NARI CotY 2021 Winner for Region 5 South Central and North Texas
Entire House $250,000 to $500,000
PROJECT GOALS & HOW THEY WERE ACHIEVED
The homeowners for this project contacted us to update the look of their existing home, design and build a dedicated space for guests and a new 2 car garage. They wanted the guests to have access to a full bathroom and the garage needed to be large enough to fit his truck and have remaining space for a workbench. The homeowners also wanted to maintain their existing backyard oasis with pool and cabana area.
The design we came up with was both efficient and met all their needs. We enclosed the existing one-car garage to create the new guest bedroom space. We were able to reconfigure the laundry room while maintaining the majority of the existing plumbing rough-ins to meet the owner’s budget and give us the needed room to add a large shower to the existing powder bathroom, creating a full bathroom. The new 26’ x26’ garage provides more than enough space for the owner’s vehicles and a mortar wash on the existing exterior brick, a new roof, and updated paint on the exterior dramatically updated the look of their home.
ORIGINAL VS. NEW FLOOR PLANS — GARAGE
They desired to open-up the entry as the existing was too crowded. The existing front door was small and somewhat hidden, they wished to have a dramatic front entry “moment” with a new larger porch and entry door.
To accomplish their goals, we removed the coat closet in the front entry way and the large furr-down over the stairs to open up the space. We closed the existing staircase railing to create a space for a console table. The exterior wall was pushed outward to match the plane of the existing front windows and we built a long frong porch over the new front door and existing windows to enhance the symmetry of the front façade.
ORIGINAL VS. NEW FLOOR PLANS: FIRST FLOOR
ENHANCING THE EXISTING STRUCTURE’S FUNCTIONALITY
The best design choice was to attach the new garage to the existing house to maintain the impressive outdoor space and still gain the large two-car garage the owners wanted. By offsetting the new garage, we were able to achieve a better roof structure and maintain the entry to the home through the laundry room. This also allowed us to completely close off the existing entry to the one car garage to create privacy for the new guest room by eliminating any traffic through the bedroom. To protect the owners from the elements when entering the home from the garage, we designed a large covered walkway from the garage to the laundry room door.
A new metal fence was installed with a narrower gap between posts to prevent the owners pet from escaping the backyard. Exterior sconce lights flanking the garage door, new flood lights at the exterior corners and recessed can lights at the walkway provide decorative, functional, and safety lighting for the home.
Adding the shower to the bathroom removed some of the footprint of the laundry room but we were able to reconfigure the space to make the laundry more efficient for the homeowner, maintaining their sink and leaving a large area for their washer and dryer with space for a laundry hamper as well. We installed dividers in an existing full-height cabinet for more functional storage and added a hanging rod between two existing upper cabinets. A new window adds wonderful natural lighting, and relocated and replaced the existing recessed lights with new LED lights for general and task lighting. Adding large windows and a closet to the old garage created a perfect bedroom space. The addition of directional recessed lighting to all interior rooms provides ample lighting to the spaces making them feel light and airy.
The new front porch frames the front of the house. It is deep enough to provide shelter to the new stained front door and existing front windows. The copper gutters and standing seam metal roofing add character to the home while being extremely durable options. Two decorative wall sconces and recessed lighting provide ample light to the porch, welcoming you into the home.
The front entry had an oddly small closet blocking the entry’s view of the living room. The furr-downs in the ceiling made the entry feel small and cramped and hardly welcoming. By pushing the exterior wall and front door forward to match the plane of the existing living room windows and by removing the closet and most of the furr-downs we were really able to change the look and feel of the front entry. Two new recessed lights illuminate the space along with the natural light provided by the large front door and matching sidelites.
ENHANCING THE EXISTING STRUCTURE’S AESTHETICS
The clients had a stunning back yard before we started that included a small pool cabana surrounded by flagstone accents. With this project we really put the exclamation point on the back yard. We matched the cedar and stone elements used in the backyard and installed new cedar columns with stone wrapped bases at the new covered porch leading from the driveway to the garage. The new porch added the element needed in the backyard to make the oasis feel completed and finished. The look is topped off by the custom cedar garage door with stockton style windows.
