Sunday, February 11, 2018

Simple Tips For Keeping an Easy-To-Clean, Kid-Safe Home

Simple Ways to Keeping an Easy-To-Clean, Kid-Safe Home Once you’ve got kids, you don’t usually want to suddenly live in a daycare. You want your kids to have fun and be safe, but at the end of the day, you’re adults and want to keep the style factor and cleanliness high. We don’t think you should have to compromise on any of that, so today, we’ve got helpful tips to get your home kid safe as well as easy to clean. Meaning, happier kids and happier parents, right?
Let’s start with the coffee table. We’re all familiar with the experiences of watching a toddler fall into or near the corner of a coffee table. One way to create a safer environment is to consider using a round table, upholstered ottoman, or a few poufs in place of a traditional rectangular coffee table.
Next on the list are the couches. Leather couches and slipcovers are all fantastic options for your family room furniture! You get to have the perk of quality furniture but with added protection. Many furniture companies offer stain-resistant fabric options, or will spray a protective product on your furniture for an additional fee. When considering color, remember that darker colors will typically last better than lighter ones; however, white slipcovers can be bleached.  You can always go both. Buy dark and keep a lighter colored slipcover around when you want to brighten things up.

One often forgotten part of the home to wisely think of is your walls. Not just the color, but the kind of paint you buy. Because the sheen of the paint is going to make all the cleaning difference. If you can choose a washable paint sheen, you'll be investing in a great way to kid-proof your paint job. Paint colors in eggshell, satin or semigloss are much easier to clean up with a mild soap and a damp rag. If you'd rather go with a matte finish, that's fine too. Flat paints have the benefit of touch-up painting without the presence of brush marks. If you'd like to go with something fun at knee level, chalkboard, magnetic, and dry erase paints are easily available these days at most home improvement stores and create a fun way for kids to safely play and write on the walls.
You know the messes are going to happen, so when it comes to your floors, skip the carpet completely. Keep things simple and install washable flooring options like tile, wood, laminate, and vinyl. If you want to stick with carpet, installing carpet tiles will allow you to clean squares or replace them as needed. Another option is to invest in area rugs that are meant for both indoor and outdoor use, for cleaning ease.

Next, is organization. We all know that having kids around means having toys.  This is great for the kids, but it can feel overwhelming to the adults cleaning up after them.  Be sure to have baskets and containers around for easy tidying up.  Don't worry! You aren't bound to the typical primary colors and plastics.  You could add wicker baskets with lids, or place modern organizational boxes in built ins or on shelves, to neatly and discreetly keep the kid clutter tucked away.
Lastly, the chords. This is a time when there are more electronics than dishes in the house and you don’t want your kids getting tripped up or too curious. Make sure your chords are contained, wrapped up and pinched away from sight and not tangled up together. This not only keeps things looking neat and orderly, but out of sight (and hopefully out of mind) for those wandering curious hands and eyes.
Your family's safety and happiness is very important to us, at Unique Home Building.  If You would like more ideas on how to make your home a more child friendly environment, don't hesitate to call and we will get you on your way.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Simple Tips to Help You Avoid Making Major Mistakes During Your Home Remodel

As you dive into your next big home project - from installing new kitchen cabinets to entire room additions, you want to make sure you’re prepared for a smooth path to a better home. Without proper preparation, it’s easy to make some very common mistakes that end up causing a lot of stress, unnecessary expenses as well as wasted time. So be smart. Plan ahead and learn from the mistakes of others instead of paying for them yourself.
Simple Tips to Help You Avoid Making Major Mistakes During Your Home Remodel
Trust Your Contractor
With all the DIY info out there, anyone can 'be' an expert.  People think they know best – it’s their home after all, right? While that’s all true, there comes a point when you just need to trust that the contractor knows what they’re doing and let them guide you in the right direction, by making recommendations and suggestions to make your new home the best it can be.  It's your vision, but it's a big undertaking that should be left to the experienced professionals. Every home comes with it's issues.  Some have black mold or plumbing issues. 

Don't Buy New Things Ahead of Time
Wait until things are in progress or finished to buy your accents and appliances. You don't really know if any of it fit.  You'll end up going on a returning spree and with your contractor taking a jackhammer through the old tub to get the new one in—not worth it, in our opinion! Have patience.  It's coming.

Move Your Stuff
While any responsible contractor will be respectful of your furniture and belongings, the chance of something being damaged if it’s still in the work space is much higher. Instead of leaving it up to chance, move your belongings out of the work space before things get started.

