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Sprinkler System Damage: Advice from a Home Remodeler

Written by Guest Blogger
April 21st, 2014
Bubbler Heads

Jack of von Gillern Construction recommends the Bubbler Heads sprinkler system.

Now that winter has passed, across the Dallas area, homeowners are inspecting their homes and yards for any winter damage in preparation for spring and summer. One of the most serious problems that homeowners face is from their outdoor automatic sprinkler systems.

Improperly installed sprinkler heads can damage concrete, stucco and siding on your home. They can also damage outdoor structures like barbecues, outdoor kitchens, pool houses and sheds. You may have noticed homes that have greenish spots on the outside, which is a sign of water damage. Over time, water that continually hits the home can loosen brickwork, damage stucco, erode concrete and ruin paint.

Misdirected water from your sprinkler system can lead to serious problems later. The most common cause of misdirected water is poor installation of the sprinklers.

Wood damage caused by sprinklers.

Wood damage caused by sprinklers.

When a sprinkler blows directly onto the wood surface or windows of a home when turned on, the fix is often as easy as adjusting the sprinkler heads in another direction and adjusting the force of the flow. However, if the problem cannot be fixed this way, the head may have to be moved. Even if the sprinkler does not normally blow directly onto the house, you must take care to ensure that moisture does not blow onto the house, trim, windows and siding when there is a wind or a breeze, because this too can cause damage.

Many sprinkler systems, especially those in flowerbeds next to a home, were fine when first installed. But, over time the bushes grow and the sprinkler heads need to be adjusted so that water is not blown onto the house or windows by the growing plants.

This photo demonstrates how vegetation growth effects sprinklers and causes damage.

This photo demonstrates how vegetation growth effects sprinklers and causes damage.

For watering near your home, I recommend Bubbler Heads for drip irrigation. These are easily adapted sprinkler systems that ensure water is directed to exactly where you want it to go. These types of heads are also used for watering individual flowerpots. You must be careful about the length of watering times and drainage so that water does not pool in the yard or near the house.

Award-winning von Gillern Construction is ready to help with all your interior and exterior updates, including inspecting and adjusting your sprinkler systems. With years of experience serving the Dallas area (including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Addison, Park cities, Preston Hollow and Lakewood), von Gillern Construction is dedicated to providing the very best craftsmanship for all your home additions, room additions and kitchen and bathroom remodeling. For more information, visit the von Gillern Construction website for more information, or call them at 972.818.0411.

Outdoor Showers: Tips from a Home Remodeling Expert

Written by Guest Blogger
April 15th, 2014

home remodeling dallas

In the Dallas area, an outdoor shower not only provides a convenient place to wash off after doing yard work or using the swimming pool, but it can also be an accent piece that is both functional and artistic.

There are two types of outdoor showers – stand-alone and wall mounted. Stand alone outdoor showers are installed away from the house and attach to flexible hosing. A wall mounted outdoor shower is stationary, usually attached to the home or in its own structure, and is attached to an outdoor plumbing supply. Wall mounted outdoor showers are the most popular styles in the Dallas area. An outdoor shower can be designed to blend into the style of the home or it can be a completely different look, making it a statement piece in the back yard. Using natural materials such as stone, bamboo and wood will create a shower that blends nicely into any yard. Shrubbery, flowers and trees can add privacy to showers as well as adding beauty to the yard or pool area.

Showerheads can be hand controlled or foot controlled. A hand controlled shower head is one that you turn on and off at the faucet, just like a normal showerhead in a bathroom. A foot pedal showerhead is one that you can turn on and off hands-free. These allow you to easily turn on the water with the foot pedal, which is particularly handy if you have soil on your hands from working in the yard. Foot pedals also help save water and avoid the transfer of bacteria between your hands and the fixtures. With both types of showerheads, there are numerous options available for water flow such as misting, rain shower, pulsating and massaging.

From simple, basic designs that blend into the existing architecture to elaborate structures that make an artistic statement, outdoor showers have drastically changed over the years. Gone are the rustic structures associated with campgrounds, surrounded by a sheet of plastic or tarps and offering only cold water. Today’s showers are associated with luxury as well as being practical. Textured tiles, stone work and mosaics can help create a luxury outdoor shower in your backyard pool area.

As with any plumbing, take care as freezing weather approaches by winterizing your outdoor shower. Be sure that it is plumbed so that it can be isolated from the plumbing in the house, and drained during periods of freezing temps.

