Friday, February 28, 2014

Affordable and Simple Solutions for Easy Bathroom Remodeling

You might be surprised to find out that a minor remodel is a worthy investment that can be affordable, fun and quite simple.

Whatever your reason may be, we all can admit to fantasizing about having a bigger home, more space and more ways to organize the clutter of our expanding lives.  We call them fantasies because we don't believe they are actually attainable pursuits due to our perceived financial restraints.  However, I'm here to tell you today that there is no reason you need to continue living in a frustrated situation.  Don't worry about moving, let's take one step at a time and simply make improvements. 

I believe the best place to start, when speaking of improvements, is the bathroom? Why? Because when you roll out of bed in the morning, it's the first room to be graced with your presence.   The ambiance that your bathroom gives is nothing short of a spring board in your morning routine.  Imagine what feels more rejuvenating; waking up to white paint, florescent bulbs and particle board or entering a mini relaxation room, with soft golden lighting, calming blue walls and a marble counter top?  Well, with some simple remodeling and relatively few dollars, we can increase the value of our home, allowing you to enjoy it even more. After all, getting ready for your day in a modern bathroom can simply make your entire day better.

Remodeling a bathroom whether partial or full, can make our home not only more valuable (should you ever decide to sell) but also increases the value for the people who matter most; those 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.

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?

    A well designed bathroom isn't just for the ladies.  Men like to have their space and children as well.  It is a place for cleansing, beginning and relaxation.  Think of those things when you consider what sort of changes you would like to have. Look at your bathroom and feel what is missing.  Is the lighting harsh, does the space feel crammed, do you feel relaxed or anxious?  The color scheme of a bathroom is also an important consideration when planning your change - which I'm happy to divulge in with the next post.

    The home is your castle, your place of refuge.  It should reflect both your personality and also meet your need to actually feel at home.

    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.  

    by:  Navae Fiona

    Monday, February 24, 2014

    Small Ways to Add Big Value with a Bathroom Remodel

    What if your remodel was able to 80-90% of your investment to your resale value?  You might be more excitedly inclined to take that long desired step!  Updating your bathroom adds a surprisingly significant value to your home. Many people still find themselves overwhelmed by either the plethora or even limited possibilities for this particular undertaking.

    Here are a few ideas I would like to share to make things more affordable, enjoyable and simpler for you.

    • Half Baths  - Half baths are a fabulous addition that not only adds convenience but also a modern & European flair.  Houses all over the world are applauded for their full baths plus guest toilets to offer.  These can be created out of small closets or under eaves.  
    • Master suites - You could add his and her sinks, a spacious shower tub or other sleek addition to create a calm and welcoming environment; which always adds value to the home. 
    • Save Water  - Water and money can be saved with green, low-flow toilets.  
    • Add Skylights - If your home is dark and could use some brightening up, skylights can be a great alternative to the energy that light fixtures tend to consume.  
    • Amenities - Adding certain upgrades such as such as steam showers, heated floors and whirlpool tubs add perks that relax and rejuvenate. 
    • Storage Spaces - Make sure you don't compromise on functionality when opting for storage spaces like vanities or medicine cabinets.  These additions can be both functional and fashionable. 

    The key is to take the time to research ideas and different options for your bathroom remodel.  So where's the best place to start?  Start online.  Then share your ideas and inspiration with family and friends to further your creativity and help with making decisions. In addition, those same people can be a great resource for choosing contractors and suppliers.

    I urge you to also consider your budget and make your remodeling decisions accordingly.  Remember that bathrooms, whether half or full, are the most visited rooms in any home.  An updated bathroom will not only add value to your house, but if done well, can also be a welcomed retreat at any time of any day.

    Of course,  as with all remodeling projects, Unique Home  is  here to help.  Let us know how we can best serve you today.

    Be sure to follow us on twitter for updates!  We love hearing from you!

    by: Navae Fiona

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

    Remodel Your Bathroom With Ceramic Tile!

    Give your old, worn out vinyl floor a new look by remodeling your bathroom with elegant ceramic tile!

    Choosing the right type of flooring for your bathroom can pose a few problems as there are many different floor coverings available, and all have their advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to selecting materials for your bathroom floors, make sure the flooring is water resistant and non-slippery to avoid falls that are quite common due to the high moisture and slippery soaps present in the bathroom.  At, Unique Home Building our preferred choices include materials that are stain resistant and easy to clean. However, today, all types of flooring are available in water-resistant types and you may choose one with a little rougher surface for the anti-slip characteristics. Your options range from moisture-resistant hardwood floors to carpets that can be laid down in baths and are resistant to water, mildew and stains.

