Author: Ben Marciano

Transform Your Garage into a Productive Home Office

Remote work continues to be and will likely stay part of the “norm” in the greater Los Angeles area for the long-term. The issue that at-home workers often face is not having dedicated space where they can remain productive and focused on their work. As a result, many will turn to converting an existing space, such as the garage, into their own office. That said, most DIY conversions simply do not fit the bill and may present more challenges than anticipated. 

Is additional space on your property looking like an attractive option to pursue a greater work-from-home (WFH) lifestyle? If so, here’s a guide on what to know about turning your garage into an office before you get started. 

Consider Your Needs and Aesthetic Before Fully Conceptualizing Your Space

A garage home office looks different for everyone, but simply diving straight into this type of project without the necessary preparation can put a damper on the excitement if it’s executed incorrectly. Instead, set aside some time to consider your needs as a WFH professional and how you can best meet these in your new space. 

Ultimately, the nature of your work will determine what you need to get the most of your space. For example, if your work is heavily collaborative, having your own space where you’re able to communicate with your clients and co-workers more effectively (bigger work screens, quieter space, etc.) and draw up ideas with ease may be what a desirable garage office conversion looks like to you. On the other hand, if you’re someone who needs to do work in absolute silence and requires a minimalist layout in order to stay on task, you’ll have much different needs.

Before you begin pursuing a garage into office project, consider what your space will need to offer you in order to be a more effective working professional as you continue your WFH journey.

Know That Your Garage Will Require Major Renovations to Make It Livable

Some individuals may clean out their space, move a desk and chair into their garage, and settle. The problem? Garages weren’t made to be used as livable space. Some of the main issues you may face in your own garage include a lack of ventilation, major temperature fluctuations due to a lack of insulation, and a lack of lighting, which may affect your ability to see and do work. In these conditions, you may even find that doing work within the home would be a better option.  

If you’re looking to pursue a garage into office project, the best way to go about this is to turn your garage into an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). ADUs are extensions or, in this case, conversions made to your property so that you can transform unused space into a livable property. 

Other considerations to keep in mind for updating your Los Angeles or San Fernando Valley property with a garage conversion are whether you’d want a kitchenette, a ¼ bath, or other improvements to increase the comfort of your space. These additions require remodeling for plumbing and may have additional zoning requirements.

Without the proper renovations, working in your garage can become more of a disadvantage than a benefit. If you want a true home office, you’ll need to follow through on the renovations required to make it a space that you can truly thrive in. 

A Home Office in the Garage Will Likely Require Major Changes to Make It Tech-Friendly

One of the most important items to focus on when developing a garage home office is that you have what you need to operate all of the technology you’ll have in your new workspace. While many garages may have outlets, for example, they may not all be placed in accessible locations, which is one area of focus when you’re pursuing a garage office conversion. Another consideration that you may not think of until it’s too late is whether or not you have reliable WiFi connectivity in your garage space.

Given that we live in the digital age, ensuring that you have the access to everything you’ll need while working in your new garage into office conversion is crucial to getting the most out of your space. 

Ready to Transform Your Garage Into Your New Home Office?

Woman on phone in her new garage home office in Los Angeles

The guide above provides you with greater insight into some of the considerations you’ll need to make if you want your garage to serve as your new home office. But arguably the hardest part of turning your garage into your new office space is finding the right company to help you with your endeavors. Fortunately, A-List Builders is on your side! We are a family-owned, design-build firm dedicated to helping you make the most out of your garage space, with plenty of experience designing garage conversions and ADUs. From concept to completion, we handle every step of the process so that you can rest easy as we build your ideal work-from-home space. 

Ready to get more out of your workspace by pursuing a garage into office conversion? If so, schedule a discovery call with us now so that we can learn more about your property and what you’re looking to achieve with your garage before we get started!

5 Reasons to Choose Pantone’s Color of the Year to Your Home Remodel

Home remodeling is a process that requires careful thought and consideration, especially in regards to design. One area that you’ll inevitably be focusing on when you’re working with a company is color, whether this aspect is something that is incorporated into your home’s walls and floors, accents, trim, finishes, or the exterior design itself. Where do you get started when selecting a main color for your home (or even multiple colors to offer you the perfect color scheme)?

To provide you with some inspiration, here are five reasons to choose the Pantone color of the year for your home remodeling project.

1. This Year’s Color Represents the Balance and Optimism We All Need in Our Lives

Interestingly enough, Pantone has not chosen just one color of the year. Instead, they’ve opted for two complementary yet independent colors: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (yellow). Gray is a quiet color that offers a sense of ease and calm and provides you with the practical foundation that you need to stop and breathe. Meanwhile, Pantone’s Illuminating produces an uplifting, inspiring feeling that brings us a much-needed boost of optimism we all could use in today’s world. 

