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Spring Home & Garden Celebrating the season of spring! April 2013

Greenhouse Gardening Garage Organization Security Systems Waterproofing Appliance Pool Care

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Beautifying gardens on a budget Learn about straw bale gardening

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Selecting smart home improvements

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Making money from scrap metals

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Scotsman • St. Croix Valley Peach


Page 2 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013

THE SEASON OF SPRING USUALLY BRINGS TO MIND IDEAS OF GROWTH OR RENEWAL.

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Look around and you will see trees budding, perennials returning and the grass getting green. New life is all around us. Much like nature, even the largest of home improvement projects begin from just the smallest seed. And, as in nature, many projects grow to be bigger and more impressive than we ever imagined. From the time an idea is planted to the time when you see the rewards of your hard work, the right tools and information are necessary to nurture those seeds and help them grow. Once again, the Scotsman and the Peach join forces to present the 2013 Spring Home & Garden shopping guide. This year’s directory is filled with advertisers to help guide you through every stage of your project. Make sure to visit area businesses who are offering special savings and ideas to help you improve your home, lawn or garden. The 2013 SPRING HOME & GARDEN is produced by the Scotsman and St. Croix Valley Peach with assistance from the editorial staff at the Isanti County News and ECM Post Review. For more information contact us at 763-689-1981. All rights are reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in any way without permission from ECM Publishers, Inc. ©2013 ECM Publishers, Inc.

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Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 • Page 3

A little cash can go a long way in the garden Derrick Knutson | ECM Post Review

On certain spring days when the sun is shining blissfully down from the sky and temperate breezes are blowing, there’s nowhere else some people would rather be than in their backyard gardens, digging their hands into the soil to do those first plantings of the year.

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n years past, gardeners might have planted rows of marigolds or other eye-catching flowers, but the gardening trend has shifted away from the aesthetic in recent years. Wayne Haslach, owner of Wayne’s Nursery & Greenhouse Garden Center in Stacy, said the recession the country has been experiencing over the past few years has caused homeowners to reassess just how much money they’re putting into their gardens. “We see the trend now moving toward more herbs and more vegetables in gardens,” he said. With fresh produce in grocery stores being anything but cheap most days, Haslach said having an herb and vegetable garden is a good way during the summer to help offset some of those produce costs. “People like to plant things they can get perceived value on,” he said. “For instance: a fruit tree they can go out and pick an apple from. That registers.” Beautifying on a budget But just because the trend is going more toward food-producing gardens, that doesn’t mean homeowners can’t beautify their yards for a modest price. Amid an array of other easily identifiable plants in Haslach’s greenhouses are baskets of “succulents.” For those who want their decks or gardens to contain eye-catching, lowmaintenance plants that won’t but a dent in their pocketbooks, succulents are the way to go. They are desert-variety plants, which means they’re good for that forgetful gardener who sometimes forgoes watering for extended periods of time. They’re

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Wayne Haslach, owner of Wayne’s Nursery & Greenhouse Garden Center in Stacy, displays a basket of succulents for the spring planting season.  Photos by Derrick Knutson also beautiful, producing a variety of vibrant flowers at different points during the growing season. Another good way to add beauty to one’s home, deck or yard while still sticking to a budget is creating fairy gardens, Haslach noted. Fairy gardens are miniature landscapes created using small-scale plants and accessories. They’re relatively inexpensive and great for gardeners who like to build figurines, model houses and tiny bridges. When Haslach’s greenhouses are bustling with people buying plants for the growing season during the upcoming weeks, he’ll have a fairy garden on dis-

Continued on page 4

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play. Additional lawn and gardening tips Haslach said this spring, perhaps more so than other springs in recent memory, will be tough on perennial plants and even trees that have established root systems. “Last year we were in a tremendous drought,” he said. “Some people don’t remember that.” Others, he noted, might assume trees and perennial plants will have plenty of water this spring because of the amount of snow that fell across the state this year.

