LEFF Award-Winning Home Remodel: BEFORE and AFTER photos

Candice Rania


The entire LEFF Team of architects, engineers, designers, and expert field crew contributed their talents and skills to this award-winning home remodel project in Oakmont Village in Santa Rosa, CA. On April 26, 2017, the project won the NARI “Remmie” Award for Best Whole House Remodel Over $1M. It was one of two first place NARI prizes awarded to Dave Leff, CEO of Leff Construction Design Build, that evening. Everyone here at LEFF was honored to represent Sonoma County and the North Bay in the regional NARI competition (other regions included San Francisco and the East Bay). With this win, the project now qualifies for entry into the national competition (the CotY Awards).


“It is evident throughout the project that the needs of the clients were met in spectacular fashion. The obstacles were great and the solutions were greater. Congratulations on a great project!”


The clients purchased this 2,350 square foot home for their retirement with the knowledge that it would need a complete remodel. They had moved from a much larger home and, although they wanted to downsize, they needed a larger home than what they had bought. The new home was in a neighborhood with a restrictive zoning ordinance that didn’t allow an increase of more than 210 square feet in the building footprint. Our design solution was to excavate under the house enough to create a full-height lower level of 1,500 square feet and add a smaller, two-story addition of 207 square feet. The existing house was built in the 1960s and had most of the original finishes still in place. It had good bones but needed a full remodel with newer, high-quality finishes in order to become the beautiful showpiece of our clients’ dreams.

The clients had specific goals in addition to the increase in floor area. In anticipation of their own aging and that of their friends, the clients needed a home that would be completely barrier-free for their less mobile or wheelchair-bound friends and family members. To accommodate overnight visitors, a guest suite was designed and built on the lower level. Because the main living areas blocked the outside views, the design included rebuilding the main roof structure with a wall of windows, allowing for an unobstructed view of the local mountains. A full connection between the interior and exterior spaces for entertaining and gardening was important to the clients, so a larger deck and more accessible entries to the backyard were added. These clients found a neighborhood, a property and a view that was exactly what they wanted with a house that didn’t meet their needs. An extensive remodel was all that was needed to fulfill their dreams!

(To see all images from this project, see the Portfolio here.)

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