We have all seen it, the home addition that is so obvious it doesn’t look like it belongs. Maybe it’s out of scale with the rest of the house, has mismatched siding material, or an incompatible roofline. It just doesn’t look right. During an expansion project, gaining living space is at the forefront of the priorities for homeowners, while the second priority is usually the exterior architecture of the home. Additions must be designed and constructed in a way that blends with the existing architecture and enhances the home’s curb appeal and interiors. One of the highest compliments that a homeowner can receive on an addition is, “where was the addition?”. The design process for additions takes time as one can go through many different iterations for rooflines, window sizing, proportions, etc.
These are a few guiding principles that we consider when it comes to a seamless addition:
- Define the existing architectural style of the home – It’s important to incorporate architectural elements that are typical of that specific architectural style. For instance, craftsman architecture will generally have one and half stories, a low-pitched gabled roof, tapered columns, a wide front porch, and exposed wood detailing. Those features would be carried into the design of the addition.
- Consider the roof lines – The most important exterior aesthetic of an addition is the roof line. In our design process, we aim to follow all roof lines and pitches to create balance and symmetry. All the fascia boards and gutters should be aligned with the existing for a unified plan.
- Consistent floor heights and ceiling heights – In order to create continuity, we try to keep all floor heights consistent so that there aren’t any steps up to or down to an addition space. A step is a detail that usually doesn’t sit well with future home buyers or for aging in place principles. Similar ceiling heights are also a key unifying factor, with the exception of vaulted ceilings. If your ceiling heights are low and you want to improve them in an addition space, then perhaps consider creating a transition space such as a hallway that then opens to a taller ceiling height.
- Complementary or matching exterior materials – Using the same siding as the existing home is a great way to tie in existing and new construction. However, sometimes if a particular siding is unavailable, using a contrasting siding material adds interest that looks intentional. For example, board and batten siding material can bring a nice contrast to a lap siding when placed in key locations. Using the same paint color, is also a must when it comes to exteriors of additions. Sometimes, a paint color has faded which requires painting all of the existing house.
- Match interior details – Consistent interior trim is an excellent way to join an addition to the rest of the home. Extending existing flooring is another way to create a seamless interior finish.
These guidelines were foundational in the success of one of our recent additions. Below is the exterior’s impressive transformation! If you’re curious about the stunning interior of this 765 square foot addition, check it out: https://www.powellconstruction.com/portfolio/additions/seamless-2-story-addition/
BEFORE AND AFTER
Before: The house and garage proportions were not as well balanced.
After: The addition’s scale, rooflines, windows, and siding material all compliment the original home beautifully!