Design Build in The Process

Technology is everywhere these days, for better or worse. You read a lot of how it’s influencing construction and we agree it can help, especially in the visualization process. Although, we are not done with this specific project (2nd Story Addition) it’s coming along quite nicely thanks to a cooperative client.

This Second Story Addition located in Lakeside & SJB has been working on it for over 6 months now. Using our designer and the clients creative ideas we’ve been able to assess some of the 3D renderings before and after the job and they are looking pretty sweet thus far.

Note: Some details changed such as colors.

3D Rendering Living Room Perspective

2nd Story San Diego 3D Modeling
3D Model of Staircase and Hand Rail Prior to Demo.


second story after
Starting to Come Together.

Kitchen Design Build san diego

3D Rendering Upstairs Floor (Handrails)

3d render

Framing Out The Handrail

2nd story handrail
Second Story Handrail



Stay posted for more!


The Best Home Remodeling Ideas For Entertaining Next Year

Home remodeling contractors San DiegoDo you love to entertain at the holidays but feel your home lacks the right look, space or feel to accommodate a houseful of guests? There are plenty of easy remodel ideas to get your home holiday-ready for family and friends next holiday season.


Are you in the market for some new countertops? Granite countertops are rich-looking and extremely functional for entertaining. If your kitchen has space, adding a nice island can will you more cooking room for prepping for your gathering, and more serving-up space for goodies when guests arrive.

Good lighting in the kitchen is essential.

Overhead lighting is practical for overall kitchen light, while under cabinetry lighting is more functional for cooking tasks on the counters. If really love to entertain and whip up big meals for friends and family, consider upgrading your appliances to accommodate feeding larger groups of people. Stainless steel is always a hit, especially when it comes to resale value.

Dining room

A drab dining room doesn’t exactly give your guests a warm gathering place to eat their holiday meal. You can remodel your dining room with some simple changes to give it an eloquent, inviting appeal where guests can eat, mingle and enjoy the holidays with you.

Plain white walls

can give the room a sterile feel rather than a warm welcome. Add some color by painting the walls a darker color than the ceiling. If you don’t have trim or a chair rail, either will give your room a luxurious look and with a chair rail, you can two-tone your walls with a choice of lighter shade of paint above the chair rail and darker shade below.

Hanging an eloquent chandelier

above the dining table adds a dramatic look and focal point to the room. With light dimmers, you can control the amount of light for the type of entertaining you’re doing – brighter for more casual gatherings, and dimmer for more quaint.

Great room

The great room is where many people mix and mingle. You can remodel a great room starting with adding a warm splash of color to the walls. Create your focal points in the room, whether it be a large wall with large pieces of art, or your fireplace. You can change the look of your fireplace by adding a new mantle to give your fireplace a new appeal.

Arrange your furniture so guests can visit easily.

Not all rooms work best with furniture butted up against the walls. In larger rooms, bring furniture in closer to create a more quaint setting for visiting.

Have room for a free-standing bar?

It’s not always easy running back and forth to the kitchen to keep your guests’ drinks refilled. If you entertain often, consider remodeling a corner of your great room to accommodate a stylish bar and stools. You not only have easy access to beverages, but extra seating for your guests.

Outside lighting

Welcome your holiday guests with a well-lit sidewalk and entry. Lighting plays a big role in many aspects of your home: it will help accentuate the outside of your home, provide a welcoming entrance, and adds security measures to your property. Next holiday season your guests will love walking to your front door.

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Updating Your Kitchen: How Can a Contractor help?

As our needs fluctuate over time, our focus on kitchen remodeling will also follow suit. Just as any architectural model needs contractors to perform remodeling tasks well, so too kitchen remodeling projects. Add to this organized effort from the chosen contractor and we discover that some stimulating way to creating a dream kitchen is on the horizon of every homeowner.

Designing for Best Use of Space

The space in a kitchen is normally organized to provide one family’s needs, and working with a contractor provides a wealth of opportunities to enhance knowledge not only for a certain point of view but for refinement in details as well. An experienced contractor’s treatment of kitchen updating project is seen with a display of his or her skill and that itself is quite appealing.

Meaningful Benefits

Successful kitchen update is done not just by physical actions but is fully imagined before the tear-down process is begun. This requires much-concentrated thinking toward resolving potential problems while also creating meaningful benefits for the family. A contractor’s ideas always outperform those who have no experience with such tasks. Without a well-conceived plan from the start, you might end up redoing the previous plan with your time, money, and effort.

More Flexibility

Identifying the general outline for your new kitchen is a useful place to start while discussing design details with the contractor. Of greater importance is learning from the experience of the contractor about what makes a kitchen more functional and flexible, since they are major building blocks as well as reasons for every kitchen renovation.

Designing With Best Appliances

Which appliance you select as well as where you place it, greatly influences how well the kitchen will look in the end. Each appliance selection needs to be balanced properly with the rest of the elements in the kitchen at all times in form, size, color, and value. Your resulting kitchen design should carry anyone’s eye back and forth across the room in a rhythm. With the contractor’s help, you will be able to obtain a unified kitchen design, one that suggests a coherent unit where the elements have creatively blended into a satisfactory statement of objectives and all have come together very convincingly.

Saving Resources

Keep in mind that while updating a kitchen all by yourself is fun and exciting, going through a contractor will increase your property value when it is time to sell the house. Along with seeking professional help, you need to value the significance of the correct positioning of things in your new kitchen as well as the entire layout. Both experienced and knowledge bring in some desirable kitchen features as you look about a project. The flooring idea, for example, contributes to diminishing home value when they are out of proportion with respect to the color and theme of the room. Pantry area favorably suits only a few numbers of house types, and an island is not required when space is a constraint. General Contractors limit the design strategies only to those features that are truly important in the kitchen.

How to Learn About Sustainable Building

Learning about sustainable building ideas has consistently been intriguing for environmentalists and green enthusiasts. The two long-lasting values that can be obtained from this approach is clean lifestyle and affordability. Here is a glimpse of various sources where you can find topics about sustainable building practices.

Whole Building Design Guide

The desire to be surrounded by green things, be it woods, plants, natural resources, and energy-efficient materials, is nothing but instinctive. Nevertheless, it is surprising to discover the origins of sustainable building practices through this guide and design ideas that are simply taken for granted. Explore with this guide and there may seem very little new under the sun nowadays compared to what people did a long time ago. When it comes to houses, sustainable building practice has been associated with evolution since time immemorial. Only recently that the idea is being given more prominence. In fact, if there is a specific building idea that you wish to implement for your residence, you will probably find hints from nearly any century. This source teaches you new ways of preserving those ideas that are reinterpreted for today’s use.


No homes made of clay and straw from the earliest history survive in cities today, but what is remaining is the relentless inkling about the value and expression of green living and its concepts. Sustainability in the form of Econest homes reflects the culture that can attest to the importance of living pollution-free. It certainly is beneficial for everyone to learn about the concepts of sustainable building through the company’s workshops that are enjoyed in modernized form. After all, any good idea has great persistence.

Green Building and Design Magazine

People who prefer green lifestyle overcome myriad obstacles on a daily basis in an effort to use natural resources for personal use. This magazine is worth reading if you agree with this fact. In any event, sustainability is achieved by establishing needs and priorities in a clear and workable fashion and then moving on to many details necessary for a perfect outcome. While each house property can be a unique canvas for implementing this concept, some land areas are better than others as far as the availability of resources is concerned. Keep in mind that available space on a property in order to achieve sustainability is not only determined by the shape, size, and contour but also by the abundance of natural elements surrounding it.

Bend Bulletin

Not every existing idea has to be cherished, but if you are unclear about the merits of an idea, you need to identify the worth before remodeling your house. Once you have thoroughly learned and investigated sustainable building practices through this online bulletin, you will become more aware of your options. This will also help you raise awareness for better environmental-performing construction methods among other consumers. Also, you will improve your knowledge about related environmental impacts with respect to buildings and make the appropriate decisions for architects, developers, and construction investors.

