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STUCK! Need Exterior Ideas for Plain 2 Story.

Posted by rohman (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 14, 12 at 12:34

We are in the process of renovating this plain looking 2 story and need some help with the exterior.

Some ideas we have are:
 Adding a porch railing along the front (code dictates a handrail for the stairs on the right).
 Adding shutters and trim around the front door.
 Painting the exterior.
 Landscaping in the raised beds, maybe in front of the beds as well.

We are really open to anything, but do have somewhat of a limited budget, so changing the windows or busting up the concrete patio is out of the question.

Thank you so much for your help!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Click Here for Photo

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: STUCK! Need Exterior Ideas for Plain 2 Story.

What would really add the most would be a full, covered front porch at least 6' deep. But you may not have the budget for that.

Right now your front door looks like it is hovering in mid-air. It needs visible steps up to it from center of the front lawn to make it more welcoming. Nice wide ones, preferably six feet wide, and not too steep. The walkway at the bottom of the steps could curve to meet the drive, if that's where visitors park, or go out to the street. Make the walkway at least three or four feet wide, flaring it out at each end. If you can match the brick of the front patio and planters, that would be tie it all together.

Add the railings (especially since you have to!) but make them more substantial than the bare minimum for code. However, the shutters might be too crowded and might also highlight the fact that there's more space between the end of the house and the windows that there is between the windows. If you do go with shutters, make sure each is 1/2 the width of the window it supposedly covers. Do your best to make them look like real functioning shutters.

Also consider painting the lower story darker than the upper, to give more feeling of shelter and to emphasize the setback, which is probably the house's dominant architectural feature.

Search for photos of "garrison" houses for more ideas.

RE: STUCK! Need Exterior Ideas for Plain 2 Story.

Here's a photo of a garrison house from the '20s. The corbels/rafter tails under the overhang might be something you could incorporate in your home

Here is a link that might be useful: garrison house

RE: STUCK! Need Exterior Ideas for Plain 2 Story.


Thank you for your ideas, I especially like the idea of the stairway and walkway leading to the front door, but I'm not sure how to tie that in with the current concrete patio and stairs leading to the driveway (behind the planters).

RE: STUCK! Need Exterior Ideas for Plain 2 Story.

The steps themselves would probably be the job for a professional, but you could do the walkway yourself, easily. I hate to nag, but if you decide to do the steps, make sure you have a shorter riser and a deeper tread than the knee-busting minimum, so your steps are more comfortable and safer than the steep ones so often put in by contractors if the homeowner does not specify otherwise. You would have to take out a section of the planter, or incorporate it into the steps if the proportions work out, but your mason could advise you on this.

Nothing makes a house more attractive than a welcoming entry!

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