Exterior Home Ideas

gtrshopMarch 29, 2013

I just took possession of a small bungalow style home, roughly 925 sq/ft. Has been nicely renovated inside and out, including a full, finished basement.

While it appears nice, ti is quite plain on the outside. Aside from the new vinyl siding (white), there aren't any notable features so as a result the house doesn't really pop from the street. I was thinking about some type of cedar shake shingle under the gable end of end walls, but only the triangular upper portion. Looking for ideas to help spiff it up a bit. On a new homeowners budget too...

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Hard to tell the features with all that snow piled up on your lawn. How far back from the street does the house front sit? Or is this the back? I see a table and chairs outside there.

One thing that strikes me, depending on space and which way the street is, would be a pergola over the outdoor dining area, to include the doorway shown in the picture. A covered entry is always a nice touch.

Then I see that there are tracks in the snow to the side of the house, which must be the south side, and it looks like a doorway must be there, with objects on the far side leaned against the siding. Do you have a garage or covered parking of any kind?

Very cute house, neat as a pin!

I think I would move those two nice tall shrubs away from the doorway. Maybe one at each corner of the house instead, because they will get very large around and block the window and interfere with the in/out to your outdoor dining space. I would think about adding a wall mounted light fixture on the wall in the middle of that gable end. Not to broadcast light in every direction, but to be Dark Sky compliant and give walk-about light for your dining. Then if there is regular use of the south side doorway, put a similar light fixture on either side of that recessed doorway.

Since you've just moved into the house, I'd go slow about making any big improvements in the space until I live it it for about a year. It is really a cute house. Have fun with it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:30PM
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I'm just parked at the edge of the driveway, I'm at work so I don't have the survey with me, I'm going to ballpark 25 or 30 feet to the road. This view is of the north gable side of the house. The door that you see I won't be using. The main entrance is halfway down the east side between the 2nd and 3rd windows. There is a light to the left of the north side door, and there is a light mounted on the soffit for the side door. The south wall has a near-ground level patio (if it was raised it would be called a deck)

At the front of the house, the room with the big window and the 2 smaller ones down the side is the upper living room, the master b/r is also on the north wall right side.

Ther is a garage set back from the house - it needs some repair, but being a block wall garage, its sturdy enough!

Lotsw of upgrades to the inside - shows much better that you first might think. The kitchen is the jewel of the entire house. This picture was from the listing before I took possession. Not my clutter!

This post was edited by gtrshop on Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 18:59

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:56PM
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A portico at the front door would go a long way toward dressing up the home. Right now the entrance isn't very obvious; it needs more emphasis,

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Good point. Just remember though the door you see surrounded by the two large shrubs is not a door I intend to use. Really because of the layout, it should be deleted, but the siding has already been installed....

The entryway - 2/3 of the way down the long wall, definitely need some pizzazz... I was thinking shutters or something for the windows, but don't know id that would clutter the exterior too much...

This post was edited by gtrshop on Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 19:53

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 7:52PM
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Darling house. I think shutters would be pretty on the front door side of the house. Call more attention to it. Not sure on your codes. If a small fenced area around your table and chairs might make it not look as much like the front door to use. It is kind of hard to tell with the snow so deep.

Kitchen is Gorgeous. Never understood pictures taken with so much clutter showing. Glad you had a good eye to see past it.

Welcome hope we get to see more inside pictures too. And what you decide to do at the front door area.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 11:39AM
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Hi, gtrshop. Yes, I did understand that the front door is the one on the left-hand side in the photo. Right now the door disappears under the eaves. You do have a gutter over it, which is good, so guests don't have to dash through a waterfall of roof run-off during a rainstorm.

But you could make it even more welcoming by adding a portico. This would also give a sense of shelter. A gabled portico would break up the long line of the roof and provide some charm to the street front. Even better would be if the portico extended out a few feet from the face of the house.

Here is a link that might be useful: something like this, but without the arch

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 2:44PM
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That looks smart...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 2:22AM
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Congratulations on your nice bungalow! Wouldn't take much to give it some punch: colorful shutters and same color on the front door. If you're planning to plant some shrubs and small trees, might want to buy some flowering ones. That's a great kitchen you have!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:49AM
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If your budget is too tight now to consider actual construction to make the front door stand out with a portico as Chibimimi suggested, something like this garden arch could be used until you have lived there long enough to know what kind of structural changes you should make. See the link below. You could have some climbing vines on one side, a bench next to it with planters of flowers, maybe a string of fairy lights inside the arbor to help people see the front door. Then a stone pathway past the bench and out to the driveway will really show people how to find the front door!

I am also in agreement with Shades' idea of enclosing the side door into a separate space with the outdoor dining area so that it looks like a door to a deck, rather than a door for guests to use. Even a medium-to-short wooden fence, finished to match the arbor I linked to, going from the left side of the door, out toward the driveway, then back to enclose the eating area, would define that area as private space. A tall privacy fence would really do the trick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arbor to bring attention to the front door

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:13PM
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I agree that the door to the dining area outside is emphasized by the two huge conifers on either side of the doorway. It gives the impression that HERE IS WHERE YOU COME. Only after taking a look at the footsteps in the snow did I realize there was another doorway to use.

I still believe the two shrubs must be moved before they interfere with your slab, all sorts of problems then. And a very lightweight fence of grape stakes or something very inexpensive, at least 6 feet tall
. Even if the driveway is paved and is used as the path to the door, adding a path of different color pavers beside it will mark the way to the door as well. Then that archway (flat is preferred over round-topped due to the shape of your home in general) would be a funnel to the doorway, which is sunken back into the sheltered overhang. Truly a chance to create your first nice sitting area outdoors. A tiny table/fern stand for a cuppa tea, a shady spot for reading a book, still within range of your phone but a cordless would work there, and room for a visitor to sit down with you.

There are thornless roses which are great. I can name two, the Lady Banks which is a climber, the white version is scented. And, Zepherine Drouhan, which is a hot pink. They grow nicely intertwined with other vines, such as a clematis, which is quite hardy and comes back every year. Or, a good morning glory or a moonflower vine (same family). Passion vines are also good, but can get carried away....they are host plants for Gulf Fritillary butterfly and so the caterpillars eat the leaves, don't want to kill them if you find those. They eat nothing else, so plant passion vines with another plant to avoid seeing the bare stems.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:41PM
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I have to mention that this picture was one from the MLS llisting.. the dining area was previous owner, I have no itention of repeating that - in the front yard - when there is a perfectly serviceable and large deck/patio right off the kitchen. The end of the house with the door and the iron lawn furniture will be the least used are of the house, being close to the street. I don't ever plan to use that door either.

I love some of the ideas... shuttlers were something I was thinkining about. Definitely.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:48PM
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