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How to Plant a Japanese Garden

If you are looking for a quiet place for contemplation and meditation, I recommend you a Japanese garden where essence of nature, beauty, and stylish designs are mixed in. You will always remember the joyful and tremendous moment that you will spend with you loves one. On the other hand, if you dreams are to plant one on your own this article could be helpful to you.
There are three things to consider when thinking about planting a Japanese garden: planning, planting and maintaining the garden.

Planning a Japanese garden

Planning your Japanese garden is very important. This step will help you determine the style of garden you can afford, the design to go with, and the type of landscaping to choose. Your Japanese garden could be Karesansui, Tsukiyama, or Chaniwa garden styles. Depending on your budget, the size of the lot, or your tastes you can choose between a strolling garden and viewing one. Hence, you can include in your design at least one hill associated with a water fall to represent mountains, a lake, or a seashores. The use of gems in a sculptured-garden can offer a sense of inspiration, beauty and perfection.

Depending on where the garden will be located you can think about including water (real or symbolic), rocks or stone arrangements, and lantern into your Japanese garden. Your water basin can be placed near the garden or underneath the stone basin. Rocks can be used for garden shape, waterfall, or in building bridges and walkways for your garden. Remember to plant a garden which is rich in texture and symbolism. The types of plants to use can be large, small or medium-sized evergreen trees. Some folks love Ajuga Catlins, Angelina Sedum, and green giant plants in their gardens. Others prefer Asian jasmine, Aucuba gold dust, and Chocalate chip Ajugo. I suggest that you plant a variety of trees to enhance your garden’s visual beauty. The following trees are intended to create a rich background texture in your Japanese garden: Arp Rosemary, Autumn Fern, Bar Harbor Jupiter, Bald Cypress Tree, and Rosy Glow Barberry.

Maintaining your Japanese garden

Planting your Japanese garden is awesome, but you need to do more. As any other part of your lovely house, it is important to maintain your garden design properly. Make sure your plants are well taken care of. Look periodically for any abnormally that needs to be fixed in your garden’s sprinkler system. Otherwise your plants will dry if your water basin is not operational.

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Six Easy Steps for Installing an Indoor Fountain

If you have moved into a loft or large studio apartment, finding clever ways of separating the space in a pleasing manner is difficult. The tried and true Japanese room dividers are passé and even though you can pick them up now for very little money, they are also considered quite dated. The new trend is the indoor fountain which not only divides rooms but also adds a noise barrier when more than one person inhabits the space. Follow these six easy steps to installing an indoor fountain and enjoy the benefits of this novel conversation piece. We can say that installing indoor fountain will really bring up your place together.

You can do it all with your basic tools!

  1. The Purchase – Choose wisely when it comes to purchasing an indoor fountain. If it is too small, it will be more of an annoying noise creator; too big, and it will dominate the room, not divide it. Whenever possible, see how it is set up inside the showroom or store and from there extrapolate if it needs a lot of space above it or if it will look right when it is touching the ceiling.
  2. The Options – Many indoor fountains come with additional options. Usually these include lighting. If you have not given a lot of thought to your lights, now is a good time to ascertain if additional lighting or perhaps a change in your lighting scheme could add to the ambiance of your room.
  3. The Location – Place your indoor fountain near an outlet but away from an overhead light source. In addition, make sure that the fountain is placed on the floor where the support joints meet up. Depending on the weight of the fountain plus the added weight of the water, you may find that the floor becomes unduly strained. If you have the blueprints to your home, this is an easy problem to solve. If you do not have them handy, ask your realtors to help you find them.
  4. You’ve got the Power – You need a dedicated source of electricity. Resist the temptation of running an extension cord to the nearest outlet. Instead, run a plug or relocate an existing outlet. Do not use a floor outlet because of the water leakage danger; instead, opt for an outlet that is located in the wall and prepare to plug in the indoor fountain with a drip loop, as is suggested when you install an aquarium. The goal is to have any water leaking out in the vicinity of the cord get caught by the loop and drip to the floor instead of running into the outlet.
  5. Setup – Begin with the basin of the indoor fountain and place it in the predetermined area. Set the water pump inside the basin but do not plug it in! Instead, make sure you follow the directions from the manufacturer when it comes to placing the pump into the basin. Next comes the tubing. Hook the tubing to the water pump and also to the various inlets.
  6. Water – Fill the basin with water, plug in the pump, and turn it on. The odds are good that you are ready to go!
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Our Clients Reviewing Us

WHAT OUR CLIENTS HAVE TO SAY…


“Kevin & the Stonebrook team did an incredible job on our house. Mostly outside remodel – New Siding, Wrought Iron Gate and new paver driveway and walkways. Installed new doors & “Lite” kitchen remodel.

