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.
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. (DoItYourself.com)
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.
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Nobody 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
When 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?
We’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 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
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
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!
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!
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
If windows are the eyes to the soul - then windows in your home should get just as much attention. What does the world see through your windows? And are your windows beautiful to see out of? Don’t underestimate the powerful role windows play in your day to day experience. They should be framed with character and charm, bringing the room together as they connect you to the world outside.
At Unique Home Building, we do everything from updating homes to building them scratch. So we know what homes need to add character and that sense of "home" everyone is looking for. And spring time is one of the best times to do this. The winter is passing, flowers are blooming and color is ready to come back to your world.
Are you ready? Let’s look at these simple, bold and beautiful ways to upgrade your space!
First of all, keep in mind that there are solutions for every budget. Be aware of the different options and plan accordingly. Depending on your needs and the window's size, prices can run the spectrum from inexpensive aluminum mini-blinds to state-of-the-art, remote controlled, vertical type shades with sheer coverings costing hundreds per shade.
A qualified window coverings expert can help you make the right choice for your home’s interior, for both function and beauty at a price you can afford, so depending on where youlre shopping, don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Another thing to note, before you dive into color and design, is that not every covering is right for every window. Depending on the type of window (sash or casement), some products will look and function better when properly measured and professionally installed. For example: If the window to be covered is a sash type, for the best light control and privacy, the window measurement should include the trim around the window opening and the head rail installed to the top of the wood frame.
So for spring colors, if you want curtains, you’re going to want to go with layered curtains on two rods. This effect allows you to have soft, sheer or even white cotton panels for the inner layer and a bold outer accent color for the second row. Our favorite colors this season? Antique Moss Green, Red Poppy, Reed Yellow, Amparo Blue and even a Rich Blueberry. I might add that reed yellow goes beautifully with the other colors, so whichever you choose, keep in mind that grabbing a secondary color for your accent pillows, throw or even candles will be a great call.
Another last idea for window accenting that you might not have thought of is hanging plants in macrame hangers. The accent of twine and organic material is beautiful together and also quite the trend in home design for it’s tranquil clean feeling.
Choosing the right window decor isn't as daunting as some may believe. We feel it's a wonderful finishing touch and accent in every home.
At Unique Home Building, we love helping your house to become the home you're wanting. For more information on our remodeling, building or other contractor services, please contact us today!
Monday, February 26, 2018
Winter can be a hard time of year for many. And if mood lows are already a struggle for you, you’re going to want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid feeling down. So we at Unique Home Building want to leave you with a few helpful tips that have been tried and true - known for helping lift the winter blues - naturally and in the comfort of your own home. If you’re ready for a booster, keep reading!
First of all, did you know that that when you wake up in the morning, your senses quickly assess the surroundings and subconsciously come to conclusions about how our days will be? That should make you think twice about the color or your room or the mess on the floor. So if you wake up in a grey room, cold and with dim lights, you’re more likely to feel discouraged and sleepy. If you wake up to sunshine and soft blues or warm greens, you’re more likely to feel energized and hopeful.
As for the weather - you can’t control it, but you can work with it by working with color and ambience. Unique Home Building understands each homes need and what most have in common is that simple changes make a big difference. So let’s take what we know and put it to good use.
The bath and bedrooms are the ones that start and end the day, so let’s begin adding color there. Colors that energize are golden or mustard yellow, olive or sage green, sky blues or turquoise and even shades of orange and peach! Just feel out what colors are right for you. Maybe choose 2 that compliment each other and use one for the bathroom and the other for the bedroom. Alternatively, just paint the bathroom and use brightly colored curtains for the bedroom instead.
Next, make the most of water. Showers are on most people’s list of first things to do in the morning, so perhaps this is the time for a shower upgrade. Consider a Roman Shower for a luxurious spa feeling. Or turn things around and enjoy a hot, relaxing, meditative bath to get you going in the morning!
Lighten the mood with...better lights! Lighting is one of the most important factors in any home or room. Be sure to get bulbs that let off a golden tinted color, rather than the sometimes bluish or silver lights. Those have a florescent feel to them and have been proven to add to depression. Go for the gold.
Move! (No, not your home, but if that’s an option, why not?) Movement in the morning has also been proven to better your mood. It get’s blood circulating and brain waves active. Try some yoga or calisthenics. You can easily do some simple morning body movements in the comfort of your bedroom, but if you want more space, consider converting a room into a movement or exercise room. Not a bad option.
You deserve the best day possible. Try these ideas and see which ones work for you. And if you’re ready to take a bigger step and want to add a room or do a remodel, contact the contractors at Unique Home Building. It's your home. Enjoy it!