Welcome to Gentek Canada’s MyDesign Home Studio, our home exterior improvement blog

Get tips and colour choices from our designers and learn about our latest windows, siding and home exterior products.

My Windows are Sweating. What do I do?

2017-06-22

If you’ve ever experienced window sweat, you know how irritating it can be. Window condensation is a common problem in the wintertime and can leave your windows, frames and sills wet. Not only is it an annoying problem to deal with, it can also cause damage to your home. Rotting wood and plaster damage are two of the major issues that can surface due to window condensation.

Even if your home is well insulated, you may still notice window condensation. This is likely due to the humidity in your home being too high. When the moisture generated inside your home isn’t able to escape, and the warm inside air condenses on the cold windows, window sweat is bound to happen.

Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent and eliminate indoor window condensation. Check out the main culprits of window sweating and what you can do to stop it.

What Causes Window Condensation?

Window condensation is caused by excessive moisture in your house. This could be coming from things like gas or propane from your fireplace, a humidifier, green plants, or ground moisture coming up from the concrete slab outside. If you just moved in to a new-build, the materials may still be drying out. New wood and concrete can take up to 18 months to dry, so the moisture could just as well be coming from there.

Major Problems with Window Condensation

Window condensation can be a pain in the neck, but it can also lead to severe home damage. It not only leads to mould and damage on your window frames and plaster, if it gets more serious, it can result in decay within your wall cavities and attic. If your windows are sweating beyond the point of being able to wipe them with a towel, talk to a home inspector who can help you with the issue.

What to Do

Consider all rooms and areas of you house to see where the excess moisture and humidity may be coming from. Using ceiling fans helps to circulate the air, and you can open your doors and windows on days when it’s not too cold to let some warm air out. Make sure to move your pants away from your windows and you can even look into buying a dehumidifier.

You can also invest in a hygrometer to monitor your indoor relative humidity. This way you can track the issue as well as what works and what doesn’t when you’re trying to solve the problem.

Storm Windows

Storm windows can help reduce condensation in the winter months. The extra layer of glass allows the interior window to stay warmer and helps reduce frost build up. Plus, the increased thermal performance will help cut heating bills during the winter. Gentek carries Aluminum Storm Windows, so make sure to ask your local Gentek dealer for more information if you’re interested in this product!

If your windows are sweating, make sure to stop them any way you can. Talk with a home inspector to find out exactly what you need to do so there’s no excessive damage to your home.


Install. Rinse. Repeat. Why EnFusion Siding is So Great

2017-06-19

 

Today’s typical busy lifestyle requires simplicity and ease, especially when it comes to your home’s exterior. Sequoia Select EnFusion Siding offers a low maintenance, energy saving option that’s durable and easy on the eyes. The luxurious laminated vinyl siding is sturdy enough to withstand severe winds, with high-density insulation to soften outside noise.

If you’re working on a home renovation with the hopes of finding the perfect siding, EnFusion Sising has a gorgeous, wood-like appearance with carefree maintenance. It offers beauty, protection and durability for a home exterior that fits with every homeowner’s needs.

It’s not available everywhere, but Gentek offers a range of colours to perfectly match your home exterior. Visit your local Gentek distributor to grab some samples and see how it works with your home! Here are 4 reasons why EnFusion Siding is so great!

Design

If you’re like most homeowners, design, durability and simplicity are three of the most important aspects when it comes to choosing exterior siding. EnFusion Siding is durable, dent-resistant and solid in colour, so you never need to worry about painting it. Plus, it’s extremely low maintenance. All you need to do is spray it with a garden hose now and then to remove dust and dirt.

With natural cedargrain texture and detail, EnFusion Siding provides a beautiful wood-like appearance. The worry-free exterior will enhance your home’s curb appeal and add to the value of your house. If you want the true wood look without the maintenance and worry of rot and pests, EnFusion Siding is an excellent option.

Colour

Gentek makes it easy for you to match your EnFusion Siding perfectly to the exterior design of your home. With the lighter Classic Colour range including Snow White, Antique Ivory and Sage, to the richer Designer Colour range including shades like Venetian Red and Windswept Smoke, you can create the elegant look you’ve always wanted.

