Pleasant Hill Cohousing
(Central Contra Costa County, California)

Our Homes

Individual Homes

There are 32 units, grouped in various configurations ranging from 2-6 homes per building. The buildings were constructed with wood framing, stucco outer walls, and corrogated metal roofing. The smallest units are 675 sq ft one-bedrooms; the largest are 1707 sq ft four-bedrooms.

Each home has its own kitchen. The homes are owned individually as condominiums. We've included the HOA (homeowners association) dues amounts in the last column.

UnitType How Many Description Approx. Size
Floor Plan
*See Note below
HOA Monthly
Dues (2023)
A ground level 2 1 bedroom / 1 bath flat 688 / 640 sq ft A unit floor plan $467
A upper level 2 1 bedroom / 1 bath flat 675 / 625 sq ft A unit floor plan $467
B ground level 2 2 bedroom / 1 bath flat 928 / 868 sq ft B unit floor plan $528
B upper level 2 2 bedroom / 1 bath flat 922 / 868 sq ft B unit floor plan $528
C 10 2 bedroom / 1.5 bath townhouse 1204 / 1107 sq ft C unit floor plan $591
D 5 3 bedroom / 2 bath townhouse 1293 / 1193 sq ft D unit floor plan $614
E 4 4 bedroom / 3 bath townhouse 1480 / 1367 sq ft E unit floor plan $661
F 5 4 bedroom / 3 bath townhouse 1707 / 1579 sq ft F unit floor plan $716
Garage 9 Garages and carports are owned separate from the units.     $32
Carport 16 Garages and carports are owned separate from the units.     $16
*NOTE regarding the Floor Plan drawings linked in the chart above: They are the architect's pre-construction drawings and are not exactly the same as what was ultimately built (although they are close). We're including them anyway because you can see what the general layout is of the different units.

As an alternate way to see what the units look like, here are photos of the blueprints of the buildings. These photos are large and you can zoom in to see details.

There are 7 buildings with differing types and numbers of units. They are numbered from 1 to 7, clockwise beginning with the building next to the pool. Buildings 3 & 5 are exactly the same layout. See Site Map.
Building 1 (D / AA / AA / D) 1st Floor - 2nd Floor
Building 2 (E / C /C / C / C / D) 1st Floor - 2nd Floor
Buildings 3 and 5 (F / F) 1st Floor - 2nd Floor
Building 4 (D / C / C / C / E) 1st Floor - 2nd Floor
Building 6 (E / BB / BB / E) 1st Floor - 2nd Floor
Building 7 (F / C / C / C / D) 1st Floor - 2nd Floor

Common Areas

Our 3,835 sq ft Common House contains a kitchen, dining room ("great room"), sitting room, laundry, kids room, teens/older kids room, crafts room, guest rooms, and bathrooms. See Photos of the Common House (in 2002).

The Common House is the only building in the project that has air conditioning. However to minimize the use of air conditioning, the building also has a cooling tower with large fans that can be used in the evening to pull cooler air into the building and push hot air out.

Other common facilities include swimming pool, hot tub, patio arbor, workshop, adult bike shed, kids bike shed, play structure, organic garden, and granite boulders from original site - both decorative and used by children for climbing. Site Map (pre-construction)

Kitchen Patio & Pool

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Green Building Strategies

We used the following green (environmentally friendly) building strategies throughout the community:

  • Passive heating and cooling fixtures such as trellises and trees on the south and west; built-in awnings and overhangs; operable windows, ceiling fans, and shallow spaces for cross-ventilation; opaque, reflective, interior shutters; and whole-house fans for night cooling.
  • Polar Ply radiant barriers, corrugated metal roofing, low-e windows, and thicker and denser gypsum board were also used.
  • Shared water heaters in each of the individual unit buildings provide potable hot water and radiant baseboard heating.
  • Low-flow fixtures and efficient fluorescent lighting are used throughout.
  • Wet-spray cellulose provides R-22 (RSI-3.9) insulation in the walls and R-38 (RSI-6.7) in the ceilings.
  • Fireplaces were excluded to ensure better air sealing.
  • All concrete contains 15% fly ash.
  • FSC-certified wood was specified for framing, and advanced-framing techniques were used.
  • Bamboo, natural linoleum, and FSC-certified wood were used for flooring.
  • Low-VOC materials were used throughout. CCA-treated wood was avoided.

