Page 1

16

g

No Place Like Home

g

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


2

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In Minnesota there are only regulations for new construction, so it is up to homeowners to decide for themselves how much radon is acceptable in their home. The good news is, homeowners can act to lower the amount of radon in their home and reduce the risks to their family.

Why is radon important? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each year 21,000 people die of lung cancer as a result of being exposed to elevated levels of radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers and the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Although radon is present throughout the environment, radon levels indoors are generally higher which increase the risk of cancer.

What is radon?

Why is radon a common problem in Minnesota Homes?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, that means it continuously decays and releases radiation. It is produced from minerals in soil, such as uranium and radium. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless.

Much of the soil in the Upper Midwest contains widespread uranium and radium. These minerals continuously break down to release radon gas. Therefore, Minnesota's geology provides an ongoing supply of radon.

No Place Like Home

In addition, a large percentage of Minnesota homes have elevated levels of radon in the indoor air because of how they are built and how they operate in our climate. One important factor is that many Minnesota homes have basements that are uses as living spaces. MDH estimates that about one in three (1/3) Minnesota homes have enough radon to pose a significant risk to the occupants' health over many years of exposure.

How does radon enter a home? Radon, because it is a gas, is able to move though spaces in the soil or fill material around a home's foundation. Minnesota homes tend to operate under a negative pressure - this is especially true in the lowest portions of the home and during the heating season. This negative pressure acts as a vacuum (suction) that pulls soil gases, including radon, into the lower level of the structure. Some causes of home vacuum are:

• Heated air rising inside the home (stack effect). • Wind blowing past a home (downwind draft effect). • Air used by fireplaces, wood stoves, and furnaces (vacuum effect). • Air vented to the outside by clothes dryers and exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, or attics (vacuum effect). Radon can enter a home through the floor and walls -- anywhere there is an opening between the home and the soil. Examples of such openings include dirt floor crawl spaces, unsealed sumps, cracks in slab-ongrade floors, utility penetrations, and the tiny pore spaces in concrete block walls. A basement, of course, provides a large surface area that contacts soil material.

AMERADON SERVICES, LLC

Summer weather can be harsh on a lawn. Even the most lawn-conscious homeowner can be helpless against a summer heat wave. One of the most effective ways to help a lawn combat summer heat is to water the lawn as effectively as possible. This is especially true for homeowners who live in areas that frequently fall victim to drought. Such areas often have drought restrictions that limit how much a homeowner can water his or her property. These restrictions highlight the importance of watering effectively. • Water deeply and infrequently. Light but frequent watering will not promote strong roots. In fact, homeowners who water too frequently can expect the growth of weeds. When watering, water deeply and infrequently. Deep water promotes strong, healthy roots and can significantly reduce the chances of a weed infestation.

• Don't waste water on the pavement. Be sure sprinklers are placed in spots where no water will be overshooting the lawn and landing on the pavement. Adjust the sprinkler heads so all the available water ends up on the grass where it belongs. • Water early. Evaporation loss is lowest in the early morning, typically between the hours of 5 to 10 a.m. This is a better time to water than at night, when watering could lead to fungal disease.

• Choose a drought-resistant grass. For those who live in areas that frequently experience drought, a grass that's drought-resistant could be the best option. Grasses that are droughtresistant include Bermuda grass, tall fescue and Zoysia grass. Homeowners who want to replace their existing grass with a more drought-resistant species should consult a local lawn care professional for advice as to which grass is most likely to thrive in that particular climate or region. MCC.

• Water newly seeded or sodded lawns more frequently. Newly seeded or sodded lawns require more watering than established lawns. This is to build strong, healthy roots. However, it's often not a good idea to sod or seed in the height of summer, so homeowners planning to do so should consult a professional before going forward with any project.

Full coverage. Half the time.

Radon Measurement & Mitigation

507-304-3537 Contact us for a free home inspection and mitigation proposal for your home.

EasyCare $ 99

19

starting at

Our highest quality

We offer free estimates, same day services and guaranteed results.

paint just got better with paint & primer in one.

www.ameradon.com Lake Crystal, MN NEHA/NRPP Certified Do-it-yourself Radon Test Kits

$16.00 each Includes everything you need to test your home for radon.

Make the Most of Watering

Radon: Keeping Your Home Safe The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) provides information on radon and how to protect your family's health. The U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and MDH recommend that every Minnesota home be tested for radon.

It just makes sense. When you consider that a mortgage lasts longer than a lot of marriages do these days, it just makes sense to get a mortgage you can live with. A mortgage, like a marriage, is a long term commitment. We do everything we can to make sure you get hitched with one you can live with. We’re an equal housing lender and a very good mortgage match maker.

P.O. Box 420 • 220 Third Street St. Peter, MN 56082 507-931-3310

1951 Riverfront Drive, Mankato 387-1171 • 1-800-879-1938 Mon. - Fri. 8am - 7pm; Sat. 8am - 5pm; Sun. 11am - 5pm

www.candssupply.com

15


14

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gutters Custom Made on the Job at Affordable Prices Residential & Commercial • Seamless Gutters 5” & 6”

• 100% Aluminum

• Many Colors Available

• Soffit & Facia

• Leafproof® Gutter Protection

• Year Round Installation

Ask About Leafproof® Gutter Protection System

Factory

Certified

Richards’ Seamless 507-345-7070 800-944-3466 Gutter, Inc. Your choice for integrity. trust. service.

Who watches your house when you’re not home? We do!

Protect your home from intrusion, fire, and furnace failure with a Heartland Security System. Quality products, professional service and local monitoring from the same trusted people who have been providing electricity for more than 60 years. Make your home the safest place on earth. Call Heartland Security System today.

Owned and operated by 10 electric cooperatives.

1-888-264-6380 Your home should be the safest place on earth.

Original Design by Cherry Creek Cabinetworks

Where design becomes a reflection of you Custom Residential & Commercial Cabinetry • Design, Build, and Remodel

150 St. Andrews Court, Suite 510 Mankato • 507.386.1699 WWW.CHERRYCREEKCABINETWORKS.COM •

MN General Contractor #20585428

Continued from Page 13 When hosting a themed party, encourage guests to get in the spirit of things by wearing theme-appropriate attire. For instance, when hosting a summertime luau, dress up the Bar & Entertainment Center with a beachside tiki decor and encourage guests to wear their favorite Hawaiian shirts. • Become the talk of the tailgate. Few activities are as fun as the pregame tailgate in the parking lot before the big game. Veteran sports fans know a good tailgate is more than just a place to gather before the game. A tailgate is a great opportunity to meet fellow fans and express your love for the team. The Best of Times Bar & Entertainment Center takes that one step further for football fans determined to show just how much they love their favorite team. Fans can now celebrate the exploits of their favorite gridiron greats by decorating their portable bar and entertainment center with any of 32 custom NFLdesigns. What's more, the entire system fits in a wheeled bag that's

easy to transport, ensuring everyone can still fit in the car and catch the big game in person. Once your tailgate becomes the talk of the parking lot, consider adding additional barstools for all those new friends as well as the side table, which makes a great place to prepare and display all thatdelicious BBQ.

Major Radon Entry Routes

Mortar joints. Loose fitting pipe penetrations. Open tops of block walls. Building materials, such as brick, concrete, rock. K. Well water (not commonly a major source in Minnesota homes).

What happens after radon gets into the home?

• Set up for safety. While outdoor gatherings are all about fun, hosts should always remember to keep the safety of their guests in mind. Encourage guests to choose designated drivers and be sure to have the phone numbers of local taxi companies nearby in case any guests need a lift home at the end of a fun night. MCC. For more information, visit www.bestoftimesusa.com.

