Kitchen Sink Style Guide

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Besides your refrigerator, your kitchen sink gets more use than any other appliances in your kitchen.  Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a sink based solely on style because there are so many other features to consider.  Don’t be overwhelmed with choices; we’ve simplified the features of common sink styles to help you find your perfect match.

Undermount Sink-As the name implies, this type of sink attaches to a countertop’s underside.  A perk of this type of sink is that it’s easy to clean because it sits flush with your countertops.  A potential downside of undermount sinks is that they cannot be used with laminate or tile countertops because they cannot support the sink’s weight.  Undermount sinks are also more expensive to install than drop-in sinks.

Drop-in Sink-This style can also be referred to as self-rimming sinks.  Drop-in sinks are installed in a cut-out within a countertop and the edges are sealed off to prevent leaking and mold formation.  They are appealing because they are easy to install and replace without disturbing your countertop.  Because they’re typically single-piece, molded designs, there is minimal chance of leaking.  Generally speaking, they are the most cost effective option.  Due to the lip around the sink, a drawback to this style is that you can’t easily wipe food debris into the sink.

Farmhouse Sink-Primary characteristics of a farmhouse sink are an exposed front and a rectangular shape.  They are sought after because of their vintage charm.  Unlike other types of sinks that blend into your kitchen’s layout, farmhouse sinks can become a focal point in the room.  By design, farmhouse sinks are installed further forward than other styles.  The advantage to this is that less leaning is required when washing dishes, though because of the depth can lead to more splashing.  Farmhouse sinks are an investment because they are heavy and installation can be tedious.  Most require a specific type of base cabinet.

Corner Sink-This style of sink works well in small kitchen where every inch of space needs to be maximized.  It allows for long, uninterrupted stretches of countertops, which can be beneficial in a tiny kitchen.   On the flip side, corners in kitchens often have minimal natural light which can be irritating when you’re using your sink.  Additionally, corner sinks are often smaller than other types and may not be able to house larger pots and pans.   

Bar Sink- Like corner sinks, bar sinks are an excellent choice for a kitchen where counter space is at a premium.  However, they are unable to accommodate a large volume of dishes.  Bar sinks are usually less than 20 inches wide and work great for food prep or as a supplemental sink by a patio or in a bar.   

 

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of January, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

 

Fixes to 9 Common Household Problems

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We have all been there, wondering how to clean or remedy a home issue that seems to never be solved. We have the answer to some of the toughest, most annoying, home issues that you are plagued with today!

Fingerprints on stainless steel appliances

Who doesn’t love stainless steel appliances in their home? But the problem that most consumers have is the issue with streaking and fingerprints. The simplest fix is to put some olive oil on a soft cloth and apply a thin layer to the surface. Voila! No more fingerprints!

Make your granite look shiny

Fill up an 1/8th of a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol, a few drops of Dawn dish soap and your favorite essential oil. Fill the rest to the top with water. Mix it up and spray away on your granite, or any counter-top, to give it a clean shine.

Squeaking wood floors

Sweep talcum powder into the joints of the floorboards to eliminate that rubbing together you hear.

Rust stains in porcelain sinks

Grab your toothpaste and cover the stain. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. Rub some baking soda on a soft cloth and work out the stain.

Streak free windows

The number one trick is to use newspapers instead of paper towels. Also using a 50/50 distilled vinegar and water mixture will work even better than Windex.

Have your whole house smelling fresh

Take a few drops of your favorite essential oil and drop it onto your furnace filter.

 Noisy, wobbly ceiling fans

Inspect your fan and tighten any loose screws. Make sure that the blades are aligned and secured with the other blades and if you still have issues, opt for a balancing kit.

Water spots on your showerhead

Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar in a plastic bag over your sink. Place the bag over your showerhead making sure it is submerged in the solution. Secure it to the showerhead with a rubber band or twist tie and let it soak for 2-3 hours.

Water marks on wood furniture

Use a dry cotton cloth and cover the water mark. Put a medium-hot iron on it for several seconds. If you still see the spot wipe the mark with cloth that is damp with denatured alcohol.

 Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

 

Homeowner New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Commit To

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According to a New York Times article, one in three people making a New Year’s Resolution ill break it by the end of January.  That’s pretty pathetic, though understandable, statistic.  After all, change is tough and we often, in a fit of optimism,, and champagne bubbles, bite off more than we can chew on New Year’s Eve with spontaneous commitments to do better without a game plan.  In the spirit of improvements that you can follow through on, offer the following ideas:

Purge Clutter: Chances are you’ve acquired clutter because over the years you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff that you refused to part with because it might come in use “someday”.  We applaud your resourcefulness!  However, it’s a great idea to donate, sell or discard anything in your home that hasn’t been used in the last couple of years that is not an heirloom item.  To make this less overwhelming, pick one day per month and select a single room to focus on.  By the time 2016 hits, your entire home is clutter free!

Save Energy: Cringe less when you open your utility bill by making simple lifestyle changes.  Pledge to turn off the lights when you leave a room.  Utilize the programming abilities of your thermostat and put your television on a sleep timer when you go to bed for the night.  An even better option is getting a home performance test to identify where heat is escaping your home. Even if it’s outside of your budget to do every recommended improvement, you’ll be on the right track by at least knowing what needs to be done and what you need to invest to make this happen.

Check Your Home’s Exterior: As the age old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Once in the spring and once in the fall, take a look at your home’s exterior.  Are there any cracks in the siding that could pose a long-term problem?  Do you see any shingle granules coming off your roof?  Are any shingles curling?  If you don’t want to get on top of your roof, stand on the ground with a pair of binoculars and focus in on your roof.  What about your gutters?  Are they free of debris?  Set yourself a calendar reminder so that this task does not get overlooked.  If you identify areas of concern, connect with an industry professional who can analyze the severity of the situation.

Make a List: It’s hard to improve your home without a strategic approach.  Get organized with a spreadsheet of every room in your home (don’t forget the exterior too!) and ways you’d like to improve it.  Give yourself deadlines in order to stay accountable.  Know you want to make changes but not sure what they would look like?  Websites like Houzz & Pinterest allow you to collect your ideas and put them in a central place to look at closer when the time for the improvement arrives.

 

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

 

Mold Issues In the Winter? Believe It or Not, It’s One of Its Favorite Seasons!

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Most homeowners believe that mold issues are a springtime situation, but in all reality winter is one of the best times of the year for mold to grow. Mold is naturally found all around us, in the air we breathe, outside and inside of our homes. The issue arises when mold begins to reproduce and their spores grow at a rapid rate. Mold can be killed most effectively by hiring a home remediation service that will eliminate it. Here are some pointers for mold prevention at home.

Excessive exposure to mold-contaminated materials can cause adverse health effects including, but not limed to:

  • Throat irritation
  • Respiratory problems (wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness & coughing)
  • Sneezing fits
  • Severe eye irritation including  red, watery itchy eyes
  • Intense nasal and sinus congestions
  • Severe fungal infection

How to keep mold at bay in your home:

  • Air circulation – make sure that the air in your home is being diverted by an exhaust fan when cooking, showering and washing dishes.
  • Clean it up – keep all areas of your home free of piled debris.
  • Wet basements – always replace cracked or defective mortar in your basement and make sure that you have proper outside drainage going away from your home.
  • Your crawlspace – proper ventilation and expelling humid air out of this area will avoid mold growth.
  • Insulate your pipes – make sure that your pipes in your home are properly insulated to avoid a leak that will cause rapid mold growth.
  • Condensation – if you see condensation on your walls, windows or pipes dry out the areas and determine what may be causing it.
  • Seals – check the seals on your doors and windows so they are in good working order.
  • Gutters – make sure that your gutters are always clean and free of debris.
  • Roof – if you have a damaged or leaking roof, get it fixed immediately and tarp or tent it until it can be properly remedied.

 

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

 

Prefab Homes vs Traditional Homes

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What’s the Difference?

Unlike a traditional home that is built on your plot of land, a prefab home is built in a factory and transported to the homeowner’s lot in sections.  Do not confuse a prefab home with a trailer.  A
prefab home is placed on a foundation, meaning it can have a basement and a trailer cannot.

