Tag Archives: home maintenance

Psychology & Scents at Home

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You are 100 times more likely to remember something that you smell over something you see, hear or touch.  That’s probably part of the reason why the American candle industry is able to generate over $2.3 billion in sales annually.  The smells you choose to bring into your home can have an effect on your psyche and every scent brings something a little different to the table.  Here’s what you need to know about your favorite scents.

Vanilla-While the adjective “vanilla” placed in front of any word typically invokes a sense of blandness; the scent of vanilla has a different meaning.  Studies have shown that vanilla invokes feelings of relaxation and can assist in helping you fall asleep.  It is known to increase one’s appetite and can even boost memory.

Lemon-The smell of lemon can improve concentration, attentiveness and alleviate stress.  It promotes feelings of energy.  Being surrounded by the smell of lemon can also alleviate feelings of depression and nervous tension.

Apple- The scent of apple has been linked with the lessening of headache symptoms.  Because headaches are often manifestation of stress, being surrounded by an apple scent can assist in squelching the emotions of anxiety and stress.

Peppermint- If the Energizer Bunny had a scent, it’d be peppermint.  It has a subtle way of increasing one’s motivation and alertness.  Peppermint is a great scent to surround yourself with when you are overexerted and running low on stamina.

Cinnamon- The fragrance of cinnamon can be used to melt away stress and tension.  It can also assist in increasing mental focus, which allows for deeper creativity.  Folklore also suggests cinnamon brings prosperity and great achievements.

Lavender- Remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow fall asleep in a field of poppies right outside of Emerald City?  If you’re having issues sleeping, lavender will have the same effect.  Like the smell of apple, lavender fragrance can assist in alleviating headache symptoms.

Coconut- Tropical scents like coconut instantly transform your home into a relaxing oasis with this fragrance.  Coconut is synonymous with comfort, protection and stress relief.

Patchouli-Much like scotch, patchouli is an acquired taste.  However, this earthy/musty aroma does have its benefits.  They include: appetite suppression, stress relief, anxiety tamer and sedative properties.

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 http://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 December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

 

8 Tricks to Less Painless Painting

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A guy by the name of Bill Gates was credited with the following quote: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”  Pretty brilliant stuff when you think about it.   While painting will never be anyone’s favorite household chore, there are plenty of tricks to make the project less painful.  Here are our top picks!

Minimize Dripping: Cut a slit in a sour cream or cottage cheese container top and slide it onto a paintbrush handle.  This will allow you to catch drips that would otherwise end up in areas you don’t want them.

Pie Tin Trick: It’s super rare to not have paint dripping down the side of the can, which in turn, can end up creating a mess on your floor.  Dodge this hassle by placing a disposable pie tin underneath the paint can to act as a paint catching coaster.

Eliminate Odors: Amazon.com has over 200 million items for sale.  Of these items, none include paint scented candles.  Shocker, right?  That’s because paint reeks!  Make your paint project less smelly by mixing in a few drops of vanilla extract right into the paint.  This, however, does not mean that you should skip running fans and opening windows to ventilate your home.

Paint Tray Perfection: If you’ve ever tried to clean a paint tray so that it can be reused, you know what a pain it is.  It’s a race against the clock to get the tray cleaned before the paint dries and if you miss any of the paint and reuse the tray, you can end up unintentionally mixing colors.  Avoid all of this by lining your paint tray with aluminum foil which can be peeled off and discarded at the end of the project.

Petroleum Jelly to the Rescue: Painter’s tape works great for blocking off areas that you don’t want painted.  However, sometimes there are very small areas that painter’s tape simply isn’t practical.  Forego painters tape and apply petroleum jelly to the area.  Because of its consistency, paint won’t stick.

Ditch the Drop Cloth: Drop cloths made of canvas gets a little pricey.  Take the cheap route and opt for a shower curtain liner from your area dollar store.

Spray Painting Studio: It’s no secret that spray paint rarely only covers the object it’s intended for.  Skip the discolored grass, walls and siding by placing the object you need spray painted into a cardboard box.  Any excess paint will hit the inside of the box, which can be discarded after your project is complete.

Laundry Detergent Trick: One of the biggest pains with reopening and closing paint cans is the splatter that almost always ensues.  Bypass this by using a funnel.   Pour your paint into an empty, washed out, laundry detergent container.

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 http://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 December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

Generic Home Improvement Products to Avoid

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If you’ve ever taken the cheap route on garbage bags or diapers, the mess you ended up with probably led you to not repeat that purchase decision.  While generic brands can save your household significant money over the course of a year, there are plenty of times when shelling extra for a national brand pays off in the long run.  Here’s our list of generic home improvement products that will leave you disappointed.

Deck Stain: If you invite your friends over for a “deck staining party” they’re likely to find something else better to do…like clipping their mother-in-law’s toenails.  There’s definitely a reason that composite decking is gaining popularity with homeowners, even though it’s more expensive.  Keep the duration between deck staining to a maximum with a quality, reliable brand.  (We highly recommend Penofin® which is made of Brazilian Rosewood Oils.  It is 100% sustainable, petroleum free oil finish with no heavy metal compounds or odors.)

Paint: If you browse the paint aisle at your local hardware store, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the options at a wide array of price points.  Want to know a secret?  The cheaper brands cost less because they are thinned down with water.  The result is a paint that takes more coats to cover and chips and fades sooner than better brands.  Unless you’ve got an infinite amount of spare time…don’t!

Carpet: Not all carpet is created equally!  Skimping on quality can leave you with carpet that has ripples, sheds when you vacuum it, stains easily and wears down in high traffic areas.  Because a major expense associated with carpeting is actually installing it, it’s best to go with a reputable brand, from a reliable manufacturer, so that you don’t end up swapping out your carpet sooner than you’d like to because it’s become an eye sore.

Gutters: Cheaply made gutters are susceptible to clogs which can cause water to spill over your gutter and pool on the ground below. This can result in damage to your shrubs; lead to surface erosion; and seep into your foundation causing cracks and basement flooding.  Water can also spill behind the gutter causing damage to the wood or your soffit and fascia.  If you have add-on toppers, helmets or hoods that are attached to your roof and hang over your gutters, they are usually held in place by screws and nails fastened into your roof. Putting holes in your roof can cause leaks and may void your roof warranties.  (Shameless plug-opt for LeafGuard Gutters, the only one-piece, seamless system to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. They keep leaves and debris out of your gutters preventing water damage from clogs and you will never have to get on a ladder again. They come with a LIFETIME guarantee, unlike any other gutter system on the market.)

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.

Hidden Dangers at Home

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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