Friday, October 21, 2016

Need to Move? Use These Tips to Keep It Easy and Stress Free!

Need to Move? Use These Tips to Keep It Easy and Stress Free!Nobody throws a party when it’s time to move - at least not to celebrate the moving process itself. Between packing, organizing, labeling and cleaning, you still have normal life to live like working, cooking and caring for children. So is it really possible to have less stress along the way? Yes! And here’s how:
DELEGATE. Despite normal patterns, you shouldn’t have to do it all. Get a list together of your closest friends, families and kind co-workers and have each one sign up for a day or duty to help. Be sure to provide them food and comforts along the way. After all, it’s your back and mind they’re saving!
REDUCE. Get rid of what you don’t need. We tend to move many things that we just don’t use and then they stay in the box in the next house forever. The less you pack, the less you have to move and unpack. If it doesn’t have deep family meaning or if you don’t use it often, stick it in a box and drop it off at Goodwill. Other families will be wonderfully grateful.
ORGANIZE. The best places to start on organization are your junk drawers. All houses have them. Go through your drawers and put your “must keeps” in sealable plastic bags. You or your movers just can drop the bags into the box, and when you are unpacking, you can just dump it back in. Everything is together. This is especially helpful for junk drawers, utensils, underwear drawers.
GO ROOM BY ROOM.  Box things up one room at a time. Depending on how much time you have, choose one room per day or couple days or per week. Be realistic and give yourself extra time for bigger or more filled rooms. Be very clear with labels. Use words like, closet, clothes, shoes, dining room utensils..  This way, when the boxes are moved,  you’ll not only have an easier time finding them at the new house, but they’re more quickly make their way to the rooms they belong in.
SMALLER BOXES. Make sure you aren’t afraid to use many small boxes instead of less large ones. The large ones get packed with more things and can become heavy and cluttered. Smaller boxes keep things organized and specific. Easier to put away and easier to transport.
PLAN AHEAD. This one is about utilities. Utility companies need about a month notice to know you will be turning yours off, switched or turned on. Some require appointments that may be booked out 2 weeks. Don’t get stuck without phone, internet or gas, etc. Think ahead. Call your current and future providers and let them know your move date to determine the best on/off services days.
BUDGET FOR CONVENIENCE. This is not the time to be perfect. If you know you’re moving, make sure to set aside a certain amount of money during your last 30 days, especially if you have a demanding job or children to care for, to cover the cost of meals out and entertainment - because you’re definitely going to need more of it right now. To be honest, it would be best to set aside an additional 30 days of convenience money to keep things easy while you move in as well.
RELAX. Do not move and pack 7 days in a row. Every 3 or 4 days, stop. You will burn out if you just keep going. Even if you stop at noon one day, give yourself a long stretch of doing something relaxing and rejuvenating. Get a massage, go see a movie, workout, take a hike.. anything that gives you a deep breath.  
Moving doesn’t have to be another thing you dread. With the right planning and help, it can be a pretty simple and low stress situation. So whether you're buying, selling or even remodeling, Unique Home Builders are here to support you along the way.  Please contact us and let us know how we can best serve you!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Prepare Your Home for Winter Without the Overwhelm

Prepare Your Home for Winter Without the OverwhelmIt’s been a beautiful fall so far. The trees are changing color, rain is falling and you’re distracted by the coming winter and how you’re going to have time to properly prepare your home. Yikes. Do you really want to miss out on the beauty of fall because of the worry and planning filling up your mind? Probably not. So let the contractors at Unique Home Building help you prepare your home for the coming winter!

Get better windows.
If you have old, single-pane windows, you will lose a significant amount of heat in the wintertime. Replacing old windows with energy-efficient, double-paned upgrades can pay for itself quickly in heat savings. Check all exterior doors to ensure that they are insulated and that there are no gaps or cracks between the doors and the frames that could let heat out. If you have weather stripping around doors, make sure it is intact and in good shape.

Expand your space.
Fall and winter bring visitors and family together to share meals and celebrate holidays. Do you have room for everyone?  You can expand a dining or family room pretty easily and be able to fit more people into your home in a more comfortable way.  You may also think of adding skylights or other windows to bring in more light to these spaces and the sun becomes more dormant. This doesn’t have to be a big project either. Small changes can make a big difference.

