Carey Bros. Remodeling Kitchens, Bathrooms, Additions | Antioch, CA Wed, 16 Dec 2020 14:21:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Carey Bros. Remodeling 32 32 Creating a Safe Balcony Mon, 14 Dec 2020 19:45:45 +0000 Like many homeowners, John and Darline McKay wanted to maximize their living space. One way they decided to do this was to replace a window in their main bedroom with a pair of full-lite French doors. This allowed them to “push out” and create a new second floor balcony overlooking a nearby golf course.

To achieve their goals, the McKays hired Carey Bros. Remodeling. Known as the hosts of On the House with the Carey Brothers radio show, brothers James and Morris tackled the project, plus expanded some living spaces in the home.

Picking the Best Products

When it came time to add the new balcony, the Carey Brothers knew exactly where to turn — to Daich Coatings.

“We’ve successfully worked with many Daich Coatings products on previous remodeling projects,” says James Carey. “Our policy is to give our clients the best bang for their home improvement buck. So, we specify and install products that are durable, attractive and require minimal maintenance. Daich Coatings products address all of these criteria, plus provide so much more!”

Carey explains that creating the balcony flooring required three steps and three products. “We started with ElastoLock® rubber membrane coating to create a waterproof seal,” says Carey. “This included using seam mesh, a roll of reinforcing fabric and Elastolock spackle. This gives the balcony a leak-free system.

Step by Step

“Once that base layer was on, we used textured bone primer and then applied SpreadRock® coating in a Sandstone color. It looks fabulous! Our clients fell in love with the color.

“Then we decided to take it a step further. So, we used the TracSafe Anti-Slip Sealer to clear coat and protect the Sandstone color. With TracSafe we have the added benefit that if the balcony gets wet, it still won’t be slippery for the McKays.”

With the project finished, John and Darline now enjoy more light and fresh breezes into their Brentwood, California home. And, when the mood strikes them, they head out to the balcony to look at the mountains on their beautiful showroom-quality, slip-resistant surface!

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Sharpen the Mower – Get a Greener Lawn Wed, 12 Aug 2020 01:48:12 +0000 If your beautiful green lawn takes on a white cast the day after you mow it, then we’ve got a tip that will put a smile on your face – for sure! The white cats is nothing more than your lawn’s torn blade-tips drying out and losing their color. A lawn mower blade that is dull tears the grass instead of cutting it. Sharpen your lawn mower blade with a simple hand file and an oil stone. Th sharper the blade is the greener and more even your lawn with be when you’re finished. By the way, with rotary mowers, make sure that you don’t bend the blade while you are trying to sharpen it. If the two cutting surfaces are out of alignment with each other tearing may result – even if you’ve done a super job of sharpening.

You can get more tips at our website at or pick up a copy of our book, “Home Maintenance For Dummies 2nd Edition’

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Freshen Up That Deck and Protect it From the Sun and Water Wed, 12 Aug 2020 01:43:46 +0000 If your wood deck looks more like a pile of wood than an inviting setting for an afternoon barbeque, chances are it could use a little rejuvenating. Start by washing the deck with a solution of one cup of powdered laundry detergent in a gallon of hot water. Add a cup of liquid chlorine bleach if mildew is present. Severely neglected decks will require a more potent commercial deck bleaching product. Look for one which contains oxalyic acid. Use this in combination with a power washer which can be rented from your local tool rental outlet or paint store. Finish the job with a coat of high-quality oil-base deck stain or clear wood finish. A product that contains UV inhibitors will offer added protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

You can get more tips at our website at or pick up a copy of our book, “Home Maintenance For Dummies 2nd Edition’

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Kasey Reck, Director of Customer Experience Wed, 12 Aug 2020 01:37:32 +0000 It is said that “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” As the very first point of contact for Carey Bros. Remodeling, Kasey Reck takes this well-known adage quite seriously.

