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Thread: Habitat for Humanity and architectural compatibility

  1. #1
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Habitat for Humanity and architectural compatibility

    There is good research about infill design standards when small houses are to be replaced with larger ones, but what about the opposite? In our community, Habitat for Humanity and other social service agencies have a tendency to pick up vacant parcels in older neighborhoods that contain large homes. The 1100 sq. ft. ranch doesn't blend in with the two story Victorians very well.

    Any success stories out there?

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    What...you don't think this looks good:




    Seriously, I don't know of any specific examples about this situation, but I do know that many residential design guidelines tend to be developed in terms of "neighborhood character". So, they can be applied to either big new house/small old house or vice-versus. They generally talk about working with the character of the neighborhood and try to make the new "fit" within the context of the locality, but not replicate it.

    So for small houses (such as ranches) in large victorian neighborhoods, maybe the small house needs to incorporate "larger" house elements - such as high pitched roofs with dormers, a rasied foundation (no at grade floors), front porches, etc. - basically try early 20th century one floor bungalows.

    here are our design guidelines: Design Guidelines
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  3. #3
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    That looks terrible!
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

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    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    The city I used to work for partnered with Habitat to renovate a historic house and construct two units of affordable housing as a rear lot subdivision. So, the house the faced the street was kept in tact, but the rear lot house will be a modular construction. The arrangement should work out pretty well, once they get past all the legal issues with affordable deed restrictions- but that's a Massachusetts thing.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post

    here are our design guidelines: Design Guidelines
    HA! I just finished reading them! Very nice.

  6. #6
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    Multi Family

    I volunteered for Habitat and had alot of fun! They seem to have an overemphasis, in my opinion, on single family housing. Why not put a duplex or 3 decker next to those victorian houses? That would help more families on the same plot of land. How about small well designed condo units?

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jbushkey View post
    Why not put a duplex or 3 decker next to those victorian houses? That would help more families on the same plot of land. How about small well designed condo units?
    For most Habitat owners, it's the first house they've ever owned. Do you think they could manage party wall agreements, or maintain a functional condo or homeowner's association for a mini-condo complex?

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