Category Archives: Thinking About Remodeling

Custom master bathroom with lit mirrors

The newest trend in bathroom remodels!

There are revelations happening in master bathroom remodels. The technology is only getting better and better. From Bluetooth showerheads, heated floors, towel warmers bathrooms are getting smarter and better as time goes on. One vast improvement in bathroom technology is lighted mirrors!

The trend we have been seeing is the loss of the giant piece of glass on the bathroom wall to the minimalization of individual framed mirrors over the sinks. Large sconces on the sides of the mirrors or large bulky light bars are installed above the mirror. While this look is decorative it’s starting to disappear just as fast as that trend appeared. It is all about creative nice, sleek, modern lines in a decorative space.

Lighted Mirrors - San Marcos Bathroom RemodelMirrors can be a unique decorative aspect that go into bathroom design. Now mirrors are taking it up a notch by being lit. Light up mirrors are coming into the fold now coming in various shapes and sizes. Light up mirrors give off enough light and once they are turned off they look like a regular mirror. Prefect for a nice clean design and the light is perfect for personal prepping and makeup application!

A round shape mirror allows for a much larger mirror can help a smaller space look larger. The fact that the mirror is also the light source simplifies any design challenges. This mirrors are very reminiscent to those Hollywood dressing room mirror without having big bulky bulbs around the mirror.

Lighted mirrors also have LED lights which give the mirrors a warm and cool look. Warmer white lights tend to work well with a warm-hued tile and paint colors. Cool lights work well in white and blue bathrooms. Lighting serves as a great decorative piece but it can also enhance the space and determine the overall look of the space.

Another great asset to having lighted mirrors is that your lights can change colors! Enjoy chromotherapy after a long day while soaking in your tub or showering. This is perfect for relaxing if you don’t mix your colored colors in the same space.

Get rid of bulky lights and go with a sophisticated look. It makes your space look better and makes you look and feel better. This bathroom remodeling trend looks like it’s not going to go away anytime soon and it’s perfect if you are aiming for that sleek modern look.

U Shaped Kitchen

Don’t make these 10 home remodeling mistakes

Home remodeling is exciting because you will have a renewed love of your home, but do not go into your remodel project expecting nothing but butterflies and rainbows.  If you are planning a San Diego home remodeling project, whatever you do, do not make these 10 home remodeling mistakes.

1. Play General Contractor to save money

Major home remodels such as kitchen and bathroom remodeling will require extensive knowledge of many different construction trades.  Utube is great for learning how to fix a leaky faucet or patch a drywall hole but it would take you years to acquire the knowledge necessary to successfully complete a major home renovation.  Playing with electrical wires is dangerous.  Plumbing errors can cause major floods and mold issues in the future.  Trust us when we say you can not afford free.

2. Expect HGTV home remodeling prices

If you are an HGTV junkie and call a San Diego home remodeling contractor to get a price on your project do not expect the prices you see on TV.  As a side note, also do not expect your project to be completed in the time frames you see on reality television shows.  Reality shows are for entertainment!  Many times materials are donated for these shows or are severely discounted by the manufacturer for advertising purposes.  The time frames you see on these shows are also irrelevant because they are being sped up for TV deadlines (dozens of contractors working at the same time for 24 hours a day, which is not something you will see on your project).

3. Fail to budget for unexpected hidden expenses

Your San Diego home remodeling contractor can be the best in the industry but he can not tell you what is behind the wall or under the slab.  Once you get into demo, you may have construction costs that are unavoidable. If your wiring is not up to code or you have a pipe that is damaged behind the wall, those items will have to be fixed before proceeding with your remodel.  In rare situations city inspectors will require something completed that your contractor could never expect.  Expect to pay 10% – 15% more than your contract amount.  If you don’t need it, great.  But if you do need it, you will be glad that you set aside the funds.

