Please help with Elevation!

gaonmymindApril 27, 2012 originally I was going to do a brick facade, but fell in love with another house that my architect did that was all cedar and stone. I cannot afford as much stone as they have on that house as the entire basement is wrapped in it. My entire right side and rear of my basement is is daylit from every room down there.

Anyway...I love how the other house feels "East Hamptons Meets the South". If that makes sense. My architect is working with my direction and will change it however I want...but right now I feel like I am missing that Ooh-lala that drew me to the other house. This facade feels more country/ farmhouse than what I had in mind. No doubt this is my fault for changing my mind 1000x's. :(


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That is a lovely home! Maybe have the stone on the gable, as it is in the picture? I'd focus on using the stone where you'll see it the most.

Your inspiration home has a lot of details that your drawing does not. That might be making the difference, but many of these are easy to add and depending on budget...the porch, the bay windows, some gables. I think all these would make more impact than the stone-covered side entry. Just my two cents :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:51AM
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I actually like your drawing better ;). I am not a fan of doing gables only in stone. Architectural purists will tell you that you should change materials only where a house should naturally evolve.

With stone on your breezeway, it looks like an addition which is much prettier to me.

I am not a fan of the gable within a gable on the garage - looks too subdivision-y - but love it otherwise. Of course if you get rid of the gable within a gable it will look a whole lot like my house so maybe that is why!!!

Here is another house with stone in the transition area - looks great. It is by Stan Dixon and is in Atlanta also (on King Rd).

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:24PM
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I agree. Just not sure where to place things. The house will mostly be seen coming from the right so I really don't need the stone on the side porch. The problem with stone all the way up on the front gable is that I need to return it to an inside corner. The gable jets out from the house like 10' on the right and 17' on the left. Which is too costly to cover in stone.
The inspiration house also has 1.5 stories in areas. But it makes the roof more interesting.

Also I feel like a front porch is a waste of money for me because I would never sit out there.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Athens - thanks. The double gable is actually a larger garage and a single one. So the structures separate.

Yeah it is reminiscent of your I just feel like something is missing. I think in real like it would be beautiful, maybe I am over doing it.

The good thing about this house is that I could change the stone for brick...if budget became an issue. It would still hold it's charm.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:39PM
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My personal aesthetic is very simple. I think your inspiration is less classic looking than the drawing your architect did. I agree it would be equally pretty with the stone parts in brick if budget becomes an issue. Your elevation reminds me of an old Atlanta house along Peachtree Battle or Tuxedo - the other house is, personally, too tricked out for me but I think I drove my architect nuts trying to get him to simplify my elevation.

I think with the right materials (right color, right brick or stone, pretty hanging light above the door) it will be beautiful and classic - and I love the stone on the side entry ;) We almost did that on ours and would have if the ARB required us to have stone on the house (they almost did).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:52PM
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My personal aesthetic is very simple also. At least I thought it was. However when I saw this house in person my jaw hit the floor. It is beyond words. Great landscaping too. Maybe it is just a school girl crush.

I really have to pull it together over here.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Well, if you approach from the right, I'd add the porch to the right side of the house. Not only would it add some interest, but it would be much more usable and safer for the kids (IMHO) than a sloping hillside. While you don't think you'll use a porch, if it's at least 8' deep, you might use it more than you expect. It would be a great place for a couple of wicker chairs and a table. And, I'd put the stone on the wall of the porch (as it is, in your picture).

Would a bay window work in the dining room? It would be a nice balance to the porch and give you more architectural interest. And, if you have the space, maybe an unfinished area over the garage (with dormers) that can be finished later? It would make a great play room for the kids or a 'man space' for DH...or even a craft room or study (should I say gal space?) LOL...quiet and away from everyone else, for you! :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:17PM
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The elevation is straightforward, classic, and beautiful! Though if you still think it's not quite right, maybe consider an eyebrow dormer or two to give it more of a hamptons feel, or add a kick (curved out bottom like your inspiration pic) to the roof eaves. Another option, if possible in plan/budget, is having the right side of the main volume mirror the left, even if it only protrudes out 3 or 4 feet, to give it more grand southern symmetry. I, too, like the stone where it is and wouldn't cover any of the gables with it.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Funny you mention play space. We actually removed the playroom from over the mudroom connector. We were going to have a playroom upstairs, but budget wise it didn't make sense since the same space was available in the basement (for much cheaper) with daylight and have access to the outdoor playground.

We are finishing 2400 sq ft down there. Plus another 4500 we definitely don't want to add space.

The porch will add between 6500 - 8k and I just can't justify it. I would rather cover my back deck or do interior upgrades with that money. Maybe the bay window would look good or maybe an arched window.

What about shutters? Should the roof line change?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:45PM
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thanks! I really like the kick out thought. I killed the dormers in the beginning, because once again my dreaded budget :(

So maybe just the little kick out will make it less square. Maybe I can do an eyebrow architect did that on another house I liked as well.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Both your sketch and the inspiration house are really nice. I think the inspiration house would look great even without any stone, just all cedar.

I wonder if the Hamptons feel for you is coming from details like the swoopy, curvy rooflines (at left, on dormer) and the little oval window? (Instead of the stone.)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 2:15PM
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I think you are right...I am going to make the gables more "swoopy" I really like that detail. I am going to add an oval window on the side of the house where a powder room is. So it will be seen as you drive up to the house.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 2:46PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The tall asymmetrical gable on the house bothers me without something to ground the rest of the home better. I do think a porch added to the right side would give it the oomph that you are missing and lend balance to the asymmetry and give you a logical place for some stone. I'm also not a fan of the 2+1 garage, both in form and function. Having a single triple car garage with a single gable would be a better look, and it would also function better as a garage.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:04PM
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I agree with hollysprings about the triple garage. We have the bump out dormer on our house and I tried to get rid of it in every way possible! It was a necessity though from a functionality standpoint. The dining room bumps out a bit (a couple of feet at most). It actually looks nice in person and adds some personality to what may have been an overly simple house.

I love the idea of the oval window. I guess I am drawn to your elevation over the other because it is more classic Atlanta, where I grew up. The other is, like you say, more Hamptons - which I love but just can see the simpler elevation on the tree lined Atlanta streets ;)

As an aside, there is a house for sale by Beecham properties that they posted on their Facebook page. I thought of you when I saw it because they had a picture of a pretty back patio in fieldstone next to a pretty grey/cream brick house. It would be a way to incorporate the stone on the steps and the brick on the foundation - but I am at a loss as to what colors the shingles should be ;)

Isn't the budget a kicker? I felt like we had a generous one but our house is full of compromises!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:46PM
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Both are fantastic houses and I am personally drawn to your drawing it is very similar to our build only reversed.
I'd add something to your walkout end looks like it just ends there but landscaping could solve that too.
We have a fireplace on the walkout (south) end so the added stone chimney does balance things more than your would think. Also a stone supported deck on the south. We also are only using stone as the foundation all the way around on walkout too and the chimney. This was due to budget.
We are using Nichiha siding (butter cream) everywhere else but NO shutters. We have an 8'X36' porch across the front.
Haven't figured out how to do Pics on here and we have no siding or stone up yet.
Amen on the budget limiting the build...

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 2:03PM
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I am shocked that the sketch is preferred. I guess my initial desires were right on. So i will keep it. My architect thinks the right side can be balanced with landscaping as well. Our fireplace is in the back of the house so I would have to add a faux chimney stack to balance the right. But again that costs$$$.

Also the house will sit at an angle so you you will drive up to it from the right but it will be facing you. If that makes any sense.

Anyway...I will let him finish the whole sketch and post it for feedback.

Thanks Everybody!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 3:07PM
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I believe what you are calling "East Hamptons Meets the South" is a Shingle Style house. Normally this style would keep the stone work in the lower story and/or foundation which I think would be an improvement: heavy at the bottom - lighter at the top.

To me the sketch is an updated version of a Colonial Revival house with shingles instead of clapboards. It would look much better with color.

The Colonial Revival is nicely designed but stiff. The Shingle Style with more judicious use of stone would be more like the relaxed elegant "cottages" of the Maine coast.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:03PM
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I agree...that is the direction I gave my architect originally. I wanted a more colonial look. Something clean and simple. I just had a panic when I saw the other house. I've decided to keep with the colonial's timeless.

I am adding a bit a of a kick to the roof and plan to add shutters. Hopefully that will make it a bit less stiff and still classic.

I will post the sketch when I get it back so it can be critiqued.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:09PM
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That's fine but you should be aware that a "timeless" Colonial house would not have an offset front facing cross-gable or the large columned portico or nested gables; some of those elements might be characteristic of a very restrained late Colonial Revival a century later or a steep roofed Greek Revival between those periods or perhaps a narrow British tradition Tidewater South house with an updated Cotswold Cottage attached.

It's nice but it's not a Colonial house.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 5:18PM
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