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Need help deciding on exterior for new build

Lisa Madero
March 11, 2019
My house is in the framing stage and I am still undecided on the exterior. I will have Andersen 400 windows and 9 foot double sliders in 3 places on the back. The windows are bronze finish. I am leaning towards a metal roof (but undecided on the roof too). There will also be a 1 story workshop in front of the house but it isn’t framed yet. You can see the concrete pad in the picture. I initially was planning to do Hardie lap siding on the house with tabby stucco on the garage and workshop but I’ve never really been happy with that choice...so I’m hoping someone here can maybe suggest a better option. I’m also leaning toward the main house color being a creamy white to go with the bronze windows. Here is the front and back elevation as of today.

Comments (60)

  • Lisa Madero
    Mark, I agree. The drawing is not accurate but I got so tired of asking for corrections that the builder and I moved forward. In reality there will be double hung windows everywhere except casements in the master bedroom which is upstairs in the back where the view is. The windows have SDL with 2 over 1 ( I think that’s correct terminology)
  • Lisa Madero
    And there is no window above the front door
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Are there still large expanses of wall without window or something to break-up the plains?

  • Lisa Madero
    To the left of the screen porch is my closet. There is one window in the closet but it is on the side elevation. I could move it to the back but would give up space for the hanging clothes. I have ordered windows 5 other windows though for some of the other areas you circled. There will be 2 downstairs on the house in the back, and one above in the master. Also one on the side elevation of the garage and one on the side of the house at the front as well (in the study). The other 2 areas you circled are a closet for attic type storage (above the back door) and the back of the garage where I will have a potting area with a sink (hot and cold water) so no window there either.
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Adding appropriate windows in the right locations will improve the appearance of the house and provide healthy natural light to interior spaces.

    Back to your question, I like PPF's idea.

  • Lisa Madero
    I actually added them last week. I love natural light and it was too dark with the lack of windows on the west side of the house. Your comments are so appreciated and reinforce that I made a good decision by adding them. Thank you so much.

    If I go with PPG’s idea, would you suggest anything like brick accents at the bottom of the windows in the tabby areas?
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Where is your architect that is who should be doing some renderings with different choices for exterior. IMO the worst part of all this is the workshop at the front of the house the poor placement of windows and too many finishes already without adding another.

  • PRO
    Norwood Architects

    I agree with many of the other posters. Window configuration is an issue and I'd be very judicious about mixing windows. It's best to keep in mind that a particular style isn't derived just from the materials that you use but also by the overall massing of the house, the roof style, etc. The different portions of the house seem a bit disjointed and the combination of gable and hip roof seems a bit offputting. I do agree with the poster who suggested not taking the return all the way across the garage wall. Might be better to stop the returns at 2'-0" or 3'-0" feet and then add a decorative vent or dovecote. And I do like PPF's extension of the porch. Also, perhaps using a style of garage door that is more panelized similar to your front door would be in keeping. Personally, I do like the idea of tabby as it is in keeping with the local style of the Georgia coast. But I also like the clean, crisp look of horizontal siding which is also in keeping with the Georgia coastal style. Good luck!

  • HU-517216708

    Its good idea main house color being a creamy white to go with the bronze windows

  • Lisa Madero
    Patricia, we were originally going to put the workshop in the back but did not want to block the view of the marsh. It is approximately an acre lot with lots of gorgeous oak trees so we were also trying to save and protect as many of those as possible. I don’t love the workshop in the front, but I love the view more. I’m hoping that with landscaping it will help to disguise the workshop a little especially since it will be behind quite a few trees.
  • Lisa Madero
    Oops...wrong photo
  • homechef59

    I am familiar with the area. I am very jealous. The workshop goes in the front. The money shot is in the back. This is standard in this area. There are no views on the front and huge views on the back. Most living will be done one the back.

    First, I would ask about the cost of the metal versus the shingle. It will be significant. Color is secondary. It may save you insurance cost, too. Whatever you select will be sun bleached within 3 years. I suggest lighter rather than darker. My reasons are fading and energy efficiency.

