Judging Backs of Row Houses


Thanks to John from Alter Urban (who also was behind this controversial house of the day) for letting me know about this cool project on Seaton Place in Bloomingdale. Dig the decks?


Above is the house from the front. After the jump a couple more photos (courtesy of John) of the back.



26 Comment

  • Looks cool, but also looks like they’ve been reading too much Dwell.

  • i think this is great, a nice mix of old and new. I would rather have this on my place and sacrifice the space i get from having my porches framed inside

  • what does work like that cost?

  • The design work probably cost a lot more than the construction, which is fairly simple. Looks great, though.

  • In contrast, that bay window on the front is hideous.

  • It looks nice, though I can’t think why anyone would want a deck with walls like that. It would make me feel like I was indoors. Why not use the same construction as the sides of the deck for the back? Privacy maybe? Just seems weird.

    Agree about the bay window. That is an atrocity. I can’t conceive of why anyone would want to endure that festering pimple on the front of their house for a few more inches around the window inside.

    • No it wouldn’t, it would make you feel like you were on your own private terrace. I love my roof deck with walls.

      • i agree! my roof deck with walls is great! i like the privacy while i’m sitting down with friends… the wall is only chest high.

  • Very nice, the deck creates distinct yet harmonious spaces. The look is modern and clean.

  • i think it looks pretty good. clearly they want some privacy from the alley, and i don’t blame ’em.

    i had a pretty typical deck (maybe 12′ x 10′ installed for $3k. i paid for the wood, nails, etc. so maybe $3.5 k.

    i contracted with home depot for someone to install a door. they were soo good, that i asked if they worked “outside of home depot.” they did. so bye HD and hello projects without a middleman. YMMV

  • Hey PoP! This is free advertising! You should charge them!

  • Probably the best rowhouse alteration you’ve ever shown. Great use of natural materials (Ipe? I’d love to know the wood species). Dimensions generally match what would have been there historically. The small catwalk over the sidecourt at the second floor is a bit of playfulness that doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the work.

    • Agreed. Love the wood (stain?) and privacy. I wish folks would put some effort into the backs of rowhouses. Hopefully n’hood restrictions are relaxed enough to allow a bit of creativity and personality.

    • I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like it might be redwood. It typically turns gray as it ages, though.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. As for the wood, it’s ipe with just some oil on it (to bring out the color).
      I got some really good deals at IpeDepot.com

  • I dig doze decks! They can hang out without having the alley unsightlyness…

  • If you want to know more about the above project, please visit our web page at http://www.alterurban.com, click on “Projects”, and click on “Un-Folded Box”.

    The deck is made of Kebony, a wood more environmentally friendly, because the wood releases no pollutants into the environment and requires less maintenance.

  • Echoing the bay-window hatred (it’s not even a decent floor-to-ceiling bay – just a stupid pop-in replacement).
    I hope that this was done by previous owners, and that the current remodelling will replace it with normal windows. Please?!

  • Bay Window Note :: The above front picture of the project is not correct (not provided by AU). The correct front is one house to the right with the wreath above the door.

  • I love looking at the backs of row houses. They are a way more personalized space than the front, but there’s a sense of privacy that you don’t get with the front stoop-ers that contrasts the assumed danger of alleyways.

  • Wow – I never thought my house would be bogged about!

    I definitely appreciate the comments despite the fact that the pics were taken before the lighting and landscaping were added – can I update in the spring?

    As for the price, AlterUrban really helped me keep it UNDER budget in the end (this despite the fact that it was made of ipe!). The most painstaking aspect of the project was the permit process, which they also helped me on.

    Next project: back patio and fence!

  • I really like the color of wood chosen. I think that a color any darker would make this modern design look too cold for the style of the house and a color much lighter would soon look dated. My favorite part of the design is the 3 metal lines on the second story. The metal lines in certain areas makes the whole structure look as though it aesthetically fits into the urban environment without being over-the-top or gimmicky. I think that the color as well as the design as a whole will stand the test of time.

  • I like the way he kept it traditional in the front and a modern look with sharp but simple lines in the back. I really like the neat little add on to the dack which juts from the side. A nice thought and it is always the little things to me that make a difference.

    Can we see pics of the inside?

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