gogautz

Mixing Exterior Window colors

gogautz
4 months ago

Hi, we are renovating an old farmhouse with 60's addition. We completely gutted the addition - we opened up the interior space that was broken into multiple odd rooms, and will add lots of windows as well as french door (or multi sliding door) to the patio.

We will be painting the original house and replacing siding on the addition. Original house windows will stay white inside and out but we are trying to figure out windows for the addition now.


My husband is interested in windows with black exterior on the addition with natural wood interior. I am concerned about mixing the colors but understand that he wants to treat the addition almost as a separate unit.

Any thoughts?


Comments (50)

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    4 months ago

    IMO the addition was done poorly to begin with and to now treat it like a different structure will only accent that poor planning.I do not see the patio so can’t comment on that but IMO all the windows should now at least be all the same . Additions always work best when they look like they were part of the main structure so that is not what you have so keep the different finishes to a min both inside and out.

  • apple_pie_order
    4 months ago

    Mismatched windows will look like the owners could not afford to replace them all at the same time.

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  • gogautz
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I agree, the addition is not attractive at all and we are hoping adding numerous windows will make it more appealing from the outside and certainly inside.
    @ Patricia Cowell Consulting, the patio is above the garage door to the left, more like a balcony. On the inside, for the length of the patio/balcony, there will be 4’ wide hallway, and the goal is for that exterior wall to be all windows, either French door with 2 or 3 tall windows or one 12’ long multi sliding door.

  • Design Girl
    4 months ago

    Keep the windows white.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 months ago

    I would strongly suggest keeping windows white on outside and adding wider white trim as well. I need more detailed info to visualize 11’ door wall but I don’t see it on this house. The more elements you add that are not authentic to the style and vintage of home the more “remuddled” it will look. Add wider white trim to lower left side windows too and that will help unify house. Paint that gray foundation wall either side of garage doors white too. I would paint or stain the”deck” and railings white too. Consider a white arbor over garage door extending either side 12-18”. It will give that wall more balance. Here are some examples of your style home with integrated elements.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 months ago

    It might not be feasible, but putting a dormer or eyebrow window on roof over long bank of windows would help balance the house and addition. I would hope you and hubby can develop your home with enhancements appropriate to your home. Black windows and 11’ window walls are contemporary elements and that will make addition even more awkward.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 months ago

    Breaking up that long roofline would be beneficial. Here are some low profile types that could work.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 months ago

    Breaking up that long roofline would be beneficial. Here are some low profile types that could work.

  • dsimber
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I agree with others who stress keeping the windows the same color--all white or all black, and matching gutter to house color. I encourage you to consider carefully a style of windows that are more similar to the original.

    If your budget allows, changes based on Flo’s suggestions would be transformative! I’m sharing a scaled-down version of the white house she shared. It appears here that the addition continues to the left (out of view) as a one story. This would break up the length of your existing addition. The result would be the look of three sections to your house, gradually stepped down in height.


    This came from another dilemma, "remodel/reno of late 90's wood siding home to farmhouse-which windows?” It popped up in "related discussions” when I first opened yours. I encourage you to read their process.

  • Little Bug
    4 months ago

    IMO, continuing to promote the addition as different from the original house is a bad thing. It appears the addition was poorly planned - constructed in a vacuum so to speak - and perpetuating the mismatch is a mistake.

  • dsimber
    4 months ago

    So what do you suggest. Little Bug?

  • Little Bug
    4 months ago

    I agree with Flo’s suggestions as well. Architectural elements from the original home replicated on the addition and definitely matching windows.

  • dsimber
    4 months ago

    Thanks, little Bug, for clarifying.

  • gogautz
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Thank you everyone for pitching in with your thoughts and ideas. Unfortunately, we won’t be adding dormers to the addition but will be replacing siding to the ground so the ugly gray concrete around garage will be covered with new siding (vertical cedar possibly). We will be replacing garage door and redoing the patio and railing as well.
    The addition is, inside and out, so far from the original that we think it is almost impossible task to unify the two and therefor we thought of turning addition into a contemporary space. Something like this...

  • gogautz
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Our roof in addition is not flat but the color scheme would be along these lines

  • dsimber
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I like your plan for adding siding around garage doors.

    So glad you shared that image! Can you can see that middle section as a one story, like yours, balanced on the right with a smaller scale of your original farmhouse? I love that look. It is what the winning architects planned for our very large church when an addition was needed. It beautifully bridged the old style with a contemporary gallery of windows. If I can find a photo, I’ll share it. (Not on current website due to switch from in-person to online only services.) I realize, though, that it might not work due to the lower level of your garage. But maybe it will help someone with a similar dilemma. Or maybe it will spark an idea from someone on how to make this work better for yours! 🤞Have you considered a consultation with a very skilled builder or architect?

