Saturday, November 28, 2015

Winter Has Arrived. Stay Warm Without Breaking the Bank.

Winter Has Arrived. Stay Warm Without Breaking the Bank.We all love the white and silver look of winter but when it’s showing up inside your windows and on your eyelashes, there’s a problem and it’s definitely not fun anymore.

The cost of home heating can really drain your budget dry, so it can be tempting to keep the heat off and try to forge ahead wearing your thickest gloves and socks. In the meantime though, we both know that it’s almost impossible to prepare your dinner in layers of wool, so we’d at Unique Home Building would rather give you some helpful ways to stay warm and also save your hard earned dollars.

Check on your heating systems before winter truly hits. Of course, you can service your system any time, but avoid being without a system that needs to be replaced in the dead of winter by having it checked sooner than later.

Fire Tea.  This one’s simple, delicious and comes with many benefits on top of keeping you warm. Just pour yourself a mug of hot (not boiling) water. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into it. Add honey or stevia to taste. Then add cayenne pepper. How much you add is up to you, but you do want to be able to taste it. The combination will not only boost your immune system but will also help you stay warm, thanks to the cayenne increasing circulation all over your body.
Hot Socks. Another easy one. Did you know that cayenne works on the skin too? Just grab your socks and carefully sprinkle it into the toe and foot part of your sock. The powdered pepper will be absorbed into your feet through your pores and keep your feet warm. Be warned, don’t put it in your gloves. You don’t want the pepper going from your fingers to your eyes. OUCH.

Get Baking. A most delicious option. Use your hunger as a two for one. Bake some tasty homemade muffins, cookies or bread. Once you’re done, leave the oven open as it cools and all the heat will leak into your kitchen and living room. Win win.

Get a Wood Burning Stove. Wood-burning fireplaces or dutch ovens give off more heat than a gas fireplace and can burn scrap wood, fallen trees or branches or wood pellets, which are made from sawdust and are one of the most cost-effective forms of home heating.

Reverse your ceiling fans. Most, if not all, ceiling fans have a reverse setting for winter. By reversing your fan blades to rotate clockwise you draw down the risen heat from the ceiling and prevent it from dissipating through the roof or walls.

Keep the thermostat low. Challenge yourself to set the temperature one or two degrees lower each year. Keeping it at 55 degrees at night and 6o during the day is a common energy-efficient setting. Beware not to turn it off completely or set it too low, as this can burst pipes or cause hypothermia.

Consider a space heater.  In some, not all, cases a space heater may be more efficient to heat a small room than running a central home heating system.

One of the biggest reasons you stay cold in the winter is due to poor construction or home design. If you’d really like to invest in winter warmth, consider a remodel or totally new home construction Your options are many, so call our contractors at Unique Home Building, to see which one is best for you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Honest Truth About Home Remodeling without the Fillers you’re thinking about doing a home remodel, the last thing you need is to be flooded with useless dead ends and sales pitches. What you really need is good advice and a team that gets the job done.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we decided that you don’t need any more random information, you just need the honest truth. We know you are a hard working person with a desire to live a good life in a house that feels like a home; without the runaround. You’ve put in years and sweat to create the life you’re living and we want to say thank you; thank you for helping make our country what it is today.

So you want to remodel? You’re not alone. We are the contractors at Unique Home Building. We are hard working people with families and values and are here to support yours along the way.

Here’s what we want to let you know:

Remodeling can be done by handy people who have an understanding of the inner workings of home structure, such as electrical, plumbing, foundation, insulation and more. If you choose to take on this venture alone, keep in mind that you’ll need to have the proper permits and licensing.

If you are choosing to do the inner workings stated above, like the electrical or plumbing yourself, then please, at least hire a consultant to double check your work and to advise you along the way.  These are not areas to take chances on.

Consider your design and floor plan as well. Many people don’t realize that they’re idea looks good on paper, but creating it will mean that you’re working against the elements like sunshine and ending up with a hotter house in the summer and a colder one in the winter.

Again, these are all basic tips that to some degree, you know. But we know how important they are and are not to be dealt with blindly!

