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Front Elevation Help! Pics please

Posted by miffy13 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 15, 12 at 15:42

This is the front elevation drawing our architect just gave us. I am having trouble finding pictures of similar houses to tell him what I like detailwise. Anyone have a house similar or know where I can look for design ideas? What do you think?
Sorry about the sideways picture.


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

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What are the materials? Do you have a perspective rendering of it?


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

brick on the front, brick/siding ombo on the rest. He has that band around the base which could be same brick on its end, other brick or stone and same details by windows. This is all I have so far.


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

Is there any reason why the window under that left gable doesn't match the one on the right side?

What did you communicate to the architect that you wanted in terms of house style? Are there certain houses of this style that you had your eye on? Do you have an inspiration file of pics? There s something about the front porch/ portico that doesn't look right to me, but I am certainly not an architect so I can't clearly explain what the problem is! Hopefully one of the pros on here can verbalize it! :) you must be excited to be beginning the process, good luck!


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Oh, I should have specified that these are hip roofs. The window to the right of the front door is the stairs.
Nini804-Thanks! We are really excited. I cant seem to find any pictures I like. Anyone have any suggestions.
We know we like hip over gable, no shutters, casements over double hung...thats about all. Help!


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No, I meant the second story window on the left of the porch, not the stair window. It doesn't match the other second story window. It is single, rather than double. I call all of those triangular pitches "gables" not sure if that is the correct term.

Do you like symmetry in a house design? This elevation has quite a lack of symmetry, which is fine if that is what you want. To me, this is a very transitional plan...it doesn't seem to be a certain definable style, so that
might be why you are having trouble finding pics. It isn't farmhouse,
shingle-style, craftsman, georgian, federal, anything like that. Can your architect do a color rendering, one that shows depth? Our architect hand colored our elevation and it really helped me to "see" how it would look.


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The style is the established CanAm favourite, Neo-eclectic.

If it's symmetry you wanted, you should have specified a Georgian look. The smaller window on the leftmost bay is in keeping with the intended asymmetrical design. Nowadays it seems that the choice of finishes is the major nod to style on most homes.


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

Nini804-that is the master bath so that window is all that fits. The house isnt symmetrical but I thinks its balanced looking, which is more important to me.
Yes, I would describe us as transitional and yes, that is why we are having problems finding pics.
Worthy-Thanks! I will look more at neo eclectic but from a quick google search, it looks like anything that doesnr fit into the other styles got labeled neo eclectic. LOL.


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

"Neo" means "young" as in new, current or recent and "eclectic" refers to the mixing of design elements and traditions from previous historical styles in a new building often with little consideration for the practical evolutionary and cultural history of the elements thereby creating amusing or embarrassing architectural contradictions and caricatures.

Frankly, this house is so plain I don't see any historical elements in it so I could not give it a name. The hipped roofs have too low a pitch to be French inspired and the arbitrary asymmetrical pop-in and pop-out facade and banding below the first floor windows is something invented in the 80's by builder/developers to add interest to designs based primarily on the most profitable construction systems and techniques.


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wow renovator8, that was mean and uncalled for. We spent a lot of time designing the best layout for us for the inside of the house which is, frankly, where we will spend all our time. This is what the outside looks like based on that and it doesnt make sense to us to compromise the part we live in for the exterior. We still want it to look nice though. So, instead of insulting the house I spent the last year of my life working on and calling it embarrassing and plain, how about you only respond if you have something useful to say.


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

designs based primarily on the most profitable construction systems and techniques.

As of necessity a Neo-eclectic practitioner, I'd say a stolid traditional Georgian with a hip roof is lots easier to build than a roofline with advancing and receding facades and all kinds of troublesome valleys.

But I do think the OP has expressed what I think is a shortcoming of many plans--and I'm not making a judgement here--that is, that they're done from the inside out rather than from the outside in.

Even when I'm skimming through subdivision designs to see which one to adapt to my constricted lots, it is the elevation that is the number one thing. I live on the inside of my body, too, but try to be aware that my inner rugged handsomeness* is not what's first apparent to the world.

*sound of spouse snickering


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

I think this can still be a beautiful house even though it may not neatly fit into a strict style. Most houses in my area seem to fit into the "neo eclectic" group so I dont think mine will look out of place. Where do I have troublesome valleys?


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

First, just ignore the unhelpful comments and focus on the helpful ones :-)

Secondly, the first thing I thought was it reminds me a lot of the house that I see when I look out the window of our study in the house we're currently building...and I quite enjoy looking at it!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Now, my neighbor's house is more symmetrical and the exterior material is simpler than what your architect has described, but I think the basic look is similar. Do you?

I would guess that Renovator8 and others would label my house an "embarrassing Neo-Eclectic McMansion" too, but I'm happy with it. However, what I dislike about most new builds is the mix of materials...a little stucco here, stone there, siding back there, etc., and lack of character, charm, and quality on the inside. I changed my exterior by eliminating the stone on the two front faces. I did just stucco for the exterior with stone along the water table around the entire house. I prefer simple and consistent and got the courage to tell my builder to change it by looking at the house above.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that you are happy with the house that you design and build for your lifestyle and family within your budget. Good luck.


