louiselam08

Need help! Modernise house exterior

Louise
3 years ago
Hi everyone! It's me again, the girl that loses sleep v and takes forever to do things as she can't decide on what to do due to endless choices and no experience. It's time to bite the bullet and I'm really needing your help to modernise the house façade and improve street appeal (ugliest house on the street!)

I've posted something similar in the live chat that Houzz has going on the 29th of June but realise I can't wait that long because hubby is going to start painting next week!!

I really need your advice on a colour scheme for the exterior of the house. It's north facing and I'm really into the Hamptons look where the pallette is quite soft and neutral. Can people please tell me if dulux tranquil retreat on the walls, trims to to be crisp white, awning will replaced with a flat, angled style in surf mist and gutters in momentum will work? I will also be painting the front door black and getting rid of the security screen. The tiles for the porch will be black and white (pics below) so I need this to work with the colour scheme.

Thanks all!

Comments (53)

  • Bernadette Staal
    3 years ago

    How can that house be the ugliest house on the street - it is cute / lovely and in my mind suits it's style. Ok freshen up the paint if you must. Consider painting / treating the door screen (they are decorative and quite fashionable again). I would then add plants in pots to add colour and softness. I think you need to take a fresh look at your house and remember what made you fall in love with it.


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  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    it's actually the first thing you notice about the house...concrete!

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  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    i'd paint your letterbox the same colour as your neighbours place, and change the front of your house to a slightly different, but complementary shade. Porch roof and carport same as neighbours...why not, they look great and 2 similar but very slightly different shades could look great! porch tiles look ok

  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Hi Andy Pat, thanks for your input. Are you saying the first thing you notice about my old ugly house is the concrete? It was actually grass prior and we paid a small fortune to get it concreted and paved herringbone style to convert it to a driveway for 2 cars. Planting will definitely come later. We need to get the exterior painted and bullnose awning replaced first. I love my neighbours house, it's cute and has a cottagey feel about it. I was thinking of painting ours a lighter shade of blue but hubby is dead against it and says he wants a grey and white colour scheme, which I don't mind but do get worried that I'd pick the wrong grey so looking for help!
  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Unfortunately we bought the porch tiles ages ago so we have to stick with it.
  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    i think the porchie tiles look nice Louise...also I think your idea of the grey and white is nice, where there is white next door, paint yours white, where blue, paint a nice shade of grey. You can complement with some nice light blue terracotta pots, with green leafy plants. I think that would look nice. don't worry bout the concrete, i understand, the new carport, fresh paint, pots and plants will do wonders!

  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Thanks Andy Pat, I need to soften the exterior of the house as you are right, all that dark grey pavers gives the house a very sterile, harsh look.
  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Awwww thanks Bernadette. I must admit it does start to get a tad depressing when you realise how much there is to do just to get the house presentable. Thanks for your opinion and input. There will definitely be a post asking about plant selection as i'm no green thumb
  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    with plants louise, just remember plants of different heights will help. I think you have a lovely home and 2nd Bernadette's comments above, particularly with the security screen door. The best thing with these doors is that they will let light and breeze thru, without compromising security.. note that not all of these doors are secure; ambos once showed me how insecure they can be!

  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Thanks Andy Pat!
  • antonia_d
    3 years ago
    With your gutters was it monument you were considering? If so, I think it's too dark for your home. I think the awning and gutters should be the same colour. Basalt or Shale Grey would look lovely. I have my interior walls painted Tranquil Retreat and love the colour. We only did a 1/4 strength as found the full strength a bit too dark for our home.
  • Jo
    3 years ago

