Category Archives: General Contractor San Francisco

Marina Remodel & Addition: A Study in Contemporary Style

Your home is a reflection of who you are. Modern, traditional, rustic, transitional — everyone has a style (or a combination of styles) that fits their personality. These San Francisco homeowners wanted a contemporary look for their remodel and addition, full of simplicity, clean lines, and understated elegance. Let’s explore how we incorporated the style into an updated and more spacious home for this growing family:

Contemporary Colors

Contemporary styling typically includes neutral hues accented with bold colors. Tone-on-tone palettes are also common, featuring variations on a single hue. In this home, all the paint colors are a shade of white, except for the dark grey kitchen cabinets that provide a dramatic pop of color. The kitchen countertops also tie in the white gradient with sophisticated Calacatta marble. 

Line, Shape, & Form

Line, shape, and form are important to contemporary style, as seen in this wide-plank oak flooring with a distinctive herringbone pattern. We also see the soft, elegant curves of the archways and detailing on the ceiling between the stairways.  

Neutral Elements

Neutral elements are key in contemporary interiors. This master bathroom’s stand-out features are the warm, natural beauty of the teak shower floor and gorgeous marble flooring, walls, and vanity — a repeated element from the kitchen countertops that creates a unified look throughout the home. Although colors remain neutral, this bathroom is striking and distinct. 

Use of Texture

The living room’s peaked ceiling is emphasized by rustic, wide-plank oak. These homeowners also chose French doors to flood the room with natural light, making this the perfect spot to cozy up with a good book or entertain in great company. 

Whether your style is contemporary or traditional, industrial or shabby chic, it’s the key to making your home feel like you. Ready to make your home a better fit? Contact us to take the first steps.   

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Historic Charm and Modern Style: A San Francisco Penthouse Remodel

The owners of this San Francisco penthouse wanted to update and refresh their home by making it more open, bright, and modern. Although they desired a clean, sleek look overall, they also wanted plenty of visual interest and focal points. Additionally, they hoped to maintain some of the original character in this century-old building. Let’s look at some of the prominent features of this impressive remodel:

Showstopping Ceiling

When we saw this incredible ceiling, we knew it not only had to be preserved but highlighted. The geometric wood-paneled ceiling treatment is a timeless feature of this 1920s building that brings character and charm to the home. We added thirty-five bocce pendant lights to enhance it — creating a unique, warm look and a striking focal point. 

Flame-Treated Steel Panels

Another distinctive element in this remodel is the flame-treated steel paneling on some of the walls and cabinet doors. This unexpected texture brings an industrial, edgy style that contrasts the whimsy and warmth of the lighting fixtures and natural wood.

Bringing Warmth With Walnut

Adjacent to the steel-paneled wall is a beautiful hand-finished walnut wall treatment that continues up to the ceiling above the kitchen island and across to the front entry hall. Recessed lights were incorporated right into the wood to keep the room bright and modern, without the clutter of floor lamps. This feature is truly a statement piece and a wonderful way to divide the space while keeping it open and airy.

Timeless & Trimless

The zero-casing trimless treatment on the doors and windows required a degree of technical skill. Without any trim, there is no room for error — any imperfection would be obvious. Fortunately, our talented team was able to pull off this feature, and it looks fantastically crisp and clean.

Marvelous Marble Master Bath

Although the master bath isn’t particularly spacious, careful fixture and feature selection allowed for every spa amenity, including a double sink vanity, separate bath and shower space, and even a water closet. The heavily veined Carrara marble is both classic and on-trend, playing to this historic building’s modern charm.

This featured project showcases some of our greatest strengths — our quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, creative thinking, and ability to update a space while preserving character. We are proud of the work done on this home and were so pleased to read the homeowner’s wonderful review:

“I would trust these guys with my life. We worked with them on an extensive renovation — a complete gutting and rebuilding from the studs — of our Penthouse condo in a landmark Nob Hill building. They have an attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship that is translated to everybody who works on the site, including the subcontractors. Sid has an understanding of both modern and original building materials, and was competent at managing the installers for our Bulthaup kitchen from Germany and the cabinetry handcrafted here in San Francisco. I would hire them again in a heartbeat, and will be working with them again if we ever move.”

 – D. Mandel

Curious what SA Baxter can do for you? Contact us today!

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Remodeling Contractor vs. General Contractor In San Francisco

A good general contractor possesses the resources and expertise to be entirely responsible for construction projects.  By deciding on a licensed general contractor, you protect your investment and distance yourself from risk and liability.  California requires that any work with a value of more than $500.00 performed on your home be performed by a licensed contractor.  A good licensed contractor should accomplish the work conforming to code, on budget, and on schedule.  They should carry a valid California Contractor’s License and have both current commercial general-liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.  NEVER hire a contractor who does not possess all  three of these critical elements.  You can check all these criteria at the Contractors State License Board’s website (  Your contractor should be experienced and should have good references which they are happy to share with you. 

What is a general contractor?

General contractors manage construction, renovation, or remodeling projects of any classification.  A general contractor should be experienced and educated in all aspects and trades associated with construction.  They may perform many tasks in-house, such as framing or trim work, while hiring specialty trade subcontractors for plumbing or roofing.  Since remodeling jobs usually include many specialized areas, the general contractor functions as a project head who oversees the entire operation.  What may appear to be a limited remodeling project can involve a wide array of skills and expertise. Most remodeling jobs contain work which should only be performed by licensed specialty contractors.   

What is a remodeling contractor?

A remodeling contractor refers to a subset of general contractors.  The majority of remodeling contractors are in fact general contractors who specialize in remodeling of residences and/or commercial spaces.  There is no discrete license category for remodeling contractors, so you should verify that they are in fact licensed general contractors.  

Remodeling contractors are suitably trained to modify or add to an existing structure.  S. A. Baxter, Inc., for example, has been remodeling and building additions since 1999. 

Our objectives

At S. A. Baxter, Inc., General Contractor San Francisco, we focus on residential remodeling guided by the priorities of our valuable clients.  Since our inception in 1999, we have built solid relationships with over 350 Bay Area homeowners with the able support of our talented crew and our partners in design, architecture, and trade subcontractors.  We specialize in helping our clients find innovative remodeling solutions that emphasize what’s important to them.

Our core philosophy for these last twenty-two years has been the unique commitment to enabling homeowners to make absolutely sure they get the most out of their remodeling investment.

We have also built a solid reputation for transparency, integrity, and consistent quality of workmanship.  Learn more about us, read our glowing reviews, and contact us from our website at  Let us show you how to take the stress and uncertainty out of your remodel!

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