The Manuel Builders Blog

 


New Year, New Updated Space

Categories: Other | Posted: January 18, 2019

With the new year in full swing, it’s the perfect time to refresh the look of your home! As time consuming and expensive as this could sound, below are 4 simple ways to transform your space without breaking your budget.

Tidy up à la Marie Kondo

The first step to freshening up your new home this year starts in the closets. If you haven’t used it in three or four years, chances are you won’t use it this year. I find that organizing the unseen spaces in my home, donating unwanted clothing and doing a little spring cleaning helps me to feel like I’m getting the year started off on the right foot.

Mix it up

Mix it up a little! Re-arrange the furniture in your bedrooms. This forces you to pull furniture away from the walls and discover the dust that you miss with everyday cleaning. You may even find that “other” sock or favorite long-lost sweater that you thought your (insert name) borrowed.

Fresh Paint, Fresh Home

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in reinventing a room. Below are a few of my favorite neutral colors that will match any decor. Keep in mind, LED lighting can affect the way a color looks on your walls. If you are making a color change, paint a few sample spots on the wall before investing in a gallon. You may find that you don’t like the color as much on that wall as you did on the paint chip. When picking a paint finish, my preference is eggshell. It has decent clean-ability without the high sheen of a satin paint. Going neutral allows you to easily accessorize with colors. Below are a few of my favorites from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.

Colors with Slight Gray Undertones

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

 

 

 

 

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray (7029)

Colors with Slight Warm Undertones

Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan

 

 

 

 

Sherwin-Williams Extra White (7006)

 

Light up Your Spaces

Finally, explore with accent lighting. You will be amazed how accent lighting can change a space. For kitchens, adding under cabinet lighting can dramatically change the space. Puck lights can be purchased at your local hardware store for under $100. Show off that backsplash! For living rooms, floor lamps are gaining popularity this year. Arc lamps that hover over your sofa not only dress up the space but create a perfect spot to read your favorite book or magazine.

Image via Amazon


 

– Written by our Building Consultant, Wendi Ritz

“With more than 13 years of experience in new home construction, Wendi is our most seasoned consultant.  She first began working with families to design and style their dream homes while living in Katy, Texas, but – after having three beautiful children – decided to move home to Louisiana to be closer to family.  She specializes in walking homeowners through their options and helping them weigh the pros and cons of each decision and plan customization. “

Homebuilding Enemy No. 1: How to Beat the Weather while Building Your Home

Categories: Building Process | Posted: December 17, 2018

When planning a home, it’s incredibly tempting to get wrapped up in the details of the house itself, but what many homeowners don’t realize is that there’s this giant piece of the puzzle completely outside the home that often dictates how the entire build will go . . . this one so-very-often-overlooked factor that decides whether construction will flow smoothly and can actually reduce the number of days it takes to build your home OR will sabotage every single step and make the whole construction process excessively more difficult.

What is this thing that could so influence the construction of your home?  Home site access!

A property’s site conditions are the true foundation for a future home.  When you’re building on your property, you must keep in mind that simply building the structure is not the only thing you need to take into consideration for your timeline.  In my experience (over 22 years in construction), no two properties are alike when it comes to site conditions and site access.  We’ve seen property with soil that holds quite a bit of water, then moved about half a mile down the road to find soil that is completely different and dries up quickly!

The biggest cause of delay when building a home is rain.  Anything that can be done to help alleviate obstacles that could be amplified by weather will help to speed up the build.

What can you do?

  1. Establish lot access (or allow us to do it) – this means a driveway of some sort! It does not mean just getting onto the property.  The main question you need to ask is, after a rain, could a delivery truck get materials to my home site?  If you’re not sure, be sure to talk with the Project Manager who meets you for Site Evaluation!  Many homeowners are concerned about putting a driveway down early and having the construction trucks make a mess of it, but PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, contrary to popular opinion, a driveway is not all or nothing!  You can set down a decent base and then top it off or concrete finish it towards the end of construction.  Any money you think you may be saving by not doing so is generally far outweighed by the amount of soil that will need to be brought in, as well as the work and funds it will take to repair the property and area before putting down a permanent driveway.
  2. Establish delivery space – is there room to safely drop materials on your site around the actual home? There are dumpsters, palettes of brick, framing materials, etc. that will need to be dropped off within workable distance from your actual home.  Can that be done safely?  Ideally, from that stable driveway so delivery trucks aren’t getting stuck!

