Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Add Value to Your Home and Spice Things Up! Top 10 Replacement Projects to do Right Now!

The Top 10 Replacement Projects that Bring the Highest Return on InvestmentReplacement projects are an amazing way to add value to your home. The best part is, you don't have to empty your pockets and lose your savings on a full remodel. The following replacement projects are a sure fire way to get the highest return on investment. Replacement projects are a great option simply because you can completely change the look of your house with a small price tag. Even just buying new windows, siding, and front door can completely change the look of your house and add sale value!

Here is our top 10 remodeling projects. Don't worry, these jobs are quite simple and straightforward. They will replace aged and worn components in your home that will update your house and can even add living space - all without expanding your footprint:

       

1.    Entry Door - Replace one of your entry doors with a mid-level steel door. You can do this upgrade relatively inexpensively - an average of $1,238 - in addition to strongly improving curb appeal and boasts a 73% pay back.
    

2.    Attic bedroom - Pop out a dormer, add a few windows, put in insulation, finish the walls and ceiling, improve the wiring and lighting and get HVAC extended into the attic and you have a great attic bedroom with a full bathroom. You'll spend around $56,000 and get a payback of about 76%. Many adult children are moving back in to their parent's homes and several aging parents move back into their children's homes. In fact, the Census Bureau shows that 18% of all American homes are doubled up. The result is that many people require more living space in their homes. Remodeling the attic is a cheap and relatively simple resolution to getting that necessary additional space. Alternatively, remodeling the basement is next in line for cost-efficiency regarding additional living space, but according to Alfano, the additional code requirements necessary to make it happen can add expense and complications.
  
 

3.    Windows - If you decide to go this route, upscale vinyl replacement windows have a 72% average payback on a cost of $16,123. These estimates are based on a project to replace 10 double-hung 3-by-5 windows. These windows have simulated wood-grain trim and are made with low-emissivity glass. *

 

4.    Mid-Range Garage Door - Garage door replacements are never the most coveted home project, but they have to be done. Don't worry, it adds a lot of function and curb appeal, plus it pays back an astounding 82.7% of its $1,535 average cost.

 

5.    Upscale Garage Door - Have a little more money to spend? Opting for a higher end garage door replacement is about double the cost of the mid-range door at $3,198. The upside: increase your payback to a whopping 86%! 

 

6.    Mid-Range Exterior Siding - New mid-range replacement vinyl siding upgrades the look of the home and pays back 69.5% of the $11,729 average price.

 

7.    Upscale Exterior Siding - Use upscale fiber cement to replace your existing siding. Siding has a great 79% average payback on an average cost of $13,660. this is on of the most cost-effective upgrade you can make on your house.

 

8.    Upscale Exterior Siding (option 2) - If you're looking for a little more insulation in your home, you can opt for foam-backed vinyl siding. The good news is no matter which type of siding you select, your costs will remain about the same and there's no advantage in terms of home value. Foam-backed vinyl siding averages to a cost of $12,299 and yields a slightly better payback of 79.8%.

 

9.    Mid-Range Kitchen remodel (minor) - This minor remodel boasts another great payback - 78.6% - on a modest $20,440 initial cost. A mid-range kitchen remodel will include new appliances, a new sink, new faucets, and laminate counter tops. You won't be able to touch the floor or rearrange the cabinets, but at least you can reface the cabinets and swap out your old hardware. "You're taking what's there and giving it a face lift," Alfano says. You can have a near brand new kitchen that will last for years for less than the price of a new car. Most consumers are moving away from more expensive features a chef's kitchens that involve moving electrical services, walls, and new plumbing.

 

10.   Wood Deck - What better way is there to give your house a quick facelift than to add a beautiful wood deck to your backyard? Fortunately, they aren't too expensive. At an average cost of $9,975 and a great 74% payback a deck is an affordable and easy way to add value and versatility to your home.



Before you rule out making any changes to your home remember, replacement projects are simple, affordable, and even profitable in the long run! We are eagerly waiting to help you out with whatever project you decide to take on next. At Unique Home Building, we make your home our priority, whether that means building, remodeling, or selling. Please don't wait; call us today!

