OT: curb appeal

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by Smitty Two, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    There's been a bit of banter here about the old vs. the new. I've
    definitely got a preference for older homes (pre WWII) partly because
    they aren't ugly or gaudy looking from the street. Of course,
    architectural style preferences are personal (Mediterranean suits me.)

    But in any style, there was certainly a lot more thought and attention
    given to craftsmanship - in design and execution - "back in the day."

    So I gave it a little thought and it didn't take long to figure out my
    biggest complaint: Who the hell decided that the most prominent feature
    of a home ought to be the fucking garage? Sure, nobody built two car
    garages back in 1935, but the ones they did build were put behind the
    house, or pushed way back relative to the front of the house.

    Now the big ugly wart of a garage sticks way out in front and it doesn't
    matter what the architectural style of the house is, the garage just
    plain destroys it.

    Is it just me that is appalled by that?
    Smitty Two, Sep 21, 2007
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  2. Smitty Two

    Doug Miller Guest

    Nope, I hate them too. My wife calls them "garages with an attached house".
    Doug Miller, Sep 21, 2007
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  3. Smitty Two

    dpb Guest

    Smitty Two wrote:
    "Not my house, not my problem..." :)

    dpb, Sep 21, 2007
  4. Smitty Two

    kgstewar Guest

    You are not alone. I despise those houses!

    kgstewar, Sep 21, 2007
  5. Smitty Two

    bigjim Guest

    A detached garage becomes a shed. I like a two car attached garage.
    I've lived in a brand new house and a 30's house and my next house
    will be new as there are far fewer problems and modern systems beat
    ancient ones.
    bigjim, Sep 21, 2007
  6. Smitty Two

    dadiOH Guest

    I'm appalled by *everything* having to do with autos...the amount of
    money to buy/use them...the number per capita...the 10s of 1000s of
    square miles of pavement...millions of miles of road at millions per
    mile (yeah, I know...the truckers need them; whatever happened to
    trains?). Like that.

    As far as garages in back go, those went when alleys did. Alleys went
    when developers started making those wonderful, walled compounds
    ("gated communities").

    And all the above is California's fault.
    dadiOH, Sep 21, 2007
  7. Smitty Two

    kgstewar Guest

    Attached garages can be ok, I think the OP was referring to something
    like the "Crestbooke" shown here:


    where the garage overwhelms the house.

    kgstewar, Sep 21, 2007
  8. Smitty Two

    Gini Guest

    "Smitty Two" wrote
    I wouldn't buy one. I can't imagine what the architect is thinking when
    he/she creates such odd looking houses.
    Gini, Sep 21, 2007
  9. Ans: the accountants for large multi-unit builders.
    They discovered (from architectural/engineering data)
    that if you want any size of enclosed garage the
    cheapest way to build it is projecting forward from
    the inhabiited part of the house.
    Don Phillipson, Sep 21, 2007
  10. Smitty Two

    charlie Guest

    yes. however, it's all driven by cost.

    charlie, Sep 21, 2007
  11. Smitty Two

    mike Guest

    A-men. I don't give a flip if for some bizarre reason it repels
    someone's inner designer if the garage is out front. I don't mind it
    at all. It's convenient, saves space, provides privacy, and looks
    just fine to me.

    Form follows function.
    mike, Sep 21, 2007
  12. Smitty Two

    Big_Jake Guest

    My wife and I think they look like firehouses. We expect the garage
    door to open, followed by a truck or two driving out with lights and
    sirens. :)

    Big_Jake, Sep 21, 2007
  13. Smitty Two

    mike Guest

    Um, wouldn't the cars get in the way of the food preparation?
    Seriously, a garage in the back would just mean fewer views of your
    beautiful back yard in a trade for more views of the road. No thanks.
    mike, Sep 21, 2007
  14. Smitty Two

    Nick Danger Guest

    Craftsmanship wasn't any better "back in the day." If anything, it was
    worse. But all the architectural nightmares of the day either fell down or
    were mercifully put out of their misery and torn down long ago. The only
    houses still standing today are the ones that were well designed, well
    constructed, and well maintained. 100 years from now, the same thing will
    happen, and people will be longing for the quality and workmanship of the
    2000s because the only houses of this era that they'll see will be the best

