6 Top Creative Designs for Windows

Your windows play an important part in the interior and exterior design of your home. They have the ability to elevate your home and give you access to beautiful sightlines and outdoor views. But sometimes standard windows just don’t make the cut. If you’re feeling like your windows need an upgrade, check out these creative designs to make your house stand out!

1. Vertical Tall Panes

If you have tall ceilings, consider roof to floor windows to frame your house. You can opt to install them all over, or choose one room to make a statement. Vertical tall window panes create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor, allowing you to enjoy the scenery more completely than traditional windows. Check out Gentek’s vinyl windows for floor to ceiling options!

2. French Windows

French windows are a gorgeous addition to any home, especially if you have a garden view. They’re charming and romantic, and give off that old-world vibe. Not all homes have room for French windows, since they fling open, and if that’s the case for you, consider a patio door with a French-style design.

3. Sliding Windows

Sliding windows are horizontal in their design, so they’re ideal for bungalow style homes or rooms that have lower ceilings. They feature sashes that side back and forth, rather than up and down. Here at Gentek, we offer double sliding windows that offer an infusion of natural light and an unobstructed outdoor view. With a hidden screen track, you get a sleek appearance for ultimate beauty.  

4. Bifold Windows

Bifold windows are accordion style windows that can expand your indoor and outdoor areas, or open one living area to another. They stand out due to their beautiful design, and seamless functionality. You can choose anywhere from 2 up to 16 panels with most bifold windows, depending on the size and style of your home.

5. Garage Door Windows

Perfect for industrial, modern homes, a glass-paned garage door slides right up to the ceiling and out of sight, opening up your indoor space. This design would work well in an urban apartment or loft-style home, with its industrial vibe.

6. Angled Windows

Angled windows are a unique addition to any home, and work especially well with modern and contemporary homes. Angled windows increase your view when you’re sitting at the base, so if you have a room that’s adjacent to an outdoor space, they’d be perfect for your abode. If you love crisp, angular lines, this window design could work seamlessly for you.

New windows can make a major difference to your dwelling. Choose from one of these creative window designs to give your home an edge!


Asbestos Siding: To Remove or Cover

If you’ve discovered your home has asbestos siding, you may be wondering whether to remove it or cover it up with vinyl siding. There are a few crucial things to take into account when making this decision. Read on to find out exactly what asbestos siding is and how you should handle it.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos itself is a combination of 6 types of natural occurring minerals made up of fine, durable fibers that are resistant to heat, fire and chemicals. In the past, many homes were built with asbestos because it was a “miracle” mineral that didn’t burn. It was eventually found to lead to many dangerous diseases, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Asbestos is most dangerous when it’s friable, and it typically becomes friable if it’s damaged in some way. Once small fibers are in the air and can be inhaled, the fibers get into the lining of the lungs, causing disease.

What is Asbestos Siding?

Asbestos siding is made of composite cement mixed with asbestos fibers. It’s fragile and is prone to cracking or breaking when nailed, which can release the asbestos fibers into the air. Asbestos siding is most dangerous when it’s damaged. Damage can occur from erosion, repair work, or drilling that has disturbed the siding.

It has become common to place layers of foam insulation over asbestos siding and cover it with vinyl siding. However, since installing vinyl siding can disrupt the asbestos from drilling, screwing or nailing into it, it’s often best to remove it first. Disrupting the siding can create an exposure hazard that wasn’t there before. It’s pricier to remove the asbestos siding first, but will pay off in the long run, keeping your home and family safe and healthy.

Removing Asbestos Siding

Given the dangers of asbestos, it’s typically best to find a properly licensed contractor in your area to inspect and remove your asbestos siding. If there’s no damage to the siding, and you want to do it on your own, make sure to follow these guidelines to ensure you and your home are safe.

Post signs: To ensure friends, neighbours or any other passersby aren’t exposed to asbestos, post warning signs around your home. Place 6-mil plastic sheeting along the side of the house to catch any debris.

