I get asked what the right type of awning is for historic homes all the time. I am the Miami Architectural REALTOR after all, so ask away! Anything to do with architecturally significant real estate or historic homes in Miami is my FORTE.
I would love to be able to tell you that any awning company will be able to guide you in the right direction but that’s not true at all. I’ve seen awning companies recommend horrible options that are not historically appropriate and do not compliment existing historic features and fenestrations.
The right type of awning for a historic home
There are basic rules and some NO NO’s (like anything else).
Please understand that I am not making up these rules as I go. Restorations should be consistent with The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and as I’ve said before, educating yourself about historic features and their standards should be an important part of owning a Miami Beach historic home. These standards include examples of correct and incorrect repairs and replacement of roofs, windows materials and other elements.
Now to awnings! The primary purpose of an awning is more functional rather than decorative, although I have seen very boring facades brought to life with beautiful awnings. Traditionally, awnings were installed only where necessary for shade and weather protection. Please keep this in mind when considering awnings for your historic home. There is nothing worse than seeing every single fenestration (window and door opening) covered by an awning. This is what I call “overkill”.
The basic rule for awnings is shape
- If the door or window opening is square or rectangular, only install rectangular or straight awnings, never ARCHED!
- If the door or window opening is arched, only install arched awnings, never STRAIGHT!
Pretty simple, don’t you think? Here are some examples of awnings installed in Mediterranean Revival homes around Miami Shores.
These examples show the correct use of straight or rectangular awnings installed on rectangular doors and windows.
Never install an arched awning on a rectangular opening
This is a beautiful example on an arched awning placed inside an arched opening.
There are 2 types of arched awnings and one of them should NEVER be used in residential applications, and that’s the bubble type awning. For those of you that have these, I apologize because you probably did not know any better. Bubble type awnings are more appropriate for commercial applications.
Is there an appropriate color for awnings used on historic homes?
As for the color of awnings, this is definitely subjective. The stripped fabric is usually my preference, but in very busy facades, I have found stripes to be overwhelming. A lot of people think that solid colors are more formal and appropriate, but I really think it depends on the particular architectural elements of the house. One piece of advise is to get a big swatch of fabric when choosing the color (especially if choosing stripes), most swatch books will have tiny samples that will make it very difficult to choose. A good awning company should be happy to supply a big sample of the fabric.
An awning can bring so much life to a facade, and can take the “boring” factor out whether you have a historic home or not. They can also be functional and energy efficient. There are many types and they are easy to maintain, just make sure you don’t overdo it and think of the “appropriateness factor” before installing. Also take a look at “The Use of Awnings on Historic Buildings – Repair, Replacement & New Design“, for great detailed information.
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Keystone Point Real Estate Market Report
There are currently 31 Keystone Point homes for sale (compared to 29 last month):
- Highest priced listing: $5,290,000 (open bay Mediterranean estate located at 12485 Keystone Island Dr)
- Lowest priced listing:
$523,900 $495,000 for non-waterfront home at 1965 Alamanda Dr
- Pending Sales (properties under contract): 5 (compared to 9 last month)
- Closed sales in August 2015: 4 (compared to 6 in July)
The 4 Keystone Point homes sold in August were the following:
- 12921 Auralia Rd – canal front foreclosure – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, 2,135 sq.ft. on 8,561 sq.ft. lot. Listed in June for $663,700 and selling for $770,000 ($361/SF)
- 2205 NE 124 St – updated non-waterfront home with 3 bedrooms / 2.5 bathrooms, 2,100 sq.ft. on 11,250 sq.ft. lot. Listed in July for $749,000 and selling for $720,000 ($343/SF)
- 13085 Ortega Ln – canal front – 3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, 2,366 sq.ft. on 9,375 sq.ft. lot. Listed in march for $935,000, reduced to $885,000 in May and closing at $845,000 ($357/SF)
- 1885 N Hibiscus Dr – canal front – 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, 1,628 sq.ft. on 8,814 sq.ft. lot. Listed in January for $897,000 and selling for $855,000 ($525/SF)
The average selling price per square foot for Keystone Point homes in August was $414 compared to July’s average of $396 and June’s average of $411. Keep in mind that monthly averages fluctuate and we recommend grabbing the whole year or at least 6 months of comparables. The average price per square foot for the first 1/2 of 2015 was $438 (for waterfront homes).
The inventory continues to be low in Keystone Point and the demand is high, which is a clear indicator that it is still a seller’s market. Buyers are not pulling the trigger as quickly as they were at the same time last year, that gives the illusion that the market is changing. Prices are still increasing at a conservative pace and we still see another 12 months before it starts to stabilize.
Keystone continues to grow in popularity because of its location and affordability. It’s become the place to buy for those wishing to upgrade their dry-lot homes to waterfront.
Call us if you are thinking about buying or selling in Keystone – we’ll be happy to provide a no obligation consultation for your home.
