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Blah blah ranch needs serious curb appeal!!
carrieann13
February 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Our 50's ranch is really lacking curb appeal. We want to add on a porch or put on veneer stone half way up, but the budget wont allow both. I love the Craftsman look. This photo was just taken, in the spring there is lots of greenery! I would love suggestions!
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collettec
I think you need to redo the porch in some way. At the very least so that the top step, or porch top, leads into and is more flush with the entry into the house. I'm not sure about the veneer stonework halfway up since the house is already more long that it is tall and that would serve to chop it up even more. I think there are some other things that you could do with landscaping to enhance the look. Given that there is only a one pane window further away from the door and a two pane window closer on the other side, I would consider some type of larger bush or tree, perhaps even a small evergreen to visually fill in the area between the door and the one pane window as part of a larger landscaping plan. The flower boxes could extend all the way to the ends of the window as well. Good luck!
February 6, 2013 at 5:25pm     
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judianna20



Maybe a more welcoming entry at the front of your walkway. Add some stone, not much, and from the foundation up.
February 6, 2013 at 5:32pm     
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Urban Oasis
Your front door is getting lost and your walkway is way too narrow. A walkway should be a least three feet wide. I would put some kind of portico or trellis over your front door, widen the steps and give yourself a nice wide walkway using a nice material. Decide on the style that you want - I.e. mid century, contemporary or traditional and take your cues from that.
February 15, 2013 at 10:22am     
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decoenthusiaste
Forget about the stone veneer and work on the porch and landscaping. Your window boxes are too small as is the entry. You need a serious "beef up!"

February 15, 2013 at 10:29am     
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onthefence
I know you've said there's lots of greenery in the spring - but in addition to the other changes mentioned above, you may want to revisit your landscape so there is some green available year round. Every yard benefits from some year 'round green IMO.
February 15, 2013 at 10:44am     
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Sigrid
A nicely proportioned portico/porch would add a lot of interest to your house and it would prevent you from getting soaked as you fumble for your keys in a downpour.
February 15, 2013 at 10:54am     
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auroracanby
I'd vote porch also. Did you have anything in mind there? It might spark some ideas. Or even if you know approx. $$ that can go to it...
February 15, 2013 at 11:05am     
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aniluap2
First of all the shutters are too small which is a common mistake. Shutters if they were to close over the window should cover it entirely, that means each side shutter should be 1/2 the total width if the window. If you can afford it, pergola over the front door would help to make it more a focal point. The window boxes as mentioned above are too small although the intent is good they really don't enhance the facade. I would put brick veneer to match the chimney brick on the front stars and paint the trim on the storm door and front door a brighter color...maybe red or blue. I would put 2 large flower pots on either side or the front steps and move your bench under the front tree and paint it a bright color to echo the front door. Onthe fence mentioned winter color and I agree - put in some evergreens so you have some color contrast year round to wipe out the drab!
February 15, 2013 at 11:07am     
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Bravehart Building
I agree with some of the other comments here. A nice wooden porch, or veranda would add some much needed depth/contrast to the front entry.
February 15, 2013 at 11:21am     
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rinqreation
The stone you're missing can be brought in by a low wall planter. I don't know how deep those existing stones are dug in, but if it's sturdy enough, you could use it as a foundation. My vote goes to porch, too :) Maybe some boulders along the path, a patio, low evergreens (rosemary smells great, but can freeze in harsh winters), a firepit?

