Home > family, Uncategorized > Need your opinion on a Home Design

Need your opinion on a Home Design


I need everybody’s opinion on this, PLEASE.  Please put on your “design hat” and “home buyer hat” and tell me what you think about these 3 designs, cost being same for all three houses.  Which one of these 3 homes would you buy, and why?

The exterior finish is a brown stucco.

Home #1



Home #2








Thanks for your input, you have no idea how much of a help this is 🙂

——————————————–updated 05/24/2012——————————–

Thanks for all the great input.  I definitely do not want this property to look like its owned by a drug cartel…lol.  I did like the comment about creating warm friendly and inviting looking house.  And definitely more modest looking 🙂









Categories: family, Uncategorized
  1. May 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    i like number two the best, although, for me, victorian is my style

    • May 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks. This property is just so odd, there is only so much I can do with very limited amount of budget.

  2. May 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I’m partial to #1. Love the windows, the gables (is that what you call them?) and the upstairs balcony. Pretty!

    • May 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Yes, they are called gables. The upstairs balcony is a nice touch on #1. We are now finding out the balcony feature is a no-go because the fountation for it is too close to the septic tank 😦

    • May 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      My only real concern with option #1 is that it looks too much like 2 separate houses “glued” together in the end. Does it look like two separate houses to you?

      • May 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        No, but now that you’ve said that the balcony’s a no-go, I’m leaning toward #2. That diagonal design is really nice.

  3. May 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I chose #2 because I prefer the way the small garden and arbour tucked into the corner brings the house down to human scale. I also prefer the longer, lower, simpler line of the left-side annex. The window over the main doors scales the entrance to make it more welcoming, and the diagonal wall makes it feel more approachable. I like the way the larger plantings to the right break up the heavy massing of the two-storey portion, as well as providing a bit of privacy for the large windows in that area.

    The only thing going for #3 is the softening effect of the diagonal. I don’t like its odd little bay window, and the colonaded gable on the left wing appears tacked-on and it fights with the entrance. It also needs some plantings to soften the sheer wall of the right wing. I’m not sure what the material is, but the rendering makes it look quite rough, which is just too overwhelming with that big mass on the right side.

    #1 is definitely better than #3. It’s a much more formal design (not really my style), but from a design standpoint I like the scale and placement of the windows, and the bay windows look right at home on this one. The tall, narrow entrance and right-angle corner increase its formality, as do the structured plantings. The wooden arbour feels off to me, though. It needs to be sleeker to be in keeping with the more formal building style.

    That’s my 2 cents worth – hope it helps.

    • May 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Now THAT, is some very good technical writing!! I love your logic in all your points. Thank you.

    • May 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      #1: that corner courtyard is so cheap in comparison to any other upgrades of the house, and I agree it adds good value in that empty area. The larger plating to the right also blocks all the direct sunlight in that area, which is good, considering how big windows are there. Its also heck of lot cheaper than the balcony option. Good point on the “heavy massing” on the right, it does need to be resolved.
      #3: you are right, the right side does look like one large mass
      #1: Can you believe the small portico addition on the left is about $20k? The balcony on the right side has to be removed because there is a septic tank buried underneat it.

      • May 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        Wow, $20k. I don’t think I’d miss it if it wasn’t there… especially for that price.

        • May 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm

          Its amazing how somthing that you THINK is mostly cosmetic feature, turns into home structural issue. I think I would be happier seeing the $20k in my pocket than having that portico, too…lol. Compare that to the corner courtyard for under $5k! Thats what I call value 🙂

  4. cookiemomma
    May 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I like #2 because it is the prettiest…lol Sorry can’t elaborate just yet, I am off to ZUMBA 🙂 BTW what are you running out of there…a drug cartel??? hehehe They all look HUGE

    • May 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      lol, Zumba reminds me of a blog I want to do next. Drug cartel? lol, its a compound for raising 2 really naughty boys from bothering the neighbors, it will be fenced in to prevent them from excaping…lol. The CAD rendering does make it look lot bigger than it really is. Thanks for you opinion and please let me know if you figure out the reason why 🙂

  5. May 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I think I would go with #1. I would have to look at a floor plan but from the exterior it seems like the most efficient use of space. Not that I’m against diagonals and curves, but it just also seems more unified and coherent, in terms of its shape. I also like the tall narrow entrance, it seems more suitable for a home, because it’s more intimate and tucked in; as opposed to a grand entrance with wide steps in the other two, which reminds me more of a public building. Having a large balcony on the side is nice too, although I’m assuming that balcony is facing the street. I personally would prefer a balcony facing the back. Not sure if you have that in the other two options, but if so, I would go for that. Otherwise, they all seems quite interesting. Please keep me updated on your progress! 🙂

  6. May 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for chiming in, I really appreciate your design expertise in this project. The square footage on the three designs are exactly the same. The design #2 has option of adding 2nd floor, just underneath the mini “widow’s walk”. Its currently left as a vaulted ceiling in that region since we don’t need to spend the extra money for more square footage. The balcony option cannot happen in any of the designs, because there is a septic tank buried in that region. And you are right about the balcony pointing the street. I don’t know how you knew that, but I guess its pretty obvious to people that’s been doing this for a while..lol. Good perspective on narrow entry vs grand entry.

