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.

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