Exterior Ideas Please!
memlex
August 1, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Turns out the last house we were looking at went under contract. Thank you to all of those who helped come up with some great ideas for that house.

We are probably going to put an offer in on this house in the next few days, however, I would like to see what ideas you guys have to make this house look better.

We only have about $60,000 - $75,000 to spend on the exterior remodel / addition. We would like to add about 400 square feet and enhance the exterior too.

I was thinking we could add a second story "lighthouse" type thing where the current porch on the side is. Other than this, where would you recommend adding space (probably a bedroom).

I think one of the things that really makes the house look old is the roofline... however, I think changing it would be costly.

Thanks for all your help!
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strshp
I'd scrap the evergreens - especially the tall left one. I would not consider the second floor if at all possible - stairs take room...of course foundations cost money. I'd tear off the inconsistently designed addition and maybe go for an "L" shape plan. Unless there is a really big lake or ocean immediately behind the photographer - don' even think about a "lighthouse" concept! Lighthouses do not belong in the middle of rural suburbia.

I think you need to provide more info about lot size and the potential for a first story addition. How ever you use the 400 SF, I'd make sure it wasn't a huge 20 x 20 room that was proportionately out of character with the rest of the smaller rooms.

As an Architect and Builder for over 25 years, I have remodeled many homes - well over 75. My general opinion is ~ buy a new house. The insulation is better, the electrical is better, as will be the plumbing, roofing, siding, cabinetry, doors, windows, no lead paint to worry about, undersized water mains, clogged sanitary sewer lines with tree roots growing through them. It's just a lot easier.

Or tear this one down if you like the lot and build a small quality built home that will serve you 100 times as well for many years to come.

Or substantially tear this one down leaving a wall or two to classify it as a remodel to save on property taxes and potentially a whole host of new home city permit expenses.

Remember - a small quality built home that has been well designed and built will always be worth more than a structure that is 3x as large and a technical nightmare.

... just buy a new house.
0 Likes   August 1, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Julie Hunt
First off I would like to add we just moved into a flat roofed ranch house and I adore the uniqueness of the roof and the way it blends in with the trees that surround it. Assuming that you have room in the back for an addition I would suggest maybe adding a structure with a butterfly type roof that extends 4-5 feet above the existing structure with windows to let lots of natural light in. This will give the roof line a little more pizzazz. Something similar to this...
La Jennifer

Just painting the exterior and trim would also make a world of difference in updating its looks. I would use a darker color on the trim like Benjamin Moore's Night Shade, (2116-10) and a lighter color for the siding Ashley Gray (HC-87).
Ashley Gray HC 87 by Benjamin Moore

I agree with strshp, the evergreens aren't doing it, for three reasons, I really hate those type of shrubs, they are covering up the windows and they replicate the flat roof line, which, in my opinion, is totally destroying the concept of a flat roof structure, the bushes are just bringing attention to the a roof that was designed to blend into the background. I would plant a combination of rose bushes, ornamental shrubs, ornamental evergreens and replace the large evergreen with a flowering tree of some type keeping in mind that there needs to be different elevations. When selecting the plants try to select a variety of complementing colors and make sure they do not all bloom at one time.
Last but not least... the walk and front porch. Maybe you could change the walk leading up to the house from concrete to a pea-gravel walk with stone slabs like this...

Nick Mehl Architecture
Dusk Exterior
Exterior

What happened to the exterior lights?! It needs carridge lights of some sort, i would go with a modern or contemporary style. Also ditch the picnic table and get a couple unique wrought iron chairs, (make sure they don't look too ice cream parlorish), and a side table. Unless you need to have a eating area on your front porch, (is that a grill I see?). In that case I would expand the patio to the front of the picture window and add a round iron table and chairs.
Architectural Iron Chair | Wisteria
Powder coated wrought iron chair for garden and patio
I would also suggest a more modern very special front door, something that you can't pick up at Lowes or Home Depot, a showpiece. You don't need to drop a bunch of money on it just put a lot of thought into how it should look, make it something people can't help but notice a kick of personality and style. I added the following pictures to show examples of cool doors not doors that I would necessarily pick for this house.
Entry door with Fingerprint access
http://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary/front-doors/exterior-storm-door
Solid VG Fir Doors

Hope you find this helpful. Best of luck with your house hunting!
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 12:24AM
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memlex
Thank you for your help!

Julie, I really like your ideas. I especially love the walkway and door idea. I really like the roof idea too. I makes the house look great. With this said, I'm not really sure how an addition with that type of roof would be integrated. I'm going to try looking up more pictures like that.

Strshp, a new home is currently out of the question. There are no lots available on this lake and tearing down an existing home and rebuilding is out of our budget. I would love to build and completely agree with your statements though!

I like the idea of an L-shaped house, but I don't think that will work with the lot. I have attached a aerial view of the house. You will see that the surrounding homes are pretty close. You will also see that there is indeed a lake behind the photographer in the first picture I posted.