4. Hire a remodeling contractor just because he is like-able

We are not saying you should hire a grumpy remodeling contractor.  In fact you want to make sure you get a long with your contractor because you will be working with him for several weeks, if not months.  What you do not want to do is hire a remodeling contractor based only on the fact that you like him.  The best remodeling contractor is going to be one who is knowledgeable, has extensive experience, has a pleasant disposition, and who has excellent current references.

5. Hire a remodeling contractor based on price

Sometimes the best remodeling contractor is the lowest priced but many times the low priced leader has missed something.  If you want to hire the remodeling contractor with the lowest price then make sure you take the time to go over the contract to look for hidden fees or items that may have been missed.  Spend extra time communicating what you expect and make the contractor repeat it back to you.  Make sure the contract explicitly states what you are and are not responsible for.

6. Expect the project to go perfect

Construction is comprised of hundreds of moving parts.  Construction is loud, dangerous, and dusty.  Your project will not go perfect.  At least once during your remodel you will have a question or concern that will need to be addressed. Your permits may take longer to get from the city than you expected.  You might find hidden damage when demo starts.  Materials may show up damaged from the manufacturer.  It may rain.  Your remodeling contractor may have an installer who calls in sick and your project gets delayed.  You may get sick and not want anyone to work that day.  If you work from home the construction will irritate you.

There will be at least one instance during your remodel that you will not be happy.  Expect it so you will not be disappointed or angry when something occurs that goes against the perfect scenario.  If your project does go perfect then you can be pleasantly surprised.

7. Select back-ordered materials

Think of this scenario:  your remodel includes a beautiful new vanity that will take 12 weeks to deliver.  You ask your contractor to begin work knowing the vanity will be delayed.  Construction is going beautifully and is being completed right on time.  Your vanity shows up and its damaged.  Now your project is almost complete but you have to wait 12 weeks to get the new vanity.  The result is frustration for you and your contractor.  Our suggestion sis either do not select a back-ordered item or do not begin work until all materials are on-site.

8. Purchase appliances before confirming they will fit in within your new kitchen layout

Measurements of your existing space, your new cabinetry, and new appliances must be exact for your remodeled kitchen to be built properly.  Before you make the purchase, bring the model number and manufacturer to your contractor to verify the dimensions.  If your cabinetry needs to be adjusted so your new appliance will work it is not a big deal.  However if you find out once the cabinets are installed, you will be in for a huge disappointment and need to either return the appliance or demo and re-build the cabinetry which will extend your construction time.

9. Expect your house to stay clean and dust-free

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your house is going to get dusty.  I mean really dusty. Before your remodel begins, there are ways you can minimize the dust transfer around the house.  Your contractor should be putting up protective barriers to minimize the dust.  Even with those precautions, your home will get dusty.  If you expect it, perhaps it will be less likely to frustrate you during the remodel.

10. Continue to look for remodeling ideas after you have designed your new space

For the love of Pete, when you sign off on your final design STOP looking at HOUZZ, do not pick up a remodeling magazine and turn off HGTV!!  One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make during a remodel is continuing to make changes to the scope of work.  Adding a light switch is not a big deal if the drywall has not been hung.  Changing a niche in the shower is also not a big deal if the framing has not been completed.  If you do want to make changes once construction has begun, expect there to be a delay in your project and expect to pay for the change.

San Diego Home Remodeling Experts

Classic Home Improvements is a Design Build remodeling firm located in Escondido, Ca.  Our services include whole house remodeling, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and exterior home remodeling.  When you are ready to discuss your San Diego home remodeling project, give us a call at 858-224-7373!






