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Need help with curb appeal, path to front of house behind garage
mattwilly
January 10, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Need help figuring out what to do with front part of house which is a detached garage to the front of the house. We can't put anymore concrete on the side of the house to link the front driveway around the garage to the front door. It is hard to grow grass in between garage and house because of lack of sunlight.
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mattwilly
2 more pictures of the other side of garage.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 9:32AM
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PRO
Dytecture
One option is to place some flag stone with pea gravel.


5 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 10:04AM
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houssaon
So the garage is in front of your house? Wow, how did that happen? Could you change the one bay into a car port? How does anyone visiting get to your house?
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 10:05AM
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mattwilly
Got the house like that. Live in Minnesota would rather have the garage space.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 10:22AM
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mmilos
Artificial grass looks practically real these days and would be relatively cost effective for that small area.
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 10:28AM
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shannons5000
can you put stone pavers along the side of the garage, so when people visit they can walk the path, instead of through your garage?
5 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 10:34AM
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mattwilly
How does artificial grass hold up in winter and we have a dog?
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 10:37AM
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shannons5000
Also, do you use the small garage door for your car? You could always keep the double garage door and choose other doors for the small one car side. I can't upload photos for some reason, but if you seach garages here, you'll see some very cool ideas.
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 10:42AM
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architectrunnerguy
I have the same set up with my house. To answer houssaon, I did it that way on purpose. I have a 50' wide lot and there was going to be 25' of garage. Mostly garage door no matter how I sliced the cake.

Thought it better to actually detach the garage and thereby create a courtyard-like space between the garage and the house. One of those spaces which isn't inside but really isn't "outside" either. Since the journey to a front door is a sequence of experiences (as it always is with any house), my solution was to diminish the impact of the garage doors by creating a much more varied and interesting experience. Also, with a narrow house (mine's 30' wide) and an attached garage in front, doesn't afford much opportunity for natural light in the front of the first floor of the house. Detaching the garage can then make for ample light in the front. In one photo below you can see a big box bay window at the house which lets in lots of light. That wouldn't be possible with an attached garage.

Ok, 'nuff of design theory mumbo jumbo, getting back the the original question, here's some photos of what I did. I actually built the whole thing myself. While we've been in the house for a while I finished the gate just last month.

Sketchup (CAD program) drawing of the thing leads off. First actual photo is "Before". The others are "After" (spilled over to another post right below.

Also, I'd spring for better looking garage doors. You'll spend some $$ but it will get you a long way away from your current "mini warehouse" look.
6 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 11:17AM
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architectrunnerguy
Two more photos. Last one of the wall arbor that was part of the project (sorry there's junk all around but it was mid construction).

Anyway, good luck and hope this helps.
3 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 11:20AM
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mattwilly
I love the look, thanks.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 11:49AM
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architectrunnerguy
Well, Mattwilly, you're entirely welcome. And the best of luck with your project!
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 12:00PM
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mmilos
I don't know how artificial turf holds up in winter...but they do use it for outdoor football fields all the time in cold climates. I live in L.A. so don't have the winter experience. Good luck with your project!
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Christine
Artificial turf may be best left to the ballfields and putting ranges. Your entire house is really quite lovely but could use a total landscape overhaul. Seeing as it snows you may want to incorporate some winter bushes in to the mix so something is always green and then when the weather thaws you can invest in planting an array so that you are always in bloom. Go to digdropdone.com to see how and what you can plant in the area to ensure you have something coming up year round. As for the garage. You have a fortune in concrete that I would not advise ripping up unless you have the swag for that. However maybe you can create channels on each side of the driveway and put in low grasses and shrubs and add large gravel to it. On the front of the garage have you considered putting up a decorative lattice screen over the tops of both pitched areas and putting in a fake keyhole window? Then hang 2 large lanterns over the apex. Or you can remove those underside white lights and add some brass lanterns that are larger for some pop. then cut out some area infront of each garage post and put in some small dwarf evergreens that won't get too big on you.
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 1:57PM
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PRO
Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
No,no,no to artificial turf. Put in a stepping stone or brick path and gound cover. There are many groundcovers that do well in the shade.The silver toned ones are nice in a dark area. I love the gate idea. You can also add a pergola overhang above the large garage door and plant a vine to grow over it on the side in the dirt area. Look at Wadpole woodworkers website for ideas. Maybe you know a good woodworker in the area.Some large planters between the garage doors can also soften the look. Make sure they are not too small. Elephant ear or canna plants that get tall would be good. Ivy loves the shade and climbing hydrangea tolerate a good deal of shade for the side of the walk way. Hostas would also do well in the shade. Time for a trip to a good nursery. I also love the dormer idea. Depends on how much of an investment you want to make. Remember curb appeal sells a house.
2 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 2:23PM
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PRO
Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
The lights are also very small. Scale is where most people go wrong.
2 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 2:24PM
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mattwilly
Thanks for the input
0 Likes   January 11, 2013 at 8:27AM
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hollymahler
I would take up the small sidewalk with its man made feel and try and incorporate a softness and more natural feel. I would do large flagstones as your new sidewalk , placed not in a perfectly straight line . I would add landscape boulders next , scattered about the empty bed and do your research as to what plants love shade where you live ... I'm in TX so we can do ferns or vinca major ground cover... All flower beds need structure like boulders etc.
0 Likes   January 28, 2013 at 2:38PM
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hollymahler
Oh yes also Id like to add over the garage doors a little "2 shelf type awning " in lattice ? you could grow some vines from large pots up and over the trellis"awning".
You can do a lot with this !
0 Likes   January 28, 2013 at 2:47PM
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PRO
Barbara Griffith Designs
In the garage gable you could add a simple pair of exterior wooden louver shutters (they could match the ones on the house) attached them up tight to each other as if closed, then put a simple frame around them. Also, the dark garage doors are not good. I would paint the garage doors the color of the siding. Add large black metal lantern light fixtures and add the black faux hinges and handles on the doors. For your walkway, as you have to shovel the sidewalk to the house, plain concrete is the easiest to clear of snow. But you could stain and seal them with a color..even a terra cotta shade.
0 Likes   January 28, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Landis Kaperak
You could always snag a couple of those snazzy yard decorations from your neighbors deck!!!
0 Likes   January 30, 2013 at 3:33AM
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mattwilly
Here is an updated look. We talked to my neighbor and removed a fence between the houses. Now you can see the lake from the driveway. I'll post more photos.
3 Likes   September 2, 2013 at 6:53AM
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mattwilly
Some updated pics.
2 Likes   September 14, 2013 at 7:46AM
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PRO
EasyTurf
EasyTurf - you'll have a fresh, green lawn all year round without the maintenance ... no mowing, watering, fertilizing, weeding, edging ... when the snow melts, you don't have to worry about mud, brown spots ... All of the money and time you save on your lawn can be spent elsewhere ... And we are GREAT for dogs. Not only are we installed in humane society and other animal shelters across the U.S., Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, is so impressed with us, he's installed EasyTurf at his Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita, Calif., and absolutely recommends us to all of his clients.
What question/concerns do you have re: synthetic grass/artificial turf?
Cheers!
George

0 Likes   September 14, 2013 at 10:18AM
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