6 Fix-ups to sell Your House

6 Fix-ups to sell Your House

When you're ready to sell your home in Los Angeles, make sure potential buyers see it at its best. Here are some ways to fix up the appearance of your home. A little time and effort now will pay big dividends at closing.

From curbside to the inside, let somebody see your home at its finest, here are some things to consider fixing-up before selling house to improve the property value.


Find landscaping design ideas to increase curb appeal and home value, and turn your yard into a place for growing, relaxing and entertaining.

Gutters and Fences

Replace sagging gutters and crooked fences. Make sure the gutters are cleared of obstructions and the soil is washed out around downspouts.

Driveway and Walkways

If you are considering resurfacing your concrete driveway because it’s sunken or uneven, you can repair your driveway by leveling the concrete, rather than tearing out and replacing it. This extends the existing driveway life for many years without the need for replacement.


Set a warm, inviting mood with new counter tops and cabinets and adding decorative canisters or a scented candle. Consider track lighting or pendant lighting for a contemporary look.


Make sure your bathrooms sparkle. Consider re-facing cabinets and counter-tops to save money. Replace discolored or damaged caulking. Replace dripping faucets and leaky toilets.


Consider replacing dated fixtures in the most visible locations. Install indoor track lighting to highlight artwork and open drapes and blinds to let in natural light. Outside use landscape lighting to accentuate architectural features.



Whether you live in Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley or other surrounding counties, curb appeal important. A beautiful and functional landscape makes your house more appealing and will increase its value. Remember, your outdoor areas are an extension of your home.

Start Up Front
If you’re wondering where to start a landscape transformation, look no farther than your front yard. It’s the first thing that you see driving up to your house, and you can wow guests before they even enter your home.

Hardscape First
Do all of your hardscaping projects before you set out any plants. Hardscaping can include a porch, sidewalk, driveway, parking areas, decks, fencing, patios and arbor..

Plant Next to Your House
Your foundation planting should embrace your house and not cover it. Low-growing shrubs or ground cover should be planted in front of low windows and porches. Larger rounded shrubs or small trees work well planted on the corners of your home.

Move to the Back
Your backyard should be an outdoor living area to enjoy. If you need privacy, install wooden fencing or large shrubs around the perimeter to create walls. Decks and patios make great sitting or dining areas when the weather’s appropriate and they create a nice overflow for guests during parties.

Finishing Touches
Adding containers, hanging baskets and window boxes is a great way to incorporate a little more color into a landscape. A large planter or grouping of containers placed by your front door will create an inviting entrance. If you have several planters use a common plant or color in each of them for repetition and continuity. Too many colors combined together can become chaotic looking.

To keep a beautiful landscape it must be maintained. Keep new plantings watered and mulched. Your outdoor areas should be an extension of your home. A beautiful and functional landscape makes your house more appealing and will increase its value.



When insulating your home, you can choose from many types of insulation. To choose the best type of insulation, you should first determine the following:

• Where you want or need to install/add insulation
• The recommended R-values for areas you want to insulate.

The maximum thermal performance or R-value of insulation is very dependent on proper installation. Homeowners can install some types of insulation -- notably blankets and materials that can be poured in place. Other types require professional installation.

When hiring a professional certified installer:

• Obtain written cost estimates from several contractors for the R-value you need, and don't be surprised if quoted prices for a given R-value installation vary by more than a factor of two.
• Ask contractors about their air-sealing services and costs as well, because it’s a good idea to seal air leaks before installing insulation.
• To evaluate blanket installation, you can measure batt thickness and check for gaps between batts as well as between batts and framing. In addition, inspect insulation for a tight fit around building components that penetrate the insulation, such as electrical boxes. To evaluate sprayed or blown-in types of insulation, measure the depth of the insulation and check for gaps in coverage.

Types of Insulation


Blanket insulation -- the most common and widely available type of insulation -- comes in the form of batts or rolls. It consists of flexible fibers, most commonly fiberglass. You also can find batts and rolls made from mineral (rock and slag) wool, plastic fibers, and natural fibers, such as cotton and sheep's wool.

Foam boards -- rigid panels of insulation -- can be used to insulate almost any part of your home, from the roof down to the foundation. They provide good thermal resistance, and reduce heat conduction through structural elements, like wood and steel studs.

Loose-fill insulation consists of small particles of fiber, foam, or other materials. These small particles form an insulation material that can conform to any space without disturbing structures or finishes. This ability to conform makes loose-fill insulation well suited for retrofits and locations where it would be difficult to install other types of insulation.

Unlike most common insulation systems, which resist conductive and sometimes convective heat flow, radiant barriers and reflective insulation work by reflecting radiant heat away from the living space. Radiant barriers are installed in homes -- usually in attics -- primarily to reduce summer heat gain, which helps lower cooling costs.

Rigid fiber or fibrous board insulation consists of either fiberglass or mineral wool material and is primarily used for insulating air ducts in homes. It is also used when there's a need for insulation that can withstand high temperatures. These products come in a range of thicknesses from 1 inch to 2.5 inches, and provide an R-value of about R-4 per inch of thickness.

Liquid foam insulation materials can be sprayed, foamed-in-place, injected, or poured. Some installations can have twice the R-value per inch of traditional batt insulation, and can fill even the smallest cavities, creating an effective air barrier.

Today, most foam materials use foaming agents that don't use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are harmful to the earth's ozone layer.

Available liquid foam insulation materials include:

• Cementitious
• Phenolic
• Polyisocyanurate (polyiso)
• Polyurethane.


Earthquake Retrofitting:

Earthquake Retrofitting:

House Bolting, Foundation Bolting & Cripple Wall Bracing The primary purpose of earthquake retrofitting is to keep your home from being displaced from its concrete foundation, making the building safer and less prone to major structural damage during an earthquake.
Foundation Bolting
Foundation bolting typically means that bolts are added to improve the connections between the wooden framing members of a building and its concrete foundation. Usually this means adding bolts through the piece of wood that lies flat on top of the foundation, referred to as the sill or mudsill, into the concrete. There may be no existing bolts, or the existing bolts may be either weakened or too far apart to be strong enough for earthquake resistance.

Two types of foundation bolts are typically used — expansion bolts and epoxy-set bolts.

Expansion Foundation Bolts

Expansion type foundation bolts, also known as mechanical foundation anchor bolts, are the basic type of bolt used in earthquake retrofitting to anchor the mudsill to the foundation — they cost less to install, but require good concrete strength to work well. They are typically used in houses with newer foundations or when the concrete is in good repair.

Epoxy-set Foundation Bolts

Epoxy-set foundation bolts work better than mechanical anchor bolts in older homes where the concrete may be weaker than in a newer home. They also perform better when the earthquake force is expected to cause an uplift — a situation where the movement pulls the bolt upward and out of the concrete. In addition, epoxy anchors can be longer and therefore inserted deeper into the concrete. This is particularly important if there is additional base framing (blocking) added between the cripple wall studs for the structural plywood anchorage of a shear wall (cripple wall bracing).
Plate Washers

The requirement for clamping washers installed with retrofit anchor bolts has been recently upgraded. It is now mandatory to use hot-dipped galvanized 3" x 3" x ¼" square plate washers under the anchor bolt nut. This allows the mudsill to be clamped more securely to the foundation.
Foundation Plates. Sometimes there is not adequate vertical clearance under a home to properly anchor the mudsill to the foundation with conventional anchor bolts. Simpson Strong-Tie has several anchors which can be used in situations like these. The most commonly used one is called the Universal Foundation Plate or UFP10. These plates are installed at intervals similar to anchor bolts in retrofit applications.

Cripple Wall Bracing

Most houses have a short wood-framed wall in the sub-area crawl space. This wall may be anywhere from a few inches to several feet in height, running upward from the top of the concrete foundation to the bottom of the main floor. In construction language, this is referred to as a cripple wall. Cripple wall collapse is a main source of earthquake related failure. The collapse of this wall will often result in the main floor dropping to the ground. The house is vaulted off to the side of the foundation as the cripple wall simply rolls out from under it.

Homes without Cripple Walls

In many newer houses, and some older ones, the floor framing (joist) rests directly on the mudsill. Compared to houses with cripple walls, houses built in this manner are considered to be slightly less vulnerable to displacement from their foundations. There is still significant risk, however. The connection between the floor framing and the foundation consists of a series of “toenails” which are often too weak to withstand strong seismic movement and the house can slide off its foundation.

Foundation Hold-down Brackets

Some houses also require additional hold-down brackets to anchor the shear walls. Hold-downs are specially constructed right-angle brackets connecting from the cripple wall framing into the foundation. As the bracket name implies, they are designed to resist a shear wall lifting or rolling effect, which may also occur during seismic activity. Generally, the need for Hold-downs is a function of the height-to-width dimensions of a shear wall configuration.

Room additions

Room additions

Room additions are intricate construction projects. All types of tasks must be part of the room addition plans and room addition cost is affected by these numerous considerations.

Room Additions come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In fact, they are much like people; they can be plain and simple or exceptionally extravagant.

A room addition is really just like building a small house. Only it is much harder. The connection details are tough. Working around people and finished surfaces requires extra care. Dust and utility interruptions must be kept to a minimum. There are many things you have to consider with room additions that never are an issue when you build a new home from scratch.

Professional Builders & Remodeling, Inc. has over 35 years of experience and a skilled crew to help you build the right addition to fit your needs.

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