Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Kick Fatigue & Get A Good Night Sleep With Smarter Bedroom Design!

Kick Fatigue & Get A Good Night Sleep With Smarter Bedroom Design!

What do you do, when you’ve been sleeping for eight hours at night but you’re still waking up exhausted and having a hard time getting through your day? Research has proven that lack of restful sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, weight gain, muscle tightness, brain fog, mood disorders and impaired decision making, causing this sort of fatigue to be very discouraging. This is absolutely understandable and that’s why we wanted to share these tips with you today.

If you’re eating well, getting enough exercises and sleeping but are still tired, there’s a chance that the problem is with your bedroom.  So let’s look at a few different ways you can help solve this problem.

Tune out the rest of the world with white noise. If you’re sensitive to outside noise, are easily woken up or are a generally anxious person, it could be hard for you to settle into a deep restful sleep. This would make you the perfect candidate for white noise, to drown out the noise around you, allowing you the ability to have deeper undisturbed sleep. You can easily invest in a white noise machines, small fans and even modern apps for proper white noise.

Design to relax. We all love bright colors, but there is a right and wrong time to use them. A bright tuscan inspired yellow may be the perfect shade to brighten a dark room, but it's not ideal for a restful night’s sleep. A better choice would be one that considers going with a more relaxing and calming shade in a cool-color family like light blue, sage green, or rich purple. Color your room for beauty sleep.

Wake up at the right time and in the right way. Waking up too early, or mid sleep cycle will leave you feeling groggy. People experience REM sleep in 90 minute cycles. This means that setting your alarm for 8 hours later will actually get you waking up in mid cycle. So think about how long it will take you to sleep and then set your alarm for either 7.5 hours or 9 hours later, to allow for the full cycles. And then we need to talk about how you wake up.

Don’t be alarmed. Waking up rested isn't only about the number of hours your head rests on a pillow.  It also has a lot to do with how the slumber ends! It's not normal to feel refreshed with an obnoxious alarm clock.  You may want to invest in an alarm clock that eases the transition from sleep to wake, rather than startling you. This will definitely help you start the day feeling fresh.

Lower the lights. Remember how cozy it was for you when your mom turned out the light after tucking you in? There's something so relaxing and ritualistic about the routine that really invites real relaxation. Re-create that comforting atmosphere with a dimmer switch that works via remote control. Some even allow you to choose different shades of light!  If you need help, we at Unique Home Building are happy to help install them.

Don’t let the sun in too soon. The beautiful morning sunlight is an incredible thing to wake up but when it shows up too early, it can deprive you of crucial REM sleep. One of the easiest ways to find something suitable for keeping you asleep is with the darkness that black out shades provide.  Once you're awake and moving, though, make sure you open the shades wide, because morning light also helps strengthen your body rhythms and get your brain going!

Those are some very easy to apply improvements to your home, health and lifestyle. However, if you'd like suggestions for jumping into a bigger home renovation project, we at Unique Home, would love to help! Here's to restful living!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Building a Better Basement (The ROI of Your Dreams)

Building a Better Basement (The ROI of Your Dreams)
Just when you think you’ve made the most out of your home’s value, we’re here to let you know what else you can do! People forget how much unused space they have in their homes for both using and adding value. So today, we want to remind you of how beneficial it can be to expand your living space by finishing your basement. It’s easy to do and boosts your home’s resale value quickly. 

If your family is needing more space but you don’t want to move, then finishing your basement might be the best option for you. They offer a great separate space for guests, home offices, entertainment rooms, fitness and play spaces. At Unique Home Building, we love helping your house to be the home you dream of, and it's important to consider the details in the process.

Of course, you want to make sure you’re moving forward in the most cost effective and most stress free path possible, so we want to share some important tips with you.
For starters, remember that basements are below the ground, making them really dark, so light and bright should be the highest priority. The right lighting can either put the perfect finishing touch on your basement or ruin it completely. Choose lights with a golden hue rather than blue, to keep the mood joyful; light and the lack of it has a powerful effect on people and you want to make sure you’re encouraging good moods. Face lights upward for a feeling of expansion in a small room and facing downward for large rooms to make them appear smaller.

Next, you want to avoid feelings of claustrophobia, so people feel comfortable in the underground getaway! This means creating as high ceilings as possible especially if you’re thinking of making it a room where you or children will be active. Lift your arms overhead. Will you be standing on a treadmill? Height can be one of the biggest challenges in basement remodels.