  7. purpleowltree1234
    May 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Would love to see the floor plans.. I do love the little pond in plan #1. Plan #3 seems a bit disproportioned. Kind of like barn-meets-house.. but not quite working. Plan #2 is good too.
    Btw, your fun banter wtih Dana led me here, and I’m enjoying looking around. 🙂 Love from Rach

    • May 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you for your input on the house plans. All the floor plans are pretty much identical, except for the front entrance area. The plan#2 does have option to put a 2nd floor on, but I’m just going to leave it as a vaulted ceiling. I do like the little pond in plan#1, and I will probably put that feature in regardless of the plan idea.
      Thanks for visiting this blog from Dana’s. She is a wonderful person and I did not think her “freshly pressed status” would have any impact on my blog site…lol. I’ll be looking foward to checking out your blog as well 🙂

      • purpleowltree1234
        May 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

        Wow, that was a fast response for a man in demand! 🙂 I love the idea of utting a pond into whichever plan you choose. You’ll have to keep us updated!! We want photos and stories! 😉 hehehe
        My Blog is not at All entertaining!! haha So feel free to not check it out! But you can if you’re inclined. I’ve got firends all over the world, and I find that writing a Blog keeps them up-to-date and I don’t have to write the same things over and over to people who ask the same questions. It’s like my therapy too. 🙂
        I’ve got your window here ready to flick over to whenever the other stuff I’m doing gets boring, and I’ll keep looking through your Blog in my breaks! 🙂
        I Love the sunflowers!! I keep looking at them, and thinking, is that for real, or are they photoshopped with the bike riders there in the middle of them.. but I’m thinking its a real photo, unphotoshopped? Bliss!!!
        Love from Rach

        • May 7, 2012 at 9:34 pm

          I operate like an on/off switch. Its either all in or not at all..lol. Oh, and I do pride myself in great customer service! I will do my best to update the pictures as well. Tell you what tho, if the current property looks anything like the picture above, I will be ecstatic. It currently looks like an abandoned warehouse 😦
          I actually did check out your website, and it looks like the “foundations” are being set 🙂 Love your “about me” page…lol. Reminds me of another popular blogger that I follow. I do share your point on blogging. Its actually the most disorganized piece of work I’ve ever done, but I love it. It is pretty neat how you can say things with words, that you cannot with speech.
          The sunflowers on my background are for real! Its actually called Sunflower Field located in southern France. It takes my breath away every time I watch cyclists sprint through the Sunflower Field. Speaking of which, I am less than 2months away for this year’s Tour de France…woohoo!!

          • purpleowltree1234
            May 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm

            I’ve got the on/off thing going on too. 🙂 haha
            Yes, your customer service is exemplary! 🙂
            So are You riding in the Tour de France??! I’ve got a biker friend in Canada who would be disgustingly jealous!! 🙂 He loves his bike so much he has it in his bedroom when he’s not riding it! hahaha So if you’re in the coming Tour de France, are you riding with a team? Does everyone riding in it have to be in a team? I’ve got a lot to learn about the challenges and the yellow jerseys, etc. I often watch parts of it but can never quite grasp what all the various competitions are in it. I sure hope each new yellow-jersey wearer gets a fresh yellow jersey; you wouldn’t want to be the last guy in the race to get it and have it like a cake of dried sweat! Ewww!
            The sunflowers are AMAZING!!! If I ever go to France, I will HAVE to go when the sunflowers are in bloom, and will have to go right to this field!! Stuff the Eiffel Tower- I want to see the sunflowers!! 🙂 A friend of mine was proposed to (and accepted) in a sunflower field. Not as big as this one though, in your pics.
            Haha, the “about me” page… thanks for reminding me! I think I shall move my first post- “Welcome! Read this first” into the “about me” page. It will explain the Blog a whole lot better.
            I look forward to seeing and reading more of your Blog!
            Make sure you take photos of the property the way it is before any work gets done to it, then more as it transforms. Will be fun to see!!! 🙂
            Love from Rach

  8. purpleowltree1234
    May 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    PS Chris, Does it remind you of another Blogger you follow because they didn’t fill in their “about me” page, or because of similar themes? Just curious. 🙂

  9. May 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I like both one & two. Both have a family feel & look to them. Number one is my favorite, from the top & lower deck.

