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  • Jen Schwindt

Our exterior...

This is the front of our house when we bought it.

Not exactly a designers dream….or maybe it is, it was structurally sound, the location was right, the size was right, the rest was a fun challenge to be worked on. Check out those bushes….not even exactly sure how to describe them, just look….they are massive, not exactly adding to the curb appeal, they dwarf the house. Just in case you think it would look better without the snow, here is a spring picture:

Yeah, not really any better. To access the front door you had to go through this…

That does not exactly say, "Welcome, please come in". It's more of a caution, don't get lost in the forest on the way in. We started with removing the bushes.

It's better, we planted gardens and it remained this way for a few years. The front porch still wasn't ideal, and the design of the house still kind of bothered me. The porch/step didn't meet current building codes. It wasn't big enough to use, we rarely ever opened that door. I never understood the point of the little peak above the door either.

The windows aren't well thought out or laid out, there are numerous types/styles. We have a double hung window on the corner, a casement in the center and an awning (with shutters) on the other side. They are relatively new and are decent windows, so we do not want to replace them at this time. From the inside it works, but I believe when you are designing a space it needs to work both from the inside and outside. That being said, we are working with an existing place, and sometimes you need to be creative with what you have.

Over the years we have made tiny steps to improve the look of this house. We were at the point where we needed to be thinking about a new roof, new shingles anyways. This led us to the decision to take the biggest step by adding on a fairly large framers porch.

Here's where we started, with my design.

And now here we are:

This has made a huge difference, both in the look of the house and how we use the house. In the past we rarely used the front door, now we use it all the time. It's nice to step outside, and enjoy the fresh air, the porch has expanded our living space.

Hopefully this is also a little more welcoming. We're really not that bad, once you get to know us!

Also, even though the windows are the same, they don't bother me as much anymore. With the addition of the porch they do not stand out as much as they did before.

I chose charcoal grey shingles instead of the brown ones as well. It works better with the siding colour and updates the overall look.

I'm not in love with our front door, it may (probably will) change one day, but for now it will be painted a new colour. (stay tuned to see what colour I select) It's progress.

What do you think?

PS. A Big Thank You to my husband, Dad & Grandpa for all your hard work in making this happen! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

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