Whether merging a mid century structure with a contemporary new one, stripping off aluminum siding to uncover a Victorian’s original clapboard or simply adding a fresh coat of paint and new landscaping, upgrading your home’s exterior can make a world of difference. Check out these five before-and-after projects, and tell us which one makes the biggest impression on you.
1. Old Meets New in Vancouver
Before: The original 1963 Vancouver home, known locally as the Wedge House, was designed by famed Canadian architect Arthur Erickson. With its small kitchen and rotting timbers, some might have been tempted to tear the house down and start over, but the new homeowners loved the slanted midcentury modern design and chose to bring in designer Bryn Davidson of Lanefab Design/Build to restore and expand rather than demolish.
After: It was important to the homeowners that the original structure remained a visible and vital part of the design. Davidson made it happen by creating a glass atrium connecting the old wedge portion of the house with a new modern addition on the left that includes a garage, dining room, mudroom and family room.
The new glass atrium serves as both a dining room and an entrance, with new concrete pavers forming a clean line to the front door. The new addition includes a strip of river rock indoors to mark the point between the new house and the old, a visual connection to the river rock in the front of the house.
2. New Addition for a Modern Farmhouse
Before: A previous addition to the back of this house in Alexandria, Virginia, left it looking somewhat ungainly, so the new owners brought in Laura Campbell of Laura Campbell Architecture to replace the old addition with a new one that provided a better interior flow and a more visually pleasing exterior.
After: This is the home from the same vantage point after the renovation. You can see that the rear of the home (shown on the left in this photo) has been pushed out farther. The renovation gave the house a more attractive roofline and a modern farmhouse look.
3. Front Yard Face lift
Before: Originally the barn for a Victorian home built in 1895, this Colonial-style home in Glencoe, Illinois, was turned into a residence in 1947. Due to its siting on the lot, the home lacked any outdoor living space. Therefore, the new owners brought in Lesa Rizzolo of L.A. Rizzolo Architects to not only transform the exterior and the interior of the house, but also to create a usable front yard for outdoor living.
After: The design team repainted the exterior of the house white and opened up the enclosed porch. Most of the home’s outdoor space is out front, so the team added a brick patio for dining and lounging there. Overhead string lights and potted plants complete the scene.
4. Victorian Beauty Brought Back to Life
Before: At some point during its lifespan, the original clapboard siding of this 1880s-era Victorian in Oak Park, Illinois, was covered up with beige aluminum siding. To bring the exterior back to its former glory, the homeowners had the aluminum siding removed.
After: About a third of the original clapboard underneath the siding wasn’t in the best shape, so the homeowners replaced the rotten pieces to match the original wood. While restoring the unique peaked windows, the homeowners made a lucky discovery: A unique Gothic-style border with scroll detailing had been hidden by old shutters. To complete the makeover, the house received a fresh coat of gray paint and a new roof.
5. Enchanting New Look in England
Before: This brick Victorian townhouse in Manchester, England, had been converted into flats in the 1980s and modernized over the years. The new homeowners wanted to bring back the original character of the building and to use modern technologies to make it environmentally friendly with the help of the architectural team at Guy Taylor Associates.
After: The first thing the design team did was to insulate the property with a product made out of recycled newspaper. The exterior also received all new copper gutters chosen for their durability.
The front doors, window trim and roof trim were covered in an antique green paint that pops against the brick exterior. White Victorian-style panels were added above the front doors to give the house even more classic character.