Chapter 32: Meet The Architect

December 28, 2009 • Written by Christina Berry

Meet Rudy Delgado.

He is our architect. He’s a pleasure to work with and has been a real sport, what with me often taking random photos of him as he works and talks.

Also, I love that he’s titled the project Addition to Pleasant Valley Ranch! He gets us, Rudy gets us!



So, we hired Rudy because we needed help with developing our dream house. I mean, we have no shortage of dreams for this place, but we needed a fresh pair of eyes to make sure we hadn’t overlooked any important details, to make sure it actually functioned as a usable space, and to be certain it fit within the “McMansion” ordinance.

Rudy was enthusiastic and interested from day one, clearly the right person for our very special (in our own minds) job. With his help we’ve finally got our dreams fleshed out and on paper.

Want a tour?

Say yes. Say yes. Oh, of course you do! You’re reading this blog, aren’t you right? There is an implied yes in your actions, so let the virtual tour commence!

Okay, so basically we’re ripping the back off the house and adding more space. In the photo below all the stuff with diagonal striped is the house you’ve come to know and love, all the stuff without diagonal stripes is NEW NEW NEW!

So the living room will be the same (except the kitchen will no longer be part of it) and the bathroom will not change. Also the front bedroom is where Lucy lives, that will eventually be connected through a bedroom door near the front door.

In the photo below you can see a close up of the new addition. Basically, the master bedroom will be expanded by about 5 feet. Behind the bedroom will be a master bath with a walk in closet, garden tub (YAY) and a shower that I call Errek’s “cave” because it will be made of rock (probably).

Behind the living room will be a large kitchen with a farm sink, and the washer/dryer behind cabinet doors that match the rest of the room. At the very back is our breakfast room which is also going to be home to a salt water aquarium. Along the back there will be a wall of windows that will look out to the courtyard. So when you walk in the front door and look into the living room you’ll be able to see all the way to the trees out back.

This is the front exterior elevation. You can see we’re going to convert the front porch from concrete to wood, add a railing, and brick banisters. Also, you can see the front of the detached carport. It looks like a garage from the front, but is open on the back and sides. And beside the carport is the rock wall we’ll be using to enclose the courtyard between the two buildings.

This is the side elevation on the east side of the house. Not much changes except that the door to Lucy’s room will eventually be turned into a window and you can see the two transom windows into the bathroom. This will be roughly where the carport sits.

This is the side elevation on the west side of the house. Here you can see the shed dormer over the kitchen. See, here’s an example of how another set of eyes can make a big difference. We’d imagined the kitchen without any side windows (since there are windows to the north and south). But Rudy (and his wonderful wife) thought, nope, a kitchen needs some sort of natural light. So Rudy designed this shed dormer to give us a kitchen ceiling that is 2 feet higher than the rest of the house. Then he put three 2′ x 2′ windows above the cabinets. Perfect! We get light without losing any storage space.

Pretty neat, right? And that’s not all. The really exciting part of all of this is the addition in the back yard. Behind the house we’ll have a courtyard about 40′ x 50′ with our two lovely pecan trees, and on the far side of the courtyard — a spectacular studio/shop. It will be a two story building with a flat roof, and on the top…a deck! Yep, a third floor deck. Sweet, right? We think so.

The bottom floor will be an 800 square foot wood shop.

Stairs in the front will lead to a 600 square foot studio straddled by two balconies. This room will have a 12 foot ceilings and a lot of closet/cabinet space along the back wall.

Then on the second floor balcony is a spiral stair case to the deck up top. This is a view of the studio/shop from the house. It will have a bit of a French Quarter vibe with the tall windows, iron railings, and shutters.

Now, before you get all excited, keep in mind this is “Phase II” and since we’re paying for this out of pocket as we can afford it, Phase II will likely be completed in 2020. So if you want to sit on our deck in the next decade, cross your fingers for that lottery win, or throw us a benefit concert. 😉

Okay, that’s the “big picture” and it is pretty darn big. In the meantime, baby steps toward having the coolest house this side of Town Lake.

Speaking of “cool” let’s take a break from the grind for our annual E.A.S.T. event.