Ranch Home Redesign

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The new entry walk to the renovated original home. Photo by Dror Baldinger

Project Team

Architect/Designer: Craig McMahon Architects

Remodeler: David Patterson

Project Challenges

The new owners wanted to salvage and rebuild a dated ranch home located on a large lot in Alamo Heights- a small town part of San Antonio, Texas. The owners were clear about recreating a new, modern, open home but one that engaged the spirit of the mid-century Architects Eichler and Cliff May.

The existing 2,100 square foot home required extensive work to create the open spaces and need for additional bedrooms and baths and to create a more livable home that engaged the large lot-particularly towards the backyard and around its expansive screened porch.

The original home offered the typical ranch home challenge -low ceilings and a maze of hallways and disconnected rooms. The large rooms and low ceilings, with small windows and limited light, were of the Owners main concern. The home was still in its original condition with dated finishes and materials from the 1950’s. Existing heritage trees limited expansion in many areas of the site, requiring careful study as to not engage the trees root systems. All of the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems required updating.

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Project Solutions

The completed 3,600 square foot, 5-bedroom, 4-bath home embraced its mid-century ranch architecture but incorporated unique exterior finishes, giving the home a “new and modern” feel. The home includes a detached stackable four car garage-designed as a pool cabana and workshop, complete with car lift- that integrates into the landscape. Careful attention to scale was given to the detached structures as to not overwhelm the main home and outdoor spaces.

The Owners wanted to keep the original screened porch in the new design and it became the central anchoring element of the spaces surrounding it. The upgraded porch includes a see through outdoor fireplace allowing for both covered and open patio enjoyment. Inside, the new, open living areas were created by removing the existing interior walls separating rooms and then vaulting to the original roof line to create a dramatic look. The addition was built on the east side of the property, creating a courtyard edge around the new pool.

The home included a variety of exterior materials so order was created by utilizing a three-material palette to emphasize the different exterior zones. Stucco was used as the primary base grounding material, covering the original red brick. Painted hardie-board siding was used for building insets and special areas, such as a projected fireplace and the screen porch, and metal siding was used for the addition and accentuated architectural features.

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