Inspiration from Touring the Margarido House

Matt Jung of 88HVAC arranged for a a private showing of the Margarido House, a LEED Platinum home located in Oakland, California. The builder/owner of the house, Michael McDonald, was incredibly gracious to host Scott Andersen, Bill Brown, Matt Jung and Bryan Mekechuk for a private viewing of his home.

All of us had reviewed the video on Mike’s web site (www.margaridohouse.com) and were impressed with the beautiful home that Mike and his team had built. Today was a crystal-clear, blue-sky, California day (not a cloud to be seen) and the view of San Francisco was absolutely spectacular!

Starting the Day

After breakfast and before going to Oakland, Bryan’s mother, Elaine, walked our construction site to observe the progress to date. Our son, Nik, had to go into the excavation and inspect the Bobcat.

Elaine on site with Scott.

Elaine on site with Scott.

Nik inspecting the excavation.

Nik inspecting the excavation.

Nik's real goal - the Bobcat!

Nik's real goal - the Bobcat!

Any key inspections, of course, are under Jo-Anne’s watchful eye.

Jo-Anne and Nik on the observation deck.

Jo-Anne and Elaine on the observation deck.

Private Viewing of the Margarido House

Scott and Bryan drove to Oakland for our 1:30 pm meeting at the Margarido House. Just as we were arriving, we received a call from Bill Brown – he was right behind us! Since we were 15 minutes early, we took a few minutes to catch up and then reviewed the street-level sign in front of the Margarido House. As background, Scott and Bryan met with Bill Brown on March 13.

Bill Brown reviewing sign in front of the Margarido House.

Bill Brown reviewing the sign in front of the Margarido House.

Custom railing leading to the Margarido House.

Custom railing leading to the Margarido House.

Looking up to the Margarido House.

Looking up to the Margarido House.

The permeable pavers integrate with the rainwater catchment system, reducing the requirement to use external water.

Permeable pavers integrate with the rainwater catchment system.

Permeable pavers integrate with the rainwater catchment system.

Matt Jung joined us moments later.

Matt Jung arrives at the Margarido House.

Matt Jung arrives at the Margarido House.

Having seen pictures and, best of all, the videos of the Margarido House on Mike’s web site and in various publications, we were honored to be entering the house.

Entrance to the Margarido House.

Entrance to the Margarido House.

The views from the house were absolutely spectacular, especially without a single cloud in the sky. We could see San Francisco and Golden Gate Bridge – it was magic!

Bill and Scott enjoying the views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from the roof-top garden on the Margarido House.

Bill and Scott enjoying the views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from the roof-top garden on the Margarido House.

Mike walked us through the house, explaining some of the design and building challenges that they faced during construction. Also, he said that there is a significant amount of documentation on his web site, including a complete and comprehensive list of the suppliers and contractors that he engaged.

Array of 24 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof.

Array of 24 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof.

We were all impressed with how the design of the house ‘fit’ with the hillside location and how the various ‘green’ elements were integrated with the design. For example, the landscaping utilized the rainwater catchment system to provide irrigation and to create very pleasing visual effects with the flowing water.

Top view of side yard garden.

Top view of side yard garden.

Falling water from rainwater catchment system.

Falling water from rainwater catchment system.

Mike, with his daughter, pointing out the details to Bill and Matt.

Mike, with his daughter, pointing out the details to Bill and Matt.

Given the requirement for stairs in our house, we certainly admired the design and details of the steps leading to the upper level in the Margarido House.

Stairs to upper level in Margarido House.

Stairs to upper level in Margarido House.

Also, we admired the bathroom designs, and the use of color in the tiles.

Shower with floor-to-ceiling tiles.

Shower with floor-to-ceiling tiles.

Close up of tiles, showing rich colors.

Close up of tiles, showing rich colors.

Mike saved the master suite to the end, knowing that this is one of the highlights of his house.

Master bathtub with views of San Franciso.

Master bathtub with views of San Franciso.

We caught Scott in a reflective moment, inspired by the design elements throughout the house and that master suite.

Scott in a reflective moment, while savouring the view from the deck outside the master suite.

Scott in a reflective moment, while savoring the view from the deck outside the master suite.

As we mentioned, throughout our visit Mike McDonald was incredibly gracious, answering all of our questions and giving us new ideas to consider. We were thankful for Matt to arrange for this private showing of the Margarido House and our meeting with Mike.

Bill Brown and Mike McDonald in the kitchen area.

Bill Brown and Mike McDonald in the kitchen area.

Of the many features in the Margarido House, we all enjoyed the Nanawall doors opening the main floor of the house to the outside, including the views of San Francisco.

Bill and Scott enjoying the views.

Bill and Scott enjoying the views.

Yes, it was certainly inspiring to see the Margarido House in person.

Leaving the Margarido House.

Leaving the Margarido House.

Dinner with Scott and Sue

We started the day with breakfast at Three Degrees Restaurant (in the Toll House Hotel) in Los Gatos and, after a very full day, enjoyed an incredible dinner at Manresa Restaurant, also in Los Gatos.

Scott, Sue, Jo-Anne and Bryan enjoying dinner at Manresa Restaurant.

Scott, Sue, Jo-Anne and Bryan enjoying dinner at Manresa Restaurant.

Scott and Sue, thank you for visiting, and thank you for dinner.

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