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Posts from the ‘Additions’ Category

Adventures in Remodeling, Part 3: The Kitchen

If you imagine your ideal kitchen, do you dream of a spacious room connected to the outdoors through a sunny breezeway that provides lots of storage?


In this 3rd chapter about our 1920 bungalow project, Arciform’s lead carpenters Jamie Whittaker & Eric Delph share stories about the kitchen addition, with all of its special touches.

Jamie tell us that this kitchen is the hub & heart of the home, a space for living & creating. It’s full of ideas from the whole team that became reality, but not without challenges.

Some of his favorite features: the two beautiful dutch doors, one leading to the new covered back porch & the other to the the side yard.


The custom kitchen table, which provides space for eating or lounging while watching a TV that can be concealed behind a drop-down panel in the wall.

Another favorite piece is the fridge. It started as a big, modern appliance & we “dressed it up” like a vintage cooler you might see in an old general store.

The spacious salvaged island provides plenty of room for family time, & the built-in storage has a pressed tin door panel to resemble a pie safe.

Eric lists the 1929 Magic Chef range as a gem. Our client bought it online from some distant state & had the seller store it while we remodeled. When our client called for delivery, he learned that the seller had passed away & the range could not be found! Our client had to fly someone down to find it & bring it home.

He also lists the large vintage sink as a favorite element, with its built-in double drainboards and legs.

We turned the original kitchen into a little walk-through library

Jamie installing the cabinetry in the breezeway

& PM Adam enjoying a hard day at work

Arciform & Versatile Wood Products Teams on this project included:

  • Brad Horne, senior drafter, responsible for documentation & working with the city of Lake Oswego. We could not have done this without him.
  • Marty Hegg did all the fixture & finish specifications.
  • Principal Designer Anne De Wolf worked closely with the creative clients.
  • PM Adam Schoeffel led the construction team, helped with detail development & found treasures like the kitchen island.
  • Devin Morrow assisted with project logistics.
  • Dave Thomas managed deconstruction, salvaged material organization & labeling, which was crucial.
  • Eric Delph was our primary site lead! Among many contributions he personally co-designed (with the client) & constructed the garage storage & its icebox doors, & kept the crew on track.
  • Jamie Whittaker was our co-site lead, chief of special projects & master of craftsmanship.
  • David Gamble built the cabinetry, walnut kitchen table & worked on the salvaged table & fridge panels.
  • Dan Brindusesc & Eric Voss built the exterior doors & did sash work on the stained glass windows.
  • Rene Flannigan & Brent Dickey did all specialty finishes on the salvaged table, wine cellar door & panels in the garage.

Thanks to our wonderful, creative & inspiring clients, we were all able to do what we love to do!

If you missed part 1 or 2 of this series, check them out here.

Professional photos by Photo Art Portraits & Blankeye.






Adventures in Remodeling Part 2: the Garage

The new garage was built to closely match the original structure

When you hear the word garage, adventure doesn’t usually come to mind. Garages are supposed to be functional and practical.

But our clients at the 1920 bungalow in First Addition, Lake Oswego have a pretty special garage. Arciform‘s talented craftsmen created the structure just for them, and it had stories to tell before it was even completed. It’s sure to be the setting of many future memories.

There was a carport before we started the project

Project Manager Adam Schoeffel shares 4 reasons this garage is such a special place:

#1: Roof Trusses & Interior Paneling

Adam redesigned the trusses to accommodate a grading issue which caused the garage door to impede the plane of conventional truss design. He upsized framing members and ordered a vaulted scissor truss for a more hand-framed look. The trusses were painted to contrast with the aged patina of the salvaged lap board which clads the walls and ceiling.

Adam’s scissor trusses look sharp!

 #2: Storage with Icebox Panel Doors

Adam and Site Co-Lead Eric Delph (the bearded one above) collaborated on this project, but the idea came from the client. Eric co-designed and constructed the unique storage with its icebox doors, and it looks as if it’s always been there. It is a real conversation piece, and everyone wants to open and close those doors.

Douglas Fir shiplap on walls and ceiling were sourced from local homes being demolished and from Portland area reclaimed wood vendors

#3: The Seed Cabinet

Our client found a handsome antique seed cabinet and knew it would provide great storage. It sat in the garage for many months while Arciform worked on other parts of the home.

One day, four of the cabinet drawers vanished! Without hesitation, Site Co-Lead Jamie Whittaker took charge of creating replicas. The old walnut was tough to match, but Adam found an alternate species that was very close and poked around several salvage shops to find the right hardware. They even matched the original drawer boxes, using flat-sawn fir. Jamie’s four drawers were so convincing, it was hard to tell which ones were new.

About six months after the project was completed, the four missing drawers were returned with an apology note attached to them!


#4: The Rodeo Sign

This is no small souvenir, but a family heirloom which holds years of memories. Our client has roots in St. Paul, OR, and has remained involved in the St Paul Rodeo for years.

The sign is made up of planks bolted together, then carved and painted. It needed stabilizing, so our crew disassembled it, stored it and later installed new pipe through it, slowly compressing the boards. They took great care to keep the words and images in alignment and looking crisp.  Our clients intended it to be hung on a basement wall, but it was way too big, and looks truly at-home in the garage!

There are still more stories to tell about this project! Don’t miss our final post in the series next week: Adventures in Remodeling, Part 3: the Kitchen.

Professional photos by BlankEye and Photo Art Portraits

Adventures in Remodeling Part 1: the Secret Wine Cellar

How do you make your home something special to you? This series of 3 posts will share stories about how we helped clients make this home all their own.

In 2011 on a corner lot in the heart of Lake Oswego sat a charming 1920 bungalow for sale. It captured the hearts of a globetrotting family living in Florida, and they purchased the house with plans to relocate closer to their Oregon roots.

They hired design-build firm Arciform to help turn this gem into their forever home. With plans for a cross-country move, a flurry of emails, team meetings, and trips to local salvage shops started.

The home sits in First Addition, one of Lake Oswego’s oldest neighborhoods. Many homes in this area were first owned and occupied by Oregon Iron & Steel Company workers, built in a variety of architectural styles.

Principal Designer Anne De Wolf worked closely with the couple on a thoughtful interior remodel and additions. They shared a respect of the home’s style and era, using this to guide design decisions: from how to increase the footprint, down to door & cabinet hardware.

Reconfigured spaces and more square footage were desired, so the new plans provided a larger kitchen, a mudroom, a master suite, a new bath for the kids, and an outdoor living space.


The couple has a knack for finding wonderful old pieces with stories to tell. There are many antique fixtures, finishes and furnishings integrated into the project. Reclaimed sinks, shiplap paneling and more were salvaged from all over, including demolition sites, Salvage WorksAurora Mills, eBay, and The ReBuilding Center.

The clients’ inspired vision brought so much fun to this project. One of many examples is the creation of the secret wine cellar.

It all started with four existing concrete steps in the basement. Though he didn’t know what to do with them, our client knew he wanted to do something. What purpose could those serve: storage of some kind? He needed somewhere to keep their wine…but how would they access it?

The adventurous spirit of the client inspired the trap door in the new kitchen floor.


Before: the abandoned steps in question

After: vision and teamwork gave this area new purpose

Site lead Eric Delph says, “When thinking of all the work accomplished at this residence, the one thing that stands out in everyone’s mind is that wine cellar! It evolved from an idea to reality with many hands and great interaction with the clients. From the hidden hatch doors to the storage system and that great final touch by the client himself: a confessional door!”

There are more stories to tell about this project! Stay tuned for the next chapter: Adventures in Remodeling, Part 2: the Garage.

Professional photos by BlankEye and Photo Art Portraits

Your Whole House Plan Part Two: A Plan for Every Floor

In the second part of our series on the whole house plan, we’ll share some step by step ideas and best practices for your internal renovation plan.


This adventurous Victorian in Sellwood added clever features to each floor that were designed to inspire exploration, discovery and play. Designed by Arciform Principal Designer Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

Start at the Top

As much as you may have been dying to tackle that kitchen renovation first, we usually recommend that you plan your renovations from the top down, starting with the roof (including dormer additions) and working your way to the basement.

This helps ensure that any new electric, plumbing or structural changes that may affect the lower floors will happen before you’ve done all the beautiful finish work on those floors.

Dormer Details

When developing your dormer design, you’ll want to weigh the interior practicalities (headroom, floor space) against the exterior aesthetics. Adding a dormer dramatically changes the look of your home and you’ll want to consider how the design looks from all angles to ensure a cohesive result.


