Author Archives: santacruzarchitect

The Spanish Revival Style

Prindle House, George Washington Smith, architect

The Spanish Revival style (1915-1940) includes Spanish Colonial Revival and Spanish Eclectic. The Colonial style is based on Spanish architecture in the New World. The Eclectic style is based on Spanish architecture in Europe.

The Spanish Colonial Revival style immediately followed the Mission Revival style and shared many of the same architectural elements. Continue reading

Richard Neutra’s Connell House

The Connell House, located in Pebble Beach, CA is an intact and representative example of the Modernist architectural movement commonly called the “International Style” designed by internationally renowned Modernist architect Richard Neutra.

The house is characterized by strong horizontal lines juxtaposed against both projecting and receding planes and volumes. Continue reading

The County of Santa Cruz’ ADU Design Guide

Santa Cruz County has recently implemented new, more relaxed development standards intended to make building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) easier and more affordable. Towards this end it’s published three guidebook resources, Santa Cruz County ADU Basics, ADU Financing Guide, and ADU Design Guide. This article outlines the County’s ADU Design Guide. Continue reading

Is a Tesla Solar Roof Worth the Investment?

When you hear the name Tesla, you usually stop and listen.  Tesla has built a well-known brand with electric vehicles (EVs). Then, they announced the Powerwall, a solar battery, and most recently, the Solar Roof, a mix of solar and non-solar tiles that is meant to replace a typical solar system. Elon Musk is a smart guy – combining the power of solar with EVs.  The ideas he has make sense, but does the investment?  Now that the long-awaited solar tile system is available, it’s worth asking – is the Tesla Solar Roof worth the investment? Continue reading

Getting a Building Permit: Don’t Renovate Without One!

Do you need a building permit?
Spoiler: You probably do, unless you’re only doing cosmetic interior upgrades, like painting or updating your kitchen faucet. Any time you are adding square footage, making structural modifications, or significantly altering other building components, you’ll need to obtain a permit. Continue reading

Rock-Wool Insulation: What It Is and Where to Use It

The importance of a well-insulated home can’t be overstated: Properly sized and installed insulation can reduce energy usage, keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and save you money with lower energy bills. Rock wool insulation provides thermal and sound insulation and can be used as a firestop between floors.
For homeowners and builders alike, fiberglass insulation has been the insulation of choice for many decades. While fiberglass remains very popular, there’s a relatively new type of insulation that’s making headway—and headlines—in the insulation industry. It’s called rock-wool insulation. Continue reading

What is a Smart Home?

A smart home is a residence that uses internet-connected devices to enable the remote monitoring and management of appliances and systems, such as lighting and heating.

Smart home technology, also known as home automation, provides homeowners security, comfort, convenience and energy efficiency by allowing them to control smart devices, often by a smart home app on their smartphone or other networked device. Continue reading