Friday, December 6, 2013

How Do You Deal with Cracked Walls in Your Twin Cities Home?

As the design manager at Titus Contracting, I encounter this question quite a bit about cracked walls. Twin Cities is just one of the areas Titus Contracting serves, so we see cracked walls fairly frequently when we do home and commercial remodeling projects in the Twin Cities area. I recently answered this question on the website, and I wanted to share my cracked wall answer with my readers:

This does depend on the material, but if we assume drywall or plaster, it is usually quite the same.  If you just spackle or use drywall mud over a crack, the crack will almost always come back.  If you use caulk, it may not come back but caulk will almost always flash through slightly at some point.  The best way is to clean up both sides of the crack.  Tape over the crack with fiberglass mesh tape (or paper tape but I prefer  fiberglass with cracks), then mud over the tape with 2 to 4 coats of  drywall mud feathering out the repair.  Keep the coats thin to minimize sanding.  Finally sand it out and paint.

Cracked walls in your Twin Cities home can be a sign of a more serious problem with your foundation. A lot depends on the shape of the crack and the direction it is running along the wall. If your cracked walls have cracks that are vertical and start where the wall and ceiling meet, it usually just means that the foundation of your Twin Cities home has settled and caused a few ugly cracked walls. But if the crack is horizontal and/or run at a jagged 45-degree angle, this could indicate your Twin Cities home’s foundation has drastically shifted or there is some type of water damage. If the cracked walls look like a stair-step and run in both a horizontal and vertical direction, they are usually a result of the soil settling beneath the center of the wall. “Nail popping” is another source of cracked walls in your Twin Cities home. This means a nail has pulled away from the stud beneath it and could be a sign of structural problems in your Twin Cities home.

If you are experiencing cracked walls in your Twin Cities home, Titus Contracting can help. Just give us a call at (952) 746-7817 or contact us online.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Volunteering: The Gift of Giving

The holidays are a time of year a lot of people reflect on what they have and what they are thankful for. (After all, Thanksgiving has the word “thanks” in the name!) Christmas and Hannukah have always symbolized the gift of giving to loved ones and spending quality time with them. One of the greatest gifts I can think of is the gift of giving. Not only do I work for Titus Contracting LLC, I volunteer with several area charities, and one of my favorites is the Life Hurts program at Hosanna! Church in Lakeville, MN.

Life Hurts is a youth-oriented program that meets once a week at Hosanna! Church. This support group centers around at-risk teens and youths who need a strong guiding hand to stay on the right path in life. The issues these young ones are dealing with are everything from divorcing parents to eating disorders to abuse and addiction. We meet and talk about what they are going through, and the end result is healing and hope. This program is one of the main reasons I believe in the gift of giving. Sure, I am giving these youths the gift of my time and myself, but, really I feel like I am the one receiving a gift. These teens are going through some very rough times, and I want to be there to support them and show them healthy coping strategies.

There is an event Life Hurts hosts called the “Feed My Starving Children” program. Other volunteers and I made more than 13,000 meals that will help feed 30 hungry children for one year! An hour and a half of our time made a huge difference in 30 lives: that thought makes my head spin sometimes!

You can extend the gift of giving in many ways. You can volunteer like I do, but even something as simple as giving a homeless person a sandwich or cup of coffee can help immensely – possibly even more than you can see with your naked eye. Or if a friend or family member looks depressed or upset, lend an ear. Sometimes, just sitting with a person and listening to him or her vent is more than enough. I have learned through my work with the Life Hurts program that sometimes the simple act of listening is the gift that keeps on giving.

Scott Rajavuori is the manager of design, sales and marketing for Titus Contracting LLC, a commercial and home remodeling company located in Savage, Minn.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… for Indoor Home Improvement!

