Surprises always come up during construction projects, but perhaps nothing is harder than a change in architect halfway through. That's exactly what happened to Mark Tanner and his team at Mark Tanner Construction last spring. As they were working on a mountain-style home in Truckee, Calif., the homeowners abandoned their original plans and hired a new Los Angeles-based designer to implement a modern design for the house.

"After the house had already been built to the second story, the homeowners changed lead architects," says Tanner. "Shortly thereafter, they also purchased an adjacent lot to build the second 'pool house' on. These changes created a new dynamic in the project."

Though the changes in architects delayed the project six months, Tanner says "the transition went smoothly" and the "changes encouraged a lot of innovation, such as the use of the unique Antrha Zinc siding on the pool house."

After the initial plans were scrapped, Tanner's team redid the partially completed second floor, shifting to a sharper style with large glass windows, bright walls, and clean stonewalk.

To connect the properties to the surrounding landscape, the design emphasizes natural earth tones and refined materials.

Tanner says he is particularly proud of the landscaping. "Due to the lot's proximity to a nearby pond, integrating with the natural surroundings was essential."