Additions 101

The do's and don'ts of successful old-house additions.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

There are times in life when it's OK to break the rules—but adding onto an old house isn't one of those times. If you flout the conventions of traditional design, you'll end up with an appendage to your house that sticks out like a sore thumb. (Don't believe us? Just check out our "What Not to Do" gallery below!) On the other hand, abiding by the rules will allow you to seamlessly blend old and new to create spaces that fit your lifestyle without sacrificing your home's charm. Read on for addition advice (including those oh-so-important design rules), plus plenty of pictures of additions done well...and not-so-well.

What to Do

5 Ideas for Adding On Traditional approaches help make additions more successful.

How to Create Sensitive Additions  Understanding some basics about residential design and historic preservation can provide useful guidelines for creating sensitive additions to old houses.

House Tour: Adding On to a Tudor  A well-planned addition to a 1930s Tudor combines historical character with modern creature comforts.

House Tour: Updating for Accessibility  An Italianate gets a sympathetic addition, and some thoughtful improvements, to make it more wheelchair-friendly.

House Tour: Enhancing the Past  Architect Anne Y. Decker links new and old with the restoration and tasteful addition to this historical Queen Anne.

House Tour: A Greek Revival Expansion  Architect John B. Murray designs a sensitive addition for a Greek Revival home in Salt Point, New York, in keeping with original vernacular details.

What Not To Do

Courtesy of Old-House Journal's Remuddling page, we present a small sampling of additions gone wrong. Please, don't try this at home!

Related Articles

Products of the Week

Brookside

Pewabic Pottery

Pewabic fabricates heirloom quality architectural tiles for public and private installations, gift and commemorative tiles, vessels, gardenware, ornaments and both reproductions and adaptations of its historic designs and offers classes, workshops, lectures, internships and residency programs for studio potters and other artists.

vintage-doors-june7th-2019

Vintage Doors

Bring beauty and value your home with heirloom-quality REAL wood doors by Vintage Doors. Meticulously handmade by expert craftsmen in your exact size and style—to be loved and respected for generations, just like the olden days. Hand-crafted wood product line includes: screen doors, storm doors, Dutch doors, French doors, louver doors, pantry doors, interior doors, exterior doors, entrance units, three season porch enclosures, pet doors, arch top doors, round top doors, custom doors and more.

1_gallery_custom1

Unico System

A central heating and cooling system using "aspiration" technology to warm and cool homes evenly and quietly with flexible small ducts that weave through ceilings, walls, and even floors.