Author Archives: sab2

Historic Charm and Modern Style: A San Francisco Penthouse Remodel

The owners of this San Francisco penthouse wanted to update and refresh their home by making it more open, bright, and modern. Although they desired a clean, sleek look overall, they also wanted plenty of visual interest and focal points. Additionally, they hoped to maintain some of the original character in this century-old building. Let’s look at some of the prominent features of this impressive remodel:

Showstopping Ceiling

When we saw this incredible ceiling, we knew it not only had to be preserved but highlighted. The geometric wood-paneled ceiling treatment is a timeless feature of this 1920s building that brings character and charm to the home. We added thirty-five bocce pendant lights to enhance it — creating a unique, warm look and a striking focal point. 

Flame-Treated Steel Panels

Another distinctive element in this remodel is the flame-treated steel paneling on some of the walls and cabinet doors. This unexpected texture brings an industrial, edgy style that contrasts the whimsy and warmth of the lighting fixtures and natural wood.

Bringing Warmth With Walnut

Adjacent to the steel-paneled wall is a beautiful hand-finished walnut wall treatment that continues up to the ceiling above the kitchen island and across to the front entry hall. Recessed lights were incorporated right into the wood to keep the room bright and modern, without the clutter of floor lamps. This feature is truly a statement piece and a wonderful way to divide the space while keeping it open and airy.

Timeless & Trimless

The zero-casing trimless treatment on the doors and windows required a degree of technical skill. Without any trim, there is no room for error — any imperfection would be obvious. Fortunately, our talented team was able to pull off this feature, and it looks fantastically crisp and clean.

Marvelous Marble Master Bath

Although the master bath isn’t particularly spacious, careful fixture and feature selection allowed for every spa amenity, including a double sink vanity, separate bath and shower space, and even a water closet. The heavily veined Carrara marble is both classic and on-trend, playing to this historic building’s modern charm.

This featured project showcases some of our greatest strengths — our quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, creative thinking, and ability to update a space while preserving character. We are proud of the work done on this home and were so pleased to read the homeowner’s wonderful review:

“I would trust these guys with my life. We worked with them on an extensive renovation — a complete gutting and rebuilding from the studs — of our Penthouse condo in a landmark Nob Hill building. They have an attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship that is translated to everybody who works on the site, including the subcontractors. Sid has an understanding of both modern and original building materials, and was competent at managing the installers for our Bulthaup kitchen from Germany and the cabinetry handcrafted here in San Francisco. I would hire them again in a heartbeat, and will be working with them again if we ever move.”

 – D. Mandel

Curious what SA Baxter can do for you? Contact us today!

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Remodeling Contractor vs. General Contractor In San Francisco

A good general contractor possesses the resources and expertise to be entirely responsible for construction projects.  By deciding on a licensed general contractor, you protect your investment and distance yourself from risk and liability.  California requires that any work with a value of more than $500.00 performed on your home be performed by a licensed contractor.  A good licensed contractor should accomplish the work conforming to code, on budget, and on schedule.  They should carry a valid California Contractor’s License and have both current commercial general-liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.  NEVER hire a contractor who does not possess all  three of these critical elements.  You can check all these criteria at the Contractors State License Board’s website (  Your contractor should be experienced and should have good references which they are happy to share with you. 

What is a general contractor?

General contractors manage construction, renovation, or remodeling projects of any classification.  A general contractor should be experienced and educated in all aspects and trades associated with construction.  They may perform many tasks in-house, such as framing or trim work, while hiring specialty trade subcontractors for plumbing or roofing.  Since remodeling jobs usually include many specialized areas, the general contractor functions as a project head who oversees the entire operation.  What may appear to be a limited remodeling project can involve a wide array of skills and expertise. Most remodeling jobs contain work which should only be performed by licensed specialty contractors.   

What is a remodeling contractor?

A remodeling contractor refers to a subset of general contractors.  The majority of remodeling contractors are in fact general contractors who specialize in remodeling of residences and/or commercial spaces.  There is no discrete license category for remodeling contractors, so you should verify that they are in fact licensed general contractors.  

Remodeling contractors are suitably trained to modify or add to an existing structure.  S. A. Baxter, Inc., for example, has been remodeling and building additions since 1999. 

Our objectives

At S. A. Baxter, Inc., General Contractor San Francisco, we focus on residential remodeling guided by the priorities of our valuable clients.  Since our inception in 1999, we have built solid relationships with over 350 Bay Area homeowners with the able support of our talented crew and our partners in design, architecture, and trade subcontractors.  We specialize in helping our clients find innovative remodeling solutions that emphasize what’s important to them.

Our core philosophy for these last twenty-two years has been the unique commitment to enabling homeowners to make absolutely sure they get the most out of their remodeling investment.

We have also built a solid reputation for transparency, integrity, and consistent quality of workmanship.  Learn more about us, read our glowing reviews, and contact us from our website at  Let us show you how to take the stress and uncertainty out of your remodel!

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License Board’s New Laws Afford More Protection for Homeowners | |

CSLB #16-15

Contractors State License Board Outlines New 2017 Laws Affecting California’s Construction Industry

SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is providing a round-up of new state laws affecting California’s construction industry that take effect in the new year.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1793 modifies the criteria the courts use to determine if a contractor substantially complied with licensing law under Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 7031. This allows a client to not pay a contractor and to demand the return of compensation paid for work completed if the contractor was unlicensed at any time during the course of work. The new legislation provides the court a modified set of criteria to use when determining if a contractor “substantially complied” with licensure requirements and acted promptly and in good faith to remedy the lapse in licensure once known.

Senate Bill (SB) 1209 provides for enhanced complaint disclosure of legal actions taken against licensees. Under the provisions of this legislation, citations issued against a licensed contractor follow that contractor if he or she is issued another license and allows for the public disclosure of these citations.

AB 2486 requires that by January 1, 2019, CLSB create a system that allows consumers to search CSLB’s website for a licensed contractor either by zip code or geographic area, which should make it easier for consumers to identify and hire properly licensed contractors.

In an effort to establish further safety measures around underground excavation, SB 661 enacts the Dig Safe Act of 2016, and makes several changes to existing requirements for excavation procedures. These include requiring that excavators delineate an area to be excavated prior to notifying an appropriate regional notification center and establishing the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Advisory Board within the Office of the State Fire Marshall.

AB 2286 authorizes CSLB to raise its various fees, resulting in what will be the first fee increase since 2011, and only the second fee increase since 1993. The 10 percent fee increase will ensure that CSLB has enough funds to operate in the coming years. Increases that take effect July 1, 2017 include: The application fee for an original license in a single classification will increase from $300 to $330; the renewal fee for an active license will increase from $360 to $400; and the registration and renewal fee for a Home Improvement Salesperson will increase from $75 to $83.

CSLB will provide the industry more information on the upcoming fee increase in the spring.

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