White transitional bathroom

3 Tips for planning a whole house remodel

Classic Home Improvements is proud to offer San Diego whole house remodeling services. Many times when customers are looking to build an addition to the house, they end up remodeling the whole house.  Remodeling is similar to pulling on a string on your sweater.  As soon as you pull the string the whole shirt starts to unravel.  In remodeling, once you upgrade one portion of the house, you start wanting to remodel the adjacent space.  Here are some tips on where to start when planning a whole house remodel:

Contact a San Diego Whole House Remodeling Contractor

San Diego Whole House Remodeling contractors are typically Design Build firms, which are different from the type of remodeling companies you would reach out to for a basic kitchen or bathroom remodel.  Design Build companies help you from concept to design and through construction.  Most San Diego whole house remodeling contractors have great reputations because they have been in construction their whole careers.  This means they have processes and procedures in place to ensure your project will be completed on time and on budget.

Architect Versus Design-Build

Some homeowners assume they have to start with an architect or a designer when planning a San Diego whole house remodeling project.  Learn the difference between working with an architect versus design-build firm.

Note:  A contractor who says they can not help you until you have worked with an architect is NOT a design build firm.

Another important note:  If you sign a design agreement, you have essentially decided that you are going to use that contractor for their construction services if you decide to move forward with the project.  Read up on the difference between an estimate and a design agreement so you understand the difference before meeting with your contractors.

Research the pros and cons of living in the home during the remodeI

You are making a plethora of decisions about style and design and spending a small fortune when remodeling a whole house.  On top of that, construction incredibly dirty, dusty, and smelly.  There is no way around it.  There may be times you are without water or electricity.  On top of that, construction is noisy.

A whole house remodel will not be completed in 4 weeks like a simple remodel.  Your San Diego whole house remodeling project can take anywhere from 4 months to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the project.  That can be incredibly stressful and may affect your family and work life negatively.  So for the love of Pete, spend some time considering the pros and cons of living elsewhere during your remodel.


Before you reach out to a San Diego Whole House Remodeling Contractor, check out some images of a recently completed project by Classic Home Improvements in Scripps Ranch (and then give us a call! 858-224-7373).  We are a design build firm, although we are happy to provide an estimate to build your remodel if you have already reached out to an architect or designer.

Kitchen Appliances You Must Include In Your New Kitchen

When homeowners hire us to complete their kitchen remodel, they frequently ask if they should go out and buy their appliances.  Our suggestions is to select appliances but not purchase them until we have had an opportunity to ensure the selection will work within the kitchen design.  As a San Marcos kitchen remodel contractor, here is a quick introduction to the different types of kitchen appliances you will be exposed to in the local showrooms.


Kitchen Range - San Marcos Kitchen Remodeling Company

Ranges are a necessity in the kitchen but do you settle for something simple or something that says you are a pro chef in the kitchen? There are so many ranges to choose from, there are standard slide-in freestanding, stainless steel, commercial-style and vintage cast iron ranges. Depending on your style of the remodel pick something you will love and what will work with your design.  Tip:  ask your San Marcos kitchen remodel contractor if you need to select a gas or electric range.


Oven Below Cooktop - Kitchen Remodeling San Marcos CA

In kitchen remodels we have stopped seeing the average ovens and cooktop combo and are seeing cooktops in one area and ovens in a wall. Separating the two is great because it opens the doors to many possibilities. Double ovens, wall ovens, warming drawers and steam ovens can all be added to your kitchen remodel, or just the one ones you really one.


Double Oven Microwave on Top - San Marcos Kitchen Remodeler

Having a separate cooktop allows you to have more room to cook around the kitchen. Don’t be disrupted during a task to move out of the way to put something in the oven. Keeping everything separate is convenient way of cooking. You have individual space and you keep your cooking and baking separate.


Modern Refrigerator - Custom Kitchen Remodel Contractor San Marcos CA

Refrigerators are a big part of your kitchen so picking the right refrigerator can be a unique experience. It is very easy to go overboard on your refrigerator selection. Make sure you pick a fridge that was everything you need and works for all your needs. Some fridges have bottom-freezer built-in to the refrigerator perfect for storing lots of items.  Tip:  ask your San Marcos kitchen remodel contractor if they have preferred vendors in town, you might be able to save some money on your purchase!


