FAQ


Siding
  1. How does siding compare with other home exterior materials?
  2. What can be done to improve the appearance and durability of my home's exterior?
  3. Isn't it less costly to just repaint my home?
  4. Why is vinyl siding such a popular choice?
  5. How does the cost of new siding compare to the added resale value it provides?
  6. What exterior design options do I have with new siding?
  7. What accessories and trim are available?
  8. My home is partially brick and partially wood siding.  Can I still use viny siding?
  9. How do I choose a reputable contractor?
  10. How do I maintain my siding?
  11. Is one season better than another to have my new siding installed?
Windows
  1. What are various windows made of and what will work best for me?
  2. Is there any difference in how windows are made?
  3. Can I replace my old windows with different styles or types?
  4. Aren't all window manufacturers essentially the same?
  5. What about strength, protection and noise reduction?
  6. Do Gentek windows require much maintenance?
  7. I have been reading about different test results on windows.  How should this impact my buying decisions?
  8. What is more important in saving energy, the frame or the glass?
  9. What energy-saving options should I know about?
  10. What is the Energy Star® Program?
  11. Will Gentek windows be a good investment?
  12. Aren't all window warranties the same?

Siding FAQs


1.  How does siding compare with other home exterior materials?

When compared to wood, brick, stone and stucco, siding can provide several advantages in terms of maintenance costs, appearance, durability and value.

Gentek offers a broad range of sidings in vinyl, steel and aluminum, so you can choose the style and finish that best suits your home and climate area. Siding beautifully combines the classic appeal of a freshly painted wood with high-performance materials that are easy to maintain. Built weather-tough, Gentek siding won't chip, peel, or rot like painted wood and requires very minimal upkeep. Just rinse occasionally with a garden hose to restore the siding's like-new beauty. With a variety of materials, profile designs, textures and colors to choose from, you can design a beautiful home exterior that will stand the test of time.  

In addition, Gentek sidings are backed by strong lifetime limited warranties*--further assurance you have made an excellent selection for your home.  

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2.  What can be done to improve the appearance and durability of my home's exterior?

Perhaps you are tired of dealing with peeling paint and rotting clapboards. And you wonder, "Will another coat of paint really hide the weather-worn condition of my wood siding? And even if it can, is it worth the cost?" Or maybe you're thinking about replacing warped hardboard siding...or getting rid of dated asphalt or asbestos siding...or eliminating old dented metal siding...or giving a fresh, contemporary look to masonry walls.

New siding from Gentek can lend an elegant finish to your home while also reducing upkeep and annual maintenance. For nearly 50 years, Gentek has been helping millions of Americans create homes that match their dreams and fit their budgets. And with a full range of siding, soffit, fascia, trim and decorative accessories, we have everything you need to design a beautiful finish for your home.

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3.  Isn't it less costly to just repaint my home?

If you plan to move within the next three years, the answer is probably "yes." But if you plan to stay in your home longer than that, the calculations begin to heavily favor new siding.

Of course, if your home has special problems - for example, warped clapboards that have to be replaced or lead-based paint that has to be scraped and sanded off - the cost of painting can become truly staggering.

New siding for your home can be a smart investment. For example, according to Remodeling magazine's "2009 - 10 Cost vs. Value Report," the national average of the cost recouped for vinyl siding is 79.9% for midrange projects. 

Compare the ongoing costs of painting every three to five years to a one-time investment in siding. For most homeowners the conclusion is obvious - new siding can offer better long-term value.

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4.  Why is vinyl siding such a popular choice?

Vinyl siding's outstanding features and benefits have made it the most popular siding material in America today. And because vinyl is the preferred siding for more and more homeowners, it retains most of its installed cost (see information above).  It's the material of choice on new luxury homes...and the first choice for remodeling projects large and small.

Gentek offers a broad range of vinyl siding products to fit every design and budget. Choose from a variety of profiles in Dutch Lap, Clapboard, and Board and Batten with textured finishes and a wide array of colors, including classic hues, variegated and darker Designer Colors.  

You'll also appreciate vinyl siding's easy-care upkeep.  Durable and dent-resistant, each vinyl panel is solid color through and through, so it never needs painting or staining. Vinyl siding won't chip, peel, dent or rot, so you can forget costly repairs and time-consuming maintenance.  Just rinse occasionally with a garden hose to restore the siding's like-new beauty.

For added peace of mind, Gentek vinyl sidings are backed by strong lifetime limited warranties,* ensuring excellent quality and value for your home.

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5.  How does the cost of new siding compare to the added resale value it provides?

In terms of adding resale value to your home, new siding can be one of the smartest investments you can make.  In a previous annual survey of project cost versus added value, Remodeling magazine said that "...the highest payback comes from projects that give an older home the same features that have become standard in new homes."

