Curb appeal help

JAWRIG2292June 22, 2014

I am trying to find ways to increase curb appeal on this home. Any suggestions? I don't want to add vinyl siding and I do think that low voltage lighting would help some, but other than that I am clueless. Thanks for any help.

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pergola above garage door

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:23AM
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    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:24AM
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    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:30AM
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Yes, a pergola. I'd paint the oval (vent?) trim the same color as the siding so it's not such a compelling focal point.

A planting bed shaped loosely like the letter "C" flanking the walkway and curving back to hit the driveway, smartly planted with low-growing shrubs/ornamental grasses/flowers would be nice.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:25AM
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Yes, add some shrubs/flowers!

If you don't paint the vent to match siding, make it more of an attractive focal feature.

Windows on garage doors.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:44AM
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Some curved planting beds.

The garage is half of your front façade and they have the most basic plain doors. They should be allocated a bigger budget since they are so visible.

I'm linking the company we used for garage doors because they have lots of photos you can use to spark some ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ranch House Doors

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:50AM
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The garage doors are awfully plain, thanks I am such a rookie at this. I'll have to call for some quotes and ideas on Monday. I wonder how much two.Nice garage doors will set me back....

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:13AM
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I'm really thinking garage doors, what doors do you guys think would look good? I kinda like these:

Here is a link that might be useful: garage door link for this home

This post was edited by JAWRIG2292 on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 9:22

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:21AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would expand the gardens in front of the front door and add something there be it a bench or pergola or other structure. The problem is, the garage is most prominent on the facade, but the front door, which can't even be seen, should be. So you need to have something welcoming and substantial to draw the eye away from the garage doors and toward the front door.

Here is a link that might be useful: Some ideas here

This post was edited by AnnieDeighnaugh on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 9:30

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:27AM
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As much as I like pergolas over garages, I just don't think that's the right look for that house. I agree the garage doors are prominent, but it doesn't help that the photo was taken in front of them. James, could you take another photo where the front door is centered?

I think maybe if you trim up the tree a bit more and add a retaining wall to tame that slope, it will help a lot.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:30AM
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In case anyone ever looks back to this forum for help, I also found these:

Any thoughts? See the Detailed Faux Garage Windows

Here is a link that might be useful: Detailed Faux Garage Windows

This post was edited by JAWRIG2292 on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 10:19

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:15AM
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Here is a different angle. The front door is subdued quite badly....

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:18AM
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Hi James, congratulations on your new house (guessing it is new). I totally agree that you should stay away from vinyl siding! When you do re-side at some point, I can recommend Hardi-board.

It is always hard to work around prominent front-loading garages. I have linked a style we went with. They are located in Maryland, but maybe they have other locations. Their service was excellent and the doors are terrific. We have had ours for more than 10 years with no issues at all. They give us more light in the garage, but you can't see in unless you have boxes right up to them which my DH has on his side-sheesh.

If you can't do all three, maybe just the single door. It does make the façade
look less monolithic.

Also agree with the ideas for adding shrubbery and flowers.

Here is a link that might be useful: French door style garage doors

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:44AM
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May I make a suggestion. Low growing shrubbery in front of your house (evergreen). Not sure where you live but if you could plant some azaleas or rhododendron starting about 3 ft from the corner of your house and swing it out into a curvy bed and take it on to the back, some shrubs that will prevent erosion and look pretty. You need organic and that will do it, either azaleas or boxwood if you prefer but no landscape looks good without movement and organicity and the curvy bed will give you movement and the shrubs will give you organic. Paint the garage doors and the rest of the woodwork around your windows, etc., the same color. Your door is recessed and I would paint it a pop color, keeping the garage doors and other wood in a beige or ivory tone as well as the trim. I see you already have the outline of a bed on the other side. It probably needs shrubbery as well to prevent water from getting into the weepholes during rainy season. Call before you dig but a pretty flower bed in the shape of a pie slice would be pretty there at the end of your driveway or you could create a little vignette of low growing roses there.'

By all means, check your soil, see if it needs amending. You have a potential erosion problem without adequate soil retention and you might want to check the soil around the perimeter of your house where you should plant shrubbery to prevent the erosion down the hill on that side as well. Soil prep is everything. Nothing else matters about the landscape if it all dies.

