Saturday, August 30, 2014

No More Excuses! Time For Home Upgrades & Renovation Tips That You Can Afford!

Are you frustrated with the current state of your home?  Need more space or to update the
look but are afraid of the cost or time involved? Not only is it possible for you to make big changes on a small budget, but you can use these ideas to make sure that your renovation and remodeling projects are a worthy long term investment as well!

Don't Do TOO Much

No More Excuses! Time For Home Upgrades & Renovation Tips That You Can Afford!
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.

For the Floor Plan 

No More Excuses! Time For Home Upgrades & Renovation Tips That You Can Afford!
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 It Up!

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 Building, 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. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Buying or Selling a Home? Save Money and Increase Your Home's Values with these Tips!

Buying or Selling a Home? Save Money and Increase Your Home's Values with these Tips!Looking to buy or sell a home? Keep in mind these characteristics that not only make it appealing to live in now, but will increase it's value in the future! 
Whether you have a family and want a new home, or want to investYou need to not only look for a house that fits for you, but also that fits for the majority of the population. Here’s what the majority of households are looking for or are able to adapt to:
  • Look for a minimum of three bedrooms and a maximum of four. Two bedroom homes mostly cater to single people or couples that do not or will not have children (and aren’t concerned with selling their house). At the same time, homes with five bedrooms or more cater to those who have a healthy number of children, or plan on having them in the near future. That makes three- and four-bedroom homes the perfect size for the majority of the population, with three bedrooms being ideal. If you haven’t noticed, large suburban homes that are energy drainers are quickly going out of style.
  • In terms of number of bathrooms, 1-1/2 or 2 will make the home more desirable than just one. If you’re looking at a house that could cheaply add another half or full bath, you might have a good find.
  • Square footage is important, but not quite as much as the number of bedrooms. Typically, you’ll want more than 1,000 (with room to expand) and less than 2,000 for a home to be comfortable and efficient for the majority of the home-buying population.
Whether you are buying or wanting to sell, you know that what can make or break the opportunity is whether or not you or the buyer want to actually go it the house. If you're looking to flip or buy cheap and renovate,find an attractive home from an architectural perspective that just needs aesthetic upgrades. Finding a home with an ugly paint color and really poor landscaping can be a major find!
Here are some other cheap ways to improve a home’s curb appeal before you sell it and things that are easy to fix if you're looking for a cheaper buy:
  • Paint the shutters
  • Power wash everything
  • Refinish the porch
  • Add landscaping that looks great year-round
  • Water the grass until it’s the greenest on the block
  • Add a nice new mailbox and address numbers
When it comes to buying a home, you want to avoid major structural issues that will cost you big money to fix or will lower your leverage when it’s time to sell if you haven’t fixed them. Here are a few of the biggest culprits:
  • Do not buy a house that has issues with the foundation. If you see large cracks in the foundation outside or on the basement walls, or the walls look like they are caving in some spots, kindly leave the house and look elsewhere.
  • Termite or carpenter ant damage is common in some locales, and it may be hard to find an older home that hasn’t had a little damage at one point or another. The key here is to find a home that does not have major structural damage and has no signs of current issues. Some home inspectors will actually insure for a year or more that there are no current signs of infestation, and if they appear, they will cover the costs to terminate.
  • Have you ever walked through a house that makes you feel claustrophobic or just didn’t feel right? Odds are that other people feel that way in the same homes. Don’t buy them. This may be remedied by knocking down a wall or two in some homes, but that can be an expensive project and you may be risking structural damage.
  • Avoid buying a house that has signs of mold or water damage. They can be very expensive to fix and usually are signs of larger foundational or roof issues. Here again, a good home inspector will be able to test or look for both.
  • Beware problems with the electrical and plumbing systems. These are a home’s lifeblood, and replacements are costly.
Buying and selling a home can be a lengthy and confusing process.  But hopefully these tips have helped you feel a little more clear about what to look for and what to do before you take the next big step. The contractors at Unique Home Building believe that every home owner deserves to have the best experience possible.  Please call us today and let us know how we can help!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Top 10 Replacement Projects that Bring the Highest Return on Investment

