Monthly Archives: July 2012

Is Your Home Making You Sick?

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Filed under Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard
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Americans spend an average of about 90 percent of their time indoors, majority of which is spent within the confines of their homes. It’s important to understand which household factors contribute to ailments and how they can be prevented.  Below, we’ll discuss some of factors that can make you sick at home and what can be done to eradicate them.

Lead: Do you have a home built before 1978 that still has the original windows? If you answered yes to this question, it’s important to strongly consider replacing your windows ASAP. Why? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that the practice of opening & closing windows can agitate the lead based paint surrounding the windows which can cause lead paint particles to be released into the air.  Anyone who is exposed to lead paint particles can experience brain & kidney damage, hearing and vision impairment, nerve problems.  There are state and federal programs in place to ensure that testing is done effectively & correctly.  Call 800-424-LEAD (the National Lead Information Center) to see who the service provider in your area is.  Please know that home kits are not the most effective way to determine if your home has lead hazards.  At Lindus Construction, we conduct lead testing on properties built prior to 1978 to ensure that homeowners are safe during the construction process. 

Asbestos: An asbestos problem can become an even bigger problem when uncovered during a renovation.  If inhaled, asbestos can cause several types of respiratory problems including cancer and scarring of the lungs.  Flooring, insulation, plaster, caulk, ceiling tiles, paint and furnace ducts are common places that asbestos are found.  The substance was banned from building materials in 1972.   Asbestos, when not disturbed is not a health hazard.  It only becomes one as the product starts to deteriorate and asbestos particles enter the air.  If you wish to remove asbestos from your home, we recommend that you contact your local Better Business Bureau for the name of a reputable professional.  DO NOT attempt to undertake this procedure if you are not a trained professional as serious health consequences are likely to occur.

Arsenic: Arsenic is a preservative that was used in wood furniture, fencing & decking prior to 2005.  Its purpose was to keep the wood from rotting.  Children that touch wood that contains arsenic and then place their hands in their mouth can be susceptible to side effects such as nausea.  More severe side effects from long-term exposure are cancer & blindness.  Arsenic can also leak into the ground and affect plants growing nearby.  Arsenic is a threat only if the wood is not sealed so to be sure to use a sealer once per season. 

Radon: Radon is a gas that is created when uranium breaks down in the soil, rocks andwater.  In small amounts, it is not harmful to your health.  However, in large amounts, radon can cause lung cancer.  Radon can contaminate your drinking water, especially if it comes from a well.  Because it is the lowest level in your home (and closest to the ground) radon can also be found in your basement.  Sealing a home can help reduce radon levels.  Home testing kits are available.  Be sure to closely follow the directions on them because failure to do so can result in a false reading.

Carbon Monoxide: Like radon, carbon monoxide, is an odorless colorless gas that can be fatal but at a more rapid rate.  Sources of carbon monoxide in the home can be: gas appliances with improper ventilation, a malfunctioning furnace and a clogged chimney.  High levels can cause death rapidly.  However, non-lethal levels can also cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.  Because these symptoms are similar to many other medical conditions, it can be difficult to diagnose carbon monoxide poisoning.  We highly recommend a carbon monoxide detector for each level in your home.  It is most effective when it placed close to the ceiling.

Moisture: When too much moisture can builds up, it causes mildew which leads to mold.  One of mold’s favorite places to grow is the bathroom.  To prevent mold, dry off all surfaces that collect standing water.  It’s also important that your bathroom has proper ventilation.  It’s recommended that you run a vent fan after every shower for at least 20 minutes.  This will prevent mildew production.  Make sure your fan is a true exhaust fan which dissipates the humid air.  A fan that does not do this can vent damp air into an area such as your attic that encourages mold growth.

Household Cleaners: Believe it or not, household cleaners, the very thing that issupposed to protect you and your family from illness can actually cause them.  Why?  Components of the cleaner evaporate into the air and can be inhaled.  Ingredients in cleaners such as bleach can make you dizzy, nauseous & light-headed.  Fragrances in cleaners can also cause irritation because of the ingredients they are comprised of.  Use natural cleaners with ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar and water when cleaning for a healthier home.

