Please provide input on front elevation

shakfu3April 29, 2012

As always, thanks in advance for any feedback.

We are trying to squeeze a house on a tight lot in Northern NJ leveraging modular construction.

I am having a dispute with my wife on the first pass of the front elevation. I like simple, colonial homes. I also like a simple roof design from a cost perspective. My wife does not share the same philosophy. She feels as if the elevation below is too simple. In particular, she is worried about the fact that there are no "bump-outs" which would add character and break up the straight lines, especially on the top half of the home. I thing the elevation is classic.

I would welcome any suggestions to make the front facade more 'interesting" for my wife. Unfortunately, we really cannot change the footprint of the house due to the constraints of the lot. A section of the side garage will stick out by ~8ft in the front of the house. We put a hip roof above that to blend it in.

I guess we could add a center gable but I personally don't find those appealing. Maybe a more dramatic front porch or even a porch across the front of the house could work.

Thanks for any help!!!!

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Source: Connor Homes Connor Building

I like classic farmhouses, too, such as the reproduction above. But once you have half the structure sort of symmetrical and the other not you've got something else entirely. Adding porches and dormers won't help.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 3:04AM
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What about a porch from front door all the way over to right side of house. Add a porch swing too!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Worth - thanks for the link to Connor home. Lots of good ideas there.

Peytonrod - good suggestions. Will try that.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:41AM
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There are several mistakes from a historical perspective:
The house is intended to look like it grew in stages, the right side should appear distinct from the main bloc of the structure. So the siding and roof lines should not run through; it would be best if the roofline of the rt. part broke from the main roof and the main bloc stood forward or back from the wing.
The upper windows would look better if they were 9/6 instead of just smaller 9/9's.
The windows of the "addition" could all be made distinct from those of the main bloc.
The portico is improperly detailed. The columns should be out at the very edge of the beam line, not inset from them by inches; that is making the portico top-heavy.
I don't care for the casement windows above the portico. An oval window (or pair of them) a circular window, or a single 6/6 would be preferable. What's in the space behind?
Window apron molding on a "Federal" exterior has no precedent and looks ridiculous, unless rendered in stone masonry.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:47PM
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What about continuing the garage bump all the way up and getting a bit more space on the second floor as well? I wouldn't do it as a hip either A gable would look more at home. Then instead of the oddly proportioned portico, do a porch across the front that is equal in size to the bump of the garage. That will take it into a more farmhouse looking direction, but the main body of the home will still have the clean lines that appeal to you, yet hopefully that will add enough change in facade plane to be "interesting" to your wife.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 2:14PM
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This feedback is great. Will go back to the "drawing board" and come back with something different.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 11:08PM
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I was going to say essentially the same things as Casey but then it occurred to me that a possible approach would be the more flexible Colonial Revival style. Then the facade could be asymmetrical with paired windows (not found on Colonial houses). To me narrow paired windows are a hold over from the Victorian era or a cheap looking attempt to add style (that is actually expensive) and should either be more generous in width or a very wide single window.

But the sills should definitely not be "trimmed"; they should have thick "historical" profile sub-sills so the jamb trim can rest on it as linked below.

Does the grade really have to drop off so fast and leave the portico hanging in the air?

I don't know what to tell you about the garage but I would not want to go farther with design advice without seeing all of the drawings.

Here is a link that might be useful: ATW trim

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 7:28AM
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About as classic a New England farmhouse as you can get. I guess they didn't see the memo about the windows. (I wish though they had opted for an undergound hydro connection!)

Huntington Homestead, Scotland, Connecticut c. 1720-22 National Historic

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:06PM
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unsure of your actual floorplan , or desires ...
just a tweak ...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 6:17AM
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Summerfield - what an amazing difference. The separation of the right side of the house, as others suggested, makes a huge difference. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 8:50AM
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Worthy, dude, that's not Federal, which it what the OP's trying M/L to be. That's a true post & beam center-chimney NE saltbox of the period. Not a wannabe.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:43PM
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