About Kees

I started swinging a hammer in the early 80′s. My father was developing land in the Oakland hills, building beautiful homes with fantastic views of the Bay. As a former producer of art documentaries for Dutch television, he was more a visual artist than a businessman. For better or for worse, I followed in those footsteps. By now I have gained a solid block of construction experience. The nuts-and-bolts, of course, but also people skills and attention to environmental impact. The industry as a whole continues to have a bad reputation, and relatively little is done to raise the bar. I would like to see this change. Most importantly, however, and perhaps the main focus of this blog, is collaboration. Sharing what we know so we can learn from each other. There will be some reviews of equipment and methods, photos and videos of projects past and present, details of the way I run my business, guest posts, and more. The design of this blog is in its infant stages. I had hoped to first make it look the way I wanted it to, and then start posting. Due to time constraints it became clear rather quickly that it would take forever before I could publish the first piece, so I will address the bells and whistles as time permits. Form follows function, as they say. Questions? Ideas? Drop a line!
Author Archive | Kees

Some Technologies Waste Time — Lots!

As part of my work, I spend quite a bit of time driving. Meetings with clients, checking progress at construction projects; and so forth. While on one of those trips recently, I wondered how much faster traffic would move if drivers all over the world would stop texting and checking email. (more…)

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Installing The Nest Thermostat

Google Buys Nest!

Google buys Nest Labs.

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Building Spirit at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

Last September, I visited Tassajara Zenshinji and hot springs, located in California’s Carmel Valley. (more…)

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Arm-R-Seal and 0000 steel wool

Finishing A Birch Door With GF Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat

One of my desk tops is actually a solid core door. It spans across two filing cabinets, making for a nice, long work surface. The top has an attractive birch veneer skin which I never bothered to seal. I figured I would get around to it some day, and that day finally arrived. In addition, […]

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Sperry Instruments GFI6302 GFCI Outlet Tester Review

Last year, I reviewed two electrical outlet testers: F-Circle’s CircTest 3579-4 for regular, grounded receptacles; and the Commercial Electric MS6860H, which can also be used to test GFCI circuits. The main complaints I voiced were that both were labeled on one side only, making it cumbersome to test receptacles that were installed upside down, and […]

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Hitachi C10FCE2 Compound Miter Saw – One Small Design Flaw, Easy To Fix

Around 2004, I bought the best-ever Hitachi 10 inch sliding compound miter saw, model CF10FSB, made in Japan. That saw was one of the awesome-est (!) tools I owned, and so it was with great chagrin when I discovered it stolen from a job site several months ago. Thankfully the thief did not bother taking […]

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New Concrete Slab In Ten Easy Steps

It is about time we publish a hands-on, how-to, nuts & bolts article. Last week we poured a new concrete slab that is part of a larger remodeling project. The pad was made for a Jacuzzi hot tub that needed to be relocated. Ready? Here we go… (more…)

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Contractor State License Board Goes Undercover

California’s Contractor State License Board Goes Undercover (video)

California’s Contractor State License Board shows unlicensed ‘contractors’ that doing remodel work without the appropriate license is not cool. The Board also attempts to fight abuse of the elderly. Finding answers to these problems certainly has Remodel Blog’s support, but what is the right way to go about it? The videos recently posted to the CSLB […]

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Photo © RemodelBlog.net 2013

Solar Power Day And Night!

NPR’s Alan Yu wrote an interesting article about Abengoa Solar. On Wednesday, Abengoa cranked up the world’s largest solar energy plant of its kind. What is newsworthy is not only its size — it powers 70,000 homes in Arizona — but the technology that enables it to store energy during the day and then generate […]

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Installing The Nest Thermostat

Installing The Nest Thermostat

In April of 2012, Remodel Blog published a post showing how to install the Nest Learning Thermostat. It was accompanied by a video featuring step-by-step instructions on how to identify the polarity of unidentified wires coming from the furnace. This post was quite popular, in part because it showed the installation procedure for when your […]

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Steps To Take After Removing WordPress Malware Infection

A few days ago, I wrote about how we got our arms around a malware infection of this site. With the help of Sucuri.net, the site was scanned, scrubbed clean of malicious code, and site’s URL was submitted to the various powers-that-be to have Remodel Blog removed from blacklists. Upon completion of its work, Sucuri.net […]

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Remodel Blog Beats Malware!

Some of you noticed that Remodel Blog was off-line for nearly a week, with Google’s security warning popping up for many visitors. While I never thought it would happen, Remodel Blog was hit by malicious code. I decided to describe this event so other business owners can learn from what happened to us, and what […]

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Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse Restaurant Repairs and Remodels, Better Accommodates Handicapped

As most food aficionados know, Berkeley-based Chez Panisse restaurant and cafe had a small fire in March, 2013. Construction efforts have been underway ever since, including some remodeling work. The new structure  includes a handicap ramp (see photo below) and have a bathroom compliant with the American Disabilities Act, more commonly known as ADA. If […]

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