Westside’s Warrior Dash

On Saturday, April 5th, Bob Sturgeon and his family had fun participating in the Warrior Dash event in San Dimas, with proceeds from their entry fees helping to support Saint Jude’s Childrens’ Hospital. Known as the world’s largest obstacle race series, the Warrior Dash is held on seriously rugged terrain in more than 50 locations across the globe. Participants at the San Dimas location earned their Warrior helmets by tackling a fierce 3.2 mile course and 12 extreme obstacles.

Bob’s son, Bradley, came in second in their family’s wave and his wife, Georgia, worked hard not to be last, and succeeded by a hair’s breadth. His daughter, Jenna, proved to be quite the warrior for her first race!  Bob managed to skip the mudslide due to a slight cold—maybe next time. After conquering the Battleground, a relaxing time was had sitting on the grass with family friends and munching on turkey legs and sipping a little free beer.

Enjoy the photos! Anyone want to join in next time around?

 

Check out www.warriordash.com for additional info.

 

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Built-in Bookshelves to the Rescue

One of the best reasons to incorporate built-in bookshelves into any room of the home or office is that they free up valuable floor space, making them especially appealing for small rooms.

Built-in Bookshelves for Play Areas and Children’s Rooms
Knee-hi built-in bookshelves are perfect for children’s bedrooms or play areas since they are at the perfect level for children to use.

Built-in Bookshelves for Dens, Libraries, Family Rooms, and More
Whether or not you have a lot of room to work with, adding built-in bookshelves to your home is a great way to incorporate character and detailing. Select the trim and color of your bookshelves to blend with the existing or planned décor for the room for the best results. Position your built-ins so that you can create a cozy reading nook, craft table, computer area, or gaming alcove in between a pair of built-in bookshelves. Another option is to create a wraparound bench in front of a window, connecting a pair of bookshelves for a streamlined appearance.

Lighting for Built-in Bookshelves
Whether you have stand-alone or built-in bookshelves, adding accent lighting is a terrific way to create a unique element that turns them into focal points. Small puck light fixtures and LED strip lighting are just two of the many options you have.

Built-in Bookshelves and Functionality
While the name implies that your bookshelves are going to be used to store books, you can utilize them for other purposes including storage of games, CDs, DVDs, collectibles, and family photographs. Built-ins are great for creating an attractive contrast with the walls of the room.

Think Outside the Box
If the structure of your home is amenable to built-in bookshelves in out-of-the-ordinary locations, why not consider it? Add one or more to your hallway walls, foyer, or even to your staircase. Remember that your built-in shelves do not need to span the entire height or width of any area, giving you even greater flexibility with your design. Since most stand-alone bookshelves do not extend up to the ceiling, you may even get extra storage or display room by doing so with your built-in bookshelves.

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Houzz Survey Results: What Do Homeowners Want from Their Master Bath Remodel?

If you haven’t visited Houzz.com lately, now is the time to take a look. Browse through the beautiful photos we posted of Westside Remodeling’s completed projects and ask us questions, if you wish. Houzz provides a great forum for online conversations about remodeling and home design.

Since thousands of homeowners use the Houzz website to gain ideas for their remodeling projects, Houzz has regular online contact with a wide spectrum of people from across the U.S. and Canada. This provides the company with the perfect sampling of homeowners for conducting surveys regarding trends in remodeling preferences.

