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Remodel & Renovate in San Francisco : Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying1K
  • Home Selling139
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Activity 77
Wed Feb 22, 2017
Flossie818 answered:
Make sure the contractor IS BONDED, INSURED & have WORKERS COMP!!
0 votes 33 answers Share Flag
Wed Aug 17, 2016
Arpad Racz answered:
Hi Teresa,

I would often recommend a foundation inspection when the foundation has a crack.

Kind regards,

0 votes 20 answers Share Flag
Tue Jul 26, 2016
Lllsmith answered:
Will I need a permit to replace my kitchen cabinets. I live in Oakland, Ca.
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Thu Jun 16, 2016
Tatumlea answered:
Before my family began the process of having our home built, I learned that we should expect to go at least 10% to 20% percent over the estimated budget. While I didn’t believe it at the time, it is safe to say that I learned the truth that building a new home costs more than you think it will.

Though you may not escape the fact that you will incur unforeseen costs along the way, it is important to educate yourself beforehand on the building costs you can expect to pay. Build a little extra cushion into your budget, and stick to that budget as closely as possible. This can help to ensure that you are prepared for the burden of new construction, and that your home building experience is a pleasant one, rather than a stressful and financially precarious endeavor.

While it can be expensive, building a new home can also be a rewarding process. As long as you make sure that you are truly ready to undergo the cost of building a home and you have a financial reserve in place, you may find the costs to be worth it to get the home of your dreams. If you are worried about where to come up with the cost of the down payment and the cash cushion, however, you likely are not ready for the cost of a new home build.
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2 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Sat Jun 27, 2015
Aayjaber answered:
Any licensed contractor should be able to do the job. He/she must be able to apply all the relevant codes.
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon May 11, 2015
If you ever want to sell the home or get a mortgage on it you will have to get a permit for it.

I do not check replies, so if you have a comment or question email me here:

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079
... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon May 4, 2015
Caleb Hart answered:
Have you tried asking your family and friends in your area? That is usually a pretty good way to find referrals. Nobody refers someone they hate to someone they like. I would try asking around and making some calls. ... more
0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Sat Apr 25, 2015
Hugo Aparicio answered:
Hi Tyegul,
My message might be too late for you but there might be others in San Francisco who are looking into remodeling a bathroom. I'm 90% finished in my 12' by 6' master bathroom. I found this contractor that has a good helper and they have both done all the work. One thing to keep in mind is that no contractor can give you a final estimate of the cost of the project. In my case, as the old walls were removed, there was a lot of dried rot (extra $3,000). I wanted all the plumbing new with 3/4" copper (extra) new electrical (extra). Overall, my project is about $58,000 but I am very, very satisfied. Labor and material has been about 55%. I chose high end features (20%) and marble (20%). I designed every detail and that saved me in getting a designer (around $4,000). Remember, the contractor is not a designer. There's a lot of work to pull a project like this together. Just selecting colors for walls, tiles and features takes a lot of time and arguing with your partner (we still talk to each other.)
My bathroom is considered a high end bathroom: double shower, rain shower and body jets, magazine built in rack, 4' x 3' mural (expensive but a beautiful addition), fans with built in speakers (wifi), lots of insulation (walls and floors), new drainage pipes, heated floor (Ditra system) with programmable thermostat, Robern medicine cabinets, Kohler features with lifetime warranty, Juno cabinets, Proline drain body system (rectangular drainage), new circuit breakers (110v and 220v for floor and tower warmer), many switches for different lighting moods, replaced all old pipes with 3/4" copper pipes all the way to the main valve (about 25') etc.
I my opinion, find a contractor that is CAPABLE of doing what you want him/her to do. I found many contractors like to do standard work. Once you start explaining what you want, they don't like or they just increase the price so much to discourage you. It is very important to find a good vendor for the features and tile. I had a bad experience with a tile consultant that agreed with a tile with stainless steel leaves that I like for the shower walls (around $18,000 extra.) When I check with the manufacturer, the tile was not recommended for humid places. Needless to say that tile vendor was out...
Summary: You get what you pay for. Start with drawing an exact floor plan before you talk to any contractor. It will cost you around $300 to $500 but it is essential. I did it myself using Excel. Get a good bathroom designer and bring him/her to your place to give you ideas (around $75 to $150.) I was my own designer. San Francisco is just a very expensive place to do remodeling!
Good luck
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0 votes 20 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 23, 2015
djennifer009 answered:
It really depends on what you're planning to remodel. If you want to do it in stages (first flooring, then appliances, then splashback and counters), then I think you can do it whenever you want. It's only if you're going to do it all at once that you need to plan a season. ... more
0 votes 22 answers Share Flag
Wed Apr 15, 2015
It is just a matter of getting a permit from the city. Someone from their permit department has to come out and inspect it.

