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gh0st
Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
gh0st

I purchased my first house 2 years ago. We recently got around to replacing some of the half dead shrubs up front and it started to make me thing about how bland the front of the house looks. Can anyone see some simple (or maybe not so simple) things to change to spruce it up a bit?

dj1
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
dj1

What's your budget?

For a few hundred dollars you can:
- Install grown tree with a flower bed around it,
- Add mini planters under the windows with colorful plants and flowers,
- Add a meandering walk way to the front door,
- Install an overhang over the front door.
- I can't see the driveway, but if it's asphalt, black coat it.

The house itself is very good looking.

A. Spruce
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
A. Spruce

You don't say where you're located, if you are in an area with water, get that yard watered and green, if you don't have water to spare, then focus on shrubbery and color spots (flowers ). Install drip irrigation to the flowerbeds and shrubs. Anything you can do the the landscape to make it "pop" will draw the eyes away from the dreary breadbox of a house.

Upgrades to the house would be to paint the front door a bold color to contrast the dreary paint scheme it currently has. you could think about repainting the whole house with better colors, I'd recommend a 3-color paint scheme, as this really makes a dramatic difference over mono and bi-color schemes.

You could ditch the shutters for full window trim, put color all the way around the windows and doors, not just the sides. Change the gutter color to something more bold.

Landscape decorations/yard art, anything from yard gnomes to wishing wells, to arched bridges. None of these things need to be functional, mind you, just decorative.

gh0st
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
gh0st

Thanks for the replies. I'm in CT so water is available:). I'd set the budget at $2k for now, but I'm open to all suggestions.

I've thought about sealing the driveway. It looks like the town did something with the drain at the end of the driveway and partially repaved the driveway, so it's two different colors. Sealing the driveway would make the colors consistent and probably look a lot better.

I would love to paint the house another color, but it's got vinyl siding on it and the no-maintenance bit is more important to me.

Ditching the shutters and adding full window sounds nice as well, but how expensive would that be? Any guesses for the front windows? Someone else threw out the idea of switching the fake shutters to a dark grey to match the roof. Would be a cheap alternative for $100

The idea of an overhang would be nice, but would there be enough room for one? There isn't a whole lot between the top of the door and the roof overhang

dj1
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
dj1

"Ditching the shutters and adding full window sounds nice as well, but how expensive would that be? Any guesses for the front windows? Someone else threw out the idea of switching the fake shutters to a dark grey to match the roof. Would be a cheap alternative for $100"

I don't mind the shutters at all, and painting them to match the roof will be a good idea.

Talking about the roof, do you know how old is it? I looks like the basic 3-tab shingle roof. If it's older than 20 years, and if you are thinking about reroofing, a dimensional (architectural) roof will give the house a much better look - but it won't be cheap.

As far as the overhang: a tiny little overhang, like you are thinking about won't be impressive. I was talking about a gable roofed overhang tied to the roof with two nice columns, which will give the house distinctive look for sure.

Again, not that cheap, unless you do it yourself. Caution: it might require a permit.

gh0st
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
gh0st

The roof is about 18 years old, so in a few years it will need to be replaced. Adding the gable overhang would certainly add some dimension to the whole place. I'm putting that on the list

dj1
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
dj1
gh0st wrote:

The roof is about 18 years old, so in a few years it will need to be replaced. Adding the gable overhang would certainly add some dimension to the whole place. I'm putting that on the list

Your roof is about as old as I thought it was, which is why I raised this issue.

If you ask me, I would hold off any improvements for now, and replace the roof first. When the old roof is off, quickly frame the overhang, also consider adding vents, including ridge vent. Then reroof with your choice of shingles.

Dimensional shingles come in various colors and thicknesses and with warranties from 30 years to 50+ years. Ask yourself how long you want to live in this home, evaluate your roof estimates, and make a decision. Remember that the best time to reroof is when roofers are not so busy - summer time - they tend to offer discounts, if any, in the summer.

ed21
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
ed21

I think a lot could be done with landscaping and maybe a little hardscaping to soften the front. The foundation planting is uninspired and all of it could probably go. Some ornimental trees in the front would help. So would some bushes placed in conjunction with the trees. If you can find P. Allen Smiths show on PBS, he often works on homes to do what you want with landscaping. Definitely go with an architectural shingle when you reroof.

hollasboy
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
hollasboy

1. Start over with foundation plantings. Mass plantings of a few types of plant add more unity and look better than dinky little individual plants that don't match. I would start with 1 mass row of 1 type of tall shrub in the back, and a row of 1 type of groundcover/flowers in the front. If you have more than 8 feet of flower bed (can't tell how wide it is), you could add a medium-height middle row of a single type of plant.

2. Sidewalk from the door to the street. Could be straight or winding.

3. Plant 2 trees, 1 on either side of the sidewalk. Put a small bed around each.

4. Consider some architectural additions when you re-roof, like the porch/stoop mentioned by others above. Also, entry landings should have large surface area - the larger the better. It makes the space more inviting for guests standing there waiting for you to answer the door. It also makes the entry more prominent, and gives you space for a bench or potted plants.

5. Put the window AC unit in the back of the house. Hopefully you have a contiguous room with a rear-facing window where you can stick that thing and still get the cool air in the front.

ed21
Re: Adding some curb appeal to a bland ranch
ed21

BTW-What look like Dwarf Alberta Spruces on either side of the porch aren't all that dwarf when they mature and grow faster than you might think. In 10 years they will be at least 6' high and 2' or 3' in diameter.

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