We are very excited.

We find ourselves at the very beginning of our next eco+historical project home…1436 Sanchez.

Built in 1903, it’s very similar in style to 173 Downey, and in similar condition as well.  Vacant for 4 years, the windows have been boarded up, there’s no usable kitchen to speak of, and most of the floors are covered in lovely pink shag carpet.

Nevertheless, we see a home with tremendous potential.

  1. It has a nicely detailed façade that matches that of its neighbors and which will look just tremendous after a nice paint job
  2. It has three full poorly-utilized living levels PLUS a separate garage, so we could easily double or perhaps even triple the square footage in the existing home without an addition
  3. It’s in a great location just a block from Church Street with its great restaurants and transit, minutes to the freeway down Cesar Chavez or Dolores and walking distance to the heart of Noe on 24th St.

All we have to do is, gut it, excavate under it, put in a massive new foundation, a little new framing, new electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems plus some cabinetry here, some floors there, a light fixture or two and we’re in business!

It’s just that simple.


But for now we’re all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and full of enthusiasm.

First Things First

You can’t achieve your goals if you don’t know what they are, so we put together our design requirements for the project and have given them to our architects, Feldman Architecture.

We made it clear that we intend to pursue a LEED Platinum rating for the home, which would make it one of mere dozens of historic homes to undergo a “gut rehab” and achieve that honor, nationwide.


Before any of the creative work can begin, though, you need to know what you’re starting with.  That means we need what are called “as-builts”.  The “as-builts” are a set of dimensioned CAD drawings that show how the house is today, before any work is performed on it, so that we can show all of the steps we’re taking to get from here (the existing dilapidated home) to there (the ultimate rehabilitated eco home that we hope to end up with).

Back when we rehabbed 173 Downey, the architect showed up with a measuring tape and measured the home and went back to the office and created the CAD model for the as-builts.

That was so first-decade-of-the-new-millenium.

1436 Sanchez is going the high-tech route.  Our architects retained Fog City As-builts to develop our as-built plans and models.  Using high-tech lasers and sophisticated Revit software from Autodesk, Fog City As-builts will provide us with a full 3D model of the home as it stands today, both interior and exterior.

Here’s what a typical 3D model of an as-built home ends up looking like after Fog City As-builts does their thing…

Can you say “Boo-ya”?

No, really.  Say “Boo-ya” ;^)

Google Sketchup: Bringing Clients into the World of 3D

After a career in 3D Graphics dating back to the ’80’s, I am finally starting to get some real 3D models in my everyday life.  With Google SketchUp, I can even get these models from my architect without having to get a full version of the CAD application myself.  If you haven’t checked out SketchUp, I strongly recommend you do.

We’ve used it on our other new project (shown in the image above as we were working out the Family Room design at 1566 Sanchez) to visualize rooms, add or remove furniture and walls, fireplaces, etc.  All with no training.  In minutes.

Very very cool.  James Cameron was right.