How to Plan the Perfect Family BBQ
June 8, 2015
Summer has finally arrived- grab a cold one and fire up the grill! It’s a time for enjoying the freedom of leisure time and making great memories with family. Of course, with family comes taking advantages of the outdoors and cooking out! Here’s 5 tips to help you have the perfect family BBQ!
Let’s be honest, we want to impress our families with how well we take care of our yards. Get out the mower and grab the weed whip, because you’re going to want to trim, cut, and clean up all corners of the yard.
2. Don’t Be Shy with Food
Food is great- no need to have people worried they are not going to get enough or that they are going to take too much! A good indicator for how much to make is to figure out how many people will be attending and then, make sure that you have enough food to feed 1½ people. This will give your guests the option to have seconds!
3. Healthy Options
Nothing is worse than having guests over for a BBQ only to later find out that there are no options available for them that fit their diet. Great alternatives is to have grilled chicken and turkey burgers as well with your hamburgers, ribs, or steaks so you don’t irritate the big meat lovers meals! Also, load up on fruit and salad because these also support healthy eaters and vegetarians.
4. Prepare for Nature
It can be incredibly frustrating to get an entire BBQ set up, only to be interrupted by the elements. You plan for the event, relatives sometimes travel for the occasion, so be sure to make alternative plans in case the weather does not cooperate. Have space reserved for the garage and seating inside your home prepared just in case. Also, have bug spray and sunscreen available at all time.
5. Go Above and Beyond
Don’t make it your typical outdoor BBQ… make it something to remember! Have fun outdoor games set up for children and adults, give the party a theme, and get a bonfire ready for after the meal. (Don’t forget ingredients for s’mores!) All these ideas are great to help your evening to be one to remember!
April Showers Bring May Flowers- Ideas for your Home and Garden
May 26, 2015
The warmer weather is finally upon us, and with the warm weather comes detailing your house’s appearance. Landscaping can seem like a lot of planning and labor, but can be beneficial in redefining the beauty and color that radiates from your house. Here are some great ideas on how to embellish the exterior of your house with a garden:
Enhance Curb Appeal
A garden in the front yard? Why not? Use the colors and the beauty of the garden to make your house look more inviting and hospitable for guests! The flowers can be used to also draw attention away from any flaws of your front yard like possible cracks on the sidewalk or an unattractive driveway.
Elevate Your Flowers
Adding height to your garden will bring out all the diverse colors of the flowers. It takes a basic grounded garden and gives it a little power and attitude! Using elevated planters and hanging baskets will help you achieve this look.
Decorate Outdoor Structures
Looking to hide or do something about that old, boring looking shed in the back yard? Take advantage of these structures and use it as a centerpiece for your plants and flowers! If you want to take it a step further, plants some flowers along the sides and on top of your shed/garage to truly hide the object.
Create a Getaway
Life throws a lot at us, and sometimes we just need a place to relax. Make trails and paths with your flowers that takes you to a nice, secluded spot in your garden! In this spot you can have a bar to have drinks with friends, a bench to relax and read a book, or even use it as a beautiful spot for a romantic date!
Landscaping a yard may take a little time and effort, but once you have a finished product you won’t want to leave your garden. Make this the summer that you fall in love with the exterior of your home!
Spring Organizational Tips
April 30, 2015
Now that winter is long gone, it’s time to get your home into tip top shape. De-cluttering your home will benefit every household member, and help to make keeping your house clean and organized a breeze! Here are some great ways to stay organized in different areas of your home:
You know how most people tend to fill up their counter with miscellaneous paperwork, mail, and notes? Make a command station in your home. It’s a great way to keep your counter cleared off and still be able to keep track of all important items and times in your life.
Most people would agree that they need to make the best of all the closet space that they have. Utilize the unused space on the ceiling of your garage with storage bins. This is a great idea to keep items organized that you only pull out once or twice a year. For example, holiday decorations or winter gear.
Attach mason jars to a piece of wood to create a stylish and affordable way to keep bathroom necessities organized. Not only is this a handy way to organize your bathroom supplies, its much more decorative and creative!
Instead of taking up tons of space in your closet with tank tops, use one hanger and shower curtains to save space and organize your closet. This is also a great way to organize your scarves.
Paint wooden crates the color of your choice and hang them on the wall. This is a great organizational idea for an entryway to store extra shoes that can clutter up the floor. Add some baskets for a great way to store hats, mittens, and miscellaneous items.
Pots and pans can be tricky kitchen items to keep organized. Hanging them on hooks inside a cupboard will help you make the most of your space.
7. Living Room
Keep your throw blankets organized in the living room. Instead of taking up closet or couch space, this is a unique and tidy way to keep your blankets only an arm reach away.
8. Pool area
Similar to the blanket idea, but for by the pool or lake- not only will everyone know where their towel is, but hanging them in the sun will allow them to dry much faster and stay off the ground.
These are just a few small DIY ideas to de-clutter your home. For more ideas, or for larger-scale ideas, visit the Creative Custom Builders website for advice, inspiration and more.
7 Easy Ways to Upgrade your Backyard for Spring
April 3, 2015
As the weather starts to warm up, we begin to spend more and more time outside. The best place to enjoy the great outdoors is in your own backyard. Taking the time to making a few upgrades to your garden can make it a more enjoyable place to spend time. Here are some ideas to try this spring.
This is a quick and easy way to add an adorable table to your patio area. All you need is two pallets, some white paint, and three stone pavers. You might even already have all three items laying around the house.
