlight, Gutters, Insulation, Insulation Contractors, Replacement Windows, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services, Siding, Siding Contractors

Mike Bafford has worked with Fichtner Services since 2003. He is the sales consultant and estimator for Howard County, West Baltimore, Carroll County and parts of Montgomery and Prince George’s County. A number of projects that Fichtner Services completes are in the Ellicott City area, which include residential projects for single family homes and town homes as well as commercial projects and multi-family complexes.

Mike grew up in Catonsville, just four miles from Ellicott City, and knows the area well. After living in the area for more than 20 years, Mike relocated to Westminster in Carroll County. A true people person, Mike enjoys working with homeowners and property managers to help them improve the beauty and longevity of their property. Mike shares the principles of Fichtner Services, which are customer service and quality.

Fichtner Services recently completed a commercial roofing project in the Clarksville area for a major national restaurant chain. It is important for a commercial contractor to communicate well with other contractors and complete work on schedule and on budget. Mike enjoys working on commercial projects because it allows him and his crew to use materials like metal roofing that aren’t incorporated into the everyday residential project.

In addition, Fichtner Services works with a number of custom home builders in the Ellicott City area, giving them the ability to work on exciting projects with a range of materials including green and recycled materials. Recycled materials, says Mike are very appealing to the environmentally conscious homeowner. Eco Star is a manufacturer of recycled home improvement products offered by Fichtner Services. Using recycled rubber and plastic, they create natural looking, imitation slate and cedar roofing.

Above all, says Mike, customer service is what differentiates Fichtner Services from other contractors. “There are many other contractors who sell the same products we do, but it is what you do with the product and what you provide for the client after the installation that differentiates Fichtner Services.”

Learn more about how Fichtner Services can improve the value and beauty of your home, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Best Ways to Improve the Value of Your Home

By Doors, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services, Siding, Siding Contractors, Uncategorized

Roofing Replacement

“Never underestimate the value of having a great roof over your head,” says Tom Fichtner of Fichtner Services. Many homeowners take their roof for granted and don’t keep up with maintenance which can lead to expensive repairs down the road. Replacing your roof and upgrading materials is a great way to improve the value of your home. If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, you’ll want to seriously consider replacing your roof. Potential buyers want to know that they won’t have to invest in basic improvements and maintenance. If they find out your roof leaks, they may offer significantly less money or back off entirely.

Today’s roofing materials are better than ever.  Fichtner Services offers a wide range of choice in material including shingle roofing, cedar roofing and metal roofing to fit every need and budget. According to the Remodeling 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com), roofing replacement in the South Atlantic region, which includes Maryland, has an average of 67.3% cost recouped.

Siding Replacement

Another great investment you can make in home improvements is in siding replacement. The Cost vs. Value Report cites this as another area with significant cost recouping potential. According to the recent report, Vinyl Siding Replacement averages 76.5% return on investment while Fiber Cement Siding Replacement averages 85.4% return on investment.

“Replacing the siding on your home accomplishes a number of goals for the homeowner,” explains Fichtner, “First, it can improve the appearance of the home or change the look all together. But second, and arguably more importantly, siding protects your home from the elements.” Fichtner Services offers an extensive selection of siding options from vinyl to James Hardie cement board to cedar siding.

Windows and Doors

Upgrading windows and doors can add to the value of your home and save you money at the same time. “Old windows and doors are one of the leading causes for energy loss in a home, making these simple upgrades can save you money on your energy bill and improve your home’s value at the same time,” says Fichtner.

A Baltimore homeowner had this to say about recent window replacement by Fichtner Services, “The work was done in a timely manner and really enhanced our home. The crew was professional and took care of protecting the inside of our home during the installation of the windows. They actually uncovered damage from ice damming and without hesitation, cut out the damage and corrected the flashing and tyvek as part of the window installation.”

Vinyl window replacement averages 77.3% cost recouped according to the Cost Vs. Value report and Steel Entry Door Replacement has a stunning average of 135% cost recouped.

Deck Addition

Adding a deck to your home is a great way to create additional living space. A deck can be enjoyed year round for entertaining friends and family or as a back yard sanctuary where you can enjoy nature’s sights and sounds. A deck can also improve the value of your home. According to Smart Money, a deck is one of the most cost-efficient ways to add square footage to a house and provides reliable value.

With decks, you have a number of options. Wood decks are the traditional choice for homeowners. Fichtner Services offers a full line of wood decks including treated, western red cedar and IPE. The national average for cost recouped on wood decks is 77.3%, down slightly from the previous year (79.8%). Another choice is composite decks. This low maintenance material is a popular choice, it won’t splinter or rot and only requires occasional washing with a garden hose and deck cleaner to keep it looking fresh. Composite decks come backed by outstanding manufacturers guarantees and are available in a variety of colors and styles to enhance your home.

Invest wisely in your home, choose home improvements that will not only add to the beauty of your home, but increase its longevity and contribute to its overall value. It is important that you select a trusted professional contractor when making improvements to your home. Fichtner Services has an outstanding reputation for high quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer service. Contact Fichtner Services to learn more about value adding improvements you can make to your home.