LP SmartSide Soffit – Siding Houston TX Home Best For Ventilation and Energy Efficiency

Often I receive the question, Greg what is the best siding to use on my Houston Texas home for Energy Efficiency and longevity?  With so many choices out on the market these days such as, Vinyl siding, Faux Stone siding, Fiber Cement siding (Hardie Plank) and last but not least, LP SmartSide siding. I will answer this question in one segment at a time.

Ventilation –

LP SmartSide Siding (Soffit Panels) Boast 10 SQ Inches Per Lineal Foot Of Ventilation

LP SmartSide Siding (Soffit Panels) Boast 10 SQ Inches Per Lineal Foot Of Ventilation. This will allow the home to be cooler by increasing the intake of cooler air into any Texas attac space.

As you can see in looking at this Houston home that Texas Home Exteriors installed LP SmartSide Siding on, the lanced soffit panels.

This amount of increased ventilation 10 SQ Inches (LP SmartSide Siding Soffit) VS. 5 SQ Inches (Fiber Cement Hardie Soffit)

Fiber Cement / Hardie Soffit 5 SQ Inches Per Lineal Foot

Fiber Cement / Hardie Soffit 5 SQ Inches Per Lineal Foot of Ventilation.

This increased fresh air flow will allow any TX home to have an intake of cooler air. This in turn will allow the AC Unit that is often located in our Texas attics to run much more efficiently and use less electricity month after month.

As we all know, the less that we use our utilities to cool our Texas homes, the lower our utility bills will be!

It is important for your Houston Texas home to have proper attic ventilation to help keep your roof and home cool. Proper ventilation extends the life of your roof and helps to keep the surface of roof cooler in turn reducing utility bills during our long hot southeast Texas summer months! When installed correctly and by using best roofing practices, your GAF roofing shingles will keep the water out of your home, keep your roofing shingles cooler and your home will be cooler and more energy efficient.

Soffit (intake) Ridge Vent (exhaust) Flow Diagram

Soffit (intake) Ridge Vent (exhaust) Flow Diagram

The red arrows in the diagram on the right show how the cooler air is drawn in by the soffit vent and the hot air is pushed out through the Ridge Vent(roof ridge vent) on the ridge / peak of the roof. This type of Texas vented roof system will keep your attic cooler in the hot TX summer months saving you money on your utility bills (AC bills), month after month, year after year for homes in the Houston TX metro area.



Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Star, Home Exterior, Home Improvement, Home Siding, Houston Texas, LP SmartSide, LP SmartSide Siding, r-Value, Siding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

James Hardie Siding (HardiePlank) Job Before and After Houston Texas

James Hardie Siding (HardiPlank) Transformation, Houston TX
So here we are again bragging about our workmanship here at Texas Home Exteriors! As projects come and go, as you will find, I openly share a variety of siding jobs we complete here in the Houston TX metro area.  Some projects photographs are better than others making for excellent before and after photos of the project.

Before photo of Houston TX home vertical brown siding

Before photo of Houston TX home vertical brown siding

This is one of our completed projects of a home located by the Reliant Center which is near downtown Houston TX, a great project for before and after photos.

The New Hardie Siding Choice
We removed the old original dark brown wood siding that was in stalled in a vertical pattern, this siding had much rotting. We removed the old wood siding and installed James Hardie Colonial Roughsawn Lap Siding in a horizontal pattern per the homeowner’s siding choice. We then installed the Hardie Shingle

In Progress Hardie Shingle Siding Staggered installed by Texas Home Exteriors Houston Texas

In Progress Hardie Shingle Siding Staggered Job installed by Texas Home Exteriors Houston Texas

(staggered edge) for accents on selected gables. Tyvek HouseWrap was installed under the siding to keep the moisture out of the home and allow the walls to breath.

The Sherwin-Williams Paint Color Selection
You can see the huge transformation of this home in the before and after photos. The new paint colors were carefully selected by the Houston TX homeowner.

After Texas Home Exteriors installed new James Hardie Siding

After Texas Home Exteriors installed new James Hardie Siding

We applied Sherwin-Williams Super paint with a 25 year warranty on the home. The colors the homeowner selected for their home were:
Siding – Intellectual Gray SW7045
Trim – Snowbound SW7004
Door – Fireweed SW6328

The Homeowner’s Comments on their Siding Project
Here are some comments we received from the homeowner on the completed siding job:

“We hired Texas Home Exteriors to repace the old wood siding on our 50’s house with new HardiPlank and new painted (and in some cases, replaced) trim. They did a phenomenal job and it now feels like we have a brand new home!

After Texas Home Exteriors Houston TX James Hardie Colonial Rough Sawn and Hardie Shingle Staggered

After Texas Home Exteriors Houston TX James Hardie Colonial Rough Sawn and Hardie Shingle Staggered

Our experience started when Bill came to our house in response to our request for a quote. He walked around the house and answered all of our questions, showing us samples, talking through the process, etc. This was a great start because we had previously called a couple of places who would only give us a rough quote over the phone, so the personal attention started right away. After we signed the contract, Greg and Shelly came out and did another detailed walkthrough and again were incredibly patient and willing to answer any and all questions.”

Hardie Shingle Siding Staggered installed by Texas Home Exteriors Houston Texas

Hardie Shingle Siding Staggered installed by Texas Home Exteriors Houston Texas

One the project got started, we met Carlos and his crew, who were all polite and professional. They did minor cleanup at the end of each day and a very throrough cleanup at the end. They worked quickly and the quality is very impressive. It took just over a week to do the entire house: lapboard siding on 4 walls, shingle siding on two large walls and a dormer, painted trim everywhere with lots of replacement (we had a bunch of rotten wood siding and trim), installed new french doors, installed new gutters, painted three doors, and painted the siding itself.

