DAVE DUSENDANG CUSTOM HOMES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 2016 SPRING HBA PARADE OF HOMES

The Dave Dusendang Custom Homes team will showcase three new homes during the 2016 Spring HBA Parade of Homes beginning May 20 – June 4.

“Our team has enjoyed using their creativity to bring these three homes to life” says Dave Dusendang, owner of Dave Dusendang Custom Homes. “We have so many new and unique things in each home we can’t wait to show them off to those that will come through during the Parade.”

    Dusendang, one of the areas fastest growing builders, uses the latest in building technology to give their home owners special details packed into every area of their home.  He started his career as a trim carpenter and thoroughly enjoys focusing on the details.  His team works with his clients from site selection to the finishing design touches to make the process as seamless as possible.

The “Lakeview” is a three story home designed with the family in mind.  Located at 10895 Skipping Stone, this 4,340sf home features 4 bedrooms with 4.5 baths.  The home features 18 ft Ceilings, catwalk with custom arches, two full kitchens with hidden pantry, and a theatre room.  There is custom woodwork with interesting built-ins throughout the home and a fun children’s playroom under the steps.  “There are some great surprises in this home,” continues Dusendang.  “Our partners helped us create some great storage solutions that are showcased in the laundry room.”

    The Bristol, at 7953 Ella Terrace in Rockford, is a craftsmen style home featuring 4,345 sf with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths.  There are custom built-ins and unique ceiling details throughout the home

including a spectacular fly fishing display next to game room.  The kitchen is designed for a chef with high end appliances.  This home owner decided to have two separate offices, on is hidden behind a bookcase.  A special exercise spinning room under the garage with a workshop are just a few of the unique features in this home.

The Dusendang creativity is on full display in “The Palma”.  This plan blends Mediterranean charm with the more traditional craftsmen style.  Custom features are found in every area of the home from the well thought out storage in the laundry area to the grand groin vaulted & barrel ceilings.

   “We were looking to step away from our traditional homes and create something really unique,” says Dusendang.  “This home takes some of my favorite things of homes I remember from a trip to Spain and blends it with the custom built-in work we love to do with our homes.”

The home located at 3769 Baumoff in Comstock Park has a total of 3,361sf, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.  When you walk through the front door you see the groin vaulted ceiling with a special venetian plaster treatment completed by a local artist.  The 360 degree rounded staircase with unique newels and handrail details takes you to the lower level with an inviting full wine bar and theater room.  The open floor plan on the main level lends itself to entertaining friends and relatives.  The large kitchen island and custom built cabinets make it easy to prepare for guests.  There are plenty of other surprises throughout the home.

The Dave Dusendang Custom Homes team is extremely proud of all the homes on display during the Spring HBA Parade of Homes.

2016 Color and Design Trends

Colors for 2016

Colors this season include vivid brights that give way to excitement and optimism.  “It’s important to bring color into your home” says Kathy Dusendang, lead designer at Dave Dusendang Custom Homes.  “It’s a great inexpensive way to update the look your home.  Find a color that speaks to you and bring in some great pillows, or a new throw.  You will be amazed how a pop of color will change your entire space.”

Expect to see the following colors both in fashion and home design.

pantonespring2016

Rose Quartz, a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.
Peach Echo, a shade that emanates friendlier qualities, evoking warmth and accessibility. It is an all-encompassing, tempered companion in the playful orange family.
Serenity comforts with a calming effect, bringing a feeling of respite even in turbulent times.
Snorkel Blue plays in the navy family, but with a happier, more energetic context.
Buttercup designers reveal a contrast to the other calm colors of the season.
Limpet Shell, a shade of aqua is clear, clean and defined.
Lilac Gray, brings us a new neutral which adds a distinctive edge to a classic gray shade.
Fiesta is a strong and fiery, yellow-based red, the vivid Fiesta provides a stark contrast to the calming, softer nature of this season’s palette.
Iced Coffee, a transitional color, manifests as an earthy strong neutral foundation for the season.
Green Flash, this brilliant hue is representative of nature’s persistent influence even in urban environments, a trend continuing to inspire designers.

