Category Archives: Energy Efficient Homes

7 Energy Consumption Myths

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Centuries ago, it was believed that if a dog bit a human, you could treat the injury by removing a hair from the dog and holding it against the lesion.  The thought of someone over the age of 5 believing this old wives’ tale these days is quite comical.  However, that doesn’t mean this rumor hasn’t been replaced with seemingly more believable tales.  In the realm of energy efficiency, there are a lot of misconceptions about things you can do to conserve energy.  Allow us to dispel some of the fiction floating around on the internet.

Your Fireplace is a Good Source of Heat: While it’s hard to beat sipping a hot toddy around a crackling fire, doing so will not lower your energy bills.  Every fireplace has a damper that must be opened in order to vent the poisonous gasses that a wood burning fireplace emits.  Having the damper open lets in as much outside air as having a window open does.  This is great for your lungs, but terrible in terms of energy efficiency.  While the room you are in feels nice and toasty, the overall temperature in your home is prone to drop, which for many, means turning up the thermostat.

Plugged in Electronics in Off Mode Don’t Use Power: Wrong!  If something is plugged in, it’s using power, regardless if the on switch is flipped on.  This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “vampire power”.  There is research showing that vampire power is responsible for ¼ of power bills.  Avoid this by unplugging electronics not in use.

Jacking Up Your Thermostat Temperature Heats Your Home Faster: Not so much; once your furnace is running; it is working at its maximum potential.  Cranking the thermostat only makes your furnace run for a greater duration and could even end up making your home excruciatingly hot.

Keeping Vents in Unused Rooms Closed Will Save You Money: Closing off a vent changes how your HVAC system processes air and will most likely result in the system working harder than it should because the balance has been thrown off.

Keeping Electronics on Continuously is Better Than Turning Them On & Off Frequently:  This myth continues today because when the first computers hit the market, a few decades ago, they consumed massive amounts of energy and it was better to keep them running, rather than shut them off after every use.  Today’s electronics are significantly more energy efficient and it’s much more energy efficient to shut them off after each use.

The Use of Fans Can Cool a Hot Room: While fans can be used to cool the skin of an individual in a hot room, running a fan in an unoccupied room will only circulate air, not lower temperature.

An Unheated Garage is the Perfect Spot for a Chest Freezer: This one is easy to believe.  After all, freezers are cold and so are unheated garages.  However, since the temperature of most garages varies wildly season to season, the temperature variation can actually harm your freezer because the motor has to work harder to regulate the temperature.  The ideal placement of a chest freezer is in your home’s lower level because it’s typically the coolest spot in your home.

 

 

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are 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 December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.  

6 Reasons Your Energy Costs are Killing You

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When you’re a kid, getting mail can seem like the greatest thing in the world.  Whether it’s a letter from a pen pal, a birthday card with money or Sports Illustrated for Kids, a trip to the mailbox and finding something with your name on it, is a real treat.  Flash forward 30 years and a trip to the mailbox brings invites to overpriced home cleaning supply parties, offers to switch cable providers and the dreaded utility bill.  Many of us cringe as we rip the envelope open thinking “it can’t possibly be higher than last month…” only to find out it is!  Why continue to pay outrageous bills month after month, year after year?  Wouldn’t you rather get to the bottom of the situation and do something about it?  We’re here to clue you in on six reasons your energy bills are higher than they should be.

Inadequate Insulation: To have optimal energy efficiency in your home, you need to be properly insulated from your foundation all the way up to your roof. Sometimes, insulation in your home seems to be an overlooked area until you already have an issue with an ice dam or inconsistent temperatures throughout your home. Insulation is the single most important home improvement project to increase your comfort and save money on your energy bills.  (Shameless plug: Lindus Construction now performs home energy audits complete with blower door testing so that you can identify the problem areas in your home!)

You’re Not Using a Programmable Thermostat: In the winter months, what’s the point of heating a home to a warm temperature when there’s no one there to use it?  With a programmable thermostat, you have the ability to control the temp throughout the day and ensure that the home is heated up to your ideal temperature before you arrive home from work or a weekend getaway.  It’s a simple solution that can make a big difference over time.

Outdated Appliances: As appliances reach the end of their lifespan, you can save beaucoup dollars on your energy bills by replacing them with ENERGY STAR rated appliances, which are certified to use significantly less energy than federal mandates require.  The biggest energy guzzler appliance is typically the refrigerator because it runs continuously.  Some homes have a secondary refrigerator.  There’s nothing wrong with having one if it’s being used for overflow items that don’t fit into your primary fridge, but if it is being minimally used, the damage to your utility bill isn’t worth the convenience of having it.

