Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pick Your Palate

Filed under Home Decor, Paint
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Many homeowners view their walls as a blank canvas that can be used to express themselves.  Studies have been performed about the use of wall colors and their effects on one’s outlook.  Because of
this, some colors make sense in certain areas and not in others.  When determining what color a room should be painted, it’s important to consider the size of the space, the purpose of the room and the colors surrounding that room.  Below, we’ll discuss what colors work best in different types of rooms and what message the colors send.

Red-Ever notice how many restaurant chains incorporate the color red into their logo.  (Examples: Red Lobster, McDonald’s Arby’s & Applebee’s.)  The color red in restaurant logos and décor is no accident.  The color red subconsciously stimulates your appetite and offers the illusion that food tastes better.  Beware, because red can also raise your blood pressure and cause irritability.  If you’re set on incorporating red onto your walls, opt for a lighter shade of red which has fewer negative psychological effects than bold red.

Blue-Did you know that more people choose blue as their favorite color?  This is likely because blue’s effects are the exact opposite of red.  Because most shades of blue are perceived to have a calming effect, it can be the ideal shade for a bathroom or bedroom.  Turquoise shades of blue can stimulate creativity and can be the idea shade for a home office.

Yellow-Yellow is perceived as bright and cheery because it is the same color as the sun which stimulates feelings of happiness & energy.  However, the wrong shades of yellow can have negative effects on someone because yellow is the strongest color.  Did you know that babies in yellow nurseries are more likely to cry than those with any other color?  This is because the color can cause feelings of anxiety & frustration.  Limit the amount of yellow in your home and keep it to pale shades.  It works best in entries and hallways because of the minimal time that is spent in these areas.

Green-The color green reminds us of nature which has a calming effect and lowers stress levels.  Neutral greens are great for bedrooms and bathrooms where a tranquil setting is desirable.  Brighter shades can add some personality to a room & in small doses (think a walk-in closet or dressing room) can add excitement.  Green is an ideal color for home or corporate offices, as studies have shown that employees that work in green offices experience fewer stomachaches than those without.

Purple-When purple occurs in nature, it is often in delicate flowers such as lilacs or violets.  Therefore, the color has a more feminine feel.  The color is also associated with creative thinking.  Light
purple tones work well in girl’s bedrooms and darker purple can be used in other smaller spaces around the home.  Using the color purple shows your imaginative side because it is one of the less common colors in the home.

Orange-The color orange is a combination between red and yellow.  It promotes warmth and energy.  The color is often considered inviting and can be a good alternative to red & yellow which can be hard on your eyes.  Warm shades of orange can stimulate the appetite and can be a welcome color in a dining room.

Pink-Like purple, pink is considered a feminine color.  Light shades of pink have a calming effect and darker shades create enthusiasm and excitement.  Beware of too much pink which can be overpowering and distracting.

Brown-Brown is a great color for living rooms because it’s a safe & nurturing color.  It allows people to feel at ease and encourages conversation.  Too much brown can make a room feel drab so it’s best to incorporate brighter accent colors to make an attractive space.  Colors that go well with brown are: blue, orange, yellow & pink.

Black-Black can work great on an accent wall in a bedroom or living room.  It can also work well in a library where one or more walls are covered with book shelves.  It also works well in a room where mounted photographs are a focal point.  Make sure that your commitment to black is firm, as painting over it will likely take several coats.

White-White is basic, but is by no means boring!  When used correctly, white paint can create a blank canvas to allow your accessories & furniture to pop.  White also gives room a clean look and makes small spaces appear larger.  White is versatile and can be used in any room in your home.

Gray-Gray exudes a modern & cozy feeling.  It appears to be elegant without being stuffy.  Gray is a versatile color that works well in living rooms and bedrooms and pairs well with bright colors as
well as white accents.

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 to schedule a free in-home estimate.

What to Inspect Before Purchasing a New Home

Filed under Andy Lindus, basement waterproofing, ceilings, Construction, cracked foundation, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, LeafGuard, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Remodeling, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Some new homeowners have had to learn the hard way that there are some very important things to check before signing papers on a new home. Avoiding costly repairs upon first moving in is essential. Don’t assume that you are buying a newer home and there will not be any problems.  You could spend several hundred to thousands of dollars if you are negligent, but if you educate yourself as to what to look for you, could put that money back in your pockets. We are going to discuss crucial things to check to determine your potential home’s quality before you commit to signing the papers.

