Planning an Addition or other Large Projects

Adding on to your home or adding a 2nd floor is a great way to drastically increase the square footage in some older homes. These projects take significant planning and often involve updating many mechanical systems. Creating an addition that works structurally, blends in seamlessly from the exterior and ties in and fits with the interior space proportionally and stylistically can be a challenge.

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Our team of Remodeling Designers/Interior Designers and Project Managers can help you from space planning to paint colors. Whether you decide to work with an Architect or Design/Build company we encourage you to do your research and understand the differences between the two.

Our Professional Approach and Precise Planning Process lead to predictable remodeling timeline and costs. Give us a call to get started in planning your remodeling project.

SMALL ADDITION

While no addition is a small project, there are smaller additions that can be created. Many homeowners are looking to stay within their existing home but add that one space that is missing. By adding a mudroom, office space, or even extending out your family room or kitchen, you can drastically change the flow and overall look of the home. These additions are created on a crawlspace foundation.

You can also consider doing a whole remodel without an addition. An entire home can be changed within its current framing. Whether you’re knocking down walls or adding new walls, we can look at changing the interior footprint to maximize the space for your needs. Open floor plans are still very popular and can create a whole new home within your existing house.

LARGE ADDITION

Larger additions are created to drastically increase the square footage of your home. A full shell addition creates enough space for three rooms and a bathroom. From there the additions planning becomes more complex as the additions become larger. Our highly experienced team is well equipped to create the perfect addition for your home.

Designing a large whole house remodeling project takes significant planning. Our team of Remodeling Designers/Interior Designers and Project Managers can help you from space planning to paint colors.

Creating an addition that works structurally, blends in seamlessly from the exterior and ties in and fits with the interior space proportionally and stylistically can be a challenge. When choosing to structurally change the entirety of your home, many different factors will be considered.

Preview our additions in our portfolio . You can also stop by H2 and H5 to learn more about additions. Virtually you can also tour H3 Each project is unique and offers a variety of different looks when it comes to planning an addition or large space remodel.

Planning an Addition or other Large Projects

You may wonder what the difference is between a design / build firm, a remodeling company, and working with an architect. In an effort to provide the best possible value, we have compiled this information for our clients to use as a resource when working with Castle Building & Remodeling versus other professionals in the home improvement community on their project.

Castle Building & Remodeling utilizes a unique team approach that provides experts to assist you in each phase of the remodeling project. Many remodeling companies rely on one associate to help their client through the sales, design, estimating, and project management phases of a project. In contrast, Castle Building & Remodeling uses a team approach that pairs an experienced Castle Interior Designer with a Castle Project Manager.

Our staff at an employee appreciation golf outing

You will begin by working with a trained Interior Designer who helps you plan the space and make selections that match your taste. After this phase, the team works together to create a detailed set of specifications and proposal. During the production phase, a Project Manager becomes the eyes and ears on site to ensure that the project is executed as planned. Because our team approach requires more hand-offs and more management of details, Castle has created an industry-leading system to retain control over the process.

This article is prefaced by saying that we understand that not all home improvement industry professionals are the same. We will talk in broad generalizations based on the combined experiences of Castle’s employees, present and past, and their interactions with clients and those experiences.

Our company has grown both in size and expertise diversity. Our design and production team is constantly growing and each individual comes in with a vastly different experience with a wide berth of knowledge. This continues to strengthen our cornerstone of educating the public and allowing us to provide as much information upfront as we can.

Things you can expect to experience when working with Castle Building & Remodeling

  1. Our Three-Pronged Guarantee
  2. Upfront honesty
  3. A genuine love of working WITH our clients
  4. A united goal in providing as much information upfront about the remodeling project
  5. A sense of family oriented community. We treat both employees and clients equally like one of our own.

So how do we achieve those things and beyond?

Approachable Design Selection Studios

Castle’s four convenient design selection studios drastically simplify the design selection process for our clients by eliminating many trips to far-flung showrooms. By consolidating many selections into central locations, our clients can work one-on-one with our designers to create a unique and well-planned project. Castle’s design selection studios feature a limited selection of the most popular choices for older homes in categories like tile, plumbing fixtures, millwork, cabinets, countertops, hardware, windows, carpet, vinyl flooring, paint, knobs/pulls, closet organization, siding, drywall, hardwood floors, and more. Seeing most of the selections together in one place helps to ensure the final project is cohesive and has that special feel. Currently our studios are open by appointment only, this allows each client to feel like a VIP and receive our undivided attention while visiting.