Monday, February 20, 2017

11 Helpful Hints to a Flawless Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen By Unique Properties

Your Kitchen Remodel Success is Fully Dependent on a Good Contractor

Really well designed kitchens have the potential to last 25 years or longer without needed any big improvements or changes. With that in mind, remodeling a kitchen might only happen once in your life. This is a big step to take as a home owner, so you should be sure to find a general contractor for this project that boasts a perfect reputation for quality, integrity, and completing jobs on time and within budget.

It's also critical to find someone who advances no preconceived notions or preferences for certain approaches and will listen to your goals and dreams for your specific project.

You don't have to worry if you chose right or have to second guess yourself with Unique Properties. We jump at the chance to provide as many local Dallas testimonials as you want or need to put your mind at ease about our reputation for quality, integrity, and timeliness. We've stayed in contact with many of our clients long after our job is done. Many of them have recommended us to friends and family, which we consider to be the biggest compliment in the world.

We'll work with you from start to finish and deal with all of the worries about local government issues. We consider it a high priority to make sure you are pleased every step of the way - all the way through the finished product. Call us today for a free consultation about your project. 214-533-0716
The following information about homeowners tips for a kitchen remodel was found on cultivate.com.  Click here for more cultivate articles about kitchen remodeling.

Some Homeowners Learned the Hard Way: Get Kitchen Remodel Tips from Them



Kitchen By Unique Properties
Unfortunately, hard lessons are all to often expensive when dealing with a kitchen remodel. No one has the budget or time for that. There's no reason not to seek advice from people who have already completed a kitchen remodel; like your family, friends, and neighbors. They can tell you big mistakes to watch for or maybe what could have gone even better. Even if you can avoid one single mistake, their advice is worth the savings. We talked to Cultivate readers who've done kitchen remodels to get you're advice list started.

 


Picture Shopping

“Look at lots of pictures of kitchens before you begin to find out what you like and don’t like. Then, stay completely away from what you don't like.”
—Chris Okazaki, Greenwood Village, CO


Leave Emotions Out of the Equation

“Don’t let sentimentality compromise your design. I’d always liked the tile backsplash in my kitchen so I kept it when we remodeled, but now it makes the entire project look dated.”
—Jackie Pritchett, Boise, ID


Drawers Are More Important Than You Think

“Be sure to use full-extension glides on all your drawers (you’ll want the back of the drawer to pull out beyond the lip of the counter) and insist on the most heavy duty glides possible. The better hardware seems like an investment upfront, but it pays out over the long run. Glides are used daily, and the higher quality makes all the difference in function and durability.”
—Anne-Marie Lamarche, Capitola, CA


Accent Lighting

“We asked for more recessed lighting than the builder proposed because we wanted lots of light, but I wish we went with pendant lights over work areas instead. Not only would they have provided more directed light for food prep, but they would have helped make the overall space feel cozier.”
—Sara Kimball, San Antonio, TX


Details, Details, Details

“I learned that space-saving details, like shelving in unused corners and shallow pantry storage in an adjacent hallway is one of the best things you can do for small kitchens. A combination microwave/oven, an electric cooktop that doubles as a workspace when not in use, and aluminum slatted shelving over the sink to drain dishes makes the most of a small space."
—Shereen Taylor, New York City, NY


Take Friends' Kitchens on a Test Ride

“Before we started our remodel, my wife and I went to friends’ houses and cooked meals on their ranges to truly understand which appliance we wanted. I even carried my hard-to-fit stemware and large plates to the showroom to do some trial dishwasher loading before finally settling on the one to purchase.”
—Garth Jensen, Denver. CO


The Contractor is Critical

“Choosing the right contractor is key to a successful kitchen remodel. I've heard the nightmares. Luickly, our contractor was on the job daily supervising the work. He provided great resources for materials, kept the work on schedule, and patiently dealt with problems as they arose—which they always do. He was available and responsive at all times. If we hadn’t hired the right contractor our remodel would have been a nightmare.”
—Suzanne Evans, Salt Lake City, UT


Make it Bright

“There are ways to make a dark kitchen light—without breaking the bank. Choose white painted cabinets and use reflective surfaces, like stainless steel and Vetrazzo, for countertops. Multiple sources of light (including undercounter lighting, recessed lighting and pendants) can turn a dark space into a warm, inviting room.”
—M.J. Pritchett, Piedmont, CA


