The owners of a 118-year-old house in San Francisco initially hired Jeff King & Co. to rebuild an awkward, light-blocking central stair. But as is often the case with remodeling, the project grew to include floor-plan improvements and upgrades to the building envelope and mechanical systems. There was never really a question that the new construction would be eco-friendly and energy-efficient, since company owner Jeff King has been committed to sustainable practices since 2004.
The house sits on a narrow urban lot; a two-story addition attached to the rear made the house deep and dark, so infusing the home with daylight became a prime goal. After purchase, the owners added a third-story master suite to the back and redid the kitchen. King gutted the house except for the kitchen, and carved out an additional 400 square feet in the basement.
King’s crew installed new, enlarged windows, added skylights, removed room partitions, and, of course, reconfigured the stairway. The new U-shaped staircase created a light well in the second-floor ceiling and opened up space for a large foyer.
The project scope was ambitious, since making the structure bright and ultra energy efficient meant rebuilding it from the outer walls in. King tore off the three-story rear elevation, inserting steel framing that let him install floor-to-ceiling windows on each level. In front, he dropped a large ridge skylight over the staircase, rebuilding the gambrel roof with engineered lumber.
Throughout the process, material reduction and reuse was top of mind. An exposed ridge beam was plucked from an old army barracks. Dismantled lumber was relocated and reused throughout the project, including large timbers that found new life carrying bearing walls above new doors and windows.