Advanced Builders & Contractors Blog

Unique Additions to Consider for Your Next Renovation

September 16th, 2021

Whether you’re currently in the middle of your next renovation masterpiece or you’re planning to put your dream home together soon, there are plenty of options out there to help you customize to your heart’s content. Renovating your home is all about doing what makes you feel the most comfortable and happy in your space, and that could mean different things for different people. The renovation that makes you happy might not be right for someone else, and that’s totally okay! It’s all about finding the right fit for you, whether those changes are small or large.

If you’re thinking about springing for a renovation sometime soon, here are a few unique ideas that may just strike your fancy.

1.   Bookshelves

If you fancy yourself a bit of a book lover, building bookshelves into your home can be a fantastic renovation choice.

Whether you want to stack your bookshelves high to create your very own home library or simply include a few cubbies here and there, including some shelves in your home can give a touch of character and personality that’s characteristic of many older homes — so if you love vintage flair, this could be for you.

2.   An Entertainment Center

Books aren’t the only form of entertainment around. If you want to make the most of your living space — or even a designated entertainment space — including an entertainment center in your home can be a great way to liven things up and get comfortable. You can include a television, but don’t forget about music and speakers for when you want to party with guests!

3.   Smart Home Devices

Speaking of entertainment, one of the best recent home renovation trends that’s bound to stick around is the smart home. While it can control your entertainment system, it also has the potential to do so much more. From smart temperature controls to smart garage door controls that can keep you safe and comfortable, your smart home setups are as unique as you are.

4.   Pet Doors

If you happen to have a furry friend, many people can attest to the fact that pet doors are revolutionary. As long as your pet is used to going outside, having a pet door to allow them to come and go as they please keeps you from having to let them out, walk them on a schedule, or keep too close of an eye on them. It gives both of you more freedom.

5.   Heated Floors

Heated floors aren’t something that people think about as a first priority, but if you’re designing a mudroom, bathroom, or another tiled surface, you may want to consider the comfort that heated floors might bring. They’re a small sense of comfort and luxury and can feel especially great during the winter months.

6.   Solar Energy

Although installing solar panels can be a large decision and investment, if you have the finances for it, you may want to consider looking into it. Most solar panels pay for themselves in around a decade and continue to reduce your energy bills long after the fact.

Especially in sunnier places, where your solar panels may take even less time to pay for themselves, going solar can be a great way to make your home more sustainable and more affordable in the long run.

7.   More Outlets

If you’ve struggled with having too few electrical outlets in the past, especially in older homes, you can always take the step of adding a few more. While it may take a bit of electrical work, the convenience of having more outlets will likely pay off if that’s an issue you’ve dealt with in the past. You can also upgrade to outlets with USB ports in them for a more techy home.

8.   Green Space

Most homes have some form of green space near or around them, but what about green space incorporated into the actual home itself? If you happen to be a nature lover and a plant expert, you’ll likely know that greenery can live in a number of places.

Even if you already have a yard and a lawn you love, why not take the opportunity to install a green wall or a green roof if you have some extra space? Not only is this great for the earth, but it also looks beautiful.

9.   A Hot Tub

Although pools and hot tubs can sometimes come off as a bit impractical, they are extremely fun and relaxing. Plus, you don’t need an entire pool to install a hot tub that you can use all year long. If you love the feeling of long, relaxing soaks, why not look into installing a hot tub whenever you get started on your outdoor space?

10. A Fire Pit

Speaking of outdoor space, fire pits are great places to warm up, get cozy, and bring people together. Whether you love roasting marshmallows or simply having a drink with family around the fire, a fire pit can be the perfect place to relax all summer long and into the autumn season. Because of the warmth, a fire pit can even keep you outside long into the chillier evenings when you may have otherwise dashed inside.

11. Outdoor Showers

If you happen to live in a warmer area, putting an outdoor shower into your space can be a luxurious, natural experience that you won’t want to miss out on. Specifically, if you live in a place surrounded by greenery, you live near the beach, or if you have a pool that you’d rather rinse off from before you come indoors again, installing a shower outside can be a useful and straightforward addition to your home.

12. Rainfall Showerheads

As for the showers inside of the bathrooms, you don’t need to go all-out with the infinity pools and the fancy decor to get a bit of luxury in your life. In fact, a simple rainfall showerhead can usually do the trick of making you feel totally immersed in the waterfall experience without totally breaking the bank. If you want to up your bathroom game, this could be the best way to do it.

Unique Renovations for Your Home

Your home is unique — just like you! If you’re looking for the very best renovation ideas to make yourself and your family comfortable, it’s all about considering your preferences and looking at what would benefit your life. You don’t need to break the bank to have the home experience you want, but a little splurge is definitely worth it sometimes. What’s the first thing you want to change up when you start your renovation process?

