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Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Posted by craftlady07 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 6, 11 at 19:11

Hi all! I posted back in January about my small 1920's bungalow and showed mostly the real estate listing phots. Over the past 3 years that DH and I have lived here we're slowing making it our own. We're wrapping up the kitchen remodel so I'll have pics of that soon, but we're starting to think about the exterior of the house. I know DH is going to want to use vinyl siding and to be honest, there's not a strong presence of anything but vinyl in our area. I don't think adding shutters is something we want to do but we might be swayed. I do like when the window/door trim is a bit wider and a color (not white). Being so close to the road, dirt is a problem. Oh, and there's a cement quarry in my backyard so there's a lot of dust from that too.

So here's the front of my house (ignore the mess on the front porch)
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Here's a shot from up the street a bit, you can also see my neighbor's house here too.
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And here is a shot from a block away.
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Here are some of the other houses on my street
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Some additional info:
I'm in Eastern PA, these was taken on an overcast day and the plants/trees are jsut starting to wake up around ehre (daffodils are just starting to bloom).
My landscaping style is of a cottage garden. I will be adding a small (probably crabapple) tree to the left side of the front yard and extending the garden around it. Along the side of the house (where my car is parked in the 2nd picture) I will be extending the garden to the back of the house along the bank. The tyvek housewrap is evidence of the kitchen project. We'll be installing all new windows and insulation from the outside once the siding is removed since there is NO insulation and I hate my heating bills :(

So, Anyone have any Ideas?? :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

No ideas. Your house is so cute. Pretty neighbor hood too.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Hi. I agree with Shades, your house is very cute, and neat as can be.

The bank is fairly steep coming down to the sidewalk, so I might suggest some good ground cover plants for the space. I know that ajuga reptans (bugleweed) is hardy in your zone. So is vinca minor, the perennial periwinkle which also blooms purple. Mixing the two types of plants you will have a mass of purple spikes (the bugleweed) and single blooms (the periwinkle), and they are quite good at holding the soil and covering the hillside. You never need to trim them back, but might have to pull some weeds now and again.
We have them planted together that way up in Massachusetts, with absolutely no care given to them.

I had a paint contractor tell me that I needed three colors for my exterior, so you could try a softer tint off white (more like a Navajo White) that would READ white, but not be as stark white. Then your other trim color, and then your house siding.

Have you decided on a color for your siding? From that point, you can start matching up trim. Having the two trim colors could make it easier to have a colored door, if you plan to paint your entries.

I'm partial to taupe (a tannish color) for the siding, which will let you use just about any trim color with it.
It seems that a great many of your neighboring houses are dark red brick, so I'd stay away from anything that would clash with that. You could use a dark green evergreen tree somewhere though, to be as assertive as the red brick houses around you. Put it on the NORTH side of your property though, because it would interfere with any southern sunlight coming to your house. A skinny type tree, not one that gets fat and intrusive as it grows to maturity.

BTW, which direction does your front door face? could not tell from the photos, no shadows to speak of.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Will just add we painted the body of a house we had once Navajo White and gray trim. It was really pretty together. Not sure I can find a picture of it but I will look.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

There is a Cottage Gardens forum on the gardening side of GW. Wonderful ideas and pics. Enjoy :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Cottage Gardens forum on GW


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Thank you for the very kind responses. I'm sorry my asnwers to your questions kinda got me on a roll so this is going to be a fairly long post, bear with me:) And I'll start off by saying I have been scoring the internet for pics and will check out some of the bungalow books I found online from the library to get some more direction, I just wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions or thoughts on where I should start.

ML: I was thinking I'll probably use 3 shades as well. I think the problem is I have too many ideas right now. I like a blueish grey for the main siding color, a variation (either slightly lighter or slightly darker) for the foundation and then a brick/deep red for the trim. Or a Greenish grey for the siding with the deep brick red for the trim. I also LOVE the colors of Honorbiltkit's house (soft green with creamy yellow trim). I kind of feel like I should have some yellow on the outside to pay homage to the yellow house it is now, just not the same shade of yellow ;-p. Also, when we removed the siding it appears as though the old siding was some form of white/light grey (almost like a whitewash). My Grandmother, who lives across the street can't remember what color it was before they put the aluminum siding up but she said that's the only other color it ever was.

