WANTED - Exterior Design Ideas - Ugly House

36 Replies

Hello,

I am interested in hearing your thoughts about this house I purchased. Many options as of today in regards to whether we rent, BRRR, sell as is, or fix and flip for top dollar. My partner and I both have experience in construction and are both licensed builders.

ARV for house $320,000...maybe more.

Purchased for $218,000.

House is in Troy, MI (strong market, great location, strong school district, great community)

So…….I recognize the outside is UGLY on the outside.I am interested in your thoughts on what exterior improvements you would make to give this thing curb appeal! Do you have any before and after flips with picture examples?

The inside of the house will need updates. It is entirely living in the 1990’s.

The exterior color makes the home appear invisible.  I would definitely paint the shutters, front door and trim.  Garage door as well.  Looks like a brick facade so I would leave that natural.  Also pressure clean the shingles when you are ready for market.  Just a few ideas and try pressure cleaning the walk and driveway as well.  Personally I would stain or paint the concrete to set the house apart from the neighbors.  Good luck and best wishes.  Just my two cents and cost would be minimal.

I’d also have the trees trimmed up 20’ it will make a huge difference and be very cheap.

Get rid of the trees close to the house , limb up the rest , ditch the shutters , paint house gray with white trim , Get new shutters , use them as the accent , I like the board and batten shutters .  Have someone that does roof cleaning and get rid of the black stains on the roof . powerwash the driveway . 

Hi @Michael Arnold ,'

Some stacked stone veneer going up about one foot over the lower windows

get rid of the fake shutters and add some nice large window boxes under the two upper windows. Bronze look with cocoa mat or boxes painted to match the window trim. I think this would help draw the eye away from the squished looking roof line

Beef up the column on the front porch, maybe add bigger base with stone veneer.

Over the garage door, a really wide (at least 12") trim board, then hardi shakes over that. Do 2-2.5 feet of stacked stone veneer over the bricks on the sides of the garage Also add some appropriately scaled bronze modern looking up-down lighting on either side of the garage. 

Paint the trim a dark greyish brown color that compliments stone & brick

Like everyone else suggested, power wash the roof and drive; I really liked the idea above to stain the driveway.

What I said your exterior budget? Some of the opinions sound nice, but will cost thousands of dollars. Do you have a budget to repaint, tree removal and add stacked stone?

Hey Mike.

I think the best bang for your buck for the exterior finishes would be to paint the shutters, brick, garage door, front door and what looks like wood wall finish on garage. If it's in the budget, an architectural roof shingle would change the entire look of the home. (Definitely don't power wash the roof as you will destroy the shingles, if roof isn't in the budget you can do a soft cleaning of it. Most power wash companies offer this service)

I typically match the front door to the shutter paint color. White garage door. Play the new roof color off of the exterior color that you choose.

Definitely power wash the driveway and walkways. I would suggest removing a few of the trees closer to the house if it's in the budget, it will open it up a lot. If not trim the limbs to above the roof line.

Lastly, get some colorful shrubs in and a nice mulch bed. I can't post photos to my reply on the app but i will post another reply from my computer tonight of some before and after of flips that I've done that may give you some ideas.

Good luck!
Justin

Here are some before and after exterior photos of some of the flips I've done. Maybe these will give you some ideas! 

Redo the entire garage facade by re-framing roof to be a hight pitch and taller to offset the "heavy" left side of the building. New garage door with windows along the top.  get rid of the circle drive and unfortunately do some major tree removal by taking out the trees close to the front left corner. Entryway needs to be the instant focal point and more inviting.

The trees next to your house need to go. I’m surprised the roots haven’t caused any damage yet.

Thank you everyone for the great ideas! Helpful!

I agree with Zach above about roots in the pipes. If there's any chance that you'll be keeping it, have them checked BEFORE they're broken or plugged.

Lots of great ideas above. Best of luck!

I’ll let y’all know what we end up doing! Great tips!

Not sure how much you're spending, but I would definitely paint the brick a nice creamy-white color. Not too bright, but not the dirty beige it is now.  Light painted brick is very "in" right now.  

Paint the doors and shutters a muted color, or change them out for stained wood (again, depending on your budget). 

With the brown roof, I'd go for a muted green color for a "cottage-y" look. 

Some color palette ideas that might work:

I think it has great potential. My first choice would be medium/dark gray, but with the roof would need to a darker color. That being said my next choice would be white and a darker trim, with matching door color. Some dark hardware for the garage door will defiantly bring your eyes to it. If possible remove the trees, if not, trim them up. Clean the roof, and power wash the concrete. The shutters are iffy. You may be able to pull it off with them. It would certainly dim the white down some. I’ll be looking forward to seeing the result of this regardless. This is one of those properties that go unnoticed until someone sheds some light on it. Good luck!

