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Photoshop Redo: Reinventing a Split-Level

Front-facing gables, a mix of siding, and Craftsman-style details make an unremarkable home into a standout

Manufactured Bland

Split-Levels gained ground in the 1950s due in part to a modern floor plan that offered easy circulation. But from the outside, their style was often lacking. “It’s so manufactured and bland,” Abigail Beaver says of her 1995 split-level in Battle Creek, Michigan. “A Craftsman look would feel much warmer and more inviting.”

Vibrant Reinvention

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

So we turned to Brad Sechrist of Helman Sechrist Architecture for ideas. His proposal uses unmistakably Craftsman elements to transform the boxy facade. Wide gables with deep eaves and brackets break up the main roofline. Shed-style metal accent roofs over the entry and the garage give the exterior even more dimension. To disguise the lower set-back portion of the house, Sechrist’s plan adds stone veneer and chunky brackets.

“I want my home to be vibrant and eye-catching,” Abigail says, “and this is gorgeous!”

Window Makeover

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

Removing the shutters and adding snap-in grilles transform the existing windows.

Finishing Touches: Garage Doors

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

Textured surface treatments and an earth-toned palette support a Craftsman-inspired makeover

White carriage-style garage doors echo the board-and-batten siding on the front gables.

Clopay Coachman Collection, from $1,400 per door

Finishing Touches: Roofing

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

Architectural shingles in a rich pewter gray upgrade the main roofline.

GAF Timberline HD Shingles, about $97 per roofing square

Finishing Touches: Paint

Photo by (paint dabs) Ted Morrison

Olive green and reddish brown brightened by white update the Craftsman look.

Yogi (clapboards), Chipotle Paste (door), and Gallery White, from $28 per gallon; BEHR

Finishing Touches: Stone Veneer

Illustration by Drawgate, Inc.

Lightweight panels ease the installation of faux stacked stone.

Superior Building Supplies Faux Grand Heritage Stack Stone, $99 per 24-foot panel; Home Depot

Thanks to Brad Sechrist of Helman Sechrist Architecture, Elkhart, IN