Top 4 Home Improvement Financing Must-Haves

lien against home Warning –
What To Look Out For W
ith Home Improvement Financing 

Borrowing money to finance home improvement projects can be tricky.  After Hurricane Harvey, many Houston Texas metro area homeowners are in need of some extra funds to help with their home repairs and/or remodels. In this post, we are providing some great and helpful information especially for those who have found that their insurance is not covering the damages to your roof or siding and or your insurance has a large deductible.

Our Team at Texas Home Exteriors has put together this helpful and informative article to help Houston homeowners learn what home improvement project financing options are available to them and which would be the best option to meet their needs. In this post, we have also shared some warnings to be aware of when considering home improvement financing. 

Homeowners Need To Become Educated On Financing Options 

Educating yourself with your home improvement financing options is the key. It is important to understand what you are getting into when looking into getting a home improvement loan. Before you sign the financing documents, make sure that you know exactly what you are signing up for, what you are getting! Many homeowners need the help so badly, they get a bit hasty. We have heard stories from homeowners about how they wish they had known what to look for as to not get taken advantage of. Below we have outlined the four most important items to check off your list when applying for home improvement repair financing. 

1 – Ask For A Non-Lien Loan

Often times homeowners in our Houston Texas metro area will choose to go to their bank or credit union to ask for a home improvement loan because they personally know them and trust them. Keep in mind, banks and credit unions often want to secure their vested interest. What this means the homeowner is, if for some reason you are not able to pay off the loan or you default on the monies borrowed. If this is the case, the bank can take possession of your home. If this does not sound appealing to you, you always make sure that you secure a non-lien loan for home improvements or repairs. This is also often referred to as a signature loan

2 – No Surprises Hidden in the Loan Documents – Promotions & Addendums

No one likes surprises with it comes to their finances. There can be hidden changes in loan documents, this is why it is important to review every page. No one likes surprises when it comes to their money. An example of a hidden surprise is like with some credit card offers, they start off with a great rate but after a promotional period has ended, the rate jumps up, typically quite a bit.

So, when looking through the loan paperwork, make sure that you read carefully, the details of the promotion and/or addendums which can alter or override what you are paying. If a promotion is offered, for instance, at a lower rate, make sure that this is for the life of the loan or if there is an increase, when and how much to determine if it is what you really want. As long as there is not an  addendum stating that there will be a rate increase, you are good to go. Do yourself a favor and please take the time to look through all of the documentation before you sign. 

3 – No Prepayment Penalty

This is a must-have. When signing for a home improvement loan, you should look for the option to pay the loan off early without any penalty. With a no prepayment penalty loan, by choosing this option, you are free to pay the note off early without being charged a penalty. Some banking institutions insert a clause in their contracts stating that you can not pay off the note early or you will pay a penalty, this is usually implement for the first year or two of the loan. The loaning institutions do this so they can make plenty of interest from you on your loan before paying it off. So if you don’t want to pay extra money out in interest and would like the option to pay it off early, make sure you get a home improvement loan that specifies no prepayment penalty. 

4 – No Closing Cost 

Lady thinking about financing for home improvements Closing Costs are often called by a variety of  names and can include numerous fees (such as loan origination fees, discount points and credit report charges). These are upfront fees charged to the borrower. This one is common, especially if you are going through a bank.

It is a good idea to make sure that whomever you are looking at getting a home improvement loan through, you know if there are additional fees involved, especially if you don’t want to be paying additional money, you should avoid paying any kind of closing cost.

Some financial institutions such as a bank might also call this an origination fee. Either way, you should be aware that they may try to tac on these additional fees, you should not have to pay anything upfront such as a closing costs. 