Your Home Is Not the Picture
People often give photos to their contractors to follow, but then they are disappointed when things don’t turn out looking exactly like the photo in the magazine or on the Pinterest board. The thing is, those pictures are heavily edited and touched up, (just like models) and even if your contractor or builder uses all the same materials, there is usually no way to totally mimic a magazine photo in real life.

Timeline to Completion 
While an area of your home is being remodeled, there’s a pretty good chance that you won’t be able to use it during that time. If this is an essential area of your home, you might be stuck not being able to use it for much longer than is comfortable for you. If you need things to be completed by a certain date, make sure to tell the contractor at the very beginning so they can prepare to work towards that goal. Otherwise, things may be done on their schedule, within reason, but not necessarily your expectation. 

In Conclusion
In conclusion, we at Unique Home Building  know that a home remodeling project is something that most homeowners do only once or twice in a lifetime, if at all.  Therefore, the process tends to be totally new for most people.  There are quite a few things to know before embarking on this journey, which is why we are so committed to informing you.   You deserve to have a great experience and for your home to reflect your dreams, values and lifestyle.  

Please, call us today, if you are looking for a contractor in Dallas, Texas to take care of your home rebuilding or renovation projects.  You are in good hands. 


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Simple Designer Secrets for a Quick & Affordable Kitchen Upgrade

Kitchens are where  you spend the majority of time in your home. So it can be really frustrating when you return to the room two to three times a day only to be distracted by the worn out decor, outdated fixtures and dull lighting. You need a change but you’re not ready to commit to an all out remodel. And you shouldn’t have to wait. While the big remodel is going to give you the greatest transformation, and our contractors  can help, if you need something drastic in the meantime to survive the wait, there is a way. 

Ready for the tips and ideas? Let’s dive in.

Simple Designer Secrets for a Quick & Affordable Kitchen Upgrade Start with the lighting. Look into using some stylish new pendant lights in the kitchen. These can easily become the new focal point of the room. You can usually find them for under $200, they are versatile and won't empty your savings! 

Choose statement accents and accessories. Sometimes your options for accessories are limited, so it's important to make the most of the little things. Gather together your most used items on woven tray, prop up a few wooden boards on your counter and display pantry items with pretty packaging. This is great for things like, honey, sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil!

Update the fixtures and hardware. Classic hardware is a great option when you need upgrade as they subtly enhance the look and feel of the entire space. Just keep an eye on the price per piece when shopping, because it can add up fast; especially if you have a large kitchen with many cabinets. 

Give your cabinets a proper facelift. If your kitchen cabinets have a dated finish or you want a more personal touch than just the average standard-issue white cabinets, you may want to think about adding color. Try going with pale earth tones, as they are all versatile choices that go with many different materials and finishes. You can also paint just half the cabinets for a high-contrast look. A palette of black and white with wood and metal accents looks sleek and modern in the kitchen. Get the look by painting only the bottom cabinets and the base of your kitchen island black, leaving the upper cabinets white.

Add bright, calming or artistic paint to one or multiple walls. Color accents instantly add warmth and character to a boring and drab kitchen. Warm rich blues are great for this, as well as pops of turquoise, red, marigold or even natural elements like silver, copper and gold. 

Feeling cluttered? Add shelves. If you’re lacking upper cabinets or added storage space, you might think of adding shelves. Rustic wood shelves on metal brackets are easily (and cheaply) installed, and provide functional display space for everyday dishes. You can also go with a sleek and more classy design with black or metal or mixing rustic with elegance. 

Perhaps the answer lies in the tools. Is it time for some new dishes?  Cups, bowls, or a tea pot? Open shelving and counters are a great opportunity to practice the art of display. You can't go wrong with classic white dishes and clear glass, but fun mismatched finds would work just as well if that's your style.

Those ideas will add so much to the feel and energy of your home. Try them out today. And if simple updates here and there aren't enough, you may want to think about upgrading the whole space!  Call the contractors at Unique Home Building and we'll get you started right away.  We're here for you, because your house should always feel like a home.