Measure Twice, Cut Once

“Opt for the best finishes you can afford, and make sure to ‘measure twice, cut once.’ Our cabinets had to be cut down after they were installed to accommodate the refrigerator, which wasn’t happy for anyone involved.”
—Rebecca Watkins, Villa Park, IL


Custom Cabinets Are Worth It

“Be sure to include special drawers/cabinets. I have one drawer with two layers for silverware that I love—but I wish I included more!”
—Michelle Loosli, Arlington, VA


Refrigerator, Than the Rest

“Choose a fridge first. It’s the kitchen’s bulkiest item, so once you’ve determined its size and, more importantly, where it will go, the rest of the design flows from there.”
—Christophe Rat, Orinda, CA

Friday, February 17, 2017

21 Awesome Room Additions That Everyone Will Love

When Should You Add Rooms On to Your Home? Why Not Now?


See more Dallas room additions in our website's gallery

Are you remodelling your Dallas home? You should consider doing a room addition.


There are plenty of reasons to build an addition on your home. Is your family getting bigger? Maybe you need another bedroom or bathroom. A shift in careers might cause you to need a home office. Maybe you have some extra money lying around and finally want to move forward on that game room or home theater you always wanted. Regardless of what kind of room you want, it's time to make it a reality. Start your planning by figuring out costs, length of construction, how quickly you can get started, and whether or not you should borrow money to finance it.


21 Ideas For Adding a Beautiful New Room 


Even if you already have the perfect new room in mind to add to your home, remember that grouping together multiple room additions or a room addition and general remodeling is cheaper and easier than doing one at a time. Without further ado, take a look at the list.

  1. Game Room - The possibilities are endless, and the bigger the better. Choose from a combination of video game stations, a poker table, old school arcade games, a pool table, a bowling alley, and much much more. Bonus: after the kids are asleep, you'll have it all to yourself.
  2. Pantry - Prepare for natural disasters with a 5 x 8 pantry and freezer. This can also help you make less trips to the market or free up some much needed space in your kitchen.
  3. Art center - Have an artist in the family? Give them a place to make their magic happen. Put in a drafting table, storage for paint and brushes, and tons of surface space for all of the beautiful work.
  4. Vanity - No room in your master bedroom to fit a master bath suite? Give the ladies of the house their own big space to get ready for the next big event.
  5. Music studio - Professional quality home studios these days are incredibly cheap and simple to set up. Don't let your talents go to waste! Pre-wire, soundproof, and furnish an awesome place for the musician in you to jam out any time of the day.
  6. Teenagers private bedroom - Fulfill your child's biggest fantasies. a great new sleeping or working area, every color of the rainbow on the walls, fun and inventive storage spaces, or maybe even a reading nook. Let the imagination run wild.
  7. Pool Room - These are not just for the rich and the famous. Enjoy a late night swim year round, wherever you are.
  8. Home Theater - 72" 4K Curved Wall Mounted Smart TV? Check. Surround Sound? Check. Theater seats? Check. Game systems, special lighting & acoustics, soundproof. Go nuts!
  9. Pool House - Tired of wet carpets and having pool toys everywhere? A pool house is the perfect fix. Add a changing room, a shower, or even a steam room.
  10. Guest room - Whether you need to house relatives for the holidays, want to give friends a bed when they need one, or want to make a little passive income, an extra bedroom has so many great implementations. Add a bathroom and a private entry.
  11. Office - Do you or your wife work from home? Design the office to fully fit the needs of the user. For some this is the best room in the house. You can include a killer sound system, a custom desk, lighting systems or high speed internet. Say, "My space."
  12. Spa - Can't put in a full pool? Imagine, then, a Spanish tile or cedar spa complete with an oversized tub and powerful jacuzzi jets. How about a steam room and a killer music system?
  13. Toy room - Kids are messy and leave their toys anywhere and everywhere. Give them a specific place to run wild. Make sure to have plenty of storage and floor space.
  14. Indoor gardening center - Home gardens are all the craze these days. You can save big bucks on the grocery bill and have delicious fresh produce. Have your cake, er, tomatoes, and eat it too. This room might pay for itself!
  15. Maids quarters - Could also serve for a nurse as needed, room for foreign exchange students, guest room, or boomerang room for returning adult child.  Room and a bath. 
  16. Another bathroom - Is everyone in the house fighting over shower and mirror time? Have some fun, put in a big spa tub, a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly shower, or keep it simple.
  17. Another office - Maybe you both need an office.  His and Hers.
  18. Workshop - For the Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor in all of us. If you love DIY home improvement projects but your garage is already cluttered, take on a new project and give yourself a unique space for all your projects in the future. Complete with big work spaces, tool boxes, and of course, power tools. "Ugh Ugh!"
  19. Video production room - Like a music studio, video production rooms are getting cheaper to install by the day. Start a great new vlog series and get your YouTube career started. Get your lighting and acoustics set up and get that camera rolling.
  20. Homeschool classroom - No homeschool parent wants to put school away everyday, and you definitely don't want to always leave it out. Make life easy and give you and your kids a real classroom. More conducive for learning, studying too!
  21. Laundry room - Contain the sound of that noisy dryer. Have everything for doing your laundry exactly where you need it in a modest 6 x 8 laundry room. Add a folding table and a TV and get the kids to help!
With a few more hours of work, this list could keep on going. Are any of these rooms something you can't live without now? Did we miss any? Leave suggestions in the comments.




