Renovations: The Most Bang For Your Buck

It’s no secret. Renovations are costly and can do a real number on your daily routine. Depending on how extensive your renovation is the time it could take stretches anywhere from a few days to a month. But, when done well, home renovations are a great way to increase the function of your home while also adding to its value. There’s a long list of things to renovate, and when you’re starting out the list of things you want will be quite long. But to get the most out of your renovation, check out these projects that bring the biggest return for your investment.


Minor bathroom renovations – keeping the plumbing where it is and updating flooring, fixtures, tub and sink – can bring a return of just over 100%. To keep costs down and maximize space, take the shower doors off and replace with a glass wall covering about half of it creating an open shower to give the appearance of a bigger bathroom. Tiling your walls can be more costly and will take more time, but they are more durable in such a humid environment. New plaster and paint, however, will also work just fine. Price tag comes in around $11,000. For major bathroom remodels, you’re looking at a return in the 93% range. Still nothing to scoff at, but with a complete makeover priced around $26,000 you can have the bathroom of your dreams and recoup most of the costs.


Minor kitchen repairs – again, don’t knock down any walls and throw in a kitchen island just to have a kitchen island – will bring back around 98% of your investment. Replacing flooring with an inexpensive, sustainable bamboo click-lock option works. Upgrading your sink, fixtures, and countertops are a great idea. Switching to energy efficient appliances will run up the cost, but will also cut down on your water and energy bills. Instead of installing all new cabinetry, sand and refinish or paint your cabinet facing. Making small decorative changes – like new molding and trim – can also make a big difference. You’re looking at the $15,000 price range, but it will be worth it. Similar to bathrooms, with a major kitchen remodel (pretty much new everything) will total around $44,000 and return around 91%.


A big part of selling your house is its curb appeal. And while you may not be selling in the very near future, having a new front yard to welcome you home can also work wonders for your mood. You’re likely to spend way less than $10,000 on a newly designed and landscaped front or back yard, depending on what you want. While you’re updating your yards, consider drought tolerant plants and groundcovers to not only bring a unique new look to your home, but cut down on water usage while supporting the biodiversity of your ecosystem. Using grass and plants local to your area and implementing a stunning fixture, such as a fountain with recycled water, is a great way to bring beauty to your home and take care of the environment at the same time.

Windows And Doors

If saving energy is at the top of your to-do list, installing new doors and windows should be right up there with solar panels, energy efficient appliances and geothermal HVAC. It’s estimated that about 40% of heat and air are lost through seeping windows. You can always keep up with your windows by checking the caulking and weather stripping. But technology being what it is today, there are also a variety of options from low-e glass to argon gas inside the panes to retain heat and air, as well as prevent outside temperatures from affecting your indoor climate. In most climates, you’ll see savings in your energy bills, but also recoup about 89% of your investment.

When it comes to making home improvements for the sake of savings, resale value, and efficiency, there are a number of things you can do. Just be sure, whatever remodels you do choose to tackle, that your end product doesn’t go beyond your price range and also doesn’t price your home out of the neighborhood market. If creating a spa-like bathroom in the master bath bumps the price up too high, you could feel the effects in the sellability of your home. But with the right contractor and research on your end, you’re sure to come out on top.

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Hidden Budget Blunders of Renovations

The first thing anyone who’s ever been through a renovation will tell you is to create a realistic budget and stick to it. It’s easier than you think to go crazy with little upgrades here and there. It’s only an extra twelve cents per square foot for the nicer tile… Only fifty bucks more for this toilet with more features… It’s a five dollar difference between this fixture or that switchplate, and the list goes on and on. But it isn’t just those little expenses you have to consider when creating the budget that you will stick to no matter what. There are other little things that add up. Here are a few hidden – rather not thought of – things to think of when creating the budget for your renovation.

Where are you going to put all that stuff???