Hanging lights on your patio or backyard can add a nice touch. Stands of light are a great way to add a little bit of extra lighting and ambiance to your space on those late nights outside.
Adding a rope swing to your backyard can be a fun addition for everyone. It’s also an affordable project that won’t take up much time. Get the directions here.
Springtime bugs can ruin anyone’s outdoor fun pretty quickly. Constantly buying citronella candles from the store can get spendy. This summer, make your own! Get the recipe here.
Boots as Flower Pots
Don’t have any use for those old boots anymore? Think again! Planting flowers in boots is a great and affordable way to displays plants.
Get a Canopy
Adding a canopy to your patio or deck is not only stylish, but can protect you from rain or shine. Having a nice shaded spot on your patio will make everyone happy.
Make your own Bench
Build your own bench out of old pallets. Not only are pallets affordable, but you probably already own some. Once you’re finished, you could paint it and even add some cushions. Get the directions here.
Taking the time to add a few improvements to your backyard and patio can make enjoying the springtime even better than before. Spring is here- it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine!
Important Moving Tips Everyone Should Know
March 9, 2015
When you are moving into a new house it can be exciting but also stressful. Knowing how to pack your items carefully and in an organized fashion can make the process of moving a lot easier. Using some of these helpful tips will benefit you in the long run.
1. Easily pack your closet using garbage bags.
This way you are able to move items in your closet quickly while keeping everything organized.
Also, putting your clothing items into bags is a great way to keep your clothes protected without using up more boxes.
2. Roll clothing items into suitcases
Folding clothes normally and stacking them on top on another can take up more space. By rolling your clothes into suitcases you will be able to fit much more items inside.
3. Color Code
Using different colors of duct tape can help keep you organized during the move. It may be helpful to also label which boxes belong in which room. If you don’t have enough time for that, you could create your own color coded cheat sheet.
4.Use clear bins
Put your most important belonging into clear bins. This way you will be able to easily find things that you will need immediately when you arrive at your new home.
5. Garage sale
Before you move to your new home, have a garage sale. Getting rid of some of your belongings will make the move a much process. Plus, this will make unpacking so much easier.
6. Get your friends to help!
Instead of bribing your friends with dinner, you could offer them first dibs on items and furniture or items that you no longer want. This way, you are getting rid of things that you don’t need and increasing your odds of getting your friends to help.
Moving is one of the most dreaded activities people experience. The excitement of moving to a new home can be extinguished by the sweat and tears that goes into packing up all your things. follow these simple tips and make your next move much simpler and less stressful.
New Year’s Resolutions for your House
January 26, 2015
The first month of the New Year is coming to a close, and while we set resolutions to better ourselves individually, it may be time to take a look at your house as well. Resolutions are hard to keep, but the right mindset and to-do-list is crucial to accomplishing your goals. This list entails some easy, but crucial projects you should accomplish this year.
Create a budget
Setting a budget for home improvements and maintenance insures you won’t overspend on silly projects. It also creates a rewarding feeling when you put aside money for major projects. LendingTree.com suggests putting aside 1% to 3% of your home’s initial price. Sporadic spending happens, but a budget will help cut down on unnecessary habits.
Organize the clutter
January is the perfect time to get rid of extra junk you won’t use this year. If you’re looking for storage ideas there are plenty of DIY projects that can help. A simple shoe organizer, or adding a new drawer in the toe kicks of your cabinets can help tremendously. If you’re looking to go big, try adding a mudroom to the entry of your house.
Save energy (and some money)
We tend to leave lights and other energy sources on when we aren’t using them. By turning off lights and shutting down the air conditioner, you can save some big time cash come end of the year. Installing fluorescent bulbs and a lower flowing showerhead are two more ways to cut down on some cost. Also, try not to run small loads in your dishwasher or washing machine. Instead, wait until they are full to start the cycle.
Manage your mortgages
Mortgages are a pain, but this year try to keep them under control. Try making extra payments. It will shorten the time it takes to be paid in full. If you have the finances, try paying off a second mortgage. You will almost instantly feel the weight being lifted off your shoulders when you pay off a decent amount of your debt. Finally, try to refinance your mortgage. By switching your variable mortgage to a fixed one, you can protect yourself from interest rate risk.
Start a garden
Planting a garden has plenty of benefits. The food it produces will help you save money at the grocery store and will last longer than most store bought items. Planting a garden can be fun for the whole family and will help you burn off calories for your personal New Year resolutions. If you can’t plant a garden try buying a plant for your home. Having plants and flowers will brighten a room and clean the air of your house as well.
Decorating for the Holiday Season
December 9, 2014
Christmas is only a few short weeks away! Year after year we decorate the tree and hang the mistletoe, but we have some new ideas to help spark your Christmas creativity.
1. DIY Projects
Gather the family around the table on a cold evening and put together some homemade crafts to decorate the house. Whether it’s creating sequins balls to hang from the tree, or footprint reindeer to hang from the walls, DIY projects are perfect for adding a touch of your personality to the decorations.
2. Snowy Village
Christmas villages not only look amazing, but they add a warming touch to any room. Recreate a small town in Minnesota, or the Big Apple in New York City. The ideas are endless when it comes to these memorable setups. Check out Department 56 for some awesome snow village ideas.
3. Yard Decorations
Your front yard is a great place to showcase some creativity as well. Lights look great, but don’t be shy to add a homemade project either. Rustic nailhead Christmas trees are a great idea when it comes to a simple project. While decorations do add some curb appeal, be careful not to make your yard look too busy. Too many decorations can make a house look sloppy and overdone.
