Building New Home Help me Decide on Siding

aktillery9August 24, 2014

This is a picture of our elevation. Ignore all the siding you see. Also, we have an 8ft X 42inch mahogany door. It is very simple. We are planning on vinyl windows with a dark bronze exterior finish. We also plan on a metal roof. Probably a medium to darker brown finish as you see in the inspiration photo.

My problem is what to choose for the siding of the house. At first we wanted all stone. As you will see in my inspiration photo. Then I began to think I want to also add some creamy colored stucco or white. I am not sure where to use the stucco and where to use the stone.

It is difficult to tell in the photo the three dimensional aspect of the elevation. The part that is all stone in the photo is the part of the house that sits out the farthest. The rest is recessed, some parts more than others. The far left of the house showing the stone almost up to the roofline is the farthest recessed (not including the farthest to the right, the garage which sits the farthest back.

Ok, hope I have not confused everyone too much.

So, what would you do? Where would you put the white stone vs the white stucco? Would use keep the stucco white or paint it a color? Would you use stucco at all or the stone only and vice versa. I am wide open to any and all ideas. I can't change the elevation plan now as we are already building.

BTW, we live in the Texas hill country (if that helps)

Here is my inspiration photo

Here is the elevation photo

Here is our lot

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Annie Deighnaugh

Gorgeous view you have!

Is that a wall in front? Or are they really short windows on the left?

Did you ask in the build a home forum? They would have good input there.

I'm not a fan of these "waterline" applications of different materials and prefer changes in siding to follow the architectural structure of the building. So it looks as if the material changes occurred as the building was being constructed over time.

So, for example, I would stucco the building and just use the stone around the front gable and entry way. In fact that's what we did...only we used siding on the rest.

This post was edited by AnnieDeighnaugh on Sun, Aug 24, 14 at 10:32

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:31AM
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aktillery9

Thanks so much Annie! Your house is beautiful! Helps to see a photo!

There are very. Small windows on the far left. It's our walk in closet. Hence, the high windows.

I did post in the building forum as well.

Thanks so much again. Building a home can make you crazy! ;)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:40AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

I like the stone/siding combo in the elevation. Somehow I think stucco might look unfinished next to stone? But then I don't really know Texas Hill style. Great view!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:45AM
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sweet_tea_

Lovely view! I'm jealous, I love TX hill country style houses! Personally, I would do all stone if feasible, if not, then I would choose stucco as the secondary siding. I would definitely change the left side elevation to carry the same material all the way up. I think it looks too choppy stopping just under the windows.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:52AM
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CaroleOH

I clicked on your elevation photo and I think I went into your photo book and so I snooped around a bit! Is that your pool and stone retaining wall in the backyard?

If so, and since I'm from Ohio and not an authority on hill country housing it's just my opinion, I'd try and get the exterior to match your inspiration photo as much as possible. I love the simplicity of the plain stone front with the metal roof. I think your wood door and bronze windows will look great with a smooth stone/stucco. Siding is more a midwest/northeast style in my mind.

I know the stone is probably more expensive, but stucco can be applied in a smoother finish - and I think that would look stunning as a backdrop to your view.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:35PM
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aktillery9

Yes Carol that is my pool and stone/retaining wall. It's a negative edge pool.

So, are you saying to mix stucco and the stone. Where would you use stone and where would you use the stucco? Thoughts on having stone at the bottom where there would be another material on top? I'm so confused as to what to do!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:42PM
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CaroleOH

Here's an example of what I was picturing. This is a house in Austin...I would do stucco where they show siding

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 12:45PM
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aktillery9

Thanks Carol!!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 7:32PM
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kswl2

Love, love, love the house, and nothing is more appropriate for Texas hill country than the stone you are already planning to use. I would substitute stucco for the lap siding shown in your elevation drawing but keep the stone where already indicated. I'd also go all the way up with it on the left, unless framing the windows in an all stone facade is uber expensive....that's the only reason I can think of to stop the stone under those windows. If that is the reason, then stucco will look much better there than a horizontal material that pulls the roof down visually. Love the house and the setting is gorges!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 5:39AM
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aktillery9

Thanks Kswl! For some reason I do not like the stone on the lower half and then another material above it. I am not sure why. Lap is very common here but on very low budget houses. I think that is what is pulling me away from it. Silly, I know. The labor for the stone is super $$ for and we are already way over the budget. Just our land, the build up of 16 fit with stone and concrete and the fill for it all has cost a small fortune.

