4 Ways to Add Light to Your Brazos Valley Home

It’s a universal fact that humans crave light. It’s not just a matter of being able to see. Light cheers us and motivates us. Light helps us to stay energized and focused during the day and sleep better at night. Natural sunlight is especially beneficial to both our physical and mental health, but being surrounded by light in general can’t help but lift our moods.

The problem is that when it comes to electrical light, filling the room can quickly become expensive. That’s why homeowners often search for other methods of adding light to their home. Here are a few methods they’ll often use:

Simple Window Treatments

If you have a great window, you really don’t need to adorn it with elaborate window treatments. A thin frame and maybe simple window shutters should be enough to do the trick. This is especially true with wide, tall, floor-to-ceiling windows. The lighter the window frame, the more the window itself is accentuated — and the more light it allows into your home.

Light Walls

This is no secret, but it really can help to fill a room with sunlight. Dark painted walls can make a bold statement in a room, and that suits some homeowners. However, if your goal is to optimize the light in the room, light colored walls are essential. Light colors will reflect light from the windows or light fixtures in your room, to make sure that you get the most of it. Dark colors will only swallow that light. That doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to white walls. Yellow or blue or even light green will all reflect light and give the room an airy atmosphere.

Clear or Reflective Accent Pieces

A clear vase with glass marbles inside. A transparent coffee or dining room table surface. A mirror on the wall or ornate glass on a side table. All of these accent pieces will either reflect or allow light to shine through them, which further helps it to spread throughout the room. They also add to that airy atmosphere that we discussed above.

Cut Down on Clutter

You don’t have to go for minimalism, although minimalist spaces and light are a natural fit. However, you don’t want the room to be too busy, either. If your bookshelf is a little too cluttered, or you have a few boxes in the back of the room that you’ve been meaning to move for months, this is a good time to do it. If the kids toys are always lying around, consider giving them a designated play room or play area.

Adding light to your room can not only help you feel more cheerful and content in your home, but it can be inviting for guests and healthy for the whole family. If you need help adding light to your home, contact Windham Construction. We can repaint a room, add windows, or even create a sunroom for that specific purpose. We have over 20 years of experience remodeling homes in Brazos Valley and we’d love to help you, too. Contact us today and tell us your vision for your lighter, brighter living space.

Tips for Surviving a Winter Interior Paint Job

No one likes living with paint fumes at any time of year, but when you have interior painting done in winter, they can be especially challenging. During winter, we go out less, and open the windows far less. That means the air can become stale and strong scents from paint fumes hang in the air for longer. During winter, you may also have less excuse to go out, which means you could be home for most of the work.

But if you can stand it, there are advantages to having painting jobs done in winter. You may be able to take advantage of sales and discounts offered during winter because demand is lower. You’ll have more freedom when it comes to scheduling and your pick of the right painting professionals. Even the challenges can be avoided or lessened with these tips.

Get Rid of Wall Condensation

If you have a problem with wall condensation, or damp forming on the interior walls during winter, you need to take care of that before painters arrive. Walls need to be dry before paint is applied or you may have issues getting it to stick or dry. Wall condensation is difficult to avoid without adding insulation to your home or ventilating (which is typically less than ideal in cold weather), but you can keep it to a minimum by turning on vent fans in the kitchen or bathroom and leaving space between the furniture and the wall so air can circulate along the wall. If it’s a persistent problem, you may want to have your HVAC or insulation problems sorted out before you schedule the painters to come in.

The Earlier, the Better

When you schedule a time to start the job, aim as early as possible. Of course, when you hire professionals to do the job, they typically prefer to work during the day, but when it comes to painting in winter, the earlier you start the better. Days tend to be short in winter, and you need as much light as possible for painting. If the bulk of the job is done in the morning and early afternoon, too, you may have more opportunity to get away from the house and the fumes that come with the paint job.

Break out the Fans

Vent fans, standing fans, even hand fans will come in handy here. Using fans will not only help the walls to dry more quickly, but move offer relief from the paint fumes so you can breathe easily in your home while waiting for it to dry. If you can, get away from the house for a bit, or just step outside to take in some fresh air before going back to the site. Give yourself plenty of opportunity to breathe in some air that doesn’t smell like paint while the professionals do what they do best.