Unreliable Windows & Doors: As the cooler weather sets in, it’s to your benefit to inspect the outside of your windows & doors for cracking and seal them. The use of weather-stripping and caulk around doors & windows will prevent cold air from entering the home, saving on your energy bills. You can also use shrink wrap around your windows if you do not plan on opening them for the winter. If you have older doors and windows, you can install storm doors & windows which can increase your home’s energy efficiency significantly.  If your home has single pane windows, consider upgrading to double or triple pane windows.  Multiple panes of glass trap a layer of air or gas between the panes increasing the insulating factors allowing less heat to pass through the window. If the space between the panes is filled with argon or krypton gas you will have more insulating power than just air.

Your Furnace Filter: Every furnace has a filter which periodically will become clogged with particles floating in your home’s air.  Routinely changing the air filter will not only keep your home’s air cleaner and reduce the strain on your furnace, it will also lower your energy costs.   

Your Chimney Damper is Open: The purpose of a chimney damper is to prevent your home’s heat from filtering out through the chimney when the fireplace is not in use.  Closing the damper after using the fireplace is a must or the temperature of your home can quickly lower and your furnace will need to work double time in order to get your home back to a comfortable temperature.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are 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 www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

 

Keeping Heating Costs in Check This Winter

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There are all kinds of records being set this month: in addition to those at the Winter Olympics.  For one, there have been the frigid temperatures.  With the drop in temperature, there have been record increases in propane prices, leading some to refer to it as “liquid gold”.  Some of the homeowners hit hardest by the propane pricing are those with older homes, since energy efficiency wasn’t a priority at time of construction.  Making changes to an older home to increase energy efficiency can seem like a daunting task, but with these tips, you’ve got a clear road map of ways to improve the current situation.

Get an Energy Audit: There’s a saying that states “prognosis without diagnosis is malpractice”.  In addition to the medical community, this can also apply to home energy efficiency.  Don’t throw a bunch of stuff at a wall, hoping something sticks.   Get an energy audit by a licensed professional so that you can pinpoint the biggest offenders in your home when it comes to wasted energy.  Many times, a basic audit is offered by a utility company for a nominal fee.

Install a Programmable Thermostat:  Did you know that by turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours while you are away at work or sleeping you can save as much as 5%-15% a year on your heating bill?  A lot of people avoid doing this because they are under the impression that this practice causes your furnace to work harder.  In fact, you will lose less energy because the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss resulting in more energy being saved.

Upgrade Your Insulation: ENERGY STAR estimates that just by properly sealing and insulating your home, you can save up to 20% off your heating and cooling costs.  In order to reap home energy savings, you need to have the proper R-value for the climate you live in.  The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power you will have.  To have optimal energy efficiency in your home, you need to be properly insulated from your foundation all the way up to your roof.

Install Energy Efficient Windows:  Signs your windows and doors are starting to fail is if you are able to see daylight around the window or door frame or you’re able to rattle them.  A temporary fix can be weather stripping.  However, since roughly 90% of a window is glass, your choice of single, double or triple pane can dramatically affect your energy efficiency. Double and triple pane windows trap a layer of still air or gas between the panes which increases insulation. Replacing the windows in your home will help stabilize your home’s climate making air temperature more consistent.

Keep Your Heating Vents Clear: Take care to not block your heating vents with things such as rugs and furniture.  Doing so prevents warm air from circulating as it should.

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 www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus

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Home Appliance Energy Consumption

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In the United States, over 20% of our total energy consumption is related to our home and we are the 7th largest per capita consumer of residential energy in the world according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Lighting and appliances in your home account for 10%-50% of your residential energy use. 80% of energy consumption in your home can be directly contributed to your light bulbs, refrigerator, washer & dryer and dishwasher. Below, we are going to talk about the four biggest offenders in residential energy consumption.

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Light bulbs

Incandescent Bulbs – oldest, most common light bulb to date, but also the most wasteful in its category. The lifespan is only 1500-2000 hours. Only 10% of the energy used go to light these bulbs. The other 90% creates heat, which requires additional cooling for comfort.

Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) – these use less electrical energy than incandescent bulbs. They are approximately 3 to 4 times more efficient that incandescent using75% less energy.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) – consist of as many as 18 bulbs clustered together. They have come a long way in their innovation fitting most common household fixtures. They only use 1/30 of the energy used by incandescent bulbs and only 1/3 of the electricity consumed by CFLs. LEDs will last up to 10 times longer and hold up well to jarring and bumping because they do not have the filament like incandescent bulbs. The cost of LEDs are initially expensive, but the cost is recouped over time with your energy savings. High-quality LED recessed lighting products are the new rave today incorporating all the best features currently found on the LED lighting market: energy savings up to 80%, 50,000 hour life spans, great light output and color, low environmental impact and the ability to be installed with a dimmer switched adding ambiance to any room.

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Dishwasher

Did you know that a dishwasher consumes 1/3 less hot water than hand washing your dishes? 80-90% of the energy used for your dishwater is consumed by the water heater. Some older dishwashers require a water temperature of at least 130° F to get dishes cleaned. Newer models on the market have smaller booster heaters using less water heating energy.  Save more money while running your dishwasher by choosing an air dry vs. heated drying option.

 

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Washer & Dryer

Horizontal axis washers use 50-75% less energy & water than vertical axis washer, but costs a lot more. On average, it costs about 10 times more to dry a load of laundry than it does to wash it (so if you ware like many American households that “fluff” your laundry in the dryer 3 times before folding think of the energy being wasted doing that). Ways to save money while doing laundry are:

  • Use cold water whenever possible
  • Be sure to adjust the water lever to match each load size
  • Always clean your dryer lint filter
  • Use an auto sensor function if you have one to avoid longer than usual drying

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Refrigerators & Freezers

They account for 9-15% of a household’s total energy usage. If you have a refrigerator that is 20 years old or more, you should consider an upgrade you will end of saving money in the long run. When looking for a new refrigerator, you want to consider these options for optimal energy efficiency:

  • Manual defrost over automatic
  • Freezer on top/bottom instead of side-by-side
  • Chest freezer over upright freezer
  • One larger over two smaller units

An extra refrigerator or freezer can cost you an additional $100 in energy costs per year. The fuller you keep your freezer,  the less work it has to do to keep items cold because the food inside stores cold air.

Lindus Construction is proud to now be RESNET certified and would like to help you in your quest for energy efficiency in your home. Give us a call at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com  to set up a free no-obligation estimate. Make sure to tune into WCCO 830AM every Saturday from 9a-10a for the Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

 

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

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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.

 

 

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

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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!

Add Square Footage by Finishing Your Basement!

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Deciding whether or not to finish your basement is an important consideration. Some people view a finished basement as a total necessity and others view it as a major nuisance. Basement remodeling is one of the best kept secrets of space expansion. It is prime remodeling territory from a financial investment as well as improving your quality of living. According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, a basement project typically costs about $64,500 and returns about 70 percent of the original cost. If you own a 2000 square foot home and finish your basement, you may get 1000 square feet of extra space. That’s a 50 percent increase in space. As a result, that extra space increases the market value of your home substantially. Below is why finishing your basement should be top priority on your next to-do list.

Income
Do you need to add more income to your household to add more flexibility in your current lifestyle? Finishing your basement can add to your income. Basement apartments are very popular these days because people are downsizing from their current living spaces. Many basements rent at 75% of the cost of your monthly mortgage, quickly offsetting the upfront cost of finishing the space. Also, finishing your basement offers the best price per square foot of any home remodeling project.

Comfort
Finishing your basement can offer your whole family a more comfortable living space by staying nice and cool in the summer and toasty in the winter. Having a finished basement will offer you a room in your home that is very energy efficient compared to any other room in your home saving on added energy bills that an addition would cost. Unlike your main level living space, your open basement offers you a blank slate in choosing a floor plan that you wish you had on your main levels such an extra bathroom or possibly an added bedroom or two. Many people would agree that they would prefer to spend time in their finished basement than any other room in their home.

Family & Entertaining
If you have your extended family in town a lot or you are the entertainers of your group of friends, finishing your basement will allow your family to have separate living quarters whether they are there for the weekend or the month. Having a space where you and your friends can congregate to watch football on Sundays on your big screen or adding a pool table and a bar to entertain on the weekends is also an added bonus.

Storage
Do you wish you had more storage in your home? If so, finishing your basement to be the creative and organized haven you desire is right at your fingertips. Finishing your basement will provide you more storage and shelving space.

