Looking for colonial architecture resources with information like window spacing, shutter width, roof pitch, etc.

NOTE: I'm re-posting this, hoping for some comments that are actually useful and sincere. I really appreciate any *real* advice from someone who actually knows what they're talking about. That said...
I'm having a general contractor build a house that I designed using Broderbund's 3D Home Architect software. It's a 2-story colonial, or maybe you'd call it a colonial revival. Here is a link to something that is similar...
http://www.originalhome.com/gallery/gallery_baseplan1.html
Our builder is very competent, but he's not very savvy when it comes to traditional architecture. Most of his houses are basic ranches. He's done some colonials and cape codes, and the workmanship is excellent, but I've noticed some annoying shortcomings when it comes to design, like the windows are not spaced uniformly, or he'll just leave out the center window on the second story, or he won't allow the proper amount of space between windows for shutters. I've mentioned some of these things, and his comments have included, "We'll I'm not a big fan of shutters, anyway." ...but this is a colonial!!! (Again, see the link above for the traditional look I'm trying to accomplish.) Other concerns include roof pitch, window trim, the front portico, door and baseboard trim, etc.
So here's my question... Is there a book or online resource that I can refer to for information about standards for colonial architecture, like dimensions, proportions, window spacing, etc? I really want this guy to build our house, but he just needs a little help to make sure he doesn't overlook some important details that could make the house look really silly.
Please help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, John
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snipped-for-privacy@vieth.info wrote:

While the responses that you've received haven't been what you wanted, your constant reposting will accomplish nothing, other than to irritate those who might give you acceptable answers.
Suggestion: Put down the cup of coffee.
Notan
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Believe it or not, I don't drink coffee.
Sorry for the multiple posts, but I wanted to start the thread over, and then I accidentally re-posted under the original post instead. I think I've got it straightened out now. :-)
So, who has some advice?
I don't mind buying a book. Where would a professional architect turn to find out the standards for a traditional colonial 2-story for things like window proportions, spacing, trim, shutter width, roof pitch, etc?
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years of education and experience,..............
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John,
With all due respect, you brought this issue on yourself. Broderbund's 3D Home Architect software is a toy used to make pretty images of shapes. You "thought" you'd save a few bucks by "designing" the house yourself and by hoping the your GC would be able to come up with all the colonial detailing required to make a Colonial house. Now, you are finding out (well after the construction has begun) that the GC isn't specialized at all in colonial detailing and while this construction is going on, you are scrambling to get some detailing together to build out your house.
This, in turn, is surely causing delays and will undoubtebly cost more. Your "savings" will soon or already have vanished.
Now you find yourself in a mess as the detailing won't fit the given existing dimensions that were built, your proportions are surely a mess and you'll end up with some expensive "cobbled" together design and house that cost many more times than if you'd have hired a professional designer to begin with where your details would have been worked out beforehand, where your specification would have determined how much detailing would be involved, where a bid set would have given you exact pricing for that detailing, and where your construction contract with that GC would have been based on all the construction including all that proportional Colonial detailing.
It would have been done right. I hope you learn from this exercise.
As for Colonial detailing, go to a library, get a book on Colonial homes and study the detailing and proportions, decide how on earth you will fit it all in and take out a pencil and some paper and start sketching some details that may or may not salvage some of your house. There are thousands of them.
Then, when it's all said and done a few months and a several extra thousand dollars from now, ask yourself these questions:
1. "I just spent several hundred thousand dollars on a new house and what have I got for it?" 2. "Was all the effort, grief, and additional dollars worth saving a few thousand dollars by not hiring an architect to properly design the house in the first place?"
Good luck... oh and by the way, you should still go out and hire a professional to salvage this design....
Pierre Levesque, AIA "wanna be Architect since 1995" www.connarch.com
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That's a long sentence!
Milo

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Hello John,
The Prairie Avenue Bookshop (Chicago) is one of the nation's premiere book sellers of architectural and related subject matter. I guarantee you will find what you are looking for there including patterns, plans, and books with dimensions.
<%= Clinton Gallagher NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com URL http://www.metromilwaukee.com/clintongallagher /
[1] http://www.pabook.com /

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Ah! I useful reply! Thank you very much! There have been a few useful replies in this thread. Most have been worthless.
I will do like you say--buy a book or two. That's the advice I've received from a couple of others.
When I finish this project, I'll post photos and floor plans, and then you guys can judge for yourself.
- John
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snipped-for-privacy@vieth.info wrote:

All of the replies have been in agreement - they're not worthless. Your attitude has been worthless.

You need someone to tell you that there's, gasp!, information in books? Now, don't take my word for this, but there are big brick buildings that have tens of thousands of books that they'll _lend_ to you. For FREE! They're called libraries. Visit one, I'm sure it'll be an eye opener for you.

Ask for Mr. Blue - I'll be holding my breath.
R
BTW Learn to quote. Not all newsreaders work the same way, and it isn't automatically clear who and what you're replying to.
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I don't know whether it helped the OP, but *I* want to say "Thanks for the cool link"!
I love 3D modeling (buildings) and this place looks like a great resource for finding modeling info.
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I'd be surprised if there wasn't. What have you come up with so far?

John, check out your local library, bookstore and internet search engine, and stop getting sidetracked with all your responses here. It seems you have some homework to do!
If you've done the gist of your design in Broderbund-- whatever that is exactly-- and your GC's execution's lacking, then, short of some industrial-strength homework on your part, like maybe something next to a degree in architecture, it seems to make sense to hire an architect.
Incidentally, has your GC already begun to build it, or is it still in the design phase?
I'm a designer by trade, with a strong interest in architecture, but even by my training and experience, I doubt I'd dream of winging it without an architect. In fact, if I was leading the political show, I'd be sorely tempted to legislate something to the effect that anyone/any entity planning on building, be legally obliged to have an architect approve all projects (if they don't already, which to my understanding is not the case)... if only to cut down on the usage of an expression I'm reminded of:
"There goes the neighborhood."
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i'm guessing it's all those AIA newsletters you've been getting... :]
-- R'zenboom

house
that
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.................toilet dog!!!!............!!!!!!!!!

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snipped-for-privacy@vieth.info wrote:

'Colonial' is in fact a family of distinct 'traditional' building styles, used by original European settlers who relied substantially on their respective 'native' methods of design and construction. Hence colonial includes Spanish, Dutch, Georgian, Federal, etc. etc. etc. The image you link to doesn't actually reflect any of these styles specifically but is a watered down version of a copy of a copy of a copy that may have had Federalist or Georgian origins. As such it is more proper to call it simply 'vernacular'.
Even so, the architectural characteristics you're looking for are not primarily characterized by a lack or presence of shutters, nor by a centrally located window above the doorway. Plenty of Federalist houses exist without these features, for instance.
As for references, try googling 'colonial revival' and you'll get oodles of images that you can pick and choose from.
Window placement is a function of inside as well as outside. Having a grid of windows on a house invariably means having windows not centrally located in rooms, which is what your GC may actually be trying to achieve.
We get people here all the time who use products like Broderbund and think they are actually designers when they do so. Fortunately, there is a lot more to architecture than using a $70.00 cut and paste CAD product.
Marcello
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