Need some ideas on what to do to the outside of our house
Deirdre Swan
February 26, 2014 in Design Dilemma
The house was recently painted, so that's prob out of the question. But any other ideas to dress it up a bit is greatly appreciated!
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decoenthusiaste
Your house is similar in style to this 3 over 3 style. I don't think shutters would work on those close windows downstairs, but you might imitate this traditional landscape idea. Would hide the foundation well.
February 26, 2014 at 8:34AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Deirdre Swan
l was unsure about shutters and the windows on the first floor, thank you for confirming that! and thanks for the visual, I need all the help I can get :)
February 26, 2014 at 8:45AM   
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Denita
Agree with Deco, the shutters won't fit on the first floor. Here is a short but effective article on shutters for you - with photos. http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/residential-architecture-101-shutters/
February 26, 2014 at 8:47AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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nikitasmom
You did not mention a budget but have you considered a porch addition?
February 26, 2014 at 9:59AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Deirdre Swan
I will show hubby and see what he thinks!
February 27, 2014 at 6:01AM   
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Margo
I think adding a porch like nikitasmom shows would add so much use, curb appeal, and value to your home. Huge improvement;)
February 27, 2014 at 6:20AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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PRO
Rempfer Construction, Inc.
Adding a porch will add a lot of character to your home, if the budget is there to support it. Also doing a little landscaping will help too.
February 27, 2014 at 6:35AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Deirdre Swan
Love the porch idea, but that amount of $$$$ isn't in the cards at the moment. Any ideas on landscaping, plants to use? I'm in MA, so this isn't the most recent picture, everything is covered in snow/ mud right now. We do have grass in the spring, where there is bare spots in the picture.

Should I try to hang something to make the first floor windows not so wonky? The flippers we purchased the house from could have done a better job spacing the windows since the downstairs is two massive rooms with the electrical box being all the way to the right on the first floor.

I have been able to fix the wonky windows on the inside, with furniture placement and curtains but the outside.... just a big, grey, sad box.
February 27, 2014 at 7:25AM   
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PRO
Timberlane Inc.
Nikitasmom's suggestion about adding a porch is a great one! We also suggest adding properly fitted shutters to the upper level windows. Shutters should measure out to half the size of the window, and like decoenthusiast mentioned they do not belong on the windows downstairs.
February 27, 2014 at 7:28AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Deirdre Swan
it wouldn't look weird to have just shutters on the top windows and not the bottom?
February 27, 2014 at 7:35AM   
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Denita
Hopefully someone can come in with photoshop or something similar to show how shutters would look on your top floor and not the bottom floor. I think it would look strange to put shutters on windows where they don't belong, but not strange at all to have them on the top floor only :)

in the meantime here are a few pics showing shutters on the top floor and not on all windows on the bottom. Hover over each photo to expand
2008 Parade of Homes house
Traditional Exterior
The Helenas 1
February 27, 2014 at 7:59AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Mike Link
Here's some louvers on the top:
February 27, 2014 at 8:26AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Mike Link
here's with hedging:
February 27, 2014 at 8:31AM     
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Mike Link
or maybe a door surround:
February 27, 2014 at 8:44AM     
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Denita
Thank you mikelink!
February 27, 2014 at 8:45AM   
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PRO
Timberlane Inc.
Dierdre, I recommend that you take advantage of our Shutter Snapshot application. In your case you would upload this photo, choose the style shutter and the color of interest, and we will render a photo for you with shutters on all of the windows.

Here is the link: http://www.timberlane.com/resource-center/shutter-snapshot/

Seeing mikelink's renderings, it does look a bit empty so adding shutters to the bottom windows may help they will just be smaller. It appears that you will also have to move the outside light to the other side of the door.
February 27, 2014 at 8:51AM   
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Mike Link
or you could don some fancy pants!
February 27, 2014 at 9:00AM     
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PRO
Timberlane Inc.
Love that look mikelink!
February 27, 2014 at 9:01AM     
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Margo
How about a simple pergola/ trellis over the lower windows;) rest arrow on pic to enlarge

February 27, 2014 at 9:29AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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PRO
Timberlane Inc.
Those are Timberlane shutters, Margo! :)
February 27, 2014 at 9:34AM     
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Margo
They are beautiful;))
February 27, 2014 at 9:40AM     
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Beth M
What you need is an evergreen tree on the right to disguise the blank spot on the facade. Also the full length planter in the first poster's photo would be great. I really don't think shutters are the way to go, so so so many shutters are not proportioned correctly on houses these days and they look ridiculous. I think you should focus on landscaping first and foremost.
February 27, 2014 at 9:46AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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caterfran
Your house has a very new England charm. I think since you are in zone six the ground is still frozen through middle of march. You have to prepare the soil now by getting at least 10 bales of hay, any kind then top it with at least 2 yards of top sol, now the

fun begins. Is this soerhing s few yards of top spil and let the mulching begin. Landscaping
February 27, 2014 at 9:51AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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chrisinky
I love the porch, but understand financial concerns. What about adding a portico that could be extended to a full porch later? Is it possible to combine the 2 windows closest to the door into one bigger window? That would help it look less wonky.

