Replacement Window Choices

Texas Built NT Window VS. Renewal by Andersen, Pella & Simonton Windows

Lady thinking about replacement windows optionsWhen it comes time and you find yourself in the market for new replacement windows. You are considering NT, Andersen, Pella or Simonton Replacement Windows. Your home is in one our great Texas cities such as Houston, The Woodlands, Spring, Humble, Sugar Land, Clear Lake or Katy. This post offers some insight into some popular windows options. Although the information is geared for this area, it can be helpful to homeowners across the country.

Chances are, you have heard of Pella, Andersen and Simonton replacement windows as these windows are some of the most heavily advertised options so as you search the web, you very well will see their advertisements everywhere, such as Renewal by Andersen ads.

As you explore, you may decide to give them a call or email them to take advantage of one of the offers for a free estimate. A representative will then show up at your home at the scheduled appointment time at which time you allow him/her into your home. After some time of presenting the Renewal Andersen replacement window product and some discussion comes the long awaited price which often leads to a gasp and shock.

For instance, let’s say you have 12 windows in your home and the representative quotes you $24,000 total cost to replace these windows. Yes, he quoted 12 replacement windows installed in your home for $24,000 in total cost. With a quick calculation, the price per window opening averages $2,000 each. Wow, you think to yourself (or maybe out loud) and start wondering what am I buying? The price really can get one thinking, right??

As you ponder this new information, you now find yourself wondering if you should get another estimate for comparison. So you find yourself once again in front of the computer or on your cell phone searching, this time deciding to search for windows made in Texas. Your search provides you with a result, Texas built NT Windows. At which time, you decide to get additional estimates for windows and request another estimate.

So now for more research to decide which windows to choose you want to know more about what each offers in their warranty; what the difference is in comparison from one window to the other and the pricing of each window option as well as what features and options are available from each of the options? These are great questions many of which we will review below from several replacement window options.

Window Brands Compared in This Post Include:

A Great Variety of Windows to Choose From

With so many windows to choose from, we thought that it would be good for Texas homeowners to have a detailed replacement window manufacture comparison so they can compare for themselves. After receiving several estimates, it can certainly get very confusing trying to sort out the options, quality, pricing, warranty and more in trying to make a decision as to which windows to have installed.

Where Are They Manufactured?

Andersen Windows are manufactured in St. Paul Minnesota an exurb Bayport, Minnesota. Andersen Corporation is huge, it is an international window and door manufacturing enterprise which employs more than 9,000 people at over 20 locations across the globe.

Pella Vinyl Windows are manufactured in Murray, Kentucky, offers Vinyl windows and patio doors which are also have plants in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Portland, Oregon. Pella Windows will ship all over the U.S. from various manufacturing locations.

Simonton Windows are manufactured in their headquarters in Columbus Ohio. They ship all over the U.S. from one location. Speaking of Simonton, something to keep in mind is they are currently (at the time of this post July 2016) in a class action lawsuit for seal failure & fogged windows (more detail on this up-and-coming in another post).

NT Window are manufactured in their Dallas/Fort Worth manufacturing plant right here in our great state of Texas. NT Window will also ship to surrounding states. As a Texas resident and a transplant, we Texans take great pride in supporting and buying products that are made right here in Texas. This may sound just a little biased, but as Texans, we will openly confess this.

Cost Comparison of These Replacement Windows

  • Anderson Renewal Renewal by Andersen Logo

This is where a huge difference can be seen between replacement window prices as have been reported by homeowners. We’ll start here with Anderson . Price: The Anderson Renewal Windows Cost anywhere from $1,000 to over $2,500 + per window opening.

Most homeowners are most certainly shocked to find out that they are paying over $24,000 to replace just 12 windows or so (as in the example provided above). This is a lot of money that will take over 20 years to recouping the savings in energy efficiency. Be sure to visit this link with Renewal by Andersen Reviews which I found to provide some great insight and honest to be quite an eye opener. We are hearing feedback like many we read in the reviews from homeowners here in the Houston metro area as we reach and meet with them to provide an in-home estimate.

  • Pella Vinyl Replacement Windows Pella Windows Logo

Many homeowners opt to go the Pella route because they have heard of them, they simply have a big name and get a lot of their business from name recognition, which is huge in the replacement window business. Homeowners who have heard of the name are more likely to request an estimate. Cost: the Pella Window Cost seems to cost a bit less at $800 – $1,500 per window opening. Additionally, the Pella Window brand enjoys a great country wide reputation for quality products.

  • Simonton Replacement Windows Simonton Windows Logo

Simonton vinyl replacement windows are not nearly as pricey as the Anderson and Pella brands. They do not offer the expensive options that the other windows do such as real wood interior trim which you will find greatly increases the cost of each window unit. Cost: you can expect to pay from the $500 – $1,200 range per window opening depending on your window sizes, layout and options.

  • NT Windows NT Window Logo

NT Windows just like Simonton, does not offer many of the fancy real woodgrain interior options. They do however, offer a simulated interior woodgrain trim which is most pleasing to the eye. With that said, they will not be as costly as real wood nor will they ever rot like real wood can.  Cost: Expect to pay anywhere from the $500 – $1,200 range per window opening, depending of course, on the options you select. We have found that most homeowners in Texas are not wanting a simulated or a real wood grain look on the interior of their home. But, if they do want this, NT Window has an option which is not nearly as pricey as other windows for an interior simulated woodgrain and it comes in pleasing frame colors such as tan, white and bronze as well! Additionally, NT Window enjoys a great local reputation.

