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Above & Beyond is an creative exterior remodeling company that works with you to build the home of your dreams.

We only partner with top manufactures to ensure you the industries best performance and warranties. 

Our key areas of focus are James Hardie fiber cement siding design & installation, Beechworth & Marvin Windows, GAF roofing systems and Azek Decks & Trim. 

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Exterior Remodeling Advice

Above & Beyond's in-house experts share their industry insights, recommendations, design tips and things to look out for.

If you want professoinal advice straignt from the source you're in the right place!

4 Winter Roofing Damages To Watch Out For

brian wcislo

Winter is often a nightmare for home maintenance, as the roofs acquire the most wear during the season, and are also the most difficult to fix during this time as well. This horrible combo can often result in costly damages that can seriously affect the livelihood of those who live inside as well as the home’s value. Here are some of the most common winter roofing problems, and how to prevent them.

Trapped Water

Trapped water in your roof is a year-long issue, however during the winter it is particularly troublesome due to the trapped water freezing and expanding, which can push against the shingles and cause cracks. When left unchecked, this freezing and thawing process continues for multiple cycles throughout the season, compounding the damage each time. This will eventually lead to leakage underneath the shingle, with the shingle needing to be replaced.

To prevent this, ensure that your roof is properly ventilated. If any minor holes or leaks exist, fix them immediately to prevent water entering those points.

Icicles

Icicles may be pretty during the winter, but they are especially trouble. In addition to being an injury over your head just waiting to happen, icicles are bad for the health of your roof. The weight of the icicles can eventually be too much for your roof, pulling down gutters, fascia, and other portions of the roof. The stress that the icicles put on the roof can also result in rotting, which is an issue that will only spread if not dealt with immediately.

The most obvious solution to getting rid of icicles is to knock them down, but this comes with serious risk towards yourself and your home. Instead, prevent them from ever happening to begin with by keeping your gutters clean and applying heat tape along the seams to prevent ice formation.

Strong Winds

Strong winds are often a staple that goes hand in hand with winter, and can damage your roof in multiple ways, either by loosening or blowing off your roof shingles, or by knocking down nearby tree limbs. These limbs may already be weighed down by snow and ice, making them more likely to succumb to the wind.

Be sure to replace all shingles that are blown away immediately, as every day that your roof goes exposed is a risk to your home. Also, it is best to keep trees that extend over your home away from your roof. If that is not possible, trim those branches and keep them clear of snow and ice to minimize chances of them falling over.

Ice Dams

Ice dams are a major nuisance among homeowners during the winter. They form when runoff water freeze at the edge of the home and preventing snow and water from falling off, resulting in a backlash of water that seeps under the shingles. This results in leaks that can cause serious damage to the insulation and interior of your home.

To prevent ice dams from happening, one method is to blow cold air against the roof from inside the house, preventing snow and ice from entering.

Overall, roof damage can be an incredibly frustrating thing, especially during the winter time, but with the right preventative measures and immediate action, the consequences can be minimized. If you are in need to clear some ice or implement some of these preventative measures, contact us via phone (732-589-7769) or through our online inquiry form. We’d love to work with you!

Top 4 Roofing Materials for Your Home

brian wcislo

In a previous blog we talked about the main different kinds of siding that are available today. Well today we are doing the same for roofing, and going over the most popular roofing materials out there for your home. Your roof is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of your home, so it’s vital that you choose the right materials for it’s shingles. Different materials have different properties, and it’s important that you choose the right one for the conditions your home will be in. To help you, here are the top 4 you will most likely have to select from.

Asphalt Shingles

This is arguably the most popular form of roofing for most people, taking up a whopping 84% of the roofing market. It’s popularity is largely driven by it’s wide versatility with most climates, and it’s affordability. It’s fireproof, resistant to insect damage, and easy to install on most roofs. However, there are some downsides to asphalt as well. It’s lifespan is shorter than other roofing materials, and can be subject to cracking from prolonged exposure to heat. It can also have problems with excessive moisture, and can have moss and algae grow on it in particularly humid climates.

To mitigate these downsides, its best to invest in the highest quality asphalt shingles to get the best and longest life out of your roof. Our recommendation would be Owen Corning asphalt shingles, who’s multiple lines cater to various conditions, styles, and budget. Find what works best for you from Owen Corning’s extensive array of products.

Wood Shingles

Few materials can match the classic and natural beauty of wood shingles, and with many of the oldest homes in the US still retaining it’s original shingles, it’s safe to say that it’s longevity speaks for itself. They also have twice the insulation value of asphalt shingles, and are eco-friendly thanks to the fact that most wood shingles are made from salvaged or fallen trees. In addition to that, it isn’t as a large a fire hazard as you’d expect, as treated shingles have a Class A fire rating.

