Are Boxelder Bugs Appearing on Your Siding?

boxelder bugs on sidingThe Pacific Northwest is home to countless species of bugs. One such critter is the boxelder. These bugs like to hang around residences, and especially on the siding. We’ll explain why boxelders live on siding and whether this is a cause for alarm.

What Are Boxelders bugs?

Adult boxelder bugs are about half an inch in length. You can identify them by their black wings with reddish stripes. As suggested in their name, these pests feed off of seed pods from the boxelder tree.

Do you have a boxelder tree in your yard? If so, you can expect boxelder bugs to be close by. While they may take refuge inside the tree, they may also establish camp in crevices in your siding. You may not really see them in winter, but expect them to surface come spring. Continue Reading →

Boost Curb Appeal with Lap Siding

lap sidingSiding has such a big visual impact on a home’s exterior. Choices abound with regards to siding selection. Lap siding is one option that is gaining a lot of popularity. We’ll go over the three primary styles of lap siding and explain how they contribute to your property’s curb appeal.

Horizontal Dutch Lap Siding

This is the most common variety and is also known as clapboard siding. The planks are slightly thicker at the bottom than they are at the top. They overlap from the top downward. Many homeowners appreciate the look, though the overlap is actually designed for creating a watertight seal to prevent water seepage.

Horizontal lap siding is actually a mainstay in country and beach homes. Keep this in mind if you’re aiming for a non-contemporary design. Continue Reading →

Bay or Garden Windows: What’s The Difference?

Bay or Garden WindowsIn our April post, we discussed the difference between bay and bow windows. The variety extends beyond those two options. This time, we want you to learn whether bay or garden windows are right for you. Both styles would be an excellent addition to a home renovation.

Bayor Garden Windows: The Choice

Bay and garden windows are similar in appearance. Homeowners who are familiar with the two terms often use them interchangeably. However, the two have a structural difference. Both protrude outward, creating a window seat or space for décor. The angle, though, differs.

Bay Window

Bay windows consist of a center fixed window with smaller windows on the side. The side windows are usually casement, double-hung, or another openable window style. Carpenters install windows outward at a 90-degree, square-shaped angle. Continue Reading →

Windows and Siding Replacement Yields High ROI

windows and siding ROIWhen it comes to home improvement projects, homeowners often give precedence to factors like aesthetics and comfort. Don’t forget, though, that there’s also a financial component that you must take into consideration. Most residents and business owners don’t realize that windows and siding replacement have a high ROI, or return on investment.

The Report at a Glance

According to the 2015 Cost Vs Value Report, windows and siding have among the highest ROI in the Pacific Coast states when it comes to remodeling projects. Vinyl window replacement has a 90.5% ROI. Wood windows, while more expensive, have a slightly higher ROI at 95.4%. This is slightly higher compared to the national average ROI of 72.9% and 78.8% respectively. Continue Reading →

Why Window Screens Are Just as Important as Windows

window screensSturdy, high-quality windows are important. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give equal attention to the mesh window screens. The screens have far more benefits than just keeping out houseflies and the occasional wasp.

4 Reasons Window Screens Are Important

1. Curb Appeal

A ripped window screen makes the house look unmaintained. Most real estate agents urge home sellers to replace any ripped screens. Replacing window screens is easily affordable and improves exterior appeal. This goes hand-in-hand with siding replacement, which we also recommend before putting your home on the market. Continue Reading →

Select a Home Siding Color Based on the Surroundings

home siding colorChoosing a siding style (e.g. vinyl, steel, fiber cement) is the hard part. Once you’ve made a decision, you can proceed to the fun part: selecting a home siding color. We believe color selection should complement the immediate surroundings.

Complement the Roof Color

What color is your roof? If it’s dark, then we recommend a lighter home siding color for some contrast and balance. You can also choose a tone-on-tone color scheme, where you select a palette a shade or two lighter than the roof color.

Aside from the roof, you can also look at some of the smaller components, such as the shutters or trim around the windows. You can go neutral on the siding and use an accent color for these smaller areas.

Look at the Landscape

Do colorful shrubbery, trees, and flowers dot your lawn? If your landscape incorporates all the colors of the rainbow, then we recommend a neutral color for the siding. A bright or bold siding color combined with a colorful lawn could overwhelm the eyes. Continue Reading →

Steel Siding: A Durable Yet Often Overlooked Siding

Steel SidingSteel siding is the red-headed stepchild of siding. We believe this is simply due to homeowners’ not being aware of steel siding as an option. Vinyl and wood siding, after all, are far more common. We believe it’s our obligation to give steel siding some love by outlining its many benefits.