Kitchen Sponge: Sponges are an environmentally friendly alternative to paper towels.  However, taking care of the environment in this case can be hazardous toyour health because cleaning them with a bleach solution may not completely eradicate germs leaving you susceptible to illness.  The best ways to disinfect a sponge are to place it in the microwave in a small bowl of water for a minute or run it through a cycle in your dishwasher.

Your Bed: Dust mites are invisible to the naked eye but they can wreak havoc if you are allergic to them.  Often found in beds, they can cause itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, shortness of breath, etc.  Wash your sheets and comforter weekly in hot water to minimize your exposure to dust mites.  It’s also recommended that you wash or replace your pillow twice a year.

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.

Lighten Up Your Life with Natural Light through Skylights and Sun Tunnels!

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, Energy Efficient Homes, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Sustainable Living, VELUX
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The benefits of skylights and solar tubes go far above that of the conventional. They provide ventilation for your home, free daylight, added value and can add a unique look. There is a great degree of health benefits from receiving regular doses of sunlight and fresh air. It is said that having an insufficient amount of sunlight is linked directly to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). People suffering from SAD may have less energy, bigger appetites and depression. Lighting plays a huge role in the feel and livability of a room. By adding a little bit of light, you can change the whole dynamic of an area. For a long time, skylights were considered a luxury item in your home. Skylights are a part of the green revolution in home building and remodeling. If you are looking for an upgrade in your home, consider adding skylights to decrease energy costs and increase you mood with enjoying natural sunlight.

Some benefits of installing a skylight

-UV deflection and protection

-eliminates direct sunlight and hot spots

-evenly distributes natural light

-increases concentration and productivity

-adds aesthetic appeal to your home

-fills your room with fresh air

Energy facts regarding skylights

Artificial lighting is one of the largest sources of energy consumption in commercial and industrial applications. On average, artificial lighting accounts for 40% of the building’s total energy. Utilizing skylights in your home or work area have been shown to significantly reduce these energy costs through the benefits of day lighting. With proper design, the cost of skylights is paid back often in less than two years. This is because high visible light transmittance acrylic skylights allow artificial lighting to be turned off on average of 70% – 80% of the time.

What shapes do skylights come in?

-rectangular

-circular

-oval

-diamond

-triangular

-multi-sided

-tubular

Skylights are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Before selecting a skylight for your home, you need to determine what type of skylight will work best and where to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It’s a good idea to understand the energy performance ratings of skylights if you don’t already. You can then determine what energy performance ratings you need for your skylight based on your climate and home’s design. The physical size of the skylight greatly affects the illumination level and temperature of the space below. As a rule of thumb, the skylight size should never be more than 5percent of the floor area in rooms with many windows and no more than 15 percent of the room’s total floor area for spaces with few windows.

Positioning of your skylight

You should also consider a skylight’s position if you want to maximize day lighting and/or passive solar heating potential. Below is how the position of the skylight will affect your home’s temperature and illumination of daylight.

-North facing, provide fairly constant but cool illumination

-East facing, provide maximum light and solar heat gain in the morning

-West facing, provide afternoon sunlight and heat gain

-South facing, provide the greatest potential for desirable winter passive solar heat gain than any other location, but often allow unwanted heat gain in the summer.

We would recommend that you install VELUX skylights in your home. The VELUX deck mounted and curb mounted products have The No Leak Skylight. It carries the new 10-year installation warranty plus 20 years on glass, 10 years on product, and five years on blinds and controls. Features include 3 layers of water protection – advanced LoE3 glass for better energy efficiency, higher visible light transmittance, and improved solar heat gain performance – money-saving pre-finished white frames and sashes – pre-mounted brackets for quick installation of sunscreen blinds – lower roof profile with an updated curved architectural design – and a neutral gray color to blend with most roof materials and colors. Next you can see what type of skylight would fit you needs best for your area in your home. They are:

Fixed skylight – model QFT  An economical choice for visually expanding areas such as hallways, stairwells, and other closed-in dark spaces that can be transformed with daylight and sky views.

  • Pre-finished white paintable interior.
  • Cut-flush curbs available.
  • Energy efficient LoE2 dual pane with argon.

Manual venting skylight – model QVT An economical solution for bringing abundant natural light and fresh air into the home.

  • Opens and closes manually with VELUX control rods.
  • Pre-finished white paintable interior.
  • Cut-flush curbs available.
  • Energy efficient LoE2 dual pane with argon.

