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Exterior Home Lighting for Curb Appeal Pizazz

Written by Guest Blogger
June 21st, 2014
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Photo by Briget Murphy.

Your Dallas area home should be as beautiful on the outside as it in on the inside. Highlighting your architecture and landscaping, especially at night, is one brilliant way to do it. Why let your home be hidden from sight in the dark? Bring out the full beauty of your home with facade and landscape lighting designed to accentuate your home. Outdoor lighting is important not just for aesthetics, but is also a safety feature. With lighting, you, your family, and guests will feel secure when entering and leaving your property.

When thinking about front and landscape lighting, look for ways to highlight your entire yard (including your pool and trees) as well as the front of your home. Jack with von Gillern Construction can help you choose the appropriate lights for different areas of your property. There is no need to have only one type of lighting. Instead, think about mixing up fixtures so that you have different types of lighting across your yard, patio and entry.

Patio lighting can consist of small LED lights installed in the rafters or attached with eyelet bolts to a cement wall. Recessed lighting provides a sleek and unobtrusive look while providing light. Recessed LED lights on the floor of your deck create a soft and flattering uplight. Brighter overhead lighting can come from a variety of outdoor lamps that would complement your home and décor – from rustic fixtures, to ultra-modern lights to outdoor chandeliers.

Tree lighting is a beautiful way to add drama to your landscape. Up lighting with lamps in the ground or attached to a tree branch is the usual way of doing this. Von Gillern Construction can help you choose the correct lights for this. Also consider up lighting boulders, interesting garden spaces, outdoor art or anything of beauty or interest.

Stair lighting is not only beautiful, but has a safety aspect. Consider recessed lights built into the risers of your steps, or just beneath the lip of your tread. Lights can be squares, circles, rectangles or a decorative design.

Walkway lighting can be tricky, as you want to avoid a “runway” look. Von Gillern Construction can help you design your walk lighting so that it illuminates sufficiently but is also aesthetically pleasing. Down lighting or recessed lights are the usual the way to go with sidewalk lighting.

Facade lighting usually consists of both/either up lighting and/or down lighting. Aside from providing security, exterior house lighting can add drama to your home exterior by creating patterns of shadows and light on your home’s walls and highlighting structural elements. Don’t forget your front entrance lights.

You may want to have von Gillern install timers so that lights automatically come on at sunset and turn off at a set time. Motion-detecting lights are great to have near your garage and driveway.

If you would like more information about facade and exterior home lighting for your Dallas area home, visit their website or give Jack a call at 972.818.0411. With years of experience in home remodeling, award-winning von Gillern Construction is ready to work with you to create the perfect lighting that will bring out the natural beauty of your landscaping, and add warmth to your front entrance.

Home Remodeling: Unique Front Doors and Mailboxes

Written by Guest Blogger
June 16th, 2014
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Beautiful wood and glass front door, balanced with light fixtures on either side of it, and a distinctive house number. Notice how the brick arch about the door provides that extra appeal. Photo by Briget Murphy.

When you think about home remodeling, keep in mind that first impressions are very important. Take a look at your front door and mail box to see if they set the right tone for your home. Your entry is the first part of your home that your family and guests see, so you want it to reflect your style and taste. Front doors and front home entrances are also a “teaser” for what is to be viewed inside your home. You do not have to completely remodel the front of your home to change its look. Small renovations can quickly transform your home from blah to wow.

Consider changing your front door. This is the entryway into your personal space, so you want it to be attractive and welcoming. Consider different options for a new front door – perhaps glass-paned, antique-looking or distressed wood, ultra-modern steel – or a combination of materials. A decorative grille on your door adds a special touch. Have your door painted or stained in a complimentary color, or a contrasting color such as deep blue or colonial red. von Gillern can also add brickwork, stonework, wood framing or decorative stucco work around the door frame for added “oomph”. Choices for unique hardware, such as door knobs, hinges, and knockers, are practically limitless. Keep in mind that people unconsciously find symmetry comforting and aesthetically pleasing. Create a balance around your front door with columns, trellises, potted plants and light fixtures.


home remodeling dallas

Photo by Erika Smith.

Next, examine your mailbox and see if it accurately reflects the feel of your home. Gone are the days when mailboxes were simple metal contraptions that were functional, but not too pleasing to the eye. Your mailbox is part of the first impression people receive about your home…and therefore also about you. Have a mailbox installed that compliments your home. With so many choices to choose from, you will be able to find just the right match. If your post box is near the street, consider having a unique brick, concrete or stone custom mailbox built for you, to your specifications. Not only will it function as a depository for your mail, it can be a work of art.

