Santa Barbara Landscaping Tips Post Fire & Mudflow

Special thanks to Lindsey Zero of Silver Leaf Landscapes for joining us for this month’s discussion on landscaping pro tips in the Santa Barbara area, following the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslide.

tel: 805.695.2133 | e-mail: | web:

Part 1 of 3 – landscape damage assessment

Part 2 of 3 – landscape erosion control

Part 3 of 3 – landscape plant selection

Written Recommendations

Landscape Damage Assessment

1. Look For Hazards – example: broken pipes or wood, unstable rubble piles, undercut walkways or hillsides, leaning or broken trees. Mark location of hazards on your property so they can be addressed in the future.

If any hazards are threatening your property or preventing safe access, these should be addressed first. Create a zone on your property with easy vehicle access to stockpile debris. This will help speed up the removal process later.

2. Assess What Can Be Saved
Focus efforts on saving high value landscape specimens, especially trees and mature hedging.

Steps to begin:
1. CALL 811 (CA underground service alert) BEFORE DIGGING! Plan ahead, as you will have to wait a few days for the utility company to mark the location of all underground utilities.

2. Moisten soil around plant trunks (if not already moist, of course) to soften deposits. Soil should be moist but not muddy. Plan ahead! Moisten soil a day before you start digging so you’re not working in a muddy mess.

3. Carefully remove soil with hand tools, being careful not to damage trunks.

4. Remove soil deposits down to beginning of tree root flare, in ring around trunk.

5. After removing soil directly against the trunk, you can use machinery to remove deposits, but be careful! Driving heavy machinery over wet soil can easily damage the soil structure and harm the plants you’re trying to save!

6. Remove as much soil as possible from below the canopy of mature trees. This area is called the CRZ, or critical root zone.

7. On trees without a wide canopy, measure the trunk diameter in inches, and then multiply that number by 1.25 or 1.5 to get a rough idea in feet of how far the roots extend outward from the trunk base.

8. Small shrubs, perennials & lawns still covered by debris at this point will likely not be worth saving, unless they are minimally covered by soil deposits and can be washed clean. Work with your landscape professional to make an accurate assessment of your particular site!

Mud flows may have settled into a hard rock-like state. Such soils may need to be mechanically tilled or worked with machinery to become usable for new landscape plantings in the short term.

What should I do with all the soil deposits on my property?
If you have minimal deposits, carefully remove any debris and stockpile the soil to create new topography later!

What should I do if I have A LOT of deposits on my property, or don’t have a good place for the soil?
Work with your neighbors w/ large lots to see if they would be interested in having additional fill soil!

What should I do to get ready for the next rainfall event?
Focus on keeping water on your site so it doesn’t run off downstream! We’ll talk about this next.

Erosion Control

Like with damage assessment, you want to start with observation. How will water move through your site? Generally, you want water to stay where it falls! So when trying to control erosion, start at the top of your landscape to spread and slow the water as it moves downhill.

1. If your land has a gentle slope of up to 3:1 (3 units horizontal to 1 unit vertical), consider adding features to spread and slow the water! But first you need to mark the topography of your land! Use an A-frame or water level to mark out where the contour lines run along the ground.

2. Once you’ve marked out the contours to determine the slope of your land, you can better determine what actions
to take!
a. No slope, or nearly flat? Create shallow basins w/ mulch & vegetation.
b. A little slope, up to 3:1? Create berms and basins w/ vegetation.
c. More slope, 3:1 or greater? Terraces and/or vegetation.

3. What materials can I use to control erosion on gentle slopes? A variety of material can be placed parallel to contour lines to slow and spread the water as it moves downhill perpendicular to your contour lines. These include: logs, brush, woodchips, coir (coconut) fiber wattles, rock or rubble, and especially soil! Avoid plastic sheeting, straw, and jute netting, as these do little to help water sink into the ground. I always recommend people start small so they can test out different techniques and see what works.

Where should I put my erosion control features?
Start at the top of your slope and place berms where water energy is the lowest! Keep features at least 10 feet away from structures, and be sure you’re directing water away from structures!

Remember, these basic techniques are not meant to be used in active or ephemeral waterways. If you have water actively flowing through your site, you may want to work with a landscape professional or engineer to determine an appropriate solution.

What happens if the first berm overflows?
Plan an exit for the water! Locate an exit at a strategic point along a contour berm to send water downhill to the next berm, or be sure one end is lower than the center of your fishscale berm, so water can spill out to the next feature.