4. Decorations for Dinner
The meal is sure to be tasty, but the decorations around it should be just as appealing. Christmas tree napkins and creative centerpieces are fun ways to decorate for the big meal. For more tips and tricks for setting a holiday table, see this helpful article.
5. Don’t forget safety!
Decorating the house is always fun, but always keep safety in mind. Don’t let your lights hang where they can be yanked and always turn them off when you go to bed. Use a screen on your fireplace so you won’t burn your freshly hung stockings. Keep your Christmas tree away from the fireplace and other heat sources. Most fake Christmas trees are fire resistant, but your decorations may not be, so be careful about placing it in a heated area. Keep candles away from your decorations and place them where they won’t be knocked over or spilled.
Try out some new ideas this holiday season- who knows, they may become a new holiday tradition in your house! Above all, have a happy, safe, and creative holiday, from your friends at Creative Custom Builders. Do you have any festive decor ideas for the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!
How to Ready the Interior of your House for Winter
November 26, 2014
In our last blog, we talked about exterior chores to accomplish before winter hits. This month will feature the interior chores to get done before you relax. By acting now, you’ll save money on your energy bills, increase your home’s components, and make your house safer throughout the cold winter months.
Windows and Doors – Check all your windows and doors for any heat loss and consider replacing the weather-stripping if you find any rough spots. Caulk spots that allow cool air through or shrink wrap your windows to keep out the cold air and trap in the heat. Consider using storm windows and doors to accompany your existing ones for added protection.
Ventilation – Clean or replace your furnace’s air filter to maximize efficiency. Bring a professional to check your heating system and make sure you schedule checks for your chimney and furnace. Remove window air conditioners or cover them to prevent cool air leaks. Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms and replace the batteries to ensure they are fresh and will last, especially if you have a fireplace or heating system that burns wood, coal, or gas. Also, don’t forget to reverse your fan direction, it will blow the warm air towards the ground for energy efficiency.
Add a Mudroom – A good Mudroom or entry way is your first line of defense against a messy winter. A place to knock the slush off your boots and hang your wet jacket will not only keep the rest of your house clean, but can also add some curb appeal and creates great organizational space for your family. Boot trays and lockers for hats, gloves, and coats are a must-have if you have small children.
Prepare for a Blizzard – as we have seen in Buffalo this year, weather is always unpredictable. Don’t let a big storm catch you off guard. Prepare a first-aid kit, gather candles, flashlights, and matches, pack warm clothes, blankets and non-perishable food along with water and other drinks. Prepare for at least three days when making your kit.
Clean out your Garage – Time to put the summer projects away. Pack away your lawn-mower and bring out the snowblower. Create room for your machines, shovels, and other winter toys. Pull out the salt and other chemicals used to battle the icy stairs and railings. Set up driveway markers to help you navigate when the snow makes it difficult to see.
We hope these winter tips have helped you on your way to a safe and cozy winter season. Leave a comment on any ideas we missed or how you plan to keep your house toasty and warm for the upcoming months!
How to Ready the Exterior of your House for Winter
October 14, 2014
Like it or not, winter is just around the corner. October may seem early, but getting ahead of the winter rush can be beneficial. There are plenty of chores to get done before the first storm officially hits – both inside and outside your home.
This month, we will take a look at the exterior jobs that need to be addressed before the cold comes.
Check the roof.
Leaky shingles can lead to some serious damage, especially in places you would never check to think, like the attic. A temporary repair may address the situation in the short term, but don’t be afraid to hire a handyman to get the work done right. Make sure you get this done as soon as possible; a wet or snow covered roof can be slippery and very dangerous.
Clean the gutters.
Clogged or backed up gutters can create water damage and invite unwanted pests into your house. Water damage leads to weak walls due to mold and mildew. By clearing out the gutters, water will flow freely instead of creating pesky water dams. Insects will flock to standing water and lay eggs that can leave your house infested. Clean those falling leaves out now and keep the bugs away.
Drain your sprinkler and lawn-irrigation systems.
Frozen pipes can have some serious consequences to your irrigation investment. Make sure both your sprinkler spigots, as well as your lawn-irrigation systems, are fully drained before freezing weather hits. Make sure your pipes are in good condition during the winter – sometimes water can remain, expand, and rupture your pipes.
Mulch your leaves.
Consider mowing your leaves instead of raking them. A well-mulched lawn can nourish your lawn for the brutal winter ahead. Mulching blades cut leaves to dime-sized pieces and adding a fall fertilizer can give your lawn a good layer of protection come December.
Sweep your chimneys.
Any fireplace or heating appliance needs to be cleaned and in good condition during these last few warm weather months. Chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks can be a result of a dirty chimney. During the cold our chimneys may expand and contract. Make sure you keep a watchful eye for cracks and gaps.
Did we leave anything off the list? Leave us a comment and let us know how you’re prepping the homefront for winter!
10 Reasons Why You Should Live in Minnesota
There’s a reason for the term “Minnesota Nice.” The fact is – Minnesota is a great place to live! I know, I know, but hear me out. Yes, the main thing non-Minnesotans think about our home is that it’s too darn cold (“Minnesnowta” anyone?) Still, while winter in Minnesota may be devastatingly chilly at times, it’s also a ton of fun. If this doesn’t convince you, remember winter is merely temporary; unlike many states, we get all four, glorious seasons! Plus, we’ve got so many great things to do all year long, anyone who claims to be bored needs a reality check.
