At RDS, our architects meet with clients everyday who have a vision of what they want the exterior of their home to look like. What we are finding is this new generation of buyers is looking for something different, something with clean lines, and a style they can call their own. They are looking for a “Contemporary” style, a word we haven’t used in relation to home exteriors in our area since the 1970’s, but guess what? It’s back, in a big way! But what makes a home “Contemporary”?
• Windows: Lose the window grids and make the frames as close to black as possible, and don’t add 1x window trim. The windows should feel like they are openings cut into the surrounding materials. Use a lot of glass such as large picture units, fixed transoms, and operable awnings in geometric patterns to make up a window wall.
• Bring the Outside in: Open up the walls with tall doors that allow easy visual and physical movement both inside and out. Folding or pocketing door systems can create a bold statement and allow easy access to the outside.
• Roof Lines: A flat roof helps define the contemporary style, with or without large overhangs. If you can’t get away from a pitched roof, make sure the overhangs are generous and consider the use of shed roofs. They can be turned in different directions and provide high walls for lots of extra natural light.
• Exterior Materials: Common materials are used but in different ways for contemporary homes. Fiber cement siding meets at the exterior corners without trim boards, but with metal corner trim. Grid work of panels with spaces that look like lines between them is achieved with fiber cement cut to size and slipped into aluminum channels made for this purpose. If you are going for a more industrial look, exposed cast concrete and corrugated metal siding is perfect.
Modifying your current product to meet this desire for a contemporary exterior home design is not difficult nor will it drive up the price. We would love to talk with you and help modify your standard center hall colonial easily into a very stunning contemporary home, or design a new one for you. Contact us to get started!