Photoshop Redo: How to Revive a Worn Cottage
Creative trim perks up a facade, while a porch railing and window box bring cheery charm
Readers Lisa and Jim Steele won This Old House's Real-Life Photoshop Redo Contest—and all-new siding from James Hardie. We asked designer Richard O'Leary to envision a radical upgrade, and he answered with a mix of shingles and lap siding that emboldens the house's character. As for the apron trim beneath the upper-story windows, O'Leary says, "I wanted to add some focus and a fun detail to the front elevation without dramatically changing the structure." And what do the Steeles think? "Awesome," Lisa says. "All the details give it that look of the quaint house we've always dreamed of." Imagine when they see the real thing. Or see for yourself, after contractor David D'Agostino of Right Choice brings the makeover to life. We'll showcase the results in a special feature in the November 2010 issue.
"They say don't judge a book by its cover, but it's hard not to. Please help us with our book cover," wrote readers Lisa and Jim Steele of their 1925 cedar-shingled cottage near Syracuse, New York. They've been busy rehabbing the inside since they moved in seven years ago, but the exterior was going to have to wait.
Instead of standard lattice, spruce up the crawl space beneath the porch
with an original design. Contractor Dave D'Agostino made these out of Hardie
board, and the job wasn't as complicated as it looks. He faced the boards
together in pairs, clamped the entire stack together, and made just four
cuts with the table saw.
Woven corners provide a more charming and authentic aesthetic than standard corner boards on cottage styles. If it's a style you like, be sure to ask if your siding contractor has experience installing that configuration.
Trimming out windows on a bump-out neatens things up and gives the house a more substantial feel.
Notched shingles and a color switch highlight the top of the gable.