Quick Home Improvement Pointers 

  • You should never be pressured
  • Make sure you get a hard copy of your home improvement financing document or have it sent electronically to your email
  • Review the 4 home improvement financing must-haves listed above before signing 
  • Ask questions and insist on verifiable answers on financing to fund your project with

Here are some helpful web links:

LifeHacker – Finance Home Improvement Projects – Fund Major Home Improvements

ThisOldHouse – Finance Your Remodel  

Home Improvement Financing Conclusion 

When looking at financing options for home improvement, it is of most importance to know what you are getting. We hope that you have enjoyed this informative post on how to protect yourself  when it comes to home improvement project financing. Regardless of you are updating, remodeling or just making repairs after a storm or hurricane, we have shared this helpful information to get you on your way. Please do not forget the four must-haves as you move forward! Thank you from the Texas Home Exteriors Team.

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Cost of Replacing Siding

cost replacing home sidingThe Cost of Replacing Your Home Siding

Replacing siding can cost you a pretty penny and it can be very difficult to decide on which style would complement your home the best, but don’t start hammering your piggy banks or pulling your hair out before you read this blog. This can help you figure out which siding you would like better on your home and which one will save your pockets from being empty. It will also give you some fun facts that you can use to make your decision.

Wood Siding

Also called clapboard siding. This style of siding adds a lot of character and they are mostly milled from sustainable resources. It is very versatile, it can be sanded, painted, or stained to match any home. This type of siding can also add a warm and natural look to your home; making your house much more family friendly. It is also great for the environment because it is sustainable, recyclable, renewable, and comes direct from nature.

The installation and cost of replacing this siding is very easy and it comes in shingles, clapboards, drop siding, vertical boards, and wooden sheet siding. The price for this type of siding can cost between $5.00 and $12.00 per square foot. However, this siding is very high maintenance and requires regular sealing; the maintenance can be costly and time consuming. It requires treatment every year or two, more frequently if non-toxic, eco-friendly products are used. There is often no warranty when it comes to wood siding as the manufactures do not offer one. 


  • Warm, natural look
  • Ecologically friendly
  • Available in many styles and types
  • Takes staining and color easily
  • Easy installation and repair


  • High maintenance, requires regular sealing
  • Susceptible to insects, mold, and rot
  • Natural wood isn’t as insulating as other materials

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood is made of wood product such as wood strands and wood “flakes” held together by a bonding agent. This creates a strong but lightweight material that is less expensive than natural wood. It is also an affordable option to natural wood. You can get it pre-primed or pre-finished to save time on the installation. However, it requires some less minimal maintenance like natural wood and comes with a 50 year warranty. This siding also is great for the environment because it is sustainable, recyclable, renewable, and comes directly from nature. Having said that, this is most cost effective siding product besides vinyl siding. 

One of the most attractive features to homeowners is that engineered wood siding is very strong. This is a great siding product to use in wind prone areas like southeast Texas. This type of siding is also very easily installed and repaired. It is made from leftover and recycled wood, making it very eco-friendly. However, this style of siding is prone to moisture issues if not properly installed and sealed. It is also susceptible to insects and mold if it is not properly maintained. The price for this type of siding can cost between $4.25 and $8.30 per square foot installed and painted. The pre-finished replacement siding cost is much higher at over $9.00 per square foot with minimal color selection.


  • Easy to install and repair
  • Many styles and textures offered
  • Extreme impact resistance
  • Very eco-friendly as it uses some reclaimed wood waste
  • Low-cost option for the warmth of wood


  • Requires some painting maintenance as natural wood
  • Prone to moisture issues if not properly installed/sealed
  • Susceptible to insects and mold if not maintained properly with paint

Fiber Cement Siding 

Fiber cement siding is made up of sand, cement and wood/cellulose fibers. It’s very durable and can withstand intense storms, but it is very heavy and requires special tools and knowledge to install properly. The most popular fiber cement siding is Hardie board. This Type of siding is likely to last the lifespan of your home. It is fire resistant and very easy to maintain. Cracks are also easy to patch. However, fiber cement requires professional installation that can cost as much as the material itself.

