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Frustration with split entry

Posted by OntarioMom (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 22, 12 at 13:47

Hi folks,

I did post some of these concerns on the building a new house forum, but really it is more of a reno question as we are building an addition and renovating an existing split entry (also goes by terms split foyer, bi-level house, or raised bungalow). I hope it is okay to cross-post.

We are 90% done with the framing stage and are taking a fews weeks pause with the framers as we wait for the windows to come and garage floor to be poured. However, we are unhappy about the outside entrance and inside foyer for the following reasons:

a)It is small (about 6' wide X 5.5' deep). We have included a mudroom off the garage entrance, so for our family's daily use this will be great. However, when guests come and go, we would like to use the main door entrance. We could take two feet from an adjacent room (study) by joining the two small bedrooms in front into one room and then take some from the garage to increase the width by 2 feet for the full one and a half story. So the issue of interior size can be solved by this wall adjustment.

b) The second problem is we feel we have destroyed the curb appeal. We are finding the main door, especially now that the garage bump out is framed in, is lost from view. The fact that it is a door that is on a level in between the basement and main level seems to make it all the worse. Also the traditional pre-cast concrete steps when put back on will not help beautify it at all. In a book by Jerold Axelrod on building additions there is an idea that brings the main door of split entries down to ground level. With this you include a second set of wide stairs inside the house (instead of the concrete steps outside). So for this solution you enter at the level of elevation, then there is a small foyer, followed by a wide staircase, followed by another foyer and last the regular half flight going up and the half flight of stairs going down. Has anyone seen this done? Essentially from the outside, this would look like a bump out for the main entrance with the door at ground level which might make it more visable. We can't bump it out too far as we have a man door to the garage close by. We also wondered if some sort of porch or overhead trellis might be worth pursuing. We will be re-bricking, adding a fantastic garage door and board and batten beige/grey siding. So it will look better of course with these changes -- but these won't fix the fact that the entry is not welcoming or visable.

We are desperately looking for any input on the ideas listed above, or brand new solutions, especially those that address the outside look of the front entrance. I have included the floor plan below as well as the elevation picture. Also, you will find two pictures of the house at our current stage of construction. BTW, you will also see that the bedroom windows over the new garage bump out are also getting lost from view as well which is not helping the curb appeal either. The elevation pictures we were going by did not help us visualize this change either. It is so hard to see things in 3D from 2D pictures.

Thanks so much for any suggestions. I really need hope that this costly project will look good in the end.

Carol

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Frustration with split entry

There's no way that I would do either of the tweaks you have suggested. It destroys the resale value even further. Didn't you engage the services of an architect on this? What was he thinking? I can't imagine planning an addition like that and not addressing the problem of the entry.

Take that slant roof over the entry and turn it into a gable that extends outwards over the new addition and enclose that to have more space. That will create a valley on the roof, but it will at least keep the runoff off of the entry path, which is where you have pitched it now with the addition. That should create a nice sized two story entry way that is easily identifiable and visible. And I'd rework that entry door that you have on the addition. It will be confusing to any guests or future buyers and will compete with the entry in a bad way.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

If you are doing garage doors there on the face towards the street, and there is a mudroom entry into the home from the garage, then you do not need a man door in the location you have placed it. It is complicating your already less than optimum situation regarding the entry. If you envision that you will need access to the garage from the exterior that will not involve lawn equipment etc, then a man door can go on the opposite side of where you have located it.

Then, use the suggestion for creating a gable that extends forward. It can be more of a "porch" type of just an overhang at the area of the garage space, but it should manage to create enough interior space for an adequate entry and extend the whole length of the garage addition to manage to integrate that into the facade better. I like the idea of the double staircase. You have just the high overhang at the ground level, with covered stairs to get to the entry and larger foyer, and then stairs to get to the other levels.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi live wire oak and Hollysprings,

Thank you both for your input, I really appreciate your replies. You both mentioned the man door to the garage. That is essential as that will be the entry my four kids take into the house which will lead to our beautiful mudroom. Putting it on the opposite side will not be nearly as good as they would have to squeeze by two parked cars parked in tandem to cross the front of the garage to get to the side of the garage where we enter. Given this door is on the side of a clear garage, I don't think too many people coming to the door will mistaken it for the main door. At this point as well the foundation has the cut out for this door, so really I don't think it can be moved. BTW, yes we worked extensively with an architect on these plans and paid lots of fees as well for the design.