So on that note, here are the “cold-hard facts” on why we think Minnesota life is the best around.
WINTER: IT’S FULL OF ACTIVITIES
Besides the beautiful snowfall covering the tree tops turning everything white, and those beloved snow days, Minnesota boasts a ton of great winter sports. We’ve got snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowboarding, skiing, sledding, ice skating, snowball fights…well, you get it. The list of great winter activities is expansive, and while warm temps are pleasant, many die-hard Minnesotans miss winter once it melts away.
SPRING: NEW BEGINNINGS
Although winter is a lovely time, let’s be honest; by the end, most of us are anxious to see the grass again, or go outside without a jacket, snowpants, gloves, hat, scarf and boots! Now, don’t assume we Minnesotans aren’t willing to bust out shorts only at 70 degrees or higher. Honestly, if you aren’t from the area, and you visit in spring, you’ll probably still be bundled. Minnesotans, however, will be decked out in a t-shirt, shorts and sandals…even if the weather is still in the 30s. After a long, hard winter, we’re feeling no pain!
SUMMER: PURE PARADISE
Ask anyone what their favorite season is, and odds are good they’ll say summer. Not only do we get to dethaw even further, but we also get to enjoy the beach, boating, cabin time, summer festivities, and, for the younger ones among us, a break from school. Sure, we’re biased here, but we probably appreciate summer more than most folks anywhere in the U.S.
FALL: BRIEF PERFECTION
There is something just magical about fall in Minnesota. The leaves shift into beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. The crisp air brings a fresh feeling. And, what’s not to love about all of the great pumpkin decorations and recipes? Seriously – it might be shorter than most seasons, but it’s one to love.
MINNESOTA NICE – NO MATTER WHAT
We Minnesotans are raised to be kind, helpful and polite. If we have an opinion about something, we try to convey it in the nicest way possible. We hold doors open, apologize even if it wasn’t our faults, and smile at strangers. It might seem odd to someone from the East Coast, but here in Minnesota, that’s just what you do. And, we like it!
MINNESOTA STATE FAIR: BIGGEST PARTY OF THE YEAR
The Minnesota State fair is, hands down, one of the most popular attractions each year. From concerts to farm animals, carnival rides to deep fried anything, you can find something to love at the state fair. (Did I mention the people watching?)
MINNESOTA SPORTS: PASTIME OR PASSION?
MALL OF AMERICA
Minnesota has the biggest mall in the United States. Seriously. You can’t go wrong with that.
EMPLOYMENT: OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS
Looking for a job? You just might have the luck you need in Minnesota. We not only have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, but we also have a total of 19 Fortune 500 companies.
MINNESOTA: LAND OF 10,000 LAKES
It’s not just our state motto – it’s a fact. We’ve got thousands of gorgeous lakes, and for a couple months out of the year, you can literally walk on water. The lakes in Minnesota are good for a ton of fun! From ice fishing and snowmobiling in winter to wakeboarding and fishing in the summer, the lakes of Minnesota bring a lot of family fun throughout the year.
These are just a few of the reasons we think you should live in Minnesota. All in all, we can’t think of a more welcoming state.
Interested in living in Minnesota? We can help you find or build your dream home! Contact us at here or call us at: 320-363-7206
Comment below and let us know of any other great reasons that make Minnesota the state for you and your family!
How to Finish your Unfinished Basement
October 9, 2014
Moving into a new house is exciting, even with an unfinished basement. At first, many improvement ideas come to mind: man cave, workout center, basement bar and entertainment area, etc. While all of those are a great idea at the time, the fact of the matter is, most of the time an unfinished basement just turns into a simple storage area.
The basement of your house has a lot of potential and is a lot cheaper to renovate than to build an addition onto your house. Don’t get discouraged by the amount of work it takes; whether it’s a small renovation or a large-scale project, once you’re finished, you’ll be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Before you start, make sure you inspect your basement and make sure what you envision is accomplishable. Be sure to plan out each and every aspect including lighting and placement of additions, and be aware of any pre-determined damage that could be involved. For more ideas refer to this guide.
Remember to think about the whole family. You may be excited to build a man cave, but if you have a wife and children, that might not be the best use of the space. Instead, consider building something for everyone to enjoy – bar with your favorite sports theme, a game room for the kids with a flat screen to watch the big game and play video games, or a workout center for you and your wife to enjoy. If designed correctly, the basement could be the favorite room in the house for everyone.
If you think this is too big of a renovation for yourself to handle, we are here to help you finish the what seems to be unfinishable! At Creative Custom Builders, we have the experience and reputation to take care of the details and make sure your basement is well built and meticulously created to really be the home of your dreams.
Contact us here or call us at: 320-363-7206 to help you finish building the home of your dreams.
Summer Home Improvement ideas
July 29, 2014
Summer is the perfect time to tackle home projects and pursue home remodeling and landscaping improvement plans. Often times, families want to make improvements to their home and yard but don’t know where to start. Most projects take a good amount of time and money. In order to make significant home improvements, you will have to spend time perfecting your project. Although, the cost of your projects can be minimized so I came up with a list of summer landscaping projects that can be pursued even if you are on a budget!
– Seeding/Sodding: Although the price of grass seeds and sod has increased throughout this past year, a good yard will make all the difference. A luscious and green yard will make your house standout within your neighborhood. It shows that you care about the appearance of your yard, like a good haircut for example.
