Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

On The Boards

Things are busy here in the studio. I thought I would post an update on the progress of some of the projects in the studio, and introduce a couple new projects.

My project in Danville is out of plan check! The owner picked up the permit about 3 weeks ago. We are currently considering bids from several contractors.

Both of my projects in San Francisco are STILL in plan check. The bigger project – the foundation replacement and new apartment – sailed through the architectural review with no comments. We are now waiting for the structural review to begin. As a reminder, we applied for this permit back in AUGUST of last year.

With the smaller project – adding a deck and remodeling a bathroom – we got through the 311 Review (a Planning Department notification process). We are now in plan check. We applied for this permit back in OCTOBER of last year.

If you are planning on building in San Francisco, it can take a long time to get your permits.

There are three new-ish projects on going at the moment.

A Commercial Project

Diagrams to understand and explain occupancy loads and exit distances.

I have started on a commercial project in San Francisco. The building has been empty for 2 years and the owner is having problems leasing the spaces because they are dark and labyrinthine. The project is to bring the shell of the building up to code for exiting and accessibility, providing big, bright, empty spaces that will be easier to lease.

 Expanding Apartments

Section of a floor plan for a project in Berkeley

This is a project in a very nice neighborhood in Berkeley. It is to expand an existing apartment building into the ground level service spaces (garages, storage rooms). We can’t add any new units, but we can expand the units above into the available ground floor space. The project has some “quirks” to the property, so we have applied for a Zoning Research Letter from the City of Berkeley Zoning Department. We are waiting for clarifications about what we can and cannot do and what the process might be to get the project approved.

Accessory Dwelling Unit

An Isometric model of the first floor of an ADU project in Berkeley

This project is a sweet little back yard cottage in Berkeley. The illustration above is for just one option I am presenting to the client this week.  The client wants to build a 2-story, 2-bedroom cottage in their back yard. All this has to be 750 square feet or less, and under 14 feet in height – we will either have to sink the ground floor down into the ground, or apply for a conditional use permit to have 2-stories. The question is which is more expensive and which is more time consuming….

These are just some of the projects in the studio at the moment. Some are in the worst phase (waiting and waiting and waiting for a permit). Others are in the fun stage (looking at possibilities and designing). It’s all part of the architectural process and what an architect does.

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