Yes we are contractors and yes, we think it’s best to hire one. Why? Because we are trained, experienced, licensed, insured and know how to get you what you want without the headache, dead ends, money waste and regrets. Hiring a contractor gets you the design you are looking for that meets all your needs and all the professionals required to do the job right the first time.

And no, not all contractors are the same. That’s why it’s important to check out reviews and history of the contractor’s business, like this one.

You work too hard to be led down a confusing road. We want the remodeling process to be simple and clear for you. Please contact us with any further questions you might have and we’ll happily guide you in the right direction.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Easy Home Tips to Increase Energy and Get Better Sleep

It’s pretty common for people to wake up tired and worn out in morning but it isn’t necessary. Of course, there are many underlying reasons that your sleep can be disrupted, such as diet, sleep apnea or pituitary dysfunction, but those things need to be discussed with a professional and are less common.
We at Unique Home Building, are often asked our help in designing bedrooms and lighting to create better sleep, so we’ve heard every story there is on what’s working and what’s not for people’s sleep routines. So we’d like to share some very basic and simple lifestyle solutions you can do in your own home that will increase your energy and get better sleep.
Create a peaceful space:
Is your room inviting you to deep sleep?  Rooms that are too bright or don't have enough airflow can really mess with the ability to sleep deeply.  Our suggestion is to ask a contractor to install a couple extra windows. This way the air flow can stream through the room, keeping the air from getting stagnant which can lead to congestion and fatigue in the sinuses. Remember that windows bring more light, so be sure to also install blackout window shades or shutters.  This allows you to keep it dark while enjoying airflow and the option to open up the room to more light in the morning. Nothing to lose here, except the fatigue and sinus pressure!

Look at your routine:
Everyone has weaknesses in their morning routine, so let's try to reduce the confusion and chaos by being more prepared the night before.  For example, if you have a job to be at early in the morning, set your clothes aside, ironed and ready, along with any food you plan to take with you. If you have children, gather your kid’s clothes together and have lunches made in the evening; have them help too, this encourages responsibility, teamwork and less stress on you. After all, it's the prepared that succeed!

Keep the ambiance peaceful.
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.

It’s important, incredibly important to get hydrated first thing in the morning. Even if you do have an underlying disorder, this tip will be very helpful. Drinking water first thing in the morning not only energizes all the cells in your body, but also flushes out all of your internal systems, helping your brain to function more clearly and with more energy.

Be active.
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 into our busy schedules.  If you can go for a run or stop by the gym first thing in the morning, great! Another idea is a 20 minute yoga routine or run. 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.

If you are struggling with good rest and energy for your day, please try these tips and see the improvement quickly. 

Remember, if you need to make bigger changes to your bedroom, lighting or other aspects of your hope, please contact us at Unique Home and see how we can help you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Easy, Fun and Festive Ways to Decorate Your Home for Thanksgiving!

Easy, Fun and Festive Ways to Decorate Your Home for Thanksgiving!The food isn’t the only thing we love about Thanksgiving, it’s the whole feel of the season! And we think that festive warmth should be felt all over the home. Let your home be a feast for the eyes as well with these easy, fun and festive decorative tips from Unique Home Building.
Warm and Natural Colors. Trade in those blue curtains for a rich forest or olive green. Toss a burnt orange or rich burgundy throw blanket on the couch! Rich and warm fall colors easily bring the cozy ambience of the season into the home. For other accents, go with gold instead of silver. Gold has the feeling of fire and goes great with the color of falling leaves.
Flowers on the Table.
Wreath by Jane Joss
A simple flower arrangement will add height to your table and can be achieved in a matter of minutes. Go out to your garden and snip some greenery as your base then add flowers, berries and branches! Keep it simple. Add an elegant runner to draw the eye to the center of the table. Leaves can be used as name tags or simply an accent. Finish off your table display by adding a fresh sprig of rosemary to each white plate adding a nice contrast against the leaf.

Candles Around the Home.
Candle centerpiece. Candles of various height can be a great centerpiece for Thanksgiving. You most likely already have them in your home scattered in various rooms. Gather them all and add plain white candles or festive fall colors such as oranges, reds and browns. Another option for the minimalist is to have a gold or white plate with a neat row of 5 white or chocolate brown candles along the middle.

