Roof replacement by Custom Exteriors

How To Match Your Roof With Your Home’s Exterior Color Scheme

Roof replacement by Custom Exteriors

How to Match Your roof with your home's exterior color scheme

My husband and I have been in the roofing and exteriors industry since 2014 and in the home improvement industry for over three decades now. So it’s safe to say we have had the opportunity to see countless roofs replaced, not just here in Colorado but around the country, as we traveled to help those impacted by hurricanes along our Gulf Coast. Despite this, each new roofing project we take on teaches us something new about how the right roof can transform a home. 

As roofing contractors, we understand that a roof replacement typically doesn’t top the list of exciting home improvement projects. However, your roof does so much more than just protect your home from our harsh weather; it also makes up about 40% of what visitors arriving at your property see during their first impression. Your home’s exteriors is almost always the first thing people see, and a well-chosen roof color can make all the difference in your home’s curb appeal. 

So, how do you choose the perfect roof color? This decision will impact your home’s appearance for years, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. In this guide, we’ll explore how to match your roof effectively with your home’s exterior color scheme. It’s our goal to help you make a choice that improves the durability, value, and curb appeal of your home. 


Understand Color Theory

Having replaced roofs on every color house there is, it became quickly clear that you need a basic understanding of color theory to ensure your color scheme looks seamless. The color theory is a practical tool that should be taken into consideration when choosing a color scheme. It explains what colors look good together and why. 

Infographic to explain the color theory as it relates to an exterior remodeling color scheme

The basics of the color theory are simple. Colors are divided into three categories: primary (red, blue, yellow), secondary (green, orange, purple), and tertiary (combinations of primary and secondary colors). When creating an exterior color scheme, it’s helpful to know which colors complement each other. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange or red and green. These combinations are visually striking and can bring a vibrant look to your home. And before you say anything, we have absolutely seen red, green, blue, and white roofs. While most modern homes stick to brown or black, roofs are available in a variety of colors. This is particularly true for metal panel roofs, as they are available in almost every color. With this in mind, it’s helpful to know which colors complement each other. 

Analogous Colors

Analogous colors are those that sit next to each other on the color wheel, sharing a common hue that makes them blend perfectly. This group includes three colors that are side by side, like blue, blue-green, and green or red, red-orange, and orange. When these colors are used together, they create a serene and comfortable look because of their close relationship in the color scheme. 

When choosing a roof replacement with these colors, you can create a very subtle and harmonious appearance. We have seen dark green roofing paired with lighter shades of green throughout the siding and the trim or a grey-blue roof, with shades of blue making up the color palette of the home. 

When designing a color scheme using analogous colors: 

Infographic made by Custom Exteriors with an example of a analogous color scheme for exteriors

As you can see from the example above, using analogous colors in roofing and siding projects not only makes the color choices easier but also makes sure your house looks great and doesn’t become an eyesore in your neighborhood. This approach allows for a calm and cohesive exterior appearance. 

It’s important to consider the saturation and brightness of your color choices as well. Saturation refers to how intense or vivid a color is, while brightness refers to how light or dark a color is. A roof that is too bright or saturated might overwhelm your home’s exterior, while a more muted color of the same tone can tie things together beautifully. 


Assessing Your current exterior

Choosing a roof color that blends well with your existing home color scheme involves careful consideration. Because your exterior plays a huge role in your home’s first impression, it’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here’s how you can systematically approach the process: 

  1. Assess the Current Colors: Start by observing the main colors on your home’s exterior, including the siding, doors, windows, and trim. Remember, lighting can significantly alter color perception, so it’s best to view the colors at different times of the day. 
  2. Understand Undertones: Look at the undertones in the existing colors. For example, a beige might have a pink, yellow, or green undertone. These undertones are crucial for properly matching colors. Your roof color should complement these undertones, not clash with them. 
  3. Consider the Visual Impact of a Roof Color: The roof can make up to 40% of your home’s visible exterior, making its color a significant factor in your curb appeal. A roof color that complements the main color scheme can transform your home, making it appear balanced and integrated. For example, if your home has warm beige siding with yellow undertones, a brown or warm gray roof can be a perfect match. 
  4. Use Color Swatches: Obtain color swatches for potential roof materials and compare them alongside your home’s exterior in natural light. This is the most effective way to ensure the colors work well together. Most roofing materials are available through your local roofing company in 2-foot sample sections. 
  5. Factor in Material and Texture: Remember that the material and texture of the roofing will influence its color and appearance. A shiny metal panel roof will reflect more light and could appear lighter than it is. On the other hand, standard asphalt shingles absorb light, which sometimes makes them appear deeper in color. 
  6. Reflect on Curb Appeal and Resale: Consider how your color choices might affect curb appeal and potential resale value. Neutral colors tend to appeal to a wider audience and may be a safer choice if you plan to sell your home in the future. Colored roofs such as blue, green, or red create a distinct look that may not appeal to everyone. 
  7. Test in Different Conditions: If possible, look at your chosen roof material and color in various weather conditions and times of day. A color might look dramatically different on a sunny day versus an overcast day. Local roofing contractors may have examples of completed roofs in your community to get a picture of the larger scope. 

92% of Realtors suggested sellers improve curb appeal before listing their homes for sale, making a proper exterior renovation design a valuable asset. ~

Choosing the right roof colors

Over the course of our careers, we have seen just about every color of roof! Choosing that color is an important decision, with several factors to consider. Factors that could impact the overall curb appeal of your home include: 

Asphalt shingles in many colors

1. Consider your Climate:

The color of your roof can influence the temperature inside your home. Light-colored roofs, such as white or gray, reflect sunlight, which can help keep your house cooler in warm climates. While this can be a smart choice if you live in an area with a lot of sunlight (like Colorado), however, most people stay away from white roofs because of their appearance and lean more towards lighter grays or tans. With that being said, we have seen some great examples of “cool roofs” in a commercial setting with white membrane roofs or metal roofing. On the other hand, dark-colored roofs absorb heat, which might be beneficial in colder climates as it can help melt snow and ice off your roof more quickly. 

2. Look at your home's style:

The architecture of your home should guide your color choice. Traditional homes often look good with classic colors like black, gray, or brown. Modern homes, however, can look great with bolder colors or shingles with a lot of variation. One of my favorite roofs we ever did was a deep red metal panel roof up against a primarily off-white, modern home. It was stunning. 

3. Match or complement existing colors:

Your roof color should complement the colors of your home’s exterior, such as the siding, doors, windows, and even the landscaping. A roof that complements these elements will pull your home’s look together nicely. For example, a gray roof can look beautiful on a house with blue siding, or a tan or brown roof can complement a home with earth-toned walls. On the other hand, we have seen customers pair a cool-toned white roof with a warm-toned, bold color, and the end result was less than impressive. 

4. Consider the visual impact:

As we discussed earlier, your roof can make up about 40% of your home’s exterior. That makes your roof a large and noticeable part of your home, so choosing the right color is pretty important. Taking a look around your neighborhood can help you pick a color that will fit in and match the surrounding architecture. Additionally, if you live in an HOA-managed neighborhood, it has been our experience that there is a pre-determined selection of approved roofing choices. Ensure you are not required to pick a certain roof style or color before any roof replacement. A roof is a significant investment, so having to replace it because you used an unapproved color could be a very expensive mistake. It costs over $10,000 to replace most residential roofs, which rise in price from there easily to over $30,000. 

Accent Features and Finishing Touches

When you are completing an exterior remodel, everyone considers roofing, siding, windows, and paint, but there are some important accent features that can make or break an exterior remodel. These finishing touches can make a significant impact on your home’s curb appeal. So what are they? 

1. Choose the Right Trim: Trim acts like a frame around your home, outlining windows, doors, and other areas. Selecting the right color for your trim can highlight your house’s unique features. Typically, you want a trim color that contrasts slightly with your siding to make your home’s lines stand out. For example, the illustration shows a home with muted shades of yellow and beige and bright white as a striking trim color. Be careful when choosing dark trim colors, such as black or navy, as they can overshadow other colors quickly. Additionally, some of our favorite exterior paint color schemes include several accent colors, highlighting architectural features and creating contrast. 

2.Update Your Front Door: Your front door can be a focal point of your home’s exterior. Painting it a vibrant color can draw attention to your entry. Depending on the colors of your siding and roof, colors like red, blue, or even yellow can work well. While researching valuable exterior home improvements, we recently determined that a study by Zillow found that a black door can add nearly $6500 to your selling price. 

3. Consider Window Frames and Shutters: Window frames and shutters offer additional opportunities for incorporating accent colors. You can match these to your front door for a cohesive look or choose an accent color that fits with your home’s overall color scheme. This not only adds visual interest but also boosts the curb appeal of your exterior. Window shutters are available in almost every color and have several styles that make them a great fit for most architectural styles, including shutters for a modern exterior

4. Add Lighting Fixtures: Good lighting can transform the exterior of your home and increase its safety and security. Choose fixtures that match the style of your home, and then work with a professional electrician who can ensure they are placed in the best spot. Exterior lighting should be used to light areas like the front door, walkways, and unique landscaping or architectural features of your home. 

5. Landscaping Touches: Finally, consider the role of landscaping in finishing your home’s exterior. Well-maintained landscaping, flowering plants, and even decorative stones can add color and texture to your property. Think about adding planters near the entrance or along the driveway, filled with plants that complement your exterior color scheme. 

Each of these finishing touches, when carefully planned and chosen, works together to create a gorgeous exterior. The goal is to create a harmonious look that reflects your style and works perfectly with the architectural style of your home. 

The benefits of a well designed exterior

Choosing the right color for your roof and coordinating with your home’s exterior color scheme is a decision that can influence your home’s value and curb appeal. The impact of these color choices touches on both financial returns and practical benefits. 

Homes with well-thought-out exterior colors, including the roof, can sell for more. Moreover, according to the National Association of Realtors, investing in a new roof can not only improve the look of your home but also bring a return of 107% on its cost at resale. This statistic shows just how significant the roof is in the overall value of your property. 

On a practical note, the choice of roof color can affect your energy costs. Lighter-colored roofs reflect sunlight, which helps in keeping your home cooler during warmer months. The U.S. Department of Energy supports this, stating that cool roofs can save homeowners between 7-15% in total cooling costs. This not only helps reduce ongoing expenses but also makes your home more attractive to potential buyers who are conscious of energy efficiency and environmental issues. 

Because cool roofs can reduce the roof surface temperature by up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they can reduce annual air conditioning use by as much as 15%.  ~ U.S. Department of Energy

A well-chosen roof color not only adds to your curb appeal but can also significantly impact your energy costs. Whether you are updating your roof to improve its appearance, restoring damage from a storm, or preparing it for sale, remember that the color of your roof can play a significant role in the appearance of your exterior remodel. 

By implementing careful planning with the information learned today, you can create a rewarding investment in your property—an investment that makes your home more attractive to you, your visitors, and potential buyers alike. If you are in Colorado, contact Custom Exteriors today to meet with one of our exterior design specialists and make your home the envy of the neighborhood!

Door and garage door remodeling

7 Smart Exterior Upgrades That Add the Most Value To A House

Table of Contents

7 Smart exterior upgrades that add the most value to a house

Let’s be realistic: when you decide to spend money upgrading your home, your exterior is generally not high on the list of possible projects. We find that odd, not because we have dedicated our careers to exterior remodeling, but rather because it is literally the first impression of each and every one of your guests. So when we discuss exterior remodeling, in addition to boosting your home’s curb appeal, we are talking about making smart investments that actually pay off. And by ‘pay off,’ we mean adding real, tangible value to your house. 

When trying to choose the best exterior upgrades for the money, the talk should be about projects that will not only make your house look amazing but also slap that higher price on your home. 

Smart exterior remodeling isn’t just throwing cash at every new trend. Rather, it’s about choosing smart upgrades. Upgrades that look great, work hard behind the scenes, and give your home’s curb appeal and value a boost. It’s a practical, financially responsible investment that pays off in the long run. As you will see, investing in your home’s exterior is one of the smartest moves you can make for your property’s future. Let’s find out exactly what you should do to increase the value and curb appeal of your home! 