I need to make some calls to see the exact costs. What would you think of doing the large part that sticks out that is to the right of the front door in stone and then the left side with the weird tiny windows in all in stone and the rest in stucco?
I am so confused! So many decisions to make and my husband told me I can't spend this much time on each and every decision or we will never finish. I am not good at that. :(

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 7:25AM
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lascatx

The part on the right seems to be what you are unsure of. Can you think ahead to landscaping? I think that would help make a decision.

If you use shrubbery, it will be covered in whole or large part and adding stone wouldn't make a lot of difference (but in wet periods, you might have to clean the stucco more). If you use cactus, yucca and such, more will show -- and I think the stone will be appropriate. If you put in a water feature or sculpture of some kind, the stone might be distracting or could tie the house and a stone water feature.

It sounds like you are focused just on the siding issues -- look at it as part of a whole. You have great taste. You'll make a great decision.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:38AM
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kswl2

I can't tell from the drawing if the area with the small windows is on the same plane as the recessed area with the tall windows. But it looks as though the architect wanted the stone to come up to the bottom of all front fenestration---even though on those small windows to the left it looks rather strange (to me!).

Do you have a rendering of the façade that you can post?

If not, I think the stone on the right side under those tall windows looks good, but I would adjust the height of the stone on the left to be lower, not all the way down as low as the stone on the right, but lower it in proportion to the size of the windows and area of wall. Just "eyeballing" it, I would say try a mock up of stone that comes up to the small windows and leaves a space between the top of the stone and the bottom of the window equal to the space between the windows themselves. That will help that mass make sense spatially. Can you do a rough mock up yourself? It won't be symmetrical, of course, but I think it will look more proportional. And I would use stucco the same color as the stone, just a bit darker or lighter in hue.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 11:17AM
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palimpsest

How about all stucco with flat quoins of stone and stone sills and lintels on the front windows? Like this but stucco in the field:

Traditional Exterior by London Photographers Joel Antunes photography

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 12:21PM
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kswl2

That treatment above would look good on all parts of the house.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 1:11PM
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palimpsest

Yes, that's what I mean, stone trim and corners all around and the rest stucco. Labor would probably be higher for the corners but you would save on stone yardage and get a very consistent look for all four sides of the house.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 1:30PM
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aktillery9

Those are very interesting ideas Pal. What a lovely home!

KSLW,

I did a super shoddy mock up of the house. Everything is as you see in in the photo, except I put stone up the entire wall on the left (which is quite recessed and sits back from the rest of the house.

What do you think?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 4:18PM
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aktillery9

BTW the garage on the far right sits way back.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 4:19PM
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aktillery9

Deleted.

This post was edited by aktillery on Wed, Aug 27, 14 at 13:37

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 4:25PM
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kswl2

Thanks for posting the plan, aktillery. I have to be honest, I do not like the left side with the small windows all in stone and the other side all in stucco. It makes the house look a bit jointed. I think for a consistent look across the front, understanding that the masses are not all in the same plane, that you need SOME stone on/ in each area.

Could you stucco both the windowed areas and do a raised stone planter in front of both of them? Then you have (from the rendering) a central mass of stone, flanked by two stucco wings (with stone planters in front) and those windowed stucco areas are then flanked by further recessed areas of stone.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 5:05PM
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MagdalenaLee

Here is the elevation of a "modern ranch house" in Horseshoe Bay. It has a mixture of stone and siding that might give you some ideas:

Here is a link that might be useful: Rauser Design

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 5:14PM
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MagdalenaLee

This is how I would place the stone/stucco. Give it the "this part was added later" look by making the far right and far left/back stucco. You could also do the entire back in stucco but I prefer stone when getting an up-close look at the siding like under porches and front entryways. Stone is just prettier and more interesting to look at than stucco.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 5:52PM
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aktillery9

Thanks for that mock up. I just redid one myself. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:03PM
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aktillery9

So mag, would you not do any stone of the lower part of the stucco and just do stucco?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:07PM
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MagdalenaLee

I was just messing around with the elevation and this is what I came up with. I think stucco all the way to the ground on the right/back part will look good but the left side is just too long with stucco alone. It looked bare so I added stone at the bottom but not going all the way up to the windows.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:18PM
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kswl2

Your most recent mockup (aktillery) looks far more balanced to me than anything so far... I like it!

