Archive for the ‘Tips and Tricks’ Category

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!

3-Step Guide To Your Dream Kitchen Remodel – Part 2: Designing Your Kitchen Space

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

“To ensure your kitchen is functional, comfortable, and safe, use these key measurements and recommended clearances.”

 

In step one of this three-step guide to your dream kitchen, we discussed the importance of clearly defining what it is you want in your new kitchen.

For a refresher, or if you haven’t yet created your wish list … STOP.

Go back and create your wish list now!

If you’ve already created your wish list, you listed all of the pros and cons of your existing kitchen, took what you wanted and left the undesirable behind. You also added a bunch of great new features that you absolutely know you want in your kitchen when all of the work is said and done.

And because you’ve taken the time to write out your dream kitchen wish list, you have already made this next step — designing your kitchen space — much easier and less frustrating.

We’re going to keep the momentum going so you will have a clear idea of how your new kitchen is going to turn out.

Before we get started — two very important factors when designing your kitchen space are:

  • Proper measurements
  • Sufficient clearance

I’m going to give you both concrete measurements and expert guidance on how much clearance you need for you kitchen.

It’s the nuts and bolts kind of stuff that many homeowners — and hired contractors — tend to overlook. But armed with this knowledge, you won’t make that mistake.

All measurements are suggested minimums unless otherwise noted. The following recommendations were adapted from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) guidelines.

Are you ready to get started? Onward march!

Walkways

Walkways should be 36 inches wide.

Work Aisles

The width of work aisles should be at least 42 inches in a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches in kitchens designed for multiple cooks. A U-shape kitchen should include a clearance of 60 inches between opposite walls.

Sink

If a kitchen has one sink, locate it next to or across from the cooking surface or refrigerator. For a primary sink, provide a continuous countertop at least 36 inches wide right next to the sink. For a cleanup and prep sink, provide a 24-inch-wide landing area to one side of the sink and an 18-inch-wide landing area on the other.

Cooktop

Include a 12-inch-wide landing area on one side of the cooktop and a 15-inch-wide landing area on the other. (Landing areas should be at the same height as the cooktop.) Allow 24 inches of clearance above cooktop (30 inches if there is unprotected cabinetry above it.)

Countertops

The standard countertop height is 36 inches; maximum is 45 inches. Allow 15 inches of space between the countertop and the bottom of upper cabinets. A total of 158 inches of countertop space is needed to accommodate landing area, prep and work areas, and storage.

Food Prep Area

Include a 36-inch-wide surface for each cook (adjacent to a water source).

Dishwasher

Locate the dishwasher no more than 36 inches from the cleanup and prep sink.

Refrigerator

Provide a 15-inch landing area on the handle side of the refrigerator; a 15-inch landing area on both sides of a side-by-side refrigerator: a 15-inch landing area no more than 48 inches across from the front of the refrigerator; or a 15-inch landing area above or adjacent to an undercounted refrigerator.

Microwave Oven

The bottom of the microwave oven should be 3 inches below the principal user’s shoulder but no more than 54 inches above floor. Provide a 15-inch-wide countertop space above, below, or on handle side of the microwave oven.

Oven

Provide a 15-inch-wide counter space above or adjacent, or on an island or peninsula no more than 48 inches away.

Bar Counter

The height should be between 28 and 45 inches. Provide a knee space between 12 and 18 inches.

There you have it!

By following these minimum measurement suggestions and recommended clearances you will be well on your way to enjoying the fully functional, comfortable, and safe kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.

If you have any questions (many of my readers do) and would like to work with a professional contractor who guarantees his work, feel free to shoot me an email at davidekeeton68@gmail.com or give me a ring at 213-232-4783.

Kitchens are my specialty!

Check out some of my work here.

3-Step Guide To Your Dream Kitchen Remodel – Part 1

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

3-Step Guide To Your Dream Kitchen Remodel – Part 1: Creating Your Wish List

 

“If you’re thinking about tackling a kitchen remodel project or planning a new home, the smartest thing you can do is create a plan that will guide you through the entire process from A to Z.”

 

This is true, even if you plan on hiring a professional for the job.

With 24 years of experience as a California licensed contractor and having remodeled over 75 kitchens throughout my career, I can make that statement with confidence. I’ve seen it all … the good, the bad and the ugly.

I can also tell you this …

By making the initial time investment of your bringing your dream kitchen into focus, the dreaming, planning and shopping (the fun part) stages can be done with peace of mind and supreme confidence.