While the Carey Brothers – James and Morris – are well known throughout the Bay Area, Kasey knows it is still important to make that first impression count when answering a call for information or an estimate. “Experts say that a first impression is made in less than 10-seconds,“ notes Kasey, “and I always make it a point to be cheerful, interested and professional right from the first hello.”

Brother and Co-Owner, James states, “Kasey being the first point of contact is probably one of the single most important jobs in our company.”

In addition to gathering all of the pertinent information to get things underway for the design and build teams, brother Morris says, “She sets the tone that we strive to fulfill all throughout a project… and then helps keep it going from start to finish.”

Once a project begins, Kasey plays another important role. She communicates with the subcontractors and material suppliers to get the pricing and details needed to create and execute contracts… and when a project is successfully completed, Kasey again follows-up with final warranties, guarantees and lien releases.

“Simply put, she makes sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed,” adds James.

And, should you meet this personable 29-year old out-and-about around town… hiking or out by the pool… chances are she’ll win you over too… in the first ten seconds.

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Project Spotlight – Banquet Makes for Perfect Kitchen Wed, 12 Aug 2020 01:27:33 +0000 The home of Cindi and Ron Bradley is well on its way to becoming a magazine-quality dream home. The transition began with two earlier guest and master bath remodels by the Carey Bros. team. Their recent kitchen remodel brought the entire home to life by turning the most important room in the house into a dazzling showplace.

“The Bradley’s have great taste and their ‘neat as a pin’ home centers on quality and upscale design,” says James Carey. “Cindi also has an amazing eye for design and personally selected all of the colors, textures and finishes incorporated into all three of their projects.”

Project Spotlight – Banquet Makes for Perfect Kitchen 1
Before – Bradley Kitchen

The kitchen surrounds a striking large center island with a black walnut top and custom built-in dining banquette. It features a mix of sleek white and grey cabinetry with granite countertops and a stunning full glass tile backsplash. An array of gleaming built-in appliances – from the dual-fuel range, counter-depth refrigerator and super-quiet dishwasher to the undercounter speed oven, stainless range hood and wine captain – are beautifully illuminated with energy saving LED lighting and abundant natural light from new energy efficient windows. A new glass pantry door and distressed wood floor add the finishing touch.

“The two bathrooms and kitchen by the Carey Bros. are fabulous,” states Ron.  “Their work is impeccable. They listened to our ideas and concerns… and we would not change anything about the experience.”