    Today, however, we will focus on ceramic flooring.   While we support and instal other flooring options as well, ceramic tile floors are usually better than wood, carpet, or linoleum flooring because they handle water better. 

    Benefits of Ceramic Flooring 
    Water Resistance: Most ceramic bathroom floor tiles which you purchase should be resistant to water penetration. This is often able to be achieved by choosing glazed tiles, which have a colored glass surface that rests over the material protecting it from damage.
    Unglazed tiles, and quarry tiles, can be protected by sealing them with a commercial water barrier sealing agent. However these will be less resistant and durable, and higher maintenance in a bathroom.

    Because ceramic tile is such a hard surface, it is a very practical and durable type of flooring. There are many reasons why you might choose tile over other types of flooring. Glazed ceramic tile is:
    • Hard-wearing
    • Hygienic and easy to clean
    • Moisture-resistant
    • Won’t stain
    • Never needs waxing or sealing
    • Never needs refinishing
    • Comes in many shapes, styles and colors for every decor 

    Another great perk is that tile is a fashion forward option for your floors as they come in so many different styles.  Today's ceramic and porcelain tiles come in unique shapes, bold colors and natural hues, able to mimic the look of organic materials found in nature like stone and wood. 

    Worried about how to keep it clean?

    Ceramic tile is very easy to clean and requires very little maintenance to keep it in pristine condition. Here are a few tips:
    • Keep a mat by the front door to trap dust and dirt
    • Sweet, vacuum or dry-mop regularly
    • Wipe spills with a damp sponge
    • Use water and common household cleaners for mopping

    So there you have it!  It's a wonderful option and not the only one!  
    Stay tuned for the next post as we talk about the benefits of hardwoods! As always, we'd love to hear from you! Let us know what your dream bathroom remodel would be in the comments below. 

    Stop by Unique Home Building and see what we can do for YOUR home!

    by: Navae Fiona

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    7 Positive Ways to Create an Energized Day!

    Not everyone is a morning person, but most people need to function in the morning for one reason or another.  With that in mind, let's make the most out of those morning blues with these 7 positive ways to create an energized and productive day!

    Everyone has weaknesses in their morning routine, so let's try to reduce the confusion and chaos the night before.  For example, gather your clothes (yours and the kids) together and set them aside to save yourself the anxiety of staring into your closet and making those choices in your morning zombie mode.  After all, it's the prepared that succeed!

    The sun is going to rise regardless of what side of the bed you choose to wake up on.  And, yes I said "choose".  I know you might be tired (maybe go to bed earlier?) or dreading the day ahead but only you can decide how you feel about your day and whether your fears or frustrations will rule you. When you wake up - just smile.  Even if you feel stupid and inauthentic, smile anyway and keep it there.  While (possibly staging) you grin, think of everything you love and are thankful for.  Life can be crazy but it doesn't mean YOU have to be.  So make a different choice.  You be the sunshine!

    Having the glow of red lights and the activity of phones and computers can really rob you of your restful sleep *and* waking.  Look around your room.  Is it restful?  Do you feel warm and energized when you wake?  If not, take inventory of what's stifling you and get some change happening.  Whether it's in need of moving cyberspace to another room, painting with uplifting colors or even a total remodel, you decide what needs to happen and then get it done.  Getting proper peace and rest is vital to good health and prosperity.

    Find a place in your home that's quiet and free from distraction, that's not in your bed.  Grab your Bible or an inspirational book, maybe even turn on some relaxing music and sit in that stillness.
    Take one, two, ten deep breaths.   This is your opportunity to set your daily intention for a peaceful and productive day.

    It's common knowledge that physical activity is important for both your mind and body, but it can be really difficult to find the time to fit it in to our busy schedules.  If you can go for a run or stop by the gym first thing in the morning, great!  If not, make a plan to implement a small routine into your morning so you at least set a pattern and habit to care for your mind and body which will in turn, not only set up your day with energy but also the rest of your life.

    6.  BODY FUEL
    Some people are morning eaters and some are not.  Do some reading and feeling and try to hone in on what your particular body type is.  Some people are the hot tea and toast type and others are the full spread of fruit, bacon and eggs.  Whatever feels best and fuels you for the next couple of hours should be considered your energy spark for the day and committed to.  When you take time to eat a balanced meal, you are giving your body the fuel it needs for everything else.   Only the oiled machine can truly perform!

    7.  CONNECT
    This is perhaps my favorite step.  It is the perfect compliment to all the other healthy recommended steps. Connect.  Connect to both gratitude and love with yourself and your loved ones.   Take the time to smile at yourself.  Be proud of how far you have come and the possibilities you have left to explore!  In the same way, imagine how that would inspire your loved ones if your spouse or children were to hear the same thankful and empowering messages!!

