Builder Crush: Ami Harari of L.A. Build Corp.Author:Michelle Konstantinovsky
1. How did you get your start in contracting and how was LA Build Corp born?
I grew up in the construction field and for years I worked as a foreman for a foundation and framing company. The next natural step for me was to open my own framing and foundation company, which then expanded into general contracting. I began with small re-models and through years of hard work and dedication, evolved to larger homes, eventually focusing on mainly new construction. As LA Build Corp and our portfolio has continued to expand, we’ve grown into a full-service general contracting and real estate development firm by continuously challenging ourselves with progressively larger projects. We have cultivated and established relationships with a quality network and top vendors that come together to provide the best possible solutions for our client’s projects, and we are fortunate enough to now be building some of the most exclusive homes in Los Angeles.
2. What are the distinct challenges of a new construction vs. a remodel?
The majority of the challenges stem from the remodel side. For instance, throughout the years, the city building codes have changed, where the general rule now states that if the contractor touches or works on something and discovers it is not up to code, they are automatically required to bring that scope of work to the current city code and its requirements.This extra work may not be something the homeowner is planning for. Whenever you are building-on or reconstructing something, you never quite know the full scope of what you are going to find until you begin to open the walls. For example, if a project is taking place on an older home, there may be framing with dry-rot which needs replacing, footings may need extra support, new electrical wiring may be needed, etc. The challenge is keeping to the original estimate while navigating new concerns, and at the same time, staying true to the time line
3. Describe one memorable project and why it was unique.
Our first major project was an 8,000 sf home in Beverly Hills with a client that was living overseas and was also the acting designer for the project. We built the entire home through photographs, phone calls and emails! Unique and memorable, nonetheless.
4. What’s the typical process from start to finish for a new construction?
The first step is to set up a great design team and a timeline which includes state, county and city regulations that are applicable to the location where you are building, i.e., hillside ordinances, methane zones and high-level ground water tables to name a few. Then, you must create a complete budget as accurate as possible and deliver the project within the budget.
Furthermore, a detailed schedule must be drafted up that will incorporate official inspections, quality control and rating agencies for all aspects of the construction, whether that be structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, or waterproofing. The most important thing is to build the right team with the correct common channels and methods to accommodate all parties involved in a synchronized and efficient way.
5. If you could create the perfect house to be featured in any movie, which film would it be and why?
The perfect house is a very individual and personal concept which needs to accommodate a certain lifestyle while at the same time making the homeowners happy. The same theory applies when scouting or creating a home for a film. The perfect movie home, would most likely depend on a few important details and characteristics. For instance, if the film is about a family, we might choose a classic and traditional home, whereas a film that is focused on a young, single professional, might include a home that has a more modern design or a top floor penthouse – the possibilities are endless and exciting, they simply have to fit the lifestyle and personality of the character and their life.
6.Describe your ideal Sunday.
Brunch and then riding motorcycles in the desert with my family!
7. Hike or bike?
8. Ski or snowboard?
9. Hot or iced coffee?
10. Sunrise or sunset?
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