Exterior-curb appeal needed
January 19, 2014 in Design Dilemma
We just bought our first home a couple months ago and it's in need of some serious curb appeal. Since purchasing the home we have ripped out bushes that were covering the windows, ivy covering portions of the house, replaced the light fixture, painted the door as it was a super dingy coral/tan color, and that's about it for the front exterior.

In the spring we are planning on replanting and replacing the roof. The neighborhood is full of beautiful old slate roofs. Any suggestions on an alternative that has the same charm? Obviously slate roofs are very expensive and heavy.

Also, do we put shutters up? If so, what color/style? We love gray! There were also these awful awnings above the door and windows and the hardware is still left on the windows. What other suggestions? We want to keep the character of the home (1937) but the cream color trim is killing me. And that siding below the windows….help!!
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kathleen MK
There are some composite and fiberglass roof tiles that mimic slate. If you do shutters match the great color on your door. It looks like the windows were original larger. Could you replace them with larger energy efficient ones. You could cover that siding with stucco or stone to blend with the rest of the house. Window box planters would hide most Of the siding but make sure to not block those basement light wells if that is what is under the siding.
When you replant get low growing shrubs to not have to keep hacking back plants that would block light into the house. Take time to plan a mixture of hardy perennials and shrubs and fill in with annuals while the others get established. Getting to know your neighbors might get you lots of free perennials and advice on what grows best in your area. Good luck.
3 Likes   January 19, 2014 at 1:40PM
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I LOVE the trim color, especially with that rich door. I'd like to see the siding under the windows replaced with recessed panels similar to those on the door. I think if the trim was uniform in color, you'd might warm up to it. I'd focus on the roof color first.
2 Likes   January 19, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Thanks! I like the flower boxes and replacing the siding with recessed panels. I agree that if the color was uniform it would help.
0 Likes   January 20, 2014 at 7:01AM
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^^^Agree with the above about starting with the roof. If you do decide to get shutters, please read this short but excellent article, including photos, on the proper sizing of shutters. http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/residential-architecture-101-shutters/
2 Likes   January 20, 2014 at 7:05AM
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Congratulations on your new house. What geographic area are you in? Roofing material may be determined by your location.

If your house's finish is sturdy enough, you could try pressure washing it to get a truer color before deciding on a roof color. The new door color is excellent.
3 Likes   January 20, 2014 at 7:14AM
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Thanks for the great article, Denita! I'm really not sure if shutters would work or not, but if so, sizing definitely should be considered. We are located in the Midwest (Ohio) so we do get a good amount of rain and snow.
0 Likes   January 20, 2014 at 7:35AM
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Dar Eckert
are you replacing the windows? it looks like longer windows would help the appearance of the front.. consider a covered entryway.
1 Like   February 26, 2014 at 3:34PM
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McKinney Homes LLC
I agree with some of the comments above. Adding shutters to the house would create some curb appeal but I would go with a different color then the door so that your front door is the pop of color you would want. If you are in love with gray, that would blend nicely with the color of your front door, so I would paint the trim a dark gray, the shutters gray and add in some planter boxes and paint them a gray as well. When you plant flowers in those boxes that will add in some color too. Either way, you want your eyes to be drawn to your front door and gray is a beautiful neutral color that is a great alternative to the beige. There is a composite shingle made by GAF in their designer series that gives the look of slate you are looking for. I would recommend doing the Camelot or the Slateline. It is a more expensive shingle but not nearly as expensive as slate.
1 Like   February 26, 2014 at 3:49PM
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Hrivnak Associates, Ltd.
Question; looking at the stonework, is your home in a historic district that may have design requirements? If so, engage an architect to guide you through approval processes. If not, surface treatments will only go so far - pending your budget, there are some relatively inexpensive geometric things you can do to gain terrific curb appeal. Again, call your friendly neighborhood architect. Dormers with windows, planters that envelop the corners to better meet the ground, an overhang with a gable end to protect the front door in rain... so much more than finish treatments...
1 Like   February 26, 2014 at 4:01PM
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What a charming home - great choice for the teal front door. If you hate the cream, look for a putty grey-green -greige to match the mortar for the trim and a deeper shade of the same for the siding under the windows. Look to bm seattle mist / northern cliffs to start. The cornice / fascia board is so decorative that I do think you will want to keep that, the windows and the trim in a color that moves forward. Collingwood might relate but get you out of the cream doldrums. Or, go dramatic and use bm copley gray on all those elements to unify them and match the stone mortar under the windows. Window boxes in the same trim color would be another way to camoflauge the siding under the windows until the new plantings grow in.
2 Likes   February 26, 2014 at 5:10PM
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