Tag Archives: home maintenance

Hidden Dangers at Home

Filed under Home Maintenance
Tagged as ,

Since 1985, there’s been a group awarding a prize known as the “Darwin Awards.”  The term award is deceiving because the point of an award is to recognize an achievement.  The Darwin Awards are a little bit different because they are awarded to people that caused serious self-inflicted injury or death through stupidity.  A Californian named James Elliot took first prize in 2013.  When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, he peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.  Common sense should have told Mr. Elliot that his tactic would have ended poorly.  Thankfully, most of us have this trait.  However, not every danger is as black and white as the above example.  There are some hazards in your home, for example, that you may not even be aware of.  Allow us to identify them for you.

Mercury: The most common places mercury can be found in the home are compact fluorescent light bulbs, circular thermostats and thermometers.  It’s important to note that mercury containing objects do not pose a threat until they are broken and the mercury escapes.  Inhalation of the vapors emitted by mercury can cause shortness of breath, memory loss, high blood pressure and kidney damage.  Cleanup is best left to professionals because mopping or sweeping mercury up can actually cause the spill to spread.

Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is used in countless products for the purpose of acting as a bonding agent.  It can also be created as other chemicals break down.  The more formaldehyde that is emitted into the air, the more of a health risk it poses.  Side effects of exposure can include: nausea, headaches, coughing & wheezing, rashes and chest tightness.  Minimize your exposure by choosing real wood furniture and cabinets over builder grade materials, skipping wallpaper and maintaining your chimney so that smoke is directed outdoors. 

Flame Retardants: Flame retardants are often found in carpeting, electronics and furniture.  The purpose of these chemicals is to slow the burn process of these items during a house fire.  The downside to these chemicals is that they have been linked to fertility issues and cancer.  In order to minimize your exposure select furniture that is naturally less flammable such as leather, wool and cotton.

Furnace: As furnaces age, they risk developing cracks in the heat exchanger.  This leads to the possibility of carbon monoxide leaking into your home without being noticed.  Symptoms to be mindful of are incessant headaches, nausea, disorientation and burning of the eyes and nose.  Regularly maintain your furnace and keep a carbon monoxide detector close to it so that you are alerted immediately if this is occurring in your home.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

 

Must Have Items for Your First Home

Filed under Home Construction
Tagged as

We’ve all heard the catchphrase “fake it till you make it.”  Many of us outfitted our first apartments with hand-me-downs and treasures from the free section of the classifieds.  Once a home of your own becomes a reality, it’s time to outfit it with items that reflect your personal taste and style.  Here’s our list of accessories that we consider a must for your first house.

Dining Room Table: There was a time when a TV tray or coffee table sufficed, but now that you’ve got a home of your own, that doesn’t cut the mustard any longer.  Soon family and
friends will be volunteering you host playoff parties and holiday dinners.  When it comes to tables, bigger isn’t always better.  Be sure to select one that allows guests to comfortably move in and out of their chairs without bumping into the walls.

Light Fixtures That Make a Statement: Lighting sets the mood of your home.  Too much is an eyesore (not to mention highlights an imperfections in a room) and too little makes a room less functional.  Opt for a few unique fixtures that can be placed throughout your home and act as a conversation piece.  You don’t have to break the bank though.  There are lots of affordable, attractive options, both in stores and online.

Clog-Free Gutters: Gutters?  Not nearly as much fun as a hot tub or surround sound, but skip them and your basement can become flooded with water during heavy rainfall.  And that weekend you broke your back landscaping?  It will be all for when the water rushing off your roof has nowhere to go except straight down.  Back to the point about breaking your back, if you have gutters that clog and you’re forced to climb a ladder to manually clean them, breaking your back, leg, (you get the idea) can be a real possibility.

Matching Items: Whether it is towels, wine glasses, plates or coffee cups, make sure you have sets that match and that you’re proud to have your guests use.