  • gogautz
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I appreciate very much all the advice and am taking it all into consideration :) The last photo is what is helping me visualize the color scheme (we would paint the original house white), so white with cedar sidings with white and dark windows. I can see however why it could also be considered a hot mess 😳

  • dsimber
    4 months ago

    To clarify your siding plans, the old house would be white and the addition would be natural cedar?

  • Anna (6B/7A in MD)
    4 months ago

    I seriously thought someone had cut out a contemporary home and overlaid it on the photo of a farmhouse. To think that was done IRL and intentionally, good heavens.

  • gogautz
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    @ dsimber, yes, the addition would be natural cedar and original house would be painted white

  • dsimber
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    That might be a good improvement, gogauts. I feel compelled, though, to agree with others here about using the same color of windows on both sides so there is a common thread. That is one design principle I learned in classes and keep in mind with every house I’ve owned. It’s a dealbreaker. Can you paint the windows on the farmhouse side to match your new ones?


    Would anyone here be willing to do some mockups to help see the difference? (I would if I had the tools and skills.) Please and thank you.

  • gogautz
    Original Author
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    We are replacing the main floor windows on the original house as well, an probably will be replacing the second floor in a near future too. The window wall on the addition that is next to patio would have 12’ French sliding door, like this photo, same grid like on this photo. The four light grid would also be used on all new windows throughout.


  • gogautz
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I meant to add this for the door/grid explanation :)

  • dsimber
    4 months ago

    Are you trying to post a photo, gogautz?

  • gogautz
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    It is showing on my screen but hopefully now it will show for everyone.

  • dsimber
    4 months ago

    Yes! I can see it now! Beautiful!!!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 months ago

    Do you plan to sell anytime in near future? Check with local real estate agents to see what buyers are looking for. As I explained earlier, you will be “remuddling” your home. Get more input before you invest what it will take to do your plan.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 months ago

    Your original question was about window color. Keep windows all same color. Black if you want to go in eclectic direction, white for longer lasting look. Black is a bit trendy. Mainly for more contemporary look.

  • dsimber
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I thought so, too, Flo, but at least two people posted that black have always been around. I’d rather see all black than a mix of the two. Your advice about asking a realtor is an excellent idea, even if resale is not in the plans. When my parents added a sunroom to their one-story farmhouse with steep roof pitch, they used natural cedar...but it was small compared to the house (which was also quite small.) Later, they added an extension on the other side that appeared to double the size, but they worked with the ridges (peaks) so it all came together. The house felt well-balanced and the cedar-sided sunroom was just an accent that worked nicely. FWIW.

  • Donald
    4 months ago

    There are tons of examples of modern additions on older homes, and they are only remuddles when done poorly. Black or any other color isn’t a trend, on a window or not, don’t listen to people that say that because they only know to follow trends.

  • Lisa Phillips
    3 months ago

    Oh my, the original house is so charming it's a real shame the addition looks so mismatched. Mismatching windows and siding will only make this worse and I think you will not be happy with the result. The house CAN be rescued and look wonderful if you change the roofline over the garage to echo the original. In a previous post dsimber suggested this too and she's spot on. Do you like to work with graph paper? Get a ruler and a sharp pencil, pad of paper and a good eraser. Draw in the house exactly as it is now, except for the roof over the garage portion. Go ahead and leave the roof as is over the new window wall area, but stop just past it.( It will look like a breezeway) Draw in a matching roof with dormers over the garage. I think this just might convince you that instead of having a mismatched "remuddle" you could have a great looking home.

  • Jeanne J
    3 months ago

    Can you cover the grey concrete on the bottom of the addition with the same siding? Then paint garage doors the same color to help them disappear. All the window the same color (white is my preference). Good luck with your new home !

  • Maureen
    3 months ago

    A couple of thoughts and of course, depends on budget but in the end will add value to your home. You could have a phased plan and tackle when budget permits, if ideas below are feasible.


    All white or all black windows, but if going with black and it means not having the budget to improve other areas, I’d opt for white. Overall the house will not look that much different in the scheme of things.



    My idea, if interested, is to see if an architect could design a concept to visually connect the two distinct sides. I think the deck area and roof line are key - something like below, starting where house/extension meet and ending on far side of deck (add wood beams). Ensure garage gets pulled into the design.



  • gogautz
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Thank you so much for the suggestions! Unfortunately we are not touching the roof :( Most of that addition above the garage is one huge living room now with cathedral ceiling, which we have already framed. At this point trying to make most out of the exterior as is, big changes and lots of money is going on all the windows and doors, insulation, bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation (in the original portion of the house), reframing of the interior..

  • gogautz
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    ... and siding on the addition is getting replaced. We will cover the gray space on the garage level so that should help somewhat and add visual height to the addition.

