Curb Appeal-Balancing act
This Old House Magazine|Fall 2021
With a full-width front porch, a new two-story garage, and a fresh color palette, architect Jeff Troyer gives a 1953 Cape the upgraded look and function it deserves
Jeff Troyer

My house is not your classic Cape Cod,” says Joan Beaulieu of her home in Rye, NH, built by her father, a general contractor, in 1953. “With the bump-out in front, it just looks out of proportion to me. I’d like to keep it in the family, but it needs an update.” On her wish list: replacing the windows, doors, and siding, as well as the rickety garage, ideally adding a room upstairs for family gatherings. We turned to Los Angeles architect Jeff Troyer for ideas to give her home more appeal.

First up: He would add a full-width front porch with a roof that gently slopes out from the main roofline. “This incorporates the existing gable bump out for a more traditional Cape Cod look,” he says. Corbels, a painted railing, and double-hung wood windows add another layer of detail. The new garage repeats the gable and holds a family room that expands the house upstairs, with a mudroom connector below.

“I love the clean, current, classic look, and the way the porch softens the front gable,” says Joan. “It’s beautiful! I would definitely consider moving in this direction.”

The earliest Cape Cod style houses were built by Puritans in New England; the snug, one-story homes were designed to withstand the harsh environment. Many of their signature features still remain popular today.

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