Artwork: We’re not saying it’s got to be a Monet or a Picasso.  What we are saying is that the neon beer signs and Metallica posters need to come down and some sort of framed artwork, canvas or decorative mirror needs to go up.  Websites such as Etsy (though don’t login unless you’ve got a couple hours to spare…) and local galleries and student exhibitions can be a great way to pick out beautiful art that’s reasonably priced.

A Living Room set not Previously Owned by Anyone Else in Your Family: Antique furniture aside, a new living room deserves comfortable furniture that mimics your personal taste and works with your lifestyle.  Quality furniture can last a long time when properly cared for.  Score deals by shopping around Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day and Christmas.

 NOW THROUGH THE END OF JUNE, SAVE 75% OFF LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS, GAF ASPHALT ROOFING,  SEASONGUARD WINDOWS & SIDING & LP SMARTSIDE.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE. 

Maximizing Space in a Small Yard

Filed under Backyard
Tagged as

The season of backyard barbecues and bonfires is upon us and after last winter’s record snowfall and temperatures, we’re all looking to soak up the sun and spend as much time as
possible enjoying the great outdoors.  Not all backyards are created equal; most homeowners would agree that bigger is better.  If your property doesn’t fall into this category, never fear; we’ve got plenty of ways to make the most of the space you’ve got.

Be Selective with Furniture: Oversized furniture takes up too much space and emphasizes the fact that there isn’t enough to begin with.  Backless benches and bistro table sets rather than full blown patio sets work well in this type of situation.

Build Up, Not Out: So you’re restricted by the width of your backyard; that still leaves the height.  Instead of planting a traditional garden that takes up valuable real estate, consider a vertical garden which utilizes staggered pots where fruits, vegetables and herbs can be planted in.  An advantage to taking up less space, the planter also becomes a conversation piece because of its unique design.

Create Unity Through Color: Interior designers often paint all the walls and ceiling in a small room the same color in order to make it look larger.  Steal this idea by picking 1-2 accent colors for your backyard instead of endless splashes of color in order to trick your eye into thinking it’s bigger than it is.

Grass Length: Lower the setting of your lawnmower so that your grass is the shortest it can be; this provides the illusion of additional space.

Elongating Walkways: Whether it’s decking or pavers, the utilization of a diagonal pattern can create the optical illusion that an area is longer than it is.  More small pavers, as opposed to fewer larger ones will also assist with making the area appear larger.

Space with a Purpose: Think of your backyard as an additional level of your home with an open floor plan.  Section the yard into 2-3 different “rooms” that serve a purpose such as dining, reading & relaxing and a spot for the kids to play.  Even a small platform deck with a couple of steps can create a layering effect, making the entire yard seem larger.

Vegetation: Stick to dwarf plant varieties that won’t eventually overtake the space as they mature.

Bonfires: While an in-ground fire pit in a small backyard may not be the best use of space, there all alternatives such as portable fire pits that can be brought out when needed (a bonus-some even come with carrying cases for portability and easy storage) or a tabletop fire pit.

 NOW THROUGH THE END OF JUNE, SAVE 75% OFF LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS, GAF ASPHALT ROOFING,  SEASONGUARD WINDOWS & SIDING and LP SMARTSIDE.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE

3 Projects to Scratch off Your To-Do List Immediately

Filed under Decking, Gutters
Tagged as

Call us crazy, but our northern winters feel like they get longer and longer every year.  This means that our summers get shorter and shorter.  Since we finally have beautiful weather, we think it’s a great time to ditch the following chores around your home for good!

Cleaning Gutters: When your gutters clog from leaves and other organic debris and it rains, the water needs to go somewhere but instead of flowing through the gutters and out the downspouts, the water overflows.  This can compromise your home’s foundation, fascia and siding.  In some cases, mold can begin to grow which is a serious health hazard.  Not only is climbing a ladder to clean your rain gutters several times a year a real fun killer, it’s also dangerous.  Each year, 30,000 people are injured falling off ladders.

