Category Archives: Remodeling

Secrets About the Most Popular Refrigerator Styles

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The first refrigerators produced for residential use came out in the early 1920’s.  They were approximately $700, which is crazy, considering a new Model T Ford cost $450.  Needless to say, ownership of one was once considered a luxury!  Nowadays, nearly all American homes have one refrigerator, and over 25% have two.  A refrigerator’s lifespan can last up to 17 years, which means the last time you may have bought one, Minnesota was sending a professional wrestler to the governor’s mansion and Ben Affleck & Bruce Willis were hitting the big screen trying to save the planet from a giant asteroid.  It goes without out saying that a lot can change in 17 years.  Here’s what you need to know about the most popular refrigerator styles.

Refrigerator Only

How to Spot One: This model does not contain a freezer.

Perks: Skipping the freezer saves you cash.  Foregoing the freezer also means that you’ve got more room for refrigerated space.  Self-installation is a breeze.

Drawbacks:  It’s very rare that you get away without a freezer in your home, so you’ll most likely need to purchase a chest or standup freezer.

Top Mount Refrigerator

How to Spot One: The freezer is located on top of the refrigerator and is accessed by its own door.  Created in the 1940’s, this style still remains popular today.

Perks: As a rule of thumb, this freezer is one of the most cost effective than other models.  It takes up less real estate in your kitchen than other styles.  Homeowners can easily install this type of refrigerator themselves.

Drawbacks: This type of refrigerator has less storage space.  Some homeowners shy away from them because they do not have a built-in ice and water dispenser in the door.

Side by Side Refrigerator

How to Spot One: The freezer is located on the left side and the refrigerator is located on the right side. 

Perks: You have your choice of a model with or without a water and ice maker located on the door’s exterior.  Homeowners with them like that the freezer and refrigerator are equally as accessible and that the food in each can be easily viewed at the same time.

Drawbacks: Compact models rarely exist.  If you opt for the water & ice maker in the door, additional plumbing will be needed.  This model has less refrigerated space than other types.  Some homeowners shy away from this style because there needs to be space on both sides for each door to open.

Bottom Mount Refrigerator

How to Spot One: The freezer is located on the bottom and is accessible through a separate door.

Perks: This style allows for more refrigerated space than a top mount freezer.  It’s also easier on your back because the refrigerated portion, which is used more often, is at eye level.

Drawbacks: Placing the freezer on the bottom increases the unit’s cost.  If an external water and ice dispenser is on your must have list, you’ll have to select a different style.

French Door Refrigerator

How to Spot One: The refrigerator is housed on the top with split doors and the freezer is located below.

Perks: The interior of this type of refrigerator is spacious.  A unique trait that sets this style apart from others is that you only need to open one half of the refrigerator at a time.  The refrigerator is at eye level which is convenient since that part of the appliance is used much more frequently.

Drawbacks: This type is often the most expensive. Some homeowners complain that the freezer isn’t big enough for a family.  Certain models house the ice maker in the freezer which monopolizes a lot of space.

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

Now Through the End of February, Receive 50% off installation labor on LeafGuard Brand Gutters, GAF Asphalt Shingles, Siding & SeasonGuard Windows.  Some Restrictions May Apply.  


Hire a General Contractor or Be Your Own? That is the Question!

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One of the biggest choices you have when undertaking a new construction or large remodeling project is whether or not to act as your own general contractor or render the services of a professional. Many Americans face this decision without knowing the best route to take. We are going to give you some pointers that will help make your decision an easy one!

“I will save so much money being my own general!”

This is a loaded statement all in itself. If you are person who is highly organized, detail-orientated and are able to make clear decisive decisions, being your own general contractor may work out well. You also need to be highly knowledgeable about the materials and labor required, as you will most likely need to contact multiple companies, and the order in which they perform their work is crucial to the success of the project. You also must be available at a moment’s notice and be able to spend a lot of time at the site, which is not always feasible for working homeowners.

While in a perfect world, acting as your own general contractor could save you up to 30%, the ramifications of incorrect decisions that lead to the same work having to be completed twice could cost you even more overall. A more realistic savings approach to being your own general could fall in the 10%-20% if there are no hiccups.

Clear vision of the work to be done and the final product.

If you are planning on being you own general, do your homework by reading trade magazines, going to home shows, driving around neighborhoods getting inspiration and looking at floor plans. is a great place to start a vision board for your project. Another large part of the planning process is finding the right sub-contractors that fit your budget are easy to get along with and are insured. Always keep in mind that the lowest bidder may not be the best fit for your project.

