How to make an exterior facade pop - Pro Construction Guide
How to make an exterior facade pop

How to make an exterior facade pop

Pros share their secrets to make an exterior facade pop for great curb appeal.

Pros share their secrets to make an exterior facade pop for great curb appeal.

Pros share their secrets to make an exterior facade pop for great curb appeal.

Replicate nature to make an exterior facade pop

Use products that look real, but don’t require the maintenance that comes with natural materials. For example, many people love the look of wood siding, but they don’t realize the maintenance that comes with wood. Fiber-cement siding is a great alternative, providing the design aesthetics of wood with minimal maintenance.

“No matter how well-intentioned someone is when they put wood siding on a home, they often don’t get the results they wanted,” says Bonny Weil, owner of Bonny Weil General Contractor in San Francisco. “Instead of getting the pizazz they are looking for, they end up with a shabby result because they don’t do the required maintenance.”

Installing copper gutters and downspouts is another way to make a home stand out. Copper requires little maintenance and can be the added special touch a facade needs, says Weil.

Experiment with color

Consider using a variety of colors on the exterior to make an exterior facade pop. For example, check out the 210 new Pantone colors in its Fashion, Home and Interiors line, including golden oranges, deep blacks, soft pinks and strong reds.

“Bright colors or coordinating colors can look great on stucco,” says Weil.

Adding an interesting color is a great way to highlight a specific part of a home’s facade. “Color completes the overall look and ties in the character of the house,” says Michelle Simms, chief operating officer of Terramor Homes in Raleigh, North Carolina. “A bold-colored front door pulls the color scheme together.”

As with most trends, popular colors vary by region.

“Typically, coast-style houses − whether Caribbean or Key West style − are brighter with almost electric blues and greens,” says Glenn Layton, managing partner with Glenn Layton Homes in Jacksonville, Florida. “But now we’re seeing a trend toward neutral colors because they are considered more sophisticated.”

Add textures to the facade

Texture is a great way to break up the line of sight and make an exterior facade pop

“Texture is important because it can make parts of the elevation more pronounced and bold,” says Simms. “We like to use darker colors to highlight shape, as well as incorporate stone or brick to complement the architectural details of the home.”

Weil also uses stone to add texture, and says installing smooth stucco can also make a huge difference. “It’s the exception to the rule,” she says. “The eye gets tired of seeing the same thing.”

Break up sight lines

it’s easy to break up a sight line with corner boards or by trimming shutters below the window, Layton says. “Long walls are a challenge,” he says. “We need to break those up.”

Lines play into color schemes when Simms and her team plan a farmhouse elevation. “Board and batten details, as well as colored windows and window trim, help to define the house,” says Simms. “Plus, an inviting front porch with a brick foundation and a brightly colored front door is a great way to highlight.”

Weil takes a creative approach by weaving siding corners so that each course of siding is lapped as it turns the corner in an alternating pattern. This process can be labor intensive, but creates an intricate detail, she says.

Small details can go a long way. Instead of 90-degree corners, consider mitered corners, which can soften the look of a facade. Brackets, like the ones Layton used on a recent shed roof, also create interest.

From color to texture to details, Pros can do a lot to make their clients’ homes stand out from neighboring houses – yet still complement them. But remember: Simplicity often works best. As Layton says, “Less is more when done correctly.”

−By Carolina Albano, engineering manager, Nichiha

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