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Siding, Roofing & Windows

Quality, Trust Experience since 1947

Call Us At : 763-316-4270

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Home Exterior Improvement Company

Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota

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Call Us At 763-316-4270

A wise question to ask your home exterior company

All home exterior companies are not the same. And whether you’re replacing your roof, getting new siding, or installing windows, your home improvement projects are sizable investments. It’s smart to do some background research before choosing a company to work on your home. Consider looking up contractors on the Better Business Bureau website. Ask contractors for customer references. And ask, what relationship does a company have with product manufacturers?

Asking about a company’s relationship with manufacturers may not be the first question to come to mind. But it can tell you a lot about a company. The way a contractor deals with manufacturers can impact you, both now and in the future.

Minnesota Exteriors has its own distribution company, North Country Distributors, Inc. Through this distribution company, we work closely with manufacturers. This relationship benefits our customers. Here are five advantages this relationship can provide:

  1. Keeping costs down. Having our own distribution company helps us avoid “middlemen”. And that helps our customers save money.
  2. Access to new products. Manufacturers may let us see newly introduced products relatively quickly. They realize we can give them helpful feedback.
  3. Viewing large samples. Our warehouse occupies 100,000 square feet – that’s enough space to store a lot of product. We’d be happy to give you a tour. Come see what many products look like full-size: That way, you don’t have to base your decision on what a miniature version looks like.
  4. Clout with manufacturers. If a product has a manufacturing issue or product defect, we have clout with the manufacturer to help make things right.
  5. Saved time. Another advantage of having an in-house distribution center is that it can allow for faster turn-around times on your project if we stock the material.

As you choose a home exterior company, there are a variety of factors to consider. As you do your research, find out how a potential contractor works with manufacturers – a close relationship can give you advantages that benefit you in the long run.

To find out more, come visit us in Osseo or give us a call. A third-generation, family-owned company, MEI is deeply invested in providing quality products and workmanship. We have the resources to help your project run successfully.


Fast facts about the state fair – including a $7,000 giveaway!

The state fair is a major event in Minnesota. Some people even go twice a year. There’s definitely plenty to do – and win. Here are some facts from the state fair website you may not know about the fair.

  • The Minnesota State Fair first took place in 1859.
  • Before the fair found its current home, it was held in towns including Red Wing, Owatonna and Rochester – as well as St. Paul and Minneapolis.
  • The state fair was not held in 1861, 1862, 1893, 1945 or 1946. The reason it was not held in 1946 was because of polio.
  • This year’s new foods at the fair include:
    • Bowl O’ Dough (cookie dough that comes in a choice of four varieties)
    • Cherry Bombs (battered and deep-fried red licorice)
    • Deep-Fried Avocados (also battered and deep-fried); and
    • Memphis Totchos (tater tots with bananas, bacon and peanut sauce).
  • New things to do or see at the fair include the Great Minnesota Knit Together … and on August 27, there’s a “Dress a Sheep” contest.

And some other news? This year you can win $7,000 to spend on home exterior products at Minnesota Exteriors. Each year, we increase the giveaway to reflect our anniversary. Last year was our sixty-ninth year in business, so the prize was $6,900 to spend with us. This year is our 70th year in business … so you could win $7,000. You could spend the prize on windows, siding, gutters or doors. You could even put it towards roofing. It’s your choice. It’s our opportunity to thank the community for so many years of business!

Come see us at the fair and get entered in the giveaway. Our booth is across from the big slide. So eat some treats, ride some rides, and come visit us. This could be the year you win thousands of dollars to make home improvements. We wish you lots of fun memories at the fair!


Need more space? A home addition may be just what you need

Your family changes over the years, and sometimes your home needs to change, too. You may need more space. But it’s not always feasible to move into a bigger house. In many situations, adding on to your home may be your best option. A home addition can give you more room, without requiring a total move.

Benefits of home additions

Extending your existing home has multiple benefits. You gain space for your family. It may raise the value of your property. And, it can help you stay in a home you love.

Extensions can add a wide variety of new rooms to your home. You might add a new bedroom, den or garage.  You could even make your kitchen larger, to accommodate your family. If your cooking space is cramped, you can gain more counter space and light.

Materials to consider

After you decide what room (or rooms) to add, you’ll need to decide what materials to use. You’ll want to take your climate into account, as well as your personal tastes. You might consider aluminum home siding, due to aluminum’s durability and ability to resist heat. You might also consider vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is durable and may be less expensive. Further, vinyl siding’s color can last for years without needing replacement.

Consider appearances

Another factor to keep in mind is how to help the addition look natural. You want the addition to look it’s been there since your house was built. To help your addition suit your home, look at your current home in detail. What kind of roof does your home have? What type of siding?

There are many questions to consider as you add on to your home. It’s an exciting time, with decisions to make. Feel free to enlist the help of the experts at Minnesota Exteriors. Minnesota Exteriors has served families for over 68 years. We’d love to help you, too.


What to Know About Sashes and Frames

Are you considering window replacement? Find out what to look for and how windows are made. Window replacement should be a one-time investment, so quality materials are very important – especially in cold climates such as Minnesota. Here is some information to help you.

