Is this too many gables?

gobrunoMarch 20, 2009

A little OT, but have seen some people comment on how they don't like homes with too many gables. I wasn't sure what was too many. Is this too many?

http://www.starkhomes.com/vp/ListingServlet?SITE=STARK&ScreenID=LISTING_DETAIL_P&EXCEEDLIMIT=Y&totalFound=0amp;showMap=N&cd_MLS=342418&PHOTO_NUM=1#

Just curious. Not my house, but I saw it, and I immediately thought something didn't look quite right with the exterior (a little too jaggedy), but then I was thinking may be I read too much GW. Obviously, it must appeal to some bc why would a builder design a house like this?

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mightyanvil

When people like a feature they sometimes think they can't get too much of it. This house proves them wrong IMHO.

Here is a link that might be useful: here it is

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:09PM
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kateskouros

i don't know if some might think our house has "too many" gables or not... there are a lot but the house is balanced, as is yours from what i remember about the elevations i saw.
that house you posted is not my taste. i think the builder is trying to make up for the three sides he's got wrapped in vinyl. that's got to be my biggest peeve: brick or stucco or stone on the front. the sides and back are an after thought or someone didn't feel like spending the money.
i know many seem to have a thing with too many gables but it depends on the house. the one in the pics looks like gables on crack.
how is everything going with you? GL and don't forget to post updates!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 1:56PM
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robert.modular

Maybe this look better?

Here is a link that might be useful: Photo

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:03PM
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kellyeng

Three too many gables for my taste.

robert.modular - is your a post an attempt to SPAM?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:58PM
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gobruno

Kate, I was going to ask you to post an update too! I've been checking the "It's March, how's your build going" post, and I was hoping to see your progress. Pictures please?

We're slowly moving the process forward. We still need to finalize our plans. We just listed our house and are hoping to have the sale of our home out of the way before breaking ground. Who knows. I'm trying to have all decisions made (or at least narrowed down) so that the minute we break ground, we can move forward quickly. Btw, I'm anxious to see the colors of your shakes. I'm debating between Macadamia, weathered grey and caramel. I can't seem to find any good pictures of the caramel. In the meantime, I'm constantly looking for ideas and second guessing myself, but I keep telling myself that by doing so, I'll be confident I got it "right" when we finally finish the build. I know I'm deluding myself, but it makes me feel better.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 3:55PM
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eventhecatisaboy

I jokingly mentioned the too many gables thing on Kate's thread last week, just to make light of her whole thread and make her smile. Too many gables has been one of many "hot" topics that have been debated on this forum,some before my time here, such as the shoes on/off in house, tv's over fireplaces, house trends, just to name a few.

Gables are just one architectural feature that I really like. I just wish there was a better way to do the cornice returns without all the roofing material inside them being so visible, but yet not closed in if that makes sense. Is there mighty? (Please excuse my layman's terms.)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 4:34PM
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worthy


Amos B. Coe House, Minneapolis, Minnesota, b. 1884 Eastlake Style Wiki Commons

It's not the number of gables, it's their size and scale in relation to the structure and to other elements on it that determines the overall impression.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:26PM
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robert.modular

The more gables the better! I love this house.NOTE to kellyeng, no my post was not an attempt to SPAM I just wanted to share my pictures.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:27PM
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kateskouros

i didn't post on the march thread since nothing really happened since the last update. we got our share of snow, ice and then moved on to mud and more mud. i'll probably make the april thread but not until mid month. we did decide to make a major change to the rear elevation which required a trip back to the architect. it took quite a while to convince dh to let me add a deck outside the upstairs sun room so the porch downstairs would have more coverage and also to have a full sun seating area upstairs.
as far as the siding, we're using the weathered gray. our house really wants to be gray! i said it from the very beginning and architect agrees. also our windows are going on order if they hadn't done that already this afternoon...

so, very busy here yet not much to show for it! i'm exhausted though. i feel as though my main purpose at this part of my life is trying to squeeze more $$$ out of my poor dh!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:04PM
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worthy

i feel as though my main purpose at this part of my life is trying to squeeze more $$$ out of my poor dh!

