Advanced Builders & Contractors Blog: Archive for the ‘General Building an Contracting’ Category

10 Steps to Remodel Your Home Office to Stay Organized and Productive

Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Your work schedule is likely consuming, no matter what you do. Even though you work at home, you don’t get to kick back on the couch and eat snacks in your pajamas. Your job responsibilities are ever-changing and can lead to a messy office.

Instead of pushing through your workdays in a cluttered environment, use these 10 steps to remodel your home office to stay organized and productive. A few simple changes will make even a stressful job more enjoyable.

1. Get a Trash Can

Getting a trash can for your home office may seem simple, but it’s a significant change that helps many remote workers and small business owners. It’s annoying to look at dried tea bags and crumpled papers across your desk, especially if the mess continues to grow throughout the week.

Find a place for a small or medium-sized trash can in your office and your messes will become pleasantly out of sight until it’s time to replace the bag.

2. Start Color Coding

Alphabetical order isn’t the only way to organize your work supplies. You can also color code them. It’s less of a hassle because you don’t have to keep up with alphabetical order. Your favorite colors will point the way when you need to store papers or supplies.

Use this system to arrange folders in a desk organizer or three-ring binders on your bookshelf. The colors can even match your decor so everything has a cohesive visual appeal.

The great thing about color coding is that it’s easy to adjust as your preferences change. You might fall in love with a new set of colors or want to change everything for specific seasonal themes. No matter how you want your office to look, your color-coding system can change with you and keep everything organized.

3. Hang a Mail Sorter

Mail sorters come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. Most hang on the wall, so you can organize your incoming and outgoing mail without using more desk space. This is an especially handy tip for anyone who runs their business out of their home and frequently mails letters or products.

4. Save More Space

If you want to remodel your home office to stay organized and productive, you should maximize your space. Find new room for tools and work supplies by rethinking how your furniture consumes space in your office. Flip-up desks free up more room by converting into a wall feature after you clock out. Wall lighting doesn’t require the same space as a floor lamp.

Think about what consumes the most physical space in your office and whether it can transform into a multi-use object. Anything that flips up or collapses could make your workspace feel bigger and give you more room for other organizational upgrades.

5. Invest in Mini Containers

Sometimes the smallest objects cause the most clutter. Mini containers could be a significant investment for your remodeling projects because they remove that problem. Get containers that hold your pens, highlighters, and paperclips. Look for colors and shapes that work for your desk space or fit on nearby surfaces like a shelf.

6. Find a Label Maker

You may have created an organizational system when you started working from home, but then you got busy. Time can make people forget what they planned for a room’s functionality, so find a label maker. Labels on hanging file folders, binder tabs, and storage boxes will remind you how to use each tool.

After it helps organize your home office, use it around the house to clean up other messes like the inside of your pantry or attic storage.

7. Use Your Wall Space

Walls can do more than hold your favorite pictures. You can also hang office supplies so the room feels and looks bigger. Hang your monthly or daily calendar instead of letting it sit on your desk. Use a whiteboard on a wall to keep track of your to-do list and eliminate sticky notes that create visual clutter.

Think about what you use most often to figure out the best ways to utilize empty wall space.

8. Upgrade Your Office Chair

Productivity requires focus, but you can’t focus on your work if you’re uncomfortable. Your desk chair could be the most significant source of distracting pain. The old cushion may have flattened against broken springs. It may not have the proper shape to support your lower back throughout the day. Does it have armrests so you can take pressure off your spine?

Upgrading your office chair is an immediate improvement that helps your comfort and improves your productivity. See which models are available in local stores or buy one online. Your investment will last for years if you get a high-quality chair with great reviews.

9. Manage Your Cables

Desktop monitors and charging stations are essential office supplies, but they can become the bulk of your disorganization. Loose or tangled cords make desks uninviting. No one should work in a nest of electronics, so manage your cables with cord clips or ties.

It may not seem like the biggest change you could make, but it’s a significant help. You’ll feel like you have more space to breathe and work, leading to more productive workdays.

