Project Type: Residential

Schwann Lake

On a bare dirt lot held for many years, the design conscious client was now given the ultimate palette to bring their dream home to life. This brand new single family residence includes 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 Baths, kitchen, dining, living, laundry, one car garage, and second floor deck of 352 sq. ft.

After much wrangling through the county planning process the utility infrastructure for this immaculate home required a massive amount of public works to bring services long distances. In addition, the large picture windows and floating staircase were recommendations of Pete Testorff to accommodate the limited space while accentuating the modern style of the house infrastructure.

Beach Drive

This vacation rental with beautiful views of Rio Beach required a full remodel. Once we dug in we found substantial rot as well as other deficiencies requiring a complete overhaul of the plumbing and wiring to match current code standards.

With a redesigned roofline we also added a rooftop deck and sweeping entertainment area including new outdoor fireplace and 1500 sq ft deck.

Rio del Mar Modern

Testorff construction worked extremely close with the owners to bring their modern vision to life. This unique primary residence expanded the simplicity of a 1,400 sq ft single-story to double its size with this complete remodel. 

Substantial rot repair, plumbing and wiring was required to match current code standards, yet the team managed to preserve the original integrity and personality of the home.

The House On Depot Hill

Another Derek Van Alstine cottage gem, this distinctive home, perched on the Cliffs of Depot Hill is a modern updated take on the classic storybook homes popular in Hollywood in the 1920’s and 30’s. While there is no official definition of what makes a storybook home, they all have whimsical and playful elements, often seemingly snatched out of a fairy tale or ancient village.

The owners have very strong opinions about the details and would often bring us sketches. With their ideas in hand, we set about turning their dreams into reality. This was a design and build collaboration that was a lot of fun. All  of the custom elements, including the, scrolling details were made by hand, making this a truly unique place.

The home features radiant heat floors, caseless doors and copper flashings that add comfort to go with the old-world charm.

La Selva Gem

This modern beauty is the result of a construction project that went totally right. The owners are the sweetest people you ever want to meet. They are smart, savvy and have excellent communication skills. They shared their desires and trusted us to get the job done.

The Tuscan inspired home sits on top of a hill that provides an expansive view of La Selva Beach and the Monterey Bay & Peninsula beyond. Reshaping the property for all of the different utilities and drainage required an 8-foot dig-down. The dirt was then re-compacted in 12” lifts.

The owners had very clear ideas for a modern high-functioning home with an old-world feel. While large, it is an exceedingly efficient structure. Externally it features multiple hips and rooflines from flat to barreled vaults and conical. These are all lifetime roofs made up of clay tiles, metal or long-lasting PVC. Many of the roof sections also hold photovoltaic solar panels. The variety of rooflines define the home’s space, inside and out.

Supporting the roofs, the Tuscan ambiance is achieved through extensive stone cladding, stucco and multiple grape arbor trellises on the walls. Copper flashing, downspouts, etc. feed a massive drainage retention system. Cast stone pediments and windowsills provide striking accents to match the high trim, wall caps and eyebrows. Nearly 1700 square feet of travertine patios spread out from the house. The centerpiece of the patio is an infinity plunge pool that can be converted from cold to hot in minutes with the aid of the nearby solar system.

Strolling through the central courtyard, visitors are greeted by whimsical statues, sculptured greenery, inviting patios and a water fountain.

Moving in through the gracious front door at the apex of the horseshoe shaped main house, the design reveals two distinct wings. To the left is the working wing containing an office, gym and utility room. On the right, the bedroom wing consists of the master bedroom & bath, two guest rooms with an adjoining gallery, a home theater and garage.

At the apex of the house, the common areas anchor the design. The expansive great room encompasses the living room (complete with piano nook and Rumsford grand fireplace), kitchen, dining area and breakfast alcove. The temperature-controlled wine cellar is a few steps from the kitchen. Adjacent to the living room is an indoor/outdoor kitchen designed to take advantage of the temperate climate of the central coast. 6-panel bi-fold doors open onto the vista provided by the travertine patio near the infinity pool. When the cold and fog roll in the doors easily pull closed and the fireplace transforms the space into a cozy dining room. One can easily see that the owners might spend a lot of time here.

