When you hear “insulation”, what comes to mind? A solid pink or white material in rectangular shapes? A product made of recycled newspaper? Traditional insulation has its advantages. But another type of insulation has also gained attention: spray foam insulation. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider spray foam insulation for your home.
Four advantages to know
Spray foam insulation is great at filling in gaps and reducing air leaks.
When spray foam insulation fills in gaps, this can also help lessen moisture (and therefore help curtail mold).
Cutting down on air leaks can also help cut down energy costs.
Such efficient insulation can also help reduce noise – especially if you choose open-cell spray foam insulation.
Two main kinds of spray foam insulation
Spray foam insulation can either be closed-cell or open-cell. With the closed-cell variety, cells are very close together. The closed-cell type also contains a gas to help it get bigger and insulate. Closed-cell spray foam insulation is stronger than open-cell. It can also help make walls or ceilings stronger. However, closed-cell generally costs more.
Open-cell spray foam insulation, on the other hand, has air and broken cells. It’s less dense. As we mentioned above, open-cell is a good choice if you would like to reduce noise. If you use open-cell spray foam insulation, you may need a deeper layer than if you use closed-cell.
Efficient insulation is so important for your home. It can help reduce heating bills in winter and air conditioning costs in the summer. It can even have further benefits, such as helping lessen noise. If you have any questions about what kind of insulation would be best for your unique situation, contact our team at Minnesota Exteriors. We’ll take the time to learn about your needs. We’ll help you evaluate the options, and we’ll guide you through the next steps. We’re a family-owned company that’s been serving Minnesota families for 70 years. Let us know how we can help.
Whether you’re choosing replacement windows or building a new home, a certain question is bound to come up: What are the best windows for your house? The answer depends on your unique needs. Here are some of your options for window styles. Which styles sound good to you?
Picture windows bring in sunlight and beauty, but cannot be opened. You will need to incorporate additional windows to help with ventilation throughout your home.
Bay and bow windows are great accent pieces to an exterior and interior wall. A bay window consists of three windows with varying widths that protrude from your home. They are commonly installed in living rooms, dining rooms, and master bedrooms to add dimension and bring in more sunlight. A bow window is like to a bay window but contains four or more windows joined at equal angles to generate a more uniform curve.
Sliding windows, also known as sliders or gliders, are windows that have sashes that allow the window to slide either direction. Both windows can be opened at the same time to allow for optimal ventilation in your home. One of the best features is, the windows lift out making it very easy to clean.
Single- and double hung windows are always a popular option with homeowners seeking new window installation. The single-hung windows allow you to move the bottom sash up or down while the top sash remains fixed. On double-hung windows, both sashes are operable. This also allows for easy cleaning.
Casement windows are attached to the frame on one side and can open out on the other. To open a casement window, you simply open the lever lock and rotate the handle. All casement windows open to a 90-degree angle, allowing fresh airflow throughout your home.
Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outwards. Awning windows are usually positioned horizontally allowing for excellent ventilation. Awning windows are great for privacy matters and since they are operated with a crank on the inside, it makes it nearly impossible for intruders to open from the outside.
As you decide which window style to choose, consider … what would be the most comfortable way to open a window in that location? And, what about cost or energy concerns? How will you clean the windows? Appearance is also a factor. Beautiful windows can add to a home’s curb appeal.
Home windows are a long-term investment. When going through the process in finding a window contractor for your home, make sure you do your diligence in finding a company that offers the best quality windows at a competitive price. Minnesota Exteriors gives you the power of choice, allowing you to choose from a wide variety of window styles. Tell us about your home and interests. Our experts will take the time to learn about your lifestyle and priorities. We’ll help you pick the right model for you.
Summer in Minnesota can bring blue skies, inviting lakes and sometimes, intense storms. These storms can leave their mark on your home. It’s smart to know ahead of time what storm damage may include, so you can be on the lookout. Here’s what can happen in a storm – and how to look for the right contractor if you do need storm damage repair.
Hail is one of the elements that could damage your home during a storm. Hail may impact the exterior of your home. It may also break windows or dent your home’s siding. Your roof could be impacted. Roofing shingles may lose granules, get holes or fall off … and roof damage could cause leaks.
A hail storm may cause issues that are not visible right away. Sometimes the layer under shingles has been harmed. So if hail has paid you a visit, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look at your home. Seasoned roofing experts may notice damage that’s behind the scenes.
Strong winds can do everything from join forces with a thunderstorm to move down or in a straight line. Wind can affect your roof. Wind may even remove siding or carry other objects. It can dislocate trees and branches.
Hopefully your area will have a peaceful summer. But if it turns out you need storm damage repair, look for a qualified local contractor. Ask how long they’ve worked in the area. Make sure they’re not a “storm chaser” who drove in from another location. Ask to see their contractor’s license, and find out if they’re insured.