I'm generally a fan of the "added later" look, but for some reason it is harder to sell that with stucco. If you're going to do some of the massing in all one material per magda's post I would do 8" or 10" lap siding painted the same color as the stone.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:19PM
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aktillery9

So the only changes is you would do stone on the garage with the three long windows and then siding on the far left part of the garage?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:22PM
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aktillery9

And another rough mock up. Colors are off along with some other details i could not work with in Power point.

Thanks so much for all of your help!!!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:27PM
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MagdalenaLee

Or if you wanted to decrease the stone even more:

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:28PM
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MagdalenaLee

Aktillery - your last mock up would be my preference.

BTW, love the floor plan!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:32PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Sorry, I still don't like the waterline. It seems to make th house look even shorter and squatter as it splits the entire facade. And as in the sketch above, it really makes the asymmetry of the windows on the 2 sides stand out even more as one penetrates the stone and the other does not.

The quoin idea is interesting, though I associate it with more of a European look vs. this house I think of as more of a CA or SW ranch style.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 6:38PM
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palimpsest

It is important (to me, anyway) that the divisions between materials look like they make structural sense. This is what Magdalena is working on with the different colors on the perimeters of the floor plan. A couple of the other versions of the elevation are starting to have an alternating vertical stripe sort of appearance, which I don't think you want.

I think the waterline or horizon line of stone, especially at different heights on the same facade, where it's topped by another material is almost always a mistake because it doesn't really reflect masonry construction. If it comes up higher than a foundation level but not all the way to the top of the first floor, it doesn't reflect how a stone building would be built so it tends to scream applique.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 7:05PM
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kswl2

"If it comes up higher than a foundation level but not all the way to the top of the first floor, it doesn't reflect how a stone building would be built so it tends to scream applique. "

That's true!

Do you have an objection to hardiplank siding when it is not combined on the same wall as the stone? I think your mock up posted at 18:27 would look good with the left side ALL in plank siding for that "added on over time" look.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 7:22PM
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MagdalenaLee

The stone "waterline" with stucco on top is very typical in Tx Hill Country homes. Top architectural groups don't do it but it's ubiquitous so it certainly wouldn't look strange. Heck, 95% of the homes in my neighborhood have this feature.

However, I would say that if Aktillery is going for a more modern, clean look - don't do the "waterline." The problem is that stucco looks kind of funny on it's own. It looks like it needs "grounding." But siding (shiplap or board and batten) does not and looks fine on it's own.

Aktillery, I urge you to take another look at board and batten. It really isn't just for "lower-end" homes anymore. It has become a wonderful alternative for modern Tx HC homes.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 7:37PM
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MagdalenaLee

This house is in Austin and was feature in the August Southern Living.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Oaktown

I'll be the dissenter and say use all stucco or all stone, don't combine them, since you still have a fairly traditional shape to the house. My personal preference.

In my opinion a material mix along the lines of what you seem to be thinking works better on a more contemporary house (sort of like colorblocking). In our neck of the woods, folks do that with stucco and redwood siding.

Are you using the garage as a workshop? Just curious as to the reason for the large windows there.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 7:41PM
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MagdalenaLee

With Board & Batten:

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 7:41PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

I like MagdalenaLee's 19:41 posting.

To me, plain stucco looks unfinished and low-end; but I think you are saying that, to you, any sort of siding looks low-end? So it may be a regional thing.

Also, I think mixing materials makes more sense when you are going for an added on look, and entire wings are a new material ... otherwise all stone.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 8:11PM
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Annie Deighnaugh
    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

This version is a little more SW. Note how the stone is applied to structural areas without a waterline.

Mediterranean Exterior by Austin Architects & Building Designers Vanguard Studio Inc.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 9:51PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Here is a more contemporary home but with the stone applied structurally.

Contemporary Exterior by Austin Architects & Building Designers James D. LaRue Architects

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 9:56PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

This is what I don't like...a stone facade that is clearly just facade as it is only on the front and not on the sides...

