1391 Clayton: Site (Image Source: MapJack.com)
Not yet officially listed (nor inventory), but coming soon and testing the waters at a price of $2,795,000. The all new 1391 Clayton Street boasts one wine cellar, two decks and two master suites, a total of four bedrooms, and a four car garage.
1391 Clayton: Exterior (www.SocketSite.com)
UPDATE: Additional insight from a plugged-in reader:

I live two blocks above this place and have watched it from the start. About 3 weeks ago one of the guys doing the stone work on the lower exterior allowed me to look inside the house. They didnt have any cabinets up in the kitchen yet but I could see the hardwood floors and the house has been fully wired. The best part of this place are is the amazing views, and from every level of the home. There is also an elevator in the home so you dont have to take all the steps. The bathrooms were done nicely. The stonework is phenomenal and the main bedrooms had seperate shower, tub, double sinks and also wired for sound. I didnt see the sauna stated on realtors site but the house had a lot of space and it might not have been completed yet. The garage is bigger than 4 cars so either that is where the wine cellar will be going or maybe some sort of gym or workout room. I would say you can fit 6 cars in easy.

UPDATE: And even if you’re not interested in the house, perhaps you’ll be interested in a conversation about the siding.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by majr

    I like the look of this place. The street is busy though. At this price though, its all funny money to me. This sounds crazy, but I have a hard time understanding the pricing of homes above $1M.

  2. Posted by sf

    The stone they used at the ground level is gorgeous. Pretty nice, but I kind of prefer the look of the vacant lot (and I’m sure the neighbors did as well!).

  3. Posted by San FronziScheme

    I am confused by the Realtor’s web site. That’s not Corona Heights, right? Or did they move the Hill last night? I always considered this area to be Upper Market. Busy, tacky neighborhood with lots of views but boring non-distinct cubes.
    And this house is on the wrong side of the street to really be interesting in terms of views. Sure you have a view, but your many many windows are facing the street. Either you live with your blinds down all the time or you crawl on the floor in your undies. A big waste of windfall money.

  4. Posted by sparky

    This house sits way above the houses on the other side of the street. So you can keep your blinds up. Big downtown views.
    The thing is the lot to the left is permitted for the same structure. So what is the negative cost of that future construction?

  5. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Higher, sure. And the neighbors across the street have a real private view and no incentive to look at what’s happening tonight at 1391. I am talking about passer-bys. This is close to a pretty popular Twin Peaks/Clarendo Hts walk.
    The pic was taken from street level during daytime and you can see the walls on the 3rd level (garage + 2). I suggest having an in-house gym and tanning salon to always look your best.

  6. Posted by a2d

    I suggest having an in-house gym and tanning salon to always look your best.
    Dude, you are just a few steps from the Castro…

  7. Posted by S&S

    ROTFLMAO @ San FronziScheme and a2d! 😀
    It is beautiful, though … until the exterior wood turns that pukey grayish-white after a few years.

  8. Posted by Impressed Neighbor

    I live two blocks above this place and have watched it from the start. About 3 weeks ago one of the guys doing the stone work on the lower exterior allowed me to look inside the house. They didnt have any cabinets up in the kitchen yet but I could see the hardwood floors and the house has been fully wired. The best part of this place are is the amazing views, and from every level of the home. There is also an elevator in the home so you dont have to take all the steps. The bathrooms were done nicely. The stonework is phenomenal and the main bedrooms had seperate shower, tub, double sinks and also wired for sound. I didnt see the sauna stated on realtors site but the house had a lot of space and it might not have been completed yet. The garage is bigger than 4 cars so either that is where the wine cellar will be going or maybe some sort of gym or workout room. I would say you can fit 6 cars in easy.

  9. Posted by noearch

    Love this property. and we’re going to continue to see steep, vacant lots like this get built upon, which will be costly but buildable. views are great. nice project.
    by the way, the exterior looks like clear cedar with a clear sealer. this will not fade and weather into a greyish-white as one comment said. you need to undertand materials better.

  10. Posted by S&S

    So I stand corrected on my ignorance, but why the need for the caustic comment, noearch? Not everyone is a fancy-schmancy architect like you are. But I’m not going to engage in the mud-slinging that is typical of this site. I’m done.

  11. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “…by the way, the exterior looks like clear cedar with a clear sealer. this will not fade and weather into a greyish-white…”
    I’m curious about what sort of sealer can handle outdoor conditions, particularly on south faces. I’ve seen multiple (5+) coats of polyurethane used which holds up well for about 4 years. Then the wood underneath starts to separate from the poly (shrinkage ? outgassing ?) and that creates a cloudy, nasty looking finish.
    Is there a better solution ? Something that would look nice for 10+ years would be reasonable. I can’t see refinishing exterior wood every 4 years.

