How can I update the exterior of our home?


Hello everyone,We are exploring updating the exterior of our house and yard. We bought the home from the original owners who built the house in 1967. In the near future our siding will need to be replaced, along with our roof. Much of the landscaping also needs to be updated as the previous owners were not able to keep up with the maintenance and many of the shrubs/trees are dying.I am looking for suggestions on what to do. Our brick is an orangy/peach/yellow. Many of the homes in our neighborhood have painted their bricks. From what we have read, that can create problems long term. I have also read many blogs with color suggestions and when they get to the color combination we have described they suggest paint.We are looking for suggestions for the following:1. What to do with the brick? Suggestions to stain/paint/update or complementary color schemes.2. Suggestions for overall changes to the front exterior of the house and or landscaping.We are about to start the project of updating the front interior as well which requires a new front door. We recently had to get new windows. I am learning that once you start one project it leads to other projects. I don't want to piecemeal this as we already had to replace windows, now the door.....and without a bigger vision than we are at risk of not having an overall cohesive look. In regards to our style, we recognize there is a certain integrity to the style of the house. We are open to different ideas, although I would say we are not super contemporary. Although we appreciate that style, it is not necessarily us.Any help is appreciated, we are at a loss what to do!Front Door with one new window you can see. You can get a closer view of the brick and siding that will need to be replaced.

  21 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 21, 2020

    A picture would be very helpful. More detail would allow us to give you detailed answers. Thanks!

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Mar 21, 2020

    hi! Please edit your question and submit a photo --- that will really help us!

    Painted brick is nice --- in a neutral color.

    Then! POP the door... as that is easy to change every few years!

  • Give us a picture!

  • If the shrubs/trees are dying, they should be removed and replaced with something you like. Often people like flowering shrubs, so buy some that bloom at different times. For example, azaleas bloom in Spring, Lilacs, a bit later. Hydrangeas bloom in summer, and a burning bush will be a beautiful red in the fall.

    Lots of people paint brick - here's a link with more information on that:

    I hope this helps a bit!

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Mar 21, 2020

    Hello could you possibly post a photograph to better see your situation and area of damage? Having a visual might be best guidance to a help find the best suggestions or potential solution to best know what you are dealing with.

    Additionally for the best local professional garden landscaping advice

    I would highly suggest contacting your cooperative extension. These offices are manned by volunteer master gardeners on site there waiting to answer the communities questions that know your local situation quite well.

    Master gardeners are required to volunteer back designated hours ( plus continuing education) each year to maintain MG certification -this community outreach and education is their goal. If offices are closed there are internet ask an expert sites to consider too.

  • Cusonw Cusonw on Mar 21, 2020

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for the responses. There should be two small pictures under the post. Please let me know if you can't see them.


  • Sharon Sharon on Mar 21, 2020

    Why not work with a designer to create a plan for your home, a color pallet, and materials list, prioritize the list to be done. Get estimates. Some designers have their valued vendors who they work with and can negotiate best prices for you.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 21, 2020

    If it was my house I would paint the brick gray, the trim black and the shutters (or the whatever gingerbread is used the their place). That might be the most original idea but those colors look so good, clean and neat.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Mar 21, 2020

    First of all, I think you have a nice house and yard to work with. I think the tree in front of the front door should be cut back or moved. My preference would be to move it. I think the shrubs are overgrown, too. How much yardwork do you want to do? We have simple landscaping in our front and back yards that is low maintenance, but pretty. On both sides of our sidewalk in the front, we have flower beds that are mulched, and one tree, off to the side. We have flowers that bloom at different times, so there is always color, solar lighting and ornamental grass. No regular grass. In the back, about a third is a mulched flowerbed with a tree for shade. The rest is grass, although we may put a small patio for our grill and furniture out there. I can cut the grass in half an hour. I weed when I see any (landscaping cloth is under the mulch), but, we don't get many. Raking leaves is the biggest part of the annual yardwork. You see, we downsized from large flowerbeds and a front, side and back yard that took a lot of time to maintain to a much smaller house and yard. We love it! But, I loved the big yard when our kids were small and we had room for a pool, jungle gym and swing set. But, it was a lot of work. We had a neighbor then, who mowed a section of her huge yard every evening. It all depends on how much time and energy (or money, if you hire someone) you want to spend. Personally, I don't care for painted brick. Fresh trim colors can really change how the brick looks. Window boxes under your windows would be lovely. I'm sure you'll get lots of great suggestions from everyone! Good luck!