Suit up: Make sure to wear disposable coveralls (with a hood), goggles, rubber gloves, rubber boots, and respirators with HEPA filters.

Prep the siding: Before and during removal, it’s key to wet the asbestos siding and debris with water. Hose down about 10 square feet of siding at a time.

Protect your home: Keep all windows and doors shut when you’re removing your siding, and do not throw or drop removed asbestos siding. Work on removing the siding from the top down, carefully taking out the nails so the siding doesn’t break. Never bring asbestos contaminated clothing, boots, or tools into your home.


How Much Does It Cost to Replace My Siding?

Without well maintained, quality siding, your home could be in trouble. Siding improves the look and curb appeal of your home, while also providing durability and protection from outdoor elements. If your siding is getting old and worn down, it could be time to replace it. Damaged siding can lead to moisture getting into your home, resulting in water damage, rot, and mold. You run the risk of damaging other parts of your home if you don’t deal with faulty siding right away. So, how much does it cost to replace your siding? Let’s break it down.

When to Replace Your Siding

You should replace your siding if you notice any of the following warning signs on half or more of your exterior siding:

  • Significant colour fading
  • Mold and mildew
  • Large cracks, dents or holes
  • Bubbling or blistering
  • Lose siding
  • Increased energy bills (signals your home insulation is lacking, which could be due to your siding)
  • Interior paint and wallpaper are peeling

Siding Price Factors

The price to replace your siding will depend on a number of factors ranging from the type of siding you use to the size of your home. Here are the factors to consider:

1) Type of Siding: Different materials of siding come with different costs. Vinyl siding costs on average $3.50 to $5.50 per square foot. Aluminum siding costs $8.00 to $10.00 per square foot, steel siding costs $10.00 to $14.00 per square foot, and fiber cement siding costs $10.00 to $14.00 per square foot. Do some research to find out what type of siding will work best for your home!

2) Quality of Siding: The cost to replace your siding will also depend on the quality of siding you choose. Lower quality siding will come at a lower cost, which saves you money now, but more expensive, quality siding can save you money in the long term. With high quality siding, you’ll get longer protection and durability, and you won’t have to replace your siding as often.

3) Home Size and Shape: The bigger your home, the longer the installation will take and the more material will need to be used to cover the exterior of your home. Your home shape also comes into play. If you have a simple square-shaped home, siding will be easier (and quicker) to install than if you have a home with eaves, turrets and multiple stories. Some homes also require special tools as well, such as a powered lift. The longer it takes to install, the more it will cost.

4) Installation Process: There are two ways to replace your siding. First is to install your new siding directly over your old siding with a “level wall” product. The other way is to remove the old siding first and then layer on the new siding. The latter will take more time, and in turn, cost you more.

5) Time of Year: Most people undergo renovations in the spring and summer months, so this is when contractors are high in demand. If you wait until off season to replace your siding, it will cost you less to complete your project. Temperature will also play a factor. Vinyl siding expands in hot weather, and if it’s nailed too tight it could crack when it expands in the winter. Fall is typically the best (and cheapest) time to install siding.

Replacing your siding is one of the biggest changes and best investments you can make for your home. Make sure you know when to replace it and what material is best for you and your home!

 


Behind the Scenes: Why it Matters What Type of Wood Goes Behind Siding

Siding is the superhero of your home. It protects it, shields it from harmful weather, and keeps it safe and comfortable. But it doesn’t act alone. Certain elements come together to allow siding to perform its best, and that’s why it matters what type of wood goes behind your siding. The wood that goes behind your siding serves several functions, from increasing insulation to waterproofing, and adding structural support for the framing of your house. All these elements are key to a comfortable, functional, durable home. There are 2 types of wood that are used behind siding: oriented strand board and plywood. Check out the differences below to see which one would work best for your abode.

