We need to close in the carport, but I'm just not sure.

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tampaChrissie
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We need to close in the carport, but I'm just not sure.

Postby tampaChrissie » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:42 am

I've resisted this so far, but for many reasons I think we need to close in the garage. First off the yard is small and building a workshop in it would only make it smaller. Second the washer/dryer are on the other side of the carport and my neighbors are tired of seeing me in my PJs.

Here is the house:
Image

We've considered doing a sliding door that slide to the right, but the utility room is only 6'. Given the roof height I'm not sure a rollup is even possible. And we have had no luck find an older style pull up door.

Does anyone have any suggestions or pictures on how to do this without killing the look of our home?

Thanks in advance.

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Postby jesgord » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:42 am

Maybe you could just throw on some clothes before you start doing laundry? :wink:

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Postby rockabilly » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:01 am

well, I have an idea which is not a purist MCM solution, but you might look into the industrial aluminum trim with window type garage doors. I've seen several in the lynwood neighborhood here in denver with similar MCM homes. these doors remind me of 1960s mechanics shop industrial doors with all the horizontal windows. you might be able to get the window shapes to look similar to the front windows of the house... here is a discussion on them:

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Postby johnnyapollo » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:35 am

I like the glass-panel version - if you're going to do one it may be the lease obtrusive looking. Prolly won't be cheap, though.

A different consideration is how it's done - in my neighborhood many have enclosed the carport, but have pushed the walls out (leaving very little overhang for the roof) to maximize garage space - this looks horrible to me (well, most in my neighborhood who have done this also have big ugly white-with-windows Borg doors). If you do enclose, try to match the current wall planes, front to back to minimize.

Personally, i prefer a carport and would rather build a separate workshop (I did this in our previous house).
Image
Image

The workshop was to the right of the building when facing the front - behind a privacy fence - I put it a foot from the property line so it wouldn't affect the backyard and placed a gate between it and the house for easy access. You might think of placing a workshop building in a similar manner - make sure your neighbors don't mind and get the necessary easement and permits if necessary.

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Postby jesgord » Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:49 am

Sorry for the wise ass comment above. I just think the house looks great with the carport and would hate to see it turned into a garage. :(

There are companies out there that make motorized garage screan doors. I once saw a mcm home where the screen portion was swapped out for opaque material (I think it was some sort of sail cloth or canvas) Looking at your carport, I'm not sure where something like this could mount....but it might be a less permanent, less intrusive solution?

The portion on the top into which the screen retracts is aluminum, simple and I believe can be powdercoated to suit your needs

Image

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Postby tampaChrissie » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:01 am

Thanks for all the ideas.

JA- I love the shed you built, we might still consider that.

In my mind I see it framed out 3' feet behind the leading edge of the roof and with some matching windows across the top.

Keep the ideas coming, I'm still very undecided if you couldn't tell.

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Postby Izzy » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:18 am

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Postby Stephen » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:31 am

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Postby jesgord » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:31 am


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Postby rockland » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:47 pm


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Postby Stephen » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:59 pm

This issue really hits on a nerve. On one hand, I completely agree with FuturaGirl that no matter how great of a job you do, enclosing NEVER improves the appearance and in most cases, seriously "uglifies" the front facade. Though, with a little care it is possible, I think, to at least maintain aesthetics -- as seen in a LL member's place:

Image While the garage area has a different exterior feel than the rest of the house -- I think that's fine as the garage is different space than the rest of the house.

Furthermore, I think most of us would agree that part of the MCM mantra was to build houses that more more functional and made more sense than the typical tudors, ramblers, or stripped-down tract ranches. In this situation we have a very clear case that the carport isn't cutting it functionally. So we've got a quandary: leave it alone and have an aesthetically-pleasing house that fails functionally, or try and find a way to modify it with minimal aesthetic impact.
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Postby rockland » Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:41 pm

i so agree stephen.
that is the image i was thinking of. the same home.
function is so important. if privacy is a key here, it must be dealt with.
living in a home you love, the odd things, like privacy, must be changed.
and it can be done well.
i still, after a year, have the 'curious neighbor syndrome',
(the slow down, break lights, stare)
kinda wierd. and i have glass front and a see through the entire house.
i'm not changing it. and i don't wear pj's. (most of what one would see is
movement. i do need window coverings in the sitting area)
nudity is mainly in pass through areas.
who wants to move from a home you love. make it work for a modern lifestyle. (privacy)
not to mention the nightmare of moving again.

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Postby comodern » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:08 pm

We have been dealing with the exact same issue. Living in Colorado I feel that a garage is a bit of a necessity. Our biggest problem is that we would have to reconfigure our front door if we enclosed the carport. In our consideration, we faced the same problem with a roll up door and not having enough clearance. If you keep searching you may be able to find a pull up style door. That is what we figured we would need to make it happen.
It will defintely change the look and feel of your house. That is ultimately why we aren't doing it...at least for now. After another winter, I might change my mind!

