San Diego Room Addition Contractor

San Diego Room Addition

San Diego and Temecula homeowners often reach out to Classic Home Improvements because they want to expand their living space.  Either they have adult senior family members moving in, have had more children than the home can handle but don’t want to move, or in this client’s case – they now have a situation where they can work from home and they need a quiet space to do so.  Sometimes we are brought out to homes that need a larger kitchen (so many homes in San Diego have teeny tiny kitchens that need to be expanded).  No matter what your reason is for needing a San Diego room addition, we are happy to consult with you on your project!

One of the first questions we are generally asked is – can you meet with us before we have any plans?   Yes, we can absolutely meet with you prior to having plans drawn for your room addition.  In fact, we prefer it!  As a design build contractor, we have the in-house ability to prepare your drawings so there is no need to meet with an architect separately from us.  However if you have already met with an architect and already have plans designed – we are more than happy to provide you with a “build only” estimate.

When you want to reach out to a home addition builder it is important to know what their capabilities are because not all builders have the ability to coordinate preparing architectural plans.  They would prefer you meet with an architect first and then contact them for an estimate.  We believe it is best if you contact a design build contractor because then you have one firm completing the entire project for you from start to finish.  It is not well known, but architects are not truly trained on building costs.  So they may design your perfect room addition without any consideration into the cost of building the room addition.  When you meet with design builder they take your budget in consideration when designing your room addition.  Many times a room addition – especially a second floor home addition – will require almost a whole house remodel!  This is because you will need to create a way to make it up to the second floor – by building stairs – which will alter your downstairs home layout.

This second floor San Diego room addition was built so the homeowners would have a space to work from home.  The original 1920’s home did not have enough space for a home office on the first floor so the only option was to create a second floor addition.  Located near Northpark San Diego there were some extra considerations that needed to be made in relationship to parking and material deliveries for the project.  When you meet with a design consultant, they will walk you through all the extra nuances your project may have.  Many homes in San Diego have to go through a few extra permitting review processes – especially if you are located in a historical neighborhood, near the beach, or near the airport.  Additionally if you in a high risk fire zone there may be more review processes by the city before you can get your permit to build.  Regardless of where your home is located in San Diego or Temecula, our consultants are trained to provide you with expert knowledge about what needs to take place before you build your room addition and we will be frank with you when it comes to the pros and cons of building a room addition.

Working with Classic Home Improvements you can be sure we will assist you through the entire process of your second floor room addition!  Check out the photos below of the beautiful new space!


Please like & share:

Interior Painting: Sheen Choices

living room painted in a light neutral tone

Deciding to re-paint the interior of your home is one great way to express your personality in your home.  The experience of customizing your home can be both exciting and overwhelming. In the beginning, all you are deciding upon is which color to apply in which room. Then suddenly you realize each color is available in about 30 different shades and before you know it your head begins to spin. Amazed that you finally decided on those perfect shades of Grey and Blue for their respective rooms of the home, you get asked if you know which level sheen you would like in each color and you realize you have no idea how to respond. Is there a right or wrong sheen to have in certain areas of the home? How many levels are there and does each level offer something special other than more or less shine? In a nutshell, placing the appropriate level sheen is certain spaces will ultimately enhance the look and even the durability of the paint so it is important to that you make yourself familiar with exactly what it is each level has to offer.

Paint Sheen Levels

The most important thing to remember with paint sheens is that the higher the level of sheen, the more shine you are ultimately going to get. The highest level sheens, referred to as gloss sheens, have increased light-reflective appearances. Therefore, the farther away you travel from gloss sheens the more flat the pain will appear. The levels are ordered as follows:

  • High-Gloss
  • Semi-Gloss
  • Satin
  • Eggshell
  • Flat (Matte)

Where to Apply Different Levels of Sheen in the Home?

Deciding how shiny you would like each room to look ultimately has little to do with deciding which level sheen goes in which room of the home. Of course some prefer the Matte look over the Gloss look and preference is always something to keep in mind however, the first thing you should be considering is if the room is high traffic or not. If it is then it’s important to consider how durable you might need the paint to be based on how often, as well as how rigorously, you will be cleaning the painted area (walls, cabinets, furniture, etc.). If you plan on using some serious elbow grease to scrub the area clean you are better off going with a higher sheen rather than a flat sheen. This is also where, as previously mentioned, preference comes into play.

High-Gloss: Because High-Gloss paint is so durable it is recommended for the re-painting of extremely high traffic items such as furniture, doors and cabinets. More often than not however, High-Gloss paint is primarily used for furniture only.

