Renovation & Purpose

Stairway to upper level
Often times when we are looking for things to change in our home we focus on the question “what” and “where” but not the question “why?”.

Renovations can be for more than aesthetic pleasure and a breath of fresh air in the form of changing your homes environment. Renovations can also solve those every day problems that can be tailored for your specific needs from your home. Everyone is different and has their own needs from the space they live in, and renovations can be the answer.

An example of renovation with a purpose driven force could be a redesign of a kitchen space to lower the counter space to table height, allowing for an easier time for your family or friends who may be primarily using wheelchairs as their movement vehicle. It is instances of this manner which could really help set your sights on the proper and necessary or desired renovation ideas to help with the flow and function of your home.

To help get the thought train moving, we have a few ideas that could be considered when it comes to altering the home for efficiency and convenience. After all, the home is for us to feel secure and a place where we should be able to thrive as well! Conductive to our day to day needs!
  • First off, the most important thing when it comes to any form of building is the materials. It should be a well known understanding by now that cheap materials will result in an equally cheap life span and effectiveness. You get what you pay for. Sad, but true. With everything you build, make sure the materials involved are up to the necessary standards and if you cannot afford to do it in that moment, wait until your ready rather than regret it down the line.
  • Small Bathrooms– Let’s say you have a bathroom that has been the same since you bought your home, however it is this cramped space that is so uncomfortable you avoid it at all costs? These are the precise parts of the home that need to be addressed! The locations you push out of your mind because you have already deemed them to not be able to serve your needs. For this bathroom in particular, look at the rooms around this bathroom and see the potential space you could add on by shifting some walls around and opening this space up into something you can be proud of when guests are over.
  • Lighting– It has been tested in multiple ways in the psychology field that lights have a direct impact on our physiological and psychological health. Taking into consideration the lighting of your home can change the colors, feeling and ambiance in a room as well as affect your mood and desire to be there. Test your wall colors with different kinds of lights and find results that get you the furthest away from anxiousness and closer to zen. The three main forms of lighting to consider are general lighting, task lighting, and drama or accent lighting.
  • Small Doorways– The in’s and out’s of rooms are important when it comes to safety and for more simple things like moving furniture in and out. If you have family needs that require quick action from time to time, be it related to health matters or something of the like, it is important that there are no obstacles in your way. Door ways are there to serve as separations of rooms and privacy, however if they are just in the way when you need to move from point A to B with medical equipment or something bulky, it would be a good idea at looking to expand these openings. Not to mention it is easier to move queen sized beds and couches through larger door ways!
  • Going Green- Alright, this one is purely for the purpose of staying ahead of the market and being conscious about the environment. People often forgo the idea of building green because they either don’t know how or think it will cost them more. When in actuality, learning how to go green in this process will result in a home with higher value due to the increasing demands of homes that are environmentally conscious, and can result in a stronger price demand down the road when your ready to change houses. Not only does this increase your value, but also will provide new knowledge on the world you live in and new aesthetic opportunities for your home! That’s a win-win!

Considering the impact of your renovation on the occupants in the home can lead to stronger conductive home lives and an increase in overall satisfaction of life. Aesthetics are achievable no matter the route you choose to take, especially with Xpand Inc. at your back! So go break down the pro’s and con’s of your rooms in the home and see if there are any outstanding areas that prevent you from achieving your full potential each day, and then draw up some ideas that we can work with you on to make your home serve you in a manner that is catered to you and your family!

Give us a call or send us an email and we can iron out the fine details that will result in a home you can be proud of!

 

Who needs spring cleaning when you can spring build!

Burnsville siding and deck project

The snowy weather is waning and the spring is pushing through! So naturally, with the news season comes some new questions! What to build? A home? An extra garage? A deck, maybe patio? We say all of the above!

Take advantage of the beautiful weather to come by preparing some outdoor locations like decks, patios, porches and maybe a backyard bar! We at Xpand are only limited by your imagination!

When it comes to decks and porches, we guarantee that we are the best option in Minnesota. A little over 10 years ago we started out as specializing in decks and porches, and continue today to prove why that is. Be it one or two levels, we will ensure a structure that is enjoyable in the allowing seasons for social gatherings and places for mental recuperation! Most builders just see decks or porches as a way to make a quick buck and do standard work, but not us. We think the decks and porches are an extension of the home and should be noticeable as such, staying just as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of the home.

To develop a great looking deck/porch it is good to think of the structures as another form of room like you do with the interior of the home.  Fabrics, lighting, accessories and even artwork are all part of the design process for outdoor locations!

Deck & Porch ideas

  • A canopy deck or porch to beat the heat this summer and still enjoy the visual beauty that spring brings!
  • Set the tone with an enclosed porch that has similar style as the rest of the home and the necessary items like a coat rack, shoe storage, and a key tray! Always be sure to use indoor/outdoor pieces in this area for weather resistance purposes!
  • Luxury in the outdoor. Take the opportunity to really go all out when it comes to the decks and porches. Emphasize on the outdoor aesthetic by introducing different kinds of greenery to your porch or deck area with unique forms of holders, like teacups for example!
  • Install a large white wooden wall structure that can hold a garden on it. Wall gardens are picking up in trend for a good reason, they are simply gorgeous and introduce a unique aesthetic to the atmosphere.
  • Drapery. Long windswept pieces of drapery across the top portion of the deck or porch structure can introduce a lightness to the air and become reminiscent of a savanna get away!
  • Introduce colors that really emphasize the surrounding greenery, like white, blue and yellow.

