We recently completed this beautiful design-build renovation in Santa Cruz.  The remodel included the kitchen, bathroom, and an outdoor deck and BBQ. The overall design and material selection created a stunning, functional kitchen that integrates with the outdoor decks.  For more pictures, see our portfolio.

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Here is a sneak peak into a project we are completing....we think this is pretty dreamy...

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This is from the Adorne collection from Legrand...lighting controls, outlet strips, home charging stations, music and more... We love the outlet strips with interchangeable slots for outlets or USB plugs, iPad/iPhone Dock, and more. 

Check out the Legrand Adorne Collection.

in Products 430

The 19th Annual Open Architecture Tour, presented by the Architects Association of Santa Cruz County as a benefit for Habitat for Humanity Santa Cruz County, is Saturday, May 17th from 10am-4pm.

This year's tour has a wonderful selection of projects by local architects that is not to be missed. The weather forecast says sunny skies, so purchase a ticket and enjoy your day touring the county and viewing these spectacular architectural works. Finish your day off at La Posta Restaurant in Seabright. Bring your ticket booklet from 4-6pm and receive a complimentary beverage and delectable appetizers.

We hope to see you on the tour!

Tickets available through the day of the tour at:
Bookshop Santa Cruz 423.0900
Palace Arts on 41st Ave., Capitola 464.2700
San Lorenzo Lumber on River St., Santa Cruz 426.1020
Alladin Nursery in Watsonville 724.5785
ReStore on Swift St., Santa Cruz 824-4704

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in Events 383

We wanted to share photos of a recent bathroom renovation. We love how this stunning bathroom came to life, from the design all the way to the finish. It was an amazing collaboration between A D Construction, creative and thoughtful homeowners, and amazing craftspeople. The bathroom includes beautiful vertical glass tile feature strips repeated in varying widths, thick countertops, modern clean lines, and just a beautiful symmetry and balance. Products include a dark espresso stained cherry vanity from Brown Felicetta Designs, beautiful tile from Mission Tile, a wonderfully, unique pendant from Illuminee, amazing craftsmanship from Dale Marentette Tile, and many thanks to the many craftspeople who made it beautiful. We also thank our clients for their patience, creativity and wisdom.

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We find this an intriguing read....

"A philosopher/mechanic's wise (and sometimes funny) look at the challenges and pleasures of working with one's hands

Called "the sleeper hit of the publishing season" (The Boston Globe), Shop Class as Soulcraft became an instant bestseller, attracting readers with its radical (and timely) reappraisal of the merits of skilled manual labor. On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world."

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in Education 576

We are feeling inspired by this amazing documentary.  Our current education system has a tendency to focus on a "one size fits all" education paradigm.  This is a refreshing and inspiring alternative that goes beyond our current shop class offerings at school. It shows the challenges, frustrations and motivation of a group of students learning how to design, build and make their community a better place.

Why is this important to us?  We want our community, our employees, our clients, and our admirers to feel a sense of pride in our homes and buildings.  To do this, we need a different kind of education for those who are interested.  A new vision where we educate, nurture and mentor future craftspeople...teach them the art of the craft so that we have beautiful, well built, well designed dwellings.  We begin by planting the seeds.

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in Education 393

We thought this was an interesting article about the various ways to use your IPAD in the kitchen.  

 
General contractors, home builders, and more ∨

Consider a versatile murphy bed when looking for guest beds, find the perfect office chair, and work with a contractor in your area to create a fun yet functional home office.
Browse inspiring bedroom design, then outfit your own beds, convertible sofa beds ordaybed with luxury bedding and decorative throws.
in Design 376

This month, Big Creek Lumber selected one of our projects for their Showcase.  This is a beautiful Outdoor "Addition" that we created for our clients.  They wanted to extend their kitchen and dining area into a beautiful area for entertaining and relaxing.  We used Trex decking and railings and redwood to create the stunning trellis.  We thank Big Creek for partnering with us in this fun project.  We thank our clients for their vision and support. 

Click here to see the Big Creek Showcase.

For more pictures, you can find this project in our portfolio.

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We had to share pictures of the redwood barn doors that we recently installed.  This is all salvaged redwood from our clients home - you can see previous posts showing how we made these.

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We recently installed this amazingly functional sink and faucet from Kohler. Quoting our client about her new Kohler Carbon Faucet, "I love it -- beautiful, functional and well-designed!".

This is a great video from Kohler about their versatile, chef inspired "Stages" kitchen sink. The sink comes with everything - the cutting boards, baskets and bowls. Impressive!

 

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Here are some photos of the custom redwood door we are crafting.  The door is made from salvadged redwood, milled and glue up to create a stunning, modern slab door.  The client chose this amazing Eco Resin Panel called "Connection" in this beautiful green pattern.  We can't wait to see if finished.