Semi-Gloss: This level of sheen is preferred over High-Gloss for items such as cabinets and doors for the reason that is maintains its durability but is not overwhelmingly shiny. When painting trim however, Semi-Gloss is considered the best route hands down for the aforementioned reasons. Using a Semi-Gloss sheen on trim will leave it looking elegant even after you have used a little elbow grease cleaning off any scuff marks it may have accumulated. When it comes to choosing a level of sheen for the Bathroom, Semi-Gloss is bar none the best! Before painting a Bathroom you will want to seriously consider how well the paint will hold up long term after it has undergone years of moisture and humidity leading to stains, chips in the paint and peeling of the paint. For the same reason Semi-Gloss is one of the more washable sheen choices, it is a perfect fit for the walls and ceiling of a Bathroom as it will hold up best without being as overwhelmingly shiny as the High-Gloss option.

Satin: Considered to be one of the most frequently used sheen levels through-out the home, Satin is a perfectly acceptable choice for just about any room in the home including the Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedrooms (specifically Children’s Rooms), Laundry Room and although not the preferred choice it is even acceptable to use Satin sheen in the Bathroom or on the Trim if you desire a little less shine to your sheen in those areas. Because of Satin’s ability to maintain after having frequently been cleaned, it is considered to be most desirable in the Kitchen. This is such a high traffic area that it requires a regular wipe down but is rather neutral in regards to the level light it reflects.

Eggshell: Just as the name suggests, the amount of shine this level sheen gives off is identical to that of an actual eggshell. Still able to maintain after a mild cleaning, Eggshell is appropriate for areas such as the Living Room, Dining Room and Bedrooms.

Flat (Matte): This level of sheen is most appropriate for a little to no traffic area such as a ceiling although, it is surprisingly the most common choice of interior paint used in Bedrooms and Common Rooms. Just because it is the lowest level sheen choice does not mean it cannot maintain after a cleaning. The trick is to test out a spot of the painted area and make sure you are aware how much pressure you can wipe with before the paint begins to fade. It is recommended though, to only use water when wiping this type of paint rather than any harsh cleaners.

As long as you keep in mind both the look and durability you will get with each option, the decision of which level to use in each area of the home will be a much easier one to make. It is important to note however, there is no industry standard with paint sheens meaning different brands may show different results in regards to the amount of shine you end up with. Though as long as you compare your choices, you will know which brand best suits your needs.

Please like & share:

You Must Remodel When You Age In Place

An attractive senior couple at home on the couch together. Isolated on white.

Every morning we wake up another day older. Although day by day this may not seem to make a huge difference, year after year we start to feel the changes happening and suddenly realize we have shifted into a person who requires a bit more convenience in order to live comfortably. Because these changes can make a pretty significant impact on our daily activities we are required to ultimately decide where we want to spend the portion of our lives when we shift from adult to senior to elderly. While some choose to move in with family or live in an assisted living facility others choose to stay in the comfort of their own home as long as possible. This is referred to as Aging in Place and is coming up more and more frequently with homeowners in Escondido.

Although the idea of staying in your own home seems simple enough, it requires some significant changes to assure any elderly persons living there will have access to all areas of the home.  The goal is to also ensure seniors living in the home will be able to complete all activities of daily living. The ultimate goal when remodeling your home with the intention of Aging in Place is to not only maintain quality of life but to possibly improve it as well. Granted, there are a plethora of senior-friendly features that can be added to home to make it even more convenient but first and foremost individual changes need to be made to specific rooms.



What Rooms Need to be Remodeled When You Age In Place – and Why?

  1. Exterior

When you age in place, changes to the Exterior of the home are just as important as changes to the Interior of the home because it serves as both the entrance and exit. This means the first thing that needs to be addressed is the access point to the front door. Considering those who are elderly tend to be at an increased fall risk and the use of stairs can enhance that risk 10 folds it is necessary to add a railing for those who are capable of using the stairs and also a ramp for those who require mobility assistance such as a walker or a wheel chair. Should you choose to add some sort of ramp it is worth noting that there are a variety of features that may be implemented, such as adding walkable hill or slope, to avoid placing a bulky handicap ramp in the front of the home.  Additionally, stair treads can be added to the stair case and walkways to prevent slipping (which poses an increased risk during the winter months).

  1. Kitchen

Remodeling the kitchen is all about enhancing convenience. Everything should be easily accessible without having to struggle by standing on a stool, for example, or even bending down to the bottom cabinet and then reaching to the very back just to find the cast iron pan that somehow made its way just out of reach. This specific inconvenience can be avoided by installing cabinets equipped with pull-out shelves. Also, if you are considering adding an eat-in counter top it may be beneficial to consider placing it at least 30 inches from the ground so you can utilize dining chairs rather than bar stools. Lastly, lifting the dishwasher 10-12 inches off the ground can dramatically decrease the need to bend down.