Make sure to check your local Gentek distributor to see which colours are available in your area!

Energy Savings

If energy efficiency tops your list of must-haves for your home, you should definitely consider EnFusion Siding. The vinyl panel contains expanded polystyrene rigid foam insulation for increased energy savings. This decreases the heating and cooling costs of your home. It also comes equipped with custom-contoured insulation to protect your house from extreme weather and energy loss.

Stability and Resistance

With an interlocking design, the siding panels are secured in place for incredible strength and stability. It has also been laboratory tested to resist winds up to Category 5 Hurricane rating, and has been treated with nontoxic mineral additive to stop pests from residing within the siding.

If you struggle with uneven wall surfaces, the double-strength wall attachment fortifies the structural integrity. And the high-performance material won’t rot or warp due to moisture. All in all, the siding is extremely resistant, stable and worry-free!

EnFusion Siding is a low maintenance, high quality option that will completely upgrade your home exterior. With beauty, stability and energy efficiency, what more could you ask for?

 


How to Hire a Contractor

2017-06-16

 

Hiring the right contractor can be the difference between getting the house of your dreams and blowing your savings on a subpar job that’s nothing like you imagined. Unfortunately finding a quality contractor isn’t as easy as it may seem, and choosing the first one you come across isn’t the best way to go about it.

A great contractor will ensure everything is taken care of and can foresee major issues before they arise. The last thing you need is to work with someone who embellishes their services and pulls off more than they can chew. You want the job done right the first time, without any hidden fees or issues.

Luckily, Gentek works with quality contractors across Canada who will blow your expectations away! They meet strict quality, performance and insurance rules to ensure top standards every single time. Check out their elite contractors here.

Here are 5 more awesome tips for hiring a contractor.

Get a Referral

One of the best ways to find an amazing contractor is to get a referral from your family or friends. If someone you know has experience with a great contractor firsthand, then you’re in luck! You can also see for yourself what caliber of work they do by visiting your friend/family member’s house and checking out the end result!

Get Multiple Estimates

Once you’ve done your research and narrowed it down to 2 or 3 of your top choice contractors, meet them face to face and ask them for estimates. Don’t just go with the lowest estimate to save money. You want the job done right, with no corners cut! Make sure their estimates are all inclusive, covering costs for the exact hardware and flooring, install costs, permit costs, warranty of the work, etc. If they leave things out to keep the cost down, that’s probably a red flag.

Look at Samples

Samples let you see a contractor’s previous work to ensure it’s up to par for what you’re looking for. You can check out their quality of work as well as their creativity and the variety of work they’ve done. Although this isn’t the only thing you should base your decision on, samples are a good indicator of what kind of job you can expect.

Visit Their Jobsites

You want to ensure you hire a contractor who is going to respect your property. The best way to know this? Visit a couple of jobsites they’re working on currently to see how the contractor works. Is the jobsite safe and clean? Are the workers respectable and careful around the house? If you go with a referral, you can ask them how the contractor treated their house. These are important things to consider when choosing a contractor since they will be in your house for a substantial period of time.

Do Your Homework

Make sure you’re educated when it comes to your home renovations. Know what permits you need and what regulations need to be followed. Your contractor should know and follow all of these. Also check up on your contractor’s certifications. You must hire a licensed, bonded and insured contractor and make sure their credentials are legitimate.

When it comes to hiring a contractor, keep these 5 tips at front of mind! It’s better to do it right from the start than to start all over again after a bad renovation.


How to Pick the Siding Colour for Your Home

2017-06-13

Choosing the right siding colour is key to designing a beautiful home exterior. The colour you choose will impact how you see and feel about your home, and will undoubtedly influence its value. Your siding colour should complement your roof, and other key aspects of your exterior, such as your landscaping and neighbourhood aesthetic.

It’s not a decision that should be made quickly or without careful consideration. Take your time deciding on the perfect siding shade that you’ll be happy with for years to come. Make sure it’s something you love to come home to everyday, and that it suits the architecture of your house as well as its surroundings.