Our carport:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/broomfield ... 576066370/

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Postby rockland » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:27 pm

oh no.
do we need a 'save the car-port' bumber-sticker.
make it work.
have a yard sale. car-ports are an endangered species.

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Postby Stephen » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:30 pm

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Postby Perks » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:31 pm

I don't have any particularly groundbreaking advice, but I really feel for ya, Chrissie.

As much as I absolutely love the look of carports over garages...I have wondered if I could ever actually live in a house that had one. I simply have way too much stuff in my own garage to be able to give up that extra space anytime soon.... :oops:

I would agree with everyone else that your house is gorgeous as it is. I would fear that, if you installed an aluminum garage door with glass inserts, the attention would be drawn away from that nice big window to the left of the carport. I don't know about anyone else, but the thought of that big panel of windows combined with a similar-looking bank of glass garage door sections brings to mind an image of an older Shell gas station.

Image

With that said, though, I think an enclosed garage could be tastefully done in a manner that is fitting to the original design of the house. And I think Stephen has a very valid point that MCM-ism should, first and foremost, value function. If done cheaply, or inappropriately, you will be deeply disappointed in the result. In that vein, I would strongly encourage working with a designer who appreciates the spirit if modern living as you enter into this project.

Best of luck. I certainly look forward to seeing the "after" shots if you do decide to move forward on this! :cheers:
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Postby Futura Girl » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:56 pm

we live in a house with a 2 car carport.

prior to that we lived in a home with an eichler carport/garage combo as mentioned by stephen. it was helpful for us making the transition from traditional home to garage-less home.

but now that i have a carport - i have learned to live with it. i love the airy open feeling of the front of my current home. and sometimes there are piles of stuff on top of the cars that don't make it so attractive. oh well... that's life. i like the freedom and space around my car for getting in and out and loading and unloading, but sometimes i wish the cars were more protected.

but would i ever enclose it? never.
which brings me to the purpose of Lotta Living...

the reason for this forum is not to take a 'hard line' approach (our preservation way or the highway), BUT at the same time it is to help educate people to really think long and hard before you start to try to embellish on what has already been perfectly designed by someone 40-50 years ago.

if you owned a picasso - would you add a little more yellow paint to it to help it match your bedroom furniture more? probably not advisable
if you owned a studebaker avanti - would you put a toyota engine into it to help it run more fuel efficiently? probably not advisable
if you owned a steinway with a few broken ivory keys, would you replace the keyboard with a brand new plastic keyboard so it looked and played better? probably not advisable
if you owned an MCM with original exterior lines and minimal remuddling, would you alter it? probably not advisable.

and why shouldn't we think of architecture as precious as fine art, classic automobiles and antiques? as preservationists - we constantly are in a struggle to teach developers and city officials that architecture IS fine art.
so my conclusion is this means we need to practice what we preach at home if we want our cities and redevelopment agencies to do the same...

so it is my hope that lotta living provides a place where people can learn the value of what they have and think seriously about major changes before they do them haphazardly.

doing tweeks here and there are part of owning an historic home, but enclocing carports is much more then that - it is a dramatic change in the architect's vision. especially when that part of the vision is alive and intact. if the house was already screwed up design wise - it wouldn't be such a big deal. but to see a home in such beautiful shape from the exterior should make one pause from changing it - for a long long time.

--------------------------
the thing that seems to be missing in your home is the storage portion of the carport. Palmer and Krisel typically included a garage storage shed of some kind directly behind the carport area. ours was expanded a few feet further back into the yard. so we really don't technically need a garage.

as rocknlounge mentioned - you could build this kind of structure onto the back of your carport and have a win-win.
also, i would be seriously inclined to figure out a way to move your laundry facilities indoors, too.

so yes, i say - get that bumper sticker campaign going...
SAVE THE CARPORTS!

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Postby tampaChrissie » Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:11 am


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Postby robbhouston » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:03 am

I totally get the architectural drama carports create, as well as duel purpose space for entertaining etc. But as I mention on my website...

"It's not that disliked the carport so much, but simply needed the functionality of a garage. The house had also been altered over the years (via extra paving and roof alterations), making the front entrance a bit less appealing by the time I'd purchased it. So, since the original esthetic was already obscured, I decided to make it my own. But I worked very hard at maintaining the 1961 "modern" spirit of the place."