Resale Value
Many consumers in the home buying market will tell you that having a finished basement in a prospective home will make or break their will to purchase it. A lot of people don’t want to finish a basement themselves and want that added living space to already exist in their future home. The benefits from a resale point of view far outweigh the cost associated with completing the job. According to annual surveys by Remodeling Online, homeowners who spend $50,000 on major basement remodeling can expect to add just under $40,000 to their home’s resale value, or recoup 79.3 percent of their investment.

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!

Become an Expert When Choosing Your Next Roofing Contractor

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, Energy Efficient Homes, GAF, GAF Roofing, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Remodeling, Roofing, Uncategorized, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Stability of your potential contracting company
When choosing a contractor to work with for your new roofing project you want to make sure that it is a reputable company. Make sure it is a permanent place of business and when you call you are able to speak with someone rather than leaving a voicemail message as your only option. Any reputable contracting company will come out free of charge to give you an estimate rather than charging an upfront fee. Be sure to ask your family and friends of companies they would recommend and also make sure to do your homework online. There are many websites such as Angie’s List and GuildQuality where you can read online reviews of potential contractors to put on your list. When you have narrowed down your search ask them for a reference list of past customers. If you are working with a professional they will have one readily available and be happy to do so.

Insurance Coverage
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, as well as a good amount of worker’s compensation coverage. Be sure to check that the coverage is effective through the duration of your roofing project. The last thing you want when thinking of replacing your new roof is being dragged into litigation involving and uninsured roofing contractor. This does happen if the contractor is not properly insured and you could be liable for any accidents or injuries that occur on your property if you have not done your legwork.

Research their reference list
When asking for a reference list ask for recent customers as well as ones that are a few years older. The reason to ask for ones that are from a few years ago is then you will be able to see how well that contractors work has held up over the years and for their most recent you will get an accurate account of what they liked and disliked because it is fresh in their mind. Here are some basic questions you can ask their references to get quality information to help with your decision making easier.

  • Would you hire the contractor you worked with again?
  • Were you satisfied or dissatisfied with the quality of the work and employees?
  • How did the contractor handle cleanup of the work area each day and at the end of the project?
  • Was the contractor easy to talk to about your ideas or were they only on their agenda?
  • How did the contractor handle any challenges or work modifications happened during your project?
  • Was the job completed on time and did they abide by the estimate they gave you in the beginning?

Check them out on the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Any respectable and upright roofing contractor will be a member of the BBB. There is a wealth of information and knowledge on contracting companies that you can research on here. You will be able to see if there have been any complaints filed against a particular business as well as how the company you are researching handled a possible mishap. The BBB also has a lot of helpful tips when it comes to hiring a contractor so it is a great resource for factual information.

What brand of roofing material should you use
Most homeowners would like the most inexpensive roofing material, which has the best warranty and requires no maintenance. In a perfect world that would be ideal, but this does not really exist. If your focus is concentrated on the most inexpensive roofing material do not expect for it to last a lifetime. There is a lot to be said about the cost of roofing materials and why consumers choose one over the other, but take our advice that price should be lower on your list than quality and warranty. When it comes to brands of asphalt shingles, being a nationally renowned manufacturer is a very important aspect. Asphalt shingles on the market today are vastly superior than the ones used 30 years ago. Typically most asphalt shingles come with a 25 year warranty, but there are also some now that have 50 year warranties. If you know the brand of shingles a contractor uses do not be afraid to call the manufacturer as well and ask any questions that you may have about the product.

Make sure your contract is in writing not verbal
Replacing your roof is an investment in your home and the future of your property value so you need to be sure and have your contract in writing. You need to have detailed information on your proposal so you are aware of the scope of the project, cost, roofing materials to be used and a timeline of the work to be done. Below are some important factors that you need to make sure are on your contract before you sign anything and if they are not you must insist they be added or chose another contractor.