This is where hiring a general plays a huge role in helping understand your vision and knowing the process(s) to make it all happen. They have experience with what works and definitely what doesn’t. They understand building codes, what products would best in certain situations, etc. They will also be able to address any issues that may arise regarding delays; materials and laborers better than you will be able to.

Financing your project

It’s a foolish decision to only explore your current financial institution for financing your project. It can be in your best interest if you are acting as your own general to take out separate loans for construction and then your final mortgage, allowing your construction loan to be more elastic if you need to take out more money. If you combine your construction loan and mortgage, you are locked into construction costs and if you go over by the normal 10%, you will be going back to the bank asking for another loan.

The bottom line

When deciding whether or not to be your own general remember that there are no guarantees, no matter how careful you think you are being and many things can go wrong from the subs you hired going bankrupt, material prices rising and even adverse weather. Our suggestion would be to hire a reputable general contractor to make sure that your new home improvement or building project goes perfect as planned.

Lindus Construction/Midwest LeafGuard is a full-service contractor specializing in Gutters, Roofing, Windows, Siding, New Construction and Remodeling just to name a few. Tune into the Home Improvement Show every Saturday from 9am-10am with Denny Long and Andy Lindus.



Kitchen Sink Style Guide

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Besides your refrigerator, your kitchen sink gets more use than any other appliances in your kitchen.  Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a sink based solely on style because there are so many other features to consider.  Don’t be overwhelmed with choices; we’ve simplified the features of common sink styles to help you find your perfect match.

Undermount Sink-As the name implies, this type of sink attaches to a countertop’s underside.  A perk of this type of sink is that it’s easy to clean because it sits flush with your countertops.  A potential downside of undermount sinks is that they cannot be used with laminate or tile countertops because they cannot support the sink’s weight.  Undermount sinks are also more expensive to install than drop-in sinks.

Drop-in Sink-This style can also be referred to as self-rimming sinks.  Drop-in sinks are installed in a cut-out within a countertop and the edges are sealed off to prevent leaking and mold formation.  They are appealing because they are easy to install and replace without disturbing your countertop.  Because they’re typically single-piece, molded designs, there is minimal chance of leaking.  Generally speaking, they are the most cost effective option.  Due to the lip around the sink, a drawback to this style is that you can’t easily wipe food debris into the sink.

Farmhouse Sink-Primary characteristics of a farmhouse sink are an exposed front and a rectangular shape.  They are sought after because of their vintage charm.  Unlike other types of sinks that blend into your kitchen’s layout, farmhouse sinks can become a focal point in the room.  By design, farmhouse sinks are installed further forward than other styles.  The advantage to this is that less leaning is required when washing dishes, though because of the depth can lead to more splashing.  Farmhouse sinks are an investment because they are heavy and installation can be tedious.  Most require a specific type of base cabinet.

Corner Sink-This style of sink works well in small kitchen where every inch of space needs to be maximized.  It allows for long, uninterrupted stretches of countertops, which can be beneficial in a tiny kitchen.   On the flip side, corners in kitchens often have minimal natural light which can be irritating when you’re using your sink.  Additionally, corner sinks are often smaller than other types and may not be able to house larger pots and pans.   

Bar Sink- Like corner sinks, bar sinks are an excellent choice for a kitchen where counter space is at a premium.  However, they are unable to accommodate a large volume of dishes.  Bar sinks are usually less than 20 inches wide and work great for food prep or as a supplemental sink by a patio or in a bar.   


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

Now Through the End of January, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.


Renovation Mistakes That Will Cost You Big In The Long Run

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We have all been there wanting to take on a DIY home renovation project to save some coin. Below are our top seven things that should not be overlooked.

Inaccurate measurements

Not taking accurate measurements even if it’s by a half inch or less, can be detrimental to your renovation project.  Problems created can include purchasing extra materials and result in a non-dimensional final product.   If you are unsure of your measurements, make sure to consult with a professional to ensure first time quality.

Don’t ever skip the prep work

Doing it the rushed way, instead of the right way, will never pay off in the end. No one likes to spend more time and money on having to fix their project because you skipped the first few steps.

Incorrect tools for the job

It is always best to use the tool that is made to handle the project. Using other tools just to “get by” can cause you to wreck the project you have started, ruin the tool you are using or injure yourself during the process.

Don’t go for cheap windows

A lot of people think that they can save money by skimping on the quality of their windows; wrong! This will only cost you more money in the long run, due to the window failing prematurely and not being energy efficient.

Always do your homework

It’s imperative to the success of the project that you do research on all aspects.  It’s important to know whether or not you can handle what they job entails. This is even true when you are hiring a contractor so that you are aware of the terminology they use and also know what to look for.