Remodeled front entry
Shingle style home in Hanover NH
Modern Bungalow
Susan Wallace
February 15, 2013 at 12:08pm     
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auroracanby
Okay, how about a broad wooden porch, almost window to window, with one wooden step same width as the porch, natural wood. Then a bright canvas barrel awning to the door (orange??), an evergreen to the left of the door, potted if necessary, and a couple of chairs.
February 15, 2013 at 12:22pm     
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auroracanby
Ooo per rinqreation, maybe a tiny stone wall supporting the deck (it's only a couple of steps high), or looking like it supports the deck, and/or possibly a stone step.
February 15, 2013 at 12:34pm     
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carrieann13
Thanks for the help everybody! I think the consensus is to definintely work on the landscaping, which we absolutley will do! And we are longing for a porch, just havent narrowed it down to a definite style just yet. hubby wants a slope roof one, I would prefer one with a peak.
February 15, 2013 at 12:36pm     
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carrieann13
aurora- any pictures of the stone wall?! It sounds fantastic!
February 15, 2013 at 12:40pm   
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aniluap2
I.m with you on a peak
February 15, 2013 at 12:44pm     
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decoenthusiaste
Check the pic I posted earlier - slope for him and add the peaks for you!
February 15, 2013 at 1:14pm     
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Harmony Design Group
We've attached a photo that might give some inspiration of a new bluestone walkway that would work really well for your home. We would also center an ornamental tree on the double windows to the right (center the tree in the lawn). Introduce an evergreen hedge (ex. Boxwood) and an upright Evergreen (Dragon Lady Holly) on the far left corner of your home. Once these ever greens are in place, incorporate some fun, colorful perennials in front of them. Have fun!
February 15, 2013 at 2:06pm     
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danalawson
To widen the sidewalk simply buy some stepping stone/ pavers. Place them next to each side going parallel down the length of the side walk. You can purchase red tones to flow with the brick chimney. Paint the bench a teracotta color. Good luck. Nice house.
February 15, 2013 at 2:13pm     
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carrieann13
dana- thank you! That seems simple enough! Harmony- I love the bluestone! What are your thoughts on a porch of some kind? And I like your evergreen suggestions!
February 15, 2013 at 3:23pm   
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Harmony Design Group
I would think a masonry porch would add a lot of charm to the front of your home. Have the porch begin at the front door and come across to the bump out on the right side
I would come out as far as the bump out but make sure your favorite porch chairs will fit in the space!!!
February 15, 2013 at 6:29pm     
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libradesigneye
The gable is essential to a craftsman look - and your ranch house can convert to craftsman easily, but you have to pay attention to the details of timbers and posts. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it has to be deliberate - you can save stone details for later.

Try a gable over the front door with an open truss front and timber posts that anchor in stucco covered pilasters. Google images of craftsman homes until you find something that speaks to you.
February 15, 2013 at 7:33pm     
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carrieann13
Libra thank you!I love the gable idea!! Any advice on how big to make the porch?I dont want jt to overwhelm the house. I agree the veneerstone can wait, unless it was in a small dose- like maybe wrapping the bottom of the pillars.
February 15, 2013 at 8:06pm     
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carrieann13
Harmony thanks for the feedback! Any thoughts on a roofline?I really like thecCraftsman look and would love to incorporate it into the design.
February 15, 2013 at 8:09pm   
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carrieann13
And does it matter if the door is centered?Ive often wondered if theres a formula to a front pirch...
February 15, 2013 at 8:10pm   
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Dean South
Lose the walkway from the street. Too linear. Tall Evergreen to left of entrance, and help the front door, it appears to be floating? looks wrong. Larger window boxes? Is there a possibility of adding a second window to the left of the front door to balance the facade? Plant a larger shrub/tree to conceal the AC unit and divide the grass that is there now to use in other areas of the landscape. I can see from the pictures that you are trying. But sometimes it is best to rip it all out and start over. Good luck, keep us posted on progress!
February 15, 2013 at 8:22pm     
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Dean South
I agree that a porch roofline should be a peak, or gable. It will help break up the linear lines this house has.
February 15, 2013 at 8:26pm   
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carrieann13
Dean thank you! Yes we are trying... it doesnt look quite as bad in the spring lol
February 15, 2013 at 8:29pm     
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carrieann13
Any thoughts on adding some type of stone work?It would need to be in a small dose, maybe just where the new porch will be.
February 15, 2013 at 8:32pm   
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Dean South
Use cedar shake shingles on the gable end. Columns should be beefy. Smaller on top to railing height, then flair out to about 2' wide at base. I have a perfect example to show you, but don't have a pic of it!!! Frustrating. Libradesign has the same idea as me, I think. Go with him/her. Again. Enjoy the process. It's supposed to be fun, don't stress about it. :-)
February 15, 2013 at 8:35pm     
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Dean South
I agree. Winter in the midwest is not the best for landscape pics.
February 15, 2013 at 9:03pm     
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carrieann13
Yes I love shake shingles and hope to use them somewhere!As far as the columns go I would love to do the tapered ones, as I think they are beautiful, but my husband and his diy buddy will be doing most of the work and I think the double columns in cedar would be much easier for them.
February 15, 2013 at 9:07pm   
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mnoswad1
Sorry.
February 15, 2013 at 9:34pm   
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auroracanby
Hi Carrieann13, I'm getting back to you about stone foundation for a wood porch. Here are a few links: http://www.roomzaar.com/rate-my-space/Porches/Relaxing-Front-Porch/detail.esi?oid=461708#/Porches/our-morning-coffee-spot/detail.esi?oid=465224

