New Home Construction

We need to be perfectly frank here. There are two kinds of custom homes in Minneapolis. The first kinds are those types that are built by people in retirement. But the second kind is built by those who are looking to turn a big profit. Custom homes are nice in the fact that no other home is quite like them. But they can also turn into a big risk.

This is primarily because novice homebuilders and contractors can wind up making some severe mistakes with how the home is set up, what has been used, and even what the location is. So in our quest to help you build the best possible home, we are providing this handy overall guide to help you avoid some bad mistakes in the process of construction.

Location is Everything

The very first thing you need to consider is location. Location can kill a home’s value even if it is expertly designed and constructed. Custom homes in Minneapolis can exist virtually anywhere, but it is key that you find a location that suits you as well as potential buyers. Stay away from railroad tracks and airfields, of course. But also make sure that the ground is stable and you are not building on top of a marsh. Also make sure that your custom home is not too secluded, as that can drive a lot of people away.

Get Solid People

Once you pick the right location, it is time to build. Of course, the obvious thing you want to do is hire a proper contractor with several years’ experience under their belts—like us, for example! We don’t cheap out on poor materials or unskilled labor. But beware if you do decide to tango with the devil. Custom homes in Minneapolis are a gold mine for people who simply don’t know what they’re doing. Those types will wreck your home and destroy its value.

Don’t Forget the Plumber

Another big turnoff for potential buyers is shotty plumbing work. Now, this may seem a little mundane, but plumbing is actually one of the most important things you can put in a house. The overall quality of a custom home in Minneapolis is almost completely set on how good the plumbing is. Bad plumbing and you get flooding, sewage, and blockage. Nobody wants that, especially potential buyers. So don’t cheap out on poor plumbing, either. You will regret that decision.

Count on Coty

Coty Construction has been in the business of building custom homes in Minneapolis for a number of years. Using only certified builders and materials, we will help you make your home the perfect one you have always dreamed of. Be sure to contact us if you ever have any questions about our services or read our e-book to find out more about construction in Minneapolis.

House of Straw and Construction in Minneapolis

When it comes to building construction in Minneapolis, there are many different materials that come to mind. Concrete, wood, brick—you name it, we probably have it. But one material that has largely escaped notice would be one of the oldest: straw. Now, we are all familiar with the story of the three pigs. As such, we all probably believe: Hold on there. Straw is neither durable nor strong enough to support a building. Won’t it just blow right over?

We want to tell you, indeed even propose, that straw might not be as bad of a building material as you might think. Sure, by itself, it seems a little ridiculous. But the truth of the matter is that it is a remarkable material that is well-suited to home construction. Let us make our case.

Where It Comes From, Where Does It Go

Straw is largely a byproduct of the wheat industry, the wasted leftovers from harvest time. Dry and fairly unattractive, it gets gathered into giant bales during the winter and most of what is gathered is burned, with only a small percentage kept for things like cow and horse feed.

With the resurgence of environmentally friendly construction, however, architects and contractors are starting to find uses for a greater number of things. Straw is one of them. A home builder in the American Southwest called Mark Jensen is revolutionizing the “straw bale” house in his work with Native American communities and his research has revealed several remarkable properties of the material.

How This Material is Viable

Straw is useful both on its own and as a part of something else. Construction in Minneapolis can take great advantage of this material in that it is one of the best natural insulators in the world. That means that you won’t get as cold as you might with some artificial insulation. It has also been noted that straw mixes fantastically with modern materials such as plaster—a popular material for interior walls—as well as stucco.

What’s more, you can eliminate a tremendous amount of waste if you design a home around straw. Mark Jensen reports that to build a decent-sized 2000 square foot house, you need about 300 straw bales, and that’s only if you use straw by itself!

What About the Humidity?

But now you might be asking: Now hold on! How exactly is straw going to protect me against the elements? Sure, it’s a good insulator, but wouldn’t things like rain and snow, which wreak havoc on normal construction in Minneapolis, ruin the material?

While it has not been tested in northern climates yet, we don’t believe that it would affect anything. This is primarily because straw has demonstrated some great cohesive properties that allow grains to interlock with each other—rather like LEGO blocks but natural. It also helps that straw is already a dry material and has been trusted to keep roofs dry since before the Middle Ages!

