Category Archives: remodeling

How to resolve dispute with contractor

A significant portion of these renovations are carried out without problems. A contractor is paid to perform your renovations, they do the work, and you’re happy with your new and improved kitchen, bathroom, or great room. It is, however, well known that not all renovations end with a better home. Almost all of us know someone who has — or we have, ourselves — dealt with a contractor who did not perform the work as promised — or even worse, failed to perform the work at all.

For those who discover themselves in a quarrel with a contractor, finding recourse is far from simple. As is often the case, there are options for legal action. Depending on the amount of damages being claimed, Small Claims or Superior Court would be an avenue to pursue to receive compensation. The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board is another resource, where you can file a complaint that can be resolved either in or out of court, with mediation being an option.

When dealing with a contractor dispute, it can help to assume there is a way for the contractor to repair work that was not up to par, or redo modifications that did not come out as planned. While it is easy to assume that a substandard result was due to negligence or lack of quality, it could have been an unintended consequence of a design flaw or bad materials. Taking a response-based approach utilizing positive assumptions can open the door for your contractor to right the wrong and put the dispute behind you.

Assuming that there is a way for your contractor to make things right before pursuing a punitive action can save you time and money in the long run. Just as negative assumptions can impede your path toward finding a solution, positive assumptions can be the difference between an expensive legal battle and an end to your renovation woes.

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11 small scale, high impact remodeling ideas

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To celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Idea House program, we went back to the drawing board to dream up a different take on what an Idea House could be.

Sunset used the concept of a “make under” as our compass—preserving the spirit of the dwelling’s original design while updating it with minimal structural changes and affordable decor.

The main objective? To create optimal flow and an immediate connection to the outdoors, all with a refined Southern California sensibility.

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Test help consumers sort out home paint price and quality – are expensive, trendy paint brands worth it?

Choosing paint colors is hard enough, but these days consumers have to decide among dozens of paint brands — plus different quality levels within those brands. And then there’s price. Will paying $100 a gallon get you a better paint than if you pay $30 a gallon? It’s almost as maddening as choosing between Paper White and Whisper White. Here’s help.

You may think of Consumer Reports as a resource for buying cars and electronics, but the nonprofit magazine also tests paints, grading them on the traits consumers say are most important. Exterior paint is judged on its appearance after tests that simulate multiple years. Interior paint is evaluated for factors including its ability to cover old colors in a single coat, whether it can withstand scrubbing, and its mildew and fade resistance.

In the most recent rounds of testing, a remarkable four out of the top five interior and exterior paints were hardware store brands. So, right away, we know you don’t have to buy a premium brand to get great paint. On the other hand, the very cheapest paints, those that cost between $17 and $27 a gallon, didn’t make it into the top five. “Generally, spending more money does not always equate to a better paint,” said Rico De Paz, paint-testing program leader at Consumer Reports. “But it’s probably a good idea to stay away from the most inexpensive brands at most retailers without checking our ratings first.”

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