Our client approached us after she purchased a lot in a small Jacksonville subdivision. The developer presented her with plans for a standard subdivision house but she wanted more – a unique design that reflected her personality and emphasized a welcoming entry point to the home.

On this small lot, our challenge was to diminish the dominating presence of the garage façade that is typical in subdivisions by designing a detached garage set back from the house. This meant some creative interpretations of the design review regulations (CC&Rs). We designed the roof forms to express the separateness of the two structures as well as decreasing the massing of the main house. This provided us with the opportunity to emphasis the entry and create a friendly, homey feel. By doing this, the focus remained on the expression of the components of the home – the entry, stairwell and dormer for the upper bedroom. The second challenge was to work with the neighboring property, which shared access and a driveway, to create a sense of privacy.

While the property sits on a slight slope in a densely developed subdivision it has the benefit of a neighboring forest. Siting views within the design was critical to keep the backyard open to the adjacent rural area so as to emphasize connection to the property and forest beyond. Strategies were utilized to avoid direct views of neighboring houses and adjacent fencing.

Contractor: Dorris Construction
Landscape Architect: Laurie Sager & Associates Landscape Architects Inc.
Photographs by Ben Sager Photography