Archive for the 'Ask an Expert' Category

Ask a Realtor: Should we cover our Corian counters with granite?

Question: I saw an episode of Flip That House where the house in Thousand Oaks had Corian counters in the kitchen and the flippers didn’t think that looked like a million-dollar house, so they covered the Corian with granite tiles. Later, the real estate agent said they should have taken the Corian off completely and [...]

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Q&A: Renovate all at once, or in steps?

Question: We want to do several upgrades to our house, including the kitchen, the master bathroom and a new deck. Should we have them all done at the same time, or would it be easier on my family to have them done one at a time? My answer: I’ve seen projects tackled both ways. Many [...]

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Ask a SoCal Realtor: Will your remodel earn you money?

When it’s time to sell your home, which upgrade will bring a bigger return on your remodeling investment: Granite or Corian counters? A bigger master bath or a walk-in closet? Tile or wood floors? New windows or a new roof? A patio or a deck? Will the remodel you are considering now add a lot [...]

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Ask an Expert: What decking material is best?

Question: We want to build a deck this summer, but now we are confused about what to use: wood or a composite product such as Trex. Any suggestions? Answer: From Pamela Berstler of Flower to the People, a Los Angeles landscaping company known for being environmentally sensitive: Composite wood materials have come a very long [...]

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Ask an Expert: How important is master suite for resale?

Question from reader Al in Hollywood: We have a 1950s bungalow-style house (two bedrooms and two bathrooms) with a very small “master suite” with a small bedroom (180 square feet) adjoined by a very small bathroom (50 square feet with a stall shower, sink and toilet). We only use this bedroom as a guest bedroom [...]

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Reader Question: What to do about peeling exterior trim?

Jeannie from Cambria asks: When I bought my house, the doors and window frames were painted with a beautiful maroon color. I never would have thought of doing that myself but it looked really cool on the mostly blue house. Now a problem has come up because there are areas of chipping but I have [...]

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Ask a Carpenter: Is installing crown molding a good homeowner job?

Our guest expert is Gary M. Katz, Reseda-based finish carpenter and author. He has produced a DVD called Mastering Crown Molding, and other DVDs on carpentry QUESTION: I want to install crown moldings and wonder which is better: solid wood or these new composite moldings I see everywhere? Also, is this a good job for [...]

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Ask a renovation lender

Forget the granite or tile conundrum. The big remodeling question is this: “Where do you get the money?” Here are some of the remodel finance strategies I’ve seen over the years: — Sale of stocks — Cash inheritance from family — Cash-out refinance — Sale of elderly parent’s home to pay for remodel, which included [...]

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Ask a Green Builder: Dennis Allen

Ever wonder about the durability of bamboo floors? The benefits of thicker insulation? The rebates available for adding solar power? The cost vs. value of new windows? Dennis Allen, a nationally recognized green builder in Santa Barbara, is on hand today and tomorrow, the 29th and 30th, to answer your online green remodeling questions. Topics [...]

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Ask a Contractor: Alon Toker

Ever wish you could ask a licensed contractor some remodeling questions with no hint of pressure to sign a contract? Here is your chance. This week’s guest expert, contractor Alon Toker, will be answering your remodeling questions online through Sunday. Here are the facts: Name: Alon Toker Title: President Company: Mega Builders, Chatsworth Contractor’s License [...]

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Live well now, sell high later

You know what’s so sad about Designed to Sell, one of my favorite TV shows? It’s that the homeowners spent years in an awkward, cluttered, unattractive home until it was time to sell . . . and then they made it nice. Does that make sense? Why not make it nice five years in advance [...]

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