This post was edited by patricia43 on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 11:25

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:23AM
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It's a really cute house, but what looks odd to me are the painted areas above the garage doors. I think I would paint them a darker color, something pulled from the brick. I'm not sure if that would necessitate painting the rest of the wood, too, but if you leave the garage doors the beige, it might work with the rest of the wood left as is.

It would kind of mimic that whole part of the house having been built in brick. Or if that's a brick facade, I might just carry the brick to that area above both garage doors.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:41PM
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Wood doors, if budget allows!

Pergola more appropriate to your homes style

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:07PM
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I LOVE trees, but think that your front door, besides being set back, is blocked by that pretty tree. As it grows, you might consider trimming the lower branches to open sight lines to your door, and like others said, some pretty flowers or low greenery would focus your attention there. If practical, a big potted plant or small potted tree in between the two garage doors would look nice too.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:22PM
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The first thing that struck me as well is that it need different garage doors as well. I would also cut down that tree while its still a manageable size. If you want a large tree then one farther off to the side so its not blocking the front of the house would be nice. I like the idea of extending the landscaping out as well and the pergola

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:44PM
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Add terraces for gardens along the left-hand side (use stacking bricks and add French drain pipes -- the ones with holes) -- to control erosion and drainage .....

And yes indeed -- when possible -- paint out the oval vent and the edge trim around the garage doors ..... also switch to larger lanterns ...

And yes -- adding gardens and larger focal rocks around the front walkway will help to guide the viewers eye to the front door ....

Love the idea of pergolas -- and perhaps add one over the walkway to the front door -- to add to the main focal point ....

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinterest -- pin board of terraced landscaping photos

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 2:02PM
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It's a rainy afternoon, so I've been playing with your photos.

First, pergolas above the garage doors.

IMO, those pergolas seem to be country, relaxed, traditional and your house seems more contemporary to me.

Next, the solid eyebrow cornice

What I don't like about that is that in order to get a slope on it for water runoff, and because of the cornice return, it can't be even with the single garage fascia.

Or you could extend what you have for a full cornice return.

You'd have to change out the vent, or turn it, and IMO, the distance between it and the garage door is awkward.

Here's an idea for trimming up the tree and terracing only next to the house so you don't cover the tree roots.

Another idea is to create a sidewalk that is different than the driveway to draw attention to the front door and away from the garages.

Unless that graveled area is a French drain or has another use.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:42PM
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Here's a pin board full of modern pergola and landscaping ideas .... might work well here .....

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinterest -- Modern Pergola Ideas for Landscaping

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:49PM
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I don't like that teeny tiny graveled (mulched?) area along the driveway. What is its purpose? If it's for flowers/plants, it's way too small to be useful. I'd do away with it all together. If you plant flowers there, they automatically will draw the eye right to the garage doors. Which you don't need to make any more dominant that they already are.

I agree that the emphasis needs to be pulled away from the garage doors - unfortunately you have a GARAGE with an attached house. And I also agree that the pretty tree is poorly placed. It needs to be much further to the left.

I'd add extensive colorful plantings to the left corner of the house, maybe with terracing like someone said, to pull the eye away from the garage. Plant something fairly substantial at the corner that will flower - something four or five feet tall and wide.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:25PM
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Marti, you had some nice pics. I like the cornice just above the door myself, it is tailored and suits the house. I like pergolas, but to me they are more cottage-y and this house is too tailored for that.

The red brick walkway to match the house is perfect! It brings the house, and the entry, out to us, making it more welcoming.

Love the terraces, too. And definitely a full flowering something in that left corner. And perhaps an arbor vitae next to the single garage?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:48PM
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Not sure of your budget, so I would start by adding hardware to the garage doors, maybe even the faux windows, see how it looks and then consider the pergola above them.
Three pretty urn flower pots with flowers or small shrub/trees may look nice.
And then like one of the photos expand terrace the area near the house to make that area look more open.
Do you a post light at the street? It might be a nice touch to add one. If you add them to the garages it could bring too much attention to the area, though it could be nice at night.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 1:41AM
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Great idea changing the gravel color to red!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 1:59AM
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Pretty house, but agree, the front door needs more emphasis. Perhaps painting it a lighter, brighter color would help. Also I like marti8's idea of a different material for the walkway from the driveway to the front entry. And definitely larger beds along the front to draw the eye to the left instead of on the garage. Sweep them around toward the corner and use seasonal color near the front door with annuals in the border or plant a perennial space for color.

