All posts tagged building permits

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.