What are the Top Trends in Home Renovation?

What are the Top Trends in Home Renovation? 2560 1709 Majid Riahi

It’s no doubt that the stay-at-home orders in 2020 stirred many people to reconsider their living situations. As a result, the housing market was a boom as a seller’s market, while home renovations were higher than the previous year. 

We experienced this increase in the number of home renovation projects we’ve received. Most of our projects since the pandemic began were home renovations and additional dwelling units (ADUs). 

Here are the trends we saw happening:


The kitchen is considered the heart of the home. It’s where members of the household gather to enjoy food, converse and socialize. Many desired an open kitchen layout plan with an island.

More so, every Pinterest kitchen organizer’s dream is coming alive. With that, we’ve brought to life new pantries and kitchen islands with organizers within the drawers. Stay tuned for a future blog all about kitchen organization trends.

kitchen with quartz top counter on island

Kitchen design of residence on Moraga Drive

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kitchen design

Kitchen design of residence on Superba Ave

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primary suite bathroom of residence on beverlywood ave

Primary Suite Bathroom of Residence on Beverlywood Ave

Many are opting for sleeker, modern concepts for their bathrooms. For example, we’ve seen non-enclosed showers trending. We have added plenty of skylights, built walk-in showers, cut out niches for shower products, and installed unique stone and tile styles.

Open Layout Concepts

open floor plan by Historia Design & Consulting

Open Floor Plan by Historia Design & Consulting

As it is increasingly harder to buy a new home in Los Angeles, most are redesigning what they have. Thus, the open layout allows more movement and fluid between spaces without walls—merging the living, kitchen, and dining into one great room enables a home to feel larger yet homey.

Replacing Sliding Doors with Bifold Doors

Bifold doors do a lot in merging indoor and outdoor spaces. Once pulled back, the two areas are blurred, allowing for uninterrupted flow. It’s a concept that enables the room to enlarge–most desirable for people who love to host gatherings and parties in their homes.

Exterior view of residence on Curson Ave

Exterior view of residence on Curson Ave

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Creative, innovative exterior finishes

Architects are introducing exterior finishes that combine metal, wood, and stucco. It’s innovative, fresh, and modern.

exterior of ADU

Exterior of a proposed ADU on Hoover Street

ADU Rendering by Nwankpa Design
Spaces – decks and balcony additions

It’s hard not to want to enjoy the beautiful California weather year-round. As a result, we added plenty of balconies and decks to many of the homes we’ve renovated.

exterior details of a home

Exterior of a residence on Superba Ave

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When it comes to renovating your home, you must do the work in the beginning to ensure a relatively smooth experience. We highly suggest that you set out to interview qualified general contractors. They are the people who you will be in contact with for the next few months as your home is being worked on. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we’d love to get to know your story and see how we can best serve you.

Fill out the form below today! We can’t wait to talk to you.


The Differences Between Ground Up Construction & Renovation

The Differences Between Ground Up Construction & Renovation 2240 1260 Majid Riahi

Long-term success in commercial ground up construction depends on a range of important choices, especially for the most profit-driven of commercial construction companies (as all good ones are). Some of these choices may appear small and relatively insignificant; others will be big and—in all honesty—so significant as to be intimidating. Few choices, however, are as large,  as important or as worry-inducing as the choice between ground up construction and renovation. It’s a major decision, one that could make or break a property investment. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the ups and downs of both options.

Ground Up Construction and Renovation – What’s the Difference?

It’s pretty simple. Whereas one—renovation—involves reworking, redesigning and remodeling an existing property, the other—ground up construction—instead involves creating an all-new property from scratch. That means potentially knocking down an existing property, laying all-new foundations, handling the brickwork, erecting scaffolding as well as a million-and-one other jobs, big and small. It’s the whole shebang, and even with the much-needed help of building contractors it’s a lot of work. So why would anyone be interested in it?

Ground Up Construction Advantages

While you’ll always be restricted to some extent by safety laws, local building standards and other buildings regulations, ground up construction offers dramatically more freedom than renovation. Budget permitting, ground up construction lets you construct a property exactly how you envision it. If you’re looking to build a property for a specific purpose, particularly a niche one, this can save you from a myriad of future expenses as well as make your property stand out to those niche buyers (who are likely willing to pay above market average).

For an example of how ground up construction can save you money as a Landlord, look to the potential cost of tenant improvement allowances. This is a pre-arranged sum you will need to provide to your tenant (typically for a business location) in order to cover the cost of renovation and of making the property suitable for their needs or the needs of their business. By building a property from the ground up with a certain set of needs in mind, you can mitigate those tenant improvement costs and get business owners flocking to your property!

Finally, ground up construction gives you the ability to outfit your property with the latest cost-saving, energy-efficient innovations. Often, these are too much of a hassle to implement in renovations, yet they stand to increase the price and attractiveness of even a basic property.

Renovation Advantages 

Of course, renovating an existing property comes with its share of advantages too. For one, it’s significantly less intensive in terms of labor, cost and time. With an existing property, most—if not all—of the essential components will already be in place: from the foundation to the electrics, it’s all there and ready to go.

Additionally, the reduced cost and risk of renovations mean that it’s far easier to get funding from property development financiers. The more ambitious a commercial construction project is, the greater the risk of failure. With a renovation project, especially one with thorough planning behind it, there’s little risk (relatively speaking) in the eyes of lenders, and so they’ll be far more willing to lend you the cash you need.

Ground Up Construction Disadvantages

Bureaucracy can be a pain, but it’s a fact of life, and in construction it exists primarily for our safety. Unfortunately for you, if you opt for a ground up construction project, it also means that you’ll need to acquire discrete permits for each facet of the construction process. Building, paving, landscaping, electrical, plumbing and more. You’ll need to acquire a permit for all of these before you can go ahead with construction. This can lead weeks, possibly months of tedious waiting and may seriously extend the timeline of your commercial construction project. And if you’re looking to demolish an existing property before you go ahead with a new-build? Well, you’ll need to acquire a demolition permit too.

Luckily, like all good commercial construction companies, we’re happy to handle the acquisition of all necessary permits. All you need to do is sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that Substrata has things covered. 

Renovation Disadvantages 

It may be quicker and cheaper, but renovating an existing property isn’t always a sunny walk in the park; if you aren’t careful, thunderclouds can start forming overhead shockingly quickly. Existing properties, particularly if they’re old, can be hiding an array of unexpected surprises (and not the nice kind). Lead, asbestos, termites, mold and more could be waiting behind any given wall or in any ceiling cavity. If you encounter any of these when taking to your property with hammers and picks, prepare to face significant costs and lengthy project delays.

With renovations, you’re also constrained by the limits of the property’s existing structure. You may be able to knock down walls, rewire and re-plumb (at cost), but you can never match the creative freedom and flexibility that comes with ground up construction.


This isn’t what you’ll want to hear, but when it comes to the choice between renovation and ground up construction, there is no single right answer; there is only what’s right for you. You’ll need to weigh up your circumstances, financial situation, available time and your ability to accommodate for unforeseen circumstances (very important).

Ground up constructions require much more time, effort and dedication (your building contractors will be your best friends by the end of it), but they’re also an order of magnitude more flexible and potentially more lucrative to boot. Renovations, on the other hand, are more restrictive, but they’re also generally quicker and cheaper (barring any serious unexpected setbacks).

If you’re unsure which is right for you, get in touch! We’ll be happy to speak with you about your specific needs.