Sylvestre Construction, Inc.

In This Issue

•  Small Updates
   with Big Impact

•  This Month's 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)

May 2014

Small Updates with Big Impact

Sooner or later, homes start to show their age. Just as there comes a time when it makes sense to replace the roof, it can also make sense to update fixtures and finishes that are no longer stylish, lack today's features, or that have simply not held up well over the years. Think of it as the solution between simply repainting rooms and doing an all-out remodel.

Right now, many of the homes built in our area up through the 1990s are in need of a freshening up. Even homes that were showcases a decade ago have started to look a little old-fashioned (and not in a good, charming way). Plus, even many large, more expensive homes, were constructed using builder-grade materials that have worn out over time.

Kitchen remodeling

What Makes Today's Interiors Look Old?

Materials that haven't aged well can give even the nicest home a shabby appearance. Examples we frequently see include brass-plated light fixtures that have begun to pit, cabinet doors that have warped or sagged, faucets that have begun to corrode, and door knobs where the brass plating has rubbed off exposing the dark metal underneath.

The style of fixtures and finishes can also make a once-elegant home look dowdy. Here are some examples:

  • Ornate Williamsburg lighting fixtures look outdated compared to today's sleeker, sturdier fixtures in wrought iron or antique brushed finishes like cooper or nickel.
  • In bathrooms, the all-white tile that looked so fresh in the past now looks bland. Today's preferences are either the warm, natural look of granite, slate and stone or bold tile colors combined in bright patterns.
  • Light oak cabinets and floors also date a house. Go very light with white or very dark with deep colors like Espresso for floors and kitchen cabinets. Even better is to mix and match dark and light, using one color for cabinets and another for an island or accent pieces.
  • Wall-to-wall carpet gives a house a very dated appearance these days. Even in bedrooms, hardwood floors are more desirable for their clean, rich look. Besides the style issue, nothing detracts from a home's freshness more than wall-to-wall carpet that has seen better days.

The Big Impact of a Fixture And Finish Update

We can do something that's small-scale but high-impact by doing a "Fixture and Finish Update." Instead of renovating by knocking down walls, we can go through the home replacing elements that are worn and lack the freshness of new materials and finishes and the functionality of new products.

Bathroom remodeling

To give you an idea of the relatively small scope of an update, our work might include things like replacing the home's lighting fixtures and giving those all-white tiled bathrooms a spa-like feel with natural stone elements. We install good-quality wood cabinets. We replace corroded faucets and worn brass-plated door knobs with handsome new levers in brushed nickel. For more contemporary-looking floors and stair rails, we refinish the oak, stain the floors and handrail a deep walnut, and paint the balusters and stair risers white.

Many homeowners have the intention of being in their homes for many more years and just want it to feel fresh and current again. Room by room, we can update a home so it does indeed look – and feel – like it's brand new.

With a Fixture and Finish Update, you get much of the impact of a whole-house renovation, but with a fraction of the budget. Just give us a call if you'd like to explore possibilities for your own update!

Safety Tip: Microchip Your Pets

One of the most important things you can do for your pets is to get them microchipped in case they get lost. This is especially important in an emergency or natural disaster, since first responders do not have the resources to care for and reunite pets with their families if they become separated. A lost pet with an active microchip can be easily identified by most veterinarians or shelters.

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Need more signs like this!

What's the Story?

The flowers are starting to bloom and so are the projects ! We have a number of projects that will be starting in the next few weeks and lots of phone calls and interest in remodeling. Its great! On tap is a kitchen addition near Lake of the Isles, a kitchen addition and remodeling in St. Paul and a "mom's suite" in a St Louis Park home. Should be fun.

Driftwood and cold water at the mouth of the Brule River

Our annual steelhead trip to the Brule River in northwest Wisconsin this spring was a fun time but a bust on fish. Water levels in the river were so high and fast that it was dangerous to go near the river. The south shore of Lake Superior is beautiful any time of year and we enjoyed getting out and exploring.

No fish but good food!

I hope all of you have a great Memorial Day weekend planned. We are going to ride our bikes to our cabin on the Friday before Memorial Day – 80 miles the first day and 45 the second day. It should be great and looks like the weather will be nice. This is the 6th time we have done this adventure. Also I am heading to Ontario for our annual canoe trip. I should have some stories next month.

Until next month,

John Sylvestre