Siding, Roofing & Windows

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Home Exterior Improvement Company

Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota

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Call Us At 763-316-4270

Four tips to keep your wood windows beautiful

Wood window frames have a charm all their own. They add a sense of elegance and warmth to your home. They take some maintenance, but the effort can be well worth it. Here are four tips to help you enjoy your wood window frames year after year.

1. When you purchase new windows, hang on to the user guide. Take the time to read through the manufacturers’ guide to your windows. Store it in a place where you can easily find it later. The guide should explain in detail how to care for your particular product.
2. Keep them clean and sparkling. Wipe down wooden window frames with warm water. You can use gentle dish soap if you’d like, just be sure to wipe the frames again afterwards to make sure the soap is gone. Follow any manufacturer instructions. You may want to dust the frames as well, before washing them.
3. Clean panes before frames. While you’re cleaning window panes, the dust, dirt or cleaning product can escape onto frames. So clean panes first and frames second.
4. Give your windows a regular check-up. Is paint flaking off? Wood window frames need paint or stain in good condition. Is the wood cracking? Cracks may call for some filler. And, how about the outside caulking? Make sure your window is all sealed up. And, although it’s not fun to say, it’s smart to check wood windows for signs of rot.

With regular maintenance, wood window frames can add a lovely touch to your home and last a long time. Plus, they are strong insulators.

To learn more about your frame options, visit us at Minnesota Exteriors. We have a large selection of wood frames and can talk with you further about their advantages and maintenance. We can also discuss vinyl and fiberglass frames with you. When you visit us, you’ll find high-quality brands and a variety of styles. Whatever your needs, our priority is to help you find a frame material that’s both beautiful and a good fit for your lifestyle.

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.

So you need new home siding … what should it look like?

When your home needs new siding, one of the major questions to decide is, what do you want it to look like? You have a world of options to choose from. With the siding choices available, you can update your home and give it a new, beautiful look. Here are some of the options to consider as you pick out your siding.

Colors. Home siding is available in nearly a rainbow of colors. You can choose from reds, yellows, greens, blues and browns, as well as creams and tans. In addition to your main siding color, you could even choose trim in a different color or neutral.
Texture. Home siding can have a woodgrain texture, whether you choose engineered wood, vinyl, fiber cement or even steel siding. Or, with some types of siding, you can choose a smooth texture.
Vertical or horizontal. In addition to horizontal siding, you can choose siding that goes straight up and down. You could also include both vertical and horizontal siding on sections of your home, for contrast.
Cultured stone. You can add the look of stone to your home – and perhaps more easily than you think. Cultured stone is available in beiges, browns and greys. The stone appearance is lovely, and it adds elegance and contrast to your home exterior.

Choosing new siding can be an exciting process. There are so many colors and options available. New siding can give your home exterior a fresh appearance. You can find a color and texture you’ll be happy with for years.

To help you decide what kind of new siding you’d like best, come visit our large Osseo showroom. It’s one of the biggest showrooms of this type in the Metro area. You can browse many of your options in person and chat with an experienced professional. Come see us and tell us about your home. We’ll give you a tour and show you some striking options.

Suspect storm damage? Two kinds of checking that need to be done

After a hailstorm hits your neighborhood, it’s smart to have a home exterior company check your home for storm damage. But you should also check the home exterior company, to make sure they’re the qualified, trustworthy provider you’re seeking. Here is what home exterior contractors should check – and what you should check about them.

What contractors should check during a storm damage inspection
Storm damage is often not easy to see right away. But if it’s not fixed, it can lead to further issues. That’s why, if you suspect a storm has impacted your home, it’s wise to ask a contractor to take a look at your home exterior. Here are some of the places a trained professional should look:

• Downspouts
• Chimneys
• Flashing

What you should check about your storm damage contractor
When you allow contractors to check (and possibly repair) your home, you want to make sure they are skilled and conscientious. Here are some questions to ask before someone to works on your home:

• What insurance do you have?
• May I see customer references?
• Can you show me your contractor’s license?
• What warranties will I receive?
• Where are you based? How long have you worked in this area?

After storms, sometimes “storm chasers” drive in from out of town to offer repairs. They may be easy to find at first, but harder to locate if there are problems later. To help make sure you are dealing with a reputable company, ask a few questions. It’s not being nosy or rude. A trustworthy, qualified contractor will understand why you need to ask – and be glad to furnish the answers.

Minnesota Exteriors is happy to provide free storm damage inspections. We’ve served Minnesota customers for 70 years. A third-generation, family-owned company, we take personal pride in delivering excellent service. If you think your home may have suffered storm damage, invite us to take a look. We’ll take great care of your home – and you can be confident we’ll be here if you have any questions.