G. H. I. J.

A. Cracks in concrete slabs. B. Spaces behind brick veneer walls that rest on uncapped hollow-block foundations. C. Pores and cracks in concrete blocks. D. Floor-wall joints. E. Exposed soil, as in a sump or crawl space. F. Weeping (drain) tile, if drained to an open sump.

Once radon enters a home it moves freely throughout the indoor air and people can breath it into their lungs where it can cause cell damage that may lead to lung cancer. Understanding how it distributes through the home environment can help explain why timing and location are important factors to consider when conducting a radon test. The level of radon is often highest in the lower part of the building. Radon moves through a house by diffusion and natural air movements and it can be distributed by mechanical equipment such as a forcedair ventilation system. As radon moves away from the home's foundation or other entry points, it mixes (and is diluted) into a greater volume of air. In addition, more

dilution often occurs in the upper levels of the home because there is more fresh air ventilation there. Greater dilution and less house vacuum may also occur when the house is more open to the outdoors during the non-heating season. This generally results in lower indoor radon levels in the summer compared to the winter.

How can I find out if my home has a radon problem? A radon test is the only way to find out how much radon is in your home. Performing a radon test on your own is easy, inexpensive, and can be done privately. Every home is unique due to its local soil, construction details, maintenance and degree of depressurization. Therefore, test results from nearby homes cannot be relied upon to predict the radon level in another home. Likewise, previous test results may not reflect the current and future radon levels for a home that has been remodeled, weatherized or had changes so its heating air conditioning or other ventilation systems such as exhaust fans.

No Place Like Home

3

The MDH recommends that all Minnesota homeowners test their homes for radon. The results of a properly performed radon test will help homeowners determine for themselves if they need to take further action to protect their family from the health risks of radon in the home. Contact the MDH Indoor Air Unit for more information on where to obtain low cost radon test kits, the types of test kits, how to perform tests properly and how to interpret the test results.

How can I protect my family from radon? A number of steps can be taken to lower the amount of radon in a home. A quality radon reduction (mitigation) system is often able to reduce the annual average radon level to below 2 picoCuries per liter (see Minnesota Radon Testing and Use of Test Results for discussion of radon levels and health risks). Experienced radon mitigation professionals can install appropriate control systems. Contact MDH for information regarding radon mitigation.


4

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Disorganized to Organized By Jean Lundquist Special to The Free Press Last June 17th a twister tore through southern Minnesota between Alden and Conger, leaving devastation in its wake. The Jeff and Beth Zeller farm, including their home, was in its direct path. Everything was destroyed. Jeff was an hour away from home at the time. Beth was in Des Moines visiting family. “That was the longest ride home ever,” Beth recalls. A mobile home was brought in for living quarters, and the rebuilding began. The Zellers designed and built their new home with some basic realities in mind. “We’re getting older, so we made hallways wider to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs,” Beth says.

Lawn Weed & Feed Programs • Phosphate-Free Lawn Fertilizing • Crabgrass, Dandelion & Weed Control • Tree/Shrub Spraying & Feeding • Landscape Insect Control • Core Aeration • Landscaping/Design & Installation

FREE ESTIMATES

10% off New Customers

Serving Home & Business Lawns • 39 Years of Quality, Reliable Yard Care

869-3847 Your Original LOCAL Service Since 1973

No Place Like Home

13

How To Enliven Your Outdoor Entertaining

created. As their new home “Not getting set up properly neared DePoppe owns completion, Orderly Quarters with is a common cause of his wife, Darci. “Not the Zellers getting set up properly also realized disorganization,” according to is a common cause they wanted DePoppe, “and being disorganized of disorganization,” to live as according to efficiently wastes a lot of time.” DePoppe, “and being as possible, disorganized wastes making the a lot of time.” In the best use chaos of disorganization, it’s harder to find of their space. Jeff went to the Internet to things. search for a professional to help them, and DePoppe says people could organize found two companies to ask for estimates. their garages, craft rooms, closets and other spaces in the same way they organize their The Zellers were most impressed with Lon DePoppe and Orderly Quarters, located kitchens for better efficiency. “You know which drawer holds the silverware, and you in Mankato. “That was some of the best know which cabinet holds plates or cups.” money we’ve ever spent,” Beth declares. The Zellers contacted Orderly Quarters a few months before they moved into their new home. Though DePoppe wasn’t involved in designing the space, he was able to help make the best use of what they

Sometimes the key to organize for efficiency is as simple as the height of a shelf, according to DePoppe. “First we have to learn what people are trying to achieve to help them organize for it.”

DePoppe admits he and Darci have not always lived an organized life. “That’s what drew us to this business. We wanted to improve our options. We provide the tools. It’s difficult to do any job if you don’t have the tools you need.” When organizing clothes closets, DePoppe offers a very visual tool for people to use in deciding whether to keep or dispose of clothing. “Sometimes there is an emotional attachment to something. Other times, we hold onto clothing because we plan to fit into it. Often by the time that happens,” DePoppe says, “our style has changed, or fashion has changed. “ The tip DePoppe suggests is to hang everything in a closet backwards, with the hanger facing forward. When the item is worn, hang it up with the hanger facing backwards. After a year, decide if the items on forward facing hangers are still needed or wanted.

Outdoor get-togethers typically make for memorable affairs. Be it a picnic in the park, a backyard barbecue or a tailgate in the parking lot at the big game, fresh air always seems to add more fun to the festivities. As fun as such soirees can be, hosts and guests alike know there's no limit to the fun that can be had when getting together with friends and family for some outdoor revelry. Hosts hoping to enliven their outdoor entertaining can employ the following tips and let the good times roll! • Take the indoors outside. Hosting a party indoors certainly has its advantages, not the least of which is the host of amenities a home's interior boasts that the backyard and the local beach simply can't offer. The Best of Times Bar & Entertainment Center (www.bestoftimesusa.com) enables hosts to set up a bar for guests within minutes. Easily set up anywhere in less than five minutes, this patented, professional-quality bar enables hosts to

bring the fun of the family bar outdoors. Designed to fit in the width of a parking space, the Best of Times Bar & Entertainment Center won't take up much space, leaving precious room for the all-important Wiffle ball games and backyard badminton battles. Each L-shaped unit features four padded barstools, an optional side table and a UV protected umbrella that won't fade in the sun. Made with durable countertops, each bar includes a barlevel shelf, ample storage and a drop-in waterproof cooler that keeps as many as 18 cans or bottles icy cold. • Make it a musical affair. Music often sets the tone for a party, whether that party takes place inside or outside. Hosts should choose music that lightens the mood and encourages guests to relax. When hosting a backyard barbecue, encourage guests to bring their own instruments and, if any friends or family members are in a band, invite

the band over to perform. Though public parks and beaches might frown on loud music, bring an acoustic guitar along and keep things low key. If the party is aligned with a specific holiday like Independence Day, be sure to include some patriotic tunes in the evening's playlist. • Give the festivities a theme. Hosts can set their soiree apart from other gatherings by choosing a theme for their

next outdoor party. Easily customized with interchangeable image wraps to match any decor, The Best of Times Bar & Entertainment Center can fit right in with any party theme.

Continued on Page 14

Land Prices... Wingert Realty & Land Services, Inc.’s recent auctions set new highs for farm land prices! Wingert Realty was named in the “top 30 land real estate auction companies” and “top land brokerages” in the US, The Land Report, 2010” Call Terri today if you are considering a sale of your farm or need assistance with land! Direct: 507-382-0908 Or toll-free: 800-730-(LAND) 5263

PRODUCT BENEFITS: • Reduces AC cost • Reduces heat in warmer months • Reduces glare & eye discomfort • Stop fading on furniture, fabrics & flooring • Increase personal safety from flying glass

27 HP Kawasaki ProCat Series

19 HP Kawasaki FastCat Pro

507-387-7376 1-800-321-7587 Licensed Auctioneer, #52-08-013 Licensed REALTOR, specializing in land Licensed Appraiser, specializing in land, residential, and unique properties

www.toppersplus.com 1929 E. Madison Ave. Mankato, MN 56001

Plus a complete line of Toppers • Trailers • Accessories


12

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

overlap and this will give you the pond liner size.

