The shape or size of a facade – that’s the front of a home, where it looks onto the street – may determine the materials used in its creation. Whilst structural forces may be a consideration, what’s less well understood is that one of the "hidden" motivations behind facade design is sometimes the availability of new materials themselves.
When a supplier offers a major builder a new product, the designer’s minds immediately start turning over imagining how the material might be used, and what effect it will have on the feel of the home, its presence on the street, and matters such as its energy rating.
Just about anything can go on the front of a home. Sandstone tiles look sensational, for example, but they increase the weight of the frontage, and its cost. Substantial windows add pizzazz and let light flood into the home – but hang on, they’re not great for privacy or energy efficiency. Hmmm, decisions, decisions. Perhaps you have a penchant for extensive use of rough-styled stonework, either in columns or on the front walls of your home? Well, you’re in good company: it’s proving increasingly popular. Newly developed "cladding" products (such as the "Hebel" range) offer both exciting design opportunities and contribute to quicker build times and conserve energy. Extensive use of timber gives a home a warm, welcoming feel, and if it is being built in an area with extensive local tree cover, it can help the home "blend in" attractively. But it needs more maintenance than brick, render or stonework.
With so much to choose from, its a great idea to speak to your favourite building company about the many options available, and you also need to take into account the other homes being built in the vicinity, and any developer guidelines that affect what you can and can’t choose to do.
And whilst bold colours are striking and effective, discretion is probably the better part of valour. A bright blue home with pink trimming set in a row of others that have stuck to a more muted, organic palette just looks plain silly, and it won’t endear you to your neighbours. You’ll probably get sick of it pretty quickly too.
If you really do want to make a "statement", remember the garden planting you put along your facade is another opportunity, and probably contributes just as much to the street impact of the home.
If you want to keep right up there with the Joneses, think about using sensational spiky grasses and succulents, and big rocks and stones. Dramatic plants sitting up in giant oversize green, brown or black pots are all the rage just now too. Even consider a small statue. Visiting a good garden centre or just watching a couple of home makeover shows on TV should give you all the ideas you need. And the good news is, when you grow tired of a garden bed, it’s much easier to change about than the front of a home.
Source by James Cotter