If this is the first house that you’ve ever owned, you might not have a sense of what timetable you should follow for routine maintenance tasks. If you’ve lived in your house for a few years, you might have normalized what the house looks like to the point where you can hardly remember how it looked when it was new. Although you might not think your home’s cladding needs to be replaced, a specialist in the construction industry may think otherwise if he or she was shown your house and the state of the exterior at the moment. Even if you’ve never heard of the term “recladding” and you have no idea where to start, our ideas below for recladding a house will give you a launching point for what you can do before, during, and after the recladding process.
1. Inspect the Boiler
When you’re recladding a house, you may think that the boiler system is completely unrelated to that task. As with any home improvement project, it’s all interconnected. The better that boiler functions, the better that the rest of the home’s aspects will function and stay in their best state. Scheduling a boiler inspection while your home is being recladded or shortly after your home is recladded can make it easy to remember to do this routine maintenance since you’ll be on a schedule for two home improvement and maintenance projects once these are done.
Before the boiler inspector arrives to perform the boiler inspection, you should do a few things to prepare and make the inspection go as smoothly as possible. First, you should turn off the boiler following the instruction manual that you received when you purchased the boiler or had it installed. Next, you should perform tasks like locking out and tagging every valve from the steam valve to the fuel valves to the water valves. After that, you should lockout and tag the system for ignition and the electrical disconnects.
To make it safe for the boiler inspector to do his or her job, you’ll want to let your boiler system become devoid of all heat for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours based on what size your boiler is and what type it would be. After that, you should free the drain and vent lines of any lids or caps and let all of the liquid escape the boiler. Taking out inspection plugs that are located in the water column connectors on the unit can also make an inspector’s job easier.
Finally, you’ll want to take away every cover plate on the boiler system, as well as every washout plug there. The next step could entail either removing debris and gunk from the boiler’s inside compartments or skipping that step since some inspectors would like to have scale and sludge to inspect. There are some other ways to prepare for a boiler inspection, but this list will give you a good start. You can ask your boiler inspection company ahead of time to let you know what you should do to make an inspection possible and what you should avoid so you don’t have to reschedule the inspection while wasting both your time and the inspector’s time.
In terms of how often you should get your boiler inspected, most professionals and companies who perform these inspections suggest getting it done at least once a year. As idealheating.com shares, “Having your boiler serviced annually has an abundance of benefits, from keeping your energy expenses low to checking for gas leaks which, most importantly, protects your home and your family. An annual boiler service will ensure your boiler is running efficiently, which could save you money over time. The engineer will also check for gas leaks which, left unfound, could potentially lead to dangerous fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Depending on your home’s current condition and risks, you may need to get it inspected more often. If you suspect that your boiler has been damaged or isn’t working properly, you’ll probably need to call in an inspector. You can lean on any professional who knows how to maintain boilers earlier than the inspection anniversary.
2. Employ Qualified Help
Calling a field construction union to find references for professionals who can assist with recladding a house is one way to ensure that you find the right people for the job. After all, your home’s exterior is an important part of the curb appeal and overall appearance of your home. If you accidentally choose inexperienced or incompetent workers for the task, you will end up regretting it as you see the shoddy job that they create outside your home. When your first round of construction contractors are unqualified, you’ll have to pay for a second set of contractors to fix the job and potentially shell out a lot more money and time in the process. This is where getting the proper help on the first try makes a huge difference in your wallet and timetable for completing the recladding project.
While it can be hard to determine whether a contractor is qualified for the job, there are a few tells that distinguish someone qualified from someone who is not. Firstly, a qualified contractor will carry the appropriate insurance and professional certifications to complete the task at hand. They will also have a portfolio or history of similar projects on which they have worked to present to potential clients. Additionally, they should have a positive reputation in the community. When you look at reviews online for the contractor or speak to your neighbors about hiring him or her, pay attention to the way that people talk about his or her work. If former customers post pictures of this contractor’s work and it looks good, you should move forward with confidence. On the other hand, if the reviews online are an endless litany of all of how this contractor has lied, cheated, and stolen through horrible work and terrible unprofessionalism, you should probably steer clear and pick another one.