1. High-quality siding replacement

When choosing a home exterior improvement project that adds to your curb appeal and also adds real value to your property, a high-quality siding replacement easily takes the number one spot. The exterior of your home is the first impression every guest gets when they arrive at your home. On most homes in our area, the largest portion of that exterior is made up of siding! With decades of experience in the construction and remodeling world, we have rarely seen an exterior remodeling project with as much impact as a well-designed siding replacement project. 

Whether we are talking about stained cedar siding paired with black accents, creating a modern masterpiece, or the intricately designed and painted siding accents on a historical home, your siding makes (or breaks) your exterior. 

Siding replacement by Custom Exteriors

The financial wisdom in siding replacement

According to industry reports, siding replacement has one of the highest ROI among home improvement projects. A 2019 Cost vs. Value report states that, on average, homeowners can expect up to an 80 percent return on their siding investment, depending on the material used. 

It is not just a matter of percentages; siding replacement can also have a dramatic impact on your home’s curb appeal. It’s no secret that first impressions are important. Worn or dated siding can deter potential buyers, and the negative impact on your home’s first impression can distract from even the most beautiful interiors. In addition to the financial and aesthetic gains, new siding also provides many other benefits, including: 

Curb appeal for any style

Replacement siding is available in many styles and colors. Fiber cement, vinyl, wood, and engineered wood siding all come with great returns on your investment. With so many materials and styles of siding available, there is a siding product that pairs perfectly with your project. Whether you are looking for a cost-effective vinyl siding replacement or are creating a modern masterpiece with panel-style siding, the options are endless. 

In addition to the increased curb appeal, most modern siding replacements come with or can be paired with energy-efficient options designed to increase your home’s insulation significantly. We recently completed a complex of homes in our Colorado mountains. During the replacement process, the community opted to unlay the siding with house-insulating panels. This small addition made a huge difference in meeting the energy goals in their community. 

Additionally, the government often offers incentives for energy-saving home improvements, which can contribute to overall savings. These incentives can significantly increase the benefits of a siding replacement project. 

As exterior remodeling contractors, it is our professional opinion that siding replacement isn’t just a cosmetic upgrade. It is a strategic investment that can improve energy efficiency, boost curb appeal, and offer a high ROI. Due to these factors and the dramatic impact siding can have on your property, we put it on the top of the list for exterior improvements that add the most value to your home. 

2. Energy-efficient window upgrades

Let’s talk about windows. They are the home improvement projects that people know they need to do, but the expense often hinders the progress. Many homeowners we have encountered can actually feel a draft when they are near their windows. Our clients have expressed energy bills climbing during extreme temperature season and signs of condensation in the panes as signs that their windows are an issue. 

The benefits of energy-efficient windows

Firstly, energy-efficient windows play a huge role in keeping your home comfortable and your bills low. Modern replacement windows are designed to keep your home comfortable regardless of the outside temperature and your energy bills low. Quality windows are designed to prevent heat from escaping during the winter and keep cool air inside during the summer. Because of this important task, quality windows can save you up to 25%-30% on heating and cooling energy use. Other benefits of energy-efficient windows include: 

Infographic created by Custom Exteriors highlighting the benefits of new windows

How to save money and make the right choice for your home

Part of the value of replacement windows is a long game. While many of the benefits, such as increased home value, are immediate, the real benefit of new windows accumulates over time. The reduction in energy costs adds up over time, and many of our customers find that their windows pay for themselves over time with the savings they accumulate. So, they’re basically free, right? 

When picking out the style of windows, choose windows that complement the other features of your home. It’s also important to select windows verified by the NFRC. This means they have been tested for their energy-saving properties. You’ll see labels with terms like U-factor, which measures how well a window insulates, or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, indicating how much solar heat the window lets in. The lower these numbers, the better the window will perform. 

Even the best window can’t do its job if it isn’t installed correctly. Ensure a professional window installation to make full use of the windows’ features – otherwise, you might not get all the benefits, and it could void the warranty. 

By being a smart homeowner and choosing energy-efficient windows, you’re taking control of your comfort and your energy bills and even doing your part for the environment. Replacement windows are a sensible yet powerful update for your home and a move that will pay off in more ways than one. 

3. Modern roof replacement

Replacing an old or worn-out roof might not be as exciting as a kitchen makeover, but it’s one of the smartest investments you can make. Let’s explore why a new roof gives a great return on investment and should definitely be a part of your exterior remodel plan. 

Asphalt roof replacement by Custom Exteriors, a Greeley roofing contractor

A new roof is a smart investment

While there is debate on the actual ROI of a roof replacement, estimates vary from 68% to 109%, one thing is sure. Your roof serves as the only line of defense from above for everything our severe weather throws at it. Even if the ROI were 1%, it would still be a sound investment simply due to the protection it provides. Over time, an old roof can get damaged, leading to leaks and water damage. A new roof protects you from this damage and can save you the substantial costs associated with it. 

Custom Curb appeal

When someone looks at your home from the street, your roof is one of the most significant parts of your exterior. Whether you like it or not, your roof impacts your home’s first impression. If you ever decide to sell, potential buyers will often judge the condition of your home based on that first impression. A new roof can increase your home’s resale value, making it a practical upgrade that pays off. 

Let’s not forget the customization options that make your roof stand out. You aren’t stuck to a traditional asphalt shingle roof. Metal panels and synthetic shakes are fantastic materials that deliver on looks and durability. Metal roofing comes in many colors and styles. Panel roofs, designed with metal panels, are known for giving your home a sleek, modern look and come in a variety of styles and colors. It’s also known for being incredibly durable and long-lasting. Metal roofs can last up to 70 years!

Investing in a new roof during an exterior remodel is an opportunity to improve your home’s protection, style, and value all at once. With the addition of custom touches like metal panel accent sections, you’re also giving your house a unique focal point. So, when planning your next remodel, remember that a new roof could be your best investment!

4. new doors and garage doors

Door and garage door remodeling

When choosing an exterior remodeling project for your home, you want something that immediately impacts both ROI and curb appeal. New entry doors, patio doors, and garage doors are not just functional but can be show stoppers visually. Studies indicate that replacing your front door with a steel entry door can return an astounding 101% ROI. Other advantages of replacement entry, garage, and patio doors include: 

According to Angi, you can expect an average return on investment for a garage door replacement at 94%. 

Replacement entry doors come in many styles, materials, sizes, and colors. They are one of the simplest exterior remodeling projects, as a quick coat of paint on your front door can change the look of your entire exterior. It’s clear that when you are searching for an affordable but impactful remodel, a front door refresh might just be your quickest way to increased home value. 

5. Deck or Patio addition

We get it. Home improvements can be expensive. They are also about as much fun as watching paint dry (which we can arrange for you if you are into that.) But, when it comes to getting bang for your buck, constructing a deck or laying down a patio is actually loaded with unexpected benefits. 

For starters, a deck or patio can significantly increase your home’s value. A deck has an impressive ROI of 106%! That is an obvious no-brainer. But not only are you increasing your home’s value, but you are adding serious curb appeal and extra living space. A well-designed deck or patio creates a whole new area to enjoy at a fraction of the cost of an actual addition. 

According to, adding a new deck will recover 106% of its value when the house is sold. The estimated cost of the project was $9,450, and the estimated added value was $10,000, making it a clear choice for remodeling ROI.

Increased Function at a fraction of the cost

It’s no secret that a full-blown home expansion is pricey. However, a deck or patio allows you to gain living space, but not at the expense of actual living space. With this in mind, adding a deck or patio is a smart move for both function and budget. It costs less than an addition but still creates a comfortable space for your family to enjoy. 

A deck or patio looks great, provides an additional area to enjoy, and is a strategic move that pays off. Literally. Your new deck provides many benefits beyond just an increase in home value including:

A deck offers many tangible benefits, from financial gain to the intangible joys of spending time in the great outdoors. Making this addition to your home promises countless days of enjoyment and relaxation. 

6. Gutter replacement, repair, & Maintenance

Gutters play an important role in home maintenance, yet they are often overlooked until problems arise. Maintaining, replacing, or repairing your gutters is a strategic move that prevents costly damage. This simple exterior maintenance task helps keep the value of your home high and avoid the significant expenses associated with foundation repairs and water damage. 

Routine gutter maintenance is not optional. It’s also not an exaggeration to say that the health of your home depends on functional gutters that effectively channel rainwater away from your home. Without properly functioning gutters, you risk issues like basement flooding, eroded landscaping, weakened siding, and mold or mildew. All of those problems come with an expensive repair bill. The picture below is an example of what a lack of gutter maintenance can do to your home. Our crews located this while replacing the siding on a property, and it drastically increased the cost of the renovation. 

Lack of gutter maintenance creating mold issues discovered by Custom Exteriors during a siding replacement

Beyond just maintenance

There are gutter options like copper and other specialty gutters that create a dramatic look for your home’s exterior and help raise the value of the home at the same time. Copper gutters, for example, age beautifully over time, acquiring a patina that can make your home stand out in the best way possible. Our crews just finished a gutter installation where the homeowner chose black gutters and downspouts. It created a dramatic impact and added a sleek, modern look to a home that was actually built in the 1970s.

Your gutters may not seem like a glamorous addition to your home. However, they can be a visual focal point with a bold choice like copper or black. Regardless, the diligent maintenance and timely replacement of your gutter system is imperative to the structural integrity and appearance of your property. 

7. Exterior light solutions

According to, adding a new deck will recover 106% of its value when the house is sold. The estimated cost of the project was $9,450, and the estimated added value was $10,000, making it a clear choice for remodeling ROI.

Exterior lighting is a valuable exterior upgrade

Exterior lighting is an often underrated but crucial upgrade. The right lighting can dramatically improve the look and feel of your home, not to mention enhancing your home’s security. Whether it’s path lights leading up to your front door, floodlights for security, accent lighting to showcase an accent wall, or your favorite landscaping, each will improve the appearance, security, and value of your home. Our favorite ways to add value while creating an inviting and functional outdoor space through lighting are: 

1. Layered Lighting:

Layered lighting systems can be an in-depth and sometimes expensive task. It is achieved by utilizing a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create depth and interest in your yard and on the exterior of your home. 

Ambient lighting provides overall illumination (wall-mounted lights, post lights, and ceiling lights.) This kind of lighting is used to provide broad illumination to an outdoor area. Task lighting focuses light on specific areas for security purposes. Task lighting examples include pathway lighting, security lighting (often on motion sensors,) and accent deck lights. Accent lighting is used to highlight features of your property or landscape and draw attention to specific points. Exterior accent lights include spotlights, garden lights, lights integrated into walls or steps, and underwater lighting.

2. Pathway Lighting:

Some exterior projects aren’t difficult or expensive. One of those is pathway lights. While you won’t achieve the impact of a layered lighting system, you will see a dramatic improvement in both your exterior safety (providing a clear, well-lit path to your door) and your curb appeal. A well-lit walkway adds a welcoming glow that guides guests to your door. 

The great thing about pathway lights is they are relatively inexpensive and an easy DIY project. Installing solar lights is honestly as easy as driving the provided stake into the ground and setting the light. While low-voltage systems are slightly more difficult, they are still fairly simple to install and generally just plug into an exterior outlet. 

3. Accent Lighting:

Use spotlights, floodlights, or in-ground lighting to draw attention to specific features such as trees, sculptures, or architectural details in your home. This style of lighting not only shows off the best features of your home, it also adds some drama and interest to your exteriors. 

4. Dimmer, Controls, & Color Temperatures:

Incorporating dimmers, timers, and motion sensors allows you to control the intensity and timing of your lighting. This flexibility helps set the mood for different occasions and can increase security and your home’s energy efficiency. 

Choosing the right color temperature for your bulbs can dramatically 

5. Replace outdated lighting

One of the quickest and most affordable ways to upgrade your exterior lighting is to replace dated fixtures with new, stylish choices. Light fixtures are a great way to express your personal tastes and quickly update the look of your home. One thing to consider prior to replacing light fixtures is that our experience shows that when you replace your dated light fixtures with a modern finish, that bright gold door handle is going to look even worse. So, just be aware that it is possible that by replacing your light fixtures, you may create some additional remodeling tasks. 

