California 2013 Title 24

California Energy Codes 2013 Part 6

The revisions to the California Energy Codes are now being enforced as of July 1, 2014.
Referred to as the “California 2013 Title 24 Part 6″
These new codes are now a part of the C.B.C., (California Building Code)  2013 Energy Codes.
Unfortunately the information contained in this revision is far too long winded to include in it’s entirety. But I’ll try to cover some of the most significant changes.
Most of the information covered here will pertain to residential low rise construction including additions and alterations. Continue reading

The Davis Project



This is a project we did a few years ago for Oliver and Patsy Davis.
One Sunday morning I read this story in the local paper about an elderly couple in Sacramento who had been scammed by an unlicensed contractor.
After taking all of the money they had to fix up their distressed home, in excess of $170,000, he disappeared leaving them with a destroyed house and no money left.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how wrong this was and someone needed to help.
So I began making phone calls and sending out emails and eventually got in contact with the local Rebuilding Together organization who was able to recruit other organizations like the Bayside Church in Granite Bay, and State of BEing.
We were able to collaboratively secure labor help and donations and a year and a half later they were able to move in.
Thank You so much Cindy Slagter and Rebuilding Together Sacramento, My Friends forever Mandy Snell, James and Brenda Bufford, from State of BEing, Dave Coburn and the Bayside Church, Senator Ted Gaines.
And all of the generous people who donated their time and money to get this horrible tragedy turned around.
Oliver Davis has since passed. May he rest in Peace.

Are You Really Ready to Remodel?

Contract Negotiations What to Expect
Although most of the content of this writing can be considered universal in almost all remodel projects, bear in mind that not all information herein is to be taken as “written in stone”.

As a 30 year Residential Contractor, I find that there are a handful of very important procedures that are taken far too lightly by homeowners who are prospecting remodels and new home construction.
The following are some of the steps that should be taken in the proper order to assure a smooth and seamless project.

Do your homework
There is a lot of due diligence that can be done prior to searching out your Project Contractor. Some of the things that need to be researched are; Continue reading

“Legitimate” vs. “Compliant” Contractors

As much as I appreciate the EPA’s concern for our children’s health and safety by implementing and enforcing the new lead based paint abatement guidelines, (or not. More on that later)
And Osha’s recent campaign to assure that asbestos is properly abated.
Due to lack of enforcement, the consequences for us “Legitimate” Contractors are less than favorable. Continue reading

The Secrets to a Successful Remodel Project. Part I

Contract Negotiation

Negotiating a Successful Remodel.

Negotiating the Contract

Having negotiated several Residential Construction Contracts over the years, I would say there are 3 key ingredients to a successful agreement-
• Good communication by all parties involved.
• A well written contract.
• And a certain degree of trust.

Good Communication

Most importantly I have always advocated clear and concise communication on both sides of the table. This means negotiating with honesty, integrity, and all the necessary disclosures up front.
Both parties being able to listen, as well as convey their ultimate goals in a way that everyone understands is imperative.
Continue reading

Making Communication Easier with 3D Studio Max

I’ve always been fascinated by the art of photo realistic Architectural Representation. And now
I’ve finally made the commitment to roll up my sleeves and dive into the world of
3D Studio Max and “Arch Viz.”

I’m a General Contractor who specializes in residential remodels and sustainable building.
Over the last 15 years I’ve sort of weaned my way into Architectural drafting. Using various cad, (Computer Automated Drafting), programs, starting with Auto Cad, Architectural Desktop, and now Revit Architecture. All of which are products offered by Autodesk Inc.

Although today’s cad programs are capable of producing 3 dimensional models of my proposed projects,

3 dimensional models

Revit Architecture offers 3d display capabilities.

there are more sophisticated rendering programs today that allow me to apply realistic materials and lighting while casting reflections and shadows. Creating images that are hard to differentiate from actual photos.

Exterior rendering

3d Studio Max exterior rendering.

Autodesk’s recent acquisition of 3d Studio Max software made it very easy for me to add a powerful new weapon to my suite of Design-Build tools.

‘I’ve always advocated anything to do with bringing clarity into the communication process. One thing that has frustrated me over the years is the difficulty in getting clients to have a clear visual of the finished product using only 2 dimensional illustrations.’

Programs like 3D Studio Max,

with it’s robust rendering engine, will allow me to illustrate finished interior and exterior representations. Including furniture, entourage, and whatever other enhancements I choose.