Fine Home Building

As the years pass, major or minor changes to your home are inevitable. With sustainability in mind, this means adding materials that are energy efficient or expanding the existing structures to include resource-saving plans. Learning more about sustainable building from can greatly assist your efforts.


Building System

Room Additions – Cost and Savings Analysis

room additions san diegoTurning your home into a construction zone may not have been in your mind when you bought your dream home; but when the right opportunity comes along, doing a remodeling could be your best option. Millions of homeowners have discovered the potential and value of remodeling. It is time for you to find out.

Before we begin some useful cost-value analysis of home remodeling, let us look around at some facts. Remodeling magazines publish the importance of remodeling a home by telling people that it improves the home's livability and enhances the home's appeal for potential buyers. That's true until now. In fact, the highest remodeling comes from updating the kitchen and baths. The home office is another area that increases a home's value.

Payback after a home remodeling is defined as the total investment a homeowner can earn back upon selling the home. In general, when a kitchen is upgraded, the homeowner can recoup around 101% of the money invested in the project. Similarly, upgrading a bathroom will earn 85% of the cost, adding a family room 86%, adding a master bedroom 85% and adding sunroom 71% within a year, maybe more later. Here is a list of returns (% of cost recouped) for different remodeling projects in different states.

Kitchen remodeling CT - 125%
Bathroom addition MI - 96%
Kitchen remodeling KT - 92%
Exterior pain change MA - 90%
Master bedroom remodeling FL - 86%

As you can see from the above list, the payoff associated with a remodeling project is significant when the right strategy is followed. Remember that costs of upgrades can escalate over time and therefore money invested in a project will surely increase the home's value. You may not be able to recoup the entire investment the first year but over the years, the investment can bring a great return.

It is now time to turn our attention to making these remodeling projects successful. A simple kitchen remodeling job can easily cost more than $20,000, while a bathroom makeover is as high as $60,000 depending on the materials and labor used. Your first priority here is to keep to a budget, follow a careful plan and pay attention to details. Then, communicate your ideas and budget parameters to your contractor without overstating the amount. Set aside emergency expenditures as well because there should be room left for sudden cost increases or project modification that may arise in the future. Having a detailed agreement from start to finish will let you double-check that you are getting what you are paying for and the project runs smoothly. Remember that a little can go a long way with remodeling. Anything that increases the functionality, durability, and appeal of the project will pay off in the end.

Whether you want to rely on a contractor or roll up your sleeves and start your remodeling project yourself is entirely up to you. But make sure to weigh the cost of time spent on researching or supervising against the hidden value of your property that you hope to capitalize through remodeling.

Top Remodeling Event Shows in 2014

Since May is national remodeling month, there is no better time than this month to review – and preview – the top remodeling show events of this year.

At the top of 2014 was the Colorado Springs’ 16th annual Home Building and Remodeling Show, held January 10-12. This is the longest-running national trade show devoted to remodeling in the US. Over 150 exhibitors including turnkey remodeling companies, architects, and products ranging from kitchen & bath to lawn & garden attend the show each year. This should be the first stop for any serious remodeling professionals or for homeowners who would like to see cutting-edge products and technologies as they plan their makeovers. Plan to go in January 2015.

Another big trade show that comes around every winter is the National Association of the Remodelers’ Industry (NARI) Trade Show. Held last January at the Cleveland I-X Center, the coming winter show will be in Madison, WI. Almost as big as the Colorado Springs shows, the NARI trade shows feature around 100 exhibitors and include seminars for DIY and professional remodeling.

Here is a list of a few trade shows that are coming up for the balance of the year.

Neocon World Trade Fair, to convene this June 9th to 11th, is one of the largest commercial interiors-industry-related trade events in the United States. Held at the Merchandise Mart at Chicago, the event welcomes more than 40,000 visitors. A special Student Program is arranged during the event. More than 700 exhibiting companies take part.

Home & Garden Market-Dallas, coming this September 6th and 7th, targets a large number of potential buyers. A NARI pavilion and a Taste of home cooking show are featured as part of the event. This show exhibits an exclusive range of leisure and outdoor products, energy-efficient products, kitchen & bath products along with various builders and remodelers, gardening experts, and home improvement professionals.