– Flowers: Well placed, bright flowers will make all the difference on the appearance of your home. Placing them at the front of your house near your front door will make them easily seen and recognized by your neighbors and those who pass by your home.
– Removing clutter: Removing dead shrubs, trimming overgrown bushes, and clearing out weeds is essential for a home and landscape that POPS! Clearing out unneeded plants, weeds, and bushes will make your appealing plants like flowers and rocks more prominent within your garden and yard.
– Trimming: This applies to overgrown trees in your yard with branches too low or disturbing the view of your home. Trimming these trees will make all of the difference when trying to make your home stand out.
– Painting: This applies more to your home than your landscape, but repainting your home if you haven’t done so within the past 5-10 years will make your home REALLY stand out. Paint is relatively cheap and will make the appearance of your home improve tremendously!
These are all essential aspects of improving the appearance of your home. Although they may take some time and hard work, these are really cheap and budget-friendly. These can even be turned into family weekend projects that you can do a little each week. Even doing two or three of the projects on your list will make the improvement of your home noticeable by your neighbors!
Remodeling On A Budget
People are always looking to make improvements to their home but often lack a sufficient budget to fund these projects. There are many ways to improve and maximize the appearance and style of your home without going overboard on spending money. For example, before knocking out walls and increasing the size of rooms, see if you can maximize the efficiency of the room by removing clutter and reorganizing. It would SAVE you MORE money to invest in sleeker cabinets with many shelves rather than assuming you need to take down walls because your cabinets constrict the space of the room which makes you believe that you need bigger rooms. Here are some ideas that can help you save money the next time you are thinking about a home improvement project:
– Do It Yourself – Often times, people will hire others to do work because they simply believe that the hired workers will do a better job, they think they do not have the time, or they believe they are inadequate. If you believe you can do a project without hiring others, DO IT because it gives you the ability to be creative without paying others to do your work.
– Paint / Repaint – Paint is relatively cheap which allows people to make strides of improvement in their rooms. As soon as you find that perfect color, do some research and attempt painting on your own before hiring someone else.
– Mix vs Match – Mixing together different pieces of furniture is very cost efficient, opposed to buying a full furniture set. The mixed look also allows you to do more with the room by giving you the flexibility to add other decorations or furniture that is similar to the mixed furniture but do not necessarily need to match.
– Appearance vs Price – Many people believe that in order for something to “look good”, it must be expensive. This is false, and many times you can find furniture and antiques for very low prices that would suit your room perfectly. Do not hesitate to look at your local antique and furniture shops for older furniture.
– Unexpected Flair – Adding flair or accessories that someone would not expect to see in the room makes people attract to it. The idea of unexpected decorations or flair adds FLAVOR to the room of choice.
Are you still having trouble with low-budget Home Improvement ideas? Give us a call!
Be Bold. Be Creative. Execute
There Is No Place Like Home…Gardening!
Here at Creative Custom Builders, our main goal is to build you the home of your dreams. But we have been thinking, what happens after we build your dream home? It is quite simple actually! Now that you are all moved in you probably have the itch to begin yard work! This month we are going to teach you how to build the garden of your dreams!
Patience is a Virtue:
We know that it can be difficult to stay patient for Minnesota weather to be consistent enough to start gardening. As a general rule of thumb, we’ve found that the best time to start gardening is the middle to end of May. This is typically the time that freezes are no longer an issue. However, we can have a freeze up until June so make sure that you keep a watchful eye on the nightly weather if you decide to plant early!
When waiting for the weather to warm we recommend that you start planning your garden out by browsing through seeding catalogs or sketching out what you plan to envision in the upcoming months. This year, don’t forget to save room for fruits and/or vegetables (i.e raspberries, tomatoes, carrots, or maybe even corn)! Now is also a good time to go out and buy the mulch you will be using.
When it’s Time:
If you can push a skewer 10 inches into your yard that means that the ground is officially soft enough for planting. Pay attention to the soil, if it is moist when you pull the skewer out of the ground there is no need to water, if it is dry you should water immediately. Finally, it is time to start planting!
Color All Summer Long:
Many gardeners are always looking for that little extra color and flair that makes their garden stick out. We recommend planting a mix of flowers that bloom all summer long. This will allow your garden to have consistent color throughout the entire summer!
When hanging your planters this year, lower them by six inches. Don’t strain yourself when trying to water them. Allow yourself to easily access them it will make you enjoy them even more this year! Finally, be aware of your neighbors and yourself when considering allergy season. We hope you are as excited as we are about the warm weather and gardening season. Follow those five steps to ensure that you will have the best looking garden you have ever had at your dream home!
Four Tasks to Get Your Home Ready for Spring
April 30, 2014
As April comes to an end, spring is beginning to fully blossom. With the warmer weather that is now upon us, we can assume that the inside of your home is cleaned out and prepared for what spring has to offer. The snow has finally left us and your yard is starting to take form. This means it’s time to step outside and check your home for damage that may have been caused by Old Man Winter. To help, here are four easy tasks to get your home and yard ready for the change of seasons:
1.) Cracks lead to holes – If you haven’t already, it is time to put up screens on all of your windows, allowing fresh air to enter your home. After putting up screens, make sure to step outside and look at the border of all your windows. This is a common step that homeowners forget to do and with the freezing Minnesota winters, the caulk surrounding your window can often times get ruined. To fix, simply walk around your home with a bottle of caulk refurbishing any areas that may need assistance.