This planning phase is a time for you to come clean about what you like and what you don’t like about your existing kitchen. It’s also where you’ll be able to list everything you absolutely want in your kitchen when the work is all said and done.

This handy guide will take you through the entire kitchen planning process.

In this first part of a three part blog series, I’m going to share a couple of important key insights and brainstorming techniques that will help you map out a plan to create your dream kitchen.

Let’s get the party started!

Create your wish list: The first step to planning your new kitchen remodel

An important part of creating your wish list is to understand what you will need in your new kitchen. The old architectural adage that “form follow function” certainly applies here.

Ask yourself the right questions …

What do you love about your current kitchen? What would you love to change most? 

How would you describe your dream kitchen? Do you want your kitchen to be open to a family room or other living spaces? How often per month do you entertain? Does anybody using the kitchen have physical limitations that need to be considered? How old and how many people in the household will be using the new kitchen?

This is only a handful of questions you should ask yourself off the bat, but these will certainly put you into that creative zone enough to jumpstart the brainstorming and planning phase.

Let’s take a look at some other considerations when drawing up your wish list for the kitchen remodel …

  • Kitchen activities. Knowing how you are going to use your kitchen is the key to planning an efficient layout. Of course, the primary activities of a kitchen cooking and dining, so you will need to determine what kind of cooking and dining you plan on doing in the kitchen. For instance, will you be engaging in light cooking … family cooking … gourmet cooking?

The same goes for dining; do you see yourself informally dining in your new kitchen or do you want more of a formal dining area set up? These are things to think about.

  • Storage (by item and by accessories). Other things to consider when putting together your wish list together are storage and storage items by type and accessories. Items like food and beverage, dishes, cookware and cabinets, to name a few. Knowing what kind of items storage items and accessories you would like to use will determine the layout and other functional considerations.
  • Physical properties. Once you have a vision for your new kitchen, you’ll want to consider the physical properties like room size, type of flooring and cabinets, door surfaces and styles, surfaces, sinks, lighting and appliances.

This is your kitchen remodel; ask yourself the right questions, create your own list of activities that you see yourself doing in your new kitchen and determine exactly what you will need based on function first.

Whether you’re remodeling an existing kitchen or planning a new home, now you have a jump-start on the planning phase of your new kitchen remodel. The next step, Part 2: Designing Your Kitchen Space.

And of course if you have any questions or you need one-on-one help with your new kitchen remodel, feel free to get in touch.

See what my satisfied clients have to say about my work. You can also take a look at some of my work here.

TEN THINGS NOT TO ASK A CONTRACTOR

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

A  Contractor and a Homeowner can have a complicated relationship. When you are dealing with your home, sensitive and incredibly important issues arise. Remodeling or building a new home is a big financial and emotional investment. It can also be a big investment of your time. Knowing what to expect before the project gets started will help you better prepare for the process. Ask lots of questions – find out everything you need to know to make you as comfortable as possible. And while communication is key, there are some questions that just should NOT be asked. Here are just some of the incredible things I have been asked over the years, followed by my  ‘tongue in cheek’ answers.

 

1. Can’t you just do the job without a permit?

Sure, I will be glad to do this;  however, you will need to pay for my liability insurance for the next 10 years;  pay my workmen’s compensation for the next 15 years;  sign over the deed to your property so that I can sell your home to pay for my lawyer’s fee after I have been accused of doing work without the proper permits.

 

2. If you give me a good price I have lots of friends I can recommend you to!

Great! Please give me their names and contact information so I can secure a job with them before I give you a price for your job. That way I can give you a really, really good estimate because all your friends will be paying full price.

 

3. Can you just add in this work? I don’t have the money to pay you, but since you are already here, just do this few extra things for me. Okay?

Sure, I can do that. In return, can you make breakfast and lunch for me and my workers, every day? Since you are already here, just do this for us.  Okay?

 

4. I want to help with the remodel. I’m pretty handy with tools.

Okay, please provide me with your home insurance liability policy and your workmen’s compensation policy. I need to be able to cover myself and my company in the event you are hurt on the job. And please bring your own tools as my guys have their own and need to be able to use them at all times.

 

5. I’m going to give you 50% up front and the other 50%  at the end of the job. Okay?

Sorry, but State law prevents me from accepting more than $ 1,000 or 10% (whichever is less) as a down payment. And how do I know that you will give me the balance at the end?  Just asking!

