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Our Remodeling Blog

July 15, 2015
Dale Gruber's Construction Career Story

We sat down with Dale Gruber, the owner of Home Check Plus and Dale Gruber Construction and asked him a few questions about his career in construction.

Why did you want to go into carpentry/construction?

I always liked making things with my hands. I made many toys, barns, and other items growing up as a kid. I helped my grandpa tear down homes and saved the wood to use on the farm buildings. I enjoyed building and repairing many buildings on the farm growing up, so I thought this is what I would like to do.

What's the 1st thing you remember building?

As a kid, maybe fourth grade, I built a model size barn 3’-0’,4’-0” x 3’-0” high It was complete with the horseshoe style hay barn, stanchions for the cows and all the other items that went into a barn back in the 60’s. The barn had a rope and pulley system to haul miniature hay bales into the barn by hooking a toy tractor onto the rope and pulling them up. This was modeled after the real system in barns back then. In high school I made a magazine rack and many other pieces of furniture in wood shop.

What's do you enjoy most about working in the industry? Being the President/Owner of HCP & DGC?

I really enjoy coming up with a design solution for the customer. Whether it is a remodeling job or a new project, I like seeing a project progress to completion. It is also nice to see my employees proud of what they have accomplished. As an owner, it is great helping employees grow in their knowledge year after year and like what they do.

Editor's note: I thought he would say getting to work with his daughter :)

What skills or qualities are important to have in this line of work?

I believe patience, honesty and having the ability to visualize ideas for customers are very valuable. I think it is also important to like working both indoors & outdoors, enjoy figuring things out mathematically & visually and have the desire to continue learn new ways of doing things.

If you could give some advice to someone considering a career in construction, what would it be?

My advice would be to take as many design drafting, shop, communication and math/accounting classes as you can in high school. It’s all relevant to construction whether you want to work for someone in construction or own your own business.

For those who are considering a job change or are wondering what to do after high school, consider going to a tech college like SCTCC for the Carpentry program or the Construction Technology program; depending on what type of construction field you would like to be in.  There is a wealth of knowledge available in these programs for the construction industry. They also give you an edge over someone that has not gone through the program.

July 10, 2015
Does your home need new siding?

As a full service remodeler, siding replacement is one of many services offered by Home Check Plus.  We provide excellent workmanship and use only high quality products.  Whether you want to update the appearance of your home or make it more energy efficient, we can help!

 

Does your home need new siding?

If you aren’t sure, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is the old siding chipped, rotten in places or falling off here and there?
  2. Has your siding warped or faded in recent years?
  3. Are you putting more time and effort into maintaining the house siding?
  4. Has moisture made its way between the seams or under the siding?
  5. Do you have to scrape and repaint your house more often than you used to?
  6. Have you noticed an increase in drafts and higher power bill for heating and cooling?

If you answer yes, to any of those questions, it is probably time for new siding.  Contact us to schedule a site visit. 

 

Exterior Siding Options

When it comes to deciding on the type of siding, it is important to choose a material that fits the style of your house and your lifestyle.  Here are some of the most popular options. 

 

Vinyl Siding - won't rot or flake and is usually less expensive, but it can crack and fade

 

Wood Clapboard  - with periodic care, solid wood (usually cedar, pine, spruce, redwood, cypress or Douglas fir) siding maintain their beauty for a long time

 

Seamless Steel Siding - very strong and resists shrinking, custom fit to the exact measurements of your home, wood like texture or corrugated looks available

 

Engineered Wood Siding - OSB, hardboard, veneered plywood are examples, fairly inexpensive to install, does not look exactly like wood, but more natural than vinyl or aluminum

 

Cedar Shingle Siding - also called "shakes" - often stained brown, gray or other earth tones; blending nicely with wooded landscapes

 

Stucco Siding - durable and relatively low maintenance, add a tint and you may never have to paint  

 

