Enhance Your Living Using Smart home systems and Accessory Dwelling Units

Everyone desires to live in a house that gives them full utility as their primary residence. This is what is otherwise referred to as having a functional living space. All a functional home means is that your residence can satisfy all your day-to-day household operations smoothly and efficiently.

This is usually the primary consideration people make when constructing their houses or purchasing completed homes. However, needs evolve. Sooner or later, you may realize you need other features to increase your home’s functionality.

There are many ways of doing that and acquiring a smart home system or building an accessory dwelling unit is one of those ways. The following article offers a comprehensive breakdown of these two ways of optimizing your home’s utility and convenience.

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1) Making your home smart

Technology has entirely transformed modern-day life and made it much easier and convenient. However, many people’s understanding of this transformation is restricted to telecommunication alone.

Many don’t know that technology can be integrated into domestic household operations to make them much easier and faster to fulfill. This can then greatly boost efficiency, convenience, and saving of time.

Smart home systems

Rolled roofing material is an affordable roofing solution that is a mainstay

There are specific technological tools used to automate household operations. Such a combination of tools is what is referred to as a smart home system and chief among our services as a company is installing these smart home systems.

Depending on your personal needs and the specific functional living objectives you want to achieve, various operations can be automated for you. Some of the household operations a smart home system helps you automate include;

a) Air Conditioning

Otherwise known as the climate system, a home integration system allows you to set and control the temperature of your home remotely from one device. As such, you do not have to move and get to a conventional thermostat control to set your desired temperature.

This greatly boosts your convenience as you can adjust your interior’s climate depending on your preference and the prevailing weather conditions outside. Doesn’t that make life much more easy and convenient?

b) Home security

All other components of a functional home cannot matter at all if you can’t be secure enough in your house to enjoy them. See how you often struggle to remember if you properly locked the backdoor leading into the garage immediately you climb into bed and switch off the lights?

Well, a smart home system allows you to move past that challenge through its top-notch security features. With such as system, you can lock all the doors and activate the security alarm system with the touch of a button. For any door that isn’t locked, you get notified immediately.

This helps to boost convenience as well as ensure certainty of security thereby sealing any loopholes that might result in an intrusion. Smart home systems also allow you to monitor security feeds around your home remotely from your device. This enables you to know the security status of your property at any time of the day from anywhere.

c) Lighting

Adequate lighting is another essential component of a functional home. However, it can prove very inconvenient especially when you are exhausted, very occupied, or in poor health. You can picture being home alone sick in bed and wanting to switch on the lights to the porch or even the room you are in.

Climbing out of bed in such a state to drag yourself to the switch is a great inconvenience that may further aggravate your illness. With a smart home system, you can switch lights on or off from the comfort of your spot with the touch of a button. You can also adjust the brightness via the remote control system.

Another great advantage of this smart home system feature is it allows you to control the lights to different rooms or parts of the house individually. This maximizes flexibility and reduces the time you have to spend switching lights on and off especially if your house is large.

d) Energy use

Wastage of power is a major concern in modern homes. Due to the busy schedules most people operate on, it is difficult to check every electronic in the house and ensure it is switched off if not in use.

This gives way to wastage of power thus increasing power bills and raising the cost on the environment. With a smart home system, you can use power in your home much more efficiently. This is because electronics not in use can automatically be turned off. As such, you’ll get to save more money and use your power well.

Installing smart home systems

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Installing smart home systems to technologically integrate operations at home is not a daunting task as it may appear to be. Provided you recruit trained professionals with adequate experience in systems integration, it will be a smooth, unproblematic process.

Besides making life more convenient and secure for you, a systems integration helps you declutter your home by eliminating the need for light switches, alarm keypads, and climate control thermostats. 

2) ADUs: Flexibility and convenience

Accessory Dwelling Units are not an entirely new concept in architecture. They have been used for centuries as storage spaces and accommodation for workers or guests. With time their use declined for various reasons.

However, the popularity of ADUs has picked up and grown rapidly in this modern age. This is due to several reasons including economic conditions and the dynamics of modern living. There are different types of ADUs including;

  • Attached accessory dwelling units
  • Detached accessory dwelling units
  • Interior accessory dwelling units

Attached ADUs are built as an extension to the main residence while detached ADUs are constructed separately, often in the backyard. On the other hand, internal ADUs are built within the primary residence and set apart in their placement and use upstairs or in the basement.

