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Please help me re-design the front of my house (pics included)

(51 Posts)
Kitsmummy Thu 24-Mar-16 10:59:17

Hi, I live in a v old cottage which is lovely on the inside, but a real ugly duckling on the outside.

I need to change the windows (hopefully wooden in the vague style of the attached picture) but I also have such a bugbear with the porch. Here are my thoughts: it needs a different roof - one in more of an apex style, so generally prettier and more cottagey. it has doors on either side of the porch. I can change the doors themselves, but the layout has to stay the same (eg I can't put a door on the front of the porch). To my mind the front porch window is the wrong size - it needs to be longer (and therefore start lower down the porch). The bottom of the window would then be lower than the house windows. In my head that will look fine, but I can't find any examples of this look anywhere online, which makes me worry that actually it wouldn't look good.

Is the porch itself just too wide for the cottage? Do I need to knock down and start again...make it slightly narrower?

The garage in real life is more of an eyesore and obscures the house more than the pic suggests. I could shorten this by 1m and would then would also create a parking space in front of the house (currently I have no parking).

I can also of course get handy with a paint brush. I wondered if it would look better all white (including the stone) as the the lovely mullions would show and I'd have nice green/grey/blue painted windows

I have a few thousand to spend on this. Advice and suggestions appreciated.

DessertOrDesert Thu 24-Mar-16 11:28:01

OK are you semi /end terrace? It looks like there is an extension on the right. I'd paint the extension (assuming it's not getting stone work like rest of house), porch and garage in one shade.
The windows you've attached look lovely. I can see what you mean about porch window, better bigger, but then not match rest of windows. What about putting in a round window, or a different shape, so it doesn't need to match?
Apex roof would them be 3 different roof shapes. Currently it is the same angle as the main roof, and the garage is flat. Don't know on that one.

Can you soften the concrete at the front?

Not sure taking 1m off the garage will be cost effective?

Maybe a climbing plant up the garage?

I have no idea what any of the above would cost! Or even if it would be a good idea. Just some thoughts.

VertigoNun Thu 24-Mar-16 11:31:07

Some white fencing, climbing plants on an arch will help.

Kitsmummy Thu 24-Mar-16 11:35:41

Hi, yes I'm semi and that is an extension on the right.

Good idea about a round window! I've thought about painting the porch, garage and extension...I think that needs to be done but don't think that's enough to transform from ugly to pretty, so I'm happy to be a bit more radical. Thanks for the good ideas.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 24-Mar-16 11:38:17

An apex would look better over the porch. Where the pots are in front of the porch is that a place where you can do proper planting? Some dangling down plants and some upright to soften that whole area. All the pots don't do anything for the place, can you incorporate some beds for planting somehow?

Do you need the garage? I'd be tempted to get rid of it, but depends on how useful it is to you. Good idea from PP to paint ext, porch and garage same colour and to grow climbing plant on garage. That would add greenery to the front nicely. You could also do a climbing thing in the porch too

thesilentone Thu 24-Mar-16 11:41:41

The garage is the carbuncle not the porch. Does it have to stay? I think if the whole house was painted/washed/rendered in the same material it would make a big difference.

ChasingPavements Thu 24-Mar-16 11:45:00

I think that unifying the extension, porch and outbuilding would be a good idea. So I would suggest painting them all white. Change the windows (like the ones you've posted) and also the door on the garage. Get the steps/area around the porch redone to perhaps brick or stone. Lots of planting and pots.

SnuffleGruntSnorter Thu 24-Mar-16 11:45:34

You say v. old, how old is it? I'd personally start by looking at other buildings the same age and try to get inspiration there.

I agree with the wooden window idea, lovely! Changing the porch roof would look nice too but might be expensive? Definitely at least paint the porch and the extension the same colour. The garage too if you don't completely knock it down...

I agree with the idea of an archway, perhaps jasmine?

ChasingPavements Thu 24-Mar-16 11:46:51

Just re-read the bit about the garage. I would get rid of it completely. Have the driveway and steps redone and get a nice looking garden shed for storing stuff.

SnuffleGruntSnorter Thu 24-Mar-16 11:49:24

Ps. Now you've got me confused about mullions.... I thought a mullion was when a window was kind of split in two with a stone column in the middle. Am I wrong?

Kitsmummy Thu 24-Mar-16 11:49:29

Ha, it is v much a carbuncle! But yes unfortunately it does have to stay...but I could get away with making it a fair bit smaller.