Exterior Photos

craftsman teahouse
http://www.houzz.com/photos/porch/stacked-stone-foundation

It would probably be politically correct to start with the houzz links, and I'd make that the last one-- it'll do a slide show of a bunch of 'em for you. Reading the preceding, looks like you're figuring out some of the other stuff, and now, just in time for your question about adding some stone..
February 15, 2013 at 11:59pm   
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nancy22032
First of all : a porch. A simple gable roof is inexpensive and fairly simple and its rise to a peak will break up the long look. I really like your house and placing a tall evergreen between the door and the far window is a great idea. Since your front yard looks deep and the walkway is not attractive, have you thought of fencing in an entry garden: A low rail fence (the new white plastic would look great) with some shrubs - whatever you like - rose bushes - would create a welcoming look and I think would be much less espensive than stone work. Nancy
February 16, 2013 at 12:18am   
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Susan Friedman Landscape Architecture
It's a cute house, but the eye goes right to the windows, not the door. Make the entire front more interesting by first, get a new door that appears wider with either a double door or side window panel. Next, create an oversized landing that sits a few inches under the door sill, large enough for two substantial flower pots and small bench or 2 small chairs. Cover the landing with a gabled portico, base of columns wrapped in stone and posts with craftsman details. Next, upgrade walkway with dual connection; one to driveway and other with 4-5' wide walkway to street adding a curve for interest. Finally, remove the window boxes adding evergreen foundation planting, taller tree off the corner to frame the house, curved bed lines to break up the linear feel of the house, some groundcover and pop of color close to front entry. Your house has tons of potential, have fun!
February 16, 2013 at 4:45am     
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carrieann13
Thanks Aurora, Susan, and Nancy... such great ideas! I wish I could use every one!Anybody have an opinion on whether the door should be centered or not? And about what size it should be?It seems to me that since the house is so long that the porch should be substantial. But I love the idea of just a gabledone just big enough for a few chairs... and flowrr pots!
February 16, 2013 at 5:52am   
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Galleria Place
You need lots of gardening...perhaps decor, furniture and a trellis. http://www.bargainbacker.com/Garden_c_7.html
February 16, 2013 at 6:10am   
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joannpb
My first idea - Remove the shutters and paint the house a less neutral color (it disappears into the landscape in winter) like dark bottle green asnd keep the window trim in sharp contrast (the white works well) and paint the door the same color; then build a cantilevered deck across the front, with a curved profile, or straight with a curved step. If you went with a poured deck, you could face it with the stone you like, at much lower cost than doing the house and it would give much the same effect.

Then do some substantial landscaping (you can do a bit at a time, but you should start with a finished plan). The example, here is very low maintenance and would fit your style house. It's actually close to a mirror image of what you're working with. Also, the dry stream not only looks good, it gives great run-off from the roof.

Also, notice the large house numbers in the landscape pic? If you went even larger and mounted them at a slant, your house numbers would look good in the gap between the door and single window. Or you could put a large planted urn on the deck.

At some later point, you might plan to add a pergola, if you feel you need more detail, but I think some combination ot these ideas would give you the pop you're looking for.
February 16, 2013 at 8:28am     
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AMN
The door does not need to be centered, especially if you add stone to the door area and around the window to the right of the door.
February 16, 2013 at 8:31am   
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libradesigneye
I would center the porch gable on the entire stepped back house, and pour a 8 - 10 foot deep porch from jut this side of left shutter to right shutter- that puts the peak to the left of the door but near it. Like the teahouse, i've seen some craftsman columns done with 4 4x4s in a square into each post.
If you google enough images, you can find the right thing your hubby can follow. Put the stairs into the porch centerd on gable, and paint your bench and place it to left of door on new porch.

I like the walk, but would add a wood trellis "gate'" near the street with vines and flowering shrubs. Line each side with evenly spaced small decorative grasses and fill the bed with round river rock.

