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Renovation Tips

Creating the Perfect ADU Layout

Enhancing your beautiful home in Los Angeles doesn’t always mean finding ways to revitalize your interior design or improving upon an existing space. Sometimes, it means finding ways to get greater use out of your property, such as building or remodeling a portion of your property to accommodate an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). But what should your ADU look like, and what considerations will you need to make once you start building it? If you think an ADU would be a great addition to your property, here are some tips on creating the perfect ADU layout!

Discover Which ADU Style Is Most Appealing to You 

Before you start looking for ADU layout ideas to spark inspiration for your own home project, it can be helpful to know exactly which type of ADU you want to build on your property. As we’ve covered in the past, some of the options you have at your disposal include: 

  • ADUs that are attached to the main house (these can either be completely new buildings or converted spaces like an attached garage)
  • ADUs that are built above the home, like converted attics
  • ADUs separate from the home and located somewhere else on the property (for which you will need to consider ADU kitchen ideas and more for your space)

Figuring out which ADU option is most appealing to you will help you see exactly what you can accomplish with your space and what the end product will look like. See what the full potential of your property is by considering each of the ADU types above. 

Ask Yourself, What Will My ADU Accomplish?

There are plenty of stunning ADU layout ideas out there, but the design is only one aspect of your ADU. Functionality is one major factor that should not be overlooked when you’re planning to add an ADU to your property. For example, if you’re looking to create extra space where friends and family can stay when they visit you, choosing an ADU that is connected to the house (whether it be above or an addition). If, on the other hand, you’re looking for an ADU to accommodate someone like a live-in nanny, having an ADU that’s elsewhere on the property may be a better option. 

Consider some of the reasons why you’re looking to build an ADU so you can determine what type of ADU will be most helpful in your situation and find ADU layout ideas more effectively. Many Southern California homeowners opt to use their accessory unit as an additional income stream to help with their mortgage, for example, which requires following certain regulatory and zoning guidelines.

What Can You Do With an ADU?

Now that we’ve worked through some of the more critical details of your ADU, we can start taking a closer look at the finer details and developing more focused layouts like ADU kitchen ideas and beyond! What can you truly do with an ADU? 

  • Create your own work-from-home office: Throughout the pandemic, working remotely has become a major trend, but working from inside the house isn’t always conducive to full focus. Get more out of your unused space by designing a detached or attached home office space where you can work in peace and quiet and have everything you need for success at your disposal!
  • Generate monthly income with a small rental property: One of the most popular ADU layout ideas is having an ADU that doubles as a rental property. Creating a detached ADU complete with its own small and charming kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living area can help you develop that extra income stream you need. 
  • Make your friends and family feel more at home when they stay with you: Is that extra bedroom just not doing it for you or your guests? Offering an ADU as a place to stay for both short-term and long-term space makes your space more accomodating for everyone involved. Consider the previous suggestions for making a home away from home space for your friends or family or even transform your attic or basement into its own small apartment for your guests. 

Entertain often? Create a space that’s perfect for your weekend bashes: One of the best ADU layout ideas for homeowners who love to entertain is a guest space where you can host multiple individuals or even one that acts as its own game room. When it comes to an ADU that’s designed to help you have even more fun on your property, the possibilities are endless!

Ready to Create Your Perfect ADU?

Photo of a small home

Do you have the perfect ADU layout in mind? Get started on your project with the help of A-List Builders! With over 10 years of experience developing beautiful ADUs and tackling whole home remodels, we handle everything for you from concept to completion to provide you with the final result you want without any of the hassle you don’t. Schedule a discovery call today to see if we can work with you to make your ADU layout ideas a reality!

In-Law Suite Ideas For Your Property

In-law suites aren’t just for hiding from your mother-in-law. In-law suites are the perfect solution to creating privacy whilst still being able to have guests visit, for either long or short term. With a fully functioning apartment to house your guests, everyone is happy and more comfortable. Read on to discover in-law suite ideas for your home!

What Exactly Is an In-Law Suite?

An in-law suite is simply an addition built to a pre-existing home to accommodate guests, or in some cases, family. Whether you have family living with you for an extended period of time out of choice or necessity, an in-law suite allows you to maintain privacy and for your guests to feel comfortable, while not getting in your way. This is an excellent way to support your family or guests while maintaining your sanity.

In-law suites will vary based on your personal preferences, but most come equipped with a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchenette. Depending on the layout of your home, an in-law suite can easily be built to work with your home aesthetically and naturally. There are hundreds of in-law suite plans to build as an addition for your home, you just need to be sure you’re hiring the right team to do your work.

Grandmother holding her granddaughter and smiling.