Homeowner Story 1:  Access to the actual build site

I once worked with a homeowner who decided to build up a pad to put his home and driveway on.  Instead of bringing dirt in, he hired a company to dig a pond on the property (which is a very common practice).  The dirt from the pond ended up being what we call “blackjack” dirt, meaning that the soil is mostly clay which is very sticky and does not compact well at all.  It turned out that the entire property was covered with blackjack.  Just because the property was “cleared” to the house, he thought he’d established “home site access,” but in reality, there was nowhere to safely drive to the actual build area.  We ended up adding a 200-foot limestone driveway to the property, which didn’t give us a supportive enough base due to the blackjack dirt underneath.  On a daily basis, subcontractor after subcontractor got stuck and we were continually having to tow them out.  This caused months of delay since it meant almost completely stopping construction every time it rained and for days, even weeks, afterward.

Homeowner Story 2:  Room to deliver materials

A different homeowner I was building for decided to install a very sturdy limestone driveway which was 150 feet long.  It was safe for the trucks, amazing for access and absolutely helped us complete the build in a more timely manner.  The house was placed on a large dirt pad, but the property was densely wooded.  Due to this, the few open areas on the property consistently held standing water.  This made it difficult to have material delivered, since there was not a lot of space to put it down.  The problem with not having enough area for the material is that subcontractors had to wait on material to be delivered, instead of having the materials already on-site and ready for use.  This caused subcontractors to reschedule.


 

 

-Written by our Project Manager in the Baton Rouge Region, Jason Foster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tried-and-True Paint Colors

Categories: Home Design | Posted: October 15, 2018

One of the most common questions I hear from homeowners during selections is “How do I choose a neutral paint color that looks good with anything?”

The majority of homeowners simply want a neutral color palette that will complement their personal style.  So why is this so difficult?

Answer:  Color choices are endless and can be overwhelming for most people. However, there are a handful of colors that work well with just about anything, due to their undertones.
With the gray trend we are seeing right now, colors are a little more on the “cooler” side.  So how do you transition to the warmth that fall brings while staying on trend?

Answer:  By selecting great neutrals that have staying power and will last from season to season.  This can be difficult to do when your options are endless.

So I compiled a list of some of my favorite “no-fail” Sherwin Williams paint colors that you really can’t go wrong with.  Whether you want a crisp white palette, cool gray space or warmer beige feel… the versatility of these tried-and-true colors will compliment any style.

Favorite Main Color:

(These colors look great for walls, cabinets or as an accent color)

SW 0055 Light French Gray

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7015 Repose Gray

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7016 Mindful Gray

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7018 Dovetail

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7023 Requisite Gray

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7029 Agreeable Gray

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7036 Accessible Beige

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7064 Passive

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7043 Worldly Gray

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7650 Ellie Gray

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7642 Pavestone

 

 

 

 

 

SW 6204 Sea Salt

 

 

 

 

 

SW 6206 Oyster Bay

 

 

 

 

 

SW 6218 Tradewind

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Whites:

(Typically used on Trim, Ceilings and/or Cabinets)

SW 7004 Snowbound

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7005 Pure White

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7008 Alabaster

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Dark Accent Colors:

(Love these bold colors when used on a front door, cabinetry or even as an accent wall)

SW 6244 Naval

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7674 Peppercorn

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7019 Gauntlet Gray

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7048 Urbane Bronze

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7069 Iron Ore

 

 

 

 

 

SW 6258 Tricorn Black

 

 

 

 

 

SW 7592 Crabby Apple

 

 

 

 

 

SW 6034 Arresting Auburn

 

 

 

 

 

To see some of our favorite color combos used in past homeowners’ spaces, check out our Paint Color Tour video here.

