Design - Build Project of an Artist's Home

Oakland, California


A talented California artist chose Ralph Hill to provide a design for her home that would overcome years of neglect and severe structural problems. We then implemented that design.

This stylish home had very little “curb appeal” before we started. The stucco was cracked all over, the paint was peeling, and the front steps exhibited tilted, broken brickwork at the end of a ruined concrete walkway. Now the house stands out as a neighborhood gem!

The back of the house was pulling away from the front of the house and sinking as well. We brought the house to level and installed a new foundation including a new perimeter drainage system. We extended the back of the house, adding a den and laundry room, and enlarging two bedrooms. The basement was also finished out and a new deck added to provide seating for outdoor dining and sunbathing.


The main entry and stairway were completely refurbished from the cracked walls and peeling wallpaper and poor lighting. We rebuilt the damaged stairs and railing, refinished the floor and installed new lighting. We worked extensively with the owner-artist to incorporate her artwork into the project. This project truly reflects the personality of our client!


Here you can see the addition to the rear of the house as viewed from the deck we built. The upper floor is a bedroom, the middle floor is a den, and the lower floor is an office in the newly finished basement.


The living room exhibited the most damage from the uneven setting of the house — the walls and ceiling had severe cracks, and the floor dropped over 4″ from the fireplace to the back corner. While installing the new foundation we lifted the back of the house to level the floor. We installed all new windows to replace the rotted ones as well as all new drywall and reinforced floors. Notice the attention to detail in the fireplace mantel.


The upstairs landing was made light and airy providing smooth access to the enlarged master bedroom, guest room, and the laundry room. Both the smaller bedroom and the laundry room were integrated into the addition of square footage to the house.