We specialize in building large custom estate homes throughout the Peninsula and Silicon Valley areas.
Luxury Home Remodeling
A home remodel offers the opportunity to feel like you´ve moved into a new home, while never having to call the moving company. Across the United States, home improvement and renovation projects accounted for over $350 billion in homeowner expenses in 2018. In the state of California alone, home remodeling is a $20 billion annual market. Though many of those projects are small-scale, DIY projects such as trimming and repainting a bedroom or giving a bathroom a makeover, big projects such as renovating kitchens and baths are also quickly growing in popularity.
Whole home renovations, however, allow homeowners to drastically improve the functionality of a home, customize your structure to your particular preferences and needs, enhance your overall property value, and even lower your monthly energy bills by incorporating energy efficiency upgrades. For older homes, a whole house renovation can increase the square footage or “spaciousness” of a home, allow for a needed change of style, and bring an older, decaying home back to life.
Conrado Home Builders has over 30 years of experience in designing and building the best custom homes in the Bay area. We also offer our clients the ability to completely remodel the homes they currently inhabit. Whether the project is a whole house renovation transforming a small nondescript bungalow into a first-class 2,200 sq. ft. craftsman jewel-box, or transforming a 1950´s energy hog Mediterranean-style home into a net zero, passive structure, our remodeling teams bring hundreds of years of collective experience to every remodeling project.
The Importance of the Pre-Construction Phase
As with our new home builds, we take the pre-construction phase seriously. Our pre-construction consultation is designed to assist clients at the earliest stages of design, concept, and development in order to allow for a seamless and smooth remodeling process. The team-based methodology we use is focused on helping each client assemble a unique design team composed of an architect, interior designer, landscape architect, and engineer, among others to develop an accurate design timeline, and to provide precise feasibility and cost information during development of your design.
In the specific case of remodeling, the pre-construction consulting phase helps our clients determine if their best opportunity is to remodel or to rebuild. In our pre-construction capacity, we’ll work with our clients to do multiple conceptual cost scenarios about whatever their needs might be. If the client determines that remodeling is the best option, based on the desired scope of their remodel and budget limitations, our expert remodelers can give our clients several options that bring together the desired scope and budget constraints. For example, given specific limitations and latitudes, our pre-construction consultation can help a client analyze the cost and scope of:
- Entirely rebuilding the home;
- Remodeling the home but keeping it all on grade level through expanding the living space horizontally;
- Adding a below-grade basement to expand the square footage;
- Keep the existing house and adding a second story.
For each of these scenarios, our remodeling clients are given a detailed budget estimate so that they’re able to look at the data to make decisions on what direction they want to go with their renovation. Once a client is able to hone in on a direction, then we’ll start to refine those estimates as the remodel starts to come to life.
Luxury Home Remodeling: An Opportunity to Bring Older Homes into the New Century
Many of the homes around the San Francisco area were built in the fifties and sixties, and many of them are homes that haven’t had much renovation work done since they were originally built. A remodel, then, offers an opportunity, even within the existing envelope, to completely transform the home. It gives homeowners the opportunity to take the small, separate rooms that were common in the fifties and sixties Ranchers and Mediterranean-style homes and open everything up into larger open spaces, for a more modern feel.
Even within an existing building envelope, each client will have the opportunity to transform that home into a more transitional and modern direction. In almost any existing home, our luxury home remodeling teams can incorporate any architecture style that a client likes. If a client needs more space, we can help them imagine, design, and create more spacious add-ons to the existing home: a great room for entertaining, a significantly enlarged master bath, a new walk-in closet, etc.
The Environmental and Ecological Benefits of Remodeling
Here at Conrado, we go the extra mile to help our clients consider the pros and cons between a major, whole-house renovation and a new build. In many cases, the “greenest” and most sustainable building is the one already standing. When building materials are in place, the ability to use the existing foundation and large portions of the framing drastically reduces the environmental footprint and embodied energy footprint of the home. A whole house remodel, then, can allow homeowners to experience an almost completely “new” home while having an ecologically positive impact.
With a major renovation, clients have a lot of latitude to transform their home, not just in configuration and finished level, but also to add a much more sustainable direction. We can help our clients rework the building envelope to reduce air leaks and thermal bridging to improve the energy performance of the home. We can also update to more efficient heating and cooling systems, such as heat pumps. Many older homes from the fifties and sixties still have a lot of single pane windows and uninsulated walls. When doing a major renovation, this offers a unique opportunity to actually insulate the entire house and add energy efficient windows, doors, and other elements that will drastically reduce the home’s energy bills and operational footprint. The addition of high efficacy lighting, hot water systems, and even plug in renewable energy options are other ways to add sustainability benefits during a whole house remodel.
