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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Alfred PaceJuly 17, 2011
Good Day All,
Well after saving our pennies (and dollars!) for years, we are making a move. We are closing on a 1960's rancher on the SF Peninsula. The house is on a great lot, landscaped in a meditteranean/tuscal/napa valley style. We want to keep the yard in current form, but also want to update and perhaps expand the rancher. Our dilemma is this: How do we weave our desire to keep the 1960's rancher 'moderne' sensibility while tying it into the existing yard theme, etc. We will be remodeling baths, kitchen, expanding some rooms and potentially adding a 'poolhouse' or poolside room. We are excited about the project and fully expect we will be starting to aggressively in August!

Any thoughts, etc are most appreciated!

Al and Karen
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Bill Fry Construction - Wm. H. Fry Const. Co.
Dear Al and Karen -

Suggest you visit your local planning department and get an idea as to what is feasible as far as expansion is concerned - that will drive a number of other decisions. Some of Bill's clients have modernized their ranchers by replacing the interior wood with sheetrock and brick-faced fireplaces with venetian plaster or new stone.

Living Room with Venetial Plaster Fireplace · More Info

living room with fireplace by master stonemason · More Info

Once you have developed a sense of your restrictions (from your city) and what you want (houzz is a great resource) engage the services of a building designer who shares your aesthetic. Getting a contractor on board early helps with "value engineering" as well - he or she can help you make decisions based on cost (sometimes you can achieve a similar look at much lower cost).

Developing a master plan for your home will take some time (unlikely that you'd start actual remodeling in August), but will pay off in the long run.

Because your new home was built prior to 1978, you should have a contractor do lead testing to prepare yourself for any required lead abatement - the results could drive some decisions as well. A contractor working on your home is required to be EPA lead-safe certified. You can find more information here: http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm

:) Rhoda Fry
1 Like    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:20PM
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Alfred Pace
Rhoda, Thank You!. Great comments. As to the expansion, have already met with city and have a good understanding of setback requirements and SF limitations. We are fortunate that due to the size of the lot, etc we will not run into any real limitations vis a vis our current plans. We are beginning to speak to builders to get a better understanding of floorplan, value engineering, etc. As to redoing the interior, I think you are correct, we will likely migrate to drywall, etc., cost and budget permitting!

I am uploading a couple of additional photos of the current kitchens and baths!

Thanks again for your insight!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Annie Thornton
Hi dealhero, congratulations on such an amazing purchase! We would love to hear more about your plans for renovations on this home. Do you have priorities as to what you would like to accomplish first? What style of kitchen or bathroom are you going for? Good luck and keep us posted!
    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Alfred Pace

Thanks for your interest. Well, the house is 3,200 sf on a 1 acre lot. Our hope is to revitalize the home while attempting to retain much of the 1960's aesthetic. In other words looking for a 'contemporary rancher'. Currently, we envision that all baths and the kitchen will be renovated to reflect contemporary, but hopefully 'timeless' aesthetics. We anticipate an 'open' floorplan with a minor acknowledgement to formality in the form of a 'flexible' dining room that can be opened for larger gatherings and 'closed' for the occasional formal event. In addition, we hope to replace and potentially enlarge windows, new flooring (fans of polished concrete but wood subfloor is likely to cause some restraint). We are fans of Knoll, Eames, etc and presently own pieces such as a barcelona chair, pony chair Eames recliner, Albero sofa, etc. Finally, we likely will add a 'poolside' room, attached to the mainhouse. RIght now, we are considering large windows, or perhaps even a roll-up garage/windolite door to open this room to the pool, etc.

Of course we are also cognizant of budget, budget, budget (Did I mention 'budget'?). Having said so, we have an ability to execute (or at least think we do!) and are hoping to get started right away. We are in touch with a builder, architects, etc. and hope to narrow down aesthetic and floorplan right away such that we can move to drawings, etc and then to bid.

Any thoughts you or your friends might have are most sincerely appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Sheila Schmitz
The period, the brick and roofline put me in mind of this restored Eichler in the Bay Area. To me, it has a timeless feel while celebrating its roots. Maybe it has some ideas for you?