I also really like darker exterior colors like a deep blue or deep green with softer trim colors, but my foundation plants are all small right now, I feel like they need to be bigger to pull off that kind of look, and I also feel like a darker house color will make it appear even smaller then it is already. So I'm thinking I should probably stick with the lighter colors for the main hosue color.
I like the navajo white/grey trim suggestion from Shades, I'll have to add that to the list.

I have no idea if we can do this yet (haven't really talked to DH about it) but I'd LOVE to add corbels or exposed rafters or something especially on the porch area. We're going to probably install flagstone over the boring concrete porch and steps and we're going to raise the porch roof since there's evidence it's sagging a bit and we'll install beefier support posts and a new railing. I don't know if I want the posts/railing to match the trim or the foundation colors.

I like the look of multi-colord houses (not too over the top gingerbread-like, more cottage-y).

I also need to post a picture of the front door, I don't have a good close up of it right now though. It's white right now with a pane of clear glass in the middle and red squares in the top and bottom corners with green "sidelights" triming out the clear pane in the middle. (I hope I am describing that clearly and I might've gotten the colors mixed up, I'll double check tonight). We have the screen/storm door that cuts the window in half and I'd love to replace it with a full window storm door but it's a special order size and right now that's not in the budget. I want to keep the door though. The problem is the red and green are more candy/bright colors rather then the softer more muted palatte that I like for the house. And there's no blue in the door, but I don't know if that means I shouldn't consider it at all or if I could somehow pull it off.

Anywho, moving on to the gardens...
wantoretire: I have been frequenting the cottage garden a lot over the past few years getting ideas and posting a little. I LOVE that forum, so much inspiration and knowledge!

I already have a number of perennials on the bank on the side of the house (that's the east side, the house faces North) and what I have already planted is about the extent of the "full sun zone". I now have to transition to part shade/shade plants as I move down the bank thanks to the lovely (/sarcasm) silver maple tree in the back corner. I love the shade from the tree so it's not worth cutting down and replacing right now so I just have to deal with the roots and the helicopter seed pods. I will be adding some ajuga for sure, but no ivy or anything like ivy. We had that at the last house we lived in and it was a constant battle so DH made me promise we would never put that in.

I do agree with you ML that I need something along the lines of a dark green evergreen tree somewhere along the front. I have some ideas on that, but I also know I want flowering tree out front and we're also going to be redoing the front sidewalks (not the main large sidewalk along the front road, but the little one leading to the front steps and then along the front porch to the east side of the house - it'll be all brick since we got them for free from my parent's house). The 2 small evergreens on either side of the porch steps will get to be about 4-5' tall I think/hope. They're inkberry hollies. I also hav 2 evergreen azaleas out front on either side of the steps but they're so young and hard to make out in the pictures. I do think I need more winter interest, that's for sure. I'm slowly working on that. I love to garden though, it's my favorite hobby.

Sorry...I warned you that was going to be long ;)


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

From your descriptions, I think you're on a wonderful path - sounds great. Your front door sounds so interesting that I think you can 'make it work' (thank you, Tim Gunn) using virtually any color combo. The full-size glass storm door will be a necessity tho' if you want to see the effect year-round. There are similar homes in my area, and I find I am drawn to darker body houses with lighter trim. Particularly I like a dark, dusky blue with cream trim. As you said, beefier posts and railings will add a lot of charm. The section of railing without a window behind would seem to be the perfect spot for a huge, hanging basket of shade-tolerant annuals.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

thanks gwbr! I think you're right about the hanging plant. I don't often look at my house head on from across the street and I think that could look really good there. That blank wall always looks strange to me, DH won't let me hang anything on the wall though.
For the front door, I think what I would really love would be to strip the paint and see if it's stain grade wood underneath, but I doubt it :(

