Styles change, “but faux-Tudor split-level just should never have been a style,” says Dana Gigler, referring to the 1971 house she shares with her husband and son in Allentown, PA. So we asked local architects David R. Drake and Christine DeOliveira Carl of W2A Design Group to retool its appearance.
First, the duo would brighten the recessed entry by adding a porch with open stickwork in the gable end, along with a French door, sidelights, and a transom. The existing gable end gets a steeper pitch and trimwork to echo the porch’s for a look that’s updated yet classic. Large double-hungs above a wide trim board open up and unify the facade. Gray clapboard-style siding, with the stepped-back lower level’s brick painted a darker shade, suits the new charcoal-gray roof. “I like it!” says Dana. “The new porch really adds balance.”
Raising the pitch of the existing gable and adding a gabled porch roof help break up the horizontality of the house.
Finishing Touches: Siding
Quality details refresh the house and contribute to the cleaner, more coherent design
Rot-resistant fiber-cement clapboards have a traditional cedar look; pale gray fits the palette.
HardiePlank Cedarmill Lap Siding in Pearl Gray, $16 per plank; Lowe’s
Finishing Touches: Pendant
A lantern-style porch light in a cast-iron finish accents the new entry.
Bransford 17 ½-inch Outdoor Hanging Light, $200; Lamps Plus
Finishing Touches: Windows
New, larger double-hungs with grilles make the low-slung house feel taller.
Marvin Clad Double Hung Window, from $640; Marvin
Finishing Touches: Pavers
Slate walkway pavers transition easily into the entry-porch floor.
Daltile Indian Multicolor Versailles Pattern Slate, $5.84 per square foot; The Home Depot
Thanks to David R. Drake and Christine DeOliveira Carl, W2A Design Group, Allentown, PA