Need ideas for window details

I need ideas for window details. Can someone please help?
First some background info... I'm having a local builder build a farm/folk house that I designed using 3D Home Architect and the builder/designer is basing his final drawings on my plans. It's a pretty safe design, so for the most part it doesn't matter that the builder/designer is not very style savvy. That just means that I'm responsible for telling him what I want, and I pretty much know exactly what I want. The only problem is with the windows. I could really use some advice.
The porch and the front of the garage are going to be brick, and the rest of the house is going to have sage (green) vinyl siding with white trim on the corners. The windows are going to be 3' x 4' 5" double hung windows with no grill/panes and no shutters. They are going to be white vinyl on the outside and on the inside they will be pine that we will stain to match our oak casing/trim. Where there is vinyl siding, there will be 3 1/2" white vinyl trim all the way around the windows.
Here's my question: For the windows in the brick, should I also ask for the same 3 1/2" white vinyl trim around the windows so that they match the rest? I'm afraid it would look odd. I've looked at thousands of new homes for ideas, and nobody seems to put trim around their windows where there is brick. But yet when I run this issue by other people, they recommend that I ask for the windows in the brick to be consistent with the rest of the windows--with the same white trim. What do all of you think?
In case it helps, here are links to some drawings I exported from my 3D Home Architect software: http://www.vieth.info/house/ViethFarmHouse3D.pdf
http://www.vieth.info/house/ViethFarmHouseFront.jpg
http://www.vieth.info/house/ViethFarmHouseRoof2.jpg
Keep in mind that the porch rails will be white vinyl like the posts, and there will be a shingled brow across the garage gable and the porch gable, as shown in the front elevation. The front elevation is the only drawing that shows all the trim details.
All constructive feedback is greatly appreciated.
- linux4all
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That patch of brick looks tarted up in the vinyl siding. Why not get rid of it and use matching vinyl siding. When I was teaching, I would have flunked anyone who "glued" brick to a facade that does not ask for it. You are building a Midwestern farmhouse style, the originals used wood, not brick. EDS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I appreciate your concern about the original farmhouse style. I ran into the same issues when I was considering a Cape Cod. Most "Cape Cods" today have little resemblance to true Cape Cods from 100 years ago or so.
I've decided that when people say "Cape Code" or "Colonial" or "Farm/folk House," regarding new construction, they're not implying that they're trying to copy the original early designs. This home is more aptly described as "inspired by farm/folk style." In other words, it's a "Farm/folk Revival." So, although the originals employed little no brick, much like Colonials, which were also 100% wood clapboard sided, the modern versions often have brick accents.
In our area (Southwestern Wisconsin), brick accents or brick porches are very popular. It also serves a functional purpose, as the brick appears in all the areas of the house where people come in contact with the sidings--main entrance, porch, garage doors, etc--where vinyl siding might otherwise get damaged or dirty by frequent contact.
What do you think about my rationale?
Oh, yeah... One more thing... The covenants in the development where we're building require at least a small amount of brick and/or stone on the front of the house. 100% vinyl sided homes are prohibited. Also prohibited are large steel external buildings/garages, boats or vehicles parked in the yard, all any external shed must match the house's style and materials, must be behind the house, and must be proportionately smaller than the house (e.g. a certain percentage of the main floor's square footage). ...and this is a rural development! I actually like the covenants. Keeps out the riff-raff.
Thanks again for your feedback--much appreciated.
- John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sasquatch wrote:

Ir-rationale. Not sure what you do to the front of your house that would damage or dirty vinyl siding - but stop it! Vinyl is easier to clean than brick and is far easier to repair.

As eds opined, pasting on a brick veneer to the front of a house is a cheesy way to go about getting the brick incorporated into the building. It's Colorforms design and construction. I'm sure you've seen it on a million different houses. They all suck - each and every one of them. It always looks like the builder/owner didn't have enough money to finish the building with the nice stuff and cheaped out on the sides of the building.
As far as your covenants keeping out the riff-raff, most of the covenants I've encountered were created by riff-raff. People with little knowledge of design who are "blessed" with absolute surety that their way is best, create the covenants to insure that none of that "wacky" stuff gets built. Unfortunately good design is so rare that it is wacky stuff. Covenants are rarely anything more than legislated mediocrity.
Holy shit, I'm channeling DON! I'm going to go lie down now. ;)
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've seen some pretty nice, and very expensive homes that have brick accents. When done well, I like it. And it's all about what *we* like, right? So I was only asking about the window details because that's one detail where I don't know what I like--I don't have an opinion--so I'm seeking expertise.
As for brick accents being bad... I could see if I was making the entire front brick, and everything else vinyl; that would be bad, because it would indeed look like I was trying to make the house look like brick from one view, and then go the cheap route everywhere else. But in this case, for the front elevation, we're balancing the brick and the wood (vinyl) pretty tastefully. The brick only goes up to the porch roof, or, in the case of the garage, up to the shingled "brow," which is the same level as the porch roof. Everything above that natural line of demarcation is going to be vinyl, like the faux dormers, the gable on the garage, etc, and even the gable on the porch roof above the front entrance.
As for covenants... I live in a rural area. If there were no covenants, we would have people building huge steel buildings in their front yards. That's just the way it is in rural Wisconsin. If you want to protect your property values, you have to have covenants. You can't assume your neighbors are going to be reasonable. As soon as you start to assume that, you'll end up with a highly medicated dude building an enormous "pond" in his front yard, or the fanciest 8-car garage in town!
What do you guys think about the house in general?

