Advanced Builders & Contractors Blog

Important Factors in a Bathroom Remodel

May 10th, 2021

glass-door-shower-bathroom-remodelRemodeling the bathroom is the most common room remodeling project for homeowners. Even though bathrooms aren’t the most “flashy” of the rooms in a house, they serve a vital function and remodels can make major improvements to standards of living, water usage, and property value.

If you’re currently considering bathroom remodeling in Encino, CA for your house, you may feel overwhelmed at the entire project. The good news is that hiring the right contractor for the job will make everything flow smoothly and remove many of your worries. 

Homeowners often wonder if there are parts of a bathroom remodel they can handle as a DIY project. We don’t recommend this, especially when you can work with our team and have all parts of the remodel done in-house without subcontractors. When you hire us for your bathroom remodel, we take care of each step, from the design and getting permits to the last finishing details. 

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Watch Out for These Pitfalls in New Home Construction

April 26th, 2021

home-designAlthough the idea of building your own home is a thrilling one, it also likely makes you dizzy with all the different options and obstacles you’re going to face, as well as the possibility of making errors that will cost you money or result in a final house that isn’t what you wanted. 

When it comes to new home construction in Los Angeles, CA, we’re one of the top contractors: we’ve shepherded many projects for homeowners through all stages to finished products our clients love. We know something about the obstacles and errors that can make building a new home difficult, and we’d like to help you avoid a few of the common ones we’ve listed below.

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What House Style Is Right for You?

April 12th, 2021

Whether you’re building from the ground up or shopping around for the residential paradise you can call home, you may be wondering what style you should go for. From stylish remodels to brand-new homes, there are so many options out there that can fit with your decor, lifestyle, and personality.

Whether you’re starting on your very first home or this is another one in your journey, you might find yourself exploring new styles or changing your style up.

Depending on your location, your neighborhood, and even your personality, there might be different styles and options available to you. Whether you want to shop around and see what you find or you’re ready to hunt for your all-time favorite, here are some home styles that you might want to look into.

1. Craftsman Style

Craftsman-style homes can be quaint and unique and are quite popular throughout the western U.S., including Los Angeles. They give off homey vibes, which is perfect for those looking for their first home or a place to settle down.

Their covered porches and low-pitched roofs with deep eaves make craftsman homes cozy and vintage-looking, while still offering a bit of a modern flair.

2. Victorian

Victorian homes are perfect for those who want to go fully vintage and a bit gothic. Usually, these homes are quite old, but if you’re ready for a bit of upkeep, they can make themselves more than worth it. If you look around Los Angeles, there are a lot of Victorian homes to be spotted.

3. Mediterranean Style

Popular in the Beverly Hills area in Florida and many other places, the Mediterranean style of home has a beachy, warm vibe without being too nautical. Like the name, it gives off the air of the Mediterranean in its design, complete with earthy tones and stone materials to make it beautiful and care-free.

4. Cape Cod Style

While the name might make it obvious, Cape Cod-style homes are most popular in the northeast. They have a seashore style to them but tend to focus on quaint symmetry and lighter colors like pastels.

If you tend to like vintage aesthetics that are a bit more quaint than Victorian or colonial-style homes, Cape Cod might be worth a look.

5. Traditional Ranch

Ranch-style homes are single-story and can sometimes have a southwestern style to them. With an emphasis on functionality and craftsmanship, features like composite woods, sloped roofs, barn-style garage doors, and other timeless touches are usually a part of the deal.

These homes can tend to lean on the smaller side, which is great for those who are downsizing or looking for their first home.

6. Country French Style

If you want to bring in the rural spirit but want a bit of a European flair rather than a southern aesthetic, country French might be the best idea to turn to. From French doors to natural stones and sloped roofs, country French homes are the perfect blend of rustic style and sophistication.

7. Contemporary Architecture

You’ll likely see these homes all around Beverly Hills, and there’s a good reason for that. Modern, contemporary architecture is sleek and stylish, emanating luxury at every turn.

With the creative opportunities that this style can bring, contemporary architecture looks great on sloped land or beside a luxurious pool.