The Fix: LeafGuard gutters are designed to allow water to flow freely while eliminating clogs by deflecting debris such as: leaves, pine needles and small branches from trees. We offer a “No Clog Warranty” for as long as you own the home and if your gutters ever clogged we will clean them for free – GUARANTEED! LeafGuard Gutters are the only gutters to have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. 

Staining Your Deck: On many homes, a deck is not only a selling point, it’s a place for homeowners to entertain guests and relax.  However, without proper care, a wooden deck can become an eyesore.  This means that homeowners must undergo the chore, not to mention expense, of sanding, staining and sealing their deck.  This task must be repeated every few years because wooden decks become weathered and oftentimes, it eats up an entire weekend.

The Fix: Composite decking, manufactured by companies such as TimberTech, allow homeowners the opportunity to enjoy their summer months without the hassle of staining their deck.  TimberTech’s Capped Composite Decking offers a 25 year Fade and Stain warranty.  Why break your back ever again performing such a tedious chore when there are better options available?

Fertilizing Your Lawn: The lawn care industry is worth $50 billion annually.  Consumers are flooded with ads preaching the benefits of pesticides and fertilizers in order to achieve a lush, green lawn.  The issue with this is that runoff created by rainwater, ends up in local bodies of water, which can kill the wildlife in it.  Additionally, a study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that home and garden pesticide use could increase the risk of leukemia in children by almost 7 times.  Lastly, studies point to the increase in leukemia in household pets as a result of increased pesticide & fertilizer use.

The Fix: Cease and desist the use of fertilizers and pesticides.  They’re bad for you, your family and the environment.  There are a lot of natural alternatives that can be used to kill weeds such as boiling water, vinegar, limited amounts of salt, and corn gluten meal.

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.

NOW THROUGH THE END OF JUNE, SAVE 75% OFF LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS, GAF ASPHALT ROOFING,  SEASONGUARD WINDOWS & SIDING and LP SMARTSIDE.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE. 

3 Green Home Improvements That Don’t Pay Off

Filed under Lindus Construction
Tagged as

The home improvement industry has come a long way in producing products and technology that make homes energy efficient and environmentally friendly; home owners are making conscious choices to select green home enhancements.  As a whole, a noticeable mind shift has taken place.  Take for example, the term “upcycling”.  The word was relatively unknown a decade ago and now it is a never-ending screen when you search for boards with this name on Pinterest.   Despite all the strides that have been made, there are still some green home improvements that do not pay off from a financial or functionality standpoint for the time being.  Here’s our list.

Solar Panels – On paper, “going off the grid” and producing your own energy sounds like a good thing.  But there are some things to note prior to signing on the dotted line.  It’s important to understand that application of solar panels can void your roof’s warranty because of the added weight, additional heat on your roof and an increased likelihood of leaking.  If the lifespan of the roof and solar panels do not coincide with each other, you can be forced to remove one prematurely which wastes money.  Furthermore, because of the cost of installation, it can take years before a homeowner breaks even; this is worth noting especially if you do not plan on being in your home for decades.  The minimal amount of homes utilizing the sun as a power source demonstrates that demand is low.  At this point in time, solar panels take a backseat to features such as school district, bed/bath count and luxury kitchens for homebuyers in almost all cases.

Vegetated Roofing Systems- This type of roof is covered in a waterproofing layer with vegetation planted on top of it.  Homeowners who install these roofs aim to insulate their roofs and purify the air surrounding their homes.  Vegetated roofing systems cost more to install than conventional types and like any garden must be routinely weeded and cared for to ensure the plants’ survival.  In addition to attracting sunlight, they can also attract mosquitoes and other unwanted pests.  If the roof starts to leak, the diagnostic process can be tedious because the waterproofing membrane is located beneath the soil.  When opting for this roofing system, plan on staying in your home indefinitely, as this home trait will likely send prospective buyers packing.

