Welcome To Ksquared Builders

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seasons greetings and Thank You from the K Team!

Dear Friends,
As 2014 and K Squared Builders (K2) first full year in business draws to a close, I find it appropriate to update, or at the least provide insight into how we got started and where we are heading.
Way back in 1979, I got my start in carpentry as a helper for a German Baptist carpenter. Thankfully that sect was allowed to use power tools! Eventually I worked full time for them as a self-employed carpenter so technically – I was self-employed first at 16!
From there, I worked for two commercial contractors where I became the footing foreman for each and learned much about concrete, retaining walls and grade work…as well as plumbing.
Using that experience, I partnered with a friend to create T&D Construction. We knew how to work hard, but without any business training, made an easy target for some bigger companies who prey on the naive. More lessons learned.
In 1987, I went to work for Jerry Liu, a Montgomery County remodeler, who when asked about benefits stated “you get paid for what you work”. I took the job as a carpenter and soon became a lead carpenter and then project manager including building a somewhat complex custom home. In 1996 I switched roles to represent him as his Salesman/Estimator. It was one of the best moves of my career, participating as they became one of the most respected remodelers in the DC Metro area …while earning “full” benefits.
All good things come to an end.., so that better things can start! In January 2013, I started the involved process of becoming a Maryland Home Improvement Contractor and finally in August of 2013, K Squared Builders, Inc. was “officially” born. At that time, I still represented D G Liu as a licensed salesman and continued to do so until about June of this year at which time I knew it was time to go “Fulltime”.
The K TEAM: Who says family cannot work together? I am doubly blessed to have both my children working for me now. Lance not only is a skilled Lead Carpenter but has earned great customer praise as my Project Manager for running their jobs not just smoothly and efficiently, but with high quality. Daughter Nicole Cook has taken over our bookkeeping, freeing me up to pursue new work and as well as spending some time in the field as well. Her computer skills are a great help and asset to us…and I get to see my beautiful granddaughters when she is here working…priceless!
Scott Warnick started as an partially skilled helper but has quickly advanced to carpenter status. What he initially lacked in skill was more than compensated for by his excellent work ethic and positive attitude. I am fortunate to have him as part of the K TEAM and he also has received many compliments.
David Buckner and Josh Hosey have both provided much needed fill-in help and we look forward to utilizing them whenever possible. Last but not Least, Daughter-in-law Whitney Kramer runs all of our permits and her “get-it-done” attitude, “gets-it-done” in that (sometimes) frustrating task!
Maybe the most unknown member of the K TEAM is our loyal, tried and true sub-contractors. Having worked with many of them for beyond 15 years provides us with a valuable resource that we are pleased to have the pleasure of working with as well as the trust to have them represent K2
And now…drum roll please…the MOST important members of the K TEAM.
That is you: My Clients, friends, family, tradesman and associates that have chosen to let us help with not just your projects but have referred your friends and families as well. Because of you, we have had a surprisingly busy and productive first year at K2. Without you, none of this would be possible! We have built additions, kitchens, custom decks, office spaces, water damage restorations, windows, roofing, siding, bathrooms and more.
Myself and the entire K TEAM thank you for your ongoing trust and loyalty and are looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store for us, through you.
Unlike many companies that are driven only by profit and growth, we are driven to provide a quality project, at a fair price and on schedule. I personally guarantee that every job will be completed “The way you want it”.
Have a most Merry Christmas and a wonderful Holiday Season!

Dale Kramer President K Squared Builders, Inc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Top 5 Thanks’ Given after Maw’s Kitchen Remodeling

Top 5 Thanks’ Given after Maw’s Kitchen Remodeling
Dear Contractor, Thank you for Remodeling Maw’s’ kitchen and…
1. … adding a “con-vection” microwave in addition to her stove. Now she can cook and we can feast on turkey AND ham… all in the same sittin’!
2. …building that spacious center island which gives Maw space to whip up her special fixins’ like: “Creamy Coon Pasta w/ Tadpole Puddin’ ” and “Artery Cloggin’ Hog Mash w/ Taters.”
3. …hiding all, well most all, of her stinky garbage in them crafty pull out trash bins.
4. …protecting her precious god-fearing fingers from sure dismemberment by eliminating those dark and dangerous shadows with them newfangled L E D under-cabinet light thingy’s.
5. …saving Maw and Paw’s marriage by creating two prep areas which allow them to work in the same kitchen without even once throwing hot grease on one tuther’.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the K Squared Team!

Every Work with "That Guy"?

Ever work with "that guy"? 
TIP OF THE DAY: Ask your remodeler "When something goes wrong, how do you handle it?" How they answer might be a "tell" of how the job would go.