What about mulch?
Yes, please mulch! Remember, mulch can be washed away by water flowing down a steep hillside, so be sure any water flowing down a slope has been slowed by your erosion control features. The best value is Santa Barbara County’s unscreened mulch, which they will deliver to your site with a week or so lead time. Last time I saw it, the mulch was pretty nice looking too!

What about mulch in high fire zones?
Recycled wood mulch has been shown to have the lowest incident of ignition compared to other organic mulches (including rubber/plastic mulches), and helps make your landscape be more fire resistant by reducing soil temperatures, which keeps more water in the soil and encourages plants to maintain a higher water content in their leaves. Gravel mulches can also be useful in certain landscapes. Work with your landscape professional to install the right mulch for your landscape!

What if I have really steep slopes?
Unless you have a reason to be on such a slope and want to build terracing, let it go develop a beautiful cover of fire-wise vegetation!

A Few Plant Selections

There are many hundreds of plants available in the nursery trade and every project may need something different! However, I’m going to give a three plant suggestions today that are specifically useful for erosion control on the Santa Barbara coast. These plants are native to the area or regionally adapted, are beneficial to wildlife, and look great!

Ceanothus ‘Yankee Point’ – A great, large scale ground cover California Lilac with glossy green leaves and bright blue flowers. Grows fast to 10′ wide, sometimes larger! One of my favorites for a refined look, provides a nice clean background to show off other plants.

Baccharis ‘Pigeon Point’ – Dwarf Coyote Brush
This is the winner for erosion control on a hillside where nothing seems to want to grow! Stays low and green year round while providing benefits to local birds and wildlife. Not super showy, but for a plant that is bright green year-round without a drop of water after establishment, it’s a winner.

Salvia ‘Mrs Beard’ | Salvia ‘Dara’s Choice’ | Salvia ‘Bee’s Bliss’ – Creeping Sage
All three of these sage varieties are great low growing groundcovers for large sloped areas! Will attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds in the summer and smell wonderfully fresh year round.

I need more help! What can I do?
1. First, I always recommend that my clients make a priority list for their landscapes that are in need of improvement. What do you want to do or see in the landscape? What are most important features you’d like? Rank them!

2. Consider creating landscapes that require few resource inputs (like time, water, fertilizer & maintenance) but deliver big benefits!

3. Work with landscape professionals to develop your new landscape! Visit the Santa Barbara Contractors Association website to find local, licensed contractors to help with your next project.

Montecito Recovery // Rebuilding

Notes from the 1/26/2018 Community Meeting at the Faulkner Gallery

Ben Romo from First 5 – Moderator


Link to on screen (Powerpoint) presentation

Link to community survey they would like as many folks as possible to complete

Link to Facebook Live broadcast of first 35 mins (iPhone ran out of battery…)

Link to FAQ re: Long Term Exclusion Zones

You can use the social media buttons at the bottom of this page to share via your social networks, as well.

Das Williams Spoke First

We are now in the process of preparing for the next storm and figuring out where we go from here.

Significant challenges include:

All of the basins have not been cleaned out and there is limited access even with trucks queued up.

Only one major basin is completely clear – San Ysidro.  Cold Springs is close behind, but Romero is going to take more time and the Santa Monica basin in Carp is going to take a LONG time. Those responsible are currently anticipating that the job won’t be done until the first week in March.

We all need to have patience. We need people to take leadership roles. In the meantime, people are living life as normally as they can.


Rob Lewin, Emergency Management Director, was up next to speak

Unparalleled disaster in many ways – fire followed by flood

We have to stay vigilant and be prepared for the future. We will probably have to evacuate again.

We need to create a sense of community.

This disaster began with a 200K person power outage on 12/4. Even the hospital was on backup power. Gas stations weren’t able to pump gas. The OEM immediately started planning for a multi day power outage.

There was 60K acre burn day on the Thomas Fire, whereas prior, a 10K day would be something to talk about.

400 fire engines were ready to engage when the TF descended on Montecito and, even while the fire was burning, the emergency responders immediately started prepping for the storm.

Even riparian areas had *nothing* left in them following the blaze, which indicated potential for significant debris flows.

This was the first time EVER that this area evacuated before a storm. From top leadership down, the OEM knew we had to do it.

But from tragedy can come hope. (Like SB did in 1925 following the earthquake.)

Compassionate responders are now guiding residents back who have suffered great losses. Teams of people meet daily re: direction on mud cleanup/remediation.

Some bridges along the 192 are closed to all but emergency personnel and in the event of another evacuation, because they can’t handle normal traffic.

Utilities are all going well vis-à-vis coming online.


