Can you modernize a Dutch Colonial roof?

counselor4444July 22, 2010

Hi all,

My husband and I are looking to purchase this Dutch Colonial.

We are wondering if it is possible to remove the gambrel roof and instead modernize the house with a modern colonial roof like this.

We would also be expanding on one side. Thoughts?


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That doesn't look like a real Dutch Colonial to me, more like a cape that has had the roof raised to look like a Dutch Colonial. My neighborhood of 30's and 40's capes and colonials has a few that are like that.

I'm sure it would be possible to do what you want, but it would also be quite expensive.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 4:10PM
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It could be a Dutch Colonial because of the Gambrel roof, and the smaller windows. But some significant details are missing like a porch or a side entry. Which you did mention.
Have you thought about larger dormers? Or, adding a pediment to your front door, like a hood with decorative brackets. Or maybe columns? Maybe even a new color.
Look up the characteristic of a Dutch Colonial. I think if you make those changes, you may see a whole new house. Your inspiration photo does not compare apples to apples.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 5:42PM
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For the size of your house the original photo is far more charming that the example you provided. Be careful what you wish for.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 7:42PM
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I am not sure why you would want to. I may be biased though as you can see below. You definitely have a Dutch Colnial gambrel roof but without the classic architectural overhang of the roof.

Do you want to change the roofline to add more space or because you don't care for the style?

As you can see, my dutch colonial has a standard Colonial roofed addition to the left. Plus, if you add a garage, you would have room over that too. As far as cost, I know my brother (a contractor doing the work himself) spent about $42,000 changing his Cape Cod roofline to a full 2 story standard roof. That did not include finishing the new second story space. This was also 8 years ago.

Hope this helps. I like the before picture a lot better. Sorry about the bad lighting, I just wanted to show you another Dutch. I love Dutch Colonials and will likely build one myself someday.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Thanks all

We don't aesthically like the look of the roofing on the second floor. I agree that with some updates- change of color, vinyl siding, stone work, etc it will look much better... but can the roofing be removed from the second floor around the windows?

I'm trying to find photos online of more modern looking Dutch Colonials but am having problems finding them.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:11PM
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    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:27PM
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If you are that against the dutch roofline, why are you even thinking of this house? It will be tremendously expensive to alter, and you won't gain enough additional space to recoup the expense on resale.
Check for a house more to your liking. I'd consider the house in your second pic--the 'McMansion mini' as a better choice since you said you like it's style.
I'm not a fan of the dutch colonial, but even so, if the house had features I didn't like, I'd keep looking...there is a house out there for everybody--especially the way the market has been the past couple of years.
Though I don't like the dutch style, you couldn't pay me to live in the house in the second picture. :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:32PM
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I do hope an architect or two will weigh in. The photos are not that clear, but I wonder if that house isn't the same basic house as the one next to it, with roof materials applied as siding. I.e. maybe a prior owner's attempt to distinguish their home by faking a Dutch Colonial roof.

But if it really is a Dutch Colonial, that second set of 3 images would be a great place to start for making the house look better.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 12:50PM
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A straight-on gable side view of house would clarify. To me it looks like there may be no slope on lower part of roof, where one would expect a slope on a Dutch Colonial. But it could just be the angle of the photos that you posted. The front view does look like there may be a slight slope.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:20PM
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Need to see a side photo. From the rear photo provided that doesn't look like a dutch colonial really.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:38AM
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Vinyl siding????????? Geez, you didn't really mean that you would put vinyl siding on it? Columbusguy, you are so right.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 5:16PM
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Hi all,
I appreciate all the information. Here is a side view pic of the house. As you will see, it does angle up slightly and the front second floor windows come out a bit and the same in the back.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:02PM
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Are there any architects that can tell me if this can be done? (ie: what would be involved with changing the roof and fixing up the look of the second floor?) Thx!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 4:25PM
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