Gentek offers an array of colours to choose from for all your siding needs, as well as custom colour options to ensure you get the exact shade you’re searching for.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to picking the perfect siding colour for your home. Here are our top 4 tips!

Think About Landscaping

Whether you’ve already invested in landscaping for your home, or have something in mind, make sure to add it into the equation when picking your siding colour. Look to your landscape to help narrow down your colour choices. It ultimately depends on whether you want something more natural, sophisticated, or dramatic, but whichever style you choose, your landscape style and home exterior should complement each other.

Consider Your Roof Colour

The siding colour you choose must go with your roof colour. If the two don’t mesh well, you won’t be loving the look of your exterior and the value will likely take a hit as well. If you have a dark roof, a lighter or more neutral siding will provide a nice contrast. If you have a light-coloured roof, a darker, richer siding hue may be the perfect one for you.

Check Out Your Neighbourhood

Take a walk around your neighbourhood to really get a feel for the neighbourhood aesthetic. Unless all the homes in your borough are eclectic and unique, you should consider a siding colour that fits the vibe of your surroundings. You want to pick a shade that looks good in your particular location, while still keeping your own style in mind.

The Big Picture

The siding colour isn’t the only colour you have to worry about when it comes to your home exterior. You also have doors (front and perhaps garage), windows, a roof, a porch, and maybe even other exterior materials such as a brick chimney. It’s crucial to make sure all these colours work together to create a stunning home exterior. You don’t want to mismatch your door and siding colour, just as much as you don’t want your porch colour clashing with your roof.

Choosing the right siding colour for your home isn’t an easy task, but with the right tips and our expert advice, your home exterior is bound to be as beautiful as you envision it.

 


Grayne Engineered Shake & Shingle: FAQ & Painting Tips

2017-06-10

Searching for shake and shingle with charm and long-lasting durability? Look no further. As a natural cedar replacement, Grayne has the beauty of aged cedar without the maintenance. It’s pre-finished and unsusceptible to moisture, making it easy to install and resilient through any climate.

When it comes to design, Grayne is the perfect accent for fiber cement, engineered wood, stucco, or natural cedar. It also offers a cellular PVC trim as a low-maintenance accessory package, so you can customize your home exterior to your desire. For the most authentic look possible, the graining patterns create natural depth, and its sharp edges create a striking aesthetic.

If you’re thinking about using Grayne engineered shake and shingle for your home, there are a few things you should know. Dive in to our FAQ and painting tips to see just how amazing this product is!

FAQ

Grayne is a multi-layer rigid PVC composite, manufactured in the Tapco Franklin Facility near Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s designed to last with rigidity, low thermal-expansion, impact resistance and long term colour protection. It’s not susceptible to moisture, and with a ¾” projection from the wall and cavity back design, it’s strong enough to take blunt force impact from heavy objects like baseballs, rocks, and hail.

Performance

What about wind? Grayne performs remarkably in wind, exceeding 170MPH wind load, so no matter what weather comes your way, Grayne is a sturdy choice. Not to mention, it has achieved a class 1A Fire Rating, which means it passes Flame Spread and Smoke.

Easy and affordable to install, Grayne is backed by a 50-year warranty for manufacturing defects and 5-year warranty on labor. It won’t splinter, rot, or swell and performs exceptionally against nature.

Profiles

The two most popular profiles are 5” Shake and Shingle and 7.5” Red Cedar Shingle, but Grayne offers 6 warm cedar colours. Each of which is made to mimic the natural look of cedar and each offers a unique colour palette and exposure. If you don’t find your perfect match, Grayne is also available in a paintable version so you can customize with any colour you like!

Painting Tips

If you decide to go with the paintable version of Grayne, you must paint the product within 90 days of installation. Make sure you use 100% acrylic exterior latex paint, and if you opt for a shade with an LRV less than 55%, go with 100% acrylic exterior paint formulated for PVC.

Don’t paint it when wet, ensure the surface is clean, dry and dust-free. And make sure you don’t use stain, powder coating or oil/alkyd base paint, as these don’t work with Grayne paintable products.

