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tkchristie13

What can we do to our exterior to make it home appear larger/pretty?!

tkchristie13
last month
last modified: last month

We bought a small, basic, newly built house a year ago and have grown to love the location. we love the inside of out home as well but arent fond if the low pitched roof, small front porch or siding color. any ideas on what exterior changes would help our home look larger, more elaborate??





Comments (55)

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    extend the porch to the left, and hire a really good landscape person. that alone will give you a 75 increase in curb appeal.

    extend the porch, flower bed, landscaping.


    your pic is so tiny, I really can't photoshop on it


    get rid of the builder basic door and buy something nice. paint it or stain it.

    stain the wood porch surround a nice walnut color too. or paint it white or even black. that yellow wood tone clashes w/the house colors

    under the window on the far right, put in a flower bed, and plant some trees in the front somewhere

    this is just a bascia landscaping you guys could prob do yourselves.


    tkchristie13 thanked Beth H. :
  • tkchristie13
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you all! we are on about a $30,000 budget for additions to home/porch/ exterior/landscaping. We live in a small neighborhood in the suburbs. would something like this photo look good if we redid porch..


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    A significant part of the issue is the completely obscured front door. I only found it because I knew there had to be an entrance somewhere and I saw a tiny white railing peeking out from behind that monster-bush. Change the landscaping, change the garage doors as noted above. Go with an off-white house color and maybe a taupe trim color. I like the “after“ color combination here: https://styleblueprint.com/nashville/everyday/a-fixer-upper-before-and-after/ It would be a nice change from what you have now, but not too drastic. And probably everyone will start copying you. New house numbers, garage lights, paint the downspouts the same color as the siding.
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  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    probably not w/your existing siding and roofline.


    keep it simple.

  • shead
    last month

    What is your parking situation? I don't see a garage but is there a carport? In one pic, it looks like there might be but in the other, there's not. If this were my situation, I would be a carport on the left with a gable facing frontward. Then, you could expand the front porch across the entire expanse from gable to gable. That would probably cost more than $30K, though :(

  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    last month

    Your house is super cute and clean. I actually like the color. I think I might extend the porch in the form of a deck. Uncovered, and you could add some planters to the deck that would give you some color contrast. Where you don't want contrast is your downspouts....could they be painted the color of your siding. Not the gutters, but only the downspouts. They'd disappear if same as your house color.

    Your biggest curb appeal investment might be landscaping though. If at some point you could include a curve in the walk from drive to door it could add some interest. Shrubs, trees...you could start by getting a landscape design and do it in stages.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    I’m another vote for painting the porch white so it ties into the house, buy a beautiful wood front door, and spend the rest on landscaping.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    There is a simplistic beauty to your home. Do not over do it on the landscaping, keep it simple to coincide with the house's beauty.

  • decoenthusiaste
    last month

    I don't care for decks on the front of the home; I think they are back yard appurtenances. I would paint or clad it, but IMO the white on your home is too bright and a softer, creamy white would go better with the siding, which I think is nice. Don't forget to paint downspouts to match the siding. I agree that a new front door and landscaping will add curb appeal and value to your home.

  • rwiegand
    last month

    I really don't think there's anything wrong with your house that some careful landscaping won't fix quite nicely. It's quite nicely designed as it is. The white downspouts were an unfortunate choice, and the bright white trim is a bit jarring. That can be fixed with a little paint in a couple of hours. Put your money into a couple of low cost index funds for your retirement instead.

  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Back up and show us the yard, the whole setting. We need the Big Picture.

    I agree with the porch suggestions (not sure about painting it bright white but am sure it’s too small), the downspouts and the front door.

    The sidewalk is small and utilitarian (and it’s laid so close to the house as to make that dirt strip unuseable for meaningful plantings). As a part of a professional landscape plan the sidewalk could be very charming.

    Your house/setting is chockful of hard, sharp lines. You need a few curves. They don’t have to be as big and elaborate as the sample planting beds someone posted above - but you need SOME for sure.

    Another idea: I don’t see parking. This is nice but it might shoot your budget full of holes. (Notice the curves and greenery too.)



  • nhb22
    last month

    I agree to paint the porch and do lite to medium landscaping in the front. Keep your front door, but paint it a contrasting color. Add some hardware and a larger outdoor light.


