I’m looking forward to the new movies being released in December, particularly the next installment of “The Hobbit.” One film I doubt will be coming to a theater near you, though, is about urban pl
6 house designs that maximize curb appeal
By paying attention to proportions and scale and using the right materials, Professional Builder’s House Review design team proves that builders can create stunning home exteriors on virtually any budget.
6 house designs that maximize curb appeal
Our theme this month might sound like one of those home improvement television shows, but it’s a timely topic as builders and homeowners alike search for economical ways to improve the curb appeal of their homes. After all, unless there’s something that grabs a potential buyer’s attention on the exterior, they’ll never know how great the interior and floor plan might be.
The design concepts presented on the following pages range from addressing an overwhelming garage that consumes the majority of a front facade to the careful placement of windows. Often, the time-tested theory of “less is more” can be utilized to eliminate unnecessary gables and complex rooflines. Our design team proves that by paying strict attention to proper proportions, using sensible scale, and selecting logical materials and finishes, homes with impressive curb appeal can be created within a very reasonable budget.
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Living area: 2,400 sf
Width: 40 feet, 4 inches
Depth: 55 feet
I was thrilled to see this month’s focus on creating curb appeal on a budget. Lean design focuses on maximizing not only curb appeal, but also the overall marketability of a home design. Curb appeal is primarily driven by proportion, massing, fenestration, and detailing. Typically, it is what makes one builder stand out over another.
The first impression of your homes is critical to sales velocity. In an effort to respond to the recent recession, many builders focused on driving out cost. In doing so, they often cheapened the exteriors and killed the character of their homes. This resulted in plenty of duds that were built all over the country.
Lean design focuses on eliminating waste of material and process, driving literally thousands of dollars out of construction cost. This allows resources to be allocated back to the exteriors in a directed fashion that maximizes the overall marketability of the home. As a result, the home is less expensive to build and looks a whole lot better than the competition’s product. Anyone can make a house look good; the magic is to make it look great and do it for less.
A. Lack of any real identifiable style creates a very homogenous and bland-looking home.
B. Porch post is too small; inevitably it ends up looking “spindly” in the field
C. Shutters are undersized and inappropriate with the double windows
D. Eliminating brick above the garage door provides cost savings, but it reduces value.
E. Removing the shutters and adding a bracketed roof adds charisma to the window setting.
F. False dormer is inexpensive to build and adds character
G. Mixing up siding types helps to break up the large gable.
H. Adding larger columns creates a more substantial porch and helps identify the home as Craftsman.
I. Inexpensive bracketed porch roof provides charm and value to this country French design.
Curb Appeal on a Dime
Living area: 1,430 sf
Width: 50 feet
Depth: 48 feet
A common problem with production housing is how to make a house look great from the curb and different from its neighbors without breaking the bank. Here are some proven tips and techniques for creating killer curb appeal on a budget:
A. The most economical solution is paint. Paint the wainscot a darker-body color and option brick or stone in its place.
B. The garage in this plan is 40 percent of the front elevation. Painting the garage door to match the body of the house helps to make the house look larger while downplaying the garage.
C. Specify a front door with glass. The interior all the way to the backyard reads from the curb as you enter, and the foyer is flooded with light. The glass front door is an upgrade option that few buyers take, but it will help sell the house.
D. Emphasis on a story-and-a-half grand entry is a step up from what the market would expect.
E. To differentiate elevations, “California framing” elements are added on top of the simple roof form, including gables, hips, and towers. These are economical additions that change the massing without changing the standard trusses or the floor plan.
F. A variety of materials, as well as window and door treatments, help to alter the look from one house to the next on a tight budget.