36 East Pier


This was a spectacular job. The clients bought a great houseboat and split their time between Sausalito and Ireland. The woman was a designer for industrial products and the husband is a sound engineer for some of the biggest titles coming out of Hollywood.

They decided that they wanted a bulletproof exterior that would be of the highest quality and durability, but with the ability to modify it in the future, as they deemed necessary. The designer was intimately involved in the day-to-day project, and both were involved in the decision-making process. They were most interested in using sustainable building products and methods, and we incorporated some cutting-edge products in the process of this project.

The first order of business was to order new Marvin windows that allowed for custom sizing and features that we wanted. Next, the demolition began – stripping 2-3 layers of previous beveled redwood siding and shingles from the structure.

[What you may not realize is that when you are working on a Floating Home, that’s what is going on…it’s floating!! So, you have to build scaffolds, put boards in the mud, bring in floating docks, and/or rig up any way possible to safely accomplish whatever you are trying to do. ] We brought in floating docks, and the owners bought some new floating docks to create a space to set up table saws, routers, miter saws, saw horses, tool boxes, etc.

The siding that we decided upon was a clear vertical-grain cedar from Canada, in a tongue and groove profile. The wood was special ordered, sorted, pretreated 2 times with a clear nano-tech sealant. The owners spent hours sorting the thousands of boards to get a pattern to the coloration and grains that they were comfortable with. Under the siding I used a newer (at the time) housewrap/weather-resistant barrier with a special feature that allows the siding to stand 6 mils above the house wrap, allowing for moisture that might get behind the siding to run down and away from the siding. The product is HydroGap by Benjamin Obdyke, and I have been using it on most of my projects ever since this first time.

The roof was important, and went on early, along with 4 large custom ventilating remote-controlled skylights by JC Barry’s skylights in Campbell, CA. The roof is standing-seam copper, as is all of the flashing under and around the siding. I traded out the old abs ventilation pipes for 2” copper pipes, and it turned out great. There was one wooden channel that was built to follow the angled siding down the side of the building, as a way to run the water off of the roof, with out using a downspout. A chain hangs from a scupper off of the roof deck, directing water into the trough, and down to the Bay.

The roof deck incorporates covered and watertight storage under one end of the deck, and a raised gardening area. A custom stairway, angled up to follow the siding, leads up to the roof from the master bedroom.

The semi-custom Marvin windows round out the package. There were approx. 27 windows on this project, and there was only one issue with them after the fact, which came from an oversight on the installation, rather than a defective window.

There were a few doors and a large slider installed, along with custom wiring for lights, and custom Heath tile in a shower that had leaked for over 20 years, allegedly.

This was one of my most satisfying, and challenging, projects.