WARose Construction fire rebuild in downtown Oakland 8.

Residential/Commercial Fire Rebuild, Oakland

Two residential units and one commercial space in downtown Oakland were badly damaged by fire. The project required extensive demolition and remodeling.

Project Details

W.A. Rose was the contractor on an extensive, multilevel remodel of a commercial and residential space in downtown Oakland severely damaged by fire. We removed large portions of the fire-damaged walls, flooring and ceilings before we could start to rebuild.

  • The project required new plumbing throughout both the commercial and residential parts of the building, including bathrooms, kitchens and laundry facilities and all new appliances.
  • The building’s interior was painted in soft shades of blue and gray with white trim.

The Results

The results: Light, bright and functional. One more thing: New fire alarms and sprinklers were installed throughout the space.

Photography: Ellyce Moselle


WARose Construction: Rockridge renovation: Roomier, lighter and brighter

Residential Upgrade, Oakland

These Upper Rockridge homeowners wanted to create a lighter, more open living space that would extend onto the deck where they loved to entertain during the City’s warm summer months.

Project Details

To accomplish this, we removed the bathroom and a bedroom that was on the other side of the kitchen. An additional 24 sq ft of living space was added at the rear of the house, and we did some minor structural work to shore up the home, removing a dividing wall and installing a new structural beam.

We installed hardwood floors in the kitchen and family room to match existing floors throughout the house, installed new cabinets and an island, new granite countertops and a tile backsplash in the kitchen. We also added a pantry in the kitchen.

Once we’d framed the new walls, hung drywall, finished the home’s structural work, plumbing and electrical, we completed a number of small repairs and upgrades. We made small repairs to the deck and hallway flooring. Power washed the deck and refinished with a new stain. The home got a new rear door plus a door for the family’s dog, a Golden Retriever. We stained the cherry casework in the new space and added new stucco to the exterior.

Additional efforts

  • During the course of construction, we noticed a potential leak. This was not included in our scope of work, but we were concerned about mold and its potential health issues. We brought this to the attention of our clients and resolved the matter.
  • We found during the demolition that the floors between the two spaces were not level, so we discussed this with our clients and made the necessary adjustments.

The Results

A lighter, brighter, roomier and more livable space.

Photography: Ellyce Moselle


Residential Transformation, Montclair

This Rockridge home received not just a remodel, but a transformation. The house was built on a hillside, so we completed major excavation and soil removal, along with piers and a concrete retaining wall, to prevent a potential mudslide.

Project Details

The two-bedroom, one-bath home increased its square footage by 963 sq ft, adding a master suite, another bathroom and two walk-in closets. Both bathrooms now have new tile floors; the spacious master bathroom has beautiful new walnut cabinets. W.A. Rose moved the laundry room from its old location under the house to its more convenient home at the end of a hallway. The owner’s new wine storage room is accessible through a handsome barn door.

Also new are a roof deck, the stucco exterior, a sprinkler system and Marvin windows. The rich hardwood floors throughout the home showcase a color palette of soft earth tones.

The Results

Light, bright, safer, more accessible. A very livable new space.

Photography: Ellyce Moselle


WA Rose Construction turned an old studio apartment into a sleek, beautiful pied a terre.

Loft, Uptown Oakland

W.A. Rose will be remodeling the Montclair home of one of our clients, so we retrofitted a space that he can live in during the construction. The loft is located in the heart of Uptown Oakland, a neighborhood known for its First Fridays/Art Murmur event and vibrant restaurant and bar scene. We turned the dark 1,200 sq.ft. space into a sleek, inviting, masculine studio apartment that will be our client’s interim new home. The apartment’s color palette is in beautiful soft shades of blonde, bronze and brown.

Project Challenges

Our overarching challenge was making the most of a small space, and we worked closely with designer Darlene Isaacs to execute her design. We needed to accommodate a dishwasher and washer/dryer. To create a new kitchen area, we moved the sink, installed Cambria quartz countertops with a bronze tiled backsplash. We added a dishwasher and created enough space for a full-sized refrigerator. We adjusted the HVAC, plumbing and electrical for the new configuration and kept the original fluorescent lighting except for new LED lights in the bathroom. We also built in cabinets, a peninsula and installed a new range.

With an eye toward green construction, we were able to repair the lower level’s tongue and groove Douglas fir floors. The owner wanted to retain the rich look of the wood, so we removed those areas that were worn, infilled them with new fir, sanded and added a clear finish.

We completely reconfigured the bathroom. The owner wanted a roomy shower, so the sink and toilet were relocated to accommodate it. A pony wall on one side creates separation, while allowing light into the space. We laid new tile in the shower and floor, including accent tile in the shower. We installed carpeting in the upper bedroom area and reconfigured the closet to accommodate a stackable washer and dryer.

Because we had found some leaking during one of the Bay Area’s winter storms, we did some rooftop water testing to pinpoint the problem areas and made repairs.

The Results

Attractive, functional and accessible, our client is delighted with his cozy new loft.

Design: Darlene Isaacs; Photography: Ellyce Moselle


Alameda Garage

A representative from Hayward’s Carpenters Union #713, where we have done work over the years, reached out to W.A. Rose Construction to discuss the construction of a new freestanding garage at his Alameda home.