Count on Coty

So this is definitely a unique way to make your home environmentally conscious during and after construction. Be sure to contact Coty to find out how we can help you build your dream home.

Preparing for Sinkholes and Other Natural Disasters

It’s true! Minnesotans everywhere are in danger of those terrifying holes that open up in the earth every so often. With all the soft ground present here in addition to old mining operations happening in this part of the country, thousands of quality pieces of construction in Minneapolis and elsewhere have crumbled into nothing as a result of these sinkholes. A couple of people have even died!

How are we supposed to protect our properties from these horrible things?!

Well, our first piece of advice is to chill out. We don’t get sinkholes in Minnesota.

Yeah, it’s a prank. Happy April Fool’s Day!

Ha ha! But, In All Seriousness…

But natural disasters are no picnic no matter where you might live, and the Twin Cities are subject to them just like any other large metropolitan area. Any kind of malady can wreak havoc on your home or business, but there are a couple of weather anomalies you should prepare yourselves for. So let’s go over how to cope with the most common source of construction destruction as winter finally releases its grip.

The spring and summer months are prime times of the year to start (and oftentimes finish) construction in Minneapolis. The weather is quite moderate, the temperatures are nice, and you’re not dealing with ten feet of snow. However, this time of year also brings forth a destructive force that is responsible for thousands of dollars in damage every year.

The Power of Nature

Of course, we are referring to the derecho. A derecho, if you don’t know, is a powerful storm system that follows along the dry line. They typically originate in the plains of Canada but gain strength as they meet the warmer air in the United States. These long and linear storms are short, but extremely powerful, characterized by hurricane force winds, downbursts aplenty, and even the occasional tornado.

How Do You Fight Back?

The best way to prepare your home against these forces of nature is to invest in some sturdy glass. The glass you normally find on windows of Minnesota houses provide very little wind protection unless it’s a gentle breeze. That means your regular windows will most certainly shatter as a result of derecho winds. So if you live in an area where you’re vulnerable to a derecho, we would recommend investing in some hurricane windows such as you find in Florida. Skyscraper construction in Minneapolis automatically uses this type of window on their buildings and you rarely, if ever, hear about one of those breaking following a storm.

Count on Coty

We want to help you make your home as comfortable and safe as possible. Whether you are more concerned about a derecho or next winter’s blizzard, we will help you give the home you are looking for. So be sure to contact Coty to find out how we can do just that.

Minneapolis and St. Paul Construction: The Best Homes

It goes without saying that Minneapolis and St. Paul construction projects have a lot to meet up to. Both in the Twin Cities and the state as whole, there are pieces of architecture and design that are truly something to behold. It can be daunting figuring out how to make your custom home exactly what you are looking for. So here’s a handy guide of some of the best homes in the area to help you figure out just that.

Bardwell-Ferrant House

St. Paul is widely known for being a center of some grand and historic homes. Being the older of the Twin Cities can do that. Being the state capital only makes it more true. So, as can be expected, a tremendous amount of inspiration can be taken if one only walks down a classic St. Paul road. One of the more distinct ones would be the abandoned, but austere, Bardwell-Ferrant house. Boasting some peculiar onion domes such as you would find in Russia or Romania, this lovely home has a wraparound porch and two stories of pure history and class.

W.W. Bishop House

If you’re looking for St. Paul construction that is a little less odd, then look no further than the W.W. Bishop house. Looking like it comes right from the landscapes of New England, this home boasts wood siding, a tall brick chimney, and steep inclines on the roof for some quality weather coverage. But its most eye-catching detail is the distinguished medieval-style tower perched right on the front entrance, giving it a classic aesthetic hearkening back to European castles.

Mary Tyler Moore House

There is no greater comedian in the world than Mary Tyler Moore. Gaining fame during the 60s and 70s, this Minneapolis native filmed her TV sitcom right in one of the area’s most auspicious homes. With an effective fusion of old world charm and new world spaciousness, the Mary Tyler Moore home is definitely something you should look at for design inspiration.

Marcel Breuer House

Maybe you’re looking for something extremely modern, however, with minimalist design tendencies. St. Paul construction companies have a local model of the modern style, as well, with the classic and extremely distinct Marcel Breuer house. With only one story, flat walls and ceilings, and a stark presentation, this home may not suite your tastes, but it is the modern style. It is what is chic.

