Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Why Build Your Own Home When You Can Buy Ready Made? Here’s Why:

Why Build Your Own Home When You Can Buy Ready Made? Here’s Why:We’re all busy people. We don’t have time or energy for extra stress and complicated planning. So we naturally lean toward buying a home over building them. But what if the benefits of building your own home outweigh the challenges? And what if the challenges aren’t really… Challenging? Well, then you’d want to talk. Do you know why?

Because you can entertain without limits.
Work hard, party hard right? You need a space to invite your friends over, share a dinner and just enjoy the downtime. Building your own home gives you the chance to build according to your specific style and taste.

Because you can ‘start over’ and start fresh.
For many families and individuals, it can be very refreshing to know that a fresh start is possible. 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!

Because you get to call the shots.
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.

I know, you’re convinced on the why.

Now if you feel held back by the fear of challenges - that peace of mind is found in working with the right contractors. When interviewing contractors, make sure the ones you talked to come with great reviews, insurance, successful builds and happy clients.

If you are ready to plan your new home construction, we’d love to work with you.  Contact the contractors at Unique Home Building today!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Green Tips You Want to Know About When Planning Your Home Remodel

Green Tips You Want to Know About When Planning Your Home Remodel

If you’re thinking of remodeling your home it’s important that you look at options, ideas and add ons that are not only beneficial for you and your family, but that are sustainable for the environment as well. We need to protect and care for what we love, so the earth we live on should be no different. There are many green and non-toxix options to choose from as well as ones that conserve energy and costs. Here are some basic starter ideas we at Unique Home Building would like to share with you.
Hire a green contractor: 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.
Instal solar panels: Solar panels are a 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!
Recycled insulation: Not many people know this, but you can insulate your home with used denim! Ask your friends and family to donate their old ripped up jeans and jackets and stuff your walls with less toxicity and waste.
Low VOC paints: Choose paints that have less toxins in them for your whole family’s health. There are also many new painting methods out there where you can mix clays and natural elements with water and simply wash the color on with a cloth.
Reclaim it: Go to a local recycled materials business and choose ‘already loved’ building materials, wood, doors, fixtures, windows etc. Why buy new when you can use something in fine shape and keep less from going to the dump?
Use a fireplaces insert: 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.
Efficient indoor spaces: 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 many clever ploys: Convert the usual wasted space between a row of studs into a hallway library or similar shelving. This can be done almost anywhere indoors.

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!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Important Facts You Need to Know When Planning a Basement Remodel

Important Facts You Need to Know When Planning a Basement RemodelMore and more people are choosing to utilize the added square footage in their basements for extra home space, guests, entertaining as well as working. When planned out well, it can be the best thing done for your home - both for your quality of life as well as the value of your home.
It just keeps giving back! Here at Unique Home Building, we love helping you create the home of your dreams and a basement remodel is a great place to start.

Step One: Get Clear on Your Vision.  Do you know what you want to do with the space? Do you know the feel you want to have there? Will it be multi purpose? Start a mood board to get your visual inspiration in front of your eyes and more easily shared with the family and contractor you work with.

Step Two: Make sure your wants are legal. Check with your insurance agent before jumping in with both feed. Some finished basements may not be insured and sometimes bedrooms are added but won't count in the total of bedrooms when you sell the house.  Know the facts before committing. But once you know the facts and are ready, the adventure can begin!

Step Three: Know your water. Being prepared for flooding is so important regardless of your location, because it always CAN happen; so plan ahead. If you don't have a system in place to deal with the water, choose a flooring material that can handle getting wet, such as the tile shown in this basement. If you don't have a floor drain, get one installed. It's best to get a drain that ties into the storm drain directly or that drains into a pit with a sump pump in it. If you pay for these systems up front, you won't be paying to replace furniture, rugs and appliances later. In addition to waterproofing, you'll want to plan ahead with proper plumbing. Make sure to have a plumbing expert advise you to the best direction for new plumbing.

Step Four: Tall or small? Think about how you plan to use your finished basement. If you want to exercise down there, you may need more headroom. Lift your arms overhead. I need an 8-foot ceiling to do that. Will you be standing on a treadmill? Height can be one of the biggest challenges in basement remodels. Do your best with what you've got - and make sure you've got enough space to enjoy yourself and meet everyone’s needs.

Step Five: The light inside. Natural light is often in short supply in a basement. In this picture, the kitchen was placed by the lone window to maximize sunlight in the prep area. Also, many building codes require a second way to exit the basement if the space is going to be finished. Get more light and satisfy code requirements by installing an egress window and window well. An egress window is big enough for a person to exit through it, and the well allows more light into your basement. To avoid water problems, have a drain installed at the bottom of the well.

Those are the basics you need to know about basement remodels. Obviously, there's always more to learn and prepare for, but you're not alone. 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!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Simple Home Design Tips That Help Beat Depression

Simple Home Design Tips That Help Beat DepressionIf you find yourself singing the blues more often than not, and your normal uplifting methods aren’t working, it might be your home that’s bringing you down! Did you know 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. And that’s just the beginning!
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.

