Curb Appeal or should I say LACK OF Curb Appeal, HELP!!

rashba9January 4, 2014
Hi All, we are preparing the inside of our Pacific Northwest home for sale but are at a loss for what to do to the front to get buyer interest high enough to want to come inside... please throw some reasonably priced ideas our way.... R and T
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Dar Eckert
Paint the entire house including the brick light gray. Trim along roof (fascia) charcoal and also door. Power wash the cement. Add lights. Add shrubbery along house.

Filament Sconce · More Info

north portland mid century - exterior · More Info
8 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by rashba9    January 4, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Powerwash front and repaint in something like a terracotta with white trim. Lose the yard and lay sod. if that trampled mess in front is what's left of a sidewalk and the pavement at the 'curb' at least clean that up, it would be better if you got that repoured. You want the place to look 'neat' not clotty, clumped, dirty and discarded....

Landscaping is going to go way too much right away; at least though replace the grass and fix that walkway somehow. Even if you have to get a fine pack substrate and just lay some with edging and tamp it down.

Exterior lights, they sell inexpensive solar lights, get a set or two of them and install them along the walkway up to the house (AFTER laying sod). It is the quick fix....
    Bookmark   Thanked by rashba9    January 4, 2014 at 1:07PM
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Paint the front door area deep red (brick color) or black. Pull out the grass between the sidewalk and house, and plant with a variety of shrubs. This will be money well spent. Look at landscaping pictures on Houzz to get a variety of heights and colors that work well in your area.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by rashba9    January 4, 2014 at 1:12PM
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calidesign, yes exactly what I was thinking of doing, glad to hear you concur. I was also thinking of putting a short (perhaps 3 feet high) fence along the left side of the walkway with some planting to add interest. Also build some kind of mound in the front section with planting rather than re-sod...
    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 2:09PM
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I would square off the walkway and run an additional path straight out to the street, perhaps. Low evergreen bushes or a planter along the brick wall; a small flowering tree on the opposite side. Dark or rich color on the door.
As a potential buyer, I'd want to see neat and low maintenance. I think those who like to garden would prefer to choose their own materials, so for that reason, and cost considerations, I suggest focusing on the hardscape and leaving the space open. Fencing with a pergola entrance would definitely add charm if it fits in the budget.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Is this a private street? That roadway in the front is in horrible condition!

Secure the downspout and add a splashblock or extension, straghten the security sign, neaten up the edges of the pavement, especially near the garage and driveway, add more rocks and some mulch to make the rocks and small retaining wall look intentional, not an afterthought, and when weather permits, beef up the landscaping and paint the front door--aqua might be nice. That brown doesn't go with the rest of the house. Until then, maybe some large planters with evergreens and twigs flanking the porch will help fill it in a bit, and could be replanted with flowers later.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Remove the tar walkway, and add flowers, and paint the front door blue.
    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:04PM
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Dar Eckert
Remove all the sod from the area inside the walkway. Get some shrubs and plants to fill the area. Put in mulch to make it look finished. Maybe a couple of lights to light the area.

Put the tallest plant in the back corner near the garage. It should be 3' away from the brick. Then put shorter plants in front of that in rows stepping down in height. After planting, cover the entire area with mulch. Maybe widen the curving sidewalk by adding rows of brick along both sides. I have attached a photo of one examples of bricks along the side of the sidewalk. You will probably want redish bricks to tie in with the bricks on your house.
Nashawtuc Hill Residence · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:56AM
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@rashba9: how's it coming along since you posted in January?
    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:35AM
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Jeannine Beavers
I am not a fan of painting beautiful brick. Azaleas bloom beautifully in the spring, and require little maintenance. I would make the front door pop with a new color. Maybe put up a new light on the post and give the post a fresh coat of paint, and match the front light at the door to the post light style. I agree with earlier comment about securing the downspout and even directing it further away from the entrance. The thing that I think needs the most attention is the dirt that isnt growing anything closest to the curb. Maybe some garden paper and white stones or lava rock. Is this an optional parking spot? make it so that whoever is parking there wouldnt be stepping out into a mud puddle on rainy days
    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:43AM
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Kansas City NARI
Here are 11 Budget- Friendly ways to boost your curb appeal.
Hope this helps if you are still looking for ideas.
    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Clopay Building Products
Here is a before and after photo of a ranch house in the Northwest that recently got an exterior facelift and sold very quickly. Unfortunately we don't have photos of the entire project but the homeowner did send us a before and after of the finishing touch - new Clopay Gallery Collection steel carriage house doors with an Ultra-Grain faux wood finish. The doors are reasonably priced and come in several stain finishes with optional decorative windows. The Ultra-Grain finish is a great way to warm up an exterior and it looks great with brick, stone, and siding. Visit for more info. and to find a dealer in your area.
    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 6:10PM
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Olympic Lawn and Landscape Inc
Concrete curbing can do a lot to draw interest to any landscaping improvements!
    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:09PM
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Grown Solutions
Hanging Garden Trellises from can be hung in front of windows, for a natural air conditioning privacy screen effect, or in front of bare walls as a lovely focal point for otherwise difficult areas. They are also portable so you can move them out of harms way during inclement weather.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Dar Eckert
Grown Solutions, find another venue to advertise. We're sick of seeing this solution for every situation.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 6:55AM
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Grown Solutions
Hey Dar, as you've stated hanging garden trellises can be a solution for many situations, and often at a cheaper price than your suggestions. Consider one for your house.
    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 9:34AM
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see rough suggestion sketch below. the street lamp could just be spray painted with a new coat of black or charcoal, or maybe a deep dark teal. the rocks would be a beautiful focal point if set off the right way--and you may be able to clean them well with a pressure washer while doing the concrete. if you don't like a red door, charcoal or dark teal are nice and go well with gray and many different landscape colors. charcoal trim may be nice, but I don't have time to sketch it.

