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Need advice on the entrance

Kai Song
April 16, 2019
last modified: April 16, 2019

I am building my new house. But I really feel sad after seeing it. The entrance seems not a part of the whole building. While I have no idea how to fix it.

I need ideas and suggestions to dress the exterior up without changing the whole structure of the house. Any suggestions for paint color, materials to achieve a better look would be great!




Comments (20)

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    would have been nice to continue the porch(and stone work) under the window to the left. right now the portico doesn't seem to relate to the house.

    and from the front, the peak completely blocks the middle part of the second story from view. why was it made so high?

    see the diff on this one? the upstairs windows are off to the side so that there's no visual blockage


    I'm no architect, so maybe i'm in left field.


    what are the plans for landscaping?

    Kai Song thanked Beth H. :
  • Kai Song

    Thanks for your advice. Currently we do not have any landscaping plan. Do you have any suggestion?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    can you post this over in landscape design on the garden forum? that is their specialty.

    have you spoken to a landscape designer? you really should. it will make a huge difference for you.

    Kai Song thanked Beth H. :
  • Kai Song

    thanks, when we had the the original design from the architect, the basement was not above the ground level, looking at that angle, the peak was just below the three windows upstairs, when the house is actually built, the first floor was raised over 3ft above the ground, the look changed. The peak feels too high now. I did not speak to any landscape designer yet. Thanks for you advice. I will ask for help on landscape design.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    ah, so that's why it looks so high. so they raised the first floor, but didn't modify anything else along with it? wow. That's a bit of a mistake, no? I think if that peak could be shortened, it would look a lot better. again, i'm no pro in that department.

    perhaps one of the architects will weigh in here.

    Kai Song thanked Beth H. :
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    On the garage, the stone is used in a way that simulates real stone. On the portico it is used in a way that looks fake like it was thin tile. It really shows up when edges and corners are seen ... which is basically on the bulk of the portico. If it were me, I'd remove it, trim back the lower portion of the structure and use a couple of nice columns or posts to hold up a roof over the stoop. The enclosing structure makes it seem cramped. If it was open, it would also show the entrance more, making it inviting.

    Improving things starts with not adding any more mistakes. The walk and drive is a great opportunity for those to come if you're not being careful. Do you have a site plan? If yet, upload and get feedback on it.


    Kai Song thanked Yardvaark
  • Kai Song

    It is my mistake. When our builder asked me if he can rise the base I said yes while did not ask our architecture. Here is the site plan. Thanks for your advice.

  • Rachel Lee
    I would have the builder take that whole entryway off and start over with a simpler, lighter design and a lower peak. No stone, open sides with just front pillars. It’ll be a bit of a pain to fix the siding behind everything, but worth the effort.
    Kai Song thanked Rachel Lee
  • St561 W

    I agree with Rachel Lee that it would be better to redo the entryway. the entry portico looks out of place. sorry that you have to deal with this but better to get it right now than trying to fix it later. good luck

    Kai Song thanked St561 W
  • PRO
    PPF.

    Part of what you are seeing is the somewhat randomly placed windows. Dropping the porch roof down as shown below improves the scale of the porch, but uncovers the gable above.



    Kai Song thanked PPF.
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    yes, much better. but those windows above it look odd now.

    Kai Song thanked Beth H. :
  • Kai Song

    Thanks for all your valuable advice. My original plan was to pull down the porch and replaced with a simple one. But my wife stopped me. She told me to think about the cost. And after checking my limited salary, I decide to live with it. it can make me feel better by thinking about how much money I can save without pulling down the porch.

    If anyone know how much it may cost to redo the entryway please let me know. At least I can add it to my remolding plan.

    Thanks!

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    What I think some of us are suggesting is not a major alteration of house, but is mainly a demolition of porch walls. Right now, it looks like it's starting to be enclosed so someone can sleep out there in the winter. And stone near the top seems as if defying gravity. If it were made into a regular open porch (like Beth's picture above) it would look better.

    Looks like on account of the drive, you can't go wrong on the walk as long as you make it the full width of the porch opening. If it were me, I'd flank it with cheekwalls for a more traditional and upgraded look. (Of course always more money for the upgraded look!)

    On the drive I'd suggest creating a turnaround at the left corner, which would allow you to make the left edge curved, similar to the right side. It's likely that there would be some kind of a tree off of the left corner of the house. The edge of a turnaround toward it would seem nicer than the corner of a right angle. Too, the right angle/straight side combo as shown on the existing plan is kind of giving the vibe of an airport taxiway.



  • PRO
    Dig Doug's Designs

    some ideas:



    Kai Song thanked Dig Doug's Designs
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    I don't have a good way to draw with precision, but I was thinking along these lines...


    Kai Song thanked Yardvaark
  • Kai Song

    Thank you Yardvaark, we agree with you on the drive. Your design is much better than the right angle one. I also agree with you on a open porch. A house with a porch like this is acceptable for me.

    Doug, your plan definitely improved the look, thanks so much for the inspiration. The driveway flooring looks very nice. My wife really like your design. she feel so excited after reading your post and want me to ask some questions. While her questions may be too long and too detailed, you can ignores this questions below. Thanks!


    My wife think the right concrete porch feel like it is useless, She was thinking about opening up that right porch by simply adding one concrete step and connect it to the concrete drive way. And just go with regular concrete driveway. In your opinion, does that make sense?

    The makeup flower bed you have in the center works very well to conceal the deep drop, and the round design made that front looks wider and more welcoming, Do you think it will work to use flower bed to conceal the left side drop and still make the entrance in the center with more opening stairs?

    My wife was also thinking about adding a white beam cross the bottom of the current roof to make the front fit in better to the back, and to break the stone on the top into two sections, and add an address number plate below the white beam to draw attention to the lower portion of the stone wall, possible an arch just under the top of the opening of the front stone wall like the photo below. How about this idea?

    Thanks for any answer about her questions.


  • emmarene9

    The portico is cave like. I think the easiest solution is to do something like what Yardvaark suggested.

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    Kai Song, one tip for you: Keep in mind, and I'm speaking specifically about landscape planting and hardscape, that after being inspired by any ideas, whether pictures or words, that you must convert those ideas into PLAN form. That's where you are able to see what works and what doesn't. It doesn't look like you have a lot of extra space between drive and house. Explore in plan view how steps, planting bed, and drive all work together. Make sure there is room for access to use things how you want to use them.

    Kai Song thanked Yardvaark
  • Kai Song
    Yardvaark, thank you for your kind advice. I just realized that I can't depend on landscape to fix all the problem. I need consider all the options I can do now, offcause including replace the porch. Thanks.
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    "Replace" is a strong word! Remodel might be better.

    Not trying to be discouring, but urging you to explore ideas in plan form before strongly committing to them. You could benefit by hiring a landscape designer if you don't feel personally up to converting ideas to plan.

    Kai Song thanked Yardvaark

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