Count on Coty

So if you need some help with design inspiration, look at these stupendous examples of St. Paul construction and architecture. There is no charge for simply looking and they can give you some fantastic ideas. Be sure to contact us if you need any advice on how to go about setting up your dream home for the cheapest prices and highest quality.

Construction in Minneapolis Post-Job Paint Advice

The period following a big project involving construction in Minneapolis is always an interesting time. But at the same time, it is extremely stressful. So many different decisions need to be made such as interior design. But more so than anything else, picking a decent exterior color can make or break the value of your home. Exterior paint jobs do not come cheap, so the colors must be carefully chosen if you expect to do well. So here are some things you should consider when you are picking out your exterior paint.

Look at Your Neighbors

One of the first things you should look at, especially if you are not in a homeowner’s association, is the traditional style of houses around you. You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a paint job that detracts from the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood. While we would not recommend painting the siding the same color as your neighbors, it does need to be in keeping. So don’t paint your house red if the others around you use yellow or some other lighter color. It will only draw bad attention for being such a sore thumb.

Make Sure It Matches

Following an analysis of the neighborhood, you next want to pick a color that suits your home as well. Many things which affect the quality of construction in Minneapolis, such as windows, shingles, and any landscaping are already done before you begin painting. So you want to pick a color which is complementary to the rest of the house. If you have a lighter rooftop made of, for example, aspen wood, then it would behoove you to pick a lighter color. It’s much like matching a shirt to pants. You don’t want to clash.

Get the Proper Paint

Once you decide on a color, it’s time to figure out the kind of paint you should use. Now, some siding materials do not allow for paint to be used on them because it degrades the quality of the finish. However, the two most popular types of siding—vinyl and brick—can both be painted over. So when you are shopping for the colors you want, make sure that the paint you are looking at can be used on whatever type of siding you have.

Know How to Apply

Of course, the very last rule you need to follow is know how to apply the paint. Exterior paint jobs are entirely different from interior paint jobs in that you have to seal the finish in addition to a number of other things. So make sure you know what you’re doing—or better yet, hire a painter—before you take a paint brush to the wall.

If you have any questions about construction in Minneapolis, or the process of getting your house finished following its conclusion, be sure to contact Coty for more details.

What Not to Do with DIY Home Repair

DIY home repair is only as difficult as you make it. Yes, it does depend somewhat on your particular set of skills and how familiar you are with the tools of the trade. But there are some jobs that you just have to know yourself. These could include how to fix a shingle, installing a new faucet on the sink or shower, or switching the fuse. However, even the simplest job can leave behind a giant mess. It’s important that you know what to look for. So let’s go over some of the most serious mistakes you can make while performing your own repair work.

Investing in Cheap Materials

The biggest mistake you can possibly make is “cheaping out.” Trust us on this: You never want to settle for cheap. You know the old saying “you get what you pay for?” That’s exactly the thing we are talking about. Don’t invest in cheap materials or you will find yourself performing the exact same repair in an extremely short amount of time. Businesses that sell cheap goods make their money off of the fact that you will go back to them time and again to fix the same problem. Don’t fall in that vicious circle.

Ignoring Safety Protocol

The other biggest mistake you can make is not following safety guidelines. It is not okay to do roof work wearing nice shorts and converse. You should not go walking around under loose tile without a helmet. You should wear gloves when dealing with metal or siding. These are just a few DIY home repair crimes we have heard about as a result of people not following safety instructions. So be smart and be safe.

Being Hasty

Many people like to think that with simple jobs, you just need to get in there and get it over with. This is hardly the case however. There is no such thing as “getting in there” when it comes to DIY home repair. You have to have a plan. You have to have the necessary tools. You have to follow directions. You would be surprised how many people think it’s alright to just take a hammer to a busted shingle and just use some nails to secure it. So make sure you have everything you need and directions to follow.

Eyeballing It

The last big mistake you should avoid is the eyeball. Many people who perform DIY home repair believe that the naked eye is enough to see how big something needs to be or where nails should go. However, when it comes to repair work, you never want to “eyeball it.” Have your measuring tape and leveler handy. You don’t want something to be badly askew.

