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Find a basement repair specialist near Torrance, CA

Find a basement repair specialist near Torrance, CA

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Find a basement repair specialist near Torrance, CA

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Avatar for Construction Owl / G.H. Builders Encino, CA Thumbtack
Avatar for Construction Owl / G.H. Builders Encino, CA Thumbtack
3. Construction Owl / G.H. Builders
5.0 from 21 reviews
5.0 (21)
5.0 (21)
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Responds Quickly
  • 35 hires on Thumbtack
  • Serves Torrance, CA

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We hired Construction Owl to complete the remodel of our kitchen, including removing a load bearing wall between our kitchen and living room to create one large open space. From the moment we started the project with Construction Owl, we were knew we were in good hands. Guy Hazan is the main designer and contractor. He came to our house, listened to our ideas, and immediately "got" what we wanted to do. In that first meeting, he provided us with specific feedback that enhanced our original idea. Guy is smart, professional, enthusiastic, and kind. He's a wonderful professional, and an even better person. Guy's crew is as wonderful and professional as he is. Guy and his brother David oversaw all the work, from the demo and framing crew, to the fabulous electrician took care of all our requests, to the various crews who came to install the floors, cabinets, counters and tile back splash. Each crew was hard working, kind, thoughtful, and clean. Every detail was attended to, and every concern or question we had was addressed, above and beyond our expectations. Guy told us the project might take about 8 weeks, but incredibly, the project was completed in just over 6 weeks. And it was on budget. We are so very grateful to have found Guy and Construction Owl. We recommend them with highest recommendations, and are so grateful to Guy and his entire crew for their care of us and our home. We love our new space, and have Guy and his team to thank.

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is a mold remediation?

Mold remediation is the process of identifying and removing unhealthy levels of mold that have colonized in a home, office, school or other building. Over time, if untreated, mold can destroy a home by breaking down cellulose-based materials (like wood or ceiling tiles) and causing a slow and messy decay. In the shorter term, a mold infestation can cause severe health problems. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), mold can trigger respiratory problems, nasal and sinus congestion, eye irritation, nose or throat irritation, skin irritations, problems with your nervous system, and aches and pains. Mold inspection and mold remediation are often requested in tandem, although they are two separate services. Nationally, mold inspection costs range from $250 to $300. If mold has been positively identified in your house, either by visual examination or through mold testing, remediation can safely remove it. Properly trained and equipped professionals use specialized equipment (like vacuums and air scrubbers with HEPA filters) to keep mold spores contained while they remove contaminated materials and treat infested areas with antimicrobial spray. A key component to a successful mold remediation after eliminating the mold is ensuring that the water source that caused the mold infestation is also resolved.

What is a general contractor?

When starting a home remodel or new construction project, you will probably hire a general contractor. A general contractor is a professional who is qualified to take a set of building plans and construct them as outlined. The general contractor may help perform the day-to-day building, or they may just hire workers and oversee all the work activities. In either case, the job of the general contractor is to see that your project gets built.

When you have a building project, ask for bids from various contractors. The bids tell you how much each will charge and what their scope of work will be. Once you have selected a bid, you sign a contract with that general contractor outlining the specifics of the project and the milestones during the project when they will receive payment installments. Once the contract is official, the general contractor will bring in their crew to begin construction. The contractor will manage the workers and subcontractors (anyone who doesn’t work directly for their company but that they need to outsource, like a marble installation pro), order all the materials, obtain work permits, and confirm that all the workers and subcontractors are completing their projects as planned. They typically handle all the payments to the workers and subcontractors, and send you invoice. For all these reasons, it’s also especially important to follow a few smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.  If you are organized and competent to oversee construction projects, and are able to make sure everything is being built properly and meeting code, it’s possible you can be your own general contractor.  

How does mold remediation work?

Mold remediation can eliminate mold colonies from your home or business. Mold is a normal part of daily life, but in wet or humid settings mold can quickly colonize and spread by making spores. Whether visible or hidden, untreated mold can cause real health problems and cause extensive (and expensive) damage to your property. Mold remediation involves killing the mold, removing the dead mold and preventing future mold growth. Here is an example of the steps involved in professional mold remediation:

  • Contain work area and apply negative air pressure HEPA air purifiers to prevent cross-contamination. If spores spread, the colonies can easily regrow elsewhere in your home.
  • Mist an EPA-registered antimicrobial to suspend and kill mold spores.
  • Remove affected building surfaces.
  • Bag and dispose of contaminated materials properly.
  • Treat cavities/underlayment and dehumidify.
  • Abrasively remove dead loose mold.
  • Apply EPA-registered protective sealer.
  • Perform clearance testing.

Remove containment materials.

How is a mold test done?

Mold testing can help identify a mold infestation in your home or business. Mold inspection costs can vary based on the type of test you want done and the number of samples you request. The national average mold inspection cost is $250-$300. The EPA explains that if you have a visible mold problem, in most cases sampling and testing is unnecessary. However, if you have unexplained and potential mold-related illness or can smell mold in your house, mold inspection costs may be a good investment. To avoid unscrupulous testers, the EPA recommends working with a testing agency that adheres to the analytical methods laid out by professional organizations such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Mold inspection costs can vary based on the type of testing done. Prices can also vary, depending on the size of the home, the number of surface areas to be tested, and the extent of the mold infestation. Here are some examples of mold inspection average costs:

  • Swab testing: $200-$300
    • A professional collects a surface swab from a potentially infested area for testing in a lab. Some professionals have concerns about this being the sole test done because it only gathers a small amount of data from a certain area of the house. That’s why it’s frequently done in conjunction with air cell testing.
  • Air cell testing: $250-$350
    • A professional collects an air sample in the home to measure the amount of mold spores in the air. This test is frequently done in conjunction with swab testing to ensure more complete data. Costs are higher for this test because the equipment required of the contractor is more expensive.
  • Both air cell and swab tests provided by the same company: $400-$600.