I was browsing around the internet trying some different word combinations and I was able to find some homes that I really like the "tone" of. Maybe not the specific colors, but the overall feel is right.
I love the different colors on this house, the landscaping is right up my alley too. I like the soft gentle arch over the porch where you walk through to the door and I like the variation in the lines of the siding (upper part is vertical and the lower half is horizontal).
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I'd really love to add shakes to the doghouse dormer in the front and the back as well as the dormer area on the sides of the house. DH is considering this. My question is do I use the same color or not?? I like how this house only used them in the very corners of the dormers, although they did have the advantage of the bump out to use them on as well, I wouldn't have that.
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Again, I like the subtle arch in the porch roof line and the exposed rafters of the dormer roof.
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I think this home looks the most like mine. It's a tad darker then the others I've posted here.
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I like the porch railing and the dividing trim line between the levels (roofline?) I'm not sure what to call that line.
I also like the brick columns for the support beams and am thinking maybe we could do that. :)
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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

I'm guessing your house at one time had porch posts like the ones in your pictures- stout, tapered posts with brick bases part way up. The roof looks like it's going to fall over with those skinny little posts. You're on the right path looking at houses of a similar period to see the details. Do you read Cottages & Bungalows magazine? Lots of places like yours in there, and they do interesting studies on re-painting vintage homes to what they would have been originally. Houses were colorful back then; I read an article saying that the trend to white houses came about during the Depression, when people couldn't afford anything but the cheapest white paint, and covered over the existing colors. Once people got used to houses being white, it was many years before people rediscovered color.


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my old house

thanks for the info flgargoyle. I'll have to look around for that magazine, sounds very interesting. I do still want to do some research at the library too. We have time before we need to make a decision, I just like to have a visual while I'm working and since we're likely going to work on the landscaping and brick paths this year (at a miniumum) I think it would be helpful to try to visualize the whole look.

Yeah, those "posts" aren't holding a darn thing up. Again, I wish my nana could remember more of what the house use to look like. I'm going to ask my next door neighbor and her sister who lives on the other side since they have also both lived here their whole lives. Now that it's getting nicer out I'll actually start seeing them again :)
the vast majority of houses in my neighborhood are brick and the prettier colorful ones in town look more like victorian to me.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

OH if you are going to redo your railing the one there now would be daring in your cottage garden for a little decor. Love Jay's ideas.Not sure on cost to do all of that but it sure would look great.

I LOVE the last picture look.

The house we painted Navajo white and gray had the gray up in the points like your second picture down. Looked good. I will see about digging for the picture. Later . Just got down with work. Eyes are tired.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

No rush Shades, I'll keep checking back and perusing old posts, so I'll be around :) I appreciate the thought! Thanks!


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

craftlady...is this what you were describing, I read it several times but I think I missed something...I couldn't think of where to put the red "trim"...window mullions? or gutters?

From Apr 5, 2011


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followup

enigmaquandry - you're so freaking cool, thank you thank you thank you!! I had no idea what the house would look like with the darker colors and I almost didn't even recognize my own house!! I can't believe you read my epic-long posts and got that much out of it :) I showed DH and he really liked it too. He's not so sure about going quite so dark, but he does like the blue/grey color in general. And in any case, we'll be doing soemthing with grey understones I think. Either blue/grey or green/grey.

And it dawned on me how much this house could look like our old house that we rented.
This isn't a good picture of the front, but just so you can see the similarities
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And here's a picture from the side where you can see the color a bit better.
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DH did comment about the shrubs you put around the front though. They look an Awful lot like the ones we pulled out, lol :) In all seriousness, the inkberry holly and the azalea will grow up and fill in much better. We will be adding a dwarf crabapple tree or something in the area on the left of the front porch where you have the 2 yews. And I'm adding more shrubs to the front and the side bank area, although they will likely be deciduous. But the visual you provided is awesome!