Codes

Because prefab homes can be built in one state and sold by a dealer in another, they are regulated by national codes.  When you build a home, you are subject to local ordinances. What does this mean for you?  Local codes take into account things like the need for additional protection for things like tornados and heavy snows.

Speed

Most people think that a traditional home will take longer to build than a pre-fab home.  However, a prefab home is not necessarily finished at a quicker rate because of long factory lead times.  Completion of either type of home is dependent upon a number of factors with the biggest being your builder.  One advantage to a prefab home is that it is built indoors, making its timeline less affected by the weather than a traditional home.  If you’re deciding between a prefab builder and a traditional contractor, be sure to get a definitive answer on the timeline between the start date and move in date.

Design

Prefab homes are built in a factory and come in template designs with the ability for you to select options such as cabinets, flooring and countertops from the company’s catalog.  An advantage to
working with a builder is that your home can come with more customized options especially when it comes to layout and homes with multiple levels.

Placement

If you’re looking at placing your prefab home on a lot that is controlled by a homeowner’s association or developer, you need to check to see whether they have rules against it.  While a HOA may have rules about colors or styles of roofing, siding, gutters, etc. you will likely have fewer hoops to jump through with a conventional home as opposed to a prefab home.

Pricing

One of the largest reasons that a consumer chooses a prefab home over a traditional one is belief that a prefab home costs less money.  The prefab industry is continuously coming out with new innovations which benefit consumers who wish to inject their personal taste into their homes.  Prefab homes come with a different set of expenses that traditional homes don’t have such as delivery, overhead and crane fees.  Because each circumstance is different, we encourage you to get estimates from both traditional contractors and pre-fab companies to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  Ask questions if you don’t understand something in the estimate and be sure to ask whether the bid includes everything or if they project additional expenses.

Sustainability

Being cognizant of your carbon footprint, especially on a project this large, is the socially and environmentally responsible thing to do.  While a number of companies, both traditional and
prefab, claim to be environmentally friendly, it’s important to do some homework.  Is the company you’re working with using high quality insulation, windows, roofing and siding?  Spending a little extra upfront can often save you in the future with a longer shelf life and reduced energy costs.  Consider that area companies will use less fuel than those traveling from greater distances and the fuel used to transport something as significant as a home.  Do your homework and select an option that makes the most sense for your situation.

Insurability

It’s short-sighted not to consider the cost of insuring your new home when deciding whether to go with traditional or prefab.  As a general rule, prefab homes have higher insurance premiums.  The reasoning is that prefab homes are likelier to suffer damage from storms, fire and frozen pipes.  As mentioned above, prefab homes are subject to national building codes which are less stringent than local ones.

Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.

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Getting Stuck on Stucco-What You Need to Know

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There are lots of factors that contribute to your home’s curb appeal and one of the most noticeable components is your home’s siding.  One of the more unique ways to side your home is with stucco.  Here’s a crash course on the benefits & drawbacks of using this product on your home’s exterior.

What it is: Stucco is a combination of cement, sand and lime that can be applied to the home’s exterior instead of traditional siding.

Advantages:

Fire Resistant: Stucco is recognized for its fire resistance, something that may result in lowered homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Insulation: Stucco is an effective insulator, helping to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, something that will keep your energy bills in check.

Versatility: You have endless choices when it comes to color and pattern.

Longevity: Stucco is renowned for its permanence and when carefully cared for, it can last for years to come.

Disadvantages:

Staining: When compared with other types of siding, stucco is more apt to show water & soil stains.

Installation: The installation of stucco is a strenuous process and the labor portion of the bill will be significant; this is not something that a weekend warrior should attempt.

Vulnerable to Water Damage: In order to keep stucco in the best possible condition, it should be kept moisture free.  It’s crucial that gutters and downspouts are properly placed in order to
ensure that water is diverted away from the home.  Windows & doors must be sealed tightly so that water cannot penetrate the stucco.

Cracking: Just as concrete does, stucco expands and contracts, leading to cracking.  This can be repaired but at an expense to the homeowner.

Lindus Construction is a full service construction and remodeling company boasting LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation & decking just to name a few. Give us a call at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out at www.lindusconstruction.com to set up a free no-obligation estimate. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10am with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show!

