Advanced Builders & Contractors Blog

A Step-By-Step Guide on Preparing to Build Your Own Home

February 5th, 2021

Owning a home might seem out of reach, with the cost of hiring contractors or purchasing property climbing every year. These rising costs have led to a growing number of individuals who’ve decided to build their own home from the ground up. This can be a viable option if you can find the perfect combination of contractors and supplies, but it’s not for everyone.

What do you need to know when you’re preparing to build your own home? Here are the steps involved:

1. Select Your Land

Here is another decision you’ll need to make before your contractor breaks ground. Finding the perfect sector of property to build your dream home on is almost as important as the materials you choose or the floor plan you design. You should ask yourself a few questions here, including:

  • How much space do I want? Some people are content with a tiny suburban lot while others would prefer to have their neighbors at least a mile away.
  • What utilities do I need? Things like water and power will likely be easy to connect to, but other utilities, like the internet, might be more challenging in remote locations.
  • What are the drawbacks of this particular parcel of land? Is it prone to drought, fire or flood? Will you be snowed in for the entire winter? Just remember that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Will the land I want work for the home I’ve designed? This is something you’ll need to go over with your contractors. As an example, some areas of the property might need leveling or clearing before they’re ready for concrete workers to pour the foundation.

2. Start With a Blueprint

You wouldn’t try to assemble a piece of furniture without reading the instructions, and you shouldn’t try building a home without a blueprint to work from. Don’t go into this project with a vague idea of what you’re trying to create. You’ll have some assistance from the contractors you choose to work with but it’s always better to have more than just a vague idea of what you’re trying to create.

Work with a design team to create your dream home before you ever break ground. You’ll want an architect and structural engineer to help draft your blueprints. Compile photos of homes you love so that the architect can model yours after them. Let them know what your top priorities for your home are. Are you looking for privacy? Sustainable and eco-friendly materials? Smart home features? Tell your designer so that they can incorporate them into the design.

In addition, make sure the architect designs with the land, especially on sloped or hillside properties. Ask them to visit the property as well. This will help them avoid potential problems or awkward scenarios, like setting up windows that look right into the neighbors. By tailoring your design to the property,  the designer will ensure that your home is perfect for you.

There are a lot of factors to consider, from square footage and location to the acreage of the lot you want. A comprehensive plan will end up saving you a lot of money and heartache in the long run. Start with your blueprint before you make any big decisions.

3. Make Your Design Decisions

When you’re building a modern home, there are so many options available that it can be overwhelming. Do you want to build a home you’ll be comfortable in for a long time, or are you optimizing value so you can sell in the future? Do you want stone walls or a wood frame? Asphalt shingles or solar panels? Tile, linoleum, carpet or hardwood floors? Even this short list of decisions might leave your head spinning.

You’ll have to make most of these decisions before construction begins, simply because your contractor will need to know what supplies to source. Don’t be one of those clients who changes their mind every five minutes. This puts you at risk of breaking your contract, depending on the details, and you end up possibly annoying your builder. The last thing you want is to be on the bad side of the person who is building your home.

4. Know When to Step Back

People love the idea of getting their hands dirty and working on a big project like their future forever home. While you might find a contractor willing to let you do a little bit of grunt work, in most cases you’ll just be in the way on the worksite. Hang up your DIY belt and know when to take a step back.

You’ll have plenty of work to do once the construction is complete, from filling your new home up with furniture to slapping a fresh coat of paint in your favorite color on the newly hung drywall. Let the contractors do their job and don’t get underfoot!

5. Get the Necessary Permits

Before you break ground and start building your house, be sure you have all the necessary building permits. Even some small remodeling projects, like adding a carport or building a fence, require a permit from your local building office. Neglecting these permits could leave you on the wrong side of code enforcement.

In most cases, the contractors you choose will be responsible for obtaining all the necessary permits, but it’s always a good idea to double-check and ensure all their I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.

6. Don’t Forget the Finishing Work

This is the step where you get to really turn your new house into a home. Add the finishing touches that will help the space meet your aesthetic and functional needs. This includes but isn’t limited to painting, adding furniture, landscaping the exterior and installing things like rugs and window dressings.

Make it your space, from the foundation all the way up to the peak of the roof and everything in between. You may want to employ some professionals, such as carpet installers, to make sure that everything is perfect. This is where you can put on your DIY belt and really go to town.

7. Get Those Final Inspections

You’ve got one last step before you can call your project complete, and that’s booking and passing your final inspections.

This isn’t something you’ll be able to do yourself. Instead, you’ll have to bring in a professional building inspector to ensure everything is up to code and ready for habitation. This is why you don’t want to cut corners during construction, whether you’re working on it yourself or hiring contractors to do the work for you. If you do, they’re just going to come back and bite you when you have to pay to have the half-finished project completed correctly by a professional.

Enjoy Your New Home!

Once you’ve gotten the all-clear from the building inspectors and you’re ready to move in, all that’s left to do is enjoy both your new home.

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Choosing a Style for Your New House

February 1st, 2021

new-construction-ABC-Los-AngelesWhen you decide to build your own home, you’ll face many exciting as well as intimidating challenges. Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest personal projects you can ever embark upon, and having the right general contractor in Woodland Hills, CA will take much of the weight off your shoulders. When you work with our team, we manage all the steps of new home construction, starting with the design phase and continuing through handling permits, ordering materials, arranging for construction, plumbing, electricity, etc. We don’t subcontract the work: everything is under one roof to make the process efficient and accurate so we can deliver the results you want.

