Add it Up
Stairs, Built-ins and Remodels
May, 2009 - Issue #55
photography by Ted Dayton

Dreaming of a remodel? Ready to take a stairway to heaven? Finally ready to claim custom cabinetry for your very own?

We're with you. These home improvements not only enhance your day-to-day living experiences, they can impressively increase the value of your home.

Still on the fence? Let local pros walk you through it.

"Instead of taking on a costly, lengthy project that entails ripping out your old stairwell, the 'recession trend' to improving the look of your staircase is removing your wood balusters and replacing them with wrought iron. And, the best part is that it can be done in just one day," says Scott Renolds, owner of Legacy Stairs (297-7530).

Another economical option for your stairway is refinishing. American Fine Finishing (775-2706), a full-service painting company, specializes in finishing (or refinishing) staircases. "Stairs get a lot of use, and after a while, they need some TLC," says Fabian Varela, owner of American Fine Finishing. "Replacing outdated colors or worn finishes with something fresh can change the whole look of your home and make your stairs look like new," he continues.

With these kinds of home improvements, you really get what you pay for. "It's important to make a few points about high-end custom woodworking," says Dave West, owner of David Bryan Woodworks (312-1964). "The materials used are different than with standard cabinetry. Everything from drawer hardware to the interior wood species is different; it is better. It has to be that way if you want to enjoy your cabinets for a long time. When you are shopping around for a custom built in, be aware that your quotes might be all over the place. You have to compare what you are getting for the price and then use good judgment."

Good judgment is also vital when making the commitment to remodel your home's interior. Greg Aliano, owner of Top Construction (775-9945), is a life-long Santa Clarita resident and contractor who's seen the good, the bad and the ugly. "Deciding to totally redo your kitchen or bath or add on a room to the existing structure - that's a big deal. You'll be seeing your contractor and their staff for days, weeks or even a month, so you'd better like and trust the person. You'll be granting them major access to you, your home and your family - and, in a way, your budget."
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