Welcome to the inaugural issue of Design News from Mark McReynolds. I am reaching out to current and prospective clients, as well as family and friend

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Welcome to the inaugural issue of Design News from Mark McReynolds. I am reaching out to current and prospective clients, as well as family and friends, in order to let them know the types of projects that I'm working on. I would also like to use this newsletter to make people aware of current trends in remodeling and new home construction and to share helpful tips for around the home. I welcome any and all suggestions regarding this newsletter. If you're ever looking for information or design ideas I'd like to help. Let me know what you think!

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Current Projects

The Peterson Residence

I designed this home for a young family on a 2+ acre property north of Dallas. The clients were attracted to the French Provincial style featuring stucco, stone accents and cedar shutters. At just over 5,000 s.f. the home has a total of five bedrooms (3 down and 2 up) and features a large, open entertaining space with living, dining and kitchen areas. The majority of the downstairs rooms overlook a small pond to the rear of the home.

Peterson Elevation

Front Elevation

Peterson Main Level

Main Level Plan

Peterson Upper Level

Upper Level Plan

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On the Lighter Side

I love Gary Larson's "The Far Side"

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Recent Remodels

The Scoggins Residence

My client recently purchased this home which was originally built in the mid 80's on a
1+ acre site. The original family room was dark with stained paneling and a fireplace on the outside wall which blocked a lot of much needed sunlight from coming into the space. The original kitchen had a dropped ceiling which made it feel cramped. The home owner updated the master bathroom and enlarged the master bedroom with a bow bay window and the fireplace was relocated to the interior wall of the family room. In the kitchen the ceiling was raised and a game room was added to the rear corner of the home nearby.

Front Elevation

aFront 1

Before

 
aFront 1A

After

Family Room

aFamily 1

Before

 
aFamily 1a

After

Kitchen

aKitchen 1

Before

 
aKitchen 1A

After

Master Bedroom

aMaster 1

Before

 
aMaster 1A

After

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Spring/Summer Energy Saving Tips

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Air Conditioning:

Be sure and change your air filters once a month to ensure the best airflow through the system. You should also hire a reputable HVAC contractor to service your unit as early as possible in both the heating and cooling seasons. This is a good idea because these guys can detect possible issues which may arise with your HVAC system before a major repair is required. Locate your a/c system's secondary drain lines around your home. They are typically installed in the eaves of the roof next to a window. If you see them dripping you'd better check the condensation pans at the a/c units! Usually it just means that some dust has gotten clogged in the PVC drain. I had an a/c guy tell me when that happens to pour a cup or two of straight bleach into the drain. I did and it worked; and the condensation water drained normally again.

dilapidated house

A house that breathes too much - not a good thing:

Periodically inspect the caulking around doors and windows. Over time caulking will shrink and expand eventually to the point of cracking. If this happens scrape out the old and squeeze in the new! Another place where air likes to leak in and out of a home is through outlets and switch boxes located on the exterior walls of homes. One remedy that I've used in my home is a foam gasket which is installed behind the outlet/switch covers. These can be purchased at any hardware store and have pre-punched holes for quick and easy installation.

Insulation

A house without a good blanket of insulation - not a good thing:

Look to see how much insulation is in your attic. In most areas builders use blown-in insulation which has an average R-Value of 3.1 to 3.7 per inch, depending on the actual material used. You can rent a machine and blow it into the attic yourself or you can hire someone else to do it. But be careful - one day I had the attic door open while I was putting Christmas boxes away and my St. Bernard mistook the white insulation for snow. She ran into the attic and tromped around on the ceiling above my bedroom - not a good thing.

Power Fan

Install a roof top power fan:

I've added these on both of my houses. They are controlled by thermostats and come in different sizes in order to maintain different volumes of attic space. Not only do they remove the hot air from your attic but it's been my experience that they also serve to remove some humidity from the interior space of the home as well. This is helpful because with added humidity comes added heat. In our last house before I installed a power fan we would keep the thermostat set to 72-73 degrees in the summer just to be comfortable. After it was installed we were able to raise it up to 78 degrees in the summer and often at night had to raise it even a bit higher so as not to get too cold!

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