Category Archives: Home Safety

Mosquitoes Are Using Your Clogged Gutters as a Vacation Home

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, LeafGuard, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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Mosquitoes love gutters clogged with water, wet leaves and other debris. In fact, a significant percentage of mosquitoes in your neighborhood are bred right at home, in your own wet gutters. From a health standpoint, clogged gutters are a haven for mosquitoes that will breed freely in a clustered moist environment. Let’s not forget the constant distraction of outdoor life around your home. Mosquitos live where they breed. Experts say all it takes is one tablespoon of standing water to breed hundreds of mosquitos.  Many people think that clogged gutters are a spring and fall phenomenon, but mosquito breeding season is long and can extend because of early spring and late winter.

Mosquitoes are commonly known to carry West Nile Virus which is on the rise. West Nile Virus (WNV) usually has the highest risk from mid-summer through early autumn. About 1 out of every 150 people bitten by infected mosquitos will develop central nervous system disease and approximately 10% of people with severe forms of WNV will form an infection and die. Fortunately most healthy individuals infected develop West Nile Fever, which is a less severe form and are able to fight off the virus.

Clogged gutters are not only unsightly, but also a danger to the integrity of your home and health. Here are some threats they present:

  • Increased mosquito population increasing your health risk for West Nile Virus
  • Increased mosquito populations also increase your dog’s chance of contracting heartworm since they carry this too
  • Damage to your soffit & fascia
  • Ground erosion
  • Cracks in the foundation and basement flooding

 

Why choose LeafGuard Gutters to protect your home & health?

Rain gutters are meant to capture the water from your roof and carry it safely into a downspout – away from your soffit, fascia and foundation, where it can cause damage. But ordinary gutters also capture leaves, twigs and other organic debris that can cause them to clog during rainstorms. LeafGuard’s patented design allows rainwater to travel down and around its curved hood and into the gutter, while deflecting leaves and debris. LeafGuard Gutters are guaranteed not to clog for as long as you own your home, or the installing dealer will clean your gutters for free. LeafGuard Gutters are custom fit, durable, and made in a wide variety of colors. Their attractive design blends in perfectly with every style home. With LeafGuard’s unique gutter protection system, you can forget about water damage, surface erosion, and climbing ladders. That’s why we say: With LeafGuard Brand Gutters – Get It and Forget It!

Well-informed homeowners have been choosing LeafGuard seamless gutters for almost 20 years to safeguard their homes and here is why!

  • LeafGuard´s patented one-piece seamless design allows rainwater to cling to the hood and fall into the gutter, while leaves and other debris fall to the ground.
  • LeafGuard gutters not only looks better, but also functions better than add-on      gutter covers, gutter hoods, and screens.
  • LeafGuard’s one-piece hood and gutter are formed from a seamless piece of aluminum eliminating problems with gutter attachments and color matching.
  • LeafGuard is not screwed or nailed into your roof causing damage and warranty violations associated with two-piece gutter systems.
  • LeafGuard brand gutters are securely fastened to your fascia board with hidden, non-corrosive, internal hangers.
  • LeafGuard is made from aluminum that is 20% heavier than standard aluminum gutters.
  • The LeafGuard gutter system features larger downspouts that are also 30%      thicker than standard aluminum gutters.
  • LeafGuard´s exclusive ScratchGuard® paint finish, won´t chip, peel or crack, and comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.*

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard is a proud dealer of LeafGuard brand gutter systems and would like to come out to your home and give you a free no-obligation estimate on the best seamless gutter system on the market. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Make sure to 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 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.

 

 

Power Tools…A Man’s Best Friend

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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

Sawzall

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

What is Rainwater Harvesting?

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

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

~It is a free source of water

~It is environmentally responsible and growing in popularity socially

~It allows you to be self-sufficient

~It can help solve drainage problems on your property

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

~It is very easy to maintain and are relatively inexpensive

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

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

~watering your lawn or garden

~ hook it up to your sprinkler system

~wash your vehicles or give you pet a bath

~fill your fish pond, fountain or swimming pool

~wash down your driveway

~toilet and washing machine water

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

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

There are three main sizes of ENGLERT Rainwater Harvesting units:

Traditional 225 RHS

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

Classic 400 RHS

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

Ultra 1700 RHS

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

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate for your new ENGLERT Rainwater Harvesting system today!

