Your opinions on the exterior please

wi-sailorgirlSeptember 29, 2010

Some of you may have seen or even commented on my post in the HD forum:

I've spoken with the designer (who I'm a little irritated with as I feel like this was an issue that should have been addressed a LONG time ago) and the builder about this problem more than I care to think about in the last 24 hours and I'm a bit cloudy on what to do right now.

A quick run down on the situation.

Here are the plans for the house. The issue at hand is the portico/gable over the front door:

When we got the plans it was one of my favorite features. To me it helps balance the house and helps tie in the steep peek of the new roof, as well as the siding material, not to mention drawing attention to the front door, which, even though I painted it bright blue, kind of got lost before.

But at what price do I love it? I just found out that in order to have the gable, we'll need to run a downspout down the front of the house (probably over by the shorter window in the middle), then bore under the patio to direct the water out into the yard (before today I was holding out hope that our contractor would come up with a different solution but he says there just isn't one). The cost is one factor (and he's getting estimates on the boring for me today), but the sight of a downspout down the front of the house are a bigger concern.

Some people on the HD forum suggested a larger structure over the door. We could still do that (although honestly after sketching a few things out I can't say I like that any better than what's here, not to mention I don't want to mess with the stairs or the patio), but the downspout issue remains. Others suggestion a pergola-type structure, but to me that doesn't tie into the right side of the house as much.

So the question is, which is worse: No portico/gable or a big downspout down the front of the house?

Here are a few pictures that may help.

This is the original house (pre-reno)

This is what it looked like last night (sorry I didn't get a picture from straight on) with the new roof peak.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe I don't understand. Do you like the gutters and downspout where they were on the original house? And they want you to have a center downspout in the blank spot between the windows?

I'm just spouting off here (get it, spouting? lol), anyway, it's just a porch overhang, not an interior space, so why can't you run the gutter through the porch overhang and keep the downspout where it is? There will be some rain dripping off the sides of the overhang, but it shouldn't be enough to cause any basement problems - unless it is bigger than it looks in your drawing.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 2:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And I see you already thought of that. You wouldn't even have to use a pvc pipe, just the gutter all the way across. I didn't ask if your porch overhang was going to have a ceiling in it or be open to the peak. Probably wouldn't be a good idea if it had a ceiling where you couldn't get to the gutter to clean it out.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 2:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's what I wanted to do marti8a, but my contractor absolutely will not do it. He says water problems are pretty much inevitable with a system like that, especially given that there will be a ton of water being dealt with by that gutter, and he won't sign off on building it like that. I have to say, I trust his opinion, even if I don't agree with it, so apparently that option is out.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 3:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First, I'd like to say that I love your house (especially that electric blue door!) and I really love that you are tweaking it to make it better as opposed to adding on a gigantic addition. Your new design is beautiful-you have great taste! Second, I really sympathize with your current dilemma. It must be so frustrating to have to deal with such an important problem just as things were rolling along (and looking wonderful!).

With that said, I will throw out a couple of suggestions (which assume that you go ahead with your porch cover which I love!):

  1. The existing roof could be extended to run across the front of the facade (the extension would just be a false roof, more like a small overhang) then the gutter would just run across to the side of the house where the new deck is and run down that side of the house. Since the siding has already been taken off this shouldn't be difficult or too expensive, but will change the look of the facade and maybe not for the better!

2) Instead of extending the roof, run just the gutter across but do it so it looks more like a trim piece that runs across the front rather than a plain old gutter. Your designer might have some ideas on how to accomplish this.

These are probably not great ideas but I thought I throw them out just to help you try to think outside the box!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

duesouth ...

Out of the box thinking is exactly what is called for here and I appreciate the suggestions!

Thanks for the nice comments on the house.

That blue door was the first thing I did when we bought the house (it was brown when we bought it). After years of living in beige apartments I was dying for some color, so I picked the brightest blue I could find! Now it's sort of become our "calling card." I always tell people to come to the "white house with the blue door."

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you consulted any gutter companies? Surely they have dealt with something like this before.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First of all, I love your house! I just noticed the shape of the door (even though I've seen the pictures before) and it's just lovely.

I too love the new roof line over the door for the same reason you do.

Clearly I'm not the most observant (since I missed the door), but maybe I'm not unusual in that -- but I also didn't notice your other drains and downspouts. I only saw the house and the lines. Perhaps a downspout would not look bad at all given they are all painted white and blend in. Then you still get your roof lines... which I suspect is what most people will see -- and not the downspout.

Sorry I can't be more creatively helpful... :)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 6:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's a beautiful house! As nice as the plans are, if it's going to be a lot more money and hassle, I'd skip the peak over the front door. The blue color really pops and I don't think you need it.