8. Beach House Style

If you’re less interested in a contemporary or minimalist style but you still want something that looks beautiful beside a pool or by the seaside, a beach house in Malibu could be the perfect way to live out your sandy, salty dreams.

Whether you’re looking for an actual home by the beach or you just want something that gives you that energy, looking into a beach house-style home could be the perfect middle ground and be precisely what you’re looking for.

9. Colonial

If you love all things old-fashioned but Victorian-style homes are a bit too much for you, a colonial home could be a great alternative. They tend to pop up around the east and even the midwest, but you can find homes in the colonial style pretty much anywhere. They tend to focus on symmetry and simplicity while still embodying a cozy, old-fashioned vibe.

10. Bungalow

Bungalow homes are exactly the kind of cozy, tucked-away home that the name implies. Not only are they cute and cozy, but they also tend to be sturdy and can give off a vintage flair. You can find these homes pretty much anywhere, from the midwest to Los Angeles.

While they tend to be smaller in size, there’s a variety of bungalow styles that can fit your needs differently. These can be great for new homeowners or those looking to downsize.

11. Adobe Revival

If you’re inspired by the southwest, look no further than Adobe revival. With natural, earthy colors and simple design principles, this is the perfect style for those who prefer a bit of minimalism and bohemian styling. These homes are great for warmer climates, which is why you tend to see a lot of them throughout the southwest.

12. Spanish Style

Spanish-style homes tend to share some design principles with the Mediterranean style of design, but they tend to be hallmarked by light-colored exteriors paired with earth-toned roofing, especially Spanish tiling. They tend to make use of archways, greenery, and creative landscaping, too.

These homes look amazing with a pool alongside them when going a bit more luxurious, but you can also find plenty of quaint Spanish homes, too.

Exploring Home Styles

Finding the home style that fits your personality and your needs can be difficult but rewarding. There are so many different home styles you can choose from, and each one has its own unique benefits. Whether you’re building your brand-new home, working on renovations, or you’re searching for your very first home purchase, there’s something out there for everyone.

Whether you like bungalow-style homes or you want to go for sleek, contemporary architecture, there are so many options to explore. Which home style is your favorite?

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A Quick Guide to Getting Started With Remodeling a Home

April 12th, 2021

blueprints-for-house-constructionYou have a big vision for your home this year: remodeling. Maybe a few rooms, maybe most of the house. This is a major project, perhaps bigger than any other home project you might take on aside from building a new house. How do you approach it?

The easiest way is to break it down into steps. Below is our quick guide to get you started on a successful home remodel.

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The Attic Conversion Is Out—Where Else Can You Expand Home Space?

March 29th, 2021

remodeling-toolsIf you look around for home remodeling ideas to expand the space available in your house, you’ll often come across articles about the benefits of an attic conversion.

There’s a problem with this, however: Southern California attics are not ideal for conversions. These articles are aimed at other parts of the country. The same places that recommend basement conversions, something else Southern California homes don’t usually have as an option. Our homes tend to have attics with low ceiling volume, usually enough space to have the necessary insulation put in, but nothing that can conceivably be turned into anything more than an extra storage space.

So, no attic conversion, and no basement to convert. What other ways can you expand your living space with a home remodel in Brentwood, CA?

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Durable and Sustainable Building Materials for New Home Construction

March 24th, 2021

When it comes to new home construction 2021, you want a combination of durability and sustainability. Sustainable materials are much better for the environment than non-sustainable ones, but a home should also possess a level of durability that prevents the need for constant maintenance on it as well. 

Thankfully, there are more options than ever when it comes to mixing durability with sustainability in home construction. In case you’re looking to strike the perfect balance when constructing a new home in Los Angeles, let’s take a look at some of the best materials to use. 

  1. ICF Foundation and Frame System

If you want a frame and foundation that can stand up to extreme weather without batting an eye, ICF construction is the way to go. Not only is this material durable enough to handle extremely high winds, but it’s also fire-resistant and one of the most energy-efficient building materials on the market. 