A "picture" perfect Dining Room.

"Ed and I wish to thank you so much for the wonderful work that K Squared Builders, and specifically your son, Lance, and his assistant Scott recently completed for us. Our new dining room is absolutely beautiful, and I very much look forward to having all our children and grandchildren over for Thanksgiving dinner to officially "christen" the room. Also, it is so nice to have our laundry room upstairs on the main level so I no longer have to haul clothes up and down the stairs." Ed and Janet Kilpatrick

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"'Job Well Done"

"My husband and I want to thank you, Lance, and the crews for a wonderful job, well done. The list is long and I hope I haven't left something out:

-trim work in hall, kitchen, powder room and family room
-a hand rail to the second floor
-removal of wallpaper - the job turned out to be much more difficult than anticipated
-paint - most of the first floor
-renovation of the powder room from top to bottom, including a much-needed shelf in the cabinet
-helping me select a neat and different sliding patio door
-grab bars in 2 bathrooms

Not only are we pleased with the work, we can't say enough good things about how you and all the workers were on time for scheduled work and how it was done neatly, and well-cleaned up afterward.
Also, the workers were respectful of our privacy as best as possible.

Thanks to all. Can't wait to plan next project!"

Kay and Joe B.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Drafts no More

Notoriously drafty Jalousie  type windows are "okay" in mild climates but not suited for colder areas like MD. Replaced with new vinyl double hung windows that are super efficient as well as very easy to clean, makes for a happy homeowner!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Be prouder of your Powder...Room!

Be prouder of your Powder...Room!
Just because powder rooms typically are small, doesn't mean they have to be ugly. Removing old wallpaper usually is not an easy task, but it can dramatically change the look of any room. 
Notables - Omega custom walnut cabinet. Moen fixtures, Toto toilet, Granite top with undermount sink, taller recessed medicine cabinets, chair rail, removed recessed light and added light above vanity. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Decked Out!

K Squared Builders

designed and built this unique deck in Darnestown MD. Notables include: Dual decks provide ample entertainment areas while creating an easy way down to the back yard. Brick support columns with limestone caps compliment the deck while blending it in with the architecture of the home. Trex decking with hidden fasteners and a beautiful double border. Trex composite rail system complete with post, pier and step lighting nicely accent this space day or night. Underdeck Oasis under deck drainage system to keep you dry no matter how hard it rains This will be especially useful when the future patio is built!
Thank you Lance, Scott, Josh, Dave and George for your fine work!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

K Squared does light Commercial

"I absolutely love the space. There is good flow in the work areas, great natural light and it feels relaxing and comfortable.
You and the crew did a fabulous job. Thank you again. I will certainly refer you to anyone in need!"
Jumpstart Therapy
Gaithersburg, MD

Kim owns Jumpstart Therapy, a pediatric occupational therapy clinic which specializes in helping children ages 12 months through 7 years old We were glad to be able to help prepare their new therapy location in Gaithersburg, MD. Check out their website at http://www.jumpstart-therapy.com/

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Do you Shudder to Shower?

Then shatter the shoddy shanty to shambles and shine up your shins in a new showery showplace!
I guess what I'm trying to say is. let us rip out your old leaky shower and replace it with one you are proud use.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Can't Cope?

That's OK, we can, and do!
Coping is a way of back-cutting moldings to ensure a tight fit at inside corners.
Crown molding first was used  over 2500 years ago by the Greeks and were cut from stone. Today's crown molding most commonly is made from pre-primed woods. There are some synthetic alternatives out there, but be wary as many times they give a wavy look.
A general rule of thumb is that the height of the crown be 1/14th of the wall height . A great way to further add to the look, is to add multiple pieces of trim to create a "built-up" look.
In the second picture, 3 pieces of crown are used, and then the wall between them will be painted to match the trim. This creates an even more substantial feel for these 9' ceilings.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Join the K Team.

Landon proudly displaying his K Squared shirt. He already has a great fascination of tools and building things. Looking forward to the day he joins the K Team with his daddy Lance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dryer Fire - Don't be next!

Laundry Rooms are the number one origin of home fires and Lint is the number 1 item ignited (see diagrams 3 and 4) 
Picture one shows a clogged dryer vent we just discovered. Fortunately, the owner noticed lint was coming through a bathroom exhaust fan when the dryer was running. We added an additional lint trap above the dryer and re-directed the duct to a new wall vent separating it from the bathroom exhaust duct. 

There are many dryer vent cleaning kits available if you are handy, or if not, hire a professional duct cleaning company to inspect and clean yours regularly.