The following are reasons why people elect to build ADUs;

  1. As temporary living spaces for guests, whether close friends or relatives
  2. As office spaces for work especially with the Covid-19 prevention policy of working-from-home
  3. As a source of passive income when rented out to tenants
  4. As entry-level housing for young people who have just graduated school
  5. As a gym or private resting area

The ADU planning, design, and construction process

Have you realized that you need an accessory dwelling unit whether to give you an extra income stream or to use as accommodation for guests? Many homeowners struggle and wonder where and how to start building an accessory dwelling unit.

Below is a clear outline of each constituent step of the ADU construction process;

Reviewing your local zoning rules on ADUs

You are probably asking yourself, “Why does this have to be the first step”? Well, while they may have nothing to do with the actual construction of your ADU, local government rules determine whether you are eligible to construct an accessory dwelling unit on your property.

These local zoning restrictions are usually there to curb the spread of illegal rental units. Therefore, you have to review these regulations to know which kinds of designs and square footage you are allowed to construct. With this information, you can then move ahead with your building plans.

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Meeting with your contractor for a consultation

Once you have a clear understanding of the ADU specifications your local zoning laws allow, you can then find the right contractor to construct your accessory dwelling unit. This step requires extensive research to get a planning and design professional with vast experience and competency in building ADUs.

Once you engage our services as your contractor, we schedule a free consultative meeting with you. During this consultation, we do a keen analysis of your ADUs intended construction site, review construction regulations, discuss the design features you desire and the project’s feasibility before making a rough, budgetary approximation.

We ensure that you articulate everything from the features, functions, materials, and design you require for your accessory dwelling unit. This enables us to have a clear picture of what you want to ensure we deliver nothing less, only more. 

Designing your accessory dwelling unit

Once we are done having a candid exchange with you during the consultation, we proceed to the designing phase. We go onsite to obtain accurate measurements of your property and get more detailed information that can be useful in the conception of the ADU’s design.

Once we have all the information we need, we compile it well, analyze it and begin creating 3D models in line with your vision for the final structure. Producing the design in 3D models allows you to observe and approve our interpretation of your idea or to suggest revisions. Only after all revisions have been done and your approval obtained do we proceed to the next step.

Creating drafts and drawings of your ADU

3D design models are very crucial to our planning and design process. This is because they help us get a certain approval from a client as they get an accurate rendition of how the final structure will look like. This way, we can move forward more quickly once the designing phase is over.

The creation of drafts and drawings marks the first step in the execution of your ADU concept. Under the leadership of a highly qualified engineer, detailed, elaborate drafts and drawings are made to clearly illustrate the ADU’s structural qualities. The engineer then analyzes and approves them before they are taken to your locality’s planning office.

Acquiring construction permits

The planning office only issues permits after reviewing a prospective structure’s design, square footage, and other qualities. This is to ensure that everything is documented and in strict obeisance to the local zoning laws and regulations.

As such, the ADU’s drafts and engineer-approved drawings are what the planning office goes through to see if everything is consistent with statutory construction regulations. Therefore, these drawings are among the chief requirements when applying for a permit.

The time taken for the permit to be issued may vary from 10 weeks to 16 weeks. However, once the review is complete and all is well, permits are issued and we can then proceed to the ADU’s construction.

Beginning actual construction

Once all permits have been obtained, we move to the final stage of construction. We create a schedule, obtain the requisite materials and begin working. We lay the foundation, complete any underground tasks like plumbing and wiring, erect the structure, do the roofing and complete the ADU’s interior and exterior profiles all in strict accordance with the design.

Finding the best candidate for the job

Accessory Dwelling Units are exactly what their name denotes; an extra structure built to enhance the utility of the primary residence. However, most people mistakenly construe this to mean that ADUs require less architectural attention and skill to construct.

While they may not be your primary living space, their plan, design, and construction procedure are just like that of a primary home. They involve the usual construction complexities like laying a foundation, plumbing, and connecting power lines. The only difference is that ADUs are built on a smaller scale.

As such, it is critical to work with the best design and construction professionals who have specific experience in building ADUs. This will ensure you get the best outcomes as per your design and utility objectives for your Accessory Dwelling Unit.

Oria Builders, Your Ideal Plan & Design Partner

We are the leading building and remodeling company in California with a staunch commitment to ensuring quality and excellence in all our dealings. Our exemplary team of vastly experienced professionals has had astounding success in all previous projects we’ve been entrusted with.

Therefore, if you are seeking a company that will help you with the installation of smart home systems or the construction of an accessory dwelling unit, you can have supreme confidence in our ability to deliver quality outcomes with all your specifications.

