An architect is not required for every good building design project. Although, I was one when I designed my garage, I made it an easy and affordable project by working with local garage and storage builders A-Shed.
I selected a few extras beyond choosing one of there standard garage model packages:
Added a sub-floor for a storage loft.
Steeper pitched roof, as high as local zoning allows, to allow ample head room in storage loft space.
Added extra windows where I wanted them.
Translucent roof vents for added natural light.
Here is a link to photos of some of A-Shed's "customized" garage projects, including mine.
I was stunned by how quickly A-Shed constructed the garage. To demonstrate, here are several photos of Day 3 of construction:
Above: Loft sub-floor
Separately, I coordinated the installation of a cantilever automated gate (of black chain link fencing with redwood colored privacy slats) to close off the entrance to the driveway and garage from the public alley. This required three trades: The fencing manufacturer who fabricated the gate, the installer of the remote motorized gate mechanism, and the electrician.
The Anderson Collection at Stanford University
has won a 2015 Award of Excellence, the highest level of honor, from
the American Institute of Architects, New York State (AIANY).
Designed by RICHARD OLCOTT/Ennead Architects, the building housing
the collection is located in the heart of Stanford’s arts district. The
Anderson Collection at Stanford University celebrates its first
anniversary this month.
The collection, a gift from Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson and
Mary Patricia Anderson Pence, and is one of the world’s most outstanding
private assemblies of modern and contemporary American art.
AIANY has recognized outstanding works of architecture through its
annual Design Awards Program each year since 1968, celebrating
achievements in design excellence by New York State architects, and
honoring the architects, clients and consultants who work together to
create and enhance our built environment. JASON LINETZKY, director of the Anderson Collection,
reflects on how the building design supports the art collection: “The
play of natural light within the space, the intimate scale of the
galleries and the chance glances afforded by the open layout seem to
make the artwork sing. Ennead did a remarkable job creating an
accessible, warm and welcoming environment as one would experience upon
visiting the collection at the Andersons’ home. And in so doing, they
gave all of us – the university and broader communities – the
opportunity to closely and deeply engage with the collection in its new
Due to the fact that we live in the desert here in SLC, I have turned my view of my back yard to a design that allows better water conservation. Not only that, but my hounds have ruined the appearance of a once pristine back lawn which was here when I originally purchased this house nine years ago.
Me on poop patrol duty in the weed-filled and bare spotted backyard. Garage in the background. In case you are not aware, boy dogs will ruin your shrubs if they lift their legs whilst relieving themselves and girl dogs will ruin the lawn while squatting. (Garage in the background. See that project here.)
Phase I area for a xeriscape design (from the Greek word: dry, so dry landscape design).
Above: Removal of weeds and grass in preparation for application of weed control cloth and installation of steel edging to separate and define the plant areas. The lawn sprinkler heads on the left side of the walkway have been capped off so the area will no longer receive water.
Steel edging is installed and gravel placed over the weed cloth. We decided to also include a steel sculpture mounted on a round stepping stone in the center of a circle. The circle is defined by more steel edging material and filled with found river rocks. This area acts as a deterrent/barrier to male dogs who would otherwise love to "create a fire hydrant" of the sculpture! We also thought the addition of the circle was a good way to break up the vastness of the graveled area and create a focal point.
Approach from the front yard into the back
View of the sculpture and towards the back of the house and new ground-level wood deck for the BBQ grille. The steel pendulum sculpture was created by local steel worker Lee Fordham.
View from the kitchen window overlooking the BBQ deck and newly graveled ground.
The next step in the process of xeriscaping this area, will be changing out the lawn and shrub sprinkler heads to drip components. This will focus water onto individual plants instead of generally spraying of the larger area. This method gives the plants a good soaking, which uses less water, in the long run, and does not waste water by spraying areas that do not require water. Sprinkling/spraying as an irrigation method also wastes water through evaporation, especially in this dry desert climate we have.