    As for the garage dominating the front of the house, this isn't the problem,
    it's just a side-effect of the problem. Back in the day, you had the
    occasional carriage going down the street, and a fair number of people
    passing by on the sidewalks. You put a porch on the front of your house so
    you could cool off on a hot summer evening and talk with people walking by.
    Now the street is full of cars and trucks (actually, since it's a
    residential neighborhood, there are no cars, just humungous SUVs being
    driven by housewives talking on the phone and driving much too fast), so the
    front of the house plays no role in anyone's life except as a connection to
    the street - just drive in and drive out. The house is probably
    air-conditioned, so there isn't that much need to go outside. Any contact
    with the outside is in the back yard. Maybe there are some people who want
    to show off their cars and power tools in their garage, but I think mostly
    people just don't want to be bothered with making a statement.
    Nick Danger, Sep 22, 2007
  15. Smitty Two

    aemeijers Guest

    Chuckle. My father, who has been designing houses for 50+ years, bemoaned
    the end of 'alley' subdivisions, for just that reason. It wasn't till lots
    got wider in the 1960s, could he start steering customers to side-entry or
    rear-entry garages again. A street-facing 2-car garage makes it look like
    the car owns the house, and the humans are just the staff. They used to run
    a skinny drive along the house and put the garage in back yard, on lots
    without an alley. But houses had front porches, and kids were allowed to
    play in front yards. Back yards were the utilitarian areas, used for garden
    and clotheslines and such. Whn backyards became private sanctuaries where
    every square foot counted, and building codes and insurance companies
    started allowing attached garages, suddenly only old fogies went with
    detached. I'm not one of those utopian 'new urbanists', I know there is no
    turing the clock back, but a typical 1957- 1977 suburan dipped-in-brick
    ranch is just SAD.

    aem sends...
    aemeijers, Sep 22, 2007
  16. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    When an accountant came down to the shop one day to tell Henry Ford how
    to run his business, he stormed up the stairs and fired the entire
    accounting staff - a whole floor full of people. Every last one of the
    pesky bastards. More accountants need to be fired, I think.
    Smitty Two, Sep 22, 2007
  17. Smitty Two

    Rudy Guest

    Once they went :suburbia: and got rid of back alleys, the garages had to
    face the front. My uncle had a nice WIDE lot in 1960's Sunnyvale CA..
    Two car garage and still the rest of the front of house was still almost
    twice the size of the garage doors. Didnt look bad at all.
    Now the lot sizes have been chopped down so narrow, some new homes have
    nothing at the front except the double garage door and "maybe" the main
    front door.

    OO-GLY ? Yep
    Rudy, Sep 22, 2007
  18. It may have been a status symbol many year ago, but today, it is a matter of
    practicality over aesthetics. With garage door openers it is easy to push
    the button and drive into the house, looks be damned. We have friends
    that we've know for 26 years since we moved to this town. We see them very
    often but in 26 years, I've never used their front door. I don't think they
    ever have either.
    Edwin Pawlowski, Sep 22, 2007
  19. Better than some, worse than others. For a few dollars more in
    construction, the garage could have been turned 90 degrees with the entrance
    on the right side. That means the driveway would be moved over (could be a
    problem with some property lines) and a few more square feet of asphalt
    would have been used at the top, but the drive itself could have been
    narrower from the street. It would also mean adding a couple of more
    windows (that cost $$$) so it looks balanced and not a big bland slab as is
    on the side now.

    IMO, the front porch should be brought up to the real front of the house so
    you can sit out there with a good view of the street and neighborhood. Fact
    is, no one uses front porches like they did in the old days of row homes in
    the city. We all hide in the back yard so our neighbors can't see us.

    How many of us have never met or spoken to a neighbor that is two or more
    houses away from us? But I bet we can recognize their car.
    Edwin Pawlowski, Sep 22, 2007
  20. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    A thoughtful reply. I disagree about the first paragraph, but you're on
    target with the second. Except for one point: I'd say 90% of those ugly
    garages aren't filled with cars and power tools. They've either been
    converted to living space of one sort or another, or they're filled with
    piles and piles and piles of useless crap. Now how useful is that door
    to the kitchen?
    Smitty Two, Sep 22, 2007
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