Selling Your Home

Renovating Your Home? What to Do With Leftover Materials

Renovating Leftovers

So, you have finally decided to start your dream renovation project. You’re ready to tear down some walls and pull up tile.

But once the fun part of breaking things apart is over, it’s time to decide what to do with all of the leftover materials. Depending on what type of materials you have, there are many options in the Twin Cities for recycling, reusing or donating those items for another use.

Wall Fixtures

Bulky items such as working appliances, bathroom fixtures, lamps, and light fixtures are all in high demand at salvage shops and organizations like Habitat for Humanity. These items are especially popular if they are vintage. Stores can take more than just the lighting fixtures and will use the light switches, covers, and wiring as well. Other appliances that work for donations include working washing machines, irons and dryers.


Whole cabinets and doors are also great items to donate, but there are many options for reusing the wood. You can break down the pieces and create a small library or a spice holder. Leftover wood can be transformed into new furniture, such as tables or wooden benches. Smaller pieces of wood can be turned into toys for children or a hipster bottle opener.

Untreated wood can be set aside for the next bonfire, or it can be used for fertilizer. You may be able to sell it or give it away to DIY people who regularly hunt sites such as Craigslist or Nextdoor. There are also organizations that accept wood donations, such as Habitat for Humanity or schools that have woodshop classes. Some schools to look into in the Minnesota area include Women’s Woodshop, Mike Siemsen’s...

Moving into A Smaller Home? Downsize with These 7 Tips

moving to a smaller home

Make the most of your new small space with these smart downsizing strategies.

1. Plan Ahead

Downsizing is the best way to take control of what you own and live your best life with less. So don’t wait to make decisions–start planning your new space early and set goals. If you’re moving in with someone, you’ll want to make sure you’re both on the same page. Ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want to live, such as if bringing your whole closet is more important than cooking. Do you have room for oversized furniture? And how much smaller is your new home really? Deciding this from the get-go will help you determine which items to keep or toss in the packing process.

2. Take Inventory of Your Stuff

Less space means less stuff. Start by scanning what you have in each room and get rid of any duplicates. This can be especially tricky in the kitchen, where you’re more likely to have extras of things like spatulas, mugs, and other items you don’t need ten of. Unless you have guests over regularly, you can part with your extra silverware, glasses, and other tableware. In other rooms with bigger items, use colored sticky notes to indicate use/non-use. And don’t forget the pantry and bathroom–toss out any old food, ingredients, or expired products. You’ll be surprised by how much goes.

3. Think Storage

You’re going to want all the storage you can get in your new small space, but think quality over quantity. When moving, select one statement piece of furniture from what you own, and then build from that. If you need to invest in new pieces, ottomans that open up, wall-mounted shelving, and under-bed boxes are great organization pieces (plus, you can squeeze in a fun trip to ...

Looking to Update Your Home? 5 Home Features That Are Outdated

Painting Walls


Whether you obsess over small details or miss glaring blemishes, selling a house often feels more complicated than it needs to be. Luckily exposed brick, vegetable gardens and indoor hot tubs aren’t the only way to entice potential buyers. With a few simple DIY fixes, you can elevate your house from maybe to must buy.


Keep Your Home Protected with These Exterior Maintenance Tips

James Hardie Siding

If there’s one thing you don’t want to procrastinate on as a homeowner, it’s exterior maintenance. Imagine the state of your car if you didn’t give it an oil change every 3,000 miles. The same attention to detail should apply to the outside of your home. Keeping tabs on certain home elements can make a big impact on curb appeal and prevent you from having to spend time and money on major updates later on. These exterior home maintenance tips may help save you money in the long run and keep your home looking and performing its best year round:

Check your driveway for cracks

Don’t let your driveway be an afterthought when it comes to home maintenance. After all, cracks in a driveway can take away from the look of your exterior, and make your home appear dated. Check your driveway for cracks during spring and fall and have them resealed before winter hits. This is especially important to complete before winter because Minnesota’s snow and ice can cause those cracks to expand, furthering the damage to your driveway. Resealing cracks now can ensure that your driveway remains in good condition throughout the year. How you seal the cracks will depend on the material of your driveway. Concrete, for instance, would call for a cement repair product, while asphalt may require a rubberized asphalt emulsion filler.

James Hardie Siding

Update siding

Living in the Twin Cities, you have to worry about how the weather is going to impact your siding. Moisture from snow and ice can cause wood and wood-based siding to rot, curl, warp or split, requiring you to repair or possibly re-side your exterior. Fiber cement siding, however, can resist Minnesota’s...

5 Exterior Updates That Boost Curb Appeal

Imagine pulling into a beautiful neighborhood in an attempt to find the perfect house only to discover that the listing you had your eye on doesn’t look quite as you imagined. The driveway is cracked, paint is chipping off the home’s exterior and there are overgrown bushes covering the windows. These individual details may seem insignificant on their own, but it’s those small details that really add up and impact curb appeal.

Curb appeal, otherwise known as a home’s first impression, is crucial not only for increasing property value but for making a home easier to sell. If you’re a potential buyer, you’re going to be less likely to check out the inside of the house if the exterior is less than inviting. Whether you’re planning on selling your home or just want to freshen your exterior, these five updates can increase curb appeal to create a lasting first impression:

Replace Your Siding

The first step to giving your home a complete facelift is re-siding. A chipping, rotting, warped exterior can turn away a potential buyer in a second. Living in the Twin Cities, it’s important to select a siding that can withstand the harsh elements year after year. Wood may give your home a natural, rustic look, but it’s often associated with time consuming and expensive maintenance cycles. This is because wood and wood-based siding is susceptible to warping, rotting and splitting after exposure to moisture, which can cause the paint to chip and peel.

Fiber cement siding, however, provides the same authentic look of wood, while resisting harsh weather conditions to keep your home’s exterior in pristine condition. James Hardie fiber cement siding, for instance, resists damage from moisture and offers a tough line of defense during severe weather. Durable...

2017 It A Great Year To Sell Your Home

Have you recently considered selling your home to downsize, expand or simply get a fresh start in a new location? Now is a great time to consider making the move. This year is strongly favoring a seller’s market, so the chances you will sell your home quickly with a great offer is high.

Ryan Fitzgerald, a realtor in Raleigh, North Carolina, has outlined nine great reasons to consider selling your home in 2017. Here are a few of them.

Low Mortgage Rates

If you are familiar with low mortgage rates, simply put the lower the mortgage rate, the lower your monthly cost will be. Because current mortgage rates are still low, many buyers are very interested in making a purchase a lot sooner than later. This is music to a seller’s ears.

A Decline in Inventory

Almost everyone has heard about the concept of supply and demand. The less of something there is, the more value it tends to have. The same goals for the real estate market. As the number of homes available for purchase decline, the value of those that are going to increase. This is a fantastic situation for sellers.

Strong Buyer Demand

It's no secret that buyer demand is back, and back in a big way from the real estate market collapse nearly 10 years ago. Many buyers are realizing that this is a historic time to buy real estate. With interest rates at historic lows, money is on sale. This is creating a compelling argument that purchasing a home is much better than renting. Especially, with how fast rental prices are appreciating.

Rising Home Prices

Due to there being a low inventory and a high demand, the cost of homes has increased significantly. Around November 2016, the average price of an existing home had increased...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit for more tips.