Bloomington, the perfect place to bloom!

luxury custom home build by xpand inc

Last week we talked about Prior Lake Minnesota and the opportunities that are present for those looking to settle down for a bit there. This week however, we would like to bring Bloomington into the spotlight!

A popular and well respected developed city, Bloomington boasts more than 85,000 residents and 90,000 jobs! This well constructed city is located in Hennepin county and connects with major roads like interstate 494 North and Highway 169!

Due to the cities major industry in retail and entertainment, hotel and restaurant, health maintenance and computer manufacturing, there is a wide variety of jobs to choose from and advance your career path!

Bloomingon is a council-manager form of government that leads the city on a daily basis towards a brighter tomorrow for all it’s residents and entrepreneurs!  The city has more than 500 full-time staff dedicated to the happiness of all who interact with the city, and make it their daily goals to find ways of improving those lives! Bloomington maintains a triple A bond rating from three rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch.

Aside from the aforementioned details, what else does Bloomington have to offer for those considering laying roots down here?  A LOT! Be it for a family or someone dedicated to spreading their work and professional business, there is boundless opportunity here!

  • On the education side, Bloomington features 11 educational institutions for K-12 and six college level institutions.
  • An employment market that has been steadily rising since 2009.
  • The widely known Mall of America, one of Minnesota’s largest tourist and local attractions.
  • Local government services such as Fire protection, Police protection, Bloomington Public Health division, City and Regional parks and playgrounds, Dwan Golf Club, Hyland Greens Gold and Learning Center, Ice Arena, Human Services, Cable television programming.
  • One of the largest volunteer fire departments in the country.
  • State-of-the-art Police dispatch center for the highest security available.
  •  Over 100 parks and playgrounds for increased community relationships and activities for the family.
  • A well developed public library for all the book lovers who need a new story to get lost in.
  • Immense opportunity for business development and property development.
  • Lakes, ponds and beaches for those beautiful days when you just can’t be stuck working inside.

The truth is, there is so much to offer in Bloomington that the list could go on for days.

If your looking for a new place to build your home with the help of our Xcellent staff at Xpand, Bloomington would be a great choice!

Give us a call today and let’s discuss the location your thinking about and the endless possibilities your home can have to take full advantage of the location!

 

What Is Involved In Building a Home

Back right side view of the house

Our last article talked about Prior Lake and it’s great possibilities involved with living near the town. Today we thought it would be good to give a comprehensive look at what it takes to build a home!

Building a home is one of the most exciting processes you could imagine. The chance to make an environment that suits you perfectly, and be able to say you made it. Along with building your home, you get to choose the location, adding another layer of freedom and personalization!

So let’s break down the basis of this process so you can get a rough idea of how this all works!

  • Pick a plot and have a design made up for the home
  • Prepare the site and pour the foundation of your home! This will entail the construction crew leveling the site and begin laying out the houses foundation details with markers.
  • Rough framing process begins. The basic skeleton of the home is formed  (walls, roof, floors).
  • Install a rough version of the plumbing, electrical and HVAC. This entails things like pipes and wires, sewer lines and vents, water supply lines, bathtubs and showers, duct-work and HVAC system.
  •  Installation of the insulation! The key to a perfect temperature in a home comes in a variety of materials. Fiberglass, cellulose, foam mineral wool, concrete blocks, spray foam and foam board and rigid foam.
  • Next up is when the drywall is installed along with the brick and stucco, stone and siding.
  • Now that the base aspects of the house are built, you get to start designing  the interior with things like trim, baseboards, casings, window sills, molding, stair balusters and even cabinets and fireplaces! At this point, you get to start defining the characteristics of your interior. Something we offer at Xpand inc. is the option of custom work, for example custom cabinetry! We can help you Xpand beyond the normal confines of interior structures and really elaborate the uniqueness of your home!
  • Moving forward, now is the time to install hard surface flooring and counter tops. This means you will want to know the material your going to use for the counters. A strong material that is a wide favorite would be something like quartz and granite, but we will be able to go through the other types of material with you to ensure you have a nice range of options that match you and your dream home!
  • Moving forward in the process towards your dream home, we have the installation of light fixtures, outlets and switches along with the necessary electrical panels. Lights can really define an atmosphere and give a great sense of wonder, so be sure to consider the manner in which they are presented and what they will be emphasizing!
  • At the same time as the fixtures, it will be the time to install sinks toilets and faucets, the components that can help define a bathrooms style!
  • Final clean up is near! Your home is almost at its final stage! It may seem like it came fast while reading this, but the actual process takes around 12 weeks to do, and your anticipation during that time will cause the days to move slowly! At this stage of the building process, mirrors, shower doors and carpeting are all installed and finely cleaned. At the same time the greenery around the home is planted and the exterior landscaping is completed to compliment your home.
  • The final, but most exciting step is the walk-through of your finished home.  This will be the realization of your dream home. At this step you want to pay close attention to aspects that the builders need to fix. We at Xpand will explain the the needs of your home in terms of maintenance and responsibility, as well as warranty coverage and procedures. Be sure to take notes and ask questions!