Follow these rules and you should have a successful repair job. Be sure to contact us if you ever have any questions.

How to Make Your Custom Home Efficient

Energy efficient construction in Minneapolis might mean a whole lot more than just knowing the right materials or taking some creative liberties with transportation. Design and style have a lot to go into it also. Many different types of houses out there take advantage of some very unique styles that are both interesting to look at and easy to set up. So we are going to talk about some of the things you can do to make an energy efficient home without it seeming too cliché or over the top.

It’s All About Temperature Regulation

Big Rooms, Big Savings. A big part of keeping a home efficient is being able to hold in a great amount of heat during the winter or block it out during the summer. Most of the energy going into a home is largely attributed to the quality of the air conditioning. So one of the biggest things you can do to help make a custom home energy efficient is by simply making the rooms big and open. This allows air to circulate more freely and so not put as much strain on the air conditioning to heat or cool separate areas of the house.

Use the Right Windows.

Another big factor when it comes to temperature management is the location of the windows. Now, we went over how skylights should be avoided for construction in Minneapolis because of the weight of the snow we accumulate up here, which can lead to some serious accidents during the winter. However, if you find a way to displace the snow, things will be a lot easier and you can put in a lot more windows to let in some natural sunlight as well as warmth.

The best way you can do this is by keeping windows located at almost extreme angles. Skylights break because snow accumulates on them over time. But the sharper the angle, the easier the snow will slide off. If you can figure out this balance between 90 degrees and 45 degrees, you should be able to find the best way to let in the most light.

Don’t be Afraid of the Wind Turbine

Generating your own power is another great way you can help your home be self-sustaining. The time of windmills being found in the backyards of exclusively survivalists and hippies is over. Nowadays, many folks are setting up their personal wind generators to help them power their home without having to leech on the grid. So do consider putting in a wind turbine, which is as classy and appealing as it is good for your home.

Count on Coty

These are just a few of the ways we could think of to help make your next project a success. When it comes to construction in Minneapolis, you don’t want to take any chances. So do be sure to contact Coty Construction the next time you want some help with your dream home.

DIY Roof Repair: How to Fix Asphalt Roofing

Minneapolis roofing is a very touchy thing, especially following the winter. But on the first day of spring, when the snow and ice begin to thaw and the sun at last starts to shine down on the world, residents all over the Twin Cities are going to their roofs to determine if there is any damage. As we have explained before, different shingle types gain different kinds of injuries over different periods of time.

No other shingle material is as common and widely used as asphalt. Though these shingles only last for thirty years (and sometimes even less in harsh conditions like this), the majority of DIY roof repair techniques deal specifically in addressing these shortcomings. So while you may have a leaky roof following this dreadful winter, there are actually many ways you deal with these problems before your home sustains too much interior damage.

Dealing with Curled Corners

The most common injury you will find on an asphalt shingle is a case of curled corners. This affliction is dominantly associated with age, however in the case of Minneapolis roofing, it can also be the result of ice dams forming on the roof. Curled corners lead directly to leaks on interior ceilings, making them a problem that must be addressed as soon as it’s discovered.

Fortunately, the cure is really quite simple. Once the snow and ice have thawed and you’re able to get onto the roof safely, check your corners carefully for either upward or downward curls. If you catch them early enough—and if you’re vigilant about your roof maintenance during the winter, you should—all you have to do is apply a dab of roofing sealant with a caulk gun and weigh it down with a brick. If it remains untouched for a day, you will find that corner secure as the day it was installed.

Repairing Cracks

Cracked shingles are another big problem. However, they also have a pretty easy DIY roof repair solution. Just like with the curled corner, apply a thick bead of roofing sealant just under the lip of the crack. Then press the shingle down and apply a thicker bead of sealant on the crack directly. If you have jagged edges, be sure to cover them with a putty knife. Also don’t forget to make sure some spare granules are applied in the surface of the sealant so you can more easily camouflage the repair.

Count on Coty

Both of these common asphalt problems with Minneapolis roofing are quite easy to pull off and only require a few cheap materials to fully do. So remember that although asphalt may be cheap and has a reputation for not living very long, all sorts of tricks are available to help you prolong its lifespan. Be sure to contact us or check our e-book if you have any other questions about DIY roof repair.

Minneapolis and St. Paul Construction: What Are the Differences?