Stone Veneer Siding - granite, limestone, slate and others are beautiful and pretty much unaffected by weather, but they are on the expensive side, precast stone veneers are more affordable and can look pretty authentic

 

Aluminum Siding - easy to maintain, durable and fireproof, but it can dent and fade

 

Brick & Brick Veneer Siding - available in a wide variety of nice earthy colors, lasts for centuries, but it is more expensive 

 

Cement Fiber Siding - can have the appearance of wood, stucco or masonry, very durable and natural looking

Exterior Home Visualizer

Visualize your home's exterior with new siding, shingles, masonry, trim and accents.  First, you will need to either upload a photo of your home or choose from the model homes.  Then, you can use the pre-designed color palettes or experiment with the color options yourself.  Click here to start designing! 

 

June 10, 2015
Save NOW on Andersen Windows & Doors!

Andersen Windows & Doors has an awesome rebate going on now through July 4, 2015! Replace your windows and they'll replace your cash!

  • $25 rebate for each 400 series window purchased
  • $100 rebate for each 400 series patio door purchased

Home Check Plus is a Certified Installer of Andersen Windows & Doors. We are trained on how to properly install Andersen products. 

Contact us at 320-529-4800 for your FREE window replacement quote! Be sure to ask us about our INSTALLATION DISCOUNT!

 

May 13, 2015
Pink Bathroom Before & After

Pink was a very popular color for bathrooms in the 50’s. It is believed the First Lady Mamie Eisenhower started the pink bathroom trend. She was very fond of the color and decorated areas of the White House and her retirement home in pink. As a result the color is often referred to as Mamie Pink or First Lady Pink. Despite having their own fan club, savethepinkbathrooms.com, we are seeing less and less of these retro bathrooms. Homeowners are opting to remodel their pink bathroom into something more modern. Which, is what we did for this client in Sartell. Home Check Plus essentially removed all existing elements of the bathroom and updated it with new:

  • Sheetrock walls
  • Paint color
  • Tile flooring
  • Tiled shower surround with accent tile
  • Oak vanity cabinet
  • Marble countertop
  • Tile backsplash
  • Light fixtures
  • Shower & sink fixtures
  • Toilet


Check out the before and after photos of the bathroom remodel project. Quite the transformation! If your bathroom needs updating, contact Home Check Plus!

Pink Bathroom Remodel - Before and After

May 13, 2015
How Long Will a Home Remodel Take?

We often are asked questions relating to the timing of remodel projects – when should I contact a contractor about my project? How long will it take to get a bid? When can you start my project? While it depends on the size and type of project, here’s a little timeline or breakdown of how the process usually works:

1. Site Visit – once you contact us, we determine a date/time when both parties are available. Time: 1-2 weeks

2. 2nd Site Visit – depending on the project, we may invite some of our subcontractors to visit the site. Time: 1-2 weeks

3. Estimate/Proposal – next we develop a scope of work, material list, contact vendors to get prices on material, contact subcontractors to get a quote, write up a detailed proposal. Time: 2-3 weeks

4. Review & Accept Proposal – if there are no changes, great! Any changes involve repeating step 3. Time: 1 week

5. Project Set-Up – Time: 2-5 weeks

Permits – when applicable, we submit for a permit through the city/township. 

Order Materials – once selections are made, we can order the materials. We don’t like to start a project until ALL materials have arrived as this minimizes the time your home is “under construction.” 

6. Start/Finish Project – our projects are carefully scheduled as we want the project and remodeling process to go as quick and smooth as possible. Availability of subcontractors, weather and any change orders can affect the timing. Time: 2+ weeks

As you can see, there are many steps and elements that are factored into a remodeling project. We hope this timeline is a helpful guide and explains the process so you know what to expect. Although every situation is different, we definitely recommend contacting a contractor early on in your remodeling planning.

We hope to get to work with you on your next home remodeling project. Have a wonderful spring!

-Dale