House numbers are often overlooked when homeowners want to remodel the front of their homes. Typically, house numbers are found on the mailbox and on the front porch. Beautiful tiles with numbers can be placed curbside, embedded in your walk, or next to your door. For a distinctive touch, have your house number imprinted into the concrete around your door frame, or have a planter constructed near the end of your driveway with the numbers prominently displayed on it. Remember, your house number doesn’t have to contain just digits: For example, an elegant “eleven4nine” could be used instead of just numerals.

When you are ready to start exterior or interior updates, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, or home additions, contact the Dallas area, award-winning von Gillern Construction. They have years of experience in the Dallas area, including Plano, White Rock Lake, Preston Hollow, Addison, Lakewood and Park Cities. For more information about our quality home improvement projects and services, visit the von Gillern website, or call Jack at 972.818.0411 today. Scroll down to see photos of a wide variety of front door ideas! Also, if you have a pet, print out the notice to the fire department below.


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Photo by Ken Doerr.


home remodeling dallas

Photo by Briget Murphy.


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Photo by Don Graham.


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Photo by Gideon Strauss.



Photo by Chris Beckett.


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Print this and tape to the glass in your front door, or a front window. By Rossie.


modern door dallas

Photo by eric wittman.


Photo by Briget Murphy.

Photo by Briget Murphy.


Photo by Briget Murphy.

Photo by Briget Murphy.


home remodeling plano

Photo by Briget Murphy.

Home Remodeling for Curb Appeal: Front Walks

Written by Guest Blogger
May 29th, 2014

A continuation on our series about exterior home improvements.

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Front walks are the first impression people have of your home – make it beautiful!  Photo by Briget Murphy.

Your front walkway is not just a way for you and your guests to get from the car to your front door. It provides the first impression of your home, and adds to the atmosphere of your home, which is a reflection of you, your personality and your taste. In the Dallas area, you can find every style of front walkways – from traditional and elegant to whimsical and fun.

When designing your walkway, you should think about the width, shape and paving materials you want used. Many walkways are four feet wide, but five feet across is preferred because it provides enough room for two people to walk side by side comfortably. The shape of your front walkway will depend on the size of your front yard. Small yards tend to look better with a straight walkway while large yards with winding or curved walkways can add interest to the front of your home. The style of our home needs to be taken into consideration too. A colonial or Victorian home often looks better with a straight walk, while a Mediterranean or ranch style home is more suited to a curved walk. However, the style of the walkway may be determined by the size of your front yard as well as by the architecture.

There are many choices for paving materials for your front walkway. You will want something that compliments the exterior of your home, but that provides an interesting touch. Material choices include concrete, bricks (click link to read about brickmaking!), paving stones, slate and gravel. In the Dallas area, you need to take the weather into consideration when planning your walkway. You want a material that will withstand the extremes in temperatures and that will not be affected by direct sunlight. Slate is durable and comes in a wide range of colors that with compliment any building materials. Bluestone is similar to slate, with a slightly different composition that also can withstand the weather as well as high traffic. Brick can be used in a traditional herring bone pattern for an elegant look. Secured with either mortar or sand or gravel, brick is a classic walkway material. Gravel is another classic material for a walkway. A combination of materials can create a unique walkway that accentuates your entry. For instance, a concrete walk lined by bricks is a nice combination. A gravel walk with large slate paving stones is another attractive combination.

Scroll down for more photos of beautiful front walks! If you would like more information about creating a stunning front entry walkway for your home, please visit the von Gillern Construction website or call them at 972-818-0411. Award-winning von Gillern Construction is dedicated to providing the very best quality materials and craftsmanship for all your exterior and interior updates, bathroom remodeling, home additions and kitchen remodeling. Serving the Dallas area, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Preston Hollow, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and beyond, von Gillern Construction is one of the area’s most experienced home remodeling companies.

home remodeling dallas

Photo by Briget Murphy

front walk dallas

Photo by Briget Murphy


exterior updates dallas

Photo Attribution Briget Murphy


home renovations dallas

Photo Attribution Briget Murphy


von gillern construction

Photo attribution Briget Murphy

front walkways

Photo attribution Briget Murphy



Home Remodeling: What Shutters Can Do For Your Home

Written by Guest Blogger
May 24th, 2014

A continuation on our series about exterior home improvements.

