i need your opinion on this house design!!!

labordeliverynurseNovember 18, 2010

Hi.

We have a cape. The dormer on the far right of the house is there, everything else including porch is an addition.

I was not a fan of the shed dormer over the garage, but wanted to maximize the space above the garage for the living room that will be there.

We live in New England and wanted to keep with the Country charm.

WHat do you think and what are your opinions?

THANKS SO MUCH IN ADVANCE!!!!

[IMG]http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m539/uliana78/DEMILIO5WINDOWSHEDVIEW-1.jpg[/IMG]

Here is a link that might be useful: remodel

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labordeliverynurse

Here is the picture

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 7:05PM
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juliekcmo

While I think it is fine, I do think I would prefer for the raised portion of roof (with the dormer in the middle and the porch) to extend at the roof ridge to the left end of the porch. I feel this would emphasize the porch in a more pleasing way.

This would make the left and right sides of the porch roof symmetrical. And would make the house, instead of the garage, the "bigger" chunk that your eye sees.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:47PM
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PRO
collins design

My first thought was: GARAGE. Not HOUSE. I agree, try to make the house itself more important.

I do like the shed dormer on the garage, though :)

In general, I think it looks pretty great. I just have a pet peeve about houses where a massive garage is the focal point :)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 9:27AM
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labordeliverynurse

I agree but I think the builder said since the roof on that side is pushed back it would be a lot of work and would look strange connected to the other part of the roof. Not sure if I confused you.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 12:44PM
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chisue

Any chance you could make the garage addition at an angle to the house? Any chance for side entry garage? As has been said, this is unbalanced, a 'garage with little house attached'. Is the porch useable or just decorative?

The 'Teardown Queen' in me has to ask: What will be your market value after this HUGE addition? What would it be for an all new structure? How many sq ft in the existing house? How many after the addition?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:43PM
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labordeliverynurse

Ok.... First here are some pictures of the back of the house so you can get an idea, why I really cant tilt it to the side because the back sliders are the kitchen and we are expanding it a bit as well with that bump out....
We did turn the garage initially so the 3 garage doors were on on the left side, but it was too sharp to turn into the first bay, and had to turn it back this way. Crappy.
We are gaining 750 sq ft. The builder has done work before and we are getting a good price for the work, and houses are so damn expensive in CT where we are (40 minutes from NYC) that we could never afford to buy what we have in this house. We have 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, now with the room above the garage which will be a big living room we have a place for the boys to run around in. This is so stressful and we didn't get an architect bc they are just so expensive.

Back of house

another "option" with 3 dormers more expensive though :(

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 3:45PM
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artemis78

Honestly, while architects are expensive, they can help you sort this out before spending a lot of money on something you're unsure of. I'd interview several till you find one you like in your price range, and consider it money well spent. You can even just hire them for the concepts, if you want to do the construction drawings yourself or have your builder do it.

I have to say that I had the same reaction to the garage, though---looks like a garage with an attached house, rather than a house with an attached garage. The roof lines are also awkward---another thing an architect could help untangle. Do you need a three-car garage, or is that just there to get the space above it? Dialing that down to two (or even two with some space, but not a full garage door, in between) would balance it out a lot, and would be a pretty normal look for CT houses in that style. Is the 750 square feet just the upstairs living space over the garage, or does that include the garage too? What else is in that space (obviously not just the living room---is that additional bedrooms, etc., too?)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 4:57PM
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chisue

OK, I see. the house has *already* had an addition or two. There's a lot more on the rear. (I get concerned when people are doubling the size of just a very small original home.)

Hmm...maybe there's a way to put ONE garage door on the front and two on the side -- or two on the front and another on the side? If you must go with three on the front, the three upper dormers do balance it out better.

Gosh, this is really a mish-mash of roof angles though. You'd have an impressive front elevation if you ran a new single roof ridge all the way across the front. It would just mean replacing the one existing dormer on the far right, right? Can you match shingles if you do NOT do this? (Think resale *someday*.)

Some draftsmen can do a decent job of configuring and you won't pay an architect's fee. Another thought: an unlicensed architect -- one who has the degree but has not undergone the arduous route to full licensure. Won't you have to have a stamped plan to get permits from your municipality though?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 5:27PM
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ControlfreakECS

Unfortunately, I also think you should consider spending money on an architect. Not only does the garage overwhelm the house, I have some concerns about the rooflines in the back. When my parents did an addition, they ended up with a very similar roof situation to what you have at the bump out next to the sliders. They ended up with severe roof damage from ice build-up in a corner very similar to the one you have under that upstairs window. Of course, they DID have an architect and still ended up with that problem. You have many different rooflines going on, which is not only expensive, but can cause problems like the one I mentioned or other drainage issues. I'm no architect or engineer, but just looking at the pics and knowing you are in New England, it made me nervous. Perhaps it is more of an issue here in PA where we have lots of thawing and re-freezing, as opposed to all snow all winter long.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 5:31PM
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artemis78

Nah, thawing and re-freezing is pretty much the story of southern CT too (assuming the OP is in Litchfield or Fairfield County, or maybe NH?) As a CA transplant with CT roots, that's the one part of winter that I don't miss at all---black ice, frozen sandy slush, steps and rails encased in ice from melting snow that refroze over night, etc. Yuck! :) Now snow all winter long---I think I could go for that...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 5:42PM
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labordeliverynurse

Oh man... hmmmm. You are giving us a lot to think about.
I think price wise a whole overhaul of taking off this roof and putting another one, may not be possible. I need to really think about this.
We do mostly get snow not a lot of ice storms or anything controlfreakecs but still they are tough elements and we need to think about that.
Above the garage will be a living room that is 558sq feet. Is that too much? We have 2 boys and it will be used as a playroom as well. We will have a fireplace up there to try and make it cozier.
What a nightmare.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 5:57PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Try varying the expanse of the garage facade by stepping the end garage bay back 4feet (or more) and breaking up that huge roof.
Give the garage bays each their own doghouse dormer, or a shed dormer over only the two bays nearest to the rest of the house.
The unbroken rhythm of the three garage doors will overwhelm everything else. Their vice-like grip on the facade must be broken!

