Sunday, January 21, 2018

Simple Designer Secrets for a Quick & Affordable Kitchen Upgrade

Kitchens are where  you spend the majority of time in your home. So it can be really frustrating when you return to the room two to three times a day only to be distracted by the worn out decor, outdated fixtures and dull lighting. You need a change but you’re not ready to commit to an all out remodel. And you shouldn’t have to wait. While the big remodel is going to give you the greatest transformation, and our contractors  can help, if you need something drastic in the meantime to survive the wait, there is a way. 

Ready for the tips and ideas? Let’s dive in.

Simple Designer Secrets for a Quick & Affordable Kitchen Upgrade Start with the lighting. Look into using some stylish new pendant lights in the kitchen. These can easily become the new focal point of the room. You can usually find them for under $200, they are versatile and won't empty your savings! 

Choose statement accents and accessories. Sometimes your options for accessories are limited, so it's important to make the most of the little things. Gather together your most used items on woven tray, prop up a few wooden boards on your counter and display pantry items with pretty packaging. This is great for things like, honey, sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil!

Update the fixtures and hardware. Classic hardware is a great option when you need upgrade as they subtly enhance the look and feel of the entire space. Just keep an eye on the price per piece when shopping, because it can add up fast; especially if you have a large kitchen with many cabinets. 

Give your cabinets a proper facelift. If your kitchen cabinets have a dated finish or you want a more personal touch than just the average standard-issue white cabinets, you may want to think about adding color. Try going with pale earth tones, as they are all versatile choices that go with many different materials and finishes. You can also paint just half the cabinets for a high-contrast look. A palette of black and white with wood and metal accents looks sleek and modern in the kitchen. Get the look by painting only the bottom cabinets and the base of your kitchen island black, leaving the upper cabinets white.

Add bright, calming or artistic paint to one or multiple walls. Color accents instantly add warmth and character to a boring and drab kitchen. Warm rich blues are great for this, as well as pops of turquoise, red, marigold or even natural elements like silver, copper and gold. 

Feeling cluttered? Add shelves. If you’re lacking upper cabinets or added storage space, you might think of adding shelves. Rustic wood shelves on metal brackets are easily (and cheaply) installed, and provide functional display space for everyday dishes. You can also go with a sleek and more classy design with black or metal or mixing rustic with elegance. 

Perhaps the answer lies in the tools. Is it time for some new dishes?  Cups, bowls, or a tea pot? Open shelving and counters are a great opportunity to practice the art of display. You can't go wrong with classic white dishes and clear glass, but fun mismatched finds would work just as well if that's your style.

Those ideas will add so much to the feel and energy of your home. Try them out today. And if simple updates here and there aren't enough, you may want to think about upgrading the whole space!  Call the contractors at Unique Home Building and we'll get you started right away.  We're here for you, because your house should always feel like a home.

Friday, January 12, 2018

How to Keep Organized and Sane During Your Next Home Remodel

How to Keep Organized and Sane During Your Next Home Remodel
When you’re excited about your home remodel you don’t want anything to hold you back. You want to do it all. You want to change everything. And it’s understandable. Once everything’s up in the remodel mess, you might feel like just getting it all done at once.
For starters, Just because it’s flashy doesn’t mean you need it all. Many people fall head over heels for the latest apps and gadgets.  But I have found that so many people do much better with a simple sticky note or day planner list. It doesn't mean you're lazy or unintelligent.  All these different tools can leave you spending much more time trying to organize or consolidate your list, leaving many of your items undone.
When you’re overwhelmed with too many things to do, as you likely will be at some point, you’ll do well to have a strict to-do list of priorities. Determine what’s most important and divide the tasks into categories of importance, room etc.  Once your list is organized into categories, you may find that you can narrow it down even further to your top 3 priorities and then another list of 3 secondary things to do.   At the end of the day - you'll likely get 6 things done!  But at the very least, you'll get the most important things done first - leaving you feel accomplished and at peace with your performance.
Log your thoughts. It helps to have an idea pad to log new ideas or things that come to mind you don’t want to forget along the way.  You can reference this list at the end of the day and organize them accordingly. But, even though you have a lot going on, make sure you keep the pad organized. That capture pad is able to keep you from forgetting the important tasks and ideas that pop into your head.  At the end of the day place tasks on to your categorized to-do list and ideas either into your work planner or artistic/idea outlet space.  ...which brings me to another point-
Other ideas to consider:
Keep a Pinterest Board going for reference. This is a great way to keep track of inspired ideas and your end visual goals.
On the other hand, once you’ve made up your mind as to what you want, try to stick to it. It can get pretty costly constantly changing your mind so be sure to stick to a general idea once you have one.
Hire the right people. Experts are experts for a reason. We highly recommend that you seek out a design consultant or interior decorator ahead of time who can give advice along the way. You might also think of including them in the communication with your chosen contractor.
This doesn’t have to be a daunting nightmare. It’s as simple as being clear about what you want, organizing those thoughts and ideas, executing step by step and having just the right designers and contractors at your side along the way. 
Remember, whatever we at Unique Home can do to make your home more beautiful and relaxing is why we do what we do.  So let us know!