If color psychology and meaning are important when you’re choosing a paint color for your house and making decisions for your home’s remodeling color schemes, you should absolutely incorporate the Pantone color of the year into your home remodeling project.

2. This Combination Establishes Minimalism and Personality in Your Home

Gray is an excellent color because it integrates well into the modern, minimalistic style that many homeowners may be looking for today. However, for many, it can often lack that warmth and personality that they need to truly make the most out of their space. Fortunately, this Pantone combination of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating allows you to lay the foundation for your design and build upon it with a brilliant yellow that injects warmth and happiness into your surroundings. 

If you find that minimalistic colors are far too impersonal but too many bright colors make it difficult to live in your home, you’re going to love the mix of the solid gray and bright yellow that Pantone has selected for you this year!

3. It’s a Perfect Pair to Incorporate Into Your Outdoor Area

Living in Southern California means being able to soak in the warmth of the sun for the better part of the year. Because of this, the Pantone color of the year works perfectly with any outdoor area. With a patio area or pool that’s mostly gray, you can easily add a splash of color with yellow patio furniture, tile work, or accent walls. It makes for an elegant and contemporary palette for remodeling your outdoor kitchen, as well.  When it comes to mixing gray and yellow, the only limit is your imagination!

4. There Are Plenty of Ways to Feature These Colors in Your Design Choices

Gray is an excellent, timeless choice for your home given its versatility with other colors. After all, when your space features a majority of gray, black, or white, any other colors that you decide to feature in a space work to improve upon the aesthetics of whatever area you’re working with (as long as you don’t overdo it, of course). No matter which area you’re focusing on, the Pantone color of the year gives you plenty of opportunity to customize your home so that it matches the Pantone color of the year. 

5. The Contrast of This Combination Helps You Bring Life to Your Space

Choosing the color palette for your home renovation goes beyond its structure; you can consider your entire property themes, as well. If you’re looking to make the most out of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating yellow, bring the color scheme into your landscaping decisions as well. Consider evergreen, drought-friendly plants that offer pops of yellow or yellow-green hues in your drought tolerant landscaping in Los Angeles, too. Think about how pops of yellow would complement your plans for renovating your hardscape, as well. If you have a green thumb (or a big love of plants in general), this can be an excellent way to get more out of the Pantone color of the year in a new and imaginative way.

Ready to Get Started on Your Home Remodeling Project?

While looking at remodeling color schemes and choosing a paint color for your house when it’s finished can help you plan for the future, you need to start on your home remodeling project first. But where do you turn to for support? Fortunately, A-List Builders is here to help. Whether you’re pursuing a complete home remodel or going room by room and tackling each individual project like a kitchen remodel, we take care of all of your needs from concept to completion. All you have to do to get started is to schedule a discovery call today so we can better understand your needs and whether or not we’re the right fit for you!

Before & After: Turning a Small ‘50s House Into a Modern Oasis

Small house in Sherman House, Los Angeles, before being demolished for a new home constructionLuxury home remodel in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles by A-List Builders

Vintage homes continue to hold an appeal for some, especially in today’s market where the prices of modern homes are rising in Southern California. But for others, an older structure may prevent them from getting the most use out of their space. Another issue with vintage homes is that they often lack modern conveniences, which can be a major problem for owners who are not so interested in maintaining the classic appeal of their house. 

Take into account this small ‘50s house that we razed in Sherman Oaks. This small house had the potential to be so much more, as you will see in this before and after. If you’re wondering what you could do to turn your small house into something more functional for your needs, see what we were able to achieve by renovating a small house in the whole house remodel before and after example below!

Before the Renovation

A property lot in Sherman Oaks after demolition of a vintage property for a new home construction by A-List Builders

This small ‘50s house in Sherman Oaks was once a little blue home that started out as a 537 square foot floor plan, which presented challenges in regards to the owners getting the most out of their space as well as not having the contemporary style or functionality that most homeowners expect today. 

Rather than attempting to remodel the existing structure to leverage the space offered by the house, we decided that the best course of action would be to start from scratch, putting a new structure in its place that would offer more space and greater functionality for the owners. This decision proved to be an excellent way to take advantage of the property’s potential.

When approaching such a project, what does renovating a small house like this look like when it’s finally finished? Here’s what we were able to do converting these small lot house plans into something much larger.

After the Renovation

Front view of Lennox house property renovation in Sherman Oaks, CA

The final product of this renovation is a 3000 square foot modern oasis that is a major upgrade from the previous 1951 home that previously stood in its place.