For more facts,check out this report from FEMA;http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v13i7.pdf

How do you know if you may have a clog?
Clothes take longer and longer to dry;
Clothes don't fully dry;
Clothes are hotter than normal at the end of the drying cycle;
The outside of dryer gets very hot;
The outside exhaust vent flapper does not open very much;
Laundry room becomes more humid than it is usually;
Burnt smell is evident in the laundry room.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Barn Storming

A bad storm last week ripped some tin off this barn. We did an emergency repair soon after and today, the crew rebuilt the damaged roof. I must say, the new rake trims are probably straighter now, than they have been since horses were used to plow the nearby fields.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Kind Praise

Some kind praise we received:

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your staff for the incredible work you've done at our multiple various locations. We've really enjoyed working with you, from start to finish. 
To begin, I'm particularly pleased with how thorough and prompt your proposals have been. And when it has come time to complete the work, your group has been quite flexible with getting in and out of our Facilities with minimum down time for construction. Most importantly, your company does a beautiful job and we've been delighted with the results. You deliver a quality product at a very competitive price.
We couldn't ask for any more."

Margie Hunt
Horizon Surgical Group
Practice Administrator

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Yes, it sure does! Have a great 4th!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Invasion of the Home Eaters

No,not some cheesy movie, these winged stealth biters attack your homes without you even knowing they are there...until you step through the floor or a picture falls off the wall. As I was leaving my house the other day, I saw them "Swarming" from this log as they head for some unsuspecting home. Your home is at its greatest risk form March to June.

"If you took all the termite damage nationwide, you're probably looking at more damage from termites than you would say from floods and fires combined." Terminex Technical Specialist Michael Paul.

Even more important than termite treatments and inspections, is to eliminate any source of moisture near the framing of your home.
NO Water, NO Termites!
Direct rainwater away from the foundation. install flashings over windows and doors. Keep mulch and earth at least 6" below your siding, and if you have dripping plumbing pipes, fix them immediately. The wood piranhas cannot survive without moisture.
 — in Maryland.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Keep the Water Out.

Keep the Water Out.
Sounds simple...but unfortunately many "carpenters" are more worried about speed than proper techniques. Is this case, flashings were not installed over the window trims and allowed water to get into the framing. First it rotted the trim, and eventually damaged the hardwood floors in this very nice sunroom. We are happy to cry out "Bring on the Rains" after replacing almost all the trim with rot proof PVC and of course, installing the proper flashings and sealants.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why not to make your basement bedroom to nice.

Because they may never leave! Work performed was a nice basement bedroom, a walk-in closet, a very large storage area and an art room closet for the kids.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bad Tenants, Bad Cleanup and Bad Weather...

...make for very BAD damage when combined together at this clients townhouse.  Back in middle of one of the coldest winters on record, their renter failed to keep the heat on, resulting in a frozen  water line that burst in a wall of the upstairs hall bath.  Hesitating to immediately shut off the water added to the damage, and to make matters worse, the Disaster Cleanup company hired to open the walls and “Dry out” the house, used practically no protection and/or care during the demolition and handling of the personal properties.

 Their carelessness damaged cabinets, hardwood flooring, countertops, fixtures and appliances to name a few. I was appalled when first assessing the damage and requested  a meeting with the owners insurance adjuster.  The damage was undeniable, and in a short while, the adjuster agreed that almost all of the items were not salvageable and agreed to cover their full replacement.  On behalf of the owner, we negotiated with the adjuster to come to a fair cost for the rebuilding, as well as pointed out some errors to the adjusters estimate that saved the insurance company as well.

K Squared took on the task of rebuilding the home and with great satisfaction turned the home back over to the owner in less than 6 weeks.  Inspired by the restoration, the owners decided to add some upgrades and personal touches and recently put the home on the market. The Realtor feels it will sell very fast, and we hope so as well!

If you are unfortunate enough to have our home damaged by hail, rain, wind, or “burst pipes”, keep in mind that you have rights as the owner to select a contractor of your choosing. If it is K Squared, we will gladly work with you and your insurance company, to come to a fair settlement for all. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Puppies, Pantries and Planning.

K Squared Builders, Inc.'s photo.
K Squared Builders, Inc.'s photo.

Loving their Puppies was one thing, but when their doggy crates started to take over the kitchen, they knew it was time to make a change. Careful planning and then moving of many wires, ducts, plumbing and framing allowed us to cleverly add a 3-Dog Kennel "built-in" into some unused space in the garage. Vinyl sheeting covers the inside making it easy to clean up any mishaps. A full height pantry cabinet/broom closet was tucked into an old abandoned duct chase and by using full extension drawers, eliminates those "forgotten sundries" that end up shoved to the back.
K Squared Builders, Inc.'s photo.