A modern Craftsman approach featuring a spacious master suite and grand stairwell

Saratoga Addition/Remodel IV

Though the existing gambrel-roofed split level house was not without its charms, our clients wanted both additional square footage and a curb appeal makeover to a different style. The tight budget dictated reuse of the existing house foundation and floor framing to the maximum extent possible.

After exploring a few different exterior design options, we settled on a modern Craftsman approach. Working on under a strict floor area cap, we opted to balance out the 2nd floor massing by allocating our remaining floor area to a new 2nd floor area at a higher elevation than the existing bedrooms over the garage, whose floor remains untouched.

This new 2nd floor area contains a spacious new master suite, grander stairwell, and double height entry, all of which improve the massing and and squat proportions of the house, while keeping in the traditional character of this quiet Saratoga cul-de -sac.

After obtaining permits for and beginning construction on an ambitious second story addition + whole house remodel, our clients were disappointed to find that their 50+ year old foundation was cracked in several places and that repair would cost nearly as much as an all-new foundation.

Taking the fiscally prudent course of action, our clients opted for the safety and performance improvements of going with an all-new foundation, while keeping the rest of the design exactly as-is.

Unfortunately, that small change triggered a re-review of the design by Saratoga Planning, and a mandatory public hearing. A groundswell of new neighborhood opposition to the project swayed the Planning Commission to request redesign of the project at our first hearing, after which, at a second hearing it was decided that the original design was superior to the redesign, and the project was granted unanimous approval with minor window changes.

Undeterred, the neighbors appealed this approval to the City Council. At the third public hearing for the project, the Commission approval was upheld.

Saratoga then told our team that the project would be treated as a “new application” and subject to a full city review/building plan check, despite the previous approval for the nearly identical project. Despite a 12+ month delay thanks to this foundation issue and subsequent neighbor protest, our clients remained steadfast and positive, and expect construction to resume in earnest this year.


  • Scope of Work: Existing residence with 2473.6 s.f. living area and 531.35 s.f. garage area to be demolished. New single family residence to be built with a 4BR and 4.5BA residence with 3,021.4 living s.f., a garage of 440.5 s.f. and an enclosed porch of 77.3 totaling 3,539.2 s.f.
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Project Cost: $1,000,001 – $1,500,000
  • Location: Saratoga, CA


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