Advanced Builders & Contractors Blog

Interior Decor 101: How to Stage a Luxurious Showroom

April 12th, 2022

Photo from Pexels

When designing a showroom, there are several ways to draw in potential prospects. The goal is to get the home buyers to visualize themselves in the space and feel at home. Take care to make the showroom space open, bright, warm, clean, and inviting. Here are some interior design tips to help you stage a luxurious showroom.

Make Sure the Space is Spotlessly Clean

Design the space with cleaning ease in mind. Consider investing in a robot vacuum and laying out the space so that the robot can efficiently go through the space with little risk of getting stuck or trapped.

Put rugs with plenty of loft and grab at front entrances that come directly off the street. Hire a cleaning crew to keep dust to a minimum throughout the space and consider using a vaporizer, humidifier, or diffuser to keep the air fresh.

Highlight Single Colors

Too much color, even in a single vase of flowers, can look like clutter. Avoid this by sticking with just one color of flowers and one tone of greenery. Invest in a single arrangement of white peonies and use a faux magnolia garland on a dining table, coffee table, door, or shelf.

Choose your showroom plants carefully. Bamboo can really be lovely, but the early growth can often be a shocking green that may be jarring in some settings. Any plant that regularly browns at the leaf edges will need to be regularly monitored to make sure it’s looking healthy and fresh.

If you love live greenery to freshen the air, use a simple white milk glass bowl to grow lemon seeds or herbs in a window. Another option is to grow fresh mint in a pot and offer iced tea to your guests; a single leaf of fresh mint can turn plain tea into an elegant treat. For those who love visual variety in their displays, use many different tones of green but just one color for your flowers.

Use Indirect Lighting

Lighting is key. Lighting can make a space feel brighter, bigger, and warmer. It sets the tone and mood. Indirect lighting will make it much easier to brighten your showroom without creating harsh shadows or glare that inadvertently cause prospects to look away.

If possible, hide light sources behind

  • frosted panels
  • paper shades
  • stained glass pieces

As a final touch, use solar lighting in your space or sun lamps for your plants. Going green is great for the planet and will increase its value.

Keep Colors Subtle

While the minimalist trend seems to be fading, there are still plenty of prospects who love the idea of a very simple color palette. Use wallpaper and tile combinations that are easy on the eye unless you are selling bold accent pieces.

Additionally, you will want to keep textures and surfaces soft to the eye. For example, for the living room furniture, soften the sheen of a leather sofa with a velvety throw in a rich color, then build the remaining color palette around paler tones of that rich throw. Microsuede cushions will also add visual softness to wooden arms on chairs.

Upon entering your showroom, make sure that prospects have an easy path and place decor that is in their line of sight. Take on the role of the prospect and pretend like you’re seeing the space for the first time. Take note of what is opening the space and what is creating clutter and make adjustments. Always put yourself in the shoes of your prospect to help you think of ways to create a better experience for them.

Continue Reading

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Building a New Home

April 11th, 2022

hand-drawing-check-boxTwo weeks ago, we wrote up a “Do’s and Don’ts” post about bathroom remodeling. Today we’re expanding out to the entire house. If you have plans to build a new house from the ground up, you’ll want to know what mistakes to avoid, as well as the best advice to make your home into exactly what you want. We’ll go through several of the major do’s and don’ts when it comes to new home construction. 

Continue Reading

Tips on Securing Your Electrical Fixtures and Fittings Using a Valve Box

April 1st, 2022

Your electrical fixtures are one of the most vital systems in your building. It provides the electricity your appliances and machines need to function; therefore, it must be kept enclosed and protected at all costs. The (USCPSC) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission addressed that almost 31,000 home electrical fires occur yearly, with over 180 cases involving electrocution or electricity-related accidents that could have been prevented if establishment electrical safety was applied. 

Valve boxes can provide you different benefits from easy access to your plumbing systems, protection, and even for your building’s electrical fixtures. They prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing your valuable system controls, especially your electrical systems. Many valve boxes available today contain a padlock outfit that will limit access to the inside of the box. Since electrical fixtures are a susceptible and hazardous system in your commercial building, they must at all times be secured and protected. 

