My Retirement Plan = Pine Box

semmesdev Uncategorized

by Tom Moore

Once that being a builder gets in your blood I don’t believe you can ever get it out, so I don’t see retirement as an option in my future. The reasoning here isn’t really about money, it’s about loving what I do, meeting the people I meet and working with the folks that I work with. I can see slowing down at some point in the future, taking more time off and taking more trips, but the idea of never having to get up to go to work again sounds like more of a death sentence to me than a way to live.

There are few thing as exciting as firing up a project, after what is sometimes more than a year of designing, planning, estimating and so forth, the feel and smell of the dirt, getting dirty, preparing everything for building is just a rush. Then the concrete, everyone loves to play in the mud and at the end of it all you have…well…something concrete. Then the project moves into framing and it seems like the noise never stops, saws, hammers, nail guns and cowboy music, this is when things should really roll ‘n’ roll, you see the walls go up and the roof go on and excitement in the owner’s faces as they get a real feel for the space that they will possibly spend the rest of their lives.

While I get to be out in my fantasy world, co-workers, namely Margie, are in the trenches making sure that decisions are made so I can have the parts and pieces I need when I need them – kind of like Christmas.

We move into the mechanical and finishes and the homeowners are really starting to get excited at the prospect of moving in in about a month (Them, “What do you think? Will it be done in about a month?” Me, “No.”). Once the walls are all finished, counter tops, cabinets and landscaping done, and when appliances are installed, there is a true sense of joy, accomplishment and a feeling between you and the clients that if you could go through this together, you could go through anything together. I don’t think I could live without this in my life.

Thank goodness that American ingenuity hasn’t figured out how to outsource custom home building to another country yet.

I hope they don’t in my lifetime.

Central Coast Green Building Council

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by Paul Rose

The Central Coast Green Building Council has begun its Annual Membership and sponsorship drive. This organization has been adding a green perspective to the building industry since 2007 and continues to partner with other local organizations to provide educational programs and resources. The Annual Gala will highlight our Participation in the national Green Schools program. Please consider becoming a member or even better yet, a sponsor, and come to the Gala!

The event will be held Friday, November 4, 2016 at The Monterey Club in San Luis Obispo.  Admission is just $25 for CCGBC Members/$30 for Non-Members.  For more information and to buy tickets, see the event website.

Semmes and Co Builders is proud to support CCGBC with annual sponsorship and volunteer hours.  Paul is currently serving on the Board of Directors.

If you are not a member, now is a great time to join!  See

Central Coast Interior Design Group Meets at Semmes Remodeled Residence

semmes 2016 Summer Newsletter, Alternative Energy, Remodels, Solar

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


In Memory of Jake (2001-2016)

semmes 2016 Summer Newsletter, Uncategorized

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.