Finishing design elements...

mlo1December 29, 2007

As some on here may remember, I am building this home myself on the modified foundation of an old ranch home that was demoe'd. The new homes design was drawn by a senior ex-builder, now designer.

I am having some difficulty making the final exterior design decisions.

The foundation has a continious integrated brick ledge. My original intentions were to use a wainscoting of brick up-to the windowsills, as well as bricking the bases of the 5 columns. My sheathing selection (1/2" vs. 1") locks me into a cementious siding product where there is no brick (stc standards). I was going to use Certainteed cement board siding with simplicity metal pre-formed corners. I have recently been made aware of James Hardie's new "Artisan" 5/8" thick cement plank product and love how it looks with the pre-formed corners and shadow lines.

While I have no clue as to what...the existing landscape and fence will be re-worked after the home is finished.

I would love to hear some ideas from others. We are calling the style "northwest craftsman influence".


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry to be no help with the siding issue, but it's so fun to see your drawings come to reality! What plans do you have for window trim, etc.? Any vision for the front porch? Post style, etc?

My best advice for outside details is to study Prairie style houses in books and on-line, and see which things/which look you like best.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello rhome410...your own home has progressed very nice!

Originally the windows were to be trimmed with 5/4" x 4" cedar. That was to go with a Certainteed cedar colored wheather-board siding.

The columns were going to be bricked slightly higher than the homes wainscoting. The columns upper shroud would be tapered using a panelized product. The two columns flanking the entry overhang have not been installed yet. It is supported by a couple temporary 2x's. I was waiting until I poured the concrete porch so I could integrate both the entry steps and column plinths. The area directly below the garden window in the roof would not be concreted as it is intended to be a planting area exposed to the elements.

The homes "projected style" is what has me stiffled. I am a machinist playing builder, which I find alot easier than playing designer or architect.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 10:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Deleting partial brick is a good idea IMHO. I would use cedar shingles (either white cedar double dipped in stain or natural red cedar) and "flare the bottom edge out to the existing foundation shelf.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mlo1 - I have no advice but I wanted to say your home is looking wonderful! I can not wait to see it progress. I LOVE all of the windows.

mightyanvil - beautiful!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 8:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are a couple of images I found that remind me of your house. I don't like the white on the first one, but I like the division...You could use a band in the area you had planned to change from brick to siding. This one shows stucco, I think, but you could vary the exposure of the siding...Go with narrower exposure on top or bottom, or do a wide-narrow pattern for one of the sections...or change to a shingle style.

The second image shows the inclusion of brick, but it's not used on the actual house, just on the porch, which makes it look like it's on the house, I think.

There was a house near us that was a great Prairie example. It was dark green with the trim and pergola also painted dark green or something equally as dark...Maybe darker gray. I could see that kind of scheme with your dark windows. Or, many of the houses I saw when I did a search for the Prairie Style were brick...You could emulate the coloring, even though you don't use the material.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is one done by a NW architectural firm. This site has many gorgeous examples of Craftsman details. Go to Projects and take a look at the 'in progress' and 'residential' photos. Lots to drool over!

Here is a link that might be useful: a NW Prairie style house

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh my, that is beautifull!

My mind is racing...which is refreshing. I have had a real "deer in the headlights" time lately, trying to make the next move on the exterior details. I just could not settle on tying the brick, siding, roof, windows, and trim together.

I'm hoping the green roof is not a hinderance, being it is done.

Seeing how well the stone balances things visually, would seem to make it a nice material choice for the columns and possibly the edge of the concrete porch/steps. Would that be appropiate or neccesary? If not stone?

Does the "flair" have an accepted size scale to the wall that is used to determine it's size? I turned up little to nothing doing a search.

For the foundation vents a plywood box with a face-frame could be built. Should the face of the frame be plumb or angled with the flared wall? a louvered cover?

I have also been stuck trying to find a nice way to make the soffit venting. I was going to use grooveless 5/8" T111 and continious galvanized 1/8" screen at the soffit/wall interface. Any suggestions for nice detail?

Thank you! mightyanvil

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you kelntx for the kind words.

The windows are Milgard bronze aluminum thermal break. Per my code, the glazing is 1/4" and 3/16" low E panes.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your house is looking great.
My first thought was to do a stucco on bottom and a lap siding on rest, but didn't think you'd be able to because of the mention of your sheathing choice. I also thought that a vertical board and batten used along with lap siding would look nice.
Then I saw the cedar shingles in the above that too!
I think that if you stay with any of the above mentioned materials (or look-a-like hardie product), it will work. The COLOR will be important. I'd stick with natural/earth tone colors.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you shipgirl nc, and good links rhome410!