Modern Appliances - Kitchen Renovation San Marcos CAMicrowaves are starting to look trendy in new kitchens. Some are built in and some are countertop versions. Typically, in new remodels we tend to see more built in microwaves. Built ins are microwaves that are installed in a cabinet and has custom fitting and kits. These can be located and placed in various parts of the kitchen. Some are over the stove or on top of a build in oven. Others are built into the island with a microwave drawer installed instead of a typical microwave. If none of these are your style a stand countertop microwave can work just the same.

Wine refrigerators

Love wine but not a wine connoisseur? No problem wine refrigerators are starting to pop up more and more in kitchen remodels. Wine refrigerators come with single or dual refrigeration. No depending on what types of wine you want to store, the type of refrigeration is important. A single-zone fridge works well if you are storing one type of wine. Dual-zone refrigerators allows you to store multiple types of wine in the same refrigerator. So your love for wine can impact the cost and size of your next wine refrigerator!

We know remodeling a kitchen is a tough process but that is why we suggest reaching out to a San Marcos kitchen remodel contractor before you go out and purchase anything.  Make sure you select your appliances and review with your contractor before making the purchase. Knowing the sizes and type of appliances you are putting in the new kitchen will help alleviate any headache for the cabinet company or installer and can save you money in the long run.

Wainscoting Ideas For Your Bathroom

Wainscoting… you have heard the term but do you know what it is?  This method was once used to protect the bottom half of walls from dirt and damage to plaster walls and exposed wall. Wainscoting has evolved into a remodeling style and is done with various materials.  Here are some ideas on how to pull off a wainscoting style in your bathroom.

Bead board

Bead board is a popular choice in bathroom remodels. Bead board looks great when a free standing tub and pedestal sinks are in the bathroom. It gives the bathroom an overall vintage look. It dresses up the area and has a warming effect. Think of wainscoting as elegant armor for your walls.  Bead board is a great cost-effective alternative to tile.

Subway Tile

Subway Tile Wainscoting - General Contractor San Diego

Subway tile is a very decorate and functional way of creating a unique design. The great thing about wainscoting is that it acts like a backsplash or tub surround in bathrooms. The various options of tile that can be used for your bathroom is endless. Try Carrara marble subway tile for an upscale elegant look or glass subway tile of a bright and bold color. Even white classic subway tile can look classy and elegant.


Paneling is a great way to give your home a nice warm look and give your walls an elegant feel.  Paneling can be done with various wood designs. One way of making paneling work if you paired a wood paneling you love and add crown molding to your ceiling as well. The two working together in one room can add some definition to your room and also make it look very elegant.

Paneling and wallpaper

Bathroom Paneling with Wallpaper - San Diego Home Renovations

Wainscoting with paneling and wallpaper is also another fun way of adding a decorative flare to a room. Pick a fantastic panel you love along with your favorite wallpaper print and the combination. This gives your room an elegant look along with a pop of creative flare.


Barnwood Wainscoting - San Diego General Contractor

Want a unique rustic look? Try barn wood. Barn wood as wainscoting can look fantastic and really give your home an elegant rustic feel.

Metal paneling


Imagine giving the ultimate man cave a unique masculine look, try metal. Metal is a sharp material but can look fantastic with wood rimming.

Wainscoting works in various rooms of your home, living rooms, hallways, foyers, and laundry rooms. Depending on the look you want to achieve, it can be done with various materials types of woods, tiles, ect. Your house and walls will thank you in the long run for protecting the walls with such stylish options.


Kitchen Remodel For the New Year

If you are planning a kitchen remodel for the New Year then you need to start getting your estimates TODAY.  Not tomorrow.  Do not wait!  Below, we have included some timeline information you need to be very aware of when planning your San Marcos kitchen remodel.

