Cost to design, permit and build a house in a landslide zone in Berkeley

These are the architecture plans and the budget for completing a small backyard home in a landslide zone in Berkeley.

Anyone considering building on a steep lot and especially a landslide zone will get a wide range of potential costs. These costs vary by project and site of course.  This is one point where you can mark down as accurate.  We finished this project.

Frankly, it’s expensive. The full cost of just the excavation, concrete piers and foundation was close to $40,000.

For the full budget including every line item, see the attached pdf at the bottom.

 

This is the site plan for the backyard cottage.

Site Plan

This is the “elevation” of the front of the house.

Elevation (View from the Front)

This is a more detailed floor plan.  Note how much counter space is in this relatively small kitchen.  It’s better to have room to cook than room to watch TV:)

Floor PlanThis shows the 12′ deep concrete piers that had to be drilled, filled with rebar and concrete, then tied into the visible part of the foundation. Concrete PiersConcrete Piers 2

 

Click here for the full budget including architecture, structural engineering, surveyor, soils engineering (geo tech), permits, site work and all construction.

Budget for Completed House in Berkeley Hills

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Have any questions? We are available to discuss your goals & ideas. There’s no fee or commitment. To request a time for a call, just click here and tell us when to call you.

Chicken Coop or Cottage?

What’s in YOUR backyard?

Do you have an old garden, incessant blackberry bushes, or perhaps a chicken coop?

Chicken Coop
Chicken Coop

Dennis’ mother was happy with their decision and although she wanted a cozy space and a rustic style, even the chickens didn’t care for the coop that had no chance of being repaired.

Formerly a plant dealer and always a green thumb connoisseur, Lisa used the art of gardening to arrange succulents, agave, trees, shrubs, and potted flowering plants along mazy, pebbly paths.

They decided to nest into the luscious landscaping a 600 sf one bedroom, one bathroom, L-shaped small home with a living/kitchen area and a gable roof and loft.  Take a peek at the transformation in action by visiting the client’s story page.  Also, click on the floor plans and loft below for a close-up look at the details of the design.

Loft
Loft
Floor Plans
Floor Plans
Elevations
Elevations

Now Dennis and Lisa have their beautiful new cottage….

El Cerrito Cottage
El Cerrito Cottage

 

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and a great new alarm system:

 

Beware - cute chihuahua
Beware – Super cute chihuahua

Continue reading “Chicken Coop or Cottage?”

Menlo Park addresses Housing by making it easier to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

  Menlo Park took this opportunity to meet their RHNA of 655 dwelling units by concurrently amending their ADU ordinance. Now it’s easier for residents to build a backyard cottage!  Some of the adopted regulations include:

  • Reducing the required interior side setback to five feet
  • A maximum size of 640 square feet but may be built up to 700 square feet to allow access for disabled residents
  • Increasing the maximum height to 17 feet
  • Allowing parking in required front and interior side yards
The ordinance was adopted on May 13, 2014 and became effective on June 13, 2014.  Visit the City of Menlo more information on the revised zoning code, and for a copy of the amendment, click here.  We look forward to seeing more backyard cottages, in-law studios, private home spas, guest houses, music rooms, art studios and more!
erin
Erin’s In-Law Studio photo credit: Scott Kline
New Avenue did a project in Menlo Park not too long ago. Check out Erin’s story.

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Have any questions? We are available to discuss your goals & ideas. There’s no fee or commitment. To request a time for a call, just click here and tell us when to call you.

Portland Accessory Dwelling Tour


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We’re just back from a great trip to Portland where, we learned that Portlandia is, in fact, a documentary.  They all work 20 hours a week at Starbucks, have chicken coops, ride their bikes all day, everyday.  Or at least, the east side of Portland fits that description.  The west side, we are told, is different.  There are rumoured to be Republicans on that side of town.  It seems doubtful, but none the less, this is about the East Side and more particularly, this great little Accessory Dwelling we visited – Susan’s PDX Cottage.

It’s a beautiful city (in the summer, at least) packed with 100 year old craftsman homes and they are really making accessory dwellings happen.

Susan’s PDX Cottage is a converted garage. Here are several pictures of her little cottage.

That’s owner storage for mostly gardening equipment on the right.

Interestingly,  edgy modern furniture can make a classic old garage exterior really work.

It’s official, SMEG refrigerators are the best looking appliances around: http://www.smegusa.com

You see that little hanging spice rack – that’s a $10 IKEA accessory.

Open shelving really works in small spaces.

One of the squares of Ladd’s Addition – the Portland neighborhood with such a unique layout that it is noticeable from space.

DIY landscaping can save thousands and thousands or even tens of thousands.  

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Have any questions? We are available to discuss your goals & ideas. There’s no fee or commitment. To request a time for a call, just click here and tell us when to call you.