The Unofficial Beacon Guide

This is an unofficial guide for residents of the Beacon apartment building (its official site) in San Francisco.

Referral List

Handyman
Harp - Thumbtack profile - (415) 304-1559
I used Harp to install a medicine cabinet in the bathroom, move some towel racks, and paint some walls. He did a great job and charged a reasonable rate.

Jimmie Silas - Silas Appliance Repair and Service on Yelp
"He fixed my washing machine and seems to be able to fix all types of appliances. He showed me what he was doing as he was doing it, didn't try to upsell me on anything, and only fixed the stuff that needed fixing. Strong recommendation."

Plumber
Bay City Plumbing - Porch profile
The employee Chet, at Bay City frequently comes to the Beacon. This company is also used by the management office for some building issues. He helped fix my toilet. Some plumbers won't work in the building because it is a high-rise apartment.

Advanced Plumbing and Drain - Website
This company is run by Nick, and he helped fix a weak flush and replace a toilet in the Beacon.

Electrician
Scott - 707-694-1847

BV Electric - Facebook profile

Gavin Chen - 415-810-3620
"For anyone wondering, I got recommended a great electrician from Coles Hardware - he was head and shoulders more affordable and very thorough and communicative."

Heat, Temperature, and Air Flow

  • The units can get hot in the summer months. There has been extensive HOA discussion and lawsuits about the problem. Solutions residents have taken:
    • Portable Air Conditioner - popular models include Frigidaire FGPC1244T1, Whynter ARC-143MX 14,000BTU, Sharp CV-P12PX, Honeywell MN10CESWW, and Haier.
    • Portable Evaporative Cooler - I purchased a Hessaire MC37 that works reasonably well but is noisy. Its main advantage is no hoses going in and out of your window.
    • Ceiling fans
    • Apply for central building AC - contact the management office about this program. It requires proof, via temperature readings, that your unit is particularly affected.
  • There is good information about what people have tried on the Yahoo mailing list (and other online groups, see complete list below). Try searches for "heat gain" and "air conditioner".
  • Each unit and every hallway has an air vent that is connected to a central fan system (sometimes called "Reznor fans"). When the vents for this system open and close each day, you may hear something that sounds like drilling in your ceiling for about 5 seconds.
  • Temporary gas smell: There is nothing inside the units that run on gas, everything is electric. Propane grills are not allowed here at The Beacon. The cause of the smell of gas are the Reznor units (outside air flow fans) up on the roof. They supply outside air into the tower units. They are the only things we have that run on gas besides our generators. The Reznor units are constantly pumping outside air into the unit, and when the air is below 70 degrees the heater will kick on. Unfortunately on extremely windy days or nights when gas kicks on, the wind will sometimes blow the smell into the intake causing the brief smell of gas in the units.

Windows

  • We have what are known as awning (or sometimes "top hung") windows. A single screw (photo of screw) can be easily removed to allow them to open more fully.
  • To keep them propped open, the best method is to tighten a small screw called the "window tensioner". See this photo of the window joint. To see these screws, the window must be opened very wide. Make sure to tighten the screws on both sides.
  • To install mesh window screens, residents have said costs range from $800 and suggested:
    • Martin’s Screen Shop in San Carlos (example1, example2)
    • Golden Gate Glass and Mirror
    • Velcro, 3M tape, magnets, and a screen roll from Amazon
    • Arnold Ramos, BAPP Group (now retired) example

Paint, Maintenance, Garbage, Boxes

  • The Beacon office took a picture of a paint can that has been used in units. They no longer have the can in this photo. Use this photo to get matching white paint at Kelly-Moore Paints.
  • You'll want glossy for the bathroom and regular matte for other room walls.
  • George T. reports that this garbage disposal fits and works well in Beacon kitchens: Whirlpool GC2000PE 1/2 hp in Sink Disposer, Black
  • The trash company Recology provides free pickup of bulky items (mattresses, some furniture, etc.). The pickup needs to be scheduled by calling them. Use this account number to help them locate the building: 010960104
  • If you hear a periodic chirp (like an electronic beep) in your unit, it is most likely an old battery in the smoke detectors. However, if you've replaced those and still hear the chirp it may be a device in your electrical panel (different panel than the circuit breaker panel). The APC BroadBand PowerShield User Manual provides some suggestions. If you don't use home landline phone service residents have found the easiest fix is either removing the battery or the entire device.
  • The YouTube video: How To Adjust a Commercial Door Closer applies to the doors in our building and your neighbor will appreciate a tune-up from time to time.
  • Moving
    • Suggestions for moving boxes: U-Haul Store (allows returns for unused), Nextdoor, asking for extras in our online communities.
    • Moving companies: Pure Moving, Delaney Street Movers.

Significant Events in our History

  • June 2018: someone entered the building without a key and committed a home invasion robbery, where a resident was tied up during the crime. This is a report from the iPhone app Citizen that monitors 911 calls. The SF police department posted another official report (Wayback machine).
  • December 2017: the parking garage experienced a number of car break-ins. Do not leave car doors unlocked or anything in your car (any bag or backpack at all is an invitation). The building management made an official announcement which can be provided by them upon request.

Online Communities

Board of Directors

The Beacon is led by two organizations: Seabreeze Management Company and the Beacon Homeowners Association (HOA). As of Jan 2019, the HOA Board of Directors consists of five people: Craig Cucinella, James Kilpatrick, Lawrence Lin, Michael McCoy, and Yvonne Ng.


Updated: January 16, 2020
Jonathan Berger
San Francisco, California
berger.jon@gmail.com