Leaking roofs, rotting wood and flooded basements are good – rather bad – signs that setting some exterior home improvement goals should make your list in 2014. 

Worn Out Roof ShinglesIt’s easy to get nostalgic this time of year as the Christmas music fades and phrases like “fresh beginnings” usher us toward New Year’s celebrations.

Many publishers push out a “best of” feature during the last few weeks of December, reminiscing about the most brilliant photos or biggest news stories of the past 12 months.

At VanWeelden Co., we’re already looking ahead to 2014, and figured our readers would appreciate a guide to staging any home improvements you hope to achieve in the next year.

Maybe your 2014 plans include going on a diet, getting back to the gym or launching a new career. In the same vein, considering when and how to fix the roof, replace the siding or tackle another exterior remodeling project typically starts with taking a good look at current conditions.

Roofing Signs
Buckling shingles or granules in the gutters are indicators that the lifecycle of a roof is coming to an end. Valleys or missing shingles are other signs. Don’t wait until the ceiling leaks or daylight streams through the roof boards. Angie’s list dishes up a list of tips to help you determine when it’s time to contact a licensed roofing contractor.

Siding Signs
Exterior bubbles or loose wallpaper inside the home are signs that a home’s siding is in need of a makeover. High heating costs or homes in need of frequent painting could also indicate a fundamental problem solvable with the professional installation of a new siding product. Read Siding Magazine’s “Top 10 Signs You Need to Replace Your Home’s Siding” and find out how getting ahead of the game could help prevent the need for other major repairs.

Window Signs
Do you have trouble opening or closing your windows? Or consistently find moisture on interior surfaces? What about noise or rot? Pella Windows says chipping, deterioration or water stains – as well as a need for greater energy efficiency or outdated designs that don’t blend will with the rest of the home – are clues that it’s time to consider replacements. Andersen Windows put together a beautiful page to help homeowners decide if it’s an appropriate time to upgrade the looking glass.

Gutter Signs
CNNMoney places gutters right below roofs in a 2012 article on the order of importance for home repairs. The news media covered the type of undone projects that – outside of an emergency – could end up causing the most damage and largest expense if not fixed in a timely manner. Dented gutters, basement flooding or pools of water around a home’s foundation are sure signs that the time to take action is now.

Deck Signs
As the snow thaws and temperatures rise, entertaining family and friends outdoors tends to seep slowly but surely onto many-a-to-do list. With that in mind, the National American Deck and Railing Association published a checklist to help consumers spot split or decaying wood, loose or corroded fasteners, insecure banisters or signs that a deck’s coating has worn away. Deck Safety Month is 16 weeks from now. By addressing any issues in the first quarter, homeowners can rest assured that guests will feel both safe and comfortable when going to fire up the grill this spring.

VanWeelden Co. wishes you the very best in achieving all of your goals in 2014. If you’re thinking about an exterior improvement project to protect and beautify your home in the coming year, please contact us and we’ll share what we know as part of a free consultation.