Bob Ross Realty, the long-time owner and manager of the Axiom Apartments, located in San Antonio, Texas, knew they needed to give the exterior of this complex more than just a fresh coat of paint in order to keep it looking good and maintenance-free for the long haul. The 60-year-old complex consists of four structures—one office and three apartment buildings. Two of the buildings had gable roofs with composite roof shingles and the other two had flat roofs made of tar and gravel. All four buildings had a lot of deferred maintenance and needed a lot of TLC to maintain. In order to increase longevity, reduce maintenance costs and give the structures a clean, modern look to stay competitive in the market, Bob Ross Realty turned to MBCI, with whom they had worked many times before, for a metal panel solution.
Axiom Apartments faced many challenges in the exterior and interior renovations. The exteriors were extremely worn, and maintenance costs were becoming out of control. The roofs of the fours buildings were completely removed. Two of the roofs had to be structurally converted to gable roofs; for the other two, shingles had to be removed before installing the metal panels. For the interiors, the construction team had to remove sheet rock as the studs had deteriorated over the years from moisture. Old plumbing, electric and A/C units also had to be replaced.
According to Steve Ross, VP and second-generation owner at Bob Ross Realty, MBCI metal panels were chosen for many reasons, including: longevity of metal vs other materials; the aesthetic quality and diversity of choices (such as the ability to mix and match colors); ease of application; and the long-term cost savings associated with metal.
The project utilized roof panels, and special trim went around doors and windows so that once the job was complete it looked “finished,” not raw. The addition of the metal panels allowed for a maintenance-free exterior. Since they wrapped all the fascia board with metal trim, they eliminated the need to paint the fascia or worry about repainting every four to seven years as the hot Texas sun would create unfavorable effects.
MBCI panels used for the project were: PBR Panel (26 gauge); PBU Panel (24 gauge); and PBC Panel (24 gauge). The C and R panels were gray and blue respectively, creating an aesthetically pleasing, complementary palette for the building exteriors, thereby upping the curb appeal quality of the now refurbished complex.
The results, according to Steve Ross, is that the Axiom Apartments look as “fresh as day one.” Beyond the aesthetic appeal, over the long run, Steve says, they estimate a savings of $70,000 -$80,000 in maintenance costs over the next seven to ten years due to not having to paint the exterior. As everyone who lives in South Texas knows the intensity of the sun is brutal and the hail storms can be catastrophic causing premature roof covering failures. By using MBCI’s roofing panels he estimates a saving of over $200,000 in the same time period, this amount includes the cost of repair or replacement of the roof covering, the cost of repair to the rental units caused by roof leaks and lost revenue from rent. Cost savings are estimated to be more than a quarter of a million dollars from the exterior alone.
Overall, the uniqueness of how the property looks—with its new and modern aesthetic, has allowed Bob Ross Realty to greatly increase the curb appeal of the property, creating an influx of drive-by traffic. They have also created a competitive advantage against their market comparables by offering such a visually unique product. Axiom, after almost a year of operating post renovation, still gets compliments on its unique choice of building materials. Steve explains, “It’s simple numbers … the more interest we can create, the more tours get scheduled; more tours turn into more applications and more applications turn into more residents.”
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Colors/Finishes: Galvalume Plus, Harbor Blue, Slate Gray
Coverage: 83,500 sf (includes wall and roof panels as well as Galvalume R panels for the carport roofs)