Category Archives: Maintenance Tips

Happy Fall from Showcase Renovations!

 

The leaves are slowly turning, the temperature is dropping, and Autumn is in the air! We always get excited about all of the possibilities new seasons offer for your home—so what are some simple and cost-effective upgrades you can capitalize on this season to fully enjoy all that Fall has to offer?

  • Fall fun circled around the firepit—what better way to take in a beautiful Fall evening than gathered around a warm fire with smores, hot cocoa, and your loved ones? Firepits have come a long way over the years; from totally custom built-in pits, to fully transportable and light weight above-ground options, there is a something out there for everyone! Check out your local home improvement store to browse some of the options near you.
  • Simple exterior updates make all the difference—in Minnesota, we all know Autumn also means Winter and freezing temps are just around the corner. Be sure to get all your exterior fixes done before the weather is too cold to work outside. Consider replacing your gutters, check into a new roof or garage door, or simply a fresh coat of paint for your home if any of these areas could use some TLC. Have a bigger project that you need some help with? We are here to help! Contact us and we will help you get started.
  • Celebrate Autumn with some simple decor—half of the fun with Fall is decorating your home to reflect the changing season and weather! Mum plants are an effortless way to add a pop of color to your yard when all of the leaves have fallen. Pumpkins are a classic touch when Halloween approaches and you want to get into the holiday spirit. There are so many ways to embody this special season that is truly beautiful in the state of Minnesota.

While these are just some of the ways your home can benefit from the changing season, there is much more we can help with! Contact us to get started on a project or to simply ask a question about your home. We wish you and your household a very happy Autumn!

Our Recent Winchester Project

Happy Holidays from your friends at Showcase Renovation Inc.! We are excited to ring in the upcoming New Year with a recap of our recent Winchester Project. This project was all about refreshing the interior of a house, owned by a truly delightful couple. So what exactly did we do to get such a stunning end-result? Here’s a glimpse of some of our favorite project highlights:

Finished Stairway

  • We replaced the dated wood floors with clear Maple for a more modern and stylish look.
  • We removed the existing stairway and exchanged it with a gorgeous open stairway with Maple treads (featured in image).
  • To capitalize on all of the wonderful natural light this home receives, we put in skylight in the entryway with new smooth and sleek ceilings to really add a fresh look.
  • For improved curb appeal, we added a new front door with clear vertical grain Douglas Fir wood. We also put in a front custom gutter to update the home functionality.
  • Finally we built in a brand new deck with ironwood decking and cable railings. This is the perfect way to enjoy your yard throughout all of the beautiful Minnesota seasons. The homeowners are really looking forward to utilizing this deck for years to come.

We are thrilled to add another success story to our portfolio and to give another family access to the home of their dreams. We think this is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season by celebrating all of the hard work we are privileged to do for such incredible people everyday. Seasons greetings to you all!

Spice Up Your Home for the Holiday Season

 

The holiday season is here—this is a great time to transform your home into a place that your loved ones can enjoy for years to come. Whether it is simply prepping for the frigid temperatures or updating your kitchen in time for baking some delicious Christmas cookies, we’ve got you covered. We love hearing your ideas, brainstorming all of the possibilities, and making your renovation dreams come true. Our years of experience coupled with your unique thoughts make the perfect recipe for a new holiday-look!

Need some help getting started? We’ve come up with a few renovation ideas that are perfect for this season:

  • Cozy up by a new/updated fireplace—we love coming home from a busy day of work and being able to turn on a warm and welcoming fireplace as we wind down for the evening during the winter. Sound like something you could definitely get used to? We’re here to get the fire started.
  • A fresh coat of paint for your holiday space—a warm new color in your living area is the perfect way to compliment your Christmas tree and create a true holiday ambiance in your home. Choose a color that will pair well with your home but can still catch the eye of all of your guests.
  • Lights, wreaths, action!—sometimes a total-overhaul of the home isn’t the best option for everyone. So put us on your “wish-list” and focus on inexpensive ways to spruce up the outside of your home in the meantime. A nice wreath, some festive holiday lights, and maybe even a homemade snowman in your yard can still make your house standout on the block. Want to be environmentally-friendly this year? Consider using LED lights to cut down on energy-use.

No matter what your plans for the Holidays are, we hope you are able to take a step back, enjoy precious time with your loved ones, and witness the magic of this time of year!

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Hello and here it comes … another list of things to do instead of dangling your toes in the water at the end of a dock. Or instead of playing golf, visiting local parks, taking day-trips, and anything else that you might find more enjoyable than chores. Just remember, the return you get can be rewarding and add comfort to every day life at home!

So, in no particular order, we have a list of some things to do before relaxing for the summer!

