How Architectural Elements can Create Your Perfect Exterior
When helping our clients find the right home to build, the first thing we start with is the floorplan and interior layout of the home. Once that is finalized, we turn our attention to the exterior design. The floorplan is going to determine certain things about the way the home will look, but the majority of the style of the elevation can be created for your specific tastes. Architectural elements such as windows, exterior veneers, and accents all combine to make a home fit into a particular style, allowing us to take a floorplan and make the elevations look Mediterranean, Farmhouse, or Modern to name a few with a few simple changes.
Starting at the top of the home, the roof design is a subtle way to create a specific look. Modern and Mid Century styles would have a low pitch roof and no dormer windows. Both shingle and metal roofs work with these, usually in a dark color. French Country and European style elevations, on the other hand, would have a high pitch roof, and often include dormers. Rounding the top of these dormers and adding a metal roof accent tops off the look. Darker shingle colors such as black, driftwood, or brownwood add to the aged and stately style. Slate shapes or high color contrast shingles are also a great choice. Farmhouse roofs are a medium pitch and have metal roof accents and dormer windows. Black, estate gray, and silver shingles are most popular, but you can use almost any color that complements your paint scheme. Finally, Mediterranean style homes also have a medium pitch with either brown shingles or a tile roof and no dormers.
The window design is the next way to create your exterior style. Large windows with no muntins (grids) create a modern look. We used fixed glass where possible and casement windows in the bedrooms for a sleek look, and recommend black frames on the exterior. Offsetting the sizes of the windows gives more of a Mid Century feel. European style homes are all about creating grandeur, so large windows with decorative patterns are the way to go. Consider using a brown, black, or cream frame to keep the feeling of age that this style evokes. Farmhouse windows are best in black or white frames, and simple grid patterns like a 4 or 6 lite complement this style. For Mediterranean homes, arch top windows are perfect in warm tones like brown or cream frames.
The type of exterior veneer is another way we can influence the look of your home. Fiber cement siding is the most popular product we use due to the longevity, water resistance, and design flexibility it provides. Horizontal lap siding works for Farmhouse, Modern, and Mid Century styles. New variations with stain finishes and seamless overlaps allow accents of lap siding that further complement your scheme. Adding a shingle-style element to the gables adds a cottage feel, or a board and batten design can be used for a more modern touch. European or French Country homes call for a stucco finish with stone or brick exterior. Choosing well-tumbled stones and irregular shaped brick works well, and faux plastering techniques can create a new exterior that looks hundreds of years old. Mediterranean styles are also created with stucco exteriors, with arches whenever possible instead of straight lines.
The finishing touches for any exterior are the small accents that customize the home. Adding a small run of brick at the bottom of a Farmhouse elevation or faux louvers in the gables adds charm and interest. Stone columns in a solid color work well on both Mid Century and Modern styles. A pair of shutters that appear to be closed create the look of an additional window for a French Country home. Small transom windows can be the perfect accent for any style, adding both the appearance of height as well as additional light on the interior.
Whatever your dream exterior is, we can work with the floorplan that best fits your family to create it. Simple architectural rules and twists allow you the freedom to create the perfect look for you. Our plan design team loves working with clients to create homes that are truly custom and unique to each family, and we look forward to working with you on yours!