In preparing for your renovation – whatever the room – you’re going to need to move all of your belongings out of that area and any surrounding areas that will have an increase in traffic once work begins. For security, preventing the possibility of your personal items from being broken by completely removing them from harm’s way is the best measure. For any room that has furniture, that could be quite the upheaval and your house might not have the space for it. Getting an exterior storage unit is a great option if you have to clear out a furniture heavy room. You’ll also need a moving truck to transport these things there and back again. These two things add anywhere from an extra $40 – $200/month charge and an average of $50/day for a rental truck with fuel included.

Are you really going to cook tonight???

Cooking dinner every night after a long day at work is already challenging enough for most families. Add the disarray and chaos of a renovation and your motivation to cook will plummet faster than a rock in water. Dining out every night is expensive. Even when you go through fast food drive thrus. A family of only 2 can spend $10 – $15/meal at a fast food restaurant easy. The cost doubles when you dine in at a sit-down establishment and triples when you order delivery after taxes, tips, and fees. And that’s for just 2 people. A family of 4 and that shoots up to $20 – $35 for dinner at a fast food chain. On the low end, spending $20 every night for dinner for a month is $600 a month for just dinner. There’s still breakfast and lunch to think about. If every meal cost $20 you would spend $1,800 in food for one month of a renovation alone. And that’s without splurging on delivery or dine-in. The spike won’t be that drastic as you’re already spending money at the grocery store, but there will be a spike in your spending. Brace yourself and put away a little extra for food.

If your renovation is in the kitchen be very clear and direct with your contractor about whether or not you can cook during construction and for how long. You don’t want to commit to cooking during the renovation and then being blindsided by an extra expense. If you do end up cooking and don’t use that money tuck it back into savings or treat yourself to something special for the new space.

Gettin’ the heck outta Dodge!

This isn’t an absolute must – and for some people, it isn’t feasible, but that’s probably because they’re not working it into their budget from the beginning – but being able to get away for a night or weekend, to stay in a hotel and leave all the mess and destruction behind you is highly recommended. The Money Pit may be a funny movie, but comedy comes from truth and that truth is usually painful. There are a half dozen or so people coming and going in your house all day long. Things are draped in drop cloths, shoved to one side of the room and nothing is where it’s supposed to be. Any hiccups in the process and you have to make decisions that split your attention all day. It’s just a stressful situation. Set aside some money for a night away. Spoil yourselves as much as you like, but get out of the house and into a place of peace and quiet and cleanliness. It will do you all a world of good.

Granted, none of these costs really compare to the overall expense of your renovation, but the little things add up. Just like that blasted dollar section at the entrance to Target. You may think, I’m only getting what I need. Oh this towel is only a dollar! Oh this mug is only three bucks! And before you know it you’ve got a hundred dollars worth of stuff and you only need half of it. Save yourself some stress and factor these things into your final budget for a better reno experience.

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Room Upgrades That Don’t Involve Paint

Painting is a relatively easy task to create a bold new look for any room in your home. But do you really want to devote an entire weekend to one project. Painting is also a rigorous bit of work. If you want to add a little extra oomph to your rooms, but don’t want to undertake the DIY paint project, here are a few ideas to get your imagination going.

Lighting Fixtures

We don’t recommend rewiring your home’s lighting sources. That’s a job best left to the professionals. But changing your lighting fixture is well within your DIY reach. Whether it’s a shift from contemporary to classic or vice versa, overhead lighting or floor lamps, changing up your lighting fixtures and sources can bring a a beautiful new glow to your living room.

For a fun 2019 twist, implement a lamp shade or base in the Pantone Color of the Year, Living Coral. A bright, vibrant color, Living Coral will bring life and joy to your space.


This beautiful addition to interior design dates all the way back to the 1300s. Its original purpose was to protect lower portions of the wall from chairs, spurs, even the rogue scabbard. In some cases, it was even used to add a layer to the walls to help keep out the cold before insulation was a standard. It’s still a useful tool for protecting walls, but the design options are more varied than ever before. From panels to textured patterns, wainscoting is an easy way to add elegance and flair to your living and dining rooms. While the traditional color of choice is white (to match the baseboards for a seamless transition) don’t be afraid to venture into the world of color and stain to compliment the color of your walls.