What do you guys think of an addition like the one I have attached? It would require removing the odd addition.
1 Like   August 2, 2012 at 6:49AM
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Julie Hunt
I love the idea for the addition however do you really want to loose the existing square footage? Would you be able to do the same L shape in the back of the house? If you can not build to the back I think I would be inclined to build up rather than out. Stairs do require a lot of space but you could do a spiral stair inside and a exterior stair outside so that you could easily get furniture up and down the steps. I am picturing a space with a lot of windows and a deck to optimize the view of the lake. Addition over the main house, Deck over old addition.
This isn't exactly what would work but maybe these pictures will inspire...

craftsman teahouse

Modern w/ a Side of Ranch

Mid-Century Modern Addition, Truro

Winter Cabin 1

Winter Cabin 2

Sorry I can't be of more help. Good luck!
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 9:09AM
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memlex
The existing square footage is currently setup as a porch. It is old and somewhat dilapidated. I don't think I would mind losing it. If I did keep it, I would probably convert it to a screened in porch.

You do, however, bring up a good point on adding a second story and deck to the house. I really like the Craftsman Teahouse and Mid-Century Modern Addition, Truro. Thanks for the inspiration!
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Julie Hunt
No problem, can't wait to hear about what you decide! Good luck with putting in an offer.
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 9:17AM
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strshp
I agree that the Teahouse is a beautiful project, and I could completely see your potential project home being turned into something like that, but the problem still stands that you only have $60 to $75,000 to invest in renovations. There are a lot of beautiful elements to that design - the designers should be proud of what they created, but even IF you could build the addition for $100.00 / SF you have spent $40K. IF the room is a family room with no plumbing and only electrical and HVAC, maybe, but usually there is a bathroom remodel that gets included. Now the budget is gone. And when you make those two spaces nice and new, what will the rest of the 50's ish spaces look like.

I don't mean to be negative, but unless you and your family are all a bunch of really talented DIY's, good luck. And to conceive a design as tight as that Teahouse is, there was a full complement of architects and designers that were being paid (as deserved) a fair amount of money. They could easily have spent the better part of your budget on professionals. That kind of work does not come out of "design copy books" for $650.00.

And as for the Teahouse, they spent every bit of $250 (maybe $350.00) plus per SF on that project. Wide plank hand scraped floors, slab stone on bath walls, great heavy collar tie beams in the bedroom are all really expensive details. What is drawing you to the project is all of the detailing. Without the details, well.... I'd keep looking. I'd go foreclosure hunting.
1 Like   August 2, 2012 at 1:44PM
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eddy77
Maybe you should add a second floor cape to the house and a porch over the big window and maybe a coler that pops for the door.For the bushes you could add perennials and little bushes.hope it helps (:
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 3:06PM
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memlex
Strshp, I am not trying to imply that I would need anything near as nice as Teahouse. It was simply a look that I liked. I realize that $75,000 isn't going to get us anywhere near design.

The rest of the interior needs updating, but not a complete overhaul.

There are no waterfront foreclosures on the lake. Wish there were!

Eddy77, I do think some landscaping could provide a low-cost fix to the somewhat boring look of the house.
1 Like   August 2, 2012 at 3:09PM
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eddy77
your welcome
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 3:25PM
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memlex
If I keep the room on the left side, do you have any recommendations on how I could make the two roofs blend together better?
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 3:47PM
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memlex
Here are a few other pictures.
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Julie Hunt
Very cute, it has a lot of potential. I can see now what you are saying about blending the two roof lines together. Quick thought what is the difference in height? What about beams that extend from the far left of the addition across the patio area to create shading? I don't know how that would go with the style of the house but it would be an inexpensive solution to give the illusion of the two roof lines meeting.
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 5:54PM
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memlex
Hmmm... Which way would you have the beams go?

The two rooflines almost touch each other. Maybe a couple inches?
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Julie Hunt
Left to right
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:14PM
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memlex
At an angle?

Do you know of any pictures that show your idea?
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:16PM
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eddy77
Would you do demo to the sun room
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:18PM
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memlex
I am definately open to demoing the sun room.
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Julie Hunt
Maybe something similar to this but it would extend over the sun room. This with keeping the sun room as is or with renovation

0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:21PM
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Julie Hunt
This is the inside of the structure...

0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:23PM
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memlex
Oh... I was thinking something built in and a little smaller. I'm trying to find an image of what I've seen before.
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:26PM
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memlex
Check this out... do you think something like this would look good?


1 Like   August 2, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Julie Hunt
Yes like that. I also found this one. Not a good view but might help.

0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Julie Hunt
Yes, built in for sure. I apologize the first picture wasn't what I was looking for just a general feel.
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 6:38PM
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eddy77
Wanna just put a roof over it and have it a patio
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 7:01PM
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memlex
Put the roof where? Flat or pitched?
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 7:03PM
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eddy77
pitched mite have more style you could show the beams inside
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 7:05PM
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eddy77
Sunroom
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 7:05PM
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memlex
Little confused here... are you saying knock down the sunroom and replace it with an roofed patio?
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 7:07PM
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eddy77
Yes
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 7:10PM
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memlex
Seems to me like that would only add expense to the project. I don't really NEED a covered patio... I need living space.

