Jake and Mary Worstell bought a fixer-upper home in Carmel, New York, nearly 10 years ago after spending their early married life in Staten Island, New York, where Jake served as a firefighter for the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY). After their second child was born, the couple decided to relocate to a more rural part of the state just 50 miles north of the city. With some scheduling finesse, Jake was able to continue his career with the FDNY while establishing a successful Hudson Valley contracting business, J-Pro Construction.
Having worked as a carpenter from a young age, Jake quickly earned a stellar reputation for full-service renovation focusing on kitchen, bathroom, and deck restoration. Keeping up with new advancements in building products, the contractor recently transformed the exterior of his own home using two composite products from Tando.
“We realized a few years ago that after remodeling for customers, it was time for our own renovation,” says Worstell. “When we purchased the fixer-upper in 2013, it was over 40 years old and hadn’t been updated at all. After renovating the interior last year, it was time to tackle the outside. We chose Beach House Shake, a composite shingle, for the exterior walls and TandoStone, a composite stone, to cover the foundation wall.”
The Hudson Valley housing boom has kept both Worstells busy. Jake’s renovation contracts have been almost exclusively obtained through referrals, and Mary’s built a thriving real estate career in the Lower Hudson Valley. As a licensed Realtor, she is keenly aware of the value of choosing quality materials.
“The return on investment for exterior upgrades is significant,” she notes. “We did a lot of research on different composites and ended up being very impressed with Beach House Shake. It has so much more dimension to it than other products, and the unique variations of each individual shingle make it look realistic.”
Beach House Shake is an authentic composite shingle with the classic beauty of natural cedar that stays looking just like the day it was installed. It features realistic wood grain textures and saw cuts in a traditional 5-inch shingle.
Beach House Shake is designed to make the installation process user-friendly and time-efficient. “I was able to use a roofing gun for the Beach House Shake panels,” Jake explains, “which made it easy and fast, and it looks great. The customer service has been terrific with the Tando representative even stopping by in person to see how the project was going.”
Unlike traditional cedar shingles, Beach House Shake composite shingles will not discolor and will stay looking just like the day they were installed. Additionally, Beach House Shake is designed to hold up to high-velocity winds with a Notice of Acceptance from Miami-Dade County.
“I had never used Beach House Shake before,” Jake comments. “As someone who has worked in carpentry all my career, I never considered the many synthetics for my home. However, the composite shingle technology has come such a long way to create this natural look and I am so happy with the outcome.”
In addition to the Pacifica color the couple chose, which resembles the look of freshly cut western red cedar, Beach House Shake is available in three other shades: Sandcastle, which delivers the look of new eastern white cedar; Atlantica, which replicates the charm of a seaside beach house; and Hatteras, which is reminiscent of a classic seaside retreat or farmhouse.
For the TandoStone, the Worstells chose Creek Ledgestone in Bucks County Gray. This popular design features various stone sizes with natural grout lines. The natural variation of each stone created an attractive aesthetic for the home’s foundation.
“The Hudson Valley has so much history,” Mary explains, “and stone walls are everywhere, so we wanted to choose something authentic looking. We came across TandoStone, and it really fit our purpose. After finding the Beach House Shake Pacifica color in the catalog, we went to the local lumberyard to investigate. It turned out they had a display of Pacifica paired with the Bucks County Gray. It gave us a chance to see the two products together and the complement was perfect.”
TandoStone, as the number one brand of composite stone is impervious to moisture and can be installed at ground level and in any weather. In addition to Creek Ledgestone, TandoStone is available in a Stacked Stone design. This style, with no grout lines, mimics the appearance of a precision, hand-laid dry-stack set.
“We had originally considered traditional stone,” Jake recalls, “but when we looked at the price and intensive labor of masonry, we chose TandoStone. It looks great, and I was able to hand-nail each panel. I get so many questions about the stone product. While I was familiar with TandoStone, many people in this area are just discovering it.”
To create a clean line between the shake and the foundation, Jake used Tando’s Architectural Sill for a sleek transition. Manufactured with a forward slope to direct water away from the structure, the dual-purpose sill blends an authentic stone ledge look with functionality.
The selection of harmonious Tando composite products created an elegant, rustic charm for Worstell’s home that fits nicely in what Mary describes as their “rural suburban-ish” neighborhood.
“We’ve gotten so much positive feedback from people about the exterior. People still stop by and ask if it is real cedar and real stone. We wanted to use something that would make the house shine, and that is exactly what we got,” Mary notes. Next on the Worstells’ list is to tackle landscaping of the entire property.
Jake adds, “We’re so pleased with the final outcome. It really transformed the exterior and turned out beautiful.”
Tando, a brand of Derby Building Products, is the leader in composite exterior cladding with Beach House Shake®, the authentic composite shingle, and TandoStone®, the #1 brand of composite stone. Backed by more than five decades of product innovation, Tando produces high-performance products professionals prefer and consumers demand. For more information on Beach House Shake, TandoStone, or TandoShake®, the original polymer shake, visit www.tandobp.com or www.beachhouseshake.com.