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Although Winter hasn't even arrived to California, it is never too early to start planning for some great home remodeling projects in the early to mid Spring. Spring offers some choice conditions for remodeling due, largely, to California's (Especially Southern California) great spring time weather. A lot of home remodeling projects go by faster during this period due to warm, but not hot, air, and calm breezes that airate the home.


Painting an exterior or an interior of your home is a great remodeling project to do during the Spring because the warm air will allow the paint to dry faster. Inside the home, opening up all the windows will allow the paint to dry rapidly, while not letting the interior of the house get too hot like it would have been if it was done in the Summer. Outdoors, the spring conditions allow for paint to dry at optimal conditions, allowing for as little as discoloration as possible, since the sun isn't as direct as it would be during the Summer.

Deck Installation

Building a deck is an ideal project to take during the Spring. Deck construction and installation can be time consuming, so it's best to prepare that before the summer so the deck can be fully enjoyed by your family during the summer months. In Southern California, the sweltering summer heat tends to slow down workers who have to commit a lot of physical exertion in their construction. An ideal temperature keeps everyone working at their fullest!

 Backyard Remodeling

If you're looking to do a remodeling job to your backyard, aim for doing it in the Spring. New plants and grasses need time to grow, and the summer hot temperatures can stunt or dry out young plants. Besides you want to have that garden looking at it's best when the summer months roll around. Extensive backyard projects can take many months, and you want to maximize the daylight and the hours the workers will put in. Starting in Spring, even on a large project will guarantee that it will be finished on time.

Home Addition

Home additions take a lot of time to put together. Getting a project like this ready for the summer months, you'd have to start very early in the Spring. Home additions can involve everything from new roofs, cements, walling, and paint jobs. As mentioned above, the warm and breezy spring time weather we get in California creates an idea drying conditions, and also provides optimal temperatures to do strenuous physical labor.

Remember, any large remodeling job that you do, always work with a professional contractor. Small, do-it-yourself projects, can become massive headaches if not properly done. 



A kid's room can be something as simple as a paint job, to something as complex but rewarding as a room addition, or full on remodeling job. We will share some tips in remodeling, and enhancing your kids' rooms, not just in the short term, but for the long term as well.


Kids love colorful rooms, objects, and toys, but why is that? Well did you  know that infants and children still haven't fully developed their visual senses? As a matter of fact, a newborn's vision is like looking through a thick fog. At birth, their vision is 20/660 to 20/400, at 2 mos. it is 20/300, at 4 mos, it is 20/160. Vision does not reach adult levels until 3-5 years of age. A way to look at it is this:

The image on the left is how an infant and a small child would see the balloon that an older child and an adult would see on the right.

It is because of this that a lot of things for kids often have a lot of bright colors. Keeping this in mind, a child's room should be brightly colored, even mix colors.
Bright blues, yellows and green or browns are extremely good options. Avoid however darker colors, or solid white or off white colors which are susceptible to having glaring stains.

Layout and Furniture

At a young age your kids will spend a lot of their time in their rooms; playing, studying, and sleeping. It is important that you design the room in such a way where there is room for the child to engage in all these activities. The best way of doing it is to allow the furniture to "hug" the walls as much as possible, leaving the center of the room clear for any kind of playing. 

It is highly advisable that if you're going to install any kind of wall cabinets, or free-standing drawers, that you get a professional to make sure to bolt down the furniture. In areas prone to earthquakes like Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, making extra precautions in bolting down furniture is a safety must! There are some really creative things you can do with open wall shelving. 

Hardwood vs Carpet

In a debate between what is better for kids, hardwood or carpet, both are actually quite good, however, carpeting can be a safer bet by it's own merit. This is especially true if you use allergy-free carpeting, which helps eliminate any concerns for allergens being trapped in rugs. In fact, some have pointed out that the allergens are trapped in the rug and cannot actually float around and go into your system. However, carpets can be stained, and require expensive cleaning, and time consuming maintanance. Hardwood floors tend to be hard, and it is advisable to also place a soft rug for the kids to play on, and not on the cold hard floor. Hardwood Floors also easier to clean, and maintain, and do not stain easily like carpeting. 


