Architecture and Interior Design: Kaplan Architects
Structural Engineer rear addition: SEMCO Engineering
Structural Engineer new foundation: Adept Engineering
Landscape Design: Katherine Webster, MLA
Foundation Contractor: ESR
Bathroom Contractor: CBC General Contractors
Kitchen/Family Room Contractor: Mini Construction
Soils Engineer: Hallenbeck/Allwest Associates
Finish carpentry: Victor Harris Construction Company
Electrical Contractor: Pat Sisler
Heating Contractor: Absolute Air
Photographer: Michell Shenker Photography
Kaplan Architects, established in 1985, is a San Francisco and East Bay-based Bay Area residential architects service firm engaged in projects throughout the Bay Area and beyond. At Kaplan Architects we believe in pursuing design excellence. We do this through thoughtful iteration of ideas, challenging our own preconceptions, and rethinking the solutions we develop.
We strive for the results of our work to be functional, timeless, and beautiful. We create spaces with our client’s needs and desires foremost in mind, and we strive to create spaces that are warm and inviting. Kaplan Architects specializes in mostly custom, high-end residential, and small commercial projects in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.
We have a strong capability in both the design and the technical aspects of the work. We design new homes, additions, and remodels. We can provide services to guide you through the entire design and building process.
We will develop a thoughtful and well-considered design, take you through any required planning department reviews, develop the technical details and permit drawings needed for construction and permits, procure the building permit, assist you with finding a good contractor, and work in concert with the contractor to make sure your project is executed as planned during construction.
We are your guide and advocate throughout the entire process. We can tailor our services to your specific needs and believe we are an exceptional value to our clients. Kaplan Architects has developed a reputation among its clients, other architects, and builders as a firm having unsurpassed quality and unequaled integrity.
It is our goal to always meet and enhance our reputation. The goal of Kaplan Architects is to leave every client completely satisfied with the services it has to offer. Mr. Kaplan believes that the interaction between client and architect can produce buildings that withstand the changes in fashion and time.
A complete design considers both the interior and exterior of the building as a totally integrated effort. Projects emerge from the client’s needs and desires while responding to the cues of the site, sun, and climate.
Tudor Style Whole House Restoration, Remodel, and Addition, Crocker Highlands
Phase 1: New foundation and house re-leveling, restoration of exterior trim, new roofing, and gutters, renovation of front landscaping. Phase 2: New flooring, new fireplace surround, new electrical, plumbing, and heating systems, and restoration of interior plaster. Phase 3: Remodel the upper-level bathroom. Phase 4: Kitchen family room addition and remodel, expand master bedroom, convert half bath into a full bath, create new library space, relocate laundry, renovate the rear garden.
This traditional Tudor-style, late 1920s residence is located in the Crocker Highlands neighborhood in Oakland. This East Bay neighborhood was laid out by Frederick Law Olmstead, the well-known landscape architect. The streets follow the natural contours of the land in the spirit of English garden suburbs. The traditional homes in the area are unique in a style that adds greatly to the neighborhood’s character.
The house had settled extensively over the years. Although many of the original traditional details of the house were largely intact, the house suffered from a lack of maintenance for many years. It was out of level as much as six inches in some rooms. Historical investigation revealed that the area was plagued with settlement issues during the life of the development. Contributing factors were the less rigorous site preparation measures at the time that the house was originally constructed, and the creek bed soil conditions were not the ideal material to build on. Luckily, the soil had completed most of its settling and was fairly stable in the present day. Nonetheless, an extensive whole house remodel would be required.
A master plan was developed and broken into project phases to spread out the cost of the project over time. The goal was to level up the house with a new foundation, update infrastructural systems, and restore as many of the original traditional details of the house as possible. Eventually, a major reconfiguration of the back end of the house would be completed which included a new kitchen/great room space.
A soil engineer was consulted to determine the best course of action for the new foundation system. There was a small utility basement space under the house that was well-constructed and could remain. The remaining house foundation was replaced and it was decided to level up the house as well in the process. The leveling process was complicated by the existing masonry fireplace that the owner wished to preserve.
During the leveling process, all of the interior plaster cracked, as expected, and needed extensive repair. Before repairing the plaster, it was decided to upgrade the electrical system. The heating system was old and undersized, and that had to be replaced as well. New hand-distressed hardwood flooring was installed. Most of the existing interior wood picture mold and baseboards were replaced as well. The existing wood shake roof was at the end of its functional life, therefore it too was replaced. While the roofing was installed, new copper gutters were incorporated into new exterior fascia trims.
After the infrastructural improvements were completed, a bathroom remodel project was executed on the upper level. The last phase of the master plan was a major kitchen/great room renovation and addition at the rear of the house. Three existing rooms were combined and an additional five feet was added to the rear of the house to create the new space. The goal was to open up the rear of the house to the garden and let in the natural light and create an easy flow into the garden. The garden was also extensively renovated to relate to the new improvements in the house.
This extensively remodeled house is now sitting on a stable foundation to modern standards. All new heating and electrical systems were installed to modern standards. New landscaping was installed to complement the architectural features of the house and the existing mature landscape present on the site. The restored house retains its original traditional craftsman detailing, character, and charm. The completed project functions and flows much more efficiently and has a better relationship with the exterior gardens. Natural light was brought in more extensively to some of the darker spaces of the house, thermal comfort was improved along with the structural integrity.