Choosing the right lighting setup involves considering both the functional aspects, like security and visibility, and the visual aspects. The goal is a balance that meets your needs, fits your budget, and upgrades your exterior appearance at the same time. It’s a relatively simple upgrade that can make a huge impact in the way people see your home. Because of this, you could see a substantial return on your investment. 

According to HGTV, transforming your exterior walkways, landscaping, and patios with outdoor lighting boosts curb appeal and the value of your home. It is the most cost-effective exterior home improvement project for homeowners. 

Get started on your custom exterior

Seven exterior projects that increase your homes value infographic designed by Custom Exteriors

In wrapping up, we circle to the essentials: quality siding, energy-efficient windows, a durable roof, a welcoming deck, impactful doors, well-maintained drainage systems (gutters), and exterior lighting improvements. In our decades of experience in the industry, these seven exterior upgrades stand out as wise investments. They go beyond just curb appeal and create substantial boosts in your home’s value and your personal enjoyment. 

As homeowners, we all want a stylish, welcoming space to enjoy. Making strategic upgrades to our exteriors ensures our property continues to rise in value and creates a beautiful space for us to enjoy in the present. 

Each of the renovations discussed brings its own benefits and charms, so envision your dream home. Choosing one of the seven renovations we have discussed to accomplish it is an investment in your home’s value and the enjoyment of a relaxing sanctuary at your own home. 

Exterior maintenance services in Loveland

Spring Forward: The Ultimate Guide to Exterior Home Maintenance

Spring Forward: The ultimate guide to exterior home maintenance

As the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, most homeowners are preparing for the daunting task of spring cleaning and exterior maintenance on their homes. Exterior maintenance is more than just the appearance of your home; it’s also an essential part of maintaining the value and function of one of your most significant assets. In Colorado, the exteriors of our homes are the first line of defense for some harsh weather conditions. We have hundreds of days of direct sunlight, heavy winds, large hail, and many other conditions that can take a toll on the exterior of your home. Without regular maintenance, minor issues can quickly turn into costly repairs. For example, as an exterior contractor, we have seen clogged gutters result in water damage, mold, and worse. Neglected roofs develop leaks that cause interior damage, and most exterior systems can significantly impact interior systems when left unmaintained. 

More than that, the exterior of your home is often the first thing people see and forms their first impressions when visiting. Regular cleaning and maintenance not only improves your home’s curb appeal but also contributes to the overall look of your neighborhood. And it prevents you from being THAT house. It’s about taking pride in your home’s appearance and ensuring it reflects the care and attention you put into it. 

Spring, with its milder weather and longer days, is the perfect time for exterior maintenance. It’s like spring cleaning for your exteriors, if you will. After the harsh winter months, spring cleaning allows you to address any damage caused by the cold and wet conditions. It’s a time to clear away debris, clean surfaces, and prepare your home for the warmer months ahead. Seasonal cleaning and exterior maintenance ensure your home looks its best and functions correctly. By making this a yearly ritual, you can catch potential problems early, maintain the structural integrity of your home, and even enhance its market value. 

In this guide, we’ll cover essential maintenance and cleaning tasks to ensure your home looks great and stays in top condition. Our experience shows us that you need the following items on your exterior spring cleaning list: 

Plus, we’ll touch on ten additional outdoor maintenance tasks that are key for springtime care. 

Whether you’re a long-time homeowner or new to home maintenance, we have taken the experience our team has gained in decades of exterior construction and compiled a guide that covers most exterior maintenance issues. With prices of just about everything on the rise, we want to help you save some of your hard-earned cash by handling these tasks yourself! And by being proactive about maintenance, you are more likely to prevent costly repairs down the line. So, let’s get your house ready for those summer BBQs!

According to Thumbtack, the average home maintenance costs in 2023 rose to $6548. This is up $400 from just one year prior, which makes saving on home maintenance costs a must for today's homeowners. 

Gutter care 101: Preventing damage with routine gutter maintenance

Gutter cleaning is a task that shouldn’t be overlooked in your spring maintenance. Yes, it is a chore. It requires a ladder, is messy, and is one of our least favorite exterior chores. However, it’s a vital step in protecting your home. Take a look at the picture below. One of our crews found this during a recent siding replacement job. If this doesn’t explain why keeping your gutters clear is so important and what could happen if left neglected, I don’t know what will. 

Lack of gutter maintenance creating mold issues discovered by Custom Exteriors during a siding replacement

Your gutters play an essential role in directing the rainwater on your roof away from your home. If they are clogged with leaves, twigs, and debris, this water won’t be able to flow freely. This can lead to serious problems, like water damage to the roof, walls, and your home’s foundation. In extreme cases, overflowing water can create damp conditions ideal for mold and pests. If you live in an area with cold winters, clogged gutters are one of the main culprits of ice dams. Regular gutter cleaning can prevent these issues, ensuring water is efficiently channeled away from your home. 

So, let’s talk about how you can clean your gutters. Here are three of the top methods: 

Hand Cleaning:

Let’s start by saying this is the most disgusting method. You will be digging hands first into your gutters full of debris, rotting leaves, and possibly worse. However, it is also an easy and straightforward way to get the job done. Grab a ladder, gloves, and a bucket. Carefully set up your ladder and remove the debris by hand. While this approach is straightforward and requires no tools, it can be more time-consuming and requires a basic knowledge of ladder safety

Gutter Scoop or garden trowel:

A gutter scoop is a small, shovel-like scoop designed to fit perfectly in your gutters to remove debris. Its flexible PVC design, which is just over a foot long and close to four inches deep, allows you to scoop large sections of debris at once. You can purchase one at most local home improvement stores for under five dollars. You will still need to climb a ladder, so consider your physical limitations prior to purchasing a gutter scoop. However, if you are comfortable at heights, its design allows you to increase the speed at which you complete the project due to its size.  

Leaf Blower or Hose:

If the debris is dry and you are comfortable at heights, a leaf blower is the fastest and easiest way to clear your gutters. Alternatively, using a hose with an extended spray attachment or a power washer allows you to clean your gutters from the ground if you are uncomfortable with heights. That being said, this is the messiest of all of the techniques, so be prepared to get a little wet! Because of its efficiency, this method is the one used by our maintenance technicians. With the strategic use of buckets and tarps, gutter cleaning with a leaf blower or power washer is fast and effective. 

It’s important to remember that while gutter cleaning seems like a hassle, it is essential to keeping your home in good shape. Keeping your gutters clean and water directed away from your home will save you from costly repairs down the line and help keep your home looking great. So, roll up your sleeves and give your gutters some love this spring! 

Window Cleaning and Maintenance: A Clear View to Home Care

According to Angi, hiring a professional to clean the exterior of your windows averages $219, with project pricing ranging from $150 to $302, depending on many factors, including size and the number of windows in your home. 

No one likes cleaning windows. Most homeowners rarely clean the inside of their windows, much less the outside. This is often because they are more challenging to get to and substantially dirtier. Also, it seems difficult to avoid streaks and smudges, and it often feels like it’s just not worth the effort. However, professional window cleaning is expensive, with prices going nowhere but up. Also, there are many benefits to including your windows on your spring cleaning list, including: 

While all of these benefits are great, from a contractor’s perspective, by adding a bi-annual window cleaning and inspection to your maintenance list, you are able to detect damage that could create larger problems down the line. Take a look at photos from a recent job where we encountered serious damage from a basic lack of maintenance. So, let’s break down the easiest ways to wash your windows and what else to look for during the process. 

The progression of water damage located by the maintenance team at Custom Exteriors

Easy ways to wash windows

1. Soap and Water:

Sometimes, the simplest methods are the best. Mix a mild detergent with warm water. Use a soft sponge or cloth to clean the glass gently. 

2. Squeegee Method:

Most professional window cleaners use a mix of methods, one and two. After washing with soap and water, use a squeegee for a streak-free finish. Wipe the squeegee blade with a clean cloth between strokes. Pro tip: Work your squeegee from the top of the window to the bottom and use your clean cloth to remove any residual water from the bottom of the frame, helping to reduce streaks. A clean and dry squeegee works best for reducing smudging and streaking. 

3. Vinegar Solution:

For those looking for a more natural or DIY cleaning solution, mix equal parts white vinegar and water. It’s excellent for removing tough grime, and, as a bonus, it’s eco-friendly! 

Checking for damage

While cleaning your windows, it’s a perfect time to inspect your windows, frames, and surrounding trim for any damage. Even if you choose to skip the window cleaning, a basic inspection of your window glass, frames, caulking, weather stripping, and surrounding trim is recommended. 

Infographic created by Custom Exteriors with the five inspection points for window maintenance

Condensation between panes

If you notice condensation between the panes, it indicates a broken seal. This is not a DIY project and means the window is no longer as energy-efficient as it should be. This requires repairing or replacing and will likely require the services of a professional window replacement company

It’s wise to take this time to assess the conditions of your window screens as well. With summer approaching, functioning, intact screens are a must for fresh air flow in your home. Repairing damaged screens is another project that can be expensive when completed by a professional and is a fairly easy DIY. One of the owners at Custom Exteriors made a step-by-step how-to video to help our customers take on this project confidently. 

At the end of the day, window cleaning and maintenance are about much more than just sparkling glass. It’s also about ensuring the function and efficiency of your home. So, while we recommend adding window cleaning to your exterior spring cleaning checklist, at the very least, take a moment to inspect the elements we discussed. Your home will thank you for it. 

Why caulk sealing is important

Caulking is used to seal the gaps and joints in your home – around windows, doors, siding joints, the roof, and even corners where different materials meet. It is a barrier to prevent air, water, and insects from entering your home. Keeping caulking in good condition helps maintain your home’s energy efficiency and prevents water damage, which can lead to more expensive repairs. You can quickly increase the energy efficiency of your windows with this simple and inexpensive task. 

Where to inspect your exterior caulking

Removing Damaged Caulk

If you find old, damaged, or cracked caulking, it’s important to remove it before applying new caulk. You can easily do this with a caulk removal tool or a simple utility knife to carefully scrape away the old caulking. Be gentle to avoid damaging the surface underneath. After removing the old caulking and before replacing it, clean the area with some soapy water to remove any residue or dirt. Let it dry completely before replacing the caulking. Recaulking too quickly can trap moisture behind your caulking and cause mold or rot in the long run.

Replacing the Caulking

A silicone-based caulk is best for most exterior jobs as it is weather-resistant and flexible. Caulking comes in a variety of colors, so matching your existing caulking color should be simple with a trip to your local home improvement store. 

Once you have the correct caulking, cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45-degree angle. This makes it easier to apply in a smooth line. Hold the caulk gun at a consistent angle and gently squeeze the trigger to apply the caulk in a steady line. Try to keep the motion consistent for an even application. Once you have applied a thin line of caulking, wet your finger and run it along the caulk line to smooth it out. This also helps push the caulking into the gap for a better seal. 

Pro Tips For Exterior Caulking:

Remember, maintaining the caulking on the exterior of your home is a relatively simple and cost-effective way to protect your home from the elements and keep it energy-efficient. Plus, it keeps your home looking neat and well-kept, so take a little time to inspect and fix up any old caulking. 

Cleaning and Maintaining your exterior paint and siding

It’s obvious why your siding and exterior paint are on this list. They make up the largest portion of your home’s facade and have the most impact in regards to the curb appeal of your home. Unfortunately, with time, they start looking dirty and dingy. In Colorado, long, snowy winters create dirty messes that can impact the appearance of your siding. The areas directly surrounding our homes are often exposed to dirt. Combine this with water, and your siding will likely need a good cleaning come spring. 

Power washing siding

Routine Cleaning of Paint and siding

When cleaning your siding and paint, the most important step is giving it a gentle washing. When washing your exterior, whether you choose to use a soft brush and garden hose or a power washer is really just a matter of preference.

If you choose a brush method, use a soft brush and a mixture of mild detergent and water to clean your painted surfaces and siding. After scrubbing, rinse the surfaces with a garden hose. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive tools that can damage the paint or siding material. While hand scrubbing has the advantage of being a thorough job, it will take substantially more time to complete. Additionally, higher elevations are more difficult to clean with this method, often requiring specialized tools or ladders. 

