Top 3 Questions Asked of Our Architects – Answered!

In our popular column “Ask the Architect,” homeowners like you write in with your burning classic & modern architectural questions. These questions are personally answered by Bruce Wentworth, AIA. Bruce is a world-renowned practicing architect, and has been featured in the New York Times, House Beautiful, Southern Living, and other major publications. Read on for expert answers to the top 3 most popular questions in the column’s history!

  1. How to Properly Ventilate a Roof

Homeowner Michael E. wrote in to report that he was considering building a home with a shed roof, but wanted to be sure it was properly insulated, ventilated, and pitched. Bruce answers by first assuring Michael that venting a shed roof is not necessary according to most building codes. He then gives Michael E. and our readers a succinct rundown of the benefits, drawbacks, and ideal conditions needed to get the most out of vented roofing, unvented roofing, and metal roofing material.

Read the full answer here.

  1. How to Enlarge a Ranch House the Right Way

K.W. was very interested in enlarging their 2,220-square-foot Ranch house, but didn’t want to sacrifice the look, feel, or architectural integrity of the design. In this column, Bruce walks K.W. through two popular options—the “pop-top” addition and the “one-story” addition—and explains the pluses and minuses of both. The pop-top addition involves building up, and can thus work on a smaller lot size (but is usually more expensive). The one-story addition involves building out, and while it requires more space, it’s generally a less challenging, more affordable build. Bruce also highlights some of the Ranch house’s signature exterior materials and conventions, and goes over how to integrate them into both addition strategies.

Read all about how to expand your Home on the Range here.

  1. How to Expand a Bungalow but Keep It a Bungalow

F.M. had grand plans for their bungalow addition, including a family room, a master suite, and a two-story rear addition. However, they were concerned that the addition would look tacked on unless they paid close attention to Craftsman-style architecture and bungalow conventions. Bruce sheds some light on the rich history and functionality of the bungalow, originally a catalog-available “kit home” that came in the mail! He then provides details on three key attributes the homeowner must get right in the addition to keep the bungalow look and feel: the roof line, the window pattern, and the addition’s intended height and positioning.

Read up on how to execute the perfect bungalow transformation here.  

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“ I'm only writing to thank you for a truly fantastic educational and informative website. I'm on the havre de grace historical preservation commission and often need to identify the style of one of our historical homes. without architectural training it can be difficult. I hope you don't mind but I'm going to copy your page of styles and distribute it to commission members, along with credit to your website. It's truly exciting to find your website. thank you so much for sharing the information. ”

M.O., Havre de Grace, MD