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Color and Line: Options in Exterior Remodeling

Color and Line: Options in Exterior Remodeling

Architecturally, many of the typical home designs are less than striking. Pair that with a tendency toward monochromatic conformity in home construction, and you have a lot of company if you live in a drab home. Most people are happy to redesign the interior, and spruce up the outside with some good landscape design, but we view the exterior as a finished product at the time of construction.  In fact, exterior design is a powerful tool for established homes as well as new construction.


If your home was built some time ago and its exterior has lost much of its appeal, consider a redesign as part of a needed remodeling. After all, no home can go on indefinitely without some exterior work. Depending on its original construction, it may need exterior paint, or there may be some cracks in the brick facade that need investigating. Or perhaps the roof needs replacing. Any project that gets you working on the exterior of your home should involve a comprehensive look at how you might incorporate some striking exterior redesign.
In the post-World War II era in the United States, home construction boomed as veterans returned and needed places to live with their families. The baby boom that began around 1947 fueled the home construction business further. The move into suburbia began, and the homes that were built were fairly uniform in their construction. One of the most popular designs at the time for new construction became the ranch-style home, as it is a simple style without many decorative elements – simple to build quickly on relatively cheap and large lots, often on former farmland on the outskirts of developing cities.


Since then, the move to suburbia has continued, sparking ever more home construction boom lets. These have often been marked in more recent years by monochromatic homes with neutral vinyl siding and architectural features that might be called ‘triangle upon triangle.’ Whether it was achieved through multiple gables or simply decorative applications, the triangle may have been the exterior design shape of the decade for several recent decades – a good shape, but at times overused.


So if you’re living in an older brick ranch house that needs a new roof, consider a color other than regular gray. Don’t go wild, but even if you’re using shingles, there are options to consider. Find a color that enlivens your bricks – this may be a dark color for light bricks. And then, since you’re probably replacing the gutters while you’re working on the roof, remember that they form a series of interconnected lines around your house, which gives great potential for visual effect. Choose a color that draws the roof and the bricks together, preferably with some contrast. Consider repeating that color in the front door.


If you’re living in a fairly recent home built with dove-gray vinyl siding on every exterior surface, consider changing just one section of siding as part of a remodeling project. A different material (cedar shake siding even comes in vinyl these days), color, or texture can create wonderful visual interest for your home at a reasonable cost. If you use this technique to create a focal point out of one of the triangle shapes of your home, this can also help emphases size the rest of them a bit, which can help if your home suffers from too many, rather than too few, architectural features.

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