Archive for February, 2008

Ontario Circle Is On The Move

We only have one model home left in our Ontario Circle Neighborhood!

2105 Ontario Circle

21052105 kitchen

This home has 2 bedrooms on the main floor and 2 full bathrooms. There is 1376 finished square feet on the main. The lower level is unfinished so you can finish it how you would want it! The layout of the main floor is perfect for entertaining. The kitchen has a large island for an easy buffet and the open floor plan allows you to see and chat with all your guests from the kitchen.  All the garages are access through a private alley. The value is unbeatable for a new Schmidt Home.

The amenities for Ontario Circle are outstanding, for $50.00 a month you get the snow removed including the driveway, sidewalks, and porches. In the summer all the lawn mowing is taken care of and the lawn irrigation system is included in the dues.

Ontario Circle is conveniently located to all the schools, Hwy 19 heading east, Northfield Golf Club, Spring Creek Soccer Complex, Community Action Center, and the Senior Center.  The miles of walking paths around the scenic ponds are incredible.

If you can’t already tell, this is one of my favorite neighborhoods that we have built.


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It’s that time of year again for the Builder’s Association of the Twin Cities’ Parade of Homes. Whether you’re in the market for a new home, remodeling, or just wanting to see the latest and greatest in new homes you should get out and see what’s on tour. We have one home on the Parade, 16916 East Lake Drive in Lakeville MN.

The Parade is open Thursday-Sunday until March 16. The hours are Th-Fri 3pm-7pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-6pm.


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Shaw Floors is doing some amazing work with sustainability and flooring. They have created a recycling program for type 6 nylon carpet and have Epic wood flooring that is made from 50% recycled material. Take a look through their Environmental Innovation site.

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I went to see the new Dupont Corian colors and something else grabbed my eye.


I am not a racing fan but it was pretty cool to see the Dupont Racing car at the show.

After we were done looking at the car we did find the new Dupont Corian colors that we went to see. The new colors are in the Illumination Series. It’s a great product for a bathroom back splash. In the booth at the Builder’s Show it was presented in a framed wall hanging piece with back lighting. The lights really showed off the product. It’s a fun innovation from Dupont. One of the most amazing things about Dupont Corian is that you can make anything out of it.

From a practical stand point Dupont also introduced the Dupont Corian Terra Collection, this collection is so great because it has 6%-13% of preconsumer recycled material.

There are many other products from Dupont that we use in building, like Dupont Tyvek and Dupont Zodiaq. That is a small sample of all the products that Dupont makes. Take some time to explore their website. You might be surprised what you learn!

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I had the pleasure of venturing into Marvin Window’s booth at the Builder’s Show last week. I have to say I was impressed with what I saw. My favorite things about Marvin’s products are, their replacement windows styling will match with your 1880s style home, there is no additional cost for any of their exterior cladding colors, and finally I love how easy their double hung windows tilt in for easy cleaning.


The window on the left is the original window and the two windows on the right are the Marvin Double Hung Windows. Notice the trim around the Marvin Windows and the wood frame directly around the glass.

The highlight at the booth for me was a casement window (a window with a crank) that you can swing past 90 degrees far enough so that you can clean the outside of the window and stay inside.I was really lucky to have a tour of the booth from a member of the Marvin family! That means a lot to me because it says that they feel strongly about the product and they are proud to be a Marvin. That’s one reason why we work with Marvin, their strong commitment to quality and a name they are proud to stand behind.

While you’re at Marvin’s website look around. They have a lot of products to look through and an impressive photo gallery.

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Breakfast at the Hilton Disney Hotel before we left for home. This is Steve and Lori Schmidt with Minnie Mouse. Breakfast was an event with Disney characters.


The show was a great experience. Not only was it great being out of the cold Minnesota weather, I learned a lot about building and marketing. The hot topic everyone is talking about is Green Building. The National Home Builder’s Association is predicting that by 2010 if you aren’t practicing green building you won’t be building. Catch the green building fever.

I was able to go to many classes about marketing and sales and was lucky enough to see Mark Jarvis the Chief Marketing Director of Dell Computers. Steve and Lori saw the author of Cradle to Cradle William McDonough. All of us that were at the show came back to Minnesota with a lot of enthusiasm and energy to back to work and implement what we learned.

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If you’re like me you struggled this week-end with the frost on your windows. It comes down to the fact that the wind chill was 30 below. I even had frost on my front door knob! I couldn’t believe it. There is a certain amount of frost that is considered normal-then it also depends on who you talk to. I am self have an increasingly lower tolerance for the frost especially when I see it’s on the stop (the wood frame) and not the sash (the glass).


The reason that it’s a problem is that when the frost melts to drips down between the sash and the stop and then it re-freezes. As it builds up it continues to push the sash away from the stop and the window no longer has a tight seal. Check out where the locking mechanisms are on your hinged windows. If you have multiple locks then you’re window is sealed tightly if you only have one then you might have some frost.

You probably have noticed that your windows that face south don’t have nearly the amount of frost issues. Some of my windows get hit with the northwest wind and that just adds to the problem. What are you going to do, I can’t control the weather?

My best advice is to wipe the frost as it melts, turn your humidity down, or if you don’t have a humidifier you can run your furnace fan all the time. The furnace fan will keep the air circulating throughout your house and help reduce excess amount of humidity. It won’t cost you a huge pile of money either because it keeps recirculating the warm air. Don’t forget to pull your shades up in the morning-it’s really important to keep the air circulating on the glass.

Essentially it comes down to a decision, if you lower your humidity you will reduce the condensation and the frost on your windows but then all the wood in your home will shrink more. I choose to allow the wood floor to shrink just a little more then I normally would.

Visit Pella’s Maintenance Tips manual and on page 7.4 you’ll find a handy chart for humidity control.

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