need ideas for ugly house-pic

scrappykatJuly 2, 2014

Hi All,

I'm thinking of buying this house, but as you can see, it is butt ugly. Does anyone have suggestions for improving the structure (nothing super expensive)?

Thank you in advance!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the big thing would be working with the natural cottage/ranch lines and not trying to turn it into something it isn't. What year was it built and what is the interior like?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is not so much ugly as it is dull and boring.

A pergola/trellis across the garage, a porch across the front wrapping around the side, and added trim around the door and windows. The pergola and trim would not be super expensive, a porch could be something to save for.

Also a wall ornament on the right side of the door to visually balance the peak of the roof--but maybe it is just the angle of the photo that makes it look off.

Instead of a porch (or in the meantime), replace the metal supports of the front overhang with a little more substantial wooden column (whatever style you like, turned or square but nothing formal looking).

Of course some plants will go a long way to add charm, you could build a curvy bed (maybe defined by rocks or bricks, check craigslist for free ones or collect your own rocks) to frame the front door stoop.

I would paint a different color scheme too, although I like the pale green front door! An interesting and maybe not so common color selection like a pastel can add a lot of charm to a plain house!

Wish I could photoshop -- maybe someone else will be able to do so.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thank you for the replies and suggestions!

It was built in 1935 and the inside is a little *off* too, but i can work with that and revamp to make it more liveable.

I like the idea of a front porch to provide interest and balance.

Also making the supports more substantial is an excellent suggestion.

I was thinking of replacing the smaller window with one that is the size of the other one----would give more visual balance.

Tell me more about your pergola/trellis idea---can't quite picture it, and yes a different front door color and landscaping would go a long way to making this place *cuter* :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ravencajun Zone 8b TX

New more current light fixtures by the door and garage. A much better color choice and scheme.
Lots of landscaping, it really needs some flower beds and some Color! Hanging plants from the porch.
The garage door is really standing out in a bad way due to the color so changing that along with the rest of the color scheme will make a big difference.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the ideas Raven and YES, i was totally thinking hanging baskets could add a lot! Do you think the front door and garage door should be the same bold color (along with the trim around the windows)?

Hadn't thought about changing out the light fixtures---another great suggestion, ty!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another thought I had, instead of putting in a larger window on the right, what about a trellis with flowering vine? Would be ALOT cheaper!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A paint job, window boxes, shutters, a bright colored front door and some flower beds in front. All can be done for cheap, especially if you do it yourself. Maybe a pretty front walk. Swapping out light fixtures. The existing posts cam be used for climbing vines.

I'd keep the garage door light colored, almost blend it win the siding. You want people to see the bright front door and pretty window boxes. You want to move the eye away front the garage door.

I see tons of potential. The ugly duckling about to be turned into the beautiful swan!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thank u for the ideas Pixi!! Window boxes are an awesome idea---also keeping the garage door close to the house color makes a lot of sense :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Window boxes are a pain. It is hard to use them as window boxes. My neighbor rotted out hers because she had plants in them that had to be watered. I like the idea of a paint job with the garage door matching the color of the siding. You need some low foundation shrubs. Replacing the spindly support for the front porch is important. You could add a tree in the front to shade the house and give interest to the yard. The border of the driveway could be dressed up with low, trimmed shrubs or flowers. That could be a lot of yard work though. Look at some interesting paint colors that would match the period of the house using paint company brochures. I really don't like the trellis look at all. However, you could put some kind of tall shrub against the blank wall between the door and the small window.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thank you for the input Sheila-------i love the idea of looking at the period of the house for paint ideas----

and landscaping will definitely help----i like the idea of a small tree in front ----something decorative--japanese maple maybe??

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With plastic window boxes or plastic liners in your wooden window boxes you won't have the rotting issue.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What jumps out at me is that absolutely silly roof overhang over the front door - and you need a more friendly and inviting front door with glass instead of just some slab with a peep hole. I think it will look great with some relatively minor modifications!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 12:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the quirkiness of it. I agree that some kind of solid posts to replace the metal posts supporting the overhang painted maybe the same color as the NEW front door--I would definitely change the front door. Take the measurements and look on craigslist--you might find something cheap--just remember to note whether the door swings to the right or to the left. A bigger window to the right of the door would be nice and on the wish list would be an attractive garage door. I kind of like the idea of maybe a mid-century type door with that house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cool front door ideas

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 6:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love those doors Alisonn!! TY! If i put in a funky door like that, what type of garage door would u suggest?? i like your style :)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Also, if i kept the dark green trim on the windows and soffits, what color door do you think would look good?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Google "mid-century exterior" and look at the images for some cool ideas. I'm not great at original ideas--I look at lots of pictures for inspiration.

One thing I saw was echoing the design of the front door on the garage. Even if you can't afford a garage with cut-outs that mimic the front door, you can achieve the same effect with paint, i.e., a few well-placed rectangle of color to reflect rectangle cut-outs on the front door.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I see it painted Navaho White with brown trim, wood front door and garage door. Wood porch pillars. Trellis next to small window. Curving stone walkway. Evergreen trees on both front corners, small shrubs under both windows, plus lots of colorful perennials and annuals. Bingo! English cottage!

You could add diamond pattern leading to the windows in the future.

Have fun with your cute house!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

New garage door - if that's aluminum siding - get rid of it and do a stone facade around the bottom and something nicer on top. A larger finished porch with white railing would look nice too.

Think "white picket fence" kind of a vibe.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That house has ALOT of potential.
You have to decide if you want to buy it or not though.
If you do buy it, start slowly changing things on the outside.
Step by step.
Your wants will change a year from now, and you will have to redo things, which costs time and money.
Do the house things first, then your hardscaping. (new walkway if you want).
I think this house could be awesome from the outside, a nice clean slate to work with.
You have to live there though and figure out how you are going to use everything and what you need before you spend alot of money on it.
Congrats on finding such a little gem.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you all for your extremely helpful advice! I have my inspection tomorrow and will report back......I'm really hoping there's nothing really bad wrong with the place.

I will definitely start on the outside: window boxes and trellis for sure; painting the trim and columns, porch/steps and garage door. Landscaping for sure!

The one thing I want to do right away on the inside is tear up the carpets (I *think* there are hardwood floors underneath....fingers crossed!)---they are older and musty/cat smelling.

I am really excited about this place----especially the lake frontage!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd save a lot of money and just have the door replaced for starters. It's best to have a handyman take a look at the current door and doorframe to make sure they can just hang a new door to swap it out for the old boring one. It's not always possible to do this, and it's actually really expensive in labor if the doorframe needs to be redone.

My DH fretted over a $25 difference in door styles, only to find out that it was $800 in labor if they had to rebuild the doorframe, exclusive of the door! We were lucky; they could re-use the old frame so it was just a couple of hundred $$ in labor.

A RE agent who I asked to tour my house and give her opinions on what work was worth doing and what wasn't, had suggested the new door. We were surprised what a difference it made to a rather plain little cottage.

The asymmetry in the front windows doesn't bother me, but I agree the garage door is very plain. But I'd do the front door first, then you can pick a coordinating style for the garage door.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You said it smells musty - get a mold test! Mold can make a house dangerous and cost huge money to fix.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:59AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Being Sued for Home Sale
We had our home built in 2003.It was our dream home.Half...
Retiree - rent or buy home
We are newly retired and have a plan to sell our current...
can he evict us?.
almost a year ago me and my girlfriend and her 5 yr...
Joseph Gonser
Purchasing a Home with a Converted Attic
My bf and I are looking to buy a 3 bedroom with room...
Best time to List a House
Is there a best time to list a house for sale? We have...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™