 

6. You can only work in my home when I am home!

Please find yourself another Contractor.   Obviously you do not trust me or my employees, so how can you trust me to do a decent and quality job on your project?

 

7. I want you to show me every receipt for all materials purchased.

I shall be glad to do this. Please write me a check for $1,000 so that I can pay my office staff to provide you with such.

 

8. I want you to buy all the finish materials – the sinks, the tile, the faucets, the hardwood flooring, etc., etc.

How do you know what my tastes are? How do I know how much you want to spend? Instead, let me give you some great places to shop for the best pricing and quality materials.

 

9. I want to see 3 different properties you have worked on and I need to meet the homeowners.

Okay, let me get this straight – you want me to have 3 of my former clients open up their homes to you, a complete stranger, and to take time out of their busy lives to meet with you to answer your questions.   Sure!!!   LOL.

 

10. I’ve heard nothing but horror stories about Contractor’s.   While your pictures and your testimonials on your website are impressive, I really do not believe them.  How do I know that you are just not another Contractor from hell?

Please see the answer to question #6.

 

Want more ideas about how to make your tile additions colorful and unique? Give me a call!

Visit my site DCKeeton.com to learn more about my company.

Reach out to me at: davidkeeton68@gmail.com

Call me at: 213 232 4783

Money-Losing Home Fixes

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

deck

As a contractor and a homeowner myself, I love performing little upgrades around my house to make it more livable and attractive. Extra hanging shelves in the garage for my tools? Sure. Putting in ceiling fans before the hot summer months arrive? Absolutely. Adding a deck in the back? Well… maybe.

When the projects (and budgets!) start to get bigger, I want to look at more than just making the house more comfortable for me – I want to ensure I’m going to see at least a decent return on my dollar when I sell the place.

I know a lot of you out there are like me, so I wanted to pass on some important information for anybody considering a home renovation. The following is a list of remodels, repairs, and renovations that all have one thing in common: they give you a horrible return on your investment.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t move ahead with the job if you really want to do it. But you should go into it knowing the improvements are for your own enjoyment since you definitely aren’t going to get much of that money back when you put it on the market.

Dream garage. From time to time, everyone has probably gotten frustrated with their garage because there’s just not enough space and it’s hard to find ways to organize everything efficiently – I know I have. Well, now there are companies selling “dream garages” with all of the organizational built-ins you can imagine as well as windows for great natural lighting. Oh, and you can even fit a couple of cars in there. The problem is it costs around $90,000, and the return on investment is only about 53.6 percent.

Adding a bathroom. Surprised to see this one here? Everyone says that bedrooms and bathrooms sell houses, so more should always be better, right? The problem is that actually adding on space for a new bathroom is fairly expensive – just under $22,000 on average – for an addition that’s using materials of only moderate quality. You can do it, but you’re only going to get about 53 cents back for every dollar you spend. If you really want another bathroom, the better option is to see if there’s any way to get it by reconfiguring existing space.

The perfect master. Do you ever wake up in the morning and think, “Boy, I sure wish that I could head over to my attached kitchenette for a snack and then spend the morning in my spa-style bathroom without leaving my master suite”? If so, you’re probably not all that concerned with spending more than $200,000 on one of these so-called “Dream Master Suites” and only recouping 52.7 percent of your cost, but better you know now than discover it later.

Backup power. If you’ve lived in Los Angeles for any length of time, you know how taxed our power grid is. Because of this, it would seem like a no-brainer to add value to your house by investing in a backup generator. Sadly, that’s just not the case. If your goal is safety and security, then maybe spending the relatively reasonable amount of $15,000 on one is worth it. Just don’t look at it as a monetary investment, because on average, people are getting back only 48.5 percent of what they spend.

A real home office. These days, more and more people are working from home as good-paying traditional jobs become harder and harder to get. Unfortunately, finding a space to work in at home isn’t always easy. Even if you’re lucky enough to have an actual room that you can call an office, chances are good that it bears little resemblance to a real office. Because of this, people want to remodel to add in things like built-in shelves, drawers, desks, and so on. Unfortunately, the average price of a big remodel like that runs almost $29,000, and you’ll only get a paltry 45.8 percent of that back when you sell.

Final Thoughts. Don’t despair, though. There are plenty of renovations and remodels out there that will help you to realize a much better return – you just have to look a bit before you leap.

A Call to Action.

Visit my site (DCKeeton.com) to learn more about my company.

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Have a great Fall!