Waterless Urinals- Invented in the 1990s, waterless urinals have been seen as a more viable option in recent years because traditional urinals utilize 1-5 gallons per flush.  Seems like a win, right?  Not exactly…sealant and removable cartridges that serve as traps need to be replaced frequently and the fact that only 50% of the population can use them also cuts into their functionality.  Lastly, a lot homes use copper pipes and when used in conjunction with a waterless urinal, leaking pipes can occur because uric acid will eventually eat away at the copper piping.

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.

houzzzillow 1

Digital Integration Trends at Home

Filed under Smart Homes
Tagged as ,

If you Google the number of people who’d choose to lose their wallet over their cell phone, the statistics may vary by website but reflect the same theme—we’re a society obsessed with technology.  While we’re not quite to hoverboards or replacing front door keys with iris scanning technology, we’re making strides.  Manufacturing leaders in the home improvement industry are definitely picking up on this trend and coming out with innovations homeowners can get excited about. Here are just a few.

Countertop Charging Stations: Cell phones have advanced greatly in the past few years and all the new bells and whistles require significantly more battery power.  This means we’re charging our phones more now than ever, something most of us view as an inconvenience.  Later this year, Dupont Corian countertops will be on the market with the capability to charge a cell phone or tablet by setting the device on top of it.  Since the kitchen is one of the most frequented rooms in any home and since the cell phone is on its way to replacing the cookbook, we see this trend taking off sooner rather than later.

Musical Showerheads: Admit it, showering is a lot more pleasant when you’re jamming out to your favorite tunes or listening to banter about whom is still in the running for the playoffs.  Sure, you can have your laptop or cell phone playing in the background, but it seems like the speakers are never quite loud enough.  Kohler has come out with an updated version of its Moxie showerhead that is equipped with a built-in Bluetooth®-powered wireless speaker which can play files from devices up to 32 feet away.

Window Washing Robot: Let’s face it; cleaning windows is as much fun as watching a French movie without subtitles.  This is probably why most of us ignore the chore unless the in-laws have invited themselves over.  New on the market, is the WinBot Window Washer.  With the touch of the button, it can clean both frame & frameless windows and mirrors regardless of height.  Amazon users so far are giving it an average of a 2.5 out of 5 stars but the presence of such a device on the market gives us hope that future models will address complaints about the suction device needing to be stronger and occasional streaking.

Intelligent In Floor Heating: Just announced in January, Nuheat will introduce the continent’s inaugural Wi-Fi floor heating thermostat, the Nuheat Signature.  The system can be controlled through a smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing the homeowner to adjust heat settings and review energy usage even when they’re away from home.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

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

How to Sniff Out a Shady Plumber

Filed under Bathrooms
Tagged as ,

Sooner or later, if you own a home, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to contract the services of a plumber.  This is one area of home ownership where the learning curve is steep and one hiccup in a do it yourself project can cost thousands of dollars in damage.  In the same breath, contracting with a dishonest plumber can also cost you unnecessary funds.  Here are ways a plumber can target an unsuspecting homeowner.

Sending Too Many People to a Job: As with all types of work, the more people dedicated to a project, the higher the invoice.  Common plumbing household problems that typically only require one person are: installing new plumbing fixtures, fixing a leaky faucet or unclogging a drain.  Larger projects such as plumbing for new construction and remodels oftentimes require more than one plumber.  It’s not out of line to confirm the number of people that are needed to complete a job so there are no surprises at the time of your appointment.

Bait & Switch: There are a few ways this can happen.  One is when a plumber runs an unbelievably low offer for a basic service such as drain cleaning.  This tactic gets them into your home.  Once they get in, more often than not, they’ll identify a catastrophic issue that must be addressed right away or will cost you thousands of dollars.  Don’t fall for this.  If an offer sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.  Another bait & switch tactic is quoting homeowners for top of the line fixtures and then installing cheaper ones to pad their bottom line.  Avoid being a victim of this scam by getting a quote that specifies the brand of product they are installing and comparing it against those at home improvement stores.  While a mark-up is expected, know that anything exorbitant is cause for concern.

