Ugliest House on the Street
TealaMay 3, 2013
We can afford to paint the house, so that's first. The dilemma is what color? We must downplay its flaws somehow (deck same color as house?) but we'll need some contrast too. Both neighboring homes are blue and gray with white trims. This is supposed to be a mid-century modern home. Step by step we'll bring it back to the glory days.
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Ed
Hi Teal, it doesn't look so bad. :)
    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:03PM
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suzanne_m
I agree with ED, it doesn't so bad. The only thing I see that would make a nice difference is if you can find a way to replace the two Xs, which I suspect are there to give support to the posts, for something more less visible.
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:09PM
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judianna20
You have a Craftsman feel to the house. Play it up.
Custom Craftsman

Craftsman Outdoor Hanging Wall Sconce by Maxim Lighting
Can you get some mullions in the windows? Outside lights?

Your front door looks interesting.
    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:11PM
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pearl1958
The deck should definitely be painted the same as the house. Maybe the door and the trim around the windows will be enough of a contrast.
    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Teala
Thank you. The X braces scream "UNSTABLE." One day we'll replace with sleek steel or concrete pillars, but both are pricey and have to wait. Pearl that's what I was thinking, I just hope it's enough. Judy I hadn't thought of that. I worry about the light colors showing flaws though - the siding is pretty old and cheap. I love this house color (attached) but worry my house is too unattractive to bear a bold color like this.
    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Teala
these are my neighbors. the dark house is rocking the 1960's vibe which I love. I just can't be a copycat!
    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:24PM
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PRO
Stamps Design Services
Is this the front or rear of your home? Is there any way to get rid of the X's and replace them with more substantial pillars or tie them together with horizontal boards?
    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Teala
Hi Stamps! Unfortunately it's the front :(. A structural engineer said they can put a steel support in a shape like lowercase n, or or we can do 2 concrete pillars but will still need a brace going along the underside of the deck horizontally. Both options are pretty expensive.
    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:52PM
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
Teal, your cross braces provide lateral stability for the deck. They are not unstable...rather, they provide stability. They can be replaced with a set of galvanized all-thread and turnbuckles. Horizontal boards and/or bigger posts won't help. Painting the deck posts, trim and handrail a similar color to the body of the house should help it recede and become less of a focal point. Oh...and the all thread is not very expensive...less than $300 if you DIY!
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:54PM
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PRO
Stamps Design Services
A short term solution might be to "tie" the posts together with wood beams the same width as the support beams; to make it look like an intentional design..... (this is obviously not to scale, but it should give you an idea of what I am saying. Ask if this would pass code, first!
1 Like    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:01PM
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PRO
Linda
Too bad that the original designer didn't run the cross braces at a slightly different angle so it would have run parallel to the stairway stringer and handrail
1 Like    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:02PM
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Teala
Ironwood: are you saying you have a solution to eliminate the X's in front of my house?! Joy! I'm googling "galvanized all-thread turnbuckles" because I don't know what that is but it sounds awesome.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:19PM
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
Teala, "all thread" is a rod of steel that has been threaded like a bolt...all the way. You can skip the turnbuckles if you simply bore a flat spot in the posts for a washer. We run a string and hold the drill parallel to the string, drill the "counterbore" (the flat spot) then drill through the post. Push the all thread through the holes, add a washer and nut and tighten. All thread comes in 10' lengths, so if your diagonal is longer use connector nuts. They are just super long nuts. Like I said...a good DIY project!
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Teala
Thanks Ironwood, and sorry I'm a little daft. So, do the turnbuckles connect to a wire like the X wood and then I can remove the X's??
    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:45PM
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PRO
HERE Design and Architecture
I think Ironwood's strategy is great, but I would personally consult a structural engineer about sizes and locations before taking it on. Those are some tall spindly columns you have there.
3 Likes    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:55PM
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
HERE is right. I overstepped a bit! A consult with an engineer would be best and my solution would get a stamp of professional approval.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Teala
Of course. But thank you for the idea. I will definitely put this to the engineer. Thanks!
    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 7:49AM
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Teala
Done. SW Dovetail Gray with BM Snowfall. I love it.
4 Likes    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Teala
Ironwood: I had a structural engineer look at it and he said the best we could do is steel rods because it needs lateral support. The materials are minor but anyone with the know-how will cost over $1k. We're holding out for solid steel beams which will run vertically only on the extreme left and right and one horizontally running on the underside of the deck. Thank you for your suggestion, I really appreciated it!
    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:19PM
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judianna20
Teala, Ironwood is so great with suggestions. He is not doing very well right now. We are keeping him in our prayers. He is a tough guy and knows how to fight the good fight.
4 Likes    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Teala
I'm sorry to hear that. I sincerely appreciated his ideas.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:34PM
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Leisa Owens
praying for Ironwood please let him know
3 Likes    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:36PM
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kitasei
In the meantime, plant some morning glories and clematis on those beams! I see the structure as French New Orleans...Any ugliness will disappear under a froth of colorful blooms.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:53PM
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Teala
great idea! thanks
    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 6:58PM
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PRO
DMH DESIGN
Great discussion. Here is a thought: how about camouflaging, for lack of a better term the bracing, whether done with rods or wood bracing. Horizontal slats would provide screening of the stair, 'ground' the mass and take away some of the verticality created by the columns, stopping at the height of the stair landing railing. If the body color remains as is, the 'ironwood' look is a nice nod, or if painted grey, perhaps the slatting is a couple of shades darker? There are many color experts among us, so I defer. A stepped planter along the base of the posts, stepped, following grade could be a means to integrate some box hedge or color bearing plants to accent this transition. I would suggest, when $ allows, to consider implementing a rail along the upper deck that integrates similar style, at the owner's discretion, of course. Most
3 Likes    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:16PM
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PRO
DMH DESIGN
This is another idea--extending the slats up to the bottom of the upper deck, and to create voids in the slats opposite the door and window openings. These images aren't exact, but illustrative. This could be done in stages, as well. I believe this is one way to help with the scale and to create some textural interest, and integrate some color, too. Most of all, have fun.
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:38PM
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olldroo
Agree with kitasei - plant something colourful but soft to grow over the beams - quick fix and lots of colour.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Teala
DHM Thank You!! I love the horizontal slats idea, particularly up to the bottom stair with planters. My favorite idea of all so far. I've actually been admiring vertical bars that I see on old apartment buildings and considering how I could incorporate. I'd love to install a solid glass front door and was thinking some version of parallel slats could provide privacy too. I was concerned about it looking like yet another afterthought but I see here how it could tie in deliberately. Height and texture indeed are both design challenges. We actually have a pretty stunning view, so we definitely don't want to obscure that upstairs. We're saving for a wall of windows and sliders upstairs and a raising of the roof by a couple feet.
3 Likes    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:51PM
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PRO
DMH DESIGN
Teala--glad you like it. This is one way to integrate some up to date trends that reflect well when integrated with the style you're aiming for. Best wishes in your endeavors!
1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:00PM
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hparks74
Maybe in the future you could replace the wood railing with tinsel tension wire.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:06PM
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Teala
Thanks hparks! I had thought of that too. I love silvery steel and wire with this style of architecture.
    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Teala
DMH and others: I'm grateful for the time you put into thoughtfully considering what would improve the look of our house and the effort it took to send those ideas to me. Sincerely appreciated.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:03PM
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olldroo
And thank you for taking the time to respond, that is sincerely appreciated too. Good luck with all your renovations, please post photos of your progress.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:08PM
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PRO
    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 8:56PM
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bgfuqua
old post
    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 10:08PM
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