Introducing #DesignCrimes! Every week or so we will be bringing you some of our least favorite design blunders. These come from our own observations of poor building designs that hinder the livability or look of a house. Today we’re talking about exterior material transitions.One of the biggest Design Crimes I see in residential design today (especially among spec homes) is the thoughtless way in which exterior siding materials are haphazardly placed on a home. The most egregious of which is when materials transition at an outside corner.
Most often this is done as a cost-cutting measure to allow for less expensive materials to be placed along the less visible side and rear elevations of homes. The justification for doing so is the belief that money is being spent where it matters most, to bolster the front elevation. The problem is that, unlike the two-dimensional elevations shown on a plan, actual homes are never viewed on a flat plane. There will always be viewing angles where multiple elevations can be seen at the same time. The resulting mismatched corners lack real depth, taste and any sense of honesty in materials. This is never more evident than when this crime is done with stone, brick, or any other heavy material.
Helpful Tip: Always (and I mean always!) transition materials at an inside corner. If budget is a concern, it is often a better choice to simply not add stone, brick, or any other upgraded material at all than to simply paste it on the front elevation without any regard to the continuity of the entire home.