Make Any Room Stand Out With Custom Flooring
If you’d like your home to make a statement from the bottom up, you can easily achieve this by updating your floors. At A-List Builders, we specialize in high-quality flooring remodeling services. Our team has the passion and expertise needed to install new flooring or complete a hardwood floor restoration project that will improve your Los Angeles home’s look and value.
If you’re interested in replacing your existing flooring but don’t know where to start, we have you covered. We’ll show you the various types of flooring we have available and help you to choose the best one for your needs. For instance, some homeowners prefer linoleum and vinyl in high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen, whereas tile is a popular option in bathrooms.
Meanwhile, laminate is appropriate for a living area where you’d like to have a hardwood floor look without the hardwood. Of course, hardwood floor restoration is ideal for those who would like to make their worn hardwood floors look brand new again.
The A-List Builders Difference
What makes A-List Builders stand out as a design-build firm is that we do more than simply lay floors. Our clients appreciate the fact that we offer flooring to homeowners and even business owners who would like customized stains and finishes as well. Our goal is to create a distinct look for all of our clients.
Update Your Flooring Today!
At A-List Builders, we are known for our solid communication skills, scheduling skills, and transparency when working with clients, as well as our top-tier craftsmanship when working in clients’ homes. We are also uniquely detailed in our cleanup every time. Call us today to learn more about how our top-of-the-line flooring remodeling solutions can help to turn your house into your dream home.
Tips & Trends
Flooring Made Easy
Remodeling your home can be beneficial to you and the environment. You can make your home eco-friendly in countless ways. Sometimes you’re going green without even realizing it!
Did you know that if you have single pane windows you may be losing up to 50% of your heating and cooling? Changing your windows to energy efficient models can not only save energy but it can make a significant difference in your heating and cooling bill, essentially saving you money, too! If that isn’t enough, they can also improve the resale value of your home!
LEDs are extremely energy efficient. Did you know they consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs? Since LEDs use a fraction of the energy of an incandescent light bulb you will see a dramatic decrease in power costs! Also, due to the long LED lifespan, you will save money and energy in maintenance and replacement costs.
Insulation is beneficial year-round. It keeps your home cool on hot days and hot on cool days. Many people think insulation is used solely to retain the heat in their homes. Homeowners can actually reduce their energy bills by up to 25% during summer, and almost 50% during winter simply by upgrading or retrofitting insulation into their homes! Also, the Government regards cavity wall insulation as one of the most effective energy savings measures that most people can carry out on their homes and apart from saving money it’s a major contributor to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. So not only are you saving money but you are saving the earth, too!
Xeriscape is a common landscaping technique that uses water-efficient plants. Xeriscaping is especially beneficial in drought-stricken portions of the country, like Southern California. Did you know that by Xeriscaping, you can reduce your landscape’s water usage by 50 – 75%? It is estimated that houses that chose Xeriscaping saved up to 120 gallons of water a day! Xeriscaping has environmental and financial benefits and if that’s not enough it is extremely low-maintenance. By reducing the amount of water you use, you are also reducing your water bill and your ecological footprint. Sounds like a win-win to us!
Did you know that exterior coating from increases your home’s resistance to UV rays, lowers your maintenance workload, and prevents the hassle of constant repairs and repainting? California being one of the 3 sunniest states in the nation makes this quiet beneficial. It can also decrease your energy consumption by an average of 22% during summer! The biggest difference between texture coating and cheap paint is the frequency of maintenance. With paint, you encounter cracking and peeling but, with a professional installation of texture coating, you don’t have to worry about either of those!
You can make your bathroom Green in a few simple ways. First off, by replacing outdated features with modern and energy efficient baths, toilets and sinks you can save immense amounts of water. The EPA estimated that if 1 in 10 homes upgraded their bathrooms with energy efficient fixtures, we would save over 70 billion gallons of water and $1.5 Billion worth of energy costs. So not only are you saving money but you are reducing your ecological footprint. If that’s not enough, remodeling your bathroom also increases the value of your home anywhere from 54-65 percent!
Skylights enliven a house dramatically while cutting down the need for artificial light. They also provide a variety of physical, psychological, and financial benefits. Because Skylights reduce your dependency of artificial lighting, they reduce the use of electricity by as much as 10% and lower your heating bill! You also may have potential tax advantages and credits by installing ENERGY STAR® qualified products. Natural lighting can also lessen the production of harmful bacteria and fungus that buildup in damp areas. Well-lit homes provide homeowners with healthier, more enjoyable, and more attractive living spaces so call today if you want to liven up your home!