Safety is a prime concern when remodeling your child's room. It is important to work with a contractor because they understand the best ways to prevent any kind of accidents from happening. A contractor can show you options for child safe furniture and cabinets which have tapered edges, properly install any kind of wall cabinets, and make sure your child's room is secure. 

Make sure that you hire a proper professional to handle your child's room, understanding color schemes, materials, and safety is essential! 




We recently had a large project in Calabasas that we would like to share. Our customer wanted us to build a brand new home with a beautiful backyard in a plot of land he bought.

We first started out with a wooden frame of the house. The house was going to have a circular tower gate that would connect the two wings together.

Here you can see the opposing side with both wings on either side. Here we are already in the process of building the walls.

Here you can see us also building the walls for the backyard, which would become the center piece of the home.

Here you can see the layout of the backyard as we were building it.

The end result was a beautiful round tower. With a Spanish Colonial Style.

As you can see we kept to the same Spanish colonial style for the backyard as well. Emphasizing contrast between the natural tan colors and the green grass.

This was an a great project because we got a real opportunity to work with a lot of land, and push the customer's ideas to life. He was extremely pleased with our work, afterwards.


Because it is Halloween and everyone is enjoying spooky things, we are going to dedicate this blog post on some horror stories about remodeling, and how to best handle them!

All contractors will encounter situations where things just do not go right, or the customer wants to change something in the middle, which puts the entire project in jeopardy. We hear horror stories all the time from disappointing customers, mismanagement, weather problems, etc. Many of them can be avoided with some pre-planning, but many, are just unavoidable. We'll discuss a few of these!

It's Not What You Expected

You've seen the designs. You've have this vision. It looks fantastic on paper, and you want to see it happen in your kitchen...But the color is off, and after all, it doesn't actually fit the rest of the house like you planned. Although fairly uncommon, there will always be a case where something didn't go well with the way it came out. Avoiding this comes from hiring a good contractor. A great contractor will provide you with a plan, a vision, and would understand before they even begin if it will work or not.

The Budget Was Wrong

Sometimes the budget calculations were off. This is frequently the case with customers of ours who have attempted a do-it-yourself project and ultimately ended up causing some more damage than intended, or just didn't understand the cost of the materials. If it is with a contractor, then the contractor themselves probably didn't take the necessary time to go over the numbers. Sometimes there is a change to the project and the costs are no longer properly assessed. This can be avoided by making sure you have a very specific and carefully put together contract with your contractor. It can also be avoided by making sure that the contractor themselves is very competent.


It cannot be avoided, and it cannot be controlled, but weather sometimes has a huge affect on the budget. Though rare in Southern California, due to our mostly warm climate, we do encounter a lot of flash downpours, and an occasional fire or earthquake risk can actually interrupt or put a total damper on your project. Although there is little that can be done to prevent this from becoming a problem, being patient is the best solution.


Accidents are sometimes unavoidable, but large accidents are. Imagine a mistake in the plan and a wall that was not meant to be torn down was, or while trying to fix some plumbing, more damage was caused. There are many things that can go wrong while there is large equipment and materials being moved around in often limited space. Make sure that the company you hire has had a great reputation in being clean, tidy, and willing to repair any damage they may conduct.

The House is Haunted

And sometimes, us contractors just simply can't work in a house haunted by spirits and ghouls ready to strike at us when we try to repair your kitchen and bathroom. Make sure you hire the right Ghostbusters to clean our your house of all the evil ghouls and ghosts!

Remember, there are many things that can happen to your project, and lots of things you can do to mitigate the horror stories that come from home remodeling. 

Happy Halloween!


