Monday, September 30, 2013

The Perfect Workplace - Home

How To Create A Home Office



Photo Credit Flickr.com
Working from home has become more economical and beneficial for both employers and employees. For some companies home employees help to keep overhead costs down. While many employees work for home because of the flexibility. For whatever reason more and more people are skipping the trip to the office.

Now the issue becomes finding the space to work. Perhaps you can add on, remodel an existing room or create space from a hallway or closet.  Find a good contractor who can help solve your work space problem.  Contractors do this all the time so they have many creative ways to create space in your home.

If you're looking for a general contractor in the Dallas Metro area to help, the hardest part is knowing
who to trust. You want the job done right, on time, and in budget. But you have heard the horror stories. You may have even experienced them. Unique Properties Company has been building homes and helping folks with home remodels, and even handyman work throughout the entire Dallas Metro area since 1986. Please give us a call for all your general contractor needs at 214 533-0716 or click here to visit our web site. We are located at 11300 N. Central Expy, Dallas, TX,75243.

The following information about setting up a home office is from ehow.com.  Click here for the full article.

Picking the Space for Your Workplace

Not everyone who has chosen --- or has been forced by circumstances --- to work from home has the space to allocate an entire room as an office. Carving out a functional, comfortable area is important, and you don't want to set up shop on the sofa, where you're surrounded by myriad distractions.
"Location, location, location. That's what they say about a successful business, and it is imperative that the space you choose be comfortable, as free from distraction as possible, and offer the opportunity for success," said Rafael M. Kalichstein, owner and principal designer of FORM Interior Design. "Choose a spot that is quiet enough to make business phone calls but that gets enough light that you don't feel like you have to go spelunking to get there."
 
 
If you have a spare bedroom that you can convert, or even a large closet, your location decision is an easy one. A garage can also be a great option, because you get the world's fastest commute and over time that short walk across the driveway will get your brain thinking "work" before you reach the garage door. For most people, however, space is at a premium, so it's important that your office be as separated as possible from the rest of your home.
 
 
"A space that can be closed is ideal --- privacy for most of us when we're working is best --- but use what you have," said Kalichstein. "Most importantly, make sure that it is a space that can be in some way entirely delineated, at least from an energetic standpoint. Your kitchen table, in other words, is a bad idea."
 
Avoiding the high-traffic areas of your home, especially in an apartment, might seem impossible, but more often than not, that easily separated space is right under your nose. It's not "where" you look, but "how" you look.
 
"People live in all sorts and sizes of places, so you have to work with what you have and be creative," Kalichstein said. "You can take over what might have been an underutilized breakfast nook, or some hallways have enough space, and a lot of people will have living rooms or dens with a corner that can easily be delineated."
 
Lighting is also a key factor when settling on a space. A basement office might afford you privacy, but you're not going to want to go to work if your office feels like a dungeon.
"Some of the advantages of working from home," said Los Angeles-based interior designer Estee Stanley, "are avoiding the omnipresent buzz of fluorescent light bulbs, and you get to give yourself an office with the best view in the building. So use that to your advantage. Position your office by a window if you can; the view can be soothing, and the natural light will help you stay more focused."

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rebuilding After Water Damage

How Much Will Water Damage Repair Cost?

Water can slowly and quietly, or fast and furies destroy carpet, flooring, furniture and more. Either way, without proper cleanup, it can lead to rot, mold and bacteria that can cause further damage  to walls, ceilings and your home's interior structure. Water clean up is critical to keeping your home safe from even more destruction.  That is why it is important to make sure you have a trained contractor repairing any severely damaged areas.

Some information about how to estimate the cost of water damage can be found in the below article from ehow.com or click here for more information.

How to Estimate Water Damage


 
Photo Credit Flickr.com
If your home experiences water damage and you're planning on involving your insurance company, the company will want to have their own professional perform an estimate. However, if you are plan on fixing everything yourself, you're going to want to survey the damage and get the most accurate estimate possible. Cleaning costs to fix damaged rugs or carpeting will also need to be considered. Only then will you be able to tell what you're in for in the way of repairing damage and replacing items.

