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Ugliest House In Great Neighborhood

Penny Lamb
September 25, 2013
We need ideas for the front facade of this house and what architectural style would you consider this home. We are getting ready to purchase the ugliest house in a great neighborhood...a neighborhood which has evolved over a 50 year time span with designs from the '60's to brand new homes. First dilemma is the front of the house...I think the wood under the small window and the siding need to go...roof will be replaced with a lighter color textured shingle. Any ideas to add interest to the front? I have attached a picture of the inside entry to give a better feel for what style you think it might be to aid in choosing exterior light fixtures and enhancing the facade.

Comments (18)

  • Brenda
    from the stairway and the wall of glass in the second photo I would say 70's modern (is it a split foyer?). I'm glad to see the windows in your second photo 'cause the front façade is certainly lacking in the window department.

    can you post a photo of the back exterior?
  • Jake Petersen
    What about opening the first story up with much more light and windows, where the non-brick is? Something like this:
    Wade Ave. Remodel · More Info
  • Penny Lamb
    Brenda, here is a picture of the rear of the house...two large sets of glass sliding doors. Jake that might be a possibility, thanks for the idea. I did think of that for under the small window, but that area is the back side of a bathroom with plumbing on that wall.
  • PRO
    Architectural Gardens, Inc
    The second photo of the interior really caught my eye - it's a great space. From only 2 pics it's hard to know, but it seems the house has great bones. It's the exterior surfaces that are unattractive. I'm not a remodeler, but would advise new doors and windows as being primary. Keep the brick as is, but look at some of the innovative cladding materials available now to cover the wood and siding.

    The positioning of the garage in relationship to the house is awkward. I will ponder that.

    Is the brick planter in good condition?

    Can you get more pics from the front door or driveway looking out? Or post a google satellite image so I can see the whole front yard/lot.
  • Jake Petersen
    Houzz recently added a "midcentury" filter on photos on the site, while this home has many characteristics, I think the midcentury may give you some inspiration.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/midcentury/exterior
  • Penny Lamb
    @Jake...I think you are right about adding windows to the front, we are playing around with that idea. Also thanks for the info about the midcentury filter, that was great. @ Architectural Gardens and Brenda, yes I will post more pictures when we get possession. I always find it easy to decorate for others and offer advice, but when its mine, I have a terrible time committing.
  • PRO
    sstarr93
    You are going to have to start over with this facade; the look should be driven by what is inside the house. Where are the rooms, what are they?
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    Have you had an architect or builder come to take a look? It could cost you thousands and thousands of dollars to get the look you want, assuming you can do the work. The neighborhood better be a really great one so that your investment is assured a return.

    Cutting through brick is not cheap.
  • lexistreet
    Wow, this has the potential to be the prettiest house in the neighborhood. What cool bones. Get your modern boots on and start kickin ass! Love it!!
  • lexistreet
    Btw start with crestview doors for a new door. Great options. I think even a good designer can help u create some real depth and dimension with the right paint colors, out door lighting etc. enjoy the process!
  • nwduck
    For a real overhaul, you probably ought to consider architectural help. If that isn't an option, a few ideas....

    Can you replace the upper window on the right with a single pane? Then replace the window on the left of the door so the bottom lines up with that window, and the window above the door. Replace the front door with a simple full glass door. One or two distinctive lights beside the front door, with the addition of house numbers?

    If you didn't replace the siding on the right, I would at least do siding on the left, so there is some symmetry in materials.

    You could remove the brick planter, and do a linear front patio/entry in rectangular cut stones, accented with a couple of tall narrow planters. Something else to consider would be to replant with a small tree with open branching on the left, and do uplight landscape lighting to create an interesting shadow pattern on the brick wall.

    It feels like at sometime the garage was added on, as it may have had a carport when originally constructed. You might change the siding to horizontal above the garage doors to help that tie in a bit better, and paint the garage door/siding/house siding the same color.
  • lexistreet
    I think getting rid of the brick or the plants would be criminal. Just my two cents though. A good architect should be able to work a lot with the existing structure, A worthy investment especially if u are saving money on the renovation side. The othe person is right. Look up mid century ranches and prepare to fall in love. Mid century is all the modern plus all the warmth. I can say this as a former owner of a 1920 bungalow that we gutted and decorated to the nines. All very traditional. Mid century is very in right now so it's easy to decorate to as well. Also, the garage can always get a modern face lift too.
  • rosecottagehome
    I could see the type and color of wood facade in the picture below replacing your beige siding and the small mismatched wood piece under the small window. I would bring this color to the garage door and the wood stain around a new all glass door. Loved that door idea as mentioned above. A similar rectangular brick planter for the other side with some new landscape, miniature trees, one to the left of that small window and one in the corner between garage and house in the planters, possibly Japanese Maples. Great bones. It will look stunning.
  • rosecottagehome
    My Houzz: Midcentury Modern Style Transforms a Vineyard Bungalow · More Info
  • classicinteriors
    Cheapest fix.....have a very tall veneer stone wall with windows built the length of the house in front which will give the illusion of the home having windows. Use the area between the wall and the house as a courtyard. The exterior of the house could easily be redone in stucco since stucco is very easy to do over brick. Whatever that siding is have that done in stucco also. Replace the front door with a double front door. I would like to see something in a natural wood. If you have the budget the roof line could be extended over the new wall if not leave it open. Don't start playing cut the brick walls because it will become expensive very quickly.
  • rosecottagehome
    Knollwood Remodel Exterior · More Info
    Here's a cool door that would tie in to new horizontal wood accent siding.
  • classicinteriors
    you will need some interesting windows not like the ones above. the structure will most likely need to be braced to the top of the house in some manner. you will need and engineer!
  • rosecottagehome
    If you have the budget, which I don't know after you just buy a new home, I sure wouldn 't, but if you did...........a new entranceway added on would certainly give that midcentury modern some curb appeal.
    Waldfogel Residence · More Info
    Penny Lamb thanked rosecottagehome

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