Questions to Ask Remodeling Contractors

Are you planning to remodel your Claremont home?

The decision to remodel a home, or even just a kitchen or bathroom, is a big one. Perhaps you are heading into a remodeling project after purchasing an older house in Claremont, or maybe you’ve desired it for a long time but lacked the time or resources to start. Either way, now that you're ready to move ahead with a project, the first thing to do is research and interview contractors. It is important to take your time with this step, even if you feel anxious to start. If you hire an inexperienced or dishonest contractor, the job could end up costing more than you anticipated. 

WHAT TO ASK REMODELING CONTRACTORS

1. Ask About Licensing & Insurance

Make sure you are dealing with a professional. A legitimate Claremont remodeling company must have California state licensure and carry an adequate amount of insurance. The person you speak to should be able to provide the business's general contractor number as well as the name of its insurance company. If he or she can't do this, stop the interview and move on to another company.

2. Ask About the Contractor's Experience

You should ask how long the remodeling company has been in business. While newer companies can provide good service, those that have been around for several years have a proven track record.

3. Ask to See Previous Remodeling Work

The remodeling company you choose should be proud of the work it has completed for other clients. If the person you meet with doesn't bring along pictures of completed jobs, you should ask to see some. A quick visit to online construction portfolios can also give you a sense of a contractor's work.

4. Ask for References

You may wish to ask for references from previous customers in the Claremont area. If you do choose to call a reference, it is a good sign when he or she would use the same remodeling company again in the future.

5. Ask About Schedules

Make sure you have a good understanding of expectations. A construction crew will be in your house almost daily, so you should know who is going to work on your kitchen or bathroom and be aware of their typical schedule. Before you sign a contract, make sure that you have a clear idea of how long the project is going to take. 

6. Ask for An Estimate

You should also understand how much you are going to pay and under what circumstances the amount might change. Don't be afraid to ask for an estimate. It is generally recommended that you get at least 2-3 bids for comparison. This information is useful when it comes time to compare contractors and decide who to hire. Finally, be certain that you know when you should remit full payment.


Learn more about Lotus Construction Group of Claremont, California. 

Kitchen Remodeling: Fixtures

Part 4 in 4-Part Series

So far, in our four-part series on kitchen remodeling, we have discussed three basic ingredients to great kitchen renovation:

  1. Getting Started: the all-important role that kitchens fill in family life – focusing on how to incorporate color trends into timeless kitchen design.
  2. Counters & Flooring: interior decorating trends relative to surface selections for kitchen flooring and countertops.
  3. Appliances: how appliances inform kitchen design.

This week, in our final kitchen redesign post, we will concentrate on fixtures, such as lighting, faucets and hardware.

Let there be Light

Until the early 1900’s, sunlight was the only form of lighting for most kitchens, until the wide adaption of the incandescent light bulb, which brought the kitchen out of the dark. Through the depression and war years and for a time after, austerity prompted many homes to have only one lighting source, usually over the cook-top area. As the energy crisis hit in the 70’s, the move to more energy-efficient fluorescent became the trend.

This bright overhead fluorescent often tucked into a dropped ceiling and was accompanied by under-cabinet lighting. But today’s kitchen lighting is designed to create a layered effect, with a warm, inviting atmosphere. The advancement of LED technology has brought range of color and longevity to general and task lighting in the kitchen. And don’t forget about under-cabinet lighting and natural light from skylights, both of which add dramatically to the overall aesthetic. (See examples from a Pasadena kitchen remodel.)

 Claremont kitchen remodel

Faucet Fascination

With so many styles and materials to choose from, you should start by examining the quality of the fixture – a faucet of solid brass construction will ensure its longevity. A few examples of available faucet-finishes, which are popular today, include brass, chrome, copper, matte finish, oil-rubbed metals, pewter, satin sheen or polished. With so many finishes and styles from which to choose, how will you know which direction to go? Your experienced design/build/remodeler will be able to steer you in the right direction. For example, if your tastes are more modern, you could consider touch-less or single-handled, streamlined, stainless or platinum faucets.

