Front Entry - Need Input Please

katrina161August 28, 2012

We are trying to finalize our front entry. The posts shown will be wood timber. I'm a symmetrical person so I'm struggling with the door not being centered under the timber porch. Does it look aesthetically pleasing to others and perhaps I'm overreacting (my husband is comfortable with the look as is but also wants me to be happy)? Or, do you have a suggestion for how we might layout the porch so that the door is centered? We cannot move the door either way so the changes would have to be on the exterior porch. The window shown is in the landing of the stairwell up.

Thank you in advance for your help!

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Here is a 3D side view if it helps. Thank you again!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:16PM
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I think it looks fine. Your gables aren't symmetrical either... So, unless you can swap your window and door location (to center the door under the upper gable), I'd let it be.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:34PM
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"I'm a symmetrical person so I'm struggling with the door not being centered under the timber porch"

I see little symmetry overall, so the door being to the side looks fine to me.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:43PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I have no trouble with the fact it looks similar to our set up.

I have more concern with the dormer on the front looks weird from the front facade. There's also something troublesome about the other dormers reaching up to the peak of the roof...usually they start somewhere below the peak.
Our front facade:

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Thank your for everyone's feedback. I now realize the dormers themselves aren't symmetrical. I didn't even notice that!

AnnieDeighnaugh - your home is beautiful. I am not certain I understand which dormer you are referring to on the front facade. If I understand correctly, that would be the one on the garage. If that's what you mean, I thought about removing that one as well for that very reason. I'll talk to our architect about the rationale for the other dormers. We do have a 1.5 story so I don't know if they are in place for that purpose for the one to the right of the front door. The other two are purely for looks.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 4:48PM
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In New England I have seen lots of shed dormers (Katrina's plan) that start at the peak. Annie's photo shows "dog house" dormers and they are usually placed lower on the roof.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 8:11PM
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The high-waisted old man pants syndrome of only using stone or brick on the bottom of the facade doesn't do the home any favors. It would be better to use the stone as if it were a natural outgrowh of the home's construction over time, such as completely doing one of the gable bumpouts in stone, like on Annie's house. In fact, mixing materials of any kind look better when applied with that principal.

In your case, I'd pick either the lower gabled portion of the main home to the left or the cross gable facing the front on the right, and do either of those completely in stone. Then pick the board and batten (?) siding for the main portion of the home, with the shake used on the other section that I suggested to pick as the either or for the stone. Mixing all three types of cladding horizontally emphasizes the home's length and makes it look much busier and less stylistically coherent.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 8:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

chispa, I guess you're right about a lot of shed dormers starting at the peak...perhaps it's just that it's not my preference.

I prefer this:

to this:

especially if they are meant as accents to the facade more than functional space. Of course ceiling heights and roof heights will have a lot to do with how high those dormers go. Our roofline is very high for the solar panels on the back as well as for the look....and the dog house dormers are just for show as we only have attic space above.

katrina, I was talking about that large wing that protrudes beyond the front door on the right side of the house...I was concerned with the look of the dormer on that wing. Is that the garage? If so, how will your guests get to the front door?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:20AM
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Thank you, Green Designs. You've hit at our next conundrum..determining the stone/shake/siding/board and batten mix on the exterior. We agree that it is busy and don't like the current location of the stone on the exterior. We thought about doing stone on the two bump outs 3/4 of the way up and also on the garage front. What do you think of that?

Does anyone have any other ideas or suggestions for the exterior aesthetics?


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:33PM
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AnnieDeighnaugh - yes that is the garage. The house will actually be angled on the property with a curved approach driveway. We're fortunate to be on some acreage and not limited to a lot layout.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 10:55PM
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I think I would prefer it if the right side of the porch was a tiny bit wider to give the door a little bit of "elbow room". It looks like the window is further from the left side than the door is from the right side. They should be the same, or the door should have more room, IMO. The door being off center to the porch does not bother me.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:09AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

So you'll have a circular drive to the front door then?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:07AM
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If you're going to mix materials, do it like one of the "boxes" of the home is completely constructed from that material. Don't mix on the box. Do one bumpout in stone all the way. Do the main home in board and batten all the way. Do another in shingle. Etc. The only time that there is a natural horizontal break where stone would be appropriate as cladding only for the lower section would be the foundation line, which is way lower than what your original diagram shows. If you must have stone due to HOA or other design constraints, then make the whole structure of the facing gable structure to the right be stone. No "turtleneck" of stone and another material.

Think of the home as a set of kids building blocks. One block is out of Material A. A larger block is Material B. Yet another is Material C. A block could be the original stone cottage, with B block having just a stone foundation line where it was originally a patio and had a board and batten structure placed on top of it, while C block is another addition from a whole other era, etc. and might even have different size or type of windows or doors with it.

You are coordinating the materials like you would any room that you would design where you wouldn't just automatically go down to the loud shouty man furniture store and buy a "suite" of same same. You'd buy a vintage dresser at the thrift store, and order a sturdy bed from a good maker, and then gradually add a chair that you inherit from your grandmother and a footstool that a child made in a craft class. It's an evolved over time look.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:21AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

And limit the number of finishes on the exterior...too many and it no longer looks cohesive...and remember your roof is a finish as well.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:45AM
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