In March 2008, the City of Los Angeles enacted the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance in response to an overwhelming public outcry to stop building McMansions on small lots. The ordinance implemented restrictions on the size of a home that could be built above ground, thereby reducing the architectural mass of a home visible within the neighborhood. This was done by establishing limits of size based upon lot area and zoning designation with a sliding scale of percentage floor area ratios (FAR). For example, if you have a 7,000 square foot lot in the R-1 zone, the ordinance provides for a maximum home above grade equal to 50% of the lot area or 3,500 sq. ft. In addition the ordinance provides for an additional 400 sq. ft. of garage area, 250 sq. ft. of exterior covered patios and 250 sq. ft. of detached accessory structures. Furthermore, the ordinance provided for a 20% bonus if one of two building articulation features were incorporated into the design or if LEED Certification was accomplished. Since a basement, fully below grade and hence, not visible in the neighborhood, is exempted square footage from the ordinances size limitations, a natural outgrowth of the new code is a sharp increase in the number of basements being built in Los Angeles. Structure Home has completed 6 basements in client homes since the code became effective and we are currently building two new basements with two more in the planning and permitting phases.
From the standpoint of architectural design, the trend of basement construction offers some great advantages. First and foremost, and consistent with the positive intentions of the anti-mansionization movement, reducing the mass of a building by pushing square footage below grade creates better looking streetscapes in the neighborhoods within our community. In addition, the design and functionality of a home can be enhanced in several ways. To begin with, basements typically house play rooms, gyms, home theatres, offices/studios, guest quarters, wine cellars, storage and the like. This organization of space not only improves the function of the home by segregating these types of uses to a more private space within the home but also opens space on the prime above-grade living areas thereby improving the quality of the space enjoyed by the whole family on the first and second floors of the home. Therefore, basements offer significant advantages that make them even more attractive to the discerning custom home client.
Since a basement is livable area built below the surface of the ground, there are several challenges that must be addressed including sub-grade excavation, soil export, protection of neighboring improvements, waterproofing, light and ventilation, emergency egress, water/sewage ejection, etc. As a result of the best practices employed to properly build and anticipate all of the physical circumstances inherent in sub-grade construction, the cost of basement space is higher and the time to complete a home is longer. These are the obstacles that a client wanting the advantages of a basement must overcome. On a positive note, the building technology and products available to mitigate the potential issues with this type of construction are so far superior today than ever before that basements properly executed, can and do provide beautiful living areas that feel as much a part of the home as the above ground areas. Hence, the value of the space is arguably as valuable as the portions of the home above ground. In fact, every Structure client who builds a basement...loves the space for all of the benefits it brings to the quality and use of the home.
Remember, any referral, resulting in a sale, will entitle you and your referred friend to the Structure Home rewards described below.
1st Century Bank is a premium service business bank focused on providing small, community bank relationships with big bank technologies and services. We provide expertise and creative solutions for your construction project and our professionals will assist you in every step of your project, from budgeting to permanent financing. For more information, contact David Comfort at 310.270.9517, or email@example.com.
"As a busy family of four with two young children and two working parents, we turned to Structure Home to help us build a new home on our existing property. Structure has an ability to turn what should seem like a completely overwhelming and unachievable project into a realizable reality, right before your eyes. With their strategic approach to project management and their top notch team of loyal contractors and vendors, you feel supported and truly cared for from the very beginning stages of the process. Their focus on orderly planning and advanced decision making were exactly the tools we needed to believe we could make it through the process and helped us to stay on schedule. All of that kept us sane and that doesn't even address the final product! Absolutely amazing, exactly what we asked for and expected! Flawless architecture and design combined with fine craftsmanship and materials and on time delivery make for very happy clients! Thank you Structure. The only problem is now we never want to leave our house!" - Mallary Reznik
The great Interior Designer, Dorothy Draper had it right when she said...
"Birds are so much wiser than we! A robin builds a nest for robins. A seagull builds a nest for seagulls. They don't copy each other - or build themselves nests as described in The Birds' Decorating Magazine."
This is a wonderful reminder to anyone who is building or designing a home for themselves. We all have the tendency to get caught up in the unending interior design media blitz! Magazines, blogs, Houzz, and HGTV create quite a deluge of information and sometimes a confusing one at that. Even well-intentioned friends offering advice may add to this situation. I love that there is so much great information out there, but we also like to remind our clients that there is nothing as important as what they want, even if they don't initially know what that is!
