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Please HELP with blah exterior!
Rachel
January 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi! We recently brought this bi level ranch and I need ideas on how to make it look gorgeous! We are changing siding. (color ideas?) And what color, style new door? Thank You so much!!
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Rachel
I really need help! I don't know where to start
January 2, 2013 at 7:40am     
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amievw
Paint a tone on tone. Its hard to see brick color but it may look better painted.. Like gray on gray? Lighter shade on bottom. if you painted the brick the house would look great with an A frame type porch over the front door.. maybe stacked stone? Then a light fixture in the center of the porch? Also if you expand the landscape and add more evergreen and some uplighting it would make a huge difference.
January 2, 2013 at 7:51am     
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Interiors International, Inc.
I would not paint the brick once you do that you can't go back. Pick a color from the brick to create a more cohesive color scheme.Do not have the shutters match you front door. The door should be a focal point and not be the same as any other color on the house.
January 2, 2013 at 7:56am     
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diamondblue
I think it looks great just as it is. A classic from my neighborhood growing up, likely looking just like most of the houses in the neighborhood. I spent many xmas eve parties in a house just like this and the inside was and still is fabulous. Don't fuss on the outside, other then some landscaping. Focus on the inside - creating a surprise when you walk inside.
January 2, 2013 at 8:09am     
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Dytecture
Here is one idea.


January 2, 2013 at 9:31am     
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Rachel
Thanks for responding! I was thinking of doing dark gray siding. Would that look odd with this color brick? And I would love a more modern door something with glass. The question is if it would match to the house? We are replacing the windows and probably removing the shutters. Or should we leave them?
January 2, 2013 at 12:41pm     
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claudiann
Will you be changing the roof color in the future? That would be something to consider. Does anyone ever park on the street? If so a nicely landscaped walk from the street to the entrance would be good. I would update the front door...remove the pediment over the door and change the light fixture. I like the brick. It has a lot of colors in it. I would glaze or whitewash before painting but I wouldn't do anything. I like the brown color in the brick but I'm not sure how that would go with the roof color. I think I would go without the shutters. Put the emphasis on the entry. A circular small patio would look nice in front of the entry steps. I think the landscaping looks sparse. I would add more. Since you have a light roof and white window trim I would probably go with a tan siding . Then I would pick up a coral color from the brick for the entry. I think I would add some small ornamental trees to the front lawn. Maybe a weeping cherry or some other cherry trees.
January 2, 2013 at 4:28pm     
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diamondblue
I would not paint the brick. It goes perfectly with with beige tones. You have white window trim. You could find an appealing taupe/beige for the siding and paint the shudders a bit darker like bronze. Your new door could be natural wood with a glass insert or solid You could also put a transom window above the door. Your windows would look nice as casement push out windows. Your living room window could be a centered direct set window with 2 casements on the side. I smiled when I saw the picture Dytechture posted above. The architect does work from my hometown, so this house is likely from there too.
January 2, 2013 at 4:46pm   
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houssaon
This is a great color for your siding: Sparrow AF-720 by Benjamin Moore. It will pick up the darker tones of the brick. Do the shutters and the trim in Stingray 1529 Paint. Paint the front door: Benjamin Moore Cottage Red. When you do the front door, paint the sidelights and the trim, including the pediment in the Stingray. I would put shutters on the lower windows, too.

