Proportion. It’s the one concept that takes precedence in exterior design. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been followed. If you’ve looked at your home and just can’t figure out why it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as others on your block, it could be that the builder was more concerned with the interior.
Now, it’s time to fix that. You might be surprised by the dramatic transformation just a few simple exterior renovations can make to your home.
THE SINGLE STORY HOME
The layout of most single-story homes find their origins from the 1970s, when what’s commonly referred to as 'ranch-style' was the preferred architecture. And there were plenty of good reasons for this. These all-on-one-level houses allowed for open areas. They often seem larger than the actual square footage.
The downside to these homes is that little thought was given to windows and doors. Often—if they haven’t been updated—you’ll drive by a ranch-style house and find that they have entire sides with no windows or doors.
It’s an easy fix. Small, unadorned windows can be replaced to let more light in, as well as give more character to the exterior. A porch or even a framed roof gable can restore balance to those windowless sections of the house.
Single story homes often benefit with the addition of a solid base that transitions into the long vertical strips of siding. It helps to ground the home and make it look taller.
A STORY AND A HALF
Split level construction also came of age in the 1970s, and you’ll find it established subdivisions throughout the country. The design became popular because it allowed for expansion of the ranch style as families grew in size. They might have the same footprint, but a partial second story allowed for more bedrooms.
The focus was on the interior, so unfortunately, little attention was given to outer aesthetics. It’s not that these homes have poor exterior styling—but rather that they basically have no styling at all.
From an exterior remodeling standpoint, what could be better than a blank canvas? The addition of larger front widows on the upper story creates a pleasing French Country look. Adding two different siding profiles to create patterns helps to reduce the obviousness of a transition from a single to double stories.
THE TWO-STORY HOME
As we travel the time line to a period closer to the present, we move into the era of the two-story homes that many of us live in today. They provide us with all room we need inside, but they often create curb appeal challenges. Without any thought toward design, they can look like big boxes.
Often all that’s needed is some attention to texture and style. A lighter vinyl siding on the upper floor complemented by a solid darker color below can bring out a completely different personality in a home. Embellishments like a fancy gable over the entryway draws attention there, and wrapping a porch around the home that opens up onto an expansive deck on the back expands both living space and increases property value.
It makes sense. We live inside our homes. The interior is always going to be more important to us. But the opposite is true for everyone else. Most of the time, all they will ever see is the exterior of our home. What does it say to people when they drive by?
Talk to us about exterior remodeling. We’ll help you find the right way to express your home’s trapped exterior beauty. It’s already there. It just needs some help getting out!