Summer home projects

As the summer weather is kicking into full gear, it is the perfect time to check some things off your homes list to maintain it’s functionality.

The summer holds fun in the sun but also some intense heat and stormy temper tantrums. To prepare for these possible hazards, it’s important that we check the inner workings of our homes and ensure proper maintenance is conducted.

Below is a list of the important areas of your home that will affect your homes energy use, as well as determine your homes current condition and ability to withstand the weather in the future as well as safety.

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors– Check batteries and ensure they work, replace if they don’t.
  • Exterior home cleaning– Your home, just like all the others become susceptible to stains, moss,  and bacteria, which can lead to the shortening of your homes life span, not to mention damage it’s curb appeal.  While pressure washing can cause damage, an alternative option would be soft washing, which is a safe and eco-friendly, biodegradable option that will bring your curb appeal back in full force while increasing energy savings and extending the life of your home. (Always ask professionals before putting yourself in risky situations. If need be, hire the professionals to accomplish the necessary tasks.)
  • Clean and replace window screens– Windows and screens naturally get dirty with the constant wear and tear of weathering. However it is important to clean both to avoid the entrance of dirt and debris from outdoors, into your home. If you have dirty windows and screens, simply opening your window when there is a slight breeze will allow for dirt to be blown into your home at a constant rate, potentially causing health problems or allergy issues.
  • Air conditioner filter– Seeing as how the summer is generally hot, it’s no surprise the air conditioner is our favorite appliance this time of the year. Before running the appliance, check the air filter to make sure it is still in a clean condition that will not do more harm than good. These filters should be cleaned out every two weeks, especially when it is active for long periods of time. You can clean these filters by washing with warm water or using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Air conditioner fan– The air conditioner unit also has a fan that needs to be cleaned like the filters. To remove the fan, it is important to turn the unit off, remove the frame, and take out the fan motor. Clean and replace in the same manner as the filters.
  • Furnace filters– Furnaces also have filters that need to be cleaned, especially after long days of activity in the winter. The cleaning process is a simple wash, however if the filter has a cardboard frame, it needs to be replaced as it is not a permanent filter.
  • Hose inspection– Inspect the hose lines of your washer, dehumidifier, dishwasher, icemaker, toilets and refrigerator for any kind of leaks, cracking or wear and tear. These hoses will need replacing every 3-5 years.
  • Attic and Basement Inspection– At least once a year it is a good idea to inspect your attic and basement for any indication of pests, insects, water leakage, mold, mildew, and any peeking daylight when the lights are off. Any of the listed problems can result in serious repairs down the line if left long enough.

That’s all we have listed, but that’s never all. There is always something to check on and maintain in a home, but it’s important you do so in a manner that is most efficient with the time of year and potential weathering that will occur.

Until next time, have a safe and fun summer in the sun!

give us a call at Xpand Inc. if you have any needs for additions,  remodels or custom home building!

Phone: 952-292-6107

Backyard Dissonance

Formal Family Room View of backyard and lake

Tired of feeling so disconnected to your back yard? That disconnect between your home and the backyard can really set people uneasy, like a whole portion of their property is shifted to the side, only meant to be looked upon  and not immersed in.

The spring is coming and so are the opportunities to finally fix that backyard disconnect. Take the time this spring to come up with a pleasant home addition that takes advantage of that backyard space. Be it an all glass section added to the home, to help feel integrated into your backyard and nature, or a pathway that leads to a bar and seating area for relaxing.

Let’s spring forward with our homes design and appeal! We will break down some ideas for you to chew on and help you develop a stronger sense of what you do and don’t want!

Starting with and enclosed glass room:

  • A pentagonal shaped enclosed space featuring the most possible visual availability possible.
  • Windows taking the place of all walls and ceilings. Great for enjoying your surrounding environment, weather on a lake or in a backyard, while still keeping yourself in a regulated temperature room and away from those pesky mosquito’s!
  • An alternate use for this addition could be a green house! Naturally! Providing protection from outside critters, while still gaining the nutrients needed from the sun and the sky! Your plants will be in a well constructed environment and flourish before your eyes!
  • Add some form of pathway leading out further to your back yard. These can come in the form of bricks, rock slabs, gravel, you name it!
  • A nighttime paradise, exemplifying the spatial wonders of the stars in the sky! You can think of this room as a mini observatory during those cloudless nights that will provide you with a spectacle as-if on demand!

If your not feeling the whole glass room concept, lets break out of the box and think a little more about backyard additions that are more free winded!

  • Starting from a nice pathway leading from your back doors, let’s venture out to the bungalow you installed that features an assortment of social activities or relaxing options!
  • A bar with a couple of chic stools made from tree stumps or stone slabs! This can be a comfortable place to sit and chat with friends or family and lose the remainder of the day!
  • The covered ceiling of the bungalow allows for protection from direct sunlight while still allowing the fresh breeze to sift on through.
  • Maybe your more interested in something like an outdoor kitchen? Outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason! Being able to enjoy the fresh feeling of spring while cooking your favorite meal that doesn’t have to include BBQ is always a rewarding feeling!
  • Once your done cooking you can retreat a space that has some stereos installed and are accompanied by some outdoor/indoor furniture to relax and eat.

Be it an outdoor kitchen or glass room, the potential for your home to become more luxurious and enjoyable should not be passed by! Take advantage of the beautiful seasons lacking the frozen flakes of despair and find some consonance between your home and backyard desires!

