Zachary W. Henderson, A.I.A.
Helping You Achieve Your Next Goal
Our 52nd Year applying our simple longtime philosophy - to help you create an economical, functional, creative, eco-friendly project within your budget. Our emphasis in all our projects since our founding in Atlanta in 1965 is on the people and their lifestyle who will occupy or use the buildings we help create more than the buildings themselves.
"Zac, what would you do?"
Most asked question in our long architectural career with residential, institution, and commercial prospects, clients and friends.
I love to come back and say "The best thing you can do when you find yourself in "a hole" is to stop "digging".
The good news is most prospects and clients are not in a hole, but are pursuing their next dream.
Every day in our now world of information, we are bombarded with new products, all claiming to be better and cheaper. How do we separate the good from the bad and advise our clients which to consider?
Double H's Country Home & Stable
When Lynne and I started planning our current country residence our tried and true professional experience of products and systems were our best choices for overall quality, endurance, longevity, economy and ease of use.
Importance of Location
Our previous farm in Crabapple was crowded out by development, traffic and noise. We had lived there for more than 20 years.
Realizing, in our present fast-moving world, there are no "forever after" guaranteed "happily ever after" home sites, like our parents and grandparents had.
So, the "Where" question is a process for experienced eliminations of identifiable "unknowns."
After a long, exhausting search of many possibilities, the one site that had the best potential and fewest "unknowns" was what became our 8-1/2-acre Country Farm Home on a small paved county-maintained road named Hube Turner Road in the Lathemtown community of Cherokee County.
The small farmhouse community that surrounds this short road has been here for more than 100 years. The acreage we chose includes 6 of these homes, including ours. We actually purchased two of the parcels available - one 4-acre parcel and a second 4-1/2 acre parcel, totaling 8-1/2 acres (6 1/2 acres for our current farm use and 2 acres as investment to keep or sell in the future).
Lynne and I have been involved with horses since we both were kids. We wanted our new farm to accommodate our two remaining family horses.
Ed Cipriani, custom home builder/developer, had selected a wooded 5-acre parcel to build his new personal family home. I considered this a real plus for the community to have Ed as our vested neighbor. We selected the only parcel that would have frontage on existing Hube Turner and frontage on the entire east side of the proposed private dead-end road. One of the tremendous pluses for me as a lifelong horseman was the long established pasture large enough to easily accommodate our two family horses. We fenced and cross-fenced the pasture to rotate their grazing time.
After being crowded out of our previous farm by development, we considered the deep old growth existing woods surrounding two sides of our new farm a great long-range buffer from future development beyond our property lines.
As Landscape Architects we evaluated the gently sloping house site and both pastures a plus that eliminated site grading and left the majority of the 8-1/2 acres undisturbed.
We located our new Prarie-Style Single Level Ranch House between an existing grove of cedar trees on the north end of the house and a group of large oak trees just beyond the south end of our home. We did not have to remove a single tree.
Our Landscape Architectural plan included perimeter house planting beds front, rear and side.
Flowering ornamental trees were added to front, rear and side yards.
We installed a complete underground automatic irrigation system to protect our yards and garden.
Fencing for perimeter of front, side and rear of spacious dog yard, all protected with an underground automatic sprinkler system.
The Prairie Style Country Ranch house is compatible with the existing country homes in this small country farm community.
Our custom upscale products, materials and systems were chosen from years of our tried and true personal experience over the last 50 years.
We do not recommend below-grade basement spaces in our Georgia soils moisture content due to a number of issues difficult to control, including moisture penetration, mold, termites and other subterranean pests.
Our present Country home is constructed on a solid reinforced self-supporting monolithic concrete platform over compacted soil.
The exterior wall structure is 9 ft. tall wood studs spaced 16" o.c. with R-13 wall insulation behind joint sealed exterior insulation perimeter polymer caulked at all joints.
The exterior walls are Cementous patterned board and batten manufactured by Hardie Plank, including all trim, facias, soffits, columns and bases. No exposed exterior wood!*
We chose 40-year architectural thick butt composition shingles with aluminum flashing. We extended all our roof eaves from typical 16" overhangs to a full 24" to better weather protect our exterior walls and extend the shade comfort of our spacious front and rear stone floored porches.
Our longest top pick product remains by far the quality endurance and beauty of Andersen manufactured wood vinyl-clad insulated low-E glass double hung windows.
For years our preferred hard flooring was Heart Pine. Its drawback was endurance because of its soft nature. Next we made our preference hardwood flooring, which with a good finish could hold up to normal wear about 10 years before needing sanding and refinishing.