Electric venting skylight – model QET Designed for out of reach applications to bring in abundant natural light and opens to let in fresh air with the touch of a button. As stale, humid air is released, homes feel comfortable anytime day or night.Wall-mountable slim line remote control included.

  • Wall mounted keypad is optional.
  • Pre-attached motor and transformer.
  • Pre-finished white paintable interior.
  • Single hard wire that connects into a standard junction box.
  • Only uses .5 amp of power and does not require a designated circuit.
  • Dual rain sensors automatically close the skylight during inclement weather.
  • Energy efficient LoE2 dual pane with argon.

The VELUX Sun Tunnel skylight is optically engineered to capture light through a high impact dome on the roof. The light rays travel through a highly reflective tunnel, transmitting a pure natural light with no color shift. The diffuser assembly at the ceiling distributes natural light evenly into the room while limiting bright spots and glare.

Places in your home you will benefit from installing a Sun Tunnel

  • Closets
  • Hallways
  • Stairways
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry Rooms

VELUX, provided to you by Lindus Construction, have been around for the last 65 years and their company was founded on a vision of daylight, fresh air and increasing your quality of life. VELUX is consistently rated the #1 skylight in the industry by builders, remodelers and architects. Quality is a major priority at VELUX which is represented by an industry first 10-year “No Leak” warranty. Installing an ENERGY STAR® qualified VELUX Sun Tunnel today will decrease your carbon footprint by about 7-15% compared to non-qualified products.

Positive effects a Sun Tunnel will add to your home

  • Reduces energy costs, energy consumption and the demand for unsustainable power
  • Makes your interior spaces appear larger
  • Will increase your homes sales appeal
  • Brings the outdoors in
  • Balances the light in the room, reducing glare and transforming living areas into more open, safer spaces

Lindus Construction is proud to offer VELUX Sun Tunnels and Skylights.  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.

 

 

Protect Yourself by Asking the Right Questions Before Hiring a Contractor

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Filed under Home Construction, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard
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Remodeling your home may sound like a lot of effort but a well-constructed home will boost your property values.  While it’s important to evaluate the quality of supplies being used, it’s equally if notmore important to carefully screen potential contractors to ensure that you’re working with a reputable professional who will follow through on the work agreed upon in a timely, safe & ethical manner.  When getting a construction bid, we encourage you to meet with professionals to understand their credentials and the scope of the work they will be performing.  Below are some questions that we urge you to ask prior to hiring a contractor.

1) Have you ever done business under a different name?  It’s important that you pay attention to how this question is answered, as it is very unlikely that a business that has operated under a different name is going to be willing to talk about it.  Operating the same type of business under a different name is often a sign that the business was shut done for shady practices such as requiring jobs be paid upfront and then disappearing before the work is completed.  When in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Public Safety to ensure that you are protected.

2) What is your license number?  In MN & WI every contractor must register withthe   state in order to do business.  Having a contractor’s license number allows you to verify whether or not any claims or judgments have been passed against them.  This also can show if the owner owned another home improvement business under a different name.

3) What type of warranty do you provide?  Most projects won’t fail within the first year.  It’s important to work with an established company who has been in business for some time.  They have a reputation to uphold and will likely do anything they can to warranty a malfunction.  It’s important to get this warranty in writing so that you and the business each have evidence of the kind service that will be provided in the event that a warranty is needed.

4) How can I get in touch with you? Don’t neglect to ask this question.  It’s important to get a physical business address along with business phone and cell phone of the contractor you’re working with.  If they’re only willing to give you a cell phone and a PO Box or their business is operated out a mobile trailer, you may want to consider looking elsewhere.  These signs are warning signals that you may not be able to reach the contractor in a few years if something goes wrong with the project….if they even finish it. 

5) Can I have a copy of your insurance policy?  You should always ask for a copy of a contractor’s insurance policy; not only to make sure that they do carry insurance, but what kind and how much. There are a lot of contractors that have coverage but it is sometimes not enough to even cover your property. You want to make sure that their insurance not only covers your property but also a good amount of worker’s compensation coverage.  If the contractor is not properly insured, you could be liable for any accidents or injuries that happen to the crew.