Remodeling your kitchen is one improvement that produces many benefits. Given that the kitchen is one of the most trafficked rooms in a home, you want it to suit your needs. Many outdated kitchens are cluttered because homeowners wanted their appliances within an arms reach. Nowadays, this can be uncomfortable so creating an open layout is a great way to declutter one of the most popular rooms in your home! Most homeowners that have outdated kitchens tend to eat out, but with a new kitchen, many are found to regain their passion for cooking! Remodeling your kitchen has financial benefits as well. Those who decide to invest in their kitchens see a 75-100% return on their investment! Also, by updating the appliances and lighting, not only will you reduce your energy and water costs, but you will be saving the environment while doing so!
The majority of homeowners today see few benefits in replacing their roof so they tend not to unless they absolutely have to. Not only does replacing your roof give your home a face-lift, but it has financial benefits as well. With an average ROI of 67-70%, new roofs are actually one of the best home improvement projects around. Did you know that realtors estimate that as much as 40% of your home’s curb appeal is directly linked to your roof? A new roof helps your HVAC system work more efficiently which saves you energy and ultimately, money. Also, knowing that your roof will withstand the elements and hardships of Mother Nature will give you some peace of mind. As you can see there are countless benefits to replacing your roof!
There are a number of different ways to heat your home when the temperature drops. One increasingly popular option for homeowners is radiant floor heating. The warm surfaces significantly reduce the rate of heat loss from the occupants, allowing most to feel comfortable at room temperatures 3 to 5 degrees fahrenheit lower than with other heating methods. Heated floors also significantly reduce the rate of heat loss from your feet and legs. Another benefit of radiant heating systems is that they don’t circulate allergens throughout your home. Another strength of a radiant heating system is its ability to deliver heat without noise. Radiant heat systems have a proven record of reduced energy usage relative to other forms of heating. Although some projects have shown savings in excess of 50%, a more conservative estimate is 10 to 20% in savings.
Remodeling your driveway not only enhances the overall appearance of your home, but it increases the value as well! Tired of ugly oil stains? By using paver sealer, you can prevent stains that can easily occur from oil leaks, spills or rubber. Remodeling your driveway can be beneficial to the environment as well! By replacing your impervious asphalt or concrete driveway with a permeable surface, you will be redirecting stormwater into the ground which is a much greener option. This allows microorganisms in the soil to digest the pollutants, purifying the water on its path back into the aquifer. So not only are you improving the overall look of your home, which ultimately increases the value, but you are saving our planet while doing so!
Hiring a Contractor
Choosing the right contractor can make the difference between a successful home renovation project and a disaster. Here are some tips on hiring not just a contractor, but the right contractor.
1. Connect with your contractor
The right person for the job will be easy to talk to. Make sure you see eye to eye by hiring a contractor that understands your goals and has experience in the type of job you are looking for. Communication is key for all projects, so insist on regular contact by email, phone or text messages. Allow the work crew to manage their day-to-day work, but set up a weekly face-to-face update from the foreman.
2. Understand that price reflects quality
Ask your contractor for his or her recommendations on how the project should take place. In the long run, is it worth cutting corners for a temporary fix? The lowest bid is not always the best. Request a written description of the materials necessary for the job. A low bid may indicate that a contractor uses sub-par materials or is desperate for work. The more accurate bid is likely somewhere in the middle.
3. Know a contractor’s credentials
Abbreviations behind your contractor’s name can represent certifications from national trade organizations. These indicate that the company belongs to certain organizations that bind them to a strict code of ethics. Such memberships, titles and abbreviations include certified graduate remodeler (CGR), certified aging in place specialist (CAPS), local Building Industry Association membership (BIA) and National Association of Home Builders membership (NAHB). Also, insist on hiring a licensed, bonded and insured contractor. This is a must. Otherwise, as the property owner you are liable if a member of the work crew gets injured on the job.
4. Get your home improvement contract in writing
Your contract should include: detailed time frames, the total cost, payment arrangements, your contractor’s license number, project description, names of parties involved and how to handle additional costs if necessary. Be cautious; if you are not given a timeline for the job to be completed, this may indicate the contractor has several current jobs and may not complete your job in a timely manner. Keep track of all-important information as well by keeping job-related documents such as contracts, payments and receipts in one place. Record key contact information for everyone working on your project.
5. Be upfront about your home improvement budget
If necessary, break the project down into multiple phases. Although this may increase the total cost due to repetitious start-up expenses and inflation, it may also be a better option for you to spread out the cost over time. Homeowners can often save money by doing somel tasks on their own, such as cleaning and painting.