10. Schedule Time to Clean

Even the most organized person in the world will still make a mess in their office. You can’t help that mealtimes, brainstorming sessions, and other responsibilities create trash or loose supplies. Eventually, you’ll have to clean your office again. It’s tempting to put off the work and do more pressing jobs around the house, so schedule time to clean.

Finding time for office cleaning prioritizes your organization. Set 15 minutes aside each week on the same day and at the same time so it becomes a habit. You’ll reserve the time before your weekly schedule fills up and rarely become swamped with clutter.

Remodel Your Home Office

There are always ways to make your workspace a better place to spend time every week. Use these 10 steps to remodel your home office to stay organized and productive, even when your schedule gets crazy. Simple steps like getting more functional furniture, labeling containers, and reserving time to clean will transform your office into an enjoyable environment.

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Best Flooring Options for Every Room in Your Home

Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Floors impart style as well as substance by tying rooms together and holding up to extensive foot traffic. They should be functional, aesthetically pleasing and low-maintenance, so you get the most bang for your buck. With that in mind, here are some of the best flooring types for each room in your home.

Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is one of the most high-traffic areas of your home. It is also a room vulnerable to frequent spills and messes, which is why porcelain tiles are an excellent choice here. The material is scratch and stain-resistant and is easy to maintain. You will just need to vacuum and mop them regularly. For a deeper clean, use a mixture of water and vinegar.

Porcelain tiles also come in various styles to match with any decor. You can choose a polished finish for a more trendy appearance or go matte for a more natural look.

Vinyl is another good option for your kitchen flooring since it’s affordable and easy to install, costing an average of $1,400. Vinyl is also durable, so it works well in areas with more foot traffic.

Your Bathroom

These floors often receive lots of wear and tear and quickly accumulate water, which is why tile is a good option. You can choose from multiple types, such as ceramic or porcelain. Porcelain tiles tend to be sturdier and provide greater design flexibility, although ceramic may be more cost-effective.

Tile flooring is durable and water-resistant. Look for a rougher surface to avoid potential slips and falls. Vinyl planks are another excellent choice for their water-resistant qualities and affordability.

Your Living Room and Dining Room

Solid wood materials look great in living and dining rooms and can even increase your home’s value. Installing them can produce a 70%-80% return on investment (ROI). It’s strong and can withstand kids running around.

Wood is also easy to maintain and clean — you will need to mop and dust your floors regularly. Consider using a lint-free cloth for spills to prevent leaving behind any residue. If you have children, lay down rugs under your furniture to avoid scratching the floor.

Engineered wood is another excellent option for your living room. It’s made from finished wood, such as oak, and attached to a plywood-like substrate. This is a more affordable option and less susceptible to seasonal shrinking.

Your Bedroom

You want to feel relaxed in your bedroom, which is why carpeting is a popular choice. It provides soft cushioning for your feet. It can also help dampen outside noises, which allows you to get a restful night’s sleep. Plus, you can experiment with different colors and patterns.  Beige, green or navy blue are popular choices.

There are two main types of rug — cut and loop pile. The tips of the fiber loops are removed for cut types and left untouched for loop. Carpets also come in multiple materials, such as nylon and polyester. Nylon is a popular choice for its durability.

You can also use area rugs if you don’t want to carpet your space entirely. Wood or laminate flooring are other common choices.

Your Basement

Your basement is great for entertaining but is also vulnerable to dampness. Vinyl flooring is an excellent option for its water-resistant properties. It also will feel less cold under your feet than tile.

Consider adding laminate flooring as well. The material is affordable and easy to install yourself. The average cost to install laminate flooring is $1,477-$4,460. It can even mimic the look of hardwood flooring, and it’s scratch and dent-resistant.

Your Porch

Your porch floors are exposed to direct sunlight, so you need a strong material. Porcelain tiles can provide that durability and create a stunning focal point for hangouts with family or friends. Its stain-resistant qualities are perfect if you enjoy entertaining during the summertime.