Continued from Page 11 • Plan on water circulation. Although circulation is not a must, it can help aerate the water and clean out debris, if a filter is used. Plus, moving water is less susceptible to insect larvae growth like that of mosquitoes. Figure a waterfall or water jet into the design and a skimmer that will suck out the water. Be sure the skimmer is positioned so that the level of the pond water meets halfway up the skimmer box. If a waterfall will be used, gradually slope the pond away from the waterfall to direct water toward the skimmer. Check municipal building codes to see if a permit will be needed for the pond and the requisite plumbing/electrical work. There may be regulations as to how deeply the power line must be buried and other requirements. • Purchase the correct liner size. Be sure to purchase the right size liner for the pond. Measure the maximum length and width of the pond. Double the depth of the pond and add it to these measurements. Add a foot or two for

Coming June 2011

• Pay attention to rocks and gravel.Too much gravel at the bottom of the pond may cause noxious gases to build up that can gradually kill off marine life. Only put about 2 inches of gravel. Also, keep in mind that some rocks are better left out of the pond design. Limestone can affect the pH of the pond water making it very acidic. Try to make the pond look as natural as possible, hiding pipes and electrical switches with plants and other landscaping items.

New and Remodel Vinyl Windows Manufactured in North Mankato

No Place Like Home

home+ SOUTHERN MINNESOTA

STYLE

A FREE PRESS MEDIA HOME & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Showcasing local homes, remodeling, decorating, decks, furniture, gardening, home finance, cooking, pets and so much more!

• Fill and get started. Be sure to include some aquatic plants because those will help create the right mix of nutrients into the water that can feed fish and other plant life. There is also prepackaged pond bacteria to prime the pond filter. Let the filter run a day or two before adding any fish to ensure that the water condition is right.

Saving America’s Energy with Lindsay Windows

from the makers of

For advertising information contact your Free Press Media Sales Representative

507-344-6364 advertising@mankatofreepress.com

We provide hassle-free service to our Home Buyers Fast, convenient home insurance at competitive rates. Knowledgeable local agents who understand the need for speed and quality service. Since 1927, customer satisfaction has been at the heart of American Family’s Business philosophy. And it’s why so many real estate agents and mortgage professionals refer their clients to us. Better Agent Service • On-time proof of insurance for closing • On-time dec delivery • Convenient weekend/evening hours • House calls available

1995 Commerce Lane North Mankato

(507) 625-4278 www.lindsaywindows.com

Better Value • Competitive premiums • Home and auto discount • Home security and fire protection discount • Roofing materials discount* • Claim-free discount

Frank J. Smasal Agency * Not available in all states American Family Mutual Insurance company and its Subsidiaries American Family Insurance Company Home Office – Madison, WI 53763 amfam.com

© 2010 002464 – 4/10

EQUAL HOUSING INSURER

79 Navaho Ave Mankato, MN 56001-4831 fsmasal@amfam.com (507) 625-7100

Poured Walls Insulated Concrete Wall Systems • Flatwork Stamped • Colored Stained • Block Brick • Stone

243-3660 Madison Lake Ryan Evenson, Owner

www.evensonconcrete.com Certified Installer for:

CONCRETE RESULTS Find us on Facebook

5


6

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Outdoor Living Spaces by Heath Hinsch Contractor Sales/Home Design Lloyd Lumber Company, North Mankato

a professional building material supplier to assist in design, material selection and finding a local contractor if necessary.

As summer approaches and fuel costs soar many are looking for ways to efficiently spend their time outdoors. With consumer spending declining, people are shifting their spending towards remodeling their current homes. Turning to products such as screen porches, sunrooms, decks and patios transforms a plain backyard into their own entertainment oasis. Each project will have elements which drive their outdoor living project.

The primary question that should always be asked is usage. How do you currently spend your time outdoors? If you enjoy viewing your backyard oasis but not exactly a fan of the elements, a sunroom is probably a sound decision. If you relish an evening outside on a quite night and have a strong dislike of our biting insect friends a screen porch area can be a perfect fit. If you enjoy raw nature, decks and patios are probably for you. Material selection and function are the two keys to designing a deck or patio. Every person loves the beauty of wood but, few have the desire to maintain it. Composite low maintenance deck products have evolved greatly and selecting the right product for you is the key. Local professional material suppliers are the best consultants when selecting the best product for you.

The first detail to consider is always the budget, a project relative to your pocket book is first and foremost. Your property is also a key factor, building something proportionate to the size of your home and yard is also very important. With home prices on the rebound, consider also the value of your home in relation to the project value. Who has the ability to help you bring this idea to an appreciable reality? Consult

Dan Wingert Broker/G.R.I 507-381-4747

Tim McDonald Broker Associate 507-382-8880

Megan James Broker Associate 507-380-2689

Jaclyn Jaycox Realtor 507-382-9555

Jack Kolars Realtor 507-327-9987

Meggie Munsterman Realtor 507-381-7365

Sarah Gunderson Realtor 507-461-5976

Amanda Johnson Realtor 507-381-1600

Brooke Barbknecht Realtor 507-351-0063

Jillian Kuduk Office Manager 507-625-7800

Call, click, or stop by today. NuStar Realty, if it's real estate for sale, We Specialize In It!

422 Park Lane, Mankato (507) 625-7800 Fax 625-7806

How to build a fish pond the right way A water feature in the backyard is not only an attractive way to add dimension and visual interest to the entertaining space, it can also be a tranquil, relaxing place to which to retire. A pond filled with marine plants or fish can be a welcome respite in the yard.

The key to a successful project is simply finding the right people to take the journey with. It starts with a design, no matter how simple or complex, utilizing a design to suite your needs is where it starts. The products you invest your money with is also paramount. Products that fit your budget from companies that are established in its manufacturing are always a sound decision.

We all take pride in a project well done, whether you drive every fastener or simply provide the vision and the guidance toward completion. Aligning yourself with the right people to ensure success is the key, help is always right around the corner.

For those who haven't done major excavation or built something similar in the yard before, it pays to become educated before digging the first hole. In order to ensure the fish pond goes in correctly, there are a few things the do-it-yourselfer needs to know. • Determine size. Many first-time pond builders simply make their ponds too small. If fish or a lot of aquatic plants are planned, be sure to size it large enough to accommodate growth. Err on the larger size -- some dirt can always be added back if it seems too large. A koi pond should be at least four feet

deep at its deepest point. One can vary the depths of the pond by creating shelfs of dirt or rock. • Determine location. The best place to put a pond is close to the house so that it can be enjoyed when someone is outdoors or inside. Also take into consideration rain run-off. This may contain chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides that can contaminate pond life. Avoid locating it too close to trees, otherwise a lot of time will be spent cleaning out leaves and other debris. If the pond will be growing only plants, be sure it gets a few hours of steady sun a day. For a pond containing only fish, shade will be adequate.