Perhaps the best way to add personalization, artwork can be anything from paintings and photography to sconces and decorative knick-knacks. Trends come and go. The trend to have a wall covered with an eclectic mix of pieces is “out” in 2019 and the favor is large maximalist artwork, the truth is that this is your space. Do what you want! This can even become an endeavor in organization. Hanging a shelf with hooks for keys, bags, and coats in your entryway not only provides you with some decorative flair, but it provides you with a designated space for things so they never go missing.

Bring a sense of bourgeois to your room with a large mirror with an extravagant frame. Up the personality with candid and posed family photos. Mix and match color, size, and texture frames or tie them all together in uniform color, shape and size. Simplify with one large panoramic canvas print from your last family vacation in the center of your largest wall.

Hanging Shelves, Boxes, and Plants

The beauty in these simple additions is that they can be embellished with small candle votives, vases, or framed photos. Hanging shelves can also be a great way to keep your personal library around without sacrificing floor space that a bookcase would take up. If you’d rather bring a little life into your room, hanging plants will do just that. With a variety of plants that can survive with direct or indirect lighting, a hanging garden is possible on any wall and perfectly melds nature with sophistication.

Taking your living room from drab to fab is simple when you combine your personality and style with trends that inspire you. Best of all, you won’t have to pick up a paintbrush to do it.

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The Great Outdoors Inside

The Great Outdoors Inside

“Be one with nature” the wise, enlightened guru tells you. If you live in a bustling, busy city it can be all too easy to forget about nature. Even if you aren’t Mighty Jack Camper with a closet full of REI gear for the great outdoors, even if you utterly despise the thought of going camping, there’s still something soothing about a bouquet of flowers or the blade-like leaves of a snake plant reaching its vibrant green spears towards the ceiling.

Fresh foliage in any room brings with it a certain feeling of life and vibrancy. However, not every room is impeccably lit for a mini-greenhouse, and you won’t be knocking out walls any time soon. Also, not everyone is this super amazing green thumb you perceivably have to be to have living plants inside that actually stay alive. Well, guess what? You’re not SOL like you think. Here’s a list of low-light, low-maintenance indoor plants that will bring you a little closer to nature:


This stock plant is a stunning green, grows with practically zero effort, and is said to bring good fortune. They’re perfectly simple in both appearance and maintenance. They require rocks and distilled water and a vase large enough to hold them and keep an inch of water above the top of the roots. That’s it. Water it as the level starts to sink. It thrives in indirect light, bringing the right amount of brightness to a darkened corner.

Aloe Vera

A very forgiving plant, aloe vera can go weeks without water. Its leaves reach up and out like tender tentacles, and its soft, delicate green color has a calming appeal. Not to mention the soothing gel locked inside the plump leaves. You can be beige and use it for after sun care like everyone else. But drinking aloe vera water can help with hydration, clearer skin, and it contains multiple vitamins and minerals including potassium, zinc, and manganese.

Kentia Palm

Floor plants are a great way to fill a void with something simple. This palm tree has long, slender stems with feathery leaves that reach up and arc outward. So like Baby, you won’t want to stuff it in a corner. But near a window that only receives indirect light is the perfect place for this rich, darker green plant. They’ll be more expensive up front, as they grow slower than other palms, but they’re also more durable in the long run.

Statement Vases

When you add plants to your home you’re not just giving the room a little life, you’re also giving it flair. The planters and vases have equal opportunity to brighten up a room. Whether you prefer minimalism with plain white, black, or gray ceramics or you enjoy a brilliant color and bold design the opportunity to inject a little more of you style awaits. Don’t forget about textures either! A plain white vase with a studded pattern around its base, or a mix of flat and glossy finishes will say as much as a bright aegean sea blue vase that’s three feet high.

For an exclusive 2019 fix: Simple flower bouquets in a plain glass vase add the perfect touch of color and life. Use this as an opportunity to inject the Pantone color of 2019 – Living Coral – into your kitchen or living room. Spray roses, Gerbera Daisies, Tulips, or Calla Lilies, you name it, it’ll come in coral. Change them as they turn for something new every week.


