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Home additions that stand the test of time

Tips on blending the old with the new

It's human nature to crave the fresh, the new and the fashionable -- and that goes for remodeling as much as anything else. The quest for the mythical "updated look" of magazine lore has long tempted both owners and architects to graft trendy additions onto older homes just to make them ever-so-briefly fashionable again. Alas, you need only to leaf through a 20-year-old copy of Better Homes and Gardens to see how such "updates" have stood the test of time. Most would elicit groans, if not laughter. The lesson is simple: Given the ever-shifting sands of architectural taste, the only kind of addition that'll be permanently in fashion is one that respects the original architecture. But how to do this? It goes without saying that the overall proportions of any new addition -- wall heights, window styles and sizes, and the roof style and finish -- should be in keeping with the original building. Beyond these basics, however, the real trick to making an addition "lock" into the original ho...