kaplan construction

Your January To-Do List

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to stay up to date with your home's maintenance, then you're in luck! At Kaplan Construction, one of our resolutions is to put out a list of things to do for your home each month. This month we would like to focus on home safety and air circulation.

Photo Credit:  Home House Design  via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: Home House Design via Compfight cc

Here is a list of things to do for your home in January!

  1. Replace or wash (if permanent filter) your filters for your HVAC and humidifiers. This will ensure clean air circulation and energy efficiency. It is best to replace or clean your filters every month.
  2. Vacuum all heat vents. 
  3. Clean and inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are fully functioning and have a fresh batteries.
  4. Make sure you have working fire extinguishers. Consider placing them in prime locations in your home, such as near the fireplace and in the kitchen.
  5. Check for any leaks in your forced air heat ducts and seal with duct tape. This will allow your system to work efficiently.
  6. Check for indoor condensation on your windows and take corrective action.
  7. Check and test GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets to make sure they are working properly.
  8. Review warranties and product material to check on recommended maintenance for furnace, equipment, appliances, and tools. You could mark your calendar to track  scheduled upkeep and service.

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

Stay tuned for our monthly list of things to do for your home!

You can download a printable To-Do List here.

Source: patch.com

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.

Source: http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/decision-lists-speed-up-homebuilding

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 http://www.socalgas.com/for-your-home/rebates/.

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.