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Page 4 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 Continued from page 3

“People like to plant things they can get perceived value on... for instance: a fruit tree they can go out and pick an apple from. That registers.” | Wayne Haslach, Owner Wayne’s Nursery & Greenhouse

That is faulty thinking, he stressed. The ground still has a layer of frost when most of the snow melts, which means much of it runs off into lakes, rivers and streams, never making it to the root systems of shrubs and trees. “You should be out there giving them a drink,” he said. In addition to watering this spring, Haslach advised homeowners to be careful with their lawns. He said he knows people are “chomping at the bit” to get out into their yards after the long winter and spruce up their grass, but raking too early can actually damage lawns. “You’re just going to compact your lawn if you try to rake it when it’s still soggy,” he said. “You have to show some discretion about when you get out there.”

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Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 • Page 5

Shopping for a fire pit ���

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People have sat around an open fire outdoors for centuries. Not only does fire provide warmth and light, but also it offers a relaxing setting for conversation and socialization. The outdoor fire pit has transformed the concept of backyard entertaining. Homeowners understand how a fire pit can add value to a home and make their yard an inviting place to be on a summer evening or a chilly autumn night. Outdoor fire pits are a relatively new creation that continue to grow in popularity. Once available strictly through specialty retailers, fire pits can now be found on the shelves of many

home improvement and big box stores as well as online. Fire pits can add a lot to a home’s exterior entertaining area. Some fire pit styles and materials will last longer than others. Homeowners should assess their needs and the space available before choosing a fire pit for their home. First, homeowners must decide if they want a permanent or portable fire pit. If you are ready to make an enduring change to your yard and landscape, then a permanent fire pit is the way to go. These can be made of stone or brick and are often very durable. Permanent fire pits can be incorporated into land-

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scape designs to create a professional patio look. They’re also some of the safer types of fire pits because they cannot be knocked over and the bricks or retaining wall construction provide a barrier around the fire. Portable fire pits are freestanding units that can be moved around the yard on a whim. They also can be loaded into the car and taken to a neighbor’s house or even to the beach. Portable fire pits are less expensive than permanent models, and some homeowners prefer a trial run with a portable pit before deciding to install a

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Page 6 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 Continued from page 5 permanent structure. Portable fire pits are made of metal and usually coated with a fireproof paint. Over time, exposure to the elements can cause the metal to rust or weaken, something homeowners should consider prior to purchase. Homeowners also must consider a fuel source. Wood is a common fuel source for fire pits. Wood can be inexpensive, especially when gathered from around the yard. However, a wood-burning fire will constantly have to be fed with new branches. If you want to have a roaring fire but don’t want to maintain it, then a gas-fueled fire pit is better. Natural gas fire pits can run off of a portable propane tank (think barbecue tank) or be directly connected to a home’s natural gas supply. Now you can decide on the style. Gas fire pits will give you a greater number of design options, but there are still plenty of choices with wood fire pits. From bowl-shaped pits to rectangular-shaped pits to barrel-style pits to chimineas, there are designs to fit most preferences and size constraints.

Once you have chosen a fire pit, safety should prevail. Here are some tips to consider. z Keep the fire pit away from the home and objects that can burn. Maintain a safe distance from the fire pit at all times. z The best place to have the fire pit is on hard stone, cement or tile. Portable fire pits can be placed on patio stones in the lawn. z Use a screen to keep embers and sparks from escaping during use. z Keep children a good distance away from the fire pit and always supervise when the pit is in use. z Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before going in for the night. z Do not use any accelerants to make the fire bigger or light faster. z Buy a vinyl cover to protect the fire pit from the elements when not in use.

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Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 • Page 7

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The newest craze:

Straw bale gardening

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Rachel Kytonen | Isanti County News

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f you are new to gardening or are an experienced gardener looking for a change, you may want to consider straw bale gardening. Joel Karsten grew up on a crop and dairy farm near Worthington, Minn., a small town in southwest Minnesota, and has been involved in horticulture nearly his entire life. Karsten graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in Horticulture Science, and is also a certified nursery professional through the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. Karsten has been featured in publications and on television stations across the country including the New York Times, Star Tribune, The Plain Dealer, Sioux City Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer and on KARE 11 reagaring straw bale

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Karsten explained straw bale gardening is a different type of container gardening. The main difference is that the container is actually the straw bale itself, held together with two or three strings, the outside crust of the bale serves as the container. Once the straw inside the bale begins to decompose, the straw becomes “conditioned” and ready to plant.