Continued on Page 12

making dreams come true

www.NuStarMankato.com

David Thompson

Karen Ahrenstorff

Mankato

Lake Crystal

there for

you

Many have trusted MinnStar Bank’s personal service to help them get into the home of their dreams—and we can do the same for you. REAL ESTATE BANKING Downtown Mankato • 507-625-6816 Lake Crystal • 507-726-2137 Good Thunder • 507-278-3630 Member FDIC

www.minnstarbank.com

No Place Like Home

11


10

g

No Place Like Home

g

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Economical Remodeling With money tight and household expenses rising, there's a natural tendency to put your remodeling plans on hold. But even if your budget is limited, there's one home remodeling project that is still affordable, and fun, too: interior painting. According to the Paint Quality Institute, the do-it-yourself cost of repainting a room is typically well under $100, about the same as taking a family of four to the movies. Unlike a night at the movies, however, the enjoyment of a freshly painted room will last for years. Start by visiting your local paint retailer, asking to see the color display. The fun begins by looking through the color cards and envisioning what your room will look like with an entirely new color scheme. If you're the decisive type, you might quickly spot the perfect color for the room you're repainting. For everyone else, it's usually best to take a few color cards home to view in the space you want to paint. Once

there, you should follow a few time-tested rules. First, when evaluating color options, conceal all the colors on the card except for the one you are considering. By isolating the color, you'll get a better idea of how the room will look in a particular hue. Second, evaluate the color both in daylight and at night when all the light is artificial. You may be surprised how different a color can look when lighting conditions change. (Paint colors usually look darker at night, in shadow, and on cloudy days.) Third, consider when you most often use the room. If you are painting a breakfast area, be sure you like the way the color looks in morning light; but if you're painting a bedroom, it's more important that the color be pleasing under artificial light. Fourth, be aware that color tends to be more intense on a large area than a small one. A color that looks just right on a color

Protecting Hardwood Floors card may be too dark or too bold when applied to your walls. For safety's sake, move down one degree of intensity on the card and choose a slightly lighter tint or shade. Finally, if you are still not certain of your choice of color, buy a small quantity of paint and apply a couple of large swatches to the walls. Live with the color for a day or two. You'll soon know if you missed the mark or nailed it. One final tip: Regardless of the color you choose, the Paint Quality Institute recommends that you use top quality 100 percent acrylic latex interior paint for all of your projects. This advanced type of paint goes

Roughly half of all homes have hardwood flooring, and industry professionals suspect more and more homeowners are looking to hardwood flooring for their homes. When surveyed, 90 percent of real estate agents have said that hardwood flooring is a desirable feature in a home. Those agents also say property with hardwood flooring sells faster than one with carpeting or another flooring option.

on evenly, typically "hides" the color below in just a single coat, has very little odor, and is very durable. By using it, your beautiful new paint job will last for years. For more advice on affordable interior painting, visit www.paintquality.com. MCC.

With hardwood flooring so prevalent in homes, protecting those beautiful wood floors is a major priority for homeowners. Caring for hardwood floors only takes some common sense precautions and minimal maintenance. Today's hardwood floors are often produced with durable sealants that protect the wood underneath or are comprised of composite or reclaimed wood products. But that doesn't mean precautions should be taken to further protect against potential damage to the flooring.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

g

No Place Like Home

• Pay careful attention to which types of shoes are worn on the floors. High heels or cleats can damage the wood. Removing shoes prior to walking on the floor is a safer bet. • Choose the right type of cleaner for the floor. Do not assume just because a particular cleaner is adequate for wood cabinetry or furniture that it is also fine for wood flooring. Check the label. • Use area rugs and carpet runners on areas of the floor that tend to be hightraffic areas. This will prevent these areas from being worn down unevenly from other areas of the floor.

• Do not allow water or other liquids to stand on the floor for a long duration. This can cause degradation of the wood and staining. • Use felt or plastic protectors on the "feet" of dining room chairs or other furniture to prevent against scuffing or scratches.

Wood flooring can be an expensive addition to any home, but one that is sought after for its aesthetic appeal. To ensure a floor remains in good condition over the long haul, take action to protect hardwood floors as soon as possible. MCC.

TEMPERATURE, OUR

QUALITY

Tennyson Construction Wet Basement Specialists 230 W. Ciro St. Truman, MN 800-658-2501

7

• Place area rugs or mats at the doorways entering the home. This way sand, dirt and other debris can be wiped off at the entryway and not carried onto the wood flooring where it can cause abrasions over time.

JUST LIKE THE

• Basement Wall Straightening • Basement Drainage • Interior Tiling • Sump Pumps • Foundation Work

g

IS ALWAYS

RISING. Bryant is giving everyone another reason to head indoors this summer. In fact, our new line features some of the best cooling products we’ve ever made. Not only built with DuraGuard PlusTM protection to help keep critical components safe from the elements, its appearance also looks great in your backyard. All in all, it’s just our way of making your summer cooler than ever. Whatever it takes.SM

MANKATO • 386-0300

NEW ULM • 354-3813


No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No Place Like Home

9

Perennials are a gardener's friend Gardening is often seen as an art form to men and women with a green thumb. Once the landscape is designed, homeowners may not want to change much from year to year. That is where perennial plants can be an advantage. Designing a landscape and keeping the garden looking beautiful can take a keen eye. It also may require a lot of time and commitment. If home gardeners have to replant items year after year, gardening can become time-consuming and expensive. Turning to perennial plants and flowers to serve as the anchor for a home garden can make the process easier. Perennials are plants that live indefinitely. In terms of flowering plants, perennials will bloom every year. In essence, they have the staying power of shrubbery but are more delicate in nature and often appealing to the eye. There are perennials for every season, soil type and sun exposure. Perennials

come in a wide variety of blooming flowers or attractive foliage. Chances are if a homeowner wants to add perennials to the garden, there is a variety available that will fit his or her needs. Here are some perennials that can be added to the garden: • lavender • ornamental grasses • asters • chrysanthemums • irises • poppies • milkweed • goldentufts • anemones • columbines • daylilies • peonies • hostas

Once perennials are in place, there is relatively minimal maintenance that is required. The tune-ups that may be needed are some deadheading to promote new and stronger growth and some cleaning up after winter before the new blooming season takes place.

need to be divided to promote stronger growth. This should be done in early spring before the plant blooms or late fall before the winter arrives. Dividing plants and replanting not only grows the garden, but also it is a healthy revitalization for the plant.

Once the early spring season arrives and the ground is not too muddy or rainsoaked, clear out any leaves and debris that have gathered around where perennials are located. Gardeners can also till the mulch or soil in these areas to aerate the planting beds.

Gardeners who prefer to take a laid-back approach to gardening may appreciate the ease with which a beautiful and easy-tomaintain landscape can be created with perennials. MCC.

Using shears, cut down any dead grasses, stems and stalks from spent perennials that overwintered. Remove any dead wood and broken branches. Be careful not to trim spring-blooming shrubs because some flowers bloom on year-old stems and this can cause the plant not to flower. Perennials that aren't flowering as well as they used to or have dead centers may Kirby • Riccar • Sharp • Bissell • Dyson • Dirt Devil

Need A New Vacuum? Then Consider This! • Great For Pet Hair • 99.9% Filtration For Pollen & Dust Mites • By-Pass Motor (No fan to break)

• 2 year warranty • Long Lasting (Not a Big Box Store throw-away)

• Great Personalized Service

$199.00 USA Made

M-F 9:30-6; Sat. 9:30-3

387-5125 950 Madison Ave, Mankato

Bissell • Dyson • Dirt Devil • Eureka • Hoover • Electrolux • Panasonic • Simplicity • Miele • Oreck

Bissell • Dyson • Dirt Devil • Eureka • Hoover • Electrolux • Panasonic • Simplicity • Miele • Oreck

