• Home Improvement & Remodeling

Home Improvement & Remodeling

Spring Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase ~ 2011

This weekend is the 24th annual Spring Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase. This is a unique opportunity to tour 69 actual remodeled homes in 26 communities throughout the Twin Cities metro.

This event is presented by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities Remodelers Council. The showcase homes will be open Friday April 1 from 1-7pm, and Saturday and Sunday April 2-3 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. Admission is free (except for a Dream Remodeled Homes) to the general public. Remodeling representatives will be on hand to answer questions. All 57 professional remodeling firms showcased on the tour are members of the Council.

Homes are open in 26 communities across the Twin Cities area. Minneapolis has 12 homes on the tour and 8 are in Edina.  Other homes are located all around the metro, from Andover to Woodbury.

Practically every type of remodeling job is showcased on the tour, including 16 whole-house remodels, 47 kitchen renovations, 24 additions, 12 baths and 12 lower-level finishes. Other projects featured include decks, porches and exteriors, owners’ suites, mud rooms, home offices, laundry rooms and garages.

The two Dream Homes were selected as this spring’s Builders Outreach Foundation Dream Remodeled Homes. Both were whole-house remodels. One home in Minneapolis is by House Lift and one in St. Paul by Ispiri, LLC. A $5.00 donation is requested to the Foundation, the charitable arm of BATC, with all proceeds used to build homes for families who otherwise couldn’t afford one.

Guidebooks are available free at all metro area Holiday StationStores or online. The Remodelers Showcase has a Calendar of Events, from educational to inspirational these events are held at Remodelers Showcase homes, offices and showrooms. Find out more online at www.paradeofhomes.org.

This weekend is...

Minnesota to Receive Additional $6 Million for Home Weatherization

The state of Minnesota will receive an additional $6 million in weatherization aid. The funding comes through the Department of Energy from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The money will help the state to continue its success through its Weatherization Assistance Program. From April to June, Minnesota weatherized more than 2,700 homes. As of June 30, Minnesota has weatherized more than 6,000 under the federal stimulus funding, including 875 homes in June alone.

“This is an excellent investment, this $6 million in Recovery Act funding will create hundreds of jobs in the short term, putting people to work making homes more energy efficient,” U/S Rep. Jim Oberstar, DFL-8th District, said in a separate statement. “But in the long run, low-income families will spend less of their hard-earned money heating their homes in the winter.”

Minnesota’s efforts are contributing to the success of the program nationwide. Over 200,000 low-income homes have been weatherized across the country. The Weatherization Assistance Program is now weatherizing homes at a rate of about 25,000 homes per month - its optimal pace.

Seven local weatherization agencies in Blaine, Minneapolis, New York Mills, Shakopee, Virginia and Zumbrota have been selected to receive more than $6 million to expand their existing programs. The Weatherization Assistance Program is administered locally by the Bi-County Community Action Program....

Shoreview to Launch Home Energy Improvement Loan Program

The city of Shoreview's Economic Development Authority will launch a new home improvement program on Monday that they hope will motivate homeowners to do needed updating and lure new residents who think they can't afford a home in the city.

Shoreview's Home Energy Improvement Loan Program will offer loans from $2,000 to $20,000 to qualifying homeowners seeking to do greener replacements for roofs, heating and cooling systems, insulation, water heaters, windows and doors. The loans are available at 2 points above the prime rate, comparable to the market rate for a second mortgage, and must be repaid within 10 years or upon the sale of the home. Residents who stay in their homes for at least 10 years can have all of the interest reimbursed.

The program comes with an income limit - 120 percent of the city's median income, which translates to $119,776 for a family of four. Also, only detached single-family homes with a current market value of $314,640 or less qualify. Still, more than half of the city's residents should qualify, and so should about 70% of Shoreview MN properties.

"What we are trying to do is invite young families into Shoreview," said Mayor Sandy Martin, "young families looking for a home, but who can't quite manage a second loan to do these things, or are maxed out already on the home loan. This is an opportunity for them."

Shoreview's Home Energy Improvement Loan Program also comes in response to stories about Shoreview residents who needed to sell their homes but were unable to get financing to make vital improvements. Focusing on basic improvements to make the city's housing stock more efficient and stable makes sense to city leaders.

Funding for the program comes from previously dedicated property tax funds. As residents repay the loans, the pot will be...

Minnesota Housing Fix-Up Fund Offers More

With the help of federal stimulus funds, Minnesota Housing is offering rebates to homeowners that make energy saving updates in when they make home improvements using loans through the state's Fix-up Fund. Homeowners may receive an Energy Saver Rebate for 35% of the cost of eligible improvements financed with the Fix-up Fund loan, up to $10,000.

The Fix-Up Fund offers affordable, fixed-rate loans to eligible homeowners to make home improvements. The rebate program is designed to help homeowners with household income up to $96,500 improve home energy efficiency. Owner-occupied single family, condominium, duplex, triplex, or fourplex homes are eligible for the program.

Homeowners may be eligible for rebates by installing select energy-efficient furnaces, boilers, and central air conditioners, replacement exterior doors and windows, and light fixtures. Other improvements including wall and attic insulation in conjunction with attic air sealing and water heaters meeting certain conditions are also eligible improvements for the energy saver rebate.

These funds are first-come, first-served, so contact a participating lenders soon!

Interested homeowners can visit www.mnhousing.gov.

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Air Date for Saint Paul "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

Though construction and filming wrapped up in October, a date has finally been set for the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" taped in Saint Paul. The episode of the ABC show featuring local daycare provider Sandy Morris and her two children, Catricia and Mychal, will air at 7 p.m. on January 3.

The 1896 home at 226 Prescott St. on St. Paul's West Side was demolished and replaced in just 96 hours thanks to thousands of volunteers.

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