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We started installation of this dramatic recycled glass tile backsplash from Bedrock Tile.  This beautiful backsplash frames a new Wolf range and rangehood.   We also installed the new Vetrazzo countertops today in Bistro Green with a patina.  That Vetrazzo is looking very heavy!

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Here are some photos of the the custom redwood barn doors we are handcrafting for our client.  We salvaged this beautiful old growth redwood from her home, milled it, and now we are glueing it up to make a modern barn door that will include a beautiful Eco Resin panel from 3Form.  Here is a sample of the door.  Hard to imagine that those glued up redwood pieces will turn into beautiful doors.  Stay tuned for more photos once it is complete.

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We are installing these beautiful walnut floating shelves in one of our kitchen remodel projects.  This section is part of the dining room buffet cabinets that connect to the kitchen. This kitchen remodel will include high gloss sage green cabinets, cabinets with a teak veneer, walnut shelves and trim, and redwood detailing throughout, including a custom redwood door we are hand crafting for our client.  Stay tuned for more photos.

 Walnut Floating Shelves in Kitchen Remodel by AD Construction

in Kitchens 798

We are loving this glass tile feature strip in a shower we just completed in one of our current bathroom remodels.  We are inspired to do more vertical tile layouts as they are quite dramatic.  This shower has 12" wide x 36" tall tiles on the walls.  They are subtle, yet dramatic.  And we also really love the metal corner pieces.  The shampoo shelves are Greenbell Eurostone.  Fun!

 

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in Bathrooms 749

Plumbed Elegance will be participating in the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend, this weekend, June 1st and 2nd, in Menlo Park, CA. As part of the event, visitors can walk through the "Reimagining the Sunset Home" house where we will be there to answer questions about the gorgeous plumbing fixtures that Plumbed Elegance has specified for the project.

This is a GREAT event, worthy of your weekend time. Fabrizio from "Top Chef" will be there along with several other chefs giving food demonstrations. There will be gardening and home presentations along with introductions to the newest techniques and products in these areas. Shuttle parking is available.

http://www.sunset.com/marketplace/celebration-weekend-festival-00418000081823/

in Events 710

Here are some finished photos of the Zen Shower Room we recently completed (almost completed).  It is truly beautiful.  The attention to detail is amazing.  Designed by Shannon Demma and built by A D Construction and many talented individuals!  Thank you to our amazing client whose creativity and talent made this all happen!

 

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in Bathrooms 1131

Here is a sneak peak at one of our latest bathroom projects (still in progress).  This unique bathroom has loose black pebbles surrounding large basalt stepping stones. The walls are covered in large Walker Zanger limestone tiles.  The Stone Forest granite sink and custom cabinetry provide the finishing touches.  More photos to follow when finished...

in Bathrooms 1113

Hiring a contractor can be an overwhelming process.  You are looking for someone who is skilled and knowledgeable, articulate (he or she can communicate clearly with you), and trustworthy.  You are trusting this person with one of your largest assets, your home.  Also this person will become a regular part of your life during the construction process.  We have compiled a brief list of "tips" to think about when hiring a contractor to build or remodel your home.  Some are obvious, some are not.

  1. The basics:  licensed, insured, bonded.  Check with the Contractors State Licensing Board to see the status of their license and whether they have any issues.  Ask for a certificate of General Liability insurance.  You can see the status of their bond and worker's compensation insurance on the State's website. 
  2. Communicates clearly:  this is somewhat subjective, but very important.  
  3. Provides references from prior clients, including phone numbers and contact information.
  4. Provides a detailed estimate breaking down each item of the project and assigning costs accordingly.
  5. Understanding estimates:  Estimates from contractor's may vary.  It is important that you understand what is included and excluded from these estimates.  It should be clearly outlined.  It is important to realize that accurate bids are impossible unless everything is clearly "specified" in the plans.  If it is not, then a contractor has to make some rough estimates.  We call these Allowances.  The contractor may have services available to assist in your completing the specification process.  This is an important step to assure you do not have surprise expenses during your project.  Additionally, it assures that the construction process has fewer delays waiting for material and product selections.
  6. Understand how "Allowances" are calcuted for items.  Some contractors are realistic in their estimates and some provide "low" estimates to entice the homeowner.  
  7. Ask to see a sample contract.  You want to make sure that all of the terms and conditions are spelled out thoroughly, including the price, payment schedule, scope of work, exclusions (what is not included), how change orders are handled, how allowances are handled, warranty, how final payment is handled, insurance, and dispute resolution at a minimum.
  8. Warranty - how long, what does it cover, not cover, etc.
  9. Professional associations - ask to see if they are members of any professional trade associations.
  10. Experience - how long have they been in business, how many projects have they completed?
  11. Process - ask for an explanation of the construction process.  He/she should be able to give you a fairly thorough description of how they work (how they manage the jobsite, demolition, sanitation, jobsite clean up, etc.)
in Resources 787

chicken coop  027Here is a great article on some tips to consider if you are thinking about having chickens in your yard.  You can see our coop featured in one of the photos.  We absolutely love our chickens and the fresh eggs, but they do require work.  

in Outdoor Spaces 1032

Before & After Photos of a Recent Remodel...