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Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Home Into a Rental Property

September 16th, 2021

Investing in real estate can make a difference in your personal life and grow your finances. Maybe your family has outgrown your current home, and you’re looking to become a landlord instead of selling it. Becoming a landlord may be fun, as it means you don’t have to give up the home you love entirely. But it comes with a few obstacles you should prepare yourself for.

Preparing your home for becoming a rental property might not be easy, depending on the age of the house and how many issues need to be addressed before others move in. You can’t renovate a house like you would renovate your home, either. You have to appeal to a wide array of styles and narrow down your renter niche.

Think About These 7 Things Before Renovating

Renovations take work and plenty of planning. Before choosing to renovate anything, you must survey your home and figure out what you plan to do and what can hang around. Keep in mind that some things can be changed easily, while others take more effort to alter.

1. Home Layout

Consider the layout of your home. Does it match what many people want out of a house? Open floorplans are relatively popular these days. It allows hosts to move about the main floor freely while still communicating with guests or other members of the household. If your home isn’t an open floorplan, you might consider knocking down walls to make it more appealing to renters.

What else will you be updating? Consider updating the flooring to something more popular if yours is old and worn. Hardwood floors are attractive to potential renters and buyers, so if you can afford the investment, you should pick out the flooring that goes best with your style of home.

2. Rooms to Renovate

Consider which rooms you plan to upgrade. The number of rooms that need updating to make your home look attractive to renters may make you think twice about flipping it into a rental property. Which rooms you renovate will also have an effect on your overall budget for the mass renovation.

On the other hand, if you’ve recently renovated some of the rooms in your home, you might see this as an excellent opportunity to finish the renovation process. Just make sure your rooms are all the same style, else it might look odd to have only a couple of renovated rooms.

3. Your Curb Appeal

Does the exterior of your house match the interior? Increasing your curb appeal adds value to your home in the long run, as the outside of your house is the first thing people see. The exterior of your home serves as a first impression, so you shouldn’t neglect it when remodeling your home.

The exterior of your house should complement the interior so people know what to expect when they walk through the door. Having a cohesive image, inside and out, will help people see your overall vision for the home and please their eyes.

4. Small Improvements

Look for minor cosmetic issues here and there that you can fix before you tackle massive remodels. Can you touch up the paint here and there, or even change up the color of a wall entirely? Do some research on what looks good in your style of home and tailor it toward that expectation. These touch-ups can help you decide whether you want to continue with a larger, more intensive remodel.

5. Big Upgrades

You may consider upgrading your home to have amenities and appliances that are more cutting-edge than the ones you’re currently using. Buying a newer washing machine and dryer will ensure you likely won’t have any issues with them in the near future, making them perfect for move-in-ready tenants.

Likewise, making sure that all the appliances in a particular area match could improve your house’s visual appeal. Having devices of the same finish in the kitchen, from the fridge to the stove to the dishwasher, looks better than if they are all mismatched.

6. Responsibilities of Landlords

Your responsibilities don’t vanish once you’re done with the renovations. Consider whether you’re physically and mentally able to take on the responsibilities of being a landlord at this time. It might not be the right time in your life if you’ve started a new job or added to your family. You want to minimize stress as much as possible so you can be a fair and trustworthy landlord.

To assess whether you’re ready for the role of landlord, you need to look at all the responsibilities they have. Drafting a potential lease for any renter would be one task for you to tackle to see if you’re ready to take on this new role. Once you figure out that you’re prepared to be a landlord, you can start to act on your list of renovations and make them a reality.

7. Your Budget

To establish a proper budget, you need to see how much you can afford and how much the other homes in your area are renting for. Once you know the average monthly rent in your area, you can make upgrades as you see fit while sticking to your budget to add to the value of your potential rental property. Setting a budget is essential so you don’t go overboard with your choices or accidentally slip into debt while preparing your property for rent.

The low end of an average remodel is nearly $20,000, so you should carefully consider which rooms need remodeling and how you can save on costs as much as possible while still being a competitive housing option in your area.

Home Renovation Leads to Excellent Rentals

The more you renovate your home to be more modern, the likelier you may be to find a renter who enjoys the style and will want to stay there. Upgrading your home doesn’t just make it more attractive to renters — it also means you’ll have fewer repairs to make in the future if something goes awry.

By upgrading your home through remodels, you can ensure you’ll have happy tenants who enjoy living in your rental property as much as you did!

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Why You Should Hire a Professional Contractor

September 16th, 2021

Remodeling can improve the function of your space. It can also raise your home’s resale value. However, larger renovations can often be time-consuming and require certain skills. This is where hiring a professional contractor can save you money and stress. Here are some of the main reasons you should consider having a contractor do the job.

