5 Key Elements in a Modern Home Build

Cornerstone Homes_T House_dining room

When constructing a new house, many people are choosing a modern design, partly because of the simplistic, functional aspect that focuses only on necessary components and partly because of the way modern homes promote energy efficiency and sustainability. Within the last decade, we have seen an architectural shift towards modern design here in Colorado.

With a simple look on the outside and a complex design on the inside, here is a list of six key elements in a modern home.

No Baseboards

One of the key traits in a modern home is the absence of crown moldings and baseboards. Most modern homes are partially or entirely without baseboards, giving the house a smooth, minimalistic appearance while saving building material costs.

Smooth Walls

The walls of modern homes are typically smooth and untextured. To ensure a sleek, unblemished appearance, the walls must stand as straight and flat as possible.

Starting at Level 0, there are six different drywall finish levels from the least complete at Level 0 to the most thorough Level 5 finish. A Level 4 finish with slight texture is more common but for those who prefer no texture, the walls must be painted over with a Level 5 skim coat finish.

Extensive Glazing

One of the most eye-catching features of a modern house are the numerous windows situated over large areas of each wall.

‎ Skylights, paneled glass doors, and large windows give houses a wide-open, bright appearance. In less private locations of the house such as the living room and kitchen, large windows provide an airy, spacious effect. This design not only allows in natural light but provides an alternative source of warmth from the sun depending on the position of the house and its windows. This perk serves as a payoff for the lessened insulation that results from a large number of windows.

Roof Lines

Flat or shed style roof lines are most common in modern builds. The one-sided slope of shed style roofs makes this design both a practical and modern choice. Shed roofs can be positioned to allow sunlight to filter in through the windows for added warmth in the winter, as well as to shield against the sun during hot seasons.

Flat roof lines create long horizontal planes, representative of the horizon line seen in nature. They’re simple in form and function, and are a good example of the modernist principle of “clean lines”. Flat roofs are conducive to rooftop outdoor living space and green roofs, which are rising in popularity. Many modern flat roof designs also have large cantilever overhangs adding architectural interest while providing shade and rain cover. Attention must be taken when constructing flat roofs, especially over living spaces, to ensure proper drainage and to prevent leaks. A subtle pitch enables water to run off a flat roof without eliminating its horizontal appearance. A specially made drip edge flashing is a good way to conceal the minor sloping of the roof and roof coating products are also available if there isn’t enough slant or slope to accomplish this.

Exterior Materials

Picking the right exterior materials is obviously one of the most important choices you will make when it comes to the overall appearance of a modern home. Different materials will create a different overall feel to the property, and while they’re usually only visible from the outside, the general vibe your choice of exterior materials will create follows you around the interior of your home long after you have walked through the front door.

Depending on what kind of look, feel, and vibe a client is aiming for, good designers will often combine two or more materials to create a unique exterior that’s modern, practical, and complementary to the interior of the home. There are a wide range of potential materials that can be used for exteriors, some of the most popular ones include concrete, metal, wood, and a variety of natural stones. For instance, metal panels and sidings serve as a way to give a house a distinctly modern and highly designed flair, while wood siding can provide a warmer, more classic feel that contrasts with a modern interior.