    I love the herringbone pattern & tiles very nice

  • girlguides
    3 years ago
    I think tranquil retreat will look nice but would go basalt gutters as neutral black but not heavy like monument so would blend better
  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Hi girlguides, good point! I've been concerned about monument being too strong/dark for quite some time. I've had a look at the colour patches again and I've decided on shale grey
  • LesleyH
    3 years ago
    I think you have done well with your paving for the cars - it's the neighbours concrete you notice. Grey paint ideas.
  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Thanks LesleyH! Love how you posted up the pics to give me a feel of what my house may look like once painted!
  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    are you having the carport on the right or left Louise? there are a few things to consider..I will try and point them out..others might have a few more as well. 1) if carport on left, it might block sun over the front windows...it depends on your orientation whether that is a good or a bad thing. 2) if on the right, it should provide covered access to the front door in the event of rain. 3) I had another look at the style of next doors..it matches the verandah trims..yours are different..so maybe try and match yours 4) have you considered a carport wide enough for both cars? if you can afford it, it might be the most practical solution for everyday living, and it should still be ok, especially when you go to sell for the photos, u just back the cars out haha 5) suggest painting the roof tiles to match the carport and verandah awning..

  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    good luck with the painting, could your new awning be white along with all other trims, ie: verandah posts, windows etc

  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Hey Andy, thanks for helping me out once again! I very much value your thoughts and opinions. We will definitely be getting a double carport installed as we need it to cover the cars, but that won't happen until we get the house painted, front awning and back roof replaced and a pergola for the backyard built. We have so much to do *sighs* I haven't also decided on the style of carport as I feel that it's such a big decision as it's the façade of the house. I have a few ideas in my mind and will setup a post to get everyone's opinion to help me out because houzz is awesome!
  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Hi Siriuskey, I have chosen surfmist for the awning which I've researched into which Google tells me off-white
  • LesleyH
    3 years ago
    Surfmist is a great off white with a hint of grey.
  • missmel07
    3 years ago

    Surfmist is a warm taupe/grey offwhite, has ochre and black in the formula. Best idea is to get a very large board/cardboard and paint your colours in similar proportions to how they will be on your house. Different light, colour of neighbours house etc can all dramatically affect they way colours look on your house. I also love your house- very cute, not ugly at all. Don't highlight he gutters with a different colour they are not a feature- make downpipes samecolour as the wall and the gutter same as the barge boards or awning. I love the bullnose verandah too, keep the charm

  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    Hi Louise, have 'ideas' for the carport...when u set up the post will put them up! CHeers Andy

  • Mel N
    3 years ago

    Hi Louise, would you consider re-doing your brick pointing? It would freshen up the whole look of your home without the long-term maintenance of painted brick.

    It would look great with the surfmist bullnose porch, re-instate the timber fretwork detail that has gone missing. Keep everything white and fresh. Then just add some greenery/pots.

    Your house is beautiful. Personally, I do not like what your neighbour has done to their facade. It is too much and very unsympathetic to the period of home. Yes, it is trendy today, in a decade, they will be trying to sandblast the paint off to expose the bricks again.

  • Mel N
    3 years ago


    CJH Brick Restoration Services · More Info

  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Hi Mel, yep! I looked into repointing the home a few years back. Organised to get a few quotes and it was expensive just to get the façade done. Back to the drawing board now....oh, I should also mention that my house is nestled between 3 small cottage houses. 3 have painted/rendered, do you think it will look strange if my house remains brick?
  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    i see a strikingly contemporary design for your home..

  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    I also love the look of this house and was thinking if replicating it for mine at some point. Paint or repoint....decisions decisions decisions...hubby is grumpy as we have a trade locked in to replace roof, awning and get a pergola built and now everything is on hold as I can't decide on what to do!
  • eilyk1
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I also would keep the brick. The bricks are great and I think the rendering/painting will eventually go out of fashion (plus it looks odd when its just the front facade and the rest stays brick). Theres something about that bullnose awning though that doesn't look quite right. Is it original? If not I would replace it with something similar to the neighbours. I think if the awning was painted to match or compliment the rest of the trim, or even tiled to match the roof like in the above picture it would change the whole appearance of the facade. Then I think you just need to paint the boundary treatments to all be the same colour and add some soft landscaping and it will look a lot better for a lot less money :-) Definitely keep the security door, its a lovely original feature.