Imo, don’t paint brick unless it is hideous, and start with the obvious, which is painting trim and shutters. Next, and almost equally important is two big concrete pots of flowering red geraniums flanking the front door...or some such. The pruning will help you get good photos. That should do it. It isn’t and ugly house, just bland. But don’t go overboard on color...except with flowers.

Originally posted by @Marian Smith :

Imo, don’t paint brick unless it is hideous, and start with the obvious, which is painting trim and shutters. Next, and almost equally important is two big concrete pots of flowering red geraniums flanking the front door...or some such. The pruning will help you get good photos. That should do it. It isn’t and ugly house, just bland. But don’t go overboard on color...except with flowers.

 From what I was reading just the other day, you really do not want to paint brick unless it's necessary. It seems like it's an easy way to really cause brick to break down over time because a lot of people use the incorrect paints When painting brick. The article I was reading said brick needs to breathe and most pains will not allow that. Granted, this was just an article I was reading because a house I'm about to rehab as break I was already poorly painted so I was trying to figure out what to do to make it look nicer.

Interesting.  Well, for one thing, latex paint has a bit of permiability.  Cement siding is what? Ground up limestone and binders?  It is required to be painted, and in latex.   I dont know what brick is exactly,  seems like decorative  lightweight concrete to me, or why it would need to breathe, but I had a 1970’s house that was sided in “cheap mexican clay bricks” per my inspector who had a bs in engineering from A&m.  He told me to preserve them with a masonry sealer or they would eventially, over time deteriorate and fall apart.  They were red clay with an antiqued white paint looking coating...painted in mexico not on the house  because rhe mortar wasnt painted.  Maybe they were dried in the sun instead of fired, but there are homes all over Austin with that brick.   So I will continue to think painting brick is a-ok except that it takes a no maintenance siding and makes it into a siding that will eventially need paint.  PS look at all thr commercial buildings with painted brick.

We’re still planning what to do. Unfortunately we may need to cut exterior improvements for budget reasons.

Trust me I want to do it all but we won’t make a penny if we overspend. This neighborhood sort of has a cap in regards to market value.

For example, $330k ARV is really the ceiling.

Originally posted by @Marian Smith :

Interesting.  Well, for one thing, latex paint has a bit of permiability.  Cement siding is what? Ground up limestone and binders?  It is required to be painted, and in latex.   I dont know what brick is exactly,  seems like decorative  lightweight concrete to me, or why it would need to breathe, but I had a 1970’s house that was sided in “cheap mexican clay bricks” per my inspector who had a bs in engineering from A&m.  He told me to preserve them with a masonry sealer or they would eventially, over time deteriorate and fall apart.  They were red clay with an antiqued white paint looking coating...painted in mexico not on the house  because rhe mortar wasnt painted.  Maybe they were dried in the sun instead of fired, but there are homes all over Austin with that brick.   So I will continue to think painting brick is a-ok except that it takes a no maintenance siding and makes it into a siding that will eventially need paint.  PS look at all thr commercial buildings with painted brick.

 I feel like you thought I was negating you and I promise I wasn't. Was just mentioning what I had read in order to contribute to the conversation.  The article said there are certain paints that allow the brick to still breathe and will work.  It was stated that brick aids in temperature regulation for a home. The author was just saying that many other types of paint could end up trapping moisture inside the brick which would cause it to deteriorate over time, that's all. Also, I was talking about your general red brick. But, I am very new to all this so I have much to learn and apologize if it seemed like I was telling you you were wrong, which I was not intending to do. I sort of misspoke when I said you shouldn't paint brick. I should have said, instead, that I had read that most paints aren't good for brick because they trap moisture in the brick but there are paints that will allow the brick to still breathe and moisture to move out of the bricks. So, looking into the best paints to preserve the brick seems like a good idea.

I'm in the process of finishing a flip in the city under you, Clawson, and used a company called Performance Painting. They were a pleasure to work with and also really good with their prices. If you are gonna go with painting the entire exterior, I'd ask them for an estimate since they are nearby.

@brian h wasn't,t insulted at all...trapping moisture in your wall would be bad.  But like Insaid todays acrylic latex is sonewhat vapor permeable so should perform fine.  Just didnt want you to think you had a huge problem on your hands.  If you get a professional paint company out for a quote, ask about their warranty.  If they give you a standard warranty that should allay your worries.  There are worse substrates than painted brick.  And the quote will helpyou decide if you want to do the work or hire it out.

@diego Ortega.... do you have any other contractors to recommend? Thanks in advance!

Beautiful house. I really like brick houses. Good luck.

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