Archive for July, 2016

by Margie Schuler

Semmes hosted a local interior design group at a recently completed home remodel project and the event was enjoyed by all.

It’s not often a client is gracious enough to open up their home to 30 local designers and their design and build teams but when this happens we are honored at the opportunity to show off our work. This particular home remodel project took just over one year to complete and encompassed remodeling the main house with a garage addition, conversion of original garage wing into home gym with sauna and bath and a media room, remodeling a horse barn into a guest house with garage and wine cellar, converting the horse dressage arena to an orchard with raised planter beds and storage, and extensive landscaping. The transformation of a “vanilla” house into a spectacular custom home was remarkable. Our clients now have a home they are proud of; a home that fits their personality, their lifestyle as new retirees and showcases their various collections. Semmes and Co. Builders, Inc. appreciated working with the Architectural firm Studio 2-G and Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture on this impressive project.

New courtyard between new garage and remodeled garage wings

Dressage arena converted to orchard and garden

Converted barn guest room and wine cellar



Barn exterior after


House exterior before


House exterior after


Back of house


Tom by Tom Moore

I had to cry today…

I have always believed that Will Rogers gave us the quote, “If you want to break your heart, giveJake Portrait it to a dog”. It turns out that my dad may have been the only one to have said that. Although Rudyard Kipling in his poem, “The Power of the Dog”, (must read for any dog lover) wrote, “Brothers and sisters I bid you beware – Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.” I had to send my buddy, Jake to Heaven. (Now for Will Rogers, “If there aren’t any dogs in Heaven, I want to go where they went”). He was 105 years-old in dog years, a long life by any standard, and I have to say ninety-nine percent of those were great years.

The decision to take him in and have the vet do the duty was as hard as any decision I can ever remember. After the deed was done there was a sense of relief and the stab of pain that goes with losing a longtime friend. The days before of making the decision with my wife, Katey were much harder.

I want to give a shout out to the people at El Camino Veterinary Hospital, especially young Dr. Ramos. There was no judgement, only compassion and the only question was, “So you have made the decision?” I was lead into a room with Jake and left with only him and a box of Kleenex (which I used half of) and was left alone to say my goodbyes. Goodbye buddy, I hope to see you where you went.

This doesn’t have a lot to do with building but maybe it shows that we are real people, too. I would also suggest to people that are a little sad about something to take the time to look up Will Rogers online and read some of his quotes. His views, not only on dogs, but on politics are incredibly relevant even now, some eighty or so years later.


Cruise Night 2016

paul-rose by Paul Rose

lemons-into-lemonadeLos Osos  is a leader. It is the first city in California, and the second city in the entire country to implement the water saving, resource conserving program of saving its septic tanks! As part of the conservation direction from the California Coastal Commission the County of San Luis Obispo gave a grant to Central Coast Green Building Council (previously known as  SLO Green Build) to develop a system to save water, develop codes, and a program to promote the re-purposing of septic tanks into water saving cisterns.

LO Sewer 1

You may ask how is this done. Well, when a whole community is building a new sewer system and almost all of the population is going to hook up to the new sewer within a year there can be (in this case), over 4000 septic tanks averaging 1000 gallons each, that were to be crushed or filled with gravel.

LO Sewer2


By simply pressure washing the tank while it is being pumped, and sanitizing it with less than a gallon of bleach, the possibility of this waste can be turned into a community plus.

Once the sanitizing is accomplished, residents can use this resource to re-charge the water zone that used to carry nitrates into the bay with fresh water.

LO Sewer 3

If a resident wants to do more, they can use the stored water for landscape irrigation, or even create legal systems to pipe water back into the residence for toilet flushing.

Currently, Los Osos is still in the process of transferring their home septic systems over onto the municipal sewer system, and over 25% of the residents have chosen to save their tanks. This is just another example of what a group of dedicated individuals can do.

It’s time to get out there and participate!

Our Production Coordinator, Margie Schuler tied the knot on May 20th in Kernville, CA to her loving man, Mike Beruman. Congratulations Margie & Mike – may you have a long, happy & prosperous life together!”

Margie & Mike Wedding

Tom by Tom Moore

On June 25th, 2016, Semmes and Company sponsored a golf team and a tee at the Sixth Annual Atascadero Wine Festival Golf Classic put on by the Atascadero Optimist Club to benefit scholarships for local student planning to move on to two-year programs after graduating from local high schools. The Optimist Club was a great host and attendance was great with at least twenty 4-man teams. Tri-tip sandwiches were included and served at the turn. We don’t have the final tally on how much was raised as we go to print, but judging by the turnout and the way the cash was flowing they surely did quite well. We’re sure the student beneficiaries will be happy to receive these scholarships. Pictured from left to right are Tom Moore, Jeff DeCou, and Rob Ellis of team Semmes. Come join the Optimists next year for a great time at beautiful Chalk Mountain Golf Course.Golf Guys