Posts Tagged ‘home improvement’

Best Season for Interior and Exterior Painting Around Lake Minnetonka

Why fall is the best season for interior and exterior painting?

Fall is an amazing season for many different reasons including the comfortably warm but cool, crisp weather, which is perfect for tackling some of those home improvement projects.

Do you have any last minute interior or exterior project that you’d like to tackle before winter comes? Well, it’s not to late to contact your favorite Lake Minnetonka painting contractors at M Carlson Painting.

Interior painting

It is often assumed that painting can only be done during warm weather, but autumn and winter are some of the best seasons for tackling interior painting projects.

Fall and winter are typically slower seasons for painting contractors, which means you’re more likely to get a better bid if you tackle your interior painting projects during these seasons rather than during the busy summer months.

What makes autumn and winter the best seasons for interior painting?

During these seasons it’s easier to control and regulate the temperatures that are required for optimal paint drying conditions compared to exterior projects. Ideally paint should be applied at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and shouldn’t drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Compared to exterior painting projects, these temperatures can be easily controlled by utilizing your central heating system. It is suggested that homeowners turn up their thermostat to about 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit before painting crews arrive, and keep it there for approximately 36 hours after they’ve finished.

Fall and winter are also great seasons to do interior painting projects because there’s less humidity in the air compared to the summer months.

If the humidity is too high, paint had trouble drying, which is why it’s important to check and set your thermostat properly before starting any interior painting project. The optimal range for humidity for interior painting jobs is between 40 to 50 percent.

Running a heater and dehumidifier, in addition to turning up your central heating system, will ensure that your paint dries perfectly.

It is also important to remember to have proper ventilation when your painting contactors are doing an interior painting job during the fall and winter. Opening up a few windows will help, but you don’t need to open up every window in a room your painting in to ensure proper ventilation.

Opening up a few windows for air circulation is especially important if your painting contractors are working with enamel paint, which provides a hard, glossing and opaque finish.

Using a fan will also provide extra air circulation, but make sure it’s clean and free of dust and other particles, which can land on the paint and get stuck.

Exterior painting

Autumn is one of the last seasons of the year where exterior painting projects can be done. Late spring and summer are typically the seasons when you want to be doing exterior painting, but these projects can still be done through October, depending on the weather.

A general rule of thumb for exterior painting is that the ambient temperature must not drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but some premium paints can be applied to as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oil-based paint can be applied when the temperatures are between 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and latex between 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fall is also a great time to complete those exterior painting projects because the humidity is lower, which allows the paint to dry properly. Optimal relative humidity levels for exterior painting tend to be between 40 to 70 percent.

Whatever the time of year, M. Carlson Painting is ready to help you with a variety of commercial or home improvement projects.

Boost Curb Appeal Without Breaking the Bank

You know spring has sprung when you see the first splash of purple crocuses budding along your driveway. If you’re thinking to yourself that you have never seen a crocus along your driveway, or aren’t even sure what a crocus is – it may be time to do a little spring cleaning in celebration of the new season. You don’t need to break the bank to boost your home’s curb appeal and liven up your yard. To get you started, here are our favorite quick fixes that won’t break your budget:

1. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

The easiest and most dramatic way to give your home a makeover is painting the exterior. To save money, consider only refreshing the façade, or using a combination of siding, stone, and paint for the perfect combination of texture and colors. M Carlson Painting offers free estimates on painting and boasts some of the most competitive prices around. (We can even glaze or stain your deck or fence for the royal treatment.)

2. Do Some Yard Work

We know the winter can be hard on your home, and your yard might need a little love. Spend an afternoon weeding your garden, planting spring bulbs (like those crocuses we mentioned), scrubbing your decks and sidewalks, and pressure washing your house. Pressure washers are inexpensive to rent, or you can hire professionals like our team at M Carlson Painting to do it for you.