The Top 10 Replacement Projects that Bring the Highest Return on InvestmentIf you are looking to add some value to your home, but don't want to pour your savings into a complete remodel, these replacement projects are sure to bring you the highest return on investment. Replacement projects are really the best way to go because they are affordable and instantly transform the aesthetic of the house. Just see for yourself. If you buy new windows, new siding and replace the front door with a modern wooden accent door, the house will look great and sell faster for an even higher price!
*Top 10 projects
Here are Remodeling's top 10 projects. You'll notice that these are not ambitious, vanity jobs. All are projects that replace worn or aged home components, bring parts of the home up-to-date or add living space without expanding the home's footprint:


    1.    Replacing exterior siding with upscale fiber cement. Siding pays back a whopping 78%, on average, of the $13,461 average cost. The most cost-effective thing you can do to your home this year is to replace old siding with new, higher-end fiber cement.
    2.    Replacing an entry door with a midlevel 20-gauge steel door is an inexpensive upgrade at $1,238 on average, but it pays back 73% and greatly improves curb appeal.
    3.    A midrange attic bedroom remodel involves popping out a dormer for a 5-by-7-foot bathroom with shower, insulating and finishing the walls and ceiling, adding four windows, extending the heating and air conditioning and improving wiring and lighting. The payback is 72.5% on the $50,148 expenditure. More living space is being sought as adult children are driven back to their parents' homes by the shaky economy and as older parents join the households of their adult children. (The Census Bureau says 18% of American households are doubled up now, up from 17% in 2008.) An attic remodel is the cheapest way to add space and a bathroom within the house. A basement remodel is the next most cost-efficient way to add living space, although code requirements for headroom and exterior doors make that project more complicated and more expensive, Alfano says.
    4.    A midrange minor kitchen remodel paid back 72.1% of the $19,588 investment. Included are new laminate countertops and new sink, faucets and appliances. The floor is untouched and cabinets are kept in place but refaced with new hardware added. "You're taking what's there and giving it a face lift," Alfano says. "The kitchen really looks good and the average cost for this is under $20,000 – less than what a lot of people would pay for a car." In today's austere climate, kitchen and bath remodels are pale imitations of the lavish vanity projects from the housing boom. Most consumers are shunning the expensive spa baths and chef's kitchens that involve moving electrical services, plumbing and walls.
    5.    A midrange garage door replacement may not be high on many wish lists; it's one of those jobs that you do because it's needed. But it adds curb appeal and function, and it pays back 71.9%, on average, of the $1,512 average cost.
    6.    A high-end garage door replacement recoups almost as much: 71.1% of the $2,994 average cost.
    7.    A new wood deck earns back 70.1%, on average, of its $10,350 cost at resale this year.
    8.    New foam-backed vinyl siding replacement keeps the house warm and pays back 69.6% of its $14,274 average cost. The average project involves 1,250 square feet of siding, including trim.
    9.    New midrange replacement vinyl siding upgrades the look of the home and pays back 69.5% of the $11,729 average price.
    10.    Upscale vinyl replacement windows have a 69.1% payback on the $14,328 cost. The project involves replacing 10 double-hung 3-by-5 windows. The new windows are low-emissivity glass and are insulated with simulated wood-grain trim. *

As you can see, opting to go for a replacement project is a wise, simple and affordable way to go! Our contractors are ready and waiting to assist you in whatever you need done. At Unique Home Building, your home is our priority, whether you are looking to build, remodel or sell.  Please don't wait; call us today!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Remodeling Your Home? Prepare Ahead with These Green Tips For Best Results!

Remodeling Your Home? Prepare Ahead with These Green Tips For Best Results!Remodeling a home is complex  and you deserve to have it go smoothly, but how? You can make it easier on yourself by properly preparing the space ahead of time.  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 deep clean and de-clutter 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: 

Remodeling Your Home? Prepare Ahead with These Green Tips For Best Results!

  • 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 like eucalyptus oil. 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.

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. 

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! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ready for Something new? Here's How You Can Freshen Up Your Home With Wall Art!

You don't have to gut the living room or start a major project to give your home the face lift it needs! You can turn any home into a welcoming space that feels bright, inspiring and unique to your personality and family's taste. 

No one should have to live in a home or apartment and feel the depressing contribution of barren walls. The prescription for those barren walls is simply to dress them up in a stylish and creative way. There is so much wall decor out there, that it's now easy to create a new identity in every room both quickly and affordably. By adding framed art, you are able to easily highlight each and every room in your house. Here's how you can freshen up your home with the beauty of wall art. 