Instructions

Calculate the cost you will need to clean carpeting, rugs and other types of material damaged by water. If your carpeting needs to be cleaned, for example, measure your carpeting to find the exact length and width. Multiply these two numbers to find the square footage. Contact a carpet or rug cleaning business in your area and find out how much it would cost (including equipment and man-hours) to clean a carpet or rug of your size. If you're renting the equipment yourself and are cleaning the area on your own, factor in equipment rental charges.
 
Go around your house and make two lists of items -- one for things that need to be repaired and one for things that need to be completely replaced. Something like floorboard damage could potentially be repairable, but if water damage ruined a shelf with books and videos, those items can be replaced.

Start going through your two lists and finding prices for the items included. The "Things to be Replaced" list will be the easier of the two -- if water damage ruined a mattress, for example, you can go onto the Internet and find the price for a new version of a comparable mattress. For the "Things to be Repaired" list, start calling contractors who specialize in that area and see if they can give you an estimate on repairing water damage. For example, if water damage has ruined the roof of your home, call a roofer. This number needs to include both the cost of materials used in repair as well as the cost for a professional repair (if you're not performing the task yourself).

Find out if its cheaper to replace anything you had previously marked "Things to be Repaired." If it costs $500 to fix a table damaged by water, for example, but the table only cost $200 brand new, it would obviously be better to replace the table outright than to try and repair it.

Add up your estimated costs in each column. When you get a "Things to be Repaired" number and a "Things to be Replaced" number, add those two numbers together to find the overall estimated cost of getting your home back to normal after water damage.
 
 
Unique Properties Bathroom Remodel
If you've been hit by a catastrophic loss due to water, fire, or a storm, Unique Properties of Dallas TX is uniquely qualified to get your home fully restored and even improved in the process. We can be reached at 214 533-0716. We immediately contact your insurance company so that we are able to co-ordinate everything with them.

We sit down with you to determine a plan of action for getting your home back to perfect condition. Sometimes you may want to make lemonade out of one of life's lemons. We can provide potential ways that you can change or improve the damaged portions of your home within the framework of the insurance adjustment. Or in some cases you may find it advantageous to add some funds to the project for a major overhaul.

We will work with all government and insurance agencies so that you don't have to. Since 1986, Unique Properties has been delivering quality restorations on time, within budget, and with a minimum of disruption to your life. Click here to visit our web site. We are located at 11300 N. Central Expy, Dallas, TX,75243.
 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rebuilding After A Home Fire

 Never Attempt Fire Damage Cleanup Yourself

A home fire is a devastating loss.  Not only is the actual structure of you home damaged but personal property including irreplaceable pictures, keepsakes and heirlooms. 
 
Phot Credit Flickr.com
The first thing you will need to do is call your insurance company, and the second is find a contractor that specializes in fire and flood restoration.  If you've been hit by a catastrophic loss due to water, fire, or a storm, Unique Properties of Dallas TX is uniquely qualified to get your home fully restored and even improved in the process. We can be reached at             214 533-0716.   We immediately contact your insurance company so that we are able to co-ordinate everything with them.

We sit down with you to determine a plan of action for getting your home back to perfect condition. Sometimes you may want to make lemonade out of one of life's lemons. We can provide potential ways that you can change or improve the damaged portions of your home within the framework of the insurance adjustment. Or in some cases you may find it advantageous to add some funds to the project for a major overhaul.

We will work with all government and insurance agencies so that you don't have to.   Since 1986, Unique Properties has been delivering quality restorations on time, within budget, and with a minimum of disruption to your life. Click here to visit our web site. We are located at 11300 N. Central Expy, Dallas, TX,75243.
 
A few tips for House Fire Restoration can be found in this article at Superpages.com  Click here for the entire article.
 

Do’s and Don’ts for House Fire Restoration

After a house fire, it is essential that you begin house fire restoration as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home. However, this can often be difficult, as your home is likely not safe for you to enter after a fire. Depending on the extent of the fire and water damage to your home, the structure of you home may have sustained damage, and there may be electrical hazards that can pose great danger to you and your family. Therefore, it is always best to contact a professional fire damage contractor to handle house fire restoration. Even if you do this, however, it can be helpful to know some basic do’s and don’ts for you to keep in mind after a fire to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your home.
 
