Monday, April 28, 2014

Prepare for Green Home Remodeling with Proper Spring Cleaning!

green remodeling is best done with green cleaning and diy cleaning supplies and helpful contractors at unique home in Dallas TexasSpring is upon us and for many of us, that means change!  In all things though, before change
comes cleansing.  When we want to change our bodies with exercise, we also make changes in our diet, routine, surroundings and other life choices to make sure these changes last and are build into a solid foundation.  Sound familiar?

Remodeling and home renovation seem to be a hot topic these days and in the front of our minds and conversations.  Why?  Because not only as a society but as families and individuals, we are expanding and our home lives need to follow suit to keep up with us.

If you are considering a green home remodel and are wanting to either add or change a space, you will feel more peace and less stress if you get cleaning in the both the areas that are going to be renovated and the ones that will remain as they are.

For the renovated areas, you'll want to de-clutter; that's your biggest priority.  When the builders and contractors arrive, it will only add to your stress if you have to move piles of collected items that no longer have a purpose.  Your shelves, dressers and containers should only have what you NEED in them.  Everything else, throw away, recycle, gift or sell. This will make your furnishings lighter and easier to move which will in turn, allow you to sweep and clean hidden space; not to mention put the furniture back after remodeling is complete.

Your home will feel in disarray for a while which can subconsciously leave you feeling flustered and disorganized.  This is the time where you really want to commit to keeping the rest of your home both organized and clean.  Keep things put away and refresh the rooms with a clean aroma.

Green home remodeling usually begins with a 'green minded' individual.  To get you motivated on this new and exciting renovation adventure, I want to give you some simple easy recipes to make your own natural, green cleaning supplies at home, FOR your home and health!

Here's what you're going to need: 

  • baking soda
  • white vinegar
  • lemons
  • castille soap
  • essential oils (lemon, tea tree, lavender, thyme, eucalyptus & orange are all options)
  • spray bottles

For the Windows: For those that love vinegar, you're going to love this one. You just mix 3 tablespoons of vinegar with 2 cups of water into a spray bottle (bigger jobs - 1/2 cup V to 1 gal of H2O) and spray right on to your windows. Is this effective?  Yes. Does it smell good? No. If you can't handle the smell, a mix of lemon juice and club soda will do the trick just as well. Do make sure that if you use lemon juice, you use lint free cloth like newspaper to wipe them down with.  (you can also add a little lemon juice to the vinegar solution as well, just avoid pulp) 

All Purpose Germ Killer: This one is easy. Mix 2 cups of water with a few drops of castille soap and about 15 drops of your chosen essential oils. You can spray this on all kinds of surfaces in your home from changing tables  and fixtures to counter tops and walls. Just don't use it on glass, because the soap will make it streak.  Additionally, you can use our own Eucalyptus Shower Spray, not only to enrich your shower experience but also to cleanse the air by spraying it into the air and on to surfaces.

For the Toilets:  Everyone's favorite place to clean right?  This one is simple.  You can take some of the window cleaner you made (preferably with the lemon juice) and spray generously around and inside the toilet.  Then sprinkle some baking soda on top of it and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Come back, scrub and watch it shine!

Prevent Mold: Mold is incredibly dangerous for you and your family and once it starts, it's extremely hard to get rid of!  So start with prevention.  Take a spray bottle with 2 cups of water and add about 5 drops of tea tree and thyme oil to the bottle.  Spray on walls, in closets, in bathrooms and behind furniture and then wipe down.  The anti-septic and anti-mircrobial nature of tea tree and eucalyptus oil will combat the mold before it really has a chance to take over. 

See?  Easy, simple and pure.  Enjoy those tips and let us know how they worked out for you! For green home remodeling and renovation in Dallas, Texas, let us know how our contractors at Unique Home Building can turn your house into your dream home today! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Home a Healthier and Happier Place Without Spending a Fortune

Sometimes your home needs a face lift.  There are some incredibly affordable ways to do this, depending on what you are looking to accomplish.
renovate and remodel your dallas texas home with skylights and a sauna

Everyone is different and their homes will all have different needs and priorities.  But from what people say, the biggest issues revolve around things feeling fresh and clean.  However, if you enjoy living in a dirty dark cave, this post is probably not for you.

People thrive where light abides.  So, as it was once said, "let there be light!"  Rooms can come to life with the simple addition of more lighting.  There are many options here including buying some low cost floor, table or track lighting.  If you're ready for something a little bigger and brighter, talk to us installing skylights.  That's an incredible option that will bring daylight and moon glow into your home- increasing the light, adding freshness and a welcoming ambiance.
renovate and remodel your dallas texas home with skylights and a sauna

Next on my list, because it's so multi-functional, is Eucalyptus Oil Spray. This spray is a God-send as it leaves a refreshing aroma while killing germs and can even be added to your bath, shower or sauna for all the health benefits!  For the health benefits, check out this article on the secrets to a healthy body and glowing skin.