Design Trends

Two-tone kitchen cabinets

In the last couple of years we have seen less matchy, matchy in the kitchen.  Keep upper cabinets white or neutral for a clean, timeless feel, then go crazy with the lower cabinets by playing with various wood tones and deeper colors to take your kitchen in two different style directions.

The kitchen island is fast becoming an essential in today’s kitchens with lots of storage, prep sinks, room for seating and more.  Why not make a statement and use one tone for the cabinets and a great color for your family gathering area.

Modern Metallics
The breakout star of 2016 will be metallics, and — given their ability to instantly bring a sophisticated and glamorous touch to any space — it’s not hard to see why. Whether adding a sleek touch with silver or chrome or warming a room with gold, rose gold or copper, every school of design can benefit from this trend.
You have flexibility to mix and match.  Don’t hesitate to use one type of metal as the focal point of the space while working in a different type for a smaller accent role.

‘Outdoor’ Prints
Prints that can be found in nature are coming inside. The coming year is poised for a comeback of plant-inspired decor, florals and animal prints. As with any print, a little goes a long way — especially when it comes to these bold looks. An added bonus using outdoor fabrics with their fabulous designs and durability makes them perfect for high-traffic dining room and living room furniture.

Sunrooms
A sunroom is a top dream space for many homeowners. You may not have the luxury of having — or adding —but we can usually find a way to carve out a special sun-drenched corner in your home.  Imagine sitting in your home soaking up the sun while reading your favorite book.

Groovy Geometrics
When it comes to adding visual interest to a room, there’s no easier way to make an impact than by adding a few geometric shapes. The recent interest in these shapely designs is a continuation of the ’70s-inspired trend that has been turning heads. The great thing about this trend is that it can easily be incorporated into any style of design. Those who like an ultra-modern look should consider making a statement with shapely furniture pieces or light fixtures. For a more traditional look, simply incorporate a geometric pattern into the room using floor tiles or accent textiles.

Tips for using your fireplace safely

It is officially winter, even though the temperature outside may say otherwise.  As it is Michigan, soon we will be ready to curl up in front of a roaring fire.  There’s nothing cozier, more relaxing or more romantic than a fire quietly roaring away in your fireplace especially during the holiday season.

125As beautiful and soothing as they are, fireplaces can be dangerous.  The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there will be 14,000 house fires this year started by fireplaces. Keep your fireplace burning bright and safe by following these simple guidelines to keep your wood fireplace burning brightly — and safely.

1.     You never want to leave your fireplace with an active fire unattended.

2.     Make sure the damper to the flue is open before you light your fire!  This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a good to include in your regular routine so you never forget. The damper should remain open until the fire is completely extinguished, or you risk carbon monoxide production.  Close the damper when not using your wood fireplace.  This keeps the warm air from escaping through the chimney and will save you money in the long run.

3.     Keep flammable materials such as carpets, pillows, furniture or papers away from the fireplace area. Be sure the Christmas tree is not close enough to be ignited by a spark. Be especially careful of accidentally igniting holiday wrapping papers.

4.     Only burn properly seasoned wood or specially designed firelogs. Your best bets are woods like birch, oak, hickory, and maple that have been dried for at least a year.  If your wood is too green, you’ll have a harder time starting the fire and it will produce more smoke. Evergreens burn too rapidly and also contributes to creosote build-up according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).  Crates, lumber, construction scraps, painted wood, or other treated wood releases chemicals into your home, compromising air quality.  There are several businesses in the area that will provide cured wood.  You will want to cover your outdoor log pile leaving the sides open for air flow.

5.     Open a window just a bit to allow fresh air intake.  This can also help balance air pressure to keep your chimney drafting well – doing its job to keep smoke, carbon monoxide, and other toxic byproducts from infiltrating your living space.

6.     Be safe!  Make sure you have working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and a fire extinguisher nearby.  Always use a screen around the fireplace to keep sparks from flying out and to protect children and adults from accidental clothing ignition.

individual-black-fireplace-tools7.     Use the proper tools.  At minimum, a poker is necessary to adjust the position of logs as the fire burns.  A broom and shovel are handy for keeping the firebox clean from excess ash.

