My friend Bob recently began construction on a new home in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm really excited about the design of the home as it's a classic modern with some influence from Frank Lloyd Wright. I wanted to capture the process of building his house from start to finish and inspire others with his care for design and detail. So let The Bob Project begin...
It takes vision to transform a deserted lot but that's exactly what Bob has done. Others passing by may not have realized the potential of this abandoned house in its own salad bowl of kudzu but that was something Bob instinctively saw, along with the architect he hired, Ute Banse of Ute Design.
Most of the homes on Bob's street are one floor brick ranches. From outward appearance, it will appear his home is one floor as well. Until you walk around back and realize there's a whole second floor downstairs, which the surprisingly deep backyard slope allowed. It's deceiving and very cool and will allow for a total living space of the home to be 3300 square feet.
This is truly a project for Bob as takes on the challenge of overseeing the design and build of a stylish, functional home that is also energy efficient. He found the right contractor, JR McDowell and together they decided on the right materials and energy efficient measures that would keep Bob's overall vision intact. The 2" x 6" studs used to build the exterior are one of the key elements that will increase the effectiveness of the insulation. As Bob explains, "The 2" x 6" studs have an 'R' value of 21 while the 2" x 4" studs, most commonly used, have an 'R' value of just 13." He adds, "The 'R' value indicates an insulation's resistance to heat flow. The higher the R value, the greater the insulating effectiveness."
A large 42" x 42" skylight was placed above the staircase to the bottom floor to bring in the sun and eliminate the feeling of going downstairs to a dark basement. As Bob says, "It will never be called a basement." Indeed, when you walk down the stairs you'll find a spacious second floor with ample living space that includes an entertainment room, a large storage area and two full bedroom suites, each complete with a walk in closet and full size bath.
Bob is most excited about the back porch. As he explains, "It's deep and with the slope of the land, you overlook a large, wooded lot. Neighbors have seen deer and foxes so I plan on sitting back there with a glass of wine and wait to see what nature brings." He's also excited by the dog door as it signifies no more getting up in the middle of the night to let the dog out. As I have two dogs and two dog doors, I couldn't agree more. It's a sleep and worry saver.
Some of the design of the home is influenced by famed architect and designer, Frank Lloyd Wright. As Bob explains, "Wright's designs appear simple but were very thought out." He adds, "He has a clean design with an almost utilitarian look." Bob especially likes Wright's attention to materials and textures that have a horizontal emphasis which will influence his home's railings inside and out his as well as any interior tile.
Another Wright inspired feature are the wide overhanging eaves. They provide shelter to every part of the home and create clean, flowing lines which Wright gravitated towards. Rectangular columns are also a nod to Wright, who delighted in arranging geometric shapes into formal patterns.
He is also installing an on demand hot water tank and a heating and cooling system divided into four zones throughout the home to drastically improve energy efficiency. When completed, each zone can be set to its own temperature to avoid energy waste and increased cost. **Bob is installing a single unit TRANE system with an upgrade of a 16 seer unit and a 90% variable speed furnace.
Stay tuned for The Bob Project: Part 2, which will include the brick and drywall, then landscaping and the interior details like tile and trim. And at 1pm today, I'll post an extra entry via Bob as he shares some great advice for new home builders. Thanks Bob!
Photos: Sweet Peach and Bob Conquest Frank Lloyd Wright photo left: David Heald Frank Lloyd Wright photo right: Muirheadfarmhouse.com Content: Sweet Peach