    When putting in landscaping, be sure to plant away from the house to give the plantings room to grow. So many plant right up against the house and then the plants grow up to and on the house. So if you plant a fast growing bush that is suppose to get 3' tall, and 3' wide at maturity, plant it about 5' to 6' away from the house foundation. That way when it is mature, you will still have some wiggle room between the bush and the house. The plants may look skimpy the first couple of years, but you can plant some tall growing annuals behind and around the bushes each season to fill in the spaces, and for some color. Place a tall growing, narrow, evergreen (like some miniature arborvitae) on either side of the house. Something tall there will bring the eye up and may make the house appear taller. Again, make sure they are set away from the house. Or use a low growing tree on the outer edge of the house (opposite the driveway side.)

  • PRO
    Norwood Architects
    last month

    Don't think there is much you can do to make the house itself appear larger other than an addition of some kind (garage, enlarged porch, etc.). You can, however, make the most of your yard with landscaping.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Stating the obvious, if you stand closer to the house it will appear larger.

    (just a little trivial input)

  • bpath
    last month

    Is the first photo your house, and the second photo a model? Because in the first I see a sliver of garage off to the left, but the second looks like the house backs up to a bluff.

  • rsc2a
    last month

    Looks like first photo lived in after a while and the second one is the as soon as the house was constructed.

  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
    last month

    I'm not sure why you feel the need to make the house appear larger? Is it dwarfed by the neighboring homes? If it suits your needs, then obviously you don't need it to actually be larger. I agree that the porch would look nicer if it were painted white like the trim, but it's really quite small and it looks very cramped.

    However, I don't think you should waste money on extending the porch, which would also entail extending the roof. That would eat up most of the money. Also, front porches usually aren't used very often.

    With $30,000 you could do a lot of landscaping to soften the lines of the house and warm it up. I like Beth's last photo--that would look great on your property.

  • booty bums
    last month

    Thank you all! we are on about a $30,000 budget for additions to home/porch/ exterior/landscaping. We live in a small neighborhood in the suburbs. would something like this photo look good if we redid porch..

    Your dreams/wishes for the house are WAY out of touch with reality. The example is (in all likelihood) from a large, custom multi-million dollar home. It is in no way appropriate for your home.

    You have a very nice, clean, simple modest house. You need to embrace these attributes, not try to make it "look larger, more elaborate". What is even the point of making it "look larger"? To impress strangers? Make friends/family envious?

    I also think $30K is too much to spend for exterior/landscaping on such a modest home. I'd bet it is a significant % of the original purchase price. I would spend no more than $10K.

  • booty bums
    last month

    In terms of changes, I would...

    - Wrap the vertical porch posts with dark colored (charcoal or black) composite material. This will make them look more substantial and attractive.

    - Put the same dark colored composite material on the stair risers and deck rim joist.

    - Replace the railing/balusters with a metal ( square or round) baluster type.

    - Replace the deck board with a different composite material color, maybe a dark wood tone or a lighter tone that blends with the siding.

    - Replace the shutters with board & batten style shutters in the same charcoal/black color.

    - Replace the front door with a Craftsman style door with a lite/window.


    Aside from some landscaping, I think you should stop there. I would have suggested extending the deck to the left, but you have crawlspace vents and a hose bib in the way, so that is a no-go.

    You could possibly do a paver patio there, but I would probably just do landscaping, using an attractive decorative rock instead of mulch.

  • dan1888
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You can upgrade it with a side entrance garage that has the structure coming forward on your lot if allowable. For the future I'd suggest expansions that don't really show at the front. It looks like you have a walkout friendly site. I'd take advantage of the two-story potential of that.

  • bpath
    last month
    last modified: last month

    This house looks so much like my friend’s house. A carport to the left was enclosed to be a family room, then a side-load garage was added to the left of that. She didn’t have an overhang in front, but an open deck was so welcoming, with room for container plants and chairs.

    Her landscaping echoed the colors of the house. The siding was a neutral light tan, the trim and were a warm green and deep, rich red. The landscaping carried that deep, rich, red theme with green. Very elegant. (I once worked for a software company who described their products as ”elegant”. By that they meant, exactly what is needed for beauty, all you could want, nothing superfluous that detracts without providing any benefit.) Not at all Christmas, trust me.