It is worth noting, however, that untreated wood shingles have a Class C fire rating, and are prohibited in some areas due to risk of wildfire. Also, like most other wood exteriors, maintenance and upkeep is high, with constant cleaning to keep out moss and algae, and clearing of debris to allow the wood to breath. Plus, if any damage or improper installation has occurred, fixing/replacing it will be expensive. Overall it is best to not choose wood if you live in an area with excessive humidity or heat.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has been a staple in farm houses and rural areas for almost a century, and for good reason. With its strong resistance to all forms of weather and long lifespan, it is the common choice for those who live far away. This form of roofing is seeing a resurgence thanks to a demand for eco-friendly roofing options, and the rise of industrial style homes.

There are several benefits to metal roofing, including longevity, fire resistance, water resistance, and resistance to insect damage. It is also usually very strong, depending on the type of metal used, and is resistant to most debris and even hail. However, in the case that it does dent, fixing metal roofing tends to be more expensive, and often requires replacing whole pieces as opposed to repairing them. It is also quite expensive in comparison to other materials, although the durability and longevity of the material tends to offset the cost. Overall it is a great option if you are planning to keep a home for the long term.

Slate Roofing

Genuine slate is one of the highest quality roofing products you can buy, and has been known to last for centuries. Composite slate, it’s artificial counterpart, tends to last 40-60 years. It’s luxurious look and minimal maintenance make it coveted by many homeowners, and while it is the most expensive option available, composite slate gives you many of the same benefits while being at a lower price.

That being said, it’s not without its downsides. In addition to its high cost, it is also very heavy, which means you will likely need to pay for additional support to install it. However composite, with its lower price tag and lighter weight, avoids this problem. Repairs will also be difficult, as slate can break if walked on, and is expensive to fix/replace. And it’s important to hire a contractor well-versed in installing slate, as improper installation can lead to moisture damage. In summary, slate is great for the best upscale housing, so long as you can bear the initial expense of installing it.

We hope this post served as a helpful guide to help you begin your selection of the right material for your home. If you are planning an upcoming roof installation/replacement, contact us via phone or through our contact form. We’d love to work with you!

5 Design Tips to Make the Most of a Small Bathroom

brian wcislo

For those who live with roommates or with family, the bathroom is oftentimes the only place where one can find peace. However, if your bathroom is cramped and small, there is only so much comfort you can have. Luckily, there are ways to make even the smallest spaces feel larger and accommodating. Here are 5 tips to make the most of your small bathroom.

Hide Pipes and Vents

An efficient bathroom makes the most of its space, and keeps everything about it as simple as possible. In order to do that, it hides visual clutter like pipes, vents, and drains, to maintain a clean appearance and maximize space utilization. Use modern, minimal pieces for your bathroom to achieve this desired effect. If that doesn’t match the style of the rest of your home, use something that utilizes less gilding and unnecessary detailing to make it a streamlined as your style allows.

Implement Storage Wherever Possible

When space is a premium, the last thing you want to waste it on is baskets and racks to hold your belongings. Instead, install mirrored medicine cabinets and shelving under the sink to hold all your necessary bathroom goods. This will clear up much needed floor space and will also hide your belongings, reducing clutter and achieving that much needed simplicity. Having shelving and hooks on the walls helps make use of that empty space as well.

Install Alcoves

If you want to take wall utilization to the next level, install an alcove into your showering/bathtub area. This keeps your shampoo within arms reach, without resorting to the fussy sticky caddies that you’ve probably used before. Eliminate the worry of falling shelving and knocking over bottles with an alcove, and your shower will have become that more stress relieving.

Have a Glass Door Shower

Shower curtains can be irritating, as they take up visual clutter and never quite do the job of keeping out water as well as they are supposed to. Instead, use a glass door. This not only looks better, but it makes the space feel since it isn’t separated by a dark curtain.

Don’t Block Windows

Glass doors serve one more purpose: if there is a window in the shower area, it let's that light in. Having natural light keeps a space from feeling claustrophobic, and makes it more open. Utilizing bright colors gives the light something to reflect off of and accentuates the effect.

Bathrooms are an important space. They give you a place where you can be alone for a precious few moments, and is a space that you probably start and end your day in. Therefore, it is important not to forget it whenever you designing or renovating a home. If you are planning to renovate or install new components into your bathroom, contact us or fill out an inquiry form. We’d love to discuss more with you.