Replacement Window Options

Glass / Frame / Grids

This is where you get to make some additional choices and personalization and potentially spend lots of money and drive up the cost of the windows if you are not careful (or if you so desire to). Some feedback we have been receiving from many homeowners when it comes to window options, that although the representative will quickly offer these more expensive upgrades. What we have found is that most homeowners are only wanting a basic window with possibly with a nice add-on such as grids or colored window frames. Options such as these, do not drive up the price to a point beyond what is reasonable and affordable for most and will typically add 10-15% to the cost of the windows. Additionally we are finding that most homeowners are looking for increased energy efficiency vs fancy upgrades that quickly drive up the price of their windows.

Many homeowners, once they realize the prices of  these costly add-ons, such as interior wood, and taking into consider that making up the cost can take up to 10 years to finally start seeing window replacement savings, they opt for a simple, more basic window option. Homeowners in a high-dollar homes might be more like to upgrade with these more costly add-ons which might be right inline with their budget and design ideas. Keep in mind that because the manufacturers do not receive a lot of orders with these upgrades, their is a very noticeable jump in price (30-60%) for those custom options (not to deter you from asking for these options, but something to be aware of, if you are wanting to keep the cost down).

Replacement Window Warranties

Window warranties is an area where you can really see the difference in manufacturers as when it comes down to it, the warranty tells you a lot about how much faith each manufacture has in their product they are offering.  As you will find and may even be a bit surprised about is what each window manufacturer is willing to offer, I for one consider this information quite revealing and an important part of the window selection decision. Below we offer proof by including each window manufacturer’s warranty below in screenshot as well as a link to their websites to ensure you are seeing the most current version of their warranty and you can see for yourself. So here we go revealing the information most homeowners might find surprising to learn as they research and consider new windows for their home. This important warranty information is as follows:

Anderson Window Warranty Anderson Window Warranty

We found the Andersen Renewal Fibrex window warranty most surprising as we were expecting much more from the famed window brand. This window warranty offers two years for installation, 10 years for for hardware (such as locks, latches, hinges balance and other window mechanism components) and 20 years for glass and Fibrex frame materials.

Wow, are you as surprised as we were in finding this information? If so, you read it correctly. For one of the most expensive and well-known replacement windows on the market these days, this is the warranty the famed Andersen Window manufacturer is offering. Hmm…

So let’s be completely honest and please share your thoughts below regarding the warranty Anderson is offering, we’d love to hear from you? If you ask us, it should be more in line as to what is being offered by their competitors, see below.


Pella Window Warranty Pella Window Warranty

The folks over at Pella Windows offer their own warranty for the vinyl replacement windows that they market. The warranty is started on their website as a “Lifetime Warranty”.  Here is the Pella Window PDF link with all of the details in the warranty and what they are and are not willing to cover. To sum it up, it is titled “Nonglass Materials and Workmanship. Nontransferable Limited Lifetime Warranty”

After reviewing this warranty, we found the Pella coverages to be a bit confusing for a lifetime warranty which they are stating.  What we found is that you will receive two years for labor, this is only for the original purchaser/homeowner only and does not carry over to new owners if the home is sold. This is just one way the warranty can confuse and the Pella warranty can be easily misunderstood.


Simonton Window Warranty Simonton Window Warranty

The Simonton replacement window claims a “double lifetime warranty”. What we found they mean by this is the lifetime of the original owner and the next subsequent owner. The Simonton warranty seems to fare much better than the Anderson and Pella warranties. You will quickly notice that the warranty is quite descriptive and outlined well to make clear as to what is covered and what is not. Here is a quick outline that you can also see in the screenshot as well:

  • Vinyl Mattereal – Double Lifetime
  • Hardware – Double Lifetime
  • Screens – Double Lifetime
  • Glass – 20 Years (pro-rated)
  • Glass Breakage – three Years
  • Laminated glass – 20 Years

As can be clearly seen, Simonton Windows has the better warranty over Renewal by Andersen and Pella, well, in our opinion. However, with the latest Simonton Window Class Action Lawsuit for seal failure, you might want to check into this as you consider your options.


NT Window Warranty NT Window Warranty

Our final warranty for comparison in this post is NT Window. As you can imagine, we are all now quite curious about what this final option is offering when it comes to their warranty. We found the NT Window Warranty to be one of the best on the market today. Below we will go over the NT Window PDF warranty as we have outline what is offered by this Texas-based replacement window manufacturing company.

NT Windows offers the “Double Lifetime Warranty” like Simonton Window. Although NT Window does not use the marketing phrase the same, they are offering a “Lifetime Warranty” which is transferrable to the next subsequent owner. So, you might say that NT Window offers a “Double Lifetime Warranty” on their manufactured products. The biggest difference they have over the Simonton, are underlined and listed in Red below for your viewing and comparison.

