It's nice to work with friends. We had that opportunity when Treve Johnson, our long-time photographer needed new windows for his home. Treve knew our reputation for craftsmanship and quality first hand. "I didn't have to think twice about who to choose as a vendor... I've been on a number of projects where their windows and doors have been installed, and I've heard testimony from a number of home owners, contractors and architects." For this project, Treve needed to replace a leaking window. But Treve was also facing a problem common to Bay Area homes, and one with which Wooden Window is intimately familiar: "Our house is close to 90 years old, a MacGreggor home built in 1927. As such, the house has settled a bit which means the windows and doors are no longer square and plumb..." Taking initial measurements Just because we're traditional, doesn't mean we're old fashioned. Lasers gauge how out-of-square or out-of-plumb a window opening is In older Bay Area homes, door and window openings are often no longer square Again, our reputation helped to put Treve's mind at ease: "I knew if I had Wooden Window replace the window I would get something that matched the straight-grained fir of the original bay window, maintain the architectural integrity of the house, and would fit properly." "We now have a window, that was custom fit to the opening... The window opens and closes without binding and it looks like it matches the rest of the window trim. When the rains come this winter, we'll be snug and cozy with our new window, new roof, new foundation and new paint job." That's what we do. Another day, another window...Wooden Window.
“The little guy“ isn’t what this beautiful 1950’s ranch-style home would be in most neighborhoods, but amidst the multi-level giants climbing into the hills of this historic Piedmont community, it may well have felt a little lonely—perhaps even a little underdressed. But there’s a company for that — Wooden Window. The home’s owners asked us to replace their original single-pane, metal frame windows with something a little more suited to the overall quality of the house. Wooden Window custom fabricated solid wood, insulated glass windows to enrich the home’s architecture and update it’s energy efficiency — all under the watchful and demanding eye of the City of Piedmont’s architectural review. Not so little anymore, eh?
When Santa Clara Development, ELS Architecture and South Bay Construction needed retail entries for their "Alvin's Corner" mixed-use project on Hamilton Avenue in Campbell, they selected Wooden Window to custom fabricate solid doors and windows for 25 arched storefronts. Alvin's Corner is made up of 3 floors of high-end housing above a retail ground floor. Storefronts for the retail outlets were crafted of stain-grade solid oak and installed by Wooden Window--including all necessary hardware. Although still under construction, the residents of Campbell are soon to enjoy a new selection of their favorite retailers, as well as the availability of dozens of new luxury housing units.
For those of us committed to preserving the historic architecture of Northern California, this homeowner's story was sadly familiar. Before After " House was built in 1908 as a small Queen Anne. In 1930, the roof was lifted to make 2 front bedrooms upstairs instead of one. The house was then stuccoed over. By 1936, almost all the interior 'gingerbread' was gone, as were two (!) fireplaces. The holes where the fireplaces sat were covered over with sheets of plywood--which are still there to this day." Undaunted by the gradual decomposition of her home in the years since it's construction, the owner, Mira Amiras, decided to bring back the intent, if not the exact form of the house in all it's original glory -- and more. "The house façade has not been restored, as that would have meant tearing out the upstairs. It's been, instead, 'reimagined.'" Mira's shepherd, Fiona, modeled for the "Maybeckian" dragons Mira's partner in this extraordinary transformation was the remarkable Skeeter Jones of San Francisco's Clearheart Fine Design. Skeeter's company was founded in 1982 on Skeeter's more than 35 years in the building trades -- from ski resort condominiums and contemporary homes to 'Salt Box', Colonial and Victorian restoration. Skeeter has recreated more than 90 Victorian facades in San Francisco, as well as a number of major structural additions. Wooden Window was delighted to provide historically accurate, solid-wood windows for the project. And even more pleased with Mira's reaction. Every project needs a vigilant foreman. "I am so grateful to you guys for the work that you do. I looked for years for folks who made 'real' windows for our house. And watched my neighbors destroy their homes with hideous windows. Thank you so much for your work!"