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How to Hire a Contractor and Bulletproof Your Construction Contract Thu, 30 Jul 2020 18:32:44 +0000 Handshake or not, our experience with construction contracts has taught us that if it isn’t in writing, chances are you won’t get it. So, get it in writing because somewhere between 40 to 70 percent of the way through a building project both contractor and customer are often faced with a phenomenon known as selective amnesia where one or both forget important aspects about what they originally agreed to. At this point, the value of a handshake diminishes substantially and a well-detailed, clearly-written construction agreement begins to look mighty inviting.”
A thorough contract between you and your contractor is invaluable and is designed to do two things: specify who is responsible for what and determine what to do in the event of a disagreement. A contract that properly covers the latter can be invaluable in arbitration or court.
Practically every word in a construction contract can be reduced to a money issue. For example, certain parts of the contract, such as the specifications, explain exactly AND DIRECTLY what you will get in return for your money. Where other parts, like start and end dates, INDIRECTLY address money issues. Think about it. Start and end dates relate to how long the project will take and therefore how long you will be required to pay costs associated with the wait for completion. How much will it cost you in inconvenience if your project runs longer than agreed? You may want to include a clause in your contract that requires the contractor to pay a specified sum of money for each day of delay beyond the scheduled end date.
The contract is the one document that ties all of the other project documents together by literally listing them and by setting forth rules that apply to each: plans, specifications, written change orders, subcontracts, the payment schedule, the production schedule, and so on. Most importantly, a good contract should be bilateral, providing equal protection for all parties involved. Unfortunately, a thorough contract tends to be awfully wordy. And we agree that a lot of words are needed. But we don’t care for contracts that are hard to read – you know – the kind containing language that would confuse a Harvard law professor. We find that many folks feel most comfortable with a one-sheet contract. They aren’t very threatening. And there isn’t much to read. Plus there are rarely any confusing terms to challenge one’s command of the English language. Woefully, a page or two of legal size paper is simply not enough room for the wording necessary to properly protect your rights. In short, the one-sheet contract often provides plenty of protection for the contractor and almost no protection for you.
Most contracts do a good job of identifying the parties involved. And although you certainly know who you are, what about the contractor? If you haven’t checked him out, do so before signing the contract. Make sure that the contractor’s business name is legally correct. Also, the address listed should be the one where the contractor’s legal records are kept – not a post office box. Also, the contractor’s license number (if required in your area) should be included. You would be amazed at how often consumers are duped by contractors who actually aren’t licensed. Finally, a contract date and a contract number help to uniquely identify your agreement.
There are three basic types of construction contracts: 1) Stipulated Sum, 2) Time and Materials, and 3) Management.
With a stipulated sum contract, you pay a fixed price that can only be modified by a written change to the work (a change order). We like the stipulated sum contract best of all. It touts a fixed price and puts the entire financial responsibility of completing the work on the shoulders of the contractor. Plus, we think that establishing a price in advance – before the work begins – makes a lot of sense. Be sure that your stipulated sum contract is accompanied by a thoroughly detailed estimate. A thorough estimate can help to amplify the details in the plans and project specifications further clarifying the contractor’s intentions. In a stipulated sum contract, you pay the amount specified in the contract no matter how much it costs the contractor.
While we feel that time and materials contracts are great for small repair jobs, and some minor remodels, we are otherwise uncomfortable using this type of agreement for home construction. In a time and materials contract, the price cannot be determined in advance of the work. Sure, a specified labor rate can be agreed upon, but what about how long it will take for the work to be performed? Granted, with time and materials you only pay for the actual labor and materials used at your project. But who determines whether the amount of labor and material is correct. Here, even the most reputable contractor gets you to pay for each and every mistake. With a time and materials contract, comparison-shopping is difficult if not impossible. You can nail down the wage, but you can’t determine how long the wage earner will take. As a consumer would you rather sign a contract where the price stays the same no matter what the home costs to build, or would you rather sign a contract where every job cost – necessary or not – increases the price you pay? With time and materials, the contractor with the lowest labor rate or the lowest markup can ultimately end up being the most expensive choice.
This type of contract causes us some concern, which is our nice way of saying that we don’t like management contracts. With the management contract, the manager works as a consultant for a fee equal to a percentage of the contract – usually about 10 percent. If the contract amount is $25,000 the contractor’s fee is $2,500, plus legitimate expenses. As the amount of the work increases, so does the contractor’s fee. If the price goes down – so does the manager’s fee. We are uncomfortable with any contracting method that builds in a conflict of interest. Additionally, a standard management contract shifts a certain amount of responsibility onto the owner’s shoulders. Even partial responsibility for the actual construction of a home is not a risk to be taken lightly. The average owner has plenty of responsibility without begging for more.
Always remember this before entering into a contract: A contract cannot be written in such a way as to protect you from a dyed-in-the-wool crook. So, the first step in bulletproofing your construction contract should be to hire a reputable contractor. And remember, “a low bid does not a reputable contractor make.” A contractor’s integrity, dependability and ability cannot be measured by the amount of the bid. Investigate the contractor in the same way that the bank investigates you when you apply for a loan. Have the contractor fill out a credit application. Then, use it to check him out.
Finally, all you have to remember is this. The contract should always stipulate WHO will be responsible for WHAT. It also should define WHEN and WHERE the work will happen. Furthermore, it should address WHY the work is happening and HOW to recover if something goes wrong.

