Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Exterior: 1906 Style - Expanded and Updated for Today

The Ugly Duckling
A big goal of this project was to maintain the charming architectural style of the original 1906 house.  The gambrel roofline - with its gentle 'swoop' at the eaves - was something we wanted to highlight on both the original house and the new addition.  And the small dormers on each side of the existing house are a great feature.

So, when we designed the addition, we mimicked that design, which allowed us to add an attached garage, master suite - and also rooftop deck, to enjoy views of the water.

And while we wanted to preserve the antique style, we tried to use products that don't require frequent maintenance.  When you live near the beach, you want to spend your time on the water - not painting the house!

So here's an update!  As a reminder, this was our starting point and the design plan. This was a big project, not only did we build a big addition - we also moved every single window and door!

As the framing got going, the new design started to emerge.

But it wasn't until we got to the finishes that the house started to come together.  So let's start at the top.

We decided to use copper flashing on the roof, windows and doors.  It has a long, long lifespan and is a very traditional touch!  Don't you love the new penny glint of copper?  It will develop a patina quickly in our sea air, but it's so shiny when it's new!!

Next, a key element of the exterior design: the triangular spaces at the top of each gambrel.  They create an inverted ledge, which provides room for corbels.  The triangular spaces were finished with traditional cedar shake shingles.  We used Maibec solid shingles in Cape Cod Gray. (they have a 50 year won't need to be replaced for a very long time!)  Below that, we added a freeze board and the corbels.

I have to admit - this might be my favorite feature on the house!

Woven corner shingles installed on the dormers
We also used the shingles to highlight the dormers.  We did woven shingles.....something that's pretty rare nowadays.  Instead of corner boards, the shingles are cut by hand and 'woven' together, to provide a long lasting watertight seal.  It's a painstaking, time intensive process, but it looks so much nicer than corner boards on a small dormer like ours.  This is something you see on old houses all across New England!

The porthole window has been trimmed out and adds a nice nautical flair to our beach house!  That window was a late breaking design decision (it's not in the original plan, see photo above) - but what a great addition (and it adds some nice light to the upstairs hallway!)

For the body of the house, we installed Hardie Plank siding, in a color called Cobblestone.  It's got a 30 year guarantee - and a 15 year guarantee on color - so no painting for a long time!!  The trim is all AZEK, so again, no painting!  I love a traditional look, with low maintenance!
Is it starting to look like a swan?

Rear view - Before addition
But we still have more to do.  The guys hoped to finish up the exterior siding quickly, but we hit a roadblock!  We ordered the custom basement door weeks ago - the first one was the wrong size, the second one was damaged and now we're hoping that the third one is the charm!!  Once that's in, it will be full speed ahead on the siding.

And once that's done,  it's on to the rooftop deck!  I can't wait till we can start sharing photos of that!

There is a lot to do around the yard as well.  We need to have the property graded with fresh loam and landscape beds.  And once that's completed, we can install the front steps and new front door.  Whew - that's a lot of work ahead!

But the progress is pretty exciting!  The Ugly Duckling has disappeared, what do you think of our 'almost'-swan???

Pin It


  1. Simply astonishing! It has definitely outgrown "ugly duckling". Maybe now in the "awkward cygnet" stage? The swan is showing through.

  2. Wow, just great. Can't wait to see the final outcome and the finished interior.

  3. The transformation is beautiful!!

  4. Thanks so much everyone!!! This has been a really big project for us - but we're tickled pink with how it's coming out!

  5. OMG!!!! It looks amazing! Wow you really have an eye for it and such sympathetic visions to enhance. Wow wow wow

  6. LOVE it!!! It's come together beautifully, can't wait to see what's next. Hoping you'll do a beautiful front porch area, that big swan deserves it!

    1. Thanks! We will be adding a small set of steps.....because of building setbacks, that's the most that we're allowed to do, by city zoning rules. But I promise it will look nice!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...