  • Vinyl Material – Double Lifetime
  • Hardware – Double Lifetime
  • Screens – Double Lifetime
  • Glass – Lifetime
  • Glass Breakage – Lifetime
  • Laminated Glass – Lifetime

Conclusion & Winner

NT Window! We hope you have found this comprehensive window choice comparison informative and helpful as you review information and consider all of the facts and warranties offered by the various manufactures. We have great reason to believe that what the NT Window offers is by far, the best warranty and window for the money. So, it’s not only that NT Windows are made right here in North Texas, but there are other good reasons to consider this option due to their warranty and window performance. Yep, “y’all” heard that correctly, a great window, with a great warranty, made right here in our great state of Texas. As a transplant Texan myself, I do believe that we can agree that this is a good thing for Texas! Andersen, Pella or Simonton Replacement Windows are good viable options as well.

PS, NT Window comes standard with Super Spacer and Double Strength Glass standard for superior performance in the Texas climate!


Please share your thoughts, opinions and findings, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | Leave a comment

Exterior Paint Colors

Paint Color Options & Combinations

Paint Color Choices from Texas Home Exteriors As you consider replacing your siding with Hardie or SmartSide Siding, you will be also be making the decision of what paint color combination to choose from the many options. This is a fun time that get creative and get the opinion of your friends and family. Well, maybe? 

Some homeowners may find this a bit overwhelming as they start looking and deciding which colors to paint the new exterior siding. New paint color combinations can provide the home with a new updated look and selecting paint color choices can be fun too. In this post we offer a variety of ideas to help you along the way, we hope it helps you in making your exterior paint color selections.

A Variety Of Paint to Try On

With such a variety of paint color choices and color combinations to choose from, who can you turn to for help? One option is Sherwin-Williams who happily offers help right in their store, additionally they provide a very helpful online visual tool called “Try On Colors.

This online paint color options & combinations selection tool provides you the option to take pictures of your actual home. You can upload it and literally, “try on” paint colors to view what some options you may have in mind or that are available will look like on your home. They also have a link for tips choosing exterior paint colors that we highly recommend. DIY Network also has great information for exterior paint colors that you and your family should check out.

Some Painting Points To Consider:

Move Over Monotone!
Multi Colors is The Trend for the Body & Trim!

As you are pondering your home exterior painting project, some of the first things to consider is whether you want your home painted with one single color, two or several? You have many options and computations to evaluate. Do you want the body and trim to be that same color, or accented to compliment one another? The trend of many 21st century homeowners is that they are painting their exteriors with multi-colored accenting and contrasting colors.

This is a popular choice as it gives your home a “pop” with aesthetically pleasing siding and trim dimension and contrast giving the home more personality and enhanced curb appeal (as opposed to a flat monotone paint selection). You will notice all of the paint color selections we have included in this post are two or three tone options.

All in the Family Colors

This is a biggie to be aware of as the paint colors you choose are going to be on your home for many years. Make sure that your home’s exterior paint color scheme is belonging to the style of the home and the neighborhood keeping in mind it is a good idea that accenting colors borrow from one another. It is important to make sure that the paint color and or colors that you have chosen work well together and are complement of one another and do not clash.

Make That Door &  Shutters Pop With an Accent Color!

It is interesting to note how much more your homes individual personality will what we call.. “pop” with the added accent of an offset painted door and or shutters. This should be a color that belongs and that works with the paint color scheme of your home.

Flat, Satin or Gloss Paint Finish?

In the past many years ago it might have been more common to see a gloss paint job regardless of the color that was chosen. That has changed over the years to a more modern look. Flat and satin paints have become much more popular as gloss finishes has been faded out. Homeowners are not wanting their home to have that plastic shiny look, but are moving to a low luster subtle sheen of a saying or as some call it, eggshell.  

Something also to think about, the flat can be harder to clean so if you are in an area with a lot of dust, a satin finish will clean up with much more ease. Here at Texas Home Exteriors we are seeing about 80% of the paint color finishes waiting by homeowners to be satin.

Some Quick Points To Consider:

  • Monotone VS. Multi Colors
  • Strong Accent Colors
  • Paint Finish
  • Fitting In With The Neighborhood
  • HOA Paint Color Approval

Paint Color Combination Gallery:

Click Each To Enlarge & Get Color Details (at bottom)

Paint Color Links:

Houston Chronicle – Choosing Exterior Colors

HGTV – Home Exterior Color 

Behr – Exterior Paint 

BHG – Best Exterior House Color

DIY – Exterior Paint Colors

Olympic – Best Exterior Paint Colors  

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are some nice paint color combinations that you can choose from. Here at Texas Home Exteriors we are happy to have posted this helpful information. Feel free to make any comments below that you might have on exterior paint color combinations and options

Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | 10 Comments

Suntuitive Smart Windows

Suntuitive Smart Replacement Windows –
Self-tinting Glass Technology

Shopping for new replacement windows? There are a multitude of windows available to homeowners with a variety of options. When it comes time to replace your old inefficient windows with new energy efficient replacement windows, another option to research and consider is one of the latest and greatest technologies yet, Texas Suntuitive Self-tinting Smart WindowsTexas Suntuitive Self Tinting Smart Glass

Smart Windows that Change With The Sun

Just like smart phones, windows just keep getting smarter and smarter with the latest technology. Actually, it is about time that what is available for commercial buildings is now available for our homes. With the wonderful and innovative Texas Suntuitive Smart Windows Self-tinting glass technology, windows intuitively adapt throughout the day, gradually and dynamically darkening as they heat up from direct sunlight. The more direct and intense the sun’s energy, the more the glass warms, the more it will darken and tint.

