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Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Posted by jennik78 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 8, 10 at 11:10

We are residing our 1960s Cape from cedar shakes to vinyl. I am having a difficult time selecting colors and whether I can do a little decorative trim to create some sort of appeal to this ugly house. I know I have major landscaping to fix and I do not have extra funds to build out a porch, although I would love to do so.

We live in a small city in Massachusetts. The neighborhood is all 1920+ homes, and our house was probably one of the newest built in 1960. Houses are crammed together and the colors are all pretty blah in the neighborhood in cool tones.

The contractor will be using Mastic CarvedWood siding. I am interested in either Classic Cream with White Trim and Black Raised Panel Shutters. Change out the front door to a Rich Brown Stained door and a full light screen door.
However, the roof probably does not match and our neighbors quite close next to us in a colonial have a yellow/red theme.

Alternatively, I am interested in Tuscan Olive with white trim, black shutters and as mentioned earlier for the door. Is that too- new subdivision colors?

Because the face is soooo plain, I would like to also:
decorative trim around the door w/ keystone
water table trim
add a second exterior light
Could I even squeeze in a dentil trim at the top?

It is difficult to find pictures of resided Capes that are as plain as ours, either online or in books. Help!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Pictures

Here is a link that might be useful: My House


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Jennik, have you found the book about capes?
I find it invaluable. CAPES: DESIGN IDEAS FOR RENOVATING, REMODELING, AND BUILDING NEW. by Jane Gitlin, 218pp, c. 2003 Taunton Press. I bought it from Amazon.com

And here is a picture of my DH's cape up in Massachusetts. After reading the above book, I appreciate the style of a house that can grow as a family grows. HIS started just like yours, and subsequent additions led to its present look. His is the original cedar shakes but painted blue. Blue is NOT my favorite color for anything but blue sky and blue oceans, but he likes it. I know what you mean about the front entry. Depending on the part of the country where you live, adding a different entry can change the appearance from a New England style cape to a cozy cajun cottage with a front porch all the way across and on raised piers.

I'm showing one photo of the front of his house. Other pictures can be seen in the Webshots albums about Massachusetts remodelling and gardening, linked below.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Depending on how much space you have to work with at the front roofline, and whether you plan to add a small gable over the entry, we'd have to see that to give any opinion of what is possible.

Here is a link that might be useful: Massachusetts cape house & garden albums


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Observations

Just revisited your photos and reread your first post. I see that your roof is about the same as the roof of DH's cape. His was built in 1948. IF we were planning to keep his house, I would also add a covered stoop area to it. The snow can get pretty deep there on the landing while you fumble for the keys, and I think a covered area would be very humane!
I note that you are also in Massachusetts, so you do have to figure on snow. Our house faces west; I think your house faces easterly.

How old is your roof, and what is its condition? I personally like the cream/white/black combo, although a more brownish siding color (think natural unpainted cedar shakes out on the Cape) with a black door and black shutters would work too. White trim. I'd pick the color siding I liked, and leave it that color, because that roof is changeable, even if it is going to be 5 or 10 years. Hopefully your siding never needs painting, just the trim.

It seems to me that any future expansion of your house would be best served by a shed style dormer across the front of the house, since the chimney is off center on the back portion of your roof. A "dog house" style dormer or a smaller off center shed dormer would work back there.
I would not at this time, when your funds are limited, do any construction that involves your roofline over the entry at the front door. It might be money poured out in vain if you ever decide to add an upstairs room and that entry would have to be torn off.

Do you have a basement? I see a small window in the photo of the backside of your house, but I cannot see anything behind the front shrubs. Also do you have a second floor?

I would tend to think a flat roofed little entry could work, adding enough width to the RIGHT to put a small bench into the railing and a couple of sturdy posts at the front, with a really flattened gable, having its peak about 120 degrees at the top. Just don't get involved with anything impinging on your roof. I drew out a similar plan to beef up the entry to my DH's cape, in an effort to make the front more friendly, and will try to locate the rough sketch to post for you what I mean.

I dearly love the cape style, and you have a darling house. It is a great starter home and a very cozy style which is the quintessential AMERICAN HOUSE. Good luck with all your beautification projects. Every little bit helps.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Thank you for your kind response! I do so much like the cream, white and black look. It seems timeless and easy to just pop new shutters and paint the front door for a fresh look.

Every time I see the 'sage-y' color house I am surprised to re-remember how much I like it, but I have a difficult time translating such a color into my house. It seems a hard color to play with too.

I have the book you referred to from my local library. I loved looking through it but it certainly seemed like for more major remodels or major money. :) I did get some tips from it though- that I will tuck away!

