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kitchen counters

5 Beautiful Countertops to Consider for Your Kitchen Remodel

During a kitchen remodel, one of the first things that gets touched is the countertops. Kitchen counters are an investment that you want to last for years to come. Aside from the aesthetics, you’ll also want a countertop that can withstand your lifestyle. Do you host social gatherings? Is weekly meal prep part of your schedule? Do you use your counters for homework and science projects? 

By assessing your wants and needs and being honest about the durability your family requires, you can choose a countertop that is both beautiful and functional. Below are the different types of countertops to explore before starting your kitchen renovation in Los Angeles

1. Corian

Corian countertops are durable and smooth – they’re a popular alternative to granite and slightly cheaper, too. Corian is available in plenty of colors and patterns, allowing you to imitate other materials like marble and concrete. Popular colors include gray, white, beige and brown, and you can integrate this with a Corian backsplash for a seamless look. The only thing to be aware of is that Corian can be damaged by heat, so always use heat pads and mats. 

2. Quartz

Quartz is a great countertop material if you have a busy household. Surprisingly, these countertops are not made entirely from quartz. About 10 percent is a polymeric or cement-based binder, while the other 90 percent is crushed up quartz, marble and other natural stone. Everything is mixed and held together with binders, making these counters stunning but durable. 

3. Granite

Granite has been the gold standard for many years because it’s durable, heat resistant, stain resistant,  and available in a wide range of colors and cuts. Overall, granite countertops require very little maintenance, though it’s best to avoid harsh cleaning products. Soap and water is best. Also, pay attention to the type of granite you’re getting, as some is more porous than others and may need to be sealed. 

4. Stainless Steel

Love the industrial look? Rather than going with butcher block (this is porous and can harbor bacteria), we recommend stainless steel countertops. This material is virtually indestructible and perfect for busy kitchens. When done right, stainless steel provides an elegant appearance, especially when coupled with a stone or mosaic tile backsplash. Stainless steel can scratch and will show fingerprints – but our customers agree this is better than stains!

5. Tile

Think tile countertops are out of style? Think again! Depending on your needs and lifestyle, tile counters may be the perfect option for you. Made from materials like ceramic or porcelain, these counters are heat resistant and available in endless colors and styles. Like other types of counter materials, you can integrate the tile with a matching backsplash for a smooth, pleasing look. Tile does require sealing because of the grout lines. 

If you’re ready to renovate your kitchen space, contact Kavin Construction for a free estimate. We have experience working with all types of countertops and can help you choose a material that fits your lifestyle needs and aesthetic goals. 

contractor and client

3 Steps to Finding a Reliable Home Contractor in Los Angeles

One of the hardest parts of a home renovation is choosing a reliable contractor in Los Angeles. You’ve probably heard some horror stories about contractors who tore about kitchens or bathrooms and never returned or went triple times over the original estimate!

Doing your research will help you avoid these situations, but there are other steps you can take as well. Things can get stressful even with a good contractor, but at least you’ll know that you’re in good hands. Below are some tips for finding a dependable home contractor you can trust. 

Know What You Want – Start with an Architect 

Know what you want before talking to a contractor. You’ll get a more accurate estimate if you can be specific about what work you want done. Start by researching ideas online and scheduling a consultation with an architect. An architect will evaluate your project, research city requirements and guide you through the design process.

As you work with an architect, you can start pre-qualifying contractors in Los Angeles. This way, you’ll have a professional lined up once you’re ready to start the process. Choose an architect with the same caution as you would any other professional. Ask for referrals and references and look at their portfolios. 

Get Detailed Bids from Three Contractors 

Ask a lot of questions and get a written proposal from three contractors. Make sure you compare apples to apples when looking at bids. Some people are quick to go with the lowest bid, but this can be a mistake. Instead, each quote should include the same materials and tasks. Anything that’s unusually high or low is a red flag. 

Another thing to discuss with each Los Angeles contractor is an anticipated start/completion date. A contractor’s availability depends on factors like time of year, location and work being done. Good contractors usually have steady work, so expect to wait a few months for the project to start. 

Check Licenses, References and Online Reviews 

Once you’ve narrowed down your Los Angeles contractors, qualify each one by checking for a valid license and workers’ comp insurance. Licenses should always be in good standing. If the contractor has pending issues or professional code violations, they’ll turn up in this search.