2.) Keep knockin’ – After a long winter it’s no surprise your front door feels a little lackluster. Restore the luster of your door by polishing the hinges and knobs with polish. Paint or stain the door with a color that stands out, yet also complements the trim and siding. To top it off, put out a clean, new welcome mat!
3.) Check your flow – Inspect outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and it will need to be replaced.
4.) Breathe deeper – Have your air conditioning system serviced. Remember that dirty filters make your air conditioner work harder, increasing energy costs and possibly damaging your equipment. As a general guide, check the filters at least every three months and replace as needed.
Here at Creative Custom Builders, we take great pride in building the home of your dreams. Once we have completed our project we do our best to make sure to give you the tips and tricks to keep your home in the best shape possible. These four tips will take a giant burden off our shoulders for the coming months knowing that your home is prepared for whatever Mother Nature has to offer!
Bring Spring Indoors
April 1, 2014
Mother Nature: “It’s time to wake up and smell the roses.”
We’re rounding the corner from winter to spring, filling most of us with the urge to clean up, air out, and generally refresh our environments. With that in mind, here are a few simple ways to “spring ahead” on the home front.
Force of Nature
Go outside and cut branches of spring-flowering shrubs and trees, and bring them inside to bloom. Possible candidates include: cherry, crab apple, flowering dogwood, lilac, pear, pussy willow, and redbud.
Bear in mind that branches can take anywhere from one to four weeks before they’re ready to produce flowers. Taking care to select healthy branches with plenty of flower and leaf buds will shorten the time before flowering.
Brightening on a Budget
Spring redecorating doesn’t have to mean doing severe damage to your wallet. Get crafty and visit your local fabric store to create your own drapes, tablecloths, blankets and throw pillows. Make sure to select a softer color scheme; this will make your room look brighter and feel cooler as warmer weather approaches.
Spring = Good Smells
As warmer weather sets in, it’s pretty appealing to fling the windows open and refresh rooms plagued with months of stagnant air. Once you reach that milestone, consider ways to keep those rooms freshly scented all year long. Buy dried flowers and place them throughout your house. Try to avoid heavy perfumed cleaning products that expose your household to caustic chemicals and overwhelming odors. Lastly, take the time to clean your entire house thoroughly; winter in Minnesota is long, and that gives unpleasant odors lots of time to leave their stamp.
Enjoying All Seasons
March 5, 2014
When winter arrives in Minnesota that means several things: no more green grass, blistering cold temperatures, and the sun seems to mysteriously disappear. When the sun does appear it is difficult to enjoy its warmth like you used to in the summer months, but that’s when a seasonal room comes into play!
Three or Four Season?
When it comes to sunrooms, you have the choice of either a three-season or a four-season sunroom. The biggest difference is quite obvious: the three-season sunroom will be out of commission in the winter months because the insulation is much thinner. One benefit of having a three-season sunroom, however, is it means cheaper installation and no additional heating/cooling. Meanwhile, building a four-season sunroom allows you to enjoy its beauty year-round either with the help of a heater in the winter months or with the assistance of Mother Nature!
What are the styles?
- Having two separate roof panels gives you a cathedral type of ceiling.
- The design can easily match the exterior of your home
- You have the option of glass, screen or wall.
- The slope faces away from the home allowing all types of precipitation to run off the roof.
- The single slope gives a different feel to the room.
- You have the option of glass, screens, or walls.
- Consists of a lean frame, glass walls, and a glazed glass or polycarbonate roof.
- Originally designed for cultivating warm-weather plants.
- Gives a more traditional feel.
- Like a conservatory, solariums consist of glass walls and a glazed glass or polycarbonate roof.
- The walls and roof are joined with a continuous curve.
- Has a modern appearance.
No matter what style of room your family is looking for, you will be creating a room that is unlike all others. The addition of a sunroom will create unforgettable memories. Whether it’s watching a summer sunset away from the humidity and bugs, or watching the snow fall lightly during the holiday season, watching every season pass in front of you with someone special by your side is something you will never forget.
Kitchen Design Ideas
January 30, 2014
The kitchen is an area where many of us spend a great deal of our time. From preparing and eating food, to entertaining and spending time with family and friends, a kitchen should be comfortable and functional. With that being said, here are six tips to think about when you’re designing your kitchen:
- Create a one of a kind kitchen: Make your kitchen they way YOU want it to be. Yes, it is okay to want to follow design trends by allowing yourself to draw on ideas of other kitchens, but leave some area to personalize your design. You have to live with your kitchen, so make it the way you want. Some ideas include allowing yourself to have that wine fridge, walk in pantry, or those double islands that you’ve always wanted.
- Utilize your space: Don’t be afraid to utilize your space from the floor to the ceiling. A great example of this is your cabinets. Building cabinets all the way up to the ceiling not only gives you extra storage, but it also saves you time from dusting the top of your cabinets; it’s a win – win.
- Keep it simple, but significant: Know when “enough is enough”. You don’t want the kitchen to be too busy and overwhelming. A kitchen is supposed to make you feel at home and be welcoming. If you put too much into it, no one will see its true beauty. An example of this is using too many different materials or textures in the kitchen all at once. Choose a couple of materials or textures you really like and stick to just those options.
- Avoid clutter: Hiding some of your appliances or utensils can help avoid an overwhelming feeling when one enters the kitchen. Creating a welcoming environment is extremely important when it comes to the kitchen, so avoid having too much on the counters or hanging too many things on the wall.