Love the feedback! Thanks!
- John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd seen some HGTV show where the people wanted to redo the tacky front of a house for which they'd paid somehting over $400K.
The job was easier then they'd expected because the huge front columns/"portico" thing was stucco-coated *FOAM*.
I was utterly appalled.

To quote the current movie ad: "how can you kill what's already dead..."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kris Krieger wrote:

Why?
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A 2-story portico (on a high-proiced "luxury house) made of what looked like florist's foam?
If I have to explain it, then no explanation would be of any use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kris Krieger wrote:

If you're commenting on the design, I can't assess the situation from your twenty words. If you're commenting on the construction technique, you need to get out more. It's called EIFS or an acrylic stucco system, and it is as good a system as any other as long as the installer knows what they are doing.
Ask Don. I'd hazard a guess that at least 50% of the buildings he designed in his previous life had some acrylic stucco detailing.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in

I know what acrylic stucco is. It was created to adapt to climates, such as Southern California's, whcih experience wide temperature fluctuations over short periods of time (such as going into the 40's at night and the upper 90's in the afternoon). It was OTOH quite problematic in the cool rainy climate of Vancouver. I've personally seen (and lived in) both.
The stucco, acrylic or otherwise, was, however, not the issue. The OP's statement is quoted right at the top. The issue, as indicated by the OP's aasterisks and caps, was the foam used to make the underlying structure.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kris Krieger wrote:

You wrote the part about the foam, so why are you referring to the OP?
There are numerous examples of foam products used in construction that present no longevity problems if installed as specified. Do you have issues with polyurethane sprayed insulation, Dow blue board, rafter mates, Wedi board, etc.? You shouldn't - they're good products. Categorically classifying a product or process because it involves foam is misleading. As I mentioned earlier, if there are any issues it's due to the installation, not the foam itself. It's no different than seeing rotted wood siding and blaming the wood, instead of either poor installation or lack of maintenance.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in

Because I thought the OP mentioned it first. Earthlink has dropped the original post so I can't refer back to it. So sue me.

I mentioned something specific. Those other items were not part of what I mentioned.

Some foam is cheap junk. Some is long lasting. A lot fo stuff used in construction is fine, but a lot is crap - it depends upon who's involved in erecting the structure(s). I've seen a lot of junk. If that's not part of your experience, then good for you. But I'm not going to pretend I haven't seen or learned what I have merely because you don't want to acknowledge those things. The plain and simple fact is that a great deal of what is produced for the middle class does cut corners, and there is a lot of shoddy stuff out there.
Now, maybe all your clients can afford Million-Dollar-+ properties, and maybe you don't have to expose yourself to the things that us mere lowly peons can afford, and if that's true, hey, you're lucky, that's peachy, and count your blessings. But I've looked, from a mere lowly peon consumer's POV, at a bloody hell of a lot of stuff in the past quarter century, from coast to coast and in both the US and Canada, and sorry, but I *have* seen a lot of junk, and a lot of neighborhoods that look run-down and seedy after only a couple years because inferior materials and methods were used in their construction. Money is taken away from practical, and even important, things, and applied to cheesy stick-on geegaws and poorly-done indents and whatnot in the mass, as a supposedly "decorative" substitute for actual design. Again, I don't claim to speak for your expereince or for the expereince of wealthy clients - just that this is common in things meant for us lowly, inferior peons. Unfortunately, there are also a bloody hell of a lot more of us, than there are of wealthy people who also have good taste. The end result is that you end up with *vast* suburban wastelands - I recall driving out west from Pasadena, and seeing the floor of the desert valley (where San Bernadino is located) and seeing huge swaths of ugly, crowded, energy-wasting, cheesy, cookie-cutter bedroom- community houses, with yards so tiny that there was no room for so much as a modest shade tree. It was IMO nightmarish. But it was all that a lot fo poeple, who worked way the heck over in LA, could afford - even decent rentals in the cities are beyond the reach of many working people. Even if there are "some" affordable properties, there aren't nearly enough for all the people who need places to live. Which in turn means that developers have a pretty much captive audience. So if they feel like saving $$ and tacking of porticos or so on made of styrofoam, they know they can get away with it.
Now, if you don't have to expose yourself to areas like that, that's great for you. But they do exist, and there is a lot of cheese, and a lot of inferior stuff in those areas.
You had mentioned I should ask Don about acrylic stucco - no need, as I'm familiar with that item; I do recall, however, that Don has mentioned observations similar to mine, except in even some areas in which I couldn't afford to reside.
And it is a fact that there are elements that are no longer structural, and no longer made of durable, long-lasting materials. Sorry, but styrofoam is not a structural or long-lived material.
Now, it's patently obvious that using better materials would mean smaller square-footage, if a developer's profits, and the buyer's prices, are going to remain the same - it's a trade-off situation. For myself, I'd *prefer* my home to be smaller but sturdier, however, one has to have land in order to build, and there is not much land *available* (meaning, for sale) that has nbo been bought be developers - and developers only allow their own houses to be built in their developments. So, as a buyer, one also has to make trade-offs, especially if one or more household members has to commute.
At any rate, it's of course your right to take exception to something (or everything) I say, but by the same token, it's my right to not lie and say I haven't seen what I've seen. And, if a material is described even by a builder as only "foam", as was the case in the TV show I'd mentioned, then I'm just saying what they said - not condemning (or extolling) all foams for all purposes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As per the OP's post, plywood would have been an inprovement...

