Please review front elevation

kateshomeMarch 14, 2013

I posted the floor plans for this home on Feb. 28 and finally today I received the front elevation from the architect. If we approve this elevation the architect will start construction drawings. We are thinking that the 3 sets of double windows (2 on the second floor and 1 on the garage) should be split apart into single windows. Any thoughts on this or anything else?

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Just too much icing on this cake, IMO.

--The head of the windows in the garage and the bay to the left of the entry would be better to align;
--The decorative shutters don't add much to positively integrate with the facade;
--The oval light is very inconsistent and discordant with the rest of the fenestration;
--You need a common fenestration vocabulary: either all the windows are ganged or they all are separated with a post--one or the other, but not the potpourri you currently have.

Is the dormer over the garage essential? It's the only one of it's kind. If it's needed for a habitable space over the garage, it would probably be better placed on the side elevation, rather than the front where it is very inconsistent with the rest of the roof forms.

Good luck on your project!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:34PM
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Virgilcarter - Just for some clarification-do you think that I shouldn't use shutters? Get rid of the oval light or use a different light? What do you mean by separated with a post? I do not need the dormer for habitable space over the garage, I just liked how it looked! Please tell me how you would arrange the windows. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:55PM
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He meant, you should use mullions between windows. I think.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:14PM
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This is what I think:

-Some proportions are off:
Windows are too wide and shutters are too narrow/small. Maybe the shutters are not needed.
Columns are too skinny.
What about a space between the bay window roof and the window above. Something seems not ok and probably is that the window on top is too wide. Ask for an sketch.

-I am ok with the dormer, but those tiny shutters are too much. All you need is a proportioned double window.

-The sunroom.
Show that that is a sunroom. You do not need wall space. Use mullions instead between windows. If you do, use mullions between the other windows.

-I agree, the great room window and the garage window should have the same header height.
The entry door could have a transom to match the sunroom.

-Get rid of the oval window.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:53PM
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Shutters too small. They should be sized to windows so if actually closed, the window would be covered.

Door sidelights are too small. Window over front door entrance should not over power the entrance.

Columns are too small

Dormer over garage doesn't need shutters. I would put shed dormer on side of garage and delete this window. Add a wooden vent instead.

Oval window looks out of place.

There needs to be wall space between the bay window roof and upper window bottom. Also between entry roof and window above.

In your sunroom you will run into the windows being too tall - no room for header.

Do you really want a flat roof over the entry? Flat roofs equal maintenance nightmares if not done well.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:09AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree with most of what has been said...the window heights, the shutters, the oval window, the skinny columns. I'm afraid that the dormer being gone would throw off the massing of the front facade though, so I think it if was a standard gabled dormer as opposed to one that punches up through the eave (is there a name for that?) it would look better. For me, I'm not a fan of the brick water shortens the look of the house. If all the windows are double, then I'd want a double door on the front too.

Also, what are we not seeing? That overhang on the back of the garage? Is that a door without a porch?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:29AM
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Thank you all for your input, I agree with everything that has been suggested. Here is the original front elevation, it is soooo much better than this last one, do you agree? Except we are not now connecting the upstairs witha bonus room over the garage and the section between the front door and the garage is smaller.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:30PM
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I like the elevation you just posted better overall. The single windows (except the one double) look nicer and they're lined up better. I also like the one siding material rather than the combination of siding/stone. I like dormers but am not sure the one on the main house is proportioned right. I'd try to work from this last elevation and make a few changes to accommodate the floorplan.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Pix #1 looks like you bought your windows at a closeout sale - they had 2 left of this kind, 3 of that size, only 1 oval one, etc.

#2 is much improved.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:21PM
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Much greater consistency overall, for elevation number 2, than number 1. You made floor plan changes resulting in elevation number 1, but you didn't recapture the sense of exterior consistency that is present in elevation 2.

Can you compare the two and see what's needed?

FWIW, you have a house resembling a Colonial Revival. Colonial revivals often look more authentic and more graceful with gabled roof forms and not the hipped forms of the Georgian style. Any chance you would change all the roof forms to gables? It would make the house much closer to a Colonial Revival.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:19PM
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Thanks to all who have replied! I so agree with all that has been suggested. I just posted a quick sketch that the architect drew for a new and hopefully improved exterior that fits the changes in the floor plan. This one still has stone/brick but would like to one siding material as suggested. How does the new roof look? And yes the single windows are much better!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I like the 2nd elevation a lot more.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:19PM
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Most building codes require a chimney to be 2 ft taller than any point on the roof within 10 ft. so yours probably needs to be 2 ft. taller than the ridge. This expense is the result of a steeply sloping hipped roof.

Again, I can't say much about an elevation without seeing a plan but paired windows on a traditional house should not be jammed tightly together nor should there be a half height brick first floor wall; those are modern developer ideas.

In general the house facade seems hopelessly cramped by the garage wing.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 8:29AM
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Here is her newest sketch thread:

Here is a link that might be useful: New thread

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Thanks for the heads up. Members who continually start new threads on the same subject are pretty irritating.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:43AM
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