Please help with hideous exterior

mtnscallingJanuary 28, 2014

I'm struggling with a fixer upper and hoping to give this exterior some curb appeal. House is a small 3 br built in 1985 that will likely be torn down in 5-7 years, in the meantime we'd like to update and rent it. Not sure what siding material is, just that it is very rough and very dark! It looks like its been painted, or maybe that's just super dark stain? Does that matter if we want to paint over it? The color and feel doesn't fit with it's location at all, which is on the intracoastal in S. Florida! Please help with ideas, including paint colors!
Will post close up next

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Here is a better view

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 8:39AM
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It's dangerous to give exterior color advice outside the area you know, but here goes: a happy shade of blue with white shutters.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:00AM
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I was going to say not to paint it, until I saw it close up. I may be wrong but I don't think you want a renter who wants something that looks like that.

I'd do whatever is the cheapest to give it a new, clean uniform appearance. My guess is that means keeping it dark, otherwise you will need a lot of paint. Maybe do white shutters.

I don't think, economically, you can justify doing more.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:24AM
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I like the shutters and the wide-ish window trim. Since the house is on the intracoastal in Florida, I immediately thought of this before and after, except I can't find the before photos. I think they may have been featured in a BHG spread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turquoise shutters and trim

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:31AM
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If, by any chance, there is an oil finish currently on the wood, painting it will set you up to be repainting about every 18 mos-2 yrs. Our current house has an add on room that was cedar sided and then given an oil based finish by a previous owner. Initially weprimed, then painted and now find that there is nothing we do that can stop the peeling.

Hardie siding is next for us.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:33AM
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Elraes Miller

I personally love those weathered shutters. It appears to me that the wood is stained. Although in a half done measure for fixing as little as possible.

Exterior wood stain comes in many colors now and options. My first thought is an opaque deep blue, clear seal the the shutters. The opaque may or may not cover the different stains previously used, plus it looks like some of it has been spray painted.

Am curious what the interior looks like considering how the outside was maintained. It may not be worth putting money and effort into the exterior if the inside has the same.

Is this on a main road or part of your property? What does the surrounding neighborhood look like?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 10:13AM
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robo (z6a)

Charcoal opaque stain to cover over whatever is going on there, and turquoise shutters!

I think to match anything in South Florida you'd have to go light, but it's gonna be tough in my opinion to get that siding light (although your local stain dealer may be able to help you there). My idea would be to take a reference from that light grey stucco color everyone has, darken it to cover and add white and light turquoise on the doors, trim and shutters to help it fit in better.

Stucco inspiration - like Bubba's house

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 11:21AM
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Looks like it might be a type of T1-11 siding, if that helps in your search.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Thank you all so much for your replies! This is such a great board. Greywings I loved the blue until I saw the aqua that jujubean linked - love that, and also robotropolis grey with turquoise idea! I was at the house all morning cleaning up, and meeting with my painter. She suggested an oil based tinted primer then SW super paint - and they guarantee against peeling and cracking for 7 years (though not fading). So, on to putting up samples. Maddielee - you are right on with the T1-11, and it's in decent shape all the way around (though obviously not what I would have chosen). As for whether it's economical to put money in, we are hoping that people will appreciate it for the view and location, not necessarily it's architectural style (or lack thereof). The photo doesn't really show how amazing the view is, or the fact that it's only about 1/2 mile to the public beach. Across the street (not on the intracoastal waterway) is a fairly new small development where homes are in the $1.5 - 2.5 range, it's hard to explain the situation but it's kind of a low key, well kept secret :). Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 1:59PM
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Rent a jackhammer at the local tool rental and get rid of the concrete. Or, if you need that for parking, get rid of enough for some greenery at least. That's the biggest lack. There's nothing alive surrounding it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 2:05PM
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How do those lyrics go ... they paved paradise and put up a parking lot ... I think there is some greenery to the left of the door that isn't visible in the photo. Looks like plenty of greenery and views in the back yard.

mtnscalling, will you be tearing down and building your own house down the road? Looks like a nice location.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 3:55PM
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". She suggested an oil based tinted primer then SW super paint - and they guarantee against peeling and cracking for 7 years (though not fading). "

Sadly, that's exactly what we did, except used BM paint.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 4:12PM
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Livewireoak - actually there's quite a bit of plant material, I just couldn't get the picture light enough without being so close. It needs some maintenance but I think the lot is close to an acre, with avocado, mango and citrus trees. I don't mind the paving at all, in FL it's a constant battle to keep the foliage at bay! And yes, Chispa, building a home there is our 5/10 yr plan. I'll attach a photo further out , you really can't see much of the house from the street.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 4:22PM
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Jmc01- I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work on your house, makes me nervous but I hope I can hold them to their warranty. Maybe the T1-11 is easier, especially since it looks like it's been painted already? The company I'm using is local and has done work for me before, I hope they wouldn't. steer me wrong! And forgot to thank Chispa for kind words - it is a beautiful spot!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 4:31PM
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The lot and views look great. It seems you found a diamond in the rough (the property, not the house!) and a good "investment".

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 4:41PM
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I'd say the same thing as your painter, but I'm not limited on paint brands. ;)

We've painted latex over oil paint using the oil based KILZ -- even one water based primer, but that was indoors. We haven't had any problems, but I would consider two coats of the primer to make sure you get a good seal on the stain. That's going to increase the cost, but it's probably still the most economical choice if you want to change the color.

I would put some pots with low maintenance plantings on either side of the door for some color. I wouldn't do more than that with renters. New landscaping requires a bit more care to get established and renters are not as likely to do the upkeep. Planting or replacing pots is a real possibility.

Looks like a gem.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:35AM
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Found it! Martha Stewart 's house in east hampton. Love the turquoise and brown.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 1:05AM
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We found that the KILZ primer worked better than all other brands when we painted our interior Douglas fir from dark to light and only needed one coat of paint after applying the above primer.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 10:05AM
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That kind of siding looks great in a medium gray, and would def pair that color with crisp white trim and shutters. Would also replace entry roof supports with more substantial columns (cheap ones, they don't have to last) also painted white.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Lascatx: I will ask the painter about 2 coats of primer - it sounds like a great idea especially since the exterior is so dark right now. Also love the potted plant suggestion, we have a florist in town that does some amazing things with succulents. I've been wanting to use them in my landscape this could be a good place to try them. For color, maybe even a window box or two?

yayagirl: I have some kilz leftover from another project, may put some up just to see what happens! There are so many different types of kilz, did you use kilz complete? The painters I've worked with usually don't use it, I don't know why but I will ask.

Martinca: thanks for tracking down that photo, what a beautiful house! I like the grey with turquoise trim, my husband wants to go bolder with key west type color, we'll have to wait and see how the samples look.

kswl: Hm, I was thinking of a vine going up the roof supports, but if we could economically make them more substantial that would definitely look good.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:42AM
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If you have an architectural flea market (old doors, columns, etc) or a store tha t sells unused donated building materials for habitst for humanity you can get columns really inexpensively. ALternatively, you could have a big box store rip boards to your specifications and box in the existing supports yourself. Heck, if i didnt have to saw anything even i could do that :-)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 12:27PM
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I was going to suggest flower boxes and long rectangular planters, but I see you've already got that down. Two pots at the base of the posts, a new light, and a mat. The advantage of getting removable stuff is that you can re-use them down the road.

I think once that trim is painted around the door, around the windows, and on the garage, plus a new door color, you will see a nice beach cottage emerge.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 3:01PM
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