Before getting a license to practice medicine, a new doctor has to swear to uphold the Hippocratic oath to "do no harm" to any patient. If there were a similar oath for remodelers (the Palladian oath?), builders would have to swear not to leave a remodeled house looking uglier than it was before. That's not difficult if you're starting with a charming old farmhouse or some other character-rich design, but when you're remodeling a house that didn't have any style to begin with, it can be a real challenge.

That challenge is a common one nowadays, when the number of style-deficient post-WW II houses in need of major remodeling is at an all-time high. My architectural practice here in Minnesota is dominated by remodeled designs of such newer house types as split levels, ranches, and the ever popular "raised ranch" shown here.

or Register to continue reading