  • judygilpin
    3 months ago

    Let me get this straight....you're planning on vertical cedar siding on the cement portion of the addition ?? Why? Doesn't sound very "farmhouse" to me. If you plan to keep the house white, I'd go with black window frames.....very classic.

  • sandeeteedee
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Instead of calling it a 'patio', how about changing thoughts to a 'porch'? A porch roof can be extended out across the whole newer part of the building without messing with the current roof. A porch is in keeping with the original house and useful most seasons. I see a porch as helping to integrate the 2 styles and being a plus for the family. In addition, could the larger windows or sliders be installed on the back of the building for access to a new 'patio' back there? Then the front side windows could be the same as the windows on the house itself, but they should be the same, not a bunch of different sizes White or black doesn't matter, as long as both buildings are the same. I didn't read all the suggestions but look back at the pictures and practically all of them have an iconic porch. To go off on another tact, all the landscaping is hiding the actual house while the addition is stark and the first thing you see. Think about some trees of plantings on the bare side and perhaps tidy up the raised area in front of the house so that's where your eye goes.

  • Maureen
    3 months ago

    Maybe something like this would create a more seamless transition and also be a lovely feature


  • lisedv
    3 months ago

    If you go ahead with black windows for the extension, I would replace or paint the entrance door black as well as the railing and garage door. I liked the idea from the person suggesting dormers which would also give light to the room coming from above. However I would suggest you paint or replace the windows on the rest of your house or install black shutters on your windows so that there is a balance between the old and new...




  • trixylarue
    3 months ago


    This picture is from the Country Sampler Farmhouse Style magazine, instagram, the foothillsfarmhouse. They added that covered porch. That would be an idea above your deck.

  • dsimber
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Wow! Just when I felt like giving up. The changes lisedv showed are promising! Totally doable without changing your roofline, except for addition of dormers as previously recommended by Flo. Because of your interior having open rafters, you may want false dormer windows. Even if only cosmetic, they are key to much-improved continuity, and they add interest to the long addition. I like the wider trim, also suggested by Flo, as I recall. And this is the first time I can see the benefit of using black--including on the railings on deck and stairs. Fingers crossed that you see this, and it was a resounding "Yes!"

    l


  • HU-786049761
    3 months ago

    It looks like the area where you want to put sliding doors is a front entrance to your home so it would make sense to define it as one by using a door/ window format that is more formal, especially if it is centered on your patio. It may even be more cost effective to use windows instead of sidelights, look to farmhouse style exteriors for ideas. Use the same siding on both sides of the house, cover the concrete walls and adding a little wood arbor or modern style arbor over the garage would add curb appeal and break up the horizontal siding. You could do black entry/and garage door, and black stair railing and use white windows everywhere else. If possible add a window on either side of that 1st floor window to the right of the bay to make a series of 3 that would repeat the windows over the garage and add more horizontal unity between the old/new. If house is painted white to match new siding (installed in same direction) that is white then essentially you would have a 2 story space on the left going up and a 2 story space going down on the right making the volumes of the two spaces equal. House is lovely, wouldn't go extreme modern, then it really won't match.

  • lisedv
    3 months ago

    In answer to dsimber (2 hours ago), yes the dormers can be just false ones if not possible to install real ones which would however give natural light coming from above.

  • kelthulu
    3 months ago

    Maybe get an estimate on installing false dormers before dismissing the idea out of hand!

  • Lisa Phillips
    3 months ago

    This new dormer idea is the perfect solution!! It will look amazing. Kudos to lisedv for solving the problem of tying in the addition to the original house using a minimum of alteration and expense.

  • Pattie Tibbetts
    3 months ago

    The dormer idea would work beautifully as long as they are the same pitch as the ones on the original farmhouse. Windows and doors should have the same grid pattern as those in the older house too.

  • 1bizimom
    3 months ago

    It seems you are spending a fair amount of money on this remodel. The changes are more than "cosmetic". I think it would be a mistake to throw up your hands and "ignore" the "mismatch" of the addition. Lisedv came up with a great idea that really adds to the curb appeal by "unifying" the house. The dormers and windows break up the plain, boring addition so it better matches the original and the windows are in better balance.

  • Jeanne J
    3 months ago

    I find that the dormers on the one story addition look fake. I believe that covering the house, the addition and the garage area in the same siding will lead to a cohesive look. Use all the same color windows. Choose the one you prefer ( and budget allows).

  • Lynne
    3 months ago

    I think false dormers on the addition (same pitch as on the original house, if possible) would help immensely. This does not need to be done right away, save for it because you are doing a pricey renovation. I like the classic white house and black windows, the addition needs to be the same color and the siding needs to run horizontally like the original. Vertical cedar siding would look out of place, drawing more attention to the difference in styles. Might be worth the money to get an architect's opinion.