- Create cohesiveness: A good thing to keep in mind is to make everything look like it belongs in one room together. Things like choosing appliances in the same finish; keeping colors in the same color family; or matching the backsplash to the countertops are all things to remember. Doing things like this will give the kitchen a polished look.
- Do Your Research: You are making a large investment in your home, so doing research is necessary. It is important to keep in mind that if you make an investment with the strongest and best-looking cabinets, they will repay you over time. The same goes for appliances, counters, and floors. Reading articles and Consumer Reports allow you to look at side-by-side comparisons of appliances, making your decisions easy. If you are only able to afford certain upgrades, choose the one’s that you want – always remember that this is your home, so do what you like the most with the space.
Whether you use one or all of these tips, we hope you’ll have the kitchen of your dreams. If you would like to learn more about how we can help design the home or townhome of your dreams, please contact us here: http://creativecustombuildersmn.com/contact-us/.
Winterizing Your Home
January 3, 2014
When winter strikes in Minnesota, we tuck away our summer clothes and lawn chairs and bring out the sweaters, coats, and scarves. But did you remember to get your home ready for the cold weather as well? With the hustle and bustle of the holidays being over, now is the perfect time to winterize your home if you haven’t done so already.
Here are 9 tips to help you stay warm and safe in your home throughout the entire winter:
- Check the Tree Branches- Knock snow from the tree branches in your yard to keep them from breaking under the weight.
- Insulate- Your attic requires 12 inches of insulation. When adding new insulation, make sure it does not have paper backing, which will cause moisture problems.
- Seal Leaks- Find the drafty areas in your home and seal them up with caulk or tacky rope on your home’s interior, and with weather-resistant caulk on its exterior. Recessed lighting, window and doorframes, and electrical outlets all tend to be drafty areas.
- Examine Your Furnace- Check your furnace to make sure it works properly. Change the filter, and continue to do so once a month throughout the winter months. When the filters are clean, it improves airflow and efficiency, and can help prevent fires.
- Install Storm Windows- Or, if they aren’t in your budget this winter, consider a window insulator kit. These kits consist of plastic sheeting that is applied to interior windows and may be removed in the spring.
- Inspect Your Chimney- Have a professional chimney sweep give your chimney a cleaning and check it for debris. Cleaning the chimney will prevent ash build up.
- Reverse Your Ceiling Fans- Setting your ceiling fans in the opposite direction will push the warm air down and help it circulate in your home. In order for your fan to push the warm air down, it should be rotating in a clockwise direction.
- Wrap Pipes- The freezing nights can result in burst pipes. Prevent them from bursting by insulating them with foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. And if you haven’t done so already, make sure you shut off the water to your outdoor hose as well.
- Check the Alarms- Since you are checking all of these other things in your home, you may as well make sure your smoke alarms are all working correctly! Replace the batteries if needed, and make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your home as well. If your home is usually filled with warm nights by the fire and baking, it is smart to have these things ready for any accidental fires that could occur.
Take the time to check each of these tips off your to-do list, and you’ll be able to enjoy a warm, cozy and safe winter in your home!
Ideas for your Spare Bedroom
October 30, 2013
Regardless of why you have an empty room in your house the space feels like a void. Here are 10 creative ways for you to customize your extra living space:
1) Home Office – Whether you work from home or frequently find yourself on the computer a home office will allow you to work in peac
2) Guest Room – Don’t ship off your guests to the hotel. Make them comfortable in a new guest room.
3) Holiday Room – A place to store all of your treasured holiday decorations, rather than stuff them in the attic Game Room- House your pool table, darts board or foosball table in a place where you will actually use them.
4) Arts and Crafts- Whatever your artistic talent is you need the space to be able to do it. Give yourself the studio you have always wanted.
5) Collections/Antiques Room- Take this opportunity to highlight your collection. From pottery to post cards, if you bought it is because you like to look at it. Why not show it off?
6) Entertainment Room – Depending on the size, it might be the perfect place to entertain your frequent guests. Add a couch, fridge, table and you have a party waiting to happen.
7) Game Room- House your pool table, darts board or foosball table in a place where you will actually use them.
8) Spa Room- A more expensive choice but well worth it. Hot tubs can be installed in the middle of the room, along with a sauna in the closest
9) Reading Room- Why not turn your space into your own personal library? Put in a comfy chair, a throw blanket and you have created an oasis of peace and quiet.
10) Gym- Take the monthly gym membership and invest in your own equipment. Maybe it will help you keep your New Year’s Resolution.
Click here to join us on Pinterest for more unique ways to utilize your space.
Tips and Tricks For Around the Home
October 28, 2013
Here at Creative Custom Builders we are all about creating high quality spaces that are as unique as you are! While we tend to focus on building the home or town home of your dreams (we are contractors after all) throughout the years we have picked up a few tricks and tips for once you are all moved in!
Below is a list of some of these shortcuts. These are sure to make things easier for you and keep your belongings organized!
1. No-Slip Drawers
Storing sharp knives in your kitchen drawer makes for a less-cluttered counter and a safer kitchen. But with each pull of the drawer, sliding knives collide and in turn dulling and damaging their finely honed edges. Artists’ drawing-board liner (available at art stores) has a slightly rubbery surface that will keep your knives in place and wipes clean easily. Cut a piece of liner to fit the bottom of the drawer, and anchor it in place with double-sided tape.