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Paint Like A Pro, Spend Like a Miser

You’ve made the decision to update your bedroom with a new paint job. The New Year is on the horizon and you’ve got some vacation time coming up, but no plans to travel. Let’s Do It!

You can hire a professional painter. You can. But you’ll have to pay – not just for the supplies – but the service. If you’ve got the budget for it, go for it! But if you’re invested in making an investment without “shooting your wad” as Memaw would say, you can have the look of a professional and keep it in a reasonable price range; and with the money you save not hiring a professional you can splurge on your supplies. Here are some steps to success in a DIYPro Paint Job.

Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, Please Shine Down On Me

Okay, the dead of winter probably isn’t the ideal time to paint, but as long as the sun is out and the climate dry, then you’re set for some quick room reno. Before you move furniture, buy paint, do anything check the weather to plan an attack. Humidity automatically increases the time it takes to dry paint. If, however, this is a project you want done and have only this weekend to do it, be sure to take your time. While you’re taking things, take advantage of slow drying paint and correct the mistakes before leaving it to dry and prep for the next coat. Be gentle with your mistakes and don’t keep fixing it. Just like overworking your dough can affect the texture of a bread, overworking your paint will show in the final product.

Be Prepared

(You know you sang that in your best Scar impersonation)

Painting is a great update because compared to other projects, it can be done in a weekend. But to do it right, you have to take the time and attention to detail to heart and prepare fully before cracking that paint can open and diving in. The night before you get to work, move all the furniture to the middle of the room. Cover every area where you don’t want paint with drop clothes (plastic ones from any hardware store work just fine and, if taken care of, can be reused time and time again, and they’re incredibly cheap). Do it all before you hit the hay and you’ll be ready to go first thing in the morning!

This also includes cleaning the walls. Any uneven surfaces or chips in the wall need to be lightly sanded and cleaned first. Grease or other stains need to be completely removed. Any debris that can catch in the paint will create an unwanted texture in an otherwise smooth and seamless paint job.

Invest in the Investment

I’m not saying go to the fancy pants Your Paint Sample Will Be $20 And This Roll Of Tape Is A Steal At $45 A Foot store. But the right kind of paint, primer, and other tools are worth it. The drop cloths… as mentioned earlier, the thin, plastic clothes that come in bundles of 3 for a dollar are perfectly fine. If you get a roller stick to reach high places, you don’t need to baller out on that either. But a brush that won’t shed while you paint, and tape that seals out leaks – as well as a quality, trusted paint – are all worth spending that extra dime.

Know Your Nap

No, not when you’ll take a nap in the process, but the thickness in covering of your paint roller. The type of surface will determine your nap needs. Know this when you go in to purchase supplies and inform your salesperson so they can point you in the right direction.

Perform the Process Properly

How you paint will affect the outcome of your new flip. List form for clarity:

  1. Remove switchplates and outlet covers. Much better than taping and cutting around them.
  2. Always use a primer. The best canvas is a blank canvas.
  3. Edges and corners first. Frame your walls then fill in the blanks
  4. Paint from the Top Down. If you have drips you can fix them as you work down.

If you have the time to spread the work out over a weekend, do. Fix imperfections on the wall, clean the surface, and prime on the first day, then add the color on the second day and you can have your life restored by Monday with a fresh, new look for your home.

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The Pros and Cons of Room Additions

Room additions seem like a daunting undertaking when considering home improvement strategies. Trying to estimate costs, weighing the advantages and disadvantages, as well as risks and materials needed, getting a room added to your home is not a decision you can come to easily. However, one thing is for sure, room additions open up so many opportunities. Not to fret, as here are the pros and cons of adding a room to homes.

CON: It will take long to finish

Of course, adding a whole new room to your already constructed and established home is a mammoth and grueling task. It will take months to design and execute the building plans, so it is important to take that factor into consideration.