We love the big white posts. DH thinks the exposed rafters might make it look too fancy, but I'm gonna look for exampels around town and show him it'll work. He's willing to be swayed on that.

As far as adding the red color, I was thinking if we trim the very interior part of the windows in red (like the actual window frame) and then made a wider strip of white (or similar color) trim. Like the last 3 example pictures I posted.

Either way, what you gave me is so very awesome and I truly honestly appreciate it!


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

That does look good. I didn't recognize it at first either.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Really looks nice in the gray. The beefy pillars are great.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Oh your rental home was so cute! It DOES look quite similar :)

I had to laugh about the bushes, yes they are awful, "virtual" landscaping is so tricky I got lazy ;) Your choices sound waaaaaay 1000% better!

I tried to add the trim, shakes and lighten the color, I also noticed I'd skimped you on one column :)

From Apr 5, 2011

From Apr 5, 2011

I just like to play...and I've run out of things to sketch on my own house :)


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

I only have time to read your original post as I write this, not the responses so far.

Here are my first thoughts without following the discussion:

1. I would like to see the porch spindles and posts heavier and chunkier.

2. I would choose a color palette with 3 colors. A main, and second, and the third would be little splashes for excitement.

3. I would add more foundation shrubs to add structure. Take away the bird bath & other things, and add back only if necessary afterward as supplemental jewelery.

Heavier/denser shrubs should be at the corners and ease down lower toward the steps. You want the eye to go to the front door...and the front door to be the focal point. Don't be afraid to add curved beds farther out into the lawn. Hug the corners. I personally think curves and feminine shapes would help soften all the sharp corners.

Those are my first conceptual thoughts without detail. Gotta get to work!
Gayle


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

enigma, I just don't even know what to say. you took my words and put it to a picture. That is so cool of you!! what program did you use to do that? Everyone at work is in comnplete AWE that it's the same house and they all want you to do theirs too ;)

Gayle, you hit on the major points of everyone's responses :) I completely agree with you and now that I can more easily visualize what my house can look like I can take that and add to it.

And I promise to post pictures in the next few months so you can see that there really is some landscaping out there. I just need to work on adding winter interest, that's what my yard is lacking the most.

Thank you all again for your wonderful thoughts and ideas.

~Andrea


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

craftlady, oh I'm glad it's closer to what you're looking for! I know I can't make a decision without seeing it for myself :) I use Pixelmator photo-retouching program, it takes a while to get used to but it's really grown on me.

You got me thinking with your last post...about your co-workers...so I decided to do a "giveaway" on my blog for a virtual redo like yours if they'd like to "enter"/comment :) I said I'll pick one but in reality I know I'll probably be doing a few..haha!

I used your before/after pic as an example, though please let me know if that bothers you and I will remove them post-haste :)

I think your reno is going to turn out famously, you just have one of those beautifully shaped "classic" houses!

Here is a link that might be useful: makeover giveaway link


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

What a wonderful idea enigma! Unfortunately the ones that were most interested in this have left for the day but I'll be sure to tell them about it on monday and in the meantime, I'll catch up on your blog :)

And I have absolutely zero problem with you using the pictures for this.

Thanks again for the help and the lovely comments too! :)


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

If you have a supply of bricks, that could be part of your porch post reconstruction jobby.

And if you like the gray, and plan to cover the cement porch floor with flagstone, you can choose the proper tones of the stone to coordinate with your brick and house color. You do have a lovely house, with a lot of potential.

With your front door faving north, you can have some shade loving plants hanging in a basket from that section just next to your steps. And, a nice fern is a good investment as well. I live in a less severe gardening zone, but you have some lovely plants to choose from up there....like hosta, or maybe some fern, or sedum. I was amazed to discover that the Korean hardy azaleas looked fantastic, and they don't require trimming so much. I HATE to have plants that I know from the git-go, there will be high maintenance! A small-growing (weeping?) Japanese maple that has red leaves all year (Bloodgood is one variety), would be nice on your northern area, right?