View of great room in complete home construction by A-List Builders in Sherman Oaks

The house is now a gorgeous two-story home with modern security upgrades and a stunning minimalistic design both inside and out. The first floor offers a spacious open concept floor plan, combining the kitchen, dining area, and living space into one great room. The area is accentuated by the massive glass windows that reveal the backyard as well as a small outdoor sitting space located right next to the dining area. To make work more convenient, a home office has been included in this plan as well.

Backyard of Lennox house

The backyard now offers plenty of space for entertaining, offering outdoor furniture for lounging, a built-in grill, and island space for eating and preparing food. On the other side of the backyard, we’ve included a modern soaking pool and jacuzzi for when the owners feel like taking a dip.

Master bedroom in Lennox house remodel in Sherman Oaks

Traveling up the beautiful glass staircase will reveal a sprawling second story that offers four bedrooms and four baths, a major upgrade from the previous one bed/one bath home that we first approached when we were tasked with renovating the original small house

The final result of this whole house remodel before and after is a modern home that makes the most of the lot space and truly takes the homeowner’s experience (and the home’s value) to the next level. 

Make More of Your Space With A-List Builders

Open floor plan property in Reseda with patio for entertaining guests

Do you have a home that is simply not spacious enough for your living needs or does not offer what you need in order to get the most of your homeownership? The good news is that you don’t have to settle. The next step to take when you’re looking into renovating a small house is to reach out to A-List Builders

Our team of expert designers and contractors work with you every step of the way to help you envision what your space could truly offer, making sure that you’re covered from conception to completion. If you’re interested in taking a small space, like the one offered by the house in this Sherman Oaks project, and transforming it into a home that you’ll be able to truly fall in love with, all you have to do is get started is to reach out to us so we can better determine your needs and whether or not we’re the right fit for you, allow us to conduct an in-home consultation to determine what we can make happen and how long it will take to achieve, and leave the rest to us! 

Looking to transform your property’s lot to increase its value and its space? If so, schedule a discovery call with us so that we can act on your dream of renovating a small house and transform it into a sprawling modern home like the one shown in the project above!

Check Out the Entire Sherman Oaks Renovation Gallery

Before & After: Garage Remodel in Reseda

mage of a family home in Reseda, LA with garage door open before a garage remodelWelby Way Project - Reseda - ADU Garage Conversion

Deciding to renovate a portion of your property to add an additional or accessory dwelling unit (ADU) can come with a wide variety of benefits. This is especially true if you live in Southern California where rising rent and real estate prices may be forcing you to look for extra income or to offer space to family members who may be affected by these same issues. 

When you’re considering adding an ADU to your property, it’s important to think about your short term and long-term goals for the project. What does the end result look like when you envision your dreamy detached unit? If you want to see what an ADU could look like for your Los Angeles home, let’s cover the garage remodel before and after for this property in Reseda. 

Before the Renovation

Garage filled with items

The retired couple who owns this property in Reseda reached out to us so that we could renovate their garage and turn it into an ADU. This renovation would provide them with the extra space they wanted for themselves as well as for any of their family that potentially needed the space throughout the year. 

However, this garage renovation before and after was also driven by another need: the desire for an additional income stream. By renovating this garage into its own independent ADU, it has allowed them to meet both of their needs, providing them with a separate living area that they can rent out to students attending the nearby college as well as extra space on their property that they could use when needed. This has helped them make their home more affordable without requiring them to find an active income source in order to do so.

As you can see from this gallery, the previous structure was a traditional, attached one-car garage for a single-family home. We were able to conduct an in-home consultation and come up with a design that would provide them with the appropriate renovations so that they could legally rent out this space to anyone who may need it during the school year. 

Let’s take a closer look at this garage remodel before and after to see what we were able to make possible with the space provided. 

After the Renovation

Renovated kitchen area

The front of the garage now features attractive front-facing windows and a secure door to offer access to the tenants and their family members. Upon walking in, you’ll immediately see that the garage space, now an ADU, offers the family a kitchen, complete with a refrigerator, full range stove, double-sided sink, a microwave, multiple outlets for kitchen appliances, and plenty of drawers and cabinet space to support a fully-stocked kitchen. 

Renovated bathroom area

To the side, we have a sleek, modern bathroom space with a glass walk-in shower, toilet, and sink, along with a washer and dryer stacked on one another to conserve space.

Full overview of the renovated space

In front of both the kitchen and the bathroom is plenty of space to set up a small living area as well as a bedroom, with a center divider in the middle to allow for privacy when needed. 

The final garage remodel before and after result is a cozy, contemporary space that meets the aesthetic needs of the modern renter and provides them with everything they need to have access to without needing to step foot in the main house. 

