Sunday, 22 February 2015

Decisions, decisions...

The first picture is our house as it actually looks.

The fourth picture is the nicest house on our road, which serves as our template.

I'd love to do a loft conversion, and I'm sure that a mansard roof is far more practical and sensible (second picture), but the rest of my family reckon that having a gable roof with round windows upstairs (third picture), which is a style peculiar to the street we live on, looks much nicer.




And here are our templates. Nobody really likes the three narrow windows upstairs in the fourth picture. Somebody up the road copied it (fifth picture) and made the second floor windows further apart but still not lined up with (and too large relative to) the windows on the first floor. Gloss over the disaster-zone of the built in garage. Hence why I thought you can't go far wrong if the windows all just line up vertically:

38 comments:

Mr A Bradbury said...

Like the mansard roof, but from a future maintenance point of view I would go with the pitched roof, also you have a little loft space to stick header tanks and other services. Unless you go with the underside of the roof exposed, give you a highceiling and you could stick a couple of nice big velux windows in.

Mr A Bradbury said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A K Haart said...

I prefer the third picture too. It does not look like an extension where the second picture does. Shows up well against the houses either side too.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Mr B, good point about putting the water tank up there, gives you more pressure, and I don't really like veluxes.

AKH, ta, that's the point, to make it look like it was always there. The houses on the right of the picture are absolutely lovely but out of keeping for the street.

Lola said...

No. 3. It'd be less costly to build and as MAB says there'd be a little loft for the header tank. It's also be better for long term maintenance costs.

Lola said...

....Or, you knock it down and start again...

Ben Jamin' said...

No2 looks a bit too French.

No3 looks bigger, and has more kerb appeal. You could stick some roof windows in too.

Get rid of the ground floor bay window too while you are at it.

And not having a front wall and garden is also bad.

Leave cars parked in the road.



The Stigler said...

BJ,

I think that might be why I like it - I really like that French style of housing.

DBC Reed said...

Half mansard and roof terrace.Plenty of photos on Net.You need to be able to get out of bed on a sunny morning ,exit via French doors and lean on your balustrade to overlook your domain at back while finishing off any drinkable left-overs from previous evening.
The third design looks lie dolls house Pennsylvanian.
A spiral staircase could be fitted in for added effect

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, ta, and no I am certainly not knocking it down and staring again. It's perfectly solid house.

BJ, too late, we had a front wall and 'cottage style garden' and we got rid of it. Her Indoors waffled something about changing the bay window, i am perfectly happy with it as it is.

TS, this is not about 'French' versus anything else. This is about making it look as if it had always been there.

DBC, that would be at the back, that's not so important as getting the front right i,e, 'kerb appeal'.

The Stigler said...

Mark,

I'm not getting a strong aethetic from the other buildings. There's a bit of grey roof on the left. What's the rest of the street like? To me, it already looks a lot out of place (not saying that's a bad thing) so how much you can fit it in, I don't know.

Mr A Bradbury said...

Your rendered up and the and the adjacents are facing brick so you are going to find it difficult to blend in. Maybe think about a colour change to the render? You could hack off and see how the brickwork below comes up (question Is: why did they render in the first place?) You could use brick slips on a render to match with the others, only to the front of course

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS: "I'm not getting a strong aethetic from the other buildings."

The traditional style on my road is "out of place and a bit ugly and not really matching anything else", that's just the style round here.

The only discernible 'style' is the gable and rounded window - for example, the office block next door does an attempt at this.

Mr B, yes, it would be good to get rid of the render and have a building in London Stocks, I'll have to see about that.

Mr A Bradbury said...

Agreed Mark, I would be thinking along those lines too

JuliaM said...

I agree with your family!

Mark Wadsworth said...

JM, thanks.

Lola said...

Oh dear. Mr W has gone all home improver home owner ist - or has he??

Lola said...

Oh dear. Mr W has gone all home improver home owner ist - or has he??

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, nope.

I am an owner-occupier who likes nice looking and well laid out buildings (for himself and for others). That's not "Home-Owner-Ist".

James Higham said...

Go with the third.

DBC Reed said...

Half mansard/half terrace means mansard facing the road, terrace facing the back .You wouldn't be able to see the terrace from the front so enabling a lot of abandoned behaviour in the open air (but with mod cons like a drinks fridge to hand).

Mr A Bradbury said...

DBC,

I like your idea of the terrace, especially if Mark had a flat or a maissonette but if you have a back garden then I wouldnt bother. I would imagine that the master bedroom / en-suite / dressing room (optional) would be onthe top floor, maximise your available area so you can have these as big as you can. You could put alot of glass to the rear if it is southish facing, maybe some sliding doors and a juliet balcony. This gives you a bit of "the feel" of a terrace, well sort off!!

