Jeff King&Co Residential Remodel: Case Study at Twin Peaks


What exactly happens inside a Jeff King & Co residential remodel? We’ve made a case study of one of our current projects near Twin Peaks in San Francisco to guide you through our standard green building practices. Working through Jeff King & Co, architect Nilus De Matran of Nilus Designs laid out the designs for an entirely new kitchen and bathroom; two revamped bedrooms; a new backyard deck; and a gutted downstairs study and den in this 1955 2bdrm/1bath house.


Within a few weeks, the finished product will be a dramatic improvement upon the original house in aesthetic quality, functionality, energy-saving features, and overall incorporation of green features. Our project manager on the scene, Jeff Churan, leads us through the remodel that has been his domain for the past two months- come on in.



The construction of an elevated outdoor deck is the most dramatic addition to this residence. With a stunning view of South San Francisco on one side and Sutro Tower on the other, this hilltop backyard is perfect for a comfortable lounging deck constructed of beautiful Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Machiche lumber. We make every effort to use sustainably harvested lumber for decks while ensuring that our selection is pest and weather resistant. Redwood and Cedar are also durable outdoor options, though they are not as readily available as FSC materials.


We tend to use Honduras-grown Machiche for its durability factor and resistance to splintering, while the rich brown/brick color has attractive fine grain patterns. The quality of wood and reasonable price make it an excellent solution for sustainable hardwood needs.


To create an access point from the deck directly into the second-story living room, anodized aluminum Fleetwood sliding-glass doors will take the place of the original windows. On the other side of the living room, we are calling on the mid-century modern quality of anodized aluminum windows by local vendor, Ventana Windows & Doors, for attractive inside/outside design integration. We are doing everything in our power to amplify the home’s best asset – its exquisite view – with thoughtful design and building.




As this house was built in 1955, it had absolutely no insulation before the interior demolition took place. The Jeff King & Co team chose to fill all open cavities with the green product, Sustainable Insulation by Certain Teed, for its environmental responsibility and energy saving properties. Made from 50% rapidly renewable fiberglass with a plant-based binder, this product is free of formaldehyde, acrylic and dye. It exceeds the indoor Air Quality Requirements of California while increasing thermal performance and reducing energy levels, making it an all-around win for green insulation product.


To fill the home’s closed cavities (floors, walls and ceilings), the Jeff King & Co builders utilized formaldehyde-free Certain Teed OPTIMA Blow-in Insulation. This blowing wool is ideal for filling any void with a seamless sound-reducing blanket that is also thermally efficient. OPTIMA is not only environmentally friendly in its manufacturing practice, but once installed, it will keep the home nice and warm without running the heater day and night.The last product we have to share is arguably the most creative. Bonded Logic’s UltraTouch Denim Insulation is made from 85% recycled denim and cotton fibers from denim manufacturing facilities, giving it a soft blue color. It contains no harmful irritants yet it still contains natural fire-retardant that works as an effective pest, mold and mildew inhibitor as well.


Eternal Hybrid Water Heater

Hydronic Air Handler

How do we take a 1955 water heating system and bring it into the 21st century? The Eternal Hybrid water heater is our clear solution. We use this green water heater for just about every residential remodel these days as it resolved many of the issues that come with its counterpart: on-demand (or tankless) water heaters. The Eternal Hybrid has an extraordinary 98% efficiency level by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat water sitting in the tank, while also serving as an excellent source for domestic heating through a hydronic air handler.


Nothing beats natural light, which is why we’ve knocked out a nice big hole in the kitchen ceiling to let in the sunshine. For evening lighting, we are using dimmable CREE LED lights as promised in our previous post, LED Lighting: The Cutting Edge in Green Building. The recessed LED lights by CREE reduce energy usage by up to 85% compared to incandescent, making them an environmentally-friendly addition to any kitchen or bathroom.




Though there’s not much to see at the moment, this gaping hole will soon be filled with new aluminum windows for a beautiful integration of mid-century modern design elements. The closets are also undergoing a makeover with new doors and low-energy fluorescent lighting, which will contribute to a lower energy bill.



With just two bedrooms upstairs, this house was ready to expand its usable space by bringing the downstairs den and study up to par. When we arrived on the scene, both rooms were only equipped with sheetrock and plagued by continuous water leaks. We employed a French drain system behind the house, sealing the foundation with Mira-Drain and Paraseal and incorporating a perforated pipe to collect and carry water directly to the drain. By eliminating groundwater that would normally go right through the foundation, we have prevented moisture leaks and are now able to install finishes. With a bit of carpet, we will create a wholly useful space where there wasn’t one before.


Also of note, our standard building practice includes recycling doors whenever possible to save the expense of a new door while preventing an old one from going to a landfill. Such a case came into play in the downstairs door frame between the den and study, which will now house a door from the upstairs space.We also took great care to design the backyard deck in a way that does not block the den windows, allowing natural light to flood the room. Following the standard building codes, we’ve also installed a fire door to make the space much safer for its future residents.


Jeff Churan, Project Manager

Thanks for taking the walking tour of our current residential remodel near Twin Peaks, San Francisco! Check back in mid-March for the finished product with a highlight on artistic touches that bring this 20th century home into the 21st century with style.