450 BETZ PLACE – CREOLE COTTAGE STYLED NEW RESIDENCE

The drawings below show a new schematic design for 450 Betz place that is done in a Creole cottage style.  The earlier design was a Dutch colonial style and was posted earlier.  It can be viewed here:  http://michaelrouchell.posterous.com/new-residence-450-betz-place

The plan is very similar to the earlier plan, and that being the case, it really isn’t a Creole cottage plan.  The typical Creole cottage usually had 2 rooms in the front and 2 rooms in the rear that are all interconnected with no internal hallways or corridors, and a rear porch that is recessed between two cabinets, or small rooms.  A stair at the back of one of the rear rooms provided access to the second floor rooms.  An Americanized version would split separate the 4 rooms with a center hall that extended all the way through to the rear of the house.  More can be read about Creole cottages here:  http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=99&tabid=35.

The plan features a center hall, except that the hall leads to the great room, which extends across much of the rear, rather than extending all the way through.  The massing of the house resembles a 5 bay cottage with a center entrance, and with smaller single bay wings flanking each side.  As with the earlier Dutch colonial version, the roof of the garage has a similar gabled roof turned perpendicular to the main house.  The roof of the cottage, including the single bay wings, encloses a significant amount of interior space, allowing walk-in closets to be located off the dressing rooms and located within the attic space of the wings.  The resulting square footage for this plan is about 300 square feet more than the previous Dutch colonial version, despite reducing the width of the house across the front.

All the openings have square heads except for the garage door, which has a segmental arched opening.  Large openings are often arched because the construction technology of the time Creole cottages were built didn’t allow for large spanning lintels.  All the windows, except for the dormer windows, have board and batten shutters to protect the openings from hurricane debris impacts.  The dormer windows would have to have impact resistant windows, whereas all the other windows could be windows with standard glazing.  The front entrance door is recessed, allowing for bi-folding shutters to protect the door from storm debris, as well as providing additional security.  The rear French doors are without shutters and would also require storm protection.  It is possible that Hurricane Fabric could be installed in the rear porch column bays to protect the rear porch.

The swimming pool is nestled up against the side of the porch to maximize the remainder of the rear yard, and to try to avoid damaging the roots of the remaining oak tree near the rear yard fence (not shown on the plan.)

The exterior materials is either brick or stucco with wood or cellular PVC trim.  The options are as follows: 

Wood framed walls with stucco:  Wood studs would need to be 2x6s with 2×4 studs framing the perimeter of the openings to allow a stucco return at the openings.  Otherwise, the windows would have little recess within the wall, and the effect of creating a masonry building with a stucco finish would be lost.  Also, the stucco on wood framing would require numerous control joints. 

Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) blocks with stucco:  The AAC option could be a very economical solution given that the stucco could be applied in a single coat without lath and vapor barrier, and without so many control joints.  Also, the AAC wouldn’t need insulation and the drywall could be adhered to the interior surface of the AAC blocks. 

Wood framed walls with brick veneer:  This is what the local builders are most familiar with, and would require a learning curve.  It is also possible that the old New Orleans soft red/hard tan bricks on the existing building could be salvaged and reused. 

AAC blocks with brick veneer:  Brick veneer could be installed over the AAC blocks, but I think that this option may diminish the simplicity and economics of the AAC wall system as described above with stucco finish. 

Other exterior materials include fiber cement siding at the sides of the dormers and the portion of the gable end that extends beyond the masonry walls located above the side elevation of the rear porch. 

 

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