Interested in Transforming Your Garage Into an ADU? 

If you have unused garage space that could be put to better use as a space that you could rent out to earn additional income or even as an extra space for family who may have fallen on hard times as a result of the 2020 pandemic, now is the time to enlist the help of A-List Builders to transform your garage into a stunning ADU. 

When you consult A-List Builders for your renovation needs, our team of designers and contractors work with you every step of the way to ensure that you’re receiving the best service possible from conception to completion. Whether you’re looking to renovate your garage like in the garage remodel before and after example above or you want to remodel another area or build a new structure for your ADU, we are here to help you make it happen.

If you’re ready to transform your garage into a space you or others could live in, schedule a discovery call with us so that we can learn more about your needs, provide you with a better idea of what the outcome will be, and help you get started on adding the perfect ADU to your property that looks just like this excellent garage remodel before and after project.

Building a Guest House? Here’s What to Know

As rent and real estate prices continue to rise throughout Southern California, building additional or accessory dwelling units (ADUs) is becoming more and more appealing to homeowners. For those who have someone in their family that requires extensive care, ADUs can be essential as they offer extra living space and serve to accommodate live-in caretakers or family members.

At A-List Builders, we work with Los Angeles families for the long term. We’ve seen the increased need for additional space for older generations and their caretakers, or for younger family members who need a place to land when life throws the unexpected their way. We’ve provided some considerations to make and questions to ask yourself below if you plan on adding a guest house in your backyard or anywhere else on your property. 

Small House With a White Picket Fence

To Renovate an Existing Space or to Build Your ADU From Scratch? 

The biggest problem that homeowners may run into when they’re considering building a guest house in their backyard is if the property lacks the space or acreage for additional structures, or existing garage or shed structures get in the way. Fortunately, existing structures don’t have to prevent you from building an ADU on your property as there are two different courses of action you can take to achieve this goal! 

If you have plenty of space in your backyard, building a guest house in backyard space is as simple as finding a design that works best for the space available. If, however, you may not have enough space to dedicate to a guest house, you could also choose to renovate your garage or turn another area in your property into an independent living space. 

This brings us to our next point. 

Types of ADUs to Consider 

Interior of a tiny home

While certain ADUs, like detached units or converted garages, may be the most popular choices, there are multiple ADU options that you should look into when you decide that you require additional living space on your property. Some of these ADU options include:

  • An attached ADU that is connected to the main home but still allows for independent living
  • An interior ADU that is located in the upper section of the house, such as the attic
  • An interior ADU that is located in the lower section of the house, such as the basement
  • An attached ADU that is built above an existing structure like the garage

While building a guest house in backyard space is one of the most desirable ADU concepts, the type of ADU that you choose will depend upon your individual needs, what you plan on using your ADU for in the future, and how comfortable you are with another individual living in the main house. Keep these things in mind when reviewing what ADU options you have at your disposal.

Additional Considerations to Make When Researching ADUs

Although the decision to build an ADU on your property is one that may be non-negotiable for some at this point in time, there are still important considerations to make before you undertake this kind of project. To help you become clearer on your goal, here are a few questions that you’ll want to ask yourself. 

  1. What Is My Budget for This Project? Your budget will ultimately determine the type of ADU you choose. Set aside some time to do further research into how much this project will cost, what your budget is, and how you can make this project a reality. 
  2. How Long Does an ADU Take to Build? Understanding the amount of time that it takes for this type of project is crucial to ensuring you have your building prepared when you need it. For example, if you’re looking to provide housing for a live-in caregiver, you’ll want to ensure that the ADU is prepared for them by the time you enlist the help of such a professional. 
  3. What Do I Need to Take Care of in the Meantime? Chances are,  there are other tasks you can take care of while you’re planning on establishing a guest house in backyard space. This could include finding new furniture or deciding which of your furniture you want to move to your ADU, seeking out the new tenant for your ADU beforehand, and coming up with plans for the interior design. 

Start Your ADU Journey With Us

With a better idea of what you’re looking for out of your ADU, all that’s left to do is reach out to A-List Builders to help you design your ideal space. Our team of designers and contractors work with you every step of the way to ensure that you’re receiving the best service possible from conception to completion, regardless of whether you decide on building a guest house or renovating an existing space. 

If you’re ready to add your own guest house in backyard space, schedule a discovery call with us so that we can learn more about your needs, help you come up with a design and a timeline, and begin the construction of your new guest house!