I would remove the two Alberta sprurce from the foundation. Look for some more plants to fill in that give you texture and leaf color variety. Don't plant too close to the foundation. You don't need much. Add perennials and annuals for more color.
January 2, 2013 at 4:47pm     
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Rachel
Loving all the ideas so far! We have redone the roof since I took this picture. (I didn't notice it's an older picture) it is now a dark gray.
January 2, 2013 at 6:00pm     
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Home Preppers
I like the above idea and colors, but I would add that I think the pediment over the door needs to go.
January 2, 2013 at 6:11pm     
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Shelley E.
I would not paint the brick! I have a house that is stuck in the 70's and am going over it with some cultured stone! its very inexpensive and really looks good start with the stone first then choose your color for the top! if you only want to just paint then a Toasted Marshmellow by martha stewart but use SW color match to it. maybe even a bit darker. the Benjamin Moore above Cottage red for the door & maybe the shutters! good luck Pics please!
January 2, 2013 at 6:13pm   
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Rachel
I will look into the cultured stone! Now what do u all think of this door? Do u think it will look right? http://www.crestviewdoors.com/catalog/product/gallery/image/2233/id/657/
January 2, 2013 at 7:22pm     
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kira5817
What about some window boxes to fill in the gap between the windows and brick?
January 2, 2013 at 7:31pm     
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Shelley E.
Sorry Rachel i couldnt stand it. i know im bold and straight & to the point. look thru some of the doors on here as well as the stone. i just put a mission style door in with high windows. but it goes with the house. i dont have a pic yet. I actually like tour front door especially with the trim! i see your house with a light ledgestone and a very dark taupe on top with white trim & a few shades lighter on the door & shutters gig it more style, they should be white.
January 2, 2013 at 7:43pm   
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Shelley E.
whoops your front door! keep it.
January 2, 2013 at 7:51pm   
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Rachel
The door is in bad condition so we need to replace it. If the door I posted before doesn't work well do you have any other suggestions?
January 2, 2013 at 8:50pm   
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diamondblue
Search Houzz for split level front door transom. You will see a bunch of different styles - but you might want to save money and keep the same style you have going on, just update it. I would definitely put a window above that front door (like a transom) that matches the glazing line of the other windows.

January 3, 2013 at 7:31am     
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diamondblue
Though I would stick with my other suggestions of just painting your house (not touching the brick) - if you have an unlimited budget -

January 3, 2013 at 7:58am     
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charro534
You could do a very translucent whitewash over the existing brick. I would also remove the colonial accent around the front door and change to a more modern trim.
January 3, 2013 at 9:17am     
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Rachel
I love everybody's suggestion! So right now I'm thinking of a door like this

With sidelites on both sides and a transom
Dark gray siding to match the roof. Still unsure about the brick. White trim on the windows. Remove the shutters. And build out a beautiful porch as suggested (if the budget allows) How does all that sound?
January 3, 2013 at 10:08am     
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diamondblue
That is a beautiful door and matches your brick in color and style. The question is: Does the new roof you chose - compliment your brick? You do not want a siding paint color that matches your roof. You want it to compliment it. There are so many bad examples of paint and roof colors that are off.

Drive around your neighborhood and look at white trim windows and dark gray paint. You might realize that you don't want the white window frames to pop out like that and you will prefer slate, bronze or black window frames.

Unless you are putting in larger scale contemporary windows - you do not want to take off the shutters.

Why don't you post some images of houses in the paint color you are thinking about in this dark gray siding with window trim that you like?

I'm thinking that if you are in my childhood neighborhood growing up - that your house will not match and do that well for re-sale. Masonry is expensive to build in this day and age. By painting the brick - you are taking a valuable asset away, the most redeeming quality of that house.
January 3, 2013 at 1:27pm     
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achicks
I would be reluctant to paint the brick, but don't rule it out. I've seen brick painted to good effect. If not, choose paint colors that compliment the brick colors; some camel or taupey colors come to mind. A warmer gray perhaps? I want to see some sort of mass, like columns at the outside corners, to 'visually' support the long cantilever of the upper floor. That wall mounted sconce over the door is way too puny. It needs a big fat pendant. Perhaps, that whole front door needs a good porch-like mass with a gabled roof facing the street, but setbacks and budget may prevent that.
January 3, 2013 at 1:45pm     
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Rachel
This is the color I had in mind. But I do realize now it might not work well!