That’s it. You now have the home of your dreams! Or, you would if you went through this process, but that’s also an exciting factor, you still get to go through these steps and create a masterpiece that signifies you and your family, your home will break the cookie cutter mold and stand out from the rest!

Give us a call today and lets start the process of your dream home! We will Xpand your dreams into reality with Xcellent service! 

 

Building a Home in Prior Lake

Let’s say your looking to build a home, but not just any home, a home in a town that is still young and rapidly expanding. Prior Lake is that town!

Prior Lake is a developing suburb that inhibits a small-town atmosphere. With the population steadily growing, now is a great time to set some roots down and become part of this wonderful community! There are many community and family friendly amenities in the town as well that will prove to be an enjoyable bonus to your homes location.

Amenities like an overwhelming 55 parks for fun outdoor activities, as well as over 100 miles of nature filled trails and sidewalks, along with 14 different lakes that allow for some water adventures! These locations will offer a wide variety of options and activities for everyone in the family!

As for building your own home, you can have a variety of plot options thanks to the lakes and parks that are sprawled across the town. If you are thinking of having a nice lake view to wake up to, the options are certainly there and chances are it will be conveniently next to a park! As for the school system in Prior Lake, District 719 serves the town and boasts six elementary schools and one early childhood center which includes Spanish immersion kindergarten, a school for gifted learners in grades 3-5, two middle schools for grades 6-8, an Alternative Learning Program for students in grades 7-8, an Area Learning Center for students in 9-12 and one high school that serves grades 9-12. Among these also stand plenty of private schooling options.

As for the job opportunities, Prior Lake has one of the largest employers in the county, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC). Job opportunities include, but are not limited to restaurants, Playworks, Dakota! Fitness, Dakota! Ice Center, two casinos and a hotel. These among the other growing businesses and opportunities, make Prior Lake a hot bed for job and career potential!

Since Prior Lake is a still growing town, that means there is still plenty of land available for those who want it. This means a home with excess acres of land is plausible, giving potential to farmland or private business’! There is also an ever growing transit access to Prior Lake, bringing a higher demand for commercial and industrial development.

Building a home can be a daunting task due to all the decisions that need to be made in the process, however knowing where you want to build your home is one giant step in the right direction. When it comes to the other aspects of home building, like material, format and things of that sort, we can guide you in the process, helping to progress your homes development, while also alleviating a large amount of the stress involved!

Homes of Xcellence is the ‘new construction’ branch of Xpand Inc. that can make your dream home come to a flourishing existence in Prior Lake,  a potential dream town!  Give us a call today and let’s discuss the plot options available for you in Prior Lake that will best support your dreams of the future! Xpand your horizons with Xcellent service and craftsmanship!

 

Looking for some home work in Shakopee? Look no further!

We at Xpand Inc and Homes of Excellence offer a wide variety of home services that will fit your home building or renovation needs!

Today we thought it would be good to give some insight into what those services are in a broad manner, so you know exactly where you fall and how we can be of service!

We have six main categories for services:

Custom Homes

First and foremost is our most prominent service, the construction of homes! When working with clients, we go through all the materials and steps with you, to assess what would be the best route to achieving your homes refined individuality.

When building homes we always keep in mind visual cohesiveness and functionality to really optimize your homes effectiveness in all manners. Due to our close work with each client, we limit the amount of subcontracts we take on at a time to keep the focus on the current projects and really ensure its results.

Kitchens & Baths

Kitchens are a central figure in a home, and we are aware of that when dealing with the space. We want to make certain that the style and layout of your kitchen is a place of communal growth an joy. We can achieve almost any style under the sun, from modern and sleek to classic and clean!