Consider Building an In-Law Suite Above Your Garage:

An easy way to create additional space on your property for guests to enjoy privacy and comfortability is by an in-law suite addition built right over your garage. Not all garages are created equally, of course. Some garages don’t have the structural integrity to accommodate an in-law suite addition, however, if you have a sizable garage with a solid foundation, a contractor could get moving on renovation plans for adding a level to your garage if possible, or converting your garage into a beautiful in-law suite for you in no time.

More In-Law Suite Ideas:

Another exciting way to make your new in-law suite count is to rent it out to a tenant for either a  short or long term lease, depending on your personal preference. If your in-law suite is private enough with its own entrance and fully detached from your home, having a tenant can make a great deal of sense. 

If you’re a homeowner, it’s never a bad idea to capitalize on your space and make the most of your investment. By adding an in-law suite addition to your house, you’re opening you and your family up to the opportunity to make more money. In-law additions also make for convenient accommodations for your family’s caretakers, whether it’s live-in nannies or hospice workers.

Does an In-Law Suite Add Value to My Property?

Building an in-law suite on your property adds incredible value, particularly in California. As far as resale value goes, you’ve now created a full other bedroom and kitchen, increasing your home’s current value. If you’re going forward with building an in-law suite on your property, be sure you’re going with the right people for the job, as a poorly done in-law suite will not do you favors now or when you go to sell your home in the future. 

With years of experience, the team at A-List Builders will guarantee you a job well done. They are equipped with years of experience and have no shortage of in-law suite ideas for you and your family to increase value to your home and you and your guests feel more comfortable. 

Get in touch with our team today for your discovery call and learn how we can help you.

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!

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.

Flooring

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

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.

Remodeling vs. Renovations: Is There A Difference?

Your home is many things: a place for game night, a workspace, or an escape after a stressful day. If you’ve only recently started to spend extended periods of time in your house, you’re not alone. Due to the ongoing stay-at-home orders, homeowners are finding their schedules disturbed and rooms reinvented. Bedrooms are turning into office spaces as more of us work from home, and more time is spent in our backyards as we practice social distancing and avoid outdoor gatherings, playgrounds and parks.

If you’ve recently realized adding an office or renovating your backyard would greatly improve your home, our renovation and remodeling company is here to help. Learn about remodeling vs. renovation so you know what to expect as you start your list of must-haves for your home makeover.

Install a stunning patio where you can relax and get fresh air, add an extra room to your home so you can focus on your business or hobby, or create a new space ideal for friends and family once the stay-at-home orders are lifted. Once you’re ready, contact A-List Builders and start putting your plan into action.

Restructuring through Remodeling

Many people use “remodel” or “renovate” interchangeably. While both services play a role in residential makeovers, a remodeled home vs. a renovated one requires more work and planning. Remodeling involves altering the structure of your home. Special permissions and paperwork are typically required before the construction process can begin due to the structural risks that a poorly done remodel can impose, in addition to abiding by the building laws of your area.

Changing current structural elements or creating new ones within your home is an effective way to increase the value of your residence while also freshening up the look of your kitchen, backyard, or bathroom. Renovations are ideal for cosmetic fixes around the house, but dramatically reinventing the functionality of a space with remodeling versus renovation gives you more options.

An elaborate backyard landscape remodel with a water feature.

Complete home remodels are also an option for those wanting to change the look and function of their home entirely. One of the biggest questions homeowners need to ask themselves before considering a complete home remodel is whether the remodel or renovation changes they want to make are too extensive or if they should invest in a new space instead.

Reimagining with Renovations

There are many benefits to home renovations. If you love your home’s floor plan but are seeking surface-level, cosmetic changes, a renovation versus a remodeling might be all you need.

A remodeled deck with an additional dwelling unit.

Home makeovers of this caliber are cosmetic and therefore may require little to no paperwork filed with the city. Renovations can take less time than more comprehensive home remodeling projects.

Simple renovations like a change of color or an accent wall can effectively change the look or feel of any room. When shopping for your next home, keep in mind that factors like paint color, wallpaper, or tiles are cosmetic features.

Reinvent Your Home with A-List Builders

Whether you’re looking to design an inviting space for future social gatherings or want to increase your eligibility for a residential tax break, A-List Builders is happy to remodel or renovate your home. Collaborating with a renovation and remodeling company like A-List Builders means you have access to a team with years of experience designing, building, filing permits, and more.

Learn whether your vision calls for a remodel or a renovation. Begin a new chapter of your life in your home with an additional dwelling unit or sunroom, or start from scratch with a brand new construction. Get your important remodel and renovation questions answered by consulting with our award-winning design-build company today!

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!

So, what do you think?

If you’re ready to start talking about your project,
pick up the phone and give us a call at


877-582-7770