The only image I could find of a flaired walls framing, I have attached.

The flair appears to have a slight radius to it's length. The shingles in the links picture I believe are pre-fab panels as they seem short, maybe that is preferable to conform to the radius of the framing?

I would like to try a mock-up section.

Seems the wall should have a layer of 30# felt behind the flaired framing detail and then one over top (like pictured) as well. Any comments/advice welcomed.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 11:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oooh, oooh, oooh! Flared walls- another idea to add to my design portfolio! I find such cool stuff on this forum!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 9:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm getting ready to mock some stuff up this afternoon.

I was unable to find anyone in my area via phone or the lumberyard counters, who could provide any info.

I have 40 inches from below my lowest exterior window's sill to the foundation's brick ledge. The protrusion of the concrete ledge is 4-1/2 inches out from the sheathed wall. I'm getting the visual impression that if I lengthen the height of the flare beyond some-where near 24 inches, it becomes quite subtle and may blend to much. So I'm thinking a 24" mock-up will be a good place to start.

Some flared photo's I have seen have a definate contour or radius on the face of the flares blocking. I'm not sure I have the height in my application (ledge only protruding out 4 inches and 3 courses of shingle each with a 7" reveal @ 24 inches high), that would allow the radius to telegraph through. So I'm enclined to avoid the extra labor and possible need for a large bandsaw to cut the radius, and make the face of the flares blocking straight. Atleast a place to start on with the mock-up...I'm admittedly in "no man's" land here!

After thinking the material transition's over I have settled on this for a mock-up. Making the flares blocking 4 inches deep and securing to the face of the sheathing at each wall stud. This would allow 1/2" for the plywood over the top of the flared blocking to make the framing flush/plumb with the face of the foundation ledge. I figure the plywood would be held 1/4" high off the foundation to never pose a wicking problem if moisture should occur. I would then use 30# felt and allow it to protrude over the foundation near 3/4 inches. The first course of shingles would then protrude past that another 1/4 inch making the total protrusion beyond the foundation ledge of the sidings flared bottom, 1 inch. Maybe I should think about drip edge flashing here or grace peel and stick.

I'm also going on the assumption that the shingles will be left full height (16") even where they intersect the plumb wall above the flare. I believe that is neccesary for a wheather tight assembly.

Boy, how I long for the looong day's of summer.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would make the columns round tapered classical or square shingled rather than stone.

True cedar shingles are about 16" long and therefore provide triple coverage with 5" to the weather. In addition to not leaking and lasting for a very long time, they provide a smooth curve at the flare and can be trimmed by hand to make a nice corner. It doesn't take much of a flare to be quite dramatic so I would only do it enough to clear the foundation and let the bottom row of shingles drip over it (no watertable trim).

The idea of a Shingle Style house is to let the shingles drape over the walls and pull everything together visually. Do a search for McKim Mead & White (Sanford White)(skip the parts about the murder)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mightyanvil...Thank you for taking the time and posting those great pictures, I will study them.

I will spend some time today doing some searches, as I have had little luck finding any information about the actual shingling details. Like flashings, corner trim, weaving hints, caulks, etc. Seems to be a lost art where I am at!

My design intentions on the inside of the home were to fallow arts and crafts styling. From what I have read that fits the shingle design well.

I am curious...could my home be considered (in general) a shingle design if the exterior were excuted nicely with shingle style details?

Or does the structure as it is built lock it into being more appropiately refered to as a craftsman or prairie style? Certainly some reading would clear this up, I am being lazy generating converstaion...

Not that it means anything, I just enjoy learning from conversations over these kinds of critiquing. I am quilty of not adhering to any style principles on this build. And just building details I found personally pleasing and structurally sensible for my climate, land, and my own abilities and resources.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The biggest problem I see with your house is the heavy-lidded look of the hip roofs. I would not add to that effect with masonry of any kind. I would vary the coursing of red cedar shingles to dress it up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arts & Crafts info

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was going to use a sheet good like groove-less T111 to cover the soffits. My thoughts were I can get it in DF and it would hold paint or stain well. Recently I had considered adding a frieze board detail and possibly hiding the continious venting behind a 1x3 spaced off the frieze board.