6. Educate yourself about home improvement requirements
Know what permits are required and what regulations need to be followed for your remodeling project. Your contractor or architect should be responsible for applying for and acquiring all necessary permits. Don’t be passive, however; ask for information. Know what’s going on behind the scenes. The cost of the job will increase if the contractor is surprised by outdated wiring or other concealed budget busters.
7. Be prepared for home renovation
Before a job begins, make sure your home is prepared. That includes having an area where workers can store their tools, and sealing the site’s entry point.
• Select your colors and finishes before the painter arrives to save time.
• Review sample materials to make sure you are happy with them.
• Don’t forget to make space for the crew. Allow them to keep their supplies and equipment on site. The more organized and accessible these items are, the faster they will be able to do their work.
Try to avoid any potential loss. Remove any valuables or easily damaged items from the work site.
• Prevent dust accumulation by sealing the entry point with plastic sheeting and blue painter’s tape.
• Finally, have a “go-to-guy.” Pick someone to be the key contact between the contractor and the family. This will help keep communication clean and clear to avoid confusion.
For more information go to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0242-hiring-contractor
Contractor VS Handyman
There are numerous books and websites that tell you how easy it is to save thousands of dollars by being your own contractor. Most exaggerate the savings and minimize the time commitment required, the difficulties, and the risks. There are owner-builder success stories and owner-builder nightmares. Before going too far down this path, take a hard look at what is required to succeed at this and a clear-eyed view of the potential savings. Then decide if it’s worth it.
Why Hire a General Contractor?
Having read this far, you may already have a sense of why you might want to hire a general contractor. A general contractor can be a major asset. Here is why.
First, they know the codes. Hopefully you have hired someone who is recommended and has a good reputation. They will understand what permits need to be pulled and how to get code enforcement to approve the project. If you have never dealt with building codes and inspectors, this can be a major asset.
Second, they know the process to get the job done as efficiently as possible. They should understand which components need to be completed when and know how to schedule their sub-contractors accordingly.
Third, the liability is often transferred to the general contractor if someone gets hurt. Any general contractor worth his salt will have worker’s comp insurance and thus protect you if someone falls off the roof.
Fourth, they likely can get better prices on materials and labor. This is simply the nature of the business. They do more volume and already have good relationships with sub-contractors; thus, they get better prices and may actually save you money in the long run.
Finally, they can warranty their work. If something goes wrong in six months, most folks will come out and try to make it right. After all, they want more business from you, and good ones stand behind their work and reputation.
PROS & CONS OF BEING YOUR OWN CONTRACTOR
It’s possible to be your own contractor and save money, but you need to first evaluate if you have the time, and organizational and business skills, and technical knowledge to get the job done.
Pros of being your own contractor
- Can save 15% to 20% of construction costs (if all goes right)
- You maintain full control of the project and have a better chance of getting exactly what you want.
- If you hire good subcontractors, overall job quality will be good despite your inexperience.
- You have pride and satisfaction of building your own home.
Cons of being your own contractor
- Real savings are usually less than expected due to unanticipated expenses and cost overruns.
- The project will probably take more time and energy than you expect.
- The job will likely have more problems, due to your lack of experience.
- Quality of construction may suffer due to your lack of experience.
- You will be absorbing most of the risk for cost overruns, and for construction problems that occur during the job and after you move in. (In most cases, there will be no one to blame but yourself).
- Obtaining a construction loan may be difficult.
Pros of hiring a contractor
Time: A good general contractor will be able to give you a general timeline and an anticipated date of completion. The GC will also keep you on track for making timely selections. It is frustrating to learn you didn’t order the new windows early enough to arrive when the house is being framed. Delays are cumulative and will cause a ripple effect through your schedule.
Logistics: It’s part of a general contractor’s job description to coordinate all work done by subcontractors; check to see that the work is completed in compliance with local building codes; warranty the work and deal with any problems that develop during and after construction; and collect lien releases and process payments.
The Unexpected: Suppose your home is a historic property. An experienced general contractor will know how to handle the challenges that older wiring and plumbing systems as well as an aging structure and foundation may pose. Good GCs will not only know the safest, most cost-efficient way to work; they will also know who to call to get the job done.
Overhead and Profit: GCs need to make money, too, so you may expect that they will add between 15 and 20% (or more) to the cost of materials and labor. On the flip side, they can purchase materials and fixtures at wholesale or with a contractor’s or volume discount to which you may not have access.