The front of our house faces west. I am not sure how old the roof is. I am guessing about 15 years? No issues at this time. Some staining from trees no longer there and minor patching all done before we moved in 2005. We do have a nice sized basement that were my husband not to store all his hobby stuff could be partially finished.

I would like to in the future add a portico of sorts as well as put in a deck. When I asked some contractors quoting siding about a simple porch now, I was told even to just put in a decorative pediment I was looking at $3K plus.

As far as adding on to the house, we are fairly locked in with minimal room on any side. Down the road, I would want to add on another bathroom upstairs on the 1/2 story that we all sleep on(especially BEFORE I have two teenage girls) but that would require bumping up in the back of the house I think? That is on my 10 year plan or sooner if I have to sell the house. I know if I was to sell to anyone other than a desperate pregnant new mom (what I was in 2005) it won't sell. Its unusual for this area that we have such a plain cape, no dormers and no garage. We paid $140K and nicer ones are selling for a lot less now. I know this is fairly common, but I have to recognize that because we are paying as we go with cash, things will get done slowly and we simply have to do some of it because we want to be comfortable and know we will never recoup the cost unless we live there 30 years.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Do not fret about building Rome in a day!

The photo I saw of DH's house back in 1963 when his young family moved in looked very similar to your house. HE is the one who added the two dormer bedrooms with a full bath between them, added a room over the garage and turned a passageway into a dining room, and then made a sun porch on the south end, and across the back put in a ground floor family room 12 x 34; oh yes, ..he finished out the basement, with a "mud" room adjacent the door from the garage and tiled the whole thing, and of course he did all the work, even mixing cement and pouring the patios.
He did all this IN HIS SPARE TIME AFTER WORK. It can be done, but it takes time and a really determined homeowner..:)

I think you are right that your house could bump out into a shed dormer at the back. It gives more headroom, and fewer ceiling angles. Put as many windows as you can in the room on the south end of your house. It is amazing what a lift this sunlight gives you on a long cold winter. I'm assuming from what you said about sleeping upstairs that you already have stairs in position and must plan your expansion around their location. In DH's cape, the stairs lead up from a spot between the living room and the downstairs front bedroom (which is now a master suite). The room over the garage is our study, but could also be a fourth bedroom; it has a very big closet and even a "secret" access panel for hiding Christmas presents behind the closet wall.

Where are you planning on the deck? In the back, off the kitchen door? That would have nice shade in the afternoons when it would be the hottest. And across the front of your house, even a narrow arbor would look great going across the entire front or at least making a "frame" from the far ends of the windows and across the front doorsteps. You could build a shelter at the front door to be out of the weather and not impinge on the roofline at all. I am a great believer in good 1/4" thick Lexan, which would be fine as overhead material only over the stoop area. Then get some tall pencil holly shrubs or maybe a slim Italian cypress-type tree/bush as exclamation marks at the corners. It will give your front some presence. Any posts supporting the arbor can be beefed up and made more dramatic by your steps. Decide if you LIKE those steps enough to keep them and build your entry plans around them, or if you will scratch them and start over. Think about the entry area on Trick or Treat night, when all the neighborhood kids are coming over. Accessible, well lighted, and safe.

Love capes, and am so glad I had a chance to "play house" with one, even for a short period of time. We will be selling DH's cape next spring and living full time at my little stucco cottage in south Alabama.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Hi Jen, welcome to the small homes forum! I've been following your posts about your house. It's certainly darling! I haven't added anything to the conversation because I'm clueless!
It seems like ML has some great ideas though. One of the great things about this forum is that most (all??) of us understand working with limited funds. We do what we can 'when we can'.

Good luck with your projects
Loretta


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Welcome Jen - My $.02 worth is that we once had a small, pale green duplex home in Calif. I hated the color because all greenery near the house just sort of got lost in all that green. We couldn't paint because other owner wouldn't go for the cost and the colors had to "match". :-( We now have a gray Cape with black shutters and maroon front door in upstate NY. All the flowers and greenery really stand out now. Mama's happy.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

On the other hand, check out the green siding pic further down on this forum titled "Small house... siding color help please". Made me eat my words :-0


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

My face sure is red. This is the correct link.....Scroll down to the green sided darling house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sorriso's post


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Hi, jennik, your home is cute and classic. I like the idea of the cream with white/black. My neighbor has a 'pre-fab' cape with 2 small dormers and a porch added across the front. It's white with black shutters--looks very classic and neat.

ML, I love your hubby's home! I love the idea that it has been added onto, growing with families and generations.

