LAUNCH: Before and After

Chas Fitzgerald and his business partner Jack Hammack, an architecturally trained builder and aficionado of historic homes and neighborhoods, found a dilapidated 1925, 1,400-square-foot cottage in Kessler Highlands.

After: The buyer closed on the home this spring, confirming Fitzgerald’s instinct. When the buyer started looking, the buyer wanted a smaller home and a neighborhood where young couples with children dwell in 80- to 100-year-old homes and greet new neighbors upon moving in. The interior, almost entirely rethought for a modern lifestyle, begins at the front door, which offers a straight shot to the backdoor. This gives the resident clear views of visitors approaching from the rear, and creates an opportunity for cross-ventilation, a literal breezeway that will passively cool the house in summer. One side of this central pathway is the public side: an open, expanded kitchen, a room that can be used as either a dining room or a TV room, and the front, formal sitting room. On the other side of the pathway is the private side: two comfortably sized bedrooms, and two bathrooms. The entire remodel is detailed to evoke a mixture of the past and present. For instance, the master bathroom includes a contemporary shower with no door, but it is finished in tried-and-true white tile with blue accents. In the kitchen, a stainless steel range and oven backs up to the original red-brick flue, which vents the new oven.

By |2009-08-01T12:01:00-05:00August 1st, 2009|All Feature Articles|3 Comments

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  1. Steve Habgood July 29, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    We were fortunate enough to get to represent Jack & Chas in the sale of this beautiful home. It was such a pleasure to market such a quality renovation & restoration of the Craftsman home. Their respect for the period architecture and focus on Green rehabilitation and sustainability. Very rarely do we see two individuals so focused on doing what is right and appropriate in the restoration process.

  2. Catherine Horsey July 29, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    Chas and Jack did a great job of thinking the project out before beginning construction. One of my favorite aspects is that this house demonstrates that energy efficiency doesn’t have to be achieved through high technology; attention to passive strategies like cross ventilation and daylighting can make a huge difference without adding a lot of cost. Plus the house just looks and feels great.

  3. chas fitzgerald July 29, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    This renovation and rehab project was all about being true to the Craftsman architectural bones and being as green as possible in the rehab process. The project was awarded the Green Award by Preservation Dallas in Spring 2009. The challenge in “being green” was to do so using common sense and readily available resources. Preserving the structure, and not enlarging it, was a fundamental aspect of our sustainable approach.
    Many of the building parts we removed were recycled or donated to salvage companies for reuse. All wall paint finishes were no VOC paints and wood finishes used a water-based sealant. Transoms were added for passive airflow and for natural daylighting into hallway spaces. Concrete countertops were made for long term durability. A high SEER rated condensor was selected and the attic insulation used an expanded foam insulation that seals out noise, dust, pollen and is super efficient against heat. Two “green educational tours” were conducted, one for Preservation Dallas members and one for Realtors. Many principles of multi-use space were borrowed from The Not So Big House by Susan Susanka.

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