Here are some ways to guarantee your electrical fixtures and fittings using a valve box:

  1. Use the Correct Wattage in All Fixtures and Appliances

Utilizing suitable lightbulbs for your establishment can prevent electrical problems. Therefore, you should check all lamps, fixtures, and appliances to ensure that you are using accurate wattage for any devices. If your light fixture does not have any wattage listed, professionals would prefer that you use a 60-watt bulb or less. For unmarked ceiling fixtures, choose 25-watt bulbs. 

  1. Replace or Repair Damaged Electrical Cords

Damaged power cords are severe residential and commercial electrical safety hazards, and they can even be the cause of both fires and electrocution. You should regularly check your extension cords for any indication of cracking and fraying, and if so, they should immediately be replaced or repaired as soon as possible. 

In addition, ensure that your power chords are not stapled into place or run furniture, especially rugs or carpets. Wires under rugs can be a tripping hazard and can eventually overheat. Meanwhile, the weight of any piece of furniture can damage the cord insulation and wires.

  1. Let the Professionals Install the Valve Box for Your Electrical Fixtures

When it comes to complex installations and complicated wiring, this is where you leave these tasks for the professionals to handle. Installing your electrical fixtures inside valve boxes is not something you can DIY because, without professional insight, this can potentially cause a safety hazard for your building and the people inside it. 

  1. Install Your Valve Boxes Somewhere Safe and Secured

Installing your valve box where there is a lot of human traffic can pose some safety hazards for your establishment and its people. Especially if you have children inside your establishment, installing these in areas out of reach for them is much better. Having it in an unsecured place can be dangerous for them and can even cost you more money if injuries occur. 

  1. Paint to Match Wall Surface

If you are worried that the valve box you installed will be an eyesore in your establishment, well, you don’t have to worry. You can solve this by painting the valve box with the matching color of your wall’s surface. But also remember to put labels or warning signs to keep your electrical fixtures safe and secured.

Keeping your electrical fixtures safe and secured is necessary for any establishment owner. Installing valve boxes to support these features safe is undoubtedly a wise purchase. Not only are you allowing easy access to your electrical systems if maintenance, checkups, or repairs are needed, but you are also keeping your occupants safe and secured.

Continue Reading

Using Panel Skylights on Attic for Energy Efficient Roof Hatches

April 1st, 2022

There are many ways to optimize energy efficiency. Most property owners can have various options on utilizing technologies and designs that will help them reap the benefits of optimization. One example is the energy-efficient roof hatches which can be used for maintenance, inspection, and energy efficiency.

Today, skylights are becoming a more popular option as an energy-efficient roof hatch. It offers more than just providing natural light into the interior spaces. Manufacturers utilize various glazing technologies making skylights more energy efficient. They include heat-absorbing shades, low-emissivity coatings, insulated glass, and translucent insulating material between glazing layers.

Here are things to know when installing skylights:

Ventilation

Skylights can supply both light and ventilation. The heated air that naturally gathers towards the ceiling can be released when a building gets ventilated with a functional skylight. The bottom of most ventilating skylights opens outward, while some systems vent through a small, hinged panel. You can open skylights manually using a crank, chain, or pole on your property.

Automated Skylights

Automated systems are also available with pneumatic equipment or electric motors. Specific types have moisture sensors that close the skylight autonomously when it rains.

Tubular Skylights

Recent advancements in skylight design utilize sun-tracking, open-sided tubes, huge lens-like components, or mirrored reflectors installed adjacent to a typical skylight to offer natural light without the morning heat gain or nocturnal heat loss.

You can connect a mirrored or light pipe with a dispersing lens that attaches on or recessed into the area’s ceiling below to such a skylight. It is a characteristic seen on the majority of tubular skylights. On the other hand, tubular skylights don’t provide any vistas or airflow.

Ridge Skylights

This sort of skylight is appropriate for situations when the skylight extends in the same direction as the roof slope and the skylight’s ridgelines up with the roof’s ridgeline. With a range of skylight pitch configurations and vertical glass ends, one can even fix it on the curbs of flat roofs.

You can also mount it to vertical walls that are head-to-head on one or both ends. Ridge skylights are a fantastic technique to bring a lot of light into a structure, considerably more so than a window of comparable size.

Curb-Mounted Skylights

These skylights evolved to be among the most preferred skylight types on the market. They are reasonably priced and look great in a variety of settings. Manufacturers can create curbs on-site, or you can purchase some from them. Its curb has insulation and is double-walled in both situations to help maintain the temperature in the building.

