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Need Help with Mixed Roof Pitches on Front of House

Aesthete7

Hi everyone! I'm in dire need of your guys' help. Our architect (who has left our newly designed house with a bevy of problems) designed our house with two 6:12 gables above the garage and laundry room and one 10:12 gable above the entry way. On top of the visual discord, this is also going to create some pretty serious drainage issues where the roof peaks meet the rest of the house. I wasn't bothered by it at first, but now the difference is really starting to get to me. We ended our relationship with the architect as he refused to offer help to resolve the many mistakes he made. As of now, the whole house will be done in Hardishake shingles (so no clapboard as shown in rendering). I'm looking for ways to possibly resolve this visually without going back and rebuilding the pitches so they look the same. One idea I had was to sort of combine hip and gable roofs by doing the two roof peaks on the left (the lower pitches) with a little shed roof going across the entirely of the gable (right above the garage doors, for example), and making doing a traditional rake gable edge on the porch entry. The picture below describes this visually better than I can verbally. Any help would be SO appreciated. Thank you.

 
Dec 29, 15 1:15 am
bowling_ball

Free advice is worth every penny.

If you can afford to build a large new home with a 3-car garage, you can afford to pay a competent, qualified professional. Rates here on Archinect start at $250/hr, and each of us can be contacted directly.

And in the future, when you sign off on something like ugly mismatched rooflines, that's your decision. You paid for a drafter, not an architect, and that's exactly what you got. Surprise, surprise.

good luck

Dec 29, 15 1:42 am  · 
1  ·  1
Non Sequitur
Sounds like a difficult client. I'll start my fees at $300/hr.
Dec 29, 15 8:31 am  · 
1  ·  1
Volunteer

The house is not contemporary and is not classical. What part of the country is it located? What do the neighboring houses look like? How can you have a house that big and no fireplace? You have a second story space but no dormers? I think it is fixable but you need to decide what you want and find an architect whose work you admire and go from there. There are a lot more problems here than one gable.

Dec 29, 15 8:46 am  · 
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BulgarBlogger

The house is a monstrosity... but then again- what you got is exactly what you asked for/signed off on... Live with your decision... The architect fulfilled his contractual obligations. It's not illegal to provide unsatisfactory work as long as it doesn't affect the health, safety, and welfare of the public or in this case- homeowner.

I would never take on a client like you.

Dec 29, 15 8:53 am  · 
1  ·  1

Pitched roofs are so passè. All the good houses have flat roofs now.

Dec 29, 15 9:02 am  · 
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( o Y o )

Aside from taking on the OP as a client, what mistakes did the architect make?

Dec 29, 15 9:04 am  · 
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geezertect

I'll take an educated guess that you designed the house yourself and went to this architect/whatever for the working drawings.  "I don't know anything about architecture but I know what I like, so just draw it up for me."  Typical residential client.  Now, after much contemplation, you are having second thoughts and so you've decided to go from cheap professional services to do-it-yourself design with free consultations.

My advice is to take your solution (which I don't really understand) to another drafter and make the changes.  Then, if that doesn't work out, you can just keep repeating the process and rebuilding the house over and over again until something falls into place.  Think of the money you're saving!!

Dec 29, 15 9:07 am  · 
 ·  1

*munches popcorn*

Dec 29, 15 9:12 am  · 
1  · 
curtkram

don't build this house.  start over.  unfortunately, i am not available to be your architect.  you can contact bowling_ball, i'm sure he'll do a great job.

the elevation is different than the rendering.  is the elevation supposed to be the house that was designed, and the rendering what you wanted?  if so, start by cutting the square footage down to about 1/4 and putting the savings towards good design, good materials, and good construction.

Dec 29, 15 9:24 am  · 
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Gotta love it when some asshole with a pocket full of dough screws over their architect then comes crying to the forums looking for free advice. 

