About My Old House
I lived in a wonderful Americanized English Revival cottage built in 1941. It's located in Avalon, PA, which is just outside Pittsburgh, PA, in a quaint neighborhood of similar size and style 1940s houses. It's almost identical to the Sears Mansfield from their 1929 Honor Bilt homes catalog. The major difference is that my house has a traditional gable roof instead of a jerkinhead gable and the floor plan is reversed. Unfortunately due to the rough economy I had to sell my beautiful house last year.
What I love the most about this house is that its exterior is veneered in red clinker brick giving it a very rustic irregular cottage look. The forward facing steeply pitched gable projects from the main body of the house and has a whimsical catslide roof on the right side of it. The original round top batten door has a leaded glass quarrel window that matches another leaded glass quarrel window in the same gable. The Mansfield doesn't feature this window, which is another difference between the two designs. Original charm abounds on the inside of this house with textured hardcoat plaster walls, original wrought iron light fixtures and door hardware, oak parquet floors, and tudor archways.
I personally believe that an old house should be restored and not renovated. It can be brought up to date for our modern lifestyles, but in a sensitive way that compliments the original architecture. The down side is that this can be very expensive such as adding reproductions of vintage products, like light fixtures. Although routine maintenance was kept up with by previous owners, insensitive changes were made such as replacement of the original slate roof with asphalt shingles and the replacement of the original Fenestra steel casement windows with cheap white vinyl clad double hungs.