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Best materials for a low-maintenance home.

July 21, 2016

  1. Asphalt Shingles. Metal roofing is fire-resistant, and it’s expected to last 40 to 50 years, as opposed to 20 to 30 for an asphalt roof. This option will cost two to three times more than asphalt shingles, but you’ll spend less time repairing and cleaning it, and the roof will outlast the asphalt shingles.
  2. Laminate flooring. This material has come a long way since it was first introduced. Today’s laminate flooring offers an expansive array of realistic grain and color choices. The laminate is protected with a tough plastic layer that resists stains, scratches, and moisture. Unlike hardwood flooring, you will never need to refinish it. Laminate should give you about 25 years of virtually worry-free coverage.
  3. Quartz countertop. Everyone is clamoring for granite. It looks great and lasts a long time. Quartz offers the same beauty, along with the added feature of being resistant to bacteria, scratches, and stains. Unlike granite, you don’t need to reseal your quartz countertop, because the material is non-porous. About 80% of NKBA kitchen and bath designers said they prefer quartz as their top choice, over granite. A quartz countertop should provide lasting beauty with minimal care for 30 or more years.
  4. Fiberglass windows. Vinyl windows are easy-care and provide energy efficiency. Fiberglass is a newcomer to the window industry, but is fast proving to provide major benefits for low maintenance. Fiberglass resembles real wood, and it even looks great painted. The material stands up to extreme temperatures without warping, resists rot and moisture, and provides exceptional insulation. With just occasional cleaning, you can expect your fiberglass windows to last for 15 years or more.
  5. Composite decking. Like siding, composite decking has vastly improved in its quality and appearance. Today’s composite decking has the look and feel of real wood, but doesn’t splinter or fade. So, it doesn’t need refinishing. Just give it a good scrubbing with soap and water every few years. Wood attracts insects, wood rot, mold, and mildew. Composite can resist it all, and look great for 20 to 25 years.
Technology has expanded and improved the choices for low-maintenance home materials. How will you spend the time you save?

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