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Style & Structure Design Team

Q & A

Ask the experts at Style & Structure
You can count on Joe and Danielle to provide you with expert insights and advice on all aspects of building and remodeling projects, from waterproofing to job site preparation. They are here to answer all your questions and help you confidently navigate every step of the process.

Below are some of our most commonly asked questions. If you're looking for more information, check out our podcast. We meet with industry vendors and learn about why they're the experts in their field.

GOOD, BAD, & THE UGLY...

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How do you find the perfect piece of land?

Some homeowners come to us with land that they have been sitting on for years and waiting for the perfect time to build, others have inherited land from a family member, or maybe you have started your lot search with a realtor. All the above are great, but if you don't have a real estate agent or a family member from whom you are inheriting land, that's ok too! We work with a fantastic team of agents in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and they are always keeping us in the loop of available land.

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Is there an ideal season to start Excavation?

Every season has both advantages and disadvantages. In extremely cold climates, extra charges for ripping frost or transporting equipment could occur during spring road restrictions.

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Footings at Style & Structure
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How is damp proofing different from waterproofing ?

Although often used interchangeably, damp proofing and waterproofing carry distinct meanings in foundation construction. Dampproofing means keeping soil moisture (dampness) out of the structure, while waterproofing means protecting a structure from moisture and liquid water.

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Do I need to get my city water tested for a water softener or water filter? Or is the water already filtered and treated by the city?

The municipality will treat the water to ensure it is safe to drink. A homeowner may choose to add a water softener, iron filter, or whole-home carbon filter at the recommendation of a water professional.

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Will my underground pipes freeze in winter construction ?

Your contractor will ensure the underground pipes will not freeze during winter construction. The water and waste lines outside of the home are buried well below the frost line, and the water to the inside is not turned on until the house is nearly completed and the heat is turned on.

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How long will it sit outside before getting installed?

Most lumber is delivered within a week or two of being installed, but some lumber may be on-site for multiple weeks before install.

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Will lumber warp if it rains or snows?

Many factors determine if lumber will warp. Temperature and humidity are the most significant factors. Rain and snow have a smaller impact.

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Exterior Framing at Style & Structure
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Is it okay if it rains/snows on the floor plywood?

Yes, the glues used to make OSB and other plywood are water-resistant. These powders will withstand 3-4 weeks of constant moisture. Some products are even rated for up to 200 days of exposure without causing damage.

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Can I get screens at a later date/installed in the summer instead of the Fall?

It is recommended that all screens be installed before closing to ensure the screens are not damaged and have the correct fit. Your contractor will show you how to remove them for seasonal storage easily.

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Air Conditioner clearing
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In regards to my HVAC system, are there yearly maintenance/cleaning I need to think about?

It is vital to keep all filters clean by replacing them regularly. A furnace filter should be replaced once a month, while air exchangers and humidifiers usually need cleaning or replacement every six months. Monitoring and keeping the outside air conditioner unit clear of dust and debris is also essential. Spraying this with a garden hose will generally do the trick.

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What is better to use for water pipes. Copper or plastic?

Copper pipes and pex (cross-linked polyethylene tubing) are the two most common pipe materials used for water supply lines. Both are great options, and the pros and cons of each seem to equal out except for the price. The rise in copper prices has made copper water piping much less popular in recent years and can typically cost three times more than PEX.

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What options do I have with leftover drywall?

If there are 10 or more sheets left over, scheduling a return is a good idea. If less than 10 are left, it usually is more cost-effective to discard.

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What should I do if I'm missing a cabinet?

Most lumber is delivered within a week or two of being installed, but some lumber may be on-site for multiple weeks before install.

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Whats included in cabinet installation?

Cabinet installation should include all upper and base cabinets, vanities, and built-ins. The cabinet installer is responsible for setting base cabinets at the correct height from the subfloor, leaving appropriate space for appliances, installing crown molding, cabinet door, and drawer hardware, and adjusting them as needed.

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Cabinetry Install
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Should my appliances be installed before or after my countertop and sink?

The appliance install coincides typically with the plumbing final, the day following the countertop install. The sink will typically go in simultaneously or after the countertop installation.

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Will my underground pipes freeze in winter construction ?

Your contractor will ensure the underground pipes will not freeze during winter construction. The water and waste lines outside of the home are buried well below the frost line, and the water to the inside is not turned on until the house is nearly completed and the heat is turned on.

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