Dec 29, 15 9:34 am  · 
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curtkram

i guess a good follow up questions is, did you pay the architect for the time they invested in you?  if you were to retain bowling_ball or null for their services, should they expect you to follow through on any agreement to pay them?

Dec 29, 15 10:06 am  · 
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shellarchitect

I guess I don't really understand what the drainage issues are that you mention,  perhaps your architect also didn't see the problem?  In any case, I do agree that it's ugly.

Like anything else you get what you pay for. 

The only advice I offer is that you should probably enlist a professional when building what is likely the single biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime.

This may not apply to the OP.... I'm always amazed that people will save a few bucks by "designing" a home themselves, and then think nothing of paying a realtor 6%. Any half competent architect is worth at least 12%

Dec 29, 15 10:33 am  · 
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JLC-1

people think this is like those car enthusiast forums? I had a land rover and every time I had an issue I could go there and get some tips on how to fix it, not everybody can have a land rover, and not everybody can afford good architecture.

Dec 29, 15 10:47 am  · 
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Volunteer

I think the solution for the OP and the typical Land Rover owner would be the same: Paint it green and let the weeds grow up around it.

Dec 29, 15 11:11 am  · 
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ArchNyen

I told you not to hire anyone with the title "professional building designer."

Dec 29, 15 11:37 am  · 
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At least Land Rovers have a nice design, even if the workmanship is shoddy.

Dec 29, 15 11:45 am  · 
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I'm reading this on my phone so I can't see the image. Driving me crazy that I don't know what everyone is responding to!!! How do you guys know it's a drafter not an architect, is there a title block on the sheet? And is it really that bad?!
Dec 29, 15 12:09 pm  · 
1  · 
curtkram

what font is that title on the elevation?  it's a sans serif font, but with varying stroke width.  like comic sans wasn't good enough for this drafter.

Dec 29, 15 12:22 pm  · 
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DeTwan

I'm always amazed that people will save a few bucks by "designing" a home themselves, and then think nothing of paying a realtor 6%. Any half competent architect is worth at least 12%

I am in the art world now, and same thing goes for the art. These rich assholes will haggle and haggle on the price of an original piece of fine art, but when it comes to framing it, they never question the $2k price tag for the frame...affleza 

Dec 29, 15 12:28 pm  · 
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chigurh

sick house bro!

Dec 29, 15 12:36 pm  · 
1  · 
geezertect

Donna:  The OP refers to an "architect" although most residential clients have no understanding of the distinction between architect and designer or drafter or engineer.

Dec 29, 15 12:38 pm  · 
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x-jla

most architects suck and most clients suck...in this case both suck...

Dec 29, 15 12:39 pm  · 
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I wouldn't be so quick to judge the architect. Probably just some poor guy trying to make a living doing projects for overloaded know-it-alls who can never be satisfied. I mean come on, if you're going to build a custom home why model it after a crappy ranch house? 

I wonder how much they screwed him for ...

Dec 29, 15 1:47 pm  · 
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curtkram

hopefully the OP will come back and give us a more detailed explanation of what happened.  surely this wasn't the sort of person who expects everyone else to take care of them, but then refuse to help out anyone else?  i think many of us are interested to hear more, so it would be great if they were able to contribute to the community instead of just taking from everyone else.

Dec 29, 15 1:54 pm  · 
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JeromeS

Wait- its ALL going to be hardi-shingle?! Well, that should fool everyone...

Dec 29, 15 1:58 pm  · 
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shellarchitect

some people like crappy ranch houses - "that's what a house is supposed to look like." 

One of my friends parents, a judge, designed and built a house fairly similar to the one above.  I assume he's still happy with it, or at least they like it enough that they still live there

Dec 29, 15 2:22 pm  · 
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no_form
Looking at the rendering I'm wondering why an architect was hired. This could have been selected from a catalog and tweaked by a contractor for the site.

And with a screen name "aesthete" the op hardly requires the design knowledge architects bring to the table.
Dec 29, 15 2:31 pm  · 
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proto

This is also going to create some pretty serious drainage issues where the roof peaks meet the rest of the house.

No, it won't...only if the GC builds it poorly. The lack of symmetry or slope consistency is not that bad. You could build the entry porch wider to mimic the garage & laundry slopes?

I'm looking for ways to possibly resolve this visually without going back and rebuilding the pitches so they look the same.

That is an unreasonable expectation in its most fundamental sense. You are going to have to change the geometry somehow. BTW, is this already framed?!?

One idea I had was to sort of combine hip and gable roofs by doing the two roof peaks on the left (the lower pitches) with a little shed roof going across the entirely of the gable (right above the garage doors, for example), and making doing a traditional rake gable edge on the porch entry. 

That sounds worse than what you have. Please hire someone who can work with you in lieu of listening to the braying of a bunch of jackasses on the internet. (I say that with all fondness for the local jackasses :) )

Dec 29, 15 3:22 pm  · 
1  · 
Aw, proto, I get you. This kind of thread makes me feel such affection for my braying jackass community! Love you guys!
Dec 29, 15 3:38 pm  · 
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shellarchitect

Donna's drunk!

Dec 29, 15 3:49 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

i need a drink. hey OP call up my big city building department and you can find very incompetent people who review 10 times more competent peoples work, but have no fucking clue what they are looking at and therefore must pull incomprehensible shit out their ass and run.......water drains on flat roofs, what is the problem?

Dec 29, 15 5:49 pm  · 
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Hahaha shuellmi I'm not but will be soon. I came up to Chicago and spent a few hours at the Biennial. I love architecture so much. Not sure what to think of the biennial yet but overall positive.
Dec 29, 15 6:39 pm  · 
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1) as long as everything is detailed properly you shouldn't have drainage issues with that design.

2) to quote Kevin McAllister regarding the design - "Buzz's Girlfriend....woof"
Dec 30, 15 12:06 am  · 
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vado retro

Plenty of registered architects design houses like this. i know i had the displeasure of working for several of them. the main reason i came to archinect was to escape this dreck and yet, here it is staring me right in the grille.

Dec 30, 15 9:20 am  · 
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geezertect

^  Most buildings for all of history have been designed by their builders or owners.  Only public buildings, cathedrals and palaces got any attention from artists or architects.  The rest were simply the vernacular of their time.  And somehow the world has muddled on.  One of the great frustrations of this profession is that most people don't think it much matters, and maybe deep down most of us architects know they are right.

Dec 30, 15 10:47 am  · 
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x-jla

mcmansions are not vernacular buildings...they are the opposite of vernacular...they are imported from tv and mass media and plopped  anywhere regardless of context.  They are an invasive species...the asian carp of architecture.

Dec 30, 15 11:56 am  · 
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geezertect

By vernacular I am referring to most buildings including the OP's design, which is done in a common, ordinary, everyday, popular style.  If it is derived from TV and mass media, that is by definition vernacular, particularly in this day and age.  Its quality has nothing to do with it.

Dec 30, 15 12:31 pm  · 
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JLC-1

well, mcmansions are a by-product of suburbia, which is definitely vernacular to the united states, didn't evolve from anything else. 

Dec 30, 15 12:49 pm  · 
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This particular vernacular is cheap developer spec. Funny how some people think this kind of crap is custom or luxurious. 

Dec 30, 15 12:52 pm  · 
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x-jla

geezer, maybe in the sense that it is ordinary and pervasive, but I disagree with the idea that these buildings do not seek something monumental...They are mcmansions because they seek monumental status....a cartoon version of a monumental palace maybe, but the intent is not purely humble and functional as with most past vernacular architectures...

Dec 30, 15 12:55 pm  · 
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shellarchitect

digging through old files today and came across the plans for a co-worker's own house - its exactly the house and new MD or JD would love, 4500 sq. ft. of vinyl, brick, and gables.  Don't think I can look at him the same now

Dec 30, 15 1:14 pm  · 
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no_form
There are two problems here.

Houses are now commodities. Therefore, only the bland and generic will resell easily. Custom houses are just that and will not necessarily work for a new owner. Also, max out your square footage to get the most money back when reselling.

Problem two. Lack of design and art education. People get their knowledge from HGTV and DIY decorating blogs. But hey the OP is an aesthe so who are we to say otherwise.

At least in the past there were builders guides to help people make attractive buildings. Even the Sears bungalows were better than this POS from the OP.
Dec 30, 15 1:23 pm  · 
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x-jla

^exactly. 

Dec 30, 15 1:29 pm  · 
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geezertect

They are mcmansions because they seek monumental status....a cartoon version of a monumental palace maybe, but the intent is not purely humble and functional as with most past vernacular architectures..

There are so many trying not to be vernacular that they end up becoming a new form of vernacular.  Builder Biltmores, Tract Tuscans, etc.

Maybe the older definition of vernacular doesn't apply anymore.  Mass consumer affluence has made everyone think they can be at least minor aristocrats.

Functionality in today's world includes some degree of monumentality and faux luxury, since the resale market and lenders' appraisers almost demand it.  People don't stay in the same place for generations the way our ancestors did.  The ability to get out reasonably quickly and with equity dollars when life circumstances change is as practical a requirement as the purely physical necessities of warmth, waterproofness, etc.

Therefore, only the bland and generic will resell easily

The bland leading the bland.

At least in the past there were builders guides to help people make attractive buildings

That's what neighborhood design review committees at least purport to do.

Dec 30, 15 3:13 pm  · 
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Andrew.Circle

I agree with part of geezertect's post above ---> the concept of vernacular no longer applies.

From Wikipedia: category of architecture based on local needs, construction materials, and reflecting local traditions

The OP's house 'design' ignores local needs, uses ubiquitous construction materials, and is massed in a way that most likely ignores any local traditions (don't know where this is getting built, but that's kind of the point I guess). The only thing that could be 'vernacular' is the light wood frame construction system, and that depends on where the OP is building.

You need a generous budget and to hire an architect to design a custom house in order to build in a traditional vernacular style. Which really isn't a vernacular process at all. Because of all these issues, I think the term vernacular no longer applies and we should stop using it except in a historical context.

Your house sucks OP; hire a competent architect and keep an open mind to the possibilities of site, context, material, program and concept as generators of form. Or just build whatever I guess.

Dec 30, 15 3:39 pm  · 
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no_form
Neighborhood design review is a fancy way of saying NIMBY.
Dec 30, 15 3:53 pm  · 
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category of architecture based on local needs, construction materials, and reflecting local traditions

Local needs: OP needs a house that will maintain it's value relative to their neighbors' over time so they can build equity.

Construction materials: Dimensional lumber, OSB, hardishake shingles, and asphalt shingles are all available locally at Home Depot.

Reflecting local traditions: Doesn't get much more "traditional" than this today when you're looking at a local housing market. It's been this way for a few generations already.

Dec 30, 15 4:05 pm  · 
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geezertect

^  Exactly.  National is the new local.

Nothing new is very local anymore.  The only way you can tell where you are in most newer places is by looking at the vegetation or the license plates.

Dec 30, 15 4:47 pm  · 
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senjohnblutarsky

We shouldn't be building to a national type when the climate across the country varies greatly.

Dec 30, 15 4:58 pm  · 
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Volunteer

I think a small, but significant, part of the population are building modern adaptations of the Virginia farmhouse, the Tidewater homes of Virginia and Maryland, the stone Pennsylvania homes, and the federal and classical styles of New England, as well as the French plantation styles of Louisiana, and the unique French-German styles found in the Texas hill country - just to name a few. Architects are the ones who have done their utmost to stamp out regional styles ever since the Bauhaus movement, sad to say.

Dec 30, 15 5:11 pm  · 
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