  • The scope of work that will be done on your home
  • The type of roofing material that will be used, the manufacturer and your choice of color
  • Agreement of who will be removing your existing roof
  • Whether or not existing flashing on your home needs to be replaced or can be re-used and the type of flashing metal
  • Will there need to be anything done regarding your current ventilation
  • Who will replace or repair any damage to landscaping or the exterior of your home if any occurs during the installation process by accident
  • A timeline of when your project will start and end
  • What type of payment you will be using to pay for your project whether it is a personal check, credit card or even possibly financing through your contractor of choice
  • Detailed warranty on your new shingles and the workmanship of the job
  • Who is responsible for disposal of your old roofing materials
  • Any extra fees and or discounts that will be applied to your contract

Why you should choose Lindus Construction as your roofing contractor
Lindus Construction is a family owned construction company that has been in business for the last 33 years. We offer free no-obligation estimates and you can look us up on Angie’s List, our A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau as well as view our GuildQuality page to read customer reviews. We provide all of our customers with a copy of our insurance policy before we start your scope of work so you are able to see our coverage. We not only will provide you with a reference list, but we have even gone a step farther and will provide you one from the area that you live in. We use the #1 one selling brand of roofing system in North America, GAF. Only the top 3% of all roofing contractors have qualified as Master Elite™ and Lindus Construction is proud to be among them. With a proven reputation for providing quality roofing systems and ongoing professional training, Lindus Construction is one of the most experienced and respected roofing companies serving Minnesota and Wisconsin. If you are worried about the design of asphalt shingle and color to use on your home we have you covered because we offer a home virtual remodeler where we will import a picture of your home into our program so you can see what the finished project will look like before we even start. We provide detailed written contracts to all of our potential clients and will answer any questions that you have before, during or after your project completion that you may have. We strive to keep the lines of communication open with you far after your project is finished to ensure a lifetime of satisfaction.

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 and get your roofing project started today!

Go Green at Home

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Going “green” doesn’t mean spending extra green.  In most cases, an environmental choice benefits both the planet & your wallet.  Here are some of our recommendations on how you can have a more energy efficient home.

Rain Harvesting: Rain water is a free resource and collection barrels set up at the downspouts of your gutters allow you to save on your water bill.  Uses for the water collected include: watering your garden, washing your car & mopping your floor.  Another great way to conserve water is through a rain water harvesting system.  With this system, rain water is stored in above or below ground tanks.  It can be used for landscape irrigation, water for toilet flushing and indoor fire sprinkler systems.

Click this link to learn more about Englert Rainwater Harvesting systems:http://www.englertinc.com/rainwater-harvesting-systems/custom-rainwater-harvesting.html

Solar Energy: One of the reasons solar power is picking up popularity is because it increases a property’s value.  In a time when the real estate market is soft, solar panels can be a way to add to a home’s resale value.  Own a pool or hot tub?  Decrease the amount of energy it takes to heat it with a solar cover.

Windows & Doors: Windows and doors that allow drafts to come in make your home’s heating & cooling systems work harder than they have to.  Installing energy efficient options will lower your heating & cooling bills.

Insulation: Home insulation and sealing is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort.  ENERGY STAR estimates that just by properly sealing and insulating your home, you can save up to 20% off your heating and cooling costs.

Furnace Filters: If your heating and cooling system is attempting to send air through clogged filters, it works harder which in turn, costs you more to heat your home.  Changing or cleaning filters monthly – or at least every three months – will make it easier on your heating and cooling system and will even make the air in your home cleaner and healthier. It’s wise to service your system every year to two which can save you as much as 10% off your energy bills.

Thermostat: Programmable thermostats can save up to 10% on heating & cooling costs. 

Lighting: Motion-detector lights can be installed both inside and outside your home to reduce the chances of lighting being left on when there is no need.  The lighting will save you money and energy.

Fans: Fans set to rotate the opposite direction can serve as a heating source during the Ceiling Fan winter months.  The opposite movement helps draw warm air into a room.

Sun Tunnels: Sun Tunnels channel natural light into interior spaces, providing the illumination and health benefits of sunlight but with no energy costs. Sun Tunnels capture sunlight from your rooftop and redirect it down a reflective tube into your home. The tubing fits between rafters and installs easily with no structural modifications. At the ceiling level, an attractive diffuser spreads the light evenly throughout the room.  Installing a sun tunnel in your home will allow you to greatly reduce how often lighting is needed to brighten a room during daytime hours which will save you on energy bills.  They are especially useful in laundry rooms, bathrooms, closets & hallways.

Looking for a professional to assist you in making your home more “green”?   Let the professionals at Lindus Construction help you. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home 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.

Should Your Next Roof Be Metal?

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

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

Lindus Metal Roof 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking for a professional to make your dream roof a reality?  Let the professionals at Lindus Construction help you make that happen.   Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.