Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm back from a nice blogging Hiatus!

Hello everybody, this one goes out to all of you avid Beach to Bay Custom Builders followers...I understand that I made some promises to you guys - keeping you up to date on all of my projects that are underway, and explaining the different construction means and methods - to this point, I have not lived up to that promise. I can go into detail on the reasons and excuses but why bother? I am back with a few updates now and hopefully they will cue your interest. 

I have been in a bit of a dilemma, because I want to try to keep this blog as interesting and dynamic as possible, but it is hard to accomplish that by posting boring pictures of unfinished construction work. Either way, I will try to skim the surface of the construction process, and mostly attempt to provide you with more visually intriguing pictures of finished work. 

At the moment, I have a couple different jobs going on that are in different phases of construction. The job that is furthest along, which is the job that I will go into detail on today, is a speculation home that I have been working closely with my Dad on. The house is just under 4,000 sf, and it's theme is Key West / British West Indies style and it is located in Boca Harbour, East Boca Raton. The codes have recently changed in the city of Boca, and they allow for higher mean roof heights, which in turn means that the ceiling heights of the first and second floors can be raised. In this specific house, we were able to build 12' ceilings at the first floor, and 10' ceiling heights at the second floor. The old codes limited the ceiling heights to 10' at the first floor and 9' at the second. The extra three feet total of ceiling height actually makes a huge difference in the house; from the outside, the house just appears much grander, and from the inside, well, it effects a few things. First off, we were able to install full height 10' sliding glass doors, and also, all window header heights keep the consistent 10' height. If the ceiling height is 10’, it only allows for 9’ max height door to be installed. Aside from this benefit, overall the house just feels a lot more voluminous upon walking inside of it, and it ultimately allows for you as the homeowner to brag about the extra height to all of your friends who own homes that were built to the old codes. My dad typically builds Mediterranean style homes, so by going all-in on a Key West home was a totally new experience. Aside from the fact that the floor plan was completely different than any other house we have built to date, the process of selecting finishes was an important and difficult one, because we had to make sure that we were ultimately sticking to the motif. We took extra care in ensuring that all finishes went along with the style. Whereas 24” x 24” marble is a common flooring material in a Mediterranean home, we decided to go with a 6” x 36” porcelain tile that mimics the look of a weathered driftwood and installed it on a diagonal pattern. Also, everything in the house is very modernist, therefore all lines are very square, and the crown moulding and door moulding details are quite simplistic overall. These are just a few examples of the considerations that were made on the interior finishes.

The exterior of the house was also quite challenging, because there are a countless amount of stucco and foam details involved. In order to jive with the Key West look, it is imperative to have the stucco siding look at the second floor. The labor involved in achieving this look is quite grueling and meticulous. We installed the standing seam metal roof on the house as well. There are two options for metal roofing – the standing seam option (which is more expensive), or the 5-v crimp roofing option. In my opinion, I think that the 5-V crimp roof actually has a cooler look, but I have been told that the standing seam roof lasts better in the long run, because the method of attachment is different. The 5-v crimp roof requires screws lining the roof that have a bonded neoprene washer, and if this neoprene washer wears out, there is potential for roof leaks. Aside from that, we installed a seashell paver at the pool deck, and actually installed a 24” x 24” terrazzo-looking porcelain tile at the second floor balconies. I think that it is safe to say that both my Dad and I are extremely proud of the way the house turned out…the house is on the market now so don’t miss the opportunity to check it out!!

Front of the House

Alternate angle - front of the house

Back of the house and master balcony at second floor

Big Picture back of the house

Summer Kitchen and pool shot

Modernistic stair railing

Her bath shower entry with rain head above. Carrera marble accent wall
Stand alone bathtub 
Volume and Thermal Controls as well as body sprays. Carrera marble vanity tops and shower pan
His Bath Side - framed with marble casing

Kitchen - lots of accent lighting

Laundry Room

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Boca Towers Condo Remodel

Here are pictures to a remodel that I completed in mid August. The condo was in the Boca Towers, and had breathtaking views of both the ocean and intracoastal waterway. One day while at work I glanced out to the ocean and noticed a small center console boat that was moored up to one of the buoys slightly off shore. I called my friend because I was thinking that it looked a lot like his boat, and low and behold, my friend was out there diving at the reef! It is really almost nearly impossible to beat the location and views of this condo. 