This continuous insulation solution uses hollow concrete blocks which are interlocked by metal ties, creating a totally airtight frame and wall system throughout the home. 

The elite level of energy efficiency and durability makes them both durable and highly-sustainable. 

They can even be combined with easily-insulated, new construction vinyl casement windows for maximum energy efficiency. 

     2. Engineered Hardwood Floors

If you want the beauty of hardwood flooring without the sustainability or durability concerns, consider using engineered hardwood flooring instead. This flooring material uses durable recycled material like plywood for the bottom layers while using real, premium hardwood for the surface layer. 

This cuts down on the amount of fresh lumber that needs to be harvested to build your floors, while essentially providing the same exact flooring experience. There’s less of a rotting and/or warping concern thanks to the durable bottom layers as well. Due to the durability of these floors, you won’t have to worry about future remodeling projects to replace them.

       3. Wooden Doors for the Garage

Most garage doors are made from less sustainable materials like metal, which, while durable, aren’t very customizable. If you want to pick out an exact design that suits the home you’re building, rustic garage doors made from wood are a better option. 

These doors are perfectly durable when treated with the right type of stain and finish, yet are made from one of the most eco-friendly building materials on the planet, natural wood. Because these doors are built with style in mind, there’s a stunning array of options to choose from. 

No matter what type of aesthetic you’re trying to complete, there is a rustic wooden garage door that will fit it perfectly. You can also recoup up to 95% of what you invest in your new wooden garage door, thanks to the bump in property value from this hot ticket item. 

    4. Synthetic Cedar Roofing

Cedar shakes look amazing, especially when used as part of a farmhouse, or natural wood aesthetic. But, they can hardly be considered durable or sustainable. This material needs constant maintenance and replacement, which has an impact on its overall sustainability rating. The cost to remove cedar shake roof is also pretty high. 

Synthetic cedar shake roofing, on the other hand, gives you all the benefits of real cedar shakes with none of the drawbacks. The synthetic material these shakes are made with is far more durable than natural cedar, yet looks just like the real thing. 

A synthetic cedar shake roof will also last up to 50 years with basic maintenance, meaning you probably won’t ever have to replace it. Just make sure to use a trusted contractor when having a synthetic cedar shake roof installed to ensure the job is done properly.

Why Choose Between Durability and Sustainability When You Can Have Both?

The best thing about recent innovations in new home construction materials is that you can have your cake and eat it too. Implement materials like engineered hardwood flooring, synthetic cedar shake roofing, ICF blocks, and wooden garage doors to achieve an unmatched level of style, aesthetic perfection, sustainability, and durability. 

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

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March 24th, 2021

A Guide to Remodeling a Fixer-Upper

Buying a home in Los Angeles — whether it’s brand new or just new to you — is one of life’s most memorable experiences. However, investing in a fixer-upper brings its own set of challenges. Upgrading an old house by doing what you can yourself as well as calling in trusted professionals is a journey that’s unique to each home and family. It’s vital to be prepared and ready to jump into action.

Old homes can feel overwhelming — especially if you’re tackling a place with structural issues and safety features in need of updating. In addition, you’ll want to design it to your liking. There are a few things you need to know going into the remodeling process that will make everything go much easier.

1. What Can Be Repaired?

Remodeling things within a fixer-upper can mean quick upgrades or major undertakings. One of the first things you should do is make a list of what needs to be done. This can help you prioritize your projects.

2. What Needs Replacing?

Next, figure out what needs to be replaced. Make another list of things with structural issues or safety hazards, or anything so old it simply needs to go. This will help you solidify your priorities further and let you know what projects will likely take most of your time.

3. Set Your Budget

One of the biggest things you need to do when prepping for your remodel is to set a realistic budget and stick to it throughout the process. Be open with your contractor about how much stretch you have, and work together to intentionally use the money you’re putting into your remodeling project.

4. Get Inspired

One of the most fun parts of remodeling any home is designing it as you like. Gathering inspiration is a great way to start. Going onto social media, reading magazines and even working with an interior designer could lead you in the right direction. If you aren’t sure of your style yet, you could even take an online quiz to understand your preferences better.