On the other hand, cleaning your siding with a mild detergent mix through a pressure washer can save tremendous amounts of time while still effectively cleaning the surface of your home. If this method is preferred, start with the lowest pressure and gradually work up to the pressure needed to clean the siding and painted surfaces. Pressure washers with the pressure set too high can damage the siding and remove exterior paint. This can be an extremely expensive mistake if the siding is damaged enough to warrant repairs. High-pressure water can easily break a hole in vinyl siding or tunnel out indents in wood or engineered siding. 

When spraying your home with your hose or pressure washer, be cautious not to force water behind the siding. Most newer homes are covered with a moisture barrier wrap. However, older homes often don’t have this protection. Either way, be cognizant of the direction of your spray, trying to avoid spraying the gaps in your siding laps directly. 

Inspecting and maintaining Paint and siding

While cleaning, it’s the perfect time to inspect your siding and painted areas for any issues. The main concerns to look for are: 

Look for areas where the paint is peeling or chipping. The elevation of the house that receives the most direct sunlight is also most susceptible to peeling paint or fading caused by UV rays. Faded or peeling paint is nearing the end of its useful life. While it can be unsightly, the protection quality paint provides to your siding should be the primary consideration. If it has peeled off or is significantly faded, your siding is at risk for damage, and the paint should be repainted or touched up. 

Check for cracks, warping, or damage to siding panels, which can lead to more significant problems like moisture intrusion. Some types of siding, such as fiber cement siding products, are more prone to cracking. They can crack over time if not installed properly, exposing your home to possible water damage. 

Both damaged paint and siding can lead to water damage. It’s essential to watch for signs of mold and mildew, especially in shaded or moisture-prone areas.

The best practices for maintaining your exterior paint and siding are to clean them at least once a year to remove grime and built-up dirt and address any damages quickly with high-quality replacement products. 

Pro Tips For siding and paint maintenance

Remember that regular exterior maintenance of your home’s exterior paint and siding keeps it looking beautiful and protects it from wear and tear. By following these simple steps and staying vigilant for any signs of damage, you can keep your home in excellent condition for years. 

Roof Maintenance: keeping your home's top in tip-top shape

When you think of spring cleaning or even exterior maintenance, your roof often doesn’t make the list. However, taking care of your roof is a big part of maintaining your home’s health. Let’s talk about how to keep your roof in great condition, what to look for during a roof inspection, and some important things to remember. When we talk about “cleaning the roof,” many picture the same process that was used for the siding on the home. However, cleaning and maintaining your roof looks very different from most of the exterior components of your home. Cleaning and maintaining your roof consists of 3 crucial steps. 

Remove Overhanging Branches and organic growth

If you have trees or shrubs near your home, make sure the branches don’t hang over your roof. Overhanging branches can drop leaves and debris, leading to clogs in your gutters. Additionally, during severe wind storms, we have seen many large branches fall and severely damage the roof and exterior of the home. When trimming overhanging branches, be aware of your surroundings, as power lines can be buried in the branches of the tree, making them difficult to see. This may be a project for which you hire a professional, depending on your skill level. 

Not often in Colorado, but in more humid climates, you might see green moss or other growth on your roof. It’s important to gently remove these, as they can trap moisture on your roof and cause interior damage. 

Conducting a roof inspection

It’s wise to check the overall condition of your roof twice a year by performing a thorough roof inspection. Check if any shingles are cracked, bent, or missing. These are signs your roof might need some repairs. Take note of the condition of roof flashing (the metal surrounding the penetrations in your roof and along any walls that meet your roof) to check for rusting or damage. This flashing is the first line of defense towards redirecting water off the roof and through the gutters and not into your home in the form of water damage. It’s also a good time to inspect all of the parts of your roof and the vents, soft metals, and drip edge for signs of damage. 

It’s also a good time to look inside your home for signs of leaks like water stains on your ceiling. This could be an issue with a traditional leak due to water intrusion or improper roof ventilation. Either way, it’s best to catch it quickly to prevent water damage, roof sagging, and rot. 

Cleaning your asphalt shingle roof

For asphalt shingle roofs, particularly, it’s important not to wash them with high pressure. Asphalt shingle roofs are coated with small granules that can be dislodged with high water pressure. “Cleaning” your roof is more about removing larger debris and inspecting for vulnerable areas that could allow water intrusion. 

If your roof needs actual cleaning, using the gentlest method possible is best. Sometimes, a light spray with a garden hose is all you need. Never use harsh chemicals or heavy pressure, as you may ruin your roof in the process. 

Your roof is by far the most challenging system regarding exterior maintenance. If you are unsure about the safety of the inspection process, it’s best to call a professional roofing company. If you decide to inspect your roof, be very careful. Some customers have told us they use binoculars from the ground to overview the roof’s condition quickly. Whether you are doing it yourself or calling in a professional because of its important purpose, it’s good to look at your roof regularly and catch any issues promptly. 

Deck and patio furniture: Keeping your outdoor spaces inviting and safe

Your deck and outdoor furniture are important parts of enjoying your home. Let’s go through some simple steps to keep them looking great and staying safe for you and your family. 

Deck Maintenance

Patio Furniture care

Additional areas in need of spring maintenance

Wrapping it up: Your guide to a well-maintained home exterior

And there we have it! We’ve covered a lot, from the importance of gutter cleaning to keeping your windows, roof, and deck in top shape. Taking care of your exterior isn’t just about making it look good. As we have discovered, it’s the key to protecting your home and ensuring it stays solid and safe for years. 

Keeping up with these maintenance tasks can seem like a lot, but it’s really about small, regular checks and fixes. This way, you avoid big problems and expensive repairs later on. 

Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals when you need to, especially for tasks that might be too big or dangerous to do on your own. And always remember, your safety should always be your primary concern. While DIY projects are nice due to a sense of accomplishment and money savings, your safety is more important than any money saved. 

By following these simple tips and keeping an eye on your home’s exterior, you’re taking care of a place full of memories and special moments. So, grab that ladder, that bucket of paint, or just your garden hose, and give your home the love and care it deserves. Here’s to a home that looks as wonderful on the outside as it feels on the inside. 

Metal roof installed by Custom Exteriors

Asphalt Shingle Roofs vs. Metal Roofs: A Comprehensive Comparison

Metal Roofs Vs. Asphalt shingle roofs:
A comprehensive comparison

As a roofing contractor based out of Colorado, we often meet our customers during stressful times. Their home or business has often been damaged by severe weather, and now they are in the middle of negotiations with insurance companies and scheduling contractors for repairs. This doesn’t even consider the decisions that must be made during a roof replacement, including color and design choices. Choosing the right roofing material will affect your property’s long-term comfort, protection, and value. We have seen just about every roofing system around. They all have advantages and disadvantages, so how do you choose the right one? It helps to understand the critical differences between the systems. Let’s look at two widely used options: metal and asphalt shingle roofs. 

Many factors, such as durability and lifespan, should be considered when replacing your roof. In this article, we are going to discuss the following factors that will likely affect your final decision:

When choosing between these two popular roofing materials, it’s essential to consider your budget, climate, and long-term goals. This will help you to make an informed decision that best suits your property’s needs. 

The battle of durability

Metal roofs are known for their exceptional longevity, often lasting 40 to 70 years or more! They can brave harsh weather and require minimal maintenance. However, they can be prone to denting if something heavy falls on them or during large hail storms. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs are budget-friendly initially but typically only last 20 to 30 years. Additionally, they are more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and demand regular maintenance

Infographic made by Custom Exteriors to explain the pros and cons of metal roofing

Metal Roofs: Built to last

Metal roofs are known for being quite durable, so they are often considered a long-term investment. When properly installed and maintained, metal roofs can last up to 70 years, if not longer. This impressive lifespan is due to the basic make-up of metal. Metal roofing materials, such as steel, aluminum, and copper, naturally resist wear and tear caused by weather exposure and age. 

One of the standout features of metal roofing is its ability to withstand a wide range of harsh weather conditions. Snow and ice typically slide off a metal roof more efficiently, reducing the risk of ice dams and the associated water damage during cold winters. They also won’t rot, warp, or crack and cannot be damaged by mildew and mold. This resilience means fewer maintenance requirements and lower long-term repair costs.

It’s worth mentioning that while metal roofs are incredibly durable, they can be dented if something heavy, like a tree limb, falls on them or during extreme hail. However, generally speaking, metal roofing is quite difficult to damage. 

Asphalt Shingle Roofs: A dependable option

Asphalt shingle roofs are not as durable as metal roofs. However, with decent long-term maintenance, they offer a respectable life span of 20 to 30 years. It is important to note that the lifespan of an asphalt roof can vary significantly depending on climate, weather exposure, shingle quality, and maintenance. 

Asphalt shingles are a popular choice due to their affordability. While they have many desirable qualities, it’s crucial to consider their limitations. While they can hold up well in mild to moderate weather conditions, they are more susceptible to damage from severe weather events like hurricanes, hailstorms, and high winds. Over time, the asphalt shingles can become brittle and crack due to prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, potentially leading to leaks. With this in mind, before choosing your roofing material, consider the weather conditions in your area. Homeowners in areas prone to severe weather may benefit from the long-term investment of a metal roofing system. 

Asphalt shingles can deteriorate quickly in regions with extreme temperature fluctuations. In areas prone to heavy snowfall, the weight of accumulated snow and ice can cause damage to the shingles and surrounding roof components

To maintain a long lifespan with your asphalt shingle roof, homeowners must be diligent about regular roof inspections, repairs, and occasional replacements of damaged or missing shingles. This ongoing maintenance, while necessary, can add to the long-term cost of an asphalt shingle roof. 

The installation process

Understanding the installation process of metal and asphalt shingle roofs is crucial to making an informed choice for your home. Both options have aspects of installation that can impact your budget and timeline. 

Commercial roof replacement by Longmont roofing contractor Custom Exteriors

Metal Roofs: More complex with more reward

Metal roof installations typically involve more complexity than asphalt shingle roofs, but the benefits can outweigh the challenges. 

After checking the roof decking for any signs of damage, the installation process begins using an underlayment like ice-and-water shield. Layers are overlapped and laid down wrinkle-free. Metal panels are then often cut to the length of the roof. This avoids seams in the roof, which can be a source of potential leaks. The panels are then stuck to closure strips and attached to the roof. The panels and trim pieces are installed with screws installed in a way designed to ensure the roof remains watertight.  During installation, the panels are overlapped as an additional way to prevent roof leaks. Trim pieces and ridge cap are then attached to the other roof components like your ridge, gable, and eave. Metal roof installations often require professional installation because their installation methods are more complex.

When you replace your roof with a metal roofing system, an experienced roofer will be able to install your new roof efficiently. This means less disruption to your daily life during the installation process. This efficiency can translate to short installation times. However, because of the specialized knowledge required to install your roof, your labor costs can be higher than with an asphalt roof replacement. Additionally, incorrect installation can result in issues like leaks or rust over time. Therefore, when choosing a metal roof, it’s essential to hire a qualified roofing contractor with experience in metal roofing installation. 

While metal roof installation may have a few additional considerations, the longevity and durability of the roof make it a worthwhile investment. 

Asphalt Shingle Roofs: Simple and familiar

Asphalt shingle roof installation is generally more straightforward and familiar to most roofing contractors. The installation process for asphalt shingle roofs is more straightforward and requires fewer specialized tools than metal roofs as well. Most roofing professionals are qualified to install asphalt shingle roofs. The installation of asphalt shingles is typically faster than metal roofs. The process of deck inspections and underlayment is similar. However, asphalt shingles are nailed to the surface of the roof. When installing asphalt shingles, knowledge of required nail patterns and shingle layout is essential. 

Proper installation of roof vents and flashing is essential for preventing leaks in the long term. Ensuring these components are correctly installed may require extra attention. Regardless of your roofing material choice, working with a reputable roofing contractor specializing in your selected roofing material is crucial to ensure a successful and long-lasting installation. 


Cost Considerations

When replacing your roof, understanding the costs associated is a key factor in making an intelligent choice that meets your needs and your budget, not just now, but in the future as well. 