More and more home owners are taking advantage of outdoor living in Calabasa. Indeed the hot summer months and cool winter months for the entirety of Los Angeles offer an ideal environment for creating a living space in your backyard. One of the most popular ways of doing this is to add a deck.

Decks are a wonderful addition to any home and are utilized for a multitude of purposes. If, for example, you live in Calabasas, or Woodland Hills, areas that are very hilly in Los Angeles, then you're more likely to have a slope in the backyard. A deck can add a lot of flat space built on top of that hill, allowing you expand your living area even further.

On the other hand, a multi-level deck can add a lot of dimension and weight to an otherwise flat backyard. A great way to utilize larger decks would be to turn it into a recreational area where you can relax, hang out with friends, or even throw a party. Some of our past clients would even install a small spa to enhance the relaxing or entertaining value of their home.

Decks also provide a lot of value to the actual house itself. A well built deck can be a healthy investment for your home if you plan on ever selling it. The return on the investment is quite high, compared to other remodeling projects. In fact, a well designed and built deck has a 100% return on the investment, even slightly higher return than on Kitchen or Bathroom Remodeling.

If building a deck though make sure the contractor you hire has the proper materials on hand. You want to make sure that they weather-proof the materials so that your deck will last for a long time. Maintenance is generally small, but the quality of the materials, and the quality of the deck itself will make all the difference in how often and how expensive you'd have to spend to maintain it.

A deck can add a beautiful new addition to your home. A well designed deck can become the centerpiece of your home! But make sure that you hire the best contractors for the job, as a simple project like a deck can turn into a constant drain on your wallet if built improperly.


With so many sunny days in Los Angeles what better way to take advantage of the wonderful weather than to create an inviting, comfortable, and relaxing backyard? Indeed, with so many people saving money instead of traveling during their vacations, the backyard is becoming a favorite destination for rest and relaxation. Here at US Home Developers we've definitely seen an uptick in customers who are requesting major remodeling work on their backyards in preparation for a summer vacation in the last few years.

But one of the most important elements, in fact, one of the key elements to a great backyard is a great patio. And there are a wide variety of ideas that people incorporate in creating a great patio.

It is extremely important to know that there are a large variety of ideas and solutions available for patio design. I would even say that it can represent the most creative and versatile aspect of your house. 

If you're looking for a patio that is connected to your house, consider adding a balcony to an upstairs room. This will create a shaded area below which you can create a beautiful patio around. Flagstone pavers, ceramic tiles, concrete are the best bet for these kinds of patios, because of it's natural earth-tones and look, but also for it's practicality as you do not want areas near your home to be open dirt unless they are planters. Although somewhat more costly, the bonus to these kind of patio designs is that you also get a balcony to which you can add a second relaxing area to.

If a balcony seems a bit too much, consider interlocking patio roof. This is perfect for those people that want a bit more natural light, but without the direct heat from the sun. These are also great for those with a green thumb and wish to plant some vines to create an even more natural roof. Although, if you go this direction, please consider getting aluminum or vinyl patio materials, because wood wears out easily from the stress of weather and the plants. Interlocking patio cover roofs can also be paired up with a retractable cover that would provide even more shelter from the sun or rain.

But what if you want a great patio that is a little bit away from your home? Or on the other side of the backyard? 

In cases like this you have even more options of what you can do. If you have a large lawn, for example, consider using natural stones that are separated an inch or two from one another, allowing the green grass to grow in between and contrast with the gray or brown tones of the rock.

Outdoor fire pits are a great way to have a summer evening by the fire. It is strongly recommended to build these on top of solid stone, cement, or vinyl material, and a few feet away from anything flammable. Keep in mind that during the hot summer months, a lot of your vegetation may become prone to fires, so be wary of keeping grass or trees near by. Outdoor fire pits can serve as an excellent center for an outdoor back yard patio.

Consider also a small gazebo near a corner of your backyard. There is a large variety of choices you can go with, and I recommend taking advantage of the sunny days and creating a interlocking patio roof to go with the gazebo. If you plan to install any outdoor electronic equipment, like a television or audio set, do consider installing a solid roof or at the very least retractable covers.

A beautiful patio can easily become the centerpiece of your backyard. And in fact, in some cases can become the inviting centerpiece of your entire home. It's also one of the areas of home remodeling with such a large variety of options and ideas, that almost anything can be done. There are far less restrictions and limitations when it comes to great patio design. But it also requires someone with an eye for design, and someone with a lot of creativity to create that kind of a patio! We at US Home Developers employ agents with years of experience and a flare for backyard design and remodeling to tackle a wide variety of these issues. Make sure your contractor also staffs the most qualified designers so you can truly make your backyard shine!


One of the most common features a master bathroom would have is a tub. Yet most people hardly ever really use their tubs to begin with. Tubs are a great means of relaxing, especially if you got one with jets, but in reality, they are rarely used to justify keeping them. This is extremely important if you're looking to remodel your small bathroom to look roomier.

You'd be surprised how often people do not even think about how often, or the real need of having a tub until asked. Recently, we had a customer who wanted to make his 8 x 5 foot bathroom larger. The first thing we asked was how often he used his bath tub. The customer thought for a moment and said he can't remember the last time he did. We suggested that the first thing to do would be to remove the tub and replace it with only a shower, which he agreed to. The customer was extremely surprised and pleased that by removing the large shower+tub that was in his bathroom and replacing it with a far smaller single shower, how much space was opened up in his bathroom. With the space saved, and the separation between the shower, the toilet, and the vanities, it gave a lot more open space and elegance to the bathroom as a whole.
This doesn't mean that we recommend removing a bath tub for everyone. If you got a sizable bathroom, or if you use it quite often, then a bath tub is a great addition to any bathroom.

But if space is still limited, consider getting choosing a designer small tub, which has become a popular trend for small bathrooms that still desire the luxury of a mini-spa. These elegant tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, taking advantage of curves, geometry, and design, these tubs allow for maximum comfort with minimal space. The best part is, they aren't truly all that more expensive, ranging anywhere from $600-$900 dollars.

KOHLER, a home appliance company, provides an amazing catalog of inexpensive and extremely high quality (not to mention extremely elegant) options for you to choose from.

Although I'm focusing on bathroom tubs, there are many other things you can do to maximize space in your bathroom. 

Consider replacing your toilet with a compact elongated toilet. Choose solid, and simple colors, which reinforce the idea of minimalism. Choosing a smaller vanities, and taking as much use out of corners as possible!

You can also find a lot more tips in an earlier blog I posted here.

Always remember to hire contractors who work with the highest quality materials, and understand how to best maximize the very best out of every remodeling job.


The do it yourself attitude is a hallmark of American life and our cultural history. From the earliest pioneers, to the great builders of this nation, they were marked by an ethic of responsibility and self-reliance. This attitude, in all it's admiration, has remained to this day and is extremely popular among home-do-it-yourself who love to fix, repair, or even remodel their homes on their own.

We do not challenge their abilities or skills, because everyone's level of expertise is always different and there are truly remarkable and skilled do-it-yourselfers. However, there has been a rising trend of accidents that have resulted from people attempting at a home remodeling project that they cannot handle.

Home Safety Council, reported that as many as one in five of the 43 million homeowners tackling 57 million home improvement projects. That is nearly 8.6 million injuries!
In 2009, for example, 246,733 Americans had to be hospitalized for falling off ladders or stools. In the same year, 83,204 hospitalized for injuries resulting from power tools, and accidents involving solvents, paints, and cleaning agents, resulted in 53,907 Americans to the emergency room.

Besides basic safety, there are just some DIY projects that are too risky for a non-professional to handle. These consist of major roof repairs, gas line repair, or electrical and plumbing work. The fact of the matter is, living in California and especially Los Angeles, there are so many rules and regulations regarding the correct way of conducting a repair, or a remodel, that it is far easier to hire a professional than it is to do it yourself and make sure you are following all the specifications correctly.

