Three Principles for the “Catfiddle Style”  

1. Broad Strokes - We prefer a little roughness. Unevenness. Looseness. Round corners. These things give buildings life. While proportion and scale should be maintained, if something is too perfect and too precise it can become soulless. 

2. Varied Building Masses and Organic Urbanism - You will find a variety of shapes, heights, and pitches on Catfiddle Street. This creates a liveliness and an intertwined feeling where spaces between clusters of houses form natural gathering places to inspire neighborly interaction.

3. Handcraft and Durable, Maintainable Materials - Shutters built of wood. Non-synthetic stucco applied directly to masonry. Iron that is forged.

Even if a house is built in a style not typically found in Charleston or in the Lowcountry region, by following these principles, a variety of diverse styles will have more in common with each other than not, and will work together in producing a harmonious district-like character.


GENERAL Architectural Standards

Masonry exterior walls:

1. Concrete block must be grouted solid.
2. Stucco must be applied directly to the block without the use of lath, corner beads, or control joints. Stucco must be applied with an irregular texture and rounded corners for a handmade appearance. Stucco must be painted or natural gray. Pigmented stucco is not permitted.
3. All brick must be reclaimed. Any bricks used for buildings, hardscape, or landscape must be antique or reclaimed. Red color common bricks will not be permitted.

Framed exterior walls:

1. All trim and siding must be painted wood. Cementitious or PVC products will not be permitted.
2. Lap siding must be 5/8"-3/4" thick. Flush siding must be 3/4" thick T&G or shiplap. Wood shingles permitted as accents. 

3. Corner stiles and casing must be thick enough to fully cover edges of lap siding.
4. Porches, eaves, and other trim detailing must include a refinement of detail commensurate with historic houses in the area, particularly with regards to molding profiles.
5. Trim lumber must be smooth-planed and primed material intended for finish trim. Low-grade framing lumber will not be permitted as trim.

6. Stucco and brick veneer will not be permitted over framed walls.


1. Porches may include wood posts or columns, masonry piers or columns, or timber frame.
2. Turned wood columns must be solid and custom-made to traditional profiles. Store-bought finger-jointed columns cannot be used. Square posts may be hollow.
3. Widths of posts and columns must align with finished width of beam above, unless special architectural circumstances suggest it should traditionally do otherwise.
5. Porch ceilings must be T&G wood boards, not plywood or drywall. Exposed beams and decorative coffers will also be permitted.
6. Wooden guard railings must include appropriate top and bottom rail profiles. Turned balusters must be at least 2-3/4" diameter. Straight pickets must be not larger than 7/8" x 1-1/2".

7. Framing lumber must not be used for rails or pickets.

Carports and garages:

1. Carports open to the common area must be attractively finished inside.
2. Garage doors may be approved by the board if the design of the building merits them.

Roofs, gutter, and chimneys:

1. Roofs may be hand-crimped standing-seam metal or 5V crimped metal.
2. Asphalt shingle will be permitted only on roofs with minimal visibility from the ground. A minimum pitch for roofs using asphalt shingles is 4/12 pitch hipped. Asphalt shingles shall only be used on buildings which are 3 stories or more.
3. Other roof materials may be approved if the design of the building merits them.
4. Gutters must be half-round profile. Gutters and downspouts must be copper or brown aluminum.
5. Chimneys must be masonry. Utilitarian stainless-steel chimneys will be permitted where not highly visible. Framed chimneys will not be permitted.

6. Chimneys and parapet walls are exempt from the building height limit restriction.

Windows, doors, and shutters:

1. Windows and doors should be wood. Clad products will not be permitted on the front of homes, primary entrance facades, or any areas facing Common Area.

2. Fenestration should be commensurate to historical architecture found in the area.
3. When using insulated glass sashes, muntin patterns shall be commensurate to historical architecture found in the area.

4. Muntins in all windows and glass doors should be narrow profile (5/8", 7/8", 1 1/8")
5. If using simulated-divided-light windows, spacers must be installed between the panes, so that you cannot see them. The spacer bars must be black or dark bronze with a dark colored sash exterior color, or white to match a white exterior sash. Where possible, the use of true-divided-light windows is preferred.
6. Windows installed on framed walls must have sills at least 2-1/2" thick. Windows fully inset into deep masonry walls may have thinner wood sills.
7. Front Doors shouldl be commensurate to historical style doors found in peninsular Charleston. French-style glass doors with divided light patterns are acceptable as primary entrance doors.
8. Door hardware for primary entrance doors must also be commensurate with traditional styles found in Charleston.
9. Shutters may be paneled, louvered, or board & batten.
10. Shutters must be operable and properly sized to cover openings. Shutters must close such that they fit inside the window casing or masonry opening.

Paint colors:

1. Paint colors will be reviewed by the board. As a matter of guidance, strong and interesting colors are encouraged. Use of dark trim and dark window sashes is encouraged.

2. For masonry homes, a natural paint such as a low-maintenance lime wash applied to the stucco is preferred.

Hardscape and fixtures:

1. Hardscape may include natural stone, tabby concrete, salvaged brick, sand, oyster shells, and railroad ties. Other materials of an inviting and organic character may be approved by the board.
2. New bricks and faux concrete pavers will not be permitted.

3. Any paving materials used in common areas must be nontoxic and provide for water percolation, detention and retention.




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