Advanced Builders & Contractors Blog: Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What Remodeling Project Adds the Most Value?

Monday, May 24th, 2021

Remodeling is a great way to spruce up your home and add value. Deciding where to start can be a little tricky, though. Here are some renovation projects to make your residence feel brand-new.

1.   Insulate Your Attic

Your attic may not be the most prominent feature in your house, but it’s worth updating. Your attic is a great place to keep items that don’t fit on the main floor. Having increased storage will also attract potential buyers.

Properly insulating your attic helps keep the temperature consistent. This saves you money on your electricity bills and makes the space more energy-efficient.

Here are the two main types of insulation materials:

  • Loose fill: This type consists of packaged fibers blown into place with special equipment. It’s best for attics that have irregular joint spacing or lower clearance.
  • Batting: This is a flexible material that comes in rolls of various sizes and thicknesses. They work best with attics that have standard joint spacing and more headroom.

Continue Reading

Durable and Sustainable Building Materials for New Home Construction

Wednesday, 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.

Continue Reading

Wednesday, 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.

Continue Reading

10 Garage Conversion Ideas For The Holidays!

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Check them out here!

Continue Reading

LOS ANGELES ADU Law Changes Increase Revenue Opportunities for Multifamily Owners

Friday, February 19th, 2021

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

According to the Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning, “an Accessory Dwelling Unit, also known as a granny or in-law unit, is a living unit that may be up to 1200 sq. ft. An ADU is an accessory use to a single-family or multifamily residential building, wherever such developments are permitted.” These differ from their Junior design models, in that a “Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) is a dwelling unit with independent exterior access that is no more than 500 square feet in size and contained entirely within a single-family residence, including an attached garage. The proposed JADU or the existing single-family residence must be owner-occupied.” Today we will be focusing on the Multi Family friendly traditional ADU. Other common terms for an ADU include an in-law or mother-in-law unit, secondary dwelling unit, granny flat or carriage house.

Typically, all multi-family-zoned properties are allowed to construct one or more ADUs (Additional Dwelling Units) depending on their ordinance. For specific zoning in Los Angeles: visit here or call 3-1-1 to speak to a Los Angeles Building and Safety rep regarding your specific property.

New laws pertaining to ADU’s in Los Angeles have been gaining support given the current housing crisis and demand, both from owners and potential renters. Regulations are given on a lot-to-lot basis, maintaining a maximum FAR (floor-area-ratio) or RFA (residential floor area). If the number of units is already met on your property, you may not be approved for constructing an ADU. Los Angeles has eliminated the parking requirement for ADU’s as long as the property is within ½ mile from a transit stop (bus stops included).

So – you have a multifamily property and are interested in building an ADU? Where do you start?

If you have an architect with experience working with the city to build ADU’s, contact them so they can tell you what opportunities your specific property holds. If you do not have an architect skilled in the ADU world, contact us and we would be happy to connect you to one that we have vetted. Once you have dialed in what you can build on your property, your architect will draft plans for what you want to build and help you get them through the plan check process with the city. Then you’ll want to get estimates on the build itself from qualified Contractors – such as us! Advanced Builders & Contractors is experienced in ADU construction and can get you increasing your cash flow quickly, on-time, in-budget and headache free.

Increasing the number of rental units on your multifamily property is a no-brainer, you’ll maximize profits, increase monthly cash flow, as well as increase the value of the property. It is an excellent real estate investment. By allowing more ADUs to be approved, cities like Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Hollywood all have a viable housing solution that increases housing density exponentially, encourages a strong economy, and fosters a sense of community, diversity and well-being. For more information on how to add an ADU to your property, Contact Advanced Builders & Contractors Today.

Continue Reading

Sunset Strip: An Enchanting 1.5-mile-Road Passing Through Hollywood Hills West

Monday, February 17th, 2020

With hundreds of bars and clubs and a concentration of young and beautiful party people, Sunset Strip is perhaps the most famous stretch of road in the world. This mile-and-half long section of Sunset Boulevard passes through the lively and vibrant city of West Hollywood. Rooftop bars like SkyBar in the Mandarin Hotel and Tower Bar in the Sunset Tower Hotel, and glamorous clubs like Whisky a-Go-Go and The Viper Room, are among the reasons for Sunset’s reputation as the nightlife hub of California.

In addition to nightclubs, Sunset Strip boasts high-quality restaurants, bars, and boutiques. Hollywood celebrities and major names in the entertainment industry frequent the area. Visitors often come across famous movie stars, musicians, and entertainers who hang out in the local nightclubs and bars.

Continue Reading

Which Is a Better Investment: A Bathroom or Kitchen Remodel?

Monday, July 8th, 2019

rainfall-shower-hot-steamWhen you’re ready to make major renovations to your house interior, you might be torn between where to start work. With a limited budget, you may need to choose between remodeling one of the bathrooms or remodeling the kitchen. These are the most common room remodeling projects. Is one better than another? It depends on your situation—but we can put out a list of a few of the benefits of both to help you consider the question. 

Continue Reading

Top-Mount Vs. Under-Mount Bathroom Sinks: A Quick Guide

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Designing a bathroom is tough, as there are so many different options for layouts, tiling, shower type, cabinetry, and much more. When it comes to the sink, there are actually all sorts of options, including pedestal sinks and wall-mounted options.

Continue Reading

Check Out Our Blog for the Latest in HVAC Technology

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Be sure to bookmark the Advanced Builders & Contractors blog for updates on the latest advances in plumbing & HVAC technology.

We’ll feature money saving promotions here as well.

Call Advanced Builders & Contractors for all your New Construction, Home Remodeling, Room Additions, Kitchen Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Masonry/Hardscape, Roofing, and Development needs.

Continue Reading