We also provide a host of other services aimed at making your home more functional. They include installing HVACs, roofing, flooring, solar installation, kitchen, and bathroom remodeling, room addition fixing doors and windows, insulation, and designing driveways.

Contact us by calling (877) 778-6742, emailing us, or visiting us at 16501Ventura Blvd Ste 400 Encino, CA 91436, Los Angeles, 3111 Camino Del Rio North, Suite 400, CA 92108, San Diego, or 100 S Murphy Ave Suite 200 Sunnyvale CA 94086 United States. Let us help you create your dream home!

Gilad segev is the CEO and the founder of Oria builders.


Tips from Oria: The Ultimate Guide to Turn Your House into a Homely Paradise

Shelter is an essential human need that none of us can do without. However, your house serves a much more significant role than just sheltering you from the elements. It is the safe haven that you seek refuge in after a long day’s work. It is where you start and raise a family as well as host and entertain your friends. Your house is essentially where you plan and experience your whole life in.

As such, your house deserves to be a pristine and inspiring living space that you enjoy being in. It should be designed in a manner that reflects your aesthetic taste as well as have a personalized touch that is unique to you. This makes living in it an ethereal and fulfilling experience that you always live to cherish.

With that said, the following are some tips and ideas of how to transform your house into the ideal haven for you and your loved ones. Remember it takes a wall to make a house, but a lot of warmth and style to make it a home.

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Spice up that kitchen

While it might not seem like it, we spend a lot of time in our kitchens. Whether it’s preparing meals or going to sneak snacks out of the fridge, we are always walking in and out of our kitchens.

As such, the kitchen should be a beautiful and inspiring place to be in. If it is not designed to your preferences, you can enlist the services of an expert to remodel it to your liking. You can adjust the whole layout to match your aesthetic goals and maximize your kitchen’s utility at the same time. This is to allow you to move around and work with ease without having to feel like the place is squeezed and crowded.

When it comes to the general aesthetic of your kitchen, the fittings play a critical role. Your choice of cabinets, countertops, and other furnishings can help you achieve any look whether it’s a vintage, ultra-modern, professional, or a simple, classic kitchen design. All you have to do is decide what kind of ambiance you want your kitchen to have and express that through your choice of the material and design of your fittings.

Design artists can also assist you to match and blend the colors in your kitchen depending on the fittings and appliances you have in there. By having a solid, well-balanced color profile, your kitchen can be more appealing for both you and your “kitchen” guests.

Bathroom remodeling

Your bathroom is one of the most intimate places in your home. It is a place where you spend a lot of private time in self-reflection as you go about conducting your ablutions. Therefore, your bathroom should be elegant, functional, and tailor-made to suit your individual needs and preferences.

To do this, you can enlist the services of a design professional to completely transform your bathroom. The tiles on both the walls and floor can be replaced to create a more relaxing and soothing atmosphere. The electrical and plumbing system can be repaired and refitted for optimal functionality.

Depending on the character you want your bathroom to exude, your bathtubs, basins, showers, and plumbing fittings can be remodeled to your liking. Various materials from ceramic, earthenware, glass, metal, and leather can be used to make your bathroom fittings so that you can get the aesthetic appeal you desire for your ablution section. Architectural professionals can also assist you to come up with a spatial setup that will give you the most convenience and functionality.

Room addition

Space is a very important quality when it comes to the desirability of a house. Apart from the accommodative capacity of a house, having adequate space is essential because it allows you to have an easier time operating around your house without having to bump into things unnecessarily. Spacious living space also enriches your living experience.

Therefore, if you feel like you need more living space to accommodate family and friends, create space for more household furnishings, or just make your living more luxurious, room addition is an option you should seriously consider. If you hire qualified and experienced professionals to do the work, you will get more space to suit your needs without having to go through the hustle of finding or building another house.

Room addition also helps you to save a lot of money that you would have used to acquire another house. Sometimes the issue may not be that the space you have is inadequate but that you have certain activities that require a space specifically designated for them. In such a case, room addition is a great solution that will help you have a better living experience in your home.

Outdoor living

The perfect home should offer a combination of luxurious confinement and convenient exposure to nature. This is because there is nothing as liberating as getting to enjoy the beauty of nature from the comfort of your home. It creates a perfect balance and makes for a more enriching living experience.

That said, several architectural components can provide you with the ultimate outdoor living experience. For starters, decks and patios are great outdoor living spaces. Depending on your home’s surroundings, they allow you to enjoy the breathtaking views of the landscape and the features on it.