Benefits of Steel Siding

Steel siding is beneficial for one simple reason: it’s super tough and durable. Metal is much more resistant to dents, bumps, and dings. This includes resistance to insects. Of course, rusting is always an issue, though you can easily prevent this with a coat of protective paint. Some homeowners even actually prefer a bit of rusting because it gives off a rustic barn-style appearance.


Some homeowners think of the texture of stainless steel appliances when it comes to steel siding. People think, therefore, that steel is too industrial in appearance. However, with today’s technology, steel siding can easily mimic the texture of wood, stone, or other natural materials. Continue Reading →

Can Low-E Windows Damage Your Neighbor’s Home?

Low-E GlassWe spoke at length about the benefits of low e-glass in a previous post. However, we must discuss a rumor spreading online regarding energy efficient windows. Apparently, some people suspect that low-e glass may damage a neighboring home. We’ll go over the rumor and whether it’s true.

The Rumor Explained

The buzz is that low-e glass may damage a neighbor’s siding, causing it to warp. This especially occurs in the summer as barometric changes cause low-e windows to bow inwards and reflect sunlight. The window essentially becomes a magnifying glass that casts sunrays in a laser-beam-like focus. If your neighbor’s home is directly in front of the window, then it absorbs the heat. The temperature from magnified heat can exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Vinyl siding begins to warp at around 165 degrees. Continue Reading →

Vinyl Vs Wood Siding: Which Is Preferable?

vinyl vs wood sidingVinyl vs wooden siding. As siding installers, we can provide either. Of course, we provide other types as well, such as cement, masonry, and cultured stone siding. However, this post will specifically focus on vinyl and wood since those two are the most common. Which option is better for your type of home?

Vinyl vs Wood Siding: The Pros and Cons

We’ll start with vinyl. This is the most common siding and the one we install most frequently for Spokane Valley residences. The reason vinyl siding is so common is simple: it’s affordable yet durable. Vinyl is also relatively maintenance-free beyond the occasional washing, which we discussed in our December post.

With vinyl, you also have plenty of color options, ranging from the typical neutral colors to the more daring and bold hues.

What about wood siding? Vinyl is attractive in its own right. But, wood has an unrivaled, organic and natural beauty to it. It gives the home a rustic and log cabin look, while retaining a sense of modernity. This is especially the case when complemented with new windows. Wood, however, does require periodic staining. It also requires precautionary measures to prevent the growth of algae and mold. Wood is also a bigger investment. Continue Reading →

Enlarge a Room with Bay or Bow Windows

bay or bow windowsMany homeowners are turning to renovating strategies for making certain rooms appear larger than they are. This is the best solution, short of physically expanding the house, which is beyond the budget of most property owners. One simple way to create the perception of a larger living space is the addition of bay or bow windows.

What Are Bay and Bow Windows?

Bay and Bow windows are similar in design and both protrude from the main wall of the home. This also provides additional windowsill space to use for décor items or as a makeshift seating area. Bay and bow windows are similar in appearance and structure, though they differ in the following manner:

  • Bay windows have three angled windowpanes, vs four to five for a bow window
  • Bow windows are more curved and semi-circular, while bay windows have sharper corners between panes.
  • A bay window’s sharper angles are more suitable for contemporary homes, while bow windows are a better fit for Victorian-inspired designs. Both styles also complement nicely with horizontal or vertical siding.

Both window styles add depth and dimension to an otherwise small room. The addition of new windows also makes the space appear brighter. Old, clouded window panes inhibit light penetration. This makes the room darker, causing the space to feel smaller.

Other Ways to Create an Illusion of More Space

You can also make a few other simple adjustments besides the addition of bay or bow windows. Consider furniture with concealed storage compartments. You should also stick to neutral colors as much as possible. Too many bold colors can make a space feel compact.

We’ll Grace Your Home with New Windows

Look up our gallery to see the many types of windows we have installed for various Spokane Valley homes. Exteriors Unlimited will install bay or bow windows to help your home achieve a spacious interior appearance.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

New Window Installation for a Roomier Living Space

Serving Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, Cheney, Sprague, Reardan, Spangle, Rockford, Fairfield, Edwall, Ford, Clayton, Deer Park, Colbert, Chattaroy, Mead, Airway Heights, Davenport, Ritzville, Nine Mill Falls, Rosalia, Oakdale, Tekoa, Colfax, St. John, and Endicott Springdale, Elk, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene since 1984