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Siding

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: 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!

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.

Featured Project: Harwood, MD

By | Featured Project, Gutters, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services, Siding

Pictured: Scott Geesey of Fichtner Services and homeowner, Carol Burke.

Mrs. Burke’s gutters, siding and roof were replaced to transform the appearance of her house, giving it a fresh and modern look. The homeowner selected James Hardie cement board siding and designer shingles.


“Using Fichtner Services for our roof, gutter & siding replacements was a very gratifying experience. The work was started when promised and they made sure that we were completely satisfied when the project was completed.

I have in the past and will continue to recommend Fichtner Services to friends, neighbors and clients.”

 

– Carol Burke, Harwood, MD

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.

Inspect for Hurricane and Earthquake Damage

By | Earthquake Damage, Emergency Repair Service, Gutters, Hurricane Damage, Hurricane Season Begins, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services, Siding

It’s been over two weeks since Maryland was affected by the Earthquake and Hurricane Irene. Now that all of the power has been restored to our area, major debris has been cleared away, and everyone is getting back to “normal”, it is important for homeowners to take a close look at their homes to inspect for hurricane and earthquake damage that might have been overlooked.

 

Hurricane and Earthquake Damage – What to Look For:

• Missing Shingles or Ridge Vent
• Missing or Loose Siding or Trim
• Overflowing or Loose Gutters
• Wet Spots or Sagging Ceilings or Walls Inside Home
• Debris Embedded Through Roof or Siding
• Blown Off Chimney Caps
• Cracked Windows
• Cracked Foundation or Brick Chimney

Some of the damage from the earthquake or hurricane may seem insignificant, but even the tiniest problems can lead to big trouble if left unfixed. With the winter months coming, rain, snow and cold air can enter your home through small holes in the roof or siding, potentially causing major damage. Also, water can seep into cracks in the foundation or brick and freeze in cold months, worsening the damage.

Fichtner Services has been working with homeowners throughout Annapolis and Baltimore, providing emergency repair service for those affected by the earthquake and hurricane. Some repairs may be covered by your homeowners insurance.
If you think that your home has damage from the earthquake or hurricane, contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation and inspection.

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.

‘Greenovate’ for Earth Day!

By | Cut Energy Costs, Doors, Earth Day, Insulation, Replacement Windows, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services, Siding, Uncategorized

Since the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, the building industry has come a long way in manufacturing and installing earth-friendly building products. It is easier than ever to “Be Green” when it comes to choosing which roofing, siding, or other exterior products to install on your home. Some options for homeowners to consider include:

– Using products that are manufactured to include recycled materials, or are produced in a Green manufacturing process with minimal impact to the environment.

-Installing “Cool” products that have a reflective property, greatly reducing energy used for cooling homes.  Many of these products are eligible for tax rebates as well.  Look for the Energy Star logo.

-Going Solar!  Install solar powered attic fans or hot water heaters and watch your energy bills drop!

-Installing energy efficient windows, doors, suntunnels and skylights.

-Installing attic insulation is the best bang for your energy dollar. 

-Making sure that your home is properly vented- this is important for year-round energy efficiency and comfort.

-Choosing building products that will stand the test of time, keeping unnecessary waste out of the landfills. For example, GAF makes a variety of lifetime shingles, meaning that this could be the only roof you ever install on your home.  Other long-lasting options would include fiber cement siding and metal roofing.

 By choosing wisely, homeowners can do their part to save the environment and save money too!  At Fichtner Services we recommend that you don’t just renovate, you GREENOVATE!

Fichtner Services Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award

By | 2010 Angie's List Super Service Award, Doors, Gutters, Insulation, Replacement Windows, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services, Siding, Uncategorized

Fichtner Services has been awarded the prestigious 2010 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all companies rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

“Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer service, as judged by the customers who hired them,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List.

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. 

In 2011, Fichtner Services celebrates 16 years in business.  The principles that Tom and Christine Fichtner founded their company on are still very much true today: to provide quick response, quality craftsmanship, reasonable pricing and steadfast respect for homeowners and their homes.  We’re proud that 75% of our business is from repeat customers and referrals – a true testament to our customers’ satisfaction.

A recent roofing customer had this to say about Fichtner Services on Angie’s List, “It was perfect, they are always perfect.  The personal service and reliability really stand out.  They are honest, reliable and they have good prices.  The professional and customer service is excellent.”

Cut costs on energy with Fichtner Services

By | Cut Energy Costs, Insulation, Replacement Windows, Siding, Uncategorized

Fichtner Services has earned a well deserved reputation as a leader in the installation of energy-saving products for the homeowner. Over the years, founder Tom Fichtner and his team of experts have provided quality craftmanship at very reasonable prices on a variety of home installations that can help cut the cost of energy.

There is no better testimony to validate the superior quality and client satisfaction than the 75% rate of repeat customers and referral business. Fichtner Services has many trade affiliations that allow the company to keep up with all of the latest technology and trends in the business. The products they install are the best products available.

Velux Solar Water Heaters are a simple but very effective way to take advantage of the sun’s energy. The sun heats up the liquid inside the rooftop collectors. A controller pumps the heated liquid to the water tank. The hot liquid heats up the water inside the tank. You’ll get plenty of hot water throughout the house for taking a shower, washing dishes or any other application that requires hot water.

Skylights can be installed in a variety of different styles and sizes. Fichtner has earned the highest rating as sklight installation specialists. They are a certified Velux 5-Star Skylight Specialist, which means they will not only seemlessly install skylights, but will take the time to install the right type of skylight in the right part of your roof. With a properly installed skylight, you will be able to get focused natural light all year round.

A Solar Powered Attic Fan runs on solar energy and keeps your attic cool. It is a low-profile unit that is rust-proof and carries a five year warranty. Circulating air and removing heat will allow you to maintain a comfortable temperature in your house with lower energy costs.

Other energy saving products that Fichtner contractors can install include Owens Corning Atticat Blown-In Insulation, energy efficient replacement windows and Tyvek Home Wrap which goes under your siding and forms a protective skin that keeps out the damaging effects of wind and rain.

For a free consultation and estimate, call Fichtner Services and one of their experienced professionals will discuss your energy saving options.