I do like your idea of the extended gable in front of the house. Hollysprings, you suggested closing this off. Can you explain this further? Are you imagining inside space or porch space? I am not sure why you think moving the wall inside the entry way over two feet will further destroy the value of the home. Really having one larger bedroom rather than two small ones would not be a big problem, nor will losing a bit of the garage be.

Live wire oak, I hope I am understanding you correctly that you are voting for bringing the door down to the ground level and having the extra staircase inside the house with also a porch infront of this small entry bump out. Please let me know if I have understood you correctly.

Thanks you both again for your opinions and time. I do appreciate it, and you both make great suggestions.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Do you have a better indication of the new space vs the old? I'm thinking of shifting the mudroom door down so that you enter it from the expanded entry rather than the exterior. The at grade covered "porch" area would be where the current door is, and then you would have steps to enter the house at the half level expanded foyer. The mudroom could be then accessed through that foyer. It might need steps, but that would be way more useful than having two exterior entrances right there together.

I'd also post these pics on the BAH forum and specifically email Renovator8 to comment. He's an architect. I'm a KD, and while I understand space planning, rooflines and all of that can sometimes trip me up.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

We have included a mudroom off the garage entrance.

I don't see it in the plans.

Yes, the foyer is tight. But not out of keeping with a smallish home. Only you can decide how much you need the study.

Bringing down the front door to grade--a not inconsiderable amount of work--will end up with even more confused intersecting roofs.

18 Huntington exterior
A worthy proboscis house

Once you put a garage in the front on a small frontage, you can't expect the front entry to be the focus.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi all and thanks for your continued ideas,

Below you will find the basement floor plan that shows the mudroom. It is important to us to have the family (especially messy kids with backpacks, etc.) enter to one area, and to have a tidy, uncluttered second entrance to greet guests. That is why we want the man door off the garage that the kids will use to get to the mudroom.

Worthy, your photo shows a porch I like that I wouldn't mind reworking if possible for our situation. I am referring to the roof overhang in front of the right lower window (as you face the house). I think with this overhang the garage is balanced more than with our present elevation. Not sure if we can rework it or not.

Carol

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RE: Frustration with split entry

So the entry to the basement mud room is through stairs in the garage that aren't indicated in the plan. I would have put the mudroom on the first floor off the garage. But then you'd lose the study, which I presume was important to you.

Now you're ready to scrap the study for a bigger entry.

Too much second-guessing.

I was working from a fresh slate in the new house I posted above. And I'd do the same thing now, except run the porch across the front. I was trying to provide natural light to the high finished basement, but buyers didn't seem impressed.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

After posting this layout, I am even more confused why you need the man door to the garage. I appears as though you already have the enclosed foyer that was suggested above with stairs down into the mudroom. You've just duplicated the path--now through the garage--for your children so they don't walk 5 feet across the foyer? I'm confused on the need.

I am assuming the foyer stairs are those in the center, top there. If I am mistaken, please ignore my comment.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi everyone,

Sorry the picture was cut off at the top. The entrance to the garage has no stairs. Just straight in the man door, past one side of garage and into the mudroom. Trust me we need the man door -- it is cold up here and we don't want to be opening the big garage door to get in for those not arriving home in a car (i.e. kids). The grey dotted line stairs at the top of the phote are precast concrete stairs to get to the main door (nothing to do with the man door).

Sorry for any confusion.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

But, do those stairs go to the front door?


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi Kirkhall,

Yes there will be pre-cast concrete stairs that will be needed to get to the main/guest entry (or we can pay to get better looking poured steps). If you look in the coloured photograph you will see a green ladder. That is where the concrete steps will be (and used to be before renos began). Once you go up the concrete steps to the main entry door, you have a small foyer and then have a choice of going a half flight up to main living space or a half flight down to the finished basement. It is a typical split entry.

