Curb Appeal Help

iamjordanneNovember 11, 2010

Hi-- we recently bought a new house and it needs some serious curb appeal help. It's definitely the eye sore of the neighborhood and we need to work on that. Any suggestions? I am new to the forum so not sure how to directly put a picture on here, but if you go to this link you can see a picture:

We don't want to spend much at this point. Right now we are thinking a new screen door, painting the garage and pillars (suggestions of color would be great), and also working on that rotted wood box by the stairs.

I appreciate any suggestions!

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Congratulations on your new home. Here are some things to consider.

First suggestion is to drive around the neighborhood and see how other homes that may be in the same design have done their painting, landscaping, and hardscaping. Pay closer attention to those houses that you like that have the same brick color as your house.

As far as the decor, I think the house has a lot of good things going for it. The roof color with the brick is really good. Also there doesn't appear to be much that needs to be "undone"

I think that the biggest problem area is that from a focus point, the front door is not visually the highlight of the front. The fact that the windows are much higher than the door diminishes the importance of the door, making it seem less welcoming.

Also, I would have to say that the gray color of the siding is not my favorite with the brick. If that could be tied together better, I think it would be more pleasing.

And I agree that the wooden timber area could be improved.

Now, as what to do about these areas with low bucks and big results: Here is one way to go (but it may not be in a style you would like.)

For example, you could paint the window trim, garage doors, pillars, and front door trim white or a light cream (choose the color that marries the brick undertones and the siding color well) . Add more visual weight to the front door by adding an additional accent color on the door, like one of the darker colors in the brick. Or maybe a third color altogether. Give the door area more sparkle by getting a bigger porch light and an address sign by the door.

That wood retaining wall will be something that you may need help with. I suggest doing a lot of research before digging in.

I think some nice vertical evergreens would add a lot of interest to the right of the door, and they are very affordable.

Also you might consider hand railings along the walkway from the driveway to the front door also.

Take it 1 step at a time, and have fun.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:21PM
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I wonder if you put more trim around the door that that wouldn't help a bit. I agree with painting the trim.

After that, I'd focus on the walkway up to the front door. That looks like one of those rounded railroad tie-ish retaining walls. I'd ditch that and redo it with some of those retaining wall blocks. I don't think that would cost too much since it's not that large of an area.

After that, work on the plantings. You want something cohesive, but not something that will grow enormous and end up covering everything up. I'm not sure where you're located so I can't really recommend specific plants, but thing repetition. In the little planting bed in front you could do some ornamental grasses (low growers) which fill in nicely and are casual, which I think would go nicely with your house.

When the budget allows, I'd also pull out that bush to the left of the garage and replant that area.

And, of course, move the garbage can/recycling bin, but hey ... real life has garbage cans in it. I totally get that!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 9:01AM
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Thanks so much for the feedback. The trim around the windows isn't wood-- it's a vinyl type substance I believe-- would you still recommend painting that?

And no worries-- the garbage cans are always inside! This is actually the realtor's picture :)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 9:51AM
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Congratulations on the new home! You have gotten some great suggestions, I especially like the idea of adding more trim around the front door. You could also maybe add a large hanging porch light to make the whole door area "compete" better with the higher windows.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 4:50PM
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Vinyl shakes on the pop outs and new garage doors or paint would help a lot.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 11:55PM
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The first thing I notice is how the siding around the windows jumps out at you and dominates the house. That color just doesn't work with those bricks. You might consider painting the siding around the windows to match one of the lighter brick colors, or match the garage doors. Just paint the siding that is around the windows, not the siding above the bricks on the sides or running up the rooflines.

On the side of the house you kind of have a "band of bricks" with siding on top and stucco(?) on the bottom. Paint the bottom area to match the color of the bricks. Right now the lighter color in that area draws attention to itself. I would also put some kind of shrubs along that side of the house. Not sure where you live, so check with a nursery in your area to see what they might recommend.

I would definitely re-do the wooden planter boxes with stone to match the retaining wall on the other side of the steps. Consider also putting the same treatment to the right of the stairs also, so you have planting area on both sides of the stairs. That would soften the look of those concrete steps. A dwarf Japanese Red Maple would look good on either side of those steps, or in the planting area in front.

All of the landscaping here is very low to the ground, and very industrial looking. One of the other posters said you might get something that grows vertically someplace. Definitely do that. Maybe put it where that sort of roundish plant is now, to the left of the driveway.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 7:56AM
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