Friday, January 12, 2018

How to Keep Organized and Sane During Your Next Home Remodel

How to Keep Organized and Sane During Your Next Home Remodel
When you’re excited about your home remodel you don’t want anything to hold you back. You want to do it all. You want to change everything. And it’s understandable. Once everything’s up in the remodel mess, you might feel like just getting it all done at once.
For starters, Just because it’s flashy doesn’t mean you need it all. Many people fall head over heels for the latest apps and gadgets.  But I have found that so many people do much better with a simple sticky note or day planner list. It doesn't mean you're lazy or unintelligent.  All these different tools can leave you spending much more time trying to organize or consolidate your list, leaving many of your items undone.
When you’re overwhelmed with too many things to do, as you likely will be at some point, you’ll do well to have a strict to-do list of priorities. Determine what’s most important and divide the tasks into categories of importance, room etc.  Once your list is organized into categories, you may find that you can narrow it down even further to your top 3 priorities and then another list of 3 secondary things to do.   At the end of the day - you'll likely get 6 things done!  But at the very least, you'll get the most important things done first - leaving you feel accomplished and at peace with your performance.
Log your thoughts. It helps to have an idea pad to log new ideas or things that come to mind you don’t want to forget along the way.  You can reference this list at the end of the day and organize them accordingly. But, even though you have a lot going on, make sure you keep the pad organized. That capture pad is able to keep you from forgetting the important tasks and ideas that pop into your head.  At the end of the day place tasks on to your categorized to-do list and ideas either into your work planner or artistic/idea outlet space.  ...which brings me to another point-
Other ideas to consider:
Keep a Pinterest Board going for reference. This is a great way to keep track of inspired ideas and your end visual goals.
On the other hand, once you’ve made up your mind as to what you want, try to stick to it. It can get pretty costly constantly changing your mind so be sure to stick to a general idea once you have one.
Hire the right people. Experts are experts for a reason. We highly recommend that you seek out a design consultant or interior decorator ahead of time who can give advice along the way. You might also think of including them in the communication with your chosen contractor.
This doesn’t have to be a daunting nightmare. It’s as simple as being clear about what you want, organizing those thoughts and ideas, executing step by step and having just the right designers and contractors at your side along the way. 
Remember, whatever we at Unique Home can do to make your home more beautiful and relaxing is why we do what we do.  So let us know!

Friday, December 29, 2017

How To Stay Warm In the Cold Of Winter Without Doubling Your Heating Bill!

How To Stay Warm In the Cold Of Winter Without Doubling Your Heating Bill!Your home has been full of the warmth of family and friends but once they leave, but once the parties are over, you’ll need to face the fact that it’s still winter and you need warming up! Although it’s tempting to head over to the thermostat and turn up the temperature, it’s more cost effective as well as healthy to take another route to warming your home and body.
For the health aspect, it’s important to point out that overly heating your home keeps the inside temperature warm enough to feed and activate viruses and bacteria - making it more likely for germs to spread and make you sick. Cooler temperatures help keep them from growing and multiplying.
Additionally, heating systems recycle air, meaning all the dust in the home from shelves to the carpet, are being kicked up and recirculated throughout your home for you to breathe - making head and chest congestion far more likely.
That being said, let’s look at some of the other ways, more healthy ways you can try to keep your home and body warm in the cold winter months.
Keep your head and feet warm. Wear a beanie indoors to keep the heat trapped. Heat tends to escape the head quite easily and leave your body working harder than it needs to to stay warm. It’s the same with your feet. Keep socks and slippers on at all times to trap the warmth of your body between your head and toes. Another thing you can do if you really want to hack warmth in the body is to sprinkle cayenne pepper into your socks! Really. The powdered pepper will be absorbed into your feet through your pores and actually keep your feet warm. However, don’t put it in your gloves. You don’t want the pepper going from your fingers to your eyes.

While we’re on about cayenne, you can be drinking it to warm your insides, while detoxing and flushing your system at the same time! Just pour yourself a mug of hot (not boiling) water. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into it. Add honey or stevia to taste. Then add cayenne pepper. How much you add is up to you, but you do want to be able to taste it. The combination will not only boost your immune system but will also help you stay warm, thanks to the cayenne increasing circulation all over your body.
Get Baking. A most delicious option. Use your hunger as a two for one. Bake some tasty homemade muffins, cookies or bread. Once you’re done, leave the oven open as it cools and all the heat will leak into your kitchen and living room. Win win.

Try installing a wood burning stove. Wood-burning fireplaces or dutch ovens give off more heat than a gas fireplace and can burn scrap wood, fallen trees or branches or wood pellets, which are made from sawdust and are one of the most cost-effective forms of home heating. You may or may not be able to install one this season, but if not, consider it for the next one.

Reverse your ceiling fans. Most, if not all, ceiling fans have a reverse setting for winter. By reversing your fan blades to rotate clockwise you draw down the risen heat from the ceiling and prevent it from dissipating through the roof or walls.

Keep the thermostat low. Challenge yourself to set the temperature one or two degrees lower each year. Keeping it at 55 degrees at night and 65 during the day is a common energy-efficient setting. Beware not to turn it off completely or set it too low, as this can burst pipes or cause hypothermia in the colder climates.

One option for certain areas of your home is to add a space heater.  In some, not all, cases a space heater may be more efficient to heat a small room than running a central home heating system.