The garage man door enters at ground level with no steps. Of course once you place your stuff in the mudroom, you can use the back stair case (or even the split foyer stair case) to come up stairs to say the kitchen if you are Mom, or just hang out in the cool recreation room if you are one of our kids.

I hope this clarifies things. I do appreciate you taking the time to think over possible solutions.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Your house has a lot of pathways:
From the driveway one could
A) walk up half dozen steps to the front door, into the foyer, then down a half dozen steps into the mudroom, then up up a full stair case (through rec room) to upstairs.
B) Go through garage man door near the front steps, through the garage to the mudroom, then through rec room to upstairs (you'd prefer dirty and kids do this).
C) walk up half dozen steps, foyer, down, mudroom, up, foyer, up, playroom.
D) walk through man door, garage, mudroom, up, foyer, up, playroom, etc.

I think you have too many routes to accomplish the same task. It is almost like you have the servants' entrance and the guest entrance. And, to have 2 full sets of staircases really takes up a lot of space as well. But, I assume it is all build as it is now, and you don't really plan to change it.

I think I would dress up the front landscaping/railing/front door to attract people up those steps to the front door. You might get people assuming (census workers, included) that you have a second apt at the house with the "other front door" which is apparent when they reach the bottom of the steps, but I do think they will know which door they should go to. Dressing it up and directing people to the stairs should be your goal at this point.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi Kirkhall,

I certainly get your point about a number of routes into our house, but honestly there is only two logical routes:

1)Family enter through garage, go to mudroom and then come upstairs if wanted.

2)Everyone else (including extended family) enters front steps and main door, and comes upstairs (does not go to mudroom at all). We will have hooks along wall for guest coats. If we choose to expand two feet into the study there will be room for a small closet for the guests.

In Canada mudrooms really make a great deal of sense for big families (there is 6 in our house) --- lots of boots, winter jackets, mitts ect (not to mention back packs, musical instruments, laptops that come and go daily etc). Also, having the mudroom at the garage entrance is so much better as many times we will be coming home in a car and needing to go through the garage anyway.

As for the man door looking like another front door, I think this is not a great risk as it is so close to the big garage door and there is a window on it. When you look through it you will see garage things, cars etc. Many of our neighbours have a man door in the exact location and it does not look at all like a front door when you arrive. Hopefully, ours will not confuse people either.

You are most correct that money spent dressing up the front landscaping, railing and door will help the situation. I also agree the second back stair case is rather overkill. The architect, designer and DH all seemed to think it was necessary. There is the new staircase going up to the upper floor above it, so it does not take up as much space as if it was built in isolation (i.e. two staircases stack).

I appreciate you thinking through our issues, and making your kind suggestions.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

To elaborate on the original second question: leave it be. It's what happens with a proboscis house on a small lot. But dress it up nicely with landscaping once it's done.

You have several alternatives for the front steps. If you're going for concrete, it would have been best to have excavated to provide footings, a block foundation and poured steps. Next best is a custom solid concrete unit. Piling up pre-cast steps will likely create a yearly problem of adjusting to frost heave. Or there's always wood on Sonotubes.

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The more typical mudroom would be accessed from a side entrance, behind the garage. Or through the garage. A mudroom in the basement is a new one for me.

I'm an OntarioDad with four children. And even when we had mudrooms with direct access, we always used the front entry. (But, then, no one's a hockey player here!)


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RE: Frustration with split entry

I'm afraid I'm with Worthy on this. Hobson's choice. Fix it all correctly, or address none of it. Sometimes it's best to not pick a scab. If it had just been better designed from the beginning..... But, water under the bridge now that you have that structure there.

You've rejected the best, and as far as I can see, only good solution to the poor design problem. Bring forward the entry to make it more gracious,spacious and visible. Have a larger than 36" door with a single sidelight for easier access for kids and sports equipment. Eliminate that incredibly awkward choice of the man door entry with no weather protection in favor of incorporating a mudroom entry from the extended foyer.

