Need Curb Appeal help from all of you creative members.

HarpersCabinMarch 6, 2013

We are building a one story lake house (with walkout) on a very steep back sloping lot. The depth of the house will have to be minimal (36ft max) and the width will be around 70ft. We want a sort of beachy/cottage like feel. The wide shallow roofline is giving us fits keeping good curb appeal. Does anyone have a good front rendering or tips on giving this thing curb appeal? I don't want it to look like a double-wide manufactured home. Does my crude sketch look too bland? We are considering shake shingle exterior, but are also open to some sort of other concrete or vinyl siding. Nothing too expensive. HELP PLEASE!

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Could you post the floor plan so we can see what is going on?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:14AM
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Circus Peanut

In general I find such regular symmetry too formal for a beach house -- any way you could move the garage around to the side, or into a separate building of its own? Then give your front door more depth with a big porch -- you're after a welcoming feeling that will pull the viewer in, right?

This is the infamous Something's Gotta Give movie beach house, but it's illustrative: you would likely get a LOT of use and pleasure out of a much bigger porch that wraps around the home and provides a nice buffer between lake and house.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Circus Peanut

PS! This is my former bungalow, a very modest 24' x 37'. You can do an awful lot with overarching porches and dormers to increase the curb appeal and coziness, and negate the rectangular "double-wide" feeling.

If you have a sketch of the shape of the lot and what the landscaping is like, that would help immensely.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Circus: We are sill tweaking the floor plan, but here is what we have now. Essentially, we want kitchen/living room to take advantage of rear view. As for the lot/landscaping. There is a gentle left to right slope but the front to rear slope is drastic. We can't do a side load garage due to the lot size (and slope). There won't be any landscaping to speak of other than in the direct front of the house. The house will only sit about 20 ft off of a small lane/street. Lots of windows on back, but not many needed on the front side. I love that house photo from the movie, but need help making it still look cottage-like with a one story. Your bungalow is cool. Love it. Seems hard to keep the cottage look when needing low and wide rather than tall and narrow.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:56AM
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The slit-like windows and solid doors convey the feel of a fortress rather than a welcoming home.
Windows with a wider proportion and some glass at the doorway (sidelites if not a glazed door) make it more welcoming.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 1:14PM
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Can you post some pictures of the beachy/cottage look you are trying to get? They look different in different parts of the country and we have people here from all over.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:55PM
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Oh man... I don't care for those front windows at all!
Why so very narrow?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Take a look at this lakeside setting, which busts the cube and orthagonal geometry for great effect:

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 5:17PM
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Ha. I can widen those windows. Part of issue is security since not a full time home. Some we like are here:
I suppose real issue is whether to go with this footprint with symmetrical ends that stick out. We like these
or maybe change to front more like these where center stick out
Please understand I am open for ALL suggestions for mt dimensions with front load garage. But I do like screened porch idea behind garage.
I really appreciate feedback so far

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 7:29PM
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Contemporary Exterior design by Minneapolis Architect Andrea Swan - Swan Architecture

Source: via Paige on Pinterest


The stair is not ok. You have a landing that is 3' and the flights are 4'10" wide. The stairs is one of the things that needs to be defined early.

The front and back roof pitch can be different than the sides roof pitch in case you need the roof to look higher in the front.

Sometimes there is not need of too many bells and whistles in order to add charm to a cottage.
Are you going to involve a designer or an architect in the process?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:34PM
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