James Hardie (hardieplank) Siding Colonial Roughsawn installed by Texas Home Exteriors - Houston TX

James Hardie (hardieplank) Siding Colonial Roughsawn installed by Texas Home Exteriors – Houston TX

Throughout the entire project, Greg and his crew were amazingly helpful, patient, and friendly. They really bent over backwards to make sure we were completely satisfied, and we honestly could not be happier with the results. I would recommend them without reservation, and would definitely use them again if the occasion came up.”

Here at Texas Home Exteriors, this type of workmanship can be expected with results your neighbors will be sure to complement you about. For a free estimate, please contact us at 281.919.6999, email info@TexasHomeExteriors.net and visit our website Texas Home Exteriors. We are happy to assist you and to add you to our list of happy customers!

by Greg Kapitan


Posted in Home Exterior, Home Improvement, Home Siding, House Shingles, Houston Texas, James Hardie siding, Siding, Texas Home Exteriors, The Woodlands Texas, Tyvek ThermaWrap | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fiber Cement/Hardie Siding popularity changes as Vinyl Siding makes a comeback in Houston TX.

The Introduction of Fiber Cement Siding

It was around 1999 in Houston TX when Houstonians started hearing about a siding product called Fiber Cement/Hardie Siding on the radio.  As many will attest, Vinyl Siding was king and the most requested siding product in the Texas market (and across the USA).

In Houston TX, on average, we receive nearly 4′ (48″) of rain every year and due to this and a great many of the homes here built using wood or masonite siding, homeowners ended up with siding often failing. This failure was due to the lack of painting and upkeep required for these types of siding products. Many Houston homeowners were looking at replacing the rotting wood or masonite siding on their homes and at the time, vinyl siding was the option most commonly selected.  This was until some of the local radio home improvement guys started getting paid to pitch a new siding product called, “Fiber Cement Siding”.  At this time, not much was known about the fiber cement product other than it was a cement-based siding product and would need paint application.

Move Over Vinyl . . . Fiber Cement/Hardie Siding Takes The Lead
The advertising campaigns and pitching paid off as this new siding product was pitched and heard more and more on the radio with boasts of what a better a product it was compared to vinyl siding. Homeowners in the metro Houston area started taking notice, local contractors were starting to pitch this new Fiber Cement Siding product and homeowners started jumpeing on the HardiPlank band wagon as the greatest new product on the market.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber Cement Siding

Contractors in this part of the country are known for taking the path of  least resistance, so when homeowners started asking for this new siding product, the home exteriors companies and siding contractors alike started pitching (selling) the fiber cement siding product to homeowners throughout southeast Texas like crazy.

Fiber Cement Jumps From 5% Market Share to 90%
Within the period of about 5-6 years, I personally watched as the Fiber Cement Siding market went from being a mere 5% in 1999 to a jump of nearly 90% by 2005. To survive in the Houston TX siding market as a siding contractor, any company installing siding would or should have been offering the Fiber Cement product by this time.

Houston TX - Texas Home Exteriors

The City of Houston TX – Offices of Texas Home Exteriors

Needless to say, many contractors did NOT like pitching a product to homeowners that needed painting and upkeep especially following an easy upkeep product like vinyl. However; if you were to survive in the Houston Texas metro market buying into fiber cement, you would need to participate if you wanted to stay in the business of siding installation!

When Repainting Fiber Cement Becomes Reality = Vinyl Siding Comeback
In this day and age many homeowners do not want the continued maintenance of repainting their home or changing out their roof every 10-15 years for that matter, like we have found is needed here in the south. Let’s face it, we are all busy and who wants to have to deal with this, the time, the money, the liability?

Texas Home Exteriors - Lifetime Vinyl Siding Homeowners in the Houston metro area (as well as across the country), now with the realization that the siding they just had installed and painted a few years ago needs to be repainted again and again and/or repaired.

This meant, getting bids, hiring a contractor, dealing with the HOA, getting colors approved (again), the mess, cost and dealing with the contractor telling you…”that is old paint on your brick” or . . . “it is peeling again because of the old paint was not removed or installed properly”. Yep, we have heard one or more of these scenarios and no fun!

The Issue of VOCs and Paint
Volatile organic compound VOCs are regulated by law, especially indoors, where concentrations are the highest. Harmful VOCs typically are not acutely toxic, but have compounding long-term health effects. Because the concentrations are usually low and the symptoms slow to develop, research into VOCs and their effects is difficult for workers installing products on your Houston Texas home exterior. There’s also the issue of sillaca dust cause when the fiber cement is cut and its harmful effect on the workers. 

Pealing Siding Paint Long After The Crews Are Gone
This is an issue that many do not think about until the crews are long gone and the reality of peeling paint has settled in. This is the time when homeowners consider if they are just going to simply paint over that old paint again, or what to do next . . .

Paint Peeling Off Of Fiber Cement Siding

Paint Peeling Off Of Fiber Cement Siding


Paint Peeling Off Of Fiber Cement Siding

Finding yourself with questions like, “really, to only to have it peel off again?”; “How do I get every square inch of that old paint off of my home?” amongst many other concerns racing through the thought process.  If you don’t believe me that the paint might peel from your new fiber cement than take a look at these photos because it does and possibly could.  The images above show the reality of how paint can peel off from fiber cement siding just a few years after installation and painting of the siding product.

The results of this can vary depending on which paint was applied as well as how the surface was treated or prepped. Fiber cement siding is made up of a combination of Portland cement, ground sand, cellulose fiber and select additives which holds paint exceptionally well. The siding is available either unprimed or as pre-primed panels.

Improperly treated, cement-based products can become mildew magnets. A high quality exterior acrylic masonry primer, such as Sherwin-Williams Loxon Masonry Primer, will fortify the siding’s mildew and efflorescence resistance as well as caulk at the butt joints and applying the finish coat or coats. However many contractors to do not take the time to do what is needed to prevent the paint from peeling.