Selecting a contractor – 3 weeks

We are hearing more and more frequently that homeowners are having a hard time getting return phone calls from kitchen remodel contractors in San Marcos.  The reason is because this is the busy season for remodeling contractors.  Most projects are coming out of permits and are getting ready to build in September and October.

When you start looking to get estimates for your San Marcos kitchen remodel, you need to budget 3 weeks to meet with contractors.  Typically you will have two meetings (per contractor). The first meeting is to gather information and a second time to review your proposal and estimate.  San Marcos kitchen remodel contractors usually ask for 7-10 days to prepare your estimate.  Will the process start-to-finish take you 3 weeks?  It depends on your availability as much as it depends on your contractor’s availability.  It also depends on whether or not your contractor NAILED it on the design and estimate on the first round.  3 weeks is a safe bet in our opinion if you are motivated to get started and have a flexible schedule.

White Kitchen Cabinets - Kitchen Remodel Encinitas

Designing your kitchen – 2 weeks

While you are finalizing your design for your new kitchen, your contractor will need to take measurements of your current space for construction.  The design, measurements, and drawing stage adds 1-2 weeks.  The act of measuring and designing does not take that long. Most of the time delays are in scheduling coordination between you and the contractor.

Obtaining City Permits – 6 weeks

If you are moving walls, moving or adding plumbing or electrical then you will require permits.   If you are getting permits you need to tack on at least 6 weeks in your schedule (permits usually take 4-6 weeks if there are no city delays, corrections, or additional reviews needed).

 Warm Kitchen Cabinets - San Marcos Kitchen Remodel

Product selection and delivery – 8 weeks

Selecting the finish materials for your San Marcos kitchen remodel can take quite a long time. Classic Home Improvements provide 4 hours product selection time with a coordinator to help expedite the process.  This is not a standard service though in San Marco so ask your contractor if they help you with product selection.  Once materials are ordered you are looking at 6 – 8 weeks to get all the materials delivered.  Most reputable contractors will not start on your project until all your finish materials have been delivered.  This helps to reduce construction time in your home if there is a material back-order or defective item.

Construction – 8 weeks

Once you start on construction there are some variables that need to be considered.  Each project is very individual in scope, complexity, and size.  We think it is best to budget 8 weeks. Holiday schedules, the access your contractor is given to the job site, and potential delays due to inspections may increase this time frame.

Budgeting for 8 weeks should keep you from disappointment.  Best case scenarios (if you are not using a handyman service) you can expect your kitchen remodel construction time to be to 4-6 weeks if you are just updating.  If you are doing a complete makeover with custom work (adding an island, removing a wall, etc) expect 8-10 weeks.

For the purpose of this article, we are going to suggest budgeting 8 weeks.  Use the higher time frame if you have a complex project.  ALWAYS get your schedule from your contractor because each remodeling contractor has a different schedule and timeline (which change throughout the year depending on how much work they have going on).

Scheduling to get started on your San Marcos kitchen remodel

As you can see – if you want to have your San Marcos kitchen remodel completed by the New Year then you are a little behind the 8 ball.  We took the highest range of each stage of your remodel to get our point across.  Can you hire a contractor in September or October can you get your kitchen remodeled by January?  Yes, but you had better move QUICK, be planning a simple remodel, and be very available to your contractor.  You will have to make quick decisions, resist making changes in scope of work, and select finish products which are not on back-order.  Most importantly – you much pick up the phone TODAY to get your free estimate.
If you are ready to discuss your San Marcos kitchen remodel, call us at 858-224-7373

Should I tell my contractor my budget?

When you are meeting with contractors to get estimates for a remodeling project, most representatives will ask for your budget range.  If you have ever asked yourself if you should provide your contractor with a remodel budget, the answer is YES.  Remodeling contractors ask you for your budget for several reasons, all which are meant to help you.