  12. Posted by amused

    Did anybody else get a good laugh from SEXY & SASSY (I miss the whole name): a) sling mud and then, b) publicly refrain from mud-slinging?
    “Not everyone is a fancy-schmancy architect like you are. But I’m not going to engage in the mud-slinging that is typical of this site”
    Of course you’re not.
    GREAT building, btw.

  13. Posted by noearch

    Oil based penetrating stain/sealer would be the best for this siding; most have UV protection in the system to prevent fading and that “greyish” look.
    however most, if not all manuf. recommend re-sealing every 2-4 years. thats pretty normal.

  14. Posted by noearch

    I loved S&S’s comment. wow. he (or she) is sensitive..way too much.
    esp to engage in mudslinging here on socketsite. par for the course. that’s what makes it interesting.
    if ya cant stand the heat..ah..stay off the site.

  15. Posted by Morgan

    I like this design also. Sending a link to this as I am trying to get a client to consider stained cedar on a residential project in Pacific Grove, and the wood work looks well done on this residence from what I can make out in the picture.

  16. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Needs refinishing every 2-4 years ? Man, that’s a high maintenance exterior finish !
    Makes one yearn for the days when aluminium siding was fashionable. That stuff is durable ! (but looks tacky )
    I think I’ll stick to good old paint.

  17. Posted by kaya

    IMO, you could’ve left the last sentence off your 1:04 PM post and been just as effective. I find a lot of the snide remarks that get thrown here to range from useless to detracting. Sorry to single you out (you’re not the only one), but IMO, the editor has already weighed in on the side of civility and I think a lot of us could do better to follow that lead.
    In any case, the background info on the stain is helpful.
    [Editor’s Note: Agreed (and cheers).]

  18. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Sure, nice house. But I don’t get why privacy would come second to view or wow effect. This is a home after all, not a storefront.

  19. Posted by Tom

    S&S is just one more ultra-passive-aggressive poster/resident that makes SS and SF the fun places that they are! To the point of what to use to keep this wood looking new, in my experience only a penetrating sealer, whether pigmented or clear, will work. And it needs maintenance, every 2-4 years in a maritime climate like SF. If you let it lapse, it will start to gray, and then if you hit it again with the sealer it can look better but color will only return with a pigmented sealer. So if you go with clear/non-pigmented, you really must keep up with maintenance in my experience.

  20. Posted by redseca2

    There is regular maintenance involved in keeping a wood finish like this “young” looking.
    My neighbors across the street completed a new top floor addition in spring 2007 that has siding with a penetrating sealer finish that looks very much like this.
    They re-coated in spring this year, including removing the planters and furnishings from the terrace areas. It made the outdioor spaces off-limits for a week or more.
    They have western exposure in the upper Haight/Ashbury.

  21. Posted by anotherarch

    The siding will fade. Even the best UV inhibitors will not keep cedar from fading. Clear stains are even worse at protecting the wood than a solid body stain especially if it was sprayed on rather than worked in with a brush. That said, it should fade to a handsome color. If that is copper cladding on the steel moment frame it will have a chemical reaction with the cedar oils which will cause it to deteriorate. You should never put copper in contact with cedar. Nice project though.

  22. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Talking about wood (I’m a neophyte), how is cedar faring in the long run compared to other resistant (but less sustainable) wood types? Do we have enough history in Northern CA?
    And if cedar is not treated, apart from the cosmetic issues, does that affect insect resistance?

  23. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “You should never put copper in contact with cedar”
    Even more importantly, you should never put copper in contact with steel. galvanic corrosion will rapidly rust the metals away.

  24. Posted by noearch

    some of us got a good laugh from S&S..some apparently didnt. that’s cool too.
    as for my comment on the siding, I dont think it was either caustic, snide or in the category of mud-slinging. I was merely suggesting to someone they “need to understand materials better”.. you can “read” what you want into that.
    I enjoy offering my opinion here, as both a homeowner and architect. that’s what it is. some don’t like my opinions. some do. my opinions are based on my particular experience in the field of residential architecture.
    but what’s the point in shooting the messenger just ’cause you dont like the message?

  25. Posted by tipster

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall at least the realtor’s brochure on this house when it was first built (maybe 2002 or 2004 or thereabouts) said the trim was cedar. It seems to have held up over the years.
    I really DO need to know my materials better, so forgive me if it’s not cedar.
    It’s the house in the center of this photo. Just the trim.