 

 

 

Formaldehyde & Your Home

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Those of us old enough to remember Marcia Brady writing a letter to Davy Jones which ultimately leads to her going to prom with him are also likely to remember when wood paneling was fashionable home decor.  There’s more than one reason this trend has fallen by the wayside.  In addition to being outdated, wood paneling also contains formaldehyde which can pose a threat to the air quality in your home.  Just because the 1970’s are over doesn’t mean that the threat of formaldehyde in your home is a non issue.  Here’s what you need to know to minimize the risk to your family.

What is Formaldehyde? Formaldehyde is used in countless products for the purpose of acting as a bonding agent.  It can also be created as other chemicals break down.  It is considered a volatile organic compound (VOC).  These types of compounds become a gas at room temperature and can release unhealthy chemicals into the air which are then inhaled by those around it. The more formaldehyde that is emitted into the air, the more of a health risk it poses.

What Type of Products is Formaldehyde Found In?

  • Particle board
  • Plywood
  • Builder grade furniture and cabinets
  • Varnish
  • Paint
  • Wallpaper
  • Permanent press bedding

What are the Side Effects of Formaldehyde Exposure?

The side effects of formaldehyde exposure vary widely by the amount and duration of exposure.  Severity of symptoms also varies person to person.  Symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose and
burning sensations in the throat, eyes and nose.  Because these symptoms imitate those of the common cold and flu, it can be difficult to identify them as symptoms of formaldehyde exposure.  Higher
concentrations of exposure can lead to nausea, headaches, coughing & wheezing, rashes and chest tightness.  While there are no scientific studies proving formaldehyde causes cancer in humans, it has been demonstrated that high levels of formaldehyde exposure causes cancer in lab rats.

How Can I Reduce my Formaldehyde Exposure at Home?

While it would be nearly impossible to create a home environment free of formaldehyde, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the exposure.

  • Opt for real wood in cabinets and flooring, as opposed to builder grade materials.
  • Regularly maintain your chimney & wood stove so that smoke is directed outdoors as much as possible.
  • Opt for low or non VOC paints when possible
  • Forego wallpaper
  • Opt for cotton, instead of permanent press sheets which contain formaldehyde

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Contact us during the month of November for a free estimate and enjoy no payments or interest on LeafGuard Gutters and GAF Asphalt Roofing.  Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus. 

Psychology & Scents at Home

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You are 100 times more likely to remember something that you smell over something you see, hear or touch.  That’s probably part of the reason why the American candle industry is able to generate over $2.3 billion in sales annually.  The smells you choose to bring into your home can have an effect on your psyche and every scent brings something a little different to the table.  Here’s what you need to know about your favorite scents.

Vanilla-While the adjective “vanilla” placed in front of any word typically invokes a sense of blandness; the scent of vanilla has a different meaning.  Studies have shown that vanilla invokes feelings of relaxation and can assist in helping you fall asleep.  It is known to increase one’s appetite and can even boost memory.

Lemon-The smell of lemon can improve concentration, attentiveness and alleviate stress.  It promotes feelings of energy.  Being surrounded by the smell of lemon can also alleviate feelings of depression and nervous tension.

Apple- The scent of apple has been linked with the lessening of headache symptoms.  Because headaches are often manifestation of stress, being surrounded by an apple scent can assist in squelching the emotions of anxiety and stress.

Peppermint- If the Energizer Bunny had a scent, it’d be peppermint.  It has a subtle way of increasing one’s motivation and alertness.  Peppermint is a great scent to surround yourself with when you are overexerted and running low on stamina.

Cinnamon- The fragrance of cinnamon can be used to melt away stress and tension.  It can also assist in increasing mental focus, which allows for deeper creativity.  Folklore also suggests cinnamon brings prosperity and great achievements.

Lavender- Remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow fall asleep in a field of poppies right outside of Emerald City?  If you’re having issues sleeping, lavender will have the same effect.  Like the smell of apple, lavender fragrance can assist in alleviating headache symptoms.

Coconut- Tropical scents like coconut instantly transform your home into a relaxing oasis with this fragrance.  Coconut is synonymous with comfort, protection and stress relief.