Next, you want to make sure you both avoid and prepare for water damage - whether it's from pipes or the weather. You’ll want to have a system in place to deal with the water overflow and choose a flooring material that can handle getting wet as well as install a floor drain. Be sure to talk to a plumber about special piping and care.

Those are the basics you need to know about basement remodels. Of course, you want to make sure to follow the rules legally, get the right permits and hire a contractor to keep on you plan and making smart choices. The contractors at Unique Home Building are here and ready to answer your questions and join you every step of the way. Call us and schedule an interview today!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

How to Keep Cool This Summer With Less Money and Less Energy!

How to Keep Cool This Summer With Less Money and Less Energy!Summer is officially here, along with the barbeque, fireworks, hot dogs and long days swimming. But what about when you’re not out and about? What about when the kids are home, it’s sweltering hot outside and you’re hiding out in the house cave, worrying about how much this heat wave is going to cost you? That’s no way to spend the most fun season of the year, so we want to help you with a few tips to reduce your stress and spending this year, all while keeping cool and having fun. Sound good? 
For starters, it’s important to be clear that the best use out of your home cooling system is going to happen in a home that supports air flow. If you your home doesn't circulate air well, it may be in your best interest to talk with one of our professional contractors to see about planning a solution to at least prepare for next year. Now, assuming you’ve got great airflow, or can make due til next year, these tips are just what you need. 
First easy tip? Check your air filters. So many homeowners don't realize how important of a role air filters play in home cooling efficiency; both in function and for finances. When your air filter is clogged, the costs can increase as much as 15 percent. As well, when the filters are dirty, the system has to work harder, causing the over all system to actually be weaker. It's really smart to check the filter on a monthly basis and replace it quickly once you notice an accumulation of dust and other debris. 
Next order of business? Upgrade. If you think it's time to for something newer or better, make sure you go with a professional that knows how to size and fit according to industry standards. Ask for a cost analysis. How long it lasts is what really shows the value. You want to make sure that when purchasing an energy efficient system, that the equipment will last long enough to pay for their energy saving perks! As for thermostats, they need upgrades too! There are some great new thermostats available on the market that offer very helpful features for saving energy without losing out on comfort. The beauty of this is that you can program several temperature changes that work with your family's schedules for work and other activities. This way - it's all done and you don't have to think about it. Save time, money and stress! 
Use what you’ve got; fans. Did you know that the cooling created by ceiling fans can make a room feel up to four degrees cooler during the summer? Make sure to set your ceiling fans to rotate in a counter clockwise during the warm season.( During the winter, change the direction so the fans rotate clockwise in low speed and circulate the rising heat downward.) Aside from ceiling fans, there are also plenty of efficient smaller fans you can use to keep cool at your home office or while watching a movie. 
It's your right to enjoy rest and relaxation in the summer, and if you want to save money, it doesn’t take much. . If you're home isn't cooling the way you'd like it to, talk to us! The contractors at Unique Home Building are ready and excited to help you live in the home of your dreams!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

So Many Toys But So Little Space! {design hacks for families!}

Being a kid is fun. Life is an adventure and the world is your toy! But what happens when toys take over everyone else’s world? You don’t want to limit a child’s imagination or tactile possibilities, but you need to walk and clean and be able to find things too! So while we’d like to use this post to help you plan an organizational redesign for your child’s room, the tips we have to share will be useful for any family home organization need. Whatever the space, big or small, Unique Home Building is here to offer help right where you need it most.
So Many Toys But So Little Space! {design hacks for families!}
For starters, we’ll admit that for parents and children alike, the excitement of considering all the design possibilities you can do could be the very thing that keeps you from actually doing it. Also, just like with eating, your eyes might be bigger than your stomach. Or in this case, your imagination might be bigger than your space, timeline or budget. So as you think about what you’d like to do, be sure to consider the more practical matters, such as storage and layout.
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:
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.
So Many Toys But So Little Space! {design hacks for families!}For older children, make use of cubby style storage to double as a room separator, headboard, end table or even desk, depending on design. Compliment and finish the look off with chic or modern boxes/baskets for added privacy and clean design!
For younger children, be sure to design with plenty of table space in mind, 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 a 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.
So Many Toys But So Little Space! {design hacks for families!}Don’t forget about the brilliance of hidden storage as well as play areas - especially for smaller spaces. For example, if you decide to build bunk beds, in addition to a ladder, you could build stairs along the wall that lead to the bed; and under each stair could be drawers, shelving or storage bins. And on top of that, you could add a slide down or a rope ladder to encourage more activity in less room!
Doing a simple image search will get your wheels turning. If you like an idea, write it down or add it to a file; even if you can’t execute the whole idea, at least in part, you will benefit!
As usual, 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!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Take Your Bathroom From Boring to Beautiful With These Easy Tips!

