Owning a home is a goal that the majority of American’s share. Making the transition to home ownership is an exciting opportunity, and, for most, a landmark point in one’s life. There are a variety of barriers that keep this transition from happening. Qualifying for a loan, affording a down payment, or timing in one’s life all prevent renters from becoming owners. However, at Dennis Miller Homes we have discovered another obstacle for prospective homeowners: the fear of maintenance.

Much like death and taxes, having to maintain a house is an unavoidable fact of life. As a renter, a tenant can simply call the landlord or property manager when aspects of the home need to be repaired, changed, or updated. However, when people their own home, that responsibility falls on their own shoulders. Many people are hesitant about owning a home because they fear that responsibility. The fear doesn’t come from having to do the work, but rather knowing how to do the work.

For this blog post we decided to help eliminate that fear and enable you to take steps to owning,  or better yet building, a new home. We’ve come up with 6 common home repairs and tips on how to conquer them.


(1) Fixing a Leaky Toilet

Not only does the constant running of the toilet water get annoying, but it can also be costly. With the water continually running, your water bill is sure to skyrocket; and plumbers these days are not exactly cheap. Follow this link for a step by step guide on how to fix the problem so that you can save time and money.

(2) Cleaning the Refrigerator Coils

Energy efficiency in homes is a dominating trend in the housing industry. A top “energy sucker” is the refrigerator. Keeping the coils clean will help your appliance run efficiently and extend the life of the product. Refrigerator coils are usually on the back or underneath the fridge. Use your vacuum or a coil brush to get your coils to a cleanly state.

(3) Unclogging a Drain

Most people try attacking a clogged drain with Draino or Liquid Plumber. However, we recommend having a plunger and/or drain snake on hand. Once you have used those tools, combine baking soda and vinegar to pour down the drain. Most people typically have those ingredients on hand and it will help you avoid the harsh chemicals of the typical de-clogging products.

(4) Accessing Breaker Panel

Breaker panels are typically located in one of three places: the garage, a utility closet, or in the basement. For larger homes, more than likely there are different panels for either side of the house. We recommend labeling the different breakers as soon as you move in.

(5) Changing HVAC filters

This topic goes back to the energy efficiency of your home mentioned earlier. The more consistent you are with changing your HVAC filters, the more efficient your system will be. This is pretty easy to do. Simply remove the grate holding the filters in place, pop the old one out, and then insert the new one.

(6) Igniting Water Heater

There is nothing worse than running out of hot water in the middle of a shower. For one reason or another, the pilot light in water heaters will go out. Knowing how to ignite the pilot light without having to call a handyman is critical. Every water heater model is different. Older model usual require you to manually ignite the pilot light whereas newer models have built in igniters. Read the instructions located on the water heater to know how yours works.


Being a homeowner is a wonderful adventure. Coming home every day to a place you get to call your own is a very satisfying feeling. Don’t let the fear of maintenance keep you from experiencing the pride of ownership. At Dennis Miller Homes we are more than willing to come back to your house long after closing and make sure your home is running smoothly and efficiently.  Don’t let the fear of maintenance keep you out of the game. Experience for yourself the pride that comes from owning your own home.


What are You Waiting For? Design Your Custom Home Today!

In step 1 of our preliminary process mini-series, we talked about certain things to consider when choosing a building site. We explained the importance of that critical step and how a building lot provides a foundation for designing a home. In today’s article we talk about the next step of the process; arguably our favorite. At this point, we get the creative juices flowing and start dreaming. We call this step The Creation Process.

The Creation Process is designed for brainstorming and dreaming. This process can be done on your own, or together with us as we give input. We’re dreamers at heart, so we love to hear what types of things prospective clients have always yearned for in a home. However, even if a person has been planning the details of their home for years, when they hear the question, “What would you like in your new home?” almost everyone starts to draw blanks.

Because thinking about every facet of your home can be overwhelming, we broke this process down into three different categories: Lifestyle, Features, and Style. Going about the Creation Process while keeping these components in mind will bring organization and clarity to the endeavor.

Lifestyle


Thinking about lifestyle is a perfect starting point. Some people start with features only to realize that they have unnecessary features or that they forgot certain features they really need. We feel it better to start with thinking about your lifestyle and then place the features in a way that will support that lifestyle. Questions you should ask yourself at this point of the creation process include: Do I need space for entertaining? Do I want the main gathering space for my family to be in a great room near the kitchen or in a separate family room? Do I plan to have visitors often who would appreciate their own suite? Do I want more space in the house, or more space in the yard? Asking questions like these help you figure out what is really important to you. It will ensure that your home is perfectly functional and that you are utilizing the space you call home.

Features


As you brainstorm about lifestyle, you’ll notice that the next step, which is to focus on features, will come naturally. If you have decided you need space for entertaining, then more than likely you are going to want a dining space and a large kitchen island or bar. If you want to enjoy St. George sunsets, you’ll probably want a covered patio. Is a jacuzzi tub or fireplace in the master suite something you can’t live without? Do you want your kids to enjoy a pool in the backyard? Some people feel that it is helpful to look at other floor plans to get their wheels turning. Don’t worry about missing certain aspects, we will be sure to bring features to your attention that you may not have considered.