Kirby • Riccar • Sharp • Bissell • Dyson • Dirt Devil

8


No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No Place Like Home

9

Perennials are a gardener's friend Gardening is often seen as an art form to men and women with a green thumb. Once the landscape is designed, homeowners may not want to change much from year to year. That is where perennial plants can be an advantage. Designing a landscape and keeping the garden looking beautiful can take a keen eye. It also may require a lot of time and commitment. If home gardeners have to replant items year after year, gardening can become time-consuming and expensive. Turning to perennial plants and flowers to serve as the anchor for a home garden can make the process easier. Perennials are plants that live indefinitely. In terms of flowering plants, perennials will bloom every year. In essence, they have the staying power of shrubbery but are more delicate in nature and often appealing to the eye. There are perennials for every season, soil type and sun exposure. Perennials

come in a wide variety of blooming flowers or attractive foliage. Chances are if a homeowner wants to add perennials to the garden, there is a variety available that will fit his or her needs. Here are some perennials that can be added to the garden: • lavender • ornamental grasses • asters • chrysanthemums • irises • poppies • milkweed • goldentufts • anemones • columbines • daylilies • peonies • hostas

Once perennials are in place, there is relatively minimal maintenance that is required. The tune-ups that may be needed are some deadheading to promote new and stronger growth and some cleaning up after winter before the new blooming season takes place.

need to be divided to promote stronger growth. This should be done in early spring before the plant blooms or late fall before the winter arrives. Dividing plants and replanting not only grows the garden, but also it is a healthy revitalization for the plant.

Once the early spring season arrives and the ground is not too muddy or rainsoaked, clear out any leaves and debris that have gathered around where perennials are located. Gardeners can also till the mulch or soil in these areas to aerate the planting beds.

Gardeners who prefer to take a laid-back approach to gardening may appreciate the ease with which a beautiful and easy-tomaintain landscape can be created with perennials. MCC.

Using shears, cut down any dead grasses, stems and stalks from spent perennials that overwintered. Remove any dead wood and broken branches. Be careful not to trim spring-blooming shrubs because some flowers bloom on year-old stems and this can cause the plant not to flower. Perennials that aren't flowering as well as they used to or have dead centers may Kirby • Riccar • Sharp • Bissell • Dyson • Dirt Devil

Need A New Vacuum? Then Consider This! • Great For Pet Hair • 99.9% Filtration For Pollen & Dust Mites • By-Pass Motor (No fan to break)

• 2 year warranty • Long Lasting (Not a Big Box Store throw-away)

• Great Personalized Service

$199.00 USA Made

M-F 9:30-6; Sat. 9:30-3

387-5125 950 Madison Ave, Mankato

Bissell • Dyson • Dirt Devil • Eureka • Hoover • Electrolux • Panasonic • Simplicity • Miele • Oreck

Bissell • Dyson • Dirt Devil • Eureka • Hoover • Electrolux • Panasonic • Simplicity • Miele • Oreck

Kirby • Riccar • Sharp • Bissell • Dyson • Dirt Devil

8


10

g

No Place Like Home

g

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Economical Remodeling With money tight and household expenses rising, there's a natural tendency to put your remodeling plans on hold. But even if your budget is limited, there's one home remodeling project that is still affordable, and fun, too: interior painting. According to the Paint Quality Institute, the do-it-yourself cost of repainting a room is typically well under $100, about the same as taking a family of four to the movies. Unlike a night at the movies, however, the enjoyment of a freshly painted room will last for years. Start by visiting your local paint retailer, asking to see the color display. The fun begins by looking through the color cards and envisioning what your room will look like with an entirely new color scheme. If you're the decisive type, you might quickly spot the perfect color for the room you're repainting. For everyone else, it's usually best to take a few color cards home to view in the space you want to paint. Once

there, you should follow a few time-tested rules. First, when evaluating color options, conceal all the colors on the card except for the one you are considering. By isolating the color, you'll get a better idea of how the room will look in a particular hue. Second, evaluate the color both in daylight and at night when all the light is artificial. You may be surprised how different a color can look when lighting conditions change. (Paint colors usually look darker at night, in shadow, and on cloudy days.) Third, consider when you most often use the room. If you are painting a breakfast area, be sure you like the way the color looks in morning light; but if you're painting a bedroom, it's more important that the color be pleasing under artificial light. Fourth, be aware that color tends to be more intense on a large area than a small one. A color that looks just right on a color

Protecting Hardwood Floors card may be too dark or too bold when applied to your walls. For safety's sake, move down one degree of intensity on the card and choose a slightly lighter tint or shade. Finally, if you are still not certain of your choice of color, buy a small quantity of paint and apply a couple of large swatches to the walls. Live with the color for a day or two. You'll soon know if you missed the mark or nailed it. One final tip: Regardless of the color you choose, the Paint Quality Institute recommends that you use top quality 100 percent acrylic latex interior paint for all of your projects. This advanced type of paint goes

Roughly half of all homes have hardwood flooring, and industry professionals suspect more and more homeowners are looking to hardwood flooring for their homes. When surveyed, 90 percent of real estate agents have said that hardwood flooring is a desirable feature in a home. Those agents also say property with hardwood flooring sells faster than one with carpeting or another flooring option.

on evenly, typically "hides" the color below in just a single coat, has very little odor, and is very durable. By using it, your beautiful new paint job will last for years. For more advice on affordable interior painting, visit www.paintquality.com. MCC.

With hardwood flooring so prevalent in homes, protecting those beautiful wood floors is a major priority for homeowners. Caring for hardwood floors only takes some common sense precautions and minimal maintenance. Today's hardwood floors are often produced with durable sealants that protect the wood underneath or are comprised of composite or reclaimed wood products. But that doesn't mean precautions should be taken to further protect against potential damage to the flooring.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

g

No Place Like Home

• Pay careful attention to which types of shoes are worn on the floors. High heels or cleats can damage the wood. Removing shoes prior to walking on the floor is a safer bet. • Choose the right type of cleaner for the floor. Do not assume just because a particular cleaner is adequate for wood cabinetry or furniture that it is also fine for wood flooring. Check the label. • Use area rugs and carpet runners on areas of the floor that tend to be hightraffic areas. This will prevent these areas from being worn down unevenly from other areas of the floor.

• Do not allow water or other liquids to stand on the floor for a long duration. This can cause degradation of the wood and staining. • Use felt or plastic protectors on the "feet" of dining room chairs or other furniture to prevent against scuffing or scratches.

Wood flooring can be an expensive addition to any home, but one that is sought after for its aesthetic appeal. To ensure a floor remains in good condition over the long haul, take action to protect hardwood floors as soon as possible. MCC.

TEMPERATURE, OUR

QUALITY

Tennyson Construction Wet Basement Specialists 230 W. Ciro St. Truman, MN 800-658-2501

7

• Place area rugs or mats at the doorways entering the home. This way sand, dirt and other debris can be wiped off at the entryway and not carried onto the wood flooring where it can cause abrasions over time.

JUST LIKE THE

• Basement Wall Straightening • Basement Drainage • Interior Tiling • Sump Pumps • Foundation Work

g

IS ALWAYS

RISING. Bryant is giving everyone another reason to head indoors this summer. In fact, our new line features some of the best cooling products we’ve ever made. Not only built with DuraGuard PlusTM protection to help keep critical components safe from the elements, its appearance also looks great in your backyard. All in all, it’s just our way of making your summer cooler than ever. Whatever it takes.SM

MANKATO • 386-0300

NEW ULM • 354-3813


6

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Outdoor Living Spaces by Heath Hinsch Contractor Sales/Home Design Lloyd Lumber Company, North Mankato

a professional building material supplier to assist in design, material selection and finding a local contractor if necessary.