    I love tabby. If you could afford it, I'd do the whole house in tabby. There is a reason why tabby has been used in this area. It lasts and it can be cleaned. If you can't afford whole house tabby, I like PPF's suggestion, tabby base, large transition band and lap siding above. The siding could be either vertical or horizontal, but not both. I'm a big proponent of less is more. This applies to the number of materials that you use on your exterior. Keep it simple. No brick accents. Putting the tabby on the base will ground the structure.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    It would help a lot if you corrected the current elevation drawings so we could see what there is to work with. And take more photos of the construction from different view points since we don't have plans to show the relationship of the different facedes.

    For a good view I recommend wide double-hung windows instead of casements.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    This moves the dividing band up so it doubles as the window sill trim.

    Trying to visually increase the mass of the bottom part of the structure.

  • Mrs. S

    following

  • Lisa Madero
    RES, I will work on the updates tonight or st least hand draw them on the plan. I’ll also post more pictures from all sides.
  • Lisa Madero
    Home chef, Thank you for the re-assurance...if we didn’t have the gorgeous view in the back we would definitely have put the workshop there. And you do see this is the front on some homes in the area.
    The metal roof will definitely be more, I’m waiting on a quote from the roofer now to see just how much more. I like the energy efficiency and the look of metal. I also hate all those little pebbles that come off the asphalt roof. I do worry about cell phone reception though. I’ve been in some metal buildings that you literally have to go outside to get a signal.
  • Lisa Madero
    PPF - you are a miracle worker. This is looking so much better already!! I don’t think I can extend the front porch at this point though. It’s already 8 x 26 and the plan is to put the hvac equipment in the indentation between the garage and house with a square lattice fence. I will take more pictures today and post them tonight.
    I sure wish I had posted on here sooner. You guys have such good ideas!!!
  • PRO
    PPF.

    I don’t think I can extend the front porch at this point though

    I was thinking to extend to the left and around the corner just far enough so the roof works cleanly (8').

    Having a hip on the left side?

  • cpartist

    If it were me, I'd do tabby just on the lower edge up to the height of the front porch and siding on the rest of the house. And I'd continue the tabby around all sides of the house. I'm not loving the tabby up to the second floor. It feels like it's cutting the house in half.

  • Lisa Madero
    PPF - You are spot on again. I asked them last week to do a hip on the edge of the porch just like you have drawn :)
  • cpartist

    Simple is always better. Now the tabby looks like it's part of the foundation.

  • Lisa Madero
    Cpartist - are you saying you’d only do tabby under the front porch roof? With siding everywhere else?
  • Lisa Madero
    Oops- I see your new comment. That does look nice. In my area though, the cost of tabby is less than siding...not sure what the cost difference would be though. I’m already way over budget with the Andersen windows plus extra windows and potentially with the roof if I go with metal...so I’m hoping to minimize other overages if I can. How do you feel about all tabby or stucco?
  • cpartist

    I would be fine with all tabby or all stucco. I happen to love tabby and think it would be quite appropriate for your area and beautiful

  • Lisa Madero
    I forgot to mention, there is also another column on the front porch, centered between the 2 windows
  • cpartist

    That works.

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    I like PPF's full porch roof. I also like wrapping the corners with siding or shingles or stucco and adding some larger trim to the rakes and eaves.

    I revised the sketch when I realized how much the low roof pitch detracted from the design. I realize its too late to change the roof pitch but you gotta do what makes the sketch look good, right?




    lower roof pitch

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Sanford White's home - Box Hill

    the stucco is surfaced with beach pebbles.



  • PRO
    PPF.

    Looking at the site plan, I see now how extending the porch will not work.

  • Lisa Madero
    PPF, also I did have them move the garage and workshop further apart than the site plan shows as well. I’m heading out there now and will get more pictures
  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Its got to work!

  • Lisa Madero
    I see now what one of you meant about the roof mixtures. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s anything we can do about that now. It was so hard to see from just the drawing. I just wish I had posted here sooner.
  • Lisa Madero
    Here’s more pictures from lots of angles. They haven’t added in the additional windows yet...
  • Lisa Madero
    And a few more...
  • Lisa Madero
    This is the front yard where the workshop will go amongst the trees and the gorgeous view in the back that hopefully helps to justify why we put the workshop in the front.
  • homechef59

    I could live with that view. #jealous

  • cpartist

    Go with all tabby. I'm betting it will be spectacular.