Don’t ignore the electrical

Many times, when you start a renovation, you overlook the electrical aspects because it’s hidden and it can be costly. Ensuring that everything is up to code is essential and will provide a safe home.

Neglecting to pull a permit

Don’t forget the permit, ever! This could be one of the costliest mistakes you can make while embarking on a renovation project. If you opt out of getting a permit and your local municipality finds out, they could make you completely undo everything you have done for your renovation project, at your cost.

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


Terms to Know Before a Trip to the Lumberyard

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Imagine stopping by a pet store and simply asking for a dog.  Instead of just sending you on your merry way with the first dog they see, the clerk’s going to likely do some probing to see whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor pet, if you have a preference between shedding & non-shedding breeds and how big of an animal you’re looking to adopt.  Similarly, if you were to go to a lumberyard and request some wood, the specialist you speak with is going to want to know more about your specific needs.  To save yourself time and frustration, here’s some of the basic lingo you’ll want to understand.

Hardwoods vs Softwoods: All wood fall into one of these two categories.  Hardwoods come from trees that lose their leaves in the fall and softwoods come from evergreens.  Common types of hardwoods are cherry, maple, ash and oak.  Popular softwoods are spruce, cedar, fir and pine.

Grading: As you look through the different types of wood, you’ll notice that some have more physical blemishes than others.  Depending on the type of project you need the wood for, this may or may not be of concern.  The National Hardwood Lumber Association uses the below grading systems to allow a consumer to understand the quality of wood they are purchasing.  The rankings are listed best to worst.

Hardwood Grading

Grade Name


Minimum Board Size

% Usable Material On One Face

First and Seconds


6-in x 8-in




4-in x 6-in


#1 Common

#1 Com

3-in x 4-in


#2 Common

#2 Com

3-in x 4-in



Softwood Grading


What It Means

C Select

Almost completely clear of defects. Widely used for interior trim and cabinets.

D Select

Fine appearance, similar to C Select. May have dime-sized knots.

1 Common

Best material for high quality pine with a knotty look. Knots will be tight, meaning they won’t fall out, and are generally small.

2 Common

Tight knots, but larger than found in 1 Common. Often used for paneling and shelving. Very suitable for general woodworking projects.

3 Common

Knots larger than in 2 Common. Also used for paneling and shelving, but especially well-suited for fences, boxes and crates.

 Other Terms You’re Bound to Hear around the Lumberyard Include:

Luster: This term relates to the amount of light a wood will reflect.  Luster can improve by applying a glossy finish to the wood, though some species will have higher than natural luster.

Wood Grain: Wood grain is the direction in which the wood cell fibers mature.  Much like your fingerprints, each tree has its own unique wood grain markings.  This means that two pieces of wood from identical species can look entirely different.

 Density: This measures weight per unit volume.  The denser a wood is, the more likely it is to fend off indentations and scratches.



What Women Want-Positioning Your Home to a Female Home Buyer

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In 2004, diamond producer, DeBeers, launched a national campaign encouraging women to splurge on a ring for themselves to be worn on their right hand in order to celebrate their power and independence.  The campaign dismissed the notion that women needed to wait to become engaged in order to acquire such a beautiful and expensive piece of jewelry.  Flash forward ten years to the present day where the National Association of Realtors has recently released a study identifying single women as the second largest segment of home buyers after married couples.  It goes without saying that girl power and buying power go hand-in-hand.  Looking to capitalize on this growing market with the sale of your home?  We’ve got a few pointers for you!

Space to Entertain: Whether it’s having a wine & cheese night, hosting their book club, or throwing a backyard barbecue, female home buyers favor homes that allow them to place hostess.  During showings or open houses, have your real estate agent highlight items such as your home’s multi-room audio system, built in wine rack, or backyard gazebo.

Low Maintenance Living: While single women, with fast paced lifestyles, are certainly capable of household chores, the fewer they have to do, the better!  Suggested maintenance free features include: clog-free gutters, composite decking and vinyl windows.

Closet Space: Shoes, purses, sweaters and leggings…oh my!  Never have we heard a woman complain that her closet was too big.  For this one, bigger is better…PERIOD!

Security: Female home buyers rate this towards the top of their priority list.  After all, if you can’t feel safe in your own home, where can you feel safe?  Amenities you can add to your home in order to attract female home buyers include a home security system, an attached garage, fencing, adequate outdoor lighting and window treatments that prohibit outsiders from being able to see in.

