Monthly Archives: April 2012

Getting Top Dollar for Your Rental Property

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One of the best things a landlord can do during a soft economy is pay careful attention to the upkeep of their properties in order to ensure they are able to get the most out of each unit. Here are some examples of smart renovation investments in a rental property.

 

Manufactured exclusively for Lindus Construction, SeasonGuard windows have lifetime warranties on all moving parts, workmanship, glass breakage, seal failure and finish.

Install New Windows: Older properties are prone to drafty windows, which make rooms colder and also drive up the heating bills  New windows will bring heating bills back to where they should be and can be used as a selling point when meeting with potential renters.  Vinyl windows are popular in rental properties because they can come with lifetime glass breakage warranties.  Having vinyl windows also eliminates the possibility of mold around the window frame.  It may be worth considering adding a window to reveal a park, woods, etc. in order to increase the rent you are able to ask for.

Upgrade Appliances: Dated appliances can cause renters to doubt whether other aspects of the building have been maintained.  New, stainless steel appliances show potential renters that you take pride in your property and that you’ll be likely to maintain it.  When selecting appropriate appliances, choose ones that are energy efficient with basic features so that repairs down the road won’t be too costly or complicated.  New appliances allow landlords to justify premium rates; it is something that will set you apart from others, something that tenants will appreciate.

New Paint: In most cases, potential renters view an apartment when it is empty.  Because there is no furniture to distract the prospective renters, chipped or faded paint is extremely noticeable.  For optimum presentation, apply a fresh coat of paint each time your property is vacated.  Neutral colors will give your property an inviting look.  If you’d like to be more bold with your color choices, know that dark colors make small spaces look even smaller and light colors give the illusion of spaciousness.

New Carpeting: The quality of carpeting is also something that prospective tenants will notice immediately when viewing an empty rental property.  Medium grade carpeting in browns and beiges can be a great choice because of the neutrality of the color and its ability to hide stains better than lighter colors.  Opting to lay down padding prior to installing carpet will make carpet feel softer and feel like a quality product.

Increase Storage: Extra closet space, shelving and built-in bookcases will provide additional storage space for your tenants.  This will overcome an objection that many renters have which is a lack of storage space.

Functional Outdoor Living Space: Adding a deck or patio will give your property a homey feeling and allow tenants to envision entertaining friends and family at their new home.

Upgrade fixturesAdding stainless steel outlet covers, new lighting and plumbing fixtures will set your property apart among others that potential renters are looking at.  It will also show that you are detail oriented.

The type of rental space that you build will directly affect the type of renter that you attract.  If you’d like high-quality tenants, upgrade your rental property with the features they are looking for. The money you spend will increase your ROI on the property.

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. 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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Filed under Andy Lindus, basement waterproofing, Construction, cracked foundation, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Inc., Jesse Trebil, Lindus Construction, Remodeling, Safe Basements, Wall anchoring, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show, Wet basements
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Basement Waterproofing
Have you had a water problem for a long time in your basement or has one just started? There are many reasons as to why and how water gets in your basement. Below are some of the most common culprits.

  • Cracks in your masonry
  • Leaking pipes
  • Inadequate sump pump
  • Improper positioning of downspouts that allows water to congregate near your foundation instead of away from it
  • Poor grading around your foundation
  • Seepage from window wells

Waterproofing your basement is one of the best ways you can increase your property value of your home. It will also improve your living experience and prevent damaging moisture from entering your home. By waterproofing your home, you are taking the steps to be proactive instead of reactive and reduce your chances of a serious repair in your future. By waterproofing your home you are protecting it from access moisture which can destroy your foundation, basements walls and let’s not forget your belongings. There are a few different ways that you can waterproof your basement which are below.