2. Chalk Dehumidifier
Keeping a bundle of chalk hung in a closet will absorb any extra moisture and keep your clothing fresh and dry! This also takes up much less room than an electric dehumidifier. Simply fasten a rubber band around the bundle of chalk, tie a ribbon around it and then hang!
3. Stay Put Pants
The same felt glides that keep scratches off wood floors keep pants and shirts on wood hangers! Stick two glides onto the hanger where you would be hanging your shirts or pants and test it out! They will no longer fall into a wrinkled mess on the bottom of your closet.
4. Natural Whiteners
To whiten cloth napkins, linens, and even socks, fill a large pot of water, and drop in several slices of lemon. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add the linens and let them soak for about an hour. Then launder as you usually would. Your linens should be whiter than ever after this trick!
5. Lid Racks
Are you sick of your pots and their lids taking up all of your cupboard space? Nest the pots together and give the lids a home of their own! Install metal tower bars inside your pantry door. (Look for simple ones that stand out about 2 inches.) Mount them only to the rails of solid-core wooden doors. To hang a lid, simply slide it behind the bar so the knob or handle catches and holds it in place.
Now that you know some of our favorite shortcuts, only one question remains. Which one of these will you try first?!
5 Easy Decorating Ideas for Fall That Are Sure to Spice Up Your Home
September 25, 2013
Does the start of fall and changing leaves have you itching to give your home a makeover? Well the start of cooler weather has certainly made us at Creative Custom Builders get into the autumn spirit! Decorating your home for a season should not be expensive or difficult. Keeping this in mind, we wanted to share some EASY and INEXPENSIVE ideas that you can try in your home this season:
1. Pumpkins: Obviously one of the first things people think of when they hear the word fall is pumpkins. Decorating pumpkins with paint or stamps is a great way to add a sense of elegance to your fireplace mantle.
2.Silk Leaves: Add an autumnal touch to a bookcase or shelves with some textured silk fall leaves. Whether they are placed along a shelf in your home or placed in a decorative apple-picking bucket they will give your home the perfect fall look.
3. Card-Stock Paper: Choose fall colored card-stock paper and make a colorful pendant banner for your mantelpiece. The options with what you can create are totally endless!
4. A simple pop of color: Decorating your home this season can be as simple as adding a pop of color to an already white piece of furniture or using any white pallet as a background and add accents of orange and black. This can be anything from using a vase full of flowers, a decorative pumpkin or a dish full of candy corn.
5.Add Natural Touches: Pinecones, gourds and pheasant feathers can add an organic, woodsy touch to any room in your home. What’s even better about this is that you can find many of these right outside in your yard or while you’re on a walk.
We don’t know about you but we can’t wait to try some of these ideas in our own homes this fall; the problem will be just deciding which ones!
Looking to sell in the future?
July 11, 2013
The old saying, “Sometimes you have to spend money to save money” holds true when it comes to home improvements. Maybe you are looking to sell in the future or just want to upgrade your home for your own pleasure, either way, it’s important to think big picture. There are plenty of great ways for home owners to upgrade that benefit financially in the long run. Here are some of the best tips to help you do just that:
- UPDATE WHERE IT COUNTS– Research has shown that the most profitable area of a house to make improvements in is the kitchen. This is closely followed by the bathroom. If you really want to stretch your dollar the furthest, consider updating one or both of these rooms.
- EVALUATE ENERGY CONSUMPTION– Check over the entire system that contributes towards heating and cooling your home to be sure that it is energy efficient. No one likes paying bills, but being energy efficient helps reduce the dollar amount you’re paying which makes the process a little less painful.
- LOOK AT LANDSCAPING– It is always a good idea to keep your landscaping pruned as much as possible. This is a great way to avoid any scratches to your exterior siding from obnoxious branches and at the same time, make the siding last longer!
- FLOORING IMPROVEMENTS– Adding new flooring dramatically increases aesthetic beauty as well as financial value. Keep in mind that choosing hard floor surfaces over carpet is becoming increasingly popular because they create a healthier living environment due to carpets being the number one attraction area for allergens!
- FRESHEN UP WITH COLOR– A somewhat inexpensive way to spruce up your home is by re-painting. Even if you’re sticking to the same color scheme, give your walls a fresh coat of paint and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how it can bring new life to any room.
No matter what the size of the project may be, we’re here for you. Feel free to contact us anytime to talk over your home improvement ideas or concerns with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.
What Can Creative Custom Builders Offer You?
June 14, 2013
The process of planning and building the home of your dreams can be hectic, tedious and every other stressful adjective in the book. This is where Creative Custom Builders steps in to save the day with their knowledge and expertise – not to mention their ability to provide you with a patio home that will meet your every need! Here are five key advantages to owning a patio home:
1) Downsizing- Maybe the birds have finally left the nest or you’ve simply decided you no longer need a multi-level home. Now is the time to make a move to a home that’s exactly the right size.
2) One-Level Living- This type of living is extremely low maintenance. Also, the lack of a single staircase on the property is especially beneficial to senior citizens or anyone with limited mobility.
3) Cost- In today’s economy, it’s understandable the financial burden is a main concern. Rest assured with the fact that patio homes are considerably less expensive than the typical single family home.
4) Setting- Patio homes are much less crowded in comparison to condominiums or townhomes. It should also be noted that some of our lots are located along the river; the ultimate symbol of peace and relaxation.
5) Amenities- The best part of owning a patio home is all of the amenities included. Click HERE and see for yourself.
So the real question is; what are you waiting for? Creative Custom Builders is ready to help create the perfect patio home to best suit each and every one of your needs.