The Structure

The structure of your potential home will tell you a lot about the quality in which it was built. Check the floors by walking around in your stocking feet to feel for sags and slopes. You don’t want to feel excessive sag or notice that the floor slopes towards a wall. Check the ceiling for any cracks. This can indicate movement from the floor above or wall where the ceiling intersects. Even a small crack can grow causing structural problems. Door frames should be square and should not have cracks running diagonally to the ceiling. When inspecting the exterior walls be sure that none of the walls are out of plumb and any cracks on the interior are not showing up on the outside of the wall.

Water Control

When looking at a new home, pay special attention to the grade of the lot. The home should be at the highest point on the lot with the ground sloping away from it. Do the gutters, downspouts and drainage pipes carry excess water away from the home? Check for water stains along the wall and the floors. If you smell a musty or damp smell, there is most likely and issue with water drainage. If there is flaking or peeling on any concrete, brick or stone in the home that indicates water getting into the surface and you should be alarmed. If the yard has sprinklers, are they working properly or are there broken heads or a possible leak?

The Roof

Having to repair your entire roof after buying a new home can be very costly. Your roof protects your home from so many weather elements that you want to make sure it is performing to the best of its ability. Leaking in the attic after rain or an ice dam forming could mean it has inadequate shingle underlayment and deteriorating flashing. If any shingles are missing, curled or cracked your roof could be near the end of its life cycle. If the shingles are inconsistent in color and have dark or dirty looking areas it is caused by the loss of granules due to the roofs age.


The plumbing of your potential home should never be overlooked. Find out if there are any lead pipes in the home. If the home was built before 1986, it may have lead or galvanized plumbing. If you have children, you may not want to live in a home that has lead pipes. Your water pressure is determined by the size of the water pipes. If you prefer adequate water pressure, like most of us, you want the lines to be ¾ of an inch to one inch from the main water source and the diameter should be at least a ½ an inch. Make sure that the water heater is big enough to accommodate your needs depending on your family size. If you have a family of 4 you should have at least a 40 gallon tank. If the water heater has signs of corrosion or the buildup of mineral deposits it could mean the tank has a short life to live. Check all of the kitchen and bathroom faucets for leaks and drips. Don’t forget to check underneath the sinks as well for leaking pipes. Flush every toilet in the home to ensure they refill correctly. Lastly, turn on the shower in the room farthest from the home’s water source and evaluate the temperature and water pressure. Ask questions about the sewer system and whether it is connected to a municipal sewer system or a septic tank. Look for signs of seepage and odors if there is a septic tank. Septic tanks can be very expensive to repair so having this fixed prior to closing will say your potentially thousands of dollars.

Electrical Systems

The wiring of your home should be grounded and in good working order before purchasing a home.  Outlets should be inspected to make sure that they have a ground and don’t have any cracks or other defects. They should have proper tension to hold cords that are plugged in and that they are the proper type for that area of the home. Any areas that could get wet or damp such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages or outdoor outlets are required to have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) installed.


Did you know that the cost of a new furnace, including ductwork, can run $5,000 to $7,000? I bet you would pay special attention to it when considering purchasing a new home. Whether it is blistering hot out our extremely cold, it is imperative to test each heating and cooling system on your potential new home. The ducts of your HVAC system are like the veins running throughout your body. They carry heated and cooled air to different rooms of the home. If you ductwork is shoddy at best, your energy costs will rise and the system will also not operate efficiently. Inadequate ventilation in your home can lead to allergies, moisture and other problems.


If you home has a fire place or wood burning stove, be sure to inspect it. You want to examine the masonry on the chimney and check the mortar between the bricks and stone to make sure it is intact. Shine a flashlight down the chimney to look for mortar crumbling. Look for dented or rusted metal or missing screw at any joints. If you notice an accumulation of creosote it can cause dangerous chimney fires and must be removed immediately.

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 to schedule a free in-home estimate.