  • Interior Waterproofing – A cutting-edge device being used for interior waterproofing today is an interior drain tile system. It lowers the water table far below the basement floor. It is designed to collect and redirect water away from your home.
  • Exterior Waterproofing – Captures the water before it enters your home. The drain tile is now on the outside of your foundation which acts as a piping system to collect and redirect subsurface water that moves down through the soil. This would not be the ideal option for you if you have an existing home because it can be very costly and an interior waterproofing system would fit your needs a lot better.
  • New Construction Waterproofing – Consider using both interior and exterior drain tile systems when building your new home. This can sometimes be an area that is overlooked and you could end up having a water issue in your brand new home.
  • Crack Injection – Cracks appear in your foundation when there is sufficient hydrostatic pressure surrounding the foundation of your home. Crack injection is a permanent affordable solution for many homeowners when your poured concrete walls crack and develop a slow leak. Common products used to seal the cracks are injection epoxies, polyurethane foams and grouts.
  • Yard and Downspout Drains – The whole idea of this approach is to keep the water away from your home to avoid a water problem in the first place. A down spout drain is one of the single most important rainwater drainage systems.

Wall Anchoring
There are many reasons that can cause your foundation to start failing. Excessive hydrostatic pressure, soil shifting and even seasonal changes can cause it to deteriorate. Here are some of the signs that you can look for to see if you might be experiencing foundational problems.

  • Tilting and leaning chimneys
  • Floors that are not level and uneven
  • Cracks in drywall and plaster walls
  • Cracks in exterior brick or concrete
  • Windows and doors not closing properly
  • Bowing and leaning basement walls
  • Stair step cracks in basement and crawlspace walls
  • Nail heads popping through drywall and plaster

No need to worry because you can fix these problems with wall anchors. Wall anchors are plates and steel rods used to stabilize your walls and counteract hydrostatic pressure that is being exerted against your foundation wall.  Wall anchors can be used in various places and rod extenders can help to preserve your deck, concrete, flower beds and landscaping. When hydrostatic pressure builds up around your basement walls, or the soil expands with water saturation, it can push against your wall and cause bowing. The anchors will hold the wall in its current condition and have the ability to be tightened down further when the soil outside the wall shrinks.

Jesse Trebil Foundation Systems, Inc. of MN specializes in all types of basement and foundation repair, waterproofing and basement drain systems for Central Minnesota and the Twin Cities area. They offer guaranteed solutions for faulty basements and bad foundations. They are equipped to solve all of these problems, no matter how big or small.
They are a licensed and insured general contractor, radon mitigating and official dealer of the Safe Basements® product line. All of their crews have gone through extensive training and have been certified as foundation repair specialists by Jesse Trebil himself.

Whether it’s basement waterproofing, cracked or bowing walls, settling foundation or new construction, they offer guaranteed permanent solutions to fill your needs. Visit them online to learn more about how they can make your basement a safe area to enjoy at www.safebasements.com.

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. 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.

Choosing the Right Shutters for Your Home

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While the neccessity of having shutters for your home is a thing of the past, they still add interest to your home.

When they were first conceptualized, shutters were primarily made of wood.  Wood shutters continue to be a popular choice for historic homes.  The most popular types of wood shutters are:

Cedar- Withstands the elements and is low maintenance.  It can be easily sanded and absorbs paint exceptionally well.  An added bonus is that insects do not like cedar.

Pine-Will last many years if the proper finish is used.  It is more price effective than cedar but will not last as long.

Composite-Weather resistant and immune to insect damage.  It holds paint longer than wood and is resistant to mildew.  Occasional cleaning may be needed, but otherwise maintenance is minimal.

Poly Resin (PVC) – Does not need finishing but can be painted.  It is insect and mildew resistant and never needs any maintenance other than the occasional cleaning.

When selecting vinyl shutters, be sure to replace them as soon as the color fades.  One way to get an idea of the type of shutter you should choose for your home is to take a drive around your neighborhood and view other homes with exterior shutters.  This will allow you to see which style will compliment your home’s design.

The two most common types of shutters are raised panels & louvers.

The shutter on the left is a raised panel and the right panel is a louver.

When selecting a color, be sure to take into consideration both the color of your brick or siding, roof and window frames.

Regardless of the material you choose, it is important to remember the cardinal rule of shutters-select shutters that are each ½ of your window’s width; they should never be less than 12 inches wide.  If shutters are larger than this, they will appear out of proportion.  They should be the height of your window from the sill to the top of the trim.

The three primary ways of attaching shutters to your home are with screws, nails or special clips.

In addition to adding curb appeal, shutters can also be used to add interest to your home’s interior.  They can be used to replace window treatments, such as curtains or blinds.  The shutters can open and close and can be used to control the amount of light in a room.  Interior shutters can also add privacy to your home in a stylish manner.

