Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How to Make Your New Kitchen Tile Floors Look Better Longer!

How to Make Your New Kitchen Tile Floors Look Better Longer!Tile flooring upgrades just about every kitchen it touches, but only if you know how to care for it. Which of course, we don’t want to scare you - instead, we want to help you easily keep your beautiful new floor looking elegant and fresh for years to come. At Unique Home Building when people come to us looking to upgrade their kitchen with tile flooring all the time, and for good reason! What they don’t know going into it is how to clean messes and care for the tile on a regular basis. When you don’t care for it properly, it doesn’t last. So what are you supposed to do?

Whether you live alone or have a busy family zooming around, messes are always bound to happen. You might find yourself stressed out avoiding them though and that doesn’t let anyone feel at home. So instead of banning everyone from the floor, it's important to make sure dirt and spills do not have a chance to make themselves at home.  Surprisingly, this is easy enough to do with a mop or cloth, hot water, and a mild household detergent. Just spot test it first to make sure it treats your tile well.

Another simple and tile safe option you can utilize, is to mix a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water for a wonderfully effective, odor-eliminating cleanser. This is a great natural alternative for those who are wanting to avoid harsh chemicals.
Of course, you should never underestimate the power of regular maintenance. I know you’re busy but the truth of the matter is, you need to keep up on the floors so they can keep up with you! The best and most effective step you can take is to regularly sweep, vacuum, and damp mop your tile floors. Even a quick sweeping or vacuum job will remove the dirt and debris before it can become embedded in the tile or grout. Mopping with warm water and using a cleaning product safe for your tile will also enhance your tile’s gloss, shine, and color.
Not to be forgotten, you want to prioritize grout care; it’s the stuff that holds your tiles in place. Naturally, as a result of time and exposure to the elements, grout can become discolored and dingy. When this happens, it really detracts from the beauty of your floor. So to preserve the tile and grout, you really want to make sure that the grout is properly sealed after installation; and even update the seal once a year to maintain it's use and beauty. This will keep stains, dirt, and water from being able to penetrate the protective barrier.
Kitchens are one of the most important rooms in home and each detail should be considered wisely during the your home building or remodeling project. The contractors at Unique Home Building are skilled and prepared to work with you on each of these details, whatever the project size. Contact us today and get your plan started!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Simple and Quick Cleaning Tips that Give a Fresh Welcome to Spring!

Simple and Quick Cleaning Tips that Give a Fresh Welcome to Spring!The temperatures are warming up all over right now and people everywhere are opening up doors and windows to make room for the fresh air and light floral smells. But it’s not that simple is it? Spring rolls in and you realize how much of winter has been accumulating; from the dust to growing piles of things you’re ready to get rid of. Where do you start? You want to dive into a full blown spring cleaning but how do you get it all done without burning out? These simple tips are just what you need to make sure you spring cleaning doesn’t sweep you clean of all your energy. 
At Unique Home Building, we work with families all the time to create and build a better home, which means we have to know what it takes to keep clean and beautiful too, in less time. After all, we’ve got building to do and you’ve got a life to get back to.  So here are just a few simple and efficient tips to make spring cleaning fast, easy and a beautiful face lift for the incredible new season.
  • Fall and winter debris tends to collect and build in the worst places, so you want to make sure your gutters and downspouts are cleaned out and directing water away from the house for the next bouts of rain sure to return before summer. 
  • Spring showers can be strong and cause damage. Cut back tree limbs and shrubs growing within five feet of the house or that are brushing up against the roof. You will create better ventilation, help dry out surfaces and prevent possible damage.
  • Don’t forget the pathways. Check for and repair cracks in driveway/sidewalk. Spring is the best time to seal cracks in the driveway or any other concrete.
  • Don’t let mud and other debris add up. If you do, and it gets rained on you’ll be asking for slippery ground. Pressure wash your deck/patio and bring outdoor furniture out of storage.  Make sure to wipe down each piece thoroughly prior to placing on a freshly-washed surface.
  • Even your cleaning tools needs to cared for. Check garden hoses for dry rot and inspect hose faucets for possible freeze damage that may have occurred during the winter months.
  • Don’t get caught unprepared for the first day you’re craving bbq! Clean/condition your outdoor grill by first rinsing all outside surfaces with water.  If grease has loosened on the grill grates and inside of the grill, wipe off using grill cleaner and paper towels. Follow by washing with a mild detergent and water. Rinse well and wipe dry.
  • This is the best time to check for possible damage to the roof as spring and summer is the best time to make repairs.  Look for missing, cracked or broken shingles and make note of any needed repairs. For safety reasons, you may want to consider hiring a qualified professional to take care of any repair work that needs to be done.