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

4 Tips for Choosing the Best Lighting in your Kitchen Remodel


Cabinets, Appliances and Lighting: All Important in your Kitchen


Many people don't know all of the different options there are to choose from when deciding on lighint in your kitchen: halogen lighting, under-cabinet lighting, recessed, chandeliers, pendants, task lighting, etc.





With all of these options and more, it's hard not to get overwhelmed as you choose the lighting during your kitchen renovation project. That being said, let's dive into some helpful hints to keep stress to a minimum during your remodel.

Choose Your Lighting Based on What You Need

This is the upside to having so many options! You can completely customize your lighting to fit your needs. Come up with the perfect lighting scheme so that you and your family can use your kitchen to it's fullest potential. The right lighting in a kitchen is just as important as the appliances and cabinets you choose. It's of the utmost importance to make sure you decide the layout you need early on so you can make the most out of your remodel.

Typically your lighting decision will come down to a combination between three lighting types: ambient lighting (your main source of light), task lighting (additional lighting for your food prep area), and accent lighting.

How is Your Kitchen Used on a Day-to-Day Basis?

Start your planning by considering how your kitchen gets used on a daily basis. Some factors to consider: Whether or not artificial lighting is necessary during the day and how much natural light your kitchen gets.

Take out some grid paper and draw a map of your kitchen as well as its major components. This includes appliances, cabinets and any other furniture. After you finish, go area by area (e.g. cooking space, informal dining area, island, etc) and figure out how much task lighting each area needs by itself or whether ambient lighting will suffice.

Exploring Different Lighting Options

Now that you've defined what your needs are, you can begin to explore different lighting options.

When it comes to ambient lighting, installing a dimmer to control the brightness of the overall lighting in the room is a great option, especially if you eat in your kitchen on a regular basis. This will help to save energy for times when you don't need full lighting and will allow for the option of a more tranquil tone while you’re eating to avoid a cafeteria-like atmosphere.

Decorative Lighting That Works Hard

Task lighting is for areas where you need bright lighting, such as in the food prep and sink areas or perhaps a desk area if you have one.

Your accent lighting is much more than a solely decorative element. Be careful to avoid having shadows in certain areas of your kitchen. You can choose swing-arm lamps, plug-in sconces or hard-wire sconces.

Now that you have a good understanding of how to choose your kitchen lighting, put the knowledge to the test and have the best lit kitchen in town.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Simple Tips to Add More Light & Brighten Up Your Dark Home!

Simple Tips to Add More Light & Brighten Up Your Dark Home!Whether it’s seasonal or due to the design of your house, a dark home can be entirely depressing. You’re supposed to feel good and uplifted in your home - so if you’re not, then it’s time to make some small changes that make a big difference. As experienced contractors, we know what needs to be done to create the home you’re needed, so please enjoy these easy tips today!

