Home Remodeling

Video: Checking for Mold During a Remodel

Posted on March 02, 2018 by James Florence

OAKLAND — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re remodeling an older home, be sure to look at what’s behind the walls. Today we’re in Oakland with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Michael Ghanivand of Advance Construction to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Michael Ghanivand: In any remodeling project, big or small, whether it is a bathroom or the entire house, like we are doing right now, the homeowner always needs to make sure that they need to think about what’s behind the wall, especially in the older house. Like, we are doing this remodeling and addition in the Berkeley area, and when we open up the wall from the inside, Read more

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Checking for Mold During a Remodel

Posted on February 26, 2018 by James Florence

OAKLAND — If you’re remodeling your home, one of the most important things you can do is check to see what’s behind your walls. Why? Because if there’s any hidden mold or mildew, it could jeopardize your entire project.

In most cases, it’s impossible to know whether mold or mildew is present behind the walls in a home, but it’s better to find out for sure than to make a wrong assumption. This is especially important if you live in an older home, where the combination of time and inferior building methods and materials increases the opportunity for mold or mildew issues to take root.

Consider a real-life example from a home addition project I recently did in Berkeley. Read more

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The Benefits of Epoxy Grout

Posted on February 23, 2018 by James Florence

WALNUT CREEK — If you’re having your bathroom re-tiled, you have two primary choices for grout: cement or epoxy. Cement is the traditional style of grout—it’s inexpensive and easy to work with. Epoxy grout, on the other hand, is very expensive and difficult to work with. In fact, it costs about three times as much as cement grout and takes three times as long to install. However, despite the substantial increase in price and labor, epoxy grout is well worth the extra investment.

While cement grout may be inexpensive and easy to work with, it has some key drawbacks. In particular, cement grout is porous, which makes it prone to staining and discoloration. Read more

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Video: Purchasing an Older Home

Posted on January 02, 2018 by James Florence

NAPA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re thinking about buying an older home, you’ll want to look at a few key aspects before making an offer. Today we’re in Napa with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Voldi Chandler of Chandler Construction to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Voldi Chandler: Here’s a couple things to consider before purchasing an older home. First, you want to check and make sure that it has a quality roof on it. A bad roof can lead to lots of other issues that could be unforeseen. The other thing is you want to check and make sure you have a solid foundation. That, obviously, is what your whole house sits on. Read more

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3 Considerations for Buying an Antique Home

Posted on January 02, 2018 by James Florence

NAPA — The idea of living in an antique home may seem romantic, but it’s easy to overlook the potential practical drawbacks. To avoid making a poor decision, take a look at three key aspects before making an offer.

1. Roof

One of the first things you should check before buying an antique home is the condition of its roof. A bad roof can lead to a lot of issues, many of which can affect the entire home. For example, undetected roof leaks can lead to issues with dry rot, which, depending on their extent, can result in the need for expensive repairs.

2. Foundation

It’s also critical to check a home’s foundation prior to purchase. Read more

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Permits and Real Estate

Posted on December 18, 2017 by James Florence

CUPERTINO — Many homeowners overlook the importance of getting permits for remodeling, plumbing and other types of work. The reality is that getting permits isn’t just important for ensuring work is done up to code—it can also affect future attempts to sell the home.

By law, sellers are required to disclose any work done to their homes without a permit. A lot of unpermitted work can be a deal-breaker for buyers, or at least prompt them to negotiate a lower price. That’s why being lax about permits can affect your bottom line if you decide to sell your home later.

In some cases, homeowners simply don’t realize permits are required for the work being done on their homes. Read more

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Video: Preparing to Meet with a Building Contractor

Posted on December 13, 2017 by James Florence

OAKLAND — Host, Sarah Rutan: When planning to meet with a building contractor, taking some preparatory steps will help you make the most of your discussion. Today we’re in Oakland with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Bill Hinkamp of Rockridge Builders to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Bill Hinkamp: The best way for customers to prepare for a meeting with us is to be as detailed as they possibly can be. Making a drawing – as scary as that may be – even a crude drawing on an eight and a half by eleven piece of paper showing, you know, what you’d like to do, how you might want to expand your existing space. Read more

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