Lola said...

How about also extending a lean to roof over the bay and the front door? You could then turn the arch into the actual front door and increase the size of the hallway. Is your kitchen at the back?

Ben Jamin' said...

Turn the top two floors into flats.

Ben Jamin' said...

Turn the top two floors into flats.

Dinero said...

The third picture the best, with maybe all rectanglar windows.

DBC Reed said...

If I may be permitted to become priggishly Classical, I would suggest that ,according to Vitruvian principles, the top windows in the third design are too big.According to Vitruvius, windows at the top should be smaller, so preventing the top of the building appearing overbearing or looming out.

Bayard said...

"This is about making it look as if it had always been there."

In which case DBC is right about the windows. You would do better to have smaller, square-topped windows either side and try to keep the heads of the windows in line with the eaves. The middle one could be taller and round topped. Also those deep barge-boards definitely give it a modern touch. I'd guess that the render could be original. The unrendered house to the right looks later.

If you are going to have the ridge height of No 3, you could afford to put a pitched roof behind the mansard in No 2 and the height of the ridge would not be so obvious. To my mind No 2 looks much more like it was always there: all the elements are early Victorian.

Lola said...

DBCR - yes, exactly. Look at Erith's Downing Street for how to proportion windows with facades.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, Mr B, let's decide on the front first, then we will decide on the balcony.

L, far too twee, not happening.

BJ, I've thought about that but the stair layout is not right.

Din, DBC, B, thanks, but under the local circ's it has to be round topped windows.

And as it happens, they are smaller which is why they 'look right'.

L, we are not going Georgian. It's lovely in context but this is the wrong context.

Dinero said...

Its funny how generally speaking people usually defer to experts for most disciplines, but when it comes to architecture that reticents goes out of the window.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Din, this is not rocket science.

Leave the practicalities to me, I just want to know which looks nicest to most people.

I think on the whole (including what my extended family say) most prefer the gable roof, end of, decision made.

Dinero said...

Me to I like the gable roof.

But as you mention it what appears tobe the athestic apperence of architecture is often closer to rocket science than people think.
For example old grand fire place surrounds that are black in colour are black to radite heat but scientificlly nieve people paint them white without a care.
That said I'm not saying all such desisions should be defrred toan "architect" because well maybe any particular one maybe not so hot anyway.

Physiocrat said...

Your house looks like a survivor from the time when the area was still in the country.

Given that it has long ceased to be the rural idyll, and none of the buildings around are architectural gems, and faced with the prospect of the amount of work involved, before doing anything else I would feel inclined to talk to the planners to find out what redevelopment they would allow on the site (three two-bedroom flats?), sell up, take the development value and go somewhere else.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DIn, in this case it is not rocket science.

A house needs a roof, you can either have the gables at the sides or at the front and back (or have a mansard, which we have now ruled out).

Normally, you normally have the gables on the shorter pair of walls, so if a house is 20' wide and 40' deep, you have the gables at front and back (and roof less visible from the street).

If a house is 40' wide and 20' deep, you have the gables at the sides (and roof visible from the street).

Mark Wadsworth said...

Phys, if it were simply a question of maximising the value, I would knock the whole thing down and sell it to the owners of the office block next door for them to use as a car park.

They have enough office space for twenty or thirty people but only half a dozen parking spaces.

DBC Reed said...

Don't get it.With the gable-end -facing-the-road arrangement, you are going to end up with three very narrow rooms ,if you are not careful ,two with nasty sloping walls/ceilings.At least with mansards the walls are more upright and you get opportunity out the back for the big glass windows and/or terrace that have been suggested on here.I know you think this is not rocket science ,but you do need to do a scale drawing and /or look at loft conversions by the neighbours to see what's practicable.This is all getting a bit headstrong.
@L Many thanks for the reference to Raymond Erith whom I had never heard of.I hadn't realised before reading up on him following your tip ,that No 10,11 and 12 Downing Street were originally built of yellow brick which has been painted over with a black wash.I'm afraid Mark has got the bit between his teeth in a can't be-that-complicated manner and is unwisely ignoring the omen of our being in complete agreement which is so rare that it must be significant.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, re the narrow rooms, that goes in favour of mansard of course.

But i am not completely daft, I have measured it out and the lowest point of the rooms on the top floor would come out at 5' or 6', and most of the space would be full ceiling height (8' or 9').

Balcony is a separate topic. My plan is to have three rooms front to back each 12' long/wide and no balcony, or I can lose a bit of the back two rooms and have a small balcony. I think I'll go with Juliette balcony to be honest.