Merry Christmas From Kaplan Construction!

 Photo Credit:  Katrinitsa   Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: Katrinitsa Compfight cc

Our many different cultures notwithstanding, there’s something about the holidays that makes the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can’t help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It’s an inspiring time of the year.
— Marlo Thomas

Kaplan Construction Helps F&M Bank Get into the Holiday Spirit

Friday, December 2, 2016

When the historic location of Farmer’s & Merchant’s (F&M) Bank on Pine Avenue in Long Beach, California was ready to share their holiday spirit, they called upon Kaplan Construction to help them kick off the season.  Their challenge – getting an enormous 15 foot Christmas tree weighing more than two hundred pounds into the building’s lobby. 

As you can imagine, moving a Christmas tree of this size is not as simple as “strapping it to the top of the ole car and then dragging it through the front door”.  Moving this majestic giant called for planning and help – and a lot of it. Which is why F&M Bank CEO and Chairman of the Board Daniel Walker recommended the bank contact Bob Kaplan. F&M Bank’s relationship with Kaplan Construction dates back to 2000 when the general contracting company orchestrated the historic restoration of the circa 1922 Pine Avenue building.

 Photo: F&M Bank on Pine Avenue in Long Beach, California

Photo: F&M Bank on Pine Avenue in Long Beach, California

Always willing to help, Kaplan agreed to move the tree on December 2nd. Knowing he would need additional hands – and strong backs – to safely bring the tree inside the building, Kaplan called on volunteers from the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Rugby team to assist. A former CSULB rugby alumni himself, Kaplan has been a volunteer coach for the university since 1989.

On the big day (no pun intended), Kaplan and his crew assembled scaffolding in order to safely hoist the tree up and over the teller cages while bank staff watched in fascination. His crew and the “Beach” rugby team then carried the behemoth to a display platform located at the center of the banking floor.

“Kaplan Construction is always up for a challenge and helping with small handyman services like this is just one of the things we do to go the extra mile for our clients,” says Kaplan. Over the years, Kaplan Construction has been called upon to help aging clients dispose of their Christmas trees, replace light bulbs on high ceilings, hang holiday lighting and even secure a partially downed tree to protect a house from damage. Kaplan continues, “While not a part of our typical construction services, our relationship with our clients goes far deeper than just a home remodel. We consider our clients family.”

 Photo: Kaplan Construction and the CSULB Rugby Team

Photo: Kaplan Construction and the CSULB Rugby Team

In lieu of payment for services, Kaplan suggested F&M Bank make a donation in support of CSULB Rugby, which they graciously did -- donating $1,000 to the program. 
Be sure to check out the Christmas tree at F&M Bank on 3rd Street and Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach. And if this is the type of personal, caring construction service you want from your general contractor be sure to contact Bob at Kaplan Construction
Happy holidays!

 Happy Holidays from Kaplan Construction!

Happy Holidays from Kaplan Construction!

Hello December! Your December To Do List!

We can't believe it's December already! Last month we focused on kitchen maintenance for holiday cooking. With the holidays and winter weather ahead of us, we decided to focus on preparing your home for holiday decorating and the chilly weather this month.

 Photo Credit:  vinvisible11  Flickr via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: vinvisible11 Flickr via Compfight cc

1. Replace Furnace Filters

Furnace filters collect dust and debris. Dirty filters will make it difficult for the furnace to heat your home efficiently, causing it to work harder than it needs to - resulting in more energy consumption and a higher utility bill for you. This will also ensure clean air flow throughout your home, a longer lifespan for your heating system, and lower energy costs.

2. Check Attic Insulation

Some homes do not have much insulation in their attics. Check your attic if you have enough insulation. Insulation keeps your home warmer and conserves energy. Some utility companies offer rebates if you add insulation to your attic, so it would be good to consider if you do not have a lot of insulation in your attic. For more information on insulation, insulation types, and rebates, you can check ENERGY STAR's blog on DIY ADDING ATTIC INSULATION.

If you're interested in other ways to save money on energy bills, you can read our blog from October, GOOD ENERGY SAVING INVESTMENTS.

3. Test Holiday Lights and Decorations

Take out all your holiday decorations and lights from storage. Before putting up lights and decorations, make sure that they are working properly. This will save you a lot of time in the long run. Discard lights that do not work.

4. Check all GFCIs 

Since outlets will be in use more now compared to previous months (if you plan of putting up decorations), you should test all GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) in your home. This is a simple task. Push the "test" button and the "reset" button should pop out. If this does not happen, then something may be wrong with your outlet. Call a licensed electrician to check your outlet.

5. Test Timers and Motion Sensors

Lots of traveling is done during the holiday season, make sure your timers and motion sensors are working properly so your Christmas lights and porch lights turn on at night. This will make it appear like you are home and will protect your home from people looking for empty homes to break into.

6. Add Weather Stripping and Door Sweeps Where Necessary

If there are any drafts by your doors or windows, then cold air is definitely seeping into your home, causing the warm air in your home to leave. You can prevent this by weather stripping your windows and placing door sweeps. The heat in your home will stay and this will be a big energy save so your heater won't work as hard to keep your home warm. Our blog post from earlier this fall, FALL REMODELING PROJECTS, discusses weather stripping and sealing if you need more information on this topic and other ways on how to get rid of drafts.

Completing this to do list will ensure you are ready to take on the holidays (your home at least)!

For some safety tips on keeping your home safe and warm this season, check out our previous blog 8 HEATING SAFETY TIPS.

Contact Kaplan Construction for your general contractor needs at (562) 495-0483 or via email at BOB@KAPLANCONSTRUCTION.COM.

8 Heating Safety Tips

We're finally getting fall weather here in Southern California! It's cold, and we use different ways to keep our home warm and cozy - whether it be a portable heater or a fireplace. There are safety precautions you should take to ensure the safety of you and your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths.

 Home Remodel in Belmont Heights, CA. For more photos on this home, click  here .

Home Remodel in Belmont Heights, CA. For more photos on this home, click here.

Here are some tips from the NFPA to keep our homes warm and safe.

  • Keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away from a heating element.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment per the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Always turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Make sure fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Ashes should be cool before putting them in an empty metal container and keep container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

These tips can prevent most heating-related fires from occurring. For more information, you can check out the NFPA website here.