    Beth’s last image is so nice. Notice the simple colors, the stone river for texture. Very nice.

    tkchristie13 thanked bpath
  • signatuur
    last month

    paint ALL of the house in color of your roof.

    Only; replace the shutters by real wooden ones/same material as the porch.

    Extend the floor of the porch so it's on the same level as the front of the path. NO railing in front of the porch. You step from the path onto the porch and then turn 90 degrees to enter the house. And lots of greens/trees and grasses. A part hidden house always looks bigger when not seen all at once.

    tkchristie13 thanked signatuur
  • Amber Webb
    last month

    If you want your home to have more character, which I think will make it seem more “grand”, I think you just need to dress it up. I don’t know what style you prefer but small changes can make a big difference. One idea would be to have a contrasting siding put in as an accent and possibly corbels in a painted or stained wood. If you open up the porch and stain or paint to match the new siding accent color and add some simple landscaping (a few trees and shrubs) you will have made a huge difference in the way the house looks. I like the idea that has been suggested of the carport as well. A detached wood carport with matching roofing material would look great and expand the look of the house.

    tkchristie13 thanked Amber Webb
  • Amber Webb
    last month

    Here are a few examples of homes where there are more than one type of siding used. Stone is beautiful but it is more expensive. I think breaking up the brown siding would go a long way.

    tkchristie13 thanked Amber Webb
  • squirrelbait2001
    last month

    Swap out your front door for one with a half or even full glass insert, paint the same color as the shutters or a contrasting/coordinating color and add a nice handle set (which is like jewelry for your door). Add window boxes and a mulch bed with a sinuous (s-shaped) border in the front with a flowering tree or Japanese maple, with some smaller shrubs underneath. You can also add annual flowers in the summer for more color. The idea is to bring color and soften the sharp edges.You have a blank canvas, enjoy!

    tkchristie13 thanked squirrelbait2001
  • Kathleen Marineau
    last month

    I like the christmas wreaths in the windows and I see that the front yard is possibly your only flat outdoor space. Painting the downspouts is not expensive. I suggest spray exterior automotive paint for it's durability.

    If you want a professional landscape design, pay for just the plans, then put in the plants yourself one season at a time. Start with the slowest growing items first, the trees and large shrubs.

    So the front doesn't look like part of the woods behind your house, I'd suggest one grouping of 3 small "patio" trees such as crepe myrtles. They have bright flowers in the summer and nice looking bark in the winter. I'd put them closer to the street than the house, give them about 20' on all sides.

    Along the walkway, between it and the house, I''d start with laying landscape cloth and topping it with dark colored bark. If wind is a problem, lay gravel instead. Add a few pieces of garden art such as tall outdoor vases, fake rocks, gnomes or a wood chainsaw carved bear, (if you like them), a couple of colorful chairs, etc.

    We have strong winds so I bought bright red heavy metal chairs from Tractor Supply. They stayed in place all through 60mph gusts we had this spring.

    tkchristie13 thanked Kathleen Marineau
  • Ellen Butler
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Maybe someone already suggested this, but why does your small porch have those vertical posts at all? They surely are not supporting the roof. I would cut those off at the railing and eliminate them. It will really open up the front of your house. Replace the sidewalk with a curved paver walkway and landscape.

    tkchristie13 thanked Ellen Butler
  • debbi09
    last month

    Your house is cute as is, but needs landscaping. 30k might seem like a lot, but not in todays world. What about removing the siding and adding faux stone work on the far right section with the single window. Grey and beige color stonework. That would make home look more expensive. Change door to something with some glass in it. The two windows on left are not the same size, that throws me off, but some landscaping with cover that up. Yes, in money of getting advice from a professional would be worth it. Maybe a path in pavers, with some curves to soften all the hard lines of a house. Maybe add a round gable vent for decorative reason in the A highest A frame section of the house. Remove rail and build a large rectangular planter box paint it black. that would give a barrier but be slightly lower that rail so you are not viewing a horizontal rail while sitting on rockers. You then can plant season plantings and decorate for holidays. You can raise the dirt in a few section slightly to add little slopes (even 8” makes a nice difference). It will take time to evolve into you dream home.

    tkchristie13 thanked debbi09
  • barbara_langlois
    last month

    Your house is cute but I think your front porch makes it look small and you can’t see the 2 cute chairs on the porch that make it inviting. I would remove the railings all around and extend the stairs right across. Looks like only 2 stairs so shouldn’t need a rail. Paint or stain it all. You could then enhance the pillars possibly with stone on bottom third and make it look richer.
    Yes, landscape will do wonders! We have a ranch house and looked small but we extended our landscape past the house and draws your eye to seeing bigger house. Think too many people stop the landscape right where the house ends like in picture shown. We added nice large rocks for texture and emphasizes the entrance. Door needs to be painted cause the white doesn’t look rich. If in budget go with nice new statement door.

  • barbara_langlois
    last month

    Could also enhance left side of the door with a light and mailbox or something. no rail shows off the chairs and looks cute!

    tkchristie13 thanked barbara_langlois
  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I bought one of those custom peel-off sticker things on Etsy to get my address on my nice black mailbox. I cut off some of the curliques and applied it to my mailbox. I thought it looked nice; mentioned it to my neighbor who said, ”I saw that! It’s cute!”

    Arg!! Cute isn’t what I was going for here. I have a nice, substantial home and a meticulous landscape. I wasn’t looking for cute.

    My point: be careful with adding “cutesy accessories.” It doesn’t sound like the OP is going for cute either.

  • PRO
    Johnson Brothers Contracting
    last month
    last modified: last month

    All of the added on corbels snd brackets and ”accessories” just look desperate and worse. Like a old woman with too much makeup can never look 17 again.

    Embrace the classic simplicity of the home for what it IS. It isn’t a Folk Victorian cottage. Or a Craftsman. Or Tudor. No amount of ”statement necklaces” will make it be those. Leave off the makeup and jewelry.

    Place it in an attractive landscaped surroundings, with a clear, well lit, wide path, to a contrasting happy colored door, and you have maximized it’s appeal.

  • cpartist
    last month
    last modified: last month

    What Johnson Brothers said.

    If you want it to have more personality, paint the house a color such as a deep blue and then paint the door a bright color to welcome people. Then landscape!

  • terrib962
    last month

    Remove the FAKE shutters! That will go a long way toward making it look better. Shutters are supposed to be sized to look real as if they could close and meet in the middle of the window. Best left off unless they are original 100+ years old.

  • Maureen
    last month

    It’s just begging for personality and won’t need expensive structural changes (unless you want to invest a lot more money to make larger).

    Landscaping will be a major improvement; suggest doing in stages as budget permits. Work with a garden centre for advice (show them a picture of house). If planting yourself, a couple of thousand would be enough. First step is a quote on a DIY/using them.

    If you wanted to invest a bit more, a curved (interlock?) walkway would be a lovely improvement and then do the landscaping. Entrance will have to be figured out first though.

    Down the road, address the front lawn.

    Recommend looking at ”small ranch bungelows” on Pinterest and Houzz, to see what appeals to you. No matter the style, recommendations are the same.

    Entrance: A priority - needs to be much more prominent, practical and inviting, so highly suggest removing the tiny deck and extending a landing across the front. Get the pro‘s advice on options.

    Enhancements: quotes/info will help to narrow down. Per above pic: new front door, cedar shakes, remove shutters and add wide trim, spray siding (could be too costly).

    Per below, adding stone would bump up the look (and home’s value) and will enhance the look of your siding.

    Make changes that will have the most influence within your budget and be sure to get a few estimates. Good luck.

  • new03mom
    last month

    Putting stone or faux stone on the bump out singular window on the right hand side would look wonderful.

  • Sue Johnson
    last month

    Congratulations on buying your home! Brand new is fabulous, you'll have a warranty on the home itself, and on the major parts--roof, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, foundation. DO NOT put $30K into this house, unless you are considering building a detached 2-car garage that is in the exact style as the house, and you don't care about spending money on improvements that you will not recoup in equity. You can make enough improvements to your blank slate without investing $30K. Consider spending $15K and investing the rest in precious metals...real gold and silver. If you need covered parking, consider having a carport built, using the same rooflines as the house. If that cost is prohibitive, and you still need covered parking, consider buying a pergola with a solid peaked roof...metal is perfectly fine, as it is easy to move to the backyard over a deck if you ever want to build a full garage. You can always attack some kind of screening or lattice on the sides of the pergola for a little protection from the elements. You will only be able to get one car under this pergola, but at least you'll have protection from sun, rain, snow, hail...


