Tag Archives: Twin Cities Home Improvement

Prefab Homes vs Traditional Homes

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Filed under Construction, Home Construction, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Prefab Home, www.lindusconstruction.com
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What’s the Difference?

Unlike a traditional home that is built on your plot of land, a prefab home is built in a factory and transported to the homeowner’s lot in sections.  Do not confuse a prefab home with a trailer.  A
prefab home is placed on a foundation, meaning it can have a basement and a trailer cannot.

Codes

Because prefab homes can be built in one state and sold by a dealer in another, they are regulated by national codes.  When you build a home, you are subject to local ordinances. What does this mean for you?  Local codes take into account things like the need for additional protection for things like tornados and heavy snows.

Speed

Most people think that a traditional home will take longer to build than a pre-fab home.  However, a prefab home is not necessarily finished at a quicker rate because of long factory lead times.  Completion of either type of home is dependent upon a number of factors with the biggest being your builder.  One advantage to a prefab home is that it is built indoors, making its timeline less affected by the weather than a traditional home.  If you’re deciding between a prefab builder and a traditional contractor, be sure to get a definitive answer on the timeline between the start date and move in date.

Design

Prefab homes are built in a factory and come in template designs with the ability for you to select options such as cabinets, flooring and countertops from the company’s catalog.  An advantage to
working with a builder is that your home can come with more customized options especially when it comes to layout and homes with multiple levels.

Placement

If you’re looking at placing your prefab home on a lot that is controlled by a homeowner’s association or developer, you need to check to see whether they have rules against it.  While a HOA may have rules about colors or styles of roofing, siding, gutters, etc. you will likely have fewer hoops to jump through with a conventional home as opposed to a prefab home.

Pricing

One of the largest reasons that a consumer chooses a prefab home over a traditional one is belief that a prefab home costs less money.  The prefab industry is continuously coming out with new innovations which benefit consumers who wish to inject their personal taste into their homes.  Prefab homes come with a different set of expenses that traditional homes don’t have such as delivery, overhead and crane fees.  Because each circumstance is different, we encourage you to get estimates from both traditional contractors and pre-fab companies to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  Ask questions if you don’t understand something in the estimate and be sure to ask whether the bid includes everything or if they project additional expenses.

Sustainability

Being cognizant of your carbon footprint, especially on a project this large, is the socially and environmentally responsible thing to do.  While a number of companies, both traditional and
prefab, claim to be environmentally friendly, it’s important to do some homework.  Is the company you’re working with using high quality insulation, windows, roofing and siding?  Spending a little extra upfront can often save you in the future with a longer shelf life and reduced energy costs.  Consider that area companies will use less fuel than those traveling from greater distances and the fuel used to transport something as significant as a home.  Do your homework and select an option that makes the most sense for your situation.

Insurability

It’s short-sighted not to consider the cost of insuring your new home when deciding whether to go with traditional or prefab.  As a general rule, prefab homes have higher insurance premiums.  The reasoning is that prefab homes are likelier to suffer damage from storms, fire and frozen pipes.  As mentioned above, prefab homes are subject to national building codes which are less stringent than local ones.

Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.

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Getting Stuck on Stucco-What You Need to Know

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There are lots of factors that contribute to your home’s curb appeal and one of the most noticeable components is your home’s siding.  One of the more unique ways to side your home is with stucco.  Here’s a crash course on the benefits & drawbacks of using this product on your home’s exterior.

What it is: Stucco is a combination of cement, sand and lime that can be applied to the home’s exterior instead of traditional siding.

Advantages:

Fire Resistant: Stucco is recognized for its fire resistance, something that may result in lowered homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Insulation: Stucco is an effective insulator, helping to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, something that will keep your energy bills in check.

Versatility: You have endless choices when it comes to color and pattern.

Longevity: Stucco is renowned for its permanence and when carefully cared for, it can last for years to come.

Disadvantages:

Staining: When compared with other types of siding, stucco is more apt to show water & soil stains.

Installation: The installation of stucco is a strenuous process and the labor portion of the bill will be significant; this is not something that a weekend warrior should attempt.

Vulnerable to Water Damage: In order to keep stucco in the best possible condition, it should be kept moisture free.  It’s crucial that gutters and downspouts are properly placed in order to
ensure that water is diverted away from the home.  Windows & doors must be sealed tightly so that water cannot penetrate the stucco.

Cracking: Just as concrete does, stucco expands and contracts, leading to cracking.  This can be repaired but at an expense to the homeowner.

Lindus Construction is a full service construction and remodeling company boasting LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation & decking just to name a few. Give us a call at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out at www.lindusconstruction.com to set up a free no-obligation estimate. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10am with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show!

 

 

 

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.

Trending in 2015

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Don’t hate us for pointing it out, there are only ten weekends left in 2014.  That’s right ten.  And while we consider it in poor taste to make New Year’s resolutions before Thanksgiving (more pie please!) it’s not too soon for us to share what our remodeling team projects to be the biggest home décor trends to watch out for next year.