3. Try Container Gardening

If you don’t have a green thumb, try purchasing large, colorful potted plants from your local Home Depot. The store offers a one-year warranty on all their plants, so even if your first (few) attempts don’t make it, you can get a replacement free of charge. Large potted plants add a pop of color and personality to your doorstep or can accentuate a rock garden with little effort, making them the perfect choice for on-the-go gardeners and beginners.

4. Add Fresh Details

You’ve heard the saying: it’s all about the details. Scour the internet, your local flea market, or home goods stores for unique accessories such as a new doormat, mailbox or ground and sidelights to change the look and feel of your entrance. Even small changes like switching out dull, generic house numbers for unique brass, ceramic or stainless steel variations can freshen up your home.

5. Install a New Path or Patio

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, try a DIY project. Resurface your pathways, build a fire pit or patio to take advantage of the warmer weather. Your local contractor can help estimate the work needed, where to get the materials, and what you and your family can and cannot do on your own. Some projects are easier to accomplish than you think, so don’t be afraid to give us a call. If we can’t help you, we can probably recommend someone who can.

Curb Appeal without Breaking the Bank

Curb Appeal to Any Home is Simple and Affordable

Creating curb appeal for the home is easier than many may think. Granted, some homeowners spend hundreds of dollars adding curb appeal to the home, and this is all right. But, if the homeowner is on a limited budget there are many ways to add curb appeal without breaking the bank. Look for the spring and fall paint sales and shop resale instead of retail for lawn and garden accessories.

Homes Need a Bath Too

If your home has aluminum, siding consider doing a power wash at least every other year if not yearly in the spring or fall before winter. Dirt accumulates on the siding of the home and takes away from the beauty of the house.

The Focal Point of the Home

The focal point of any home is the doorway. Make sure your door is attractive and decor adds support to the rest of the home. You do not have to buy an expensive glass door, just add an attractive eye-catching paint and decorate the door with a beautiful wreath complementing the season. Replace weathered and worn door locks and hardware.

Window Appeal

Windows always add a certain coziness to the home. Make sure paint is not peeling from around the windows and if they need new paint decide, on what color best suits your home. Remove and repair any cracked or broken windows. Decorate the inside windows with lovely cozy curtains or blinds. Make sure windows are clean and shiny. Window shutters add beauty and appeal to any home.

Lawns, Gardens, Flowerpots and Lights

A simple and inexpensive way to add curb appeal to any home is to keep the grass mowed and weeds trimmed. Trim grass away from curbs and sidewalks. Keep up on this weekly job and add flowers around your steps and porch area to brighten up that newly painted door. Compliment your wreath hanging on the door. Lawns that are continuously mowed, groomed flowerbeds and flowerpots around the home add a lot of eye-catching appeal to any home. Add inexpensive solar lighting to show off your garden and home’s entrance.

Dress up the Garage

If your home has a garage make sure, the doors have new hardware and the doors shut well. Repair any broken window panes. It makes no difference if the garage is attached or unattached to the home keep it in good repair. Remove chipped and peeling paint and repaint the structure with a color that is going to accent the home. Homeowners need to keep their driveway maintained. Keep weeds away and make sure the driveway is clean and free from mud and dirt, and if you have a stone driveway replace stones when they need replacing.

Do Not Forget to Dress the Mailbox

A humorous or delightful mailbox always adds curb beauty to any home. A specialized mailbox expresses the homeowners personality. If the mailbox is on a pole at the end of the walk or even across the street, create a lovely garden around the pole. Decorate the pole and box according to the season.

9 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Home improvement is synonymous with increasing the value of a home. A home owner wanting to increase the value of their home can choose any number of home improvement projects and decide which projects to pursue based on the amount of time and money they have or want to commit.

The home improvement spectrum runs from minor projects like a fresh coat of paint to major projects like choosing to renovate. Below are nine ways to add value to your home that run the gamut between minor and major projects.