Metal Roofs: A Long-term investment

Asphalt Shingle roofs: Budget-friendly upfront

When thinking about cost, you’ll need to balance your immediate budget constraints with your long-term financial goals. Metal roofs may require a larger initial investment, but their durability and potential energy savings can make them a wise financial choice in the long run. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs are more affordable upfront, making them a suitable option if you need to manage your costs in the short term. Weigh your budget and future plans carefully and make an informed decision about your roof replacement. 

The environmental impact

Making eco-friendly choices is increasingly important. The production and shipping of both systems do have a carbon footprint. However, metal roofing materials are often recyclable at the end of their lifespan. In addition to traditional recycling methods, recently, used metal roofing has become a stylish wall covering that is highly in demand. Additionally, because of the reflective properties of metal roofing, it has the potential to reduce the energy costs of the home. 

Asphalt shingles may contain recycled materials and can sometimes be recycled. However, because they don’t serve as well to reflect the sun’s heat, they contribute to the urban heat island effect. Additionally, they are more energy-intensive to manufacture. 

Curb appeal

The appearance of your roof plays a surprisingly significant role in the overall look and curb appeal of your home. So, when choosing between metal and asphalt shingle roofs, it’s essential to consider how each material will look with your home’s style. Some things to consider when choosing the best match for your home are:

When choosing a new roof, the most significant impact is achieved by considering your home’s architectural style, personal preferences, and even the roofs of surrounding homes and buildings. Metal roofs provide a contemporary and customizable look, ideal for those seeking a modern appearance. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs offer a timeless and classic charm, making them a reliable choice for homeowners who prefer a more traditional look.

It’s important to remember that your roofing decision should complement the overall design of your home. So, take the time to explore different styles and colors, and consult with your roofing contractor for expert guidance. Ultimately, the goal is to have a roof that not only protects your home but also enhances its curb appeal and character.

Maintenance and repairs

Proper maintenance and timely repairs are essential for prolonging your roof’s lifespan. Metal roofs require minimal maintenance, usually limited to occasional inspections and cleaning. Repairs are generally straightforward, often involving patching or resealing. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs demand more frequent inspections and maintenance, which can become time-consuming and costly over time. However, damaged shingles can be replaced individually, reducing repair costs. 

Metal roofs: Minimal Maintenance, straightforward repairs

One of the appealing aspects of metal roofs is their minimal maintenance requirements. Regular inspections to check for loose fasteners, damaged sealant, or debris in valleys are usually sufficient to keep your roof in good shape. Metal roofs are highly resistant to common roofing issues like rot, mildew, and insect damage, reducing the need for extensive maintenance. If your metal roof does require repairs, they are generally straightforward and can often be handled by a professional roofing contractor. Typical repairs include patching mall areas or resealing seams and fasteners. 

However, it’s important to note that finding matching materials for repairs can be challenging if your metal roof is older, as the specific material and color may no longer be available. This could cause an inconsistent look across your roof. 

Asphalt Shingle roofs: Regular maintenance and repairs

Asphalt shingle roofs require more regular maintenance than metal roofs. Routine inspections are essential to identify damaged or missing shingles, issues with flashing, and signs of wear. Timely detection can prevent more extensive damage. One advantage of asphalt shingle roofs is that damaged shingles can often be replaced individually. This helps control costs, especially for minor repairs. While some repairs can be DIY-friendly, it’s good to seek professional assistance for complex repairs. Roof professionals have the experience and expertise to identify and address roofing issues effectively. If homeowners tackle roof maintenance themselves, their first concern should be safety. Consideration should be given to having proper safety equipment and using ladder safety and rooftop safety techniques. Physical limitations can restrict some homeowners from completing roof maintenance. 

Asphalt shingles require ongoing maintenance, including shingle replacement, sealing exposed nails, and addressing issues like curling or blistering shingles. Neglected shingles can lead to leaks and water damage to your home’s interior. Some repairs, such as fixing leaks around flashings or repairing extensive shingle damage, can be more complex and costly. 

Insider information

In the end, the choice between a metal roof and an asphalt shingle roof is a decision that should align with your budget, aesthetic preferences, and long-term goals for your home. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on your unique circumstances. 

Before starting your roofing project, take the time to consult with a trusted roofing professional who can assess your specific needs, provide detailed estimates, and offer expert guidance. Their expertise will help you make an informed decision, ensuring your home remains safe, comfortable, and visually appealing for years. 

Remember that your roof is not just a functional component; it’s a crucial element of your home’s curb appeal and overall value. By considering the insider tips provided and weighing the pros and cons of each roofing material, you’ll be better equipped to make the right choice for your home and enjoy the benefits of a beautiful, durable, and long-lasting roof. Best of luck with your roofing project!

Additional Resources:

Infographic created by Custom Exteriors to show the major points when comparing an asphalt shingle and metal roof
Infographic created by Custom Exteriors to provide a list of things that need to be checked regularly when inspecting your roof
What is an Ice dam infographic made by Custom Exteriors

What Is An Ice Dam?

What is an Ice dam infographic made by Custom Exteriors

Understanding ice dams on roofs:
What they are and how to prevent them

As a seasoned roofing contractor based in Colorado, we have inspected, replaced, and repaired countless roofs, identifying a wide array of issues. However, one frequent and often misunderstood culprit behind a leaky roof is not what you’d typically suspect—it’s ice dams, often caused by poorly maintained and clogged gutters or inadequate roof venting. 

In Colorado, ice dams are a common wintertime roofing issue. Picture a cold winter day, your property cozily heated from inside. As the warmth of the interior rises, it meets the cold underside of the roof. The melting snow from the warmer parts of your roof flows down and refreezes at the colder edge, particularly if your gutters are clogged and not allowing for proper drainage. This cycle creates an actual dam of ice, further preventing proper drainage and potentially causing water to back up under your shingles and into your home. 

Understanding what an ice dam is and recognizing the role of gutter system maintenance is crucial in preventing it. Factors that play a role in ice dams forming are:

What is an Ice Dam? A closer Look

An ice dam, quite simply, is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof. When the snow on your roof melts due to heat escaping from your home or from the sun’s rays, water trickles down towards the edge. Now, the house’s eaves (the part of the roof that overhangs at the bottom) are usually colder because they’re beyond your home’s insulation. So, when that melted snow reaches the colder eaves, it refreezes, creating this ridge or “dam” of ice. 

Why is this a problem? As more snow melts and trickles down, it hits this dam and has nowhere to go. Instead of harmlessly dripping off your roof or flowing into the gutters, the ice dam traps the water. Over time, this backed-up water can seep under the roof shingles. This can potentially lead to leaks inside your house. Ice dams can cause damage without making their presence overly noticeable. 

Image created by Custom Exteriors to explain how ice dams work

So, while those hanging icicles might look pretty, they can sometimes signify a more significant issue. Ice dams can be the culprit behind water damage in many homes during the winter months. The first step in tackling this winter challenge is being informed about what they are and how they form. 

What causes ice dams?

In the heart of winter, when icicles elegantly drape from the edge of your gutter, an unexpected process can take place on your roof. Ice damming. But what are the root causes of ice dams? 

Firstly, consider the warmth of your home during the cold months. This heat tends to rise, meeting the underside of the roof. When it does, it can prompt the snow directly above to melt, even if the outside temperature seems bitterly cold. 

Interestingly, the temperature is not uniform across the entirety of your roof. The higher sections, mainly those closer to the peak, are generally warmer due to the upward-moving heat from the house’s interiors. On the flip side, the roof’s eaves or overhanging parts are often colder. They stretch beyond the home’s main structure and are not influenced by indoor heating. So, as the melted snow from the warmer parts travels down the roof’s slope, it encounters the colder eaves. Here, it refreezes, layer by layer, leading to the ice dam’s creation. 

This same effect can be caused when your gutter system is clogged and does not allow for adequate water drainage. Without a way to drain away from your property, this melted snow will refreeze in place, creating an ice dam at the edge of your roof. This causes the formation of ice dams, which can easily be prevented with some routine exterior maintenance

Lastly, ice dams can also form due to inadequate insulation and venting in your attic space. These can cause more heat to escape the roof, increasing the snow melt. As this melt reaches the cooler section of the roof, it can refreeze, causing an ice dam to build. 

Infographic explaining what causes ice dams on your roof

Do Ice dams cause damage?

When you think of a dam, you might imagine it holding back a large body of water. Similarly, an ice dam holds back melting snow. But unlike the dams we are familiar with, roofs are not designed to hold water. As the ice dam grows, it creates a pool of water behind it. This standing water is the first point of concern. As mentioned, roofs are designed to shed water, not let it stand. The longer water remains pooled, the more time it has to find a way inside. It can start to seep under shingles, trickle down the roof decking, and, ultimately, penetrate the home’s interior. This can lead to a series of issues:

Understanding the potential damage ice dams can cause is the first step toward proactive prevention. Recognizing the potential damage and costly repairs that can be caused by ice dams allows homeowners to take preventative action. In doing so, they are ensuring their homes remain safe and damage-free during the icy grips of winter. 

Preventing ice dams: pro tips for a damage-free winter

You now know the hidden hazards of ice dams, so naturally, the next question is: how can you prevent them? Prevention is always better (and usually cheaper) than the cure, especially regarding home maintenance. So, let’s jump into some expert-backed strategies to prevent ice dams from damaging your home. Keys to controlling ice dams include: 

Preventative measures to prevent ice dams

It’s important to remember that one of the main issues that cause ice dams is the heat escaping from your home and melting the snow on your roof. By boosting the insulation in your attic, you can ensure the heat stays where it belongs – inside your home and not warming the roof. Ideally, aim for an insulation value (or R-value) that’s recommended for your specific region. Energy Star breaks down recommended R-values for areas throughout the United States. 

Another consideration is to improve your attic ventilation. A well-ventilated attic helps maintain a cooler roof. In doing so, it reduces the chances of snow melting and refreezing. A great option to increase ventilation is to consider adding ridge and soffit vents. These will create a natural flow of cold air, keeping the entire roof at a consistent temperature. A reputable roofing contractor can properly calculate the appropriate number of roof vents your system needs. 

Lastly, property owners have seen success in preventing ice dams by installing heat cables along the eaves of their homes. Consider installing heat cables in a zigzag pattern on your roof and in your gutters for particularly troublesome areas. When activated, they create channels for the melted snow to flow off the roof, preventing the formation of ice dams. We find this strategy to be particularly beneficial in areas like the Colorado mountains, where there is the potential for heavy snowfalls and outside temperatures that prevent the snow from quickly melting. 

Maintenance measures that help prevent ice dams

After a heavy snowfall, consider using a roof rake with a long handle to clear the snow off the edges of your roof. This reduces the amount of snow available to allow ice dams to form. However, remember always to exercise caution and safety when doing this. Heavy snow and heights may make this project out of reach for some due to physical limitations. 

Another area that can help prevent ice dams is sealing air leaks in your home. Little gaps and cracks in your home might seem harmless, but they allow warm air to escape, contributing to the snow melting on your roof. So, check around electrical cables, exhaust vents, and places where walls meet the ceiling. Sealing these gaps can be a game changer. 

Additionally, it is essential to ensure your gutters are free of leaves, twigs, and other debris. Clear gutters help melted snow flow off your roof efficiently and prevent it from refreezing. Gutters should be cleaned in the shoulder seasons before the harshest weather months. 

Lastly, whether it is due to physical or time limitations, sometimes it’s just best to consult a professional roofer. If you’ve had recurrent issues with ice dams, are uncertain about your home’s preparedness, or cannot complete the tasks above, consider getting a home energy audit. Professionals can provide tailored advice and solutions specific to your home’s needs. 

avoid Winter challenges to your roof

Winter, with snowfall and cozy moments, can be a magical season. But as with all things, it comes with its own set of challenges – ice dams being a prime example. At Custom Exteriors, we believe that knowledge is power. So, by understanding what causes ice dams, recognizing their potential for damage, and arming yourself with proven preventative strategies, you’re setting the stage for a damage-free winter.  Remember that our homes require care and preparation to weather the colder months. 

