Everyone likes to feel like they are unique in some way. Dallas area architects and a developer are teaming up to construct modern-looking townhouses for customers interested in cutting-edge aesthetics. The Mini-Rib panel from McElroy Metal is a key component to making it happen.

Developer Colin Lardner, of the Lardner Group of Dallas, intended to construct something unique in this eastern Dallas neighborhood. “We wanted to do something unique in the neighborhood, something pretty edgy,” Lardner says. “We wanted it to be balanced, to blend in … to be stealth-like, tough, but elegant.

“We were a little skeptical about using metal, mainly because we weren’t used to it for residential applications. Now that it’s completed, we love the look.”

Lardner, who wore a second cap on this job as the project manager with his installing company, Ascend^Co., says most townhouse complexes are made up of six units. He constructed these as five two-story units to provide a little more space for the homeowners. This community is comprised of three attached units and two detached units, each with its own yard and two-car garage. Lardner says the complex takes advantage of the urban lifestyle but still offers adequate sense of privacy and outdoor space.

Three colors of McElroy Metal’s 26-gauge Mini-Rib panels were installed to provide the look everyone was seeking. The three colors were Matte Black, Bright White and Charcoal, all Fluropon PVDF colors from Sherwin Williams. Ascend^Co. also installed 24-gauge Black 12-inch flat seam wall panels.

“It’s right in the middle of an undeveloped neighborhood, so we tried something we’ve never done before,” he says. “People are intrigued by the look, it’s sophisticated. People who have traveled around are drawn to unique, modern homes.”

Bang Dang, a partner at Far + Dang Architecture in Dallas, has been specifying metal for single-family and multi-family residential projects for more than five years. “People who follow what we do and like our work have a tendency to be a little more cutting edge and open minded to something they may not be used to,” he says. “When you show them drawings, they’re really not sure, but when they see it in reality, how clean it is, how it reflects light, they fall in love with it. It’s something that has to be experienced.”

The project was completed in March 2019.

“Metal offers a cleaner look than other products, like stucco,” Dang says. “At some point, stucco will allow for water infiltration and it stains. Metal goes up easier and is less expensive, so when you build for less, the return is greater. Metal is lighter and places less stress on the structure.

“The scale of Mini-Rib is smaller and a much more elegant look than wider ribbed panels, which can make you think you’re looking at a traditional storage building.”