5. Know Your Purpose

While most people have some idea of this already, checking in with yourself, your partner, your building team and your family is never a bad idea. Renovating a house you plan to flip will take a different form than it would if you want to live in it for decades. Beyond that, your design choices may differ based on details like how long you plan to reside in the house and who will be living with you. Knowing what you’re doing with the home – whether it’s a fix and flip or your long-term home – can make the process a lot smoother.

6. Make a List

One of the most beneficial things you can do to get your process in order before you start to make big decisions in the building process is making a priority list. You can work with professionals like contractors and builders to develop this list further once you begin your build, but having an idea of the most important changes you want to make in your home can help you spend time, energy and money on the right things to make your house the best place for you.

7. Find a Contractor

One of the first things to do when you start your remodel is find a contractor you trust and want to work with. While some things in a fixer-upper are DIY-appropriate, much of the structural and building work is better left to the professionals. Shop around through word-of-mouth and look for reputable recommendations in your area. Get quotes from a few different contractors to help you determine the best fit.

8. Get Permits in Order

One of the great things about working with a contractor or building company is that they can help you with all the permits, paperwork and approvals you need for your remodel. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and that means covering all your bases. Getting building insurance before you begin any demolition is a great way to protect yourself and your property.

9. Check the Structure

One of the most important parts of a house is the foundation and the overall structure in general. It’s also the best place to start with remodeling, especially if you plan to have the house for a while or resell it for a higher value. Work with your contractor to make sure you tackle the big things first. If there does happen to be something off in the foundation or structure, you’ll be glad you caught it sooner rather than later.

10. Start Designing

Remodeling a fixer-upper is exciting as a design prospect — you’re starting from scratch and using the good bones of a home to make something truly unique. There’s a lot of freedom and creativity that comes with that. Start putting together your plans or working with an interior designer to create a space that appeals to you and meets your goals. If structural changes are necessary, consider working with an architect or engineer as well.

11. Pay Attention to Curb Appeal

Curb appeal can sometimes be the first — or the last — thing on peoples’ minds. However, it’s the first thing people see when they come to your home. Upgrading the outside might be necessary, especially if items haven’t been replaced for a while. You can even get creative with curb appeal by going for eco-friendly materials or bright colors. The sky’s the limit.

12. Personal Touches

It’s no secret that renovations don’t happen overnight, but it can sometimes feel like a long process when you’re waiting to find the exact pieces you love to populate your home with personal touches. Remember, move-in isn’t the end-all and be-all of your remodel, and your taste can evolve with you. Add on your personal touches slowly and tactfully. It’s your home, and you have the time to truly make it your own.

Remodeling a Fixer-Upper

Some people would rather get a home that’s move-in ready or even create their dream  home with new home construction. But others prefer rolling up their sleeves and tackling major renovations. It might seem a bit intimidating, but with some careful planning and the help of trusted professionals, you can create the perfect home in Los Angeles for you and your family.

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Why Remodel a Bathroom? 7 Great Reasons

March 15th, 2021

bathroom-remodelRemodeling a bathroom in a house may not seem like the most exciting project. Remodeling a kitchen, converting a guest bedroom into a study or game room, creating an add-on room—these all sound much more thrilling. But none of these may be the remodeling job you need, and there are some enormous benefits to having the bathroom remodeled. 

If you’re considering bathroom remodeling in Beverly Hills, CA, you might want to think about these seven reasons to go ahead with it:

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A Remodel for Working From Home? We Have Ideas!

March 1st, 2021

kitchen-work-from-homeWorking from home is now a reality for millions of more people than it was just this time last year. (Amazing that it’s already been a year!) A complete work from home revolution occurred before most people were prepared for it, and many workers ended up in environments that weren’t quite right for them. 

Although plenty have found ways to adjust, if working from home looks like the long-term future for you even when the present troubles have passed, you may want to consider some home remodeling ideas that will make your new occupational lifestyle more pleasant and involve fewer distractions. 

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10 Garage Conversion Ideas For The Holidays!

February 25th, 2021

Check them out here!

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