The step by step process of conditioning creates an extraordinarily productive, warm, moist and nutrient rich rooting environment for young seedlings. Getting the straw bales conditioned is an essential part of the process, and should be started approximately two weeks prior to the target planting date in your area. This planting date varies greatly depending on

Continued on page 8

Straw bale gardens can be successful in East Central Minnesota.

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What is straw bale gardening?

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gardening. Karsten will be offering a straw bale gardening class through Cambridge-Isanti Community Education at 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 26, at Cambridge Intermediate School. To register call the C-I Community Education Office at 763-689-6189 or visit www. cambridge.k12.mn.us and click on the “Community Education” tab and then “Adult Enrichment.” There is a $35 registration fee for the class.

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Page 8 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 Continued from page 7 where you live but this gardening technique works anywhere in the world for seasonal spring/summer or for winter gardens. “The newly created medium inside the bales has a neutral PH of about 7.1, it is very fertile, it is well drained but holds plenty of moisture, and is a perfect environment for growing almost any plant,” Karsten said. “All of the most common vegetables will thrive in a straw bale garden. Some crops are not advised, such as sweet corn, because it takes up so much room and only two or three plants could be planted in each bale, which wouldn’t be very economical. Asparagus and rhubarb are other examples of perennial vegetables that need to have permanent roots to come back year after year, and the bales won’t last that long.”

Growing up with horticulutre

Karsten became interested in horticulture from an early age. “As a kid on a dairy farm, you spend half of your summers surfing on a hay rack stacking bales of hay and straw,” Karsten said. “On occasion if you didn’t stack the rack well a bale would fall off and break a string, so it would get tossed aside up against the barn out of the way. After a few months of getting rained on and weathered, the bales would turn grey and shrink a little, and when a thistle seed falls on top, they would sprout up and grow the biggest tallest thistles from these decomposing bales. I took note of this but didn’t really understand why this happened. “Now we fast forward 15 years

Expert to offer community ed class in Cambridge or so after a few soil science classes at the U of M and I literally put down roots in Roseville by purchasing my first home; I discovered that the property I purchased was built on top of fill material so my soil was essentially all rocks, gravel and compacted clay, which wasn’t going to be very productive. Having little money and big problems to solve, I thought about the days when I used to see those big thistles growing out of the bales, and decided I would try using bales of straw as the substrate for growing vegetables since my soil wasn’t going to be productive at all,” Karsten added.

Who is straw bale gardening for?

Straw bale gardening is for everyone. “This method of gardening is perfect for the brand new beginning gardener,” Karsten said. “It allows a novice to be successful immediately without all of the intensive labor required in a traditional garden for weeding and maintenance. The wellseasoned gardener who completely understands all the hard work involved in growing in the soil, and for that reason may be thinking about quitting gardening¸ is also perfectly suited for this type of garden. The elevated height of the bales allows easier access without bending over or getting down on the ground,

which is a big benefit. They also appreciate the fact that straw bale gardens eliminate weeding. You need absolutely no experience to be immediately successful with a straw bale garden.” There are many benefits to sraw bale gardening. “Benefits of straw bale gardening include raised height; no weeding; it can be easily relocated if needed; and the leftover bales generate a lot of compost that can be used to enhance existing soils by simply tilling in the leftover decomposed straw,” Karsten said. “The biggest benefit of straw bale gardening is that the bales heat up. Early in the season as the bales “condition” they warm up significantly, and when a plant or seedling is planted into the bale, they get an extreme benefit from this heat being generated. They can be planted earlier, and they grow faster, which means an extended season for cold climate gardeners like us.” Karsten said straw bale gardening will work well in East Central Minnesota. “Anyone who grows in the soil knows there are many issues that come with the soil,” Karsten said. “Weed seeds are everywhere in the soil and insects and some diseases will harbor over winter in the soil and this tends to create a concentration of problems and an exacerbation of issues from growing in the

Joel Karsten does the conditioning process on the bales in the early spring. same soil year after year. Crop rotation is essential and complicated for gardeners. With straw bale gardening we can forget all about these problems and never have to think about crop rotation ever again, because we are never planting in the same soil; we are making new soil inside the bales every spring.”