Isn't that part of the secret blood Oath to which all wives pledge allegiance?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 7:53AM
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oruboris

Too many for me:

The difference between this house and the wonderful Eastlake Worthy shows us is striking. Though the Eastlake has a ton of gables, they are functional to the interior spaces and well integrated into the shape of the house.

In the OPs picture, they are tacked on: the walls have been bumped out a foot here and a foot there for the sole purpose of adding the gables in an effort to make the exterior more grand. They are not so much design as decoration, cost a lot of bucks for no bang [is there such thing as 'negative bang'?]

I'm not saying I wouldn't buy that house if other factors were right, but I'd never build it on purpose.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 1:45PM
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dixiedoodle

i don't think it looks bad - even with its overabundance of unnecessary gables. but then, i also like complicated rooflines and think that it is money well-spent to have corners and juts in the foundation. seriously people, i am the queen of symmetry (obsessive about it even) and that house is really not that off...in fact, if the lower middle gable was deleted, it'd look really good.

that house is far nicer than most houses that people show off on this site. if forum members are going to be critical about what most of the country would perceive as a REALLY nice house, why would people of more modest means, building "normal" houses want to post here anymore? my comments are not really directed at this thread specifically...just towards this general trend.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 3:04PM
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worthy

that house is far nicer than most houses that people show off on this site.

Surely you jest!

The pretentious McDonald's Mansion the OP posted is the difference between a spec builder trying to fool the booboise as Mencken called them, slapping on a half dozen of the same design element into an overblown facade versus the carefully thought-out designs of homeowners consciously integrating historical styles into their lifestyle and budget.

Has anyone ventured past the front to the cheap vinyl covered box that constitutes the back half of this abortion?

This builder and his so-called designer should be constructing Hollywood sets. At first glance, the example shown looks like a miniature model maker's idea of a village of gabled homes. At least, those get torn down when the shooting is over.

Good design, by the way, is not a function of size or expenditure.


GardenWeb poster House

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 3:48PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

The OP's gables are lacking in detail, subtlety, and function. They establish a regularity of rhythm, which borders on redundancy. The cornice returns are clumsy interruptions that detract rather than enhance. The uniformly-sized keystones look like surprised exclamation points over anime character's heads, as if they ask "another gable?!".
OTOH, Worthy's Eastlake example shows gables with purpose, proportion, subtle details, and variety.
I complain too much.
Casey

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 7:09PM
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pattiem93

Worthy, that has ALWAYS been one of my favorites from this forum.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 8:03PM
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cynandjon

IMO the gables in the OP are much wasted space and alot of excess roofing cost.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 8:34PM
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worthy

The uniformly-sized keystones look like surprised exclamation points over anime character's heads, as if they ask "another gable?!". Great simile! (I may have to appropriate it.)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 8:56PM
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dixiedoodle

That house is a favorite of mine and a perfect example of the statement "Good design, by the way, is not a function of size or expenditure." Gimme a break...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 9:21PM
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live_wire_oak

Wanna be frou frou style with not much style and probably too many $$ per square foot with little return on functionality. Certainly little value for design.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:31PM
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mel_bc

Worthy....

I am not sure if I understood your last post correctly. Please forgive me if I am wrong. Did you just refer to the back half of another Gardenweb poster's house, as an abortion?!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:10AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Speaking only for myself, I have heard the word used by builders (myself included) to describe bad outcomes, calamitously bad projects, whether by external appearance or intrinsic values. The fellow who I first heard the word thus applied was from Connecticut, so maybe it's a New England origin.
We also use SNAFU, screw the pooch, etc.
Casey

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:33AM
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mel_bc

I didn't explain myself too clearly.... I can see where you would think that the word 'abortion' was what I was calling attention to! I am familiar with it's other uses and realize that it is normally only used in the most extreme cases which is why it caught my attention. I am not sure what Worthy's intention was so once again I apologize if I am wrong. Let me rephrase my quesion. Worthy, did you just refer to another Gardenweb poster's house as a poster child for ugliness, or something that should be torn down or were you referring to another house?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:48AM
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worthy

Did you just refer to the back half of another Gardenweb poster's house, as an abortion?!