Color: With the economy looking less fragile than it has in recent memory, homeowners are becoming bolder with the color choices of their walls.  Popular shades include vibrant yellows, greens  and
blues.  Color, as opposed to accessories, is taking center stages in rooms.  Don’t write white off yet; it’s still being sought out for trim and cabinetry in order to play off the bold colors.

Tile: When it comes to bathroom & kitchen tile, bigger is better!  Not only is it more modern, but it also has the ability to make a small space appear larger.

Elaborate Bathrooms: Bathrooms in 2015 will become more embellished.  Bathtubs with shower surrounds will be installed less and less and oversized showers and free standing bathtubs will take over.  High end tile options are also to be expected.

Countertops: Granite countertops are so last season.  We’re noticing an uptick in homeowners opting for high end quartz countertops from companies such as Cambria®.  Cambria® countertops do not need repeated sealing and reconditioning like marble & granite counter tops and can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap, making your kitchen a space you’re not afraid to actually cook in.  (PS- Cambria® is a Twin Cities family owned company…even more reason to love them!)

Tech Savvy Homes: A recent survey found that more people would rather lose their wallet than their smartphone.  Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that more and more homeowners are looking to their cell phone to run their homes.  Requests for appliances, garage doors, thermostats, light fixtures, security fixtures and stereo systems that can be operated from a smartphone have become commonplace.

Finishes: We’re obsessed with satin nickel and bronze finishes when it comes to light fixtures and hardware.

3 & 4 Season Porches: These spaces are excellent places to relax and entertain guests.  We’re finding that more and more homeowners are seeking them out.

Clean LinesIn everything from light fixtures to cabinets clean lines are taking over!

 

NOW THROUGH THE END OF OCTOBER, SAVE 50% OFF INSTALLATION LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS & GAF ASPHALT SHINGLES AND ENJOY FREE INSTALLATION LABOR SEASONGUARD WINDOWS.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE.  VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.LINDUSCONSTRUCTION.COM 

Wallpaper…Making a Comeback in 2014

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Rumors have been circulating since last week, that after twenty years, Pink Floyd may be teaming up for a new album, which is being cited as one of the biggest come backs of the year.  In the world of interior design, there’s another home feature making a comeback…wallpaper.  Believe it or not, this material that homeowners have a love/hate relationship with is back in the good graces of many interior decorators.  Like all resurging trends, it’s best to know how to work it in the present day so you don’t look like you’re stuck in a time capsule.

Commitment: Bear in mind that wallpaper is more time-consuming to change out than paint.   Be sure you love the design you’re opting for so you don’t experience buyer’s remorse.  If the thought of an entire room of wallpaper doesn’t appeal to you, it’s perfectly acceptable to apply wallpaper to a single accent wall.  This concept works especially well in bedrooms where you can wallpaper the wall behind your headboard and then paint the other walls a calming, complimentary color.

Room Size: Just as in the case with paint, it’s important to consider room size before committing to color and pattern.  In smaller spaces, it’s best to opt for lighter colors in larger prints, which deflect the room’s smallness.  Applying wallpaper to a hallway or inside a closet can add interest that otherwise wouldn’t be there.  Check for remnants for smaller projects which can save you money.  Hanging wallpaper on the ceiling, and painting the rest of the room a similar color, is another trend.

Print Pattern:  Love small prints?  They work well in larger rooms.  Larger prints work better in small spaces because they trick the eye in believing the room is larger than it is.  Another trip to making a small room look larger is wallpaper with a horizontal pattern. A room that has a low ceiling can benefit from wallpaper with a vertical striped pattern because it will elongate the space.  Bold, rigid patterns add zing to a room,while lines with soft patterns evoke a sense of calmness.

Avoid These Rookie Application Mistakes:

  • Not lining up the pattern correctly so it’s easily visible where one roll starts and another ends.
  • Applying wallpaper directly to drywall which will cause damage to the wall when it’s time to remove the wallpaper.
  • Placing a pattern upside down.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Secrets to Loving Your House Just the Way it Is

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This winter, TMZ featured an article about a domino real estate situation where Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco bought Khloe Kardashian’s home.  In turn Khloe turned around and bought Justin Bieber’s estate.  It’s interesting that even celebrities, who rake in millions each year, still get bored with their homes and put them on the market in order to purchase what
they consider to be a better property.  While it’s unlikely that most of us will find ourselves, in this situation, there’s nothing wrong with taking steps to ensure the home you have is one you love.  Here are some tips from us on how to achieve this.

Don’t Live in Someone Else’s Home: When one of our employees bought her first home she was excited at the prospect of not having to stare at the white walls of the apartments she’d rented for the past four years.  After hours of scouring paint samples and home improvement websites, she settled on lime green for the color of her master bedroom.  While her mother questioned the choice as they started applying it to the walls, she ultimately stuck with the color.  There’s a lesson to be learned from this.  While most realtors wouldn’t suggest paint in bold shades when you’re putting a home on the market, if you’re planning on staying in it for a few years, there’s no need to live in a home as if it’ll be put up for sale at any moment.  Make it your own and select colors that speak to you.