 


 

-Written by our Design Coordinator, Kristin Tucker

“I absolutely love helping each homeowner translate their personal style into the home of their dreams.  I believe that details are an important factor in making your house a home.  One of my favorite ways to showcase this is by incorporating beautiful lighting that suits the style of the home and personality of the homeowner.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Think “Lean” to Enhance Your Life

Categories: Wellness | Posted: September 27, 2018

When you hear the word “lean,” most think of slim body shapes, but our team took on another kind of “lean” and went through a process called “Lean Week!”

We were not working out physically in the gym, but we were working hard to change our thinking regarding waste. The lean process trained our team and our trades to see our world with new eyes for waste. Lean is about running the most efficient operation, being good stewards of the time, talent and resources we have been blessed with. During Lean Week, we realized that much of what we think is normal or business as usual or simply unavoidable, are things we can change if we work together with great communication, systems and processes.

 

We realized, along with our trades, that we can see with different eyes and effect the cost of doing business for all of us, which translates into a better product at the lowest possible price. Together we realize we can make a huge difference that results in a win for all, including our customers!

 

We worked with True North Development who increased our awareness in so many ways. When we are made aware of something that can be improved, it makes it difficult to return to our old way of doing things. We now see extra phone calls, extra road trips, excess material usage that is unnecessary to accomplish a desired effect, and many other things with new eyes. We are creating a culture of people with an eye for and intolerance for waste of any kind. Inefficient practices are plentiful because of old habits, traditions, processes and how we are raised and trained. We see these things as normal and we have very limited ideas of waste. Our goal was to begin to learn to spot waste and begin to see with Lean eyes!

 

I wonder what our lives would look like if we applied these same practices to our personal lives. As I contemplate how to apply the lean principles to everyday life, I think I could make some major changes. When I think about how many separate errands I make instead of thinking through how to combine them into a single trip, my head spins. For instance, visiting the grocery store, cleaners, picking up cash at the bank and dropping off alterations all in one trip vs many trips.  My husband is great at this. His travel from A to B is a science based on traffic, quickest route, etc. Not only would I save time, but gasoline, too!

 

There are so many ways we can use Lean thinking to enhance our lives. For instance, asking for help when someone is going the way of one of your errands, organizing your kitchen for easy flow, decluttering your closet for timely assembly of outfits, and spending a little extra time thinking through tasks for the day can help tremendously. Spend a few minutes going through your refrigerator and pantry, thinking of what you will cook for the week before you head to the store. Just a few Lean principles brought into our lives and work can lead to great payoffs!  Sometimes a simple pause to plan well can translate to tremendous profit in time.

 

“Awareness is the greatest agent of change.”

– Eckart Tolle


-Written by Co-Owner, Missy Manuel

“Missy holds the official title of Director of Organizational Health & Leadership within our company. Her main goal day in & day out is to nurture the culture and values we hold by instilling this in our employees.”

What Flooring Should I Use in My Kitchen?

Categories: FAQs, Home Design | Posted: September 21, 2018

We get this question often from our homeowners, specifically regarding the use of laminate wood flooring in this part of the home.  The answer is yes, it can be used, but NO we do not recommend that you use laminate in the wet areas such as: the kitchen, bathrooms, and the utility room. Both laminate and luxury vinyl flooring provide the look of wood, but at a more affordable price.

Laminate vs. Luxury Vinyl Flooring:

Laminate is water resistant, but not water proof; therefore, it would not be recommended to lay down in areas that have a chance of getting wet. Excessive amounts of water have the potential to warp or permanently damage this type of flooring.

Laminate flooring is made from pressed wood core with a decorative and protective layer on top to give it the finished look. The protective top coat is durable and helps resist scratches and wear and tear, which is a benefit when using it in high traffic areas such as the entryway, the living room and bedrooms. Laminate flooring is also easy to clean.

