My name is Stephen Key.
I am a Certified General Contractor in the State of Florida. I have also been a licensed contractor in the states of California and Louisiana.
I have built new homes, renovated old ones, and included some commercial properties in my line of work. I have recently done custom kitchens, wall units, and high-end interiors in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Key Biscayne. I have reconstructed projects in hurricane-damaged areas, as well as those destroyed by earthquakes, fires, and termites.
I started with Hurricane Andrew in Miami, and finished up with Katrina in my hometown of New Orleans. I watched storms knock down my fences, tear up trees, and blow off sections of roof.
I have been a real estate investor in California, Utah, Arizona, and Florida. I have made (and lost) money on foreclosures, VA repos, and abandoned properties.
I have lived in 38 different homes in 8 different states. Some residences were very nice, others were run down or in need of significant repair, but they were all home for me and my family at some point in time.
I have been a scuba diver, RV camper, sailplane trainee, sports car owner-enthusiast, power and sailboat aficionado, bird hunter, fisherman, and water skier. I have been down abandoned mine shafts, lived next to dairy farms, raised earthworms for a living, and ….!!!
My father was an actor in Hollywood with the likes of John Wayne, Robert Stack, Randolph Scott, and others. I had actors come to our home for parties put on by my parents. I even helped my dad build a Tiki Hut in our back yard after he returned from a movie he made in Hawaii.
I hit a tree at 60 miles an hour, crashed in an airplane, and driven over a 300 foot cliff. My hand has passed through a table saw several times. I have slid down hillsides while climbing, crashed on bicycles down sloping highways, been through earthquakes, violent windstorms, and fires. But for the grace of God, I should be dead.
I have lots of stories to tell, but that is not the sole purpose of this site. I want to share my knowledge of home building, renovating, remodeling, custom woodworking, old homes, and tools that I used. I want to show how I invested in real estate, especially the unique home acquisition I have now.
I want to show how I budgeted and saved money. In other words, I want share life experiences so that you may benefit, and my articles will try to emphasize that.
I will try to keep my topics organized so that you, the reader, can get valuable insight to help you gain a better understanding of your projects or situations. I will tell you where I bought items I used, recommend the products I like, show how I make things, give tips on procedures I have used, and use your feedback to answer questions you may have.
An occasional side story on some incident in my life will help keep things interesting, I hope. I don’t like rambling, hard to read stories, online, so I will try to follow advice on how to avoid that.
Hope you like what I have to say.
Stephen J. Key