6) What associations do you belong to and are you a member of the Better Business Bureau?  Memberships to trade organizations show a dedication to both ethics and continuing education.  If your contractor does not belong to any trade associations, ask why.  These associations can remove member businesses that do not conduct themselves in an ethical manner.  A membership to the Better Business Bureau means that the member business agrees to resolve any matters brought to the BBB’s attention in a timely and fair manner.  If your contractor does not belong to the BBB, ask why and be sure to research their company for any unresolved complaints against them.

6) How much will this project cost?  Be sure to get costs associated with your contract in writing.  Be sure that estimates are detailed so that when you compare them against each other, you know that you are comparing apples to apples.  Be wary of any quote that is significantly lower than the rest, as it may not include all materials, labor, etc.  If you receive a significantly higher estimate than the rest, this could mean that the other contractors were missing a key barrier needed to complete the project and may be coming back to you for more money once they get started.

7) How much of a down payment is required?  Almost all contractors require a down payment before a project commences.  Steer clear of any contractors that require you to pay the entire balance prior to starting on the project because if they fail to follow through on the work they promised, you will have to take them to court (if you can find them) or be out all of your money.  Keep in mind that an established company does not need your money upfront to complete a project because they should have a healthy income that permits them to start without an extensive advance.

8) Do you have references that I can contact?  Written & verbal references allow you to get a sense of what others experienced when they worked with the contractor.  We still recommend checking with the Better Business Bureau, GuildQuality and Angie’s List to see how the contractor stacks up.

9) How many projects like mine have you done in the last year?  In the same way that you wouldn’t call a podiatrist for a headache, it’s important to work with a contractor that specializes in the type of work you seek.  Just because a company specializes in sealcoating, doesn’t mean they are the best people to install your gutters.  Asking how many similar projects a contractor has done in the past year will assist you in determining if you are working with the correct business.  It also ensures that you are dealing with a contractor that is an expert in your type of project, not just one who dabbles in a little bit of everything.  Often, issues with installation are not immediately evident.  Reduce your chances of having these issues by working with a professional who is an expert on your type of project.

Bottom line, go with your gut.  If you don’t trust what you’re being told, investigate it.  You need to be an advocate for yourself and a reliable contractor is going to have no problem with the above questions being asked; in fact, they likely do the same thing when working with other service professionals.

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.

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Energy Efficient Homes, Englert, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, LeafGuard, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Sustainable Living, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Rainwater harvesting is collecting the run-off from a structure in order to store it for later use. Traditionally, it involves harvesting the rain from a roof. The rain that falls will collect in your gutter system that channels the waters flow into downspouts moving it into a storage vessel. There are many different types of rainwater harvesting systems and they range from systems that are as simple as a rain barrel or as detailed as large cisterns that can supply your entire household demand. We tend to think of rainwater harvesting and picture old farm cisterns or that it is used mostly in developing countries, but that is not the case. Rainwater harvesting a part of the green building movement and is an alternative for energy conservation in your home or businesses. It allows you to be in control of your water supply allowing you the ability to replace a substantial portion of your water.

Here are just a few benefits of using a rainwater harvesting system:

~It is a free source of water

~It is environmentally responsible and growing in popularity socially

~It allows you to be self-sufficient

~It can help solve drainage problems on your property

~It is better for your landscaping and garden because it is pure and not chlorinated

~It is very easy to maintain and are relatively inexpensive

~It provides an excellent backup for a water source in an emergency situation

If you consider that most of us use drinking water to flush our toilets and water our lawns doesn’t that seem socially irresponsible? By using a harvester you are making less of an environmental imprint. There are three basic areas where rainwater can be used and they are irrigation, indoor non-potable use or whole home potable use that needs a specific filter. If you are still wary about how you would use your rainwater, here are specific uses for it:

~watering your lawn or garden

~ hook it up to your sprinkler system

~wash your vehicles or give you pet a bath

~fill your fish pond, fountain or swimming pool

~wash down your driveway

~toilet and washing machine water

We would recommend that you use an ENGLERT Rainwater Harvesting System that you can purchase through Lindus Construction. They are committed in the long-term and economic value of protecting our planet’s limited resources and providing customers with the most innovative, cost effective, aesthetically-pleasing and sustainable home and building solutions.