Since we're cleaning the air and brightening things up, let's add some flora and fauna! Indoor plants clean the air as they absorb the bad stuff and release clean oxygen for you and the ones you love.  They enrich the environment with life and bring color contrast to all corners of the home. Be sure to read labels for proper care and watering! For those without a green thumb, you can opt for succulents and air plants; even build your own terrarium!

renovate and remodel your dallas texas home with skylights and a saunaMy next suggestion is to turn up the heat and sweat it all out in your own home sauna.  This, a common addition to homes in Europe, is becoming a more loved feature in our modern American homes. Sweat is one of the best ways to detox our insides and also provides us with beautiful, healthy skin. Of course, we all perspire outdoors, but indoors, you have the clothing (or not) option and can add the essential oils of your choosing while detoxing at high or medium temperatures.  Even add steam if you'd like!  These additions aren't as pricey as you may think, so give it a try!

Lastly, for peace of mind, get your furniture Built in's are a classic home feature and will not only reduce your clutter, but also up the resale value of your home in the future!  They can be made to suit most any style of home and once they're in, you'll be so happy you did it.
off the floor and create some built in organization!

For these and other home inspirations, follow our blog and visit us at Unique Home Builders, in Dallas, Texas, to let us know how we can help you on your next home renovation project!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Part 2: Do You Feel Out Of Place in Your Home? Let's Change That

unique home builders in dallas texas make the house while families and togetherness are what make a home
"Good design considers everybody. 

How does your home represent you?

Is everyone represented?  Does everyone feel at home?   It's usually pretty easy to walk into some one's home and know who has the most influence; the man, the woman or the children. You'll generally know the age and preferences of the main decorator."

This is how we started part one of 'Do You Feel Out Of Place In Your Home?'

If you haven't read that part yet, please go back and do so, as it really sets the mood. If you don't have time, here's a basic point summary: 

  • everything about your home tells you and the world about your family's story
  • you can decide what message you want to send
  • you first have to decide who you are and how you want that to be seen in your home
  • everybody in the family matters - men, women and children.

The homework for you was to *talk to your spouse, your children, your parents or your house mates and discuss what makes the house feel like a home to you.  What feels welcoming and what makes you feel joy and peace?* 

So, what did you decide?  Because you're dealing with differing personalities and needs, you could have a spectrum of color and decor preferences.  But you can always integrate each person's needs together as a whole because that's family anyway.  Ask yourself, how you make your personality differences work together?  

What are the needs that stand out most?  Does your teen need his space?  Does your daughter need room to study?  Do you have younger children that require more child safety considerations?  Does dad need a home office or creative space?  And mom?  Does she 'just' want it clean, or would it be nice if she had a creative, reading or workout room?  There are many personalities and needs being addressed above, but you can see how we can work with it.

Remember, when a person has their own space, for study or creativity, they have more room for creative freedom.  So let each one speak their needs for their personal space and you'll likely come to a better compromise for the main rooms.  

There are two major things that people tend to bring up in these situations.  Color and Clutter.  Some like bright and some like black and white.  Some like ultra organization and others couldn't care less.  Can we come to the middle together? 

Here's my sample solution. If most of you are minimalists then keep things simple and clean with vibrant color on the walls or on accents like furniture, paintings, or nooks.  If you have the opposite, then you will probably have a lot more 'things' or color everywhere.  You can imagine how this scene can get overwhelming for an organized person once clutter enters in.  So let's make sure there are good organizational tools in place like cabinets, baskets, shelves, sectioned drawers etc...  

What's the key?  Respect.  There are many people to consider and each is as important as the other.  I'm confident that you will be able to come up with some great solutions.  

If your solution is to go bigger and make a better space in general,  then we at Unique Home Builders are ready to walk you through the journey and are committed to getting the job done in the best way possible. 

Your house should feel like a home.  We see to it. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Do You Feel Out Of Place in Your Home? Let's Change That.

Good design considers everybody.
houses are our homes and should feel that way.  if your home doesn't feel sweet, cozy and like it represents you, then we will do the renovation that changes it all.  Create your home.

How does your home represent you?

Is everyone represented?  Does everyone feel at home?   It's usually pretty easy to walk into someone's home and know who has the most influence; the man, the woman or the children. You'll generally know the age and preferences of the main decorator.