Interior details add to the comfort, functionality and beauty of the home. Radiant heat floors are fed through high-efficiency boilers. The central vacuum system utilized two canisters: one in each wing. In the kitchen, a cast stone exhaust hood sits over a handmade La Cornue stove. Decorative trusses and beams lend a sophisticated air to the living room. In the gallery, built-in cabinets showcase memorabilia that makes the room feel like Christmas, year round. The spacious home theater sits between the master and guest bedrooms. It is specially soundproofed for with a sound system that can be connected to or separated from the integrated sound system that allows music to be heard both inside and out. The master bath features a jetted tub with a view into an enclosed courtyard with water fountain.

Designed for overflow during large family gatherings, the ADU has its own bedroom, bath, kitchen and laundry room. It doubles as an art studio and provides an inspiring view of a eucalyptus grove. It’s a beautiful as the main house.

LEED Platinum House

The first LEED-H Platinum certified home in Santa Cruz County, as well as landing us our second Santa Cruz City Green Building Award, this home is loaded with features. Radiant heat floors, water catchment, passive solar and Weiland Liftslide glass doors that, when lowered, the weight of the door, a special gasketing system, and multi-point locking provide excellent weather resistance and security.

This was a scraper. The complexity of the project is evident in the infrastructure and what remains hidden within the walls and beneath the floors. Ultimately, it is the aesthetic of the home that really puts it over the top. The great room, including kitchen, dining room and living room opens onto the patio, making for open, comfortable, year-round living.

Harbor View Home

Situated next to Schwan Lagoon and within sight of the Santa Cruz Harbor Beach, this full demo required significant excavation. We repacked the native soil and brought in engineered fill dirt to provide support for the foundation.

This Derek Van Alstine gem is designed to take advantage of the spectacular views surrounding it. A reverse floor plan, with the primary living space upstairs and bedrooms downstairs, made it perfect for inside/outside living. The great room has high plate lines, with a vaulted ceiling that gives it an airy feel. The open stairway that connects the two floors accentuates the dramatic views.

The master bedroom and bath feel opulent while remaining simple. The main floor bedrooms are cozy with glass doors that offer a view of the private yard. The adjacent game room is perfect for the kids, giving them a space to call their own. The game room opens onto a front porch facing the lagoon continuing the indoor/outdoor theme found throughout the family home.

The owner’s personality is reflected in the details of the house. Rich colors are used sparingly, to dramatic effect. Accents, such at the kitchen tile-work connecting it to the cabinets beneath the breakfast bar, give the rooms subtle elegance.

Beach House

This crumbling beach house suffered from rot and termite damage that required taking it down to the studs and performing a complete facelift.

Due to the tight envelope, the house is hyper-efficient. It features spray-foam insulation throughout and passive solar heating. Electric radiant wall panels provide additional heat on foggy or cloudy days. The design allows the house to be cooled through stack-effect convection.

Let’s not forget the amazing views of the beach and Monterey Bay from the kitchen and living room provided by the efficient sliding glass doors.

Santa Cruz Mountain Home

From a reconfiguration of interior spaces to allow for a more open and flowing floor plan, to a new roof, this was a comprehensive interior remodel. We worked within a gated property with security fencing and surveillance alarm, requiring attention to security of the neighborhood as well.

This beautiful conversion includes a custom portico entry with waterfall feature, rear patios rebuilt from raised decks to stone patio to include built-in outdoor fireplace feature and hot-cold plunge pool with grotto waterfall. A hand-hammered custom “flower” handrail and built-on-site hand-hewn tresses completed the look.

We reclaimed all of the exterior shingles during the remodel along with the wide-plank pine flooring from Carlisle Floors. Close-cell polyurethane roof insulation contributed to the tight envelope. A lifetime composite shingle roof adorns the top of the house. Previous interior cabinetry, doors, plumbing fixtures and flooring was donated to various organizations including other contractors for use in upcoming projects – and a San Lorenzo Valley guitar maker!

Felton Farmhouse

This home was the amalgamation of a series of funky remodels. We modernized it to be a home, studio and a farm for goats, garden and orchard. It became one of the nicest homes we’ve ever built.

Featured in Santa Cruz Style Magazine, the most striking aspect of the home is the distinctive custom steel and wood staircase that flows up through the light band vestibule in the center of the house. One primary aspect of the remodel was to create an open floor plan that let in more light. We also added an additional 500 square feet to the existing structure.