Not unless they bought the house under discussion!

I never realized this informal use might be regional. It simply means, as defined in dictionaries, "grotesque" and unfinished.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:51AM
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worthy

Crossed posts.

I never slag a home built by a Garden Web poster. Unless, maybe, they ask for an "honest" opinion--though that is usually meant to be an invitation for effusive compliments.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:58AM
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mel_bc

Good grief...then you have my sincerest apologies! I was reading your post and then it seemed to switched gears where you started with...have you seen... and I thought you were referring to the poster's house pictured at the end of your post. I thought it might be a comprehension issue on my part. Sorry about that. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I guess it is still safe to post pictures then...lol.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:49PM
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kudzu9

There are two important sayings in design:

"Form follows function," and "Less is more."

The architect - or whoever it was - that came up with the house pictured in the first post in this thread seems to have ignored both of those concepts.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 2:38PM
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lkplatow

I'm not building a house and never have, but I lurk here occasionally because we had a horrific problem with the almost-new house we bought a few years ago, and many of the posters here were of huge assistance in helping me get it fixed. Anyhow, my knowledge of architecture basically consists of I know what I like and what I don't - I tend to like historical houses with good bones and simple lines -- actually, I haven't liked much of the architecture past about 1945, so I'm probably not one to judge the original house in this post (I personally hate everything about it, not just the gables, LOL!).

I did want to say that I had a book out from the library about a month ago called "What Not To Build." - I picked it up and started flipping through, and decided I had to read it even though, as I said, I'm not building. (Clearly, I must have some subliminal desire to build a house deep in my subconscious, huh?). If you've seen the show "What Not To Wear" on TV, you have a general idea of the book. There's pictures of lots of exteriors of houses, both "right" and "wrong," and a lot of photoshopped photos of the "wrong" houses remodeled, resided, or relandscaped so they look "right."

Now of course, all this labeling things right and wrong is only the opinion of the authors and I hesitated to even bring this book up because I know there are lots of things the authors brand as "wrong" that I've seen on peoples' houses here that still look very nice. I don't want to cast anyone into a pool of self-doubt by recommending the book. But if you enjoy these types of posts (debating whether a particular house has too many gables or an oddly placed front door or too many different siding materials) you'll really like the book, I think.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 7:58AM
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gobruno

I'm always interested in people's opinions about houses, and am fascinated by the strong opinions people have on certain things. It's fun to see all the different things that appeal to different people, and I'm constantly amazed when I see all kinds of homes that I don't like bc it tells me that I clearly don't have my finger on what appeals to all people (despite my sometimes strong feelings on what makes a "good" house). Interesting stuff. Btw, that home that Worthy posted, I think was Stanza30's and it's one of my very favorites. Couldn't tell if everbody else liked it or not, but I love the exterior and am planning on copying some of its elements. Thanks for the good discussion!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 12:11PM
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drjoann

I'd like to echo lkplatow's recommendation of "What Not to Build". I, too, stumbled upon it at the library and after checking it out & renewing it multiple times, I finally bought it. We were looking at it just this weekend as a "sanity check".

I've been very quiet after all of the help the forum gave me sorting through the "Country French" design that our architect came up with. Just before Christmas, I was looking at another photo of Stanza 30's house, the one with the blanket of snow, and I unconsciously let out a deep sigh. DH was sitting next to me and looked over at my laptop screen to see what had elicited such a response. When he saw the display, he said "You really like that house, don't you? You keep coming back to it."