The thing that most impressed us was that Kevin was there the whole way! Even though he had multiple other projects going on – he was at the house on an almost daily basis to make sure things were going smoothly. If there were any problems (or things didn’t look like we had pictured) he resolved them immediately.

All the nightmares we had heard about from our friends undergoing any construction did NOT happen with Kevin! He is truly a man of his word and did everything he could to make things perfect!

He has a good eye for discussing any potential upgrades and pricing was always fair.

We Highly recommend Stonebrook Design Build to all our friends!”

Adam M., Encino

“Thank you for building/re-habbing such a beautiful house…. You do amazing work.

You are a class act… a cool cat…. and I truly appreciate you and your work. We feel lucky to know we have a builder who has his heart and passion in his projects. It’s rare in this day and age to find people who look past the dollars and cents.

The house is spectacular… and I want you to know you helped a couple find some needed happiness along w/ a true a dream home. I also thank you for offering to execute some of the work as we move forward — the master closet…. and down the road, possibly converting the garage into a bedroom(s)/office. I can’t thank you enough for being a big part of making this happen for us.”

John K., Sherman Oaks

“Thank you so much for resolving the situation for us yesterday! I wanted to be sure that you knew how thankful we are that we have a trustworthy, reliable, professional contractor working on our house. I can guarantee that you will have my reference if any of my friends need a contractor. Again, thank you, thank you for being there for us!”

Rachel R., Valley Village

“Kevin and his team did an amazing job. He started on a bathroom renovation, and based on the great work there – completely remodeled our back yard – new patio, built in grill, firepit, landscaping, etc. As two busy professionals, my Husband and I were looking for somebody who was responsive, easy to deal with, competitively priced, and delivered extremely high quality work. Stonebrook exceeded our expectations on all of those dimensions. I would happily recommend them to any of our friends, and I have no doubt we will use them again in the future.”…

“The bathroom looks great… it looks awesome – what a transformation. I hope you took “from and to” pics on this one!”

Amy H., Los Angeles

“We used Stonebrook to completely remodel our very outdated large master bathroom. Kevin Scalir responded quickly to our request for an estimate and created a great design after listening to what we wanted.

We found Kevin to be very knowledgeable and could answer all our questions. In addition, he had many problem solving solutions to offer as things came up. Kevin supervised the job once work began. The crew was very professional and easy to have working in your home.

Kevin came by to supervise and the work went on without any delays. Kevin has many suppliers who showed us samples such as tile, windows, plumbing fixtures, etc. Everything went very smoothly. We passed all inspections the first time. Kevin spent a lot of time researching options for us, and in the end we were thrilled with the results.

The updated bathroom has many appealing features such as a marble surround soaking tub, marble counter tops, large shower with marble bench, and attractive new windows. He also installed all new custom wood cabinetry, mirrors, and marble tile floors. Everything functions really well and it is a pleasure to have this completed master bath. We highly recommend Stonebrook Design Build!”
Maura R., Encino

“Using Stonebook Design Build to remodel my back yard and garage was a dream. Having used other contractors in the past that were always weeks behind schedule, Kevin Scalir was on budget and on-time. The work was top-notch and everything was stated in writing. His employees were professional and courteous and he was always available via e-mail or cell phone to answer any questions. The high-tech computer renderings made the design process much easier to imagine and results were spectacular. I recommend Kevin and Stonebrook Design Build to all of my friends and family members.”
Jason F., Sherman Oaks