How a home is built, painted and decorated all tells a story of it's inhabitants.  One look around can tell you a lot - from whether those living there are home bodies or world travelers, what they collect, what makes them excited, where they hold priorities and even fears.

This is important to take note of for both ourselves and for our guests and I want to inspire your thought process about this in two parts.

First of all, what we surround ourselves in, is our current reality.  Is your home disorganized and full of clutter?  If so, maybe that's just you and you are totally comfortable with that.  Some people are.  But if it's not you, and you find your belongings scattered and misplaced, this can domino itself into other areas of your life and leave you both confused and quite overwhelmed.

So the question really, is, do I WANT my life to be like this?  Do you?  Taking it further, do you want others to walk into your house and think you want it this way?  (Hold on, I'm not talking about cleaning and organizing for others opinion's sake - but let's uphold your true self here, if that's not who even YOU want to be, then let's stop misrepresenting your individuality!)

We shouldn't forget to consider the other members of the house hold and family.  Men, women and kids alike all tend to have different preferences.  Some will be messy, organized, like minimalism, enjoy country decor ...  obviously, the list is endless but if you don't take time to consider everyone's needs, someone is bound to feel frustrated and resentful.  And the whole point is to create a home, right?

Home = Togetherness

So all should be considered.  Kids like order, even subconsciously.  It creates a feeling of stability and predictability for them.  So, are there ways that the more organizationally relaxed members of the family would be willing to get organized on a surface level?  Can Saturday morning be the day that everyone does their share of cleaning?  (Or for those who'd like to spread it out, do it during the week?)

I understand that I haven't even addressed paint colors and color schemes.  That's because, you can't go that direction until you've properly determined this one.

So here's my homework for you.  Talk to your spouse, your children, your parents or your house mates and discuss what makes the house feel like a home to you.  What feels welcoming and what makes you feel joy and peace?

Keep your eye out for the next post, where I will talk about the next steps with layout, remodeling, structure, paint, decor and mood.  At Unique Home Building, our goal is for you to feel at home where you live.

It can feel clausterphobic when you're living in a space that doesn't feel like home to you; doesn't feel like YOU at all. So let's find out what needs to be changed so you and your family can thrive in the place you know best.

Part 2:  Do You Feel Out Of Place in Your Home? Let's Change That

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easy Tips for Financially Smart Home Renovation Projects

We've said it so many times before and fully believe it - Your home is your castle and deserve to have it suit you best.  This means you can do whatever you want with it, right? Well...yes, but if you want a good financial return and sweat equity, you probably want to make sure those changes are smart ones.  
when you're married you often think about what you want your dream home to look like.  At unique home, we make that dream a reality.

Too often, people make choices that really shoot themselves in the foot a few years down the line. Real-estate agents and appraisers say they regularly see homeowners make changes that don't increase the value of the home by much, if at all. Some remodels or renovations can even bring down the value of a home. Of course, on top of that is all the damage that a lack of upkeep and upgrades can do. Yikes!

So here are some tips to make sure your remodel is a responsible investment. 

Don't Go Overboard.

A common mistake can be improving a home too much for the neighborhood, turning the home into an expensive and sometimes odd looking space that stands out in disrespectful way. How much is too much? That depends. If you're in a really nice neighborhood, it would be hard to over improve something. But if you're in more modest neighborhood, adding a massive wall and iron gate *just* might be pushing it. 

Be Consistent

When homeowners upgrade inconsistently, it totally hurts the home's value. Don't pour 40k into your kitchen and leave the rest of the home in the dark ages.  Be balanced about it and cure the deficiencies. Find out what the common improvements being done in your area are and bring your home up to that norm.  If you get to the point where you're ready to go beyond that, re-read the above point and don't over do it.

Floor plan rules

So many people are careless when they add square footage to their homes. If you add a bedroom that forces you to walk through the laundry room to get there, which is not functional or appealing.  Another common 'functionality fail' is when people decide to have bathrooms on one side of the house and bedrooms on the opposite.  It's just not thought out properly and will end up costing you far more than you'll get back in the end. 


We know you want to feel useful and you want to save money too.  Those are big reasons why people tackle the big projects around the house. Unfortunately though, you're not nearly as good at those DIY projects as you may think you are and the pro's can see the difference. DIY your little things; the things you have done well a dozen times.  If you have too google a 'how-to', go with a professional. 

Color, color!

Color comes down to personal preference for homeowners. You'll find walls painted with every color from deep blue to blood red. The problem with this is, some homeowners are totally uninterested in returning those vibrant walls back to a neutral color when it's time to sell the home. A house with black walls or painted wood trimming is so much harder to sell.  In the end, keep it personalized, enhance it with your personal character but don't go past the regrettable point of no return. 

