We took the existing home ‘down to the studs’ and then we took those down too! – client comment

A complete exterior and interior renovation and addition to a 2,500 SF bungalow in North Berkeley that saved a dilapidated bungalow and reinvigorated a classic Berkeley residential block.

The clients for this project had been on a long and arduous search for homes in this particular North Berkeley neighborhood. Although the home they purchased had been recently vacated by a hoarder and was a crumbling eyesore, it was on an idyllic block. They challenged us to modernize the home while respecting the exterior shell in order to both maintain the scale and character of the neighborhood and streamline the approvals process. On the main floor we opened the living and kitchen area up to one another and completely reconfigured the existing sequence of spaces. The kitchen area was further enlarged by expanding into a portion of the attic to create a vaulted ceiling and skylight. A single bedroom and bath were added by slicing up what was a large bedroom and hallway while the addition of a new master suite required the extension of the stairs into the generous but unused attic space. The attic, now master suite, was given a long dormer window to create the light, air and vertical space required. The house sits just at the base of the Berkeley hills and the large expanse of glass created by the dormer affords a wonderfully unique view of San Francisco just above the tops of the neighboring houses and treeline.

After our initial walkthrough of this badly damaged house I cautioned my then potential clients about setting off on this type of extensive remodel. I worried it was a ‘can of worms’ not worth opening. Luckily, for all of us, they didn’t take my initial advice!

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