These are better options for preventing leaks and providing more excellent size options. Curb-mounted skylights are the most basic of all skylight types; they offer a pleasant ambiance without putting a building’s structure under too much stress.

Choosing a Skylight

Today’s skylight designs are far more dependable than those previously accessible. Most are refreshing, creative, and have additional exciting elements to established designs. Design isn’t the only element to examine when picking the right skylight. When adding a skylight to a property, these are some of the most significant aspects to keep in mind:

1. Positioning

The placement is a critical factor that you need to consider because you need to utilize natural light and its benefit to the utmost to your property, but bear in mind that overexposure is not a good thing. You may need to keep an eye out for UV overexposure in your property. Your positioning will impact some parameters, including the size of the skylight and the number of skylights.

2. Functionality

In reality, you can categorize all skylights into two: vented and fixed. As the name implies, fixed skylights are non-operable and designed to provide additional light. On the other hand, a vented skylight has a feature where you can open them remotely or manually, based on the type of skylight device.

In addition to the fundamentals, the cost of remote-operable vented skylights may be a little more expensive than their manual counterparts. Because these require a more significant number of higher-quality parts, they are more susceptible to failure. You’ll need to think about the function, location, and price when making your decision.

3. Size

The size and layout of the room might sometimes influence your skylight selection. For instance, obtaining ideal skylight performance in a darkly shared room and roof may require many bends in the tubing. However, a general rule applies to skylights: the bigger, the better.

4. Planning Permission

Skylights are usually not subject to planning permission since they are part of an already agreed-upon addition or replace an existing skylight installation. Also, if the expansion is to an existing roof, it is unlikely to require planning. It’s usually a good idea to double-check ahead of time, but it’s rarely an issue.

5. Glazing

Skylights used to be little more than a single pane of glass, enclosed in a metal structure. Glazing currently includes single- and multi-paned glass and novel polymers, with or without coatings and insulations to manage factors such as temperature and UV exposure. The glass you choose will influence the function of the skylight, so consider all of your alternatives carefully.

6. Installation and Cost

Skylights appear to be costly upon first impression; an excellent quality 2X4 foot skylight with a flashing kit may cost anywhere from $150 to $500. On the other hand, installation can add $500 to $3,000 to the total cost. Furthermore, the roof slope is a decisive element for skylight installation.

Roofs that are either too flat or too sloped necessitate unique installation methods, which can be costly. Always think about the total cost of installing a skylight, the additional features and extras, contracts and warranties, and other crucial factors.

The Takeaway

If you need to learn more about your skylight installation for ventilation in your property, you should speak with an experienced roofing contractor. Your roof is a delicate system, and it isn’t worth the danger of installing skylights incorrectly. Skylight installation necessitates the removal of portions of your roof, which may jeopardize its structural stability.

Furthermore, the sound installation will help boost your roof’s lifespan, appearance, and overall functionality without causing any additional issues.

Continue Reading

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Bathroom Remodeling

March 28th, 2022

modern-bathroomApproaching a bathroom remodel in your house can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know ahead of time where to focus your ideas and energy, as well as some basic problems to avoid, you’ll find your bathroom remodeling in Calabasas, CA will go smoothly. 

We’ve helped many homeowners realize their dream remodeling project, and here is some of our best advice for “do’s” and “don’ts” of bathroom remodeling. 

Continue Reading

How to Ensure the Pipes in Your Home Are Properly Sealed

March 24th, 2022

Whenever there’s a leaky pipe somewhere in your house, it has to consume your attention. Water won’t stop leaking out of it until it has been properly addressed. So, if you’ve found one inside your place, it’s important to know how to fix it. Here are a couple of ways you can fix leaky pipes next time you’ve found one.

Investigate the Couplings Near the P Traps

Even though most leaks come from a crack, that’s not the only way one of them can happen. If you’ve discovered a leak, and you’re not sure where it’s at, look near the couplings.

Sometimes, the ones next to the P traps come loose if they’re older. So, you can solve the leak by tightening them, and it shouldn’t cause you any more problems.

Look for the U-shaped pipe under the sink, and see if it has a loose coupling. If it does, use a wrench to retighten it and check if that solves the problem.