Renovation and Design Entails More Than a Fresh Coat of Paint

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
deckFor many Los Angeles clients of mine, I’ve found that the adventure of remodeling is a roller coaster that begins on a high note, drops to a stomach-churning low point, and then settles out at the end with a feeling of exhausted accomplishment. Recognizing that interior design and renovation are more than just slapping a new shade of paint on the walls and actually demands expert planning and a realistic budget will reduce unpleasant surprises and improve the atmosphere for everyone involved in the re-design. 

Predictable Steps:

Every renovation-whether for a single bathroom or an entire home-has the same carefully executed steps:

  • Organize
  • Budget
  • Execute
  • Inspect

Each step, of course, has details to it, but keeping a sense of the overall scheme of progress will help you to weather any momentary setback and keep an eye on your goal. I’ve found that keeping the long term goal in sight and charting out the renovation in a detailed plan will help reduce getting side tracked and deadlines are met with the desired results to show for it.

 

Organization:

If you’re like many clients of mind and a kitchen remodel is the plan, I highly recommend you organize and plan for a temporary kitchen elsewhere in the home. Before a sledgehammer swings, you’ll want to make sure you’ve set yourself and the rest of the project up right. Too often, I see people just jump in and start tearing down wallpaper or pulling down drywall with no plan beyond demolition. I’ve seen homeowners undergoing renovations start breaking things down and have gotten too deep into it to a point where it’s hard to get out of and make any fixes.

 

Budgeting:

Part of organizing the renovation is an appreciation of cost and affordability. Don’t skimp out on quality! Remember, this is an investment, so invest in quality materials (green ones whenever possible), use a reputable contractor, and challenge unexpected costs.

Using a licensed contractor will actually save you money over time. An easy way to check credentials is with the California Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board. For example, D. C. Keeton is a registered, professional contractor, License Number 715043, fully bonded and insured.

 

Return on Investment:

Some projects provide a greater return on investment (ROI) than others. If you want to boost up your property to make the most of resale value, I like to suggest considering one of these renovations:

  • Attic bedrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Baths
  • Home offices
  • Sunrooms

 

Interior Design:

A good contractor will recognize limitations and engage trustworthy subcontractors to handle some tasks, such as landscaping or even interior design. Lighting is often overlooked until late in the process, when it should be incorporated from the beginning, since it requires changes to the electrical system.

Think about how trendy a home you want to live in-fads have low resale value and become grating for day-to-day living. Depending on the room you’re designing the interior for, you can get trendy and modern, but don’t skip out on functionality. For example, if you’re revamping your kid’s bedroom, opting for quality kid furniture specifically, such as bunk beds or themed accents would be ideal, but I recommend looking into styles that can still be utilized as they grow older such as detachable bunk beds and dressers that will appeal to them at any age. If you’re redesigning for a standard guest bedroom, maybe look at neutral styles with trendy accents like pillows, rugs and window dressings. These items appeal to any guests, keeping the style unisex and are easy to interchange if you ever want to revamp again.

 

Permits and Inspections:

Good planning means proper permits and inspections from plumbing to electrical to structural. Don’t skip out or avoid permits! I can’t stress this enough to those looking to perform a thorough renovation. A common error is to ignore code-required updates to the electrical system. Be wary of any other contractors that tell you a job does not need a permit. Avoiding permits during your renovation can hinder your chances of getting back that ROI I touched on earlier if you ever look to sell the home, not to mention there are major consequences if you get caught without a permit.

 

Final Thoughts:

Renovation can be a rewarding feat to accomplish. And when it’s done properly due to excellent planning and organization, execution, and having the permits to show for it, you can sit back and declare a “job well done.” The ROI and new appeal of your freshly renovated space will start to flow in and you’ll be thanking yourself and your contractor for having kept to such a well thought out game plan, making you ready for any and all other renovations to come.

 

CALL TO ACTION

1.   Visit my website (dckeeton.com) to learn about my company.

2.  Reach out to me at: davidkeeton68@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

3.  Call me at at:  213-232-4783 for a personal conversation.

4.  Have a GREAT summer!

Renovating Your Sunroom into Something More

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Sunrooms are probably one of the most underutilized rooms in any home that has one. They’re most commonly occupied by a decorative patio table set or a couple chairs for lounging, making them perfect areas to host a get together or sip your morning coffee while enjoying the weather. But this particular space in a home makes me want to explore other ways it can be enjoyed or at least optimize the recreation it has to offer. Here I list some unique examples of how to enhance and reform your average sunroom into a personal and more functional living space.