Ready for Something new? Here's How You Can Freshen Up Your Home With Wall Art!Skip Conventionality ... You are used to seeing wall art arrive in the form of paintings or posters, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Wall art can also include creative placement of clocks, mirrors, sculptures and even the elements like wood and metal. Don't be afraid of using the negative space in your favor as well.  Check pinterest for more visual inspiration too! You don't need to completely shun more conventional wall art; after all, it's popular for a reason, but don't feel limited by common conventions.

Three is a Magic Number ... Sets of three are hot in trend and allow you to have multiple pieces by the same artist.  Shop for paintings or photos done by the same creator and buy them in sets of three. There are a huge number of arrangements and display schemes you can cook up with three matching pieces of framed art. Usually, the three will have an underlying theme or been specifically designed to be displayed together. Compliment the sets by adding hanging and standing plants as plant style bookends to 'frame' your display.

  1. Size matters ...
     When it comes to choosing wall art, size always matters. Small pieces have no place on massive walls. Massive paintings shouldn't be forced to fit on small spaces. Be careful not to overwhelm the rest of your wall decor with one especially large piece of wall art. At the same time, make sure not to crowd any furniture you have pushed up against the wall. Before buying wall art, measure the wall space. Imagine how you plan on hanging wall decor before you choose the art itself.
Ready for Something new? Here's How You Can Freshen Up Your Home With Wall Art!Your Are Should Be Yours ... If you're going to put up wall art, chances are it is going to be there for a good while. As such, make sure it is something you will enjoy looking at and make sure if feels like a reflection of your interests and passions. Whether you abstract, modern, rustic, or a more traditional look, make sure decor matches your personality. Wall art might impress and intrigue visitors, but pick out framed art with your own needs in mind first.

Art is a great way to brighten the feel of any home and helps us feel better with faster gratification.  If you are wanting a bigger and grander change, our contractors at Unique Home Building are happy to talk to you about all your options.  Enjoy your art.  Love your Home.  Live Unique.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

3 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Child's Room Remodeling Experience

3 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Child's Room Remodeling ExperienceRemodeling a kid's bedroom isn't for the faint of heart. Creating a visually pleasing, highly functional design where a kid can enjoy their time time can be quite challenging. First you'll need to figure out your ultimate purpose for the remodel. Are you changing things because your has child outgrown his room? Is another child being added to the room? Or are you just feeling like it's time to freshen the look and feel up? Once you know the purpose, it's time to set a budget you can both work with and feel comfortable with. Costs add up fast. So once you have it all written out, talk to a contractor and make sure everything can be done according to your need. Failing to do this can cause you to go off course in your budget and leave with a room not quite to your liking and a lot of remodeler's remorse! 

How a room looks determines how it feels to just about anyone. Sit down and ask your child what changes he or she would like to see.  Consider their hobbies and passions, as they can influence furniture, accent and them design. Color matters as well. Talk to your child about the colors he would like to see in his room. If it's important for him to have lime green walls, remember it's only paint and can be covered inexpensively and quickly at any time. Have fun with it!
3 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Child's Room Remodeling Experience
A child's age, interests and available floor space all come into play when you're trying to figure out how the room will best function for them. Think about how many kids are in the room, what kind of beds you're wanting to have, the need for dests, a cozy place to read or retreat and even storage. Some small things you could do would be to add a small table and chairs create a convenient place to draw, play games or just pretend. An artist's easel can encourage your little artist to create his masterpiece. A small sofa, bean bag chairs and funky ottomans can accommodate older kids and their friends.

One of the hardest aspects of a kid room remodel is making sure there's enough storage space included in the process.  So in this one, consider all possibilities to make sure you don't run out of space. You can't have too much storage. Closet organizers, the most obvious option, get the most use of closet areas, while helping to keep clothing, shoes and other items neat and orderly. Open wall shelves are an affordable and enjoyable way to young ones to showcase their lego creations, display stuffed animals, books, trophies, trinkets and framed photos. A storage bench has a dual purpose in that in not only stores toys, but can have pillows added to it, creating a cozy space to read. 