Your finish coat should be painted following the paint manufacturers instructions. This will ensure the coverage, application methods and application temperature are exactly how they need to be.

Now hop on over to the Gentek site to see what type of Grayne product is best for you!

 


Avoid These Top Renovation Mistakes

2017-06-07

Renovating your home is an exciting endeavor, but don’t let all the excitement blind you to common renovation mistakes. If you’re upgrading your house, you want it to be exactly that, an upgrade. Don’t fall for mishaps that will leave you palming your forehead at the end of the day.

Renovations aren’t always easy, but when done right, they’ll leave you with the home you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you’re renovating your interior, exterior or both, there are a few things you need to keep in mind for the renovations to go smoothly. Before you get started, take a look at 5 of the top renovation mistakes to avoid and have a happy renovation.

1.Not Going Green

There’s a common misconception that renovating your home with environmentally friendly materials will be way too expensive. But it’s a mistake not to go green. Going green is a smart investment that ensures energy conservation, optimal material use, and products that outlast any others. Gentek offers a range of eco-friendly green products from vinyl windows and patios doors, to an array of siding options. With environmental stewardship in mind, your renovation is sure to be durable, energy efficient and high quality.

2. Cutting Costs on Handiwork

You have to be extremely careful when choosing a contractor these days, and it could be a red flag if the quote for their work is cheap. The last thing you want is a contractor who cuts corners or renovates your home with low quality products. Do your due diligence when choosing a contractor. Ask your friends and family for referrals, and get estimates from multiple contractors before making your decision. Your contractor should be including costs for the specific work they’re doing, including the exact hardware and flooring, install costs, permit costs, warranty of the work, etc. If the estimate isn’t all-inclusive, it may be best to look elsewhere.

3. Measurement Mistakes

Make sure you, or whoever is taking the measurements for your renovation, is meticulous. Even half an inch can make a huge difference and jeopardize the look and feel you were going for with your renovation. Whether you’re measuring for cabinets, appliances, a bed frame, or sink, measure multiple times to make sure your measurements are 100% accurate. Taking more time to get specific will save you time and frustration in the long run.

4. Going Too Trendy

The thing about trends is, they come and go. This not only means you may fall out of love with your trendy design in the future, it can also bring down your home’s resale value. Trendy furniture is fine, but when it comes to the design of the kitchen, bathrooms and other rooms with appliances, counters and cabinets, it’s best not to go too wild. 

5. Skimping on Materials

If you’re going to renovate your home, what’s the use in skimping? The truth is, you get what you pay for, and although that doesn’t mean you have to spend your life savings on renovating your house, if you can’t afford to renovate with good quality materials, wait until you can. You may end up spending more money repairing cheap materials, and you’ll likely be underwhelmed with the look and functionality.

Are you looking into a home renovation? Make sure to keep these tips in mind!


6 Reasons to Use Vinyl Siding in Your Home

 

2017-06-04As the leading exterior cladding across North America, there are many reasons to use vinyl siding for your home. It’s versatile, durable and basically maintenance free, so it’s a no-brainer for any homeowner looking to build with style and value in mind. Gentek carries a wide range of vinyl siding so you can customize your home any way you please.

With style, strength and craftsmanship as some of its top features, vinyl siding offers a lot of value to anyone who chooses to use it. From its eco-friendly roots to its extreme durability, here are 6 reasons to use vinyl siding in your home.

  1. Design-centric

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to vinyl siding, from colours and textures to design and style. You can create whatever look you want, applying the pieces vertically or horizontally with your dream exterior in mind. There’s a wide array of colours available, including the popular dark grey shades, such as Iron Ore. With complementary trims and accessories, the options for customizing your exterior cladding with vinyl siding are endless.

  1. Durable

Vinyl siding is incredibly durable, able to stand up to almost any element. Multiple attachment points and sturdy materials protect it from wind resistance and impact from hail. And advanced UV-resistance coatings ensure the colour won’t fade for years. Vinyl siding is continuously exceeding expectations and is known for its long-term durability, which is why many homeowners continue to select it over and over again.

