Q&A / 

New House Plans – Don’t Forget Color Exterior Elevations

Dear Tim: I have enjoyed your newsletter while building our house but now we need help!!

I was wondering if you could help us solve our problem? Take a look at this picture and how horrible the front of our house is going to look! We wanted a stone and brick veneer, but it looks so sloppy and plain. Unless we draw a plan ourselves of how we want it corrected it will not get done!

I don't know how we can fix it, but I am guessing we need a stone sill for under this window and the others on the front of the house. We do not like how the brick and stone looks. If the builder starts over and installs new stone below the bricks, will the brick above be stable? We need help ASAP!

Nicole, Mom to Jaryn, in Love with Matt

Dear Nicole: I hate to say it, but your problems started months ago in the planning phase. You really needed to have great house plans that had excellent exterior elevations. Had someone colored them in, you would see exactly what you see in the photo you sent me.

This is why I always advocate taking photos of house elements you like before you start to draw plans. You show all of your photos to the architect or draftsperson and they combine the elements that compliment one another. Trying to solve these problems after nightmares come to life is painful and expensive.

The answer *may* be as simple as some wonderful decorative shutters. I feel the window needs a solid shutter, maybe a raised panel shutter, perhaps a simple hand-made western style or a southwestern style shutter to bring all of the wall elements together. Go look at some distinctive houses that have shutters that are similar in design to yours. Note how the shutters can be an excellent finishing touch.

Removing the stone will cause all sorts of problems with the brick above. Do that as a last resort.


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