    The market is slowing down and houses are not selling for as much as they did 6 months ago. Invest wisely. You can get some nice 'curb appeal' and make the front of your home look a bit more substantial through careful landscaping. You want to draw the eye UP. I love the front porch sample you posted, although it is a different style from your home. You can use MOST of the basic elements of that porch in YOUR home. Your foundation is wrapped with brick, so continue that brick throughout the front porch re-design. Remove the wood deck and pour a concrete porch and steps, clad with brick, in the same footprint as the existing deck. Make the steps the full width of the porch and extend the existing walkway to meet the steps, giving it a soft curve. Choose a brick color that you like, and if it is not the same as the foundation color, you can paint the foundation brick to match. You'll have some low plantings in front of the foundation anyway, so you won't notice that it's painted until you get right up on it. Do not put any railings up on this concrete/brick porch, it just closes it off. When replacing the porch roof supports, use a more substantial support like a 6 x 6 and clad the base with brick, like the posts in your dream porch photo. You won't need 4 pillars across the front, two should carry the load, but definitely check with your local building codes.


    If the cost of a concrete porch and steps is too much, you can work with the existing deck with some modifications. First, remove the railings, they are just making it look claustrophobic Check your building codes to determine if you really need those 4 pillars. Replace them with 6x6 and clad the bottom 1/3 with decorative wood OR brick veneer. Replace the existing steps with steps that extend the full width of the porch. Consider using the composite decking material since it will be exposed to the elements. Make sure you dress it up with risers painted in a contrasting color. Extend the walkway to the end of the porch, giving it a slight curve. Since your front porch decking is covered, you do not need to rip it up and replace it with composite. You can paint it to match the composite that you choose for your steps. Composite is great, BUT it is not as rigid as wood. Stair risers must be 12" apart when using composite, rather than 24" if using wood. Same with the field of your decking--- 16" or 18" on center instead of 24" on center when using wood. So, take that extra cost into account when deciding between concrete and using existing decking.


    I noticed your dream porch photo has a door with glass, so may I assume you would want something similar? You don't have to buy a new door-- your door IS brand new. If you go to the big box home improvement store (the orange one, not the blue one) go to the window & door section and pick out a door that you absolutely love. Check the price, add in delivery and installation charges and sales tax. Pick yourself up off the floor after suffering sticker shock and say "ahhh, nope!" Look in the front section of the door & window aisle, and you'll see pretty glass inserts for exterior doors, hanging up on a display turntable. There are companies that come out to your home, and remove the door, cut the door with this special saw, install the glass insert you have chosen, install the trim, put the door back on it's frame, clean up and leave...and it takes about an hour, start to finish. I had my door (solid 6-panel like yours) done with a full piece of decorative glass, for $500. You can paint the door to match your style, just remember to paint the trim around the glass insert the same color as the door. There's nothing more jarring than looking at a door painted black with white trim around the glass insert.


    I wouldn't mess with the roof--it's brand new, after all, and why spend the money to tear it up? If you want to draw the eye UP, and make the roof lines more symmetrical, you can always "fake it" with an eyebrow window on the left side, between the two windows. A real eyebrow window is curved, so you don't want that, you want to mimic the two roof lines to the right side of the house. You can put a false dormer on the roof, and you'll only have to remove some shingles and tarpaper. If you want to dress it up, you can put a fake window in the gable instead of siding.


    As for the landscaping, if you could find the largest white birch available at a reputable nursery, consider planting it in the corner formed by the intersection of the driveway and the front walkway. The nursery will tell you how far away from sidewalks you need to be...thought the trunks do not get very wide, the roots do spread out. Give your white birch a buddy on the right side of the house, you don't want him to be lonely! Extend the garden area from the curve in the front walkway around the corner of the house, giving it a soft curve, extending it out from the corner deep enough to contain the companion white birch tree. Keep the plantings low in the front between the sidewalk and the two front windows. Make sure you leave plenty of room for air circulation in front of the crawlspace vents. Hostas are great but they are shade lovers. Once that white birch puts out leaves, you'll have shade there, or mottled sun. You can plant mums in between the hostas for color in the fall, or just keep them in baskets and bring them inside to overwinter. Annuals planted in front of the hostas and mums will always provide you with beautiful color fairly inexpensively. In the corner between the porch and the bump out portion of the house, you could put in a DWARF burning bush, it will give beautiful color (red berries) from May through the end of autumn, and in autumn, the leaves turn a beautiful red. Make sure you get a DWARF because a regular burning bush grows about 15 feet tall. The "Rudy Haag" will only get about 5 feet tall in 15 years, the "Compactus" gets about 10 feet tall. Keep the low growers on this side also, hostas or a green sun loving plant, interspersed with mums and annuals in front.