Try Using Some Plumbers Tape

If the coupling hasn’t come loose, there’s probably a crack somewhere in the pipe. So, you’ll need to inspect it and find where it’s at. Then, plumber tape might be the solution.

If the crack isn’t too big, it can hold back water, stopping leaks from occurring. Check if the water has been dripping out from the coupling after tightening it. If it still has water coming out of it, its threads may have deteriorated.

If that’s happened, you can use some plumbers tape to seal it. Wrap the tape around the coupling and go around a few times. Usually, that’s enough to stop more water from leaking out of there.

Use Something Made Out of Silicone

AMS 3195 silicone has a ton of properties that make it a great material for tape. Self-fusing silicone is an effective solution if you’re fixing a low-pressure line. Since it won’t leak, you can use the pipes without having to worry.

If it’s stretched far enough, it creates a seamless waterproof layer. So, when wrapping it around a pipe, stretch it hard. Otherwise, it won’t create a completely watertight seal.

Epoxy Putty Might Do the Trick

Even though it may not last forever, epoxy putty is an amazing way to seal leaky pipes. Since you can mold it by hand, forming it around a complex leak isn’t hard. It’ll wrap around it, and some of it will go into the crack.

Once it has hardened, the putty won’t let water get through. But, you’ll still need to replace the pipe if you’d like to continue using it. It won’t last forever without springing another leak if it has a putty seal.

Install a Patch by Using a Clamp

A large rupture would exert too much pressure to fix it using most adhesives. Unless you’ve used a clamp, the pressure will explode before too long anyway. So, get a repair patch and a clamp from the store. Then, use it to seal the leak.

Before putting it on the pipe:

  • Turn off the water supply, cutting off any pressure.
  • Smooth down the edges of the leak by wiping it down with a metal file.
  • Once it has perfectly smooth edges, wrap the patch around it.
  • From there, take the clamp and seal the leak.
  • Tighten it until nothing makes out from under the patch, and then turn the water back on.

Test Out the Pipe to See if It’s Fixed

Regardless of the method used, it’s important to check if the pipe is still leaking. Once you’ve finished applying a patch, run some water through the pipe. You may want to place something underneath it to catch any water. If nothing drips out from there, your patch should be doing its job.

Properly Sealing the Pipes in Your Home

Nobody has woken up, seen a leak, and thought it would be a good day. Fortunately, if that’s happened to you, repairing it won’t take long. Go to the hardware store and grab a few things to fix the problem. Once you’ve done everything, water damage won’t be on your mind.

Continue Reading

How to Determine the Best Home Contractor For Your Needs

March 15th, 2022

Renovating a house is a significant task involving planning, organization, and understanding. You risk having a botched job and a less-than-pleasing overall experience without the proper general contractor. While general contractors are pricey, they can help you have a good home improvement experience. After all, it is quite improbable that you, the homeowner, would be able to spend your whole time supervising and managing numerous subcontractors. A knowledgeable general contractor should oversee all aspects of a home renovation, including subcontractor labor, inspection approvals, permit acquisition, and other building needs. The following information will assist you in selecting the best contractor for the task.

1. Consider the Unique Requirements of Your Project

Along with pricing, it’s important to evaluate the kind of work for which a contractor is qualified. Make certain to inquire about the contractor’s previous experience. A trustworthy contractor should provide you with photographs and references from previous work.

Consider your project’s particular requirements. Are you renovating a single room or the whole house? Are you looking for someone with landscaping and dry-scaping expertise as well? What about someone with expertise remodeling a wood-frame home instead of a concrete-block structure? These are the sorts of questions you should be asking yourself while deciding on a contractor.

For instance, if you want the construction or renovation of the roof after a destructive storm, but the contractor has only expertise in repairing kitchens, that contractor may not be the best fit. You will need to search for more niche professionals like hail damage roofing contractors.

2. Look For Bids that Are Clearly Defined

Once you’ve identified a few potential contractors, it’s time to get quotes from them. Discuss your plans with each possible home renovation contractor. Demonstrate to them any plans that you may have. Indicate your budget range and get a comprehensive quotation.

To provide the most accurate comparison of bids, get detailed information on labor, materials, and other costs from each contractor. According to This Old House, materials should account for around 40% of total costs, labor and other expenditures should account for another 40%, and the profit margin should account for up to 20% of total costs.