Give us a call today at Xpand inc. and let’s start mapping out the necessary materials and planning to make your dream home become a reality! We work with you every step of the way and will provide the best possible satisfaction we can!

While your at it, check out our past articles on potential places for a new home! Bloomington and Prior Lake!

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!

Concrete floors? Let’s give it a shot

I know, we have been doing a lot of posts that involve the floor of your home lately, but to be fair, it’s only because there are so many great options! Concrete floors are no exception!

For this snippet, we will explain the aspects of concrete floors in a home that really give it an advantage over other flooring options! Most often we think of an organic material like wood or bamboo, but concrete has some seriously rocking advantages to them!

Let’s quit dilly dallying and get into the bullet points!

  • Variation in design- Concrete often brings forth the idea of grey, cold and industrial, however it doesn’t have to be that way. Concrete has some great options for visual alteration ranging from stains, colors and hardeners. How you integrate the color into the floor is a big part of the process as well. You can add the color during the mixing process to add a nice even spread across the concrete or produce a translucent finish with a unique design finish!
  • Texture- Not only does concrete have a wide range of color application but concrete can also be altered with surface texture for design or practical purposes! Some surface textures include troweled, smooth and polished, each of which can add a unique feeling to a room. There is also an option called stamped, which allows for the creation of patterns such as tile!
  • Type of concrete- Generally there are two types of concrete flooring options. Existing concrete which uses the concrete already in your home but enhances it for visual appeal and daily use. Decorative overlay, which is concrete on top of certain surfaces that are already installed, and can be used to either mask damage, or just give a new and fresh look to a room!

Concrete flooring has some strong innate functions that can benefit not only your home, but the world as well! That’s right, concrete flooring can be a eco-friendly option! The creation of concrete does not deplete natural resources, does not requires as much energy to create, and is poured locally! Concrete is a strong defense against mold, mildew and odors, which can improve or at last keep a healthy air quality. Concrete absorbs the temperature around it, which can help cut energy costs for heating and cooling, due to the minimizing need for continual production! Lastly concrete can be recycled, cut down and reprocessed!

That’s all for today’s rock solid dream home options! If you have any questions for comments don’t hesitate to call! We will work with you to achieve the home you and your family can call dreamy!

New home alert! Check out this beautiful new character looking for a family!

This new home is finished and for sale! We are excited to introduce this single level home!

This beautiful new home is a no-step home, which means the entire home is one floor! Don’t fret though, just because it’s one floor doesn’t mean it’s lacking!

 

Features:

  • 2 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 1,513 sq ft.
  • Fully landscaped
  • Sprinklers installed
  • Custom Cabinetry 
  • Marvin Integrity Windows
  • In-floor heating
  • Fireplace

This home is located in Savage, MN 

Full address:
8312 159th Street
Savage, MN 55378

All of this can be your’s for $399,900!

Below are some snapshots from inside this impressive home!

 

Give us a call today and inquire about a walk through to see this home for yourself! You could be calling this place YOUR home! A link to the listing is located here

Quick tips for kitchen islands!

In our last article we mentioned the kitchen being a place of centrality in the home during social events and the like. This little snippet will be somewhat of a follow up! This time however we are focusing on the kitchen island. The island is the physical location in the kitchen that draws attention the most as soon as you walk into the room, because of this, we want to make sure the island is drawing attention for the right reasons!

Most often when you get a home and there is already an island built into the kitchen, most people often dismiss the idea of altering the island for fear of cost or effort. Do not be afraid to enhance the island, to alter the island! Make this be the literal and conscious center of attention in the kitchen!

So what do we need to know? Well that’s a very subjective question but I will do my best to give an answer!

  • Yay or nay? Like mentioned above, the island will be the first thing you see walking into the kitchen, and this could be a good thing, or not so good thing. If your island draws attentions because of it’s size rather than its decorative element and charming qualities, you may want to reconsider it’s existence in your kitchen. Try to renovate the island to becoming less bulky and more fitting with the theme of the room so it doesn’t scream for attention when you walk in, but rather acts like a deer in the backyard, beautiful, elegant and drawing, with a quiet and calm poise.
  • Bottom cabinets or open faced shelves? Consider what your island will function as. Will this be the place you primarily prep your ingredients? Or will this be the the location that is solely for social purposes? Wine and dine? You name it! Understanding the purpose of the island before the renovation is vital to it’s outcome. The bottom cabinets will be strong defining aspects for that very reason. The cabinets can be stocked with cook books or bottles of red wine, you get to choose! How those items are presented will play a part as well. Consider a chicken wire front so that you can see whats in the cabinets at all times and enhance the character of the island!
  • Finally, the islands extension! More often than not, when kitchen islands come to mind, we think of a counter surface in the middle of the kitchen and that’s it. There is more ways an island can exist! Consider an island that has two columns going towards the ceiling and connecting to a crown mold, altering the island into a stand of sorts. You could name it the kitchen stall! All of the sudden there will be a sort of window that is used to interact between the surface of the island, giving a unique atmosphere to the kitchen as a whole, but the experience of the island as well!

That’s all my subjectivity will allow me to write! The rest will have to be a result from the theme of your own home and the desires of your dreams! Why not take a stroll through the kitchen right now and do some visual exercises! Just imagine the fun of a window stall island, and the great conversation starter it could be! Once you have developed some concept, why not give us a call and we can build it together!