It’s cold outside and nice and toasty in your house. Why bother setting foot outdoors when there is so much to do indoors? Now is the perfect time to take a look at the inside of your home and spruce it up a bit. There is still plenty of time to get all of this done before Christmas. And if you get started now, you could have a few of these knocked off of your to-do list before Thanksgiving! As your favorite Twin Cities remodeling expert, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • ·         Make your home more energy-efficient: there are several ways of saving some money on your utility bills this winter. One of the easiest ways is to make sure your air filters in your heating system are new and clean. Take a few minutes to inspect your air filters. Are they dirty and covered in dust? If so, venture out into the cold and go buy some new ones. They usually don’t cost a lot of money and installing them should only take a few minutes of your time. Another thing to consider is installing a new thermostat. Look into buying a set back thermostat, which is a digital and programmable thermostat. You can program it to warm your house while you’re there and keep the temperatures a bit cooler when you’re not there. When you’re ready to install it, just turn off the power at your house and follow the instructions – it’s usually pretty easy to do!
  • ·         Update your indoor lighting: since it’s getting dark outside earlier and earlier, one of the easiest ways to keep your house well-lit and cheerful is with new indoor lighting. You don’t have to break the bank on this either. A lot of lovely indoor lights don’t cost an arm and a leg. You can choose the type of light you want plus what kind of bulb you want to use in it. The most common type of lightbulb is tungsten, but there are also halogen bulbs, fluorescent lights and more.
  • ·         Clean up your kitchen: even the smallest change can make the biggest difference! Clean out your cabinets, wash the front of them and consider getting new handles for the doors. New handles won’t cost a lot of money but can really make a difference to the room as a whole.
Scott Rajavuori is the manager of design, sales and marketing for Titus Contracting LLC, a commercial and home remodeling company located in Savage, Minn.

If you're in need of home remodeling services, contact Titus Contracting today by calling 952-746-7817 or contact us online.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Office Remodeling: When Is It Time to Give Your Business a New Look?

I know first hand how much the look of a business impacts its ability to generate revenue. It's important, no matter what industry you're in, to have an office environment that is clean, laid out well and presents itself in the way you would expect from an employee. This look will need to last for years to come, so instead of catering only to modern design trends, your business's appearance should be classic and something that looks great no matter what year it is.

However, as times, trends and needs change, so too must the look of an office. It can be difficult to determine when this is necessary, and there are several key indicators that should wake up business owners and tell them, "It's time for a new look." What are some of these indicators?

  • Increase in sales/business
    I don't know a business owner who doesn't want to see their operation increase by some amount. And an important way of showing growth is with the look of the operation's base. Have you outgrown your space and need to add some room? Or are you moving into a bigger workspace, but need to give the new area a facelift? These are the times when a remodel most often happens, whether the growth is in business, staff or both.
  • Increased energy costs
    Have you been watching your energy costs increase dramatically over a certain period? If so, you may want to think about having your office remodeled in order to make the space more energy efficient. How? Energy efficient windows, insulation, heating and cooling and much more "green remodeling" can be done to a work area so you can save the money, or invest these funds into increasing your business.
  • Outdated look
    What worked 10 or 20 years ago might not be as great now. If you think the look of your business – outside or inside – is outdated and desperately in need of a new look, it's best to trust your gut instinct. Get in touch with a company that specializes in commercial remodeling services and ask them their thoughts, and what they would recommend be done to bring the look of your business into the present. 
The best sign your office could use a remodel? What others think. Are you hearing a lot of negative comments about the look of your office? If so, strongly consider remodeling your business and giving it an all new appearance. It might be one of the best decisions you make.

If you're in need of a reliable commercial remodeling team, give us a call at 952-746-7817 or contact us online.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Scott Rajavuori Nominated to Board of Directors of Life Rebuilders- Midwest Challenge, Inc.

I am excited to announce to everyone that I have accepted an offer to serve on the Board of Directors for Life Rebuilders- Midwest Challenge (LR-MC). This is something I have been involved with for awhile, and I am finally ready to take the next step in serving the organization in a larger capacity. This leadership role will help further my commitment to the organization and the people we help.