Like mentioned before, the only limitation is your imagination! Decks and porches can be an essential part to a home feeling whole!

Aside from decks and porches, the spring can be a great opportunity for a addition project, be it an added garage stall or a garden shed even a home!

Give us a call today and let’s start working on those plans so your ready to embrace spring as soon as it arrives!  

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!

 

Spring sun, spring cleaning!

I know it’s a little early to be using the “spring cleaning” slogan, but on a day that is as bright as today and all the melting snow, it’s hard not to get ahead of myself!

Although there are many days left before truly reaching the first day of the spring season, it is always good to be proactive and prepare yourself for what needs to be done when it arrives! This means home maintenance for a smooth transition into the coming days. We don’t want to have some damage from the winter go unnoticed!

Let’s break down a quick list on things that should be checked out during the spring weather to ensure your homes integrity!

  • Gutters and all things downspouts- Remove any debris that has accumulated in the gutters and downspouts, while ensuring everything is connected properly. Often gutters can get moved and become unattached and pull away from the home. Use caulk or epoxy for any leaks.
  • Home siding- Pressure washers are not only fun, but useful! Go rent a pressure washer and get the mold and grime out of the nooks and crannies of your home! Check for any weathering or paint damage that may have occurred during the frigid weather.  If there is wood showing, or paint chipping, properly sand or remove at the site of damage and apply a primer and new coat of paint!
  • Exterior caulking- Go around your home and look for deteriorating caulk. Scrape away the bad caulk and reinforce the areas with a fresh caulking.
  • Windows, doors and thresholds oh my!- Check for any cracks and caulk issues and fix accordingly!
  • Screens- Window and doors screens are vulnerable little sections! Check to see if there are any holes that have occurred in the screens. If the hole is big as or bigger than a quarter, then bugs can get through, defeating the purpose of the screen. Either patch the holes or replace the screens, but don’t toss the old screens, rather save them for repairs next year! Be sure to tidy up any loose frames so there isn’t any flapping parts in the wind!
  • Drain waste and vent system- Flush out the drain waste and vent system to avoid any problems in that area!
  • Heat pump- Lubricate blower motor to ensure future efficiency
  • Foundation- The foundation is, as it sounds, important for the integrity of your home. Check your homes foundation for cracks and heaving or deterioration. Then search your walls and floors of the foundation concrete and masonry for the same problems. If you find large amounts of cracks or bricks losing their mortar, call a foundation professional. If the crack is large enough to fit a nickel, call immediately.
  • Roof- Look for fallen shingles or broken shingles, as well as surface flashing, eaves and soffits. Clean what you can and check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.
  • Decks and porches- Look over your decks and porches for any loose members of the structure and replace or repair as seen fit. Open decks and wood fences need to be treated every 4-6 years. If something looks off in terms of color of the stain, or some of the wood turns a dark grey, call a professional to treat the surface.

That’s all we have for your spring home maintenance tips today! I’m sure we will be in a winter warning again soon, but catching these problems when the weather allows could save you time and money in the long run!

Don’t forget to give us a call if you have any questions about your home and the possibilities of additions or some form of renovations! We are here to make your dream home after all!

Tips for enhancing the appeal of the homes interior!

The home has a multitude of things to consider in terms of functionality as well as visual appeal. When it comes to designing for the visual purpose of the home it cant be daunting. Don’t stress over making the home a beautiful body of art, enjoy the process and it will work out! However if that doesn’t work, here are some tips to enhancing your homes visual appeal!

Sculptures, vases and artwork oh my!

Homes need charm and character, which means there need to be objects or layouts that induce such a feeling! To help accomplish this, artwork is essential. Going to your local art exhibitions and art fairs can be an excellent gold mine of beautifully made visual pieces that will certainly induce charm and character into the home. Some may be weary due to the generalization that art is an expensive investment, but that’s not entirely true. While there are pieces that could break the bank 12 times over, there are pieces from your local artists that are made well within the range of a normal humans bank account, while retaining the feeling of individuality and charm. A great place to find treasures could also be your local thrift store! Often pieces of beautiful art are placed there for one reason or another and are sold at a fraction of the original price, making art even more affordable and still resulting in the same effects!

Custom made

Nothing says unique and charming like straying from the herd and having a home that can’t be found anywhere else! Most think this would be a difficult task, however things like custom cabinets, wallpapers, or even upholstery can make a huge difference!

Colors

Stray from the generic color pallets of a home, venture out into the realm of the color wheel and find some new unique color combinations that are subtle yet powerful! Colors are a huge factor in the atmosphere of a home. This is the factor that makes something feel “homey” and comforting. If your home consists of colors that are painted on the rest of the cookie cut homes, there won’t be any sense of comfort, just repetition. On that note, repetition can be a great way to define your home! Depending on how it is applied of course. Patterns and repetition on curtains for example are almost always a great choice. Make certain the patterns and repetitive aspects don’t overwhelm a room!

You don’t need to be a professional interior designer to have a home your proud of. As long as you bring character into a home and give it a life of it’s own with your interests and innate artistic flare, you will be just fine!

However, if you do need to alter your home in a physical manner and require a team devoted to their projects, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We will help you achieve the home of your dream! 

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!