The original front entry was recessed into the home with no definition or grandeur. The new front porch creates a frame for the front door and windows and balances the front of the home. The porch is highlighted with the standing seam metal roof and copper gutters and downspouts. The large stained front door with sidelites pops against the dark gray trim and newly mortar washed brick and creates a beautiful experice when entering the home. The new porch is tied into the existing circular driveway with flagstone pavers that flow up the steps to the door. The results achieve the statement and curb appeal that the clients had been missing.
Evidence of Superior Craftmanship
Our team did an exceptional job with detailed craftsmanship throughout the project and the result is found everywhere you look. Starting with the exterior, the stained v-groove paneling in the exterior patio ceilings tied into the custom crown, corbels, and small pergola leading from the driveway to the house is matched on the front entry porch. Stone accents matching the pool and cabana was utilized on the garage columns. These repeating elements are all tied together with the bright mortar wash on the exterior brick and painted dark gray accents.
To meet the client’s budget, we reused existing laundry cabinetry as we were able to and had to make the new cabinetry to match exactly. The final result is seamless.
Adding the shower to the bathroom proved to be a challange but with phenominal tile work and matching the vanity countertop to the shower wall cap, curb, and shower seat, the shower looks as if it were always there. You cannot draw the line of where they craftsman on the job started and stopped.
INNOVATIVE USES OF MATERIAL AND METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION
Though this project was straight forward, a few items really made us push for innovative answers. The homeowners wanted to drastically alter the exterior finish of their home as they found the current brick to be too dated and ugly. They did not want to only paint the brick and threw a few suggestions including a massive undertaking of tearing down the brick and replacing it with an alternate siding material. As their budget was being stretched to cover both the garage and the new front entry, we had to come up with a more cost effective solution that would give them a completely new look without breaking the bank. The solution we suggested was to coat the brick with a mortar wash – different from just paint or a white wash of the brick, the mortar wash adds a unique texture and gives flexibility on the coverage you can achieve, leaving some select original bricks exposed while varing coverage on the remaining brick. We provided samples to the owner to determine how much coverage they preferred and the final result is visually stunning – the home almost looks brand new!
Another budget saving option we presented to the homeowners was to use fiberglass windows on the side of the house that faced the fence and retaining wall. Utilizing the high-end Marvin Aluminum Clad Casement windows on the side of the garage and laundry room that faced the gorgeous backyard, we went with the Marvin Essentials line for the 4 windows that faced the fence. Comparable in the look and finish, the Essential windows were the perfect solution. Another innovative design solution we came up with was to build a pergola over the garage window instead of extending the covered porch all the way to the end of the garage. Visually the pergola lightens the look of the porch and also provides a structure for the homeowners favorite ivy to grow over in the future. This design allows light to still enter the garage through the window while providing some shading and covering to the walkway. The pergola structure helps to create a unique experince walking from the driveway to the shaded pergola to the covered porch.
OVERCOMING DIFFICULT OBSTACLES
This project’s obstacles were found mainly in the existing conditions vs. what we were trying to accomplish. Drainage was a huge issue on the job. Adding the large footprint for the garage and leveling the sideyard for additional paving at the part of the rear yard that already retained water was more than a challenge. Working with a landscape designer, we installed a new retaining wall and french drains around the garage to help with the water drainage off of the roof. We corrected the slope of the lot prior to pouring the new driveway and the homeowners no longer have to deal with large puddles in their driveway or a muddy lawn.
Removing the closet in the front entry proved to be our greatest challenge yet. After demolition, we found that the closet and entry way furr-downs were hiding the main plumbing drain line. To completely remove the closet we devised a creative re-route of the drain to maintain the needed slope and goes from the new exterior wall back to the main drain entry to the slab that was existing under the new wood flooring. Our creative solution perfected the new open entry way.
Great planning and careful execution of the project achieved a beautiful home the homeowners are in love with.
BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOGRAPHS
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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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