You can’t control the weather and you can’t just move to an island, but you can control color and ambience. Unique Home Building understands each homes need and what most have in common is that simple changes make a big difference.

Feeling Blue? Simple Home Changes to Boost Your Mood and Energize Your Day.

Start with the bedroom and the bathroom you use most, as these are what you’ll see first. 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.

Upgrade Your 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 Up.
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.

Yes, you could move into a better home or build one even, but that’s not what this one’s about. 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.

Better Timing.
No one feels good when they feel rushed. Are you allowing yourself enough time to read, think, relax, wake up and be inspired about your day? Feeling rushed causes us to feel as though we can’t be at our best or accomplish our goals. Try allowing yourself more time in the morning; even an extra 20 minutes helps.

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!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Beat the Summer Heat at Home While Saving Money and Energy!

Beat the Summer Heat at Home While Saving Money and Energy!Summer heat can be unbearable and you’re likely going to blast the AC just to survive. Unfortunately, it all comes back to haunt you when the bill arrives. And we don’t want that to happen to you.
The simple truth is that the best way to ensure you're getting the best use out of your home cooling system is to have a home that supports air flow.
At this point, either your home supports the airflow or it doesn’t. If it does, that’s great. Make sure you’re making the most of it. If it doesn’t, then you might want to talk to our contractors about fixing that for next summer. And in the meantime, here are some helpful tips:!
First thing: 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 overall 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.
Second thing: Look at getting a better thermostat. 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!
Third thing: Remember to use fans in a smart way. 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 counterclockwise direction during the warm season.( During the winter, change the direction so the fans rotate clockwise in low speed and circulate the rising heat downward.)
Fourth thing: Shower. Really. Get into the water often. It’s an old solution but it’s great. Get refreshed and make the best of it.
This summer, relax, have fun and try to stay cool. 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, July 5, 2016

Save Money at Home With These Energy Saving Tips!

Save Money at Home With These Energy Saving Tips!It’s not just about building great spaces, it’s also about making sure that those great spaces work for us, keep us comfortable and save us money. You deserve to know how to save money with the little things while you make bigger and better with your home. So here are some home energy reducing ideas that will save you money fast:

Water Heating
Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F. Water heating can account for 14 percent to 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home. For households with one or two members, set your water heater even lower to 115°F. Insulate your water heater with a water-heater blanket.

Shower Use
Take showers instead of baths. A 5-minute shower typically uses less than 15 gallons of water, while a bath can use 30 to 40 gallons.Install water-saving shower heads.
Simple sidenote: Don't let water run while brushing your teeth or shaving.

Kitchen Saving
Switch your refrigerator's powersaver to "On," if available. Keep refrigerator coils and condenser area free of dust. Set the refrigerator temperature between 36°F and 38°F and the freezer between 0°F and 5°F. Defrost manual-defrost freezers when frost build-up is more than 1/4-inch thick. If possible, locate refrigerators and freezers away from direct sunlight and other warm air sources such as ranges and heating equipment. Use your dishwasher to wash only full loads of dishes. Let your dishes air-dry in your dishwasher rather than using the drying feature. When cooking on the range, use pot lids. Food will cook faster. Use cold water to scrape dirty dishes before putting them into the dishwasher and when running the garbage disposal. Use microwave for cooking when possible.

Laundry Room
Wash laundry with less water and cooler water. About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes in a conventional top-load washer is for water heating. Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
Dry towels and heavier-weight items in separate loads. Clean the dryer lint trap in the dryer after every load. Inspect the dryer vent regularly to make sure it is not kinked or clogged. Clean if needed. Dry consecutive loads to take advantage of the heat remaining in your dryer from the last load.

Lighting Energy
Replace any light bulb that burns more than one hour per day with a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) equivalent. Install skylights to allow more natural light. This won't be an immediate solution but will offer long term benefits. A qualified contractor would be able to install this easily. Turn lights off when not in use. Replace outdoor lighting with outdoor-rated CFL bulbs. Use outdoor security lights with a photocell and/or a motion sensor.

Simple solution:
Unique home building wants the best for you and your family. From these simple tips to larger renovation projects, Unique wants your home to bring you peace of mind and comfort. Call us today to see what we can do for you!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Give Your Home an Upgrade With New Window Coverings!

New Window Coverings Upgrade the Look of Your Home Quickly & Easily!
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 in most homes, updating your windows can make a world of difference. So why not start there, knowing it’s simple, affordable and can give the look of a home facelift in one day?

Here are some simple things to know and remember when you’re looking to update your windows.

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.

If you have fancy decorative moldings and want to avoid holes from the attachment brackets, they can be installed just above the moldings using extension hardware. The key is that the shade should overlap the window opening about three and a half inches to control the light and privacy. This not only provides the proper function, but when the shade is fully lowered, the edges of the blind will extend to the edge of the wood frame around the window. Otherwise your shade will look like it is too small for the width of the opening, much like a cheaply made suit.
If you have taller ceilings, you can use longer curtains that are installed generously above the window to accent the space in the room and keep it feeling open. Curtains that are too short in a tall room will make the room look smaller and off balanced.

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 feel free to contact us if you need further help.
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!