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Ask us about long-term fixed rate mortgages. We service these loans so you’ll receive the best in customer service! Visit one-on-one with a loan officer on your next real estate purchase. Fill out an application and get pre-approved. Contact us at the location nearest you. Investment Property Financing Dreaming of purchasing hunting land, a lake cabin or rental properCreek • Erik Osberg • (218) 462-2155 ty? Stop in andDeer talk with us about Wadena • Jeannie Carlisle • (218) 631-5263 how we can make this investment fit your budget.Wadena • Allen Gundberg • (218) 631-5264 Home Equity Line of Credit Use the equity in your home for Investment debt consolidation, college tuition, Property Financing Dreaming of purchasing hunting land, a lake cabin or a dream vacation, or home improvements. rental property? Stop in and talk with us about how we can make this investment fit your budget. Home Equity Line of Credit Deer Creek • Vernice Greiman • (218) 462-2155 Use the equity in your home for debt consolidation, Wadena • Jeannie Carlisle • (218) 631-5263 college tuition, a dream vacation, or home Wadena • Allen Gundberg • (218) 631-5264 $ improvements. No closing costs if 25,000 or less.

Winterizing your home Bird lovers Profit from making windows more visible Remodeling for the long haul


Modern styling, technology help homeowners refresh their nests S imple designer tricks for creating a stunning master bedroom Are you covered? Five tips for roof replacement projects A homeowner’s guide to a year-round deck


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Top winterizing tasks for your home If you shudder at the thought of shivering through another frigid winter, building industry experts say now is the time to consider winterizing your home. Several simple and cost-effective measures can yield both immediate and long-term benefits. While instinct may prod you to increase the heat during winter and keep your home toasty all day long, that’s not always cost-effective. Investing in a programmable thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature remotely, lowering the setting when the house is empty, and save money in the process. Modern thermostats let you monitor the indoor temperature of your home remotely via your smartphone or online. By keeping the temperature low when no one is home and programming the thermostat to increase the temperature when everyone arrives home, you could notice a 10 percent drop in your heating costs. Fall is also an ideal time to ensure your furnace is functioning optimally. Schedule an appointment for a professional to inspect and clean your furnace once a year. By doing so, you’ll help your furnace function more effectively and last longer. If ice damming on the roof is an annual problem, consider taking measures to completely stop dams from forming. Major damage can result from ice damming, so it’s never too early to start thinking about a long-term solution. Ice damming occurs when warm, indoor air escaping through the roof melts snow on the shingles. The water then refreezes as it runs off the roof, creating a barrier of ice at the edge. Shovelling snow or chipping ice away can threaten life, limb and roof, so it’s best to consider more permanent solutions. While caulking or weather-stripping can help address the gaps allowing the air to escape, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Saver website says that proper air sealing, insulation and attic venting are the best methods to stop ice damming from occurring. Spray foam insulation is one modern material that both insulates and seals to stop ice damming. Installed by professionals, spray foam insulation, like that available from Icynene, works well in all climates to completely seal the building, filling every gap to stop air leakage and stop ice dams from forming. As a long-term solution, spray foam insulation helps maintain a comfortable temperature year round while helping to control monthly heating and cooling expenses.

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Bird lovers Profit from making windows more visible by BRIAN HANSEL­



o do you enjoy feeding birds as much as we do? My wife and I really enjoy watching our visitors gorge themselves on thistle seed, corn and other goodies at the feeding station about 30 feet west of the house. We often sit at the dining room table and watch them through our bay window.

The variety of birds is impressive. We have spotted blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers (downy, red-bellied and pileated), sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches, robins, grackles, starlings, orioles redstarts, juncos, buntings, doves and finches. As interested as we are in watching our guests, there are two members of our family, named Cooper and Ruuka, that are even more fascinated. Many a time I have come upon one or the other of them gazing quietly at their “prey” on the other side of the glass. A twitching tail is all that gives away their inner excitement. There is one problem with this happy, little world we have