  • Clean debris
  • Repopulate
  • Get into recovery mode
  • Contingency planning for the next few rainy seasons

Components of long term recovery – departments involved:

  • Debris Management | traffic plan to minimize trucks in place. Local, state, and national folks involved in addressing debris on private parcels – anywhere from 1ft to 10-15ft in the long term exclusion areas and the areas surrounding those regions. THERE WILL BE MORE SEDIMENT COMING OFF THE HILLS. The topography has changed…and is still changing.
  • Watershed – Flood Control – local, state, federal experts involved – identifying what needs to happen in the future. Creek channels have migrated/moved. They are not where they were.
  • Health & Human Services – county, state, federal, non-profits – providing local mental health and animal services assistance.
  • Infrastructure – roads have failed + bridges are destroyed. We have experts/engineers involved to make sure we’re doing it while simultaneously thinking toward the future.
  • Public Safety –gas lines had to be vented, water systems bled, power lines put back up. The OEM needs to hear from residents if there are issues still to address. Lots of temporary fixes in place. Not yet permanent solutions, in large part. There may be utility disruption going forward.
  • Rebuild Permits/Planning – we need to all work together to rebuild. This is not like a typical wildfire. If your home burns, your foundation and utilities may still exist. In this case, the topography is still changing and foundations/infrastructure have been lost.

Residents are being allowed to return as soon/safely as possible. Long term exclusion zones will remain in areas severely damaged/destroyed. Yellow and red tagged residences will not be repopulated at this time.

MUS + private schools are open as of Friday, 1/26

CVR opened Tuesday, 1/23

Upper Village opened Wednesday, 1/24



2MM cubic yards of material – early estimate (1 dump truck holds 10-15 yards…)

Topography is still changing



Debris removal options – Homeowner, Homeowner and Volunteer, Contract, Private

Repair & Rebuild Infrastructure in a resilient manner – there will continue to be recovery truck competition on neighborhood streets and highways for a long time to come.

Repair & Rebuild homes – dedicated teams are being established – there will be a specific case planner assigned to each affected household. Consistency and continuity of planning staff. Expedited permitting process currently in development.

Rebuild community  – Local Assistance and Recovery Center (LAC) is currently located at Calvary Chapel (1 Calle Cesar Chavez) and stay open until 2/3. It will transition to a Montecito Center at a TBD location on 2/5.

SBCA Member Call To Action: The SBCA has been hosting a table at the LAC and will continue to do this through 2/3 and potentially once the location moves to Montecito. If you are willing to volunteer for a shift, please reach out to Summer @


The OEM is worried about the types of storms that we usually wouldn’t be concerned about

Burn Area Emergency Response, Watershed Emergency Response Team, with members of CA Geo Survey and Dept of Water Resources are evaluating the situation and formulating a plan

We also still need to be vigilant about Wildfire Protection

Storm Readiness plan being developed – including messaging to the community + ongoing communications



FEMA Definition of Whole Communities

We need to: understand community complexity

Recognize community capabilities and needs

Foster relationships with community leaders

Build and maintain partnerships

Empower local action

Leverage and strengthen social infrastructure, networks, and assets



Act quickly

Actively plan

Engage the whole community

Develop partnerships, networks, and coordinate activities

Make decisions locally

We have lots of local creative capital to build a community consistent with the vision of the residents

Lead, Partner, Follow, Honor Survey

SBCA Membership Call to Action: Please have your entire staffs complete this survey and also forward along to your local email lists—both personal and business:



Survey distribution/collection

Identify leadership group and planning meeting (review input, develop priorities, processes, establish core leadership + expectations, create first round of potential projects/ideas)

Report to partners + followers with invitation to attend community input sessions and provide feedback/more ideas

Process of distilling ideas to identify priority projects will be developed by leaders


Next Speakers – Hannah Beth Jackson + Monique Limon re: legislation

Local government and responders are HERE for residents

There are resources through FEMA, state (financial, informational, general support)

We need to create a 21st Century infrastructure for Montecito

Trains were a lifeline – please consider them going forward as the trucks will continue to need to compete for places on the roadways

We need to improve the emergency alert system. HBJ introduced a bill this week that the Fire caused the mudslides…and they will need to continue that way throughout the next couple of years – proximate cause for insurance coverage and there is existing case law in the state that covers this. There IS no gray area. Government at every level is working to get residents the resources they need.

Residents will all be in by the end of the weekend. IMPORTANT: Don’t move large volumes of debris off private property until you’ve got clearance. You can remove it from your *home*, but you’ve got to leave it on your *land* to dry out. Go to the OEM website for handout on how to remove debris. (This includes Marborg dumpsters.)

SB Member Call to Action:

ABE POWELL – Now that people are getting back into their homes – SB Bucket Brigade – construction volunteers that have signed waivers to help you clear out your homes. EMAIL FOR COORDINATION AND/OR TO VOLUNTEER: Use one of the following subject lines so that your message is directed correctly – either (1) VOLUNTEER or (2) DIGGING OUT

Residents will need to escort their out of town families in with proof of residency through police barricades, if they are coming in to help you dig out.

Call center handled 750 calls YESTERDAY (Thursday) and solving problems. 833-688-5551 is the call center line. (LAC call center)



Long term exclusion zone lines will be adjusted to smaller areas as soon as they can.

There is adequate capacity for people who want to take the train.

Form community watches for each other as we go through this difficult time as a community. Google Groups are a good solution for street or neighborhood level lists to stay abreast of developments on a hyper local basis, as is the NextDoor network. (

OEM is using LIDAR data from geologists to make sure we continue to stay as safe as possible. Used all historical documentation of fire followed by flood in developing plans.

BIG QUESTION: How do we help residents that SHOULDN’T rebuild because they could DIE if they do?

IMPORTANT: We were already in a drought and the Jameson Reservoir ended up with a lot of debris in it and the pipelines got damaged. As a result, there’s a SIGNIFICANT water impact. CONSERVE WATER AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. Everyone’s use of water impacts your neighbors and your community. It’s *not* pretty on the water front. You can demand that, if your home needs to be de-ashed, that they truck in water from other places.

Postal delivery will happen as soon as everyone has returned to their areas.

Marborg is picking up trash today on their regular days. IT IS A MAJOR PROBLEM TO PUT MUD IN THE TRASHCANS. We can’t legally or logistically put it in the landfills.

We need to focus, as well, on the people who work and/or rent in Montecito, because they also have significant hardships.

What to do with the items that are found: Immediately call the Sherriff and have them pick it up.

Private property cleanup – who pays/completes the work? Still TBD…even if mud wasn’t originally on the property. Call your insurance company ASAP.

Call insurance companies about flood insurance for the future.

How long until experts can be brought in to analyze the state of their homes? Impacted homeowners are handed a notebook and need to recognize the complexity. After they return to their homes, you can go back to the homes with a contractor TOMORROW to start the cleanup/remediation/repair process. There are limitations to government. DEMAND that your insurance company is performing the way that they should. We all need to be survivors and fight your way through it. OEM is letting people in as fast as they possibly can. If you’re not in yet, there’s a safety issue.

Dick Shakowitz (sp?) from Water District- Central Coast doesn’t look like more rain, but more like big drought for the rest of the year. However, keep in mind that the weather people can only look 1-2 days out reliably and up to 10 days less reliably.

We need a more streamlined planning process. Das says we will FIRST figure out what prepares us most for the future. Flood control and planning departments are assessing risk—both now and in the future. Second challenge is we DON’T have any money as a County. County was $24MM in debt already on 12/3. We need to navigate fire, flood, fiscal disaster.

CEC’s “From Ashes to Opportunity” program that was put together 10+ years ago has risen from the ashes and is currently being updated/revised.

Property tax reductions and impact on County budget? We need someone from the Assessor’s office to clarify.

Health Department is doing active testing in the ocean for bacterial levels, they have done soil samples of 5 pollutant sampling levels. Good news is that they haven’t been finding much other than bacterial challenges. Sample sites are on the Public Health website. Overall, the mud is safe to have on your property. Environmental Health is confident.

Building Department is saying that they need a clearance from Environmental Health for your *individual* parcel to get a demolition permit – call 346-8489 to get this done.

Everyone needs to be careful of trees falling. They are currently soaking in mud and pose risks.

On February 3, CA’s insurance commissioner is coming to town so that we can address insurance related issues.

Geologic/hydrologic/topographic information is in process. Everything will be available online as soon as it is released. It’s not ready yet.

Creative Commons Photo Credit: A view from a California Air National Guard HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter shows the devastation caused by a mudslide in Santa Barbara, Calif., Jan. 10, 2018. California Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Cristian Meyers. Labeled for Reuse.