OR... are you thinking that this would improve the curb appeal?
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 7:12PM
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strshp
Interesting site location. I have a nephew that lives in Delaware and is an architects as well...just down the road a piece from you. Now I understand the site better. The elevation we are discussing is the water front elevation. (Sorry for not understanding that earlier.)

What if the sunroom came off - completely. You then construct an addition approximately 10' deep by the lengh of the house, but maybe short by 3 to 4 feet on each side. That looks to be about your 400 SF. In this new area, you get a larger living room with a new entry (similar to the elevation that you sent with your first site plan), and then possibly a new bedroom.

The existing front wall gets headered out so the room/s flow together. You could bury the beam as needed by dropping a false ceiling in assuming the ceilings now follow the slight slope of the roof.

With the new roof, at the entrance, you create a perpendicular ridge that would extend out over the entry with a nice large overhang. (Again like you photo.)

Change the color of the house to more like the Teahouse or your photo, include a number of large insulated glass window panels for views. Most window manufactures make 16' sliding door where the two center 4' panels open to create an 8' opening. There are nicer more expensive ways, but I think you would be doing a lot to bring the feel of the lake into the house. I think symmetry is important, but the entire entry element could be off center if need be to accommodate the functions/uses of the spaces.

The theory is to cover the old house as much as you can in the areas that matter to you. In later years, you could always come back and redo the exterior of the back half of the house, but at least the lake side for now, is fresh and new.

And any landscaping you do, is done only to control views, but definitely allows the uninterrupted view of the lake.
0 Likes   August 2, 2012 at 9:39PM
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memlex
Strshp, very interesting idea! That could definitely work. I hadn't thought of that.

Would do you think the roof design of the addition should be? Should it go with the pitch of the existing roof, or something different?

Thanks!
0 Likes   August 3, 2012 at 5:00AM
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PRO
K.O.H. Construction Corporation
I’ll try to explain what I see. The addition on the left is probably close to the easement set back lines. My thought is to extend the addition to the right and bring it forward. The roof line would carry the same plane as the main structure. Whereas the roof height starts at the existing height of the front elevation and rises. The existing roof looks to be a 1/12 pitch therefore the roof height of the new addition will be 20” higher than the existing main structure (that is if you extend outward 20’). This would allow you to add the light house windows you wanted. Add some onlookers (4x4 horizontal brackets) to the overhangs and change to vertical siding. This should give you a you a nice look.
0 Likes   August 3, 2012 at 5:08AM
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memlex
Are you thinking something similar to this, but on a larger scale?


0 Likes   August 3, 2012 at 8:24AM
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memlex
I have attached a floor plan with a proposed 255 square foot addition. It looks like that addition would be large enough.

The addition would be turned into the family room, the "porch" would become the kitchen, and the main house would contain the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Thoughts?
0 Likes   August 3, 2012 at 9:29AM
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strshp
Problem is your roof is a 1 pitch, this is probably a 3 to 4 pitch. There is a lot more drama that comes with the steeper roof. But it is a good shot of what I referenced about setting the addition in and creating an outside corner for views to the water from the back rooms. And a 20 x 20 addition shape wise is pretty difficult to breakup into a appropriate room dimensions. You would be better off with a 10 x 36 plus or minus. And as far as the gable front from the first picture you posted, you could project that element out a couple of extra feet to give it some extra definition. My personal preference is to create a long and low elevation, not a narrow and tall elevation. The house has a "flat" roof on it. Use it to play off, you'll never get enough height to make it be worth anything. And make that gable be the big design element .

I really need a floor plan of the rest of the house for me to be of any more help.

I've attached a photo of a project I finished this past year. While my roof pitches are much steeper, c o n c e p t u a l l y this is the sort of thing I am talking about. Basically the same idea expressed in your first picture.
2 Likes   August 3, 2012 at 9:30AM
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memlex
I definitely like the cantilevered roof and the way it is pronounced with the beams.
0 Likes   August 3, 2012 at 2:27PM
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PRO
K.O.H. Construction Corporation

This photo shoud give you a better idea of how the roof planes change height but are still connected. As far as the floor plan where are the rooms and did you buy this house.
0 Likes   August 4, 2012 at 4:32AM
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PRO
Kiwi Antennas
I'd like to remove the current aerial mast, install it on the chimney side wall, like the design I made here: http://www.aucklandsatellitetv.co.nz/blog/universal-chimney-installation-mount.html
0 Likes   July 29, 2013 at 8:47PM
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PRO
ReSquare Architecture + Construction
@memlex; I'm with @strshp on this. The ideas you are seeing are all really great images. And the house you are looking at is so simple you could turn it into any of them. But NOT for anything near even three times your budget. That's one of the problems with this site: SO may beautiful images and SO little filtering with respect to reality of costs.

The best advice I can offer is to find a local pro that can help you balance the reality of the properties and your budget with the dreams you have. A simple, inexpensive newly built box of a home that gives you all the space you need may be your best bet (good bones, good systems, good envelope) and you will simply have to accept that making it beautiful will have to take time.
0 Likes   Thanked by memlex    July 29, 2013 at 9:40PM
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