A red-bellied woodpecker dines at a winter feeding station. The dangers posed to birds by glass has window manufacturers working on new ways to make glass “bird friendly.” Photo by Brian Hansel



created - it is not always safe for the birds - and the windows of our home have everything to do with it. We will be having a cup of coffee or watching television and suddenly there is a dull clunk. We have come to understand this is the sound of a confused bird striking one of the windows in our home. The birds are not always killed, sometimes they are merely shaken up, but the point is they are hurt. The American Bird Conservancy recently came out with a piece about the fall migration of birds and how deadly the trip is for them.  According to Dr. Christine Sheppard, Birds Collisions Campaign Manager for the ABC, between 300 million and 1 billion birds die each year in the United States from collisions with glass - both in office buildings and homes.  The same cues that tell people where to expect to find glass - like window frames or dirt, do not work for birds. They take reflections literally or fly into a window trying to reach something beyond it.  Since birds can see some ultraviolet light Sheppard believes a glass or window film could be developed which would give birds a danger signal. Bird-friendly glass production is advancing slowly. The state of Minnesota is one of the latest government bodies to approve bird-friendly building design requirements. Tips to Reduce Bird Collisions General guidelines: Most birds will avoid windows with vertical stripes spaced four inches apart, or horizontal stripes spaced two inches apart. More complicated or irregular patterns will also work as long as they follow those general guidelines. For best results, patterns must be on the outside surface of the windows. n Apply tempera paint (available at most art and craft stores) freehand with brush or sponge, or use a stencil. Tempera is nontoxic and long lasting, even in rain, but comes right off with a damp rag or sponge. Find stencils at craft stores or download free stencils


Morning Dove


online. Make seasonal designs a family project. n Use tape to create patterns. Any opaque tape can work, but translucent ABC BirdTape transmits light and is made to last outdoors. n Most window films designed for external use are not patterned and will not deter birds. However, interior window films come in many colors and styles, and can be applied on the outside of windows to prevent collisions. n If you don’t want to alter the glass itself, you can stretch lightweight netting, screen, or other material over the window. The netting must be several

Gold Finch

inches in front of the window, so birds don’t hit the glass after hitting the net. Several companies sell screens, solar shades, or other barriers that can be attached with suction cups or eye hooks. n Prefabricated decals can work if spaced properly. The shape does not matter; birds see decals shaped like raptors as obstacles but not as predators. To be effective, decals must be spaced no more than four inches apart horizontally or two inches apart vertically—more closely than recommended by most manufacturers.



Remodeling for the long haul: Making your space

work for you (BPT) - As more people choose to stay in their current homes longer, Americans are diving into large remodel projects. Forty percent of homeowners plan to remodel or build an addition to their existing home within the next two years, with kitchen and bathroom projects remaining the most popular remodeling jobs, according to the 2013 Houzz and Home Survey. Home remodeling for the long term can be challenging, as newer designs may clash with the existing style of the home. The key to a successful remodel is to choose elements that will create a cohesive design throughout, yet remain fashionable and functional well into the future. “Whether it’s upgrading their existing home or renovating a newly purchased one to fit their long-term needs, homeowners are settling in and want quality products that will look great, provide design flexibility and perform well over time,” says Andy Wells, vice president of product design, MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. Here are a few tips to help make your remodel work for the long haul: Keep your space flexible with neutral color choices As homeowners stay in one place longer, they are passing on bright, bold colors, especially in the kitchen and instead choosing neutral colors and clean styles that work well with a variety of design elements. Many new earthy, neutral color palettes provide visual warmth while seamlessly blending with the rest of a house. Moreover, neutral 6


hues can increase dramatic impact when carried throughout the kitchen in various textures, such as flooring, a backsplash or cabinets. Decora Cabinets recently partnered with Sherwin-Williams to create a custom color-matching program for cabinets, which offers more than 2,000 shades of color to choose from, including a wide range of neutrals that can be easily adapted to specific design tastes. Give your kitchen a warm, cozy feel with Decora’s Down to Earth series of soft browns or create a trendy, elegant feel with the Quiet Sophistication line of blacks and greys in your cabinetry. Complement existing design elements with transitional styles Modern cabinets can clash with traditional elements in other rooms, especially when remodeling older homes. Choose cabinets with design elements that easily transition across differing styles and bridge the gap between your desire for a contemporary kitchen and the traditional reality of an older home. Cabinetry manufacturers are offering many new styles that help create flow between old and new spaces within your home. Consider the new Aristokraft VanWyke Thermofoil cabinets or Omega Perrini cabinet door styles. These simple cabinet doors can adopt a contemporary feel in a kitchen or complement a traditional style in the bathroom, all while maintaining a continuous, polished look across your home.