Sashes and Frames

The frame is the external area of the window which is tied to the opening of the wall, while the sash is the movable panel. The frame holds the sash, and glazing fits into the sash. A window can become a source of heat loss if not constructed properly. So, make sure to choose a knowledgeable provider.

Materials

Here are some different materials from which sashes and frames are made.

· Wood

Wood frames and sashes are an ideal choice for homeowners who seek natural beauty and durability. Further, wood frames and sashes are good insulators. They add structural strength and value to the window. However, they require protection from certain elements to prevent damage. In order to prevent rotting, you need to regularly maintain the wood.

· Aluminum

Aluminum frames and sashes are quite strong, durable and light. Further, this type of frame also resists warping. However, they are not great at keeping heat inside your home. To help with heat loss, make sure there is a break (with a different material) in between the interior and exterior panes.

· Fiberglass

This is one of the newest materials for window replacement. Fiberglass is a durable and very strong material that does not require a lot of maintenance. Sometimes, the frames have a core filled with foam for greater thermal performance.

· Combination

Combination frames are when the frames and sashes are formed with two or more materials mentioned above. They combine the best features of the materials in order to create the best finished product.

For more information about window replacement, please contact our experts at Minnesota Exteriors. They’re happy to help you figure out the best options for your home.


Four Signs You Need Replacement Windows

Guide to window replacement

Installing replacement windows can reduce your energy bills and make your home more beautiful. But it’s also a significant investment. So how do you know it’s time to update your windows?  Here are four signs it’s time to make an upgrade.

1. Drafts

Do you feel a cool breeze in your home, even when all the doors and windows are closed? If so, there may be a crack in the window glass – or frame. Cracks can cause drafts when you want a warm, cozy home.

2. High Energy Bills

If your energy costs are abnormally high, it may be from a lack of proper insulation in your walls – or an issue with your windows. Your windows may not be doing their job. High energy bills can be a slow drain on your bank account. It may be better to make a one-time investment and install new windows.

3. Difficulty Opening and Closing Windows

Have you tried to open or close your windows, only to find them stuck? Windows can get stuck to the frame because of paint layers.  The paint can keep the window sash from moving.  This is a sign that you should consider replacing the windows.

4. Window Repair and Painting

When your windows reach a point where they are cracked and peeling, it can be easy to think they just need painting. But that may be only a short-term solution. For an efficient approach, you can replace the windows instead of repainting them time and time again. Window replacement can be a long-term solution.

Next Steps

When it comes to replacing windows, the first thing to keep in mind is that you need to hire a credible company. You should look for a company that is certified, reliable and experienced. You want your windows to be a lasting feature in your home – be sure to choose a professional.

Minnesota Exteriors has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We’ve offered quality, trust and experience since 1947. We’re happy to discuss your windows with you. Give us a call.


Getting Foam Insulation Right

Whether it is a commercial or residential property you own, it needs to be properly insulated as the benefits of doing so outweigh the drawbacks. Insulation basically prevents the winter winds from penetrating inside as well as making sure the warm inside air does not escape outside. Installing foam insulation also results in reduced monthly utility expenses as it is cost and energy effective.

An average person, specifically one living in an area suffering from longer periods of colder climate, annually spends about $8,000 on electricity bills, a heavy financial burden which may be difficult to bear. Installing foam allows one to prevent and control such unnecessary costs and expenditures.

Absence of foam insulation

Air leakage: Absence of foam insulation results in air and gas leakages. This is because a  lack of foam insulation results in an inadequate prevention of diffusion of air from the inside to the outside and vice-versa. Consequently, the electricity consumed by the heater to maintain a uniform internal environment causes a significant rise in the monthly utility bills.

Unhealthy environment: Lack of foam insulation also results in poor health conditions of a house’s occupants. This is because the stale air that leaks into your house will not have a route to flow out. Thus, inhaling such air may lead to the development of Sick Building Syndrome, a disorder that leads to fatal diseases, including cancer.

Mold growth: Foam insulation also acts as a barrier to water vapor and absorbs moisture. In cases where foam insulation is absent in houses, wall cavities may absorb the moisture during rainfall. Such a condition is perfect to aid the growth of mold and mildew. This environmental condition causes:

  • Asthma
  • Memory loss
  • Lung tissue damage
  • Wheezing
  • Skin irritation

Pollution: Noise and air pollution are common, everyday problems, especially when one is living in an urban area. In such cases, it is essential to have foam insulation in order to limit the effect of such instances.

Getting it right

A compact insulation:

It is important your insulation consists of elements that are compact and tight. This is because the foam later solidifies to seal the cracks and crevices. If the particles in it are loosely packed, it will not perform according to the expectations.

Fiberglass insulation is a type of foam insulation that is cheap and energy efficient. It is best for insulating internal areas such as your attics.

Spray foams:

Open-celled spray foam is cheaper and extremely energy efficient. It can also be easily sprayed on inaccessible crannies to seal them up.

