Archive for the ‘Tips and Tricks’ Category

PART 3 – HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

David Keeton of DC Keeton Home Improvements presents the web series:

 

HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!

 

{THIRD INSTALLMENT}

Buying Your Finished Materials.

 

I have had the opportunity to present a seminar over the past 18 months at numerous Home Shows in the Southern California region entitled, HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!. The seminar covers such topics as how to find and select a Contractor, the Contractor(s) to steer clear of, special notes and questions on selecting a Contractor, what goes into a Contract, Permits, etc.

 

Also, there are specific topics on Kitchen & Bath remodeling – what goes into each, selecting finish materials, what are the most important aspects of each, covering flooring, appliances, cabinets, faucets, etc.

And then there is a whole section on ‘The Five Big Ticket Items’ when purchasing a home and another section on Shopping Places.

 I’ve made a series of 2 minute videos covering these topics and shall be sending them out over the next few months, one at a time for your perusal.   Attached is the first.  My hope is that you will enjoy them and garner information from them useful for your remodeling needs.

And of course, if I may be of assistance in any of these matters, please do not hesitate to contact me!

If I could help anyone with more information, please reach out to me via email at: davidkeeton68@gmail.com

If you have missed any part of this video series please click here and visit: dckeeton.com/videos

 

SPECIAL NOTE:

 

DO YOU HAVE A GROUP THAT MEETS ON A REGULAR BASIS THAT WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THIS SEMINAR PRESENTED TO THEM?   PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME AND I SHALL BE MORE THAN PLEASED TO DISCUSS SUCH.

 

Part 2 – HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!

 

{SECOND INSTALLMENT}

I have had the opportunity to present a seminar over the past 18 months at numerous Home Shows in the Southern California region entitled, HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!’. The seminar covers such topics as how to find and select a Contractor, the Contractor(s) to steer clear of, special notes and questions on selecting a Contractor, what goes into a Contract, Permits, etc.
Also, there are specific topics on Kitchen & Bath remodeling – what goes into each, selecting finish materials, what are the most important aspects of each, covering flooring, appliances, cabinets, faucets, etc.
And then there is a whole section on ‘The Five Big Ticket Items’ when purchasing a home and another section on Shopping Places.
 I’ve made a series of 2 minute videos covering these topics and shall be sending them out over the next few months, one at a time for your perusal.   Attached is the first.  My hope is that you will enjoy them and garner information from them useful for your remodeling needs.
And of course, if I may be of assistance in any of these matters, please do not hesitate to contact me!
 
If I could help anyone with more information, please reach out to me via email at: davidkeeton68@gmail.com

If you have missed any part of this video series please click here and visit: dckeeton.com/videos

 

SPECIAL NOTE:

DO YOU HAVE A GROUP THAT MEETS ON A REGULAR BASIS THAT WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THIS SEMINAR PRESENTED TO THEM?   PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME AND I SHALL BE MORE THAN PLEASED TO DISCUSS SUCH.

 

Part 1 – HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!

 

I have had the opportunity to present a seminar over the past 18 months at numerous Home Shows in the Southern California region entitled, HOW TO REMODEL YOUR HOME WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND OR YOUR MONEY!!!’. The seminar covers such topics as how to find and select a Contractor, the Contractor(s) to steer clear of, special notes and questions on selecting a Contractor, what goes into a Contract, Permits, etc.
Also, there are specific topics on Kitchen & Bath remodeling – what goes into each, selecting finish materials, what are the most important aspects of each, covering flooring, appliances, cabinets, faucets, etc.
And then there is a whole section on ‘The Five Big Ticket Items’ when purchasing a home and another section on Shopping Places.
 I’ve made a series of 2 minute videos covering these topics and shall be sending them out over the next few months, one at a time for your perusal.   Attached is the first.  My hope is that you will enjoy them and garner information from them useful for your remodeling needs.
And of course, if I may be of assistance in any of these matters, please do not hesitate to contact me!
 
If I could help anyone with more information, please reach out to me via email at: davidkeeton68@gmail.com

SPECIAL NOTE:

DO YOU HAVE A GROUP THAT MEETS ON A REGULAR BASIS THAT WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THIS SEMINAR PRESENTED TO THEM?   PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME AND I SHALL BE MORE THAN PLEASED TO DISCUSS SUCH.

DON’T BE SHOCKED !!!