Keystone Point House of The Month
The Miamism Sales Team recommends the Keystone Point home located at 2350 Magnolia Drive. This canal front home is on the preferred, North part of Keystone and is brand new, contemporary construction. Simple, clean lines with straight forward distribution, and 75′ of water frontage.
This home has 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, it has over 4,000 square feet of living space, sits on a 9,375 sq.ft. lot and has a 2-car garage, new seawall, new dock, summer kitchen, and it’s a smart house!
I would probably change the glass staircase railings, but that’s minor and it would ultimately give the house your touch.
Ok it’s not bay front, but what do you expect to get for $2,995,000? That’s $666/SF <<ok, maybe the number is a bit freaky, but the house is spectacular. Photos do not do it justice, so feel free to contact us to schedule a showing appointment.
To sign up to our Home Trend Reports, go to MiamismTRENDS.com and fill in your information.
Call us Today for a listing appointment!
If you are interested in getting a list of all properties currently for sale in Keystone Point, we will be happy to send you a digital copy at your request. We can also send you monthly market reports directly to your inbox. Feel free to email us at Keystone@miamism.com
Search for all Keystone Properties For Sale – Directly from The Multiple Listing Service
I have been documenting Miami’s momentum for some time and letting you know that it is no longer a thing of the future. Miami’s global power, its significance and impact are here to stay. And of course I am a big fan of Miami, if you have not noticed my passion for this amazing city, then you have not paid attention.
To get the down and dirty proof, please visit Why Miami Real Estate Right Now.
1. Miami as a Financial Hub
2. Miami as a Tech Hub
Photo credit: Robert Holmes at www.robertholmesphoto.com
3. Miami has lower taxes
4. Miami Shopping / Gastronomy / Culture
5. Miami as Top City in Wealth
6. Miami’s Infrastructure
Port of Miami, Tunnel, Dept. of Transportation, All Aboard Florida, Miami Central Station, Miami International Airport, Miami 21
7. Starchitects in Miami
Architects building in Miami get hotter by the minute, from Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Rafael Viñoly, Renzo Piano, Herzog & de Meuron …
8. Miami’s Weather and Beaches
photo credit: Josh Bousel
What more proof do you need? We work with investors from all over the world and are ready to help you, no matter the size of your portfolio. From under $1 Million to multi-million dollar deals. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.
Surfside Real Estate Market Report
There are currently 20 Surfside homes for sale (compared to 25 in July):
- Highest priced listing: $5,000,000 (waterfront fixer upper at 1332 Biscaya Dr)
- Lowest priced listing:
$565,000 $560,000(9057 Carlyle Av)
- Pending Sales: 9 (3 more than last month)
- Closed sales in August: 5 (compared to 7 in July)
The 5 Surfside homes sold in August were the following:
- 9257 Dickens Ave – 2 bedrooms / 1.5 bathrooms, 1,455 sq.ft. on 5,600 sq.ft. lot – listed for $525,000 in July and selling for $495,000 ($340/SF)
- 9157 Froude Av – 3 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms, 1,597 sq.ft. on 5,600 sq.ft. lot – listed for $625,000 in February, showing several price reductions and pending contracts and finally selling for $530,000 ($332/SF)
- 8810 Byron Av – 4 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms, 1,987 sq.ft. on 5,600 sq.ft. lot – listed for $839,000, lowered to $799,000 and selling for $750,000 ($377/SF)
- 924 88 St – waterfront 3 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms, 3,195 sq.ft. on 15,075 sq.ft. – listed for $1,650,000 and selling for $1,827,000 ($572/SF)
- 9528 Bay Dr – waterfront 3 bedrooms / 2.5 bathrooms, 2,380 sq.ft. on 13,650 sq.ft. – listed for $2,150,000 and selling for $2,030,000. ($853/SF)
The average selling price per square foot for Surfside homes in August (dry -lots) was $350 – compared to past months:
- July $368
- June $328
- May $355
- April $347
- March $363
- February $316
- January $321
Keep in mind that 2014’s average was $324, so it is normal to see fluctuations from month to month.
Supply continues to drop in Surfside and prices continue to increase at a conservative level. Homes priced right sell quickly and those that list high to test the market end up selling for less. Larger homes are in demand, though – anything goes in Surfside for 4 bedroom + homes.
Call us if you are thinking about selling or know of someone who is, since we are Surfside Real Estate Specialists. We will do a no-obligation consultation to let you know the value of your home in its current condition and will make recommendations of quick updates to sell for top dollar.