As summer approaches and fuel costs soar many are looking for ways to efficiently spend their time outdoors. With consumer spending declining, people are shifting their spending towards remodeling their current homes. Turning to products such as screen porches, sunrooms, decks and patios transforms a plain backyard into their own entertainment oasis. Each project will have elements which drive their outdoor living project.

The primary question that should always be asked is usage. How do you currently spend your time outdoors? If you enjoy viewing your backyard oasis but not exactly a fan of the elements, a sunroom is probably a sound decision. If you relish an evening outside on a quite night and have a strong dislike of our biting insect friends a screen porch area can be a perfect fit. If you enjoy raw nature, decks and patios are probably for you. Material selection and function are the two keys to designing a deck or patio. Every person loves the beauty of wood but, few have the desire to maintain it. Composite low maintenance deck products have evolved greatly and selecting the right product for you is the key. Local professional material suppliers are the best consultants when selecting the best product for you.

The first detail to consider is always the budget, a project relative to your pocket book is first and foremost. Your property is also a key factor, building something proportionate to the size of your home and yard is also very important. With home prices on the rebound, consider also the value of your home in relation to the project value. Who has the ability to help you bring this idea to an appreciable reality? Consult

Dan Wingert Broker/G.R.I 507-381-4747

Tim McDonald Broker Associate 507-382-8880

Megan James Broker Associate 507-380-2689

Jaclyn Jaycox Realtor 507-382-9555

Jack Kolars Realtor 507-327-9987

Meggie Munsterman Realtor 507-381-7365

Sarah Gunderson Realtor 507-461-5976

Amanda Johnson Realtor 507-381-1600

Brooke Barbknecht Realtor 507-351-0063

Jillian Kuduk Office Manager 507-625-7800

Call, click, or stop by today. NuStar Realty, if it's real estate for sale, We Specialize In It!

422 Park Lane, Mankato (507) 625-7800 Fax 625-7806

How to build a fish pond the right way A water feature in the backyard is not only an attractive way to add dimension and visual interest to the entertaining space, it can also be a tranquil, relaxing place to which to retire. A pond filled with marine plants or fish can be a welcome respite in the yard.

The key to a successful project is simply finding the right people to take the journey with. It starts with a design, no matter how simple or complex, utilizing a design to suite your needs is where it starts. The products you invest your money with is also paramount. Products that fit your budget from companies that are established in its manufacturing are always a sound decision.

We all take pride in a project well done, whether you drive every fastener or simply provide the vision and the guidance toward completion. Aligning yourself with the right people to ensure success is the key, help is always right around the corner.

For those who haven't done major excavation or built something similar in the yard before, it pays to become educated before digging the first hole. In order to ensure the fish pond goes in correctly, there are a few things the do-it-yourselfer needs to know. • Determine size. Many first-time pond builders simply make their ponds too small. If fish or a lot of aquatic plants are planned, be sure to size it large enough to accommodate growth. Err on the larger size -- some dirt can always be added back if it seems too large. A koi pond should be at least four feet

deep at its deepest point. One can vary the depths of the pond by creating shelfs of dirt or rock. • Determine location. The best place to put a pond is close to the house so that it can be enjoyed when someone is outdoors or inside. Also take into consideration rain run-off. This may contain chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides that can contaminate pond life. Avoid locating it too close to trees, otherwise a lot of time will be spent cleaning out leaves and other debris. If the pond will be growing only plants, be sure it gets a few hours of steady sun a day. For a pond containing only fish, shade will be adequate.

Continued on Page 12

making dreams come true

www.NuStarMankato.com

David Thompson

Karen Ahrenstorff

Mankato

Lake Crystal

there for

you

Many have trusted MinnStar Bank’s personal service to help them get into the home of their dreams—and we can do the same for you. REAL ESTATE BANKING Downtown Mankato • 507-625-6816 Lake Crystal • 507-726-2137 Good Thunder • 507-278-3630 Member FDIC

www.minnstarbank.com

No Place Like Home

11


12

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

overlap and this will give you the pond liner size.

Continued from Page 11 • Plan on water circulation. Although circulation is not a must, it can help aerate the water and clean out debris, if a filter is used. Plus, moving water is less susceptible to insect larvae growth like that of mosquitoes. Figure a waterfall or water jet into the design and a skimmer that will suck out the water. Be sure the skimmer is positioned so that the level of the pond water meets halfway up the skimmer box. If a waterfall will be used, gradually slope the pond away from the waterfall to direct water toward the skimmer. Check municipal building codes to see if a permit will be needed for the pond and the requisite plumbing/electrical work. There may be regulations as to how deeply the power line must be buried and other requirements. • Purchase the correct liner size. Be sure to purchase the right size liner for the pond. Measure the maximum length and width of the pond. Double the depth of the pond and add it to these measurements. Add a foot or two for

Coming June 2011

• Pay attention to rocks and gravel.Too much gravel at the bottom of the pond may cause noxious gases to build up that can gradually kill off marine life. Only put about 2 inches of gravel. Also, keep in mind that some rocks are better left out of the pond design. Limestone can affect the pH of the pond water making it very acidic. Try to make the pond look as natural as possible, hiding pipes and electrical switches with plants and other landscaping items.

New and Remodel Vinyl Windows Manufactured in North Mankato

No Place Like Home

home+ SOUTHERN MINNESOTA

STYLE

A FREE PRESS MEDIA HOME & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Showcasing local homes, remodeling, decorating, decks, furniture, gardening, home finance, cooking, pets and so much more!

• Fill and get started. Be sure to include some aquatic plants because those will help create the right mix of nutrients into the water that can feed fish and other plant life. There is also prepackaged pond bacteria to prime the pond filter. Let the filter run a day or two before adding any fish to ensure that the water condition is right.

Saving America’s Energy with Lindsay Windows

from the makers of

For advertising information contact your Free Press Media Sales Representative

507-344-6364 advertising@mankatofreepress.com

We provide hassle-free service to our Home Buyers Fast, convenient home insurance at competitive rates. Knowledgeable local agents who understand the need for speed and quality service. Since 1927, customer satisfaction has been at the heart of American Family’s Business philosophy. And it’s why so many real estate agents and mortgage professionals refer their clients to us. Better Agent Service • On-time proof of insurance for closing • On-time dec delivery • Convenient weekend/evening hours • House calls available

1995 Commerce Lane North Mankato

(507) 625-4278 www.lindsaywindows.com

Better Value • Competitive premiums • Home and auto discount • Home security and fire protection discount • Roofing materials discount* • Claim-free discount

Frank J. Smasal Agency * Not available in all states American Family Mutual Insurance company and its Subsidiaries American Family Insurance Company Home Office – Madison, WI 53763 amfam.com

© 2010 002464 – 4/10

EQUAL HOUSING INSURER

79 Navaho Ave Mankato, MN 56001-4831 fsmasal@amfam.com (507) 625-7100

Poured Walls Insulated Concrete Wall Systems • Flatwork Stamped • Colored Stained • Block Brick • Stone

243-3660 Madison Lake Ryan Evenson, Owner

www.evensonconcrete.com Certified Installer for:

CONCRETE RESULTS Find us on Facebook

5


4

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Disorganized to Organized By Jean Lundquist Special to The Free Press Last June 17th a twister tore through southern Minnesota between Alden and Conger, leaving devastation in its wake. The Jeff and Beth Zeller farm, including their home, was in its direct path. Everything was destroyed. Jeff was an hour away from home at the time. Beth was in Des Moines visiting family. “That was the longest ride home ever,” Beth recalls. A mobile home was brought in for living quarters, and the rebuilding began. The Zellers designed and built their new home with some basic realities in mind. “We’re getting older, so we made hallways wider to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs,” Beth says.