Nature on the Mantel.  Find some tall and skinny vases or glass cups and fill them to different heights with cranberries and acorns; you can also use different fall colored beads and layer them as desired. Add in various types of pumpkins, squash and gourds. Place orange and spice fragranced candles on either ends to complete the look.

At Unique Home Building, we love sharing bright ideas with you to help your house feel more like a home than ever.  We offer top quality contracting for home remodeling, renovation and more.

From our family to yours, have a wonderful and decorative Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Winterization Checklist that Keeps You Safe and Warm this Season

The Winterization Checklist that Keeps You Safe and Warm this SeasonThe temperatures are dropping all around the nation. Whether or not it’s bitten you by now, it’s smart to be prepared. Those low temps seem to sneak up on you and you don’t want to be caught cold with your house and health at risk.
Here are the top five things you should do to get your home ready for winter:
Hose Bibs:  These are actually the outdoor faucets found around the exterior of your home. You want to make sure these are in fine working order and aren’t susceptible to freezing or leaking as the temperatures continue to drop. Better to check these out now than have to call the plumber mid winter during an unexpected temp drop!
Furnace Filters: Winter calls for a lot of heating and you don’t want those filters to be old. Your windows will be closed and the air being circulated will not be fresh. So it’s important not to be circulating dust, dander and other irritants constantly around your home. This one is very important for your health so don’t neglect it.  
Weather Stripping: Check your windows and doors for any gaps or drafts. If you’re working hard to stay warm, you don’t need cold air sneaking inside at all ours. Apply weather stripping to seal up the spaces and holes now to save you money and chills in the future. If you’re not sure where the gaps are coming from, just call the contractors at Unique Home Building and we’ll come check it out for you. 
Replace Batteries: Batteries are an often overlooked part of home winterization. But since you’re running heaters, fires and stove tops more often, your risk of fire and gas leaks increase. Make sure you’re the first to know! Check the batteries in your thermostat, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be on the safest side. Always keep extras with your emergency preparedness kit as well. 
We love keeping warm during winter and we know you do too. Make sure you take the steps needed to ensure you’re not only keeping warm, but safe and budget happy too! We at Unique Home Building are the home experts and are happy to answer any questions you might have as you take more steps to turning your house into the home you love.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Need More Space in Your Home? Let's Talk about Basement Finishing!

Need More Space in Your Home? Let's Talk about Basement Finishing!If your family is needing more space but you don’t want to move, then finishing your basement might be the best option for you. Basements offer a great separate space for guests, home offices, entertainment rooms, fitness and play spaces. So as Thanksgiving approaches, you can be thankful that you don’t have to move to meet your home needs. At Unique Home Building, we love helping your house to be the home you dream of, and it's important to consider the details in the process.
Here are the benefits and some helpful tips you need to know about basement remodeling:

One benefit to basement finishing and remodeling, is that when it’s done tastefully and planned well, they highly increase the value of your home, allowing you a serious return on investment.

Consider the height. If you want to use it as an exercise room, make sure you’ll have enough headroom. Lift your arms overhead. Will you be standing on a treadmill? Height can be one of the biggest challenges in basement remodels.

Lights. They can really put the right finishing touch to the remodeled basement or throw the whole thing off. Because the ceilings in a basement are usually lower than elsewhere in the house (like we said above) light reflected up off the ceiling — like the ambient lighting in this tray ceiling or the sconces on the wall — is better than light directed down.

Be disaster prepared. Flooding is always a risk in basements regardless of your location, so plan ahead. If you don't have a system in place to deal with the water, choose a flooring material that can handle getting wet, and install a floor drain. Talk to a plumber about special piping and care.

Make sure you’re following all the legal guidelines and get clearance with your insurance agent before starting the project. Some finished basements may not be insured and sometimes bedrooms are added but won't count in the total of bedrooms when you sell the house.  Know the facts before committing. But once you know the facts and are ready, get going!