    So make a commitment to yourself out of love to energize your day by planning ahead, feeding your mind and body well and by holding love and gratitude in your heart.  It will bring more beauty to your day and put a smile in your heart.... I promise.

    We love bringing beauty to your life which is why we do what we do!  Please stop on by our website at Unique Home and see how we can make a difference in your home!  We'd love to hear from you in the comments below and as usual, please visit us on twitter!

    by: Navae Fiona

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Tips for Spring Cleaning

    Ever wonder why the hype around cleaning at the end of Winter?  Why do we do it? We do it because we are a busy world that tends to accumulate extra clutter and dust in the middle of our business.  Then one day we realize how it all caught up to us and decide that it's time for that to be remedied.  Cleaning can be extremely therapeutic for anger, stress and emotional upset, it can bring about more mental clarity, organization,  the defense against germs and of course the added bonus that once you've got it out of the way, you can focus on the things that really matter.

    So what's bugging you? What are the areas in your home that you feel need that extra love and attention right now?

    Don't be overwhelmed.  There's a way through this. Here a few tips to lessen the stress over the coming spring cleaning.

    First things first. Create an action plan.  Don't overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations.   Write down a list of which areas and rooms bother you most and tackle those first.  After that - move on to de-cluttering and organization.  Got your pen and paper ready?  Go make that list.

    Take one room at a time. Don't get distracted by what's left on your list. Just start with one and move on to the next one at a reasonable pace. I feel like the communal rooms are the most important to start with.  I usually break things up in to living/family rooms, dining, kitchen, then common bathrooms and toilets.  After that, I move on to bedrooms and private baths.  Once all the basics are covered - your path is clear enough to deal with surfaces, walls and neglected hiding spots.  Once you've decided and written out your plan of action, you will feel much less weight on your shoulders.

    So, about those forgotten places!

    • Walls- Dust them with a vacuum brush attachment, then wipe clean with an all-purpose cleaner.
    • Baseboards- Dust with a microfiber cloth or vacuum, then spray and wipe with an all-purpose cleaner.
    • Window Screens- Remove them first. Lay them flat on a tarp outside, then spray them clean with a garden hose.
    • Shelves- Take everything off first, then dust.
    • Driveway and garage floor- Use a pressure washer to remove caked-on crud.
    • Ceiling fans- Spray the inside of a pillowcase with cleaner, then slip the bag over the blade and wipe clean.

    Now, all you have to to is just add flowers!  Floral arrangements bring colors, vibrancy and invigorating fragrance to the home which is a great finishing touch to a job well done.

    Your happiness at home is important to us and that's why we are here.  Come say hello to us at Unique Home Building and let us know what we can do to better your personal palace!

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Feng Shui tips for Warmth in the Home

    Now that winter is here, does your home feel warm? If not, it’s time for a couple changes.  After all, we are spending more time indoors and we need warmth in our bodies, as well as the warm feelings that coziness and comfort bring. 

    When speaking in the terms of feng shui, it’s time to balance your environment by bringing in the fire element points.

    Let’s talk decorating and re-decorating with the elements to increase the warmth and energy flow. This vital energy can be brought into your home environment with objects, throws, wall colors, pillows and plants…  The point is to have fun with it and feel what works for you.

    The foundation of feng shui is based on the five elements – wood, fire, earth, water and metal. Bring these elements into the d├ęcor of your home and you’ll increase the warming flow instantly!

    Here are my top two pointers:

    ·      Clutter – Get rid of it! The transition from winter to spring aims to launch people into new ideas. However, the mind associates clutter with stagnation and causes people to feel ‘stuck’ and unmotivated. Let inspiration flow by getting rid of your clutter! Get into your closets and corners, old boxes and basements to see where your unnecessary items are collected and lurking.
    ·      Colors – Go for the gold! Rich golden hues with accents of yellow, orange, burgundy, deep green and brown will bring rich warmth to a chilled season!  You can add these colors to your home with pillows, blankets, plants, rugs and art.  An additional perk is the underlying nurturing comfort these colors bring to the subconscious.

    There are many other ways to bring the right energetic flow into your home and I encourage you to read more about the subject.  Find little ways to incorporate the elements into your home and see how it uplifts you!  You never know – you just may get hooked!

    But of course, you don’t have to stop there!   At Unique Home Building we are happy to be the creative designers of your new or remodeled home. Feel free to get in touch with us with your plans and ideas and we’ll turn your home into your personal palace!

    By: Navae Fiona