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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.


Finishing Touches for Your Home Remodeling: Stair Runners

Written by Guest Blogger
May 6th, 2014

home remodeling dallas

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.


Home Remodeling Tips: Garden Sheds Can Enhance Your Property

Written by Guest Blogger
April 27th, 2014

home remodeling dallas

Photo Courtesy of Shed King

Many of us in the Dallas area remember the days when a storage or garden shed was most often a metal pre-fab structure that was convenient, but to be honest, not very attractive. Fortunately, today’s potting sheds and outdoor storage buildings reflect the taste and style of the homeowner while also having a practical purpose. If you love to garden or if you have a gardener who comes to take care of your yard, you will need a garden shed to store tools out of sight, as well as having an area specifically designated for the care of your lawn and plants.

When planning a storage or garden shed, homeowners must first decide on the location. Some neighborhoods have zoning restrictions, so consider this in your plans. Some homeowners prefer to have a garden shed next to the house for easy access. These structures are often built so that they blend into the home like a tiny extension added out into the yard. Other homeowners prefer to have the garden shed away from the house, sometimes near the pool area or in the back of the property. Since potting sheds are no longer limited to the old time metal structures, homeowners can be as creative as they want when designing their garden shed, as long is it is within any neighborhood restrictions. Built with natural materials, it can blend into the environment or it can be a dramatic structure that is a statement piece in the yard. Some sheds are whimsical, with a touch of fantasy or are even miniature versions of the home. With glass windows instead of solid walls surrounding the shed, the structure isn’t intrusive, and the addition of windows allow plenty of natural light to flood in. Many homeowners prefer a small structure that is open on one side that has a potting bench in the center, and storage space on both sides of the large workbench. There really is no limit to shed styles.

Plenty of work and storage space is important in the potting shed. You want to keep gardening implements out of sight and still have clear work spaces for repotting plants and starting seedlings. You can also use the shed to store everything you need for pool upkeep.

When you are ready to plan your garden or storage shed, contact von Gillern Construction, or give them a call at 972.818.0411. With years of experience in interior and exterior updates, home additions, room additions and kitchen and bathroom remodeling in the Dallas area, von Gillern Construction is dedicated to providing the very best craftsmanship for all of your updates, home remodeling and additions.

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 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