January 3, 2013 at 1:59pm     
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diamondblue
OMG. Someone just rebuilt the house next door to me and it looks so similar to this in colors and they took the shudders off and they painted the brick! And matched the roof. But they did change the window size so the windows would look to scale with out the shudders. They even put that thing on top of their garage. Yes, these colors would work on your house. That door you chose is contemporary though. Red door would look better. Just like my neighbors.
January 3, 2013 at 2:15pm   
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Rachel
I wish your neighbors would post a picture of there house so I could see the end result!!! ;) it's to late for me to change windows its already ordered.
January 3, 2013 at 2:39pm   
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Rachel
That's exactly the colors I had in mind.
January 3, 2013 at 3:16pm   
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diamondblue
If that is what you want just do it. You are already half way there with the roof. But your windows are likely too small without the shudders - you could paint shudders black. Your white trim above is just your gutters. You might be able to build some "fascia" detail somehow to enhance the white.
I will have to delete my neighbors picture, but I wanted you to see it.
I have a feeling you live in my childhood neighborhood. K. M. are the initials. I don't want to post the name.
January 3, 2013 at 3:24pm   
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Rachel
I just asked my husband about the windows he ordered and they are actually bigger windows! So that's good news! I was so busy with the inside (we completely gutted the place) that I didn't concentrate much on the outside till now. If I where to leave the bricks like this is there a color you could suggest that would work well with the brick AND the new dark gray roof?
January 3, 2013 at 3:56pm   
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diamondblue
I keep a large roof sample and window sample in my car. Find some paint samples you think might work and paint big pieces of cardboard and put everything next to your brick. Then you will know best. I'll be back...
January 3, 2013 at 5:00pm   
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Rachel
This is a updated picture with the new roof.
January 3, 2013 at 6:18pm     
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diamondblue
Awesome choice! It blends nicely with the blue door/shutters and brick. Find a color to paint the siding. A sample can paint a lot of the house. Look at it in different light. If you like it - keep going. If not try something else. Just buy a little bit of paint. I once payed a designer/architect and the paint color was sadly way off. After half the house was painted I couldn't stand it, and knew that if they kept going I would be stuck with ugly paint. The painter had a left over sample from another job and he nailed it for me. But I felt bad cause I listened to the designer and bought all the paint. So I had to buy paint for my house twice. After you paint the boards and it dries - THEN you can decide if you want to paint the brick. You have a REALLY nice house. So lovely. Enjoy!!!
January 3, 2013 at 6:51pm   
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Rachel
Thanx so much for all your help!
January 3, 2013 at 7:52pm     
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Shelley E.
Rachel, I was going thru some of my idea books and there is a pic of a house like yours with the grey color and light stone below, I am on my iPad and it's an app. I can't post it to here but I saw it tonight & thought of you! I hope you find it. It might be in my exterior folder. Good luck.
January 3, 2013 at 10:07pm   
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Shelley E.
I can't attach it, I tried. It's Knight construction. Split level. Looks awesome! Let me know if you found it.
January 3, 2013 at 10:12pm     
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Shelley E.
Whoops knight construction design.
January 3, 2013 at 10:14pm   
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jagood
You may find this online article interesting and helpful. http://www.splitlevel.net/bi-level.html
January 3, 2013 at 10:54pm     
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Huy Ho
If you are to replace the siding, I would suggest a cement board such as hardy board. I would also use an accent color for the trim and corner posts, as well as soffit and 8" smartboard fascia. I work in construction but not only will you have a beautiful exterior, it will also be mold and fire resistent. Lower the insurance bills you know. Here are a few jobs i did this year so you can see some of the colors.
January 4, 2013 at 12:08am     
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charro534
I have Hardy board siding and I love it! It is a dream to paint (if needed).
January 4, 2013 at 12:26am   
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Rachel
Shelley I think I know which picture you mean. Somebody posted it above. It's a dream!
January 4, 2013 at 5:06am     
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diamondblue
Rachel, I just looked outside at the house of the picture I sent - and all the painted black shutters are sitting under the eave now - they just have not put them up yet. I'll send a picture when they are back up. Funny.
January 4, 2013 at 8:46am   
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thislittlehouse
Saw this on Pinterest. I think it shows a dramatic transformation of a similar house to yours. (I actually love your house as it is!!)

They seem to have painted both the brick and siding grey, but the biggest change is he pitched roof porch. It creates a real feature and huge curb appeal! I'm not sure how hard this would be to do, but something to consider.

:) Elise
January 4, 2013 at 2:39pm     
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Cynthia Schames
That is a truly amazing transformation, Elise! Though, I'd wager that the new roof dormer facing the front is actually a bigger expenditure & change than the porch.

