3DKiwi has uploaded some superb tutorials on this very site and i would advise anyone at whatever skill level to watch them (and maybe even donate to the site).
One of my favourite tutorials on here is the modelling of the toon dog as it was well presented and a fun project to do anyway regardless of the level of knowledge of C4D.
I can remember when I was first learning C4D I googled for tutorials and it led me to his place and my knowledge of the application quickly grew as a result.
As a community this place has some very knowledgeable people on board so my advise would be to work through all the tutorials on here (both the 3DKiwi and member uploads) and if you get stuck post a thread on this forum.
I agree with Srek in that it could possibly be wrong lighting.
In reply to the OP does the scene have something that the material can reflect with.
You can create the best materials in the world but without correct lighting and reflections they will always look bland and boring yet the other end of the scale is you can have some pretty basic materials look superb when the lighting and reflections are set up correctly.
A quick tip when using text is put a small area light in front of the text (but behind the camera) which will act as a reflector on the text material and also make sure that the text has a bevelled edge as this will reflect the light better.
Whilst particles will give you a better end result but one really easy method to do this is purely using explosionFX deformer.
If you use the deformer (for an example make a cube and put 100 in all the segments) and animate the deformer passing through the cube from left to right it will give the impression of the cube blowing away in the wind.
If you wanted to change the cube to appear to be blowing away from the top then just animate the deformer to pass through the cube from top to bottom rather than left to right.
If you allowed the deformer to fully pass the cube it would actually re-create the cube for you so that could be another interesting animation or you could just stop the deformer at the centre point of the cube and it would remain 'blown away'.
You will need to change a few settings such as speed and variation etc, this is just a quick and easy method but by adding in wind and maybe a little particle system you can achieve a pretty decent effect.
I have changed the texture used for the concrete and will upload another a different render.
The house is based on existing architects plans but what might not seem clear on the render is the wall on the right is a retaining wall, the actual living area on the ground floor is only the bedrooms to the left.
The grain on the pics were purposely put in because i didn't want the super clean image that you get from a rendered image although i may have over done the grain so will make it more subtle.
I will up the AA and the hem subdivisions to get a 'cleaner' render.