If you have red and green glass in your front door, then if your brick is red, it would go very nicely. To accent the colored glass, choose a light INSIDE THE DOOR that will cast at least one bulb to the glass, and folks driving by will see the colors shining back at them. Hold out for the RIGHT storm door, even if it is a custom size. Nothing less than a full panel insulated storm door will do the job you want.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Thanks for the suggestions ML. Right now the plan is to use the bricks we have for the pathway from the front sidewalk to the porch and then to the left to the cement steps and along the top of the bank towards the back of the house as far as we can take them till we run out. I know there are people giving/selling bricks away on CL fairly often so we can always keep our eye out for more bricks for the pillars. I do like the look of the half brick/half post pillars, but if we have to the all-wood pillars would definietly work too.

I absolutely plan on adding hostas this year. There are so many to choose from and I spent some time alst year researching and looking at them in nurseries to get some ideas of what I like. I have a friend giving me a lacecap hydrangea to add out front (I do have a macrophylla hydranges to the right of the bird bath and it does well, just not fast growing. I also have one fern out there, I was hoping it would spread but it hasn't so I want to add more too.
It's not much to look at now, but here;s a close up of the front yard
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I know, it's not much, but I'm working on it :)
And here's the view from the front porch, again, not its not much.
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My grandmother lives across the street in the little brick house to the left of the tan house. I'm debating putting in a little weeping japanese maple in front here.
Here's the other side where I want the dwarf crabapple
Photobucket I don't know what i want to put under/around it yet though.

And I finally took a picture of the front door this morning. Yeah, there's no red, it's purple, I guess I never really paid that close attention before.
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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

I like the shade of walkway stones you are putting down. It echos the brick of other homes in your neighborhood.

And your front door is to die for!!!!
Those three colors are Mardi Gras colors. Gold, green, and purple, love that. The interior muntin shape can be a design that you repeat elsewhere on the porch and inside the house. It is something that Prairie style homes or those by Frank Lloyd Wright used as signatures. Like a corporate logo, if you get my meaning.

I could see you using the design of "crossed lines" to design your table cloth, your top sheets, any glass doors in your kitchen cabinets or the window panes on either side of a fireplace....something that most Arts/Crafts houses have up high on the fireplace wall. And, in that case, you could also install more of the colored glass in the same patterns.

For your back door, which faces south, and gets a lot of sunlight through it year round I bet, you could make plain glass door in the same design as your front door....maybe just in PLAIN CLEAR GLASS.

I think your front door is your house's SIGNATURE. And it is absolutely gorgeous. Folks in Mobile and New Orleans, where Mardi Gras is a real big deal, would LOVE to have your front door!!!


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Mardis Gras!! thanks, I don't know why I didn't see that before. I know I definitely want to keep the front door and show it off. I think I'll try to add some pops of yellow and purple ito the front landscape to highlight those colors too. And I would like to repeat that pattern in the windows out front when we replace them.

Unfortunately our house has no fireplace or anything really built in. We put one glass cabinet in the kitchen and the doors were too small to put any muntins in, but I like the idea of repeating the design elsewhere.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. :)


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Andrea,
thanks! I'd say their chances are pretty darn good! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Curb appeal giveaway


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

I could have sworn I posted this already, but maybe I wanted to and couldn't log in.

I love your door - my favorite style. Also a question. Is the house catty-corner from yours, visible in the 4th picture in the grouping above - a store front? How cool would that be to have a store in front with an attached house? I wish people still did that.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

enigma, I think my coworkers are blog-shy. I told them about it and they both got gun shy, I'm not sure why. I tried though, sorry!

marti8a - Yes it was a store front! It was actually the neighborhood butcher shop and my aunt (who grew up in the little brick house that's in the middle of the picture above in) worked there. She ran the cash register for years growing up!