Some homeowners will invite contractors out to their home to provide an estimate on a remodel and they have no idea what their budget is.  Or at least …. that is what they tell the contractor.  The truth is, if you are planning a remodel – you have some sort of idea what you want to invest in the space.  Even if you do not know how much the project will cost, you know what you are willing to spend – or rather, what you are not willing to exceed.  That is the number you need to share with your contractor.

Contractors can walk into your home, discuss all your dreams for your remodel and come up with a price for you without knowing what your budget number is, that is true.  Many times when remodeling contractors do that, they are giving you exactly what you want design-wise, but the price is outside of what you intend to spend.  This means you think (a) the contractor is over-priced and out of their mind or (b) you give up because you think you can’t afford to do you project.  Neither of those scenarios are true.

Here is what homeowners typically do not understand:  your remodeling contractor can help you reach your design goals within your budget if they understand what your budget is.  Some people might fire back and say “well, my contractor is just going to make the price whatever I say my budget is, so I am not going to tell him.”  That’s not entirely accurate.  This is what your remodeling contractor is going to do with your budget information……he is going to work with your dream design and adjust the scope of work and re-design to make the remodel work within your budget.

If you ever planned a wedding or a big party, it is kind of the same thing as remodeling, but on a different scale.  You know you do not want to exceed $20,000 on the wedding but you have grandiose plans to have the bride approach in a horse and carriage, you will have a beautiful venue with swans and release doves at the end of the ceremony.  You want a live band and flowers on every table.  Since you know your “not to exceed” number is $20,000 you start prioritizing you what have to have so you can stay within your budget.

Remodeling is very similar.  You want to open up your dining room wall to create an open concept kitchen, add a kitchen island and move your range to sit in your island.  Your ceiling seems low so you want to raise the lid and add canned lights.  You found a pot filler that you just have to have.  Then you get your price of $100,000.  OUCH.  Time to make some adjustments.

If you were to provide your contractor with your remodeling budget, or the number you are not willing to exceed, then your contractor can navigate for you what can or cannot be done within your budget.  Contractors can help you to prioritize wants so you can get a dream kitchen without breaking the bank.  In the situation above, your contractor may steer you away from moving the range because it means relocating the gas which may significantly impact the budget.  Or he might suggest enlarging your kitchen window versus raising the ceiling.  Your contractor has been in literally hundreds of homes and has options for you that you haven’t even considered.

A reputable remodeling contractor is going to want to know what your budget is so he can guide you towards getting the biggest bang for your buck.  If you are asked for your budget, be forthright with your contractor.  If this is the team you are going to have in your home for weeks (or months, if it is a large remodel), it is important to be transparent so you are given advise that meets your goals both financially and aesthetically.




How do Remodel Loans Work

We have seen an increase in customers who are researching remodeling their whole house or building an addition versus selling and relocating.  These homeowners generally meet with a realtor to determine how much they think they can get for their property, research the local market for housing inventory, and then speak with a contractor to determine how much it would cost to renovate their home.  We believe we can thank HGTV’s “Love it or List it” television program for the recent surge in inquiries.

The folks who decide they want to stay and renovate inevitably ask “how do remodel loans work?”.  For that reason, we are offering you some information on the different types of remodel loans and who offers them.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

The amount you are approved for is directly related to the amount of equity you have in your home (how much of the property you own).  The amount you own is equal to the difference between the fair market value of the home and the principle balance of all mortgage loans, which means an appraisal will need to take place to determine how much equity you can pull out.   Find out more about HELOC loans!

Home Renovation Loan

For these types of loans, homeowners are allowed to borrow money determined by what the home’s value will be after the renovation is completed.  For these types of loans, the home needs to be owner-occupied, and it must be your primary residence.  In most situations you can be approved with as low as a 620 credit score.

Learn more about Home Renovation Mortgage Loans!

Same as Cash Loans

These loans are offered by various lenders and the term lengths run from 3 months to 18 months, generally speaking.  Most lenders have a maximum lending amount (Typically $30,000 – $50,000 depending on the lender.)  They also have minimums lending amounts, which we have seen as low as $1,000.