  1. Bathroom

Being one of the most utilized rooms in the home as well as one of the most slippery, when you age in place the bathroom needs to be remodeled not only for convenience but for safety as well. It is important that the home contain at least one bathroom on the main floor. If this is not already the case, you might consider either a bathroom addition or at the very least adding in a chair lift to the stair case for easy and safe access to the upstairs bathroom. All other changes to the bathroom are technically just a series of added features to decide upon for increased safety and convenience. Something people tend to over-look however, is the amount of space elderly persons may require in order to properly and safely move around the bathroom area. Those who require assistive mobility devices require additional space to move around as well as additional space to store those devices such as walkers, canes and even wheel chairs while they bathe or use the toilet.

  1. Common Areas

Common areas include anything from Doorways to Living Rooms. Essentially, anywhere that is consistently used by both guests and those living in the home. It is important that these areas can be easily maneuvered around by those who are walking as well as those utilizing walkers and wheel chairs. For this reason, when you age in place the doorways and hallways are recommended to be a minimum of 32 inches wide (ideally 36 inches wide). Non-slip flooring is also essential in maintaining a safe home for elderly persons. Replacing tile or wood flooring with carpet is best however in areas where water is frequently used such as the kitchen or bathroom it is acceptable to simply add in some form of non-slip floor covering (throw rugs should be taken out entirely as they are unsecured and can lead to a fall). Lastly, it is important to eliminate any struggle that may come along with hard to open doors, cupboards or drawers. This can be achieved by replacing the cupboard and drawer handles with “D-shaped” pulls and replacing all turn style door knobs with levers.


Considering each home is unique in the way its floor plan is laid out there may or may not be additional areas that require remodeling. The aforementioned room remodels are however, a necessity in maintaining a safe and accessible home when choosing to Age in Place. Once those specific changes have be decided upon throughout the home, there are a plethora of additional features that may be added to increase safety, convenience and overall quality of life.

Please like & share:

Home Features For Aging In Place

Choosing to Age in Place is a big decision, but if you remodel your home properly it can improve your quality of life considerably. Staying put requires a fairly significant home remodel in order to accommodate any future needs you may have as you grow older and therefore less capable of easily completing activities of daily life. If planned out properly, the experience of remodeling a home with the intention of Aging in Place can be exciting once you realize how many fun and innovative features there are to choose from. These features range from the widening of doorways to installing smart appliances and light up walkways. Of course each feature applied to the home remodel should be directly correlated with your specific wants and needs.

  1. Exterior Features

Low Maintenance- Because the end goal of this type of remodel is all about creating convenience, a low maintenance exterior is one of the most important things to consider. Unlike just about every other area of the home, this is one feature you can add to the home that is universal to every persons needs because no matter your capability or even your age, having a low maintenance exterior is always going make life just that much easier. Such features include metal roofing, which are not only low maintenance but conserves energy as well, composite decking and even vinyl sliding doors and windows.

Automatic Lighting- Automatic lighting is another great feature used to increase convenience and even safety. This can be automatic porch lights and if you choose to add a walkway or slope for easy wheelchair access it is a great option to add automatic lighting to pathways. Lastly, the front door should have a low or no-lip step (1/2” or less) to avoid falls and to increase the simplicity of pushing a wheel chair through or stepping over with a walker.

  1. Kitchen Features

Kitchen Appliances- If you are considering buying new appliances, one of the best features you can add to your newly remodeled home are smart appliances. These appliances should have both a large and clear display. Some even have the ability to work via voice command which can prove to be very useful. Additionally, a useful feature to have on appliances, which is conveniently a fairly universal feature already, is a large elongated handle making it easier to reach for.

Height- One of the most important things you can change about your kitchen is the height of certain appliances, cupboards and countertops simplifying access and eliminating the need to bend over and reach for things. The dishwasher should be lifted approximately 12 inches off the ground and any eat-in counter tops should be around 30 inches from the ground to avoid the need to use bar stools rather than dining chairs.

Kitchen Cabinets- A feature is available for both upper and lower cabinets to eliminate reaching and bending for items. This includes pull-out shelves on rollers for the lower cabinets and pull-down shelves on rollers for the upper cabinets.

