Planning Tips

Restoring a historical home. Where do you start?

For some people, restoring a historical home sounds like a dream come true. Unfortunately, it can quickly turn into an overwhelming nightmare without the right experience and guidance. 

Image courtesy of  Old House Journal  read the whole article featuring Long Beach designer Marky Morel and Kaplan Construction   here  .

Image courtesy of Old House Journal read the whole article featuring Long Beach designer Marky Morel and Kaplan Construction here.

When considering a historic restoration, period specific research is a great (and fun!) way to get started. Long Beach, California designer Marky Morel found inspiration for remodeling her 1928 Spanish home in books, online and in person. Check out her journey from home remodel vision to better-than-a-dream reality at Old House Journal Online. (Did we mention that Kaplan Construction did the work on this home?)

As historical home restoration specialists, Kaplan Construction has the experience, expertise and network of specialists – from architects to designers to experienced trades - to help you return a vintage classic to its original splendor. Don’t let your dreams of restoration become a nightmare. Contact us  at (562) 495-0483 or via email at BOB@KAPLANCONSTRUCTION.COM and let us help today. 

Fall Remodeling Projects

They say Summer is the perfect time for home remodels, but there are projects you can do in the Fall that are a great way to prep your home before winter comes. Luckily in California, we won't be feeling the Fall weather until a couple weeks or even months into the season, but you can still get a head start in prepping your home for cooler weather. 

Photo Credit:  flemingtongranitenj  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: flemingtongranitenj via Compfight cc

The projects we would like to focus on are those that keep the outside elements out and protect your home.  

WINDOWS

Windows are sometimes poorly sealed, allowing cold air to come inside your home. Search your windows for any cracks, this is where the cold air will come from. You can easily seal these cracks with a window sealant.  Another solution would be to have heavy curtains on your window, but this might be the best solution for all windows.

Fall is also a good time to replace windows as well. If your windows are damaged, warped, or broken, they will need to be replaced. New windows bring in less draft than older windows and can reduce your energy costs as well. It may be a good thing to look into if you're planning on replacing your windows any time soon.

SIDING

The siding of a house protects the house from the outside elements, such as weather. It sheds water, protects the walls, insulates, and adds aesthetics to the house. Fall is a good time to inspect your siding to make sure it is in good condition. Luckily in California, we rarely see rain around this time of year, so it is definitely a great time to inspect your siding.

ROOF

Just like siding, your roof protects your home from the outside elements. Missing shingles, broken shingles, and shingle debris in your rain gutters are signs that your roof will need some repairs done. Another sign is the age of your roof. Usually roofs last about 20-25 years, so if your roof is within that age range, it may be a good time to inspect your roof. Ignoring these signs may cause your roof to leak, adding more items to be repaired in your home and increasing your expenses.

DOORS

If you notice drafts coming in from your door, it is a good sign that you may need door repairs to keep outside air from coming into your home. Drafts entering your home from the outside will decrease the energy efficiency of your home, whether its summer or winter, resulting in increased energy bills. To fix this problem, you can either update the weather stripping or add a door sweep, or you can update your door to a newer model that is energy efficient and keeps drafts out. 

Along with drafts, you should also check your locks and handles to make sure they are all working properly and not loose. This will make sure your home is safe and secure.

If you're thinking of doing any type of home remodel, you can refer to a couple of our previous blog posts for some tips regarding budgeting and planning: 3 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE YOU REMODEL and 3 TIPS FOR PLANNING A SUCCESSFUL HOME REMODEL.

Contact Kaplan Construction for your general contractor needs today at (562)495-0483 or via email at BOB@KAPLANCONSTRUCTION.COM to get started on your home remodel or renovation.

Things to Consider for a Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are among the most popular rooms for a remodel in a house. Here are some tips to consider if you decide to do a bathroom remodel in the future.

Photo: One of Kaplan Construction's home remodels in Long Beach, CA. For more photos on this remodel, click  here .

Photo: One of Kaplan Construction's home remodels in Long Beach, CA. For more photos on this remodel, click here.

PLAN. 

We believe planning is the most important part of any kind of remodel. Planning ahead allows for a smoother remodel. All important decisions will already made prior to your remodel. It would be good to know how you plan to use your bathroom space, what materials and fixtures you want, the color of the paint on the walls, and how much you are willing to spend before you begin your remodel. Planning ahead will also help you stick closer to your budget since you know most of the items and material you will be using.