Sure, it’s a longer list, but one thing can be focused on every few days, and you’ll have it done in no time. And of course, if you’re looking for more ways to improve and beautify your home, contact us at Unique Home Building. We have certified and trained contractors that are more than ready to help, so be sure to call!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

How to Totally Avoid a Bathroom Tiling Disaster

Who doesn’t love an elegantly tiled floor? Done right, and it will make you feel like you’ve been whisked away to a luxurious hotel oasis. Done wrong, and you’ll wish someone would whisk you away. Think about the details that make the difference. When a tiling project goes wrong, you can end up with misleveled flooring, messy grout, gaps and uneven lines, to name a few design disasters. Now to contrast, think back to the last hotel you stayed at. Not only was it refreshing to feel the texture of gorgeous tiles on your feet when you woke up, but there was something extra special about the perfect details. Meticulous luxury. It’s like waking up to a spa. And we think that if your bathroom is ready for such a luxurious upgrade, that it should get it and avoid the disasters that ruin the whole idea. 

How to Avoid a Bathroom Tiling Disaster.The smartest first move you can make is to hire a contractor - someone who can show up and do what they do best, while you sit back and wait for the transformation, or do it yourself. It can totally be done by you, but it’s precise work that will definitely take careful skill, patience and measuring and usually you need to be a tile expert to really get the job done with excellence. But that’s why we wanted to share these important tips with you; so the job gets done beautifully without fail - whether you do it yourself or want to make sure your expert is doing the job right. 

Know the look you want. Do you just want tiles or do you want a moroccan escape, for example? Think big picture before diving into the design details. Create a mood board, decide if you’ll also repaint, know the plants or art you’d like to have in the bathroom as well as the towels and sink fixtures. The more it ties together, the more complete the finished project will feel. 

Make sure you have enough tiles. You should always buy more tiles than you think you need. It’s always wise to go beyond your need by getting 15 to 20% more than you expect to use. This protects against breakages, miscalculations, and difficulties in cutting to size. You can keep spare tiles in reserve in case any tiles become cracked in the future. Alternatively, some retailers may allow you to return unused tiles for a refund.

Make sure the room, floor and walls are prepped for the work. It’s important to make sure you finely clean and smooth the surface on which you are laying the tiles, whether it's a floor or shower wall. Otherwise, the debris will prevent you from being able to lay them evenly or get a solid adhesive. If you're tiling on a wall, remove any wallpaper. Use a light sander on the surface. An exception to this is if you are laying new tiles on top of existing tiles or. This can be done, but you should clean the old tiles and dry them first, and then scour them lightly to give a better grip. (

Know your materials. Make sure you always use a waterproof adhesive for any tiles that are around a bathtub or shower. Even the best-fitted tiles can let some water leak through to the adhesive, and non-waterproof adhesive will decay and crumble, eventually causing your tiles to crack and break and create a home of moisture and mildew. You don’t want that to happen!

Measure and measure again. This is true for any home improvement project so we’ll say it again now. Measure and then measure again. The last thing you need is to waste both perfectly good tiles, the investment in them as well as your time. Do your work and check it twice. Simple, right?

Those are the basic tips you want to keep in mind when tiling your own bathroom floor so you can avoid some of the most common mistakes. But remember, there are still the details of tile laying that you only want to do if you’re prepared to do it well. Tiling is an intricate art that requires care and precision.

