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The Dean of Home Renovation & Repair Advice

San Francisco Victorian

John Clarke Mills

Outside of my full time job as an entrepreneurial software engineer I restore this old 1890's Victorian located in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Its another job onto itself but fortunately there are no deadlines and money on the line which allows me to relax and do what I do best, build.

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Recent Posts

restoration, dining room

Dining Room Hutch Finished

By John Clarke Mills on Oct 07, 2012

Four years ago we started the dinning room project but it wasn’t until recently that we finally installed the glass shelving. We went with glass because it allows the light to illuminate everything and not... Continue reading


Custom Double-Hung Window Replacement

By John Clarke Mills on Jul 19, 2012

If your home is anywhere near as old as mine, you know that windows are the biggest factor in energy loss. In the summer, they let in heat and too much UV light, while in... Continue reading

gardening, deck patio & porch

Mid-Century Backyard Project Complete

By John Clarke Mills on Mar 13, 2012

After four weeks the project has finally come to a close. Adam Wooley and his crew did an incredible job and the finished project looks spectacular. The finishing touches and attention to detail really show... Continue reading

gardening, deck patio & porch

Backyard Nearing Completion

By John Clarke Mills on Feb 19, 2012

Well the project is running a little behind schedule but these things happen. We’re designing details on the fly and have packed a lot into this little space. As you can the blue slate patio... Continue reading

gardening, deck patio & porch

Stone and Pergola Work Continue

By John Clarke Mills on Feb 10, 2012

We’re about two weeks into the backyard project and nearing the home stretch. Adam Wooley and his team are making quick work of the job. As you can see, the benches are going in as... Continue reading

gardening, deck patio & porch

Backyard Foundation Completed

By John Clarke Mills on Jan 31, 2012

Its only day four here on the project and Adam, Sean, Jorge, and Fidel from Wooley Landscapes have made a huge dent the in workload. Their attention to detail and pride in this project is... Continue reading

gardening, deck patio & porch

Breaking Ground on the Backyard

By John Clarke Mills on Jan 26, 2012

After three years and a few false starts we have finally gotten around to focusing on the backyard. We have had many ideas over the past few years but it wasn’t until we hired Adam... Continue reading

how to, preservation

Repairing Plaster Crown Molding

By John Clarke Mills on Nov 01, 2011

If you’re saying to yourself “that doesn’t look like plaster”, then you’re right. Its air dry clay that I bought from the art supply store. Long story short, while we were rewiring our overhead chandelier... Continue reading

home office

Victorian Library Complete

By John Clarke Mills on Aug 29, 2011

After nine straight days of work the library is finally complete. We haven’t yet found a chandelier or sourced the wallpaper but that didn’t stop us from inviting our friends over and celebrating. For the... Continue reading

preservation, home office

Victorian Library Build Day Seven

By John Clarke Mills on Aug 26, 2011

Now that everything is clean, stained, sealed, and sanded, we are putting on the final two coats of Polyurethane. This is a long and tedious process but we can finally see the end result. This... Continue reading