In last week’s Tuesday Two Hundred, we wrote about a gorgeous East Dallas house in Phenomenal Buckner Terrace Reno Goes Under Contract in Three Days.
The renovation was a masterpiece created by Casey Barton and Raymond E. Graham, who have been renovating and selling houses together for eight years and own the company Barton-Graham Home & Design Firm.
Their work itself is inspiring, but when they showed me before-and-after photos of the Buckner Terrace property and others they’ve renovated, I decided they might be more like magicians than renovators.
Barton and Graham are both general contractors and interior decorators, and Graham is a Realtor and is getting his broker’s license in May, so they’ve got all their bases covered to offer comprehensive services to clients. They met in 2002 when they lived in the same apartment complex and after three renos together, including one for Barton’s mother, they decided to do it for a living.
“Our first remodel was in 2008 on a little cottage off Henderson on Bonita,” Graham said. “We did a great job and our hard work paid off, and despite the supposed crash of the housing market, we sold it and made a great profit. We knew that if we could be successful on our first renovation in a supposed bad market, then this is what we were meant to do.”
The Buckner Terrace house at 5823 Canterview Dr. they renovated had been vacant for five years and Barton and Graham referred to it as “the zombie house.” You would never guess that now, because it feels fresh, modern, and totally livable.
I asked the duo how they got so good at their work—buyers can’t seem to get enough of their flips.
“We renovate homes with our personal taste. We don’t do what the average ‘flipper’ would do and we take lots of risks,” Graham said. “We always say that we don’t care to appeal to everyone, we only need two or three people that ‘have to have it.’”
They have a “signature look” that includes:
- Interior paint in three shades of gray
- A wallpapered accent wall
- A contemporary frosted-glass front door with a painted frame, usually a pop of color like turquoise or lime green
- A reflective address plaque mounted on the front of the house
- A marble-and-granite mosaic tile address numbers on the curb
- An exterior that is usually one main base color, with white trim and black accents
- Hardwood floors throughout
- Chrome fixtures and hardware
- Light-colored granite to mimic the look of marble
- Black interior doors
I asked them about design details you’ll never find in one of their flips, and they said travertine, brown granite, “beige anything,” or laminate floors (unless the home is under $100K).
Barton and Graham are currently focusing on focusing on houses in East Dallas, especially subdivisions like Buckner Terrace and Claremont.
“We look for homes that are at least 1,700 square feet, and then of course, we take into consideration the sale price, if the original floor plan is workable, the amount of work that is needed, how much will cost to remodel and what we think we can resell the house for after the renovation is complete,” Graham said. “If all the numbers make since then we go for it.”
In 2015, the pair are planning for big growth—up to this point, they’ve done all the work in their renos themselves. Now they are hiring crews now because they’re designing and renovating multiple properties simultaneously. They’re also acquiring investors for renovations and possibly new construction. With Graham getting his broker’s license and agents looking to join them, business looks promising.
“We’d love to build midcentury modern homes or convert abandoned warehouses downtown into lofts,” Barton said.
To make investment an attractive proposition, Barton and Graham are offering to handle the entire project from renovation to sell and split profits 50-50 with investors.
“We hope to do as many houses as we possibly can and no other investment will give you this kind of return,” Graham said.
Their enthusiasm is contagious and aesthetic impeccable, so I predict big things for this pair as they renovate their way through some of the most desirable parts of Dallas.