The details make this place special. Nestled in the forest, the roof is metal for added fire protection. The primary power comes from a solar system. A water catchment and grey-water recycling system provide irrigation. Skylights and a high-efficiency water heater reduce energy consumption. The radiant heat floors are topped with wide plank European oak. All of the ceilings, decks, railings, soffits and stairs are built from locally sourced timbers. The ceiling in the great room consists of rough-sawn boards of varying widths and thickness, in order to break up and absorb sound. A mix of vintage, modern and industrial lights and doors give each room a distinctive character.

Seacliff House

A full interior/exterior remodel of the residence in Seacliff, California. We had to fully gut the entire home, reconfigure floor spaces and window openings. The entire home was rewired to include complete media networking cabling and home theater/entertainment network. We improved the environmental impact by adding hydronically heated floors and photovoltaic solar system. We changed all of the windows, doors, refinished the interior and exterior including decorative concrete, hand scraped American Walnut floors and lime finished walls.

The houses special features include a hidden Drop-Down 101″ movie screen for the Ultimate Home Theater Experience. It has a retractable roof above the master bedroom a crows nest office space, subterranian wine cellar and of course, gorgeous views of the Monterey Bay.

“I cannot imagine a better contractor than Pete Testorff. I met him when I was new in the neighborhood, and I did not know of many local contractors. I got his name through an acquaintance’s acquaintance. Now thinking of how much we lucked out… Our project was a complete home remodel, and no stone was left unturned. And it turned out to be virtually worry-free.

I quickly realized that I was dealing with a straight up and honest guy, who was truly my advocate. Pete is the strong leader of a skilled and conscientious team, so I actually had several people on my side. I was particularly impressed by Pete’s ability to communicate clearly what he needed from me ahead of time, such as choices to make or actions to take. And I just left the rest up to him. That alone was good stress relief. Even though we had a creative designer on the team, Pete being a perfectionist with great taste – and sense of style – was crucial in orienting to the overall project, and markedly for specific aspects including decks and landscaping plan in the end, etc… Pete is definitely a team player and interacted with the other members of the team (designer, architect, AV, etc…) creating great synergy, but still placing the owner’s interest first.

He got us good deals when he could, by shopping for several bids like for a stunning hand-made front door. Got us some outstanding elements out of poured concrete. Oh and he met his schedule… a rare feat for remodels, I am told. And as a side benefit, he was fun to work with!

I have high expectations for beauty, style and quality. My husband craves function, convenience and quality (also). Our home turned out more beautiful and perfect than we ever envisioned.”

Caroline Landry, Homeowner

Cliff House

This house had the worst termite damage we’ve ever seen. There were drainage problems. Bad for a house sitting atop a cliff. A major rebuild was required to bring it up to code.

We rebuilt 60% of the original structure. It leaked like mad and we made it a water-tight structure. Spray-foam insulation and a tight envelope made it more environmentally and economically friendly. We installed new doors throughout. New windows and glass railings expanded the views of one of the most popular surf spots in Santa Cruz County.

Seascape Home

Originally built in 1976, new owners requested a full remodel and the addition of a second story above the garage. The house was demolished down to the framing in order to reconfigure the interior.

Note how the master bedroom was opened up to include an open-air en-suite bathroom. The vaulted kitchen transformed a cramped dark kitchen into an beautiful, vaulted ceiling open living space.

Behind the scenes there is closed-cell insulation in the roof as well as passive solar heating and cooling. The stair turret creates a stack-effect which uses convection to draw cool, fresh air into the home.

 

Park Avenue Townhouse

We started from scratch on this townhome with an amazing view overlooking New Brighton State Beach. All new finishes, windows and patio doors elevated the look from stark 1970’s to modern, warm and bright. Major features were upgraded including rough sawn custom cabinets, closet systems and a new modern fireplace. The kitchen was refitted with new appliances. Due to its size and a series of tight staircases, the refrigerator had to be delivered using a crane – 4-stories up.

Pleasure Point Project

This is one of Pete’s favorite projects. It’s an example of what can be built on a limited budget. It uses three simple forms, cubed volumes of space that come together to form a striking layout. This approach made it exceptionally efficient to frame.

Radiant heat is installed throughout. The downstairs floors are concrete, making for natural passive solar as sunlight comes through the bi-fold doors. The home has perfect sun orientation. Solar panels on the flat roof have maximum exposure year round. The entire structure is “super-insulated” to hold heat in the winter and keep it cool all summer long.

The wood features provide unifying elements. The distinctive multi-level siding is made from sustainably cut rosewood. Rosewood gets its name not from its color, but from its rose-like scent. Inside, the floors, stairs and cabinets are made from Lyptus, grown on sustainably-managed plantations. It’s a beautiful wood with a grain reminiscent of mahogany. Unlike mahogany, it can be harvested after 15 years of growth.

