17509 Via Sereno.

17509 Via Sereno.

17509 Via Sereno was built on a 10,643 sq. ft. lot and is one of 16 tract homes on Via Sereno, located in Monte Sereno. The house was designed by Claude Oakland and built in 1969 by J. L. Eichler Associates. Newly married and without children, we purchased the house in June 1997 from the estate of the original owner. The house is post and beam construction and sits on a slab-on-grade foundation with radiant heating. Now, we now have a son (11) and daughter (7), with both sets of parents as frequent visitors.

Bryan and Jo-Anne on Maui, January 23, 2009.

Bryan and Jo-Anne on Maui, January 23, 2009.

The existing 2,147 square foot house is too small for our family (see the ‘reverse’ floor plan below). We love the community we live in and, after considering the alternatives, we decided to remodel the main floor and put a lower level under the house to provide additional living space to meet our needs for the next 15 years. After living in the house for over 11 years, we are familiar with the property and, through the remodel, will address the issues specific to the property. For resale, we will include highly desirable appliances, features and finishes throughout.


MS-134 (garage on left).


MS-134R (garage on right).

Unfortunately, Eichler houses consume an immense amount of resources (i.e., energy and water). Importantly, we want to have an environmentally friendly house that will have a minimal adverse impact on our environment.

 Our design objectives for the project are to:


(1) increase comfort levels (e.g., cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and quieter throughout);

(2) simplify cleaning and maintenance requirements; and

(3) lower ongoing operating costs.

We will follow the footprint of the existing house, only adding 18 square feet, and change the roof to allow natural light into the new lower level and support photovoltaic solar panels. By providing adequate storage space in the lower level, we can reduce the size of the existing garage to the minimum required by local ordinances. As well, the project will include design elements to reduce the resources required by the swimming pool and landscaping. By addressing the adverse impact on the environment, we intend to obtain LEED for Homes Platinum certification.

Our building objectives include:

(1) using innovative building materials (e.g., hollow core concrete panels);

(2) using innovative building practices; (e.g., building as much of the structure off-site and only assembling the components on-site; and

(3) managing the costs of construction.

Please join us as we go through this journey! 

Oh, we may even include other events as we go through our remodel and construction, including our cruise to Alaska.

Bryan and Jo-Anne, November 7, 2008.

Bryan and Jo-Anne, November 7, 2008.