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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our First Spec House

This was our first spec house, built in 1983, in the Mt Bonnell Shores subdivision. We selected a large corner lot with beautiful mature oak trees and fantastic views. The architectural design was inspired by the Baker Plantation House in Plantersville, Texas, a home we saw in the book "TEXAS HOMES of the 19th Century." Sabes Flores Architect worked with us to recreate many of the architectural details we admire and appreciate in historic homes.

In the rubble-style stonework of the facade, we used a pink tint in the mortar to emmulate the original method of building with pink sand mortar. We designed a hip style roof to accommodate the large widow's walk on the top of the house which to takes full advantage of the lovely 360-degree view of Lake Austin and the surrounding hills.

The house has four working fireplaces with custom wood mantles, real true divided light double-hung windows from Marvin Windows to help circulate the breeze. We employed traditional methods of keeping the home cool in summer and warm in winter, such as the home's southeast orientation, a double porch across the back of the house, and a single porch in front to take in the breezes and provide a shady respite from which to enjoy the outdoors.

We lovingly carried limestone from our ranch to build the driveway. The custom front doors are made of cypress because of its natural beauty, durability and resistance to rot. The house features double R hardwood floors throughout with an intricate pattern in the study and more traditional patterns through the rest of the house.

The gentleman who bought our house grew up in Independence, Texas. He was so delighted to find a home in Austin that embraced the historical character of the homes he grew up around that he put the house under contract while we it was still under construction. I was delighted to learn from him about the antique roses he asked us to plant in his garden from the Antique Rose Emporium in nearby Brennam, Texas.