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Where do I have troublesome valleys?

The more valleys, the more detailing, the greater the chance for problems down the line. It doesn't mean don't build what you want. Just something to keep in mind. And hope there's a conscientious roofing contractor.

I notice in the stucco home posted above there are both closed and open valleys and totally inadequate drops (downspouts). And if I were inspecting it, I'd be looking for weep screeds (if it's EIFS). Without them, eventually there will be interior dampness and mould problems galore.


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You didn't even thank me for turning the photo so people could actually see it and now you insult me for giving you free professional advice, something your "architect" has failed to provide. The forum has turned into a chat room for people who want to add trendy features to tired 80's developer house designs. If you like it; build it.


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cbusmomof3-thanks. Its hard to ignore the mean-spirited people that know they are being hurtful for no constructive reason, but I will try. The houses do have a similar feel. Thanks for the pic. I, too, dont like houses with many different materials mixed but it is a current trend that many like and can look nice in the right circumstance.
Worthy-thanks, I will talk to my architect about that.
Renovator8-I am truly sorry for not thanking you for turninng to picture. I meant to when I saw it but am responding in between chasing around my 1 and 2 year old and I completely left that out. So, thank you.
Howver, this plan is something we took many hours to design from a blank piece of paper, not a plan we found somewhere, so I am very attached and defensive. And we have an Architect, a very well respected one, helping us that designed the exterior.
Lets just leave it at that.
Does anyone have any pictures that could help me?


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Miffy, take some time and think about it. Renovator isn't presenting his opinion tactfully but maybe there's some merit to it. Or maybe not. But take a deep breath and try to be open to whatever and however you get others' opinions. Trust me, I've been "hit" on that myself here. Just take it in the what it's worth department and try to get the meaning and ignore the presentation. :)

Personally I like the house. I like the window placement and style of window. I would only be concerned that the roof isn't big enough to match the scale of the body of the house. I see the same problem with the pictures cbusmom posted.

That being said, most people will think your house looks just fine. I'd just consider jacking up the roof a little, mass-wise. Just my .02.


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mjtx2-thanks. I did think about the roof when I saw the other house and thought it was a little too short so I took a look at mine. I think it is larger comparatively but I think we are getting a 3D digital model of the exterior done so I will continue to pay attention to that proportion. Thanks!


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

In any design exercise the first rule is to reveal all solutions that have been rejected or are off the table so that everyone who has been asked to participate has the same chance of offering a potentially useful idea.

Instead of doing that you made an apparently distressed plea for "Help!", implying, I thought, that the architect's design that you had just received was not satisfactory, as if you had not participated in its development.

If you were already happy with the design and only wanted to add decorative features you should have said that and I would have ignored your post because I am an old architect and would never approach a design in that piecemeal and restrictive manner.


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The house cbusmomof3 photographed is based on a style unique to the US from the 20's and 30's called "French Eclectic". Today this house would be called Neo-Eclectic because it makes some important modifications to the earlier style. The quoins are characteristic but they are rusticated, the roof pitch is unusually low, and there is a Palladian window over the entrance so the house has a bit of an Italian appearance.


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miffy, when you first posted your plan, I thought of this house down the street.
Photobucket

Now I see that they are not that similar. I thought I would post it anyway, since the house pictured above does have a variety of materials (and styles).

This house makes architects cringe but it alway sells quickly and has been home to several nice families. That might have more to do with the gorgeous loggia, patio, pool, tennis courts and batting cage in the back, though.

Hope this helps.


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Here are some houses that I saw that had certain elements that reminded me of your drawing.


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Thank you for all the beautiful pictures. I noticed that all these seem to have a combination of hip and gable roofs. Is it unusual to just have hipped roofs? Especially the roof above the front door. Has anyone seem that in the hip vs gable?


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I think there is a house in my neighborhood that is just a simple hip roof. I'll snap a picture later today and post it.

@Renovator8-Thanks for the information...interesting and educational. Just out of curiosity, which of the pictures posted above looks most like the OPs rendering?


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Overall, I think you should step back from considering decorative elements and instead first consider the functional aspect of what you have created here. It has some issues.

A hip roof above a door means you need to seriously study how the roof runoff will be handled or end up with wet heads and slipping on ice every time you go in and out of the home. Your whole home needs assessing in that regard, as water management won't be an easy task. Really think about how you are going to gutter this and what that will do to the attractiveness of the facade. You need gutters on every single facia here. A gable has a big advantage in the water handling department in this regard. If you live somewhere that you only get 14 inches of rain a year, this might not be an issue. I live somewhere that we get that much every month, and plenty of months even more.

Aesthetically, hip roofs look better on simpler homes like a traditional ranch rather than multiple bumpout home. A home with a long low roofline done in a hip accentuates the horizontal plane. That's not what you have going on here, and it's sending a bunch of mixed messages. You need to increase the roof pitch here in order to even begin to appreciate the architecture of the hip, ala French Country influences. The intermediate pitch of the roof isn't working well with the roof type. Once you increase the pitch, the choice of roof shingles become even more important to the home's look. Pick something architectural, or even faux slate or cedar shakes. Nothing is worse than a large expanse of roof on view with plain cheap asphalt shingles with no dimensional character to match the architectural character.

