Sylvestre Construction, Inc.

In This Issue

•  All-Season Rooms
   Stretch Outdoor
   Enjoyment – and
   Living Space

•  Maintenance Tip

•  Pass It On!

•  What’s the Story?

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Construction, Inc.

7708 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55423

Ph: 612-861-0188
Fx:  612-861-0190

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Member, National Association of the Remodeling Industry

GuildQuality Member

Member of Builders Association of the Twin Cities

Member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association


  Members of our staff hold
  the following industry

• NARI Master Certified
• NARI Certified Remodeler
• NARI Certified Lead
• NARI Certified Kitchen and
  Bath Remodeler
• NKBA Certified Kitchen
• NAHB Certified Aging in
  Place Specialist (CAPS)

March 2014

All-Season Rooms Stretch Outdoor Enjoyment – and Living Space

By now even the most ardent lovers of Minnesota winters are probably wishing for Spring to be here. So now is the perfect time to start dreaming of and planning to add an "all-season" room to your home so it can feel like "summertime" year round, despite rain, sleet or snow. You'll stretch your home's living space – and value – while avoiding cabin fever next winter!

Creating an all-season room can be as simple as enclosing an existing porch or patio, adding a sunroom enclosure, or creating an all-new sunroom custom-built for your tastes and lifestyle. If you're working from an existing structure, you may not need to excavate a new foundation. Depending on the type of room, you may not need to install heating or plumbing systems or the same level of insulation as required for regular living spaces, which can make all-season rooms very affordable.

All-season rooms

No matter what type of room you're creating, the orientation of it on your property is a major consideration. For example, a south-facing room is ideal for optimizing the beauty of natural light and great in the winter, but you'll need to find solutions for keeping the space from becoming uncomfortable on a hot, sunny summer day. For a more "finished" sunroom, this might require a cooling and ventilating solution more sophisticated than a ceiling fan. Energy-efficient windows, ductless heating and cooling systems, and certain building materials and construction techniques can all be combined to help even out temperatures and make all-season rooms comfortable year-round.

Ideas for “Season-Spanning” Spaces

Porches: A screened porch is a great three-season option. Add sliding glass doors along with the screens and you gain a fourth season when you can enjoy the view in comfort. When you want to feel the breezes but not the bugs, open the doors but close the screens. If it's too hot, too cold or it's raining, close the doors and you are surrounded by your view but protected by glass. Windows such as NanaWall panels withstand high winds and seal out driving rain, sleet and snow, yet fold open to almost completely eliminate the wall between you and the outdoors.

When planning the porch, note that the wider the porch, the easier it will be to create inviting furniture groupings that bring friends and family together. Pay attention to the visual value of details such as the moldings, panels and pilasters. Add height and architectural interest with features such as a vaulted ceiling and exposed beams. Creative lighting is valuable for illuminating the space at night without an over-exposed "fish bowl" feeling. To add a porch without robbing interior rooms of light, consider adding skylights to the porch roof.

All-season rooms

Patios: No longer just a slab of concrete, patios today are conceived as outdoor rooms with columns, half-walls, pergolas, as well as open spaces. These outdoor rooms can include a built-in barbeque, counters, sink, fridge and stove for stylish year-round entertaining. A dramatic fireplace or simple fire pit adds warmth – and the fun of making popcorn and toasting s'mores – even on wintry evenings. Hot tubs and spas also can be incorporated into the design of your outdoor room.

Sunrooms: Sunrooms can range from very simple, casual spaces to elegantly appointed rooms with soaring windows and the finest finishes. To open the room to sunlight and views, the room should feature a minimum of structural elements. Walls and ceilings should be fully insulated, with insulated glass used for windows and doors. While natural sunlight will flood the room during the day, expert lighting design is essential for making the room enjoyable at night as well. "Wow" features for sunrooms can include large, arched windows, skylights, built-in planters, and even fountains and fish ponds that create the feeling of an indoor garden. Tile is a nice flooring choice for an "outside" feel, while carpet or wood create the cozier ambiance of a sitting room.

Adding a porch to your existing home, remodeling your patio into an outdoor room, or building a new sunroom treat you to living space you can enjoy throughout the year. These types of remodeling projects can also enhance your home value – as long as they're designed to complement the existing lines of the house and constructed to weather the outdoor elements while providing a great indoor environment, too. If you'd like to explore "all-season" possibilities for your home, just give us a call!

Maintenance Tip: Equip Your Home with a Fire Extinguisher

Every home should have a fire extinguisher for the safety of your family. If you have one already, but are not sure whether it is working properly, have it serviced or replace it. Make sure your extinguisher is accessible and never blocked by coats, boxes, or other objects. Regularly inspect the canister for dents or rust, and check that the pressure is at the recommended level and there are no leaks.

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Accessible remodeling - ramp   Accessible remodeling - shower
A recently completed accessible shower and ramp.

What's the Story?

The sun is warmer and the snow is fading – maybe spring really will arrive!

   Remodeling nightmares can be avoided
  Oh no, I picked the wrong contractor!

We had a big event this past weekend with a booth at the Southwest Home Improvement Show and I gave a brief seminar on "living through a remodeling project". My premise was that many of the remodeling horror stories that you hear about contractors and bad projects can many times be avoided if the owner would do a better job of selecting a contractor. I left my audience with a list of questions to ask contractors and the referrals that they hopefully interview "before" they select their contractor. It seems so easy to blame the contractor for the mess, when, if they had done a little more homework, the owner themselves could set themselves up for a better process and outcome. There was a lot on interest in the show and people are getting ready to remodel this year.

Outhouse in the snow

Lots of snow! 

Maybe next month the snow will be gone...but I am not holding my breath!

Until next month,

John Sylvestre