The main way of attaching interior shutters to your home is with a thin frame that rests on the window casing (either inside or outside.)  If you’re not interested in installing yourself, a reputable siding or window company should be able to assist you.

Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate. 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.

Is That Mold in My Home?

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What is Mold?
Molds are forms of fungi that are found naturally in the environment. There are 100,000 different kinds. Mold can be a variety of different colors ranging from green, black, white, brown and orange and also have a fuzzy or slimy texture. In order to grow, mold needs moisture and a food source. Food sources for mold are wood, insulation, cloth, vinyl wallpaper and drywall to name a few, but mold can grow on almost anything if there is a damp spot. Mold makes spores which travel through the air in your home. Unfortunately mold prefers temperatures that humans prefer, so our homes can be an ideal spot for it to grow.

Do You Have a Water Problem in Your Home?
If you have experienced any short or long term water problems in your home, mold growth is likely to occur. Things to look for to see if you have a water problem are water stains or discoloration of your walls, floors or ceilings in your home. If you notice this, chances are there is mold growing behind these materials. If your walls are bowed, warped or bulging and/or your paint or wallpaper is bubbling, peeling or cracking mold could exist. If you are aware that you have leaking pipes or ceiling you know you have a water problem, but just because you do not see mold at first sight does not mean it is not trying to grow or already exists. When mold grows from leaks in your home, it can often be hidden and out of view. If your home has ever flooded, due to weather or a pipe that burst, and you didn’t consider that mold could have grown you need to recheck the area of saturation.

How Do You Know If You Have A Mold Problem?
Mold has a pungent smell. People tend to use the words “musty” or “earthy” when describing the smell of mold similar to what you would smell if you were walking in the woods. If the mold is in one area of your home you may notice an unpleasant smell coming from that area.  Sometimes the mold might not be visible because it could be within your walls, but if you smell an unusual persistent smell the culprit could be mold. If you start having an issue with allergies and your symptoms seem to be worse when you are at home than anywhere else you could have mold in your home. Visible mold growth might seem like an obvious sign, but sometimes people don’t notice small amounts of mold and think it is dirt. Most people, when they think of mold, assume that it would be green or black in color and that is where the misconception of having a mold problem can become dangerous. Mold is similar to a chameleon and it can take on many different colors and textures.

Control Mold Growth in Your Home

  • Clean and repair you roof and gutters regularly
  • Prevent water from entering or collecting in your foundation by making sure the ground slopes away from your home
  • If possible keep your humidity level in your home below 60%. The ideal range would be between 30% – 50%
  • Increase the ventilation and air movement in your home by using fans or opening windows and doors
  • Use exhaust fans, that vent out of your home,  when using the shower or cooking in your kitchen
  • Ventilate and dehumidify attics, crawl spaces and basements
  • A wet surface in your home that is not taken care of can start growing mold within 24-48 hours

 

How Can Mold in Your Home Affect Your Health?
Molds naturally exist outdoors and indoors, living in a totally mold-free environment is practically impossible. Mold produces spores that are invisible to the human eye and travel through the air. Molds produce allergens, irritants and sometimes toxins that may cause adverse reactions in humans. A reaction to mold depends on how much a person is exposed to, the age of the person and a person’s sensitivities or allergies. The same amount of mold may cause health effects in one person, but not in another. If you are predisposed to allergies and asthma, the effect of living around mold can increase the severity drastically. Some of the common symptoms of being around mold and reacting to it can be,
•    Skin rashes
•    Eye irritation
•    Cough & Congestion
•    Fever & Flu-like symptoms
•    Fatigue
•    Frequent nose bleeds
•    Headaches & Dizziness
•    Increased risk for infection