Layers of laminate flooring:

 

 

Tips on cleaning laminate flooring:

  • Vacuum to pick up dirt, rocks, and grime
  • Dust the floor
  • A recommended cleaner for laminate flooring is Bona
  • Use a microfiber cloth when cleaning laminate floors

 

When our homeowners want to have the same floor throughout, luxury vinyl flooring is a great option to achieve this look. Vinyl flooring can be used in places that you would not normally put laminate flooring, such as a kitchen, laundry room or bathroom. Depending on the type, vinyl floor is durable, water resistant and many styles are completely waterproof, therefore if you have a leak in the kitchen, your floor will not get damaged.

Layers of luxury vinyl flooring:

 

 

Tips on cleaning luxury vinyl flooring:

  • Use a soft bristle broom to remove loose dirt
  • Damp mop as needed with clean water and a non-abrasive floor cleaner, like Bona

 

 

 


 

-Written by our Design Coordinator, Lisa Keeter

“Spending time and advising homeowners while they select all their colors and finishes to truly personalize their home is absolutely my favorite step in the in-house process.  I love helping them create their home from the ground up . . . we actually place a homeowner’s chosen flooring down and make the rest of their selections on top of that base.  It really helps coordinate the other elements in a home – from countertops and cabinets to backsplashes and faucet fixtures – with the colors flowing throughout the home.”

How to Give a Little Each Day

Categories: Wellness | Posted: August 21, 2018

 

Service is a big deal to us at Manuel Builders.  One of our core values, a thread that is woven in all we do here is community.  We are committed to the development of our community not only by way of provision of homes and offices that enhance the family and work environment, but we seek to add value through outreach activities and active involvement in community affairs.  Recently we had the chance to do just that at St. Joseph’s Diner, as our team served on different days to over 200 homeless/impoverished people per day.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be

honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some

difference that you have lived and lived well.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

We feel that as a successful business, our responsibility is to do more than make money. We view success as a responsibility to give back, help others and have a real connection with our community.  Working side by side brings us closer together all the while connecting over a common cause. In addition, our team puts a human face on our company. They represent our business’ mission and values and show the community that our company is more than just the product we produce or the services we offer. Manuel Builders is made up of people who care about this community, so we show that to the world!

Giving our people a way to give back is important to us, boosts morale and builds a connected and more inspired team.  We know that in service to others is where we find our significance and we want to offer our team an opportunity to volunteer during work hours which is more fulfilling than just meeting for drinks.

We as humans are social animals, so it is no surprise that we are wired to help one another.  Both the giver and receiver benefit from the relationship. Neuroscience has demonstrated that giving is a powerful pathway for creating more personal joy and improving overall health. Giving back makes us happier and more fulfilled while also making a difference in the lives of others.

Small daily acts like opening a door, helping a stranger change a tire, donating money or time, and giving advice are all wonderful ways to give. Anytime we step outside of ourselves long enough to help someone else, our mood is boosted!

When most people think of giving, they may have too narrowed a focus. All giving works wonders, not just cash given once or twice a year. How can you help others? Is there a cause you support? A friend that needs help? A stranger that needs a random act of kindness? When we set our intention to fill every day with small acts of giving it becomes a habit that is an effective way to bring happiness to ourselves and others. Even just smiling at someone is an act of giving and will brighten both of your days.

So, while service requires a sacrifice of something, time, energy, money, love, effort, or focus; you gain so much more. Giving is Good for the Body and Soul!!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

– Helen Keller


 

-Written by Co-Owner, Missy Manuel

“Missy holds the official title of Director of Organizational Health & Leadership within our company. Her main goal day in & day out is to nurture the culture and values we hold by instilling this in our employees.”

 

 

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Granite Countertops

Categories: Home Design, Lifestyle | Posted: August 11, 2018

Imagine this: after all the months of planning, blood, sweat and tears, you’re finally moving into your new home. Your light fixtures are glowing, the fresh paint on your cabinets is glistening, and your granite is bringing your home to life with its unique veins flowing across your countertops. It’s a no-brainer that you will have to dust the light fixtures for them to glow and your cabinets will start to look dingy if you don’t wipe them down, but granite can be a little more daunting and tricky to clean. Let’s explore some simple do’s and don’ts to maintain your granite.