Several weeks ago we were hired on to remodel the upstairs bedroom and roof of a homeowner who, several years ago, had to repair the bedroom and roof himself with his 2 sons. They initially did a good job, but used poor materials, and made some major structural mistakes which caused part of the roof to collapse. It ended up costing him a lot more to hire a professional to fix this incident than it would have been if he would have hired one several years ago to fix his bedroom.

The golden rule is to allow yourself to become objective when evaluating home improvement projects. Ask yourself, realistically, is this a project you can do yourself? Do you know all the rules and regulations that are involved? Did you make sure that the materials and the equipment is correct? If at any point you feel hesitant about those things, it's probably best to hire a professional contractor. It can save you money in the long run!


Fall has finally come to Los Angeles, and winter is around the corner! With the seasonal change, comes also new opportunities for home improvement and remodeling. And although we do not get much snow in southern California, we, nevertheless, maintain that Christmas spirit. What better time than now then to really get that new fire place that would be perfect for this year's holiday season? Or take advantage of the cooler weather to really go for a backyard or front yard renovation?

The cooling weather is a perfect time to build that dream garden. We in southern California are lucky to have mild winters where most plants can survive, and even thrive. So it's a great time to plant that garden, although you should make sure you use plants that will not be susceptible to the rapid change in the weather.

But it isn't all decorations, and aesthetics. Autumn is a great time to tackle maintenance and repair projects such as making sure your walls are properly insulated, or that the heating unit is working properly.  Often we encounter projects this time of the year that have to do with replacing or fixing major parts of our clients' roofs. As the winter months come in and the rains start, a leaky roof can really upset the holiday mood.

The lax and comfortable summer months are now behind us, the kids are back at school, there is a crisp, cool, autumn breeze, and a go-get-em spirit int he air. Take advantage of this season to treat you and your family to a new kitchen, garden, fire place. Or take the opportunity to really make sure your winter months are going to be comfortable. Just remember, always hire a professional contractor, who is licensed and understands the project you may have.


Remodeling a small kitchen comes with it's own restrictions and limitations. Often times people with small kitchens believe that any remodeling job to make it be bigger would cost a ton of money because the amount of work and potential room addition can be astronomical! Living in a dense area like San Fernando Valley, and especially the areas of Reseda and Northridge, more often than not you are going to experience smaller living spaces, and with that: smaller kitchens.

But that doesn't have to be so, if you hire the right contractor, you can discover that there are many ways of making your kitchen not just look bigger, but feel less cramp, feel more open, and a lot more comfortable. Here are some tips in making a small kitchen look larger!

1) Take Advantage of Height: if you got a tall kitchen but it is small, think about taking advantage of the height. Stack the cabinets on top of one another with smaller ones at the top to provide extra storage space, and give the illusion of more in less space.

2) Mirror Backsplash: Mirrors have always been used in small cramp areas to give the illusion of depth. This is applied to the kitchen backsplash to give a reflection of the rest of kitchen. This would be even more effective if you have your small kitchen attached to a larger room, which will be reflected in mirrors.

3) Get Chairs without any kind of arm rests. Chairs without arms are far easier to get into than those that are not. This will help a smaller kitchen be a lot more comfortable!

4) Spice Rack - consider a slim spice rack instead of a cabinet. This will save you space but will also allow you to keep a lot of spices in a single area.

5) Open Shelving - a more radical approach is to remove the cabinets entirely (which will greatly increase space) and replace it with open shelving, which is growing in popularity. Open shelving replaces cabinets with shelves which allow for a more open space. This is a really good way of opening up some space, and at the same time keeping a cozy kitchen.

Hiring a proper contractor with knowledge of how to handle a small kitchen is key. And be wary of contractors who insist that the only solutions are expensive room additions or tearing out the entire kitchen and replacing it. A smart contractor will find their customer the best deal, and the best solution!