Houzz recently received responses from 7,645 of its users who answered survey questions regarding their on-going master bathroom renovations. The survey asked homeowners what they wanted out of their master bath remodeling projects. We thought you might be interested in the results:

49% of the homeowners said the main reason for remodeling their bathroom is to upgrade fixtures and features. Other reasons given were: gain functionality (37%), boost home value (31%), attend to changing lifestyle or family needs (22%), enhance organization and storage (19%)

75% are keeping their bathroom’s original footprint, rather than enlarging the space

• 58% decided to gut their bathroom, as opposed to simply updating

• 82% are creating en suite master baths

• 58% will have double sinks, up from 35% in their existing bathroom

• 79% are going with an all glass shower enclosure, 54% chose frameless glass

• 45% of homeowners under 45 choose rain showerheads and multiple showerheads (24%, while those 55 and older prefer hand showers (50%) and sliding bars (20%)

• 26% are going with brushed nickel finish on fixtures, 24% selected polished chrome

• 43% will not include a tub in their master bath

• 33% of those who are installing a tub are going with a freestanding model, 24% with a drop-in.

• 52% chose to expose the toilet, instead of creating a hidden toilet area

• 91% selected high efficiency toilets, 47% prefer a two-piece model and 36% prefer a one-piece

• 32% prefer white cabinets, followed by medium wood (21%) and dark wood (21%)

• 48% will be adding a new window, 41% are including a lighted vanity mirror, 12% are installing a skylight, and 7% are putting LED lights in their showerheads.

Surveys like this one from Houzz can assist homeowners in making remodeling decisions, especially if they are concerned about the resale value of their home. Of course, here at Westside Remodeling we also take great pleasure in helping our clients express their individual style and preferences. Our talented on-staff designers will listen to your thoughts and ideas, and then bring your vision to life. So, if you’re ready to discuss your next remodeling project, please contact Westside via our website or give us a call at 805-499-4121.

 

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Omega Cabinetry Steals the Show

Bob in the Exhibit Hall

In February, the International Builders Show (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), and the International Window Coverings Expo combined forces for the first time. All three trade shows co-located in Las Vegas to create the first annual Design and Construction Week, which attracted more than 75,000 builders and remodelers!

Bob and I were there as well, making our way through the crowded aisles, visiting as many exhibits as possible, and attending some educational seminars. We were particularly excited to spend time in the very impressive MasterBrand Cabinets booth, since this was that company’s first appearance at KBIS in three years! The booth gave us an opportunity to explore the latest cabinet styles and design trends in interior design via the full-scale kitchen, bathroom and office vignettes. The displays emphasized fashion, new styles and applications, and innovations in storage, lighting and customized designs. The extent of new introductions was almost mind boggling.

Torin Door Style Full Access Riverbed Onyx on Horizontal Walnut Inset in Dazzle (Stainless Steel)

Georgia in the Omega Booth

Of course, we were eager to tour the fashionable display for the custom cabinet line, Omega, since Westside Remodeling is an Omega dealer. We were not disappointed! Omega’s new contemporary-style Torin door features a horizontal grain and a glamorous gray finish, Pumice. According to MasterBrand, “This semi-translucent, spatter gray sets a softly weathered tone that works across a variety of settings.” The company suggests that this new style will pair nicely with Omega’s new veneer Walnut wood grain that features dramatic horizontal lines. Used together, they will capture the essence of warm contemporary, Asian or even Mid-Century design—styles that are very popular with our clients.

We were also delighted to learn about the new Full Access by Omega program. This program offers furniture-quality designs and 10 percent more interior cabinet space, which provides more storage, better functionality and one-of-a-kind style. Since one of the common requests our clients have is for increased storage in their homes, we are happy to be able to offer this new program. 

There is so much more we could share with you about the new Omega styles and finishes. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.

– Georgia Sturgeon

 

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Start Your Spring Remodel With The Right Cabinetry

If you are starting the spring season with a new remodel/addition, one of the biggest decisions you will most likely make will be the cabinetry you choose. Cabinetry can represent a significant investment of cash and labor and can make or break a room.   Your choices can be numerous, not to mention overwhelming.  Listed below are some tips to help you make the right decisions:

  • Consult a professional. A consultation with a professional remodeling company can help you make the decisions you need before installing cabinets.
  • Decide on the details of your cabinetry.  Before making a final purchase of your cabinets, ensure you consider the following points: materials used, door and drawer fronts, hinges, knobs and drawer slides. Design experts recommend buying the best material you can afford, since cabinets are typically in high traffic areas.   Also, remember that certain materials clean and wear better than others, and consider the fact that there is a large amount of water and humidity in both kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Decide on the configuration. One of the first things to do is to decide on the general distribution of the cabinets according to the space available. With kitchens, you may need to decide on whether a single-row, L- or corner-shape and U-shape with or without kitchen islands will work best depending on your room size and design. The classical way to distribute the basic kitchen appliances around cabinets is: refrigerator, space, oven, space, kitchen sink with dishwasher. This traditional lineup keeps the heat of the oven away from the fridge but still allows enough room functionality. Arguably kitchen cabinets are the most expensive and important purchase you’ll make when remodeling your kitchen. Typically, they can account for between 50–70% of your kitchen budget.  That’s why it’s important to invest time in researching and planning this aspect of your project.
  • For your bathroom, it is critical make the decision as to whether or not you really need cabinets. Today, many bathrooms use pieces of furniture in conjunction with an installed sink rather than cabinets. Make sure that you are not installing cabinets simply because you think you have to or because that is what is normally done.  Ensure that you need them for space and available countertops.  For any remodeling project, planning is key, but it is especially important in bathroom remodels.  Maximize your space and maintain your budget by having a carefully thought-out plan.

Begin with a budget

Though cabinets can be more, chances are they will be in the 50% range of your remodel’s total cost. Therefore, calculating your total budget figure is an important first step. Consider the value of your home and the homes in your neighborhood before setting a remodeling budget.

If you are completely replacing cabinets, plan your workflow and storage needs, then figure out what type of cabinets will work best. Measure the area, using the standard base height for upper cabinets of 34 inches and for counters of about 36 inches. Adjust heights to accommodate the tasks and needs of your family members. It’s a good idea to vary heights somewhat depending on what you’re doing. If you are 6′-2″ tall, you may want counters higher so you don’t have to stoop.

For small and medium size kitchens less than 150 square feet, the average cabinetry is about 12 feet of wall cabinets and 13 feet for base cabinets. If you have a larger kitchen, you may need more cabinetry for additional work space and storage.

Choosing a Cabinet Type

There are three types of cabinets to choose from: stock, semi-custom, and custom–each with their own pros and cons. Stock cabinets are the most economically priced, are available immediately or within a few days of purchase, and are fully assembled.  However, there are limited choices of wood types, styles and finishes.  Also, they can’t be adjusted to specific measurements and are generally constructed in standard sizes such as 3” increments.  Semi-custom cabinets are available in a larger variety of designs, have a larger variety of storage options and come in standard sizes and with standard finishes and styles.  Also, they can include optional modifications and factory-installed accessories.  They are made-to-order but with set widths which could possibly require inserts for non-standard dimensions.  Custom cabinets, though usually the most expensive, can be built to specifically requested measurements and dimensions and designed to fit your exact taste and style.

Choosing a Material

After choosing cabinet types, your next choice is the most interesting (and sometimes most difficult) decision: the material and finish of your cabinets. Cabinets come in three materials, and like wood furniture they are often not made completely of solid wood, but of wood-based materials. This is because solid wood can absorb moisture easily and is prone to warping and cracking if it isn’t adequately sealed, whereas wood-based materials such as plywood, MDF, and particle board are not. Therefore, cabinets that advertise “solid wood” are usually an engineered wood material covered with a popular veneer such as maple, oak, or cherry. 

Finishing up

Today finishes require much less care and upkeep than those of the past, but there are certain things you want to know about when deciding on your ideal cabinets. Some good questions are whether the cabinets have “heat-catalyzed” conversion varnish, hand-rubbed stains, ultraviolet inhibitors to minimize sun damage, and high solids sealers to protect the wood. Many good-quality factory finishes last longer than many older finishes which may not resist moisture very well. Obviously, you probably won’t be able to tell if your cabinets have good ultraviolet inhibitors unless you can distinctly smell sunscreen emanating from the general area, so be sure to ask.

