Archive for the 'Before & After' Category

Why does Carl Balton look so proud? Maybe it’s his $25,000, 2-month remodel

Carl Balton still remembers how he spent one particular Christmas Day — alone, miserable and working on his just-purchased first house, a 1928 Mar Vista fixer-upper. On that day, the tiny, run-down house was vacant, cold and dreary. Rain puddled ankle deep outside, and winds blasted open the French doors he had just installed. Balton [...]

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Where the money went: Carl Balton’s Mar Vista remodel

Here’s where the money went for Carl Balton’s Mar Vista remodel, featured in a previous post: Electrician: $1,060 Plumber: $550 (plus one snake aquarium) Wood floor refinishing: $1,300 Trash hauling: $270 Friends’ labor: $3,734 Bathroom fixtures, vanity: $2,000 Tile and countertop: $1,260 Tile setter: $660 Bathroom counter: $800 Shower curtain and track: $295 Bathroom materials: [...]

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For West Hollywood actor Cyrus Deboo, a DIY kitchen brings life lessons

When he set out to renovate the kitchen of his West Hollywood condo, Cyrus Deboo discovered more than how to paint cabinets and lay a tile floor. The do-it-yourselfer also found out some things about patience and perseverance. “The incredible lesson I learned from that kitchen rivals anything I learned in therapy,” said Deboo, a [...]

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How I helped my parents remodel their Eagle Rock kitchen — Part 4

New to my story? Read Part 1 • • Read Part 2 • • Read Part 3 Sean here for the final post. Here is the finished kitchen, minus the backsplash, which I’m sure will add a lot of color and interest. As with most projects, it’s the last details that tend to get put [...]

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How I helped my parents remodel their Eagle Rock kitchen — Part 3

New to my story? Read Part 1 here Read Part 2 here Sean here. The kitchen remodel I’ve been helping my parents with is done. Well, sort of. The backsplash tile is not installed, and it will be some time before we do that. Ironically, while I have been pushing my parents toward more-dynamic, less-bland [...]

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Ceiling oppressively low? Blast away an upstairs bedroom

The trouble with a two-story house is that if a ceiling is too low on the bottom floor, what are your options? It’s not a simple matter of punching up the ceiling. There’s another room up there. But that didn’t stop Scott and Lori in their 1940s Lake Arrowhead vacation cabin. They bought the place [...]

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How I helped my parents remodel their Eagle Rock kitchen — Part 2

New to my story? Read Part 1 first. Sean here. We are almost done with my parents’ three-month kitchen remodel. That’s a long time for people to be without a kitchen. It’s been hard on my mom. What made it more challenging is that we (mostly me) decided to put new flooring in the kitchen, [...]

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Two siblings, two identical kitchens, two totally different approaches

When Kathleen Schaaf and her younger brother Kevin bought a 1923 duplex together, their outdated kitchens — one downstairs, the other directly above it — were identical in one respect: “It was time to gut both of them,” Kevin Schaaf said. There the similarities ended. Kevin, a flight attendant, moved into the lower unit of [...]

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How I helped my parents remodel their Eagle Rock kitchen — Part 1

My name is Sean, I’m 34 years old, and I have been helping my parents remodel the kitchen in their Eagle Rock home. We started about three months ago, and it’s almost done. While I knew from the beginning that the end result will be really nice — a larger space with an island, cherry [...]

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The anti-McMansion

When you come across a charming-yet-tiny Westside cottage, do visions of bulldozers dance in your head? If you want more space than a vintage bungalow can yield, you don’t have to mow it down and build a big stucco box in its place. You can add a sensitively designed second story — set back from [...]

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On a day like this, maybe a pool is a good investment after all

Check out this story to find out how Twila Wolfe turned a ragged, wretched Mission Viejo backyard into a natural-looking grotto on a small budget. Here is her secret: “I never pay full price for anything. Never.” Read Twila’s story See more remodels See more outdoors (Photo: KEN HIVELY / Los Angeles Times)

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Ah, so this is what a “green” house looks like

This new Claremont house looks pretty normal, right? But thanks to homeowners Vern and Deb Jahnke, and their team of architects and builders, this house is way green. Here’s what makes it so: • Oriented so rooftop solar panels are at most effective angle. • Made of Rastra block, which is recycled Styrofoam and concrete. • [...]

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Where the money went: DIY kitchen remodel and dining room addition

Here are the actual costs for the kitchen remodel and dining room addition done by Lily and Arnie Richards in Downey. The couple did all the work themselves over a five-month period where they worked every weekend, evenings and during their vacation time. If you were to undertake a project like this, and were ready [...]

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Attached garage gives couple room to grow

As you lean back against a comfy armchair in Barbara and Gene Noller’s family room, you can hardly grasp what they’re telling you: This used to be a garage. Nothing here speaks the architectural “language” of a dreary, drafty garage: not the wood floors, the French doors, not the sheer swag curtains at the windows [...]

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Attached garage gives Whittier couple room to grow

As you lean back against a comfy armchair in Barbara and Gene Noller’s family room, you can hardly grasp what they’re telling you: This used to be a garage. Nothing here speaks the architectural “language” of a dreary, drafty garage: not the wood floors, the French doors, not the sheer swag curtains at the windows [...]

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No window in your bathroom? Quick, call an artist

When Cathy Nordlund decided to remodel one room in her Woodland Hills home to heart’s desire — the powder room — she began by looking through “millions” of decorating magazines. Eventually, she decided on a Victorian theme. But during her contemplation of fabulous Victorian bathrooms, it finally dawned on Cathy that they all shared a [...]

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A Mar Vista family’s journey to inner space

A cramped bungalow becomes a 5,000-square-foot oasis with plenty of elbow room for all. The first thing you notice about Janet Mitsui Brown’s remodeled Mar Vista home is its sense of balance, harmony and consistency. The slate on the fence posts is repeated on the chimney, the front steps and into the foyer. The red-toned [...]

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How to remodel a kitchen and add a new dining room for $27,642

While showing off her new kitchen/dining room addition one evening, Lily Richards explained to me why she and her husband, Arnie, never considered hiring a contractor to oversee the project. “We’re kind of conservative financially. . . ,” Lily began. “We’re cheap,” Arnie broke in. And, he added, “We’re too egocentric.” What’s more, the couple [...]

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Losing a garage, gaining a workshop

When Chantal Dussouchaud and Harry Dolman bought this Hollywood Hills home, they had one major objection to it: the massive driveway that dominated the entire front of the house. Part of the couple’s reaction stemmed from the fact that they had been living in Paris (they are both European natives), where the car culture is [...]

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Rate This Remodel: Losing a garage, gaining a workshop

When Chantal Dussouchaud and Harry Dolman bought this Hollywood Hills home, they had one major objection to it: the massive driveway that dominated the entire front of the house. Part of the couple’s reaction stemmed from the fact that they had been living in Paris (they are both European natives), where the car culture is [...]

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