San Diego Design Build General Contractor  

Backyard Remodel
Frontyard Renovations
Hardscape Renovations
Landscape Construction
Stamped Concrete
Specialty sand finish Concrete
Exterior Remodeling
Landscape Transformation
Fence Construction
General Contract

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PacifiCoastal Design


We believe in always exceeding our clients expectations, and is why we have always maintained an  A+ rating with the BBB  (Better Business Bureau)

We are centrally located

in San Diego serving these

communities and

surrounding areas:

San Diego, CA

La Jolla & Del Mar

Cardiff & Solana Beach

Carmel Valley


Rancho Santa Fe

Fairbanks Ranch

Scripps Ranch & Poway

Santa Luz & 4S Ranch

Point Loma & Loma Portal

Bay Park & Bankers Hill

Coronado Island

Pacific Beach & Bay Point

Mission Beach

Mission Hills & Hillcrest

Kensington & North Park

Mt Helix

   A Custom Design Build Construction Company

Focused on Creative Design & Quality Craftsmanship.   

  San Diego General Contractor Builder 



Home Building, Remodeling, Construction Terms & Vocabulary

Educate yourself more about Custom home design, building and general contracting  in San Diego:

Allowances - In some cases the owner has not as yet established definite includes items that will be selected at a later time such as: finish hardware, lighting fixtures, special equipment, floor coverings, countertops or appliances.  It is a flexible way of including in the contract items that are not yet designed, chosen, or specified yet. Allowances are practical for work of indefinite scope or where the quality, configuration, and other specific characteristics have not as yet been determined.

Baseboard - A board around the bottom of a wall perpendicular to the floor. Sometimes called wins, baseboards cover the gap between the floor and the wall, protecting the wall from scuffs and providing a decorative accent       

Blueprints - A type of copying method often used for architectural drawings. Usually used to describe the drawing of a structure, which is prepared by an architect or designer for the purpose of design and planning, estimating, securing permits and actual construction.

Bid security Funds or a bid bond - submitted with a bid as a guarantee to the recipient of the bid that the contractor, if awarded the contract, will execute the contract in accordance with the bidding requirements of the contract documents.

Building Codes - Regulations specifying the type of construction methods and materials that are allowable on a project.

Building (construction) Permit - An authorization issued by a government agency allowing construction of a project according to approved plans and specifications.

Casing - A casing is the wooden trim piece that “frames” the inside or outside opening of a window or door. Most often, and nearly always in the major rooms in a house, interior window and door casings have a decorative molding profile.

Column - A column is an upright structural support that is round in section. In classical architecture, columns have three parts: a base, shaft, and capital, and have a form that tapers from bottom to top.

Caisson - A 10" or 12" diameter hole drilled into the earth and embedded into bedrock 3 - 4 feet. The structural support for a type of foundation wall, porch, patio, monopost, or other structure. Two or more reinforcing bars (rebar) are inserted into and run the full length of the hole and concrete is poured into the caisson hole.

Circuit Breaker - A device which looks like a switch and is usually located inside the electrical breaker panel or circuit breaker box. It is designed to (1) shut of the power to portions or all of the house and (2) to limit the amount of power flowing through a circuit (measured in amperes). 110 volt household circuits require a fuse or circuit breaker with a rating of 15 or a maximum of 20 amps. 220 volt circuits may be designed for higher amperage loads e.g. a hot water heater may be designed for a 30 amp load and would therefore need a 30 amp fuse or breaker.

Construction Contract - A legal document which specifies the what-when-where-how-how much and by whom in a construction project. A good construction contract will include:

1.      The contractors license or registration number.
2.      A statement of work quality such as 'Standard Practices of the Trades' or 'according
          to Manufacturers Specifications'.
3.      A set of Blue Prints or Plans
4.      A construction timetable including starting and completion dates.
5.      A set of Specifications
6.      A Fixed Price for the work, or a Time and Materials formula.
7.      A Payment Schedule.
8.      Any Allowances.
9.      A clause which outlines how any disputes will be resolved.
10.    A written Warrantee.