Also, hip roofs are more expensive to build than gable roofs. The framing is more complex and you need more roofing materials. That translates into a more costly home, and your home appears to already have enough costly details in all of the foundation jogs as it is. This won't be a cheap home to build, and having hip roofs increases the cost over choosing gables or a mix of hip and gables.

I would attempt to simplify the home a bit more and seek to eliminate some of the bumps and jogs and also either increase the pitch, or go to a gabled roof. Then, when you have addressed these issues, you can address the more decorative elements as an organic outgrowth of the architecture rather than attempting to use decoration to compensate for the architecture.


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Focusing more on the hip roof part, here's a lot of hip!


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

cbusmomof3, at the risk of hijacking the thread here is at least a partial answer to your question.

These houses have elements obviously derived from two early 20th century American nostalgic/romantic home styles generally called "French Eclectic" and "Tudor". These styles only exist in America and take much of their charm from pieces of French and English medieval towns, cottages, and Manor Houses.

Both styles have steeply sloping roofs. The primary characteristic of the Tudor style is front facing gables sometimes with one flared (curved) rake (but never with one rake starting from the ridge at a different slope than the other side like the cartoonish one shown above).

The primary characteristic of the French Eclectic style is one large hipped roof with no gables but sometimes a round tower with a cone shaped roof tightly engaged in the mass of the main building near the entrance.

Combining these two styles has been very popular with modern builder/developers (to the point of it becoming a cliche) because it is possible to have a French type big steep hipped main roof framed with light-weight manufactured trusses and covered with inexpensive asphalt shingles (instead of studs, rafters and wall cladding requiring scaffolding, more carpentry, etc.) and to add smaller English type front facing gables for charm and curb appeal. The back of these houses usually has a deck and a plain facade of less expensive materials.

Neo-Eclecticism is not the borrowing of a material, texture or design element from another era or style; it is the mixing of major portions of well established design traditions to form essentially a new hybrid tradition that suits the needs of a newer age. The former is often charming and neatly integrated; the latter is often awkward and poorly integrated because so often the cultural and regional reasons for the design traditions are misunderstood, forgotten or ignored.

I suspect many developers would believe you if you told them Palladio is a window company in Wausau.

These comments are in response to the photos posted above; they have nothing to do with the OP's house.


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Different look to it, but finally a hip roof above the front door.

Royal Oaks Design, Inc. traditional exterior

Maybe no cover over this door???

Jerry Bussanmas contemporary exterior

This one is mostly hipped, but it does have a couple of gables and a half hip.

New Construction  exterior


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live wire oak-thanks for your concerns about the drainage issues. I will bring it up with my builder.
aa62579-thank you so much for finding all these great pictures for me. How are you finding them?


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Just google images or houzz. Searching various key words like full two story, mcmansion, hip roof, etc. and then just scrolling until an image jumps out at me.


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Thanks Renovator!


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without knowing the actual layout of the interior , it is difficult to know what will work on the exterior ... tweaked your elevation a good bit ... a possibility , perhaps ...

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I love that! I'm imagining roses climbing over a section of windows to the right. "Awakening" to be exact ;)

I think with a good gutter system your hipped entry should be fine, and I love that it's not a two-story foyer (or if it is, you can't tell from the front). I like the taller roof. This is a good one.


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summerfield-thats amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to do that. The problem with these tweaks is that my husband doesnt like the windows cutting into the roof, whch is why we ended up with the more simple one. I will post my floorplan in a few hours. I just wanted to say Thanks when I saw what you did.


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Let me tell ya. Sometimes it's hard to take in what people comment, but it could save you in the long run. We had plans picked out, posted photos of our land and the possible home. Got many NO's! The house would look wrong where we are building. We took it- thought about it and they were right. So we changed it all together and now love the new plan and we are just now getting siding on. So take a deep breath and double read what people post before letting emotions take over and get upset over it. I took Renovator8's post as he was giving you a description of what Neo eclectic meant. Not totally saying that's how he felt about your plan.
Anyways-- you ultimatly have to live with whatever you build. Go with what feels right and enjoy the process.


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Summerfield-here are the floorplans. Thank you so much for all the help. Do you think it will look nice as is? I know people dont seem to like it but we do. I just wanted detail ideas with the basic structure.


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I really like your floorplan, it looks like you have thought about how you will live in your home. You might want to consider one double and then a single door on your garage. It allows a little more room for maneuvering a larger vehicle and might be nice if you are ever in a situation where someone is mobility challenged. Or if you have a larger/wider vehicle.


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amyktexas-thank you. We worked very hard to come up with a floorplan that works for us. We did have a double and single garage and just switched it. That side of the house is also a front as we are on a corner and it looked better with three singles. We did widen the doors to 9 ft from 8ft to give a lttle more space for wider cars


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This is the new thought. What do you think? Can anyone find any pic of similar looks to give me a better idea of what this would look like in real life.
Thanks


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RE: Front Elevation Help! Pics please

Certain parts of it look similar to this one previously posted by aa62579.


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