3d Studio Max Interior

Interior renderings can include all the details.

Another great feature of 3D Studio Max is the ability to create photo realistic animations.

I’m sure this will be the determining factor in giving me the edge over competitive bidders in the future.

Although I’m just getting started and the learning curve presents one of my biggest ever challenges, ( I love saying that ), I look forward to showcasing my work in the not so distant future.
Stay tuned.

Here are some links to some great Arch Viz sites. Bowen Studios , CGArchitects

Hiring a Design Professional for Your Remodel


“The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process,”
says NARI National President Art Donnelly

I might add they are also the most time consuming. But proper planning and preparation can save a lot of headaches and remodeling dollars.

A major home remodel can be a daunting task. Continue reading

Don't oversize your HVAC

Proper HVAC Equipment Sizing- Why to Avoid Over-Sizing

Proper HVAC equipment sizingOver sizing HVAC systems is all too common among contractors who think they’re doing their clients a favor.
One of the problems with over-sizing is over cycling. Over sized systems have shorter run cycles because it takes less time to bring the temperature to the desired setting. It’s like starting and stopping a car. The shorter the run cycle, the more often your system turns on and off thereby dramatically shortening the lifespan of the system. Continue reading

Phil Vanderloo Drafting and Design

Phil Vanderloo Drafting and Design logo

Phil Vanderloo Drafting and Design logo

Well it’s been a long time in the works but we’ve finally made the long awaited transition.
Hiline Builders Inc. has branched off with a new division- “Phil Vanderloo Drafting and Design.”
Although Architectural Drafting and Design is by no means new to our arsenal, we’ve actually been designing homes and custom remodels in cad for almost 20 years, we thought we would be better served by letting our prospective clients know that we are here to meet just their drafting needs only.
We are also currently working on offering a select few of our exclusive designs for purchase as stock plans for anyone who is interested.
We will offer different option packages starting from the most basic, which will feature 1 complete set of the selected plan for 1 time use, or you can choose to purchase the electronic files and the copyright for your unlimited use.
Keep an eye on our web site for further developments as we hope to be launching this addition to the site soon.
We are also working on complimenting our offerings with photo realistic renderings. We hope to launch this by fall of 2013.
Call Hiline Builders Inc. today to discuss your new home design and construction or remodeling needs.

What to Expect from LEED for Homes v4

We use LEED as our instrument of collective expression in the world for people who are doing something to improve the planet through the built environment. LEED is an instrument of common expression; that’s a beautiful thing.”
Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council

The USGBC recognizes that for LEED to continue to drive market transformation it must constantly evolve along with the building industry and needs of the marketplace.
Among other objectives, LEED v4 strives to reduce carbon emissions more than any of the LEED rating systems.
You can read more about the intents of the revised version on USGBC’s website here- About LEED v4

After months of hard work and review of public comments, the USGBC is finally wrapping up the details to LEED v4 and preparing for implementation in June of 2013. When introduced , the use of v4 will be optional and not become mandatory until some time in 2015. Those who wish to continue using LEED 2009 can opt to do so.
I’ll be highlighting some of the changes coming up in v4 as well as reviewing existing credits that remain unchanged. You may want to read the full v4 update on the usgbc’s website here LEED V4 Draft

The LEED for Homes certification process offers several different credit options to pursue as well as some mandatory prerequisites that are required in all LEED for Homes Certifications.
These credit options are grouped into 9 different credit categories. Some of which include Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Location and transportation, and Indoor Environmental Quality. We’ve included one credit example below and will continue to feature other LEED v4 credits and revisions in the weeks to follow.
Your comments and questions are welcomed as we continue to try to create awareness for LEED and the benefits that can be obtained in LEED Certification including Healthier indoor environments for you and your family and greatly reduced energy costs to name a few.

Credit Example
Integrative Process IPc1
Integrative Process credit 1 will remain unchanged for the most part.
This credit’s Intent reads as follows:
To maximize opportunities for cost-effective adoption of integrative green design and construction strategies.

There are 3 options associated with IPc1
The options listed below are abbreviated versions. To read the full IPc1 credit requirements click here Credit Details

Option 1 involves assembly of the integrated project team and involving the team in the home’s design and construction Process.

Option 2 Is the Design Charrette
This involves conducting a full day workshop or 2 half day workshops with the project team

Option 3 involves training project subs in LEED protocol .
The trades training must include at least the following trades
• Plumbing
• Insulation
• Air Sealing
• Mechanical Systems
• Framing