I'm not sure what type of "magic" you are looking for here. Fixing mistakes is much harder and more expensive in both money and swallowed pride than doing it correctly from the beginning. You're going to have to backpedal on this if you really want to solve your issue with the best outcome.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Too many gables. It's a very angular, busy and illogical facade.
The front aspect and approach is confusing. The lines going every which way without necessity or logic are jarring. Then, standing in the front door looking out, you get to see the end of the garage cornice return, half of the garage roofing, and whatever has collected in that gutter. Then when you descend the stairs, you get to brush up against the gutter itself, while getting another eyeful of the shingles. I am awestruck at the total lack of planning on this. The oddball half-shed roof extension over the roundhead window should have been eliminated.
A cornice line should never intrude at body level into an entryway or stair.
Your designer was out to lunch or phoned it in. The worst part is there is no easy correction possible.
What was the solution? shifting the garage to the right 18" so the cornice terminated into the wall behind with no jutting out. And maybe a flat roof over the garage accessible from the front bedrooms. Or at least a hip roof to eliminate that dominant, looming, sight-line blocking garage gable.
Casey


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RE: Frustration with split entry

OK, yeah, everyone agrees that it's a bad design. What can be done to fix that design?

Well, not much, unless you are willing to do a lot more construction.

The solution I'd propose would involve more than just extending the entry, but it would address much of your aesthetic and functional issues that you state. It won't be cheap, and you'll lose some front yard.

Simplify the exterior by consolidating the two bedroom gables into one larger gable and extend it outwards over the garage. I't will require some structural steel, but it would sure help with the house looking like an afterthought to the garage---which is not an uncommon issue in urban locales with small lots.

For the entry, I'd take the gable over the study, which has the same roof plane as the slant roof over the entry, and I would extend it forward as well, creating a valley at the garage. That would make the foyer and the study larger, but the facade would be much simpler and more cohesive.

I too do not care for the warren of halls and stairs created by this reno, and would also suggest simplifying that by at least eliminating that unsightly man door. As was observed above, there is no weather protection at that entry, so I doubt that it will get used as intended. Instead, the habit of using the main door will continue and a lot of money will have been wasted for not much gain.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Thanks guys for keeping your ideas coming. It is hard to hear, but necessary. But, I do need to hear what you don't like, so I can try to address what is feasible to fix at this stage. We are getting a second opinion from another architect and bringing forward your ideas. Yes, it will be expensive to fix at this stage. We were not working from a clean stake of course, as this was an addition not new build. It did look a great deal more attractive to me in the 2D elevation pictures than what has resulted. Of course the house will certainly look better with the beautiful garage doors (overlay design with windows) we have ordered, brick and siding). So of course it looks at its worse right now!

However, the mudroom in the basement is simply not the problem. Please understand the garage is on the same level with the mudroom. We have a front walkout basement if you will. When you enter from the garage the mudroom and basement is right there both on the same level -- perfect for us. I can't imagine driving my car into the garage, exiting the car and then exiting the garage to go outside again to climb the concrete steps to enter what we had planned to be our tidy, attractive guest entry. I want the kids to go through the man door, park their bikes, when in use and then enter the mudroom to un-load.

It is the small guest foyer and unattractive curb appeal that we are unhappy with. At no point would be want the guest foyer to become the family drop zone (i.e. mudroom). That is what we had before -- step into small front foyer and trip over kids' shoes and backpacks. Then be mortified when a neighbour stops by as we pushed backpacks and smelly shoes out of the way to receive them. A small guest foyer is not that big of a problem -- it goes with the territory of a split entry that we were working with. Moving a wall over two more feet and blending the small front study and small bedroom is probably what we will be do to make the guest entry more useable -- it will work better when we have more than 2 guests at a time.

Green Designs, what idea are you referring to that I rejected? Are you talking about the idea of bringing the main door down to ground level with a bump out. This was rejected at planning stage as the second set of staircase inside the house (instead of the concrete steps outside) did seem unusual for very little gain in square footage. Yes, in hindsight I do think it would have looked better from the outside, which is why I am reconsidering it now. It was an idea that I found in a book that neither our architect, interior designer or even landscape architect thought was worthy of pursuing at the time. If you are refering to rejecting the elimination of the man door or mudroom off the garage entrance, I think I have explained above why that will work very well for us.