The Common House is air-conditioned (which we felt was necessary since we live in a hot climate with many 100+ degree days in the summer), but we decided not to install air conditioning in the individual homes. This was partly to save energy, but also because the construction of venting for the A/C (which does dual duty when a home has forced air heating) would have taken up valuable space and was not needed for heating since the homes have radiant baseboard heating.

We were encouraged by our architect that the passive cooling features we were using, including whole-house and ceiling fans, would be sufficient to keep us comfortable. In our experience, this has been true although some folks (e.g., work at home, have allergies, etc) use portable air conditioning units in some rooms of their homes. And, if it's very hot, that just encourages us to gather at the Common House, always a community-building activity! And we have a nice pool too.

To minimize the need for air-conditioning, the Common House also has a cooling tower (hot air moves up and away from the living areas), and large fanss. In the summer, we set up a schedule to open the windows and turn on the fans at night to move the hot air out and cool down the building. Because the building is so well insulated, this works well to keep the building cooler during the day.

In 2015, thanks to the efforts of our Frugal Committee (Wes, Ellen, and Jan), we were designated a certified Green Business by the Contra Costa Green Business Program meaning our green practices meet the green industry standard (through a 10 page application about things like water use, what kind of lights we have, recycling practices, building style & materials, use of integrated pest management, energy star appliances, and much more). Here's a short video about the program. Even though we are not really a business, we still qualified: California Green Business Program.

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Availability & Pricing

If we have a unit for sale (or rent), that information will be posted on our website homepage and emailed to our List of Interested People (see next section). Pricing is set by the seller according to the real estate market at the time of sale.

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Prospective Buyers / List of Interested People

It's a fact of life that community members may have to leave the community and would need to sell their unit. Sometimes people realize that cohousing just isn't a good fit for them. Other times a life change such as a new job, grad school, family obligations, etc. necessitates a move.

Since the units are owned individually as condominiums, no restrictions can be placed by the group on who the owner might sell to. At the same time, there are many people who express interest in our community and want to know if a unit comes available. Therefore, we we maintain a List of Interested People.

Ideally, before a new household moves in, they've spent time getting to know our community. They understand the concept of cohousing and are already acquainted with our group. To that end we offer the following steps:

  1. Tour - Take a tour of our community.
  2. Explore this website, particularly the Community Life page to learn how we organize ourselves and make decisions.
  3. Short Survey - Fill out this short survey and you'll be added to our "interested people" list. This is the list we send notices to when we have something for sale or rent.
  4. Business Meeting - Attend one or more community (HOA) business meetings.
  5. Questionnaire - Fill out a questionnaire so we can learn more about your household. Download Microsoft Word file now.
  6. Social Gathering - Attend one or more social gatherings, such as a common meal, potluck, party, or other get-together.
  7. Educate Yourself - Talk to as many community members as you can. Everyone will have a slightly different perspective on living here.

When there is a unit available for sale (or rent), an email notice is sent to the people on the list. Being on the list is no guarantee of being offered a unit. However it is the best way to stay in touch with us should there be an opening. Another way to keep informed about us is via our Facebook page.

We also have a committee, called the HomeBASE Committee ("Home Buyers and Sellers Ensemble" Committee), whose responsibility it is to help owners who wish to sell (or rent). The committee provides support to the owner by, for example, helping to advertise the unit on our website and elsewhere, showing the unit on our monthly tours, and helping arrange for prospective buyers to come to meetings and social events.

The committee is there to help the prospective buyer determine if our community is a good fit. The more exposure the better, so we host the prospective buyer for meetings and social events, introduce them to a variety of community members, and give them plenty of opportunities to see how we operate and ask all their questions.

The hope is that the prospective buyer will fully understand what it means to live in community, and be prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with that. Living in cohousing is much more than just having a home. We want the new folks to be happy, participating members of our community.

Please contact us for more information. We look forward to meeting you!

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