So the first thing local contractor Kara O'Brien
did on this 1912 Craftsman was strip its clapboards of their 10 layers, prime them, and put on two new coats of period-appropriate green with cream on the trim. Then she used a terra-cotta color to highlight key architectural elements that had receded into the background in the old blue-and-white scheme. "It's a surefire way to draw your eye to the details, like the windows, brackets, and faux tenons," says O'Brien. Sandblasting paint from the granite foundation and repointing its thick decorative mortar seams cost $1,800—one-third the price of stone veneer.
What's it worth? A new divided-light wood window was installed to the side of the porch. It should last 30 years or more. The homeowners can expect to recoup up to 77 percent of the cost of their upgrade if they sell.