Sylvestre Construction, Inc.

In This Issue

• Make a Holiday Gift List ...for Your Home

• 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)

December 2014

Make a Holiday Gift List
...for Your Home

Make a holiday gift list for your home.You make holiday gift lists for friends, family and co-workers. Now, what about making a gift list for your home – a room by room list of what you'd love to change.

If you're thinking about a possible remodeling project for 2015, January is the time to start the planning process. That's why now is the ideal time to start making your home wish list. Besides, with your home front and center during the holidays, you'll not only have a chance to think about new things you'd love to have, you can also make note of what needs updating, what frustrates you, and what simply no longer works for your family and your lifestyle.

Even if you have one type of remodeling project in mind – such as a kitchen renovation or a home addition – don't limit your wish to that one project. With good planning and an extra dose of creativity, you might be surprised by how far we might be able to stretch a remodeling budget to cover what's on your wish list. So don't filter – list everything you'd like to change about your home, inside and out.

See your home with fresh eyes

As you're welcoming friends, family, and kids home from college, imagine seeing your home through their eyes. Chances are, you'll become aware of things that really should be fixed or updated – but that you've grown so used to seeing that you don't even notice them anymore. This might include a shower stall that's well past its prime, sagging shelves, or leaky toilets. Your wish list might even include a better solution for out-of-town guests than an air mattress in the living room.

Kitchen remodeling

As you're cooking, think about what doesn't work in terms of storage, layout, lighting, appliances, and how your kitchen looks and "lives." Then go ahead and fantasize about what your kitchen would be like with some of those new ideas you've seen in Houzz or Pinterest, like tall windows, sleek new cabinets, elegant lighting, amazing time-savers and organizers, gathering spaces and beautiful new appliances.

As you're entertaining, think about the spaces in your home and how they're used. For instance, do you feel cramped for space, yet rarely use your living room? Would a new floor plan make better use of living space and even create space for an extra bath or powder room? Would you love to have a beautifully open kitchen and family room with skylights for stargazing in front of an fireplace? Think about the feel of your home, too. Is it comfortably warm...or are you paying outrageous utility bills so people won't feel the chilly drafts from worn-out windows?

Come January, start making wishes come true

When the holidays are over, you'll find you have a very good list not just of specific things you'd like to change, but a big-picture vision of how you'd like your remodeled home to look and feel. This provides a valuable head start for approaching the project. And a head start is the key to stress-free remodeling. That's because even simple updates can involve many pieces. In fact, given the permitting process, product delivery timelines, and construction requirements, projects can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months.

So if you think 2015 might be your year to remodel, don't wait to get started on your home's remodeling wish list. Then, come January, bring us the list and let's see what we can do to make those wishes come true.

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. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when dealing with fire extinguishers.

If You Like Our E-newsletter, Pass It On!

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!)

How about a new kitchen for Christmas?

How about a new kitchen for Christmas? We just completed this one! 

What's the Story?

Is it winter or is it spring? As December roared in with cold temperatures, it is now questionable if we are going to have snow for the Holidays! One thing we know for sure is that the end of the year is upon us and it is time to start thinking about our plans for next year. We already have a couple of screen porches that are ready to go and a great renovation project to restore the roof details on a 1908 home. The good news is that we have a couple of "interior" projects for the months of January and February. That is a rare occurrence for us. Last year we tore the roof off a house the first of December and worked in the cold and snow all winter!

Home remodeling - before Home remodeling - after
Roof tear-off: December 2013  Project Completion: Spring 2014 

I recently completed my annual contractor education training and we spent a lot of time talking about the new updated energy code that Minnesota has accepted and will become required around February 2015. Most of the new rules pertain to new homes, but remodeling will definitely feel the trickle down effect of these rules. One that will affect us is basement wall insulation. The new code will require insulation on both the interior and exterior of the concrete wall. This will change the way we detail new foundation walls. Another rule will be the airsealing, and we are talking about the "complete" sealing, of all warm air supplies and cold air returns. At the onset, this sounds simple, but current techniques that we are using are not good enough to get the results that will be required. We will know if it works because all new homes will be tested by an independent third party and will have to meet a certain level of performance that can be measured with a blower door test.

Can you identify this fish?
Interesting fish?

These requirements will continue as we try to lower residential energy usage and move housing to a net-zero (the goal is by the year 2035) energy use. That means that your house will produce and use the same amount of energy. That will be interesting!

I want to wish all of our friends and clients a great holiday season. I hope you all have a chance to relax and spend time with your friends and family….I better go. They are all coming to our house in a few days.

Happy Holidays!

PS – I will send a Caribou Gift Card to anyone that can correctly identify the species of the yellow fish in the photo. This is a friend of my sons who is an avid fisherman. Great color! Email me at I would love to hear from you!

Until next month,

John Sylvestre