Style


Once you have thought about your lifestyle and the features you want to include in your home, the last thing to go over is style. What do you want those features to look like? This is where your home will start to reflect your personality and creative taste. Do you want your home to look modern? Maybe you like the cozy and inviting feel of french country. Do you want your house to take on the trendy craftsman-style look? Whatever style you choose, we have a team of professionals that are sure to bring all of the components of your home together so that it looks aesthetically flawless.

Some other styles you might consider include the following: Ancient ModernAdobe SouthwestTuscan, and Industrial.


Remember that the creation process is a time to have fun. Try not to get overwhelmed. Reserve judgments on your dreaming. Let the ideas run free. Many people are surprised on the amount of things they can include in their home. As was mentioned above, we love this step in the building process because we get to have fun with our clients. One of the reasons a person chooses to build a home as opposed to buy a home is so they experience this creation process. Make sure you enjoy yours.


What are you waiting for? Design Your Custom Home Today!

-House at a Glance-

Location: Custom Home in Dunes at Sand Hollow, Hurricane
Finished Size: 5,536 Square Feet
Garage: 944 Square Feet
Layout: Five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms
Status: Pre-Sold

Modern St. George custom home in Southern Utah

Custom bathroom in St. George home by home builders DMH Master bedroom in custom home in Southern Utah - DMH home builders in St. George Kitchen with pendant lights and marble countertops in southern Utah custom home by St. George custom home builders DMH View of red rock in St. George designed by Southern Utah custom home builders DMH Furnished kitchen with wood floor in custom home in Southern Utah Desert living room in custom home in St. George by custom home builder in Southern Utah southern utah custom kitchen by St. George home builders DMH modern kitchen with wood floor & pendant lights in southern utah custom home

-House at a Glance-

Location: Custom Home in Highlands at Green Valley, St. George
Finished Size: 6,699 Square Feet
Garage: 827 Square Feet
Layout: Five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms
Status: Sold

 

midcentury modern home in St. George Utah by custom home builders Dennis Miller Homes

Kitchen with vintage pendant lights in St. George Utah with rounded window feature

Huge window overlooking red rock in St. George with modern furniture Neutral custom built home with winding staircase in Southern Utah Fireplace and midcentury modern furniture by custom home builder in Southern Utah

When people set out to build a custom dream home, one area of the home that gets a lot of thought and attention is the master suite. Most, if not all, want to ensure that their master suite looks luxurious, feels elegant, and is completely functional. Unfortunately, one of the many flaws that we see with new home builders and their contractors is that they either give up functionality for aesthetics or visa versa. Eventually, what is left is a homeowner who is overall displeased with what was supposed to be the nicest part of their home.

The Problem


With over 30 years of experience, we’ve found that one of the main drivers of this displeasure is the master shower. People envision a master shower with all of the bells and whistles: spacious, multiple shower heads, a seat, visual appeal. However, going back to the problem described above, they tend to overemphasize either aesthetics or functionality.

In an attempt to make the master bathroom look luxurious some interior designers will tell their clients to create their master shower out of glass so that the bathroom feels more open. However, who really wants to clean all that glass every time they shower? Others will try and make a big open shower that has plenty of space only to find that the dreaded cold breeze that everyone hates to feel in the middle of the shower becomes a constant. Others will build their new shower emphasizing functionality only to be left wanting when it comes to feeling like they have something elegant and unique.

The Solution


So is it possible to have it all? Here at Dennis Miller Homes, we want to make sure we build something for you that is both functional and eye-popping. Jared, one of our team members, thought about this conundrum when designing the master suite for one of our clients in Sand Hollow. He wanted to give our client something unique, and also make sure they were happy with the product for years to come.

Featured Product


Masterfully utilizing space, this featured master shower was thoughtfully placed behind the jacuzzi tub to make sure the entire bathroom had an open feel. To give the owners something they felt was unique, we designed the shower with two entrances, one near the bathroom entrance, and one near the master closet. With the two entrances, we worried about the dreaded cool breeze plaguing anyone who used the shower.

To combat this problem, we staggered the walls of either entrance in a way that would block any type of airflow. As an added measure of precaution, we also placed heat lamps above either entrance ensuring that anyone taking a shower would stay nice and warm.  Finished off with beautiful modern finishes we were more than pleased with how it turned out; and the owners were too.


When building a new house, it’s easy to design a floor plan that has all the necessary components and call it good. At Dennis Miller Homes we make sure that not only do you have all the necessary components, but that those components are built in a way that is visually appealing and practical to use. When you choose us as your home builder, we won’t be satisfied with the finished product unless you love every component of your home long into the future.


What are you waiting for? Let’s start building!

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