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Member Spotlight:
Allen Construction

The client’s goals for this extensive whole house remodel were to upgrade with modern features and add an upscale elegance to this 14,000 sq. ft. French Tudor, originally built in 1977.

New features include an expansive kitchen and family room; a grand loggia with alfresco dining, BBQ, and seating areas; and a four-car garage with a movie theater/media room on the second story above. Additional luxury amenities include an infinity pool and spa, wine cellar, exercise room, and all new landscape. Coffered ceilings accented by walnut beams in the ceilings of the living room, office and grand room echo the exterior’s Tudor decorative timbering aesthetic. New flooring throughout, including dark French oak and two types of limestone imported from France—one for interior spaces that flow into exterior spaces and another for exterior patios—add the opulence the owner desired. Elaborate stone masonry work adorns the exterior and the steeply pitched roof, made of 5/8” American slate, is punctuated by dormer windows and copper gutters. In addition to meeting new building code requirements, structural upgrades included new footings and five steel beams – two in the new grand room (see Challenge #1) and three in the roof, required to support six separate HVAC units along with the new slate roof.

An existing 1,300 square foot guest house was also refurbished and echoes the main home’s aesthetic. The final product is a satisfied client.

Key Challenges & Solutions: 1) Two 27’ long, 15” thick, steel bent beams were installed in the center of the grand room to provide structural integrity required after the exposed, post & beam supports were removed; extremely challenging to do in an existing two story home and such an expansive space. The only way to set the steel beams was to remove a portion of the roof to allow crane access. The beams are supported by two 3”x3”steel columns sitting over a 4’x4’x6’ concrete slab on top of a 3’ round caisson extending 26’ into the ground. 2) A water line had to be installed from the fire hydrant, down a driveway approximately ¼ mile from the main house. A portion of that driveway is shared with a neighbor needing 24/7 access for health reasons. As a result, the driveway could not be trenched. Instead, a coring system was required to install the waterline under the 400’ shared section. This approach proved to be not only less invasive, but less expensive. 3) Numerous caissons were drilled for the grand loggia and outdoor BBQ. One challenge, how to get the drilling equipment in with numerous native coast oaks along the driveway and near the house. Numerous underground boulders were also encountered during drilling making things more challenging, took more time and was a greater expense than anticipated. Special drill bits were required to drill through the rocks. The oaks presented another challenge when installing 480’ of pipe into the well, requiring heavy equipment and cranes. Working carefully around and trimming only when necessary addressed the coastal oak conundrum.

This project received Professional Remodeler magazine’s Platinum Award – their top prize – in the Whole House over $750,000 category. Judges comments included: “Stunning design.” “Very elegant and clean lines.” “Great detail in material selection.” “Beautiful outcome.”

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Allen Construction’s Expert Tip:

We recommend that you chose your construction team early – architect, builder, landscape architect – to help you plan for, design, and build or remodel the home of your dreams. Doing this will save you time, money, and headaches. Working as a team holding the same vision and goals produces the best product.

SBCA Members Who Participated in this Project

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