Archive for the ‘Remodeling Advice From The Experts’ Category

Three Great Reasons to Remodel Your Basement | Basement Remodeler Twin Cities MN

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Remodeling your basement may seem like a major undertaking; after all, digging through those spider webs alone is quite the project!  But here are three great reasons to push that fear of spiders aside and place finishing your basement at the top of your list:

Basement Remodel Transformation - Sass Construction MN

1. Value – Finishing a basement offers a remarkable return on your investment.  According to the 2014 Cost Vs. Value Report put out by Remodeling Magazine, a basement investment of around $62,000 is consistently bringing a national average of a 77% return, more than almost any other major remodeling project.  Spend less than you would on other projects and reap more!  Not to mention that an attractively finished basement will give your home a significant edge on the market versus homes lacking that finished space.

2. Comfort & Entertainment -  Need a cozy space for the winter months?  A place to keep cool during the summer months?  A finished basement is the go-to location for such needs.  Not only will your own family enjoy using the basement as a recreational area, TV room, exercise area, or home office, but the extra space makes it much easier to entertain guests and host parties.  Better yet, add an additional bedroom in your basement remodel plans (maybe a guest bath and kitchenette too?), and create a welcoming space for those holiday guests to stay (or stay out of your way!), plus new value to your home as well.

3. Organization – If your current basement is a messy mix of bins and boxes, refinishing your basement will give you a much needed sense of order.  A finished basement can provide a space for storage and shelving, and don’t forget the extra closet space!  Remodeling your basement gives you the opportunity to move extra storage or project space from your upstairs to downstairs as well, creating a more serene environment on your main level.

Peak at these ten creative basements featured on hgtv, and start thinking about your own basement remodel plans today!

Sass Construction specializes in interior and exterior remodeling in the West Suburban area of the Twin Cities.  Serving Chanhassen, Chaska, Edina, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis, and the more!  Contact us here at Sass Construction to start talking about your potential basement remodel or other design and remodel needs today!

Remodeling with Investment in Mind (Part 2) | Kitchen Remodeling Contractor Minneapolis MN

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

In our last blog we talked about how much value a kitchen remodel can bring to your home.  If you’re excited to remodel, but are not sure how long you plan to be in your home, you might want to approach your remodel with a slightly different angle.

Minneapolis Kitchen Remodeler | Kitchen Remodeling Twin Cities

Here are a few tips for remodeling with investment in mind:

Value —  You’ll want to create a kitchen that reflects the value of the area you live in.   Be careful about designing an elaborate kitchen for a neighborhood that won’t reap it’s value.  But it’s equally important that you don’t cut-corners on a kitchen in an otherwise luxurious home and neighborhood!

Style —  It can be tempting to pour your own style and personal touches into a kitchen.  And this is not a bad thing!  But if you’re concerned about selling, select a refreshed updated look that still suits the style of your home.  If a new buyer falls in love with the arts and crafts style of your home’s exterior, they might be surprised to find the overly-modern kitchen inside.  Don’t design separate rooms with styles that clash.  When in doubt, go for a transitional style that merges traditional with more contemporary looks.

Energy — Invest in energy-efficient appliances.  Not only do they save you money as they use less energy, potential buyers see them as a wallet-friendly bonus when shopping for a new home.  Read what energy star has to say about saving big with appliances on their fact sheet here.

Functionality – Whether you’re thinking of yourself or future buyers, organizational elements are a big hit with everyone! Invest in features like drawers for your cabinetry and pantry, soft-close cabinets, waste-recycling cabinetry space, and other organizational aspects.  A well organized kitchen never goes out of style.

Ready to get started?  Check out these Top 8 Kitchen Remodeling Trends and see if any of them might be good fits for your new, improved kitchen!

Connect with us here at Sass Construction to start talking about your new kitchen today and we’ll work with you on both the design and construction aspects to create a kitchen of value that you’re sure to love.  Serving the Minneapolis area, including Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, and more throughout the Twin Cities!

