Deep Dive: Abandoned Ideas

Alternate Location

For a very brief time, way back during the project's earliest days, I had my eye on an alternate location for the house. The reason for choosing this spot was a desire to investigate the possibility of a semi-subterranean dwelling. The location has a much steeper grade, and the idea was to set the house into the slope, with just the windowed living space protruding. Such a dwelling would be very energy-efficient. It also provided more privacy. And I liked the longer, more twisty driveway.

But there were too many problems with this idea. I wouldn't have had to remove any trees, but I would have lost about a dozen mountain laurel bushes; construction would have been quite an undertaking, given its limited accessibility and the amount of material that would have to be excavated; and the end of the driveway occupied the only existing clearing large enough for the septic system. I did some floor plans, but I never kept them.

Faux Flat Roof

For reasons I can't fully explain, I've always liked flat roofs. But I felt it would have been a construction challenge beyond my abilities—and possibly my budget—hence the low gable roofs I built. Then, one recent morning I was struck by the crazy notion of simulating a flat roof by adding a façade of sorts around the perimeter. To see if this would work visually, I photo-shopped an image of the house. But before I'd even finished manipulating the image, I realized that it made my home look like a gas station. So, scratch this idea.

Which means the roof will still look something like this:

House Siding

Plan A was to side the house with old barn boards. However, I'd since learned that the market for genuine barn boards has exploded, resulting in astronomical prices, so Plan A was superseded by Plan B: plain natural vertical boards, per the example below.

During my down time, I pondered the possibility of Plan C: cedar shakes. To see if it was a viable option, I purchased a couple of packs of shingles and applied them to part of the guest cabin (the photos I took of the results have inexplicably all gone missing, and I've since removed the shingles). As a consequence of the experiment, however, I began to consider using the cabin's board and batten siding for the house as well, so that became Plan D. But wait, there's more... while I was running an errand recently, I spotted a home dressed in field stone, not unlike Fallingwater (below), and I've since added that as a potential Plan E.

Now I'm straddling the intersection of two fences. I just hope I'll get the opportunity to finally make a choice...

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