The porch is unfortunately built right up to the ledge so can't really do planting v well. The tin planteron the left of the porch is the largest thing that can fit there so couldnt grow anything too large fom it.

I'm taking on board all the points about the pots...fewer/prettier ones would be better (although they are more colourful in summer anyway)

Maybe if I shortened the garage, the put stone chippings down in front of it? Get a creeper growing over the garage (and paint it obviously)

DaggerEyes Thu 24-Mar-16 11:50:04

If this was mine, I'd train some of that lovely red ivy over the whole front! I love ivy covered cottages.

Kitsmummy Thu 24-Mar-16 11:51:21

Mu use of mullion is probably wrong...I mean the sandstone coloured window surrounds.

Cottage is 300 years old.

Where are we talking about putting an arch? I don't think there is anywhere for this?

thesilentone Thu 24-Mar-16 11:54:21

What about removing all the pots and gubbins, pressure washing the steps and all of that area to see what scrubs up and what doesnt? I'd be thinking of growing something up in front of the porch from ground level perhaps.

SnuffleGruntSnorter Thu 24-Mar-16 11:58:14

Is it listed at that age? We have a house not much older and everything has to be approved by our local conservation officer first.

What a shame someone has put uPVC windows in such an old house, I'm glad you're fixing it. I'd definitely try to restore as faithfully as possible.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Thu 24-Mar-16 12:03:10

I just came to say exactly the same silentone

OP that's a sad end of Winter picture. I'd spend some time removing everything that can be moved, sweeping and pressure washing and then take another photo with the garage door down.

On first impressions I'd extend the porch so it's scaled better for the frontage. I wouldn't feel inclined to change the roof line but would definitely change the windows and paint any rendered areas to match, either white or a soft cream to tone with the stone.

The garage is an eyesore and whatever you do with it needs a new door and some kind of fresh coating. Is it not possible to use it for parking?

Once you've done building works you can think about planters and softening the surfaces with any climbers.

Kitsmummy Thu 24-Mar-16 12:05:39

Shiiiit, you've seriously got me thinking about wether I can manage without the garage at all now...

I've attached some more pics..the inside of my garage..there's not that much in it really is there? I have room in the garden for a large shed, so could move most of it there. I mainly use it for wood storage and bikes. Buy a small bike storage thing instead?

I've also attached a couple more pics of the garage to show how hideous it is, particularly on the approach to my house. If I knocked it down completely it would be a lot easier to pretty up wouldn't it...and turn into a gravelled Parkin space too?

jalopyjane Thu 24-Mar-16 12:07:26

Definitely don't paint the stonework shock There's no going back on a decision like that and I think it would be a real shame to cover up the stone.

I'm not sure about an apex roof on the porch - would that look strange without a door under it? I think the current sloped roof on the porch would look nice with a different window like in this picture.

I agree with painting the extension white, but I think the main improvement would be smartening up the garage and steps - possibly getting some stone steps built? Or possibly painted brick ones?

Deux Thu 24-Mar-16 12:07:56

Here are my thoughts.

Change the Windows as you've suggested. Out a longer window in your porch. Your eye is drawn up to the window and then there is the big expanse of wall below. Less wall would be good.

Paint the extension,!porch and garage in a colour to tone in with the stone. Perhaps the colour of the sandstone window surrounds?

Get wooden garage doors and paint to match your new Windows.

Country cottage planting.

Could you put an exterior mirror up somewhere to the left of your porch so that your front door is reflected in it.

I think is could be super lovely. 🙂

VertigoNun Thu 24-Mar-16 12:08:02

Keep the garage, make it nicer.

jalopyjane Thu 24-Mar-16 12:09:41

Actually I think the picture I posted may be a bad example as those are possibly doors not windows on the front of the porch grin

Deux Thu 24-Mar-16 12:09:57

I wouldn't paint white. I would try something more sympathetic to the stone. If not the sandstone colour, then one of the shades in the stone itself.

QOD Thu 24-Mar-16 12:12:12

Don't lose the garage altogether. It's so important at resale. But yes make smaller so you can park

Deux Thu 24-Mar-16 12:12:23

Some garden mirror ideas here.

www.primrose.co.uk/-p-368.html?adtype=pla&kwd=&showPLA=true&option=715&gclid=COyxgcWl2csCFUqeGwodO68J2Q

GingerIvy Thu 24-Mar-16 12:14:03

Sorry, but the garage just seems to be a place to keep junk. Have a good clear out, only keep what you absolutely need. The shed sounds like a better idea. I do think a bigger window, of a different shape, would look good in that front part of the house.

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