Captivating in Copper: A Contemporary Tiburon Master Bath & Exterior Remodel

This modern makeover was for a Tiburon couple who wanted their rustic, traditional home to take on a more contemporary look. They also wanted to expand their master bath to be more proportionate to the rest of their house. S.A. Baxter, Inc. teamed up with The Wiseman Group and the talented architectural team at Skeels Design to accomplish this one-of-a-kind home remodel.

Breathtaking Bathroom

Bathroom remodels rarely include an exterior renovation, but this one was reimagined as stunning on the outside as it is on the inside. The custom copper paneling on the exterior walls is the showstopper of this project. Striking, sophisticated, and unique, the panels add an abundance of warmth and character to the home.  

Inside, the bathroom is clean and modern, with subtle elegance in every detail. Beautiful vertical-grain cedar makes up the ceiling, pairing perfectly with the warm tones of the tile floor and vanities. Flush mount trim along the floors, windows, and baseboards keeps the space looking sleek and refined. No detail was overlooked — even in the shower tile grout, which sparkles with (safely contained) crushed glass.

In a vast improvement from their previous small, cramped master bathroom, these homeowners now have a spacious, spa-like oasis complete with a luxurious soaking tub and modern curbless shower. As an added bonus, two separate vanities allow the homeowners to comfortably prep and pamper at the same time.

Exquisite Exterior

Adjacent to the outdoor kitchen area is a serene terrace, with a soothing hot tub and comfortable lounges perfect for relaxing and taking in the incredible San Francisco views.

These homeowners have the contemporary look they hoped for, with an incredible, expansive bathroom they’ll enjoy for years to come.

For a 3D view of this fabulous bathroom, be sure to check out the virtual reality tour here.

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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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Frequently Asked Questions For San Francisco General Contractor

Q: Do I need to hire an interior designer if I am working with an architect or San Francisco Remodeling Contractor?

A: There are some very talented and professional designers out there who are experts at making sure all the elements in the home will present a unified, cohesive design which suits the space and complements the home as a whole. They can make sure all the elements of the home work together as a cohesive whole.  Unfortunately, there are many people marketing themselves as “designers” whose only qualifications are a subscription to Sunset magazine. This unfortunate group typically has little or no understanding about the cost, construction practicality, or building-code-compliance of any given design. If you intend to hire a designer, you should choose carefully lest you spend a significant portion of your remodeling budget creating a design which you cannot afford or which does not comply with the limits of materials or with building code. Check references!  Many architects can also provide comprehensive interior-design services, however, so a separate designer is not always necessary.  A good San Francisco General Contractor can successfully collaborate with a designer, architect, engineer, and homeowner to make sure the design is developed in attainable direction

Q:How can I ensure that I hire a reputable San Francisco General Contractor?

A: By contacting the contractor’s references.  Ask to tour one of the contractor’s completed similar projects.  Also, always verify their contractor’s license, bond, liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.  The state Contractor’s License Board’s website 

( ) is the place to start.

Q: What types of licenses and insurance should a San Francisco remodeling contractor have?

A:  They should have a B license (General Contractor.) A valid bond. Commercial general liability insurance of not less than $2mil, with a specific inclusion for work on condos/HOA’s if so engaged. Worker’s compensation insurance. Commercial vehicle auto insurance, including a “non-owned and hired” inclusion for employees driving their own vehicles on company time. The General Contractor should verify and provide written proof of all these same insurances for every subcontractor they bring to any job.

Q: How do San Francisco remodeling contractors usually charge for their services, with regard to deposits and the payment of balances?

A: In California, a General Contractor may request or accept, prior to onsite work having commenced in earnest, a deposit of 10% of the total contract price or $1,000.00, whichever is LESS. Contract payments are typically linked to progress milestones and/or sign-offs for various inspections.

Q: What are some steps that I can take to help ensure that the remodeling goes as smoothly as possible?

A: Choose design professional(s) and Remodeling Contractor carefully.  Avoid the misery of assuming you can act as your own General Contractor by merely hiring all the various subcontractors, picking out a cabinet finish and flooring material, and hoping everything will work out fine. It rarely will, and such projects inevitably cost more and take longer to complete than had a good San Francisco General Contractor been involved from the start.

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License Board’s New Laws Afford More Protection for Homeowners | |

CSLB #16-15

Contractors State License Board Outlines New 2017 Laws Affecting California’s Construction Industry

SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is providing a round-up of new state laws affecting California’s construction industry that take effect in the new year.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1793 modifies the criteria the courts use to determine if a contractor substantially complied with licensing law under Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 7031. This allows a client to not pay a contractor and to demand the return of compensation paid for work completed if the contractor was unlicensed at any time during the course of work. The new legislation provides the court a modified set of criteria to use when determining if a contractor “substantially complied” with licensure requirements and acted promptly and in good faith to remedy the lapse in licensure once known.

Senate Bill (SB) 1209 provides for enhanced complaint disclosure of legal actions taken against licensees. Under the provisions of this legislation, citations issued against a licensed contractor follow that contractor if he or she is issued another license and allows for the public disclosure of these citations.

AB 2486 requires that by January 1, 2019, CLSB create a system that allows consumers to search CSLB’s website for a licensed contractor either by zip code or geographic area, which should make it easier for consumers to identify and hire properly licensed contractors.

In an effort to establish further safety measures around underground excavation, SB 661 enacts the Dig Safe Act of 2016, and makes several changes to existing requirements for excavation procedures. These include requiring that excavators delineate an area to be excavated prior to notifying an appropriate regional notification center and establishing the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Advisory Board within the Office of the State Fire Marshall.

AB 2286 authorizes CSLB to raise its various fees, resulting in what will be the first fee increase since 2011, and only the second fee increase since 1993. The 10 percent fee increase will ensure that CSLB has enough funds to operate in the coming years. Increases that take effect July 1, 2017 include: The application fee for an original license in a single classification will increase from $300 to $330; the renewal fee for an active license will increase from $360 to $400; and the registration and renewal fee for a Home Improvement Salesperson will increase from $75 to $83.

CSLB will provide the industry more information on the upcoming fee increase in the spring.

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