Victorian with jettied 3rd story - too ugly?

Serow225January 30, 2013

Hi all, we've found this 1890s Victorian for sale at a good price, likely because the elevation seems a little ungainly :) As you can see from the picture, the third story is significantly jettied/cantilevered, which makes the house look top heavy to my modern eye. What do you think - too ugly to buy (even at the good price), not that bad, or attractive in its own way? Also, what style of Victorian would you classify this house as - Queen Anne?


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Not being sure of the siding type, but that house has Shingle-Style written all over it! I've seen some projecting storeys in plan books, so it isn't that unusual except for being on such a small scale house.

If all else suits you--I'd buy it. I hope you luck and hope for future pictures of the inside!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:33AM
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As long as there are no structural problems from the overhang, it looks like a good house.

It's as awkward as it looks because it's a large glaringly white triangle sticking out there

To minimize the top-heavy look, paint the upper floor a lot darker than the other two stories - make a 2/3 i/3 split on the color. You can also break up that triangle's massive look by painting the window trim and any other trim up there a different color than the main parts.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:13AM
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Thanks - I think you nailed it, looks like a Shingle Style! Unfortunately I think they put normal horizontal siding on it not that long ago, wish they had stayed with shingles :/ I'm not sure if the pure white paint is doing it any favors, most of the Shingle Style houses I found on the web had cedar shakes in natural or gray, with white trim. Maybe time to try Photoshopping some new colors onto the house... :)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:22AM
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I do not think it is ugly at all, but I like quirky houses. YOU have to like it, though.

I agree that a different paint scheme is needed to bring out this house's beauty. Post some more pictures for us.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Is that a little balcony up there on 3rd floor out the window? Be fun to sit there and watch the world go by.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Yeah, I agree on the monolithic color not helping things. It should look more like this one, which even has a similar style of deep-set upper story window (is there a specific name for that style?)

Since the siding is fairly new, I'm not sure the cost feasibility of painting all of it, but maybe just painting the upper floor a darker color like you said, or even replacing the upper siding with natural-colored shakes, would make a big difference. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:45AM
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It is a cool house that needs a little love! I think it looks like it is missing the original front porch, which would have extended out just beyond the line of the third story. It wouldn't look weird at all, with it's porch back on!

I think I know this house...on O. Ave! Location, location, location. It is a bargain.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:38PM
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Sorry Shanghai, i totally disagree and think that IS the original porch dimension. I bet it had awnings all around it - that would surely decrease the top-heaviness.

This is the shingle/colonial revival kind of mix that is very popular here in Louisville. painted on color will make it way better. Shingles that naturally weather or are stained will make it near perfect. Think first/second floor one color (of paint or stain), third another - it will suddenly be the hit of the block.

Sadly, a google image search brings up all the big New England seaside cottages rather than smaller urban versions, like this. But youll see all of the parts in this house in those big landmark examples from New England.

BUT, it really sounds like YOU think its ugly. All the "fixing up" in the world won't ever change that - if you question it at all, move on to another and leave this one for someone who loves it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:14PM
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I have to agree with j i m--it has its original porch...there is just no evidence for a different one across the front; you don't flare shingles between storeys if the porch roof is going to be there. Awnings would have reduced the ungainliness...but they would most definitely NOT have been the metal type seen so often these days--they would have been real canvas on a framework of poles. Metal awnings are just abominations on any house, and should be banned. :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:41PM
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The house next door to it is it's twin and has an intact porch. Looks completely in proportion.

It is easy for me to see, as I live nearby and drive by it often.

I hope Serow (or someone) buys it, puts the porch back on, and saves this cute house from Ugly Ducklinghood.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:45PM
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Here's a similar Twin Cities home illustrating what changing the colour scheme will do. (You'll have to overlook all the "modernizing" accretions.)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:24PM
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Porches often are later additions. Why would anyone have a stone porch and add another out from there - seems weird at best. Even without seeing the neighbors house, I doubt their porch is original. Love it or hate it, this is just the way the style was put together. Remember, just 'cause its old doesn't mean its original.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:44PM
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