PRO: No Need to Move Away

Of course, planning to move out due to lack of space means going away from a home you and your loved ones are already so familiar with. The aftermath of moving, such as making new friends, finding new schools, stores etc. can be avoided by remodeling your residential and adding a room.

PRO: Less Costlier Than Changing Homes

Instead of spending more money on a whole new abode, you can save money by opting for a room addition in the case of a growing family or any other needs that you want to meet.

CON: Messy venture

Adding an entire room to your home is, of course, going to be months of messes created, as well as a noisy venture with construction people constantly in and out of the house.

PRO: Increases resale value

You may not be planning to move out anytime soon, however, in the future, the need may come. Getting a room added will help you at the time of reselling, as you will have added more square footage to your property.

Infinity Construction is the perfect company to approach if you are considering getting a room added to your residential, as they are extremely experienced, and also offer free estimations to keep you in the light the entire time.  

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Maximize the Usage of Your Kitchen Island

When deciding to do a kitchen makeover, one option is to replace your stainless steel kitchen island with a wood-based, granite counter surface island which withstands damage from heavy falling objects, isn’t impacted by chopping or pounding, and doesn’t collect cat footprints from your 9-year-old Tabby. The surface tend to be very cutting-friendly – that is, it doubles as a cutting board which eliminates the need for a separate cutting surface. Some islands have storage cabinets underneath for extra dishes and stemware, which is attractive as well as convenient for entertaining guests.

Kitchen Island

The island counter top may also overhang slightly to accommodate four bar stools. As such, you may be able to get rid of the kitchen table and actually use your dining room for most family meals (perhaps at dinner time). You may find that placing the island directly across from your kitchen sink is a smart decision – the convenience of carrying freshly-washed vegetables from the sink directly to the island behind makes preparing vegetables much easier. Even if your kitchen is a decent size, one can always use the extra counter space, it’s wise to keep the island as clutter free as possible. Try and avoid the temptation to put your keys or mail on the island by assuring separate spaces are set aside for those items when you walk in the door.



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Alternative Attics for your Los Angeles Home

What do you keep in your attic? Boxes? Old Clothes? Most people use their attics for storage purposes, but that seems like a waste of space especially in home in Los Angeles where square footage is gold!

If you’ve been considering a renovation project for your home, why not transform that attic into a day room, a spare bedroom or even into that walk in closet you’ve always dreamed of. Depending on the size of your attic, the sky is the limit!

You will need to have the attic refinished to protect from harsh weather conditions, but it will definitely be worth the investment when you have an extra room in your house. The cost of an attic renovation will be much less than that of a room addition.

See below for some of our favorite attic renovation ideas.

If you have the space why not turn your attic into a bedroom? Add some windows and you’ve got yourself a nice little getaway.


Imagine lounging on this hammock?


You can turn your attic into a spacious home office. No need to give up a bedroom for it!


A bed, a tub, lots of light. Simplicity at its best.


Transform your attic into a small loft guest bedroom.


GASP! A walk-in closet at a fraction of the cost of a new room addition.



Did you transform your attic into a functioning room in your house? Tell us about it!




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Top 10 reasons to remodel your home

Rеmоdеling your hоmе саn аdd ѕignifiсаnt vаluе tо your рrореrtу. Hеrе iѕ a ѕimрlе liѕt оf basic ѕtерѕ уоu ѕhоuld tаkе bеfоrе уоu сhоѕе tо rеmоdеl уоur home. Yоu wаnt tо mаkе ѕurе you dо аll уоur rеѕеаrсh bеfоrе you decide to rеmоdеl уоur hоmе, оr еlѕе you соuld еnd up with a hаlfwау-соmрlеtеd рrоjесt.

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Remodel Your Bathroom?

Your bathroom is one of he rooms within your home that gets the most use. It might be a small space, but chances are that your bathroom is too small and a remodel is required. Updating your bathroom does not need to be a major renovation project. It is possible to remodel your bathroom in Encino on just about any budget and add both function and value to your home. If you are considering a bathroom remodel but are not sure that it is the right tie, you should be on the lookout for these telltale signs.

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