Four questions to consider when you need new roofing shingles

There comes a point when your home needs new roofing shingles. Perhaps a contractor has told you it’s time, or maybe you’re building a new house. Whatever the case, when you need to choose new shingles, there are several considerations to keep in mind. Here are four questions to think about.

1. What appearance are you seeking? Do you want the look of wood or slate? Is natural wood a must for you? Do you want your roof to have a bold hue or a more neutral tone? Should your shingles be an eye-catching pattern or a more conventional shape?
2. How important is budget? Is staying within a budget and keeping costs down a high priority? Or are you okay with paying more for a premium line?
3. Are you looking for other features as well? Some shingles are made to be extra strong against wind and snow. Some shingles help guard against ultraviolet rays. Others are especially impact-resistant. Are there certain qualities you are seeking?
4. What roofing company should you choose? Roofing is a significant investment, so select your contractor carefully. Find out, do they offer a warranty on installation, in addition to manufacturer warranties? What is their rating on the Better Business Bureau website? How long have they served your area? Feel free to ask questions. A reputable roofer will be happy to answer.

Purchasing new roofing shingles is an important decision. The right roofing company will help you explore your options. They’ll educate you about your choices and pay attention to your priorities.

At Minnesota Exteriors, we’ll work side-by-side with you as you choose new roofing. We’ll provide a friendly, no-pressure consultation. You can browse through many products in our large showroom. And when we install your roofing, you can feel confident you’ll receive high-quality workmanship. We have skilled installation crews, and we offer a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty on installation.

Come visit us in our Osseo showroom or give us a call. We’ll help you find shingles that suit your home well and put your mind at ease.

Why choice is so important in replacement windows

When you update your home exterior, the changes will be with you for years. The products you pick need to fit your family’s specific needs. That’s why you should be able to choose from multiple options: multiple brands, multiple styles and multiple materials. This is especially the case when you’re choosing replacement windows.

The windows you choose will affect your family in many ways. Your window choices can affect what kind of maintenance you’ll need to provide, how energy efficient your home will be, and even how you’ll be able to let in fresh air. Windows also play an important role in your home’s beauty and curb appeal.

That’s why when you are shopping for new windows, you should work with a company that can offer you a wide variety of options. Some providers may only offer a few choices. Make sure to work with a company who can show you many kinds of replacement windows.

Here are some of the choices you should be able to make:

  • What frame material would you like? Wood, vinyl, fiberglass or composite?
  • What style do you want? Bay windows, sliding windows, casements, picture windows … the list of possibilities continues.
  • What brand do you prefer? How about Andersen, Lindsay, Weather Shield, or Infinity from Marvin?
  • What features do you choose? Double pane, triple pane, low-E coatings?

For your family, it may be especially important that windows are low maintenance, strong or energy efficient. The right company will help you find just the options you are seeking.

At MEI, we believe in the Power of Choice. We offer high-quality brands and a wide range of styles. Whether you want wood windows to suit a historic home, efficient windows to conserve energy, or a beautiful picture window to gaze through, we can help you. We’ll listen to your needs and walk you through your options. When you work with us, you’ll feel confident you have the information – and the choices – you need to find just the right windows for your home. Come see us in Osseo to learn more about your options.

Four reasons to get hail damage repair now

Summer is turning to fall: Leaves are changing color on the trees, and you’re probably settling in to your autumn lifestyle. It seems like Minnesota’s June hailstorm happened a long time ago. But before you close the door on summer, it’s smart to make sure summer storm damage is found and repaired. Here are four reasons to take care of hail damage repair soon.

1. If left alone, storm damage could get worse. If your shingles have been compromised, water could find its way into your home and cause significant issues.
2. Hailstorm damage may not be clear without a closer look. Sometimes it takes experience and training to notice a storm’s impact on a home. The signs of storm damage may take a professional to find.
3. Fall can be a smart time for repairs. If you have cracks in your home siding, it’s wise to get the issue fixed before winter arrives. For example, you want to make sure your siding is still energy efficient.
4. There may be a time limit for filing an insurance claim. If a hailstorm has damaged your home, you may have a deadline to file a claim. It’s a good idea to check your policy and find out what time limits may apply.

If you’re not sure if your home has storm damage, ask a trustworthy contractor to inspect your home. Minnesota Exteriors provides free storm damage inspections. We’re a third-generation, family-owned company, and providing quality service to our community is important to us. We’ve earned an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website. We’ve worked with Minnesota families for 70 years, so we know what it takes to find and repair storm damage. When you invite us to your home, you can feel confident you’ll receive courteous, knowledgeable service.

Stop in and see us in Osseo or give us a call. We’ll be happy to assist you. You’ll feel peace of mind knowing your home has been professionally checked for storm damage.