Create a functional, organized space Functionality is essential to a kitchen or bath that will continue to meet the changing needs of your family over time, whether it’s ensuring there’s enough storage space for a growing family or making the home more accessible for family members of all ages and abilities. Remodeling for the long haul also means creating a planned, practical space and many new products are available that can help improve the organiza-

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tion in your home. Diamond Cabinet’s Logix product line offers a wide variety of innovative organizational cabinet solutions for the kitchen. One original space-saver is the new Diamond Wall Pull Down Spice Rack, which brings items down to eye-level from three chrome basket racks inside the cabinets, putting your favorite spices and other items right at your fingertips for easy reach. With these tips and a wide breadth of cabinetry, colors and styles designed for today’s transitioning homes, remodeling for the long haul has never been easier.

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Modern styling, technology help homeowners

refresh their nests

Flipping through the television channels, it’s hard not to find a home improvement show about remodeling and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. From “Property Brothers” to “Design Star,” these popular programs give homeowners ideas on how to modernize their spaces. If you’re planning your own DIY projects, here are three areas of the home that will give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to a makeover. First stop: the bathroom Bathroom remodels are the most popular remodeling projects because they have a high return on investment, according to the National Association of Home Builders. When you’re ready to sell your house, renovating the bathroom typically has a return of 62 percent. A low-cost way to modernize the bathroom is installing new faucets. With signature styling featuring cylindrical, geometric shapes and distinct 90-degree angles, the new Moen Arris collection is an ideal choice for an iconic, modern update. Sleek, contemporary pieces like the new Arris faucet can add instant luxury. Another idea for modernizing the bathroom is to add additional light sources. Bringing in more light will open up the space and make your bathroom come to life. The bathroom is often a place to unwind, and adding the right lighting can set the tone for a spa-like atmosphere. One way to do this, without breaking your budget, is by simply replacing the light fixtures. Add a modern touch to your bath with dramatic choices like chandeliers and sconces. Second stop: the living room Modern design doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable. Homeowners love modern interiors for the sleek and 8


streamlined look, which leads to less clutter and visual stress. Expand the modern theme throughout the home by updating furniture with unfussy and relaxed pieces. You don’t need to buy everything new. Fabric covers, in an array of prints and colors, can instantly bring new life to old furniture. For pieces that need to be replaced, consider purchasing solid and neutral furniture. As trends change, you can switch out pillows and blankets to stay up-to-date. Keep neutrals in mind when selecting paint colors, as well. White, black, brown and gray will go with just about anything. For a pop of color, paint an accent wall with a bold color, or add extra personality with drapery or area rugs. Use lamps, paintings and accessories to give a personal touch throughout the rest of your living space. Final stop: the kitchen Opening up shelving is a way to put a fresh, modern spin on your existing kitchen layout. You can order new cabinets with glass panels or simply remove the doors from your existing ones. Just make sure the exposed areas are not cluttered. Open shelving is a perfect place to display dishes. For a crisp look, try stacks of white plates and bowls. If you’re looking for an edgy feel, try patterned or

bright-colored ones. Adding new hardware to cabinets is also an inexpensive way to improve the look of your kitchen. Since faucets are the most-used item in the kitchen, a new model can make a big impression. Swap out your old one for the new Align suite from Moen. Align faucets feature high-arc spouts and a geometric handle, emphasizing the simplicity and elegance of the design. To complement your new faucet, look to update your counters as well. Granite remains a popular choice because of its high style and durability. Integrating technology into home design It’s not just about making your life easier, technology can also aesthetically enhance your living space with modern touches. Mirror technology allows homeowners to disguise the TV when it isn’t in use. Available for all TV models, it will look like a mirror is in the room until the unit is turned on. The iCon Bed from Hollandia features a headboard equipped with speakers, an amplifier and docking stations for two iPads. The NestLearning Thermostat shares the same designer as the iPod, and automatically creates a temperature-control schedule personalized around your lifestyle; while also saving energy.

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Simple designer tricks for creating a

stunning master bedroom

It’s the place where you wake each day, rest your head each night, and go to when you need to escape the stress of daily life. If there’s one room in the house that should be a personalized retreat for homeowners, it’s the master bedroom. And with a few simple tips from design experts, you can easily take your master bedroom from boring to beautiful and add to your home’s overall value. “When designing a space in your home, it’s always a good idea to go through the process in a methodical way to achieve the results you want,” says Jill Winninger, Allied ASID, CID, and senior interior designer with Seaside Home in La Jolla, Calif. “Foundation, function and finishing details make the process fun and effective.” Here is Winninger’s three-step process for creating a grand master retreat: Step 1: Foundation Start by choosing the flooring that matches your personal style and the functionality of the space. Nothing beats the comfort of carpet in a master bedroom. Carpet and a high quality pad keep floors warmer and enhance privacy by absorbing noises. Today’s top trend in carpet is super soft and silky fibers that feel luxurious when you step, lie or lounge on them. Think carpet is out because you have allergies? It’s time to think again, Numerous medical and other studies show that people who suffer from allergies and even asthma do not have to live without the comfort and softness of carpet. That’s because the dust that falls to a carpeted floor has a much stronger 10


