1980s bland Terraced House desperately needs kerb appeal (front&rear)

17 September, 2019


I would be so interested in thoughts and ideas about this challenge. Our terraced house, built in 1980, is basically a brick box, with a flat front, oddly-spaced windows (that seem to merge with the door and garage), a cement 'garden' or parking area, and a porch that seems to have been stuck on the front where it floats... all by itself. :) I could really use some help and advice - I'm on a budget but willing to consider everything and v happy to put in some hard work.

Replacing the garage door (expensive - hoping for doors with a few windows in the future to get more light in the house) and front door could improve things quite a bit. The window frames could be painted, although I'm not particularly fond of the black that most of the neighbours have selected. Thinking of perhaps building a pergola in the future, over the garage that will somehow incorporate the porch and add some greenery and colour, but perhaps sacrifice some light on the ground floor.

We will be limited in the changes that we can make to the front of the house because it is in a conservation area, but I'd like to try to be as creative as possible. Apart from this development, the rest of the neighbourhood is pretty and full of character and greenery, making this particular block of modern houses look even sadder by comparison.

Also, the rear of the house fronts a popular road as well. There is a porch with a very old roof that needs to be cleaned thoroughly or likely replaced. A covered area is very practical, but we need to get as much light in the house as possible.

I'd be very grateful for ideas that could bring some life to the outside of the house.

Comments (18)

  • E D

    I‘m certainly no expert when it comes to exteriors but when I see a title to a new thread where the apostrophe is (rightly!) left out in 1980s, I feel compelled to respectfully respond. :-)

    But seriously, as a budget friendly and feasible upgrade I would resort to well planned planting/greenery.

    I’m sure you’ll receive some excellent suggestions here on types of plants and ways to enhance your property‘s look.

    I feel it may be tricky to change too much about the actual exterior because your house might then stick out too much.

    Will you need the parking space?

    HU-256504730 thanked E D
  • HU-256504730

    Thank you! :) I have to credit my mother, a teacher. I'll delight her by sharing your comment.

    We don't need the parking now, as we don't have a car and so I either bicycle or use public transport, but we may need it in the future to accommodate my partner's commute.

    I am hoping greenery can really help, but I also don't mind the house standing out a little bit because of improvements, as long as it is respectfully done... it seems to me that the development is lacking in a little creativity, and needs a boost!

    Although budget is definitely an issue, we can save and work towards a future plan, too...

  • teenytinyhouse

    What about painting your front and rear doors, and the garage door? No need to buy a new one, just give it a lick of paint. It might be worth painting the window frames as well to coordinate?

    Pot plants, lots and lots of pot plants. Lavender does well in pot plants and doesn't need a lot of tending, as does rosemary. They both smell really nice, too. What about a long trough on the right (along the dividing wall) full of lavender? Paint it a cheerful colour and it'll really pop.

  • Jonathan

    Personally I like your neighbours window choice. Whether or not your neighbours choice would be your first choice matching houses with a cohesive look are more popular and seem to sell for more money.
    Until you have the money to change windows having the roof cleaned, pressure washing the drive, painting the garage door, removing the discoloured roof outside the back door will all lift the house.
    I would also add something tall in a pot to the corner of the drive

  • rinq

    LOL ' ED

  • rinq

    I agree with Jonathan on the cohesion. Black might not be your color, but it does help..(see below)

    Would you be allowed to discretely widen the awning/portico? (which is the right word in english?) That narrow thing might be very practical, but is like a zit on an otherwise quite neutral exterior.

    HU-256504730 thanked rinq
  • E D

    Do your neighbours always park their car like that?... :)

  • Eileen Nixon

    Build a small wall next to your garage door to define your area. Fill up your plant stand with colourful plants of your choice and paint the door and garage in a vibrant colour. Then get a quote for rendering the front (maybe do this first) and co ordinate the colour to match. Go on you can do it!

    HU-256504730 thanked Eileen Nixon
  • PRO
    Mabel Fox Design

    Whilst the black frames of your neighbours looks good, if you don’t want black, I would go for a mid grey on all window frames and doors front and back, including the garage door. This will look good in between your neighbours properties. If budget allows I would recommend replacing the front door as it’s dated as far as kerb appeal goes. Try a contemporary door with some glazing, in the same grey as the windows etc. Then add plenty of colourful pot plants, as others have mentioned, as much greenery as you can fit in.
    If you can replace the roof at the rear porch area that would be worth doing, or a damn good cleaning if not and then I would create some interest in the back garden with planting trees and shrubs within the garden space, not just down the sides of the lawn, diverting your eye to various places and giving you some privacy from the road at the same time. Have a look at some garden plan ideas on Houzz for inspiration, or speak to a pro garden designer, it can actually save you money paying for a garden plan, it stops you making costly mistakes. Try https://www.alisonmurraydesign.com/ she is brilliant. With a plan you can choose to do the garden a bit at a time, when funding allows, which is what I will be doing once Alison has put our design plan together!

  • HU-256504730

    @ E D yes and it drives my partner crazy!!

    @ Mabel thanks very much for the tips and recommendation.

  • Kazza None

    I'd be buying a cheap car to park in front of the garage just to stop that neighbour encroaching on my space. It would drive me mad!! Or build a wall as somebody else said. On the windows front, I like black aswell. The neighbours look good.

  • Jonathan

    Regarding the neighbour parking issue I think the suggested wall could look good but the cost may be prohibitively high.
    As an alternative I did notice cattle prods on EBay for only £20 (or £70 if you want a really good one)

  • Victoria

    Could you move the planter with trellis to the other side to stop the neighbour parking? The black does look good.

  • Victoria

    The planter suggested by rinq

  • rinq

    Solve it in a playful manner ;)

  • HU-256504730

    Convinced to go with the black windows - ideally putting glass in the full window on the right to match the neighbours. Odd that half-glazed window - why? ^^ The planter box idea looks great, maybe with a sloped trellis to the front of the drive... And dealing with the roof in the rear - by cleaning or replacing are all now part of the plan.

    New cattle prod also hugely popular idea. :)

    Extending the awning is clever and really does help things look more intentional. Going to reflect on whether that can be a phase 2. Many thanks.

  • PRO
    Mabel Fox Design

    Great stuff, glad you are feeling inspired and motivated by all the comments on here. Good luck with the project

  • PRO
    Ensign Accessories

    Very difficult when you have such close neighbours encroaching your space. Also difficult as all the houses need to stay more or less the same. Perhaps 2 very large tubs, with trees planted in them, one placed to the right of the door, and the other between you and the thoughtless neighbour, just to say "this is my space, and I need to get to the garage".

    As for the back, in time it lends itself perfectly to a ground floor extension.

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