What to Look for When Hiring a Contractor

There are many important things to consider when hiring a contractor. Here at Kaplan Construction, we want you to be aware of the things to consider when choosing a contractor. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides some useful tips while searching for the right contractor.

Photo Credit:  Brad Wang  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: Brad Wang via Compfight cc

  • Get estimates from different firms. Do not automatically choose the lowest bidder. Estimates will allow you to narrow down your choice.
  • Ask questions. Questions such as “How many projects like mine have you done in the past year?”, “Will my project require permits?”, and “May I have a list of references?” will help you in the decision making process.
  • Understand your payment options.  Do not pay cash! Pay with card or check; you have proof of your payment. Try to make payments during the project contingent of defined amounts of work.
  • Get a written contract. It should be clear and concise and include the who, what, where, when, and cost of your project.

You can find the complete and thorough list from the FTC here.

Contact Kaplan Construction at 562-495-0483 or via email  for any home renovations or additions.

Quick Tips to Ensure a Successful Remodel

Depending on what you are planning to remodel, the time from start to completion will vary. Some remodels may require you to move out of your home until the remodel is complete.

Here are a few tips that can speed up some of the remodeling process as well as ensure a successful remodel:

  • Communication. Like any successful relationship, communication with your general contractor is key. Let them know what you think or how you feel about how your home looks, so they know what you're looking for.
  • Know what you want or have an idea of what you want before you start the remodeling. Not knowing what you want may cause delays in the remodel process. 
  • Follow the timeline the homebuilder will give you. The timeline has decisions you need to make regarding you home, such as the type of floors you would like or the color of your walls. Sticking to the timeline will ensure your remodel to finish in the fastest possible time.
  • Take into consideration that there will be times the current progress and timeline are not in sync. This can be due to different factors, such as materials not delivered on time, change orders, and scheduling inspectors and subcontractors.

Next time you decide to do a remodel on your home, keep these tips in mind.

Contact Kaplan Construction at 562-495-0483 or via email  for any home renovations or additions.


Money Saving Tips from Southern California Gas Company

Along with the previous energy saving post, there are other ways of conserving our resources. They aren’t free, but they can save you money in the long run.

Photo Credit:  BoschAppliances  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: BoschAppliances via Compfight cc

On the positive side, by switching to energy efficient home appliances, the Southern California Gas Company offers rebates for different types of energy efficient household appliances, such as the ones listed below:

  • Water Heaters
  • Tankless Water Heaters
  • Clothes Washer
  • Cold Water Clothes Washer
  • Low Flow Showerhead
  • Attic or Wall Insulation
  • Furnace
  • Gravity Wall Furnaces
  • Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade

Along with these rebates for household appliances, you could also inquire about the complementary energy efficient starter kit.

To find out more about the appliance rebates and the complementary energy efficient starter kit, go to

Contact Kaplan Construction at 562-495-0483 or via email for caulking and insulation work, heating and furnace replacement, and new window installation.

Note: The rebates list may change over time, so check the Southern California Gas Company website for an updated list.

Bring on the Rain - Just Not in Your House

Not everyday in California is all sunshine (but it sure feels like it), and we forget to prepare for the rain. There is talk of El Nino returning to California in the fall and winter. The Los Angeles Times calls it the ‘Godzilla’ El Nino. Here at Kaplan Construction, we want you to be prepared for this weather shift with a few tips.

Photo Credit:  FotosdeManuela  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: FotosdeManuela via Compfight cc

6 things to check to make sure your home is ready for rain:

  1. Gutters
    Clogged gutters could cause water to remain stagnant in places around the house. This will cause the soil to soften around your home, and potentially damage your house’s foundation.

  2. Roof
    Any cracks or damage on your roof may cause leaks in your house

  3. Ceilings
    This will be a good confirmation if there is a roof leak or any other type of leak that may be fixed before the rain arrives.

  4. Doors and Windows
    Make sure doors and windows can close properly. Water will be able to seep in if not properly sealed and shut.

  5. Decks
    Make sure your deck has been checked and resealed. Water, especially, can cause your deck to rot and deteriorate.

  6. Outdoor Items
    Make sure to store outdoor items properly, such as garden tools and BBQ grills.

Contact Kaplan Construction at 562-495-0483 or via email to have the wood around your doors and windows stripped and resealed and/or your deck checked and resealed before the rain starts.