a small tree (****that will stay fairly small, and is planted far enough away from the house not to crowd it later) will shield all that electrical stuff going on near the garage and also be nice balance for the doorway, plus be nice height interest in the landscaping without having to put in much other expensive landscaping. A good bit of mulch will minimize the grass re-work that needs to be done, and is cheaper and environmentally friendly.

definitely power-wash the concrete and don't forget the part around the foundation of the house. pick a lively mid-tone gray. choose a door color you like. mulch the whole area between the house and walkway, plus around the rocks and to the left, along the other side of the house. put in a few colorful plants. not shown: install a few solar lights (avoid the very cheapest "mushroom" design--you can get very nice looking ones for about $10 each now) about every 10-12 feet on the street side of the walkway to avoid a runway look. I don't know what the blacktop mess in the foreground is, but if it's within your control to clean it up/repair/remove it, you really should try.

good luck. please post an outcome.
    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Dar Eckert
Sorry grown solutions, I like the views and they seem to block them. Prefer landscaping
    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 12:02PM
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Old post.
    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Grown Solutions
No worries Dar, there's just so many applications for them, it wouldn't do them justice to just limit their use to providing shade and privacy in front of windows. Anyway, to each their own.
    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 1:47PM
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Freshen white paint. Put turquoise on front door. Open shades. an arborvitae on each corner, A couple of junipers under double window or yews if it gets a lot of shade. I am afraid your front yard is too hilly to use for anything but garden or shrubs, so I would put a small lawn chair on the front stoop with a small table to catch a cold drink and a book. This should show how much you enjoy the outside of your home too.
    Bookmark   October 1, 2014 at 12:11AM
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Not everyone owns a power washer. If you don't own a power washer, you can clean up the front walk by putting a 1/4 cup of laundry detergent and 1/2 cup of bleach in a bucket of hot water. Use a broom to apply the mixture to the sidewalk and sweep the broom to scrub away the dirt and stains. Use a hose to rinse it off. It won't cost much, but should help to freshen up the stained walkway. If you like the results, you could also do the driveway.
Be sure to generously use water to rinse the bleach off metal and anything else that could be damaged or rusted out by bleach.
1 Like    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 2:36AM
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Dar Eckert
Or just rent one for a few hours. It really works much better than bleach and a broom.
    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 6:34AM
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DPC Painting & Refinishing
A power washer is also much faster, maybe consider spending a weekend putting a mulch bed in front too..
    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 9:29AM
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Power wash the concrete, paint the front door and lamp post garnet, secure the downspout, plant low maintenance shrubs along the front, lose the rocks & the alarm sign (nothing screams "don't live here" like an alarm company sign). The house needs to be softened- I would put flowers around the lamp post and get a couple of large pots and fill with yellow flowers to put on the front porch. If the doorknob and lock fixture look bad, replace them. Fix the grass in front if you can and probably first thing I would do- lose the vertical blinds or at least open them so they can't be seen. Many buyers form an impression from the minute they walk up no matter what the inside looks like. IMO depending on price range it doesn't have to be perfect, but it has to look clean and neat as if an effort were made unless the buyer is seeking a reno project.
    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 11:40PM
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Balber Architecture, Inc.
Believe it or not, I really like the lines of this house. They are low, cascading, horizontal, and follow the gentle slope of the site to create the diagonal. I feel you have something to work with. The biggest thing that jumps out at me as a prospective buyer would be the front columns: they are way too small. This is a very easy fix. They are probably nothing more than PT 4x4s (or perhaps steel 3” diameter columns…hard to tell)…so all I would do is encase them with 12”x12” or 16”x16” brick columns to match the brick on the front façade. Doing this doesn’t affect structure at all it is merely for aesthetics. This will immediately impact the house massing and present much better to the street by giving the house a much “beefier” look to it which translates as being more upscale. My other recommendations are even easier: 1) I’d paint the door white to match the fascia and garage door 2) keep the tan/yellow on the front…this way you will have (4) colors in the house – gray of the roof, white, reddish of the brick, and tannish/yellow 3) spruce up the landscaping…keep it clean just make it look a little more manicured and perhaps add a low-lying bush in repetition along the brick portion of the façade. Good luck! :)
    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 9:52AM
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It's been a year since they posted. I wonder if it is sold now.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 9:59AM
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