Sunday, October 21, 2012

Curb Appeal - Before and After Diamond in the Rough


My biggest worry when we started this house was once it was finished and we put it on the market, no one would come look at it - it totally lacked curb appeal.  After a year of sitting empty and more years with college students as tenants, this poor place hadn't seen any TLC in a long, long time.  It's taken 4 months, but we've finally completed the exterior of our Diamond in the Rough.  And we don't think it's 'Rough' any more!  Take a look at the Before & After photos and see what you think.


It was a huge amount of work (probably more than we realized when we started!), but we couldn't be happier with the results.  What were the major elements of the transformation?














Front Door - Before
The entry -  Creating a real entry, complete with a porch roof, classic handrail and front door to create a welcoming new entrance was a key element. The porch roof provides architectural interest - as well as a dry place to stand when you're at the front door!  The arches, board & batten trim and fir beadboard complete the cottage look.  The handrail was a real splurge - AZEK materials that never need to be painted. It will look brand new for many years to come.  We had the broken bricks on the steps replaced and repointed.  And to finish it all off, we added a new porch light, mailbox and numbers.  The result?  Well, we think it's a huge transformation!
Front Door - After

The siding - We removed the vinyl siding from the front of the house and were delighted to discover cedar shakes underneath!  There was some repair required - and of course we needed all new shakes around the entry - but the majority were in good shape.   Another key to changing the look -  installing the new awning window above the front door, which helps balance the big shed dormer.  For the color scheme, we kept the original color for the body of the house, but changed the dark brown trim to a crisp white.  HGTV's Refuge Blue paint from Sherwin Williams gave the front door a punch of color.

We also replaced the shutters - did you know you can't paint plastic shutters black?  They will warp in the sun!  So we bought all new shutters for the house.



The landscaping - We added this cute picket fence and arbor to the side of the house, providing a great space for a landscape border - including new hydrangeas and a climbing rose.  And we tore out the broken concrete walkway and replaced it with large stepping stones.

We still have a lot more work to do before the interior is finished.  But getting the exterior completed was a major accomplishment.  And we love how it looks!  What do you think?

Want to see more?  Like SoPo Cottage on Facebook for more pictures!










Sources:
Front Door - Therma Tru
Mailbox & Doorbell - Signature Hardware
House Numbers - Architectural Mailboxes
Brackets - Architectural Depot
Light Fixture - Restoration Hardware
Porch Railing - AZEK





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37 comments:

  1. WOW. The transformation is stunning!! You have tons of curb appeal now. And I love how the door is much brighter and more of a focal point now!

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    1. Thanks so much!!! Hopefully you can come see it when it's done!

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  2. I stumbled across this blog shortly after you purchased this house. I have LOVED keeping track of the re-model and WOW! It looks amazing! I cannot wait to see pictures of the inside. Looks like a cozy place to call home!

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    1. Thanks so much Mallory. It's been a lot of work, but we are really thrilled with how it's coming out. Can't wait to start sharing some interior photos as we get it finished up!!!

      Laurel

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    2. Have you kept track of every penny you've spent? I'd love to see a breakdown when it's all done. I want my husband to "appeal our curb" esp. landscaping like this, and he doesn't want to pay someone, and can't do it himself - also says it will take more to maintain it later on.

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    3. I haven't had a chance to roll it all up yet, but I'd say the landscaping was ~$2000. I have to caveat that by saying I bought the bushes myself and planted them. And the fence/arbor came out of our yard (they were only a year old). But the landscapers put in the walkway, the fence/arbor, dug the beds, added loam and mulch. So it was a pretty big undertaking!

      As far as maintaining, once you have the beds in place, if you keep them well mulched, it only takes occasional weeding to keep them looking nice. Much less work than grass!!

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  3. I too have been following along with your work on this house. The outside is stunning and I just adore the color of the door. Great Job!

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    1. Thanks Sarah. So glad you like the blue - it seems to bring the whole thing together! And thanks for reading the blog, I really appreciate it!

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  4. The neighbors must love you! It looks awesome!

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    1. The neighbors have been so supportive! When our painter was working on it, he said he'd never had so many people stop and tell him what a good job he was doing. He said he felt guilty for taking credit, since he was the last step in the process! LOL

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  5. Laurel,
    Another beautiful home that you and your husband have created !!!!! I can't wait to see the inside. If it's anything like the outside, I know it will blow our socks off.
    Keep up the great work,
    Vanessa

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    1. So nice to hear from you Vanessa. Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm hoping we'll start pulling the interior together enough for photos soon :-)

      Thanks again!