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.

Is That Wood Flooring Under My Carpet?

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

Signs your floor needs to be refinished

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

Prep

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

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

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

Buffer – To smooth out your wood floor surface after sanding

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

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

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

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

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

Sanding

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

Staining & Sealing

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

Cost

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

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate for your home improvement needs today!

 

Add Square Footage by Finishing Your Basement!

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Filed under Andy Lindus, basement waterproofing, Construction, Energy Efficient Homes, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Remodeling, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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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!

We Are On Your Side! Understanding What Different Siding Options Are Available

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Filed under Andy Lindus, CenterLock Siding, Construction, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, SeasonGuard Siding, Siding, Uncategorized, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show, Wood Siding
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The exterior of your home is exposed to the elements 24 hours a day 365 days a year so choosing the correct siding to fit your needs is something that deserves research and an educated decision. According to Remodeling Magazine investing in new siding can be an excellent choice in terms of ROI. The cost of siding in terms of resale value recouped is 69% in the Midwest. The type of siding you choose for your home not only will determine the cost associated with it, but also the aesthetic appeal you are striving for. There are many different siding materials on the market today to choose from.  We will discuss wood, fiber cement, vinyl and steel siding informing you on what you can expect regarding durability, maintenance and performance ability.

Wood Siding

Wood siding has been used on homes for hundreds of years. Wood is a natural insulator so it will help to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A big benefit in using wood siding is that it is a renewable resource unlike many of the other siding options available on the market. This type of siding does require a lot of maintenance to protect it from the elements so painting and staining this product every 4-5 years is essential to avoid rotting, warping, cracking or splitting. The nice thing about wood siding is that if it is properly maintained, it can last up to 30 years. One of the most important things to know if you choose wood siding is to make sure during the installation process that it acclimates on your property, is properly sealed and is thoroughly protected. Multiple choices of wood siding exist and some of the most popular are:

Clapboard – Clapboards are long rectangular boards that are squared off and installed on your home overlapping in a horizontal manner

Shingles & Shakes – Wood shingle siding is very similar to roofing shingles except they are installed on the sides of your home. The shingles are wedge shaped and shakes are basically the same thing except they are thicker.

Wood Composite – Wood composite is a mixture of wood chips, glue and other types of debris that are compressed to make sturdy boards. It tends to be similar to plywood.

 

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is relatively inexpensive, long lasting, durable and easy to maintain. Vinyl siding tends to stand up to the elements and does pretty well in severe weather. The newer versions of vinyl are much stronger than previously produced. It is virtually maintenance free and only requires power washing once or twice a year. With technology increasing in the manufacturing the color is now baked through the vinyl instead of applied onto it. A partial downside to vinyl siding is that it can trap moisture underneath the side panes which cause it to grow mold and mildew. Vinyl siding also helps insulate your home depending on the thickness of what the siding is backed with. We would recommend using CenterLock vinyl siding which provides a low maintenance, cost effective, traditional look to your home. The exclusive double lock design of CenterLock keeps panels flat and tight to the wall, producing a straighter, more even wall surface.

 

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber Cement Siding is made of a mix of cement, sand and cellulose fibers. It is virtually maintenance free, insect proof and inhibits fungal growth.  Most fiber cement siding comes with a 50 year warranty. The nice thing about Fiber Cement Siding is that it can be made to mimic virtually any other siding material including wood lap boards. Since this product is made of up 90% cement and sand it is inherently resistant to flames. This siding is superior to its counterparts when it comes to standing up to severe weather. Fiber Cement siding does have to be re-painted periodically. We would recommend James Hardie Fiber Cement siding. It is available in 26 colors and a variety of looks and textures.  It is backed by a 50-year transferable warranty against rotting, cracking and delaminating.

