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Exterior Elevation Idea
Mike Kinsella
February 4, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We have been working on this home for some time and would like to get a better exterior elevation. Our design is mostly Craftsman although the home is going on a acreage in Rural Alberta so some prarie or mountain elements could work too. Open to ideas' input or even a critique.
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The Virtual Designer- Kitchens & Bathrooms
Having a quick look now and I'll be back with my thoughts.
February 4, 2013 at 4:20pm   
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Dytecture
Do you have other elevations you can attach ? My first thought is although the overall composition is nice, it just looks too massive and almost like 3 homes stuck together.

Door, window, and garage openings should be in line with each other in this situation.


February 4, 2013 at 4:30pm     
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Mike Kinsella
Our draftsman is reluctant to produce the elevation until we have settled on the elevation and floor plans and we are really struggling with the elevation. Floor plans are mostly there a few small tweaks still required. I really struggle with roof lines, the garage being almost the center of the home and balance or proportions of it all seem out. Curb appeal is always very important.
February 4, 2013 at 6:12pm   
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Mike Kinsella
2nd floor
February 4, 2013 at 6:13pm   
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Mike Kinsella
3rd floor
February 4, 2013 at 6:14pm   
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The Virtual Designer- Kitchens & Bathrooms
Hello again. Yes it is massive and my first thoughts were that the left side of the design was a craftsman style addition to an earlier design of home on the right.
Also felt that the left hand side was grand and broad leaving the left to become a bit tight and a little fussie with design elements. See my attached. Haven't got a clue how it will all work on the inside, but I'm using my designers/artistic licence.
February 4, 2013 at 7:19pm   
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Studio S Squared Architecture, Inc.
For a house of this scale on a rural lot, you should have been able to hide the garage around the side. Having it in the middle of the composition feels like this was driven by plan/functional considerations without thought to how it would look on the front elevation. The fact that the roofs crescendo up to a high ridge above the garage only calls more attention to this part of the elevation.

Also, Dytecture is spot on when he says this looks like three houses stuck together. The right looks like an early Prairie Style four square house, the middle recalls McKim, Mead, and White's Low House, and the left looks like it came from a spec builder's handbook.

The Craftsman style often works best when there is one large roof form through which attic dormers poke through as needed for light and headroom. If the upper (2nd floor) roof carried all the way across and the attic room expressed itself as two shed dormers, that would help minimize the focus on the garage below. This larger roof form would help to tie all of the masses together, as well as reducing the massiveness of the house by emphasizing the horizontal instead of the vertical.

I will be interested in seeing the next iteration of this design....your draftsman should not try to "lock you in" to a plan before you are happy with the elevations...or are you designing your own elevations? In any case, the plans and elevations need to be designed concurrently, so that the building works as a harmonious whole. I would strongly recommend that you model this in 3d as well before you commit to structural engineering this design. If you or your drafter can't do this yourself, then considering hiring a rendering service to do this for you, they are pretty cheap these days and are readily found on the net.

Good luck, looks like this could be a really wonderful project!
February 4, 2013 at 7:41pm     
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Archstudio
I would agree with Dytecture and StudioS and would add that your plans can be tweaked for better space utilization. Given Alberta's weather, room on the far left will always be cold unless you have extra heat source in there. If you garage is not heated you may want to look into in-slab heating as spaces above tend to be colder than normal. Hopefully your balcony gets south sun - if not you may want to get a sun study done with your 3D model (fairly easy to do). And I would also highly recommend getting a full 3D model done including interiors so you know what you are getting for spaces. For elevation - you may want to accentuate the linear lines to reflect prairie style as that will take away the bulkiness above the garage door area.
February 4, 2013 at 8:38pm     
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Ironwood Builders
Yahoo! Love the architect speak! Finally getting to see and hear the real stuff from these guys and I like it! I build...and I agree with the opinions and insights of the posters above...They are giving good information and worthy, insightful design opinions. Valuable stuff. And move the garage, OK? Paper and drafting time is so much cheaper than experimenting in wood and stone...
February 4, 2013 at 8:47pm   
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Ironwood Builders
Just a thought....anybody into trying a wood C.F.A. Voysey here?
February 4, 2013 at 8:48pm   
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mveasey
Greetings from BC!
I think the entry for such a calibre of home is way to small. It needs to be grander, wider steps, bigger front door. Perhaps some welcoming pillars?
February 4, 2013 at 9:28pm     
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mveasey
Disregard pillars comment, I guess you have some, since there seems to be a "tiny" porch on the right.
I do like your shingles accents and choice of window detail on your house.
Is there a specific reason the garage is in the middle? Sometimes clients want items for their lifestyle a certain way...
February 4, 2013 at 10:30pm   
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The Virtual Designer- Kitchens & Bathrooms
Just found this company ...photos here on HOUZZ but check out the website for inspiration for bold and beautiful front for craftsman style. http://landstedco.com/portfolio/starr-wood-luxury-model
February 4, 2013 at 11:07pm   
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Mike Kinsella
Thanks for all the input... It only re affirms what I already knew but I am glad for some of the ideas. Now to see if I can get this plan fixed or if we need to significantly tweak it or start with a different plan.
February 5, 2013 at 7:48am   
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TJP Designs and Construction LLC
Try using a ‘Focal Theme’ to tie the elevation together more; such as the window element over the entry, use this in other areas of the elevation!
February 5, 2013 at 8:06am     
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Mike Kinsella
I think we are going to start over, this one is just a little too messed up to just tweak.
February 16, 2013 at 6:13pm   
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