Exterior improvements such as the installation of new siding also make a home more attractive on the market. According to a real estate agent interviewed by Remodeling, "Things like new siding and new windows will not add dollar for dollar value...(but) they will cause the house to sell quicker for more money."

Choosing insulated siding for your home can add even greater value and market appeal, because it enhances thermal performance and energy savings, as well as softens outside noise for a quieter home.

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6.  What exterior design options do I have with new siding?

Siding is one of the most versatile exterior design products you can work with. Gentek offers many different siding lines in vinyl, steel and aluminum, along with shakes and scallops constructed in high-performance polypropylene. This broad selection lets you choose from a wide variety of panel designs in Dutch Lap, Clapboard, Board and Batten, and Vertical V-Groove with smooth and woodgrain textures and a host of color options.

Not sure of the design you want? Just check out the many styles available on our website or ask your Gentek sales representative about MyDesign Home Studio. This creative, interactive program takes the guesswork out of designing a home exterior by showing you a variety of color schemes with a click of a mouse.

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7.  What accessories and trim are available?

When you design the exterior of your home, you'll want to consider more than just siding. You'll need trim for windows and doors, and at inside and outside corners. You also may want new soffit and fascia to lend a pristine finish to rooflines, overhangs and other hard-to-reach areas of your home.  

Gentek has everything you need to give your home a flawless finish.  Standard trim components let you merge siding and trim areas together to create a balanced, uniform look. To take your exterior design a step further, choose from our TrimEssentials by Gentek collection of decorative accents to add dimension and style to windows, doorways, corners, gables and more. Each accent may be small inpidually, but together they create a truly transformative effect.

Gentek also offers expertly crafted replacement windows and patio doors. Ask your contractor about the full selection of Gentek products for all of your home improvement plans.

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8.  My home is partially brick and partially wood siding. Can I still use vinyl siding?

Yes, vinyl siding is extremely versatile and can be used with just about any exterior building material - brick, cinder block, even natural logs and field stones.

If you have special installation concerns - such as running vinyl siding along a natural stone chimney, for example - talk to your contractor. It's likely that he has handled a similar installation in the past. If he hasn't, he can contact a Gentek technical specialist for detailed installation instructions. Gentek takes pride in backing its products and service with the full faith of nearly 50 years of industry expertise.  

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9.  How do I choose a reputable contractor?

First and foremost, make an informed decision. Require references and look at previous work. Word-of-mouth recommendations from neighbors or friends who have recently re-sided their houses are an excellent start. You may also want to ask about liability insurance, customer satisfaction policies and professional credentials.

The relationship you have with your contractor is extremely important. Choose someone whose skills you trust, someone qualified to perform the task required, and someone you can work with comfortably.

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10.  How do I maintain my siding?

It's simple.  There really is no maintenance, just occasional cleaning.

Ordinarily, the cleaning action of a rainfall will be adequate to wash your siding. However, siding and soffit should be washed periodically by rinsing with a garden hose and clear water, particularly in those areas not exposed directly to rain. If you desire to do a more thorough cleaning, or where high soil collection conditions occur, use a soft-bristled, long-handled washing brush. It attaches to your garden hose and makes washing your siding easier.

Do not rub vigorously. This may create glossy areas over the siding finish. For hard-to-remove dirt, such as soot and grime found in industrial areas, wipe the siding down with a solution that's recommended by the manufacturer. If you wash the entire house, start at the bottom and work up to the top, as less streaking will result. It is important that immediately following all washing operations, the entire surface be thoroughly rinsed with fresh water from a garden hose.

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11.  Is one season better than another to have my new siding installed?

Not really. You can have your siding installed in any season, as your schedule and budget allow. But keep in mind that some contractors are more available during the off-seasons. Regardless of when you have your new siding installed, you'll appreciate the immediate benefits of improved appearance, as well as the long-term enjoyment of durability and easy maintenance.

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Windows FAQs


1.  What are various windows made of and what will work best for me?

Basically there are three types of material used. Aluminum windows, with their easily scratched painted surfaces, conduct both heat and cold, so they're very poor insulators. Wood windows, which require constant painting and caulking, can absorb moisture, making them difficult to open and close. They can even rot. Gentek's solid vinyl windows, however, never need painting and won't show scratches, because the color goes throughout the material. This is why vinyl windows are quickly becoming the most popular choice for both new construction and replacement applications.

Gentek vinyl replacement windows are custom-made to the precise measurement of your window openings. This is a significant advantage over "ready-made" or stock windows, which are adjusted to fit your home, thus compromising the energy efficiency and appearance. Stock-sized windows also may require extensive carpentry work both inside and outside your house, which can be costly and inconvenient. Gentek custom-sized windows are meticulously crafted to beautify your home while ensuring a weathertight fit.

