Elevate Your Curb Appeal

Why Having the Right Roof Matters

You could say Daniel Alte, owner of Alte Exteriors in Somerville, literally grew up on houses. His father, Jeff, who is now retired, founded the company in 1970. Today, Alte is a leading local expert in residential roof replacement and repair, as well as siding, gutter and skylight installation. He takes pride in guiding clients to the best products for their home — as well as educating them to keep them from making costly mistakes. 

“If it has been 15 to 20 years since you have replaced your roof, it’s probably time to start thinking about scheduling a roofing contractor to talk about replacement,” he says. “When selecting roofing and siding, you want to consider the age and style of your home and neighborhood. You don’t want to select anything that might seem out of place.” 

Alte specializes in cedar shake, copper, slate, metal, flat and asphalt shingle roofs. And while asphalt is most common, he encourages homeowners to consider alternatives such as standing seam metal accents to give their home up-to-date curb appeal. “Standing seam can be steel, aluminum or copper. Each choice is durable, long-lasting and has a unique beauty that can add to your home’s value and curb appeal,” he says. “Standing seam roofs can easily last for 50 years, compared to asphalt shingles that last between 10 and 30 years. It resists high winds, hail, rot, mold and mildew. It can also save you money on upkeep since it is maintenance free.”

Cedar shake is a classic and timeless look that offers a rustic, high-end feel to the exterior of your home. This will set your home apart from others in your area. There are a variety of cedar shakes that can range from a uniformed look to a very rustic, hand-split look. 

Alte notes that homeowners are gravitating toward dark siding, such as charcoal gray and dark blue. “You should consider your home’s resale value when selecting colors,” he advises. The board and batten look and Cedar Impressions are popular exterior styles. Alte finishes the look with AZEK trim board. He uses a 3D visualizer that allows homeowners to see what different products and colors will look like on their home.

Another way that homeowners can save is by looking at solar-powered products, which offer a 30 percent federal tax credit, he notes. 

Finally, Alte warns to watch out for gutter guard schemes and scams, which he says have been on the rise over the past decade. He has seen scams that go beyond the obvious “too good to be true” schemes that can cause homeowners to pause before signing a contract. Red flags are people who knock on your door after storms, offer an extremely low bid, require payment upfront or a large down payment, tell you that a deal is only good “today,” ask you to buy the permits or to sign over the insurance check, or cannot produce proof of insurance. 

“Gutter guards are not a one-size-fits-all. We carry several different types of gutter guards because what is needed depends on the scenario,” Alte says. “If someone is offering you only one product, that’s a sign to walk away.” 

Learn more about roofing and siding at

How to Safely Clean Gutters

March is National Ladder Safety Month. It’s best to hire a professional to clean and maintain your gutters, but if you do it on your own, you can reduce risks by: 

Wearing rubber-soled shoes, eye protection and water-repellent gloves.

Making sure your ladder is sturdy and in good condition. 

Ensuring the ladder is on stable ground — not on rocks, mulch or wet soil — and seated firmly.

Organizing tools to minimize fatiguing trips up and down the ladder.

Checking that you have enough hose length to reach all areas of the job. 

Having someone hold the ladder as you climb and watch you from the ground as you work. 

Watching for frayed electrical power lines and delaying work until it is fixed. 

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