How does the ENGLERT Rainwater Harvesting System work? Rainwater collected from your home or business’s roof flows through an initial filter to remove large debris like leaves and twigs. The fresh rainwater is then stored in tank either above or below ground. Excessive rainwater exits the tank overflow into a Marix Infiltration Block. Then activated by demand, a pump system distributes the stored rainwater for many uses, which are all managed by a Rain Manager. During periods of low rainfall, an optional back-up water supply feature activates ensuring continuous, uninterrupted water flow.

There are three main sizes of ENGLERT Rainwater Harvesting units:

Traditional 225 RHS

  • The Traditional 225 RHS is a 225 gallon capacity, above ground rainwater harvesting system designed for non-potable water uses including landscaping irrigation, vehicle cleaning, and decorative fountains.
  • The 225-gallon, compact rainbox tank is easily connected to a standard residential downspout, and can be expanded in 75-gallon increments to increase capacity. Its opaque black exterior resists algae formation.
  • The attached pump can be easily disconnected and reconnected to additional rainboxes placed at other downspouts around the house. The Traditional 225 Rainwater Harvesting System can be installed in less than an hour by a single installer.
  • Child safe and mosquito proof
  • Constructed of UV-resistant black polyethylene

Classic 400 RHS

  • The Classic 400 RHS is a 400-gallon rainwater harvesting system featuring an above ground tank (available in forest green and sierra tan) to prevent algae growth.
  • The Classic 400 Rainwater Harvesting System is designed for non-potable water uses including home landscaping and irrigation, vehicle cleaning, household toilet flushing and laundering. It features a first flush diverter which diverts the first flush of water from the roof into a chamber.
  • Once the chamber is full, fresh water flows directly into the SlimFit tank. The 400 RHS also features a downspout filter, automatic pump system, pump cover and accessory fittings which can be installed in two hours by one or two installers.

Ultra 1700 RHS

  • The Ultra 1700 Rainwater Harvesting System is a 1,700-gallon system with a below ground , polyethylene tank designed for non-potable water uses including home landscaping and irrigation, vehicle cleaning, household toilet flushing and laundering.
  • The Ultra 1700 Rainwater Harvesting System comes with a downspout basket filter to prevent debris from entering the chamber. The Ultra 1700 has an automatic pumping system and accessory fittings which can be installed in two days by two to three installers. Options include a level indicator, rain tank infiltration block and faux rock cover for the pump.

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 for your new ENGLERT Rainwater Harvesting system today!

Top Reasons to Upgrade Your Gutters

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Rain gutters serve an important part in protecting your home from water damage by diverting water away from your home.  Here are some reasons why you should consider upgrading the gutters on your home. 

1. Interior Flooding: Without properly working gutters on your home, water is not diverted away which can cause basement flooding.

2. Rotting Fascia: Fascia provides the finished look to a home’s trim. It covers rafter ends and creates a surface along the edge of the roof. It protects the house from severe weather by creating a barrier against precipitation. Fascia boards also prevent rodents from getting into your home’s walls because it covers gaps between the wall & the roof.  If clogged gutters overfill, they can cause excess water to hit wooden fascia.  This can cause it to start breaking down in a matter of hours.  Replacing fascia on your entire home can be a costly & time consuming process.

3. Bowing Driveways: Gutters that work improperly can cause large puddles of water to break concrete down from the surface.  This can result in cracking and bowing in your driveway.  Cracks and bowed driveways can be the result.

4. Landscaping Erosion: Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, landscaping is an investment.  Lack of or clogged gutters can send water rushing towards your landscaping which and can knock over plants & shrubs.  Water can also cause soil erosion and dips in your yard. 

5. Pest Control: Here in the Midwest, mosquitoes are plentiful in the summer months.  Sitting water in gutters makes for the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes, making it difficult for you to enjoy the outdoors.

6. Stay Dry When Entering Your Home:  Gutters deter water from rushing off the roof over the entrances to your home and porch.  Having gutters eliminates this at your home’s entry.  Not having them leaves all that enter your home in a rainstorm to be sopping wet.

7. A Cleaner Exterior: Water crashing off your roof with nothing to stop it will hit the ground causing mud which will likely splash up against your siding.