We've done the same thing with our home--added on several times as we needed the space and could afford the expense. It's a long process, and sometimes seems as if it will never be finished. jennik, good luck!


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

wantoretire_did- I saw that green house in the link and it is beautiful. The touch of trim work and beautiful lawn really show how details matter.

Its funny, kind of buckling down and accepting the house as ours rather than a transitory place we happen to be at. And I dearly want to make it a house I love, rather than one I silently (or not so silently) curse at.

Our contractor is coming by in two days to do measurements and I will be going with the cream, black and white. Onto ordering a new front door as well. We have very little privacy without a porch and the stairs to the bedroom right in front of the door, so we will be putting in a fiberglass door with just a small rectangle or half-circle glass at the top. Probably some sort of burgandy stain.

Deck will be behind the house -maybe 16x12- but that will have to wait- cause the kitchen is next and gutting out the old cabinetry and floor.

Here is a link that might be useful: My inspiration kitchen -- try to recreate without gas stove or white cabinets :)


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

jennik, I'm borrowing your 2nd inspiration pic, if that's OK. I love that kitchen--I'd like to have a similar baking center with cream cabinets and carrara slab. Looking forward to seeing pics of your home improvements.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

By all means - I'm in love with the cheerful green walls.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Don't blame you there, Mama~
the counter top is perfect for your baking center surface.

I like that entire wall use, except for one thing.....the clock needs to go above the doorway....and then a piece of rectangular art go where it is located now.

I love the white cabs, and the drawer pulls, and the glass front on that one cab. The setup sort of reminds me of a hoosier cabinet.

Classic design features. It will work anywhere.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

I'm back to the drawing board with colors- I ordered two samples of cream colored siding and 1 is almost the exact color as my next door neighbor's house and the other is too yellow.
Hubby likes grey and black combo - as do I everytime I see on a small ranch house. But with our prominent cape roof not broken up with any dormers, it just feels like way too much grey (maybe?) and kind of cold.
Help!

Here is a link that might be useful: My house mockups


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Jen, I like the 2nd and 4th colors in the lineup.

Does your neighbor's house also have the same black shutters?

I think your roof is the same color as my DH's roof, and it is basically white with a gray undertone. Going with gray siding gives an awful lot of gray, as you said.

Try something which is in the brownish range. That is the natural tone of cedar, and it is the classic for homes on the Cape itself. While it might be in the yellower range of colors, try for a browner tone. Can you try just one more mock up? You've done so well with the latest 5.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

jennik, I like the lightest of the five mock-ups. I hope that one isn't the same color as your neighbor's house.

I was happy to see your thread at the top of the page--I talked to a cabinetmaker last night about my baking center, and I'm going to show him your inspiration pic today!


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

The 4th picture/lightest is the one that is closest to my neighbor's house a few feet over. That said, their house is a colonial, with a red metal roof and red shutters.

I suppose if my house is a different style, with different shutters (and what do you think about using the contrasting white corners) then maybe it would look okay.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Jennik, I love your mach ups :) I have so many of these and we're not even residing yet! I'm not sure if you've made a decision yet but I vote for the grey or the green (which is funny, I usually don't like green houses...I like this one though!) I actually think your house is very attractive! Capes lend themselves well to being really plain, I think perhaps a more substantial railing would make all the difference in the world.

We actually decided against (at least for now) putting dormers on our house because I prefer the simple cottage look of the capes steep roof. Ours is very very similar to yours.

Good luck, I hope you love your decision!


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Ok, I think I am making headway. I painted on a white corners and trim to see if grey is too grey with those changes. I stole someone's blue front door.

I think the grey is a possibility!

Here is a link that might be useful: My grey cape.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Of course, the brown with the white trim added on looks good too!

Here is a link that might be useful: My tan house


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I love the grey! My house is a yellow-tan and hopefully one day it will be grey like that :) It just reminds me of how a cape should look, like the color of wood that's been by the sea for years...

Hmmm, personally I would try the grey with the white trim with blue shutters and a red door (usually not a fan of red doors since there are SO many around here but it just seems like it would be beautiful on your house, very classic :)


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Another vote for the gray, I think it looks better with your roof. But I'm partial to gray.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

I like 2 and 5 where the siding is a different color than the roof.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

I really like the gray too. We painted a house we had gray and white and really liked it. My DH keeps pointing out a house that is white with black trim he says every time how nice it looks. I like it too and maybe someday we will do this place the same way.

Chris


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Have you considered a color scheme like mocassinlandings' DH's house? I just realized how pretty those colors are together!