Foundation Problems – Notorious Here In Houston
Another issue with fiber cement siding is that it does not flex and move with the home. Anyone in Houston TX will tell you that sooner or later, either you or someone that you know, will deal with foundation problems.

Here you can clearly see how this fiber cement trim and siding has cracked and separated. I personally took this photo at a west Houston Texas home.

With a moving home and siding product that is too rigged, a homeowner is asking for trouble. This can lead to problems like cracks that allow for water to leak into and behind the siding and trim causing, mold, mildew and eventually, rot.

The photo on the right clearly shows the results of a home that has apparently had some movement.  There is no wonder that rigid siding and trim, like fiber cement, carries only a 15 year trim and 30 year siding warranty. With no movement flexibility in the fiber cement siding, your home can end up with cracks like the ones in the image on the right.

Not All Fiber Cement Jobs Are Bad
When a homeowner is considering siding products, it is important to be aware of some of the POSSIBLE problems associated with the products they are considering. Do your research and learn about the possible problems associated with siding products whether you are considering fiber cement siding or any other siding product.

What About Vinyl Siding Option for Houston Texas?
Vinyl Siding has it’s own set of problems, however; these are minimal and vinyl siding has been on the market for a good many years. This product is easy to install, low-maintenance, a great price and great option for Houston Texas homeowners.

Vinyl Siding Sales Up 15% 2014 1st Quarter in Houston Texas 
Most of the siding supply houses in Houston TX are reporting that Vinyl Siding sales are up 10 to 15% over 2013. As homeowners become more educated and are researching products on the internet, they know more about the products and reported problems and are able to make more informed and smarter choices. It seems many homeowners are finding that the old saying is true . . . “Vinyl is Final”

What Does Vinyl Siding Offer Over Fiber Cement Siding?

Texas Home Exteriors Lifetime Vinyl Siding

Texas Home Exteriors Lifetime Energy Efficient Vinyl Siding

  • Lower Cost To Install
  • Never Paint Again
  • Energy Efficient
  • Energy Star Rated
  • Extra Insulation
  • Quieter Home
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • By Far, The Best Return On Your Dollar!

Additional Benefits Include:
1. Heavy thickness for exceptional impact resistance.
2. Beautiful appearance – rough cedar wood-grain.
3. Double-thick nail hem windload resistance of up
to 213 mph.
4. Self-aligning locking system for quick, easy installation = straighter walls.
5. Double-sized insulated panels means up to 45% less noise and significantly reduced air
infiltration for a quieter, more energy efficient home.
6. Larger panel profile adds rigidity and dramatic shadow line.
7. Duratron UV technology for superior weatherability and color retention.
8. Ocean Park ULTRA siding’s premium color is consistent all the way through.


Texas Home Exteriors KayCan Lifetime Log Siding

Texas Home Exteriors KayCan Lifetime Log SidingRustic Charm ​KayCan Montebella Vinyl Log Siding will give you the rustic look and distinctive warmth of log siding with added durability and resistance.

Rustic Charm ​KayCan Montebella Vinyl Log Siding will give you the rustic look and distinctive warmth of log siding with added durability and resistance.
• Montebello log siding wall system has all
the distinctive warmth, rustic style and beauty of
log siding with the strength and durability of vinyl.
​ • ​Montebello’s low gloss natural
wood grain appearance has been built to last as the
siding won’t dent, crack or split.
• Montebello resists mold, rot and mildew and
incorporates ​Preform Guard patented foam additive
for insect and termite resistance.

Montebello is the low maintenance alternative to real wood  requiring no painting, no staining and no wood preservatives means more time to enjoy your home and the things that you enjoy doing the most. 

Texas Home Exteriors Montebella Vinyl Log Siding

Texas Home Exteriors Montebella Vinyl Lifetime Log Siding

1. Heavy gauge siding adds comfort to your home.​
2. Precisely contoured foam underlayment adds
rigidity and superior impact resistance.​
3. LineLoc panel locking system locks panels
together for greater rigidity on the wall.​
4. Ultra-Vinyl UV vinyl technology guarantees
superior weatherability and color retention.

​I hope you found this information helpful as you consider home exterior siding choices. Both Fiber Cement and Vinyl Siding are great home exterior products. The choice is yours to make, I am happy to provide information and facts about products and to answer any additional questions you might have, share your thoughts an questions in the comments below and I will respond timely and remember that, “Vinyl is Final”!

Greg Kapitan
Kapitan The Siding Man

Posted in Home Exterior, Home Improvement, Home Siding, Houston Texas, Siding, Texas Home Exteriors, The Woodlands Texas, Vinyl Siding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Faux Stacked Stone Siding by Ply Gem Stone

Faux Stacked Stone Siding from Ply Gem installed by Texas Home Exteriors in Houston Texas.
So you’re considering new siding for the exterior of your home.  Have you considered whether you will be doing a complete siding replacement and/or adding stone accents that will completely update the look of your home?  By adding stone accents you can make your home more aesthetically appealing adding great curb appeal, a different look that stands out from the rest.  Well, whether you want to increase your home’s value, replace rotted siding or you just looking for fresh look, this post offers some helpful insight about this great exterior product.

First off, I find that many folks who decide to replace their siding often duplicate the same or similar pattern currently on their homes. Consider updating the look of your home by changing up the siding pattern by adding accents such as Faux Stacked Stone Siding will adds curb appeal as well as bringing the homes exterior to a more up-to-date look. You will find this will really pay off when it comes time to sell your home not to mention your neighbors and friends will certainly take notice.


Ply Gem Mountain Ridge-Faux Stacked Stone-Panels. Texas Home Exteriors Houston Texas.

Durable and Warm Siding
Faux Stacked Stone (natural stone, cultured stone, stone veneer or manufactured stone) also gives any home exterior a warm and earthy feel that says, “welcome home”.  Stone Siding is also the most durable home exterior siding product on the market.