Those are the basics you need to know about basement remodels. Obviously, there's always more to learn and prepare for, but you're not alone. The contractors at Unique Home Building are here and ready to answer your questions and join you every step of the way. Call us and schedule an interview today!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Conversation Topics to Keep Thanksgiving Meaningful and Fun!

Conversation Topics to Keep Thanksgiving Meaningful and Fun!
Whether you gather with your friends and family often or only for the holidays, it’s important that you talk about new things instead of the same old gossip, frustrations and updates. Wouldn’t it be great to instead gather together and talk about things that bring you closer and help you get to know each other in deeper and new ways?

Well, at Unique Home Building, we’ve gathered together a list of just the conversation topics  you need to keep your Thanksgiving fun and meaningful!

The Fun Ideas

Music: Have everyone share what they felt has been the best and worst song of the year and why. Compare the Beatles to Bob Dylan and get people’s input. Talk about music and how it influences mood and behaviour.

Travel: Have everyone share the destinations on their bucket list. Where do they want to go and why? Where have they already been? What do they like and dislike about travel? Have people share their memorable travel stories:

Embarrassment: Almost self explanatory, have everyone share a totally embarrassing story. To make it more fun, have it be from this last year - or from when they were nine years old or similar. After the end of the story, have a show of hands of who can relate or has gone through something similar!

The Meaningful Ideas

Gratitude: Instead of the usual “sharing what you’re thankful for”, really be in gratitude. Before or after the meal, take a deep breath. Silently look around at everyone. Make eye contact. Then allow everyone to take a turn sharing their gratitude for both the person on their left and one other person at the table or in the room. We as a society are great at sharing that we are thankful for food, shelter, clothing and such - but we fall short in sincerely sharing our gratitude for other people. When people feel they are appreciated, they do more of whatever has been noticed and appreciated. Appreciation creates a desire in our hearts to do and love well.

Goals: Share some of your goals for the last year. What were they? Did you meet them? What stopped you and what kept you going?

More Goals: Share your goals for the next year. Are they the same ones? Are they built on this last year’s goals? What will you do the same or differently to help you get there?  How have these goals made you more thankful in life?

These are all great conversation boosters and will help you to get deeper and closer to your friends and family members. And at Unique Home Building, we know family. We’ve spent years making homes for families and bringing people together through our home building and remodeling services. We stay committed to it because we know you deserve to be together in the way that feels best.

So this year, come together, get connected more than ever and if you’re in the Dallas, Texas area, remember to contact Unique for any and all home needs!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Most Important Things You Need To Know When Planning a Home Remodel

The Most Important Things You Need To Know When Planning a Home Remodel At Unique Home Building, we've walked many people through the process and have learned how to do it right and avoid terrible mistakes. We don’t think it’s fair to keep this valuable information to ourselves and would like to share it with you today, whether you are wanting to remodel your home by yourself or hire a contractor to take care of it for you.

Get Clear and Be Organized: List the things you want to change and the updates you would like to make. Don't worry about the order, just write it all down. Consider how long you think you might want to live in the house. If you're planning on selling or looking to flip, you’ll want to speak with your realtor and create a selling plan.

Research: Find out or talk to a realtor to see what sort of return on investments those improvements may bring. Some improvements will add considerably more value to your home than others. Make a list of all the things you dream about doing and break down your list into sections that help you get an idea of the time each task will take. This will help you not only get but see results in real time. Make sure you schedule your projects in the time frames you can actually complete them, that fits your level of comfort and budget frames. That's a big one right there. It's important to stay within your comfort zone or else it will be stress filled and frustrating.

Start Slow: Go through your list and see what’s most important. Consider people’s needs, weather changes, work/life needs and floor plan flow.

Small improvements make a big difference.  Be sure that you’re making the improvements that are the best to meet your needs and return your investment; not just what’s trending. The priority is to go in the best direction - not all directions at once; and a professional contractor will help you figure out the best plan for your home, desires and lifestyle.

Now is the time to choose exactly what you want to do, and how you want it done. Once you make your list, you'll know what the priorities are. That's when you'll call the contractors at Unique Home Building. If you’re ready for remodeling, we’re the ones to call.