Once you’ve selected a proposal you’re interested in, you can begin the negotiating process. Before the project begins, ensure that the contractor is thorough and understanding. After construction starts, communication is critical to a successful and joyful home renovation.

3. Take Into Account Their Accessibility

Is the contractor easily accessible? If the contractor’s services are in great demand, you should expect to pay a premium for them. Additionally, you may be required to wait for the contractor to finish other jobs before they can begin work on your home improvement project.

An overworked contractor may even attempt to price themselves out of your job by submitting an absurdly expensive estimate. Bear in mind, however, that a contractor in great demand is also plainly skilled.

On the other hand, if you want someone who can immediately begin working on your project, you’ll need to choose a contractor with more availability.

4. Contract Drafting

Are you ready to start? Wait until you have written and signed a contract outlining the specifics of your home renovation project, including the budget, timeframe, a full list of construction supplies, and the obligations of all subcontractors.

If you or your house contractor has to amend the contract to reflect a new reality, ask to sign an addendum and to receive a revised project estimate.

5. Confirm the Contractor’s Licensing and Insurance Information

To prevent being taken advantage of, cheated, or sued, you must verify a contractor’s licensing and insurance status. You may be held accountable if a subcontractor or employee is hurt on the job without adequate insurance.

Along with physical injury and property damage, a contractor’s insurance policy should cover property damage. Regrettably, some contractors falsely claim to be licensed and insured. To guarantee that you are employing a trustworthy and licensed contractor, make it a point to inquire about the contractor’s qualifications throughout the interview process.

Consult your state and local governments to ensure the contractor complies with all applicable licensing standards.

Final Tip

You should pay the remainder of the price when the job is completed. Ascertain that your contract includes a fee payment plan and that this schedule is revised whenever a problem occurs or a new repair is required.

Continue Reading

Good Reasons to Opt for New Home Construction

March 14th, 2022

carpenterWhen you decide to move into a new house, you’ll face two important options: do you buy a house or do you arrange with a contractor to build a new one?

At first, you may wish to go with option one, since new construction is a daunting prospect. But if you have the right general contractor in Encino, CA to handle the construction from start to finish, building a new home becomes more viable. In fact, it may be the best choice possible: starting from scratch has numerous advantages.

Below we’ll look at some of the best reasons to keep an open mind about new home construction.

Continue Reading

The Difference Between Watertight and Floodtight Floor Hatch

March 9th, 2022

There are many different access doors and panels with varying materials and applications that you can use to adapt to a particular environment. Such products need to have the robustness and material flexibility to endure the punishments of the elements. Two such products are the Watertight access doors and floodtight floor hatch.

Since they sound similar, most people assume they do the same thing. They may be alike in some aspects, but their function is different. These are indispensable products for many modern structures for protection against the elements, access to critical areas, and convenience for your personnel during maintenance.

Watertight Access Doors and Panels

These products are watertight or airtight and must undergo testing before their use. They must pass a test for water penetration and air infiltration. This access door is suitable for research labs, washrooms, surgery centers, and other areas that require an airtight/watertight seal.

Floodtight Floor Hatches

The floodtight floor hatch design is typically for inside and outside applications where water may reach above the surface entrance. Naturally, the angle frame design enables concrete anchoring, and the panel door can hold up to 10 feet head of water aside from its added reinforcement as a standard feature. The door panel overlaps the frame, pressing the gasket and ensuring a floodtight seal.

Where They Differ

The only difference between the two, in a fundamental sense, is the location where you utilize them. Watertight access doors and panels are designed primarily for indoor use, in walls or ceilings where a room requires some way to separate one space from another. They function as an isolation mechanism to prevent anything that could compromise the space.

When used in the wastewater sector to describe an access door or panel, the phrase “watertight” refers to a “drainable” frame, such as a channel, trench, or ditch type frame. Water flowing off the cover gets collected in this sort of frame. It then gets diverted to a drain rather than entering the vault area beneath the door.

On the other hand, floodtight floor hatches are for floor areas where there is a possibility of either moisture infiltrating the area or gas escaping to another space. Their design can suppress gas from getting out and prevent water from getting in. Due to its function, it is ideal for retrofit applications and is suitable for use in potable water applications.