Making the Most of Your Small Kitchen

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In most homes, the kitchen is the most used room.  A small kitchen can create a nuisance since there often isn’t room for friends and family members to assemble.  In this blog, we’ll put together some suggestions of how to maximize the space you do have and even offer some tips on how to make the room appear bigger.

Lighting: Installing skylights in a small kitchen can turn it from drab to fab instantly!  The light that flows into a room from a skylight can make a small space feel roomier with this simple modification.  Recessed & track lighting also give the illusion of more space than bulkier hanging fixtures.

Selecting the Right Paint Color: Light colors make rooms look larger and dark colors do the opposite.  A small kitchen white with walls, appliances, countertops and backsplash will trick your eyes into believing the space is larger because there is no interruption in color.  Use more than one shade of white to create layers in the room so that it appears homey rather than sterile.  Another idea is to use similar light colors so that there are not extreme differences in the boldness of colors which can make a room appear smaller.

Cabinetry: Replacing your cabinet doors with glass fronts will create depth.  Be sure to keep your cabinets tidy as clutter can make a room feel more crowded.  Cabinets that stretch to the ceiling also make a room taller and allow for extra storage since this space could be used for little else.

Your Table: Everyone hosts get-togethers from time to time, but do you really need a table that seats a dozen for day to day use?  Avoid having a table that takes up unnecessary space, especially when there is none to spare by using a drop leaf table that can be adjusted to fit the crowd you’re entertaining.  You can also eliminate your table altogether and substitute with an island.  A sizeable island will double as an eating area and can also be used for storage space underneath.

Eliminate Clutter: A kitchen can appear smaller when countertops are cluttered.  Take a look at what’s currently sitting out.  Appliances such as toasters and pizza ovens which are not used daily should be stowed away to allow for counter space.  If possible, mount your microwave which will also free up counter space.  If you have a lot of wall décor, you may want to consider removing some of it to allow for more breathing space.  The same goes for your refrigerator; the more items you have hanging on it, the more cluttered your kitchen can appear.

Creative Storage: Pots & pans can take up a lot of cupboard space.  Utilize a hanging pot & pan rack to save on space and add interest to your kitchen.  Tasteful baskets or bins can also be placed on top of your refrigerator so that it can be used as a storage area.  Wire racks in cabinet or closet doors can also be used to increase storage space.

Space Savers: Attaching a magnetic knife holder to your wall can allow you to showcase your cutlery and also free up counter and cabinet space.  Paper towel dispensers and dispensers for parchment paper, aluminum foil or plastic wrap can also be mounted to the inside of a pantry door.

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 to schedule a free in-home estimate.

Power Tools…A Man’s Best Friend

Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, DEWALT DC825KA 1/4" (6.4mm) 18V Cordless XRP™ Impact Driver Kit, DEWALT DW366 7.25″ Heavy Duty Circular Saw with Electric Brake, Hitachi C10FCH2 10″ Miter Saw with Laser, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Lindus Construction, Makita BDF452HW 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2-Inch Driver-Drill Kit, Midwest LeafGuard, Milwaukee 6509-22 Sawzall 11-Amp Reciprocating Saw, Paslode 902000 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer, Porter-Cable 342 1/4-Sheet Palm Sander, Remodeling, Tools, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Being a guy, I know that if you are the hands on type (like me) we tend to define ourselves by the tools that we have. I am going to discuss which tools I think no man should ever go without because of their versatility to work on almost any job. The tools below are any man’s dream to have in his arsenal. Being in the construction business for over the last 30 years, we take our tools and their ability to perform on the job as serious business. With the large variety of power tools on the market it can be mindboggling, but these tools allow us to work faster and increase the number of different jobs that we are able to accomplish. Below, we are going to discuss power tools that will make a difference in performance and reduce fatigue.

Makita BDF452HW 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2-Inch Driver-Drill Kit

Cordless Drill

No man should ever go without a cordless drill in his collection. This will be your go to tool for many projects around your home. Without it, you’ll be looking like an Amish carpenter as you hand-bore holes at a rate of one per hour.  The Makita 18-volt cordless drill-driver weighs only 3.5 lbs. yet delivers up to 450 lbs. of max torque. This little beauty will give you enough oomph to get through any type of reasonable material. Its ergonomic shape fits like a glove for reduced operator fatigue and has a compact lithium-ion battery charges in only 15 minutes for less downtime.