    Lighting your home at night is also something you can do to make it look more substantial--remember you want to draw the eye UP. When you plant the white birch, get some solar spot lights from one of the big home improvement stores, and angle it so that it "uplights" the birch. This will also cast light at the corner of your house. Do the same for the companion birch on the right side corner. You will want to have your porch steps have some type of light on them for safety reasons and for aesthetic reasons. Before pouring the concrete porch and steps, have conduit placed to the spots where you would install some "downlights"--- install them in the risers, and use the ones that have a hood over the top so that all the light is cast downward, illuminating the treads. Consider removing the light on the side of the front door and replacing the light with one flush with the porch ceiling, or hanging from the porch ceiling if the ceiling is open to the roof trusses.


    Wishing you much luck and love in your new home, and success in your improvements. Please let us all know what you have done.



    tkchristie13 thanked Sue Johnson
  • ceesullivan
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Think about moving the porch to ground level and adding a slab, bricked, or flat stone porch either rectangular or semi-circle shape and making it large enough for seating and or a potted plant garden. You could add semi-circle steps that match the new patio material and pergola to keep the area defined yet open and bright. You might consult local landscape architects for advice on the new patio and landscaping to set it off. Changing the paint color can make a big difference. Find an interior decorator who specializes in color for exterior paint color advice. Good luck!


  • Andrea Cook
    last month

    Landscaping design on front corners of one side of house. Low shrubs placed in a V shape would help.

  • smc5
    last month

    Landscaping and paint the door.

  • PRO
    Matt
    last month

    LOL @ all the YouTube experts wanting to add a bunch of extra ugly junk to a perfectly nice house. Simple is far better than a bunch of tacky fake details.

  • cpartist
    last month

    Agree with Matt.

  • Julie Cicak
    last month

    I recommend you remove the siding above the porch and replace it with a matching stained cedar shake to breakup the horizontal lines flattening the house. Cover the porch posts with the same cedar shakes to draw the eye vertically and give the porch some substance and texture as in this picture. Paint the front door then in a rich color to stand out from the cedar stain (depending on stain shade) like a green (if a redder stain) or a shade of purple/plum (if a more orange stain). You can then decide whether you want your shutters stained the same color as the shakes or compliment the front door. Don't be afraid to use purple shaded colors with green painted houses because they are seen in nature beautifully.


    Landscaping should come last depending on soil type, sun location during the day and maintenance. Keep in mind the mature heighth and width of each plant you select is most important. I recommend a low drawf sized bush like ball boxwoods (evergreen) under the porch railings with space in front for low annuals or perennials that bloom and Spring bulbs like tulips or daffodils behind the bushes for protection. Since the house isn't very long in front plant only 1 medium sized evergreen bush like a beautiful blue cedar that stays under your roof eave to anchor your foundation landscaping on the right side. Make sure that plant is the highest at maturity and it should be a good guide for what you can plant under your windows, no higher than bottom of windows like a small evergreen (again keep maturity height in mind along with soil and sunlight requirements) and give balance to your home's curb appeal. Good Luck and enjoy your new home!




  • Nicole Stirling
    last month

    I would def extend the porch or remove it completely. landscaping around will help!

  • judianna20
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Contrasting trim and shutters make the house look smaller and too "cute". One thing that would make a big difference would be painting all the trim the same as the body of the house. Doing that takes away the "outline" which says small.

    I prefer white on a ranch (my house is white and a ranch). I like this house as an example, except I would choose a beautiful color for the door AND the storm.



    Expand the deck to the end of the house with the stairs at the driveway....meaning I would get rid of the front walk. Use a pergola to "make a roof" for the left front side.


