Getting to Know Levco

Levco’s mission statement:

Levco Builders, LLC is in the business of improving living spaces to maximize your property’s potential. We specialize in creating realistic design solutions that are functional and fit your budget. We pride ourselves on minimizing the impact of remodeling on your daily life. We are proud of our reputation for quality workmanship, professionalism, and earning your trust. Our task is to add value to your home while making your experience a memorable, creative journey.

Our simple goal is “To create enthusiastic referrals”

Overview of Levco:

  • Full-service Design/Build General Contracting firm
  • Motivated, hard-working employees
  • Experienced in remodeling older homes, especially in the Historic North End.
  • Specialize in Aged Home UpgradesThis includes everything needed to make an older home function better.
  • Dedicated to giving back to the Treasure Valley through community involvement and green building principles

Levcos Philosophies:

 

1.Commitment to Green Remodeling

2.Universal Design

3.Creativity

4.Work

5.Repeatable Excellence

Commitment to green remodeling:

 

Green remodeling is automatically incorporated into our projects every chance we get. The four green guiding principals (listed below) enhance the well-being of our clients and support a healthy community and natural environment. Not all green building ideas are practical, affordable or sensible. However, we want to make you aware of the opportunities, technologies and materials available to you. Ultimately, these are personal and emotional decisions.

Levco’s Green Guiding Principles are:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Indoor air quality
  • Resource conservation
  • Water conservation

When implemented successfully, these serve to preserve our environment for future generations by conserving natural resources and protecting air and water quality. They provide benefits for us today by increasing comfort and well-being and helping to maintain healthy air quality.

Commitment to Sustainable Deconstruction

We have committed ourselves to deconstructing houses in a sustainable way. Through our affiliation with The Reuse People of America, and our sustainability model, we have begun to emerge as the deconstruction specialists in the area. We are sharing our passion for what we do with our community as well. Giving back turns out to be a very sustainable and rewarding practice.

Green remodeling strategies as well as sustainable deconstruction are good for the community and the pocketbook. They reduce maintenance and replacement requirements, reduce utility bills and lower the cost of home ownership, which ultimately increases property and resale values. Read More

Sustainable

Levco’s Universal Design Philosophy

Levco is dedicated to the design of products and environments which usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without adaptation or specialized design. It’s our user-friendly approach to living environment design where people of any culture, age, size, weight, race, gender and ability can experience a home that promotes their health, safety and welfare today and in the future.

Universal-Design

Levco’s Creativity Philosophy

 

“We create what you imagine”

Levco’s Work Philosophies

 

“If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right”

 

This is in reference to enjoying what we do for a living. Having fun is a choice and a reflection of our joy for remodeling. It is easy to ensure enjoyment by hiring folks that are motivated by how much they can accomplish in a day.

“I’m helping to build a cathedral”

 

A poem that speaks to my work ethic which I share with my team can be read here.

A story that speaks to what the hell we are all doing here can be read here

Great results are a prize for having fun. Our contagious style of fun and work gets us through all sorts of situations. We are all “people pleasers” and are results driven. Cut us loose on your remodeling project and see what I mean.

“Commitment to repeatable excellence”

Levco’s Warranty

“It is in our best interest to be contacted first if any problems arise”

Levco Remodeling Project Completion Documentation

Your project is complete and we wish you much joy and satisfaction. We appreciate that you chose Levco to do the work, and hope the experience was as positive for you as it was for us.
Referrals are always appreciated and we will gladly recognize you for it.

Our Warranty

Levco Builders LLC hereby warrants that all work performed and materials provided are of good working order and free from all faults and defects. The materials and workmanship provided meet or exceed the quality required for the issued permits and accepted industry standards. Furthermore, upon completion of work materials and workmanship comply with the Scope of Work Document unless otherwise specified.
Levco Builders LLC guarantees all workmanship and materials provided by us for one calendar year a limited lifetime following substantial completion of project (that is paid in full), except as otherwise specified by any manufacturer’s warranty of individual equipment. Any work, or material, found to be defective, meeting guarantee specifications, will be, without cost to the Owner, corrected promptly after receipt of notice from Owner.
This warranty and guarantee excludes any responsibility on the part of Levco Builders LLC to remedy any defect or deficiency caused by any abuse or misuse by Owner or others, changes or modifications not performed by Levco Builders LLC and normal wear and tear.

We understand that it is in our best interest to be the ones that help take care of your home for years to come. This is how we build our reputation. Understanding how your home works is our thing. We are a great resource for you to use. Please ask us if there is something we can do or suggest we would be honored to be asked.