A Little About LeafGuard Gutters:

There are several reasons why LeafGuard Gutters are the only gutters to receive the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.  Install LeafGuard Gutters & enjoy:

  • Never having to clean your gutters again – Guaranteed
  • Maintenance free, durable, custom fit gutters
  • 20% thicker aluminum that will never rust or deteriorate
  • A low profile design that won’t interfere with roofing projects or warranties
  • In a simulated laboratory test, LeafGuard Brand gutters were able to handle 32 inches of rain per hour – over three times the heaviest rainfall ever recorded by the U.S. Weather Bureau. It will catch rainwater; but will NEVER clog.

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.

Home Appliances Have Joined the “Smart” Revolution

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, LeafGuard, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Smart Appliances, Uncategorized, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Did you ever believe it was possible that your refrigerator would tell you what to buy, cook or eat? What about being able to download new washing cycle for your washing machine or have your oven and refrigerator communicate depending on what the meal is that evening? Well, all of these things are now possible and we are going to discuss the unbelievable capabilities of owning a smart appliance. LG has taken applying smart technology to a whole different level with their refrigerators, ovens, washing machines and vacuums. If you are in the market for upgrading your living space you will want to make sure and read about these amazing advancements in home appliance products.

The CEO of LG Electronics said, “LG’s direction in smart appliance development has been in pursuing technological advancements that will make consumers’ lives more convenient and ultimately upgrade their quality of life.” Smart ThinQ and Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) is LG’s terminology for these cutting edge products that will provide consumers with a more comfortable and convenient way to manage chores, as well as potentially big saving in energy use and electricity bills.

Smart Refrigerator

LG’s smart refrigerator comes equipped with a “food management system” that allows you to check what is available in your fridge from your smartphone in such detail that you will know expiration dates on items. There are three different ways to know this information and they are:

  • Select from a range of preloaded icons by using the touchscreen to do your inventory
  • Voice recognition
  • Scan grocery lists or barcodes with your smartphone

This new technology also includes a “health manager” which provides you with recipes based on the food that is in your fridge. If you wish to make a dish it recommends you can press the “send to oven” button on the LCD screen and it will arrange the proper oven settings to make it. This refrigerator also saves personal profiles of people in your family which helps you develop a daily or weekly meal plan based on your age, gender weight and BMI. There are also additional features that include a Blast Chiller which can chill a beer in matter of a few minutes or a bottle of wine in as little as eight.

Smart Oven

The LG smart oven allows monitoring of cooking settings, such as temperature, via your smartphone. You are also able to send cooking time information to your oven with your smart phone using the auto-cooking function. It has Infrared Grill technology that cooks food more efficiently. It also has new technology called Smart Diagnosis where you are able to get direct contact with their customer service center for quick and efficient troubleshooting if need be.

Smart Washer

LG’s smart washing machine has recently added Wi-Fi Certification as a new upgrade. What this allows the machine to do is self-diagnose a problem quickly and efficiently eliminating a service call. You no longer have to worry about your laundry running when you leave the house anymore because you are able to monitor the stage of operation your washer or dryer is at with your smartphone. There are pre-programmed options such as wash time, adding fabric softener or alerts as to when you wash cycle is finished. You are also able to download new washing cycles such as Super Rinse and Baby Sanitize through the machines LCD panel or your phone.

Smart Vacuum

LG’s smart HOM-BOT vacuum can be controlled remotely by its smart access feature. You can navigate this vacuum and view the progress of its work from remote locations. You can even steer it with your smartphone if you would like because of the camera. This camera allows the HOM-BOT vacuum to clean smarter and faster. It is so smart that it memorizes mapping information of your home to calculate future cleaning paths.

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.

Protect Yourself from Storm Chasers

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Filed under basement waterproofing, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Siding
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When major storms leave damage to your home, it can be tempting to work with the first contractor that comes knocking on your door, the company that promises you a new roof by the end of the week, or the lowest bidder.  However, not educating yourself about who you are working with can have serious consequences.  In the construction industry, the term “storm chasers” are those that travel to areas affected by storms and approach those in need of assistance with repairs.  Oftentimes, they require cash up-front in exchange for quick repairs.

Unlike reliable contractors, storm chasers will offer to act as the sole contact with a homeowner’s insurance company.  If a homeowner signs documents authorizing a storm chaser to act as sole contact with an insurance company, their insurance settlement check may be made out to the storm chaser, not the home owner.  If this happens, the homeowner relinquishes the right to withhold payment if work is not completed in the manner that was agreed to.  The storm chaser is then free to use subpar materials & or even leave the job incomplete because they have already received full payment.