Roofing and gutters.
Once all the autumn leaves have fallen, cleaning out the roof gutters will save you from building up ice dams that can damage the roof in the winter. Blow out the gutters with a leaf blower or spray them down with a hose. Check for holes or any other damage to the gutters and repair them before heavy snow or rain makes them worse. It’s also a good time to take a look at the roof itself and fix any shingles that are curling or any flashing around chimneys that has come loose.

Prepare your deck.
Decks get a lot of use during long summer days. By the time fall comes around, they can look worn out and old. Once the deck is cleaned off and all summer chairs and tables are stored away, power-wash the deck. This will remove any dirt that is stuck in the wood grain and will take away the gray color that decks fade to over time. Fall is also a good time to reseal the deck if you use a sealant or stain.

Pipe care
Plumbing lines that aren't insulated and are in unheated spaces are a major cause of power use, as the water heater must work extra hard to heat water.  Check all of your plumbing lines to identify those that are outside or underneath the house, or are in an unheated basement or attic.  Foam wrap all exposed pipes.

Preparing your home for the coming winter doesn’t have to be an overwhelming list on your wall. The key here is to make a list of most important items first and working through your list in that order. The top of the list items should include the areas of your home that are in most need as well as the things that will take the most time, effort and planning ahead.

At Unique Home Building, our contractors are dedicated to creating a home that feels like it's your very own. As fall will be here before you know it, let us help you get the planning started, so that as the seasons pass, you know you are prepared to take the best of each along with you!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Simple Design Tips to Bring More Peace & Comfort to Your Home

Simple Design Tips to Bring More Peace & Comfort to Your HomeWhen you move into a new home or simply want to bring a more welcoming environment to your living space, you might just need to make a few design changes here and there. Everyone likes to feel at home where they live and these tips from us at Unique Home Building will help you do just that. The tips below are some of our favorite interior design tips; they’re easy to follow and don't require much of a budget. Allow them to help you create the relaxing, soothing living space you desire, wherever you may be in the world.

Cluster Your Favorite Pieces
Gather your favorite objects - small pieces of art, nick-nacks, heirlooms, and plants and then place them where you can enjoy them the most — on a sideboard, windowsill, or bedside table, for example. Your display should be specific to you and can feature anything from jewelry to a vase or glass bottle with a single flower to a stack of beautiful boxes topped with a smooth stone. Don't be afraid to mix and match here! Let your heart show you what to use!

Avoid Harsh Lighting
Avoid cool and blue tinted or fluorescent lighting as they are less relaxing and can remind you of the light in a hospital, lab, or work environment. Other options beside using gold tinted LED lights would be to use string lights, candles, and small glass bottles and jars. Just add tealights and votives to the jars with the labels removed, to make the perfect candle holders.

Comfort Corners
Make sure you always have a space to return to and unwind. Make it cozy, full of cushions or pillows, your favorite books and maybe even a small table for tea and a notebook. This allows you to always have a place to go when you simply need to refuel and regroup.

Simple Scents
Make sure you have pleasant scents available around the home. Aromatherapy has been proven to lift the mood, set the mood and also kill germs and boost immune systems. Invest in some quality essential oils for the antibacterial and health benefits, with fragrances like orange, lavender and bergamot. Other simple ways to add enjoyable fragrances are through natural candles; soy candles are great - or even with naturally formed incense sticks and cones. Keep fragrances available in each room and ready to use as needed. This also helps to keep the less desirable smells of the kitchen and bathrooms from taking over your home.

Just Add Life
Be sure to have at least one living plant in each room. It can be simple, like small cuttings or gatherings from your local neighborhood or environment, or houseplants that will thrive indoors. Succulents and air plants are perfect for small places and bathrooms as they give a subtle yet still vibrant feeling of life. Larger plants are best reserved for the living room, bedrooms and office.

Don’t settle for living in a space that doesn’t feel like home to you. Try these tips out and see if they give you the lift you were needing. If that’s not quite cutting it, you might be ready for the bigger step of remodeling. And that’s where we come in. Call us at Unique Home Building today to see if we’re the contractors for you.