8.     Start with some crumpled paper or a firestarter under a bit of kindling to get a small fire going.  (Don’t burn cardboard – it may seem innocent, but its glues and printing inks can release toxins when burned.) Then, add a single log and tend to the kindling to keep the fire burning until the log has caught.  You can add more fuel gradually, stacking the wood at 90 angles. To burn a fire safely, build it slowly, adding more wood as it heats. Keep the damper of your wood fireplace completely open to increase draw in the early stages. Burn the fire hot, at least occasionally—with the damper all the way open to help prevent smoke from lingering in the fireplace and creosote from developing.

9.     If it is very cold outside, you can help get the chimney drafting by using a rolled up sheet of newspaper as a torch – light the end and put the flame near the flue to warm the air and get it flowing upwards.

10.  Leaving some ash in the fireplace can provide a bedding for embers and keep your fire burning longer.  If you do remove old embers and ash, ALWAYS empty into a metal container and do not mix with other trash. Adding water is a good precautionary measure to ensure no hidden embers can later spark a new flame.  Ash and embers can remain warm for days after a fire seems to have burned out.

11.  Have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually (or at least every two years, if you only use your fireplace infrequently.)  Your chimney should be in good structural condition and free from soot and creosote buildup that can lead to chimney fires.

If you have any questions or concerns about your homes fireplace give us a call.

Make your home safe for your guest during the holidays

The holidays are upon us and your friends and family will be coming to see you. As you decorate your home for the holidays, it is a good time to make some simple changes to your home to make sure your visitors have an enjoyable stay.

“We all look forward to welcoming our loved ones to our home,” said Dave Dusendang of Dave Dusendang Custom Homes. “Here are a few tips that may help you eliminate uncomfortable situations and ensure that family and friends will enjoy a comfortable visit and be able to move around your house without trouble this year.”rung

  • Secure rugs and carpets. Secure area rugs with non-slip pads or double-sided carpet tape so that they are snug to the floor. Temporarily remove throw rugs, including bathroom mats to prevent guests from tripping on the edges.
  • Test stair railings. Check that stair railings inside and out are tightly fastened. Make repairs where needed.155
  • Turn up the lights. Put night lights in bathrooms, the guest bedroom, hallways and perhaps in the kitchen. Make sure there is a lamp or light switch within reach of the guest bed so that your visitor can keep a light on until safely tucked in. Well-lit outdoor walkways and entrances are also key for coming or going when it is dark.
  • Clear outdoor walkways. Rake leaves, salt for ice and shovel snow from sidewalks and driveways to prevent falls.
  • Add non-slip treads or a mat to the shower. Be sure the shower your guest will use has a non-slip floor. To enhance traction, apply non-slip strips or a suction-attached non-slip mat.
  • Offer the best seat. Choose the best seat for your guest’s comfort—not too high, not too low. A firm cushion can prevent them from sinking too low in to the seat, and arms can help a person easily get up and down.167
  • Declutter. Move objects or even furniture that a person usually has to maneuver around. Secure cords to the wall or baseboards with hooks to prevent tripping. Clear stair steps of any objects—shoes, books, and other personal items that tend to collect on the lower treads.

If you are considering larger home renovation projects or want to do more to make your home safe and comfortable for all ages and abilities, give us a call at (616) 874-7085.

Keep your hardwood floors looking great

You’ve moved into your home and are in love with your hardwood floors.  Keep your floors looking beautiful for years to come with the following care tips.

Keep dusting

Dusendang_92 St Caledonia (43)This is one easiest and most underestimated steps in the process. Dusting often, daily if possible, will keep dirt off the floor which will prevent scratching and essentially extend the beauty and life of your floor.  Use a microfiber material, it will attract more dust and allergens by reaching into the floor pores to lift dirt more effectively.