    • May 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks for your fashionable input! Only modification to plan#1 is, no more deck. All the added features in the front right area has to be removed, because its where the septic tank is buried.

      • May 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm

        Lol. No problem!

        & wow, that sucks, I loved that design. All are quite exquisite though, you have some talent! My second choice is house number 2. 🙂

        • May 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

          hehe, I don’t remember disclosing any information about who did what…lol

        • purpleowltree1234
          May 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm

          HuH??! Did YOU design those plans, Chris?? I’m totally in awe, but also… OMG! “disproportioned…kind of like barn-meets-house… but not quite working..” omg I’m so sorry!!! You should have TOLD us before you let us comment!!! You are TOO nice! omg. omg. omg I’m so embarrassed.

          • May 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm

            omg, what just happened here? lol. I’m not saying anything regarding the designer of these proposals. We need to focus on the importance of this project. Public opion on stuff like this will end up saving me $1000s and $100000s of dollars. If there ever is a moment where brutal honesty is needed, it is here, right now. We’ll discuss the authors and such after the project is completed 🙂

        • purpleowltree1234
          May 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm

          Oh my goodness!! (hiding face) *embarrassed chuckle*
          You’re lovely. Do not change too much! lol

  10. May 9, 2012 at 2:19 am

    My vote went for #2, but if I’m being honest, what I’m really thinking is: why aren’t there like 50 cars parked in front of the houses?!? lol

    And I”m thinking I need a new line of work! Beautiful house there and looks like great space for raising a fam! Congrats!

    • May 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Wife will be glad that our new house will not look like a used car lot anymore…lol. I wish I had 50 cars. What an excellent point!
      This purchase was my lucky “lottery ticket”. It was similar to my last Ebay purchase. Throw a bid in there thinking it is too low and will get laughed at, then suddenly I get a signed approval letter back 🙂
      The property, in its current state, is absolutely hideous and there are lots of unfinished areas around the house. Based on people’s reaction, the redesign seems to be going in the right direction 🙂

  11. May 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    xoEvelynOrtizHasSpoken :

    lol ;-) I am sure it was you Mr.Chris haha my lady intuition tells me so haha

    That’s some giant “lady intuition” antenna you got there…lol

  12. purpleowltree1234
    May 11, 2012 at 6:44 am

    OH NO CHRIS!!! 😦 I’ve come to the end of all your more personal posts! I need more!! hahaha! Will keep following your Blog. It has been a joy to find your Blog and you and get glimpses into your life and heart. Keep writing and sharing please, I’m interested and rather hooked! 🙂
    Love from Rach

    • May 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      THAT is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. I cannot believe you read every single one of my blog. I bet you read lot of books, too…lol. I’ve been just really swamped lately with all my tasks. I never thought I’d be handling the design/architech aspect of the new home, but its sucking up a lot of my time. This is already on top of my consulting gig and engineering gig. I guess there is a reason why some of these professional architechs wanted $80,000-$100,000(USD) to design something up for me. I think architech in my area are making doctor and lawyer salaries…lol.

      • purpleowltree1234
        May 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

        I’m totally impressed that you’re ABLE to handle the design/architect aspect of the new home!! And no wonder, saving that much money! Wow! Your talents are many and varied. I’m happily jealous. Happily cuz I’m happy for you. 🙂 I hope things settle soon so you can have a bit of a break, though I know that’s not your style at all! 😉 Keep us up-to-date with the home! I want to see photos! 🙂
        Love from Rach.

        • May 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

          This specific blog will end one of two ways.
          1. Finished house looks great, and I’ll be the cheapskate architech hero that saved the family ton of money…yay! this result will yield lots of cool updated pics and maybe another car of my choice!
          2. Finished house looks like it was designed by a phony architech who pretends to know everything. This will result in deletion of this blog and hope nobody notices my dismal failure for cheaping out on an expert architech for such a huge project.

  13. May 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Here is my latest picture of the progress.

  14. purpleowltree1234
    May 24, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I’ve come here three times trying to se the new pic but it’s just a black rectangle.. thought it was our laptop bein weird, but it’s persisting. Thought I’d say. Still could be our laptop. 🙂 D. X

    • May 24, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Thanks for that catch! I’ve corrected the black rectangle and all the missing pictures. You computer is fine 🙂

  15. purpleowltree1234
    May 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    awesome. totally awesome. 🙂 D. X

    • May 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks for the cool comment 🙂 I just luve saving money…lol

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