Take Your Bathroom From Boring to Beautiful With These Easy Tips! Bathrooms are an incredible part of your home, in that they have the power to uplift you or bring you down quickly. When you think about it, it makes total sense. That’s where you rejuvenate and clean yourself. It’s where you wake up and wind down. It’s a mood setter when you think about it. So it makes sense that you’d want it to feel calming and luxurious! Whether you are wanting to simply update the decor or do a complete bathroom remodel, we at Unique Home Building and Design want you to know that you have options that can even be enjoyed as soon as today.  
We’ve put together a list of our favorite easy update ideas for your bathroom and would love to share them with you today! Be sure to let us know what your favorite tip is!
1. First of all, before you dive into any redecoration or remodel, you want to have a clear vision. Don't just start making changes because you like this and that. Pick a theme and stick with it.
2 If you have the chance to grab a baroque-inspired accent, such as a large mirror with a detailed frame, you'll have an easy and stylish update, bringing a classy contemporary feel to your bathroom.
3 Here's a simple one: update your bathroom accessories by investing in a new and improved matching bathroom set.
4. Going with that same feel, a new bath mat and matching towels are an excellent, budget-friendly way to give your bathroom a good face lift.
5. Wall decals!!  These are a cute and simple way to add style and character to otherwise boring and plain spaces. Pair graphic walls with modern fixtures and you give the space a whole new look.
6. If you're up for the project, you can add a fresh coat of paint or even  interesting wallpaper; it's becoming quite a loved trend these days.
7. Be sure to keep your cleaning products and accessories hidden by hanging an over-the-door carry-all on the inside of cabinet doors for extra storage. This will keep things looking tidy and clutter free.
8. Use colorful or printed towels for bathrooms with a neutral or muted decor and use neutral or white towels to compliment a bold, graphic decor.
9. Rings. New shower curtain and rings are an easy and affordable way to update your bathrooms decor. Same rule as above - let your rings be an accent that compliment your decor.
10.  Adding a bright or relaxing piece of art, like a photo of a beautiful beach taken on a recent vacation or a simple and bold painting to liven up empty walls.
11. Elbow grease helps - give your shower stall a fresh feeling by cleaning the tile with grout cleaner.
12. Add personality and flare to your cabinets by adding new pretty door knobs!
13. Paint the bathroom ceilings a lighter color than the walls. Consider pale blue, silvery green or buttery yellow to achieve an open and airy effect. Perhaps one of my favorite ideas.  This turns the bathroom from cave to oasis!Hope you are inspired and ready to give your bathroom the face lift it's been waiting for. 
And if you're even more ready to take the plunge and start planning your bathroom remodel, the contractors of Unique Home Building are here to make your space into the place you love.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Make Moving Into Your Dream Home Nightmare-Free With These Helpful Tips!

Make Moving Into Your Dream Home Nightmare-Free With These Helpful Tips! The sale has closed. You’ve finally found the house of your dreams and you’re ready to make it your own. But first you have to pack up where you are. And that… is cause for serious procrastination. However, waiting til the last minute or throwing it all together only your dream into a nightmare. So do yourself a favor and heed these simple tips to make the process as simple and stress free as possible.
The truth is, moving is a lot of work. I’m not going to sit here and try to convice you otherwise. But at the end of the day, you have two choices. First suggestion?h Hire others to do it for you.
It’s absolutely possible to delegate the whole adventure to others. You can pay people to come in and pack you up, start to finish, labeled, loaded and delivered - even unpacked for you if that’s what you want. So honestly, if you’ve got a lot going on and don’t have the energy for the whole ordeal, definitely hire out. You won’t be sorry.
However, for differing reasons, many will want to do it themselves. So the following tips are to help you make that a simple, stress free process you won’t be traumatized by.
To begin with, make sure you don’t move what you don’t need. You know those things you keep carrying from house to house but never really use? Time to let these things go or get a storage unit. The less you pack, the less you have to move and unpack. If it doesn’t have deep family meaning or if you don’t use it often, stick it in a box and drop it off at Goodwill. Other families will be wonderfully grateful.