Hitachi C10FCH2 10″ Miter Saw with Laser

Miter Saw

A power miter saw, also known as a chop saw or drop saw, is a power tool used to make a quick, accurate crosscuts. Common uses include framing operations, cutting crown molding, chair rails or decking. Most miter saws are relatively small and portable, with common blade sizes ranging from eight to twelve inches. Hitachi’s 10” miter saw is great for a couple of reasons. It is the lightest in its class at 26.5 lbs. and also has an exclusive laser marking system which can be activated before the blade is in motion for exact alignment and predictable blade placement aiding you in achieving the old adage “measure twice, cut once”.  I would recommend saving money and building your own more versatile miter saw table. Building your own will allow you to support longer stocks, frees up works space and keeps the saw at the perfect working height all the time. There are many plans and videos on the internet you can access for building your own table.

Milwaukee 6509-22 Sawzall 11-Amp Reciprocating Saw


Few tools embody the raw destructive force of a sawzall or reciprocating saw. It will cut through most metals and woods like butter.  It has a large blade that resembles a jigsaw. Milwaukee makes a sawzall that is the ultimate demolition tool. This bad boy can be equipped to cut pretty much anything with its dizzying array of available blades. Studs, pipes or even sheets of metal don’t stand a chance against this awesome machine. This sawzall is an 11 amp durable and super light machine weighing in at just 7lbs holding the title for the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. Don’t underestimate this small, but really tough, saw that has variable speed trigger that sends the blade from 0-2,800 strokes per minute. It has a rubber boot that provides superior gripping and exceptional accuracy.

Paslode 902000 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer

Finish Nailer

A finish nailer is a specific power tool that is categorized as a type of nail gun. The finish nailer is designed to accomplish carpentry finish work quickly and efficiently. As with other types of nail guns, a finish nailer is designed for use with very specific sized nails, which are sold in strips that load into the gun. Inside, a hammer mechanism drives the nails with powered force, making the finish nailer ideal for quickly installing all types of trim from baseboards to crown molding. Paslode’s 902000 Fuel-Powered Cordless 16-Gauge Straight Finish Nailer allows you to never worry about dragging around cords, hoses or bulky compressors. Instead, you’ll get the portability and flexibility you need to move around the jobsite and finish hard-to-reach areas–without the mess and clutter of a pneumatic tool. And because you won’t need to set up or break down, you’ll save both time and labor costs. It weighs just 4.9 pounds, so it’s easy on the arms. And with a sure-grip handle, it’s comfortable to hold, even during all-day jobs. It can drive 3/4″ to 2-1/2″ 16-gauge straight nails in even the hardest woods, so you can finish doors, molding, paneling, rails, casing and cabinetry work. When you’re tackling a big job, you’ll be grateful for the high-capacity straight-collation magazine, which holds up to 100 nails.

DEWALT DC825KA 1/4″ (6.4mm) 18V Cordless XRP™ Impact Driver Kit

Impact Driver

An impact driver is an ideal choice for tackling a broad range of fastening applications. It is getting a lot of attention these days because it is neither a hammer drill nor a regular drill. It has a smaller condensed profile compared to a regular drill allowing it to have 1,330 inch-pounds of torque. This also means that you are less likely to strip screws and it allows you to drive long screws with minimal effort. This Dewalt driver has a textured anti-slip grip comfort grip that provides maximum comfort and control when on the job. It also has a heavy-duty impacting mechanism that directs the torque to fastener without kickbacks. You can’t go wrong with this machine.

DEWALT DW366 7.25″ Heavy Duty Circular Saw with Electric Brake

Circular Saw

This type of hand held power saw is a basic tool in a carpenter, builder or home renovator’s tool kit. A circular saw is an electric saw that turns a round flat blade to cut wood, metal, or plastic depending on the blade selected. A good circular saw should have enough raw power to slice through everything from wet lumber to dense hardwood without bogging down. For a wide range of carpentry projects, the good old circular saw can be your best friend. Choosing one like the Dewalt DW364 is a good call, in that it has both the power you’ll definitely need and the features you’ll be thankful for, particularly if you get into making some more advanced cuts. The saw is capable of making bevel cuts of up to 50 degrees and its aluminum alloy base means enough durability to make a lot of said cuts. For safety’s sake, this saw is equipped with an electric brake for quick blade halts and features a handle layout that keeps you behind the blade.

