A Contemporary Home – at Dilston Lane (Part 1)


Dilston Lane; In the Village of Spring Hill

Throughout our 25 years in business, we’ve built almost every architectural style of home in this area except one of contemporary design. I’ve often marveled at the photos of these homes in magazines, so when offered the chance to build one, we didn’t hesitate to accept.

Although builders in other areas may be familiar with this style of construction, it’s not a typical design for this area and offers many unique and interesting challenges for us.

As a result of this design, we’ve also noticed an unusual amount of curiosity from the community and thought its progress worthy of posting.


The Build

We started out with a narrow, vacant lot as you’ll see in Picture 1 above. We had to work the land and prepare the ground before installing the Geothermal piping.

Here is our crew in the process of drilling and installing the Geothermal Piping, (For more on this, see Geothermal Heating and Cooling blog). Geothermal Piping will save on costs with cooling during the hot summers and heating in the cool winters for years to come by utilizing the temperature just below the ground.

After the piping had been installed, we began to excavate the property for the house footings. The footing is the base of the structure and the first step in creating the foundation. Having a superior footing is the most important part when building a home. If the footing is not properly sized and reinforced, it could shift, and so will the house.

This particular home will showcase a massive central fireplace. Once the footing has been dug, steel reinforcement is placed.  Without  proper steel reinforcement, the concrete footing will crack and settle in an irregular fashion causing structural shifting. The footing for the fireplace shown here will support over 20,000 bricks as well as parts of the roof.  

The foundation walls are nearly completed. Because the lot is extremely narrow, a gap has been left in the front and rear walls to allow for access to the rear. The large area of blocks behind the wheelbarrow is the beginning of the fireplace.

A master mason with Trest Construction, a masonry contractor based in Semmes, Alabama, lays the bottom of the fire box. The projected blocks at the bottom of the fireplace will provide support for the slab when placed. Beyond the fireplace to the right is the beginning of one of the two twenty-three foot tall freestanding walls. These walls will support a forty-three foot long beam spanning the back of the porch.

The finished box at eight feet long and three foot, six inches tall, is set to receive a reinforced concrete lintel. The lintel (sitting on the tractor forks at the bottom of the photo) is reinforced with #5 rods and weighs around 1,200 pounds. The lintel will help support the area above.

We’ll have more on the progress of this build very soon. Check back to see how this build continues!