One of the lamentations of our loss of respect for proper design and execution is we wind up building construction that seem "ok" but our brain tells us something is amiss. This is unfortunate as previous generations of craftsmen, builders, architects and thinkers figured all this stuff out for us, and for the most part we are just slipping into laziness and / or a sense of "good enough".
A prime example is this dormer. In the quest for extra usable space, a misproportioned cube topped with a triangle has been plunked onto this old house. It has been swathed in vinyl siding that matches nothing on the existing structure, and the proportions of the windows are simply bizarre - lots of room for a more vertical window like those of the house. A well designed and detailed shed dormer would look so much better - like the image below:
While on the subject of window shape, here is a fine example of not getting it right, and then not getting it right again! The lower double hung windows are too narrow and too close together - two wider windows would look appropriate (interesting the house next to the outbuilding suffers the same malady). And the upper window is far too wide for a double window of that height - and the windows on the back of the second story suffer as well. There is a shape known as a "golden rectangle" and its part of "design 101".
Rory McDonnell is a General Contractor, Licensed Carpenter and Architectural Designer with Build, a construction firm in Stratford, Ontario, specializing in new custom homes and renovations.
I am a licensed carpenter,