Exterior Design

A big part of the exterior design is selecting the colors.  This has been particularly problematic because I’ve never been good with colors.

Assorted Advice

Most of the advice on the internet is targeted to people that are enhancing an existing home.  Nonetheless, there’s a lot of good advice for those who are starting from scratch.

  • Start color selection with the most difficult to change component.  If the easier to change parts are a little off, it’s less expensive to change them later.
  • Allow existing exterior components to drive the color selection.  For example, if the house contains stone or adobe, don’t fight it with the color selection.  Choose compatible colors.
  • Consider the color scheme used by neighboring houses.  Seek a look that is unique, but not overt.
  • Strike a contrast with landscaping.
  • Natural wood adds warmth to the exterior.
  • Trim color can be used to attract attention.  Light colored trim attracts attention to windows.  Dark trim allows attention to move to landscaping.
  • Use the color scheme to direct people.  Accentuate the front door, if that’s where you want them to go.
  • Most houses look best with a multicolor palette.  Usually either two or three colors is best.

Don’t forget to review the neighborhood covenants.  They can constrain the design options.  The Powder Horn’s covenants are not that strict.  They provide a wealth of suggestions, and provisions that allow a healthy amount of variance.  A design review is mandated to ensure that the home will have a good visual experience.

  • Western or Southwestern architectural styles are preferred.
  • Natural tones are suggested.
  • Dark roofing materials are recommended.
  • Roof mounted equipment like air conditioners are not allowed.
  • Natural landscaping materials are preferred with height constraints to protect other residents views.
  • Earthwork that requires retaining walls is frowned upon.
  • Wood fences (privacy fences) must be two-sided hiding fence posts and stringers.
  • Garages are required.


The lot that I purchased has a splendid mountain view that acts as the central theme for the house.  The exterior design is intended to align with this theme by building from a near view of the ground to a more distant view and eventually up to the mountain peaks as the eye moves up the outer wall of the house.

The base of the wall begins with Russet Mountain Ledge stone.  Moving upward it becomes clay lap siding.  The roof peaks and dormer will have Mountain Lake staggered siding.  The windows and door will be accentuated with Biscuit trim.  Finally, the roof will have dark Hatteras shingles.

HOA Feedback

The HOA didn’t like the stone selection.  Even though I disliked their feedback, I have to admit that the stone selection wasn’t the best.  As a result, I’ll be building with a different stone.  Instead of the one above, I’ll be using a tight-cut, Plum Creek Versetta Stone panel.

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