Lowball Quotes: In order to get you to sign with them, a plumber can provide a super low quote.  Once they have commenced work, they will claim that the issue is much larger than they anticipated and tack on additional charges to get pricing to where it should have been originally.  If you’re not in an emergency situation, get multiple quotes with itemized costs to ensure that you are comparingapples to apples and that the bid you are going with addresses all work that needs to be performed.  Multiple quotes allow you to make sure that you’re not being charged additional simply for living in an upscale neighborhood, another practice of shady plumbers.

Bottom Line: Go with your gut. If you don’t trust what you’re being told, investigate it. You need to be an advocate for yourself and a reliable plumber will be forthcoming with the information you request.  Consumer watchdog sites, like the BBB and Angie’s List, can be invaluable tools in learning from the experiences of others.

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.

houzzzillow 1

Top Spring Home Improvement Projects

Filed under Gutters, Roofing, Uncategorized
Tagged as , , , , , ,

We keep hearing meteorologists say spring is only 40 days away! It is hard to comprehend this notion for many of us Midwesterners due to the painfully cold and snow heavy winter we have had. With spring just around the corner here is a list of top home improvement projects that you should consider having done as soon as the snow thaws.

Roof replacement or repair

This year’s record cold and snowfall takes a toll on the exterior of your home, especially your roof that could have received damage such as losing shingle granules, moisture seeping in between the cracks and creases or damage from an ice dam problem. You should have a reputable contractor come out and inspect your roof for signs of disintegration and curling or peeling of your shingles. Your roof is one of the first lines of defense when it comes to severe weather and we all know that springtime can bring storms.

Don’t put off getting new rain gutters one more year!

If you don’t have any rain gutters on your home, it is completely defenseless against the raging rainstorms that can occur in the Midwest. If you don’t have gutters at all, you risk rain eroding the soil around you home, which can leak into your basement. If you still have traditional gutters on your home, it is essential to clean out the organic debris that has accumulated in them over the last season to avoid overflowing. If you are ready to experience the modern age of a one-piece seamless gutter system, LeafGuard gutters, are the only gutter system to receive the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. To learn more about the features and benefits of LeafGuard gutters, check out our website at http://lindusconstruction.com/MN-Gutter-Installation-WI.php .

Inspect your deck

Beautiful cedar decks are very popular in the area that we live and are a point of pride for a lot of homeowners. Inspect your deck for any rotting or warped boards. Examine the stain on it to see how it weather the cold winter and if you think your deck is in need of full replacement consider using composite decking. It has taken the deck industry by storm, now surpassing cedar decking installation, and requires minimal maintenance if any at all.

Spruce up your siding

Your siding plays an important role in protecting your home during the harsh winters just like your roof does. If it is time for an update to add more curb appeal, you definitely need to consider installing LP® SmartSide® that will offer your home the warmth and beauty of traditional wood, with the durability and workability of engineered wood. LP® SmartSide® is also backed by an industry leading 5/50 year transferrable limited warranty. The manufacturing of this product is also backed by the green initiative by using the entire log in their manufacturing process and any wood waste is repurposed to help fuel their mills. LP also participates in SFI® certified forest management and fiber sourcing systems to insure that their wood they used comes from well-managed forests. To learn more about LP® SmartSide® go to their website at http://www.lpcorp.com/ .

 

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.

houzzzillow 1

Home Upkeep Myths

Filed under Home Maintenance
Tagged as ,

Every Saturday morning, we do a live radio show on WCCO AM 830 where we answer home improvement questions from those in the Twin Cities.  There’s never a shortage of calls; oftentimes people end up following up with us after the show if they weren’t able to get on the air.  One thing we’ve learned from this is that homeowners really do want to be educated when it comes to home upkeep.  Here are some prevalent misconceptions that we’d like to clear up.