      Laurel

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  6. David G - Great job!!

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  7. So very nice, another great job by SoPo Cottages! I would really like to see a side picture of the front entrance to see the pretty handrail and other details.

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    1. Thanks! And I'll try and take a side view tomorrow and post it to our SoPo Cottage Facebook page. The brackets on the porch are so nice - I should have thought to do that in the first place!!! I appreciate your prompting me :-)

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  8. An incredible transformation! Love the door color and porch...you are such a talent, Laurel!

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  9. Laurel,

    In a word - SPECTACULAR!

    Denise

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  10. Just looking at the photos you can feel the house breathing again! What an adorable place. Can't wait to see the inside!

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  11. Loving it! I've followed both projects through every step. Laurel, thanks for taking the time to post and share this with all of us. --Faith

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  12. Laurel,
    I do have a question - is there a reason the grids on the front door window aren't the same color as the door? I've often wondered when I see the white grids - why?
    (Still think the overall is SPECTACULAR)
    Denise

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    1. Hmmmm.....I guess it's a matter of personal preference. To me, the grids are the same as the trim on the rest of the house, so we painted them white. In fact, it's probably hard to see in the picture, but they are applied as trim on top of the door (which made them easier to paint!) But I guess you could paint them the same color as the door. In fact, we've had other doors where the grids weren't separated that way and I think we did paint them the same color. So you could go either way!!

      Laurel

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  13. Wow! It's so pretty now. I love everything about it. Adding the front stoop with an overhang and eliminating the windows on each side of the door was brilliant! I am following you. Please visit me at Pinehurst Cottage and follow us on our journey in buying a vacation cottage and the renovation of it. I'd love your opinion. ~Amy

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    1. I love your cottage!!! Great bones - but can't wait to see what you do with that kitchen :-) Looks like a great project.

      Thanks so much for checking out our blog. Hopefully we'll have more 'after' photos soon!

      Laurel

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  14. I have been following you since the beginning of this remodel and I am so amazed at your vision! You are definitely doing what you should be doing because it seems you can envision a home's potential when most people wouldn't know where to start!

    I have the most difficult time choosing paint colors for the interior AND exterior of our home. I was wondering if you might know a paint color that closely resembles what you painted the exterior body of this home. I've been studying it and trying to match it to paint swatches, but, like I said, I'm horrible at it! Thanks!

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    1. I had my Benjamin Moore fan deck with me today and it looks like a color called Delaware Putty is the closest. Not an exciting name.....but it works well with the white trim and blue door!!!

      Good luck painting!

      Laurel

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    2. Thank you so much! So kind to take time to do that. Good luck with the tiling today!

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  15. I'll take my fan deck with me tomorrow and see what is the closest color. Since we had it custom mixed to match the old siding, it doesn't have an official name. But I'll see what seems similar! Believe me, I know how hard it is to make a commitment to a color. Particularly for the exterior - it's a pricey commitment!!!

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  16. Very tastefully done. You used just the right amount of Architectural detailing and color to really define the entry.

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  17. I like the entrance, it looks much better now, really makes an 'entrance'. Do you know why there is brick/blocks at the base and not timber?

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! The entire foundation of the house is concrete block. Given our climate conditions up here in Maine, that's a logical choice for any basement. You wouldn't want wood in direct contact with the ground.

      Laurel

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  18. did you do something special to the paint for the door? i got the swatch but it looks nothing like the picture!

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    1. We were painting over a white door, so it took 3 coats for it to really look right. But that's the color we used! I hope your project turns out well!

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  19. We love your exterior colors on "curb appeal". Are the shutters black? Door is SW Refuge blue, correct? Can you tell me the flat and white trim colors? It is really stylish, thanks

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    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth - glad you like it! Yes, the shutters are black and the door is Refuge Blue. The white trim is Sherwin Williams pre-mixed Extra White. We had the body color mixed to match the existing siding that's on the side of the house, so sadly I can't tell you what the color is. But it's close to a Ben Moore color called Delaware Putty. Hope that helps!

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    2. we went out to get the cards for those colors today. Delaware putty is a really nice tan and Refuge is a nice grey blue. They look very good together but the colors I see on the computer picture of your house look more like a blue blue on a light grey. We will give it a try, thanks

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    3. Hmmm…… I know computer monitors all tend to make colors look a bit different. The house is a tan/beige color, not a gray. Sorry that made it so confusing!

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