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Exterior window shutters are very popular in the Dallas area, and can really pack on the curb appeal. They are an important aspect when considering having home remodeling done. Although some shutters are functional and can be hinged and latched during severe weather, non-functional decorative shutters are the most common shutters in our area, and cannot be opened or closed. You can read about the history of shutters here. There are several different types of exterior shutters to choose from that will give the front exterior of your home just the extra touch you are looking for.

  • Louver shutters are classics that give your home a timeless look. They are most commonly built with horizontal slats, but infrequently vertical slats.
  • Raised panel shutters give your home a traditional colonial look that is found in federal manor style homes and cottages.
  • Combination shutters, originating in New Orleans, are a combination of louvered and raised panel shutters. You can combine the two styles to create your own look that reflects your personal style.
  • Board-n-Batten shutters are often found on ranch style homes. The vertical slats are the boards and the horizontal boards are called battens.
  • For a more rustic look, Rough Saw Shutters are a popular choice. These have a weathered look, and often have gouges and scrapes that add to the rustic feel.
  • A combination of Board-n-Batten Shutters and Flat Panel shutters, Framed Board-n-Batten Shutters are most often found on traditional style homes.
  • Inspired by the simple, clean lines of Shaker design, Flat Panel Shutters are usually hand crafted. These types of shutters are usually found in Arts & Crafts style homes.
  • Reflecting the architecture of the islands, as their name indicates, Bahama and Bermuda Shutters bring a touch of the tropics to your home. They open outward from the bottom, to let air in but keep sunshine out.

Shutters should be made of durable hardwoods such as Spanish Cedar or Teak, as these woods are resistant to decay. These hardwoods also contain tannin, which repels insects and their damage. Some man-made materials are also acceptable, such as fiberglass. PVC shutters are not recommended as they can warp in the sun.

Your shutters should be finished and painted/stained to coordinate and compliment your home. Cut-outs in your shutters (diamond shapes, clover leafs or a symbol that is special to you) are another possibility to further distinguish them. Free-form style shutters and carved shutters are even another possibility. Just tell von Gillern Construction what you would like. Exterior shutters can give your home a completely new look. By using contrasting colors or materials, shutters are a great start to your exterior updates.

When you are ready to update the interior or exterior of your home, build room additions, update your kitchen or bathrooms, visit the von Gillern Construction website for more information, or call Jack at 972.818.0411. Award-winning von Gillern Construction is proudly committed to providing the best quality materials and craftsmanship for the Dallas area. We serve the entire Dallas metroplex area, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow.


home remodeling dallas

Imagine this stucco home without shutters, landscaping and a small porch with an iron railing. A few changes make a huge difference! Photo by bobcapra.

First impressions are important, so it is important that your home’s front exterior entrance is a reflection of you and your style, and is also aesthetically pleasing. There are many ways that you can dress up the front entrance to your Dallas area home easily and without costing a fortune. Whether you want to revamp your entrance for your own enjoyment, or are wanting to dress up your home exterior to sell, home remodeler Jack von Gillern of von Gillern Construction has some great tips.

If the outside of your house is painted, think about having it redone in another color. Using slightly different shades of the same color can really bring out the architectural beauty of your home. The subtleness of the different tones will highlight different parts of your exterior, making it more welcoming.

Changing the windows can be as simple as changing the trim around the windows to add a touch of ‘oomph’ to your exterior. Window shutters can immediately change the look of your home. Painted a contrasting color from the exterior, shutters can be both useful and decorative.

Adding a porch, deck, covered entry or breezeway will give your home a warm, cozy feeling. You may want a small porch at the front entry or opt for a covered porch that runs along the entire front of the house. Faux columns or iron and wood railings on the entry area will quickly change the feeling of your home. Put in a porch swing and an outdoor table and chairs and you have a wonderful space to relax. Sconces flanking the front door are not only a good security measure, but add an extra touch to the exterior. Replacing your front door can completely change the look of your entryway. A door with stained glass panels is a stunning addition to any home, and changing the color of your door can create a statement.

An eyebrow dormer or street-facing gables can easily be added to create a strong focal point. Replacing roofing material will also give your home a completely new look. You may want to consider having slate, shingles or tiles installed on the roof.

Don’t forget your driveway and parking area when refreshing your exterior entry area. Replace old asphalt walkways with an inviting flagstone pathway leading up to the front door to make your home more inviting. With flowerbeds on both sides of the walkway, you will create a welcoming first impression of your home.

