Achieving a high-end look on a modest budget—in one of the country’s most expensive regions—was made possible by the owner’s expertise.

Homeowner and general contractor Clint Unander redesigned his dated Santa Barbara ranch to be a bright, airy home that combines classic California style with Scandinavian minimalism.

As a project manager at a high-end homebuilder in the Santa Barbara region, Clint Unander is used to working on projects that involve 70 subcontractors with budgets as high as $20 million. So when it came to renovating his own home—a 1,936-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch in the San Roque neighborhood—he was more than prepared to meet the challenge of a strict, four-month timeline (he and his wife, Corinne, had a baby on the way) and a modest budget.  

In fact, Clint’s professional expertise ensured that the project was able to be completed within the timeframe for a total hard cost of $625,867.

$6,000
Permits
$250
Plans & Prints
$22,000
Supervision & Management
$9,750
Miscellaneous Construction
$25,000
Landscape & Irrigation
$19,780
Demolition
$8,000
Trenching & Utilities
$5,500
Fences & Gates
$2,000
Landscape Lighting
$14,050
Miscellaneous Site Work
$39,500
Foundation
$32,000
Concrete Flatwork
$5,000
Structural Steel
$58,700
Rough Framing
$6,500
Finish Carpentry & Millwork
$25,000
Cabinetry
$500
Cabinetry Hardwood
$4,500
Insulation
$16,500
Roofing
$3,500
Gutters & Downspouts
$2,780
Flashing & Sheet Metal
$41,370
Windows & Doors
$1,900
Shower Enclosures
$2,470
Shades
$700
Skylights
$26,000
Drywall & Plaster
$18,250
Tile, Slab, & Stone
$22,500
Wood Flooring
$25,500
Painting & Staining
$500
Mirrors
$5,500
Fireplaces
$500
Bath Accessories
$150
Mail Box
$10,500
Appliances
$28,440
Plumbing & Fixtures
$2,800
Water Treatment
$12,700
HVAC
$19,100
Rough & Finish Electrical
$500
Decorative Lighting
$10,000
Contingency
$80,420
Contractor’s Fee
$9,259
Cost of Insurance
Grand Total: $625,867
Homeowner and general contractor Clint Unander redesigned his dated Santa Barbara ranch to be a bright, airy home that combines classic California style with Scandinavian minimalism.

Homeowner and general contractor Clint Unander redesigned his dated Santa Barbara ranch to be a bright, airy home that combines classic California style with Scandinavian minimalism.

Erin Feinblatt

“It’s hard to get high-quality design completed and executed on a small budget,” says architect Dan Weber of Anacapa, who assisted on the project. He notes that his firm does a lot of projects in this range, but the clients often have design goals beyond what their budget can achieve. 

For these parameters to work, he says, “you need a team that has a really strong creative design sense from the owner’s side, and you need a contractor who can fill in the gaps and make good design decisions.”

Clint and one of his three children hang out on the spacious patio that he added in the backyard.

Clint and one of his three children hang out on the spacious patio that he added in the backyard.

Erin Feinblatt

And that’s the secret sauce of this project: Clint brings both those elements to the table. “This was his vision, his design,” says Weber, who met Clint while working on a house in Montecito. “He was the leader of this whole project. We just helped him get a building permit, really.” 

The modest budget is even more impressive when you consider that the project was essentially a rebuild: They only kept 70% of the original slab and 50% of the framing.

Clint worked with architecture firm Anacapa on the renovation, which removed interior walls to create an open living space with direct access to the backyard.

Clint worked with architecture firm Anacapa on the renovation, which removed interior walls to create an open living space with direct access to the backyard.

Erin Feinblatt 

See the full story on Dwell.com: Budget Breakdown: A Santa Barbara Ranch House Gets a Sophisticated New Look for $626K

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