Eckxstudio completed the residential design several months ago for a contemporary renovation & addition in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas, and the project is finally underway at the client’s site.  Why the delay you ask?  It’s simple, actually.  Our client on this project is both the homeowner and general contractor, and he has been working with his people to work through their bids and set his construction budget before a single nail was pulled from the original house.  There was also time built into his schedule last month for permitting activities, and now with building permit in hand demo and construction has quickly begun.  Fast.

He began demo on the existing house about two weeks ago, and you’ll see by the photos below that framing and the new roofing are mostly set!

This first photo is one I took at the outset of the design project, so you can see what the starting point was.  It was a 1970’s era brick home that had a 2nd story addition added to the rear in the 80’s.  Most of the finishes are very outdated, and part of our task was to design of updates to the original parts of the house along with the new 2nd floor addition for his family.


This is a current photo of the front of the home for comparison – you can see the addition on the 2nd floor and the framing and sheathing on the lower right for new windows looking into the dining room.  The four windows on the lower left being installed were the four original windows on the front of the home – adaptive reuse often helps save budgeted dollars.  All the new windows on the front and other sides were selected specifically for the spaces and functions we designed.


Below you can see an interior image of some original wall framing combined with new wall and ceiling framing  (photo taken in the future living room looking toward the new kitchen).  One of the things I observe while on site visits is how new and old framing have been combined and that the beams and headers (the beams above the windows) appear right for the span or appear to match up with the engineer’s specifications.

In this photo you can barely see a very large beam going left-right that has been added to allow us to open up what originally was 3 smaller rooms into one very large room.  The contractor also completely removed a good portion of the old roof so we could add the new 2nd floor and raise the 1st floor ceilings to ten feet.


This photo is taken with me standing in the 2nd floor of the 1980’s addition looking into the new addition beyond the 3 steps you see in the center.  The original addition was just added over the old eight foot high ceilings, and we designed ten feet in the expanded spaces downstairs so part of the design complication came from locating two sets of steps so you can easily access the new addition.  You can see the second set of steps to the left, which lead to one of the new bedrooms.  The center steps allow the family to proceed down an “L” shaped hallway to the rest of the new bedrooms.


View from the new master bedroom looking over the future balcony into the backyard.  We pushed the new master bedroom ceilings up higher than the other new bedrooms as it is the master and a larger room.  Luckily it was easy to use space above that otherwise was just attic due to the pitch of the new gabled roofing above the addition.


I thought this photo was just interesting at this stage of construction – it is a shot taken from the new entry foyer looking all the way up to the ceiling and roof framing above the double-height entry.


But as I took the photo above I noticed something else that stuck out in the entry.  The photo below is of the same space looking from one of the bedrooms toward the foyer (framed out in the center of the image) and the front yard beyond.  While on site visits an architect also observes the construction to help catch things that didn’t exactly get built per plan.  In this case the small windows around three sides of the foyer should have been framed at the same heights – you can see that the two on the right of the foyer (far wall in this image) are higher.  I then pass this photo and a few notes to the builder so he (as owner) can decide to keep it or change it per plan.

Another feature we designed in this project was the lighting – we capitalized on the natural light that will flood the foyer using it to also cast daylight into the interior bathroom on the right of the image.  The opening in the wall is framed for an interior window.  Don’t worry about privacy….we thought of that.  The window is both high enough and set far enough in from the front of the house that someone outside the home could only (maybe) catch a glimpse of the ceiling.


Rear of the house below – the second floor addition is the wing on the right, and the 1980’s addition is the wing on the left containing the stairs just inside the stacked tall windows.  We designed a new stair configuration and railing for the owner and will photograph that later in the construction cycle.


The other thing you’ll notice is the mess – construction sites are usually varying degrees of messy.  The owner/contractor is using the back yard to stage some of his materials and the subs are hauling them inside as needed.  I anticipate that soon after framing is complete most of the mess will be relegated to inside the house.


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.