You can find reviews and testimonials on sites like Yelp, Google and HomeAdvisor. One negative review isn’t much of a concern, but a lot of negative feedback is, especially if the claims are consistent (i.e., not finishing on time). Check references as well – every good contractor should have some solid referrals to give you. 

Contact Us for a Custom Quote

Once you settle on a home renovation company in Los Angeles, you can sign the contract, and your project will be added to the calendar. Kavin Construction is a home renovation company in Los Angeles that will be happy to provide you with a detailed bid for your project. Contact us today to learn more about our premium home and kitchen remodeling services. 

swimming pool

Why Choose a General Contractor to Design and Build Your Swimming Pool

Pool builders aren’t the only ones to offer pool construction in Los Angeles – general contractors do as well! While there are benefits to hiring both professionals, the most important thing is that you choose a reputable, professional pool builder who will get the project done in a reasonable amount of time. They should also have a strong portfolio and be able to work with your budget. 

With all that said, let’s cover the benefits to hiring a general contractor like Kavin Construction for your custom swimming pool needs. You might find that this is the best option for you, just as many other Los Angeles pool owners have. 

Experience and Expertise 

Even though general contractors do more than build pools, their experience is well-rounded and versatile. The contractors from Kavin Construction know how to work with all different budgets and circumstances, including small or oddly shaped yards. They can draw inspiration from the other projects they have worked on and have a unique perspective that traditional pool companies don’t always have. 

Creative Designs 

General contractors do all types of work every day – they transform living spaces, build kitchens, convert garages into living spaces and so much more. Part of their job is to help homeowners bring their visions to life, which means thinking outside the box. This mindset can be easily translated to other projects as well, including pool installation and construction. 

Here are some creative features we’ve done for our customers: 

  • Water features like fountains and waterfalls
  • LED lighting 
  • Tanning ledges 
  • Princess decks 
  • Plunge pools
  • Spillover spas 
  • Automated cleaning features 

One-Stop Shopping 

Most pool projects include construction components such as decking, patios, gazebos, planting, lighting, irrigation and more. These are the finishing touches that will make your pool beautiful! However, pool contractors are not allowed to provide these services because they have a single pool contractor’s license. General contractors, on the other hand, are licensed by the State License Board, allowing them to oversee multiple trades. This allows you to get everything from a single package and one cohesive team.

Qualified Contractors 

When working with a trusted team of contractors in Los Angeles, you can expect professional results, respect for your home and improved communication. Unfortunately, some pool companies use subcontractors to complete their projects, leaving homeowners in the dark about who’s working on their pool and when it will be completed.

Kavin Construction has our own crew – you can read about them here! These are the faces you’ll be seeing each day, and these are the people who will be communicating with you about your pool and the progress being made. Most importantly, you can expect a consistent level of workmanship from a team that stands by everything we do. 

Conclusion 

When choosing a company to design and install your swimming pool, be sure to do your research, read customer reviews, look at the company’s portfolio and ask the right questions. The most important thing is that you hire a trusted team to do the work. 

Kavin Construction provides pool construction and installation services in Los Angeles. We work with all budgets and can help transform your backyard into a relaxing, beautiful oasis you can use year-round. Contact us today for an estimate. 

extra garage space

Converting Your Los Angeles Garage into Extra Living Space

Housing laws in California are traditionally very strict, especially if you are renting out a space. But recently, California lawmakers made it easier to convert garages into residential spaces. Garage conversions and stand alone small living quarters, also known as ADUs or Accessory Dwelling Units, are also becoming very popular.

By adding more square footage to your home, you can earn additional income by renting out the space or build your dream workshop. Keep in mind that the garage must meet certain requirements that you can read more about here

So why might you turn your garage into an extra room? Let’s look at the main benefits to investing in a garage conversion in Los Angeles. 

Rent Out the Garage for Extra Income 

One of the main advantages to converting your garage into a new room is the opportunity for passive income. You can rent out a safe, secure place and charge tenants monthly rent. The money you get will quickly offset the cost to convert the garage, and then you can start earning additional income that can add up to $6,000 or more a year. 

See a Guaranteed Return on Investment 

If you’ve thought about buying a property to rent out but aren’t sure if you’re ready for it, converting your garage is a great compromise. You can choose affordable finishes during the renovation and add value to your home when it’s time to sell. Or, you can choose to use the garage as an office or in-law suite later down the road. 