Small Backyard Renovations for Improving Your Indoor-Outdoor Living

Southern California is well-known for its temperate climate in the inland areas and the gorgeous Mediterranean-style climate in the coastal regions, making it the perfect place to realize all of your outdoor living dreams. But with all of the potential sitting right outside of your home, how do you get started? 

Whether you’re new to the region or want to experience your home as you never have before, let’s walk through some small backyard renovations for improving your indoor-outdoor living and to breathe new life into your outdoor space. 


Design a Patio Space for a Quiet Reprieve

2020’s stay-at-home orders left many residents feeling restless, but the truth is that you don’t have to leave the house to escape. One excellent renovation to pursue if you’re wanting to experience some change is to design an outdoor patio space where you can tuck yourself away when you’re feeling like you need a reprieve from work and a break from your day-to-day. 

This can mean adding some cozy outdoor furniture to your patio, making space for sitting and reading or engaging in other activities that put you at ease. Worried about the winter chill getting to you while you’re enjoying your indoor-outdoor space? Now is the perfect time to consider building an outdoor wood-burning or gas fireplace that’ll keep you warm while you’re enjoying your new patio. 

Whenever life becomes overwhelming and you need to break away, making a patio space one of your small backyard renovations is an excellent way to get the most out of indoor-outdoor living. Plus, if you work from home full time, this provides a new space for when you need a change of scenery.


Build an Outdoor Kitchen to Spice Up Your Culinary Habits

Although how we entertain guests has changed and will likely look different for a while, we know we’ll return to being able to fully host gatherings. Having access to an outdoor kitchen gives you the ability to entertain when the need arises. Additionally, it can offer you a way to switch things up when your cooking habits start feeling a bit too mundane. This can be especially important given that many have turned to cooking as a way to occupy themselves as many continue to social distance. 

The outdoor kitchen that you ultimately decide on will depend upon your individual cooking habits. However, many wonderful outdoor kitchens offer amenities like a built-in grill, built-in cooktops, mini-refrigerators, food preparation spaces, storage for your cooking utensils, and even bar preparation and beverage cooling stations. Small backyard renovations like these can make a world of difference in how you use your indoor-outdoor space. 

Who knows? Building an outdoor kitchen may make outdoor dining your new favorite activity!


Carve Out an Area Where You Can Simply Be With and Enjoy Nature

Man gardening with a woman

With everyone spending more time at home, being able to go out and connect with nature may be a deeply missed activity. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Another way to get more out of your indoor-outdoor area is to carve out a space for nature where you can simply sit and be. 

Whether this entails pursuing a minimalistic backyard design decorated with some of your favorite flowers and foliage,  adding ponds and statues for aesthetics, or opting for hardscape updates, focusing on small backyard renovations gives you ways to connect with nature (or tend to your plants if you love to grow your own), and simply relax.


Create Your Ideal Indoor-Outdoor Living Space Today!

If a better indoor-outdoor living experience has become a focus for you, reach out to A-List Builders to help you design your ideal space. From conception to completion, our team of designers and contractors work with you to understand what it is you want from your indoor-outdoor space and how we can best deliver that to you, handling every step of the project so that you don’t have to. 

All you have to do to get started is to schedule a discovery call where we’ll discuss your ideas in greater detail to understand whether or not we’re the right fit for you. Then, we’ll meet with you to provide you with an estimate and a timeline, provide you with a more comprehensive design for your concept based on your backyard space, and begin the hard work that goes behind taking your design and making it a reality.

Whether you plan on incorporating a peaceful patio into your backyard, building an outdoor kitchen, or getting in touch with nature by taking advantage of our hardscaping and landscaping services, give us a call to get started on these small backyard renovations that will help you get more out of your property!

Home Office Remodel Tips

With many Los Angeles companies and individuals making the transition to work from home, there is a great opportunity to personalize your workspace and create a comfortable environment that can increase your productivity and efficiency. If you’re still not sure exactly where you want to work from, a home office remodel could be the key to ensuring your space delivers exactly what you need. Learn more about some of the office remodel ideas from A-List Builders to get you started!

  1. Accessibility

There’s no reason why your office environment shouldn’t have the space, comfort, and privacy you need to work from home. Consider your requirements when in a normal office and learn how to translate those into your space. If you don’t have a great spot to work from, look at home office renovation ideas based on your needs.

Do you expect to receive clients in your home office? Do you need complete silence to work? Are you looking for a space that offers enough room to get up and get moving? All of these will have an effect on how you choose and modify your work space.

Your home office remodel should consider whether you need an additional entrance, more insulation from the noises of the world outside, or an open floor plan that allows you to bring in a treadmill desk or workout area.

