front of old house needs help

Carol AnnJune 10, 2014

We bought this old house but need to show more of the front. There is an addition that was installed a few years back with another entrance that looks ok. Problem is the older part of the front that needs some tlc. Those bushes would have to go,that are in the front. What would make it more appealing? Any ideas would help me out so much.
Thank you

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Oh it is charming! You could add a lot of curb appeal just by updating your front door. I think a great look could be achieved by changing the storm door to a nice wooden version or an almost all glass one while also bulking up the molding around the door and moving the lights 6 to 8 inches farther away from the frame. If that does not make enough of a change, adding real shutters or a pediment above the windows would add a lot too. If budget allows I might look into moving the wires and meter as well. Enjoy your new home!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

It depends on how far you want to go...I'd love to see a peaked roof porch cover the front door...there's plenty of room above for it...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 8:57PM
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that's just what I was thinking. It would add so much. I would also change screen door. Maybe some kind of paver or concrete step below the door, a few plant pots. I wouldn't cut the flowering bushes down by much. If that is street side, it does a lot to keep dust and noise down. Think carefully before cutting. They are so pretty.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:06PM
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First thing I"d do is talk to the electric company and see if that whole electricity setup can be moved. Your house looks like many in New England and here on Cape Cod. I love those old farmhouses!

I think I"d build a pergola that runs above the windows and the doors, with lattice coming down each side, then grow wisteria maybe on the pergola and climber (trumpet vine, roses? on the lattice.

Here is a pic of a friend's front door with Wisteria

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:21AM
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Holly- Kay

Oh my heavens, the wisteria is enviable. I planted one about eight years ago and the darn thing wouldn't bloom so DH dug it up and transplanted it along our split rail fence.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Tilou2, if you can share a budget, it would help in terms of recommendations. My initial impression is that a walkway of sorts (brick, stone, etc.) to the fence (which I assume leads to outside the property to a sidewalk or street?) would make the entrance more inviting.

As a sidenote, Tribbix, I love your friend's Wisteria! I've been considering a trailer of some sort for my front porch. I'm concerned, though, that it will only look nice for 4 months of the year. In such a highly visible spot, what does the Wisteria plant itself look like in the winter? A neighbor has something like this trailing up columns at the front of her house, and it looks like a straggly mess once the leaves drop in the fall, until the spring comes around.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:12PM
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There are a few wisteria in my town that have engulfed the house. The stems become like tree trunks.

Holly, you need to hard- prune them every year to get them to bloom.

Tilou, your house reminds me of a saltbox house, so I'd keep it sweet and simple. The wiring and meter have to go! I'd bring the attention to the door with some color and add window boxes. Here's a cute little saltbox house.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:32PM
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I think one does have to approach flora like wisteria and other climbers with a gardener's mind, since yes, in the winter, it'll look scraggly. I think Mother Nature gives us some things that, if we're willing to put in some effort and put up with some downside, the rewards are spectacular. My friend LOVES to garden and loves seeing the fruits of his labor. But it's definitely not for everyone.

I think the winter thing, though, is that, presumably, the world is either snow covered, or everyone is indoors anyway, so what plant life looks like isn't an issue. Again, worth it when spring comes around.

These are the things that have to be weighed.

I love mayflower's little saltbox too! The farmer's screen is great, and the window boxes, flag adds some color, and the yellow is great with that weathered gray siding.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Carol Ann

Thank you all for helping me make some decisions. They are all great ideas. Thank you so much.We have 2 entrances in the front of this house. There was an addition built onto the house and they made another front door which is wheelchair accessible. So we have 2 front doors near each other. We will be using the one with the stairs and try to make the other door appealing. Don't need 2 entrances. Either take door out completely or spruce it up ???

This post was edited by tilou2 on Wed, Jun 11, 14 at 19:14

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:09PM
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I still think budget dictates here. If you want to spend $500, then paint, more prominent light fixtures, a stone pathway, and some accents will help. If you want to spend $5,000 or more, then the suggestions will increase in complexity.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:19AM
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I don't know your zone but in the south, we would NEVER plant wisteria that could engulf the trees, power lines, fences, homes, garden sheds and animals if they stand still long enough. There are other beautiful options for your home. Wisteria is only pretty a few days out of the year. The rest of the time it is busy taking down small cities and big trucks.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:52AM
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LOL, Patricia. That's why I don't bother with some plants. It sure is pretty though. Better for a fence I think where it's easier to prune.

Tilou, a quick fix which would transform the house is to get two matching front doors in a pretty color. I'd also paint the trim the same color of the doors if you plan on keeping the house white.

People here aren't a fan of shutters unless they're "real," but I think the house would look nice with shutters around the windows, unless you plan on changing out the windows.

We have houses similar to yours out here in the country and when I drive by I always wish the owners would add shutters.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:35AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

While the 2 front doors should match, you still want to make it obvious to guests which is the real front door using architecture such as a porch, lighting, landscaping. Whether or not you remove the 2nd one should be a function of what you want to do on the interior...maybe replace the door with a window and remove the ramp. Or maybe you want to keep the door as a "service" entrance. Especially when moving things, or should someone break an ankle, a ramp is not necessarily a bad thing. We have a ramp on the side of our house and though none of us are infirmed, we still find it useful, as have some of our elderly visitors.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:18AM
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Carol Ann

Thank you once again. Once the added touch is done with all your ideas I will post pictures. Thank you all again for wonderful ideas. We are in Digby,Nova Scotia

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:18AM
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I thought of you when I saw this on my facebook newsfeed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Makeover

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 7:16AM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

Removing doors. Sometimes furniture won't go in/out the "other" door. The door nearest the electric meter is probably the "move in" door. I would do 2 matching doors. The front of my house is similar to yours. The "front door" had a small peaked shingled wood roof over it. I still have the little roof. It weighs as much as a medium sized elephant. I've thought about having it put back on.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:40AM
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