The Manuel Builders Blog

Blog Archive for December, 2017

4 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for the New Year

Categories: Home Design, Lifestyle | Posted: December 27, 2017

 

Say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018! There’s something about the New Year that inspires people to make changes in their lives. Things like starting a new fitness routine, trying out a new look or picking up a new hobby are always popular resolutions. Why not start your “New year, new me” mantra from inside your home. No, I’m not talking about the newest DVD workout craze but sprucing up your home just in time for the New Year. Here are some simple ways to make your home feel new and fresh!

Clean Out Your Closet

If you’re anything like me, closets are the first place to get cluttered!  Take some time to declutter your closet. Don’t just reorganize the mess but really take stock of what you have versus what you really need. If you haven’t used it in the past year, toss it or give it away.

Update Your Décor

Small changes can make a huge difference. Things like throw pillows, lamps, mirrors and curtains can make a world of difference in the overall feel of a room. A few changes in these areas can give an old, drab room a mini makeover.

Replace Your Bedding

The easiest way to spruce up a bedroom is to change the bedding. A new bedspread or comforter can give your bedroom an entirely new look. Whether you choose something colorful and fun or something light and airy, the possibilities are endless!

Change Your Hardware

By replacing drawer pulls and cabinet knobs, you can give your kitchen or bathrooms the update that they need. Visit a hardware store to get some ideas so you can achieve a look you will love!

 

  • 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.”

 

 

 

 

 

5 Holiday Decor Trends

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: December 17, 2017

Christmas time is officially here! We know you’re in full decorating mode and getting ready for family and friends to join in on the festivities, but before you finish decking the halls, take a look at some of this year’s holiday trends to help give your space some fresh love!

Go Natural

Dress up your dining table with wood charger plates and lush garland to create a whimsical, woodsy feel. Go for eucalyptus in your greenery for a new, on-trend look. Need a new idea for place cards? Place a mini wreath on each person’s plate with their name or a season’s greeting on a paper and tie it to the wreath. Can’t get enough greenery? Hang garland on your staircase, around windows or doors to bring the outdoors into your home. If you’ve got a fireplace in your living area, bring in some fresh chopped wood to display around the hearth. You can place them in a wire basket and tie a red or burlap bow on it to add to your decorations.

Wish Upon a Star

Celestial décor is all the rage, according to Etsy, from wall hangings to mugs and geometric star ornaments for your tree! Not even just stars, moons and galaxy themes are also all over the 2017 Holiday Décor scene. Place gold geometric stars and moons around your home, then incorporate fairy lights into your garland and inside lanterns for decoration to create a trendy celestial theme. Get the kids involved and create origami paper stars, tie them together, and make a garland to go around the Christmas tree!

Stylish Stockings

Give your mantle a new, updated look with fun and modern stockings. It’s time to switch out your traditional red & white stockings for ones that truly speak to your own style. You can find many different kinds of holiday stockings to fill with goodies! From thick sweater knit, burlap, faux fur, and even jungle print. Speaking of individuality, give your mantle a break from holding your stockings this year and hang them along your staircase’s handrail or even place them strategically on a wooden ladder for more rustic approach.

Chalk It Up!

With chalk boards and a little imagination, you can easily bring the holiday spirit into your home with little effort! From small place cards for the dining table to a giant framed chalk board in your kitchen, the opportunities for what you can do with them are endless! Place a beautifully scripted “Merry Christmas” sign on your mantle, use a free-standing chalkboard at your front door to welcome your guests with a cheery holiday greeting, or get the family involved and give each of your kids a medium sized board to do decorate how they see fit!

Moody Undertones

If your interior is mostly white, warm accents and rich colors will flatter your décor. Dark dinner plates (like matte black or dark green) against a white dining table, or deep green wreaths against a neutral background creates contrasting colors that are pleasing to the eye. Set the mood by lighting candles, turning on warm lighted lanterns, lighting the fireplace or turning on the Christmas tree lights then turn off all the main overhead lights to set a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Sit by the fire with a warm drink in hand and loved ones around you to truly enjoy this holiday season!

Whether you use one or all of these trendy tips and ideas, remember that it’s best to make any decorating ideas your own by incorporating them your way! So, kick your feet up, grab your hot chocolate and enjoy your beautiful handy-work with your family and friends. Now, that’s what we call the true holiday feeling.

A Guide for Dirt Pads and Compaction Tests

Categories: Building Process, FAQs | Posted: December 8, 2017

In this video with Haleigh, our Permit Specialist, we talk about the importance of dirt pads for your home, how tall it needs to be and the explanation of compaction tests.

Why might I need a dirt pad?

There are four basic reasons why you may consider building a dirt pad for your new home.

  • The first and most common reason is that your property is in a flood zone.  If so, building your home up above the Base Flood Elevation, or BFE, is REQUIRED in all parishes in order to begin construction.
  • The second motivation would be if your property is not in a flood zone, but you’re still concerned about flooding.  At this point, no dirt pad is required, but it is MOST OFTEN the least expensive and most effective way to ensure your home will remain above any rising water in the case of flooding.
  • Another possibility would be if the ground where you want to build your home is not level.  A dirt pad can be used to level the property to ensure positive drainage away from the house.
  • Finally, a dirt pad can be built to achieve a certain home appearance.  If you want a “raised” look or brick steps leading up to your front porch, a dirt pad can be a great way to accomplish that.

How tall does my pad need to be?

The height of your pad will depend heavily on your property location and conditions.  Due to various parish and slab requirements, the minimum height for any dirt pad is 18” above undisturbed ground.  If you’re in a flood zone, most parishes require you to be at least 1’ above Base Flood Elevation.  Once you reach that minimum height, if you want your pad to be taller for either peace-of-mind or visual appeal, that’s entirely up to you!

What is a compaction test and why is it recommended?

A compaction test is used to verify that the pad upon which your home will be built is stable enough to bear the weight of your foundation.

It is mainly made up of three soil samples, one from the center and two from opposite corners of your pad. The soil samples are tested to determine the density, moisture and compaction levels.

A passing compaction test is 95% or greater on all three samples.  You will also want to have a compaction test completed for every 12” of dirt you build up.  This guarantees that each level of your dirt pad has been properly compacted to give your home the stability it needs.

Remember, the foundation may not be the prettiest part of your home, but it is the most important.