If you use stone on column bases, you need to face the chimney too so use lightweight veneer you can butter on like tile (they have real stone and cultured options) and use it on your exposed foundation all around the house, new porch and stairs to tie it in.
February 16, 2013 at 2:53pm     
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auroracanby
You have a sweet, simple house with integrity if not symmetry, and you don't need to gussy it up all that much. Do the stuff that you most want to do to make yourselves feel happier and more comfortable. Then contemplate your options, if any, from the comfort of your new porch, shade, and whatever greenery you really like.
February 16, 2013 at 9:56pm     
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carrieann13
Aurora thank you!!There are so many great ideas here, You all have.given us so much to consider.We will begin with a porch probably to the right, and most likely with a gable. And tobthe left we will plant a few evergreens thatvwere suggested. After that we will see what the budget looks like:-)
February 17, 2013 at 3:20am     
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nancy22032
You might add full length shutters on both sides of the door to make it look more important and larger and paint glorious color! Really like aurora's comment - some comments are so expensive to do.
February 17, 2013 at 4:12am     
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Everything Beautiful Home Designs LLC
Just a few ideas.
February 17, 2013 at 10:13am   
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design



A shade arbor stretching across the front with a tiled patio beneath would really add appeal to your contemporary ranch . Trying to turn a ranch into a craftsman doesn't make sense and would be very costly. I would paint all the white trim a color in the earth tones to blend with the tan -sage green or blue/gray goes well . As to the landscape I would get rid of all the grass and the walkway, make a stepping stone path to the driveway or side, and plant lots of ornamental grasses, low-growing evergreens, perennials and annuals.
February 17, 2013 at 11:38am     
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aniluap2
Like sweet Caroline's idea, simple affordable and beautiful!
February 17, 2013 at 11:41am     
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Thank you aniluap.
February 17, 2013 at 11:42am     
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Here's an example of a great lawn less landscape.
February 17, 2013 at 11:48am   
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Shutterstile LLC
Your home reminds me of one of our customer's houses. Here's a before and after photo to give you an idea of what he accomplished with a little paint, landscaping, and arts and crafts shutters with custom tile panels from Shutterstile.com.
February 17, 2013 at 4:27pm     
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ourfarmhouse
Here's a version with a porch attached.

1.The main structure of the porch would be flush with the existing bumpout, with only the gabled portion jutting out past. Doubled-up columns add architectural interest and visual strength while still feeling a slight bit airy. Two sets of French doors would replace the existing windows to the left of the door and one set of French doors would replace the window to the right. This helps invite people outside, and at the same time floods the inside with more light, blurring the line between indoors and out. With the porch, no screen door is needed, so you have an opportunity to show off a premium wooden door. The wood shakes on the gable tie back to the wood on the door and the porch floor.

2.A curved walkway would lead to a gabled front entrance. Low-maintenance landscaping complements both the house and walkway, and substantial zinc planters with prairie grasses define the entrance even more.

All in all, it feels much more inviting, and now you can find the front door. Version one shows the structure, and version two shows what it might look like with all the foliage in season.
February 17, 2013 at 11:14pm     
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auroracanby
Yeah, been thinking a path that curves to the left -- even past center, ending up center of gable (implies that curve ends at door) -- might help w/ balance. a wider gable that virtually covers the (smaller than this) porch, centered to the left of the door i.e. over both door and blank wall to the left; a single post at each corner of the wide gable the only posts), a little stone facing where there's white paint under the wood porch deck in this photo, siding on the face of the gable -- and it would still be your house!
February 18, 2013 at 10:29am     
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nancy22032
Just remember that a house is basically just a box - some larger etc.. It looks like you have an very nice box that needs some cosmetic improvement that can be done over time without busting your budget.
as a former realtor, I know curb appeal is important but completely changing the character of the house is not a good investment. A simple porch to break up the long line and some landscape improvements will make a huge difference.
February 18, 2013 at 12:11pm     
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carrieann13
Thank you!I agree that the porch will be first and landscaping in the spring.I am sure that alone will make a tremendous difference!I think Id rather spend the serious money on interior upgrades... thats why the hardwood inststaller will be here in a bit:-)
February 18, 2013 at 12:32pm   
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carrieann13
Aurora I think that is the plan for the most part. Thank you:-)
February 18, 2013 at 12:35pm   
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carrieann13
Although I really like the idea of a short vinyl fence on each side of the walkway out by the street.
February 18, 2013 at 12:37pm   
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Everything Beautiful Home Designs LLC
All Good Ideas love them. Especially the box thing. The thing with most porches is if you want a bit of sun you have to go outside. I am getting ready to build mine but incorporated a sundeck with it.
February 18, 2013 at 2:00pm     
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Lizabeth
My before pictures are in crashed laptop. I had a sixties shoebox ranch with no porch and little front step. I added a front porch that was 10 x 6 and covered the concrete step with slate tiles that extended into the living room 3 x 5 feet to create an entry. I added two feet of cedar shingles on either side of the front door and beefed up the exterior trim using heavy cedar to give it some rustic appeal.

