16 Jan 2018

Renewal — Re-Ranch

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renovate, remodel, restore, refresh, recondition, refurbish, renewal…re-Ranch. While the definition of most of those words indicate some form of “redo”, the term “Re-Ranch” might make you wonder. Allow me a moment to share the Re-Ranch journey. It begins with a remodel idea that evolved to a rebuild and finally resolved as a different remodel. The Re-Ranch story starts in a small Texas town, with a man named Ray and his wife Becky.

About Ray:

Ray is a simple man; a small-town but big-results attorney, who is well-respected in his community. He practiced law for 30 years and represented everyone in the tri-county area on domestic, probate, real estate or corporate cases. Every one knows and adores Ray.

About Becky:

Becky is a strong, focused woman known for her calm-demeanor and community programs. She immersed herself in community enhancement. Every soul in the tri-county area applauds Becky for her impact programs that benefit seniors and children. Every one adores Becky.

Together, these simple people formed a unique (and as you might guess, adorable) couple who had everything but asked for nothing until the day they decided to remodel their 50 year old ranch house located on a 50-acre wildlife preservation ranch.

The Project Prelude:

The existing ranch house was 1,200 SF with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, a kitchen and living room on raw cedar post piers. The couple constructed a 400 SF addition in the 1980’s to add two-bedrooms and another bathroom. A referral from another design professional led the family to me. My client’s goal was to remodel the ranch house to update the master suite and add ageing-in-place living features (access ramps and accessible bathrooms). Three months later we developed a design which the client shared with family and friends (who I affectionately call the jury). When the jury learned the remodel would cost as much as a rebuild, they encouraged the couple to build a new home on the same property and lease the former home to visitors.

Part 2 of the remodel project evolved into a new residential design with all the aging in place features desired in the previous remodel concept. Fast forward another 5 months after the client hired the contractor and scheduled the ground-breaking. The client determined the work involved in constructing the new building compromised their wildlife preservation goals so they discarded the new project and agreed to a smaller scope remodel — which I dubbed the “Re-Ranch“.

About the Project:

I always interview clients thoroughly before beginning a design. Two successful designs meant we understood each other and our goals but a reduced scope meant we needed to prioritize the goals. So my client identified the following:

The reduced scope needs to:

  • convert the former office and bathroom in the 1980’s addition to a master suite

  • convert the former master suite to a spare bedroom and office

  • add a living deck

  • add covered parking

The client desired morning sun in the master so we relocated the master suite to the east wing and designed the west wing as a guest wing. The client predominantly lives life in the master or outdoors so they desired an oversized master to serve as master bedroom and private living space.

plan before plan after The “before” plan shows the prioritized areas (dashed polygons). The former office is located in the right wing and the former master is in the left wing. In the “after” plan, I swapped the functions and modified the layout to add the private master/living combo to the east wing addition.axo before axo after


Remodel, Renewal, Repose:

The renewal began with a functional remodel that evolved further to include an exterior finish renewal. The original siding (raw cedar) and the original roof (corrugated metal) contained material irregularities that made direct attachment challenging and compatible match unlikely. During design, I suggested the client update or replace roof and siding which they declined; however, during construction the team was able to illustrate the inconsistencies and the client welcomed the opportunity to renew the failed siding with new cedar siding and replace the antiquated corrugated metal roof with standing seam metal roof.

It was an 18-month journey for an extensive remodel project that morphed into a total rebuild and ultimately evolved into a modest renewal. The result is a renewed life in the Re-Ranch project.

Architalks Credits

This is another entry in Bob Borson’s blogging brain-child titled, “ArchiTalks”.

The #ArchiTalks goal is to inspire blogging architects with similar educational and professional requirements to opine on the same topic and simulpost their response so other architects and a broader audience can enjoy the rampant thought-diversity within the architecture profession

Select the links in “Architalks Entries” below to read how architects responded to the “Renewal” topic.

image/video credits:

Architalks Entries

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
get out of town renewal

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Goal Renewal

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
renewal: #architalks

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Renewal – Re-Ranch

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@BuildingsRCool)
No guts, no glory!

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)

Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
working towards my site re-launch. next time! cheers

Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
5 Tips for Harnessing Renewal to Advance Your Goals

Samantha R. Markham – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
reNEWal. new year. new goals

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Renewal (at Each Beginning)

Tim Ung – Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
Break Routines

Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
Opting out on this one


Larry Lucas – Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
Renewal is Valuable for Heart and Hometown

Steve Mouzon – The Original Green Blog (@stevemouzon)
The 12 Steps of Sprawl Recovery

About the Author

Your Architect is Eric Faulkner -- an architect licensed in Texas & Oklahoma with 32 years experience in design, construction observation and life.