Oriented Strand Board vs. Plywood

Oriented strand board and plywood are the most common sheathing materials to use behind siding. They both share advantages when it comes to strength and durability, but there are some differences between them. OSB costs less than plywood, which makes it a popular choice among contractors and homeowners. In fact, OSB is used over 75% of the time in North America, making it clear that today’s consumers are extremely cost conscious.

Advantages of OSB

Cost efficiency isn’t the only thing that makes OSB stand out. OSB is manufactured as a composite material, made from as many as 50 strand layers packed and compressed into the same thickness. This makes it strong, durable and able to easily repel water. It’s also more resource-efficient since it can be made from small fast growing trees from tree farms rather than old forests. OSB panels can be manufactured up to 16 feet (or higher), which means you can sheathe your walls from top to bottom leaving no horizontal seams.

Advantages of Plywood

The one thing plywood has over OSB is its reaction when exposed to large amounts of water. This happens during construction delays when sheathing panels are covered with snow, rain and ice. Plywood swells consistently across the sheet, then returns to its normal dimensions when it dries, and it dries out pretty quickly. OSB, on the other hand, tends to swell along the edges and the edges don’t go back to normal once they dry up. OSB takes longer to get wet than plywood, but it also takes longer to dry.

OSB and plywood panels are equal in strength, weight and ability to hold fasteners, but OSB has become the favourite across North America due to its lower cost and consistent panel-to-panel quality. The wood behind your siding allows your siding to perform its best. If you’re in the market for new siding for your home, find your nearest Gentek dealer to help you with your siding project!


Create That Authentic Wood Cabin Look with Low Maintenance

Is your cottage exterior in need of a little love? Old real wood cabins may have looked nice in their day, but without proper care and maintenance, they become rundown over time. Luckily there’s a way to keep the charm of a real wood cabin without the high maintenance and associated costs. There are specialty siding products you can invest in that are made to mimic real wood, but are crafted with stronger, more durable, and maintenance-free materials.

Here’s a rundown of our new woodgrain siding products to help you create that authentic wood cabin look without the maintenance!

1 Sagiper Siding

Sagiper siding is loved for its aesthetics, durability, solar shield technology and low maintenance. With two main products, SAGIWALL and SAGIREV, you have great options to choose from for your wood cabin. SAGIREV is a highly durable exterior vinyl coating that offers high resistance to UV rays, water absorption and humidity, plus it’s impenetrable to insects.

SAGIWALL is a maintenance-free PVC tongue and groove panel wrapped in highly durable vinyl coating. With a low expansion and contraction coefficient, it’s ideal for the weather fluctuations we experience across North America. Sagiper siding is ideal for high humidity areas, absorbing over 97% UV radiation, and eliminating any fading and discolouration. Made with highly durable exterior polymer film, Sagiper siding repels dirt and is incredibly easy to clean!

2. Distinction Siding

Distinction siding is beautiful and uses nuanced paint that replicates the look of real wood, without any of the upkeep. It’s made from high strength steel and offers a high-performance paint system available in three series of colours: Wood Series, Nuanced Wood Series and Granite Series. The paint is rust-resistance, providing long-term, unmatched durability, and you can install the planks horizontally or vertically, depending on the look you’re hoping to achieve.

3. Longboard Siding

Longboard siding provides the richness and beauty of real wood, with zero long-term maintenance. You can rest easy knowing you don’t have to worry about repairing, staining, painting or replacing your siding ever again. It won’t rot, warp, peel or fade and it’s impervious to insects.

Available in a wide range of woodgrain and solid colour finishes, Longboard siding is resistant to weathering in colour and gloss retention. As a plus, it’s amazing for the environment. There are no toxic air pollutants released during manufacturing, and there’s no waste or runoff during application. It’s 100% recyclable and 98% of the overspray is reusable, so you can enjoy its beauty knowing your cabin exterior is sustainable!

If you want the gorgeous look of real wood for your cabin renovation but aren’t keen on the maintenance, these three options can give you exactly what you’re looking for!