It took Clarum Homes to transplant the traditional Mission architecture of Santa Barbara to the Los Altos hills. It took Wooden Window to develop, fabricate and install doors and windows that incorporated the latest features in operation, energy efficiency and home security, while staying faithful to the Mission Style. Wooden Window created all the doors and windows for this extraordinary home. The design showcases energy-efficient Mission and European-style Standard Divided Lite insulated windows throughout, some incorporating leaded glass. Door designs were also something special. Upper floor “faux French Door” sets that were fabricated to appear as a traditional double French Door set, were actually single pocket door assemblies that slid fully back into adjacent walls, completely opening the rooms to the outside. The units even had sliding screens. Multi-point locksets insured homeowner security while the home’s wine cellar featured a unique, “dutch” door, whose intricate upper panel opens to reveal insulated leaded glass to maintain the cellar temperature. Casement windows highlight a full, professional kitchen featuring Mediterranean tile and Spanish pavers that opens onto the dining room through massive walnut paneled entry doors. A special project for a special client. Thank you Clarum Homes.
Whether you plan to stay in your home or sell in the near future, the market for homes in the San Francisco/San Jose market is once again on the rise. Curb appeal shows off your home in photos for online listing services and can put you at the top of a prospective buyer’s list. It could even aid in a bidding war. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Here are 5 ways simple improvements can give you a great return on your investment and add to your curb appeal. Kitchen upgrades with new counters, appliances and paint, along with a bathroom update with new sinks and fixtures bring back a solid return on remodeling costs, but first the outside of the house has to draw you in. Nothing adds to curb appeal like a architecturally compelling, nicely painted and landscaped home. Here are some simple additions experts say will add value and make the outside of your home more inviting. Front Entry Door(s) The front door is the gateway to your home. A beautifully designed entry door is an effective invitation to potential buyers -- whether it's seen in photos, drive-bys or in person. And while you're at it, you might consider upgrading your door construction and weatherization to lower energy costs all year long. And don't forget to upgrade the hardware. It's amazing what a few solid bronze, brass or polished steel accents can do to really make a new door unique. In 2014, investing in your front entry can return $1.30 on every dollar you spend* Garage door replacement A new garage door can provide an opportunity to replace old opaque doors with new ones incorporating transparent or translucent windows to add light and architectural character to customize your home. You might even consider replacing an older roll-up door with carriage doors -- a wonderful touch of history and craftsmanship -- and they're a great advertisement to people driving by. Cost vs Value + 145% Windows Installing or repairing your windows can create energy savings and upgrade the facade of your home. By adding double or triple pane windows, you'll see permanent heating and cooling cost savings. Cost vs Value + 133% Landscaping Spruce up the bedding plots with new mulch and plant some seasonal color annuals. Prune back bushes and trees. Repair leaky faucets outside and take care of irrigation issues. Cost vs Value + 110% A quick tip -- water the yard about a half hour before showing the house. It sends the message that your plants and yard are well and carefully maintained -- and implies the same for the rest of the house. Outdoor Lighting Lights that lead to your entryway welcome your guest after dark and also showcase the entrance to your home. It's simple to add solar lighting at the edge of your pathways. These come in various sizes and shapes, often require no wiring, and may require no more installation than inserting them into the ground. Landscape lighting pools around your "special" trees and plantings, dramatically spotlighting them for visitors during dusk and dark hours. Cost vs Value + 150 % So there you have it -- a few suggestions to increase both the real and apparent value of your home, whether you plan to sell or plan to stay. Show us your before-and-after photos. We would love to be inspired by your creativity, and to hear your home improvement story! Sources www. remolding.hw.net www.hgtv.com/landscaping/landscaping-tips-that-can-help-sell-your-home/index.html www. realestate.msn.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-homes-curb-appeal#2
On May 15th, architects and designers from around the Bay Area joined us for hor's d'oveures, sweet treats, wine, beer and a Basil Gimlets when we hosted tours of "The Cottage" -- the Berkeley home Bernard Maybeck designed, built and lived in with his family during his final years. Homeowner Kathy Brown conducting the house tour Known for his contributions to San Francisco architecture, including the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, Maybeck believed that the perfect California house was a “well vegetated hillside with rooms scattered around in case it rains.” Maybecks work table The cottage in the Berkeley hills where Maybeck lived with his wife and children started as a single room, with additions added under his supervision over the years. Two separate limited tours were available during this one-night-only event: Landscaping expert Halliday Dresser- Wabi Urban Farms/Fine Gardens - conducting the garden tour The Garden: featuring over 10,000 plants and 3,000 varieties, the garden is interwoven with dozens of Mark Bullwinkle's sculptures – including a railing made of twisted rebar from the Cypress Structure collapse during the earthquake in 1989. The Cottage: walk around and through Maybeck's own home and the rooms in which he once gathered friends, family, fellow architects and students to discuss and formulate an architectural style whose rich legacy is still vibrantly alive in the Bay Area. Links: Arkin Tilt Architects Green Building Chic Wabi Urban Farms/Fine Gardens Even the neighbors joined in Joan Connolly of Green Building Chic Wooden Window's Bill Essert and David Arkin, Arkin Tilt Architects
