Need Help with Curb Appeal -- turning dated to classic
October 17, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We recently bought our house for its wonderful yard. The house itself isn't our dream house, which would be a traditional turn of the century craftsman or colonial. We've decided to renovate our house to make into the style we want while adding square footage. The current house is a "contemporary craftsman" built in the early 1990s, dominated by a giant 3 car garage at the front of the house. There's no room to move the garage elsewhere, so we're stuck with the placement of the garage as-is (let me know if you see a solution that we've overlooked!). We're currently thinking we'll expand the upstairs bedrooms over the garage in the hopes of de-emphasizing the garage and letting us change the style of the house. Any ideas on how this will look afterwards, and any other ideas on how to make our "contemporary craftsman" exterior look a bit more like an ACTUAL craftsman or colonial? Any ideas are welcome, we're still in the brainstorming stage.
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
I think there is a lot of potential to change the appearance of this home significantly and play down the look of the garage. I would look at a lot of pictures of home exteriors and find things you like. You can put all kinds of criteria in the Houzz search bar and look at different things. If you make an ideabook of things you like, I would contact an architect and go ahead and start looking at options. You can share your ideabook with them.
October 17, 2012 at 9:03pm   
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Lovely home and yard. Potential ideas for your home exterior remodel.

Consider instead changing the driveway to a crescent loop with your plants moved to an island in the middle of the drive. With correct landscaping you can deemphasize your garage and highlight your entry and beautiful yard and maybe save a bundle of money. Talk to a landscape architect.

Gary M. Lane


8404 Westmont
October 17, 2012 at 10:03pm   
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Your picture is a little weird, like it was taken with an ultra wide-angle lense and colorized.

Anyway, this is a huge undertaking and would involve ripping off and reframing a good part of your roof. Definately consult an architect and get a detailled estimate from several builders and have a very good contract before attempting such a thing.

1) What I would consider doing is adding a pergola in front of the front door and a matching one supported by brackets over the garages. Carriage type doors might be nice to add some glass and break up the facade. That alone would give it quite a lot of craftsman flair. Then I would paint out the window frame of the dormer to de-emphasize it and adjust the color scheme.

2)The second floor dormer is odd and I would consider extending it out over the front entrance and giving it a gable roof to echo the one over the bay window. This would eliminate the skylights but give a taller front entry with some windows on the upper floor. I would size down the windows a bit, giving each one a vertical orientation and grouping them in threes, or perhaps two and two joined by a simple flat casing. I'm not sure how the angles and such would work, or I might consider making it a shed dormer with sloped sides.

3) If that wasn't enough, I would consider raising the roof of the garage and making it another gable, joining in with the roof angle of the dormer, and using a similar window style. I would make all the barge boards and facia wider and more prominent and possibly add some brackets and change the colors, using traditional shingles or board and batten on top.

I would also consider doing something to the back to match.

All in all, am expensive undertaking. Option 1 would be the most reasonable.
October 17, 2012 at 10:18pm   
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Posted a few inspiration pics in my ideabook "Craftsman" if you want to browse. Very do-able if you have time and money! Enjoy the project!
October 18, 2012 at 4:57am   
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Nancy Hehmann
You are not going to make your garage doors go away so make them the most beautiful you can! I see you have a stained front door. If you input stained garage door in the Houzz browser, so very wonderful homes with great stained garage doors will appear. Lots to choose from, over 18,000 pictures. Just enhance what you have!

You can improve your driveway with stamped concrete to look like pavers or pavers.
October 18, 2012 at 5:55am   
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Carriage style doors on the garage would be beautiful. How do you feel about shake siding on the upper dormer/addition?
October 18, 2012 at 6:10am   
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Toni Spitler
like the idea of taking the bedroom level over the garage in option one. but 2 large ish dormer windows that slope into an arch would be visually appealing. and the curve of the driveway into a cresent circle with landscaping in the center would take away from the dominence of the 3 car garage.
If I can find a picture of the dormer/windows...
October 18, 2012 at 6:16am   
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