  26. Posted by ex SF-er

    I like the look of this house. needing to refinish every 2-4 years would be too much for me though.
    People down the street from me had cedar siding put on their home. It looked great. They were assured it would not fade or turn grey. It faded and turned grey. They have now ripped it all off and put up some sort of composite material that looks like cedar shakes but isn’t wood.
    there’s often all these new products that come out with the promise of always looking new, but then they’re a pain to take care of. My least favorites right now: concrete countertops and bamboo floors. but as always, I’ve been assured by my designer friends that the products are “better now”. we’ll see. I’m watching the bamboo floors in my friend’s condo in ORH, and a different friend just got concrete countertops.
    I’m not optimisic about the bamboo flooring… but evidently CHENG concrete countertops are the bomb and will actually be functional. sigh. probably will be just another letdown for me.

  27. Posted by Tom

    tipster, that is not the same house! This house was just built starting in 2007 and is cut into a steep retaining wall on Clayton. You can’t miss it, and it is not that house in your link.

  28. Posted by ex SF-er

    Tipster knows that’s not the same house. He’s using the house to show that cedar can still look new after 4-6 years or so.

  29. Posted by noearch

    this is an interesting thread for sure..
    YES, cedar can look good for many years..
    what I’m reading into this thread is how many people want “guarantees” in life. they dont want the cedar to fade. they dont want the concrete countertops to crack. they dont want the bamboo floors to scratch.etc. etc.
    guess what? building materials do deteriorate.nothing lasts forever, but if you do certain things to maintain it, it can last a long time. yes, bamboo can scratch. so does oak.
    the point is to pick the materials YOU like, with the caveat that some maintenance will be necessary over the long term to keep it looking nice.
    by the way, I appreciate Tom’s comments.

  30. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Cedar can be definitely a good choice, but how does it measure up in durability with traditional materials? I’ve seen a friend’s house built in 1902 with some original redwood side boards (never painted, the houses almost touch each other) that are still in great shape. Or course, we’re talking about 2 types of wood very different cosmetically, I understand that. Just wondering how they hold in comparison.

  31. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    …what I’m reading into this thread is how many people want “guarantees” in life…
    guarantees no, but certainly one wants to understand the characteristics of materials before installing them. As much as I like the look of refined furniture-like finished wood on the exterior of a house like this, I’m too cheap/lazy to commit to the maintenance required. Others who have a stronger affinity toward this finished wood look might not mind the higher maintenance.
    With new fixtures and materials being employed in novel ways there’s little history of how it will age. Sometimes the surfaces age gracefully. Other times they end up looking nasty (hello vinyl window frames !)

  32. Posted by dissent

    4 car garages should be outlawed.

  33. Posted by repornaddict

    I thought Ipe was the perferred material ??? please some bmat smarty pants respond so I know if I need to kill my contractor or not…

  34. Posted by ex SF-er

    …what I’m reading into this thread is how many people want “guarantees” in life…
    and you don’t? I don’t necessarily always need a guarantee, but I wouldn’t mind getting a truthful representation of the product being sold.
    So if someone sells me bamboo floors and says “these are great and renewable and durable” then they should be those things. To date, most of them are renewable for sure. But not durable. And yes, all floors scratch, but bamboo floors scratch like CRAZY. it isn’t even the same league.
    So I would be content if someone sold me bamboo floors and said “these are very environmentally friendly and renewable and they look great. unfortunately, you must be careful with these floors compared to other hardwood floors that you might be used to”
    this was my problem with concrete countertops as well. I seriously considered buying them. The claims that I heard were that they were durable and nearly indestructable and that they could be used (I USE my kitchen and I cook a lot… but I don’t want a high-maintenance kitchen). Instead, I found out (luckily prior to purchasing) that you can’t put hot things on concrete, you must wipe up spills immediately, and that you must re-seal them or wax them.
    when my friends got concrete countertops and then they stained and faded and chipped the person who sold them blithely said “well that’s part of the charm of concrete! It’s a patina!” They never heard about this charm until AFTER the countertops were put in and AFTER the countertops had ring stains where the wine glasses had sat during a party, or where it burned becuase a baking dish was put on the concrete countertops.
    and as for cedar. I LOVE the look of cedar when it’s put in. but in my experience it doesn’t tend to remain looking like that for long. THere are new products, with the PROMISE that “this time it’s different”. but we’ve all heard that before.
    A lot of us aren’t designers or architects noearch. I’m sorry if it hurts your feelings that I want an accurate representation of the VERY EXPENSIVE products that you want to sell me.

