Is a re-manufactured home right for you?

Childrens Support Leagues Heart of the Home Tour in the Piedmont/Oakland area.
Home Tour, Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, 2009.

By having these homes on tour, Children's Support League raises money to give grants to children's programs in the "East Bay."

For the past 25 years Grier Graff, AIA, and the staff of Graff Architects have concentrated on fine residential remodeling and new homes. Recently we have been asked to evaluate entire houses for upgrading all the systems of the building. Many homes, especially when nearing their 100-year-old mark, need to be substantially updated. This is more than a just updating the floor plan and finishes; it touches every part, system and finish of the house.

The house shown is a 1910-era house in Piedmont that had gracious public rooms but outdated kitchen and bathrooms, no family room and little parking. The "remanufacturing" included updating the floor plan with additions, replacing and upgrading all of the systems, new shear walls, new architectural finishes inside and out, remodeling the existing gracious public rooms, and creating a new kitchen/family room and new outdoor terraces, master suite, home office, guest quarters, and garages.

In addition to the floor plan changes this project changed the exterior from a "builder's colonial" to be much more consistent with the Georgian Colonial style. Other projects have radically changed the character of the house; one project modified a ranch style home into a Tudor by adding an upper floor, changing the roof lines, window proportions and exterior details.

This remanufactured house includes:

· Structural: substandard foundations replaced and lateral bracing evaluated and upgraded. This required replacing the stucco exterior and some of the interior finishes.

· Wiring: included new electrical service, wiring and fixtures, and data and cable throughout. (Photovoltaic panels are often added.)

· Plumbing: included piping and fixtures replaced throughout. (Solar water heat and grey water system are considered.)

· Heating, ventilating and air conditioning, included high efficiency furnaces and radiant heating with solar component.

· Other energy efficient features included: double glazed windows; insulation of walls, roofs, and floors; energy efficient appliances.

· Landscaping was redone including new site walls, creating a better indoor/outdoor relationship.

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About Grier Graff - Architect, Principal Graff Architecture:
Very much the hands-on type, Grier worked as a carpenter and took up woodworking while studying architecture. "I like the technical aspects as much as the design aspects." Grier has visited literally hundreds of houses in the Bay Area from which he draws his tremendous wealth of experience, design ideas and solutions. He has a tremendous eye for what others might overlook. A "people person" at heart with a well of enthusiasm and love for his trade, Grier's first goal is to impact people's lives through design, such as opening up a space to bring a family together. In the office, Grier has an "open door" policy (his door literally won't shut), regularly meeting with clients, contractors, his project managers, and fellow community volunteers.

As a volunteer, the Piedmont Post recently referred to Grier as "in a class by himself." Last year, he received the Art Hecht Volunteer of the Year Award as the school district's top volunteer (in recognition of 20+ years of active involvement). It's impossible to list every project or effort for which Grier has lent a hand, but here are a noteworthy few: the Warren Easton High School in New Orleans, an elementary school and community computer center in Chacala, Mexico, and a chapel in Salampol, Poland.

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