Personally, I don't like shutters unless they are functional. I've never understood putting a plastic rectangle on the sides of windows. Note: I have shutters on my house but not by choice. They were already there. I do like wide window trim. Add window boxes to bottom windows.

Painting the door adds some nice color. Do you have space to add some planters in the same color on your steps? (Terracotta would be a good color & easy to match pots.) The raised bed to hide the foundation also looks good. On the end you could use the large bushes you already have & make an extended bed layering the plants. On the far right, put up a large trellis & a climbing plant to fill in the space. You could also put in a larger bush like the one to the left of your stairs. You just need something tall on the right.

photos show nice flower beds, wide window trim, shutters on top/window boxes on bottom, porch with portico

Fairway Overlook
Quiet Casual Home
Exterior
Front Porch
February 27, 2014 at 9:52AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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caterfran
Landscaping is a process. The first step is soil prep. Then go around and see as many houses S you can in your zone. Get a few sunset books. Just remember what works in Arizona does not work in new england.
February 27, 2014 at 9:54AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Denita
It is worth it to meet with a landscape architect to come up with a plan that you can implement over time in my opinion. By the way, those shutters that Margo posted are the perfect style for your upstairs windows.
February 27, 2014 at 10:01AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Beth M
For a small investment, try new lights, one on either side of the door, and a new door color that would coordinate with a new planter. Also new walkway up from the driveway would help.
February 27, 2014 at 10:10AM        Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Deirdre Swan
Getting a Landscaper Architect is doable.
February 27, 2014 at 10:23AM     
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Deirdre Swan
@Mike Link- You are my hero! To anyone one else that gave me pictures and ideas Thank You!!!
February 27, 2014 at 10:25AM     
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Deirdre Swan
Question- is it better to build a tall planter on the front of the house to put the plants in or should I plant at ground level and put a little fence or something in front to cover the foundation?

The siding is wood, do you think it would not hold up as well with soil right up on it? Or would I build a full 4 sided planter, so there would be a couple of inches between the foundation and the soil?
February 27, 2014 at 10:30AM   
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Deirdre Swan
@Beth M-The walkway is less that a year old, but it needs to be stained or painted, and is filled with grey gravel
February 27, 2014 at 10:35AM   
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PRO
Lori Dennis, ASID, LEED AP
shutters, porch and trees
February 27, 2014 at 10:39AM   
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Denita
All good questions Deirdre. These would be addressed by your landscape architect. They actually can provide a plan with the landscape and hardscape and materials too. :)
February 27, 2014 at 10:41AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Mike Link
The four-sided planter sounds like a good idea to me, but I agree with Denita - talk with someone with some experience doing this with your kind of situation.
February 27, 2014 at 10:47AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Beth M
Gotcha - the path is just hard to see in the photo. Soil should be held at least 8" from any non treated wood. I would build up next to the foundation, making a 3 sided planter, but apply an asphaltic waterproofing membrane to the foundation wall first.
February 27, 2014 at 10:47AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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chrisinky
You could put the planter only as high as the concrete foundation. You still may want to make it 4-sided if you have a basement so you won't be pouring water against those walls. If its just a crawl space it may not be so bad.
February 27, 2014 at 10:49AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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Mike Link
Deirdre, it also looks like you have an opportunity to do some landscaping around that walkway where there is grass now. (far left of the photo)
February 27, 2014 at 10:51AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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leelee
An awning and shutters could add a lot. Some landscaping for sure. Instead of squaring off the bed at the front of the house which is already so angular try pulling a bed out in an uneven shape that will add interest.
February 27, 2014 at 10:56AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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PRO
JudyG Designs
Very nice thread with great suggestions. Fun to read.
February 27, 2014 at 11:10AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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chrisinky
I like this if your budget would allow. A patio or deck is much cheaper than a full porch. You also still get the planter box, but its not against your house. You could add a pergola or not add it depending if you like it or not.


February 28, 2014 at 6:41AM      Thanked by Deirdre Swan
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PRO
Shoreline Renovations
enhancing the entryway is always a good start to punch up your curb appeal
April 28, 2014 at 10:19AM   
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PRO
Frontenac Modular Homes
Leave it until you can afford a porch.
May 4, 2014 at 4:58AM   
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