You can save money both on your initial purchase and on long-term maintenance and replacement costs by purchasing durable, low-maintenance materials. Many of the low-maintenance materials are synthetic and cost less initially than natural materials. Other low-maintenance materials are specially treated to reduce the required maintenance over a period of time.

An excellent example is exterior siding. For many years the only option for a frame house was planks of wood. The siding required a great deal of care and attention over the life of the house, both in terms of protecting the wood from damage and keeping it looking attractive. Today, other options are available such as vinyl siding or hardy-plank siding. Both of these materials are attractive and require very little routine maintenance. Another example is windows. The metal-clad double-paned windows require little to no maintenance and provide additional value in energy efficiency. Another example can be found in the use of tile for the bathroom, kitchen and other floors. The grout around the tile can stain over time unless a sealer is applied initially and maintained over time. A less expensive option over time is the use of solid surface materials for bathroom, kitchen, and other floors.

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