This shed dormer designed by Arciform Principal Designer Anne De Wolf continues the long, low lines of the house’s Mid-Century architecture and features a dramatic eight sash casement window custom built by Versatile Wood Products.

While developing the design for the exterior of your dormer, you will also want to ask:

  • How will rainwater be managed on the newly-proposed roofline?
  • Will the new siding, windows and roof elements be accessible and easy to maintain?

Building out a dormer is also a great time to consider insulating your attic crawlspaces to ensure that any new heating routed to the newly-finished rooms will function at peak efficiency.

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This master bath dormer addition tucks dual sinks and a luxurious walk in shower into a compact shed dormer footprint. Extra-deep medicine cabinets offer elegant, out-of-site storage for all the bathroom sundries. Designed by Arciform Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

The most common reason for a dormer addition is to add a bathroom upstairs. If a bath is on your wish list, your designer will consider:

  • Where is the existing main floor bathroom in relationship to the new proposed bath?
    Typically it will be less expensive to site a new bathroom above an existing bathroom to take advantage of the main plumbing stack.
  • Which direction do your floor joists run to prevent issues with the routing of the drain lines?
    Are they sized to support the increased weight of your proposed rooms and will the drain lines fit within the cavity?
    It’s worth opening a hole in the ceiling to take a look at your joists early in the design process since the size and direction of your joists will have a large impact on your project’s feasibility and cost.

Mastering the Main Floor

Modern preferences tend toward a more open floor plan for the main floor; removing walls and eliminating formal dining spaces is a common request.


The central focus of this Mid-Century Modern whole house renovation was the creation of an open plan living, dining and kitchen area that made the most of the gorgeous views of Mt Hood in the home’s wraparound picture windows. Designed by Arciform Principal Designer Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

Your designer will help you identify which walls in your home might be the best candidates for opening up the space and will help navigate potential structural reinforcements to the home that may become necessary.

Cost vs. Value

We typically recommend that you invest first in the main floor project that will have the largest positive impact on your home’s future value. This is usually the kitchen or a master suite bathroom.

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This kitchen renovation mixes an on-trend color palette with classic elements like subway tile and Carrara marble to create a timeless update that will improve the home’s value for decades to come. Designed by Arciform Senior Designer Kristyn Bester. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.

Little Spaces, Big Impact

While you are planning your main floor, don’t forget the little spaces that can have a big impact on your guests’ comfort.


It may be a small space, but your powder room can offer the opportunity for a big design statement. This powder room (above) features a bold pop of color and a fun twist with a wallpaper called “Brooklyn Toile” designed by Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys. Designed by Arciform Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.


    • Should you add or update a powder room for guests?
    • How will you tackle your mudroom needs?

Whether you design a full mudroom addition like the one below or simply designate an area adjacent to the back door, you’ll want to consider how the essential functions of capturing coats, keys, shoes and other items will be handled in your master plan.


This mudroom addition to a Sellwood Victorian includes secret pass through doors to load athletic equipment through and an unusual ceiling assembled from salvage cabinet doors.
Designed by Arciform Principal Designer Anne De Wolf. Photo by Photo Art Portraits.


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This entry area tucks away mudroom storage behind a set of stylish built-ins beneath the stairs. A bench seat offers a handy spot for shedding rain boots and packages on the way in the door.
Designed by Arciform Principal Designer Anne De Wolf. Photo by Patrick Weishampel/BLANKEYE.

Next on the renovation list should be the basement. Whether you are building in an investment opportunity with an ADU or giving the kids room to spread out, the basement should be the last room on your to-do list.

Such a flexible and complicated space is worthy of its own post, so look to Part Three for details on making the most of your basement renovation.

Part Three: The Basement and Beyond

Previous Post: A Solid Foundation

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Your Whole House Plan Part One: A Solid Foundation

You may only be thinking about a quick update to your master bath or basement right now. But have you considered how the choices you are making on this remodel will affect the future plans you may have for your house?


Creating a whole house plan will ensure that each step you take to improve your home will be thoughtfully considered and efficiently executed with the needs of future projects in mind. This will save time, prevent costly re-dos and offer the peace of mind that each improvement you make will dovetail seamlessly with the projects before and after it.

In this three part series, we’ll break it down step by step to offer which questions to consider and which best practices to keep in mind for each phase of your plan to ensure a result you’ll be happy with for the lifetime of your home.

Part One: Creating a Solid Foundation for your Whole House Plan

1. Identify Your Goals

Before you spend any money on your home, it will be important to consider carefully the following questions:

  • Which investment will be right for your home based on its current value?
  • How does your plan fit in with the style and scope of homes in your neighborhood?
  • Which kinds of improvements are most appropriate for your stage of life and the life cycle of your family? Some remodeling projects recoup nearly 100% of their cost in increased home value- others may not but may be worth the investment for other reasons.

You’ll also need to keep both your family’s long term and short term needs in mind.

  • How will your family’s needs change over the time you plan to be in your home?
  • Will you need to accommodate an aging parent?
  • Make room for your family to grow?
  • Prepare for an empty nest?

2. Assemble Your Team

Assembling the team of professionals you’d like to work with at the beginning will ensure clear communication and avoid unnecessary overlap or conflict between the responsibilities of each professional.


At minimum, you’ll want to identify your:

        • Architectural Design Team
        • Construction Team
        • Interior Decorator
        • Landscape Architect

Keep in mind that each of these teams will have existing relationships with city officials and subcontractors who will also end up being an important part of the decision making process as you develop your plan.

As a design|build company, Arciform offers an integrated design and construction team that will stay with you every step of the way and coordinate all of the other professionals you will need to complete your projects.

3. Develop Your Design

Your whole house design will take into consideration any engineering, systems upgrades (like new heating or electrical) and structural changes required to meet your long term goals.


It will also develop the design details for each proposed project so that they will fit the architectural style of your home while showcasing your family’s unique tastes and personality. Along the way your design team will help you consider the following questions:

  • Which layout changes will make your home function better?
  • What storage needs do you have?
  • Which appliance or technology upgrades are you hoping to incorporate?
  • Which architectural details will integrate well with your home’s era and style?
  • What mood and design aesthetic would you like the finished spaces to evoke?
  • Which colors, shapes, textures and design details would you like to see integrated into the finished project? Every detail of your proposed project that can be selected in advance will save costly delays and change orders later.

4. Deal with the Foundation First

If your goals include updating the seismic bracing, mitigating water infiltration or expanding the head height in your basement, these are all projects that should be tackled prior to any interior renovations. This includes digging out your foundation or lifting your house if necessary.


Getting your basement completely dry will often also require a look at your rooftop water management systems, your landscaping plan (to be sure water is being directed away from your foundation with appropriate grading) and may include the installation of underground french drains to route groundwater around and away from your home.

5. Update your Mechanical Systems

Are new furnace or heating systems part of the long term plan for your home?

Hanifan_1920_Basement_Hall_D_ (1)

As un-sexy as these basic mechanical upgrades can be, they can make a huge difference to your comfort in the home. They also require ripping into walls, usually on multiple floors, so it is best to take care of them early before you start any internal renovation projects.

The last thing you want to do is tear into your beautiful new paint job to arrange the installation of a  heating duct.

6. Button Up Your Envelope

After your mechanical systems are updated, its time to consider what energy performance upgrades might be needed in your home.


Sealing the cracks and air holes that create drafts, adding insulation and installing new windows and doors can all happen prior to any internal renovations.

Thayer Perspective

Next Step: The Fun Part! Planning your Interior Renovations

In the next installment we’ll take it floor by floor to offer insight into which projects to tackle first and what questions to ask as you design your dream kitchen, master suite and basement.

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Multi-Faceted Remodeling for Your Multi-Generational Family

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Design by Kristyn Bester.

Historically, there has always been a visible connection between socioeconomic trends and architectural trends. One such example is the current boom we are seeing in multi-generational living.

With an aging population and sky-rocketing property values, more and more families are opting to live together under the same roof.

Perhaps you have an elderly family member who wants to age in place, or young children who need a play space. Maybe your adult child has moved back home and needs an apartment-style living space. It may even be that all of these things are true!
It can certainly be a challenge. You want to stay in the home you know and love, but it needs to evolve with the changing needs of your family.

Here are some remodel ideas that will allow kids, parents and grandparents to enjoy the benefits of living together, while still maintaining privacy and independence.

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Design by Kristyn Bester.

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Design by Kristyn Bester.

A master bedroom suite can provide a private sanctuary from the rest of the world. Here, we used a soft, neutral color palette and maximized daylight access, enhancing the feel of calm and serenity.


Design by Anne De Wolf.

With the right design, your basement can be converted to an inviting play space for the kids, or serve as an additional informal family room. Here, we used full-height built-ins to maximize storage for toys and games, allowing for a spacious play area. The stainless steel wainscoting enhances the aesthetic of a modern industrial loft, while doubling as a wall protector when the family wants to play indoor soccer!

When people of different ages and abilities are living together, it is very important to have adaptable design features that can enhance the safety and comfort of everyone in the house.

HirschShimizu_1926_Bathrm1_A_1_P_Pro (24)

Design by Anne De Wolf.

This bathroom shows that you do not have to compromise style in order to have a functional, adaptable space. A European-style curbless shower is a great solution for an elderly family member or any person who has balance or mobility challenges. The teak fold-down seat and adjustable hand-held shower head are elegant and stylish, while allowing for maximum end-user control.

Grab bars are also a great safety feature for shower and wet areas.


Design by Kristyn Bester.

When more people are living in a space, finishes often need to be cleaned and maintained more frequently, due to heavy use. There are many wonderful finish options that are as beautiful as they are durable.

Tired of scrubbing and sealing the tile and grout in your bathroom? Corian (seen in the shower surround above) is a durable solid surface material that provides a contemporary, easy-to-clean finish for your shower surround or countertop.

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Design by Anne De Wolf.

When it comes to quality of life, it’s the little things that count. When you are starting to think about a remodel, be sure to consider all of the various activities that you and your family engage in. How can your home support your unique hobbies and pastimes?

In this basement conversion, we created a large, versatile room in which the client could enjoy a sewing and crafting area without dominating the space. The built-in bench doubles as storage for crafting supplies to be neatly stowed away when not in use.

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Design by Anne De Wolf.

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Design by Anne De Wolf.

Your basement can also be a great opportunity for a private guest suite or “mother-in-law” suite. In this hip, loft-style basement conversion, we utilized the existing structural posts and beams to create perceived spatial allocations for sleeping, cooking, dining and lounging/entertainment. Multiple lighting layers allow the spaces to feel light and bright or soft and cozy. With this type of autonomous living space, your guest or adult family member can enjoy the privacy of apartment-style living, or you could even rent it out as an ADU or Airbnb unit!

Ready to start planning your phased multi-generational living remodel? Schedule a design consultation to begin planning your next project here.

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Postcards from the Field: April

This morning we thought we’d take you on a quick virtual tour of some of the projects we are currently working on here at Arciform…

Here are a few of the projects underway…


This mudroom in Lake Oswego is getting a very cool tile treatment….

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A gas pass-thru fireplace in SE Portland is being installed in a mid-century whole house remodel…

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Some views are being re-framed at a different mid-century addition project….

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… with the help of a VERY large crane.

exterior front - porch underway 4

A porch is coming together out in Beaverton…

Lidberg_1952_(N) Bath 1_After_W_NonPro_(9)

… while some very groovy tile is being set for a mid-century bathroom in Hillsdale.


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Bike racks and lockers are going to add some cool kid style to a basement renovation in NW Portland…

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….while this elegant custom radiator cabinet is being prepped for install up in the SW Hills.

Coming soon to Arciform… a historic Portland church gets a bell tower restoration, a Corvallis National Register property gets a new kitchen and the roof gets raised on a collection of dormer addition master suites all over Portland.

So… what are YOU working on?

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5 Things to Consider When Thinking of a Dormer Addition

This dormer addition, designed by Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth, stayed under the 12' size restrictions.

This dormer addition, designed by Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth, stayed under the 12′ size restrictions.

There are many things to think about when designing a dormer addition. Here are 5 things your designer will take into consideration.

1. Size

The size of your dormer addition can determine whether you will need additional permits and upgrades. By keeping it under 12′ you can typically avoid major seismic upgrades like sheer wall upgrades or adding posts and footings.

Designed by Chelly Wentworth, this dormer addition has new windows stacked.

Designed by Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth, this dormer addition has new windows stacked.

2. Stacking

Stacking a bath over an existing is the most cost effective way to add a bathroom to a dormer. By tapping into the existing plumbing from below you will avoid major plumbing costs.

To avoid sizable seismic and structural challenges, stack new windows over existing ones. By doing so, the load of your house will not change significantly.