Learn more about straw bale gardening

Karsten welcomes everyone to the April 26 community education class. “I love meeting the people, and

Continued on page 9


Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 • Page 9 Continued from page 8 let’s face it, gardeners are truly the most wonderful people on the planet,” Karsten said. “I also love to see the expressions on the faces of life long gardeners who hear about this new method. They smile ear to ear when they realize they won’t have to give up their gardens just because they can’t do the heavy work that is required in a traditional soil garden.” Karsten’s latest book on straw bale gardening, Straw Bale Gardens, will be pub-

lished in 10 languages in the spring of 2014 due to the worldwide interest. Karsten also started a Facebook page, Grow A Straw Bale Garden, that has entries from gardeners on every continent from every country including the Dubai, the Arctic Circle, New Zealand and the Caribbean. For more information on Joel Karsten visit http://strawbalegardens.com/.

Home For Sale Helping you to be successful. It is important to develop and maintain good relationships with existing and potential clients. Let us help you enhance the visibility of your business, and increase interest in the buying or the selling of your real estate property. The Scotsman is delivered to over 55,000 homes each week. Let us help you sell or connect with potential clients.

Call today, 763-689-1981.

Peppers are grown in straw bales.


Page 10 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013

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Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 • Page 11

The smart way to look

at home improvements Carrie Moline Gibbs, Broker | CENTURY 21 Moline Realty, Inc

It’s a simple fact, consistently confirmed across America over a very long period of time, that even the most appropriate major improvements are unlikely to return their full cost if a house is sold within two or three years.

What home improvements really pay off when the time comes to sell your house? That’s an important question for any homeowner contemplating moving or remodeling. And the only possible answer is a somewhat complicated one. That answer starts with the fact that really major improvements—room additions, total replacements of kitchens and baths, etc.—rarely pay off fully in the near term. It ends with the fact that small and relatively inexpensive changes can pay off in a big way in making your home attractive to buyers if your decision is to move now. It’s a simple fact, consistently confirmed across America over a very long period of time, that even the most appropriate major improvements are unlikely to return their full cost if a house is sold within two or three years. Does that mean that major home improvements are always a bad idea? Absolutely not. It does mean, though, that if your present house falls seriously short of meeting your family’s needs you need to think twice—and think carefully— before deciding to undertake a major renovation. Viewed strictly in investment terms, major improvements rarely make as much sense as selling your present home and buying one that’s carefully selected to provide you with what you want. Even if you have a special and strong attachment to the house you’re in and feel certain that you could be happy in it for a long time if only it had more bedrooms and baths, for example, there are a few basic rules that you ought to keep in mind. Probably the most basic rule of all, in this regard, is the one that says you should never—unless you absolutely don’t care at all about eventual resale value—improve a house to the point where its desired sales price would be more than 20 percent higher than the most expensive other houses in the immediate neighborhood. Try to raise the value of your house too high, that is, and surrounding properties will pull it down.

Continued on page 12

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LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.

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WHERE YOU ADVERTISE MATTERS! Market Your Home Where More Locals Look. For more information,

call 763-689-1981 Next Publication Date: Sunday, April 28, 2013


Page 12 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 Continued from page 11

Here are some other rules worth remembering: • Never rearrange the interior of your house in a way that reduces the total number of bedrooms to less than three. • Never add a third bathroom to a two-bath house unless you don’t care about ever recouping your investment. • Swimming pools rarely return what you spend to install them. Ditto for sun rooms and finished basements. If you decide to do what’s usually the smart thing and move rather than improve, it’s often the smaller, relatively inexpensive improvements that turn out to be most worth doing. The cost of replacing a discolored toilet bowl, making sure all the windows work or getting rid of dead trees and shrubs in trivial compared with adding a bathroom, but such things can have a big and very positive impact on prospective buyers. A good broker can help you decide which expenditures make sense and which don’t, and can save you a lot of money in the process.

