Tag Archives: home maintenance

3 Green Home Improvements That Don’t Pay Off

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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.

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Digital Integration Trends at Home

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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

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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.

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Top Spring Home Improvement Projects

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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.

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Home Upkeep Myths

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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.

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Ramifications of Remodeling Without a Permit

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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.

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FAQ’s About Building Inspectors

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What’s the Role of a Building Inspector? A building inspector’s role is to survey completed construction projects to ensure that they are in compliance with building ordinances.

Who Do They Work For? Most frequently, building inspectors are affiliated with regional governmental agencies & planning offices.

What’s Their Purpose? Building inspectors are there to verify that a minimum level of quality and safety are being followed at the construction site.

How Do They Know That Work is Being Performed? Once a construction permit is pulled, a building inspector will be informed.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire One?  The funds to pay them come through construction permits.

What Happens if My Project Passes Inspection and a Safety Issue Occurs Later? The building inspector, along with the government agency they represent, could be held responsible.  This is part of the reason building inspectors have a reputation of being meticulous.

How Often Will They Visit the Jobsite? The answer to this is all dependent on the scope of the work being performed.  If it’s a new construction project, they may come out at various checkpoints to make sure the work is being completed in alignment with building codes.  If it’s a one day job, such as new roof, they may only visit when the work is finished.

How Does an Inspector Know the Work Has Been Completed? The contractor who pulled the permit calls the issuing agency and lets them know that the project has been completed and that they may visit the jobsite.

How are Jobs Graded? Jobs are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Who Needs to Be Present for an Inspection? This varies by project, but if the inspector does not need access to the interior of a home (think siding or a roof) they can simply visit the sitewithout supervision after they have been notified the project is finished.

How Do I Know if My Project Passed Inspection? The inspector will sign off on the building permit.  They do not call the contractor to inform them that they passed.

 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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Features That Make it More Difficult to Sell Your Home

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In the late ‘90s the Dodge Neon came in a variety of colors.  One of the more, shall we say, noticeable, colors was magenta (a combination of pink & purple).  It was one of those trends you loved or hated.  One of my extended family members, a self-proclaimed “girly girl” couldn’t get the keys to one fast enough.  Flash forward a few years to marriage and three beautiful kids.  She opted to trade the vehicle for something more “family friendly”.  Imagine her (not ours, but her) shock when the dealer docked a significant amount off the trade-in value because of the color, something that she had paid extra to have. Simply put, while the color was something she loved, the general population would see it as way to talk the vehicle’s price down.  The same can hold true for a home.  If the thought of selling your home anytime in the future has ever crossed your mind, even slightly it’s a good idea to make choices that increase, not decrease, the value of your home.  Not sure what we mean?  Here are a few examples.

Cedar Shake Roof: A cedar shake roof definitely sets your home apart from the crowd and not necessarily in a good way.  Cedar shakes require significantly more maintenance than metal or asphalt roofing which can scare off potential buyers.  It’s not uncommon to see an insurance company require a 2% dwelling cost deductible.  (For those who loathed math in school, this means that your deductible for a new roof could be $5,000 on a $250,000 home.)  Insurance companies can command this premium because cedar shake roofs have minimal fire resistance capabilities.

Garage Space: Homes built before dual income homes were the norm oftentimes only having a one car garage or none at all.  Particularly in the Midwest, where snow can fall anywhere between October & May, a garage is seen as a necessity.  Buyers typically want a garage that can house both homeowners’ vehicles.  A property with less than a two car garage may cause a home to sit on the market longer.  Garages located under the house can also be viewed as undesirable.  (Think about the additional work it would take to transport a carload of groceries up a flight of stairs.)  It’s also a common complaint that rooms above the garage are drafty and take more energy to heat.

Flat Roof: While flat roofs are cheaper than pitched ones to install, they are notorious for leaking.  In order to prevent this, they are covered with a waterproof seal that must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis.  These additional steps and the likelihood of water damage may deter perspective homebuyers.

Stucco Siding: Statistically speaking, a stucco home will sit on the market longer than one with a different type of siding.  Because water is stucco’s primary adversary, Midwestern buyers can be more hesitant to purchase this type of home.  Stucco’s lifespan depends on it being installed correctly, something that can be difficult to determine by appearance alone.

Plumbing: Fixtures such as dishwashers, washing machines and showers were once thought to be luxury items.  However, in the 21st century, they’re considered to be staples.  Homes without these items are likely to sit on the market longer and sell for a lower price.

Basement Access: In older homes, basement access may require going through the garage or through a hatch in the floor.  Changing this to more conventional access will appeal to a wider audience.

Wood Siding: Properly maintained wood siding can be a point of pride for a homeowner.  Keeping the siding maintained means intermittent power washing, sealing and staining or painting.  Wood siding can also be harmed by insects and other pests.  All of these things make wood siding something that can be viewed as a liability to future homeowners.

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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Questions to Ask a Contractor’s Reference

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Earlier this month, we discussed the importance of getting references from a contractor and how to determine whether the references were legitimate.  This week, we’d like to continue with that train of thought by offering suggestions on questions to ask someone who has had work performed by the contractor you’re considering hiring so that you’re able to make the most educated decision possible on whether or not the contractor is a good fit for your project.  One of the biggest pointers we can offer is to ask open-ended questions that require an explanation, not just a “yes” or “no” answer.  Here are our top picks for questions:

Can you tell me about the work performed? This allows the reference to tell you about the nature of the work performed.  Ideally, you want to speak with someone who had that same type of job that you’re having done.  Just because a contractor has installed hundreds of roofs since their company’s inception does not mean they are a good fit to remodel your kitchen.

Did you encounter additional costs outside of your original quote and were you okay with how they were handled? Sometimes unexpected costs come up in the middle of your project.  If demolition commences and mold or asbestos are discovered, they will need to be removed; oftentimes this is difficult to anticipate and the homeowner is responsible for the cost.  However, be wary if the homeowner indicates that the contractor came back on numerous occasions to ask for additional funds for items that should have been included in the initial bid, it may indicate that the contractor provided a lowball estimate in order to get the work.

Were you able to communicate effectively with the contractor? In order for a home improvement project to go as smoothly as possible, it’s crucial that the homeowner be kept in the loop on the project’s progress.  It’s also good to know whether the homeowner was able to ask questions and get answers in a timely manner.

Are you happy with the final result and would you hire them again? Don’t neglect to ask this.  While there may have been a few bumps along the way, was the end result something the homeowner was happy with and would they entrust any future work to this contractor?  If the homeowner is in close proximity to you, they may even allow you to view the actual work.

Did the project fall within the allotted timeline?  Why or why not? Certain things can be out of a contractor’s control.  If a homeowner selects a custom made product, such as a light fixture or countertop and the supplier has it on back order, this falls outside of the realm of the contractor’s control.  However, if the project falls behind the allotted time frame due to short workdays on the contractor’s part, this is an entirely different matter.

Was the jobsite kept clean and safe? One man’s jobsite is another man’s home.  In that spirit, it’s important that your home be treated with respect and kept safe and as clean as possible for everyone that lives there.

Were subcontractors used and were you happy with their work? Oftentimes, a contractor will need to bring in a subcontractor, such as a plumber or electrician.  Verify that the homeowner was pleased with their work as well because the contractor does have control over who they hire to complete this type of work.  

What type of warranty were you provided with and have you had to use it?  Contractors should stand behind the work they perform with a warranty.  Find out what type of warranty the reference was provided, if it was in writing and if they have had to use it.  If so, were there any issues getting the contractor to stand behind their work?

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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Pros & Cons of Home Heating Systems

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Every home in the Midwest has some sort of home heating system for the cooler temperatures that we face during the fall & winter seasons. Residential home heating systems can range from piping hot water throughout your home, to blowing air or even using heat from the earth. We are going to discuss some of the most popular systems and the advantages and disadvantages of both.

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Forced Air

The most common type of heating & cooling systems on the market

  • Moves throughout your home through ductwork and registers and is heated in the furnace.
  • The air is heated using various fuel sources such as natural gas, propane, electricity or oil.

Advantages/disadvantages of this system

Forced air systems are the only heat distribution system that also can be used for cooling purposes. It also allows the air to be filtered, humidified or dehumidified. This type of system is less expensive than other options on the market. The only disadvantages of this system are that the moving air throughout your home can distribute allergens more freely, requires ductwork that takes up space and can sometimes be a little loud.

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Radiant Heat

Widely known to provide the most comfortable heat in a residential home and comes in a variety of options from a pot belly stove or in-floor heating.

  • Radiant heat is the process of direct transfer of heat from a hot to a cold surface through embedded tubing in the floor directly below the surface.
  • Radiant heat can be fueled by hot water heated by a boiler that is fueled by natural gas, propane, oil or electricity.

Advantages/disadvantages of this system

Radiant heat provides an even, comfortable heat and are quite energy efficient. A disadvantage is that they take longer to heat up, since the surrounding materials must warm, they can be expensive to install, air conditioning would require separate ductwork and if a problem arises, accessing the hidden piping can be difficult.

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Hot Water Baseboard

Baseboard systems are similar to radiant heat because they use hot water that is heated by a boiler to heat space by radiation and convection.

  • The water is heated and then piped to baseboard units mounted along the walls.
  • The boiler can be fueled by natural gas, propane, electricity or oil.

Advantages/disadvantages of this system

Baseboard systems are very energy efficient & quiet. Disadvantages are they are slow at increasing the temperature in your home and you must keep items such as furniture and drapes away from the units.

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Geothermal

The newest heating & cooling technology on the market today is geothermal.

  • Heat is taken from the earth by use of ground loop pipes and deposited into your home.
  • The EPA says that a geothermal heat pump can save you 30 to 70 percent on home heating and 20 to 50 percent on cooling over conventional systems.

Advantages/disadvantages of this system

Geothermal advantages are that they have a very good lifespan, usually around 25+ years for inside components and 100+ years for the ground loop. They are very quiet and have minimal maintenance costs. They also add a lot of value to your property. Disadvantages of geothermal heat is the increased upfront initial cost to have it installed which are usually two to three times those of conventional systems. If you don’t hire a qualified contractor who uses proper installation techniques, your system may not last as long.

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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