They also provide a great space for sitting in private or with family and friends just to enjoy yourselves and break the monotony of being indoors all the time. You can enjoy refreshing afternoon breezes or watch those magnificent sunsets as you sip a coffee, read a book, or chatter away with a loved one.

There is no limit to the number of spaces in your home that you can reimagine, remodel, renovate, and twist to your liking. There are also innumerable ways of adding that personal touch and appeal to your living space. All you need is to recruit the services of highly skilled professionals to do that for you.

As Oria Builders, we are dedicated to assisting homeowners in Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Bay Area to build, renovate, and remodel their houses into wonderful living spaces that suit their individual needs both aesthetically and functionally. We have a team of highly qualified construction and design professionals with extensive experience in their work.

We offer all kinds of services from design and planning, new constructions, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, room addition, accessory dwelling units, roofing installations, flooring, heating and cooling solutions, insulation, and solar services. By hiring our services, you can be assured of the most competent home remodeling and installation services that will help you actualize your dreams of living in a home that is tailored to your personal taste and aesthetic. Contact us today and get to enjoy the quality of our work.

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Gilad segev is the CEO and the founder of Oria builders.


9 Different Types of Roofing Materials to Consider

House roofing doesn’t particularly rank highly on the list of to-do fun projects in a home remodeling project. However, a leaking roof is enough reason for you to change your attitude against roofing when suddenly you find the prospect of a dry and tightly sealed house to be attractive. Having a stunning new roof is also likely to increase the curb appeal of your home.


While not so long ago, only asphalt shingles, clay, concrete tiles, and slate were about the only options one had when it came to roofing options. Today, there many types of advanced roofing materials to choose from for your roofing job than simply replacing your existing roof material. With the unprecedented range of roofing materials alternatives available, choosing the best-fit roofing material for your home requires considering appearance, cost, longevity, and structural integrity.


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Solar Tiles
Solar tile roofs use photovoltaic shingles, which are solar panels designed to look like and function as conventional roofing materials like asphalt shingles or slate. These tiles use advanced solar collectors that are seamlessly integrated into the shingles to generate up to 1kW of electricity per 100 square feet. Particularly good for homeowners in sunny areas that do not permit typical solar panels, solar tiles are a reliable type of solar energy solution that is also referred to as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Although they cost more than typical solar solutions, solar tiles will help offset your energy costs through solar power generations.


Rolled Roofing

Rolled roofing material is an affordable roofing solution that is a mainstay in low-slope residential roofs. It can also be used on outbuildings, such as sheds, shops, and other utilitarian buildings. It consists of rolls of material impregnated with mineral and asphalt topped using mineral particles. Each roll of rolled roofing material is approximately 3 feet wide and 100 square feet of roofing and costs $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot when installed.
Rolled roofing is durable is expected to last about 10 years before they need to be replaced. Inexpensive and long-lasting, the long-format rolls provide a fast and convenient way to roof a sloped-roof building where aesthetics are not important such as workshops. Rolled roofing can be installed using roofing nails or the torch-down method.


Asphalt Composite Shingles

The most popular roofing material in North America, asphalt composite shingles, is made of a fiberglass base topped with mineral granules and asphalt, making them an ideal all-year-round choice effective in the American environmental conditions. With a wide variation in quality, ensure the asphalt shingles you buy pass the wind and durability tests, such as ASTM D7158, Class H (150 mph) or ASTM D3161, Class F (110 mph) wind tests, and the AC438 durability test.
The three-tab shingles have a low initial cost and last between 20-30 years, depending on the quality of the shingles used. Composite shingles cost range from $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot when installed. You may need to replace damaged individual shingles from time to time, which is a relatively easy task. If you live in hail-prone areas, we recommend buying impact-resistant shingles with a UL 2218 Class 4 rating. Most roofing companies will be familiar with the shingles installation process. Shingles are an ideal roofing material due to their ability to flex and adapt to roof movements caused by contraction and expansion.


Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Although there are different types of metal roofs, the most common type is the standing seam metal roof. Popular in regions that experience heavy snowfall or areas with substantial wildfire risk, metal roofs are fully fireproof, can resist high winds, and sloughs off heavy snow easily. Metal roofing comprises vertical panels of aluminum or steel that meet in interlocking raised seams.
A metal roof can last anywhere between 50 to 75 years. Light in weight, metal roofing can be installed over existing roofs, although it needs specialized skills, and not every construction company does standing seam metal roofing. During rainstorms, metal roofing can be noisy, and it may also dent during hail. The average costs of metal roofings range between $5 and $12 per square foot when installed, depending on the type and style of metal material used.


