The Complexities of Los Angeles Building Permits When Remodeling Your Home

If you live in Los Angeles, California and want to remodel your home, you may have already dealt with the labyrinthine procedures of Los Angeles building permits. It’s far from an easy road in obtaining a permit to merely remodel your garage or add an extra room to your house. That’s why if you’re new to the Los Angeles area, it’s worth knowing what you’re going to be dealing with in obtaining a building permit as preparation for the time involved.

Check First with the Department of Building and Safety

Before anything can be done, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety will check to make sure your home remodeling project is safe. If your home is located in a precarious spot, such as on a hill, or even in a government-designated historical area, your project could be turned down.

Other possible pitfalls include certain zoning issues like overlay zones or specific designations. Ultimately, this all can take considerable time in the inspection, so allow plenty of time before spending money on construction materials.

Deal with the Department of City Planning

After going through the bureaucracy of Building and Safety, you’ll have to spend time wondering if additional zoning laws in your area allow you home remodeling freedom. The Los Angeles Department of City Planning will see if zoning regulations fit your remodeling plan and whether it even fits into the structural plan of the city. If you have outlandish remodeling ideas, this agency might nix your unique structural plans.

Specific zone codes also have to be considered. In some cases, certain remodeling projects won’t be allowed if you live in a specific zoning area. You can check in advance through state property records to see what kind of zone you live in.

Prepare for Corrections

Otherwise known as plan check corrections, the Department of Building and Safety may make later revisions on your remodeling plans after an inspection takes place. The inspections will be done thoroughly and studied multiple times to find any morsel of information that could determine your project going forward or being stalled even longer.

Once you find yourself beyond this path so you can do your home remodeling project, contact us so we can be a design and building firm you can trust. Here at Bradco Kitchens and Baths, Inc., we won’t make you wait to get your remodeling project done on a schedule you want.

Kitchen Renovation Tips: Why It’s the Most Remodeled Part of the Home

It seems that a kitchen renovation is the most searched for topic online when seeking out information on home remodeling projects. The reason for that is likely because (next to our bedrooms) we spend the most time in the kitchen. We want a kitchen space that’s comfortable so creating food and socializing can easily be done without feeling cramped or having obstructions.

That’s how good renovating ideas are created. Ultimately, you have many options available to you in helping you create a kitchen space that you can live with for years.

Add New Flooring

This common method to instantly change the look of a kitchen doesn’t have to be overly expensive. Then again, if you have a little money to spend, going with a porcelain floor will last you for years. And while tile floors are also common, you could put down a wood floor as something different. Wooden floors also don’t take as long to install as other flooring does.

New Cabinets and Cupboard Space

Considering how much space cabinets and cupboards take up in a kitchen, replacing them with upgrades can change the kitchen’s entire aesthetic. Styles can range from face frame cabinetry to ones with glass doors. For cabinet pulls, try the satin nickel style that’s now become popular.

Replacing the Countertops

Replacing countertops might be the easiest part of a kitchen renovation next to the floor. Countertop styles are varied, but you may want to go with laminate countertops in your renovated kitchen. These look very attractive, though granite gives more durability if you intend to use your countertops often.

Replacing the Sink

As another common replacement, sink styles are going to vary depending on your personal taste. Stainless steel is always a popular choice, despite granite sinks requiring lower maintenance. Always consider how many bowls in your sink you want. A larger space might be able to accommodate a triple bowl. As well, deeper bowls can go as low as 10 inches if you intend to use large pots and pan in the sink regularly.

Kitchen Island

Here you have the most common stylish add-on for kitchens. If you want one, you have to consider the space surrounding your island. The general rule seems to say about 30 inches between the island and all cupboard space to avoid awkward collisions while moving around.

If these ideas sound intriguing, contact us so we can help you redesign your kitchen in a style you want. We’ll make sure it’s done on your schedule and with a reasonable budget.

Important Home Improvements- upgrading your home’s gutter system!

Most of us have a long list of home improvements that we rotate prioritizing. With all the possibilities of things to do it’s easy to forget about the importance of maintaining or updating your gutter system!

Half round gutters are a classic gutter style that adds functionality and traditional charm to your home. In addition to practicality and style there are a few other reasons to consider half round gutters for your home upgrade – if you’re in the market for a new gutter system or have recently put an addition on your home that needs gutters, consider these.

1) Half round gutters are durable and long-lasting: The curved, sturdy design of these heavily used gutters makes them both a practical and long lasting choice for almost any home. The shape allows for more even wear on the gutters and, if you choose a copper gutter (other common options are aluminum, steel and galvalume), the life of your purchase is extended even further due to coppers natural resistance to corrosion.

