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Curb appeal for this old house!

Posted by aslavetofashion (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 25, 12 at 11:33

My house desperately needs some curb appeal. It was built in 1966. We replaced the windows on the right side of the house and are replacing the windows on the left side soon. They are centered in the master bedroom so they pretty much have to be the same width (106"). I am planning on making them taller like the other windows. I don't love the space between these windows and the front door, but I figure a well placed tree might take care of that. I can't add a window in between the front door and the windows on the left (trust me).

Here are my ideas:
1. Remove brick around front door and replace brick with cedar shakes.
2. Make the front door more substantial by adding molding to the top and sides.
3. Replace/reface front stoop and steps and remove/replace old iron railing
4. Get nice stone walkway installed.
5. Move air conditioner unit to the side of the house (with the other one).
4. Possibly replace front door lighting with larger lights.
5. Get shutters for all front windows - what style and color??

Let me know what you think. I just don't know about the shutter style and color. I think it will add a lot of interest. Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Anne

Here is a link that might be useful: larger photo of the house


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I love the shingles on the house - the staggered edges look great. The thing that throws me off is the size of the windows & doors in relation to the height of the 1st floor. It looks like you have a lot of extra wall between the top of the windows & the bottom of the roofline. What's up there? Is it a second floor, or are the ceilings really high in the house?

I'm not sure exactly what to DO about it just yet, but hopefully something will come to me. The exterior looks really clean & well cared for (your gutters are spotless). I wanted to commend you for that - it makes the house look like a well maintained home instead of an unloved relic from the 60's. BTW - my house is from the same time & we're getting it up to snuff slowly - so I'm not being critical of your home, just thinking about the way our house was when we bought it.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

The shingles are cedar shake - the original siding on the house. I hear you about the proportions. That's why I wanted to make the front door look more prominent. The house is basically a ranch with a vaulted ceiling in the living room (behind the front door) and a second floor loft family room and guest room. The right side of the house (that juts out) is one floor with attic space above. I know the house is crying out for dormers, but the budget won't allow. The second floor family room has 16' wide by 8'tall sliders/stationary windows on one side. on the other side of the upstairs there is a guest room with one high window.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I'm sure the inside is nice. But that mismatched, ill-proportioned exterior needs drastic surgery. But please no shutters. You will note that they are the first thing to go in many of the makeovers in the link. below. Your choice of larger replacement windows shows a proper sense of proportion.

But before you go further, I would invest in a good architect's plan. Then you do the work gradually as funds permit..

I looked carefully at all the "before" shots and 70% of the time I didn't come within ten miles of the redesign's inventiveness.

Here is a link that might be useful: Before and After Exteriors


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

You are probably right. I have an architect coming over on Tuesday. Thanks.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I'm so confused by the difference in the soffit line on the left side of the house. And the part on the left wasn't an addition of some kind? The roof pitch also seems steeper than I would expect on a house of that era. I just fel like there has been an addition of some kind -- either to the left, or "upward".

I'm thinking the least expensive route would be some sort of a timber pergol-ish cover for the entry area. It could hit right at the stagger point on the roof and disguise it a bit. But the architect is going to earn his/her money with how to make it work with the different rooflines in the ell.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

There was definitely not an addition. This was the model home for this style house in our neighborhood. There are several others like it. About 2/3 of that roof is visible from the inside with timber supports going across. The living room area is two story and the family room is a loft (on the left). The family room has double sliders on the left (unseen) side of the house.

I think maybe the reason the roof juts out more there is to provide some shelter to the front door. It is awkward though.

A pergola might be a nice idea.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Is there room above the door for clerestory windows?


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

No. The foyer is 8' tall.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I think the most important issue to resolve is the space between the top of the window and door on the main body and the roof, which is making the door look miniature - especially with the lights hanging high on either side. I would replace the window with one as tall as you can go on the inside (hopefully that room is taller than 8'). If not, continuing the roof out and adding a porch along that whole front would bring the facade back to a normal scale, but if this can't be done, maybe trimming out some plain decorative panels above the door and window will add much-needed height to fill the space. Shutters probably won't help much, and might be awkward with the lack of space for one on the left window. Depending on what you choose to do, I would either get rid of the brick or possibly continue it (or maybe stone) up to the eave where it juts out to cover the entry to de-emphasize the horizontal and heavy feel of the house.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

What do you mean when you say "especially with the lights hanging on either side"? Are they the wrong size or in the wrong place? The ceilings in the front of the first floor are 7'10" - not even 8'. The porch idea might work, but extending the roof would mean new shingles all over - ugh...