“We hired Stonebrook Design Build to put our backyard in order in January 2009. We had a serious gopher problem and no matter how we tried to get rid of them, the population only grew. When Kevin Scalir came by to give us an estimate, I began to have confidence in his professionalism and knowledge. Instead of simply laying chicken wire to eliminate the gopher population, Kevin helped us develop a more aesthetic approach. By the time the job was completed, we had a retainer wall traversing the the entire length of the backyard to create a vegetable garden. We had sod rolled out for the entire yard, and we had sprinklers installed with a timer. We also had flood lights installed on the back of the house. When Stonebrook says no job is too big or small, they mean it. Furthermore, Kevin used some extra material to create two matching planters on either side of the front door. The bricks matched the color of the house. Finally, we had a curbside brick mailbox installed that also matches the new planters and the house color. It transformed the front of the house. Kevin accomplished all of this with only a slight increase in the original estimate. Of all the estimates I received, his was the least expensive and offered the most service. When he strikes a deal with his client, he honors it. There is no bait and switch with him, and the quality and professionalism of the work make you forget about all of the negative stereotypes about construction companies. Stonebrook Design Build will be my first choice for any future work I need. The front yard is next.”

Robert S., Simi Valley

“We are completely pleased with their work. They started and finished the job when they said they would; the cost was the exact amount quoted; the workers were clean and considerate; and the work itself meet or exceeded all our expectations. Further, Kevin was extremely helpful in design and material suggestions. When an issue arose regarding a piece of equipment they put in (fountain pump) the problem was promptly rectified. This company has our highest recommendation.”

Bob S., Sherman Oaks

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Remodeling and New Construction

Need plans? No problem. Need a great contractor? You’re covered. We’re design-build remodeling experts. Whatever you need – a new master bedroom/bathroom suite, second story addition, or whole-house remodel – we can get you from concept to completion on-time, on-budget and with no nonsense.

Here are some of our more common projects:

  • Add a second story master bedroom/bathroom suite
  • Remodel interior, replacing electrical service panel and wiring
  • Remodel family room and kitchen into an open great room
  • Add a bonus room or office

What’s it going to cost?
The first question you’re probably asking is, “how much is this going to cost?” The answer is going to vary based on the size and scope of the project and the type of finishes you select. It’s easy to get a project consultation. Just click here.
Of course, your project is unique. That’s why we’ll start with a design and proposal specific to your space and requirements. Here’s how your job will proceed:
Initial meeting and consultation- You talk, we listen. Once we understand.

3-D Rendering

Your requirements we’ll come up with ideas. When you’re ready, we’ll turn those ideas into a 3-D design and a complete, detailed written proposal.
Design Revision- You’ll review our house design styles and give us your input. We’ll make modifications and give you a new proposal of the cost of the project.
Contract- We’ll give you a detailed, written contract explaining everything we’re going to do. The contract will include a payment schedule that’s tied to milestones. It will also include allowances for materials. These allowance figures are based on the types of finishes you are interested in. The values of the allowances are based on actual prices from our vendors and are not “best-guesses.” They allow you to stay within your contract budget. The contract also explains that any change orders are to be approved by you -in writing – before any additional work is done.
What’s a change order?A change order is additional work that is requested by you, outside the scope of the contract after work has begun.
Begin Work- First, we’ll pull the required city permits. Work in your home always begins by securing the other areas in your home from dust and debris. This includes walls and carpets.
Select Finishes- We will accompany you to our vendors where you will select plumbing fixtures like sinks and faucets; tile; granite, marble or other solid surfaces; floors and cabinets. We’re always by your side to answer questions and provide advice.
Continue Work- Work will continue every day with minimal (if any) downtime. You’ll constantly be updated about the status of your project via phone or email. You can always reach us with questions – and you’ll get answers right away. Work will include inspections from the local building department to make sure everything is up-to-code.
Complete Work- Once work is complete we’ll ask you to go through.


The Finished Kitchen

Make a list of corrections. This is called the “punch list,” and it typically includes paint touch-ups and minor items that are part of every project.
Enjoy Your Remodeled HomeThis is the most important part, and it’s why we treat every project like it’s our own home.
We’re sure you’ll be 100% satisfied. We offer a 1-year warranty on defects from material and workmanship. In fact, almost all of our clients have hired us for more than one project. How many other contractors can say that?

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Bathroom Remodeling Walkthrough

We are remodeling experts. We’re really good at taking old, ugly, outdated bathrooms and making them updated, functional, and gorgeous! Our typical bathroom remodeling projects include:
Remodeling a guest or kids bathroom with a new, fresh look.
Remodeling or adding a powder room after you finish remodeling your kitchen for good.
Remodeling or expanding an outdated, small bathroom into a master spa suite oasis.