Here at Unique Home Build, we are excited about the changes in your life and are ready to help you make them happen.  We love being your local Dallas go-to's for contractors and renovation services.  Please get in touch and tell us where we can best serve you. 

    Save Money and Time With Your Bathroom Remodel and Renovation Project!

    If you have ever done any size remodel, you know the job can be expected to go differently than how you planned it to go. The best schedules can be made, all the right meetings set, choose and decide all products and still, things may end up going in a strange direction. Many things make a renovation job challenging: poor supervision, delayed or no decisions, people not showing up, special-order materials delayed and even the weather; the list of possibilities can go on forever. 

    bathroom remodels and renovation allow you to create the home of your dreams with the contractors at unique home building in dallas, texas

    So let's start with bathrooms.  What are some common mistakes people make when remodeling their bathrooms that can be avoided when planned for ahead of time? 

    Using a 'Jack-of-all-trades' contractor

    Maybe it doesn't seem like it, but remodeling a bathroom remodeling is quite a specialty in the world of construction. Bathrooms typically have more than fifty primary components that must be matched and installed properly. Backer boards, the sub floors and other unseen components HAVE TO be installed properly to avoid inconvenient and annoying problems that could haunt you in the years to come.  Using a single trades-person who builds everything from finish decks, exterior paint, install windows and porches produce the result you’re really hoping for.

    However, there are also several companies out there who do nothing but build bathrooms. Their installers typically understand the spectrum of surprises and challenges that renovating a bathroom can present. And like any specialist, they are usually better prepared to diagnose and solve the problem quickly and without undue expense.  At Unique Home Building, you get exactly what you need.  We are a team of specialists ready to complete the job in the way that's best for your home and situation. 

    Match up your hardware and fixtures
    Some people may not care so much about this one. But, I can almost promise you that the folks looking to buy your house one day in the future will. So here's the thing. If you choose a faucet with a brass finish, make sure that your other components also have a brass finish. This includes your towel bar, hand towel ring, toilet paper holder, shower head, tub spout, shower door and even the little knobs on your cabinetry.
    Be aware, not all manufacturers make their finishes the same and one piece may not look like  another company’s equivalent. If they don’t match, it just looks cheap and tacky. If possible, buy your fixtures at the same place so you can compare finishes before it’s too late.
    The toilet, tub and sink should also match. Please, if you’re using white, use white on all of them. Again, just like with the finishes, you’ll need to watch out for variations within a color. You can avoid making this mistake by comparing material samples  BEFORE you buy them.  Otherwise, you run the risk of being annoyed every morning minutes after you’ve just awakened.  Set your day up for success.  Avoid the little annoyances!

    Don't just buy based on price
    We all love a good bargain! The problem is this – in bathroom renovation and remodeling, is that the price can be dramatically lowered by using the cheapest materials and even cutting out critical pieces. Cheaper isn't always better though. Better materials simply work better, last longer and give you a much better chance of avoiding disasters. Just think of all the things that could go wrong with your plumbing or electric system.

    Use a licensed plumber 
    This is slightly different than our point of -using a ‘Jack of all trades’ contractor- and we’ve seen this one over and over. 
    Plumbing is absolutely a specialty and not even the specialized bathroom contractor should be doing everything entirely by him or herself. Good plumbers can help you avoid the most expensive problems you can imagine.
    In the end, you won't feel like you saved very much by letting the non-plumber do the plumbing. Contractor hourly rates and plumber hourly rates are not that different. Insist on a licensed plumber.

    Bathroom renovations are a wonderful first step to beautifying your home.  It only makes sense to do it well and invest wisely in quality professionals and components. Unique Home Builders are ready to be at your service to give you the home remodel you are looking for. 

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    5 Fresh and Easy Remodeling Ideas to Spice Up Your Kitchen!

    How often have you looked at your kitchen and wished you could just, "spice it up"?  Most people want to and many don't know what to do.  Whatever the desire or need, tho, there are a few things you can do or take into consideration when you finally do desire to take that plunge into kitchen remodel and redecoration. 

    kitchen remodeling trends feature bright bold colors and sophisticated minimalism, an easy project for dallas texas home contractors!
    Well, kitchen remodeling ranks among some of the most popular places to start with home improvements. Why? It provides an excellent return on your investment. A beautifully renovated kitchen can provide better storage, sleek ergonomics and an even higher resale value. So, whether thinking upgrade or resale, here are some trending kitchen remodeling tips to make you oooh and aaaah

    Coffee anyone? The most modern models are able to deliver customized cups of coffee, cappuccino and espresso with just one button. Elegant, built-in designs save limited counter space and make for a very modern start to your day. 