SBCA Contractors Willing & Able to Help Montecito Mudflow Victims

On Tuesday, February 27, the SBCA was thrilled to host a local, licensed contractors/homeowners mixer at Montecito Union School for victims of the recent Montecito Mudflow. More than 100 local contractors showed up to support the community. During the event, the Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Management sent an evacuation warning, which may have impacted some local homeowners’ ability to attend the event. As such, we have published the list of attending contractors and materials suppliers below by category, along with video clips or photos we were able to grab of some of the attendees.

Please note: List below is organized alphabetically by their primary category and company name. Architects are within the Residential Designers category at the end of the list.

We truly appreciate Montecito Union School’s willingness to host the event and Color Services’ donation of all of our printed materials, including event maps, area cards, and name tags.


Company: Brandt House & Building Movers
Contact: Robert Snyder
Phone: 805-922-0575
City: Santa Maria
SBCA Member Since 2011
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“Our company specializes in raising and lower and move buildings of all sorts of construction inches of miles raised wood floors, to buildings on slabs of even no foundations, picking buildings off the ground and putting them back on their foundations.”


Company: Advance Electric SB Inc.
Contact: Andy De Carlo
Phone: 805-453-8300
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2011
Email Now »

Company: Light Santa Barbara
Contact: William George
Phone: 805-757-7878
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2016
Email Now »


Company: Gromatici Land Surveying, Inc
Contact: Steve Ferri
Phone: 805-691-9112
City: Los Olivos
SBCA Member Since 2011
Email Now »


Company: Bailey Construction LLC
Contact: Ryan Bailey
Phone: 805-259-5332
City: Montecito
SBCA Member Since 2017
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“Bailey Construction is cutting our overhead and profit fees in half to better serve our community. We will help handle everything from start to finish.”

Company: James Johnson Construction, Inc.
Contact: James Johnson
Phone: 805-450-2049
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2007
Email Now »


Company: Christopher Scott Construction
Contact: Christopher Scott
Phone: 805-331-2781
City: Solvang
Email Now »

Company: Cole Construction and Structural
Contact: Thomas Cole
Phone: 805-637-4702
City: Montecito
Email Now »

Company: Matt Shaw Concrete, Inc.
Contact: Matt Shaw
Phone: 805-967-0126
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2009
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We offer grading, excavation, dirt removal, and concrete & masonry services – large and small projects. We have our A general engineering license as well as our C8 Concrete license to cover our services.”

Company: Monteabaro
Contact: Mike Monteabaro
Phone: 805-452-1000
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1991
Email Now »


Company: AAA Development, Inc.
Contact: Mike Hansen
Phone: 805-603-0958
City: Camarilo
Email Now »
Company Quote:

Company: Allen Construction
Contact: Ian Cronshaw or Scott Nyborg
Phone: 805-884-8777
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1994
Email Now »

Company: BEC Builders
Contact: Brian Crill
Phone: 805-682-4092
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2008
Email Now »

Company: Brancati Construction
Contact: Cole Brancati
Phone: 805-455-6903
City: Solvang
SBCA Member Since 2015
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We are a full service general construction company specializing in residential remodels and new builds. We are here to help with all aspects of rebuilding the community. We have an incredible, reliable and honest team that can handle all stages from start to completion. We are here for free consultation, guidance and any questions along the process.”

Company: Campbell Construction
Contact: Phillip Campbell
Phone: 805-844-8755
City: Oak View
SBCA Member Since 2009
Email Now »

Company: Clause Construction
Contact: Dan Clause
Phone: 805-962-1972
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1994
Email Now »

Company: DD Ford Construction
Contact: Blair Edwards
Phone: 805-896-3126
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1994
Email Now »

Company: Drammer Construction, Inc.
Contact: Matthew Drammer
Phone: 805-686-9205
City: Los Olivos
Email Now »

Company: Elliott & Pohls Construction
Contact: Michael Elliott
Phone: 805-478-1306
City: Solvang
SBCA Member Since 2011
Email Now »

Company: Future Value Construction Inc.
Contact: Chuck R. Thomason
Phone: 805-701-8863
City: Ventura
SBCA Member Since 2015
Email Now »

Company: Hurka Construction
Contact: Venessa Hurka
Phone: 805-450-9038
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2016
Email Now »

Company: Jack ‘N Tool Box, Inc.
Contact: Ed Hurd
Phone: 805-896-2369
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1994
Email Now »

Company: Jason Behm Construction
Contact: Jason Behm
Phone: 805-403-8335
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 0
Email Now »

Company: Kadri & Associates, Inc.
Contact: Tariq Kadri
Phone: 805-969-2926
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2006
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We are a general contracting firm that has been working in Montecito since the 1980’s.  You can view photos of some of our projects on our website:  We are available to help a few homeowners with their re-building projects.”