Minnesota Exteriors has served Minnesota families for over 70 years. We provide a limited lifetime warranty on all workmanship in addition to the manufacturer’s warranties on materials. We carefully screen any potential contractors, including checking for their rating and complaint history on the Better Business Bureau’s website. An A+ rating, like the one we have, is the best possible rating. If you need storm repair, give us a call. We’ll provide quality service you can trust.
If your roof needs work, you want the repairs done before winter returns. Snow will fly again before you know it. But there are many roofing contractors out there – which one should you hire? Here is some insight into what roofing contractors do – and how to choose the right one.
Here are some of the tasks your roofer may need to do:
Examine roof damage
Decide the amount of supplies
Study and follow plans
Remove older tiles or shingles
Apply tar paper
Put in insulation
Nail or staple the replacement roofing
Trim or seal the new roofing
And, roofers may need to carry supplies up ladders and work on an inclined roof. It’s a tough job. Make sure your roofing contractor has the skills, sound work practices and integrity you need. You don’t want to have to deal with issues later. Here are some questions you can ask a roofing contractor, to help you decide if you should hire them:
1. Are you local? How long have you worked in the area – how long will you stay?
2. Do you have customer references I can contact?
3. What warranties will I receive?
4. May I see your proof of insurance?
5. May I see your contractor’s license?
A reputable roofing contractor should be glad to answer these questions and show you their credentials. They’ll understand why you need to conduct your due diligence. They’ll be pleased to show you they’re highly qualified.
When you work with Minnesota Exteriors, you can feel secure that you are working with a well-established, trusted roofing contractor. We perform quality work, and we’ve been helping Minnesotans with their homes since 1947. We can provide a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty on installations. You can even read customer references on our website. We’ll be here if you have any questions. Tell us how we can help.
New siding can give your home a facelift. It can also help prevent unwanted moisture from seeping into your home. But when is it time for new siding? Here’s how you can tell you need siding replacement – and some ideas for what to choose.
Signs you need new siding
Holes. If you see holes in your home siding, that’s a real eye-opener. These holes may be caused by insects. And holes can help water enter your house.
Bubbling and mold are signs that moisture may be getting through your siding. If your siding has bubbles or mildew, it’s time to take a closer look.
Cracks. If only a small siding section is cracked, you may just need a few panels. But if the issue is widespread, you may have to consider a larger siding replacement.
Warp. Warped siding could mean something unpleasant is going on under the surface – such as rot.
If you notice any of these issues in your siding, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional to explore your options. When you’re ready for new siding, here are some options to consider:
Engineered wood siding. LP SmartSide siding looks like natural wood. It’s durable, beautiful and can be painted to your liking.
Fiber cement siding. James Hardie fiber cement siding comes in many textures and styles – and it’s been carefully developed to handle tough weather.
Steel siding. Steel siding is strong and durable. It’s available in a variety of colors and with a wood grain pattern.
Vinyl siding. Looking for low-maintenance siding? Consider vinyl: It doesn’t need painting. ProVia makes several types of vinyl siding suitable for any budget. ProVia’s CedarMAX insulated vinyl siding is strong, lovely to look at, and energy efficient.
Replacing your siding can make your home more beautiful and well-protected. And there are so many appealing complementary options to choose from, including faux stone. To find out more, call Minnesota Exteriors. We’re a family-owned company, and we’ve been serving our neighbors since 1947. We carry quality brands like LP SmartSide, James Hardie, and ProVia. We’ll help you pick the option that’s right for you – and we’ll be here to stand behind our work.
It’s no secret that Minnesota has some pretty extreme weather at times. Effective insulation can keep your home more comfortable – and help keep your energy bills down, too. But what type of insulation should you get? Here is some information to help you choose the best insulation for your walls.
Cellulose: Cellulose insulation used to be made from other materials, but now it contains recycled newspapers. It is chemically treated to help make it less flammable. The chemicals that are used for the treatment can also help discourage mice. People who work with cellulose insulation should take safety precautions such as wearing goggles and a mask.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass insulation often comes in rectangular shapes called “batts”. You can also get fiberglass insulation in loose form. Fiberglass insulation creates little fire hazard. However, people who install, move or come into contact with fiberglass insulation need to take safety precautions. They should dress appropriately and wear goggles and a certain kind of respirator.
Spray foam: Spray foam insulation can help lessen noise. It is a very strong insulator and can also help reduce moisture. To apply spray foam insulation, an installer sprays a gun that releases two materials at once. When the materials meet, the foam is formed. Spray foam is great at getting into small areas. People who apply spray foam insulation should wear the right protective clothing, eye covering and respirator.
At Minnesota Exteriors, we want to help you keep your family comfortable. We’ll work with you to make your home more energy efficient. When you choose us, you know you’re working with a well-established, trusted company. We’ve helped families and builders put in installation for decades.