If you ever find yourself unsure or overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. In the age of information, resources are generally just a click away. Many exterior companies provide regular maintenance plans to assist with the tasks required to keep a healthy roof system. So, stay informed, stay prepared, and enjoy a peaceful home this winter. As always, if you have questions, we’re here to help you make the most of every season. Safe and sound.

Roof damage due to hail discovered by Custom Exteriors HAAG Certified roofing inspector

Identifying Roof Damage

Roof damage due to hail discovered by Custom Exteriors HAAG Certified roofing inspector

how to identify roof damage with a roof inspection

As an exterior remodeling contractor based in Colorado, we have personally experienced the damage the harsh weather can cause. We have helped hundreds of customers across Colorado and even replaced storm-damaged roofs, windows, and siding on our own properties. While our exteriors are designed to withstand the elements, your roof can take a serious beating. Have you experienced a heavy windstorm or hail the size of a golf ball or larger? If so, your roof may be damaged even if there are no signs of damage on your other exterior systems, like your windows or siding. 

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help homeowners like you with the knowledge you need to take control of their homes. It will allow you to conduct safe, basic roof inspections from the safety of the ground. While not always, typically, there are signs of roof damage that can help you determine whether or not you need a professional roofer to come take a look. 

Join us as we discuss some post-storm tips developed from decades of experience in the roofing industry. From safety precautions to asphalt shingle inspections, we’ll help you understand what to look for and decide your next steps based on the information you gather. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or prefer to leave the heights to the professionals, this guide caters to all levels of expertise.

Remember, the aftermath of a storm can be difficult for homeowners. But with the right information, you can confidently address possible storm damage. Let’s dive in and discover how to protect your investment. 

Hail damage to asphalt shingle discovered during a roof inspection by Custom Exteriors

Safety First: stay inside until the storm has passed


Unfortunately, most of us have experienced the stress of a damaging storm that affected our home or business. Some of the more damaging storms we have worked on have left customers with broken windows, skylights, and water leaking inside their homes. When working in an emergency situation, our first consideration is always the safety of our team and the property owners. Of course, everyone involved wants action taken, such as emergency tarping and clean up; however, waiting until the storm has passed to do so is imperative. While it is stressful to see your home or business impacted by damaging weather, your first consideration should be to keep your family and yourself safe. 

During a roof inspection in the aftermath of a storm, remember this golden rule: Safety comes first, and it comes only once. Keeping this in mind, it should be at the core of every action you’ll take. At the same time, it might be tempting to get on your roof to see what’s what immediately, but have patience. Allow the storm to pass before you even consider the inspection. Why? Because inspecting a roof while battling wind gusts or enduring rain is a risk we strongly advise against.

You can track the path of any local storm on your local Accuweather page

The Roadmap to a smart roof inspection: 4 steps to safety

Once the skies have cleared, it’s time to get a handle on the damage caused by the storms. So, here is your step-by-step path to identify roof damage in the storm’s aftermath.

How to identify roof damage from the ground after a storm

When looking for roof damage after a storm, signs that you may need a professional roof inspection include: 

If you encounter any of these signs, it’s time to call a professional roofing company to do a formal inspection of your property for hail damage. Additionally, if you experienced extremely high winds or hail over an inch in diameter, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected even if you don’t see damage from the ground level. Unrepaired roof damage can cause problems such as leaks, mold, mildew, ice dams, and more. Most local roofers will provide a no-cost roof inspection. 

What to do if you think you have roof damage

If your post-storm inspection leads you to believe you may have hail damage or you experienced a weather event severe enough to justify an inspection, it’s important to contact a professional roofer. Professional roofing companies have HAAG-Certified Roofing Inspectors on staff who can guide you through the insurance replacement process and identify all the damage that needs to be addressed, ensuring your home is brought back to its pre-storm condition. 

It’s easy to spot a missing shingle, but what about the underlying issues that aren’t immediately visible? Choose a roofing professional who can spot potential problems before they escalate. Water intrusion, structural issues, and hidden damages should fall within their expertise. 

Hail damage identified on the ridge of a roof

precision and prevention: Tailored solutions for your needs

Roof systems demand a level of precision that extends beyond the obvious. The roofing professional you choose should meticulously inspect your roof’s components—vents, chimneys, skylights. This inspection should thoroughly check for any signs of damage. By identifying issues sooner, you are saved from costly repairs. This also helps to prevent further damage to your home’s structural integrity.

Over the years, we can’t count the number of issues that we have seen that could have been prevented with a proactive approach to the damage. Unfortunately, many property owners don’t see signs of immediate damage and just assume their roof is fine. This has resulted in interior damage, mold, mildew, structural issues, and more. It’s a good practice to have your roof inspected after every major weather event involving winds in excess of 70 mph or hail larger than one inch in diameter. We also recommend our customers conduct routine maintenance on all of their exterior systems to catch damage that may otherwise go unnoticed.  

A stronger home starts with you

Now armed with this knowledge, you’re ready for the inevitable next storm. Performing a thorough ground inspection after a storm is your key to catching problems early. This translates into fixing them on time and keeping your roof in great shape for years to come. Remember, a bit of effort now can save you from major repairs later. 

Here at Custom Exteriors, we have a team of seasoned professionals who understand the ins and outs of storm damage. Our experts have the experience and skill to identify even the most subtle signs. An untrained eye could miss some of these. Your walk-around inspection set the stage. Now, it’s our turn to perform the professional assessments that follow.

Custom Exteriors doesn’t just offer a one-size-fits-all approach. Your home is unique, and our solutions are tailored to your property’s specific requirements. Our professionals take the time to understand your needs and deliver recommendations that align with your goals. Your home isn’t just a structure; it’s your sanctuary, and we treat it as such.

Customized infographic showing the components of a roof

The Components of a Roof

the components of your roof:
understanding your roof matters

The roof over our heads is easy to take for granted. Out of sight, out of mind, after all. However, peeling back all its layers reveals an engineering marvel that serves many functions. These include protecting, insulating, and enhancing our homes. Your roof is a complex system. Each part plays a crucial role in ensuring our safety and comfort. Additionally, when you know your home’s systems, you make informed decisions about repairs, replacements, and long-term maintenance. 

Your roof is a system. One that is carefully designed to direct water away from the home, insulate against extreme temperatures, and withstand the storms our area is famous for. In this article, your roof and all of its components will be inspected.  We will break down each of those components and unveil how it protects us day in and day out. You will have a newfound respect for what shields the elements from severe weather and more. Additionally, by understanding your roof, you see the following benefits: 

Understanding your roof, your home's protector

Understanding the components of a roof proves invaluable when it comes to roof replacements and repairs. Homeowners, armed with this knowledge, can make informed decisions about roofing materials and products. They can then choose the shingles best suited for their region’s climate and architectural styles. Moreover, knowing how a roof works makes maintenance easier. With this knowledge, property owners can spot missing shingles, rusted or damaged flashing, or clogged gutters. So, by recognizing these issues early on, they address them quickly. This prevents more significant and often more expensive damage.  

Your roof’s reliability and capacity to protect your home are primarily determined by the quality of the installation. So, proper installation is crucial for its dependable performance. But beyond installation, several other factors affect the performance of your roof. These include: 

An in-depth look at roofing system components

Your roofing system is more than just a protective barrier against the elements. Understanding the basic components of your roofing system is also important for effective maintenance. But more than that, it allows homeowners to make informed decisions about repairs or replacements. 

Some things you may wonder about your roofing system are:

What are roof Eaves?

Inforgraphic explaining what a roof eave is

Understanding Eaves: A Vital Component of your roofing system

Eaves are the overhanging edges of the roof. They are visible, extending just beyond the main structure’s wall. They protect the home from direct rainfall and minimize moisture exposure. When you look up outside your house, you’ll notice the eaves as they jut out slightly from the main structure. Sometimes, your eaves will be accompanied by your soffit beneath. 

While their presence adds style and dimension to your home’s exterior, their design also serves a practical and protective function. If you are outside during a rain storm, you will immediately notice the primary function of your home’s eaves. They are designed to guide water away from your home. This seemingly simple task protects walls from water damage and dampness. Over time, this compromises the structural integrity of the property. Your gutter system is attached to the eaves of your property.

Additionally, they play an essential role in protecting your home from soil erosion near your foundation. Eaves ensure water does not run directly down and erode the soil near the foundation. This, in turn, helps prevent foundation problems in the long run.

Lastly, your eaves house your soffit. Your soffit is a vital component of your roofing systems as it helps to regulate the attic temperature and moisture levels. Overall, the eaves seamlessly blend functionality with design. In doing so, they ensure our home remains beautiful and resilient against nature’s elements. 


What are roof Gables?

Infographic explaining what a roof gable is with illustrations and bullet points

Gables: Beauty meets function design

Gables stands out as a recognizable feature in many traditional homes. A gable is a triangle formed by the intersection of two sloping roofs. Gable roofs provide a sense of classic design to any home. But beyond their visual appeal, gables exemplify where form meets function. 

For starters, a gable’s shape is perfect for guiding rainwater away from the house. Their sloped design ensures efficient water runoff. In doing so, gables prevent potential water pooling around your home. In areas like ours, the gable’s design also prevents snow from piling up on the roof. Properties in areas with heavy snowfall have steeper gables to help shed snow more effectively. Because of this design, they reduce the weight burden on the roof and the associated damage it can cause. 

While the primary purpose of the roof gable is to ensure proper water shedding, it has several additional benefits to consider. Gables are also be used to improve ventilation. Because of this, gables also help keep the inside of your house comfortable. The design of a gable accommodates the addition of windows. This provides natural light and additional ventilation to attic spaces or upper rooms. So, while gables give houses a unique look, they also work behind the scenes to keep our homes safe and comfortable. 

What is the roof ridge?

The "peak" of your roof: The ridge

When you look at a house with a sloping roof, it’s easy to see the topmost line where both sides of the roof come together. That’s the ridge. It works similarly to the spine of a book. The ridge is at the center of the roofing system, running from one end to the other. However, the ridge is not just a design feature. It has some genuinely essential functions. First, it directs rainwater. When rain hits the roof, the slope and ridge ensure water flows down and away. This prevents any collection of water on the roof and, in turn, prevents leaks. 

But it’s not just about water. The ridge plays a part in the house’s ventilation. Some ridges have vents. These vents ensure that hot air from inside the house can escape during the summer, keeping the inside cooler. In contrast, during winter, it maintains a balanced temperature inside. This prevents issues like ice buildup as well. The size and shape of the ridge vary depending on the design of the building. 

Because the ridge runs along the top of the roof where the two sides meet, it is covered with a ridge cap. The ridge cap serves to seal and protect the ridge from weather damage. 

What is the roof Valley?

Infographic explaining what a roof valley

The crucial role of roof valleys

The importance of your roof valleys definitely cannot be overstated. A valley is a distinct V-shaped channel that forms where two sloping sections of a roof meet. The valleys on your roof guide rainwater with precision and purpose. Without valleys, water would pool, immediately increasing the potential for leaks and damage. 

As rainwater rolls down your roof, it needs a clear path to follow. The valleys provide that path, therefore ensuring that water flows swiftly away from your home. However, they must be built robustly because they handle such a significant amount of runoff. Because of this, even a slight oversight in their construction or sealing can lead to water entering the house. Therefore, the role that roof valleys play ensures a long life span of your roof and, by extension, the safety of the people inside! 

As an additional measure against leaks and to ensure that water flows smoothly through the roof valley without leaks or accumulation, valley flashing is installed. This helps the valley channel water and debris down the roof and off the building. In the roofing world, the valley is undeniably a testament to the saying that some unsung heroes bear the heaviest loads. 

What is the roof hip?

infographic explaining what is a roof hip

Unraveling they mystery of the roof hip

Among the many features of a roof, the “hip” sounds like a trendy term, but it’s actually a crucial and classic component of many home designs. Imagine looking at a home, and instead of seeing a sharp point at the top (like the peak formed by a gable), the roof slopes down on all four sides, kind of like a pyramid. That slope, where two sides of the roof meet at an external angle, is called the roof hip. 

But the roof hip isn’t just about aesthetics, though it certainly adds a sleek touch to any home. It also actively shields houses from the elements. A roof hip channels water and snow away, preventing them from gathering or causing potential leaks. So, while the name “roof hip” might sound casual, it represents a sophisticated blend of design and function, ensuring homes remain protected through the seasons. 