Traditional Exterior by Libertyville Fireplaces North Star Stone

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:10PM
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palimpsest

I was thinking of something like this, but maybe with the main mass in stone. I don't think I have the proportions of stone around the windows right.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:54PM
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Oaktown

I like MagdalenaLee's board and batten images. I also think a stone sitting wall in front of a stucco area as kswl suggested would be a nice alternative to the high water tables.

I think palimpsest's quoins idea is great but in practice might be somewhat difficult to execute well. A great mason could make it lovely. A mediocre mason easily might make a hot mess. Also might be a bit dissonant with the roof shape and standing seam metal?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 1:34AM
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aktillery9

Gosh I am so irritated. I had posted a book and it never posted here.

So, again, thanks Pal for the mockup and ideas.
Thank you mag for the lovely mockup with the board and batten. It is pretty.
Annie, I love some of the photos you posted. Great inspirations.

Oak and mtn, thanks for taking the time to weigh in!

kswl, I really appreciate your time and ideas.

You guys are great! That is why I love GW, you get so many ideas that you couldn't find as quickly anywhere else!

Here is a mock up of what I think I like the best. We will have trees, shrubs and plants in the front and I think that will help break things up immensely. I like the all brick on the wall with the tiny windows that are way up the wall the best. It seems to provide the most interest for that unusual wall. Maybe the right side of the house can appear to be added on over time.

So, here we go.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 9:54AM
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aktillery9

One more thing, the stone and stucco will be creamy white, not really depicted well in my mockup. Also, it is hard to see the three dimensional side of things. I know my plants look super choppy and square as I am doing this in powerpoint and am no expert. ;)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 9:57AM
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aktillery9

Here is the board and batten version that Mag suggested.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 1:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The last version looks like 2 different houses butted up against each other...the left more CA modern and the right more trad'l. Remember you want your front entrance to be most important so I'd definitely stone that and the gable end. Then make the rest the other material you like.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 4:54PM
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palimpsest

Yes be careful not to split the house in half. One material should predominate on the main body and the secondary material can cover any "wing" or "ell" portion. Something close to one-third/ two-thirds is generally pretty safe.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 5:24PM
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aktillery9

Ok, you asked for it. Here it is. Well, Annie you seemed to like this idea. It looks nice!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 6:24PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I like it! And it adds balance to the massing of the facade.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 6:55PM
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aktillery9

It is so funny bc on the Building a Home forum I had the most votes for using stucco as it looks better and is easier to maintain. I think I feel I am back to square one. :(

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 6:51AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Well I prefer the stucco too, but I like this placement of the stone better in this last shot. Did you have a pic of the stone stucco combo placed like the one above?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 6:59AM
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aktillery9

Thanks Annie! Here you goâ¦.

I wonder if it would look odd to have the parts of the house that are not recessed in stucco and the parts that are (the right and left side) in stone? Would that be odd? I think it is the only thing I have yet to try!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 7:41AM
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aktillery9

Finally here is a mockup of the original plan that the architect drew.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 8:16AM
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kitchendetective

Is bagged brick an option for the areas that you are showing in stucco?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 8:57AM
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aktillery9

Kitchen, not sure what bagged brick is.

I have one last mockup. I think I have tried everything now except for all stone or all stucco.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 9:13AM
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aktillery9

Ok everyone this is IT. I have decided. Just wanted to share. I am sure some of you will not like it. But, I am done with working this out. On to MANY other decisions.

Thank you ALL so much for helping me work through this. What is the funniest part is this is the exact rendering my architect gave me in the first place.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 10:04AM
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kswl2

artkillery, you changed the peak of the gable between your last post and the one at 9:13 am. If the second post is correct, I would change back to having the front gable in stucco and the two flanking masses all in stone. The reason is that if the gable does not reach very high, stone all the way up may make it look heavy and squat. I would ask about the roof pitch on that gable and only use the heavier material if it is higher, not lower. JMO!

(But, I think whatever you do the house will look marvelous, we tend to obsess over the details here :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 11:03AM
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aktillery9

I know I had the gable wrong this entire time. Thanks for your feedback. I'll post real pics in ten years when the build is complete. Haha

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 1:07PM
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