Material produced before 1980 may have asbestos, which will require an asbestos abatement contractor. Also it weighs about 2 and a half pounds per square foot, meaning it is very heavy and may crack easily as the building on a new construction settles. Although, once it is installed, it is very durable and resistant to many factors that would destroy other materials, including fire. The price for this type of siding can cost between $4.75 and $9.00 per square foot and the shingles cost between $6.90 to $14.00 per square foot installed and painted.The pre-finished (painted) replacement siding cost is much higher at over $9.85 per square foot. Also, there is a limited amount of colors that are available. 


  • Is likely to last the life of your home
  • Soffits, trim, and fascia are also available in fiber cement
  • Very fire resistant
  • Cracks can be easily patched
  • Very easy maintenance


  • Requires professional installation
  • Very heavy, about 2 ½ pounds per square foot
  • It may crack as the building settles if installed on new construction
  • Cracks easily when struck by impact

Siding Replacement Cost Links: 

DIY Network – Exterior Siding Cost 

Home Advisor – Average Siding Cost 

Angie’s List – Siding Cost Replace

What Is Included In The Cost Of Replacing Siding 

Siding installation can have many variables to the project steps. With that said, most of the projects include the following steps below. These all are included in the siding cost and they are as follows: 

  1. Removal of the old siding including its fasteners sut as nails
  2. Replacing any rotted studs that in need of replacement
  3. Installing a vapor barrier to keep the studs and wall insulation dry
  4. Waterproofing around doors & windows with tape and Z flashing
  5. Installation of the new siding product
  6. Calucking of the new siding areas
  7. Painting of the new siding areas
  8. Hauling away of all the job related degrees

Final Thoughts On Replacement Siding Cost For Your Home 

I hope that this siding replacement cost blog helped you decide on what type of siding fits your needs. Also what siding product you would like on your home. Having this information we know that this siding replacement cost article has made the decision easier on you as there are different prices for each product. Thank you from all of us at, Texas Home Exteriors

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Hurricane Harvey IRS Tax Relief

IRS tax relief for hurricane Harvey victims in the Houston Texas area Hurricane Harvey IRS Tax Relief for Houston Texas 

Would you like longer time to pay on your taxes? If so we have some great news below!

As we all are recovering for this devastating storm, there is some good news from the IRS Tax Relief that is most welcome! This includes delaying the timeframe for filing your taxes. See Green IRS Links Below. 

Hurricane Harvey did an unprecedented amount of flooding damage to our Houston Texas metro area and its neighbors. Many Houston metro area homeowners are still without utility services weeks and some even months after the devastating storm. 

irs building texas hurricane harvey reliefMuch Welcome
IRS Tax Relief 

Here at Texas Home Exteriors we have put this important post together for your viewing. Below are some of the IRS Tax Relief website links for Hurricane Harvey Victims in the greater Houston Texas metro area. Click on each and every one of them as they all have important information. 

Important IRS
Hurricane Harvey Relief Links: 

IRS – Relief In Disaster Situations

IRS – Help Victims Hurricane Harvey

IRS – Tax Relief Hurricane Harvey Texas

Quick Points for IRS Tax Relief for Hurricane Harvey Victims 

  • Longer time is granted to file
  • Waive some fees
  • Phone# 800-829-1040
  • Taxpayers Should Put Assigned Disaster Designation “Texas, Hurricane Harvey”

Better Days Ahead

As they say, after the storm, the sun comes out to shine some relief. Hurricane Harvey has made life most difficult for many homeowners. This has been a devastating blow for Texans. There is a lot of cleanup to do and homes that have been damaged or destroyed. The IRS has posted on its website some welcome and much needed relief for our Houston Texas metro area. 

Final Thoughts On Hurricane Harvey Tax Relief 

In theas helpful website links, you will find the needed information on what the parameters are and what you can now file with the IRS. If you are a Texas homeowner or business owner that has been affected by Hurricane Harvey you will find some much needed tax relief that might apply to you.