1.  They Have the Knowledge and Skills

Contractors are licensed and often have years of experience in the industry. To gain a license, they need to pass an exam to demonstrate their knowledge. So, contractors understand all the ins and outs of the construction business. They know the right materials to use and can ensure the building is up to code.

Also, since they’ve worked on multiple homes, they know the pitfalls to watch out for and some insider tricks. Even if you’ve done other DIY projects, you likely don’t have the same level of expertise as a professional.

2.  They Can Obtain Any Necessary Permits

Some building projects will require you to obtain a permit. A contractor will know what types of projects require these and when to apply for them. If you’re installing plumbing or electrical or adding a deck, you will need a permit.  For your safety, any type of electrical work should be done by a professional.

To apply for a permit, you have to go through your local government’s office. But by hiring a contractor, you can skip this step. Also, the contractor will ensure you’re following all the local building requirements.

If you don’t follow these codes, you can run into trouble when you sell your house. If an inspector notices these violations, you may be asked to fix the issues before a buyer makes an offer.

3.  It Keeps Your Home and Family Safe

A professional contractor is thoroughly trained on safety procedures before getting their license. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also sets regulations for construction workers.

For example, when working with heights, guardrails or safety nets should be present. Contractors also follow local building codes to ensure all structures are properly secured. This can keep your family safe and prevent any long-term issues.

Also, contractors have access to safety equipment, such as hard hats, safety harnesses, and eye protection. Plus, these professionals have more knowledge of complex systems, such as electrical wiring or radon systems, making them better equipped to avoid personal injuries.

4. They Are Insured

Doing the renovation yourself can leave you unprotected against accidental incidents. A primary benefit of hiring a contractor is that they are insured. Most have Workers’ Compensation and liability insurance.

Before hiring a contractor, verify that they are insured. You may even want to ask to see their certificate of insurance. If your project uses lots of supplies, consider asking if they have auto liability. You should also verify how much experience they have. Ask them how long they have been in the business and what past projects they have worked on.

5.  It Can Make the Process More Efficient

Major renovations can take up a lot of time. Suppose you’re remodeling your kitchen? It could take between three and five months. This is because you’re typically installing plumbing and electricity and upgrading appliances. However, when working with a contractor, the process can go quicker.

They have the skills to do the project and can effectively manage the crew. Also, they’re used to working with tight deadlines. Plus, they understand the business terminology and can work better with local suppliers. However, you still may want to check on the progress of the project periodically. This way, you and the contractor are on the same page and they can clarify any questions.

6.  It Saves You Time

While you could dive into a DIY project for a week, it may start to impact your personal life. Between juggling work and taking care of the kids, your time will be spread thin. So, consider hiring a professional to get the job done quickly. This way, you can focus on your daily responsibilities.

Also, the longer the project takes, the more time your home is disrupted. If you’re redoing your kitchen, you may have to find alternative ways to cook your food. Also, during construction, dust can quickly spread throughout your home. So, ensure you’re regularly cleaning your HVAC filters.

7. It Lowers the Costs

Doing the project yourself might seem like a more cost-effective option. However, hiring a contractor can save you money down the road. If you end up messing up the project, this could lead to long-term issues. For example, if you improperly install a plumbing system, it can lead to leaks. Over time, this built-up moisture could damage your interior.

Also, you may not be as familiar with where to find the best materials for the job. A professional has connections with local vendors, so they can supply you with both high-quality and accessible supplies.

Tips for Hiring the Right Contractor

Once you have decided you’re ready to hire a professional contractor, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Review All Your Options

Instead of just settling on the first contractor you talk to, look around. Speak with multiple workers and compare their prices. Also, learn more about their work methods and the building materials they use. Get multiple estimates before making a final decision. Also, don’t feel pressured into making an immediate selection.

2.  Look Into Their Past Work

Research their past projects and see how they turned out. Also, look into any specializations they may have. Check their references and inquire about their customer service reputation. Also, ask about the quality of their products.

3.  Get Everything in Writing

Before work starts, make sure you have a comprehensive contract. You want to get everything in writing to ensure there is no confusion in the future. This usually includes a description of the project and a payment schedule. Make sure the contract is clearly written. You may even want a lawyer to look over it before you sign.

If there are any changes to the contract, these should be acknowledged in writing. Also, ensure the contractor obtains all the necessary building permits before construction begins.

4. Wait to Pay Until the End

You want to wait until the contractor completes the project before making a payment. Be sure you make the payment out to the company, not an individual. Although, for larger projects, you may pay a portion of the estimated costs initially.

5.  Keep Track of Important Documents

You want all your essential documents in one folder. This should contain any change orders, plans, or bills. Having these papers in one place will limit any confusion in the future.

The Benefits of a Professional Contractor

When it comes to making minor upgrades in your home, it can be tempting to do it yourself. While it may seem more cost-effective, contractors are beneficial in many ways. They can save you time and stress, so consider hiring a professional contractor for your next remodeling project.