Care of your new remodel

To express our appreciation, we have included several paragraphs of wisdom (In no particular order) and links to good information related to caring for your new space. We appreciate your investment into your home and want to share this information we have gathered over the years.
By properly caring for your home, systems, and building materials, will ensure a long useful life. Please contact us to ask questions or share more great resources for our clients.
By now you should have all of your manuals and any product information from materials that we installed. If not, ask.

Tile, stone, & more

Tile and grout work together to create a waterproof surface that will last for eons if cared for properly. We use several grouts. Wiping down showers and shower glass after every shower will prolong the life of the installation. I use half of a synthetic chamois (From an auto parts store). Using the exhaust fan to eliminate excess humidity quickly will also prolong the life of your tile.

• Epoxy: needs no regular maintenance, once installed just regular routine cleaning is fine.
• Polyurethane: does not require sealing
• Standard grout: Require resealing every 6-8 months
• Boosted grout: does not require resealing however keep it clean and dry
• Natural stone and slate: Clean and reseal every 6 months. Do not use harsh chemicals on it, examples include toothpaste, soaps, and shampoos.
• Fiberglass pan inserts: Occasionally they get hard to clean use oven cleaner and (Barkeepers friend) a nonabrasive cleanser.
• Any products used that are not listed here please ask for assistance

Hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are made of natural wood that has a sealing layer and a finish layer of material on top. The wood is natural and will therefore expand and contract with temperature and will be affected by humidity and moisture. For cleaning only use a mild vinegar and water compound and a damp cloth.

Another option is a commercially available hardwood floor cleaner and follow instructions. Excessive moisture will cause cupping and will shorten the lifespan of the finish. It is expected that the finish in heavily used areas will need refreshing on average (every 10 years).

Depending upon wear and tear a maintenance coat of finish is advised. Serious problems have been caused by pet water bowls and water leaks from any source.

Heating & Air Conditioning

When we install systems, we specify a 4” pleated filter and that you leave your circulation system on all the time to even out temperatures and avoid the stack affect. Check and replace if dirty every 6 months when we switch from heating to cooling and back again.

Your outdoor unit has fins that collect debris as the fan is running. Clogged fins decrease the units’ capacity to cool clean them as needed with a dish soap solution and a fine spray from a hose. This may include removing landscaping from over growing the unit.

Windows & glass

Windows often become scratched when cleaned improperly. We suggest a commercially available glass cleaner and damp cloth. Always clean the window trough too. Do not allow excess water to build up on wood windows. Condensation that is created should be minimal with new widows and will often resolve when curtains are opened.

On shower glass, we suggest a product called Amaze. It is available online and at Atkinson’s Mirror and glass on Orchard St.

Plumbing Fixtures

Each type of material has a suggested cleaning.
• Stainless steel: “Barkeepers friend” or ajax with a white scrubby pad. Stainless steel cleaner is available to shine it up. Very abrasive materials could scratch the metal. Fixing scratches can be done but requires elbow crease, See Levco if you need to borrow some of our stash.
• Porcelain: a light cleaning with Barkeepers friend or ajax like cleaner. And white or green scrubby
• Cast Iron enamel: Same as above
• Granite composite: Clean as with nonabrasive cleanser check user’s manual for brand specific recommendations.
• Drains. Do not use over the counter drain cleaners unless it is a last resort. They are caustic and dangerous for you and the plumber. Your plumbing system should be able to be cleaned with a mechanical snaking device. Please alert us or your plumber if an obstruction occurs.
• Leaks: They are not normal. Let Levco know if you see one or hear one so we can fix it.

Hardware & moving parts

Anything that moves should require light lubrication periodically. It is often hard to tell something is binding up as it happens very slowly. Before you lubricate, try cleaning with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Dry off and test. Lubricate if necessary. Any light weight oil designed for lubrication is fine. Use caution with sprays as they can deposit lubrication far away from the intended spot.

Counter tops

Counter tops must be cared for. As more products become available be sure to check the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning techniques and materials. Here are our recommendations in the event you cannot locate theirs. Do not use sharp cutting instruments right on it.