Thanks all for your continued help. Please keep your suggestions coming. I do need to hear your comments.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

I didn't realize you already had your mind made up and only came here to reinforce that decision. Sorry, I won't comment again.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

I am sorry GreenDesigns if I said something to upset you. It is true I like the mudroom where it is, but realize there are lots of other problems with the house that you and others have pointed out that we are trying to address. I did not come to the forum to reinforce my decision, I came because I could see the curb appeal of the house had been destroyed and also wondered if the guest foyer could be made a little larger. Believe me I am open to doing what it takes to right the problem.

Again thanks Greendesigns for your comments, and my apologies if my explanation of why I like the basement mudroom in its planned location upset you (or anything else I said for that matter).

With appreciation to you and everyone here on the forum who is helping me with their honesty and good suggestions.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

If you can eliminate the existing front door entirely, make the basement study the reception hall/foyer, and build a nice set of stairs down into the new foyer, you turn everything else into a non-issue. The plantings and grade in front of the study will get redone when it becomes the door, and then the guesswork to find the hidden front door is over with. It will open up the entire front of the building for the better. The space that would be occupied by the cement staircase can be a patio/court between the front door and the man door @ garage. It will be better all around. The present front door can be replaced by a window seat on the landing. And lose the arch window and the strange catslide roof.
Casey


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Wow Casey, thanks for this brand new creative idea! I think it would look fantastic from the outside for sure. I hate that catslide roof as well, hopefully no matter what we can rid ourselves of that.

I am very pleased to have a forum to go to for ideas when I feel out of ideas (and the architect is too!). You have all made such great suggestions.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Ontario Mom--
This latest suggestion might cause problems with snow buildup on those down-ward exterior stairs and/or drainage issues. I don't like an entry to be lower than grade. That is just me, and I live in Seattle area where we get a lot of rain though...

--one more thing that I don't think I am understanding clearly. You say you have to keep the man door because you can't imagine getting out of the car, going outside, up the front steps into the foyer and back down....

I don't envision that either. That wouldn't be what I'd want. But, what I don't understand is, won't you be parking in the garage? You have a door from the interior of the garage to the mudroom. Keep that. What I think we are saying, is you don't need the door from the front steps to the garage.

Your routine might look like this:
Drive open, open front garage (car) doors, park in garage. Everybody out, into mudroom (through the mudroom-garage door). Then, you might head upstairs to start dinner; kids to rec room, whatever.

Or, morning routine--time to catch bus! Grab backpacks/coats from mudroom, up and out front door to street.

Or, afternoon, off bus-- kids walk up driveway, up the steps, into foyer, down to mudroom, rec room etc.

There is one little extra "hill" in these plans to get to the mudroom from the street. But, it isn't acres and acres of stairs. That ladder is probably a 6' ladder (2m in Ontario, right?). That isn't a full staircase.

I like the idea of dropping your front entry to downstairs, except all of your guests will then have to tromp up a full flight right away. I guess that isn't much different than splitting the tromp--to the door, then a few more steps up to the living area, but it would feel different as the guest. And, as I mentioned, I'd worry about rain/runoff leaking into the space. Also, I'd worry about dropping the door even lower into the abyss of your front elevation... but I'd ask an architect to mock it up for you.


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hip roof

I agree that a hip roof on the garage (rather than the full gable) will also help things quite a bit. As it is, you lose the view of half of each of the upstairs windows from the street--adding to the look of GARAGE!.

In the picture worthy posted (of his house?) he has the hip roof, and so you actually see the upstairs front. The Garage is toned down, so to speak.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

eliminate the existing front door entirely, make the basement study the reception hall/foyer, and build a nice set of stairs down into the new foyer, you turn everything else into a non-issue

Nice idea!