Btw, I totally forgot to mention! You can get pediments for around your door at Lowes or Home Depot. I can't find them online right now (internet's being patchy) but I KNOW I've seen them and I know they aren't anything like 3K! I imagine they'd be really easy to install, if I remember correctly I think they're just standard size and made of pvc or vinyl or something...I'm sure they come with directions. Anyway since it's not structural or anything that would probably be a really good diy project!


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I'm playing with your house in photo editing...I'll post it when I'm done. It's just for fun :)


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

What would you think of this?
From house

The pediment I found online, it was only $300, but it was for over a double door so it's probably more than you would need anyway!


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Ah ok, the $3,000 he threw at me was because they would have to start working with the roof because the roofline is so low. It is about 5 inches from the door frame to the soffit. So when we have to replace the roof in a few years, I will have the porch rebuilt.

So for now it seems that most decorative built up door pediment is out but there might be room for something very simple but it will butt up against trim in front of the soffit (not sure the technical term for it.) Thank you for the mock up! The fire engine red is very cute and jumps out!

For the door style, I am thinking of either just a very plain four lite at the top or a decorative (but not too fancy) glass camber top or square.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Hi Jennik, I am typically not a fan of grey, but really like the grey mock-up you've done - I have no idea why. :o) It just looks 'right' somehow. I really like the red door of enigma's too - I know red's been somewhat overdone in doors, but it also seems to suit.
~Missy


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

My ex and I built a charming Cape Cod house plan in 1976. It was patterned after the original in Marietta GA and we painted the siding a soft yellow with white trim, black shutters and doors and a dark gray roof. It was very lovely.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

I'm so curious as to what you will do with your colors! This sounded like what teresa was describing, except probably a prettier shade of yellow

From house

I think this would be my favorite for your house (I actually agree with Moccasinlanding, blue is not my first choice usually but it just seems nice for your house :) This is a little bluer than the previous one and the door is a little oranger (perhaps a way to side-step the proverbial red door:). I should have mentioned that the last pic I put up was bluer than your original grey, I love both options though...too many beautiful choices!

From house

I hope you will post a pic when you have decided so we can see your lovely place get its touch up. Thanks for humoring my playing around with the colors, I wish I could photoshop my own house and somehow magically it would be that way (but I also sometimes think that about my face in the morning:) !


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

There is a cape cod cottage in my neighborhood with a roof color very similar to yours. The colors on the house look similar to this...it's a very pretty house.

From house


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Thank you again for your postings, all of you!!!

We are sitting down with the contractor on Friday and we will be going with one of two shades of gray (Mastic Carvedwood Victorian or Harbor Gray) with the white Azek trim as pictured above. Work starts Monday, July 19th.

I ordered our front door yesterday from a local company- Therma Tru Smooth Star 2 Panel 6 Top Lite with Oil Rubbed Bronze hinges(s608) which will provide light inside but give us more privacy than our current door. We will have it painted in some sort of cottage red, warm but not too bright. $546+ tax if you are curious. I think it will be charming with a nice door knocker from Restoration Hardware or something.

Storm Door- Andersen Contemporary Series Single Vent Full Lite Clear in White with Oil Rubbed Bronze handle . We need a storm door for ventilation and an extra layer of privacy between us and the outside. $313 + tax.

Hardware- not ordered but most likely a simple Schlage latch and deadbolt in ORB and not a handleset.

I am pretty excited- not 100% certain that the ORB hardware finish was the best choice but I don't want brass and I think nickel colors would not look good with the red door.


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Oh god, I just met with the contractor this afternoon and committed to Harbor Grey and Azek white trim.

I am freaking out - this is a huge commitment... I am scared I will hate it.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Ahhh, I like what you are choosing1!
The door will make such a difference and I will be eager to see the pictures of the results.

IMHO, every Cape is gorgeous. There is something so soul satisfying about the style. It spells comfort and hominess.
The door on my DH's Cape is very old, I think the original from 1948, and I was wanting a new one. But it will be the back door we replace, along with its two panels of sidelights, to give more openness to the family room it opens into.

If you are a Navy man/woman, the color of blue on my DH's house would be considered "battleship gray" which is the way I've come to look at it, NOT BLUE, which I do not really like. I painted the front door a terra cotta color, exterior grade of the color I painted the living room. Of course the interior of the door is a white semigloss.

I like the pediment that is mocked up around your front door. Like with DH's house, there is not a lot of space for anything architectural above the front door. I would like to see pretty significant sized coach lamps on either side of his door, and I might yet add that. An easy fix, just yank the old ones down and get something DARK SKY COMPLIANT, which keeps the light from creating a glare in the eyes of guests coming up the walkway. If you can at all get a post light located at the end of your walkway and make it turn on with the side lamps, it would be great. And consider a dimmer....sometimes no one is due to arrive, but having a little dimmed lighting is a sort of welcome.

