NARI CotY 2012 Dallas Chapter Winner
Residential Historical Renovations/Restorations
PROJECT GOALS & HOW THEY WERE ACHIEVED
For this project our client wanted an accurate historical restoration. They bought their “dream home” 10 years ago at a great price due to the amount of work it needed. They were planning to fix it up on their own. After many years of struggling with the home and trying to do the renovation on their own, the homeowners realized that to achieve their dream, they needed a professional to come in and help.
Our company brought in a great design team and together we worked with the homeowners to plan the restoration. Our major focus was to restore the home to its former glory while maintaining the integrity of the original design, provide more storage, and a second bathroom. We worked diligently to give the homeowners an accurate historical renovation while also giving them a well functioning home that works with today’s style of living.
Due to historical city zoning, all modifications had to be within the original footprint of the home. Keeping the traditional flow, we tried to integrate the homeowners need for more working space in the kitchen without disrupting the integrity of the original design. We utilized the original walk-through pantry area that wasn’t being used by the homeowners and added that space to the new kitchen. Making a few adjustments to the storage areas in the home, we were able to add a second bathroom to better suit the needs of the family. This follows the traditional guideline of the bungalow being functional.
EXISTING FLOOR PLAN
FINAL FLOOR PLAN
ENHANCING THE EXISTING STRUCTURE’S FUNCTIONALITY
To benefit the home’s overall function we did the following:
- Added a second bathroom
- Finished converting an original back porch to give the home a useful utility room
- Removed the pillar in the dining area and expanded the cased opening dividing the living and dining room
- Incorporated an unused breakfast room and two smaller closets to increase the size of the kitchen
- Relocated water heater to increase storage in closet
The home had a wonderful original concept but we needed to bring the home up to code and fix some of the issues caused by the home’s age. The house tested positive for lead and we had to use lead safe practices. To minimize risk of movement of the house the owner directed us to perform a foundation shim and adjustment before work began.
Laundry room pre-construction
New dining and living room opening with pillar removed
Existing kitchen storage
After removing the dividing wall between the dining and living spaces, we noticed the ceilings were sagging. Acknowledging the safety risk we had to determine a way to support the ceiling without impacting the floor plan.
Our solution to this problem was to install a support beam in the attic but due to the roofline of the home and the zoning code’s restrictions on changing the exterior of the building, the support beam could not sit on an outside wall. Presented with this issue, we had to devise a unique solution to the problem. Our final solution was to install a cantilevered beam across the ceiling and support the beam more solidly from the other end.
Cantilevered support beam
Foundation settling was evident in the back bedroom
ENHANCING THE EXISTING STRUCTURE’S AESTHETICS
The 1920’s kitchen stressed utility and convenience. A proper kitchen was equipped with convenient cabinet space and a farmhouse style sink.
Our kitchen employs these attributes as well as durable repurposed pine flooring and a beautiful and extremely resilient soapstone countertop.
All new windows and doors used were salvaged to match the existing features.
Lighting is a very important aspect for a bungalow home. The amount of windows and natural light let in help differentiate the public and private spaces as well as emphasizing the connection of the home to its natural roots.
By choosing handcrafted period fixtures we adhered to the style of the 1920’s bungalow while providing adequate light to perform necessary tasks.
Simplicity and symmetry were the key points to the lighting of this period. For task lighting we installed under counter lights and a pendant over the sink. Ceiling mounted vintage schoolhouse pendant fixtures were great lighting choices for the kitchen work space.
A singular pendant with four symmetrical extensions provided overhead lighting in the dining room. Many exterior windows provide outstanding natural lighting for the home.
In keeping with the period, materials had to be durable and beautiful. By using reclaimed pine for the wood floors we succeeded in integrating nature with the home.
All of the replacement windows and doors were salvaged to keep with the period. Any necessary replacement glass was float-glass chosen for its obscured translucent properties.
The countertop surface is 3 centimeter soapstone. Soapstone has been used for sinks and countertops for centuries. It is denser than marble, slate, limestone and granite. Since soapstone is impenetrable (non-porous), it will not stain because no liquid will permeate its surface.
Evidence of Superior Craftmanship
Bungalows were designed for the typical American family, with small means but the desire for a charming home. Beauty of design was obtained by harmony of line, color, and proportion.
By slightly modifying the floor plan we were able to greatly emphasize the visual connection between the living room and dining room, opening the flow between spaces. The transitions between public and private spaces in the home are delineated with a change in the ceiling height or a cased opening detailed with millwork that relates to the window and door trim.
Bright classic colors complete the design of the home. A vibrant brick red coats the walls contrasting with white trim. Stainless metal fixtures and cabinet pulls complete the look.
Bungalow homes, with their small footprints, utilized built-in storage to remove the need for excess furniture and make the rooms feel cozy but not cluttered. Built-in bookcases give the living room organization and provide a logical pathway for lighting fixtures and furniture arrangement.