Low-E Glass + Much More

Most energy efficient replacement windows have what is called a Low-E “low emissivity” coating. This coating bounces back outside the sun’s infrared rays. However the Low-E can only do so much. This is what make our Intuitive Smart Windows so unique. They have the best Low-E coating on the market, 366 + they get darker further intensifying its total heat resistance power.

As the suntuitive smart windows transition darker and darker, the adaptive glass tint technology blocks the heat from coming through your windows while balancing the intense glare which in turn preserves the view through the windows. The tinting reduces the need to pull down the shades or close the blinds or drapes so you can enjoy more hours of comfortable natural daylight coming in through those sun-facing windows. We put windows in so we can see out not to close off the view, would you not agree?


How Do Suntuitive Self-tinting Smart Windows Work?

Suntuitive During the Daytime:

Our innovative Suntuitive Smart Replacement Windows feature a lightly tintedSuntuitive glass tint level diagram UV/sunlight responsive, thermochromic interlayer that warms up, gradually darkening in response to the rising temperature of the glass surface from the direct sunlight. The glass then clears as the sun lowers in the sky becoming indirect now allowing light to once again pass into the home.

As the glass warms and darkens, this intensifying tint blocks any harmful UV rays and lowers the solar heat gain coefficient SHGC from the windows. The solar heat gain is the biggest energy enemy in homes throughout the country especially in the south. Direct sun on glass will generate 250 BTU per square foot of glazing per hour so this tint transition can make a huge difference. No other replacement windows stops as much unwanted heat from entering through as the Texas Suntuitive Smart glass technology does.

In The Sun Differance Texas Suntuitive Self Tinting Smart Windows

Suntuitive During the Early Evening & Night:

As the sun moves across the sky and is begins to set, the Suntuitive Smart Window responsive glass will begin to cool. As the glass cools, it returns to its natural clear state again. So, at night or during cloudy non-sunny days, when the direct sun is not present and hitting the glass, the Suntuitive responsive glass will remains clear, allowing for the most natural daylight to enter your as possible.

Our Suntuitive Self-Tinting Smart Glass naturally and passively adapts throughout the day, every day of the year, constantly balancing the heat and glare coming in through the windows and into the living space keeping the view through the windows as the sun lowers in the sky and sets in the evening and nighttime and they return to their clear glass state.


Three Panes Of Performance Glass

Most replacement windows consist of just two panes of glass. The Suntuitive Smart Glass system consists of the following components to provide unparalleled performance from the outside in:

  1. 1/8″ clear glass pane Layers Of Suntuitive Self Tinting Smart Windows
  2. PVB Interlayer Laminate -.048-thickness
  3. 1/8″ clear glass pane
  4. 7/16″ Sealant Spacer – Argon gas filled
  5. Low Emissivity (low-E) & 366 PPG Glass coating
  6. 1/8″ clear glass pane

As you can see, the Suntuitive Self-tinting replacement windows provide the very best in total efficiency and protection. When it comes to gaining energy efficiency, no other window will provide more that the Texas Suntuitive Smart Glass, year after year.

In simple terms, our Texas Suntuitive Smart Windows offers you are your family several layers of performance and protection as can be seen in cutaway view chart above.


Nearly Unbreakable Suntuitive Laminated Glass Equals A Quiet & Safe Home Suntuitive Self-tinting replacement window cutaway view

With the Suntuitive Smart laminated glass Windows, you will enjoy a greater reduction of noise reduction into your home from outside sources.  The Suntuitive Interlayer (center) of the laminated glass is a stiff semi rubber like product that has great sound reduction properties.

This is called Noise Attenuation, the reduction of sound waves through a substance or material. Because our windows come with a laminated glass package (Suntuitive Interlayer) as a standard, you will notice the best possible noise reduction you can find anywhere because of  the sound damping properties found within the laminated glass unit.

Drive up banking teller windows are similar in that they are often using a thick laminated safety glass product.  Now imagine having that similar window for your home. This is possible with our Texas Suntuitive Smart Windows have self-tinting laminated safety glass interlayer that will also make your home much more quiet and resistant from unwanted outside noise. An example of this might be, the Saturday morning southeast Texas neighbor mowing the lawn. This now becomes a non issue, case and point.


Impressive Suntuitive Self-tinting Smart Performance Numbers

Rating Code  
VLT.50 Clear State.08 Tinted State
ST.19 Clear State.04 Tinted State
SHGC.31 Clear State.12 Tinted State

VLT= Visible Light Transmission also known as VT =Visible Transmittance: (VT or VLT) measures how much light comes through a product. VT is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The higher the VT, the more light that comes through the product. In the southeast Texas metro area, it is desirable for southern facing windows that receive a strong dose of sunlight to be tinted due to extreme brightness that they receive.

