Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Advantages & Disadvantages of a House Built on a Slab Vs. a Crawl Space

Slab Advantages

Homes built on slabs have less risk of flooding or leaking gases, which creates a healthier environment than homes built over crawl spaces and basements that are susceptible to flooding, gas leaks and mold. Slabs often eliminate the need for extra steps because they are lower to the ground. Senior citizens or people with physical restrictions are attracted to one-level homes that don't have a lot of steps to climb.

Slab Disadvantages

Shifting soil, invasive tree roots and earthquakes pose serious problems for homes constructed on slabs. Any cracks in the foundation can cause major, long-term issues that are often very difficult and costly to repair. Slabs are prone to insect infestations as well.

Crawl Space Advantages

Crawl spaces can work well in dry climates, and they are generally less expensive to build than basements. Well-insulated crawl spaces built with mold-resistant materials and proper ventilation for your region offer more storage space than a slab but less than a basement.

Crawl Space Disadvantages

Crawl spaces that aren't insulated properly from elements attract moisture, mold and rodents. Vented crawl spaces in homes located in drier climates tend to pose fewer issues than insulated and sealed crawl spaces in humid locations, but none of them yield impressive energy savings compared to homes designed with insulated floors built on slab or over a finished basement. If you must choose a crawl space design for your California home, choose a sealed crawl space that discourages mold and saves energy.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to Know If a Wall Is a Weight-Bearing Wall

A house of cards succinctly illustrates the concept of load-bearing walls; every horizontal card must be supported by vertical cards; and as cards build upward, their weight bears down on the lower walls. A real house works the same way, except that the load-bearing walls aren’t so easy to locate. Identify these important walls using a few rules that apply broadly to buildings before starting your project. Always remember, though, that even if it doesn’t fit one of these categories, it might still be a load-bearing wall.

Note exterior walls -- and original exterior walls concealed by later additions. These walls directly support roof trusses or rafters. Side walls are primary load-bearing walls in simple gable-end framing, but hip roofs and complex roof lines depend on more than just the side walls.

Locate the floor joists that run across the house between outside walls. Look in the basement or up under the house in the crawl space; joists may be from 2 to 4 inches across and 6 to 10 inches deep and run parallel to each other across the building, terminating on opposing sills or foundation walls around the perimeter of the building. Any wall that runs perpendicular across these joists qualifies as a load-bearing wall. If your house is more than 14 or 15 feet wide, assume that every wall parallel to the central wall running across joists is a load-bearing wall.

Climb up to the attic and chart the pattern of truss joists. Compound post-20th century roof lines and complex Victorian and Revival roofs may require additional walls to support turrets, dormers and hips.

Examine walls carefully when you pull the wallboard off. Plumbers and electricians favor load-bearing walls for utilities. A heavy post concealed in a wall provides a clue to previous remodeling of a bearing wall. A wall directly under a wall on an upper floor may be a bearing wall.

Check doors, windows and other openings that contain extra timber, called headers, above these openings; double 2-by-4-inch jambs along the sides and 2-by-6 or larger headers compensate for missing studs in bearing walls.

Consult with a Das Haus Design professional at 818 280 99292 for a FREE consultation or to inspect for load-bearing elements. Your local building code may require this step and, unless your house is brand new and the builder has marked every load-bearing element, it’s the only way to surely identify weight-bearing walls.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Roofing

Roof is an essential part of any building. This is because it is the top most covering of a house. Besides being essential, a goodlooking roof also adds beauty to your house.  There are several kinds of roofing available nowadays. These roofs are also made of different materials like metals, woods, asphalt, fiber glass and mud flap. Each material endows a unique look to the roof and is suited for different styles of houses. They also have their set of advantages. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Home Improvements: What Additions Maximize Your ROI?

Deciding which home improvements add the most value to a property remains one of the biggest challenges facing both homeowners and real estate investors. Installing the right home improvements can maximize your return on investment (ROI).
All too often, misconceptions result in terrible remodeling choices. Those implementing poor home improvements may fail to create additional profits for their investment. Furthermore, installing the wrong fixtures can lead to recouped costs and serve to devalue the property as a whole.
So, what home improvements will yield the best returns?
Focusing investment funds on key home improvements will increase your ROI. Particular areas to focus on include: curb appeal, neutral paint applications and key room additions.
According to Inman News, garage doors, adding decks and replacing front doors can result in high yields for an investor. Still, this can often mean seeing just 75% of dollars invested recouped. If this number sounds miserable, or even shocking, then the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine may be an even bigger eye opener.
The recently published study reveals the average cost of popular home improvement projects in 81 U.S. cities. Of particular concern, however, are reports that suggest average projects witness a 50% return or less on investments. Knowing which home improvements to invest on can mean the difference between success and failure.
However, like everything else in real estate, remodeling project ROI is also highly dependent on “location, location, location.” Depending on where you live, home improvements can greatly affect your ROI in different ways.
Materials and labor costs can vary between locations. In other words, don’t plan on copying investors in New York while you yourself are investing in San Diego.
Recognize the most in demand home features for specific locations. What may be in demand in one region may be disliked in another.
So whether you are flipping houses, want to increase your investment returns, or just make smarter home improvements, consult a professional to get some feedback on your plans. Make sure you get multiple bids on contractor work and are ready for overages. Consult an appraiser and determine what real, tangible difference plans will make to actual appraised value.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Who said you can't be traditionally modern?
It combines minimalistic and traditional design. Great for mediterranean-like weather such as in Southern California or even southern belt states as it takes great advantage of the sun withit's number of terraces and patios. This highly customizable design is only available from our designers at

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Who said architecture is not therapeutic?

It stands to reason that architectural design should bring peace to the soul and purpose to space. This 3d minimalist animation from youtube illustrates this concept in an almost therapeutic manner. Enjoy.

As you watch you may notice the abundance of long horizontal lines and an abundance of eating spaces which denote a multi-family complex. Also we find interesting how the structure actually blends with the background and does not produce a stark break from nature.

From start to finish, great room addition and remodeling job!

Great video we found online about addition and remodeling through the various from the planing stages until the final product.