Low maintenance! Faux stacked stone does not need painting, will not dent or chip and needs no upkeep at all. To be honest, Faux Stacked Stone Siding will outlast all of us continuing to look good for our children and even our grandchildren. It will surely withstand the test of time for all to appreciate and enjoy.

How is it Installed?
Faux Stacked Stone is a veneer siding product, meaning that it is a layer of exterior product that is installed to finish out an exterior wall and protect the home from exteriors elements such as wind, moisture, rain, ice snow. For instance, here in Houston Texas faux stacked stone keeps the rain and moisture from penetrating into the walls, protecting our homes from the climate conditions of TX.

Measure the area:
The faux stone installer will measure the linear feet of any corners as well as the square footage of each wall for flat stones. To arrive at the total square footage of flat stones needed, he will subtract the square footage of any openings like windows, as well as the linear footage of the corners. To compensate for normal job site waste, he will order at least 10% more than the final square footage. He will also determine how much premix mortar or mortar and masonry sand are needed for the project.

Ply Gem Texas Home Exteriors

Ply Gem Faux Stacked Stone Texas Home Exteriors

Preparation of the Siding Area:
Preparing the walls is key to a quality application, and a weather-resistant barrier is a requirement for both interior and exterior applications. This consists of two layers of either a Weather-Resistive Barrier like Dupont Tyvek HomeWrap or felt (15 lb), metal wire lath and a scratch coat of pre-mix mortar like Quickcrete or type S or N mortar. When these are installed, the scratch coat needs to be left to dry for 24-48 hours.

Installation of the Stone:
Once the walls are prepared, it’s time to apply the stone. Your installer will lay out stones from multiple boxes to ensure the broadest range of stones for variety and a lower repeat rate unless this has already been organized by the manufacturer. The corner stones are usually applied first, alternating long and short sides. Next, the flat stones are applied on the wall, working them into the corners. Stones are applied by adding mortar to the back and wiggling them onto the dry scratch coat to ensure a seal. To fit stones into the space, your installer will size them as necessary using anything from a wet saw to a chisel or back of a hammer.

Grouting the joints:
To finish the look, after the stones are on the wall, your installer will go back around and add a mortar joint grout in between the stones for non-dry stack applications. For a standard joint, as you would see with a fieldstone style, for instance, the installer uses a grout bag to add mortar in the space between stones. When the mortar is thumbprint dry, a pointing tool is used to smooth out the spaces. Drystack applications are designed to show no visible mortar joint between stones.

Texas Home Exteriors Houston TX

Faux Stacked Stone Siding Texas Home Exteriors Houston TX

Correct installation will ensure that their will be no problems down the road. Great companies like us here at Texas Home Exteriors will strictly perform correct practices for installations to meet guidelines set by the manufacturer’s for warranty. With the addition of Faux Stacked Stone Siding you will enjoy the fresh, war look as well as compliments from your friends and certainly be the envy of any neighborhood! Wouldn’t it be great to be the first in your neighborhood to get this great look on your home? When you call our office at Texas Home Exteriors we will most certainly help you to achieve the look and feel that you desire for the exterior of your southeast Houston Texas home.

by Greg Kapitan
“Kapitan The Siding Man”

Greg Kapitan (the siding man) Texas Home Exteriors

Greg Kapitan (Kapitan The Siding Man) Texas Home Exteriors Houston – The Woodlands , Lake Livingston TX

Posted in cultured stone, Faux Stacked Stone, Home Exterior, Home Improvement, Home Siding, Houston Texas, Houzz, manufactured stone siding, Siding, stone veneer siding, Texas Home Exteriors, The Woodlands Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

James Hardie Siding “HardiePlank” Great Siding Option For Fire Resistance in Houston Southeast Texas Homes

TexasHomeExteriors.Net HardiePlank Houston

James Hardie fiber cement Siding is resistant to fires from a side wall entrance perspective.

James Hardie Siding (HardiePlank Siding) made from fiber cement is a great option for Houston Texas metro area for a fire resistance option for home siding. As we, Texas Home Exteriors, are out in the field bidding siding jobs for TX homeowners, we are often asked the question: “what siding option do you recommend as the best fire resistant siding?”

I find myself instantly answering with the same response for some time now, “James Hardie, HardiePlank Siding”.   Fiber cement siding, like Hardie, has great resistance to fire due to the cement like properties of the siding products.

As many Houstonians know, here it southeast Texas it can get stifling hot in the summer months and can even linger around for what seems like months with no end. We also experience times of drought to the point that our Texas lakes lose all their water due to evaporation, local usage for drinking and irrigation. This presents a problem for many homes close to any wooded area of Texas lakes because they are often built entirely of siding, containing very little brick putting the homes at higher risk of fire damage.  The siding on what I call “Texas lake homes” often consist of wood and many of these were built on a budget as second homes away from the city.

Loblolly_Pines_Texas_Home_Exteriors TX

Loblolly Pine Trees are common in East Texas which presents the possibility of rapidly moving fire dangers and the height of these trees make it nearly impossible to extinguish the flames.  Here is the Link to review the fire rating of James Hardie wall assemblies.   No building material guarantees a fireproof home, but there are some preventative measures Texas homeowners can take to better prepare for the possibility of fires, like installing a non-combustible home exterior siding product like James Hardie Siding (Hardie Plank) that are more resistant to fire.

Here in southeast Texas we have the tall and beautiful LobLolly Pine trees that grow up to 93-110 feet or more in height. Fire danger is a great threat to Texas homeowners in our area thus some insurance companies will allow further discounts for homes with fire resistant siding like HardiPlank siding installed in place of existing wood siding. Check with your local Texas insurance company and explain to them that you plan to replace your wood siding and inform them of which Hardie fire resistant siding you intend on installing. I have heard in the past how local TX homeowners have received reductions on their insurance as a direct result of installing fiber cement siding from James Hardie in Houston.

Texas Home ExteriorsNet James Hardie

You can clearly see in the image above, the fire resistance of fiber cement siding by James Hardie Siding (HardiePlank, Hardy Board). Hardie Siding provides a resistant barrier on the exterior of your home from a side wall entrance perspective.

HardiePlank siding does not easily catch fire, as you can be seen in the photo, a lit torch aimed at the fiber cement siding manufactured by James Hardie Products.

The Hardie Siding will NOT easily burn and clearly protects the flammable wood studs behind your Houston TX home Hardie Siding. This provides a great peace of mind for any homeowner in the Houston southeast metro area of Texas or anywhere in the country that may be at risk of experiencing a wildfire.

James Hardie warranties their siding for a full 30 years. This provides many years of increased fire safety for any homeowner whose home is close to surrounding large trees and would like this extra protection for their home and loved ones.

I hope that you have found this post informative and will pass it along or share it with those you believe may benefit from this fire resistant siding information. If you have a home or are building a home and are not considering brick, consider fiber cement fire resistant Hardie Siding and if you are in the Houston metro area, call me personally at Texas Home Exteriors 281-919-6999. Be sure to follow the Kapitan The Siding Man blog to see future posts about home exteriors and more.

Greg Kapitan
“Kapitan The Siding Man”

Posted in Fire, Home Exterior, Home Improvement, Home Siding, Houston Texas, James Hardie siding, Siding, Texas Home Exteriors, The Woodlands Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fiber Cement or LP SmartSide Siding? An Asset or Liability with Single or Double Wall Construction Houston Texas Department of Insurance “TDI”?

With my many years of construction background of building homes, I along with many other home builders and remodelers, know the value of building a strong home. Here in the southeast Houston Texas metro area we have a good amount of wind and with our being so close to the coast, we are also vulnerable to hurricanes.

Wind Uplift and Racking Force Loads

Wind Racking Force on Homes

There are two forces a homeowner should be concerned with, or should I say, anyone that lives in wind-prone areas of the USA. One is “uplift force” and the other is “racking force” from shear wind blowing directly at any home or structure.

We will be talking about Racking Force in this siding post because it is a concern many homeowners should be aware of. Right around the year 1999 here in Houston Texas many homeowners were being pitched and marketed to move away from vinyl siding and installing, in its place, fiber cement siding.

The installation of this product often meant removing the old wood siding, stripping the OSB or  plywood sheathing down to the studs and installing the installation of the new fiber cement product. In the photo below, you can clearly see how builders across the country will often build diagonal “let-in” bracing (per the green arrows in the photo) into a home to help combat the racking force caused by shear wind. Single wall construction is when the siding is applied directly to the studs without any sheathing like OSB or plywood first. Single wall construction with fiber cement siding is perfectly fine for non- wind/non-coastal areas of the country as displayed in the photo below. However; for high wind areas, more than diagonal “let-in” bracing is needed as per Texas Department of Insurance TDI Wind department hence, double wall construction with OSB or plywood sheathing is required to be installed before siding for added strength.

Let In "Diagonal Bracing" Houston Texas Homes

Let In bracing “diagonal bracing” a home helps combat the racking force caused by shear winds in Houston TX

The best practice of using the diagonal bracing will help stop any home from racking (tilting) when strong winds are blowing. Builders will often install OSB or plywood over these outside walls by nailing them to the exposed studs as can be seen on the left side of the diagram below labeled “Wind Areas/ Houston Double Wall Construction“. Once the OSB or plywood is installed, the builders install siding over that plywood layer. By having this base layer, consisting of some sort of OSB or plywood sheathing attached to the the studs of any outside wall, gives the home increased strength and shear wind resistance to combat racking force. This method is called “double wall construction“.

Coming from my many years of experience from using and knowledge of fiber cement, I have found it to have very little structural value and it can break easily. The product offers little structural support (if any) to the outside of a home and can in fact be a liability. Don’t believe me, but try taking a hammer and moderately hitting the Fiber Cement siding, and see for yourself how easily it breaks and crumbles to the ground. I was in shock back in 1999 in Houston Texas as I observed (even participated in) siding contractors removing lap wood siding and T-111 vertical siding ultimately affecting the structural value which had been an asset to the home. This was then replaced with the installation of fiber cement which without installing any OSB or plywood, offered nearly no structural value.

Hardie Siding Cracked from Texas Home Movement

Movement of the home can cause cracking of the fiber cement siding.

The image on the right is of a home I received a call on that was a “call back” from an installation by another siding contractor who had removed the old wood siding and did not install any OSB or plywood under the newly installed Fiber Cement.

The result was that the home moved causing cracking of the fiber cement allowing water intrusion and causing other problems.

This Houston TX homeowner will continue to have movement problems until all of the fiber cement siding is removed and some sort of structural grade of sheathing is installed like OSB or plywood.

Keep in mind that this homeowner paid over 14k for a siding job that was done incorrectly. In Texas, homeowners often experience movement in their homes, this is yet another reason to install OSB or plywood sheathing before any fiber cement siding is installed, hence, the method of installing double wall construction will add more stability to Houston TX homes.

Double Wall Constructed Walls for Houston Texas Homes in Wind Zones

The best way to build strength into the exterior of the walls is with double wall construction.

The diagram below shows how to correctly install the layers (sheathing like OSB or plywood – double wall construction) prior to installing the fiber cement siding to help increase any home’s structural value for both shear, racking force wind and any settling movement providing increased strength to the exterior walls of the home. Keep in mind that this is a much better re-siding approach for homeowners when removing old structural grade siding and installing fiber cement siding in its place.

This is the best way to build strength into any outside wall for homes in coastal areas that are going to be sided with fiber cement siding.

Keep in mind that if you do choose to side your home with single wall construction, a propelled airborne object could quite easily come right through fiber cement siding, the insulation and sheetrock and enter your home!

When building or if you are re-siding your home and it has no OSB or plywood under the siding, single wall construction, I recommend using the LP SmartSide Siding due to its proven brute strength. This siding will be an Asset to the integrity of your home’s exterior walls and will help keep those that you love safer inside your home. You do NOT need to install OSB or plywood sheathing before installing the LP SmartSide product and racking force from shear wind becomes much less of an issue due to the increased strength of the exterior walls. LP SmartSide Siding actually takes the place of OSB or plywood and provides much structural value and looks great too.

The must-see video below explains clearly what this means for your home. Fiber cement siding, is a great siding option, however; please insist that your siding contractor install double wall construction with OSB or plywood first for the structural integrity of the building.

The moral of the story is this:
Fiber Cement Siding Installed on Single Wall Construction = a Liability.
LP SmartSide Siding Installed on Single Wall Construction = an Asset.

~Greg Kapitan (Kapitan the Siding Man)

Featured Video: Demonstration of LP SmartSide vs Fiber Cement Durability

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Home Exterior, Home Improvement, Home Siding, Houston Texas, James Hardie siding, LP SmartSide Siding, Radiant barrier, Siding, Texas Home Exteriors, The Woodlands Texas, Tyvek ThermaWrap | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Named for TX! Texas Home Exclusive Windows by Simonton Windows

Simonton JD Power Award Houston Texas Home Exteriors 281-919-6999 TX

Texas Home Exclusive windows manufactured by Simonton Windows winner of JD Powers Award four years running

Texas has its first window named after the great state of Texas, private labeled by Amcraft and and manufactured by Simonton Windows JD Powers Award winner four years straight. This is a first for Texas and we here at Texas Home Exteriors located in Houston TX are excited to offer the first window named for our great state. Two energy efficient vinyl replacement versions are offered to the greater Houston, The Woodlands – Spring TX metro area. The Texas Home Exclusive and the Texas Home Exclusive Plus.

Both energy efficient replacement windows come with a lifetime warranty covering the entire window and includes the following coverage from the manufacturer:

  • Lifetime Vinyl
  • Lifetime Window Seal Failure
  • Lifetime Window Hardware
  • Lifetime Glass Breakage

Just think how great it is for homeowners to have beautiful energy efficient vinyl windows that are named for our wonderful state of Texas. Make your selection with confidence knowing our windows are manufactured by JD Power Award winning manufacturer, Simonton Windows. This is a nice insurance bonus for Texas homeowners. With our Energy Star rated windows, TX homeowners will realize the benefit of energy savings on their utility bills month after month, year after year.

          Texas Home Exclusive Window        Texas Home Exclusive Plus Window
              2 panes glass, low-E, 3/4″ IGU             3 panes glass, safety glass, low-E, 1″ IGU


Texas Home Exclusive Windows two options with low-E, argon gas filled double and triple pane windows.

How do energy efficient vinyl replacement windows work?
Here at Texas Home Exteriors we are often asked questions about windows such as, “how do energy efficient windows work?” and “how much savings will I realize on my utility bills?” Several components of the window work separately for each of the following scenarios but together as a whole to make your Houston TX home more energy efficient.

Low E Refective Glass Houston Texas Home Exteriors 281-919-6999

Low-E Reflective Glass for Energy Efficient Windows in Houston TX

Low-E Glass – “reflective”
When it comes to the sun hitting your window,  our windows include Low-E coating which reflects the suns UV rays back out, stoping the UV heat from entering your home. In most cases, it will block out 80-90% without making your windows too dark. After our vinyl energy efficient replacement windows are installed, you will notice that you can now get closer to your window with the summer sun blazing in and feel 80-90% less of the sun’s UV heat getting through and warming your skin. This will translate into summer utility bill savings due to the the sun’s hot rays not being allowed to enter your home so no need for the AC to work as hard.

Argon Gas – “invisible insulation”
The climate controlled environment in your home that we call heat or air conditioning is constantly trying to escape. Your single pane windows have the lowest what is known in the building industry R-Value/U-Factor = “resistance” for temperature to travel thought any material from one side to another.  Argon Gas is heavier than air and is placed and sealed in-between the two window panes of glass making it more difficult for any temperature to travel from one side to another and increasing the window energy efficiency. Another words what I call invisible insulation that will increase the R-Value/U-Factor of your windows.

What is the difference between U-factor and R-value?
U-factor is used to measure the insulation value of windows, R-value is used for insulation in most other parts of the building (walls, floors, roofs). True that they are related, different test criteria are used in calculating the two values so they cannot be directly converted. Take R-value and U-factor, divide 1 by the U-factor number, E.g.: a 0.25 U-factor will equal a 1/0.25 = 4 R-Value.


Energy Star Rated Windows

What makes these windows great is not only do they carry our beautiful state’s name TEXAS but they are manufactured by Simonton and at an affordable price compared to competitors windows such as Anderson and Pella windows.

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Determining the Energy Efficiency of Windows for Houston Texas Climate

Many Houston Texas homeowners would like to know more about the energy efficiency of their windows. Most of the new replacement windows are labeled to indicate their energy properties but this information may not be available on existing or older windows. Below is an energy efficiency checklist to help you with the process of determining the energy efficiency of your home windows.

First try looking for the Energy Star label. The Energy Star label indicates that the window meets energy performance recommendations set by the US Department of Energy. The label includes a map of where the specific window qualifies for the specific climate zone. Windows that are Energy Star qualified should typically meet or exceed energy code requirements for your area. The determining factors for qualification criteria for Energy Star windows is based on your the climate and location of your home.

Check for Energy Efficient Properties on the NFRC Label. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label is needed for verification of energy code compliance. The NFRC label displays whole-window energy properties and appears on all products in the ENERGY STAR program providing a reliable way to determine the window’s energy efficiency properties.

