Archer Building Group, Inc.
Describe the featured project.
This Hermosa Beach house is a coastal classic only 200 feet from the beach. It was a fun and challenging project. The original house was built in 1940 on a 1,000-square-foot lot with non-existent setbacks. Each wall butted up against the property line. Our clients wanted to maintain every inch of the existing walls, but the 1940s floor plan was completely unworkable. We shored up some walls, suspending them in midair, upgraded the entire home’s structure and reallocated the interior space. We brought the home up to code inside while still kissing the property line on all four sides. The end result? A new beach home, efficient floor plan, updated flow, ocean views from all three levels and very happy clients.
We have a few favorites in this house. The top floor is home to the kitchen, family room and deck with stackable doors giving direct access to ocean views. We reoriented the entire space to focus on the sand and water. We are also big fans of what we call “Harry Potter closets,” and we were able to do one here! We turned the empty space under the stairs into an adorable play space for their young kids.
What do you wish people knew about your company?
Contractors often get a bad reputation for bidding projects low, knowing it will cost more, and then modifying costs throughout the project. We pride ourselves on letting clients know what it will take to build their house, not what it will take to bid their house. Those are often two very different numbers. We take a holistic view of a home, our client’s expectations and the needs of a project in order to get a realistic budget and timeline before we begin.
Do you advise clients to remodel or start fresh and knock it down?
It really depends on your wants, needs, budget, timing and the lot itself. This project, for example, needed a “remodel” in order for us to maintain the setbacks—even if it would have been easier, less expensive and faster to knock it down. In homes where you have a tighter timeline and are not doing major renovations throughout the entire house, remodels make sense. But oftentimes it’s more cost-effective to start over rather than add second stories to homes.
Do you do the design or just the build?
It depends! We have some great design/build projects where we handle the project from conception to completion. We love doing these projects because we have a lot of control over budgets, timelines and expectations. We love collaborating with architects and designers, especially if a client has found one they are excited about.