Porter-Cable 342 1/4-Sheet Palm Sander

Palm Sander

A palm sander is a type of power sander that can easily be held and operated with one hand. It is often a good choice for a variety of home improvement tasks. The palm sander works by vibrating in a slightly circular pattern. This motion causes a very effective sanding action to occur, smoothing the surface of the wood being sanded. They are considered very versatile and can handle both finish sanding and rough sanding jobs. The Porter-Cable Palm Sander is nice because it has a 2.4 amp motor for power and durability, rubber grip for comfort, a porous polyethylene dust canister that is much more durable than its cloth counterparts and weighs a mere 5lbs.

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 to schedule a free in-home estimate.

Enhance Your Ceiling and Renew Your Living Space

Filed under Andy Lindus, ceilings, coffered ceiling, Construction, Home Construction, LeafGuard, Lindus Construction, post beam ceiling, Tin ceilings, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Homeowners frequently forget their ceiling is a whole new world to add dimension and value to their home. Most ceilings are white and left untouched for the span of your home’s lifetime. The ceilings in your home make up a large percentage of space. They do not need to be neglected. Get creative with the abundance of options available on the market today and express your ceiling as a centerpiece in your room instead of just a structure. Below are some ceiling options that you can incorporate in your home.

Post Beam Ceiling

Post beam ceilings are an eye-catching visible skeleton of the timber frame in your home. Picture a timber framed barn and you might be able to visualize it better picture. If your home is not currently featuring a post beam ceiling, you can incorporate it into your existing home. If you have low ceilings you can raise the roof to create more space and add decorative beams across the room. If you have a standard ceiling height, usually 8 feet, you can install what are called half-beams. You will get the same effect, but it will not lower your ceiling height. To add that extra touch use old barn beams or dark mahogany colors. To make your space look even larger, paint the beams the same color as your ceiling.

Coffered ceiling

These types of ceilings date back to the Roman and Greek era where they were used to make stone ceilings lighter. The architectural detail of coffered ceilings divide drop beams into a grid which usually forms the shape of a square or a rectangle. Coffered ceilings add a great illusion to any room. Coffered ceilings are really suitable for any room, but are commonly found in living or dining rooms. The addition of recessed lighting will add a wonderful touch and add reflective light throughout your entire room.

Drop Ceiling

This type of ceiling is lower in height and used to give the room a very modern, elegant and cozy look. You may also have heard it referred to as a false or suspended ceiling. This type of ceiling is a staple of modern construction and architecture. You can use drop ceiling tiles making a grid, then suspending it from the ceiling with wire or have the entire ceiling structure dropped as one unit. You see most drop ceilings in a basement and they work great to cover up a maze of electrical wires, plumbing lines or heating ducts.

Tin Ceiling

Tin ceilings are an affordable way to add a decorative touch to your ceiling. They come in multiple designs and styles and are either square or rectangular. You can screw, staple or glue them into place. Snap lock tin panels can be screwed directly into drywall. The nail up type will require a wood backing. Due to the extensive pattern choices available on the market today, the pattern possibilities are endless and you can achieve an elegant, eye-catching wonder in your room. They most typical colors are white, silver and copper, but the range does not stop there. Tin ceilings will add a striking touch to your room. Since not all ceiling tiles are created equal we would recommend using tin verses plastic or Styrofoam options on the market. One of the big statements regarding ceiling tiles is that they are fire rated or self-extinguishing. Many are, but some burn really well and that is why we would recommend using tin as your optimal choice.

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 to schedule a free in-home estimate.