A hipped roof is more stable than other types of roofs. This is because they have a more complex design, making them better able to withstand strong winds. Overall, hipped roofs offer several benefits, including stability, durability, aesthetics, additional living space, and energy efficiency. Because of this, they are a popular choice. 

What is a gutter?

Infographic explaining what a gutter is and what purpose it serves on your home

the important job of your gutters

Gutters serve as an essential component of a home’s exterior defense system. Positioned at the edges of the roof, these channels play a critical role in managing rainwater. Without them, water flowing off the roof would be uncontrolled, possibly leading to erosion and other issues caused by moisture. 

A well-maintained gutter system ensures that rainwater is efficiently captured and diverted, reducing the risk of damage to your home, its foundation, and the property’s landscape. Debris like leaves, twigs, and nests can easily clog them, making them ineffective. Periodic inspections, especially after storms or during the fall after the leaves have fallen, are essential to ensure they are in good working condition. 

In areas prone to heavy rainfall or snow, gutters become even more vital. They help mitigate potential ice dams in winter by controlling the meltwater and preventing water from pooling on the roof. Also, a functional gutter system is essential to avoid flooding and to ensure the longevity of your home’s basement. 

It’s worth noting that while all gutters have the same primary goal – to control and divert water – several styles and materials are available. Depending on the style of your house and your specific needs, you can choose from various types, ensuring both functionality and a boost in curb appeal to your home’s exterior.

What is a downspout?

infographic explaining what a downspout is and what purpose it serves on your home

Downspouts: The protector of a home's foundation

While perhaps less noticed than gutters, downspouts play an equally pivotal role in a home’s rainwater management system. These vertical pipes seamlessly extend from the gutters to the ground, ensuring a clean, directed path for the water collected on the roof. 

The importance of downspouts lies in their ability to prevent many potential problems. By effectively channeling rainwater away from the home, downspouts safeguard against basement flooding. Some risks associated with flooding include interior water damage, mold, damage to the foundation, and more. In addition to protecting your home and its foundation, your downspouts also protect your landscape by preventing uncontrolled water. 

However, a downspout’s efficiency depends largely on its design, placement, and maintenance. Ideally, the end of a downspout should direct water several feet away from the homes foundation. Extensions can be added to achieve this if the initial design does not provide adequate distance. Sometimes, downspouts may also be connected to underground drain systems to guide water further safely away. 

What is roof flashing?

Roof flashing: The guardian against leaks

Roof flashing might not be a term that every homeowner is familiar with, but it is essential. Flashing is located around the openings of your roof. This means you will see it around skylights, chimneys, and more. It is typically a shiny metal material that entirely surrounds any vulnerable spots in your roofing system. It acts as a watertight barrier, preventing moisture from entering your home. 

Even the most meticulously designed roofs have vulnerable spots, including openings, meeting points of different roof sections, or where roof edges meet the walls. These are places where water could enter due to gravity, snow melt, or even just blowing rain. Flashing serves to bridge these gaps with additional waterproofing. 

Roof flashing forms a protective seal, usually made from corrosion-resistant metals like aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel. Doing so ensures that water is directed away from these weak points. When installed correctly, the flashing seamlessly integrates with the rest of the roofing system, creating slopes and channels guiding water. 

What is a soffit?

infographic explaining what a soffit is and what purpose it serves on your home

Soffits: The Underbelly of your roof's overhang

In architectural terms, many might not immediately recognize the name “soffit.” However, it plays a pivotal role in your home’s function and appearance. Situated beneath the overhang of your roof, the soffit is the panel that bridges the gap between a home’s siding and the roofline. Though often overlooked, it serves multiple important purposes. 

First and foremost, the soffit aids in ventilation. For homes with attics, soffits serve to prevent moisture buildup and regulate temperatures by providing additional ventilation. You will often see vents cut into the soffit all the way around your home. These allow fresh air to circulate through the attic, thus reducing the moisture levels and helping maintain a consistent temperature. 

Your soffit also serves as a barrier to keep pests out of your attic and boost your home’s appearance with a smooth, finished appearance. This visual appeal is customizable, as soffits come in various materials and colors. This allows homeowners to choose a style that compliments their home style. 

What is a dormer?

Dormer: Adding style and space

At its core, a dormer is a small structure that projects from a sloped roof, creating additional space within the home. It typically features a window, which adds light to interior spaces and enhances curb appeal from the exterior. When you see a house and notice a window poking out from the roof with its own roof, that’s a dormer.

One of the primary benefits of a dormer is the added space it brings to the upper levels of a home. It can transform an otherwise cramped attic space into a comfortable living area.  It also can have a significant impact on lighting and ventilation.

It is essential to note that adding a dormer is no small task and requires careful planning. Proper installation ensures that the dormer is watertight and integrates seamlessly with the rest of the roof. Regular maintenance is also vital, like checking for leaks or ensuring the window functions correctly. 

The form and function of your roofing components

Your roof is a complex system with many components, each offering its own functional and aesthetic benefits. From the eaves that safeguard our walls from rain to the stylish and spacious additions that dormers provide, every element enhances your home’s energy efficiency, value, and curb appeal. The intricate details of gutters, downspouts, flashing, soffits, and more work to ensure our homes remain dry, insulated, and ventilated. 

As homeowners, understanding and appreciating these elements not only empowers us to make informed decisions but also instills a sense of pride in our homes. As we’ve journeyed through each component, it’s clear that a roof, in all its intricacies, represents a perfect blend of design and function. This ensures our homes remain both beautiful and resilient for years to come. 

asphalt shingle installation

The Many Styles of Asphalt Shingles and Specialty Shingles

asphalt shingle installation

With all the styles of specialty and asphalt shingles, which roof replacement choice is right for you?

Oh, the Choices!

So it’s time to replace your roof. Maybe you were hit with one of Colorado’s notorious wind or hailstorms. Or, your property has an aging roof. You may be just looking for a refresh on your home’s curb appeal. Your roof occupies a substantial portion of that first impression! Because of this, a new roof can completely change the look of your home from the exterior!

Keeping this in mind, when the time comes for a roof replacement, rather than just putting back on the same shingle removed, why not look at all the many shingle options? 

Modern shingles come in a variety of styles and colors. These range from the most cost-friendly but dated choice of standard three-tab asphalt shingles to luxury and designer shingles. These shingles come at a significant price increase but have some benefits over traditional asphalt shingles. These benefits include thicker shingles with superior durability (less prone to damage), increased curb appeal, improved energy efficiency, and longevity. 

If you are in the market for a replacement roof, a skilled and local roofing contractor can tell you about each option’s advantages and disadvantages. This will, in turn, equip you with the knowledge to make an educated choice on the roofing system for your property. 

Asphalt shingles are the black sheep of shingles

Three Tab Asphalt Shingles, The Black Sheep of Shingles

If shingles could talk, we are pretty sure the three-tab shingle’s favorite word would be Baa-Baa. Let’s not get crazy; the three-tab shingle was the affordable, available, easy option in residential roofs for years. It is the easiest shingle to install and serves the primary purpose that shingles are supposed to serve. While in reality, the three-tab shingles are not necessarily inferior to other styles of singles, they do have some limitations compared to other styles.

  1. First, three-tab shingles have less dimensionality than other styles of shingles. Because of this, they can have a flat, uniform appearance, making them look less attractive. Additionally, this flat appearance can be less visually appealing than other shingles. 
  2.  Second, they have a shorter lifespan. Three-tab shingles are typically thinner and less durable than other styles of shingles. Taking this into consideration means they may not last as long or provide as much protection against severe weather as other styles. 
  3.  Third, are the limited color options. Three-tab shingles still come in a variety of color choices. Unfortunately, they have few options compared to other styles of shingles. This may limit your design choices. 
  4.  Finally, and most importantly, three-tab shingles have lower wind resistance. They are more likely to sustain damage in severe weather events because they may not be as resistant to high winds. This is particularly important in places like the Colorado foothills or southern Wyoming, where the wind is known to be particularly strong on occasion. 

Additionally, at this time, the costs associated with a three-tab shingle vs. a standard architectural shingle are similar. A professional roofing contractor can help you understand all the factors to consider when choosing a roofing system. 

Architectural Shingles

Remember that one kid back in high school? You know, the super popular one? The one everyone loved and with good reason, as they were amazing? That is the architectural shingle in the shingle world.

Discover how the vast range of architectural shingles can enhance your home’s beauty, value, and resilience. Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional or laminate shingles, have revolutionized the roofing industry.

 Unlike traditional three-tab shingles, these advanced roofing solutions are designed to mimic the appearance of natural materials like wood or slate. The result? A roof that not only performs flawlessly but also elevates the overall curb appeal of your property.

With multi-layer construction and high-quality materials, these shingles offer superior protection against wind, rain, UV rays, and temperature extremes. Say goodbye to frequent repairs and replacements – architectural shingles are built to last. Some of their key features include: 

Which is a better fit for you?

What sets architectural shingles apart is their layered composition. Each shingle consists of multiple layers of material bonded together, creating a three-dimensional effect. This not only adds visual depth but also enhances the shingle’s durability and ability to shed water effectively. The result is a roof that not only looks great but also performs exceptionally well, keeping your home safe and dry.

Styles of Architectual Shingles

There are many styles of architectural shingles, each with unique features and benefits. Property owners should consult a local roofing expert to determine the style best suits their aesthetic preferences and budget. Additionally, factors like durability and weather resistance should be considered. 

Whether you’re seeking standard elegance, indulgent luxury, fortified resilience, or high-definition aesthetics, our range of architectural styles has you covered. Discover how each type can transform your space into a masterpiece that reflects your distinct taste and lifestyle.

Different architectural shingle styles replicate the look of various materials, such as wood shakes, slate, or traditional shingles. Your chosen type can complement your home’s architectural design and improve its curb appeal. For example, if you have a standard or classic home, you might opt for shingles that mimic the look of cedar shakes. On the other hand, if you have a modern home, sleek and clean architectural shingles might be a better fit.

While the aesthetic aspect is necessary, the quality of the shingles is equally vital. Architectural shingles are known for their durability and weather resistance. Different styles may have varying thickness and material composition levels, which can influence their lifespan and performance against elements like wind, rain, and UV rays.

When selecting architectural shingles, it’s essential to consider factors such as the architectural style of your home, your personal preferences, the local climate, and your budget. Consulting with roofing professionals or design experts can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your vision and practical considerations. Remember that the right choice of architectural shingle style enhances your home’s exterior and provides long-lasting protection and value.

Standard Architectural Shingles

These shingles have a dimensional appearance and are designed to mimic the look of natural slate or cedar shakes. The come in a wide range of colors and textures to complement the design of your home. 

High-Definition Architectural Shingles

These shingles have a more pronounced dimensional appearance and deeper shadow lines. They are made by reputable shingle manufacturers such as GAF and can provide a more dramatic and eye-catching look! 

Luxury Architectural Shingles

Luxury Shingles are the most high-end shingles. They incorporate multiple layers, unique shapes, and intricate color patterns, creating a truly distinctive look for your property.

Impact-Resistant Architectural Shingles

Impact-resistant shingles look much like standard architectural shingles. The difference is in their design. They are designed to withstand damage from hail and other severe weather conditions. 

Your New Roof

First impressions matter; your roof is pivotal in defining your home’s curb appeal. Architectural shingles offer an array of styles, colors, and textures that allow you to customize your roof to complement your home’s architectural design perfectly. Whether you prefer wood’s rustic charm or slate’s elegance, these shingles let you create a roof that reflects your unique personality and taste. So, as you can see, choosing a new roof is more challenging than it seems.

 Your local roofing company can help you review your options and their pros and cons. Additionally, local roofing supply companies can provide samples of the actual product. If you are working with a roofing company, they can get these for you. You can also get the samples directly from the roofing supply if you still need to settle on a roofing contractor. 

