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Expert Advice on Exterior Home Renovations: An Interview with Rick Lineweaver of Vision Construction Enterprises

By Rick Lineweaver

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Vision Construction Enterprises can do most kinds of work--both residential and commercial--as we are a general contracting company. A big part of our business is exterior siding and exterior remodeling work. The Oklahoma weather is rather harsh on the exterior elements of residential structures. We have done all types of exterior materials, from various forms of siding, to stucco and masonry, such as brick or stone. Our siding products that customers popularly request include vinyl, wood or wood composite, and fiber cement. Fiber cement is currently considered the highest quality and the best siding material available and is a little more costly compared to the wood composite. We do complete interior remodeling projects for bathrooms and kitchens as well as individual projects like flooring, tiling, painting, etc.

What are some of the most common reasons why homes in Oklahoma might need an exterior renovation?

I would say one of the most common reasons is that due to exposure to harsh weather, the surface coat, i.e., paint and caulk are failing or that the material it is applied to is starting to fall; or due to deferred maintenance, the coat is falling rapidly. Many of the siding products that were used over the last 2 to 3 decades on homes that were built during that time are getting to the end of their expected life, especially if they have not been well maintained by sealing them with paint and caulk regularly over the years.

Exterior paint in Oklahoma weather generally starts to fail in around 5 years, especially on the south and west elevations (due to the extreme summer sun). It is common to need to paint regularly in that 5- to 7-year time frame. The more this maintenance is procrastinated, the more likely a paint job will turn into a much more expensive siding repair or replacement a few years later. Furthermore, if these situations are not dealt with in a timely manner it is likely that interior damage and structural damage will begin to manifest.

It is somewhat common to find issues behind the siding that need to be addressed and repaired as we are removing the old siding, trim, fascia, soffit, etc. As these are unknowns to both contractor and homeowner, we always try to fix this additional damage properly at a very reasonable cost to the owner. Many of the area homes built over the last few decades had siding products that were either a pressboard or composite wood material, and the years of Oklahoma weather conditions have taken a toll upon these materials. Also, another reason we receive many calls is due to storm damage.

Can you talk about a few of the benefits of getting an exterior renovation?

In most cases, there are a few benefits to take into account. First, it gives the homeowner peace of mind that the problems they have been wanting fixed are now taken care of and remedied. Second, it gives the homeowner a renewed sense of pride that their house looks like one they can feel good about again and represents their status well in the neighborhood. Yes, these first two are intangibles but are generally important to people in our modern culture.

There are also financial benefits that can include the following: Deferred maintenance will cost the owner and seller many times more than they think because most buyers are going to discount their offer price for deferred maintenance. Moreover, unless your buyer is rather ignorant, most buyers are going to want to discount it generously to cover extra effort they have to engage in to fix these issues.

Are there any changes during the renovation that can result in less home maintenance?

Yes, there are some changes, but these are generally project specific. They depend on the materials on the house, the budget the customer has, and the overall vision or look that the customer wants coupled with their willingness to do maintenance. I have had some customers tell me "This product and look is what I want you to provide and install, and we know that there will be more regular maintenance but that is what we want." However, these are usually rare requests. We normally try to provide the best-quality products to achieve the homeowners' desired result that are most cost-effective and have some of the best maintenance-minimizing aspects available on the market.

What are the basic design options that a homeowner has for their new exterior?

Usually most homeowners are looking for upgrades both in materials and the finished aesthetics of the property. Most of the time it is a blend between looking more trendy and their budget to do so based upon the existing architectural style of the home. Occasionally, the homeowners' association may have some restricting limitations of design upgrades as well. Our company works with the homeowner to update their property with a look that they can feel good about as cost effectively as we can. We try to take the extra care in each project as if it were work being done to our own personal properties.

Do you have any tips for doing an exterior renovation with the highest curb appeal but on a limited budget?

Yes, we can provide recommendations to increase curb appeal for modest extra costs. The best options for this can depend on the house, the unique features that can be accented, and the overall scope of the work. However, one simple example, which is just about anyone can do, is when we are painting the exterior of a house, it is rather easy to add a second- or third-color scheme but it can really add to the curb appeal. While this will add more cost, overall they are modest due to the fact that the crew is there and working already. Another cost-effective option is to add some shutters next to the windows.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Probably the best way for people to contact me is to call or text my cell phone (918) 906-1694. We have a website that they can go to for more information on some of the different products we commonly use: www.visionconstructionenterprises.com. They can also contact me by email me at rick@visionconstructionenterprises.com. I do try to check my emails regularly, but if our field schedule of work is heavy, it might be a couple of days before I can get back to them. I try to keep my company's costs down for the benefit of my customers, so I do have minimal office help regarding emails and email follow-up.

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Phone: 918-906-1694

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