  1. Build an ADU

renovating an ADU or shed into a home office

Some people need complete and utter disconnection from their home to create the perfect work environment. Building an ADU (additional dwelling unit) is one way you can achieve this. Some people choose to renovate and convert an existing structure like a garage, while others want new construction from the ground up.

Adding an ADU to your space may depend on your home office remodel requirements, the square footage of your lot and current size of your house, as well as other Los Angeles County codes and permitting requirements. Luckily, A-List Builders has the experience and connections you need to evaluate your space and help figure out if an ADU is an option for you.

  1. From Top to Bottom

If you’re looking for smaller home office remodel ideas, consider your office from top to bottom. Everything from the wall paint and decor to the lighting fixtures and flooring can be changed to fit your aesthetics and accommodate your needs.


People don’t realize that the way their office looks is directly related to their productivity. Working in a space that makes you feel positive ensures your creativity and production surges. Additionally, changing your floors with a minor home office remodel to something like hardwood or laminate makes it easier to clean up spills, footprints, and other stains.

Engineered wood especially, gives your space a more contemporary and professional feel. It’s affordable, durable, and easy to maintain—able to withstand heavy traffic, make no noise, and it’s scratch resistant.


Lighting has a huge impact on the ambiance of your office and can completely change your working capabilities. If you don’t have layered lighting that considers ambient, task, and accent lighting, you need to reevaluate this issue. With a minor home office remodel, you can install recessed lighting or track lighting in your ceiling. Task lighting can be anything from a desk lamp to a hanging pendant light above your work space and accent lighting simply highlights any wall art or other decor elements in your office.

  1. Make Small Changes

home office remodel with built in desk

Not every home office remodel needs to make a major change. Explore some of these smaller home office renovation ideas to get you started:

  • Cabinetry and shelving is an efficient way to improve storage space without stacking things on your desk or on the floor.
  • Wall mounted baskets can be a great way to stay organized and they add a modern sense of style to your space.
  • Mounted mirrors and large windows can trick your mind into feeling like the space is much larger than it is.
  • Built-in desks save you tons of space that you can use for other things and makes your office look unique and chic.
  1. Hardware & Wiring

Some people don’t consider that convenient computer and telephone wiring installation is an important element of office design. Knocking out drywall for rewiring and installing additional outlets could be a crucial element of making your new office space workable. Remember that you need strong connectivity to the internet and ensure you’re well situated for home presentations with this basic home office remodel.

Your Workspace Matters

Your work day is much more pleasant when you enjoy the space in which you have to do it. Discover the difference that these office remodel ideas make to your work-life balance and reach out to A-List Builders when you’re ready for an estimate or consultation.

How to Plan for Remodeling Your Home & Stay on Budget

Many construction firms expect homeowners to know everything about the ins and outs of financing a home addition or ensuring that home remodeling stays on budget. At A-List Builders, we understand that there are many layers and a lot of complexity to doing a renovation and we’re here to help guide you through the best ways to do everything from an ADU build to bathroom remodeling on your budget. Learn more about how to plan for your remodel financially with tips from our experts.

  1. Set Your Goals

Figuring out exactly what you want is the first step to home remodeling on a budget. While you can always discuss material specifics with us, figuring out why you’re renovating a space is crucial. Do you need an additional bathroom so all your kids can get ready at the same time? Are you redoing the kitchen for more counter space? Is an open floor plan more aesthetically appealing to you?

Once you know why you want something, you can focus on that and avoid wasting time and money on peripheral things that try to side track you.

  1. Get Specifics

Even before you start looking at the numbers, take your goals and decide on the details. Now is the time to pin down your preferences for materials and finishing, as these can substantially affect your costs and complicate financing a home addition. Everything from hardwood flooring and carpet to formica and granite countertops need to be taken into consideration.

Taking these extra steps to hammer out the specifics, also ensures you have more details to give your contractor for an accurate estimate. If we know exactly what you want, we’re far more likely to be able to pull information on cost per square foot and provide a precise quote for your home remodeling on a budget.

  1. Assess Financing

Hearth 310x610
Not everyone can afford to pay for their renovation or remodel in cash. If you need to look at financing for a home addition, it means exploring HELOCs (home equity line of credit), personal loans, or even refinancing your original home loan. At A-List Builders, we can actually help you with this step as well as the design, planning, and management of your project.

We’ve teamed up with a company called Hearth to offer you personalized financing options and ensure you can complete home remodeling on your budget. With 13 lenders, we take a close look at your preferences and requirements and sort through the various options available before presenting you with a financial plan that is perfect for your needs.

  1. Get a Hard Quote

architect working on blueprints

The first estimate you get from most design/build firms is just that—an estimate. After you discuss the nitty gritty details, we can give you a hard quote with a far more detailed outline of project costs, timeline, and more.

