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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need to spruce up front of house

Jocelyn HastainFebruary 14, 2013
What can we do to improve the facade of our house? We would like to build an "A" frame over the door to limit snow and ice falling in walkway during winter, but not sure what design to use. What can we do to make the overall appearance look better? Seems so blah! Also - we have a front fence that we'd like to include in any updates - how to blend?
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Hebert Design Build
I've attached an image of an Entry porch we added to a small ranch. The vertical lines created by the columns helps add the impression of height and break up the long horizontal lines. Along with some additional attention to the trim of the house and the windows and a little landscaping you can make a dramatic difference.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:41PM
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Hebert Design Build
closeup of Entry porch
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:42PM
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A small entry porch would be a perfect addition for both function and looks. Just make sure to scale it large enough so it looks dignified and solid, not twee. This can be hard for the amateur to judge. It's worth getting a local architect or draftsperson to spend a few hours to do a workable design for your builder. Also consider adding some basic details elsewhere on the facade.

Planting beds with a few well-spaced, well-chosen (i.e. suited to climate, year-round decent looks and not too fast-growing) shrubs will help add charm and more of a permanent feel.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Add shutters to the windows and a 3 foot high cultured stone wainscot along the front would look nice,
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
Would you consider moving the front walk so that it leads directly to the front door? Make it as wide as your new front entry porch and have an arbor and gate at the fence. I wish there was one or two feet of planting bed in front of the fence. Then you could plant some flower seeds in front of the fence to soften the look. If a new fence is in the works set it back a few feet so you can plant in front of it. An unpainted natural wood fence might be better with the color of your house.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
Blending the front fence means painting it a color that would fit in with the landscape. When I see a property such as yours, however, my first thought is what are they afraid of ? There is no curb appeal , only a fortress. If it was my home I would eliminate the fence and open up the front landscape to something artistic and interesting. Given the contemporary nature of your home's architecture I would say something simple like lots of ornamental grasses, low growing evergreens, pea gravel paths and mulch would compliment it .
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:35PM
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I agree about doing some landscaping--and it's probably a lot cheaper! Not sure what climate you live in, but Delaware Valley azaleas are great small evergreens that would look nice along the foundation. I live in Massachusetts and my azaleas have survived every winter for the last 20 years (and we've had some doozies). There are many colors of azaleas, but trust me, stick with the classic white of the Delaware Valley. Also, keep an eye on that large tree to the right in your photo. You might need to prune away some of those lower branches--to allow more sun and keep them off your roof. good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Jocelyn Hastain
definitely looking to add curb appeal. We are in Alaska, and this side of the house faces the north, and is mostly shaded by spruce trees, so there's problems with growing anything. It would be nice if we could find some shade growing shrubs. Anyone have photo ideas for replacing the fence/shrub combo?
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 6:08PM
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
I wouldn't advise replacing the fence/shrub combo with more of the same, Jocelyn. There are a lot of plants that will grow even under spruce trees . You should visit your local garden center with a photo of your yard and measurements. Since you have steps going down to the curb I would make an attractive path from the front door to the steps. Your home is contemporary so consider a design that is simple and that would complement it . Groups of ornamental grasses in the sunnier areas with your favorite hardy perennials, attractive containers near the front door for seasonal colorful flowers. I have made a doodle of a suggested landscape. I'm not sure of the exact configuration of your area so it's just a guestimate. In this design all grass is removed and flower beds are created with mulch as a decorative cover. The lower part of the yard leading to the curb is an evergreen groundcover such as periwinkle or pachysandra. I don't think your roof is high enough to add a portico but I would widen the landing and if you can budget it a heated walkway would be great for the ice and snow.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Sweet Caroline Garden Design
P.S. As for the house I would paint the white trim on the windows, and door a nice sage green which is more in the same color family as the tan. The white makes the windows and door stick out like a sore thumb.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:47PM
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Jocelyn Hastain
Thank you for your ideas - I especially like the one about changing the color of the trim. I just always thought white was a good trim color. However, I don't know if I can paint vinyl windows, so I may have to border them with a material that I could paint (then I'd have the tri-color look which could work).

Here are two ideas I had for the front fence. I just have to get rid of that lattice! It makes my skin crawl.
    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:32AM
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Jocelyn Hastain
oh, and I added a front entry porch to the pics (!). But if we did away with the white, it could be colored or cedar. I like how the dark stone ties well with the roof. The lighter grey could almost clash with the house color if not washed out by it and being too matching.
    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:37AM
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Jocelyn Hastain
here's a cedar trim porch. Of course I would use the same stain as the faschia board.
    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:48AM
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Shoreline Renovations
I would recommend adding a portico to the front of the house. http://porticokit.com/

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 4:12AM
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