1. Go with the Lowest Bid: Rarely is the lowest bid your best option.  Lower quality materials have a much shorter shelf life and may lack the warranty that its competitor of superior quality has.  Contractors can also save big bucks by not carrying adequate insurance, which means if there’s an accident on the property during construction, you’re the one liable.

2. Any Upgrade Will Add Value to the Home: In order to add value, the enhancement has to be something that another homebuyer will see as an asset.  Things like outdoor tennis or basketball courts can be appealing to the right buyer but may not cause your home to sell at a higher price tag because they aren’t an improvement everyone wants.  Items that add value include high quality, maintenance free features such as roofing, siding, windows and gutters.

3. Bath Fans are Optional: Oftentimes, bath fans are not required by building codes, especially if there’s already a window in the bathroom.  (Friendly reminder: building codes are to enforce the bare minimum.)   The intent of a bath fan is to prevent moisture problems, such as mold.  While windows can be a beneficial tool for this as well, we can safely say that there are easily six months in the Midwest that a home’s windows are never open.

4. You Don’t Need a Permit for a DIY Remodel: The need for a permit depends on the municipality that you live in, not on who is performing the work. Failure to get a permit on work that needs to be performed can result in fines and even having to remove the improvement and start over.

5. You Need to Have a Complete Vision Prior to Hiring a Contractor: False!  While it’s good to be in touch with personal preferences and tastes, it’s the responsibility of the contractor to put together a realistic plan that encompasses your needs.  This can be done after meeting with you to learn more about the project.  Working with a contractor from the beginning is a big time and money saver; they have access to pricing the general public does not and also aren’t starting from ground zero because they’ve overseen many similar projects.

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.

houzz

 `

Ramifications of Remodeling Without a Permit

Filed under Construction, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, www.lindusconstruction.com
Tagged as , , , , , , , , , ,

Contrary to what you may have heard, the “p” in the word permit does not stand for “pain”.  While it may seem like one more thing on a seemingly endless laundry list of tasks when it comes to a home construction project, it’s vital that a permit be secured when required by your local jurisdiction.  Failure to do so can have some ugly consequences which can vary greatly, depending on local ordinances.  Here are just a few:

Cease & Desist Order: If you’re caught red-handed in the middle of a project that requires a permit and you failed to secure one, you may be issued with a cease & desist order.  This means that all work must be stopped until a permit is acquired and the work already completed is inspected.  If the project is found to not comply with building codes, you will be forced to spend extra money and time to bring it up to code.  Quite likely, you’ll be forced to undergo re-inspections and pay a stiff fine.

Forced Removal: In some cases, a homeowner who completes a project without the proper permits can be forced to remove it at their own expense, pay fines and be required to redo the work with a permit.  This can include projects as substantial as a deck or addition.

Rewinding Portions of the Project: Let’s say you have electrical work completed but close off the wall before an inspector is able to check out the work.  Some municipalities may force you to open the walls up, at your expense, so that the inspection may occur.

Obstacles Selling Your Home: Let’s say that you add onto your home without getting a permit.  When it comes time to sell your home, an appraiser may not have to add in the new square footage in their appraisal, which means the home very likely will appraise for less than others of the same size.  This means a lowered asking price and can cause trouble for those trying to secure financing to buy the property.

Insurance Issues: If a permit is not pulled, your insurance company may not legally have to pay for any damage that occurs.  (And yes, this could include a house fire that occurs as a result of your “creative” electrical wiring.)

The Bottom Line: Local municipalities vary in the type of project and pricing for permits.  Before commencing a home improvement project, do your homework and find out if a permit is needed and how the inspection process works.   Because at the end of the day, regardless of who you hire to complete the work, the ultimate responsibility of ensuring the correct permits are pulled falls on the homeowner (though a reputable contractor should assist you in completing the process).  Claiming ignorance will not get you out of any of the above situations.

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.

houzz