Get a Handle on it

Today, drawer pulls, handles and knobs come in all shapes, sizes and finishes. The potential options are as endless as your imagination and comprise various features that can alter the overall look of your kitchen. Whatever your aesthetic, the design-build approach used by Lotus Construction Group hones in on the perfect choice and enables us to create a work-friendly kitchen that fits within your home’s architectural context.

 Kitchen remodel and construction

When it comes to complex projects like custom homes, kitchen renovations, additions or whole-house remodeling, Lotus Construction Group uses cutting-edge materials and construction techniques, and offers innovative ideas executed with flawless precision for seamless flow and timeless design. We would love to visit your home to discuss how we might create a comprehensive Design-Build Analysis, specific to your project’s needs. If the process sounds enticing, call (909) 621-1558 today to schedule a complementary appointment.

Kitchen Remodeling: Appliances

Part 3 in 4-Part Series

 Claremont kitchen remodels

In our first blog post about kitchen remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling in Focus, we discussed the all-important role that kitchens fill in family life – focusing on how to incorporate color trends into timeless kitchen design. Last week’s post, Remodeling: Kitchen Counters & Flooring, covered interior decorating trends relative to surface selections for kitchen flooring and countertops. In this, our third entry in a four-part series, we’ll discuss kitchen appliances and how they relate to design and functionality. Next week, check back as we will tackle how fixtures inform kitchen design.

Appliance Color

 Kitchen appliances

In much the same way that avocado green, burnt orange and harvest gold were trendy appliance colors circa 1970, the 1980’s was all about white. Thereafter, the 1990’s and early 2000’s inspired a love of stainless steel; in fact, almost every kitchen remodel during this period featured granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Time marches on, and so do remodeling ideas – so what is on the horizon?

White

While we continue to use stainless steel in many of our kitchen remodels, some industry trailblazers are pointing to “new way to do white.” In fact, an article in HGTV magazine calls the trend, White, Reimagined:

Open Kitchen oven isolated on white background
“White is back — but it doesn’t mean you have to revisit the 1980s (whew). The modern take on white appliances is all about high-tech surfaces and innovative design touches. For example, some appliances…have a glossy finish inspired by smartphones and include stainless steel handles for a fresh, clean look.”

Stainless

A People Home & Travel writer, Megan Stein, reported in January 2017 that, where kitchen redesign is concerned, stainless is here to stay: 

“Stainless steel is still reigning supreme. It seems stainless-steel won’t go out of style any time soon, as 72% of respondents listed the standard silver finish as the top color choice for appliances.” But Stein doesn’t stop there. “A recent survey showed that black stainless steel also has a solid showing.”

Pastel

 Claremont and Pasadena kitchen remodels

Retro design sees kitchen appliances popping up in soft pastel colors with rounded-edges, such as these which appear on Big Chill. Additional retro appliance pieces are available on websites such as AJMadison and ElmiraStoveWorks.

Appliance Form

A great way to set the tone for a kitchen renovation is to choose appliances that reflect your personality and the way you want to cook. No matter your preferred kitchen aesthetic, an attractive hood is a great accent playing an important but supportive role to your cooktop.

Appliance Functionality

Smart home technology is rapidly developing, with the kitchen at center stage. As far as appliances go, you will soon see integrated speakers with Bluetooth functionality, color-changing lights, and integrated charging sockets. Smart Home appliances will not only look attractive but will make the most of available technology to improve kitchen efficiency. One of the most popular are smart refrigerators, which include smartphone mirroring, smart TV playback, memos, calendars and internet radio, and as a bonus, the Smart Fridge also chills food.

Is your kitchen connected? 

  Is your kitchen connected?

Is your kitchen connected?

Read the final post in our four-part series about kitchen design trends for 2017 focusing on fixtures. When it comes to complex projects like custom homes, kitchen renovations, additions or whole-house remodeling, Lotus Construction Group uses cutting-edge materials and construction techniques, and offers innovative ideas executed with flawless precision for seamless flow and timeless design. We would love to visit your home to discuss how we might create a comprehensive Design-Build Analysis, specific to your project’s needs. If the process sounds enticing, call (909) 621-1558 today to schedule a complementary appointment.