DO wipe up spills as soon as they happen.

DO wash your granite regularly with warm water and mild soap.

DO use a soft cloth or sponge when cleaning your granite.

DO place trivets or mats under hot plates or cookware.

DON’T use any acidic cleaners (vinegar, lemon, etc.).

DON’T use abrasive sponges or brushes on your granite.

DON’T use any products containing ammonia or bleach.

DON’T use your granite as a cutting board.

By using these simple tips, your granite should last well into the future and keep your home looking as beautiful as the day you moved in!

 


 

 

-Written by our Design Coordinator, Suzanah Hajrula

“The best part of the whole experience for me is getting to see it all come together through our homeowner’s eyes. There’s nothing quite like that feeling when all their beautiful selections and careful planning finally become real for them.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Your Purpose, No Matter What Stage of Life You’re In

Categories: Wellness | Posted: July 24, 2018

When asked what they want most out of life, almost everyone will eventually mention that what they really want is to find PURPOSE and meaning. Most want to know that their life matters, and they have contributed to this world with the gifts God put within them.  Purpose is paramount in living a fulfilled life.  Knowing your purpose is something worth spending some time defining.  So, this month we will spend some time talking about the word purpose and explore what it is, how we find it and even provide you with some examples of how our team at MB find ways to walk out our purpose and help others do the same!  One’s purpose is that for which he is created, the reason for which something exists.  Purpose is timeless. It never changes.

Often when individuals are asked if they have a purpose statement they usually stammer and say “hmm, I am a Mom, or I am a builder.” People give you what they do instead of sharing what they were designed and created for in a broad stroke of words.  So how do you even begin to discover your purpose or perhaps even complete a purpose statement?  Knowing our purpose begins with reflection.  Ask yourself questions such as:

What gives you satisfaction? What makes you feel great about yourself?
What are your favorite things to do in the past? What about now?
When you are at your best, ask yourself, what am I doing? Who am I doing with? Where am I or what setting am I in? What does it feel like? Take time to pause to and really think on this.
What are you naturally good at? (skills, abilities, gifts, etc.)
What do people typically ask you to help them with?
If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
If you had unlimited time, resources, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
These are just some of the questions to ask yourself when seeking to define a purpose statement.

At MB, we know our purpose is to make a difference by building. Not just building homes but generally creating and growing homes, people and businesses we work with.  We do that through many avenues such as building quality homes for people to do life and make memories. We strive to raise the standard as a business in the way we do things, grow leaders and change lives.  We also fulfill our purpose through outreach activities, mission trips, etc.  One purpose but different ways we fulfill that purpose.  And personally, my purpose statement is, “through my love of people, growth, and passion to see others thrive, I will inspire, empower, equip, and train youth, adults, and organizations in order that they may live a fulfilled life and walk in their potential, to be all they were created to be.”
Through the years, I have done different things staying true to my purpose and I continue to be fulfilled.  I worked as a counselor, consultant, coach/trainer, all the while continuing to walk out my purpose.  Purpose never changes but the avenue in which we walk it out does.  Same goes for our company. We have many things that we do, all while continuing to be true to our purpose!

This month we highlight one-way MB walked out our purpose and helped an employee to walk out his more fully.  MB sponsored a local 5K run for a non-profit, called Camp Refuge.  However, this was not just any non-profit, it was a non-profit that our lead architect, Kevin Stewart recently initiated as he felt called to start a family retreat center in Acadiana.
Kevin for years has had a dream of building a retreat center and last year decided it was time to step into walking out his purpose in another way by launching Camp Refuge.  We have made provision for him to stay on and work part time with a flexible schedule to pursue his passion and purpose.  Kevin thrived for years as a leader at MB, growing and nurturing his team.  He led well, and many were grown and changed because of him.  Now he will step into another role and that is of nurturing and growing others, helping them along with their families and marriages in a retreat setting.  Rebekah Lyons says that, “Your purpose and calling is where your burdens and your dreams collide.”  That is so true! Kevin is a great example that purpose is key to fulfillment and jobs are just some of the ways that we fulfill that purpose, but not just one thing can be fulfilling.  Many jobs could be satisfying and rewarding as they all help us walk out our purpose.  Jobs will come and go.  Your purpose will not.  Whether it is mothering, mentoring, teaching, nursing, building, pastoring, counseling, it is not what you do but that you do what you were made for vocationally or recreationally.  You are not too old to figure out your calling, and you’re not too young to have already had multiple expressions of it.  Jobs change but purpose stays the same.  One purpose can be expressed in lots of ways.  Explore them.  Work on your own puzzle of purpose.  At times we work in a profession that is only a piece of the bigger picture.