  • Paint – Paint is a popular home improvement supply because few projects improve the look of a home as quickly or cheaply. Whether a home owner decides to paint a single room in the house or merely repaint the trim on the outside or if a person decides to repaint the entire house inside and out, a paint job is a major improvement because it is extremely noticeable.
  • Doors – Replacing the doors in a home is simple, fast and make a huge difference in the appearance of a home. Selecting a front door with windows or heavy, wood interior doors can add an entirely new feel to the atmosphere of a home.
  • Tile – Replacing linoleum or old tile with new tile gives a home a young and vibrant feel. By selecting the right colors and patterns for a kitchen, bathroom and entry-way, a home owner can substantially increase the value of their home.
  • Trees – The value of trees outside a home significantly increase the value of a home. They are easy to plant, are a pleasure to watch grow and countless varieties to choose from.
  • Fences – A sound new fence give a home a secure feeling because it is a means of keeping pets and small children away from danger. Constructing a fence also adds value to a home because a fence prevents others from easily accessing the home.
  • Concrete – While concrete work is more difficult work and time consuming than a paint job, the results are equally as noticeable and quickly add value to a home. Be removing old sidewalks, driveways, patios and walk-ways and replacing them anew, a home owner can drastically change the look of their home.
  • Siding – Many home owners are afraid to tackle a siding job, but the reality is, replacing old siding with new is a relatively easy job in relation to other carpentry projects and the change–the increase in value–of the home is obvious.
  • Roofing – Roofing is another home improvement project that may seem intimidating, but it’s actually one of the easier projects to complete if you are an amateur carpenter. And, as few aspects of a home are exposed to the elements with the same consistency as the roof, re-roofing a home adds considerable value.
  • Windows – New windows add a fresh, bright feeling to an old home. While replacing windows can be slightly complex, after a home owner replaces a few on their own, making the intricacies of a retrofit become more obvious and the process becomes easier.

Deck Staining Tips Everyone Should Know

Deck stain is an important step for proper maintenance of your deck. The elements can cause a deck to break down the stain, which leaves the wood with very little protection. Unprotected wood can begin to split and rot, which means replacing the deck, instead of only having to refinish your deck. Here are some staining tips that will make your deck look like new once the staining is completed.

Don’t Rush

The most important process when doing home exterior tasks, including applying the deck stain is to take your time. Staining the deck requires preparations to ensure it looks good after the stain has been applied. If the deck is new, allow time for the lumber to dry out before attempting to stain it. If it is an older deck, carefully inspect it for stains and bad spots in the wood.

Cleaning the Deck

Before applying deck stain, the entire deck should be thoroughly cleaned. Remove all furniture and accessories from the deck. If there are old stains on the wood, you may need to use a stain stripper. Follow the directions carefully on the stripper. If the stains are still there after using stripper and the deck has dried, use a sander to remove the stain, but be careful to not sand too deep into the wood. Once all of the stains have been removed use a power washer to clean the entire deck. If you do not have a power washer, a stiff broom and dish detergent will also work. Thoroughly rinse with clean water and allow complete drying.

Choosing the Stain

There are several types of deck stain to choose from, so take your time and read the labels. Keep in mind that less expensive stain may not give the results you are looking for. Choose a color that closely resembles the wood. It is best to use fairly transparent stain to allow the wood grain to show through as well as allow the wood to breathe. Make sure to read the label to find out how many coats are recommended, drying time and expected life span of the stain after it has been applied.

Less is More

Applying stain to thick or too many layers may cause it to peel and flake over time. The amount of stain applied should not be more than the wood can absorb. If you are not comfortable with this step of the staining process, contact a local painting contractor to apply the stain for you. It will not only save time, but is assurance the stain will be applied correctly. If you are comfortable applying the stain, take your time and use quality equipment. There are several ways to apply deck stain, but a brush is typically the most recommended, because you have better control over the strokes as well as the thickness of the stain.

Remember, if you take your time, your deck will not only look great, but will have the protection it needs to survive the elements.

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3496 Shoreline Drive, Orono, MN 55391

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