Wondering how much new installation would cost? Give us a call; we’ll provide a free estimate at your home. As a family-owned company, we want to help keep your family warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Maybe you’re building a new home or doing long-awaited remodeling. Or maybe you’re replacing older frames and sashes. Whatever the reason, when it’s time for new window installation, you have choices to make. One question is: What type of frame material should you choose? Here are some factors to keep in mind – and some materials it’s smart to know about.
Factors to consider
When you choose new window frames, some of the most important qualities to consider are:
Maintenance. Find out how easy it will be to clean and maintain your new windows.
Strength. Do frames have what it takes to keep your window panes in place?
Durability. How will frames hold up against Minnesota sun, snow and rain?
Energy efficiency. Will frames help keep summer heat – and winter cold – outside? When your air conditioner or furnace is working hard, will windows help keep the temperature comfortable inside?
Appearance. How well will your new windows blend in with the rest of your home? Do they increase your home’s curb appeal? Can they be painted if you want a color change in the future?
Value – and price. Consider long-term value – and what will fit in your budget right now.
As you keep these qualities in mind, here are some frame materials to evaluate:
Trends come and go, but wood frames are always beautiful.
Fiberglass frames may be more expensive than some other materials initially. However, they are low-maintenance and stand up well against extreme temperatures. Ultrex fiberglass windows by Infinity from Marvin replicate the appearance of wood with modern features, low maintenance and long-lasting performance.
If you’re looking for energy efficiency, you may want to consider vinyl windows. They are also low maintenance.
When you’re choosing window frames, you deserve to have many options. Minnesota Exteriors offers a huge selection of brands and materials. We’ll work with you to help you find the right fit for your home. Contact us today to learn more.
When storm damage strikes your home, your instinct may be to choose a repair contractor as quickly as possible. That’s understandable – you want repairs done fast so you can keep your family warm and dry. But make sure to ask potential contractors important questions before hiring them for hail damage repair. You want to make sure your contractor will be trustworthy and provide skilled work.
Here qualities to seek when choosing a contractor:
Established history in the area. Find out, how long has a company worked in your area? Do they have a well-developed relationship with your community, or did representatives drive in because a storm hit? Look for a contractor who is local.
Proof of insurance. Seeing proof of insurance will help you have peace of mind. A good contractor should be happy to provide this for you.
A valid contractor’s license. Asking to see a valid contractor’s license is smart due diligence, as well.
Warranties. Ask, is there a warranty on the contractor’s workmanship? And, what manufacturers’ warranties come with the products?
Customer references. Find out if your contractor has previous customers who are willing to speak with you about their work.
You deserve to work with a company you can trust. Your contractor should be only a phone call away if your home needs further attention. A repair company should be there to stand behind its work. When repairs are finished, you want to feel secure in the knowledge that they were done right.
Minnesota Exteriors has served Minnesota families for 70 years. We’re a trusted, established, family-owned company. It’s a matter of principle for us to provide quality repairs. We’ll carry out an inspection, talk with you about your options and provide a free, unconditional estimate at your home. We provide a limited lifetime warranty on all workmanship.
We understand how much storm damage can impact your family. We’ll work with you quickly and professionally to get your life back to normal. We’re glad to know you feel more safe and secure in your home.
Especially in Minnesota, good roofing is a necessity. Roof replacement can help keep you warm and dry, as well as add a distinctive touch to your home. But how do you know it’s really time for new roof installation? And which roofing option should you pick? Here is some information to help you decide.
Reasons to replace your roof
Here are a few reasons why your roof may need attention:
Storm damage. Minnesota definitely gets its share of severe weather. If hail, wind or other acts of nature have damaged your home, call a professional for an inspection. An expert should inspect your roof, chimney and gutters and recommend how to proceed.
Shingles are showing their age. If your shingles are cracked or curling, or if spots look worn away, it may be time for work to be done. Moss is also cause for attention.
Roof replacement options
If it’s time for new roofing, you have choices for what material to use. Here are some options to consider:
3-tab shingles. Uniform in size, 3-tab shingles are less expensive than architectural shingles.
Architectural shingles. When you use architectural shingles, they’ll have slightly varying widths. This variety produces a pleasant, original appearance. Architectural shingles are thicker and heavier than 3-tab shingles. They also often last longer.
Designer asphalt shingles. Designer shingles come in many shapes and colors. You can even find shingles that look like wood, clay or slate.
Cedar roofing is unmistakably beautiful. It’s also long-lived and a good insulator.
Roofing comes in a surprising variety of colors and shapes. Installing new roofing can increase the curb appeal of your home, and help you feel more secure. You’ll be able to enjoy your new roof for years to come.
At Minnesota Exteriors, you’ll find plentiful options for roof replacement. We’ll work with you to find the right solutions for your needs. We’re a family-owned company, and we’ve served Minnesota families for 70 years. Give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk with you about your options for roof replacement. And, of course, we’ll provide a free estimate.
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.
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.