If our job does not look like we thought it would look, we can still bloom there, learn all we can and begin to pursue what we really feel called to do.  Many say they are too old to go back to school, etc.  But guess what, the years will pass regardless! Wouldn’t you rather have them pass and end up with a degree or extra training, experience, etc.?

If you are not sure of your purpose, sit some people down and ask for help, to tell you what your strong points are.

Purpose is a winner all around!  Take the time this month to REALLY find your purpose. You won’t regret it!


 

 

 

-Written by Co-Owner, Missy Manuel

“Missy holds the official title of Director of Organizational Health & Leadership within our company. Her main goal day in & day out is to nurture the culture and values we hold by instilling this in our employees.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful Home Hints

Categories: Building Process, FAQs, Other | Posted: July 15, 2018

Building a home is a huge endeavor and because of that, we make sure that every little detail will never go unnoticed. Once you begin the construction of your home, you may come across a few moments when something doesn’t look right or the same as you remember from your selections meeting. When working with Manuel Builders, we do our best to make these moments disappear. That includes preparing you beforehand so you know exactly what’s going on every step of the way!

Since the beginning of the year, we have been sharing some helpful home hints to explain certain parts of our process that could cause homeowners anxiety or confusion. Did you miss a few of them? No worries at all! We’ve compiled all of our helpful hints from this year into this one location, so that you can stay updated on what to expect when you choose to build a Manuel Builders home. Happy building!

 

1. Get With Your Lender Before You Begin Construction

If you’re planning to build a home on your own property, did you know that you need a construction loan? Many homeowners worry about paying the monthly interest rate on the construction loan during the actual building stages. It’s a common misunderstanding that the construction loan holds a full monthly note, similar to a monthly mortgage payment. In actuality, a construction loan is an “interest-only” loan, meaning you are only paying interest on the amount being used each month (similar to how credit card interest works). As the builder takes a draw from the construction line of credit, the balance increases and the payment adjusts, according to what funds are actually being used in that month of construction.

2. Snazzy Gold Door Knobs

Don’t panic if you arrive at your construction site and notice that the exterior door knobs are not what you remember picking out at selections. During the construction process, Manuel Builders will install temporary door knobs on all exterior doors as a means of protecting the knobs from scratches or other damage. Once construction is complete and you move in, you will notice the proper door knobs have been installed!

 

3. Windows Looking a Little Bare?

In South Louisiana, opening the windows and enjoying the breeze is one of the greatest perks of living here! But, of course, you won’t want the army of mosquitos and other critters getting in. Our team makes sure to take care of your window screens during the construction process so as to not allow any tears or holes to form before you even move in. That’s why your Project Manager moves all window screens into the attic during the construction process and installs them once construction is complete!

 

 

 

4. The Color Won’t Stay That Way, We Promise!

It’s probably in every new homeowner’s deepest nightmare…showing up to your almost completed home and seeing a color you did NOT pick out. Well, for our clients that choose the James Hardie Plank Veneer exterior (which is becoming increasingly popular, particularly with our Farmhouse style homes), this fear may manifest for a brief second when they show up after the initial installation of these walls. But don’t worry! This is not permanent. The yellow color of the plank is the signature primer that all the Hardie planks are treated with, prior to delivery. This primer ensures that the paint color you actually choose maintains the look you want for years to come. By the time you move in, your selected color will replace the yellow primer and will keep its quality!