When we built our present home in 2006 we installed a premium oak laminate over a thin cushion. We horse folks often come in with muddy boots. Our farm dogs are in and out day and night and put the laminate to a good test every day. These floors never need waxing and only require wet mopping. They show "zero" wear and tear and look like new after 10 years into their 30-year warranty. Best hard surface floor we have ever used - bar none.
In our 2-1/2 custom baths we used 12" X 12" ceramic tile floors with flush joints. Lynne's cleaning experience influenced our bath walls, shower, tub and shower floor, which have no tile joints to clean. They are all clad with cultured marble and granite walls to match the countertops.
The main interior walls are custom 3/4" thick tongue and groove horizontal painted spruce walls. We used country beaded wood wainscots and chair rails in the Dining Room and Sunroom.
Our door hardware is all top-of-the-line levers in lieu of the standard knobs.
We used combination paddle fans with lights throughout for natural air movements.
There are numerous other products and systems chosen for low operating and maintenance costs and their long lives.
Our current Double H's Country Farm represents the beauty and quality of our long career of trial and error and upgrades to achieve lasting excellence for ourselves and our valuable clients.
Zachary W. Henderson, A.I.A.
Small-Worthwhile Project in Roswell, Georgia
We recently completed the smallest, most worthwhile project our firm has ever done. This was a small but key addition to the Jacob’s Ladder Learning Center Campus we Master Planned in 2008. This little wooded campus is the home base for the miracles its founder/director Amy O’Dell brings to the kids and their families relative to autism and related neurological issues present in these precious kids.
When Amy and her son Jacob discovered this property and saw a “For Sale” sign on it, they had an instant connection to its little existing cottage and the natural pristine forest that it was nestled within. Amy was referred to me and my firm to help her make this her first campus for her work with these special kids and their families a reality.
One of the small structures in the wooded area behind the cottage was a rustic little stable which obviously hadn’t been used for years. Amy loved the charm of the little
structure and wanted to leave it in the woods behind the main building. We expanded the existing cottage to become her Learning Center.
When a need arose for a small, unobtrusive separate quiet place for Amy to meet and evaluate prospective students, talk to their families, continue her lifelong research into autism and related issues, and create ever-changing new and innovative ways to help these kids and their families, I suggested giving a second life to the little stable, respecting its spirit by keeping an exterior personality of its beginnings and give Amy a Quiet Place in her forest to carry on her labor of love.
The existing stable footprint we were required to maintain to meet Roswell’s stringent development regulations was only 380 sq. ft. (12 ft. x 32 ft.). My Family Room/Country Kitchen at our Horse Farm is bigger than that.
Every project, regardless of size, is not as much fun and rewarding as Amy’s Quiet Place at Jacob’s Ladder.
Believe it or not, this little reincarnated stable contains a spacious office for Amy, a parent’s conference room, handicap toilet and a loft for additional quiet space with lots of natural light and views of the surrounding forest. The entry is through a spacious covered porch complete with rocking chairs.
When you walk into Amy’s Quiet Place in the forest and chat with her you feel the hope and peace in this place.
Amy O’Dell and her work laced with miracles brings a quote from my published Journal to mind:
“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”
Amy in her tiny Quiet Place is not taking up too much space.
Zachary W. Henderson, A.I.A.
We have one simple goal - to listen to our client, become a member of the client's team and create a unique, practical solution for his or her project.
Zachary W. Henderson
Chief of Design
What We Can Do For You
Who is the Perfect Client?
Last Fall a long-time creative friend of mine, Steve Beecham, and I were reconnecting after too long a time had slipped by. If you are fortunate enough to know Steve, "The Beech", you know what a fascinating guy he is. During our intersection Steve asked me "What would be a perfect client for you?" Since then I not only have given the question a lot of thought, it has become my top marketing aid in our 50+ years in business. My thought process started with the process of elimination. It's easier to decide what clients were not perfect for me and my firm than who was and is. I won't list the "Not Perfect for Us" list for fear of causing pain, but I do have a more definitive goal of who are our preferred clients. The trait that they must have is HONESTY, which I would think tops your list also. I've paid the price for misjudging this trait through the years, but by and large I have guessed correctly. Next, I prefer INDEPENDENT DECISION MAKERS, risking their own money. The quality that vaults a client to the top of the list, if he or she is an HONEST DECISION MAKER, is their CREATIVITY. Presently all our current clients meet our criteria and make our tasks as architect/planners a joyful challenge. One of these joys involves the smallest structure we've ever created. This little structure has a footprint less than 400 square feet, has a great purpose to be created and is extremely eco-friendly. The client is a FASCINATING PIONEER in her field and lives on the cutting edge of life. One of the quotations in my published Journal by Lou Whitaker:
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."
This little 380 square foot structure is taking up a small space with a cutting edge purpose. This is about as perfect as it gets.