Category Archives: Lighting

Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies

Filed under Bathrooms, Construction, Home Construction, Lindus Construction, Skylight, Sun Tunnel, VELUX, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show, www.lindusconstruction.com
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Ha, ha!  You’re reading an article “for dummies”.  (Did we mention that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem?)  Surely we jest… all kidding aside, unless you work in the construction industry or watch HGTV 24/7, you’re not supposed to be an expert on this topic, as you may only do this a couple times in your entire life.  Since we do it a little more often than that, allow us to offer some helpful advice so that when the time comes for you to update a bathroom, you’ve got some of the basics down.

Plumbing is Expensive to Move: Yes, there are times when it makes sense to change the layout of the plumbing in a bathroom.  However, if given the option not to, don’t.  Doing so can add to both the duration and costs of your project. This is one area where change doesn’t need to be made for the sake of making change.

You are on the Supplier’s Timeframe, Not the Other Way Around: When ordering custom items such as tiles, vanities, light fixtures, bathtubs, etc., the supplier, not the homeowner,  dictates the time frame the items will be available.  To keep your project moving as quickly as possible, select these items at the very start of the project and do not start the demo process until the arrival date (or thereafter) in order to not have a bathroom that’s a construction zone for several weeks.

Now is the Time to Amplify Natural Light: Many bathrooms are in areas of the home that do not have windows which means poor lighting and air circulation.  Remedy this situation by adding a sun tunnel or skylights to your bathroom.  (Ps.- The federal government is currently offering tax credits of up to 30% on skylights. Companies such as VELUX even offer battery powered skylights that have rain sensors that automatically close the unit upon detection of rain.)

Consider a Walk-In Shower: If you’re looking to replace your current shower, a walk-in shower may be worth considering.  Eliminating the step up can make the room appear larger.  It’s also worth considering for homeowners who plan to retire in their current home.

It’s Okay to Wave the White Flag: If any part of the project makes you uncomfortable, there’s nothing wrong with calling a professional.  Yes, it can be an added expense, but then again, so can having your home flood because a water supply line was severed during a project you attempted to do yourself.

Beware of Trends: Ever been in a bathroom that still has an avocado green toilet?  Looks out of place, doesn’t it?  Opt for trendy items that can be swapped out easily such as rugs, shower curtains, toothbrush holders, etc. and keep your toilet and bathtub in traditional hues.

Lindus Construction is a full-service remodeling company specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Decking, Home Remodeling & New Construction. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 for a free no obligation estimate or check us out on our new website at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10a with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show.

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Amplifying Natural Light in Your Home

Filed under 3 Season Room, 4 season room, Lighting, Lindus Construction, Skylight, Sun Tunnel, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show, Windows, www.lindusconstruction.com
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At Lindus Construction, we’re a fan of natural light for a multitude of reasons such as lower energy bills (up to 40% of your home’s energy use comes from artificial lighting), boosting mood & energy and its ability to make everything look better.  With the weather turning colder and the days getting shorter, we thought we’d offer some ways to increase the natural light in your home.

Skylights:   They come in a variety of sizes including square, triangle, oval, etc. They are a great way to evenly distribute natural light, eliminate direct sunlight & hotspots and add aesthetic appeal to your home.  The federal government is currently offering tax credits of up to 30% on skylights.  Companies such as VELUX even offer battery powered skylights that have rain sensors that automatically close the unit upon detection of rain. 

Sun Tunnels: Located on your roof, they are optically engineered to capture light through a high impact dome on the roof.  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.

Sunroom: Adding a sunroom allows you to bring natural lighting and warmth into your home and you can’t go wrong with the additional space to relax & entertain.

Windows: No one enjoys cleaning windows, but a little Windex can go a long way to brighten up a room!  Shear window treatments are better at allowing sunlight to filter through than opaque ones.  This year, energy efficient windows are eligible for a Federal Tax Credit of up to $200, making this the optimum time to replace any windows with broken panes or those are that are leaking air. 

Reflective Surfaces: The more reflective surfaces you have in your home, the greater the chances of sunlight boomeranging around the room.  This can mean adding mirrors, cabinets with glass fronts and white paint to your walls, cabinets and ceiling.  It’s surprising to know that matte paints do a better job of reflecting than glossy ones.  

Room Layout: Keep furniture away from windows to allow for maximum sun infiltration into your home.

Doors: If you have a front door that currently does not have a window, switching it out for one that does is an easy way to bring more natural light into your home.  French doors also allow for sunlight to filter in between rooms.

Lindus Construction is a full-service remodeling company specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Decking, Home Remodeling & New Construction. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 for a free no obligation estimate or check us out on our new website at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10a with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show.

