Minneapolis Exterior Design Company
AMEK Exteriors has been doing exterior designs and renovations since 1996. Whether you are needing a replacement or are ready for a new exterior design, our Minneapolis exterior design experts can help you build a design that you will enjoy for years to come.
While we can help you replace that leaking roof or damaged siding, we have found that many of our clients are seeking quality exterior design for their project. In our over 20 years of experience, we have found that a leaky roof or damaged siding starts with a construction defect. Before AMEK Exteriors in Minneapolis gets to work, we start by identifying any construction defect that has impacted your home. Once we’ve partnered with you to correct any construction defects we find, we are ready to get to the business of your exterior design.
We have very satisfied clients who turned the unfortunate problem of a construction defect into an opportunity to do an addition or large remodeling project. AMEK Exteriors “sibling” company, AMEK Custom Builders remodels and builds homes throughout the Minneapolis. We are well-suited to handle your construction defect and design a new look you will love.
It’s spring and it’s time to get out on your deck! It might also be the time when you realize you need a new deck. Safety, functionality and future plans are three main elements in considering a new deck.
Top 3 Signs You Need a New Deck
Safety checks will include looking for rotted boards, weak posts, loose railings & bad ledgers
“Safety is not something to mess around with” according to Paul Schmidt, co owner of AMEK Exteriors.
Having a friend or family member get hurt by falling through a deteriorating deck board or by leaning on a bad railing piece is not worth the trade-off of being proactive. “Being in the remediation business has made us aware of a lot of decks that weren’t built to meet building codes. If you are concerned about your deck, contact us so we can come inspect it for an honest evaluation.” Paul said.
What do you need to look for?
- Look for boards that are splitting, turning soft & spongy, or shredding
- Inspect post connections for weakening especially at ground & decking levels
- Survey all connections on railings for loose or corroded bolts or screws
- Check the ledger board attached to your house for proper flashing & water drainage
- Review your city’s building codes – especially if you are planning to sell soon
When thinking over the functionality of your deck, consider how the layout of the deck functions while you are using it. A deck that doesn’t function well for your family is a deck that you won’t use. Some quick and simple ways to examine needs are:
- Evaluate uses – Is there room for someone to be grilling without worrying about scorching someone sitting nearby?
- Access traffic patterns – If everyone is sitting around the table, is it possible for someone to freely move to a nearby door or stairs?
- Analyze required maintenance – Does your deck need more maintenance each year?
Perhaps, it’s time to consider other new materials like AZEK to maximize relaxation time and to reduce maintenance demands.
“Our AMEK design team will listen to your needs and evaluate your outdoor space to see how a new layout using low-maintenance options could make your deck even more enjoyable,” Paul notes.
3. Future Plans
What else are you dreaming of? An addition? Moving? It’s important to consider other changes that might impact the deck area like landscaping or an addition to your home.
- Hire a remodeler like AMEK if you are thinking about using the same space for a three- or four-season porch or addition or transforming the area below for a patio or outdoor kitchen. Requirements for footings and water run-off would be crucial to the design process.
- Study cost vs. benefit of repairing existing deck to doing a new deck if you are planning to move within a couple years.
“We know Minnesotans love having outdoor spaces,” said Paul. “It’s all about creating a project that is not only safe, but also that is aesthetically appealing which is something AMEK excels at.”
For a complimentary deck inspection, contact us now to take full advantage of the summer and fall seasons in Minnesota.
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.
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.”
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 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
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.
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.
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