Curb Appeal

Curb appeal, the first impression, whether you are a home owner, builder, real estate developer or sales agent there is nothing as important as the initial impact of what a potential buyer sees. When you ride thru neighborhoods across the country you can often see people slow down or maybe even stop in front of a home that has great architectural detailing and curb appeal.

What gives each home that special something that grabs your attention or on the other hand, just plain turns you off? It’s Curb appeal. Architects and designers go to great lengths to provide all the details to their house plans that make a lasting impression. Architects and designers design houses that are based on specific architectural styles and will typically reintroduce the little details and nuances that make up the general character of that style.

Every style of architecture has characteristics that are generic to the part of the world from where it originated. The features that make up each style are influenced by the overall climate, culture and materials that are indigenous to that part of the world. For example, in a Mediterranean location you will find houses with low pitched roofs because the need for a higher pitched roof to shed snow is not needed. The roof overhangs are typically wide to help shade the house in the summer time when the sun is high over head and allow the sun to come in under the overhang during the winter time when the sun is low in the sky. This kind of sun control is often referred to as passive solar. You will often find that the primary exterior building material is of some type of cement product such as stucco or cast concrete and the roof will typically be of clay tile, all products found locally.

Put all these things together that are quite different for every architectural style and suddenly you start to create what we have grown to recognize and love about each style of architecture.

When you buy a set of house plans pay close attention to the details that attracted you to that design in the first place. Make sure that your builder will not try to eliminate these features to save a little money or you may end up wondering why your home does not have that special “something” that attracted you to that plan in the first place. At Living Concepts we like to design houses based on historic architectural styles and are authentic to the detailing of that specific style. We want a house to look good on all four sides and do not want our designs to be dated with some fad design of the decade.

You can always tell a good authentic design by not being able to tell if the house was built ten years ago or one hundred years ago. More often than not this approach will turn the heads of that prospective buyer or visitor and have that special “something” we call curb appeal.

Frank Snodgrass, Architect

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