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! 

 

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!

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!

 

Out with the old, in with the new!

Our homes age, just as fast as we do, however in their sense, the functionality and visual appeal begin to fade. This is when we often start to consider renovations of the home, to update and reinvigorate the home. We want to walk into a place that feels current and welcoming again, so lets get to that place.

Decades ago

When it comes to renovations we sometimes consider new rooms or stress over the decision of altering a rooms function. We don’t need to alter the primary function of the room, we just need to upgrade it!

  • Kitchen- Quit possible the center of the home and main social environment. When upgrading this room a coat of paint can go a long way. Identify the parts of the kitchen that need to be gutted for it’s lacking functionality or irreparable surface. Re-surface the cabinets and backsplash to something more modern and in the times, this will prevent the feeling of time warp when you walk into the home, and even bring an atmosphere of luxury into the air.
  • Bathroom-  You don’t need to relocate plumbing lines and change the entire layout of a bathroom to bring it into the 21st century. Consider the alteration of the surfaces available. Changing a few separate counter spaces into one whole surface space could really change the way the room feels. If your still feeling a bit boxed in, why not consider removing cabinet doors and just keep the drawers as the only move-able parts in the counter. This will help add a minimalized  energy to the space, which in turn will make the room feel less cluttered.
  • Fireplaces- We all know that home that is till rocking the cabin-esque stonewall fireplace. This isn’t a bad thing, but there are other options, if you want them. If your looking to replace your fireplace why not think about a modern twist on an old fashioned fireplace? A strong contender for such a thing would be wood-stove fireplace. The wood-stove fireplaces you find now are modernized in their functions and performance but still keep the timeless charm. If you want to add a little nifty section to the wood-stove, why not add a stashing area underneath it to hold some cut logs? This will keep the logs nice and dry and ready for those cold winter nights!

That’s all we have for today! We hope there are some thought provoking ideas that have struck a cord for you! Give us a call when you have those ideas conceptualized and let us help you build that dream home together!

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! 

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

How to match your wood flooring!

The last couple articles we posted involved some aspect of the flooring and wood as one of the options. As beautiful as wood flooring can be, sometimes we run into issues matching that flooring with its surroundings, and maybe even the other types of flooring we have in the home.

This article, we will try to help with some tips on matching your wood flooring in your home, to have a seamless and beautiful result! Things to consider during the process would be bullnose trim, stain pens and T-molding and all the variations!

Match Tones

Generally, homes don’t start out as mismatched, but overtimes it becomes an issue due to sun fading. Knowing this, we can actually use it to our advantage and minimize this as an issue and turn it into a strength. When choosing your laminate or engineered flooring, match the faded tones of your already existing flooring, so that when sun fading does occur the variation will look intentional and still cohesive. Once the rest of the room is put together, the variation in tone of the flooring will look like a beautiful mosaic!

Staining

When your expanding your flooring and need to think about staining, don’t stress trying to stain and sand the preexisting and new flooring. Instead of adding to your work, talk to a contractor and get help in altering the color of the stain to match the value of the already installed wood flooring. These custom mixed stains can really save time and effort, as well as help blend the flooring in with itself.

Solving the transition dilemma

Often when using two types of wood flooring, there can be an issue at the meeting point. Often a disjointed feeling can accompany the meeting of two wood types and ruin the feeling of room transition. To solve this, use a T-mold! T-molds allow for a less abrupt transition between flooring types by laying a cover of the main wood type across the seam of the joining wood flooring’s. The rounded edges of the T-mold allow for a comfortable and logical transition of hallways to rooms.

Stain pen perfection

With wood flooring, it’s nearly impossible to escape the marks of hastened traffic. Knicks and scratches are rather obvious on wood flooring and can sometimes become overwhelming or an issue for selling. To solve this problem, we need naught but a pen! Stain pens are similar to paint pens in use. Shake the pen before use, and the press down on the area that needs treatment. Fill the problems with stain and then wipe away the excess with a damp cloth. If the resulting stain is too light, simply apply another coating with the pen until the desired value is achieved and the mark(s) are hidden well away from attention. Easy peasy!

That’s all we have for today’s wood flooring tips! Come back later for more tips and tricks and services! Remember to call and inquire about our services and how we may help you achieve your dream home! 

Some great flooring options for your dream home!

Often times when we visit as home we examine it’s differences from our own. There are an outstanding amount of variables involved in the contrast between homes, but sometimes there are things that can really stand out, much more than others. Generally the flooring of a home is that factor.

There are a multitude of flooring options available for a home, and we think it’s important to know the different kinds, to make an informed decision! Plus, who doesn’t like more options when your building your dream home?

So today we will be talking about 5 different kinds of flooring options! So let’s break out those nifty little bullet points!