The standard hatch frame has a built-in gasket that provides a floodtight / gastight barrier against the hatch cover when closed. The water pressure exerted by 10 or 25 feet of water is no match for this seal (i.e., flood conditions). The seal keeps odors and gases out of the area beneath the door when there is no positive pressure beneath the cover.

What to Consider

Ensure that the product’s material and quality are ideal for where you’ll be installing them. Check or ask the manufacturer if the product underwent any testing to ensure it functions as intended. You may also need to think about your budget, so it’s best to ask for quotations from different vendors.

Takeaway

Having some knowledge about essential products will only make your decisions in your future projects better. Despite arming yourself with the correct information, you will still need the invaluable inputs of experts to help guide you to avoid costly mistakes. Never hesitate to call one if you need their advice.

Continue Reading

Safety Tips to Protect Your Property from Home Invasion

March 9th, 2022

Are you aware that over one million burglaries occur in the US yearly? If there is something that the coronavirus pandemic has taught us, we need to be well prepared for the worst-case scenarios, mainly when it comes to family and home safety. Securing your house is all about protecting the human asset, which is why you need to do it professionally. Being well-informed of the potential home invasion by incorporating the appropriate security precautions can make a difference between a housebreaker selecting your house or another. Here are the top safety tips you need to consider to protect your property against home raids.

Secure the Doors

Inspect the exterior doors to ensure door frames and hinges are protected and sturdy. This way, it will be challenging for an intruder to access your property. Also, if the door includes a mail slot, make sure it’s well secured so that a thieve can’t use it to unlock the door. It is also advisable to change door locks if you move to a house that accommodated another family before. That way, you won’t have individuals out there with spare keys to your property. House breakers love sliding doors, so ensure yours is well-protected.

Install a Security System

Some property owners choose to forego the idea of installing a centrally-monitored alarm as they believe that the annoyance of false alarms outweighs the benefits. Thieves searching for an ideal crime target would instead choose an unalarmed home rather than an alarmed one because it’s an easy target.

Installing visible signage of the alarm system in the garden is vital. You can even install an alarm pad in the main bedroom if you need to access the alarm controls or panic button. To assure total security, it would be valuable to choose the best home security camera system.

Keep the Blinds and Curtains Pulled

Windows gives you an incredible view of the outside, but unluckily, they also give intruders a good view of your house. Criminals can monitor through the windows to assess whether homeowners are present or spy for potential burglary targets.

Luckily, you can safeguard yourself by pulling down the blinds and curtains in any room that doesn’t need natural light. Also, when leaving the house for trips, work, or other errands, remember to pull down the curtains. The other thing is to avoid leaving valuables near the windows.

Lighting up the Landscape

Burglars, vandals, and other crooks don’t love well-lit areas. You can, thus, deter them by having ample outdoor lighting. Consider placing lights along the pathways, near the garage, around the front and backyards, and other essential outdoor structures. Use motion-activated lights and scheduled smart light bulbs if you want effective outdoor security lights.

Install a Smart Lock

Occasionally, it’s possible to forget to lock your home’s entry doors. Here is where installing a smart lock system comes in handy as it lets you assess the status of your doors’ locks remotely. The best thing about this system is that it can remotely lock and unlock the doors.

Secure the Garage

It would help if you remembered to secure the garage because it’s becoming a popular entry point amongst thieves. Some burglars tend to switch their attention to the garage if they find the house inaccessible. So, always ensure that garage doors are properly locked before leaving the house. For example, you can keep the garage door opener in the house. Additionally, if you use a security code to access the garage, make sure that the code remains a secret.

Abolish the Hiding Places

Although shrubs and trees give your house a curb appeal, they also give intruders a perfect hiding spot. Trim the shrubs and trees adjacent to the house give thieves an ideal cover. It’s sensible to opt for small bushes and flowers. Remove trees near the windows or strengthen the windows’ additional security.

Wrap Up

Identifying how to protect your house doesn’t need to be an uphill task. Get started by using the tips mentioned above. Remember, you don’t have to include all tips concurrently. Start by recognizing the crucial ones, and then figure out how to add the others later. Being aware of the possible security dangers and reacting to them early is the best option to keep your property and loved ones secure.

Continue Reading