Kitchen Remodeling: Counters & Flooring

Part 2 in 4-Part Series

Kitchen Renovation Story

In this second part of a four-part series about kitchen remodeling, we will discuss surfaces for flooring and countertops and provide you with some pros and cons of different materials. We've already covered how to incorporate color trends into timeless kitchen design. Check back next week for our final post in the series, about fixtures and appliances.

Kitchen Surfaces

 Claremont construction company: Lotus

History has shown us a multitude of flooring and countertop surfaces, from the linoleum and Formica of the mid-century, to the current day natural stone, tile and hardwood choices. The earliest counter tops were of wood or stone – think back to the old farmhouse table. In the 1800’s, soapstone and slate became more plentiful and developed into the standard for kitchen counters. Other stones were soon being used, but the great leap for materials happened after World War II with the housing boom. New and less expensive materials with a wider range of colors were introduced with laminates and stainless steel counters.

In choosing the right countertop and flooring for your kitchen remodel, it’s important to take into consideration the way in which you use your kitchen and the type and amount of daily household traffic in and through your kitchen, so your remodel can be enjoyed for decades to come.

Kitchen Flooring

  This kitchen remodel features wood flooring as well as solid surface countertops.

This kitchen remodel features wood flooring as well as solid surface countertops.

Hardwood

Durable hardwoods feature striking natural colors and richly-detailed grain patterns. Hardwoods reflect timeless design and versatility even when flooring trends change down the road. Over the long haul, hardwoods are cost-effective in that they can be refinished several times over the years bringing a fresh look each time, with minimal cost. We installed hardwood floors in a Pasadena kitchen remodel to compliment the Tudor style of the home.

Cork

Sustainable and eco-friendly cork has quickly become a popular choice for flooring surfaces, especially in kitchens, given that it is stain-resistant and easy on the knees and ankles. The durability of cork flooring depends on the finish used – an important consideration when choosing cork.  Check out the cork flooring in our recent Claremont Kitchen remodel.

Stone

Natural stone is durable and its appearance oftentimes improves with age, but can absorb stains easily.

Engineered Flooring

Engineered flooring is resistant to moisture and easier to install, however, it lacks durability over the long term and can only be sanded and refinished once.

Tile

Easy to clean and durable tile continues to be a popular choice for kitchen flooring, with an endless variety of colors and patterns to choose from.

Kitchen Countertops

 Claremont kitchen remodels

Butcher Block

Featuring a warm, timeless appeal, butcher block is ideal for chopping and food preparation, however, a hot pan can scorch the surface.  It’s 100% natural so it’s easy to restore with regular refinishing. To add versatility and interest, we love combining butcher block with other surfaces such as granite, a combination which we installed in a recent kitchen remodel in Claremont. 

Concrete

No longer relegated to a dull gray appearance, today’s concrete countertops can be ground, polished or stained, and are often used to create a sleek, minimalist, industrial look.    With concrete, a good sealer is necessary to prevent chipping and scratching.

Eco-friendly

Combining materials such as fly ash or recycled paper, composite countertops inhibit the growth of bacteria and resist stains, scratches and heat. Most are free of VOCs, do not emit radon gasses, and are food safe. These countertops are attractive but can be expensive and sometimes require sealing as well as special maintenance.

 Claremont and Pasadena construction 

Engineered stone

Composed of hard materials, such as quartz particles, manufactured surface is gaining popularity, with good reason. Quartz countertops are attractive, scratch-, stain- and heat-resistant, and low maintenance. They also come in a variety of colors, from subtle and natural to bright and bold. That makes them the ideal choice for modern kitchen renovations or new kitchen construction.

Granite

Each slab of granite is unique with no other one like it, so it’s ideal for expressing your personal taste. Granite is virtually indestructible – it can withstand hot pots and pans, and most stains are repelled. Granite requires periodic refinishing, as it can etch if acids are left on the surface.

 Stone countertops come in a variety of colors and styles.

Stone countertops come in a variety of colors and styles.

Marble

Like granite, each slab is unique, however, marble is softer than granite and more susceptible to scratches and chips. Still, marble is a must for the serious pastry chef due to its smooth surface and cool temperature.

Soapstone

Naturally resistant to heat, stains and discolorations, this surface does not require sealing, is durable, and improves with age. Soapstone is more susceptible to nicks and cuts, which can easily be sanded away. Check out the slab we installed in a client’s laundry room.

