After all the work, planning, and money you will invest in building a custom home, you want to make sure it is beautiful, inside and out.

Creating a relaxing, and beautiful outdoor living space will not only increase the appeal and value of your home, but it will also provide an oasis for you to enjoy with your friends and family for years to come.

Consider the following ideas for your backyard to make it a space everyone can enjoy:

Pick the MVP- How do you envision spending the majority of your time outdoors? Lounging by a pool? Relaxing in a hot tub? Entertaining friends or catching the big game? Whatever it is, make this component the centerpiece of your outdoor space. Invest the money into where you plan to invest the most of your time and worry about the other elements later on.

Create shade- As Floridians, we know more than anyone how brutal the sun can be and how glorious the shade is, especially in the summer. Gazebos and pergolas not only provide shade, but a great place to gather together. Consider filling the space with a small table and chairs where you or guests can enjoy a coffee or cocktail. And did we mention they look beautiful?

Comfort is key- The truth is, if there is no where to sit and relax outdoors, you most likely won’t take the time to do it. Shop outdoor patio furniture to find the material, color, and style that best suits the look you are going for. And a tip- covering the furniture will help make it last longer.

Décor adds more- The options are limitless when it comes to décor. Into glam? Consider hanging a chandelier from the pergola or gazebo. Love to entertain? Bistro lights make a beautiful, warm glow. Pillows, outdoor rugs, lanterns. We have a feeling you might enjoy shopping for all the fun elements that will make your outdoor space uniquely yours.

Landscaping goes a long way-  Just like your home would look bare if you didn’t hang any photos, pictures or decorations, your yard will look bare if you don’t landscape. From providing privacy, to giving you a pop of color, to creating a tropical and lush look, your plant and flower selections will bring it all together. Take a stroll through a local nursery to get inspiration on what you like and what would work in your yard. Make sure you know how much sun your yard receives so you can focus on plants that will thrive.

With more than 25 years of construction experience, Caroline Contractors has been providing the Tampa Bay area with custom residential construction, commercial construction, remodeling, ADA modification, renovations and shell services that are professional and cost-effective. Contact us today to start planning your dream home.

So you’ve built your custom, dream home. All the months of prepping, planning, construction, and inevitable stress are finally going to prove worth it, because the big moment is finally here: moving day.

Moving into your home is exciting, and exhausting. However, don’t let the stress and lengthy to-do list get the best of you. Stay organized with these tips so you can focus on how wonderful your new home is, how lucky you are to have this opportunity and all the memories you will be creating in your custom home.

  1. Hire movers- Yep, it’s worth the money to hire a properly licensed and insured mover.This will allow you to focus on everything else, and leave the physical moving to the experts.
  2. Donate, donate, donate- You will certainly feel overwhelmed as you begin packing, wondering when you accumulated all this stuff. Save time packing, and help others, by donating everything you no longer need, want or use. Or, if you want to earn some extra cash, consider having a garage sell to make back some of the expenses that come with moving.
  3. Don’t skimp on packing materials- It is devastating to start unpacking only to find that valuable or sentimental items have been destroyed due to poor packing. Invest in bubble wrap, proper boxes and tape to ensure this doesn’t happen.One tip- you can usually visit local stores to give you their boxes for free!
  4. Do the packing yourself- This is one way to save a lot of money. Plus, by you packing, you can organize exactly how you want. Be sure to clearly label boxes, marking the room and some of the main objects that are in the box. That was, when you are unpacking, you can have an idea of where you want to start. Set aside, or box together, items you would need immediately, such as toilet paper, paper towels, bath towels, soap, cleaning materials, silverware, plates, etc.
  5. Switch utilities- You don’t want to get to your new home, only to discover there is no water or electric. Contact the company to switch the bills and have everything up and running for when you arrive.
  6. Change your address- The USPS offers a checklist for moving on their website. To set up certain utilities and bills, as well as updating your drivers license, you will need mail with your new address, so it’s important to get this set up sooner than later.

Staying organized, will help you be able to enjoy this exciting time in your life.  What are your go-to moving tips? Comment below!

As you prepare to move into your new home, you will inevitably ask yourself, should we just hire movers? The idea of having one less thing to worry about it is appealing, but perhaps the (loveable,) likes-to-be-in-control part of you worries they won’t do as good of a job as you would. We get it!

Ultimately, that decision is up to you, but here are a few things to take into consideration as you make your final decision.

Moving distance-
When moving locally, you can bribe family and friends with food and drinks to help you with your move. Additionally, it is pretty affordable to rent a big truck to move the larger items of your home in a day. However, long distance is another story, and items are traveling longer, increasing the risk of breaking.

Pressed for time –
There is a lot of extra work that comes with moving. Professionals are trained to work around the clock to move items quickly and effectively. If you won’t have the time to properly organize, it might be worth it to hire movers and make your life a million times easier before and after the move.  

Specialty items-
If you have a lot of large items; hot tub, pool table, piano, grandfather clocks, etc., hiring movers becomes an easy decision to make. Not only are these items heavy, but they are super tricky to move in and out of doorways.

Cost-
Make sure you talk to a few different companies to get multiple quotes. After speaking with a few, and ensuring they are legit, decide if it’s something you can afford, and where you could cut down on the costs. Some companies charge less if you pack everything yourself, for example. Check to see if they are offering any specials, or try negotiating the price with them.

Reputation-
It’s very important that if you do decide to hire a moving company, you pick one that is reputable. Check Google, Facebook, or Yelp. Ask friends and family for companies they recommend.

Insurance –
After their reputation checks out, it’s important you confirm they have proper insurance. You can check U.S. Department of Transportation, or the 
Better Business Bureau, to ensure they are reputable and insured.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever used movers? If so, how was the experience?

Building a custom home is a dream come true for many. It provides homeowners with the opportunity to make decisions and call the plays on exactly how they want their home to look, feel and function. Which is why it’s important take the time to think through fun and personalized touches that will make the home 100% YOU. Remember, that’s exactly why you made the wonderful decision to custom build your home in the first place!

If you need some inspiration, consider the following ideas that are super trendy and super fun!

  1. Built-in bookshelves- Not only are bookshelves a beautiful statement piece, but they also provide extra storage. And let’s be honest, storage is always a good idea.
  2. Outdoor TV- Is there anything better than catching Sunday’s game outdoors, near the grill (and pool)? One of the things we love about Florida is the endless summer and ability to spend weekends poolside. By adding a TV, you’ll be able to catch some sun and catch the game.
  3. Unique cabinet hardware- One-of-a-kind kitchen or bathroom hardware can provide a unique look to any space. From glamorous, to farm rustic, the options are endless! If you aren’t sure where to begin, start with a quick search on Etsy.
  4. Jacuzzi tub- The hustle and bustle of our daily lives are no joke. Imagine having a large jacuzzi tub (or gorgeous clawfoot tub) to come home and soak in from time to time. It will only take one lavender-scented bubble bath for you to realize how great of an idea this custom touch was.
  5. Custom kitchen cabinets- The options are endless here. From custom spice drawer, bread drawers, walk-in pantry with organized shelving, hidden trash and recycling; there are so many ways to be efficient in the kitchen, keep things organized and keep a clean and glam look to any kitchen. 

A dream becomes a reality with sweat, determination and hard work. At Caroline Contractors, that’s how we build your dreams. You can always trust us to provide quality workmanship, personalized service and our complete focus on your new custom home, your renovations or your commercial projects. Every single time.

What is your dream custom touch for your home? Comment below!