2) Half round gutters are ideal for environmental conservation: Half round gutters are ideal for water conservation efforts as the run-off can easily be directed into rain barrels or, the gutters can be complimented with rain chains that will funnel the water into barrels to be reused or used to water small gardens positioned at the base of the chains.

3) Half round gutters provide a simple, artistic design: As mentioned previously, if you want simple elegance than half round gutters are the ones for you. They offer a traditional finish to your home that is both refined and artistic.

Contact us for more information or to receive a consultation for your home from the professionals. Our customers are our first priority and we look forward to assisting you! 

Cost vs. Value in Home Remodeling

The phrase ‘cost vs. value’ in home remodeling is how much value you can add to the home in resale value.  The main reasons for a remodel is for enjoyment and to make the room look better, but resale value shouldn’t be excluded.  It’s something you don’t think about, but when it comes to selling your home those extravagant renovations will not attract buyers.

Consider the following:

Neighborhood Location:  Home remodeling is about what you want, but the home needs to blend in with the neighborhood.  If there are no two-story homes in the neighborhood, for example, adding one can hurt the bottom line.

Geographic Location:  The region of the U.S. matters in home purchases.  That’s because it has an impact on what homes will have the biggest resale value on investments.  When you are adding home remodeling extensions or renovations consider the weather and U.S. location.  Swimming pools, for example, won’t work in cold areas, but the southern portion of the U.S. will appreciate it.

Reason:  What is the reason for the remodel?  If the reason is ‘because it’s outdated’ or ‘because it’s the latest technology’ it is considered a project and the value of the home won’t last as long.  That’s because the latest designs and the newest technology will become outdated as time goes on.  However, the reasons are different if it’s a home addition (garage, extra room, etc.) or to fix a structure (roof, floor, walls, siding, etc.).  The foundation and structural improvements to these projects has a bigger investment that will last longer because home structure never goes out of style.

Project returns on investment (POI):  The annual Cost vs. Value investment list is out, and it shows you common remodeling projects along with the return on investment.  It is divided into midscale and upscale remodeling.  According to the list, the fiber-cement siding replacement is number one for upscale remodeling.  A steel entry door replacement is number on for midscale remodeling.  Wood and composite deck additions, garage door replacements, wood and vinyl window replacements and a major kitchen remodel are the only ones that made the top ten on both lists.  Other ideas on the list are attic bedrooms, basement, roof, and bathroom remodels.

This is a different way to look at remodeling.  At the end of the day a remodel is done with you in mind.  If you want a return on investment, you have to think with the buyer in mind too.  Contact us for more information on remodeling your home.

Cabinet Refacing in Your Kitchen: Deciding When It’s Worth Saving Your Old Cabinets

Cabinet refacing is a project that can spruce up any kitchen, particularly ones with old design cabinetry. Refacing is a cheaper alternative to replacing your entire cabinets. But while the steps in refacing are worth doing, you have to find out if it’s really right for your kitchen based on inspection of your cabinets.

Refinishing or Painting Over Existing Cabinets

This refacing process is the simplest because you don’t have to replace the door over the cabinet. Re-painting is recommended typically if your door design is still modern enough for your kitchen. A new color, though, can change the whole look of your kitchen and make the possibly retro design of your original doors look contemporary.

Replacing the Doors

If the design on your kitchen cabinet doors is too outdated for your taste, then refacing with new wood or laminate veneer is still an easy option. A hired contractor can help you choose the right cabinet facing you want. Afterward, the contractor will take the time to measure your cabinets so the new facing can be fitted correctly. Then a separate day will have to be scheduled for installation of the new doors. It could take up to several days, depending on how many cabinets you have in the kitchen.

The Savings

HGTV cited an owner of a cabinet refacing franchise with a reminder of how much savings can be had doing refacing compared to replacing kitchen cabinets. Some customers saved up to 50% when doing a refacing option. At the same time, it saved those customers from having their kitchen being unusable for weeks while cabinets were replaced. Refacing allows you to still use your kitchen for most tasks while the work is being done.

When it’s Time to Replace the Cabinets

Check the quality of your kitchen cabinets before considering refacing. If they’re very old cabinets, the chances are that they’re simply too deteriorated to make refacing an option. However, the same can be said of newer ones that were poorly built. The general surrounding frame of your cabinets has to be solid or your refacing project could end in the entire cabinet falling apart.

