Changing porch roofline & adding a turret to an 1888 Victorian

lmt77April 18, 2013

I am daydreaming about adding a turret to my front porch. It's probably a crazy idea, but I wanted to see what y'all think.

I've attached a pic of our house, I've never been crazy about the roofline of the porch.

I was thinking of changing the roofline to something like this:

Is this a crazy unthinkable project?

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Link does not appear to work, but what is there in your pic that is showing appears to be cantilevered second floor joists.

It would be a big project to extend joists in the other room to support anther turret.

Especially on an old house that probably does NOT comply with modern codes.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Sorry about the link, this is the porch that I'm day dreaming about.

I was thinking of adding a turret on the drive-way side of the porch and I love the small gabled roof above the steps, but the roofline is the opposite of mine.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 3:34PM
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Oh, and just to be clear, the turret would be a small extension of the porch (like the porch in the image above), and not an interior room.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 3:41PM
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The gable addition above the steps wouldn't work well because your front door isn't lined up with the bay, so you would have the emphasis on empty wall rather than the door. As for the 'witches' cap' roof addition by the drive, that would be nice so long as the scale is properly done--perhaps by shifting it to the right so that it appears free-standing from the house?

P.S.: One thing that detracts from the porch for me is the railing--it is too tall! Most railings of the period were about 28" high, not 36". And your balusters are too skinny. You only need a 36" railing I think if the height from the ground is more than 30", and it looks like yours is a bit under that. Check your local code to be sure. Also, some simple brackets or spandrels between the columns would add a lot...but keep them simple like the rest of the house's style.

This post was edited by columbusguy1 on Fri, Apr 19, 13 at 12:20

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 4:33PM
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If your idea is to alter an authentic victorian-era house into a fake queen anne with a tract-house builder's sensitivity to historic detail (what your inspiration pic reveals) then, no. Forebear.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 5:44PM
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I think your house is charming and looks just right as it is.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 5:56PM
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You already have a lot going on with the bay window, and the different roof lines of porch and house, and it does look visually cohesive and inviting as it is. The porch roofline is at the same angle as that little roof over the bay window, so you don't want to mess with that! Be careful because if you start adding a bunch of pieces that dont relate to each other you end up with a frankenstein house! The only way it could work IMHO is if the "turret" was smallish and not overpowering the house and repeated the same angles/ roofline as the bay window. Im curious - what exactly is so appealing about doing this? Is it just the visual effect or do you want more porch space? If the former, I would just forget about it because the house is nice as is , and if the latter this should be addressed in a way that works with your existing house design (rooflines etc.) and not against it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:02AM
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I can see why the porch roof seems out of balance to you, but here are two thoughts:

You may be focusing on the one front square-on view. What does it look like from other angles from the sidewalk and driveway?

Would emphasizing the bay window with a fabulous curtain treatment, stained glass, paint color(s), etc., balance the visual weight of the porch roof?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:21AM
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I was thinking little fixes rather than adding a "fake" architectural feature.
What about hanging ferns in between each porch column?
Adding shutters?
Flag and flagpole?
I'd go small first before adding big stuff! I think your house is charming as-is :)
Sarah in Albany

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Adding a turret to the right-hand side of the house would make it look lopsided.

I'm curious -- is there any evidence that the porch originally might have extended to the left, mirroring the "wrap" to the right?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Your are right that something isn't quite jelling here but adding the turret would not be a good solution. I believe the problem is a combination of things. First the roof is hanging over the columns this is why you're losing a period look. The spindles are much too thin for outside. Do you need the spindles at all (either for code reasons or pets and small children)? The columns are also very plain. It's a really cute house, don't waste money on the turret.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:50PM
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