More photos to follow after the homeowners move in.

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in Remodeling 1067

It's hard to imagine that this fireplace was somewhat of an afterthought.  Originally our clients were not going to update their fireplace - they were going to paint their original one.  Toward the end of their remodel, the homeowners both decided they wanted to use this beautiful Turquoise Onyx stone that they found at All Natural Stone in the Bay Area as a centerpiece for their living room.  The fireplace needed to go and we redesigned the entire wall and surround.  The beautiful redwood hearth is a salvaged log from Yankins Reclaimed Wood, finished with tung oil.  Eventually the wall will host a TV and Stereo system as well.  More photos to follow once the client has moved in...here are few photos of the process.  We thank Scan-Top for the excellent fabrication and installation (they managed to do it one piece!) and Lucas Carter for his amazing skills with tung oil and paint!

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We want to share with you a fun project we recently completed in Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz. This was a complete renovation and second story addition to an existing bungalow.  The owner had been working with his architect for years to design an addition-remodel that would improve the flow and energy efficiency of the home and add space.  After many years of debating the remodel, he chose a design and we started construction.  As the construction began, the client really "dove in" and began expanding his simple palette.  The home is a reflection of his "modern" aesthetic mixed with his desire to have a warm and inviting home.  The project includes many sustainable features, including bamboo flooring from Eco Timber, formaldehyde free cabinetry from Holiday, wool carpets, VOC free paints, recycled glass counter tops from Vetrazzo, high efficiency heating system, and Timbertech decking. 

This home's kitchen was featured in the 2012 Kitchen Tour sponsored by the Literacy Program.

Here is the owner's response to "what do you love most about your home?" -- "What I love most? Would that it were that simple--there are so many features about the house I love, from the bamboo floors, to the elevated ceilings, to the modern counter tops, to the master bedroom shower, to the cabinetry, to the fireplaces. I suppose if pressed I would have to say all of it--in short there is no one single feature, but rather the way in which they all fit together in a well designed, thoughtfully built home."

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I have found a few websites that are wonderful for organizing all of my "dream" images or inspirations.  These sites allow me to create "boards" or "ideabooks" where I can store images that inspire me, projects I want to do, food I want to cook, and so much more.  Basically, you can clip images from the web (or upload images from anywhere) and save them to your "boards" or "ideabooks".  It is particularly great for organizing your ideas and inspiration for decorating, designing, or remodeling.  You can organize your inspirations and ideas in one place and you can share them with your designer or contractor.  Very fun!  

Here is a summary of each:

Houzz:  This website is all about the house - there are so many pictures and ideas about any home topic you can imagine - furniture, gardens, kitchens, paint, chicken coops, and sooo much more.  You can create a login and create ideabooks where you store the images that inspire you.  You can also upload images from the web via there ideabook link (or you share your own inspirational photos).  I have started creating an "ideabook" under A D Construction that has a few images that inspire me or gadgets I really like (i.e. the pop up countertop outlet).  Here is the website link (this connects you to our page on Houzz - you can navigate anywhere from there):

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in Design 1087

I have been very drawn to black walls (or dark walls) lately. I am stunned at what they can do for a room. I have posted a particularly good example in here from Apartment Therapy.

So why do we fear black or dark colors so much? If I mention black (or dark) walls, black trim, black anything to my clients, they cringe. I see an actual physical reaction.  We fear that it will be too “heavy” and make our room(s) look too small.  It can have an opposite effect.  It can actually make our rooms look larger, depending on how it is used.  Black or darker colors (I love Mink from Benjamin Moore) will make artwork “pop”.  Dark walls will draw your eye to the outside view.  Dark walls will make the room feel sophisticated and warm.  It does not work in all situations – if used appropriately, it can be stunning.

Here are some photos of a particulary effective use of black/charcoal - there is a before and after photo that are quite amazing.

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in Design 857

We are featuring a stunning oceanfront remodel that we completed. This design-build project was a collaboration between many talented craftspeople and very creative homeowners.  They wanted to create a relaxing, warm, inviting space that brought the outdoors inside (for obvious reasons - the setting is breathtaking!). The first priority was to create a huge glass wall that blurred the line between the exterior and the interior.  We installed a large sliding window wall that extended the living space out to the deck area.  We also installed a glass corner that creates the feeling that you are floating above the sand.  To create a seamless flow between the inside and outside, IPE decking was installed on the deck to match the bamboo flooring on the inside.  Additionally, many of the colors and materials used inside mimic the colors from the sand and the ocean.

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