At Conrado, we are confident that we can take even the oldest and most inefficient, resource-intensive homes and help transform them into more sustainable structures with a much smaller footprint. Even though a home may be getting bigger, the footprint is actually getting smaller. In the best of cases, a renovation can help a client achieve even the highest efficiency standards, such as a net zero energy home, or certified passive house. For homeowners interested in the greenest and most sustainable options for their homes, a renovation is also an opportunity to apply for green building certification platforms such as LEED, or incorporate sustainable certifications such as FSC certified lumber.
Possible Limitations to Remodeling?
A lot of people feel limited by their existing structure, but once they have a chance to talk it through with Conrado´s remodeling teams, our years of expertise help them see that there are very few things that would prevent their home from becoming exactly what they want it to be. Once a crew can take a home down to its existing framing and foundation, the possibilities for transforming a home layout and appearance are almost endless.
To be considered a remodel, we do need to maintain 50 percent of the walls, so this may limit certain things, such as increasing the ceiling height throughout the home. However, we can have options that we can give our clients in nearly all circumstances. Even with some of the code-based limitations, our expert remodeling teams should be able to help our clients design the remodeled home of their dreams.
In some cases, however, the orientation of the home can be a limiting factor, as it can impede passive solar design layouts where homeowners can maximize their winter solar heat gain while reducing summer solar heat. Along the same lines, view orientation can also be hard to remedy through a remodeling process, as many view blockers are external to the home itself.
In most cases, however, Conrado´s super-experienced remodel teams can confidently guide our clients through making these decisions and determining if a remodel is right for their specific case. Besides providing the essential information, data, and cost benefit analysis, we also treat every remodeling process as if it were a completely new build. The remodeling team is fully staffed, and with the collective hundreds of years of experience, our remodeling teams very rarely are surprised by what we find once we begin to peel away the layers of older homes. Even when a remodel process does yield a surprising situation, our teams are not afraid to find a way to solve even the most serious of issues.
An Opportunity to Transform Outdoor Living Areas
Whole home remodels also offer a unique opportunity to transform the areas around the home. Conrado´s remodeling teams can help clients reconsider and redesign the landscaping to find ways to expand their living space outside the walls we just helped re-insulate. Remodels are a great opportunity to connect a great room that leads to an outdoor kitchen and patio, or even add a fire pit with overhead heaters.
California is all about that indoor-outdoor living experience that was certainly under-utilized when many older homes were built. Whether a client wants a great room leading to a large, outdoor kitchen area, a covered patio and outdoor fire pit, or even the addition of an ADU (either attached or detached), our remodeling teams can help them find the best ways to expand their home´s square footage through adding valuable livable space throughout the landscape.
Remodeling Is an Opportunity for Safer and Healthier Homes
One of the more under-appreciated aspects of remodeling a home is that it offers an opportunity to create a safer and healthier structure for the family. When a home gets renovated, it’s a great opportunity to update the home to all the current codes, including seismic codes, which have changed greatly since the homes were built in the fifties and sixties. Homes built today can withstand earthquakes so much better than homes built back in the day, and that offers a great opportunity to update the codes for the house. From stronger handrails to eliminating fire hazards, our renovation teams can ensure that the renovated home is the safest possible.
With the risk of wildfires seemingly becoming a yearly phenomenon, we also pay special attention to urban-wildlife interfaces, and go the extra mile to ensure the renovated home follows the strictest fire code safety issues. If the home is near a forest or woody area, we can recommend non-combustible roofing, windows that can withstand a certain level of fire, and other measures to protect the home from the threat of fires.
Furthermore, we can also ensure that the air inside the home is the best quality available. Many of the older homes that were built before 1980 often contain both lead paint and asbestos. When our renovating teams find these dangerous products, we will help remove all the asbestos and lead paint as well as other products that may have high formaldehyde levels or contribute significant VOC emissions to the home.
With all our renovations, we are committed to using products that exceed the code minimum for VOC emissions. We prioritize low to no VOC products in glues, adhesives, paints, and also use plywood, trim, and other wood products that have no added formaldehyde. When a client moves back into their home, we want to ensure that the home is the safest and healthiest place to be.
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Enduring Quality and Legendary Customer Service Are Pillars of Conrado Home Builders
As with all jobs we take on, Conrado is also 100 percent committed to offering enduring quality and legendary customer service to all our clients. We are confident that our renovation work is going to last two or three times longer than a less quality-centric build would last. When you build with quality, you also get durability and longevity which simultaneously lightens your footprint because your renovated home will not need to be repaired and rebuilt in another 25 years. Please reach out to us here at Conrado Home Builders. We look forward to hearing from you!