Taking Back the Nest

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With a new class of incoming college freshmen comes a new group of empty nesters.  Once the feelings of separation anxiety are conquered and parents realize they no longer need to stock their pantrywith copious amounts of junk food and their function as an on demand ATM has ended, the real fun can begin.  This includes reclaiming rooms in the home whose primary purpose may have been for entertaining their children and their friends.  Hobby rooms are a popular choice for those who wish to transform newly freed space.  Here are some examples of ways to transform your new found space:

Guest Bedroom: Visitors to your home will appreciate having a space of their own to catch some zzz’s.  Be sure to clear clutter so guests have a peaceful environment.  Excess items should be stored
out of sight in closets or dressers.  Luggage racks are affordable and can give guests a place to hang their clothing for their stay.  Be sure to have extra towels and blankets available.  For a personalized touch, fresh flowers can be added.

Home Library: A home library can provide a good place to curl up with a cup of coffee and a favorite read.  Make the most of the room by adding some book shelves, some trendy track lights or contemporary floor lamps.  Be sure to select comfy furniture.  Bear in mind that while a room with a bay window, which allows lots of sunlight in, might sound like a good idea the abundance of natural light can damage books.  We also caution you to stay away from humid areas such as basements and attics, as their conditions are not ideal for book storage.

Trophy Room: Are you an avid hunter or fisherman?  A trophy room can be a great place to showcase your achievements.  An ideal trophy room has high ceilings (10 foot minimum).  This will allow you to place mounts above each other.  Make sure the room has ample space so that you have room to display future mounts.  Be sure to select lighting that highlights your displays.  Minimal windows are better because they can damage your mounts and also take away from the space that you could dedicate to displaying your trophy game.

Sports Room: Pay tribute to your favorite team with a sports room.  A sports room allows you to personalize rugs, clocks, mats, etc. with your favorite team’s logo.  Take it step further and use
Glidden Paint’s Team Spirit Line collection which has exact matches for colors of most professional team’s colors.  Memorabilia can also be framed and displayed in this room.  Take your dedication up a notch with an oversized beanbag chair & ceiling fan with your favorite team’s logo.  Be sure to include a TV, fridge or mini fridge and a serving area so your new room can be a spot to watch the big game.

Game Room: Transform an empty space into a game room where you can entertain.  Some ideas of accessories for the room include a pool table, shuffleboard, dart board, Ping-Pong table, air hockey table, foosball table and poker table.  If the space is small, pick one or two areas of focus and select paint, lighting, flooring and accessories that make sense.  For example, ping pong can be a little difficult to play on carpet.

Home Office: Even small areas such as closets can be transformed into a home office.  For the most part, closets are underutilized and highly disorganized.  Because an office is supposed to be a place of inspiration, have fun with the décor by picking a brightly colored paint or wallpaper pattern.  Closet walls can be used for storage.  You can opt for a curtain instead of a door if you’d like.  The most important thing is to personalize it.

Craft Room: Craft rooms allow you one central place to work on your hobby.  Whether it is basket weaving, ceramics or knitting, use color to inspire and organize.  Select stylish storage bins that compliment your wall color to decorate in a functional way.

While it can be tough to have a child leave for college, breathing new life into old spaces can prove to be a welcome distraction and enhancement to your 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. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at to schedule a free in-home estimate regarding your home improvement needs!

What is Beautiful, Durable & Requires Little Maintenance…Stamped Concrete!

Filed under acid stain, Andy Lindus, Concrete Driveway, Construction, Driveway, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, integral color, LeafGuard, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, shake on color, stamped concrete, stamped concrete process
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In simple terms, stamped concrete is just cement which is ornate and/or has more texture or markings to look like natural bricks, slates, flagstones, river stones or tiles. Since stamped concrete can mimic almost any material it is an ideal way to create replicas of other expensive materials while improving functionality and increasing durability. The end result of stamped concrete is a surface that is beautiful, durable and requires little if any maintenance. A great quality of stamped concrete is that it is a customizable product that can be tailored to suit your individual design goals and budget, whether you want to achieve a natural look or be wildly innovative.

Advantages of Stamped Concrete

  • Stamped concrete is permanent
  • Handles excess water better than pavers
  • More effective and durable, especially on slopes
  • No retainer curb necessary, as required on most paver applications
  • Unlimited selection of colors
  • Less maintenance required
  • No weeds or vegetation in joints
  • High-flex structural strength

Stamped Concrete Process

1. Subgrade your work area

This process is an integral part of your process because it will make a big difference in the overall performance of your slab. You want to make sure that your area is well-compacted to insure proper drainage and prevent soil erosion under the concrete.

