home remodeling

Why be Wary of Remodeling Estimates? by Keith Moehle

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Let’s say you went to a restaurant and after finishing your meal the waiter gives you the bill which is 30% more than what the menu stated! The waiter then explains that the original price was actually just an estimate...

This may sound ludicrous, but in the remodeling world this happens all the time when remodeling companies use “estimates” instead of “exact quotes!”

If you receive an estimate, you can never be sure what you will pay in the end!

An estimate allows contractors to have some “wiggle room,” so it allows them to quote you a theoretically lower price which typically gets potential clients interested. This gives homeowners a false impression of what their project will cost, which leads them to fall into the temptation of signing a contract, without realizing they will most likely pay more since the “estimate” changes over time.

Some contractors aren’t trying to trick you and may think they are giving you an honest estimate at first. Unfortunately, because they don't have the completed design for your project it sets them up to misquote your estimate. These contractors haven’t done the research on the products you want installed to be and the labor that goes along with it! That is why you should always ask your potential contractor for an Exact Quote!

KM Builders gives each of our client's Exact Quotes. That way we are both on the same page with the overall price of whatever your remodeling project may be. This leaves our clients with peace of mind, knowing the realistic and fair price of the project.

Give us a call at (210) 680-KMCO to get started with a free consultation and then make your way onto an Exact Quote for your next project!

-KM Builders is San Antonio’s premier remodeler specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and room additions. We boast the largest in-house staff in San Antonio offering architectural design, interior design, and cabinet design for all your remodeling needs!

Cracking Down on Crooked Contractors by Keith Moehle

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When you are looking for someone to do a room addition or remodeling project in your home you want to find someone you can trust.

Unfortunately, it can be dangerous to do business with contractors when you don't know their history.

There are plenty of crooked contractors out there and we at KM Builders want to expose them for the greater good of the business. We aren't trying to say we are the best contractor in San Antonio, but we ultimately want to expose contractors that aren’t treating their clients fairly.

Keith would love to come out and give you a free consultation on your project, but we also want to give you some things to look out for in order to “Crack Down on Crooked Contractors!”

  • First off, ask for customer reviews! Contractors should be able to show you client reviews and before and after pictures from past clients. They should also be open to give you contact information so you can verify these reviews.

  • Do some online research! Find out how long have they been in business, how many employees they have, check them out on their social media platforms and go to their office or showroom.

  • Ask if they have liability insurance to cover any part of the labor, project, or completed projects. They are not required to give you any of this information, but you should be reluctant to do business with anyone who doesn't seem to want to give out their information.

  • Crooked Contractors and scammers know that they seldom get checked on by a client! So, you should be hesitant about anyone who won’t give you access to verify their customer reviews & insurance policy.

If you or someone you know have Crooked Contractor horror stories we want to hear about it!

Call into our radio show on WOAI on Saturday’s @ 2 PM to talk to Keith to tell us your story! 

Hopefully, we can help you “Crack Down on Crooked Contractors” to help you and the remodeling business in San Antonio grow to a higher standard of trust and respect for our clients! 

-KM Builders is San Antonio’s premier remodeler specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and room additions. We boast the largest in-house staff in San Antonio offering architectural design, interior design, and cabinet design for all your remodeling needs!

Aqua-Sana System: The Salt-Free Water Softener by Keith Moehle

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When I think of water softeners I think of my personal struggle of getting a 40lb. bag of salt from the store, into my car and finally into my house to fill up my big water softener.

It is a pain, but If you live around the San Antonio area a water softener isn’t really an option…it’s a necessity because we have some of the hardest water in the country.

The Aqua-Sana system is a great alternative to a traditional water softener and we recommend this to all of our clients…Keith is even in the process of installing one in his home right now!

Aqua-Sana does not require salt or electricity and it doesn't waste water. Also, the Aqua-Sana system can be buried outside, so it eliminates a traditional bulky water softener in your house.

HOW IT WORKS:

  • It is a zinc and copper medium that creates the energy transformation in the molecules of the calcium so they become calcite. They do not stick to the walls; it actually changes the molecular structure of the water so eliminates it from sticking.

  • In fact, if you do have calcium deposits in your water pipes (if you have not had a system), it will start leeching it out and cleaning out the pipes.

  • Over the years, it will remove all of the buildup, which proves how good it is at removing and not depositing.

WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE AQUA-SANA:

  • You are going to have all the minerals you want in your water while eliminating salt, which is good for your body and your lawn!

  • High filtration filters remove: Contaminants, Chlorine, and 2 of the 3 molecules in fluoride!

  • They manufacture special Texas models to battle the hard South Texas water!

  • A buried system for your home costs just a little over $2k!

Our clients love this product, which is why we have had ZERO complaints about the Aqua-Sana system! Call us today & Keith would love to come out and talk to you about investing in a product which will be used by you and your family for years to come!

-KM Builders is San Antonio’s premier remodeler specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and room additions. We boast the largest in-house staff in San Antonio offering architectural design, interior design, and cabinet design for all your remodeling needs!

Let in Natural Light with Sola-Lite by Keith Moehle

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Natural lighting. It’s something that every homeowner wants, but it isn’t always a reality... or is it? 

You may find dark spaces all over your house…from closets, to hallways, to the kitchen and everything in between. Windows can be an expensive investment and sometimes that isn’t a solution to closed off areas in your home.

That’s where Sola-Lite comes into play to illuminate your home.

Sola-Lite brings in natural sunlight into any dark rooms in your home. They are able to do this by using ray bender technology through a small rooftop dome sunlight. So, if the sun hits the sunlight dome (no matter the angle) the “ray bending” technology will bend the ray which brings sunlight into the Sola-Lite tube into any area of your home.