Friday, March 16th, 2018

blog-electrical

HOW TO DECIDE WHEN TO CALL AN ELECTRICIAN

Gearing up for a day of home electrical troubleshooting?   Wait…. some electrical issues require expert attention. Though some common electrical issues are simply the result of bad habits, others are deeper issues in need of professional repair and troubleshooting. Which projects are DIY-friendly and which require the help of a pro? Keep your home and family safe with the help of these tips.
Know the ‘Golden Rule’ of Electrical
DIY electrical troubleshooting can be dangerous.   However, if you live by this ‘Golden Rule‘ of electrical work, you’ll be safe:   You cannot suffer a shock if no electricity is present!
Before beginning any electrical sleuthing or repair, always:
  1. Turn off the breaker on the appliance/outlet in question before beginning your project.  Touch the panel with one hand only, leaving the other at your side to reduce electrocution risk. Turning the breaker to the OFF position instantly removes electricity from the equation (provided you choose the correct breaker).  When the power is OFF, electrical protection is ON!
  2. Place a piece of tape over the breaker, warning yourself & others.   This will prevent the breaker from being accidentally turned ON while you are working.
  3. Check the outlet/wires/appliance with a non-contact pen style electric tester (available at Amazon, Home Depot, Loew’s, True Hardware). Available for less than $20, this is your best defense against mislabeled breakers/wires. These testers ring/flash if electricity is flowing, simply by touching to the object in question.
  4. When working, recap wires. Like breakers, caps likewise lower the probability of mishap.
  5. Working in moisture-prone areas. Be mindful of your work environment. Water and electricity do not mix!
These Projects Are Generally DIY-Safe
Simple Circuit Overloads
When we say simple, we mean those that result from too many appliances plugged into the same outlet or circuit.  This issue is easily solved by unplugging or relocating appliances to a different outlet or circuit, spreading the power draw.
Malfunctioning Dimmer Switches
Poor workmanship or sub-materials can cause dimmer switch malfunction.   Taking a closer look at switch installation often uncovers issues that can be resolved by a do-it-your-selfer.
Frequent Bulb Blowouts
How many DIYers does it take to change a light bulb?  Enough to notice that a frequently blowing fixture is housing a bulb with incorrect bulb wattage.   Swap out for a low-wattage LED to ensure success and savings.
Temperamental Recessed Lights
Recessed lighting requires specific bulb types designed to properly dissipate heat.  If your bulbs are turning on and off, that means safety features are intervening to keep things cool.  Read bulb packages carefully opting for recessed-compatible options.
Electrical Issues that Require a Pro
Dimming/flickering Lights
Lights that dim or flicker indicate a loose/faulty connection that require the expertise of an electrical pro for the fast detection and resolution necessary to prevent damage/fire.
Outlet Malfunctions
Buzzing and burnt outlets, as well as loose outlets that cannot hold a plug, indicate a very old wiring system in need of attention.  Is your home short on outlets, plagued with 2-prong/ungrounded outlets or frequently tripping breakers?   If so, it’s time for an update!
Repeated Breaker Trips
If redistributing/reducing circuit load does not solve this issue, you likely have a short circuit resulting from dangerously exposed/touching wires, broken wires, a loose connection or a ground fault.
Humming/Buzzing from Breakers
Humming/buzzing breakers indicate a faulty breaker that is overloaded and cannot trip.   Flip it OFF manually, and get a pro out fast to prevent an electrical fire.
Outdated Wiring
Ancient knob-and-tube unsafely installed aluminum wiring is extremely dangerous.  If you skipped the home inspection at purchase and your house is older than your grandparents, you may need a whole home rewiring for safety.
Insufficient Power Supply
Houses even a few decades old may require a bigger, better wiring system to power the glut of appliances and devices today’s families rely on.   Sixty-amp service is no long sufficient for modern homes.
Water Related Issues
Any issues in moisture-prone areas, including problems involving plumbing should be addressed by a pro.

BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY!!!

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With free consultations and free estimates, D.C. KEETON is: 
 
THE CONTRACTOR YOU WILL STILL LIKE AT THE END OF THE JOB!!!

David Keeton Speaks with HOUZZ.COM in Pro Spotlight: 3 Ideas for a Refreshing Home Remodel

Saturday, January 6th, 2018
Who: David Keeton of DC Keeton Home Improvements
Where: Los Angeles
In his own words: “Remodeling is all about problem-solving. Getting your plan right is essential.”Are you dreaming of a modern, efficient kitchen? Envisioning a second bathroom? Thinking about how nice it would be to have a deck in the backyard? General contractor David Keeton, who owns DC Keeton Home Improvements in L.A., says you can actually enjoy a remodel, from the planning to the final product, if you adjust your expectations. “Get your ideas together, talk with a designer and get the contractor involved as soon as you can,” he says. “The contractor can tell you what’s possible and what still needs to be figured out.”