Surfside Home of The Month
Miamism Sales Team features the Surfside home located at 400 90 Street. This is a new home with 3 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms, 2,021 sq.ft. of living space anda 6,860 sq.ft. home. The marketing description reads:
SPECTACULAR CORNER PROPERTY 2 BLOCKS AWAY FROM BEACH AND FOUR SEASONS HOTEL. NEW HOME BUILT 2015 & UP TO CODE WITH LUXURY INTERIORS AND 20 FT ENTRANCE CEILING AND GRAND DRIVEWAY. ALL WHITE MARBLE FLOORS THROUGH-OUT. INTERCOM SYSTEM WITH AUDIO & VIDEO. 5.1 INTEGRATED AMBIENT SOUND. 16 POINT CAMERA AND ALARM SYSTEM. ALL NEW STATE OF THE ART APPLIANCES AND QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS. MASTER BATH JACUZZI. ALL WALK-IN CLOSETS AND LAUNDRY ROOM WITH WASHER AND DRYER. READY TO MOVE-IN. JUST BLOCKS AWAY FROM BAL HARBOR
It is offered at $1,850,000
We confess that the price is unreasonable at an unheard $915/sq.ft. for a non-waterfront home in Surfside, but is IS new construction. We will be very surprised if it sells above $1 Million but if the finishes are high-end, someone may go for it. Let’s stay tuned. (and hopefully we’ll get a facade photo without a car parked infront)
Please contact us for more information and we will also be happy to arrange a showing appointment.
To sign up to our Home Trends Reports, go to MiamismTRENDS.com and fill in your information.
Call us Today for a listing appointment!
If you are interested in getting a list of all properties currently for sale in Surfside, we will be happy to send you a digital copy at your request. We can also send you monthly market reports directly to your inbox. Feel free to email us at Surfside@miamism.com
A few years ago, while a board member of the Miami Shores Historic Preservation Board, I created, with the help of other board members, an educational brochure for our community. The brochure included the image shown as well as a brief history of Miami Shores and its development back in the 1920’s.
The style popular in South Florida in the 1920’s is now called “Mediterranean Revival” which was influenced by the architecture of the countries bordering the Mediterranean coast, namely Spain, France, Italy and North Africa. Historic architecture in Miami Shores is comprised of mostly Mediterranean Revival homes and we thought it would be valuable for home owners to be able to identify different elements, learn about them and hopefully inspire them into renovating and restoring our historic core. This same style of architecture can be seen in other historic districts in South Florida like Historic Morningside, Coral Gables, Miami Springs, Historic Bayside, Coconut Grove, and of course Miami Beach.
The exterior identifying features of these fabulous old houses are shown in the illustration: Historic Cuban Clay Barrel Tile, Cornice Details, Lime Based Paint, arched windows, decorative columns, wood casement windows, balustrated balconies, decorative or structural ornamental brackets, decorative ventilation grids, rough textured stucco walls, low pitched multiple gabled roofs, chimney, and awnings.
Please understand that not all homes have all these features, but we picked a home in Miami Shores that displayed all of these. It is also important to understand that proportion and the manner in which these elements were used is what makes these properties so breathtaking.
Interior floor plans are mostly informal and asymmetrical in arrangement. Arched openings separate main rooms or areas. Ceilings have exposed beams and rafters, some carved, and others painted. Plaster walls have a rough texture.
Over the years many of these homes have undergone alterations to both the exterior and the interior. Yet, despite these changes their distinctive character makes them stand out from those of more recent construction. These historic homes make our Miami Shores Village unique.
The restoration of a historic property should be done with a lot of care, patience as well as knowledge. It takes some people years to restore their home to perfection, but the effort is well worth it. Educating yourself about the features should be an important part of the process. Restorations should be consistent with The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Such standards include examples of correct and incorrect repairs and replacement of roofs, windows, materials and other features.
When restoring a historic home, some people start with windows– I urge all historic home owners to try to get the original floor plans of their home in order to study the proportion of the openings, to see the type of windows originally installed, their vertical nature and the materials. It would not be historically appropriate to install a colonial window in a Mediterranean Revival home. One controversial topic is replacing wood windows with more modern, metal clad ones. In my opinion, replacement with a better constructed, more durable insolated window is acceptable as long as the opening remains the same, as well as the type of window and proportion of lights and muntins.
The same applies to other features and basic knowledge is crucial. For example, you should never install arched awnings over rectangular openings; never replace decorative ornamental metals with different materials like concrete balustrades, always repair decorative and structural columns with the same or similar order; exterior and interior plaster should be matched to look like original. There are numerous details that should not be overlooked and minor details is what makes the final product.
Here are some sketches I did of historic Miami Shores homes.
After reading this article you may be wondering, How does this apply to buying or selling real estate? The answer is simple. When planning to buy or sell a historically relevant home, you should work with a real estate agent that is not only sensitive to historic preservation issues, but someone that understands historic architecture, from materials to features to minor details. I light up when I walk into a historic home and will not only share my knowledge, but will also point out deficiencies and great features for you to know the intricacies of each home and be able to make an educated decision.
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**originally published in March 2008**