Having interior paint jobs done in winter can have pros and cons, but as with most things, a professional team will make the process easier. At Windham Construction, we have over 20 years of experience serving Brazos Valley with a number of home remodeling projects, including painting. We can offer tips and materials that will make breathing through your winter paint job more bearable, and even put up paint samples to help you choose the right color. Give us a call at 979-324-8596 for more information or a free quote.

Painting the Kid’s Bedroom

Painting your child’s bedroom can be one of the more fun home improvement projects to take on. It’s less mess and stress than remodeling the bathroom or having an addition added, and it’s a way to make your child smile hopefully. The one problem? Kids are constantly growing as they grow up. It’s hard to stay on top of their rapidly changing interests and preferences. Every child is different, so there’s not one formula that works for every child’s bedroom. However, there are certain key ages when it might be a good idea to revisit the bedroom.

Infant – Toddler

The nursery is the easiest child’s room to paint. The nursery decor tends to be more for the benefit of the parents than the kids–babies aren’t all that fussed about eggshell or matte. The standard nursery colors tend to be blue for a boy and pink for a girl, of course, but you don’t have to play by the rules. Maybe you want the baby’s gender to be a surprise, or you’re having twins–a boy and a girl. Yellow tends to be the most common gender neutral color. Maybe you don’t see why a pink nursery shouldn’t be perfect for your baby boy, or you just really like the color green. The best rule to follow her is to keep the decor soft. Pastel colors are the most popular choices for nurseries, because they’re calming for both babies and parents alike.

Ages 3-6

Kids at this age are their most imaginative. Their wacky ideas bounce off the walls, and they should have a fun, colorful room to keep them entertained. Don’t be afraid to get playful with your paint choices for this room. Some parents have even gone so far as to have a mural painted of their kid’s favorite animated movie. However, it’s also important to consider whether your child is likely to have this room long after they’ve outgrown their hobbies at this age. If you’re just going to have to paint over it in a few years, you might want to stick with a simple plan for the paint and then accentuate the wall with fun decorations. Bright, bold colors are best for this age.

Ages 7-11

At this age, the interests your kids develop might be likely to last longer than, well, a week. If they like sports, they’ll probably continue to like sports for a while. If they like space, it won’t hurt to nurture that interest. Again, keeping the room versatile with a solid color of paint and embellishing with decor might be the plan that costs you the least amount of hassle in the end. At this point, however, you should be able to have an idea of your child’s preferences. Try painting the room in their favorite color.

Tweens and Teens

Teenagers are more than capable of developing their own aesthetic–in fact, they’d quite prefer to do so. Your tween or teen might not want a race car shaped bed or stars on the walls, but they can easily tell you what they do want. Mind you, everything should be within reason, but it’s your teen that has to live in this room, so now is the time to ask them what they want. They may already have the plans all drawn up.

Regardless of your child’s age or design tastes, hiring a professional painter will remove much of the headache of the work from you–and your kids from that matter. Windham Construction has served Brazos Valley for over 20 years with a variety of home remodeling projects, including painting a fair number of kids’ bedrooms. We’re happy to help with your upcoming project and even help you find the perfect paint color. Contact us today and tell us what you need for your child’s bedroom.

Decorating Your Pergola for the Holidays

The Best Material for Deck Building in Central TexasYou might not think of making much use of your pergola this winter. While a pergola provides the perfect combination of shade and fresh air in spring and summer, winter tends to be a season for staying indoors. The idea of sitting under pergola in December, even in Texas, just doesn’t sound as good as curling up on the couch. But just because temperatures are starting to drop in College Station doesn’t mean your pergola should go to waste. In fact, it can be the perfect canvas for one of the most fun parts of the season: holiday decoration. Even if you stay inside this holiday season, decking the pergola with boughs of holly can give you something cheerful to view from the window. Here are some of the ways you can decorate your pergola this year:

