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Shutters or concrete casting?
erinbrooke
January 26, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We can't decide between concrete casting around the windows or shutters. I attached a picture of the brick color we're using, and on that house they used the concrete casting. Any opinions?
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
Well...if you ask...I think you should use the concrete castings...with STUCCO! The roof line and overall architecture of your home is French in a sort of chateau revival. Do a slate roof and copper gutters and downspouts. Pea gravel driveway and giant pots with those conical cypress (or is it cedar?) Put wrought iron railings on the stairs to the front porch. Sure won't look like the house down the street will it?
January 26, 2013 at 9:53am     
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
Oh, and arch the top of that front door too, please!
January 26, 2013 at 9:54am     
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erinbrooke
Oh, wow! Thanks for your input! I can't do stucco-it's in humid, East TX and stucco gets moldy here. I don't even think it's allowed in the subdivision. There will be an arched window over that door-there's a lot of space there. I really like the traditional, timeless look.
January 26, 2013 at 10:02am   
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erinbrooke
I'm leaning toward the concrete castings, too. :)
January 26, 2013 at 10:05am   
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Concrete definitely it will give a much more high-end look to your home.
January 26, 2013 at 10:16am     
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Maria Billingsley of J Hettinger Interiors
Do both..
January 26, 2013 at 10:20am     
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
I failed on the stucco, drats! What about going with a limestone look instead of the brick?
January 26, 2013 at 11:01am     
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victorianbungalowranch
Go for the concrete castings--they are definately worth it. If you do shutters, use the real thing and the right size. And make sure you have nice wide muntins, not the skinny strap-on type.

Off topic, but I would reconsider the design of the front door and little gable over it. It is completely out of scale with the beautiful windows and the pillars look too skinny and too high in proportion to the rest and the reveal is awkward. The edge of the roof right of the door is missing too, and once you draw that in, it looks very choppy across the front. Perhaps eliminating it and using a copper canopy with brackets, and a door with sidelights or a double door, would be more graceful. I think a wider fascia would be nice too.

Just wondering, with such a high roof, are you planning a bonus room up there or something?

If you are going to do a pillar, it needs a base, capitol and entablature to look right, especially on a traditional house. Check out the videos on this page to explain traditional columns and arctitectural elements. Proportion is very important to make these elements look right, but unfortunately many modern architects are not very familiar with the rules of traditional architecture and trim..
http://www.oldhouseguy.com/aesthetics.php
January 26, 2013 at 11:01am     
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erinbrooke
Yes-there's a bonus room upstairs. Unfortunately, they are framing and I already ordered a door. No room for sidelights but we'll have a window above. I'm waiting to see what it looks like before I order/choose what goes over the door. Here is the side view: (the back parrt is a covered porch.
January 26, 2013 at 11:55am   
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erinbrooke
Here's the floorplan if you're interested...
January 26, 2013 at 12:02pm   
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erinbrooke
What about something like this over the door?
January 26, 2013 at 1:58pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
If you are already committed, I would recommend lowering the the gable over the door and adjusting the window--perhaps an arched top transom to tie in with the other windows. I would do that even it it complicates the roofline a bit, and I would consider a hood with heavy corbels rather than a portico to keep it in the French style. The projection is very shallow anyway, and this would not be a hugely expensive change if you get it right now.

I think no matter what you put up there as it is now, it isn't going to look quite right. I'll work on a drawing later.
January 26, 2013 at 2:02pm   
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erinbrooke
Thank you! Here's how it looks right now...
January 26, 2013 at 2:18pm   
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erinbrooke
sorry-this is cropped so closer
January 26, 2013 at 2:19pm   
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Amy Butler
If I can give some food for thought here; Brick is a cleaner look, less likely a home for vermin and I can say with vast experience that wasps and nasty spiders get behind shutters and cause no end of grief.
January 26, 2013 at 2:23pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
OK, sorry to take awhile to get back to you. Here is a rough of the front portico and a few other changes, using the cast trim.

1) Extend the bottom window sills to the ground--it is almost there anyway and will help ground building

2) Make the facia wider

3) Extend the returns about 50% and do a true return with a bit of roofing, not just a piece of trim slapped on to fill the gap, and make sure they are molded with a bit a detail like the trim.

4) Trim the door in a manner like the windows, but perhaps a bit heavier.

5) Use shorter tapered Tuscan columns with capital and base

6) Use brick or stone base for colmns to add weight and importance--shown here like a wing wall with cap, but could just be a chunky square with concrete cap.

7) Use arched canopy, possibly copper, with nice molding to give it some visual weight and a solid entablature for the columns, so they look like they are holding something up. Possibly get someone knowledgable about classical detailling to do specs. to make sure it looks right. Canopy should extend to just barely wider than capitals.

8) Extend slope of roof all the way to projecting bay--may need a bit of adjustment to get it to merge correctly.

9) Consider a skylight for the bonus room on the back of the house--it is getting very little natural light.

10) Consider doing the trim in charcoal grey or similiar color rather than white to emphasize the French influence. Or use a yellow brick or pinkish brick. And add some landscaping to match.

I added some pics of similar porticos, and an eave return I couldn't find exactly what I had in mind.


http://www.houzz.com/photos/users/archstudioinc/p/96
February 4, 2013 at 11:23am   
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victorianbungalowranch
Oh sorry, here are some more pics

The second one is arts and crafts, but could be modified. I like the open cornice. The house with the blue door shows dark trim with brick.
February 4, 2013 at 12:09pm   
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erinbrooke
Thank you so much for your time!
February 4, 2013 at 12:11pm   
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erinbrooke
BTW-I read the article on shutters that you sent and my innocence is gone. I can't look at a home in the historic district w/out over-analyzing the shutters anymore. HA
February 4, 2013 at 12:14pm   
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PRO
Dytecture
This is not related to your question, but I am sorry to say that this kitchen layout is HORRIBLE !!! It's too small for the size of the house, the kitchen is in the way of main circulation from garage to the rest of the house.
February 4, 2013 at 12:19pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
Yeah, I know what you mean. Better to leave them off than to get them wrong.

I make exceptions for ranches and split levels, and obviously decorative trims. Still don't love them though.
February 4, 2013 at 12:20pm   
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erinbrooke
As far as the kitchen-it does seem small, but it's bigger than what we curently have. We wanted more square footage in areas where we will be hanging out as a family. Lots in the city limits are so small now it's hard to fit everything on the lot and still have room for a yard. A big gourmet kitchen is not really a priority for us. Besides-it's too late to be picking apart the house plan.
February 4, 2013 at 12:29pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
Small kitchens need to be as efficient as possible. I don't think it is horrible, but would consider consulting a kitchen designer to make sure it functions the way you want, with only minor modifications before all the wiring and such goes in. I would also consider stealing a bit of space from the master bathroom and/or the music room and shifting the pantry. You would hate to spend money remodeling 10 years from now because there isn't enough counterspace or room for more than one helper.

I've lived with a number of small kitchens and they can be great to have everything within reach, and not so great if passing traffic gets in the way, or are so small no one wants to help out. My last kitchen was big, but inefficient, but that was easier to deal with than too small for more than one cook, which is my current kitchen.

I'm not an expert, but I can see lots of kids passing through there and it does seem odd that the master bath is nearly as big as the kitchen. I think you could keep the same bath layout if it was about a foot or two narrower. Maybe a door to the music room could be an alternate route to the livingroom and powder room and kids bedrooms. Otherwise everyone is funneled through the kitchen after they get out of the car.
February 4, 2013 at 1:21pm   
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