SEISMIC RETROFITTING in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Reduce the risk of earthquake induced damage with seismic retrofitting!

seismic-2The possibility of an earthquake is a reality for Southern California residents. That’s why it’s important to make sure your home is properly reinforced to resist seismic forces. Homes built before 1985 are especially vulnerable to earthquake damage. But buildings of all ages and styles can benefit from reinforcement with approved structural connectors and other structural reinforcement.

What is Seismic retrofitting?

The seismic retrofitting process involves the installation of engineered metal connectors and other reinforcement materials at key stress points throughout your home’s structure. The specially designed hardware includes hold downs, anchor & anchor bolts, strap ties and framing angles. Wood blocking and structural sheathing may also be incorporated into many retrofitting packages.

The goal of the retrofitting process is to counteract three main earthquake-induced forces that can cause major damage to a building: racking, sliding and overturning. In engineer-speak, the retrofitting process transforms a building with loosely connected parts into a unified structure with a ‘continuous load path’ that extends from the building foundation up through the walls and all the way to the roof framing.

seismic-5Types of retrofitting.

Cripple wall bracing: Many structures are built on cripple walls. Cripple walls are short walls that rest on a home’s foundation and support the floor and exterior walls. When these walls are not braced, they may shift during an earthquake. When this occurs, the probability of severe damage and injury to individuals in the home greatly increase. Bracing cripple walls strengthens structures by increasing stability and the process typically helps minimize damage on homes.

Foundation bolting: Houses that aren’t bolted to their foundation may move during an earthquake. Homes that move off their foundation may also cause gas lines to rupture, which may lead to fires. The bolting process requires that holes are drilled into the sill plate on a foundation and anchor bolts are installed. Sometimes, there isn’t enough space to drill, and steel plates will also need to be attached.

Anchoring to mud sill: The wood on top of the foundation of a home is called the mud sill. Prior to the 1950’s mud sills were not bolted to a home’s foundation. This creates a huge structural weakness in a building. The home can slide off its foundation during an earthquake. Homes should be anchored to the mud sill, which requires bolts or special plates to be placed every 6 feet.

The cost.

The cost typically runs from $4,000 to $10,000 depending upon the size of the home, the accessibility to the foundation, and the type of work required (cripple wall bracing, foundation bolting, anchoring). One must consider this cost vs. the cost of rebuilding or repairing to the home once an earthquake has ripped the home off its foundation.

Seismic retrofitting is smart because……..

Your home and your family will have a better chance of surviving an earthquake.

Proper installation of seismic hardware will help minimize earthquake damage, reducing home repair costs following s seismic event.

Professional retrofitting has the potential to reduce home insurance premiums.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Whenever I speak to homeowners about remodeling their homes, I always approach the issues as if their home were my home. And as for my own home, when I bought it the first thing I did was to retrofit it. The last thing I wanted to have happen was to lose my home, my equity, my family when the next earthquake hit. And we all know that is to going to happen here in Southern California!

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For a free inspection and estimate with regards to Seismic Retrofitting, please send me an email (davidkeeton68@gmail.com) and I shall be pleased to make an appointment with you in the very near future.

A Recent Interview – DC Keeton Home Improvements

Saturday, December 17th, 2016
STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS – AN INTERVIEW

 

Recently I was interviewed by Dean Burgess of Excite Entrepreneur with questions regarding my business acumen – his questions centered on me starting my own business and the reasons behind why I decided to do so.
 
I wanted to share this article with you in the event that you are considering embarking on a business venture, and that you could possibly benefit from my many years of experience.
 