When it comes to bathrooms, people often try to really downplay the atmosphere and tuck it away in the corner. Bathrooms can be great places of aesthetic achievement, and we think it is important to take that opportunity! Getting home from work and wanting to soak away the trials of the day is much more enjoyable in an atmosphere that has great dynamic lighting and a soothing aura. We can achieve such an atmosphere in a variety of ways that will surely be to your liking!

Garages and Outbuildings 

A garage can be more than just a storage space for your vehicle. The garage is a space that holds dynamic possibilities and can become an essential part of the home. From tool-shop to workshop, we can help get it going in the right direction!

Outbuildings are something that are not often on the mind, but hold great additions to a homes property! All that seasonal equipment can’t fit in your workshop/garage, so lets build a new location for it that will add convenience to your home life!

Decks and Porches

On the note of seasonal, we also think it’s important to mention decks and porches! Many may not know, but Xpand started out by specializing in decks and porches. This means that since evolving our company, we have achieved something of a master level when it comes to these outdoor platforms! Due to our upbringing we have made it our goal to ensure our decks and porches are the very best around!

Lower Level Finishes 

Basements and lower levels are spaces that can sometimes go unused due to it’s lacking character and elements. We can change that. Using both a practical and professional mindset we can offer you suggestions that would best fit your home and offer some great new possibilities for social and family events!

Remodels & Additions

Being experts in home building entails many possibilities, but one of the main aspects is revitalization. When homes need to be remodeled and brought up to code and standards, we can do it. In the process of achieving the necessary requirements, we will instill a new breath of life and modern class into the location! We know just what to look for when it comes to unexpected issues that have built up over time, ensuring the safety of all who interact with this building!

We hope this has been an informative article to excite you about the possibilities our services provide! Give us a call or send an email with any questions and let’s start making those dream homes a reality!

YOUR DREAM IS OUR MISSION

back side view of house

That headline isn’t just to get your attention, it is to inform you of the reality of our services. We at Xpand inc, with our friends at Homes of Xcellence are based in Shakopee, Minnesota and are dedicated to achieving that which you dream of. We believe your dream home should not stay in the mind, but be actualized in reality, and cherished in life.

The services we offer correspond to the mission of customer satisfaction. Be it from building your new home from scratch on a plot of land you deem perfect to live on, or the renovation of a home in which you already cherish, your dreams are the starting point and we give you the hammer to break past the barriers.

When it comes to our custom homes, we become your guides in the emotional process and provide you with the necessary knowledge and tools. The homes we build capture your personality and become something that is surely one of a kind. We help in the design conception phase, and nail out those gritty details that can sometimes become overlooked in the excitement of the process. Details like vendors, granite and flooring, carpet and appliances. We give you the knowledge to make the decisions that your happiest with.

When it comes to our crews, we take the term ‘professional’ and escalate it to a whole new level. Our craftsman are masters at what they do and we an we trust them because of our past experiences with them, and their work ethic being well above the standards.  We only dedicate ourselves to a few jobs at one time to ensure those we work with have our full efforts and there isn’t any question about our dedication to the project. Accountability is something we pride ourselves in!

We at Xpand inc and Homes of Xcellence are dedicated to you and the realization of your dream home. No short cuts, no questionable work ethic, no cookie-cutter homes and no generic results.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s build something great together!

What your driveway has in store for you come spring!

Still on the spring shtick, hoping it will arrive sooner rather than later. Spring is a beautiful time of the year! However spring can also be a bearer of bad news, due to the unfortunate effects of temperature change.

Underneath the banks of snow is the thing we used to call a driveway, made of either concrete or asphalt. These materials are affected by weather and depending on the damage, could become a serious problem for you and your vehicle!

So let’s say the snow is gone and the sun is shining, what should you inspect your driveway for and how should you treat it?

Concrete driveways

Concrete is a great looking driveway material, and has a low maintenance requirement. However, concrete is an expensive material as well, meaning if a problem occurs and is let go for a period of time, the endeavor of fixing it will grow in cost.

Cracked and crumbling concrete is no good. Water from the melting snow, or rain even can both seep below your driveway causing the ground to shift, which can lead the stress on the material and the aforementioned results.  Due to living in a climate that often drops below freezing point, this means we our more susceptible to the damage. If you see any pooling of water on the surface of your driveway, and that is left, there is a good chance of cracks occurring at that point as well.