Then I got to landscaping and added some stones to the front edge.

Have a fun time.

The size of your porch addition could be determined by the distance from the center to the front door to the edge of the window on the right side. You will want the porch eave to end before that window. I am guessing you have about 5 to 7 feet from center to door to edge of window. Ball park would be a 11 to 14 foot wide porch. I think ten would be enough to add some flair and not be too expensive. You can pour a wider slab and give it more oomph that way. I think you can do a whole lot with porch, landscape and paint. No need to spend on stone veneer.
February 18, 2013 at 2:21pm     
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carrieann13
Liz- what a beautiful place you have!! I love the rustic cedar and the gabled portico!Annd the cedar siding around the door! How far back into the existing roof did you go to tie in the new one?Your landscaping is so pretty as well
February 18, 2013 at 2:27pm   
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carrieann13
Does anybody know how to photoshop an image of my home with a gabled roof over a porch and with some great landscaping?Well at least with some evergreens?Im new to houzz and am so thankful for all of you who have taken the time to help us along:-)
February 18, 2013 at 2:32pm   
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Lizabeth
Carrieann Thank you. Very kind of you. Had that house. Sold it 18 months ago ( got many offers). The slope of roof determines how far back you have to go to tie in. If you take a photo of the side view that may help to figure it out. You have to work back from figuring the finished height of the bottom of the porch if that makes sense... but we did not go to the ridge, You can leave the underside unfinished if you use nicer plywood or you can finish with beadboard on underside. I used leftover fir flooring and left it natural.
February 18, 2013 at 2:39pm   
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Lizabeth
Carrieanne,

If you want to change it up some more than add the cedar trim to the windows as well. I think most people don't know how easy it is to do trim including craftsman trim which is always butt jointed and not mitered. You can very easily change a ranch to craftsmen. You do have to get the scale right and not use wimpy stuff. And if you siding is vinyl you might have some issues. I replaced my siding with hardiplank and did cedar trim. Make sure to install correctly and not close your window weep holes.

Again good luck .
February 18, 2013 at 2:51pm   
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carrieann13
Liz- I just looked at your ranch home album and our living rooms are almost identical!Even down to the b and b treatment on the walls!Our home does have vinyl siding unfortunately but I love the idea of cedar trim.
February 18, 2013 at 3:09pm   
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Lizabeth
Carrieann,

No kidding. Can you post a photo on your profile? I would love to see your wall. And I looked at your idea book and the double columns in cedar would be nice. Mine were treated 4 x 4 ( cheap) that are wrapped in nicer 1 x 6 cedar to give it more heft. Solid 6 x6 cedar is spend but it may be easier. My way means less checking (splitting) of the solid wood.

Be careful not to make porch too fancy. I have found when upgrading that one has to not go overboard or else everything else looks tacky. Maybe you already know that.

How about making your windowboxes of cedar and much larger? I want to see photos when you get done.
February 18, 2013 at 4:24pm     
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auroracanby
Me too (want to see photos when done)! Lizabeth, what a cutie that is! Seems very agh "pertinent" is the only word that's arriving -- to Carrieann's house & yard. Carrie, re photoshop -- sometimes it's easier to just print out the pieces, then cut-n-paste (or scotch-tape).
February 18, 2013 at 10:20pm     
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EasyTurf
Have you considered an artificial turf lawn? You get the same look and feel of a lush, green lawn, but without maintenance and water costs - EasyTurf is also the most durable turf on the market and holds up to the toughest weather conditions. Check out our recent front yard installations -
February 19, 2013 at 11:55am     
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The Color People
I am in complete agreement with Aurora's comment to do what makes you happy. When spending money on your house the first question after what will make you happy is what can you afford and what will bring a return on your investment. The house is not awful or in need of major work. But it is in desperate need of landscaping. First of all at the foundation (skip the expensive stone) From there you have a lot ideas above. One thing though trim that tree up fairly high so as it becomes mature it will not block the house but create a canopy to frame it.
February 19, 2013 at 12:51pm     
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The Color People
I forgot to mention the obvious a nice paint scheme would make a world of difference
February 19, 2013 at 12:52pm     
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