Reduced Interest Loans

The interest rates vary as much as the terms, we have seen them anywhere from 2.99% up to 6.99% with term lengths ranging from 5 years to 12 years.  Most lenders have a maximum lending amount (Typically $30,000 – $50,000 depending on the lender.)  They also have minimums lending amounts, which we have seen as low as $1,000.

Zero Interest Loans

We have seen these loans range from 12 months all the way up to 84 months depending on the lender.  Most lenders have a maximum lending amount (Typically $30,000 – $50,000 depending on the lender.)  They also have minimums lending amounts, which we have seen as low as $1,000.

Hero Program

As a government-funded program, we never know how long this program will last.  Contractors who offer Hero financing must be pre-approved contractors.

HERO is a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program that provides financing for energy-efficient and renewable energy products. In the state of California, HERO provides these same financing options for water-saving and drought-resistant products.

Learn more about Hero Program Financing!

Classic Home Improvements offers each of the above financing options.  

There are many contracting companies who have partnerships with lending and mortgage companies so be sure to ask what their home renovation financing options are.  Each contractor will have detailed information about the financing options they have available to offer you.  Due to the many different lenders, each contracting company may have a variety of different options for you to review.  In addition, many contractors offer multiple financing solutions which means you can combine two or more lending options to meet your needs.



6 Stucco Texture Options with Pictures

The exterior of your home is like clothing to your home. Depending on where you live, the exterior of your home is very important. Unlike our clothes we can’t constantly change the exterior of our homes, so picking something that is durable is very important.

Stucco is made with natural substance or you can find a synthetic form. Stucco is very versatile when it comes to finishes and the look you want to achieve. Stucco is an excellent siding choice for many home styles, from modern to contemporary and even a bit of southwestern flair. Here are some fantastic examples of what kind of texture you can get by using stucco on your home.

Cat Face Texture

Catface Texture - San Diego Stucco Contractor Cat-Face-With-Smaller-Inclusions-300x300

This texture is smooth with small areas of texture. These small texture areas can vary in size and shape. It can be done with both synthetic or traditional stucco and can vary in price depending on how close or large you want your rough areas.

Dash Finish Texture

The Dash Finish can be sprayed on and can be done in light medium and heavy look. Usually it is done by hand or sprayed on with 3 coats to create this look. It can be done with both synthetic or traditional stucco.

Lace Textures

This texture is the most common and what people mostly associate stucco to. This look can hide imperfections and looks great on residential homes and looks like traditional stucco. It is applied by hand and can also be done with acrylic stucco as well. It comes in fine, medium and coarse patterns.

Sand or Float Finish Texture

This is a basic and simple look for stucco. It can be done in fine, medium or coarse finishes. It is a very versatile finish and can be done with traditional or synthetic stucco it is troweled down and finished using a float and quick strokes.

Smooth Finishes Texture

Smooth Texture - Stucco Contractor San Marcos CA

This is the most difficult finish to achieve but it’s growing to become very popular and that is the smooth stucco finish. It works well with synthetic and acrylic stucco. The best thing about this look is that colors can be added to the wall to give the wall the mottled look. This look does come with its downfalls where it is hard to patch and it has a tendency to crack than any other finishes.

Worm Finishes Texture


Worm finishes leave little grooves and indentations in the stucco. This finishes aren’t as common but they still look great. This finished can be done with synthetic stucco however special aggregates have to mixed into to accomplish this look. It is applied by hand and rubbed in a circular motion to achieve the worm look. If can come in a fine or heavy finish.

When you are ready to apply stucco to your home, ask your contractor to show you samples so you can touch and feel the texture that will be applied to your home.  If you are removing wood siding and trying to match existing stucco, your contractor should have no problem doing so.  It will not match 100% but it will appear perfect to the casual observer.