Lessons to be learned from this one: a darker, natural color like this grey-green really adds a ton of fresh, modern punch, and looks amazing with other natural tones like the deep reddish color of the shutters, and creamy colored trim that's been beefed up a notch (thicker all over, which is a very good idea to make the windows appear larger). This homeowner also upgraded the garage doors, though yours don't face front.

I think one thing that is dating your house is the colonial-looking pediment over the door; I personally would remove it altogether, and if you can, replace the front door with one that has sidelights. Don't forget a larger scaled outdoor light over the door as well--that can go a long way to making it welcoming and giving great curb appeal. Last but not least, don't forget to give some love to the front steps, either brick facing, or just concrete paint. Building out a chunky wood railing and painting it the creamy trim color would also add importance to the entry and modernize it.

With a little bigger budget, you could switch to something like HardiShingle instead of siding, to get the same look as in the before & after posted by Elise.

With a BIG budget, you could make those structural changes (roofline, porch), and WOW!
January 4, 2013 at 3:05pm     
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Norma Sassone
I like these colors
January 4, 2013 at 3:23pm     
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les1238
What's your take on adding landscaping? Your home is handsome but distant at the back that huge lawn. If you don't need it for playground space, a winding brick path to the street, drought tolerant native plantings (your local cooperative extension should have lists and plans available at no cost), and even a seating area or other destination will enliven the curb appeal considerably.
January 4, 2013 at 3:50pm     
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Rachel
Thanks for posting Elise. That's an amazing transformation! The more pictures I see the more convinced I am that gray siding would go well with my existing red bricks. I'm still unsure about which door would look best!
January 5, 2013 at 4:51pm     
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Shelley E.
No Rachel I dont like any of the door choice you put in the link. I think those are to contemporary for your style of door. Remember the molding around the door as well. its classic. I would just keep that simple and try to stick with the same style door. A solid maybe with some indented squares to stay with the classic look. That is one of the pics Yes, there is another one, how the heck to post
them on your question is beyond me. If you click on my name and go to exterior ideas I like. there is one I Love for your place. Its a darker Taupe, with lighter stone yet, White trim and goes better with your grey roof. Its my inspiration for my Home this spring! let me know! of course I like it the best of all up that have been shown, just want you to see it, let me know please.
January 7, 2013 at 9:57am   
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designmyworld
I have never painted brick but I stained the brick on a 60's ranch house. The stain soaks in so I'm not worried about it peeling. It was an ugly orange/beige brick that I could have never lived with so I stained it a medium gray color and I love it. The stain was from Sherwin Williams.
January 7, 2013 at 10:13am     
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diamondblue
Shelley, I could not find the Knight house you mentioned above - but saw this and thought Rachel might like these colors -

January 7, 2013 at 5:16pm     
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Rachel
That's a gorgeous house! I love the colors!
January 7, 2013 at 5:32pm     
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diamondblue
I think it would look gorgeous on your house and the door stain too. I read through all the comments on this house and this is what the builder wrote 2 years ago that it was a custom blend. I am not surprised as it has a great look.
"Minnetonka Custom Homes, Inc
This is a custom blend if I remember. I would have to look up the color mix we used. I can research further but I know we did many samples for this customer until we got it right. Steve - Minnetonka Custom Homes, Inc.
24 months ago · Like · 3" http://www.houzz.com/discussions/21872/What-is-the-paint-color-on-this-house-#comments
January 7, 2013 at 9:43pm   
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Shelley E.
That is the house I was telling her about in my pictures. Thanks for posting it! How do you post this pics on for suggestions. We are doing this to our house. I am working in getting that color from the designer. Make sure you go buy a big piece of drywall or board.. Get some sample paint at Sherwin williams paint it and keep it outside to look at it keep doing it till you get it right. Keep me updated please.
January 10, 2013 at 9:10pm   
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goalie1971
i am considering a similar remodel - so, thanks for your original post! i love all the ideas (you can check out my photo in my thread, if you'd like... it's funny, this style house seems like its really limiting in choices, yet through these suggestions i think there is a lot we can do... i think i have way more windows than you, and you have more "space" then i do to fill with siding... i also think we both need to add to the landscaping, though i'm not really sure exactly how...
February 18, 2013 at 6:03pm     
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