Ideabook: Houzz Tour: Restored Eichler on the Waterfront · See Ideabook
1 Like    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 12:33PM
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Bud Dietrich, AIA
Terrific house! And, yes, restored Eichler homes are a great inspiration.

I encourage you to find a good, local architect with the experience to work with you on this. There are probably several in the Bay area so finding the right architect would definitely be the right first step.

Good Luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 1:22PM
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Alfred Pace

Great link! Thank You! I completely agree, what a great execution! Love the glass, lighting and sense of period. I have saved the link and will refer to it throughout the process!

Bud, yup-agreed as to architect. Working on that right now. Also very much looking at design/build approach.

I have to say, this site is great! What terrific encouragement and support! With your help and comments I am certain we will 'save ourselves from ourselves'!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 1:36PM
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Emily Hurley
Hi Alfred, Just came across your post. Any updates on your progress. The house looks just great. Can't wait to see what you are doing with it!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:39AM
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Alfred Pace
Some major changes, to be sure. After several months of evaluating a significant remodel, costs climbed to the point where building new seems to make more sense. So.....we are are building a 'new' Modern designed by architect Curt Cline of ModernHouse. The plans have just been approved and we hope to break ground within three weeks!

To be sure, a bit of disappointment to tear down the rancher; however we are attempting to be true to the spirit of the original, utilizing a similar foot print, floorplan, etc.

2 Likes    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Alfred Pace
Hello all,

It has been awhile since we checked in with an update....

As you can see from the photos, construction of our 'new mid century modern' is well underway with delivery scheduled for April of this year. We are still struggling a bit with the landscaping, but are in the process of modernizing the pool with new, energy efficient equipment while reconfiguring the shape to a more modernist rectangle, etc. As to the house, it is using a four zone, efficient Mitsubishi heating and recovery ventilation system. Hope you enjoy the update
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Great house... The bones of this home already have you headed in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:53PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
It is a nice example of mid-century modern. You are fortunate that it has not been altered too much. You would be doing yourself a great favor by hiring an architect that likes this style. In your area this house can appreciate in value a lot if do well. You have a large population that likes this style. So much can be done here to make this an absolute jewel!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Alfred Pace
Here a few others. House is further along than these photos indicate as they were taken sometime ago. I will post more recent ones soon.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Sheila Schmitz
This is shaping up to be a stunner — you must be so excited. Thanks for the update, and please do keep them coming!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Alfred Pace

Thank you for your generous comments. We have a great team on this..Clarum and Curt Cline of Modernhouse. Notwithstanding the address, we are working on a budget and both groups thankfully have been sensitive to same!

I will post some renderings of the kitchen as well. Cabinets by ALNO of SF and appliances by Subzero and Miele,

Once again, kind of you to express your comments.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Alfred Pace
Slow, continuing progress. Most of drywall is in. Exterior stucco scratch and brown coat in. Steelwork running behind schedule...(ugh). Doors being set. Interior great room wood lid goes in this week!
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:41AM
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Alfred Pace
More progress. Interior wood lid. Extends to exterior overhang.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Alfred Pace
Progress photos!
    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:15AM
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Alfred Pace

Good day all! Our new 'mid century modern' by architect extraordinaire Curt Line/Modernhouse Architects finally nears conclusion! We still have much to do, but landscape is in progress (Chris Yates Landscape Architects, Chris DeBruine, GC Denny Stengel of PlantRite and Adam Bentley, Adam Bentley Concrete) and they are doing a fabulous job. Lots more to do....will keep you updated!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2015 at 8:52PM
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The evening pictures make it hard to get a good sense of the new house. How about some daytime pics :)
1 Like    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 2:11AM
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Alfred Pace

Kick,you are so kind to ask! Most candidly, we are holding back until it is complete! The nighttime shadows' mask some of the incomplete,current status! I promise we will ...60 days or so!

Thank you so kindly for your interest!



1 Like    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 9:42PM
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