House Plan Exterior Review - B

buzzyngNovember 6, 2012

Ok, here is where the real heavy lifting is needed. I've just been dinking around trying to figure out how to make the front of the house look good so the roof line is all out of whack.

The wife wants a covered porch front and side. Not sure how to best break up the massive looking hip roof to accomodate and make it look visually appealing.

Any ideas, suggestions greatly appreciated.


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Consider reducing the pitch of the roof. It also reduces $$$$.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:21AM
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Your roof looks like the Swiss Alps. That will cost a fortune and doesn't look very good (IMO). If you can smooth out a couple of bumpouts (or, alternatively, just have the roof overhang further where the wall jogs in), that would simplify the roofline considerably. It also seems strange to have the covered porch be under a gable end--the area underneath it will be pretty exposed to the elements. And then to the right the roof jogs back--will the gable end extend really far over the porch? Or will it not be covered to the right?

A better picture with more contrast to the roof might help the real experts here figure out what to do.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:10AM
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Yep the roof looks horrible and in a state of serious assistance.

I changed to a 6/12 from an 8 and that helped. I know it looks odd with gable end that much open above porch but was having a hard time figuring out how to make the front more appealing (by breaking up the hip) AND providing cover over the porch without looking like a gigantic pyramid

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Can you post the floor plan? It will help a lot.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Why are there so many multiple peaks on the roof? Are you trying to get different interior ceiling heights, angles, etc. or is it just for "visual interst" on the outside?
It might be helpful to do a lower pitched main hip over most of the house and then you can do two hips on the garage side. For the bumpouts in front, what is wrong with "partial" cross hips? Or maybe you can do a gable as drawn with a modified dutch gable overhang across....not explained well probably.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 1:22PM
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I posted the houseplan separately in another thread -

I should have just done both here.

Uitvlugt - I do have a couple different heights in the house but have standardised on 10 or 11 or 12' in the hall, kitchen, family room and 9' every where else.

multiple peaks because I was trying many different things at the same time when I took the pic. I've moved to a 6/12 pitch and extended over some of the bump outs on sides which cleaned it up.

When I put cross hips on those bump outs in the front, it just looked odd because the entire front of the house was sloping down and looked pretty boring. Haven't tried doing a dutch gable overhang.

It will have lots of rock and wood beams for the northwest so open to any redesign of the front to make it look wow!


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 2:19PM
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Here's an updated one with the changes thus far. Looks better but it seems like there should be something else to break up that large area of sloping roof.

thanks again for input

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 2:43PM
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I think it would be easier to evaluate if you gave an image from the perspective of the ground instead of a birds-eye view. Unless this is the angle people will approach your home?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:36PM
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This is a situation where floor plans have been developed in isolation from the exterior massing and proportions of the house, with the result that: 1) the floorplan may work satisfactorily, but; 2) the exterior is bulky, massive and generally uninteresting. A good indicator of this condition is the roof: if the roof is large, rambling, bulky and generally not visually interesting, there's something fundamentally wrong with the plan and how it was conceived.

Design professionals learn to think and see three-dimensionally in their mind's eye when working on plans and to think about interior spaces and functions when studying exterior elevations and perspectives. Good design is not about good plans or good esteriors. Good design is about good interiors AND good exteriors.

This requires pushing plans around to break up long, linear and boring wall stretches. It requires pushing roofs and exterior walls to accomodate a key interior function. Above all, good design is an integration of both interior and exterior concepts into a whole.

You need to go back "to the drawing board" and push around your plans and your elevations to achieve harmony in both. A hint: a large and bulky plan will surely create a large and bulky exterior and roof. How could it be otherwise? Perhaps it may help to go look on Houzz or other sources for appealing houses and to examine how they got that way.

Good luck with your project!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:57PM
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virgilcarter - most excellent point as you are exactly right. Designed in separation. My goal was to try and do as much bulk as I can (myself and on here) before trying to engage with a designer. I have someone that will work with me on an hourly basis but assuming I could save a lot of hours by doing work up front. I might be making it harder though.

The roof line is starting to simplify by taking out some of the bumps and making sure all rooms are same height.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:32PM
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The front as you are walking up doesn't look as swiss alps anymore. Most of the houses I've been looking at have either a 2 story with wrap porch or the ramblers have a small area and a couple gables that break up the large roof. Trying to combine the two is difficult.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Lots of $teel will be needed. You really need to involve a design professional sooner rather than later. You aren't really "saving" any time or money spent with them if you're spending it on extra engineering and construction costs.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:25PM
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