Money Saving Tips

  • Plan your project
  • Don’t move plumbing or electrical unless necessary
  • Buy the best quality cabinets you can afford to improve functionality as well as appearance
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What You Need to Know About Home Additions

A beautiful addition to your home can bring you and your family a lot of pleasure for years to come. It can provide the extra bedrooms you need for your growing family, or a private suite for your aging parents who live with you. It can offer the few extra square feet necessary to create a separate water closet in your bathroom.

Whatever your needs, we encourage you to contact our team at Westside Remodeling before you start your addition project. We have over 29 years experience in building home additions, and we can lead you on the right path from the beginning.

Before

For starters, we will guide you toward utilizing the Design/Build process for your addition project. If you hire an architect to draw up plans and then contract with a builder to complete your project, you will have to negotiate with two separate companies. This can result in a lot of extra time and aggravation for you, since the two may not always agree.

With our Design/Build process, there will be only one point of responsibility for your addition project: Westside Remodeling–from design through completion. We create your design to fit your budget. “As a result of my years of remodeling experience,” Bob Sturgeon explains, “I am generally able to give you accurate numbers to work with right from the beginning, even though at that point it is still a guesstimate.”

We create 3-D drawings of your addition, so you can know ahead of time how your addition will look. It is important that the scale and shape of your addition looks like it belongs to the rest of your home. “Articulation is a significant part of the design,” says Bob. “You don’t want your addition to look like a giant box attached to your home.” So, in keeping with the architectural style of your existing home, we may add a bay window or cut out a corner of the addition for visual interest.

We also complete a furniture layout in the preliminary stages of the design, so you can see what effect the addition will have on the interior flow of your home. Usually homeowners are surprised at the extra functionality you can get with just a few more square feet of space.

During

Everything should look as pleasing on the outside as it does on the inside. We pay attention to how the new roof ties into the existing. “We must often take a large part of the existing roofing off, just so we can get the entire home to look right and drain properly,” Bob emphasizes. “We have to get all the hips and valleys to work correctly for suitable drainage.” Your yard outside is also carefully graded away from the foundation, so it drains properly to the street.

With second-story additions, there is crucial structural work to be done on the first floor to make sure it can support the new addition. Especially in our area that is prone to earthquakes, your finished home must be able to resist lateral forces. It is often required by the structural engineer that we underpin the footings, add shear walls, and epoxy additional anchor bolts to the foundation to meet the current code.

Homeowners often wonder if they will need a larger HVAC unit if they are building a sizable addition. That may be the case, however sometimes we can air seal and insulate your house, and repair or replace your existing ducting to make an older, smaller unit work just fine.

After

“I’m not a realtor,” says Bob, “but I see how many dollars per square foot houses are selling for in our area. We can definitely add to your home for less than that, and at the same time add value to your existing home.

As you are contemplating your new home addition, we invite you to contact us at Westside Remodeling. We guarantee an on time, on budget, professional construction of your project!

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Top Remodeling Projects

Home improvement is a smart investment of time and money. Making your home more beautiful and valuable are essential aspects of every homeowner’s duties. Not only is it a smart investment, but having a welcoming, comfortable home can also be essential to our overall well-being.

The following are the top home improvement/remodeling projects that will maximize your return on investment today.

#1: Remodel Your Kitchen

Kitchen updates are one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. Adding modern appliances and updating your kitchen to give it a more modern look is well worth the investment.

#2: Add a Garage

Homes with at least a two car garage are more attractive to potential homebuyers. Having a home with a small garage is almost as bad as having no garage at all, so adding a garage or upgrading a smaller one is a smart move.

#3: Install Granite or Quartz Countertops

Granite and quartz countertops are popular in both kitchens and bathrooms. In addition, they are low maintenance, extremely attractive and add significant value to your home.

