Can I remove the railing? Outside help?
Allison Burnfield McAteer
April 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Sorry to bombard with a bunch of questions. But I would really appreciate some advice. We would like to do this in stages(financial constraints) My first question is can we remove the front railing and not replace it? Or if we replace it what do we replace it with? Should we keep the shutters or remove? Also what style of light fixtures would you choose. We have already replaced the front screen door with a full view glass door and painted the front door a dark blue. I'll update tomorrow when it is light. All the bushes you see have been chainsawed. But last year we just laid a bunch of mulch down and some free hosta all along the front and that is all the further we got. We are still trying to figure out what to do with the landscaping (ideas welcome). Obviously we don't know what to do with our yard. My other question is the awning frame- Should we remove it or replace the awning. I just can't picture what to do with it or how it will look with one. Seems Like it would close it in.
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LB Interiors
I would widen the landing of the door space to the right of the door to provide a porch area if that may be feasible. Railing on left and railings to front side of porch. An awning will make the interior room darker.
April 6, 2013 at 7:12pm   
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Allison Burnfield McAteer
Thank you- Great idea- We talked about extending it. How far down? Past the window?
April 7, 2013 at 4:42am   
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Cindy Schneider
I think you could remove railing to make it look wider. I would put a full glass screen door and a nice dark painted door with a light spring wreath. Welcoming.
April 7, 2013 at 5:20am     
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Cindy Schneider
Sorry...just read that you did this already:)
April 7, 2013 at 5:21am   
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Dytecture
Don't think a handrail is required since it is only one step above ground level.
April 7, 2013 at 6:10am   
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Allison Burnfield McAteer
Thank you - I tried to look up local code but haven't found our local code yet on railings.
April 7, 2013 at 9:10am   
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S. Thomas Kutch
Allison, most communities have adopted the the latest or nearly so IBC and the IRC (International Building Code and the related International Residential Code) both of which set the requirements for a guardrail to be installed when the elevation difference between the landing surface (landing, porch, deck, patio, etc., etc.) and the finish grade (ground) is 30" or greater.............in your case it appears that you can eliminate the railing and still be code compliant.
April 7, 2013 at 9:34am     
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Allison Burnfield McAteer
Undated exterior pictures. It looks even sadder in real life! We will remove the rails. The door faces west with three large locust trees between the sidewalk and street. We do have hosta's planted and those stumps and light post are coming out next weekend. It is such a long large space I'm just not sure what to do with it. Does anyone have any suggestions? What kind of exterior light do you suggest? What about the awning frame- take it down or put cafe lights on it?
April 7, 2013 at 10:41am   
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LB Interiors
Is the awning on the right side of the home, where the two windows are? Does it cover both windows?
If you create a porch on this side, then the awning is necessary for the aesthetics and a purpose for the porch.
April 7, 2013 at 11:49am   
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Allison Burnfield McAteer
I appreciate the help. The patio is on the far right on another side of the house. Two large windows are the living room and dining room. The patio is off the dining room On the first picture in the updated pictures you can see where it is the best. It is where the patio door with a half wall that goes around it. My fear with the awning is that it would close the space in to much. Also I don't know if this should be a concern but we also are on a corner lot our house sits flush with the front doors along the street but our patio extends into the yard.
April 7, 2013 at 12:35pm   
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LB Interiors
In place of the awning, is there room to use a patio table umbrella? You will probably need some shade from the hot sun on the patio side.
April 7, 2013 at 1:04pm   
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LB Interiors
I think I would plant a screen of plants on the front side of the house in front of the patio half wall - to give you a little more privacy. Doesn't need to be totally private. Whatever your preference is.
April 7, 2013 at 1:06pm   
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
The main thing I see when I look at your home is the white trim detracts from the overall design. I would paint out all the white to a nice soft gray and stain the red brick walkway the same color. Cut out two curved beds on each side and fill with ornamental grasses, perennials, low growing evergreens or other shrubs and some annuals for seasonal color. Add two flower boxes on the windows. Here's a doodle of my ideas and I will post a red brick house with gray trim so you can see how classy it looks.
