There’s ‘Nothing Cookie Cutter’ About This Dallas Design Firm’s New-Style Home Focused Entirely on Energy Efficiency

Romanian immigrant Botond Laszlo made Dallas his home when he came to the United States in 2001 with only a backpack and $48. Now, he wants to change the way homes are remodeled with clean building practices.

Romanian immigrant Botond Laszlo made Dallas his home when he came to the United States in 2001 with only a backpack and $48. Since then, he has created an architectural firm that is changing the way homes are remodeled. 

Though Laszlo, founder of Dallas-based Marvelous Home Makeovers, is currently working on what he calls a first-of-its-kind, eco-friendly home in Colorado, he has already made an impact on environmentally inclined houses across the North Texas region.

He credits Marvelous Home Makeovers as a team that makes deliberate actions in design, process and materials that will have a positive effects on the environment.

“We believe in educating our teammates, peers and clients about sustainable practices and technology in building science to be better stewards of our environment and set a better standard for the future,” he writes on LinkedIn. “We respect our planet and environment and encourage our clients to make choices that allow them to do the same.”

The company boasts 18 years of architectural design experience, working to make as little waste as possible. The drive behind his clean building practices stems from his childhood.

“I grew up in a small town in Transylvania, where I learned the values that set our company apart and have helped me earn my clients’ trust,” he told Dallas Innovates. “Growing up, there was a focus on using materials responsibly, with an emphasis on long term quality.”

Established as a “way to create meaningful, beautiful spaces that can serve clients and their families for years to come,” Marvelous Home Makers takes pride in its work, displaying it to homeowners thorough its diligence and attention to detail.

“Remodeling is disruptive, messy work and we want our clients to feel that we care and understand and, thus, minimize the impact,” Laszlo says. Marvelous Home Makers has worked to give its clients unique and customized home renovations for years, and prides itself on being “far from cookie-cutter.”

[Photo: Courtesy Marvelous Home Makeovers]

His most recent project, being built in Colorado, is completely focused on on energy efficiency and sustainability. The exterior will be comprised of metal that will work efficiently for 50 years, and the home will actually be built 4 and a half feet into the ground. Laszlo says the house has unique architecture, but its complexity lies within a pretty simple layout.

Step inside the home

Laszlo walked Dallas Innovates through the various elements and building process.

After clearing the overgrown brush, he and his team installed a four-foot diameter culvert across a creek to be able to drive in and ran electricity to the building. They opted for an infiltration gallery-type well (there was no public water system) that provides plenty of naturally filtered fresh water, and far less energy to pump that a drilled well would have required. “It won’t require any treatment, other than a sediment filter and UV light,” Laszlo says. “Again, this decision leads to simplicity, less maintenance, and longevity for the overall system.”

As for the design of the home, Laszlo calls it “simple yet complex.” They decided to build something more comfortable than just an A-frame—the shape is simple and rectangular, but the interior is spacious and open. To further connect to nature, it also has an 18-foot-wide panoramic door system and ample natural light.

Because of the open design, the engineering was specialized. Insulation for the home will start from the ground up, keeping the entire home warm, and the house’s heating system will be hydronic, meaning that water will circulate through the floors to warm them up. There are also two electric skylights that open up and create a chimney effect to pull out warm air in the summer. 

Laszlo says that based on numerous calculations, the building will require less than half of the energy to stay warm at the peak of winter. There is no air conditioning needed.

“The entire building envelope is completely sealed,” Laszlo says. “The fact that the home survived the winter without the roof/cladding installed is a testament to the longevity of the structure.”

Marvelous Home Makers specializes in residential construction and remodeling, and works individually with every client they have to create homes that are unique and reflective of the resident’s personality. 

“The end result will be simple—minimalist, yet comfortable,” Laszlo says. “It will be a blend of Scandinavian design with some warm and modern touches. We have worked on a few environmental practices in the past, but never at this level.”

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