The owners of this house would like to let more light into the living room and improve their view of the front yard. What can they do?

First, it is important to know that the house has been modified to a certain extent over time. To bring back its inherent colonial flavour would be a nice improvement.
The owners of this house would like to let more light into the living room and improve their view of the front yard. What can they do?

First, it is important to know that the house has been modified to a certain extent over time. To bring back its inherent colonial flavour would be a nice improvement.

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.

Colour photo of the house before the project

The house before the window improvement project

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


1 - Make good use of the colonial influence

The colonial architectural influence relies on certain characteristic elements:
1½- to 2-floor construction. Mid-incline, double-slope roof, with or without dormer windows. Vertical sliding windows, symmetrically positioned. Classical style ornamentation. 2 - Respect the symmetry of doors and windows

The doors and windows of the Colonial house are symmetrically positioned on all sides:
Moving an opening out of symmetry is to be avoided:
Enlarging an opening can sometimes disrupt the overall symmetry, which should be avoided:

3 - Keep window dimensions proportional to the house

The dimensions of the openings should be proportional to maintain balance on the façade and other walls:
Installing windows that are too wide breaks the harmonious look of the façade:
Windows that are too high have the same disharmonious effect:

4 - Read More
1 - Make good use of the colonial influence

The colonial architectural influence relies on certain characteristic elements:
  1. 1½- to 2-floor construction.
  2. Mid-incline, double-slope roof, with or without dormer windows.
  3. Vertical sliding windows, symmetrically positioned.
  4. Classical style ornamentation.
2 - Respect the symmetry of doors and windows

The doors and windows of the Colonial house are symmetrically positioned on all sides:
Moving an opening out of symmetry is to be avoided:
Enlarging an opening can sometimes disrupt the overall symmetry, which should be avoided:

3 - Keep window dimensions proportional to the house

The dimensions of the openings should be proportional to maintain balance on the façade and other walls:
Installing windows that are too wide breaks the harmonious look of the façade:
Windows that are too high have the same disharmonious effect:

4 - Choose a window model in keeping with the style of the house

All the windows should be of the same model and in keeping with the original style. For the Colonial house, these should be vertical sliding windows. The following illustrations are examples of the possible choices:

5 - The windows should be harmoniously positioned of the façade

The alignment of the openings and the balance in their positioning will determine the symmetry of the façade.

In order to achieve a balanced façade, the windows should be placed on each side and at equal distance from the centre of the door. The height of the openings should be fairly even on all sides of the house.

6 - Preserve or reproduce the original ornamentation

Ornamentation is an important aspect of a house. Frames and jambs, shutters, and flower boxes add charm and style to doors and windows.

The owners will not only benefit from a sunny interior, but also from the renewed look of their home and its original colonial charm.

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.

Sketch of a house with symmetrical doors and windows

Respect the symmetry of doors and windows

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of a house with proportional openings

Windows Proportional to the House

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of the window models that keep with the style of the house

Window Models that Keep with the Style of the House

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of a house showing equal distances between each opening

Harmoniously Positioned on the Façade

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of examples of window ornamentation

Three elements of ornamentation : frame, shutters and flower boxes

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Colour photo of a house following a window renovation

Example of renovation After the project

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • describe the evolution of homes in Canada and the architectural influences that have marked them;
  • compare house styles and materials used in the past with those used today, then identify similarities and differences between them;
  • assess the impact of some materials on the environment and the manufacturing (and architectural style) of houses;
  • explain the influence of history (for example: the Conquest, the Confederation) on the architectural style and its evolution.

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