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Positioning Your Home to the Millennial Buyer

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

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

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

Home Improvements That Can Attract Millennial Buyers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Updating Your Home Skimp vs. Splurge

Filed under GAF, GAF Roofing, Gutters, LeafGuard, Lighting, Lindus Construction, SeasonGuard, WCCO Home Improvement Show, Windows
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Did you know that the average American is exposed to approximately 600 ads from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed?  No wonder it can be such a tough choice when deciding where to indulge and where to cut back when updated your home.  Having been in the industry since 1979, Lindus Construction happens to know a thing or two about this topic.  Allow us to offer our two cents:

Windows: Splurge

When you think about it, your home’s windows are viewed from both the inside and the outside.  Shouldn’t they be a point of pride?  Additionally, windows act as a physical barrier from Mother Nature.  Opting for triple pane makes them energy efficient which will lower your heating and cooling costs.  These windows often have a longer lifespan than cheaper alternatives making them more cost effective in the long run.

Crown Moulding: Skimp by installing yourself or skipping completely  

Most people would agree that crown molding adds a luxurious touch to a room.  With that, comes a hefty price tag, especially if it is installed throughout your home.  Save your cash for an upgrade that is functional and will add value to your home.

Roof: Splurge

Did you know that roofing companies, like GAF, make asphalt roofs with non-prorated warranties on both labor and materials for up to 50 years?  Choosing this roofing material ensures that you’re investing in what is likely to be the last roof you’ll ever buy.

Light Fixtures: Skimp

There’s nothing wrong with having a few standout light fixtures in your home.  However, outfitting each room with them will add up quickly.  It is easy to find cost effective (and trendy) fixtures both online and in big box stores.

Gutters: Splurge

Gutters are oftentimes not something that a homeowner puts a lot of thought into until they’re clogged, leaking, malfunctioning, etc. but their purpose is vital.  Without properly functioning gutters, water can damage your home and landscaping.  Life’s too short and your home is too valuable to worry about clogged gutters.  (Click here to learn more about LeafGuard which are guaranteed to never clog.)

Storage: Skimp (on the price, not the actual amount)

When comparing built in storage to freestanding furniture, opt for the freestanding furniture which can be changed out more cost effectively than built in storage.

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

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Fast Facts-What You Need to Know Before You Start a Kitchen Remodel

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Filed under Construction, Kitchen Remodeling, Lighting, Lindus Construction, Remodeling, Skylight, www.lindusconstruction.com
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In the construction industry, it’s often common to find calculations that estimate how much money you will recoup from a home improvement project.  One of the projects that are always towards the top of the list is a kitchen remodel.  Depending on the market and the scale of the project, a kitchen remodel can provide as much as an 87% return on investment.  That’s why it’s crucial that the undertaking is executed properly the first time.  Below is a list of ways to make this project as pain-free and as successful as possible.

Take Your Time-Take some time to page through magazines and websites such as Houzz.com to see what you like in terms of style and layout.  While it can be tempting to jump the gun and get the project going in order to meet a deadline, like a graduation party or wedding shower, you can end up incurring more costs if you decide mid-way through the project that you want to remove a wall, relocate a sink, etc.  Imagine your disappointment if you hurry up and select a countertop only to learn later that it requires annual re-sealing, something that would have made you make another choice if you had known.

Finding the Right People for the Job- Think of a general contractor as the coach of a team. Their job is to gather bids, work with subcontractors and make sure that the work is done correctly, within your budget and on schedule. A general contractor has connections within the industry and has solid relationships with subcontractors (cabinet makers, countertop showrooms, etc.). These subcontractors want to perform exceptional work for general contractors because they know that this is how they will stay in business. Subcontractors are less likely to stay on time and within budget for someone they know they have little chance of ever working with again, such as the homeowner. While on the front end, hiring a general contractor can seem like an added expense, working with a skilled professional will often keep you on schedule and within budget.

Having a Budget with a Buffer- It’s important to establish a budget when renovating a kitchen. The budget should include a slush fund that takes into consideration unforeseen circumstances and overages because even with the best intentioned bid, incidentals will likely still come up.

Your Kitchen’s Footprint-Clearly, there are times when your kitchen’s footprint needs to be changed to maximize space.  However, if it’s possible, stick with same footprint which will allow you to forego costs incurred from demolition & reconstruction. Another perk?  Less dust and debris in your home.

Appliances-If your greatest culinary accomplishment in the last 5 years was not burning a grilled cheese sandwich, you may want to forego a vaulted oven in favor of something more practical and splurge elsewhere.