Cross Section - The page on the blue prints that depicts the house or room as if a vertical plane were passed through the structure.

Crown Molding - Crown molding is a specific type of molding (see below) that runs along the top of an interior wall at the intersection the wall and ceiling, creating a decorative transition between the two.

Eaves - The horizontal exterior roof overhang.

Easement - A formal contract which allows a party to use another party's property for a specific purpose. e.g. A sewer easement might allow one party to run a sewer line through a neighbors property.

Electrical Rough - Work performed by the Electrical Contractor after the plumber and heating contractor are complete with their phase of work. Normally all electrical wires, and outlet, switch, and fixture boxes are installed (before insulation).

Elevations - An elevation is any wall on a house and is usually described by its compass orientation (west elevation, for example); the front or primary elevation is the façade.

Flashing - Flashing is made of sheet metal or another impervious material. Its purpose is to prevent water from penetrating a building at a joint or angle, generally on the roof. The most common locations for roof flashing are at valleys (where two downward sloping roof planes meet), chimneys, eaves, rakes, ridges, roof-to-wall intersections, and at roof penetrations such as skylights, stovepipes

and vents.

Framing Contractor and his crew arrives on the jobsite after the foundation contractor finishes. The framing crew proceeds to install the sill plate, which provides the base for constructing the floor system, walls and roof structure, in that order.

Foundation - The supporting portion of a structure below the first floor construction, or below grade, including the footings.

Gas lateral- The trench or area in the yard where the gas line service is located, or the work of installing the gas service to a home.

General contractor - A general contractor is the contractor with main responsibility for the construction, improvement, or renovation project under contract, and is the party signing the prime construction contract for the project. The general contractor is the person or entity who hires all of the subcontractors and suppliers for a project. He is responsible for the execution, supervision and overall coordination of a project and may also perform some of the individual construction tasks.
Remodeling contractor - a general contractor who specializes in remodeling work.

Specialty contractor - licensed to perform a specialty task e.g. electrical, plumbing, roofing, etc.
Sub contractor - a general or specialty contractor who works for another general contractor.

Hardscape - Refers to the built environment including paved areas like streets and sidewalks, structures, walls,[1] street amenities, pools and fountains, and fireplaces and fire pits.

Hardie Plank – Hardie Plank is a proprietary name for a relatively new building material used for exterior sheathing and made out of fiber cement board. Meant to imitate wooden clapboards, this product is promoted as a sustainable replacement to wooden clapboards, with lower maintenance costs.

HVAC System - HVAC stands for heating, ventilating and cooling system. HVAC systems are used in buildings to control environmental conditions, meaning temperature, air quality and, to a lesser degree, relative humidity. HVAC systems range from simple to very complex and often have computerized controls to help the system maintain strict temperature and humidity levels.

 Joists - Regardless of the framing type, floors in a house are supported by joists, long timbers that span the distance from an outside wall to a partition or interior wall and support either the floor boards.

 Interior Woodwork - Interior woodwork includes all the wooden elements found inside buildings, such as: window and door casings, baseboard, crown molding, chair rails and wainscot, mantels, built-in cupboards and shelves, staircases, railings, balusters, and newel posts. Decorated or embellished with details, interior woodwork elements often define the architectural style of a house (see also Molding). Woodwork is usually painted, stained or varnished.

Millwork- Lumber that is shaped to a given pattern or molded form. It includes dressing,

Lien - An encumbrance that usually makes real or personal property the security for payment of a debt or discharge of an obligation.

Load bearing wall - Includes all exterior walls and any interior wall that is aligned above a support beam or girder.

Mechanics lien - A lien on real property in favor of persons supplying labor or materials for a building or structure, for the value of labor or materials supplied by them.  Clear title to the property cannot be obtained until the claim for the labor, materials, or professional services is settled.

