Gravitas2 years ago
Need help adding curb appeal on a 1960's ranchComments (14)I think that some of the suggestions wouldn't be an improvement and suggest that you think about whether those changes will enhance the home's appearance and period details. The dark stripes of the shutters add interest to the facade from a distance and I don't think I would change them unless you are going to add similar wide dark trim. The glass brick are appropriate to the architecture and were common in that time period, so unless you want that to be a window that you can look out, don't change them. Similarly, the wrought iron porch supports are typical to the time period, so unless they really bother you keep them. On the other hand, I don't like the jalousie windows and consider them to be more common on beach houses and back porches, not on windows to the main house, so I would switch them out. The low wall doesn't bother me since it is so low, but if you don't like it, I don't think removing it would be an issue as long as doing so won't damage the porch or house. I think replacing the door with one more in keeping with the house's architecture would be nice, and painting it something that contrasts with the masonry while still coordinated with the house would look good, so rich deep brown or black, or a shade like the brightest brown in the masonry, or even some shade of orange. The main issue to get an appealing entry is the plantings and walkway, both of which are currently narrow and cramped feeling. So I would move the walkway to a minimum of 5' from the garage so that you have room for a row of small shrubs underplanted with groundcover and a few bright flowers near the drive and where the walk turns toward the house. The walk should be at least 5' wide so visitors don't have to approach single file, and 6' would be better. You have a lot of different masonry surfaces going on already, so I would choose concrete to match the porch surface. I like the simple squared off shape of the walk and how it relates to the building, so I wouldn't change the shape or add curves. The current plantings seem rather random with regard to the architecture, so placement when you add plants will be important. Don't put plants that want to grow tall in front of windows, and center plantings with regard to architectural details instead of the current placement of being half in front of windows and masonry details. You don't say where you are in zone 6, and soil pH, texture, and moisture are different in Cleveland vs. New England vs. Oklahoma, so at this point it is difficult to make specific plant suggestions. You will want some evergreens for the backbone of the garden to provide year round interest. If your soil is acid and has reasonable drainage, look st some of the smaller and more densely growing members of the Heath family such as smaller Pieris or mountain laurel/Kalmia, heath/Erica, Heather/Calluna, or some of the smaller Rhododendrons. The Rhododendrons and Kalmia will tolerate a good amount of shade but the heaths and heathers like full sun. Other evergreens to consider with varying tolerance for shade include: Yew/Taxis which is your current plant, but has other shapes and sizes available and has the advantage of being very shade tolerant Junipers range from groundcovers to large trees and different cultivars have varying foliage colors, but like a good amount of sun Chamaecyparis has quite a range of foliage color and texture as well as plant size, depending on species and cultivar. Doesn't like all day shade, but tolerates a range of pH....See More
Help needed to improve curb appeal for my new house!Comments (14)I love your house. I imagine it is quite old since it built so close to the road. I like the shutters on either side of the door, but would get larger lanterns. I would remove all the foundation plantings along that front side of the house so you can have a nice wide walkway. Then I would add steps to the right side of the entry so you can walk straight to the mailbox. Instead of the iron railing I would do a Chippendale wood one. This company fabricates them. Here is a modified one with square spindles. I can see your house with color. These are from Benjamin Moore's Colonial Williamsburg Collection"...See More
Design help needed to improve curb appeal of L-shaped ranchComments (17)briggs whitaker, I do commercial electrical work for a living and many of my fellow coworkers have gotten solar installed. Depending on your state, at least here in NJ, many residential solar installers are offering new roofs, new electrical services and clearing of solar obstructions like trees. My one coworker had 20 trees removed and a new 200amp service done at no charge after they quoted him the system. I'm not saying cutting down mature trees for solar panels is a smart move or the right move. I'm just saying if it was ever a possibility or you liked the idea and wanted to investigate then now would be the time before having work done. You may be surprised what could be done at no charge as many solar companies are getting subsidies to get solar on roofs at any cost. It's not for everyone, not every house or site benefits from a grid tied solar system. I also find it's better long term to invest in one more high end item vs doing several smaller cheaper or compromised projects. Say for example the front door. You might use that door daily instead of someone who parks in the garage and uses the interior door. Investing in a higher end door gives you better build quality, better finish, better feel and better air sealing and or thermal performance. Then hiring a good contractor with good references and local examples of their work, who has a great attention to detail may be better than trying to do a stock door from a box store and using one of their installation contractors. It might not be large overall sweeping change you are looking for but long term doing something like that once a year will get you there. Same goes for roofing. Try doing a little research to see what makes a good roof installation. I'm not saying you need to necessarily learn how to do it yourself but knowing that the use of higher end underlayment products (tar paper vs some of the new synthetic wrb's to a full peel and stick membrane vs a liquid applied product), basic understanding of flashing, proper valley treatments or proper roof ventilation (ridge vents and eave vents) etc or as simple as knowing basic fastening requirements (architectural asphalt shingles get nailed on the manufacturer marked nail line). We waited on a short sale years ago that we had to walk away from because during inspection our contractor friend and I got on the roof and discovered the all the shingles were nailed incorrectly and the counter flashing was installed backwards. I spoke with the neighbor and they informed us the previous owner did it themselves. The bank didn't want to move on price so we had to walk away. Long story short is, just because someone gets paid to do something doesn't necessarily mean they are good or the best. Sometimes knowing some basics of the job you are hiring for can present you red flags of a potential hire during an estimate. I always suggest to buy good materials but more importantly hire someone who installs the materials correctly. It doesn't matter how expensive something is if it's installed wrong. Ymmv....See More
How would you fix the curb appeal of this old l-shaped ranch house?Comments (31)I would research (by visiting) rentals in the area and seeing their condition vs rental price. Your biggest challenge will be to improve within the income possibilities of the market in your area. Cash flow will also be a consideration. So assess the area, see what upgrades would be needed to get the “income” to minimize your outflow of cash. Consider state taxes and other costs to make sure once you lease it you make some profit over outflow of cash. Older homes cost especially when routine maintenance has been done over a long period of years. Consider selling in this hot market to bank equity now for your future. Just really think things through and analyze all the pros and cons. As to drought resistant plants, ice plants near houses in this location are great and a big perimeter of them will help protect the home from forest fires. They are filled with water. Once you remove that tree, plant one that won’t get into your sewer lines or mess up your foundation. Check with local college extension office and get tips from them. Most have lists of suggested plants and trees. Aloe plants are good too. A garden and small bistro table and chairs converting driveway area to patio would be inexpensive way to boost curb appeal. I would paint exterior an off white with black trim. Black pots creating front patio and entry. If you replace roof, go with black or dark gray. You can add outdoor rug for color too. Then get driveway repaired. I put an acrylic awning over small garage door. You could do a black and white stripe fabric style awning too. I added two large modern exterior fixtures. Then aloe plants in black pots along with drought resistant plants on strip to right of driveway. A lighter exterior color would modernize your curb appeal a lot. Black trim and either a cedar front door or semi gloss black door. SW Tricorn black with SW Pure White or Alabaster for body of house. Carry that color palette inside home for continuity....See More
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