  1. Cost Effective

Vinyl siding is very cost effective, especially for the high-quality product you’re receiving. If you want to install vinyl siding yourself, you can save even more, but even if you hire someone to install it for you, it’s much more cost effective than the other siding options out there.

  1. Eco-friendly

Homeowners are becoming more and more conscious about their home’s impact on the environment, and with vinyl siding, they can rest assured their home is eco-friendly. Both vinyl siding and insulated vinyl siding have low environmental impact and vinyl scrap is recyclable. On top of that, since it’s so durable, it helps reduce maintenance and repair costs and materials.

  1. Maintenance free

Vinyl siding is also essentially maintenance free. Once you have it installed, you don’t have to do much to maintain its original aesthetics. It’s easily cleaned with soap and water, and you’ll never need to paint your home to update it. Other siding options leave you with ongoing maintenance and a hefty bill, but vinyl siding will keep its superior quality for years. Plus, it resists pests and damage so you don’t have to worry about unexpected costs!

  1. Prevents mold and mildew

Vinyl siding is immune to moisture damage, which prevents mold and mildew. With a tight, secure installation system, it resists excessive moisture, and weep holes allow for moisture to escape. Vinyl siding helps a home’s walls breathe and dry out, so you don’t have to worry about water damage within your home.

 

Are you ready to let your design flair shine with vinyl siding? Visit your local Gentek supplier today to find the right vinyl siding for you!


Before & After: Stunning Exterior Renovations

The exterior of your house is the first thing people see when they walk up to your home, so it’s important to make a good impression. Curb appeal ranks high these days, and luckily your exterior can get a complete facelift with a few simple upgrades! The best part? Every time you arrive home, you get to enjoy the look of your house, and you’ll be proud to show it off to anyone who visits. Plus, you’re adding a great deal of value by renovating your exterior.

We often focus on renovating the inside of our homes, but that shouldn’t be the only part of your house that gets your love and care. Your home exterior is just as important, especially if it’s starting to look run down. Gentek offers a large variation of products to help take your exterior from drab to stunning. From gorgeous siding to beautiful windows and doors, a few quick fixes can make a world of a difference. With options like vinyl siding, specialty siding, detailed trims, and a full array of exterior colour options, there are plenty of ways to completely customize your home to your desired style.

Take a look at 3 before and after photos that showcase stunning exterior renovations using Gentek products!

Lutes Before & After

While the charm of this lake house remains intact, the renovation created a fresh, clean finish. The Storm Siding cleans up the two-toned red and white that once was, while new windows give it a crisper look. The white painted door and window edges give the exterior a light, airy feel, and the new front door with decorative glass provides privacy with aesthetics in mind.

Lutes before Lutes after

Erving Before & After

Although these renovations didn’t require a ton of changes, the upgrades made a huge impact. The thick, white siding was replaced with Pebble Siding, and white accents around the windows. They also got rid of the green shutters on the top floor, creating a cleaner look. The entire back and sides of the house were covered in Pebble Siding to create a unified, refreshed feel. The charm of the brick remains untouched, while the siding gives the exterior a much-needed upgrade.

 

Erv 1 Erv 4 Erv 2 Erv 3

Orford Before & After

This home was renovated from head to toe in Windswept Smoke Siding. Dark grey siding is the go-to colour from many homeowners, and you can see how it makes the home look much more contemporary and less run down. Sometimes a house with good bones just needs a little re-vamp and that’s exactly what was done with this beauty. The Windswept Smoke shade provides contrast with the white roof, where it blended in before.

Or 1 Or 2 Or 3If you’re thinking about renovating the exterior of your home, do some research to figure out which siding, trims, doors, and windows will work for you! Your local Gentek retailer can help you find the best fit for your home, just like the gorgeous homes featured in this article!


Transform a Garage into a Mini-Paradise with Gentek Products!

2017-05-29

The garage has never been known as the most glamorous part of the home, or even a proper part of the home in general. If you don’t use your garage to park your car, it’s most likely used as storage for everything from golf clubs and bikes, to paint and holiday decorations. But what if we told you your garage could be more than that? That it could be transformed into a mini-paradise, and be an extension of your home rather than totally separate entity?

Intrigued?