Do’s for House Fire Restoration

  • Contact your homeowners’ insurance agent immediately after a house fire.
  • Contact a professional restoration company to begin the cleanup, repair, and restoration process.
  • Find a restoration company that works directly with your insurance company to ensure the best settlement possible.

It is extremely important that you contact your homeowners’ insurance agent directly after a house fire, as time is of the essence when dealing with fire and water damage. Mold and mildew can begin growing within 24 hours after a house fire, so it is essential to begin the house fire restoration process as soon as possible. It is always best to contact a professional restoration company that works directly with your insurance company, as this ensures the two companies have a working relationship and are likely to come to a reasonable settlement so you have as few out-of-pocket costs as possible. It also guarantees the company you hire employs reputable contractors that operate using solid business practices and do everything they can to work with your specific needs.
 
Don’ts for House Fire Restoration

  • Do not enter your home after a house fire.
  • Do not attempt fire damage cleanup yourself.
  • Do not tamper with anything in or around your home after a fire.


You should never enter your home directly after a house fire, as this can damage your home further and cause unnecessary danger to you and your family. It is also dangerous for you to attempt house fire restoration yourself, as doing so requires professional-grade equipment most homeowners do not have and expertise that only a professional fire restorer has. You should also avoid tampering with anything in or around your home after a house fire, as this can negatively influence your insurance company’s estimate if they are unable to examine everything in its original state.

House fire restoration is something you should always leave to a professional restoration company, as they have the proper tools, expertise, and experience necessary to handle any job. For more information about things you should and should not do after a house fire, it can be helpful to contact a professional restoration company.
 
The following information on repairing you home after a fire can be found on ehow.com 

How to Repair an Old House After a Fire

 


Correcting the damage of a house fire will require that you engage a builder to help assess the damage. Inspect every crevice of the home's foundation, living areas and attic spaces. Never cover up damage, but strive to cut away all damaged wood and other materials before you begin renovation. Use the reconstruction as an opportunity to upgrade the home's wiring and other features. This type of major repair project requires hands-on assistance from experienced carpenters  and other professionals. 
Things You'll Need
Fire inspection
Insurance paperwork
Master carpenter

    Instructions

  • Photo Credit Flickr.com
    Hire a professional builder to be on site as you inspect the damage. Ask your local fire department to assist as well. Your insurance company will have key personnel to work with you, since they will have criteria for paying for it. Gain an overview of how much damage will need repair and how far your budget or insurance coverage will stretch. A major repair is not a do-it-yourself project, but you should take on the responsibility of watching the work unfold. No one will watch after your interests more than you in such a project.
  •  
  •  Get a renovation building permit and talk with the power company about safety issues. A construction supervisor should oversee cutting away damage at each entryway. Never go inside and start removing walls or framework. Start by tearing off sections from the exterior. This may require having a contractor use a jackhammer, or even a bulldozer. Masonry siding may require nothing more than a sledgehammer and a crowbar. Hire workers to help you saw away minor pieces of charred wood or haul off debris, but leave major wall removal up to professionals. Hire a master carpenter to build both temporary and permanent support framework as you tear away burned materials.
  •  Examine the home’s foundation. Replace any foundational materials such as cinder blocks and concrete footings before you start to repair the living areas. Move into the interior of the house and inspect attic spaces above rooms. A master carpenter will need to build overhead support beams and side support beams in damaged load-bearing walls, which hold up the weight of the building. 
  • Repair the exterior of the house first. Replace all roofing materials and windows to protect the interior of the home from rain. Ask all building professionals involved to inspect the interior before you begin removing drywall, insulation and electrical wiring from burned areas. Pay a master carpenter to build wall framing, floor joists and attic support framework to replace burned materials. Offer to provide labor in installing drywall, painting or installing flooring if you are competent in those areas. Ask your insurance company if you can provide these services to save money. Every insurance agency works differently. 
  • Carve out room in your budget for a new breaker box and new wiring. Never leave old electrical materials in a home that has caught fire. Hire an electrician to replace all light fixtures and electrical outlets and reconnect all wiring. New roll-type fiberglass insulation will need to be placed in exterior wall framing and attic spaces. Reduce expenses by trying to salvage kitchen and bath fixtures and cabinetry, if your budget is tight. Pay professionals to do all upgraded electrical and plumbing connections.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Choosing A Kitchen Floor

Are You Overwhelmed By The Decisions When Remodeling?


