Ruler of the Castle!

At Castle we know the kids really run most households.  We are no strangers to working with growing families and seem to be consistently working with two or three couples who are expecting, just had a child, or are adopting and could get the call any day.  Exciting times and expanding households lead to remodeling and that is why Castle created “Ruler of the Castle!” onsies in 0-3 month and 6-12 month sizes. 

We also know that many young families own homes with little equity, yet still need to add space and remodel and that is why Castle offers many financing partnerships.  Many growing families have utilized a FHA backed 203k loan that looks at the future value of a home after proposed improvements and lets you borrow against that value. 

As your family grows and you get a new ruler of the castle and need more space give us a call. 

Castle Photo Caption Contest

All right all you jive turkeys we have a contest for you to put a caption with photo below.  The winner will be featured in our Thanksgiving E-Newsletter and will win a Thanksigiving turkey (actually a $50 gift card to Cub Foods). The entry deadline is November 11th.  All submissions should be emailed to along with a name and phone number. 

Maximum of two entries per contestant. Once you submit your entry, it is considered final, and in most cases will be posted as is. We will not edit for typos, grammar or spelling mistakes. We will not save you and we are not your 5th grade teacher.  We encourage poking fun in good taste, or at least in decent taste, but captions that are racist, vulgar, extremely crude, or otherwise offensive will not be tolerated. Please refrain from making fun of someone’s ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.  Have fun!

Exterior Care and Maintenance Part 1

Most commercial landscapers use sod to establish a lawn after a building has been completed. Many new homes are left with a barren landscape that the homeowner must tend to. Laying sod is much more effective than planting grass seed. The seeds are often eaten or scorched by the sun and require multiple plantings that lead to unprofessional results. Laying sod is a faster and more effective way to get your lawn started. Sod is tender and must be cared for with dedication, but you will have a plush, full lawn after a few months of work.

Watering Your Sod

Sod should be watered at least 4 hours per day (2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening) for the first two weeks unless there is sufficient rainfall. Each time you water you should give the new sod approximately 3/4″ of water. A good way to measure how much water you are giving the area is to place an empty tuna fish can or anything flat that can hold water and turn your sprinkler on. When the water reaches the top of the tuna fish can or the equivalent on another container you will know how long to run your water for. Most people overestimate the amount of time they are actually watering so if your sod starts turning brown after the second day of watering, you may need to reassess your watering time. You also don’t want to overwater, so cut back if you get standing water. Continue to water at this rate for approximately 12 days or until the grass takes root.


Mowing Your Sod

Let your sod grow for at least two weeks before mowing. Mow the new grass at the highest blade setting.


Fertilizing Your Sod

Sod needs to be fertilized within two weeks with a 100% organic fertilizer. The most common types of organic fertilizer are ironite and milorganite and they can be purchased at any home improvement store. Do not use a chemical fertilizer until the sod has rooted into the ground. Chemical fertilizers can burn the roots of the sod, killing it. After initial fertilization, use 16-4-8 fertilizer a recommended rate in March and September. During the summer use only an organic fertilizer such as those listed above.


Keeping Your Sod Healthy

During the late spring, summer and early fall we require that you put fungus control on your new St. Augustine grass. We can almost guarantee that it will get fungus and we feel it is better to pretreat (but this will not completely prevent) then to potentially lose your new grass because of it. We recommend Scotts Lawn Fungus Control because it is a granule and will stay around longer than a liquid.

If you still experience fungus problems after repeated treatments, especially in saturated areas, you should consult a company to come out that can spray using higher strength fungicide. Do not let the fungus go: you can lose your entire lawn!

St. Paul Inspections Delay Projects – A Letter to Mayor Coleman and the Council

Mayor Coleman & Ward Council Members,

I am a business owner in St. Paul and we are being forced to lay off our workers and leave our clients without working bathrooms while we wait for electrical inspections.  We are running into major delays with scheduling electrical inspections in St. Paul and this is causing our projects to screech to a stop while we wait two plus weeks for electric inspections.  Last Wednesday after several days of calling, our electrician finally reached some one and was able to schedule several inspections for September 9th.  Electrical inspections are booked out about 2.5-3 weeks and building inspections are booked out over a week currently and this time frame is very difficult to work with especially on small projects like bathroom remodeling projects.  On small projects we only have one work of week before needing our first building and electrical inspections.  Every other municipality can normally schedule inspections with 24-48 hours advanced notice.  

As one the largest design/build remodelers in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and currently are in the process of remodeling approximately 10 homes in St. Paul and have quite a few more in the design process that are scheduled to start building soon.  Because of these delays on several projects we are going to be forced to lay off our workers and send them home until the 9th and will miss our guaranteed completion dates which will cost Castle $40 per day per project.  Some of our clients only have one bathroom and depend on Castle to quickly remodel their bathrooms so their life can get back to normal. 

Please help.  I would strongly encourage hiring more electrical inspectors, authorizing overtime, reallocating inspectors, or hiring outside support from the state temporarily to help alleviate the backlog of inspections scheduled.  Alternatively in the past we have been allowed to take photographs of our work and email it to inspectors for approval.  Minneapolis charges twice as much for permits and I would gladly pay more for a permit if we could get better quicker service. The remodeling market is regaining strength and we need your support to help us continue to perform efficiently and gain momentum.   

PS –  I would like to do what I can to help and would consider joining the Business Advisory Committee if I am eligible. 

Loren Schirber

 Owner/Business Manager

362 Snelling Ave. S

St. Paul, MN 55105

Castle Goes to the Fair

Castle Team Members Mark Benzell, Troy Sinykin, and owner Loren Schirber will be volunteering at the  Minnesota GreenStar booth in the Eco Experience.  If you are at the fair we encourage you to check out the Eco Experience find out more about MN GreenStar certification for your remodeling project and say hi.   Team Member Mark Benzell recently finishedCastle’s second MN GreenStar certified remodeling project.