Home Building, Design and Construction terminology Glossary:

Architect - a person who designs buildings and advises in their construction.

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.

Design - The creative illustration, planning and specification of space for the greatest possible amount of harmony, utility, value and beauty.

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.

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. The framers also install subflooring, exterior house boxing and roof deck sheathing. In order to accomplish this successfully, the framing contractor must be able to read blueprints and understand architectural symbols. Residential framing contractors work on single-family, duplex and multi-family projects, which are generally restricted to four or fewer units.

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

Landscape Architecture - The science and art of design, planning, management and stewardship of the land. Landscape architecture involves natural and built elements, cultural and scientific knowledge, and concern for resource conservation to the end that the resulting environment serves a useful and enjoyable purpose. Successful landscape architecture maximizes use of the land, adds value to a project and minimizes costs, all with minimum disruption to nature.

Landscape Architect - A professional who designs, plans, and manages outdoor spaces ranging from entire ecosystems to residential sites and whose media include natural and built elements; also referred to as a designer, planner, consultant. Not to be confused with landscapers, landscape contractors or nurserymen.

Landscape Contractor - A trained builder or installer of landscapes, retained to implement the plans of landscape architects.

Landscape Designer - Much like garden designers, landscape designers work to design and create all different types of landscapes, performing many similar services, but they are not registered or licensed and do not hold the distinction and title of a landscape architect.

Masonry - is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, building stone such as marble, granite, travertine, and limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, and cob. Masonry is generally a highly durable form of construction. However, the materials used, the quality of the mortar and workmanship, and the pattern in which the units are assembled can significantly affect the durability of the overall masonry construction. A person who constructs masonry is called a mason.

Patio - A patio is any area that is paved with materials including bricks, concrete, and stones to provide a place for entertainment or recreational purposes.

Remodel - to renew, renovate, re-create, re-form, change the shape or appearance of an existing structure or building.

Retaining Walls - Retaining walls are structures built to support soil or water and prevent either from advancing forward.

Softscape - The natural elements with which landscape architects work, such as plant materials and the soil itself.

Stamped Concrete - Stamped concrete is plain concrete stamped in a decorative way to add elegance to driveways, patios, and walkways.

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

 Top 3 things to do...before before hiring a Contractor:

   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  Designer or Contractor will have an

    extensive photo portfolio to showcase their previously completed projects.   Even better would be to view their completed projects first hand to see the details.  Sometimes photos cna be blurry and now 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 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 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.

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

Become Inspired     View our work and browse through our extensive   Design & Build Portfolio.   Whether it is inside or outside, with a vision, creativity and a plan, we can help you turn an ordinary living space into an extraordinary one.

Fine design & building inside and out  since 2003

PacifiCoastal Design -  In this photo you see a project which entailed many phases of design & construction including:  installing french doors, structural remodeling, new slate patio seating area, stamped concrete driveway, concrete patios & pathways, stone pillars & seat wall,  patio cover pergola, Ipe hardwood decks & benches,  retaining walls,  stonework, masonry, entry gates for pedestrian and vehicles, voice intercom, iron fencing, landscaping, irrigation, drainage and  landscape lighting. and dry river....

PacifiCoastal Design

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To learn more about architecture, remodeling & landscape renovations visit our blog:

About Our Company:

      PacifiCoastal Design is a premier quality design/build firm providing high-end craftsmanship and creative design solutions and general contracting building services.    Our company has  established an excellent reputation because of our commitment to excellence, quality work and customer satisfaction.    From design down to the smallest details,  each project is completed with a meticulous attention to detail during each phase of construction.   Our philosophy is to always exceed our  client's expectations by providing creative, innovative design, exceptional workmanship and by using only high quality building materials.  Our philosophy of always providing the highest quality product to our customers is the reason why we have such a excellent reputation in the industry and never had a complaint since we been in business in 2003.  

     " We believe that success is measured one project at a time and one client at a time; this is what a company's reputation is based on."
      Behind PacifiCoastal Design, is designer / general contractor,  Rich Lawrence.   As a master craftsman with 20+ years of Construction & Design experience remodeling custom homes, building hardscapes & landscapes. Rich personally handles any critical aspect of each project himself, working hands on in order to maintain the extremely high standard of quality he has set for his company.  Rich has an extensive knowledge and education in  Architectural Design, Landscape Design, and Building Construction Technologies in all phases of remodeling: Carpentry, Framing, Structural Remodeling, Interior and Exterior finishes,  Masonry, Concrete, Horticulture, Outdoor Lighting, Irrigation & drainage systems.   Before starting the company,  Rich worked for many years with high end custom home builders before obtaining his own General Contractors License in 2002.   

Contact Us Today!

PacifiCoastal Design



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(Better Business Bureau)

  San Diego Remodeling and Landscape Firm - CA State Licensed & Bonded  General Contractor, Builder. CSLB lic#829428

  A San Diego custom design-build firm