Straw Hill Project

An entire interior & exterior remodel and addition to a private residence in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Remodel included removing the entire front of the home and part of rear, to expand these areas. Extensive structural work was performed on all areas of the home to rectify rot damage and substandard foundation and framing conditions. In the end, no substrate was left untouched, and the home benefited greatly from all new finishes and claddings.

This project truly represents the embodiment of energy efficient building starting with spray-in poly-foam insulation, low-emissions glass, solar electricity and hot water, metal roofing and the extensive use of sun shades to reduce solar gain. Additional features include Photovoltaic solar electrical system, Solahart hot water supply, Structured cable networking throughout home and four zone audio and home theater.

Beach Getaway

We knocked down a frightening little surf-shack without a view and built a new custom single family retirement home. Special features a distributed audio system, oversized glass for stunning ocean views, performance engineered structurally, barrel vault roof, quartz stone countertops and hearth.

Environmentally conscious choices include lyptus wood cabinetry from managed forests, zero VOC finishes, quartz stone countertops and hearth, spray poly foam insulation, metal roof, recycled denim insulation, central vac system, tankless water heater and other durable elements.

Meyer Project

This was a complete rebuild of a 1700 sq. ft. single-level family home in order to add a 2nd story and expand the overall square footage to 3000 sq. feet. The project included major upgrades to the foundation, including companion footings and sheer wall footings. Support for the 2nd story required complete new framing of the home to include engineered trusses. In the process we added anew roof, new stucco and upgraded insulation. All exterior and interior walls were also upgraded along with new interior finishes.

Additional niceties include a hardwired home theater, distributed audio system, sound-attenuating insulation for home studio and other features designed by owner for home efficiency. Some of these are concrete counter tops, photovoltaic solar array, tankless water heater, 90% efficient Munchkin boiler for hydronically heated floors in a gypcrete medium and a central vac system.

Lofrumento Project

This was an extensive interior remodel including kitchen, 3 baths, living room, dining room and family room. We modernized the home to include a 6-zone distributed audio with separate home theater designation, custom millwork, hand-scraped hickory floors, as well as custom box beams and moldings.

To make it more environmentally friendly we added on-demand water heaters, solar controls, low emissivity glass, central vac, low or no-VOC interior coatings and finishes and upgraded the insulation to close-cell polyurethane foam.

The owners has some nice things to say about the project:

“To Pete, Derik, Nate, Lisa & everyone else at Testorff Construction, Inc. who helped – THANK YOU!
We are so happy with the results. The house not only looks great, but it works great & feels great. It’s wonderful to be back home & we appreciate all you did you get us such great results.”

Best,
Lucy Lofrumento & Myron Brody

Sunset Beach House

Located within view of Sunset Beach in Watsonville, this was a complete interior/exterior rehabilitation of the home. Extensive repair of pest and weather damage at South side, major structural repairs to entire home. Reconfiguration of interior spaces to enlarge master bedroom suite/wing and reconfigure bed & bath sizes throughout home. No substrate was left untouched. New items included roof, convert exterior siding to stucco, new drywall and finishes throughout. Paint, hardwood floors, granite, marble, tile, all new electrical.

Special features include hyper-custom cabinetry, hardwired home theater and distributed audio systems and postless structural glass rail system. To top it off there’s metal roofing, integrally colored stucco, rapidly renewable flooring, thermal windows and doors, upgraded insulation and managed forest decking.

Aptos Cliffs House

Full interior/exterior remodel, reconfigure interior spaces. Rehabilitation of electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems, repairs of pest damage and deferred maintenance. New roof, new siding, new waterproof membranes, new decks. Replace existing single pane windows with Blomberg Aluminum windows. New paint and drywall inside and out, new finishes and fixtures throughout.

This modern home features custom fabricated stainless steel railings and glass designed by Pete Testorff, a cool front door, concrete fireplace, other custom concrete elements, frosted glass doors throughout home and specialty finishes on cabinetry. If that wasn’t enough, it also contains managed forest decking, concrete counter tops, rapidly renewable flooring materials and Energy Star appliances.

Upscale Kitchens & Baths

You might not think of bathrooms as being beautiful, but we build them with character.

Kitchens are often the hub of a home. It is our experience that a kitchen remodel can completely transform a house.