Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lipstick on a 'snout house'?

You've heard of snout houses, I assume? Those are houses where the garage projects so far forward it overpowers the rest of the architecture. Developers like them because you can put a garage (a selling point) on a much smaller lot. Architects hate them, and planners tend to look askance at whole neighborhoods where it's easy to tell that the cars are happy but hard to tell whether any people live there. They're much more common in the lower end of the price spectrum for single-family housing, but you'll sometimes see very high-end snouts. I know of one that some neighbors have dubbed the "Taj Garage."

I've read articles about how in some neighborhoods, the garage-with-open-door has become a sort of front porch, where neighbors gather to drink beer, play cards, etc.

But what do you do when you have to keep the garage door shut? Private enterprise (European-style) to the rescue. Now you can buy a garage door photo tarp. The company, from Munich, Germany, is The garage door tarp pictured atop this blog would set you back 289 Euros (about $393).
For a chuckle of the day, check out their wares and imagine them decorating garages all over town.


Algernon said...

Ha Ha I can just see Bush's "Miss me yet" image smuttered across the land of cul de sacs.

Is this the real Mary or an impostor while she is on "vacation" somewhere scooping notes on some nefarious entanglement for more fan fared ink? The article is non typical.

Mary Newsom said...

It's the real me. I just didn't have time today to do a very lengthy blog, and I thought this was funny.

consultant said...

It's an interesting product. It's a "show to be seen" type of product.

But, here we go. In today's America, if you live in a neighborhood with a HOA, you'll probably get sued for doing something like this.

Curious. Do any "freedom first", low taxes, Tea Party/Tea Baggers, "buy guns now" folks live in neighborhoods with HOA's? If they do, how do they feel about all those "restrictions"?

In a way this product picks up the issue you posted about a week or so ago. Putting advertisement on the outside of a bus. What is too little or too much?

Should people have the right to do whatever they want with their property? Do we outlaw HOA's?

Karl said...

Consultant, your question is moot on its face.

When people buy homes in neighborhoods with HOAs, they know in advance that there is an HOA. Therefore, assuming they aren't a complete idiot, they understand that they will not have absolute freedom to do what they want with the exterior of their house. If this is a problem for them, they should live somewhere else. I live in a development with an HOA which limits what I can do to the exterior of my residence, but I AM OK WITH THAT because I knew of the limitations going in.

It's all about choice -- some people make good choices, some people make bad choices, each according to their own individual standards and requirements. The thing that some people don't seem to understand is that there should be no limits on choice -- a concept which is often ignored in this forum. Just because you don't approve of a particular choice does not mean that that choice should be eliminated for everyone else. If people CHOOSE to live far away from work because they want a big house on a big lot, that's THEIR choice -- and it's none of YOUR business how they choose to live.

Karl said...

PS: A personal choice does not force an obligation on anyone else. So your "choice" to want light rail/mass transit is not the sort of choice I'm talking about, because that "choice" demands that everyone else pay for what YOU want.

James said...

"Snout house" is good! Almost as good as the "McMansion mullet" - brick in the front, vinyl on the sides and back.

consultant said...


Even though your HOA prevents you from installing one of these cool pictures on your humongous garage door, I'd recommend instead you spend your money on this:

And it's okay. You don't have to thank me.

Karl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
consultant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brendan said...

I call them "Garages with houses attached". I seriously thought they were tarps that made your garage door look like the exterior of your house instead of a garage door. Pretty funny.

Karl: You're correct that people have the right to choose where they live. But the choice to live far from a city comes with costs that affect everyone. Building freeways, sewage, water, utilities, the light rail (whose ridership is primarily made up of south Charlotte suburbanites). No one's "free choice" is ever free.

Karl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
consultant said...


Ease back. Eaaassse back.

Homeowner associations drive people up a wall. My suggestion-walk more.

Regarding your homework assignment, it will bring your grade down. But you can make it up if you do a book report on HOAs.

consultant said...

Now these changes, while probably more expensive, would probably be welcomed, even in HOA communities (I think. HOA's can be evil).

leavyscreens said...


You used to be interesting to read, providing a dissenting opinion to the usual canned, automatic, derogatory remarks made every time Mary said anything. Now you've become a boorish, obnoxious troll who insults anyone and anything that doesn't agree with you.

Karl, by making a conscious decision of his own free will to live in a community governed by an HOA, which may impose specific restrictions on what he can and can't do, is exercising the most fundamental freedom of all: the freedom to choose for oneself. In the words of the philosopher, "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." (bonus points to those who know who the philosopher is, without having to Google it. Two different answers are acceptable.)

I, on the other hand, chose not to live in a neighborhood with a mandatory HOA and CC&R's (that is not the John Fogerty-led band of the late 60's and early 70's, BTW) because I did not want someone to tell me that my house is the wrong shade of beige or that my grass is 0.0001 nanometer too high. But Karl made a different choice and he presumably is willing to accept the consequences of that choice, just as I will have deal with the consequences if my neighbor paints his house day-glo orange.

Jumper said...

Lordy, lordy, lordy.

The HOA restrictions I hate are the ones that mandate ecological destruction: "must grow and mow grass; no natural areas over 10%" and "must fertilize and apply weedkiller." Not to mention "no food gardens in front."

Consultant, I'm on your side but take heed to accusations of felonious snarkitude. It's true.
I liked your last link, though. Very problem-solving.

Leavyscreens, Ayn Rand; without Googling. You do know she was a crankhead, right?

Lana said...

>> You do know she was a crankhead

Mary, what happened to the "no-namecalling" rule?

franco said...

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