Category Archives: ceilings

Are You a Good Candidate for a Vaulted Ceiling?

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Vaulted ceilings are hardly a new concept.  In fact, they were around a few hundred years before Michelangelo got his hands dirty painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Their popularity continues
today because of their ability to enlarge a room and allow in natural light.  There are always two sides to every story and vaulted ceilings are no different.  Here’s what you need to know before investing in a home with vaulted ceilings.

In Favor Of

Natural Light: In the home, natural light makes everything look better, plain and simple!  It’s also great for enhancing your mood and energy.  Homes with vaulted ceilings have an abundance of
natural light.

Elegance: Since they are typically found in more upscale homes, vaulted ceilings are perceived to provide a space with an upscale vibe.  Additionally, if you’ve got a million dollar view, the extra window space afforded by vaulted ceilings can allow you to showcase that beauty.

Embellishment Potential: With the additional space provided by a vaulted ceiling, you’ve got the ability to spruce up the “fifth wall” of a room with enlarged light fixtures, skylights and exposed beams.

Expansion of Space: Just as wearing vertical stripes can make someone appear taller and leaner, vaulted ceilings can create the illusion of a larger room.

Reasons to Shy Away

Upkeep: Tasks such as dusting, painting, installing a ceiling fan and changing a light bulb require a ladder with a vaulted ceiling.

Energy Efficiency: Due to their design, vaulted ceilings have minimal room left over for insulation.  This makes these types of insulation projects more complicated and expensive.  Failure to install installation can increase energy costs and make the room overly hot in the summer and chilly in the winter.  In colder climates, improper insulation also puts your home at risk for ice dams.

Acoustics: Vaulted ceilings expand the size of the room and are known for causing sound waves to bounce intermittently.  Depending on ceiling height, results can include echoes or difficulty hearing conversations and television or stereo volume.

Expense of Building: Rooms with a vaulted ceiling cost more to build than a room with a lower ceiling with the same square footage because the room requires additional paint and drywall.  A vaulted ceiling does not automatically guarantee a higher appraisal because you do not have more useable square footage than an identical home with lower ceilings.

NOW THROUGH THE END OF OCTOBER, SAVE 50% OFF INSTALLATION LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS & GAF ASPHALT SHINGLES AND ENJOY FREE INSTALLATION LABOR SEASONGUARD WINDOWS.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE.

The Down Low on Hot Roofs

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Filed under Building a House, ceilings, Construction, Home Maintenance, Hot Roof, Insulation, Lindus Construction, Roofing, Roofing Installation, Spray Foam
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Traditionally in the Midwest, homes are insulated with fiberglass or cellulose insulation.  However, a newer trend being seen in homes is the use of spray foam insulation.  Just as the name implies, this type of insulation comes in spray cans. It’s a combination of resin and chemicals such as polyurethane & isocyanides.   As the insulation is sprayed, it expands and fills up the entire area it is being applied to.  The term “hot roof” comes in because the spray foam insulation is being affixed directly to the roof sheathing which removes the need for ventilation.

How Do Hot Roofs Differ From Traditional Roofs

Attics typically have an insulated floor and have ventilation.  Air from outside is permitted to come in through the soffits and exit through the top of the roof which creates a cold attic during the winter months.  This method is intended to deter ice dams by keeping the roof cooler. When your attic is filled with spray foam insulation to create a hot roof, your attic’s temperature rises because the thermal envelope is shifted to the underside of your roof because ventilation is not present.

Hot Roofs & Roofing Warranties

Industry studies show that shingle temperature is only raised by a few degrees with a hot roof.  However, these few degrees can lower shingle lifespan by up to 10% and cause shingles to fade.  GAF, North America’s largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing, offers a “Golden Pledge” warranty which covers roofing material and labor for 50 years.  This warranty is not pro-rated.  However, those with a hot roof are not eligible for GAF’s highest level of warranty because a hot roof does not have the insulation standards that their asphalt shingles were designed for.  Before moving forward with a hot roof, check with your roofing manufacturer to make sure that doing so will not void your roofing warranty.  Be sure to check with your city to see if they have restrictions on hot roofing before proceeding with your project.

Perks of a Hot Roof

The unit of measurement for insulation is called the “R-Value”. The R-value measures how well insulation is able to resist heat going through it. The bigger the R-value, the better it will insulate your home.  A hot roof contains the highest R-Value because there are no chances for air to leak.  If the attic contains ductwork, it won’t need to be insulated because there is no energy loss.  A hot roof prevents energy loss and can lower your utility bills.

Am I Allowed to Have a Hot Roof? 

In the state of MN, the following cities PROHIBIT Hot Roofs:

  • Apple Valley
  • Delano
  • Eagan
  • Eden Prairie
  • Hopkins
  • Lakeville
  • Maple Grove
  • Plymouth
  • Shakopee
  • Saint Louis Park
  • Woodbury

In the state of MN, the following cities MAY Allow Hot Roofs if Certain Criteria is Met:

  • Bloomington
  • Brooklyn Park
  • Chanhassen
  • Coon Rapids
  • Elk River
  • Minneapolis
  • Richfield
  • Roseville
  • Saint Paul

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!

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What to Inspect Before Purchasing a New Home

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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.

Plumbing

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.

HVAC

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.

Fireplace

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 www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate.

 

 

Enhance Your Ceiling and Renew Your Living Space

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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 www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate.