Need your recommendation for our Front Elevation

pitterpatter94April 12, 2014

The group was so helpful with changes to my Butler Mill Cottage floor plan I thought I would post the front elevation pictures to see if you can see any improvements that need to be made while I am waiting for the floor plan back from the architect.

The lake lot is high on top a steep hill. The top of the lot is level for approximately the first 50 feet set back from the road. Then a gradual slop to approximately 170 feet, then it is very steep down to the lake. So it will be a walk-out basement with no back yard.

This house design could have a second story if we wanted but we will not, only a walk in attic. We would like to cut some of the windows on the front of the house to save on cost and to simplify the design. The top small window in the attic on the right side, maybe cut a window from the side entry garage on the left side of the picture, cut the small window on the right side of the pictue, it is a walk-in closet.

I like most design styles but I can't invasion other possible looks this home could have. We are wanting this home built this year and will be retiring there in the next 5 years so we want the design to be low maintenance.
Thank you,

Here ya go:

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I would tweak the plan to remove the two smallest front-facing gables, and try turning the triangular gable/dormer into a shed dormer. That will save a fair amount of money without removing windows.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 4:47PM
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Messy drawing of changes suggested above.

You would need to eliminate the jogs on the front of the house requiring the gables, and you would probably want more window area in the shed dormer

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 5:01PM
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I even think it is rather nice with no front facing gables:

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 5:05PM
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I like palimpsest's changes.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 11:01PM
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I am not good at paint shop. Your suggestion looks pretty good with out the gables. I am unclear about how you are suggesting the roof should be for the attic windows. Does one gable look good as I have in this rendering? or are you showing a different roof line?
Back to the original architect's rendering, you think all the gables are too much but the windows should stay?

This post was edited by pitterpatter94 on Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 1:00

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 12:59AM
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pitterpatter-If making the gable changes saves enough I'd keep the windows. I don't think you will regret the natural light.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 6:50AM
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I like palimpsest's last version with a large dormer instead of the gable and the other gables removed.

Only do the stone along the foundation , siding for the rest of the house. The current version has four different materials - stone, siding, shakes facing the gables and the roof shingles.

Check out the other brick & stone exterior discussion linked to below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brick & stone discussion

This post was edited by DreamingoftheUP on Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 7:29

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 7:10AM
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Dormer, no gable, something like this:

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 7:38AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I so prefer the look that pal has come up with without the gables. I'm so tired of all these multi-gabled houses where they serve no purpose but to complicate the facade, and add roof valleys where leakage is more likely.

If that leaves you with a plain roof in the back that happens to face south, consider solar panels. You won't regret it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:50AM
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Circus Peanut

Less is more! Pal's design is so much more dignified than the original; you certainly won't regret ditching all those unnecessary gables and the attendant maintenance costs - they'll increase your roofing (and re-roofing) and guttering costs. We have an older Craftsman home with lots of original 1910 dormers and gables, and it almost doubles the roofing expense.

Plus as Annie says, those extra gables will be a real vulnerable point for leaks, which definitely isn't what you want in a retirement house.

I'd try for the dormer rather than the gabled version. Architecturally, those triangular gables don't really make sense with the rest of the house's style, and Pal's version #2 with shed dormer gives you classic, coherent, attractive timelessness.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 10:44AM
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I definitely like your ideas. I liked this plan because of the location of the rooms in relation to the lake view.
The lake view will be from the corner where the dining area is. We are sitting on a cove but up high enough to see the length of the long lake in the winder time with no leaves. Amazing sunsets. We are going to angle the house some to have some view from the great room and master bedroom.
I wanted the exterior of my house to have a charming cottage feel, as you suggest timeless look. What kind of style is this exterior? Is it cottage, craftsman or ?
I posted the drawings of all the other sides to also get your thought on. The great room will have a cathedral ceiling because we are hoping to have beams installed at some point. I believe the plan calls for a cathedral in the screened in porch also. All other rooms I think are 9ft.
Thank you

This post was edited by pitterpatter94 on Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 11:27

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:20AM
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You may need to play with the windows in the shed dormer. Dormers usually look best with a fair amount dedicated to glass.

You will save a Lot by getting rid of the gables and flattening the front of the façade so it is even rather than bumped out, so even if you Add a couple windows it will be an overall savings.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:25AM
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So, do you think a couple sets of windows not just the one set of three? Or maybe a special window with some character. This is just a attic that looks at the front subdivision road and woods past that.

I have read on here how most people do not like stone unless it is on the foundation. We are hoping for cement board and stone. What about all cement board with stone on foundation plus the front porch walls? The setting is so wooded the stone to me seems a must. But I don't want to over do it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Here is a double dormer.
What is your preference ?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:53AM
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Here is one with the dormer farther apart.
I am sorta excited I have just figured out how to do somethings in paint shop I didn't know how to do before.
Any thoughts on the dormers?
Thank you

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 12:12PM
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I think my preference is a dormer that is essentially the width of the recessed porch, centered over that area.

If you do stone, it's just best to make it look as if it is structural. This can be a foundation, or an entire part of the house, usually the main body. The problem is when it is clearly applied as a decorative element that the structure could not handle in real stone, say stone on the dormers when they are not in a continual wall with stone below.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 12:42PM
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Ok...I am now dangerous. I have learned a few new moves with paint shop. :)
Here is another idea I would like your feed back on. I really want the entry to be a nice focal point. The home will set a little lower than the road because of the lots grade. I do not want my front door lost. What about some sorta gable/arch at the door?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 12:49PM
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forget that gable. let it go! :)

I like the center of the house to be fully stone including the porch and chimney, and lap siding on wings.
I am also ok with stone at foundation only. I hope you will not use fake stone.
One shed dormer will work better with two double windows or 4 joined narrow windows .

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Haha... Got it.... NO GABLES .... [idea trashed]..... :)

This post was edited by pitterpatter94 on Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 13:29

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 1:12PM
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IMO your first PaintShop effort was the best. The pediment shaped center cross gable becomes an impressive feature once the little gables are gone. But I would modify the fussy spindle-turned Victorian posts at the entrance. The paired windows and pediment gable are typical of the Colonial Revival style so using a strong lintel over Classical round or square columns would complete the transformation.

It would also help to pull the paired windows apart 3" or more so they would look like traditional windows instead of the modern nail-fin kind they are. I would add a sub-sill to avoid leaks and improve the appearance.

Stone is fine as long as it extends to a floor or roof lie instead of stopping in the middle of a wall as if it were superficial decoration instead structural.

I'm curious why your architect hasn't tuned the exterior up yet.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 1:24PM
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We are doing a cottage/storybook home as well. I personally think the changes (get rid of the two front gables without windows) is a great idea, but putting in the rectangular dormer changes it from Cottage to Farmhouse quickly. I would stick with the Gable, but make it a larger single, add a bit of a decoration at the peak and put an arch over the window for charm. Here is our front elevation of ours where we went from regular window to an arch over the center window to keep it a bit more charming instead of going too Colonial.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 1:25PM
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I think you will need to sort out the rooflines because some of the gables are currently on areas that project pretty far from the main roof and they have to have some sort of roof over the floorspace.

You have a shed on the back so I would repeat that on the front. (I also played around and took a gable off the back and replaced it with a shed)

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 14:45

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 2:00PM
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Renovator: I haven't told the Architect I want things changed from his original design yet. I wanted to get opinions from here first. I am a little lost with some of your terminology. I do not want this house to looks Victorian. I do not like the post style at all.
Tpretfy: what you did.

This post was edited by pitterpatter94 on Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 21:01

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Looking at the elevations of the side, I realize that I thought there was more symmetry to the side "wings" of the house. If you take the gable off the garage, it may mean the roof looks more like THIS which could possibly lead to other stylistic issues. You will have to tweak the FLOORPLAN first to get rid of the gables.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 2:49PM
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Using your comments I worked on a few images as possible suggestions for the front elevation. After reading your comments I am not sure if the gables can be removed easily. But I do like them removed. A cleaner timeless look with straighter lines. I do not know the architectural terms for the changes. Do you like any of these?

*revised image #2

This post was edited by pitterpatter94 on Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 14:03

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 1:29PM
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If you're taking votes, I like #2. But I like the one from Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 0:59 better because the windows match :-)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 1:45PM
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Pitter, isn't paint fun? Your new pictures look great, but this will be an attic, right? So you won't have the light that looks so homey in your pics. Your new stone placement looks very nice. Any of these three rooflines looks so much nicer!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 11:26PM
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You should post the plan so we can understand the shape of the front of the house. We shouldn't be designing one element at a time.

I would also strongly recommend that you have the architect provide you with a 3D drawing. It's really silly to design a house without one.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:38AM
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