This craftsman styled home is deceivingly larger than it appears from the street, with nearly 6500 square feet on three levels. My clients were adamant that this not appear as a “monster” home yet it still had to include all spaces they required on one level. This would be their final home and wanted to ensure that as they aged, they could function comfortably on one floor. They loved the craftsman style and absolutely had no desire to flaunt the size of the house to anyone. It was simply not their style.
If you look closely at the main ridge you can see some railings. A widow's walk was built into the roof system to allow for a high viewpoint to survey the surrounding area and lake views.The whole front elevation really took off from one feature; the front entry. The entry gable was the starting point and I took the roof lines from there. The three gables of the entry, the second level and the garage all tie together simply to create a balanced and symmetrical appearance.You can more clearly see the area of roof which is cut away to create a stairway to the widow's walk; a very interesting feature requiring careful thought to hide it from the street. It's easy to pass by the house and not even notice it's there. It cuts through the trusses from the rear deck, making a right turn up and through the vaulted ceiling of the upper level. It took several tries to come up with the final design of this feature.The entry really is the commanding feature of the home yet you don't get the full effect of it until you've come up the pathway to the front door. It's somewhat unassuming until you're standing right beside it. What I like most is that it's not something huge stuck onto a house to draw your attention. It maintains a warm feel and is just of one elements making up an entire look; not one huge feature on an otherwise simple elevation.I stressed a lot (as usual) over what size of entry posts to use but in the end they were the right choice. I've found that 99.9 % of the time it's better to go bigger. Too big simply looks wrong but I think if the joinery is correct and the stone bases are proportionally sized, it looks great. The owners and I went back and forth about what height to make the stone piers, but in the end we came to a good balance. My ideas was to make them somewhat taller and more tapered but I believe shorter was better as it grounded them more. If they were too tall it would have drawn too much attention to them.I made sure the timbers on the porch appeared as though they were sort of sprawling out past the piers. I also added some interesting cuts on the ends of the timbers to give it some flair. I recall spending more than a few days detailing out drawings for the timbers and how they would blend into the barrel vaulted ceiling. I'd say I definitely blended two styles into one.I really love the custom door; the arched ceiling carries past the door, right back into the living area vaulted ceiling behind. The 42' wide door was made extra thick giving it the heavy, solid feeling similar to the door on a vault. Definitely not the kind of door you'd be able to slam without a lot of effort!One of the interesting things about the house is that it really is a nice, simple rancher. You can see from this view that the roof is quite a low and doesn't dominate the look of the house. In other words, you're focus is on the design features of the main level walls and not an enormous roof.A nice feature of the porch is that it's so close to grade. Initially I had a wood deck with a few steps to the yard. The owner decided to go with concrete so there was no issue with having the grade so close to the deck surface. It also helps to blend the house nicely into the landscape.I used 8x8 posts and 8x12 beams around the porch area. They aren't really enormous when you imagine they're only 2 inches larger than your typical 6x6. From first glance they actually feel larger than they are.One thing I always specify is a double fascia rather than one single piece. It's a little more material but makes a big difference over a single fascia. Also, notice the slight jog in the roof at the left of the timber beam by the arched window. This would have looked too plain without it and it's a simple way to add a little detail.I really like the use of rain chains here rather than downspouts. Definitely adds just a little more character.