Residential Design

Plans & Permits

Green Building

Period Homes


Spring 2008 News and Tips

The Remodel Guidance "Construction Chronicles" is a quarterly newsletter from Remodel Guidance, a Marin County residential design and consulting firm with projects throughout the Bay Area. We feature and celebrate successful projects, give tips to navigating the construction process, explore green building, and keep readers updated on the latest news and events.

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  • Project Reports:

    1) What a Difference a Few Months Make:
    A San Rafael Addition Framed In
    2) My Vintage Green Cottage, Part Two:
    Vintage Green Windows
    Our large project of this past Winter is nearing completion, with drywall now underway. This two story, 1200 SQ FT addition will nearly double the size of the existing residence and features a home theater/playroom/guest space and a full bath below, and a great room and covered porch above, along with a full kitchen redesign and a vaulted ceiling and sleeping loft in one of the bedrooms. Read more... Part two in our series on a green residential second unit project which is being built from the ground up to match the vintage 1920s main residence. We want to show that green building is not wed to a particular architectural style - it's practical, and good practice, for all homes. In the last issue we discussed the solar water heater; now we are detailing how salvaged 1920s single-pane windows were retrofitted for energy efficiency. This is neither as far-fetched nor impractical as you might assume. Read more...
  • Tips:

    Property Potential Analysis
    In a changing real estate market, both buyers and sellers are hesitant. We are offering a new service to help buyers, sellers and agents find value and reduce uncertainty. Read more...

  • Green Building:

    Resource Conservation: Deconstruction vs. Demolition
    Construction waste is estimated at between 25 and 45% of the TOTAL waste stream in the U.S., to the tune of 164 million tons annually. Deconstruction is an increasingly popular alternative to demolition, which helps the environment and can actually save the homeowner money. There's a corresponding supply of salvaged materials available at great prices. Read more...
    Energy Efficiency: Vintage Green Windows - Just Add Weatherstripping
    Can you keep your original wooden windows and still have a green home? Research suggests that the answer is "Yes." We take a close look at the actual issues underlying window efficiency and replacement, including the proper use of 'Low-E' windows. There is no single best solution - the best answer is informed application of the right products for the specifics of the situation. Read more...
    Indoor Air Quality: Controlled Ventilation Starts in the Framing
    Controlled ventilation is the only way to guarantee good indoor air quality, but controlled ventilation is impossible when "random" ventilation overwhelms it. Typical modern residential construction is too leaky for controlled ventilation, and a lot of heating and cooling energy is wasted - the numbers may astound you. We look at some simple ways to address this issue. Read more...
    Livable Communities: Back to the Future - Our Green Past
    While increasing awareness and interest in green building is a hopeful trend, we must be careful to avoid a headlong rush to destroy all the buildings of the past, many of which were "green before green was cool." Not only does "conspicuous conservation" hurt our environment, our wallets and the fabric of our communities, it ignores the lessons of the past - thereby threatening the prospects of a greener future. Read more...
  • News & Upcoming Events:

    1) 2008 - New Year, New Rules
    As of January 2008, California has adopted a new building code with some significant changes from the previous version. See how this may affect your projects, and how best to handle it. Read more...
    2) Upcoming Workshops in Marin, San Francisco and Sonoma Counties
    In addition to private consulting, we offer public workshops. A complete list is available at

In the Works

Keep an eye out in upcoming issues for:
  • "My Atomic Home": A Fairfax home gets a Mid-Century Modern remodel.
  • "My Vintage Green Cottage, Part Three": Next steps in proving that "vintage" and "green" CAN go together.
  • An "In Law Unit" for an Actual "In-Law": A Craftsman-style second unit in San Anselmo
  • Greening a Victorian: An 1890s San Francisco Victorian garage conversion adds new living space and a host of green features.

Voice/Fax: 415-258-4501

©2008 Remodel Guidance. All rights reserved.