5 Reasons to Go Bold and Black with Your Home Exterior

There’s a new trend in town. It turns out black is the new black, and bold all-black homes are one of the best ways to make an edgy, cool statement. You may think of black as an ominous and sorrowful shade, but it’s actually a beautiful colour for your home exterior. Black homes are chic, dramatic and incredibly unique. Whether you have a modern, contemporary, Victorian or beach home, you can make a black exterior work for you.

With Gentek’s World of Colour, you can choose any of their siding products to be painted in black or a dark charcoal shade like ‘Iron Ore’ or ‘Graphite’ to get this urban cool look. Here are 5 reasons to go bold and black with your home exterior.

1. Highlight Your Home’s Texture

One of the top benefits of an all-black facade is that it highlights your home’s textures and intracices to really make them pop. When the trim, siding and shutters are all painted the same shade of black, it draws your eyes to every detail of the home. It gives your home character and drama, and will no doubt make a statement on your block.

2. Create Contrast

With a bold, black exterior house colour, you can create contrast with features such as your garage, front door or fence. Perhaps you have natural wood fencing. Jet black will act as a gorgeous contrast. And if you want a little colour for your exterior, paint your front door and/or garage in a shade that both contrasts and complements black. You can also opt for painting your trim in a contrasting colour such as white for a dynamic look.

3. Energy Savings

It’s no secret that most of Canada experiences cold temperatures for the majority of the year. Winters seems to last longer and summers go by quicker each year that goes by.  When it’s cold outside, black paint can help trap the warmth in your home, which allows it to consume little energy and save you extra on heating bills.

4. The Rise of Risk Taking and Empowerment for Homeowners

Traditionally homeowners have played it safe when it comes to colour. White, taupe, dove grey and cream dominate home exteriors, and most people play “by the rules”, save for a pop of colour for their front door. But lately, people are wanting to take their home design into their own hands and are willing to take some risks. You have to be confident to paint the entire exterior of your home black, and homeowners are becoming more confident in themselves and wanting to take charge of their homes. Black is an empowering colour, so go all out!

5. Accentuate Nature

If your exterior is ripe with greenery, gardens and landscaping, black is the perfect backdrop. Against natural surroundings, a black home will take a back seat and allow the green foliage to shine. Your plants and garden will appear lusher, and the eye will be better able to draw distinctions between various shades of green. It’s a great way to accentuate nature and all its glory.

If you’re thinking of making a big change to your home exterior, go bold and black for a beautiful, noteworthy look.


Replacing Your Soffits and Fascia: 4 Signs It’s Time!

Soffits and fascia are key elements of your roof. An exterior soffit is located beneath the rafter rails, and the fascia is the exposed horizontal blade at the end of the rafters. Not only are soffits and fascia structurally required, they also give your home a more polished look. They help protect your roof by keeping out rodents, water and debris, and with the rest of the roof’s components, ensure your home is protected from the elements. Like anything else, you’ll need to replace your soffits and fascia over time. They can deteriorate if they’re not well maintained and it’s crucial they’re kept in good condition.

Gentek offers quality, easy to maintain soffit and fascia to suit your home’s needs! With a variety of profiles, a colour-match system and unbeatable strength, we have the perfect products for anyone who needs an upgrade.

Here are 4 signs it’s time to replace your soffits and fascia.

1. Droopy and Leaky Gutters

One of the main functions of fascia is that it offers structural support to the gutter system, and helps keep moisture out of your home. If you notice droopy or leaky gutters, it could be a sign that your fascia need replacing. Water damage can lead to big problems (and big money), so it’s important to get this dealt with as quickly as possible.

2. Pests and Rodents

If this one makes your cringe, you’re definitely not alone! Soffits and fascia are designed to keep bugs and rodents out of your roof and attic. If you notice these pesky creatures getting into your home, it likely signals a problem with your soffits and fascia. Pests and rodents can cause severe damage to your roof, which in turn can lead to major issues for your home, so you’ll want to take care of this issue efficiently!