April 7, 2013 at 1:43pm     
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Here's a pic of blue gray and red brick. It looks fabulous.
April 7, 2013 at 1:44pm     
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
On the sides of your house in front there is plenty of room to plant small blooming trees of your choice that will be compatible with your climate. Get advice from the local garden center. Don't plant trees too close to the house and don't plant ones that will get too wide or tall - there are many wonderful blooming trees that stay within a good height of no more than 20 feet tall and 10=15 wide.
April 7, 2013 at 1:46pm     
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house2514
I agree with everything Sweet Caroline suggested!
April 7, 2013 at 2:12pm     
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Allison Burnfield McAteer
Wow - thanks- I Love the paint color. It looks great. Wish I found this site last year when we painted all the trim white again :( I thought it was too stark of a contrast with the white and the brick but I was too intimidated to pick something else. It might have to be an in five years goal. I think that will be the soonest I could ask my husband to repaint.
April 7, 2013 at 2:52pm   
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LB Interiors
Personally, I like the white trim. All you need is some landscaping to give it dimension.

Maybe add some black Additions & Renovations
Brick with white
Exterior 2
EW Renovation
April 8, 2013 at 1:16pm     
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April 8, 2013 at 4:03pm     
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peginvalpo
Love the new door! Don't know where you're located but the previous owners prob had need for shade on the patio! Sun fella makes some pretty outdoor fabrics, if you go that way. Again about sun, hostas are generally shade or partial sun lovers. Since you have them on the West side, they may get burnt during hottest part of summer. Day lilies do well in sun and are very drought tolerant. Come in many colors and sizes and multiply quickly so in a couple years you can separate them to plant in more places! Take drawing of your yard to your local nursery, and they can help you plan a great layered yard that won't break the bank. Can't wait to follow your progress.
April 9, 2013 at 3:19pm   
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peginvalpo
Oops! It's Sunbrella fabric.
April 9, 2013 at 3:20pm   
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LB Interiors
Maybe black fascia trim and black railings. Remove long shutters on the left windows and replace with window length. Paint horizontal rain gutter, a color in brick. Stain the step landing the same color as the walkway. Add landscaping.

Before
After Sketch
Before - House fascia, shutters, railings, steps and Landscaping
..... After - house fascia, shutters, railings, steps, landscaping
April 9, 2013 at 5:31pm     
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loubelou
LB Interiors that drawing is really nice. I wish you could do one for me. Evelyne this is not a dating site.
April 11, 2013 at 9:13am   
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LB Interiors
Thanks 'loubelou'
April 11, 2013 at 11:28am   
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Allison Burnfield McAteer
Thanks everyone- We are hoping to get outside in two weeks when we pass our last frost date. I'll keep you posted. I think I explained our direction wrong. Our house sits on the Northeast corner. We don't get any direct sun along the front until about 1-3 and then after that it is partial sun b/c of the three large locust trees along the street. I've found some great plants online that will tolerate shade that are lime, vibrant yellow, black and fusia. I'm hoping I can brighten up the place with some color.
April 12, 2013 at 6:36am     
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Allison Burnfield McAteer
thanks for the wonderful suggestions. More to come but we removed the railing and the sad front light post and did some planting. Slowly making progress. Please ignore the weeds on the front walk. Weed killer will soon be used.
May 16, 2014 at 3:05pm   
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Denita
Allison, I like what you have done so far. Your home has big, beautiful windows. Consider removing the shutters entirely. They are too small for your windows and actually detract from the beauty of your home. Please take a moment to read this short but excellent article with photos on shutter sizing and proper placement to see why your home would look better without the shutters. http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/residential-architecture-101-shutters/
May 16, 2014 at 4:22pm        Thanked by Allison Burnfield McAteer
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LB Interiors
It's coming along nicely!
May 16, 2014 at 7:44pm   
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