Curb Appeal: Suggestions for siding, trim and door colors

sfussAugust 20, 2011

Hi GWers! We're about to add a shed dormer to the rear of of our 1939 brick cape cod house in Virginia. The house currently has three dormer windows, two in the front that will remain after the remodel and one in the back that will be gone. Currently our house has white siding on the dormers, white trim, dark brown painted door, and a medium brown stained garage door.

Our house

(also note that the foundation has been painted white which is a little stark for my taste)

Backyard where the shed dormer will span the second floor

(Note that one neighbor has a light grey or beige siding and the other neighbors house is a sage green. The sage green house has recently been re-sided and now looks like this.)

I have looked for inspiration photos online, and can't come up with anything. What colors would you consider for 1. the siding, 2. the trim, 3. the foundation and 4. the new front door. Which of these components must match? Please share images to help visualize the solution.

Thanks for all advice. Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: More house images and details about the project here.

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sfuss

Err. The "link that might be useful" is wrong.

It's actually this. Sorry about that, and thanks!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:41PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Not really a landscape question, is it? But no doubt you'll get plenty replies...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 7:54PM
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adriennemb2(z3/4)

A few questions first -

Is this a long term investment or will you be moving in a few years?

Where do you live? Do you get lots of sun or rain? Is it a long winter with snow or have basically just one season?

Your roofing will need replacing. What colour shingles are you considering?

It looks like you have three different types of bricks on the siding, the driveway retaining wall and the front stoop. Is that accurate?

I'm assuming that the windows and eavestroughing will remain the current white. Are the shutters paintable?

What is behind the moustache hedge in front of the entry? Would you be interested in refurbishing that area?
What are the landscape plans for the rest of the yard?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 11:46PM
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sfuss

Bahia - I know ... I couldn't find a more appropriate forum and saw a few other simialr questions on this thread. Hope no one is offended.

Adrienne - Wow. Great questions.

1. Long term investment. We bought the house last October and we will be here for at least ten years.

2. We live in Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. Winters average 30s and 40s with a few weeks where the low will be in the teens and 20s, and usually not much snow (the winter of 2010 being the major exception when we got more snow than, say, Syracuse). Summers are very hot and humid, though our property has lots of shade thanks to the old growth oak trees.

3. In order maximize the interior ceiling height, the back roof will be rubber which takes less space. We would likely not have gone with a rubber roof which I had a property two houses ago, but it makes sense in order to get several more inches of celiling height. To be honest,I haven't looked at the color options on that style roof so if you have any suggestions, I'm open to them.

4. There are lots of stone variations on this property. The house and stoops are actually the same brick, but an addition put on the late 60s (where you can see the first floor bump out on the back of the house) is a different brick (it's not a terrible match, but our main house brick has lots of pits and character and the addition brick is much smoother). The driveway retaining wall in a third brick. The sidewalk retaining wall in stone and matches the sidewalk retaining wall on the whole street. Our front walk is Pennsylvania flagstone, as is our new back patio. The terrace retaining wall and the rear property line retaining wall are Nicolock in Colonial 3 and 6, crab orchard blend.

5. As these are the 1939 original windows, we ordered new ones (they will be in this week!), but they are also white. The eavestroughing will remain white, I think, since I'm not sure paint would adhere to it ... but to be honest I haven't given it any thought until now. The shutter are paintable ... and I'd also consider replacing them with a different style. Most of the capes in our neighborhood have board and batten shutters. Curious to know if others think they are more appropriate for the house.

  1. The front walk and stoop , behind the hedge, is in good shape. The previous owners did a nice job with a small flagstone patio. We'd consider sprucing it up, but we'd like to explore adding a small front porch in the future so we probably wouldn't want to do too much there. On the other hand, I would take out the front landscape bed and re-do that with something more striking. Our area is full of lovely hydrangeas ... and we have none. At the very least I would love some taller shrubbery since the white foundation of our house (including the painted first row of brick, argh!) is not attractive.

7. Previous response includes some of my landscape plans. The tall oak which gives us so much shade, the holly tree and the grafted dogwood tree (one trunk is pink and the other is white!) are the only things I am married to in the landscape. We get very little direct sun in the front yard so our grass is somehwhat patchy. In the back yard we've removed tons of junky, unhealthy, croooked trees and all the turf so we need to start from scratch. We'll get a least one fairly mature tree since there's nothing back there now and that will add instant appeal. I'm hitting the nursery next weekend for ground cover for the sides of the house, sod for the upper terrace level, shrubs and trees. This being the landscaping forum I will take any and all advice on that as well.

Hopefully I have answered your questions. Thanks for taking the time to read them.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 10:35AM
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sfuss

One more thing. Our new front door is the S608 model seen here.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 10:43AM
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adriennemb2(z3/4)

If you click on 'forums' at the top of this page, you can post this information on the remodelling or redecorating sites and get lots of responses. I personally prefer the clean and classic presentation of your home to that of the neighbours. A few little tweaks will get you the curb appeal that you're after.

Since you live in a heavily shaded area without winter snow, I would keep the siding a soft cloudy white. On all the dormers, where there could be a potential clash with the new window frames, the two shades of white can be separated by a slim piece of dark charcoal trim.

This trim would be echoing the dark charcoal paint of the window shutters and garage door. I do like the idea of board and batten shutters - it would be nice if you could find some that were panelled similarly, but not identically, to your new door.

The foundation needs to ground the home to the land visually. That may be why you are bothered by the white colour. Try changing it to a mid-tone gray, as found in the natural flagstone.

I very much like the flagstone on the patio as well. Are the retaining walls rather salmon toned or is it my monitor? The yellow brick of the driveway wall seems incongruent with all your other stove. Would it be possible to stucco it or paint it much as the foundation?

Although this palette is very traditional, that could be because it has worked so well in the past. But to make it fresh for today's taste, get creative with the door colour. How about something as unexpected as a lime green? It would certainly pop but could also be an excellent foil to the greens of the front garden.

As to landscaping, until all the other work is done, my only suggestion would be to lose the hedge in front of the door.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:23PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I'm thinking you might cruise around the old house forum, for paint suggestions and shutter comments, as well as or rather than those Adrienne recommends. You could even post a question there, linking to this thread.

I don't like white with brick, and do like the sage that your neighbours abandoned.

KarinL

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:25AM
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