 

Steel Siding

Metal is the most durable and strong siding product on the market today. It does not shift overtime or absorb moisture. It is resistant to bumps, dents and dings that any of the other siding products will endure. Since you are dealing with a steel product the possibility of rust is possible, but most unlikely. This would only be caused if your product was installed incorrectly where the edges were not covered. Steel siding is essentially maintenance free by just needing an occasional power wash to rid it of dirt. Since the invention of seamless steel siding, it is hard to compare this amazing product to any other.  We would recommend using SeasonGuard Steel Siding. It will last a lifetime due to being made out of 26 gauge seamless steel and is 20 percent thicker than other seamless siding. It is beautiful, durable and energy efficient. It comes in over 50 different colors with a 35 year non-prorated finish warranty against fading, chipping and cracking.

 

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. We proudly carry SeasonGuard Steel Siding, James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding, CenterLock Vinyl Siding and many more!! Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free siding in-home estimate!

 

Fencing 101: A Guide to the Options

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Filed under Construction, Fencing, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Lindus Construction, Remodeling
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Motives for installing fencing can be anything from keeping your pets & children safe in the backyard, increased privacy or enhanced curb appeal.  There are numerous options when it comes to fencing materials.  Each comes with their own unique features that should be carefully considered prior to installation.  Below we’ll discuss everything you need to know before installing a fence on your property.

LAWS: Local laws outline the maximum heights of fences which can differ from front yard to back yard.  Fencing that outlines the front yard is also banned in some places.  If you are part of a homeowner’s association, you will also need to learn what their regulations are.  When using lumber to construct a fence, some municipalities require the more attractive side of the board face the road.

PROPERTY LINES: While it’s common courtesy to alert the neighbors adjacent to your property that a fence is being put up, it’s also a good idea to confirm that you both have the same understanding of where the property lines are.  This can save the major inconvenience of having to redo an entire fence.

TYPES OF FENCING: Identifying the motivation for putting up a fence will assist you in selecting the most appropriate materials.  4 common fencing categories are:

1. Safety Fence-This type of fence can be used to keep wildlife off your property, enclose swimming areas, or  provide your pet a secure place to play.  Types of materials that can be used include mesh fencing held up by metal posts or galvanized metal mesh.

2. Cosmetic Fence-This is typically the smallest fencing type and can range from 2-4 feet high.  It’s used to add curb appeal and/or identify property lines.  The purpose of this type of fencing is to enhance, not block one’s view.  Lattice or rails with 2 or 3 different posts crossing through are common types of cosmetic fencing.

3. Privacy Fence- Privacy Fences measure 4-6 feet high.  Boards are placed tight up next to one another so that it is difficult to see through the fence.  They can be used to line properties, hide unsightly areas or restrict access to a swimming pool.

4. Security Fence-A security fence is, at minimum, 6 feet.  Its purpose is to protect intruders from entering  your  property.  For added security, spiky tops can be added so that climbers are not able to get over.

FENCING MATERIALS:

Once you have determined the type of fence you’d like to build, it’s time to consider the materials that are available.

1. Chain Link & Wire-This type of fencing is more used on commercial, rather than residential properties.  It is the cheapest form of fencing.  To class it up, fencing can be purchased with a black or green coating which will allow it to blend in more with the surrounding area.

2. Wood-Wood is the most popular type of fencing material.  There are several types of wood to choose. When it comes to fencing, wood falls in a medium price range.  It can be treated so that it stands up to the sun’s rays, insects & water damage.  No treatment is permanent.  Depending on the wood and the treatment you use, you can plan on repeating the process every 2-5 years.

3. Metal- Steel & aluminum are common types of metal fencing.  Metal fences work best when their purpose is cosmetic.  For an added sense of security, spiked tops can be added.  Upkeep on metal fences in minimal because they are produced with paint already on them.  However, if you do see any spots starting to lose paint, it’s important to touch them up to avoid rusting.

 

4. Composite & Vinyl- These materials are made to look like wood when actually they are made out of adurable plastic.  They do not need to be painted because the color is mixed into the materialwhen the fencing is produced.  Composite & vinyl are the most expensive of these 4 options but are appreciated because of their durability, low maintenance & long life span.

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!

Bring Your Home Up-To-Date Without Weighing Down Your Pockets

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Filed under Andy Lindus, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Home Safety, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Remodeling, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show
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If you are like many of us finding the time and money to modernize your home might be a challenge. Don’t feel like it is a daunting task to update your current living space. A lot of these ideas below could easily be done in a day if not in one weekend. These are simple, less expensive, ideas that will rejuvenate multiple rooms and areas in your home to create the look you desire.