The Challenge

The single-car garage doubled as a workshop, and our industry-professional client knew his old garage wasn’t worth salvaging. W.A. Rose completely demolished the old garage and poured a new foundation. We framed the 250 sq.ft. structure, added a fire wall, new garage door, roof and stucco’d the exterior. Lighting for the interior was 50-amp, 240-volt to accommodate the owner’s tool usage.

The Results

A clean, functional, well-lighted space that’s a great new workplace—and a secure place to park a vehicle!

Cedar St. Bungalow

The owner inherited this Berkeley bungalow from his father in 2015 and decided to do an extensive remodel and put it back on the market.

Project Challenges

The bungalow was typical of many of the homes that were built in the Berkeley/Oakland neighborhoods that date back to the ‘20s and ‘30s—small rooms and closets and limited counter space.

  • The owner hadn’t invested much in home improvements over the years, and the appliances were dated, the flooring and countertops were worn, and there was dry rot.
  • Considerable work needed to be done to bring this property up to current building codes.
  • We gutted the house down to the studs and repaired the areas that had been affected by dry rot, reframed the windows and walls to meet building standards.
  • We removed and replaced 85% of the foundation and did a complete seismic upgrade.
  • Structural engineers on the project, Frameworks Engineering, designed the new foundation and the framing for the home’s 220 sq.ft. addition.

The Results

We transformed the dated bungalow into an energy-efficient, bright, modern home. Because the owner was going to flip the house, he could have minimized his construction costs with inexpensive solutions. Instead, he chose enhancements that truly added value and made this home attractive to today’s energy-conscious buyers. We installed insulation, LED lighting and dual-pane windows throughout the home. The owner also chose quality appliances, marble countertops and refinished the hardwood floors. The addition of 220 sq.ft. helped make this traditional Berkeley bungalow more attractive to potential buyers. To no one’s surprise, it was quickly snatched off the market.

Residential Deck

This dramatic Piedmont deck was built for a client who loved to entertain outside on warm summer evenings. They decided that as long as they were going to build a new deck, they wanted one that could accommodate their large, extended family of 20+ people.

Project Challenges

The old deck had become rickety and dangerous. The new one needed to blend in with the house and preserve an existing lemon tree. Because the deck WARose Construction builds Piedmont Deck and staircaseand stairs represent part of the home’s emergency exit system, the Fire Department required that the deck be made of slow-burning Douglas Fir rather than Trex, the popular deck material that melts in fires, which would eliminate the deck and stairs as an escape route.

The Results

  • Structurally elaborate with an imposing staircase to the yard below, the new staircase is deceptively complex.
  • It has a five-sided landing, and, unlike most stairways, no piece is exactly the same; rather, each had to be custom cut and fitted.
  • The upper posts and railings are made of cedar, with galvanized steel-wire fencing to prevent anyone’s falling through the railing.
  • The light fixtures were carefully selected to coordinate with those on the outside of the house. The owners’ primary goal was to build a deck that was large and functional, but the new deck and staircase turned out to also be a dramatic structure on which their guests invariably comment.

Customized, Built-in Bathroom

Project Challenges

The owners of this Piedmont bathroom had waited a long time to remodel their bathroom—something that often happens in the area’s older homes. They needed more storage, so this became a priority. There were also some structural issues and dry rot which had to be repaired, and the original bathroom had been cramped and dark.

The Results

  • This remodeled bathroom is notable for its customized, built-in, floor-to-ceiling cabinets that provide a significant amount of storage.
  • The soft, earth-toned color palette is accented by the burnt-orange color of the countertop, which is a three-quarter inch piece of glass with the color sprayed on the bottom.
  • Custom-made LED lights brighten the room, and the specially made mirror helps give the illusion of a larger space.
  • The glass tiles of the large shower stall are flush with the drywall to create a smooth, unbroken effect.

W.A. Rose Construction collaborated with Caitlin Lempres Brostrom, of First Bay Architecture, on this bathroom remodel.

Craftsman-Style Cottage Conversion

This residence was a conversion from a nondescript San Francisco row house to an exquisite Green and Green, craftsman-style jewel. It began when the owners bought some craftsman-style furniture. When they began thinking about remodeling their home, they decided that what they really wanted was a house that matched their furniture.

Project Challenges

The owners heard about W.A. Rose from a friend who had worked with us on a small remodel and had been impressed with the quality of work and high level of professionalism throughout the WARose Construction_residential remodelproject. They found a custom millworker in Southern California who also knew an architect and a cabinetmaker who were specialists in craftsman-style work. While they had reservations about working long-distance, Skype bridged the miles and, happily, the distance proved not to be a problem.

  • The wood throughout this two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage was rich African mahogany, requiring careful attention to match the color of the stain with the color of the light fixtures.
  • The two skylights are part of the original design, but they were old and rusty, so we repaired them with new materials to let in more light. All of the windows were insulated and replaced.
  • The kitchen has many customized features, including the cherry cabinets with leaded glass doors, granite countertops and decorative hand-painted tiles in Japanese wood-block designs.
  • The Viking range has a custom hood, and the fan was mounted on the roof so the owners don’t hear its sounds when they’re cooking.

The Results

The remodel took 11 months to complete. The project foreman, Ted Reite, frequently solicited feedback from the owner over the

course of the project, and they developed a close relationship. Everyone involved in this remodel was committed to making it the exquisite home that it became.