Thursday, October 13, 2016

Prepare Your Home for Winter Without the Overwhelm

Prepare Your Home for Winter Without the OverwhelmIt’s been a beautiful fall so far. The trees are changing color, rain is falling and you’re distracted by the coming winter and how you’re going to have time to properly prepare your home. Yikes. Do you really want to miss out on the beauty of fall because of the worry and planning filling up your mind? Probably not. So let the contractors at Unique Home Building help you prepare your home for the coming winter!

Get better windows.
If you have old, single-pane windows, you will lose a significant amount of heat in the wintertime. Replacing old windows with energy-efficient, double-paned upgrades can pay for itself quickly in heat savings. Check all exterior doors to ensure that they are insulated and that there are no gaps or cracks between the doors and the frames that could let heat out. If you have weather stripping around doors, make sure it is intact and in good shape.

Expand your space.
Fall and winter bring visitors and family together to share meals and celebrate holidays. Do you have room for everyone?  You can expand a dining or family room pretty easily and be able to fit more people into your home in a more comfortable way.  You may also think of adding skylights or other windows to bring in more light to these spaces and the sun becomes more dormant. This doesn’t have to be a big project either. Small changes can make a big difference.

Roofing and gutters.
Once all the autumn leaves have fallen, cleaning out the roof gutters will save you from building up ice dams that can damage the roof in the winter. Blow out the gutters with a leaf blower or spray them down with a hose. Check for holes or any other damage to the gutters and repair them before heavy snow or rain makes them worse. It’s also a good time to take a look at the roof itself and fix any shingles that are curling or any flashing around chimneys that has come loose.

Prepare your deck.
Decks get a lot of use during long summer days. By the time fall comes around, they can look worn out and old. Once the deck is cleaned off and all summer chairs and tables are stored away, power-wash the deck. This will remove any dirt that is stuck in the wood grain and will take away the gray color that decks fade to over time. Fall is also a good time to reseal the deck if you use a sealant or stain.

Pipe care
Plumbing lines that aren't insulated and are in unheated spaces are a major cause of power use, as the water heater must work extra hard to heat water.  Check all of your plumbing lines to identify those that are outside or underneath the house, or are in an unheated basement or attic.  Foam wrap all exposed pipes.

Preparing your home for the coming winter doesn’t have to be an overwhelming list on your wall. The key here is to make a list of most important items first and working through your list in that order. The top of the list items should include the areas of your home that are in most need as well as the things that will take the most time, effort and planning ahead.

At Unique Home Building, our contractors are dedicated to creating a home that feels like it's your very own. As fall will be here before you know it, let us help you get the planning started, so that as the seasons pass, you know you are prepared to take the best of each along with you!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Simple Design Tips to Bring More Peace & Comfort to Your Home

Simple Design Tips to Bring More Peace & Comfort to Your HomeWhen you move into a new home or simply want to bring a more welcoming environment to your living space, you might just need to make a few design changes here and there. Everyone likes to feel at home where they live and these tips from us at Unique Home Building will help you do just that. The tips below are some of our favorite interior design tips; they’re easy to follow and don't require much of a budget. Allow them to help you create the relaxing, soothing living space you desire, wherever you may be in the world.

Cluster Your Favorite Pieces
Gather your favorite objects - small pieces of art, nick-nacks, heirlooms, and plants and then place them where you can enjoy them the most — on a sideboard, windowsill, or bedside table, for example. Your display should be specific to you and can feature anything from jewelry to a vase or glass bottle with a single flower to a stack of beautiful boxes topped with a smooth stone. Don't be afraid to mix and match here! Let your heart show you what to use!

Avoid Harsh Lighting
Avoid cool and blue tinted or fluorescent lighting as they are less relaxing and can remind you of the light in a hospital, lab, or work environment. Other options beside using gold tinted LED lights would be to use string lights, candles, and small glass bottles and jars. Just add tealights and votives to the jars with the labels removed, to make the perfect candle holders.