If you would like more information on outdoor showers, or room additions, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, home additions or interior and exterior updates, visit the von Gillern Construction website today. Award-winning von Gillern Construction has proudly served the Dallas area, including Plano, Frisco, Addison, Park Cities, White Rock Lake, Lakewood and Preston Hollow, for years. We are committed to providing you the very best craftsmanship for your home remodeling, home addition and updates.

Home Remodeling with a Pool House or Pavillion

Written by Guest Blogger
April 7th, 2014

pool pavilion and pool house dallas

In Dallas, everyone loves to spend the summer around the backyard pool. Your own pool house or pavilion will not only add value to your property, but will add a touch of elegance to your outdoor living area. A pool house is not only a convenient place for you and your guests to change clothes, have easy access to bathroom facilities and store all your pool equipment and toys, but it also serves as a focal point for your backyard and pool.

Pool House There are endless options for a pool house. They can be simple and clean in design or fancy and whimsical. It all depends on the mood; however keep in mind that in many areas, the pool house must be in keeping with the style of the main house. Many people want a pool house that complements the design of their home, reflecting the owner’s taste architecturally. The layout can be whatever you want – a simple structure to accommodate basic needs or a building that can also serve as a guesthouse with a full private bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

Pavilions are open, airier structures that provide protection from the sun as well as being a gathering spot for family and friends. You can choose to have a solid roof over the pavilion, or for better airflow and a more open feeling, you can have a slatted roof covered with sun-blocking material or climbing plants such as ivy or wisteria. Outdoor string lights wrapped around the posts and weaved into the roof give a festive air and provide mood lighting. An outdoor kitchen or grill area, combined with an open dining area makes a pavilion the ideal party space. Add some flowing curtains or moveable sun shades and the area is a perfect refuge from the sun and even those quick summer showers.

If you are thinking about adding a pool house or pavilion to your backyard, contact  von Gillern Construction at 972-818-0411, or visit their website for more information. Award-winning von Gillern Construction has proudly served the Dallas area for many years. We serve the entire Dallas metroplex area, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow. We are committed to providing the best quality materials and craftsmanship for all your room additions, and home remodeling, including kitchen or bathroom remodeling, home addition, and interior and exterior updates. Check out some of our photos on Houzz.com!

Home Remodeling: Creating a Cool Patio in Dallas

Written by Guest Blogger
March 31st, 2014
home remodeling dallas

The running water from fountains – whether classic like this ancient fountain, or modern – cool the surrounding air.

Everyone enjoys relaxing on a beautiful patio during the summer months. However, the hot Texas sun directly beating down on you and your friends can quickly spoil outdoor fun. Fortunately, there are many stylish and creative solutions to keep in mind as you plan your new patio, to keep it cool in summer and make the most of your outdoor space. If you are thinking of having a patio built, keep these things in mind.

 A solid-roofed patio can create a cozy area to gather, block the sun from overhead, and provide an outdoor shelter from which to watch a refreshing summer rain shower. If you prefer a solid roof over your patio, damp rated outdoor ceiling fans are a great way to keep the air circulating and create a little breeze. Retractable shades and outdoor curtains can also be used to block the sun, and can be tucked away when the sun is not out.

Pergolas and Arbors If a solid roof over your head isn’t necessary, consider encouraging airflow with a pergola or arbor, as discussed last week. Climbing plants such as ivy, grape vines, and flowering vines can be used to cover the rafters or latticework, giving your patio the visual coolness that the color green imparts. Along with perennial plants, consider some annual flowering vines with sweet smelling flowers, such as moon vines. Wet rated ceiling fans can be installed for additional breezes.

Patio Flooring Don’t forget about the flooring on your patio. Black and dark colors absorb the heat, so whether you choose concrete, wood, tile, or stone patio flooring, use light colored materials, as these cut down on the absorption of heat. A light-colored all-weather carpeting or mat will deflect the sun and create a cushion under your feet, as well.

Built-in Water Features The splashing of fountains or water features on your patio not only sounds cool and refreshing, they actually contribute to a cooler microclimate. Consider a wall fountain on one of the walls of your patio.

Built-in Raised Plant Beds Plants also cool the air close by, especially broad-leaved plants. Consider having a plant bed built on one or several sides of your patio. Raised beds provide a feeling of “walls” for your patio to give it more of an “outdoor room” feel, as well as providing a space to plant greenery and some flowers and herbs.

For more information on creating the coolest outdoor space in your neighborhood, contact award-winning von Gillern Construction at 972-818-0411 and visit their website.  Together we will make a cool and welcoming outdoor space that your family and friends can enjoy during the heat of the summer. With years of experience serving the Dallas area, von Gillern Construction is committed to providing you with the very best craftsmanship for your home remodeling, room additions, bathroom renovations, and interior and exterior updates.

Home Remodeling with Pergolas and Arbors

Written by Guest Blogger
March 24th, 2014
home remodeling dallas

This pergola by von Gillern Construction provides a cool and inviting space to relax.

Who doesn’t love relaxing in the shade, surrounded by greenery and flowers? Arbors and pergolas are wonderful additions to any home, creating a beautiful and welcoming area in your yard or patio. An arbor creates a tunnel-like passage that is covered with climbing plants. Pergolas have supporting corner posts and roof usually made of slats or latticework. Like arbors, pergolas are designed to support climbing plants such as grapes, wisteria and clematis.

These garden or patio accents add an extra touch of beauty to your backyard. In addition to the heady scent of flowers in bloom, arbors and pergolas have practical uses. They give your yard extra character and a touch of elegance. They can be used to divide up space or create a private enclosed area. In the Dallas area, because our weather allows us to dine outside many months of the year, a pergola is the perfect place for an outdoor kitchen, barbeque or dining area. A pergola with a shelving unit or shelves added to a trellised wall makes the ideal space for cooking outdoors. Shelves can also be used to gardening tools to create a small outside nursery for plants. Arbors can be used to create covered walkways to the pool, outdoor dining area or even a secluded corner of the yard.

Imagine your own yard with an arbor covered with greenery or a pergola with vines or flowers in bloom. You can create your own personalized space, protected from sun and rain, to entertain friends, relax on your own or have a family gathering.

If you are ready to add a room addition, have you kitchen or bathroom remodeled, or have an arbor or pergola built, visit the von Gillern Construction website or give them a call at 972-818-0411. Award-winning von Gillern Construction has served the Dallas metroplex, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow, for many years. We are committed to providing the very best craftsmanship for your home improvement, expansion project, and other home remodeling needs.

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Home Remodeling with an Outdoor Bar

If you want to transform the outdoor living area of your Dallas area home into a welcoming gathering spot, an outdoor bar is the perfect addition. An outdoor bar is the perfect way to create a delightful spot to entertain family and friends. This simple addition to your home will transform your outdoor living space.

Today’s outdoor bars offer you, your family and friends a place to relax, unwind and just lounge on the patio. Imagine coming home and having your own private place to have a drink and relax, surrounded by our own backyard. Stargazing at your own outdoor bar is a wonderful way to end the day. In addition, adding an outdoor bar will help increase the value of your home. Not only will you have an outdoor bar of your own to use whenever you want, you will be adding to the value of your home in the future.

Location is important when planning the addition of your outdoor bar. You want to have it in a convenient place adjacent to an outdoor dining area or where people like to gather on your patio. You will need to decide if you want a wet bar or dry bar. A wet bar will need to have access to water and electricity. A dry bar does not need access to water, but you will want to have storage space for coolers to keep drinks chilled.

The décor of your outdoor bar can be designed around the rest of the outdoor living area or it can be a completely different style. You have endless options when it comes to the décor. You may want a higher bar that can fit tall bar stools, or you may want a lower bar that can blend in with the other furniture on your patio. This is a fun area where you can play around with the decorations.

When you are ready to add an outdoor bar to your outdoor living area, von Gillern Construction is ready to help you design the best bar to match your needs and style. Serving the Dallas metroplex area for many years, award-winning von Gillern Construction is committed to providing the very best quality craftsmanship for your room addition, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, home addition or interior or exterior updates. We serve the entire Dallas area – including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow. For help planning your home remodeling, room addition, outdoor living area or outdoor bar, visit the von Gillern Construction website or call 972.818.0411 for more information.

dallas home remodeling

Who doesn’t love sitting by a cozy fireplace? If you are considering a home addition or exterior updates, now is the time to plan adding one of the most popular features for outdoor rooms and patios – an outdoor fireplace.  There is nothing like an outdoor fireplace to add warmth and ambiance to your home. An outdoor fireplace can turn your yard or patio into a space that can be used around the year.

 

Outdoor fireplaces can be made from a wide variety of materials to match your home and your outdoor area. Stone, brick, stucco and tile will complement your patio or pool area, adding a special touch to your home. There are numerous styles of outdoor fireplaces that can complement any décor – from sleek and modern to minimalist, from country to elegant. The choices are only limited by your imagination. Fuel choices include ethanol, gas or logs, making it easy for home owners to use the fuel source that is best for them.