The Atlanta Residential Construction and Remodeling Expo, sponsored by The Home Depot, is being held this year from October 7 – 9. “RCRE trade show and conference will be influenced by insights and intelligence of industry experts from our partner associations such as Greater Atlanta HBA,” Verne Packer, Senior Vice President, RCRE. “We are excited to have their professional thought leaders as part of our team helping to guide the Expo.”

The Baltimore Remodeling Show and DeckExpo combines three events in two days at one location. Featured at the October 23rd and 24th event, open to professionals only, will be hundreds of exhibitors, installation clinics, interactive workshops, and instructional exhibitor-led product demonstrations. Featured manufacturers include Andersen Windows and Doors, Swanstone custom kitchen and bath fixtures, and a wide array of green and sustainable building products.

Homeowners are investing more in their homes than ever. The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) recently forecast that growth in remodeling expenses on projects costing more than $500 should rise by 14.7 percent from the end of June 2013 through the end of this June, continuing a quarter-over-quarter trend that began around September of last year.

How To Prepare for a Room Addition

There are many reasons why a homeowner would choose to increase the size of their property. Those reasons could involve a new addition to the family, space for an office, or the homeowner may require extra space for some other reason. Additional rooms involve demands, a goal and a list of requirements that should be met before the project gets underway. The first thing on the agenda should be to figure out how much money you will have to work with before you can get started.

Finalizing your decision

An addition can be a costly exercise and the responsibility involved can become a little overwhelming if you don’t think the whole thing through. Before jumping off the deep end, make very sure that there is no way to get around this addition, if only for the fact that it is going to require some juggling of funds. Financing can be attained through a personal loan from the bank or dipping into your savings if you happen to have it.

Qualifications are key

Unless you plan on doing the job yourself; you need to think in terms of what sort of a contractor you require to handle the task. This is not like replacing some pipes, or a window that the neighborhood kids broke with a ball; this is an entire room, which usually comes with walls, a ceiling, electrical wiring, and everything else that comes with a house, so make certain that your contractor has done this work of thing before.

A design that makes sense

There may be certain things that you may be able to get away with as you plan on your room addition, but a good set of blueprints should not be one of them. This may just be a few walls, a ceiling, and a floor, however, depending on what you need the addition for you will have to think in terms of how many electrical outlets you need, and if you plan on using a window AC unit or try to extend the ductwork from the central air.

Shop around

Keep in mind that this is not necessarily a small job so the average contractor would be only too happy to do it for you. Rather than let your fingers do the walking, consider calling a few reputable contracting firms and let them put a bid in order to handle the job for you. This will give you more than one option as far as a contractor is concerned and in addition to that, you will have a few prices to choose from.

Making it legal

Most general contractors will usually remind you that building permits are required, in fact; some will actually apply for the permits for you. If you don’t have a permit work cannot begin and considering the fact that it is your home, at the very least you will need to make sure that the permits are in hand. In addition to that, whatever contractor you end up with, double-check that they are licensed and insured before they get started.

Planning – The second Step to getting Permit Approved

The division of land and the location is what planning focuses on.  Some rural cities have an issue where planning approval is required but the staff does not have the authority to give the approval.  Fortunately, San Diego is not one of the cities, nor are the majority of more populated urban cities.  If your new construction project requires a subdivision of land or the addition of built materials including parking services and other significant changes to the site, these changes must be approved before a planning board.

  • To streamline this process an SJB Construction Inc. recommends bringing a large site plan or handouts of the site plan that can be easily viewed showing the dimensions of the lot, the buildings, the trees and all boundaries involved in the scope of work.

Typical conflicts:

The relationship of the existing lot – keep in mind if you’re planning to build the board do not wish to negatively affect the street, neighboring properties within this proximity.  Easy access for fire and emergency equipment and visibility for oncoming motorists are basic musts if this project has a chance of approval.

Advice from an experienced contractor: Don’t be intimidated if you have a tailored blueprint or site plan that’s completely customized.  Just keep in mind to make this as clear as possible with all detailed dimensions proposed.

