Minneapolis/St. Paul Siding Specialists Since 1996

When it comes to siding the AMEK Construction business philosophy is simple: Embrace the special needs of each individual client and deliver a product that reflects the client’s needs and tastes by getting the siding that's right for the house.

Each new siding project gives the AMEK family the opportunity to show that they value relationships over the bottom line. Twin brothers Andrew and Matt Schmidt began the business in 1996 roofing homes themselves, and their brother Andrew joined a year later after siding homes himself. They have built the business based on the four tenets of honesty, integrity, trust and relationships.

Contact AMEK today and learn for yourself how they earned their reputation.
We offer a revolutionary new fiberglass siding system that keeps water from seeping your home. Call 952-888-1200 to learn more.
Stucco Mold Remediation
We specialize in repairing construction defects that cause water damage and require mold remediation.
Call 952-888-1200 for a free consultation.
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Experts In New And Replacement Windows

AMEK Construction has more than 16 years of experience working with Twin Cities homeowners, including helping them find the right replacement windows for their home.

AMEK also has earned a reputation for bringing new home improvement products to market, including fiberglass siding, solar shingles and composite windows from Andersen.

Contact AMEK today and learn for yourself how how they earned their reputation.
If you are considering replacement windows and like the price of vinyl and performance of wood? Check out Andersen's Series 100 line of composite windows.
If you are part of the big remodeling year expected in the Twin Cities consider adding new windows into the mix. Call 952-888-1200 for a free consultation.
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Apex Siding discontinued, James Hardie or LP SmartSide solid choices

Despite its numerous strengths, fiberglass siding from Apex, a product we had recommended and installed, was discontinued in the spring of 2015. There are two other products AMEK Exteriors continues to rank as in the top tier of long-lasting siding with superior appearance. Depending on your requirements and your budget, either choice will be a solid exterior siding decision. Here are some considerations for fiber cement vs. engineered wood.

Fiber cement siding which is created from a wood pulp and Portland cement combination is known for its resistance to rot, pest damage from termites and woodpeckers,and fire plus its longevity. Another feature is the minimal maintenance. Some fiber cement products are offered in a range of pre-finished colors while others can be painted with your own color of choice. Paint lasts much longer – 15 years vs. 5 years – which give homeowners the choice to change the color of the home without the worries of frequent paint jobs.

James Hardie Fiber Cement Lap Siding by AMEK

AMEK Exteriors regularly uses fiber cement products from James Hardie on their projects. James Hardie offers a long warranty on their products. According to Paul Schmidt, co-owner of AMEK Exteriors, “James Hardie is the best in the industry for their commitment to quality and service. They have a 30-year warranty on their products which is outstanding.”

James Hardie Lap Siding integrated with Marvin windows by AMEK

Fiber cement siding installation does need skilled people who have the proper tools and who know how to correctly integrate the siding with windows, roof lines, and foundations. “I appreciate James Hardie because they provide installation guidelines and on-site training for our crews,” said Schmidt. “It’s critical that any siding is installed correctly to prevent future water intrusion issues, so I appreciate the dedication that James Hardie has to making sure that contractors know the proper installation methods.”

The appearance of fiber cement is realistic with possibilities of wood grain, cedar shakes, stucco, brick and stone. There is also a wide range of widths and lengths of boards. These options allow for a myriad of design possibilities giving homeowners custom looks from historical renovations to modern elements.

Another solid option is engineered wood. It’s like wood but with superhero characteristics. Formed out of real wood and resin, engineered wood has the advantages of being stronger and more durable. This strength helps it fend off moisture and pests like woodpeckers and carpenter ants plus isn’t easily impacted by rocks or balls hitting it.

Most engineered wood is easier to install because of the tools required and because of the longer pieces available which reduces the number of seams needed. However, trained installers are still vital to making sure manufacturer’s instructions are followed for seams, flashing, and end pieces.