Oftentimes, storm chasers do not carry insurance policies, leaving the homeowner at risk.  If a roofer is injured while working on your home and the contractor they are working for does not have insurance, their medical bills may become the responsibility of the home owner.

Another area where storm chasers fall short is warranties.  Most roofing materials have warranties to protect the homeowner.  However, warranties are void if the roofing was installed incorrectly.  If you’re dealing with a storm chaser that has no permanent address, it’s difficult to receive support if the product they installed malfunctions before the end of its intended lifespan.  A local contractor has a reputation to uphold and will likely do everything to rectify the situation if something goes wrong with a product down the road.  Their contracts often offer very specific terms that they are likely to honor.

 

 

10 Signs You May Be Dealing With a Storm Chaser

1)      The company solicits business door to door and shows up right after storm damage has occurred.

2)      They offer you a way to not have to pay your insurance deductible.  (This is insurance fraud.)

3)      Contracts are vague and do not state exact dollar amounts & are encouraged to be signed prior to meeting with your insurance adjuster

4)      They do not provide evidence of having insurance or a construction license number.

5)      You are responsible for obtaining the building permit.

6)      Unmarked vehicles or a vehicle with only a magnet that states the company name.

7)      No local references are available.

8)      Offers a price that seems too good to be true.

9)      Uses a PO box as their address.

10)  Out of area license plates and/or driver’s licenses.

In addition to the harm they can cause a local homeowner, storm chasers can be detrimental to the local economy.  Why?  Storm chasers often cut corners on things like insurance and materials, likely making them the cheapest contractor to work with.  If this happens repeatedly, it can make it difficult for legitimate contractors to have market share, causing them to go out of business.  This, in turn, provides the consumer with fewer places locally when a home repair is needed.

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 for your home improvement needs today!

Is That Wood Flooring Under My Carpet?

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, Home Construction, Home Safety, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Remodeling, Uncategorized, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Whether you have just discovered original wood flooring in your home or you have had it for a long time, the thought of refinishing it has probably crossed your mind. Refinished wood floors will add a striking appearance to your living space. You need to weigh your options because it is a very time-consuming, patience testing and sometimes messy home remodeling project. Before you dive right in unprepared, we will discuss the steps involved and then you can decide whether this is a do-it-yourself project and you are up for the challenge or something better left to the professionals.

Signs your floor needs to be refinished

Scratches, dents, cracks and stains in your wood flooring are signs that you need to refinish it. Also, if some of the higher traffic areas appear dull and worn out this is a tell-tale sign. Most hardwood flooring needs to be refinished every three to four years depending on where the flooring exists in your home. If your flooring exists in a part of your home where there is very little traffic, you can go many years longer without having to refinish it. If you have a lot of pets or a larger family most likely you will have to refinish your floors more frequently.

Prep

There are 4 basic steps in refinishing your wood flooring: prep, sand, stain and seal. The prep stage consists of making sure you have the correct tools on the job to complete your project efficiently and effectively. Here are some of the basic prep items that you will need to start your project:

Drum Sander – This sander will do the majority of the sanding on your floor

Edge or Orbital Sander – These handheld power tools will help with tough spots and tight corners

Buffer – To smooth out your wood floor surface after sanding

Putty Knife & Scrapper – To fill gaps and cracks in the floor

Shop Vac – This little gem will be a life saver when trying to clean up all of the dust from sanding

Ear protection, Dust Masks & Safety GogglesSafety is first, so don’t overlook these items

Paint Rollers & Extension Pole – This will save on the backbreaking work involved in staining and sealing your floor

Water-based Polyurethane & Stain – You are going to need one or the other or both to seal your floor to protect it from the elements

Sanding

The sanding process of refinishing your floors is the process of removing the finish that is currently on your floors and to smooth out your surface. If you had carpet covering your original hardwood flooring you will most likely have glue and scratches that you need to work out. Sanding your floor is essential because it helps the surface of the wood be receptive for the coat of stain and finish you will apply. The sanding step of finishing your floor is probably the most cumbersome and labor intensive, but don’t skimp on it because it will only cause you problems when it comes to staining and sealing your floor.