If I could help anyone with more information, please reach out to me via email at: davidkeeton69@gmail.com
Entrepreneur David Keeton’s Words of Wisdom For New Business Owners
David Keeton of DC Keeton Home Improvements in Los Angeles has been working for himself most of his life. I talked to him a little about what made him decide to start his own business.
“I’m not one to march to another person’s drumbeat,” he said. “I wanted to have control of my life. I thrive on making decisions and knowing that I have to live with them, whether they are right or wrong. And thanks to the stars above, more have been right than wrong [laughs].”
I asked Keeton what he loves about being a contractor.
“I have been privileged to meet hundreds, if not thousands of homeowners over my 30 years as a contractor,” he told me. ” From a very gifted, famous playwright; to a chef who works for some of the biggest names in Hollywood; to a sportscaster for the NFL; to one of the most prolific music producers in the industry; and doctors, accountants, nurses, as well as other contractors, etc.   99% of them have remained as friends and this I cherish.”
There’s certainly no shortage of celebrity and other high-profile real estate in the area, but that’s not all he enjoys about his profession.
“Also, I thoroughly enjoy taking an ugly kitchen, a nasty bathroom, or a home that is just plain worn out, and turning them into a new and clean space with new cabinets, new tile, new lighting, new floors, and a new paint job,” Keeton shared. “And to have the praises of my clients is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my profession.”
With a five-star rating on Yelp, Keeton no doubt gets plenty of praise.
I asked him what sets his business apart from others in the field. He pointed to his slogan, which says, “The Contractor you will still like at the END of the job.”
“And I mean it!” he insisted, pointing to “top notch” references, an Angie’s List “Super Service Award” four years in a row, his attention to details, guidance on shopping places, personal supervision of all projects, daily communication, and a “positive, high-energy” personality.
These are certainly traits that any customer can appreciate, and let’s be honest. You’re not getting them with just any contractor.
For everything he loves about his profession, Keeton acknowledges that it is not without its challenges. Asked what he considers the biggest one, he cited a lack of follow-through by contractors.
“Homeowners tell me all the time about their not so positive experiences with contractors prior to my coming on board, and at the top of the list is this complaint,” he said. “Personally, I do my very best to communicate with all of my clients (I usually have 6-8 jobs going on at a time), checking in to make sure that the project is going as expected and to resolve any issues that have arisen that I may not be aware of.  And I visit each jobsite 3-4 times a week, sometimes more to see with my own eyes just what is going on and to plan for the next aspect of the job”.
I asked Keeton for one piece of advice he would give to someone just starting out in their own business. He pointed to a slogan made famous by Nike. You know the one.
“Just Do It!” he said. “So many folks put up all kinds of barriers, they are afraid they will make mistakes, that no one will buy their service or their product, that they won’t have enough money, etc., etc., etc.”
“Yes, you will make mistakes (learn from them),” he continued. “If you have a quality product or service people will buy it; and yes, you will have a money issues (sometimes even now I run short of working capital, but I know not to freak out over it). The rewards of owning your own business are so numerous that these trip hazards will all become minor, temporary issues!”
These are words of wisdom from a professional who has been at it for – remember – most of his life!
For a FREE estimate on any of these ideas, send me a message and we shall get together!

Quick Remodels To Sell Your Home

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, it might be time for some upgrades. The right remodel can make all the difference between a home that sells and a home that doesn’t.

 

You need to be strategic about your home renovations. Especially if you are hoping to sell soon, you don’t have the time and resources to renovate every room in your house. There are always small updates you can make to attract potential buyers and boost your home’s resale value. Try some of these ideas:

 

Update that Kitchen!

Quick kitchen remodeling can make all the difference. Replace the handles on cabinets or drawers, update the sink and faucet, or upgrade the backsplash. Many home buyers are particularly sensitive to the kitchen, so make it as beautiful as you can! Consider springing for bigger projects, like repainting cabinets or replacing an old appliance.

 

Paint those walls

A fresh coat of paint could be all you need to enhance your home. Stick to neutral color schemes that won’t distract a potential buyer. New paint helps the home look cleaner, and helps the buyer to imagine themselves in the home. This is great to cover up dated colors or wacky kids room paint jobs and create a clean slate.

 

Hit the Bathroom!

Bathrooms are another big selling point, and a little bit can go a long way. Replace the cabinet handles and faucet or add open shelving to assure potential buyers that there’s plenty of storage. If you have more time to spend, try making your bathroom eco-friendly with a low-flow sink, toilet, and shower. They’ll love the beautiful new appliances – and that they can save money on water bills.

 

Fix up the front!

Create a great first impression with a new coat of paint on the front door. Add flower planters to the front porch, or install a stone pathway to your door. Tidy up the landscape to attract a potential buyer. Make your home as welcoming as you can, so buyers will want to bring their own guests over!

 

With these quick fixes, your home will sell in no time! They may seem like small changes, but you never know what might set your home apart. The small investment you will make in these changes are well worth it as you see your home value go up and up!

 

For a FREE estimate on any of these ideas, send me a message and we shall get together!

 

Remodeling your Bathroom

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

When considering a bathroom remodel for your home, the most commonly asked questions are about features, material options and the type of contractor. Although bathroom remodels tend to be one of the pricier improvements that one can make to their home, the return value is sure worth it. One of the most obvious reasons is that people spend a lot of time within their bathrooms. Let’s take a look at some features that you may consider with a bathroom remodel.

Features:

When you are considering a bathroom remodel several features can come into mind; from new flooring, new vanities, the styles of the faucets and knobs, sinks, having a separate tub and shower, even having separate vanity spaces for couples. One of the best ways to take a look at a features list is to ask your contractor for their portfolio. It will help give you some ideas about features you may not have known about. The internet is also always a good resource.