Add visibility: This is a bigger option, but simply to be done. Poorly placed walls can obstruct light flow from windows and room to room. So if possible, this is a great option for both front and back entries.   It allows more light and looks very classy and welcoming.  However, if you’re concerned about privacy, you can always add sheer curtains to limit the view but keep the light flowing in. Talk to our contractors about your options!

Work with windows: Let’s talk about adding and working with windows. First of all, adding windows (especially large ones) allows more space for the light to enter in.  This is a great option if you are dealing with low ceilings or deep eaves.  Good walls to add windows to are usually in the kitchen, the bathrooms, stairways, landings or skylights in the hall. You may even consider replacing a  section of your cabinets with an extra or larger window. Lastly, work with the windows you have. Go with light curtains instead of dark ones, and whenever possible, open the curtains up. Add small plants to the window sills for added life! 

Lighting devices: Basically the miniature version of skylights, tubular day lighting devices (TDD's) are a fantastic option for places that need more light but want to remain private- like bathrooms or walk in closets. If you like the idea of larger skylights, go with that, as they are great to brighten up dark kitchens, attic spaces, bedrooms and the upper halls and landings.  But do understand that they can have the tendency to bring in a lot more heat.  So be sure to place them in the cooler areas of the house and also the West or Northwest facing areas; as it's more enjoyable to have the welcome of morning sun enter in rather the heat of the evening sun.  Talk to our contractors about your options!


Color and mirrors: Some of those modern fixes may be too much for the bank, but there are still budget friendly options.  Add color and mirrors.  If this is all you can do, do it well!   Many may say that adding brighter color to a dark room is your best bet. And in so many cases, it is. Unfortunately, if there are no windows, this may not make a lot of difference and it may even cause the room to feel muddy and dark regardless.  So sometimes your best option is to embrace the dark room and fill it with rich color.  Go for rich deep blues or charcoal even and instead, accent with whites and light wood.  Bring in natural metals like copper and silver on vases and fixtures to keep the feeling balanced.   And lastly?  Just add mirrors.  From one large mirror, to a cluster of various mirrors, this is helpful in most areas to add the illusion of more space and even to allow light to bounce off.   Talk to our contractors about your options!

Just because it’s dark, doesn’t mean you’re doomed. You do have options. But if you’re not sure what those are, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are profession contractors in the Dallas area with a great reputation. Call us today at Unique Home and let us know how we can help you make these changes easily and in a way that fits your ideas and budget.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Simple Ways to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking New, Year After Year!


Simple Ways to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking New, Year After Year!Everyone loves hardwood floors, for their luxury look and feel and simple to clean surface! But the last thing you want to do is let them get damaged and go from looking fresh and beautiful to dull and old. So we at Unique Home Building want to share with you our favorite tips for for keeping your hardwood floors beautiful and happy for as long as possible!
Step One: Prevention. Be sure to remove shoes when indoors. It’s becoming quite common, so don’t worry about inconveniencing your guests. They’ll be just fine. Sweep or vacuum regularly.  Wipe up spills immediately. Stick to gentle cleaners.
Step Two: Love the Details. Once a week, make sure to use a dust mop for loose dirt, hair, animal shedding, dust and other debris. It’s pretty easy to find fabric pieces that are electrostatic, disposable and wood cleaning sprays to use them with.  You can also simply sweep or vacuum it up. Just be sure you do the more detailed method on a weekly basis.
Step Three: Be Consistent. Monthly, commit to cleaning the whole area with a product meant just for for hardwoods. Be sure to follow the directions and not to leave too much or standing water on the floor, because you will damage the floors permanently. Use a sponge or mop and rinse as needed.

Step Four: Act Fast. Scuffs happen. They usually happen from dragging items, furniture and shoes. But remove scuffs and marks as you notice them.So first of all, keep those shoes off indoors. Second, place felt pads on the underside of all furniture. 

At Unique home building have a lot of experience with wood floors in both our remodels and our custom builds. They are an accessible luxury you deserve to enjoy in your home. So be educated and know how to take good care of them and contact Unique Home Building for all your remodeling and home care needs!