Category Archives: Remodeling

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.

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

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

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Home Remodel Survival Guide

Filed under Andy Lindus, Home Construction, Lindus Construction, Remodeling, WCCO Home Improvement Show, www.lindusconstruction.com
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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 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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Classy Kitchens

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Filed under Construction, Kitchen Remodeling, Lindus Construction, Remodeling, www.lindusconstruction.com
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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 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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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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5 Signs it’s Time for a Kitchen Overhaul

Filed under Construction, Home Construction, Kitchen Remodeling, Lindus Construction, Midwest LeafGuard, Remodeling, www.lindusconstruction.com
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When you want something bad enough, it’s hard for you to be an unbiased judge as to whether or not your want is, in fact, a need.  Here are a few indicators that your kitchen is due for a complete overhaul, not just a fresh coat of paint or granite countertop.

Your Layout is Unnatural- In every kitchen you’ll find a stove, sink and refrigerator.  While designers often have their own opinions on what makes a room aesthetically appealing, most all agree on the kitchen triangle concept.  This approach became widely embraced in the 1940s when kitchens were often tight spaces, overrun by large appliances.  To make the most of a small space, stoves, refrigerators, and sinks were set up in a triangular fashion.  While this is not the only way to set up a kitchen, bear in mind that breathing room between the primary work spaces makes food preparation less of a hassle by keeping traffic in your work spaces to a minimum.  If you’re only stocking the necessities in terms of food, tableware and small kitchen appliances, and you still find yourself using your countertops as a pantry after buying a week’s worth of groceries, chances are you don’t have enough storage and the space you do have is not being put to good use.

Your Home is Going to Market-It’s no secret that a kitchen remodel is one of the home investments that reaps the highest return.  It’s also common knowledge to those buying a home that a kitchen is one of the most expensive areas to renovate.  If your current kitchen looks like something seen on The Brady Bunch, utilize a kitchen remodel to get top dollar for your property.  FYI-a remodel doesn’t have to include over the top features.  Focus on matching appliances, adequate storage space and neutral patterns on countertops and backsplashes.

Appliances made before the World Wide Web was Created-We’ll give you props if you’ve got appliances from the early 1990s that still run.  However, we’re still going to argue that it’s time for them to be upgraded.  The National Association of Home Builders gives a life expectancy guideline for major appliances as follows: dishwasher and microwave, 9 years; garbage disposal, 12 years; refrigerator, 13 years; range, 13-15 years.  In addition to technology and aesthetic advancements, today’s appliances are the most energy efficient they’ve ever been.

You Discourage Guests from Gathering in the Kitchen- Having this happen should be a red flag that you no longer, or may have never considered, the kitchen to be the heart of your home.  Your kitchen should be a point of pride and if that’s not the case, it’s time to start evaluating what features can be added or modified to change your feelings.  Another similar sign it’s time for a change is when you, yourself, no longer wish to spend time preparing or eating in your kitchen.

To Repair Damage- If your kitchen has been damaged by water, fire, etc., it’s well worth looking into redoing the whole room, rather than just minor repairs to get by.  Ignoring or failing to evaluate the full extent of water damage, can lead to the growth of mold which leads to even bigger issues.  If water damage has occurred, at the very least, speak with a professional who can tell you for certain whether or not there are signs of mold growth; home tests are not 100% accurate.

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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How “Green” are Your Bamboo Floors?

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Filed under Bamboo, Building a House, Flooring, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Laminate flooring, Remodeling, Uncategorized, Wood Flooring
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If you perform a quick internet research of the greenest flooring materials on the market, bamboo is likely to pop up at the top of the list.  There are several reasons for this.  First of all, bamboo is a grass that grows much faster than trees do.  This makes it a renewable resource.  Another plus is that unlike trees, bamboo does not need to be replanted because the harvesting procedure leaves the plant’s roots intact.  A benefit to the plant’s root system is that it holds the soil in place, preventing erosion.  If grown in its natural habitat, the need for watering, fertilizer and pesticides is minimal, if not nonexistent.  In addition, bamboo absorbs carbon at a higher rate than most trees tend to.

As you likely realize, Bamboo is a plant that is not native to the United States.  In fact, the vast majority of Bamboo that is used in flooring is grown in China.  A disturbing trend has been deforestation to accommodate the growth of more bamboo.  This means that animals that rely on the forest for food and habitat are displaced.  While bamboo does not require fertilizer, some growers are turning to it as a way to increase their crop size.  Another hush-hush topic surrounding the growth and manufacturing of bamboo is worker treatment.  Because the bulk of bamboo is shipped in from overseas, there is no fair trade certification to guarantee that workers are paid equitably and that conditions are safe.  In most cases, bamboo flooring is priced similarly to hardwoods even though bamboo grows much faster in rural China, which indicates that a profit is being made, though it’s unclear if the workers are getting a share of it.

Once the raw material arrives at the factory, the bamboo undergoes a manufacturing process to transform it into flooring.  As part of the production process, the bamboo is laminated and sometimes the adhesive used in the process contains formaldehyde.  This creates a problem for the environment because some of the formaldehyde is emitted into the air causing pollution.  It’s vital that the final product is tested to ensure that it meets the Greenguard and LEED standard of no more than .05 parts per million of formaldehyde or your home’s indoor air quality is at risk.  Some companies use volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in place of formaldehyde which can also have detrimental effects to your health, as VOCs have been proven to cause cancer in animals and the same is believed to be true in humans, though further research is required.

Once the product is finished, it is transported to the US (usually via boat) and then trucked to a supplier or big box store.  Stop and think for a moment about the amount of fuel and carbon emissions it takes just to get this far in the process.  The material itself is recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council as meeting the criteria for social responsibility and sustainability, but one must question themselves, is the transportation required truly classified as “sustainable”?

To conclude, if you’re choosing to go with bamboo floors in your home exclusively because of their green benefits, it’s vital that you research where and how it is being grown and manufactured both for the vitality of the environment and of your family.

Lindus Construction offers free no-obligation estimates on home remodeling 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. 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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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.