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At Sweeten, the experts in our network are experienced contractors and design pros we’d be thrilled to have working in our own homes. We check their licenses, insurance, quality of work, and customer service skills. Trust and open communication are the lifeblood of our free renovation service, and our personal connection to our experts enables us to match you to the best choices for your project. Here, get to know their personality and click to view their portfolio, including photos from past work and client reviews, so that you can hire the right team and renovate with confidence.
Where are you from and how long have you been in construction?
Anna and Vahik: We are from Armenia. Vahik has been in construction for over 25 years, but we established our firm together in 2007.
How did you get into this industry?
Vahik: As a newcomer immigrant in this country I was hired by a contractor as a journeyman electrician until one day I was asked by my landlord if I could handle an electrical upgrade by myself, which I did. I underpriced the project so that I would be awarded the job, and that was the start of my journey to study all trades and laws and pass the state exam to become an independent licensed contractor.
What do you think is the biggest misconception that homeowners have when starting a renovation project?
Anna: Many of the homeowners who watch TV makeover shows or see perfectly retouched images on social media assume that by replacing the tiles or painting the bathroom, or other minor upgrades they are going to achieve the exact same look they saw.
Vahik: Also, unlike TV shows, gut renovations are not done in a day or two, they can take months or longer.
What do you want all of your clients to know before you work with them?
Vahik: Homeowners should set a realistic budget for the projects they have in mind. Establishing the budget is key to determining the scope of work. They should also have an emergency cushion if any additional work arises. We also discuss the option that if the entire project is currently out of budget, to split the work into reasonable chunks, and finish phase by phase.
What’s the number one thing clients should know before starting a renovation?
Anna: Homeowners must be sure they are in the right hands. They must research their professionals thoroughly, check the references, see photos, even visit their job sites. The last thing they need is to diminish the pleasure of the renovation they have planned.
If clients have questions or concerns, how would you like them to address them?
Vahik: I give my cell phone number to my clients, and they know I will pick up their call any time they call—weekends, holidays, after hours as well. If it’s a job site concern/question I will be on site asap to address the concern and advise or correct it. Most of the time homeowners can panic for insignificant issues, but any and all concerns are handled immediately.
What is your favorite project that you’ve done and why?
Vahik: The redesign of an Agoura Hills luxury estate. We transformed this beautiful hillside property from a 2-bed, 2-bath to a 2-story, 6-bedroom, and 6-bathroom home, which was featured in magazines.
What is your favorite building in Los Angeles?
Anna and Vahik: Walt Disney Concert Hall
What is your favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles?
Anna and Vahik: Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks
What is your favorite restaurant in Los Angeles?
Anna and Vahik: Raffi’s Place in Glendale
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Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.