Sylvestre Construction, Inc.

In This Issue

•  The Great Outdoors
   in Your Own Backyard

•  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)

August 2014

The Great Outdoors in Your Own Backyard

At this time of year, no matter how much you love your home's interior, you're probably feeling the need to add some quality outdoor living space to make your home even better. What do we mean when we say "quality" outdoor living space? Space that not only adds to your enjoyment and relaxation, but that also increases the beauty of your home.

Outdoor living space can be as simple as a small deck or patio or can be a multi-level, multi-function space perfect for relaxing, reading, dining, or a special event for friends and family with elegant lighting, a screened porch, outdoor kitchen, spa, fire pit and more.

Exterior home remodeling and outdoor living

Add Space for Less

Assuming your outdoor living space is consistent with the level of design and features of your home, an outdoor living area can be less expensive per square foot than indoor space. It also adds a whole new dimension to your at-home experience.

Options and Ideas for Outdoor Living Spaces

We could go on forever about all of the options you have for creating just the right outdoor living space for your home, but here are some of the highlights:

Decks: They can be simple – one level and rectangular – or they can be multi-level with custom shapes. They can be with or without a roof or awning, with or without screening and made of one of several composite or engineered building materials that offer longer life and require little to no maintenance.

Patios: Being at ground level, patios are perfect for integrating your home with your landscaping, which can offer shade, privacy, fragrance and beauty to your time outdoors. There are a tremendous number of building material choices (man-made and natural) for patios. You may like the variety, color predictability and cost that man-made products like brick, pavers, and poured surfaces offer or you may prefer the warmth and blending of colors and textures of natural stone.

Exterior home remodeling and outdoor living

Lighting: What lets you really expand the hours of enjoyment your outdoor living space affords is lighting. But it can do much more than keep you from tripping over the dog in the dark. Exterior illumination can be done in a creative way, as dim or bright as you want, that sets a mood and adds drama to your home. It pays to consider the lighting design as carefully as you consider the design of your deck or patio.

Cooking: If you are not doing at least some cooking outside, you are really missing out! Your options range from the purist's favorite charcoal grill to a gourmet cook's dream outdoor kitchen with a mega gas grill, sink, refrigerator, icemaker, counter space for food prep and serving, storage cabinets, a fireplace or fire pit, and more.

Shade: Whether you love to bask in the sun or would just prefer to sit in the shade, you have options...lots of them! At one end of the spectrum, you might opt for just a freestanding umbrella to provide spot shade, or you may like the flexibility of a retractable awning or sunshade. For a more permanent solution, you may wish to have part of the space under a roof, pergola or gazebo (or even screened in).

Accessibility/Universal Design: When designing an outdoor living space, you may want to consider building in some universal design features for maximum accessibility for all. Always provide secure hand rails for stairs. Low-rise steps, low-threshold doorways and levers instead of doorknobs are excellent options.

You will get years and years of enjoyment from your investment in your outdoor living space if you take the time to have it planned out carefully, designed right and built for low maintenance and long life.

Call us if you have any questions or if you are ready to add some outdoor living space to your life.

Maintenance Tip: In an Emergency, Knowledge is Power

Take some time this month to familiarize family members with the location of your home's gas main valve, water main valve, and fuse box or circuit breakers so everyone can be prepared for an emergency. Make sure flashlights (fully charged or with fresh batteries) can be found easily should the power go out unexpectedly.

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We would like to thank all our new readers who have signed up for our e-newsletter. If you know someone who you think might like our e-newsletter, please forward them a copy. Unless they then choose to subscribe for themselves, they won't be on our e-newsletter mailing list for future e-mails.(We promise!)

First canoe trip.

Patty's daughter Claire on her first canoe trip. 

What's the Story?

This month's topic "the great outdoors in your backyard" is appropriate as we work through the final weeks of summer. We work hard in our designs to tie the indoor spaces to the outdoors through windows and views, and connecting the landscape to your home is a natural extension of this planning. Even the plantings in your yard can also be used to provide privacy or enhance wildlife and bird viewing.

The view from the Madeline Island Cabin.

The view from the Madeline Island Cabin.

I was able to spend some time with my family on Madeline Island this month. Talk about a great connection to nature! It is great to have the long vistas over Lake Superior and listen to the crashing waves. I hope you all have had a chance to enjoy the outdoors this summer.

Until next month,

John Sylvestre