It has been a few months since Eckxstudio finished the for construction set of drawings for the Modern Farmhouse project. I was out at the site yesterday in the great Texas summer heat for a walk-through and thought I’d share a few pictures of the contractor’s progress to date.
When out on a site the first rule of site visits is: have permission. I’d guess that everybody likes to take a peek around houses that are being built (I’ll admit to being guilty) but it is always a good idea to obtain permission from the owner or builder before you check it out. No permission? Trespassing and potentially dangerous!
When out on a site the second rule of site visits is: look before you leap. I don’t wear steel-toed, steel-shank boots….but I probably should! The ground isn’t level, there are materials everywhere, and objects such as temporary bracing may be hanging around in weird places. So look before you walk anywhere. Easy for most people, and certainly easier than taking yourself to the doctor if you step on a nail. Errant nails should be bent or removed but the world isn’t perfect.
1. Image of the front of the house during early framing and sheathing (the green Zip board). It usually throws me at first when I look at houses in this stage because not everything is there yet and builders often put up the Zip board over windows and then later use a saw to trim the sheathing out of window openings.
2. Another view of the front early on during framing. Notice the random posts on the porch – they’ll be replaced later with the actual columns I designed. The diagonal 2×4’s inside are the many temporary wall braces that you have to step around until all the walls are secured in place and the structure is braced by the exterior sheathing and shear walls. Then they’ll join the pile of leftover lumber outside the home.
3. A view from the eventual kitchen area, through the butler’s pantry, to the front yard. In this view you can see the large beam running from the upper left – I designed an offset in the walls above and below the beam so it was necessary to support the upper wall and roof ridge. This particular beam ended up as a triple LVL and probably 16″ deep. The roof ridge beam is even more crazy – a huge tripled 24″ deep beam. I wish I was out there when they hoisted it into place!
4. A view from the outdoor patio in the rear yard looking back toward the house. Three more LVL beams carry the roof that covers the porch, between the house and the 2-car garage. It had rained the day I took this shot, no roofing was in place so work was paused until things dry out. Everything was slick, even the concrete slab I was standing on due to mud that was tracked around by everyone’s shoes.
5. This is a view looking out one of the second story windows over the main roof (on the right) and the patio roof (beyond, on the left). I like to observe how the framer chooses to put the various pieces of the home together. Each framer follows the same building codes but has their preferred way of notching roof joists or bracing things. I was happy to see the framers efforts to fully notch the 2x rafters on the right as they sit over the wall’s top plate – a 3-sided notch really locks things together even before they nail everything.
6. Now to the front of the house as it sits today – framing was completed weeks ago, all the Zip sheathing (the green board) is on as is a large percentage of the siding which you see in yellow. No, the house will not be yellow. The siding comes primed from the factory when you intend to select your own specific paint color. You can also see the black-framed windows have been installed – the siding will be painted white so we will have a crisp black-and-white contemporary color scheme when all is done.
7. A view from the rear alley looking past the garage on the left toward the house. I like how the trees literally arch over the patio and house and provide a good amount of shade from the summer sun. This photo was taken at about 2:00pm on a June afternoon – evidence that the patio won’t bake all summer long.
8. A photo of the interior from the second floor overlook above the living/dining room and kitchen (the kitchen will back up against the far wall where you see the black-framed door.) The cathedral ceiling is over 20′ high and will receive 5 sets of accent beams which I have designed. For a scale reference, the windows you see on the left are each 8′ tall, and the opening for the door is 10′ tall. No cramped ceilings in this house!
9. It’s 96-degrees outside, 2:30pm, and I had to retreat to my truck to escape the mosquitoes. I came around the block to grab this shot on the way out of the neighborhood. The various roof forms and pitches I designed break up the size of the home with respect to its immediate neighbors, and I think this house blends rather well into the scale of the neighborhood. Incidentally, you still see the green Zip sheathing on this side as it will eventually receive white stucco instead of painted siding. This was a technique to further break down the scale of the home and accentuate various volumes and walls.
OK, end of site visit. No nails stepped on, didn’t bang my head on anything, but did get two mosquito bites. Two out of three isn’t bad! I will post again in maybe a month when there is more progress to share.
This post was originally written before re-branding as Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture at the end of 2017.
At Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture, we design unique and stunning projects, individually crafted for our clients’ lives. We’re passionate about listening to your needs, wants and desires as inspiration to design the dream home you’ll never want to leave.