They’re out there…I took this photo of a model home in a rather new neighborhood here in West Orange County. There are several things going on here. Quite literally. There are too many competing elements, and all are striving to be celebrated on their own.

Let’s go beyond that though and try to focus on the front entry feature. See the second photo. We won’t discuss the glazing above the door (windows) either.

The stone portion of the entry is stacked rather than turned on its side in an unnatural way. This is good. When stone is turned on its side (to save $ in material), it is immediately clear that the stone is a veneer with no structural integrity or purpose.

On this entry, two columns appear to hold up a massive stone arch. However, heavier materials like stone, masonry, and concrete should always be placed beneath lighter materials like wood or columns (traditionally constructed of wood). This is why you will traditionally see stone or brick as a foundation for a structure or even as a base for a column.

In addition, the stone arch on this entry extends beyond the column. It is cantilevered with no support beneath it towards the center of the arch. Plus the columns are sitting too far behind the face of the stone above to be properly carrying the weight of solid stone.

Materials are meant to be used in a way relative to their nature. Heavier supports lighter, or at least it should appear that way. This attempt of mixing elements in a strange configuration resulted in an overly grandiose unnatural ‘feature’.

Author: Tory

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