From Sunroom to Office Space

Whether you work out of your home full-time or operate your business as supplemental income, these days most everybody has special projects, products, and services they work on from home. Imagine creating a custom business space that you can’t find in any typical corporate or private location that’s just a few paces from your own bedroom. How many offices do you know of in LA that allow you to enjoy the scenery and convenience of your own backyard? But sometimes, you can’t work at your desk if certain weather conditions don’t allow it.

o if you’re like most home owners with a decent sized sunroom, I recommend upgrading from screen only windows to installing actual window panes that give you the option of letting all the weather has to offer in on a good day and keeping out the chillier weather as the colder season sets in while still enjoying a personal backyard view.  You’ll still want to ensure the entire area is properly sealed and secured to avoid any leaks going out when windows are closed or more importantly, to keep anything out that shouldn’t make its way in. As to the flooring of the space, especially if you’re looking at bringing clients into your new office, there are many other flooring options to look into such as carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl or ceramic tile. Industry experts will tell you, though, that with each of these options comes much needed floor care and maintenance in order to protect them from damage and wear, especially in areas that absorb as much sunlight and weather as this room does. So if you’re willing to make this sunroom-to-office renovation a success, be prepared to put in the extra work to make it presentable and long lasting.

From Sunroom to a Game Room

A cozy couch set and a decent rug are perfect for the average sunroom. It occupies the space and makes it functional and appealing whenever you pass through or want to get away to be alone and cozy up to a book, have a private conversation with a friend, or simply relax without interruption.

ut I want to take this up a notch or two or six and make this a much more active environment for everyone in the family to use. Here, you can create your own entertaining cave without going over any budget. Throw together an old couch, TV, some entertainment pieces like books, movies, and gaming systems and you’ve got the perfect place for your teens to hang out with their buddies without being too shut off from the rest of the home. For younger ones, create spaces in the sunroom for them to play dress up and add shelves for their board games and books. Again, the perks of having the sunroom completely transparent and attached to the home gives kids the space to be alone and play by themselves while still allowing the parents to check in with ease.

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the “big kids” either. You can get real fancy here and along with a comfortable seating set and TV, hang up team plaques, trophy shelves, pictures for the wall and throw in a mini fridge. Heck, why not install a custom mini bar while you’re at it and now your sports fans in the family have a new go-to man-cave to watch the big game or now you have the perfect room to entertain when visitors want to come and share in all the enjoyment.

From Sunroom to Personal Gym

There’s a reason why California is one of the Top 10 Most-Fit States in America; we love to workout, stay strong, and be fit!  Creating a designated area on your property for the sole purpose of working out is a convenient motivator to inspire you to work out even more! Start by clearing the sunroom space completely out and start planning your layout. Gather all your home gym essentials and figure out exactly what you want where in order to optimize your workout experience.

For example, if you have a treadmill or machine you’ll want to bring in, I recommend having it face the outside scenery to give you something to enjoy while getting your sweat on. For gym-friendly flooring, I recommend opting for thinner carpet installation or large area rugs. Remember that you’ll probably find yourself on the floor from time to time depending on your workout and you’ll want something with comfort and grip. More importantly, you’ll want flooring that will be able to withstand a constant beating from heavy weights being dropped. Another important factor I like to remind those seeking an in-home gym, try to have a wall that’s completely mirrored. This definitely ties the whole gym effect together. Lastly, because it’s a personal gym, I can’t stress enough how perfect a screened sunroom is for proper ventilation. Keep in mind that you may want to add windows to keep the room sealed during cooler months as you would with any of these suggestions, but at least you can have the convenience of the gym in your own home without letting it smell like one.

From Sunroom to Conservatory

The key to a proper conservatory is sunlight. What better room to attain this vital component than, well, a sunroom. A sunroom is perfect to use as a greenhouse and it’s actually not that uncommon at all to utilize this attached area of the home to shelter plants. If you’re looking to get super active in your greenhouse and plan on making a few messes, I highly recommend taking out any carpet or delicate flooring and sticking with cement if that’s the foundation or installing laminate flooring you don’t mind wearing out.

This flooring choice will prove to be extremely convenient to hose out excess dirt or messes and can take the moisture that will come from daily watering. Your plant setup should be based on areas of the room that will get the most sunlight depending on the direction of the rising/setting sun. Keep plants that will