Kitchen Remodel ROI for Minneapolis & Remodeling with Investment in Mind (Part 1) | Kitchen Remodeling Contractor Minneapolis MN

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

kitchen tile backsplashYou want a new kitchen! A beautiful, functional kitchen that you and your family will love. But is the money to remodel worth the value you’ll get out of your home if you decide to sell?  What would your ROI (return on investment) be if you remodel and then move?

A kitchen is one of the first rooms a potential homeowner looks at when buying a home. So a well-maintained, updated kitchen is a big part of a home’s value. How big exactly?

Pretty big according to this respected online remodeling resource: In their 2014 Cost-vs-Value report they share that a homeowner remodeling a kitchen in the Minneapolis area should expect to recoup 72-76% of their investment. Dollars well spent! In comparison, the surrounding Midwest area boasted a smaller but still impressive value of 62-65% ROI on their kitchen remodel.

So how do you design a kitchen that you will love while still getting the most for your money if you decide to sell?  Stay tuned for our next post and we’ll share how! (Update: see part 2 here).

Get remodeling! Connect with us here at Sass Construction to start talking about your new kitchen today. Serving the Minneapolis area, including Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, and more throughout the Twin Cities!

Home Design & Decor Trends for 2014 | Home Remodeling and Construction MN

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Remodeled kitchen with white cabinets and black countertopTodays home trends lean toward light and bright with touches of bold accents. Evoking Scandinavian design, with its clean lines and simple surfaces, this look encompasses a fresh, contemporary feel that’s cozy too.

Here are the top 5 components to conquering today’s home design trends with Scandinavian influence:

  1. Keep it Bright – Start with a bright base (think whites, light grays, and the warmer greige tones) on your walls and cabinetry and add your color and texture with accent pieces.
  2. Simply yet Cozy – Keep your lines and surfaces simple — flat panel cabinetry, surfaces and countertops with less contrast (solid tile over stone), matte finishes that don’t distract — but don’t be afraid to mix in a few furnishings with ornate character or vintage origins to give your place that home-sweet-home feel.
  3. Color that Pops – Scandinavian influence has long been known for bright color accents.  Today’s trends embrace turquoise, bright corals, and of course shades of purple such as the color of the year, Radiant Orchid.  If you prefer less intensity, deep blue or an emerald tone might provide the right color accent for you.  Add your color in pillows, rugs, vases, dishes, and other home accessories.
  4. Black is Back – If you like the bright component, but long for a little more contrast, the good news is that black accents are back as well.  Add a furnishing element or two in black, or even consider designing a kitchen with two-toned cabinetry, such as white uppers and black lower cabinets.
  5. Textures and Depth – Just because the trending look is sleek and simple doesn’t mean it has to be flat, dull, or cold.  Textures are a great way to add depth to a home, whether it’s a rug, a throw blanket, or a custom molding with layers and depth.  As long as you keep the base of your look fresh and clean, texture accents will serve to add comfort rather than appear busy.

To find the right design style for your home, pick the trend components you love and mix them with your own long-withstanding aesthetics.  The result will be a cheerful home with cozy touches that is all you.  For more home inspiration, see how this family added some colorful cheer to their home and check out these ideas for keeping white fresh but not boring.  Start dreaming about your redesigned home today!

Sass Construction is a home building and remodeling company in the West Metro area of the Twin Cities MN, ready for projects throughout your entire home.  Contact us today about updating your place into a fresh new space you’ll love to call home!

Doors: Your Material Options for Style & Efficiency

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

There are many styles of doors to choose from, but beyond how you’d like your door to look, you’ll also need to choose what kind of door to install.

Most door construction combines several materials, such as a fiberglass or steel door having a wood frame. Deciding which surface material to use impacts the strength, appearance, longevity and cost.

Let’s take a look at the surface materials available and how each impacts your home, your lifestyle, and your budget.

The most common style, wood doors range from high-end solid wood doors to low-cost versions made from wood-veneer surrounding an engineered-wood core. Their versatility and beauty are what set wood doors apart. From oak to cherry to walnut to pine (just to name a few!) wood doors may feature a natural finish or can be painted. Wood doors do require maintenance, but can always be sanded down for refinishing should the need arise.