2. Correct placing of the forms

You can use wood, metal or plastic forms to contain the concrete in your desired area. It is important that your forms you are using are in good condition to create clean corners and allow for proper sloping and drainage.

3. Installing reinforcement

In order to have the most structural function to your slab use steel reinforcing bars or welded wire mesh that will help control cracking, reduce joint maintenance and provide impact resistance.

4. Pouring the concrete

The most common method is to have a ready-mix truck deposit the concrete from its chute into your prepped area. You want to make sure to cover any landscaping or areas you wish to keep clean with plastic sheeting to avoid a mess from possible splatter of the concrete. Having it poured will also give you the most consistency compare to hand mixing and moving it with shovels.

5. Leveling out the concrete

This step needs to be done immediately after the concrete has been poured so that the surface is level and will help prevent any low or high spots to create the perfect canvas for stamped concrete.

6. Applying your color

There are three main types of coloring and/or staining for your stamped concrete. They are integral, shake-on or acid stain coloring. We will discuss the differences between all three below so you can see what process will fit your needs most.

7. Stamping process

There is a short time window to stamp your concrete especially in warm weather which is why planning out your desired diagram ahead of time is essential. You want to stamp the concrete in the same sequence as it was placed. The edges are usually the first to be done because after you use a larger stamp for the main portion it will not depress correctly into the concrete near the edges. You want to keep an eye on your alignment to ensure your patterning stays random to ensure a more realistic look.

8. Curing

This is one of the most important processes of stamped concrete to allow it to dry properly and be able to retain sufficient moisture allowing the concrete to become more dense and permeable which will help with the overall strength and durability of your slab.

9. Creating joints

Creating contraction joints or control joints will help prevent stress in your concrete that can be caused by temperature changes and drying shrinkage.

10. Sealing your masterpiece

This is the final and most essential step yet. Sealers will help enrich the color of your concrete as well as add a visually appealing sheen which will reduce your chances of surface discoloration, stains or chemical saturation.

Coloring Process of Concrete

Integral color:

One of the most popular methods for coloring newly placed concrete is integral coloring admixtures. Admixtures infuse concrete with rich, long-lasting, fade-resistant color. The color of your choice, which is usually earth tones or pastels, are mixed into the concrete at the batch plant or on the jobsite. It will produce one uniform color throughout the entire width of your concrete. This is beneficial if the concrete ever gets chipped. Stamped concrete contractors often use this coloring medium to produce a backdrop for contrasting accent or antiquing colors. This layering of colors is what enables them to closely replicate the multi-tonal appearance of natural stone.

Some of the benefits using integral color are:

  • Consistent color throughout concrete
  • Permanent non-fading color
  • Large array of standard colors to choose from

Shake-on color:

Helps prevent your concrete stamps from sticking to the concrete as well as adds subtle color which results in an antiquing effect. This tends to be one of the most popular methods for stamped concrete because unlike integral color that colors the entire concrete, shake color is hand shaken on the surface only on the top layer. Since the color resides on the surface it is usually a more intense color. Shake-on also helps improve the strength and density of the concrete creating a sharper imprint from your stamp.

Some of the benefits using Shake on color are:

  • Nonfading, permanent colored surfaces
  • Durable in freeze/thaw conditions
  • Hard, dense and abrasion-resistant
  • Cost-effective and easy-to-maintain

Acid stain:

Acid stains are neither paint nor a coating agent; rather, it is a coloring process involving a chemical reaction on the concrete surface. Acid stain is a solution made with water, acid and inorganic salts that react with the minerals already present in the concrete which results in the vibrant and abstract coloring it produces. It is very durable and the colors that tend to form from using this method are earth tone browns, reddish browns and greens. If you prefer more of a uniform color this is not the process for you because it produces different reactions resulting in a mix of coloring formations. The beautiful attribute to acid stains on stamped concrete are due to the texture; it has stunning color depth.