If you would like to more information about the IRS Tax Relief and are in need of a good local tax accountant, we would recommend Bill Prince in Katy Texas.  We hope that you have found this IRS Tax Relief for Hurricane Harvey Houston Texas page most helpful so you can your life back in order. Many blessings from all of us here at, Texas Home Exteriors



Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | 2 Comments

Roofing Dormer Types

Many Roofing Dormer Types Home Roofing Dormer Types 

Have you ever wondered about those different roofing dormer types that you see protruding from a roof on a home? Here in this post we will go over the many roofing dormer types and give a brief description of each. 

Intro on Roofing Dormer Types

A roof dormer is a structure that extends your current roof. Often adding space and the possibility of windows. These types of roofs are also a great way to add a little more style to your house. There are many different types of dormer roofs. Each style is different, they look different, have different properties, and are installed different. This article will help you learn about each of these differences and decide on which type of dormer roof you would like for your home. 

Types of Roof Dormers

  • Arched Top 
  • Eyebrow
  • Gabled 
  • Flared Gabled 
  • Pedimented 
  • Shed 
  • Steep Shed
  • Hipped
  • Pyramidal 
  • Recess 
  • Polygonal 
  • Wall Dormer Roof

Arch Top Dormer RoofArched Top Roof Dormer 

The arch top roof dormer style originated from France, it was most often seen in France from 1855 to 1885. The style soon came to America in 1915 and is still seen in a lot of the older houses to this day. This arch top roof protrudes outwards horizontally from a slanting roof to accommodate a window. Its roof is arched and the base meets with the sloping roof. This roof will add creativity to your home and a very unique appealing style.

eyebrow dormer roofEyebrow Roof Dormer

This style of eyebrow roof dormer is most popular in east-coast sea-shore houses. They are mostly used to mimic the look of thatch. The shape of this roof is very different, it mostly looks like a curious eyebrow, hence the name. They also add more of architectural statement then they add head room. Their main focus is to add light to upper stories and are often found with a decorative fan light. The installation of this roof can also be complicated, it all depends on the shape of your current roof. Even so it is a beautiful style.

Gabled Roof DormerGabled Roof Dormer 

This style of gable roof dormer is the most commonly used and is very popular in America. It has a peak at the top, and the base meets with the slanted part of the roof. It mostly represents the shape of a triangle. The reason it is the most commonly used is because it fits with most architectural style. This roof has many pros, such as the ability to shed water and snow. They also add space to attics or vaulted ceilings. There simpler style makes them more affordable and easier to build. However, they can be problematic in places with high winds and hurricane areas. Fun fact, another name for this type is Doghouse Dormer. 

Flared Roof DormerFlared Gable Roof Dormer

Very similar to the original gabled roof, this flared roof dormer has a strong peak and the base meets at the slanted part of the roof. However, at the gable end of this roof it flares out to create shelter for a porch or a balcony. It is most commonly used for shade on windows in a place where it is extremely hot during summers and the sun shines directly in the window. The flared end of the roof dormer can project out up to 24″ or more depending of the needed support further casting a greater shadow and more shade. 

pedimented roof dormerPedimented Roof Dormer 

This pedimented roof dormer is also very similar to gabled roofs, however the details of this roof represent more of a classical architecture. This style originated in ancient Greece, and Rome architecture, it was mostly used for decoration and was almost always held up by pillars. This roof is mostly seen over porches and held by pillars, it adds a fancy touch to any home.

shed roof dormer Shed Roof Dormer 

The shed roof dormer is very different from the roofs we have talked about so far. It only slopes in on direction, towards the front. This roof represents the shape of a freestanding shed, hence the name. The characteristics of this roof is colonial styled and originated in West Europe. This roof is also used to give you more head roof in homes that have slanted roofs that don’t give you much space. It also adds opportunities for more windows. They also look great on houses that are more long then they are wide. While it isn’t the best against snow and rain, it is great against high winded areas.