3. Ventilation Problems

Air ventilation is one of the main purposes for installing soffits to your home. Soffits provide ventilation for the attic and protect your home from the weather’s harsh elements. They reduce heat, moisture and condensation build-up, reducing the risk of rot damage, and increasing the efficiency of air conditioning in the summer. If you’re noticing ventilation problems, and there is little to no ventilation coming into your home, it could mean your soffits are blocked or damaged. If they’re damaged, you’ll need to replace them as soon as possible.

4. Bubbling, Cracking or Flaking Paint

Bubbles and flakes in your paint could be cause for alarm. Not only does this affect your home’s aesthetics, but its functionally as well. Cracks in your paint can lead to leaking and can cause water damage to your home. If your soffits or fascia are damaged, this is one of the issues that can arise.

As soon as you notice any of these issues, contact a professional to help you take a closer look and determine your next steps! Gentek’s premium contractors are trusted by homeowners across North America to assist you with all your home needs!


Using Black-Framed Windows to Elevate Your Home

Black-framed windows are having a major moment in the design world, and due to their elegance, versatility and striking beauty, it’s a trend that won’t go out of style anytime soon. Whether you choose black windows for your interior or exterior, or both, there’s no doubt that your home will be a total standout. Black-framed windows work with an array of home styles, and complement almost every other shade in the colour spectrum. Whether you want to add some contrast and drama, or a touch of subtle chicness, black framed windows can help you achieve it.

The first step is outfitting your home with quality vinyl or aluminum windows, painting them black and voila, getting the exact look you want! Here are 4 reasons why black-framed windows are all the rage right now.

1. They Work for the Interior and Exterior

Black-framed windows are a striking addition to both the inside and outside of a home. On the exterior, black windows reinforce the geometry of the home, making your house stand out in the most gorgeous way. They add character and act as a focal point, whether on the inside or out. On the interior, they create a strong contrast and add structure to a room, making it come together in a way that a lighter colour probably wouldn’t be able to. Keep in mind, you don’t have to put black windows in every room inside your home, but make sure wherever you put them makes sense with the overall design.

2. Ultimate Versatility

Whether you have a modern, contemporary, or Victorian style home, black-framed windows can work for you. They’re the perfect compliment for traditional or industrial style homes, and pair well with pretty much every other colour in the spectrum. The versatility of black windows allows homeowners to get creative with their spaces and exteriors, and add contrast to rooms that are in need of an update.

3. Timeless Elegance

There’s no denying that black-framed windows are timelessly elegant. They add a sense of allure and fascination to a home, and since they go with pretty much anything, you can enjoy them for years to come. If you’re looking to add some elegance and drama to your home, black-framed windows are the way to go. The bold framing turns every view into a picture, and helps blend your indoor and outdoor spaces.  

4. No Need for Window Treatments

Black windows are meant to be a focal point and should be proudly showed off in your home. Forget about heavy window treatments that will hide their beauty, allow them to stand alone and work their magic. This saves you time and money since you don’t have to worry about finding window treatments that will work with your space.

Black-framed windows are the ultimate way to upgrade your home right now. Use them on your exterior and interior for contrast, character, and charm.


How to Pick the Perfect Patio Door for Your Home

The exterior of your home comes together when every aspect complements each other. Your patio door can have a huge effect on the overall aesthetic of your home. And with so many options and designs to choose from (from sliding to swinging to French) it’s important to know how to pick the perfect patio door for your home. At Gentek, we offer a full line of patio doors to suit any home style. Our patio door collection includes Novatech, Sunview and Gentek 170 and 6500 Series patio doors. Here’s how to pick the perfect one for you.

