If you need interior work completed visit our interior division here

Hello Vern!!!

We bought a new-to-us home last year. I’ll be honest- we didn’t find a perfect fit…and we want to make some changes.

The roof is ok- but it was put on in 2007. My husband wants to build a deck now so we can start enjoying it with our kids…meanwhile, the siding on the back is completely sun weathered and cracked. 

How do we make a plan to get these improvements done at a pace we can afford- but not put the cart before the horse?


Kelly from Pinewood, PA

Hey Kelly, thanks for reaching out!

A lot of folks are in your same situation. The housing market is a seller’s market right now- and that means more people are buying homes that don’t check off all the “dream house” details on their list. 

You want to care for your new investment. But you’ve also just spent money on a new house …and you have to make improvements while living in it and caring for your family!

I know you want to jump right into those wonderful cosmetic improvements, but it sounds like the home you bought might need some serious shore-up first to keep your house in good shape for protecting you from the weather. That new deck won’t do you any good if your roof starts leaking, right?

That’s why I’d recommend saving cosmetic repairs and fun add-ons for a later year. 

Based on your message, it sounds like the roof and siding are both major areas of concern. Let’s talk about major signs of damage vs cosmetic issues and how you can identify these on your own. 

But for a real, personalized assessment of your specific home? Give us a call at 570-345-0436 so we can take a look at it- and give you solid insight into how your roof and siding are holding up. 

All right- so is it possible for you to tell if your roof and siding are just a little old and worn vs. in critical condition? There are signs you can check for! 

First, let’s talk about your roof. 

How to Assess Your Roof’s Condition and Damage

Your roof works hard to protect your home- especially against the rain and snow here in Schuylkill County. If it’s compromised, it can lead to a whole host of problems. 

So grab your ladder, and check for:

  • Bald spots in the granules
  • Curled or cracked shingles
  • Dark stains or discoloration (See the photo below) 

Before Renovation- stains on roof

If your roof is clear of these issues you can hold off on the replacement. Your roof was installed in 2007, so it’s coming up on its 15th birthday. A solid asphalt shingle roof that’s been installed with proper ventilation can last up to 30 years. So it’s possible you can hold off for another 5-10 years before you need to address your roof. 

If you do see damage? Don’t panic. There may be some good news for you, too: 

If you’re the first subsequent buyer of the home, the original roof warranty might carry over to you. This is something you’ll have to contact your insurance company about but it’s worth looking into! 

Based on your message, it sounds like your roof can hold out. Which- depending on your home improvement budget- might get your husband closer to that deck he’s wanting. 

But first- let’s talk about your siding. 

Your Siding: Cosmetic or Cause for Concern? 

Home Siding

For homeowners, siding damage is much easier to spot than roofing damage. Last week, my wife Jenny talked about different kinds of siding damage and how to spot them. Let’s cover some of what she talked about. 

Walk around your home and look for discoloration and dents. 

Noticed staining or discoloration? Unless it’s red tinted, it’s not harming your home. Fading comes from prolonged sun exposure and green stains are algae growth. (You can read more about clearing algae here.

Red stains are a warning sign of water damage…but not to your siding. This stainage is actually caused by water damage to your roof. Water trapped in your roof mixes with tannins and the under sheathing to create an awful rust color. 

If you see red stains on your vinyl? It’s time to call a pro. 

Next, check for dents. 

Much like stains, not every dent is a problem. But if the dents puncture through your siding? It needs to be replaced ASAP. These holes allow water and critters access to your home. 

Last, look for siding peeling from your home or cracks in the exterior. These two are signs of extreme damage. If you aren’t sure, always call a professional to come out and check. 

If your siding and roof are just faded, refreshing either (or both!) can go a long way in both protecting your home and making it feel more personal to you as a homeowner. Some homeowners like to get these big ticket installations out of the way first so they have the peace of mind knowing they won’t need to worry about it for the next several decades. 

But if you’re dreaming of spending time on that deck? You may be able to hold off.

The best way to make a good plan for you and your home is to call us. 

Ready to Start Repairing Your Home? 

Whether you finished these checks and still feel unsure, or both your roof and siding are showing damage- we can help.

Our team can identify damage and assess what’s an immediate concern vs. what can be dealt with down the road. We’ve been repairing homes in Schuylkill County for decades, and would love to help protect your home. 

When you work with us, you never have to worry about upsells on costly (and unnecessary) fixes. Call us at 570-345-0436 to schedule a time for us to come out and take a look.

And Kelly, even if this isn’t the summer for your dream deck, we’d love to help you plan for next year! Get inspired by one of these deck designs, and our in-house architect will draw up the design in time for Summer 2023. 

Until then, 

Vern Martin