That addresses the first issue--smaller foyer than you would like. It still does nothing for the second issue because nothing can.

I'm still trying to figure out the "catslide".

You did get everything called for in your drawings, other than the cornice returns on the garage. There's a lesson there for others embarking on renovations.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi all,

Thanks again for your help and ideas. Good new points all of you.

Worthy, when you said: "I'm still trying to figure out the catslide" was it because you misundertood Casey's term or wondered why anyone would ever put that on a house? If it is the first, I believe it is the silly downward slide of roof shelter over the semi-circle window that Casey was poking fun at. If you were wondering why the original builder ever put it on, I have no idea although the shelter was nice. I would be glad to rework it for sure.

Worthy can you explain more fully what you meant by the cornice returns on the garage that were missing?

Kirkhall, I do appreciate that the man door is not helping the situation and understand your point about trying to get rid of it (and many others that have spoken about this issue). Yet, I do know my kids. If they are allowed to enter through the guest foyer when they walk home (or if that was the only door available), and then are told to go down to the mudroom to unload they will not. They will dump their luggage so to speak right in the tiny guest foyer and we will have a splendid mudroom that no one uses except maybe the adults that arrive home in cars. If they are expected to go in the man door and proceed to the mudroom off the garage door, they will learn this new pattern. In fact, that is what they have been doing since the old concrete steps were moved away from the main door for renos and it has worked out well. I will further consider moving the man door to the opposite side of the garage, but it really will be a less useful side to enter from for the family (imagine side steping behind a parked car). However, if it has to be moved to the opposite side to allow an entry bump out, so be it. BTW, you probably realize this man door is not visable from the front of the house. By the time a guest sees it they would be right at it and the glass in the man door would announce that it is a garage door as they would see garage items on the other side. Also, since it is immediately around the corner from the garage it also presents as garage door. Just to be sure I will check with a neighbour who has one in the same spot to see if she ever has anyone knocking at the man door.

To all who spoke about a toned down garage roof. I certainly agree. This is a big eye sore. It blocks the upper bedroom windows (from outside and partially inside too), and further obscures the front door. We are almost certain that the garage roof will need to be ripped off and a new less imposing style will need to be put up (i.e. hip, gable with a much gentler slope or even shed). We are budgeting for this change for sure -- what a pain in the pocket book!

I am grateful for everyone who has taken the time to give their two cents. Don't be shy if you have any more ideas.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

"Catslide roof"is a regional/southern USA term.
Casey


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RE: Frustration with split entry

I think it is a nice addition the way it is! Your house has some great spaces with the mud room and laundry room! (my garage does not have a door to the house so we are used to walking out then in, using the "man door" will be easy for the kids and they may prefer it since they can avoid the stairs til they have unloaded their packs and coats!) Consider one of those combination door knobs so the kids can just enter the code and not need keys. We put one on our garage and liked it so much we put it on the front door too) I think you are at a stage where you are second guessing yourself. All of the addition will be a nice improvement and more space then the old house.Keep reminding yourself of that. The big changes such as reworking the entry or changing the garage roof now do not at all seem worth the cost to me. The main entry may seem smaller now with all of the work going on. But hasn't it been adequate all the years you have lived there? Since it is really just for guests, is it worth the cost to change it or make it bigger? A coat rack sounds adequate for company. Even if you come up with changes, you will likely still find something to wish you did differently. (I think everyone does, not you in particular). You obviously put a lot of thought into the plans. So just be careful not to make a quick decision now to change something. I know sometimes it IS worth making changes mid way. But I wanted to speak up and say the results look good to me as is!! Good luck, and congratulations on the new space. My addition is almost 4 years old and I still think of things I could have done differently. So I always remind myself it is so much better then it was!


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RE: Frustration with split entry

I'd just like to chime in to say that I agree with OntarioMom about the man door. Nobody is going to mistake it for the front door and the convenience far outweighs any slight aesthetic problem it may cause.
I have a man door to my garage near my front door. There is no way anyone would be confused about what it is.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi lafdr and greg,

Thanks for your support. This has been a very stressful time. Lafdr you are quite right that this space will be infinitely better than the small house our family has been living in. I am happy with the way the interior layout has been built and can't wait to be able to do laundry in a new large room close to the kitchen (instead of squeezing into a combined laundry/furnace room in the basement as we did before).

