Design Development

The following images were made this week as I was working on a small cottage project that was recently re-started by the clients after a break of almost 2 years. In the intervening years, the building code changed and the Oakland’s planning regulations changed, so we had to make some changes. In addition, my clients […]

What An Architect Does

As architects we do a lot of different things. It’s more than making drawings. As an example, in August I finished the permit drawings for a commercial project in San Francisco, an accessory dwelling unit in Sunnyvale, the conversion of an existing garage into an accessory dwelling unit in Oakland. I also evaluated a property […]

Building Codes Updated for 2017

I’ve written about the ever changing building codes before. They are updated with changes every three years. California just adopted the 2016 Building Code, with the State’s own amendments, in January of 2017. I am now preparing the documents for projects which will be the first projects for which I will be using the 2016 […]

New House Project in Daly City

There is nothing more gratifying to an architect than when an old client returns with a new project. That recently happened to me. A client for whom I designed a sizable remodel and addition about 15 years ago, recently contacted me about a project they have in mind: a brand new house on a site […]

Project in Progress: Danville framing is under way

The project in Danville is under construction and the contractor is making good time. I was out to the site last week to look at the construction, answer questions, and take some pictures. As a reminder, this is a 900 square foot addition to a 1950’s house. The addition is two stories and will be […]

New Accessory Dwelling Project

With the recent changes to state law regarding Accessory Dwelling Units, you can see how various municipalities are dealing with changing their planning ordinances to come into compliance with the state legislation. In Oakland, they are allowing development within a house, and development attached to a house. They are allowing you to convert an existing […]

Accessory Dwelling Units – Can You Build One?

In California right now, there is a significant amount of interest in “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs). These used to be called “granny flats”, “in-law units”, or “back yard cottages”. Now they are most commonly called “accessory dwelling units” or “secondary dwelling units”. By definition, an ADU is a smaller dwelling that is attached to, or […]

Follow Up: San Francisco Earthquake Safety Fair was good!

Thanks to everybody who came out to the San Francisco Earthquake Safety Fair last Thursday. It was a very successful event. I shared a booth with Mike Miranda of MEMGC, a contractor with whom I’ve worked for a while. Mike is something of a force of nature once he gets started. The event was sponsored […]