3. Joist Depth

The depth of existing joists can play a large role in whether or not your dormer addition will allow for a bathroom. The joists must be a certain depth to accommodate plumbing lines, specifically for a toilet. Converting an attic into a dormer may also require structural improvements for the purpose of resisting wind or earthquake load and floor live loads (people, furniture).

A plan by Chelly Wentworth shows the insulation in a dormer addition.

A plan by Arciform designer Chelly Wentworth shows the insulation (pink area) in a dormer addition.

4. Insulation

When building a dormer the required roof insulation is rated at R-38, which requires a minimum 2×8 rafter size. If you are planning to install recessed can lighting fixtures you will need a 2×10 rafter to meet insulation requirements. This can provide challenges when you are dealing with existing framing members that are smaller and if you are trying to keep a continuous roof or wall plane.

This main floor addition by Kristyn Bester fits seamlessly with the aesthetics of the house.

This main floor addition by Arciform designer Kristyn Bester fits seamlessly with the aesthetics of the house.

5. Aesthetics

Make sure the type of dormer you are selecting is appropriate for your house – will it work with the existing roof lines? The two most common dormers are sheds and gable.

A shed dormer designed by Anne De Wolf.

A shed dormer designed by Arciform designer Anne De Wolf that ties into the existing roof lines.

Shed Dormer:

Typically off the back of the house, has a flat shed-like roof and allows for more headroom. These aren’t always aesthetically pleasing so adding character to the side will help to keep it appealing.

This dormer addition, designed by Arciform designer Anne De Wolf, is a good illustration of a gable dormer.

A gable dormer addition, designed by Arciform designer Anne De Wolf.

Gable Dormer:

A more expensive option and does not have as much headroom. These are a great option for adding more light to your room.

Are you ready to start planning your dream master suite or art studio? Schedule a design consultation to begin planning your next project here.

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Historic Curb Apeal: Taking Care of Your Tudor

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Tall gabled roofs, charming round top doors, leaded and beveled glass windows…. a Tudor style home is just bursting with inviting charm and curb appeal. The eclectic asymmetrical facades often feature brick or stucco and have winding approaches to their front doors that evoke the English country homes that inspire the style.

What does a Tudor home need to keep looking its best?

Here are 5 tips from Arciform Senior Designer Anne De Wolf for sprucing up your Tudor.


1. Safeguard your Stucco. The shallow overhangs and stucco exterior of many Tudors can lead to opportunities for the northwest’s rain to seep behind your facade. Keep a close eye out for weather damage on the stucco portions of your exterior and tackle any problems quickly before they get out of hand.

The good news: stucco can be repaired in small sections without needing to resurface your entire facade, making regular maintenance more affordable on Tudor homes.

copper awning

2.  Mix in Some Metal. Updating the entryway of a Tudor can be tricky- the style tends towards very small entry spaces with unusually shaped doors and very little covering from the elements. In order to add a bit of shelter without marring the traditional style, consider adding copper awnings over your doors and ground floor windows.



Wrought iron railings, sconces, lamp posts and edging can add additional design elements that will fit with the gothic inspirations of the Tudor style.

wrought iron


3. Dormer Delights. The high gabled roof of a Tudor home was originally designed to encourage the snow to slide off in northern climates. In the temperate northwest they have another advantage: plenty of space to add a dormer bedroom or office.

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Just two things to be aware of before you contemplate a dormer addition:

  • Your floor joists may be twisted. Because Tudors are often built as a series of small compartmentalized spaces, you may discover that the orientation of the floor joists can change from from floor to floor. The direction of the joists has a big impact on how the house will carry the weight of a new addition, so it is important to be sure you know which direction they run before your dormer addition is designed.
  • Framing designed for a ceiling may not be strong enough for a floor. Many Tudors have tall vaulted ceilings in their living rooms, with plenty of attic space above. However, ceiling joists are usually not built to withstand the same load as a floor, so creating a dormer above that vaulted living room may require more structural updates than your budget will allow.

Your designer will work with a structural engineer to be sure that the design of your new addition will take these important structural considerations into account.


4. Many Lites Make Lovely Windows. Thin, unusually shaped windows with many small panes of glass (called lites) are a hallmark feature of Tudor style. Beveled or leaded glass and diamond patterns are common.

What should you do when one of these iconic windows starts to leak or fail?