Life Rebuilders- Midwest Challenge
LR-MC is a Christian nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, MN. They seek to provide solutions for men being released on work release from prison, guys on parole or dealing with past criminal issues, as well as men that are dealing with drug recovery. LB/MC provides drug and alcohol free living facilities, treatment centers and the support, guidance and information needed for men to secure long-term employment. It is a supportive community for men wanting to turn the lives around.

The Lord's Calling
I have been involved with LR-MC for 7 years as a life coach. A short time ago, the President & CEO of LR-MC, Pastor Gary Parker, approached me about the possibility of serving on the Board of Directors. After the conversation, I prayed hard about the decision. I was concerned about the time commitment, but ultimately came to the decision this is what I should do. I believe the Lord wanted me to get further involved in this worthwhile organization. The impact I can have on the lives of these men is worth all the time in the world.

Ways to Help

If you're interested in getting involved in LR-MC, please visit their website. There are always ways to help and volunteer. You can make a positive impact on the life of a man in a very transitional point in his life. Strong and lasting bonds can be made and lives changed forever.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scott Rajavuori Comments on Summer Remodeling Season

Summer is many people's favorite season. It's a time for barbeques, vacations and fun in the sun! It's also my favorite season to remodel with the Titus Contracting team. I love the longer days and completing larger projects. I feel like I can make more of an impact when I complete a larger scope of work on one home. The whole team works hard all summer, but in the end, it all pays off. In this blog, I'm going to review some of the best aspects of the summer remodeling season.

Larger Projects
Summer is the perfect time for a lot of our clients to invest in larger projects. It is easier to complete projects where some walls will need removed and parts of their home will be exposed to the elements. It's easier to complete a project in a timely fashion without the threat of snow. Any inclement summer weather usually passes quickly and will dry fast.

Longer Days
More daylight time means more work time for remodelers. During the summer, we are able to complete more projects because we have more hours to do them. Though we don't really spend any less time on any one project, we can get them done in a fewer amount of days. You're getting the same quality workmanship from the Titus Contracting crew.

More Convenient
The warmer seasons are often more convenient for many of our customers. First of all, it is a very popular time to vacation. This means you may be able to coordinate your remodeling project with your vacation. Even if you can't, it's usually easier to be out of the house while your project is being completed.

If you're looking to start a remodeling project this summer, Titus Contracting is the team to call today at 952-746-7817 or Contact Them Online.

Monday, July 22, 2013

MSN Real Estate Says Home Remodeling Better Value in 2013

 Good news for homeowners, contractors and everyone else involved with home remodeling: its comeback continues to strengthen. 

Rising home prices get the credit. Owners around the country are recouping 61% of remodeling costs when they sell. The survey finds that smaller projects and practical replacement jobs lead the list.
For Scott Rajavuori and the Titus Contracting LLC team, this news couldn’t be any more exciting. While the recovery continues to gain traction, Scott and Titus will do what they do best: remodeling projects for homes and businesses.

And while Scott and Titus have fared better in terms of work than other contractors, they still welcome this news, as they know a stronger industry means better things for them.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Scott Rajavuori & Titus Contracting LLC Keep Busy

It might be hot outside, but that’s not keeping Scott Rajavuori and the Titus Contracting LLC from getting many jobs done. The company’s commercial and residential remodeling divisions continue to grow, and they’re happy to be able to keep busy.

What has Titus Contracting been working on all over the Minneapolis and St Paul areas? Here are some recent highlights:

Kitchen Remodeling
Many homeowners have been coming to Scott and Titus Contracting to handle their kitchen remodeling needs. These jobs have included the following work:
·         New flooring
·         New fixtures
·         New cabinetry and countertops
·         HVAC
·         Plumbing
·         Replacement windows
·         Paint

The above list is only a small sampling of what Titus Contracting is capable of doing in terms of a kitchen remodel. You can visit the Titus Contracting kitchen remodeling page for all the details.

Second Floor Additions
As a family grows and more people are living in one residence, many Twin Cities-area homeowners are choosing to increase the size of their current home rather than looking for a bigger residence to buy. One of the most popular additions of this type is a second-floor addition, which adds another level of living space onto your home. To see the type of additions Titus Contracting can add to your home, you can click here.