Engineered wood can bring natural elements into the space if you want to create a more traditional appearance. It can even pair well with potted plant decorations. You can also install the wood over concrete flooring. However, look at manufacturer specifications before doing so. Some may suggest you add a vapor barrier or underlayment.

Your Attic

While your attic may just be a space to store items, the flooring you choose can make an impact. Laminate or vinyl flooring with an underlayment is best for blocking out sound. They are also long-lasting and easy to clean. Carpets can also reduce noises but are harder to maintain.

Before installing flooring, have a professional inspect your structure. Contractors should examine the stability of elements like rafters, joints and trustees.

Your Home Office

Home offices are the new trend due to the prevalence of remote work. Carpets can provide comfort for your feet when sitting for hours and protect your floor from furniture scratches. For example, you may frequently move around items, such as your desk, to improve your setup. Consider placing your desk near a window to bring in some natural light.

Hardwood can be another aesthetically pleasing option. It also provides durability and easy maintenance, so you can spend less time cleaning up spills and more time with your family.

Your Playroom

Laminate and tile are good options that are durable and stain-resistant. Laminate is also scratch-resistant, helping to prevent marks from children’s toys. They are also easier to maintain, which is essential in a room prone to spills and messes.

However, if you’re looking for a softer material, try rubber flooring. It can provide comfort and protection for younger kids constantly running around. Carpet tiles can also be a good choice because they offer a warm feeling without extensive cleaning.

Your Home Gym

The pandemic prompted people to install personal gyms at home. Rubber is a good choice for its durability and soundproof qualities. Sturdier materials can protect your floor from heavy equipment and weights and are also easy to install.

If you prefer to do more on-the-floor exercises, such as yoga, foam is the most comfortable. It also has excellent shock resistance and comes in various colors.

How to Pick the Right Flooring for Every Room

You want your flooring to be functional and trendy. However, it can be hard to find the right materials for your space with so many options. Do your homework and select the best flooring for your next remodeling project.

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Unique Additions to Consider for Your Next Renovation

Thursday, 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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Luxury Renovation Ideas for a Garage

Friday, November 27th, 2020

For most people, their garage is just a space to park the car or dump rarely used items. What if you are looking to do more with your garage? Are you planning on renovating a garage space but need ideas on how to transform the garage space into an amazing one? Here are some ideas to put you on the right track.

1) Garage Flooring

There are several options to choose from when it comes to the garage floor. One of the most popular types of flooring you will find in most garages today is the concrete floor. Although concrete floors tend to get stained, you can always choose paint or epoxy on the garage floor.

As there are many options for a garage floor, you might need to come up with some driveway paving ideas that will make choosing a flooring type more clearer.

2) Transform Into A Leisure Room

The garage space can be a place where you ease off the stress from your professional life and recharge your batteries. You can create space aside from where you will park the car to install a small fridge or hang a TV. You can set up a game room in your garage while not going overboard with your budget.

3) Insulate

Climatic conditions present where you live should also be considered. You want a garage that can stay warm during winter and stay cool during summer. This is not just for the good of the car parked in there but also great if you’d like to spend time in your garage.

A great way to go about this is by using concrete roof tiles when renovating your garage. Concrete adds a touch of luxury to your garage while contributing its insulating properties and durability as well. You can also explore other insulating options such as insulated walls.

Insulating will help you save energy cost as you won’t have to spend so much on heating up or cooling down during different seasons.

4) Lofting Your Garage

Another amazing garage renovation idea that will give your garage that luxurious feel is lofting your garage. This provides you with the opportunity to park your car and still have enough room for other purposes. You can choose to install a bed in the lofted space, you could even convert the space to a mini guest room, an office, or a living room.

A lofted garage can give your garage a luxurious unique look and also provide you with enough space to also use as storage.

5) Do More With Lighting

If you plan to spend more time in your garage, you need to invest in lighting. Adequate lighting will enhance the ambiance of your garage space and also makes it possible to enjoy the nights.