    Cabinet Sophisticate. When it comes to storage, cabinets have gone far more minimal with their floating units, who's systems are concealed behind sliding doors, touch-latch fronts - eliminating the need for ugly hardware, with an array of unique finishes to choose from such as aluminum, bamboo, lacquer, or frosted and translucent glass.

    kitchen remodeling trends feature bright bold colors and sophisticated minimalism, an easy project for dallas texas home contractors!

    Color it well! Retro kitchen accents in colors such as red, yellow, orange and cobalt blue give today's modern kitchens a burst of color therapy. You can choose to stick with basic blacks and grays, earth tones or even white minimalism.  Accenting with bright appliances, towels or fixtures are a great way to again, 'spice it up' for you mood and meals!

    Counters count! Counters are going from common to couture with custom touches such as wooden butcher blocks and marble pastry slab inserts. Homeowners are mixing materials, such as concrete embedded with bits of glass and metal. Stone, such as soapstone and marble, remains a popular counter top material.

    Happy hour at home?  The latest development in wine refrigerators are including beautiful freestanding models that have the capacity to as many as 147 bottles! Other smaller, attached units complete with built-in refrigerator drawers are also available.  So, it's now ok if you don't have a rustic wine cellar in Italy.  Start collecting!

    As you can see, there are many options out there for every home.  You just have to start somewhere!  Don't be overwhelmed or afraid!  Here at Unique Home Building, we are ready for your home remodel or renovation face lift!  Stop by and let us know what we can do for you!

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Key Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling Your Home

    older couple considers remodeling their home and looks to hire a contractor in Dallas Texas for their Home renovation project.

    Making the choice to remodel your home can help you feel like you’ve moved into a brand new space, without the added stress and cost of buying, selling and moving. That being said, many people often make the same simple mistakes, all of which can be easily avoided and Unique Home builders in Texas can really alleviate the headache of the process.  

    First Things First
    Every home comes with it's issues.  Some have black mold or plumbing issues.  These kind of things can cause a lot of underlying problems that you may discover at a bad time. For example, if you discover mold in any place - deal with it immediately. You don't want your contractor discovering later on that it is from a leak in the walls of the upstairs plumbing; that will need to be dealt with first.  Don't make this harder on yourself!

    Trust Your Contractor
    With all the DIY info out there, anyone can 'be' an expert.  People think they know best – it’s their home after all, right? While that’s all true, there comes a point when you just need to trust that the contractor knows what they’re doing and let them guide you in the right direction, by making recommendations and suggestions to make your new home the best it can be.  It's your vision, but it's a big undertaking that should be left to the experienced professionals. 

    Don't Buy New Things Ahead of Time
    Wait until things are in progress or finished to buy your accents and appliances. You don't really know if any of it fit.  You'll end up going on a returning spree and with your contractor taking a jackhammer through the old tub to get the new one in—not worth it, in our opinion! Have patience.  It's coming.

    Move Your Stuff
    While any responsible contractor will be respectful of your furniture and belongings, the chance of something being damaged if it’s still in the work space is much higher. Instead of leaving it up to chance, move your belongings out of the work space before things get started.

    Your Home Is Not the Picture
    People often give photos to their contractors to follow, but then they are disappointed when things don’t turn out looking exactly like the photo in the magazine or on the Pinterest board. The thing is, those pictures are heavily edited and touched up, (just like models) and even if your contractor or builder uses all the same materials, there is usually no way to totally mimic a magazine photo in real life.

    Timeline to Completion 
    While an area of your home is being remodeled, there’s a pretty good chance that you won’t be able to use it during that time. If this is an essential area of your home, you might be stuck not being able to use it for much longer than is comfortable for you. If you need things to be completed by a certain date, make sure to tell the contractor at the very beginning so they can prepare to work towards that goal. Otherwise, things may be done on their schedule, within reason, but not necessarily your expectation. 

    In Conclusion
    In conclusion, we at Unique Home Building  know that a home remodeling project is something that most homeowners do only once or twice in a lifetime, if at all.  Therefore, the process tends to be totally new for most people.  There are quite a few things to know before embarking on this journey, which is why we are so committed to informing you.   You deserve to have a great experience and for your home to reflect your dreams, values and lifestyle.  

    Please, call us today, if you are looking for a contractor in Dallas, Texas to take care of your home rebuilding or renovation projects.  You are in good hands.