No matter who is in charge, having a professional engineering firm present your permit request and when necessary answering questions about your building plans can be extremely helpful. More often than not, the person who will review and approve your building plan is also a professional engineer. Based on our experience, we know what questions to expect and how to answer them for first-time right success in securing your building permit. We won’t let you attempt to build something that we know will be problematic from the start and delay your project.… Continue Reading Building Permits and Professional Relationships
Now is a great time to perform the semi-annual maintenance of your HVAC system to make sure that your system is ready for the upcoming summer months. I recommend that you obtain a contract with an HVAC specialist for this maintenance, which is generally done in March/April (to prepare for the summer months) and then again inAugust/September (to prepare for the winter months). Take care of your HVAC and it will take care of you when you need it most.… Continue Reading Maintenance Series: Keep Your Cool All Summer
The past year has been a remarkably interesting one for sure. In March 2020, when we were informed of the COVID quarantine, our initial question was, “How is the construction industry supposed to deal with this situation?” We soon found out, to our great relief, that construction was considered an essential service, and that the operation of our business would not be affected. Unless, of course, our clients decided to stop their projects.
When the iconic 1960’s surf band the Beach Boys sang their hit song “Good Vibrations,” they definitely had romance on their minds and not earthquakes, slope movement, or landslides, etc. Falling in love and that unsteady feeling you get during an earthquake are different to be sure, but, they both can rock your world and leave you as Elvis would say, “All Shook Up!”
The Top Ten Annual Must-Do Items
If your home, your wallet and peace-of-mind are important priorities, then the beginning of each year comes with a new opportunity that’s too good to pass up. You can save yourself all kinds of unpleasant surprises, unexpected bills and headaches by committing to the annual scheduling of the top twelve most important home inspections and maintenance tasks.
Are there problems when you do construction work before you get a permit? The answer is always, “Yes!” Sooner or later it will catch up with you. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
In December 2017, we were asked to help a property owner get a grading permit from the County of San Bernardino for a partially graded hillside property. This scenic property had a great mountain view. Because the property was located within an earthquake fault zone, we performed a fault study and determined that the site could not be developed with a residential structure. … Continue Reading Working Under Cover, On the Sly, Going Rogue . .
We were asked several years ago to consult on a “view” property in Malibu, California, that had been red-tagged (deemed unsafe for occupancy) due to earth movement and undermining of the house by a landslide that had occurred during the winter rains of 2004/2005. The client contacted us in May, 2015, after he purchased the property.… Continue Reading Red Tag Alert: View for Days Comes With a Price
One of our clients recently asked us to help them, decide how to build a basement below their house. Normally, a basement is built before the house is built so that the basement foundations can be used to support the house. In this case, the house was built in the 1920’s, and the owner wanted to add a basement and first floor addition to the property.
If you’re a fan of classic architecture and the great homes of the past centuries, then you’ve probably also watched the PBS television classic, This Old House. Many of the homes featured on the long-running TV Series are located on the East Coast and typically have required construction repairs and updating with modern plumbing, electrical, HVAC.
On the West Coast, we have our share of classic homes too, dating back to the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries. In Southern California, our classic Victorians, Craftsman, Adobes, Spanish Revival and Ranch homes are local architectural treasures and are of historic significance. For our clients, preserving them is often both a practical matter as their principal residence and a labor of love to ensure their survival continues for generations to come.… Continue Reading Inspecting This Old House To See If It Stands The Test of Time