So if you’re ready to do this yourself, go for it! But if you choose you’d like help in the process, contact the contractors at Unique Home Building and we’ll walk you through it all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

How to Know if Your Contractor Asking for Too Much Money

How to Know if Your Contractor Asking for Too Much MoneyNobody wants to be in the situation where you have to confront someone you’ve hired for shoddy work or bad business. But it happens. And since you’re the one paying for the job, it’s important that you both protect yourself and know what real life costs normally are, so you don’t lose your precious savings to bad business.
When a you and your contractor discuss the beginning work together, they should never ask for a large amount of money up front. Of course, every project needs a chunk of change to get started, but asking for anything more than fifteen percent should cause suspicion. The law in most states allows for no more than thirty-three percent up front, but even that is reserved for very special circumstances. So ask questions. Ask for details and then go home to review the proposal before agreeing to anything.
Beyond the fifteen percent your contractor asks for, they should have a working credit to work with for anything beyond that they might need to get started. If they don’t, this alone is a warning sign because there’s a chance that the last or previous jobs weren’t handled responsibly and resulted in their credit being revoked or denied. For obvious reasons, we’d recommend not working with these people.
Once the start up costs have been determined and agreed upon, all further costs should be due and dependant upon major milestones or aspect completion. For example, you’d pay the contractor after the completion of various phases such as framing, roofing, siding or electricity. Beware of a contractor that won’t work with you in this form and would rather tie payments to dates. This doesn’t promise you work ethic or completion - only pay schedule.
Lastly, as much as we all love hearing a low bid, too low of a bid is just as much a red flag as a high bid is. It’s a pretty common scam where a contractor will do whatever they can to assure you that your home will be used as an example for advertising purposes or as an example of their work for the business and as a result, they’re willing to cut you a great deal. Don’t trust this. Unfortunately, a low bid is, nine times out of ten, low quality work. We’d love for it to be different, but it just isn’t.

At the end of the day, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. And if things don’t feel consistent, they’re likely a lack of integrity going on. Ask questions, be clear and stick to your agreements. And of course, if you have any questions or are looking for a contractor you can trust, contact us at Unique Home Building and we’ll guide you home.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Uncommon Kitchen Upgrade That Might Just Save Your Sanity!

The Uncommon Kitchen Upgrade That Might Just Save Your LifeWhen it comes time to remodel your kitchen, I’m sure you like many, have all the plans figured out. But there might be a less common addition to your home that you’ve missed. And of course, while we don’t want to make any more changes to your already complex plans, this one is something we wouldn’t want you to miss.

Now, before we go into all the details, I want to answer you before you ask, “Is two always better than one?” Well no, of course not. So if it’s being suggested to you to have two of something, you would be wise to lean in and see what the fuss is all about, don’t you think?

The Uncommon Kitchen Upgrade That Might Just Save Your LifeWe’re talking about adding a second sink to your kitchen. And I’m sure you’re wondering why that is and if it’s an option worth looking into for your home. The answer of course, depends on your lifestyle, your budget, taste and lifestyle, because if you do fit the bill, then - the bill and effort are usually more than worth it.

If you’re the type that hosts for parties or holidays, or have your kids and their friends enjoy afternoons or weekends with you, you’re definitely perfect. Why? Because it’s pretty likely that you’ve already got a kitchen equipped with an oversized stainless sink to handle the abundance of dishes that come through each day. In fact, you might be getting a headache right now just thinking about it!

It’s overwhelming at best. And what do you do when people come over and it’s time to rinse the new produce, start dinner or wash tiny hands? No time to do the dishes and not only that, you don’t want your guests to see the storm brewing in there!

The Uncommon Kitchen Upgrade That Might Just Save Your LifeThe solution? Install an additional small sink. They’re the perfect place to handle light small jobs and for people to gather near when you’re busy with the bigger tasks. Plus, extra sink means extra help! They’re simple to install and are a beautiful compliment to any bar, island or counter top.

See? Pretty good idea and it makes your life a lot easier. Enjoy the photos for a little extra inspiration - and let us at Unique Home Build know if you’d like to speak furter about your own home remodeling dream come true!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Green Home Remodeling Ideas for the Family Ready for Something Better!