Material options:

From granite or marble, to stone or cesar stone, each has their own particular appeal. Depending on the budget, the color options you want, and the distinct style you are going for with your home, certain material options will look better than others. Pairing the right materials and color coordinating is critical. The contractor that you go with should have an eye for design to assist you in the process.

Contractors:

When having any bathroom remodeling work performed, no matter how major or minor, hiring the right professional contractor (licensed and certified) is not only essential for a good project but more importantly piece of mind. After all, this is your home we are talking about.

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3-Step Guide To Your Dream Kitchen Remodel – Part 3

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Part 3: Setting Up Your Budget

“Before starting any construction work or hiring any industry professionals, sit down and draw up a concrete budget for your kitchen remodel – and stick to it.”

Figuring out a budget for your kitchen project might not be as much fun as selecting fixtures and paint colors, but it’s just as important—if not more so.

To begin, think about how long you plan to stay in your home.

If you plan to move within a few years, investigate home prices in your area and be careful to keep your budget in line with the average home price. On the other hand, if you plan to remain in your home for many years, plan to spend as much as you can comfortably afford to create the kitchen of your dreams.

To determine what you are comfortable spending on your kitchen project, make a list of all your debts and figure out your monthly gross income.

From here, you can determine the maximum monthly payment you can afford to spend on remodeling costs. Talk to a lender about financing options if necessary.

Remember that building and remodeling almost always end up costing more than expected.

I recommend adding a cushion of at least 10 percent to your overall budget to account for surprises along the way.

Below I’ve listed 10 ways for you to keep your budget on track. Use these wisely:

  1. Establish clear goals and work toward them. One of the biggest threats to your budget is getting all caught up in the glitzy and glamorous products out there on the market. Don’t get distracted. Focus on your main goals and choose products in line with those goals — this doesn’t mean you can’t splurge a little, just don’t go crazy.
  1. Delegate and hire professionals. Sure, architects, designers and contractors are going to jack up your up front costs, but they’re going to save your money in the long run by helping you avoid the common remodel pitfalls and suggesting smart ways to save money.
  1. Obey the KISS principle. Yes, please, keep it simple. If you’re remodeling, try to keep load-bearing walls where they are and avoid rerouting plumbing and electrical lines. Varied rooflines, curved walls, arches, and bump-outs all enhance the character of a kitchen, but they also bump up the cost.

 

  1. Be vigilant with your due diligence and check references. If you’ll be hiring a contractor to help you with construction work, be sure to ask references about the contractor’s communication skills, follow-through, and adherence to deadlines. If the contractor regularly misses deadlines and communicates poorly, you’ll likely end up with inflated bills and extra stress.

 

  1. Get ahead of the curve by ordering materials in advance. Some custom items, such as windows and cabinetry, take several weeks to arrive. Keep your job’s progress on track by having materials on hand before any work begins.

 

  1. Embrace what’s already in stock. Custom windows, cabinetry, and other items can drive up project costs. Look for standard and semicustom goods, which are often available in a range of styles and price levels to help keep your budget on track.

 

  1. Access your inner Deal Hunter. Shop your local home center for clearance items, end-of-season sales, discontinued products, and floor models. You can also find great deals online— just be sure you know what you’re buying.

 

  1. Make up your mind. Keep changes to a minimum. Some changes are inevitable, but making changes to remodeling or building plans midway through the project is another quick way to ruin your budget. If you make changes after plumbing, electrical, and drywall work is done, you’ll likely have to tear out finished work and start over—and pay for the work twice.

 

  1. Trade smart. If you’re forced to make difficult choices to keep your budget on track, sacrifice items that can easily be retrofitted later. Choose less-expensive lights, faucets, window treatments, and door and cabinet hardware, and put your money toward cabinets, countertops, and other labor-intensive items.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Even inexperienced do-it-yourselfers can remove old cabinets, fixtures, and other items that will be replaced. And once the major construction work is done, you
can step back in and help with painting, installing faucets and lights, and other finishing details.

Now that you know how to set up a killer budget for your kitchen remodel, grab a pen and paper (or your IPhone 6) and start putting your actual budget together.

 

This ends our 3-Step Guide To Your Dream Kitchen Remodel series and I really hope you learned something from it.

 

If you have any questions or need some clarification, or you feel that I missed something, please feel free to contact me directly.

 

Also, if you would like to talk with directly more about your next kitchen remodel projects, I would love to do so.

 

You can call me directly at 213-232-4783.

 

Let’s talk soon!