#4: Remodel Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are very important to potential homebuyers. Just as with the kitchen, modern conveniences are important in terms of adding value to your home. Painting the walls, updating the floor tile, and adding a frameless glass shower enclosure can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of your bathroom.

#5: Add Natural Light

Homes that are bright and cheery on the inside are more appealing. Look for places to add windows or patio doors which will allow more natural light into your home.

#6: Open Up the Space

Homes with an “open concept” are more valuable than those that feel closed in.  Where feasible, consider knocking out walls to open up your home. One great option, depending on the floor plan of your home, is to take out a wall between your kitchen and dining room.

#7: Install the Right Flooring Material

Natural materials such as wood and ceramic are popular among homebuyers. Another good option is laminate flooring, as it can create a natural look.

#8: Increase Curb Appeal

Your home should feel welcoming , as soon as you pull in the driveway. Adding flowers and improving the landscape of your yard adds to the overall appeal of your home.

 

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Adding Luxury with Granite and Marble

Bringing added luxury into your home is readily accomplished by incorporating granite and marble throughout a variety of rooms. Not only will you add luxury, but you will also add value since kitchen and bathroom remodels are two of the most popular upgrades appreciated by prospective buyers. While granite and marble sparkle with a brilliant shine, creating an elegant look, they also provide the durability that makes them last longer than many other materials. Suitable for most rooms within the home, today’s selection of granite and marble include an attractive assortment of colors and patterns.

Adding Luxury to the Kitchen with Granite and Marble

DSC_5050

Spruce up the kitchen with granite countertops and granite or marble flooring. Popular styles of granite countertops include those with a standard thickness of .75 and 1.25 inches as well as any of the following edges: straight, pencil, half bullnose, ogee, and bevel. Non-slip varieties of both granite and marble (in various thicknesses) are availablefor flooring purposes, providing safety along with sophisticated elegance.

Adding Luxury to the Bathrooms with Granite and MarbleDSC_6150 - altered
Granite or marble vanity tops, wash basins, tubs, showers, and shower trays create a spa-like appearance in your bathroom, transforming an ordinary bath or powder room into an elegant place to recuperate from the stresses of life.

Adding Luxury with Touches of Granite and Marble Throughout Your Living Space
Incorporating decorative touches of granite and marble to continue your chosen theme can be accomplished by adding coffee tables or shelving built with either of these natural stones.

Adding Luxury with Touches of Granite and Marble Wall Cladding for Curb Appeal
Granite or marble wall cladding can be used for the exterior walls of the home to create a distinctive façade that is both attractive and functional. Typically, you’ll incorporate this type of cladding for decorative purposes in select locations, such as the exterior of the foyer, rather than on every exterior wall.

The design professionals at Westside Remodeling are happy to discuss with you how best granite or marble can be used to show your home off to its best advantage.

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Trending Kitchen Cabinetry

The design of your kitchen often sets the tone for the entire home. Kitchen cabinetry is a large focus of this room. Any remodeling that takes place in the kitchen typically involves redoing the style of the cabinets. Trending themes for kitchen cabinetry includes the environmentally friendly style and the minimalistic approach.

Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Cabinetry

Going green has been a buzz phrase for a number of years now. Doing so with kitchen cabinetry is a bit difficult, primarily for two reasons. Unfortunately, new products haven’t been around long enough to stand the test of time, so there aren’t a lot of proven options available. Additionally, the kitchen takes a beating and finishes that do not include formaldehyde don’t hold up well.

Trending styles for homeowners searching for environmentally friendly include bamboo and repurposed lumber. Using cabinetry crafted from sustainable wood is becoming more popular. One example is a product manufactured from different species of Eucalyptus. Using cabinetry with water-based finishes is another green option.

