Old House Journal Features a Kaplan Construction Home Remodel

Kaplan Construction is crazy about historical home restoration, so when Long Beach, California designer Marky Morel approached us about helping revive her 1928 Spanish home, we jumped at the chance. “This is the type of project that is very enjoyable,” says general contractor Bob Kaplan. “Working with Marky was a pleasure and the end result is a Span-Deco (Spanish Revival + Art Deco) home that is warm, beautiful and worthy of recognition.” And recognition is exactly what this home received – in the October issue of Old House Journal! 

Photo Credit:  Old House Journal  - The cover of the October 2016 issue of the Old House Journal

Photo Credit: Old House Journal - The cover of the October 2016 issue of the Old House Journal

Article published courtesy of Old House Journal. Click on the pages to enlarge.

Read the full article online here: ROMANCING A TWENTIES HOME

Hello, October! Your October To-Do List!

Hello, October! Here is your October To-Do List! To go along with the topic of last week's post, FALL REMODELING PROJECTS, this month we are going to focus on the roof, gutters, windows, and doors! 

Photo: One of Kaplan Construction's projects: a custom glass elevator and home remodel in Laguna Beach, California. For more photos of this remodel, click  HERE .

Photo: One of Kaplan Construction's projects: a custom glass elevator and home remodel in Laguna Beach, California. For more photos of this remodel, click HERE.

THE OCTOBER TO DO LIST

The following topics are important to protecting your home from the elements as well as prolonging its lifespan.

1. Check for and repair broken or missing shingles

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. Ignoring these signs may cause your roof to leak, adding more items to be repaired in your home and increasing your expenses.

2. Clean gutters and downspouts

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear. Debris tends to collect there. This will make sure that water will drain from your roof properly. Clogged downspouts can cause water to backup into your gutters, causing an overflow. Water will have nowhere to drain to and can potentially cause water damage to your roof, such as leaks, and eventually damage the interior and exterior of your home. Dirty gutters and downspouts are also pest friendly. It will attract insects, rodents, and even bees/hornets/wasps to create a home there, so it is very important that you make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris.

3. Make sure water drains away from your home

Along with cleaning gutters and downspouts, make sure that the water collected from these drain away from your home. Stagnant water around your home will cause the soil to soften around your home, and potentially damage your home’s foundation, so it is important to make sure that water drains away from your home.

4. Seal around windows and doors

Drafts are air leaks into your home caused by windows or doors not being completely sealed. 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. 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. To fix this problem, you can either update the weather stripping or add a door sweep.
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, so it is important to seal around doors and windows.

5. Clean windows

Windows bring in the natural light to your home. Cleaning your windows will make sure you are getting the most amount of light into your home. This can save money on your electricity bill by providing natural light so you don't have to use the light in your home. When it gets cold, windows bring in the heat from the sun so you don't have to use your heater during the day. Another thing to note, cleaning your windows regularly will help prolong their lifespan.

For a printable To-Do List, click HERE.

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

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.