"wart" on my "new to me" house, landscaping/hardscaping
hoot_owl
February 11, 2013 in Design Dilemma
While we have tons of projects still inside our "new to us" 1950 ranch, I am chilly today and looking forward to Spring when we can tackle the outside. I have attached a pic of the "wart" on our house... our garage, which was obviously an add on. We can't remove it, but please help me blend it in! If it matters at all, this is actually the BACK of our house and because of the way the driveway comes around, this door is our main entry. I was thinking incorporating some sort of pergola to make a courtyard of sorts. The other issue to tackle is the view out our guest bedroom which look right onto the roof. Beyond installing an expensive green roof, any ideas?
Thanks Houzzers!
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Yarbro Home Improvement LLC
I agree. Ug. If you put a green roof on top, it'll then just look like a hairy wart :-) It needs a roof. A gable roof which ties back into the existing roof. You'll lose the windows though. The white color isn't helping at all. It needs to blend with the house. I'd start there. With a simple and inexpensive paint job
February 11, 2013 at 5:14pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
There will be ways to transform your unsightly wart into a happy dimple, but what I wonder about is if there is a way to get visitors to come to the front door. Do I understand correctly that this is also the entrance that visitors use? If so, can we see please photos of the front entrance so that we can figure out a way to convince your friends to approach from the prettier side of the house?
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
February 11, 2013 at 5:26pm   
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Jayme H.
I agree that if the garage were the same color as the house it would not be as noticeable.
February 11, 2013 at 5:30pm   
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Earth Matters Landscape Construction Ltd.
Yes definitely paint out the garage in the same colour as the house. Remove the dated shrubs at the side of the garage and in front of the house. On the garage, install a series of geometrically shaped square lattice pieces to hide the siding. Then plant a row of "Karl Foerster" feather reed grasses in front of the lattice. That should take care of the "wart". I think I see an air conditioner to the left of the front door. If so, skirt it in with the same lattice and plant the area across the front of the house with colourful low shrubberies and perennials in Light purple , yellows and especially whites(you can see how much white pops off the dark colour of the house on the "wart") Best of luck

Dean Widmark
Owner-Lead Designer
Earth Matters Landscape Construction
February 11, 2013 at 6:17pm     
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hoot_owl
Thanks everyone! Sounds like some paint and a chain saw are in order. The house is all brick, so I will look for a paint color that matches, trying not to avoid additional attention to that area. Thanks for the specific plant recommendations are well Dean.
@Carolyn, you are correct, the door in the above picture is the one that everyone would use, unless they use the path to the left and walk around to the front of the house. Our house is on a pretty big slope and there is NO parking, or any walkway/stairs/access from the very narrow driveway directly to the front door. I have added pictures of the front here. As you can see, there is a pretty neat patio out there.. it is kinda of like our front and back entries are reversed.
February 11, 2013 at 6:57pm     
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Stone & Land, LLC
Have I seen this house before? The grading to the garage is pretty steep and I can't tell if water might pitch towards it. Do you live where it gets Icy? A second retaining wall with steps up from the garage to the flat area might be nice if you going to make changes. I think I'd want to focus on some functional things first and then add in the aesthetic while upgrading the drainage and adding the courtyard design. I like the way your thinking though with making this area a nice outdoor room. Maybe you want to embrace the garage and make it a "flat" roof and integrate an upper deck with steps to the back door level, especially if your going to go through with improving the roof. It'd be a very interting party space. Looks like you have a nice property and some nice trees to look at while your up there too.
February 11, 2013 at 6:57pm   
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Stone & Land, LLC
Ok, I understand a little bit more, you posted some more pictures while I was typing. Nice spread
February 11, 2013 at 7:00pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Ah, that puts a totally different slant on the problem. I think we should be addressing how to turn the back entrance into what looks like a front entrance. Or does the door lead into the laundry room?
If so, maybe you can turn the real front entry into the new laundry room and vice versa.
February 11, 2013 at 7:03pm   
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claudiann
Would it be possible to hang a windowbox outside the window and fill it with shade loving plants or even some nice artificial something or another so then at least from inside it looks nice out the window? I like the idea of the ornamental grass next to the garage.
February 11, 2013 at 7:07pm   
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talkingangel
Paint the garage the colour as the house, spice it up with window boxes and give the front door a new colour. I love the second retaining wall with steps idea. It's going to look home once you finish.
February 11, 2013 at 10:21pm   
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Here's a doodle featuring a rooftop deck over the garage ( provided that the garage foundation is strong enough to support it ) and a paved area. Since the driveway is such a prominent feature entertain the idea of having it made more attractive. There are many faux finish convrete stains/etchings that can be done .
February 12, 2013 at 5:33am     
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DIAspoton
your gargae roof top makes me think of all of the lovely rooftop gardens in NYC. pull up some photos of them and see if you can turn this wart into a beautiful entertainig space.
February 12, 2013 at 5:42am   
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Here's a doodle for the front landscape : Eliminate labor and chemical intensive grass for a sustainable low-maintenance landscape that is attractive year round. Plant drought-tolerant shrubs, evergreens, ornamental grasses and mulch with shredded pine bark or pea gravel. Add stones for a nice effect.
February 12, 2013 at 5:56am   
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Stone & Land, LLC
Thanks Sweet Caroline for taking the time to sketch the upper deck idea. Pretty close. Black looks kind of harsh and hot. While I agree some improvements could be made to the front, I think a whole yard of xeriscape is a little overboard, not really in the scope of what hoot_owl was looking for.
February 12, 2013 at 8:46am   
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Black was just for illustrative purposes - it could be gray, plain wood or whatever color. The front is also a suggestion when and if he wants to do the front landscape. I know he said he had a lot of indoor projects. Whether its a 5 or 10 year plan it doesn't hurt to gather ideas. If he just wants to do a minimum of work to improve the landscape for right now it would be to get rid of those green yews blocking the view of his house.
February 12, 2013 at 10:06am     
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Urban Oasis
Why don't you create a pergola covered patio/sitting area out there and use the garage wall to place an outdoor fireplace or fire pit against? That way the wall would have a purpose and the garage wouldn't be sticking out like a sore thumb because it would be integral to the design.
February 12, 2013 at 10:32am   
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