NFRC Energy Star Label Example Houston Texas Home Exteriors

NFRC Energy Star Label Example – The Energy Star label indicates that the window meets energy performance recommendations set by the US Department of Energy. The label includes a map of where the specific window qualifies for the specific climate zone.

Check the windows for any energy performance labels and information on window performance. If there are no labels or you cannot find any information on the window, you can visually inspect the window to determine the assumed window energy performance with the following:

1 – Verify how many panes of glass the windows has, with each pane of glass comes additional energy efficiency

2 – What material is the window frame made from (aluminum, wood, vinyl).  Windows made with wood or vinyl frames insulate better than metal-framed window options so are more energy efficient.

Below are charts to help in assuming the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient.  The U-factor is a measure of non-solar heat transfer (like heat escaping in the winter). A lower U-factor is better (lower means less heat loss). The SHGC indicates how much heat from the sun enters through a window. A low SHGC is more important in the hotter climates like the Houston Texas are. The U-factor and SHGC of a window are shown on the NFRC label. Energy Star windows meet the recommended values shown here:

Window Energy Star Climate Zone Map Houston Texas Home Exteriors 281-919-6999

Energy Star Window Climate Zone Map

Window U-factor SHGC  Energy Star Recommended Values for Climate Houston Texas Home Exteriors 281-919-6999

The U-factor and SHGC of a window are shown on the NFRC label. The U-factor is a measure of non-solar heat transfer. A lower U-factor is better, lower means less heat loss. The SHGC indicates how much heat from the sun enters through a window. A low SHGC is more important in the hotter climates like the Houston Texas area.

Below is a chart you can reference using the information collected above for the assumed U-factor and SHGC values. This information is based on the International Energy Conservation Code and does not account for features you may not be able to verify such as low-E coatings, gas fills, etc).

U-factor SHGC Aproximate Chart Houston Texas Home Exteriors 281-919-6999 TX

U-factor SHGC Approximation Chart (These values are based on the International Energy Conservation Code and do not take into account features that you may not be able to verify such as low-E coatings, gas fills, etc.)

3 – Does the window glass has low-E coatings? Low-E coatings are invisible heat barriers that improve window energy efficiency. The most reliable way to identify these coatings is to use a low-E detector device (equipment energy auditors may use). Chances are you do not own one of these but you may be able to identify low-E glass by using a lighter flame or white card by holding either up to the glass and looking for the two reflections from each pane of glass. If one of the panes looks bluer than the other, this is an indication of a low-E coating on that surface.

4 – Does the window have an airtight fit and weatherstripping. Check the sashes and weatherstripping as these are important factors. The windows may have air leakage if they are not fitted tightly or air could be leaking from in between the interface of the frame and the wall if they were not properly sealed during installation. This may be difficult to check for on existing windows.

If you are ready to replace your windows, remember the importance of proper installation of your new energy efficient Energy Star rated windows. Proper installation is necessary for optimal performance of energy efficient windows, to ensuring there is an airtight fit and to avoid water leakage. Use experienced professionals for your window selection and installation.

Additionally, check the Department of Energy for Tax Incentives for replacing your windows with energy efficient windows that are Energy Star rated.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and feel free to call me at Texas Home Exteriors, we are here to assist you in your replacement window selection and installation of new energy efficient windows in the Houston, Spring, The Woodlands metro area. We offer a variety of options, call us today at 281.919.6999 and visit our website click her Texas Home Exteriors.  or visit http://texashomeexteriors.net/replacement-windows.html and be sure to check out our Texas Home Exclusive Windows made for the Houston Texas Climate!

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Star, Home Improvement, Houston Texas, r-Value, Replacement Windows, Texas Home Exclusive Windows, Texas Home Exteriors, Texas Windows, The Woodlands Texas, Window Options, Window Replacement, Window Types, Windows | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Texas Home Exteriors Houston TX receives Best of Houzz 2014 Customer Satisfaction Award

Texas Home Exteriors Houston TX receives Best of Houzz 2014 Customer Satisfaction Award

Feb 4 2014

Annual Survey and Analysis of 16 Million Monthly Users Reveals Top-Rated Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals THE WOODLANDS, HOUSTON, TEXAS, February 4, 2014 – Texas Home Exteriors of The Woodlands, Houston Texas has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design.

“The Siding Roofing and Window Contractor” was chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community. The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app.

Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2014” badge on their profiles, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.   Texas Home Exteriors is honored to receive this award and recognition from the Houzz community.About Houzz “Houzz provides homeowners with the most comprehensive view of home building, remodeling and design professionals, empowering them to find and hire the right professional to execute their vision,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz.

“We’re delighted to recognize Texas Home Exteriors among our “Best Of” professionals for customer satisfaction as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.” With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like Texas Home Exteriors, but also those whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and reviewing their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.

Learn more about Texas Home Exteriors on there website at http://www.TexasHomeExteriors.Net and be sure to follow them on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/greg-kapitan/texas-home-exteriorsAbout Texas Home Exteriors Texas Home Exteriors and our owner Greg Kapitan “Kapitan The Siding Man” comes to you with over 30 years combined experience in the construction trade. Our expertise in the areas of Home Improvement and Energy-Efficiency has been demonstrated on numerous completed jobs and happy customers over the years throughout the greater Houston, Spring, The Woodlands metro areas of Texas.

Texas Home Exteriors Houston Greg Shelly 122313

Greg & Shelly, Owners of Texas Home Exteriors Houston, The Woodlands TX

Texas Home Exteriors specializes in HardiPlank Siding, LP Smartside Siding, Vinyl Replacement Windows, Pergolas, Patio Covers and Roofing Shingle Options. Our products and services are the most Energy Efficient and innovative in the business.  Our crews are experienced professionals who have all been hand-picked by Greg Kapitan himself, to ensure superior workmanship and customer satisfaction.” Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device.

