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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Curb appeal

loisvandDecember 30, 2012
We just bought this little rental house for less than some cars!. It's sound inside but it has absolutely no curb appeal. (and no plants or trees or any living thing on the lot!) It needs new siding etc. but what can we do architecturally to make it more attractive? It sits on two city lots and eventually we'll add a garage but this first year we want to do much needed maintenance on the outside. But we might as well improve the look at the same time. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
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You could add shutters to both windows, and how about a planter box below the small window? A few plants in pots on the deck, maybe paint the front door a vibrant color.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 3:30AM
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Thanks. Those are good ideas. I find the deck really unattractive and was looking for ideas on how to remove it and add ?? A porch of some kind?
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 5:03AM
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Dar Eckert
Harrisdale · More Info
house. The railing on the porch seems out of place. It would be nice to have a raised planter there so you wouldn't need the railing. Heres a photo of what I was thinking of. I also like the benches in the photo which would also look nice maybe on the long edge of your porch.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 6:13AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
I would build a simple arbor across the rest of that porch. It will give a cozy appeal It will also tie it in to the roof line. Also do shutters the two will create a cottage feel..
1 Like    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 6:17AM
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I like the deck, and I'm afraid if you remove it the house will look like a mobile home. The deck gives it some personality. I do think it needs a railing, or hand rail, something to keep people (like me) from falling off. Lots of planter boxes and plants to spruce it up. No pun intended!
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 7:04AM
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Great ideas. I like the planter boxes and bench. And that's something I think my husband and I could tackle. I must admit I do use the raiing as the first step up the desk is precarious. In fact the step is going to need to be removed and fixed. This was in foreclosure for a loooong time. "Interiors" could you link an example of what you mean by a simple arbor? I'm not able to picture it.
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm at a loss when it comes to visualizing outside spaces. Can any of you suggest some books that might give me ideas? Before and after pictures might help me.
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 8:53AM
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Karen Tiede Art Rugs
Don't have my library here so can't help on the B&A. BUT: If you're going to rent it out, do NOT expect your tenants to take care of any landscaping you may install. NO planter boxes, in my (landlord's) opinion. It's hard enough to get tenants who don't smoke and will pay the rent on time, let alone caring for plants that you want.

That said, consider benches or something less maintenance intensive.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 9:47AM
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I had to remove planter boxes from my property when I moved and rented it out. No screen doors for tenants to tear up. Smoke costs a 1/2 month's rent to get out of the house. Iin 15 years I've had two bad tenants and one had a boyfriend counterfeiting in the house. The other brought in the "X" and her kids vandalized the place with paint and BB guns. Have fun, get lots of $$$ and put very little into it. Fix what's broke and ignore the rest.
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Well, this is actually a different situation. I have a brother who is disabled and can't afford the rents in this area. Because you can pick up these little houses that have been in foreclosure so cheaply we decided to buy it and rent to him. He is going to be doing a lot of the renovation work. He is also interested in renting to own . So he is motivated to take good care of it.
But, none of us have much experience with remodeling or renovation so I really appreciate any ideas people can give us. For our own personal house we hired a contractor but we can't do that here.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 12:37PM
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What a dolly house. Love the roof lines. The deck would look cuter with a railing around it. Here is an inspiration picture.
A ranch home renovated · More Info
Lilac · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 1:03PM
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I agree that the deck needs some railing to give it more appeal. I would consider painting or staining the deck and new railing a light color. Then, paint the front door a nice vibrant color and add some plants. It's a cute house and just need some attention to detail outside and that will make it look great!
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 1:09PM
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I like that bright color on the ranch and the shutters and I can see how a railing all along would help. The deck is big enough we could include planter boxes as well. What about the weird little pole that looks like it's holding up the roof over the door? It's actually rotted a little at the bottom so we will need to replace it. Right now it looks so odd to me. Any ideas for that? Is it really necessary?
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Plants on the deck. Use siding that's a golden wood color, and paint the door red. Paint the Window trim a dull navy and add shutters the same color. reshingle the roof in dull navy also. Like I said, lots of plants on the deck will really help.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Jayme H.
A row of perennials such a daylilies running in front of deck and/or easy care ornamental shrubs such as spirea take little maintenance and look great. Vary heights and textures of plants. Also, a long planter on front width of deck filled with plants would help take attention off plants planted until they "fill in" the space. I would also continue with plants in front of home where there is no deck. Another pot/planter near drain spout also. Agree with shutters and window box under small window.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Cat Rowe
I would not do shutters or planter boxes. Shutters are not appropriate for ths home. Planter boxes ony ruin your wood. The deck is nice. I would add a stone wall around the deck to create a courtyard effect. I would also move your downspout to the side of the house. Some birch trees and golfball bushes would add dimension. For rental, keep landscaping easy to care for. Perennials, daylillies are high maintenance. Use suuculents instead of flowers. I like Dar Eckerts suggestion.
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 6:40PM
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Cat Rowe
Lois. Check out MollyWood Garden Design web site. Under portfolio, select beach bungalow. See the stine wall, trees, siding colour. Use these ideas. Your house will be the talk of the town! Best of luck. Your rental is darling!
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 6:55PM
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I agree w/ Cat that your home is darling, but shutters would really add some interest, as would white railing around your deck - and it should continue with a matching sloped handrail to the right of the front door- with base plantings in front of the smaller window + in front of the deck. Bobbi called it on painting that front door too, bright red would be sooo cute.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Jayme H.
I have daylilies all over and don't find them high maintenance at all, but the opposite. Also have planter boxes that have not ruined any of the 3 homes I have put them on.
    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 7:14PM
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