If you would like to learn more about how to dress up and refresh the exterior entry to your Dallas area home, contact von Gillern Construction via their website for more information, or call them at 972.818.0411. Award-winning von Gillern has years of experience in providing the very best quality and materials for all your room addition, kitchen or bathroom remodeling, home additions and all your interior and exterior updates. We proudly serve the entire Dallas metroplex, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

Being outdoors in a peaceful nature setting is relaxing. Just being outside and close to the sky, earth, water, and plants can make us feel calmer and more refreshed. In the Dallas area, there are many ways that homeowners can bring a touch of the outdoors into their own homes.

home remodeling dallas

French doors are an excellent way to bring the outdoors into your home.

One of the best ways to bring a bit of nature into your home is to have large screened windows that allow natural light to flood into rooms, and that can be opened up to let in the fresh air. French doors leading to your outdoor space are a stylish way to connect the outdoors with the indoors, and create a sense of spaciousness. Large windows or doors that look out on your garden, pool area, or plant-filled patio are not only scenic, but also add a touch of nature to the room. Wood frames or shutters on windows can also contribute to bringing the outdoors inside.

Instead of using man-made flooring, which can often feel a bit cold, try using natural materials. Wood, cork and other natural materials are flooring choices that make a room feel warm and inviting. You can expand on this and use natural materials for your furniture as well. Furniture and textiles made from hemp, jute, rattan and wicker are great ways to bring a touch of nature into your home. Using the same natural materials (and colors) in your outdoor view as you have indoors provides an uninterrupted flow and sense of continuity.

Adding natural materials in the architectural elements of your home contributes to the feeling of nature’s calmness. Exposed beams overhead and rock fireplaces are good ways to bring a touch of nature indoors while not disrupting your décor. Kitchen countertops with granite, marble or wood can create a natural feel to your workspace. Shower enclosures and bathtubs can be surrounded by natural materials such as rock, brick, and wood to make the room relaxing and warm.

Of course, adding a conservatory or outdoor kitchen and dining area that is connected to the main part of your home is a wonderful way to bring nature into your living space. And, don’t forget about foliage plants! A variety of indoor potted plants or trees make any home feel welcoming. Plants provide an excellent and natural way to keep indoor air clean and provide more oxygen.

room additions dallas

The addition of just one indoor foliage plant dramatically changes the feel of this room.

If you would like to find out about more ways to bring the outdoors indoors in your home, contact the von Gillern Construction website for more information, or give them a call at 972.818.0411.  We are committed to providing the very best quality materials and work for all your room addition, kitchen or bathroom remodeling, home additions and interior and exterior updates. Award-winning von Gillern Construction is your start-to-finish home remodeler, and has been proudly serving the entire Dallas metroplex for years, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock, Addison, Park Cities, Lakewood and Preston Hollow.


Finishing Touches for Your Home Remodeling: Stair Runners

Written by Guest Blogger
May 6th, 2014

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Image attribution: Mister Queue

In any home, staircases are an important feature. When remodeling your home, the addition of stair runners to a staircase can bring a touch of class to the home, compliment the décor and reflect the personality of the owners.

While uncovered wooden staircases can be visually pleasing, they can be noisy and they can also be easy for someone to slip on them.  Stair runners will help protect your stairs from wear and tear, provide some sound reduction and improve the safety of the stairs. This is especially important if you have children, or elderly family members.

In the Dallas area, there are two types of stair runners that are popular. The first is the Waterfall. Considered a classic look, in this style the carpet gently drapes over the steps. The second style of stair runner is the Upholstered or Hollywood look. In this type of stair runner, the carpet is tucked under and stapled to the lip of the stair, creating a runner that conforms to the shape of the stair.

In addition to the Waterfall and Upholstered styles of stair runners, some homeowners like the look of a stair rod. A stair rod was commonly used before the introduction of non-slip carpets and vacuum cleaners. The rod held the carpet in place and allowed home owners to easily remove the carpet for cleaning. Even though we no longer need stair rods to hold a runner in place, some folks prefer stair rods to add that final finishing touch to their homes.

Carpets can be designed to match the décor or to create a statement piece with the staircase as the centerpiece of your luxury custom home. Oriental style runners can add a touch of class to stairs, while a more minimalistic design can pull together a home that has a sleek, modern style. The options are only limited by your imagination.

If you would like to update your staircase, visit the von Gillern website or give Jack a call at 972-818-0411. von Gillern construction is an award-winning home remodeling company and is here to help you with all of your home remodeling needs, including bathroom updates, kitchen remodeling, room additions, pool houses and more.


Outdoor Showers: Tips from a Home Remodeling Expert

Written by Guest Blogger
April 15th, 2014

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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!

Home Remodeling with Pergolas and Arbors

Written by Guest Blogger
March 24th, 2014
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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.