Published in Nov/Dec 2002 issue of Builder/Architect
By Toula Hubbard

Craftsman Pool at Night

This home radiates at night, making the courtyard a beautiful place for entertaining. Photography by Abe Ajlouny. This 8,000 sq. foot home was designed to harmonize with the site and neighboring homes. The materials consist of exterior cement plaster with ledge stone base, timber columns and trellis. The color palette was selected to suit the existing natural surroundings. The garage is sensitively tucked behind a porte cochere to minimize the visual impact from the street. Architecture by Hayer Magnus Architects, roof construction by Alliance Roofing, quarry slate roofing materials supplied by Big Creek Lumber, plastering by Castle Plastering, painting by Corralitos Painting, landscaping by Far West Landscape, security system by First Alarm, concrete by Tom Ralston Concrete, mechanical by Richard Denton Mechanical, windows by Somerset Door and Window, garage doors by A-1 Overhead Door, Electrical by McDow Electric, outside radiant heat by Montano Plumbing, masonry by Kevin McElinny Masonry, negative edge pool by Precision Pools

Jack Keenan is known throughout the Central Coast as a hands-on contractor who pays extraordinary attention to detail. Working closely with clients, architects, designers and subcontractors, he keeps each project moving smoothly and efficiently.

Born in Chicago, Jack’s family moved frequently due to his father’s work in the military. After living in many places, including Italy and Germany, his family settled in Monterey in 1968.

A zoology and environmental science major at San Jose State, Jack received his contractor’s license in 1977 and started his construction career building solar homes. In fact, he has been credited with building the first solar home in Santa Cruz. Today, Keenan Construction builds high-end, custom homes for clients on the Central Coast. His entire business is based on client referrals, which has kept him busy close to his home in Aptos.

Choosing to keep his company small and living up to the high standards he set for himself, Jack Keenan is about quality, not quantity. “I build only about one or two homes a year, which allows me to work closely with my clients and everyone involved in the construction process. When I work on a large project like this one, it is for years, not months, so there is an education we go through together and a friendship is formed.&rdqou;

Building homes of this caliber is a major undertaking, and a conscientious builder like Jack Keenan respects the monetary and emotional investment his clients are making. Therefore, he’s available to clients to guide them through every stage of development. Many of his clients are self-made individuals who are savvy in their fields but never realize how hard it is to build a house and the high costs that are involved. “It is a constant learning experience for everyone”, Says Jack Keenan.

Jack Keenan

Featured builder: Jack Keenan. Photograph by Abe Ajlouny

The featured “courtyard style” residence, designed by Hayler Magnus Architects of San Diego who was “Inspired by the client’s appreciation of the Arts and Crafts architecture in a modern, open plan layout. Indoor rooms open to outdoor spaces that encourage alfresco dining and gathering” explains Hector Magnus, former Principal architect, now in his own practice.

According to Magnus, the terracing, landscaping and hardscape design were created to capture the views towards the Monterey Peninsular. The southfacing courtyard, which includes a negative edge pool and outdoor sitting area with fireplace, utilizes the prevailing breezes for natural cooking in the warmer months and captures solar energy for warming in the cooler months. The design also features radiant heat underneath the outdoor patio for yearround eating and entertaining.

Jack’s position and dedication to his work is self-evident in this 8,000-square foot Craftsman house located in Aptos. The intricate details involved in the design and construction of this custom home created a two-year project for Keenan Construction. Therefore, keeping a solid relationship with his clients, architect and sub-contractors is a vital key to Jack’s success as a home builder.

When Hector Magnus was asked about hi experience working with Jack Keenan, he had this to say: “Rarely do I find myself expressing such optimism and enthusiasm about any builder in particular, Jack Keenan is one exception. His professional attitude, attention to detail and excellent follow-up skills are just a few of this gentleman’s traits. In custom home building, much of the project’s success lies in the relation that the general contractor has developed client, architect and all of his trades. Jack’s knowledge of all aspects of building, his ability to foresee potential issues and his easy-going demeanor provide the environment needed to orchestrate excellence. I am proud to have worked with Jack Keenan and all the craftsmen he brings to a project. He is the master builder you want to work with again and again, myself included.”

When asked to offer advice to builders starting out in the business Jack says not to worry about how many projects you build early on “Just build the best product you can and the work will come to you once you’ve established a good reputation.”

A good reputation is something Jack has plenty of. From past clients to colleagues Keenan Construction has earned a reputation as one of the most respected and admired builders in the area. Interior Sonja Knutsen agrees, “I’ve been in this business 20 years and nobody is as organized, professional and well-liked as Jack Keenan. I only hope I get to work with him again because it was a wonderful experience.”

For more information on this house call Keenan Construction at (831) 662 8600

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