work with your contractor

Working Effectively With Your Remodeler on Major Renovations

A major remodeling project can seem overwhelming, which is why it’s best to hire an experienced professional to help you through the process. Working well with a professional remodeler, however, also requires a good deal of effort. You can’t just put a project on auto-pilot and assume it will magically become the remodel you have envisioned. Communication is key, along with a few additional insider tricks.


The remodeling process should start with giving your contractor a clear understanding of the results you want to achieve with your project. Stewart Herman, a homeowner in Minneapolis who worked with SALA Architects to complete an award-winning remodel of his Victorian home, advises, “Make sure you articulate what you want; your remodeler needs guidance from you.” Herman also recommends becoming familiar with remodeling options and industry lingo. “Educate yourself,” he says. “Learn the basics of what is being done so you can express an intelligent opinion about what you want.”

In addition to verbally describing to your contractor what you want to achieve, put those ideas in writing for reference. Pictures, images and other visuals can also be a great way to communicate your wishes to your contractor. Check out Houzz and the LP® SmartSide® gallery for images to show your contractor so he can see what you want done.


Before starting a project, work with your contractor to establish clear lines of communication: phone numbers for calling and texting, as well as email addresses. While your contractor is juggling multiple clients and may not be able to return your calls immediately, it’s reasonable to expect any inquiries to be returned within a day. You should follow the same guideline. Your contractor should care about the details of your remodeling project and not seem bothered when you call him.

Setting Limits

Yes, your contractor will have the run of those areas that are being remodeled, but that doesn’t mean workers can go anywhere they please. Let your contractor know which areas of your home are off-limits. Decide before the project begins whether workers will be allowed to use your bathroom. A guest bathroom or powder room can be a good option for workers to use during a remodeling project if needed.


Contractors will generally schedule their work around your schedule, but don’t expect to disappear for long periods of time. Herman advises staying actively involved with the project. “I made 50 roundtrips from Fargo to keep in touch with this project – 25,000 miles of commuting – because my general contractor told me I needed to be down in Minneapolis every two weeks. He was right. Being in frequent touch kept misunderstandings from getting entrenched.”

Trust Your Remodeler

Be open to material suggestions from your contractor that you may not be aware of. Herman’s Victorian features sustainable LP SmartSide trim and siding, a recommendation from his contractor that he admits he was initially unsure about. “I was worried about the material, because I have seen pressboard siding absorb moisture and fall apart,” explains Herman. “But once I learned that SmartSide products are made by using extreme heat and pressure with resins and the SmartGuard® process, I stopped worrying.”

For more information on using LP SmartSide products for your home remodeling project, find an LP BuildSmart™ Preferred Contractor in your area.

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lap siding

Siding That Stands Up to Summer Wear & Tear

For many Americans, summer means getting out and enjoying the backyard. It means barbeques, baseball games and cornhole tournaments. But for your siding, summer means added wear and tear in the form of summer storms, lawn mowers that throw debris and water sprinklers that routinely soak it.

LP is committed to keeping your home’s siding looking great with a product line that stands up to the rigors of summer. LP® SmartSide® products are tested to high performance standards that verify consistent quality – to help you enjoy summer without worrying about your home’s siding.

A Home Run for Siding

Baseballs and lawn mowers are bad news for most siding products, but not for engineered wood products from LP. “The proprietary SmartGuard® process provides lasting durability against impacts and deflection,” explains CW Macomber, Codes & Services Manager for LP Building Products. “With this in mind, impact resistance is engineered into LP SmartSide trim and siding products through a unique surface layer and underlying substrate.” You’ll have the confidence of knowing that your siding can stand up to everyday collisions with rocks, sticks and balls.

LP SmartSide engineered wood siding

As with any painted siding product, homeowners should take precaution when mowing close to a home sided with LP SmartSide siding. Rough contact from a lawnmower may leave scuffs on the siding. “If you do scuff your siding, the best way to clean it is to use a cloth, sponge or soft brush and a bucket filled with a solution of mild detergent and water to wash the surface,” advises Macomber. “Rinse with water from a garden hose. Once the siding is dry, if needed touch up the surface with high-quality, color-matched, 100% acrylic latex exterior paint.”

Standing Up to Storms

With the SmartGuard process, special water-resistant waxes coat each strand or fiber of wood for enhanced durability in rainy, humid environments. This creates a high level of protection against summer weather and storms, including hailstorms. For additional peace of mind, LP’s limited warranty states that LP SmartSide products will resist damage from hail, up to 1.75 inches in diameter, when properly installed and maintained according to the LP application instructions.

See It for Yourself

LP SmartSide trim and siding products are tested in varying climates and across all seasons, making them the smart trim and siding choice for your home or outdoor structure. To learn more about this innovative product and see samples, contact an LP SmartSide retailer or remodeler near you.

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charming home exterior

6 Ways to Bring Charm to Your Home’s Exterior


Most people want a home that is distinctive and not like every other home on the block. However, this can be difficult to achieve in a newer neighborhood, where homes often lack the character of older homes. While it’s important to be respectful of your neighborhood aesthetic, here are some tips to add charm and personalization to the exterior of your home.

  • Add a covered entrance. An entry feature such as a porch or portico not only provides shelter from bad weather, it can also do wonders for a home’s curb appeal. Your covered entrance should be able to accommodate two people, keeping them covered while one person stands to the side and the other one swings the front door open.
  • Mix and match siding. Mixing different siding profiles helps to make a home’s exterior distinctive, regardless of its architectural style. Using only one siding material may make the exterior appear flat and uninteresting, while a combination of siding profiles and colors gives a home more depth and visual interest.three car garage
  • Change up the door. Builder-grade doors are often plain and lackluster, so adding a new door style can really make an impact. Select a door that complements the architectural style of your home yet has unique details that set your home apart.
  • Add a gate. Most American homes in urban settings don’t have a lot of yard space. A gate gives the illusion of depth, making your lot seem larger from the sidewalk. For maximum effect, choose a gate design that still allows for some visibility.
  • Plant profusely. Plants added to the exterior, either in the ground or in pots, add instant curb appeal and character with minimal time and effort. Vines planted along fences are a charming way to bring appeal to a not-so-attractive fence.
  • Dress up garage doors. What a difference garage doors can make! Upgrade “plain vanilla” raised-panel doors to something with more flair, such as steel doors with a stained finish and decorative windows and hardware.

Siding That’s Designed for Beauty

LP’s engineered wood siding product line is so broad that you can use it for all your exterior design needs. We offer lap, panel, trim, fascia and soffit products that are a top pick among homeowners and remodelers all over the United States. We invite you to learn more about LP® SmartSide® products and find out where to buy LP SmartSide products near you.


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garden that matches home exterior

How to Make a Garden Match Your Home

If you’ve recently built a new home, or you are considering changing up the exterior of your home with siding replacement, you have an exciting opportunity to harmonize your home’s exterior with the surrounding landscape. Achieving a garden design that complements the architecture and colors of your home takes a good deal of planning. Use these home gardening tips to match your garden to your home. (more…)

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