Stay active. Do regular high intensity workouts, go on hikes or take a yoga class to get your circulation working more efficiently. This also does a miracle for your mood during the colder months, as well as keeps your immune system strong. 

Lastly, talk to a contractor, in the middle of winter to come inspect your home. This allows them to feel where your drafts are, where your walls are thin and where to improve the issue when the time is right. If you’d really like to invest in winter warmth, consider a remodel or totally new home construction Your options are many, so call our contractors at Unique Home Building, to see which one is best for you!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thinking of Converting Your Attic? Make These Important Considerations First!

Thinking of Converting Your Attic? Make These Important Considerations First!When you’re thinking of converting your attic into an added place of life and peace in your home, it’s easy to get caught up in the fantasy of what could be. And that’s fine for sure. But to end up with the end goal you’re hoping for, you need to make some important considerations and plan accordingly.  
First things first. You’ll want to check for the obvious things that stand out to make sure you’re even able to build out your attic and if you’ll need to work around anything existing like a heating duct running through the middle of the room. Those hinderance can limit your options for sure.
Ceilings and floors. Make sure that your attic floors are able to support the added weight a room addition will naturally bring. It should be fine, but be sure to check before moving forward on any major work. As well, look at the height of your ceilings and take that into consideration, as this may limit your options or play a major role in where you’ll place things like beds, desks and so on.
Proper air flow is vital so the ventilation system should not be glossed over. Keep in mind that summer and winter temperatures will vary greatly and the ventilation needs to be able to support proper heating and cooling that’s both efficient energetically and financially to avoid freezing or overheating.
Of course, before moving forward, consult with a skilled contractor to get the final clearing to move forward. They’ll check for all of the above and then some, to make sure your attic is primed and ready for remodeling and expansion.
Once you’ve been cleared to move forward, it’s time to put your imagination to work. Start thinking of what space you need more of in your home, who will use it most and then of course, how you’ll want the decor and feeling of it to be in the end. Take all this into consideration ahead of time, because it will affect the end look, efficiency and technical choices you make for the space.
All in all, it’s not a very overwhelming process, but the details people miss are often the basic obvious ones, like layout, ventilation and floors. But once you’ve gotten all that taken care of, it’s a fun and simple process. Assuming of course, you’ve got reputable contractors on your side like ours at Unique Home Building in Dallas, Texas. So if you’re local to us, we’d love to hear from you. Talk to us about your next project and we’ll see you through it.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Here Are the Top Reasons To Build Your Own Home, Instead of Buying New-

Here Are the Top Reasons To Build Your Own Home, Instead of Buying New- People talk about building their own homes, but how common is it? And why bother when you can buy one already built? Well it’s true that not everyone builds their own, but those that do never look back because there are certain benefits to building your own home that just can’t be beat. Do you know what those are? If not, we want to share them with you today. But be warned, after realizing what’s available to you, you too may never look back!
The holidays are right around the corner. This means people will be coming over for big dinners and celebrations. For the entertainers and big families, a carefully designed home is just the place to be, with enough room for all. It was planned that way!
In bought homes or older styles, it can be real a challenge to throw a party due to unique floor plans that make it difficult to entertain. But planning your own home lets you decide where the walls will be, how big the rooms will be and how conversation will flow with the floor plan. Imagine having the feeling of spaciousness in rooms enhanced with higher ceilings and additional windows that bring in more light than you would find in an older home! Sounds inviting, doesn't it?

The benefits aren’t just for the holidays, they extend to new starts, big changes and growing needs. Maybe it's time for new memories and maybe cooking a dinner in a brand-new kitchen is part of the appeal of new construction. In addition, you won’t have to spend time stripping dated wallpaper or repainting to suit your personal style, but simply create your own home look and feel from the very start!

The world is changing and so are you. So another benefit to designing for your needs is that you can include your home office and technology obsession in the mix. Design your home to be fully equipped with not just the latest technologies but the electrical systems to support them. Homes back in the day were not only built differently but also wired differently. There were no ways for contractors to anticipate the development of multi-media, such as high definition tv's, computers and smart phone chargers. Imagine having a wall designed around your entertaining or home office needs? New homes can accommodate advanced technologies like structured wiring, security systems and sophisticated lighting plans, and can be tailored to meet the individual home owner’s needs.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing more pleasing than having a home that you not only own, but designed for you, your hobbies, your family and your personal needs. You can see why it’s a growing trend.

So maybe this holiday season it’s the time to really plan the next home’s build. Because you want more. And you finally believe it’s possible. We are excited to be a part of this journey with you. If you are ready to plan your new home construction, contact the contractors at Unique Home Building today!