Going Modern on the Front

I was supposed to take a break before Phase 2, but these awnings and the dingy yellow glow they cast on the inside of my house are driving me crazy. So down they’re gonna come and I wanted to talk about the new plan.

You see, the façade is original to the house. Which is cool and all, but the flaky paint is nasty and in a few spots the brick is water damaged and rotting away. All of this is a mess and though I always planned to restore it, I’m coming to terms with the fact that that won’t be cost effective.

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And since I always wanted to mix traditional and modern styles until I filled the house with antiques, I’ve decided to be bold and daring on front and re-clad the house with a rain screen and panel siding. Kinda like this handsome rehab a few blocks to the west.

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Except I’m really not a minimalist at heart, so I’ll probably want to add a splash of color to my mostly-red street like this Mondrian inspired panel siding, and/or texture with some corrugated metal accents.

Panel Siding Inspiration.jpg

And the front windows are total garbage, so they’re coming out too. The old plan was wood 2-over-2 windows like I have on the back of the house, but now I’ll make it a bit sleeker and just put large 1-light casements in. Kinda like this house where I grew up, also a really great look.

Riverview Road Modern Windows

And the best part is that now I can just get clean fiberglass windows and it’ll all be totally affordable. I’m very excited. Onward and upward folks! Feel free to weigh in on accent colors. I’ve seen good use of red, orange, lime green, and teal. Whatever I pick, I’ll temper it with plenty of grey. And the mahogany door is gonna stay. It doesn’t really go with the new look but hey, I’m cheap.

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17 thoughts on “Going Modern on the Front

  1. infinitequery

    I love this idea,it will add such a look of sophistication and modernity to your home and I can’t help thinking that eventually all of the houses will by choice or necessity convert to a more contemporary facade, By the way,your childhood home is quite grand, Lucky you. Handsome,intelligent,educated,hard working and to the manor born. Total win of the genetic lottery. Live long and prosper….you deserve it Chad.

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      1. infinitequery

        sorry…the sentence “kinda like this house where I grew up” led me to the wrong conclusion.

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  2. katiejkeller

    Don’t do it! It’s ghastly, and will look horrendous in just a few years! Paint the facade mid- to dark gray, and the door glossy black. Et voila – modern!

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  3. infinitequery

    I worked with a decorator who painted an old brick victorian dark black with white white trim and it was a knockout on the st. Museum district of Richmond Va.

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  4. Jason J

    I wouldn’t! I would clean up the brick, hunt for a cheap mason or even teach myself a new skill. After seeing what fake siding did to both of my wooden structures, I would never recommend it! Unless you were to strip the facade back, re sheath the entire facade, wrap the building and then install said siding…Once moister or condensation builds up between the brick and fo siding, it will bake in the summer sun….with no escape it will just erode the brick faster and plus you will never be able to see what is happening under the siding…until a wall falls down….If you can’t afford a mason, then just use the proper paint, to paint and seal the brick…but all in all it isn’t that hard to re point, replace and seal all the brick…plus your good for another hundred years…

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      First off, April Fools! But thanks for the advice. I plan to restore the brick. I would be afraid to go with a cheap mason because I have lime and clay based masonry, not Portland cement, and I have 1/8 inch butter joints. A cheap mason wouldn’t do that justice. And my brick is load bearing so it wouldn’t be feasible to pull it down and reclad the house anyway. If I take the brick down I won’t have a front wall. I’ll be writing out my real plan for the facade soon.

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      1. Jason J

        Well I need to pay more attention to my dates, forget about all these “holidays” that aren’t advertised by the greeting card companies :p I imagine they are setting up for Halloween already…Few more months before Christmas comes out lol I still hope, removing those awnings are still on the plan….They really do detract from the facade, maybe a nice new cloth type one over the front door would be nice…but some owner went wayyy to overboard on at the black friday awning sale….Kinda like the owner of my property did, with the fake paneling sidewalk sale was going on lol

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      2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

        There is outlandishly bad taste in my neck of the woods, too. I was lucky to have gotten a house that had a completely intact facade. The marble steps are still there, the cornice should be under the aluminum siding (though I don’t know in what condition) and no one yanked the marble lintels to put in a picture window.

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