But what results do you want? This is one of the most exciting parts of the process for you: finding the house style you want. One that fits your lifestyle and also matches the setting. Below are some of the more popular styles used in Southern California homes to get you started—and they certainly aren’t the limit!

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Where a Bathroom Remodel Can Go Wrong

January 18th, 2021

checkered-bathroom-remodel-abcBathroom remodeling in Los Angeles, CA is one of the most common jobs our team of designers, builders, and architects undertake for our clients. We understand how important it is to get this job done right, from the first steps of thinking about design concepts, through getting all the necessary permits, until the final connections for water and electricity. Because we know what it takes to get the job done right, we know the ways a bathroom remodel can go wrong, and we’ve heard enough horror stories from our clients about their earlier remodeling experiences when, well, “mistakes” happened.

We’d like to talk more about how a bathroom remodel can go sideways and end up costing you more money for worse results.

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Kitchen Remodeling Ideas for the New Year

January 4th, 2021

A prep sink in a kitchen island and an apron-front or farmhouse sink for a kitchen remodel in Los Angeles.Everyone—and we think almost everyone—is looking forward to doing something different and fresh for the new year, since the previous year was kind of, well, stuck in a rut. If you’re looking for a way to reinvigorate your home during 2021, arranging for kitchen remodeling in Los Angeles, CA is one of the best ways. Perhaps this idea has been in the back of your mind for a stretch, but now that your brain is fully engaged in getting a new start, it’s a task you want to tackle this year.

We’re here for the job: we offer full kitchen remodeling services, starting from the early design phase and continuing through putting in the last of the lights and hooking up the plumbing. Let’s start with the design: below we’ve put together a few ideas to consider for your new kitchen. This is just the beginning—we have many more concepts to help you realize your dream new kitchen.

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5 Mistakes to Watch for During New Home Construction

December 21st, 2020

blueprints-for-house-constructionWe recently addressed a big question a homeowner can face, which is whether to choose a full house renovation or a new home construction. It’s not an easy choice, but in this post we’re going to look at what happens if you’ve chosen to go with new home construction in Los Angeles, CA

The first step to take before anything else is to contact an experienced local building contractor. Advanced Builders & Contractors has a full team of architects, designers, and builders to handle your project from start to finish—we place all the work under a single roof so you won’t run into problems with various subcontractors and miscommunication. When you have professionals on board from the start, you’ll be able to dodge some of the major mistakes that can occur with planning new home construction. 

Below are five of these common errors we’ve known people to make.

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Home Remodeling Ideas for 2021

December 7th, 2020

new-years-resolutionsWe’re in the last month of 2020. It’s been a difficult year for most people, full of numerous challenges. For many, these challenges were centered around their homes, which saw a complete change of how much they’re used. Activities from outside the house shifted inside—work the most notable. If you’re like many homeowners, you probably came to look at your house much differently in 2020 than ever before.

Next year will be different, and you’re likely already looking forward to making changes or getting a fresh start. A remodeling contractor in Los Angeles, CA can help you put into place plans for your house that will help with that fresh start, and you probably already have some ideas for what changes you want based on your experiences during a difficult 2020. Below are a few remodeling ideas that make sense for the upcoming year.

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Luxury Renovation Ideas for a Garage

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.

Conclusion

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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Renovation vs. New Home Construction

November 23rd, 2020

“To renovate or build a new house?” This is one of the eternal questions homeowners find themselves facing. It doesn’t come with easy answers. However, you have come to the right place to find solutions. Advanced Builders & Contractors has a long history of serving Los Angeles area homeowners with all types of construction projects, from basic additions and renovations to full home construction. Below we’re going to go into a bit more depth about the “renovation vs. new construction” question.

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When a Remodeling Goes South: The Importance of a Great Contractor

November 9th, 2020

bathroom-torn-apartNothing can ever go 100% as planned 100% of the time. The best way to raise the chance that you get that 100% on a job such as doing a major remodel on your home or a room addition is to work with one of the best general contractors in Santa Monica, CA. Success starts with people who know what they’re doing, have experience and a history of solid references, and can approach a project with a system that helps to make the work as smooth as possible.

Our company is founded on handling in-house all the jobs of a remodel. This means we don’t work with subcontractors. A standard general contractor handles the hiring of subcontractors for remodels and room additions, which makes the job much easier than if you chose to handle hiring the subcontractors yourself. But this process of subcontractors still leaves open the possibility of a remodel that starts to go wrong—and you’re soon looking at the exact opposite of your beautiful plan for a new kitchen, bathroom, or addition of an office or room conversion. 

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Innovative Building Materials for a Luxury Custom Home

November 3rd, 2020

It can be argued that there is no greater asset than your home, as not only is it a great investment in which to funnel your money, but it is potentially a great channel to pass on your legacy of hard work and financial responsibility to future generations of your family.

As such, when you are looking into building a luxury custom home, you want to choose the finest building materials—materials that will be classy, innovative, and stand the test of time. To maximize the value of your custom home in 2020, it should be constructed with several important points in mind:

  • It should be as eco-friendly as possible, helping your home achieve energy efficiency to save on electric costs and reduce its carbon output.
  • It should be able to hold up in the face of inclement weather and heavy use, limiting the cost of future repairs.
  • It should be designed in a way that you can achieve maximum functionality of all of its square footage.

To check off these boxes, there are a number of innovative building materials that you should give top consideration for your custom home in 2020.

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