How to Design Impressive House Exteriors By Combining Materials – Part 1

Obviously, material selection becomes a critical component of exterior design with lots of considerations. Therefore, I’m presenting this in two parts.

exterior design - combining materials

Combining various exterior design materials is a longstanding practice, undertaken sometimes in the interest of aesthetics or, more often, because of budget constraints. While using expensive ma-terials in combination with less expensive materials can be a good way to get the high-quality look you desire without breaking your budget, care must be taken to ensure that the combination appears to be a design choice rather than a cost-saving measure. We often find homes from previous centuries appealing because of the way they combine exterior design materials. For example, a New England home in which a central red brick structure contrasts with an adjoining section clad in white clapboard seems to have character. But, don’t imagine that these charming homes were designed simply with charm in mind. Some of their most appealing details resulted from practical solutions to design and budget challenges. In that New England farmhouse, for example, the brick core was probably built first, and the flanking white clapboard section was added later, as the family expanded or finances allowed, and clad in wood because it was less expensive than brick.

exterior design - combining materials

When it comes down to it, a large expanse of any single material can be boring. We’ve probably all seen homes clad entirely in brick or stone that seem very monotonous. The careful combination of materials can highlight each material and enhance the overall appearance of the home, while at the same time saving money. For example, you might consider having brick on the front of your home and less expensive siding on the other three sides. Instead of having the brick run across the entire front of the house but abruptly stop at the corner, make the transition on an inside corner of the front of the house, so that the house seems built of two sections, each with a different type of cladding. In this way the change of materials is an element of design, rather than a budget constraint.

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