Comfort Corners
Make sure you always have a space to return to and unwind. Make it cozy, full of cushions or pillows, your favorite books and maybe even a small table for tea and a notebook. This allows you to always have a place to go when you simply need to refuel and regroup.

Simple Scents
Make sure you have pleasant scents available around the home. Aromatherapy has been proven to lift the mood, set the mood and also kill germs and boost immune systems. Invest in some quality essential oils for the antibacterial and health benefits, with fragrances like orange, lavender and bergamot. Other simple ways to add enjoyable fragrances are through natural candles; soy candles are great - or even with naturally formed incense sticks and cones. Keep fragrances available in each room and ready to use as needed. This also helps to keep the less desirable smells of the kitchen and bathrooms from taking over your home.

Just Add Life
Be sure to have at least one living plant in each room. It can be simple, like small cuttings or gatherings from your local neighborhood or environment, or houseplants that will thrive indoors. Succulents and air plants are perfect for small places and bathrooms as they give a subtle yet still vibrant feeling of life. Larger plants are best reserved for the living room, bedrooms and office.

Don’t settle for living in a space that doesn’t feel like home to you. Try these tips out and see if they give you the lift you were needing. If that’s not quite cutting it, you might be ready for the bigger step of remodeling. And that’s where we come in. Call us at Unique Home Building today to see if we’re the contractors for you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How to Remodel Your Nursery Into the Perfect Playroom

How to Remodel Your Nursery Into the Perfect Playroom

You spent so much time getting the baby room just right. But now they’re getting bigger. They’re growing and their needs are different. They want to climb and explore, to touch and create. That means it’s time to ditch the crib and create a space that nurtures their growing minds and bodies. We at Unique Home Building care about your family and want to help you in exactly the way you need it!

So enjoy these helpful tips so you too can remodel your nursery into the perfect playroom.

A child’s playroom is a place of creativity and imagination. It is exciting to envision endless design possibilities as you plan the space, but it is also necessary to consider more practical matters, such as storage and layout. Rather than feeling limited by the many pieces of the playroom puzzle, view the experience as the ultimate design challenge! Creating a space that inspires kids to experience the joys of play is an amazing opportunity for whimsical decor choices. The juxtaposition of children’s motifs with efficient organization can create breathtaking results. As you begin your playroom design quest, don’t forget to consider the interests of your kiddos. Their ideas may spark the inspiration for a winning decor concept, and under your guidance, the room will take flight. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Storage & Layout
As you plan the layout for your playroom, pay attention to the space involved. Is the room large? Will it be shared by multiple children? Or perhaps the “playroom” is a section of the child’s bedroom, making compact living a must. If space is no issue, consider placing storage and seating pieces along the wall and leaving the center of the room free for creative endeavors.

Explore & Discover
Include plenty of table space, as children use tabletop surfaces for activities ranging from arts and crafts to small block building, as well as sensory activities such as play dough.

Rest & Recover
If the play area will be a part of the child’s bedroom rather than a separate room in the house, there are plenty of layout options to ponder. For example, with the bed taking up a portion of the wall space, there may not be room for tables along the edge of the room. A table in the center of the floor is a wonderful alternative. Additionally, you might consider having another corner of the room just for reading and relaxing. Perhaps a rocking chair, some pillows, a rug and a book shelf would be good.

Those are some simple ideas. Start there and move on to decor and accents. This is a fun time and we want you to have the best.

Ready for help? Give Unique Home Building a call today and let us know how we can help!

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Prevent Morning Tiredness, Get Better Quality Sleep & Have an Energized Day!

How to Prevent Morning Tiredness, Get Better Quality Sleep & Have an Energized Day!If you’ve ever woken up tired in the morning and not sure how you’re going to get through your day, then you’ve likely wondered if there’s anything to be done about this cycle. If there’s any way for you to bust through, get better sleep and wake up rested.
Well, assuming you don’t have a deeper medical issue, we do have a few helpful ways to help you get on top of your energy before it’s drained.