Lawn Weed & Feed Programs • Phosphate-Free Lawn Fertilizing • Crabgrass, Dandelion & Weed Control • Tree/Shrub Spraying & Feeding • Landscape Insect Control • Core Aeration • Landscaping/Design & Installation

FREE ESTIMATES

10% off New Customers

Serving Home & Business Lawns • 39 Years of Quality, Reliable Yard Care

869-3847 Your Original LOCAL Service Since 1973

No Place Like Home

13

How To Enliven Your Outdoor Entertaining

created. As their new home “Not getting set up properly neared DePoppe owns completion, Orderly Quarters with is a common cause of his wife, Darci. “Not the Zellers getting set up properly also realized disorganization,” according to is a common cause they wanted DePoppe, “and being disorganized of disorganization,” to live as according to efficiently wastes a lot of time.” DePoppe, “and being as possible, disorganized wastes making the a lot of time.” In the best use chaos of disorganization, it’s harder to find of their space. Jeff went to the Internet to things. search for a professional to help them, and DePoppe says people could organize found two companies to ask for estimates. their garages, craft rooms, closets and other spaces in the same way they organize their The Zellers were most impressed with Lon DePoppe and Orderly Quarters, located kitchens for better efficiency. “You know which drawer holds the silverware, and you in Mankato. “That was some of the best know which cabinet holds plates or cups.” money we’ve ever spent,” Beth declares. The Zellers contacted Orderly Quarters a few months before they moved into their new home. Though DePoppe wasn’t involved in designing the space, he was able to help make the best use of what they

Sometimes the key to organize for efficiency is as simple as the height of a shelf, according to DePoppe. “First we have to learn what people are trying to achieve to help them organize for it.”

DePoppe admits he and Darci have not always lived an organized life. “That’s what drew us to this business. We wanted to improve our options. We provide the tools. It’s difficult to do any job if you don’t have the tools you need.” When organizing clothes closets, DePoppe offers a very visual tool for people to use in deciding whether to keep or dispose of clothing. “Sometimes there is an emotional attachment to something. Other times, we hold onto clothing because we plan to fit into it. Often by the time that happens,” DePoppe says, “our style has changed, or fashion has changed. “ The tip DePoppe suggests is to hang everything in a closet backwards, with the hanger facing forward. When the item is worn, hang it up with the hanger facing backwards. After a year, decide if the items on forward facing hangers are still needed or wanted.

Outdoor get-togethers typically make for memorable affairs. Be it a picnic in the park, a backyard barbecue or a tailgate in the parking lot at the big game, fresh air always seems to add more fun to the festivities. As fun as such soirees can be, hosts and guests alike know there's no limit to the fun that can be had when getting together with friends and family for some outdoor revelry. Hosts hoping to enliven their outdoor entertaining can employ the following tips and let the good times roll! • Take the indoors outside. Hosting a party indoors certainly has its advantages, not the least of which is the host of amenities a home's interior boasts that the backyard and the local beach simply can't offer. The Best of Times Bar & Entertainment Center (www.bestoftimesusa.com) enables hosts to set up a bar for guests within minutes. Easily set up anywhere in less than five minutes, this patented, professional-quality bar enables hosts to

bring the fun of the family bar outdoors. Designed to fit in the width of a parking space, the Best of Times Bar & Entertainment Center won't take up much space, leaving precious room for the all-important Wiffle ball games and backyard badminton battles. Each L-shaped unit features four padded barstools, an optional side table and a UV protected umbrella that won't fade in the sun. Made with durable countertops, each bar includes a barlevel shelf, ample storage and a drop-in waterproof cooler that keeps as many as 18 cans or bottles icy cold. • Make it a musical affair. Music often sets the tone for a party, whether that party takes place inside or outside. Hosts should choose music that lightens the mood and encourages guests to relax. When hosting a backyard barbecue, encourage guests to bring their own instruments and, if any friends or family members are in a band, invite

the band over to perform. Though public parks and beaches might frown on loud music, bring an acoustic guitar along and keep things low key. If the party is aligned with a specific holiday like Independence Day, be sure to include some patriotic tunes in the evening's playlist. • Give the festivities a theme. Hosts can set their soiree apart from other gatherings by choosing a theme for their

next outdoor party. Easily customized with interchangeable image wraps to match any decor, The Best of Times Bar & Entertainment Center can fit right in with any party theme.

Continued on Page 14

Land Prices... Wingert Realty & Land Services, Inc.’s recent auctions set new highs for farm land prices! Wingert Realty was named in the “top 30 land real estate auction companies” and “top land brokerages” in the US, The Land Report, 2010” Call Terri today if you are considering a sale of your farm or need assistance with land! Direct: 507-382-0908 Or toll-free: 800-730-(LAND) 5263

PRODUCT BENEFITS: • Reduces AC cost • Reduces heat in warmer months • Reduces glare & eye discomfort • Stop fading on furniture, fabrics & flooring • Increase personal safety from flying glass

27 HP Kawasaki ProCat Series

19 HP Kawasaki FastCat Pro

507-387-7376 1-800-321-7587 Licensed Auctioneer, #52-08-013 Licensed REALTOR, specializing in land Licensed Appraiser, specializing in land, residential, and unique properties

www.toppersplus.com 1929 E. Madison Ave. Mankato, MN 56001

Plus a complete line of Toppers • Trailers • Accessories


14

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gutters Custom Made on the Job at Affordable Prices Residential & Commercial • Seamless Gutters 5” & 6”

• 100% Aluminum

• Many Colors Available

• Soffit & Facia

• Leafproof® Gutter Protection

• Year Round Installation

Ask About Leafproof® Gutter Protection System

Factory

Certified

Richards’ Seamless 507-345-7070 800-944-3466 Gutter, Inc. Your choice for integrity. trust. service.

Who watches your house when you’re not home? We do!

Protect your home from intrusion, fire, and furnace failure with a Heartland Security System. Quality products, professional service and local monitoring from the same trusted people who have been providing electricity for more than 60 years. Make your home the safest place on earth. Call Heartland Security System today.

Owned and operated by 10 electric cooperatives.

1-888-264-6380 Your home should be the safest place on earth.

Original Design by Cherry Creek Cabinetworks

Where design becomes a reflection of you Custom Residential & Commercial Cabinetry • Design, Build, and Remodel

150 St. Andrews Court, Suite 510 Mankato • 507.386.1699 WWW.CHERRYCREEKCABINETWORKS.COM •

MN General Contractor #20585428

Continued from Page 13 When hosting a themed party, encourage guests to get in the spirit of things by wearing theme-appropriate attire. For instance, when hosting a summertime luau, dress up the Bar & Entertainment Center with a beachside tiki decor and encourage guests to wear their favorite Hawaiian shirts. • Become the talk of the tailgate. Few activities are as fun as the pregame tailgate in the parking lot before the big game. Veteran sports fans know a good tailgate is more than just a place to gather before the game. A tailgate is a great opportunity to meet fellow fans and express your love for the team. The Best of Times Bar & Entertainment Center takes that one step further for football fans determined to show just how much they love their favorite team. Fans can now celebrate the exploits of their favorite gridiron greats by decorating their portable bar and entertainment center with any of 32 custom NFLdesigns. What's more, the entire system fits in a wheeled bag that's

easy to transport, ensuring everyone can still fit in the car and catch the big game in person. Once your tailgate becomes the talk of the parking lot, consider adding additional barstools for all those new friends as well as the side table, which makes a great place to prepare and display all thatdelicious BBQ.

Major Radon Entry Routes

Mortar joints. Loose fitting pipe penetrations. Open tops of block walls. Building materials, such as brick, concrete, rock. K. Well water (not commonly a major source in Minnesota homes).

What happens after radon gets into the home?