Kitchen Remodel by Unique Property Builders
Once you have made the decision to remodel the easy part is over.  There are so many decisions to be made you need to have the right contractor to walk you through the process. Unique Property Company in Dallas can help you from beginning to end. They will create a plan with you, or, if you have one in hand, they can give you a quote that you can be confident will be accurate in cost and time. Unique Property Company will help you from design to completion, handle all the local government issues, and make sure you are pleased with every part of the finished project. Call for a free consultation about your project at 214 533-0716.  Or you can check out our website at www.uniquehomebuild.com/
 

One of the many decisions that will have to be made is that of flooring. According to a recent article on the HGTV website "Your kitchen floor, besides being practical and durable, is a major design statement as well. The floor you choose affects every other element of your design and with the variety of materials, colors and textures available today, your choices are nearly endless."

 HGTV offers the following suggestions when looking for a kitchen floor.
  • Stone or tile is an excellent choice for heavy traffic areas. Ceramic tile is durable and available in assorted colors and styles with the option for decorative borders and designs.
  • Limestone is a natural stone that offers an Old World look. It's a porous material that must be sealed upon installation and then twice a year.
  • Cork is a durable, versatile material available in a variety of colors. It is water-resistant and reduces impact noise.
  • Wood is a popular choice for today's kitchens. It feels good underfoot and creates a warm look. Today's prefinished wood floors withstand heavy traffic and water stains. High-pressured plastic laminates are an alternative that provide the same look for less money.
  • Vinyl or resilient flooring offers a variety of styles and colors in either tiles or sheets for those on a budget.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Add A Bonus Room And Value To Your Home

Created by Unique Properties Dallas

Create Your Fantasy Bonus Room

 
There was a day when the guys were happy to clear a space in the garage or head down to the basement for a game of darts or pool.  But today's man has evolved.  Now the bonus room is all about  creature comforts, including a wet bar, big screen TV, poker table and more. 
 
Photo Credit Flickr.com
The bonus room is one of the most used rooms in a home. If you are feeling like yours is a bit small or outdated, maybe it is time for a remodel. Perhaps all you need is new furniture and a little paint. Or you might be looking to knock out a wall or add on.

A newly remodeled room with toys for all ages will not only keep the family home and together, it will increase the value of your home.  Many new homes being built include a bonus or game room. Even families buying an older home are looking for the latest home trends.

A bonus room is a fun place to go a little different with decorations.  Accessorize your room in a theme.  Perhaps you would select your favorite sport or sports team, college or hobby. Maybe a movie theme or beach theme is more your style.  The possibilities are endless.
 

If you live in the Dallas area, Unique Properties will be more than happy to come out and sit down with you for a free consultation.  They can sketch out your idea, help you with the budget, and give you an estimated time to complete.  Their goal is to build your fantasy bonus room, and make it better than you expected. You can contact them at:
Unique Home Construction LLC
1300 N. Central Expy
     Dallas, TX 75243
     214-533-0716
  
 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dallas Football More Than Just A Game

Predictions of a Shining Season for the Cowboys

The NFL season is underway!  In Texas, as is everything, football is BIG. After Sunday nights victory over the Giants, fans are anticipating a return to glory for their beloved Cowboys. And why wouldn't they?  With the offensive clout of Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Dez Bryant, even ESPN is predicting the 'Boys to win the NFC East. See the article below found on The Landry Hat.  Click here for the link to the article. Regardless of predictions and a "W" in the win column, it will be a hard fought battle, since every opponent gets up to beat America's Team. So grab some barbecue, chips, and a drink, and settle in to your favorite chair to take in another electrifying season of Cowboy football!