Lights and Tinsel

The shape and structure of your pergola makes it the perfect place to string lights or tinsel. You can run Christmas lights along the beams or just let them fall in a graceful sheet hanging from the roof. Wrap some garland along the cedar legs or pin the tinsel to a deep red bow in the front center of the pergola. You can even combine the two, wrapping the lights around the tinsel that wraps around the pergola. It’s a simple decoration as most of us have a surplus of lights and tinsel tucked away in storage somewhere, but it can transform your pergola from a summer oasis to a slice of Christmas cheer. Hang a wreath here and there just to add to the feeling. Even on colder nights, your pergola might look so inviting that you won’t be able to help slipping out there for a bit with a wool cap and a cup of hot chocolate.

Holiday Focal Pieces

If your family room is tight on space, you can always move the Christmas tree out to the pergola. A well decorated Christmas tree on its own can transform the look of your pergola. Imagine how much better your Christmas tree will look in a pergola that’s already decked out for the big day. This is a great way to switch up a tradition that might have gotten a little stale for your family. If you’re religious, the pergola is also a great place to put a nativity scene or some hand-crafted Hanukkah decorations. For more general holiday decor, you could place poinsettias at the corners of the pergola or a large, light-filled yard display snowman. There are multiple holidays that can be celebrated in December, and your pergola is the perfect place to decorate for all of them.

Keep Warm

If your pergola is so beautifully decorated that you find yourself wanting to spend time there, despite the weather, keep things cozy with a fire pit. You can gather around with your family and roast marshmallows (or, of course, chestnuts), sing your favorite carols and talk about your favorite parts of the season. A fire pit will not only keep your pergola comfortable in winter, but it will add to that wonderful warm sweater feeling that so often comes with the holidays.

This season, we at Windham Construction hope you have a wonderful holiday season. If you want your own pergola to decorate for the holidays, or simply to enjoy at any time of year, contact us today. Our family has been serving Brazos Valley’s construction needs for over 20 years, whether those needs are deck or pergola construction or interior remodeling. We’d love to explain what we can do for your home this season or any time of year.

Can You Handle a Fixer Upper?

Can You Handle a Fixer Upper?

Fixer uppers are all the rage, at least on home improvement shows. There are multiple shows centered around the same premise: instead of buying an expensive, move-in ready home, save money by buying a home that needs a little love and fixing it up. And surely, renovating a fixer upper can be a great way to put your personal stamp on your new home. However, the intimidation towards buying a home that needs renovations is not without cause. It can be a daunting task that leaves many home buyers wondering, “Is it even worth it?”

The answer is…sometimes. In many cases, buying a cheap fixer upper that just needs cosmetic renovations can be much cheaper than buying a move-in ready home. In other cases, though, the home needs to be gutted to be functional or is in such bad shape that the cost to renovate is far more than the cost of a move-in ready house. Know the difference. Hire a home inspector before buying so they can give you a clear picture of everything you’ll be getting into with this house. If the cost of the house and the cost of the renovations combined is still cheaper than move-in ready houses on the market, a fixer upper could be a good opportunity for you.

The other thing to take into consideration is time. Renovating a home can be disruptive and stressful and can last for weeks or months, depending on the work that needs to be done. If you’re in no hurry to move into your new home, you won’t have to worry about living with it. If you need to move sooner rather than later, you might find yourself in a home that feels more like a disaster zone. It’s a good idea to get an estimate from a construction professional before making any major decisions so you know how much time renovations will take and whether you have that time.

Some homeowners choose to do their own renovations to save money. However, not all homeowners have the skill or the time to put into that work. In most cases, it’s best to hire a local professional. You can know that your renovations are being done by someone who knows what to look for and what best to do, and you can be relieved from the stress of having to do the work yourself. Some construction groups even include design services, so you can get a jump-start on your interior design, as well.

Renovating a fixer upper is never easy. If you decide to take on the task, you have to be prepared for a good amount of cost and chaos. A local construction group who knows Brazos Valley well and has a dedication to quality can help take some of the edge off. And sometimes, the good outweighs the stress and all of that mess of a renovation can lead to your new life in the house of your dreams.