Friday, December 29, 2017

How To Stay Warm In the Cold Of Winter Without Doubling Your Heating Bill!

How To Stay Warm In the Cold Of Winter Without Doubling Your Heating Bill!Your home has been full of the warmth of family and friends but once they leave, but once the parties are over, you’ll need to face the fact that it’s still winter and you need warming up! Although it’s tempting to head over to the thermostat and turn up the temperature, it’s more cost effective as well as healthy to take another route to warming your home and body.
For the health aspect, it’s important to point out that overly heating your home keeps the inside temperature warm enough to feed and activate viruses and bacteria - making it more likely for germs to spread and make you sick. Cooler temperatures help keep them from growing and multiplying.
Additionally, heating systems recycle air, meaning all the dust in the home from shelves to the carpet, are being kicked up and recirculated throughout your home for you to breathe - making head and chest congestion far more likely.
That being said, let’s look at some of the other ways, more healthy ways you can try to keep your home and body warm in the cold winter months.
Keep your head and feet warm. Wear a beanie indoors to keep the heat trapped. Heat tends to escape the head quite easily and leave your body working harder than it needs to to stay warm. It’s the same with your feet. Keep socks and slippers on at all times to trap the warmth of your body between your head and toes. Another thing you can do if you really want to hack warmth in the body is to sprinkle cayenne pepper into your socks! Really. The powdered pepper will be absorbed into your feet through your pores and actually keep your feet warm. However, don’t put it in your gloves. You don’t want the pepper going from your fingers to your eyes.

While we’re on about cayenne, you can be drinking it to warm your insides, while detoxing and flushing your system at the same time! Just pour yourself a mug of hot (not boiling) water. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into it. Add honey or stevia to taste. Then add cayenne pepper. How much you add is up to you, but you do want to be able to taste it. The combination will not only boost your immune system but will also help you stay warm, thanks to the cayenne increasing circulation all over your body.
Get Baking. A most delicious option. Use your hunger as a two for one. Bake some tasty homemade muffins, cookies or bread. Once you’re done, leave the oven open as it cools and all the heat will leak into your kitchen and living room. Win win.

Try installing a wood burning stove. Wood-burning fireplaces or dutch ovens give off more heat than a gas fireplace and can burn scrap wood, fallen trees or branches or wood pellets, which are made from sawdust and are one of the most cost-effective forms of home heating. You may or may not be able to install one this season, but if not, consider it for the next one.

Reverse your ceiling fans. Most, if not all, ceiling fans have a reverse setting for winter. By reversing your fan blades to rotate clockwise you draw down the risen heat from the ceiling and prevent it from dissipating through the roof or walls.

Keep the thermostat low. Challenge yourself to set the temperature one or two degrees lower each year. Keeping it at 55 degrees at night and 65 during the day is a common energy-efficient setting. Beware not to turn it off completely or set it too low, as this can burst pipes or cause hypothermia in the colder climates.

One option for certain areas of your home is to add a space heater.  In some, not all, cases a space heater may be more efficient to heat a small room than running a central home heating system.

Stay active. Do regular high intensity workouts, go on hikes or take a yoga class to get your circulation working more efficiently. This also does a miracle for your mood during the colder months, as well as keeps your immune system strong. 

