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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States


Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

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O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


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Reduce your home maintenance to-do list with vinyl siding

Chelsea O'Donnell

As a siding contractor who came into the industry when aluminum siding was popular, one of the best enhancements I’ve seen in home remodeling is the evolution of vinyl siding. It’s now the number one exterior cladding choice in the United States, and for homeowners in our area, installing vinyl siding is an excellent investment due to its durability, no fuss maintenance, energy efficiency, and overall esthetic. If you’re looking for a way to update your home that will require minimal upkeep, vinyl siding has my vote. Here’s why:

It looks great. When vinyl first starting getting popular, some people shied away from it because it looked a bit, well, plain and ugly. But vinyl siding has come a long way in the past few years, with manufacturers listening to the call to create a product that’s more visually pleasing. Believe it or not, you can now find vinyl siding that comes in a variety of profiles such as fish scale, shake or scallop shapes – plus there are styles to mimic the look and texture of natural building materials such as wood.

It’s incredibly strong.  Winters here in Central Connecticut can be brutal, as can the summer sun. Vinyl siding is made to withstand winds of up to 110 mph and won’t fade or deteriorate as the seasons change. Most products come with a prorated warranty of up to 50 years for peace of mind, so you know your siding will stand up to the test of time.

It’s easy to maintain. Imagine a lifetime free of painting, staining and caulking the outside of your home.  One of my favorite things about vinyl is that it doesn’t need much maintenance, other than a soapy sponge bath and garden hose shower once in a while. Plus, unlike wood, you never have to worry about splitting, rotting, or termite and insect damage.

It will reduce your energy bills. Insulated siding is energy efficient and works like a blanket over your walls and wall studs. More than 75% of homes I work on are under insulated, which means that heat is escaping in the winter and cool air is getting out in the summer. By installing vinyl siding, you’ll be able to keep the air in your home regulated at a more comfortable temperature without running to the thermostat.

It pays for itself. With a 50-year warranty, no cost maintenance and the savings you’ll reap from your energy bill, installing vinyl siding is an investment worth thinking about. Plus, vinyl consistently ranks as one of the highest returns on investment for remodeling projects. 

Have you ever considered vinyl siding for your home? Do you have questions about making the switch to vinyl? I’d love to help – get in touch or check out our siding page for more information.

Keep Termites Away From Your House

Chelsea O'Donnell

Keep Termites Away From Your House

For such a tiny pest, termites can cause very big problems to the structure of your home. According to pest control company, Terminix, termites cause roughly $500 billion in damage and affect approximately four million homes each year. That’s more than the damage caused by fires, floods and tornadoes put together.

There are two different types of termites – subterranean and drywood. Subterranean are a bit more common in warm coastal areas such as the southeast, and drywood can be found anywhere in the United States. Both are damaging, although subterranean are the ones you really want to avoid.

There are three telltale signs that you might have a termite problem. The first and most obvious is seeing them. Termites thrive in the darkness, but they are attracted to light, which also happens to kill them.  If you have termites in your home, you might start to see bodies or wings on windowsills or next to light fixtures, although termites are light colored and can be difficult to spot and distinguish. Another way to know if you have termites is if you discover mud tubes. These straw-sized tunnels are where termites live and can often be found around baseboards, pipes or chimneys. Then, of course, there is hollow wood. If you suspect that you might have a termite issue, use the base of a screwdriver to tap around baseboards, windowsills, and other easily accessible framing. Hollow wood has a very different sound than healthy wood and you’ll easily be able to hear the distinction.

Termites can’t get through concrete but they only need 1/32 of an inch to enter your home or business, and yes, they really do eat wood. Termites generally get to a foundation through the soil and then find a crack or hole to make their way to wood. Decks and porches are often good entry points and anything that’s holding moisture will enable the insects to survive and thrive. That woodpile on the side of your house is a Garden of Eden for termites, especially if it sits uncovered and collects moisture during rainstorms. Overall, a termite swarm is looking for moist wood to form its colony. So, if you’re house has drainage issues or if your gutters and downspouts aren’t doing their job properly, you might be harvesting a breeding ground without even knowing it.

If you think you might have termites, it’s a good idea to call a local expert to do a test, especially if any of your neighbors have recently experienced a problem. There are different types of termites with different habits and triggers, but all of them can be harmful to your home. It’s tough for the average person to spot and identify a termite, so calling a professional in for a routine check will give you peace of mind and give you the tools and knowledge you need to protect your home from any future damage. With termites, it’s better to get the problem sorted as early as possible before they take an expensive bite out of your biggest asset.