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DIY Success Story!

Author: Ranjit Gupta, AIA

Ranjit has followed his passion for creativity and design since an early age which ultimately led him to the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin and graduating with Honors. He brings a vast array of experience in International and local projects and has been with the Cornerstone team since 1998. Ranjit is a Partner and Design Director at Cornerstone and is currently a licensed Architect in Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Georgia.


One of the reasons I became interested in architecture was the incredible breadth and scope of the field. The idea of molding and designing spaces to inhabit and interact was simply fascinating. We take the pencil to paper and let our ideas and imagination run wild. As architects, the canary yellow butter paper is all too endearing, as layers upon layers the squiggly Flair pen lines begin to shape and trace the semblance of a plan and the imagery of the spaces, forms and structure.

What is sometimes lost or underappreciated is the translation from schematic sketches to hard-line construction drawing details and precise dimensions which guide the builder.

Our story begins when I was approached by a gentleman named Trent, who had a background in large commercial construction. He created a rough floor plan, but struggled with visualizing what the house would look like. This was not a project that our firm would typically take on, being that we were not fully involved from initial concept to the finished detailed drawing set. However, after listening to his story, I decided to help Trent and his wife, Heather, with their project. I met with Trent and Heather and after a three hour sketching session, I had produced rough imagery of what their house could look like. After hammering through some plan options and roof layout possibilities, we had come up with rough elevations.

Needless to say, I had some doubts. How would my rough sketches be translated to the final building product by a DIYer without detailed drawings?? Let alone a rough concept on trace paper produced in a few hours! After I left that meeting, a few internet memes had crossed my mind…

I had not thought about that meeting for some time until I checked my inbox one day several months later and saw a message from Trent. His brief email jogged my memory of that meeting with he and his wife, and attached were my original sketches along with photos of the fully realized house!

I spent that evening in complete awe. I was especially honored seeing the photo of my sketches framed on the wall in their home. He ended the email thanking me and requesting my help again on his next project. It was great working together with them and getting to see their delight in the final product.

Now that you have heard the story from the architect, take a look at Heather's blog to see more project photos and read about the amazing journey from their perspective!



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