The first question to consider when you need new home siding

When you decide to purchase new home siding, you’ll have many choices to make. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is, what siding material is right for you? Here is an overview of four of the options – and some of the brands you may see.

  • Fiber cement. James Hardie fiber cement is designed to stay strong against moisture. It also helps protect against fire. The company has created fiber cement products to suit different climates – including the frozen weather Minnesotans know so well.
  • Engineered wood. Engineered wood is easy for installers to deal with. Further, it holds up against impact from small objects, and it can handle strong winds and rains. LP SmartSide engineered wood siding is designed to take on difficult weather.
  • Vinyl siding. Vinyl is a popular – and low-maintenance – option for home siding. ProVia offers several lines of vinyl siding, to suit different needs. HeartTech by ProVia comes in a wide range of colors that stay beautiful for years. CedarMAX insulated vinyl siding gives you further energy efficiency and resistance to impact.
  • Steel siding. Steel siding is long-lasting and easy to care for. And did you know you can buy steel siding with a wood-like texture? Rollex and EDCO are two quality brands of steel siding.

As you think about your siding options, you can decide what qualities are most important to you: durability, initial cost, appearance, or need for maintenance. To make the decision easier, come and visit us at Minnesota Exteriors. We’ll welcome you to our showroom and talk with you about your interests. You can view many of your siding options in person. You’ll learn more about your choices in a friendly environment. A third-generation, family-owned company, our priority is for you to be happy with whichever type of siding you choose. Stop by and tell us about your home.

What kinds of windows will you be glad to have this winter?

In fall and winter, it’s so nice to be able to gaze outside from a warm, cozy home. The materials and features you choose in home windows can have an impact on energy efficiency. So when you’re shopping for windows, what should you look for? Here are some window materials and features that can help your home be energy efficient this winter – and next summer.

Energy-efficient frame materials
If helping your home conserve energy is a focus for you, here are some window frame materials to look for:

  • Fiberglass. In addition to being smart about energy, fiberglass frames are low maintenance. They’re also strong.
  • Vinyl. Vinyl window frames are cost-effective and easy to take care of, in addition to helping you use energy wisely.
  • Wood. Wood window frames take some maintenance, but they are beautiful to look at and a sound choice for energy efficiency.

Features to seek
In addition to choosing a frame material, you can also look for certain window features that help you with energy conservation. Here are some features that can help keep extreme temperatures outside:

  • Low-E (low emissivity) coatings
  • Double or triple panes
  • Argon gas between panes

Windows with ENERGY STAR® certification can also help you feel confident you’re making an energy-efficient choice. And, it’s smart to choose a quality brand. Andersen, Lindsay, Weather Shield and Infinity from Marvin offer great options.

Minnesota Exteriors offers a variety of window brands and styles – and the experience to help you find what you’re seeking. We understand how important it is to conserve energy. Come visit us at our Osseo showroom, or give us a call. We’ve served Minnesota families for 70 years, and we’ve earned an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website. Tell us about your home and interests. Let’s talk about how we can help keep your home beautiful and comfortable, season after season.

To take care of your roof, there’s something else you need to look at

Keeping a strong, safe roof over your head is one of life’s most basic needs. You need it to protect you from the elements (which, in Minnesota, are always changing). To take good care of your roof, you need to take care of something less noticeable, too: your gutters. Here are some ways to be smart about your gutter system … and in doing so, help keep your home in good health.

  • Keep those gutters clear. Gutters are a part of your home that usually don’t attract much attention. They may not be as attractive as a windowpane or as eye-catching as brightly colored siding. Yet gutters can have a significant effect on your home. If gutters are full of leaves and other debris, water is forced to find a new destination. Water stranded on your roof could cause rot. Overflowing gutter water can also find its way into your basement, or stay in your gutters and freeze. So it’s important to keep gutters running smoothly. If climbing on a ladder to scoop out gutters doesn’t sound like a good afternoon, call in a professional. It’s worth it to keep your gutters functioning effectively.
  • Make sure your gutter system is properly designed. If gutters aren’t working well even when clean, it could be a question of design or installation. Minnesota Exteriors is a great resource for making sure your gutter system is well-planned. Our technicians take into account several factors, such as roof area and the roof line. We’ve served Minnesotans for 70 years. We want to help you keep your roof and gutters in good repair, season after season.

To take good care of your roof, there are other smart steps to take, too. Keep tree branches away. Remove leaves that have landed on your rooftop. Inspect your roof on a regular basis.

Minnesota Exteriors can help you take care of your roofing. We can also design and install your gutter system. Further, we offer free storm damage inspections. If you need roof work, we can provide skilled crews and quality products. And, we offer a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty. If you have questions about your roof or gutters, give us a call. We’ll help you keep your home in good repair.