1. Turn your kitchen into an entertaining haven– the kitchen for many families is the heart of the home where your children and friends congregate for dinner, entertaining and casual discussion. Since you spend a lot of time in and around this space, why not add some inexpensive upgrades to make it look more contemporary? A few inexpensive ways to make your kitchen more present-day are:

  • Change out the hardware on your kitchen sink area
  • Purchase new hardware for your cabinets
  • Swap out old light fixtures and also add accent lighting above or under cabinets
  • Refinish or paint the fronts of your cabinets and drawers
  • Even better, remove your cabinet doors to showcase your beautiful dishware
  • Purchase an island on wheels that you are able to use for storage and another cooking area

2. Give your appliances a facelift – When you look around your kitchen area do you see outdated or mismatched appliances ranging from white, cream or black? Consider updating these appliances to not only be more energy efficient, but it will also give your kitchen a more polished look. If purchasing new appliances is not in the budget research panels for your current appliances that you can switch out to match the rest. Also,  appliance paint can do wonders on a tight budget.

3. Revitalize your bathroom – the bathroom is the second most vital area of your home behind your kitchen. Think of how much time you spend in there getting ready or taking a nice relaxing bath. Some simple inexpensive ways to make your bathroom area more tranquil are as simple as purchasing a new toilet or toilet seat and swapping out your outdated sink. If you have old laminate flooring that does not accent your bathroom consider looking into the newer, easy to install vinyl flooring. If you have not checked out vinyl flooring in years it is time to make a trip to the home improvement store or contact your local contractor because your options now range from patterns that look like stone, cement, wood and many other materials instead of the speckled dotted vinyl you are probably used to. The best thing about vinyl flooring is that if your bathroom floor is in reasonable shape you can simple lay down your new product right over your existing floor without having to rip up your current floor covering. If you have tiles in your tub or shower look into cleaning the grout lines or even re-grouting the area with a different color of grout can increase the beauty of your washing area.

4. Refresh your home with paint – When is the last time you bought a gallon of paint and painted a room to update it? Painting is the single most efficient way to update large spaces in your home. Using more neutral colors of paint in your home will not only make your rooms look larger, but it will also take it from 1970 to 2012 in a hurry. If you are plagued with floor to ceiling paneling in your home, paint it. Most people do not consider painting paneling and believe they have to remove it from their home and sheetrock, but paneling paints surprisingly well if you use a primer. If you have smaller rooms to work with, paint three walls one color and the fourth as an accent color. Another hot new trend is using painting tape to make lines and designs on your wall to give the walls more depth and almost a three dimensional look.

5. Make your home more organized – if you have children and feel like you are constantly picking up after them, consider making modern storage spaces. You can recycle and old dresser that is taking up space by removing the drawers and adding canvas crates. Make wood boxes that you stack in unconventional ways to make your storage area more of a piece of art. If you have open staircases fill that area up with canvas crates and now that area that wasn’t functional before has a purpose.

6. Rent a power cleaner – if you have carpet in your home, an easy way to bring zest back to it is having it cleaned. You do not have to hire a carpet cleaning company to have this done; you can rent a carpet cleaner/shampooer at a local grocery or home improvement store. If your carpet is or stained, a good cleaning will dramatically change the aesthetic value of your living space.

7. Swap out your lights switches and plugins – Who thought that updating your switches and plugins would make a difference, but it truly does. You will be able to add consistency in color as well as be able to enhance the mood lighting in your home. Consider purchasing dimmer switches that will allow you to go from daytime to evening setting an ambiance for entertaining or relaxation.

8.Special financing – if you feel that your larger home improvement projects have been put off too long because of not having the money upfront talk to your local contractor because most of them offer financing options. We, at Lindus Construction, offer financing options to fit your needs. We have a minimum of 3 months and maximum of 12 months no interest no payments, also low interest rates with low monthly payments that you are able to spread over a longer period of time and also the financial institutions that we work with can work directly with our customers to develop a financing solution for almost any situation.

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!