A durable roof is imperative—choosing a roof for your home is more than just deciding upon color and aesthetics. There are so many building options, with varying costs and life-expectancies. Material like slate and tile may seem ideal but remember that they are very heavy, so be sure your home can carry the load. Asphalt shingles seem to be most prevalent due to their lower cost and easy install. Surprisingly, wood is also a viable option with the same life expectancy ( 25 years) as asphalt shingles. Slate and metal are costly and heavy options, but may work for some designs. While there are numerous choices, they do not all work within budgets and home design. Always consider cost, durability, weight, and what suits your homes style best.
Don’t let your home fade into the darkness. Proper lighting is paramount for home safety and nighttime appeal. Aside from the obvious light fixtures that straddle your doorways and garage doors, there are other outdoor lights that should be placed around your home. Choose lights that mimic your homes style. Traditional homes look great with lantern-style chandeliers hanging over a covered entryway, or flanking the garage. Angular steel lights add appeal to the entryway of modern homes. Then you must consider what other features of your home could use some nighttime light. The picture below shows a well-lit home; there are lights on the rise of the stone steps that leads to the entry (adding a nice safety feature and visual appeal), pot lights under all the roof lines and lanterns flanking the garage.
Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright’s mentor, coined the phrase, form follows function. Essentially, this means that the purpose of the building should be the starting point of the design. What is the purpose of your home? What do you plan to use your home for? Consider all your families needs and then decide what is required in your home in order to accommodate those needs. The exterior of your home will mimic the form of the interior designs that you have chosen. Maybe you are an artist who chose large windows because you need natural lighting to paint/create. Maybe you needed a granny suite over the garage, so the exterior of the home has a dormer in order to make the window in that room look balanced. Always remember that your interior design affects the exterior one, as well.
While the design of your home exterior is a complicated process that is fraught with decisions and choices, do not give up—a well-designed home CAN be achieved with patience and a little help. During the design process, we suggest that you follow all 10 tips offered here with regard to color, materials, form & function, balance & symmetry, lighting, doors, landscaping, windows and roofing. Remember that there are a lot of online tools available that can show you a virtual picture of what your design could look like—it’s always best to see it and love it before you make the final financial investment. What exterior materials are your favorite? Do you have any unique materials incorporated into your home exterior?
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