Check back next week to read the final post in our three-part series about kitchen design trends for 2017. When it comes to complex projects like custom homes, kitchen renovations, additions or whole-house remodeling, Lotus Construction Group uses cutting-edge materials and construction techniques, and offers innovative ideas executed with flawless precision for seamless flow and timeless design. We would love to visit your home to discuss how we might create a comprehensive Design-Build Analysis, specific to your project’s needs. If the process sounds enticing, call (909) 621-1558 today to schedule a complementary appointment.


Kitchen Remodeling: Color Trends

Traditional Kitchen
Tudor ispired Kitchen

Part 1 in 4-Part Series

In this first part of a four-part series about kitchen remodeling, we will discuss kitchen design and color trends, and how you can incorporate color into timeless design. See our other posts on kitchen countertop surfaces & flooring, fixtures and appliances.

“No matter where I serve my guests, they seem to like my kitchen best.”

As hokey as the saying is, the sentiment is true. The point is that whether prepping, cooking, entertaining or cleaning, the kitchen is a great spot to hang out. When entertaining, guests naturally gravitate to kitchen chairs or barstools to socialize while the host prepares the meal.

Families gather in the kitchen for meal prep, homework, puzzles, lively discussions, and games.

Kitchen Color Trends

In the 1970’s earth tones like gold, almond, orange and avocado-colored appliances, bold wallpaper designs and macramé pot holders were all the rage. The 1980’s and 1990’s gave way to soft pastels, like cream with accents of mauve and teal, as well as the tropical colors. Who can forget Miami Vice? The turn of the century introduced stainless steel and professional grade appliances along with granite countertops, and steered clear of trendy colors.

Mid centrury ranch remodel
cocina fondo en marron

Current Kitchen Colors

At Lotus, we focus on long-term and timeless designs rather than trendy ideas that will quickly date your home. However, a fresh pop of color can add interest and personality to timeless design; some examples of this can be seen in our recent kitchen remodels in Claremont featuring chalkboard back-splashes, an eye popping tile back-splash, and colorful flooring and cabinetry. Claremont featuring chalkboard back-splashes, an eye-popping tile back-splash, and colorful flooring and cabinetry.

flat retro kitchen with checkered floor. vector illustration

Cabinet Color

No matter your preference, painted cabinetry or natural wood, the design and detailing of the cabinetry should work in harmony with the other finishes. Our recent kitchen remodel in Pasadena incorporates custom cherry cabinetry to compliment the warm earthy tones and Tudor style of the home. We recently remodeled a mid-century ranch kitchen in Claremont using white cabinets and black countertops, which tied in beautifully with the simplicity of white subway tile and stainless steel backsplash and appliances.

island bar seating-reovation-pasadena

Kitchen Continued

Check back next week to read more about kitchen design trends for 2017. When it comes to complex projects like custom homes, kitchen renovations, additions or whole-house remodeling, Lotus Construction Group uses cutting-edge materials and construction techniques we offer innovative ideas executed with flawless precision for seamless flow and timeless design. We would love to visit your home to discuss how we might create a comprehensive Design-Build Analysis, specific to your project’s needs. If the process sounds enticing, call (909) 621-1558 today to schedule a complimentary appointment.


Lotus Construction Group is based in Claremont California serving the foothills east of Pasadena. CLS# 801827

All About Claremont, California

 Lotus Construction Group is located in the city of Claremont, California.

Lotus Construction Group is based in the Southern California city of Claremont, which was founded in 1887. Our office is situated approximately 30 miles east of LA, in a residential suburb. Claremont has approximately 35,000 residents and 140 acres of beautifully-developed parks and picturesque, tree-lined streets. If you are moving to the Claremont area, we welcome the opportunity to help you with your home building or remodeling needs.

Claremont Features

Although the city is part of LA County, Claremont is set apart from the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles, and is known for the academically acclaimed Claremont Colleges. These are a consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate higher education institutions located near the center of town. The community values culture, education and architectural heritage, which is unusual for an area that has such a welcoming, small-town feel. Claremont also has condominiums, townhouses, and apartment living, to meet a variety of tastes, needs, and lifestyles. Along with residential development, commercial and industrial centers make up the town center, which is known as the “Village.”