There are two ways you can strive to stick to home remodeling on your budget: a time-and-materials contract or a fixed-price contract. A time-and-materials contract is based on the time employees and subcontractors spend to complete the work on your project as well as the materials they ended up using. A fixed-price contract is where you pay a lump sum for the project up front and that’s it.

  1. Set Aside Extra Funds

In life, there are no guarantees. If you’re trying to complete a home remodeling project on a budget, it’s good practice to assume that mistakes and surprises will happen. To mitigate the costs and avoid having to make compromises on the scope of work, our experts recommend putting aside an extra 10-15% of the total project cost. Best case scenario, you don’t need to use these funds and can spend them on furnishings. Worst case scenario, something happens and you already have the money you need to remedy the situation.

  1. Find Places to Cut Costs

There are many places in a renovation project where you can—and should—cut costs, especially if you’re home remodeling on a budget. While you don’t want to sacrifice on crucial elements, like workmanship and material quality, you can save a little money with these strategies:

  • Low Cost Finishings: Explore the cost of different materials before deciding on a final finish. Many times, you’ll find that choosing a slightly different shade of hardwood can save you a lot per square foot. The same goes for choosing laminate countertops instead of granite or quartzite instead of marble in your bathroom.
  • Refurbished Furnishings: There’s no need to buy brand new home appliances or furniture. Choosing refurbished or salvaged pieces can help you save up to 30% over new items.
  • DIY: Doing little things, like pulling up carpeting, removing bathroom tile, or painting on your own, can end up saving you a lot of money in the long term.

Working with A-List Builders

ongoing construction and remodeling

A-List Builders is proud to be able to offer you comprehensive guidance for your home renovation from concept to completion. Whether it’s just bathroom remodeling on a budget or an entire home renovation, we’re here to provide you estimates, advice, and financing. Trust in our team to have your best interests at heart!

Ready to get started? Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.

About Bathroom Remodeling & Restoration in Los Angeles

Remodeling a small bathroom can be deceptively complex: you’ll want to utilize space well, while maximizing new additions and modernizing fixtures. Of course, big or small, bathrooms come with a host of specific factors that make any remodel a bit more daunting than a bedroom or spare room. Forgoing the proper preparation can make a small bathroom project balloon into a large headache, and knowing how to remodel a small bathroom will spare you the project purgatory of a never done room: in short, a game plan is key.

Go from the Ground Up

 Contemporary Bathroom InteriorPipes, flanges, flooring, and drainage: the special requirements of a bathroom’s functionality are always phase one. Allocate at least 60% of your remodel budget toward incidentals and upgrades, even if the fixtures seem relatively new. You should also have a solid idea of regional permits and strictures, especially when working in a bigger city. Bathroom restoration in Los Angeles, for instance, can be very different from other, smaller municipalities. Bathroom floors have to contend with high traffic and moisture. While there are budget options, elements and fixtures should always be chosen with care. While the allure of brushed nickel and designer basins is always tempting, the less sexy pieces are going to give your remodel the biggest bang for its buck. Here are a few places not to skimp:

The toilet flange: This little part pulls the double duty of affixing the toilet to the floor, and the drain to a sewage outlet. Flanges can corrode, and bad workmanship can make them slip from alignment. There’s also a troubling risk of over-applying sealant, which can cause any kind of leak to build up under the floorboard tile and laminate. Be sure to check closely that the flange is properly installed. A shaky toilet is the first sign of trouble.

 Traditional Bathroom with Sink and MirrorVentilation: The scope and scale of your project will determine how to remodel a small bathroom for your specific space. Most often, structural retrofitting will be guided by the era in which the home was constructed–and any subsequent work done before it came into your hands. Ventilation systems for home bathrooms have evolved over the years, with many bathrooms built prior to having access to more modern options. Outside of the aesthetics, ventilation can help prevent problems with mildew build-up and potential mold issues.

Plumbing: Older plumbing can become corroded, or lose functionality over time due to blockage and environmental damage. For many remodels, this is an opportunity for piping to be replaced or updated. For successful bathroom restoration, you’ll want to be sure to know the basics of pipe materials:

  • Galvanized pipes, while not always lead-tainted, are susceptible to corrosion, meaning particulate in the water supply that is dangerous and toxic in high doses.
  • Copper pipes are less susceptible to corrosion; however, copper’s malleability can mean unfortunate bends or pinch points created by amateur installation or poorly planned DIY pipe movement.
  • Pex pipes (made from high-density polyethylene, a high grade plastic) won’t degrade like metal, and are far less likely to freeze and burst. Pex can also be an ease to install, replace, and shift because of its flexibility, and the need for fewer fittings.