How to Properly Remove Mold from Your Home
People can react to mold whether it is living or dead, so making sure mold is cleaned out of your home properly is very important. If you decide to try and clean up mold by yourself there are some very important precautions to be aware of to ensure there is no danger to your health and that you are getting rid of the mold and not just what you can see on the surface. You are going to want to wear a respirator so that you are not breathing in mold spores since they are invisible to the naked eye. Also wear protective glasses, rubber gloves and be sure to wash your clothing immediately after you are done. To minimize the number of spores becoming air bound dampen the molding area first. If your mold problem is on a hard surface such as plastic, glass, metal or counter tops you can scrub it away with a pad using non-ammonia soap or detergent. No matter what you might read on the internet do not mix ammonia and bleach because combined they produce toxic fumes. If your mold problem exists on paper, drywall or carpet you must discard these items from your home because it is impossible to clean all of the mold out of materials such as these. For cleaner areas you can use a concoction of ½ cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water, but for more soiled surfaces you will want to increase your concentration to 1 ½ cups of bleach per gallon of water. Be sure to rinse any area you are using bleach on with clean water after you are done and be sure to rapidly dry the area completely and the use of a fan or dehumidifier will inhibit mold from growing there again.

If the mold in your home covers more than 10 square feet, you should consider hiring a professional to come in and clean it. If hiring a professional you should go to the Environmental Protection Agency website at www.epa.gov and read their articles and research they have already completed for your reference. They provide many websites and organization to contact regarding hiring a professional. You can also refer to the EPA’s guidance document on “Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings” even if the mold problem is in your home. Many fire and flood restoration companies also provide mold remediation services so make sure to check those out too. There are so many certifications out there dealing with mold remediation that you need to make sure you do your homework and research which organization they are affiliated with. When mold is present, it is a time sensitive issue because of how fast it reproduces so make sure to put it on your top priority list.

After you have your mold problem remediated we would be happy to come in and help you restore your home to its natural beauty. 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. 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.

Time To Finish Your Basement?

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Many homeowners find that the basement is the last area of the house to receive attention when it comes to home improvements.  Oftentimes, this is because the task of finishing a basement seems so daunting because it is an entire level of your home.  No need to feel overwhelmed; we’ve laid out some easy steps to help you get started.

Consider Hiring a Contractor: A common myth is that a contractor will expand your budget.  While it’s true that a contractor will need to be compensated for their labor, oftentimes a contractor is able to receive special pricing that is not available to the general consumer at big box stores.  A reputable contractor will stand behind their work and be far less likely to make the costly mistakes that an amateur may make.  Another advantage of working with a contractor is that the job is likely to get done quicker because it is their priority to finish your project in a timely manner.  No one wants to live in a construction zone for months on end.

Room Functionality: Consult with other members of your household to see what they’d like to utilize your finished basement for.  Narrow down details such as whether or not flooring will be heated and if sound proof insulation is needed.  These features are easy to add during the remodel process, but are much more difficult after the work is completed.  The more details you bring to your contractor, the more accurate of a quote you will receive.  Be sure to discuss with your contractor if they will be doing the entire project and if they will be responsible for acquiring fixtures.  This will prevent frustrations down the road when each party thought the other was handling it.

Financing: Once you have an estimate, review your finances to make sure that you can adhere to the agreed upon payment schedule.  Typically, contractors will request a down payment to acquire supplies to get the project started with a final payment due upon project completion.

Need some inspiration?  Here’s a few ideas to transform your basement into a useable space:

  • Media Room: Basements typically have low ceilings and minimal windows which means very little lighting shines through.  This makes a basement a perfect spot for a soundproof entertainment room.  A home entertainment system complete with surround sound can transform a storage area into a space that can be enjoyed by family and friends.

 

  • Hobby Room: Tired of children’s toys taking over your living room?  Why not create a play space in your basement?  Most basements have doors which close them off from the rest of the house, containing clutter to one area.  Basements are also the ideal space for a hobby or craft room for the same reason.toy room

 

  • Guest Bedroom: If you frequently have guests from out of town, transforming your basement into a spare room can spare your visitors the added expense and hassle of a hotel room.  It also allows guests privacy.  If you have an older child living at home, a basement bedroom can also be ideal.

  • Home Office: Creating a home office in your basement is a great suggestion for those that have the ability to work from home.  Creating this space allows you to draw a clear distinction between home and work which will allow your routine to be more manageable and organized.

 

  • Man Cave: Make your “man cave” the envy of your friends with a bar, pool table, mini-fridge and comfy furniture.  (Just make sure they know that they need to bring the refreshments!)

