Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tips to Turn Your Backyard into a Party Paradise

Outdoor living is as important as indoor space, especially in the summertime. Everything in your backyard — whether it’s a fire pit, dining area and bar, or theater — should be part of a well-planned, integrated design. Here are a few outdoor accessories that will turn your backyard into another room of your house.

Fire pits
Fire pits add a warm touch to an outdoor area and can serve as a focal point in landscape design, especially if you live in an area that gets cool at night. You can choose from wood-burning, propane, gel fuel and natural gas fire pits. If space is a consideration, go with a tabletop model.

Outdoor kitchen and bar
Offered in a variety of styles, such as gas, charcoal or hibachi, a grill should be part of any fully equipped outdoor kitchen. A mini-fridge, sink, an ice maker, a beer tap, a wine chiller and warming drawer are just some of the other equipment you can add to enhance your outdoor drinking and dining experience. And don’t forget to make sure the area is well-lit for those evenings of entertaining.

Dining areas
What good is it to eat and drink outside without a dining area? Make sure it has comfortable chairs with durable cushions, and a table for dining with an expansive umbrella for shade and shelter. You can design them with a Mediterranean, Japanese or Victorian flavor, or with whatever stylistic flourishes tickle your fancy. Citronella candles or tiki torches will help keep away those pesky mosquitoes.

Backyard theater
The next best thing to a drive-in, a backyard theater can entertain family and friends. For a well-designed movie-viewing experience, make sure you have a video projector, a free-standing portable screen, a DVD player, surround sound, theater seats and, to top it all off, a popcorn machine. Another outdoor viewing option is a self-contained outdoor TV. LED/LCD outdoor TVs come in sizes from 32 inches to 65 inches, or even larger, and incorporate heavy-duty construction, making them resistant to temperature and weather. Some also are resistant to rain.

From cbburnetblueprint

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 15, 2017

The primary selling season tends to begin a subtle slowdown at this point in the
year. That does not necessarily equate to less competition for available housing
stock. While total sales and inventory may be lower than at points earlier in the year,
those still looking for homes tend to match up with those willing to list. Call it a
back-to-school effect or call it an active and healthy residential real estate market
no matter the season.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 15:
 • New Listings increased 2.2% to 1,936
 • Pending Sales decreased 3.9% to 1,371
 • Inventory decreased 17.7% to 12,362

For the month of June:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.0% to $259,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.1% to 47
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 99.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: July 24, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Friday, July 21, 2017

What’s Happening this Weekend?

It’s Crazy Days in Excelsior this weekend! Join for the fun filled fair-like shopping and dining! 
The classic Crazy Days is back in full force this year with a full schedule of events!

Saturday July 22; open 10AM - 6PM
*  9-3 pm:  Camp Smile Kid's Carnival (located in  Gary's First Class Auto parking lot)

*  9-4 pm:  Flea Market at corner of Water Street and Lake Street
*  10 am:  Darel Leipold's Historic Walking Tour (meet at museum by Street Car tracks)
*  2-6 pm:  Streetcar Rides

Sunday July 23; open 11AM - 4PM
RED HOT SALE - FInal Day to get your best of the best bargains
*  1-4 pm:  Streetcar Rides

In Chaska it is the Fire and Ice Bonspiel. Beer, Music and Food will be happening in Fireman’s Park.
Saturday July 22: Opens at 1pm
*2-6pm: Fin in the Park - Inflatable Bouncers •Ninja Warrior Course
Water Bubble Inflatables on the Water
Paddle Boards and Paddle Boats
Face Painting • Water Blast Contest
* 3pm: Bean Bag Tournament
*10pm Fireworks

Sunday July 23: Opens at 9am
*9am-1pm: Fin in the Park - Inflatable Bouncers •Ninja Warrior Course
Water Bubble Inflatables on the Water
Paddle Boards and Paddle Boats
Face Painting • Water Blast Contest
* 9am: Fun Run
*10am: Edina Model Yacht Club Parade

For a full list of events check out:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tips for Power Washing Your House

Your home is exposed to outside air, pollution, rain, and more 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Is it any surprise your home looks a little dirty from time to time? Power washing your house can help remove dirt and grime. But, a lot can go wrong if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Before you pick up the power washer, check out these tips to make the most out of your deep cleaning experience.

Use Detergent

To get the most out of power washing your house, it helps to use detergent. Even with a lot of pressure behind it, water alone isn’t enough to do the job. Pick a detergent that’s designed for use in a pressure washer. Some household cleaners, such as bleach, shouldn’t be used in the machine, as they can damage it, according to Popular Mechanics.
Typically, you apply a coat of detergent with the washer and let it sit on the exterior wall of the house for a few minutes before you rinse it away.

