Budget Breakdown: A Murky 1920s Home in California Is Leveled Up for $232K

Unable to expand due to local planning restrictions, a couple ask Shands Studio to make their Fairfax residence feel sunny and streamlined.

When a California couple decided to renovate their modest home, which was built in 1923 and last renovated in 2006, they initially hoped to create an addition with a dining space and larger kitchen. The residence, however, is tucked into a hillside in a wildland-urban interface area—a place where homes and natural vegetation meet—in Northern California. Consultation with the local fire department revealed they would have to pave and widen the long gravel street for any expansion to be approved, which would have pushed the project cost too high.

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