 

Looking for a professional to make your dream basement a reality?  Let the professionals at Lindus Construction help you make that happen.   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.

Sass up Your Home with Siding

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Siding is very important because it gives beauty to the totality of your home especially the exterior. In today’s world, there are thousands off different colors and brands to choose from. When choosing what siding fits your home best, you should consider what other homes on your street and in your area look like. Darker colors will make your house look smaller and lighter colors will make your house look larger and if you have a two story home you might want to contemplate two different colors.

With the advancement in technology, construction companies such as Lindus Construction offer a Virtual Home Remodeler program on their website where you can choose all different kinds of siding options they carry and see what it would look like on a home. Lindus Construction has stepped it up a notch by using a program called a Colorizer. We will take a picture of your existing home and use our Colorizer program to show you exactly what your home would look like with the specific color and siding you are interested in. We are also able to show you what your home would look like with a new roof, LeafGuard gutter system and many more items from our product line. Below we have broken out three different types of siding: steel, fiber cement and vinyl to give you a snap shot of what each has to offer.

LP SmartSide Siding –Named one of the safest companies in America due to their sustainability efforts.  LP SmartSide will offer you the look of beautiful authentic real wood with all of the advantages of engineered wood that will provide unbeatable curb appeal to your home. It will give you the natural look of real cedar without the worries and is an upgrade from vinyl siding. LP SmartSide products work and cut just like real wood. Unlike real wood siding, LP SmartSide, will not twist, warp, cup or shrink. LP offers remarkable protection with their SmartGuard process which is designed to create the most durable product. They brutally test their products in Hilo, Hawaii to ensure LP SmartSide stands up against moisture, fungal decay and hungry termites. LP SmartSide cares about the environment by being a part of a certified forest management program which helps ensure their wood comes from well managed forests. Their wood procurement process targets small, fast growing trees that replenish themselves quicker than older mature trees. They use the entire log when manufacturing this product and any wood waste is used in their mills. This product will surpass your expectations and you will not be disappointed.

James Hardie Siding – James Hardie is the trusted leader in the manufacture, development and performance of fiber cement siding. Their siding is tough. Rain, hail, impact, wind, fire and even fluctuations in humidity do not stand a chance against it. This type of siding offers specific climate performance attributes and is warranted not to rot, warp or delaminate and can be installed to withstand winds up to 150 MPH. Since North America has a wide range of climatic challenges for exterior builders such as freezing, sub-zero temperatures, heat and humidity, James Hardie,  has invented the HardieZone system due to recognizing that climate specific fiber cement products are necessary.  James Hardie siding will work with virtually any architectural style and more chances than not you will be able to match this to the siding that is already on your home. The color of this siding is actually baked on so it will resist chipping, peeling and cracking for years to come. James Hardie siding has a 15 year finish warranty and a transferable 30 year limited non-prorated warranty.

SeasonGuard Steel & Vinyl Siding – SeasonGuard Steel siding is made from the finest materials to ensure the most dependable siding available in this industry today. Steel siding is more durable than vinyl, aluminum, wood or fiber cement siding. This steel siding’s world class coating is harder and more scratch and stain resistant as well as 20% thicker than any other seamless siding. SeasonGuard steel siding is virtually maintenance-free because you will never have to paint or stain your home again. With just a quick wash from your garden house this steel siding will look exquisite and clean again. There is a 35 year chalk and fade guarantee as well as a 50 year hail protection warranty. There is no worry about any waste of steel siding because it is 100% recyclable.

SeasonGuard Vinyl siding is an engineered siding system that combines select materials and refined designs with energy efficiency. It has up to five times impact resistance than conventional siding. It won’t dent, bow or sag like average siding will. Since this vinyl siding is heavily insulated it will help your furnace and air conditioner to work more efficiently.  SeasonGuard vinyl siding is friendlier to the environment than brick or stucco when compared to the air pollution it causes when manufacturing. All of there in plant vinyl scrap that comes from producing this siding is recycled to further reduce their carbon footprint.

Would you like to see what your home would look like with new and updated siding before you make your decision? Set up an estimate today and let us put our cutting edge technology to work for you. 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. 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.

Should Your Next Roof Be Metal?