History of Claremont

 Claremont missions

Serrano Indians were the first known residents of the area. This is evidenced by the discovery of a Serrano village on a mesa, northeast of Foothill and Indian Hill Boulevards. In 1771, Mission San Gabriel was founded. Claremont was part of the vast swath of land that made up the community. After the missions were secularized by the Mexican government in 1834, most of the land within the present Claremont city limits became part of the Rancho San Jose. The arrival of the Santa Fe railroad in 1887 launched the beginning of the City of Claremont with its incorporation some 20 years later. The local citrus industry’s expansion was helped when the Claremont growers established one of the earliest co-ops for marketing and shipping their goods. The industry thrived until the end of WWII when residential development caused the growers to sell the orchards.

Today, Claremont boasts stately, beautiful single-family homes, many of which have historical significance: Sumner Hall of Pomona College, the old railroad station, Claremont Colleges’ Bridges Auditorium, Pilgrim Place – which contains both Porter and Decker Halls.

Claremont Statistics

  • A well-educated, professional, and skilled labor force. Nearly one third of Claremont residents hold master’s degrees.
  • Hundreds of successful small businesses.
  • Upscale residential areas.
  • Excellent educational and recreational facilities.
  • A progressive, well-managed municipal government.
  • Intense interest in community and cultural activities.
  • A mild climate. The average temperature is 63F.
  • Average household income is just under $110,000.
  • Median house value is $476,000.

10 Great Things to Do in Claremont

Annual Events in Claremont

 What to do in Claremont

Moving to Claremont, California?

If you are moving to the Claremont area and looking for a home, please consider Lotus Construction Group for your custom home, additions, or whole-house remodeling. We use cutting edge materials and construction techniques, and offers innovative ideas executed with flawless precision for seamless flow and timeless design. We would love to visit your home to discuss how we might create a comprehensive Design-Build Analysis, specific to your project’s needs. If the process sounds enticing, call (909) 621-1558 today to schedule a complementary appointment. 

A Fresh Approach to the Design-Build & Remodeling Process

 Claremont Design-Build Contractor: Lotus

Honesty, Integrity, & Craftsmanship

Founded by award-winning Master Craftsman Mark Ashworth in 2011, Lotus Construction Group is one of the most respected design-build firms in the San Gabriel Valley. We strive to provide a personal and unique remodeling experience imbued with a commitment to professionalism and craftsmanship. Our entire process is based on communication, honesty and trust. We focus our talents on residential renovations, restorations, additions and new homes for insightful homeowners who are looking for a thoughtful and considerate approach to remodeling.

Remodeling, Additions, & Whole House Remodel

When it comes to remodeling your home, we understand that your primary goal is to create a beautiful, functional space.  Doing so requires engaging a contractor with superior skills and talent at every stage of the process – from design through construction. Lotus Construction Group employs gifted designers and craftsmen who will work with you to elevate your home to perfectly suit your style.

 Remodeling contractor

Kitchen Remodeling

Over the years, we have designed and built kitchens of all styles, from historical turn-of-the-century - to mid-century modern marvels - to contemporary masterpieces. Our design-build approach helps us hone in on our client’s specific needs and desires, enabling us to create a work-friendly kitchen that fits within the home's architectural context.

 Bath remodel

Bathroom Remodeling

Our bathroom designs range from efficient powder rooms to master bathrooms and spa-like retreats.  We have extensive experience with all styles ranging from traditional to modern.  

Built-ins

We are passionate about designing built-in features with creative storage spaces such as walk-in closets organized to suit your every need for organization, hide-a-way cubbies for charging your phone, entertainment centers incorporating cable management, and pull-out spice racks, to name a few.  Built-ins are essential for de-cluttering our modern lives, and the exciting part is that we design them tailor-made to meet your specific day-to-day needs.    

Interior & Exterior Living

Our whole-house remodels strive to achieve a consistent flow and cohesive design, while complementing the architectural context of the entire home. Uniting the interior and exterior of your home is one way to create a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces. We design and build exterior spaces that will enhance the lifestyle of the Southern California homeowner.

horizontal  hardwood fence

Plant Material

Our exterior and landscape services are second-to-none, focusing on sustainability and exquisite design. Whether you are looking for California natives or lush plants for a drought tolerant yard that will thrive in our low water environment, Lotus can help guide you through the maze of plant selection, ground cover material, and intelligent irrigation methods.