ST = Solar Transmission: This is a rating for heat transmission through different types of glasses compared to an ordinary single clear glass window that would have a solar transmission rating of 1. The 1. ST rating is allowing in effect 100% of the sun’s energy to pass into your home interior. Where an ST (solar transmission) rating of let’s say, .20 is only allowing 20% of that heat transmission into the interior of your Texas home. In Short, the lower the ST, the more blocking properties and the least amount of heat will enter into your home’s interior.

Most Important In The Southern States Is. . .

SHGC = Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: (SHGC) measures how well a product blocks heat from the sun. SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower the SHGC, the better a product is at blocking unwanted heat gain. SHGC is particularly important in southern climates like Texas. Most replacement windows like Simonton, Pella, Anderson and the like brag about being in the .35 -.25 range. Suntuitive Smart Windows when in it’s tinted state, are a remarkable .12 low number. Now that is some major sun blockage that equals the most energy savings for your money!

Self-tinting windows light to dark texas home exteriors

Some of the Many Benefits of Texas Suntuitive Replacement Windows

Suntuitive glass offers comfort and peace of mind without sacrificing your view and providing more comfort and safety from your windows. These innovative smart windows offer wonderful benefits including but not limited to:

  • Maximizing solar heat gain; maximizing day lighting
  • Reducing interior glare
  • Blocking solar heat
  • Reducing outside noise
  • Natural lighting and clear outside view
  • Optimizing energy efficiency
  • Consistently comfortable temperature
  • No maintenance
  • Shielding interior home and family from damaging UV transmittance
  • Impact and security tested
  • Forced entry tested enhances home security


Self-tinting, Energy Efficient, Quiet, Safety & Impact Resistant

As you can clearly see, this technology is very exciting and unlike any offered with the typical vinyl replacement windows which have been on the market and so popular throughout the country for years now. The adaptability of the Suntuitive Smart glass can help lower the costs associated with heating, air-conditioning and lighting which can represent up to 70% of a home’s total energy consumption.

From no direct sunlight equaling its clear state, to direct sunlight equaling its self-tinted state, Suntuitive Smart Windows do it all. Our Texas Suntuitive self-tinting replacement windows come with a wonderful list of benefits over traditional replacement windows that is sure to benefit you and your family. If you are in the Houston Texas metro or surrounding areas, please give us a call at Texas Home Exteriors and we will be happy to come out, give you a demonstration of this remarkable product and provide you with an estimate at no charge.

Please post comments below and let us know if you have additional questions or suggestions on how we can improve this post, we love to hear from you!


Comments, Thoughts Or A Free Estimate?
Feel Free To Post Below!



Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | 6 Comments

Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Instant On Demand Tankless Hot Water Heaters Are Here To Stay!

Rheem Electric Water Heater Tankless vs 50 Gallon

Rheem Electric Water Heater Tankless vs 50 Gallon

It seems, we as humans want everything now and on demand.  This includes wanting hot water in our homes fast. With people wanting their hot water in an instant we are seeing the popularity of the  new instant tankless hot water heaters growing as Homeowners are realizing the benefits and the great features which are giving a boost to its much gaining popularity.

In this post you will find out about the features and what you should know when considering this option. This post focuses on comparing the tankless electric water heater to the standard tank type water heater we are all familiar with.

Quick View – Rheem Tankless RTE-18 vs. 50 Gallon Water Heater

Some BIG Differences for Consideration

Just by looking at the image above, the huge size difference is obvious between the two heating units.  The heater on the left is a Rheem Tankless Water Heater RTE 18 and the second is a Rheem 50 Gallon Hot Water Heater.  This image is an actual representation of the size difference of the two units.

Quick Reference –
Features of Tankless vs. 50 gallon Tank Water Heater

Hot Water Heaters Charts

Hot Water Heaters Charts

As you can see there are some great differences between the two water heater units. Below are some additional points to consider..

NEVER Run Out Of  Hot Water @ 5 GPM

Tankless Instant Hot Water Heater Texas Home Exteriors

Tankless Instant Hot Water Heater Texas Home Exteriors

With the Rheem RTE 18 Tankless Hot Water Heater, you will NEVER run out of hot water. This is because the water is heated on demand. If you so desired, you could take a shower for a month and never run out of hot water. A typical shower will use about 2 GPM. This is why when you take a long shower with a typical tanked water heater, the water goes cold and the 30 40 or 50 gallon unit can not keep up.

When this happens, their is a wait for that 30, 40 or 50 gallons of water heat up again, how long depends on the tank size of your heater and the temperature you like the water. Keep in mind that the usage flow rate for a tanked water heater is only about .75 GPM, this is why it will never catch up with the 2 GPM flow rate shower or bath you are trying to enjoy.

Installation Cost – One Person Installation vs. Two

Although the tankless water heater option may cost a small amount of more money up front, the installation cost should cost you less for a few reasons. First of all, you do not need a water heater drain pan/leak catcher underneath as the traditional tanked unit to catch overflow from the pop off valve (not to mention events like a leak from the rusted out bottom happen, then a pan is a must with this option). And, it is quite easy for one person to install the tankless water heater vs. the required two people needed for the tanked water heaters, should lower the cost of installation.

