Archive for February, 2015

Remodeling Your Bathroom for Efficiency

Friday, February 27th, 2015 by Nick Cohen

Whether your main concern is saving money or protecting the earth’s vital resources, remodeling your bathroom for greater efficiency is an excellent choice. With so many efficient replacements for showers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets, and lighting fixtures available today, you can renovate a room to save money without sacrificing any of the luxurious features you envision from your remodeling design.

When you remodel your bathroom using efficient fixtures and appliances, you’ll get all the amenities you expect with a lower cost of operation. Call Advanced Builders & Contractors today to learn how we can help you with a bathroom remodeling project for both style and energy savings.

Saving Water

Here in Los Angeles, we all know how important it is to conserve water. But drought or no drought, water conservation helps to reduce your environmental impact and lower your bills. You may be able to purchase faucet aerators from a hardware store that help to cut down your water usage by restricting the water pressure. Low-flow showerheads can do the same in your shower, but the design may night be ideal for your new bathroom remodel.

When it comes to renovating your entire bathroom, a technician can install a new low-flow faucet or showerhead with the elegance you expect from your new bathroom design. You should also have a technician replace an older toilet with a low-flush model, which may only use about half the water that an outdated model uses.

Saving Energy

Incandescent lights were once the norm for bathroom lighting, but these are not always a very efficient option. In a bathroom, you need the light to be strong enough for daily grooming, whether it’s shaving a mustache or putting on makeup. Some fluorescent lights flicker or make you appear an unnatural green color in the mirror, but modern fluorescent fixtures should not have this problem if installed by a professional.

Today’s fluorescent lights come in different tones, warm or cool, and should effectively and efficiently light up a room without giving off too much extra heat. If you do decide that you need incandescent lighting, you might consider a pendant lamp next to the mirror or small lights around the mirror, to encourage those in the home to use this light only sparingly.

Call Advanced Builders & Contractors for electrical services, plumbing installation, and other great design ideas for bathroom remodeling in Los Angeles.

The Steps of a Kitchen Remodel

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 by Nick Cohen

Kitchen remodeling can be an exciting process. It’s fun to change your surroundings every once in a while, especially if you’re upgrading to something better looking or higher quality. However, remodeling isn’t all fun and games. There’s a lot of work that goes into any remodel, and it’s important to know some of the specifics of that work before you get started. Let’s take a look at the steps of a kitchen remodel.

Planning

General Contractor Los AngelesThis is the part that most people think of as the fun phase. Whether picking out the materials, deciding on a new layout, or simply improving on the old one, the planning phase is when you get to envision your dream kitchen. You still have some mundane details to work out, however. If you’re replacing cabinets or counter tops, you need to consider things like weight. It would be really unfortunate to install a brand new, beautiful granite countertop, only to have your cabinet boxes collapse under the weight. If you’re planning on moving your stove or refrigerator, you also need to consider where you need to move the hookups those appliances require. If you aren’t sure where to start with some of these details, consult with a professional before going ahead with the process. Honestly, you should probably consult with a professional regardless.

Demolition

This is the phase that is probably the most fun for the contractors, and the least fun for you. Depending on how extensive your remodel is, most of the kitchen will have to be torn out in order to make room for the incoming material. There isn’t really much that you, as a homeowner, can do at this stage except stay out of the way and let the professionals do their work. The exact order that things are removed varies slightly on the specific remodel, but the general order is usually countertops, appliances, and cabinets. Electrical, plumbing, and other infrastructures are often at least partially removed, as well.

Installation

Installation is by far the most labor intensive part of the remodel. This is where you finally get to see everything come together, as the materials you’ve selected are assembled into your new kitchen. Again, the order that things are installed in will vary based on the job. Normally, however, the cabinets go in first, followed by the countertops, electrical, plumbing, and appliances.

If you are interested in remodeling your kitchen, call Advanced Builders & Contractors. We provide kitchen remodeling services throughout Los Angeles.

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015 by Nick Cohen

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.

The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Important Masonry Services

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 by Nick Cohen

The hardscape of your home—which includes the pavings, outside walls, driveways, and anything with concrete—is an essential part of how your house appears. It also protects it and maintains its property value. Unlike landscaping, which some homeowners like to do as a hobbyist activity, hardscaping requires masonry work that calls for highly trained professionals.

When you need a builder in Los Angeles, CA to handle the masonry work around your home—whether as an enhancement, remodel, or repair—look to experience: call Advanced Builders & Contractors. We have served the Los Angeles metro area for over 26 years with quality work for homes inside and out.

Masonry services you may need:

  • New grade beams:

    Earthquake protection is crucial for a home in Southern California; to help shore up a home’s foundation, builders install grade beams. This foundation system made of a long concrete beam with steel rebar reinforcements prevent damage from occurring because if the soil doesn’t offer sufficient support. A grade beam distributes load from a bearing wall and into pile caps or caissons instead of directly into the ground. If you live in an older home, you may need to have grade beams retro-fit as part of a renovation.

  • Retaining wall construction:

    If you need more space on your property, installing retaining walls to push back soil and hold it is a good solution. This work needs special engineering knowledge as well as masonry skill so the finished wall can handle the pressure of the earth and drain rain water properly. Retaining walls can also be part of a redesign of your backyard; with the right designers on the job, a retaining wall can integrate into your plans for the new look of the yard.

  • Driveway paving:

    No other hardscape surface around your home endures as much stress as the driveway. If a driveway starts to crack apart due to years of use or ground shifting, you may need to have a new driveway laid in. This doesn’t have to be as utilitarian as it sounds: excellent concrete contractors offer a variety of materials and stamped concrete pourings that can make a new driveway an attractive addition to your home.

Masonry services covers everything from new construction to remodeling to repairs. If you need a company that can handle a variety of hardscaping services, contact Advanced Builders & Contractors. We offer design, concrete pouring, concrete installation, and almost any service you need from a Los Angeles, CA builder to care for your home’s hardscaping.

What to Look for in a General Contractor

Monday, February 9th, 2015 by Nick Cohen


Renovating or building a house can be a challenging yet exciting process, but if you don’t hire the right contractor to do the work on your home, renovating your home can quickly become a nightmare. As such, it is very worth your while to take the time to consider some of the following factors when choosing a general contractor to work on your Los Angeles home.

 

  • Proper licensing – one of the first and foremost items to check when considering hiring any kind of tradesperson to work on your home is whether or not the company or person is properly licensed by the state. Using an unlicensed contractor can put both you and your home at considerable risk.
  • Is insured and bonded – when someone works anywhere on your home and isn’t insured and bonded, you will carry the liability for any injuries to his/her person and any damaged caused. It is not worthwhile for any homeowner to take this kind of risk.
  • Past work experience – having a portfolio, a list of recent projects and references for past work is very important when hiring a contractor. This allows you to see the kind of work the contractor has done the scope of work he/she is capable of.
  • Any specialties – many contractors specialize in certain kinds of construction, whether it be historical restoration, certain kinds of architecture such as post and beam, or a certain look or style.
  • Do they handle the kind of work you need? – if you have a good idea of the kind of work you want done with your home, it is very important to make sure that any contractors you are considering actually do the work you need.
  • Professional certifications – many contractors have certifications, such as being a certified remodeler; if you don’t see any certifications highlighted on marketing material, don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Professional affiliations – it is always an endorsement for the contractor if the company is affiliated with professional entities like the Better Business Bureau and the Building Industry Association.

The professionals at Advanced Builders & Contractors bring over 20 years of construction work to every job, so if you are considering renovation or construction to your home in Los Angeles, call us today!