Turning Unused Space Into Beautiful Living Spaces

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When you have a growing family, it is natural to run out of space. Sometimes it can be frustrating to the point of considering moving just to gain more space. Moving isn’t always the answer. Sometimes, the answer is making a space, that already exists in your home, into a functional living space. Let’s explore some of the additional living space options you already have the space for.

Pool House
Some of you may have a pool house in your yard. Right now it is probably collecting dust and being used to store pool toys, yard tools and bikes. Don’t waste this great space on storage. It’s time for a remodel. Work with a trusted contractor, like Alan at Arlington, to help create a beautiful living space. This can be used as an entertaining space with a bar, flat screen TV and gaming furnishings. Which can be a great adult getaway. Or you can make this space into a guest house. The options are endless.

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Detached Garage
Some models of homes have detached garages. If you are currently using this as storage space, and not the storage for your car, then it may be time for some spring cleaning. Clean out this space and remodel it to be a useful living space that is close to your home. These are great since they are closer to your home than a pool house. You can create a connecting structure so it is an extension of your home. Or you can design a beautiful stone pathway that visually connects this space to your home. It is amazing what furniture, paint and proper insulation can do to a space that was once only used for storage.

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These are a couple of spaces that you can use to make your home a more functional living space. The added benefit of updating these spaces is the added value it adds to your home! These basic remodels make a world of difference and you can truly make them work to your lifestyle. Does this sound good but you aren’t sure where to start? Let us help you with a few ideas perfectly tailored to you! Call Alan today to get started.

3 Must-Haves For A Kitchen Remodel

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A kitchen remodel can be overwhelming with so many options. When working with an experienced contractor, you can rest assured that you are making the right choices for your lifestyle. Check out these 3 must-haves for every kitchen remodel.

OPEN LAYOUT
Who wants to be competing for space in the kitchen? Having a open layout for your kitchen allows for easy movement while cooking. If you feel like with an open layout you will be missing out on storage space, consider a kitchen island with storage underneath. Having open space in the kitchen gives you the opportunity to evolve your kitchen as your lifestyle does! You can switch out the kitchen table and always add unique pieces.

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MODERN FLOORING
Don’t overlook flooring when it comes to your kitchen remodel. Wood tile is all the rage these days and is the perfect option when it comes to giving your kitchen a modern feel. What we love about wood tile is, not only is it a timeless look, it is fairly easy to maintain! Unlike wood flooring, wood tile can get wet without having to risk damaging the floor. With so many color and sizing opportunities, wood tile is a great selection no matter what style you want for your kitchen remodel.

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HIGH-END APPLIANCES
You can have the best layout, cabinets and countertops, but if you don’t have high-end appliances, those design elements mean nothing. Since the main purpose of the kitchen is for cooking, it makes sense to invest in top-notch appliances that not only function but have a great look. Don’t let your appliances be an eyesore! Invest in pieces that blend seamlessly with the kitchen, like the kitchen remodel at the top of the blog, and will stand the test of time. Stainless steel is always a safe choice that will update your kitchen.

A quality general contractor like Alan will be with you every step of the way in the kitchen remodel process. Make your dream kitchen a reality by focusing on the must-haves every modern kitchen should have!

Cool Gathering Spaces for Cooler Evenings

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August is here, which means it’s still hot and the monsoon season is in full swing. So why even think about spending time outside? Well in our minds, we see the end of heat in sight and cooler evenings on the horizon! Start thinking about all those beautiful, cool Arizona evenings you can be spending with your family or entertaining guests in your backyard. It’s time to get started on those outdoor living projects you have been dreaming about. Our general contractor, Alan Anderson, has a few tips and tricks for ideal outdoor living upgrades.

Fire Pit with Built-in Seating
Thinking about building a custom fire pit? Maybe you already have one in your yard but it’s missing something. We think a custom fire pit just isn’t complete without custom seating. You have to have somewhere to sit comfortably while gathering with your loved ones or making s’mores! Work with a general contractor, like Alan Anderson, who gets to know your lifestyle to custom tailor these upgrades to your family’s lifestyle.

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Extended Covered Patio
This upgrade should not be overlooked. Most Arizona homes have a covered patio, but some are lacking the space needed for luxurious outdoor living. Extending that covered patio will give your family more space to really enjoy the great outdoors! Let’s be honest, it’s still pretty hot in October and having ample shade is never an option here. This is an addition that is nearly a necessity.

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Patio Tile
So you may have beautiful tile around your home, but do you have the same outside? Imagine a pebble walkway leading from your patio to your pool. It is the simple touches that add character to your backyard. Think about something durable and stylish. When in doubt, talk to your contractor and see what he thinks would add that perfect touch to the style of your home.

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Get ready for outdoor living this fall by getting to work on these outdoor home additions today! You will be happy you did when the weather is cool and your family is together enjoying time with one another! Don’t trust any general contractor to get the job done right, trust Alan at Arlington Custom Builders.

HALF BATHROOM REMODELS

Make A Statement In Your Home

Half bathrooms, or “powder rooms”, are often overlooked when it’s time to remodel the home. This is a big mistake! Think about it, when your guests are over for dinner, they end up using the half bathroom. You spend so much time and money making the more visible open areas of your home “guest ready”, but not the one place that all your guests spend time in. Don’t forget about the personality and style you can add to this small space! And since it’s small, it’s not a big, expensive remodel like other areas of your home. This means you can affordably add the higher end touches to the space. Here are a few half bathroom remodel tips that will add your style to this small room and leave your guests impressed!

Floating Vanities

You are probably seeing more and more of these in modern bathrooms. We truly love this look! It’s clean and holds a style all it’s own. In fact, we included it in one of our most recent master bathroom remodels, and what a difference it made! With a small space, like a half bathroom, this will stand out more than you know. It will draw attention to the detail in your bathroom and leave your guests talking.

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Luxury Above Your Head

Don’t overlook what’s above your head when you are doing a remodel! When you want luxurious touches in a small bathroom, your ceiling is where you can begin. Crown molding sets the tone for the whole room. It also makes the ceiling feel taller, making the space feel more open. This is an important thing to think about when you don’t have a lot of space to work with.

Walls & Floors Add More

When working on a remodel in a small half bath, you can spend money on the more expensive details since you won’t need much of them. A half bath means everything is closer together, so make the space count! Feel free to be more daring with the wall color, or maybe a printed, luxurious wallpaper. One of our favorite things to do in a half bath remodel is a stone accent wall. As you see in the image below it makes the whole room feel completely different. Don’t forget about those floors! Go with a high end tile like travertine or marble. Not your taste? Consider a warm tone of wood grain tile. The options are truly endless!

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There are so many great ways to make a big splash in a small half bathroom! Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, the experts at Arlington Custom builders have truly seen it all and will give you the guidance you need for this small remodel.

Countertops are the Centerpiece of Your Kitchen

They always say, ‘The kitchen is the centerpiece of your home!’. The important focal point of your kitchen that sets the tone for the overall style and design are your countertops! What are your options? Is granite always the best choice? All of these questions can be answered by your contractor, but here are a few styles to consider.

Granite
When it comes to countertops, granite is still number one! It holds up to almost any kitchen activity so it’s overall durability is what stands the test of time and gives it such a great reputation. You can also get granite countertops in many different colors and patterns. This is great for homeowners who are looking to achieve a specific style for their kitchen. Let’s not forget that granite countertops add value to your home in comparison to tile or laminate.

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Quartz
While granite is still the most popular, quartz countertops are not far behind. In fact, they are the more durable surface and nonporous. What this means for you is less upkeep and less time cleaning the surface. Who doesn’t love that? Have we mentioned that it is more cost efficient than granite? Next time you are considering new countertops, this may be the route you want to take!

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Engineered Stone Countertops
If you are looking for a more modern, pop of color for your countertop, then this is a great option! Engineered stone countertops come in a variety of colors leaving you with many options to choose from. It’s also a high quality surface much like quartz and granite, offering a stain, heat and scratch resistant as well as protection from bacteria. We recommend considering this surface if you are looking for a bold statement in your kitchen.

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There are many more countertop surfaces to consider in your home but these are a few that stand the test of time! For all of the hard work you do in your kitchen, make sure your countertops can keep up and still look spotless at the same time. If you aren’t sure which is the best for your home, call Alan at Arlington Custom Builders for a consultation!

Cozy Homes for our Furry Friends

There are several ways you can make your house a home but one way is often overlooked. Making a custom space for Fido! Dogs and cats are adored members of our families and we want the best for them. Here are a few ideas we have on how to do creative remodels so your furry family member can have their own space to call home.

The Multi-Purpose Pet Home
Let’s be honest, not every house has the extra space to dedicate a whole room to our beloved pets. That’s okay! With creative spaces like a laundry room that doubles as a pet home, you can have a functional space for both you and your pet. Your laundry has a clean area and the desired space you will need for it. In the same room the family pet will also have their own bed, food and wash space. This was space could be used to clean off dirty work boots and other household needs that a washing machine can’t handle. But how nice would it be for your dog/cat to not have to share your beautiful claw foot tub when it comes to bathtime!?

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Built-in Dog House
During your next kitchen remodel, consider the dog! Talk to your contractor about leaving the bottom half of the pantry left without shelving and styling it in a way that will add to the kitchen. This space can be where the dog lays his head and cuddles with his favorite toys. As an added bonus, maybe use a nearby floor drawer to stow away his food. The added bonus; all of your guests will be talking about what a great addition this is to your kitchen remodel!

Hidden Kitty Space
Whether you are considering a kitchen, mudroom or laundry room remodel, think about a space for your cat! Kitty litter is not something you want out in the open, but it needs to be somewhere easily accessible for your loveable cat. There are so many ways to incorporate a central place for the kitty litter but this is one of our favorites! Why not incorporate a custom designed entry way for your cat, while hiding the kitty litter from plain site at the same time!? It’s an ‘awe-worthy’ addition to your space and eliminates any odors or view of the litter.

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So the next time you are working on any addition, remodel or custom build to your home, remember to make a custom space for your pet because having cozy homes for our furry friends is important. Talk to Alan at Arlington Custom Builders about all of your ideas and get started on your pet’s new space.

3 Easy-To-Do Fall DIY Projects

As the weather here Valley of the Sun finally catches up to the rest of the country, many Phoenicians are getting ready to celebrate Fall! While “Fall,” here in Arizona is usually limited to a few weeks or maybe a month, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the most of the cool weather by decorating our home with some easy-to-do DIY’s. As a Scottsdale custom home builder, we love seeing what our clients put together by themselves to help decorate their home. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our top 3 favorite DIY’s that even YOU can do to celebrate the season.

Jute Twine Crochet Coasters

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While coasters are primarily used during the hot summer months when our drinks seem to sweat with condensation, these twine-made coasters are perfect for the colder weather. Plus, anyone who crochets knows that the best time of year to practice this hobby is the autumn and winter months! Using only a few materials, these coasters are incredibly simple to make, even for the novice crocheter. Find out more by visiting Delia Creates.

Fall Leaf Candle Holder

Scottsdale Custom Home BuilderThis Fall DIY project is so easy, even the kids can join in! All you’ll need is a candle jar, some Mod Podge, and an assortment of dried leaves (you could even find a bag of fake leaves at a craft supply store). Once your leaves are fully dried, cover your jar with Mod Podge, stick on some leaves, cover the entirety of the jar with more Mod Podge, let it dry over night and then spray with acrylic and you’re done! Follow the instructions at Gingerbread Snow Flakes for a more detailed look at this process.

Burlap Prints

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Burlap prints are a super simple and inexpensive way to display your love of Fall. Materials include some burlap (at any length or shape), letter stencils (or stencils of your favorite shapes), fabric paint, an iron, and a sponge brush! Check out I Spy DIY for more inspiration and instructions!

Share your favorite Fall DIY Projects with us on our Facebook page! 

The Future of Custom Home Building

The year 2014 has been an incredible year for technological breakthroughs. From Apple releasing the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch, to medical breakthroughs like targeted cancer therapy, it’s no doubt that this year has been one of the best yet for science and technology.

But what does the future hold for home builders and owners? How will the next 10 years, 20 years, or even 50 years play out in the world of custom home building? We take a look at some of the remarkable concepts home building looks to accomplish in the (possibly near!) future.

The Cocoon House

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As South Korea continues to keep up in the world of sustainable living, this cocoon-inspired home will be part of an entirely eco-friendly neighborhood which will include a shopping mall, casino, hospital, and shopping center. Click here for more pictures!

Tornado-Proof Home

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This prototype, designed by Ted Givens of Hong Kong’s 10Design, features levers that initializes a hydraulic system which lowers the home into the ground, protecting it from high-velocity winds and potential water damage. For now, this home is just a concept, but something that could be an incredible breakthrough in the future.

Floating Future Eco-Home

Scottsdale Custom Home Builders

The next home on our list is one of the most incredible future concepts yet. Not only is this a floating private island of sorts, it’s also a completely self-sustaining home! Harnessing the power of wind, waves, and the sun, these floating future eco-homes will even be able to produce their own fruits and vegetables. Now this is an idea we just can’t wait to see come to life!

What are some future home ideas you would like to see in development? Where do you think the future of custom home building will take us? Leave a comment below, or let us know on our Facebook page! 

 

 

How Real is House Hunters?

House Hunters

Reality television has become one of America’s most guilty pleasures. One of the most addicting varieties arrives in the form of HGTV’s House Hunters. Avid viewers already know the premise: would-be homebuyers are carted around by a realtorin hot pursuit of their forever home and make their fateful decision in the span of a week – but how much of this is actually reality?

Longtime fans of House Hunters may want to stop reading here. A rather inconvenient truth regarding HGTV’s network of programming has been laid bare. A former featured guest of House Hunters claims the show is built on a foundation of lies.

The woman who has broken thousands of House Hunters hearts in America, named Bobi, claims HGTV did not approach her to participate in filming the series until she and her family already closed on the home they later purchased. Say it ain’t so!

It gets worse. The former House Hunters star claims producers had to scramble to find houses to tour, some of which weren’t even on the market – they belonged to close friends.

While Bobi went on to say these tours were not part of the normal House Hunters operating procedure, she believes it happened in part because realtors from the area refused to have their houses filmed. Bobi believes some realtors feared it would shed a bad light on their properties.

What do the suits behind HGTV have to say about the matter? In response to Bobi’s tell all, the network issued the following statement …

“We’ve learned that the pursuit of the perfect home involves big decisions that usually take place over a period of time – more time than we can capture in 30 minutes of television. However, with a series like “House Hunters,” HGTV viewers enjoy the vicarious and entertaining experience of choosing a home – from establishing a budget, to touring properties and weighing the pros and cons of each one.”

There’s always Real Housewives, folks.