Here at Bradco Kitchens and Baths, we’ll make sure your kitchen cabinet refacing is done right. We’re a design and build firm with a strong history of quality and meeting deadlines. Contact us for a consultation on your kitchen remodeling or any design and building project you need.

Remodeling Tips for your Small Kitchen

It’s common knowledge that the kitchen is the gathering spot in a home. Families spend time eating and talking there, and dinner guests have a tendency to congregate in the kitchen. The kitchen is used as an office, the place where kids do homework and the spot where exciting plans are made. Your kitchen is a meeting place, but if it’s small and cluttered you may not enjoy the time spent there. Maximize storage space and make the kitchen the most desirable room in your home with these remodeling tips for your small kitchen.

Lighten Up

Rooms with a lot of light feel bigger and more open. Include can or recessed lighting and, if practical, a skylight in your remodel plans. Also choose light colors for your walls and cabinets. Lighter colors make a room feel more spacious.

See Clearly

Consider glass doors and open shelves for some or all of your new upper cabinets. Reduce eye clutter by storing clear and light colored glasses, dishes and bowls in these cabinets, saving large platters, pots, pans and kitchen accessories for bottom cabinets with solid doors.

Keep it Simple

Choose simple designs for cabinets, lighting, window coverings and décor. Large appliances and ornate cabinet styles may be appealing in a large space but have no place in a tiny kitchen. Also, select a simple flooring style with flow such as large ceramic tiles or laminate, and consider having it installed at an angle; giving the illusion of a bigger room.

Add Storage

For extra storage incorporate a small island, extended cabinet or additional shelving above your refrigerator into your remodel plans, and have a pot rack installed. For odd shaped corners you may want to include a cabinet with a turntable or lazy Susan to keep utensils within reach. Remember, clutter makes a space feel smaller and will detract from your kitchen’s appeal.

Don’t let your petite kitchen keep you from entertaining friends and family. To turn your small space into the kitchen of your dreams, contact us for a free estimate. We have been serving Los Angeles and the surrounding area as a fully insured, General Contractor for over 20 years.

The Challenges in Using Remodeling Services to Spruce up Older Kitchens and Bathrooms

Newer homes are easier to remodel.  It won’t take long to change bathrooms and kitchens from dull to beautiful because the home is up to date.  However the materials used to build older homes are outdated.  Renovating kitchens and bathrooms in older homes need special care.  There are challenges older homes have that newer homes don’t have to worry about.  All you need is good remodeling services and you’re all set.

Protrusions and Out of Square Walls:  Some older homes have walls that are bumpy, lumpy, pointy and rounded.  When interior walls have bumps, it is hard to build on top of it without crookedness.  In order to install cabinets, the walls have to be flat from the inside out.

Out of square walls meet at a right angle, but the angle is crooked.  Building on top of the wall is not going to look right because the right angles on the walls must be cut with accuracy.

Sagging Floors:  Floors are built to last, but it doesn’t last forever.  Older homes have floors that sag.  It usually sags where heavy items are idle for a long time or where floors leak.  Either support columns are needed to hold up the floor or replace the floor completely.

Foundation cracks:  Foundation cracks are visible in older homes.  That comes from the foundation of the home not aligning with the rest of the home.  Depending on when the home was built cinder block may have been used as foundation material.  If so the block wasn’t sealed properly causing the cracks to show up.

Electrical problems:  Electrical breakers and wiring in older homes is outdated and out of date.  It cannot handle enough electricity to power up today’s household items.  In addition the wiring could be located near moisture or made of aluminum; both are no-nos in today’s homes.

Windows:  Windows in older homes erode and rot.  Because of this those windows are less insulated, less protective from natural elements, and less energy efficient.  Windows are also made of odd shapes, different sizes and materials not used today.  Windows in kitchens and bathrooms must be replaced.

Mold and Mildew:  Behind kitchens and bathroom sinks and walls mold and mildew can lurk.  Mold and mildew comes from water damage, and this can delay the remodeling process.

You’re often told that older homes aren’t worth renovating, but you don’t have to listen.  The good news is that your kitchen and bathroom can be renovated.  Contact us to see what we can do for your kitchen and bathrooms.  Our professionals like a challenge.

Why You Should Include A Sunroom In Your Home Remodeling

Enjoying the sunlight, warmth and view are often the major attractions of having a conservatory, also known as a sunroom.  Sunrooms are usually built on one side of a house so that the residence can enjoy the sunshine while having their own private relaxing oasis year around.  Since sunrooms are so multifunctional they often get used in home remodeling as playrooms, home gyms, studies, dining rooms or even as a greenhouse if the climate is warm enough.

