Today we’ll look at two different types of alterations which can negatively impact how we perceive a structure. Sadly, the following examples are fairly tame… there are countless others which are far worse.

The first category, Indifference, will highlight houses which are victims of careless disregard where utility takes precedent over aesthetics.

The second category, Failed Attempts, will show why sometimes its not a good idea to be your own architect or interior designer.

Let’s get started!


This house once possessed a more Italianate character. It has since been converted to apartments and has suffered multiple indignities. These include replacement windows and doors, loss of three windows in the projecting square bay, and replacement siding. Then, just to pour salt in the wound, numerous dishes have been affixed to the exterior along with lots of cable haphazardly strung with little concern for tidiness or concealment. Image source:

Another apartment conversion. Houses typically suffer aesthetically once they cease to be owner occupied and are instead viewed as income sources. Here, electric meters and other utility-related eyesores congregate near the center of the facade. Image source:

A typical exterior cable installation which mars the stucco side wall of a row house. Image courtesy of Google Street View.

This pair of once-identical row houses have both been altered; replacement windows, doors and siding mute the original character. Now duplexes, four electric meters are mounted to the front of one. I wonder if the owner of these units has a similar amount of wires and cables (or even a single meter) on the front of his own house? Image source:
Random lengths of vinyl siding cover something above this garage door. Whatever it is couldn’t have been worse than this installation! Image courtesy of Google Street View.

Failed Attempts:

A remodeled porch fails to respect the adjacent house. A once-continuous pent roof which wrapped the corner has been severed. A square post below impedes upon the bay window while a new iron balustrade above resembles a prison cell. An older addition at the rear is similarly callous. Image source:
A pair of roof-mounted dishes mimic the dormer’s replacement windows, calling attention to both alterations. Image source:
There’s not much wrong with the exterior of this Queen Anne style house (if you overlook the thoughtless dish installation). The real problem is on the inside. Most people, when they see a house with a tower, think something like, “Cool! A tower! I wonder what it looks like inside?” In this case, maybe we don’t want to know… Scroll down to find out! Image source:

A giant round planter!!!!!!!!!!! Image source:
And a closer view… Image source:

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