How to Design Impressive House Exteriors By Combining Materials – Part 2

Although combining materials can lend charm and interest to a home’s exterior, many building companies currently use an overwhelming number of materials to create visual impact. It’s not uncommon to see stone (perhaps even two types) combined with brick, stucco and tile. These seemingly drastic contrasts have been designed to capture our attention. Although such combinations might be visually interesting, the use of so many vastly different materials on a home will likely result in a jarring and trendy facade.

House Plan 4422

House Plan 4422 features a nice mix of siding and stone to create a beautiful craftsman exterior.

In general, no more than two or perhaps three different materials should be used on the exterior of a home. Always consider the exterior in three dimensions. A few years ago Georgian-style homes were the rage. Considered by many to be the most elegant and tastefully designed homes in our country’s rather brief architectural history, these perfectly proportioned red brick homes with dark green shutters became the inspiration for many large production builders all across the South. At first glance these boxlike structures must have seemed economical to build. However, as with all styles, the details proved critical.

House Plan 2297

A blend of earth stones add to the appeal and energy efficiency of House Plan 2297.

The crucial mistake made by these builders involved the use of brick. Their construction budgets allowed for only enough brick to be placed across the front of the home, abruptly changing to wood on each side.  As always, it’s the details that remain critical. Of course we all must deal with budget constraints. However, an honest approach to selecting or designing a plan with the appropriate materials can result in a home in which you’ll be proud to live, and which you’ll also be able to afford.