When the weather is permitting, inspect your driveway carefully for cracks, holes or crumbling.  Be sure to check the expansion joints of your driveway as well, for this is often a location people miss and regret later on!

If your unsure of the situation of your driveway, call a professional! Generally, getting someone to just look at your driveway is free, along with the advice that follows!

If you happen across cracks, use some driveway sealing material like caulk. If you have parts of your concrete driveway that dips in, you can fix that as well with concrete re-surfacer! It is recommended to re-seal your driveway every 3 to 5 years to ensure its life span, as well as keep away damaging growths such as moss and lichen!

Asphalt

Asphalt driveways give a great smooth texture that makes your feel like your driving on a cloud. Asphalt is also durable, however, it does require regular maintenance and a watchful eye. If your asphalt develops a little crack and is let to sit, the whole driveway can fall apart after a while.

Just like concrete, asphalt is susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures and moisture. Weed encroachment, potholes, as well as cracks are a possible result. Just like concrete, make sure there are no dips in the surface that would allow water to pool. This will also result in cracks and problems!

The remedies for these issues are basically the same as concrete driveways. Fill any potholes and patch any cracks, while also filling in any dips in the surface! If you happen across weeds rising along the edges of your driveway, be sure to pull them and clean up the area with and edging tool or hoe. If there is a really invasive weed problem, consider installing rubber mulch edging around your driveway with a weed proof mat underneath. Asphalt is recommended to be re-sealed every one to three years, while also being aware of any moss and lichen to prevent them from entering between the seal-coating.

We are all excited for this gray sky to fade in wake of the shining sun, however we cant be dazzled by the light and forget to check our driveways condition!

If you have some need for a new driveway or questions, feel free to give us a call! We at Xpand are dedicated to achieving your dream home! Cracks free!

 

Garage maintenance in the winter

With the cold of the wind and the frozen falling sculptures comes salted roads and slush in abundance. Often during the winter through the slipping and sliding we track the slush indoors, and the location that receives the worst treatment is the garage. So for this little snippet, we are going to give some tips for protecting your garage from the harsh season and prolong its life!

Initial inspection

  • Before anything else, we need to return the garage to it’s former clean, salt free glory. This will require some manual labor, but it will be well worth it in the end.
  • Sweep, mop and scrub the problem areas of the garage floor to ensure there are no salt stained locations that will cause problems for the health of your concrete flooring in the spring.

Protection from the weather

  • Once the floor is clean and returned to the point of acceptance, it’s time to anticipate and prevent the further damage. Inspect your garage and make any repairs now that may be needed involving the concrete. This may involves cracks, gaps, or chips.
  • Once the floor is whole again we need to implement defenses from further snow, slush and salt encounters. We can achieve this protection from a simple garage car mat which can contain the mess that is drudged in from the cold world outside.
  • Garage mats are easy to clean and store when the need for them is no more, and this will ensure the start of the next winter season is already accounted for, because this mat is easily reusable through the years!
  • If your concern is bigger than just the car and what it brings in, and you need more protection for a wider areas of the garage, consider different mats. There are mats that can be tailored to your garages dimensions  and cover a much larger surface area, preventing the concrete floor from interacting with the winter at all!
  • Finally, there is a sealant option  to really ensure the protection of your garage flooring. Siliconate penetrating sealer is applied with a acrylic sealer and simple to use. The result of this sealant is a glossy finish that will enhance the clean and orderly look of the garage!
  • The sealant is a strong physical barrier that will prevent things like salt and deicing from running through your garage floor and causing larger concrete issues for the spring.!

That’s all we have for today! If you have any questions or concerns about your home please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We at Xpand are here for the family and you! 

How to add to the remodel and really push your home’s character!

Remodels are the best way to reinvigorate and rejuvenate your home and it’s character. You can re-envision what your home will be like for your family and guests alike, and through doing this, will take the life experience and knowledge you have gained and naturally apply it to your home. Just as we evolve on a daily, so to should your home evolve with you!

When we chose to have our home remodeled, we have our attention set on aspects that we most look forward to and can sometimes be passive in our decisions of other areas in the home. So for this little article we will bring focus to the overlooked areas of our home!