Well, we hashed through our thinking and realized that "Old World" style didn't satisfy either of us and what we wanted was something much closer to Stanza 30's house. As suggested, I did work on a "Mission Statement" for the house. The three key adjectives that I came up with were "honest", "timeless" and "gracious". To me, Stanza 30's home is imbued with those qualities.

I don't know if what we end up with will be a true Shingle Style house or some derivative. I'm now sure that it will be much truer to who we are than what we were trying to shoehorn ourselves into before. I also don't know how it will be for resale in Upstate SC where most of what we see for new construction is Old-World/Tuscan, "Craftsman" or an Upstate amalgam of those that gets called "Mountain Style". However, if we are lucky and have a good design, there will probably be another couple out there who gives a deep sigh when they see our house.

Jo Ann

P.S. - To stay on topic ... Yes, the originally posted house does seem to have superfluous gables. However, the more egregious fault, IMHO and as previously pointed out, it the "false front" aspect. Its as if the designer expected the owners and all visitors to be teleported directly to front of the house and not notice that the sides of it and the neighboring houses don't match the facade. It just doesn't work that way. Right now, DH & I are in a "debate" on where to place the driveway so as to "reveal" our house as visitors approach it rather than presenting a side loading garage as the first impression. Luckily, I think he gets my point.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:10PM
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brody_miasmom

I think the gables look like a little family tacked onto the front of the house! But at the same time, I don't hate it. Maybe because I really like hip roofs and underneath it all, it is a hip roofed house.

I LOVE the house worthy posted. Off to see if any of those old threads exist.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 6:55PM
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drjoann

Here is the link to Stanza 30's web album for her house. Lots of great pix. You can also search the forum for "Nichiha" since I first stumbled on this wonderful house through that route.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stanza 30's Shingle House

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 7:19PM
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eliza_824

The more gables the better for me-- think it gives a timeless, classy clook :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 4:16PM
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worthy

Thanks for the link to stanza's home. And kudos to Albis Turlington their architects.

If I'm reading it right, the idea was to create a "story" house--as if a relatively simple 19th Century farm house was gradually added onto, integrating newer structures and an existing outbuilding. Obviously they had a perfect site to work with. Architectural Digest often profiles this type of home.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 7:44PM
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kats

Stanza's home really is amazingly beautiful, one of the most remarkable homes I've ever seen on this forum. And I had to laugh at Brody miasmom's reference "I think the gables look like a little family tacked onto the front of the house!"....I have to agree.

I haven't been on this site for probably 6 months. We built our home and will have been in 2 years come August. I don't know what "style" it is....probably closer to a ranch than anything. But we love gables so wanted to incorporate some into our design. I'm in agreement that gables do need to fit the home in style, in size and also where they're placed. One size does not fit all and they cannot just be thrown on randomly.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 4:54PM
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tinycastles

Love the Coe Mansion, I remember driving by it when I lived in Minneapolis and practically screeching to a halt to stare at its beauty. Such a classic.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:35PM
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worthy

kats modern eclectic ranch. I think the front works well. Looks open and friendly, like an overeager puppy glad to see ya. (Was this the one with all sorts of snowload confusion?)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 11:05AM
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bebetokids

I wonder why this style of house (OP posted) is so popular now? Three-quarters of the homes in my neighborhood are some variant of this-the gables just shift around. DH always joked they look stuffy with all those raised "eyebrows".

When a coworker first saw our house completed she said that as she rode around the neighborhood she thought "castle, castle" and when she came into the cul-de-sac to see ours she thought "home". Now nothing wrong with a castle but I would rather someone think "home" first. That's the feeling I get from stanza's and kat's homes even though they are large-still home. Another one I loved was riddick's-true house porn. I had a pic of that on my computer til it crashed. And sandyponder's house-sigh.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:40PM
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