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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Siding Project - how best to accent our woodsy cabin

Steve SutherlandNovember 8, 2012
We've finally just started a facelift project where we're re-siding the front of our Tahoe cabin with Haida Skirl (wavey edge) cedar siding (before picture in the snow, and the in-progress picture with felt and cedar at bottom (so far). We'll be planning in some sort of log-post covering for the front door, but are unsure at this point what to plan for on the decking - keep it minimal or go with a larger raised flagstone patio.... Understanding that sometimes less is more, I'm fishing for any inspirational ideas on we could consider for low maintenance elevation enhancements... any epiphanies out there? I'm also attaching a draft that I've been painting/patching together in MS Paint.
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Kempler Design
It looks better already. And, it's SNOWING! Enjoy your cabin this winter! Which part of the lake?
    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Low maintenance =Trex decking, for us! On our vacay cabin in the woods, it gave us the cabiny/woodsey feel we wanted with very little maintenance (we power wash it once a year). It has withstood some very bad weather, heavy snow, high temps, lots of use by people and pets during the summer months. I highly recommend the investment.
    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:51PM
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You have a modified A-frame. i think the original dark banding really looks nice and integrates the dominant roof with the front. Are you planning a pergola, or a small canopy for the door?

I think a projecting canopy nearly completely across the front supported by three rustic brackets with the metal roofing will be like the banding it had before to bring the facade together, and be practical and easier to build.than the canopy. Then you can have a good sized stoop by the door and some wide steps to welcome people in and give them a place to sit.

I am not an expert on patios and such, but I do believe a composite deck will be lower maintenance than a patio. Patios seem to shift over time, but that may be because people tend to not put enough gravel and limestone screening underneath, or try to mortar the joints, which crack. At least with a deck, you can sweep or push off the snow and some of it will go between the cracks.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Studio S Squared Architecture, Inc.
I like the visual heft and sense of permanence that a stone patio would provide, especially at the front door (versus a deck). I assume you would do this with a concrete slab on grade--provide that the footings are properly designed and built for your specific soils condition, there is no reason that this element should settle to the point of causing cracking in your stone finish. Consult with a local geotechnical engineer and a good structural engineer should you choose to go this route.

Your sketch for an entry porch is charming, but I agree with victorianbungalowranch that this element should extend all the way across the lower level to create a better sense of balance. I understand why the door is off center with the portal, but when the portal has only one element below it, that element should be centered. Match the slope of the new portal with that of the upper roof and it looks like it will be just below the 2nd floor window sill. With metal roofing to match the existing, it will really tie in nicely.

If budget does not allow for the stone porch, composite decking is a good way to go. Trex is a decent option, but also consider Azek, which has a broader range of colors and looks more realistic, in my opinion. :o)
1 Like    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:35PM
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Vikrant Sharma Homez
Looks Inviting , this A frame looks out of a Movie set .
    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Decking vs stone patio. Look at use vs rental use. If you rent this out and have a maintenance service take care of it, use whatever you like. If you are taking care of it which one has the lowest maintenance? Then, consider how often you will be there.

A friend of mine bought a Tahoe cabin. They rented it out first and then reclaimed it as their own. It's easy to over do a remodel/renovation. I learned from their experiences.

Plants. Deer normally won't eat daffodils or iris. These can be naturalized throughout your cabin-owning life. However, those plants only bloom a few weeks out of the year. You can enhance with color with two small trees; try redbud or red maples. Great colors.
Stake them well and build a barrier around them for the first two years of their life. Otherwise the deer and other critters will destroy them Once established though, the foliage will be out of their reach. Keep up the wire and wood stake barrier until about year 4.

Yard definition: I like short walls to give you a sense of protection. It's subtle but true. My friends have large dogs that need running room. They installed wood fencing. I prefer dark link fencing for outer perimeter. Gives a sense of animal barrier and may keep bears slightly at bay. Speaking of that; your cans need a secured and locked location, but you probably already know about it.

Materials? Lots of products out there. Talk with someone who has extensive knowledge about weather vs materials in Tahoe. Who can show you their work and work your schedule? Lots of people available up in Tahoe. Plan now, attack in spring. :=)

Siding looks good. Roof looks good. Color the trim a green or two greens that compliment. I've even seen barn red work, or dark blues...

Agree with other posters about the entry porch (overhang). If you are going to do this; a designer (architect) could take your cabin to the next level. Would keep your entrance and exit dry which is pretty awesome when snow is over 1 ft high!

Good job on buying the cabin in the woods. Whatever you decide, make it work for you and not be a burden later.

Watch for: Wrong snow load factor on anything over your head, no drainage or improper drainage areas, and safe pathways to and from vehicles....all important too.
    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:49PM
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PS. Big boulders of granite are common there? Know someone who doesn't want theirs? Grab it and place it with crane. Pricey, but fundamentally Tahoe.
    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:57PM
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In your concept, the railing looks to heavy for the house. Found this photo where the railing might fit better with what you have:
Ski House in Angelfire · More Info
    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 3:32AM
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Steve Sutherland
Thank you so much everyone for your feedback! We've started the first phase by using the Haida Skirl Cedar siding (see pic). With your feedback above, we're re-considering materials for the remainder of the work (decking products and overhang). More will follow - thanks again!!!
    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 12:15PM
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