Company: Kitchell Custom Homes
Contact: Chad Burgoyne
Phone: 805-705-2953
SBCA Member Since 2003
Email Now »

Company: Larsen Fine Homes
Contact: Nils Larsen
Phone: 805-455-7443
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2013
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“Typically, once a project has completed the planning, designing, and permitting stages with the architects, designers, engineers, and regulatory community, we come in and execute the project.  We are not a design firm and prefer not to ‘design as you build’.”

Company: Lynch Construction
Contact: Brian Lynch
Phone: 805-451-3459
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1995
Email Now »

Company: M. Manzo Construction, Inc.
Contact: Martin Manzo
Phone: 805-705-1207
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2009
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We are offering clean up assistance, and estimates.As a General Contracting company overall, we offer over 20 years of custom home building, and specialize in both small and large scale remodels.”

Company: McKean Construction, Inc.
Contact: Aaron McKean
Phone: 805-899-4544
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2003
Email Now »

Company: Mitch Williams Construction, Inc.
Contact: Mitch Williams
Phone: 805-563-2884
City: Los Olivos
SBCA Member Since 1991
Email Now »

Company: Nelson Construction
Contact: Dennis Nelson
Phone: (805) 565-1182
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2007
Email Now »

Company: One West Construction, Inc.
Contact: Leonard Parise
Phone: 805-432-7153
City: Newbury Park
Email Now »

Company: ReThink Contracting
Contact: Zasho Donner
Phone: 805-312-8282
City: Camarillo
Email Now »

Company: Robert Taylor & Associates
Contact: Robert Taylor
Phone: 805-895-4599
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2008
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We are General Contractors that typically start with the architectural plans then together with our own staff we put together a team of suppliers and subcontractors that will complete the projects using the best practices and the highest standards possible.”

Company: Seguro Construction
Contact: Todd Buynak
Phone: 805-564-7800
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2008
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We at Seguro Construction are able to assist in New Home Building, Home Renovations, Site Utilities, and Project Management.  We are looking for meaningful projects to help our neighbors and local community.”

Company: Thomas Dain General Contractor Inc.
Contact: Tom Dain
Phone: 805-560-0208
City: Montecito
SBCA Member Since 2007
Email Now »

Company: Urquidez Building Corporation
Contact: Chris Urquidez
Phone: 8052456340
City: Los Olivos
SBCA Member Since 2013
Email Now »

Company: Utt Construction Inc.
Contact: Bruce Williams
Phone: 805-685-3938
City: Goleta
SBCA Member Since 1995
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We are able to help with all needs of a project (major or small,) from start to finish with the help of our own team and our reliable and very capapable team of subcontractors, architects, designers, and engineers that we work with.”

Company: Weidl Construction
Contact: Larry Weidl
Phone: 805-895-0795
City: Goleta
SBCA Member Since 2002
Email Now »


Company: GW Environmental Consulting Company
Contact: Gregory Whitney
Phone: (818) 324-7729
City: Westlake Village
SBCA Member Since 2010
Email Now »


Company: Beyond Heating and Air
Contact: Brian Hawkins
Phone: 805-896-4321
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2015
Email Now »

Company: McCormack Heating & Air Conditioning
Contact: John McCormack
Phone: 805-692-49890
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2006
Email Now »

Company: Young Air, Inc.
Contact: Christa King
Phone: 805-618-4206
City: Lompoc
SBCA Member Since 2014
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We are able to offer ducting cleaning services & ducting damage inspections, filter checking and change outs (a big concern after the fire), as well as equipment service and replacement, and safety inspections. Some homes lost AC condensers that need replacing. We can also help with this.”


Company: Insulate SB, Inc.
Contact: David C. James
Phone: 805-705-9989
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2011
Email Now »,-Inc-959

Company: Truteam of CA
Contact: Keith Gaskins
Phone: 805-623-2934
City: Goleta
SBCA Member Since 1991
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“We professionally install the following: 1) All types of insulation including Icynene spray foam 2) Seamless aluminum and copper gutters 3) Napoleon and Superior brand fireplaces 4) Wayne Dalton and Ranch house garage doors.”


Company: Grace Design Associates, Inc.
Contact: Margie Grace
Phone: 805-687-3569
City: Montecito
SBCA Member Since 2015
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“Grace Design Associates, Inc. is an award-winning, full service landscape firm with over 35 years of experience designing and building world-class gardens. Every garden is custom-designed and custom-built. The result is a one-of-a-kind garden perfectly tailored to the client, the architecture, the site and the environment. Company founder and lead designer Margie Grace is the winner of International Landscape Designer of the Year Award, the top honor in the field.”