I realized I didn't post any pictures of the house directly across the street. It's a lot like my great-grammy's house that is next door to my nana's house on the left. Their front door is the same style as mine except their "side panels" are all blue. They have a full glass storm door in front so I get to look at the pretty door all the time :)

If anyone is following my landscaping idea, I decided to not do a crab apple out front but instead I'm going to do a service berry bush. I think it fits better with my overall space constraints. I'm also investigating other decidious and evergreen shrubs for out front to turn the whole front yard into a garden bed. I have all kinds of ideas, I just need to put them on paper and see how it shapes up.
Thanks for the comments and the questions, I enjoy it :)

~Andrea


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How neat to live on a street with so many family connections. My dd's boyfriend bought his grandmother's house and everything he does to the house ties old memories to the present. I love it.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

I love the ties to my history. I love hearing ths stories how my great uncles snuck off with the neighbors to go swimming in the quarries and just generally being adventurous young kids.

I went to school 2 blocks away, and it's the same church DH and I were married in. I went to school with the grandson of the people who we bought this house from. I also went to school with the grandson of my next door neighbor. Her sister lives next door to her on the other side.

And most of the people who moved into the neighborhood over the years are all super nice and friendly too. I live in a nice quaint quiet safe Borough and even though most days I wish my house was bigger (even though, just slightly, not a mcmansion or anything) I'm more then thrilled with where we live. If we're ever blessed with children I know it would be the best place for them to grow up, even if they don't have a lot of indoor room. We do have a 1/3 acre lot with a playground a block away and soccer fields right out back.

We also have some local Indian history which is pretty cool and my town was settled by Moravians in the 1700s. But not the part I live in. Most of my part of town was developed by the workers of the cement quarry in my back yard.

So thats probably a little more then you wanted to knww about my house and my town, but there you have it :)


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

I love the memories, that's what makes a place special :)


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About the HOSTAS

I just happened to remember your remarks about researching hostas. If you want to go to a really good FREE source of info, Plant Delights Nursery (in NC) has it well organized by color of the leaf, by size of the plant, and whether it is a white, lavender, or fragrant bloom. Also what kind of climate it likes. I'll put the link below. They also give you the picture and how to plant them. I've even found a few that will tolerate our hot and humid climate in south AL, wonder of wonders.

The nursery is well respected in the Gardenweb gardening side, which is how I found out about them. Take a look at the sidebar of other perennials too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta Chart


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Hi all, it's been awhile. Sorry that I seemed to have disappeared for the past few months. I never realized you added the hosta link Moccasinlanding, thank you for that!!

I'm back to thinking about residing the house and I actually posted a rather long post on the remodeling forum for some ideas.

DH really wants a lighter color siding and I don't because of how close the house is to the road and how dirty it gets. I'm actually thinking of maybe adding a brick veneer of sorts to the area under the front porch roof, either all the way up or only half way (I'd prefer real brick and I'd want it all the way up to the ceiling).

2 reasons:
#1 I think it'll merge the house in with the rest of the houses on the block since so many are brick.
#2 Brick stays cleaner IMO.

I do still want regular plank siding around the rest of the house and shingle siding up near the windows on the second floor and in the dormer areas.
Is that too many different siding choices on one small house? I don't think I'd paint the window mullins or trim, at least not anything but a white or off white color. I do hope to get wide trim though to help the windows to stand out a bit more and delineate the corners. I like how that looks.
I'm just worried it's too much. Thoughts?


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

Craftlady, I'm not able to visualize all those materials. But it does sound like a lot of stuff. Your house is lovely now. And there are paints or other coatings available these days, which repel dirt.

An example is my new bathtub does not EVER get a ring around it! Do you realize that means NO CLEANING leaned over breaking my back? And it also means that little nano particles are able to keep your house clean without having to make it any darker than you like. Ain't science wonderful.

But now I will have to try to do some visualizing again.
If you have the link to what you posted on remodeling, post it here in this thread so we can try to keep up.


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RE: Thinking about the exterior, thoughts?

What kind of tub is that ML?

craftlady, I understand about the siding getting dirty. Our siding under porch gets really dirty and I've never really figured out why. I don't know how hard it is to put brick on a house designed for siding, but I guess a brick layer could figure out how to put on a brick ledge and get it going.


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