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I was referring to the height of the lights - just a few inches too high as is, but if you add trim/moulding as you suggested, they would be perfectly fine. I agree with the pergola idea, I think that would work well...here's a quick/badly edited(!) image of both of those ideas:

Though I would definitely remove/replace the railing if so.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

You could paint the brick same color as the house. If you just want a change to the railing you could have the curly stuff cut off and maybe replaced with some other design. If you can't add a window above doors maybe some kind of metal art work to somehow fill that empty space. I had a large blank space in my home not suited for any kind of picture and used a series of three smaller designs, similar to the link below, although I don't think this design is right for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: metal art


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I think a lot could be accomplished with trees (see photo three below). I had a lot of overgrown trees and bushes that I recently removed and am getting a plan for new landscaping.

I just took a drive around my neighborhood today and took pictures of a few more of my model. I think the middle one looks awful, like an office building, right? They made a 4300sf house into a 6000sf house.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Love the arbor, mvjc. How'd you do that?

Also, Izzie, I am planning to either paint the brick or remove it.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

7' 10"? Where is the rest of the room between that height and the eave height? What does it do? Could it be vaulted to gain that space back into living space? That would be killing two birds with one stone. You not only get to fix the exterior mis-proportion, but you also get human sized rooms in the house itself.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

It's the four foot knee wall for the room above, which has a vaulted ceiling. I'll try to make a rough floodplain to post. I know this getting confusing.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

It's a second floor without any windows in it?? Then it desperately needs dormers and windows!


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

THe center of the second floor (35x20') is open to the living room below. On the left side there is a family room with sliding doors with two stationary windows on each side (used to be two sets of sliders).The other side is a guest room and bath. The guest room has one double window, which is up high because of the other part of the roof which comes forward. I'll make a rough plan and put it up.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Love the arbor. Your house is lovely and to me that just adds big pizazz! I agree too that painting the brick same as shingles would let you reflect on the texture and not the color. Goodness, I hope you share an after picture :)


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Anne - I just used MS paint since I wasn't on my computer with photoshop! Some googling images of arbors at the right perspective with your picture helped. I think you're right about some well-placed trees, especially something between the entry and the window on the left...maybe a vertical evergreen surrounded by other shrubs, or a dogwood set visually between but obviously further toward the street, or possibly a tree-like hydrangea.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

We've met with the architect and he came up with some great ideas. His name is Brad De Mott and he is located in Ridgefield, CT. I'll post the drawings below. Tell me what you like best. This was a great idea.





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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

A good architect is worth every penny. I vote scheme #2 - it takes care of the space above the left window while echoing the roof slope of the right volume, and the three identical square windows dispersed finish it nicely. Scheme #1 still leaves the awkward space, and the two new windows are not quite right. Scheme #3 introduces curved arches which aren't found anywhere else on the elevation, while Scheme #4 has those competing roof slopes and leaves the left window hanging without one. Definitely Scheme #2!


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Funny that no one liked the shutter idea but the pro added some!

I vote for #3.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

My husband likes scheme three with the flat copper roof over the three new windows on the left instead of the peaked roof. He feels the arches mimic the double doors with the arched windows and the stone piers give more weight to the front door and make it come forward more. I don't know if you could tell from the drawings, but the roof was extended with copper. That is my favorite part of the new design. The flat roof over the windows on the right would also be copper. I like two and three very much and can't quite decide which one is better. It might just all come down to cost. We were hoping to spend less than 30k including the new walkway. We'll see what the builder says.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I'm between 2 and 3 (and think they are in order of expense.) If it were me, I'd probably do 2 with the thought to maybe putting in the arch in 3 later, if I thought it needed it. But, I am not really for 4. I think having the 2 peaked roofs near each other is too much.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I'm between 2 and 3 (and think they are in order of expense.) If it were me, I'd probably do 2 with the thought to maybe putting in the arch in 3 later, if I thought it needed it. But, I am not really for 4. I think having the 2 peaked roofs near each other is too much.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I'm between two and three as well. I do worry about the columns in scheme two, though. It seems like they are overused in home remodeling. Also, I'm not sure they go with the bungalow look the rest of the house is taking on.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Ugh. The architect's name is Brad DeMotte in Ridgefield, CT. He's been just great and I spelled his name wrong. I'll keep you posted as we get bids on the proposed work.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I like a combination of 1 and 2 - the simpler left side without the bump out but
the roof in the middle.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Here's an update on our project. We chose the option below:

We ended up deciding to replace the shingles and used pre-stained shingles from cedar shingles direct. The diamond shingles are only primed however. They will be painted white. We chose a color pretty close to what we had before. The shingles are nearly done except for the area on the left of the photo. All the new windows are installed. The front door area with the copper roof extension and stone front stoop will be started within a week or so. I can't wait to see how that turns out.