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Mar 22, 2020

    You are taking the right approach to gather information, become more knowledgeable, and make a master plan for the house and yard together first before just jumping into this large project. If you try to 'fix' different aspects here and there, 'piecemeal' as you called it, then yes, you will be just chasing your tail with expenses and frustrations.

    In my experience, many homeowners plant way too much, way too close to the house, which usually results in problems including more maintenance than you can manage. The overgrown and unpruned foliage hiding the house leads me to believe this may have been the case with the previous occupants.

    Do not make the mistake of removing the old dying greenery, only to replant others in the same spots. Look into the future a little to determine how much attention and money you will want to/will be physically able to spend time on. Think in terms of low or no maintenance/trimming/cutting/ watering, etc. needed.

  • I would not paint the brick, it will lead to maintenance down the line. You can add some colour around the door and add some signs or decor to the porch. This will add some character to the porch. In my opinion you just need some curb appeal your home is lovely.

  • I totally hear you on the scope creep of home projects. Especially now, my husband is looking for more projects to do. This is our home's facelift. Hopefully will give you some inspiration. Good luck with all of your projects! Hugs, Holly

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Mar 22, 2020

    If that were my house, I would paint the house white. It would look classy and fresh, especially with black accents. Scroll through this site and check out some of these brick houses that have been painted white.

  • TheHoneycombHome TheHoneycombHome on Mar 22, 2020

    I would begin searching for exterior makeovers on homes that are the same style of yours (for example, if it's a ranch, cape, colonial, etc). After you've collected a few see what common elements (colors, etc) that you like. Use that as a guide to keeping the makeover cohesive. If you're unsure about painting the brick look into a technique called the German Schmear.

  • Annie Annie on Mar 22, 2020

    Oh such potential there! It's a beautiful home, it's just a bit tired.

    Please don't just get rid of all the shrubs, they do need a good pruning and if you don't know how to do that, call someone in. That alone will make a huge difference (and save you $$ on landscaping again).

    I'd go with a white or very light sand color for the wood. And I wouldn't paint the brick, only because you will then have to keep maintaining it.

    It's going to look beautiful when you're done!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 23, 2020

    I would highly recommend a metal roof. You can go with a gray color that looks almost like it isn't a color and goes with everything.

    Rather than painting the brick, consider changing the mortar color to black or dark gray. If you looking for low maintenance, I would stay away from painting the brick.

    Removing the shrubs and trees will make it look cleaner.

    Depending on your zone, you can go with something low maintenance like encore azaleas. They have multiple colors and bloom here (7a) from March to October.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Mar 23, 2020

    If You paint the brick white is nice it goes with any color to change in the future for trim .or a dark navy blue is also nice on the brick also a brick red .

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Mar 26, 2020

    Painting brick is a good option. Then shop for bushes in the clearance section of Lowes!

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 27, 2020

    Hi Cusonw: Beautiful home!. I think the only thing I would do with the bushes is to trim them back, fertilize and water them and see if they come back. They should. I'd also trim that tree by the door, or remove it completely. Then paint the wood a complimentary colour. Go to a paint store with a picture of your house and ask the paint guys what colours they would suggest, get a sample of the colours, take them home and see which ones you like best. I'm not a big fan of painting the exterior bricks as the paint chips and peels and you have to keep after it. Maybe a bit of power washing would help bring out the colour of the brick. Then to to the paint store:) If you are going to get a new roof, I suggest you get a ridge vent. I used to keep my home at about 75 or 80 in the winter, and after I got the ridge vent, 65 is very comfortable. It doesn't cost that much more to have one installed when you are getting a new roof, and the savings are tremendous. Then, take your house picture to a nursery and ask them to recommend some plants and flower colours to compliment your home. Professionals, especially free ones, are a good source of information :) Good luck

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 29, 2021

    paint will do for sure a trick .. some landscaping

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 29, 2021

    Paint will for sure help alot