What to do with the front of an old house

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Have a house with weatherboard sides and rear. The front is flat fibro. Can I use a textured paint on just the front? Or should it be weatherboard too? Economical style ideas please. DIY preferred, but not necessary.


q what to do with the front of an old house
q what to do with the front of an old house
  13 answers
  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 03, 2017
    I think I would chose either the siding or the smooth look. I really don't think a textured paint would look good. It needs curb appeal, like a couple window boxes, work on the lawn, I think I like the blue on your roof peak and foundation and would paint the red/reddish trim of the car port and roof above the 3 windows all the same blue.
    Then I would plant some pretty shrubs out front like rhododendrons, azaleas, camelias or peonies.
    Add some gravel to the driveway to freshen it up, and improve the border and make a walkway to the mailbox/street.
    Think I would paint that inside wall of the carport white.
    Some nice house numbers that can be seen from the street.
  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Oct 03, 2017
    You should be able to use any paint you want as long as it is exterior paint.
  • Jul30545945 Jul30545945 on Oct 03, 2017
    I would define the lines on the edges of the wall corners with wooden cedar cornerboards,then I would use the same kind of wood to trim around the outside of the windows. I would also finish the inside wall of the carport with some T1-11 Siding to make it look like shiplap. I would hang some decorative items on there or do a painting of something I like. If you like fishing for instance,hang some old poles and lures up for decoration. Get creative with things you like. I go to Goodwill,Rummages or other sales to look for deals for my outdoor decor. For instance we used an old wood burner on our river deck,placed patio blocks underneath( always have an extinguisher on hand and no trees nearby to catch on fire) Also we used a pipe on the top to control the smoke from going into our eyes so when we sat on the deck it went above our heads instead of at us. Also when we had our prior home I got some old pots and drilled holes in the bottom for drainage,placed some gravel in the bottom for drainage,then I planted some plants in there and put it on the wood stove top when we weren't using it for campfire, I also used an old coffee pot for a planter( these were the old fashioned blue speckled metal ones you use for camping. Got those and a fry pan for $8.00 for all three. I used the fry pan as a birdbath,bent the handle a little bit ,put a screws in it and attached it to the corner of the deck rail. The birds loved it! Especially the hummingbirds. Another option on the front of the home is to side the front with T1-11 Horizontally on the bottom of the home and Vertically on the top. In between I would use a thicker trim board or Stone ledge,or cedar ledge to accentuate the lines. I would also do window boxes under the windows for curb appeal,and around the planters I would use cedar as well. In the planter I would plant smaller plants to make the home look larger and bring the surrounding landscape into the home as if it were part of the landscape. On the stairs I would replace the rail with a decorative rail or even a section of railing in a more rustic look. Depending on where you live I would go with Colors relevant to where the home is located. If you are near the water or beach,sandy paint for the finish with teals or blues your color pallet. You can also go with light greys for a driftwood look if you like that.If you live near the backwoods use more natural earthtones or something that goes with the roof. If the roof is metal you can always paint it however you would have to be careful as to not paint the roof with a paint that would eat the rubber seals around the nails that hold it on otherwise you could get a leaky roof. Now between the home and the car port where the space is,I would stagger shelves with little accent pieces,or I would use lattice to place a flowery vine on for more curb appeal. You could also do an art piece with stained glass making it look like the home is larger and frame it in. You could also use old window panes and glue glass stones to it in a design,as the light shines in it would light up the stones. Also beef up the post a little larger to make that look a little more customized. As far as the trim boards /fascia at the top, replace with something a little more wide to accent the lines again. It all depends on what look you are seeking,what colors make you feel good,whether or not you want to tie your decorating from the inside of the home to the outside,or if you are trying to get back a memory,fantasy,storybook,landscape or? Use your imagination.What are your favorite things and colors. Also make sure you do not have any neighborhood associations that may reject your ideas due to ordinances or covenants. I guess the first thing is figure out your budget for the project, then decide which things you can afford, or do it in phases. Always begin with any structural issues,or maintenence issues first ,otherwise the decorating is mute if your house falls apart. From the photo this home looks sound so you may not have to deal with any immediate issues?? Oh yes on the right side of the home next to the home get a type of bush or tree to make the home look larger by softening the area. Do not place plants too close to the home though as this brings mice and pests closer to the home,as they can climb up ,under and in. Also do not use bark this brings pest as well, use gravel or rubber mulch for decorating less chance for bugs and rodents. In the front flower bed,place plants that are perennials so you don't have to continuously replace them every year. . Start with larger in back and then Medium and small.Stagger the plants to look more natural When purchasing plants,shrubs or trees I always try to get them at my local nursery,as I have found that their soil is close to mine in nutrients so this way the plants should thrive. I also try to get plants that give me color at different times of the season. For instance in spring I mix annuals and perennials,bushes I like potentilla, Spirea,burning bushes( beautiful color in fall) and I like the crabapple trees in the spring. Good Luck with your project. Think of what you love to look at,do or enjoy in life and try to incorporate those ideas ,put your soul into it. Then you actually not only have a place to live , you have a retreat to come home to. God Bless. Julie H. ,New Holstein,WI
  • Jul30545945 Jul30545945 on Oct 03, 2017
    PS maybe in time put another window in the carport for extra light on the right side? Or another stain glass piece to give color the project. I try to get some of my materials online on craigslist,or at a resale shop. Also never go alone to meet anyone always take someone with you.
  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Oct 04, 2017
    I think Julie said it all!!! Wow!
  • Mum Vickery Mum Vickery on Oct 04, 2017
    WOW! Thank you for all your replies and ideas - especially ones that I hadn't thought of. I like the window box ideas - there is a green concrete planter box in front of the house, so I'll give that a good thinking-about. Window boxes would look sweet.

