Storm Damage Advice

It’s important to watch out for storm-chasing contractors, who move city to city to find storm-damaged homes and offer poor service after the sale. They usually descend on an affected like locust on a crop field, within hours or days after a storm event.
These contractors pray on a homeowner’s first instinct, which is to restore their property as quickly as possible after a devastating storm.

These contractors know that homeowners are in tough spot and will make emotional decisions that they wouldn’t normally make without doing more research.

One of the tactics that these storm-chasing contractors are using is going door to door in affected neighborhoods, promising homeowners everything under the sun in order to get them to sign a contingency form. Once you sign that form you are locked into using that contractor.

We are not saying that everyone knocking on your door, offering storm restoration assistance is always a marauder. In fact many reputable estimators will stop by if they have an estimate next door to see if they are in need of assistance as well.

Things to remember if you have storm damage:
-Always ask for local references within the last 12 months. (Even if they have local plates and a local license number) This will help you confirm if they are indeed a local contractor or not.
-Asking for identification from the company representative is a reasonable request, if they are from out of state that is a red flag.
-Do not sign anything until you have fully vetted the contractor.
-Ask to see their insurance certificates

Contractors recommended by your insurance company.
As a homeowner, you have the right to choose the contractor that performs your insurance restoration work. Some insurance companies have preferred service providers that they strongly recommend, and in some cases, they will even guarantee to back their work if it’s performed incorrectly.

This sounds great on paper until you realize that it is to that contractor’s benefit to perform minimal work as cheaply as possible so that the insurance company continues to send them work. Protect yourself by doing your own homework and not going with the first person that knocks on your door.

Contractors who offer pay your deductible.
In the state of Minnesota, it is illegal for a contractor to pay your insurance deductible. Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Labor prohibits the discounting of any insurance restoration work on your home.
Kickbacks or rebates from a contractor are also not permissible. Anyone who offers to do any of this should be reported to the Better Business Bureau or your local department of labor.

In the end remember if you have storm damage, slow down and take your time choosing a contractor as you would any remodeling project. A reputable company will have no issues providing references and any other requested documentation.

New Color Trends


They say that style will eventually go full circle, and that is definitely the case when it comes to exterior design and home colors. In the last few years we have seen a strong resurgence of the vivid colors that were so popular in 1920′s era. With today’s super sidings like James Hardie fiber cement siding it has become much easier to be adventurous when choosing colors for your home.

Then there are contemporary and modern designs that often look best in monochromatic-single color finish with bronze and deep grays’ being the most popular.  Even on monochromatic exteriors we are seeing that fiber cement siding to be the best as it is stable enough to handle the dark colors.

A good rule of thumb when choosing colors for your home is to go just a little outside of your comfort zone. Choosing the right colors for your home can be a little distressing and overwhelming sometimes. The right choice will be a combination of your own style, the neighborhood you live in and the architecture of your home.

On the average home there are three main color components.

Body color– This would generally be the siding color.

Trim color– Generally your eaves, window trim, corner trim and band trim

Accent color– Shutters, flower boxes, doors, shakes, and gable vents


Here are some tips that we give our clients during the color selection phase.

colorimg-21. Work with larger samples outside.

In order to have the most fun with this you will need to get larger color samples and take them outside under the natural light. As you narrow it down we can bring out whole pieces of siding to help you be confident of your choice.

2. Color to go.

One trick we often utilize is the Sherwin Williams “Color to go” quart samples. For $6 they will mix up  sample quarts of paint for you. Then you can paint the colors you are thinking next to the brick, trim or in view of the roofing color.

3. Complimenting brick and stone

Too often you see body colors that too closely match the stone color when this happens the stone and siding blur together or “wash out”. You want your stone and siding to “pop” or be striking in contrast to each other.

4. Take pictures of the homes that you like.

This can be very helpful for you and your contractor, the more the better. It provides us with valuable insight into your taste and style so we can best recommend design ideas for your home.


5. Consider adding more detail for accent colors

It is all in the details…This is really one of the fun parts of exterior design. Some ideas our clients often consider are crown molding trim, shutters, flower boxes, custom decorative louvers, heavy posts and stained cedar.  These are all possible ideas we can help you contemplate.

6. Design software

As a professional remodeler we utilize the best exterior designer software available, Renoworks. We will take a digital photo of your home and put the colors you are considering on your house.