How to fix our curb appeal?

August 13, 2019

We were pretty happy with how the exterior of our house looked. Then, one of the beautiful mature oaks that were in front of our house died. Around the same time I decided to get an electric car and they had to pull the electrical charging wires in front of the house (picture below) because we don't have a basement or attic that connects from one side of the house to the other. The right side of the house (where the addition is) has always driven me crazy. I hate the asymmetry that the second story adds. We need to figure out how to hide the pipe near the front door and decided now would be a good time to redesign the entry/ front walkway/ porch. I included a few pictures of houses that I liked, but I feel so overwhelmed. My husband is thinking a wooden porch and maybe a wooden walkway so we can access the electrical pipes if needed. But, we really have no idea what we should do to add curb appeal and to draw attention to the front door and away from the addition/ garage. Any ideas are appreciated.

Comments (13)

  • PRO
    Design & Build . . . by Roger Perron, Inc.


    Here's an article on "20 Ways to Add Curb Appeal" that may give you some ideas:

  • houssaon

    You need flowering bushes in an island out in the yard.

  • aligal266

    Here are additional pictures of the house

  • groveraxle

    It's a nice looking house, but the pergola over the garage and the little row of bushes by the walkway aren't doing it any favors. You might do something welcoming with hardscape and landscape in that area where you have the bench. The row of bushes acts like a barrier there instead.

    That electrical conduit looks like a tripping hazard. I can't imagine they couldn't have ground out a channel for it in the concrete. Maybe you still can.

  • PRO

    Geez don't screw this up!!

    Maybe you can successful include a stepped wood deck in the front, but I would not include anymore roof with that.

    aligal266 thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • tangerinedoor

    Something wrong with that electric cable on the ground....Wow! Could it go in conduit overhead?

  • groveraxle

    You could do a flagstone or bluestone walkway and arrange the conduit between the stones.

    aligal266 thanked groveraxle
  • nickel_kg

    I like your house pretty well "as is", but agree it could use just a little tweaking to pull attention to the front door.

    I like the pergola over your garage doors -- it looks well built. I'd leave it for now, and put your energy into other changes first.

    I very much like Beverly's depiction of a large two-stage deck sort of structure -- it does give weight and importance and ease to the entry. It looks fairly easy to accomplish, so (hopefully) isn't a budget buster. A large colorful pot of flowers or greenery at the doorway, as well as painting the front door a lighter/brighter color, would be nice.

    The large beds at the entry need work. To balance the large rocks on the far side, could you get more rocks and put a "stream" of them on the near side (3 or 4 foot wide max, NOT on filling the whole space) up against the new enlarged deck? That way the eye would find the picture more balanced. Then some sort of larger shrub in the corner of the mulched bed, and a lower groundcover to fill the rest of the mulched bed. Take care to not disturb the roots of that tree too much.

    Oh and that nice bench you already have, I'd place on the enlarged entry against the wall under the light fixture. To me a nice bench says, "come and rest here" and it would be easily accessible, a logical place to sit.

    aligal266 thanked nickel_kg
  • PRO

    The yard is sizeable enough, and we can't see many parts in a cohesive, continuous, single view ... like one would see in real life. It would benefit you to have a designer see the whole front space and give it some integrity.

    Starting at the front entrance, I believe you need to substantially expand the entrance approach/landing itself. The whole walk needs to be reconfigured. The way it cuts across the space seems like, well, "corner cutting." It would be much better to swing it widely around the tree, making the tree look more respectable, and tying it to the house and drive in a more squarely oriented, and organized looking configuration.

    That the elec. conduit cuts across the path is unacceptable. It needs to be "buried" in a step. Personally, I would not use wood, though. It would probably be concrete and if needed, have the conduit be within a channel that is covered with steel plate, or something along those lines.

    aligal266 thanked Yardvaark
  • aligal266

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to give me your opinion and especially those images. They're amazing! I love that there's three really different but great variations of the front.

  • awm03

    I think if you saved up to create a beautiful series of steps & terraces that led to a forecourt in front of your house, that would be stunning. Use stone or large concrete pavers, add great landscape lighting. Would be gorgeous at night too. Look at midcentury modern landscaping to see how entries are showcased with beautiful landcaped walkways.

  • awm03

    Or some variation of this would be nice. Make a cut out for the tree trunk.

  • PRO
    Van Zelst Inc

    Create a landscaped terrace or patio that complements your home's architecture. Extending the entrance sequence out from the house will draw visitors toward the front door, while creating a new place to entertain guests and enjoy your beautiful yard!

    Northbrook, IL Residence (A) · More Info

    See more terraces and patios on our Photo Gallery.

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