Life of a construction Project Series

Going, going, gone!

Breaking stuff is for some reason really fun, and oddly satisfying. Ever since I was a kid (and like most kids I think), I’ve loved to smash things. Whether it was building something out of legos and throwing it down the stairs, trundling boulders down mountainsides and seeing them smash into stuff on the way down, or throwing rocks threw thin ice on a pond, there’s something about breaking stuff that just feels good.

As a grownup, and a general contractor I have more options for this, and thankfully they are even responsible. Unlike…

Life of a Construction Project Series

The goal for the project was pretty straightforward: take an open loft space with a mezzanine, built in the ’90s and update it to become a stylish modern space. The plan was to redo the two bathrooms and the kitchen, refinish the floors, put in a new closet system, new HVAC, and a cool modern staircase. No structural work, no penetrations to the envelope, no major relocation of plumbing or electrical. Simple, all I need is for K to select the finishes and we’re off to the races. Right? Wrong.

First off I just want to say that my client…

Life of a Construction Project Series

Here it is.

Walking into the San Francisco Department of Building Inspections at 1660 Mission Street can be like walking into a scene from a Kafka novel, or Dante’s Inferno. There are 6 floors, each it’s own version of hell if you find yourself there under the wrong circumstances. The first floor is the city’s first line of defense against anyone trying to make improvements to their property, where you fill out your permit application and get entered into the system. On the left is the desk where the building department initially processes your application. On the right is the Planning department, where…

Life of a Construction Project Series

With design, looks can be deceiving. Getting the ‘feel’ of a room right takes more than just picking different elements you like and putting them together.

The journey of taking an idea to a finished project can be a long and winding road. Bringing a construction vision into a reality is a feat in itself, even in a perfect world. In the world we live in, with budgets, timelines, code and zoning parameters, environmental considerations, etc. it can get overwhelming quickly, and sometimes it’s hard to keep your eye on the ball. One very important part of this process is getting the design right.

These days, with access to so much information through channels like HGTV, Houzz, Pinterest, etc. customers usually start with a good idea…

Life of a Construction Project Series

Exterior view of a new project in San Francisco

I’ve been a contractor for about twenty years now, first working in the trades, and then starting my own business as a general contractor. I laugh when I look back now at the things I used to do when I didn’t even know the difference between mud and plaster, bright and galvy nails, 120V vs. 220V (one can be a fun game, the other could kill you), oil vs. latex, profit vs. loss (just kidding, sort of…), I could go on and on.

Life of a Construction Project Series

When in Rome…

All construction projects start somewhere, and this one for me started on the internet.

After leaving my construction business in Boulder, CO I landed in SF with no customers, no professional network, and no job leads. I knew that I would meet people over time in the industry; architects, tradespeople, friends of friends that had projects coming up, etc. I also knew that are a whole slew of lead generation services out there on the World Wide Web these days devoted to connecting customers with the right contractor. Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and Thumbtack are just a few of the…

Carl Savitz

Builder, entrepreneur, explorer, deep thinker and leaf peeper. Member Cloud Appreciation society.

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