Company: Silver Leaf Landscapes
Contact: Lindsey Zero
Phone: (805) 695-2133
City: Summerland
SBCA Member Since 2017
Email Now »

Company: Wilson Environmental Contracting, Inc
Contact: Daniel Wilson
Phone: 805-957-4729
City: santa barbara
SBCA Member Since 2006
Email Now »


Company: Consolidated Overhead Door and Gate
Contact: Niki Van Buren
Phone: 805-965-0539
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1992
Email Now »

Company: Custom Hardwood Floors, Inc.
Contact: Gabriel Pena
Phone: 805-653-5912
City: Ventura
SBCA Member Since 2009
Email Now »

Company: Reed Interiors
Contact: Jennifer Shaw
Phone: 805-684-7583
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2011
Email Now »


Company: Reid’s Appliances
Contact: Tim LaPrelle
Phone: 805-432-7424
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2017
Email Now »

Company: Stonecraft Surfaces, Inc.
Contact: Paul Gunderson
Phone: 805-320-3850
City: Ventura
SBCA Member Since 2011
Email Now »

Company: Timber and Wool Custom Floors
Contact: Cynthia Baker
Phone: 805-827-7073
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2017
Email Now »



Company: ADC Finishes, Inc.
Contact: Mark Danis
Phone: 805-331-4467
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2016
Email Now »

Company: MF Classic Interior Inc.
Contact: Marco Fontes
Phone: 805-770-8770
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2007
Email Now »

Company: Sagebrush Painting, Inc.
Contact: Rick Bernhardt
Phone: (805) 452-9575
City: Santa Ynez
SBCA Member Since 2009
Email Now »


Contact: Mark Braithwaite Sr
Phone: 805-588-6888
City: Lompoc
SBCA Member Since 2008
Email Now »

Company: Action Roofing
Contact: Jack Martin
Phone: 805-966-3696
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1991
Email Now »


Company: Action Energy
Contact: Kirk Mueller
Phone: 805-896-3776
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1991
Email Now »
Company Quote:
“Service for existing solar arrays; New roof top or ground mounted solar or energy storage systems; Reports for insurance purposes”

Company: Sun Pacific Solar Electric, Inc
Contact: Cecilia Villasenor Johnson
Phone: 805-965-9292
SBCA Member Since 2010
Email Now »


Company: Becker Construction
Contact: Meghan Hart
Phone: 805-965-9555
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1999
Email Now »

Company: Pacific Architects
Contact: William Wolf
Phone: 805-565-3640
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2007
Email Now »

Company: Santa Barbara Design & Build
Contact: Don Gragg
Phone: 805-453-0518
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 2008
Email Now »


Company: MarBorg Industries
Contact: Peter Tierney
Phone: 805-963-1852 x 2406
City: Santa Barbara
SBCA Member Since 1994
Email Now »

Key Wildfire/Mudslide Resource Links

We are heartbroken by what the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslide have done to our beautiful city and mountain vistas. If you own a home or business–even if you were not impacted by this fire or slide–this is a wake up call to make sure that your insurance policies are up-to-date and that you know where to find the resources you need. We will be updating this list as we learn of new resources available to local homeowners.

SBCA Contractors Willing and Able to Help Homeowners—attendees of our recent event, hosted by Montecito Union School




how to prepare your home for rainy season

How To Prepare Your Home for Rainy Season

Live Facebook Virtual Event | October 6, 2017

Learn how to prepare your home for rainy season in this video, featuring local expert panelists.

Expert Panelists (and great resources for home/business preparedness evaluations!):
Jordan Kenney, VP Operations, Kenney Construction
Jack Martin, CEO of Action Roofing
Steve Martin, VP, Gutter Division, Action Roofing

Did you enjoy this virtual event?

Be sure to like our Facebook page to get the inside scoop on upcoming live Facebook events, featuring Santa Barbara’s most well-respected and reputable contractors.

Generously Sponsored By:
Hayward Lumber, conveniently located at 421 Laguna St in Santa Barbara


Slope Stability Essentials => Wattles, 6mm rolls of plastic sheeting, and mulch can be found at Hayward Lumber (map above). TIP: It’s best to stock up before everyone thinks about them.