Those are just the beginning of the ideas.  But they are a great spring board into more possibility.  Please give us a call at Unique Home Building to discuss all your great ideas and we'll make them happen!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Building a Better Bathroom: Things to Remember When Remodeling

Building a Better Bathroom: Things to Remember When RemodelingBathroom remodels can be daunting but they don't have to be.  If you are thinking of remodeling, then we have some quick and helpful tips to help you build a better bathroom.

Shower Storage

You'll want in-shower storage for your shampoo, soap, razor, and body wash. Don't settle for cheap plastic units that hang from the shower head or attach to rods that run from your tub to the ceiling.  It's an easy solution for when you're renting, but when you own your home, they can look ugly and can ruin your attractive new design. A better option is ceramic tile shelving that's installed in the corner of the shower. The shelves run for about $10 at home centers and tile stores.

However, my favorite solution is to build in-the-wall shelving. Once you tear out the old shower, add framing between the studs in the walls for the shelves. The finished shelving, especially if tiled, looks attractive and doesn't protrude into the shower, so you don't have to worry about knocking off the shampoo bottles with your elbows when you're singing karaoke into the shower head. Yes, it's a win win. 

Accent Tiles

Mosaic or glass tile is expensive. But you don't need a lot of it to add some pizzazz to the bathroom. Using the special tiles as a border or sporadically in the tile pattern gives the design a punch of color and character.

Curved Shower Rod

Curved shower rods seem like a small detail but they add a surprising amount of space to your shower. You'll pay about $15 more than the common straight rods. In addition to the extra space, though, the curved models look nice and attach to the wall with screws instead of tension, so you don't need to worry about them being pulled down.


You don't want to end up with a new bathroom but outdated light fixtures. Plan your lighting early on so you'll know if you need to run new cable. Consider recessed lighting over the shower for better illumination while you're bathing. Just make sure the lights are rated for bathrooms.

Feel Free to Splurge on Something Special

Even a small bathroom makeover is a major expense, so the urge to cut costs wherever possible is understandable. So pick your spots. Splurge on one feature you love that will define the look and feel of your new bathroom—a high-end plumbing fixture in the shower or sink, a special-order vanity top, or a heated towel rack. Paying a little extra for fixtures will most likely reward you in the future. Cheap fixtures don't last as long, and when they fail they can be difficult to replace.

Don't Be Afraid to Call a Pro

If any part of the project takes you out of your comfort zone, call in a professional. You may need an electrician to help run cable for in-floor heating controls, or you might need a plumber's help if the water or drain lines need to be moved. When you're dealing with electrical or plumbing, DIY mistakes can be catastrophic.

The contractors at Unique Home Building are ready and willing to help you with the whole process.  Call us and let us know how we can help today. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

3 Home Improvement Tips that Will Give You Better Life Quality Fast.

3 Home Improvement Tips that Will Give You Better Life Quality Fast.
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The ability to enjoy your home is synonymous with your degree of life quality .  It's a major
element in the manner you choose to experience your life since you spend so much of your time in your home. It needs to feel good whether you have a family or even work from home.  When your home feels good, you raise the psychological wellness, making your house more peaceful and fun.
As with all homes and lives, interruptions can be expected but can be avoided by making small adjustments.  When we realize that our homes can be tailored to our personalities and needs, we are free to make the most incredibly useful changes. 
RECREATION - To add a bit more enjoyment to your house, you may consider creating more recreational places. Installing a pool or jacuzzi can be appreciated year round in the right climate and may raise your house’s worth. Put items to the exterior of the house that’ll provide satisfaction for your family, like a basketball hoop. It's not only enjoyable, but it’ll give the children space to move their bodies which is never a bad thing. 
LIGHTING - Light is often overlooked mainly because people do not understand how much it can truly transform an area. A completely illuminated room provides you with the capability to appreciate features of your room that would have been left in shadows until now. Plus, you will be amazed by how soothing a well-lit space could be! It's a necessity and easy improvement. 
GREENERY - Having lots of green around your house allows you to feel much better and happier daily. Whether you are bringing in plants to your space or choosing to update your exterior, plant life will enhance your life quality. They clean the air, soothe the senses and promote relaxation. 
Developing a relaxed and desirable living environment significantly affects your improves your life quality, because so much of your down time is spent at home. Consider these easy tips and the added improvement of home renovation for further enhancement and beautification.  Unique Home Building is happy to help you get on your way; call us today!