If you have other maintenance workers in your life such as HVAC professionals or roofers, you can ask if they can refer you to someone or a company that would be good at recladding your home. Some contractors partner with other contractors who are outside of their line of expertise for situations like this one. If you purchased your home recently through a real estate agent, he or she may be able to give you a good reference, as well.
3. Trim Your Trees
When you’re recladding a house, you’ll need to consider how the trees around your home could impact the workers’ ability to access your home. Additionally, you should think about how the length of your trees might have impacted how long your cladding lasted. If you need to tear down any structures around the trees or remove the trees from the property, you might want to look into a crane rental and contractors who would feel comfortable and qualified to operate that kind of heavy machinery.
4. Install a Gate
Because driveway fence gates essentially protect your home, installing one could be an essential complementary aspect of recladding a house. When your privacy is protected, you’ll feel better about scheduling repairs to your home and maintaining it. You’ll also feel safer overall. While the contractors you employ for installing a gate would be different than the contractors who are scheduled to re-clad your house, there may be some overlap in their fields that makes it easy to get references for one or the other from one of them. This can spare you the time and tedium of searching for new contractors from scratch.
5. Flatten Land Before Building
Sometimes before we can start recladding a house, we need to build the house in the first place. For that, you’ll want to flatten the land and clear it before construction of the home can begin by hiring an excavating business to flatten out the property. On top of flattening the land, you should think about what type of landscaping you want to do to your yard. Since it takes time to grow grass, you should plan for landscaping relatively early in the house-building process. As you’re building your new property, it’s never too early to start researching home maintenance and local contractors who might be able to help you with those tasks. From boiler inspectors to home re-cladding professionals to painters, developing a list of the contractors with whom you would be interested in working is an essential part of setting yourself up for success as a new homeowner. You don’t need to have the keys to your new home or even a fully constructed house to start doing that research and getting it out of the way.
6. Inspect Your Foundation
Part of recladding a house is making sure the foundation is solid and safe as well as doing any necessary maintenance to the foundation such as grout injections. Conducting a foundation inspection will make sure that your home is still safe to occupy and give an inspector opportunities to identify current issues along with potential problems that may be budding below the foundation’s surface. When they can catch these problems early, they can treat them appropriately and save you some money down the road so that you’re not working on fixing huge structural issues with the foundation later.
During a foundation inspection, you might wonder what you can expect to happen. This is reasonable since you’re essentially inviting strangers into your home to look over the foundation. To put you at ease, rocketmortgage.com explains that “Foundation inspectors are going to be walking around your house and property looking for a variety of things that could indicate foundation damage or problems. Inspectors will examine the interior and exterior of the home for any cracks, water damage, or other issues with the foundation or surrounding area. They will also take some time to examine all of the walls, floors, and doorways for anything that seems unstable or troubling. Basements and any crawl spaces will also be inspected as they are two places that will often show signs of foundation damage since they are located under the house.”
7. Upgrade Your Water
As you’re recladding a house, you should check in with your water heater. Make sure that it’s functioning properly at the moment. Additionally, you should install a new water heater if the current one isn’t getting hot enough or heating water quickly enough for your family’s needs.
8. Redo Your Driveway
Since recladding a property focuses on its exterior, you might as well get drain cleaning done and related maintenance tasks while you’re at it. If you want to make a good impression on visitors to your home, you can replace the asphalt driveway. You can also repaint any lines that indicate parking spaces in the driveway if you have them.
9. Decorate the Interior
The inside of a home is just as important as the outside when recladding a house, so you should think about all of the interior design and decorating options available to you. Some of these options include Persian rugs, artwork, and funky lighting choices. Tap into your inner interior decorator and pick pieces that speak to your style with a functional flair.
10. Consult with Multiple Companies
Before you hire a construction crew to re-clad your home, you should call more than one company. Ask questions about their process. Additionally, see where you can get the best hourly rate without sacrificing quality on the re-cladding job.
As a homeowner, there will probably come a time in your career of owning your “home sweet home” when you need to think about recladding a house. Like with any part of home maintenance, it just comes with the territory of having the keys and the deed to a property of your own. In the same way that you schedule replacing the roof when the shingles are getting sparse or call in the painters to give your home a fresh coat of paint when the current paint job needs some fresh life, you should have a good idea of when it’s time to replace the old cladding on the house with new cladding through recladding. If you’re still struggling with timing, call a contractor for advice.