Our colleagues at Versatile Wood Products, a company that specializes in the restoration and historically accurate replacement of traditional windows and doors, recommend that you have a window expert do a site evaluation before you make any decisions about restoration or replacement. Options for restoration can include repairing broken lead elements, replacing rotting wood sash elements with new sash, or replacing the entire window with an exact replica. In some cases, adding an exterior custom storm window can lengthen the life of the window and increase its insulation value.

Be sure to explore all your options before you decide to rip out and replace with a modern window. A Tudor’s unusual window shapes can be a major factor in its curb appeal and resale value.


4. Instead of a Porch, Consider a Pavilion.

The shallow overhangs and high roof lines of a Tudor home don’t create many opportunities for integrated indoor/outdoor spaces like porches. Instead, consider creating a detached carport or pavilion that can double as an entertaining space when the weather is nice. A detached pavilion allows you a bit of flexibility on design to coordinate with the home without needing to exactly match design details. Just keep the framing simple and rustic to fit with the english country style of the home.

Want more good ideas for making your classic home the envy of the neighborhood?

Join us July 16th for a Historic Home How To Workshop at Old Portland and Architectural. Get the details and RSVP here.

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Historic Curb Appeal: Maintaining Your Craftsman

craftsman three

A craftsman bungalow is many a homeowner’s dream.Their deep eaves, broad front porches, simple lines and cozy, lantern-like interior spaces create a casual living environment well suited to NW living.

What details should you pay attention to when your bungalow needs a bit of love and care?

Here are 5 important considerations for restoring the exterior of your bungalow:

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1. Respect your Rafter Tails. If you are lucky, your craftsman comes complete with decoratively detailed rafter tails (the ends of the beams that hold your roof up). These showcase a core craftman virtue: architectural elements that are both functional and beautiful.

When the time comes to repair or replace your roof or update your gutter system, be sure to take care to protect your rafter tails from being shorn off in the process. Once sawn off they cannot be easily replaced it is wise to work with a company that will identify roofing and gutter solutions that will protect your home’s original tails and architectural beams.


2. Protect your Stained Glass with Storms. Craftsman homes are designed with long low horizontal surfaces, double hung windows and dark woods which create a lantern-like glow on the interior. You may be tempted to lighten up the home by adding additional picture or clerestory windows but resist the urge.

The cozy glow is part of the point.

The lower light of a craftsman also serves to highlight the beautiful stained glass windows that are frequently a key decorative feature. Protect your stained glass (and your other original windows) by installing historically accurate wooden storm windows.


3. Make an Entrance. One of the simplest ways to update the curb appeal of your bungalow is by creating a dramatic front entrance. Because Craftsman front doors typically open directly into the main living space, a beautiful entry door will have the benefit of adding curb appeal and adding to the charm of your home’s interior. Typical Craftsman front doors feature little wooden blocks called dentals that project out from the door in a horizontal pattern and sidelights that often feature etched or stained glass.


4.  Get Creative with Column Designs. One place where you have some aesthetic leeway on a Craftsman is in the design of your porch columns and railings. Though it is most common to see square, strongly horizontal shapes and patterns in a craftsman porch you and your designer should feel free to play with proportions and details to find something you like.

Just be sure to avoid unnecessary ornamentation. In a craftsman, the design of the architectural elements themselves should hold the aesthetic appeal rather than filigrees, additions, or architecturally unnecessary ornamentation.

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5. Go Bigger… In the Basement.The long, low horizontal lines of a Craftsman can offer few vertical surfaces to connect to a ground floor addition. Dormer additions are often impeded by the relatively shallow pitch of the bungalow roof.

So if extra space is needed to accommodate a growing family, explore the potential of a basement addition. By the time the Arts and Crafts style became popular, the basement and foundation technology was vastly improved over the Victorian era, giving you more space, (usually) a more watertight footprint and some flexibility to carve out finished space in your basement.

The most important basement considerations?

Do you have the ceiling height for officially permitted finished spaces? And do you have an appropriately located window or door that will work for fire safety egress?

Your Arciform designer can help you identify the renovation potential of your bungalow basement. With some smart design solutions, it can be a great way to add guest space and play space without marring the exterior design of your home.

Want more good ideas for making your classic home the envy of the neighborhood?

Join us July 16th for a Historic Home How To Workshop at Old Portland and Architectural. Get the details and RSVP here.

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