For this particular unit, we re-did the entire kitchen, all floors, both bathrooms, and framed down the entire ceiling. This unit had the old-school popcorn ceilings. There are two methods of fixing the popcorn ceiling - one is to scrape the old popcorn and then skim-coat the ceiling with drywall compound. The other is to frame down the ceiling with 1-5/8"metal and then drywall the ceiling. We opted to do the latter, which is more costly and takes much more time. The reason the homeowner chose to take this route, is because if you frame down the ceiling, you are able to conceal all wiring to any fans or light fixtures. 

The cabinets we installed are Omega, the counter top and backsplash are both Quartz, and the flooring is a 24" x 24" porcelain tile that mimics marble. The place ended up coming out beautiful and the homeowner was satisfied with the turnout. This job took approximately ten weeks to complete from the issuance of the permit.

Single Family Residence Remodel

Here are pictures to a one-story remodel that I completed back in August. We took this 1,700 sf house and put a new 5v crimp metal roof on it, we re-did the entire kitchen, both bathrooms, all flooring throughout, and basically gave every square inch of the house a little bit of love. The job turned out looking great and came in right at the budgeted amount. 

My Story from the Horses Mouth

Hello to whoever is willing to read this,

My name is Brian, and I am a young professional that has been trying to make a dent in the construction industry in the south Florida region for several years now. I am originally from Long Beach, New York, but I have been living in Boca Raton since I was in kindergarten, so I like to consider myself a true Floridian. I have a Bachelor's of Science and a Masters degree in Building Construction from the M.E. Rinker School of Building Construction in Gainesville, Florida. Yes, Go Gators!! I graduated in December of 2010 with the masters degree and upon graduation moved back to the south Florida region in anticipation of finding a job. Due to the state of the economy back in 2011, I had a tough time landing a job in the construction industry, especially in south Florida, because the housing collapse had such a great effect on the number of construction jobs that were available. When the economy got turned upside down, the banks stopped lending money, the value of real estate plummeted, and all of these things directly effected the quantity of jobs in my sector. I managed to get a job on the west coast of Florida in Sarasota for a painting and waterproofing company. I packed up my bags and away I went. My stay in Sarasota was short-lived, thankfully, and within 3 months of the move, I got offered another job with a large company in the Ft. Lauderdale area. I moved back to the east coast, and worked on the Seminole Casino of Coconut Creek for almost a year. From there I transitioned to a multi-family company, and built two 384+ unit apartment complexes, and worked as an Assistant Project Manager for the company.

When I was back at the University of Florida, my dad suggested to me that I take the General Contractor's licensing exam while I was still in "study mode." I still thank him to this day for pushing me to take the exam, because having this license has opened up a few doors that would have otherwise been closed. After working for almost three years building apartment complexes, I was granted an opportunity to go on my own and I have since opened up Beach to Bay Custom Builders Corp back in May of this year.

After having experience now for about six months operating my company, I have to say that things are different from what I was expecting, but definitely in a good way. Whenever anyone thinks of working for themselves and not having a boss, the first thing that you think is, 'nice, now I don't have to report to a boss, I'm going to work less hours, this is going to be pretty cool!' This thought process is actually a fallacy, because in reality I have actually been working harder, and trying to go above and beyond to maintain a positive reputation among my clients. I feel that it is more rewarding have a chance to run jobs and be on site on a daily basis and to see things coming together through your direction and managing.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, 'so what exactly is the point of this blog?' Well the idea to begin this blog was begat on a late weekend night a few weeks ago. I was conversing with a few friends, and one of them suggested that I begin to document the progress of the jobs that I have going on and to provide some insight on construction-related procedures and techniques that some of you readers may take an interest in. Also, I will try and offer suggestions on certain types of finishes, and provide you, the reader, with specifications on some of the finishes that go into the projects, just in case you like what you see.

I hope you enjoy the blog! If you have any questions on anything please send me an email and I would be happy to answer!!!