Minimalistic Kitchen Cabinetry

Going simple with kitchen cabinetry has become popular since it provides a clean look. Homeowners are choosing fresh and simple with flat-paneled cabinetry offering clean lines. With a minimalistic design in cabinetry, it becomes easy to switch your kitchen’s décor or rearrange the room without the need to also replace the cabinets.

The current trend in kitchens is to move away from engraved, complicated designs that are difficult to match with varying themes of décor, appliances, sinks, and lighting. Simplistic cabinet designs lend themselves well to a variety of upgraded themes and equipment.

Simplistic color schemes are also in vogue currently. Basic whites, off-whites, grays, and browns are in, everything else is out. Natural woods offer the opportunity to showcase the natural beauty of the wood rather than investing in ornate carvings and designs.

Today’s homeowners are searching for kitchen cabinets that are going to survive the test of time without the need to replace them each time the appliances are upgraded or the room’s décor is changed. Durability and simple lines have become increasingly popular for those reasons.

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Need help finding the right kitchen cabinetry? Call the best remodeling contractor in Thousand Oaks: Westside Remodeling. Call us at 805.499.4121 or visit us online at http://www.westsideremodeling.com.

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6 Vital Questions for Planning the Perfect Kitchen Remodel

Is it time for you to remodel your kitchen? Perhaps your kitchen cabinets look worn and the appliances are outdated. Maybe you have visited a friend and admired the beautiful countertops in her kitchen. Now you are hoping for something similar in your own home.

Did you know that  when it comes to planning a remodeling project, your kitchen is the most complex room in your home? Many homeowners approach a kitchen remodeling project with only a vague idea of what it involves. They do not realize how critical it is to successfully blend form and function in the design of their kitchen, so the end result will bring them long-term satisfaction and pleasure. This is not a project you should attempt to tackle on your own; we recommend getting help from one of Westside Remodeling’s professional designers.

At the same time, your part in the planning process is vital. You and your designer work together as a team to create the perfect kitchen that meets your individual needs and desires. Here are some questions to consider, in preparation for your initial design consultation. Your answers should be forward-thinking, encompassing today as well as into the near future.

1. Who will be using your kitchen?

  • How many people live in your home?
  • What are their general ages? Adults, children, teens, older adults, people with mobility or range of motion issues?
  • Who will be using the kitchen?

2. How do you use your kitchen?

  • Which activities typically take place in your kitchen? Cooking, eating, family gatherings, homework?
  • How many people typically use the kitchen at the same time? Are they all cooking, or are they involved in different activities simultaneously?
  • What types of cooking usually take place in your kitchen? Family meals, baking, gourmet meals, parties?
  • Will you do a lot of entertaining that requires staging in the kitchen? What is a typical size event—10, 50, 100 people?

3. What are your space requirements?

  • How much counter space do you need?
  • How much and what kind of storage?
  • How many and what type of range top/stove and oven(s) do you want?
  • How much refrigerator/freezer space do you need? A wine cooler/refrigerator?
  • Do you need more than one sink, or a pot-filler faucet at the stove?
  • Any other special requirements for your kitchen?

4. Do you have a style preference?

  • Magazines or television programs like HGTV can help you develop ideas of what you would like for your kitchen.
  • A website like Houzz is a great place to find inspiration. By creating an online “idea book” with images you have collected, you will more easily be able to communicate your preferences.

5. What is your budget?

  • Determine what you can afford to spend on your kitchen.
  • Decide what you want to spend.

6. What are your project priorities?

  • List the things that are most important for you to include in your kitchen remodel.
  • Which things would be really nice to have, if they fit in your budget.
  • Decide which things you can live without, if necessary.

Once you have answered the above six questions, you will be well-prepared for that initial kitchen design consultation with Westside Remodeling. Because you went to the extra effort of completing your homework ahead of time, you will be very pleased at how smoothly the design process will go, and how successful will be the outcome. It is always our desire at Westside Remodeling to provide you even greater satisfaction with your remodeling project than you expected. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

 

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