Thank you for your interest in Tamate Landscaping. We are currently on extended sabbatical. Although we aren't taking new clients at this time, you can still see our projects, get information about landscaping for San Francisco on our blog, and learn more about our services. We look forward to serving you in the future!

News

Current Project: Extended Project in Saint Francis Woods

By On October 29, 2012 In Completed Projects With Comments Off on Current Project: Extended Project in Saint Francis Woods Permanent Link to Current Project: Extended Project in Saint Francis WoodsPermalink

Project Complete:  March 22, 2013.

What began as a 2 month project on November 1, 2012 ballooned into 4 1/2 months due to never-ending delays caused by the general contractor.  It was an effort of persistence from all parties involved to get it done.  The following is some shots of our labor of love.

 

Project Update: Day 26 December 8, 2012

Finally work on paving begins.

Proper prep work and compaction is key to a stable surface.

With all concrete walls erected, grading and paving can begin.

Concrete forms for hot tub installation


Project Update: Day 16 November 23, 2012

Since the last update, we’ve been working on the forms for the second and final pour, which includes more curved retaining walls, steps, landings, hot tub walls and the pads for the storage shed plus hot tub equipment. We are a bit behind schedule due to delays and the rain. Below is Rocky-he figured out that this tent area is the place to be to stay dry.

Forms for main rear wall.

Future hot tub location.

This form for the rear landing will accept a single piece of 700 pound Connecticut Bluestone.

Project update: Day 11

First stage concrete complete. Planned 10 yards ballooned to 14 cubic yards. Below, a curved wall. Note the square tubes in the concrete that will accept future iron fence. Next, forms for second stage retaining wall plus paver installation.

1500 sq. ft. soccer field being prepped for installation with drainage running the the center.

Project Update: November 9, 2012, the end of day 8

It seems the rain is here making the past week a bit challenging. But we did manage to construct the concrete forms for the left and front walls as seen below. Next week we’ll be pumping our first 10 yard batch of concrete.

Project Update: Demo complete

After 40 cubic yards of concrete, greenery and other debris, the demo is complete and construction can begin. Everything was done by hand since heavy machinery cannot access the rear yard. Below is is photo of the crew lifting a 3/4 ton stump out of the ground using a portable crane.

This project brings us to Saint Francis Woods, where a major remodeling project has been taking place for almost a year. It started with the house being lifted off its original foundation, a basement level room being excavated, new foundation constructed, the house being set back down on the new foundation and interior remodel. An incredible job by the general contractor.  What you see below is the aftermath of such a construction project. Its a few days before November and Tamate Landscaping is challenged with the task of lowering the grade, erecting retaining walls, installing drainage, patios, pathways, steps, plants, irrigation, lighting and otherwise making it possible for the owners to move in all while racing against a possible wet La Niña season.

Completed Project: Retaining Wall Replacement

This project brings us to Baker Street in Pacific Heights where we are replacing a failed retaining wall that was installed just 15 years ago.  The project is a typical example of an architictural/engineering firms failure to design a project with construction costs in mind.  Since the client wanted to obtain building permits for this project,  she hired Smith Engineering in Oakland to draw up plans.  Once the plans were complete, the client proceeded to obtain several estimates for implementation.  The estimates that came in were astronomical and out of reach for the client due to the nature of the design and the plans abandoned. Thats when Tamate Landscaping was called to discuss options.   The original plans called for massive steel i-beams, timber and an elaborate sump pump drain system.  Yes, it would have been a solid wall that would hold up 50 plus years.  But any design is a failure if it can’t be built due to budget constraints.   Basically we had to start from scratch and draw new plans .  We ended up working with our own architect/engineer who has extensive experience working with San Francisco Department of Building Inspection as an employee there.  We designed a wall that would pass DBI’s stringent permitting criteria but more importantly could be built within the clients budget.  The outcome was a wall that we contracted to build for approximately 1/3 the cost of the original design.

Pictured here is the failed wall bowing out.

Demolition and excavation.

The main foundation of the new design are these 6″x6″ posts that were sunk in a hole in  excess of 4′ deep and 18″ wide and back filled tons of concrete.

September 28th, 2012.  The end of the 6th day on site.  Pressure treated planks were secured to posts with 1/2″ bolts.  To date we used almost 4 yards of concrete just to set the posts.  This wall won’t be budging for quite some time.  Next week we’ll be adding a Mira drain system to keep hydrostatic pressure off the wall and finish the project with a redwood fence and final inspection..

Below, a Mira Drain system is installed.  Basically, Mira Drain is a multi layer membrane with channels in between to allow water to stay of the retaining wall and travel down towards the base of the wall.  Typically, this water is then collected by an additional drainage pipe and directed out of the vicinity but in this case, with the sandy soil, is readily absorbed into the ground.

Project is completed by backfilling the ditch and building a redwood fence on top of wall.

