Author Topic: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!  (Read 2228 times)

lexde

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Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« on: July 03, 2017, 05:20:24 PM »
Hi everyone,

SO purchased a house last year (we aren't married so I'm not on the note or mortgage) and we have been very slowly fixing things up. It started out with grounding all of the old two-prong outlets (how did this house not burn down?!), getting rid of drapes that had been soaking up cigarette smoke since 1970, and then on to patching and painting the walls and ceilings. It's been very slow progress as we both work full time and demanding jobs.

While the list seems like it goes on forever, our more immediate tasks include: putting in laminate floors (we will have to pay someone to do this, unfortunately we won't be able to install on our own), refinishing the cabinets and finding matching cabinet doors for the two that are broken, and painting the house exterior/front door.

This is where I need help!

The house is currently a Pepto-pink color with red bricks and dead bushes. Oh, and a GIANT F!@%* TREE right smack dab in the middle of the yard. Which is nice, but will cost a ton of money to trim before the stormy season hits.



I need to figure out what to do with the exterior of this house to get the most BANG for the minimal BUCK. There are a lot of updated bungalows in my area now that are super cute, and I want to be one of them, darnit!

My biggest pet-peeves for the house's exterior are that (1) there is wood paneling in some areas, and cinderblock in others, and they're currently painted different colors (white wood, pink blocks); and (2) the living room has a huge window, that does not line up with the rest of the windows in the house, so we get a funky brick pattern that doesn't go straight across. Ours is the only house that I've seen with such uneven bricks.

I really like the "accent door" trend that's been popping up in my neighborhood, especially the ones that are grey with teal doors (there are a few in the area). Example:



I'm just not sure how it would look with the uneven bricks, and if I should paint the wood the same color as the brick, and what to do with the bricks!

I was looking at a light gray / navy door combo, like this, with a crisp white trim:



Does that look okay with the house? What should I do with those dang bricks? I was thinking about whitewash instead of straight up painting them, but I'm not sure how that would look. It would keep their texture and help them look a little more like they originally have without fully painting over them.




I don't know the first thing about landscaping, either, but I'd love any suggestions! The bushes in front are dying and I'm not sure they'll come back, so it might be time for a complete overhaul.

Cassie

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2017, 05:30:51 PM »
I love your color combination for house and door!  Very nice. I would paint the bricks to match the house.  When we bought our home it was a foreclosure for 2 years. No one had watered the rose bushs in all that time or the trees in back yet nothing died. WE also live in a warm climate in summer.  So your bushes may not be dead:))

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2017, 06:59:43 PM »
I would paint the entire house (bricks and siding) one color. I like accent doors also, and the door color is easy to change if you tire of it.

The big tree is awesome.

Take out the leggy old bushes in front of the house. They aren't doing anything for the curb appeal. There probably isn't adequate light or water for foundation plantings. Instead consider doing weedblock and stones for the 3' or so out from the house. Your front of the yard, near the curb, has the best light. Consider putting in a berm or bed across the front w/ mixed height planting. E.g. a few smaller understory flowering trees such as redbuds or crepe myrtles or flowering pears, medium tall decorative grasses or bushes (e.g. purple fountain grass, flowering sage) and some lower height flowering plants (lantana).

(Not sure what zone you are in - so hard to make specific plant recommendations. It looks like FL or TX to me).

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 06:22:32 AM »
Why can't the two of you install laminate yourselves? If you are both disabled I get it but that is not where I'd want to be spending my hire-other-people money.

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 07:13:38 AM »
The house looks mid-century modern to me, which is very fashionable at the moment.

For the yard: keep the tree as the sole feature (it sounds as though you are in a fairly hot and dry climate, so the shade it provides is excellent) and keep everything else as minimal as possible.  Even if those bushes are not dead, they will always struggle with a lack of light and water where they are, and anything else you plant in the same place will similarly struggle.  So, lawn only plus the tree.

Those bricks aren't "uneven", they are reclaimed, and presumably put in specially to give the house "character".  A grey that matches or tones with the mortar between them could look good painted on everything else, both timber and block, and I like the navy door.
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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 07:19:14 AM »
I would absolutely NOT paint the bricks.  They look fine to me.  (I hate that HGTV shows have made painting brick trendy!)  Paint the trim/wood paneling and leave the bricks alone.

A good brick job is a maintenance free siding.  If you paint it, it will likely never be able to be undone.  And once painted, it will need repainting every few years forever.

And yes, laminate flooring is super easy.  The long term success really depends on the make of the flooring, not the installer.  You will want to buy higher end laminate and pay very close attention to the materials the core of the laminate is made from.  Avoid anything made of pressed paper.  You're better off with a wooden/chip board core.  Glue up laminate is also superior to click-together, but glue-up laminate seems to be getting scarce.
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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 07:28:48 AM »
This site and specifically this page helped me a ton with the plants side of things - thinking about balancing features and creating symmetry. It might be useful for the uneven window situation.
https://fredgonsowskigardenhome.com/2013/09/28/foundation-planting-laying-out-foundation-plants-in-front-of-your-home-home/amp/

I like the white/navy idea. With red bricks adding just one cool colour and a neutral makes sense to me.

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 07:38:37 AM »
I don't know where you are, but that looks like a classic mid-century "Florida" house to me, and I'd go with it's charm rather than try to change it into something it's not. I'd stick to pink or turquoise or coral, but I actually would paint the bricks white.

The tree is gorgeous. I'd take out those shrubberies and plant something low to the ground.

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 07:54:53 AM »
I'm not sure what zone you're in, but I would take out the shrubs and plant hostas with that shade. Pick a variety instead of all the same breed, so you get different sizes/colors. They would look nice with the grey color scheme you prefer.

I would not paint the brick. But it will probably look good either way.

I like the teal door - the darker color needs a brighter door.

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 08:03:58 AM »
Another +1 on not painting the brick. I bought our brick house so that I'd never have to paint the bulk of the exterior again. Paint it now and you're buying a decade or more of outside make-work projects for yourself. (I also prefer the look of unpainted brick, but that's the aesthetic side; the practical side carries the day for me.)

Dee18

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 09:06:24 AM »
Look up Maria Killam's blog before you decide.  She has some great posts on choosing exterior colors.  She also does consultations via photos.  I would find that a worthwhile expense since the decision really affects curb appeal and thus the value of the home.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 09:10:46 AM by Dee18 »

lthenderson

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2017, 09:41:01 AM »
I would rip out shrubbery and replace with widened landscape beds with rock and plants. Paint the house but not the brick and definitely accent the door with the color of your choice. All those things are DIY friendly projects and don't cost a lot of money. However, I always clarify that I would much rather save money by saving labor costs of hiring it done than to save money by buying cheap paint, floors, etc. You are much better off getting a premium paint that will stick well and last a long time in a couple coats versus buying a cheap paint that requires four coats (i.e. twice as much product) and lasts half as long.

I would dress up the base of your giant fig tree with stone edging and accent plants. Some people even put small benches underneath.

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2017, 10:52:39 AM »
If you really are in a hot state, that dark gray is gonna cook. The tealy-blue door will look fine with a lighter shade of gray.

I agree that painting bricks creates an upkeep hassle. I also note that folks have been doing just that long before HGTV came along...
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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2017, 11:15:03 AM »
I agree that painting bricks creates an upkeep hassle. I also note that folks have been doing just that long before HGTV came along...

I realize that.  It was tongue in cheek.  HGTV *has* made it trendy again though.  There is one ridiculous show that is very popular where they do the same 5 things to every single house.  One of them is painting the brick.  I've got several friends/family members that have "upgraded" some portion of their house by slapping a bit of paint on nice brickwork.  It makes me shudder.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 11:18:54 AM by Spork »
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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2017, 11:17:24 AM »
I would choose a shade of red from the bricks (the most pleasing shade or the darkest one that isn't brown but more on the red side) and paint the rest of the (stucco?) that color and then leave the bricks as they are.  That will eliminate the focus on the lower bricks on the living room window.  I might even paint the soffit and eave the same color.  It might take a few tries to get the color to match so start with quarts before buying gallons of paint. 

Are the windows paintable or are they metal or vinyl ? - if metal or vinyl assuming they are staying white?  Then a navy, gray or dark teal door would look great.  It's hard to tell from the photo where the door is.  Is it protected from the sun ?  A dark color will have problems unless well protected from direct sun.

I would remove the shrubs in front of the house and find out what grows in the shade in your area: hostas, ferns or decorative grasses - also something that is drought tolerant as it looks like you're in a dry area.  Then plant a row of one of those along the entire front foundation.  If you want pops of color plant some flowering bulbs in front of the hostas, etc.  depending on what grows there.

Horizontal lines are prominent in mid-century houses and you want to maintain that horizontality.  Keep everything simple and linear.

Also when you say laminate floor are talking about a floating click floor ?   Those are about the easiest things to install.  Choose the smallest room, watch some you tube videos and plan a long holiday weekend (missed this one!) and have fun. What is the finish flooring now ?

Good luck!

lexde

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2017, 04:03:18 PM »
I love your color combination for house and door!  Very nice. I would paint the bricks to match the house.  When we bought our home it was a foreclosure for 2 years. No one had watered the rose bushs in all that time or the trees in back yet nothing died. WE also live in a warm climate in summer.  So your bushes may not be dead:))

I think the bushes are hanging by a thread, but it's been raining here heavily every day for the last several weeks and there are definitely some dead spots in the yard and MOST of each of the bushes don't appear to be coming back. :( I'll take the brick suggestion into account. I'm so hesitant because you can't un-paint brick, but it seems like the way to go at this point. :)

lexde

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2017, 04:04:53 PM »
I would paint the entire house (bricks and siding) one color. I like accent doors also, and the door color is easy to change if you tire of it.

The big tree is awesome.

Take out the leggy old bushes in front of the house. They aren't doing anything for the curb appeal. There probably isn't adequate light or water for foundation plantings. Instead consider doing weedblock and stones for the 3' or so out from the house. Your front of the yard, near the curb, has the best light. Consider putting in a berm or bed across the front w/ mixed height planting. E.g. a few smaller understory flowering trees such as redbuds or crepe myrtles or flowering pears, medium tall decorative grasses or bushes (e.g. purple fountain grass, flowering sage) and some lower height flowering plants (lantana).

(Not sure what zone you are in - so hard to make specific plant recommendations. It looks like FL or TX to me).
Thanks so much for the recommendations! That sounds lovely and like a really fun project for the SO and I once we get the outside painted! :-) And you hit the nail on the head, I'm in FL.

lexde

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2017, 04:13:04 PM »
Why can't the two of you install laminate yourselves? If you are both disabled I get it but that is not where I'd want to be spending my hire-other-people money.
I know and totally agree. But SO isn't ready to convert to mustachianism yet and I'm working on bringing him around!

The house looks mid-century modern to me, which is very fashionable at the moment.

For the yard: keep the tree as the sole feature (it sounds as though you are in a fairly hot and dry climate, so the shade it provides is excellent) and keep everything else as minimal as possible.  Even if those bushes are not dead, they will always struggle with a lack of light and water where they are, and anything else you plant in the same place will similarly struggle.  So, lawn only plus the tree.

Those bricks aren't "uneven", they are reclaimed, and presumably put in specially to give the house "character".  A grey that matches or tones with the mortar between them could look good painted on everything else, both timber and block, and I like the navy door.
Thanks for the input. I definitely think the bushes need to go ASAP. As for "uneven" I mean that they don't go in an even line across the house since the living room window is bigger, and so rather than having even windows and even bricks that go in a straight horizontal line, they "dip" down to also frame the larger window -- if I'm not explaining that well please let me know. I just don't like how the line isn't even at all. :(
I would absolutely NOT paint the bricks.  They look fine to me.  (I hate that HGTV shows have made painting brick trendy!)  Paint the trim/wood paneling and leave the bricks alone.

A good brick job is a maintenance free siding.  If you paint it, it will likely never be able to be undone.  And once painted, it will need repainting every few years forever.

And yes, laminate flooring is super easy.  The long term success really depends on the make of the flooring, not the installer.  You will want to buy higher end laminate and pay very close attention to the materials the core of the laminate is made from.  Avoid anything made of pressed paper.  You're better off with a wooden/chip board core.  Glue up laminate is also superior to click-together, but glue-up laminate seems to be getting scarce.
Will the red bricks look okay with the grey/white/navy? And will a more whitewashed look still need that same maintenance? I'm looking into other flooring, but at this point it may have to just get done by a professional since SO isn't yet on board with mustachianism.

lexde

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2017, 04:16:12 PM »
This site and specifically this page helped me a ton with the plants side of things - thinking about balancing features and creating symmetry. It might be useful for the uneven window situation.
https://fredgonsowskigardenhome.com/2013/09/28/foundation-planting-laying-out-foundation-plants-in-front-of-your-home-home/amp/

I like the white/navy idea. With red bricks adding just one cool colour and a neutral makes sense to me.
Thank you very much for this resource! I really appreciate it, it's already giving me some ideas!
I don't know where you are, but that looks like a classic mid-century "Florida" house to me, and I'd go with it's charm rather than try to change it into something it's not. I'd stick to pink or turquoise or coral, but I actually would paint the bricks white.

The tree is gorgeous. I'd take out those shrubberies and plant something low to the ground.
Bingo! Our neighbors painted their house blinding-teal and I'm trying to balance that out with an updated midcentury-modern look. I'll see about using photoshop to take a look at white bricks! I'll look into some lower plants, too.
I'm not sure what zone you're in, but I would take out the shrubs and plant hostas with that shade. Pick a variety instead of all the same breed, so you get different sizes/colors. They would look nice with the grey color scheme you prefer.

I would not paint the brick. But it will probably look good either way.

I like the teal door - the darker color needs a brighter door.
Thanks for this input. I really love the darker grey/teal combo but I don't think it'll work with our house as well as some of the other houses in our neighborhood, so I'm working with what I've got, and think grey/navy/white will be a decent alternative.

lexde

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2017, 04:20:35 PM »
Another +1 on not painting the brick. I bought our brick house so that I'd never have to paint the bulk of the exterior again. Paint it now and you're buying a decade or more of outside make-work projects for yourself. (I also prefer the look of unpainted brick, but that's the aesthetic side; the practical side carries the day for me.)
I was between not painting and using whitewash for a not-painted-but-tinted look. I'm leaning toward just leaving it though, and I can always do something with it later.
Look up Maria Killam's blog before you decide.  She has some great posts on choosing exterior colors.  She also does consultations via photos.  I would find that a worthwhile expense since the decision really affects curb appeal and thus the value of the home.
Thanks for that! I'll definitely check out that blog. I'm trying to over-plan and do it once, rather than doing small tweaks all the time. Curb appeal is huge and will definitely affect our home value, and since the SO got the house for less than market rate (from a family member) it's going to be free equity which I'd like to maximize!
I would rip out shrubbery and replace with widened landscape beds with rock and plants. Paint the house but not the brick and definitely accent the door with the color of your choice. All those things are DIY friendly projects and don't cost a lot of money. However, I always clarify that I would much rather save money by saving labor costs of hiring it done than to save money by buying cheap paint, floors, etc. You are much better off getting a premium paint that will stick well and last a long time in a couple coats versus buying a cheap paint that requires four coats (i.e. twice as much product) and lasts half as long.

I would dress up the base of your giant fig tree with stone edging and accent plants. Some people even put small benches underneath.
Do you have any examples of a widened landscape bed? I am really ignorant when it comes to that sort of thing so any sort of photo inspiration you have would be awesome! And we will definitely be doing premium paint and doing it ourselves. :)

lexde

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2017, 04:26:43 PM »
If you really are in a hot state, that dark gray is gonna cook. The tealy-blue door will look fine with a lighter shade of gray.

I agree that painting bricks creates an upkeep hassle. I also note that folks have been doing just that long before HGTV came along...
I was looking into the light grey with navy door (as pictured). Someone in the next neighborhood over did the dark grey and teal which I really like, but I think the light grey/navy will work better with our home.
I would choose a shade of red from the bricks (the most pleasing shade or the darkest one that isn't brown but more on the red side) and paint the rest of the (stucco?) that color and then leave the bricks as they are.  That will eliminate the focus on the lower bricks on the living room window.  I might even paint the soffit and eave the same color.  It might take a few tries to get the color to match so start with quarts before buying gallons of paint. 

Are the windows paintable or are they metal or vinyl ? - if metal or vinyl assuming they are staying white?  Then a navy, gray or dark teal door would look great.  It's hard to tell from the photo where the door is.  Is it protected from the sun ?  A dark color will have problems unless well protected from direct sun.

I would remove the shrubs in front of the house and find out what grows in the shade in your area: hostas, ferns or decorative grasses - also something that is drought tolerant as it looks like you're in a dry area.  Then plant a row of one of those along the entire front foundation.  If you want pops of color plant some flowering bulbs in front of the hostas, etc.  depending on what grows there.

Horizontal lines are prominent in mid-century houses and you want to maintain that horizontality.  Keep everything simple and linear.

Also when you say laminate floor are talking about a floating click floor ?   Those are about the easiest things to install.  Choose the smallest room, watch some you tube videos and plan a long holiday weekend (missed this one!) and have fun. What is the finish flooring now ?

Good luck!
I haven't really looked into painting the house a brick color (it's block, not stucco unfortunately!). The windows are not paintable, but are brand new, so I'll keep them white. The door is covered and protected from the sun so I think a darker color will work out okay but I didn't even think about that! Thank you for letting me know about. Honestly I'd never even heard of hostas until this thread so I'm going to be looking into those for landscaping. As for the flooring, SO is not yet mustachian (I'm getting him there!) so it may be easier for now to just get it all done at once. I got a quote for $3400 with install/padding/baseboards which, while it is expensive, may be worth it for now. Right now we have a ton of 20 year old carpet. :(

lthenderson

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2017, 06:49:57 PM »
Do you have any examples of a widened landscape bed? I am really ignorant when it comes to that sort of thing so any sort of photo inspiration you have would be awesome! And we will definitely be doing premium paint and doing it ourselves. :)

I was thinking something along the lines of this:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/be/bd/4e/bebd4e0e2f963f04099d4d3a12e5f55e--concrete-landscape-edging-landscape-curbing.jpg
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 06:51:32 PM by lthenderson »

lexde

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2017, 07:24:48 PM »
Do you have any examples of a widened landscape bed? I am really ignorant when it comes to that sort of thing so any sort of photo inspiration you have would be awesome! And we will definitely be doing premium paint and doing it ourselves. :)

I was thinking something along the lines of this:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/be/bd/4e/bebd4e0e2f963f04099d4d3a12e5f55e--concrete-landscape-edging-landscape-curbing.jpg
Wow -- that's gorgeous. I'll definitely have to look into that. It looks fairly low maintenance, too. Thank you so much!!

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2017, 10:05:43 PM »
Whenever I'm picking paint I use the Sherwin Williams visualizer tool. 

https://www.sherwin-williams.com/visualizer#/active/default

It allows you to upload a photo then outline areas to fill with color.  It takes a little while to pick all the areas, especially if you're painting trim, windows and doors, but after you've done that you can change colors easily.  Remember to save the scene so you only have to do it once.

I have a mid-century modern, too, and just got done with my exterior painting (grey-blue and agave green) and loads of brick.  I would never paint brick as it just creates a maintenance burden forever. 

Good luck!

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2017, 05:16:18 AM »
Also, go to an actual local nursery and talk to them about what to plant (not Lowe's/Home Depot). They will know what is suitable for Florida.

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2017, 07:22:37 AM »
Plant an sold at Home Depot might be totally unsuitable for your climate. Last year they were selling palm trees with outdoor planting instructions here in Pennsylvania.

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2017, 01:36:10 PM »
It seems like you are not real fond of the brick. Do you know if it is structural or is it just a brick veneer?  If it is the latter, it might be possible to remove it leaving the original block underneath.

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2017, 02:37:27 PM »
It seems like you are not real fond of the brick. Do you know if it is structural or is it just a brick veneer?  If it is the latter, it might be possible to remove it leaving the original block underneath.

Around here (in the south) the brick is just a veneer... but if you remove it, you're then left with plywood or OSB covered in house wrap.  That's probably not what you want to look at.  You'd likely have to re-veneer it with a different brick or Hardie board or something similar.
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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2017, 02:58:06 PM »
I can't stand the look of brick myself so I understand your desire to do something about it. Personally I would want to remove it long-term if it were just a facade and cover it up if it isn't a facade. As other posters have said, I LOVE the tree and think it is the best thing about the whole front in the first photo  you posted. I would want to fence in the front yard and fill up the rest of the space with prettiness - flowers and other pretty stuff in the shade and raised beds in the spaces that are sunny enough to support a garden. Those are just my own personal values showing through though.
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lexde

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2017, 05:49:34 AM »
Thank you everyone for your input, I have a lot of big ideas now and I'll be excited to post some "after" photos once we get cracking on the exterior!

gooki

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2017, 06:11:36 AM »
Agreed, with the exterior either remove the brick, or brick the whole thing. Anything else is a waste of time/money.
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TrMama

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2017, 12:26:10 PM »
Also, go to an actual local nursery and talk to them about what to plant (not Lowe's/Home Depot). They will know what is suitable for Florida.

This. Take that photo with you and you'll get great advice.

Or you can research yourself online and then look for a wholesale nursery. We have one here that will sell individual plants, they just won't give you any advice or carry anything for you. However, for 50% cheaper than the retail nurseries I'm happy to do my own legwork. I had tons of fun using this plant database, http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/ during a recent re-landscaping project.

I also agree that giant tree is the best thing about your yard. It's giving you tons of shade and couldn't be replaced at any price. Keep it as long as possible.

Rosy

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2017, 05:42:47 PM »
Keep the tree - it's beautiful and healthy and the best thing your exterior has going for itself:) Doesn't look like it needs any trimming, although I'm sure if you mention it to your lawn guy or equivalent - they'll be happy to tell you that it has to be cut with a price tag in the hundreds or more.

Doors are one of those projects that are actually fun to do. Instant impact. My nephews wife painted hers the day of a party - chinese red. Mine is a strong turquoise blue color - love it.
A word to the wise, do buy quality outdoor paint, it is worth it if you live in Florida.

I'm not a fan of grey for the house color, I find it depressing, but it is all the rage right now and it will definitely look modern, especially with crisp white accents to keep it fresh and updated. Any color door will look great with that for a backdrop.

On the landscape - that is easy:) - I'd suggest you look around and find some inspiration in your neighborhood or any neighborhood that appeals to you. Take some pics and take them to a real plant nursery not Home Depot (they are the worst), they can order anything for you. Done!:)

paddedhat

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2017, 04:20:34 PM »
Plant an sold at Home Depot might be totally unsuitable for your climate. Last year they were selling palm trees with outdoor planting instructions here in Pennsylvania.

Well they look stunning, in their natural habitat, alongside the Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurel:) Supposedly they are quite hardly here in PA. up 'till about mid-October. After than, not so much. On a serious note, we moved from the Poconos to central PA, a few miles north of the MD. border, recently. I was quite surprised to hear from my professional plant guy, and neighbor, that several varieties of Crepe Myrtle, both bush and tree type, do well here. Love that stuff, always reminds me of stately street scenes in places like Savannah.

J Boogie

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Re: Updating Midcentury Block House / Curb Appeal Crisis!
« Reply #34 on: July 13, 2017, 03:26:07 PM »
My only piece of advice would be to be careful not to put too much of your own money in.  No doubt you have a good relationship - but as long as you don't forget that it's his house and not yours (yet) you'll be ok.

There was another poster on the forum who put a significant amount of time and money into their partner's remodel and was thinking of ending the relationship, needless to say it complicated things and brought on plenty of stress.  Not sure what happened, but regardless of whether they stayed together or split up it would have been better for him not to spend money on her house.  Anytime a serious argument comes up, and they always do, you'll probably do some quick math that you'd rather not be doing.