Gordon Gibson, CEO and founder of Gordon Gibson Construction, has come up with a list of the seven most common mistakes in the home renovation process. A resident of Marquez Knolls in Pacific Palisades, his insightful tip sheet can help educate homeowners before disaster ever strikes. 1. PRIDE: “I can do everything myself; I don’t need any help!” Know you cannot do it all and that the hired architects and contractors are there to help you meet your goals. Gibson’s Absolution: Homeowners should spend quality time with both the architects and contractors in order to understand what services they provide and what roles they play in the renovation process. 2. LUST: “I must work with this architect on my home, under any circumstance. If I don’t, I can’t go on!” Don’t lust after certain contractors and architects. If it’s the right fit, you’ll know. Gibson’s Absolution: Check references carefully. Past clients are a good source of information, as are state licensing boards and local associations. 3. GREED: “I want it all, but at a discount!” The scale of renovation will determine the overall cost. Don’t be greedy if the budget doesn’t allow for it. Gibson’s Absolution: Architects should give homeowners a thorough understanding of how much the entire project will cost–from drawings to completion, including plans, permits and furnishings. Take the expert’s advice to heart and don’t chisel the budget beyond recognition. If you do, you’re eliminating years of professional experience and even building safety issues unknowingly. 4. GLUTTONY: Your eyes are bigger than your pocketbook. Neither the homeowner nor the architect should be gluttonous about their suggestions. Each is there to guide each other towards a common goal. Gibson’s Absolution: Homeowners should know what they want to spend, given their budgetary and space constraints (i.e. elevations, layout of major rooms), before letting artistic freedom go to the architect. 5. ANGER: “You’re fired!” It is important to be patient with your contractor. Do not get heated about the timeframe of your project, unless the project is months behind schedule. Gibson’s Absolution: Understand the time constraints of your project before you take it on. Know going in that an 8,000+ square-foot home can take one to two years to complete. 6. SLOTH: I’m too tired to make a decision now; maybe later.” It is important for homeowners to make decisions in a timely manner, to avoid delays. Gibson’s Absolution: Homeowners should acknowledge their role as decision maker and make timely and prudent decisions; otherwise it will delay the renovation process and, as they say, time is money. 7. ENVY: “Why doesn’t it look like the picture?” Once your renovation is finished, do not look back and wish you had done it differently. Gibson’s Absolution: Do a little homework on your own before the initial meeting with architects and contractors so you can carefully articulate your goals. Homeowners should communicate the basic design concepts and how they want them reflected in their home. Once you initial the drawing, you’re giving the architect and builder absolute approval. (For nearly four decades, Gordon Gibson has been imprinting his signature across the Southern California landscape as one of the region’s premiere builders of luxury estates. Gibson learned the business hands-on, first as framing contractor, then moving on to room additions and small houses, and finally arriving as a sought-after builder of some of Southern California’s most beautiful homes. His office is located in Santa Monica and his homes can be found in high-end communities such as Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Beverly Hills and Beverly Park. Contact: www.gordongibsonconst.com.) CAPTION: Gordon Gibson completed construction of this 8,000-sq.-ft. French Country-style house on Via Cresta, in the upper Bienveneda area of Pacific Palisades, about a year ago. Gibson, a pilot and world traveler, has visited more than 100 countries, gaining insights into the architecture and construction techniques indigenous to a particular country or region. He also generally reads four to five books at a time on history and locales yet to be explored, adding color and dimension to his personal palate. Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer Historical Society Honors ‘Builder’ Members of the Pacific Palisades Historical Society thanked Dr. Roger Woods with a copy of ‘Pacific Palisades: From the Mountains to the Sea’ for designing and fabricating a new trash container to match an existing one on Founders Oak Island. Volunteers from the Society maintain the little island in the 900 block of Haverford, close to Pierson Playhouse and the historic Aldersgate Lodge. They regularly empty the trash, prune and water, and replace the shrubs when needed. Because the California oaks are fussy about water, most watering is timed and watched. When the large oak, under which the Pacific Palisades was founded in 1922, eventually died, the Society and Gene R. Dreasher nourished its small offspring. Later the Society provided benches and paths, and planted some typical native shrubs. Now, the trunks of these oaks are more than a foot in diameter. The Landmark Society marked this site in 1955, and it became a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Site in 1966 before it was deeded to the Historical Society in 1973 by Lelah and Townley Pierson, longtime local realtors. An official plaque marking the site’s historic importance was installed in 1993. Currently, the little park is a quiet reminder of the trees and shrubs that once covered the rolling mesas of the village area. The town’s history is brought alive in the illustrated book ‘Pacific Palisades: From the Mountains to the Sea,’ by Betty Lou Young and Randy Young, available at Village Books on Swarthmore and the Palisadian-Post office on Via de la Paz. People are encouraged to visit the Historical Society’s Web site at www.pacificpalisadeshistory.org.
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