Next, make sure you’re going one room at a time. Box things up one room at a time and keep things organized in the boxes the way they live in the room so it will be easy to find and unpack when it’s time. Also be sure to be detailed when you label the boxes. The more detailed you are, the less mystery and confusion.

Go with smaller boxes. Many small boxes are easier to manage than large ones. The large ones get packed with more things and can become heavy and cluttered. Smaller boxes keep things organized and specific. Easier to put away and easier to transport.

Have a timeline and create a schedule you can stick to. This is how many details slip through the cracks, especially with things like dealing with your utilities. Utility companies need about a month notice to know you will be turning yours off, switched or turned on. Some require appointments that may be booked out 2 weeks. Don’t get stuck without phone, internet or gas, etc. Think ahead. Call your current and future providers and let them know your move date to determine the best on/off services days.

Ask for a team of helpers with different tasks. Whether you hire movers or bring on a group of friends, don’t do this alone. Determine ahead of time who will do what and when and ask them to commit to it. Be sure to pay them a fee, in service or even in food and drinks to show your gratitude for them and compensate them for their time and effort!

Moving doesn’t have to be the stress we know it to be. Whether you're buying, selling or even remodeling, Unique Home Builders are here to support you along the way.  Please contact us and let us know how we can best serve you!

Monday, May 28, 2018

6 Efficient Tips for Better Home Cooling You Can Use Today!

6 Efficient Tips for Better Home Cooling You Can Use Today! The weather is finally changing and it’s time to take a look at what your options are to cool it down inside. You don’t want to just run your AC all the time. It’s not only an energy waste but you’re going to pay for it too. Luckily, there are options you can make use of and today, we’re going to share six of our favorite with you.  Here are some hot tips for staying cool as we dive deep into summer. To give you an idea of where we’re going, let’s start with some basics you’ll want to use right away. First of all, reduce the cooling load by using cost-effective energy conservation measures. Then make sure you have effective shade coverings for east and west windows. And of course, when possible, try to avoid heat-generating activities such as dish washing and especially baking, until evening on hot days.
Now let’s get to the good stuff.
Keep the heat out. During most of the hot season, do your best to keep the windows and doors closed tight during the day with the suggested window coverings stated above. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. Ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.
Go with white. White reflects sunlight and heat, so using white window blinds and shades during the hotter months will help to make sure that less heat enters your home. By preventing your home from heating up, you'll stay cooler and also put less stress on the cooling systems reducing your energy bill significantly.
Keep the air moving. Another lower cost way to keep cool in summer is to use a ceiling fan. While a ceiling fan does not lower the warm temperature, it cools you circulating the air more vigorously. Ceiling fans are low in price and consume far less energy than an air conditioner. By using a ceiling fan in an air conditioned room you will be able to set the thermostat higher and still feel comfortable. Since a ceiling fan cools by circulating the air, you need to switch it on only if you are in the room. This will also help reduce your energy bill.
Dryer is better. In hot, humid climates, make sure that the air conditioner you buy will adequately get rid of high humidity. Models with variable or multi-speed blowers are generally best. Try to keep moisture sources out of the house.
Outside measures. Just as white blinds and shades help reflect sunlight and heat away from the windows, a light colored roof will reflect heat away from the roof. This will mean that your home will be significantly cooler over all, in the summer months.
Inside wisdom. Plants absorb both the light and heat from the sun and convert it into energy for growth and cleaning the air. Additionally, during photosynthesis, plants release water into the air, thereby cooling the surrounding air. When you have a lot of plants around your home, they cool the general atmosphere around them, reducing the amount of heat entering your home. Additionally, you can also plant shade giving trees around your home to further reduce the heat reaching it. This will enable you to use nature to keep your home cool in the hot weather.
As you can see, it’s not so complicated. Of course, there are things you’ll need to do, but it won’t take long and the pay-off is worth it. And of course, if you'd like to make a bigger effort, but would rather not cut the extra sweat, talk to us at Unique Home Building and tell us how we can make your summer a cooler one!