  35. Posted by noearch

    those are good points, ex SF-er. personally, I dont want or need guarantees in my life. it’s the old risk/reward point of view.
    however, as for building materials, yes it does make sense to try and select products that you will like once they are installed and used; and yes, it makes sense that the “seller” or manufacturer does a good job of pointing out the pro and con of that product. the consumer should also do the research as to what works and what doesnt, for them.
    as for bamboo, with regard to your comment: there ARE different brands, product lines. I dont really know what brand you are referring to. I have used a “pre-engineered” bamboo, commercial grade quality which tests at 3000 psi in a scratch test. its twice as hard as red oak. Will it scratch? yes, it can. so can red oak. check out plyboo.com. very good source.
    the key thing is not that the bamboo will most likely scratch under certain uses, but rather what is your tolerance level for some surface scratching? I dont think there is a manuf. out there who will say it will never scratch. but, yes there are shade salespeople, and there are inferior products.
    I would apply the same logic to concrete countertops. there are some excellent ones out, and some crappy ones. a lot has to do with the assembly, reinforcing, the mix, the portland cement ratio, etc. sure, concrete will stain. so will granite and so will marble, so will solid surface. the ones I’ve seen by Cheng are great and they do develop a patina with use, and some cracks. big deal! I think honestly that comes with the material and how it’s used. that’s what I mean about “no guarantees”..do the research and understand the pros and cons.
    no, you dont need to be an architect or designer to know how products perform. it’s asking a lot of questions, challenging sales people, or contractors or whoever specifies the product. AND! knowing the limitations of the product, and how it will age with use over time.
    my feelings never get hurt when a client wants to know more about a product. my job is to help them make the choice. architects (generally) never sell anything..
    I always tell my clients: the architect recommends; the client decides.

  36. Posted by Tom

    Tipster, sorry to be so daft after reading your post too quickly. The house you cite is a good example of the wood retaining its color and finish.
    Wow, ex SF-er, talk about transference! Unless you were a dissatisfied client of NoeArch’s, your rant at the end with improper use of “you” and implication of inaccuracy on NoeArch’s part is pretty bonkers. His point is well taken — all materials age — I had friends who went with stainless steel countertops and were then dismayed when they scratched! You really were doing fine questioning some of the new materials that have found their way into contemporary interiors and then you get all rant-y and personal (which is all too common on this blog). What NoeArch said is inarguable — all materials fail, can be damaged, don’t age well if not properly maintained. Even concrete countertops, or more to the point of this thread, cedar or similar wood exteriors.

  37. Posted by ex SF-er

    sounds good. it would seem that we are in agreement, but were initially “speaking past” one another…
    it’s hard for us novices to know which product to use… but like I said: I’m closely watching these Cheng countertops and the ORH bamboo flooring and I am giving them a chance.
    many of these products are relatively new to the US market (at least for general distribution). as with all “new” products, it often takes some time to get the kinks out. I’ll always be willing to reconsider going forward… it’s sort of like Toyota. each year they improve their product. a toyota corolla 2008 is so much better than the 1992 version.
    likewise, people just have to find the right designer/architect who can get a feel for them and help them make the “right” decision. I “use” my kitchen hard so concrete countertops are not for me. I “use” my floors so the older gen bamboo floors are also not right for me (I don’t know about the newer stuff though, I’ve heard it’s better).
    I love cedar siding, even when it weathers. But my other half is very particular about the “look” of the house and cedar siding was ruined by our next door neighbors (who have cedar siding but they are very organic-granola people so they purposefully made the cedar siding turn a dark brown/black color… it looks like it was on fire… but they purposefully did that)
    it looks like this, but remember they did this on PURPOSE.

  38. Posted by ex SF-er

    My post wasn’t meant as a rant. It was simply a post to put forward my point that materials should be marketed appropriately. the last line was “personal” only as it referenced NoeArch’s line that I italicized.
    I wasn’t happy with NoeArch’s “guarantee in life” line that I highlit above, that’s all. to me it felt as though s/he was dismissing our cedar arguments in a condescending way that felt “personal” as you say. but perhaps I misread the tone of that line. NoeArch’s follow up post was a very good post and was worded in what I felt to be a more neutral way. so I think we’ve patched things up. (actually I didn’t even know my post was that “personal” or “attackish” until you pointed it out.)
    Obviously I understand that materials age. I also understand that if they do age they should be marketed as such.
    but that is the gist of this whole thread. Some of us are pointing out that we’ve been dismayed by how cedar siding/shakes have aged in the past. Others say “it’s better now”. I’ll just say that from my own personal experience I have found that “it’s better now” hasn’t panned out as well as I’d have liked. But the future is always a different day, so maybe this time they truly have figured it out. The Mona Lisa wasn’t painted in a day, and so I’m sure that it’ll take a few tries before we get low maintenance weatherproof cedar shakes.
    to noearch: if my previous post caused you mental distress, I apologize. my tone was meant to be reproachful but not an attack.