Army or even sold at a yard sale. Although most sellers keep their homes clean and well-decorated, it can be difficult to convince a buyer of a home’s potential when clutter is noticeable. As brokers, it’s our responsibility to offer any tips that will expedite the sale and make the

which areas can cut-down in clutter. Go through old clothes, shoes, etc., and get rid of anything that will not be used and in turn create more space. Consider organizing shelves and other areas to make better use of your storage space, including your garage and basement. Also, try to throw out or give away any old furniture that is no longer of use. All of the discarded items can be given to thrift stores like the Shalom Shop, Salvation

Continued on page 14

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How To Give Your Home A Face-Lift: The Sellers’ Guide To A Quick Sell One of the great challenges to selling a home can be showing all of its space, decor and natural light potential. For example, every home has crowded closets and dead space. Sellers should be aware that areas such as these are easy to spruce-up with a little elbow grease and old-fashioned innovation. • Begin by evaluating your closet/storage space; determine

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Page 14 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 Continued from page 12 tions as well as notice the improvements. Seeing your own home through someone else’s eyes is a great way to make a home optimally attractive and more sellable to prospective buyers. Be diligent in your efforts and be sure the renovations improve the aesthetic appeal of the home. All the hard work will be worth the reward of a successful sale.

potential of existing decor; wash old curtains, re-stain old wood casings, anything that refreshes and emphasizes all the potential of the space and decor of the home. Prospective buyers are often more drawn to homes with features that they don’t have—those with clutterfree closets, open sunny rooms, and cozy little corners. To ensure you’ve realized all of the above characteristics the last step should be to bring in a friend and observe their reaction. Make sure it’s an honest friend, who will offer sugges-

experience more enjoyable for the seller. Once you’ve eliminated the unwanted items and furniture, begin the ‘renovation’ process. For non-storage spaces that could use a little more decor, consider adding a small bookshelf complemented with a cozy reading chair. Always be sure you’re filtering as much light into your property as possible. Open or replace curtains. For example, light from a window overlooking the backyard offers a room more color, a great view and the illusion of more space. Always maximize the

Carrie Moline Gibbs, Broker, CENTURY 21 Moline Realty, Inc., can be reached at 202 Main St. S., Cambridge, 763-245-6431 or at carrie@century21moline.com.

Never rearrange the interior of your house in a way that reduces the total number of bedrooms to less than three.

Useful tips for making gutter cleaning safer and easier Nobody enjoys gutter cleaning. Yet it’s much more important than many homeowners think. Rain flowing over windows, doors, and siding can rot fascia as well as door and window framing. It can erode the soil around your home and damage its foundation, and also cause a wet basement, mold, and mildew. To help keep gutters operating properly and to protect your investment, try these tips: 1. Think Safety First. Always use a solid, quality ladder to reach your gutters. Safety glasses and gloves are a good idea, too. And watch out for power lines. 2. Use the Right Tools for the Job. In addition to needing something to contain gutter debris, you’ll also need a tool to scoop it out. The Gutter Getter Scoop from Working Products, Inc. is a good option. It’s the only flexible scoop shaped to fit all gutters, plus it will keep your hands away from the debris. 3. Don’t Over-reach. Overreaching can destabilize your ladder and cause you to fall. Instead, consider using a special tool to extend your reach. The Gutter Grabber is

a cleaning tool on an extension pole that lets you clean up to 18 feet of gutter without moving your ladder. 4. Check the Downspouts, Too. If the spout is clogged, a coat hanger or the handle of your Gutter Grabber can help get the debris out of the spout. Then, use a garden hose to flush out any remaining debris. For stubborn clogs, it may be necessary to remove the downspout and back flush it with the hose. Covering your downspout with a strainer such

as the Gutter Getter Big Top Downspout Strainer will help reduce future clogging, too. 5. Clean Gutters Anytime They Need It. Most homeowners know they need to clean their gutters in the fall. But once you understand the importance of gutters, you’ll know why its vital to clean them out anytime they get full. To protect the value of your home, keep your gutters clean throughout the year.

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How to make money in scrap metals

Bundles of insulated wire, stacks of wheel rims, old plumbing copper, used car batteries — each of these items are just a small sample of popular scrap metals that can be turned in for cash.

