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Our Remodeling Blog

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!


April 29, 2015
Certified Andersen Installer

Choosing the right installer is one of the most important aspects of a window purchase. A proper installation is critical to the proper performance of the product. Our Carpenters, Paul Gruber, Dawson Harris and Travis Wensmann are Certified Installers of Andersen Windows & Doors. Paul, Dawson and Travis went through the three day training program at Andersen headquarters in Bayport, MN. 

As an Andersen Certified Installer, we are...

We are specifically trained and certified to install Andersen® windows and patio doors.

Andersen Certified Installers experience rigorous hands-on training to become certified.

Andersen Certified Installers receive ongoing product information and support from Andersen.

Andersen Certified Installers have access to Andersen Certified Installer Concierge Services which provides installers with personal support through help-desk representatives and on-line tools and resources.

Andersen Certified Installers stand behind their work, and Andersen stands behind them.

If you're looking to replace your windows, email info@homecheckplus.com or call us at 320-529-4800.

Certified Andersen Installer - Home Check Plus St. Cloud

Certified Andersen Installer - Home Check Plus St  Cloud

April 17, 2015
Tool Time - Architect's Scale
  • An architect scale, a tool we use regularly, is a specialized ruler designed to aid in the drafting and measuring of architectural drawings. 
  • Traditional architect scales are prism shaped.
  • An architect scale has numbers that run incrementally both from left to right and right to left. A whole number or fraction to the left or right of the number line indicates the scale those numbers represent. .
  • Architect scales use fractions and have the following dimensional relationships:

3/32" = 1'- 0"          3/16" = 1'- 0"

1/8" = 1'- 0"          1/4" = 1'- 0"

3/4" = 1'- 0"          3/8" = 1'- 0"

1/2" = 1'- 0"          1" = 1'- 0"

1 1/2" = 1'- 0"          3" = 1'- 0"

 The scale also includes a standard ruler.

  • A set of plans may include a variety of different scales. The selected scale is normally found in the title block in the lower right corner of the drawing. 
  • Most commonly used scales for floor plans are the 1/8 and 1/4. The 3/8 and 3/4 are often used for detailed sections. 
  • Scales were traditionally made of wood (pictured: Dale's scale purchased in 1972), but today they are usually made of plastic or aluminum. 
  • An engineer scale is shaped similar, but it is used for civil drawings. Instead of fractions, an engineer scale uses decimals and is designed only to be read from left to right. 
January 15, 2015
Dale's Corner - What it means to be a licensed residential building contractor

For anyone who's done work with us before, you've probably seen a little "MN Lic. #BC171672" on our letterhead, business cards, etc. In case you're wondering, it is our builder's license number. Since not everyone is privy to the construction industry, I thought I'd explain a little more about what it means to be a licensed residential contractor in the State of Minnesota. 

A building contractor or remodeler license (RBC) is required for anyone who contracts directly with a homeowner to provide building construction services in more than one skill area. State licensing began in 1992, which is when I received my license. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, to get a license one must...

1. Take and pass licensing exam.

  • There is no prerequisite experience or educational requirement to take exam. 
  • Exam fee is $50.
  • The exam consists of 110 multiple choice questions. It is divided into two sections - 1. construction related matters amd 2. business & law issues relating to running a construction business in Minnesota.
  • Applicants are given four hours to complete the exam.
  • A score of 70% or higher is required to pass.

2. Submit a fully completed application packet including:

  • License application forms.
  • Current Secretay of State filing (if applicable).
  • Current liability insurance certificate with proper coverage. Workers compensation is required if you have employees. 
  • Payment of appropriate fee. The fee depends on gross receipts. Part of the license fee is a Recovery Fund Fee. The Contractor Recovery Fund compensates owners or lessees of residential property in Minnesota who have suffered an actual and direct out-of-pocket loss due to a licensed contractor's fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices, conversion of funds or failure of performance.

RBC licenses are on a two-year cycle. A total of 14 hours of approved continuing education is also required every two years. 

The goal of licensing is to ensure a higher level of professionalism and consumer protection. Homeowners who do not hire a licensed contractor have no protection.

Personally, being a licensed residential building contractor means I am committed to doing things the right way -- we will provide quality workmanship that is according to code & written industry standards and I will operate my business legally & ethically...so we can display our license number proudly.