What’s it going to cost?


The first question you’re probably asking is, “how much is this going to cost?” The answer is going to vary based on the size of your bathroom, the scope of the project and the type of finishes you select. Here are some examples of recent project costs. These are meant only to give you an idea of what to expect:
Bathroom 1 (7′ x 9′ secondary bath remodel)

Scope:
Remove shower, floors, cabinet, fixtures and two windows. Replace shower with bathtub/shower combo; replace windows with new vinyl, double-glazed windows; Provide and install new cabinet and sink; Provide and install tile in shower w/ border; Install tile floor; Provide and install all plumbing fixtures; Install new mirror; Provide and install glass shower doors; Patch and paint drywall to new, smooth finish.
Approximate cost: $14,500
Bathroom 2 (7′ x 10′ master bath remodel)

Scope:
Demolish space and expand bathroom to 11′ x 10′ including 10′ x 5′ walk-in closet; Build new 4′ x 5′ custom shower with hot-mopped pan; Replace windows with new vinyl, double-glazed windows; Provide and install two new cabinets, sinks and granite counter tops; Provide and install tile in shower – including glass-lined border and glass mosaic soap dish; Provide and install tile floor; Provide and install plumbing fixtures; Install new mirrors; Provide and install new frameless glass shower door; Install all new drywall, tape and mud to new, smooth finish; Provide and install 8′ x 18″ matching linen cabinet; Provide and install two new solid-core pocket doors.
Approximate cost: $29,700
Bathroom 3 (25′ x 15′ master bathroom remodel)

Scope:
Demolish space and re-configure separate shower and bath-tub; Replace 4 windows with new solid wood, double-glazed windows; Provide and install 15′ of custom vanity cabinets, including custom hamper; Provide and install custom above-counter cabinets; Provide and install custom trim in vanity; Provide and install tub and fixtures; Provide and install high-end bath fixtures; Provide and install Carrara marble vanity counter, bath deck and shower bench; Provide and install Carrara marble mosaic floor; Build custom linen closet with custom cabinets including roll-out drawers; Drywall, mud and paint to smooth finish; Provide custom framelss glass shower enclosure, Provide and install custom mirrors.
Approximate cost: $55,40

Of course, your project is unique. That’s why we’ll start with a design and estimate specific to your space and requirements. Here’s how your job will proceed:
Initial meeting and consultation – You talk, we listen. Once we understand 3-D Rendering of Bathroom your requirements we’ll come up with ideas. When you’re ready, we’ll turn those ideas into a 3-D design and a complete, detailed written proposal.
Design Revision – You’ll review our design and give us your input. We’ll make modifications and give you a new proposal of the cost of the project.
Contract- We’ll give you a detailed, written contract explaining everything we’re going to do. The contract will include a payment schedule that’s tied to milestones. It will also include allowances for materials. These allowance figures are based on the types of finishes you are interested in. The values of the allowances are based on actual prices from our vendors and are not “best-guesses.” They allow you to stay within your contract budget. The contract also explains that any change orders are to be approved by you -in writing – before any additional work is done.
What’s a change order? A change order is additional work that is requested by you, outside the scope of the contract after work has begun.
Begin Work – First, we’ll pull the required city permits. Work in your home always begins by securing the other areas in your home from dust and debris. This includes walls and carpets.
Select Finishes – We will accompany you to our vendors where you will select plumbing fixtures like toilets, sinks, faucets and bath and shower fixtures; tile; granite, marble or other solid surfaces; and cabinets. We’re always by your side to answer questions and provide advice.
Continue Work- Work will continue every day with minimal (if any) downtime. You’ll constantly be updated about the status of your project via phone or email. You can always reach us with questions – and you’ll get answers right away. Work will include inspections from the local building department to make sure everything is up-to-code.
Complete Work – Once work is complete we’ll ask you to go through The Finished Bathroom make a list of corrections. This is called the “punch list,” and it typically includes paint touch-ups and minor items that are part of every project.
Enjoy Your New Bathroom – This is the most important part, and it’s why we treat every project like it’s our own home.
We’re sure you’ll be 100% satisfied. We offer a 1-year warranty on defects from material and workmanship. In fact, almost all of our clients have hired us for more than one project. How many other contractors can say that?