steep shed roof dormer Steep Shed Roof Dormer 

Often found on mansard type roofs, this steep shed roof dormer sits almost flush against the surrounding roof. It is also meant for very steep roofs and helps give you a little extra head room. While it is a simple style, it can be a great way to add space and extra room for windows. In this case of roof, bigger isn’t better. Most people make the mistake of over extending and creating quite the boxy blemish. This can be avoided if you don’t become greedy with space, and make sure that it doesn’t extend past your already existing roof.

hipped roof dormerHipped Roof Dormer 

In the hipped roof dormer, the hip roof slopes upward on all three sides of its structure. This means there are no vertical ends. The outer angle where all the sides meet is called the hip. This type of roof provides stability and comfort, while also providing utility. The also provide a clean aesthetic look. This type of roof is also stronger in withstanding wind pressure in a hurricane. It is most suitable for the Gulf Coast region in the south east. However, the don’t provide as much space as the gable roof does. This because of their slanting plane on the front hipped roof side. They are also more complex to install, this making them costlier. 

Pyramidal Roof DormerPyramidal Roof Dormer 

This type of roof is very much like a hipped roof, it has no vertical sides, instead all the roof sides slope towards the walls. It is called a pyramid roof dormer because all sides of the roof are equal with the resulting roof, forming a pyramid. There are many advantages that come with this roof such as, improved resistance against high winds, it helps keeps the home cooler because it eaves on all sides, and they look good. There are some disadvantages though, they cost quite a bit due to the increased surface area, they have less space than other styles, and they don’t shed water as well as other roof types.

recessed roof dormersRecess Roof Dormer 

This style of recessed roof dormer sits inside the roof instead of on top of it. It basically looks like the roof is indented and or set back in. This allows the window to be deeper in than they otherwise would have been. It also gives you the option of installing a balcony. A roofing pan is needed to move any water that might collect in the recessed areas out to the roof line. The roofing pan for the recessed dormers can commonly have leaks when not installed correctly. This style can also add a unique look to your home. 

Polygonal Roof Dormer 

Similar to octagons with the back three sides missing. This type of polygonal roof dormer gives you an amazing view, due to the fact it looks out in five different directions. Due to its shape it is a great place to install bay windows, and also a great place to look out in the morning with a cup of coffee (or tea, whatever your preference is). This style can add a great look to your home.

wall roof dormerWall Roof Dormer

This wall roof dormer style isn’t surrounded by the roof, instead they rise from a wall and projects flush up from that wall. Even with this style they can still have any range of dormer roofs added to them. Wall roof dormers are less commonly seen than the typical dormer types, they locate the window flush with the wall plane. They are also not as unique as most styles, but they are less expensive to build, and much easier to install than most dormers.

Reference Roof Dormer Types Links:

This Old House – Dormer Types

Angie’s List – Consider Adding Dormer 

Modernize – Types of Dormers

The Craftsman’s Blog – Types of Dormers  


Closing Thoughts

As you can clearly see, there are many roof dormer types that you can choose for your home. Each one has it’s own distinct style. Having said that, choose wisely what roof dormer is matching and appropriate for your home. We hope that this article was helpful, and gave you some ideas. Thank you from all of us at, Texas Home Exteriors INC. 

Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | 1 Comment

Roof Types

Different Roof Types & Shapes 

If you are like anyone else, you have seen a if not many roofs on a homes in the past.  With all of the roofs that you have seen, they each have their own name and description. Here in this post we will talk about all of the different roof types and how they are built.

Must Shed Water 

Before going into all of the different roof types we want to make sure of one very important thing. One of the main purposes that a roof serves is to shed water. A roof surface should have a pitch or a slope as some may call it. Because a roof has a slope, the water will cascade down towards the ground and off of the roof. Having said that, we will look at all of the different roof types.

Roof Types And Descriptions 

Lean-to roof Lean-To Roof

This is a simple design usually a one sloped roof type that starts at the top being attached to another roof or wall and then sloping down. A lean-to roof is a roof that is added to an existing roof structure. One can say that it is leaning on the existing structure to hold it up hence that is where it got it’s name from.