Electric Usage Tankless vs. A Standard Tanked

Is energy efficiency important to you? Well then here is something to think about, a tankless water heater only uses electricity when being used, on demand. The tankless unit will use about twice the electric draw @ 35 amp (approx) over a tank unit but the running time is less than 1/10 of the time. Most standard 30, 40 and 50 + gallon water heaters run in long cycles on and off 24/7/365 days a year. But keep in mind that this draw on costly electric is slow @ 15 amp (approx) but it is all day long 7/365. The tankless instant hot water heater uses twice the electric, however runs approximately 1/10 of the time rewarding you with 35-65% on average saving in electric usage. 

No Hot Water Relief Valve Needed

Traditional tank water heaters fill up then begin heating process. During this process and the heating of so many gallons water at a time, the water expands as it heats requiring there be a hot water pressure relief valve in necessary. The hot water pressure relief valve is designed to allow the water to escape so the tank does not have to endure too much pressure or even possibly explode which could be dangerous and could flood your home with how water. A tankless water heater needs no tank and therefore does not require the installation of an expansion valve.

Size of Heating Unit

This is where the tankless water heating unit wins over big time and one of the most obvious reasons. The units are significantly smaller than the tank water heaters and there is even make a version that is about half the size represented here for compact space like placement under sinks or in a motor home, etc. Try putting a traditional tank water heater under most sinks.

The Down Side to Tankless

Most homeowners love the ease and performance of their tankless water heater. However there is one drawback we have found.  Because the unit draws more current in short intervals of usages, as opposed to a slow 24/7365 usage pattern, you can see the effects of with your home lights flashing during the strong current draw. This is very slightly noticeable but it is something the public should be aware of, please respond if you have a remedy for this issue.

Quick Bullet Points To Consider Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

  • Simple & Fast Installation
  • Space Saving
  • Much Less Energy Usage
  • Longer Warranty (no possible leaking tank)
  • No Drain Pan Needed
  • No Extra Initial Cost
  • Increased Dependability


So in a nutshell, the tankless instant hot water heaters are  a great option for heating water and they are here to stay. They provide all the hot water one could desire in a easy-to-install compact unit that takes up much less space. The unit can be easily installed by one person and the energy efficiency of the unit will save homeowners money. In this day and age, this is a very good thing to have if you are a homeowner and want lower utility bills. Note: a licensed electrician and plumber is needed for installation. 

Questions or Comments?

Here at Texas Home Exteriors, we encourage you to ask any questions, share your thoughts and comments below. Thank you most kindly. Texas Home Exteriors INC.

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Inside Your Home, Texas Home Exteriors | 9 Comments

Evolution of Siding

The Evolution of Siding Products

Martha's Vineyard Home During The Writing Of This Home Improvement Post

Martha’s Vineyard Home During The Writing Of This Blog Post

Here at THE we have been working in the home exterior siding business since the early 1980’s. I have been personally witnessing the evolution of siding products with a history of installation of a variety of siding products with my own hands.

Recently I took a much needed break from the business and found myself on Martha’s Vineyard sitting there noticing the cedar shingle siding on the waterfront home where my wife and I were staying. I realized this cedar shingle siding has been quite common and the norm in New England with little change in the siding market in this part of the country. I thought about how this was so unlike most of the rest of the country and started thinking about how has siding products evolved over the years and found myself researching the subject.

A Brief History of Siding Timeline

Keep in mind as you read that this timeline is according to my own personal experience since the 1980’s but I do believe that many other siding contractors who were involved in the industry during this time would have a similar experience to share. The stories of the evolution of siding will include information on all of the the following siding options:

Introduction of Asbestos Siding Products

Asbestos shingle siding Texas Home Exteriors

Asbestos Shingle Siding

Asbestos Shingle Siding – This product was introduced in 1907 when Ludwig Hatschek invented the process for creating asbestos cement a process that is still used today.  It comes in a stack of thinly pressed together small sheets of siding (3’x2′) that is made from a mixture of asbestos, portland cement and water then pressed between metal plates with heavy pressure creating sheets.

The product was considered superior and by the 1920s was recommended by the National Board of Fire Underwriters to replace wood as a siding and roofing material boosting an increase in sales for its ability to protect structures from moisture and its ability to provided insulation from heat and fire.

Additionally, the product was comparatively light weight, easy to apply, weather and fireproof, had a nice appearance and permanence, all made the product a popular choice. This siding product is one of the very first siding products I installed  with my own hands in the state of New York early on in my home improvement career.

Reputation of Asbestos Siding

Asbestos siding will last for many years and has a history of rarely having warranty issues. The problem most homeowners may have experienced with this product is the fact that it is brittle and cracks at a gentle to moderate impact. The product had no flexibility whatsoever and it could often seen on homes with the bottom row of the siding broken off from the wheels of lawnmowers or other items had bumped into it.

Dangers of Asbestos Siding

There are several issues to consider with the dangers of asbestos siding including the dust which was known to contain 20-45% asbestos, this is a concern the public was made aware of later. The asbestos fibers can easily become airborne when the product is being power washed, sanded sawed, drilled, removed or disturbed. Workers in the industry are at the greatest risk of being exposed to the fibers during manufacturing, installation, removal, renovation and demolition processes. High levels of this toxic dust can often be found in the factories and plants resulting in a high risk of diseases caused from the exposure.