Michael and Xochi Birch are not your average tech millionaires, nor is their new social club, The Battery, your average old-guard private club. You won’t see Google buses dropping off or picking up techies, although you might see a local artist or foodie glide in through the front door to the sleek, avant-guard restaurant. Michael and Xochi met in England and found the pub scene there to be warm and engaging, with a constant flow of diverse locals and students interacting freely with each other. When moving to the Bay Area, they found that the segmented private clubs made it hard to meet interesting people. So, when they sold off their social media business Bebo to AOL for $850 million dollars, they decided to create a new kind of local club that would appeal to the richly varied culture unique to San Francisco--a place where wide-ranging interests and myriad points of view could come find a welcoming setting. Meet The Battery. Originally built in 1907, the newest incarnation of the Musto Plaza Building at 717 Battery, is a 14 suite luxury boutique hotel, a 3,000 bottle wine cellar, roof deck garden, four bar, library, and private club with a public restaurant. It is also a historic landmark and that's where Wooden Window comes in. Wooden Window has more experience working with landmark commercial buildings than any other door and window company in California. Michael and Xochi knew we had the right stuff to create doors and windows that would transform the building from old marble factory to cosmopolitan social hub. Perhaps you will take a look at The Battery next time you are in the Financial District and let us know what you think.
Customer testimonial: "Richard and I are more than pleased with our new gate and doors. They do indeed make a special statement, and they are as functional as they are beautiful." C.L.
Wednesday, August 1st 8:30AM to 10:30AM Wooden Window Showroom 111 Rhode Island Street, Suite F San Francisco, California Working in the Biggest Room Possible Don't miss the chance to meet and hear architect Mark English at our next Community Breakfast. When he's not pursuing his own practice, or sitting on AIA-San Francisco's Board of Directors, Architect Mark English coaches his peers on new strategies for social media and marketing and edits two highly respected online magazines. Mark will be showing us how we can bypass the traditional gatekeepers of conventional media to use the web, and social media in particular, to drive traffic to our websites, become more visible in the digital world and build our businesses. Mark English, AIA has been running his own residential design firm, Mark English Architects, since 1992. Mark’s education includes a degree in Architecture from California Polytechnic University, complemented by graduate studies at the Syracuse University campus in Florence, Italy. He has also promoted principles of energy-efficient design, particularly as it relates to compliance with California’s Title 24 energy code. This month's Community Networking Breakfast is co-sponsored by Fireclay Tile. Fireclay Tile (San Jose, CA) is the leading U.S. ceramic and glass tile manufacturer using recycled materials and sustainable manufacturing practices. We make the highest quality, most durable and aesthetic hand-made materials using “old world” methods that are unique, affordable, and “green.” Photography: Paul Dyer RSVP to this event on Wednesday August 1st: http://woodenwindow.com/rsvp/
Mid-century modern home remodeling projects are typically not the types that create headlines. But late last month, at its annual awards celebration in Dallas, Texas, the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) presented its Contractor of the Year award (entire house, project exceeding $1 million) to McCutcheon Construction of Berkeley for a project completed in May 2011: the entire makeover of mid-century modern home in Tiburon, California that had not been modified since its construction. Originally built in the 1950s, the house – just 2,000 square feet in size – had been inherited by a long-term resident of San Francisco, who questioned whether the residence could ever be compelling enough to lure her out of the City. But in the end, that’s exactly what happened. Renown designer John Wheatman of San Francisco created the overall aesthetic for this remodel, which was managed by Michael McCutcheon, who is the President of McCutcheon Construction. Other notable sub-contractors involved in the project were Wooden Window of Oakland, Chistman Electrical of Napa, and Greg Rossi Tile of Martinez. Essential to the success of this remodel, the entire home was reconsidered to optimize usability, indoor-outdoor livability, and proximity to glorious views of the San Francisco Bay and the City beyond. Many aspects of this project were relatively minor in scale. In fact, all construction was managed within the original roofline of the structure. Even so, the transformation was dramatic.