Lastly, talk to a contractor, in the middle of winter to come inspect your home. This allows them to feel where your drafts are, where your walls are thin and where to improve the issue when the time is right. If you’d really like to invest in winter warmth, consider a remodel or totally new home construction Your options are many, so call our contractors at Unique Home Building, to see which one is best for you!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thinking of Converting Your Attic? Make These Important Considerations First!

Thinking of Converting Your Attic? Make These Important Considerations First!When you’re thinking of converting your attic into an added place of life and peace in your home, it’s easy to get caught up in the fantasy of what could be. And that’s fine for sure. But to end up with the end goal you’re hoping for, you need to make some important considerations and plan accordingly.  
First things first. You’ll want to check for the obvious things that stand out to make sure you’re even able to build out your attic and if you’ll need to work around anything existing like a heating duct running through the middle of the room. Those hinderance can limit your options for sure.
Ceilings and floors. Make sure that your attic floors are able to support the added weight a room addition will naturally bring. It should be fine, but be sure to check before moving forward on any major work. As well, look at the height of your ceilings and take that into consideration, as this may limit your options or play a major role in where you’ll place things like beds, desks and so on.
Proper air flow is vital so the ventilation system should not be glossed over. Keep in mind that summer and winter temperatures will vary greatly and the ventilation needs to be able to support proper heating and cooling that’s both efficient energetically and financially to avoid freezing or overheating.
Of course, before moving forward, consult with a skilled contractor to get the final clearing to move forward. They’ll check for all of the above and then some, to make sure your attic is primed and ready for remodeling and expansion.
Once you’ve been cleared to move forward, it’s time to put your imagination to work. Start thinking of what space you need more of in your home, who will use it most and then of course, how you’ll want the decor and feeling of it to be in the end. Take all this into consideration ahead of time, because it will affect the end look, efficiency and technical choices you make for the space.
All in all, it’s not a very overwhelming process, but the details people miss are often the basic obvious ones, like layout, ventilation and floors. But once you’ve gotten all that taken care of, it’s a fun and simple process. Assuming of course, you’ve got reputable contractors on your side like ours at Unique Home Building in Dallas, Texas. So if you’re local to us, we’d love to hear from you. Talk to us about your next project and we’ll see you through it.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Here Are the Top Reasons To Build Your Own Home, Instead of Buying New-

Here Are the Top Reasons To Build Your Own Home, Instead of Buying New- People talk about building their own homes, but how common is it? And why bother when you can buy one already built? Well it’s true that not everyone builds their own, but those that do never look back because there are certain benefits to building your own home that just can’t be beat. Do you know what those are? If not, we want to share them with you today. But be warned, after realizing what’s available to you, you too may never look back!
The holidays are right around the corner. This means people will be coming over for big dinners and celebrations. For the entertainers and big families, a carefully designed home is just the place to be, with enough room for all. It was planned that way!
In bought homes or older styles, it can be real a challenge to throw a party due to unique floor plans that make it difficult to entertain. But planning your own home lets you decide where the walls will be, how big the rooms will be and how conversation will flow with the floor plan. Imagine having the feeling of spaciousness in rooms enhanced with higher ceilings and additional windows that bring in more light than you would find in an older home! Sounds inviting, doesn't it?

The benefits aren’t just for the holidays, they extend to new starts, big changes and growing needs. 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!

The world is changing and so are you. So another benefit to designing for your needs is that you can include your home office and technology obsession in the mix. Design your home to be fully equipped with not just the latest technologies but the electrical systems to support them. 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.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing more pleasing than having a home that you not only own, but designed for you, your hobbies, your family and your personal needs. You can see why it’s a growing trend.

So maybe this holiday season it’s the time to really plan the next home’s build. Because you want more. And you finally believe it’s possible. We are excited to be a part of this journey with you. If you are ready to plan your new home construction, contact the contractors at Unique Home Building today!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

When You Really Want to Remodel, But Can’t - Do This:

When You Really Want to Remodel, But Can’t - Do This:Sure, remodels are wonderful, and you want one because you know it’s time for your home to have an updated look and feel. But it may not be time or it may not be in the budget. That’s fine too. Just because you can’t remodel right now doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade your home to meet your needs. There are little changes that make a big difference and you can start today. Great news right? And don’t worry, if you want to remodel later, that’s always an option and Unique Home Building will be there ready to help. But for now, give your home a visual remodel with these simple ideas!