BEFORE Sola-Lite

BEFORE Sola-Lite

AFTER Sola-Lite

AFTER Sola-Lite

The sunlight rays come into the Sola-Lite tube in two parts:

1)    Light rays: These travel through the tube to lighten up the darkest rooms in your house

2)    Heat rays: The heat rays will travel through the reflective coating of the tube and travel upwards. So, if you put your hand on the bottom of the tube it wouldn’t have any heat.

The tubes are flexible, bendable and can run up to 40 feet! So, you can get to any room in the house easily while placing the sunlight dome in an aesthetically pleasing spot on your roof. Installation typically only takes one day and our friends at Sola Light Texas offer a 5-year labor warranty and 10-year manufacturer warranty.

Sola-Lite is: 

  • Leak proof

  • Requires NO structural reframing

  • Requires NO tunneling

  • Requires NO drywall

  • Requires NO painting

  • Typically takes only 2 hours to install

Sola-Lite also provides a solar-powered moon-lit glow during the night which qualifies the product for a 30% TAX CREDIT!

That way you don't have to turn on every light in the house when you’re getting a snack from the kitchen or have to take a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Sola-lite will allow you to: 1) Save money on your energy bill, 2) Help the environment, 3) Lighten your house during the day and night!

We use it here are KM Builders and you can contact them directly to lighten up your already beautiful home. Installation only takes a few hours! 

So call our friend, Sean Bean today at (210) 764-7652 or visit their website!

Ways to Save on Your Remodeling Project in San Antonio by Keith Moehle

Ways to Save on Your Remodeling Project

Many people watch the DIY network and reality shows like Fixer Upper (I know you love Chip and Jo!) or Love It or List It. When watching these shows, many people see themselves, they see their home (current or dream home) and think: "Wow! I can totally do this myself!" I mean it’s called the DIY Network, right?? "Cmon Honey! Let’s tackle this over the weekend!" 

Maybe you can do it all! We applaud you because the majority of folks simply cannot perform at that skill or patience level! If you’re one of the majority and can’t do all of the DIY’s, maybe you can do part of it. But which part? If I’m hiring a contractor in San Antonio, which part will save me the most money but are still doable?

FIRST work with a local San Antonio remodeler before starting anything! A good remodeler will give you tips on which part of the project you can easily tackle. He will also instruct you on how to do this project correctly! 

Demolition is probably the easiest thing to tackle! We can give you some tips on how to do it safely and how it can save some money.! Doing your own demo might not save as much as you think but, hey...every little bit helps.

One question we get asked a lot is "Do you have to have a license to do DIY in San Antonio?." The answer is NO! But the work does need to be done up to code and get inspected. If it is not done correctly you will have to either figure out how to fix it or hire a contractor (which you could’ve done in the first place).

IF you are going to go through with doing the demo, here are a few tips: 

  1. Get appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

  2. Do lead and asbestos testing. These are serious health hazards and can be found in the most random places like glue in the vinyl flooring.

  3. Have the whole plan lined out! We can help you with this. We don’t want you to end up doing things that will end up costing more in the future.

Here are some other ways to save:

  1. Do your own clean up. This could save you $300 to $500 right there. Again, every little bit can help.

  2. Consider alternative products. You don’t have to buy marble or travertine. With modern technology, there are similar products that look exactly the same for less and actually out-perform the originals.

  3. Do your own painting. We can guide you thru the process to do a good job. This one will actually save you a good chunk of money!

  4. Moving out of your house during the project. On a big project this will definitely save you money. The contractor can move a lot faster with the home owner out of the house.

What if I buy the material? It’s on sale right now so I might as well snatch it up, right? NOPE! There will always be sales! We highly recommend not buying your own material for the following reasons:

  1. The material you are buying may not be the quality you need for this type of project.

  2. It may not be the product you would use for this project. For example, the tile that you see isn’t made for water but you want it to go in the shower. Another common example is that this tile has glass in it and it will end up showing the grout underneath. It will completely change the look of the tile and you won’t like it.

  3. A lot of times the contractor will be able to buy these materials at the same discount you see or EVEN BETTER.

  4. If you buy them, you are responsible for the material now. You must store them; you must deal with the leftover product or locate more if you didn’t buy enough. Obtaining the same material and dye lot might not be possible, leaving you with unprofessional results!

Another thing you don’t want to do is refurbish cabinets that aren’t worth saving. Painting stain-grade cabinets will not give the same quality results that a paint-grade cabinet will.  And if you're putting too much into cabinets like that or that have poor hinges, hardware and drawer guides  or out of style doors you may just be putting lipstick on a pig! Just not worth it!

 

KEITH MOEHLE TO DISCUSS BUILDING INSPECTIONS AND CODE ENFORCEMENT ON 1200 WOAI by Keith Moehle

Tune in to 1200 WOAI Saturday at 2 p.m. for our weekly home remodeling radio show with general manager, Keith Moehle. This week's topic will be all about building code violations with our guest, Michael Shannon, of the City of San Antonio's Field Services Division.

Many of us understand we have to file permits with the municipality where our home is located when undertaking construction projects of any type. For most of us the knowledge stops there and we depend on our contractor to know the proper way to proceed to keep the project on schedule, on budget and in compliance with the code. Keith and Michael will discuss the most common violations seen, how to avoid them and how to correct them if you realize you have accidentally stumbled into one.

And, as always, if you ever miss one of Keith's shows and want to catch up later, we always post them here on our website for you!