Ceiling Fans –
Reverse the direction not or change the pitch of the blades so that the air moves down from the fan. The leading edge of the blade needs to be higher as it moves in the direction of the turn. You’ll be able to feel the breeze this way which provides the cooling effect. It can also help you save money spent on energy with less use of your air-conditioner.

Dryer Vents –
Clean your dryer vent. Without maintenance these things can cause fires, poor clothes drying, bad air, etc. The U.S. Fire Administration reports over 15,000 dryer fires each year, largely due to clogged dryer vents.

It helps to have a vent-cleaning brush kit, which cleans dryer vent tubing better than a vacuum cleaner can. Cleaning the dryer’s lint trap housing with a smaller brush to start. Then disconnect the dryer duct from for a thorough cleaning. Also clean the vent on the outside of the house keeping both ends clean and free of lint.

Gutters –
Get those gutters clean! The stuff that accumulates in your gutters over the fall and winter can lead to water damage of your soffits, facia, roof edge, and eventually the house. And gutters aren’t a great place to germinate young trees. If the gutter is too high and you can’t do it safely then you might want to call in an expert to do this job.

If you do the work, it’s best not to lean the ladder against the gutter and definitely stay away from electrical wires. Scoop out leaves and debris using a small hand spade if needed. Use a hose to flush the gutters to rinse them and to see if you have any leaks. Then run water down your downspouts to make sure they’re clean.

If you cover your gutters with a wire mesh or other debris guard you still need to inspect them and do some occasional cleaning. And remember: Don’t hang onto your gutters – every time someone in a movie hangs on a gutter the gutter breaks and the person lands in a dumpster three stories down. So if you don’t have a dumpster to land in…

Decks –
Decks are great for hanging out, but still need care to stay in shape. Start with a visual inspection of the boards for cracking, curling, rotting, raised nails, etc. Replace damaged boards and reset any raised nails or screws.

Look under your deck to make sure the supports are in good shape. Check for signs of animal or insect infestation and any chewed or rotting boards. Don’t be shy about calling an expert if needed.

If it’s time to reseal your deck it’s best to power wash it first and then to let it thoroughly dry. Some finishes or seals require complete removal of the existing finish before applying new materials, so follow instructions closely for optimum results.

Outside Paint –
A clean house is a happy house, and it’s worth more! For a quick cleaning, a power washer and mild detergent ae great for your house’s exterior. A couple hours can get rid of dirt, dust, bird splatter, tree sap, etc. And it’s a good time to inspect the paint and caulking for peeling, cracking, voids, etc. Don’t get too close with a power washer as you can do damage if you’re not careful!

Air conditioner –
This is a high priority! An outright tune up by a professional will inspect refrigerant levels, make sure your fan is working correctly and thoroughly clean the coils and also inspect for fire hazards with faulty wiring. If you don’t have a pro tune up the AC make sure to clean the cooling fins, check the fan for obstructions, observe it while it’s running, and change out your furnace’s air filters. If you use the AC daily then change you filters more often.

Roof check –
Inspect your roof to catch existing and potential problems. If you’ve been through a hail storm have a pro inspect it for damage that isn’t easy to see.

Windows –
Keep summer heat stays outside with well maintained windows. It’s important to check exterior caulk and sealants, both outside and inside. Repair as necessary. Check weather-stripping for any faults and replace it immediately if there is an issue. Regular cleaning is really fun too and keeps the outside looking good from within!

Carpets-
Since you vacuumed regularly throughout the winter and spring it’s a good time to get them cleaned! They will hold until late fall. Make sure to use products and services that don’t leave chemical residues in your carpet. A good rug or mat outside, inside, or both sides of the entry is a great way to keep summer fun from tracking into the house. Get one that has bristles for the outside and shuffle those feet!

Toilets and drains –
Carefully inspect your toilets and drains. Look for any small leaks and make sure they are flushing and filling consistently. You can avoid a disaster with a little attention to the connections and the way things flush and drain. Drop a little bleach solution into drains once a month and flush after 5 minutes. Don’t be shy about calling a drain cleaning service every year or two, especially if anything is draining slowly.

Appliances –
Pull all appliances out from their places far enough for a thorough cleaning. Refrigerator coils need vacuuming. You’ve cleaned the dryer vent but there’s still dust under and behind the dryer. And check the fittings on the washing machine hook ups and look for signs of leakage, cracking hoses, etc. Check window unit air conditioners for proper drainage to the outside.

It doesn’t hurt to check outside faucets, hose connections, and other garden and lawn maintenance items all at one time. You can get new washers in all the hose ends before getting sprayed multiple times until, by the end of summer, they all seal well. Of course that’s half the fun if someone else is at the other end and you open the faucet.

If you have maintenance questions or need a contact for a particular task the please consider Showcase Renovations, Inc. a resource. We’re happy to answer your questions or refer you to the best we know!