3-Season & 4-Season Porches

For homeowners looking for a way to bring the outside in their home, a great option may be either a 3-season or a 4-season porch, depending on your budget. These porches are just like room addition, but with some important difference. You can read the Titus Contracting blog to learn all about the differences between 3-season porches and 4-season porches.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The importance of construction management

One of the most common questions Scott Rajavuori is asked is whether construction management is an important part of any home or commercial remodeling project. In a recent blog for Titus Contracting, Scott tackled this very topic. He noted construction/project managers will be able to:
·         Keep the project on track
·         Prevent the project from running into issues and increased costs
·         Correct any unanticipated problems

When you have a construction manager overseeing the project, you have an expert who is familiar with how construction and remodeling projects should work, and who will turn your ideas into something tangible.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Remodeling Projects by Titus Contracting and Scott Rajavuori

Scott Rajavuori and the Titus Contracting LLC team recently finished up several commercial and remodeling projects. Highlights of the company’s recent work have included:

The scope of work for this job included wall removal, new cabinetry, new countertops, flooring, appliances and much more.

As part of this job, Scott and Titus Contracting installed new hardwood floors, appliances, countertops, cabinetry and much more.

We completely overhauled the look of Health Source Fitness Center.

Scott thanks the Titus Contracting team for their continuing and amazing hard work.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Scott Rajavuori answers questions about retail build-outs

Scott Rajavuori recently took the time to answer some questions about retail remodeling for a Titus Contracting blog. Here’s what Scott said about things business owners needing to remember when undertaking a retail build-out.
One of the biggest things is ADA requirements; we need to make sure everything is accessible to everyone, and there are codes to insure that. With the ADA requirements come ADA guidelines that also have to be followed. You also have to be aware or thinking about egress. Local authorities will be concerned how you go about exiting the building, from the path to the door size and the markings (exit signs, emergency lights, etc). Another issue is the use of the existing building. All buildings are classified based on permitting or how they are set up to be used. This can affect many different areas. For example, an insurance agency would be classified as a “business,” a clothing boutique as a “mercantile” and a karate studio as an “assembly.”

Monday, May 20, 2013 Goes Live

Scott Rajavuori's newest website,, went live recently. The website gives a quick overview of Scott's professional and personal lives, and gives information on those persons, places and things that are most important to him.

Check it out now:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Titus Contracting Hired New Construction Manager

Please help Titus Contracting LLC in welcoming our new construction manager, Martin Wood.
Martin Wood attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a degree in construction management in 2002. During his time in college, he started and managed his own construction company. This left him with over 15 years of experience in the field as he joins the Titus Contracting team. His previous experience includes: concrete work, woodworking, landscaping, installing windows, and more.

In a recent press release dedicated to Wood's hire, Scott Rajavuori said, "We are sure Martin will be a great addition to our already successful team. His vast experience in construction and friendly demeanor truly matches the company's qualities, values and principles."

Wood said, "I pride myself in learning new things in the construction industry and excelling at custom work to give my clients something unique to their project." He now lives in Buffalo MN with his wife and two children.

Titus Contracting LLC is excited by this new addition to the team! Wood will help the company to continue to move forward.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Titus Contracting Remodels Its Websites

It’s been a great couple of months for Scott Rajavuori and the Titus Contracting team. We’ve stayed busy with work, and have excitedly launched new websites for and!

Since remodeling is what Titus Contracting is all about, we decided to apply that to our websites. We've remodeled them to make them look as good as any job we’ve done!

The new, improved has an updated navigation menu and project gallery that is easier to browse through. The new site is also more reader friendly and functional. Each page has received a new look, and the site is now responsive, meaning it is formatted to look great on a PC, tablet and smartphone. is the site we use for our home remodeling division. Previously, all of the projects were available in one photo gallery, but now they are broken down into individual galleries by room. The site also features a new Before & After Gallery, to give visitors a visual insight on the work we do. Each page has a brand new look and feel.

We hope you enjoy our new sites as much as we do. Please click here to visit And also check out