Managing Expectations and Emotions

Castle Building & Remodeling utilizes a unique team approach that provides experts to assist you in each phase of the remodeling project. Many remodeling companies rely on one associate to help their client through the sales, design, estimating, and project management phases of a project. In contrast, Castle Building & Remodeling uses a team approach that pairs an experienced Castle Interior Designer with a Castle Project Manager. You will begin by working with a trained Interior Designer who helps you plan the space and make selections that match your taste. After this phase, the team works together to create a detailed set of specifications and proposal. During the production phase, a Project Manager becomes the eyes and ears on site to ensure that the project is executed as planned. Because our team approach requires more hand-offs and more management of details, Castle has created an industry-leading system to retain control over the process.

The Castle Way

Castle Building & Remodeling has grown from a one-man crew to a larger remodeling firm, we have recognized the importance of establishing a process and systems to ensure consistent timeliness and quality of projects. Although each project is unique, most of the steps in our process are similar. We have created a process flowchart that lays out our process from the time you call or meet us through completion of the final checklist items. A more detailed version of this process flowchart gets printed out with each job and attached to your job folder. As your project proceeds and tasks are completed, the Castle team member who completes the task initials and dates the flowchart to signify completion. This system helps Castle ensure that all of the major tasks are completed as well as the little things we do that set us apart from our competitors.

Please keep in mind that our process is continually evolving and not all steps apply to each project.

9 Renovation Projects that Add the Most Value to Your Home

Renovation projects for your home will put it in a good position to refinance or sell. If you are doing the renovations before selling your home, you will have to focus on the projects that add value to your home.

Here are some renovation projects that can add the highest rate of return on investment (ROI) to your home:

1. Garage Door Replacement

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Replacing your garage door is cheaper, and has the highest ROI of 97.5% for an average cost of $3,611. A garage door replacement improves the curb appeal of your home, and a smoothly functioning, clean, and attractive garage door makes a good first impression when a potential buyer sees your property.

Ensure that the new garage door seals properly and is well insulated to save on cooling and heating costs. We love partnering with Minneapolis Garage Construction for all of our garage project needs.

2. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Doing less extensive renovations and repairs can bring more value to your home. You do not need to replace everything in your kitchen or add expensive finishes. Minor remodeling, such as refurbishing or repainting the cabinets, installing laminated flooring, and replacing old appliances, will increase the value of your home.

A smaller kitchen remodel has an ROI of about 80.5% and will give the kitchen a new feel and look, making potential buyers comfortable with a lower price tag.

3. Siding Replacement

 

On average, the ROI of installing new siding is about 75.6%. The exterior of a home affects the first impression of a potential buyer. Siding reflects how well the house has been taken care of, and it may not be appealing to a buyer if it is stained or warped.

There are different options available, including metal lap siding and Dutch lap vinyl siding.

4. Wooden Deck Addition

 

 

People like the outdoors because they can entertain or relax by the pool. Therefore, adding a wooden deck will make your home more appealing to potential buyers and will add livable space to it.

If your home has plenty of space in the backyard, adding a wooden deck will make it more practical. Additionally, if you have a pool, you can add a wooden deck around it to provide space for relaxing and for the children to play. Remember to add a pool deck drain to manage excess water in the pool area.

5. Entry Door Replacement

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A new entry door improves the aesthetics of your home and has an ROI of about 74.9%. The entry door is the first thing that potential buyers see.

A new door replacement should be sturdy, able to withstand any weather condition, and fits the architecture of your home. In addition to the entry door, you can add new interior doors throughout your home. There are different types of interior doors, such as contemporary doors, flush doors, double doors, panel doors, glazed doors, and French doors.

Replacing the entry door as well as the internal doors will increase the value of your home. 

6. Roof Replacement

The average ROI of replacing your old roof with an asphalt shingle roof is about 68.2%. On the other hand, replacing it with a metal roof comes with an ROI of 60.9%. The material and life expectancy of a roof can vary. Therefore, check the quality and the remaining shelf life before getting a new roof.

7. Bathroom Renovation

When it comes to upgrading a home, bathroom renovations are the most popular. Replacing lighting fixtures, old plumbing, installing a new vanity, and adding new tiles will give your bathroom a modern look.

It’s important to make sure that the renovations you make in the bathroom are energy efficient because it plays a huge role in selling your home. A mid-range bathroom remodeling ROI is about 67.2%, while an upscale renovation has an ROI of approximately 60.2%.

 

8. Add Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology includes installing smart devices such as cameras, smart locks, smart thermostats, and water leak detectors. In recent years, most buyers want homes that embrace smart technology because it guarantees enhanced security, convenience, and energy efficiency.

 

9. Upgrade the Kitchen Lighting

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The kitchen serves multiple purposes, including cooking, eating, and even workstations for both kids and adults. It is also a place where family meals and dinner parties can happen. Therefore, good lighting is needed to create a good mood. You can use dimmers or under cabinet lighting to bring out the kitchen’s ambiance and brighten it up.

 

Change a Little, Add a Lot

You can increase the value of your home with these renovation projects. They do not have to be expensive and you can work within your budget to improve the quality of your home.