Discover the benefits of architectural shingles firsthand – a harmonious blend of beauty, strength, and value that redefines your home’s exterior. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward upgrading your home with the extraordinary world of architectural shingles. Your roof deserves nothing less than perfection; with architectural shingles, that’s precisely what you’ll achieve. Regardless, when the time comes to replace your roof, take a moment and review the multitude of different asphalt shingle styles and colors. When you are the envy of the neighborhood, you can thank us! 

Hail damage roof replacement

I Have Hail Damage, What Now?

My roof has Hail damage, now what?

Living in Colorado and Wyoming, we are accustomed to hailstorms. Hail damage to our siding, roof, windows, and exterior belongings is a common experience during our summers. 

Once the storm has passed, we are often left with substantial property damage. This leaves some wondering what to do next. Restoring our homes and businesses to their pre-storm condition can be daunting. 

Fortunately, a qualified roofing contractor can help with this. They will be able to guide you from the time of the storm through the time when your property is repaired completely. This is a stressful time; it’s essential to partner with a qualified contractor to make this process as simple as possible. 

If you have experienced a hailstorm, it’s important to check for any damage that may have occurred. Some things that you should check after a storm are:


After The Storm

It’s important to note that until the storm is over, your personal safety should take priority over your belongings. Large hail stones and the associated weather can be dangerous and even deadly. Until the storm has passed, everyone should stay indoors and away from windows in case of broken glass. 

Once the storm is over and you can safely go outside, your priority should be securing your home. In severe weather events, windows are often broken, siding is blown off, and other risks of interior water intrusion are created. 

A temporary means of securing these items should be your priority to prevent further damage to your property. 

What to Look For

Roof Damage: Check your roof for dents, cracks, or missing shingles. Hail damage to roofs can be difficult, and there are safety risks associated with being on your roof, so this is best left to a professional roofing inspector. 

Gutters & Siding: Check your siding and gutters for dents, dings, or cracks caused by hail. Hail can also cause chipping in your paint. 

Windows: Check your windows for cracks, chips, or broken glass. Hail can cause significant damage to windows. 

Air Conditioning Unit: Look for dents or damage to your air conditioning unit. Hail damage can prevent it from functioning properly. 

Outdoor Furniture & Vehicles: Dents and scratches can be visible on cars and your outdoor furniture. 

Keep Accurate Records

It’s essential to keep records of your findings after the storm. Not only will you be able to provide an initial list of damages incurred to your insurance company, but it will be helpful once your professional hail restoration contractor arrives. You’ll be able to point out all the areas of damage you can locate, ensuring you are restored to your pre-storm condition. 

Also, any costs incurred in securing your property should be documented for reimbursement from your insurance company. These expenses could include the costs of tarps, board-up materials, and other incidental costs associated with securing your property. 

Contact Your Insurance Company

Once the storm has passed and your property has been secured from further damage, you should next contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will need certain information and documentation to process your claim. They may ask for the following:

Find a Professional Hail Restoration Company

A professional hail restoration company will provide a free roof inspection to assess your property’s damage from the hailstorm. It’s important to research local companies that are licensed and insured, have good reputations locally, and are certified and experienced in hail damage inspections. 

If you were impacted by a large hailstorm, you would likely have companies knocking on your door, asking to inspect. It is recommended that you do research on local companies rather than using these door-knocking companies. They may not be local, insured, or qualified. It’s important to choose a qualified contractor to work on your biggest asset!

What to Look For When Choosing a Roofing & Exteriors Contractor

  1. Licensing & Insurance: Licensing and insurance protect you and the contractor. They ensure quality repairs that meet local building codes and prevent any issues should there be any accidents on your property. 
  2. Reviews: What does their online presence say about them? Do you know if they have satisfied previous customers? Google reviews and the local BBB are good places to assess your contractor’s customer satisfaction. 
  3. HAAG Certified Inspectors: Inspectors who have completed the HAAG training have been formally trained to inspect roofs and completely understand what to look for after a storm. 
  4.  Comfort Level: Many property owners choose repair contractors based on price. Keep in mind this is likely an insurance claim. It is against the law for a homeowner to profit from an insurance claim. As such, pricing will be negotiated between the contractor and your insurance company. With proper insurance coverage, your only out-of-pocket costs will be your deductible, regardless of the costs associated with repairs. Because of this, you should choose a qualified, experienced contractor with whom you are comfortable. Factors such as experience, customer satisfaction, and quality of repairs should be your determining factor in choosing a roofing or exterior repair contractor. Be wary of contractors who offer to “pay your deductible.” That is illegal, and the insurance commission does make efforts to catch these contractors. 
hail damage roof inspection
hail damage roof inspection

What Will my Contractor Look For?

A certified roofing inspector should also be able to pinpoint damage to other areas of your home. The post-hailstorm inspection should include a complete assessment of your property. This will include inspecting the roof, siding, windows, paint, A/C unit, gutters, doors, garage doors and all of your exterior personal property. 

Your Repair Estimate

Most qualified roofing contractors can provide a roofing repair estimate for repairs immediately. They have access to software that prices repairs according to insurance standards. 

After the inspection, they will provide you and your insurance company with this estimate. Repair prices will be negotiated based on incurred damage, replacement costs, and material availability. 

As mentioned earlier, the repair costs should not affect your decisions as, with proper insurance coverage, your only associated out-of-pocket costs will be your deductible. This is when researching and choosing a professional and qualified contractor is essential. 

If you need a roof repair or a roof replacement or have sustained damage to your siding, windows, or paint, an exterior repair contractor should be favored over a roof-only contractor. Repairs will be more straightforward and completed faster if one contractor can replace your roof, siding, windows, and any other exterior damage you may have sustained. Along the Front Range, that contractor is Custom Exteriors! Please reach out if you need assistance restoring your home after a hailstorm. 

Class 4 asphalt shingle replacement completed in Colorado by Custom Exteriors

Do I need a Class 4 Shingle?

Class 4 asphalt shingle residential roof replacement by Custom Exteriors

Do I need a class 4 shingle for my roof replacement?

When you need to replace your roof, the topic of replacement materials is high on the list of considerations. In narrowing down roofing materials, the question of whether or not to invest in Class 4 (Impact Resistant) shingles often arises. This choice is not just about appearances and costs but also protection, durability, and long-term investment in your property. As a roofing contractor based in Colorado, our area is prone to hailstorms, and many homeowners choose to use Class 4 replacement shingles. In our area, some jurisdictions require a Class 4 replacement due to our tendency towards severe weather. In this article, we’ll talk about the significance of Class 4 shingles and whether they are necessary for your roof replacement. 

The decision to choose Class 4 shingles should be an informed decision based on your location, the typical weather patterns in your area, the design of your roof, and the long-term implications of your roofing material choice. By the end of this article, we hope you have a clear understanding of Class 4 shingles so that you can make an informed decision tailored to the specific needs of your property. Whether you are building a new home, replacing an old roof, or just upgrading your current roof for better protection, let our experience give you the insights you need to make the right choice! 

What is a Class 4 Shingle?

Class 4 shingles are the highest-rated shingles available on the market when it comes to impact resistance. These shingles are designed to withstand hailstorms and extreme weather conditions. They are also tested and certified to meet specific industry standards for impact resistance. You can get a Class 4 in many materials, including asphalt shingles and metal roofing products

Class 4 shingles come in a variety of colors and styles to suit different architectural designs. They are commonly used in regions that experience high winds, hailstorms, and severe weather conditions. 

How is a Class 4 Shingle Rated?

The impact resistance of a Class 4 shingle is determined by performing a test that simulates hailstones hitting the roof at high speeds. The test evaluates the shingles’ ability to resist damage from impacts of different sizes and strengths. Shingles that meet the test requirements are rated as Class 4 and are considered the most durable and impact-resistant shingles available. 

Class 4 shingles undergo rigorous testing to ensure they can withstand impact from a 2-inch steel ball dropped from a height of 20 feet without cracking or showing any signs of damage. This testing is conducted by organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories and the International Code Counsel.  The Class 4 designation comes from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D3462 standard, which measures the durability and impact resistance of roofing materials. 

The Differences of Class 4 Shingles

Impact Resistance: Class 4 shingles have a higher impact resistance than Class 3 shingles. So, they can withstand impacts from larger hailstones. Also, they are less likely to be damaged by falling debris, such as tree branches. Class 4 shingles typically have a larger hailstone impact rating. This means they can resist impacts from 2-in-diameter hailstones at a higher speed than Class 3 shingles. 

Durability: Class 4 shingles are made of thicker and more robust materials than Class 3 shingles. This makes them more durable and able to withstand extreme weather conditions. Class 4 shingles often have a longer lifespan than Class 3 shingles. This is because they are less likely to crack, break, or warp over time. 

Cost: Class 4 shingles are typically more expensive than Class 3 shingles. This is because they are made of higher-quality materials designed to provide better protection against impact damage. 

Added Benefits of Class 4 shingles

Insurance Discounts: Homeowners may be eligible for insurance discounts if they install Class 4 shingles on their roofs. This is because Class 4 shingles are less likely to sustain damage during severe weather events. Because of this, there is a reduced likelihood of insurance claims. Insurance companies may offer lower premiums for homes with Class 4 shingles installed. 

Ultimately, installing Class 3 or Class 4 shingles will depend on the homeowner’s specific needs, budget, and preferences. It may be a wise investment if you live in areas like Colorado or Wyoming, which are prone to hailstorms. A qualified roofing contractor can help you decide if a Class 4 shingle fits you well. 

Class 4 shingle benefits

The Impact Classes of Shingles

Shingles are rated in classes one through four. The decision to choose a Class 4 shingle is based largely on your local weather conditions. Each of the shingle classes is rated to withstand the following impacts:

It is important to note that the impact resistance of asphalt shingles is just one factor to consider when choosing a roofing material. Homeowners should also consider other factors, such as the style of their roof and home, fire resistance, durability, and resistance to other weather-related damage when selecting a roofing material. Your local, trusted roofing contractor can assist in determining your specific needs. 

When Does a class 4 shingle make sense?

Hail that damaged local roofs inspected by Custom Exteriors

Class 4 shingles, also known as impact-resistant shingles, are designed to withstand severe weather conditions. They easily protect your roof from hail, high winds, and other potential damage. Here are some circumstances in which it may make sense to consider getting Class 4 shingles:

Hail-Prone Areas: If you live in an area that experiences frequent hailstorms, Class 4 shingles can provide enhanced protection against hail damage. These shingles are specifically tested to withstand hail impacts, reducing the likelihood of roof leaks and costly repairs.

High-Wind Areas: If your region is prone to strong winds, such as hurricane-prone coastal areas or tornado-prone regions, Class 4 shingles can offer added resistance. These shingles are designed to withstand high winds and can provide greater security for your roof during severe storms.

Insurance Requirements: In some cases, insurance companies may offer discounts on homeowners’ insurance premiums for properties with Class 4 shingles. If your insurance provider offers such incentives, it can be financially beneficial to install these shingles, as they can potentially reduce your insurance costs over time.

Long-Term Investment: If you plan to stay in your home for an extended period, investing in Class 4 shingles can be a wise decision. These shingles are generally more durable and longer-lasting than standard shingles, which means they may require fewer repairs or replacements over time, saving you money in the long run.

Personal Preference: Even if you don’t live in an area prone to severe weather, you may opt for Class 4 shingles simply because you value the added protection and peace of mind they offer. If you have the budget and prioritize the longevity and durability of your roof, Class 4 shingles can be a good choice.

It’s important to note that the decision to install Class 4 shingles should be based on various factors, including your specific location, climate, budget, and personal preferences. Consulting with a professional roofing contractor can help you determine the most suitable roofing material for your specific circumstances.

Maintaining your roof for a long lifespan

If you have decided that Class 4 shingles are a good fit for your home or business, roof maintenance is key to keeping them in good shape and extending the life of your investment. While Class 4 shingles are designed to be durable, regular maintenance is important to ensure years of performance. 

Maintenance of Class 4 Shingles

Investing in a Class 4 shingle for your home or business isn’t just about the immediate benefits in terms of impact resistance and durability. With proper maintenance and care, these shingles offer long-term protection and provide peace of mind knowing your home is protected. The combination of durable materials, proper installation, and conscientious maintenance practices ensures your investment in your home will continue to provide long-term returns.