Molding - Moldings (also often spelled in its British version moulding) are decorative pieces added to structural elements (such as cornices, capitals, bases, door and window jambs, etc.) to introduce aesthetic variation (also see Interior Woodwork). Traditionally of wood, moldings can have profiles that are curved, rectilinear or a combination of the two.

 Nail Inspection - An inspection made by a municipal building inspector after the drywall material is hung with nails and screws (and before taping).

 Nonbearing wall - A wall supporting no load other than its own weight.

 Permit – A governmental municipal authorization to perform a building process:
Zoning\Use permit - Authorization to use a property for a specific use e.g. a garage, a single family residence etc.

Demolition permit - Authorization to tear down and remove an existing structure.

Grading permit - Authorization to change the contour of the land.

Septic permit - A health department authorization to build or modify a septic system.

Building permit - Authorization to build or modify a structure.

Electrical permit - A separate permit required for most electrical work.

Plumbing permit - A separate permit required for new plumbing and larger    modifications of existing plumbing systems.

Payment schedule - A pre-agreed upon schedule of payments to a contractor usually based upon the amount of work completed. Such a schedule may include a deposit prior to the start of work.


Plot plan - An overhead view plan that shows the location of the home on the lot. Includes all easements, property lines, set backs, and legal descriptions of the home. Provided by the surveyor.

Point load - A point where a bearing/structural weight is concentrated and transferred to the foundation.

Plumbing rough - Work performed by the plumbing contractor after the Rough Heat is installed. This work includes installing all plastic ABS drain and waste lines, copper water lines, bath tubs, shower pans, and gas piping to furnaces and fireplaces. Lead solder should not be used on copper piping. Plan view- Drawing of a structure with the view from overhead, looking down.

Zoning - A governmental process and specification which limits the use of a property e.g. single family use, high rise residential use, industrial use, etc. Zoning laws may limit where you can locate a structure. Also see building codes.

Rafter - Rafters are the slanting members of a roof, extending from eaves to the ridge of the roof.

Retaining wall - A structure that holds back a slope and prevents erosion.

Specifications or Specs - A narrative list of materials, methods, model numbers, colors, allowances, and other details which supplement the information contained in the blue prints. Written elaboration in specific detail about construction materials and methods. Written to supplement working drawings.

Stop Order - A formal, written notification to a contractor to discontinue some or all work on a project for reasons such as safety violations, defective materials or workmanship, or cancellation of the contract.

Sump pump - A submersible pump in a sump pit that pumps any excess ground water to the outside of the home.

Schedule (window, door, mirror)- A table on the blueprints that list the sizes, quantities and locations of the windows, doors and mirrors.

Standard practices of the trade
- One of the more common basic and minimum construction standards. This is another way of saying that the work should be done in the way it is normally done by the average professional in the field.

Electrical Trim - Work performed by the electrical contractor when the house is nearing completion. The electrician installs all plugs, switches, light fixtures, smoke detectors, appliance "pig tails", bath ventilation fans, wires the furnace, and "makes up" the electric house panel. The electrician does all work necessary to get the home ready for and to pass the municipal electrical final inspection

Walk-Through - A final inspection of a home before "Closing" to look for and document problems that need to be corrected.






About Our Company:   PacifiCoastal Design  is a full-service residential design build firm in San Diego,  providing exceptional customer service, creative design & quality craftsmanship.  Over the past 13 years as a licensed general contractor we have maintained an excellent reputation in the industry as well as maintaining an A+ rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) year after year.

“A reputation based on integrity, honesty, and quality workmanship.”

We are not only your residential home builder/remodeler & general contractor but we are your design team as well. Whether you’re planning on building your future home or simply want an architectural remodel or renovation, our design team will listen closely to your specific desires, offer suggestions, and develop a clear vision for the project. By utilizing the design-build approach, we are able to develop the architectural design as well as follow the project through to completion. This hands-on process allows us to ensure the project receives the utmost care from beginning to end.