I've never been a fan of it, because so many of the geegaws are not good- quality materials. I realize that some people like, for example, Victorian as an overall style. I don't personally care for it, but I *have* seen it done well, so that the house looks "of a piece", like the different elements belong together, *AND* are made out of materials that won't look crappy after a very few years.
The design is one issue, but the materials also play a part - I've seen far too many neighborhoods, across the continent over the past 30 years, that are not even 5 years old, but wherein the houses already look worn-out and seedy, because the cheap materials had so little durability.
The above is one of the very specific reasons I insisted upon buying a place in a neighborhood in which all the homes had at least the first storeys fully bricked (with full-brick fronts), and at least Hardy-Plank for any siding and soffits. Sure, we *could* have gotten a place for a lot cheaper, if we wanted to live in an area where all the siding was wood, but we've observed the results on wood siding of the elements, and lack of upkeep. Similarly, while I was in Massachusetts, I saw examples of Colonial that were at least well-thought-out and built from quality, durable materials - and the all-too-common stuff that was just sloppy half- arsed "design", cheap materials, and crummy construction.
What it is, is a matter of up-front cost, versus long-term cost. Something that looks like a large up-front cost now, is very often *significantly* less expensive than the long-term costs that add up.
So, where you mention proce versus quality below - it's very possible that the person didn't just look at price, but rather, at *cost*. Most people don't do that any more, from what I can tell.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kris Krieger wrote:

Why?
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

LOL. Not since my chest slipped down to my belly about 1967;-)) EDS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sasquatch wrote:

"I know what I want". If there was a single phrase that has been the bane of my existence, besides, "Is it in yet?", it would be that one.
People _always_ know what they want. Then I have to fight them tooth and nail until they're half convinced and let me do what I want based on trust. When it's done, _now_ they know what they want - "That's it!"
Bigfoot, your design, your "pretty safe" design, is fine, it's lovely. It's something that someone using 3D Home Architect would come up with. There are similar houses all over the country - not identical - but similar in treatment.
You're going to be spending major bucks on this house, living in it for quite a while I'd imagine. Single biggest investment and all that, right? If you're living there, you want to make the house your own - individualize it. If you're selling it, you want to set the house apart - individualize it. You could do that by having two kitchens or five bathrooms, but obviously that costs a lot of money and makes little sense. Or you could work on the detailing of the house. The way things fit together, make transitions, etc., are what really make a house shine. I'm not taling about good construction as that's a given (or should be), I'm talking about good design.
3DHA is a dangerous tool. It gives people the idea that they too can be designers, which, of course, anyone might be, but it does it in a way that ties the person's hands as it is giving them all of the nifty, "Wow! I can really see the house now!" power.
Some say God is in the details, and others say the Devil is in the details. Either way, details are the important stuff. You need to start incorporating the details as soon as possible. The house will develop a life of its own and it will tell you what sort of window details it needs. It will make the design far more interesting, far more complicated (no negative connotations, thank you), but not necessarily much more expensive. If done correctly, and incorporated from the beginning, the details can be inexpensive bonuses. Tacked on at the end, they become more expensive, kludgy and little more than Colorform details. Peel it off and slap the detail on the building.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.