Curb appeal advice needed

wilcoxjvDecember 31, 2012

I need to improved the curb appeal of a two story small single family home. I feel that from the outside it seems very flat and boring. I am open to all opinions but my budget is limited to around a grand at most. The house sits on a small hill on a small street off from a main road. It can be seen from this main road but only for a few seconds. I would like for it to grab peoples attention within those few seconds. This will be a rental property with hopes of selling in the future. If you have any ideas please post. I am open to mostly landscaping ideas, but I will definitely love to see maybe a new paint or siding ideas as well. Have fun.

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I would replace the screen door, paint the porch and walkway an earth tone, plant two Japanese Maples in front, one at each corner of the house. Dig out the lawn along foundation and both sides of walkway, slightly curved and plant a few azaelas .

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Good advice from Jane.

Also consider new porch lights, mailbox and house numbers. Something a bit larger than is there now.

I know that having a hand railing is needed for liability (and to get an FHA loan). Is this something that could be better looking? (I can't tell how extensive it is from the picture.)

It may be out of your budget, but a front porch/deck would be very nice. In particular if you could add some sort of overhang area so you aren't standing in the rain at the front door.

Bur for just the basics, some trees and plants sound like that would be very nice.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Paint it a soft yellow. A dark color on a small house makes it look tiny. A soft light color makes it "cottagey". You could do a soft blue, or green, or even a lilac. Then echo the cottage style in some landscaping with perennials. There are a lot of forums here devoted to trading plants, and if you have some plants to start with, you could probably get all of the materials you need for nearly nothing. If you do the yellow, I'd try to concentrate on plant matter in lavenders, blues, pinks, and whites, and grey foliaged plants, like Russian Sage, bellflowers, daisies, coneflowers, perennial sages, dianthus, artemesia, daylilies, Iceberg roses (or Ducher if you live some place humid). Leave space for doing a pergola off of the right hand side in the future. Maybe plan to do a paver patio there first, then second stage would be the pergola posts and stringers. If you'd post on the Antique Rose Forum, you could get suggestions for a healthy and hardy climbing rose for your location, as well as some clematis companions. That would really add a lot of charm, but it won't be doable at once with your budget.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Hmm. Maybe a gravel patio with a few chairs would be more welcoming, and could be a spot of bright eye-catching color. I like the idea of the cottage perennials, as long as your marketing season isn't winter.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 4:39PM
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If your budget is limited to $1000 you will be able to paint the front door and stoop area and do some landscaping.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 5:28PM
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I second the soft yellow paint idea. People (me included) love a yellow house especially such a cute one. Also, I agree about the screen door. Or take the door off and purchase a really cool new door. The front door is the first impression to a buyer so it's gotta look really nice. If the new door and paint, and you have some money to spend, I'd buy some bulbs/shrubs along the sides of the stairs just to give the front a little extra color.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Fori is not pleased

That is a ridiculously cute house! Do take it to the landscaping forum if you haven't yet.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 9:45PM
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You can also get a service to remove the stains on your roof shingles. It really takes away that "old house" look.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 4:08PM
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It is a cute house with lots of potential. I like the yellow idea for paint, a cute door, and some landscaping. It could look like a different house.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 12:50AM
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I agree this house would be sooo cute if it were yellow, but I don't think your budget allows for a paint job.
I suggest window boxes, nice BIG house numbers, definitely remove the dated storm door, then paint the shutters and front door a matching color, something eye-catching and unexpected --- maybe Cottage Red? You could do the shutters two-tone -- that is, just red (for instance) around the outer perimeter and keep the inside white, or off-white. I'm also seeing a lot of a pumpkin color on houses, and it's great. Add some potted plants on the stairs - three clay pots in three different sizes with geraniums -- not a budget buster at all. Recently saw clay pots with house numbers painted in a great font on the pots (i.e., No. 37-- with "No." painted on a larger pot and the numbers on a smaller pot). Very nice. Also, you can buy an inexpensive wrought iron plant hanger that you stick into the ground, and hang a nice plant from it. Lowe's sells a nice hanging plant, with black chain and moss showing through the black basket. You can put this closer to the road -- cheap, but eye catching.
That iron handrail should be replaced, preferably with wood, if your budget allows it. New lights on either side of the door.
Final thought -- there are great plastic adirondack chairs in fun colors. Set two of them at an angle on the front lawn, in a color that complements the door and/or shutters. Ace Hardware has them for about $15 in season.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:15AM
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If it were to be your residence I would say landscaping for sure... but renters may not maintain landscaping (like an adorable cottage garden) so be sure to put in very low maintenance items. Flower boxes with geraniums would look very cute.

For your budget, I would first rent a power washer and power wash the whole house and the walkway, that can make a big difference. Then paint the trim along the eaves to match the nice fresh shutters and other trim. Put in white window boxes with red geraniums and some pots of the same along the walkway. Replace the handrail with a nicer wrought iron one.

Add an awning over the door to create a sheltered porch area, and if it gets a lot of sun in summer, add 2 cute window awnings over the front windows to match. You can find these at Lowes, Home Depot etc.

I think all of the above will cost much less than $1000 and make a big difference.

Here is a link that might be useful: Burgundy awning at Home Depot

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Example... couldn't clean up the roof with my photo software but "painted" the eaves and added some colorful container plants.

Add railings like this

Also if your tenants might be able to maintain some young trees (they need watering in most climates until established) I would plant 2 - perhaps japanese maples but depending on your climate needs maybe something evergreen - but not right in front of the house, off to each side left and right, that way you will broaden the front view.

Here are some pics of front door awnings like I had in mind:

Or if you are handy you could build a wooden entryway awning or buy and install one like this

This post was edited by tinan on Sat, Jan 12, 13 at 18:43

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Lots of good ideas (and good photos) above. For $1,000, however, you can't do much. I'd replace the ugy handrail and aluminum storm door.

Your biggest bang for the buck for staging is probably landscaping items. Of course, renters will not maintain the new landscaping, but it may help for the initial rental. Chances are you will have to face the issue again after the last renter has left and before you can put the house on the market to sell.

Good luck on your project.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Painting would be ideal but it's not in the budget. I would definitely update the ugly screen door and it seems you need a better handrail, both for looks and for function.

At least in my climate, painting the concrete would be a mistake as it just sets you up for more maintenance. I wouldn't bother.

I would paint the shutters and trim a much softer, creamier off-white. I think this would soften the look, make it more cottagey and less stark. Also, be careful not to get a white screen probbly want off-white.

You MUST add some landscaping. Small, slow growing evergreens, something larger at the corners. Go to a garden center with photos to get advice or use the forums here. If you keep it simple and do most ofyour shopping at Home Depot/Lowes, it shouldn't be too expensive. I also love the idea of windowboxes. Not too expensive, easy to remove if the renters aren't interested in keeping them up.

Such a cute house!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:16AM
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