Our Philosophy is simple:  To exceed our client’s expectations.   We achieve this by providing creative design, quality craftsmanship, providing great value and excellent customer experience. 

Do you specialize in a particular design style?  Regardless of what style of home you prefer, our design flexibility allows us to customize a plan unique for each client.  You may be leaning towards such as a particular style such as: Mediterranean, Old World, Traditional, European, Tudor or a possibly a mixture of design styles.  Our creative design team will develop a custom tailored plan to suit your preferences & reflects your personal tastes.  

What to expect working with PacifiCoastal Design

When working with PacifiCoastal Design expect to experience professional & personalized service along with creative design & superior workmanship.  The complete satisfaction of our clients remains our highest priority. We work hard every day to complete your project on time & on budget while maintaining the highest quality standards.  Our goal is to exceed our client’s expectations by going the extra mile for our clients everyday. We believe that truly exceptional customer service begins at the first phone call, continues through the span of a project, and even after your job is completed.  

Company Bio 

Rich Lawrence is the founder of PacifiCoastal Design and been in the construction industry for over 20 years.   His extensive experience includes design and space planning, project management, construction document preparation, sub contractor coordination, and plan permitting.  Rich oversees every project with personal attention from start to finish, bringing to the table a wealth of knowledge, experience and an unprecedented eye for detail.

  “It is most important to me that each project is completed to perfection and that I am able to be involved in every step of the process on every project.”

 –Rich Lawrence / PacifiCoastal Design Founder

His background experience began as an apprentice carpenter at an early age 18 working on a framing crew building custom homes and estates in a prestigious Northern California development.   Rich later moved to San Diego and studied Architecture Design and Construction Technologies while in college.  Afterwards he continued working for several more years in Rancho Santa Fe & Fairbanks Ranch for some of the top home builders in the area.  Then in 2003 Rich obtained his general contractors license.   Over the course of the past 13 years, Rich consulted on and worked with hundreds of homeowers regarding their construction & remodeling projects  throughout San Diego.  With this experience Rich has developed excellent communication skills and an ability to work with all types of people and personalities and enjoys helping clients create their dream home.



  San Diego Home Design & Remodeling  - CA State Licensed & Bonded  General Contractor, Builder. CSLB lic#829428

PacifiCoastal Design






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 Hiring a San Diego General Contractor Builder

   1. Ask contractor for References: 

       Ask for a list of references from the contractor whom you plan on hiring.   Any

    professional  should have several recent references.   Obtaining positive feedback from the

    contractors previous clients will give you extra assurance that you are making the right

    decision about hiring  them.   You could call the references and ask a few simple questions 

    such as: 

        - Were you happy with the craftsmanship & overall quality of work? 

        - Was anything left unfinished or seem unsatisfactory to you? 

        - Did they leave the job site clean during construction and after completion? 

        - Would you recommend the contractor to someone else?

   In conclusion,  if several others  clients have had positive experiences working with that

   contractor then the chances are likely that you will have a positive experience as well.

   2. View contractor'sPortfolio.  A professional  General Contractor or Custom Home

    Builder / Remodeler will have an extensive photo portfolio to showcase their previously

    completed projects.   Even better would be to view their completed projects first hand to

    view actual workmanship.  Sometimes photos can be blurry and do not show the

    imperfections in the contractors work.  After viewing  a   contractors portfolio ask yourself:

         - Does their workmanship appear to be high quality?

         - Are you impressed with their portfolio.


    3. Obtain (3) written bids on your construction project.  

    When comparing multiple bids from a contractor be sure you're comparing apples to apples,

    meaning compare similar specifications and scope of work.  Do not automatically accept t

    the lowest bid.  Often times a low bidder may perform
    low or poor quality work and incorrect
construction techniques.   Consider quality and value

    before choosing and try to hire someone you feel will do quality work and not cut corners.   It

    may be worth hiring a professional who has the expertise,  proven track record and a

    reputation for high quality work.