    Portland Mid-Century Modern · More Info

    I think you could do something on this line with your budget.

  • tangerinedoor
    last month

    Nice house! It looks like a tidy neighborhood, and it's such a pleasure to live in new.


    You have a nice sunny spot. Put solar panels on the roof, and you will have a more expensive looking house that many will covet, espcially since utility costs are trending ever upwards.

    Check into the new federal legislation that addresses climate change, and you might find solar to be super affordable. I promise it'll soon pay for itself.

    It goes to -20 degrees here in winter. I have an all-electric house, and pay only for the meter: approx $30 per month, yep, even in winter. For many people around here, heating is more expensive than rent. I did a lot of research to rack up credits and incentives.

  • tangerinedoor
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I would NOT extend the porch, since that would make the interior dark. It's probably nice and light inside right now.

    Don't remove porch railings without first consulting your town's code. Very likely they're required. Also my grandfather died by tipping off backward from a porch without railings. So, yeah, stick with the railings.

    I would definitely not rip out siding to add shakes or any kind of exotic outdoor wall covering. Your siding is brand new, for gosh sake! Shingles won't go with the sleek and trim lines of the house, either. They'll make it look fussy. Maybe if it were a McMansion.....And shakes are expensive to maintain, they get moldy, etc.. Visual interest is easily done with landscaping--far better than replacing new siding with shakes.

    It looks like you might live in a place with cold winters (I see no leaves on those lovely trees), I would be wary of concrete steps and porch, as has been suggested. They will crack in freeze/thaw cycles. There is a reason wood is the tried-and-true material for steps and porches in the northern states.

    Do you have a carport? I would do that in basic wood, and stain it the same as the porch. A different alternative: you can even get carport roofing with built-in solar panels, and kill 2 birds with one stone.

    Forbes article on solar carports

  • aziline
    last month

    Your house reminds me of mine in that it's simple on the outside. Put the money where you spend your time. Ours went into the inside of the house and back yard.

  • Mrs Pete
    last month

    Your house will never look elaborate. But that's ok. Simple is good.

    Yes, embrace your house for what it is -- a small, simple, neat home. As others have said, trying to make it something it isn't will only backfire on you. Bigger and fancier isn't better; often I see a bloated, overly complex house on this site and think, "Someone actually built that -- and thinks it looks good."

    You're starting with something solid and basic ... and you can make it a standout house. If this house were painted a nice color and surrounded by lovely trees and plantings, it would look entirely different.

    What I'd do to your house:

    - The simple shape is good, but the color is dull. Paint it blue, yellow or sage green ... do not go white or gray; you need a color that'll bring in personality. Your roof color is simple and can support any of these colors.

    - Avoid shakes, as they are high maintenance and their color will fade over time.

    - Paint the porch white.

    - The white front door is kinda invisible ... so choose a color to accent the new house color.

    - I see two sad brown chairs hiding on your brown porch ... paint them a colorful shade to match the house color (not white, make them stand out from the porch). They look kinda large for the small porch ... consider smaller chairs and a tiny table to hold a cold drink and a pretty plant. But, at every turn, color.

    - Once the painting is done, reevaluate the shutters ... I'm not sure what to say about them at the moment. One school of thought is to keep them black to match the roof, but (once the color is done), you might opt to remove them or paint them white? Unsure.

    - Do you have a light on your porch? I can't see it. Add a lantern-style lamp ... most people make their porch lights too small. On a porch this size, you'll probably only have one light, so make it 1/4-1/3 the height of your door.

    - Finally add your house number above the porch.

    - Have a landscaper come out and develop a plan with you ... accept that this will take years to "grow into". Treat yourself to some bright, colorful annuals that'll give you an instant pop of color and a hanging basket of colorful flowers on the porch ... but put most of your effort into things that'll last /take little effort over the years: a couple trees, foundation bushes, a row of hostas around your walkway. Include a birdbath.

    - Add a solar-powered light on a post near the driveway end of the pathway ... this plus the porch light will look welcoming at night.

    - When Christmas is over and the wreaths come down, keep a seasonal wreath on your door ... but make it a little larger than the one on your door now. The wreaths on your windows are great.

  • cpartist
    last month

    MrsPete nailed it!

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