“I live in 20 year old three story Federal style residence that was designed to emulate the homes in this city’s historic district. I’m interested in modifying the front façade by introducing a more pronounced front entrance, larger windows, a new window above the front door, and front-facing dormers on the top floor tucked under a side-gabled roof. While my home is not strictly ‘historic’, I am conscious of its architectural intent and am looking for some guidelines that will help me make style-appropriate changes.” SB, Fairfax, VA
DC Metro Area
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An Architect’s Perspective
“I own a two-story center hall brick Colonial, built in the 1940s, and I want to remodel my kitchen and build a family room addition. What are some architectural considerations that will insure the addition won’t look tacked-on?” RNJ, McLean, VA
“I own a classic 1,200 sq foot Bungalow built around 1925, and I want to remodel my rear-of-the house kitchen—as well as build a two story rear addition that will include a new family room below, and master suite above. What are some architectural considerations that will help assure the new space will appear to be a part of the whole and not merely tacked-on?” FM, Great Falls, VA
“I own a brick home with overtly French influences that was built in the 1980s. There are 5 windows across the front, and our wide central front door is trimmed in stone. The structure is basically a two-story rectangular box, the most compelling feature being the slate-clad hip roof with flared eaves. Three dormers in the roof accommodate attic bedrooms. I have often seen homes in a similar style with front-facing stone towers, which appeals to me since I’m thinking about adding on.
Specifically, the household has recently grown since we have taken in elderly parents. My wife and I have two teenagers, and one adult child has moved back into the house. We also have two live-in staff. What was a large house when I bought it 15 years ago – now seems crowded. We need more living and bedroom space that is separated from the home’s public areas. What are some considerations to enlarging my house that won’t dilute its architectural style?” B.A. McLean, VA
“I have recently inherited the Georgian-style home I grew up in, and have been trying to assess its potentials as a residence for my family of five. I believe it was built in the late 1920’s, (so it’s not historic)–but it has all the style’s stately features: pediments over the front door and windows, detailed cornice work, quoins at each corner; a double-hipped roof with two front-facing dormers. Unfortunately, it’s just too small for my three teenagers, so before my family can move in we’ve got to enlarge it. I’ve got a fairly sizeable lot (about an acre), so I could add-on from either side or the rear. But what would you recommend? Also, I want to remove some interior walls and bring in more light. What are some architectural considerations that will allow for big changes while preserving the integrity of this classic style?” TJ and Family, Herndon, VA