tendency to stay on the carpet until it is vacuumed away. Dust on hard floors, however, is stirred with every passing movement or footstep right back up into a room’s breathing space. Of course, regular maintenance is important. Frequent vacuuming with a high efficiency vacuum like the ones on the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval vacuum list, as well as periodic deep-cleanings are musts. -And, no matter what kind of floor you have, high-traffic areas should be vacuumed daily, with less frequently-used areas vacuumed once or twice a week. Another important foundation element is the walls. When selecting colors, select hues that work with the rest of your home’s decor so the spaces flow smoothly. You can’t go wrong with basic neutrals. Foundation details like crown molding, wainscoting or wallpaper can add a splash of personality. When deciding on foundation elements, keep in mind the focal points of the room. Is there a fireplace? A gorgeous wall of windows highlighting an exquisite view? Do you have a bed with a statement headboard that will be prominent? Highlight these focal points within your design decisions. Step 2: Function Beauty is just one part of the equation when designing a grand master bedroom. The space needs to function and suit your lifestyle. Function is particularly important when selecting furniture. Do you need storage for clothes and accessories? Do you want to hide electronics? Do you have a specific bed size? After consid-

ering your options, choose wisely and allow enough room between furniture pieces so that you can move freely. Privacy is also an important consideration. Like carpet, window treatments also help to control noise, plus they offer the added benefit of masking -windows in the evenings and when high levels of privacy are needed. From a decorative perspective, window treatments add softness and style, critical to designing a stunning room.Step 3: Finish Some of the most important elements of master bedroom design are the details. This is where you can add a few personal touches to the space to


Florida Tile & Daltile create a truly individualized sanctuary. Start by choosing comfortable, inviting bedding, pillows and throws. Create clustered vignettes of photos or personal collections to give the space your unique stamp. Appropriately scaled art and accessories add visual interest. Remember, accessories are a good way to add splashes of color to your master bedroom. If you like a particular tone - like rich teals, ruby reds or baby blue - select a few accessories that feature that hue and strategically place them throughout the room. Accessories that feature different textures add interest and character as well. “From carpet and furniture to photos and duvet covers, creating a master retreat you’ll love is simpler than you think,” says Winninger. “Just focus on the foundation, function and finishing touches, and the result is sure to be gorgeous.”

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Five tips for roof replacement projects Summer storms are a reminder to make certain your roof is wellequipped to help provide protection from Mother Nature. Considering a roof replacement? Follow these tips for outstanding performance, increased curb appeal and enhanced comfort for your family. 1. Check the warning signs One of the best ways to stay in front of a roof replacement is to look for small annoyances that could eventually turn into big problems. Do a thorough investigation, but remember to practice ladder safety. Look for discoloration, cracking, uneven surfaces, curled and missing shingles and stains on the underside of the roof deck when viewed from the attic and excessive amounts of granules in the gutter, which fall from shingles and expose the asphalt underneath. If any warning signs are evident, it’s time to get in touch with a contractor to assess your roof’s condition and discuss replacement. 2. Choose a complete roofing system When most people think about roof replacements, they think shingles. While shingles add beauty and character to a home’s exterior, it’s important to understand that they’re only the first line of defense in protecting your home from the elements. For true peace of mind, your roof should consist of high-quality shingles and underlayment products to help guard against severe weather outside, as well as ventilation products that balance airflow to control temperature and humidity inside. 12