  • Mel N
    3 years ago

    Hi Louise, to answer your question will your home look strange nestled between others that are rendered/painted? My personal opinion, no. Absolutely not. I think- what a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Tuck pointing is a high-end treatment, that I think will only add value to your home vs painting/rendering=long term unnecessary maintenance.

    Definitely agree with ellyk- paint the surrounding boundary fencing a uniform colour. A hedge along your drive way would look lovely, like your last inspo photo. I think you might need something higher than boxus though, muraya maybe?

    Are you in Sydney? There is a Federation timber place in Rozelle that sells fretwork.



  • eilyk1
    3 years ago

    Yes agree a hedge would look great. A more formal look to the landscaping (clipped hedges, symmetry where/if using pots) would give it a more modern appearance without compromising the original features. Also agree it won't look strange if the others are painted, it will probably look even better!

  • girlguides
    3 years ago
    Do the roof awning and pergola and then reconsider bricks as cute
  • missmel07
    3 years ago

    How can she have a hedge at the front and a double carport? I really think you need to focus on designing the carport first as much of the bullnose and house may not really be seen once this is in place. Try and keep as

    much of the house still visible as possible and also try to keep some natural light- if you use corrugated iron for roofing maybe use some clear panel infills. Here are two examples where the carport does not overwhelm the house as tends to happen when you have a high pitched roof structure.


    What council area are you in? Are the strict about streetscape or heritage? In some councils in Sydney you are not allowed to paint Rick without permission.

    Bricks or paint is a personal aesthetic preference there is not really a right or a wrong and I don't think it will be a "mistake" in ten years, people have been painting brick for he last 30/40 years and people are still doing it. Not a fad just a personal choice. The security screen is not original.



  • missmel07
    3 years ago

    Sorry, now I re-read I see that you meant a hedge along the side

  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Hi all, thanks so much for giving me your opinions! You guys are the best!

    Yep, I live in Sydney and we are part of Canada Bay Council. I'll be able to paint the bricks no probs as lots of houses in the area have already done so. Our house is not heritage listed. Thanks for the idea about the fretwork. Haha, I had considered doing this a while back but have decided not too as we will eventually enclose the porch in with windows as the street gets noise a few early mornings a week with council coming in to do the bins for houses + shops (we live super close to the main strip where there is cafe's, businesses, etc). We have a hedge going already on the brick wall that is painted blue (the pic I attached is an old one, sorry!) but I am thinking of either putting a hedge on the opposite wall that is currently white or attaching a lattice and putting a climber on to make it a green wall. What do you think about that idea? Obviously that will come after we get the bullnose awning replaced (it really has to go as it's not original and rusted through) and the porch tiled (there's so much to do!). I would love to get the front roof changed to colorbond as it's showing it's age now but will most likely get it painted as it's probably good for another decade or so. Great idea with the carport, definitely will do that as part of phase 2!

    I still haven't decided on what to do!! Suffering from a case of analysis paralysis! But also thinking because we will enclose the porch and put a carport in at a later date that repointing and all this indecision as to whether the awning should be replaced as bullnose or like our neighbours doesn't matter as you won't see it from the street when the carport goes in.
  • LesleyH
    3 years ago
    I agree with Mel, stand out from the crowd, use white motar to make them pop.
  • missmel07
    3 years ago

    Frustrating as it is it's better to get a very clear idea on everything- colour scheme, materials, landscaping, carport/pergola, enclosing front verandah and THEN start actual work. That way you can set your budgets and prioritise what is more important and what gives the most impact. The more greenery the better.

  • missmel07
    3 years ago

    Even if you do it in separate stages it's better to have a clear overall plan

  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    I am thinking of doing something like this
  • Louise
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    Hi Missmel07, I'm starting to feel quite overwhelmed and am starting to think I should just outsource this to someone who has experience in these type of things as there is so much to do and so many things to consider. Any recommendations anyone?
  • missmel07
    3 years ago

    Hi Louise, there is a lot to consider and until you lock down a few decisions it can be very overwhelming but once you get a few ideas bedded down everything else will start to fall into place. Top two decisions; one, do you definitely need a covered carport or could you be happy with hard-stand carparking and a gate. Two, do you personally prefer brick or paint? No, right or wrong answer- what does your gut tell you?