Keep it clean

There’s a right way to clean floors, and there’s a wrong way. “Too much liquid can damage floors, while the wrong formula may not work” says Brent Cox, Dave Dusendang Custom Homes Project Manager.  “Look for pH-neutral, nontoxic and biodegradable formula to clean effectively and keep your home and environment safe.” A high PH cleaner (more alkaline like soaps and harsh detergents) are really good at dissolving grease and dirt, but this higher PH will, in time, dull the floor finish.  Use a washable microfiber pad, which will remove bacteria and keep waste out of landfills.  Avoid string mops that put excessive amounts of water on the floor, which can be damaging, and push dirt around, instead of picking up and removing dirt. Steam cleaners put heat and excessive water on your floor, which can lead to cupping and long-term damage.

Make it shine

shutterstock_128477141_dog on wood floorUse water-based polishes to restore luster and shine every two to three months. These polishes won’t leave a residue or emit harmful toxins, plus they’ll prevent over cleaning and stripping of your floor. Durable, urethane-based polishes have fast dry times, no waxy buildup and a protective wear layer to fill in micro scratches and even out the appearance of the floor.

Protect it all

You will want to protect the floor by using felt floor protectors under your furniture.  You may want to lay area rugs using a natural, rubber rug underlayment with a waffle pattern in the entry ways or high-traffic areas.  Keeping the pets nails trimmed will also help protect your floors.  To prevent permanent stains, wipe up all spills as quickly as possible.

“We are happy to help if any of our home owners have any questions all you have to do is call us,” says Brent.

Choose the perfect floor plan for your family

One of the most exciting times in your life can be choosing a home! From what city you will live in to what neighborhood you decide to raise your family – the right home is a major decision.  It is important to know how you and your family will use your home to make sure it fits with your lifestyle. From the size and shape, to where the rooms are located can make or break your home experience. Here’s a few things to think about before you build your new custom home.

Decide what size home will best suit your family

dusendang-exterior_5Choosing your floor plan first should start with how large a home will fit your lifestyle. Think through how many bedrooms you will want for your children and guests.  How many bathrooms are enough? How much home to you want to maintain? The size of your home should be the first consideration.

Choose a floor plan based on your style

Everyone homeowner has their own design style and choosing a floor plan that meets your needs is essential. Are you more traditional and prefer a compartmentalized floor plan where walls separate rooms or do you prefer a more open floor plan? Think of your furnishings and how you will decorate your home when choosing a floor plan. Flowing and coordinated colors are important when designing an open floor plan, keep this mind when choosing a floor plan style.

Think through the pros and cons of your floor plan

There isn’t a perfect floor plan. There will always be pros and cons and you will need to decide what are untitled21your priorities and what can you learn to live with or without.  “It’s important that we know what your priorities are when making decisions on the floor plan,” says Dave Dusendang of Dave Dusendang Custom Homes.  “There is always a give and take with a home design, for example that large living room window wall that lets in gorgeous natural light may also make your energy cooling and heating bills a bit higher.  A floor plan that is open and spacious could make it hard to concentrate in your home office as your kids are watching TV in the adjacent living room”  Weigh the pros and cons when looking for the right floor plan.

Use the Dusendang design team for guidance

While you may know what you want in your future home, our design team can help you consider factors that aren’t tangible to the eye and touch. Factors such as energy savings/costs, a flow that will work for your families lifestyle, how you can factor in technology into your home and maintenance.  When working with a design team they may be able to suggest things you have not thought about based on your families lifestyle.  Designers are by nature creative…let them use their creativity to make your home perfect for your lifestyle.

Trust your instincts on what “feels” right when choosing a floor plan

142Take advantage of opportunities to see a variety of floor plans.  Use the upcoming HBA Parade of Homes to determine what will work for your family and what won’t.  “All of us have will know when a space feels comfortable and right for your needs,” says Dusendang.  “It’s important to take notes of what feels right and bring it to the table when you are ready to sit down and design your home.  For example a family with small children may love to have the master bedroom near the other bedrooms. On the other hand, a family with teenagers might want the kids on one level and the master bedroom on a separate level. Listen to what speaks to you when choosing a plan.”

