This project, a single family residence originally built-in the late 1950’s, is one of the finest examples for the Design-Build process in which I’ve ever been involved. A split level home in the San Diego area, with a covered breeze way separating the house from the detached garage, it was a very common “ranch rambler” style home with low sloping roofs and flat level ceilings. Heating & Air conditioning, windows & insulation, along with water fixtures were original equipment, and all were in need of upgrades.

We started with approximately 3,600 square feet of living space, consisting of; 3 Bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms, a very dated Kitchen, standard Dining & Living Room all at grade level upstairs, and a dark lower level with Family Room, Bedroom, Bath, and Laundry Room. Also upstairs we had a standard 2-car Garage with very limited circulation for vehicle to access the garage, with created some conflict with the front Entry and the covered breeze way.

The goal was to enclose the breeze way for a new Kitchen and Nook, which would create connection, and direct access, to the Garage, to raise the height of the entire roof, and introduce a new grand tower Foyer. We also wanted to expand the upper level Balcony overlooking the back yard, and increase the view to the Open Space canyon at the rear of the property.

I could easily write a book on this one project, however I decided to take a different approach. Yes, we took many pictures to capture our progress along the way. But I also documented the status with videos where I could walk you through the property, inside and out, and narrate the changes as we viewed them together. I trust you’ll enjoy the article, and that this form of teaching and learning will add value to your upcoming residential remodel.

Front of House – Before

This is one of those jobs that was stripped down to the studs, inside and out. The drywall, insulation, electrical, plumbing, all of it was removed to allow for a full retrofit of the utilities, and to bring it into compliance with current code. We even removed a large portion of the existing structural roof system to increase the ceiling heights in several of the rooms.

Front of House – After

After the building plans we completed, I commenced with the permit process through the City of San Diego… and what a process it was. Our plans were reviewed, and approved, by six different departments, over a 4-month period of time, culminating in our building permit to begin construction. Then came the changes, by the owners, the conditions that we uncovered during demolition, and the interior designer as the project unfolded. All these are very common in the home remodeling process.
The construction evolved over a 12-month period of time, with imported materials requested by the owner, and modifications to site itself when additional out-buildings were introduced.

Rear of House – Before

Demolition is the most disruptive part of any home remodeling project. Open stud walls, drywall dust, broken glass, nails and a general mess residing throughout the entire area of work. On an average remodel, it’s manageable, with good coordination between the contractor and the home owner. However, there are times when the owner must move out completely in order to safely and securely re-build their house into the home of their dreams.

Rear of House – After

As an architect in San Diego, I’ve seen a lot of homes in my 40 years of experience. Honestly, most of the homes I’ve had the pleasure to design are local to our community in Chula Vista, Bonita, and the greater San Diego area. Occasionally though, I’m allowed the opportunity to be part of a very special, high-end, home remodeling project that has the potential to shine like the sun when it’s all done. This is such a project.

Upper Deck Addition – Before

In this case, the home owners moved out for 12 months while a total whole house remodel was conducted, as well as a large-scale room addition to create a new Kitchen, complete removal and re-build of a new Garage, and a two-story deck expansion. At this stage, the pool was 80% complete, but there was much more work to do on the exterior of the house before the decking could be poured around the pool. You will see the accessory building off to the right which was an afterthought of the owner, and a huge hurdle to overcome in the plan check process.

Upper Deck Addition – After

What an amazing transformation! Now that you’ve seen what this home in San Diego looked like before we started, I think you would agree that the outcome is astonishing. The view is spectacular, not only of the new pool below, and the accessory covered deck off to the side, but the canyon beyond is now in full view of all the rooms.

Read more about the solutions I provide in my new book, CUT THE CHAOS – The Ultimate Guide to Residential Remodeling available from Amazon and Barnes & Nobel. While you’re waiting for your book to arrive, visit my website: http://TimPJones.com, I have a FREE gift for you, an audio file of a 30-min interview conducted with me on the topic of how to “Take The Fear Out of Remodeling”. Go there now & get your FREE download. You can visit and subscribe to my You Tube Channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3dcV9gn4pjhJveDucf7lOw, where you’ll find many more videos on residential remodel projects in the greater San Diego area.