Category Archives: Smart Appliances

Selling Your Home with Smart Technology

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We write from time to time about home upgrades that are at the height of consumer interest, as well as those that are on the way out.  One trend that you’ve most definitely been hearing buzz about is smart homes.  By definition, smart homes are those that are controlled through a central portal, often a computer or smart phone.  Tasks smart homes can be programmed to do include providing security, preheating your oven or programming your thermostat.  Not sure whether a smart home is a wise investment for you?  Here’s what you need to know!

Like a lot of discretionary home improvements (think pools, saunas and extravagant landscaping) the value of the upgrade relies on the person who owns the home appreciating it.  While you shouldn’t upgrade your home with smart home improvements thinking you’re going to get your investment back in full, should you choose to sell, there are some decisions that you can make that will increase the likelihood of a future owner seeing worth in them.

Utility Savings: Many manufacturers are now marketing smart appliances that can be hooked up to electric meters.  The perk of this feature is that it can assist you with shifting your electrical usage to off-peak hours as much as possible.  This means that optional features such as your refrigerators defrost cycle runs at a cheaper time of the day.

Customer Support: Complicated technology that requires a degree in astrophysics isn’t something that a new homeowner is likely to embrace.  When installing smart home features, opt for those that are easy to use and are also backed by a 24/7-customer service hotline that can be utilized for assistance.

Smartphone Integration: A recent survey by Coldwell Banker states that 62% of home buyers are interested in controlling their home technology through their smartphones or tablets.  When installing this type of technology in your home, you’ll have the upper hand against other systems that require the utilization of additional devices that do not directly communicate with your smartphone.

Home Safety: In the same survey referenced above, nearly half of all homebuyers are drawn to home improvements with smart home integration that make the home a safer place to live.   With that in mind, smart smoke alarms, security systems, outdoor lighting and locks are sure to be a home run with potential home buyers.

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

Now Through the End of June, Receive Up to $500 off LeafGuard Gutters & Up to $1000 off GAF Asphalt Shingles, SeasonGuard Windows & Siding.  

 

Positioning Your Home to the Millennial Buyer

Filed under Apps, Lighting, Lindus Construction, Skylight, Smart Appliances, Sun Tunnel, VELUX, Windows, www.lindusconstruction.com
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Not long ago, I passed a billboard for a real estate company with a photo of a couple vaguely resembling Betty White & Lil John sitting on a couch.  The billboard’s tagline was “Helping Buyers & Sellers Find Each Other”.  While the billboard made me burst out in laughter at the thought of such an unlikely couple meeting at a real estate closing table, it also made me think.  In some cases, especially for those who’ve been living in their home for decades, when the decision comes to relocate, oftentimes their target buyer is someone of a different generation than themselves.  Taking this to heart is crucial in the current real estate market, which still favors the buyer, many of whom fall into the generation known as the “millennials”.

mil·len·ni·alRefers to those born between 1978-2000 (currently 35 & under).

Millennial Spending- By 2014, they will account for 36% of the U.S. workforce.

Home Improvements That Can Attract Millennial Buyers:

Smart Homes: A 2013 survey finds that 65% of millennials believe that losing their phone or computer would be more detrimental to their daily lives than losing their car.  Whether it’s digitized home lighting, irrigation, HVAC or home security system, there’s no doubt that integration of technology into your home will greatly appeal to millennials.

Maintenance Free Living:  Another pseudonym for this group is the “now generation”.  As the name implies, they seek out quick results and would prefer to not take the time to maintain aspects of their home that can be constructed maintenance free.  As a home seller, this means opting for features such as clog-free gutters, composite decking and durable siding.

Entertaining Space: As family sizes continue to shrink and the country’s birth rates decline, generation y needs less bedrooms and more space to host guests.  Home improvements such as finishing your basement, adding a media room and adding a deck or patio will increase your home’s value in their eyes.  The same can be said for features such as swimming pools and hot tubs which more mature generations can perceive as expensive and a chore to maintain.

Eco-Conscious: Having been raised by Baby Boomers, who are credited with starting the green movement, millenials are environmentally conscious and prefer environmentally friendly products when possible.  Enhancements that can be made to your home to attract millennial buyers with include: rainwater harvesters, skylights & sun tunnels.

