We standardize and automate the process so your remodel, addition or custom home experience will be amazing

Designing and building an addition, remodel or custom home is a complicated process that involves one to two years of planning and then 45+ people to do the actual construction.

At New Avenue our qualified and proven local professionals can design and build your project.  We supplement the talented pros with a project management software that we built.  Combined, proven people and the best of class project management software makes the design/build process easier and fun.

Using our experience working with hundreds of clients and spent years perfecting the design/build process.   The features on our platform now provide the most efficient way to design and build any project. We’ve proven this on projects ranging from $50,000 to $2,500,000.

The following features in our system automatically includes the industry’s best practices in every project using New Avenue.

Goals & Ideas Questionnaire

Every project has a Goals & Ideas Questionnaire. You can spend 5 minutes or 30 minutes answering 30 questions.  These questions are based on countless client meetings, thousands of proposals, bids,changes.  By asking you the right questions at the start you can make faster and better decisions. This improves the efficiency of your entire team.



You can use your free project timeline to communicate with your team. When you receive a notification, you can reply by email and your message will automatically appear in your timeline. This keeps you, your spouse, your architect and your contractor on the same page.  This squashes headaches and mistakes before they happen.  As far as we’re concerned, it’s magic.

One Click Accept a Design Proposal

You can use our free budget tool to collect Design Proposals from architects.  Our team of proven and vetted architects are able to provide a proposal.  You can also invite your own architect.  Just tell them “I am using New Avenue to keep my budget organized”

A good Design Proposal will tell you the 20-30 steps required to design and permit your project.  It will also show you the estimated hours of work needed for each step.   To accept a Design Proposal you simply click “approve” and you automatically have a Design Agreement that insures your project follows the best practices in the industry.

Timesheet - Invoice

New Avenue’s invoicing system is the first system built to help owners keep their entire project organized.  With New Avenue your proposal, budget and your invoices are all in one standardized format.  There’s no need to try to reconcile a word document proposal with a list of hours worked.  To pay you simply click approve and that authorized New Avenue’s system to request payment from your bank so you can pay by direct deposit – the same way your employer probably pays you.


Cost to design a basement remodel in Alameda, CA

The design and engineering cost for a full basement remodel, including adding a kitchen and bedrooms is $14,300.

This is for a construction project that is budgeted for $200,000 in construction spend.

The proposal is here: Basement Remodel in Alameda

Sign up to see example budgets, example floor plans, or to use the New Avenue system for free here: Get Started

Contra Costa County and Residential Accessory Dwellings

Contra Costa County allows residential second units in certain zoning districts but the permitting process is downright terrifying here.

Before we get to the terrifying part, here are some of the development standards:

  • Lot Size. The minimum size of a lot with a primary residence and a second unit is six thousand square feet.
  • Second Unit Size. A second unit may not exceed 1,000 square feet, but for lots smaller than 10,000 square feet: Secondary dwellings may have a maximum floor area of 640 square feet.
  • Lot Coverage. In single-family residential districts, the second unit may not cause the maximum total structural lot coverage to exceed 40%

  • Living Provisions. A second unit must provide complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. The second unit may include one kitchen, living room, and dining room, and no more than two bathrooms and two bedrooms.

  • The additional parking space may be in tandem, or the additional space may be in the existing driveway if the additional space is outside the existing setback or side yard.

Those standards are all fine and quite in line with other regions.  The scary thing in Contra Costa County is the “Impact Fees”.   Fees for second unit permits will be in amounts established by the board of supervisors in the community development department’s fee schedule. Second unit866470ZBhixq_display_image2 (1)s are subject to all new development fees, including but not limited to development impact fees, park fees, and assessment district assessment allocations.  For Spring’s Casita in 2012, the summary of fees are approximately $24,821.  However, most of these fees go away if the cottage doesn’t have a kitchen.

  • Building Permit: $3,500
  • Lamorina Transportation:  $3,723
  • Waste Management: $80
  • Drainage Review: $175Fire Review: $215
  • Sewer Impact Fee $7,000 (Noted this is $600 if it is not a “Dwelling” unit)
  • Water $5,500 for a new meter

For many projects in Contra Costa the impact fees will actually add up to almost $50,000.  This is painful for everyone but we do have to agree that you do get quite a bit for those fees (3rd bore tunnel, summer recreation programs, insanely good schools).    Some people who don’t really need a full guest house with a kitchen but really just want an office or pool house with a shower will benefit greatly from making sure they get the permits for something that is not a “dwelling”.

Also, in January of this year the County adjusted their fees.  Verify with the Planning Division and zoning ordinance to confirm your requirements in your zoning district. Learn more about accessory dwellings by learning about our process.

You can contact us for additional plans, budgets or sign up and use the New Avenue system for free here: Get Started

The Duplex and Accessory Dwelling


Duplex and Garage
Duplex and Garage







Interested in building a duplex and an accessory building on one Berkeley property, Rivero contacted New Avenue on April 2013.   Here is a copy of the initial schedule of values, approximately $25,0000, for one structure.

If you are interested in pursuing your own accessory dwelling in Berkeley, we encourage you to further review the municipal code for the most accurate definition, requirements, variances and exceptions.  Some of the current regulations for accessory dwellings include:

  • Lot size requirement: Minimum  lot size is 4,500 sq ft
  • Maximum size: 640 sq ft or 25% of main house
  • Parking: Additional, non-tandem parking space required

However, the City of Berkeley is moving towards amending these restrictions in the near future, allowing for a streamlined and less costly approval process for this project type.