 

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value./;.;..

Virtual Impressive Progressive

On July 25 we hosted our first ever virtual home tour. Originally, the Impressive Progressive event was designed to be an intimate tour that allowed guests to move from showroom, to project, to project, wrapping up back at the showroom. Each location would provide a tour of the impressive remodel, appetizers, and great conversation. With COVID-19 in mind, we felt it was best for homeowners, staff, and guests alike to suspend our in person events for the remaining 2020 calendar year. While the virtual tour was a new experience, it was still a lively conversation.

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We started the tour off in NE Minneapolis, where designer Ashley Hansen showcased a beautiful kitchen remodel. Homeowner, Alison, also joined in the conversation to provide insight on how her experience was from start to end through the remodeling process.

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The second was a second story addition originally designed by the late Mark Benzell, was presented by designer Amy Hinck. Amy not only showcased the craftsmanship of the master bed and bath, which has a luxurious display of marble tile, but was also able to show the technicalities of an addition from the exterior view.

Meanwhile, owner Loren Schirber provided lots of valuable insight about current remodel trends and forecasts.

Normally we are not able to share our live events after the fact, but the beauty of a virtual webinar is that we recorded the whole show. You can catch the replay of our July event below, or head to YouTube to watch the replay, along with many of our other valuable videos.


The virtual event was hosted through the popular webinar platform GoToWebinar. We plan to host additional virtual home tours, with one happening each quarter. You can catch the next virtual tour on Saturday, October 24.

The Ins and Outs of Cabinets

Picking a style and look for your cabinets can be a daunting task. But never fear, we are here to help you every step of the way. There are a lot of things that people simply don’t know about cabinets until they get them in their house and only then do they see the difference in construction, function and style.

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We are confident that our quality exceeds that of the majority of cabinet shops in this country, and abroad. We take great pride in our work and hope to get the opportunity to serve you and your cabinet needs.

What is the difference between a custom built cabinet box and an imported cabinet box?

Glad you asked. The imported boxes we offer are made in China and shipped to the United States. These boxes are usually our more affordable option and are faster to put together. The materials are sturdy enough to handle most use cases but won’t last as long as a custom built box.

Our custom built boxes are made using our top of the line equipment to ensure that all sizes and measurements are accurate and consistent. We measure down to the 1/16th of an inch. We carefully construct our custom built boxes to last a lifetime, in fact: we guarantee these boxes for your lifetime. We glue and nail or staple every joint to ensure it’s as strong as possible.

If you’re not sure which style you need, imported or custom built consider these questions:

  • What is your budget for cabinets?
  • How long do you plan to live in your home?
  • How many people will use these cabinets?
  • What environment will these cabinets be in (garage, kitchen, bathroom etc.)?

We’ll be happy to discuss your options with you and make sure you get the best solutions for your unique needs.

What is the difference between Face Frame and Frameless cabinets?

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Another excellent question! Our face frame cabinet has a solid 3/4″ thick wood frame on the front of the box and is constructed in a manner that allows us to use all of the modern European hardware with full overlay doors and drawers (very little cabinet exposed behind the doors and drawers).

We also offer a frameless cabinet. This cabinet is the most common in our industry, having only a thin layer of PVC on the front of the cabinet instead of solid wood. While it is not as sturdy as a face frame cabinet, we have engineered a production process including the blind dado that allows us to build a very sturdy and vastly superior cabinet compared to the most typical butt joint construction used by the majority of our industry.

Both cabinet styles are full overlay, using lifetime guaranteed hinges and drawer guides. Our standard hinge comes with the soft close feature and two of the three options of drawers we build also come with the soft closes feature.

Understanding Your Cabinets

The first step to maintaining your cabinets is to understand their quality and durability. The level of cabinet quality, as in all products, can vary substantially. Good quality cabinets should be regarded as high-end furniture pieces that are installed in “hard-use” rooms. Therefore, they require the same type of care you would give high-end furniture.

When properly cared for, quality cabinets will retain their beauty and function for many years. Today’s cabinets may not only be constructed of solid wood and wood veneers but may also contain a variety of quality engineered products that are durable, attractive, conserve wood and meet all safety and health requirements. Some frequently used surface materials are:

  • Melamine (Formica-like) – commonly used for countertops but may also be used for other surfaces.
  • Vinyl – may be wood grained or solid colors. May be used for all surfaces except countertops.
  • Paper – chemically and finish-treated for durability. May be wood grained or solid colors and used for all surfaces except countertops.

Commonly used panel core materials are: MDF, lumber, wood veneers, flake or particleboard and hardboard.