Energy Efficient: Going hand in hand with an eco-conscious mentality, millenials, also have a high desire for an energy efficient home which is both kind to the wallet and Mother Nature.  High in demand energy efficient features include: windows & doors, appliances, and insulation.  Having an energy audit of your home that can be provided to potential homebuyers is something that would apply to the millennial real estate market.

Storage: Simply put, the millennial generation has a lot of “stuff”.  Homes can never have enough storage.  Whether it’s usable attic space in the home or garage, built-in closet shelving, cabinet space or not having enough storage can be a factor that allows other homes to get chosen ahead of yours.

Floor Plans: In various facets of their lives, millennials appreciate openness and this characteristic translates into their list of desirable features in a home.  Because millennials are often at the preliminary or early stages of starting a family, it’s helpful for them to see rooms that can be utilized for multiple purposes such as a home office that can be converted into a guest room or a nursery.

Colors: In the past, it was customary to opt for white walls when selling your home.  This is no longer the case.  Nowadays, millennials prefer painted walls which add interest.  No longer are bold colors taboo, however, if choosing this course, it’s to your benefit to pick the brain of an interior designer or professional painter to ensure that your selection isn’t too wild, such as fire engine red or hot pink.

Flooring: Carpeting is often perceived by this generation as high maintenance and easily damaged.  Opt for tiling, hardwood or laminate flooring where possible.

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

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Luxury Bathrooms

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Filed under Bathrooms, Flooring, In Floor Heating, Lindus Construction, Luxury Bathrooms, Midwest LeafGuard, Remodeling, Smart Appliances
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Give your “throne” and its surroundings some royal treatment with the below luxury bathroom features.

Heated Towel Racks & Drawers-Always have a warm towel handy when you get out of the shower with a heated towel rack.  Contrary to what you may believe, most modern heated towel racks
use little more than the energy required to fuel a light bulb.  Because of this, towel racks can be left on 24/7 without creating a fire hazard.  Towel racks can be used to dry out a humid bathroom.  Want to take it up a notch?  Opt for a heated towel drawer which will allow for storage of bathroom towels, pjs & bathrobes.

Flooring-Never step on a cold floor again with in-floor heating.  In floor heating can be used under tile, ceramic, wood & laminate floors.  Having this feature lowers energy bills because your furnace has to work less to heat areas that in-floor heating is installed.

Lighting-LED lighting is becoming a popular option in bathrooms. You can even find them placed behind vanity mirrors which eliminate shadows.  Lighting can be activated with hand movement in
some cases.  Shower heads and faucets can be installed with color changing LED lights.  Fixtures can also be installed that show red lighting when water is how and blue lighting when water is cold.  LED lights installed in cabinets and drawers make these spaces easier to see and add a stylish touch.  Looking for a unique night light?  Toilets are now available with LED lighting on the bowl or interior.

Shower-Frustrated with having to adjust your shower’s temperature setting every time you get in?  You can now purchase a shower with a built-in computer that can be programmed to the temperature and shower head height preference of every member of your household.  Other programmable settings include pressure, spray and lighting.  Water proof speakers can also be installed in showers.  Tanning and showering at the same time is a possibility with the ProSun SunShower.  Don’t want to target your entire body?  There are settings that allow you to target specific areas.

Toilet-Upscale toilets do so much more than flush.  Toilets are now available that open as you approach and close when you retreat.  Want to listen to your favorite playlist?  No problem, some toilets now come equipped with built-in MP3 players and speakers.  High-tech toilets can measure blood pressure and sugar levels in your urine.  Heated seats aren’t just for cars anymore; you can purchase a toilet with this feature.  Built in deodorizers are also available, as are systems that play nature sounds.

Television-Never miss a moment of the big game with a television in your bathroom.  They can be hung on walls, incorporated into your vanity mirror (allowing television and mirror capabilities at
the same time) or rise up from your countertop.  “Fog free” TV’s which are waterproof and come with a water-free remote.  To see the television from multiple points in the bathroom, a motorized mount can be utilized.

Bathtubs-You can also install a faucet that comes with face recognition.  This means that water turns on automatically to your desired temperature as you approach.  Faucet memories can hold preferences for multiple people.  A touch screen allows you to check your email or surf the web while you bathe.

Scale-Track your weight loss progress with a smart scale that records the date, your weight and BMI and send the info to the internet through your home’s Wi-Fi.  A free iPhone app provides access to the info at your fingertips.

Want to see more bathroom ideas?  Visit Lindus Construction’s “Bathroom Design” Board on Pinterest. 

 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.

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.