The Night Before
Set healthy work boundaries. We tend to have dinner and then manage to find more time to dive into work, emails and the screens around us. But the more DOING we do before bed, the less we are able to settle our minds before sleep - and as a result - we aren’t able to the level of rest that we need. So determine a time that you say no to your work and put it away. Then do something relaxing for your mind and body, like reading a fiction or taking a hot bath.
Move your morning routine to the night before and thus reduce chaos the next day. Set out your clothes (yours and the kids) together and set them aside to save yourself the anxiety of staring into your closet and making those choices in your morning zombie mode.  Make lunches in the evening. Make sure bags for the next day are packed and set by the front door. After all, it's the prepared that succeed!

Your Sleeping Space
Is your room inviting you to deep sleep?  Rooms that are too bright or don't have enough airflow can really mess with the ability to sleep deeply.  Our suggestion is to ask a contractor to install a couple extra windows. This way the air flow can stream through the room, keeping the air from getting stagnant which can lead to congestion and fatigue in the sinuses. Remember that windows bring more light, so be sure to also install blackout window shades or shutters.  This allows you to keep it dark while enjoying airflow and the option to open up the room to more light in the morning. Nothing to loose here, except the fatigue and sinus pressure!

The Mood You Choose
The sun is going to rise regardless of what side of the bed you choose to wake up on.  And, yes I said "choose".  I know you might be tired (maybe go to bed earlier?) or dreading the day ahead but only you can decide how you feel about your day and whether your fears or frustrations will rule you. When you wake up - just smile.  Even if you feel stupid and inauthentic, smile anyway and keep it there.  While (possibly staging) you grin, think of everything you love and are thankful for.  Life can be crazy but it doesn't mean YOU have to be.  So make a different choice.  You be the sunshine!

Underlying Disturbances
Having the glow of red lights and the activity of phones and computers can really rob you of your restful sleep *and* waking.  Look around your room.  Is it restful?  Do you feel warm and energized when you wake?  If not, take inventory of what's stifling you and get some change happening.  Whether it's in need of moving cyberspace to another room, painting with uplifting colors or even a total remodel, you decide what needs to happen and then get it done.  Getting proper peace and rest is vital to good health and prosperity.

Be Active
It's common knowledge that physical activity is important for both your mind and body, but it can be really difficult to find the time to fit it into our busy schedules.  If you can go for a run or stop by the gym first thing in the morning, great!  If not, make a plan to implement a small routine into your morning so you at least set a pattern and habit to care for your mind and body which will in turn, not only set up your day with energy but also the rest of your life.

Water First
I know, we all need to have our coffee or tea in the morning, but how about trying to get a good 16 ounces of water in the morning before you caffeinate? This helps your mind to be sharper, your body systems to work more efficiently and to flush the last bits of last night’s accumulated toxins out through the kidney and liver. I’m not saying to skip the caffeine entirely, but to make sure your flushing and hydrating along the way.

Make a commitment to yourself out of love to energize your day by planning ahead, feeding your mind and body well and by holding love and gratitude in your heart.  It will bring more beauty to your day and put a smile in your heart.... I promise. We love bringing beauty to your life which is why we do what we do!  Please stop on by our website at Unique Home and see how we can make a difference in your home!  We'd love to hear from you in the comments below and as usual, please visit us on twitter!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Give Yourself Some Peace of Mind With a Peaceful Space in Your Home

Give Yourself Some Peace of Mind With a Peaceful Space in Your HomeLife is full of enough surprises and obligations to make anyone crazy. Especially now that school has started, families always have places to be and things to do, and you don’t want to be the one that burns out.
One of the best ways to avoid schedule burnout is to make sure you have time to pause and refuel yourself. We do this by taking breaks, turning off phones and media, making ourselves a cup of tea or juice and even grabbing a book or a journal.
Some people will do this at the kitchen table or in the bedroom, but we’ve found it’s better and more effective to have a designated space that you know is only meant for peaceful pausing and getting your energy back.
You deserve to have a space where you can get away, curl up with a book and refuel.  Escape the realities of your everyday life by adding a reading nook to your home. Here you can have the perfect combination of style, comfort and just the right light.  However, the biggest reason people don't have a reading nook in their home, is the same reason they need one! They are mentally exhausted and just can't think, much less - create a space to refuel. So we want to take the guess work out of it and help you plan it easily and to your taste. At Unique Home Building, we know how important it is for your home to feel individual to you, and if these ideas get you excited but you want even more, please call us and one of our contractors will be happy to help you out!
All you need is a small corner with a comfortable chair to really create the ambience needed for rest and rejuvenation. Some additions that add to the calmness would be soft lights, a house plant, a throw blanket, and perhaps a shelf for holding books, some writing tools and trinkets that keep you serene.