What do general contractors charge?

If you’re doing a home remodel, building a new home or embarking on a commercial building project, you’ll hire a general contractor. A general contractor is a professional who is qualified to oversee and execute construction projects. Each construction project is unique; even two duplicate homes built on lots next door to each other could have different construction costs due to factors like different excavation costs when building the foundation. Since each project is unique, many general contractors make bids on potential construction projects. These bids can then break down to a per square foot cost that encompasses the labor of all the workers needed for the job, materials, the scope of work, and any equipment needed. Materials and finishes make a major difference in your cost per square foot. For example, choosing standard kitchen tiles at $3 per square foot will result in a lower total project cost than imported marble tiles that cost $63 per square foot. Where you live will also affect how much general contractors charge, as labor and the cost to do business can cost less in many regions than in high-cost areas like New York or San Francisco. Here are some examples of average costs general contractors typically charge in various regions:

  • Home addition in San Francisco: $250-$270 per square foot.
  • New home construction in Knoxville, Tennessee: $100-$200 per square foot.
  • Kitchen remodel in Tennessee: $40-$80 per square foot, depending on finishes.
  • Bathroom remodel in Vancouver, Washington: $110-$170 per square foot.

Be sure to check out our smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.

How much does it cost to remove mold per square foot?

Mold remediation can be hazardous to the health. DIY cleanup is possible if your health and abilities permit it, but the Environmental Protection Agency recommends hiring a professional if your mold infestation is 10 square feet or larger. The cost per square foot for mold remediation will vary based on where you live (regional labor rates), the size and severity of your mold infestation, and the accessibility of the mold colonies. Here are some examples of mold remediation average costs per square foot:

  • Basic mold remediation in attics and crawl spaces: about $2 per square foot.
  • Mold remediation involving demolition: about $4 to $6 per square foot.
  • Mold treatment of 15 square feet in an accessible area with a less aggressive type of mold: $3,400.
    • Price includes mold inspection costs.
  • Mold treatment of 27 square feet inside an HVAC system requiring a higher level of chemicals and processes: $9,500.
    • Price includes mold inspection costs.

What are the symptoms of mold in your house?

No one wants to have a mold infestation. Mold can lead to illness, lowered property value, and damage to your home or building. If you’re concerned about mold, mold inspection costs may be a wise investment in your health and home. Any home will have a small amount of mold; it’s a naturally occuring part of the environment. However, if water or moisture is left to sit, mold can begin to colonize in as little as 24-48 hours, especially if you live in a humid climate. Signs of mold colonies in your house include a musty, earthy odor (from mild to overpowering) that can ebb and flow with air current changes and moisture levels; water staining or discoloration spreading on the walls or floors over time; and health problems such as respiratory problems, nasal and sinus congestion, eye irritation, nose or throat irritation, skin irritations, problems with your nervous system, or aches and pains. Mold can be especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems. Nationally, mold inspection costs range from $250 to $300. A reputable mold remediation company can provide helpful information about the best next steps.

How much does it cost to clean up mold?

The cost to clean up mold in your home or business will vary based on the pervasiveness of the mold infestation, regional labor rates, and the accessibility of the mold sources for remediation. Mold remediation costs will increase anytime demolition is necessary or the crew must access interior areas like HVAC ducts. For example, these two homes have approximately the same size floor plan but a different number of square feet of mold to be treated. The two homes also have varying levels of accessibility to the sites of mold the mold infestation.

  • House 1:
    • Mold treatment of 15 square feet in an accessible area with a less aggressive type of mold: $3,400 (average).
      • Price includes mold inspection costs.
  • House 2:
    • Mold treatment of 27 square feet inside an HVAC system requiring a higher level of chemicals and processes: $9,500 (average).
      • Price includes mold inspection costs.

How do you get rid of mold?

Mold is a naturally occurring and important part of our ecosystem. That said, excessive mold can actually be hazardous to your health. Mold remediation is usually the best strategy to get rid of unhealthy levels of mold in your home or office. If you’re not comfortable working with mold or the area is larger than 10 square feet (3 feet by 3 feet), it is highly recommended to hire a mold remediation professional to resolve the problem. However, if you’re DIY-savvy, don’t have any health risks, and are not freaked out by mold, the EPA gives homeowners the greenlight to clean mold areas that are less than 10 square feet. Here are some EPA-recommended DIY cleaning tips:

  • Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible. Dry all items completely.
  • Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.
  • Throw away absorbent or porous materials (like ceiling tiles and carpet) if they become moldy.
  • Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold.
  • Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.
  • If you are unsure about how to clean an item (art, fine furniture, etc.) consult a reputable specialist affiliated with a professional organization in their field.

How do you choose a commercial general contractor?

A commercial contractor provides similar services as a residential general contractor but specializes in working with large-scale projects for businesses, schools, nonprofits, governments and development firms. When researching commercial general contractors, review their portfolio of work and confirm they have ample experience working in the area you need. For example, if you are building a small strip mall, ask if the contractors have experience successfully incorporating all the needed elements such as a parking lot, meeting ADA requirements, accessing the proper permits, and completing work on time.

Once you’ve identified several qualified candidates, request bids for your project and then compare the scope of work with your needs and budget. Your commercial general contractor should oversee design, permitting, construction, materials purchase, and adherence to building code and zoning regulations, as well as sticking to an agreed-upon budget and schedule. It’s important to establish clear communication with your future commercial general contractor, as this will mean a smoother process for everyone. For all these reasons, it’s also especially important to follow a few smart hiring practices when it comes to finding a general contractor.

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