Where to Find Sandbags => Many local fire stations have these bags available for free, but you need to fill them yourself. It can take a few trips to get the amount you need…and there’s always a run on them when a big storm hits the forecast, so be sure to stock up while the weather is still dry. Click here to learn more »

Storm Water Runoff Strategies for Your Lot => Local cities, including Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Buellton, and Lompoc have rebate incentives to retrofit landscapes to help not only conserve water, but help with storm water runoff strategies. Different participation terms apply for each region, so be sure to click here to learn more »


How To Protect Your Home From Wildfire

Live Facebook Virtual Event | September 1, 2017

Learn how to protect your home from wildfire in this video, featuring local expert panelists.

Gina Sunseri, City of Santa Barbara Fire Inspector
Karen Feeney, Allen Construction, General Contractor
Margie Grace, Grace Design Associates, Landscape Designer

Location: Sandbox Santa Barbara

Did you enjoy this virtual event?

Be sure to like our Facebook page to get the inside scoop on upcoming live Facebook events, featuring Santa Barbara’s most well-respected and reputable contractors.

Event Facebook Posts Referenced During the Video

accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in Santa Barbara

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Legislation in Santa Barbara

Live Facebook Virtual Event | August 11, 2017

Panelist: Senator Bob Wieckowski
California Senator Bob Wieckowski is the author of Senate Bill No. 1069, which came into effect on January 1, 2017 and provides for the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single-family and multifamily residential zones throughout the State of California. He came to Santa Barbara to give background on the Land Use legislation and the intent behind it. The goal of this event was to assist in the local thinking about the law and how to move forward from our current housing deficit and is of particular interest to writers of local City zoning ordinances, property owners, architects, planners, contractors and the real estate/ development community.

In-Person Location: The New Vic Theater

Did you enjoy this virtual event?

Be sure to like our Facebook page to get the inside scoop on upcoming live Facebook events, featuring Santa Barbara’s most well-respected and reputable contractors.

Our accessory dwelling unit (ADU) event was jointly organized by the Santa Barbara AIA (American Institute of Architects) and SBCA (Santa Barbara Contractor’s Association). Special thanks to Kitchell Custom Homes for sponsoring the event.

Why Hire a Licensed Contractor

Why Hiring a Licensed Contractor in Santa Barbara Is Critical

With the rising cost of home remodeling and repair, it can be tempting to hire an unlicensed contractor. However, there are a wide variety of reasons why you should think twice before accepting an unlicensed contractor’s bid. Here are five of the major ones:

  • Should a problem arise, you will not have any legal recourse, as a contract with an unlicensed contractor is not legally enforceable in California.
  • The homeowner assumes all liability, should a worker be injured on their property. While your homeowner’s insurance might help cover some of the cost to pay the claim, it could result in a rate increase and make it more challenging to be insured in the future.
  • If the project does not meet code or the necessary permits are not pulled, you will be responsible for making all repairs to meet code and/or be properly permitted at an additional cost to you.
  • Work performed by an unlicensed contractor could potentially void your homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • An owner assumes liability for payment to subcontractors, should their GC be unlicensed, and is subject to liens…even if you’ve already paid the General Contractor for performed work.

Before the Santa Barbara Contractors Association accepts a contractor into our membership–and every time we renew their membership–we check to make sure their license is current and active. Thankfully, the Contractors State License Board makes it easy for you to check a state license, as well. All you need to know is the eight digit numerical license.

[button link=”” button_color=”#000000″ button_icon=”mfont et-icon-tools-2″ target=”_blank”] Check a License Now [/button]


How to Hire a Contractor

How to Hire a Contractor :: Top 10 Tips for Homeowners

Hiring a contractor can be tricky. While the majority of licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking and financially responsible, most of the challenges the Contractors State License Board hears about could have been prevented by adhering to their top 10 tips for how to hire a contractor. The better informed you are, the smoother your relationship will be with your chosen contractor.

  • Hire only CA state-licensed contractors.
  • Check a contractor’s license number online at or by calling 800.321.CSLB (2752).
  • Get at least three bids.
  • Get three references from each bidder and review past work in person.
  • Make sure all project expectations are in writing and only sign the contract if you completely understand the terms.
  • Confirm that the contractor has workers’ compensation insurance for employees.
  • Never pay more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less.* Don’t pay in cash.
  • Don’t let payments get ahead of the work.
  • Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project, including all payments.
  • Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the job.

The Contractors State License Board produced the following 15-minute educational video titled “Doing It Right: Hiring a Licensed Contractor.” The video guides consumers through the process of selecting, hiring and managing a contractor including:

  • How to verify a contractor’s credentials
  • What to include in the written contract
  • How to prevent common disputes
  • Where to go if problems arise