Archive for February, 2014

3 Things to Consider with a Room Addition

Monday, February 17th, 2014 by Nick Cohen

A new room addition onto a home provides an excellent alternative for expanding your living space without needing to buy or construct a new home. If your family is growing, older children need their own space, relatives move in, or you need to add on a workspace for your business, a room addition can offer the ideal solution.

Although a smaller project than building a new home, a room addition is still a major project that requires careful consideration. The work will go easier with the right contractor assisting you. Among the many Los Angeles remodeling contractors available, we think you’ll find that Advanced Builders & Contractors offers advantages that will help you get the room addition you want.

Here are three tips we have for you at the start of deciding on a room addition:

  1. Have the new room visualized: If you go to a building contractor with only a vague idea of what you want done for your new addition, the job will be more difficult and you may not end up with what you really wanted. Make sure you have a solid idea; but even better, go to a contractor who offers 3D visualization services that will help you come up with a workable design so you will know you will get exactly what you want.
  2. Plan your budget: Most homeowners will have a limited budget available to allot for a room addition. You should have a solid sense of how much you can spend on this project, so it’s a good idea to look over your finances and judge the return you can expect from the addition. (This is particularly important if the new room is a workspace.) Consult with your contractor about the different services available to help devise a budget that will allow for the construction project you want that won’t place too much stress on your finances.
  3. Look to have many tasks centralized with one company: A room addition is a large undertaking, and it will need many more services than basic construction. The addition will involve architects, craftsmen, and engineers. There are companies to offer each of these services, but this can turn into a major hassle as you must deal with individual contractors and worry about whether they are capable of unifying their work. Look for a contractor who can bring as many of the services in-house as possible to simplify the process.

If you go with Advanced Builders & Contractors for your room addition, you will have most of the important services under one roof. With our design/build system, the architect and the builder work together closely to realize your project, and they will work closely with you as well. When you are searching among Los Angeles, CA building contractors, pick Advanced Builders & Contractors.

The Original Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards

Friday, February 14th, 2014 by Nick Cohen

It’s hard to imagine Valentine’s Day without the traditional greeting cards, whether accompanying a gift of flowers and candy, or sent between children in a school room. For commercial greeting card companies, February 14th is as important to them as the December holidays, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romantic love predates printed greeting cards by a few centuries. In fact, the reason that sending romantic greeting cards became popular was because of the most un-romantic thing you can imagine: a reduction in postage rates.

In 1765, Parliament authorized the creation of “Penny Posts” that used a uniform rate of one old penny per letter throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Printers took advantage of the ease with which people could send letters to each other on Valentine’s Day by crafting cards with love poems on them. Many of these verses were collected in 1797 in the book The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which was a resource for the lover with a romantic soul but not the most confident poetry style.

By the mid-19th-century, the Valentine’s Day greeting card was flourishing across England. Although people still followed a tradition of creating handmade Valentine’s Day cards from lace, ribbons, and flowers, commercially produced cards now overtook them. In 1835, the English post office mailed 60,000 valentines. As production expenses dropped, the English card manufacturers branched out creatively with humorous and sometimes vulgar cards… many of which we would find startlingly familiar in the 21st century. One of the common jokes on these cards was to design them to look like marriage certificates or court summons.

Across the Atlantic, the United States was slower to embrace the popular British custom. It wasn’t until 1847 that a U.S. printer mass-produced greeting cards for Valentine’s Day. Only two years later, American journalists noted how rapidly people in the country had embraced the tradition, turning into a fad that has never died down. The woman who printed the first U.S. Valentine’s Day card, Esther Howland, is today recognized by the Greeting Card Association with the annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary.”

The greeting card industry certainly has reason to thank Ms. Howland. Her idea of going into business printing romantic greeting cards, which came to her after she received a traditional English valentine when she was 19 years old, now sells 190 million cards in the U.S. every year. That number doesn’t include the smaller exchange cards used in elementary school classrooms, which would swell the number to 1 billion. (Who receives the most Valentine’s Day cards each year? Teachers!)

Whether you send out Valentine’s Day cards—handmade, store-bought, digital—or not, we at Advanced Builders & Contractors hope you have a happy February 14th.

Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by Nick Cohen

The kitchen is often at the center of a home, and families may find that they spend more time gathering there than they do in “family rooms.” Because of how central the kitchen is to everyday life, having a full kitchen remodeling done is a fantastic way to breathe more beauty into that life. If you find your current kitchen crowded, inconvenient, or simply uninspiring, a remodel can be a great boost for you and your family.

Here are a few tips to consider when you decide to go ahead with a kitchen remodel. Call Advanced Builders & Contractors to discuss the options available to you. Among the Brentwood, CA remodeling contractors you can hire, we think you’ll find that we go above and beyond to provide the service that will best enhance your life.

Look for an experienced remodeling contractor

The Los Angeles metro area has no shortage of building contractors, but it does have a shortage of quality contractors. How can you tell a quality contractor? One of the best signs to look for is longevity. A company with over a decade of experience shows that it has earned the trust of customers. It also shows that it has enough hands-on experience to tackle any type of job.

Find a contractor with an in-house designer

The standard method for kitchen remodeling (and remodeling in general) is to hire a separate architect to design the project, and then bring in the builders to create it. This can lead to problems due to poor communication and the architect and builder finding themselves at odds. If a contractor has both services under the same roof, you can expect a far smoother operation with few problems—and a better end result.

Upgrade your appliances as well

A kitchen remodeling job can replace the cabinets and surfaces, but you should consider this an opportunity to go deeper and replace your major appliances at the same time. This will give you access to new technology that will make your kitchen a more efficient place, requiring less time and effort involved in food preparation. Ask your contractor for advice about the various upgrades you can have put into your kitchen remodel.

Advanced Builders & Contractors has 26 years of experience in remodeling and new construction in the Los Angeles metro area, and our design/build process brings together the architect and builder. If you are considering giving your kitchen a fresh look, you’ll be in good hands if you choose us from the Brentwood, CA remodeling contractors available.