Clear out the old to make way for the new.
So many things clutter our homes and take away the beautiful simplicity that we long for. So why not look at the room and see what you could do without. Smaller couch? One less chair? What about less things on the shelves? Try to stick to just a couple of picture frames. If there are papers taking up space, get a small box to keep them in so it’s still feels peaceful.
Small investments can make a big difference.
Have you ever thought of adding accent pillows or blankets to your couches or chairs? It’s a lot easier than buying new furniture. However, something as simple as changing up your accent pillows can make a big difference, from the color scheme to the overall look of your couch and chairs. For example, you can move from orange/reds to blue/grays, from floral to mod. Or you can go even bigger and buy a lot of pillows for added comfort.
Look to the light.
What kind of lighting do you have and could it improve? Switch out blue tint bulbs for warm yellows to create a more welcoming ambience especially in the the living room and kitchen. Brighten up your room but keep it natural. For more natural light make sure the curtains aren’t too dark or heavy. This will make a big difference.
Love your plants!
Instantly transform and add life to your space by adding plants, including indoor plants, herb pots, terrariums, or flowering pots. Greenery will instantly freshen up your space and is nice for the health of your space as well.
Change up the colors.
Maybe you're happy with the basic color choice of your living room walls but it's starting to feel tired. Consider adding one accent wall. This is a great chance to use a bold color choice or wallpaper pattern that you may not want for an entire room but that would look great in a small dose. For a few dollars and a few hours of work, you can completely change the look of your living room.
Not all change has to be big. If new is what you’re needing, start where you can! And have fun with it! Also, call us at Unique Home Building when you are ready for that next step!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

How to See Past the Sales Pitch & Know if a Contractor is Right For You.

How to See Past the Sales Pitch & Know if a Contractor is Right For You.Once you realize your home needs remodeling, it starts to be all you think about. You imagine and plan and are ready to get things going. But do you do it yourself? Or dare you hire a contractor? You don’t necessarily want to call a ton of contractors, hear a bunch of pitches and sales, when your friend has the basic skills to help you get the job done. So are those contractors really necessary? We agree. You don’t need a bunch of pitches. What you really need is good advice and a team that gets the job done.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we decided that you don’t need any more random information, you just need the honest truth. We know you are a hard working person with a desire to live a good life in a house that feels like a home; without the runaround. You’ve put in years and sweat to create the life you’re living and we want to say thank you; thank you for helping make our country what it is today.

So you want to remodel? You’re not alone. We are the contractors at Unique Home Building. We are hard working people with families and values and are here to support yours along the way.

Here’s what we want to let you know:

Remodeling can be done by handy people who have an understanding of the inner workings of home structure, such as electrical, plumbing, foundation, insulation and more. If you choose to take on this venture alone, keep in mind that you’ll need to have the proper permits and licensing.

If you are choosing to do the inner workings stated above, like the electrical or plumbing yourself, then please, at least hire a consultant to double check your work and to advise you along the way.  These are not areas to take chances on.

Consider your design and floor plan as well. Many people don’t realize that they’re idea looks good on paper, but creating it will mean that you’re working against the elements like sunshine and ending up with a hotter house in the summer and a colder one in the winter.

Another thing to realize is that one incorrect measurement can ruin everything… a very expensive domino effect that you don’t need. Contractors are insured to give you peace of mind that your measurements are right, pipes are protected, electrical is up to date and safe and generally, they’re the contractors because they’re the experts.

Again, these are all basic tips that to some degree, you know. But we know how important they are and are not to be dealt with blindly!

Yes we are contractors and yes, we think it’s best to hire one. Why? Because we are trained, experienced, licensed, insured and know how to get you what you want without the headache, dead ends, money waste and regrets. Hiring a contractor gets you the design you are looking for that meets all your needs and all the professionals required to do the job right the first time.

And no, not all contractors are the same. That’s why it’s important to check out reviews and history of the contractor’s business, like this one.

Your home is too important to be treated lightly. Make sure this process is simple and clear for you. Please contact us with any further questions you might have and we’ll happily guide you in the right direction.