There are different ways to achieve this. You could opt for a motion sensor that will turn on the lights whenever someone steps into the garage and also turn it off when there’s no one in the garage. This is a great feature as it not only adds a touch of luxury to your garage experience but also has the potential to save energy cost.

6) Don’t Forget The Exterior

While you place your focus on renovating the interior of your garage, you want to make sure not to forget the exterior as well. Whatever improvements you’ve made to the interior, they could be watered down if the exterior doesn’t compliment all the effort channeled towards the interior.

This will require you to choose a garage trim that complements the overall style of your home.


You want to be creative with garage remodeling, but try not to go overboard with your budget. Whatever ideas you have, make sure you employ the services of qualified professionals to avoid unnecessary future expenses.

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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Should I Hire a General Contractor?

Monday, October 26th, 2020

kitchen-planningWhen you are considering a remodeling project for your home, one of the first questions you’ll ask is where you should hire a general contractor to take on the job. This might be easy to answer if you have no interest in a “do-it-yourself” project—and many people don’t—or you don’t want to deal with multiple contractors. But you may also enjoy the challenge of tackling the job on your own, or you feel you can save money by hiring separate contractors to do the work. Is this a good idea, or should you begin looking for general contractors in Calabasas, CA for the job?

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Hillside Pools

Friday, July 24th, 2020

When building a swimming pool on a hillside, your property will likely require certain safety and security measures such as retaining walls and/or caissons to be sure that your designer pool doesn’t just look good, but is made to last. It is imperative that you work with a seasoned construction company with knowledge of structural and geographical engineering. Hillside pools provide a stunningly scenic view, creative design opportunities, and an active entertainment center for the home unlike any other home feature.

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A Second Story for Your House? Let’s Talk About It!

Monday, April 29th, 2019

father-and-son-outside-two-story-houseWhen it comes to creating more space in your home, there’s no project that can add more square footage than a second-story addition. You may have considered this possibility before, but dismissed it as either impossible or out of your reach.

Please don’t let go of the idea of a second story so fast! We’ve worked on many second story additions and other expansions to homes, such as a project for a Los Angeles family where we added an additional 2,200 square feet of living space to their house so their family could grow. Often this is a much better investment than purchasing a new home. If you love where you live, but there aren’t many options on for-sale homes in the area, a second story is a great alternative to attempting to move.

We’d love to talk to you about what we can do for your home with our remodeling and other construction services.

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When to Hire a General Contractor

Monday, April 16th, 2018

ktichen-planning-toolsHomeowners often take pride in self-sufficiency: it’s a big part of taking on the responsibility of homeownership. When it comes to construction jobs for home improvement, people sometimes think about taking on the job themselves or hiring a “handyman” to do the work. This usually isn’t the best idea. A homeowner can also go to individual contractors. There’s another option, which is to hire a general contractor for the project.

When is hiring a general contractor the best step? You want to have a  general contractor to help on large, long-term remodeling projects or anything that requires multiple different contractors, (the subcontractors) such as an electrician, a plumber, a painter, floor and countertop contractors, etc. A general contractor provides a top-level organizer who puts the entire project together to see that all steps are done correctly, adhere to local code requirements, and are done quickly and with as little money waste as possible.

We can break it down further with some specific times when a general contractor is the right choice for your residential construction project:

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Take Your Time When Selecting a Home Contractor

Monday, June 29th, 2015

If you are searching for a contractor in Los Angeles for your home improvement and renovation project, you’re likely to find a lot of search results online. Contractors are easy to come by, and you may be tempted to pick one and stick with that company. But remember that any renovation job is time-consuming, and not something you want to be done carelessly.

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Here’s Why a Good Contractor Makes All the Difference for that Remodeling Job

Monday, May 25th, 2015

If you are planning to remodel any portion of your home, it’s difficult to go it alone. Even with a few friends and family members by your side, the process can take a lot longer than it would if you were an experienced contractor. A contractor has the experience and know-how to tackle any job with speed and accuracy. Whether it’s a bathroom remodel or kitchen remodel, or a whole new room addition, check out some of our top reasons to check the credentials of your contractor.

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