  39. Posted by someone

    Thanks for the enlightening cedar siding thread.
    I’d like to ask another question though. PropertyShark claims that this lot was sold for $1.62M just 20 months ago.
    How can the developer make much money in this case?
    2.8M sell price will require 150K in agent/marketing costs + over 200K in carrying costs for the lot alone (probably another 50K for financing the construction), this leaves $780K for construction and profits. Let’s not ignore the substantial excavation and shoring this project requires.
    Sparky, can you help me out?

  40. Posted by Dan

    Sparky mentioned that there is a lot next to this house on which another home will be built. Could $1.62M have been for both lots?
    BTW, whoever buys this house should look into drainage. Remember several years ago, the El Nino year in which we got the most rainfall in a century? The retaining wall separating this hillside empty lot from the street collapsed under a river of water coming down from Twin Peaks. Hopefully the developer addressed this issue, as no one knows whether it will be another century, or next winter, before it rains that much again.

  41. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Yeah, there is some kind of natural spring or something that comes out near here. For many years, the pavement would be wet on this part of Clayton, pretty much year round. It looks like some better drainage was put in, but I would make sure I knew it was done right before buying anything on this hillside.

  42. Posted by Michael L.

    I like the elevator. Us older folks can enjoy the city into our late years LOL.

  43. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Yeah, you definitely need to pay attention to the geologic situation with a construction project requires this much excavation and shoring. The developer most likely hired a geotechnical engineering firm to evaluate and mitigate any geo related risks like underground springs. The SF building codes probably require such engineering on a site like this.
    It seems to me that this sort of rigorous geological engineering didn’t become commonplace in SFH construction until sometime in the 1970s. I’ve seen plenty of really poorly designed retaining walls that retained not just the soil but all of the water that it bore. Those were mostly in houses constructed after WWII and before the mid-70s. Houses built before WWII tend to be less aggressive with the excavation and shoring and hence less likely to have flaky (literally !) retaining walls. Of course an 1890 house that had an excavated garage installed in 1962 will suffer the effects of 1962 construction methods.

  44. Posted by noearch

    don’t worry ex SF-er: nothing you say really distresses me here. barking dogs at nite distress me. neighbors parking on the sidewalk distress me.
    these are good discussions. people need to take them with a grain of salt. use the info, or discard it. it’s up to them.
    I don’t intend to come off in a condescending tone, but perhaps to some it sounds that way. I just offer advice, opinions, etc. in my chosen profession. I mean after all I’m an architect, not a Walmart clerk.(that’s sure to bring some flames now).
    by the way, just for the record, I’m male. gay.

  45. Posted by sparky

    They bought this place with the permit. I think that price may be for the 2 unit, but I thought that number was higher for both. I was offered this and passed because I didn’t think there was money to be made. Partly because I don’t think you can get $2.8M here. My number was way lower. I drove by this during construction everyday. The retaining, excavation, and drainage are all well done (and expensive).

  46. Posted by Tom

    I have to admit, I looked at this as a lot for sale with permits too, back in ’06, and it just did not make sense even then (did not bring this up earlier since it had nothing to do with cedar siding or concrete countertops :-). I don’t see it going for $2.8MM in this market and don’t see how the developer can make money at that price even if it could. Yikes.

  47. Posted by ex SF-er

    cool noearch.
    I enjoy your contributions.
    Nothing wrong with being condescending once in a while (I know I sure am once in a while) just so long as we can all give and take it.
    have a great night all.

  48. Posted by Roe

    Honestly, who enjoys this type of location?
    There is no infrastructure around. It’s on a busy car street. Have to walk steep hills just to get a couple of blocks, and then when you get there, there’s nothing.
    You have to get in a car to get anywhere.
    Nice facade and views, though.

  49. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Roe – I wouldn’t mind this location though this is more house that I need. I wouldn’t need a car here (4 car garage = ping pong palace !). Its a matter of personal choice.
    The main thing that would bother me about this site is the fog.

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