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Consumers may think of metal roofing as a trend that grew popularity in the late 20th century, but actually has a much longer history.  Historical structures that have stood the test of time that had metal roofs include: the Pantheon in Rome, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and the Washington Monument.  In recent times, it has become a popular choice for home owners for reasons we’ll discuss in the article below.

Life Expectancy: One of the biggest perks of metal roofing is its long life expectancy.  Depending on the metal roof you select, it can last 50 years or more, quite possibly making it the last roof you’ll ever have to buy.  The longevity of the metal roof also increases your home’s value.

Lindus Metal Roof 1

Painting Capabilities: Not sure that you want the same look on your home for the next 50 years?  Not to worry-metal roofing can be repainted.

Insurance Discounts: A steel roof is the most fire safe roof because it is classified as a noncombustible roof with the highest rating given.  Because of this, some insurance companies offer discounts because of the increased fire protection a metal roof offers.  Metal roofs have the highest impact resistance and hail rating, another reason you may be eligible for an insurance discount.

Eco-Friendly: Home owners that select metal roofs also likely enjoy the fact that metal roofs are from recycled steel and aluminum material and are 100 % recyclable.

Noise Resistance: A common misconception is that metal roofing is loud.  This is true with barns and sheds where the metal is visible to the interior.  In a home, your attic and insulation serve as sound barriers making it no less noisy than traditional roofing systems.

Lightweight: Metal roofs weigh 1/3 less than asphalt roofing, meaning that your home will be under less stress holding your roof up.

Durability: A metal roof won’t rot, crack or split; it is much more resistant to nature’s elements than traditional roofing systems.

Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs have coatings that prevent 75 to 80 percent of the sun’s energy from being absorbed into the roof.  They can reduce roof surface temperatures by 60 to 70 degrees.  Because of their reflectivity, a metal roof can save a homeowner up to 40% on their energy bills.

Sheds Snow & Ice: 
Because of its surface, a metal roof is not a collection site for snow and ice in the winter months; this means that homeowners who choose metal roofing systems do not have to deal with Lindus Metal Roof 2ice dams during harsh winters.

Looking for a professional to make your dream roof a reality?  Let the professionals at Lindus Construction help you make that happen.   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.

 

 

 

Do Your Countertops Need A Facelift?

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When looking around your kitchen, do your countertops look damaged or dull? Updating your countertops can give your cooking space just the update it needed. There are many different options that you can choose from on the market these days. Don’t worry! We have done your homework for you when it comes to deciding what type of material will best fit your needs and desires.

Granite

Simply defines the elegance of beauty and is formed from magma. Granite is mined from the Earth at granite quarries. Once a slab of granite is mined it is polished on one side and comes in many different colors ranging from dark to light. No one piece of granite is the same and that adds to its uniqueness. This might not be the material of choice for you if money is a concern, but the upside is that it is very durable, holds up well to heat, scratch resistant, is virtually maintenance free and will last a lifetime.

Engineered Stone – also called Quartz Surfacing

This is a unique combination of 93% quartz and 7% crushed resin particles which make this stone nonporous, resistant to heat, scratching, stains, chemicals, molds and bacteria. It is easy to maintain not requiring the annual sealing like natural stone.  The nice thing about engineered stone is that it can be made to look like granite, marble, travertine, concrete and other natural stones. Engineered stones are only heat resistant up to 350° so the use of a trivet or a hot pad when setting warm items on it is a good idea.

Ceramic Tile

Many people choose ceramic tile for several reasons. One main reason is that it is inexpensive and still has aesthetic appeal. Most ceramic tile is easy to clean, resistant to heat and scratches and comes in a wide variety of colors and textures. The downside is that ceramic tile can chip or crack easily and since you have to use grout in between the tiles it can become stained.

Laminates

Laminate countertops, such as Formica, are made of plastic coated synthetics. It is simple to clean and maintain, but you are getting what you paid for since this is the most inexpensive countertop. This type of countertop can be easily damaged by sharp objects and is not heat resistant and is virtually impossible to repair like some of the other options that you might be able to sand out a scratch. The laminate countertop business has come many strides in trying to imitate other stones such as granite. You have more options than ever before when it comes to choosing this type of material.

