SGC Knowledge Center
The Federal Energy Tax Credits changed for 2011. For a full explanation on how you can benefit from the new energy tax credits, click here.
As part of the Stimulus Package passed by Congress in 2009, certain home exterior products that increase a home’s energy efficiency qualified for an energy tax rebate of 30 percent (up to $1,500) of the cost of the products you chose for your home—including windows, doors and drop-back insulation for siding. These tax credits expired December 31, 2010.
- Click here for full detail on the products that qualify for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (expiring December 31, 2010)
- Click here for the forms and documentation you need to claim your Federal Energy Tax Credit (expiring December 31, 2010).
Spring: Nature is in bloom. Maple trees, pine trees, and most every other tree ‘buds’ out. Shells and husks shower your home’s roof. Silver maple ‘helicopter’ seeds spin and flutter. Cottonwood seeds look like popcorn in the air. Add spring showers, strong rains and blustery winds and the debris begins collecting on your roof and in your gutters.
Spring is a great time to take a look at how your gutters fared over the winter. Did ice build up on your roof edge or storms pull the gutter and flashing away from your home? How is water flowing through your guttering system? Is it flowing in the right direction once it exits the downspouts—directed away from places it can cause harm?
What about water discharge? Are your gutters and downspouts clogged with debris? Does the gutter move the water quickly to prevent overflow? If you consistently need to clean out your gutters, or if the gutter is sagging or back pitched, Spring is a prime time to correct gutter flow and install gutter covers—a safe alternative to gutter cleaning, the ladders they require, and the high risk chore that can disrupt your family life forever.
- Exterior Projects to Consider in Spring:
- New gutters, high capacity downspout and gutter cover
- Insulated, energy-efficient and maintenance-free siding for the coming hot months
- Vinyl or fiberglass replacement windows that help keep your home cool and function easily when you need to clean them or enjoy the fresh spring air.
- Fiberglass, steel or wood entry door(s) for added curb appeal, energy efficiency, and security
- Easy moving, easy-to-clean, clear view sliding or swinging patio doors for quick access to outdoor entertaining
- Install a rain barrel to capture Spring showers for watering the lawn and garden. You’ll save on your water bills and your landscape will benefit from the ionized water only nature can provide.
Summer: We all look forward to warm weather. And while we try to find ways to beat the heat, your home is actually taking a beating from the heat (expansion-contraction), sun (damaging ultraviolet rays) and other elements of Summer—including violent, hail-damaging storms.
The 92 days of Summer are a great time to get your big projects completed. If you’ve been thinking of giving your home a whole new look to add to its curb appeal and energy efficiency, new siding, insulation and weather resistant barrier can really make a difference to your energy bill. Siding comes in many different colors, profiles and materials that make it a smart choice for any homeowner who wants lower maintenance requirements and higher market value for their property.
In addition, you may want to consider new and coordinating architectural trim for extra character and visual distinction. Today, technological advances in building materials make any type of trim work possible, from new shutters and window boxes to corbels and gingerbread cutouts. Moldings, mantles, header details, ledger boards and decorative venting options can make your home’s exterior interesting and maintenance free.
- Exterior Projects to Consider in Summer:
- New insulated and energy-efficient siding and coordinating trim
- Vinyl or fiberglass replacement windows to keep the air conditioning in your home
- Fiberglass, steel or wood entry doors. Vinyl or fiberglass patio doors for ease-of-use and energy efficiency
- New guttering systems to keep rainwater flowing away from your home’s foundation
- Install a rain barrel to capture rain for watering landscape (and save on your water bills!)
Fall: The kids are back in school. Your routine is back in business. With Summer behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the coming months that can take their toll on our homes. Now is the best time to consider new doors and windows. It’s been a while since that winter wind sent chills through your rooms—and you vowed you’d replace them “next year.” Well, the time has come!
Replacement window selection is better than ever—with vinyl, fiberglass and wood being the most popular choices for homeowners. Easy to operate, easy to clean, replacement windows can feature a range of “grille” patterns as well as color choices that will best reflect your home’s unique architecture. New low-e, double pane glass and sturdy insulated frames help you save money on your energy bills by keeping the extreme temperatures outside and the climate controlled environment you want inside your home. And now with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, you can get an energy tax credit that will defray some of the purchase price costs—which means even greater savings. And while you’re tightening up on your energy efficiency, take a look at installing matching or coordinating patio doors or entryway systems—which may also qualify for an energy tax credit!
Now is also a good time to double-check your guttering system functionality. Make sure they are running clear and that no debris is caught in your downspouts, which will really make Winter freezes hazardous. Take a look at several options of gutter covers available to keep fall leaves and branches from clogging your gutters and downspouts.
And one last check: Make sure your soffit, fascia, gutters and siding are all securely attached to your home. The weight of winter snow, ice and high winds can cause damage to loose pieces.
- Exterior Projects to Consider in Fall:
- Vinyl or fiberglass replacement windows to keep comfort inside your home
- Fiberglass, steel or wood entry door or vinyl or fiberglass patio doors for added curb appeal and energy efficiency
- New guttering systems and gutter covers to keep rainwater flowing away from your home’s foundation
- New insulated and energy-efficient siding, coordinating trim and weather resistant barrier.
Winter: Frigid cold, snow and the holidays may have you feeling like taking a “long winter’s nap,” but the season gives us a chance to look at some major issues on our home’s exterior that can cause problems the whole year through. One of the biggest complaints homeowners have with winter weather is ice damming on their roofs, spilling over and causing gutter, fascia and soffit damage.
Ice damming is caused when heat rises into the home’s attic and causes snow on the roof to melt. The outside temperature causes the melt to freeze quickly on the cold metal of the gutters and gutter covers. The build-up and overflow of water causes large icicles to form, and the dripping of water as the temperatures warm increases the likelihood that dangerous ice can spread over walkways, stairs and driveways. Large icicles are heavy and can pull gutters away from the home. Additional leaching water can find its way under roof shingles and behind fascia, finding a path inside your home and ruining finishes. The possibility of electrical hazard and fire arises. Trapped water can cause additional damage to wood supports by rotting them or growing mold—which can spread throughout a home causing potential health concerns.
There are short-term and long-term ways to address ice damming. Most solutions include the risk of injury in setting-up ladders on frozen, icy ground to access the slick and sloped frozen trouble area. In the short term, you can rake the snow off your roof edges to prevent build-up. You can chisel off large and dangerous areas of ice. You can also fill a pair of ladies hosiery with calcium chloride/ snow melt and lay it across the dam, causing an outlet for snow and ice to run down and off the roof. Long-term solutions involve proper insulation and ventilation of your home’s attic. Download more information about ice damming here.
A quarter inch of rain falling on the average home yields over 200 gallons of water. Capture this valuable resource with an environmentally friendly rain barrel from SGC Exteriors and the Conservation Foundation.
SGC Exteriors (also known as Seamless Gutter Corp.) and the Naperville-based nonprofit The Conservation Foundation have teamed-up to make rain barrels available to area residents. The rain barrels come in two sizes—a 75 gallon capacity model with an integrated planter and a 55 gallon recycled food grade barrel—and will be sold through SGC Exteriors. The rain barrels come in different colors, depending on type, ranging from sandstone and terra cotta for the 75 gallon, to black and brick for the 55 gallon.
Collected rainwater is beneficial to plants and grass because it contains none of the chlorine or other chemicals used in water treatment facilities. This pure water helps landscapes and gardens to grow more robustly. Also by collecting rainwater, you can save greatly on your water bill while keeping runoff out of storm sewers that can back-up into your basement and pollute local streams and rivers.