    The aluminium window has to go ... probably replaced with a 3 pane timber window like the one already there.

    I will make more sense of the symmetry of the house by adding another section on the right-hand side, matching the left-hand side section, to balance up the look and make the roof look right.

    I think from what I've read, I'll go all weatherboards so it's the same on all sides. She's an old girl, but she's sturdy and has a lovely feel when you walk in. Very homey. Great old hardwood floors.

    I'd like to do something with the weird roofline over the front door but need expert advice on if it's structural and if so, what can be done and for how little!

    I really want to clean up and straighten up all the lines of the house - then I can go wild with decorating.

    What everyone has done for me is to define her style. I was going to go modern, but now I know I need to keep to the era as much as possible.

    Thank you all so much. : )
  • Julie Medved Julie Medved on Oct 04, 2017
    Front decking, put a timber screen to cover that angle near the front door. Put in sarking in garage roof then a back wall and front door on the garage. Match the colour of the garage door to the front door. Update the letterbox and move it close to the driveway. Cover the driveway in a white or cream crushed rock. Add some simple gardens. Even a small tree or shrub at the front right of the property. Shutters, window boxes and your favourite colour scheme. Great house to work with!
  • Vicky Davis Vicky Davis on Oct 05, 2017
    I personally really like the angle of that outside wall! Once the window is changed out, frame both. Then maybe paint the two walls different colors? Lighter on the back wall, darker on the front? I would paint the front 'odd' fascia board the same as the wall so it 'disappears' into the wall. Plants will make a big impact too. Maybe a couple of dwarf fruit trees. Paint the front path and steps all the same color.
  • 16999903 16999903 on Oct 05, 2017
    I also like the angle of the outside wall! That one small touch really gives this house character. Jules had some great ideas about the carports and finishing that out. If you are going to extend your house on the right side, it will help your house look more balanced. The carport sort of overwhelms this little jewel! I love anything vintage or antique, and I love playing with colors. If you really want to spark it up and look like you've put thought into it, paint the house a bright periwinkle blue. The trim would look nice in the cedar color on the carport. Don't get too extreme with the color on the trim. The dark cedar color would compliment a bright blue and a small house like this can handle a that spark. Try to keep your windows matching, and from the interior, also keep your window treatments the same....ie, white shutters, or wood blinds. Cover the green painted concrete with a neutral color like a putty gray. Cover all the dark green on your carport with the cedar brown color to reduce the prominence of the carport. Landscape the front with shorter shrubbery.....layered.....and the taller shrubs at the corner of the house. Pack your flower beds with several varieties of golden/bright yellow marigolds. They are great for keep mosquitoes away, and would compliment that periwinkle blue, The cedar brown trim should be carried all the way across the front.

    A nice walkway alone the driveway done in deep brick red pavers would make a nice entrance to your porch. It's hard to tell what color your door is....but since it doesn't face the street, it would also look fabulous painted a marigold yellow to compliment the periwinkle blue.

    I also liked Julies ideas of spiffing up the drive. There are a ton of options that would be determined by your budget.

    I agree with you that the roof line would look better with a line that is balanced with the size of the house and more symmetrical. A darker color would make your house look more substantial......all depends on whether you use a metal roof or shingles.

    I would prefer the inside of the carport to have a clean finished look of storage with doors. Anything as long as it's consistent . A house this size needs a very clean and sleek look.....very tidy and tied together. You have a fabulous yard behind the carport. Depending on the use, you could make a nice fire pit and standing planters to expand beyond the driveway. Gravel with closely placed irregular paving rock like slate would be easy and very little work to maintain.

    The only think I've see suggested that I personally do not like is lattice. If you need a panel of support for a planter box, or something around the base of the house, there are a lot of options again that depend on you budget.

    You didn't mention the steps in the front, but I would continue the red brick from the walkway along the side of the drive.

    I don't know where your house is, but bursts of hot pink vincas or bright pink geraniums in limited areas would really be fun.

    The lawn in the front and around the lamp looks a little sloping or sunken. A good thick fill of garden soil would beef up your lawn. Break it up with a small kidney shaped flower bed around the lamp. That would be a great place for those marigolds.

    I hope none of this sounds harsh. I absolutely love little houses like this that have character. I wish I had some pictures to show you the color examples and driveway. I know my color suggestions sound a bit wild, but this house has a small facade that need to pop with color and be softened with landscaping.

    Good luck with all of it....please come back and show us after pictures.
  • Mum Vickery Mum Vickery on Oct 05, 2017
    More fantabulous ideas! I had considered some type of blue for the main colour, and with crisp white trim with (say) vincas etc in mauves, cerise etc in window boxes - but I don't think that the white would embrace the carport too well.
    I'm keenly reading everyone's ideas - and they are great!!
    Now I have so much more to think about ...

    This house is in tropical Far North Queensland, Australia 'bout an hour south of Cairns - but suggestions for plantings can translate as I'm a keen gardener. Good thing it has a nice big yard : )

    BTW: don't be worried about mentioning it's a small house. I'm not offended - that's all part of its charm.
  • Julie Medved Julie Medved on Oct 06, 2017
    Another Aussie 😀👍👍
  • Michele Michele on Oct 06, 2017
    I wouldn't worry about the smooth finish on the front just pick the look you like with fresh paint on trim and base. Maybe some flowers in pots. Make sure you clean it up first with brushing all dirt and loose paint.

  • Barb Barb on Oct 07, 2017
    I personally would spruce up the paint add a color the front door, trim around the windows along with black shutters on the front of the house and this will add that curb appeal you need, then add window boxes for that charming look. I would also omit that front boxed Flower boxes and soil and mulch and bushes. Oh and a decorative railing and a narrow decorative bench with pillows. I have photos of all the ideas mentioned.
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