Allbright Bullock Architects designed a renovation and addition to this turn-of-the-century home. © Celia Pearson.

Ask the Pros Architecture

Advice on designing the perfect home by the bay

Ask the Pros Architecture

When renovating an older home, how do you make an addition look as though it’s always been there?

For an addition to feel integral to the original house, materials and massing need to be compatible. The pitch of the roof and the types of dormers, overhangs, trim and detailing need to complement the original structure. 

Typically, an addition is subservient to, or smaller than, the primary building. The connection between new and old needs to be well considered; it should be respectful of the old without being a replica or simple extension. One aspect that is frequently overlooked is the creation of outdoor spaces between the addition and the original house. These “outdoor rooms” are opportunities to enhance the original building with fresh, new views and connections to the landscape. —Kirk Allbright, Allbright Bullock Architects, Severna Park, Maryland