Should I be concerned about the added wood-work and paint/stain in the soffit/eve area contibuting to the heavy impression of the roof?

Maybe mimick the above posted photo and run the siding cleanly up to the soffit. I could then install the continuous venting closer to the fascia side of the soffit where it would blend in the shadows.

The green on the roof is very bold. The roof was near 40 squares of material and the wall measures near 30 squares.

No masonry...My lovely wife would be fine with that. She has actually voiced a desire for a wood front porch area instead of concrete. My inclination with a concrete porch was to integrate the column footings (engineered 24" x 24"), the porch itself, and its entry step(s). The entry door threshold is near 12" higher than current finished grade.

Thank you mightyanvil for posting those wonderful photo's.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After a couple set-backs, I am ready to move forward.

We have settled on red cedar shingles with a natural preservative to achieve some coloring uniformity. My better half simply is not fond of the natural graying.

We are really struggling on picking some accent colors to finish the exterior details. Originally we were going to use a dark color for the gutters, fascia and window/door trim. Our original front and rear entry doors were to be clear finished fir.

After viewing many shingle style homes, a common accent color theme is growing on me. So I am torn on considering a paint over the "wood finish" for the doors as well.

I would love to hear what others think to help us narrow things down.

It is so inspiring to look at the soothing photo's such as mighty had posted. Makes me very aware of the implications of these decision both good and bad.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just so you know, I have no idea what I am talking about, but your windows were in before housewrap?

I always thought it was the other way so that the sticky flashing around the windows would go over the housewrap so water couldn't run down your sheathing.

But like I said, I am pretty much clueless on these things.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 8:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Red cedar shingles will be great!

In my opinion, it is better to install windows against the sheathing before applying housewrap. That is the opinion of WR Grace, the manufacturer of Ice & Water Shield and Vycor flashing. It is also the opinion of Jeld-Wen windows. These are the companies that have taken these issues seriously in the housing industry. The rest subscribe to the conventional wisdom of the day.

Even DuPont includes this method in their instructions although it can sometimes be hard to find on their website.

The reason housewrap is installed first is simply because it is easier for the contractor and therefore that is what DuPont shows in their standard installation instructions. The fallacy in this approach is that it assumes that it is impossible for water to get behind the housewrap. I don't recommend asking a chemical company to design your wall system.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 11:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are leaning toward using a cedar shingle preservative called TWP. Seems either a dipping or brushing it on both sides of the shingle would be in order. Any hints for a thorough and speedy process?

The existing moss green/black shaded roofing and dark aluminum bronze window frames seem quite bold. Seems the gutters/downspouts coloring should blend-in, which would make it dark (black) as well.

Maybe a very light tan for under the eaves, window trim and columns. Though when I play around with these colors on paper I do not think they work.

We were going to leave the fir doors with a natural finish. But it seems a paint may soften things up instead of the differing wood between the cedar shingle siding and the fir doors.

I find this a very complicated process and admire those with the talent for design.

Thanks mighty for clearing up the reaccuring window wrap question. I had fallowed advice you gave out before on this forum and defend it regularly. I am using 30# felt as my house wrap.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Mighty Anvil for explaining it to me. It is neat to see the way all of the layers go together to make a house.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 2:32PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need Advice On What To Do Next
My wife and I have our hand drawn plans of our home....
window cuts in concrete foundation pour question
Hello, I had a quick question regarding a 9' poured...
Floorplan advice
We are a family of 4 with 2 young kids ages 3 and 10...
Please critique floor plan, thanks!
I posted a similar plan Oct. last year and got some...
Desireable slope for drainage away from house and garage?
We're building a rectangular-ish house with an attached...
Sponsored Products
Limoges Brushed Nickel Four-Light Round Flared Chandelier with Waves Shade
$550.00 | Bellacor
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Accent Rug: Artistic Weavers Rugs Carter Gray 2 ft.
$52.00 | Home Depot
Justice Design Group LumenAria 6-light Brushed Nickel Pendant
Glitterazzi International NTC Pop Art Santa Ornament
$89.50 | FRONTGATE
Pink Rectangular Frame
$9.49 | zulily
Palm All-Weather Wicker Sectional Conversation Set - Seats 6 - EEI-654-EXP-MOC-S
Snowflake Napkin - RUBY
$20.00 | Horchow
Possini Euro Manfred 18" Wide Bronze Ceiling Light
Euro Style Lighting
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™