When security and durability are your main concerns, steel doors an excellent choice. Not only are steel doors stronger than wood or fiberglass, but they aren’t easily damaged by wear-and-tear or weather. If steel doors do acquire dents or dings, they are easily repaired with an auto-body repair kit. Steel doors are typically less expensive and come in a wide variety or styles and colors.

Tip: There is a large range in the quality and price of steel doors. Just remember that the lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel. And yes, thicker is better.

Fiberglass-composite doors are maintenance-free, and their durability makes them a great choice for harsh or humid climates. These doors imitate the look of wood-grain and can be stained to look like oak, cherry and many other wood varieties.

Tip: Keep in mind that the wood grain on a quality fiberglass-composite door will run horizontally across the “rails” and vertically down the “stiles” to mimic a real wood door. 

Sold only through dealers, aluminum doors are custom-built for each installation, and are available in many styles and colors, with either a smooth or wood-grain surface. The baked enamel finish never requires painting, will not rust, and often comes with a 20-year warranty. Of course, all of these amazing features means aluminum doors are nearly as expensive as solid wood.

The range of material options means you really can find the doors to meet your project needs, all while accounting for energy efficiency and budget considerations! Remember, material choice alone is not enough to discern the quality of the doors you want to install. Be sure to pay attention to the hardware and function: doors should function easily and feel good to use.

Once you’ve selected the right doors for your home, be sure installation goes smoothly and correctly! Improper installation may not only cause damage to your brand-new doors, in some cases it will also void your warranty. Let the experts at Sass Construction help with your door installations and put your mind as ease.

For more details on the material options for your next door, check out this article from This Old House.

Contact Sass Construction about your interior or exterior remodeling needs, including installing new windows and doors. We are a full-service remodeling company serving Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, the West Metro, Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities MN area.


Front Door Clutter Control: Getting a Handle on Your Home’s Organization | Mudroom and Entryway Storage and Remodeling Tips

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Is your kitchen backed-up with shopping bags, shoes, and backpacks? Has your front door become a drop zone for all things that enter the house? storage ideas Twin CitiesIf you’re trapped in a lifestyle of ongoing clutter and not sure how to escape, we have a few simple tips that may just make a world of difference!

1. Have specific spaces set aside for storage and your family’s coming and going habits:

  • Identify “home base” storage spaces or consider adding one — building a mudroom, or remodeling your entryway or laundry room to create a storage area, might simplify your life for the long haul!
  • Add organizational structures — whether you create a new mudroom area or have limited space for an overhaul, consider building in some storage tools. Cabinetry can double as shelving or elegant home lockers. Benches are great for storage and seating – consider getting one with pull-out storage drawers, which are great for shoes. Hooks or wall cubbies help you utilize the upward space your wall may have to offer.
  • For inspiration, peak at 22 amazing mudroom and entrway spaces from hgtv here!

2. Create an organizational system within those space(s). Once you’ve identified a good on-going storage space, use these handy tips to put it to work for you:

  • Assign specific areas for each item that comes and goes through the entry of your home: shoes, bags, umbrellas, coats, backpacks, mail, etc.
  • Don’t forget to designate space for items that are only in your home temporarily – laptop bags or backpacks for instance may only be there for part of a day, but they need a home too.
  • Put extra hooks on the wall that can pull double duty – keys, lightweight coats, lunch boxes, umbrellas with string handles, etc will all come and go, but it’s nice to keep them up and out of the way.
  • Move things you use everyday to the forefront and keep longer term storage (season or occasional items) to a back cubby or inside a closet.
  • Leave one area for seasonal items that will change as the weather or sports season changes.
  • Commit five minutes each day to making sure items are in their place as they come and go.
  • Get in the habit of using the correct space for each item; if one space isn’t being used for a long period of time, consider moving that item’s space to a more practical area.

Ready to get started? Spend some time walking around the entry areas of your home and match your roadblocks with the tools above! Whether you’re ready to undergo an entryway or mudroom remodel to keep your lifestyle clutter-free, or you just need to add a few storage pieces, your goals are in sight! Need more mudroom or storage ideas? Consider the additional layout ideas from hgtv here.