Staining & Sealing

Before you apply any stain or sealer you must clean the floor of any dust from sanding as well as thoroughly wipe down the floor with a cloth. When applying the stain to your newly sanded floor you are going to want to apply it in the direction of the grain in the wood. Try to apply it as evenly as possible. You can use a brush or a roller to apply the polyurethane. Make sure to let this coat dry for at least 6-8 hours. Adding a sealer if imperative to the sustainability of your new floor. It will protect your floor and if anything is spilled it will bead up and is easily cleaned. Floor finishes emit harmful vapors so make sure to have plenty of ventilation in the area you are working in during this process.

Cost

Homewyse.com states to refinish your hardwood floors in 2012 ranges from an average of $0.64 to $0.84 per square foot. Your cost will depend on your local labor, materials costs, job complexity, level of preparation and finish quality. You can go to their website at www.homewyse.com and enter in your zip code to estimate your project cost more accurately for the area that you live in. Their estimates in your specific zip code are accurate to within +/-10%. You should expect to pay in the higher end of the range for work completed by a reputable, licensed, bonded and insured contractor. When hiring a contractor expect a high quality of work to be completed and check out the Better Business Bureau to find the best in your area. Our advice would be to leave it up to the professionals, such as Lindus Construction, when it comes to highly skilled remodeling projects so you will get the outcome that you desire.

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 for your home improvement needs today!

 

Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveways-Which Makes Sense for You?

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Filed under Asphalt Driveway, Concrete Driveway, Driveway

Homeowners have a choice when it comes to a new or replacement driveway. Two of the most common driveway materials are asphalt & concrete.  It’s important to understand the differences and commonalties prior to making your decision on which type of surface you’d like to use for your driveway.

Asphalt & concrete are similar in the fact that they both need to be maintained in order to keep them in good condition.  Both options are also best installed by a professional who can pay careful attention to your soil conditions and insure that the surface is smooth.

Here’s a cheat sheet of what to consider before making your final selection:

Price-It’s always best to get an estimate for both types of materials prior to making a selection.  Because asphalt is comprised of oil, when the price of crude oil is high, the price for asphalt tends to climb as well.  That being said, asphalt is not necessarily the more costly option, as it can still end up being 40-60% more cost effective than concrete.  This makes asphalt a great choice for homeowners with long driveways.

Installation-Asphalt driveways take about 2 days to install and are able to be driven on the day after installation is finished.  Cement driveways can take up to 4 days to install and cannot be driven on for 5-7 days after the installation is complete.

Weathering-In the Midwest where frigid temperatures in the winter months are prevalent, asphalt can be preferred because it is more resistant to cracking that is caused by environmental factors.  Asphalt driveways are also not damaged by salt, making it more cost effective to maintain in the winter months.  Because asphalt is dark in color, it absorbs the sun’s rays, making it melt off ice and snow quicker than cement driveways.  Be mindful that in the winter months, concrete can be cracked by cold weather shrinkage.  Cracks tend to be more costly to mend on concrete than they are on asphalt.  In the summer, an asphalt driveway will be much hotter to the touch than a concrete driveway.  Concrete driveways are less prone to potholes and roots growing through.  The edges of concrete driveways also hold up better than the edges of asphalt driveways which are prone to weathering.

Lifespan-Concrete driveways have longer lifespans than asphalt driveways.  In fact, a properly maintained concrete driveway can last as long as 50 years as compared to the 30 years that a typical asphalt driveway can last.  An asphalt driveway’s longevity can be greatly reduced if is it not properly maintained.  If the sealant on an asphalt driveway breaks down, the surface can become brittle and start to erode.

Staining-Both types of surfaces are prone to staining.  If your car is leaking fluids, both surfaces will discolor.  The discoloration is much less noticeable on the asphalt because of its darker surface.  The oils in asphalt’s surface can be released, sticking to whatever touches it, meaning you can stain both your car & home’s interior when these oils stick to the soles of your shoes.

Aesthetic Appeal-Unlike asphalt, concrete comes in several decorative options.  It can be stamped or have color added to it.  If you have a higher end home, a concrete driveway may be the better solution for you.

In the end, it’s important that you make a driveway selection that you are comfortable with.  A driveway is an enhancement that should be seen as an investment in your property.  Be sure to consult your area Better Business Bureau to choose a reputable contractor prior to starting your project.

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 for your home improvement needs today!