LP SmartSide Siding installed on a Mendota Heights home by AMEK

LP SmartSide has been incorporated into many AMEK Exteriors projects because of its lasting beautiful curb appeal backed by 50-year limited warranty LP SmartSide is available in a large array of colors and textures with matching trim pieces.

AMEK Exteriors is known for its distinctive exterior design, its construction defect knowledge, and its use of quality materials and craftspeople to give homeowners exceptional projects. In 2016, an AMEK Exteriors’ Minneapolis exterior project was

James Hardie Siding on AMEK’s Award-winning Minneapolis Home

presented the National Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), the Remodeler of Merit Award (ROMA) from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC), and the Gold Design Award from the Professional Remodeler Magazine.

Distinctive Curb Appeal: A Case Study in Minneapolis Design & Exterior Renovations

Overview: Being in a new suburban development means there can be a lot of similarity in the house styles. This family wanted to give their home a face-lift to add some uniqueness to the neighborhood. In addition, they desired a front porch to sit and relax. AMEK Exteriors was invited to bid on this Minneapolis design & exterior renovation because the client had seen other projects being done in their neighborhood. In the end, we gave the home more balance, texture and color to create the enhanced curb appeal they were looking for.

Minneapolis-roofing-and-siding-services

Original Built Date: 1997

General Description: Rambler single-family home

Initial Analysis: The first consideration was diminishing the prominence of the garage and sliding the focus to the main entry. Because the couple intended to stay in the home for a long time, another strong factor was creating an enduring distinctive look using quality long-lasting, low-maintenance roofing and siding products and implementing solid construction techniques.

Design Plan: One of the primary design goals was to shift the main thrust and focus of the garage to the front door. To do this, we pulled out the roof line in the front to create an inviting front porch. Eliminating one of the gables and enlarging the remaining one balanced out the proportions to the garage gable. Selecting the stone first provided a base for all other color choices. Adding the earthy yellow color and columns added depth to the home’s appearance. In addition, the garage doors were upgraded with windows and a darker color to connect with the stonework and to provide additional contrast. Using James Hardie siding including shakes allowed for solid, durable cladding with the option to change the color if desired.

Challenges & Solutions: In order to build long-lasting columns, additional time and cost were involved to put in footings that went approximately 4 feet below grade and several feet above grade. The steps and porch floor were designed to make sure there was an overhang so water drains off the edge beyond where the stonework is. AZEK pieces known for their low maintenance were used for trim and also for the porch ceiling. Creating symmetry between the existing and new pieces was important, so the new peak over the front door had to be aligned properly to generate a unified look.

Additional Project Notes: This project was the start to a trusted relationship. AMEK has done several other projects for this client.

Notable Project Products: Buechel Fond du Lac stone, James Hardie siding, AZEK trim

Completion Date: 2010

Deck Installation Tips from Your Minneapolis Exterior Design Company

Construction techniques and materials when building and installing a new deck are important considerations according to AMEK Exteriors’ Co-owner Paul Schmidt. Schmidt was recently featured in the From the Expert section of the April/May 2016 edition of Midwest Home magazine.

Paul SchmidtQ. What should I consider when building a new deck?

A: Having a deck is prime real estate when the weather warms up. If your old deck is deteriorating – or if are you thinking of adding a deck to a new home or remodeling project – make sure your deck is designed correctly and built with quality materials to withstand our sometimes harsh Midwest weather elements.

Fortunately, there are some products on the market now that can endure this climate – plus look great – for years to come. While clients request a range of materials, AMEK regularly uses AZEK, a PVC material that resists stains, scratches, and mold, and is available in a wide array of colors. It looks great and requires minimal maintenance.

