Thursday, February 28, 2013

American Foursquare

 
Our beautiful old home is an architectural style known as American Foursquare.  These houses were popular from the 1890s to about 1930.  These houses have very simple designs, in response to the overly ornate Victorian houses popular just before this time period.  The foursquare is known for it's floor plan, four rooms downstairs and four rooms upstairs.  These houses often incorporate Craftsman style elements inside and out.

 
When we first bought our home, it was a pale butter yellow with maroon shutters and doors.  We've touched up the yellow paint as best we could over the years and changed all the maroon features to blue.  Sadly our house is in desperate need of a new exterior, either paint or siding, plus we need to put on a new roof and gutters.  So I've begun researching this style of house to determine what colors would be in keeping with its original nature.  All along we assumed our house was built around 1930 because that's what the land records say.  We've found out since then, land records estimated the date of building.  Upon doing research it's more likely that our house was built between 1916 and 1921.

 
How do I know this?  Well, Sears and Aladdin were the only makers of the American Foursquare kits that I could find.  That's right, you ordered your house out of a catalog and they'd ship all the labeled and cut parts to you by train and you'd be responsible for assembling it.  When I looked at all the floor plans available for the various models, the only floor plan that matched ours was "The Hudson" model made by Aladdin from 1916-1921.  It's an exact match and none of the others were even remotely close.  So above here is the original ad for our house.  I am particularly interested in the colors they suggest in this ad because if we're going to paint or side the house, this will be the opportunity to change the color of not only the house, but also the roof.  I found a website that shows all the original colors for these houses:  Foursquare site
I am leaning toward the colors in the above picture, mustard yellow house, white trim, dark green roof.  M says no to the green roof.  She thinks it will look odd and will harm the resale.  I don't and the white house across the street has a green roof and I think it looks fine.  So this is where we find ourselves, at the very beginning of a long process to fix / improve the exterior of our house.  On that website I placed above, you can also see examples of foursquares and bungalows with different color schemes.  What do you think?  Would a house with a green roof be a deal breaker for purchase?


7 comments:

Webster said...

Color is such a personal thing. I don't think a dark or pine green roof would look bad at all. However, I prefer the less mustardy yellow that is on the top left.

PENolan said...

Personally, I'd love the green roof - but I can see where someone might want to play it safe for resale. Depends on how long you'll be pulling into the driveway and looking at the roof your own self. If you're 10 years away from selling, then please yourself.

nbrsspot.blogspot.com said...

I guess it depends on what color yellow and green that you are going to use. But its your house for the time being and its your choice. Again like the other lady said please yourself its going to be a while before resale.

Hugh Dinatale said...

I think the green roof would work just fine. It doesn't have too much contrast against the yellow mustard siding, but the variety is there. For resale purposes though, I wouldn't consider having too much colors at play as it may distract the buyers. That's just me. But like what they said, if the resale is ten years down the road, then there's no harm pleasing yourself.

Noreen Saint said...

If she doesn’t agree with it because she doesn’t like it personally, then it’s probably a good idea to choose another. But if it’s solely for the resale, Hugh is right. Just go with it, and if you’re thinking of selling it, then offer to change it to something more appealing to the buyer. But I don’t see anything wrong with going along with dark green.

Noreen @ Town & Country Roofing

Herb Koguchi @ Kroll Construction said...

A green roof isn’t a deal breaker, IMO. It really depends on who decides to buy the house should you open it up for resale. But restoring it to its original state does add a bit of charm to the place, yes?

Mary Martin said...

It looks charming, and you can’t go wrong with the original colors. You could always repaint it if it looks bad or once it fades.

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