Friday, May 13, 2016

House-front Face Lift - For Less!

The Headlines:

Need to spruce up the front of your House?

Here's how to get the most bang for your buck.

After a while everyone needs a face lift.  Yes, we're talking about the house not you.  When we bought ours about 4 years ago I knew we had a lot of work ahead.  I've documented most of it on this blog (check under the label "remodeling" on the right side bar).   We've done it slowly.  Not all at once - like some people.  I'm a Stay at Home Mom and funds aren't un-limited.  Plus, I really like doing this stuff so I want to get it right.  We try to be smart and calculated while staying fiscally responsible shall we say?  That's what you want to do too?  Then here are my suggestions:

1- Pick Priorities
Try to limit these to a reasonable number - 5.  We desperately needed to paint, get rid of our horrible light "noses," update the door, change the eye sore windows and fix the mailbox.  We'd love to re-do our driveway (make it circular and add stone) plus update the landscaping but that's just not in the cards right now.

2 - Find A Painter Who Can Do MORE!  
This will save you cash because he's already there.  We saved mucho money getting one guy to do EVERYTHING!  As opposed to a painter who only paints.  Trust me, the painter will charge you almost the same amount as the guy who will do everything.  They're harder to find but they're out there.  My "painter" also lopped off the ugly "nose" lights that tend to go on adobe style homes like mine.

We added these sconces that look so much better:

He also changed out our mailbox and added new, cooler looking numbers (which I blocked out).

3- Develop A Plan
After picking priorities and finding a guy to do the work - you need to be clear on exactly what that work will be.  At first we thought we wanted to add stones to our house and stain our front door dark.   Look, the door was in dire need:

But I decided to bail on the rock idea.  We could get more bang for our buck by simply adding the wrought iron lights and iron front door.  Yes, the door would be pricey but worth it.  The sidelights even open for some cross ventilation.  I love this door.  Typically, you the customer, get to design iron doors too!  They can do anything.  Each one is usually made custom for the customer.

It's even awesome on the other side which was a surprise to me.  I never thought about how much it would change the feel and look inside the home!  But bottom line the new door ties in nicely with the windows, lights and indoors for a super cohesive look.

4 - Use Paint In Un-expected Places.  
Our windows looked horribly dated since they were "framed" with white instead of black.

We had to do something.  But new windows would cost thousands & thousands of dollars.  And our windows were fine.  In fact, really good, according to the window pro who just came over...  So I came up with an idea to PAINT the window frames.  Surprisingly, the contractor didn't charge too much to do that yet the impact was HUGE.

The result?  Much better.

They look phenomenal.  And we started a trend.  Everyone in our neighborhood is doing it now.  You can also throw up another color instead of black - red and turquoise are big where we live.  We also put black paint on our view fence.  In Arizona, houses usually use the same color of their house on their fence but I asked -  why not black?

Turns out, it really makes the fence look like a wrought iron, custom job versus what we had before.

5 - Bring the Indoors Out
Last thing.  It's super cheap to go shopping inside your own house!  Sometimes I just look around, see what I don't need or want INDOORS any more and repurpose it outside.  That's what I did below.  That side table used to be my bathroom stool.

It works perfect here.  Side note, if you can swing it, all front yards need a sitting place.  To better watch the kids ride bikes, drink wine or just to keep the neighbors in line.  If you don't have a designated one, like a porch, make one.  I almost guarantee you can find a little spot on your lawn or under that eave.  Just look for it.

That's it.  Are you inspired?  The whole project cost just under $15k.  No, not chump change but I'd say it looks like a million.  

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