Everyone is unique and interesting... your home design should reflect that... your loves, your interests, and YOU!
As a design professional, I help my clients weed through all of this information and create a unique and individual approach to the design of their home. Sometimes they come to the project with the ability to say what they don't want...this is extremely important information to have. As a designer that has been in the field for 30 years, I can take whatever information is being given to me and help to create a clear vision of what suits the client and their family. This opens channels for making great decisions and moving the project along in a way that keeps the builder happy and the client happy as well.
A strong partnership between the builder, designer, and client creates a smooth and harmonious homebuilding experience. As the builder moves through the process, the designer and client work together to provide all of the vital information that the builder requires completing each phase of construction. The teamwork that evolves is a wonderful, exciting collaboration with rewarding outcomes for all.
In the end, the client has a well-designed environment that suits their style and individuality; they are happy with the process because of the synergy between all of the players involved, and they have a beautiful Structure Home to be proud of for a lifetime.
At Ferguson, find a tremendous selection of recognized plumbing, lighting and appliance brands, like Thermador. Visit our showroom and see all that Thermador has to offer, as well as our beautiful selection of home lighting. Mention this ad and receive 5% off lighting products. *Offer valid at Ferguson's Woodland Hills showroom, 6416 Variel Avenue. Does not apply to Murray Feiss products.
Hidden Hills, CA
concept 3D computer renderings
Status: Project Currently Under Construction
Architectural Character:Traditional Manor House
Data: 7,774 SF two story home on an acre lot. This home features an attached four-car garage, 6 Bedrooms, 5 ½ Baths, Office, Great Room, Den, Dining, Kitchen, Morning Room, Mud Room, Laundry, Loggia, and a breezeway with an attached Art Studio, Office and Gym.
This fine custom estate has been designed by George De La Nuez of Rocha/e La Nuez Architects and richly detailed with interior design by Tracy Allison Interiors. A grand entrance and architectural focal point features a full radius standing seam copper roof. A stunning crescent staircase graces the formal entry foyer and designed with plenty of gallery walls for an accomplished artist and collector couple. The interior spaces provide large areas to display the "Father of Fusion Art" pieces created by the client. The outdoor living features include a beautiful pool/spa with raised deck and fire pit, a barbeque island with guest seating, comfortable, covered outdoor living areas, porches and a breezeway connecting the main residence to a separate art studio, gym and office. Gardens feature meandering pathways around this lush one-acre property...leading to citrus groves, vegetable/herb gardens, all of which enhance the vibrant style of the home and is natural country surroundings. Additional art installations in the landscape are planned to complete the statement for this wonderful family to enjoy and share...continue reading this article, read about other current projects, and/or other recent completed projects.
Please note: approximate square footage (until homes are completed, rooms and items may vary).
Brentwood, CA (available to purchase)
Architecture Character: Traditional Coastal Architecture
Architectural Character: East Coast Traditional with
Contemporary interior accents
Data: 4,877 square foot two-story home
Cheviot Hills, CA
Architectural Character: California Contemporary
Data:3,476 square foot two-story home
Pacific Palisades, CA
Architectural Character:Traditional Americana with touches of
Data: 3,375 square foot two-story home on a corner lot
Architectural Character: Traditional Home
Data:6,158 square foot two-story home
Unveiling New Website Pages and Features
Structure Home is now live with new website pages and features and we would love to hear your feedback! First and foremost, we have a Sustainably Speaking page that links from our homepage. This page is dedicated to sharing information and education regarding our ongoing green and sustainable projects, movements within the industry, and ongoing education on building science. In addition, we now feature a Structure Home Preferred Partner page. Our preferred trade partners and suppliers are listed on a directory page with their contact information and links to their websites. The newsletter featuresUp on the Design Board written by a featured guest columnist, keeping our community up to date on home building trends, styles, and design. We have begun building a presence on Houzz. You can now follow our Pinterest Boards. Lastly, we have a social media page that shows current activity and links to our social media sites.
We now offer opportunities to sponsor our newsletter so please contact us to contribute an advertisement or a story quarterly that will be shared within the Structure Home Community.
Our referral incentive program is designed to encourage, recognize and thank those clients who introduce Structure Home to friends, family and acquaintances. In the program, Structure Home will gift $2,500 to those who make a referral that results in a new client and will provide an additional $2,500 upgrade credit to the new clients who've been referred. In this way, all of our clients, past and new, share our appreciation for their loyalty and support. Email: Alyssa to find out more.