 

5. No Need to Pay Attention to the Brick Bundles!

Brick veneer is very popular because it is a very low-maintenance element. Something that may concern our new homeowners is that the brick on the pallets doesn’t really look like the brick they selected with our Design Consultant. A couple of things to keep in mind is that brick will appear darker when wet. Since the brick wall is made up of 30% mortar, the brick will not show its true appearance until it is fully
installed with the mortar. Also, only the face of the brick – the side that is shown on the brick wall – receives the texture and coating you will recognize from your selection. However, manufacturers will often place the bricks on the pallet with the “butt” of the brick facing outwards. This is what causes some confusion as to whether or not the correct bricks were ordered. Rest assured that the bricks you selected are the ones being installed by our team!

 

 

We hope you found these explanations helpful and they give you some peace of mind during the construction process. As always, our team is here to answer any questions and explain our methods as we build you the home of your dreams. Just talk to your Project Manager if something doesn’t feel right and we will do our best to help put you at ease. Manuel Builders is here to make home building easy!

Check back to our Facebook page once a month to see more #HelpfulHomeHints during the construction of your home!

 

 

 

Entertain with Ease in the Summer Heat

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: July 7, 2018

Whenever summer is mentioned, most people think about relaxing somewhere by a pool, having a backyard BBQ or heading out on a family vacation.

Living in the south during the middle of summer is sometimes a different story. If we don’t have access to a pool or boat, we try to think of ways we can stay inside during the days in an attempt to avoid the unbearably hot weather, not to mention the pesky mosquitos, too.

Nevertheless, we need the Vitamin D right?! It’s hard to stay cooped up inside all summer, so here’s a few ways to help you entertain with ease outdoors in the south this summer!

Timing is Everything!

Be strategic when planning events outside during the summer months. Schedule your outdoor gatherings to start early morning like a Beach Bum Brunch or later in the evening, starting an hour or so before sunset to avoid heat exhaustion. If you decide to host a party while the sun is out in full force, it’s a good idea to have water activities available, as well as  plenty of seating such as hammocks, swings & rocking chairs for your guests to rest and hydrate.

 

Party Prepping

Prep your outdoor area for pests beforehand.  Bugs love high grass! Get the yard mowed a day or so before the party starts to not only keep the bugs at bay, but to give your yard some time to be rid of the loose grass that can track inside your home or in unwanted areas. To control the mosquitos, try tiki table torches with the tiki bitefighter fuel for a stylish option on your patio or all around the area where your guests will be

You may also want to think about installing a screened in porch or an outdoor roller blind.  These will not only help reduce the temperature, but will also keep the flies and mosquitoes from taking over your party.

Find these adorable tiki table torches here.

 

Keep cool

Install a portable tent or canopy for additional shaded areas in your yard for guests to enjoy.  Almost everyone knows to use outdoor fans to help cool off, but installing an outdoor misting system to an open patio would be the icing on the cake! They are affordable, easy to install and, of course, very enjoyable for a summer day in the south!  If you do have outdoor ceiling fans, remember to switch them to rotate counterclockwise in the summer so that the air is blowing downwards, giving you the cool breeze you need.

Get that extra cool breeze on your patio here.

 

Relief Stations

A beverage station can only go so far in the middle of summer, so instead set up a “Relief Station” for you and your guests.  You can include things such as portable fans, bug spray or bug bands, sunscreen, frozen towels, lots of snacks (individually wrapped to keep bugs at bay), and of course a bucket or cooler with lots of ice and drinks to stay hydrated. This can completely change the vibe of your party, as your guests will have all the essentials they need to keep their “party mode” on, especially since these are items that your guests wouldn’t think to bring with them but will surely be appreciated when the heat begins to get to them! And most of all, remember to have fun this summer! Keep some waterproof speakers on hand, too, for good jams that your guests will enjoy.


 

-Written by our Design Coordinator, Kristin Tucker

“I absolutely love helping each homeowner translate their personal style into the home of their dreams.  I believe that details are an important factor in making your house a home.  One of my favorite ways to showcase this is by incorporating beautiful lighting that suits the style of the home and personality of the homeowner.”