In colder climates, the use of a screened in sunroom may become limited. If you live in a cool area and plan to use your conservatory every day, you can be sure that Bradco Kitchens and Baths Inc. will promise your glassed in sunroom contains enough insulation to protect from winter chills or the heat of summer. If you choose, you may even decide on a insulated sunroom roof. Switching to an insulated conservatory roof means that you lose having a glassed in ceiling for your sunroom, but in trade, you get a room that is easier to heat to use year round for your family.

The reward of having a personally designed insulated conservatory far outweighs the cost of the remodeling. The insulation ensures that you have a cooler room in the summer that is additionally warmer during the winter.  This leads to lower heating and cooling bills and makes your home more energy efficient.  If asked Bradco Kitchens and Baths will use special prepared insulated glass in your sunroom that reduces sun glare on your furnishings leading to less fading of furniture and flooring. The reduced glare reduces eyestrain, and the roof helps protect your skin from damaging UV rays. Furthermore, insulation reduces rain noise allowing you to relax in your conservatory even in a downpour.

Contacting a licensed and insured design/building firm that has an outstanding record of accomplishment and many happy customer reviews can help you feel satisfied that your remodel will be done within deadline while sticking to your budget. Bradco Kitchens and Baths will be with you every step of the way from designing your dream sunroom to admiring the finished gleaming project. Furthermore, a sunroom additionally increases the overall value of your home by giving you more square footage that is used as living space to your existing home and adding that “this is my dream room” factor for buyers if you ever decide to sell. Contact us at Bradco Kitchens and Baths with any questions about remodeling your home.

Costs and Returns for Remodeling Services in Los Angeles

If you’re interested in remodeling services, you want the best value for your money. You get to enjoy the improvements as you live in your home and will reap returns from them when it comes time to sell. In its “2013 Cost vs Value Report,” Remodeling Magazine explains the cost of some common home improvements and their expected returns in Los Angeles. These numbers show the middle range. Actual prices depend on the materials and complexity of the job, and where your house is located.

The improvement with the biggest return on investment (98 percent) is replacing your wooden front door with one made of 20-gauge steel. It is also the least expensive one, costing $1,314 and giving back $1,300 on resale.

For dollar value, adding a second star tops the list with a resale value of $144,119, which is 78 percent of its initial $183,198 cost. This improvement includes a first-floor family room and a 24-by-16 second floor with bedroom and full bath.

Adding a bathroom returns 76 percent, or $35,954, of its $46,794 cost. This covers a 6-by-9-foot space featuring a 30-by-60-inch fiberglass tub/shower with tile surround, ceramic tile floor, chrome fixtures and a cultured-marble vanity top.

For a major kitchen remodel, the price is $63,677, which returns $51,619, or 81 percent. This consists of 200-square feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, a 15-square-foot island, laminate countertops and all-new appliances.

A 16-by-20-foot wooden deck represents a high-value add-on, returning almost 97 percent, or $11,399 of its $11,769 construction costs. This includes a built-in bench and planter, railing, lighting, balusters and a three-step staircase.

If you want more specific estimates for your remodeling project, please contact us.

Kitchen Designer: From Conceptualizing to Building Your Dream Kitchen

If you’re thinking of remodeling your home, and you’re wondering where to start, the kitchen would be an excellent choice. Often the kitchen is the beginning design point for the home because next to our bedrooms it is where we spend the most time. Now, there are lots of starting points available in the kitchen; the appliances, storage spaces, fixtures, lighting and a general layout. Employing top notch kitchen designers will mean you’ll have the designer kitchen you’ve always dreamed of!

Cabinets and pantries take up the majority of space in a kitchen, so it’s safe to say the cabinets are a viable focal point. Custom designed cabinets for a chef’s style kitchen means ample storage space for things such as handy spice and wine racks that hideaway.  Update your appliances to chef’s tools:  6 burner gas stove with a custom built hood, double baker’s ovens, and energy efficient fridge with a drawer freezer. Even change your kitchen flooring with elegant hardwood or neutral but classic tile that could offset the craftsmanship of the cabinets. Add an island if the space allows, ensuring the chef in your home has plenty of counter space to work with. *This is also a great way to add more storage. Blending colors, accents and finishes to your cabinet design will help bring your vision to life.

Bradco Kitchens and Baths, Inc. is insured, ensuring that your renovation with be completed in the professional, safe, and timely manner that been sworn by since 1989. Contact us for your consultation and a free estimate.