From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality. For more information, visit http://www.houzz.com

Posted in Home Improvement, Home Siding, Houston Texas, Houzz, Roofing, Roofing Contractor, roofing contractors, Texas Home Exteriors, The Woodlands Texas, Windows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Beauty of Stone Coated Metal Roofing for the Houston Texas Area

Stone Coated Metal Roofing Shingles Granted The Freedom To Express Themselves
By Greg Kapitan (Kapitan The Siding Man)

Decra Shake XD Pinnacle Gray Texas Home Exteriors

Decra Shake XD Metal Shingles in Pinnacle Gray Houston Texas Home Exteriors The Woodlands

Time to replace your roofing shingles? As a roofing contractor I find many of today’s Houston Texas homeowners considering stone coated metal roofing shingles as a roof replacement option. A good many of Texas homeowners in the southeast Houston Texas metro area realize that replacement of their composition asphalt roofing shingles needs to be done every 10-15 years. If you are a homeowner in Texas, “I need a new roof” is as common as “I need an oil change”, well almost.

Texas Heat and Roofing Shingles
Because of the intensity of our hot South TX UV rays (ultra violet rays), the standard composition petroleum based asphalt (tar) roofing shingles become baked and brittle over time baking in the hot Texas sun. If you look closely at roofing shingles, they will begin looking like a road map of Texas with cracks and lines going in many different directions. What is occurring is the protective granules, common on composition roofing shingles, become loose and often ending up in gutters or on the ground.  As the shingles lose granules, it leaves the petroleum based asphalt (tar) naked and exposed to more UV rays thus accelerating the deterioration of the roofing shingle leading to leaks and phone calls to roofers for roof replacement bids.

Time To Rethink Another Asphalt Composition Roofing Shingle Bid
Instead of getting yet another composition shingle composition roof that will last 10 – 15 years, it may be time to consider a stone coated metal roof option.  Below is a quick bulleted list of facts as to why a southeast Texas homeowner way want to consider Stone Coated Metal Roofing Shingles over traditional roofing shingles.

Decra Shake XD Antique Chestnut Stone Coated Roof Houston Texas Home Exteriors

Stone Coated Decra Shake XD Metal Roof in antique Chestnut for your Houston, Spring, The Woodlands TX Texas Home Exteriors The Woodlands

Benefits of Stone Coated Metal Roofing Shingles
• Last 50 years or more
• Resist hail damage than composition roofing shingles
• Steel based shingle gives unparalleled strength
• Increase Energy Efficiency savings
• Produce air circulation under shingles
• Provide fireproof characteristics
• Aesthetically Unparalleled Beauty

Energy Efficiency Savings with Stone Coated Metal Roofing – Reflectivity/Emissivity Part 1
Stone coated metal roofs reflect much more of the solar radiation that is usually absorbed in your attic and home with standard composition petroleum based asphalt (tar) roofing shingles. Here in Texas, granular coated metal roofing systems not only reflect solar energy but also cool your home by re-emitting most of the solar radiation instead of absorbing it. In southeast Houston Texas annual cooling loads dominate, a highly reflective and highly emissive painted metal standing seam roofing or stone coated coated metal roof is by far the most optimal way to reduce energy consumption from your roof.  These reflective roofing shingles and can re-emit up to 75% of absorbed solar radiation (heat) that otherwise would have been absorbed into your attic and into you homes interior.

Decra Metal Roof Villa Venetian Gold

Decra Metal Roof Systems Villa Venetian Gold by Texas Home Exteriors for Houston, Spring, The Woodlands TX Home Improvements

Unparalleled Beauty of Stone Coated Metal Roofing Shingles
Composition roofing shingles are aesthetically pleasing however they only go so far from a thickness and depth perspective. That is because standard asphalt roofing shingles can only be so thick due to the fact that they are petroleum based and have almost NO structural value. Stone Coated Metal Roofing Shingles have a Steal Base with PLENTY of structural value.

Decra Metal Roof Style Options

Decra Metal Roof Styles include beautiful options with look of Tile, Villa Tile, Shake, Shake XD, Shingle and Shingle XD

Having said that, the flood gates are wide open for any creative roofing shingle style imaginable because metal roofs have lots of structural value. You can now have a Stone Coated Metal Roof with a variety of looks like Terra-cotta, Spanish Tile, Mediterranean-Italian Tile but without all of the weight and drawbacks of tile roofs and at the same time, all of the benefits of Stone Coated Metal Roofs.  Roofing shingles that were once limited due to thickness now are granted the freedom to express themselves. Now roofing shingles can have all of the dimension homeowners want thanks to the steel base and protection of the steel being covered with mini crushed stone can create any color you can imagine!

Decra Stone Coated Steel Roof Pinnacle Grey in Houston from Texas Home Exteriors The Woodlands

Decra Stone Coated Metal Roof Shingles in Pinnacle Grey for Houston Home Roofing Replacement from Texas Home Exteriors in The Woodlands

Stone Coated Metal Roofing Shingles The Envy Of The Neighborhood
When you drive up to any home in the southeast Houston Texas area you will notice two main things on a home, the roof and the siding on the home. Often the roof has composition roofing shingles. Why not be the envy of your neighborhood and maybe even the first to take advantage of an energy efficient stone coated metal roof?  I cannot tell you how many homeowners have expressed to me how much better their home looks with a metal roof, how often they get complements and improved efficiency. Homeowners realize 15-25% energy saving every year while also enjoying the peace of mind of not having to change their roof for over 50 years!

Energy Efficiency Savings of Stone Coated Metal Roofing – Air Space/Circulation Part 2
Watch for My Next Post – More on Energy Efficiency Savings of Stone Coated Metal Roofing – Air Space/Circulation

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Home Improvement, House Shingles, Houston Texas, Metal Roofing, Re - Roofing, Roof, Roof Shingle, Roofing, Roofing Contractor, roofing contractors, Roofing Shingle, Texas Home Exteriors, The Woodlands Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments