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remodeling services


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  remodeling services

Custom Home Building & Full Range of Remodeling in Mpls/St.Paul and Entire Twin Cities Area

Completion Time:

Average size basement (800-1000 sq. ft) within 5 weeks plus the inspection time.

Estimating:



When we meet with the homeowner we listen to the client's needs and wants and draw a plan based on his/her wishes. Most of the time our clients ask us how do other people plan the lay out, which we certainly disclose. We know what is new and desirable today and can recommend certain things which will increase the value of the property, minimize remodeling costs and will reflect new building/remodeling trends. However the final decision is the matter of client's choice. OTC provides its clients with the immediate and firm estimate according to the options that the client chose. You can always add or remove different items from the proposal and we can adjust the price and we do not charge fees for change orders. The estimate and consultation is free. If you are looking for something special in your design, please contact Carl Gramentz (Gramentz drafting and Design) at (952)933-4590

Tip: The best way to visualize the layout of your future basement is to stick masking tape on the floor according to the plan, and walk around it in order to feel the layout. (even 3d graphics do not provide you with the flow and feel as much as marking the floor with tape will). Thus before the estimate, we encourage you to have rough specifications of the project.

If you are serious about your commitment to us, we will come over the second time and make an exact lay out of the project. Only when all of the pre-planning is complete and satisfactory to you, we will apply for permits.

OTC understands that most of the people have budgets for remodeling projects and we will do everything to make our proposal fit into your budget. We can arrange financing or finance you project completely. Please read financing tips in financial section of our site.

Tip: The common mistake that homeowners usually make is that they think that putting a lot of extras in the home will increase its value. The truth is that it might help you to sell your home faster, but you'll be lucky if you get your money back that you spent on fancy extras. Thus it has been an experience of the OTC to be moderate with your remodeling demands, unless resale value of your home is not a priority or you plan to stay in the home for a long time. Average American family lives in its home for only seven years.



Before we start building/remodeling:



After we submit a building permit application, and it's approved (usually it takes two weeks for the city to issue a building permit and review the plans) we apply for an electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits.

Tip: If you're handy enough you can do electrical, plumbing and mechanical work yourself, while pulling the permits. In the state of Minnesota the home owner living in his own house (homestead) may perform any type of work, but we bly encourage you to hire a license professional to do the electrical work, since most fires are caused by incorrect wiring. Then we arrange the delivery of materials to the job site. We will contact you and verify the place that you want materials and dumpster to be placed to. Usually we get all materials inside within two days. If your basement is walk out we will bring materials through the sliding door, if it's a look out we will take the window out and then put it back, if it's a full basement we will have to get materials through the main level of the house.

Tip: If it's not a walk out basement, consult with us first to make sure that shower or bath tub will fit inside before you buy it.

Tip: Try to get as many things as possible out of the basement before the construction process begins. No matter how good you cover them with plastic, the dust will get inside. Thus plan ahead of time. We'll be glad to remove the items that you were not able to remove yourself. Please notice, that we hire subcontractors mostly for electrical, plumbing and mechanical part of the construction process, the rest is performed by company's employees, and all projects are daily supervised by the general contractor (owner). That's why all projects are completed on time and quality of our work speaks for itself as well as our commitment for a TWO FULL YEAR WARRANTY on all materials and labor that we supply for remodels and 10 year structural for new construction.

Construction process:



Tip: If you want to do everything yourself, before you start any work, get building permits applications as well as the instructions. And always have an inspection done by the city or the state inspectors. In our practice we've seen many remodels which were done not to code and the home owners who did not have inspections had to rip everything off and start over. All cities in Minnesota will not let you sell your home until you passed all the inspections. In some cities you can't even sell your home before it passes presale inspection by the city. So before you start hanging drywall on the walls without your project being inspected, think again! We start with the application of the moister barrier along the perimeter of concrete walls (4 mill) by siliconing all the edges (this is not a requirement of the building code, it just our way of protecting your basement from moisture).



Picture of properly installed moisture barier



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After that we build frame 16" on center (again this is not a requirement, you can go along with 24" o.c., but this ensures that your walls will be nicer and sturdier after drywall is installed). We secure framing members to the concrete by using Hilty nails and Hilty busters only. It has been our experience to build frame by using double bottom plate technique specificaly in the basements: treated wood over the concrete and regular on top. We do it for the following reasons: it holds framing members better along with the drywall. Also if you have ever been in somebody's basement you probably noticed that in a lot of places baseboard comes off the walls; this happens due to poor installation, because not all construction workers shoot nails through the baseboard in to the studs and often miss them; the second reason is that when carpet installers tuck the carpet under the base and if its not nailed to the studs properly, base board bends and comes off of the walls.



Pictures of double plate technique



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Tip: When you frame for doors add 2 Ѕ" to the actual width of the door, 2 ѕ" for French doors, 1 Ѕ" for bi-folds and 3" for the actual height. Don't forget to add the thickness of the drywall to the walls, width of casing, baseboard, size of the fixtures, location of electrical boxes, etc.

Tip: if you build frame yourself do not try to save money and build it out of 2*2, and by choosing the lumber do not use rosy studs, they bend and split. Also if concrete slab is a good quality one do not try to nail framing members to the concrete floor by using concrete nails and a hammer, go to the rental store rent Hilty concrete gun and purchase #4 yellow busters and 2 3/4" concrete nails. By paying a little bit more you'll save yourself a lot of time and problems during remodeling. For more information, visit: www.hilty.com After the frame is built, mechanical, plumbing and electrical contractors start their job. Usually mechanical contractors start first, than plumbers and electritians. When its finished we schedule an electrical inspection first, than we install insulation into the walls (R-13 is a minimum requirement) and staple a vapor barrier to the framing members and silicon the edges.

Tip: Lighting is one of the key elements in making your finished basement feel like the rest of your home. The most popular type of lighting in basements is 6" recessed canister light. This light profiles flat to the ceiling and therefore gives you as much head room as possible. Canister lighting can be counter-balanced with wall sconces, track lighting, cable lighting, rope lighting or a combination of any of the above.

Tip: if you have done wiring yourself and failed the electrical inspection you can reschedule it for $20. For more information about electrical inspection scheduling, visit www.doli.state.mn.us

Tip: Today many homeowners want to have a fire place in the basement. OTC provides this service too. Please contact Mickey Krouse at FireSide Hearth and Home in Eden Prarie and get your fire place at our builder's price. Remember, our mechanical subs run a gas line, do a gas line test and fireplace installation prior drywall installation, thus plan you purchase a head of time, because some of the models are on special order and take 3-4 weeks to get.

www.fireside.com
952 890 0758

Tip: In most of the new construction homes foundation walls are already insulated from the outside, thus you do not need to add insulation inside. When we run water lines we use flexible Pex or Wisbro piping. This method significantly decreases labor costs and reduces number of pipe joints. Water leaks usually appear at the joint places of two pipes and with flexible piping we reduce number of joints to the minimum as well as avoid corrosion problems. Decades of experience demonstrate that Pex systems are reliable (in Europe since sixties).



Picture of Wisbro



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OTC also pays close attention to the energy efficiency. Since 80% of energy loss is due to pure windows and doors installation/insulation, our company members make sure that all opening around doors and windows are completely sealed. Thus we stuff insulation along the perimeter of doors and windows and apply silicon over the framing members and vapor retarder in order to reduce air intrusion.





Picture of properly insulated window



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For air supplies we use only dampers which can be completely shot. Most of the traditional air supplies dampers can not be shot completely which results in waisting hot/cold air supplied by furnace. By using our dampers you will be able to fully control the air flow and save money on energy.





Picture of damper



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After that we schedule plumbing, mechanical and building inspections. In most of the cities one inspector signs off on everything, but Eden Prarie, Minnetonka and Maple Grove have separate inspectors for plumbing and building inspections. Plymouth, Minnetonka, Deephaven have their own electrical inspectors. Make sure that your inspection cards are in place during the inspection, and you completed all the requirements nesseccery to pass it.

After we pass all the rough inspections we start hanging drywall using 1.1/4'' screws for Ѕ'' drywall and 1 5/8'' screws for 5/8'' drywall. We start with the ceiling first, and then do the walls. We don't use nails for the installation because it's faster and cheaper; we use screws only, because it's better.
Tip: when you hang drywall make sure that you stager the joints, if you don't it will be harder to tape and your ceiling or walls eventually will crack.



Picture of staggered drywall



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After the drywall installation we start taping: usually taping requires three coats, but in some cases specially with untextured ceilings it might take 4 to 5 coats to do a perfect job.

Tip: if you decided to do taping yourself, reconsider your choice, because taping will show the most visible flaws in your project. Also we recommend to use only paper tape when you tape the joints, not the mesh tape. If your seams are wider then 1/8'' use quick set to feel those joints before you apply tape over them.



Picture of paper tape and quick set



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After taping we sand seams using a sanding machine and a vacuum cleaner which sucks up the dust. Sanding also requires a lot of hand work and if your seams are not properly taped, you will spend a lot of time sanding.

Tip: before you start hanging drywall and sanding, cover all air duct returns with plastic, it will avoid the dust getting into your furnace as well as in your home. We usually stuff insulation inside of the air returns and take it out between the taping coats to reduce drying time.

Painting: After sanding we apply the first coat of primer using an airless sprayer, do some patch work and spray patched areas over again.

Tip: when you do patching touch ups and painting, make sure that you have enough lighting, more is better. You can also add some semi gloss paint into the primer, it will have more sheen in it, thus you'll be able to see and correct imperfections before you start applying the paint.



Picture of touch ups



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Then we apply two coats of paint using a 3/8'' nap rollers, for darker collors you will need more than two coats. We recommend to use eggshell paints for most of their interior, here are two reasons why: eggshell sheen shows more flaws, thus ask your contractor to patch all the imperfections, the second reason is because you can always wipe off a scuff mark or a finger print from the wall if it's an eggshell or semi gloss finish. Have you noticed why almost all builders use flat white paint? Because it's the purpose of flat paint to hide flaws and imperfections and flat paint is the cheapest one from all paints. We usually use Sherwin Williams paints, and it's been our experience that this paint has a better coverage and has a better value for the money. For more information and color selection tips, please visit www.Sherwinwilliams.com At the same time we install tile, put grout and two coats of sealer. We install floor tiles by using a mortar, for wall tiles we use mastique. For counter top tile installation we use special products, check the picture.



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Tip: OTC does not recommend to install vinyl flooring over the concrete. 4-5 years from the date of installation vinyl will come off, due to the fact that concrete observes moisture. To install average priced tile in the 5-6 foot bath will cost you only $300 VS $200 for vinal.

Tip: If you want to put tile inside of the shower never use green drywall, use backer board or durock instead. Secure Ѕ'' panels with special durock 1 ј''screws nor more than a foot apart, and apply mesh tape over all joints. Then apply a thin coat of mastique over the mesh tape and let it dry.

Picture of materials for proper tile installation



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In The Tile shop in Plymouth, you can purchase the tile on our account and save some $. Also you can shop through the different tile designs and check their beautiful show room. If you are not sure what products and tools to use for the installation you can get professional assistance from John Henry, The Tile Shop, Plymouth
763 541 9720
www.tileshop.com


Then we thoroughly clean the floor from the patching compound bumps, wash it with large quantities of water and vacuum the concrete slab before carpet installation.

Millwork: most of the homeowners want to match their remodel with the rest of the house, thus we order all millwork from our local supplier (unfortunately we can't disclose their information on the internet). 90% of the time we order prefinished products which are already stained and varnished or painted. Before we order, we provide you with the wood samples so you can choose a color and a style that matches most with your taste. As far as doors we always order prehung units, it means that doors already have casing and jambs around, it simplifies the installation process a lot, and also significantly cuts the labor costs. We pop the door inside of the door opening and nail the casing to the walls. After doors and casings are installed we nail base board and attach a skirt board to the stairs. Then the easy part: knobs.

