Whole House $200,000 to $500,000

Gold Winner: CG&S Design-Build, Austin, Texas
Project location: Austin, Texas
Sq. ft. before: 1,098
Sq. ft. after: 1,943
Project cost: $317,424

This design-build project creatively transformed an older house in an inner city neighborhood from a small, nondescript, one-story cottage into an efficient, hip, two-story dwelling for a young couple. Creative use of materials, a carefully detailed stair with open risers, strategic placement of windows, open spaces bathed in an abundance of natural light, and a dramatic new building envelope defined by multiple interlocking volumes — all combine to create the feel of a larger, modern home that sits comfortably among its older neighbors with its own unique style.

From the beginning, existing site conditions presented significant design constraints. Due to FEMA regulations, the lot’s proximity to a 100-year floodplain dictated that the addition could not extend beyond the original home’s footprint — a restriction which necessitated limiting the addition to a second floor immediately above the existing footprint. Rather than create an attic space, ceilings on the second story instead follow the slopes of the roof — a design feature which admittedly complicated running ductwork inside the house. However these sloped ceilings, along with the windows which extend to the underside of the second floor ceilings, result in more interesting spaces and a feeling of spaciousness that helps contribute to the midcentury aesthetic that’s carried throughout the house.

Midway through design, the sudden crisis in the financial system and resulting constriction of the lending market forced the clients to reduce their budget, but a careful redesign and some strategic material substitutions allowed the design team to preserve most all of the key features without compromising the integrity of the finished home.

A tiny, compartmentalized kitchen on the first floor was gutted and remade as a spacious, up-to-date kitchen with a large bar that’s now completely open to the adjacent living and dining areas. Caesarstone countertops with the look of concrete separate the stained walnut upper cabinets from the sealed MDF base cabinets. Above the bar a large open walnut shelf suspended from the ceiling conceals puck lights and mirrors the finishes and forms of the
wall-mounted TV enclosure in the nearby living area.

Specified Products

Bath Cabinets: Custom Cabinets by QSI Custom Cabinets
Bath Fixtures: Kohler
Doors: BMC West
HVAC: Trane
Kitchen Cabinets: Custom Cabinets by QSI Custom Cabinets
Kitchen Countertops: Caesarstone
Kitchen Appliances: GE
Roofing: Sheffield Galvalume
Siding: Hardiplank
Windows: Pella

Silver Winner:
DesignBridge, Ltd., Chicago, Ill.

Bronze Winner:
Rochman Design-Build, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Honorable mention:
Team Entry: Architectural Resource, Ann Arbor, Mich. & Giraffe Design Build, Ann Arbor, Mich.

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