The family room is one of the most used rooms in a home.  If you are feeling like yours is a bit small or outdated, maybe it is time for a remodel.   Perhaps all you need is new furniture and a little paint.  Or you might be looking to knock out a wall or add on. Most importantly, the remodel should include a built in entertainment unit with a new flat screen to watch the 'Boys on.

12 ESPN Experts Predict Dallas As NFC East Champs; One Says Romo MVP


Thirty different ESPN personalities made their predictions on Thursday of which NFL teams would be divisional, wild card, playoff and Super Bowl champions in 2013. Twelve of those experts predicted the Dallas Cowboys would win the NFC East. Only one chose the Cowboys to win the NFC Wild Card. Zero predicted they would make it into the Super Bowl. And only one chose Dallas quarterback Tony Romo as the league’s next MVP.

Aug 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) smiles while on the field before the game against the Houston Texans at AT
Former Cowboy wide out Keyshawn Johnson was one of the twelve experts who predicted the Cowboys would win it’s division. He was joined by former Dallas rival safety Brian Dawkins, draft expert Todd McShay, NFL Insider Adam Schefter, and “Chucky” himself Jon Gruden. But only Louis Riddick predicted the Cowboys would be victorious as a wild card in the playoffs. And NFC East expert Dan Grazino chose Romo as the league’s future MVP.

NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. actually predicted the New York Giants would not only win the NFC East, but the Super Bowl. Dallas was the majority pick to win the East with twelve votes. The Washington Redskins amassed ten votes. And the Giants garnered the rest with seven. The Philadelphia Eagles were left out in the cold.

The Super Bowl predictions were also as varied, but the Denver Broncos had the most votes with seven. Both the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons tied for second with six votes. And the San Francisco 49ers followed behind with five. Amusingly, the Chicago Bears got one vote. It was of course from former Cowboys tight end and Bears coach Mike Ditka.
See the entire list of predictions below:

CHART-copy

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Make Your Home More Livable With a Bathroom Remodel

Remodel by Unique Properties Dallas

A Remodeled Bathroom Can Increase The Value of Your Home Dramatically.


In our dreams we want new home that is bigger than the one we have, and with all of the bells and whistles.  In reality financial restraints keep us from the dream.  However, there is no reason to keep our current home unlivable.  We need to hang onto our current home and make improvements.

With some simple remodeling and relatively few dollars, we can increase the value of our home and enjoy it more. Getting ready for your day in a modern bathroom can just make your entire day better.

Remodeling a bathroom can make our home not only more valuable should we ever sell, but increases the value it has for us as we are living in it.  Did you know that a remodeled bathroom could return 80-90% of your investment at resale? Here are a few tips to make sure that you are not flushing money down the toilet with your bathroom remodel.


Remodel By Unique Properties Dallas
Hire a contractor who specializes in bathrooms

  • Make sure they are licensed and insured.
  • Ask for references.
  • Ask for their ideas for the remodel, as they do this all the time.
  • Make sure they know what you want out of the remodel.
  • Confirm who will be doing the actually work. 
  • Are they skilled at  their craft?
  • Find out how long the job will take.
  • Will they take care of all of the permits?
  
Find out where your current plumbing and electrical are

     You can save a lot of money by working with your existing plumbing and electrical.
     Rerouting these can be expensive. 
    
Think through what you really need
  • Do you need a tub or just a shower?
  • Will a pedestal sink work or do you need counter space?
  • Where do shower handles need to go so you are not getting wet when you turn them on?
  • Where and how do you want the door to swing open?
  • Is it awkward or does it bump into other doors?
  • Do you want tile or stone?
  • How many people will be using this bathroom? 
  • Is it just for guests or will it be getting lots of everyday use?
  • Do you have the space and money to expand the bathroom or just remodel?
  • If there is not a window can you put in a skylight?
  • Could you add a half bath created from a closet or space under stairs?
  • Good lighting can make a room look and feel bigger.
  • What kind and where will you put your lighting?

If you are looking for a contractor for your remodel in Dallas TX check out Unique Properties. Unique Properties will sit down with you from the beginning of the project, and take you through the process step-by-step. Because they have years of experience, they have compiled check lists of approaches and ideas for your bathroom remodel.