CFAH

55 Buena Vista Terrace: Doors and deck

It’s a 1905 Edwardian that’s been redesigned by architect Jonathan Feldman and interior designer Joseph Oroza (the seller). Big glass doors with some big city views.

And you’ve got to love that expected post-Labor Day spike in inventory (254 new listings over the past week, 90% in districts other than 10). Unless, of course, it’s competition.

∙ Listing: 55 Buena Vista Terrace (3/3.5) – $3,395,000 [MLS] [residentphotography.com]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by dub dub

    Naive question: although there are not a lot of insects in SF, there are flies, so what’s the best way to keep them out when you are partying/eating on that fantastic deck with those doors open (food around, next to the kitchen, etc)?

  2. Posted by Oceangoer

    We are in Cow Hollow with a backyard full of mature trees and other plantings. We eat out all the time and for some reason are never bothered with flies or other insects. This deck location should be even less insect-bound, given the fact that it is raised and has no plantings.

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Housefly density is directly related to the density of stuff that they eat. One time I traced a fly problem to a neighbor’s trash can. He had a nasty habit of throwing out food trash (old bones, uneaten meat, etc) directly into the can without tying it tightly into a plastic bag first. I hosed out his trash can one day and the problem was gone … for a while.
    If you have a lot of dogs in your neighborhood then you might have an unsolvable problem. Dogs produce premium housefly food.

  4. Posted by noearch

    I never really understand that door type; they pivot versus hinge off the jamb side. they dont really make a lot of sense. you cant walk thru the narrow part anyway, and you have no way to add a screen.
    guess they are stylish and trendy, but not very functional.

  5. Posted by Mole Man

    Keep away flies by getting rid of their environments. Concrete or masonry dead spaces that aren’t drained well and lack air circulation are perfect for flies.
    Those patio doors bug me. French doors kind of work because of the way they are hinged together, but these extra large doors all have the hinges inside the frame. With one it is kind of nifty, but with a row it looks wrong because it introduces a whole series of hinges that are apart from the frames. In general those door systems are supposed to have additional robustness, but I’ve had some really bad experiences with doors like that never swinging quite right.
    And apart from all that it makes me think of some kind of TV game show angle: Will our resident lounge peacefully on the patio beyond door #1, door #2, door #3, or door #4? Where is the beautiful hostess to help? What are the winnings for choosing the correct door?
    It is nice how there is a big rampart to catch items that get thrown of the shelves in case of an earthquake, though that is probably an accident of design.

  6. Posted by dub dub

    Come to think of it, I rarely see door screens in a “high-end” staging photo — almost opposite to the chopped pillow thing.
    I certainly understand the psychology at work (similar to missing window treatments in otherwise fully-staged houses), but I never really noticed it until now 🙂

  7. Posted by anoncurious

    How would you bring the chaise back inside through these doors? Would that be a legal fire exit?
    BTW, I love the work of Resident Photography.

  8. Posted by Ryan

    wow. the agent really likes those doors. there are at least 4 pictures of them. I think a peek-a-boo slider would have been a better idea. these seem extremly unpractical.

  9. Posted by ex SF-er

    they should have used those doors that collapse into themselves (is that what a “peek a boo slider” is?).
    I love it when the whole wall just opens up. we had that in a condo in puerto vallarta and it was amazing… the whole wall just open to the ocean. here the door frames and the doors themselves obstruct the view. maybe it’s a load bearing wall or something and it couldn’t be opened up? seems unlikely to me but who knows.
    also: I would have considered reversing the flow. with the kitchen/Dining room on the front of the home, and the living room placed just in front of those doors. I feel like I’d “use” that view more from my living room than my kitchen/dining room, but that’s just me.
    the house is very cool I guess… too hip for me but I’m sure someone would pay top dollar for something like this.

  10. Posted by curmudgeon

    I have almost never been bothered by insects in SF, and would never install screens. The only time I had mosquitoes was when a neighbor excessively watered his yard, and had stagnant pools.
    Compared to almost any place I’ve been, including New England where I’m from, SF is a paradisically bug free. In New England months go by when you cannot be outside at dusk due to black flies or mosquitoes.