The Popularity of Asbestos Siding

From around 1907 until the early 1980’s this siding product was well received by the public as well as with siding installers over the years. During the late 1960s and early /70s the news media began to report the health issues and the EPA banned the use of asbestos in the manufacturing of building products in 1973.  Into the 1980’s the health risk with Asbestos siding became so apparent with public awareness regarding the dangers of breathing in the dust and causing mesothelioma that, the popularity of new installations with the product soon diminished quickly to just about non-existent today.

Introduction of Aluminum Siding Products

dented aluminum siding texas home exteriors spring

Dented Aluminum Siding

Aluminum Siding modern siding was born in 1937 with Francis “Frank” Hoess securing patent on the process in 1938 with the method of using a locking joint to solve the problem of water leakage that were a problem of siding designs of the time.

In the late 1947’s showing up in the market as the next biggest and greatest siding option and was the rage of the 1960s. This siding product was very popular with installers due to it coming in long horizontal lengths of 12′ long and up to 12″ wide for quick installation and it came pre-painted, right out of the box.

The product was manufactured from aluminum coil that was chemically coated to protect the metal and then paint was applied for further protection and color that was baked on for a bright and durable siding product.

Reputation and Problems of Aluminum Siding

Aluminum Siding experienced great success since the late 1940’s. After the product was initially installed it was time to see how it would stand up to the elements. The issues that homeowners started encountering was it easily dented even a good hail storm can damage aluminum siding. If someone were to hit it with a baseball or golf ball, it would most certainly leave a dent in the product. Furthermore, dents were noticed from impacts from car doors, lawnmowers and other minor impacts. It was like the dents you would see on automobiles.

Tin Men Movie

The Tin Men Movie

It was like a new problem was borne for a variety of reasons. For instance, metal conducts heat and in the summer can even be hot to the touch if painted with a dark color and in the winter it actually sucks the heat from the home requiring it be well-insulated to prevent the problem. There was also the issue of paint peeling off from aluminum siding due to paint adhesion issues of aluminum siding, this is a metallic product that is not very good at holding paint. There were also siding chalking and fading paint issues that became a huge turn-off for many homeowners.

The painted surface of aluminum siding provides minimal adhesion and the siding also moves at a different rate than the paint. So with temperature changes especially when exposed to the sun where the aluminum gets hot to the touch expanding as metallic product do, the paint would often fall off in small sections.

Popularity of Aluminum Siding

The aluminum siding product was most popular in the mid 1950’s- early 1980’s due to the marketing of never having to paint your home again. With the product becoming so wildly popular even Hollywood got involved producing a movie comedy about it in 1987 called Tin Men starring Richard Dreyfuss, Danny DeVito and Barbara Hershey is worth watching.

Today the Aluminum Siding product has lost most of it’s popularity due many of the issues with paint peeling, fading, chalking and denting issues mentioned above. Today aluminum siding sits at only about 15% of the siding market share. Most of the remaining market of new installations is in the northeast and midwest part of the country.

Introduction of Vinyl Siding Products

Vinyl Siding Spring Texas

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding products were introduced into the market back in the late 1950’s when plastics gained popularity. The vinyl siding product became a direct rival to aluminum siding competing with the market for its fair share of the home improvement market gaining 32% of the siding market in the United States. Keep in mind that this was an era when plastics and vinyl were being embraced and loved by many Americans in many different products.

Reputation of Vinyl Siding

Move over aluminum, here comes vinyl! Coming into the market as a replacement for aluminum homeowners were enticed with the fact that you would never have to paint as well as the color was not just surface but was through the entire thickness of the panel. With this came the love of Vinyl Siding and great success for the product in the mid 1960’s. They could now simply pick out a color and not have to worry about the paint ever coming flaky and or chalking off of the siding panel. The product was also pitched by many home improvement companies as an end all to the denting aluminum siding issue.

Problems with Vinyl Siding

Besides the problem with the siding not holding its color without fading or yellowing and that the product buckles in the heat, one of the most common complaints reported about vinyl siding after installations moisture would often be found forming on the surface in humid climates. Additionally, water intrusion and/or retention of moisture behind the siding product was also a concern. Due to the products lack of breathing ability, the product could hold moisture in the walls often causing mold and rot issues. There were also a number of incidents reported of the product cracking when being struck with only moderate impact.

Popularity of Vinyl Siding

The vinyl siding product was most popular in the mid 1960’s until continues to be very popular still today. Vinyl siding was and continues to be marketed as never having to paint ever again, offers better insulating qualities than aluminum and will not dent or have peeling paint issues. Vinyl Siding popularity continues to this day in some cities in the northeast part of the country although overall, it has lost more than 60% of its market share due to competing products such as fiber cement (such as HardiePlank) and LP SmartSide siding, engineered wood siding. I believe another issue was that homeowners were now looking to move away from the shiny plasticky look that vinyl siding often look like for something more real and wood like. Fiber Cement (Hardie) and SmartSide offered that look by far and away over Vinyl.

Introduction of Fiber Cement Siding Products (Hardie Plank)

James Hardie Siding Textures

James Hardie Siding, HardiPlank Textures

Fiber Cement Siding, so next in comes the bulldog of all siding products, fiber cement sidingHardie Plank Siding“. The reason I say “bull dog” is that this product was introduced to the United States siding market by a company called James Hardie with strategically planned domination of the US siding market.  In 1990 they set out to cultivate the market for fiber cement with a mass-marketing strategy.

