If your home has zero to minimal street presence, you may want to consider modest front façade improvements – a beautiful home can make a big statement! A good façade presentation is critical to a home’s value and your own personal enjoyment. From a fresh coat of paint to a well groomed front sidewalk, small enhancements can improve both resale value and personal pride. The Wentworth design build team can design and recommend cost-effective solutions for the front of your home.
Façade Remodeling & Enhancement: Shutters and More
Shutters can enhance the front exterior of your home, but they should ideally look like real operable shutters. Flimsy plastic shutters stuck onto siding or inappropriately sized or mounted will scream “fake” to people looking at your home. We always recommend being judicious in the use of shutters. In some instances, removing shutters can actually help the aesthetics and be a cost-effective way to “class-up” a home.
Window boxes can also give life to a front façade. Window boxes should be the width of the window, and they can visually extend beyond the height of the windows to appear taller. For wide and large window boxes, we have occasionally installed decorative brackets below a window. A large planter is placed upon the brackets, and along with the support brackets it becomes part of the architecture. In the summer, the planter is softened with flowers, and in the winter it provides unique aesthetic detail to the front of the home.
Beyond windows, details such as handsome columns, upgraded railings, a dovecote in the gable and a well-built louver as a gable vent will easily enhance a front façade. Even simple and attractive house numerals in either black iron or brush stainless steel for the address can convey a sense of style that is important to the overall look of the home. When well thought out, the cumulative effect of the details can greatly improve the aesthetic of your home’s front façade.
A new coat of paint is a practical and cost-effective way to quickly enhance the look of a home. Before painting the entire exterior, the paint colors should be carefully chosen and tested. Typically we suggest the use of two or three colors to complement one another, and our interior designer can help you use paint color to play up the best architectural features of your home. For example, you probably don’t want to call attention to your garage door, but you might want to emphasize your main front entrance door with an accent color. If you own a brick home, it can be a bit trickier. Typically a “white wash” or a patina look on brick is low maintenance and provides high aesthetic value.
Make a grand entrance with proper paving. A few questions can help determine the best setup for your driveway. Can your guests arrive from the street without walking up the driveway? Must they weave in and out of the cars parked in the driveway? Ideally the path for people and cars should be separate because it’s friendlier, classier and safer. A sidewalk of exposed aggregate concrete or flagstone with brick paving sets the tone for your home. You might even consider introducing a few custom patterns and features to personalize your sidewalk paving. Minimizing the steps and designing a sidewalk with an appropriate width can also help improve the livability of your home’s front entrance. Often, homeowners underestimate the value of professionally designed and specified landscaping. Low walls or planters can make a visual impact and can help make a smooth transition from the public front of your home to your private entrance. Properly chosen landscaping will even hide a multitude of architectural sins or enhance exceptional design. Also, landscaping is a cost-effective way to give a house more curb appeal. A well-chosen trellis of metal or wood will improve a blank wall and look good in winter or summer, while planters in a variety of colors add class, whether there are blooming plants or not.
Light fixtures are the jewelry of a home’s façade. Properly chosen lighting can enhance the home’s architecture and plant material, while poorly selected lighting tends to make a home seem like a model home. Lighting should also be appropriate to your home’s architectural style, and your architect or interior designer can assist you with these selections. Exterior lighting will typically involve wall sconces, post lights or hanging fixtures for porches, as well as a subtle, understated lighting in a garden area.
Façade Remodeling & Enhancement: Front Porch
Building a new front porch is no small investment, but it can provide a lot of bang for your buck in terms of curb appeal and added value. A covered entrance with proper lighting will protect you and your home from snow and rain and is an overlooked but always appreciated feature. And if the porch is large enough, it can accommodate planters, benches and other accessories that personalize your home and give it the look you desire. It’s important to have your porch professionally designed so that it is in sync with your home’s architectural style and will not become a detriment to its value. There are designs for covered entries that provide aesthetic presence without a full-blown porch. This can be in the form of a projecting canopy with pilasters or even a metal and glass canopy that provides protection from the weather. A design build team can walk you through the variety of porch options and help you decide which one is right for your home’s architectural style. A porch is only worth the investment if it will add value and comfort to your home! Although many of these modest façade enhancements seem as though the average homeowner could tackle it themselves, they aren’t necessarily DIY projects. When it comes to the exterior of your home, it is worth the time and money to consult with a design professional to ensure your ideas are appropriate to your home. The right design choices can add curb appeal and value to your home and will make coming home a more pleasurable experience for all. Contact Wentworth today for front façade remodeling and enhancements in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area!
“ I would STRONGLY recommend using Bruce Wentworth up at Chevy Chase Lake -- it's a design-build firm so you have an integrated team working for you. We started out a kitchen-family room project with another design-build firm and it would be hard to communicate exactly how much BETTER the design that Bruce came up with was.
Bruce and his team also did a project for my daughter and her husband this past fall which was amazing. ”
The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.