Susan Revis - William Raveis R.E. & Home Services


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.


A growing trend in interior design is to put wood flooring in the kitchen. If this seems counter-intuitive to you, you're not the only one. After all, the risk of damage from traffic, water, spills, stains, and even burns could certainly give one pause. But mainly to accommodate the free-flow open-concept designs and create a visually seamless aspect, wood floors are popping up in both new builds and pricey renovations. Plus, wood is warmer under bare feet on cold mornings, and it just looks nice. 

If you’ve wondered how a wood floor will work in your kitchen, remember the following points about wood floors.ol>

  • Not all wood is the same. Solid wood flooring might come from a hard species or a soft species. While a specific color or grain might attract you, a softer wood is subject to scratches and dents from street shoes, stools or chairs, tables, and heavy appliances such as the refrigerator. While solid wood allows for some repair and refinishing, a harder wood lasts longer and requires less care. Wood floor hardness ratings called the Janka Scale, place firs and pines in the softer category and gums and teaks at the top.
  • Standing water is not your friend. While finished hardwood flooring holds up well to cleaning with a damp mop, standing water that seeps between the planks causes the wood to swell and warp. Wipe up spills and standing water immediately. For the same reason, don’t use a steam floor cleaner. Check around sinks and under the dishwasher and refrigerator for leaks that could damage your floor.
  • Take special care when moving heavy appliances or furniture. Place heavy cardboard or a rug under the wheels or feet and slide it into place to protect the wood from deep grooves, dents, or scratches.
  • Use area rugs under tables and chairs to avoid scratching from constant use. 
  • What about bamboo? Technically, bamboo is a grass, not a hardwood. However, most flooring outlets sell it as hardwood. Compared to most, it is two to three times harder, including oak, so it is an excellent option for flooring. Bamboo floors install the same as hardwood and are more resistant to water and other liquids (although no hardwood, including bamboo, is waterproof).
  • If you’re thinking of placing hardwood in your kitchen during an upcoming renovation, ask your neighborhood real estate professional if hardwood is trending in your area.




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