Tip: before we order doors, let us know what type of finish hardware you want (nickel, brass, brushed nickel, chrome, rubbed bronze, etc.) so we order doors with hinges matching the door knobs.

Tip: when you install base board it's better to nail it 3/8'' above the floor, in order to tuck the carpet under the base. We usually put small pieces of baseboard under the base which are exactly 3/8'' thick, and then take them out after the installation is completed.

Carpet selection and installation process:



Tip: when you shop for carpet and pad check multiple stores for a better deal. We work with Cheny's Carpet in Plymouth, unfortunately they work with contractors only, but if you do remodel or build your dream home with us you can get carpet from Cheney's at our discounted price. Remember, not all types of carpet can be installed over all types of pad, thus seek a professional advice from:
Cheney Carpet
Our sales rep: Joe Cheney, 763 559 1980
14025 23rd Ave. N, Plymouth, MN 55447

Tip: when you order carpet, do not forget to add 7% for waste. Most of the time when carpet contractors install carpet they scratch walls, ceiling sometimes when they get carpet inside, thus after the installation is completed we do all the touch up work if necessary as well as final clean up to make sure that your basement is in a perfect condition before the final walk through.

Now you basement is finished, enjoy!

Copyright©: This article was written by Pavel Sakurets, project manager of On Time Contractors, Inc. for information purposes only. None or any part of it can be used by others for business purposes. And the information can not be used in any way against its author or On Time Contractors, Inc.


Counties, Cities and Zip Codes where we offer our services
Twin Cities Area including:
Scott County:Belle Plaine MN,Elko New Market MN,Jordan MN,New Prague MN ,Prior Lake MN, Savage MN , Shakopee MN,
Ramsey County:Arden Hills MN, Blaine MN ,Falcon Heights MN ,Gem Lake MN , Lauderdale MN , Little Canada MN , Maplewood MN , Mounds View MN, New Brighton MN, North Oaks MN,North St. Paul MN ,Roseville MN,Shoreview MN ,St. Anthony MN , St. Paul MN ,Spring Lake Park MN ,Vadnais Heights MN, White Bear Lake MN,

Carver County:Carver MN,Chanhassen MN,Chaska MN ,Cologne MN ,Hamburg MN, Mayer MN,New Germany MN,Norwood Young America MN, Victoria MN,Waconia MN,Watertown MN,

Dakota County:Apple Valley MN, Burnsville MN,Coates MN ,Eagan MN,Farmington MN, Hampton MN,Hastings MN, Inver Grove Heights MN ,Lakeville MN, Lilydale MN, Mendota MN, Mendota Heights MN,Miesville MN, New Trier MN, Northfield MN, Randolph MN , Rosemount MN, South St. Paul MN, Sunfish Lake MN, Vermillion MN, West St. Paul MN,

Hennepin County:Bloomington MN,Brooklyn Center MN,Brooklyn Park MN,Champlin MN, Chanhassen MN ,Corcoran MN,Crystal MN , Dayton MN ,Deephaven MN ,Eden Prairie MN,Edina MN,Excelsior MN,Golden Valley MN,Greenfield MN, Greenwood MN,Hanover MN, Hopkins MN,Independence MN,Long Lake MN, Loretto MN,Maple Grove MN, Maple Plain MN, Medicine Lake MN , Medina MN , Minneapolis MN, Minnetonka MN, Minnetonka Beach MN, Minnetrista MN, Mound MN , New Hope MN ,Orono MN, Osseo MN,Plymouth MN,Richfield MN,Robbinsdale MN, Rockford MN, Rogers MN ,Shorewood MN ,Spring Park MN,St. Anthony Village MN , St. Bonifacius MN,St. Louis Park MN,Tonka Bay MN, Wayzata MN, Woodland MN

Washington County: Oakdale MN,Woodburry MN
Anoka County: Fridley MN ,
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