Completed Projects: Deck & Stairs Replacement

August 20th, 2012.  This project brings us to the Ingleside district of San Francisco where Tamate Landscaping will be replacing a deck and stairs.  The client wanted building permits so our architect/engineer has been working on plans and navigating the complex bureaucracy of  The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.  It took approximately 5 weeks from when we were hired to the start of the deck project-anybody who has tried to get a deck permit would know how amazingly quick that is.

Project Update: August 24, 2012, end of day 4, the forms for the post footings are installed and concrete poured.

This larger footing is what secures the stairs to the ground.

Stairs stringers are cut and secured to footing and deck joists.

Building a simple deck in San Francisco can become a complex project due to  San Francisco Department of Building Inspections abundant codes, requirements and restriction.  One of these requirements for this particular project is having to build a 1 hour fire wall since the deck abuts the property line.   Here you see the fire wall in construction.  Its basically a wall with 2″x4″ framing with a layer on both sides of fire resistant sheet rock and another layer of cement board.

Project Update:  August 31, 2012 Project Complete.  Final DBI inspection signed off.

Completed Project: Water Feature in S. San Francisco

By On July 27, 2012 In Completed Projects With No Comments Permanent Link to Completed Project: Water Feature in S. San FranciscoPermalink

Tamate landscape was hired to give this yard a makeover in the hills of South San Francisco. The focal point of this project will be a water feature with a series of 1-1/2″ copper pipes spilling water into a basin. All components of the water feature are custom. Here you see day 1 on July 31st, 2012.

Project Update: Concrete Forms

The end of the 3rd day and we have the yard cleared out. Below you see 2 sets of forms being constructed. One for the copper pipe element and the other for the basin. Kind of a slow start for us due to the ground being rock hard. Any kind of excavation is by jack hammer.

In this photo, you can start to visualize the copper pipe element taking shape. The key to achieving equal flow from all pipes is to oversize the manifold (the white pipe that the copper pipes are connected to) and have a big enough pump to power it-in this case a 4000 gallon per hour high efficiency external mount unit. Note the re-inforcement bar within the forms.

Project Update:  Pouring Concrete 

A few hours after the concrete pour, we removed the forms so we can apply the smooth finish with a trowel.  This technique must be perfectly timed-a little too early and the entire mass could crumble and too late would make the surface unworkable.

Concrete form for the basin.

Access is always difficult with jobs in San Francisco with heavy machinery usually not being an option.  Here we are lowering a boulder down a steep stairway using a rock climbing technique called belaying.

Project Update:  August 30, 2012-Project Complete

Completed Project: Difficult Terrain in Forest Knolls

Our current project brings us to the Forest Knolls neighborhood of San Francisco. Much of the Forest Knolls neighborhood is shrouded in Eucalyptus Trees and set amongst a hilly terrain. Landscaping can be a bit challenging. Reclaiming usable square footage usually involves creating level areas by building decks and or retaining walls. Here you see the rear yard right before the project began on June 25, 2012.1

Project Update: Excavation

It was decided that for this project we would build a series of retaining walls to create level areas. The picture below shows the end of the 5th day. All foliage has been removed, existing concrete pad broken up and hauled away, and the process of carving into the hillside is underway. By the end of the excavation, we removed 40 cubic yards of material or 6 dump trucks. As is typical in San Francisco, all work is done by hand due to limited access. With this job, we were lucky in that we were able to remove debris by wheel barrel instead of the normal 5 gallon Home Depot bucket.

Project Update: Construction of Concrete Walls

Below you see the progress of the project on July 6, 2012, 9 days into the project. We salvaged the lower existing concrete wall since it was solid. Since it was not built level, we extended it with concrete. Whenever such an extension is added, its important to add steel reinforcement. Before the concrete pour, we drilled holes in the existing wall and epoxied vertical re-bar into the wall and tied horizontal re-bar on to these. In the background, you see additional walls being put up. For wall material, we decided on CMU to save on costs since all concrete work would have to be done in many stages.

 

Project Update: Hydrostatic Pressure

The walls are finished and below you see us installing a drain behind each wall.  Hydrostatic pressure occurs when the water run-off accumulates and puts added weight behind the walls.  With the weight of water at 8.3 pounds per gallon, an extended rainy season can compromise the integrity of the wall if hydrostatic pressure is not factored in.  Our drainage system consist of digging a trench behind each wall, installing a 3″ perforated drain pipe wrapped in fabric, connecting it to the municipal drain and backfilling the trench with drain rock.

At day 14 since the start of the project, the black limestone wall cap is installed, stairs stringers are cut and the concrete base for the Silver Quartzite Flagstone patio is being poured.

 

Project Update: End of the 4th week, July 20th, 2012.

Here you see the the Silver Quartzite Flagstone being mortared in over a 3-4″ concrete base.  Each piece is carefully selected and fit into place, kind of like a gist jigsaw puzzle.  Silver Quartzite is a favorite at Tamate Landscaping due to its natural characteristics: Its the hardest, most non porous of all flagstones and the colors and patterns will not fade over time.

Redwood stairs and safety rails are in, the retaining walls are being veneered with Beijing Green wall panels and planting work has begun.

 

Project Update:  July 26, 2012 Project Complete