Quality Materials-Educate yourself on the materials you’re looking into using.  It may be tempting to go with a cheaper floor or countertop but if the product’s life expectancy is lower than something of better quality, you may end up costing yourself more in the long-run when you’re purchasing a replacement sooner than later and paying for it to be installed.

Needs vs. Wants- Obviously, every kitchen needs things like a sink or flooring.  However, a cutting edge, built in coffee system should fall into the “want” category.  Make sure you’ve got the necessities covered before you start committing to luxury accessories.

Ample Space-When planning your kitchen, be sure to include enough space so the doors on your appliances, such as refrigerator and oven, can be open and still have enough space to walk around them. so that doors can be space in front of your refrigerator and oven so that you can still walk in front of them even when they are opened.  Don’t allow corners to become a wasted space; consider adding a Lazy Susan.  Kitchen islands can be a great place to set up food buffets and store countertop appliances.  However, if space is already tight, you may want to go without since having one will only make your kitchen feel and look smaller.

Lighting-This is one area that often gets overlooked.  Oftentimes, homeowners wrongfully assume that a single fixture mounted in the center of the room is going to provide adequate lighting for the entire space.  This can cause a glare that overpowers the room.  Other options include track lighting, skylights and recessed lighting.

Considering remodeling your kitchen? We would like to help you with your vision and design! 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.

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Optimizing Light in Your Home

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Filed under Lighting, Skylight, Sun Tunnel, VELUX
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When done correctly, your home’s lighting fixtures should complement and blend into their surroundings.  As you select lighting for your home, it’s imperative to understand that what works in one room may not work in another.  Consider the function of the lighting and the statement you wish for it to make.  It’s important to use more than one light source, installed at different levels, to give your room character.  Below are our suggestions for each room in your home.

Bathroom:  Make the bathroom the optimum place to apply make-up with the correct lighting.  Light coming from multiple directions will illuminate your entire face and eliminate any shadows.  To achieve this, a light above the mirror and on both sides of the mirror (sconces are an easy way to do this.)  If you have a larger bathroom, it’s also a good idea to have a light above or near the shower.  Oftentimes, bathrooms do not have outer facing walls which make them absent of natural light.  One way to work around this it to install a sun tunnel.  They are 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.  (Want to know more?  Visit: http://www.lindusconstruction.com/blog/2012/07/lighten-up-your-life-with-natural-light-through-skylights-and-sun-tunnels/)

Bedroom: Because sleep is the main purpose of this room, you should aim for lighting that creates a relaxing atmosphere.  Reading lamps and sconces are perfect for this room; just be sure to aim them away from the bed.  The ideal height for the bottom of the lamp shade is 1.5 feet above the top of your mattress which will provide ample reading light.  Low watt bulbs (40-60) work best in your sleeping area; in your dressing area it’s okay to increase wattage.

Dining Room: The focal point of this room is the table and because of this, you should select lighting that highlights it.  Drama can be added by installing a chandelier that hangs directly above the table.  Be mindful that the size and style of your fixture should not make it stand out from the rest of the room.  Chandeliers come in various styles; select a timeless look to extend its shelf life.   Be sure that your ceiling is high enough to accommodate a chandelier. Ideally, a chandelier’s bottom should hang about 30 inches above your table.  A dimmer switch is encouraged because it allows you to control the intensity of the lighting in the room.  Don’t limit yourself to just overhead sources, which can make the room feel less intimate.

Kitchen: Kitchens need lighting that encompasses the entire room.  A common mistake is thinking that one light can illuminate the entire space.  If you’re determined on having a single fixture, try track lighting which can be angled in multiple directions to shed light on the areas you desire.  Ideally, a kitchen should blend a few different types of lighting.  Some suggestions include: overhead lighting (complete with a dimmer that can be brightened when you are cooking), under cabinet lighting to illuminate work surfaces and lighting if you have a built in desk.  If you’re looking for a way to incorporate more natural light in your kitchen, it’s worth considering skylights.  They come in a variety of sizes including: square, triangle, oval, etc.  They are a great way to evenly distribute natural light, eliminate direct sunlight & hotspots and add aesthetic appeal to your home.

Living Room: Dimmers can work well in living rooms because the room often serves multiple purposes; there are times when full lighting is needed and others when limited lighting is better.  A table lamp sitting on an end table can be beneficial for those who use their living room for reading.  Just be sure to have the lamp close to a piece of furniture so it can be accessed easily.   Not a fan of end tables?  A floor lamp can easily work as a substitute.  The living room is a great place to have a piece of artwork displayed with a spotlight on it.

Check out our Light Fixtures board on Pinterest for more lighting ideas. 

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.