Hardwood

  • Hardwood floor is nothing new, it is common to find in homes and some prefer it to carpet for it’s easier upkeep.
  • Hardwood floors have an elegant vibe to them. They can enhance the level of a room alone, but cooperatively with the rest of the room, you can really enhance the feeling of “charm” and “elegance”.
  • There are many varieties of wood types to choose from in this section of flooring alone. Some of the most renowned are red and white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, and hickory.

Bamboo

  • Most people don’t ever consider bamboo as a flooring option, and that alone is a grave mistake!
  • Bamboo is a form of grass, that is fast growing and ready in about 3-5 years. This allows it to be eco friendly and have a fast turnaround.
  • Bamboo is also fire resistant, further enhancing yours homes safety score! Who doesn’t like a safe home?
  • Lastly, bamboo is actually very strong, and through comparison purposes, bamboo is 27% harder than Northern red oak, and 13% harder than maple!

Engineered

  • Engineered wood looks similar to solid hardwood but has more unique aspects to it. For example engineered hard wood is composed of a core of hardwood, plywood or high-density fiberboard, and layered on it all is a hardwood veneer.
  • Three to seven layers of the material is taken and glued and compressed together under high pressure and heat to create sturdy flooring and a complete resistance to humidity.
  • The manner in which this type of flooring is made allows for engineered would to be place in parts of the home that regular wood would not be able to, for example high humidity place like the bathroom or basement!

Linoleum

  • Composed of material similar to linseed oil, cork. limestone, wood flour and tree resins. This material boasts a high durability with low maintenance.
  • Linoleum flooring also has a wide variety of patterns and colors to choose from, expanding its synergy potential with many different forms of homes.
  • Linoleum can also come in sheets, or if preferred, intricate cuts, to achieve a more unique flooring style.

Marmoleum

  • Marmoleum is an all natural renewable resource. This flooring is made from recycled material that can actually benefit the environment.
  • As opposed to linoleum, marmoleum is resistant to dust and dirt, ensuring those with allergies a comfortable experience in the home.
  • This flooring can be ordered in sheets or tiles, has an easy upkeep and is fantastic for high traffic locations!

We hope this insight into different flooring options was helpful! Why not go around your home and consider the different flooring options in different rooms and see what might feel best? Once you have a concrete concept of what you want done, be sure to give us a call and we can work with you to achieve the home of your dreams!

Kitchen tips for an open and airy feel!

The kitchen is often our pride and joy in the home. It’s a place of community, where the family or friends alike can gather and socialize while also partaking in some cooking or munching. The kitchen is often a place people think of when the words “open” and ” clean” come to mind.

If your looking for a way to re-connect with your kitchen and alter its atmosphere so it may once again become a place that is thought of in the above paragraph, then we have some tips for you!

Since we want “open” to be the primary concept in this instance, we should think of what open means. Open would mean outward, to be seen, not behind something. Open would also be associated with flow, a word often used when describing a room in a home and a persons experience with it. In order to accomplish such things, we need to recognize what in our kitchen clashes with the aforementioned concepts!

A kitchen is generally made up of entirely boxes. containers, cupboards and things of the like! We need to establish a means of dialing down the containment aspect! We don’t need to completely erase the cupboards and those things, but we can wean our way out of them!

Thinking of the cupboards themselves, there is an obvious an aesthetically appealing manner to accomplish a new found feeling of openness!

  • Remove the cupboards and replace them with shelves. By replacing the cupboards with shelves you will be able to see the entirety of what was in the cupboards, but at all times now. This will lessen the concept of control and concealment in the kitchen, drastically improving the free flow aspect.
  • When transferring to this form of kitchen style, you will want to consider the types of shelves you want. You can do standard shelving units that literally just hold things on top of them, or you can add some form of alteration. If you add some kind of safety bar that extends up the shelves, this will still give you a nice feeling of security for the dishes and things that are on the shelf.  The bars will also give a stronger visual design element that may appeal to you!
  • Something else to consider is the material of the shelves. Cohesion is always something to be thought of when altering the home. It’s important there is a balance in rooms, whether it be from color or material. For example if you have a wood dominant kitchen, it would be best to have wooden shelves. However if you have a mostly wooden kitchen with metal accents, then metal shelves wouldn’t be out of the question! It’s important to look at the surroundings and act accordingly!
  • Finally, how are the shelves held? Will the shelves be held up with some anchors on the bottom? or will they be attached to some form of decorative column on each end? This area gives way to unique opportunities that can affect the characteristic of the kitchen drastically.

That’s all for the kitchen tips today!

Why not go sit in the kitchen with a sketchbook and a cup of coffee and consider what your kitchen would look like without those bulky cupboards, and a refreshed feeling of flow and space! As always if you have any questions, feel free to call us and we would gladly work with you in developing a truly dream-like kitchen to match your dream home concept!