It’s very easy and will give you so much peace of mind as you head deeper into the year. Not sure where to start? No problem, just reach out and the contractors at Unique Home Building will help you get clear!

Friday, September 2, 2016

How to Keep Your Home Safe and Fun For Your Little Explorers

How to Keep Your Home Safe and Fun For Your Little ExplorersYour children are growing and changing. They want to explore the world around them and you want to nurture their curiosities. But you also want the to be safe in their freedom. That’s why it’s so important to design and decorate your home in a way that is safe, accessible and preventatively organized. At Unique Home Building, we help a lot of families create their homes to family friendly and welcoming to people at all ages and stages.

We’ve gathered together some tips and tricks based on our experience, to share with you so everyone in your home can be a safe explorer, especially the little ones.

Round Your Edges
Whether our own children, or other people kids, we are all familiar with the harsh experience 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.

Contain Your Cords
Cords are one of the most common ways children get hurt, as they tangle around the body, can get tripped over and also lead curiosities to outlets which is the most dangerous. So it’s important to keep cords from becoming piles of tangled up snakes that can be tripped over, sucked on or simply played with. Children are oddly attracted to what shouldn’t be a toy, so it’s wise to keep the excess cords wrapped up well, fastened together using zip or twist ties and tucked behind and under furniture or stored in a basket. The best option is to go with cord containment storage items that are usually sold at most furniture and home design and electronic stores.

Secure Your Shelving
This is a great one to start with. Make sure that your entertainment center and any other shelves are not able to be climbed. As well, be sure to invest in wall straps to harness the unit to the wall. This way, if your little strong man decides to be a little too strong, the unit at least doesn’t fall down to the floor on onto him. Be sure to have what’s most important, fragile or dangerous out of reach and kept on higher shelves.

Protect and Defend!
Everything can be colored on or spilt on and you’ve got to be smarter than and two steps ahead of your explorer. 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 or want to have company around!

Washable Everything!
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 and especially windows.

For Feet and Floors
Family life is filled with predictable messes like dust, spills, pet hair and food. Why not 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. When using an area rug, be sure to have the rubber grip pad underneath it, to avoid the rug from moving or folding, avoiding unnecessary trips and falls.

At Unique Home Building, we think the littlest explorers should have the freedom to do what they do best. 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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Why Build Your Own Home When You Can Buy Ready Made? Here’s Why:

Why Build Your Own Home When You Can Buy Ready Made? Here’s Why:We’re all busy people. We don’t have time or energy for extra stress and complicated planning. So we naturally lean toward buying a home over building them. But what if the benefits of building your own home outweigh the challenges? And what if the challenges aren’t really… Challenging? Well, then you’d want to talk. Do you know why?

Because you can entertain without limits.
Work hard, party hard right? You need a space to invite your friends over, share a dinner and just enjoy the downtime. Building your own home gives you the chance to build according to your specific style and taste.

Because you can ‘start over’ and start fresh.
For many families and individuals, it can be very refreshing to know that a fresh start is possible. 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!

Because you get to call the shots.
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.

I know, you’re convinced on the why.

Now if you feel held back by the fear of challenges - that peace of mind is found in working with the right contractors. When interviewing contractors, make sure the ones you talked to come with great reviews, insurance, successful builds and happy clients.

If you are ready to plan your new home construction, we’d love to work with you.  Contact the contractors at Unique Home Building today!