That being said I still think the over bearing garage does not look good. We may need to cost out replacing the garage roof with a less dominant one, and/or using the idea of the consolidated and pushed out gable that was suggested by Hollysprings. I think we will make some changes as well to the guest entry to make it more welcoming and visable if possible using some of the suggestions above.

I do feel sick after over two years of planning that the outside does not look the way I had imagined it from the 2D elevation pictures. But I certainly did not spend two years planning the elevation as I left that to the architect to work out roof lines, etc. It was the interior floor plan that we slaved over. The 2D elevation pictures never prepared me for the fact that the heavy garage roof would obscure the above bedroom windows the way it does -- I just find it hard to see things in 3D.

To those who have not yet begun your addition, be sure to find a way to see your new outside house in Sketch-up so you can see the space in 3D. This was not a service provided by the architect, and we have only done this for the kitchen. Learn from our mistake.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Plus, pretty garage doors and lights will look very different then the current wall of plywood. I would not change the roof! But it is of course what feels best to you, all things considered.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

See link for cornice returns.

Easy to add what was in your original drawing that the contractor missed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornice Returns


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Thank you worthy for sending me that link and for your reassurance that at least this change will be easy to add. You have been very helpful!

Thanks lafdr for reminding me that the pretty garage door we have ordered and garage lights will be a big improvement over the plywood. Perhaps we can use lights to our advance to draw out the entrance a bit too. You have made me feel better with your comments!

For all those who agree that the over bearing garage roof should be fixed, what style of roof do you think will would be best to tie in with the rest of the house (hip, less steep gable, shed or other).

I was wondering if renovator8 will chime in as live oak wire thought his input would really help. Renovator8 are you out there?

Thanks,

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

I think, like the picture posted above, a garage roof that "recedes" would be a good idea for you. I think, based on your side elevation drawing, that one of the reasons you don't see the front elevation like your 2D is because at the street, you are at a lower elevation than at the front edge of your house. So, you are looking "up" even more than if everything were level. Is that correct? The elevation is exacerbating the problems of your street view.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

The builder can modify the roof into a hip, even if it is a truss roof. Some portion of the trusses will need to be removed, and replaced with the appropriate hip trusses.
Casey


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi Casey and thanks for your vote on the hip roof for the garage roof.

Hi Kirkhall! There actually isn't much (if any) slope from the front house to end of driveway - it appears rather level on the driveway. The property does slope across though (and up the sides), but is flatter in front. I think the 2D elevation picture looks more like as if you were suspended in mid air (imagine on a flying carpet). Of course we will never be looking at our house from mid air, and what we see from the ground is different from that 2D picture. BTW, thanks for your vote for the hip roof as well (which I believe is what is in the picture Worthy posted).

Any more votes on what shape roof we should replace garage roof with? I do wish there was a cheaper fix, but it doesn't look like it to me.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Morphing the garage roof into a hip will help with it looming, but the upper gables will still not be that visible. Your architect needs to provide you with a perspective (NOT an elevation) from 66" off the ground at the street in order to evaluate if joining the upper gables and bringing them forward would help. I'm sure it would, but how much versus the expense and the effect on the interior is the issue. If you did that though, extending the roof plane downwards would easily provide a new roof for an expanded entry (with the correct flashing against the home).

I also have to say that any architect who does not provide 3D views, visual perspectives from different heights and different angles, and walkthrough movies isn't using the right software. Even my creaky and wonky kitchen design software will do that. What is up with that? Is this a part time job, or is this person a "residential designer" instead of an architect? The whole thing gives me a big suspicion regarding their abilities and credentials.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi live wire oak,

Thanks ever so much for your continued support. I am lucky to have found this forum and people like you. Beleive me, we will not be making any changes without seeing the effect in 3D in walk through style like you mentioned. Like you said, I want to see what the view (outside and inside) will be to the bedroom gables if we redo the garage roof/and or bump the bedroom gables forward. If we do go this route, we will be sure to investigate tying in a roof plane for a potential foyer bump out/and or porch. I am investigating as many options as possible before spending another dime on construction.

