Tuesday, March 27, 2018

How to Know if Your Contractor Asking for Too Much Money

How to Know if Your Contractor Asking for Too Much MoneyNobody wants to be in the situation where you have to confront someone you’ve hired for shoddy work or bad business. But it happens. And since you’re the one paying for the job, it’s important that you both protect yourself and know what real life costs normally are, so you don’t lose your precious savings to bad business.
When a you and your contractor discuss the beginning work together, they should never ask for a large amount of money up front. Of course, every project needs a chunk of change to get started, but asking for anything more than fifteen percent should cause suspicion. The law in most states allows for no more than thirty-three percent up front, but even that is reserved for very special circumstances. So ask questions. Ask for details and then go home to review the proposal before agreeing to anything.
Beyond the fifteen percent your contractor asks for, they should have a working credit to work with for anything beyond that they might need to get started. If they don’t, this alone is a warning sign because there’s a chance that the last or previous jobs weren’t handled responsibly and resulted in their credit being revoked or denied. For obvious reasons, we’d recommend not working with these people.
Once the start up costs have been determined and agreed upon, all further costs should be due and dependant upon major milestones or aspect completion. For example, you’d pay the contractor after the completion of various phases such as framing, roofing, siding or electricity. Beware of a contractor that won’t work with you in this form and would rather tie payments to dates. This doesn’t promise you work ethic or completion - only pay schedule.
Lastly, as much as we all love hearing a low bid, too low of a bid is just as much a red flag as a high bid is. It’s a pretty common scam where a contractor will do whatever they can to assure you that your home will be used as an example for advertising purposes or as an example of their work for the business and as a result, they’re willing to cut you a great deal. Don’t trust this. Unfortunately, a low bid is, nine times out of ten, low quality work. We’d love for it to be different, but it just isn’t.

At the end of the day, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. And if things don’t feel consistent, they’re likely a lack of integrity going on. Ask questions, be clear and stick to your agreements. And of course, if you have any questions or are looking for a contractor you can trust, contact us at Unique Home Building and we’ll guide you home.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Uncommon Kitchen Upgrade That Might Just Save Your Sanity!

The Uncommon Kitchen Upgrade That Might Just Save Your LifeWhen it comes time to remodel your kitchen, I’m sure you like many, have all the plans figured out. But there might be a less common addition to your home that you’ve missed. And of course, while we don’t want to make any more changes to your already complex plans, this one is something we wouldn’t want you to miss.

Now, before we go into all the details, I want to answer you before you ask, “Is two always better than one?” Well no, of course not. So if it’s being suggested to you to have two of something, you would be wise to lean in and see what the fuss is all about, don’t you think?

The Uncommon Kitchen Upgrade That Might Just Save Your LifeWe’re talking about adding a second sink to your kitchen. And I’m sure you’re wondering why that is and if it’s an option worth looking into for your home. The answer of course, depends on your lifestyle, your budget, taste and lifestyle, because if you do fit the bill, then - the bill and effort are usually more than worth it.

If you’re the type that hosts for parties or holidays, or have your kids and their friends enjoy afternoons or weekends with you, you’re definitely perfect. Why? Because it’s pretty likely that you’ve already got a kitchen equipped with an oversized stainless sink to handle the abundance of dishes that come through each day. In fact, you might be getting a headache right now just thinking about it!

It’s overwhelming at best. And what do you do when people come over and it’s time to rinse the new produce, start dinner or wash tiny hands? No time to do the dishes and not only that, you don’t want your guests to see the storm brewing in there!

The Uncommon Kitchen Upgrade That Might Just Save Your LifeThe solution? Install an additional small sink. They’re the perfect place to handle light small jobs and for people to gather near when you’re busy with the bigger tasks. Plus, extra sink means extra help! They’re simple to install and are a beautiful compliment to any bar, island or counter top.

See? Pretty good idea and it makes your life a lot easier. Enjoy the photos for a little extra inspiration - and let us at Unique Home Build know if you’d like to speak furter about your own home remodeling dream come true!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Green Home Remodeling Ideas for the Family Ready for Something Better!

Green Home Remodeling Ideas for the Family Ready for Something Better!Your family is growing, new ideas are coming and you don’t want to wait anymore. You’re ready for your home to grow with you but you don’t want to waste money or natural resources along the way. Plus, you want to make sure you’re being efficient and environmentally respectful day to day. You want to do a green remodel. And you’re not alone. Green home remodeling is the most popular path right now and for good reasons. You cut down on waste, you keep more ancient forests in tact and are able to be environmentally conscious without sacrificing your dreams and ideas. 
But there are some important tips we’d like to share with you today to make sure the process is easy and just the way you want it. We at Unique Home Building have worked with so many families and individuals over the years wanting the same thing. So enjoy these been-there-done-that tips for your home improvement projects and ideas!
Start by inserting fireplaces for better heating. Fireplaces inserts, rather than a traditional fireplace that can burn logs and paper trash, has intake and outflow vents at the bottom and top (you shouldn’t need a circulating blower), has an easily operable damper, and sports large glass doors so you can enjoy the dancing flames. A fireplace insert is 50–75 per cent efficient and easier to operate. Another option would be a gas fireplace or dutch oven.
Make sure you go with energy efficient windows. They allow for better heat capturing in the winter and better eat filtering in the summer. The general differentiation of windows beyond style (double-hung, casement, sliding, etc.) is the glass or glazing and the framing material. There are three main types of frame materials, each addressing several lifespan aspects of the windows; wood, vinyl and aluminum.
Get more room and create more storage in the home without having to buy more furniture by removing useless corners, unused crannies, gun barrel hallways, seas of circulation around islands of furniture, and other chubby cubic footage indoors. Not only will you be more comfortable in less space, you may have enough room in your home to install an office, have an exercise area (instead of driving to a dues-paying health club), and store more belongings (rather than rent a storage unit miles away). One of my favorite ideas is to convert the usual wasted space between a row of studs into a hallway library or similar shelving. This can be done almost anywhere indoors.
Solar panels are another great way to conserve energy and utilize natural electricity.  To see if your home is a candidate for solar panels, go out on your roof on a sunny day mid-morning and see if the sun shines on it. Do this again mid-afternoon. If the sun shines through on the shingles for most of those in between hours, and your home isn't blocked by nearby buildings or hills, then you could be a great candidate for natural energy in your home!
Other ideas for you to look into, depending on your location, is to go with a living roof, to install skylights or to get your materials from a recycled resource. There are so many non-profits and businesses that have the same dedication to clean living and sustainability as you and will have even more ideas to share. Just ask! 
Lastly, make sure you hire a contractor that knows what they’re talking about. You’ll have a better chance of negotiating successfully with builders if you know about the details that make for a green home. One good way to learn is to get a book on construction and decide what it is that's important to you and to communicate that to your contractor. Some options to consider are green roofs, rain storage collection and low voc paints. 
Unique Home Building is dedicated to making your home the finest quality living space you can imagine.  Call us today to see how we can make your home a place you love!


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Turn Any Kids Room Into a Magical Kingdom of Their Very Own!

Turn Any Kids Room Into a Magical Kingdom of Their Very Own!As your family expands and kids grow, little explorers are going to need more room to learn and play! Believe it or not, you don’t have to let it take over your home or your budget. There are easy and fun ways to turn your cramped and cluttered living space into an imagination’s dream come true! Let us at Unique Home Building help you get it done!
You want to start by thinking about your kids and their unique hobbies and personalities. If the play area is a section of the child’s bedroom, you’ll want to make sure it has its own partitioned section, so your child can separate play from rest time.

If you’re working with a smaller space, it’s time to get creative with your storage so you don’t have to compromise the fun parts. Make seats out of storage boxes, have hideaways under their beds or have cubbie compartments under benches and tables! Create ways to make double use out of bunk beds and lofts by adding rope ladders, stairs, slides and crawl tubes, without taking up too much space. Even better, you can hide containers for legos and such in the hollows of stairs and other furniture!

Turn Any Kids Room Into a Magical Kingdom of Their Very Own!On the flip side, if you’ve got a large room to work with, you might consider having your storage and seating pieces along the wall and leaving the center of the room free for creative endeavors. Include plenty of table space, as children use tabletop surfaces for activities ranging from arts and crafts to small block building, as well as sensory activities such as play dough.

If you can, include a small indoor screen or low to the ground climbing wall. These ideas are great for busy movers that need all the energetic outlets they can get!

Of course, every wild one needs down time too. Make sure you include a rest, reading or comfort corner or space in your child’s room so they know that no matter how big they feel, there’s always a place to safely feel small and tired in!

We only want to give our best when it comes to your personal home renovation and remodeling projects! Give Unique Home Building a call today and let us know how we can help!