Front Makeover(26 Posts)
I really would like some advice on how to 'style' the front of my house. I have a hideous flat roofed white plasitc faciaed garage extension attached to our small 3 bed Edwardian semi. I want to get the roof changed to a slopping one (not sure if I am best getting it all done or just partially done so it can be seen at the front), and also maybe porch or storm canopy and a total redesign the front garden (including a new hard landscaped drive and patio area).
This is obviously going to be expensive (I have had a quote just for block paving that made my eyes water!!). I dont have a natural flair for visualising how things will look soIi worried we will spend alot money and I still might not look right and as if it all fits together. I wondered if there are any compaines/ people, artictects, garden designs (I really dont know where to even start!) who come up with ideas for the whole thing and draw sketchs.
I have done the obvious and drove around the area to look for ideas but the style of our house is quite unique so there isnt one I could copy. Also I know i am unsual in wanting a patio at the front!
I hope that makes sense. I am in NW England and all advice gratefully recieved.
Post a photo here? Also, be clear in your mind about what you are trying to achieve. What is it about the current configuration (both aesthetically and practically) that you don't like and would like to change or add? For instance, why are you interested in adding a porch - is that so you don't get wet in the rain whilst trying to open the front door, or because you feel the front of the house looks too 'flat' and you'd like to break it up.
An architect would be able to plan and sketch both the building and garden aspects, but will obviously charge. Folk on forums like this will often have good ideas and mock up some simple sketches for you.
I'd extend the roof of your bay over the front of your front door to create a small open porch and carry it along over the front of the garage, then slope the garage roof backwards from the top of the ridge of it at the front.
Sound like a good idea BUT only had the bay roof redone about 3 years ago so bit reluctant to alter that.
What about wooden doors that open outwards on the garage? I think they always look lovely.
It's not as bad as you think OP, I've seen much much worse frontages
Yes I was thinking of those type of doors, with the small windows at the top.
On the garden design, I have found a local company that I had hoped would come out just to give me ideas. But it seems I’d first have to commit to £150 for ideas and a plan. I think that does not sound too bad (as in money we’ll spent if it saves an expensive mistake) but my husband is not so keen on spending. Says what if we don’t like the plan. But surely the whole idea is he gives suggestions and I say what works for me before he plan is drawn.
Any way any thoughts grateful received.
Instagram 'renovation' posts are plentiful and fab for exactly this purpose.
Your actual looks nice. My eye is dawn to the garage... - I totally agree with the point about the garage doors (the garage looks like it was a later addition to the property and doesn't match the style of the house at all).
Your house doesn't look like it needs any structural changes though. The windows look great. Maybe a lighter / brighter coloured front door with nice shiny door furniture? (love the central knocker). Bay / Olive trees or neatly pruned Box in handsome planters either side of the front door would look nice. Remove the 2 chairs. Some other planters filled with bright colours will also lift the front.
Thank you Yes I think bay trees are a must!!! The garage is an 80s extension on a 1910 house. It needs Re pointing in red to fit in with rest, I know that and I know I need a better roof on the garage, but not sure on the design.
Unfortunately the chairs are a summer feature. Obviously once it is done I will get a bench or my stylish chairs. This is a main part of my problem, the evening sun is all on the front (and I love the sun). So I need a patio of sorts at the front.
I'm not convinced bay trees will work with your current step since the front door is raised so high off the ground.
I'd also be reluctant to put a porch on the front as it will risk either obscuring the window above your front door or the feature lintel over and hence always look like a 'bolt-on'
I see what you mean about the garage, but I actually don't think it's too bad and I think there are cheaper/quicker things you could do to make a difference.
Is the front door in it's original position, or has it been brought forward?
Everything that follows is of course personal taste. You have already a very smart looking house.
To my mind, the entrance way is a little tall and narrow with nothing to break up the lines. It looks like you may have had a new front door fitted? If not, would you consider replacing it with one that had a letter box higher up? It helps break up the 'long thin' appearance of the entrance way.
Rather than bay trees - a light to the LHS of the door or a 'house number plaque' will give the front some interest. Hanging baskets would also inject some colour.
If you're getting the front landscaped, a larger (wider) step might also help (and would potentially allow the ubiquitous bay trees).
What's the white plastic fascia for above the garage door? Is there anything behind it? I agree with others who have said that a 'more traditional' (side hinged) set of doors would be more in-keeping with the house, but there is a practical down-side to these of course.
It's hard to tell because the photo was taken on an overcast day, but do you have any window dressings in your bay window? From the photo, the windows appear very black with a black front door and a black garage door. A sea of black. Could you put a chrome handle on the garage door?
Alternatively would you consider repainting your garage door/front door? A dark green would lift it a little maybe?
Thanks for all the advice. Several things I wouldn’t have thought off there. Yes I see what you mean about the porch idea and I suppose what has held me back so far is that is would have to have such a high roof.
The door is relatively new and it is in the original position, ie not brought forward. I live the idea of a light at the side and plaque (I hadn’t thought of that). I like hanging baskets but I am realistic about myself not doing the upkeep. Plus They are seasonal.
I had not really thought about the size of step but I see what you mean when you think about it is too narrow realistically for bay trees. Would having a wider first step look right?
In terms of the garage, the flat roof on it is I think the original done in about 1985 so although not leaking my husband thinks we should get it replaced before we have a problem. We don’t use the garage for cars so side hinged are not a problem. I want to keep the front door black, would these have to match or could I go for oak or that heritage green?
I think the plastic facica is just for astthetics just the flat roof material meeting the bricks behind it.
Also Yes there are curtains on the bay. The windows in the bay need replacing eventually as again the ones there are from before we bought the house. They are sound though so it’s not in my immediate to do list but eventually I thought I get the sash look ones like upstairs.
Pinterest or google Edwardian Front Garden ideas. I’d change the front door colour and go for the wooden garage doors. here’s two pics from a quick google.
I think a wider step would be a pretty safe option personally, but if possible, I'd probably also bring it forward as well.
I'm always unsure about having a single element in a different colour to others. You could consider a white garage door?
This picture shows the sort of thing?
What's also good there is the brick detail above the garage door which you should be able to achieve relatively cheaply to replace the white plastic wood panelling.
Personally, I don't think the flat roof or white barge board would look out of place if you had a white garage door?
Yes, great idea about the brickwork and like the look of the doors.
Thanks for the ideas
Thanks for those pictures. I like those bay trees in front of the bay window. They’d be good to add height.
I know everyone is saying change the door colour but it is a newish rock door so I am reluctant to change it.
I find it very tedious to keep pruning the bay trees to maintain their smart appearance.
I also have a Box hedge which I maintain at step-over height, it only needs a shearing once or twice a year (it's slow growing, and very easy to grow from cuttings). A relation used to keep hers about four feet high. The very small leaves mean you don't need delicate secateur work, even a hedge-trimmer will do.
Yes I’d probably get fed up with that myself. Something to think about x
I would put a small pitch on the garage, and then render the front in the same colour as the top of the house to blend it in. I would also change the doors for double outward opening as mentioned avouve and would also widen the step with bay trees either side
The rendering idea sounds good, I’d not thought of that but I can see that would really work. Thanks
Creating a bed in front of the join between house and garage, and planting climbers would help disguise the fact the bricks don't match and that the garage was built in the same plane as the house - a big no-no (I know it's too late for you OP, but for anyone else reading, new extensions on a period property should always be stepped back to allow the original structure to 'stand' in its own right).
It looks like you’ve got quite wide window sills, how about window boxes with easy care plants such as heathers, in them.
The sills are slanted downwards so I don’t think window boxes are a goer. But thanks for the ideas.
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