The architect that we worked with is experienced in both residential and commercial, he is a fully qualified architect and he has an amazing wealth of construction knowledge. He owns his architect firm and works in his profession full time. He was recommended to us by a structural engineer. Our architect used AutoCad for the design -- I don't think that is viewable in 3D. I imagine we could have paid for someone to have taken the AutoCad file and transferred it to something like Sketch-up. We should have pursued that. I simply did not realize until now how different a 2D elevation picture would be from the 3D real life creation. Tough lesson to learn for us!

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Happened to be browsing MLS, and saw this rendering that kind of looks like one of the options proposed. Since your garage projects forward more, you may not have enough slope for the garage roof as rendered.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi Mjlb,

Yes, that does have some similarities to the ideas we are are contemplating for addressing the problems. I keep thinking the shed roof (like pictured above) will work for the garage roof instead of the too tall gable. Our neighbour has a two car garage with a slightly longer garage bump out than ours. Her house is the same style, but bigger originally than ours (ours is now bigger and taller after the addition). Her garage roof is a shed roof. Three things I like about her shed roof is the lack of overhang along the entry path, the fact that no roof blocks the bedroom windows above garage and that a shed roof is much more subtle than our current massive gable roof.

Does anyone else think we should replace the garage roof with a shed style roof?

Thanks for posting the inspiration picture.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

I think whether or not you go with shed style will depend on the actual depth of the garage protrusion. It looks fine, on paper. But, how tall will it actually be on the front of your house to get the proper slope, etc. That is what you need to figure out.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi Kirkhall and thanks for your input.

We are hoping to get a few different replacement garage roof styles done in Sketch-up so we can evaluate them. Our garage protrudes 10 feet. A second architect has suggested another gable roof for the garage but a much shallower pitch.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Ontario Mom - for what its worth, I LOVE the layout of your home. What a wonderful and dynamic space to raise childeren in! I do hear you on your facade frustrations, But I bet when the garage door, lights, trim, siding, etc is in and you arent looking at a big particle board wall anymore you will be okay with it. As far as the small guest foyer, Maybe you could just reconfigure the area at the top of the stairs to be the "recieving area" (move the "Tel" area back into the kitchen a couple feet, put coat rack on back of that wall, tile the nice ~ 6'X6' space that will result), and leave the relatively small entry landing as-is. This will keep the entry clear of shoes, coats, what have you and you will use it ONLY as a landing... Anyway, just wanted to pipe in and mostly just give you some encouragement on what I see as an amazing remodel!


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi vtremodeler,

Thanks so much for your support and vote of confidence on the interior floor plan! We did slave over the interior floor plan and are happy with the way that has turned out. I like your ideas about the foyer, and if we do not expand the size of the foyer, I will be looking carefully at your ideas.

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi all,

We have continued to struggle with how to fix this garage roof so it is not so overbearing. A home planner we spoke to, and who will do 3D drawings for us, suggested a Dutch hip roof. Anyone thoughts on this style of garage roof to replace the gable roof already on the garage?

Thanks for any input,

Carol


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RE: Frustration with split entry

It will depend on where the upper portion of the roof falls. It is possible it will still block the rest of your front facade. But, it is possible that it will move the peak back far enough not to be an issue. You will have to take a close look at the elevations in 3d and make sure they are "true" elevations as you would see from the street perspective.


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RE: Frustration with split entry

Hi

Thanks for your reply, Kirkhall. We will certainly look carefully at the 3D images that we are paying to get made of a few different styles of garage roofs.

BTW to those who have not heard of the term Dutch hip (or sometimes called the Dutch gable) it is a combined hip and gable roof. It would be a hip on the bottom of the garage roof, and then be topped with a small gable at the same pitch as the other gables on our home. It would visually lower the garage roof a great deal, but still echo the gables elsewhere in the house.

Carol


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