You will often see these types of roofs when an addition for storage is added to one side of a garage for instance. The lean-to roof style is not a stand alone roof, it leans-to some other structure.  

Gable Roof

Gable Roof

This is by far one of my personal favorite roofing types as it is simple and functional. This type of gable roof consists of two slopes that are of equal size and length. They are usually matching slopes that are nearly identical however they are sloped in the opposite directions from each other.

They start at the top (ridge) and then slope down to the wall edge and or stop at the fascia boards. A gable roof has vertical wall with siding at the two gable ends meaning that there is a peak in the siding wall following the roof up. Steeper gable roofs with a pitch of 9″ on 12″ and above are great for shedding snow loads in cooler climates as snow will often just slide off. 

Hip Roof Hip Roof

A hip roof is a common roof type that you see on many newer homes today. They can be seen on one and two story homes. A hip roof has all it’s angles (sides) slope down to the load bearing exterior walls and often end at the same level.

This roof type starts at a peak, (highest point) and then slopes downward towards the end of its slope at the fascia board where it stops. A hip roof can have valleys if there are several hips with an internal corner meeting at one level fascia. There are no gable ends with a hip roof. 

Dutch Gable Roof Dutch Gable Roof

A dutch gable roof is an interesting combination roof type used commonly one one story homes. The dutch gable roof is in essence a hip roof as it comes down level at the fascia boards with a small gable at the top end of the roof. Often times a gable vent will be installed at the ends to provide ventilation in the attic.

This is a more common roof in warmer climates as it is often lower pitched with a larger soffit overhang ranging in 16 – 24 + inches. This larger overhang (soffit) provides more shade for the windows and walls to keep the home coller. 

Gambrel Barn Roof Gambrel Barn Roof

This is an interesting roof as it is often seen as a barn roof as homes across the U.S. will have a barn with this type of gambrel roof. The term dutch roof is often used here in the states. It has 4 slopes where two of them (the lower) are steep like a mansard and the other two (the uppers) are shallow in angle.

This roof type is similar to a gable roof as it has a vertical wall with siding on the two gable ends but with one other added angle at the top. This type of roof makes for a larger attic space due to the steeper roof acting as a side wall pushing up the attic space making it perfect for barn usage. Most commonly called a barn roof in the U.S. 

mansard roofMansard Roof

A mansard roof unlike the gambrel above has a shallow roof and a much steeper roof combination.  This roof type is similar in that has a shallow pitch angle roof on the top and a steeper roof pitch angle on the bottom. However unlike the roof above, the mansard roof is like a hip in that it comes down on all sides level with the fascia boards.

Sometimes the top upper level roof can not be seen when close to a home with this type of mansard roof. This type of roof also makes for a larger attic space above that can be habitable due to the steeper roof acting as a side wall pushing up the newly created habitable space. The mansard roof has no gable ends. 

Dormer Roof Dormer Roof

A dormer roof is an area that is protruding out of a roofing surface. They will often have a window or door mounted in its front. This is common in a loft or attic space to have a dommer constructed with a window to let in lite and allow for egress (escape) for fire and other purposes.

This doomer roof can also be called a dog house dormer. A dormer roof is a general term. The reason being is the roof on top of the dommer can have many styles (types) to that roof. For Instance, shed, hip, gable, eyebrow etc.  

Shed Roof Shed Roof

This shed roof type is very much like the lean-to roof that we described above. However there is a big difference. The lean-to roof is supported by another structure. The shed roof style is a stand alone roof. It will not need to be attached to another structure.

It is a one sloped roof that is sloped down from one higher end of a wall to the lower end. A shed roof usually has only one sloped surface area.

Helpful Roofing Types and Shapes Links

Roofing Calc – Hip Roof Gable 

Roofing Cost Estimator – 15 Roof Types 

HomeTips – Roof Types Shapes  

MorningChores – Types of Roofs


If you are going to build a home and or a smaller project, we hope that you have found this roof types article helpful. Thank you, from Texas Home Exteriors INC

Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | 4 Comments