  11. Posted by EBGuy

    FWIW, the point of the doors is not how they look when open, but how they look when closed. There is, structurally, no other way to have a glass “window” that large, which also happens to open. Resident Photography, IMHO, screwed up by taking too many photos with all of them open (see photo 4 for a take of them closed).

  12. Posted by sparky

    EGguy that is not true. You can do a window wall system that opens fully and closes to look like 4, 5, or 6 doors. This is what ex-sfer was refering too. These are made by:
    NanaWall, Quantum, and Marvin to name a few. You can always span 25ft with a beam, and then for shear you can use a Hardi-frame, which would need to be 3-4 feet depending on the ceiling height. SO 21 feet of operable is achievable here.

  13. Posted by curmudgeon

    Very good point, EBGuy. I know that we’re all obsessing about these doors, but as I look at them I realize I have another question. How do these perform in the wind? I know that a major problem with my french doors is securing them to make sure they don’t slam shut when the inevitable strong breeze comes up in the afternoon. Is there a mechanism in the door hinge on this type of door, or would you need to attach the opened doors to something?

  14. Posted by EBGuy

    We are not as culturally sophisticated in the East Bay and tend to have garage doors instead of accordion doors (note the caveats by the architect). The point I was trying to make is that with pivot doors you can have a monstrous, unobstructed SINGLE pane of glass (check out photo 24 for the “door” to the backyard). The accordions usually max out at 3 feet. The pivots give an unimpeded view, are thermally efficient, seal well, and can be “vented” when needed (on those rare SF, balmy days). That said, I need to stop drooling after viewing the NanaWall site…

  15. Posted by tauska

    You’re all missing the point here. The doors and views are spectacular, but have you taken a look at the renovation inside? The architect and designer have created a modern gem that still maintains the original 1905 Edwardian charm. That zebra wall media room looking out onto the garden is my absolute favorite. I can see myself working in the raised office looking out at the bay. This house will fly off the market and command top dollar without a doubt.

  16. Posted by sparky

    What is lost on me is how some houses get panned for not keeping the character and becoming modern interiors with Vic/Edward. exteriors, and some are praised with basically the same finishes. No way does the lower level concrete floor, curved wall, “zebra”wood relate to the exterior. Look at the rear, that existing double bay top floor relates to the lower levels?

  17. Posted by [tauska]

    Regarding those accordion style doors…if they are the ones I am thinking of (and had in my last APT), then I think these look better for one reason…the view. The accordion ones had very narrow panels and thus obstructed the view.
    What I really like about this house is the Edwardian exterior mixed with the post modern interior…very cool and yet not an eye sore.
    With regards to flies…hmmmm, my two cents would be that I have never had a fly issue in SF, I always figured it was too cold!

  18. Posted by Hiram Colas

    WOW
    55 Buana Vista Terrace is amazing. The finishes and the views are amazing. At this price point , this will fly off the shelf imediately. I wonder if the owner is interested in selling the furniture?

  19. Posted by Rocco

    Flies? You people are crazy. If you have a fly in your house, it’s there because you haven’t taken out the trash. You should be more concerned about mosquitos and West Nile Fever.

  20. Posted by BobN

    This window configuration gives you the look (closed) of a retractable wall of windows without the sticker shock.

  21. Posted by redseca2

    The problem with a pivot door tends to be the bottom pivot. You can see the bottom pivot cover plates set into the white sill in the photo.
    Construction Phase Problem – That pivot often needs a recess about as big as a shoe box, right where something structurally important like a beam wants to be. Not insurmountable as a problem, but often more fiddely than first anticipated when you bought into the idea.
    Lifecycle Problem – That same box needs to be waterproof. Both to stop water using it as an access point into the structure; and second, to protect that expensive piece of hardware that is supporting a very heavy door.

  22. Posted by Chris

    I love the FLY debate. Classic. This place is incredible. Meticulous details. It must have taken a while to renovate. I’m on this site all the time and haven’t seen a home this beautiful in a bit of time. I can’t afford this place, but I love to see how the other half lives. The bedroom, the views, THAT SPA!!!

  23. Posted by SocketSite

    The list price for 55 Buena Vista Terrace was just reduced $400,000 (now asking $2,995,000).

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