Here's a photo of the progress:

Now I need to choose a shutter color. I am leaning toward a tonal look (the darker brown/gray) for the shutters. My husband likes the contrast the teal color provides. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Your house is coming along. I agree with your husband on the contrasting shutters. Your drawings show contrast with the shutters. Whatever you decide, can't wait to see your house when it is finished.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Ooh, pretty! I love that you are keeping shingles instead of using vinyl siding. We used vinyl on our recent reno (couldn't have afforded it if we used cedar and painted the whole house). I can't say I regret the decision, but I do wish we had slightly deeper pockets to afford it!

I also agree with your DH to have some contrast with the shutters. That window bump-out is really pretty, that was a great idea!


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Thanks for your thoughts. The new front porch is being started next week and will be faced with stone. The shutters are arriving at the end of the week. I agonized about the shutters. We needed 11 sets in all (including the garage side of the house). I priced them in cedar through several online sites but they were ridiculously expensive. Timberlane wanted $4,700 including hardware. I ended up ordering them from home depot online and getting the hardware on ebay - total $1,250 - but we have to prime and paint them ourselves.


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Project finished! Curb appeal for this old house!

We finally finished our curb appeal project! The Home Depot shutters went back. I just didn't think they looked great. I ended up ordering them from Timberline. I went with the tonal look on the shutter paint. Now we are just waiting for spring to repair the grass and get a landscape plan. I'd love to know what you all think.


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Another photo of the finished project. Curb appeal for this old h

Here is a closer shot of the front door and left side of the house which had the most work done.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Just a lurker on this forum, but WOW! And I LOVE the tonal shutters - was my pick, too, and looks great with the stone!!! Really an amazing transformation!


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Beautiful job! I'm not sure of the correct etiquette on this site, but do you mind if I ask what was your budget on this project? What did the architect charge?

I recently brought a house that needs major curb appeal and one of my ideas (which may not work) is to change the front porch overhang.

Thanks and again wonderful job.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

What a great change! Can I also ask, do you know the cost for adding a box bay only like you did in the MBdrm? Thank you for updating this thread!


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Thanks scrappy25. I am not sure how much it cost. I know the Andersen triple window was about $1500.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Now substitute a Cottage/Craftsman style single door in place of the pretentious Victorian pair of doors and you've got a great house.


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Beautiful house! You must be thrilled to death. Thanks for posting all of these photos for us. I love the colors you chose. Now for some pretty landscaping!


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Amazing job! What a fantastic -- and FAST! - transformation. Can you tell me where you purchased/who makes diamond shingles? I had been told that you can't buy them in that shape; that workers had to cut them. Was that true in your case?


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

You must be thrilled it came out very well! I am not sure if I like the "baby" shutters on the tiny windows, and the ones on the bigger windows seem a bit small for the window size - I think they should be about twice as wide, but they do add interest to the house even as-is.

The entryway and the left hand window look great!


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

Wow, beautiful change! With the height you had to work with between the top of your doors and the sofits, you had plenty of options available. I like the porch you chose, and the bump-out on the bedroom windows. I find my eye first drawn to all of the light color paint on the bump-out, though, instead of to the porch. Would you consider using the trim color - the one on the shutters - for the body of the bump-out, and using the white or light color just on the triangle "roof line" and "belt line" of the bump-out, so that it mimics the garage on the other side, but does not grab the eye so much?

Love the stonework, love the colors, and can't wait till spring to see the landscaping!


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RE: Curb appeal for this old house!

I purchased the diamond shingles at our local building supply store. I think waska sells them online though. Mine were made by Maibec. I'm not sure about changing the color of the bump out. My husband loves the idea. I think I'll wait to see what the landscaper comes up with for that spot first. I'd love a recommendation of a landscaper in Fairfield County CT/Westchester County NY.


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