Know Where to Aim

Some materials can be damaged by the force of the power washer. For example, you don’t want to power wash stained glass windows, nor do you want to get water underneath the siding of your house. If your home has a brick or stucco facade, make sure the material is in good repair and that it is completely dry before you power wash. You don’t want water to wear away damaged brick or stucco or for it to seep into any cracks.
In the case of brick, you’ll want to make sure you wet it before you apply the detergent. Power spraying detergent onto dry brick can actually damage the brick. Soak the brick with water first, then apply detergent, and then rinse the detergent away.

Protect Yourself

Remember safety first when power washing your house. Although you might see people climbing up on ladders when using a pressure washer, that’s not the best idea. You’ll be using a machine that shoots water with a lot of force at the walls of your home. It’s best to stay on steady ground, so that you don’t lose your balance.
Since power washing involves shooting a jet of water at the home, and because water and electricity can be quite shocking when they get together, it’s a good idea to turn the electricity in your home off before you start. At the very least, flip the switch on any outdoor sockets. If you’re using an electric pressure washer, be careful not to touch the plug if you have wet hands.
It’s also a good idea to wear safety goggles when using the power washer. If you’re using a gas-powered machine, hearing protection might be a good idea, since those machines can be very loud.

Call in the Pros

Nervous about power washing your home? There are a few companies in the area that can handle the job for you. Websites such as Angie’s List and Home Advisor feature reviews of popular companies. You can also ask your friends and family members if they can recommend a dependable power washing business in the city.
Pressure washing your house can make it look like new again. If your house looks a little dingy or worse for wear, it might be time to give its facade a deep clean.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 8, 2017

From a heart-of-summer perspective, the residential real estate market has
performed as expected when predictions were made at the front of the year. Buyer
interest is high and inventory is not at a proper level to meet demand. Total sales
and new listings are generally behind last year's levels from week to week, but there
is evidence of improvement in both metrics.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 8:
 • New Listings decreased 16.9% to 1,371
 • Pending Sales decreased 4.7% to 1,061
 • Inventory decreased 16.7% to 12,351

For the month of June:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.0% to $259,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.1% to 47
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 99.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: July 17, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Friday, July 14, 2017

What’s Happening this Weekend?

In Hopkins the Raspberry Festival is still going! This weekend is packed full of events. Saturday has the Marketplace Arts and Craft Fair, the Cruisers Big Wheels for Hot Meals, the Raspberry Breakfast, Soap Box Derby and the Street Dance with Fireworks after. Sunday is Parade Day! For more information on all the events check out:

Sociable Cider Werks in Minneapolis is hosting Americana Fest. The event is free but if you plan to drink wristbands are $5. The #SociableSummer is back for round two with more music, libations and good times! Join us Sunday, July 16th for the second of three shows featuring: Roe Family SingersThe Dead PigeonsNo Man's String BandDead Horses and host Bill DeVille of 89.3 The Current. There are Food trucks from Red River KitchenButcher SaltThe Anchor Fish & Chips,Potter's Pasties. For more info:

If you need a good dose of animal cuteness Chuck & Don’s in Minnetonka is hosting an adoption event. It's time to meet the dog of your dreams! Many adoptable dogs will be here there, looking to make a connection with you. The event is Saturday from 12 – 2pm at 4723 County Road 101, Minnetonka, Minnesota 55345

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

3 Energy-Saving Central Air Alternatives

You can give your air conditioner a well-deserved break and lower your energy bills by considering other ways to keep the heat of summer from sweating your brow. The U.S. Department of Energy says alternatives such as energy-efficient windows and doors, shading and natural ventilation can help cool your home with less energy use.

Window coverings

During summer, keep window coverings closed in the daytime to block the sun’s heat. Consider window awnings or roll-down shades for the outside of the home that can be operated by remote control. Choose manufactured shades or blinds that are labeled blackout, or have reflective backing.


A good way to help your air conditioner is to run ceiling fans at the same time. They will circulate the cool air, allowing you to turn down the air conditioner. Installed on the ceiling between the attic and living space, a whole house fan can meet your home cooling needs by pulling in air from open windows and exhausting it through the attic and roof.

Central air conditioning alternatives

Consider room air conditioners and ductless mini-split air conditioners. Both provide the flexibility of being able to cool individual rooms. Dehumidifying heat pipes allow an air conditioner to dehumidify better while still cooling the air, making them ideal for hot, humid environments.

So, stop relying on just your air conditioner to keep you cool. Alternatives can help you stay comfortable and reward you with cheaper electric bills.

From CBBurnet Blueprint