Photoshop Redo: Breaking Up a Brick Box
A new roofline and porch, plus a fresh siding strategy, provide a major curb-appeal boost
"I think all the different types of brick is what makes it so weird looking," says Romina Quillin of the patchwork ranch she shares with her husband, Ed, near Pittsburgh. "We're both artists, but I'm just not sure what can be done."
To find out, we enlisted designer Brian Mann, a founding partner of Omnia Group in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. "The brick isn't gorgeous, so using it selectively makes it more special," says Mann.
Picking up one of the brick colors, he wrapped upper sections in light-green siding to help it feel less heavy. The major addition, however, is the neighborly new porch, kitted out with Craftsman columns supporting a proud new gable. A wider gable ties the porch to the garage and works with the structure's intended horizontal design. But that change highlighted the height above the garage, so Mann added a metal shed roof to interrupt this vertical element. "The gables are critical to reinventing this house because it had no street presence," he says. Now it does. "It looks great!" says Romina. "We love the splash of color and what he did with the siding. We never would have thought of that."
Note: Peeling off the tan veneer gives the new siding a natural border in line with the existing brick windowsill.
The Prairie-style lights of the thermal French door from Simpson echo the window muntins and help complete the transformation. A full-light door also lightens the look of what was a dark and uninviting entry.
Mann introduced a Craftsman aesthetic because, as he says, "the existing low pitches and deep overhangs suggest it." He carried the theme through to the garage door, windows, and porch column to give the front a cohesive, attractive look.
The metal shed roof over the garage is copper, an earthy material appropriate to naturalistic architectural styles that grew out of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Mann says he would build the porch with wood to save money up front and use simple cedar lattice rather than pricier vinyl, which lasts longer.
Craftsman it's not, but details from that style hang nicely on the bones of this low-slung house.
Affordable and durable, vinyl siding in a mix of types makes for a savvy upgrade.
CertainTeed; from about $1 per square foot