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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.

 

home remodeling dallas

Photo by Ken Doerr.

 

home remodeling dallas

Photo by Briget Murphy.

 

home remodeler dallas

Photo by Don Graham.

 

front doors dallas

Photo by Gideon Strauss.

 

door

Photo by Chris Beckett.

 

save pet

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.

window grill

Famed Architect Frank Lloyd Wright used window grilles in his home in Oak Park, Ilinois. Photo by John Delano.

Ornamental window grilles are gaining popularity in Dallas homes. Providing a touch of class and decoration to your home, window grilles also provide extra security for your home. Window grilles have been around for centuries – serving both as decoration and as a security system. Popular in many countries for centuries, window grilles are now a trending item in home construction in the US, and in Dallas in particular. Consider adding window grilles in your home remodeling project.

Grilles can be made from wood, or – in most cases – iron, and come in a wide variety of styles – from utilitarian to elaborate, to modern. They can add a unique, personal touch and enhance the outside of your home. No matter what style your home is, there are grilles that will fit every type of architecture from classic to contemporary. Wooden grilles are usually made from pine, Douglas fir, maple, cherry, mahogany, alder and red oak. You can even create your own design for your window grilles. Wood, aluminum and wrought iron grilles can be painted or tinted in any color to either match your color palette or provide a complementary contrasting addition to your home.

If you do not want to completely redo the front of your home, adding window grilles will give your house an automatic facelift. Grilles added to the windows and doors can completely change the exterior of your home with little and minimal cost. Imagine how your home will look with decorative grilles added to the windows – you can accentuate the architecture of your home to create an even more appealing first impression of your abode. Scroll below to see some beautiful photos of window grilles from around the world.

If you would like more information about window and door grilles, or if you are planning exterior and interior updates, bathroom and kitchen remodeling or home additions, visit the von Gillern Construction website or call Jack at 972.818.0411. Award-winning von Gillern has served the Dallas area for years, including Plano, White Rock Lake, Preston Hollow, Addison, Park Cities and Lakewood, and we are dedicated to providing the very best quality and craftsmanship for all our projects.

window grille

A window grille in Quito, Ecuador. Photo by Allen.

A window grille can also be a handy spot to store your soccer balls! Photo by Ze'ev Barkan.

A window grille can also be a handy spot to store your soccer balls! Photo by Ze’ev Barkan.

 

A window grille at night, in France. Photo by

A window grille at night, in France. Photo by g4114is.

 

A window grille in Yemen. Photo by Rod Waddington.

A window grille in Yemen. Photo by Rod Waddington.

SF

A window grille in San Francisco. Photo by Kevin Wong.

A window grille in Damascus. Photo by Verity Cridland.

A window grille in Damascus. Photo by Verity Cridland.

Fancy grilles in Suva, Fiji. Photo by Michael Coghlan.

Fancy grilles in Suva, Fiji. Photo by Michael Coghlan.

Window dressing in San Francisco. Photo by Donna Sutton.

Window dressing in San Francisco. Photo by Donna Sutton.

Fish float back and forth on this lovely window grille in India. Photo by bookminx.

Fish float back and forth on this lovely window grille in India. Photo by bookminx.

Home Remodeling for Curb Appeal: Front Walks

Written by Guest Blogger
May 29th, 2014

A continuation on our series about exterior home improvements.

home remodeler dallas

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

 

 

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.

outdoor bar|home remodeling|dallas

 

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.

home remodeling dallas

A log farmhouse von Gillern Construction did in Celina, Texas. Note the beautiful wood ceiling and beams.

Would you like to add warmth and a bit of nature into your home?  When planning a home remodeling project, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodeling, as well as room additions, a rustic style can bring added warmth into your home – and it blends well with many decorating styles.

At first, the phrase ‘rustic style’ can conjure up images of old 18th century farmhouses. But, in reality, rustic style is simply home décor that uses natural materials such as wood, stone and marble to create a warm, cozy home. It blends well with many decorating styles in a home – from minimalist to modern, from French country to shabby chic.

Rustic style incorporates natural materials in a variety of ways. Wood floors, exposed rough-hewn beams, stone fireplaces and hearths – the options are almost limitless. We all know how well wood can add depth and warmth to any room. Likewise, stone masonry adds unique texture to rooms, bringing a touch of the outdoors inside. A stone wall or fireplace quickly becomes the focal point of a room.  Light shades of natural materials will make a room seem more spacious and airy, while darker materials will add to the sense of coziness. Usually, natural earth-tones are used for painted surfaces.

Award-winning von Gillern Construction has years of experience in room additions, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, home additions and interior and exterior updates. Serving the Dallas area, including Plano, Frisco, White Rock Lake, Preston Hollow, Addison, Park Cities and Lakewood, von Gillern is ready to help you create your dream home. For more information, visit the von Gillern Construction website, or give them a call at 972-818-0411.

Sanded vs. Hand Scraped Wood Floors: A Home Remodeler Discusses

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

In this whole house renovation, the owners wanted hand scraped wood floors. When the scraped floors are combined with the stone fireplace, a feeling of timelessness is presented

If you are considering any type of home remodeling, including bathroom or kitchen remodeling or a home addition, this is the perfect time to think about having your wooden floors redone. Refinishing floors is done to repair any damage, change the color of the floor, change the sheen and protect the investment of your home.  There are several different methods used in treating wooden floors, but the most common ones are sanding and scraping.

room additions dallas

Sanded hardwood floors in one of von Gillern’s home additions. The smooth finish and medium stain add warmth to this room.

Hand scraped floors, also referred to as distressed, give a home a warm, well-used, antique look. Particularly in older homes, distressing the floors is done to not only refinish the wood, but to have the floor reflect the age and character of the home.  A hand scraped floor has the added advantage of being able to hide any marks or minor damage in high traffic areas. This unique, natural look can be finished in a variety of ways to match the décor, creating a home that is welcoming.

Sanding wooden floors is a popular way to remove any damage or imperfections in order to have an even, smooth surface. The resulting very level, flat surface is perfect for any style of home. Finishes applied after sanding can be modified to match or contrast with the décor and style of the home. Sanding and refinishing a floor can create an entirely new look to your space.

If you are ready for bathroom remodeling, a home addition, kitchen remodeling or other updates, now is the time to think about sanding or scraping your hardwood floors. Award-winning von Gillern Construction, the premier Dallas area home remodeler, is dedicated to providing only the very best craftsmanship to your home remodeling and additions. 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, give us a call at 972-818-0411, and please visit the von Gillern Construction website.