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Our Remodeling Blog

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. 



January 13, 2015
Tiled Showers

Over time, a bathroom can look dated or no longer suit your current needs. This is why a bathroom remodel is one of our most popular remodeling projects. We're noticing a growing trend when it comes to bathrooms, that is, opting for a tiled shower instead of tub/shower combo. A tiled shower is great for adding your own personal touch. There are so many options such as...

Type: Ceramic, porcelain, travertine or glass

Size: 4x4, 3x6, 6x6, 12x12, 13x13 or 13x18

Shape: Square or rectangle

Color: Neutral or color

Floor: mosaic -- 1x1, 2x2 or pebble 

Decorative Accent: Nice way to add color or use a different type of tile 

Design Elements: Built-in storage, small bench

Tiling the walls up to the ceiling is wise as it prevents issues with water/moisture. Similarly if the bathroom has a lower ceiling, we recommend tiling the ceiling. Cleaning the shower is easy because we use Power Grout, which is stain resistant. You can also customize your tiled shower with multiple shower heads, grab bars or rainshower showerhead. Pair the tiled shower with a glass door and the shower really becomes a focal point of the bathroom. Below are a few of our tiled shower projects. 

 Tiled_Shower__4.JPG  Tiled_Shower__5.jpg

Tiled_Shower__3.jpg  Tiled_Shower__6.jpg

Tiled_Shower__2.jpg  Tiled_Shower__1.JPG

October 28, 2014
Andersen Exterior Trim

Andersen has an innovative, new system for trimming windows and doors. Andersen Exterior Trim products are:

- Low-Maintenance. The trim never needs painting and won't fade, flake, blister, chalk or peel, no matter what the climate.

- Long Lasting. Made from a high density composite material called, Fibrex. Andersen also offers a ten-year warranty; coverage is fully transferable from one owner to the next.

- Easy To Install. Trim system can come preassembled, precut or as individual components; simplifying installation.

- Environmentally Friendly. Fibrex contains 40% preconsumer reclaimed wood fiber by weight.

- Stylish & Versatile. The trim is available in a wide variety of colors and styles to complement your home's architecture.

Andersen Window & Door Trim Colors

Andersen Window & Doors Profile Options

Andersen Windows & Doors Head Trim Options

Andersen Windows & Doors Sill Options

If you would like to learn more about Andersen Exterior Trim System, feel free to contact us. We're happy to answer any questions!