Please help with exterior update!!!

saray7997January 17, 2010

Below are three pics of our 1920's home. Over the past 5 years, we've redone the inside ourselves. We've kept all the great character, but completely updated everything. Now we're ready to hire someone to do the outside. The problem is, we dislike the look of the porch on the house. We don't believe it is original to the house, and we aren't fans of the way the roof comes down over the second story windows like a Key West Eyebrow house (we aren't in FL, and the front of the house faces North). And of course, we can't wait to get rid of the 1970's aluminum siding and shutters! We have several different ideas as to what we would like to do, but before we share them we'd like to hear your thoughts. We know that our home doesn't perfectly fit into any particular architectural style, but we'd like to keep within the colonial revival "look." What would YOU do to increase our home's curb appeal?



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Cyndi Charney

If you're planning to remove the current porch here are a couple of pics with ideas for replacing it with a more appropriate styled porch for your house.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 6:22PM
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Thanks, oldhouseluvr! We were thinking of doing a portico similar to your third picture. Do you think it would still look OK since we don't have a window above our door?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 8:28PM
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Is it possible to find out what was there before? I would hesitate to take off that porch without knowing that. The current way your house is fitted, with the two wings in the back I think it looks very stately with the porch. A smaller portico might take that presence away.

Have you thought about putting a door in flush with the front of the house? There was probably a door there that was taken out that might be really lovely to have back in.

Your home is beautiful, please keep us updated on your choices!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 10:43AM
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I love your house and I think changing it would destroy its stateliness (is there such a word). I do agree with autumngal on making the door flush, otherwise I would keep it as is and concentrate on the landscaping. I think the middle bush on each side should be removed and make that a solid hedge (level) vs different heights. a more manicured landscape would set it off. I would also repair or replace the shutters and put a good coat of a dark rich color of paint on them.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 11:48AM
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I have been trying to think of an architectural term for what I have in mind, but I draw a blank, so I'll have to try to describe it.
Since the front windows seem a bit shorter than the window just to the back side of the chimney, I think a way to unify the exterior, after stripping away the odd-height porch, would be to make the two front windows taller, so that they rise above the eave line and are topped with demi-dormers with low-pitched gable roofs. This style of semi-dormer is what I can't think of a neat name for. Not having a name I cant find a photo easily. Or I'd show you what I meant.
This plan is pretty radical; I would even get rid of the shorter window on the front side/corner, because it doesn't match the one behind it. If light is absolutely required in that spot, I'd consider a decorative window that was completely different, like an elliptical or round (oeil de'boeuf).
Additionally, a similar decorative window or some detail will probably be welcome centered above the front door. I think the present siding material is a replacement, and inappropriate. I think two materials would look well, one on the first story and another on the second. Like brick/stucco, or clapboards/shingles.
It has the potential to be really cute, I think.
I doubt that you can pull off any of the facades in the above pictures, because of the very compressed vertical size you have to work with. Even a porch over the front door is tricky, because the one surviving original detail, the door surround, is so tall and peculiar. Unless you determine it's not original, and modify the pediment on it.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 12:39PM
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Thanks for all of your input!
We know that the original house was the main structure without the wings. The right and left additions were put on in the 50's and 60's respectively. We believe that the porch is not original to the house, and was put on after the additions. However, the recessed door is original. The door, its hardware, the trim around it, and the leaded glass sidelights are the only things on the exterior that are original to the house. (Besides the original windows in the old part of the house.) We hate to lose them.
We do plan on re-doing all of the landscaping. There were already 20 or more over-grown yew and other bushes around the house that we already have taken out. We will be removing the ones that are still there as well.
We are still undecided as to what we are going to do with the exterior. Again, we really appreciate your helpful input. We will certainly keep you posted as we move forward.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 5:28PM
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