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Sarah Gallop

First Impressions – West Coast Homes + Design

Just a few changes to the exterior can add character and interest to a house.

HOUSE CALL
BY SARAH GALLOP

Curb Appeal. It’s a term that is used often in the real estate world – that first impression that passersby make, often affecting the sale of a home. Good curb appeal is desirable not only for people selling a home, but also for those planning to stay for a long time.

Small changes to the roofline improved the curb appeal of the house

These homeowners wanted to add some character and interest to the front of their home, while simplifying the yard maintenance.

The home is a Cape Cod style with a high pitched roof and dormers. The current yard is heavily landscaped and blocks most of the first floor of the house from view. The only part of the first floor clearly visible from the street is the garage door, which in its current state is quite ordinary and not much of a feature. Removing some of the plantings will allow a better view of the house from the street. It will also create an easier yard to maintain.

A front porch offers a shady place to sit and adds interest to the façade

It’s quite easy to make substantial impact with a colour change to the exterior of a home. In this case, the baby blue needed to go, but another bright colour did not make sense given the style of the home. A soft grey was chosen to update the look but stay within the architectural style.

This style of home also suits additional detailing. Decorative elements are added to the home to enhance its overall appearance. As the homeowners mentioned their roof was reaching the end of its life, the opportunity to make some small changes to the roofline to improve the curb appeal is possible.

The homeowners also wanted to simplify maintenance of the garden

A front porch could be added to bring interest to the front façade, as well as give some protection to the front window and a shady place to sit on a sunny day. Porches add character almost instantly as they are reminiscent of a time where parents would sit and enjoy refreshing lemonade on a hot summer day while their children played in the yard.

It’s easy to make a substantial impact with a colour change to the exterior

The gable over the garage is quite large and overbearing given the scale of the smaller two, so it would be nice to extend the overhang and create a window seat on the upper floor. This allows the face to be broken up, and interest to be added with some decorative brackets. With the overhang extension there is room for architectural lighting to be added in the soffit. This will allow certain elements of the home to be highlighted at night, as well as during the day.

Shutters are added to all of the windows, which visually change the scale of proportion. They bring some detail to the front and fill up the otherwise plain face. The shutters are painted in a contrasting colour to draw the eye. The garage doors have been changed to a style with more detail and character. A decorative trellis is added above the garage and front door. Some non-invasive trailing greenery could be added to this trellis as well, to soften the hard lines.

Curb appeal can be achieved in many ways, from a colour change to adding detailing for more interest and character. The changes do not have to be significant or costly to have big impact, so get creative!