Closed-cell insulation is denser and more compact in nature. This makes such insulation a perfect barrier to prevent air leakages and is extremely water resilient as well.

Your measures

You need to ensure that the materials you have chosen are the best fit for your house’s insulation. This means that you need to consider your:

  • Regional climate
  • The area of your house
  • The R-Value of your insulation.

You need to ensure that the foam has environment-friendly chemicals and is produced by a reputable and authentic company with years of experience in their industry. This will make it safe to use and breathe around, preventing your family from being exposed to health issues.

Look into a hybrid solution for your housing insulation. This way, you will be able to save on costs big time.


Best Insulation for Your House

Insulation is best described as any product that prevents the transmission of energy from the inside to the outside and vice versa.  Home insulation is filled in wall cavities or any other cracks in walls that allow air leakages. This way, in winters, loss of heat is prevented and in the summers, heat penetration is restricted.

The best insulation for your house is determined by your budget, the location of your house and the area in your house where you require insulation. The R-value is also an important factor to consider before insulating your house.

Types of home insulation

Fiberglass insulation

Fiberglass insulation is widely accessible. It is usually available in batts or rolls produced from recycled glass. Foil-Kraft is often attached to these batts in order to make them more water vapor resistant. Flame-resistant rolls are available in different sizes to fit the basements as well.

A standard R-value of fiberglass batts or rolls usually ranges from R-2.9 to R-3.8 per inch depending upon the thickness of the roll.

Fiberglass insulation works best when it is installed in wall cavities, floor cracks and on rooftops/ceilings.

Reflective insulation

Reflective insulation is usually installed in attics, preferably the roofs and ceilings, in order to decrease the effect of the excruciating summer heat and absorbing any air leakages during winters. As a result, the R-value of your house increases and the utility bills decrease.

The basic function of reflective insulation is to decrease the heat absorption by reflecting it. This type of insulation works best in warmer climates, especially in the attics. A person can save about 10% on utility bills by installing reflective insulation as it helps maintain a cooler environment in-house, avoiding overuse of air-conditioners.

Spray foam insulation

This is the most expensive method of insulation but also lasts the longest and works the best. This is because the combination of elements in this insulation a more complex and compact.

Open-cell insulation: This is the first type of spray foam insulation and has an R-value of 3.6 per inch. This type of spray foam insulation is cheaper and effectively traps air bubbles, making it an extremely effective barrier against air leakages.

This type of spray foam insulation works best for internal insulation when covering gaps and holes that may lead to air leakages through walls, floors and ceilings.

Closed-cell insulation: A denser version of spray foam insulation, this type of insulation features an R-value of 6.5 per inch which makes it the most expensive insulation there is. However, due to its density, this type of a spray foam insulator works best when it comes to noise absorption, moisture resistance and air resilience.

Closed-cell insulation works best when filled inside wall cavities, floorboard gaps and ceiling cracks. Due to its water resistant nature, it also works efficiently to provide external insulation.

Consider all such factors before insulating your house to save money in the future!


Bespoke Home Extensions

Every now and then, our houses need repairs and extensions to continue to be the shelters that we have been using all our lives. However, for a house to continue as a real home, it is imperative that periodic repairs take place and sometimes an extension may also hit the spot when you don’t want to move and still want more living space.  In fact, many homeowners are opting for home extensions and improvements rather than out rightly shifting to a different house.

home improvement

Bespoke House Extensions

Conducting home improvement repairs and/or extensions of a home has a two pronged advantage. Not only does it give the owner added living space, but also has the potential of increasing the value of the property in the long run.

In fact, many homeowners are choosing to construct house extensions rather than shifting their homes. This is because house extensions are both an affordable as well as a cost effective option to upgrade the home.

In fact, they can help add greater living area for the kid’s playroom, reception hall, extra space for a new kitchen or even added office space. However, when conducting either repairs or carrying out a massive home improvement plan, it is imperative that you decide your materials beforehand.

If you live close to the sea side then buying vinyl siding might be just the option for you. But it also depends on which extension you have in mind as well.

Kitchen extensions

Many older homes dating back to the 40s and 50s were equipped with old fashioned galley kitchens that were generally cramped and suffered from a lack of amenities and even sunlight.   For opting for an extension in such place aluminum home siding is the best solution due to the fact that it is heat resistant as well as durable.

Living room extensions

Contrary to its given name, a living room offers a whole lot more to a home than simply a place to sit around for a causal cup of coffee. In fact, it is a very important part of the house in the sense that it is a permanent structure which might require siding vinyl as its exterior walls since it it is very durable and not as expensive as many other types of aluminum sidings available in the market.  A key feature of vinyl home siding is that vinyl sidings paint colors last for well over a decade.

Using either of these sidings as part of either your home improvement plans, or for that matter any home extension ideas you might have, would be a sound investment; they are affordable and long lasting and can survive all kinds of inclement weather.

In fact, they have been created for the express purpose of protecting your home from the environment.  Irrespective of which ever you use aluminum or vinyl siding, the end result would be that your property would increase in value and be safe from all kinds of inclement weather, thus allowing you to enjoy your home for many decades to come.