Author Archives: Sandra Orloff

To Do or Not To Do

A do-it-yourself project can be an empowering way to save money, provided you know what you’re doing. But making even one simple mistake could put a strain on your back or your bank account. Often, it’s best to put safety first and call a professional. Here are four types of home improvement projects that are best left to the experts.

1. Plumbing or electrical projects — There’s a reason these are skilled trades. Both systems are complex, no matter how straightforward a repair may initially appear. Even small leaks can cause serious water damage, and faulty electrical wiring can lead to a house fire. Don’t risk flooding or electric shock. Call a plumber or hire an electrician to make sure these jobs are done right the first time.

2. Renovations with possible code violations — Structural changes require a licensed contractor. Not only can shoddy craftsmanship severely affect your home’s value, but it can also put your family in danger. Accidentally removing a load-bearing wall, for example, could cause an entire room to collapse. Why take the risk?

3. Repairs involving heights — More than 130,000 ladder-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year. Whether you’re looking at a roof repair or trimming a tree, consider calling a professional before attempting to complete the job yourself.

4. Time-sensitive projects — Weigh your work and family commitments before embarking on a home improvement project. Even if you’re confident in your abilities, the added pressure of a tight deadline can lead to unnecessary and often dangerous mistakes.

Remember, just because a DIY project looks simple doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and call a professional.

1427 Camden Ave #102

Contemporary Mediterranean Townhome
Westwood – Century City
3 bed | 4 bath | 2678 Sqft | 6501 Lot | Offered for $1,449,000
Property Website

This beautiful Contemporary Mediterranean townhome opens with a dramatic 2-story light-filled foyer entry with soaring ceiling. A spacious open floor plan includes living room with fireplace and generous dining area opening to a large patio with BBQ. An additional living area offers a generous open space off the kitchen perfect for casual dining, media and family room. A Chef’s kitchen features stainless steel Viking appliances, granite counters, and ample cabinetry. A guest bath and laundry room complete this level. The upper level offers a double door entry Master suite with fireplace, terrace, large walk-in closet and beautiful spa quality bath with soaking tub, double vanity, and large shower. Two add’l bedrooms with private baths and walk-in closets complete this level. Secure gated parking with two tandem parking spaces plus storage space.Conveniently located within minutes of Westfield Century City, Westwood/UCLA, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, excellent shopping!

Adding Secret Spaces to Your Home

For decades, characters like Batman and James Bond have popularized hidden doors and clandestine passageways. Many homeowners have followed suit, adding secret areas to store valuables, provide a safe place in an emergency or create a fun playroom. Could a hidden feature make you feel safer, secure your possessions better or add to your home’s appeal?

Conceal a Room With Books
Sometimes the best part of a bookcase isn’t what’s on the shelves but what’s behind it. These large structures create the perfect veil for a secret door to an undisclosed room. An architect can help you work with the space you have and figure out the details, like which direction a door should swing.

Secure Valuables in an Inconspicuous Safe
A safe is an excellent option for storing and protecting assets like jewelry, passports and cash. But if leaving it in plain sight feels too vulnerable, try concealing it entirely. A wall cutout behind a picture frame, cabinet or mirror makes for an ideal hideaway.

Make a Stealthy Escape
Want an inconspicuous escape route? Consider installing an underground passage with a secret switch to activate it. For example, chess pieces moved into a specific position or a particular book pulled from a shelf can reveal the opening. You can also choose from biometric authentication such as a fingerprint or eye scanner.

You don’t have to be a superhero or a secret service agent to enjoy hidden spaces in your home. No matter what you have to hide, a secret room or passage can keep it concealed.