Using products like stylish siding, decorative windows and doors, and insulation, you can create a cozy oasis that suits the needs of your household. Whether you want an extra reading room to escape the hustle and bustle of your home, a kids’ playroom where they can play and get their homework done, or a family room where you can all relax and hang out, your garage just may become your new favourite space.

Check out how to transform your garage into a mini-paradise using some of Gentek’s most loved products!

Siding

You can use siding inside and outside your garage to create the look you want. Gentek carries an array of siding options, whether you want the look of natural wood, modern beauty, or specialty siding, customized to your personal style. With so many colours, shapes and textures, you can take your garage from bland to gorgeous with some new siding!

Windows

Windows can completely transform a space, especially a garage, which probably didn’t have windows to being with. All Gentek’s windows are classically styled and built to last, and will give your garage an airy ambiance. You can choose from vinyl windows and aluminum windows, with plenty of options within each. With endless possibilities for window design, you’ll get looks, durability and low-maintenance in a single package. What more could you ask for?

Doors

If you really want to make a statement with your garage, a new door is a must! Choose doors that are inviting and stylish, so the entryway to your newfound oasis suits what’s inside. Gentek offers doors of all styles, each one beautifully crafted and durable. You can customize it to your needs, whether you want big glass doors that bring the outdoors in, or a more private entryway for your new cozy pad.

Insulation

The thing about garages is most of them don’t come insulated, so if you want to turn yours into a mini paradise, proper insulation is key. At Gentek, pretty much all sidings can be paired with one or more insulation products so you can rest assured your garage will always have a comfortable temperature.

If you’re thinking of transforming your garage into a mini-paradise, these are the key products you need to get started! The rest will mainly be furniture and décor to create the space you’ve always dreamed of in the comfort of your garage!


The Benefits of Building a LEED Certified Home

2017-05-26

If you’re building a custom home or renovating your current abode from the bottom up, consider the benefits of a LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certified home. If you want a home that’s energy efficient, health-conscious, and environmentally friendly, a LEED home could be just what you’re looking for.

What is a LEED Certified Home?

A LEED home is a green home, having a positive impact on the environment and saving homeowners from health issues and high monthly utility bills. From durability to comfort, efficiency and value, a LEED home encompasses everything you could ask for in a new build. The certification program encompasses the best green building strategies for houses, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best bang for your buck!

Health Benefits of a LEED Home

There are plenty of health benefits to building a LEED certified home. A greener home creates less waste and has a cleaner indoor air quality. Almost all outside air will first be filtered, removing dirt, pollen, dust and other contaminants before moving inside. They’re healthy homes that reduce allergens and use non-toxic materials, decreasing exposure to mold and mildew. LEED homes also eliminate triggers for asthma and chemical sensitivity.

Savings

LEED homes use less energy, water and natural resources than non-LEED homes. This results in savings month after month on your utility bills. The installation of water efficiency measures can reduce water usage by at least 30%. And since as much as 20% of a home’s energy is used to produce hot water, these savings are key. Monthly savings on energy and water can help you save hundreds of dollars a year, with little to no additional costs upfront.

The Environment

LEED certified homes are built with the environment in mind. Not only do they use less energy and water, they also lessen emission release into the air. Builders are encouraged to invest in energy-saving and climate friendly technologies, and use environmentally friendly materials, material-efficient framing and responsible waste management.

Durability

Durability strategies are front of mind in the home building process of LEED homes. Your home will be designed with highly durable materials, that limit the intrusion of water and other damaging conditions. LEED homes are built to last in any climate, mitigating any issues that come along with that climate. Water infiltration, heat loss and high air infiltration are just some of the issues averted by LEED certified homes. They’re also built with storm water management features, protecting natural resources from excessive runoff.

Quality Control

Without quality control, your home’s envelope and mechanical systems can be compromised. With LEED homes, there is meticulous third-party verification and documentation. Your home will have numerous on-site inspections and thorough performance testing to ensure it’s in tip-top shape! Feedback is given to the design and building teams so that all LEED certified homes are up to par.

Are you building a custom home or renovating your current space? What do you think of building a LEED certified home?