Also, you may want to consider hiring a general contractor to take on your remodeling project. There will be less room for error with a contractor, especially when it comes to building codes or figuring out the best solution to a problem.

For some tips on planning a remodel and finding a general contractor, you can refer to a couple of our previous blog posts: 3 TIPS FOR PLANNING A SUCCESSFUL REMODEL and WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A CONTRACTOR
 

LAYOUT. 

Sticking to the space you already have for your bathroom will save money on demolition and reconstruction. You can get more out of your space by strategically arranging your bathroom fixtures. Try to use underused areas (e.g. wall area) for storage space, such as wall shelves or niches. This is especially beneficial to small bathrooms.

LIGHTING. 

Making lighting a priority will make every day grooming easier. Sometimes homeowners overlook lighting in the bathroom. Ceiling mounted or overhead lighting is recommended for general illumination. Lighting at the vanity area is important, especially for grooming purposes. Another important area in the bathroom that requires lighting is in the shower/tub area. Try to look for LED light bulbs for your bathroom, they are brighter and energy efficient compared to the traditional light bulbs. 

VENTILATION. 

Ventilation is not just for removing odor from a bathroom. Ventilation is essential for removing excess humidity produced from bathing. Humidity can potentially damage paint and cabinetry inside the bathroom. Moist air can also bring about mold, mildew, and harmful bacteria to your bathroom, so make sure you have proper ventilation in your bathroom.

STORAGE. 

As mentioned earlier, storage space in the bathroom is an important topic for a remodel. With all the grooming tools and accessories used in a bathroom, it is important to have lots of options for storage space. It is great to plan ahead and know areas in your bathroom you can utilize for storage, such as upper wall space that is often underused, areas to place niches, areas to place racks for towels, and vanity compartments. 

 

Keeping these tips in mind while you plan your bathroom remodel will allow you to efficiently use the space you have to create your dream bathroom with less stress.

Contact Kaplan Construction today for your general contractor needs on your next bathroom or home remodel at (562) 495-0483 or via email at BOB@KAPLANCONSTRUCTION.COM.

3 Tips for Planning a Successful Home Remodel

Planning or thinking of a home remodel? Looking to remodel your dated kitchen or bathroom and not sure where to start? Planning a remodel can be stressful, especially when it comes to budgeting and making design decisions, but with these tips you can have a better idea of what to look into while planning for that remodel.

Photo Credit:  jkoegel  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: jkoegel via Compfight cc

Three Tips for Planning a Successful Remodel

Planning for a remodel is a very important part of the remodeling process. It will help you prepare and organize for your remodel. Keeping the following tips in mind will help you plan for your remodel and reduce the stress when you begin your remodel.

1. Choose a design professional

Choosing colors, styles, and use of space for your remodel for your home can be stressful and you probably won't know where to start. You may find it beneficial to hire a design professional to help narrow down your options (colors, materials, type of floors, ect.) and make decisions simpler. That way it will save you both time and money in the long run. Design professionals can also assist you in determining the layout of your remodel. They can maximize the functional use of space that you might not have considered or thought of.

2. Create a plan

Remember the big picture. It is good to have a budget and know what exactly it is that you want, but it is also beneficial to plan ahead for unexpected expenses, such as termites, that may be discovered during a remodel. Usually remodels cost more than you expect them to be, so it'll be good to keep in mind. Picking out all your materials (counter tops, flooring, fixtures, ect.) before starting your remodel will help you have a better estimate of your expenses as well as save time and reduce stress. Also, look into long term costs when choosing products and materials to use for your home: Will this product last long term? Is it cost effective? Are there expensive maintenance costs? Will energy costs increase?

3. Interview contractors

It is good to interview multiple contractors for a remodel, not only to weigh in their prices, but to also get to know them. Ask the contractor to describe any similar projects to yours they have completed. Interviewing a contractor will let you know if you are compatible for each other, especially since you will be working with him or her for the entire duration of your project and be in constant communication. Make sure to address any questions or concerns you may have with your remodel. Don't forget to check if the contractor has a valid state license.

Once you interview the contractors, it is good to get bids from at least 3 different contractors. Don't hesitate to ask question about the bid. Remember, the cheapest bid isn't always the best option.

Contact Kaplan Construction for your general contractor needs at (562) 495-0483 or via email at bob@kaplanconstruction.com for your home remodel!

To see Kaplan Construction's work, click here.