Some benefits of acid stains are:

  • You can use this process on existing concrete flooring
  • They are inflammable and the finish is ultraviolet light-resistant
  • Acid stain does not chip, peel, discolor or fade
  • Extrudes beauty that is unsurpassed by any other flooring covering
  • It can be transformed to create a feel of quarried stone such are marble

You are probably wondering what the cost associated with stamped concrete is? It can vary widely depending on the prices for materials and labor in the area that you live. Generally on average, if you wanted basic stamped concrete with one color and one pattern you will pay roughly $8 to $12 per square foot. If you are going for a more elaborate look with multiple patterns and special coloring effects, you will be spending on average about $18 per square foot and up. If you compare stamped concrete to the cost of plain concrete or asphalt it will most likely exceed that cost significantly, but when comparing it to its closer counterpart, natural stone or brick pavers, it can be even lower than the cost of installing that material. When comparing the cost of stamped concrete verses other materials keep in mind that concrete generally lasts longer and requires less maintenance than most other paving materials saving you money in the long run. If you are selling your home, decorative stamped concrete adds curb appeal and aesthetic value to your home allowing you to maximize your ROI.

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 to schedule a free in-home estimate regarding your home improvement needs!







For Seniors, There’s No Place Like a Safe & Accessible Home

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Senior citizens with physical limitations should not feel like prisoners in their own homes because they lack the accommodations needed to live safely and comfortably.  In this blog, we’ll discuss
modifications that can be done to each room to make it accessible for seniors, particularly those that utilize the assistance of wheelchairs & walkers.

Doorways & Closets:  To allow for ample access for wheelchairs and walkers, it is recommended that doorways to rooms and closets be enlarged to 32 inches in width to allow for maneuverability.  To do this, the current doorway is removed and widened.  Pocket doors which slide into the wall when they are open are another solution. This also eliminates the hassle of door knobs for those who are plagued by arthritis.  Levered doorknobs are also more manageable for those with arthritis. Closets should be lit and the light switch should be easily accessible.

Bedroom: Beds should be adjusted to a height that is comfortable to get in and out of easily.  Other recommendations to make the bedroom more accessible for those with limited mobility are touch lamps & a landline or cell phone located close to the bed.  A chair with firm arms can serve as an aid for dressing.

Bathroom: At a minimum, grab bars should be installed in bathtubs and showers.  They provide additional accessibility and allow someone who has fallen the ability to pull themselves up.  In some cases, it’s beneficial to swap out a bathtub for a shower for easier access.  Bathtub transfer benches can also make showering easier.  Benches typically have 4 legs with rubber tips that guard against slipping.  Some are designed to slide or swivel.  Transfer benches usually have four legs with rubber tips to prevent slips, and there are various types of seats available that can slide or swivel.  Showerheads with a removable hose feature can also prove to be beneficial.  Toilets should also be adjusted to a height that minimizes the chance of falling.  Raised toilet seats are available to assist those who may have limited strength in their hips or legs.  Pedestal sinks offer more accessibility than sinks with storage connected to them.  They can be lowered if the standard height restricts access.  Nonslip bathmats are also encouraged.

Kitchen: Skip waxing and polishing the floors which can create a falling hazard.  Keep reaching tools close by so if something is high on a shelf it can be safely removed.  A side by side refrigerator can provide more convenience than the top and bottom versions.   An advantage of an oven that opens from the side, rather than from the front, is that it eliminates the need to reach across the oven door to remove the food inside.  Faucets are now made with long handles and pull out sprayers.  Some can even be activated through touch.  Roll-out shelving, drawers and “lazy susan” cupboards also provide convenience.

Other Helpful Hints:

-Remove any loose carpeting and/or rugs as they can get caught in wheel chair wheels or cause a tripping hazard.

-A paved driveway is easier to navigate than one that is comprised of crushed rock.

-A shelf on your porch can offer a spot for delivery drivers to leave package.  This prevents the hassle of trying to pick a package off the ground for those that find this task difficult.  This shelf can also hold items when you unlock the door to enter your home.

-Install railings on both sides of stairs

-Make sure hallways are lit with automatic nightlights which will assist in navigating your home in the dark.

-Motorized blinds provide an easy way to control the amount of sunlight that enters your home.

Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at 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.