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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

Ready to save money? Consider a home energy audit

Would you like to save money on your energy costs? According to Energy.gov1, you could reduce your energy bill by 5 to 30 percent if you follow the recommendations of a home energy audit. Think how much those savings could add up, year after year. Getting a home energy audit could end up saving you quite a bit of money. And the more you know about home energy audits, the more comfortable you may feel arranging one. Here’s how to get ready for a home energy audit – and what an audit may include.

How to get ready for your home energy audit

Energy.gov provides helpful information about energy audits. The website suggests you do these two things before your audit:
• Gather your energy bills for the past year (or obtain a summary)
• Write down current issues you’re facing with your home

What your auditor may do

Your energy auditor may begin by taking a look at your home exterior, such as to see your windows and wall size. Next, he or she may ask you some questions, to better understand how you use your home. Then, your energy auditor may look for places where your home could be losing energy. Auditors may use advanced technology such as infrared cameras or blower doors.

Go for it – learn how to make your home more energy efficient!

From Blaine to Wayzata, there may be inefficiencies in your home that are just quietly costing you money. Or you may already suspect where your home is leaking energy, but you want to know for sure. Why not take a proactive step and have an energy auditor take a look? You could learn what steps to take to make your house more efficient.

If you have questions about how to get an energy audit, or what to do with the results, give us a call at Minnesota Exteriors. We’ve helped Minnesotans with their homes since 1947. We know how important it is to keep the cold outside. We’ll be happy to refer you to a reliable source for an energy audit. You may find out just what you need to make your house warmer and cozier.

1. Energy.gov. U.S. Department of Energy, energy.gov/energysaver/professional-home-energy-audits. Accessed November 2017.


How to help gutters run smoothly – and how to tell if they need work

Gutters may not be the first thing to jump out at you when you’re looking at your home. Yet gutters play a very important role in keeping your Minnesota home in good condition. If gutters aren’t functioning well, ice dams can form on your roof’s outskirts and water can end up under your shingles. (Not to mention water leaking into your basement if gutters aren’t working properly.) So how can you help keep your gutters running smoothly? And what signs of trouble should you look for? Here are some tips on how to keep your gutter system in tip-top shape.

How to keep gutters working effectively

• Make sure your gutters aren’t blocked. All those fall leaves that looked so beautiful on the trees can plug up your gutters. If gutters are plugged, water can’t run throughout like it needs to. This could contribute to ice dams. It’s smart to clean out those leaves and keep your gutters clear.

Signs of gutter issues

• Water has left its mark. Take a look not just at your gutters themselves, but also the area around them. Do you see discoloration or other unpleasantness on your siding? Could it be from water going where it’s not supposed to? This damage could be a sign of gutter issues.
• You’re gaining an unwanted outdoor pool. Standing water caused by downspouts could be an indication that your gutter system needs work. You don’t want this water to freeze and get icy. Further, make sure downspouts are taking water far enough away from your foundation.
• Your gutters are loose or misshapen. If your gutters are starting to sag or veer away from your house, it could be from snow accumulating inside them. Or, the small parts that attach gutters to your house could need attention.

A well-designed gutter system plays an integral role in your home’s health. It’s worth taking the time to make sure your gutters are draining water properly. If you
have any questions about your gutter system, feel free to give us a call at Minnesota Exteriors. We understand the factors that go into designing an effective gutter system, and we’re experienced at putting in seamless aluminum gutters. A third-generation, family-owned company, it’s important to us to provide excellent
service. We enjoy helping clients from Minneapolis, St. Paul, Osseo and beyond. Let us know how we can help you.


Two vital elements for any roofing, siding or windows project

Whether you’re replacing your roof, installing siding or buying windows, you need two things: quality products and skilled installation. But what can you do to find well-built products that suit your needs? And how can you feel confident that these products will be installed properly? Here are some tips to help make your home exterior project a success.

How to select the right product
These two guidelines can help you find a product you’ll be happy with:
• Choose a respected brand. You want the product you choose to be well-designed and constructed. It should be made from quality materials that can handle extreme weather. Look for an established brand that’s earned the respect of industry professionals.
• Make sure you have plenty of choices. Some companies may only offer one brand. You deserve more choices than this. Make sure you have the opportunity to choose from several brands and styles. You need the product that’s right for your home.

… And how to get it expertly installed
Buying a quality product is the first step. Then the people who install it need to have the right knowledge and follow-through.
• Seek warranties. In addition to manufacturer warranties, look for a warranty on installation: A workmanship warranty can help you feel secure that your product will be installed properly.
• Look for a company that has longevity. If a company has served your area for decades, that says a lot about their skill and dedication.
• Check out reviews and ratings. The Better Business Bureau website is a great place to learn more about a company. You can read what other customers have to say about a company’s work.

Choosing a home exterior company is an important decision. You deserve well-made products that will last for years. You also deserve to work with people who are experienced and conscientious.

At Minnesota Exteriors, we provide you with both parts of the home improvement equation: trustworthy products and skilled installation. We offer many well-known brands, as well as a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty. Whether you live in Edina or Blaine, come and see us. We want your home improvement project to be a lasting investment you’ll be happy about for years.


Finding a home exterior company you can trust

Trust is important in any business dealing, but it’s especially important when you choose a home exterior company. The quality of home exterior contractors’ work can affect your family’s comfort and your home’s energy efficiency. And, home improvement projects are a substantial financial investment. You need to be able to trust that a company will treat you fairly and provide high-quality work. How can you tell if you can trust a home exterior company? And what should you be able to trust that they will do? Here are some qualities to seek … and what you can expect a trustworthy company to do.

How can you tell if a home exterior contractor is trustworthy?
It’s worth doing some research before you choose a home exterior company. Ask these questions about a contractor before you make a commitment:

Has a company built up a relationship with the community? Have they won awards or been chosen for television shows or charity events?
How long have they served your geographic area? Have they worked in your town for years? Or, did they drive in because a storm hit?
Are they licensed and insured? You can ask to see a contractor’s license. Find out about their insurance, as well.
What do other customers say? Check reviews, the Better Business Bureau website, and customer references.
Do they stand behind their work? Do they offer a warranty on installation, as well as product warranties?

What should you be able to trust that a contractor will do?
When you work with a home exterior contractor, you should be able to trust that they will:

• Explain your options thoroughly and honestly
• Be knowledgeable about products and services
• Be friendly and pleasant to deal with
• Respect your budget
• Keep you informed about your project
• Offer high-quality products
• Provide efficient, skilled installation
• Clean up their work area carefully
• Follow up with you if you have any questions

At Minnesota Exteriors, it’s important to us to be a company you can trust. We’re a third-generation, family-owned company. Providing excellent service is something we take personally. During 70 years of business, we’ve built up a strong relationship with the Twin Cities community. We’ve won awards and appeared on television shows. We’ve posted customer references on our website. We also offer a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty on installations. When you come to Minnesota Exteriors, you can trust that you will receive skilled workmanship, quality products and conscientious customer service.


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.