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Building a New Home Without Ductwork? Here Are Reasons to Consider It

September 13th, 2021

ductless-mini-split-in-roomYou are thinking about new home construction, and plans have formed in your head about what you want the final results to look like. But have you thought about the ductwork for the house? It’s not often an early consideration, but we have a proposal to think about: build a house that doesn’t have ducts. 

Sounds odd to you? Impossible? Or pointless? We’re glad to tell you that a home built without ducts is not only possible, it comes with many benefits.

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A Look at Flooring Options for a Bathroom Remodel

August 16th, 2021

bathroom-tilesThe last time we discussed bathroom remodeling, we examined lighting options, which people often overlook during the early stages of a remodel. Today, we plan to look at part of bathroom remodeling that often pops into homeowners’ minds first: the flooring. 

Bathroom flooring focuses on practicality merged with design. Bathroom flooring must have moisture resistance and be easy to clean, and these considerations often come before aesthetics ones. But when you work with our experienced professional builders and designers for your bathroom remodeling in Brentwood, CA, you won’t have to sacrifice attractiveness for usefulness, nor vice versa. 

Bathroom flooring starts with selecting the material—and you have numerous options. Below we’ll examine a few of the popular choices for new bathroom flooring. 

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Current and Near-Future Trends in New Home Construction

August 2nd, 2021

home-remodel-stairway-kitchenIf you are considering new home construction in Calabasas, CA or elsewhere in the Los Angeles area, you obviously have plenty to think about. One of the first major concerns is the basic design and feel of the house—you’ll live in this space for many years, and you want it to match your exact needs as well as create an environment you enjoy being in. 

When you work with our design team for your new home construction project, we’ll give you the best advice and assistance in realizing your ideal house. Before we get started, we would like to share with you several current trends, as well as ones we believe are coming in the near future, in house design. You don’t need to trend-chase to have the best home, but trends usually emerge for good reasons and are worth examining.

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Remodeling Your Bathroom? Don’t Forget These Important Lighting Considerations

July 19th, 2021

lightbulb-standing-upWhen you arrange to have your bathroom remodeled, you’ll have plenty you need to consider, such as the layout, what new fixtures you want to put in, whether you’re interested in having a walk-in shower, how to design the storage, what materials to use for counters and floors, sink style, etc. If that sounds like a lot, it is! This is one of the many reasons you shouldn’t undertake a bathroom remodel on your own or rely on inexperienced contractors. An experienced contractor who handles all remodeling rather than using various subcontractors can help you achieve the results you want with your remodel.

One element you may not have considered at first as important for remodeling a bathroom is the lighting. The lighting in any room in a house is crucial, and the bathroom is no exception, but people often leave it off their list of important design features. Let’s look at some aspects of bathroom lighting to consider.

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Different Kinds of Room Additions to Consider

July 5th, 2021

woman-enjoying-coffeeWhen you’re looking for more living space or a significant change in your home lifestyle, but you aren’t planning on moving to a new house or building your own, a room addition is an excellent option. You may have a space such as a garage that you can convert, but if you don’t, then you can work with our team of professional designers and builders to create the right room additions in Los Angeles, CA to meet your needs.

But what are your current needs? To help get you thinking about the best way to expand your house, we’ve listed below some of the more popular room additions for homeowners.

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Tips for Kitchen Layout When You’re Remodeling

June 21st, 2021

kitchen-remodeling-white-cabinetsYou have plans for kitchen remodeling in Los Angeles, CA to transform your old kitchen into a more interesting and effective space. You may have different goals for this remodel: increasing size, opening up the kitchen to allow for better entertaining, putting in superior appliances, improving your ability to prepare meals, or simply creating a more up-to-date style. But no matter your purpose in remodeling the kitchen, you’ll need to consider the kitchen layout. Where everything goes, how it all fits together, and how work flows through the area.

The complexity of figuring out a kitchen layout is one of many reasons why working with a skilled contractor is the best way to have remodeling done. We handle all aspects of a kitchen remodel in-house, and that starts with the design phase where we’ll figure out the kitchen layout that works for you. Below are some ways to help you start thinking about your new kitchen layout.

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6 Reasons to Build a New House Rather Than Buy

June 7th, 2021

frame-of-new-houseIf you’re considering buying a new house, it may also have occurred to you to go all the way and build a new house: purchase the lot, then work with a great general contractor in Hidden Hills, CA to construct a home ideally suited to your needs and your family.

If you have the budget to create a new house, it’s definitely an option to consider. Yes, it will involve more work than purchasing an already built home, but the benefits may be worth it. Below are six reasons you might prefer building your own house (by which we mean work with a contractor to build your house) over buying one.

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