You also need something tall on the left corner (and remember, don't plant too close to the house!). Sky pencil holly is pretty fool-proof but there could be other choices depending on your location. Another on the right side, with a small planting bed, wouldn't be a bad idea either to balance things. Trees in the front yard should 'frame' the house, not hide it. This one needs to be limbed-up or be gone. Sorry, but it's not going to get any smaller and may eventually kill your grass underneath too.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:53AM
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I like marti8a next to last picture. The brick wall does not work for this lot. The gravel path is to draw the eye but to help with drainage. No, the pergola will not work with this house for several reasons if its intent is meant to add charm or to grow vines. The garage has cemented driveway on either side and growing running plants here is not practical at all. One would not want to put pots there for many reasons. The tree is no problem as the canopy can be raised on that but another tree toward the corner of the house, perhaps, a flowering deciduous tree is needed there.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 9:10AM
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Please, no red gravel. This gravel is natural, nontoxic and serves a purpose. That red stuff is toxic.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Brick pavers instead of gravel, making it look like all part of the front walk. The extra walking width is nice, anyway, when cars are in the driveway.

One nice thing about the cornice is, it keeps the garage a little drier, and can help lessen the snow against the door.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:38PM
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It may look like red gravel, but that is actually red and gray pavestone in my photo program. I guess until the OP comes back, we won't know why that gravel is there. With the slope of that yard, doesn't seem like it would be for drainage.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:43PM
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My first steps are to class up the garage and subdue the white oval vent. I am also going to add a more modern squared lantern to each side of the garage. What do you think of these improvements? (See photoshopped pic). Any other musts?

Here is a link that might be useful: Lantern lighting I may use as improvement

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Hmmmm. The garage doors are gorgeous, but to my eye, look more craftsman in style and so seem to clash a bit with the house.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:41PM
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Maybe no ornamentation on the garage and just the windows then? Also keep in mind the garage doors will be the same ones in the original picture, just faux windows will be added so the color will be different than the bottom pic.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:51PM
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Elraes Miller

I like the suggestion/pic of building a straight edge across both garages to pull together with the house. Too much garage detail feels like it would draw even more attention to them. If there were a way to change the window above to match the front door over hang, this might soften the look.
You have a really nice home.

One thing I could never do is cut down a tree like yours. A trim to open up view to front is all it really needs. Along with other suggestions for planting and a curved walkway.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 7:53AM
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Here is an update to the garage curb appeal. These faux windows and décor from coach house accents helped. Now I'll work on the entry way when I figure out how to approach it.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 12:00AM
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I think the gravel bed on the sides of the driveway is for drainage and would not do anything to it----and I say that from experience! The driveway may be slightly sloped to prevent standing water and that gravel is what dissipates the water evenly into the ground.....leave it!

The problem with the front garage is that the gable is too high over the garage opening but not high enough to look like there is a second story above the garage. Is there a bonus room above, or just low ceilinged storage?

IMO instead of just changing out the door you need to address all that blank area between the sides of the gable roof (where the pitch stops and the eaves are) and the top of the garage opening. I think i would put some windows in above the garage that match your other windows in style and proportion, if not size.

Adding a pergola or any other type of overhang on the garage just makes the problem worse. The house in its original state looks better than the mock ups, as emphasizing that area is akin to taking a person with an already large forehead and giving him a low, prominent supraorbital ridge / unibrow.

OOPS, for some reason the picture in the post above did not show up when I looked at the thread earlier! Sorry!

This post was edited by kswl on Fri, Sep 5, 14 at 11:56

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 5:47AM
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Amazing transformation! Great choice!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 9:18AM
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I absolutely LOVE the faux windows for the garage doors. There are so many houses now with those prominent, single-color doors.

I think the faux windows are a brilliant, budget-smart idea.

Adds a lot of class.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 10:10AM
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