A few of my reasons for adding a garage....When I bought the place, the washer and dryer were in the kitchen. We built an enclosed finished utility room at the far end of the new garage. I'm also a full time working musician with large flight cases that need storage....and I own a street bike motorcycle that needs secure storage. Add to that...my recent marriage introduced kitty cats into my home. With the garage they now have their own space for kitty litter, food bowels, etc...that they reach via kitty doors. They also enjoy the private space the obscure glass wall has created between the original front door and the garage. Since I restored the 6'x10' skylight, this space is a light filled private court we all enjoy.

Before...
Image

After...
Image

Close up of garage...
Image

Entry Court...
Image

Image

Image

New utility room...
Image

I really worked hard finding a single panel tilt up garage door so it'd look period, special ordered light fixtures to also appear period, and hunted far and wide for narrow vertical siding to approximate the T&G of the period (and also to match the vertical lines of the garage door). Over-all, we're very pleased with the finished project. And we could not live without the functionality its added.

Regarding homes as art...If I was lucky enough to own an architecturally significant home (ie: designed by a well known architect who's homes are works of art), I definitely would not have altered as I did. I totally agree that homes of that nature should be preserved as they are (or restored to the way they were). My home, however, was just a simple BH&G's design (that, btw, was already suffering from compromises to the original BH&Gs plan at the time of it's construction). I'm a pretty big MCM enthusiest and I feel like we were pretty sensitive to the homes orginal intent, while at the same time making it more livable for us.

tampaChrissie: A suggestion. What if you left the full depth of the carport open as it is (to maintain the original look of the front), but built an enclosed garage at the back end of it. In other words, you drive thru the carport to reach your garage. Perhaps the design could include a way to allow natural to come thru near the garage door, so it doesn't turn into a tunnel. Just a thought?

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Postby johnnyapollo » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:08 am

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Postby Joe » Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:21 pm

carports rule.

with this particular house, enclosing the carport would not be a good thing. who cares about what your neighbors see? I am sure there are some solutions that do not include messing with the carport. give us some photos of the back area and a floor plan of your home.

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Postby PaulKaplan » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:41 pm

As if you haven't had enough input, I would agree, keep the carport. I think part of the appeal of the mid-century home, is that the carport was intended to actually celebrate the automobile and the modern age...... Maybe you should consider buying a cool 1959 Cadillac convertable with fins instead, to show off, and park it in your carport!! (And just get rid of stuff so you don't even need a shed!!)

Just a thought...
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Postby 5280mod » Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:26 pm

Jesgord...

FLW detested garages. In his book "The Natural House," he makes his distaste for them quite clear.
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Postby rockland » Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:02 pm

is this another topic?
how do we hide our dependable 2000-2007 cars? they all look pretty bad
in driveways and carports. the volvo p-1800 for sale up the road looks
sweet. and it is red. but i can't use it for work.
did FLW call them carports? it's art really. but that was such another era.
how could you park a dodge carravan under a FLW.
(i have a truck and a jeep) and hidden down the drive and beind folliage.
another design brilliance by my 1960 architect. all cars are hidden on our
street. in fact, he seems to have hated cars.

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Postby egads » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:23 pm

Considering your husbands interests and the front elevation, I'd see about building a rear garage. It would cost a lot more than enclosing what you have, but it would be way more functional.

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Postby robbhouston » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:33 am

I agree. Your front elevation is really cool. Way more striking than mine was prior to the garage addition. I think it's the extra long length of your sloping roof and the detached storage room. My storage room was in the rear of the carport, and there was no detached anything. Our garage plan was a bit different than your's might be, requiring only partially enclosing the space. We used the original concrete slab to define the garage width and the planter (which did not go away, is just recessed now...kinda neat looking) to define garage depth. The center area (which was originally yard w/grass and some landscaping, but got paved over by the previous occupant) is still outdoors. So the roof line still extends over some open space, giving the place some dimension when seen from the street. Looks to me like enclosing your carport would make the entire front of the house almost completely flat. Not near as cool as it looks now.

A footnote to my above suggestion about positioning a garage at the rear of the of the carport....how about even further back. You drive thru the carport and several more feet to reach the garage. It could extend beyond the back end of the house....

Image

Not sure what your house is shaped like, but perhaps a plan something like this...

Image

If you're concerned about loosing backyard space...I don't know about you, but I mostly enjoy using my patio. The yard is mainly a view. My folks previous house had a detached garage positioned kinda like my drawing above. It extended almost to the back of the lot. The remaining backyard space was a giant patio all in slate, with a pool in the middle. They had a raised deck area at the very back of the lot with banana trees right at the fence for privacy. You'd sit there facing the house, looking across the pool and patio. It was a small lot, but seemed huge because they utilized the whole thing.

Just thoughts...

--Robb
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A little website I created to showcase my home and other MCMs in and around the Nashville TN area.


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