Though folks nationwide call Minneapolis and St. Paul the “Twin Cities,” they really couldn’t be further apart than they are. There are some definite differences between these two places both in attitude and architecture. So when you are a part of the Minneapolis construction industry like we are, it would behoove us to be familiar with these differences. But the common layman, in all likelihood, is not familiar at all. So let’s go over the building character of these two related cities and see what makes each one unique in its own way.

St. Paul

As the state capital of Minnesota, St. Paul has been around for a long time. The city is widely known not so much for modern style or convenience, but on more archaic ways of building which give the city a much older character. As a result, St. Paul construction needs to be focused more on maintaining the same level of sophistication that older styles are known for. In this sense, the grander the exterior, the better off you’ll be.

But at the same time, St. Paul construction needs to be done in such a way to maintain the same aura, as it were, of classicism without looking like a cheap reproduction. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, such as using period-accurate materials like wood shingles and siding, and more open interior floor plans with a focus on larger rooms. Stone can be used to tremendous effect as well for exterior walls as well as fences and property boundaries.

Minneapolis

Minneapolis construction, on the other hand, is an entirely approach. Minneapolis is a city which emphasizes bold architectural choices across a wider space of time. Modern styles can be applied to new buildings in this city, in keeping with the artistic vibe Minneapolis possesses. Whatever your opinion is on modern architecture, it does lend a unique feeling to the city.

But there is one other thing which distinguishes Minneapolis from its twin. Minneapolis possesses a plethora of “prairie homes,” which are known for being single-story homes with wide open living areas and smaller secondary rooms like bathrooms and bedrooms. Prairie homes were invented in Minneapolis by Frank Lloyd Wright, who built two homes in this distinct style. So if modern eccentricity isn’t quite your spiel, quaintness and simplicity can fit in Minneapolis construction as well.

Count on Coty

However you decide to build your custom home in Minneapolis or St. Paul, we will be there to help you out. Coty Construction is familiar with all the different building techniques you expect from a contractor as well as all the different materials which goes into making the home of your dreams. Be sure to contact us to find out how we can help you.

Minneapolis Roofing and Recycling Materials

When we were in the process of doing research about eco-friendly building techniques, we found a number of different articles that talked about how Minneapolis roofing materials can be used in other things. For a long time, we were dominantly concerned about how recyclable materials can be used towards roofing but not so much how roofing can be used toward other things. This was when we realized that there is a lot more which can be done with shingles than just covering your head, that recycling is a two way process. So let’s look at some of the ways your old roofing can be used toward other things.

From Your Roof to the Road

Asphalt roofing is possibly the worst of the different varieties we have covered here. It doesn’t last as long. It punctures easily. It is fairly difficult to install. But one thing we learned is that asphalt roofing is actually quite recyclable. While Minneapolis roofing cannot benefit greatly from the material, Minneapolis roads can. Used asphalt shingles have been taken advantage of for years to provide a foundation for roads. Even before recycling became cool, contractors purchased wasted shingles, melted them down, and created cement from what’s left, building roads and repairing potholes.

Save Those Damaged Shingles

Wood is a material we have cited time and again for being one of the most environmentally friendly shingle types on the market right now. It takes advantage of a renewable resource. It repels moisture effectively. It is, all in all, a great material to use. But have you ever wondered what to do with that old shingle after you use it? The answer is quite simple: burn it in the furnace. Wood furnaces have grown in popularity lately because of their ability to heat a home during the winter more effectively than central heating can using a material you can just harvest year after year.

Check Out the Hybrids

The production of shingles has also taken advantage of recycling techniques. Believe it or not, there is actually another type of shingle we have not covered yet. Called “hybrid shingles,” these Minneapolis roofing monstrosities are causing quite a stir among contractors everywhere. Utilizing old waste such as plastic and paper, shingle companies are actually producing shingles made completely out of recycled waste. These hybrid shingles are purported to last just as long as wood shingles, longer than asphalt, and can be continuously experimented with to produce stronger, cheaper varieties.

Count on Coty

Recycled materials benefit everybody in the short term and the long term. They cut costs and prevent waste from building up in the local landfills. If you want to learn more about eco-friendly Minneapolis roofing, be sure to contact Coty for more information. We will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.