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Need help designing a portico for 1806 new england colonial.....

January 21, 2013
last modified: January 21, 2013
Getting ready to re-place all siding /trim with a dark brown stained clapboards...the roof is crooked and would have to re-place whole thing to straighten out so thinking of putting on a portico to break up crooked roof line but want to stay with the early 1800's look....any ideas?

Comments (28)

  • nevadan
    Your house does not have an early 1800's look, not at all. It just looks like an old house, no architectural merit, maybe nice inside, I hope. Best bet is a substantial remodel with raised roofline and dormer windows, Maybe open up with large windows in the rear to capture the wooded view.
  • Jayme H.
    Or how about some portico ideas?
  • judianna20
    I would shingle the siding, with white cedar dipped in a Cabot bleaching oil. The roof, should be white cedar with no bleach. No shutters, replace the windows with true divided mullions and a full view glass door for light. Onion lamps on either side of the front door.

    I don't think you have much of a header for a portico. Why not trim out around the door, paint it a historical color and improve the front steps. Great house.
    Miller's Meadow Farm Entry · More Info
  • Jayme H.
    Missed this one
  • houssaon
    This would work:
    Williamsburg Colonial: Front Porch · More Info
    , but with less detail molding. Or a simple, but appropriate portico:
    My Houzz: Updated Federal Style in Massachusetts · More Info
    . Here is another one with very interesting details - notice the built in seats:
    Crisp Architects · More Info
    . The group has good designs, you might want to look at: http://www.houzz.com/pro/james_crisp.

    Good luck.
  • bluenan
    I think any portico would need to be simple with a low roof line to work with your home. Do you have any historical photos of your home? If you had dormers you could use a pitched roof on the portico similar to the second picture.

    Crisp Architects · More Info

    Crisp Architects · More Info
  • ann
    A stoop would be better I think
  • Jayme H.
    A few more
  • PRO
    Interiors International, Inc.
    That won't fix the structural problem.
  • Jayme H.
    Sounds like a portico is partly in effort to camouflage the crooked roof? Am I mistaken? From the pic I can see a raised area near the front door...For a portico to help cover the view of this, I would think it would have to rise to a certain pitch above the roof line. Therefore, some of the flatter top porticos prob. wouldn't work very well???
  • Jayme H.
    This one attaches to the home and rises up nicely...
  • 1vermont
    Actually the house was built in 1806....inside is the original hand-hewn beams, wide pumpkin pine floors etc.,....the windows are 12 over 12 but you really can't tell from the photo.....I realize that camouflaging the crooked roof won't fix the problem but in order to really correct it, I would have to gut the house & start again...which I am not willing to do...roof line looks like a salt box in person.....just an OLD house , I guess......thanks for all the suggestions......like the Crisp Architects 2 idea but it needs to break up the roof line...will show pics when we are done......any/all ideas are greatly appreciated.....thanks!
  • Jayme H.
    Cool house...can't wait to see what u do!
  • 1vermont
    Me too, Jayme... :-)
  • John Seiffert
    I'm sorry to say I am not in agreement with any pics shown above. They are all way too formal for this simple old house. I believe a shed roof held up with wood brackets would do the trick and I would not have this roof tie into the main roof. There is lots of room between the top of the door trim and the main roof to pull what I'm suggesting off. A low roof here would be much more inviting to a simple house. Brackets should be 5" x 5" timbers made into a triangle, then add a king post to that. I will send a pic later this week.

    Existing waviness of roof adds to charm. I would not fool with structure unless necessary. I would however change the material to white cedar shake. Though metal roof you now have will be less problematic over time.
  • PRO
    Chameleon Power
    Very beautiful house. You can upload a photo of your own home and then apply different siding colors and styles to it at http://gaf.chameleonpower.com, a home exterior visualizer.
  • Boothe Farley
    1vermont, I may not have a lot of input on the addition of a portico to this house, but I did want to tell you that it IS, in fact, lovely, and has TONS of architectural merit! Let's remember that in 1806, America was in its earliest stages of development and the architectural merit most celebrated at the time was the overstated stuff we see in Monticello and the like. American Colonial is celebrated for its simplicity, its clean lines - and this house is an homage to that: simple and clean and non-plussed. You should pat yourself on the back - and thank the heavens above - that you get to enjoy what it means to live inside a structure like this, crooked roof or no! (Is my American Literature background showing? Haha...) I'm sorry for the catty comments... all I can tell you is to ignore them. Hand-hewn beams and wide plank floors aside, this is a beautiful little house with some grand stories to tell. It would be some people's dream to get to snatch up a gem like this and renovate, all the while respecting its roots and trying to maintain the merit of its original design (because trust me, in 1806 Vermont, they weren't building houses to look pretty as much as to keep families warm and provide much-needed shelter!). Architectural merits could have no higher calling, am I right? Have FUN and keep us all posted on the progress!
  • Jayme H.
    Some of the porticos were simple and could work/look nice....There is much character in this home.
  • 1vermont
    Thanks everyone.....I love the house and doing my best to bring it back to what it once was.....with a few modern up-dates (of course...) the outhouse is long gone! I will enclose a couple pics so you can get the real feel and will update as things progress......
  • PRO
    Ironwood Builders
    Jeez guys! I know I'm a nuts and bolts pro....but just plastering a front entry on to the existing structure to hide a structural defect? There is a why to that defect, usually something to do with water....the roof won't move on its own....the dynamic triangle of the rafters and collar ties prevents that...so the problem is lower. My gut tells me it is foundation heave from frozen water. Took years to get to this point...could be fixed in less than a week. Then the architectural interest added by the portico...however it is configured....actually adds to the value of the house....and isn't immediately recognized as a Bandaid by every home inspector that walks up to the front door. Tsk, tsk.
  • 1vermont
    Well...here it is.....the old house with all it's quirks.....post & beam all were solid.....so installed quarter sawn vertical grain spruce and stained it dark to match it's original color.....didn't do the portico....
  • 1vermont
    more images.....
  • bluenan
    She's beautiful!!
    1vermont thanked bluenan
  • 1vermont
    Hoping you can get the feel....we love it!
  • weathervanes
    Charming and Classic! First thing that comes to mind looking at the image of your house. I wanted to suggest something for the roof since i'm obviously a fan of weathervane I thought it would look elegant to have a cupola on your roof.
  • 1vermont
    Since we already have lightning rods I was thinking of getting some maroon glass balls to put on them....thinking the cupola would look great on the barn or garage!! But thanks! :-)
  • PRO
    Shoreline Renovations

    check out this video the design is already done.



  • PRO
    JW Eskew Design

    We think a portico and dormers would improve the curb appeal. Also, you might explore a stone retaining wall / flower beds on either side of the new portico to improve the aesthetic.

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