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Alain Pinel, Realtors®

Renovation Failures

by Jeannie Anderson 06/09/2019

Have you ever driven through a neighborhood or down a country road, seen a cobbled-together add-on and done a double-take? Historically, home additions tend to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb, with each new add-on displaying the most recent design trend without regard for the original style. Thus, you'll see a typical ranch-style home with a mansard or hipped-roof add-on or a modern sunroom from an entirely different era appearing as if by magic from the side of a craftsman bungalow.

Failing to match a home’s original style is not new. Castles dotting the English hillsides or lining European rivers have jumbled wings from even different centuries, and palaces and cathedrals bear the stamp of each successive architect’s desire to make a name for himself. But when it comes to your home, mixing styles and eras could be a losing proposition when the time comes to sell.

Hire a professional

Before you begin an addition, hire a licensed design contractor to discuss your home's current style and how your renovation or addition might enhance its curb appeal and carry the same theme through the complete interior and exterior of the house.

New structures should be in balance with the existing building, and although it might not have symmetry, the combination of new and old should have unity. To achieve this, bear these things in mind:

  • Windows: if the new windows are double-hung with multiple lights (several small panes or a grid), then change out the old windows to match. Don’t mix aluminum sliders with wood casements (those with crank mechanisms). In other words, add some extra money into the renovation to match up the window types.
  • Exterior materials: a lovely mix of brick, stone, and stucco (or plank siding) gives a home that coveted old-world feel, but a random mash-up looks, well, like a random mash-up. If possible, extend the existing outside material to the new addition. Where that isn’t possible because, for example, a brick color or style no longer is available, consider painting everything to match to give continuity.
  • Rooflines and materials: adding a gambrel roof to hipped roof or a mansard to a ranch probably won’t earn you any design awards. If the existing roofline is not what you want, have your contractor update it to match the addition. A mix of roofline styles is disconcerting and screams “add-on” rather than professional addition. And watch the mix-up of roofing materials too. A lovely new metal roof on the new part with a dated three-tab asphalt shingle on your existing roof gives your home a discordant aspect — either roof the latest addition to mimic the old, or re-roof the whole thing. 

If you genuinely want to add a different style, consider modifying the existing home to match the new style for a unified impression. And, if you're considering an addition to increase your home's value for a quick sale, check with your real estate professional first. There's nothing worse for your renovation's bottom line than an addition that nets a loss rather than a gain to your resale value.

About the Author
Author

Jeannie Anderson

Alain Pinel Realtors® is proud to announce our association with Jeannie Anderson. An integral part of APR is the collaboration of high caliber, capable professionals, and Jeannie certainly fits that profile.

APR is dedicated to excellence - and our association with Jeannie Anderson is a bright example. Jeannie Anderson, (GRI, SRES, CRS) is a real estate marketing representative who takes great pride in her business and community involvement.

Consistently in the International Top 100 Agents, Jeannie is celebrating 39 years of real estate experience. Jeannie has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle & the WSJ, and is a popular consultant to the media.  In 2000 she became the youngest and only the 5th woman to serve as President of the SF Assoc. of Realtors in its 105-year history. She was awarded the prestigious "Agent's Choice" award by Pacific Union in 2000. In 2004 she was the recipient of the  "Most Inspirational Award", which was created in her honor. She and her husband previously owned Anderson Antiques for over 36 years, as well as Anderson Spa Warehouse. In her spare time, Jeannie is an accomplished musician and plays professionally with many well-known musicians in the Bay Area.

As Jeannie's clients will testify, her hard work, knowledge of the market, and superb service prove that she puts her clients first.

Reasons to work with Jeannie:

  • Positive can-do attitude
  • Excellent negotiator
  • Sense of humor and enthusiasm
  • Patient and conscientious
  • 36 years of experience

1982 - Present

  • Member of the San Francisco Association of Realtors
  • California Association of Realtors
  • National Association of Realtors
  • San Francisco Women's Council of Realtors

2003- Present

  • Member of the Contra Costa Association of Realtors and Contra Costa Women's Council of Realtors