“A high-performance roof needs to include components and layers that are specifically designed to work as one system for outstanding protection,” says Carl Baca, director of strategic marketing for Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt. “For instance, our products function together as the Owens Corning Total Protection Roofing System, combining outer beauty and inner strength to enhance curb appeal and boost durability.” 3. Select your contractor wisely Finding a skilled and reputable professional who will be able to guide you through the roof replacement process from start to finish is key. It may seem like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Begin by looking for preferred contractors on roofing manufacturers’ websites. Ask trusted friends and neighbors for recommendations. Then, obtain quotes from multiple contractors and ask for references. Insist on someone who is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, holds at least $1 million in general liability insurance and carries all required state and local licensing. The best contractor for the job will be specifically certified to install the roofing components you’ve selected and possess both a dedication to outstanding craftsmanship and knowledge of the latest industry standards and technologies. 4. Plan for the futureReplacing a roof can be a significant investment, so make sure it’s protected with a strong warranty. If you’ve

installed a roofing system, ask your contractor about adding on a warranty that covers the system of components. In fact, Owens Corning Roofing now offers multiple system warranties through its Preferred or Platinum Preferred Contractor network. Some of these system warranties also include contractor workmanship coverage. Be sure you review and understand the details, limitations and requirements of the warranty before your roof is installed. 5. Don’t hesitate to insulate While your roof is being replaced, consider adding another layer of protection to the top of your home. Ask your contractor to assess your insulation levels when he’s in the attic inspecting the underside of your roof. When installed in an attic, loosefill insulation contributes to energy savings and helps control interior temperatures for a comfortable


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Let us help you... living environment. This could be a DIY project, but many contractors are specifically certified to install insulation - making it an easy add-on to your roofing project. With the protection of your home and family at stake, don’t wait until it’s too late to address roofing issues.

plan your new home, lake cabin, addition, deck or kitchen cabinets




year-round deck

A homeowner’s guide to a


uring the warm summer months, having an outdoor deck for barbecues and gatherings with family and friends is a great addition to any backyard. The approach of cool weather may signal the end of barbecue season, but homeowners can still use their deck after the warm temperatures have passed.

“Although decks are generally a summer attraction, there are ways to make them accessible during the winter as well,” says Stephen McNally, TAMKO Building Products Inc.’s vice president of sales and marketing. 14


There are many ways to make your deck functional and enjoyable during the winter, no matter where your home is located. Step 1 - Warm up your deck The addition of a fireplace can transform your deck into an outdoor gathering spot and a scene-stealing area for those cool nights. The type of fireplace you decide on for your deck can add beauty and charm as well as complement your existing color scheme and deck furniture and decorations. Outdoor fireplaces can be made from stone, brick, tile or even granite, so the color options are endless. “Outdoor fireplaces can be big, beautiful and elaborate, but there are other

options for homeowners who prefer to keep their outdoor living space simple,” McNally says. If a large outdoor fireplace is not for you, but you want to enjoy your deck on cool winter nights, consider the addition of a fire pit, fire bowl or even a chiminea. Structural safety and potential fire hazards are serious considerations when deciding on a fireplace, so having your deck inspected before you begin installing an outdoor fireplace is suggested. If you install an outdoor fireplace of any kind, make sure that it is done to the manufacturer’s standards. For more information on TAMKO EverGrain products and ideas for year

round deck aesthetic appeal and maintenance, visit Step 2 - Reducing summer dirt and grime As the summer months come to an end, your deck is due for a well-deserved, thorough cleaning. Fall is a great time for this necessary chore because other outdoor tasks, like gardening and mowing, usually begin to decrease. “Semi-annual cleaning of your deck is part of the required maintenance that reduces dirt, dust, grime and other residue build-up that the summer months have left behind,” McNally says.Use a garden house to rinse your deck. A fan-tip nozzle works best, but make sure the pressure from the hose does not exceed the manufacturers regulations. Ensure that you have removed all food and trash particles from the summer so that they do not contribute to build-up over the winter. For TAMKO’s EverGrain decking products, use a nozzle with pressure that does not exceed 1,000 psi. While rinsing your deck can reduce dirt and grime buildup, water alone will not remove the stains that have appeared on your deck. Cooking oil, suntan oil and other greasy substances can stain your deck over the course summer use. But before applying cleaner to your deck, make sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot to ensure that it will not change the coloring of your deck boards. Step 3 - Spice up plant life When it comes to enjoying outdoor living, beauty is everything. A well-installed deck can offer a certain aesthetic appeal by itself, but plant life can make a big difference, even in the winter time. When the cool temperatures of late fall start to move in, you can help your plants extend their life. Move them closer to your house, ideally under a roof, to delay when they are hit by frost. If you have time before a frost sets in, help protect your plants by covering them with lightweight blankets or plastic sheets overnight and uncover them in the morning. If you want to decorate with plants during the cool months, there are a variety of colorful, cool vegetables that make handsome pot-fillers. Consider plants with purple and dark-green leaves like beets, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard, spinach or even herbs. Mixing several types of plants together in the same pot can have a nice effect and the addition of garden art statues can add a pop of color.

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