The company came into US the market with a notable presence in the late 1990’s with promises of a competitive pricing with wood, vinyl and aluminum selling on benefits of the product being fireproof, rot resistant and not easily damaged or dented as well as resistance to bug infestation.  The popular Australian company James Hardie who manufacturers fiber cement siding products came on the scene at the perfect time when homeowners in the US were looking for an alternative siding product to the current vinyl and aluminum siding products and took the market by storm.

Reputation of Fiber Cement Siding

From its rapid introduction to the siding market back in the late 1990’s to this very day, the fiber cement siding product has experienced a very good reputation. They had to get past the fact that with the homeowners that they would, once again, have to return to an acceptance of having to repaint their homes once again after experiencing the vinyl siding products promises. The fiber cement’s reputation slightly waned as many homeowners and contractors alike began posting about fiber cement siding issues as well as fiber cement siding defects all around the internet.

Another issue homeowners were reporting was the same issue that the asbestos siding product had which was the brittleness of the product. Additionally there were a variety of installation issues as well as hammer marks, broken pieces, shrinkage gaps and the dreaded broken and chipped edges on the bottom row of the siding homeowners were commonly experiencing from lawnmowers, weed eaters and the like.

Popularity of Fiber Cement Siding

Google Hardie and Smart Side Search Comparison

Click See and Enlarge GOOGLE Report – SmartSide (Blue) Becoming More Popular Than Harde (Yellow and Red Both Spellings)

Fiber Cement siding by James Hardie had a steady increase in popularity finally peaking out right around 2014 at which time the siding enjoyed a respectable market share of over 69% of the US market. Homeowners, contractors, builders and the big box home improvement retailers all sold, and were sold on, the fiber cement (Hardie Plank) siding product.

All of this started to change when some of the above issues started to surface with fiber cement (Hardie). In the meantime, homeowners started seeing another siding product on the market in 1997 called LP SmartSide. Homeowners and installers started sharing their experiences of the new product and it started to gain traction to catch up with the fiber cement siding market. After nearly ten years, the fiber cement dominance was now in for some stiff competition as per the Google chart above and what we are now hearing from homeowners.

Introduction of LP SmartSide Siding Products

SmartSide Siding by Louisiana Pacific (LP) is the manufacture this engineered wood siding product. Just like fiber cement product, it has been around since the late 1990’s. The product was not heavily marketed like its rival fiber cement. As a matter of fact, when fiber cement by James Hardie first came into the market, there were not offering manufactured trim to go along with the siding so builders and remodelers were using the LP SmartSide 1″ X 4″ and 1″ X 6″ trim along with the fiber cement siding product on their projects.

The LP SmartSide product is manufactured strand board. The wood strands are coated in a a treatment of resin and zinc borate to protect it from termites and rot, compressed into the siding board and coated with a moisture-resistant overlay embossed with a cedar grain pattern, the end result is a siding product with superior strength. Additionally, the SmartSide Siding product has been tested and proven to resist heat and sun exposure, impacts, rot and fungal decay and termites.

SmartSide SmartGuard Process

Reputation of LP SmartSide Siding

Unlike fiber cement which starting to decline from dominance, LP SmartSide siding has been steadily gaining ground since its conception. The product is enjoying a reported good reputation and continues to grow in popularity today. Homeowners and builders alike are enjoying the extreme durability factor that has led to no callbacks due to damaged siding struck by lawnmowers and even more moderate impacts as well as its resistance to moisture and termites.

The biggest reported issue with the SmartSide siding product, is the one time expansion issue which is resolved with proper installation using the suggested gaping method all certified remodelers are trained to do. To this day, there are no reported issues with the performance of properly installed LP SmartSide Siding. Additionally the product comes with a 50 year warranty.

Popularity of SmartSide Siding

LP SmartSide Siding Options

LP SmartSide Siding Options Click to Enlarge

According to Google, you can see by clicking on the chart above, from November 2015, how Smart Side (in blue) has been been gaining ground on the Hardie fiber cement product since mid 2007. It is interesting to note how in the current day (2015) SmartSide has gained so much ground that it is soon to surpass Hardie (fiber cement) in interest and popularity.

Builders and remodelers alike are shifting their preference to installing the SmartSide vs. Hardie Siding product. This is for a variety of reasons some include the following: the product being lighter in weight, the siding pieces are longer at 16′ vs. 12′, more durable so no breakage issues, much less dust, more user-friendly for the installation crews (no special tools needed). Homeowners are also liking the deeper wood grain embossment that gives the product a closer real look to wood.

It is interesting to note that once the siding crews experience installation of the LP SmartSide siding product, they do not want to install anything else.

Conclusion:  At this point with factual and informative hindsight considering the evolution of siding products, it is necessary that I use a legal term for this conclusion, “case closed!” For me the decision is clear what my choice for siding is today.

Please share your comments, questions and/or thoughts below, we always like to hear from you.

Posted in History, Siding - James Hardie/Hardiplank, Siding - LP Smartside, Siding - Vinyl, Texas Home Exteriors | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments