Mike’s Guys: The Top Options for Exterior Siding

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Your home’s exterior siding isn’t just for aesthetic purposes; it’s your home’s first defense against the harsh elements. Maintaining and eventually replacing your siding is an important task if you want to keep your home in good condition and prevent issues like water damage, mold, wood rot, and energy inefficiency. If left unaddressed, these issues can get out of control and become very costly to repair. This is why it’s so important to know your options when replacing your home’s siding and use the material that will be best for your home long-term. Read more

4 Reasons Why You Need a Professional Interior Designer for Your Major Remodel

Along with improving the functionality of their home, the main reason homeowners choose to remodel is to refresh the appearance of a dated space. This is particularly true if the house is over 15 years old and has never been updated. Choosing paint colors, finishes, tile, countertops, and light fixtures might seem like a breeze, it’s often a bigger challenge than most homeowners realize! Even if it’s a relatively small project, hiring an interior designer will make the entire process easier and yield the best possible results. A professional designer can provide the newest ideas that will work for your home—things you may not know are available or products you may not know where to locate. They will think of details you’ll miss, and those details play a big role in the success of your project. Read more

5 Remodeling Projects that Will Most Always Lower the Value of Your Home

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One of the popular questions we get from homeowners that are considering a remodel is what options will give them the most return in the future, should they someday choose to sell their home. Although our ideal clients tend to be individuals that are not intending to move – those that have found their “forever home” and plan to live the rest of their life there—it is still a good idea to know what projects will provide the greatest ROI in the event that a move is necessary. Most contractors and realtors will probably tell you that a kitchen or bathroom remodel is going to be the best investment in regard to ROI. This is true, however, it’s important to know that this is only the case if you move a minimum of 10 years after your remodel. Moving within a 1 to 5 year timeframe is simply not a wise decision from a financial perspective, as the expense will be greater than the return within such a short time. For that reason, we typically are not the best fit for those that are working with investment properties or flip houses.
While it would seem that any update to your home would be good for your ROI, you should be aware that there are some projects that can actually lower the value of your home! Our owner, Mike Sr, will tell you that many times when he meets with a potential client to discuss a new project, he will spend the majority of the discussion trying to talk them out of it. If what they are thinking might serve an immediate need, but the long-term effect of the project on the value of the house will be a negative, he tries to get them to look at alternatives to serving their need. This might sound blunt, but our goal as a design-build firm is to provide our clients with honest facts and guidance when it comes to major home remodeling decisions. We want to educate you on the pros and cons of your potential project to help you choose the best option for the long-term!
Here are five home projects Mike Sr almost always tries to talk clients out of:
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Your Home’s Exterior Siding: When to Replace & How to Maintain


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Replacing your home’s siding probably isn’t the first of your priorities; unless there’s an urgent problem, most people don’t think about it too often. However, replacing worn-out, cracked, or leaking siding is very important in the prevention of more serious (and expensive!) future home repairs. If you haven’t checked your home’s exterior siding in a while, now is a good time!
Here are 7 warning signs it might be time to replace your siding:
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Announcing The First Annual TRWD Trinity Spring Trash Bash!

For the last 23 years, Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) has hosted an annual Fall “Trash Bash” to help clean up trash and debris that accumulates along the Trinity River throughout Fort Worth. During this great community event, families, friends and organizational groups volunteer to clean up the river banks in 8 Different locations.

Back in 2013, I participated in the fall Trash Bash, along with our Marketing Coordinator at the time, Elizabeth. Several hundred volunteers came out to help, making the work go by quickly. It’s amazing how much trash there was, and how much better the river looked once it was cleaned up! Read more

Have You Started Making Summer Plans? Our April 2015 Newsletter


Can you believe it’s already April?! While Spring got off to a late start with all the winter weather we dealt with in the last few months, it’s definitely starting to warm up in North Texas! Along with the colorful blooms, pleasant weather and new beginnings that come with the season, spring also presents a time of preparation for the upcoming summer months. When it comes to home remodeling, many of our clients prefer to start planning their projects during the spring, allowing plenty of time for each phase of the pre-construction process to be thoroughly completed before the building starts. Doing so provides a solid foundation and positive starting point for the project as a whole, and also assures our clients with confidence that the job will go according to plan. Read more

Remodeling Vs. Moving: What Makes More Sense?

Choosing between remodeling your current home or moving into a new home can be a difficult decision, as are most decisions that involve large amounts of money. Unfortunately, this is a decision a typical family might have to face more than once.

The first time is when babies are born — most Americans buy a small starter home, which quickly feels too crowded once a child arrives.

This problem occurs again when the kids become teenagers and need their own space; sharing bedrooms becomes an invasion of privacy. Read more

An Improved Kitchen Layout Rekindles Our Client’s Love for Cooking

The kitchen has been called the “Heart of the Home” in that it brings together families and friends with food and fellowship. Unfortunately, many homes have kitchens that are just too small, closed off, or otherwise lack the functional design needed for more than one person to occupy. Our recent clients faced the same problem – both of them love to cook, and wanted to cook together, but the layout of their kitchen prevented them from enjoying the space together.

As you can see in the ‘before’ photos, their kitchen felt small and was missing out on its full potential due to large soffits taking up space above the cabinets, inconvenient placement of the appliances, a low-hanging vent hood that was an unattractive head-bumper, and outdated Saltillo flooring that was unattractive and hard on the knees. Read more

6 Tips You Need to Know When Buying Replacement Windows

Few home repair projects can provide you the pay-back of window replacement. Quality replacement windows will not only refresh the look of tired windows, but also help you save on your monthly energy bill year round, make your home quieter, and increase your home’s resale value.

6 Tips for Buying Replacement Windows:

  1. Before you do anything, determine how many windows need to be replaced throughout your home. It’s ultimately more effective to have all windows replaced at the same time, as old windows can be less energy efficient and cost you more on your electric bill in the long run.
  1. Decide on a budget. The cost of windows can range greatly, depending on the type of glass, size, shape, and required installation. When shopping, gather several estimates so you get a true cost for the replacement windows. This will narrow your options and ease the process. Compare companies by getting a breakdown on the estimates for materials, labor and any costs of disposing of the old windows.
  1. Choose the right time of year for the project. Replacing windows involves the old windows being totally removed, meaning your house will be open for brief periods of time. Having this done in the dead of winter might not be a good plan! Likewise, having several open windows during the hot summer will be hard on your air conditioner (and your wallet!). Spring or fall months are generally mild and best suited for this type of home improvement.
  1. Check out the energy ratings and insulation on various windows. The type of framing will determine how much maintenance is required. For example, wood is beautiful, but vinyl might be the better option if you don’t want to worry about maintaining window frames.
  1. Ask about all of the different windows the company offers. Most companies run various promotions, but the windows they are featuring may be outside of your budget constraints. Asking about all of your options can get you the windows you need, without breaking the bank.
  1. Replacement windows come with warranties. Make sure you get the specifics, such as if the warranty can be transferred if you sell your home, and how long the warranty will remain in effect.

New windows are a major investment, but are a great asset and will make all the difference the comfort and the curb appeal of your home.

If you’ve been thinking about getting your windows replaced, now is a great time! Contact us to schedule an appointment and get your new windows installed just in time for summer! Read more

Mark Your Calendar: The Special Olympics 2015 Summer Games are Coming to Arlington in May!

A Brief History:

In the early 1950’s, people with mental disabilities were treated much differently than they are today. Most of us would be greatly shocked or offended to see the lack of respect shown to these individuals, solely because of their disabilities. Luckily, Eunice Kennedy Shriver took a stand to make a difference and stop the injustice.

Her goal was to create a place for disabled children to thrive. She began by starting a summer day camp for young people with handicaps in her own backyard. She focused on what these children could do in sports and other activities – and not dwell on what they could not do. Read more