Balusters – Generally when we have balusters in the home, they are the  cheap kind, and it tends to show. These balusters can often ruin the energy of a room when they don’t match the atmosphere given off by the rest of the home. Consider changing the basic wood balusters to a higher end material that will work with your newly remodeled home, for example fine wood, welded steel or forged iron.

Front door – This should be obvious, but the front door gets a lot of attention, it is the place that separates the inside from the out, and in saying that, is the separation of atmospheres. The front door should be exalted. This entry way should be a large focal point for anyone passing the home and looking out the car window. The front door should also inform those about to walk through it, the theme or style they will encounter. The front door is just as important as what is inside the home!

Outdoor ceiling enhancements- Most who do not have one already, at some point add a porch or patio to their home. While in the process of doing this, the focus is generally on the flooring and furniture, while the ceiling is generally disregarded or put on the back burner. A strong atmospheric alteration to the room would be to enhance the ceiling of the porch or patio to enclose the room more, and solidify its presence. Cladding the ceiling with something like beadboard or V-groove wood plank would accomplish such a feat, then just add a little paint to cooperate with the rest of the home and you are golden!

That’s all for this article! Don’t you worry, there will be more in the future to help you achieve those ideal dream homes! In the mean time consider the above information for your home and future remodel, and then give us a call! Have a great week!

 

Garage workshop renovation ideas!

During the winter seasons, it is easier to get into hobbies that are at, or near the home. For some, this may be difficult based on the hobby or profession, due to the need for specific machines/tools. For example, if your a hobby ceramics artist, or even a full time ceramics artist, and looking to move your workshop out of a rented space and into the home, we have a solution for you! The garage!

The garage has so many possibilities to become a workshop, be it a mechanic shop or something else, there is always a way to alter your garage for what you need! Since the garage is generally an open space already, it’s easier to convert from one function to another.

What to consider for garage renovations

Renovation Format

Renovate your garage to add a second floor dedicated to your workshop! You can add onto your garage and incorporate some form of loft style that can allow for interaction with the garage floor while dwelling on the loft working away perfecting your craft! This format would also prevent the issue of car placement, by not displacing your vehicles to fit the necessary equipment of your trade. Another option is to have a new car garage built on the property to the perfect dimensions to fit the family vehicles so that you may convert the ground floor of the home attached garage, into your new workshop.

Necessities 

When converting your garage into a workshop you must take into consideration the needs of your new work space. Consider a layout that that will minimize health hazards and ensure safety as a priority. An example  for a ceramics workshop would be to ensure you have a ventilation system applied to the garage so that you may dispose of the hazardous materials floating in the air. It is also important to make sure there is a clear fire escape route that has minimal chance to be hindered in case of a fire. Safety precautions and protocol should be considered before any renovations or additions are acted upon.

Convenience

Moving your workshop to your home garage area will be a huge convenience especially during the seasons that might prevent you from leaving your home. Having the workshop at home will allow a more precise execution of time management, helping your days become more efficient in all manners. Altering your garage into a workshop also allows for change! The issues you had at your out of home workshop can be addressed in the process of developing your in-home workshop! A workshop at home will also mean there is no longer the possibility for community sharing issues, unless you choose to hold workshops in your new space. This alone is a great bonus because it means you will know where everything is at all times and things won’t fall apart mysteriously when your gone.

The pros of an in-home workshop easily outweigh the pros of a community or rented work space. Converting your home garage into a workshop will no doubt increase productivity and efficiency for most all forms of trades/hobbies.

Be sure to give us a call today and let’s talk about those garage renovation ideas and additions, to ensure a high quality job that will be more than sufficient for your workshop needs! 

 

Andy’s Corner October 2017!

Andy has a new project well underway!

Built a new addition above the existing garage which includes

  • A sport court with vaulted ceilings
  • An exercise room
  • A sitting room
  • A new master closet.
  • Re-purpose the existing master closet to be part of the master bathroom which will house a new tub and cabinetry.
  • Also, a new brick facing on the front of the house and garage to replace the existing brick.
  • The entire roof on the house and addition will be replaced with GAF shingles.
  • The entire exterior of the house will be painted.

This is the progress of the “Sport Court”!

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Andy has made some great progress with this project and we cant wait to show you his results once he is finished!

Have some exciting ideas for Andy and his crew? Give us a call today and we can work it all out!