Help with Elevations and Roofs- Will they work?

jeff2013July 25, 2013

Since I posted the latest exterior elevations of the house, I have receive a lot of comments, which are kind of overwhelming but very helpful. Thank you so much!

1. Floor Plans .
There are some areas needing improvement, mainly in the kitchen area and I had been getting help from folks on the kitchen forum. I think I am making progess there. I am not too worried about floor plans as I am able to understand them myself.

2. Elevations.
There are some concerns about the different pitches of . In particular, there is a long angled roofline on front elevation may not look right. In addtion, there are some asymetric structures that may need improvement. I need help in this area as I do not know which is good or bad looking.

Since this is still design in progress, hopefully those issues can be resolved in the end when I meet with my architect and point out the problematic areas.

3. Roofs
However, some have very serious concerns about the roof design, which looks chopped, multi-faces, multi-level, various picthes (top and garage 5:12, otherxs 3:12), and may be expensive to build. Too many valleys of the and joints with the exterior walls may pose potential roof leakage problems.

At least three reviewers think the is so off norm that they do not see the design to be able to work. It came to such a degee of dissatification of the design that some would question if this is work from an architect not a student even I had shared last four digits of his registration number in the past.

This is getting me neverous about the status of the project so far. Therefore, I am in dire need of your inputs, especially professionals in the field. What do you guys think of the house design? Is it acceptable so that we may make it work or there is no hope?

Please share your thoughts. I really appreciate it.


Attached is the top roof (5:12).

This post was edited by jeff2013 on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 8:54

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The bottom roofs (3:12 except for the 5:12 garage). In the middle is footprint from the 2nd floor with 2ft overhang.

I did the sketches myself based on the architect's plans (which were posted earlier). Maybe slightly off but I think I am really close.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Main Floor Plan Excluding the Garage.

The detailed layouts are intentionally left out so you can see the overall flow better and also put more focus on elevations and roofs. We are working on floor plans but I am not worried too much there.

Dashed lines shows 5 support beams for second floor exterior walls. Some roof lines are also visible.

This post was edited by jeff2013 on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 18:14

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:55PM
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Second floor plan.

Ceiling height: first = 9ft except high/vaulted ceiling in the great room and dining area. second=9ft. Floor spacing=2-10.

Elevations can be found from the other thread. Or I can repost them here.



    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:58PM
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Here is the link to the other thread with elevations, 3D view, and floor plans from the architect that I recently received.

I understand there are possible benefits for the current arrangement of the 1.5 floors (vs my original plan of making all the 2nd floor area to the left of great room/foyer area).

1. To enable different ceiling heights on main floor;

2. To provide more natural light into the staircase/gallery area and game room on 2nd floor;

3. To reduce noise from 2nd floor game room by placing it away from the 2nd floor bedrooms and the great room/master bedroom on main floor.

4. To have more interesting look (? this one I am not sure)

I was also told by the architect that the smaller pitch on bottom is to allow room for windows on 2nd floor rooms. Not sure if they are too flat.It would be brick (prefered) or stucco exterior walls and tile roofs.

My question is: is that good enough to justify the current design? Thanks for your continued support of my new house build! Jf

House Elevations and 3D view

Latest floor plans from the architect also attached here

This post was edited by jeff2013 on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 17:58

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Sorry to repost the pictures but I think it is easier for people to see the 3D model and elevations here without going to the linked thread.

3D View showing the roofs

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:46AM
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North elevation (seen from front street)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:56AM
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West elevation (seen from side street)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:58AM
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South elevation (seen from a neighbor's front yard)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:04AM
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East elevation ( seen from another 2-story neighbor's side)

Both house have a 7ft side setback so a lot of 14ft between the two houses.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Maybe you could find some orthodox prairie style examples that you like, to try to nudge the architect to simplify the massing and roofs, organize the elevations, add a level of detail to the surface that's not yet there. And maybe then something has to give in the floor plans, the house gets shorter, wider, whatever. I think the west elevation is the best, with the strong horizontals punctuated by the tower-like portion. The east elevation is an afterthought, and a rude gesture to your neighbor, all too common. On many of the elevations I find it disconcerting that there are two sizes of square windows so similar in size, and that some of the second floor windows appear equal or larger in size than the first floor counterparts. Are those casements with transoms? I don't see what purpose the transoms serve. And I'm not convinced the divided lites are appropriate for this house.

Even if the overall composition of the elevations isn't ready, I encourage you to consider wall materials, with joints, and what's going on where the building meets the ground. Right now the walls are made out of beige sketchup, all I could guess is that maybe it's stucco...but there would be control joints which should be considered a design element themselves, and maybe there should be a horizontal band, and stucco wouldn't run right down to the ground. And if it's stucco then you wouldn't have window trim like that. If it's siding then it's time to show that.

I think there's a lot of promise here. But your architect's process seems very linear and unidirectional--sometimes he might get lucky and it works, but what happens when he gets stuck? Sorry, these pencil foundation walls can't be moved? I hope I'm wrong but based on how the floor plan had to be locked-in he probably won't want to move forward into the next level of elevation detailing until you're satisfied with the basic composition of the elevations. Are you paying for a series of drawings, or are you paying for service to design a whole home, for which the drawings are just selected views to aid in construction? Can you and the architect work together to design a straightforward roof plan and coordinated elevations and use that to inform changes in the floor plans? I'm not questioning the competency of the architect but it may be that his skill set and process were not the best match for your needs and expectations. You could still get to a good place but with more effort and patience.

Good luck!

This post was edited by dadereni on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 11:22

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 11:01AM
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Your house has it's origins here (Oak Park, IL houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, which in turn have origins in Japan and other places).

His roofs are not nearly so complex even with some relative complexity to the footprint. I think your architect needs to take another page from this book and simplify the roofs.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:50PM
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I'm sorry, but there is a clarity and visual "simplicity" in Wright's work that is totally lacking in the posted elevations of the OP.

It appears this is another of those consumer situations where extensive (and much too much) attention has first been devoted to the plan (and features in the plan), at the complete expense of the massing and harmony of the exterior. As a result, while the plan may be satisfactory, the exterior appearance is clumsy and inept. Proportions and massing are unrelated from one side to another. What appears to have happened is "plan perfection", followed by "put a roof on it to keep the rain out"!

Design is a patient search, and good design results from consecutive studies of inside, followed by outside, followed by inside, followed by outside. Each study--inside and outside--must inform the other and inside and outside must accept some compromises in order to arrive at a good design, inside and out.

In this case, the outside suffers badly at the expense of interior priorities. My advice is to start over with the goal of a balanced, harmonious design inside and out.

Sadly, this probably won't happen. But the message for consumers should be clear: work with your architect or design professional to create harmony inside and out--don't accept one without the other.

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Oh, I think Wright had a lot of complexity to his floor plans. His Oak Park period had it's roots in the nineteenth century and the floor plans had a lot of Queen Anne period in them before he moved onto the later Prairie period and his open plans.

I agree that the exterior of the house in question lacks some of the organization and hierarchies of the examples I posted, but I still think they are closely related.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Thank you so much for your inputs on the exterior elevations and roof design of the house.

Special thanks to @Dadereni, not only because you wrote the first reponse here (I was about to call out on you and Renovator) but mainly you were the first one to warn me to consider the 3D massing and exterior elevations before settling on "perfect" floor plans and you wrote very informative responses to me by posing the right questions when I needed to decide on the angled design of the house.

@ Palimpsest, Wow. Thank you for those beautiful pictures. I feel better when I realize there is a name of the style to the house. I just bought an e-book about the Plans and Drawings in his early period book. The pictures were hardly readable so I need to order anther book.

@Virgilcarter, Thank you very much for your reviews. Realizing that I may be on the wrong track may make me feel bad, but it already happened and I shall focus on next steps.

Apparently, there are some problems of the architectural aspects of the design, mainly regarding unjustified 3D massing, complex roof plans, and not looking right elevations. Let me first explain the design process so you would understand better how I got here. After that maybe you will give me some more specific suggestions about the next steps. As this is just initial set of the elevation and work in progress, hopefully with your help, extra efforts from the architect, and more commitment from me, i.e. patience, persistence of insisting no sub-standard work inside-out, and extra design fees, things would work out eventually.

I am going to write someting very long (to take this as a reflection on my design process). I am not sure if it is appropriate to post it here or I shall use a blog site. Just do not want to waste people's time reading it / turning the pages.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:54AM
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Snark mode/on:
Following FLW's examples RE: roof design is not an avenue you want to pursue. His art usually got in the way of having a roof that functioned properly, i.e.: shed water.
Your rendering shows a very nice hacienda-style home that seems to have grown organically; IMO it is far prettier than most of the Transitional-style "catalogs of horrors" that we usually discuss here.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:46AM
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I don't think the roofs on this period of houses were the ones that gave FLW the great problems. His notoriously leaky roofs were the flat or complex ones of his later periods or at least the stretched out prairie houses like Robie House . Like a number of modernist architects of the early-mid 20th century, FLW's Ideas outstripped the technology to execute them properly.

I posted these examples because the spirit of the massing is similar and these roofs are not flat or that complex, they are mostly hipped pyramidal forms like the OP house, but simpler.

I like the essential OP house, too, I just think the roof needs to be simplified and if possible, any flat portions eliminated.

The other aspect of houses with flat roofs is insurance. My new house (1963 modernist with some of the problems I mentioned re: ideas vs. execution), has a small area of flat roof and my initial homeowner's insurance carrier returned the check with a note indicating that they will not insure a residential flat roof. Just something to consider.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Circus Peanut

Jeff, I am far far far from any kind of design expert, but my untrained eye is disturbed by these two areas with complications in the roof (see pic below). Are they functionally necessary? I feel that they destroy the harmony of the house's roofline and are -- just in my untutored opinion! -- remniscent of the many-gabled McMansions so popular in the past decade.

What purpose does it serve to cut up the hipped pyramids like that? Are there rows of clerestory windows in the drop between the cuts, or do they add something necessary to the ceiling space inside? [Forgive me if you've already answered this question, I haven't caught up with all your threads.]

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:48AM
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You and your architect should put the floor plans aside and work on exterior perspectives and elevation studies with the goal to simplify, unify and give some architectural "purpose" to each of the four primary elevations.

If you like the photos of Wright's work, study his hipped roof designs, looking carefully at the silhouette, particularly the massing against the sky. You will often see a "major" roof shape that is dominant, and several "secondary" roof shapes that echo the major shape.

Your exterior studies will lead to natural changes in the interior to support and accommodate the desirable and evolving exterior massing.

Keep in mind that for an integrated interior-exterior design, one must make some compromises, both in interiors and exteriors. Giving all one's attention and priority to interior plans always leads to the current situation: ungainly, ill-proportioned roofs and exterior massing that's simply a way to keep the rain out!

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Thank you for your comments. So you think the house look OK?
I care most about inside floor plans, flow, ceiling, and flooring, etc. because that is where I will be associated with my house most of the time. I probably cannot afford a master art piece design. However, I still want the house to be acceptable in exteriors and roofs. At least it should not be an eyesore to street passersby and my neighbors.
When people told me to run, not just to walk away from the architect, I started to worry about the whole design.

OK. I have no idea about good roof design but will study more about the FLW’s hip roof examples.
When you said flat roofs, do you mean small pitches or horizontal planes? Those roofs are 5:12 and 3:12. Which portions in the roof plan are most concerned to you in terms of flatness? I am not sure if 3:12 is too flat for tile roofs. Good point on considering insurability. Thanks!

Thank you for your inputs. I like to hear how people with good eyes like yours to comment on the roofs and exteriors. Even we are not pros on architectural designs, certainly we have enough experience of seeing/living different houses.
I see complexity in the left hand side-there are just too many lines and I am trying to see if I can simply them. On the right side the circled area is a typical hipped roof over the game room. I mean if I have a rectangular shape, we need something like that. So, you mean gable instead of any hipped roof here?
The top roof is like a U shape (ignoring the unaligned edges on the front section). The cut out in the middle serve three purpose
1) Allow vaulted / high ceiling Great Room downstairs
2) Allow windows to provide natural light into 2nd floor gallery/hallway and staircase areas.
3) Allow the game room to be place away from the living areas of the house to keep noise down.
Without considering those needs, do you see what kind of simple roofs you like? I can put the game room back (to where I had in my original design), then the top roof would be a simple cover over a rectangle region but I am not sure about the connection with the bottom sections.

Thank you for your suggestion. I would like to let the architect to give it a try to see if we can come up with something with architectural sense not just to satisfy the needed floor plans. It sounds a start over and I am not sure if we can get there but it shall be worth trying.

Re: Roof Simplification

Attached shows a drawing that I did. I simply lined up the front walls and eliminated a few roof lines.
Does that look better? Is that something that I shall pursue?
Again, I have no knowledge here, just as an example to show alternative roof designs without thiniking too much about the impact on the room sizes.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:36PM
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The challenge of good design is that good design is based on one or more "concepts", that guide and focus the design, rather than simply a utilitarian or functional approach to everything. Design concepts may be based on views, the use of natural lighting, historical recall, preferred aesthetic vocabulary, personal and family preferred activities, site-specific conditions, etc., etc. Good design "grows" from something more than function alone.

It appears that the exterior of the house is simply utilitarian and lacks any imagination or creativity, i.e., "just another house on the block"!

I don't know if any of this is important for you, but if so, it's worth a discussion with the architect to see if s/he can rise to the occasion.

Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 2:34PM
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What type of roofing material were you planning on? If asphalt shingles you should stay at a 4:12 pitch or higher or you get into needing special underlayments etc. Or you need a metal standing seam roof, which is about 2x that of architectural asphalt shingles for a galvalumewithout any color added.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 5:54PM
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As a practical matter low sloped hipped roofs are structurally complicated, expensive and difficult to ventilate (but can be sealed). They are also visually complex although mostly hidden from view. I guess trusses would work but I don't know; I never use them. If framed with rafters the peaks are required by code to be supported with beams which are often big ones.

I mention this just to be sure you are prepared for the downside of the deceptive simple looking prairie style.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Thank you following my build and providing your inputs.

Only metal or tile roofs are allowed per HOA CCR. I am inclined to flat clay tiles at this moment. I was told by the arichtect that 3:12 is the minimum pictch for tile roofs. We may also consider metal roofs. I like brick walls better but the architect prefers stucco over blocks.

I really need to get back the architect regarding the review status as he had given us the plans one week ago. Besides wavering on the architecture issues of the design (where I was relying on him and have no clue), I just talked to two builders and they told me roofs and round breakfast area no problems for them to build and not much extract cost there. I know I have to forgot the floor plans for exeriors' sake. It seems just too hard for me. I would relay the message to the architect. I would pick up the kitchen layout and also start revising the bathrooms. Too many decisions to make and it seems so hard.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 6:44PM
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Thank you for pointing that out to me. I was concerned about the flat roofs being difficult to install and not effect to drain well. I am not sure but had the impression that they are mostly used in hot weather areas.

When I raised my concern with the architect, I was told that the roof design is of a standard hip design and is very typical and roofers are very familiar with the its construction. He also said a gable roof would end up with more vertical wall area, i.e., materials.

I would mention the issue with the architect again.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 6:57PM
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I am paying the architect for basic hourly architectural serive with a cap. It includes stamped construction documents (site plan, architectural foundation plan, floor and ceiling plan, door and window key, roof plan, framing plans, elevations, building and wall sections, and resCheck documents) as required for permitting and construction and would help the bidding process. Construction specs and cost estimate/bids would not be included but can be provided with additional fees.

Is that typical?

I guess one of the problem is that the architect thought I had a well-thought out plan so maybe he budgeted a reduced workload for me. He is more than half into the budgeted hours so I am concerned that we will run out of the design fee.

As I quited the design work with a previous designer/drafting person mainly because he was not patient with me. It was a flat fee. He did some elevations and the floor plans were almost finished but it is a flat fee not hourly rate so I understand he was in a hurry to wrap things up but I was not ready.

I don't mind a few more exterior-interior iternations. But I need to see where I am going. I probaby would not be able to afford a third designer/architect so I am trying to get him to finish the project.

The questions are:
1) What are the specific things that went wrong in the design? can we fix them?
2) Is it so poorly designed that there is no hope or we can make it work?
3) What exactly are my expectations? a funtional, within budget house, yet still pleasing to our eyes?



    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:38PM
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Can you be more specific and elaborate on things went wrong with the archtectural aspects of the design?

1. Lack of simplicity and clarity and Needs to simplify, unify and give some architectural "purpose

Did you refer to the complicated rooflines, various roof picthes, the many jogs of the exterior walls on ground floor, and the branching out the game room on 2nd floor?

In partiular, are you bothered by the two cut-outs? One in the middle of 2nd floor. The other is the lowered portion of the front porch section over the dining area.

2. The architect intended to provide best possible view into main floor great room and breakfast area and the design would aslo provide natural lights into 2nd floor stair cases and game room. Are those intentions part of the architecture consideration of still serving only the floor plan function needs?

3. Possible ways of rearranging masses / room placement
If the needs for high ceilings in both great room and dining are ignored, that means the we may have 2nd floor rooms over those areas. We are looking at a squre over a L shape.

Say if we move the game room over the great room area, would that add more design flexibility and we have better shot of getting something simpler and nicer?

I would have a meeting with the architect soon to address these concerns but I just do not know how to say it in my own words. I guess the architect already knows the general principle of a good design. If I told him the front elevation is not balanced and lacking a purpose. His first response would probably be,why?

So if you could point out the specific information that I as a layperson can comprehend, that would be very helpful.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Before I had a chance to meet with the architect, I got some email repsone to some of the concerns.

He explained that the current design reflects an affordable and relatively conservative design based that is geared towards standard residential construction.

He also went on to say that he tried to show me something more unique in his original plan but I was hesitant to embrace the plan with more angles, etc.

Without more design fees and my willingness to allow him to explore more unique architectural directions, we cannot go much further on the design.

I think he had some points here. I have attahed the original floor plan from the architect that I posted earlier. Majority of the responses from the forum here were every negative due to concerns about costs and functions. I still remember that Dadereni warned me the walls shall not be angled for the sake of being different so the design needs more justification and clearer purpose. We decided to kill that idea as I was too worried about something I am so unfamilari with. Even today my wife has some regret that we did not let the architect proceed with the design to make better decision.

Howver, one of the current design is lack of imagination and just another house on the block.

I guess there is something in between for a simple yet elegant design. I am not sure if we can and how to get there.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 1:24PM
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I remember you were neutural about the angled walls and said that a plan is just a plan not a house design.

Now you saw the elevations and roofs. Do you have any comments about the design? Anything wrong with it or needing improvement other than being too plain (lack of imagination)?

Some other questions related to stair design, floor spacing and attic ventilation.

1. I would like to do 7.5 riser and 10 tread for the staircase. This is to allow more space and headroom in the master bedroom WIC under the staircase landing.
Just to make sure that combination is good for a comfortable climb.

2. I still do not understand why the ceiling to floor spacing is 2-10. He plans to use 12x2 joists and have 1-10 for ducts. My question is can ducts overlap with floor joists/trusses?

3. The architect mentioned powered vents for the attic to keep it cool. As you talked about sealing, I may consider foam insulation under the deck. Which one would you recommend?



    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Regarding your most current design, I count 24 corners, which is a lot of complexity, considering that the most basic house needs 4. I am not suggesting reduction of the plan to a large rectangle. But I think the complexity of plans comes from people designing their own concepts by stringing together a series of rooms, and architects doing the same thing to some extent, and never being really properly trained on How To Fit Everything You Need Into A Rectangle.

Fitting rooms that are all good rooms all the right size, and without weird proportions or shapes is Much harder in the confines of a quadrangle than if the boundaries are essentially infinite and can be resolved by bumping out wherever needed. I counted three dozen or more corners on a house posted. Why? After a certain number of changes in direction I think you lose any more interest factor by adding more. So I think the one of the stronger reasons is the lack of discipline of being able to fit it into a less complex shape.

Regarding the first design with the angles and distorted shapes. It's interesting, but I think it is probably much more interesting in the plan than it would be from inside. I don't know that you would be able to experience the shape shifting enough to appreciate it.

I was once in a mid-century house that was completely symmetrical in plan including an elliptical room in one part of the house to mimic the elliptical stair hall in another. However the elliptical room was in a non-public part of the house and not really functionally paired to the stair hall in anyway, so the effort was really lost, because you could only really *see it in plan, you didn't really *feel the absolute symmetry inside the house because it wasn't formally connected to each other. I only knew because I read plans and can translate what I am walking through in my head, and then I saw the plan.

Only if you had a view from an elevation that really highlighted the shape of the twisted house do I think you would get it, unless you did something with extreme distortion like Frank Gehry designs.

There is a lot of room between a utilitarian rectangle and the house of seventeen gables, so I think your house could be simplified in its perimeter without making it too simple, and some surface detail could be added like FLW did to houses of similar spirit.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 3:41PM
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What's your budget for the project would be the absolute first question that I'd ask here? Because I see a big discrepancy between what you say you want, and what you've actually received, regardless of the dysfunctional kitchen and utility areas and fugly roof. If the design doesn't satisfy that very first parameter, then it fails, no matter how much you or anyone else likes or hates it.

When doing a home with a SubZero level kitchen, you really should be getting MORE from the house than the plan that you have. You've been tweaking the kitchen to death, and while it's the primary symptom of the design's shortcomings, it's not the only problem. I realize that the small urban lot is the biggest constraint on the design. That's not unusual.

What's unusual though is wanting such an individualistic custom build and calling it "budget". If you were so budget oriented, you wouldn't be planning a 24 corner build with a SubZero level kitchen. That's close to a 1M build in most urban areas, if the rest of the house is going to keep up with the kitchen. You've got to reign in your tendencies to upgrade everything, and cut back to a more basic box with lesser finishes here if it's truly a budget build.

Heck, I'm in the middle of nowhere flyover zone with a low cost of living, and I'm working on a 8000 square foot 8M build at the moment and it doesn't have half the corners and angles that yours does. They are using the Frigidaire Twins and Thermador for everything else. High end mid grade stuff rather than true high end. And the whole house is like that. Not that fancy, just serviceable and a good value finishes with a lot of open volume space. It's built with the latest energy efficient construction to be a truly comfortable space for their multi generational family to live in at all stages of their lives.

I get wanting something individual for your personal dwelling. But, it's time to realistically assess your ability to do that with the budget that you have available to use for the project. Custom costs more than a builder's standard plan costs for many reasons. And even most of those standard builder plans will have their square footage cost more than available homes in the same neighborhood that are for sale.

Hard analysis time for you and a couple of builders here. Before you put in any more time or money in this. If you get a couple of guesses at this point, add in at least 20% for them being guesses. And then look at that vs. paying the architect more time to clean up the fuglies. Be sure you're not throwing good money after bad FIRST.

This post was edited by live_wire_oak on Tue, Jul 30, 13 at 19:40

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 4:47PM
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Thank you for pointing out the complexity of the design as shown by the too many corners on the exterior walls.
I have to admit that I am sharing at least three blames of the current design.

First, I single-handily designed the essential parts of the floor plans. I started from an empty paper, started drawing rooms based on my understanding of our needs since we have a lot under serious consideration about 4 months ago. I later used floorplaner and am now using skecthup. I read a 2 story floor plan book, several books on home designs and the architect book on how to build house right. At first, I knew nothing about house design and no idea about room sizes etc at first. I later figured out where to place the staircase and . In the process, I decided not to do a two story living. For sure I received tremendous help from many GWers here while posting floor plans for reviews and by working with first a home designer, and now an architect.

Second, I have a reduced fee proposed by the architect for the design. When I met with the architect with my original plans, he thought he floorplans were so well thought-out that he would be able to complete the basic architect service less than he normally do for a residential home. So that is why I was reluctant to let him to continue the angled design because I was not sure if we would like it in the end. I willing to pay him extra outside the contract fees to try alternative exteriors/roofs but I need to make sure that we can get there not just for trial-and-error.

Third, I had no idea about what are considered ‘good’ house styles/exteriors/roofs. So I let the architect to do whatever he feels best to meet our needs for a functional, budget, yet attractive house. As a matter of fact, I do prefer aligned walls with less jogs, and I believe in intrinsic beauty in simplicity. I proposed to align the walls to remove several bump outs to both the previous designer and the current architect, both of their responses are no need to do that. Otherwise, house would lose some interesting looks. I also talked with several builders about extra costs with jogs and the complex roof lines, their answer is that no much difference , not to the degree to justify the removal of the bump outs for the sake of reducing cost. I am disadvantaged due to my lack of knowledge and experience in the field. It is easy for me to defer my judgments to the architect/builder. . If I insisted on less corners in the first place, the design may have a simpler shape.

Thank you for explaining the angled design with your personal experience of living in a mid-century house. The example of elliptical room is very interesting and I think I get it. I personally think that we made the right decision of not following the architect’s suit of all angled walls. It is good a decision has been made and we move on. If there is any doubt, it is that I might have given the architect more benefit of doubt and let him finish his design and make decision later. But the design budget would not allow that arrangement so that is the best decision we could make at the time.

I think I shall ask him to see if there is way of making a simpler footprint of the house with fewer corners and we shall set a goal to come up with a simplified design.

@Live Wire Oak,
You had a great point regarding budget for the house. We could go ahead with the design anyway with the plain looks or unncessary complex roofs. However, if the budget is not there, the house would not be able to be built and the design will be paper drawings collecting dusts.

I would respond with more details later on the budget issue.



    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 9:27PM
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whats wrong ... comment on it.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 7:43AM
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whats wrong ... comment on it.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 7:45AM
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whats wrong ... comment on it....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 7:47AM
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I think that you would do better to start your own thread rather than use this one. This does not look like a typical USA plan are you in another country?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:48AM
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