Photos: courtesy Mark Wallace Photography
VanBerg Construction, San Diego
In a nutshell: The homeowners’ original request was for a simple shelter to protect their outdoor cooking area. But after more discussion and careful listening, it became clear to the VanBerg team that what the clients really wanted was an entire new outdoor living room that seamlessly connects the home to the pool area.
Challenges: It was important to visually integrate the outdoor design into the existing house. To that end, remodelers echoed many of the home’s architectural details in the outdoor structure including rafter tails, stone and stucco finishes, and flagstone for the hearth and niches. A large wood-burning fireplace also became a focal point in connecting the inside of the house with the new exterior space.
One key challenge involved access. The house is nestled at the bottom of a steep, narrow driveway, and the only access to the backyard is through fragile landscaping via a flagstone path. Where many remodelers would have just told their the subs to be careful, VanBerg went much further, erecting a short wall to protect the landscaping and covering the flagstone and pool deck with a protective plywood floor.
Tips & tricks: This emphasis on care with the clients’ property and environment extends to all of the company’s projects. For interior jobs, rather than just hang plastic, the crew actually seals off the work area with plywood walls, building doors if needed. “It’s more than just a physical barrier,” says Bob Jertberg, VanBerg Construction’s co-owner. “It’s amazing how much of a psychological comfort it is for the client.” The team also uses hardboard on the floor, since they’ve found that rosin paper tears too easily.
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