Kristi Martin | National Recycling Inc.

A group of Minnesota high school students volunteered to help a retired farmer cleanup a barn and field. The youth group was delighted when the farmer gave them all the scrap metals they could find. Throughout the farm, volunteers found old machines, pipes and a jackpot of left over aluminum siding. The abled-bodied students loadedup trucks and visited their local scrap metals recycling center. To their surprise, the bounty, turned in for cash, provided a substantial monetary reward. It is no surprise to contractors, electricians, construction workers and industrial companies that scrap metals can be recycled and turned in for cash. For residential folks, fundraisers and treasure hunters, scrap metals recycling is a new and easy way to earn money. Cans of course are the most common recycled scrap metal for cash, but if you want to understand how easy hunting and turning scrap metals in for cash can be, just take

a stroll down your street or look around your community and you will soon notice how many discarded scrap metal items you can find. Bundles of insulated wire, stacks of wheel rims, old plumbing copper, used car batteries — each of these items are just a small sample of popular scrap metals that can be turned in for cash. “Scrap metals pricing changes daily as world commodity markets change,” said Rick Mark, owner of National Recycling Inc. in Cambridge and Hugo. “Although the price per pound is often cents on the dollar, scrappers know most metals quickly accumulate in weight and if top dollar is paid, a significant cash return is available.” Those wanting to earn money at recycling scrap metals must understand that a little number times a little number is a big number. When you accumulate, say, 50 pounds of a stainless steel you are now talking about filling your wallet with some bills. If you have 100 pounds of aluminum siding and

the current rate is about 50 cents a pound, you have about $50 worth of scrap metals ready to cash in. Think of how heavy just one old iron sledgehammer is and you get an idea of how quickly the price per pound turns into multiple dollar bills.

Where and How to Find It Storm doors, car batteries, gutters, pipes, bedsprings, sinks, copper tubing — all of these scrap metals are worth money. A local church recently recycled old church basement aluminum chairs and had a holy cow moment when hundreds of chairs turned into hundreds of dollars. “Practically anything made of metal is worth something,” Mark said. “Get the word out in your community that you are interested in finding scrap metals is the best way to start. Many people feel they are stuck with these items and you are simply providing a service to recycle metals.”

Finding a Recycling Partner and Center Mark has been in the scrap metals business for a couple decades and recently opened a new recycling retail center in Cambridge, Minn. This facility is not your typical junkyard. National Recycling Inc. has a customer service specialist meet vehicles and direct customers to one of the many indoor or outdoor drive-thru lanes where state

of the art scales and computer systems quickly processes the drop off. “When I designed this facility, I knew we needed to combat the fierce Minnesota weather elements as well as make it as easy as possible for unloading,” Mark said. “Our team loves to help new scrappers and once a customer experiences this new style of service, they are lifetime customers.”

Continued on page 16

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Page 16 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 Continued from page 15 Plumbers, electricians, demolition workers, construction workers or industrial manufacturers sometimes have no time to organize and recycle. They often look for people to handle this duty, especially when the project is large. “For volume customers, we have drop off and pick up container service using our trucks,” Mark said. “If you have volume scrap metals, we have the equipment and processes to make recycling effortless.” Finding a partnership with a recycling retail center is an important step in scrap metals recycling. Most centers have websites and will list materials they take. A tip is to check websites or call for current pricing. National Recycling Inc, is one of many junkyards that don’t take old cars, washing machines as processing the materials is labor intensive. But do the work yourself in stripping down to the metals and they will take the scrap and pay cash. Don’t forget insulated wires on all electric appliances are worth cutting off and putting in your scrap pile. Copper tubing on hot water heating is worth money and if you have the time, taking apart old computers for copper and gold can provide a great return. Old, junked car catalytic converters are in high demand for the platinum scrap and often pays more than gold. If you read police reports, copper pipes and catalytic converters are popular items for thieves. Thieves beware, scrap metals recycling centers work closely with local authori-

ties and have sophisticated processes in place more than $1,000 in his hand. to track and report stolen property. A shopper at a recent store closing asked the owner what they were going to do with the old stainless shelving units. The owner indiThe List of Scrap Metals Recycled for cated they were headed for the trash and the Cash is Large “We take all non-ferrous and ferrous ma- shopper jumped on the opportunity. She had terials,” Mark said. “Basically the difference her truck outside and offered free labor to take between the two are based on magnetic or down the shelves that day. The quick-thinking non magnetic qualities and a quick test by our shopper recycled the shelves for cash. For some, there is an element of treasure team can help anyone determine content and value.”