I do not check replies, so if you have a comment or question email me here:

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079
... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sat Apr 4, 2015
Lance King answered:
That depends on the configuration of your house, lot size, percentage of lot used, and zoning for height limits if you want to build up. Keep in mind that building up is much more expensive than building out.

You can talk with the planning department, or consult a contractor who works in the city as he/she should have a good idea what can and can't be done.


Lance R King - Broker/CEO

415.722.5549 - Cell
415.282.2280 - Office
BRE # 01384425
... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Tue Mar 31, 2015
Hello leneveusteve, if you remodel with a 203k loan you can have the assistance of a cost estimator but it will be determined by your material upgrades and design. You may qualify for the 203k loan from a minimum 580 fico score.

Your qualifications will be determined by your credit profile, debt to income ratios, fico scores, home price, loan program and how much you want to invest into the down payment and closing costs.

It only takes a few dozen questions to qualify and go over your options. Here are some links to study as well as web reference links to many loan program pages offered...

Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker - Sr. Loan Officer CA only
Veteran & VA/CalVet Loan Specialist
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
ALL Loan Programs Available
22+ Years Experience
BRE# 01140252
NMLS# 297251
9am till 5pm by phone Monday thru Saturday, Sundays by appt., EMAIL ANYTIME 24/7 or

If my response was helpful, consider clicking Thank, Link or Best Answer.
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Fri Feb 6, 2015
Ryan Rudnick answered:
So sorry to hear about your diagnosis!

Feel free to send me a message here, or contact me via phone or e-mail and I'd be happy to recommend some good architects and contractors who can help you out, if you're still looking for wheelchair accommodations. ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Fri Jan 23, 2015
lewisremington19 answered:
I am glad to hear you are taking action with pest control before it actually becomes a problem. It's easier to deal with before you have an infestation as opposed to after the bugs set in. If you are looking for one in your area I would recommend asking your neighbors and friends for who they used and what they cost. Getting quotes from several different companies would be good too. Good luck! ... more
0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Fri Jan 16, 2015
Caleb Hart answered:
It depends on how much of the remodel you want to do. Are you doing a whole addition or are you doing a kitchen? There's a lot of different materials that can be used.Some are really expensive. ... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Thu Dec 4, 2014
rosewwwdot answered:
I have created a digital design service for home exterior redesigns without a full renovation, you can see examples of our work here :


Rosemary Williams ... more
0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Tue Dec 2, 2014
Ryan Rudnick answered:
This is an old post, but a relevant question!

I work on renovations in the city in addition to being an agent, and we always do our best to match brands when renovating homes, but since this is your new home (congratulations by the way!) I'd say it's all a matter of preference. Both KitchenAid and Viking are great brands - I personally prefer Viking as do many buyers, but both are good, so if you wanted to match your new appliances to one of them that would certainly work. You could also look at the handles of your range and ovens and see if you can find something similar to that in your fridge, as that will make them look matching, even if they are from different companies. If the ovens and ranges have different handle styles, you might want to try finding something that coordinates with both to bring all of the appliances together. In any case I'd suggest sticking with the same color scheme if possible (i.e.: black, white, stainless, or custom cabinet). ... more
0 votes 11 answers Share Flag
Mon Nov 3, 2014
Caleb Hart answered:
You can put a regulator on one of your lines. My dad remodeled his shower and put in a couple of shower heads. Because he was splitting the water between so many heads he had to put a regulator on the line to increase his water pressure. You could always try doing that. ... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
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