Green Home Remodeling Ideas for the Family Ready for Something Better!Your family is growing, new ideas are coming and you don’t want to wait anymore. You’re ready for your home to grow with you but you don’t want to waste money or natural resources along the way. Plus, you want to make sure you’re being efficient and environmentally respectful day to day. You want to do a green remodel. And you’re not alone. Green home remodeling is the most popular path right now and for good reasons. You cut down on waste, you keep more ancient forests in tact and are able to be environmentally conscious without sacrificing your dreams and ideas. 
But there are some important tips we’d like to share with you today to make sure the process is easy and just the way you want it. We at Unique Home Building have worked with so many families and individuals over the years wanting the same thing. So enjoy these been-there-done-that tips for your home improvement projects and ideas!
Start by inserting fireplaces for better heating. Fireplaces inserts, rather than a traditional fireplace that can burn logs and paper trash, has intake and outflow vents at the bottom and top (you shouldn’t need a circulating blower), has an easily operable damper, and sports large glass doors so you can enjoy the dancing flames. A fireplace insert is 50–75 per cent efficient and easier to operate. Another option would be a gas fireplace or dutch oven.
Make sure you go with energy efficient windows. They allow for better heat capturing in the winter and better eat filtering in the summer. The general differentiation of windows beyond style (double-hung, casement, sliding, etc.) is the glass or glazing and the framing material. There are three main types of frame materials, each addressing several lifespan aspects of the windows; wood, vinyl and aluminum.
Get more room and create more storage in the home without having to buy more furniture by removing useless corners, unused crannies, gun barrel hallways, seas of circulation around islands of furniture, and other chubby cubic footage indoors. Not only will you be more comfortable in less space, you may have enough room in your home to install an office, have an exercise area (instead of driving to a dues-paying health club), and store more belongings (rather than rent a storage unit miles away). One of my favorite ideas is to convert the usual wasted space between a row of studs into a hallway library or similar shelving. This can be done almost anywhere indoors.
Solar panels are another great way to conserve energy and utilize natural electricity.  To see if your home is a candidate for solar panels, go out on your roof on a sunny day mid-morning and see if the sun shines on it. Do this again mid-afternoon. If the sun shines through on the shingles for most of those in between hours, and your home isn't blocked by nearby buildings or hills, then you could be a great candidate for natural energy in your home!
Other ideas for you to look into, depending on your location, is to go with a living roof, to install skylights or to get your materials from a recycled resource. There are so many non-profits and businesses that have the same dedication to clean living and sustainability as you and will have even more ideas to share. Just ask! 
Lastly, make sure you hire a contractor that knows what they’re talking about. You’ll have a better chance of negotiating successfully with builders if you know about the details that make for a green home. One good way to learn is to get a book on construction and decide what it is that's important to you and to communicate that to your contractor. Some options to consider are green roofs, rain storage collection and low voc paints. 
Unique Home Building is dedicated to making your home the finest quality living space you can imagine.  Call us today to see how we can make your home a place you love!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Turn Any Kids Room Into a Magical Kingdom of Their Very Own!

Turn Any Kids Room Into a Magical Kingdom of Their Very Own!As your family expands and kids grow, little explorers are going to need more room to learn and play! Believe it or not, you don’t have to let it take over your home or your budget. There are easy and fun ways to turn your cramped and cluttered living space into an imagination’s dream come true! Let us at Unique Home Building help you get it done!
You want to start by thinking about your kids and their unique hobbies and personalities. If the play area is a section of the child’s bedroom, you’ll want to make sure it has its own partitioned section, so your child can separate play from rest time.

If you’re working with a smaller space, it’s time to get creative with your storage so you don’t have to compromise the fun parts. Make seats out of storage boxes, have hideaways under their beds or have cubbie compartments under benches and tables! Create ways to make double use out of bunk beds and lofts by adding rope ladders, stairs, slides and crawl tubes, without taking up too much space. Even better, you can hide containers for legos and such in the hollows of stairs and other furniture!

Turn Any Kids Room Into a Magical Kingdom of Their Very Own!On the flip side, if you’ve got a large room to work with, you might consider having your storage and seating pieces along the wall and leaving the center of the room free for creative endeavors. 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.

If you can, include a small indoor screen or low to the ground climbing wall. These ideas are great for busy movers that need all the energetic outlets they can get!

Of course, every wild one needs down time too. Make sure you include a rest, reading or comfort corner or space in your child’s room so they know that no matter how big they feel, there’s always a place to safely feel small and tired in!

We only want to give our best when it comes to your personal home renovation and remodeling projects! Give Unique Home Building a call today and let us know how we can help!