If you want a beautiful, durable, well-built new deck in Minneapolis, do your research and hire a company that understands how your deck needs to integrate with the house. Every year, we are hired to fix defective decks, windows and doors because of poor installations and safety concerns. Get started with your new deck installation by contacting us today

Minneapolis CotY Award Winner 2015

Minneapolis-Contractor-of-the-year
Owner Paul Schmidt, Field Manager Jim Hansel, Painter Tony Rodriguez, Owner Matt Schmidt

An exterior design and renovation project in Minneapolis recently earned a 2015 Contractor of the Year (CotY) award from the National Association of Remodeling Industry – Minnesota Chapter. The CotY recognizes excellence in remodeling projects.

Led by AMEK owner Paul Schmidt and field manager Jim Hansel CRPM, the exterior design project began with the challenge of doing extensive remediation construction work before beginning the exterior design makeover. Due to the improper installation of a second story in the 1980s, water was trapped inside the walls which caused large-scale rot and mold. Once the removal and repair work was done, the transformation could begin to create a modern appearance with an accent of warmth.

More pictures & information here.

Fall Caulking Worth the Effort – IF Done Correctly

Caulking in the fall as part of your winter preparations can protect your home from long-term, internal damage. While caulking isn’t an activity most homeowners look forward to, it can help seal gaps where water and snow can seep in.  Caulking should be deliberate and done within certain temperature ranges.

“A good caulk job is inexpensive, easy to do, and provides valuable results,” according to Paul Schmidt, one of AMEK’s co-owners who specializes in exterior projects.Window Caulking

If you notice rot or discolored areas under windows or doors, there’s a good chance you have a problem with how the exterior cladding system has been integrated together.  If installed properly, the siding, stucco, or stone/brick should work together with windows and doors to shed water and moisture.  Some of this actually occurs behind the siding or stucco and around windows and doors if flashing is done properly.  When, the water gets trapped, it can deteriorate the studs, sill plates, and insulation between your walls, attic and floors causing structural damage and mold which can impact your family’s health.

Because caulking is part of this integrated system, where and how you caulk is important.

“Contrary to what most people think, caulking should not usually be applied over any horizontal plane such as the top of a window or door – if the flashing is placed correctly at that intersection,” said Paul.  “Caulking should be done at the corners and the sides of windows, doors, chimneys etc. to prevent water from going behind those seams.”

Caulking Correctly Omitted
Caulking Correctly Omitted

Ideally, there should be a slight gap between two surfaces for the caulk to “fit into” to help seal.  “It’s important to have this gap filled with caulk because it helps adjust for the varying expansion and contraction rates of the two abutting surfaces (i.e. brick & siding or vinyl & stucco),” Paul noted.

Here’s some information and tips to help guide you.

  1. For outdoor use, select a caulk that is made out of polyurethane or silicone (not paintable) and the color that best matches – white, tan, black, clear – the area you are caulking.  If you don’t have a good caulking gun, purchase a new one.
  2. Optimum temperatures to do exterior caulking is above 50 degrees
  3. Remove old caulk and clean off residue
  4. Use an utility knife to tip at an angle.
  5. Have a damp towel or rag nearby.
  6. Use tape if desired for clean edges
  7. Caulk vertical surfaces from the top down.
  8. Keep caulking gun at a 45-degree angle when possible.
  9. If you mess up, let it dry a bit until it’s tacky and then remove and retry.

If you decide caulking is out of your realm, consider hiring a company who specializes in caulking or someone who is skilled at it.  “Paying someone is a worthwhile investment rather than ignoring it since water intrusion can cause significant damage” said Paul.  “Caulking isn’t a cure-all either if water has penetrated the home’s exterior envelope repeatedly over time.”

If water intrusion is suspected, consider calling AMEK or a moisture testing company to evaluate your home.  The longer homeowners wait to address the issue, the more significant and extensive the damage can be.

“I’ve worked on homes with damage from several thousand dollars to over a $100,000 because there were breakdowns in how the exterior cladding was integrated,” Paul said.

To learn about how your home’s envelope works, check this link out:

https://mn.gov/commerce/energy/izmages/Building-Envelope-Guide.pdf