Serving the Washington,
DC Metro Area
Bruce Wentworth, AIA, is a practicing architect whose
insights on residential architec-
ture have been published in
House Beautiful, the New York Times, Southern Living, the Washingtonian, Washington
Post, Colonial Homes and Other periodicals. Ask the Architect appears frequently in the Times Mirror news group, and has been featured in titles published by Media General, Network Communications and others.
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Posted on January 17, 2014

Answer: Enhancing your home’s façade is a smart investment both financially and emotionally. Design choices for a façade remodel are not to be taken lightly, and don’t underestimate the architectural sophistication of future home buyers. Most homebuyers are not design professionals, but do have an intuitive sense of whether remodeling looks right… or not. Be […]

Posted on December 27, 2010

“My wife and I own a three-story contemporary built around 1970. The side elevation consists of two opposing shed roofs joined by a recessed hyphen. Because the house is built on a slope, one enters at mid-level. The front is non-descript board-cladding with just a single window. The inside, however, is quite dramatic with large window walls on the side and rear elevations visually linked to the woods. The home’s only drawback is a small kitchen linked to an equally pint-sized breakfast room that segues to an elevated side deck. We’ve been thinking about converting the deck into a larger eat-in kitchen, using the existing kitchen as a pantry, storage area. I hesitate, however, because I’m not sure how an addition will look in relation to the opposing sheds that define the side elevation. For instance, should the addition repeat the shed roof (which might obstruct an existing third floor window), or is a completely different type of roof line feasible?” FT, Reston, Virginia

Posted on December 27, 2010

“I own a one-story home (formerly a farmhouse), which I occupy with my daughter (age 11) and son (age 13). A friend tells me it’s a “folk” Victorian, probably built around 1905. It has an L-shaped floor plan consisting of a gabled front with side-facing wing
unified by large front porch. It also has a replacement tin roof. While it’s a simple house, the porch has the original spindle work detailing and there are period brackets under the eaves and pediments over the windows. Now that my children are getting older and searching for privacy, I’d like to add a second story. What are some guidelines that will help me gain the desired new space while preserving the home’s classic look?” FT and Family, Chantilly, VA

Posted on December 27, 2010

“My home is Tudor, built in the late 1920’s. The house features a steeply pitched roof with the signature stucco and wood-frame effect called “half-timbering” along the second floor of the front facade. I’d like to add a first level den on one side that would be visible from the street. What can you tell me about the style that’s relevant to my plans?” PF, McLean, VA

Posted on December 27, 2010

“I own a one-story 2,220 square foot Ranch house built in the mid-1950’s, and I’m looking for more room and a generally more spacious feeling. I’d like to expand and upgrade the kitchen, create a family room, and extend a cramped bedroom and bath. What are some architectural considerations that will ensure that the end results look appropriate?” K.W., McLean, VA