Episode 4: The Green-Grossfield Project – Exterior Puzzle
We bought a house across from a lake, but near a busy street. We wanted to maximize our view and still maintain privacy. Tall order. Throw in that we wanted an energy-efficient, sustainable, durable, modern-looking exterior, and the order just got taller.
Marc and I did a lot of research in selecting the products for the exterior of our home. We began with windows. Since we wanted to use local companies whenever possible, Andersen Windows & Doors in Bayport was perfect. We chose Series 100 windows and a Fibrex trim system that's stronger than vinyl, zero maintenance and clean looking. We did the interior trim in white and exterior trim in black to make the windows pop.
What went around the windows was harder. We like the look of stucco but it was expensive, and Marc wanted an even cleaner look. Then we learned about fiber cement. Allura makes a fiber cement product that is used in the polar bear enclosure at the Alaska Zoo—if it's durable enough to stand up to Alaskan winters, Marc was confident it was a good exterior choice.
Billy Beson and Kyle Snyder suggested we paint the fiber cement white and accent with a metal wall panel in black. First response from us: “NO.” Who puts metal wall panels on their house? They told us to drive around the Twin Cities and look at all the new apartment buildings going up. They have modern designs with the look we were going for. They were right. In fact, the EasyTrim Reveals product that holds the fiber cement on the house and connects it to the metal is a commercial product that is just venturing into residential. It completed the exterior and gave us the industrial, modern, low-maintenance exterior we wanted.
Despite the black metal, the house was still too white for me. The garage doors were my salvation. We chose a glass and metal door from Overhead Door Company of the Northland that is usually for commercial properties, but it worked for us. You can open it with an app… very cool. Marc suggested we put “wings” on the house to frame out different sections and offer some depth. It sounded crazy but it gives the house an unusual architectural design feature.
We bought a home in an established neighborhood. But none of the homes are the same… no cookie cutters. We didn't want to stick out like a shiny, new, modern thumb, but we wanted to stay true to our taste and build an efficient, sustainable, low-maintenance, stylish home. I believe we did.