Another good idea is to bring photographs of neighboring properties and streets.  This will help give the board members a visual representation of your ideal project alongside the existing structures.  The thoroughness involved and showing good faith go a long way in these initial efforts.

Again, this is a part of the permit approval that is important for an experienced general contractor to do.  An experienced contractor has all previous county relationships and knows all the correct rules and regulations along with great assets to leverage if there are any hang-ups.


You are ready to Remodel – Getting Permit Approved – Step 1

Based on your location what you’re remodeling/building may require any of the following types of approval.  Although we wish to give the most accurate information on homeowners it is always best to use a professional general contractor vs. doing it on your own with less experience and risking a major headache/financial burden.  With that said here are the general steps/rules required to get your building permit approved.

Zoning – The First Step Involved

Your city/home has ordinances that apply to areas or zones, on the town’s map.  Some areas are zoned residential (such as homes) and some are commercial (such as business).  Not all eventualities are covered and so the zoning board hears owners seeking clarification or exception to these rules.  An owner may go before a zoning board for a variance granting relief from a particular zoning ordinance or to appeal the denial of a permit based on an interpretation of that area.  During this process is important to be patient as these things definitely can take time.  The zoning process also gets you on the municipality property tax roll.

Typical conflicts:

Adding an in-home business or to add a unit for my parents/in laws

It will be necessary to seek conditional use approval rating exception to the rules of property use.  You may also need to seek a variance on the number of dwelling units allowed.

Advice from an experienced contractor:

For any reason if you need to go before a zoning board before you can move forward with a project that a lot of its ease of Edinburgh as there is this a home that show that the data is imperative to stop all work and wait for the approval.  Don’t be careless and make the mistake of thinking that you can continue to build while this issue is pending.  It is not an easy task to bend the rules of zoning ordinances and it’s not always a grandslam.  The board will need a convincing reason to make an exception for you without setting a bad presence this is exactly why you are hiring an experienced a general contractor.

Sustainable Housing Options

With such vast changes in the world regarding environmentally friendly materials and thinking of affordable rates, it is no wonder why people are beginning to venture out and find new, innovative methods for sustainable housing.  There is chatter in urban communities that want to stay completely off the grid. There is also suburban homeowners seeking to differentiate their home or align with their values of environmentally conscious behavior.  Although this concept can be accomplished it always takes time to engineer a suitable home.  There are a few practical solutions for people to adopt to save money on energy costs.

Sustainable Housing Options

Solar power or photovoltaic technologies can be utilized by converting energy from the sun into efficient electrical energy.  Solar systems are practical not only for homes but also for businesses.  A simple solar system can harness enough power to charge a cell phone, lanterns, and even car batteries.  Think of what could be energized in the home, it’s likely to use this concept to power a heater or even a few lights in the home.

Briquettes – What are they?

Another practical solution for sustainable housing is to use heat.  Briquettes are a very effective source for heat.  It is friendly to the environment and it is cheaper than using coal or kerosene.  Wood burns way to fast and loses its heat, and it takes a lot of manpower to keep wood in stock.  A sustainable home can have heat with briquettes to keep the home warm in cooler months.

Hydro plants are used to generate power for sustainable housing.  The system can completely eliminate the need for commercial electricity if the hydro system is tuned correctly.  These systems generate energy by using water from streams or rivers.  They are effective enough to power small hospital clinics and street lights.  To use this system your home will need to be close to a fast-moving water source.

Wind Mills for Energy

The wind is a very simple method for generating power for any sustainable home.  Multiply your windmills by a dozen or so and you will really harvest a lot of energy.  The only downside is those days that aren’t so windy so adding many windmills to charge car batteries as an alternate power solution can save you a lot of headaches.

Scientists have yet to unlock the full capability of biofuels.  Biofuel is a cheap, readily available source to use as an alternative fuel.  Restraints are happy to have people haul off their sludge and grease, and this resource is available for sustainable housing.  It depends on the homeowner how they will convert biofuels into energy.