Enjoy Extra Room for a Growing Family

Housing prices in Los Angeles are high, so many families end up living in small homes. This may be doable when the kids are small, but if family members move in or college kids return home, the space can get tight. Having an extra room in the garage provides you with the space you need to live comfortably.

Build Your Luxury Bathroom or Office 

If you’ve been dreaming of a luxury bathroom, a private work-out space or a cozy office, you can do so with a garage conversion. Choose the finishings you want and save big from not having to buy another property. You can also turn the garage into a hobby space or playroom for the kids. 

Getting Started with Your Garage Conversion Project 

If you’re considering converting your garage into an in-law suite, rental property or extra room for your own family, it’s important to do your research and familiarize yourself with the regulations in your area. You can then start gathering bids for the project from reputable contractors in Los Angeles. 

Kavin Construction is a residential home remodeling contractor that can convert your garage into the space you want and need. We provide high quality workmanship and use superior materials that will enhance the comfort and livability of your home. For a free estimate on your garage conversion, contact us today

remodeled kitchen

How to Manage the Costs of a Home Renovation

Sticking to a budget is always a challenge, but it’s especially difficult when hiring a Los Angeles contractor to do a home remodeling or renovation project. It’s not just one cost you’re accounting for but many. Nevertheless, having a budget allows you to manage your expenses and put aside the proper funds to cover each project. 

Follow the steps below and you’ll have a decent idea of how much your next home improvement project will cost. 

Prioritize Your Remodeling Needs 

The first step when budgeting for a remodeling project is to know exactly what you want. Create a list of everything you hope to see in your project, such as new cabinets, hardwood flooring or recessed lighting. It’s helpful to prioritize your list so that if you have to make cuts, you can draw the line more easily. For example, you may need new cabinets but are willing to go with laminate countertops over granite. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 

  • What do you want your project to accomplish?
  • What are you willing to compromise on? 
  • What are you willing to splurge on?
  • What details are required to complete your project? 

Create a Plan with Estimates 

When you have a list of everything you need, you can then start researching the associated costs. Not only is this a great way to allocate your budget, but also it will help you communicate your expectations to a contractor. Below are some tips to help you budget more accurately: 

  • Use online resources like HomeAdvisor to determine how much each project costs. Labor usually accounts for 25 to 30 percent of a project’s budget. 
  • Select the fixtures and finishes you want and what you plan to spend on them. This includes faucets, tile, flooring, cabinet hardware, paint and more. Be sure to account for shipping and taxes. 
  • Include the appliances you plan on purchasing. Make sure you factor in installation and delivery costs to Los Angeles as well. 
  • Consider additional living expenses. If you plan on having a major renovation, you may have to move your family out of the home for a while. Consider costs for staying in a hotel, boarding pets, etc. 

Get Quotes from Contractors 

Once you have done your research, you can start reaching out to contractors in Los Angeles. Having a detailed list will help you communicate with a contractor and choose the best professional for your needs. A few tips for selecting a contractor include: 

  • Complete interviews and check references. It’s helpful to get at least three estimates so that you can compare numbers. Before requesting a bid, pre-qualify contractors by checking their references and contractor’s license status. Also, make sure they have workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance. There’s nothing more frustrating than liking the cost and the contractor, only to find out that they are not professionally qualified to take on the project. 
  • Review the estimates. The contractors should provide you with bids that are relatively close in cost. If you receive a low proposal, don’t assume the project will be completed for that amount, particularly if the other two proposals are similar. Remember, most contractors do not have the funds to make up for their mistakes, so it will fall on you to cover them, in addition to the extra headache and aggravation you’ll have to go through.
  • Be clear about your expectations. Communication is key in any contractor-customer relationship. Ask about potential time delays, additional expenses you may encounter, etc. The contractor should be upfront and honest with you. Telling you only what you want to hear can result in sticker shock and regret later on in the project. 
  • Ask about ways to save money. If your estimates are higher than you’re comfortable with, consider some ways to save money such as by doing the demolition work on your own, ordering your own fixtures and more. 

Once you decide on a contractor, make the final updates to your project plan to ensure everything stays on budget. Kavin Construction is a Los Angeles home and kitchen remodeling contractor that offers free estimates. Contact us today to discuss your project. With 43+ years of experience and a diverse portfolio of projects, we’re confident that we can meet and exceed your expectations.