Living/Dining Built-in Bookcases
STORAGE FOR LAUNDRY/MUD ROOM
REMODELED KITCHEN VIEW OF NEW LIGHT FIXTURES
INNOVATIVE USES OF MATERIAL AND METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION
USED IN THIS PROJECT
The heart and soul of a bungalow lies in the details. To keep the historical restoration as accurate as possible we had salvaged lumber taken from homes in the area milled into the pine flooring. All of the built-in cabinets were designed as they would have been in the period the home was built.
Detailed casings and moldings were used in keeping with the spirit of the 1920’s.
To maximize the use of space we installed bookshelves next to the fireplace. All of our cabinets were designed to match the existing full height cabinets the owners requested be retained from the previous breakfast area. Fully inset shaker style cabinets with plain glass and simple molding. In the kitchen the cabinet hardware was chosen to closely match the original hardware on the butler’s pantry cabinet.
In the early 1900’s, bead board became very popular when used in the more informal areas of the home, kitchen, bath, etc. It was a way to use up leftover wood from other projects; a thrifty way to add interest to a room. In the kitchen, laundry, and both bathrooms bead board was applied as an accent. It gives the whole house a more classic bungalow atmosphere.
CONSTRUCTION OF NEW CABINETRY
FINISHED LIVING ROOM BOOKSHELVES
OVERCOMING DIFFICULT OBSTACLES
In addition to the aforementioned structural ceiling problems, during the restoration process we also discovered the central wall that runs though the entire house was two inches out of plumb. If left uncorrected this would cause several problems for the installation of the cabinets and tile in the new bathroom.
To correct the issue, we shimmed the sides of the shower walls to plumb the surface so the tile could be installed correctly. All vertical tile joints in the master shower are now aligned.
Out-of-plumb structural wall
Location of out-of-plumb wall
Framed shower with shims
to level wall
At the client’s request the home was completed with an accurate historical restoration while also using modern technology to make the home functional for today’s living.
By increasing the kitchen space and fixing the structural issues of the ceiling and the load bearing wall, the home was safer and more comfortable for the homeowners.
Design and attention to the details was a top priority in this project. The layout of the floor plan and the materials and fixtures selected were accurate to the period in which the home was originally built.
Period colors and lighting add to the atmosphere of the space without detracting from the high quality of craftsmanship.
BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOGRAPHS
Look what Dallas homeowners are saying about Blackline!
“I am likely to recommend Blackline Renovations to a friend because my client is very responsive, innovative, and they're terrific at doing large jobs as well as small jobs.”
— Customer in Dallas, TX
from Guild Quality
“I used Blackline Renovations for a long overdue remodel of my kitchen, laundry, and living room areas. I had talked to a few companies over the years prior to meeting with Blackline. Having had a bad experience 3 years before, I was reluctant to start the process again. Chris and his team seemed different. They were knowledgeable, organized, and seemed excited about the prospects of turning my 1961 kitchen into something I could enjoy and be proud of. This would turn out to be a down to the studs renovation for approx. 50% of my house. Projects of this scope and duration are never without inconvenience, but it went smoother than anticipated. From design (I only had a general idea of what I wanted; few details), to project management, to execution, I can’t think of anything I would change. The end result is beautiful. The people were great to work with, and the results exceeded my expectations. Chris, Taff, and Jennifer listen and clearly care about the work they do.”
— Glen L.
“Blackline delivered a fabulous renovation of our kitchen and den. From design to plan to execution to cleanup, the whole team went above and beyond. The 8-month project was completed on-time and within budget. The quality of the craftsmanship is excellent. We are extremely pleased with the beautiful new space and would highly recommend Blackline.”
— Stacy C.
“We highly recommend Blackline Renovations. Chris, Taff and Jennifer are true professionals. They are responsive, organized, creative and made our bathroom renovation a seamless process. They went above and beyond. If you are looking to do some renovations look no further. We’re looking forward to working with Blackline again.”
— Elizabeth L.
— Darlene & Bill S.
“Chris and his team were always very professional. The scheduling, design and craftsmanship was exactly what I hoped for. I would not hesitate to use Blackline Renovations again and recommend them to friends and family.”
— Joel B.
“We used Blackline for two separate projects over the span of one year, and are thrilled with the results from both projects! Blackline did a kitchen/bath/laundry room remodel, as well as a back deck construction and we couldn’t be happier with the results. The Blackline team was very communicative, knowledgeable and overall great to work with. Would use and recommend them again.”
— Jaime G.
“Blackline Renovations did an outstanding job on my kitchen and master bed/bath remodel. What set them apart was their attention to detail on every aspect of the project. We would meet at my house on a weekly basis to review what we completed the previous week and what was on the to-do list for the upcoming week. It was very helpful to be consistently informed on the work of the project which kept any surprises to a minimum. The team was extremely professional, knowledgable, and courteous. They went above and beyond to make sure I was satisfied with the project all along the way. The quality of work was fantastic. They did not cut corners and kept to the scheduled timeline. I would highly recommend Blackline Renovations.”