Casey

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:01PM
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labordeliverynurse

Oh man... hmmmm. You are giving us a lot to think about.
I think price wise a whole overhaul of taking off this roof and putting another one, may not be possible. I need to really think about this.
We do mostly get snow not a lot of ice storms or anything controlfreakecs but still they are tough elements and we need to think about that.
Above the garage will be a living room that is 558sq feet. Is that too much? We have 2 boys and it will be used as a playroom as well. We will have a fireplace up there to try and make it cozier.
What a nightmare.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:48PM
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labordeliverynurse

What do you think if I put a small dormer over the door between the main house and the garage? would that break it up some?
This is bull$$$$. Here in Fairfield County where I am NOBODY will give you advice without a payout. It's disgusting. I had an architect say he will charge me $500 just to look at the house and talk to me. It's disturbing.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:03PM
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artemis78

One thought on the architect bit---maybe try hunting in the New Haven area? The Yale Architecture School is terrific and I'd guess you might be able to find some students who'd be willing to consult for a fraction of what the Fairfield Co. pros want---not too long a drive for them, either. Now, they might want to do something crazy modern with your house, but... ;) (But really, if you present it as a challenge to do a traditional design with certain new elements added in, you might actually get some interesting ideas for not too much $$---and then could have your builder draw them up as you'd planned to have everything in order for the permits.)

Visually, I think part of what draws your eye to the garage in your second option is that there are three dormers there v. only two on the house, and that stretch of roof is longer. Is there a way to extend the house roof so that it's the longer stretch, and maybe that third dormer is there instead of on the garage? (I think they were intended to be centered over each garage door in that plan, and can see the argument for that---but I do think that contributes to making it seem like a lot of garage.) Not really sure how to go about shifting the "center of mass" per se, but I think if you can work out how to do it---that will help a lot.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 11:23PM
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labordeliverynurse

Artemis, what great suggestions!! I never thought about the architect from there. My builders are from West Haven and actually they are a great team and much cheaper than any one in Fairfield. The first dormer on the side is our bedroom, that is there right now, the next one is not there and is my sons bedroom in between the 2 are the stairs.
What do you think if we keep with the shed dormer in the first picture and add a dormer above the first entrance door closest to the garage?
I will now have to hustle to find someone to help us because they are planning to start this project fairly soon.
I love the layout inside of the house. Absolutely love it, but I don't want to have a weird looking house on the outside as an exchange.
What fabulous feedback.
Artemis, I think I remember getting feedback years ago from you when I was remodeling my kitchen, you always had great advice.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 7:29AM
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chisue

Re: The 558 sq ft room. Will all of that be 'standing height'? Minimum six feet from floor to ceiling? If so, that's a big playroom! Guessing 30 X 18? (Our LR is 26 X 15 w/9-foot ceiling.)

I'm really worried about all those roof lines, especially the not-steep-enough bit over the kitchen 'bump out'. Can you show us the house from the rear, as it stands now? Which direction is North?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 11:20AM
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labordeliverynurse

It is not all standing height, but where the dormers are obviously it is. It 32 X 22 with 9 ft ceilings. It will be used more as a great room. We will have a fireplace us there with nice couches for the adults, and then keep some toys up there as well for the kids, closets for storage, eventually an air hockey table for the boys. I just don't want it to be TOO empty feeling. That is the least of my problems it seems.
I can't find a picture of the current back, but it looks the same now EXCEPT that bump out and the addition above the garage. Our garage is 2 cars now with nothing above it. We have 3 cars so really want the 3 car garage.
North is on the left side of the house if I am looking at the back of the house. The back of the house faces West
THanks so much AGAIN.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 1:03PM
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live_wire_oak

This is going to be an expensive addition no matter what. It's much better to get an architect involved on the front end to make it integrate better. Other than the house itself, this will probably be the most expensive undertaking of your life. A pro's advice can make the difference between this being an expensive failure or an expensive success.

And, I don't understand at all how a builder is giving you any pricing without plans to build. A $300 square foot ballpark would be exactly that, with zero commitment to build what you actually want unless you have actual plans, and more importantly total specs with the finish level spelled out in writing.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 6:07PM
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chisue

OK, so you'll be adding one additional 'stall' to the garage, the room above a 3-car garage, and the 'bump out'. This 'bump' contains an addition to the kitchen and the secondary door off the (new) porch? Can't you incorporate this 'middle' bit into a rectangle with the new garage addition?

If you can't do one continuous roofline across the entire house, how about stepping the garage back farther with one continuous roofline N-S that will incorporate the addition to the kitchen and a secondary entrance off the porch? Lose that odd little bit in the middle at the back. You'd lose one south-facing window in the kitchen and possibly one on the second floor, but you'd have a simple rectangular addition. (What does the secondary door open to? Mudroom?)

There has to be a better plan than this concoction of rooflines. I'm picturing an ice dam in that west-facing recess over the bump-out.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 6:07PM
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