Determine if you will use existing or buy new furniture

While you may only be thinking about the rooms and layout of your floor plan, choosing furniture is a major investment and can be an emotional challenge. “If you are using your current furniture in your new home, you will need to measure it and take this into account when reviewing floor plans,” says Kathy Dusendang, Dusendang Custom Homes Lead Designer.  “If you would rather use new furniture we are available to help you make interior selections that will make your home look and feel the way you want it for your family.”

Know your budget

Let’s face it; there is always the fantasy side of us that wants to go bigger and better than our wildest dreams. Before getting your heart set on one type of floor plan – know what the costs are associated with the layout.  Dave will help you determine costs as you narrow down the floor plan that fits within your budget.

Understand that floor plan modifications could be an option

While it would be nice to have the right floor plan appear before your eyes,  modifying an existing floor plan can be a viable option. Removing a spare closet to make more room in your kids’ bathroom area or opening up a wall to let in natural light could make your floor plan even better. Keep this in mind when looking for a floor plan that is right for you.

“The bottom line is we can create a custom home that meets your families needs, but it is important to have a list of must-haves for your home.” says Dave.  “Once you have thought through how your family will use your home, we can make sure it is everything you are expecting.”

 

Spring Maintenance Tips

It seems winter may finally be gone and it’s time to think spring.  Now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the outdoor season by repairing any cold weather damage. Snow and ice can wreak havoc on your home’s infrastructure, and it’s important to address issues quickly.  If you get it done now you’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor this summer.

“Spring is an ideal time to inspect in and around your home for any safety hazards,” Dave Dusendang of Dusendang Custom Homes says. “Spring is also the time to make sure all your warm weather necessities, such as air conditioning units, and windows are working properly after the cold season.”

Here are some quick tips to maintain your home and keep it in great shape:

  1. Water damage can mean big insurance claims, so check for leaks in pipes and faucets as well as in hoses leading to dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators.  It’s always a good idea to know the location of the main water shutoff valve for your home. A damaged hose or a burst pipe can send water racing into your home. You will save yourself time and money by knowing where this valve is located and how to use it to shut off the water supply.
  2. Ice can do serious damage to cement and exterior walkways around your home. Inspect concrete for shifting cement or for cracks, which should be filled with caulk or concrete crack filler.
  3. It’s no fun waking up to water dripping from your roof, and the cost of repairs can cause major headaches. Check for roof damage, including missing shingles, leaks, and general aging. Dave Dusendang Custom Homes has roofers that can help you with any damage that needs to be fixed.
  4. Clean out any leaves or debris that may have accumulated in the gutters. Check to make sure the downspout directs water away from the foundation, and add extensions if necessary to keep the water away from your house. You may even want to install gutter guards. These will protect your gutters from clogging and ensure that water does not accumulate on the roof.
  5. If you didn’t already handle this task when the time changed, while you’re prepping your home for spring, make sure all smoke detectors have fresh batteries and are working properly.
  6. Windy severe winters have been known to create damage to the seals on your windows and doors. Check caulking for decay around doors, windows, corner boards, and joints, and recaulk as needed. Be sure seals are tight to improve insulation and prevent water damage.
  7. The grass will soon be growing so it’s a good idea to get your lawn equipment ready. Replacing your engine oil will increase the life of your machine, and a sharpened blade will make yard work easier.
  8. Basements bear the brunt of water damage so it’s a good idea to check this area regularly. They’re also a prime location for mold. If the air is too dry, consider a dehumidifier. If you have standing water, figure out whether the problem is on the interior or the exterior of your house.
  9. You don’t want to wait for a hot day to test the air conditioning units. Spring is the right time to change the filters, clean the system, and make sure everything is working to maximum efficiency. Clean filters will also prevent your air conditioner from straining. Hire a contractor who can clean and inspect your mechanical systems.
  10. Check your washer and dryer for fire hazards. Lint can escape a dryer hose that has been poorly connected and can then build up against the wall, causing a fire hazard. Household appliance fires are one of the most common reasons given for homeowner insurance claims.

“It’s impossible to prevent every problem that can arise,” Dusendang says.  “But, with regular maintenance and a little elbow grease, you can ensure your home is a safe and comfortable place to enjoy the warm weather months ahead.”