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Families are returning to the old days of multi-generational living arrangements, and they are not just putting granny (or junior) in a spare bedroom. It is becoming very popular for people to build accessory dwelling units (also known as a granny flat) behind or beside their existing homes --and for good reason. The benefits of building a granny flat are numerous, not the least providing accommodation for your extended family or for generating rental income.

What is an accessory dwelling unit? It is a secondary dwelling unit on a residential property with complete independent living facilities for family members or others (also known as second units, in-law suites or granny flats). These units can be attached or detached, have full cooki...

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Many people are looking to purchase a home or remodel an existing home. Of those looking to buy, affordability concerns encourage some to look into homes that are older and need renovation. For those who want to hold on to what they already own, they are starting to see opportunities in spending money on home improvements.

We are seeing older homeowners demand aging-in-place retrofits so that they can continue to enjoy their home with ease and comfort. We are also seeing younger homeowners investing in renovations of older homes. One of the fastest-growing trends for all homeowners is home automation. Automating your home cleverly merges your family's lifestyle with the latest technology and energy management tools.

These smart homes are...

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Remodeling your bathroom can bring you more ease in functionality as well as being aesthetically pleasing. When considering a remodel it is helpful to know some of the current trends and decide which ones might best serve you.

One of the most popular trends is eliminating the bathtub to gain a more spacious shower. Many find that they no longer use their bathtubs and would rather have the ease of accessibility that a larger shower gives.

Another trend is taller bathroom vanity cabinets. Replacing your bathroom vanity cabinet with a taller one provides you with more storage and is much more functional when leaning over your sink. When replacing your cabinet, definitely consider a solid surface counter top such as quartz or granite to go w...

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7 Easy Steps to Winterize Your Home This Season

James M. Cain explained it best when he said, “We only have two kinds of weather in California, magnificent and unusual.” This is one of the benefits of living in California; being able to enjoy its gorgeous weather nearly all year long, including the winter. Even though the winters here are mild, there are things we must do as homeowners to protect our properties from the upcoming season. Let me take you through 7 easy, but essential steps to winterizing your home this season.

Step 1: Clean your roof and check for damages

Making sure your roof is cleared of fallen leaves and pine needles can save you a lot of pain in the future. Leaves and pine needles retain moisture and can c...

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As seen at the 2016 National Kitchen & Bath, Design & Construction Week, Las Vegas.

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Just recently I have been working on my own project at home. Between my wife and I, we realized how much anxiety this undertaking creates.

First of all, one must develop a budget to decide how much you want to spend and how much you can afford to spend. There are two different concepts here. And believe me, it will take more than you want to spend. At least, it seems that way with many of my dealings in the industry over the last 35 years.

You might ask, how do I set up a budget? If you have never done a project before, at least on a home, I suggest you explore Remodeling Magazines' Annual spread on Cost vs. Value. You can find it on the web at http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2015/. At this site, you will be able to see what c...

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We know we are in a drought but remember the pouring rain that comes occasionally and unexpectedly, especially during winter? Well, we suggest being prepared for it by cleaning, repairing, and protecting your gutters.
To keep that rain water flowing away from your home rather than into it, it’s important to ensure the drainage system is clean and working properly. You can even protect your gutters with mesh guards to keep debris from causing blockage.
Things you can do to stave off any water intrusion:

  1. Clean out rain gutters and down spouts.
  2. Check yard drains. Put a hose at the farthest drain and let it run for 15 minutes. If it fills up you need to get it cleared.
  3. Check roof for missing shingles, cracks in mastic and fix it now.
  4. Check for cracks, holes in painted or stucco surfaces. Fill as needed.
  5. Clean out weep hole in window drains.
  6. Clear dirt away from house, especially in planters.
  7. Look around yard to make sure the natural drainage path has not been altered so water will flow naturally if drains are not adequate.

*Car batteries that are weak seem to go dead in the rainy season so have it checked out so you won’t be stuck in the rain.

Inspired by any of these ideas, or want to think up more? Give us a call and let’s brainstorm! Call...

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Jump Into Fall!

With kids going back to school, football season starting up again, and pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING coming back into our lives, we don’t need any more clues that autumn is just right around the corner!

Even though in Southern California we don’t have extremely snowy, cold autumns or winters, we still know it’s important to get a few remodeling tasks out of the way before the temperature drops.

First of all, windows!

Older windows tend to let air in the home as well as out of the home - which is not good if it’s cold outside or if you have the heat on inside! A lot of people tend to wait until the cold drafts are actually coming in to do something about it, but we suggest getting ahead of the issue!

One-third of your home’s heat loss could be due to air leaks from the windows.

So, you can do something simple like...

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Turn one of the least thought-about places in your home into one of the most interesting areas: the staircase!

You walk up and down the stairs in your home multiple times a day, but other than what you're placing on TOP of the steps (shoes, toys, etc), have you thought about any other uses? Keep reading for some ideas sure to inspire you!

Are you running out of storage in your home? The area under your staircase can be the perfect place to fit shoes, coats, or even your junk drawer! By building cabinets that fit the look of your exterior wall (paint and design), your storage can be hidden from guests but easy enough for your kids to find. They can be built into different sizes, or can even be made into one large closet.

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Photo from: stairstorageco.net

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It's summer - the perfect season for remodeling your outdoor space!

With the longest day of the year just passing last week, we're now officially in summer mode! And what better way to spend these long sunny days than doing some remodeling for a fun, more comfortable home?

We want to inspire you to create your dream space, so here we have three remodeling ideas that can make anyone's home more relaxing - but don't forget that glass of lemonade!

Idea 1: Vacation in your own backyard!

Do you love sipping on a drink in the evenings after a long day of work, but don't have a comfortable, relaxing space to sit? Consider investing in a patio or deck - a space for family, friends, or just yourself! Deck additions and remodels also increase the value of a home, which is a great plus!

With stay-cations becoming increasingly more popular, having an outdoor space that feels like you're on vacation is very important. If you don't have the budget or time for a deck, consider starting out with a patio, which, depending on your yard, can sometimes be a simple job.

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Idea 2: Pop of color!

Want to give your home a new look, but on a tight budget? A new paint job is one of the most cost- and time-effective ways to give your home a brighter, newer look! Modern colors, like yellow, purple, or blue, can give bedrooms a fun new ambiance.

Feeling adventurous? Painting your kitchen or your bathrooms can give guests a look into your colorful, summery life, and creates a warm, friendly atmosphere!

Color Kitchen

Idea 3: Share a seat with nature!

Beautify your outdoor living space without taking up too much room - AND add seating! Planter benches are a great way to combine your favorite flowers and plants with a comfortable seating area for you and your family. These can be pretty inexpensive. You can add festive cushions for more comfort too!

Backyard haven

Do you like any of the above ideas? Contact us for more information, or for help on how to get started!