• Concrete: The countertop should be sealed every 6 months. Water can enter the slab and cause haze to develop like from a dishwasher.
• Butcher-block or wood. Like cabinets wood does not like moisture, wipe with a damp rag and when dry treat with mineral oil and work it in and or a commercially available wood cutting board coating.
• Corian. This is a manmade product it is the same color all the way through s small scratches can be sanded out. Do not place hot objects directly on the material.
• Laminate: like any countertop do no scratch or cut on. Do not use harsh abrasives and do not place hot objects directly on it.
• Granite: This mother nature material requires regular cleaning with a mild solution of Vinegar and water. Or any proprietary cleaning that is designed for this use. Seal granite every 6 months with a granite sealer to make is resistant to stains. Do not shock the surface with hot things or scratch with sharp objects.
• Quartz: this is a manmade resin that is fairly new to the market. We are seeing some blotchiness and scratching occasionally. There is no good way to deal with it. We have a poultice material that can try and pull a stain our but polishing is not reasonable either. Gaps can be epoxied. See manufacturers recommendations for the product we installed

Painted Surfaces

Painted surfaces require little maintenance, a light wiping with a damp cloth should be adequate. For more severe stains and or marks you may need to paint over the spot with the touch-up paint.

Always stir up the paint well and feather it in as painted surfaces exposed to the sun may fade.

Concrete

There are two types of concrete, “That which is cracked, and that which will eventually crack” We recommend that you are careful with it as it is fragile and can be stained and discolored if not sealed regularly and cared for properly.

Cabinetry

Many client’s delegate the housekeeping chores to others, assuming they know what to do.
Please use this document as a helpful guide for everyone responsible or involved in caring for your cabinetry to agree upon.

The Background

Since we use several manufacturers, and that this information is often lost or verbally discussed, I felt obligated to step in. This frustration came to a head during a recent inadvertent catastrophe.
My process was simple, I gathered information from my manufacturers, got them all to buy in, and compiled it. Please take this seriously; we want your investment to last.
During my research, I discovered that there are as many recommendations on how to clean and care for your cabinets, as there are cabinet companies. What you read here will safely cover your cabinetry care and feeding needs.
Trust me, I am sharing several lifetimes’ worth of fine woodworking wisdom here.
Rule number #1, there is no rule #2
“Moisture is the mortal enemy of any finish” the wood cells swell and bursts off the finish. Do not allow appliances to direct steam into your cabinetry.
Your cabinets were made when the wood was dry, by keeping your cabinets dry, and maintaining a stable temperature and humidity in your home, you will help prolong the life of all of your woodwork.
As a guiding principal, “Care for your cabinets the same way you would care for a piano or any other wood musical instrument”.

Basic cleaning procedure

Wipe with a dampened, lint-free cotton cloth and promptly wipe dry. For removal of oil, grease, and spills, use a damp lint-free cloth with a solution of mild soap and water, then dry immediately.
Avoid using a dishcloth or sponge to clean cabinet surfaces as it may contain remnant of harsh detergents that can harm the finish.
• Wipe up spills immediately using a dry cloth with a “blotting” motion.
• Pay special attention to areas where water is common, such as sinks and dishwashers.
• Do not allow water and detergents to dry on the cabinet surfaces.
• Horizontal surfaces of shaker doors, and raised panel doors are very common collection site for excess moisture.
• Never hang damp towels on cabinet doors to dry.
Other things to avoid & be aware of

Excessive heat

Avoid placing cabinet appliances where the heat is directed onto cabinet surfaces. The stability of the wood and finish can be harmed, and besides, it is dangerous.

Abrasive devices, cleaners, polishes, and solvents

Never use scouring pads, steel wool, powdered cleaners, or solvents as these methods of cleaning may penetrate the surface, allowing food or moisture to enter and cause deterioration of the finishes.
Do not use ammonia-based cleaners, soaps with dye, abrasive cleaners, or self-polishing waxes (especially those that contain silicone).
We do not recommend a spray polish or cabinet cleaning compound because we could not get everyone to agree on a product, some even contain toxic ingredients. Use them at your own risk.
Clean glass by spraying a glass cleaner on the cloth then wiping glass until dry.

Hinges and hardware

Most hinge and drawer slide we have installed in the past decade are easily adjustable or replaceable. Smooth operation is to be expected. Vintage hardware may be obsolete. Please contact us if your hardware is giving you trouble, and we will see what we can do to help.

Gouges, dings, & final thoughts

Wood products and their finish are only as good as the care they receive. Well maintained cabinetry will extend the life and beauty of your cabinetry for decades. We understand that things happen, dings and scratches occur too, contact us for support and recommendations. Perhaps a scheduled tune up is in order.
We have the ability to repair or replace almost anything. Please help us to ensure your cabinets stay beautiful. Alert us early, if a problem arises. Please allows us to be part of the solution.
Excessive moisture and problems related to moisture are beyond our control and are naturally not covered by our comprehensive warranty.

Summary

In the event this information does not address your specific concern, let us know, odds are that others would like to know too.