At first I felt weird, falling for a big white house on a hill…
But it just felt SO RIGHT!
Let’s talk exterior. How do you balance budget, high expectations for finishes, and nearly unlimited views? Early on in the project we made the decision to place porches facing 270 degrees off the home, with only one side of the home dedicated to privacy (and views from within – JUST WAIT until you see the master tub!). We knew we didn’t have the world’s largest budget, so we met economics by first limiting the wish list operable french doors at the front porch to fixed mock-doors. Next we removed the ever so tempting folding or sliding wall at the back porch and settled with three beautiful fully operable french doors (if settling is getting Marvin Integrity french doors…WOW!). Grit designs and builds homes that last, so low cost vinyl windows and doors are not an option. Opting for Marvin’s Integrity line of windows (and some doors), met our criteria for beautiful, functional, durable, and ‘middle of the road’ pricing. Casement operating windows provide a luxurious touch, have a great farm and ranch feel, and most of all are amazing for entertaining and ‘joining’ all the spaces and porches you will see here.
Of course, with the farmhouse look, board and batten was requested. Though, you won’t see ANY unsightly horizontal seams on this modern day board and batt install. That’s because Grit utilizes trim and siding boards only. No 8′ or 10′ sheets here, and that bodes very well for an architecturally strong home like this! LP Smart Side products with an underlayment of Zip sheathing and weather barrier system makes sure this farmhouse won’t end up in Oz (remember… the whole tornado took Wendy and Toto to Oz thing? uh uh baby, not this farmhouse!). But we’ll go into just how strong Grit’s construction is another day, let’s talk LOOK!
We sharpened up this project with the use of stained wood, excellent lighting fixtures, and the use of Owens Corning Roofing and Berridge Metal Kynar finished panels. At no time were large open spaces/corners, and super long uninterrupted lines allowed. The house is quite large in terms of farmhouses, coming in at over 4,200 SF. So we made sure to break roof lines just right. We added ‘eyebrows’ and bump outs to soften large facades and provide character. Tongue and groove soffits with exposed rafter tails really creates alot of intellectual energy at all sides.
Special features? Wouldn’t be a Grit job without ’em! Instead of creating a cold, solid front porch, we designed a board framed deck, and decked it with the unbreakable Trex decking system. This helps visitors, and porch sitters alike feel much more comfortable, like you did on gramma’s old porch swing! This is one way we emphasized the comfort and inviting nature of the design. OH, and how can we forget, COPPER all round gutters and downspouts! Sure, right now they’re beautiful, a sharp and bright highlight on the front and rear porches to bring your eyes to life. But, over time, they will age and really provide a comforting, natural feel. One of our upcoming blogs will detail the porches, where you’ll drool over our retractable screened dining porch. And of course there’s the custom, hand made steel accents by Grit. On this home we handmade a statement piece custom chimney cap, a beautiful double barn door and backup gates, a wood/steel/screen door at the dining porch, and some heavy double rail ranch fencing at the back yard. We tell everyone that the fence is heavy because we wanted that ‘old ranch’ undertone, but between you me and the fence post I think it’s to corral those three boys the clients have! There’s a stone, hand made steel, and reclaimed castiron fire pit in the back, and handmade steel screens to divert the eyes away from all the ‘mechanical junk’ like water heaters and AC units. Another real identity maker for this homestead is the use of recycled/reclaimed materials. Originally, a 1950s rock farmhouse was on this exact spot (smart folks!). While it pained us to knock it down. There just wasn’t budget to properly join the new and old homes. So, instead, you will find a ton of reclaimed beams, flooring, and materials from the old home. Heavy pine beams make an appearance in the dining porch ceiling, a heavy timber beam was reclaimed for the mantel, and throughout the home you’ll notice some reclaimed mid weight beams reused in the ceilings and at the eyebrows. BUT, we’ll go into more detail on reclaim/reuse and custom projects another time (see, you DO need to come back and read more!).
For now, scroll on back up there and see our gallery of exterior shots! Don’t forget, more details to come!
Up and coming blog: ‘A Step Inside’ Y’all have seen what it looks like to walk up, now come on in!
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