Concrete fire pit outside master bedroom

Pergolas & Fire Pits

Pergolas and trellises are popular features in many exterior spaces. We take great pride in designing amazing, useful, one-of-a-kind covered spaces to enhance your outdoor entertaining experience.  Custom fire pits are a great way to further enjoy your exterior space in cooler weather.  We think outside the box when designing and constructing these outdoor features.

The Lotus Design-Build Approach 

Budgets - everybody has them.  A common obstacle to effective remodeling projects often results when contractors immediately jump into advanced design and contract creation, with little or no thought for budget constraints. The result is frustrating for homeowners who love the design, but realize they are unable to see it through. We eliminate this heartache by conducting a Design-Build Analysis, wherein we evaluate the project's potential for success, with minimal investment. We do this prior to beginning advanced design development, technical development, and project implementation.

Our Design-Build Analysis is a detailed evaluation and analysis of a proposed project and is based on a combination of our client’s wishes and our technical research to support the feasibility of a project.  The criteria used to judge feasibility are the costs and the value to be attained. To determine a project’s feasibility, we:

  • Listen to and analyze your needs and wishes regarding the project
  • Develop an accurate floor plan of your home
  • Objectively and rationally analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the existing residence
  • Produce schematic concepts of the project through thoughtfully-considered design
  • Provide a Cost Analysis Estimate for these designs
 Design-build contractor in Claremont

When it comes to complex projects like custom homes, additions or whole-house remodeling, Lotus Construction Group uses cutting edge materials and construction techniques, and offers innovative ideas executed with flawless precision for seamless flow and timeless design. We would love to visit your home to discuss how we might create a comprehensive Design-Build Analysis, specific to your project's needs. If the process sounds enticing, call (909) 621-1558 today to schedule a complementary appointment.

Welcome and Hello...

Whether this is your first visit to our website, or you have been visiting for a long time, we would like to say “hello” and tell you a little bit about ourselves and how we do things here at Lotus Construction Group.    

Something or someone has brought you to our site - a recommendation from a friend, our sign in the neighborhood, or an internet search.  So, we’d like to let you know a little bit about what makes Lotus so different, and we think, better than the way the home remodeling industry typically works.

On our website you've taken a look at Our Approach, our Talent and Portfolio, Raving Fans and Design Build.  Now you want to know what it’s like to work with us.

Claremont's Best Design-Build Contractor

From the first time we meet with you, all the way through to the end of your project, and well beyond, we think of your house in the same way we think of our own homes.  Your home is more than a collection of doors, windows and walls; it contains the spaces where you dream, where you entertain family and friends, and where you feel most safe and secure.  When you invite us into your home, we consider it a privilege and a welcome responsibility, and we have maintained cherished friendships with our clients long after the completion of their projects.

Our process is designed from the onset to involve you, the homeowner, and we consider your input to be one of our most valuable tools.  We begin with an initial conversation about what your remodeling needs and goals are.  From there, we put together a proposal that describes everything we are going to do to get you to the design you want, and an accurate estimate for that design.  Then, the fun begins!  The Design Build Analysis allows us the opportunity to take the information and ideas you have given us that are important to you (i.e., design, materials, budget and schedule) and prepare a set of drawings and plans of the designs that fulfill your dreams.  Once you are happy with the design, we create a thorough and accurate cost estimate.  Our estimates are lengthy, as they provide you with detailed line items and the cost for each line item, as well as the cost for the materials and hours of labor to complete your project.  There is very little ambiguity in our estimation process.  We then spend the necessary time going through all line items with you to make sure you are as informed as possible and that you are satisfied all your questions have been addressed.  At the conclusion of the Design Build Analysis, we provide you with a valuable document that gives you an accurate and detailed cost estimate for your project.

Stay in Touch

In short, the difference at Lotus is that we take a well thought out and complete approach to your remodel or addition needs and goals, thereby providing you with a positive experience and seamless project.  So, come back and visit our website and our blog to find out more about who we are and how we do things differently – the Lotus Way.