Decorate with Purpose: The below painting by famous artist Joan Miro sold at auction for $2.2 million.  We’re willing to bet that most of you could find a lot more fun ways to put that kind of money to use!  The point here is that just because something is valuable doesn’t mean it’s meaningful.  When choosing your home’s décor, regardless of what your budget is, take the time to carefully consider whether or not what you’re adding is truly something you want to be surrounded with on a daily basis or if it’s simply something that the retail world is saying you need.

Banishing Clutter: In addition to collecting dust, clutter also has negative effects on your psyche.  A study by Princeton University found that the more disorganization in your life, the more stressed out you become.  Make an effort to donate, discard or sell items you no longer use and notice instantly your level of stress decrease.  While the prospect of tackling an entire house can seem daunting, break the task into smaller bits to make the feat more achievable.

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

Dry Rot Basics

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What is it? Dry rot is a phenomenon that can impact all varieties of wood.  When this fungus spreads throughout the interior of wood, it becomes weak and will start breaking apart.  When dry rot
occurs in a building, the structural integrity often becomes compromised.

What are signs of dry rot?  Dry rot is such a nuisance because the early stages are difficult to identify to the untrained eye.  Adding to the confusion is the fact that it can vary in appearance. Identifiers include darkened or shrunken wood.  Coloring is typically off-white or gray.  Wood affected by dry rot will shrink and crack.  It becomes soft to the touch and warp.

How does it spread?  Dry rot is fed by moisture inside the wood and in order for it to spread; it needs a source of moisture.  Because dry rot causes the affected wood to crumble and separate from the unaffected wood, the unaffected wood becomes exposed and soon becomes infected.

Why does it happen?  There are lots of occurrences that result in dry rot, though most have to do with proper management in the home.  Clogged or broken gutters and downspouts can increase the likelihood of dry rot, as can improper flashing on your roof and around your chimney.  Inadequate ventilation can also contribute to dry rot.  It’s a common misconception that dry rot only occurs in older buildings.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, if siding isn’t installed correctly and water is able to permeate through the siding, it’s only a matter of time before thousands of dollars of damage is caused.  For this reason, it’s crucial to work with a reputable licensed and insured company who know what they’re doing and is willing to stand behind the work they perform.

How do you eradicate? Full eradication of dry rot is crucial because failure to do so can result in it reappearing.  The only way to kill dry rot is to kill its source of moisture.  Once this has been
accomplished, the affected areas must be dried completely.  From there, the fungus that caused the dry rot must be treated.  The final step is repairing the damage.  This process should be completed by a licensed professional who can effectively determine the full extent of the dry rot.  Failure to fully complete any of the steps listed above can result in the dry rot manifesting itself once again.

Lindus Construction is a full-service remodeling company specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Decking, Home Remodeling & New Construction. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 for a free no obligation estimate or check us out on our new website at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10a with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show.

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How Does a Brick Home Stack Up Against the Rest?

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In the story of The Three Little Pigs, the big bad wolf is easily able to destroy the homes made of straw & sticks but has a little more trouble when it comes to the home made of bricks.  We’re going to
assume that since the story took place long ago & far away that the siding options were limited and that’s why brick reigned supreme.  But in today’s world there are a lot of other siding options besides brick. So just how well does brick stack up against other siding options?  Let’s find out!

PROS

Maintenance-Oftentimes, brick wins favor with homeowners because it requires very little maintenance; it does not need to painted or stained and does not rot.

Durability-Because of its makeup, brick will hold up much better than most siding types when it comes to hail, high winds, extreme temperatures and fire.  Some insurance companies offer discounts because of this.

Added Home Value-When compared with other durable siding materials, having a brick home can increase the value of a home.

Timeless Look-Since brick is one of the oldest building materials available, choosing it for a home offers a traditional ambience that will be functional for years to come.

Termite Resistant- In areas where termites are of a concern to homeowners, brick homes often prevail because termites do not disturb this type of home.

 

CONS

Cost-Laying brick is a labor intensive process that requires workers with extensive training.  The brick itself is also a premium building material.  Because of this, brick is one of the most expensive siding materials available.

Repair-In the event that your bricks become damaged, repairs can be costly.  Bricks weather over time and it can be quite difficult to match the coloring of bricks when replacement ones are
installed.

Water Absorbency-Brick can absorb moisture and transfer it indoors and causing the paint on your walls to peel and wood molding to shrink.  For this reason, it’s important to keep gutters clog free on brick homes.

Project Timeframe-If you’re considering a new brick home, it’s helpful to know that this type of construction take significantly longer because of the manpower needed.  Brick also needs time to dry at various points during the construction which can also delay a project on a tight deadline.  Unlike other forms of construction, brick cannot be installed at freezing temperatures or the building will not be structurally sound.

Additions-If you foresee adding onto your home, brick isn’t the wisest choice because it adds onto the project cost significantly.  Furthermore, it may prove difficult to match the new brick and mortar with those already there.

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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