Membrane Roofing

Membrane roofing is ideal for flat or very low-pitched roofs. It is available in several types, such as:

  • Chlorinated and chlorosulfonated polyethylene sheets
  • EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer)
  • Neoprene (polychloroprene)
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • Polymer-modified bitumens

EPDM is one of the best types of membrane roofs, which is installed in a similar way to asphalt roofing. It is applied in large sheets to limit the seams from which water can leak. It costs about $3 to $4 to install a membrane roof per square foot, and it has a lifespan of between 20-35 years when properly maintained.


Slate Shingles

One of the most beautiful roofing materials, slate shingles will add more aesthetical appeal to your house. Slate roofing specialized installation skills, and it may be hard to find a qualified installation company. Made from authentic thin sheets of stone, it is waterproof, fireproof, and resistant to mold and fungus growth. While it is effective in wet environments, slate shingles are heavy and can be easily damaged when walked on make them ineffective in high traffic roofs. Slate roofing costs between $30 to $75 per square foot when installed and lasts 70 to 200 years.


Synthetic Rubber Slate

Synthetic rubber slates are an excellent alternative for natural slate. Made out of engineered polymers, rubber, and recycled plastic, synthetic rubber slate has a natural appearance making it almost impossible to distinguish between it and the natural slate. Synthetic slate can be shaped using a knife to fit the intricate roofs, such as Victorian buildings’ roofs. Light in weight, synthetic rubber slate is ideal for buildings that cannot support the weight of natural slate. Rubber roofs can last up to 100 years and cost between $6 to $12 per square foot when installed. Rubber slate not only requires qualified professionals to install, who may be hard to find but may also be damaged by satellite dishes or hailstorms.


Clay and concrete tiles
Clay tiles are made from clay made into rolled or interlocking shapes and baked to hardness. Unglazed clay tiles have the characteristic reddish-orange color, but they can also be glazed into ceramic roofing tiles. Ideal for hot or salty climates such as coastal and desert areas, clay tiles are expensive. It can cost $10 to $18 per square foot when installed, with ceramic tiles even more costly. Clay tiles are durable and can last for over 100 years.

An alternative to clay tiles with similar advantages and installation requirements, concrete tiles are made from a mix of sand and concrete and colored as desired. Available in various profiles, concrete roof tiles are ideal for high wind areas as they can withstand damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, winds up to 125 miles per hour, and earthquakes. Due to being heavy, concrete tiles may require extra support to help bear the weight. They cost less than clay tiles, ranging between $9 to $12 per square foot when installed. It is long-lasting with a lifespan of 50 or more years.


Ecofriendly Green Roofs
Often frowned upon when found on roofs, moss and other living plants can be an effective roofing material when adequately planned. Green roofs are roofs covered with plants. They help improve air quality, reduce water runoff by increasing rainwater absorption, and provide thermal insulation for homes, actively reducing heat islands and allowing you to grow plants. Green roofs require the installation of extra structural support and regular maintenance to last long. This type of roof requires the installation of vapor barriers, thermal insulation, waterproofing using a waterproof membrane, drainage, water filtration, compost, soil, and plants. Although an unorthodox type of roof, green roofs can last up to an estimated lifespan of over 40 years.


Built-up Roofing (BUR)\
Built-up roofing (BUR) is a heavy roofing material made up of an aggregate topped with asphalt, tar, or adhesive layers. One of the oldest roofing options, built-up roofing, is ideal for flat roofs and roofs with a very low pitch. Constructed using several layers of roofing felt impregnated with hot asphalt. Applied in overlapping layers, the felt forms a barrier that is two to four layers in thickness before a layer of finely crushed stone embedded in hot tar is spread on the top to create an impenetrable and durable roof. Built-up-roofing is exceptionally durable, lasting about 20-20 years, and pocket-friendly, costing about $2.50 to $5 per square foot when installed.

Are you considering an upgrade to your roofing in the California Bay Area? To determine the best type of roofing material for your home, you’ll need to consider factors like your budget, climate and roof type, and house design. To find out what type of roofing material is best suited for your location, consult with licensed best in your area, talk with licensed roofing contractors to find out some of the newer roofing developments ideal for your area.

Regardless of the roofing material type, you decide to go with, Oria Builders- a luxury construction company in the Bay Area, will help handle the installation process professionally. Reach us today via phone at +1(877) 778-6742 or email at info@oriabuilders.comus for an estimate on roofing materials, project design, and installation cost projections.


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Gilad segev is the CEO and the founder of Oria builders.