Pick Your Focal Point

For many people, the answer to the question of how to remodel a small bathroom lies in a detailed plan. Organizing the remodel around a star player is a great way to keep your eye on the prize, and help prevent creeping costs due to ancillaries and sundries that pop up along the way. Have you always wanted a dual sink and vanity? Is a main storage unit for all of your beauty products important? Or perhaps you finally want to opt for that spa shower? Use the most essential fixture or element as the organizing fixture for your budget and the rest of your additions.

White and Grey Bathroom with Ocean-Themed Shower CurtainDouble Up on Space

For any small bathroom space, finding clever ways to make a small bathroom feel bigger is key. Corner sinks and trough sinks can help you bypass a space-dominating vanity, or forgo one entirely for a floating sink look. Strategically placed towel rods, especially telescoping ones, can help with storage for hanging items. Mirrors will open up the space. Larger patterns of tile, or wall murals, can make the space feel larger. For a backsplash, the opposite is true: go light, and go minimalist for a larger feel. Builders with experience in bathroom restoration can help maximize any space, drawing on other successful projects for inspiration and techniques.

Get Help

Even the handiest among us has gaps in our plumbing knowledge, and there’s no wiggle room for home remodels involving pipes, electric, and potential retrofitting. Lean on experienced team at A-List Builders, offering guidance from concept to completion and promising the highest standards. Still wondering how to remodel a small bathroom? Our team can walk you through it all: taking you from phase one through construction. Contact us today to get started.

Our clients believe in us.

Here is what a few of them say.

  • Kobi R.

    It’s been years since I’ve done any work to my home so I was nervous about the whole project. Thankfully, I found a company that not only provided me with a patient ( I am very particular) and punctual contractor, Rani, but the job came out better than I expected. After doing such an amazing job on the kitchen, I expressed to Rani that I would like to do some more work with him but money, unfortunately, doesn’t grow on trees. Fortunately, Rani found an affordable way for me to redo all the bathrooms and flooring throughout the house.

  • Beverly S.

    Our initial meeting with Rani was excellent due to him giving us information and ideas we hadn’t thought of. He returned a week later with a presentation for our kitchen. Again, we were surprised at his additional ideals and his presentation. We had previously had two of the big-box stores come out so we had an idea of cost. Rani was more reasonable and offered us better and more creative ideas. Our kitchen is completed and we feel we qualify for Better Homes & Gardens. We would recommend our experience and job to everyone.

  • Warren M.

    After about a year and a half after we remodeled our bathroom, we had some minor electrical issues and reached out to A-List Builders. Ben followed up consistently and in a timely manner until my needed repair work was done.

  • Debbie W.

    Everyone was professional, nice and knowledgeable. I am so happy with their work and I will be using them again for my next project. In addition, I will be referring them (which I don't do unless I completely trust a job well done) to my family and friends. Thank you, again, for such a positive experience.

  • Deborah B.

    I hired A-List for a large restoration project. The project involved wall replacement with framing & drywall, stucco, exterior & interior painting, foundation reinforcement, a new exterior gate, fence repair, brick & tile walkways. Ben was the only contractor I interviewed who recommended that an engineer inspect the foundation as part of the evaluation process. Megan cheerfully worked through the process with my insurance company. All of the on-site workers were a pleasure to work with. They arrived early, were professional, & kept the work-site clean & organized...even the city inspector commented positively about A-List's knowledge & organization. A-List Builders did a great job & their follow-up was excellent.

  • Lou D.

    Like so many people in LA we bought a fixer upper. Over the last 5 years we have searched intently for a contractor we could trust. Never has a contractor come on our property that affected us the way Ben and Megan from A-List Builders have. They immediately understood our needs and made brilliant suggestions. They answered every question, every call, and it was such a difference dealing with them than any company we've ever hired before. They did not waste a minute of our time, nor did they try to get us to do more than we wanted. Their pricing is more than fair. They are so good at what they do and completely trustworthy and make hard things much easier. There actually IS a really good General Contractor out there and a company that does all that it promises and more.

  • Anonymous

    I used A-List Builders for my Bathroom Remodel and my bathroom is more beautiful now than I could have ever imagined...I met with Ben who gave me a free estimate for the job and knew right away that A-List Builders was the company I was going to use for the job. Their estimate was fair, and their communication throughout the entire process was fantastic. I always knew there was going to be someone else on the other line if I needed to get a hold of them for any reason. Their workers were true pros that did an immaculate job, excellent craftmanship and very good at keeping the renovation area very clean. I absolutely love my new bathroom and have already recommended them to two of my friends. Truly a great experience!

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