The experienced crew at A.C.T. Asphalt Specialties has been installing and repairing asphalt and concrete pavements for residential and commercial locales in the Twin Cities for more than 30 years. Freshly poured asphalt driveways ($3,200–$4,500 on average) smoothly replace predecessors laden with unsightly cracks or paved with untractioned gumdrops.
The experts at T&G Sealcoating LLC mix silica sand, asphalt emulsions, and high-performance additives to form their signature sealcoat, which they then apply to driveways and parking lots to minimize erosion. In addition to bonding the top layer of the pavement and restoring the slate-black color of the original asphalt, their process can prevent oxidation and damage caused by water, gas, or oil.
Castle Building & Remodeling, one of Remodeling magazine’s Big 50 of 2011, hosts a team of professional designers and builders who overhaul interiors with historically inspired concepts. Two design-selection studios display the custom craftsmanship, showcasing a 1940s–style kitchen with cherry cabinets and a 1910s–style bathroom with hex tile flooring and a sink full of Teddy Roosevelt's mustache trimmings.
The remodelers create a mockup of each project using 3-D CAD software, noting any desired changes before installation. They realize projects with the help of artisanal manufacturers such as Clay Squared, whose artists craft custom ceramic tiles using time-honored methods.
The Tile Shop—as the name coyly suggests—specializes in tile for every imaginable surface and aesthetic style, making it easy for DIY handypeople to tackle small home projects, such as modernizing an avocado-green and penicillin-pink bathroom floor or re-grouting a small garden grotto. Underscore a kitchen with the appetizing orange of pirita siena ceramic tiles ($2.19 per square foot), then trim the counters in lizett beige ($3.99 each) for a complementary finish. Pick up a honeycomb pattern of hex matte black ($5.29 per square foot)—the quintessential backsplash for a gothy bumblebee—or add a touch of character to a small surface with a deep green verde butterfly mosaic ($11.99 per square foot). With its enormous selection of floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaics, and natural stone, the possibilities are as endless as a drive across Nebraska. The Tile Shop also has a plentiful selection of grout and tools for grouting it all together while grinning groutishly.
The tidiness technicians at Design Unlimited Painting scrub homes with high-pressure washers that powerfully massage away grime and grit to leave siding and trim sparkling. Dwellings can cast off their soiled shells and slip into the more comfortable surroundings of a freshly scoured, like-new carapace, just in time for the bungalow beauty pageant on May 14. Every employee at Design Unlimited Painting has at least 15 years of experience cleaning up after nature’s thunder parties, snow fetes, and sun-baked mud-pie feasts, and the expert abode-bathers happily don all-white garb to tackle every style of domicile, from Victorian painted ladies to modest ranches. Siding, stonework, and decks all benefit from the mold- and dirt-dethroning work of dynamically pressurized water, emerging as pristine as the day of their ceremonial ribbon cutting.