Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

Sunset In-law Legalization

David Locicero | architect

Completed in 2016

600 square feet

Private Client

The Problem: The existing garden level rental unit had been built without permits. The kitchen was rudimentary and the bathroom was less than desirable. The owner wanted to take advantage of San Francisco’s In-law legalization program to make the unit legal and more attractive to renters. The existing unit was not in compliance with many provisions of the building code.

The Client: Believes in doing things by the rules. Wanted to legalize the unit to eliminate potential legal issues with the rental unit and to increase the value of the house.


The original unit was dark and crowded.


The original bath was old and not code compliant.

The Solution: We had to strip the existing unit down to the studs, insulate the walls, reconfigure and enlarge the bathroom, replace the kitchen. We provided a legal entrance to the unit from the street, separated from the garage. We provided fire rated walls between the garage and the unit and provided a fire rated ceiling between the unit and the main house above.

The Results: The updated and legalized unit is lighter, warmer, and code compliant. The rent is higher.

The kitchen is small but fully equipped. This photo was taken before the final base cabinet, to the right of the range, was installed, and before the end panels where painted white.


The remodeled bathroom is now code compliant and much more contemporary. This photo was taken before the bathroom accessories were installed.


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