Do I Need an Architect For My Remodel

Every once in a while we will receive a phone call from a customer saying they do not want to get an estimate on their remodel because they want to hire an architect for their project.  As a Design Build contractor, we find ourselves educating homeowners on the difference between hiring a contractor, hiring an architect, and hiring a Design-Build company.  Here are some key differences for you to consider if you are planning a major home remodel:

Framing Contractor - San Diego General ContractorsContractor

If you are making major changes to your home such as adding or removing a wall, you may find that some contractors will ask you if you have plans already.  If you do not have plans, they may suggest you connect with an architect before calling them for an estimate.  These types of contractors do not have the knowledge or team available to them to create a design or develop plans for which you can obtain competitive bids.  They are builders, not designers.

Floorplan visuals - San Diego Design Build ContractorArchitect

Architects are trained to understand structures of buildings.  They understand design concepts, but are not trained in design.  Architects understand construction, but they do not build.  Many times architects charge upwards of $10,000 for their time and plans.  The plans can be used for you to get competitive bids from contractors who build.  What many homeowners do not understand is that architects are not familiar with building costs, therefore if you have a budget you are trying to keep within, your architect is not likely to suggest how to keep within your budget.  Rather, they are there create plans based on what you say your “perfect” home would be – with no regard to how much it will cost to build.  Many times this means the estimates for the remodels come in much higher than anticipated and require going back to the architect for design changes.  Hiring an architect many times results in a significant delay in getting the project started because of the extra back and forth between the architect and the contractor.

Design Build Company

Design Build companies are the cream of the crop.  They are the one stop shop for your major home remodel.  With a designer, architect, and builder on staff your Design Build company has the ability to listen to what your dream home would include and design it for you.  With your budget in mind, the architect working on your plans will be working side by side with your contractor to ensure the design can be built within your budget.

We understand this can be a little confusing.  Here are some questions we typically hear from customers who are trying to decide if they should hire an architect or Design Build company.

Design Build FAQ’s

Q)  What is the difference between an Estimate and a Design Contract?

A)  Estimate:  This is an educated guess of what the project will cost from beginning to completion of the project.   If you sign a contract based on an estimate, you have decided the contractor is qualified and capable of remodeling your home.  The contract will include a total price for the remodel.  Many times these contracts include a very rough hand – sketch of what the design will be.

Take away:   A contract based on an estimate is for the entire amount of the project.  If you sign a contract that is based on an estimate, you run the risk of having price fluctuations during the project as you finalize the design of your project. 

Design Contract:  When you hire a design build company, you have already decided the firm has the qualifications and capabilities to build your project but you are not 100% sure about the design of your project.  You want to ensure the design is what you want before you proceed on building.  You also want to know exactly what your remodel will cost before proceeding with the contract.

Take away:  A design contract is for the design portion of your remodel only.  Once the design is complete and you are satisfied, you continue to the next stage and hire the contractor who has prepared the design for you.

Q)  Do I get to keep the plans so I can get other estimates based on the design?

A)  If you hire an architect to create your plans, yes.  Homeowners who have hired an architect typically do so because they want to get competitive bids using a set of plans.

If you have signed a contract for a design with a Design Build contractor, the answer is no.  The design is provided at a severely discounted rate because you are working together in good faith that you will proceed with building the remodel with that particular contractor.   Remember, you have already decided this was the contractor who was qualified and capable of building your remodel.  Your only question at the time of signing a design agreement should have been what your final design would look like.

 Classic Home Improvements

Classic Home Improvements is a unique contractor in San Diego.  Our services include Design Build as well as traditional building contractor.  So if you have an architect who has provided you with plans, we are more than happy to provide a free estimate based on those plans.  In the event you decide you would like to remodel your house with a Design Build contractor, we are qualified to assist you with that as well.  Our offices are located in Escondido, CA and we service San Diego and Temecula.