Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Before & After: Curb Appeal

I am so excited to be sharing the new and improved curb appeal of our house! This last couple of weeks, we really kicked it into overdrive to get some of these changes completed before winter. Check out the start to finish process below.

This is the original listing photo:

It had terrible condition original wood windows, faded baby blue aluminum siding and overgrown bushes. From completing the curb appeal update on our last house, I knew there was some potential for this house to look a lot better. 

Once we added the new windows, a darker color on the house was needed for some contrast but it took me forever to decide on the color. The fear of picking the wrong color can be paralyzing but ultimately it's just paint! Pick a color and move on.. if it's horrible, then pick a different one and paint again!

You can read about painting the exterior in this post. The color we picked is Sherwin Williams, Web Gray. 

The mini railing was rusted out and not really attached anymore so with a few pulls and swings of a sledgehammer, it was removed. I wanted to give our house some charm & character but had to do it on a tiny budget and thought building a pergola over the front door might do the trick. I gathered some inspiration images for the pergola in this post.

I ordered a load of top soil & mulch so we could fix the grading and create a nice mound for the plants. A huge 'Thank You' shout out  to my brother-in-law, Michael, for coming out to help us move all the dirt, mulch and plant the shrubs. He is a life saver!

And finally... the After photos:

We planted a bunch of Boxwoods, a couple Rose plants and Hydrangea bushes.

We made the shutters from cedar picket fence boards. They were pretty easy to make and I love the charm they add. I will be sharing those details soon. The shutters and front door are painted 'Wood Smoke' by Glidden.

We made the pergola using cedar that I primed and painted before we installed. I'm so happy we made the decision to build this, it really makes such a difference to the front of our house!

The chair is from Lowe's here.

One last look at where we started and ended:

Changes to make in the future: new light fixture, make the porch + stairs prettier, address the scallops on gable (replace or repair), paint white trim on gable + porthole window.

If you have any questions about any of the changes we made, please send them my way!!

Also, we are honored to be included in this Buzzfeed round up 15 Home Makeovers 

Updated Pictures:



  1. What an amazing transformation! I have been looking around for some ideas to jazz up the front of a 60 year old Milwaukee ranch I'll be moving into soon. The house has good bones but not much curb appeal. I thought about a pergola but wasn't sure how it would look, then I came across an "after" photo of your house and thought I'll bet I can do that on my front stoop too! I can't build my own but now that I know the idea works, I can start looking around for a premade pergola and study up on how they are attached to the house. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you for the sweet comment Jan! We wanted to add a little character without a major renovation and we still are so happy with it! Good luck with your new home and thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. Hi, I found your blog by googling pics for pergolas. The front of your house is quite similar to ours. So I was wondering if you've done a blog with all the 'how to's" for building the pergola. I'm really interested in how/if you attached it to the roof.

    Would appreciate help since we're going to adding one to our home too! Love your pergola!

  3. Hi,
    I would love an explanation of how you attached the pergola to the roof as well. We have a bare concrete slab for a front porch, and this would go such a long way to sprucing it up!

    1. Hi Allison, thanks for stopping by! We used 5" exterior wood screws. First, pre drilled the boards, then used roof tar/sealant around the shingle and board and screw holes and then installed the screws. Then used exterior caulk/sealant around the edges. We only had a small portion of the wood touching the roof but we wanted to make it as waterproof as possible. Hope this helps and good luck with your project!

  4. How did you attach the posts to the porch floor.


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