Kitchen Sink- There are many different features that can be added to the sink to enhance convenience. One of which is the sink itself. A motorized sink is available that gives you the ability to move the sink up and down based on your specific needs. It is recommended however, that if you choose this feature you also leave space open below the sink for those who need to use a chair of some sort while utilizing the sink in its lower position and that the sink itself be no more than 6 inches deep. There are also features such as anti-scald devices and touch free faucet sensors (which can be added to bathrooms as well).

  1. Bathroom Features

Tub/Shower- There are a lot of options for senior friendly bathroom remodels.  Ideally the bathroom will be equipped with a separate bathtub and shower rather than the run of the mill two-in-one set up. If this is not the case it may be a good idea to consider making the change. Bathtubs and showers pose one of the biggest fall risks in the home so there are a variety of features that can be added to increase safety such as non-slip floor covers, grab bars and shower seats.

Toilet- Although adding a grab bar is really the only necessary feature you may require for a toilet, there are a plethora of innovative features that you can add to your toilet. The only additional recommended change is to purchase a comfort-height model toilet which is higher than normal making it easier to stand up and sit down. Additionally there is the option of purchasing a smart toilet whose features are more fun than functional when it comes to the needs of a person remodeling to Age in Place. Even still, smart toilets are a thing of the future and include features such as heated seats, charging ports for your phone, music players and so on.

  1. Miscellaneous Features

Lighting- Increasing the lighting through-out the home is essential in maintaining a safe living environment considering the fact that age has an uncanny way of stealing away our vision. Adding lights to places such as stair cases and hallways can greatly increase an elderly person’s ability to maneuver around with ease.

Elevator/Stair-Lift- Although a one floor layout is ideal for those choosing to stay put in old age, there are certain instances in which a multi floor layout is preferred by the home owner. Should this be the case, an elevator just might be the feature for you. If you have the budget for it, an elevator can not only assist with maneuvering up and down the levels of the house but can also assist with moving items through-out the levels. If an elevator is a little too “hotel” for your taste, there is always the option of a stair lift which can serve the same purpose with the small exception of moving larger items from the first floor to the second.

Furthermore it is worth mentioning that any seasoned remodeling company will have the ability
to provide additional senior friendly home remodeling ideas that may be catered to your individual needs incorporating safety, convenience and style into your forever home.


Please like & share:

Top San Diego Kitchen Design Elements

We all know that trends come and go.  Sometimes they stay for a day and other times they stay for many years.  One of the highest trending San Diego kitchen design ideas we have seen in 2017 is the addition of two toned kitchen cabinets.  We admit, we kind of love them!  Are you wondering what other San Diego kitchen design elements are popular this year?

white kitchen cabinets along the wall with a darker color wood on the island

Two Toned Kitchen Cabinets

Some fun design elements that are being added to kitchen remodels is the mixing of cabinet colors. While a white kitchen is a classic and most desired cabinet choice, most homeowners want a classic look but they also don’t want to white out their entire space. Adding a dark cabinet color for an island or a separate area is usually done. This gives the kitchen a unique look but keeps the classic element alive.

large kitchen renovation with porcelain wood floors and two toned kitchen cabinets

Porcelain Wood

Porcelain wood is also a very popular flooring option in all areas of San Diego and Temecula County.   The days of maintaining hardwood floors is over.  Since porcelain wood hit the design scene homeowners are opting out of hardwood floors and replacing them with porcelain. Since this tile trend comes in various shades this tile is perfect for bathrooms and kitchens. This is the most seen flooring option and it looks sleek and modern in any room.

white subway tile displayed in kitchen renovation with white cabinets

Subway Tile

Subway tile is still in the forefront of kitchen remodels in San Diego.   We see a healthy mix of subway tile in the traditional size but we also see quite a bit of homeowners leaning towards oversized tile as well.  Either way, subway tile in the kitchen gives your backsplash a beautiful look.   Another thing to consider in San Diego….subway tile is comes in so many different shades, from classic white to glass and multicolor shades.   You can be very creative with your tile!

luxury wolf oven with blue interior

Luxury Appliances

San Diego Homeowners are starting to splurge on luxury appliances. They are telling us that since they are staying in the home for the next 5-10 years, they want to “go all out”.  Stoves, mega refrigerators and wine fridges are on the top of the list when it comes to what homeowners want in their kitchen.

unique lighting fixtures over a kitchen island

Lighting Selections

Homeowners are opting to add multiple lighting fixtures in their kitchens.  Many of them include pendant lights, canned lights, and track lighting all in one space!  Another currently trending kitchen remodel upgrade is to add custom windows and folding doors to add natural lighting into the space.  Don’t underestimate the power of your light choices in your kitchen renovation!

We are happy to meet with you for a free design consultation for your kitchen, see what we can do for you!

Please like & share: