by Christy Heitger-Ewing | photos by Graham Photography & The Home Aesthetic

Exterior Building Trends in Custom Homes

In fashion and in home design, what’s old becomes new again. While bell bottoms and high-waisted jeans have made a comeback in the fashion world, when it comes to custom home building, giant doors are once again all the rage. Nearly 40 years ago, my family built a new home and the builder designed a big, gorgeous, intricately carved wooden door. Custom builders today report that enormous doors are back, though not of the carved wood variety.

“The trend now is to have a front door as big as you can possibly get,” says Joe Garcia, owner of G&G Custom Homes. “And people love glass doors to let the light flow in.”

Exterior modern pivot doors are popular as they offer a distinctive contemporary vibe. Ideal for large panels, these doors rotate on a pivot box in the floor and top jamb rather than traditional door side hinges.

It is not just front doors getting the super-size treatment these days. Many homeowners elect to install expansive glass panel doors to access their patio or deck.

“You used to just have a single door going to the outside porch,” says Garcia. “Now you have doors that are four-panels wide. I’m doing a house now with a door that’s 10 ft. tall by 12 ft. wide, and it’s all glass.”

Garcia is also currently building a house with a back patio two-panel door in which there are two pieces of glass that open up. Whether the doors are closed or open, such a design truly maximizes the views out back.

Another option gaining traction with homeowners are panel doors that slide up against each other. Some are multi-slide doors while others are bi-fold doors. You may have a 12-ft. wide space or larger and the doors fold back into a pocket creating what feels like a single space and blurring the lines between indoors and out.

There are some pretty amazing options available that can be customized to fit your vision. And of course, that comes with a price.

“I’ve been in this business for nearly 20 years,” says Garcia. “One single door today can cost more than some of my whole window packages in the houses I was doing when I first started!”

Homeowners say it’s money well spent.

Another trend in exterior options is incorporating a variety of elevation textures. Gone are the days of an all-red brick house. Garcia points out that it used to be that a house had four walls with maybe a porch that protruded out a bit. Now, however, a part of a house may stick out three feet further than the main wall and adding different materials gives the home’s exterior more dimension and visual interest

Many modern homes include a mix of stucco, stone, and an accent of wood tones. Or they may opt to use metal materials that look like wood.

“This adds warmth, color and, depth to the home without having to worry about maintenance,” says Garcia, who notes that the varying textures element extends into the roof as well.

“The days of just a regular asphalt shingle are gone,” he says. “Some homes have a composite shake look, or we’re doing one now that’s an authentic clay tile Spanish roof. The fireclay brick lay gives another added texture to the house.”

Protruding sections and interesting angles are also incorporated into the roof line. You may see a shed style or dormer metal roof highlighted against the regular asphalt shingle. According to Garcia, it’s all about bringing more color and texture to the home’s façade.

If you’re looking to build a bright beautiful home that’s both trendy and homey, contact Garcia and his team to start the conversation.