The only way you’ll find out how to de-uglify your bathroom is to contact us today. We’ve made it very easy.

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Kitchen Remodeling Walkthrough

The general word about house building

Believe it or not – the two photos above are the same kitchen! We were able to almost double the space of the kitchen and create a very usable space. We’re remodeling experts. We can design the kitchen of your dreams. Most of our kitchen remodels include one or more of the following:
Update kitchen cabinets, countertops, walls and floors with a fresh, new look.
Expand the existing kitchen to add more space, often including a new island, breakfast nook and more storage.
Building a new custom-designed kitchen and remodeling the existing kitchen into a new family room, great room, or even an extra bedroom!

What’s it going to cost?

The first question you’re probably asking is, “how much is this going to cost?” The answer is going to vary based on the size of your kitchen, the scope of the project and the type of finishes you select. Here are some examples of recent project costs. These are meant only to give you an idea of what to expect:
Kitchen 1 (10′ x 15′ Galley)
Scope:
Remove all cabinets and countertops; install recessed lighting; patch and paint walls; install new solid wood cabinets; install granite countertops; install 18″ tile backsplash; install tile floors
Approximate cost: $32,280
Kitchen 2 (15′ x 25′ “U” Shaped w/ Island)

Scope:

Demolish space and move wall to gain 5 feet, remove opposite wall to open kitchen and family room; new electrical service in kitchen including recessed lighting, relocate plumbing; hang, tape, mud and paint drywall; install solid wood cabinets w/ custom accessories (glass doors, spice rack, lazy susan); install granite countertops; install custom tile backsplash with liner; install tile floor.
Approximate cost: $65,490
Kitchen 3 (30′ x 30′ “U” Shaped w/ island)

Scope:

Demolish space and re-configure to open kitchen and family room; relocate electrical and plumbing; install recessed lighting, undercabinet lighting, in-cabinet lighting; add plumbing/electrical for new island; hang, tape, mud and paint drywall; install custom solid wood cabinets w/ accessories; install travertine countertop; install custom travertine tile backsplash w/ inserts and borders; install tile floor w/ inserts.
Approximate cost: $79,420

Of course, your project is unique. That’s why we’ll start with a design and proposal specific to your space and requirements. Here’s how your job will proceed:
Initial meeting and consultation – You talk, we listen. Once we understand.


3-D Rendering of Kitchen

Your requirements we’ll come up with ideas. When you’re ready, we’ll turn those ideas into a 3-D design and a complete, detailed written proposal.
Design Revision – You’ll review our design and give us your input. We’ll make modifications and give you a new proposal of the cost of the project.
Contract- We’ll give you a detailed, written contract explaining everything we’re going to do. The contract will include a payment schedule that’s tied to milestones. It will also include allowances for materials. These allowance figures are based on the types of finishes you are interested in. The values of the allowances are based on actual prices from our vendors and are not “best-guesses.” They allow you to stay within your contract budget. The contract also explains that any change orders are to be approved by you -in writing – before any additional work is done.
What’s a change order? A change order is additional work that is requested by you, outside the scope of the contract after work has begun.
Begin Work – First, we’ll pull the required city permits. Work in your home always begins by securing the other areas in your home from dust and debris. This includes walls and carpets.
Select Finishes – We will accompany you to our vendors where you will select plumbing fixtures like sinks and faucets; tile; granite, marble or other solid surfaces; and cabinets. We’re always by your side to answer questions and provide advice.
Continue Work- Work will continue every day with minimal (if any) downtime. You’ll constantly be updated about the status of your project via phone or email. You can always reach us with questions – and you’ll get answers right away. Work will include inspections from the local building department to make sure everything is up-to-code.
Complete Work – Once work is complete we’ll ask you to go through.


The Finished Kitchen

Make a list of corrections. This is called the “punch list,” and it typically includes paint touch-ups and minor items that are part of every project.
Enjoy Your New Kitchen – This is the most important part, and it’s why we treat every project like it’s our own home.

We’re sure you’ll be 100% satisfied. We offer a 1-year warranty on defects from material and workmanship. In fact, almost all of our clients have hired us for more than one project. How many other contractors can say that?
The only way you’ll find out how we can help you create the kitchen of your dreams is to contact us today. We’ve made it very easy.