Family Expansion: Historic Home Addition

By: Danny Lipford
Danny Lipford in front of competed two-story historic home addition.

Danny Lipford in front of competed two-story historic home addition.

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A carefully planned and executed addition is the solution for a growing family that needs help fitting into this beautiful, 100-year-old home. Since it’s located in an historic district, there are many restrictions on how the structure can be altered, making the design a challenge for architect Pete J. Vallas.


After much deliberation, it was decided that the new addition would occupy the space above and to one side of the existing back porch. The 1,000 square foot addition has 11’ ceilings, to match those in the original house. The addition has an entryway and laundry room on the first floor and two bedrooms, a bath, and closets upstairs.

Once the foundation had been dug, concrete footings were poured, topped by cinder block piers faced with old brick on the outside.


Next, the bottom floor of the addition was framed, and the ceiling and roof on the existing porch removed. A laminated beam was positioned on top of the porch columns to support the framing for the second story.

Detail Work

The eaves and hip roof of the addition were carefully matched to the existing house. After the exterior framing and roofing had been completed, drywall was hung and finished, followed by installation of the interior doors and trim.

When adding to an historic house, it’s important to match the design and architectural details as closely as possible. If molding and millwork is no longer available to match the original, it can be custom made or constructed from several pieces of stock molding joined together.


The wood flooring in the addition was made from yellow pine and stained to match the antique heart pine floors in the original house.

In addition to the laundry room, the downstairs addition has a computer center with beadboard cabinets along with adjustable cubicles for added storage.

The flooring selected for the downstairs addition was made of a durable, woven vinyl material manufactured by Design Materials, Inc. The series and color used were Seasons, 127 Little Summer.

Finished Addition

Completed two-story historic home addition.

The finished addition added plenty of room for the growing family without altering the front facade of the house.

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