Natural Light: Women appreciate natural light because of its aesthetics and energy efficiency.  In short, the more windows the better!  Don’t fret if you have an older home and the amount of natural light is minimal.  Skylights and sun tunnels are an easy workaround to this issue.  They provide the natural light within a home without sacrificing privacy.  Popular areas to add them include bathrooms and walk-in closets, since natural lighting works best for grooming and makeup application.

Upgraded Bathrooms: Single females looking to buy a home appreciate spa-inspired bathrooms.  Desirable features include a soaking or jetted tub, premium or multiple shower heads, lots of storage and ample outlets.  Bonus points if the home’s largest bathroom is connected to the master bedroom.

Move-In Ready: When given a choice, over a fixer upper with more space or a smaller move-in ready property, today’s single female home buyer will chose move-in ready.  Why?  More space requires significantly more maintenance, something they aren’t interested in doing.


Splurge vs. Saving on Your Kitchen Remodel

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Kitchen remodels are ever-increasing in popularity and with entire cable TV networks devoted to both food and remodeling, it’s no surprise.  Celebrity chefs have become household names, fueling an obsession with all things gourmet.  When planning a kitchen remodel, it can be tempting to order caviar on a fish stick budget.  Never fear, we’re here with guidelines and options to help you determine what’s worth allocating extra funds to and what can be scaled back on.

Save: Appliances

Now we’re not saying that you should hit up the free section of Craigslist for your kitchen appliances.  And we’re not even saying that stainless steel should be ignored.  However, by shopping smart you can save big on appliances.  First, make a list of your must-have features in each appliance.  That way, when you do cost-comparison shopping you’re comparing appliances with similar features and not buying an appliance based on features you don’t need.  Additionally, if you shop in the fall when the next year’s models are coming out, you can often score a deal on a floor model or get close-out pricing because the store is trying to make room for new models.

Splurge: Windows & Skylights

In the vast majority of cases, consideration for natural light in a kitchen is an afterthought and seems like an easy target when budget cuts, to compensate for overages, are needed.  Natural light in a kitchen, whether it be windows or skylights, is neccesary.  Natural light in a room as heavily utilized as a kitchen is crucial to providing a welcoming atmosphere.  Additionally, an adequate amount of windows & skylights provides for cross ventilation which assists in keeping your indoor air quality as high as possible.  Opt for energy efficient windows which will keep your heating and cooling costs in check.

Save: Light Fixtures

Ample lighting in a kitchen is a must.  However, light fixtures don’t need to be a budget buster.  There are lots of affordable options both at big box stores and online.  Saving money on fixtures allows you to opt for trendier options that can be changed out more frequently.  Be sure the finish you select coordinates with other fixtures in your kitchen.

Splurge: Cabinets

The adage “you get what you pay for” very much applies to cabinetry.  Most new cabinets are aesthetically appealing but it’s important to select a design and material that will stand the test of time.  To keep costs in check, shy away from custom sizes and stick to basic clean lines.

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 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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Revive Your Kitchen! Learn How to Properly Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets!

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Painting your kitchen cabinets may seem like a daunting task, but knowing the steps to mastering your project will take off the pressure and ensure your final product looks like a professional job. Properly cleaning, sanding and priming every inch of your cabinets is necessary for your finish color to stick and we are going to discuss each step below to help make your project as seamless as possible.

Cleaning your cabinets

Cleaning your cabinets is the single most important first step in prepping them for their revival. Think of the years of greasy fingerprints and cooking splatter that leaves a thick coat of grime on your current paint. If you have not heard of TSP, it will soon become your best friend. TSP cleaner, is a cleaning agent, stain remover and a degreaser all in one.

Repair the dents & gouges

Your cabinets can become used and abused after years of cooking and entertaining probably showing signs of wear in the form of dents and gouges. You will want to make sure that you fill these holes before you paint with wood filler you spread into the holes and then wipe away the excess with a damp cloth. You want to slightly overfill with the wood filler so you are able to sand it down to its original thickness.

Roughing up the cabinets

After you have filled your imperfections, it is time to sand down your cabinets to flatten out your wood filler and prep the surface of your cabinets to accept the primer. You want to make sure that the areas you filled are completely dry before you try and sand. If you noticed that your cabinets are flaking off in places it is probably due to the original finish not adhering well to your wood surface. You want to ensure that you sand these areas to the bare wood. Lastly, vacuum the sanding dust from all surfaces and wipe down the cabinets.

Don’t forget the primer

Primer is the undercoat that ensures the best possible results by providing the proper foundation for your finish coat and allows for better adhesion of your paint. It increases the durability and will provide extra protection of your surface. You want to make sure to use a good quality brush that will allow you to apply an even coat.

