HELP! Fix the front of my house. :-)
September 24, 2012 in Design Dilemma
The first thing you see om my house is the garage. My goal is to paint it or do something where the house looks elegant and modern like the interior. The exterior is vinyl siding and brick. The door and the shutters are currently painted burgundy, the siding is like an off white/cream. The trim is white. I'm up for any suggestions. Thanks in advance for your help.
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There is a lot of contrete in the front of your house. Do you need that section to the left? How about carriage type doors, not modern, but would fit the style of your house on the outside. Since you can't have shutters on all the windows, I'd remove the one pair. If you are up to painting, a tan would make the gable and the doors less obvious.
September 24, 2012 at 8:39am     
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Thanks! I like the idea of tan, the only thing is that the gable is vinyl siding so what about painting the garage door tan and the brick another color?

I don't need the parking pad to the left lol. It was there when we bought the house.
September 24, 2012 at 9:14am     
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Here is another shot
September 24, 2012 at 9:17am   
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Don't paint your brick! I was challenged, by only using the Benjamin Moore colour fan, to find the perfect colour but an idea could be to use "Penny" 2163-30 (which is a bit of a reddy brown) on the garage, and the next colour up on the chip "metallic gold" 2163-40 (which, by the way, isn't gold at all, more a a taupe brown). Use the same "meatallic gold" on the upper shutters. The darker tone on the garage will recede and the lighter on the front door would stand out. You might want a new front door since the one you currently has disappears.
September 24, 2012 at 9:43am     
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Roots and Rafters
You can actually paint vinyl siding. Benjamin Moore makes a line of colors specifically for painting siding.

Here's a link:

Consider the colors "Mayonnaise" or "Montgomery White" for the siding and garage with navy front door to make the entry really stand out. "Hale Navy" would be a beautiful compliment.

Between Naps on the Porch
Front Facade
September 24, 2012 at 10:07am     
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This is a bit of a project but here's what I would do:
1) Architecture: takw the gable out of the roof of the garage, and rebuilt it as a flat roof, then pop out the porch to the same depth. This would improve the look of the house tremendously. A thicker beam on the porch could also eliminate the column closest to the garage, which would clean up the look.
2) This will also improve the 2nd floor window situation (perhaps the house's biggest challenge. Depending on how the rooms are laid out, a french door to the flat roof can be put it. You can also install a wood deck on the roof or put thick roof mats so you can walk on roof. A nice fence around the top would provide more architechural detail.
3) I would consider painting or staining the brick. It probably not real full brick, but a facing. Getting a color school going like Roots and Rafters suggested, is key.
4) Overall the house needs a trim package, and I would remove the lone shutters in favor of beefier trim and detail.
Good luck!
September 24, 2012 at 11:36am     
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Robert Leeper Landscapes
Build an arbor over the garage. It can be just enough for a vine to grow on (3' wide) or deep enough for a car to park in the shade under (20'). Then increase the walkway all along the left side. This will do a lot to make the garage door a less prominent feature.
September 24, 2012 at 11:46am     
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I would suggest painting the trim and shutters in gray, black and red. You can use the black and red on the door or the shutters as u wish. With the garage, u should. Consider a barn door styled roll up door with some deco windows in it, that will really draw attention to it. Trim the front tree and place some nice planters and plants at the entry. Some window plants would be an idea too. Good luck! Nikoya
September 24, 2012 at 1:20pm     
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My fear is that no amount of paint is going to change the fact that you have a hugely prominent garage door. Even adding new expensive garage doors, just means you have nicer garage doors to look at. I agree with stewey that a bit of architectural work is in order. I've outlined what is actually a pretty modest project in terms of time and money, but will give you a ton of bang for your buck.
1) remove the gable roof from the garage. A gable is an architectural exclamation point. LOOK HERE! and you definitely don't need any more attention on the garage. Replace it with a simple shed like that over the porch.
2) extend the porch out four feet or so beyond the garage doors, you can make the entry accessed from the driveway, and have a wonderful big elegant front porch rather than the perfunctory stoop you have now. No need to get extravagant, a simple railing is enough to give you a sense of shelter.
3) make the roof over the new porch a gable. This is where you want that exclamation point. It is both a welcoming way-finding gesture and distracts focus from the garage
4) I think RLL is right on: extend an arbor across the face of the garage. I'd suggest 4' wide, as wide as the entrance to the porch. It will both camouflage the garage doors and add a lovely accent to approaching your entry.
September 24, 2012 at 1:32pm     
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Aja Mazin
A thought for the garage door.

Add shutters to the other window and then paint both sets Carbon Copy.
September 24, 2012 at 2:38pm   
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Aja Mazin
Please do not paint the brick.

Why not convert the parking pad into a brick planter?

And I can see a wood and wrought iron bench replacing the chairs on the front porch.
September 24, 2012 at 3:04pm     
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Ann Kelly
the best way to "fix" this without going into major debt would be to get a grage door with windows. this would break up the huge white expanse on the front of the house.
September 24, 2012 at 9:08pm   
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I think that landscaping your garden would achieve the modern elegant look, rather than a coat of paint on the exterior.

Taking down that large tree that darkens the whole front door would brighten that area, and more put emphasis on the front door. A darker garage door and a bright front door could help too.

A carport built in front of the garage is another option.
September 24, 2012 at 11:54pm   
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Aja Mazin
Please do not remove that large tree.
I am sure you are aware of the ecological value and beauty of that tree.
September 25, 2012 at 12:14am   
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I did think of the tree you could, replant it else where or, give it to a friend or neighbour in need of established plants.
September 25, 2012 at 12:20am   
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Aja Mazin
The garage and a concrete driveway is a challenge that can be overcome!

Draw attention to the landscaping by converting the parking pad into a brick planter
filled with greenery!

Ivy would grow well in the shade of your tree!
September 25, 2012 at 3:42am   
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I think you might be surprised by how cheaply the changes I suggested could be built. Ask a reputable contractor in your area for an estimate, most will provide this service for free.
September 26, 2012 at 8:47am   
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J.T. Design
This garage is a common problem throughout this country. Two car garages facing the street on narrow lots make for an ugly facade. Especially when designed and built on speculation. The question you have to ask yourself is do you want to put a bandaid on this open wound, or do you want surgery to close the gash?

You don't really want to get rid of the garage. You don't have room to rotate the doors 90 degrees, so your smartest path is to both increase the overall vaule of your home while minimizing the dominance of the garage doors.

Replacing the doors with something more tasteful is always a good idea, like glass, raised panels, or a subtle archway with trim.

The real opportunity here is an expansion of the spaces directly behind the gable roof. What is behind it now looks lopsided and ugly. You can fix this by doing a 4 to 6 foot expansion out to the garage door wall, which increases the floor space in the room beyond. Then you can play with the roof on the second story, by any number of interesting architectural features. You can also make the windows as centered as the large door below, helping to balance the facade.

I've done this on many homes and it is a simple and cost effective upgrade.
September 26, 2012 at 9:13am   
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Wow! These are all some awesome ideas. Thank you so much.
September 30, 2012 at 7:10pm   
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