1. Determine Your Needs and Decide Your Style

Determine the main objective for your patio door. Is it to create better functionality? Improve aesthetics? Let more light in? Improve energy efficiency? And what style are you going for? This should be based on the rest of the home. You want to make sure your patio door style complements the interior and exterior of your home and its surroundings. Keep this in mind when deciding on the colour, finish, hardware, and other design elements. Once you know your need(s) and the style you envision for your door, it will be easier to choose one that suits your home.

2. Consider Furniture Placement and Surroundings

If you’re investing in a patio door, you want to make sure the one you choose works with the rest of your home. Swinging and French doors need room to open, so you have to consider your furniture and wall placement. A swinging door may work well in some spaces, but others will require a sliding door. If you’re space is small, consider a single swinging door or sliding doors that can fit in tight spaces.

3. Materials Matter

Another aspect to consider when it comes to your patio door is the material of the door itself. Depending on the function of the door (whether it’s more for aesthetics, or will be used as a high-traffic area) you’ll require different materials. Vinyl is a great choice if you’re going to have a lot of traffic through the door and you want a low maintenance door that won’t chip, blister or split. You can also opt for a PVC, aluminum, or wood door, depending on your needs and style.

4. Put Energy Efficiency Top of Mind

Patio doors are made up mostly of glass, so you’ll want to make sure your door is as energy efficient as possible. Quality patio doors will offer heat and cold resistance and withstand strong winds. This will create energy savings for you and ensure the comfort of your home. Low-E glass helps lower energy bills and prevent UV fading. High efficiency should be top of mind when choosing your patio door!

5. Use a Trusted Contractor

If you’re putting in a patio door, make sure to use a trusted contractor who will do the job right. A good contractor will ensure you make the right decisions for your home so you can rest assured knowing you’ll have quality products and service. Gentek works with leading contractors across the country who ensure your product and installation needs are met. Find one close to you before you get started!

If it’s time for a new patio door, use these tips to find the perfect one for your home!


The Proper Way to Clean Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is loved for its beauty, durability and low maintenance, but that doesn’t mean it never needs to be cleaned. Over time, vinyl siding will accumulate dirt, stains, mold and mildew, so you’ll need to clean it about once every year. Vinyl siding is the most popular cladding across Canada and the United States. Being extremely environmentally friendly, and having the distinctive beauty of freshly painted wood, it’s no wonder why people fall in love with vinyl siding. To ensure your vinyl siding looks gorgeous year-round, take a look at 4 tips for cleaning it properly.

How to Wash Vinyl Siding

It doesn’t take much effort to wash vinyl siding, making it one of the most carefree claddings there is. When it comes time to clean it, you can use a soft cloth or a long-handled soft bristle brush to clean the grooves for textured surfaces. Start at the bottom of your house, working up, and rinse and wipe away residue as you go. This will prevent streaking, making your vinyl siding looking good as new!

Removing Dirt and Stains

Tough dirt and stains can accumulate as a result of pollen, bird and insect droppings, grease, top soil, crayons and rust. To remove these stains, you can use general household cleaners like Windex or Lysol. There are also specific products designed to remove rust, such as Iron Out. Wipe the dirt and stains with these products and watch as your exterior transforms!

Removing Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can grow in shady, moist areas. Light mold and mildew stains can be removed with a homemade siding cleaner made of 70% water and 30% white vinegar. If you need something stronger, you can mix one third cup powdered laundry detergent, two thirds cup powdered household cleaner, one quart liquid laundry bleach and one gallon of water.

Using a Power Washer

If you’re wondering whether you can use a power washer to clean your vinyl siding, the answer is yes, in most cases. Some manufacturers suggest not using power washers on their products, while others have limitations on the pressure and type of power washer to use. If you get the go-ahead, read the washer instructions carefully so you don’t do any damage. Keep the power washer at eye level so it hits the top of the siding, where it can clean most effectively. Refrain from pointing it upward to eliminate the risk of water getting behind the siding.

Vinyl siding is virtually maintenance free, but you do need to clean it once a year to help retain its beauty. Use these tips to get your vinyl siding looking good as new!