Five Ways to Enhance a Home Exterior During National Curb Appeal Month
If your home’s siding is ready for replacing this year or the entire outside of your home looks a bit “blah,” National Curb Appeal Month in August is the time to borrow some successful ideas from builders to enhance your exterior.
“Builders have ways of enhancing a home exterior so that houses don’t have a ‘cookie cutter look’ within the same neighborhood,” says Patrick Graham, strategic product manager with Weyerhaeuser Distribution. “There are distinct ways they ‘spice up’ a home with simple siding and trim tricks.
“These unique touches personalize a home that any homeowner can tackle. Even if you’re on a budget, there are creative ways you can use siding and trim to enhance the personality of your home.”
To make your home stand out, try these tips:
Tip #1 – Mix it up. – You may have seen homes where the builder has used the same material for both the siding and trim, but it’s not necessary to match the two. Try mixing different types of siding and trim products together on your home, such as low-maintenance PVC trim pieces from WindsorONETM with vinyl siding from a company like James Hardie.
Also, don’t hesitate to combine cedar lap siding with fiber cement shingle panels, or mix vertical board & batten panel-type engineered wood siding with stucco-style panels. There are no set style rules; let your home’s personality and style be your guide.
Tip #2 – Use siding to add texture and depth. Texture is difficult to appreciate until it’s not there. A quick glance at photos of attractive homes shows how siding and trim can be used to add depth and variety in texture.
While some areas of the country are seeing a growing trend toward smooth siding, other markets favor more rustic finishes. Differentiate yourself by mixing them up—be creative and inventive in how you combine them. A straight or staggered edge shake on gable ends looks terrific with horizontal plank siding. Mix cedar lap siding with textured fiber cement panels to add character to a house that otherwise lacks architectural definition.
Tip #3 – Break things up. – Use horizontal elements such as a bellyband to break up the view; this gives you a natural place to change materials as you move up the façade. Siding materials used vary widely across the country, but you’ll often see lap siding, brick or stone on the lower portion of a house, and narrower lap or shingles on the upper portion as well as staggered or straight-edge shingles in the gables of the home.
Tip #4 – Use trim to make a statement. It is easy to add visual sophistication with a few trim tricks. For example, use thicker trim at the windows to make them pop. Or, mix trim widths to emphasize windows and doors by using 4-inch trim for verticals and 6- or 8-inch trim on horizontal edges to exaggerate the size of the opening.
Treat windows that are close together as a single assembly; trim them as a unit instead of breaking them into smaller elements. And take a little extra care with your home’s entry. Add a decorative element atop the door jamb or a mitered backband to the door trim to make the entry appear extra large and inviting.
Tip #5 – Be creative with color. While they can usually be stained or painted, many siding and trim products are now available prefinished. One example is real cedar, which stains extremely well and creates appealing shadow lines due to its texture.
You may also wish to consider one of the two-toned prefinished products available in the marketplace today, such as those from Woodtone. Be creative but use complementary colors to avoid a mish-mash of hues. And, if your home has multiple levels, try using darker-colored siding below and lighter colors above to give your home extra presence.