Also, consider some sedum 'Autumn Joy' which will come back yearly and can be planted on either side of your walkway, but only at the far ends by a lamp post. And a clump of perennial grasses near the lamp post too. Wait until the spring to plant if you are up north, but do your major planting in the fall if you are in a warm climate. If you go with the gray siding, try the blue fescue "Elijah Blue" and some gray leaved plants, such as artemisia, Dusty Miller, lambs ears, a ground cover ajuga which has blue spikes of flowers early in the spring but is able to survive the winters up to zone 4 I think. I LOVE the stuff! And there are some very hardy Korean azaleas, I don't have the names now, but they are the ones available at northern nurseries for outdoor planting. Don't choose plants which require a lot of trimming to stay polite. A couple of pencil hollies will be tall skinny accents for the corners, and stay within bounds since they grow slowly.

I like what's happening with your house, it is totally lovely.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

I love your choice! I think Moccasinlanding's ideas are charming and grey capes are ALWAYS stunning!

From house

Remember though, if they start putting it up and for some reason you don't like it you can tell them!!! Don't let it go up if you're not happy :) I think you'll like it though, I love it!


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That's my pick too. I think you'll love it.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

So last week most of the work was done - Victorian Gray w/white trim. Shutters will be put on next week or so along with a sadly necessary full lite storm door. Mailbox, cute Whitehall one also to be put up by hubby this week. He did a great job putting up the other outside light!

Landscaping will be next year when I have replenished the coffers and I have to find a painter for the door.

Here is a link that might be useful: Project almost done!


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

I love it! Wow it looks even better than I thought it would, it looks like a whole new house! I can't wait for the shutters and the door etc. please keep posting pictures!


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Ok, I wish I was home yesterday. Contractor put the shutters up yesterday incorrect and husband -typical dare I say- did not notice. Husband also had him put the mailbox up on the correct side (+1 point) but too low (-3 points.)

He'll be back one more time. Do I
a) tell the contractor to move the shutters lower (they were supposed to be flush with window, not trim and you can see they did not do that)...its jarring because of the double hung windows and the raised panel being off like that.
b) kill my husband with the blunt force of an unhinged mailbox cover?
c) just move on to the next project

And bonus question- do we paint the door or stay with white?


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

a) I would tell the guy to move the shutters. It will bug you every time you drive up to your house.

b) Can you make it look like an accident? lol, just kidding

c) you mean you don't already one started?

Bonus) paint it.

btw, I can't see the two photos you posted above.


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The weirdest thing

I went back and copied the properties from your two pictures I couldn't see, pasted them in the address box at the top of my screen, and viewed them. Afterwards, I could see them on the post.

But after looking at them, I think I see why the guy installed them that way. If they were operable, that's where they would have to be to clear the bottom sill which seems to stick out. They don't look bad to me that way. I thought it was going to be one of those where they were really lopsided.

I love how the siding turned out. Your house looks perfect.


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

Ah thank you for the good feedback. That inch or so is driving me batty. He should have ordered one a little smaller.

Bonus question clarification what color?


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RE: Residing 1960 Cape- Color Help

a) Absolutely have him move them! Or can he order the slightly smaller ones that you would like? (I understand, whenever I see shutters improperly sized (aka, almost everywhere) it makes me cringe). If it bugs you it will probably always bug you so might as well have it fixed! Make sure he caulks the holes made in the siding so you don't have any weaknesses.

b) It depends...does he willingly do the dishes??? :)

c) No no! Push to the end!!! (we drooped at the end of our kitchen and we still dont' have baseboards :)

Bonus) Absolutely paint paint! I'm a vote for deep red or really deep purple (we have it and I LOVE it, even DH loves it :) and it looks really beautiful with greys...you could tie it in with lavender colored flowers maybe...

I LOVE how your house is turning out, I was a little skeptical of removing the shakes but it really is looking fabulous! Your house looks like the exact style and size of mine, do you mind my asking how much your siding quote was? I am in Illinois so it would probably be different anyway but I was just curious :)

From house

just a thought :)


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yellow!

Oooh, or a soft yellow with lots of white in it, yellow and grey are soooo beautiful together...Sorry for the million 2cents I'm giving, it's just SO much more fun to think about other people's homes than mine (cause there's reality attached to mine :)!

Here is a link that might be useful: grey and yellow!


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