Verify with the Planning Division to confirm your requirements for your home, or call New Avenue!  Learn more about accessory dwellings, remodels and major home renovations by learning about our process, read our client stories or contact us today if you are interested in pursuing your own home project.

Accessory Dwellings in the City of El Cerrito

Here are a few of the requirements related to Second Units for the City of El Cerrito, though you’ll have to review the New Accessory Dwelling code for 2017 for the most accurate definition, requirements, variances and exceptions:

  • The maximum FAR (floor area ratio) shall not exceed 750 sq ft or 40% of the floor area of the primary dwelling, whichever is less, except that an attached Second Unit of 400 sq ft in floor area is permitted regardless of the size of the primary dwelling. Up to 1200 sq ft or 75% of the floor area of the primary dwelling, whichever is less, may be permitted with the approval of a Conditional Use Permit.
  • The maximum height of a detached Second Unit is 15 feet. A detached Second Unit may exceed 15-feet in height with the approval of a Conditional Use Permit.
  • The required additional parking space for the Second Unit may be in tandem with required parking of the principal dwelling unit.
Dennis and Lisa's Paradise in El Cerrito, CA
Dennis and Lisa’s Paradise in El Cerrito, CA

Here’s a link to a client story for a recent El Cerrito project.  This home was also featured on NPR!  Verify with the Planning Division to confirm your requirements in your zoning district. Learn more about accessory dwellings by learning about our process, read our client stories or contact us today if you are interested in building your own backyard cottage.


Paul’s Green Pad – A Perfect Place for the Urban Professional

Paul, an expert in energy efficiency and sustainable design, decided to convert his detached garage so he could have more living space in his East Bay home.  The wooden floor concealed an old slab and once it was removed it became clear that it would be better to replace the entire foundation.  After replacing the foundation, redoing the slab and, of course, installing energy efficient appliances and systems, Paul created a green and cozy home ideal for simple and single urban living. For example, using an electric cooktop with one burner induction has better control than gas and – bonus – it is super easy to install. To proactively manage energy consumption and demand, we plugged in an electrical submeter into the subpanel. Finally, Paul found an amazing all-in-one washer/dryer uses a fraction of the space as a traditional washer and dryer set. It does take longer to complete a load, so you’ll want to put in the dirty clothes in the morning so when you’re back from work, the laundry is ready for folding.

Total budget for this project was $81,648.  Though the original construction agreement was $69,452, we accommodated Paul’s requests for additional work that was not included in the original scope or the project’s evolving needs with these non-discretionary change orders:

Water Heaters $80 water heater price overage
Faucets, Supplies, and Trim $340 purchased garbage disposal & install electrical outlet & switch; plumbing/hookup for garbage disposal included in orig bid
Oven/Stovetop $250 addtl outlet for stovetop hooked onto garbage disposal outlet.
Landscaping $200 installation of new special front gate hardware per request of owner.
Electrical service upgrade $180 3hr for electrician to do a separate gauge incl materials
Showers $8 shower head contractor paid for. orig shower trim returned to owner b/c missing part.
Countertops $780 addtl 18″ backsplash, stovetop cutout, & granite on window sill ledge
Demolition and Structure Moving $200 removal satellite dish removal, patch roof, & hauling debris
Showers $500 rough plumbing: moving shower head & valve from west to south wall after per drawing from 6.26 for phase 2.
Faucets, Supplies, and Trim $250 Hose bib on garage by driveway
Patios $199 materials for redwood landing in front of entry door
Faucets, Supplies, and Trim $(360) credit to owner for faucets & sink. excluding cost for toilet
Exterior Painting $150 addtl two colors
Interior Painting $150 addtl two colors
Custom $240 Per City Inspector’s orders: addtl electrical work, labor only 4hrs
Framing $870 Loft: Reframe for loft in bathroom area. Includes flooring with 3/4″ plywood. Window frame: Reframing window for bigger size 3×4 window.
Exterior Window and Door Trim $100 skylight & flashing unexpected price increase; no change in labor price
Demo $3,200 demolition of existing concrete slab & exterior wall only. Existing wall at west elevation will remain. We will add 2×6 stud & will nail at 16″oc for wood siding. Haul away unnecessary items. Labor & material priced together.
Foundation $7,500 place 4″ new concrete slab & foundation according to structure engineer’s revised drawing. We will include trenching, dirt compacting, 4″ drain rock, 2″ sand, 2 layers 6mil vapor barrier. Labor and material priced together.
Foundation $2,400 new 2×4 wall 16″oc at south, east and north elevations. Approx 70 linear ft at 8′ high. Labor & material priced together.
Trenching $(670) on original budget form: Line Item 31 Trenching. We have included in change order (ref# VAIDYA-0513). Cost reimbursed $670.
Demo $(500) line Item 33 Phase II Demo/Earth Move: We have included part of cost to change order price. Cost reimbursed $500
Foundation $(3,000) line Item 03 Foundation (phase II): We have included full cost to change order price. Cost reimbursed $3000.
$185 coordination w/Surveyors and obtaining proposals for Clients approval
Architect Coordination $185 structural analysis/documentation for bringing structure closer to current codes (per Owner’s direction)
$85 cadd up schedules/details, etc
Schematics $185 Multiple “Future” Floor Plan variations in the process working with owner to develop the final “Future” floor plan, beyond that of the initial 4 layouts per contract
$85 cadd some options in process