Need to repurpose front of house to match Victorian neighborhood
john0eereAugust 26, 2013
I've attached a picture (beige/brown house) of the front of a house I just purchased. The house was originally built in the 30's but the owner added a second story to increase square footage. They also made the house looks like an 80's nightmare that I can't quite figure the best way to make back in to the original style of the neighborhood. I've attached another house in the neighborhood (blue house) to give you an idea of the Victorian style houses that are typical.

I've thought about making it more of a tudor style house adding trim to the second story. Thought about cutting off the bay windows and flattening out, but I hate to remove square footage. What I am most inclined to do is add a gable above both 2nd story windows and spread the windows out on the furthest facia to the front and replace the vertical siding with horizontal hardy or shake siding.

Still at a loss for how to clean up the huge overhang of the second story. Any advice is appreciated - I know its ugly, my job is to attempt to make it pretty again!
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adding another picture of the front
    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Zone 4 Architects, LLC
That is a tough one!

While I scratch my head for fixes, the one thing that stands out in my head is that the 2nd floor appears to overhang the 1st floor. Until that gets grounded, I'm not sure that changing the bay windows or roofs above the windows will overcome the first basic issue with the design.

Assuming that you don't have any setback issues, the first thought that I have is to make a new porch overhang that starts at the corners of the 2nd floor, and moves out from there. This would probably necessitate the removal of the existing brick columns, adding structure to support the 2nd floor, and rebuilding the deck. This is not necessarily cheap or easy, but in my mind, this will be how you can most easily re-proportion the building so that it feels right. Perhaps the removal of columns isn't necessary, but it is hard to tell.

Another option might be to build a flat roof around the bottom of the floor that cantilevers out a couple of feet, at least giving the 2nd floor a roof plane to sit on. Then the aesthetics of the house can shift to a slightly more contemporary set of forms and colors, and it will be much easier to refinish it to your liking with whatever budget is left. If you look at some of the roofs on this building, you will get an idea of what I mean
1 Like    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 11:31AM
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