The pergola on the side of the house is going to draw some attention, as is the large peak and shed dormer. Have you thought about a nice curved arbor on a walk up to the front porch? Maybe the same color/materials as the pergola? That would help define the main walkway and blue morning glories would look wonderful with your pretty blue door :)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 10:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

Would it look to weird on that style of house to put an 'eye-brow' window above the door, in the same plane as the front of the house. That way it wouldn't affect the current downspout system, and if it's not too far over-budget, you could open the entry to the window above--kind of a vaulted ceiling.

As if you don't already have enough to think about!!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, this is interesting. I've been pondering all of these ideas you guys have had and thinking about possible solutions. Then I went to the house this morning and saw this:

Apparently I didn't have as long to make this decision as I thought I did. I can't really complain that they are about a half week ahead of schedule and I certainly don't want to slow the process down, but well, I guess my mind is pretty much made up. When I squint my eyes and pretend that the siding is on, and the temporary support posts aren't there, I really like it.

He's talking about putting the downspout about a foot from the end of the gutter, so I could move the trellis (see original house photo) over and cover up the bottom of it at least with hopefully a clematis or whatever. I'm still not thrilled about that, but I like the gable enough that I think I'm sold.

Of course we can still pull it off if wanted.

So ... what do you think?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

I predict you'll soon forget that the down-spout is there at all.

I was upset that our porch downspout had to run along side our new porch post to a French drain. I painted it to match the post, and the foundation, and after 2 1/2 years, it's something I don't even notice.

I love the little gable--it's definitely worth the trade-off.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

yep, it'll be worth it. and I agree that in a short time you won't even notice it. water problems you will notice tho!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Really I think the trellis in front of the down spout will be just fine. I just LOVE what they have done over the door. More then the concern for the down spout. But then it is your house and you are the one that needs to be pleased. I think it all looks wonderful. So happy for you and can not wait for you to be able to get moved back in.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 10:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you could extend a knee-braced arbor the same height at your roofline across the front gable and that would tend to hide the downspout. No posts, just knees bracing it. And then it could have some evergreen vine which would not damage the surface of the house. Don't know your climate, but a good nurseryman could tell you what would work nicely. Maybe some really bright blue clematis vines? They could be planted and provide camouflage for the downspout.

I would not stop the plan you have because of the downspout. Need is the mother of invention. The grain of sand in the oyster is what produces the pearls, you know. I know you will make a pearl of this situation.

Here is a picture of what I mean. This breaks the high profile of a garage gable. Disregard the note on the picture, it was written for another GW person with a similar problem.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 12:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh That would be perfect and tie into the same on the other side of the house.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 1:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love how it looks! They did a great job!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 3:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sailor-girl, the more I see your house, the more I am impressed by your construction crew. I really like the porch and think it will be really nice when it rains. *slapping forehead* Putting the trellis by the downspout will totally camouflage it, and sooo much easier than anything else.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the comments (and the support), everyone. Moccasin, I think your idea is one that has a lot of merit, particularly because, as someone else says, it will tie it in with the pergola on the other side of the house. It's certainly something that could be added later too so I can live with the gable for awhile and decide if something else is necessary.

Marti, so far I'm pretty happy with these guys too. They are making relatively fast progress, which is really, really good. My one complaint is that they leave the job site pretty messy and seem to lack some respect for the parts of the house that are to be untouched. The existing floors are a sore point with me right now. We had all the floors in the house refinished about three or four years ago (before we knew we were going to do this project). We had a pretty complicated bleaching process done on the existing oak floors (so complicated that it didn't work the first time and we had to move out a second time six months later for them to redo the floors!) and it's not one I want to have to repeat. I told them that the hallway floor upstairs MUST be saved. They should try to save the bedroom floors (which had to be pulled up) but they weren't the greatest floors in the world so I sort of left it in their hands as to whether they could be saved. We were led to believe they probably could be. We just found out on Thursday that they didn't save them (we assumed they were sitting out in the garage with a billion other construction supplies or something) so now we're shopping for flooring, and that was not included in the quote or something we had budgeted floor. To add insult to injury, I found STAPLES in my floor in the hallway! I have no idea why, but it really upset me.

It's really my only complaint with these guys so far and I know no crew is perfect, but I'll be talking with him about it today.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 9:05AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
I've lost interest in this project
The decorating forum said I needed a colored carpet...
lov_mkitchenIOWA zone 6b
How many square feet is your "small home"
My house is 859sf. It has 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, but...
Masonite Textured 6-Panel Hollow Core Interior Door
I would like to know if this door would be a very good...
Mama Goose - a question?
Hi Mama, I saw in one of your posts that you have painted...
Small Home, trying to figure out window blinds
Long time lurker but my first post here. We are currently...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™