The finish coat

Oil based paints were traditionally used in painting cabinets, however oil paints can be messy to work with and have toxic fumes. Latex formulas for cabinets called 100% acrylic paint will give you a durable, even finish. The other nice feature of latex paints is that they are low in VOC’s, volatile organic compounds, which lessens the noxious paint smell in your home. Last, but not least, add some new hardware to your cabinets for that finishing touch to give your kitchen a whole new look.

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






Home Remodel Survival Guide

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It’s often been said that if your marriage can survive a home remodel, it can survive anything.  While this situation can be stressful from several vantage points, one of the biggest inconveniences of ahome remodel is the seemingly perpetual mess that is created.  Not everyone has the time and energy to be as enthusiastic as the PAID actors in the Swiffer commercials but this doesn’t mean you need to live in a war zone until the project is completed.

Foot Traffic Management: In a lot of instances, it’s unsafe for contractors to remove their shoes when working in your house.  However, rugs & carpet remnants can be laid in high traffic areas in
order to restrict the amount of dirt that ends up on your floors.  Big box home improvement stores also sell long rolls of adhesive that can be used to make a walking trail on carpeted areas.  Disposable shoe covers can also be worn by workers as well.

Minimizing Dust: Large plastic sheets can be hung to divide rooms that would otherwise be open to each other so that the mess stays in the room that is being remodeled as much as possible. However, dust can still get into your vents and circulate.  After the project is finished, it may be to your benefit to have your vents cleaned by a professional.

Trash Collection: Having an oversized trash can available is also beneficial because it controls the mess and saves the time of having to empty it multiple times a day.  Larger projects may require a dumpster.  While it’s a reasonable expectation that your home should be respected and not littered with remnants of yesterday’s lunch, do know that asking that everything be lined up perfectly and wiped down at the end of every workday, will prolong the length of your project and will end up costing you extra because of the time it can take to do.

Considering a remodel? 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 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.




Classy Kitchens

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Are you a self-proclaimed foodie who spends more time than you’d ever admit to scouring sites like Pinterest & Houzz ogling photos of luxury kitchens?  You’re not alone!  To feed your addiction, we’ve perused the World Wide Web in search of the most unique and expensive kitchen features available today.  (And if, by chance, you win the lottery and find yourself such a kitchen like this—we’re inviting ourselves over for dinner!)

Turbo Chef Double Oven: This oven makes a convection oven look like a crockpot; the manufacturer’s website claims cooking times of 15 times faster than a conventional oven.  This means that a
12 pound turkey can bake in 42 minutes, as opposed to 4 hours!  The ovens come in fun colors such as orange and green.  Suggested Price: $7,895

Sub-Zero PRO 48 Refrigerator: The PRO 48 is a 48″ side-by-side refrigerator.  It’s comprised of 100% steel and unlike standard refrigerators; it has separate sets of compressors and evaporators for the refrigerator and freezer.  This deters odor transfer and keeps your foods fresher longer.  The refrigerator’s doors close on their own and the interior has LED lighting.  You have your choice between either a solid steel face or glass window.  Suggested Price: $15,970

Skybar Wine Preservation & Serving System: This device allows you to display 3 uncorked bottles of wine that are each chilled to the temperature you desire.  Avoid the hassle of removing each bottle of wine and pouring by simply pressing the button for the wine chamber you wish to drink.  Wines are vacuum sealed and can be stored for up to 10 days.  Suggested Price: $995.99

Miele LaPerla II Diswasher: Much like today’s gaming systems, this dishwasher can be updated by a technician with their laptop computer.  Updates can reflect a new dishwashing detergent or modify the amount of electricity or water the appliance uses.  You can select from 11 different wash cycles that take into account the material of flatware you’re washing.  A sensor inside the dishwasher can tell how dirty your dishes are and adjusts the number of times within a cycle the dishwater is changed.  The Drying Plus feature opens the door automatically at the end of the cycle.  Suggested Price: $2,149

Miele Miele CVA 4066 Espresso Machine: This machine allows you to brew a premium cup of espresso, cappuccino, latte or black coffee.  It comes with a plumbed in water connection and coffee bean grinder.  It prompts you when beans and water are getting low and comes with its own frothing system with integrated milk tank.  Suggested Price: $4061.53

Pink Swarovski Encrusted KitchenAid Mixer: Bejeweled with over 20,000 Swarovski hot pink crystals, this appliance are sure to be a show stopper.  Suggested Price: $1631.02

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 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.