  • ptreckel
    Beautiful site! I like the fact that the workshop is in front. I can see some interesting landscaping around it that will unify it with your gorgeous home. Consider fencing, an herb garden, etc. in other words, don’t just pave the area. Integrate it. Think of how the out buildings at Colonial Williamsburg are a part of the site. Gracious homes with working quarters....kitchens, storage buildings, etc. around them. Lovely! And....I, too, love your use of tabby!
  • Lisa Madero
    Cpartist and ptreckel, the more I mull it over the more I’m leaning toward all tabby in the more white/creamy tone than the grey tone...everywhere. Then the steps would be brick with tabby risers and possibly brick pavers on the front porch. Would you stain the porch columns and front door? Or paint them? I’m also considering a trellis over the garage instead of the metal overhang...I could plant jasmine or a nice vine to grow over the trellis.
    Since the roof is not my favorite part of the house (wish I could have had a 3D sketch before it was built) I may revert back to asphalt shingles on the roof ... this would also keep me close to budget. What do you think about metal on the front porch and across the potting bench area behind the garage?
    Ptreckel, I love to work in the yard and play around with plants so I love all your landscaping ideas too.
  • cpartist

    I would paint the columns and if you do the white/cream tabby I'd do haint blue on your porch ceiling. Definitely a trellis over the garage. I thought that was what it was.

    May I suggest that if you can afford it, you go with a metal gavalume roof for two reasons. 1. I think it will look good with the white tabby and brick and 2. It's better in a hurricane zone. I'm very happy with my 5V crimp roof and I do get a reduction on my insurance since it's a metal roof.

  • Lisa Madero
    Cpartist,
    I love the haint blue porch ceilings. I lived in Charleston for several years and have always wanted that since. I am hoping they actually help with the bugs too.
    The first quote came back yesterday and the metal would be 12K more than the asphalt. That’s not even for standing seam. My GC is waiting on another quote now...so we will see. I just can’t justify that much extra for metal. I actually called my insurance a month or so ago and got a comparison since I had heard metal results in a discount and it was actually around $100 more per year if I do metal. I thought that was funny since everyone says metal gives you a discount. This was USAA but I could certainly get more quotes.
    I’m planning to drive around my area this weekend and look for versions of tabby that I like. Hopefully I’ll get some good inspiration!! Have a wonderful day!!
  • cpartist

    Wow. For me to go from a cement tile roof to metal was only about $1600 more. Definitely worth it, but then again, tile roofs are probably more expensive than asphalt. I'm in SW Fl so asphalt doesn't wear well here at all.

    I had originally wanted tabby instead of the stone I have on the bottom half of my house. It turns out that the tabby would have been more expensive for me than the stone and stucco I now have. Go figure.

    And I do have haint blue porch ceilings!

  • homechef59

    Yes to all tabby in cream. Yes to painting over staining. It won't fade as fast and doesn't require the maintenance of stain. Yes to haint blue porch roof. If you do brick, use the Savannah brown, don't go red. Yes to getting a quote from someone besides USAA. Left them years ago. You can't afford it, but the roof would be beautiful in copper standing seam.

  • Lisa Madero
    Home chef,
    I love copper!! I’ll try to take some pictures of tabby versions this weekend and share here. There are so many variations, my GC also gave me an address of a house he finished recently that he thinks has a version of tabby I will like.
  • homechef59

    That's great. It's always helpful to see something in a large scale.

    We all love copper, but it's become prohibitively expensive. Don't use the "copper" painted version of metal roofing. It never ages well and ends up looking weird.


  • ulisdone

    I would not do any lap siding; too hard to get a good seal between boards. Also all hip roof structure in high wind coastal areas is best.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    Not suggesting these colors ...


  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    To be sure what design modifications are possible it would be helpful if you posted an accurate floor plan and a site plan that includes the actual locations of the garage, studio and driveway.

  • PRO

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