Contact us here at Sass Construction if you need help creating space to better organize your home! Whether it’s a mudroom, entryway, laundry room, or other storage area, we can step in and create the space your family and lifestyle need! Serving Chanhassen, Chaska, Minneapolis, the West Metro area, and homes throughout the Twin Cities, MN with trusted remodeling and building expertise.

New Windows! Understanding the Home Energy Savings of Energy-Efficient Windows

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Shopping for new windows for your home?  Then energy efficiency is probably at the top of your list!  New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves and can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs.  You can gain as much as a 30 percent reduction in energy use and boost your curb appeal at the same time!  Some energy companies, such as Alliant Energy, even offer rebates for each new energy-efficient window you install.

Here we want to give you some details on what to look for as you’re shopping for new, energy-friendly windows.

1. How do we identify the efficiency of a window?Window

Windows can lose heat in 4 ways:

  • Conduction
  • Radiation
  • Air Leakage
  • Convection

Based on these factors, a window is assigned a U-factor to help you identify its efficiency.  The U-factor represents the rate at which the window conducts non-solar heat flow.  The lower the U-factor, the more energy-efficient the window.

2. How does the style of the window effect efficiency?
What parts of a window are most important in making it energy efficient?  All if it!  Glazing features used on the windowpane as well as the frame itself both make a difference.

Glazing reduces winter condensation and helps reduce solar heat gain.  Sophisticated technology has made glazing very dynamic over the last few years.  Glazing options may include:

  • Single glazed
  • Double glazed
  • Double glazed, low-E coating
  • Double glazed, low-E argon gas filled
  • Triple Glazed, two low-E coatings, argon-gas filled

Your window frames can make a significant difference as well!  Approximately 46% of manufactured windows are made with wood frames, 36% with Hollow Vinyl, and 17% with aluminum.  Choose your window frame material carefully.  Though wood windows are the most expensive, they aren’t necessarily the highest quality or best fit for you.  Wood windows often involve more maintenance and can be subject to rot, shrinking, and swelling in certain conditions.  Read more about the pros and cons of window frame options here.

3. Why does my climate make a difference in what windows I choose?
Don’t forget that you want your windows to be efficient in both hot and cold weather, based on where you live.  Here in Minnesota, we have both extreme summers and winters to think about.  Understanding the Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) will help you decide what type of window is best for your climate and window orientation.  High SHGC ratings are more effective at collecting heat during the winter and low SHGC ratings are more effective at blocking heat during the summer.

With so many options and variables to understand, it makes sense to weigh your options before making a final decision on which windows are the best fit for your home.  One thing is certain however, replacing your current windows with high-efficiency windows will ultimately produce home energy savings, benefiting the environment and lowering your energy bill!

Selecting the Right Tile for Your Kitchen Backsplash (part 2 of 2)

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

So you’re trying to decide what kitchen backsplash tile is right for your home…  Last week we talked about the first three steps in narrowing down your backsplash tile:

1. Knowing your tile options…
2. Considering your tile needs…
3. Deciding on the overall look and feel you want for your kitchen backsplash…

This week we’re going to get further into the details, talk about patterns, and understand how to avoid mistakes.  Our final two suggestions for deciding on your kitchen backsplash tile are:

4. Consider Solid Repetition vs a Pattern
Do you want a fresh, monochromatic repetition of all the same tile, or would you prefer a pattern or accent border?  If you opt for a design, look for tiles that come with accent pieces and colors.  Sketch out the layout you want clearly, or borrow the expertise of your designer or remodeler to help you create a design that is impacting, balanced, and also practical in how it will be installed.  Some manufacturers, like Crossville, offer tools like their Backsplash Builder to help you layout your design.

5. Be Savvy with the Details
Whether you plan to order your own tile from a supplier or are connecting with your remodeler on the project, be aware of these potential issues:

  • Confirm that the tile you want to use is thick or thin enough to install on the wall you have to work with.
  • Don’t forget trim pieces  –  you may need a corner trim or edging.
  • Make sure your pieces coordinate in glaze and finish.  Try to purchase your tile all from one batch to avoid batch discrepancies.
  • Be prepared to wait if your tile is not in stock.  Set aside time to make your decisions and order far enough in advance that it won’t set your remodeling project behind.

Creating a beautiful kitchen backsplash, whether it be with neutral tones of natural stone or a colorful pattern of painted tile, is an exciting part of your kitchen remodel and ultimately reflects your own style and the style and needs of your home.  Choose what you love, plan ahead, and double check the details.  In the end you’ll have a successfully installed kitchen focal point that you will enjoy for years to come!

Sass Construction loves helping homeowners fall in love with their home all over again.  Whether you want to add a stunning kitchen backsplash or do a complete kitchen remodel, contact us today to get the answers you need to get started.

Selecting the Right Tile for Your Kitchen Backsplash (part 1 of 2)

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The kitchen backsplash is a focal point of your kitchen and one you should love to look at!  Yet with so many options to express your style, it can be hard to know where to start.

Here are a few steps to consider as you make your selection:

1. Know Your Options
Your materials may include brick, granite, stacked stone, sheet glass, bead board, copper panels, mirror tile, ceramic tile, marble, glass mosaic, and embossed tin amongst other things.  If you want your backsplash to be something special, be sure to look beyond the basic home improvement stores and to specialty shops and online tile sources (or ask your designer or remodeler for sources).  You might be surprised that you are drawn to something you never expected or knew existed.  Collect photos or samples of everything you can.

2. Consider Your Needs

  • Is décor your primary concern?
  • Do you need your backsplash to be easy to clean?
  • Is budget a priority?
  • Should it be easy to replace if you get bored or decide to move?

Then weigh how important these needs are and make a priority list.  If you fall in love with a decorative tile, are you willing to pay a little bit more for instance?  If you find an eco-friendly or highly textured option, are you willing to jump on it for the natural ambiance it provides verses how quickly it wipes clean?  Decide what materials or designs can be eliminated or moved to the top of the list based on these factors.

3. Decide What Overall Look and Feel You Want
What do you want the backsplash to bring to the kitchen?  Rustic ambiance?  A vintage feel?  Write down a few words that describe the feel of the kitchen you envision.  Which ones still on your list capture this mood or era?  Some materials lend themselves naturally to certain feels, by their texture or by their artistic detailing:

  • Stone gives off a natural, rustic feel (but isn’t always as easy to clean).
  • Bronzed paneling lends historic ambiance.
  • Bead board is more traditional (and easier to change out).
  • Ceramic tile is more common, but can effect the feel of the kitchen based on its size (smaller tiles are more vintage looking, larger ones more contemporary).
  • Glass tiles are trendy and brightening.
  • Painted tiles bring out certain cultures or artistic tastes.
  • Brick provides a gourmet, urban feel.

Look for our follow-up post (part 2) next week as we talk about creating a pattern for your backsplash and avoiding common tile mistakes!

In the meantime, enjoy the inspiration of 20 different kitchen backsplashes here!


Need help installing a kitchen backsplash?  Want to plan a complete kitchen remodel?  Contact us at Sass Construction today!

Preparing Your Home for the Holidays

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

You know the drill. Every year, right after the holidays have passed you vow to have your kitchen remodeled, your basement renovated or your addition in place in time for next year’s festivities. And yet, every year you get busy. Summer comes and goes and, before you know it, November is upon us again. We know how it goes! This year, beat the cycle and have your project done before the first holiday turkey is placed in the oven by better understanding your project timeline.  Call us now and begin your project to have your home in tip-top shape for the holidays.

Keep in mind that however long your project is expected to take in terms of construction, it is likely that an equal amount of time will be spent in planning and preparation. For example, a one month project will likely take one month to plan in addition to one month of implementation. By allowing yourself plenty of time on the front end, you will help ensure that the project you end up with is the one you want, design mistakes will be eliminated, and you will have time to thoughtfully consider your plans. With that in mind, let’s get started on your holiday projects today! Check out our design galleries for inspiration and contact us today to begin your project planning.