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This week for Building 101 we’re chatting about exterior design. I’ll be sharing our selections as well as walking you through how we decided on those selections.
A look at where we came from and where we are now.
1- Browse Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. Look closely at exteriors you’ve saved. Is there a common theme?
2- Get your builder’s recommendation. A lot of our exterior selections were based on the recommendation of our builder.
3- Do your own research. Be smart, don’t just blindly use the products your builder or subcontractor recommend. I know you’re drowning in decisions that needed to be made yesterday, but for some of these larger items it’s important to know your options.
Now lets dive in to our exterior design!
Our windows are Plygem Pro 200 series and are triple pane windows. We chose them for a few reasons. They were in our budget, have been rated most energy efficient by Energy Star, had all the styles we wanted and came highly recommended by our builder. I get asked a lot why we did white on the inside and black on the outside. I knew from the beginning I wanted black exterior windows. The inside I honestly didn’t know what I wanted, I love both. I ended up scrolling through all my saved inspiration to figure out which one I really preferred, and it was white. Black is cool, modern and trendy, but didn’t want our home to feel too modern.
All of our exterior doors are by Rogue Valley Door with a 2 over 2 grid. The french doors in the entry are 8′ tall hemlock with a custom stain. The rest of our exterior doors are fiberglass (fiberglass doesn’t dent like steel). We painted the exterior Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black and the interior Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. I will warn you the black usually looks dirty, but we also currently have no landscaping and live in a mud pit, so just keep that in mind if you decide to go dark.
The garage doors are Wayne Dalton Carriage House series we painted to match the rest of our exterior.
The exterior is exclusively James Hardie Siding apart from the painted brick surrounding the entry. We used Hardie Board because of it’s superior durability. It’s made of fiber cement, therefore it is rot, pest and fire resistant. Hardie is more of an investment up front, but it also increases the value of your home versus vinyl siding. Our exterior is almost entirely board and batten, with lap siding on all of our gables apart from the ones on the front of the house. Our batten spacing is 16″ on center.
While I love the look of wooden posts, after a few seasons they would need a heavy dose of TLC to bring them back to life so we wrapped them in the same Hardie product to keep it as low maintenance as possible.
We did real tumbled brick around the entry doors with concave mortar that’s a little on the fuller side, not flush, but not deep either. I wanted some texture and movement to the brick, but I didn’t want it to be too graphic. I love how it turned out and texture it brings to the exterior design.
After testing several white paint colors decided on Benjamin Moore White Dove. We did the entire exterior almost exclusively in it, apart from the french doors on the deck and lower patio area, and the man door in the garage, those are Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black.
We mixed materials on the roof and did mostly IKO composite shingles in the color Dual Black, with accents of black standing seam metal roof on the front porch, loft area and garage. We mixed materials largely because a standing seam roof cost about 3 times as much as composite shingles. I love how the use of both materials adds texture and interest to the exterior design.
We chose gutters in the color ‘linen’ to blend with the rest of our creamy white exterior. Our builder and installer recommended we do gutters on both the lower and upper portions of our roof, to mitigate any water dripping down onto the lower roofline and splashing back up on the siding. This should keep the paint from wearing prematurely & prevent any early maintenance.
On the front porch we went the more cost effective route and did broomed concrete. By the time we got to the end of our build the budget was getting tighter and this was one place we were willing to down grade so we could upgrade our deck and soffit.
We used composite decking when we replaced the deck at our previous home, so it was an easy upgrade for us. We chose Trex Enhance in the color Toasted Sand and love the authentic wood grain appearance without the headache of actual wood.
When we replaced the deck at our last house we used a different railing system that used spacers between each baluster and our kids would pop them out and move them around. Lesson learned! The system we have now is by Fortress and is made of solid steel that’s pre welded and power-coated so it’s maintenance free and kid proof.
On both the front porch and back deck we did fir tongue and groove soffit. This was a last minute upgrade we decided would be worth the additional cost. We stained it with Woodscapes stain & sealer in the color Banyan Brown and I love the warmth it brings.
For our exterior entry lighting I knew I wanted something bigger to make a statement with our large doors and these shallow but tall lanterns were just the ticket.
For the garage we really embraced the farmhouse style and did black barn lights on each side of the garage doors. I love that they’re deep enough that when you drive up at night you can’t see the actual light bulb but they still light up the space really well.
On the deck and patio area below we used these cylinder lights to bring back a more modern vibe. Again I love that these up light and down light, but you can’t see the actual light bulb. We also did a 65″ outdoor ceiling fan and I love the functionality and design it brings to the deck.
A few extras you may want to consider for your exterior:
– Extra lighting. We had extra disk lights added on our front porch and deck spaces. It wasn’t a costly upgrade but the functionality of having as much light as we need has been appreciated.
– Outdoor speakers. We added these on our back deck and have already used them on multiple occasions. Highly recommend!
-Extra outlets. We added extra outlets in our soffit out front for Christmas lights, on each side of our entry doors, on the deck and patio below, as well as in the soffit of the deck fro bistro lights.
– Hose bibs. While not an extra, be sure to think about placement and how many you need for convenience.
I hope this post gives you inspiration for your exterior design. If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments below. You can find more Building 101 topics here.