Backyard Bungalow

Many of us are in possession of backyard sheds that have been overtaken by time and the ever impending neglect that is brought with a busy life.  With our help and years of experience, we can turn that neglected shed into a newly envisioned bungalow/shed/garden space that is full of modern architectural styles for some great social gatherings during those nice weather days!

Bungalow on the beach

When people hear the word “bungalow” generally they think of clear blue waters and a wide open sky with surrounding beaches. While we can’t necessarily bring an ocean to you, we most certainly can bring the pleasures of bungalow architecture.

To accomplish this remodel of your shed, we take advantage of it’s positioning within your yard. Generally sheds are pushed into a corner of the yard and have a strong shade presence. This allows for a lot of possibility when it comes to activity in this section since there is relief from intense sunlight, making this location great for social gatherings during all parts of the day.  Why remodel the shed just to be a normal shed when it can hold more functionalities and enjoyable properties?

A great example of remodeling the shed into a socially desirable location would be to add the functionality of a dining area. People love to eat outside and chat with those near and dear in their lives, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so!

How it’s done:

  • Elevate the shed in some manner, from lowering the ground around the shed enough to make it seem raised, or add some form of foundation after tearing down the initial shed.
  • Once the spot is raised, rebuild a modern styled enclosure atop the location and introduce enough space for a miniature deck system, with a pergola structure built in.
  • You now have a miniature deck and raised shed with a pergola, allowing for immense functionality. Either a garden in the shed, a miniature cooking stations, you name it!
  • Alter the pergola in a manner that has synergy with shed, so if the shed is a cooking station, let the pergola house seating and a table to dine. Add a few forms of drapery on all sides to give the bungalow style and some furniture that is made to handle outdoor weathering, and viola.

The culmination of these efforts and ideas will bear a rejuvenated shed that exudes relaxation and restoration after a long day.

To enhance the atmosphere you want from this location, don’t neglect the possibilities that lay within colors and patterns.  Nothing helps that “get away” vibe more than some vibrant and bold oranges and reds and other exotic colors that break out of the normal color palette of your everyday environment.

You don’t have to stay disatisfied with the eye-sore in your back yard. Give us a call at Xpand and let’s talk over some remodel ideas you have and how we can help you achieve something from nothing!

Phone: 952-292-6107

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!

 

A Home Of Generations

Custom No Step Home, Homes of Xcellence
With the ever increasing change in our society and how it functions, it makes sense that we would see changes in the home life and the ways in which our families react to it! More and more, it is becoming increasingly normal for families to live together for longer periods of time. Children seem to be moving out at later ages for financial security and purpose, and parents seem to be moving in with their kids as they get older and may need a little extra help on their day to day. As we move towards a new norm involving more people in one place, we need to consider the home and how it can accommodate such changes in living styles and population increases.
When it comes to accommodating multiple people, in terms of space, the basement is one of the best locations to renovate and succeed in making a space for everyone. Basements are like blank sheets of paper that are just ready to be redesigned and formed into a new purpose. Lets break down the possibilities that could serve your extended home family!
  • Kitchens: generally kitchens can become crowded really fast with the generic population of four per household. So to not add to this burden, consider making a second kitchen in the basement that will be sufficient for the other members of the household and their daily foodie needs.
  • Bathrooms: Now that the basement is going to play a vital role in the everyday needs of your family, it will be important to make additions to the basement bathroom that is similar to your closet space in the entry way. See where room can be added and in what layout you can add the necessities like a shower or tub.
  • Main-floor bedroom: Depending on the additional household members, it may be a wise choice to add another bedroom on the main floor that will result in an easy maneuverability and security. Generally this could be for the older members of the family that may need a little more attention or have some restrictions on movement.
  • Generations of Design: Your home is a place of peace and tranquility, and should be for all members of the home. When making renovations for room and the necessities, be sure to include the variations of styles that are appreciated in the home and will create an environment that can be appreciated by everyone. We all need a space that we can call our own, and that space should reflect us.
  • Vehicle Accommodation: For those family members that use some form of assisted transportation,  they need to have an environment that is conductive to their assistance. This may require some alterations to the doorways and hallways, usually a widening for allotment of moving space. Another thought is the  removing the normal swing doors and replacing them with pocket doors, which may prove to be an easier interaction for the family member.
As the generations come together, the home should be reflective in that cohesion. If your family is becoming bigger in the home, or remaining at maximum capacity, consider renovations for the home that will translate to a form of embrace for everyone involved! Give us a call or send us an email with your questions or ideas and let’s work out a home that serves all members of your family, for generations to come.

Outdoor Fireplace, Your Very Own Outdoor Living Space

Big Sky, homes of Xcellence

Be prepared for those fresh-air nights that have the slightest chill and is showered by the stars in the sky with an outdoor fireplace! I know what your thinking, its the same thing as a fire-pit and i’m just confusing the words, but that’s not the case, I promise!An outdoor fireplace is exactly like what it sounds! Imagine you went inside and took your loved fireplace from the living room and placed it onto your stone or concrete patio in your backyard for some stare gazing! That’s what we are talking about! Outdoor fireplaces are structures that can be built on stone, brick or concrete patios and offer the same form of comfort, aesthetic beauty and functionality as indoor fireplaces!

Outdoor fireplaces often consist of a firebox as well as a chimney for strong functionality, and cannot generally be relocated once built. However the advantages of incorporating an outdoor fireplace to your backyard rather than a simple fire-pit really depend on the atmosphere you want to emphasize!