Preparing for Future Maintenance or Repair

Quality products can be damaged or in time need repair, so when you purchase your cabinets obtain the following items from your cabinet supplier and store them in a permanent location:

  1. Several hinges
  2. Two or three drawer guidance systems
  3. Several pulls
  4. A repair kit, if available from the manufacturer
  5. A small (pint-size) amount of each stain or color coat used for finishing your cabinets (clear top coats are available in aerosol cans from your local store)
  6. The name and address of the cabinet manufacturer and the name of the cabinet style (you may want to add cabinets or replace a damaged part at some future date).
Some Recommended “Do’s & Don’ts”
  1. Don’t hang wet towels on door or drawer fronts.
  2. Don’t permit children to swing on doors or use drawers as step ladders. Hinges or drawer guidance systems that are bent or twisted likely cannot be repaired like new.
  3. Spills should be cleaned promptly. Most finished surfaces are highly resistant to household foods and liquids; however, prompt cleaning will add assurance.
  4. If at some future date you want to paint or refinish your cabinets, be cautious. Many paints are not compatible with cabinet finishes. Severe surface peeling or blistering of the paint could result.
Repair Tips
  1. There are many adhesives available to repair broken wood parts or loose panel surfaces. If properly used, Elmer’s Glue (or equivalent) or a contact adhesive can manage most repairs..
  2. For small loose areas of wood veneer on edges of doors, etc., or at the edge or corner of panels:
    – Carefully clean all old, dry glue from loose surfaces with a
    scraper or sandpaper.
    – Apply a thin, uniform coat of Elmer’s-type glue to one surface.
    Press the loose veneer into place and wipe off the excess glue
    squeezed out. Using a strong tape as a clamp, tape the loose
    veneer down as tightly as is practical and allow 24 hours for
    drying before removing the tape.
  3. For split or broken wood part:
    – Proceed similarly to repairing wood veneer.
    – For split wood, work glue into the split as deeply as possible,
    push tightly together, wipe off squeezed-out glue and clamp as
    tightly as possible with strong tape for 24 hours. If the damaged
    location will permit the use of a metal screw or other type
    clamp, you might rent such clamps at the Rent-All location and
    get more positive clamping action. If removable, such as a
    drawer, clamping in a vice until dry would be excellent.
    – For a small wood section that is bumped and split completely
    loose, apply glue to the loose part and carefully tape it to its
    original position until dry.
  4. For small, loose areas of man-made material surfaces or veneers on edges or panel corners:
    – Clean as in 2 above
    – Apply contact adhesive according to instructions on the
    container and place the loose section firmly in place
  5. For a stripped screw as at a door hinge:
    – Remove the screw and clean dust or chips from the hole. Cut
    wood match sticks to the approximate hole depth. Apply glue to
    the match sticks and in the hole. Lightly hammer the
    matchsticks into the hole, filling the hole tightly. Allow to dry
    for 24 hours. After drying, trim the match sticks flush to the
    surface. Carefully re-drill the screw hole using a drill bit
    approximately the root diameter (screw base diameter not
    counting threads) of the screw. The same screw may then be
    applied, however, a sheet metal screw (local hardware) of the
    same size will provide better holding power, particularly for
    repair purposes.
  6. Should a machine screw (or bolt) holding a door or drawer pull no longer hold (stripped threads), place a small amount of steel wool around the threads and screw carefully into place without heavy pressure. It may hold.
  7. Generally – never use nails for repair. They often split or shatter the wood or particleboard core causing more damage.
  8. Never drive a screw into any part or wall without first pre-drilling to the root diameter of the screw.
  9. Cabinets or heavy objects screwed to wall panels will not hold satisfactorily. They must be screwed properly to structural studs.
  10. Should a pull become broken, or a hinge or drawer guidance system break or not operate properly, replace them from your permanent storage.
Finish Repair

CAUTION – ALL FINISHING MATERIALS MAY BE HIGHLY FLAMMABLE!

Proper finish repair can be rather highly skilled procedure, particularly since several types of finishing materials including man-made materials, may have been used on your cabinets. However, there are four possible sources of correct repair material:

  1. A repair kit from your cabinet manufacturer or supplier.
  2. Small cans of color coats from your supplier.
  3. Felt tipped pens or finish and/or putty sticks in a wide variety of colors from your hardware or home supply store.
  4. Aerosol cans of clear, final top coat spray can be purchased at your hardware or home supply store.

Sprayed-on type standard finishes, which are scratched or lightly dented, can be repaired with these materials. For the inexperienced, practice on a small board or 2×4. Colored putty sticks fill dents with a putty knife. Apply color coats of finish lightly since you can apply more coats to darken to match. Once too dark, colors cannot be easily lightened. Protective top coats are sprayed on last – use according to aerosol can instructions. Practice first, – you may have to “mask” other surfaces to avoid overspray. Be cautious – the sheen or brightness of the topcoat material, when thoroughly dry, may not match your cabinet.