Wood or Butcher Block

Choosing a wood countertop will offer your home a warm, beautiful, richer look than other solid surfaces. Wood countertops offer a large variety to choose from due to the wood species, stain color and the grain attributes you are looking for. Hardwoods such as maple and oak are a popular choice when going this route. Wood countertops are usually in one of two categories. Decorative wood countertops are intended for use that does not involve cutting and would be considered more of an eating area. Butcher Block is more intended to be used for cutting, chopping and food preparation. The nice thing about wood countertops is that they can be sanded and resealed if needed, but they can also be damaged by contact with water or stains overtime.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel countertops have been used in commercial kitchens for decades and now homeowners have started to appreciate the beauty and durability of this type of material. Some of the great features of this product are that it is sturdier than most countertops and you never have to worry about chipping or stains. One of the most practical reasons of installing this in your home is that you never need to worry about scratching or heat damage and you can move pots and pans directly from the stove onto it. A downfall is that this material is very expensive, you should not cut directly on it and it can be very noisy.

Soapstone

Soapstone will also offer you a warmer and softer feel than some of these other material choices.  Soapstone is generally dark gray in color and is somewhat stain resistant. One of the downfalls of this material is that you have to treat it regularly with mineral oil which will bring out the natural beauty in this stone.  Soapstone will scratch, but you can buff out the scratches by using fine grit sandpaper.  You see this stone used mostly in contemporary or historic homes, but the price range is reasonable so it is worth a look at it if you are not familiar with it.

Concrete

Concrete countertops seem to be the new rave when considering updating your kitchen. If you have countertops in your home that are not a standard size this might be the option for you. The drawback might be the high price of this material might break the bank. Concrete countertops are strong enough to resist most types of damage such as chipping, cracking and scratching. Concrete is  porous so using a sealant will provide a barrier from food and liquid staining. They are also unbelievably heat resistant, but it might damage a sealant layer if you chose to use one.

 

Considering remodeling your kitchen? We would like to help you with your vision and design! 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.

 

 

 

 

Upping Your Home’s Curb Appeal

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Curb appeal is something that often gets brought up when a home goes on the market, but it’s also important for established homeowners.  A home’s exterior is the first thing guests see.  Adding the right touches can add value to your home and bring joy to your life.  As spring approaches, here are some ways to upgrade the exterior of your home.

1) Windows: Just as the eyes are the window to the soul, your home’s windows offer a glimpse into the heart of your home.  In addition to the aesthetic appeal they offer, installing new, energy efficient windows can save you up to $400 in energy costs per year.

2) Lighting: Solar landscape lighting enhances the look of your home’s exterior in the evening. A bonus is that it also provides safety & security.  Mindfully placed lights can also be used to accentuate a walking path or draw attention to other features you wish to showcase.solar-path-lights

3) Decking: Adding a deck allows for an outdoor entertaining space. Already have one?  Be sure to keep it maintained through staining or painting.  Dedicating time to this every year or two will keep your deck looking good as new.  Prefer to have the job done for you?  Contact your local Better Business Bureau for a list of reputable professionals in your area.

4) Landscaping: Want lush landscaping but not into the idea of watering plants constantly?  Have the best of both worlds with drought tolerant landscaping.  Plants that fit this criterion include: Longwood Blue, Cornflower, Lamb’s Ears & Maiden Grass.  A benefit to drought tolerant landscaping is that it will cut your water costs by 2/3.

5) Trim & Siding: Peeling trim and weathered siding can greatly detract from your home’s curb appeal.  If your home is referred to as the “pink house” by people from two towns away, it may be time to update your paint or siding.  A wild color can cause visitors to be too distracted to notice anything other than your home’s color.

6) Mailbox: Transform a Plain Jane mailbox with a new coat of paint on the post or try planting flowers at its base.  Another trend that’s catching on is mailbox covers that can reflect your personal style and be changed out to reflect holidays.mailbox cover

 

7) Doors: Think about how much you use your home’s doors.  It’s no wonder they can look worn out fast.  Having a new front door installed can make your home’s entrance a statement.  Think outside of the box and don’t limit yourself to just the basic colors and designs.

Looking for a professional to make your dream exterior a reality this spring so you can entertain all summer? We can make that happen! 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.facebook logo