Let’s break down the varying ways in which outdoor fireplaces provide a unique atmosphere to a location, and why this may be an addition your looking for!

  • Fireplaces have the same luxury as fire-pits when it comes to the way in which you create the flame. Be it a wood burning or the use of gas, both materials are viable options that you can choose from! Wood may require a little more work, however results in the ever so satisfying crackle that can really help relax those who are partaking in the occasion.
  • Due to the layout of a fireplace, it is situated so that the heat and light emitted from the fireplace is directed in a specific direction. This means the fireplace becomes a central figure of your outdoor space, which is great due to the grand look it will have with the bricks and all!
  • Outdoor fireplaces offer intimate opportunities to fly thanks to the location in which it resides! Being parked under the stars on a calm night with your significant other, snuggled up on your outdoor furniture with the warmth of the fire flowing across your skin you can be sure that the atmosphere will be charged nothing but feelings of contentment and relaxation!
  • As an added measure of keeping that contentment while using the outdoor fireplace, the smoke from the fireplace is directed upward through the chimney, ensuring there is nothing burning your eyes or causing a coughing fit to ruin the night and intimate mood!
  • The outdoor fireplace is also something that can be easily maintained on days that have a little more averse weather conditions. Thanks to the fire being protected by the   firebox, wind and sprinkles of rain will have little affect on the fires intensity, proving to be a low maintenance event!

Outdoor living spaces cannot be complete without the warmth of a hearth to bring it all together. Consider installing an outdoor fireplace in your outdoor living spaces, and really amp up the possibilities that are available to you this spring!

Give us a call or send us a message at Xpand inc! We will work with you every step of the way to ensure that dream home of yours becomes a reality!

Pergolas, What are they? And Why you should invest in one this Spring!

Deck
This spring, why not bring some new excitement to your backyard with the help of the always loved pergola! But wait, what is a pergola you ask? It’s time to put the name to the face so to say!A pergola is an archway, or covered location generally located over or near a garden or park! Pergola’s consist of a framework that is often used as a shaded walkway or resting location. Basically, pergolas can be a form of backyard additives to already existing locations, or a central figure of it’s own! Can someone say outdoor living space?

The way a pergola can change the atmosphere of an area is quit astounding. They can really give the sense of size due to being a new section of the backyard, helping the entire backyard feel bigger and still have room for other activities or structures!

Since lists are fun and easy to read, lets break down some main reasons pergolas are a favorite for those warmer weather days!

  • As mentioned above, they can create a change in an atmosphere by defining a definite space. Be it an entertainment lounge, dining area, or outdoor kitchen. Pergolas give new possibilities and can even replace the desire for a deck or patio if you don’t sport one of those in the home, however having both is a great option!
  • Privacy is the next bonus from pergolas. With the addition of drapes for a walling mechanism, pergolas can give you privacy in your backyard despite being an initially open structure. Enjoy some backyard reading or relaxation without the worry of prying eyes!
  • Plant space! If your a green thumb or just can’t get enough plants around you, pergolas enhance the green vibe! Using the overhead of a pergola, you can hang more plants and create a floating atmosphere of flowers and the like! Not only that, but some plants will benefit from this structure because of the manner in which they grow! Plants like clematis, honeysuckle, ivy, wisteria, and grape vines!
  • Protection from the elements! Pergolas can give strong shaded locations that will keep the elements at bay and allow you to enjoy the summer day! Being from Minnesota we are most all susceptible to burning, so really pergolas can be life savers!
  • Combine to unwind! Pergolas are versatile, in that they can become building blocks or stepping stones to bigger or more prominent backyard structures! Pergolas could lead into verandas or gazebos, creating an eye-catching outdoor living area that will certainly raise your homes value along with its functionality and comfort!

The spring is coming in hot, or should we say wet with all this rain, and you should be ready for those spring renovations and additions! Keep pergolas and their versatile functionalities in mind, and then give us a call at Xpand! Let’s make that dream home together!

Eden Prairie Minnesota

Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie Minnesota is a place of outstanding quality, voted best place in America to live in 2010 by MONEY magazine. This is no surprise though, Eden Prairie boasts an outstanding community ripe with diversity, housing options, parks and nature walks, a terrific school system all bundled with the amenities of a metropolitan area like Saint Paul!
Eden Prairies government has a goal of making any new comers to the city feel immersed and like they belong with the community, which benefits not only those who just move there, but also the rest of the community, furthering the the community bonds and appreciation of each other.
School System
Eden Prairie belongs to Eden Prairie school system, which have contiguous boundaries between the community and the school system which not only shares a name, but also the desire to see the best for the kids and their future. Eden Prairie’s investment and involvement for their children’s growth is what has been a large factor in being named one of the top cities to live and have a family raised.
Transportation
When it comes to transportation methods, a new light rail implementation is in the works, which will allow those in between Eden Prairie and downtown Minneapolis to have greater access to work, social events, cultural events, you name it!
Community
When it comes to community events in Eden Prairie, you will not be able to find a place in Minnesota that offers this much. The Parks and Recreations plan community events regularly, offering an increase in opportunities to reach out to other community members and develop stronger relations. One of the most renowned events would have to be the Fourth of July celebrations that boast some of the best fireworks displays in the metropolitan area along with some bands and musical groups. Everything you could need to have a great time out with the friends and family.
Along the same route of things to do, Eden Prairie has just finished remodeling their community center, which now holds a pool complex and boasts two large competitive swimming pools for the intense swimmers, while some great slides and recreational needs for those lax swimmers!

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!

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!