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2.  Is there any difference in how windows are made?

There are two basic types of construction:  mechanically fastened windows that are screwed together at the corners, and welded windows that use a chemical or heat process for joining corners. Gentek produces both types. Our welded windows utilize state-of-the-art welding technology and equipment to ensure superior strength and durability. Our mechanically fastened windows feature a unique overlap corner design for extra strength; beware of windows with mitered corners screwed together or chemically welded corners, as they probably won't perform as well for you.

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3.  Can I replace my old windows with different styles or types?

Yes, and Gentek offers a full selection of window styles and configurations to let you design the ideal system for your home. Choose from single hung, double hung, sliding, casement, awning, bay and bow, garden, picture and specialty shape windows, along with patio doors. You may want to consult an independent design specialist to determine the window system that best complements your home's architectural design.  

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4.  Aren't all window manufacturers essentially the same?

Not at all. Many companies buy their parts and glass from various outside sources. At Gentek, we extrude most of our own parts from the raw vinyl resin ourselves.

You should also know that although a lot of manufacturers claim their windows are American-made, many in fact may be imported from Canada and other foreign countries. We're proud to say that every Gentek window is manufactured right here in the U.S.A.

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5.  What about strength, protection and noise reduction?

You should look for a window that offers both superior strength and energy efficiency. Gentek's computer-controlled process ensures a perfectly square window sash and mainframe with superior strength. And for exceptional energy efficiency, a full interlock at the meeting rail helps protect your home against the elements, or unwanted intrusions. In addition, our insulating glass unit traps dry air, creating an exceptional comfort barrier.

Moreover, homeowners with Gentek windows say there's a noticeable reduction in the amount of noise that enters their homes. A full interlock system at the point where upper and lower sashes meet helps stop air infiltration while providing an additional barrier against unwanted intrusions.

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6.  Do Gentek windows require much maintenance?

Because our frames and sashes are made of vinyl, you can say goodbye to painting and caulking. Gentek windows won't stick, and there's no need to remove storm windows in order to clean them. In fact, for many window styles you can easily clean your windows from inside your home.  An occasional wipe with a damp cloth will keep your windows looking like new for years to come.

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7.  I have been reading about different test results on windows. How should this impact my buying decisions?

Be careful when looking at extremely specific results since many of them do not really indicate how well the window will work for you. Some apply to just certain parts of the window, like the glass and its R-value, and do not give an overall picture. Tested in nationally certified labs and our own modern test facility, Gentek windows are engineered to provide the optimum in energy savings and are monitored by the National Fenestration Rating Council.

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8.  What is more important in saving energy, the frame or the glass?

Since 80% of a window is glass, real heating and cooling savings come from what is known as "improved glass performance," not a high R-value on the frame. Gentek uses the latest technology, known as a warm-edge spacer system. This spacer system helps to improve the performance and the longevity of the insulated glass unit and is standard on all Gentek windows.

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9.  What energy-saving options should I know about?

You should give careful consideration to Gentek's BarrierXP® insulated glass package, featuring Low-E glass and argon gas, along with the PPG Intercept Warm-Edge Spacer System. Low-E glass is an excellent barrier against ultraviolet rays which fade carpet, furniture, draperies, and even woodwork. Argon gas is colorless, odorless, nonflammable, nontoxic, and above all, a safe, inert gas that is heavier than air. Not only does argon gas help to increase the energy efficiency of a window, it helps to make your home quieter as well.  

Many Gentek windows upgraded with a BarrierXP insulated glass package meet the latest ENERGY STAR® requirements. Consult your window professional for the optimal glass package required for your home and climate zone.

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10.  What is the ENERGY STAR® Program?

The ENERGY STAR program was created by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers recognize energy-efficient products. This program also promotes the environmental and economic benefits of these products through the ENERGY STAR label and other program activities.

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11.  Will Gentek windows be a good investment?

Yes, for a variety of reasons. First, you may realize savings on your heating and cooling bills. Second, they're virtually maintenance-free, which eliminates painting costs. And finally, the transferability of one of the strongest warranties in the business may likely add to the resale value of your home.

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12.  Aren't all window warranties the same?

No, and there are as many warranties as there are window manufacturers. Some brand name factory warranties cover just the sash and frame.  The rest is left up to the local fabricator who may or may not cover it. Your warranty is only as good as the company behind it. With Gentek, your unit is warranted from the extrusion and parts to the glass and construction by our Lifetime Limited Warranty,* with transferability provisions. It's one of the most comprehensive available, just what you'd expect from an industry leader.

*See printed warranty for complete details.

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