• Set up for safety. While outdoor gatherings are all about fun, hosts should always remember to keep the safety of their guests in mind. Encourage guests to choose designated drivers and be sure to have the phone numbers of local taxi companies nearby in case any guests need a lift home at the end of a fun night. MCC. For more information, visit www.bestoftimesusa.com.

G. H. I. J.

A. Cracks in concrete slabs. B. Spaces behind brick veneer walls that rest on uncapped hollow-block foundations. C. Pores and cracks in concrete blocks. D. Floor-wall joints. E. Exposed soil, as in a sump or crawl space. F. Weeping (drain) tile, if drained to an open sump.

Once radon enters a home it moves freely throughout the indoor air and people can breath it into their lungs where it can cause cell damage that may lead to lung cancer. Understanding how it distributes through the home environment can help explain why timing and location are important factors to consider when conducting a radon test. The level of radon is often highest in the lower part of the building. Radon moves through a house by diffusion and natural air movements and it can be distributed by mechanical equipment such as a forcedair ventilation system. As radon moves away from the home's foundation or other entry points, it mixes (and is diluted) into a greater volume of air. In addition, more

dilution often occurs in the upper levels of the home because there is more fresh air ventilation there. Greater dilution and less house vacuum may also occur when the house is more open to the outdoors during the non-heating season. This generally results in lower indoor radon levels in the summer compared to the winter.

How can I find out if my home has a radon problem? A radon test is the only way to find out how much radon is in your home. Performing a radon test on your own is easy, inexpensive, and can be done privately. Every home is unique due to its local soil, construction details, maintenance and degree of depressurization. Therefore, test results from nearby homes cannot be relied upon to predict the radon level in another home. Likewise, previous test results may not reflect the current and future radon levels for a home that has been remodeled, weatherized or had changes so its heating air conditioning or other ventilation systems such as exhaust fans.

No Place Like Home

3

The MDH recommends that all Minnesota homeowners test their homes for radon. The results of a properly performed radon test will help homeowners determine for themselves if they need to take further action to protect their family from the health risks of radon in the home. Contact the MDH Indoor Air Unit for more information on where to obtain low cost radon test kits, the types of test kits, how to perform tests properly and how to interpret the test results.

How can I protect my family from radon? A number of steps can be taken to lower the amount of radon in a home. A quality radon reduction (mitigation) system is often able to reduce the annual average radon level to below 2 picoCuries per liter (see Minnesota Radon Testing and Use of Test Results for discussion of radon levels and health risks). Experienced radon mitigation professionals can install appropriate control systems. Contact MDH for information regarding radon mitigation.


2

No Place Like Home

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In Minnesota there are only regulations for new construction, so it is up to homeowners to decide for themselves how much radon is acceptable in their home. The good news is, homeowners can act to lower the amount of radon in their home and reduce the risks to their family.

Why is radon important? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each year 21,000 people die of lung cancer as a result of being exposed to elevated levels of radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers and the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Although radon is present throughout the environment, radon levels indoors are generally higher which increase the risk of cancer.

What is radon?

Why is radon a common problem in Minnesota Homes?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, that means it continuously decays and releases radiation. It is produced from minerals in soil, such as uranium and radium. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless.

Much of the soil in the Upper Midwest contains widespread uranium and radium. These minerals continuously break down to release radon gas. Therefore, Minnesota's geology provides an ongoing supply of radon.

No Place Like Home

In addition, a large percentage of Minnesota homes have elevated levels of radon in the indoor air because of how they are built and how they operate in our climate. One important factor is that many Minnesota homes have basements that are uses as living spaces. MDH estimates that about one in three (1/3) Minnesota homes have enough radon to pose a significant risk to the occupants' health over many years of exposure.

How does radon enter a home? Radon, because it is a gas, is able to move though spaces in the soil or fill material around a home's foundation. Minnesota homes tend to operate under a negative pressure - this is especially true in the lowest portions of the home and during the heating season. This negative pressure acts as a vacuum (suction) that pulls soil gases, including radon, into the lower level of the structure. Some causes of home vacuum are:

• Heated air rising inside the home (stack effect). • Wind blowing past a home (downwind draft effect). • Air used by fireplaces, wood stoves, and furnaces (vacuum effect). • Air vented to the outside by clothes dryers and exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, or attics (vacuum effect). Radon can enter a home through the floor and walls -- anywhere there is an opening between the home and the soil. Examples of such openings include dirt floor crawl spaces, unsealed sumps, cracks in slab-ongrade floors, utility penetrations, and the tiny pore spaces in concrete block walls. A basement, of course, provides a large surface area that contacts soil material.

AMERADON SERVICES, LLC

Summer weather can be harsh on a lawn. Even the most lawn-conscious homeowner can be helpless against a summer heat wave. One of the most effective ways to help a lawn combat summer heat is to water the lawn as effectively as possible. This is especially true for homeowners who live in areas that frequently fall victim to drought. Such areas often have drought restrictions that limit how much a homeowner can water his or her property. These restrictions highlight the importance of watering effectively. • Water deeply and infrequently. Light but frequent watering will not promote strong roots. In fact, homeowners who water too frequently can expect the growth of weeds. When watering, water deeply and infrequently. Deep water promotes strong, healthy roots and can significantly reduce the chances of a weed infestation.

• Don't waste water on the pavement. Be sure sprinklers are placed in spots where no water will be overshooting the lawn and landing on the pavement. Adjust the sprinkler heads so all the available water ends up on the grass where it belongs. • Water early. Evaporation loss is lowest in the early morning, typically between the hours of 5 to 10 a.m. This is a better time to water than at night, when watering could lead to fungal disease.

• Choose a drought-resistant grass. For those who live in areas that frequently experience drought, a grass that's drought-resistant could be the best option. Grasses that are droughtresistant include Bermuda grass, tall fescue and Zoysia grass. Homeowners who want to replace their existing grass with a more drought-resistant species should consult a local lawn care professional for advice as to which grass is most likely to thrive in that particular climate or region. MCC.

• Water newly seeded or sodded lawns more frequently. Newly seeded or sodded lawns require more watering than established lawns. This is to build strong, healthy roots. However, it's often not a good idea to sod or seed in the height of summer, so homeowners planning to do so should consult a professional before going forward with any project.

Full coverage. Half the time.

Radon Measurement & Mitigation

507-304-3537 Contact us for a free home inspection and mitigation proposal for your home.

EasyCare $ 99

19

starting at

Our highest quality

We offer free estimates, same day services and guaranteed results.

paint just got better with paint & primer in one.

www.ameradon.com Lake Crystal, MN NEHA/NRPP Certified Do-it-yourself Radon Test Kits

$16.00 each Includes everything you need to test your home for radon.

Make the Most of Watering

Radon: Keeping Your Home Safe The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) provides information on radon and how to protect your family's health. The U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and MDH recommend that every Minnesota home be tested for radon.

It just makes sense. When you consider that a mortgage lasts longer than a lot of marriages do these days, it just makes sense to get a mortgage you can live with. A mortgage, like a marriage, is a long term commitment. We do everything we can to make sure you get hitched with one you can live with. We’re an equal housing lender and a very good mortgage match maker.

P.O. Box 420 • 220 Third Street St. Peter, MN 56082 507-931-3310

1951 Riverfront Drive, Mankato 387-1171 • 1-800-879-1938 Mon. - Fri. 8am - 7pm; Sat. 8am - 5pm; Sun. 11am - 5pm

www.candssupply.com

15


16

g

No Place Like Home

g

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

There's No Place Like Home 05/11/11  

Economical RemodelingDisorganized to Organized Outdoor Living Spaces Perennials are a Gardener's Friend Radon: Keeping your Home SafeProtect...