hunting in scrap metals recycling. Tons of scrap metals are sitting unused in garages, fields and backyards just waiting to be found and recycling. Now that selling to a recycle center is no longer an intimidating process, scrap metals recycling is a great way to turn trash into cash.

Top Scrap Metals Recycled:

Aluminum - cans, siding, doors Iron – cars, beams, pipes Stainless Steel - car trim, hubcaps, handrails, beer kegs, cookware Lead - piping, weights, fishing sinkers. Copper - wire, tubing, and plumbing fittings Brass - plumbing fittings, sink drains, fixtures, doorknobs, car radiators, trim Car Batteries - plants recycle the lead in batteries while the plastic and even the acid is reclaimed as well Catalytic Converters platinum pellets are in converters

Worth the Time and Effort A retired computer technician connected on the idea that old hard drives have copper and even some gold that can be scrapped. He had the time and after just a couple months of tinkering in his garage with some basic hand tools, he had accumulated bins full of copper and several ounces of gold. He drove into the recycling center with trash and drove out with

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Cost-effective fencing options Fencing serves many purposes. Some homeowners erect a fence for privacy, while others do so to contain pets and children.

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options at their disposal if they prefer a more natural fence. Different shrubs, trees or grasses can be planted to create a barrier between properties or within the property. When choosing a fencing material, consider that even a less expensive material may prove more expensive in the long run if it needs significant maintenance or has to be replaced in just a few years. Therefore, the most cost-effective fencing material may not necessarily be the least expensive one at the store. Here are some materials homeowners can consider. z Found material: Repurposed wood or metal can be crafted into a rustic, one-of-a-kind fence. Materials can be found that are no cost, requiring only the cost of labor. Should you build it yourself, this can be next to nothing. Sometimes

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existing fences on another property can be disassembled and re-built on your own property for little to no cost as well. z Chainlink/chainwire: Chainlink fencing is one of the most economical types of boundary fencing. The fencing comes in a variety of diamond sizes and is fixed to galvanized pipes spaced across the perimeter of the property. Although it is some of the least expensive fencing, it does not offer much privacy on its own. But if you are looking at fencing simply as a barrier, chainlink could be the way to go. z Picket fencing: A wooden picket fence is another inexpensive fencing material. The pickets can be purchased in various heights, and this fence may be used as garden border fencing or to mark a property line between homes. Spacing the pickets widely apart may cut down on the number that need to be purchased, further keeping the cost down. z Bamboo: Bamboo is a rapidly growing grass that produces a hard wood-like material that is used in many building applications. Bamboo wood can be used to build a fence, but the natural plant also can be planted to form a living fence for privacy.

Continued on page 18


Page 18 • Spring Home, Lawn & Garden • April 2013 Continued from page 17

When choosing a fencing material, consider that even a less expensive material may prove more expensive in the long run if it needs significant maintenance or has to be replaced in just a few years.

z Stockade fencing: A stockade fence is one of the more basic wood fencing options. Wooden slats are placed alongside one another to form an effective and affordable privacy fence. Stockade fencing can be stained or painted to preserve it. Many home improvement retailers sell panels of stockade fencing so that you can make fence installation a do-it-yourself project.

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z Vinyl fencing: Although vinyl fencing is one of the more expensive fencing materials at the outset (it costs about twice the price of a wood fence), it does pay for itself rather quickly thanks to minimal maintenance. Unlike some other

materials, vinyl will not rot or discolor. You also won’t have to purchase stain, paint and expensive cleaners for a vinyl fence. That means once you make the investment, you will have years upon years of maintenancefree enjoyment.

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Spring Home Improvement 2013