An outdoor fireplace will be the focal point for your outdoor dining, cooking and entertaining area, welcoming family and guests even when the weather turns chilly. A patio that now is used only part of the year can be used full time with an outdoor fireplace. The warmth, style and charm of a fireplace outside really adds a special touch to any home. outdoor fireplace dallas

Serving the Dallas metroplex for many years, award-winning home remodeler von Gillern Construction is committed to providing the very best quality craftsmanship for your room addition, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, home addition or interior or exterior updates. We are proud to serve the entire Dallas area – including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow. If you are ready to remodel your home, plan an addition or add an outdoor fireplace, visit the von Gillern Construction website for more information, or give them a call at 972-818-0411. We look forward to working with you to create the home you dream of.

 

home remodeling dallasI have been involved with six remodeling projects in the twenty years I have lived in my older home. I have worked with Jack von Gillern on the last two major projects. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that remodeling projects do not have to be a nightmare. With Jack, I had peace of mind throughout the project.

Patti C. in Dallas

Powder Room Ideas from an Award Winning Dallas Home Remodeler

Written by Guest Blogger
February 28th, 2014

home remodeler dallas“Power Rooms Don’t Need to Match the Décor in the Rest of Your Home”, says prominent home remodeler, Jack von Gillern of von Gillern Construction.

When planning for home or bathroom remodeling, it is important to remember your powder room. Your powder room is the one room that almost everyone visiting your home will see, so it is important to make this room inviting, special and filled with lots of extra touches that make it unique.

Powder rooms, or half baths, date back to Victorian and Edwardian times. Located next to the entryway and cloakroom, they were the place where ladies would quickly adjust makeup and use the bathroom discreetly away from the hosts or other guests. Today’s powder rooms are still usually located in the foyer, away from areas where guests congregate, which provides a sense of privacy.

Even though a half bath is a small space, it definitely does not have to be boring and simply functional. This is an area where you can make a dramatic statement and be as creative as you want. You definitely do not need a large room to express your personal style in the half bath. Wall paper, mosaics or even a mural can create a dramatic room. Add a unique sink and some personal touches and you will have a warm, inviting room that is a true expression of you.  A powder room does not need to match the décor of the rest of the home and can be a completely different style if you want.

Some homeowners use their powder room as an extra area to display artwork or photographs. Others add special decorative lighting and wall scones to give the room a cozy feeling. A border of decorative, handmade tiles will add an unusual accent, or you can frame small individual tiles and hang them on brightly painted or wall papered walls. This is a room where homeowners can be adventurous in their choice of design and style. There are no limits on how creative you can get with the half bath. Don’t forget the other personal touches that are important for a powder room such as coat hooks and towel holders.

When you are ready to start your bathroom remodeling, home addition, kitchen remodeling or other updates, award-winning von Gillern Construction is ready to help. Serving the Dallas area, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Preston Hollow, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and beyond, we are ready to help you update or redo your home. For more information, please visit the von Gillern Construction website or call them at 972-818-0411.

What is Houzz? A Dallas Home Remodeler Explains

Written by Guest Blogger
February 20th, 2014

home remodeling dallasAs a follow-up to last week’s blog article regarding von Gillern Construction winning the Best of Houzz 2014 Award, this week’s piece will explain what Houzz.com is and how you can benefit from it.

Houzz is the largest residential design database and community, connecting homeowners and professionals around the world. When you start thinking about remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, entire home, or having a room addition built, all the different choices can be overwhelming. Thanks to Houzz.com, there is an easy way to find ideas, get advice on projects and read reviews of products you are considering using in your own home. As the leading online design website, Houzz provides people with the information they need to make the right choices for their decorating, remodeling and building projects. It can all be easily accessed online or on your mobile device.

Houzz allows you to browse through their database to get ideas for your home addition or remodeling project. There are thousands of images to look through and you can save the ones you like to your personal online ideabook. You can make notes in the ideabook and share your ideas with others to get a definite picture of what work you want to have done in your own home. When you are ready to remodel, you can share your ideabook with your home builder or remodeler, so that they have a very clear idea of your vision for your home.

best of houzz 2014 award dallas

von Gillern Construction was awarded Best of Houzz 2014.

The online community is made up of individuals and business owners across the world who are ready to offer assistance, including Jack von Gillern of von Gillern Construction. To access von Gillern Construction’s amazing photos and projects, and to ask Jack questions, click here for their Houzz.com page.

For your kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling and room or home addition in the greater Dallas area, visit the von Gillern Construction website for more information. With years of experience in the area, award-winning von Gillern Construction is dedicated to providing only the highest quality craftsmanship and service for all of your home remodeling and home additions.