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Design Notes

Book on Remodeling, Building Is Tailored to L.A. Resources

April 26, 2001|CANDACE A. WEDLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Some 11 years ago, advertising executive Paul Casper built his dream house on land he had purchased in Chicago. The process was not exactly a nightmare, but it was definitely frustrating--so much so that Casper was prompted to put together a selective resource book recommending professionals involved in home building or remodeling.

The book, which is a magazine hybrid that includes advertising as well as editorial content, was published in 1996 and devoted to Chicago. It has sold more than 70,000 copies and is in its fifth printing.

After the success of the Chicago book, Casper followed the same formula for resource books in Washington, D.C., and southern Florida.

Now Casper has tailored a book for Southern California: "Los Angeles Home Book, A Comprehensive Hands-On Sourcebook to Building, Remodeling, Decorating, Furnishing and Landscaping a Luxury Home in Los Angeles and Orange County" ($39.95, Ashley Group).

Casper said part of his frustration in building his home was in educating himself about the process. He said the information he sought was either scattered, too detailed, or both.

The 700-page, fully illustrated hardback offers the kind of guidelines and tips, including budgeting money and time, he would have liked to have had. It includes phone numbers and addresses of, for example, architects, builders, craftsmen, interior designers and landscapers. Casper says that while the mix of ads and editorial content is roughly half and half, both were chosen based on professional recommendations.

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The L.A. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is offering three Sunday tours of homes that were challenges to design. To protect the homeowners, locations are not being published in advance, and addresses will be revealed only to ticket holders. Architects will be present at the open houses for their projects.

Each self-guided tour will include three to four residences. The first tour, May 20, includes homes in Venice, Marina del Rey and Santa Monica. Architect David Hertz will describe his "tilt-up concrete house" in Venice, which was designed for a couple, their two teenagers and one grandparent on what is described as "a small, urban corner lot," just 32 feet wide and 80 feet long.

Tours on June 24 include homes in Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, and on July 29 in Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and Westwood. For details, call (213) 639-0777, Ext. 52, or e-mail to: mail@aialosangeles.org.

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Candace Wedlan can be reached at candace.wedlan@latimes.com

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