“Chris Black and his team took it down to the studs to renovate the kitchen, master closet and new laundry. We also enclosed a porch, refinished the floors throughout, added attic insulation and poured a new driveway for our 1929 cottage. He was great to work with and had excellent weekly communication. We appreciated that he was very well organized and stayed on budget. I highly recommend him and I will use his company again.”
“Blackline Renovations renovated a guest bathroom for our home two years ago. We were and have been very satisfied with their work. Chris Black was professional every step of the way. We were satisfied with keeping to the timeline and budget. I was especially impressed with Blackline’s subcontractors. Everyone did a great job. We would definitely use Chris for future projects and have recommended him to many in our neighborhood.”
— T. S.
“The team has been fantastic and easy to work with. They bring all decisions to me and communicate clearly. The team is always available for concerns and questions. I am constantly updated on the project and workers. Best experience ever!”
— Paige M.
“The completed project looks amazing and could not be any better. Each person we dealt with was very professional, courteous, and they worked with us to make everything as easy as possible. Working with them was super easy and the final product was impeccable.”
“The entire process from initial meeting, design, bid out of costs and actual construction was flawless. We were looking for a turn key contractor and we found it with Chris Black — with the added bonus of very high quality workmanship. We valued Chris’ input on design and construction, his experience gave us confidence. Once we got started, the communication of each phase of the process was detailed, timely. Our quality standards are high — and Chris met each one of them. AND came to the table of with solutions to each problem. We loved that he personally got involved and connected to our project.”
“I’d never lived through a remodeling project, but I’d been warned about it. And in our initial meeting, Chris Black didn’t sugar coat it. He said life would be tough at first, but that I’d love the final product. He was right. We communicated well and often from the initial planning stages, through demolition and construction, and during the final details. Chris gave sound advice, but didn’t flinch when I made unexpected changes. He stayed within his initial cost estimate. The project took longer than expected—but for good reason, and Chris kept me well-informed daily. I love my new kitchen and bath. And while I can’t yet afford my next project, I’ve already talked with Chris about it and look forward to the day it becomes reality. I’ll be a return customer.”
“Chris Black did an excellent job on our garage project. Chris was very professional, attentive to our requests—including the changes we made during the project—and kept us informed on a daily basis of what had happened and what was to come next. Overall, the project went very well, was completed in a timely manner and to our satisfaction. I would recommend him to anyone looking to do new construction or a remodel.”
“Chris Black did an excellent job of keeping me informed of my project at all times. The paperwork was clear and easy to understand. My needs were understood clearly and the end result was exactly what I wanted. I would definitely recommend Chris Black to any of my friends. I love my kitchen… it looks great!”
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Chris. I felt informed at all stages of the process, and felt as if he truly cared about my satisfaction with the job. Chris was always available to discuss any questions or concerns I had. The process was as painless as I can imagine it could be, and I’m thrilled with the result.”
“I like [Chris Black] a lot, and found his approach quite refreshing. Even more, he followed up consistently and made me feel he wanted the job. I would recommend Chris Black to anyone who would ask. I definitely appreciated all of the efforts that made this a pleasant experience. I hope we will have another opportunity to work together in the future.”
“Chris Black and his team fit the bill for my bathroom remodel. Chris Black was very hands on and kept me informed regularly. He managed his subs accordingly and was very flexible with my decision process and change requests. The project took longer than anticipated, but you can’t rush perfection. I would recommend Chris Black to others seeking professional rebuild/remodel projects.”
“From day one, Chris Black was courteous, fair and professional. They went out of their way to understand what I wanted, then delivered the project early and under budget. I would recommend them to any of my friends or family that are looking for an honest, straightforward and professional contractor.”
“Chris Black was very knowledgeable and professional in all areas of our remodeling. He was open to our ideas, questions, and suggestions and worked very hard to find ways to accommodate any of our special requests. He had a good relationship with all his subcontractors, and I feel that helped make the job go more smoothly and keep us on our timeline. We love our new kitchen, half-bath, and updated ceilings and floors in all downstairs rooms! I will definitely call Chris when I ever need more remodeling work done.”
“Chris Black was thoroughly professional. The project was completed on time, on budget, and with the highest possible quality of professionalism. The few minor problems that were encountered were handled quickly and completely. If I do any building or projects in the future, I’m calling them.”
— A.S. & H.S.
“Strangers coming into your home to rip out walls and fixtures and then to rebuild a large portion of your house is unsettling. But Chris made the process smooth and user friendly. We will have them back for more projects. The quality of the work was excellent and the outcome pleased us no end. They know what they are doing…and they let you in on all the decisions and the step-by-step process. You never feel out of control with them. It was most comfortable working with these guys.”
— J.C. & M.S.
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