For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our radio show any time at 1-800-737-2474! All you need to do is leave your name, telephone number and your question.


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Some Cool Tips on How to Beat the Heat Tue, 09 Jun 2020 01:15:48 +0000 Looking for ways to beat the heat? One or more of the following improvements will make your home more comfortable and at the same time lower your utility bill. Shade trees strategically located on the south or east sides of the house are an attractive and inexpensive way to insulate the home from the sun. And speaking of insulation, adding or upgrading insulation at the floor, walls and attic will really cool things down—and like the tree planting –can be a do it yourself project. High efficiency double pane windows, decorative window awnings, reflective window film and dense vinyl mesh window screening are a few of the many ways to make your home—sweet home. Check with your local utility company for rebates and other incentives for energy-efficient improvements such as these.

You can get more tips at our website at or pick up a copy of our book, “Home Maintenance For Dummies 2nd Edition” 


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Installing a Decorative Ceiling Fan Tue, 09 Jun 2020 01:11:24 +0000 Sweaty windows gotcha down? Tired of high heating bills in the winter and scorching interiors in the summer? If any of the above touches a nerve, consider installing a decorative ceiling fan. Most folks are familiar with the “cooling effect” that a ceiling fan can have during the hot summer months. However, not as widely known, is that same fan’s ability to dry out condensation on the interior of windows. Run in the reverse direction the fan drives warm air stuck at the ceiling down the perimeter walls. This warm air not only helps cure the sweats, but raises the room’s temperature making the space more comfortable and results in a lower utility bill. Aside from its physical and economic benefits a paddle fan can add decorating flair to virtually any space in the home.

You can get more tips at our website at or pick up a copy of our book, “Home Maintenance For Dummies 2nd Edition” 

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Looking to Hire a Contractor? Mon, 08 Jun 2020 19:26:55 +0000 Hiring a contractor is one of the most important decisions one will make in the home improvement process. Engaging the services of a reputable, qualified professional can avoid chaos and help bring your project in on time and in budget.

Join us for a Virtual Seminar on Saturday, June 27th from 10am to 12pm PST where we will discuss the following topics:
* Resources for finding a qualified contractor
* Being your own contractor
* Licensing, insurance & permits
* Plans & scope of work
* Getting and evaluating cost estimates
* The construction contract – sum, dates, change orders, payment schedule, dispute resolution
* Mechanics Liens
* . . . and more!

Click here to register!

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Meet the Carey Bros. Team Fri, 05 Jun 2020 16:27:46 +0000 Matthew Keesis, Field Superintendent

Matt is just the kind of guy you want managing your remodeling project. He’s 39 and just old enough to have lots of experience… and just young enough to have fresh ideas and endless energy.

While Matt is an extremely talented tradesman, with 21-years of hands-on “old school” principals, his impressive knowledge of today’s building codes is only second to his commitment to ensuring that every detail on every project is 100% in keeping with the plans and specifications… and meets with his own “personal code” of building excellence. Customer satisfaction is job one for Matt!

He’s also an outstanding supervisor. Matt leads by example and is generally first to arrive and last to leave. He holds weekly safety meetings and makes sure everyone – including clients – are fully informed and in sync at every step. He’s totally organized, detail-oriented and even opens every box on jobsites to inspect the contents and make sure all parts are accounted for to avoid project delays.

“He’s a thoughtful listener and a gentle inspiration to all around him,” says Morris Carey. “He’s also a devoted family man and a Super Dad to his four kids. We feel very fortunate to have Matt heading up our crew.”

And it’s not only Carey Bros. Remodeling that recognizes Matt’s excellence. He was recently recognized by Pro Remodeler magazine as one of its annual “40 under 40” recipients — a designation, which recognizes forty leading remodeling industry professionals under the age of 40. Congratulations Matt!

Meet the Carey Bros. Team 2
James Carey, Matthew Keesis and Morris Carey
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