Thursday, June 7, 2007

Stone + Brick = NO

With all the construction going on in San Antonio, my morning commute involves scenic views of many a new-born subdivision. Most of the time, I like to stare & daydream...Except this one place.

There's tons of limestone in this area so it's not uncommon to see older houses done in stone or, in the nicer new neighborhoods, homes with stone accents. But in these places, usually, it's stone OR brick NOT both. This subdivision is therefore an exception, a visually overdone and tacky exception.

For example:
Every time I drive by this place, I see this house and other just like it. I always wonder if they just couldn't get enough of one material or the other so decided to use both*. It's gaudy and overdone, both of which are things you don't usually see in San Antonio. Houston, however...

This looks slightly better. At least the brick chosen compliments the stone better. But, when you compare it with this:

This is an unfinished house with only the stone put in. The house is a world of better looking than the other two (and of course facing away from the main road) It's composed and classy. Everything you see goes together and has an understated but confident appeal.

After years of houses that look like wooden replicas of pillboxes, I'm glad builders in this area are offering some greater variety & quality options like the stone-work. Indeed, a great deal of the older buildings in this area are stone. But, I will be marking down the name of this builder and, when I buy a house, they're off the list.

*It is possible. My parents, when building their house last year, ran into a similar problem & had to choose different brick when the supplier of their original choice got audited by the EPA (no joke). Apparently, the materials used to color the bricks were "hazardous" and they had to be regularly checked out to ensure the bad dust is handled properly before it goes into bricks for people's homes.

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