Patchouli-Much like scotch, patchouli is an acquired taste.  However, this earthy/musty aroma does have its benefits.  They include: appetite suppression, stress relief, anxiety tamer and sedative properties.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

 

8 Tricks to Less Painless Painting

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A guy by the name of Bill Gates was credited with the following quote: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”  Pretty brilliant stuff when you think about it.   While painting will never be anyone’s favorite household chore, there are plenty of tricks to make the project less painful.  Here are our top picks!

Minimize Dripping: Cut a slit in a sour cream or cottage cheese container top and slide it onto a paintbrush handle.  This will allow you to catch drips that would otherwise end up in areas you don’t want them.

Pie Tin Trick: It’s super rare to not have paint dripping down the side of the can, which in turn, can end up creating a mess on your floor.  Dodge this hassle by placing a disposable pie tin underneath the paint can to act as a paint catching coaster.

Eliminate Odors: Amazon.com has over 200 million items for sale.  Of these items, none include paint scented candles.  Shocker, right?  That’s because paint reeks!  Make your paint project less smelly by mixing in a few drops of vanilla extract right into the paint.  This, however, does not mean that you should skip running fans and opening windows to ventilate your home.

Paint Tray Perfection: If you’ve ever tried to clean a paint tray so that it can be reused, you know what a pain it is.  It’s a race against the clock to get the tray cleaned before the paint dries and if you miss any of the paint and reuse the tray, you can end up unintentionally mixing colors.  Avoid all of this by lining your paint tray with aluminum foil which can be peeled off and discarded at the end of the project.

Petroleum Jelly to the Rescue: Painter’s tape works great for blocking off areas that you don’t want painted.  However, sometimes there are very small areas that painter’s tape simply isn’t practical.  Forego painters tape and apply petroleum jelly to the area.  Because of its consistency, paint won’t stick.

Ditch the Drop Cloth: Drop cloths made of canvas gets a little pricey.  Take the cheap route and opt for a shower curtain liner from your area dollar store.

Spray Painting Studio: It’s no secret that spray paint rarely only covers the object it’s intended for.  Skip the discolored grass, walls and siding by placing the object you need spray painted into a cardboard box.  Any excess paint will hit the inside of the box, which can be discarded after your project is complete.

Laundry Detergent Trick: One of the biggest pains with reopening and closing paint cans is the splatter that almost always ensues.  Bypass this by using a funnel.   Pour your paint into an empty, washed out, laundry detergent container.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

Renovation Mistakes That Will Cost You Big In The Long Run

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We have all been there wanting to take on a DIY home renovation project to save some coin. Below are our top seven things that should not be overlooked.

Inaccurate measurements

Not taking accurate measurements even if it’s by a half inch or less, can be detrimental to your renovation project.  Problems created can include purchasing extra materials and result in a non-dimensional final product.   If you are unsure of your measurements, make sure to consult with a professional to ensure first time quality.

Don’t ever skip the prep work

Doing it the rushed way, instead of the right way, will never pay off in the end. No one likes to spend more time and money on having to fix their project because you skipped the first few steps.

Incorrect tools for the job

It is always best to use the tool that is made to handle the project. Using other tools just to “get by” can cause you to wreck the project you have started, ruin the tool you are using or injure yourself during the process.

Don’t go for cheap windows

A lot of people think that they can save money by skimping on the quality of their windows; wrong! This will only cost you more money in the long run, due to the window failing prematurely and not being energy efficient.

Always do your homework

It’s imperative to the success of the project that you do research on all aspects.  It’s important to know whether or not you can handle what they job entails. This is even true when you are hiring a contractor so that you are aware of the terminology they use and also know what to look for.

Don’t ignore the electrical

Many times, when you start a renovation, you overlook the electrical aspects because it’s hidden and it can be costly. Ensuring that everything is up to code is essential and will provide a safe home.

Neglecting to pull a permit

Don’t forget the permit, ever! This could be one of the costliest mistakes you can make while embarking on a renovation project. If you opt out of getting a permit and your local municipality finds out, they could make you completely undo everything you have done for your renovation project, at your cost.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.