  • Mel N
    3 years ago

    If you are committed to a carport, you will need a DA and you will need someone to draw plans for you. Perhaps they can help you decide which overall design direction to head in. You sound so confused. It is simple if you try and work with, and enhance what you have (which is lovely btw!). If you try and turn it into something it's not, it will get confusing and $$$.


  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    actually Louise, my concept sees a carport framing the house, not hiding it. Enclosing the porch will be more difficult as it will change the character of your house. Get a good designer or an architect, there are lots to consider. Your photo of the neutral bay house would only be possible if you take out the paving and replace with grass....where will you park?

  • eilyk1
    3 years ago

    I would start with making a decision on the carport first. Start by talking to the council as you may not be able to do a double carport (and the single carport at your neighbours looks like a tight squeeze!) Also as Missmel said you should probably also make a decision whether to paint or not early on. If you are going to go with carport, paint, new awning and possibly porch windows you are getting into a whole new look so I would start talking a professional about the best way to design it. As an alternative to the porch enclosure could you get the front windows double glazed to reduce noise? If it was my place I think I would only be changing the awning, paint the fences, landscape, and maybe do a single carport if its really needed (plus the tiling etc that you mentioned). Some new fretwork might be nice too. To me the main thing to change is the bullnose, as you said its not original and it looks heavy and dominating. You will have to post some pics when done I will be really interested to see how this all turns out.

  • antonia_d
    3 years ago
    I'm located in the same area as you and the council can be very particular when it comes to the streetscape. We completed a renovation a few years ago and had some difficulty getting things approved despite houses in our street having the same features we were after.
    There are quite a few knock down and rebuilds going on around Abbotsford and Wareemba at the moment. I think you should keep your facade as it is. It has much more character than a lot of the new homes.
  • siriuskey
    3 years ago

    If you are going to add a carport I think it would be best to make it a
    double if it's allowed and you can afford it. Of street parking in the
    city is worth a lot of money and undercover even more, so you would
    certainly be adding value to your property. As you are replacing the
    Bull Nose roof why not speak to an architect to combine that with the
    carport, same shape for both?. a couple of photos for you

    Pretty cottage but car parking is far better value adding

    Perhaps something like this incorporating the( Bull Nose) verandah
    what not to do!!

  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    House reno's are supposed to be fun! In light of this, I would suggest starting with something small, like the backyard pergola or whatever..get a good builder of if you are that way inclined, put on a barbie and dyi :)

  • Mel N
    3 years ago

    Reno's are seldom 'fun' and always cost more than you expect (which then means compromises). I'm an advocate of 2 things- 1. work with what you have, 2. do it all in one-hit. Doing bits and pieces here and there...you run the risk of your taste and fashions changing, then the entire reno not flowing together. Professional designers are worth their weight in gold.

    You live in a reasonably high-end suburb of Sydney, and that's not going to change. Without knowing your longer term plans- you should always aim to renovate to the surrounding market standards and quality. You need to try and imagine what future occupants may value. You have off-street parking for 2 cars. Do you really need the car port? For the benefit of keeping off a little rain (dust still goes in the sides), you will loose a tonne of light in the front room and entry. Do not under-estimate the value future buyers will put on light.

  • missmel07
    3 years ago

    I agree, I'd rather have a gorgeous, light filled home with great street appeal than cover for my cars.

  • Andy Pat
    3 years ago

    it all depends on the orientation...if it is facing west, then some shade would be good. There could also be a fair bit of reflected light (and heat) coming from uncovered pavers. I suggest a thorough design process that deals with light, heat, rain and still looks good. My suggestion above Louise, take it slowly, starting with the easy things first. Perhaps the backyard where nobody but u can see it :)